A Moment In History

The History of Hollywood

No image quite defines and illustrates the American film industry as that of Hollywood. The only thing more interesting than the movies that the iconic city churns out is the history of the city itself.

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July 21

M. Night Shyamalan debuts 'Glass' trailer at Comic-Con

by Lindsey Bahr

Director M. Night Shyamalan says he could have launched the trailer for "Glass" in front of the summer's biggest movies in theatres, but that he wanted to hold it for Comic-Con.

The filmmaker said Friday at the annual comic book convention that he felt strongly that the Hall H audience should be the first to see it.

"It was always meant for you guys," he said.

The kind of people who turn out for Comic-Con and wait in the massive and sometimes overnight line to get into Hall H are the same kind who once helped turn "Unbreakable" into an enduring film even after it got lukewarm reviews from critics.

"I've been dreaming about being in this hall forever," Shyamalan said. "This is the mecca right here."

"Glass" melds the worlds of "Unbreakable" and "Split," two very different films about three very different superhumans, Samuel L. Jackson's fragile but brilliant Mr. Glass, Bruce Willis' strong and "unbreakable" David Dunn and James McAvoy's Kevin Wendell Crumb, who has 24 personalities. The three actors reprise their roles in "Glass."

See the trailer here:

Continue Reading at: National Post

July 19

Joaquin Phoenix's 'Joker' movie gets fall 2019 release date

Joaquin Phoenix attends the Los Angeles Premiere of "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot", July 11, 2018 (image courtesy Invision / AP)
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by Mark Daniell

Joaquin Phoenix's take on the Clown Prince of Crime has a release date and title Joker. The spinoff will hit theatres on Oct. 4, 2019.

Phoenix, who was also rumoured to star in Marvel's Doctor Strange before Benedict Cumberbatch landed the part, will portray Batman's arch-nemesis in the Warner Bros./DC Comics movie. Production will begin later this year in New York City and the title will be set outside DC's Extended Cinematic Universe, which includes Man of Steel, Justice League, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad and Aquaman.

Phoenix talked about the latest reinvention of the Clown Prince of Crime in a recent interview with Collider.

"I wouldn't say it's a superhero movie, or a studio movie," he said describing the film, which will be written and directed by The Hangover's Todd Phillips. "Underneath the excitement of these films, and the size of them, there are these incredible characters that are dealing with real life struggles. And sometimes that is uncovered and exposed, and sometimes it isn't, and so I always felt, like, there were characters in comics that were really interesting and deserve the opportunity to be kind of studied."

Jared Leto played the most recent incarnation of the character in 2016's Suicide Squad. He'll return for sequel to that film as well as his own stand-alone.

Continue Reading at: Toronto Sun

July 17

How Tom Cruise's Foot Injury Actually Helped Mission: Impossible Fallout

by Dirk Libbey

Tom Cruise is known for his desire to do his own stunts on film, but that dedication resulted in a broken ankle on the set of Mission: Impossible - Fallout. While the injury delayed production for several weeks, it turns out that it was something of a blessing in disguise. Director Christopher McQuarrie says that the forced production stop gave the movie a chance to take another look at the script and fix a few issues they might not otherwise have had the time to do. According to McQuarrie...

What the ankle did was allow us to figure out the holes in the script that we were still struggling with. And so, we didn't rewrite the script to accommodate the ankle, but we finished the script because the ankle gave us the time.

CinemaBlend's own Sean O'Connell spoke with director Christopher McQuarrie last week in Paris as part of the World Premiere of Mission: Impossible - Fallout and asked about how the production coped with Tom Cruise being out of commission with a broken ankle. The actor was filming a leap from one rooftop to another when a bad landing resulted in the actor spending several weeks on the shelf.

However, rather than simply sit around waiting for their lead actor to be ready to get in front of a camera, Christopher McQuarrie took the forced downtime to make sure everything else with the film was working properly. As it turned out, not everything was. There were some issues with the script itself that the production had apparently not been able to deal with, but the filming delay gave McQuarrie and his team the chance they needed to go back and try to work through the issues.

It seems that they were successful, as Mission: Impossible - Fallout has received rave reviews across the board, something that may not have happened if the script had "holes" in it before the injury took place. Currently, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes is giving Fallout a 93% positive rating, a score on par with the previous two entries in the franchise, which rank among Tom Cruise's best reviewed movies.

Continue Reading at: CinemaBlend

July 15

Weekend Box Office: 'Skyscraper' Crushed by 'Hotel Transylvania 3'

Promotional images for 'Skyscraper' (left) and 'Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation' (images courtesy Universal / Sony)
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by Pamela McClintock

An animated Dracula and crew got the last laugh at the weekend box office, trumping Dwayne Johnson's action pic Skyscraper in a major upset.

Sony's Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation easily placed No. 1 in North America with $44.1 million from 4,267 theaters, compared to a wincing $25.5 million from 3,782 theaters for Skyscraper.

Overseas, Hotel Transylvania 3 likewise beat Skyscraper for the weekend with $46.4 million from 44 markets for a global cume of $100.2 million, including special Amazon Prime screenings in the U.S. and early foreign grosses. Skycraper took in a muted $40.4 million from 57 markets, although it doesn't land in China until July 20. There was plenty of competition for eyeballs this weekend, between the final World Cup soccer match, the Wimbledon final and people going on holiday.
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Disney and Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp followed at No. 2 with $28.8 million. The superhero sequel fell more than 60 percent in its second outing, one of the steeper declines for a Marvel Cinematic Universe title. Last year, Sony and Marvel's Spider-Man: Homecoming tumbled 62 percent to $44.2 million in its sophomore weekend, which likewise followed the robust July Fourth corridor.

Ant-Man 2 continues to pace well ahead of the first Ant-Man, which finished its second weekend with a domestic total of $106.2 million - compared to $132.8 million for the sequel. Overseas, Ant-Man 2 took in another $35.3 million for a foreign total of $150.9 million and $283.7 million globally.

At No. 3, Skyscraper came in well behind expectations, raising concerns that Johnson has become overexposed. The action pic - the actor's fifth film in 14 months - cost Legendary and Universal a hefty $125 million to $129 million to produce before marketing and will need to be a sizable player overseas in order to come out in the black.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

July 14

Box office hero: Why Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is 'a franchise unto himself'

by Frank Pallotta

"Skyscraper," Johnson's latest film, in which the action star scales the tallest building in the world to save his family, is expected to have a $30 million US opening, according to analysts.

That's a solid opening considering "Skyscraper" isn't a sequel, a prequel, a reboot or a part of any franchise. "Skyscaper's" draw isn't that it's the next film in a connected cinematic universe or a sequel that comes after years of nostalgia. Its main draw is Johnson, playing his latest hero in a series of action movies.

For decades, it was the norm in Hollywood for movie stars to carry films at the box office on their names alone, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Total Recall" or Jim Carrey in "Liar, Liar." There are still actors who can reliably get people to buy tickets, but the most bankable names in Hollywood these days are Tony Stark and Luke Skywalker, rather than Tom Cruise and Jennifer Lawrence.

Johnson, the WWE wrestler turned actor, stands out in an industry dominated by franchises by becoming a franchise himself.

"His name above the title is usually a guarantee of success no matter the genre," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore (SCOR). "In a world where concept is king and stars are merely cogs in the wheel, Johnson is the wheel."

Since his debut in 2001's "The Mummy Returns," Johnson's films have made nearly $10 billion globally, $3.5 billion of which was made domestically.

The actor's success in some ways mirrors that of Schwarzenegger, another larger-than-life figure who crossed over from sports to acting. Schwarzenegger's movies have raked in $3.7 billion domestically when accounting for inflation, but Johnson's career is still peaking and he has the benefit of making money from more international box offices.

Continue Reading at: CNN

July 13

'Zombieland' Sequel a Go With Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin

Mash-up of the stars of "Zombieland"; from left Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin (all images courtesy Getty except Breslin courtesy Wireimage)
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by Borys Kit

It may have taken almost 10 years, but Zombieland is ready to open its doors again.

After fits and starts, Sony Pictures has reunited the cast of its 2009 surprise hit - including Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin - for Zombieland 2.

Ruben Fleischer, who helmed the original and is behind the studio's Spider-Man-centric fall tentpole, Venom, is returning to the director's chair.

Original Zombieland writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, who have, in the intervening years, found success as the writers of the irreverent and successful Deadpool franchise, are also back, having penned the script for the sequel. Additionally, Gavin Polone is returning as producer.

While rumors of the sequel have risen from the dead several times over the years, this time Sony really means it. The film is set to begin production in January and will be released in October 2019, in time for the 10th anniversary of the original movie.

Zombieland is a horror comedy road movie that follows four strangers that meet and eventually bond amid a post-apocalyptic zombie outbreak. Eisenberg plays a geeky survivor named Columbus, Harrelson is the violent Tallahassee, and Stone and Breslin are sneaky sisters Wichita and Little Rock, respectively. (In the movie, the monikers are a means to prevent others getting too close to someone who could die anytime, while the town itself means something personal to the character who chooses his or her name.)

The original movie grossed only $75 million domestically and racked up a worldwide total of $102.3 million. Not only did it win over critics, but it also became a cult hit in its post-theatrical life and gained a strong following while also acting as a major launching pad for all involved.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

July 11

Joaquin Phoenix officially set to star as The Joker in new origin movie

Joaquin Phoenix is set to star as The Joker in an upcoming origin movie about the iconic villain (image courtesy Reuters)
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by Mariah Haas

It's official! Joaquin Phoenix is set to star as The Joker in an upcoming origin movie about the iconic villain.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the standalone film was picked up by Warner Bros. and will begin filming in New York this September with Phoenix playing Batman's arch-nemesis.

The movie, which is going to be directed and co-written by "The Hangover" franchise's Todd Phillips, will be an "exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale," Warner Bros. said per The Hollywood Reporter.

The film will also take place in the '80s and will not follow in the steps of a traditional comic-book movie, but appear more like a gritty crime drama, according to Variety.

For fans wondering about Jared Leto, who most recently played the famed villain in "Suicide Squad," Variety reports that the Oscar-winner will be back for the "Suicide Squad" sequel, as well as a separate standalone project that will be developed by Warner Bros.

Continue Reading at: Fox News

July 11

Warner Bros proposes $100m aerial tramway to Hollywood sign

The Hollywood sign above the Hollywood hills (image courtesy Getty)
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Warner Bros has announced a plan to construct an ambitious aerial tramway to transport visitors to the Hollywood sign.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the studio is expecting to pay an estimated $100m for the project which has been dubbed the Hollywood Skyway. The proposal would see tourists taking a six-minute ride that starts next to their studio lot in Burbank before heading to a new visitors center by the sign, first erected in 1923. Ticket revenue would be split between Warner Bros and the city.

"The Hollywood sign is an important historic and globally recognized landmark for the city of Los Angeles," a studio spokesperson said. "The sign's fame, however, has created unintended negative effects such as heavy traffic in adjacent residential areas and related safety concerns." The tramway would also "create a unique, first-class educational experience", the studio said.

The tramway is one of a number of proposed solutions to parking and footfall problems near the sign. The studio believes their idea will lead to the least amount of environmental destruction, with local concerns over Griffith Park, an area that is home to mountain lions.

"There's going to be a lot of people pushing for the tram for the relief it will provide the local residents," Gerry Hans, a board member for non-profit group Friends of Griffith Park, said to the Los Angeles Times. "But at the same time there are going to be people wanting to preserve Griffith Park for the great urban wilderness it is."

It's estimated that the project would take about five years to build, including a lengthy environmental review process.

Continue Reading at: The Guardian

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