"I know I have a past… I'll find out who I was." Paramount Pictures has unveiled the first full trailer for Rupert Sanders' live-action Ghost in the Shell movie, starring Scarlett Johansson as "The Major". Adapting from the manga and anime, the movie is about a "one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid" who leads an elite task force as part of Section 9. She goes on the hunt to find a hacker criminal who wants to destroy all the technology at Hanka Robotics. Also starring Michael Pitt, Juliette Binoche, Michael Wincott, Rila Fukushima, Chin Han, filmmaker Takeshi Kitano, Joseph Naufahu, with Pilou Asbæk as Batou. The first teasers didn't show much, but now we get a look at the action and I have to say - this looks totally awesome. I'm impressed they actually made a movie that really, truly looks like the anime. Bring it.
"[She] has gone above and beyond my expectations for the role." Paramount has launched a new featurette for the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie, ahead of the full trailer launch this weekend. In what seems an obvious move to get ahead of the whitewashing claims, the video features Japanese filmmaker Mamoru Oshii, who directed the original two anime Ghost in the Shell movies, talking about how happy he is seeing Scarlett Johansson in the role as The Major. The featurette actually has lots of new footage, and plenty of behind-the-scenes shots, which is great to see because this does look really cool. There's a Matrix vibe to it, at least with the action, and I'm glad to see them embracing a digitized world. Stay tuned for the trailer next.
"We get on just great…" EuropaCorp has released the teaser trailer for Luc Besson's epic return to sci-fi, an action movie called Valerian - or in full - Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Based on the graphic novel series, the movie stars Dane DeHaan as Valerian, and Cara Delevingne as Laureline, special operatives for the government of the human territories charged with maintaining order throughout the universe. They must travel to an intergalactic city called Alpha on a mission. The full cast includes Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Rutger Hauer, Mathieu Kassovitz, Sam Spruell, Kris Wu, Alain Chabat and many others. As a huge, huge fan of The Fifth Element, this is definitely my cup of tea, and it looks like it's going to be awesome. I'm so ready for Luc Besson to bring us another big space opera. Dive in.
Another wicked cool short film discovery - another one you must watch. Echo Torch is a sci-fi short about an inventor who builds an "electrical torch that reveals a hidden world layered upon our own." The concept itself is quite unique, and I love the visuals - you can see the cool blue torch on the poster, but to actually see it work so flawlessly in this short is wonderful. Echo Torch is directed by Chris Preksta, starring James Fitzgerald as the torchbearer. This has an awesome old school vibe to it, almost like Ghostbusters, and the VFX work is magnificent - making it that much more believable. I also appreciate how the film doesn't rely on dialogue, only just silence and great sound design. There's also a beautiful story bringing it all together.
"We woke up 90 years too soon…" Sony Pictures has debuted a new 30-second TV spot for the sci-fi movie Passengers, from a screenplay by Jon Spaihts, directed by Morten Tyldum. We featured the first trailer for this movie a few months ago, and I'm still very excited for it. The story is set far in the future entirely on a passenger ship carrying thousands of people to a colony on the other side of the galaxy. Chris Pratt stars as a mechanic whose sleep pod malfunctions, leaving him awake and alone and unable to last the 90 years left on the ship's journey. This also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen as a robot bartender, and Laurence Fishburne. There isn't that much new footage, but this is one of my most anticipated left to see in 2016 and I'm glad it looks so damn good. I've also included an extra poster from Thailand below. Enjoy.
"We're looking at the first proof of life beyond Earth." Sony has unveiled a trailer for a new sci-fi thriller titled Life, about a discovery on the space station that goes awry. This movie kind of came out of nowhere, I didn't know they were even making this, and it has one helluva cast. Jake Gyllenhaal stars along with Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, and Olga Dihovichnaya. They play a crew on the space station who discover a life form on a rogue satellite, but when they take a closer look not all is as it seems. Yes this definitely looks like Gravity meets The Thing, but I'm still curious to check it out. The big twist halfway in seems crazy fun, and I'm always down for more cool space movies.
"We need to talk to them." Paramount has unveiled a final trailer for the outstanding sci-fi movie Arrival, directed by master filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, arriving in theaters this November. You've already heard the buzz on this, as it has played at a bunch of film festivals in the last few months, and it's one brilliant film about alien spacecraft that suddenly land on Earth. Amy Adams plays a linguistics expert who is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat. The full cast includes Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tzi Ma, Mark O'Brien and many others. I wrote in my glowing review from Telluride that Arrival is "a major milestone in sci-fi." Thankfully they don't reveal too much in this final trailer, which could ruin this, so take a look and catch this in theaters soon. Go see it.
"I am here as your servant. I can perform any simple task." With the new "Westworld" show on everyone's minds, it's a perfect time to feature this new short film titled Judy. This first premiered at Fantastic Fest this year, and I owe Tim League thanks for the tip on its online debut. Judy is set in the near future and is about a guy who randomly receives an android assistant at his door one day. It starts out amusing, gets a bit raunchy, then ends on a very twisted note. I won't spoil it - you just need to be aware this may not play out the way you want. It's also a cautionary tale about how emotionless we can/will get with more technology.
"I need the old Blade Runner." This isn't exactly new, but it is a fun trailer to watch if you've never seen it. Chet Desmond has cut a special "classic film noir" version of the trailer for Ridley Scott's seminal sci-fi Blade Runner from 1982 starring Harrison Ford. Of course, we all know the film is already very much a noir film, about a detective in the future trying to chase down "Replicant" androids on the run. This is an impressive trailer that brings this all the way back to the olden days of Hollywood, with sepia B&W to top it off. I like the way he made this feel like something completely different, even though it's still the same sci-fi film we all know (and most of us love). Plus it's good to look back before the sequel Blade Runner 2049 hits.
"Be careful, Izzy… People are fragile." Another intriguing sci-fi short to watch. This one is titled Memory Box, directed by filmmaking team Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell. Sadly, Aaron Aites passed away from cancer and this is his last film as a director. Ewell is keeping his memory alive and has started an Indiegogo for extra funding to release this short (beyond the internet). It first premiered at Fantastic Fest last month and is now out online. Described as a "psycho-sexual sci-fi tinged short film", Mackenzie Davis (from The Martian, Breathe In, "Halt & Catch Fire") stars a young mother who works at a memory-recreation facility where actors recreate clients' memories. Fellow sci-fi filmmaker Shane Carruth also stars. Love the score.
"I'm not the same…" Lionsgate has revealed the first full-length teaser trailer for the new live-action Power Rangers movie, from the director of Project Almanac. They're bringing back the classic colored superkids for an epic sci-fi movie and it looks pretty cool at first glance. The cast is lead by: Naomi Scott as The Pink Ranger, Becky G. as The Yellow Ranger, Ludi Lin as The Black Ranger, RJ Cyler as The Blue Ranger, and Dacre Montgomery as The Red Ranger. This also features Bryan Cranston as Zordon, Bill Hader as the voice of Alpha 5, Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa, as well as David Denman, Sarah Grey, Emily Maddison, and Caroline Cave. This teaser ends right when it's getting good (revealing their outfits), but so far I'm admittedly intrigued. This trailer also features the song "I Walk The Line" by Halsey. Take a look.
"Are you ready for test day?" YouTube Red has unveiled the first trailer for a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller titled The Thinning, from writer/director Michael J. Gallagher. Set in the future, the story focuses on a high school aptitude test that is used to manage the population. Two students, played by Logan Paul and Peyton List, discover the test isn't what it seems and may actually be covering up a bigger conspiracy. This sounds kind of like Logan's Run, but revised to a high school level "aptitude test". The full cast includes Lia Marie Johnson, Calum Worthy, Matthew Glave, Michael Traynor and Ryan Newman. This looks like a mix of Hunger Games and a bunch of other much better sci-fi, but that may be why it's direct to VOD.