Paramount hasn't been historically known for their baller moves, but when it comes to their bold anti-promotional campaign for Martin Scorsese's Silence, game must recognize game. Keeping a major awards horse almost entirely on the down-low until one month before its December 23 release is one thing; when that movie also happens to be a passion project decades in the making from what very well might be our greatest living filmmaker — American or otherwise — well, that's just showing off. A Martin Scorsese movie sells itself, and Paramount has now reminded the moviegoing public of why that is.
This past weekend, Paramount Pictures kicked off the publicity tour for its upcoming Ghost in the Shell adaptation with a global launch party in Tokyo. Cast and crew were on hand to talk about the film; exhibitions of the film’s art and costume designs were on display for those in attendance. For the rest of us, something even better was announce: the first theatrical trailer for Ghost in the Shell is here, and it is not exactly short on style.
Everybody wants James Bond, but there’s only one 007. Plenty of franchises have fashioned their own “rough-hewn, American” slant on Bond, with the likes of Jack Ryan and Jason Bourne both jumping from the pages of novels to the screen and meeting with great success. And yet none of these secret agents have achieved the ubiquity of MI6’s favorite son, and so the studios continue to launch new espionage franchises in the hope of scoring a similar 25-movie gold mine.
In a hundred years from now, when some bespectacled historian sits down to write the story of the G.I. Joe film franchise, the first sentence he’ll write will be, “Why did Paramount Pictures want so badly to get rid of Channing Tatum?” Then he’ll underline that sentence about a hundred different times, crinkle the whole page up into a ball, and throw that ball back into his desk drawer. In hindsight, he’s got a lot of movies to write about and it wasn’t the brightest idea to start with G.I. Joe.
Video game movies are hard enough to get right, that the concept of adapting games for TV rarely comes up, but will Battlefield break the mold? Paramount TV and Electronic Arts aim to find out, teaming to bring the first-person shooter franchise off the small-screen and onto the … well, the same screen, but you’ll still have to find the right input.
Get ready, you’re about to read that “come out and play” reference quite a bit in the next few days. Fresh off their latest Marvel triumph, the Russo brothers have lined up yet another TV project, this time bringing cult favorite The Warriors to Hulu as a brand-new one-hour TV series.
Turn back the clock to 2010, and the hottest ticket on Broadway is a revival of August Wilson’s Pulitzer-winning play Fences, a poignant and daring meditation on race relations in America with a focus on the hardships of the black experience. It has all the necessary qualifications for a bona fide Broadway smash: a handsome pedigree of awards and acclaim (the production took the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play in 2010), urgent social significance, and some Hollywood talent slumming it on the boards in between film projects. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis starred as the married couple at the heart of Fences, winning raves and a Tony apiece, and created a rare sensation that dazzled audiences for thirteen weeks and then vanished.
It’s only been a few weeks since the most recent trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, the sequel to the Michael Bay-produced TMNT picture of 2014, and though it also nicks the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” for the soundtrack, there are a handful of key differences that distinguish one from the other. Specifically, that this latest spot is chockablock with soundbites that, when taken out of context, could be used by audio editors to form scathing critiques of this film. As the trailer timecounter ticks on, the negative review puns basically write themselves: “We‘re turtles, whether you like it or not.” “This isn’t working!” “We keep failing.” It’s almost like they’re challenging their harshest critics to do their worst.
French thinker Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s popular novella The Little Prince uses the story of a young boy and a grounded pilot as a portal to hidden worlds of profound emotion, conjuring loneliness, sadness and helplessness from simple language and potent symbols. And so it was weirdly fitting when, a mere week before the film adaptation’s scheduled release, Paramount abruptly dropped it from their slate and pulled it from theaters. Not unlike le petit prince himself, Mark Osborne’s animated rendering of the beloved story was abandoned and left to float around in the vast expanse of the film marketplace. This story has a more straightforwardly happy ending than de Saint-Exupéry’s, though — Netflix has now picked up the rights to the film.
The tough thing about using someone else’s ideas to make money is that it’s not entirely legal. This lesson had to be learned the hard way this past weekend by Alec Peters, producer of an independent film titled Prelude to Axanar. The Star Trek fan film drew quite a bit of ire from copyright holders Paramount after a crowdfunding effort on Indiegogo brought this grassroots DIY production over half a million dollars last summer. The promise to make a “studio-quality” film including characters, settings, and other elements from the heavily-licensed Star Trek franchise with no engagement from the relevant studio spelled doom for the Axanar team, and now the chickens have come home to roost.