A Moment In History

The Greatest Directors: The Pioneers

Since the inception of film-making there has been thousands of directors, some good, some bad, and some great! What follows is a list of who we feel are some of the most influential directors and a brief summary of their careers. Twenty of the brightest lights in the industry, both past and present.

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July 13

Captain America: Brave New World Trailer Gives Us Harrison Ford, a Flying Sam Wilson & Other Teases

by Vanessa Armstrong

With Deadpool & Wolverine's potentially big R-rated opening looming in a couple of weeks, could the Marvel Cinematic Universe be on the cusp of a comeback?

The studio is poised to have a big presentation at San Diego Comic-Con later this month as well, and to prime the pump before then, today Marvel released the first teaser trailer for Captain America: Brave New World. The clip not only gives us our first look at Harrison Ford taking over the role of Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross after actor William Hurt sadly passed away, but also a quick glimpse of the character's Red Hulk persona.

But wait, there's more! We see Giancarlo Esposito's character doing bad things, and Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson butting heads with Harrison's President, who wants to militarize Captain America. One scene shows Wilson adding his Falcon wings to the suit, reminding us that he isnít Steve Rogers' version of the superhero.

The trailer is light on plot, but it is a teaser trailer, after all. And a good one at that! Kudos to the editor who took Sam throwing the shield and morphed it into part of the White House getting destroyed.

Hereís the synopsis for Brave New World, per Marvel Studios:

After meeting with newly elected U.S. President Thaddeus Ross, played by Harrison Ford in his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut, Sam finds himself in the middle of an international incident. He must discover the reason behind a nefarious global plot before the true mastermind has the entire world seeing red.

And here is the teaser trailer:

Continue Reading at: Reactormag.com

July 12

Shelley Duvall, 'The Shining' and 'Nashville' Star, Dies at 75

Shelley Duvall in "3 Women" (image courtesy 20th Century Fox / Everett Collection)

by Pat Saperstein

Shelley Duvall, the big-eyed, waifish performer who won the Cannes actress award for Robert Altman's "3 Women" and endured Stanley Kubrick's intense directing techniques to star in "The Shining," died of diabetes complications on Thursday in Blanco, Texas, Variety confirmed with her partner Dan Gilroy. She was 75.

"My dear, sweet, wonderful life, partner, and friend left us last night. Too much suffering lately, now she's free. Fly away beautiful Shelley," said Gilroy in a statement.

Duvall was known for working with director Altman, who cast her in "Brewster McCloud" as her first screen role. She went on to appear in his films "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" and "Thieves Like Us" before starring as part of the ensemble cast of "Nashville" in 1975. After gaining attention in "Nashville," Altman cast her in "Buffalo Bill and the Indians," then gave her unusual screen presence a chance to shine in "3 Women," for which she won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress as well as a BAFTA nomination.

Also in 1977, Duvall played a Rolling Stone journalist in Woody Allen's "Annie Hall," and met Paul Simon on the set. They dated for two years.

Duvall starred as Olive Oyl in Altman's "Popeye" in 1980, a role that she seemed born to play, with her giant eyes. Her unnerving performance as a health spa worker in "3 Women" led Kubrick to cast her as Wendy Torrance, the wife of Jack Nicholson's character in Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining," based on the Stephen King novel.

"The Shining" required more than a year of shooting, and throughout, the legendarily demanding director pushed Duvall to her limit. Some of her scenes in "The Shining" required more than 100 takes.

Years later, she talked about the difficult shoot with the Hollywood Reporter. "After a while, your body rebels. It says: 'Stop doing this to me. I don't want to cry every day.' And sometimes just that thought alone would make me cry. To wake up on a Monday morning, so early, and realize that you had to cry all day because it was scheduled - I would just start crying. Iíd be like, 'Oh no, I can't, I can't.' And yet I did it. I donít know how I did it. Jack said that to me, too. He said, 'I don't know how you do it.'"

Among her other roles were Terry Gilliam's "Time Bandits" and the comedy "Roxanne" with Steve Martin.

Continue Reading at: Variety

July 11

Kevin Costner's 'Horizon 2' Pulled From August Release in Theaters After First Film Flops

Kevin Costner in "Horizon - An American Saga: Part 1" (image courtesy Warner Bros.)

by Pamela McClintock

Kevin Costner's period Western Horizon: An American Saga - Chapter 2 won't be riding into theaters on Aug. 16 after all.

The film is being pulled from the release calendar for now after Horizon: An American Saga - Chapter 1 bit the dust in its theatrical debut late last month. A new date has yet to be announced for the sequel, but a theatrical release is still the intention.

After numerous discussions, Costner's Territory Pictures and distribution partner New Line Cinema made the decision to switch up their ambitious release plan in hopes of allowing more time to grow the audience for the first film, which sports a $100 million price tag.

As part of that attempt, Chapter 1 will debut in the home on Premium VOD July 16 in addition to still being available to watch in theaters (the film could do notable business on PVOD).

"Territory Pictures and New Line Cinema have decided not to release Horizon: Chapter 2 on August 16 in order to give audiences a greater opportunity to discover the first installment of Horizon over the coming weeks, including on PVOD and Max. We thank our exhibition partners for their continued support as moviegoers across the U.S. discover the film in its theatrical run," a New Line spokesperson said.

Added Territory Pictures in a separate statement, "The audience response to Horizon, and enthusiasm for seeing our story continue in Horizon 2, has been incredibly gratifying. Kevin made this film for people who love movies and who wanted to go on a journey. The support that we have received from film fans, and the theater owners, as they experience the first chapter of this saga only serves to reinforce our belief in them and the films that we have made, and we thank them for coming on board for the ride. We welcome the opportunity for that window to be expanded as we know it will only serve to enhance the experience of seeing Horizon 2."

A debut date for Max has not yet been announced.

Warner Bros., New Line's parent company, began notifying theater owners of the dramatic eleventh-hour change Wednesday morning. Many cinemas had offered consumers the chance to buy advance tickets for Chapter 2; they will now have to be refunded.

The Horizon series marks a major gamble for Costner, who put $38 million of his own money into Chapter 1 and funded the rest with the help of two mystery investors and by selling off foreign rights. New Line and Warners agreed to distribute and market the first two movies for a fee, with Costner ponying up for the marketing. Costner intends on making four films in total.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

July 10

Ridley Scott Has Wanted That Rhino Battle From the Gladiator 2 Trailer for 25 Years

by Michael Cripe

The first Gladiator 2 trailer is here, and it's got something director Ridley Scott has wanted for a long time: a rhino.

Today's trailer for the long-awaited sequel teases an action-packed epic and sequel to Scott's original 2000 classic. Though the first film managed to entertain audiences with standout performances from Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix, it lacked a certain horned mammal that he wanted to include. Doug Wick, who produced Gladiator, told ComicBook.com in 2020 that Scott's rhinoceros dreams were shattered due to expensive CG costs.

"There are issues that were really more about cost," Wick said at the time. "Which is, for example, Ridley wanted a rhino in the arena. And, when we talked to the animal trainers, they said, 'Well, they're great to work with, but once you start it, you can't stop it.' So then we priced a CG rhino and it was just too expensive. So I would say that was one of the regrets, we couldn't give Ridley a CG rhino."

Wick added that itís been a "running joke, that if we ever do a sequel, Ridley gets his rhino." Well, Gladiator 2 is nearly here, and so is that rhino.

According to Yhe Hollywood Reporter's sources, the film's budget managed to balloon from around $165 million to around $310 million. We see some of that high price in the trailer, as the animal steals the show by recklessly running toward Paul Mescal's Lucius before he throws sand in its blood-covered face.

The Gladiator 2 trailer offers more than just a shiny CG rhino to hold onto until its release this fall. Elsewhere in the trailer, we can see more from Mescal as well as Pedro Pascal as Marcus Acacius and Denzel Washington as Macrinus. Gladiator 2 charges into theaters November 22, 2024. It'll share its date with the live-action film version of Wicked, giving audiences an unexpected follow-up to last year's Barbenheimer trend.

See the rhino in action in the trailer:

Continue Reading at: IGN

July 8

Brad Pitt Reaches New Speeds as a Formula 1 Driver in Thrilling F1 Trailer

by Athena Sobhan

Brad Pitt gets behind the wheel for his latest film.

The first trailer for the film F1 debuted during the Formula 1 British Grand Prix on Sunday, July 7.

In it, Pitt, 60, stars as a former driver "who returns to Formula 1 at APXGP, a fictional team on the grid," per a synopsis. The Oscar winner stars alongside Damson Idris, who plays his teammate, as they "compete against the titans of the sport" during the Grand Prix.

F1 was filmed during this year's Grand Prix races, which began in March, and the film will also feature 10 Formula 1 teams and their drivers.

Along with Pitt and Idris, the cast also includes Kerry Condon, Javier Bardem, Tobias Menzies, Sarah Niles, Kim Bodnia and Samson Kayo.

Watch the trailer here:

Continue Reading at: People

July 7

Box Office: 'Despicable Me 4' Rules July 4th With $122M Opening, 'MaXXXine' Scares Up $6.7M

Four entries in and the "Despicable Me" franchise is still topping the box office (image courtesy Illumination / Universal)

by Pamela McClintock

Illumination and Universal's Minions franchise isn't getting any worse for the wear as Despicable Me 4 ruled the Fourth of July box office with an estimated five-day domestic opening of $122.6 million from 4,428 theaters, including a three-day weekend haul of $75 million after earning a stellar A CinemaScore.

That's in line with expectations and a strong start for the fourth outing in the main franchise, and the sixth in the Despicable Me/Minions series, which ranks as the top-grossing animated franchise of all time. Overseas, the newest movie has cleared $230 million.

The first Despicable Me opened over the July 9-11 weekend in 2010 to $56 million domestically. The series then shifted its release earlier and became a Fourth of July staple. 2013's Despicable Me 2 likewise opened on July 3, a Wednesday, and posted a five-day debut of $143 million. That was followed by a $120 million five-day holiday start for the threequel in 2017.

In terms of the three-day weekend, Despicable Me 4's gross of $75 million marks the highest July 4 opener since Illumination's Minions: The Rise Of Gru collected $107 million in 2002, and the third-best of all time behind Gru and the $83 million earned by Despicable Me 2 over the holiday weekend in July 2017.

Inside Out 2 leads a pack of June releases that have resulted in dramatic box office rebound. Not so long ago, domestic office revenue was running 23 percent last year; now that deficit has been narrowed to 17 percent, according to Comscore.

Another movie assisting the mini-boom is Paramount's A Quiet Place: Day One, which is holding at No. 3 in its second weekend with a three-day gross of $21 million for an impressive 10-day domestic tally of $94.4 million. The prequel scared up the loudest three-day debut of the series last weekend when opening to $52 million.

A24's specialty pic MaXXXine, opening Friday, placed No. 4 with an estimated $6.7 million from 2,450 cinemas, which is not a bad start for a specialty slasher pic that boasts a hard R-rating. An ode to 1980s sexploitation and horror, MaXXXine completes Ti West's trilogy starring Mia Goth. The movie received a B CinemaScore, a high grade for a horror/slasher film.

Sony's Bad Boys: Ride or Die had enough gas left in the tank in its fifth outing to place No. 5 with $6.6 million from 2,664 sites for a hefty domestic tally of $177.4 million (it's possible the pic could swap places with MaXXXine when final weekend grosses are tallied).

Kevin Costner's big-budget Horizon: An American Saga - Chapter One, falling to No. 6, continues to struggle to find its audience. The $100 million period Western, which runs just over three hours, tumbled 50 percent in its second weekend to roughly $5.5 million from 3,325 theaters for a domestic total of $22.2 million. As of now, distributor Warner Bros. hasn't mentioned how this might impact Costner's sequel, which is set to open in cinemas [in August.]

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

July 7

Jon Landau, Oscar-winning 'Titanic' and 'Avatar' producer, dies at 63

Jon Landau, pictured here in Beverly Hills last year, has died at 63 (image courtesy Invision / AP)

by The Associated Press

Jon Landau, an Oscar-winning producer who worked closely with director James Cameron on three of the biggest blockbusters of all time, "Titanic" and two "Avatar" films, has died. He was 63.

Landau's family announced his death Saturday. No cause of death was given.

Landau's partnership with Cameron led to three Oscar nominations and a best picture win for 1997's "Titanic." Together the pair account for some of the biggest blockbusters in movie history, including "Avatar" and its sequel, "Avatar: The Way of Water."

Landau's career began in the 1980s as a production manager, and he gradually rose through the ranks, serving as a co-producer on "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" and "Dick Tracy."

He took on the producer role on "Titanic," Cameron's expensive epic about the infamous 1912 maritime disaster. The bet paid off: "Titanic" became the first movie to cross US$1 billion in global box-office earnings and went on to win 11 Oscars, including best picture.

"I can't act and I can't compose and I can't do visual effects, so I guess that's why I'm producing." Landau said while accepting the award with Cameron.

Their partnership continued, with Landau becoming a top executive at Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment. In 2009 the pair watched as "Avatar," a sci-fi epic filmed and shown in theaters with groundbreaking 3D technology, surpassed the box-office success of "Titanic." It remains the top-grossing film of all time.

Its sequel, "Avatar: The Way of Water," is third on the list.

Continue Reading at: CTV

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