All the News That’s Fit to Rank: Week of August 21, 2015
These are the top movie stories that got the Flickchart staff talking this week. We rank ’em, you read ’em. It’s a bit week for Disney news, as Disney just held their big D23 conference – it’s like their own personal ComicCon, and they had previews and news for pretty much their entire slate of upcoming films. We’ll break out the biggest news, and link to some other roundups for the rest.
1. Disney to Open Star Wars Land, Toy Story Land and Avatar Land
Disney theme park fans can expect some major updates within the next few years – Disney World in Florida is adding Toy Story Land (as well as a previously announced Frozen attraction in Epcot), plus they’re still hard at work on Avatar Land, which still has a hopeful opening date of 2017. Meanwhile, both Disney World AND Disney are getting huge expansions for Star Wars Land, which sounds like an amazing fully in-character experience. Slashfilm has more info and concept art for all three expansions: Avatar Land, Toy Story Land, Star Wars Land.
2. Colin Trevorrow Confirmed to Direct Star Wars IX
J.J. Abrams is hard at work on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Rian Johnson is all set for Star Wars VIII, and now the last film in the upcoming trilogy has its director – Colin Trevorrow. After the astounding success of Jurassic World, this should come as no surprise. He’s no longer an untested indie director with only sci-fi romance Safety Not Guaranteed under his belt, he’s now the helmer of the biggest hit of the year. Jurassic World didn’t receive universally glowing reviews, though – do you think Trevorrow is the right man for the job? (via StarWars.com)
Film School Rejects has helpfully rounded up all the Star Wars news coming out of D23.
3. Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, Alice 2 Details Emerge
D23 also included previews of Toy Story 4 (it seems to be a love story between Woody and Bo-Peep?), Alice: Through the Looking Glass, which is some kind of time-travel sort of prequel, Pete’s Dragon, Zootopia, Moana, Pirates of the Caribbean 5 (Orlando Bloom is returning to join Johnny Depp, but Keira Knightley seems to not be), and the announcement of Gigantic, an animated take on Jack and the Beanstalk from the same songwriting team as Frozen. Meanwhile, separate from D23, we learned that in Frozen 2 we can expect a cheerier Elsa, and that Jungle Cruise, another classic Disney ride, will be getting a film version with Dwayne Johnson in the lead. Can it become the next Pirates-esque hit franchise?
4. Lord of the Rings Fans Crowdfunding to Build Life-Size Minas Tirith
You can use crowdfunding for anything these days, so why not use it to build a life-size Minas Tirith? A group of architects and engineers are asking for almost £2 billion on Indiegogo for just that purpose. It’s highly unlikely to succeed, but isn’t the thought tempting? (via /Film)
5. Warner Bros. Plans to Turn Dante’s Inferno Into a Film Franchise
We’ve recently seen movies based on Genesis (Noah) and Exodus (Exodus: Gods and Kings), and now Warner Bros. is turning their attention to medieval religious literature, namely Dante Alighieri’s 14th century masterwork The Divine Comedy, which features Dante (yes, he’s a character in his own book) going through the nine circles of hell, purgatory, and paradise to find his beloved Beatrice. Warner has optioned a treatment based on Inferno, the best-known and most interesting of the three sections, but rumor has it they’re interested in franchising this thing. Inferno could be a pretty amazing film, but this trilogy seems even more predisposed than most to the law of diminishing returns. (via io9)
6. Goonies House Owner Says Enough Already to Movie Tourists
Did you know The Goonies is still popular enough to inspire 1500 people A DAY to go visit the house featured in the film? Well, it is, and the owner of the Astoria, Oregon home has had enough. Apparently fans of the film were also leaving cigarette butts and beer bottles all over the lawn, and the owner has now tarped up the whole thing and put up signs warning people to leave. Guys, it’s fine to go visit your favorite film locations, but let’s respect the current owners, mmm-kay? (via The AV Club)
7. British Professor to Live as David Bowie for a Year, Because…Science?
Science might not be quite the right word, but a British professor has just announced his intention to live as David Bowie for a year, dressing as him and role-playing as Ziggy Stardust, only consuming media Bowie had access to in the ’70s, and even taking up Bowie’s unusual milk-and-red-pepper diet. The professor said he’d be unable to perform Bowie in EVERY way, like having a liaison with Mick Jagger. He didn’t comment on whether he planned to augment his meager diet with cocaine or not. You know, for science. (via The AV Club)
8. Jennifer Lawrence is the Top Paid Actress in Hollywood (Still Makes Less Than Top Paid Men)
Forbes Magazine recently ran the numbers to find 2015’s highest paid stars, and Jennifer Lawrence tops the list of women with $52 million in earnings from June 2014 to June 2015. The top-paid male star is unsurprisingly Robert Downey Jr, with $80 million, almost $30 million more than Lawrence. There are a lot of conclusions you could draw from this, and honestly “women should get paid as much as men!” is only the most facile. That said, both Lawrence and Downey Jr lead very profitable franchises, so they probably should be closer together than this, but Downey has more bargaining power due to his age and the length of his franchise. Perhaps more helpful is noting how rare it is for women like Lawrence to get into her position of carrying a major franchise than it is for men and work on fixing THAT problem. Meanwhile note that Scarlett Johansson, who is in just as many Marvel movies as Downey Jr (and had bonus surprise hits like Lucy), earned $33 million last year to his $80 million. (via The AV Club)
9. Sundance Hit Horror Comedy What We Do the Shadows Getting a Sequel
New Zealand-based filmmaker Taika Waititi (Eagle vs Shark, Boy) has another breakout indie hit on his hands in vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, and cocreator Jermaine Clement (The Flight of the Conchords) has just confirmed that they’re working on a sequel. Have you seen the film? Would you watch a sequel? (via /Film)
In related news, Jermaine Clement’s cult hit TV show Flight of the Conchords might be getting a movie, as well.
10. First Official Star Trek Cruise to Boldly Sail the Caribbean in 2017
In January 2017, a fully licensed Star Trek cruise operated by Norwegian Cruise Lines will embark on a mission: to explore Caribbean islands, to seek out snorkeling spots and fine cuisine, and to boldly go where…lots of people have gone before. BUT. This time you’ll be in the company of such Star Trek royalty as Marina Sirtis, Jonathan Frakes, Denise Crosby, Robert Picardo, James Darren, John de Lancie, and yes, William Shatner. Start saving your Federation credits now. (via The AV Club)
Top Trailers of the Week
Ridley Scott‘s The Martian gets another trailer, which I am not watching because I’m already sold on this movie.
Denis Villaneuve is one of the more interesting filmmakers working today, and his latest film Sicario takes him (along with Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, and Josh Brolin) down to Juarez Mexico to hunt drug cartels. The film premieres soon at TIFF.
A hit out of this spring’s Sundance, The Witch looks kind of terrifying; you can see why director Robert Eggers has been tapped to direct a Nosferatu remake.