We all remember Good Will Hunting as the touching drama about a troubled genius who works as a janitor (and something about apples, right?) The combination of an Oscar-winning script by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, and Gus Van Sant, a director who, up to that point, had a career consisting of expert societal button-pushing, made magic. But as touching as the movie turned out, it's important to note how different it could have been. Violently different. more »
Quentin Tarantino wants you to know that if his depiction of slavery in Django Unchained disturbs you, the reality was much grislier. "I'm here to tell you, that however bad things get in the movie, a lot worse shit happened," the filmmaker told a British Academy of Film and Television Arts crowd after screening his hotly anticipated spaghetti western in London. more »
Maya is staying undercover. At a press conference for Zero Dark Thirty in New York on Tuesday, the film's star Jessica Chastain, who plays the indefatigable CIA operative that tracks down Osama bin Laden said she never met the agent who inspired her role. more »
The Wachowskis are about to shoot their first film in 3D, which, after the complexity of Cloud Atlas, almost sounds like a comedown. FilmStage.com reports that the cinema siblings will utilize 3D for the first time to make their next science-fiction film, Jupiter Ascending, which begins shooting early next year. more »
Prometheus writer Damon Lindelof may not be writing Star Wars Episode VII, but he can still suggest plot points. On Thursday, FirstShowing.net debunked some pretty rampant and persistent speculation that 1952, the science-fiction project that Lindelof and Brad Bird are writing for the new owner of LucasFilm, Disney, was the code name for a new Star Wars trilogy. But just two days earlier, when rumors were still making the rounds, Lindelof took to his Twitter feed, to suggest some Episode VII ideas that were better suited to a Robot Chicken Star Wars special. more »
If you'd like Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to be a total surprise when it opens on Dec. 14, then, by all means, skip to another post on this page. You won't want to read my reference to a very in-depth — and whimsically illustrated — piece on the secrets of the first installment of the Hobbit trilogy. more »
Eli Roth is going off the grid. For the cannibal pic The Green Inferno, Roth tells Movieline he's taking a small crew to a remote village up the Amazon River that has "no electricity, no running water, nothing." Producers recruited many of the 200 native villagers to play extras in the horror film by screening the cult film Cannibal Holocaust. It was the first movie they'd seen in their lives, Roth remarked. "They thought it was a comedy!"
Alec Baldwin says the documentary he's making with filmmaker James Toback, Seduced and Abandoned, continues to take shape. I spoke to Baldwin briefly at the reception that Hamptons International Film Festival Chairman Stuart Suna threw at his East Hampton home on Saturday afternoon. There, the actor — who arrived at the party gallantly carrying his new bride Hilaria Thomas's high-heeled party shoes — explained that interviews he and Toback conducted with venerable filmmakers Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Roman Polanski and Bernardo Bertolucci will comprise the core of the project. "They are the pillars of the film," said Baldwin, who described Seduced and Abandoned as a "meta" documentary about filmmakers who venture to the carnival-like South of France festival to raise funds for their latest projects. more »
Ridley Scott's latest alien franchise could have looked more like a direct prequel to his last one, according to the original screenwriter for Prometheus Jon Spaihts. In a surprise-laden interview with Empire, Spaihts says he had written facehuggers and chestbursters into early versions of the storyline before Scott and script doctor Damon Lindelof decided to move in a more original direction. more »
The demise of film and the seeming triumph of digital has been a hot topic of discussion for insiders and hardcore enthusiasts for a number of years. But Keanu Reeves is taking the topic into the mainstream(ish) realm with his latest project, Side by Side, which bowed recently in Los Angeles and is set to hit cities around the U.S. in the coming weeks. Co-produced and narrated by Reeves, the 98-minute documentary landed the likes of James Cameron, David Fincher, David Lynch, George Lucas, Danny Boyle, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan and Steven Soderbergh to weigh in on movie-making's (d)evolution. Nolan, he noted, was the most difficult to reach among the people who appear in the doc, which features interviews with 70-plus filmmaking powerhouses. To lure The Dark Knight Rises filmmaker, Reeves went snail mail.
Norman Babock is a special kid. In addition to his ability to speak to the dead, the shock-headed star of Paranorman is the creation of more than 300 people at Oregon-based stop-animation studios Laika, which was founded and is headed by Travis Knight, the son of Nike co-founder Phil Knight. more »
Duh-duh, Duh-Duh, DUH-DUH! For Jaws Blu-Ray Release, John Williams Talks About Creating Unforgettable Theme
A simple E-F-E-F bass line progression is all it took to make a generation of moviegoers scared spitless to swim in the ocean. With Steven Spielberg's classic 1975 beach emptier Jaws set for Blu-ray release on Tuesday, composer John Williams talks about the simple-but-oh-so-effective theme he created for the film's voracious Great White shark in an interview with John Burlingame.
According to the interview, the first and only music Williams played for Spielberg prior to the recording sessions was what would eventually become known as the Jaws theme that Williams says was "so simple, insistent and driving, that it seems unstoppable, like the attack of the shark." more »
Still enthrallingly spooky after all these years, the soundtrack to David Lynch's groundbreaking — and mind-blowing — 1977 film Eraserhead got a lovingly produced limited-edition vinyl release on Tuesday that, I hope, refocuses attention on the life and tragic death of one of its key contributors, Peter Ivers. more »
In what could be one of the unlikeliest director-project pairings to come down the pike in some time, Vulture is reporting that Fast & Furious franchise director Justin Lin is talking to Universal Pictures about directing L.A. Riots — a cinematic re-telling of the 1991 uprising that was sparked by four Los Angeles Police Department officers' brutal beatdown of Rodney King. more »