Yes, it’s another round of leaked e-mails from that massive Sony hack, and yes, it’s another batch of information regarding the studio’s plans for their Spider-Man franchise. Following the underwhelming performance of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2,’ Sony hasn’t quite known what to do with their only superhero property—and given that Spider-Man still has great franchise potential in the right creative hands, Sony appears to be coming at this problem from all angles. More leaked e-mails from the company shed light on Sony’s intentions to reboot the franchise yet again, as well as further details on their talks with Marvel for a crossover and how the directors of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ might be involved.
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It was only eight years ago that Michael Mann released his ‘Miami Vice’ film, offering a grittier update on his classic ‘80s television series, but Universal is reportedly already looking to reboot the franchise again with yet another feature film. Why make something new and original when you can try to capitalize on an existing franchise and fan base by rebooting and updating beloved characters over and over and over again?
One of the chief criticisms of ‘Man of Steel’ was the way that Superman dealt with his epic battles—primarily, that he wasn’t concerned enough about ensuring the safety of the citizens of Metropolis, and how he recklessly used the entire city as his battleground. Thanks to the outspoken dissatisfaction with the film’s climax, it seems as though the script for ‘Batman vs. Superman’ will address those complaints and try to make Superman a more likable and cautious hero.
If and when you see ‘Annie,’ you’ll notice the fake movie within the movie called ‘Moonquake Lake,’ starring Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and Rihanna. The trailer for that film wasn’t helmed by ‘Annie’ director Will Gluck, though—it was put together by hilarious geniuses Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the filmmaking duo behind the ‘Jump Street’ films and ‘The LEGO Movie.’ Not only does this trailer perfectly parody ‘Twilight’ and similar angsty, supernatural romance films for young adults, but it comes with its own theme song from Beck and Sia.
ScreenCrush wraps up the latest in movies and TV you might have missed. Today, check out a superhero comic book cover inspired by ‘Magic Mike,’ Christina Hendricks joins a new TV series, and the first ‘Spectre’ set footage arrives.
From ‘The Dark Knight’ to ‘Knight of Cups’: The first trailer for director Terrence Malick’s latest film has arrived and it’s ... super Terrence Malick-y. Shots of beaches! People walking slowly! Solemn voiceover narration! Other people walking slowly—on beaches! I was one glimpse of Christian Bale running his hand through a field of thistle from winning Terrence Malick Bingo!
J.K. Simmons may not be a household name (yet), but he’s certainly a household face. His mere presence in a movie, whether it be a major character or brief cameo, is enough to bring any audience to attention. Few modern character actors are as good as he is and, as one of the frontrunners for a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his terrifying work in ‘Whiplash,’ he’s about to get some well-deserved recognition. So it shows a great deal of taste on the part of director Jordan Vogt-Robers that he has cast Simmons in the upcoming ‘Kong: Skull Island.’ Seriously, the mere presence of Simmons is just as exciting as a mystical island full of giant apes and dinosaurs.
We’ve got two more big awards updates today, and they come from the Online Film Critics Society and the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the body responsible for the annual Critics’ Choice Awards. The OFCS (of which I’m a member) announced their winners, giving the Best Picture of 2014 to Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’; the film also won Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography. Meanwhile the BFCA (of which ScreenCrush editor-in-chief Mike Sampson is a member) announced their nominees for the Critics’ Choice Awards. ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ was among the Best Picture nominees, along with Oscar contenders ‘Boyhood,’ ‘The Imitation Game,’ ‘Selma,’ and ‘Birdman,’ which led all films with 13 CCA nominations.
Rupert Wyatt admits he was at one point attached to direct the sequel, ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,’ but he and the studio couldn’t come to an agreement on the story. What was Wyatt’s version of the sequel? Wyatt claims he’s never told anyone before, but, ahead, he reveals what his intentions were for the sequel, including a tie-in with the original 1968 movie.
It wasn’t a great year for critics in movies—see ‘Birdman’ (or ‘Chef’ [or ‘Top Five’ (or ‘Big Eyes’)])—but it was a great year for critics at movies. 2014 offered an tremendous variety of fantastic films: big and small; foreign and domestic; mainstream and indie. To anyone who says the overall quality of movies has declined, I call B.S. There are more good movies now than ever before. If you can’t find one, you’re not looking very hard. Take, for instance, these ten instant classics: