Tuesday, January 16, 2018

'The Flash' Movie May Finally Have a New Director, or Two, in Marvel Writers

Underoos, are you OK with this? And how about you, DC fans?

According to Variety, "Spider-Man: Homecoming" writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are currently negotiating to direct "The Flash" standalone movie, "Flashpoint," starring Ezra Miller.

Daley and Goldstein have several writing credits together -- including "Horrible Bosses," that sequel, and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" -- and they directed the 2015 "Vacation" movie starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate. (You may also recall Daley from his acting days as Sam Weir on "Freaks and Geeks," and Dr. Lance Sweets on "Bones.")

Variety's director negotiation news is unconfirmed, since Warner Bros. declined to comment. If it's true, it definitely suggests a more comedic tone for Barry Allen's solo showcase. Will DC fans be into that? They take pride in the DCEU being different from the MCU. Then again, The Powers That Be would surely love to piggyback on the success of Marvel's $$$-making formula. And The Flash is more of a comedic character than most of the DC superheroes. It could work. But it's a delicate balance.

"The Flash" was on a director losing streak for a while, with both Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa leaving from "creative differences." While looking for Famuyiwa's replacement, Variety noted, Warner Bros. decided to take the script in a different direction, with Joby Harold writing a new draft. Variety also said the studio initially wanted Batman actor Ben Affleck to direct, but he passed. (There were also rumors that Robert Zemeckis, Matthew Vaughn, and Sam Raimi were in line to direct, so we have to take each new "The Flash" report with a grain of salt.)

Ezra Miller's Barry Allen debuted in "Justice League," and his "Flashpoint" movie is currently scheduled for release in theaters in 2020. As far as we know, "Flashpoint" will still costar Kiersey Clemons as Iris West and Billy Crudup as Henry Allen.

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Chris Hemsworth's Contract Is Up After 'Avengers 4': 'I Won't Be Playing [Thor] Again'

For this, we need the opposite of that Thor "YES'" GIF. But there's hope that Chris Hemsworth will return someday ... if Marvel wants him to.

Hemsworth is currently out promoting his new movie "12 Strong," which opens this Friday, Jan. 19. Of course, he's always asked about Marvel movies, and what he told USA Today was a bit troubling.

"Avengers 4" just wrapped, and we know it's going to shake up the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Apparently several core cast members fulfilled their contracts with that movie, including Hemsworth as Thor. But "Thor: Ragnarok" just came out as the third "Thor" movie, and it was such a hit with fans and critics that "Thor 4" definitely seemed possible.

Hemsworth will be in "Avengers 3," aka "Infinity War," which opens this May. That was shot back-to-back with "Avengers 4," which opens next year. And then ... what, for Thor? Here's that part of Hemsworth's USA Today interview:

"Two days I ago, I was in Atlanta finishing Avengers in my Thor garb," says Hemsworth, with a satisfied air as he settles into a seat at the London Hotel. "It's really been two years of non-stop. I'm exhausted, but good."

There's also a sense of savoring the moment as Avengers' completion marks a possible end of Hemworth's run as the Norse god he has come to personify onscreen. His current Marvel contract is up with Avengers 4's release on May 3, 2019.

"Contractually, right now — yeah, this is it. I'm done. I won't be playing the character again," says Hemsworth.

"It's sort of a scary thought," he adds. "This really seemed like this never-ending thing. And now it's potentially finishing."

Disney's D23 EXPO 2017However, Hemsworth also said he and "Thor: Ragnarok" director Taika Waititi tossed around ideas for a fourth Thor movie. The sticking point may be the direction of the MCU itself, led by Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige:

"(Feige) said, 'Look, we just have to concentrate on (Avengers) now,' " Hemsworth told USA Today. "So who knows? There are 76 cast members in these two Avengers films. They will be the biggest films of all time, far bigger than my character. It's a conversation for further down the road, if it was going to happen."

It sounds like he'd be willing to return, if Marvel wants a "Thor 4" after everything else that's ahead in the next phase of the MCU. And also if fans demand more?

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Yes, Dylan McDermott & Dermot Mulroney Are Two Different People (Now, Finally, Costars)

Dylan McDermott already stars as Captain Dave in FOX's seriously hilarious new comedy "LA to Vegas." That's him on the right in the photo above. In a great meta twist, Dermot Mulroney just joined the guest star roster as rival pilot Captain Steve.

The Chrises. Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman. Jessica Chastain and Bryce Dallas Howard. Amy Adams and Isla Fisher. Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon. The Stars People Always Confuse list goes on, and has included McDermott, 56, and Mulroney, 54, for going on 30 years. (They even got their own "Saturday Night Live" sketch.)

"This is the first time we've ever been seen in the same room together, proof that we are two separate people," Mulroney joked to USA Today. McDermott ("Steel Magnolias") added, "Now we've gotten to the point where if they confuse us we just go with it. So, if somebody says, 'I loved you in My Best Friend's Wedding,' (I respond), 'Thank you very much.'" Mulroney chimed in, "When they say 'Dylan can we have you on your mark?' I usually don't correct them."

Here's a portion of their great Q&A with Entertainment Weekly:

Have you ever blamed a bad project on the other guy?

McDERMOTT: I've definitely blamed Dermot for maybe five or six bad movies I've done.
MULRONEY: [Laughs] Gives me a bigger footprint... I frequently sign Dylan's name on autographs.
McDERMOTT: Even further confusion was, we had the same manager for a time. How she juggled us, I'll never know.
MULRONEY: Imagine being that new assistant on the desk.
McDERMOTT: As a matter of fact, I think you did a movie with Sam Shepard, right, Dermot?
McDERMOTT: I did a movie with him, Steel Magnolias, but after that or before that, but I got a call from my agency saying that Sam Shepard wanted to talk to me about a movie. But actually, he was looking for Dermot, not me.
MULRONEY: Ooh. That one stings.
McDERMOTT: Yeah. That hurt.
MULRONEY: I worked with him a number of times. Dylan, sorry about that. Whooh.
McDERMOTT: That's okay. I had the pleasure of working with him, too. He was a great one.

Yikes. Mulroney shared his own story that stung later in the EW interview.

After Dermot Mulroney's debut as Captain Steve in the January 16 episode, he will return at least one more time. "The rivalry deepens," McDermott teased. "I will tell you that they get into a fight. Even bigger than the first fight. This second fight is even more epic." Mulroney added, "Epic and profound."

"LA to Vegas" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on FOX.

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'It' Honest Trailer Mocks Losers Club for Screaming More Than One Direction Fans

The 2017 movie "It" just floated onto DVD and Blu-ray last week. It's the top-grossing horror movie of all time. It's popular with fans and critics. But that doesn't mean it's perfect, and it's far from immune to the not-so-gentle ribbing of Screen Junkies' Honest Trailers.

"Journey to the idyllic child murder capital of America and meet a Losers Club full of Goonies and Lost Boys -- kids who'd beat One Directon fans in a screaming contest."

Heh. That's what makes them beautiful?

Whether you loved the Stephen King adaptation or not, you should appreciate the (very funny) critical analysis of this video:Yeah, the casting of Finn Wolfhard definitely doubles down on the "Stranger Things" comparisons. And it is definitely too bad that a few of the Losers got shafted in the character development department. And there are some classic horror cliche moments where you want to scream at the characters not to do something you know they are about to do anyway. But that's part of the fun, no?

The "It" sequel is meant to follow the older Losers, and it's scheduled for release in September 6, 2019. No casting announcements have been made yet, but the young stars did share some A-list suggestions.

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January Jones Is Reportedly Dating 'Bachelor' Nick Viall & Fans Are Confused

Wow. Are pickings really THAT slim, girl?

January Jones is an Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated actress for "Mad Men," currently starring in the comedy "The Last Man on Earth." She previously dated Ashton Kutcher and Josh Groban. But now she's supposedly with ... Nick Viall.

Nick Viall is a reality TV show staple, appearing on four shows in "The Bachelor" franchise and then competing on "Dancing With the Stars." He was runner-up of "The Bachelorette" twice, appeared on the summer spinoff "Bachelor in Paradise," and then became "The Bachelor" last year. He and his Chosen One never looked like they'd last, and they didn't -- ending their engagement this past August.

But now, according to a new report from Page Six, January Jones and Nick Viall are dating. They have supposedly been dating for a couple of months. Here's what a source told the outlet:

"She went on 'The Late Show' in ­mid-November and said Nick had reached out to her and tried to get her to lip-sync battle with him. She declined, but then he asked her out to a drink and she accepted. They've been seeing each other since."

Viall was reportedly with Jones when the single mom celebrated her 40th birthday this past weekend. Normally we'd question this kind of "unnamed source" dating report, but it's true that Jones was on "The Late Late Show" in November. And she did talk to James Corden about her love for "The Bachelor," and Nick's lip-sync battle request. So apparently he's just a damn good hustler (his confidence always attracted "Bachelor/ette" ladies, at least for a time) 'cause he reached out to her again and that bold initiative paid off.Fans were surprised by the news, to say the least:

How do you go from Josh Groban to Nick Viall? Not that Nick is the first Bachelor bro to end up dating a famous fan. "Modern Family" star Sarah Hyland is dating "The Bachelorette" alum Wells Adams. And way back when, Jennifer Love Hewitt went on a date with Ben Flajnik, before he became "The Bachelor."

Is this where Arie is headed after his run? Let's hope not, for the sake of his current fiancée.

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Oscar Race 2018: Whose Voice Is Loudest?

Two big things happened in the Oscar race this past week. One was the announcement of the Directors Guild Award nominations, usually a strong predictor of the Academy's Best Director and Best Picture choices.

The other was that Academy voters turned in their nomination ballots, long before they can be influenced by the Screen Actors Guild Awards or several other precursor kudos. The SAG Awards will be handed out on Jan. 21, two days before the Oscar nominations are announced, but their impact on the race will be minimal to non-existent. From now until Jan. 23, everything that happens is just opinion-spinning that doesn't really matter.

Things are happening awfully fast this year, maybe faster than the process can handle. Last week, "Disaster Artist" star James Franco picked up two awards, at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice ceremonies, but if either of those awards had been handed out a few days later, if the voters had known of sexual harassment allegations against Franco, would he have won? Does he still have a chance at the Oscars, or were there still Academy members who had time to cross him off their ballots before Friday's voting deadline?

Academy members who want this year's awards to present Hollywood's best possible face to the world have a lot to think about already, without also having to worry about whether someone nominated next Tuesday will turn out to be a disgrace to the industry by Wednesday. Maybe they loved the artistry and historical sweep of "Dunkirk" or "The Post," but they wonder if either movie is relevant enough to a moment where giving voice to long-marginalized people seems a higher priority. (Certainly, this may be why "The Post," despite critical raves and the pedigree provided by Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks, has been largely shut out of major award nominations and wins so far.)

But then, which marginalized artists do you honor? The #OscarsSoWhite complaints of recent years seemed to get some redress last year with the Oscar victories of "Moonlight" (including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor), but does that mean the Academy can safely ignore "Get Out" or "Mudbound"? On the other hand, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement suggest that Academy will pay special attention to movies by and about women, but does that mean honoring "The Shape of Water," a movie with a female protagonist, but one who's literally voiceless? Or "Lady Bird," a film written and directed by a woman, with two vibrant female leads, but one that does little to address its characters' white and middle class privilege? Or "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," a movie with a strong female protagonist and a film that addresses sexual violence, but one that's written and directed by a man, and that's being criticized for supposed racial blind spots? What are voters to do regarding competing claims of marginalization?

Let's take a look at the DGA nominations, which went out to Guillermo del Toro ("Shape of Water"), Greta Gerwig ("Lady Bird"), Martin McDonagh ("Three Billboards"), Christopher Nolan ("Dunkirk"), and Jordan Peele ("Get Out"). It's a significant and even historic list. For one thing, it includes both Gerwig and Peele, who'd been left off some previous lists of directing nominees. For another, there's not one American white guy on the list, which may be a first. (Indeed, Gerwig and Peele are the only Americans among the five.) Perhaps most important, it's the first time that all the nominees also wrote their own screenplays.

Why does that matter? For one thing, it makes the Original Screenplay category a lot easier to predict. Second, the last four Best Picture winners also won Best Screenplay (either original or adapted).

Finally, it means all five filmmakers were telling highly personal stories. Critics may have singled out those of Gerwig (whose film has some directly autobiographical elements) and Peele (whose film is a metaphor about what it feels like to be black in America today). But the other directors' stories are no less personal, even if McDonagh has never been the mother of a slain child, or if Nolan was born decades after World War II, or if del Toro has never bonded with a creature who's part man, part fish. All five filmmakers are addressing themes and concerns that are deeply important to them and telling their stories in unique ways that reflect their own individual style as artists.

Of course, the same is arguably true for those eligible movies that did not get DGA nominations, including "The Post," "Mudbound," "I, Tonya," "Call Me by Your Name," "The Florida Project," "The Big Sick," "All the Money in the World," and yes, Franco's "The Disaster Artist."

At some point, it's worth remembering that these are movies, not group statements representing competing identity-politics teams, some long marginalized, some not. Each movie took as many as several years to make and was created in relative ignorance of its eventual release date or of which other movies then in production it might be competing with for the attention of viewers, critics, or awards voters. Many observers of last year's race tried to pit frontrunners "Moonlight" and "La La Land" against each other on the basis of their respective racial politics, but as "Moonlight" director Barry Jenkins noted at the time, neither he nor "La La Land" director Damien Chazelle conceived of their movies that way (they were just stories about the worlds they knew), and neither director had any inkling that their films would be awards rivals, much less pop culture proxies for factions of a divided America.

Similarly, the politics of this year's likely nominees matter, not because movies should be didactic or have messages that hit you over the head, but because everyone deserves to have a voice, and every aspiring filmmaker needs a role model. But what wins Oscars is a movie's overall narrative, and sometimes (maybe even most of the time), that narrative includes more than just what's on screen. It also includes the narrative of how the film reached the screen in the first place, and what drove the filmmaker who made it happen.

Ideally, that behind-the-camera narrative shouldn't matter to Academy voters, but it does, and it always has. The Oscars have never been about artistic merit alone, but also about politics, which is why handicapping the Oscars is a lot more interesting than just comparing each movie's Rotten Tomatoes score.

Of course, politics wouldn't be so much of an issue -- and competing claims from traditionally marginalized groups wouldn't be so hard to resolve -- if the Oscars, and the movie industry in general, had done a better job over the years of including everyone. Then it wouldn't be such a big deal to see Gerwig and Peele rubbing shoulders with McDonagh and Nolan. But we're not there yet, and it is still a big deal, and the Oscar race is still likely to come down not just to which movie is best, but also which movie makes Hollywood look the best at a time when what's going on behind the camera has become more important (often for all the wrong reasons) than what's going on in front of it.

The talented filmmakers among this year's likely nominees have proven themselves experts in telling their stories on screen. Once the nominations are out next week and the real campaigning begins, they'll have to prove themselves experts in telling their stories off-screen.

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The Script for 'Enchanted' Sequel 'Disenchanted' Is Almost Finished

A rumored sequel to 2007 Disney flick "Enchanted" has been in the works for close to a decade, but now, it looks like the follow-up is finally happening: The film's director just revealed that a script for the movie is almost finished.

In an interview with SlashFilm, Adam Shankman ("Hairspray") updated fans on the new flick, which is titled "Disenchanted." While the sequel has been in various stages of development for years, and gone through at least one director change (Anne Fletcher, who helmed "The Proposal," was previously reportedly attached), Shankman said the concept for the follow-up remains mostly the same.

"It's about Giselle 10 years later going, 'What is happily ever after?'" Shankman told SlashFilm.

"Enchanted" starred Amy Adams as Giselle, an animated princess from a stereotypical fairytale land, who thinks she's met her soulmate in Prince Edward (James Marsden). But when an evil queen (Susan Sarandon) banishes her to New York City, she meets and falls in love with a divorce lawyer named Robert (Patrick Dempsey).

The original was a delightful spoof of Disney films, and featured both animation and lavish musical numbers. Both will also be present in the new movie, too, according to Shankman.

"There's a lot more songs this time than there were in the original, at least in the planning phase right now," the director revealed to SlashFilm. " ... We are handing in a script in a couple weeks that I'm super happy with. Then gotta get the music written."

Here's hoping that the film finally gets the royal seal of approval from Disney. Stay tuned.

[via: SlashFilm]

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