The Hush-Hush News Report: 03.21.12: Aliens In A Half Shell
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Michael Bay Must Be Stopped
Michael Bay: “Hey, let’s do a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot.”
Studio Head #1: “Okay, what did you have in mind?”
Studio Head #2: “Wait, did someone say “reboot? Green-light that!”
Michael Bay: “Well special effects have come so far in the last twenty years that I really think we could do a kick-ass update of it. You know, really give the franchise the movie it deserves.”
Studio Head #1: “So what…you want to do it like Transformers?“
Studio Head #2: “Wait, did someone say Transformers? Green-light that!”
Michael Bay: “Yeah, you know, it could be this big origin story with a ton of special effects and explosions. Plus, I’ve got some ideas on who to cast as April O’Neil.”
Studio Head #1: “Michael, you are one of the most successful directors in Hollywood. Anything you want to do is fine by us. But how are you going to make your film different from those other TMNT films?”
Michael Bay: “Well, I was thinking since the Transformers are so popular and they’re aliens, I wanted the Turtles to come from outer space. So instead of mutants, they’d be aliens.”
Studio Head #2: “Wait, did someone say Aliens? Green-light that!”
Studio Head #1: “That was already green-lit, Studio Head #2. You know, 1986 James Cameron movie? Sequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien.Don’t mind him, Michael, he’s just got Reboot Fever.”
Michael Bay: “Oh trust me, I get it. So they’d be these alien turtles and maybe instead of ninjas they could have advanced alien technology. Laser guns and high-tech alien turtle shell armor. And instead of having different colored masks, they could each be a different color entirely. Their skin could be their corresponding color – Leonardo could be all blue, Donatello could be purple – and instead of Splinter being an alien rat, he’d be an alien android, built to train them in combat and the customs of Earth in order to save the planet. We haven’t settled on a villain yet, but we were thinking of having The Shredder. He’d be an exact android copy of Splinter, except he’d be the bad guy. Yin and yang type of deal. So…tell me you love it.”
Studio Head #1: “Michael…that is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard. You, sir, are a genius. One thing though…what are you going to call it? You can’t really call it Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles if they aren’t actually any of those things, can you?”
Michael Bay: “But that’s the best part! Because it’s called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles its got a HUGE fanbase and genuine nostalgia going for it. I’d be stupid not to call it that. You’ll see…once we get people into the theaters they won’t care what they’re watching as long as its got all my “Michael Bay Trademark Moments” in it. We can always make the aliens a bit asian – that’ll take care of the ninja part. They’re still turtles, just from a different planet. You’ll see…as long as they’re still fighting, wisecracking, loveable turtles and we play the stupid theme song somewhere in the opening or closing credits, people will lap it up. It’ll make hundreds of millions of dollars, because that’s what I do. And in the end, people will love us, no matter what we do or how we change the fundamental nature of the franchise. I mean, I made Optimus Pride a stone-cold killer in Dark of the Moon and no one batted an eye. So…do we have a deal?”
Studio Head #1: “As long as you come in under John Carter’s budget, I think we have a deal.”
Studio Head #2: “Wait, did someone say John Carter? Green-light that!”
(The above conversation may or may not have actually occurred. There are conflicting reports.)
I don’t like internet trolling. I don’t like the immediate group-think that comes about seemingly every day which leads to large amounts of anonymous people crapping over whatever thing they disagree with or slightly disgruntles them. Nothing is given time to mature or the opportunity to stand on its own merits. Nobody seems to wait anymore to cast judgment. However, that doesn’t mean we should just sit back and let everything go by without comment or complaint. This is one of those things.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are not the most important thing in the world. They are certainly not the most significant cultural or artistic achievement ever. Everything they are (and were) is in the name. They were ass-kicking mutants who were wise-cracking, pizza-loving anthropomorphic turtles who lived in the sewers of Manhattan (yes I know the comics are slightly different). They were fun and cool…and that was pretty much it. For many children of the ’80’s, the Turtles were their childhood.
I am one of those people. One of the earliest things I can remember from being a kid were the Turtles. I watched the cartoon religiously. I had more TMNT toys than any others combined. I dressed up as Leonardo for Halloween…more than once. In 1st and 2nd grade, my friends and I played on the playground as the Turtles, Splinter, Shredder and the Foot Clan. For a 6-year-old, it was beyond awesome seeing the Turtles in those live-action feature films. The Turtles were fun and for whatever reason, just struck a chord with kids.
Even though I and others were pretty young, that doesn’t mean we were stupid. We didn’t know a lot, but we sure as hell knew the ground rules for TMNT: 1) They’re teenage. 2) They’re mutant. 3) They’re ninjas. 4) They’re turtles. It’s not hard, because IT’S IN THE FRAKKIN NAME. They were the result of an accident in which toxic ooze comes into contact with the turtles, mutating them and their rat sensei, Splinter, into what they would eventually become. This was their origin – has been their origin – since they were created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, initially conceived as something of a parody of various 1980’s comic series, including the obvious parallels with the origins of Daredevil.
Which brings me to the hullabaloo surrounding the franchise this week. No one seemed to have in issue with this origin story…except Michael Bay. Remember last week, when news of the rebooted live-action version led me to declare that it was “awesome news.” Well, I take that back. I should have known better. Michael Bay, after all, is involved. At the Nickelodeon upfront in New York, Bay told the assembled crowd:
“When you see this movie, kids are going to believe, one day, that these turtles actually do exist when we are done with this movie,” he said. “These turtles are from an alien race and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely lovable.”
After Bay’s comments hit the interwebs, business picked up. The reaction was swift, decisive and almost unanimously called for Bay’s head on a platter. Seriously, the comments on the story for 411, on Twitter and other places are really quite entertaining. However, Bay either wasn’t amused or was somewhat taken aback by the vitriol hurled his way. He went on…and I’m not kidding…”Shoot For The Edit: The Official Michael Bay Forums,” to calm people down.
“Fans need to take a breath, and chill. They have not read the script. Our team is working closely with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles to help expand and give a more complex back story. Relax, we are including everything that made you become fans in the first place. We are just building a richer world.”
So there you go people. Michael Bay hears you, your concerns…and doesn’t really care. This is Michael Bay after all. Anyway, you all have not read the script. You should know that the scripts for Michael Bay movies are always the best part. He’s giving all you fanboys a more complex and richer backstory. Michael knows what we want, no matter how hard we try and deny it. He and Platinum Dunes are building a richer world, one much more deserving of walking, talking turtles who eat pizza and move like Jackie Chan. You’ll like it…TRUST HIM. This is the man who has never steered you wrong. It’s not his fault you all didn’t get Bad Boys II or Revenge of the Fallen. So get over your fanboy hyperventilating. Michael Bay is our new Splinter now.
A Big Week For Dark Shadows
It’s been a big week for Tim Burton’s upcoming flick, “Dark Shadows,” the director’s goofy, comedic take on the ’70’s melodramatic gothic soap. The trailer premiered last week to a relatively tepid response with many seemingly taking the “wait-and-see approach.” Count me among that number; I’m happy Burton is back to doing comedy and I love his previous works with Depp (for the most part), but the trailer looked too much like a really over-the-top, goofy Addams Family. I was less than impressed for the most part, but am keeping an open mind and may change my mind in the next two months.
Now with the film’s marketing launch in full swing, 9 colorful character posters have been released as well as a bloodier, more sinister cover for Fangoria.
“Dark Shadows” opens in theaters May 11, 2012.
Build For Prometheus Just Gets Better And Better
The brand new trailer for “Prometheus” was released last week and in case you missed it…wait, you missed it?! How is that possible? If it hasn’t already, this movie should be shooting up your “Most Anticipated 2012 Films List” and we’re still nearly three months out from it dropping. The way this movie has been built for the past four-five months has been nothing short of extraordinary and has pretty much blown other films’ marketing out of the water. From the cryptic interviews to the teasers and stills to the viral marketing and full-blown trailers, “Prometheus” has slowly built anticipation for a film that – until a few months ago – few were even sure what it was about. Now, in a season crowded with mega-blockbusters like “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” Ridley Scott’s return to science fiction has muscled its way to being one of the most anticipated movies of the year. And its new trailer is a…mazing. It also sheds a little light on what to expect come June 8th.
**Possible Spoilers Ahead**
In addition to seeing the planet more clearly and discovering the possibility of the DNA in the hieroglyphics the crew finds, I think one of the more noteworthy things taken from the new trailer is Michael Fassbender very clearly filling the android Judas role, originally filled by Ash in the original Alien. He hasn’t admitted to being the villain of the film and perhaps Scott and Fassbender will surprise us all by going a different way. But that was one hell of a creepy smile in that trailer and he appears to be doing a number of the same things that Ash did (like bringing the specimen on-board). Fassbender has said he modeled the character after Olympic swimmer Greg Louganis, not Ian Holm or Lance Henriksen’s previous android characters.
“I kind of went my own way, really. I didn’t watch the [Alien] films. When I found out I was doing it, I didn’t revisit them,” he said.
He did, however, check out another famous robot-related movie before starring in Prometheus.
“I watched Blade Runner, but I didn’t watch the Alien films,” said Fassbender, who admitted that Ian Holm’s and Lance Henriksen’s performances are always in the back of his mind. “Of course, they’re in there. I can remember them from when I’ve seen the films before, but I sort of went a different way. Louganis was my first inspiration. I figured that I’d sort of base my physicality roughly around him, and then it kind of went from there.
I thought the way he [Louganis] walked on the high board is kind of funny and you see this great economy of movement. We thought it would be interesting if the robot started to develop human personality traits, like an ego and all those fun things [in addition to having ‘butler-like qualities’].”
Even more exciting is that Prometheus seems to have rekindled Ridley Scott’s passion for science fiction. The man who made arguably two of the three most influential science fiction films of all time stated that he hasn’t made a sci-fi movie in decades because “It’s not because I wasn’t trying. I just couldn’t find anything very interesting.”
But working on Prometheus seems to have rekindled his passion for the genre. “I’ll certainly do another science film as soon as possible,” he said. There have been reports that Scott may be interested in both a possible sequel to Prometheus and one for his 1982 masterpiece, Blade Runner. “If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll have a second part because at the end of ‘Prometheus,’ it does leave some questions unanswered,” Scott was quoted in Wired.
Is This The First Poster For The Wolverine?
Has the first one-sheet for “The Wolverine” been leaked? Is it legit? As of this writing, we aren’t 100% sure if it’s real or not and 20th Century Fox has not given an update to confirm or deny. But lord I hope it’s legit, because it’s pretty sweet. The folks over at Screen Rant got it through a purported Instagram picture taken in director James Mangold’s offices. The poster shows Wolverine’s claws shredding through the Rising Sun depicted in the Japanese flag with the words “Rising Soon” in the corner.
If it’s real, it’s awesome. If it’s fan-made: a) it’s still awesome, and b) a studio should hire that person tomorrow. The Wolverine is finally making its way through a rough development that saw director Darren Aronofsky leave the project and the disastrous tsunami and nuclear fallout hinder production. With a more firm July 26th, 2013 release date less than a year and a half away, it seems Jackman will, in fact, get to bare his claws one more time as the kick-ass X-Men figure. Filming on The Wolverine is expected to begin later this year after Jackman is finished shooting Les Miserables.
Hopefully, Jackman and Mangold can come up with something a lot better than 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which nearly combined with X-Men: The Last Stand to nearly kill the franchise on the big screen. This teaser poster is a start.
Dan Aykroyd And Chevy Chase Writing A New Comedy Script
There is something just a tad melancholy about writing these kinds of stories. It’s probably just me. Dan Aykroyd announced through Facebook that he will be beginning work on a new comedy script with Chevy Chase. Not much more than that, but it is noteworthy since this would be Chase’s first credited script since the short-lived “The Chevy Chase Show” and would be Aykroyd’s first since “Blues Brothers 2000.”
Aykroyd’s statement said: “Chevy (Chase) and I are about to start work on a script concept for a comedy movie. Cannot say too much about the concept, but the joy of working with him again is one that I am extremely excited about. Chevy is one of my favourite people, and one of the great anarchistic and physically committed comedians in the business.”
I love what both guys have contributed to comedy and the culture in their careers, but let’s be hoenst. Neither has done much in the past 20 years to make one think this comedy movie they’re working on will either get made or be any good if it does get green-lit.
Dinosaurs…In The Third Dimension!
When I took over The Hush-Hush News Report five months ago, I wrote about the rise of the 3D re-release in my very first column. It didn’t take a genius to figure out how this was going to play out. On the heels of the surprising strength of “The Lion King 3D” at the box office, I made it clear that we were at the cusp of a new Hollywood trend, one that studios would naturally be exploiting soon enough. It just made too much sense – minimal risk, low costs and a life preserver for 3D that gave justification to keeping it around. All one had to do was connect the dots and look at the initial schedule for releases (which at the time included the “Star Wars” films and Disney/Pixar classics). Now things are picking up as other studios get into the act, as Universal has announced that it is re-releasing Steven Spielberg’s 1993 dinosaur flick, “Jurassic Park,” into theaters on July 19th, 2013.
The most interesting part of this is not that Universal is re-releasing the film in 3D a year and a half from now. No, it’s that they’re releasing it in the heart of summer blockbuster season, where it will (presumably) go up against films such as Spielberg’s Robopocalypse, The Wolverine, and Despicable Me 2. And while The Lion King 3D performed beyond anyone’s expectations at the box office, the returns on other re-releases have yet to totally declare the trend an easy winning stategy.
Hollywood’s greed is only supported by folks enabling it. It’s a business and the industry will only do this as long as there is demand for it and they make enough money to justify it. It’s greedy and beyond a bastardization of the work itself. Jurassic Park was a touchstone of ’90’s movie-making that many still love. It has effects that continue to stand the test of time and hold up well. It doesn’t need 3D and it doesn’t need to be back in theaters so that the studio can make more money. I know it’s tempting. You may love one of these re-released movies so much or you may want to take your child or younger relative to see it on the big screen. I get it. But these films were never meant to be seen in 3D and no matter what the quality of the post-conversion 3D effects, it can’t truly enhance the film. So if you don’t want this to continue, the answer is pretty simple. Don’t go see it.
Titles For Woody Allen’s Next Film Get Progressively Worse
New titles for soon-to-be-released films are nothing new. A mixture of creativity and marketing, movie titles rarely make news beyond the initial press release announcing a film has been green-lit. So when a film goes through various titles in a rather public way – especially for a film by Woody Allen – it is a rather interesting look at the mindset of what a filmmaker and studio think. The ongoing struggle of Woody Allen and Sony Pictures Classics to try and find the right title for Allen’s next project is one of the more interesting (likely only for film buffs) examples of this, especially since Allen isn’t known to do it much.
In his upcoming movie, Allen continues to make his way through the heart of Europe, with many of his most recent films taking place in Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities, including London, Barcelona and Paris. His upcoming film will be set in Rome and stars Allen, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penélope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page. The film was originally titled “The Bop Decameron,” after the initial idea for the film was to be a modern take on “The Decameron” by Giovanni Boccaccio. However, that was then changed to “Nero Fiddled,” which references the saying “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” However, it would seem the latter title is still too obscure or inaccessible for the suits, as the film has now been given the simpler and less poetic title of “To Rome With Love.” The studio’s rationale isn’t without merit, but it still comes as something of a disappointment in the artistic sense.
“The film’s former title, ‘Nero Fiddled,’ while an appropriate and humorous phrase in the U.S., is not a familiar expression overseas and many international territories preferred a more globally understood name,” Sony said.
Credit for parts of this story go to Unsung Films
Bleh. To Rome With Love is about as uninteresting as one could get with a title. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still looking forward to the film and ultimately titles don’t have any bearing on the actual quality of the film. But while The Bop Decameron may have been too “out there” or obscure, there was something about Nero Fiddled that really intrigued me. Now it sounds like a seconrd-rate Bond title. I know it fits well with this whole “Woody Loves Europe” phase and I’m fine with that. But Nero Fiddled is just an awesome title…especially for a Woody Allen movie!
The Expendables 2 An “R” After All?
Better late than never. It appears that Sylvester Stallone has backtracked a bit from the news that The Expendables 2 would be PG-13. Stallone had seemed to confirm the news a couple months ago after world leaked that a “no cursing” clause was the only way Chuck Norris would be in the film and that the PG-13 was a way to maximize the film’s potential audience. Somehow, Stallone seems to have gotten around that, or it was never true to begin with, as the actor-director told a fan-site:
“After taking in all the odd rumors and hearsay, Expendables 2 is an R.”
Personally, I have no idea what the truth was regarding the PG-13. It sounded ludicrous at the times, BUT both Norris and Stallone seemed to confirm it. Although now it seems both men may have got what they wanted. I’d be willing to guess there is minimal cursing and maximum violence. Since we all know the MPAA cares far more about naughty language than it does grpahic violence, I bet the “F-bombs” are at a minimum and some studio execs probably want the violence without a ton of bloodshed (since more blood equals an R). Who knows, the reaction to the PG-13 rating might have caught everybody surprised and so they went back and fixed it. I said it at the time and I’ll say it again. The Expendables 2 has to be an “R.” What exactly is the point if it’s not?
Let’s be really honest. There is really only one movie coming out this week that anyone is going to see. There are a few films getting limited releases like Goon and the continued roll-out of previous Face-Off participant The Raid: Redemption. But this weekend is all about The Hunger Games. It’s going to be that big. So here’s the trailer for The Hunger Games.
Are you planning on seeing any or all of these? Which looks better? Let me know in the comments.
From DICK (Guest):
“The Avengers can’t come soon enough. So…Who do you think Loki’s army are?”
lets not kid ourselves the mayority of the people interested in the movie already know.
seriously only google it if spoilers dont matter to you
Not to be condescending (well, maybe a little) but I must have missed the memo that went out to everyone definitively revealing the identity of Loki’s Army. I don’t know, maybe the mayority of people do know, but I was under the assumption that people were making educated guesses at best. I’ve heard everything from the Skrulls and Kree (which have now both been discounted officially) to Atlanteans and Frost Giants (the latter of which makes sense to my untrained, amateur comic book knowledge). But please, if you have exclusive, definitive information that few others seem to posses, please share with the rest of the class.
From Ohnoes (Guest):
While i’m sure they will recast Rusty, why not give Ethan Embry another try. I thought he did a pretty good job in Vegas Vacation and I imagine he would fit the age range pretty well at this point.
I would imagine they would recast, particularly since the new rebooted franchise will likely revolve around the character. Talk has been about Ed Helms – which makes sense – taking over the role, especially in the wake of the commercial successes of The Hangover movies. No offense to Ethan Embry, but he’s just not going to carry a movie. Hell, we’re not even sure Chase and D’Angelo would be back and even if they are it’d probably be more in a small cameo role.
From caboose (Guest):
Paramount has long maintained that it bought the copyright to Puzo’s “The Godfather” back in 1969 and is simply trying to protect its claim and the “integrity and reputation of “The Godfather Trilogy.”
I think that ship has sailed. *cough*SofiaCoppola*cough*
She’s a very good director, let’s give her that. But yeah, that was…regrettable.
From G-Walla (Guest):
I thought it was a bad move to open World War Z around the time Hobbit opens, so I’m stoked its going to be a summer release now in late June. Gives something to look forward to after the major summer flicks fizzle out during May and the first 3 weeks of June.
I always thought the summer flicks didn’t start to fizzle out until the very end of July/beginning of August. July 4th is always a huge movie weekend/holiday (this year a little movie called The Dark Knight Rises isn’t even opening until July 20th). Anyway, I agree about World War Z. It always seemed a better fit with a summer-ish release date to me, especially in the wake of The Hobbit which will pretty much dominate the end-of-December box office.
Trailer of the Week: Snow White and the Huntsman
Funny Video of the Week: “Official Spoiler Rules”
That’s all for this week. As always, let me know what you think in the comments section. For now, this is Jeremy Wilson, off the record, on the QT…
…and definitely, “Hush Hush!”