Being in the UK, deciding what actually constitutes summer in our increasingly muddled weather environment is pretty darn difficult. Should we start with May? Well, if summer is the period of the year in which things were sunny and bright and lovely, then May, June and July are all out for us UK folks. Our summer never really arrived, overshadowed as it was by the constant humidity and rain. Instead of going with weather calculations, our summer will start in May, or the end of April to be precise, when the blockbuster season kicked-off in multiplexes, and plexes, across the land. Begin post-jump… Continue reading →
So, it seems these Terminators from the future and all that aren’t quite as tough as they would have you believe. Indeed, Terminator Salvation was taught a pretty tough lesson over the weekend as Ben Stiller and friends trounced McG’s franchise effort.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian essentially managed to get all the kids and families into its hollow web of fun to rack up $53.5m over the weekend, an unbelievable result when considering it was up against Terminator Salvation.
The Christian Bale-starring, McG-helmed fourth instalment took $43m, meaning Night at the Museum topped it by $10m, enough in 1984 to make the original Terminator and have significant change. That’s a meaningless fact but, still, that’s quite a big defeat for Terminator given its $200m budget and very high business expectations.
Star Trek managed to stay close to top spot with $21.9m, just pipping Angels & Demons in fourth with $21.4m. They were followed up in fifth by Dance Flick, the horrible-looking Wayans-run spoof, which made a horrifying $11.1m.
The top ten is rounded out by X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Obsessed, Monsters vs Aliens and 17 Again.
McG has given a revealing interview to Film Journal in which he discusses the involvement of James Cameron in Terminator: Salvation, his own chops as a director and what lies ahead for the franchise under his control.
Commenting on his relationship with James Cameron over the making of the film, he describes a meeting between the two during which mutual ground was established, noting a joke between the two that Cameron would reserve the right to dislike Terminator: Salvation and that McG would reserve the same right to hate Avatar.
Further to that, McG compares himself to Cameron in terms of the lack of films the latter had under his belt when he took on Aliens after Ridley Scott’s classic original. He says Cameron “went on to talk about how when he was making Aliens, everyone thought he was full of shit. Like ‘Who does this guy think he is, following Ridley Scott?’ Remember, he had only made a few films by that time”.
Encouragingly for the Terminator film though, McG acknowledged the view of him in the wider film world and goes on to talk about his desire to use practical effects in the new film.
On the perception of him:
“…if you look at my body of work, I fit into a box that’s not conducive to a great take on Terminator. So I can’t expect people to cut me any slack. But I know in my heart these are the films that are closest to me. I was raised on films like Terminator, Die Hard and The Road Warrior. I think intelligent action films represent the magic of movies at a very high level and I’m thrilled to throw my hat in the ring and be part of it. By now, I feel like I’ve pushed enough film through the camera to take this one responsibly and deliver. And with the help of Christian, Jonah and Stan, I think we’ve done it.”
On his use of practical special effects for the action in Terminator:
“I wanted all of the action based in reality with a respect for physics and I wanted it to have a tactile reality for the audience. That’s why we did so much practically, to really convey the difficulty of a world under duress. I didn’t want clean, shiny Logan’s Run Terminators. I wanted Children of Men/Mad Max Terminators.”
What has set things alight online however is his discussion of plans for future instalments in the series if he gets his way. On this, McG says:
“I strongly suspect the next movie is going to take place in a [pre-Judgment Day] 2011,” McG reveals. “John Connor is going to travel back in time and he’s going to have to galvanize the militaries of the world for an impending Skynet invasion. They’ve figured out time travel to the degree where they can send more than one naked entity. So you’re going to have hunter killers and transports and harvesters and everything arriving in our time and Connor fighting back with conventional military warfare, which I think is going to be fucking awesome. I also think he’s going to meet a scientist that’s going to look a lot like present-day Robert Patrick [who famously played the T-1000 in Terminator 2], talking about stem-cell research and how we can all live as idealized, younger versions of ourselves.”
Everything still sounds pretty encouraging for this at the moment and, after his warming desire to use practical effects over CGI and blue-screen, I can’t help but want this to succeed. The ideas all seem right, let’s just hope his execution is spot-on too.
So I’ve been extremely busy with film-watching and outings all this week, so I have had no time to put together nice posts and news for you all to enjoy. Today though, sitting in bed and vegging like a pro, I will provide a round-up of all the interesting happenings from the past week in film.
It’s been confirmed that Jonathan Nolan will not be credited for writing Terminator Salvation. In laterally-related news, Christian Bale said he will commit to the next Batman movie, with or without the presence of Christopher Nolan.
Universal has confirmed plans to remake Drop Dead Fred, the cult classic early-90s movie starring Rik Mayall, with Russell Brand to take over the lead role. This will go alongside the previously announced remake of Dudley Moore-vehicle Arthur for our cheeky chappy.
An interview with Lauren Shuler Donner has seen her say that spin-off vehicles for both Gambit and Deadpool will come, if she has her way. Given the utterly awful Wolverine, that would be something of a result to have a movie which will provide us with easily the two most interesting characters from the film.
Todd McFarlane has entered talks over bringing Spawn back to the screen. It was made before to a very poor reception in 1997. During the interview, with IESB, he also talked a little about the David Fincher-helmed Torso, the adaptation of the Brian Michael Bendis graphic novel. That was dropped by Paramount but McFarlane believes another house will pick it up given the presence of Matt Damon in the lead and Rachel McAdams alongside him.
Some photos have emerged of Megan Fox in Jonah Hex, the adaptation of the John Albano-penned DC series. As you would imagine from a movie about a gonzo version of the Wild West, Fox has eschewed the demure look in favour of chicken house chic. Fox did experience a mild disappointment this week, beat to the FHM 100 Sexiest Women poll’s top spot by Girls Aloud’s Cheryl Cole.
Rainn Wilson, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Natalie Portman have joined the cast of Hesher, an indie dramedy to be directed by Spencer Susser. /Film has a host of extra information on this, including a really bewitching zombie short directed by Susser.
Here’s an odd one. The next movie coming from Zhang Yimou, the helmer of the astounding Hero and House of Flying Daggers, is reportedly a remake of the Coens’ Blood Simple.
McG and Michael Bay could well end up slapping ’em out on the table and bringing out the rulers, should the challenge put forth by the former to the latter become reality. Yes, McG has challenged Bay to a dick-measuring contest.
So apparently Oliver Stone, Michael Douglas and Shia LeBoeuf have signed up to take on a sequel to Wall Street, Stone’s visceral attack on the lack of ethics involved in big money trading. It seems a little late at this point but, praise be, no Charlie Sheen.
On the business side, the merger between agency giant William Morris and Endeavour has been approved. Relativity and Lionsgate have brokered a distribution agreement which will cover around five movies per year. Time Warner has announced a 14 per cent fall in profits in the first quarter, primarily owing to problems with AOL, which it is looking to spin-off imminently, and in Time Inc, the magazine side of the conglomerate.
Cinematical has a review of Departures, the Japanese foreign film Oscar winner from this year.
Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro will open the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes.
Benicio del Toro is reportedly in talks to play Brett Easton Ellis in an adaptation of his Lunar Park.
Here’s a first look at Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man 2.
The Forgotten, the indie comic series by Evan Young and Jareth Grealish, has been optioned for a movie adaptation.
Bruce Willis is reportedly being courted to star in Red, an adaptation of the Warren Ellis-penned series.
The BBC has commissioned more The Thick of It from Armando Ianucci, coming on the back of the success of In the Loop.
Warner Bros has acquired the rights to Death Note, the manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba.
Mike Newell is in talks to direct a new version of The Lone Ranger.
Fox Searchlight has picked up Whip It, the directorial debut of Drew Barrymore starring Ellen Page.
Iran’s About Elly has won the jury prize at Tribeca.
The musical is based on an 1891 play by Frank Wedekind which follows a group of German teenagers of the comptemporary period who indulge in and discover sexuality, taking in subjects like masturbation, abortion, rape, abuse and suicide. It all sounds quite racey and filled with proto-Easton Ellis ennui but the show has been a major success, winning a boat of Tony awards.
How this fits with the general aesthetic of McG, I really don’t know. I think he’s coming up for a major acid test with Terminator Salvation so, post that movie, we’ll be able to grasp better whether he could take this source material and craft an interesting, thought-provoking art piece or, as is presently more likely, a glossed up, nudity-filled, hyper-cut bore.