HBO had enough star power on its hands in adapting Bryan Cranston’s Tony-winning Lyndon B. Johnson show All The Way with Stephen Spielberg’s help, and now a Falcon has heeded the call. Civil War star Anthony Mackie will play the role of Martin Luther King Jr. himself, as All The Way gets ready to go before cameras this September.
Who doesn’t love Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? The guy is the embodiment of charisma with his dashing smile, heroic good looks and his excellent comedic timing. From kicking bad guy butt in action films to hosting what was probably the best episode of SNL this past season, Johnson is always captivating to watch. As it turns out, not only are we lowly, average humans big fans of The Rock, but so is Steven Spielberg.
Last time Steven Spielberg developed a film based on a novel by Michael Crichton, we got Jurassic Park, one of the most awe-inspiring and thrilling films ever made. Spielberg is at it again, this time producing a new thriller based on Crichton’s novel Micro, which was published three years after the author’s death.
Part of the fun of a lot of these big summer movies — like Jurassic World — is going behind-the-scenes to see how the film was designed during the pre-production phase. With Jurassic World being such a huge hit, artist Dean Sherriff and concept art company Gadget-Bot have released a bunch of concept art from the film online giving us a different look at the film that was made, and a new look at the one that wasn’t.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park is not a good movie. It might be Steven Spielberg’s worst movie, depending on how you feel about 1941and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It’s a pale imitation of its successor, with a dopey story, dopier characters (“Hey my shirt is drenched in infant T. Rex blood, and I know they can track scents incredibly well because I’m a brilliant paleontologist, but I’m just going to keep wearing it anyway!”), inferior special effects, none of the sense of wonder that made Jurassic Park a generational touchstone. It’s not even as good as Jurassic Park III (and Jurassic Park III ain’t exactly Jurassic Park 1 either).
When all you care about is money, bad things happen. That’s the message of Jurassic World, where greedy theme-park executives hoping to spike attendance engineer the “Indominus Rex,” a genetically-modified dinosaur that immediately turns on its creators and runs amok. Designed as a cautionary tale about the dangers of building a meaner, badder monster purely for the sake of profits, Jurassic World works equally well as a cautionary tale about doing the same thing in movies. All of the rationalizations provided by Jurassic World’s employees — “Consumers want them bigger, louder, more teeth.” “Somebody’s gotta make sure this company has a future!” — could have been taken directly out of the mouths of the studio executives who approved this gene splice of a reboot and a sequel. Their creation — the Indominus or the movie, there’s basically no difference — is as advertised; huge, mean, and visually striking. But this experiment is not without consequences.
Every movie fan has that moment that transforms them from a casual viewer into a full-blown fanatic. It’s the screening that resonates with them for the rest of their life, where you enter the theater and re-emerge a few hours later as a fundamentally different person. They will probably never reach that high again, but that’s okay. The moment was your moment. That screening was your screening. That movie was your movie. Your name may not be in the credits, but it belongs to you.
We spoke to ‘Jurassic World’ director Colin Trevorrow recently about working on the film, the three fundamental ideas Spielberg had for any new Jurassic Park sequel and how he almost directed a Star Wars movie.
When Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg last made a war film, they produced Saving Private Ryan, which was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, and features what’s widely considered one of the greatest battle scenes ever captured on film. They’ve worked together since, including on Catch Me If You Can, one of the best movies of either man’s career, but Bridge of Spies might be considered a kind of spiritual sequel to Ryan. That was Hanks and Spielberg’s World War II picture. This is their Cold War one.
On June 20, 1975 a movie about an angry fish opened in about 500 theaters around the country. It was called Jaws, it was directed a guy named Steven Spielberg, it was scary as hell, and it changed the world forever. Its unique release strategy (wide instead of limited), intense television marketing campaign, and record-breaking box office essentially created the summer movie season (and made Spielberg a household name). 40 years later, regardless of its impact, Jaws remains a masterpiece, and a much better and more interesting movie than the vast majority of so-called summer blockbusters that it birthed.