Life kinda sucks when you’re a Disney pirate. One day you’re going about your business, plundering and looting in as family friendly a manner as you can muster, and the next thing you know you’re a undying ghost with all kinds of weird restrictions. Collect the gold, avoid moonlight, walk on water but not on land… honestly, is there even a rulebook for this sort of thing? The trial-and-error process these poor pirates must go through to figure out the boundaries of their life has to be exhausting.
We’ve reached one of my favorite times of the year: the annual announcement by the Social Security Administration of the most popular baby names from the previous year. Why is that such a big deal, you might ask? Because each year we get to shake our heads at the number of parents who jump on the pop culture hype train and name their children after movie and television characters. While this year’s list showed that old-fashioned names such as Liam, Mason, and Olivia are back in style, it also featured a predictable handful of names from popular 2015 franchises. Sorry, kids.
With the recent announcement that Transformers: The Last Knight would be hitting theaters two days earlier — moving from Friday, June 23 to Wednesday, June 21 — fans are closer than ever to seeing their favorite Autobots (and humans) throw down against a reluctantly evil Optimus Prime. This is the summer of heel turns by beloved franchise characters; first we saw Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto betray his family in The Fate of the Furious, and now we’re counting down the days until Optimus Prime stabs Bumblebee in the face. Rough summer for heroes, it would seem.
When Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro aren’t busy trying to figure out ways to digitally de-age the latter in Netflix movies about professional hitmen, they do field offers from other studios. That seems to be the case now with Imperative Entertainment, the production house that recently snapped up the rights for David Grann’s non-fiction novel Killers Of The Flower Moon: The Osage Murders And The Birth Of The FBI. After spending a whopping $5 million dollars for the rights, Imperative immediately pivoted into convincing the two Hollywood stars — and their frequent collaborator Leonard DiCaprio — to accept the project on their behalf.
Sometimes a movie and a release date just make sense. While blockbuster Hollywood releases can often feel like a game of musical chairs — where every studio scrambles to find a summer release date that isn’t already occupied by a superhero movie or major franchise — occasionally, a movie hits theaters at just the right to really leverage a holiday. Take Amy Schumer’s Snatched. With the film set for an April 12 release date, it is perfectly situated to take advantage of Mother’s Day weekend. For once, you can take your mom out to a movie that you might both actually enjoy.
While nobody would argue that Hollywood needs to make more movies about Hollywood, there does seem to be an opening for Hollywood to make more movies about the impact of movies in general. We spend hundreds (even thousands) of hours each year watching films, and yet, many of these movies don’t really explore the impact that movies themselves have on our lives and our culture. At the risk of getting a little too meta, a smart screenwriter might tackle the notion of how the movies affect the life of someone on the outside of the industry.
If we live to be a hundred years old, we may never see another casting process take the internet by storm quite like Disney’s untitled Han Solo movie. Some rumors suggest that the studio looked at thousands of actors for the iconic Star Wars character; this led to dozens of different alleged studio shortlists for the role. Remember when Miles Teller and Dave Franco were the names most likely to step into Harrison Ford’s shoes? That took place one year and about a million Star Wars rumors ago.
If you read up on the life of explorer Gertrude Bell, it’s abundantly clear that this is a woman whose story should be told. In 2003, The Guardian devoted an entire article to the influence her cartography had on the modern Middle East, with Bell practically drawing the country border of Iraq by her lonesome. And now audiences will be able to explore her legacy with Queen of the Desert (via Deadline), a new film starring Nicole Kidman and both written and directed by the legendary Werner Herzog.
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