If you follow this site, you know I've expressed quite a bit of skepticism about Guillermo del Toro's upcoming giant-robots-and-monsters movie, Pacific Rim. But that was before I saw this trailer that was unveiled at Wondercon in Las Vegas earlier this month. more »
Why am I not excited about Pacific Rim? I'm mostly a fan of Guillermo del Toro's work, particularly the superb Pan's Labyrinth, but the three teaser clips that have been released for the filmmaker's hotly anticipated mechs-vs-monsters summer sci-fi film have all left me cold. Part of the problem is that they're all virtually the same. The new international TV spot, for instance, is a condensed retread of the earlier trailers, and its brevity draws attention to what I think may be the film's biggest weakness: a lame monster. more »
In Tree of Life, Jessica Chastain played a mother who could float. In Mama, she's attacked by one. Chastain shot this dignified little thriller in fall 2011 during the stretch when literally every arthouse theater played at least two of her pictures—between Tree, Coriolanus, The Help, Take Shelter, Texas Killing Fields and The Debt, she was indie cinema's inescapable new queen. Universal intended to release the Guillermo del Toro-produced Mama last October, but shelved it until the week after Chastain was nominated for an Oscar for Zero Dark Thirty. Is this her reputation-besmirching Norbit? Pshaw — for my money, it's her best performance yet.
Pacific Rim looks awesome and all, but let's talk about science for a second. Specifically, let's talk about the science, or lack thereof, behind completely awesome giant robots.
Guillermo Del Toro's upcoming sci-fi action pic is probably going to be as awesome as the trailers make it look, unless you're the kind of person who hates the sight of huge mecha fighting against equally huge monsters, in which case please show yourself out. How could you not love enormous robots punching out enormous monsters who lay waste to entire cities? Giant robots represents 90 percent of what we want the future to be like (the other 10 percent: flying cars, and a male birth control pill.) They're extremely cool looking, they transform, and for sheer shock factor they're impossible to beat.
We want them so badly, but could we have them in real life? Unfortunately, hell no. Not because of budgetary constraints, frustratingly missing confirmation of alien life, or the lack of a decent fuel source. There's a bigger problem facing these robots than any alien invasion: Physics.
Rampant speculation being the most powerful side effect of the Living Force, it's no wonder that last year's shocking news that we'll soon all be watching – and probably complaining about – Star Wars: Episode 7 has resulted in endless guessing from the Jeditariat. When we're not gushing about possible plot points, or the fact that the new film might feature a female lead. We're talking about the most common subject of baseless and not-so-baseless guesswork: Just who will be directing it?
With George Lucas retiring, the possibility of a somewhat clean slate for the Star Wars universe after the mess made of it by the prequel trilogy is enough to make even the most bitter ex-fan drool. In the weeks after the initial announcement of Episode 7, several directors were consistently mentioned as potential hirees. At the time it seemed like nothing more than wish fulfillment fantasies and baseless rumor, but it's beginning to look as though the rumored names reflected very real prospects.
One of the most frequently mentioned names was Pan's Labyrinth and Pacific Rim director Guillermo Del Toro. In November, Del Toro outright denied having been approached by Disney, but speaking this week to The Playlist he finally confirmed that he was, in fact, asked if he'd like the job. “We got one phone call to my agent saying, 'Is Guillermo interested?',” the director said. “And basically I have so much stuff already of my own, and I'm pursuing stuff that I'm generating already..."
He offered no other comment, aside from affirming that he'd love to see Brad Bird take the job, but in saying no to Star Wars, Del Toro is in good company. JJ Abrams recently revealed that he, too, turned down the chance to take over Star Wars, in his case because, as he put it, he's too big a fan to want to do anything more than watch the new films in theaters. Whether true or not, it's interesting that now two of the most obvious names-out-of-a-hat have said no to Star Wars 7.
Though Episode 7 is almost certainly racing into preproduction, Disney has not yet announced a director. Whether this is because they haven't hired one, or because the same CIA-levels of secrecy they employed to keep the purchase of the franchise a secret for more than a year are in full force now, I prefer to believe that the will of The Force is behind everything. (Flash Gordon director Mike Hodges for Episode 7, anyone?)
[via The Playlist]
WATCH IT ON YOUTUBE: The Real Reason Guillermo del Toro Turned Down Star Wars 7
Ross Lincoln is an LA-based freelance writer from Oklahoma with an unhealthy obsession with comics, movies, video games, ancient history, Gore Vidal, and wine. Follow him on twitter (@rossalincoln).
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Holy Macross, the first trailer for Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim is here, and I can't believe what I'm seeing! Dimensional rifts, enormous monsters, and sweet sweet giant mechs battling it out over the streets of a large city while the helpless populace flees. Someone finally figured out how to update the kaiju genre without ruining it. Glory be!
Seth MacFarlane may direct and star in the "contemporary" Western. Also in the news Tuesday, Disney is blasting Stan Lee Media's multi-billion lawsuit over rights to Marvel characters; Guillermo del Toro eyes his next project; the Film Society of Lincoln Center will host Tom Cruise retrospective; and Lincoln may leave some in Alaska out in the cold.
Seth MacFarlane Eyes Western Comedy as Ted Follow-Up
MacFarlane and his Ted co-writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild are writing A Million Ways to Die in the West, which MacFarlane is said to star in and direct for Summer 2013. The story is described as a Blazing Saddles-stye pic, which translates into a Western with contemporary humor. The script is said to contain MacFarlane's racy humor, but also has a romantic female lead, THR reports.
Disney Blasts Stan Lee Copyright Lawsuit Regarding Marvel Superheroes
Disney called Stan Lee Media's multi-billion lawsuit "flawed beyond cure" and filed a motion for its dismissal last week. Stan Lee Media claims rights to all Marvel characters created by Stan Lee, Deadline reports.
Film Society of Lincoln Center to Host Tom Cruise
Cruise will take part in an onstage conversation with NY Film Festival programmer Kent Jones. The event will include a sneak preview of Cruise's latest, Jack Reacher in which he portrays a "tough ex-military investigator out for justice." The event will kick-off the career retrospective, "All The Right Moves: The Films of Tom Cruise" December 18 - 20. Tickets will go for $50 and $35.
Guillermo del Toro Eyes Crimson Peak
Del Toro will direct the haunted house thriller as his next project. Legendary and del Toro are looking to a February 2014 start for the pic, which aims to "channel the gothic haunted pictures of yore." He is expected to shoot the pilot for The Strain, based on the books he wrote with Chuck Hogan, ahead of Crimson, THR reports.
Some Alaska Venues Out in the Cold with Lincoln
Disney says the Steven Spielberg-directed Oscar hopeful has had such high demand the studio is now rushing to make new prints. But the reinforcements may come too late for smaller venues in Alaska's capital, Juneau and other towns. Copies weren't available for some venues when they hoped to get them and may have to pass, though Oscar buzz may reignite interest, Huffington Post reports.
Shooting Victims Wear Batman T-shirts to Hearing; Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio Moves Forward: Biz Break
Also in Monday afternoon's round-up of news briefs, The Producers Guild launches an online jobs board. The Weinstein Company's The Intouchables will be feted by Christopher Reeve foundation; Henry Rollins takes a role in an upcoming thriller; and remembering French filmmaker Chris Marker.
Pacific Rim: The Characters and Robotic 'Engineering Feats' of Guillermo Del Toro's Monster Sci-Fi Pic
With a year to go before Pacific Rim hits theaters, Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) hit Comic-Con with stars Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Rinko Kikuchi and Charlie Day to preview the giant robot-monster movie, inspired by the Japanese sci-fi pics he watched as a kid. His vision for the film? Dirty, epic, and realistic — so much so that Del Toro and his crew built functioning, practical robots and entire sets with hydraulics ("a huge engineering feat!"), putting his actors in the thick of the action rather than go the CG route. Del Toro called the experience “the best I’ve had on any film set in all my life.” Day remembered it slightly differently: “You tortured the f*** out of us!”
Total Film has the first look at Idris Elba in Guillermo del Toro's alien invasion flick Pacific Rim, for which he built -- and destroyed -- replica sets, kaiju style. Elba stars alongside Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Charlie Day and Rinko Kikuchi in the mecha-epic, which pits robot-piloting humans in battle against interplanetary monsters.
Oscar-nominated director Guillermo del Toro has been in the craft of filmmaking since he was 16, filling roles as diverse as P.A., assistant director and makeup effects. He made his first film Cronos at 28 and received his Academy Award-nomination in 2007 for Pan's Labyrinth, making him one of the most prominent filmmakers to emerge from his native Mexico. In a candid interview, he explains how he learned filmmaking in author Mike Goodridge's new book, FilmCraft: Directing.
Russell Brand to Host MTV Movie Awards, Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio, Sacha Baron Cohen Exits Django: Biz Break
Also in Thursday morning's Biz Break: Another star may be leaving Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, getting to know this year's Cannes competition jury and a new 'bear' animation heads for production.
First things first: Rise of the Guardians is an animated adventure, but it's not a sequel to that owl movie. I know, it's very confusing. What's more, it's about Santa Claus — a brawny, tatted-up Santa who pulls a Sam Jackson and assembles a superteam to fight evil and protect the children of the world. The other fantasy heroes called to duty? The Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Sandman. It's pretty much The Avengers for kids, only I'm willing to bet it'll have a better soundtrack. Hey-oh!
After writer-director Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher, Morvern Callar) debuts her latest film, this December's moody Tilda Swinton-Ezra Miller pic We Need to Talk About Kevin, she'll set her sights on more classic fare: Herman Melville's Moby Dick... only, set in space. "We're taking the premise into the realm of the galaxy; it's creating a whole new world, and a new alien, a very psychological piece" Ramsay told Radio 5 Live's Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo. "Mainly taking place in the ship, a bit like Das Boot, so it's quite claustrophobic. It's another monster movie, in a way, 'cause the monster's Ahab." Stick around for more happenings in today's Buzz Break.