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2018-01-23T17:49:51.518Z
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You can stop grilling Reed Morano about Expanded Universe trivia: she’s not directing Star Wars.

After The Handmaid’s Tale director emerged from a two-and-a-half hour meeting with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennnedy earlier this week, the Star Wars community was abuzz with speculation over whether Morano would be the first female director to helm a Star Wars franchise film. But sadly, it seems like that is not meant to be.

In a video interview with IMDb from the at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, Morano was asked about reports that she was seen meeting with Kennedy about an unannounced Star Wars project. Morano confirmed that she had a “great” meeting with Kennedy, but pointedly denied any connection to Star Wars.

“No, I’m not doing Star Wars. Will you stop adding fuel to the rumors. It’s just a meeting, and that’s all I can say.”

Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, who stars in Morano’s Sundance film I Think We’re Alone Now, needled her about the franchise anyway, asking if she’d leave a part for him if she did actually sign on to direct a Star Wars film. Morano humored him, but still ultimately shot it down.

So what was the meeting about? Well, to go against Morano’s explicit instructions and add fuel to the rumors, she could be discussing another Lucasfilm project with Kennedy — perhaps not a Star Wars film but a live-action Star Wars TV series expected to debut on Disney’s new streaming service in late 2019. Or perhaps...

The Academy Awards can be a source of great joy and great misery for movie fans. On one hand, it’s fun to watch your favorite movies get celebrated by the industry that spawned them, to see incredible artists awarded with golden statuettes. On the other, it’s an opportunity to moan and groan because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just doesn’t get it and failed to nominated the truly deserving movies and/or performers. It’s a struggle!

The 2018 Academy Award nominations are no different. While many of the categories went exactly as predicted, there were plenty of twists and turns. People who weren’t in the conversation are suddenly present. Movies that felt like sure things have been left out in the cold. These are the biggest Oscar snubs and surprises of 2018.

Surprise: The Shape of Water

It’s not surprising that The Shape of Water got a bunch of Oscar nominations and it’s not surprising that it led the pack. Everyone saw that coming. The film’s mix of drama and genre elements makes it a strong fit for categories across the board. However, the film didn’t just lead the pack – it dominated the pack with 13 nods, including surprise nominations for Octavia Spencer and Best Original Screenplay (Dunkirk tailed it with eight nominations). This doesn’t instantly make the film the frontrunner for Best Picture, but...

For many ’90s kids, The Mighty Ducks were in a league of their own. Disney’s inspirational youth hockey movie about how you too could be cool like Emilio Estevez is reportedly getting a modern makeover as a TV series — though probably without Emilio Estevez.

A Mighty Ducks TV series is in early development ABC Signature Studios, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Original Mighty Ducks screenwriter Steven Brill and original producer Jordan Kerner are reportedly in the early stages of working on a TV series adaptation of the iconic sports movie trilogy. But it should be noted that things are very early stages, THR writes:

Brill will pen the script in-house for ABC Signature. If that comes in well, ABC Signature would package the project with talent and shop it to streamers this year.

It’s uncertain whether Estevez — the star of the original movie — would reprise his role that he originated in the first 1992 The Mighty Ducks. Estevez would star again in 1994’s D2: The Mighty Ducks, but 1996’s D3: The Mighty Ducks was instead built around Josh Jackson’s Charlie Conway.

If the series does pan out, Brillstein Entertainment’s George Heller and Brad Petrigala will be credited as executive producers, and ABC may shop it out to broadcast or cable networks in addition to streaming services. THR also notes that another option is Disney’s standalone streaming service that will soon house all of its original films as well as Marvel and Star Wars. Basically, the puck is in the air for where this...

Remember Duke Nukem? The video game in which a muscle-bound bro fights aliens with a rotating arsenal of weapons, occasionally stopping to quote They Live and Army of Darkness? Well, now that Hollywood has officially run out of ideas, they’ve decided to turn it into a movie, and they want wrestler and baggy suit enthusiast John Cena to play the part. Groovy.

When Hollywood saw the breadth of its domain, it wept for there were no more worlds to conquer. So it decided to make a Duke Nukem movie. The Duke Nukem video game series was created in 1991, starting off as a 2d game before evolving into the 3D first-person shooter game I used to play in DOS mode on the family computer when I was in grade school. The time of Duke Nukem the game has come and gone, but that won’t stop Hollywood: Variety reports that Paramount is forging ahead with a Duke Nukem film, and they want John Cena to star.

The film will be produced under Paramount’s Platinum Dunes, which is operated by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller. A Michael Bay-produced Duke Nukem film is the most on-the-nose idea Hollywood has ever had, so this all makes perfect sense. There have been attempts to get a Duke Nukem movie off the ground since the 1990s. The original plan was to make a film about aliens invading a strip club owned by Mr. Nukem, but the film never happened....

It was Ryan Reynolds, in the observatory, with the candlestick. That’s just one of several possible endings you might see in the new Clue remake.

The Deadpool star has signed a big three-year first look deal with 20th Century Fox, and the first film he’s set his sights on is a new take on Clue, the classic murder mystery board game that was previously adapted into a comedy in 1985.

Thanks to Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds is a hot Hollywood commodity again, and he’s using his reclaimed fame to make a very personal, very artistic motion picture: a Clue remake. Deadline reports that 20th Century Fox has signed a three-year first look deal with Reynolds’ Maximum Effort productions to develop new projects for Reynolds to produce and star in, and first up is Clue, an adaptation of the Hasbro board game in which a group of colorful characters gather together at a large mansion and proceed to accuse each other of murder. The film will re-team Reynolds with Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, so I guess you can expect a lot of poop jokes in this Clue remake.

Reynolds is expected to star in the film as well as produce, although there’s no indication which now-iconic character he’ll be playing. Maybe he’ll play Mr. Body and spend the entire movie dead on the floor.

Clue began its long life as an English board game called Cluedo – the name was changed to Clue when it made its way to the States. In the game, three...

It’s been over three years since we lost Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams. Seeing clips from his work, whether it’s from his outlandish comedic roles, his surprisingly touching dramatic turns, or his raucously hilarious and frenetic stand-up comedy and improv acts, is bittersweet since his passing. But a new documentary called Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind assembles endless glimpses into Robin Williams’ past, and you can’t help but laugh all over again and fondly smile throughout this loving feature.

Director Marina Zenovich has put together an intensely researched and thoughtful portrait of the comedic force of nature that was Robin Williams. For the most part, the film is standard biographical documentary fare. The stage is set for the audience to enter the mind of Robin Williams with a clip from his appearance on Inside the Actors’ Studio where Williams illustrates the speed at which his brain operates after Liption inquires about his quick wit. Then we go all the way back to the beginning of his life in Michigan, learning about his accomplishments in school, his affinity for being the center of attention, and much more.

From there, the documentary dives into all the areas you’d expect from throughout the comedian’s life, with plenty of voiceover provided by archived interviews. We see his early days as a stand-up comedian and improv comic, his big break on Mork & Mindy, and some of his...

Wonder Woman has been an inspiring figure to women for decades, and she continues to inspire now that she’s made the leap to the big screen. Wonder Woman 2 has become the first film to implement the new anti-sexual harassment guidelines released by the Producer’s Guild of America.

Following the November news that the production parted ways with producer and financier Brett Ratner after multiple sexual harassment accusations, Wonder Woman 2 was announced to be the first to adopt the PGA guidelines designed to foster harassment-free work environments and make it easier for people to report concerns without fear of reprisal. Vanity Fair reported the announcement at the Producer’s Guild of America Awards on Saturday.

The guidelines were issued to its 8,200 members on Friday in the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations rocking Hollywood after the revelations of prolific producer Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual harassment and assault, according to Variety. The rules recommend that “all productions comply with federal and state laws regarding harassment,” and that each production provide in-person anti-sexual harassment training for all members of the cast and crew prior to the start of production. Additionally, the guidelines recommend offering more thorough procedures to report potential harassment, as “designating at least two (2) individuals, ideally of different genders, that cast/crew members can approach if they are subject to or witness harassment.”

“The Weinstein effect,” as it has been dubbed, has sent the movie industry into a frenzy, with men in...

The 2018 Academy Award nominations were announced this morning and The Shape of Water leads the pack with 13 nods.

The full list of nominees can be found below.

Guillermo del Toro’s horror/fantasy/romance received the most nominations, including nods for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original screenplay. Dunkirk followed with eight nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, a favorite before the nominations, received seven nominations, but was shut out of the Best Director category.

Other big contenders include Phantom Thread (six nominations), Darkest Hour (six nominations) Lady Bird (five nominations), Get Out (four nominations), and Call Me By Your Name (four nominations).

The 2018 Academy Award Nominations Best Picture

Call Me By Your Name

Darkest Hour

Dunkirk

Get Out

Lady Bird

Phantom Thread

The Post

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Actor in a Leading Role

Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name

Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Actress in a Leading Role

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Meryl Streep, The Post

Actor in a Supporting Role

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Actress in a Supporting Role

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound

Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Animated Feature Film

The Boss...

The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

And there is definitely a lot of falling in the latest Rampage TV spot, which is still very much a real movie and not a parody of every Dwayne Johnson movie ever. There are buildings falling, buses flying, and all sorts of city-leveling shenanigans taking place in the loose adaptation of the seminal ’80s arcade games. But boy, the Rock sure does look cool.

Rampage TV Spot

“Of course the wolf flies,” Dwayne Johnson’s Davis Okoye says despondently in the new Rampage TV spot, perfectly encapsulating every thought I’ve had watching a Rampage trailerOf course a giant wolf has been gifted with the power of flight. Of course a gentle gorilla has grown monstrously until he could rival King Kong. Of course the Rock is playing an impossibly buff primatologist who can pilot a helicopter and wield a machine gun.

Rampage is a movie that you can only accept with a bewildered grace, because at least Johnson always gives his all in the many over-the-top action movies he stars in ever year, half of which seem to take place in the jungle. But you know what? It works. The endlessly entertaining Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has topped the box office for the past three weeks. And Rampage knows its audience — the TV spot aired during the NFL AFC/NFC Championship on Sunday night.

Here is the synopsis for Rampage:

Primatologist Davis Okoye (Johnson), a man who keeps...

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, Saturday Night Live does a new rendition of the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air that doesn’t turn out quite as well for Will Smith‘s character. Plus, learn about the first TV superhero named Captain Video, and listen to Roger Deakins talk about making Blade Runner 2049.

First up, Saturday Night Live took aim at the 1990s comedy series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with a new version of the theme song that sees the gang members who Will Smith got in a fight with following him to Los Angeles. Then he has to fake his death, and it only gets more complicated from there.

Next up, long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe and even before superhero Saturday morning cartoons, the first superhero on television was a character named Captain Video. This feature from SyFy introduces us to the classic TV character and tells us what he was all about in the late 1940s.

Finally, Blade Runner 2049 cinematographer Roger Deakins...

It’s officially Oscar season! To prepare for Hollywood’s big, self-congratulatory night, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the consulting service that handles the envelopes containing the names of the official Academy Award Winners, have implemented a new set of rules to help avoid a repeat of last year’s embarrassing Moonlight/La La Land mix-up.

Last year’s Academy Awards were memorable not so much for the films that won, but rather for the unprecedented goof that occurred at the end of the evening. In case you’ve forgotten, since it seems like it happened approximately ten thousand years ago, Bonnie and Clyde stars Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway took the stage to announce the winner of Best Picture. But someone backstage handed Beatty and Dunaway the wrong envelope. Rather than the envelope containing the real Best Picture winner, what Beatty and Dunaway had was an envelope announcing Emma Stone as Best Actress of La La Land. After the envelope was opened, Beatty and Dunaway floundered, realizing something was amiss. Dunaway caught sight of La La Land on the card within the envelope, and promptly announced the Damien Chazelle musical as the winner. But there was a problem: La La Land was not the Best Picture winner – Moonlight was. By the time the mistake had been realized, the cast and filmmakers behind La La Land had already taken the stage. The rest is Oscar history. Here, watch a video of the moment and try not to cringe!

In a new AP storyTim...

On the January 22, 2018 episode of /Film Daily, Peter Sciretta is joined by /Film managing editor Jacob Hall and writers Hoai-Tran Bui and Chris Evangelista to talk about the latest movie news, including a secret new Crocodile Dundee movie, the future of Inhumans, Dune remake comparisons, Incredibles 2 cast and details, Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 4Dx, Moviepass becomes a distributor, the new Cloverfield movie, Bodied gets distribution, and Sword in the Stone gets a director.

You can subscribe to /Film Daily on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast and all the popular podcast apps (here is the RSS URL if you need it).

Opening Banter: Peter gives an update on his wrist injury, Chris gives us an update on his illness.

In the News:

The Jumanji sequel is fast becoming this year’s box office king (of the jungle). After topping the box office charts for three weekends in a row, pushing its domestic total to $317 million, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has now become Sony’s highest grossing non-Spider-Man movie.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle soared past Skyfall, the highest-grossing James Bond movie, which made $304.3 million domestically in 2012, according to Forbes. That makes it Sony’s highest-grossing movie that isn’t a Spider-Man film.

The wall that is the Spider-Man franchise continues to loom large, with Spider-Man: Homecoming $334 million, 2007’s Spider-Man 3 at $336 million, 2004’s Spider-Man 2 at $374 million, and 2002’s Spider-Man at $403 million in 2002. But in Jumanji‘s 33-day run, it’s already become one of Sony’s highest earners. Jumanji has already become seventh-highest-grossing movie released in 2017, above superhero movies like Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League. And worldwide it’s raked in $767.7 million, threatening to crack into the top 10 of 2017 for international box office, edging out Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales‘s $794.9 million. What is going on?

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was billed as a silly action-comedy sequel to a reasonably well-liked ’90s family movie (the original Jumanji made merely $100.5 million at the domestic box office). But word-of-mouth has elevated the movie beyond Sony’s wildest expectations. When you look at the movie, it’s no surprise: the film is vastly entertaining, with a winning performance from the ever-reliable Dwayne Johnson, and scene-stealing turns from supporting actors Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan. /Film reviewer Karen Han

The long-awaited Black Widow solo movie may be coming to theaters sooner than we expected. A new report suggests that the female-led Marvel Cinematic Universe film could come only two years after it was announced to be in development. Which is completely fine by me.

A report from The Daily Mail claims that a script for the Black Widow solo movie is already in the works, with Marvel targeting a 2020 release date.

A source told The Daily Mail that star Scarlett Johansson has signed on with the film for a $25 million deal, and that Jude Law and Ben Mendelsohn (both of whom are confirmed to star in Marvel’s only other female-led film, Captain Marvel) are being eyed as potential co-stars. The $25 million paycheck would push Johansson to the top of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood list — earnings from the movie could lead the actress to walk away with $30 million — but would still place her well below Avengers: Infinity War co-star Robert Downey Jr., whose base salary for Age of Ultron was reportedly $40 million.

This should all be taken with a healthy heaping of salt — The Daily Mail doesn’t have the most stellar track record with scoops. Not to mention the fact that its source claimed that Captain Marvel co-stars Law and Mendelsohn are both circling roles in Black Widow, which sounds like a case of wires being crossed on the MCU’s only two female-led films. It’s unlikely that the...

When The Alienist was first published in 1994, author Caleb Carr said, “I was always aware that if done correctly, this could end up being a great movie.” Well, we’ll never know if a great movie could’ve been made from this material, and not for lack of trying. Paramount Pictures bought the movie rights before publication in 1993, but behind-the-scenes squabbles about budget and scripts kept The Alienist from the big screen for more than two decades.

Now Carr’s serial killer novel finds new life as a TNT TV series, with True Detective season 1 director Cary Fukunaga serving as producer and Black Mirror director Jakob Verbruggen at the helm. The verdict, after all that delay, is this: perhaps it would’ve made a better movie than TV show.

To be clear, The Alienist isn’t a complete miss. It just lacks a much-needed originality; a distinct voice. One can almost forgive this flaw – had this material made it to the big or small screen back in the ’90s, it might’ve seemed fresh and exciting. Now, it’s been there, done that. Still, fans of far superior shows Hannibal, Penny Dreadful or The Knick will no doubt find much to appreciate here. If nothing else, The Alienist is a feast for the eyes. If only it cared about the brain as well. 

The...

Before walking into this movie, the only thing I knew about Lizzie Borden was that she murdered her parents. But in Lizzie, director Craig William Macneill (The Boy, Channel Zero) and screenwriter Bryce Kass offer a different take on the still-unsolved killings that totally rewrites Lizzie’s narrative, casting her as a righteous heroine instead of an evil murderess. With superb performances from stars Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart, this intimate drama serves as a fierce response to abuse and oppression and a seductive peek into the inner life of one of history’s most notorious killers.

In late 19th century Massachusetts, the well-to-do Borden family hires a live-in maid named Bridget (Stewart), an Irish woman with a big heart but little formal education. Lizzie (Sevigny), the family’s strong-willed youngest daughter, bonds with Bridget almost instantly, and their relationship blossoms from kind pleasantries into something much more sensual, much to the dismay of Lizzie’s domineering father Andrew (Jamey Sheridan). Meanwhile, Andrew is having business problems due to a railroad crisis, and after receiving some threatening letters, he begins entertaining the idea of putting his scumbag brother (Denis O’Hare) in charge of his finances because he doesn’t trust that his daughters are smart or capable enough to handle things themselves. But it’s not just Andrew’s financial schemes that grants Lizzie the moral high ground to eventually kill him – he’s also a serial rapist. By the time the two heroines strip naked...

Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant hasn’t delivered a remarkable film since being at the helm of Milk a decade ago. When it comes to his latest directorial effort, an adaptation of cartoonist John Callahan‘s memoir Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, the movie is undoubtedly remarkable, but it’s due to the performances Van Sant pulls from his actors rather than the film as a whole.

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot is an acting showcase featuring one of the best performances of Joaquin Phoenix‘s career and a supporting turn for Jonah Hill that joins his acclaimed performances in films like Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Joaquin Phoenix stars as John Callahan, who begins our story as an alcoholic troublemaker and philanderer. With Weasley-orange hair, glasses and a perpetually drunk demeanor, Callahan drifts through his days, always figuring out how to get his next drink and find where the best women are. And that’s what ends up changing Callahan’s life forever.

After spending a wild night party-hopping with a lively mustachioed man named Dexter (Jack Black in a minor but memorable performance), one final drunken drive to another shindig sees the Volkswagen Beetle these two have been swerving in all night crash into a telephone pole at 90 mph. While Dexter walks away with a few scratches, Callahan doesn’t walk away at all. In fact, he’s...

Curse you, Father Time. Why couldn’t 2018’s commencement be postponed in the name of cinematic achievement? “2017 Is Officially The Best Year Ever For Horror Films,” one headline read. “2017: The Biggest Year In Horror History,” another claimed. Why end a year riding such a terrifyingly momentous wave in favor of an abyss of unknown, unproven future releases?

Well, quite simply, because all those articles forgot to include the words “So Far” in their takes. Is history not allowed to repeat…nay, outperform itself?

Instead of declaring a moratorium on genre content like a stake through the heart of 2018, why don’t we instead explore which films dare to challenge greatness. Save hyperbole for end-of-year fluffing. If undistributed festival titles and listed release dates are any indication, 2018 has every chance to repeat such successes (with Insidious: The Last Key already scaring up early profits). There’s plenty of weird, wild and wicked content just waiting to be unleashed, which, lucky enough for you, is creeping closer than you think.

Below are 23 highly-anticipated genre titles intended to open publicly throughout 2018. I’ve left off flicks like Summer of ‘84, Piercing and Mandy that will premiere at this month’s Sundance film festival because there’s a chance they might become 2019 releases thanks to distribution fights. For now, let’s just focus on what we know 2018 is good for (or assume with confidence in select cases).

The Endless...

After being teased for years, the What We Do in the Shadows TV series is finally a go. FX has ordered a pilot from creators Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, based on the 2014 mockumentary about a group of vampires sharing a flat in New Zealand.

Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, directors and co-stars of the hilarious horror-comedy What We Do in the Shadows, have seemingly been talking about a TV series based on the film ever since the movie’s initial release. Last year, Waititi, who also directed Thor: Ragnarok, confirmed that there were still plans for a TV series. Now, it’s official: The Hollywood Reporter confirms that FX has ordered a pilot that will reboot the film for TV. Per THR, Clement and Waititi will executive produce alongside Scott Rudin (The Night Of, The Newsroom), Paul Simms (Flight of the Conchords, Atlanta) and Scott Rudin Productions’ Garrett Basch and Eli Bush.

The original film, which focused on a group of vampires, played by Clement, Waititi, Jonathan Brugh and Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, all dwelling together under one roof. The What We Do in the Shadows TV series will reboot the same concept with a new cast: Kayvan Novak (Danger Mouse), Matt Berry (Toast of London), Natasia Demetriou (Year Friends) and Harvey Guillen (The Internship). The series will consist of half-hour episodes. There’s no word on where the series will take place – the original film was set in New Zealand, but one...

The Hasbro Cinematic Universe, which is a real thing, is taking a step or two backwards. After a big recent announcement setting dates for a whole slew of Hasbro-related films, two properties – M.A.S.K. and ROM: The Space Knight – have been officially omitted from the line-up. But don’t worry: the Transformers franchise will remain unaffected. Thank heavens. I know you were all very concerned about that.

Back in the late 1800s, when the Lumière brothers were inventing the first motion-picture camera and projector, they could’ve only dreamed that one day there would be a Hasbro Cinematic Universe. Yet here we are, in the golden age of cinema, where an entire movie universe is being planned around toys. The Hasbro Cinematic Universe has been in development for a while now. Some big names were added to help write scripts, including Brian K. Vaughan and Michael Chabon, and recently a whole slew of release dates were set for films like G.I. JoeDungeons and Dragons and more. It seemed like the Hasbro Cinematic Universe was plowing full speed ahead, but now, the universe is taking a step back.

Speaking with IGN, filmmakers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein revealed that a lot has changed since the first Hasbro Cinematic Universe writers room was assembled. For instance: M.A.S.K. and ROM: The Space Knight, two titles originally thought to be included in the eventual universe, are no longer happening:

“Those are probably not likely to see the light of...