All the News That’s Fit to Rank: Week of Sep 26, 2015
These are the top movie stories that got the Flickchart staff talking this week. We rank ’em, you read ’em.
#1. Sigourney Weaver to appear in upcoming Ghostbusters film
A few weeks ago, Bill Murray confirmed an appearance in Paul Feig‘s upcoming Ghostbusters film, but with little info as to what part he’d play. Now Feig has tweeted that Sigourney Weaver will also join his cast (and no other info), adding more fuel to the speculation that Murray and Weaver will reprise their characters, making the new film more of a sequel than a reboot. (via Hollywood Reporter)
#2. Prometheus 2 is now Alien: Paradise Lost
Sounds like Ridley Scott is having fun dropping Prometheus 2 hints during his recent press tour appearances, even if these hints contradict each other. This week he’s said both that there will be several Prometheus sequels before they connect directly into Alien, and now that the very next film will delve right into the background of the xenomorph and hook into Alien. Whatever, Ridley, but if you go with the Alien: Paradise Lost title, that definitely brings a lot of expectations, both about how closely the film will tie into Alien and how ambitious/philosophical it will be (a lot and a lot). (via The AV Club)
#3. Viola Davis becomes first black Lead Actress Emmy Winner
We don’t usually share much television news here, but this is a wonderful milestone and deserves recognition. Congratulations to Viola Davis for being the first of many, and to the writers and showrunners who put together diverse shows, keep on keeping on. (via Hollywood Reporter; full list of winners)
#4. And Then There Were None to intrigue a new generation of moviegoers
Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None is one of the best-selling mystery books of all time, and now director Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) is looking to bring the property to the screen once more. It’ll be interesting to see what he’s got in mind, particularly regarding the ending – Christie wrote both a grim dark ending in the novel and a lighter one for the stage (the 1945 version used the stage ending). I’m personally hoping for grim dark in this case. (via The AV Club)
#5. Polish court delays Roman Polanski extradition decision until late October
Roman Polanski is a divisive figure among movie fans, many of them valuing his skill as a director to the exclusion of all else, and others unable to forgive the 1977 statutory rape for which he fled the United States. Almost forty years later, the US is seeking extradition, and hearings in Poland have been going on since February to determine whether they will extradite Polanski to the US to stand trial. I try not to take sides on the issue (I do enjoy his films, but I also believe in justice), but I’m very interested to see how this plays out. (via Hollywood Reporter)
#6. “Happy Birthday” copyright ruled to be invalid
It’s been a common joke and sometimes plot point in movies and TV for many years that the song Happy Birthday is copyrighted material, notably on an episode of Sports Night (see clip below). Well, now all those jokes have been rendered invalid along with the copyright on the most well-worn birthday song ever written, as a judge has ruled that there’s no evidence that, as Warner/Chappel music claims, the Hill sisters who wrote the song properly transferred ownership of the lyrics when they transferred ownership of the music (which everyone already agrees is public domain – this is confusing folks). Technically, no one knows who really owns the rights at this point, so no one can legally claim ownership. But Warner/Chappel will probably keep trying, as the song represents some $2 million in revenue for them. For now, Happy Birthday away! (via Hollywood Reporter)
#7. Star Wars theatrical cut again rumored to be coming to blu-ray
Hardly a year goes by without some rumor popping up about the theatrical cuts of the original Star Wars trilogy being released on DVD/Blu-ray – and no wonder, as it’s something fans have been clamoring for pretty much since George Lucas specialized the films in the ’90s. Hopes were high when Disney bought LucasFilm (Disney wouldn’t leave money on the table!), but the release is complicated by 20th Century Fox’s ownership of the rights to the films. However, John Landis recently let it slip in an interview that he spoke with Lucas and Lucas said the theatrical cuts are going to be released. So…rumor twice removed, but it’s more credible than anything else we’ve heard speculated so far! Fingers crossed! (via /Film)
#8. Paul Thomas Anderson’s music documentary to debut exclusively on MUBI
In between critically acclaimed films, Paul Thomas Anderson made a secret music documentary about Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood (who frequently scores Anderson’s films) and Israeli musician Shye Ben Tzur recording an album in a remote medieval fortress in India. The film will make its debut on streaming platform MUBI after a screening at the New York Film Festival, an interesting choice as MUBI is a closely curated platform streaming 30 hand-picked movies a month. It’s unclear whether the film will remain on the platform indefinitely, or if it will run for the normal 30 days and then disappear, or go to other platforms afterwards. (via The AV Club)
#9. Benedict Cumberbatch and Jake Gyllenhaal in talks for The Current War
If you’re thinking this is an upcoming war film about an ongoing conflict, you’re forgiven, but you’re wrong. It’s about a war over currents, that is, electrical currents. Cumberbatch is in talks to play Thomas Edison, while Gyllenhaal would portray George Westinghouse, a name not as well known today as Edison or Tesla, but whose method of alternating current would ultimately become the standard. (via The AV Club)
#10. Jared Leto and Chris Evans are circling The Girl on the Train
Paula Hawkins’ novel The Girl on the Train, about a woman who may or may not have witnessed or been involved in a crime while blackout drunk, was a runaway bestseller last year, and the movie adaptation plans swung into gear quickly. Emily Blunt is already on board as the lead, and Jared Leto and Chris Evans are in talks to play two of the men in her life – Evans as her ex-husband, Leto as the husband of the neighbor she becomes obsessed with. It seems like there are a lot of moving parts in this plot, and the same is true of Evans and Leto’s schedules, so we’ll see if they can nail it all down. (via Hollywood Reporter)
Top Trailers of the Week
It’s not common for a film with Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell to just drop out of nowhere, but that’s basically what The Big Short did when the AFI Fest announced it as their closing night film last week (it’ll be in wide release at Christmas). Adam McKay wouldn’t have been my first thought to direct a film about the housing collapse of 2007-2008, but this actually looks pretty solid.
You’re never quite sure what you’re going to get with a Takashi Miike film, though it’s almost certainly going to be violent and bloody. His latest film Yakuza Apocalypse looks even more off the chain than usual, being described as “a comedic vampire thriller, a gangster epic, a martial-arts extravaganza and an end-of-the-world spectacle.” There’s certainly a lot of WTF moments in the trailer.
I can’t keep the trailers straight for Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur anymore, but this is an international one that shows the dinos talking.
And here’s the latest US one, which doesn’t have talking (only a little screaming and howling), but has some pretty powerful visuals and score. I actually can’t say I’m TOO excited about this one, but Pixar has a tendency to have better movies than trailers, and that’s certainly not a bad thing!
With Hollywood relentlessly going after Chinese moviegoers, it only seems fair that they should start trying to get some English-speaking ones in return, and to that end, Lost in the Pacific is the first Chinese-made English language action movie. It looks…a’ight. Brandon Routh crashes a plane or something?
Just when you thought it was safe to play casual games on your phone without worrying about your little bird projectile’s backstory, Sony takes it all away from you and gives you Angry Birds, the movie. Why are those birds so angry? And how will they deal with the incursion of pigs onto their island? Having played the game a little, I’m gonna say…..not well.