Hard to believe that eight years have already passed since Michael Jackson’s death, but time’s a goon like that. And as the King of Pop settles in the ground, the question of what shape his legacy will take must be answered. While we’d be remiss to gloss over the ethical lapses and general trainwreckishness of the man’s final years (and doubly remiss not to point out the cruel, exacting factors in his life that drove him to that mental state), the time has come for a bit of enshrinement. Next month, the Michael we prefer to remember — the virtuosic performer, the boundary-pushing titan of black art — will return for a glorious new tribute.
As the guy behind An American Werewolf in London, one of the most widely adored monster movies in the genre’s gloriously ignoble history, people care what John Landis has to say about the state of the American studio creature feature. The current talking point du jour is Universal’s connected franchise of Dark Universe monster movies, a planned network of seven interlocking films featuring their most famed ghouls. This past weekend, their flagship entry The Mummy gave a mixed performance at the box office, mustering up a paltry $32 million domestically, but giving star Tom Cruise his biggest global opening of all time. It’s an embarrassment at home but a smash abroad, and Landis has some thoughts on the matter.
Writer-director Max Landis has his fair share of detractors. There are some who accuse the man of failing upwards, that his status as the son of cherished filmmaker John Landis has landed him some choice jobs (the recent sci-fi series Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detection Agency, for one) through good ol’ Hollywood nepotism, despite the fact that his films have almost uniformly performed poorly at the box-office and with critics. His most vocal critics express complete bafflement every time the writer responsible for such widely panned flops as American Ultra, Victor Frankenstein, and Mr. Right lands an increasingly high-profile gig, their only conclusion that the Landis name is what has gotten him this far.
Fans of Star Wars have long held something of a grudge against director George Lucas for altering the theatrical cuts of the original trilogy with additional CGI for the DVD and Blu-ray releases, making the unaltered versions unavailable to own. But that may be about to change, as director John Landis says that Lucas is preparing to release the unaltered versions sometime soon.
Although he passed away five years ago, Michael Jackson is still just as prolific as ever, and the King of Pop might be headed to the big screen soon as John Landis, director of the seminal music video "Thriller," has plans for a 3D rerelease. Well, eventually, anyway.