The cast for this big sequel continues to grow, with yet another intriguing name. Deadline reports that actor William Fichtner is joining Roland Emmerich's Independence Day 2 as a "top general". Apparently Fichtner's role as a general will get "even larger in the two films that will follow." Very interesting. Fichtner has appeared in a variety of films recently, including The Homesman, Elysium, The Lone Ranger, Phantom, Wrong, Drive Angry and The Dark Knight of course. He's always great to see in a movie, and I'm curious why his role will expand as it goes on. Does something happen to him or is he just a survivor? This also indicates that Fox is really pushing forward with a new trilogy of Independence Day movies coming up.
"Just like taking a stroll through the woods… 65 million years ago." Universal is going all out! Not only putting John Hammond's voice in one of their latest TV spots for Jurassic World (and this video), but now they've released an entire featurette featuring Steven Spielberg talking about this new movie. A new featurette has hit the web and not only does it have Spielberg, there's actually lots of new footage, or at least a few interesting bits they haven't shown before. There's a better shot of the gate (see above), lots of new shots of the raptors, a cool look inside the main building, some new action beats, and that moment with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard at the truck at the end. I must say, I am really excited to see this.
Nice orange suit there, Mr. Damon. Coming to theaters later this year is Ridley Scott's next sci-fi movie, The Martian, adapted from Andy Weir's novel about an astronaut stranded on Mars. Matt Damon plays Mark Watney, that astronaut on Mars, and while we posted a "first look" a few months ago, this is really the photo everyone's been waiting to see. Well, everyone should wait to see the trailer for this - because the footage is going to be the most impressive part. Then again, if you're a space suit nerd this may be your moment to flip out. The shot (which looks like a magazine scan) shows Damon in his astronaut suit for his mission to Mars, on the ARES III. It's a cool shot, with some of the Martian landscape reflecting in his visor. Check it out.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "What if there was a place… where nothing was impossible?" Now playing in theaters everywhere is Brad Bird's sci-fi adventure Tomorrowland, starring Britt Robertson and George Clooney. Inspired by Walt Disney himself, this Disney adventure follows two optimistic, inventive minds as they try to save the future from hopelessness. The cast includes Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Hugh Laurie, plus Kathryn Hahn & Keegan-Michael Key. So how is it? Did Brad Bird hit it out of the park again? Is it worthy addition to the sci-fi genre, or another blunder? Did it inspire you? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your own thoughts on Brad Bird's Tomorrowland.
"These are the modern masters of the art and science of special effects." Now this is good. Earlier in the week we featured the image from Wired's story about the "Magic" of ILM, or Industrial Light & Magic, and their extensive history as a special effects/visual effects house. Well, to follow up that fantastic look back, our friends at SlashFilm have found a vintage video from 1984 looking inside ILM and it's a must watch. It's an episode of NOVA, that long-running documentary television show, and it's all about "The Magic of Special Effects". Up to this point, it really was all about practical special effects and it's kind of amazing and inspiring to look back at how they pulled off this cinema magic back then. They profile films like Explorers, Return of the Jedi and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. You just need to watch this!
For a film about avenues to a better future, Tomorrowland is sure working off a lot of yesterday's ideas. These are big ideas, to be sure, and they're ideas the film's director, Brad Bird, can easily back up with some incredibly big effects. None of that, however, makes up for the banal slate of messages and themes, a hokey sense of humor, and a convoluted narrative that seems to hang its hat on the word "mystery." Bird's co-writer on the screenplay may have had a little something to do with that last bit. Tomorrowland, is a classic case of a project looking really good on paper that fumbles its way to messy execution.
Briefly: Paramount has confirmed and cleared contracts and deals for the next World War Z sequel, which is definitely moving forward. The studio has announced a release date of June 9th, 2017 two years from now for "World War Z 2" (though it will likely get a new title). Brad Pitt will be back to star again, and he'll be working with director J.A. Bayona for this sequel, which will be "starting with a clean slate" according to the screenwriter. The first movie, based on Max Brooks' beloved zombie book, showed zombies taking over the world in a global epidemic. Only Pitt was brave enough to keep hunting for a solution. We'll keep an eye out for more updates as they continue to work on this sequel. The first movie opened in June of 2013.
We've heard this before. But hopefully this time something actually happens. Straight out of the Cannes Market, Screen Daily is reporting that Chinese collective C2M Media Group will "co-develop and co-finance" the sci-fi adaptation of Neuromancer, along with UK sales team GFM Films. The interesting bit is that filmmaker Vincenzo Natali, who was attached for years and years developing this, is apparently no longer involved (as he is not mentioned anywhere) but they do mention: "producer Lucas Foster is currently in talks with new writers and a director on the project." We'll have to wait to find out who that might be.
This is when everyone should finally lose their sh*t. It has been officially announced that the new Blade Runner movie, being directed by Denis Villeneuve, will feature Roger Deakins as cinematographer. What?! DEAKINS?! Awesome, just awesome. Roger Deakins is one of the best cinematographers working today, only rivaled by the likes of Emmanuel Lubezki or Janusz Kaminski . He has been working with Denis Villeneuve on his last two films, shooting both Prisoners and Sicario (which just premiered at Cannes) for the Quebecois filmmaker. They'll move onto Blade Runner, even though it likely won't start shooting until 2016 sometime. No other details were revealed, and the press release doesn't even mention Gosling (yet).
"I'll be back." And now here he is. Almost 31 years after the release of the original, Park Circus is planning a global re-release of James Cameron's The Terminator, the sci-fi classic that started the franchise. We all know they have a brand new Terminator movie coming out this summer, Terminator: Genisys (watch the trailer), also with Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator again, so it's likely all one big coordinated brand promotion across the entire world. Remind everyone of the original Terminator and bring that back to the forefront. Personally I prefer T2, but this first one is just as badass. And now I want to watch it again.
Celebrating 40 Years of Creating the Impossible! If you are a movie lover, you know ILM. Also known as Industrial Light & Magic, ILM was originally created by George Lucas as an effects house for the original Star Wars, and lead the industry for decades in special effects. They were the first to introduce computer-generated FX into movies in Young Sherlock Holmes (and The Abyss), and have since revolutionized (and blazed trails in) the CGI VFX industry. ILM is not only preparing for a new Star Wars franchise, but they're also the VFX house behind the new Warcraft movie as well as Michael Bay's Transformers and Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim. So, to celebrate, Wired has published a fascinating, extensive look at ILM's history.
The Maze Was Just The Beginning. It's time to go back. Fox has debuted the first trailer for Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, the sequel from young filmmaker Wes Ball. Following up the impressive Maze Runner movie from last year, Ball has been going much bigger in scale, much more post-apocalyptic epic for this one and we finally get a glimpse at the world. The cast is back along with newcomers including: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen, Barry Pepper, Lili Taylor and Patricia Clarkson. I'm really, really looking forward to this! It looks quite good. Enjoy!
"I own an island off the coast of Costa Rica…" With just a few more weeks left until Jurassic World hits theaters in June, Universal has started unloading TV spots left and right. One of the latest ones features a John Hammond (originally played by Richard Attenborough) voice-over, borrowing sound clips from the original Jurassic Park. They're really playing up that connection to the original, and pushing with "The Park Is Open" as the big tagline on every TV spot. Oddly, at one point they have Hammond to say "Welcome to Jurassic World!" So maybe they had someone else do his voice just for that part… Anyway, the rest of the footage is starting to look really good. Chris Pratt and those rapors! I am so ready for this. Bring on dinos.
We knew it was coming, as George Miller is already confirmed for more Mad Max sequels along with Tom Hardy, but the title for the next Mad Max movie might have been revealed. Hidden in the George Miller episode of The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith podcast (found via The Playlist), Miller discusses the plans for the expanded Mad Max universe now that Rockatansky is back in Fury Road. "We've got one screenplay and a novella. It happened because with the delays [on Fury Road] and writing all the backstories, they just expanded." So what's the next title? Mad Max: The Wasteland. Bring it on. Furiosa better be in it, too.