The Big Screen Bulletin 03.18.13: Oz the Great and Powerful Takes the Box Office Again!
Posted by Steve Gustafson on 03.18.2013
News and thoughts on Henry Cavill discussing his role in Man of Steel, the cast and crew talking G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the latest Star Wars casting rumors, Batista joining Guardians of the Galaxy, Kevin Eastman weighing in on Ninja Turtles, the Kick-Ass 2 trailer and more!
Welcome to the Big Screen Bulletin! My name is Steve Gustafson and this is where we hit the big movie news from the weekend and anything else going on in the world of Hollywood!
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I love writing for 411mania. Not only is it filled with great writing, they give you a lot of leeway to explore what you want to write and column ideas. The Hollywood 5 & 1 that you're reading has gone under a number of changes. It's spawned a number of other columns in the other sections. It's been fun to write and I will continue to write it as long as they'll have me. While I didn't come up with the Big Screen Bulletin, it too has been a joy to do as well.
Close to a year ago I had an idea for a new column. Something that was unlike anything the site had. A little...off the beaten path. I sat on the idea because I didn't want to start it until I was sure I would be able to commit to it. Recently I looked at things and decided it was time. Starting in 2 weeks I will be introducing a new column into the 411mania universe. One that will cause more debate than a Nick Diaz post in the MMA section, more divisive than a WWE/TNA argument in the Wrestling section, inspire more conversation than a Drake update in the Music section, more anticipated than a new game trailer in the Game section, and more exciting than an AJ Grey picture...anywhere!
I'll be dropping more details and the column name next week but I'm pretty excited about it. You will be too. Oh yeah!
1. Oz the Great and Powerful $42.2 million ($145 million total) READ THE REVIEW!
2. The Call - $17.1 million ($17.1 million total)
3. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone - $10.3 million ($10.3 million total)
4. Jack the Giant Slayer - $6.2 million ($53.9 million total)
5. Identity Thief - $4.5 million ($123.7 million total) READ THE REVIEW!
6. Snitch - $3.5 million ($37.3 million total) READ THE REVIEW!
7. 21 & Over - $2.3 million ($21.9 million total) READ THE REVIEW!
8. Silver Linings Playbook - $2.6 million ($124.6 million total) READ THE REVIEW!
9. Safe Haven - $2.5 million ($67 million total)
10. Escape From Planet Earth - $2.2 million ($52.2 million total)
Box Office Survey!
Instead of me just repeating what you can see, how about we ask some questions about the weekend box office? Answer in the comments!
* Are you surprised Oz the Great and Powerful took #1 again?
* The Call surpassed expectations. What's the reason?
* With a strong comedic cast, why did The Incredible Burt Wonderstone flop?
What a cool story! After years of appeals from its fans, Veronica Mars has finally received the green light for a movie adaptation, although it has taken an unusual approach to raise funding.
As you probably heard, Warner Bros is the rights-holding studio on the television series, which follows its heroine as she attempts to solve the murder of her best friend. Series creator Rob Thomas and actress Kristen Bell had an ingenius idea for funding, setting a $2 million target on the fundraising site Kickstarter, a sum that was reached in just 10 hours.
The Wrap is reporting that Warner has decided to give the project the green light, but the film's production budget will come entirely from the money it has raised itself. No additional funding will arrive from the studio. Just how production will take shape remains to be seen, as this is somewhat uncharted territory for a major studio to be involved with.
All eyes will be on this one. But if Veronica Mars can do it, who ELSE can do it?
So I ask...
What series do you think would be ideal for a Kickstarter funded movie?
No poll this week. Answers in the comments section!
Casting of the Week!
More like FANTASY casting. It seems EVERYONE is talking about it...because EVERYONE is talking about Star Wars! Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has said he would like a role in the new Star Wars film. The WWE Champion spoke with Adelaide Now in Australia while promoting G.I. Joe: Retaliation and said he would love to be in the film, which is being directed by J.J. Abrams.
"I played with two lines of action figures when I was a kid: G.I. Joe and Star Wars," he said. "By the way, because we didn't have a lot of money, I used to steal them. I'd just rip open the packages and shove 'em in my pockets ... like a lot of kids. I got caught a couple of times, got my ass kicked by my parents. So when I got the call saying, 'How do you feel about becoming the leader of the G.I. Joes?', it was like if I got a call from George Lucas saying, 'I want you to be in Star Wars." He added, "I'm gonna call J.J. and you're gonna help by printing it and I'm gonna be in Star Wars!"
Do you want The Rock in Star Wars?
Who else wants a piece of the Star Wars pie? Here is a video where Joss Whedon, Bryan Singer, Mila Kunis, Jason Statham, and more discuss whether they'd want to be a part of either Star Wars: Episode VII or one of the sequel:
Warner Bros. has been trying to get a Justice League movie off the ground for a while now and at one point had Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller set to direct a take on the DC comic book superteam. That attempt was much-derided on the internet and eventually fell apart for various reason. While promoting G.I. Joe: Retaliation, D.J. Catrona spoke with CS.net about the film, in which he would have played...Superman.
"That was a long slog," he said of the film's ill-fated attempts to come together. "We were playing with that for about a year. That was during the writer's strike time and it started and it stopped. That was a big bummer. I was really, really excited to work with George Miller and the script was really, really good. The stuff that WETA was doing was amazing. It's just a shame that we didn't get to finish that because it was going to be really, really cool."
He added that he didn't take the poor online reaction well, noting, "I did the Justice League thing the wrong way. I read too much on the internet. You can't do that. The internet is the devil. Or the internet is not the devil, the comment boards are the devil. Believe me, I've been on the opposite side on there, too saying, 'You can't let that guy be that character!' But really it was WETA, WETA, WETA, WETA, WETA. They are amazing and they can make anybody look like anything. It was a damn shame that we didn't get to finish that. I promise you that it would have been amazing. It would have been incredible. The scale of this was fantastical. It was a Lord of the Rings scale. It would have been really cool."
To share the results of the poll I did last week for "Which Should Warner Bros Pursue?"
The World's Finest! 45.12%
Justice League! 31.16%
Neither! Both are DOOMED! 23.72%
Not a real good sign for Justice League.
Man of Steel!
Anticipation is growing for Zack Snyder's einvention of the world's best-known superhero, Superman. Zack Snyder and Henry Cavill spoke about their approach to the all-new epic, Man of Steel "We've tried to make a Superman movie where he does stuff and you go, ĹYeah, if I was Superman, that's what I'd do,'" Zack Snyder said. "Even though he's an alien, he's more relatable, more human."
Or as leading man/alien Cavill put it, "This is a Superman for a modern age. It's not betraying anything that Superman is, but it is grounding everything in reality. It's the story of this incredible being who can do incredible things, but whom we can associate with. Because he's gone through troubling stuff and had to make tough choicesů"
David S. Goyer chimed in about the new approach to Superman to Total Film magazine as well. "It's something Chris [Nolan] tried hard to do with the Batman films," said Goyer, who had script and/or story credits across The Dark Knight trilogy. "I'm genuinely pleased with how much secrecy we've been able to maintain...There's so much of the movie that people don't know, that hasn't been touched upon. The trailer's just the tiniest, tiniest tip of the iceberg."
And on the subject of Ĺdarkness', Goyer explained, "Relatable and realistic doesn't necessarily mean dark. I think it would be inappropriate for us to approach a Superman film as if we were doing The Dark Knight...The Batman films are a lot more nihilistic; Superman has always been a story about hope."
Also speaking, Amy Adams who will be playing Lois Lane, opened up:
What did you most want to convey with your version of Lois?
"I wanted her to be a woman other women could relate to. And not be sort of a pest. Lois can be kind of omnipresent, turning up at very inconvenient times - which she does! - but you understand her reasons."
You've been in the running beforeů
"When J.J. Abrams and Brett Ratner were planning a version, I actually did a screen test with Matt Bomer. And then when Superman Returns came round I read again. So this was my third go at it."
Are you excited for Man of Steel?
Plenty of G.I. Joe news here! Director John Chu recently spoke about his work on G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Here are the highlights:
Did He Specifically Go After G.I. Joe: Retaliation?: Yeah, I was finishing up my other movie and I always loved action adventure. It's something I always wanted to do. Obviously, I played with Joes as a kid and loved them. To me, it was an opportunity to do something cool with Joe. I was talking with Adam Goodman at the time and it happened to be the moment they were looking for a director. He asked what I liked about it and I told him how, when I was a little kid, I would take them out into the backyard and play in the mud, dirt and the water. I loved the aesthetic, which was week-long adventures in my backyard and I love the idea of making a movie like that because I don't think we have a lot of those movies. Fantasy-style with hard action.
Was It Hard Selling Himself To The Studio?: Yeah, going after any movie there is a lot of competition to try and get it. To me, it was more about "I've always loved movement." Storytelling and movement without words. Even when watching John Wayne on the porch or Cyd Charisse taking off her jacket and revealing her red dress. All those things communicate so much more than paragraph dialogue could and that's what I'm fascinated with. Convincing them to hire me for the job, I guess, was just my expressing my passion for the characters and how we want to make it human while also grounding the characters. Make them individuals, because that's what I love. My Roadblock is my Roadblock. He was a person with a personality and with a different uniform then everyone else who had an arm missing and that shipment in was really cool to me.
On Stepping Into a World Left From Another Director: They're are some things we definitely knew that we couldn't abandon. My idea of what G.I. Joe is a little bit different than that and how I have always fantasized about how Joe would be. Since we are starting from a different part of the universe, we were able to make it fresh. Of course, when you put someone like Dwayne, Bruce Willis and these guys in there, it changes up the whole vibe. So no matter what, where we started it, the tone was going to be different. I never really thought we had to tie into anything visually from the first movie. Not that I had anything against it. It just isn't my style. So, like the costumes and stuff, we were able to refresh everything. Also, in the tradition of G.I. Joe, every time they release a new version, the characters would get a new costume.
On The Different Generations of GI Joe Making Things Difficult: In terms of style of this movie, there are so many different G.I. Joe generations and people who have their own ideas on G.I. Joe, which is also the biggest difficulty. You have the original Joe people, which were 12-inch dolls during the Korean war. That type of thing, which is very real. Then you have the cartoon generation that is all "Cobra Commander and Snake Eyes!" and the original fans are like, "Who the f--k are those guys?" Then you have the comic books, which take those characters and grounds it in a lot of different ways. While I watched the cartoon a lot and I thought the first movie was sort of in that realm, we are doing more like the comic book version. We have the characters, but you can see the scratches on their armor. Like, every time one character kills someone, they scratch a mark into their armor. It has a wear and tear to it. With the action, it's fun since we have all these different worlds that we jump into. The ninja world and the military world and each one we spend a lot of time in. We go to Pakistan, Washington D.C., the Himalayas, a valley, the desert, Japan. All over. With each, we employed a different style which has made this process really a lot of fun. In one scene we use GoPro's that we can throw around and at people. In another scene, everything is smooth and slick. It is dictated by the movement and the story we are trying to tell. I have always loved action adventure like T2 and Indiana Jones. To me, the martial arts stuff I love. Kung Fu Hustle is one of my favorite movies. Also, I always watch Goodfellas, before I start a movie just because, when you think everything has been done, you watch that again. It shows how normalcy in a talking scene can become this really interesting mental game-play. That is what we try to do in this movie, because we have such visual eye candy. Like, at one point we are in a cave telling a story and two people are talking. You can actually make that really interesting by being way outside the cave and just hearing them echo through it and not see where they are or just the shadow moments. We play a lot with that.
Ray Park also spoke about playing the role of Snake eyes:
On Changes to the Snake Eyes Suit: The changes with my costume are completely different. How I look and how the suit looks is completely different. It's more of an armor battle gear. Both suits from both movies were laser scanned to my body, so I had to go and stand there and they scan my body. They do the mold and make the suit. This one is more for like, ready for battle. More tailored for Snake. Chest plates and forearm, and back plate. And I actually like it. I like the look from the first movie. It was nice. But this, it's real. There's a person inside. Where as before it was... There's challenges as well. With the first one it was a challenge because I had never done anything like that before, with the suit. With the mask. I always talk about the challenges I had because I wanna perform the best way I can. Do the moves I want to do but, for something simple to me like a backward flip, is impossible to do in the suit, because the chest plate comes up and chokes you. So I have to change it a bit, which is good for the character because I'm not being myself, I'm being Snake. So I change the backflip. So instead of going backwards, I'll twist it, just so I'll have the leverage with the arms, and that's because of the chest plate. But I like that because it adds a different dimension to the character. Breathing is a lot better. My peripheral is better. But still, it's like I'm wearing sunglasses in a nightclub. But, you have to be Snake Eyes. And I like that because I really have to focus like the first movie. And I didn't talk much while I was on set, because I'm in the mask and no one could hear me anyway. So I just concentrate on what I'm doing, and breathing. I do the same with this. At least I can take it off a lot easier than the first one. So I really dig this suit. Loved the first one, and I really dig this one. I like it. I like the look of Snake. And when I see pictures of myself as Snake, I become an even bigger fanboy of myself as Snake. I really like it. I feel lucky to be playing the part in this movie. And I love the changes.
On Amping Up The Fight Scenes With Storm Shadow: Yeah, we wanted to make it real. Like it's two brothers fighting, there's a lot of aggression. Instead of flashy-flashy and doing flips in the air, we wanted to tell the story throughout the fight as well. There's a lot of good moves, a lot of great choreography that we worked on.
Last, Dwayne ĹThe Rock' Johnson recently spoke about playing Roadblock:
On Playing Roadblock: It's a lot of fun. The character's a lot of fun. You start to understand the mythology of the character, how he fits into the G.I. Joe world. It's been a lot of fun. This version of Roadblock, where it's a bit more "boots to the ground," is badass.
On Staying True to the Character: We've made sure to pay homage to all the important details that made him interesting in the world of G.I. Joe. Then we added some more layers of that, too. I love the fact that he loved poetry and he could rhyme like Jay-Z... I love that. Those are all fun, cool layers to him. And then you add the element that he could rip somebody's f--ing face off. That's fun.
On How He Got Involved in The project: S--t comes to me! [laughs] No, Paramount and Lorenzo [di Bonaventura] had come to me with the idea about joining the franchise. The pitch they had I thought was great. The first movie was really successful. After sitting down with him and Adam Goodman, who's the president over at Paramount, seeing their vision and what they wanted to do with this and how they wanted to make this movie was really appealing.
On His Online Relationship With His Fans & Posting Images From The Set: That [first] picture, it was funny. We're out in the desert. We're shooting. It's the first week. The sun was going down and we had wrapped. I told my guy who handles logistics, I said, "Take a picture of this. It's kinda cool." I got up on the dune and I saw it and it was f*cking beautiful. Well, there's G.I. Joe. [laughs]... I really enjoy it, yeah. I enjoy it because I do it and that's important. Even though I have a great social media manager and a great company who can create these ideas, it's me, fingers to the keys. I think that's important. That connection is important. But yeah, I enjoy it. And I'm fairly new to it, too. I started it in February. It took a while to understand, I think, the power of it utilized in the right way, especially when it comes to motivating people and inspiring them and making them laugh, too.
Has your opinion changed about the movie after hearing from those involved?
Looks like Guardians Of The Galaxy has found its Drax The Destroyer, with former wrestler Dave Bautista signing on for James Gunn's comic-book adaptation.
Drax is a human-born character who finds himself bestowed with awesome physical strength and the ability to produce energy blasts when he is reborn in a powerful new body. Bautista, who was last seen flexing his stuff in The Man With The Iron Fists, has nabbed the role ahead of fierce competition from fellow muscle-man Jason Momoa, who many had considered to be the front-runner for the part.
The film will follow US pilot Peter Quill (AKA Star Lord), who finds himself caught up in an intergalactic conflict, and ends up on the run with a gang of futuristic ex-cons. Bautista will join Chris Pratt's Star Lord, with Rocket Raccoon, Groot and Gamora among the other members of the team yet to be cast.
Does this casting make you nervous?
It seems the more negative press this project gets, the stronger it becomes! Michael Bay'sNinja Turtles reboot has taken plenty of hits from the series' rabid fanbase, but he does at least appear to have co-creator Kevin Eastman on side for his vision of the heroes in a half-shell.
Eastman has been talking about the approach taken by Platinum Dunes to the venerable property, and seems satisfied that the new film will be true to the characters' roots. "From everything that I've seen in the script," begins Eastman, "and the development and everything they've asked my input on specifically, it's gonna be an awesome, familiar, solid Turtles movie. It'll have everything that fans are gonna want and then some...It's all based solidly on the Turtles foundation, but they've hit the reset button. They've taken it back to the first episode, with the Turtles' first time above ground after many years of training with Master Splinter...They're making a Turtles origin that is firmly rooted in Turtles history, but a slight tweak here and a slight tweak there."
Do you buy it or has Eastman given up and just playing the Hollywood game?
As you may have heard late last week, Harry Potter's own Emma Watson seemed to be confirmed for the role of submissive female lead Anastasia in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey after hacktivist group Anonymous broke into the server of Constantin Films and published several documents, one of which had Watson attached to the role. However, don't get too excited for that possibility. Watson posted to Twitter last night rather flippantly denying the report:
"Who here actually thinks I would do 50 Shades of Grey as a movie? Like really. For real. In real life."
I don't know about you but that wasn't a denial.
Not So Dumb!
After this weeks box office results, expect this to pick up steam! Dumb & Dumber fans have had plenty to get excited about ever since the Farrellys announced that a sequel is in the pipeline, and according to Jim Carrey, it may begin shooting as soon as next year. Both Carrey and Jeff Daniels are thought to be keen on returning as Harry and Lloyd, with the Farrellys having already batted some ideas around with them as to how the story could progress.
"We're talking about it," Carrey said to Access Hollywood. "Jeff and I are really excited about it and hopefully next year we'll be able to do that." No word on the film's prospective plot as yet, save for the fact that it will take place 20 years after the events of the original, and may involve the offspring of one of our two heroes.
According to Peter Farrelly, Carrey wasn't interested in doing a sequel, until he saw the original again in a hotel.
Is this good news or bad news?
A red-band trailer for Kick-Ass 2 hit and I've been seeing both love and hate for it. Looks to be in the same vein as the first and I'll be curious to see how close they stick to the comic source.
What do you think?
Before I say GOODBYE!
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