Criterion continues to add some of the best films in cinema history to their collection year after year, and their releases have become collector’s items for hardcore cinephiles. It’s not just fans like you and me who are into what Criterion’s putting out—many famous directors and stars are also hugely into the releases, and several of them have visited the Criterion Closet over the years to make and recommend some selections to like-minded viewers. The latest famous face to visit the company’s special closet is none other than Edgar Wright, who makes some really great selections.
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This week sees the release of ‘Jupiter Ascending,’ the latest sci-fi adventure from Andy and Lana Wachowski. And while in all likelihood ‘Jupiter Ascending’ will not go down in history as one of the great works of its genre, the occasion of a new sci-fi epic from two of the modern masters of the form seemed like a good time to assess and celebrate the recent highlights of science fiction cinema, which has taken audiences from the furthest reaches of the cosmos to the deepest recesses of the human mind.
You may not recall, but a couple of years ago, Sony announced plans for a sequel film to Charles Dickens’ classic novel ‘Oliver Twist,’ based on an idea from Ahmet Zappa, who previously wrote the script for ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green.’ It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about the project, but apparently the film is getting a bit of help from Edgar Wright, who has just delivered a new draft of the screenplay.
Wherever Edgar Wright goes, we’ll follow, and since he parted ways with ‘Ant-Man,’ the director has lined up not just one, but two new projects. Today brings an update on the first of those two new films: ‘Baby Driver.’ Sony and TriStar will release the project, with ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ leading man Ansel Elgort in early talks to join the cast.
For a little hero, ‘Ant-Man’ has already faced some pretty big obstacles in his journey from comic to movie. Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’ film was first announced all the way back in 2006, and developed alongside the very first ‘Iron Man,’ but it’s only coming out now, nine years later. Much of that time it was under the direction of Edgar Wright, who developed the film’s story with ‘Attack the Block’ filmmaker Joe Cornish and cast Paul Rudd as his diminutive Avenger. But just as ‘Ant-Man’ was about to finally go into production, Wright left the project over creative differences with Marvel, who eventually replaced him with Peyton Reed, while handing over Wright and Cornish’s script to Rudd and his ‘Anchorman’ director Adam McKay for revisions.
Here’s some fun news for a slow post-holiday weekend: a theater company in the UK has received Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s blessings for their live stage production of ‘Shaun of the Dead.’ Based on Wright’s debut feature film, the stage show includes musical sequences, audience participation, and encourages fans to come dressed as zombies or their favorite characters. Similar in spirit to the long-running tradition of ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ late night shadow performances, the ‘Shaun’ stage show is a recreation of the modern classic. And to celebrate their upcoming tour of the show, the company has released this pretty neat little trailer.
Over the last couple of days, rumors have been swirling that the folks at Warner Bros. have offered Christopher Nolan the director’s chair for the adaptation of Ernest Cline’s novel ‘Ready Player One.’ While it seems pretty unlikely that Nolan would take the job, a few more names have emerged, also reportedly on WB’s director shortlist: Robert Zemeckis, Edgar Wright (of course), Peter Jackson, and Matthew Vaughn.
The reboot of ‘The Crow’ has been in development for years, with two different directors attached, and several actors—including Bradley Cooper and Tom Hiddleston—connected to the project at various times. And now the film has once again lost a director, as J. Javier Gutierrez has left the long-gestating project, and gained a new one in Corin Hardy. But don’t worry: Hardy comes with a pretty impressive reference from fellow director Edgar Wright, which means that this remake might actually be in solid hands … for the time being.
When Edgar Wright left Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’, many wondered if the superhero film would ever happen. Peyton Reed was hired to direct from a retooled script by Adam McKay and the film is still on track for its original release date, so everything worked out OK in the ‘Ant-Man’ world but, it almost didn’t work out that way. Star Evangeline Lilly revealed in a recent interview that when she first heard about Wright’s departure, she was “mortified” and almost quit the film.
The director of ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘The World’s End’ picks the best films of the year.