Captain…we have a problem.
Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth have both walked away from Star Trek 4 following failed salary negotiations. Pine was going to reprise his role as Captain James T. Kirk for the fourth time. Hemsworth was going to return via time travel as Kirk’s father, who was introduced in the 2009 reboot’s memorable prologue. What happens next, especially since the rest of the cast is still on board, remains uncertain.
The Hollywood Reporter has the story and it offers up a dark side to a franchise built upon hope and optimism. After all, money doesn’t exist in the utopian world created by Gene Roddenberry over 50 years ago…but it sure as hell exists right here and now, and Pine and Hemsworth felt they weren’t getting enough of it to step aboard the bridge again.
According to THR, the actors and their reps “insist they have deals in place and that the studios are reneging on them, forcing them to take pay cuts as they try to budget a movie that is following a mediocre performer.” That mediocre performer is Star Trek Beyond, a very good movie that massively underperformed when it opened in 2016. That film grossed $343 million worldwide, but it cost $190 million. That’s not a great ratio when other franchise films regularly cross the $1 billion mark these days.
So what does this mean for Star Trek 4? Well, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg and John Cho are all expected to close their deals and return as Uhura, Spock, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, and Sulu, respectively. It’s possible that Kirk and his father could be recast. It’s also possible that Pine and Hemsworth return to the negotiating table and everything gets worked out. It’s also possible that they split the difference – cough up the cash for Pine since he’s the face of the rebooted franchise and recast his dearly departed dad with someone less expensive.
In any case, I’ll just come right out and say it: this flat-out sucks. I’ve been critical of the new Trek movies, but two of them have been winners, overcoming their flaws to reflect what makes this series so damn special. Pine did the impossible – he proved that someone else was capable of filling William Shatner’s boots. And Hemsworth’s entire career was built on his powerful scenes as George Kirk and seeing him return would have been a thrill. Then there’s the rest of the crew, played to perfection by a perfectly cast ensemble who give new life to beloved characters. I’d watch a Star Trek 4 starring everyone but Kirk, but would Paramount even consider making that?
It’s especially a bummer since Star Trek 4 was going to mark the first time a female director was going to steer a Trek movie. What does this mean for S.J. Clarkson? Will she stick around if things have to get retooled?
Anyway, it’s not like this spells the end of Star Trek. Star Trek: Discovery is returning for its second season next year and there’s a new TV show starring Patrick Stewart, reprising his role as Captain Picard, in the pipeline. And Pine has the Wonder Woman movies and Hemsworth has Thor and the rest of the cast are in high-demand. In the end, nothing and no one is irreparably damaged.
But still, it was a thrill to see Trek back on the big screen ever couple of years. I’ll cross my fingers and hope they can work this one out.
The post Future of ‘Star Trek 4’ in Doubt as Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth Depart Over Salary Negotiations appeared first on /Film.
Documentarian Michael Moore is back with a new film called Fahrenheit 11/9 and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be pulling any punches.
The first trailer for Fahrenheit 11/9 debuted on HuffPost Thursday, teasing what looks like more of the same politically charged action we’ve come to expect with Moore, this time taking a look at U.S. President Donald Trump, the rise of white nationalism in the U.S., and the reaction of the left in a post-Trump world.
Johnny Depp’s next starring role in the Notorious B.I.G. film City of Lies may not actually happen.
City of Lies was pulled from U.S. release by Global Road Entertainment after Depp, one of the movie’s stars, was sued by a location manager for punching him in the face. The movie was originally supposed to come out in early September, but has now been delayed indefinitely.
Global Road Entertainment didn’t respond to a request for comment, but it’s quite possible that the film was pulled from the release schedule due to all the negative press around Depp. Read more…
Hello! I’m Mark Olsen. Welcome to another edition of your regular field guide to a world of Only Good Movies.
Recently, no less an expert in the field that Reese Witherspoon asked on Twitter: “Why aren’t there more romantic movies?” The Times’ Amy Kaufman takes a look at the state of the rom-com…
Tom Waits has been cast in Joel and Ethan Coen’s upcoming movie The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs. Variety reports that the project, which was first announced last year as a Netflix original series featuring six tales about the American frontier, has since evolved into a 132-minute feature film with a chaptered anthology structure.
“We’ve always loved…
After premiering at Sundance earlier this year, the Joan Jett documentary Bad Reputation will finally hit theaters, on-demand, iTunes, and Amazon on September 28. The film, directed by prolific music video director Kevin Kerslake, charts the Jett’s journey through rock history, including the founding of her band the Runaways in the ’70s, her…
I initially had little interest in watching Skyscraper, the new action adventure feature starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I hadn’t watched any of the trailers and knew little more than “It’s Die Hard starring the Rock.” I had even more trepidation upon discovering Johnson’s character, Will Sawyer, is a disabled man with a prosthetic leg. As a disabled writer, I worried how the movie would use disability. Would the Rock be a man with a magical leg that did all manner of things? Would the disability be considered a curse his character resented until it benefited him personally? But in the end, Skyscraper, a B-movie throwback, might have actually given me a portrait of disability I supported.
Skyscraper follows Will Sawyer, an American security consultant traveling with his family to Hong Kong. Will’s job is to check the safety protocols of a new high-rise building called The Pearl. But when The Pearl is set on fire by a gang of mercenaries, Will must find a way to get into the building to save his wife and children.
What Skyscraper Does Right
Hollywood only brings disability into a narrative when it is the subject of said narrative. The Theory of Everything, Stronger, and Me Before You only exist because of their leading characters’ disability. These films are perceived as “Oscar bait,” and sold as movies meant to inspire the able-bodied audience buying a ticket with the story of this presumably courageous individual who overcame some horrific death sentence. Skyscraper upends this mentality. It’s an action movie, with no allusions of doing more than having a strong opening weekend. There’s no attempt to overcome any adversity because, for the script and the character, the adversity is the building itself, not Will’s disability.
There’s no need to triumph over disability because there’s no overt reason for the character to be disabled. He just is. The audience meets Will Sawyer as he attempts to defuse a hostage situation. Things go awry and he wakes up in the hospital where, despite being told he’s “gonna be okay,” he loses his leg. Yet there’s no discussion of suffering and/or how Will’s life was changed by this injury. When he talks to his friend, Ben (Pablo Schreiber), who also suffered slight scarring in the accident, Will only has good things to say about it. If not for that situation, he’d have never have met his wife, Sarah (Neve Campbell) and become a father. His talk with Ben never brings up his leg and disability at all. He doesn’t attribute his missing leg as getting him his family, just the situation in general. His disability isn’t perceived as a detriment or a benefit, it’s just something he’s had to adapt his life around. There’s no black and white, good or bad category for Will’s disability. It’s a personality trait, no different than his eye color.
By not making a big deal of his disability, Will is a character who represents a marked improvement in representation. People with disabilities don’t want their disability to define them, and Will’s doesn’t define his character. It adds to it.
Adaptation and Action
The nature of adaptation is used effectively in Skyscraper. It’s not to say it’s flawless – as we see Johnson climb, jump, and walk his style gives away his able-bodiedness – but there is a tacit awareness by the screenwriter and Johnson himself to remember the character lives with a disability. The minutiae of his day is shown, with the audience seeing his leg as well as how he puts on the prosthesis. During a fight scene, Will’s leg is ripped off his body, leaving him to fight without it. It’s this moment that sticks out because it’s not meant to be exploitative. Will doesn’t weaken, but shifts his style. He adapts and reverts to how to get by without it. Where the fight was once between adversaries of similar height, Will fights closer to the ground, relying on momentum and a low center of gravity to gain an advantage over his opponent. And surprisingly, there’s little belief that this fight works strictly because it’s Johnson. His weight gives him an advantage, but his disability aids in the challenge without becoming an impediment.
Later on, during his attempt to gain access to The Pearl, the camera reminds us of his leg, angling to see it under his pant leg. At one point, we see Will take it off to fix it in order to help him scale the building. It isn’t a concern he’s chronically worried about, but the script and Johnson take time to factor it into how the character would need to add it into his plans. A disability requires the person living it with it to always prepare as best they can, while still attempting to do what they want. Will thinks in this way.
Skyscraper threatens to use disability as a deus ex machina towards the end, but even then says something new. As Will attempts to gain entrance into a locked penthouse, he has limited time to reach the door. Before it closes he uses his leg to keep it open, giving him what he needs to kickstart the finale. This moment could have been ridiculous, and it is, but it is another example of adaptation for a disability. The movie doesn’t declare Will’s disability is beneficial because of this scene. Will has to figure out a way to do something and literally utilizes his disability as the means to execute it. At the end, his life isn’t made better or worse. His character doesn’t walk away a changed man appreciating being disabled. He gets his family back and seemingly ends the film the same way he started. It’s just a facet of his personality he deals with in order to overcome this great challenge.
But Let’s Not Declare Disabled Representation Solved
Skyscraper isn’t the end-all, be-all of disabled representation, and it still gets things wrong. Dwayne Johnson isn’t a performer with disabilities, so he’s still taking on the role of a character with a disability and performing it. The character is also written to fall into the “able-bodied buffer” category, a term I use to describe any character shown as previously able-bodied before a traumatic event. This “buffer” is created as a means of helping the able-bodied audience bond with the newly disabled character, under the belief that disabled people are so mysterious that there’s no point of entry for the audience short of reminding them the character was one “like you.” In this case, Will is disabled after years of living without a disability.
But, overall, it looks like outside research might have been employed by screenwriter Rawson Marshall Thurber and/or Johnson himself into how to accurately convey how people with prosthetic legs live. Or maybe the script didn’t even think to fall on disabled tropes, and I’d love to think that is the case as it truly means someone sought to represent a person with a disability just different enough to show they knew a disability requires change, but not so much that he’s not relatable or perceived as falling into stereotypes. And considering how disabled cinema in Hollywood tends to glorify white men, it’s refreshing in general to see a man of color like Johnson take on the role to begin with.
Skyscraper, maybe without being fully aware of it, created a portrait of disability I actually enjoyed. It’s not perfect, but when I’m left feeling screenwriters and directors trot out disability to win awards and sympathy, Skyscraper sticks out by avoiding that. The character is an average man with a unique way of living life, and the script doesn’t give him a pat on the head for just getting up in the morning. It presents a human being who can conquer the world with a disability and I couldn’t have been more pleased.
The post ‘Skyscraper’ is a Surprising Mark of Improvement for Disabled Representation on the Big Screen appeared first on /Film.
A biopic of her life hits screens today, 200 years after the publication of Frankenstein.
A new adaptation of ‘Firestarter’ and more ‘Doctor Sleep’ news ensures that audiences will get (re-)acquainted with some formidable female characters.
The King of Horror continues to dominate Hollywood. Hearing multiple Stephen King-related announcements in a single week is not a rarity these days. However, whether it’s news about films and series being fast-tracked through the studio system or key updates about ongoing projects, this trend of onscreen King translations deserves love. His works are a goldmine of fascinating allegories that tap into our fears in order to empower us, with both heroes and villains each having their moment in the spotlight.
Variety shared the news that Rebecca Ferguson has joined Ewan McGregor in Doctor Sleep, a movie based on the sequel to King’s book “The Shining.” Director Mike Flanagan later confirmed via Twitter that Ferguson will play the film’s main villain, Rose the Hat — a semi-immortal leader of a dangerous killer cult.
— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) June 28, 2018
Doctor Sleep centers on a grown-up Danny Torrance as he reacquaints himself with the “shining” powers that plagued his youth; that is, his telepathy and clairvoyance. As Danny learns to embrace these abilities as gifts, he unexpectedly connects with Abra Stone, a young girl who can also “shine.” However, she is in danger of having her psychic essence absorbed by a group of quasi-demonic murderers led by Rose the Hat, and Danny must protect Abra at all costs.
Best known for her roles in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and The Greatest Showman, Ferguson happens to be impeccable at portraying ethereal, distanced ice queens, and her role as Doctor Sleep’s antagonist truly feels heaven-sent. With her vicious contempt for humankind as well as her status as a cold-blooded hunter and killer of children, Rose is a character unlike any other that Ferguson has portrayed in the past.
Meanwhile, Variety has also confirmed that yet another King novel will be made into a film. A new version of Firestarter is currently in the works, with Fatih Akin (In the Fade) slated to direct from a screenplay by Scott Teems (That Evening Sun).
In Firestarter, superpowered father-daughter duo Andy and Charlie McGee are on the run from a government organization known as The Shop. While in college, Andy had participated in a Shop-run drug experiment that left him and his future wife, Victoria, imbued with limited telepathic abilities. Despite the fact that Andy himself can never overuse his own powers without suffering dire physical and mental ramifications, he and Victoria have a daughter who develops an ability to control fire. Now, the Shop are on the hunt for Charlie, looking to weaponize the child’s pyrokinesis.
Back in 1984, King’s “Firestarter” was made into a film starring young Drew Barrymore, and it was horrendously received by both critics and the author himself. According to King, “Firestarter is one of the worst [adaptations] of the bunch, even though in terms of story it’s very close to the original. But it’s flavorless; it’s like cafeteria mashed potatoes.” Still, a sequel in the form of a miniseries titled Firestarter: Rekindled was made by the Sci-Fi Channel in 2002.
“Firestarter” is ripe for a reimagining, not least of all because it features a female protagonist who is very reminiscent of a certain popular modern-day heroine from Stranger Things (although given the fact that the hit Netflix series is actually inspired by King, this probably should be the other way around). Firestarter also fits right in among any superhero property made in the last 10 years, and there’s no better time than the present to not only indulge in the IP, but also keep up a trend of empowered young girls.
With women as their focal point, these King-related announcements already feel particularly promising. Horror is a fantastic avenue for women’s empowerment. The final girl trope is a good example of this, wherein girls are able to reclaim their power and survive horrific events despite the seemingly insurmountable loss and trauma involved. We look to Black Christmas, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Halloween for some classic examples that demonstrate the trope. There has also been a renaissance of the final girl of late, as evidenced by more recent horror entries such as You’re Next, Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead remake, and Don’t Breathe.
As Jessica Chastain, who will play Beverly Marsh in the second chapter of Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of King’s mega-novel “IT,” actually expressed to IndieWire earlier this week, “She conquers the monsters or the bad guys, and she walks away at the end.”
Women are frankly few and far between in King’s works. Some of them, such as the book version of Beverly, can be conflicting as they seesaw between empowerment and marginalization. However, King has also written heroines with nerves of steel and unbelievable survival instincts. The eponymous Carrie in King’s debut novel exacts revenge on those who wronged her, reclaiming her agency in a supernatural flurry.
Trisha McFarland from “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” is another child wonder of King’s, an intelligent and resilient nine-year-old dealing with her parents’ divorce. Trisha finds herself lost in the woods and fighting to survive both the elements and her psychological torment, but she comes out the other side in the end. And similarly, Jess Burlingame in “Gerald’s Game” battles inner demons and physical extremities, albeit while confined to her bed, in order to emerge as an ultimate survivor.
But even the most antagonistic women in King’s universe deserve our attention too. You don’t need to be a final girl to be an effective and memorable character. Mother Carmody in “The Mist” and Margaret White in “Carrie” are so infuriatingly terrible in their religious fanaticism and abusive behaviors that audiences grow to despise them so viscerally. And, of course, Annie Wilkes in “Misery” serves up a healthy dose of brutality and paranoia beneath a cheery persona; she’s an iconic and awful poster child that wards us off our obsessions.
Most of King’s novels have managed to portray multifaceted yet formidable women, and this legacy deserves to continue as a new villain and heroine make their way to the big screen.
The post More Badass Women From the Stephen King Universe Will Make Their Way to the Big Screen appeared first on Film School Rejects.
Last month, we found out Nickelodeon was bringing back their beloved game show Double Dare. The game show and several varying iterations that followed it focused on two teams competing to win prizes by answering trivia questions and partaking in super messy physical challenges. The new show will very much have the same format, but it will have a new host that Nickelodeon is bringing in from YouTube stardom.
Liza Koshy, best known for her YouTube channel with over 14 million subscribers, has been named as the Double Dare reboot host. If you’re one of those fans who was hoping Marc Summers would return as host, don’t worry. The former Double Dare host will return as a color commentator during the game show’s physical challenges.
Double Dare Reboot Host Announced
Nickelodeon announced the Double Dare reboot host by way of the video above, featuring a special appearance by Marc Summers, dubbed the “Mayor of Double Dare.”
For those who don’t know Liza Koshy, she’s become quite the popular personality through her hit YouTube channel. She’s one of the co-hosts on MTV’s reboot of Total Request Live, and she also has her own YouTube Premium comedy series called Liza On Demand in the works. With a two Streamy Awards, a Teen Choice Award and a Kids’ Choice Award under her belt, she’s exactly the kind of person to get today’s generation of kids interested in this reboot.
Meanwhile, Marc Summers was the beloved host of the original run of Double Dare, not to mention Nickelodeon’s What Would You Do? Summers has made a career out of hosting, even popping up as a guest host on other game shows, including Scrabble, Super Password, Talk About, Lingo, To Tell the Truth, Win, Lose or Draw, and Hollywood Squares.
The Double Dare reboot will start off with 40 new episodes. Some of the classic challenges from the original show be back, but there will be new ones too. Plus, the show will have some others blasts from the past yet to be revealed. The Double Dare reboot will premiere on Monday, June 25, at 8pm ET/5pm PT.
Plus if you’re out and about this summer, you might catch some Double Dare action in-person. You may be able to play the game in the form of on-the-ground versions at VidCon 2018 in Anaheim, California and all summer long at Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The post ‘Double Dare’ Reboot Brings in a YouTube Star to Host, But Marc Summers is Coming Back Too appeared first on /Film.