Welcome back to the Studio Coffee Run! Although it was nice to have a week off – Thanks, Josh Hilgenberg!!! – but this has been a particularly busy week with very little drama, or at least not as much as we’ve had previously this year.
Before we get to the news and trailer stuff, I want to talk about the past couple weeks in September, which is affectionately known in the biz as “festival season,” something that continues for the next few weeks with the New York Film Festival and festivals in the Hamptons and Woodstock. It’s become fairly standard now for Labor Day weekend and the two weeks that follow to be all about the new movies that premiere at the Venice Film Festival, the Telluride Film Festival and last but not least, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Some movies arrive at these festivals with anticipation and leave with Oscar buzz, others have much excitement around them but end up with mediocre and mixed reviews.
Of course, the most Beat-centric of these movies is Todd Phillips’ Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix, who seems to be heading in the direction of the late Heath Ledger by getting an Oscar nomination. The movie premiered in Venice, a very odd venue for a “comic book movie” indeed, and it even walked away with the top prize. Early critical reviews of the movie were mostly all over the place though, and they got, and thing just continued to boil over once the movie played at TIFF where many more American critics had a chance to see it. It’s currently sitting at 75% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with 104 reviews, by no means a slam dunk and that’s before it actually is shown to regional critics who didn’t make it to Toronto or Venice.
Logan director James Mangold had his new racing movie Ford vs. Ferrari ready to be shown at Telluride and Toronto, and the response was fairly positive, although there isn’t nearly as much chatter about it as Joker. As Josh mentioned Tuesday, SCR regular Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit won the TIFF Audience Award, but critics seemed far more mixed on the movie, and yet, it has the same 75% Fresh as Joker.
The most interesting takeaway from Toronto was the reactions to Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers and John Crowley’s The Goldfinch, both which premiered there to a wide gamut of reactions — positive for Hustlers and negative for Goldfinch — and you can see how that affected their openings last weekend. So any question that playing your movie at a festival has no effect on its performance once they hit theaters can look at that as an example.
At this point, everyone’s really just waiting for Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman to make its debut at the New York Film Festival in exactly a week from today. It’s either going to be another masterpiece that puts the filmmaker into the Oscar race… or not. Keep an eye on Twitter next Friday around 12:30pm for the first reactions.
Obviously, I’m not using the intro for today’s SCR to talk about streaming services, as usual, but I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention that Netflix staged a bit of a coup by getting the streaming rights to NBC’s Seinfeld, which many expected to go to the planned Comcast/NBC/Universal streaming service that’s planned for next year.
Steven S. DeKnight’s legacy won’t be JUPITER’S LEGACY…
“Creative differences” have broken up many a band and project, and that seems to be the reason why Daredevil showrunner Steven S. DeKnight will no longer be showrunner on the Netflix series based on Mark Millar and Frank Quitely’s Jupiter’s Legacy, as reported by Deadline.
That’s a shame since DeKnight had seemed fairly gung-ho about signing an overall deal with Netflix (which ends next year), plus he seemed like a good match for the project, having already directed a big screen FX epic with 2018’s Pacific Rim: Uprising. The cast also looks fun as it includes Josh Duhamel, Ben Daniels, Leslie Bibb, Elena Kampouris and more, pointing to another fun and violent take on superheroes ala Amazon’s hit The Boys. DeKnight wrote and directed the first episode and production was roughly half-way through the eight-episode season, so we’ll see who comes forward to take over, but this is not a good start for the first project from Netflix’s purchase of Millarworld.
Shyamalan and Universal sitting in a tree…
The relationship that has led to hit movies like The Visit, Split and this year’s Glass seems to show that filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan has finally found a new home that will support all of his crazy ideas. This past week Universal announced the dates for two “untitled” movies from the director — one of the movies will be released on February 26, 2021, and the next one will be released on February 17, 2023. No one but Night and maybe some Uni high-ups know what these movies will be about, but if you’re a Shyamalan fan, this is exciting news. Then again, if you remember Night’s movies like The Last Airbender and After Earth, you might not be nearly as excited.
More Fun Stuff…
Since I don’t have anything more to write about Taika Waititi just now — a very sad situation indeed — I thought you might enjoy some other things going on in terms of actors posting pictures of themselves on upcoming superhero projects.
- How about this picture of LaMonica Garrett, who is playing The Monitor in the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths on set, in costume, actually READING said tome?
- Or this picture of Salma Hayek meeting Game of Thrones’ Kit Harrington just before filming starts on Marvel Studios’ The Eternals in which she’s playing a gender-changed Ajak and he plays Dane Whitman aka the Black Knight?
- No? How about the fact that Paramount Animation has a wonderful new logo and opening animation for its films… and Variety even included a short interview with Mireille Soria, who is running the division, which you can see and read here.
- Filmmaker Zoey Lister Jones (Band Aid) seems to have found her coven for the “reimagining” of the ‘90s cult classic The Craft: Joining Cailee Spaeny from Bad Times at the El Royaleis Gideon Adlon from Blockers, Lovie Simone from the TV series Greenleaf and Zoey Luna from Pose. If you don’t know those actors now, you’re likely to know them going by how the names Neve Campbell and Fairuza Balk became after making the 1996 film.
The Craft has its coven! The movie, written, directed and produced by @ZoeListerJones, has cast Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone and Zoey Luna to join the witchy, wonderful reimagining of the iconic ‘90s film. pic.twitter.com/qa4JxYGtyL
— Blumhouse (@blumhouse) September 19, 2019
Speaking of Paramount Animation – as I was above – the newest animation house in town is teaming with WWE Films for an animated film called Rumble, and they’ve put together a voice cast that includes Will Arnett, Terry Crews, Geraldine Viswanathan (also from Blockers!), Tony Danza, Michael Buffer (yes, the boxing announcer) and most importantly, WWE superstars Becky Lynch and Roman Reigns. Maybe this isn’t such a big deal, although it shows WWE to be branching away from its partnership with Warner Bros. that included WWE superstars teaming with The Flintstones and Scooby-Doo.
- And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Lady Gaga herself was offered a role in Warner Bros’ Little Shop of Horrors remake. I hope she likes man-eating plants!
Trailers! Trailers! Trailers!
- How’s this for timely? The new teaser trailer for Netflix’s The Crown Season 3 was JUST released this morning, and we have it right here at SCR! Granted, I haven’t watched the first two seasons, but I love stuff like this, especially now that Olivia Colman is joining the cast as Queen Elizabeth II. I’ll definitely catch up on this soon…
- Okay, maybe not too many actual trailers this week, but how about a clip from Jay Baruchel’s movie based on Jimmy Palmiotti‘s and Justin Gray’s comic book Random Acts of Violence, which premiered at Fantastic Fest last night? Variety got that clip as well as an exclusive interview with the Canadian filmmaker who wrote, directed and stars in the movie.
- It wouldn’t be a Studio Coffee Run, if I didn’t at least mention that Honest Trailers took on Fox’s final X-Men movie Dark Phoenix this week, and while, yeah, the movie wasn’t very good, they seem to be meaner than usual
That’s it for this week, but if you go out to the movies this weekend, make sure to check out my weekly preview for some ideas of what to see, and if you’re going to see Downton Abbey without having ever seen the show (as I did), check out this great recap of the series put together by the BirthMoviesDeath: