When Paul Walker tragically passed away midway through the production of Furious 7, Universal and director James Wan faced a difficult task. Do they scuttle the film or charge ahead, using rewrites and body doubles to finish Walker’s performance? They ultimately went with the latter option but refused to go into any details. Now, a new report confirms that a digitally recreated Walker appears in the film and that he was brought to life by the same company that made Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and Caesar in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
It was inevitable: Disney is making a live action Winnie the Pooh movie because of course Disney would make a live action Winnie the Pooh movie. The studio’s tactic of bringing their animated properties into the live action realm has already paid off with Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent and Cinderella, so why not pay another visit to the Hundred Acre Wood and let a live action Christopher Robin hang out with a CGI Piglet?
In one of the strongest box office weekends of 2015 so far, both Home and Get Hard opened strong while Insurgent and Cinderella continued to perform well. This was the rare weekend that literally offered something for everyone, with R-rated comedies and animated family fare exceeding expectations.
There are few impersonations on SNL we enjoy as much as Jay Pharoah’s President Barack Obama, the chief subject of the latest episode’s cold open. But in a nice twist, the leader of the free world soon finds himself transforming into a monster of a man. Did you really think SNL would get Dwayne Johnson to guest host and not bring back The Rock Obama?
What does a movie studio want out of its sequels? Is a sequel a failure if it simply matches its predecessor or does it need to make more money? That’s the big question that’s swirling around Insurgent, which made almost exactly as much as Divergent did one year ago. Seriously: there’s only a $500,000 difference in their opening weekends. So is Insurgent a success or a disappointment?
Suddenly, Disney’s upcoming live action version of Beauty and the Beast is looking like a very wise move. After all, their new take on Cinderella shook the box office out of the doldrums, launching with numbers that feel more at home with the summer than March. Yes, it even took down that might spring movie season titan Liam Neeson.
With Taken, Liam Neeson became an unlikely action star, with his quiet, solemn masculinity lending gravitas to even the silliest dialogue and story beats. But rather than use the success of that instantly meme-able film as an excuse to pursue more period dramas and British weepies, Neeson embraced his newfound action hero identity. Now, after seven years of snapping necks and gunning people down across several continents, it looks like he’s ready to retire from the action hero game for good.
With Star Wars: Episode 7 less than a year away, Disney and Lucasfilm are facing a conundrum: just how many billions do they want to make from ancillary merchandise? Get ready for Star Wars bedsheets and Star Wars lunch boxes and, of course, countless new Star Wars action figures. You will be able to fight other adults in the toy aisle at Target like never before! However, Star Wars aficionados hoping to celebrate their fandom in a quieter way will also have their fair share of options, namely 20 new books bridging the 30-year gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
With some of the year’s biggest movies only a month or two away, the box office seems to have entered a holding pattern. Some of the new releases are minor hits. Others crash and burn. Right now, Hollywood just seems to be crossing their fingers and hoping for the sweet, sweet summer movie season to come along and save them (or at least the April release of Furious 7). In other words, every new release underperformed this weekend.
It’s an undisputed scientific fact that Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston is the greatest villain in the Disney animated canon. After all, we’re talking about a guy whose theme song is all about how many eggs he eats and how every last inch of him is covered in hair. Sorry Maleficent, you have nothing on this guy. So, the news that Luke Evans has been cast as Gaston in Disney’s upcoming live action take on Beauty and the Beast has us feeling awfully judgmental. Sure, Evans is a good actor, but is he Gaston good?
With Dakota Johnson guest hosting, last night’s SNL had no shortage of 50 Shades of Grey jokes. For her part, Johnson seemed equally bemused and embarrassed by her controversial new hit, rolling with whatever the show threw at her and always coming out looking far better than her naysayers expected. Her ability to make fun of herself and the film that has turned her into an overnight movie star really came together in the only sketch of the night that required her to play herself.
Last year, John Travolta took the Oscar stage to introduce Idina Menzel so she could perform “Let It Go” from Frozen. What should have been a very simple, teleprompter-aided introduction quickly became a Big Deal when Travolta stumbled over his words. Instead of “Idina Menzel,” Travolta said “Adele Dazeem.” An internet meme was born and everyone added another great John Travolta joke to their repertoire. The 2015 Oscars decided to revisit that memorable flub and the results were weird, awkward, and yeah, pretty funny.
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