Shane Black has taken to Twitter to state that the Predator(s) won't be cgi, or not "all" cgi. "I am standing on set next to a 7-foot tall gentleman in a Predator suit so no, it is not all CGI." (Shane Black) What I find odd about this is that he even felt the need to clarify that the Predators wouldn't be 100% cgi. Why would they be? Predator (1987) utilized very, very little in the way of cgi, and it stands the test of time precisely because of the amazing practical effects that were oversaw by the legendary Stan Wiston. John McTiernan used special effects to help bring the predator to life, only when it was absolutely necessary, but that's not the same as using cgi.
This feels, to me, more like how Colin Trevorrow and Alan Taylor both insisted that their belated sequels, Jurassic World and Terminator: Genisys, would take full advantage of the practical effects that was available to them. Considering that The Terminator and Jurassic Park were spectacular examples of the magic of practical effects, this seemed like the least they could do. The same could be said about The Thing sequel/prequel that promised a lot of practical effects too. I loved the scene of the miniature terminator bursting out of the wreckage of the truck and chasing Sarah through the corridor. Likewise the scene where the T-Rex first appears in Jurassic Park. Those are scenes that cgi will never be able to recreate as effectively as practical effects did. Yet all these sequels featured a disappointing reliance on cgi. I get the feeling that they shot a few scenes with practical effects so they could shut up the Stan Wiston fans and practical effects purists, but mostly relied on cgi. In this sense, I feel like cgi has become a crutch for lazy film-making. It's easier to outsource the cgi requirements to a third party than it is to personally oversee every aspect it, and to brainstorm some ingenuous solutions to the challenges that practical film-making would often bring to the table as well.
I'm not necessarily 'anti-cgi' either, but I am 'anti-lazy cgi', and I don't see why they would even need any cgi for the Predators. So the news that the Predators won't be 100% cgi is hardly reassuring to me. How much cgi will be used? 70%? 80%? That's still far too much as far as I'm concerned. Why does every bit of news about this movie give me a sinking feeling... The plus side of all the negative reactions to this movie so far, will probably be when it turns out to simply mediocre, at best, people will give it too much credit for not being irredeemably terrible. Which only perpetuates the proliferation of barely passable that are considered 'not that bad', and not as being the bottom of the barrel. Would it be too much to hope that we don't have cgi blood either? Believe it or not, I try not to bash cgi, because I do admire the thankless work that goes into it, but it's also best when it's only used when there's no other option. Too often cgi is used as the go-to option for special effects, when it should be used as a last resort. I guess the trailer will give us a better look at exactly how much cgi will be used, but I hope it's extremely minimal. And if it does look cgi heavy, cue all the people saying 'but it's not finished yet'. Well, if it's not finished yet, then don't show it! Did the industry learn nothing from Green Lantern?
I thought this remake had fallen by the wayside some time ago, but evidently not since Fox has just signed Robert Rodriguez to direct. But I have to wonder, the role of Snake Plissken is linked so strongly linked to Kurt Russell, why didn't they just make a sequel with Kurt Russell? The answer is probably that Fox aren't looking at one sequel with an aging Kurt Russell, but they're looking at ten years down the line with a young actor. Sad, but most likely true. Reports suggest that Fox are looking at the "Escape From" IP to build a franchise, so naturally, they aren't looking at any geezers to spearhead the franchise. But who will replace Kurt Russell? I can't think of a single ideal candidate. I have to admit that I'm getting pretty tired of Hollywood remaking everything too. I don't like to be "that" guy complaining, but I'm over all the remakes.
And this notion of using movies to build a franchise is a tiresome one. Can't studios just focus on one movie anymore without having to tease the next movie? Remember when Dan Akroyd said that they wanted Ghostbusters to be a Marvel-like franchise? Not going to happen Dan. And the Sony e-mail leaks made it clear that Sony was holding back on the first movie so they could have the sequel ready to go. This shit has got to stop. It's a classic case of putting the cart before the horse. If they're so dead set on rebooting Escape From New York, then why not get to work on that Metal Gear Solid movie? But that's under Sony, Fox wants a piece of the action too. I don't know about Robert Rodriguez either, he hasn't made a decent movie in years, but Battle Angel Alita could be a return to form, who knows.
The planned Terminator trilogy that Skydance was trying to set up with the terrible excuse for a Terminator that was Genisys, is seemingly dead in the water. While this alleged "insider" has leaked this anonymously, it does seem somewhat credible considering that Skydance only holds the rights until 2019, then James Cameron gets them back. So if Skydance really wanted to push forward with the other two movies, even one, they would have had to have been in pre-production to meet the 2019 cut off date. Originally the two sequels, which were going to be shot back-to-back was going to be released in May 2017, but Baywatch took that release date. You can read what this insider said below.
"It is over for The Terminator and Arnold. The studio has taken the sequel off the production slate completely, meaning there is no preproduction or any plans for another sequel. The talent had been offered long term deals, but this is not happening. The Genisys movie was seen as a way of reviving (the franchise), but the critics were not happy and somehow the studio bosses fell out of love with making more, even though they made huge profits."
I would definitely dispute the notion that Genisys made "huge profits", evidently so would Skydance, but moving on. It seems like, at this point that James Cameron might assume a producer role While Deadpool director Tim Miller was earlier being rumored to have been involved in the project, but that project seems to involve David Ellison from Skydance as well. Where this leaves that particular project is unclear, but I'd be extremely nervous if David Ellison is involved in any future movies whatsoever. I'm also dubious of James Cameron returning to the franchise to be honest. James is a far cry from the film-maker he was back in the mid 90s, and how much time could he realistically invest in these new movies when he's up to his neck in Pandora? I think I'd be perfectly happy if they just said that T2 was the end of the franchise and left it at that. Is there any juice left in the terminator franchise for you? What would like to see happen? And would James Cameron returning in a producer role be reassuring to you? Personally, I feel like James Cameron works best when he's in full control of the movie. James Cameron oversees every single aspect of whatever movie he's working on, which has led to him being labelled as a control freak. I fear that him being a producer would only be a "name only" deal.
Sony has just announced plans to release a Venom movie in October 2018. Now it's no secret that Sony has been keen as mustard to incorporate Venom into their Spider Man-verse, with the black alien goo practically being forced into Spider Man 3, a planned Venom movie in The Amazing Spider Man continuity, and an appearance in the proposed Sinister Six movie. So it really shouldn't be too surprising to hear that a Venom is still on the cards, but what is surprising is that the Venom is rumored to be a part of a separate continuity to that of the Spider Man: Homecoming one.
I find it hard to imagine how a Venom origin movie could realistically work without the inclusion of Spider Man himself. The two are so inextricably linked to each other that any attempt to tell Venom's story without exploring Spider Man's backstory would just seem awkward. Venom arguably only really shines as a character because of his development with Spider Man, that of course stems from the strained relationship between Eddie and Peter. Even if they do connect Venom to the main Spider Man universe, I really feel like that would be far too early to introduce the maniacal symbiote. Venom is a problem for adult Spider Man, not boy Spider Man. It makes me wonder if Sony could be planning to explore some of the many alternate Spider Man universes that exist. That way they could have their Marvel boy Spider Man while also exploring the more mature adult Spider Man stories.
There are other potential candidates they could use instead of Eddie Brock for Venom, but I feel like Eddie is simply too synonymous with Venom. Just like Spider Man is Peter Parker, Batman is Bruce Wayne, and Iron Man is Tony Stark. I'd like to see a trilogy of movies that properly explore Peter Parker and Eddie Brock's relationship, then Eddie Brock's descent into madness, and then something along the lines of a Maximum Carnage adaption. Problem being is that it would necessitate an R rating to properly tell those stories, and I highly doubt that Sony are willing to go that route, especially now since they're involved with Disney. Details are scarce at the moment, but it'll surely be interesting to see how this all pans out. Even still, I'll remain skeptical about it.
When I first heard about this other day, it was being reported that a Matrix sequel was being considered, which was probably inevitable. I thought that the ending of Revolutions left it very up in the air about a potential sequel, and that Warner Brothers would eventually come back to the franchise at some point. The Oracle seemed to indicate that Neo was still floating around the matrix, somewhere, and that we'd probably see him again. So I wasn't too surprised by the news that WB were looking at continuing the (lucrative) story. Plus, the story had a lot of religious motifs as well, and the biggest one was Neo sacrificing himself to beat Agent Smith, which parallels Jesus sacrificing himself to save humanity. And what did Jesus do after he sacrificed himself? He was resurrected. So, like I said, I was always expecting a trip back to the matrix, and that a return would be in keeping with the themes of the original trilogy. But the newest reports are saying that WB is looking to reboot The Matrix entirely, which would be a disaster. The original trilogy worked so well because of the sense of wonder and exploration that the movies evoked from audiences, all while delivering some phenomenal action, but a reboot would be totally devoid of that palpable sense of discovery that the original trilogy had.
Here's where I get confused though. It's being reported that a potential reboot would headline Michael B. Jordan, that's if WB gets what they want. Many have presumed that he would be playing a younger version of Morpheus in a side-qual type thing, but if that's true, that would still be set in the current iteration of The Matrix movies, or maybe not. I suppose he could be playing a young Morpheus in a new set of movies, it's hard to tell at such an early stage of development. But for me, The Matrix movies begin and end with Neo. I've said that The Terminator movies and Predator movies are bigger than Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I don't think The Matrix movies are bigger than Neo. The T-800 was simply one of many machines that Sky-Net built. Dutch was just a guy that found himself in the cross hairs of a Predator, but Neo is basically cyber Jesus. Neo is the beginning and the end of the matrix. While Keanu Reeves was out doing press for John Wick 2, he was asked about returning to the matrix and he said “The Wachowskis would have to be involved. They would have to write it and direct it. And then we’d see what the story is, but yeah, I dunno, that’d be weird, but why not? People die, stories don’t, people in stories don’t." And so far it doesn't look like the Wachowski's are being recruited to work on the prequel/reboot/whatever, neither is Joel Silver, and going by his comment I'd say that Keanu probably wouldn't be too enthused about returning either.
The Wachowski's have certainly made a ton of money for WB, with the three Matrix movies grossing over $1.6 billion at the box office, but all their efforts thereafter have been extremely disappointing and costly failures for WB. Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas, and Jupiter Ascending have all failed to find the mark in a big way, and some would even say that they missed the mark with Reloaded and Revolutions as well. So maybe WB are ready to put their faith in different writers and directors this time around. I really don't hold much interest for exploring anything in the past either, there was the animatrix for that. My interest would be solely in seeing Neo, and a continuation of the story, rather than a full-blown reboot. The original trilogy doesn't even feel that old, and I enjoyed Reloaded, and even Revolutions quite a lot too. I think WB would be fools to even attempt to continue this story without Keanu Reeves, or even worse, rebooting the entire franchise. My cynical 'spidey sense' also tells me that this project would be PG when the original Matrix were all about noncomformity. Anyone remember the other noncomformist Keanu movie that was remade into a more palatable PG action movie just a couple of years ago without breaking any waves? Point Break of course! Even if WB were to greenlight an R rated matrix movie, I don't see it being able to recreate the lightning in a bottle that was The Matrix trilogy. Better off just leaving well enough alone.
While doing press for Alien: Covenant, Ridley Scott has revealed that he's actively pursuing a sequel to the 2000 critical and financial hit, Gladiator. Unlike a lot of people, I don't think that Ridley Scott has lost his edge as a director, so I'd definitely be curious to see what he plans for the sequel. But I do think that unnecessary sequels and reboots can definitely besmirch the legacy of their predecessor's. If someone didn't like the RoboCop remake, or the Hangover sequel, they'll probably be less likely to give the original the time of day. So I hope he'd approach the sequel with a great deal of care.
“I know how to bring him back. I was having this talk with the studio, ‘but he’s dead.’ But there is a way of bringing him back. Whether it will happen I don’t know. Gladiator was 2000, so Russell’s changed a little bit. He’s doing something right now but I’m trying to get him back down here.”
The big question seems to be, how would Ridley Scott choose to bring Maximus back when he clearly died at the end of Gladiator? It seems to me that the only obvious option would be to set it in the afterlife, which I'm not totally opposed to. The only thing I could see being a question mark is why has Maximus visibly aged so much? Did people age in the Roman afterlife? I don't think so. I don't want Ridley to recast the role of Maximus and set it back when he was in the Roman army either. Nor would I want to see Russell Crowe having to wear a ton of make-up or cgi to de-age the Roman hero. I think the only viable option would be to explore the Romans mythology, which I'd be down to see.
When Maximus passed away in Gladiator, Ridley Scott could easily say that what we saw was the Fields of Elysium. A place where the many valiant Roman heroes were sent to after their death. Why not? In the words of Maximus himself, "What we do now echoes in eternity". While the Fields of Elysium weren't explicitly mentioned by name in Gladiator, that I can recall, it was obvious that they all held a strong belief in the afterlife. So I don't think that the sequel would necessarily be a betrayal to the original. Once the afterlife really existing had been established in the sequel, which Gladiator already went a long way towards doing, I think there's two big things that Ridley would have to focus on. There would have to be stakes involved. I doubt that Maximus would be quick to involved himself in any mythological battles, so there would have to be a strong motivation there for Maximus to pick up a sword again. And the realistic tone of the first movie should be kept. Yes, it would probably take place in the afterlife, but that doesn't mean it has to feel like the afterlife. Clash of the Titans, for example, felt like a pure fantasy movie, I'd avoid that tone. Try and keep it as aesthetically close to Gladiator as possible.
I feel like the Gladiator duology, if the sequel does happen, could mirror David Gemmel's "Lion of Macedon" and "Dark Prince" books. What I mean by that is, David Gemmel's first book was a pseudo-historical exploration of Greek history, while the second book was an exploration of Greek mythology. Gladiator could be the pseudo-historical of Roman history, while the sequel could be an exploration of Roman mythology. Ridley Scott has an affinity for stories that focus around spiritual, theological, and philosophical themes, so it could play to his strengths. It would certainly be a more surreal movie than Gladiator was, it'd have to be, but if Ridley Scott can convince Russell Crowe to return to the role of Maximus Decimus Meridius, then I think that would go a long towards selling me a ticket. How do you feel about the potential sequel? And if you're not happy about it, is there any approach that would pique your interests, or are you flat-out against it?
Gohan would have to go down as one of the most ridiculously nerfed characters in anime. Fans have been begging for Gohan to make a comeback ever since the start of Dragon Ball Super, probably earlier too, but Super has really done him a monumental disservice. I know some people like to say that Gohan was going to take Goku's place after Goku died fighting Cell, but that people were so outraged that they changed the outcome. I've never seen any proof of this, and even if it were true, who cares? Do it anyway. Even if Toriyama wanted to appease an allegedly vocal minority of the fans by keeping Goku at the top, that doesn't mean that he had turn Gohan into a joke.
Now I think it's been pretty evident throughout Dragon Ball Super that it has largely been about fanservice, and what do *most* fans want to see? Gohan. And his reemergence as a fighter has been hinted at towards the end of each arc. Gohan realized that he needed to train to be able to combat any threats that may emerge, such as Frieza. Gohan realized that Future Trunks thought so little of him as a fighter that he didn't even tell him that his life and his entire future was in danger, and they were best friends throughout Dragon Ball Z. When Gohan found out what was happening, you could tell he was angry at himself for not being able to protect his friends, again. So Gohan has been training for a little while now, and it *seems* like he can achieve his mystic form again, but even that is pretty weak now, comparatively speaking.
Cut to episode 80, and it's Gohan's turn to fight in the exhibition match, and thank god the glasses came off! Do saiyans really have eye problems anyway? What got me excited in episode 79 was when Gohan tells Goku to watch how strong he's become, that's a confidence we haven't seen from Gohan since the Buu arc, and we all know that when Gohan is properly motivated, he's as strong as anyone. I get the feeling that he's achieved something beyond his mystic form. We may not see it in this fight, but I think Goku will sense it. Similar to how Goku flashed his SS2 power in front of Vegeta for a split second.
If this is true, it begs the question, how did Gohan become so strong? Sparring with Piccolo could certainly help, and Gohan's determination could help as well, but I still feel like if he has achieved another form, there's been someone else training Gohan. Would Vegeta train Gohan? I doubt it. Would Whis? Probably. Maybe Piccolo asked the Supreme Kai to take Gohan's training even further. Questions, questions, questions. I hope they're answered this time around, not like Future Trunks just being able to tap into that sort of power on a whim. But Is it time to make Gohan great again? I think it is. Ep 80: "Awaken your sleeping battle spirit! "Son Gohan Fight!"
Two new casting announcements have been made since that first god awful cast picture was released for "The Predator". The first is Alfie Allen who shot to fame by playing a eunuch in Game of Thrones. Hooray for nepotism in Hollywood. For some reason I feel like he might be playing a reporter, which doesn't make it any better in all honesty. Kinda like how William Atherton played the sleazy reporter Richard Thornburg in Die Hard.
The second casting announcement, or at least I think they're still in negotiations, is Yvonne Strahovski as Boyd's wife, and mother of their retarded child. I always feel like Yvonne taints whatever franchise or TV show she appears in. Killer Elite, crap. Chuck, crap. The Guilt Trip, crap. Dexter, crap. I, Frankenstein, crap. 24: Live Another Day, crap. The Astronaut Wives Club, crap. etc. Yvonne has this habit of appearing in, well, crap.
I've never understood people who say things like "who cares, she's hot!". If I wanted to perv on women, then I'd buy a Sports Illustrated or a Playboy, and those, frankly, have much better looking women in it than Yvonne Strahovski. It would, admittedly be unfair to say that everything is her fault, but she certainly doesn't elevate whatever she's involved in either.
Other than the choice of Yvonne, this also points to the fact that there will be a trite & acrimonious relationship between Boyd, his son, and Yvonne. None of which I care to see in a Predator movie. And you can bet that Yvonne will at some point be picking up a gun and doing battle with the Predator, the same goes for Olivia Munn as well.
I've always considered that the Alien and Predator movies are siblings, in a sense. The Alien movies are largely focused around women, and that's great. But the Predator movies used to be largely focused around tough men, and they were always very primal movies. Though that changed throughout the AvP movies, and even in Predators, to a lesser extent.
The first official cast pic has been revealed for Shane Black's The Predator, and, holy hell. I'm getting Terminator Genisys flashbacks. Anyone remember the first laughably bad cast pics for that? The only cast member missing from the pic is Thomas Jane, but here you have it. These are the warriors that the Predator will be hunting.
The only thing that keeps me even remotely interested in this mess is the cinematography of Larry Fong. I hope he can at least do some visually interesting stuff with the Predator's cloaking system, but other than that, meh. People tend to exaggerate the involvement that Shane Black had with the original Predator, which was in actuality, very little.
It looks like the rumors of The Predator being, at least partially, set in the suburbs, is true. The involvement of a retarded kid is seemingly true. Olivia Munn as a scientist, lol, she just might dethrone Denise Richards as the most miscast scientist of all time. Although one could say that the James Bond movies were never really about realism in that sense. I'd like to think that the Predator franchise is more serious and deadly than those movies were. Shane Black did reiterate the R rating, but at this point, I don't care that much. It's shaping up to be more like Die Hard 5 than it is a worthy predecessor to the original. There was no clarification on whether or not this is a sequel or a reboot either.
Now this is somewhat surprising. Ben Affleck has stepped down as the director of "The Batman" movie. I can't imagine how difficult a decision this must have been for Ben, considering how big a fan he is of Batman. The man even has a Bat-Cave in his own home for chrissakes. This is his passion project. So for him to walk from the directors chair is significant. Here's what Ben Affleck had to say about it.
“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions. Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film. I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director. I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”
I understand that it must be a lot of pressure, but it's not like he's new to it. Ben Affleck has previously directed Argo, The Town and Live by Night. Granted, Live by Night is apparently a bit of a dud, but this is Batman! You'd think he'd tough it out for the caped crusader. The Town was a fantastic movie, so he can do it when he wants to. Ben Affleck also wrote and directed his brother (Casey Affleck) in Gone Baby Gone. So I think he's definitely capable of multi-tasking.
Personally, I think Ben Affleck was clashing with WB about creative control and ultimately decided to bow out of the directing process, not wanting to direct something that wasn't ''his'' vision. I would like to think that Ben had been battling for an R rating, considering how the movie sounds. Apparently it was going to be a very Arkham Asylum heavy movie. Dark, disturbed and twisted. Plus you don't put Deathstroke in a PG movie, you just don't. If you're going to do that, then you may as well make a PG Lobo movie while you're at it as well.
Ben Affleck is not dumb. Ben saw how WB butchered BvS. Ben saw how WB butchered SS. I'd bet that Ben was fighting for creative control and control over the final cut of the movie, but WB refused. Live by Night probably didn't help his case either. It seems to me like Ben is distancing himself from the DCCU, and I highly doubt it's because of BvS. I'd sooner say that WB simply won't let him make "The Batman" movie the way he wants to, so he'll act in it because he's obligated to, but he's started to move away from it. I always thought that Batman was going to die in this DCCU anyway, so that might be coming sooner rather than later.