Sony released Ang Lee's new sci-fi action movie Gemini Man in theaters a few weeks ago. Aside from the HFR cinematography, the film is boasting "groundbreaking" technology with its de-aging VFX. Gemini Man is about the world's best assassin, played by Will Smith at his current age (51), attempting to retire until he's pursued by a younger version of himself. He soon learns that they actually cloned him, and this younger "Junior" is exactly like him in every way. To create this character, Ang Lee filmed Will Smith in a motion-capture rig (with face-capture cameras) and then let the VFX artists work on their computers to de-age him. A few videos have arrived online over the last few weeks explaining the process, and showing before/after shots as well as a glimpse as the techniques they're using. I highly doubt these videos will convince anyone to see the movie, but they're fascinating to watch nonetheless because it's an advance process. Most of the de-aging VFX work was done by Weta Digital in New Zealand, still the best at what they do. Watch below.
"There is no better way to tell this story than with one continuous shot." Ohhhhh hell yes! Another one-shot movie coming up this year. Universal has debuted a fascinating behind-the-scenes featurette for Sam Mendes' latest movie 1917, set during World War I in the year 1917 - watch the intense full trailer now. The war movie takes place over the course of one day, following soldiers on a "seemingly impossible mission" to deliver a message across enemy lines to stop an attack that will kill their own soldiers. With cinematography by Roger Deakins, of course. The excellent ensemble cast features: Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Madden, Andrew Scott, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, George MacKay, Teresa Mahoney, Dean-Charles Chapman, Daniel Mays, Adrian Scarborough, Justin Edwards, Gerran Howell, Anson Boon, and Richard McCabe. I love that they release these featurettes now, instead of saving them only for Blu-ray special features, because this looks magnificent. So much movie-making magic being shown! Wow.
"The evil in Derry is lurking, so they have no choice but to finish what was started…" Warner Bros has released a new making of featurette for horror movie It: Chapter Two, the highly anticipated sequel to the first It movie from 2017. We also featured the full-length official trailer just a few weeks ago, and it looks horrifyingly awesome. The "Losers Club" from Derry, Maine, returns home after 27 years to the confront the creepy clown from their past. This featurette includes interviews with Stephen King and most of the cast. Starring James McAvoy as Bill, Jessica Chastain as Beverly, Jay Ryan as Ben, Bill Hader as Richie, James Ransone as Eddie, Andy Bean as Stanley, and Isaiah Mustafa as Mike; with Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the Clown, plus Jess Weixler, Teach Grant, Jake Weary, & Xavier Dolan. The more they show from this sequel, the more excited I am. It's looking good, really good, hopefully scarier than the first.
"The drive of the human spirit is to explore." 20th Century Fox debuted a featurette for James Gray's extra heavy sci-fi film Ad Astra, which is confirmed to premiere at the Venice Film Festival this fall. We've seen two stunning official trailers for Ad Astra so far [here and here] but clearly there's more to come. This has a tiny bit of extra footage, focusing mostly on our Moon to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing in 1969. There's some beautiful shots in this, especially one that reminds me a bit of Wall-E with the moon dust. Everything about this looks mesmerizing, and the more they show the more excited I get. Brad Pitt stars as an astronaut who travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father. He uncovers extraordinary secrets which challenge the nature of human existence. Also starring Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Donald Sutherland, and Jamie Kennedy. With a score by Max Richter. Dive in.
"The concept of man being chased by himself – that's a really compelling idea for a story… Thanks to the technology, now it's possible." Paramount has released a behind-the-scenes featurette for Gemini Man, the next film from Ang Lee. The second trailer just dropped, so they're trying to keep us intrigued with this making of look at how they created a completely digital "younger" character for Will Smith to play off of. It touches upon the dual roles and how Smith shot this, but doesn't mention anything about HFR or shooting at 120FPS. This sci-fi action thriller is about an aging hitman who finds himself facing off against a younger clone of himself. The visual effects are being done by Weta Digital. The cast also includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong, Linda Emond, Ralph Brown, and Theodora Miranne. I don't think this is groundbreaking nor will it change cinema, as they say, but I still hope this turns out good.
"I hunt Terminators. You metal motherf*&ker!" Paramount has launched a badass new behind-the-scenes featurette for Terminator: Dark Fate, the big bad new Terminator movie taking us all the way back to James Cameron's original two movies. This promo is all about showing off how R-rated, intense, and action-packed this movie will be - it's relentless, they keep saying. It's a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgement Day, but with all kinds of different characters including more Terminators. Linda Hamilton returns as the first Sarah Connor, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is also back again, along with Edward Furlong as the original John Connor. James Cameron is producing and is credited on the story - speaking in this video. The cast includes Mackenzie Davis, Gabriel Luna as another Terminator, Natalia Reyes, Diego Boneta, Alicia Borrachero, Steven Cree, Tábata Cerezo, Brett Azar, & Claudia Trujillo. Lock & load folks. "It's R-rated, it's grim, it's gritty, it's fast, it's intense." I hope this is as good as they're promising us here.
"The musical is timeless." Universal has revealed a behind-the-scenes preview for Tom Hooper's Cats, a new movie based on the classic Broadway/West End musical of the same name. This is just a teaser to get people excited about the actual trailer coming out in just a few days - and surprisingly it still doesn't reveal what any of the actual cats look like. Adapted from Andrew Lloyd Webber's epic musical, which opened on Broadway in 1982 and won three Tonys for Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score. This fresh new take on Cats stars: James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Ray Winstone, Laurent Bourgeois, Laurie Davidson, and introduces Royal Ballet principal dancer Francesca Hayward in her feature film debut. This first look has lots of footage of them training, and rehearsing, and dancing, but nothing from the movie itself - we have to wait to see that. The first official trailer is out now. Enjoy this making of look in addition to all that footage.
"All we can do is give our heartfelt interpretation of his life and his music…" Paramount has debuted a new featurette for Rocketman, the upcoming biopic about the life of famed musician Elton John, as played by Taron Egerton. The promo video explains that it's actually Taron singing the songs in the film, and even Elton was impressed by him. This is the latest film made by Dexter Fletcher (Sunshine on Leith, Eddie the Eagle, Bohemian Rhapsody despite not being credited). Paramount seems to be capitalizing on Bohemian Rhapsody's success and preempting any discussion on whether Taron is worthy enough for the role. The full cast includes Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin, as well as Bryce Dallas Howard, Richard Madden, Steven Mackintosh, and Gemma Jones. There's another trailer out later this week to build the hype even more.
"Baldwin's legacy is very important, very rich." Annapurna Pictures has released this extended, 5-minute making of featurette for If Beale Street Could Talk, the latest exquisite film made by the very talented Barry Jenkins (of Moonlight and Medicine for Melancholy). This video is called the "Baldwin" featurette and focuses on Jenkins discussing James Baldwin's 1974 book and turning it into this feature film. If Beale Street Could Talk is about a woman in Harlem desperately trying to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime while she is carrying their first child. Kiki Layne stars as Tish, along with Stephan James as her fiancé "Fonny", and the full ensemble cast includes Teyonah Parris, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry, Dave Franco, Ed Skrein, Michael Beach, Finn Wittrock, Aunjanue Ellis, Diego Luna, Pedro Pascal, and Emily Rios. This is hands down one of the best films of the year, a must watch.
"Once they put all these things together behind James' vision - blows my mind, still." Are you ready to dive in? Warner Bros has unveiled a new behind-the-scenes featurette for James Wan's Aquaman movie, giving us an extended look at the making of this massive superhero epic. There's only one month left until this hits theaters. The character of Aquaman, also known as Arthur Curry, first appeared in Zack Snyder's Justice League movie, and this solo feature takes place after the events of that movie. Jason Momoa stars as the DC superhero Aquaman, with a huge ensemble cast including Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Randall Park, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Willem Dafoe, Graham McTavish, Temuera Morrison, Ludi Lin, Michael Beach, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta. I'm kinda excited to see this, even if it does look glossy in the trailers, at least they shot a little practical action. This is a cool featurette.
"I have some questions for you, Dumbledore…" Warner Bros has debuted a behind-the-scenes featurette for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, taking us "Back to Hogwarts" to remind us how this series is connected to Harry Potter. The latest extended trailer premiered at Comic-Con and actually had some exciting footage in it. This sequel is once again directed by David Yates, the next chapter in the newest J.K. Rowling spin-off series. Eddie Redmayne returns as magizoologist Newt Scamander, and the movie's cast includes Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Carmen Ejogo, Zoe Kravitz, Ezra Miller, Alison Sudol, Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald, Jessica Williams, Claudia Kim, and Callum Turner, plus Jude Law as a young Dumbledore. There's not much to this featurette, but it's at least something new to enjoy as we wait for another final trailer before this movie hits theaters in November. Take a look below.
"It's about something bigger than just her revenge." Have an intriguing look inside a "world we have never seen." Universal has released a new behind-the-scenes featurette for the sci-fi adaptation Mortal Engines, based on a popular book series. This adaptation has been in the works for years, in development by Peter Jackson and the LOTR/Hobbit team including Weta. This featurette video includes interviews with Peter Jackson and director Christian Rivers, as well as some of the main cast, including the young woman who plays Hester. The fantastically eccentric ensemble cast includes Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide, and Stephen Lang. I very much enjoy featurettes that include plenty of actual behind-the-scenes footage, and this one has tons packed in it. I'm honestly looking forward to this movie, but I know it's a hard sell for most people. Maybe this will help?