Despite dormancy of more than a decade following Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the franchise launched by James Cameron in 1984 has, like the titular figure, proven surprisingly resilient, extending its life to two Cameron-less theatrical installments and a television series. Even after McG's Terminator: Salvation was not terribly well-received in 2009, a fifth Terminator is all but inevitable. Arnold Schwarzenegger is rather improbably attached to return to series, but director Justin Lin, who became a hugely in-demand commodity with Fast Five this summer, will no longer be involved. Probably.
When writer-director James Cameron's Avatar debuted in 2009 and became the highest-grossing movie of all time, audiences proved that they could unironically enjoy watching an overtly environmental allegory while indulging in the modern luxuries of air-conditioning and 3D movie-going. There were even many reports of people suffering post-Avatar depression because the bio-luminescent jungles of Pandora exist merely as expensive digital environs. Today, anyone suffering from that peculiar psychological malady can jump for joy, as Pandora will soon be physically recreated as an attraction at Disney Parks.
According to no less a source than the Disney Parks Blog, Disney's Bob Iger and Tom Staggs announced at a press conference today that a newly formed long-term deal between Walt Disney Imagineering and Fox Filmed Entertainment will see Avatar locations incorporated into Disney's amusement parks. James Cameron, producer Jon Landau, and their team at Lightstorm Entertainment will be providing creative oversight.
There have been a lot of rumors lately about The Expendables 2, a sequel to Sylvester Stallone’s 2010 testosterone-filled, action-packed extravaganza. Some of them have turned out to be true, and others have been false. The original film earned over $250 million worldwide at the box office and featured a long list of ‘80s and ‘90s action stars including Stallone, Jason Statham (The Transporter), Jet Li (Romeo Must Die), Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV), Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler), Bruce Willis (Die Hard), and Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator 2: Judgment Day).
While Stallone co-wrote and directed the first film, it has been previously announced that Simon West (Con-Air) would be taking over directing duties from “Rambo” and David Agosto and Ken Kaufman would be crafting the script. Part of the fun of the first film was seeing all of these unique action stars on the big screen at the same time, and there have been many rumors about which actors “Rocky” might ask to join him for the next installment. The impressive list of hopefuls include Jean Claude Van Damme (Timecop), Chuck Norris (The Delta Force), Scott Adkins (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Hulk Hogan (No Holds Barred), Steven Segal (Out For Justice), Tom Arnold (True Lies), Mr. T (Rocky III), Carl Weathers (Predator), Vin Diesel (xXx), Dwayne Johnson (Fast Five), Charlie Sheen (Wall Street), Christopher Lambert (Highlander), John Travolta (Pulp Fiction), Nicolas Cage (The Rock), and Christian Slater (True Romance).
While it was recently announced that Willis and Schwarzenegger would be reprising their roles (in a larger capacity), and that Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van Damme, and Scott Adkins had been confirmed to join the cast, one actor who will not be appearing in the upcoming sequel is Tom Arnold. Last week another news site reported that the comedian/actor might be appearing in The Expendables 2, but last night I had a chance to catch up with the actor at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood and he denied the report. I had the pleasure of speaking with Tom Arnold on the red carpet at a release party for X-Men: First Class, which is available on Blu-ray and DVD today. I asked the actor point blank if he will be appearing in The Expendables 2 and here is what he had to say about the script for the film, the rumor, and how it all got started.
When The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was on the way back in 2006, it was generally viewed as the sad death rattle of an overextended novelty franchise. Thanks to the confident direction and action orchestration of Justin Lin, though, the stand-alone story proved that there was some life left in the street-racing series, and after bringing back the original cast with Fast & Furious, Lin ensured that this summer's Fast Five was the biggest film of the franchise, earning over $600 million worldwide. He's been quite enthusiastic about returning for another round of automotive mayhem, and today Lin confirmed that a sixth The Fast and the Furious would be his next film, while also providing an update on the Terminator sequel to which he remains attached.
Throughout the Final Destination series, the Grim Reaper hasn't needed a huge amount of human assistance to finish off most of the survivors of catastrophes. A faulty power cord, a well-placed laundry line, or a malfunctioning escalator seem to do the trick just fine, yet in Final Destination 5, survivors will begin picking people off in the hope that they can be spared Death's elaboration machinations. Based on the second trailer for the not-really-titled Final Five, though, the Reaper is still in fine Rube Goldbergian form. Word to the wise: if you recently made it through a major bridge collapse, other survivors of which have been dying left and right, do not, I repeat, do not get laser eye surgery or go to your acupuncture appointment.
Netflix's streaming Watch Instantly service is fast becoming America's favorite way to watch movies. The library of available titles is so vast and mutable that you, the avid instant watcher, could no doubt use a guide as you navigate the streaming frontier.
Luckily for you, we'll be here every Tuesday to update you on the latest titles available for instant-watching, as well as bringing attention some gems and even some enjoyable calamities out there in the instantly watchable wilds.
When last we saw Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana as ten foot tall blue cat people on Pandora at the end of Avatar, they had successfully revolted against greedy human colonists and their futuristic conveniences. Still, the human thirst for unobtanium remains unquenchable, and our tenacious species will no doubt return to get our grubby meathooks all over that sweet space-ore in the two Avatar sequels that writer-director James Cameron is developing. Cameron himself talked about the progress of the sequels, which will be filmed back-to-back for releases tentatively set at December 2014 and December 2015.
More than a decade ago, James Cameron's hugely expensive Titantic became the biggest movie of all time up until that point. It was a cultural sensation across all demographics, with pubescent girls in particular flocking to see Leonardo DiCaprio's anachronistic haircut, and boys sitting shocked at the Kate Winslet's earth-shattering nudity. The film even cleaned up at the Academy Awards. And yet, within a year or so, the backlash began. Now that seemingly no one will admit to ever enjoying the film that held them in thrall back in the spring of '98, Titanic will return. A 3D re-release will hit theaters on April 6, 2012, exactly 100 years after the ill-fated ship set sail.
Just last week, Fast Five director Justin Lin publicly said that the fifth Terminator film, which he's attached to direct with Arnold Schwarzenegger once again starring, did not yet have a studio and that it would need to find a collaborative home. At the time, he also said that in three to four weeks, things would be much clearer. Well, they're already considerably clearer, as independent film financier Megan Ellison has won a bidding war for the Terminator rights, and will now begin to look for a distributor on two possible time-traveling robot adventures.
Earlier this week, I praised the marketing team at Warner Bros for the appropriately jawbone-less teaser poster for Final Destination 5. Despite that poster's note that the fifth entry in the Death-picks-off-young-people-one-by-one franchise will be "in 3D," apparently somebody felt that it didn't properly convey that Final Five (not a real title) will be in 3D. So there's now another anatomically correct poster, but this time, there's no doubt that three dimensions are involved.