The 2014 film Edge of Tomorrow, known to confused home-video purchasers by the title Live. Die. Repeat., ended its MC Escheresque plot structure with one twist more. Our valiant heroes Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt fought through wave after wave of alien invaders, and though they both lost their lives in the process, they bested the final boss. But as Cruise lay dying, the queen’s blood got on him and ported him back in time yet again, this time somehow to a past where the alien menace has already been beaten back. The weird timeline tampering left some viewers scratching their heads, but that film’s writer Christopher McQuarrie has plans for them.
America had such big plans for the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo franchise, once upon a time. The English translation of the first novel sold like Swedish hotcakes, then David Fincher’s film adaptation earned raves from critics, cleaned up at the box-office (nothing like a little rape and sadism to lighten up the holiday season), and picked up five Oscar nominations with one win. A franchise seemed all but assured, and yet nothing came together. Fincher and star Rooney Mara eventually lost interest, and while there are still rumblings that a new creative team will take over the material and give it another shot, it looks like Dragon-mania was just one of those weird national crazes. Like Jersey Shore, but easier to watch.
With Spider-Man: Homecoming due July 7 and star Tom Holland teasing the possibility of two more sequels for this latest iteration of the web-head, the franchise’s future has become a topic of interest. And no detail fascinates comic book movie fans quite so much as villainous personnel; Spidey’s many disciples will always be curious to learn which face from the hero’s extensive, colorful rogues gallery will get a big-screen treatment. And while today did not bring confirmation of anything that will happen, it did bring confirmation of one thing that definitely won’t.
Do you wanna build a snowman... again? Disney sure hopes so, as they announced in a new press release today that their mega-successful Frozen would gain a sort of mini-sequel in an upcoming short to be bundled with Coco. But Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is no ordinary lead-in to the main event; it sounds like quite a bit has gone into the short that Disney repeatedly refers to as a “featurette,” running at 21 minutes and including four new songs, as well as returning cast members Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, and Jonathan Groff. Parents, batten down the hatches, for a new ‘Let It Go’ is close at hand.
As we all learned from Sully, planes are not to be trusted. The massive, sophisticated machinery in these multi-million dollar aircrafts can be completely undone by something as small and minor as an errant bird, sending the passengers into a screaming spiral of terror. As pilot Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, Tom Hanks heroically guided an airliner into the Hudson River for a safe crash landing, and Harrison Ford survived a similarly perilous plane crash while giving his amateur pilot’s license a workout not too long ago. Another day, another celebrity-adjacent story pertaining to aircraft engine failure.
A thought to chew on this morning: is the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War the It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World of superhero movies? Both films sought to engineer success by jam-packing as many celebrities and other known quantities into its run time, assured that volume of wattage would surely translate to box-office paydirt. In the case of Stanley Kramer’s epic comedy, it worked, but the jury’s still out on Marvel’s latest superpalooza. Today brings the news that yet another big name will indeed be shoehorned into the third installment of the Avengers ensemble franchise, and fans are sure to be pleased.
Tom Cruise has made it a professional point of pride that he does all of his own stunts. 54 years old, still ripped, and with nothing to lose, he’s made headlines and earned respect by jumping out of every structure imaginable, developing proficiency with various firearms, and most recently and notably, clinging to the side of a aircraft in active flight like a little gecko with a death wish. It would appear there’s nothing the man won’t do (aside from keep his shirt on for the full duration of a studio film), and a special report from the set of his upcoming thriller American Made has raised the bar even higher.
Aside from the unceasing public scrutiny, being an A-list actor doesn’t seem so bad. You get paid obscene amounts of money, meet interesting people, and get to travel all across this green Earth in the name of work. And today, you can share in that last part with none other than professional shirtless runner Tom Cruise! Universal will unwrap The Mummy a week from this Friday, and to further stoke excitement for the launch of their new, hilariously-named Dark Universe, the studio has unveiled a video featurette in which star Cruise brings the viewer on a tour of the far-flung locations on which the film was shot.
Is Johnny Depp somehow Johnny Depp-proof? With the early receipts for the latest installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise now promising another blockbuster in the bag, it would appear that the actor’s somehow invulnerable to his own noxious public profile. Though the revelation that he had physically abused longtime partner Amber Heard came to light last year, it apparently hasn’t diminished his earning potential, and frustrating as that may be, it means we’re in for a whole lot more Depp. And if producer Jerry Bruckheimer has anything to say about, more Jack Sparrow in specific.
From the ranks of the Sons of Anarchy cast, Taylor Sheridan has emerged as one of the buzziest screenwriters working today. He took Cannes by storm and scored an intelligent sleeper hit with Sicario, his south-of-the-border drug war drama. He made it to the Oscars with another yarn of crime and the solemn-faced folks working to stop it, the timely Western standoff Hell or High Water. And now, the accomplished writer has delivered another potboiler set on the grand expanses of the American plains, with a sweetened deal: he’ll get the chance to prove himself as a filmmaker, too, taking his debut directorial credit on Wind River.
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