"Every film you're trying to challenge yourself." Dive into an intense, mind-expanding 10-minute featurette for Christopher Nolan's Tenet, now playing in movie theaters around the world (but not yet in the US). This behind-the-scenes video originally played in front of the Inception re-release in theaters this month, before the world premiere of Tenet. Now it's available to watch online! The extensive (but mostly spoiler-free) behind-the-scenes look covers everything from production locations like Tallinn and Mumbai, to working with the actors, to working with cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema - one of the coolest. John David Washington stars in Tenet as "The Protagonist", with a big cast including Robert Pattinson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh, Clémence Poésy, and Dimple Kapadia. This featurette may not change your mind if you're unsure about seeing this movie, but it'll definitely make you fascinated by the hard work that goes into making massive blockbusters with intricate action set pieces.
"We wanted audiences to feel like they could reach through the screen and touch this world." One of the best stop-motion animation studios is celebrating 15 years this year! Laika Animation originally opened in 2005 and worked on their first feature film Corpse Bride. The first film made entirely by the studio was Coraline, which opened in theaters in 2009. They followed up with four more outstanding stop-motion animated films: ParaNorman in 2012, The Boxtrolls in 2014, Kubo and the Two Strings in 2016, and Missing Link in 2019 - just last year. To celebrate the anniversary, Fandango released a 5-minute long behind-the-scenes celebratory featurette, looking back at their history and their work. I'm a big fan of Laika and almost always enjoy their movies (my personal favorite is still Kubo, also ParaNorman). This wonderful video shows how much work goes into each project and all the people crafting every piece of the production.
"What is that mission that will be he most challenging & most difficult?" Eon has released a new behind-the-scenes featurette for No Time to Die, the 25th Bond movie and the fifth movie starring Daniel Craig as 007. The focus in this video is on director Cary Joji Fukunaga, one of the most inspired filmmakers they've chosen in this era to deliver Craig's final Bond movie. When No Time to Die begins, Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology. The cast includes Jeffrey Wright as Felix, Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q; plus Rami Malek, Ana de Armas, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Billy Magnussen, Rory Kinnear, and David Dencik. This is a beautifully-edited, exciting featurette that should get you in the mood for this Bond finale.
"There are people out there… People worth saving." Ready for some football monsters! Paramount Pics has released the "Big Game" TV spot for A Quiet Place: Part II, the sequel to John Krasinski & Emily Blunt's sci-fi monster thriller A Quiet Place from 2018. They've also included a short behind-the-scenes featurette for the film, to give us a closer look at Krasinski's work putting together this sequel. Following the traumatic events at home (seen in the first movie), the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path. Starring Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe as the Abbott family. Newcomers featured in this sequel include Cillian Murphy, Djimon Hounsou, Wayne Duvall, and Lauren-Ashley Cristiano. This full trailer was compelling, I'm excited to see what they're cookin' up.
It's 11:11. Are you ready for a deep dive on Us? Our friend H. Nelson Tracey has unveiled another "Reading List" video for Jordan Peele's horror movie Us, which opened in theaters almost a year ago. Nelson goes through the movie and points out books, other visual patterns, and the repetition of 11:11 throughout it. "For this video essay, I point out some of the hidden books, as well as other clues and details hidden in plain sight you may have missed when you saw the movie." I always enjoy these hidden details video essays from Nelson. And this is a good compliment to other articles pointing out Peele's influences & Easter Eggs in Us.
"It is aggressive. You can't act that!" Paramount Pictures has revealed a new featurette about the making of Top Gun: Maverick, following the fantastic full trailer earlier this week. If you aren't sold on this sequel yet, you will be after this. The video shows us how they filmed this movie by mounting cameras inside actual fighter jet cockpits, so that the experience and the performances are completely real. They really feel all the G-Forces, they feel the intensity of the jet. What an awesome featurette, and boy does this looks incredible. Tom Cruise plays Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and Val Kilmer is also back; with a full cast including Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, and Ed Harris. Watch the full trailer again. I'm really, really looking forward to this even though we still have over 6 months to wait. But it seems like they're making this return to the old Top Gun world completely worthwhile. Check out the video.
"It's like a piece of theater every take." Universal has released an extensive making of featurette for Sam Mendes' war movie 1917, arriving in theaters on Christmas Day this month. We previously posted a behind-the-scenes featurette and two trailers, but this one is pretty much a Special Features video that is now online anyway. Set during World War I in the year 1917, the 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. With cinematography by Roger Deakins. Starring Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay, joined by a stellar ensemble cast with Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Madden, Andrew Scott, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Teresa Mahoney, Daniel Mays, Anson Boon, and Richard McCabe. As a movie nerd, I dig these videos because I love hearing Mendes & Deakins talk about their process and how they made this.
"You can't run from Star Wars frenzy." Disney has unveiled a nostalgic featurette to promote the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which as we all know is meant to be the epic, grand finale to the Skywalker saga, which began in 1977 with A New Hope. This featurette takes us back through four decades of fandom, showing how far everything has come, along with tons of clips of all the pop culture references and influences Star Wars has had on culture ever since debuting 42 years ago. We're less than a month away to the release of The Rise of Skywalker, and Disney will continue to build up hype reminding us how much this series means to so many of us. The finale stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Domhnall Gleeson, Warwick Davis, Lupita Nyong'o, along with Naomi Ackie, Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant, and also Dominic Monaghan. If you're a life-long Star Wars geek like me, this video will definitely get you emotional. Enjoy.
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.