When actors move behind the camera, they bring a new perspective to the directing process, one that’s often more character-driven; more verbose than visual. In 2014, we experienced what happens when a stunt coordinator moves behind the camera, and the result was a glorious action film as sharp as its titular protagonist. Chad Stahelski and David Leitch pumped decades of stunt experience into John Wick, which cast the immortal Keanu Reeves as a would-be retired assassin out for revenge. Two years later, Stahelski took on the second chapter of John Wick’s journey on his own, delivering a fitting follow-up that’s just as lit as its predecessor.
You may ask yourself, “Why on earth would Jennifer Connelly, of all people, sign on for a James Cameron-produced Robert Rodriguez film based on a manga?!” — in which case I assume you’ve forgotten all about the gloriously bonkers and delightfully terrible film A Winter’s Tale. Wacky Akiva Goldsman fever dreams aside, surely there’s a logical explanation, like maybe she looked at the cast list, which includes Christoph Waltz and recent awards season favorite Mahershala Ali. Maybe Jennifer Connelly loves Moonlight — see, there’s a silver lining to everything.
Today in Uh, Okay news, the ridiculously prolific Dwayne Johnson is teaming up with the WWE and Film4 to produce a wrestling dramedy based on the Channel 4 British documentary The Wrestlers: Fighting With My Family. The film, which centers on the life of WWE wrestler Paige and her family, will be written and directed by the brilliant Stephen Merchant — of all people.
A movie reboot of Tomb Raider initially sounded like a fairly lame idea, but it’s become increasingly intriguing (and somewhat promising) in recent months — in addition to casting Alicia Vikander in the lead role, the new Tomb Raider film has some good things going for it, including a solid director (the guy behind The Wave), Walton Goggins as the villain and Dominic West as Lara Croft’s dad. Today adds an extra dose of optimism with a series of photos from the set, which offer our first look at Vikander in costume as the iconic video game hero.
Way, way back in February 2015, Warner Bros. hired Community vet Rob Schrab to direct The LEGO Movie sequel — a pick fully endorsed by filmmaking Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who are a teensy bit busy working on a certain Star Wars movie, and thus unable to helm the follow-up to their animated blockbuster. Almost two years later (and several months since we last heard anything about the sequel), there’s apparently been a creative shakeup, as Schrab has reportedly left the project and been replaced by the director of Trolls.
A handful of Super Bowl ads have already landed online ahead of this Sunday’s big game — it’s the usual mix of TV spots for upcoming movies like Ghost in the Shell and Transformers: The Last Knight, along with a few ads featuring familiar faces like Gal Gadot and John Malkovich promoting businesses and collecting paychecks. And then there’s Honda. Like others, their ad for this year’s Super Bowl also features several beloved celebs, but there’s something kind of unnerving about the execution.
When you were a kid, did you ever spend time with like, an aunt who listened to those adult contemporary radio stations — the ones that were all Michael Bolton and Toni Braxton and Celine Dion? You know, the stations that played “Margaritaville” and the Beauty and the Beast theme song every hour on the hour. If you don’t remember, then maybe Ariana Grande and John Legend’s cover of “Beauty and the Beast” will jog your memory.
In case you haven’t heard, Margot Robbie is currently filming I, Tonya, a new biopic in which she plays disgraced former figure skating champ Tonya Harding. Although it’s a little disappointing that Anne Hathaway wasn’t cast as Nancy Kerrigan (I mean, come on), Robbie’s new film (which she’s also producing) is still riding high near the top of my most-anticipated list — and a new video from the set really seals the deal.
If someone asked you to recall Keanu Reeves’ earliest acting gig, you might think of Parenthood or Babes in Toyland. As it turns out, the intensely likable star of John Wick: Chapter 2 started his career a bit earlier than that, and like us non-famous folks, Reeves’ first job wasn’t exactly pleasant; in fact, it was kiiiiiind of awkward, but that just makes this little-seen footage of Reeves as a teenage reporter on a Canadian kids’ show all the more rewarding.
With Ben Affleck no longer directing the solo Batman movie (guess he finally watched Live by Night, huh?), the search is on for a new director to take his place. Amid various reports regarding Affleck’s exit from the director’s chair was an interesting tidbit of news you might have missed: The screenplay for The Batman, penned by Affleck with DC’s own Geoff Johns, received a rewrite from Chris Terrio.
And here…we…go. As of today, filming has officially begun on Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s young Han Solo movie, Lucasfilm’s next Star Wars Story standalone project. To commemorate the occasion, Miller shared a teaser photo that pays homage to the epic “who shot first?” debate — a timely nod, as this month marks the 20th anniversary (yep, you’re old) of George Lucas’ notorious Special Editions.
With Rogue One behind us, it’s time to look toward the next chapter in the Star Wars saga: The Last Jedi. We have 11 months until the Rian Johnson-helmed Episode VIII hits theaters, which means the shroud of secrecy is slowly beginning to fall away — starting with last week’s reveal of the official title. Though an official plot has yet to be released by Lucasfilm, we may have a few clues about what to expect from the upcoming sequel, as Johnson has revealed some of the films that influenced his direction.
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