All the News That’s Fit to Rank: October 31, 2015
Here are the top movie stories that got the Flickchart staff talking this week. We rank ’em, you read ’em.
1. George Clooney to direct a Coen-penned noir
The Coens seem to be writing as many scripts for other people as for themselves lately; it certainly seems to be working for Bridge of Spies (though it did less well for Gambit). In any case, you breathe the words “Coen” and “noir” near me, and I’ve already got my money out. Clooney‘s been a bit more hit-and-miss behind the camera, but with a solid script (and come on, he’s gonna have that with this project), I’m pretty confident in the results. (via The AV Club)
2. Johnny Depp, Edgar Wright, and Neil Gaiman in talks to make a movie
Okay, let’s break this down. The project is Fortunately, the Milk, a short story by Neil Gaiman. Johnny Depp had admittedly been losing steam with lots of superficial performances in Tim Burton movies. BUT, Edgar Wright is only headed up, and Gaiman has just the sort of off-kilter perspective to make Depp’s inherent oddness fresh again. PLUS, the script is gonna be written by Bret McKenzie, half of Flight of the Conchords. This is gonna be weird, but potentially extremely awesome. (via Hollywood Reporter)
3. Sandra Bullock to lead an all-female cast in new Ocean’s Eleven movie
Move over, Ladybusters, there’s a new all-female reboot/remake/sequel thing in town. Okay, the fact that even I felt the need to name-check the new Ghostbusters when talking about this is just sad. I think an all-female Ocean’s Eleven would be really cool, because women are cool and heist films are cool. But this “ooh, we’re making an all-female version of something” trend is…well…not bad, exactly, but it’ll be nice when it’s less about piggybacking on existing franchises and more about just having so many films in general led by women that it’s not newsworthy anymore. George Clooney is producing, but Soderbergh is not involved; the film will be directed by The Hunger Games‘ Gary Ross. (via The AV Club)
4. The Monopoly origin story is becoming a movie
So they’re not making Monopoly itself into a movie, which is probably good (unless you want a film that you watch for like three hours an evening across several weeks when visiting family…or maybe that was just how we always played Monopoly), but instead bringing the story behind the game to the screen. Apparently, it started as an educational game showing the negative aspects of creating monopolies…somehow I think that point got lost in the translation to a commercial game, because BUY ALL THE THINGS. (via Variety)
5. Gary Oldman is writing a vampire book
Most actors as they age write a memoir or have one ghostwritten or something. Gary Oldman has decided instead to write a vampire novel, and even though I’d actually love to read about Gary Oldman’s career, I have to say this sounds like a pretty cool idea, too. He’s cowriting with his manager Douglas Urbanksi, and the book (entitled Blood Riders) will be published next Spring. Who wants to bet someone’s already got their eyes on the film rights? (via The AV Club)
6. Guillermo Del Toro turns in script & budget for Pacific Rim 2
Because he apparently doesn’t know the meaning of the words “delayed indefinitely,” Guillermo Del Toro has gone ahead and submitted the script and budget figures to Legendary Pictures (as he promised he would). With that kind of commitment, how could they say no! Answer: very easily, of course, or we’d have Hellboy 3 and At the Mountains of Madness by now. Don’t get me wrong, I hope the studio gets this done. Just saying, maybe don’t hold your breath. (via The AV Club)
7. Billy Bob Thornton returns for Bad Santa 2
It’s been twelve years since the first Bad Santa movie, but Billy Bob Thornton is ready to come back and be badder and Santaier than ever, giving adults tired of all that holiday cuteness a little something of their own in 2016. (via Variety)
8. George Lucas pledges $10 million to support diversity at the USC School of Cinematic Arts
The USC School of Cinematic Arts is one of the premier film schools in the country (disclaimer: I work for USC, though not in the Cinema School, but you don’t have to take my word for it – Hollywood Reporter named it #1 in the country this year), and George Lucas is one of its most successful graduates (he graduated in 1966). He’s endowed the School significantly already, and now has earmarked $10 million of his support to fund scholarships for African-American and Hispanic students, which is great support for minorities in film school. The next major step: supporting minorities in the industry. (via Variety)
9. Greta Gerwig joins Natalie Portman in Jackie Kennedy bio
I love Greta Gerwig in anything, but this sounds like an intriguing project in general. Natalie Portman presumably will be playing Jackie Kennedy (Gerwig is to be one of her top aides) during the first few days after President Kennedy’s assassination. I’m all in favor of this trend of limiting biopics to a specific salient time in that person’s life instead of trying to tell their entire life’s story. (via Variety)
10. Austin Film Festival keeps Austin weird
Austin is sometimes known as the third coast in the entertainment industry – it has a bustling indie film scene (Richard Linklater is a notable member), its indie music scene is second to none, and its commitment to weirdness and an artsy style makes it something of an anomaly in central Texas. This fest started over twenty years ago, also an anomaly among film festivals due to its focus on screenwriting and panels about the craft rather than as a market for distributors to pick up films. Our own correspondent David Conrad is at the fest right now, so look for recaps and reviews from him in the near future! (via Variety)
Top Trailers of the Week
We know a lot about Star Wars, but upcoming documentary Elstree 1976 takes a look at some faces we may not know – because they were hidden behind masks and makeup, playing aliens and bounty hunters and the like.
Zany comedy Band of Robbers imagines a grown up Tom Sawyer (a corrupt cop) and Huck Finn (just out of prison) and the shenanigans they get up to.
When Martin Scorsese puts his name on a gangster picture, even just as executive producer, it makes you sit up and notice a little, so The Wannabe has at least our curiosity but can it keep our attention?
Sam Rockwell plays the title character in Don Verdean, a kooky comedy about an archaeologist digging up Biblical artifacts to boost church attendance.
We have to have SOME horror for a post on Halloween! Here’s the trailer for Takashi Miike‘s horror film Over Your Dead Body, which is pretty confusing and apparently bananas, according to people who have seen it at fests. It’ll be out in the US in January.