The Hush-Hush News Report: 04.04.12: A(nother) Halloween Reboot?
Posted by Jeremy Wilson on 04.04.2012
News and thoughts on Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes getting the rights to Halloween, the newest images from Prometheus, new trailers for Total Recall and To Rome With Love, a sequel for The Woman in Black, a behind-the-scene look at Skyfall and more!
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I've had better days. Let's just say I'm not in the greatest mood after working on a column for hours, only to see my computer crash. When it rebooted, my document was locked and when I tried to recover it...there was nothing to recover. That's why this week's Hush-Hush is a few hours late and why I'm a bit on the cranky side.
Well, you can't blame them for being inconsistent. Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes production company are in the process of buying the rights to the Halloween franchise from The Weinstein Company/Dimension Films and are looking to make a new film in the series. According to Bloody Disgusting, the plans for the 3D sequel written by Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine [3D] and Drive Angry [3D]) and was to be released by Dimension have not only been put on hold, but may end up scrapped altogether. Instead, the site is reporitng that the new movie will not be in 3D and won't utilize the "found footage" gimmick that so many other films have recently used. Nothing is set in stone, but since Farmer and Lussier seem to be out and the 3D has been shelved, there is talk that the new installment may even be...a reboot. Because that's exactly what Halloween needs.
I've commented the last couple of weeks on what I think about Michael Bay and Platinum Dunes' vision for (TM)NT. In making my argument, I listed all the films Bay and Platinum Dunes have rebooted/remade, including some of the biggest franchises in all of horror. Many of their rebooted/remade versions don't come close to matching their beloved predecessors in most fans' opinions. Little did I know I'd be reporting about the production company rounding out its collection and putting the finishing touches on their own Mount Rushmore of Classic Horror Remakes. In addition to their remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amiyville Horror, The Hitcher, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street, now they get the rights to make their very own Halloween movie. And based on what we've seen them do in the past, the odds are better than you'd think at a reboot/remake rather than a sequel.
I think it's a horrendous idea, for no other reason than the fact that the original Halloween is virtually perfect the way it was in 1979. The film that launched a thousands slasher pictures was an instant classic at the time and it has seemingly only grown in stature as time has gone by. Then again, I'm not the biggest horror fan here on 411's staff. So I decided to get a second opinion, one I knew would be passionate and informed, from someone who I know loves his horror. Here's what resident 411 horror expert Joseph Lee (read his always excellent A Bloody Good Time weekly column) thinks about it:
"I really have mixed feelings about the rumored Halloween reboot. On the one hand, Rob Zombie's take was incredibly divisive and those who hate those movies, really hate those movies. On the other, Platinum Dunes doesn't exactly have a stellar record with horror fans either. While I like the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the reboot of Friday the 13th, there are some that hate every single film they've (Platinum Dunes) ever made. Likewise with Zombie's film, I enjoyed his first take on the Halloween story, but could take or leave the sequel, which hasn't really aged as well as I thought it might.
I think the worst part about this rumor is that Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier, who gave us My Bloody Valentine 3D, would be kicked off the Halloween 3D sequel to make way for Marcus Nispel or some music video director. I don't understand why it's so hard for those two to find more work when My Bloody Valentine kicked all kinds of ass both with fans and critics, and earned a nice chunk of change to boot. Dimension didn't want them for the Hellraiser remake and Platinum Dunes would likely bring in their own people if they do a new take on Michael Myers.
Then there's the question of "reboot". Are they just ignoring Zombie's films and making a stand-alone film featuring Myers? Are they going to pull an H20 and ignore everything but the original? Or do they plan to remake the original again. It's that last option that fills me with dread, because there wasn't a need for the first remake to begin with, even if I do enjoy it. There's definitely not a need to tell the same story three times when it was told perfectly the first time."
I couldn't have said it better myself. I don't know about everyone else, but writing this column every week and reporting on this rumored remake or that announced reboot slowly eats away at my movie-loving heart. I report and talk about them because they are the news; this is what Hollywood is doing at the moment and no property is safe from it. It seems like it's been kicked into hyperdrive in recent months and the ones that really get to me are the purported remakes of classic masterpieces that most definitely don't need it. In many ways, horror doesn't get much better than John Carpenter's Halloween. The fact that we're discussing a second potential reboot of that classic in less than a decade is depressing. Honestly, I don't even see the potential market for this. It's not like the Zombie movies set the world on fire, and as Joseph made it clear, they were incredibly divisive amongst fans. Then again, we've seen this in other genres, including a pretty big movie hitting theaters on July 3.
Do you want a new Halloween film? Would a reboot of the original be something you'd watch? Who should Platinum Dunes get to direct/write their new Halloween picture?
New Images From Prometheus
Contrary to what some may believe, I am not showing favoritism in seemingly running a Prometheus story every week or so. It just sort of works out that way. Hey, I would not be doing my 411-appointed duty if I didn't try and cover as much as I can. Plus, they're just too awesome to ignore. Here are 15 new(ish) images from the film that have been released in hi-res form, including some official set photos featuring director Ridley Scott and his 3D RED Epic camera. As for the 3D in Prometheus (the film was shot in the format, not post-converted), Scott told Total Film:
"I'm kind of naturally visual anyway, that's where I come from. And you're working off superb 3D screens, which are on the floor, and are really big. It was just wonderful… I was shooting on 3D, then seeing it on the floor. It was easy, I must say… You only want to push it so far, before it becomes arrows popping out of the screen and stabbing you in the eye. You use it for visual effect.
"… I'm actually decided right now how deep to make [the depth of field in 'Prometheus'] on certain sequences. So you can literally, as it were, twiddle a knob, and the depth will increase. It's kind of bizarre, but there it is. Technologically it's absolutely staggering. I was working with MPC in London, looking after almost 1,300 big FX shots, and every night they would pipe through shots to a big screen in my office in Lexington Street; I would sit there watching a sequence that had just been graded or refined in perfect 3D. Really amazing."
Prometheus stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Rafe Spall, Sean Harris, Logan Marshall-Green, and Charlize Theron. It opens in 2D, 3D and IMAX theaters on June 8.
Total Recall CGI-riffic Trailer
The new trailer for Total Recall was debuted on Sunday during the Heat-Celtics game and was received generally well by the masses. Personally, it didn't do a whole lot for me, but I might be in the minority on that one. It seemed like a lot of empty CG and the same kind of action we've seen from countless films. Obviously, it's just a trailer, but if the intention was to "wow" me, it fell short of accomplishing that. Maybe it was seeing Harold with blonde hair that threw me off. Or perhaps my brain could not handle the Kate Beckinsale-Jessica Biel one-on-one fight sequence. Mostly though, I just didn't see anything all that special and my reservations of casting remain. Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel are all attrative individuals but none are exactly high-calibre thespians. Yeah, neither was Arnold in the original. But I just look at the summer's other big sci-fi blockbuster Prometheus and I see a lot more that interests me in terms of cast (Theron, Rapace, Fassbender, Elba, Pearce), story and effects. I hope I'm pleasantly surprised by it, but to be honest, the trailer didn't quite do it for me.
That doesn't mean I won't see it when it hits theaters. It just means I was sort of let down after some of the hype had started to build. I guess maybe I was expecting something more, even though I probably shouldn't have. It reminded me a bit of the style of Wiseman's Underworld films. I like those, but more in a B-movie kind of way, something to pass the time and watch late at night when nothing else is on. The original Total Recall is great trippy science fiction (Philip K. Dick stories – of which I'm a huge fan – in general are pretty out there) and this felt just a bit too shiny, a wannabe action blockbuster that looks a bit too much like a poor man's Minority Report. Again, I hope I'm wrong, but this trailer made it pretty clear that Wiseman and company are desperate for this to be a huge action blockbuster. That's not a terrible thing to want; it just puts a lot more pressure on it.
The official synopsis for Total Recall reads: Total Recall is an action thriller about reality and memory, inspired anew by the famous short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" by Philip K. Dick. Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), even though he's got a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) whom he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life – real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police – controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston) – there is no one Quaid can trust, except possibly a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) working for the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy). The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate. The film is directed by Len Wiseman. The screenplay is by Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback and the screen story is by Ronald Shusett & Dan O'Bannon and Jon Povill. The producers are Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe."
What do you think of the first trailer for the new Total Recall?
Behind The Scenes of Skyfall
The BBC got a behind-the-scenes look at the next installment in the 007 franchise and talked with star Daniel Craig about the upcoming film and what fans should expect. The biggest bit of information from the chat that fans will care about is Craig's declaration that he would "keep going until they tell me to stop."
This is Craig's third go-round as James Bond and the star doesn't seem likely to stop anytime soon, admitting to the BBC that while he knows he'll have to give up the coveted role sometime, he's just looking at keeping the franchise rolling.
"I know there'll be someone after me, and hopefully someone after them - I'm just trying to keep [the series] going."
Craig admitted there were big expectations for "Skyfall" to be a success with the Bond franchise celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
However, he said the team were "going to put on a good show."
"We haven't been resting on our laurels, we've been plotting what to do with this film."
There has been a four-year gap between the previous film "Quantum of Solace" and the new film, as production was temporarily suspended in April 2010 due to uncertainty over MGM's future amid financial troubles.
"The first one ("Casino Royale") was a whirr – it was a new experience and flew by – the second one was the tricky second album, but this one we've really planned and got a great script.
"It's going to be different from the last one, but it will still be a great Bond movie."
The BBC reports that while some filming has taken place in Shanghai and Turkey, much of the action has now moved to the 007 stage at Pinewood studios. BBC entertainment reporter Lizo Mzimba had exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the set, and watched the "culmination of a big chase" scene on a set that recreated a London Underground station.
"Quite appropriately for the 50th anniversary Bond, a lot of the action is taking place in familiar London landmarks."
"Skyfall," is directed by Oscar-winner Sam Mendes ("American Beauty"), stars Craig, Dame Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Albert Finney and Ralph Fiennes. It will be released in the United States on November 9th, 2012.
The Woman In Black Gets A Sequel
After passing the $120 million mark in worldwide box office, the Daniel Radcliffe-starring horror film The Woman in Black appears to be heading for a sequel. The team behind the first film – Hammer, Alliance Films and Cross Creek Pictures – are joining up with novelist Susan Hill on the proposed story that will take place 40 years after the events of the first film. The Woman in Black: Angels of Death will be based on a original story from Hill that she has been working on for the past few years with a screenplay written by Jon Croker (Desert Dancer). There is no word on whether director James Watkins will return or if there will a role for Radcliffe.
The Woman in Black was based on Hill's 1983 Gothic Horror novel of the same name, set in the early 1900s and detailed the story of a young lawyer who is ordered to travel to a remote corner of the U.K. to sort out the papers of a recently deceased client. In the eerie setting of Eel Marsh House he discovers the vengeful ghost of the title. The Woman in Black: Angels of Death will pick the story up four decades later and focus on the concept of a couple and the experience they have when they encounter the haunted setting of Eel Marsh House.
Hammer President and CEO (and vice-chairman of Hammer parent company Exclusive Media) Simon Oakes stated "We are proud and honoured to be working with Susan again on The Woman in Black: Angels of Death, a wonderful new tale every bit as atmospheric and terrifying as its predecessor The Woman in Black."
Exclusive Media co-chairman Nigel Sinclair added, "It's thrilling to be able to work with someone of Susan's literary caliber on such a fascinating project. It's also fantastic to have Jon on board again to help bring this new story to life on the big screen."
This shouldn't be surprising news since the film's box office performance has made it the highest grossing British horror film of the last twenty years and was a surprising critical hit as well.
The Most Awesome Lego Set Ever
Most of us are probably too old to play with toys and LEGO sets. That wouldn't stop me from finding the nearest 6-year-old relative and joining them in some Shaun of the Dead LEGO fun-time. Because seriously, who wouldn't want to play with zombie LEGO pieces and acting out scenes at The Winchester.
Well thanks to Simon Pegg and a creative Shaun of the Dead fan with the Flickr username of Yatkuu, we are all one step to officially living in a world that can provide us with a genuine Shaun of the Dead LEGO set. LEGO has some fairly specific requirements to even garner consideration of a new LEGO set. Thanks to Pegg and his Twitter following, the 10,000 supporter threshold was a piece of cake. Now, the LEGO Powers That Be will meet and review what has been lovingly termed "The Winchester Project" to see if it will become an official LEGO product. It's not their usual thing, but here's hoping...since these look pretty sweet.
Here's the video of Simon Pegg discussing the Shaun of the Dead LEGO set on Conan.
First Trailer Released For Woody Allen's To Rome With Love Emerges
The new trailer for To Rome With Love, has hit and Woody Allen's new film has been given a limited release on June 22. It stars Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page. It follows a number of people in Italy (American and Italian, some resident and some visitors) and their romances, adventures and predicaments. I'm liking what I'm seeing so far; it looks like a much more "Woody" kind of movie than Midnight in Paris so take that for what you will. I'm also happy to see Woody back on screen; Allen is actually an underrated comedic performer and while he may not be the greatest actor, he never quite gets his due in that department. Plus, is Jesse Eisenberg not a perfect young Allen or what?
What do you think of To Rome With Love's trailer? Will it match Midnight in Paris? Are you happy to see Woody appearing in another of his movies?
Ender's Game Is Up And Running
The new production blog for Ender's Game is now officially up and we've gotten our first official set photo:
Yeah, it's a door. But you see, that's a very special door. That, my friends, is the door to the BATTLE ROOM. It is the production team's first of what they have promised to be many looks at the film in the weeks (and presumably months) to come. It was accompanied with the following blurb from producers:
"If you think regular school is tough, try it in a rotating space station. And by the way, do you have a hall pass for hall number 0058? Because if you don't, you could end up scrubbing the showers. When you first arrive at Battle School, all you perceive is its utility, its functionality… that is until you enter the BATTLE ROOM, where there is no up, no down, and ZERO G's. Movie making can become overly reliant on digital worlds, and nothing can replace a well-built set that you can see and touch and stand in the middle of, fooling you into thinking you are really there. Enjoy this small taste of Ender's big world. We'll see a lot more in the weeks to come."
In addition to the set photo, producer (and screenwriter extraordinaire) Roberto Orci answered a number of fan queries during a recent talkback session some of which were collected by Enser's Ansible:
On the filmmakers' communication and cooperation with Ender's Game author Orson Scott Card: "We have been in meaningful contact with Mr. Card. He is as smart as his book indicates. He has been a great resource for us in every way."
On the possibility of sequels: "Sequels are tricky. For one, we never like to count on sequels until they hatch. On the other hand, Card has written so much awesome material in this universe that there is much to figure out. Hope we get the chance."
On the film's faithfulness to the source material: "When adapting something so beloved You gotta make sure you keep the soul of it intact while doing what is necessary to translate to live action. I know that's not much of an answer, but i can tell you that we are treating the book preciously."
And finally Orci addressed his thoughts on the Ender/Speaker and Shadow books in the series:
QUESTION: "What are your feelings on the Shadow books and the Speaker books? Do you feel it's possible to adapt both to the screen, or do you think the latter series would be too difficult, disconnected and abstract for audiences? I'm not asking what Summit's plans for the franchise are – I just think it would be interesting to know what you think."
ROBERTO ORCI: "Certain elements may lend themselves well to adaptation."
That last one was kind of cryptic, no? I think I'm pretty sure a studio executive somewhere out there got goosebumps and they can't think of why. Ender's Game, based on the award-winning novel by Card, follows a young student training in military school who may be the last hope for humanity in a futuristic war against a hostile alien race. The movie, directed by Gavin Hood, stars Asa Butterfield, Abigail Breslin, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis and Hailee Steinfeld. It has a tentative release date of March 15, 2013.
This week we only have one new major release hitting theaters, as American Reunion – the fourth installment of the (main) American Pie franchise – hits theaters along with the 3D re-release for one of Hollywood's biggest and most successful blockbusters, Titanic. Also hitting theaters in smaller, limited releases are the Morgan Spurlock documentary, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope, the deadpan indie comedy, Damsels in Distress and the continued roll-out of one of the year's best reviewed action films, The Raid: Redemption.
Is The Hunger Games going to win in its third week against more competition like American Reuninon and Titanic 3D?
Will you be seeing Titanic 3D once again on the big screen? Will you be dragged to it by a significant other?
Do you want to see another American Pie sequel after this, or should this be the end of the line for the franchise?
Are you planning on seeing any or all of these? Which looks better? Let me know in the comments.
Due to incredibly frustrating computer issues leading to a time crunch, all of last week's comments will be responded to next week.
Trailer of the Week: NSFW Red-Band Trailer for Seth McFarlane's Feature Directorial Debut Ted
Funny Video of the Week: "Charlize Theron's Kinky Sex Tape"