A year ago, it became clear that Warner Bros. had big plans for The Twilight Zone, a new event movie bearing the title of Rod Serling's classic, brilliant television series that aired from 1959-1964 and remains crazy-relevant today. After mulling over some of the most recognizable names out there to direct, the studio hired Matt Reeves to revitalize The Twilight Zone. Then we heard nothing throughout 2012, despite the studio's initial hope to have production underway by summer.
So World War Z, the adaptation of Max Brooks's bestselling oral history of an almost-zombie apocalypse, is set for reshoots this fall. That wouldn't be uncommon, but the production's additional photography will encompass almost two months, a not-insignificant reshoot period that will focus on rejiggering the film's last act. Shortly after we found out about the reshoots last month, Paramount Pictures hired Damon Lindelof to write new material for World War Z, but it turns out that Lindelof's fellow Lost veteran Drew Goddard is actually the writer carrying out the majority of these rewrites.
Found-footage films are not a new concept; especially in horror movies where the idea goes all the way back to ‘1999’s The Blair Witch Project and has been utilized in such recent hits as Cloverfield, the Paranormal Activity franchise and The Devil Inside. However, two films in particular this year, Chronicle, and Project X, have pushed the envelope by incorporating the found-footage concept into entirely new film genres. With Warner Bros.’ Project X, the technique was used to illustrate a high school party movie, and with 20th Century Fox’s Chronicle, which is available on Blu-Ray and DVD beginning May 15th, the concept was fused with the super hero genre to great success as the film was an international box office hit.
First time director Josh Trank, along with screenwriter and childhood friend Max Landis, created a found-footage story about three friends who find something mysterious that gifts them with unthinkable super powers. The film follows Seattle high-school seniors Andrew (Dane DeHaan), his cousin Matt (Alex Russell), and Steve (Michael B. Jordan), as they form a close bond after receiving telekinetic abilities from an unknown object. The boys use their newfound abilities for mischief and personal gain until Andrew begins to utilize them for more nefarious purposes. Since the initial success of the film, Trank has been mentioned as a possible director for several upcoming comic book based films including a Fantastic Four reboot, a Venom Spin-off, and an adaptation of Image Comic’s The Red Star.
In honor of the Blu-ray and DVD release of the film, I recently had a chance to chat with director Josh Trank about Chronicle, as well as his rumored involvement in those upcoming comic book adapted film properties. Trank discussed his recent movie, developing the story with screenwriter Max Landis, marrying the super hero and found-footage genres, his actual cinematic inspirations for the film, what the studio wanted him to change, the technical aspects of directing a found-footage movie, and which comic book-based film he will direct next.
Finally opening in theaters on April 13th is the long awaited horror film from writer/producer Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and writer/director Drew Goddard (Cloverfield, Lost) called The Cabin in the Woods. The film was first shot in 2009 but due to MGM’s file for bankruptcy in 2010 the movie’s release was up in the air until Lionsgate picked up the film early last year. The film finally had its premiere last month at the South by Southwest film festival and has been praised by fans and critics alike as being a “game changer” for the genre and on par with classic horror films like Evil Dead II.
On the surface the premise is not unusual for the genre, five stereotypical college friends go to a remote cabin in the woods for a vacation and are terrorized by scary creatures. However, The Cabin in the Woods has a mind-blowing secret that audiences will soon discover, which may change the way they look at the film. With Whedon and Goddard behind the scenes, two of the men that helped create groundbreaking television series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lost; you know to expect the unexpected. This isn’t your daddy’s horror film! The movie stars several actors familiar to Whedon fans including Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers), Fran Kranz (TV’s Dollhouse), and Amy Acker (TV’s Angel), as well as Kristen Connolly (TV’s The Good Wife), Anna Hutchison (TV’s Go Girls), Jesse Williams (TV’s Grey’s Anatomy), Brian White (Brick), Bradley Whitford (TV’s West Wing), and Academy Award nominee Richard Jenkins (The Visitor). The movie also features a surprise appearance from a legendary genre performer that adds an extra level of authenticity to the film.
I recently had a chance to speak with actor Fran Kranz who plays Marty, the resident stoner amongst the unassuming group of college kids, in The Cabin in the Woods. The actor discussed the new movie, its delay, his typical yet unique character, how he got the part, his initial reaction to first reading the script, the movie’s unexpected twists and turns, working with Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, The Evil Dead, and the film’s surprise cameo appearance.
What if I told you that there was a movie, The Cabin in the Woods, directed by Cloverfield writer Drew Goddard from a script by Goddard himself and Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon that has been completed for a dog's age and includes newly-minted movie star Chris Hemsworth in its core cast? You'd want to see a trailer, if only to prove it exists, right? Well, Lionsgate has that taken care of, as the distributor has released the first trailer for the horror tale that has sat patiently waiting for release since the total financial implosion of MGM a while back. Goddard and Whedon have long said that The Cabin in the Woods would invert expectations in the standard scary plotline finding a bunch of young people being terrorized in a remote, wooded locale, and this trailer provides our first idea of just how the film accomplishes that. Basically, it's not standard hillbillies, zombies, or flesh-eating bacteria behind all the mayhem. Watch on for more clues.
Opening in theaters on June 10th is the latest mysterious film from Star Trek director, and Cloverfield producer J.J. Abrams called Super 8. The movie stars Kyle Chandler (TV's Friday Night Lights), Ron Eldard (Black Hawk Down), and Noah Emmerich (Fair Game), as well as child actors Elle Fanning (Babel), Joel Courtney, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee, and Zach Mills (Changeling). IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had a chance to sit down exclusively with the film's child-star Joel Courtney, as well as director J.J. Abrams to discuss the film, the director's vision for the movie, Abrams' fear of having too many similarities to Cloverfield, and what it was like for him to collaborate with producer Steven Spielberg.
That the most verdant Justice Leaguer is finally getting his own event movie with Green Lantern only illuminates the plight of those lesser-known comic book heroes who have yet to get the cinematic treatment. In the comedic short A Toast to Green Lantern, a bunch of costumed titans including Wolverine, Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Thor, Batman, Nick Fury, Catwoman, and many more are giving the Lantern a toast, when fellow League member Hawkman shows up, trying to get some heat on a Hawkman movie and proceeds to have a meltdown in front of his compatriots. The short is well worth watching, and makes some salient points about superhero cinema.
As someone with 1/7 troll ancestry, I am deeply offended by the depiction of my people in the latest trailer for Troll Hunter, the Norwegian found-footage thriller from writer-director Andre Ovredal. Sure, my great-uncle is a hideous three-headed monster with a taste for human flesh, but he's also very sensitive. You'll find no shortage of impressively rendered and unabashedly offensive troll-stereotypes in the trailer, which you can watch right here, or in HD at Apple.
You want to see something really scary?
Since we’ve been talking a whole lot of Sci-Fi thanks to The Brothers Strause latest Skyline, we’ve been thinking monsters! And since the monsters there look massively intense, it seems like a good time to revisit a few classic beasties!
The science fiction genre has presented a number of terrifying aliens, including those murderous monsters in Skyline. So iamROGUE.com has put together a list of some of the scariest in the SCIFI universe. We found a number of drooling, oozing, murdering creations that you can only hope will never find their way to earth in part 2 of our Monstrous SCIFI Monsters list! You can check out Part 1 here.
I was not a fan of the announcement that Let the Right One In was being remade, and I know I wasn't alone. Never mind that I had no real faith in Matt Reeves (Cloverfield and "Felicity" episodes aren't quite enough for me), I found the Tomas Alfredson original to be so good that a remake seemed more than pointless, it was downright offensive. (What can I say, I'm a purist.)