James Bond directors have been a hot topic on the internet today. A few names thrown out earlier included Nicolas Winding Refn, Ang Lee, Tom Hooper, David Yates, and Shane Black. Now Deadline has jumped on board the Bond 24 news wagon, and they're throwing in their own news update, saying that Sam Mendes is actually back in talks with the studio! It still amazes me sometimes how fast news like this can change. This is surprising, because Mendes is incredibly busy with directing several stage plays. He has said time and time again that he wasn't going to do it. Mendes did an amazing job with Skyfall, and it ended up being the most successful Bond movie so far, pulling in over $1.1 billion. It was a pretty amazing Bond film!
Apparently the studio has decided to wait for Mendes to work through his stage play commitments, and they are looking to make a deal with him to start production on Bond 24 next year. The report confidently states that "Mendes will be the director of the next Bond." They don't say he might, maybe, or possibly be directing. They say he will.
Are you excited to hear that Mendes is coming back for more Bond?
A new photo has been reveled for another vehicle redesign from Transformers 4, and this one gives us our first look at Optimus Prime's new design. Michael Bay previously said that he was going to deliver all new robot designs, and as you can see he's followed through with his word. That's one burly big rig! Bay describes it as a "completely upgraded, custom-built Optimus Prime from Western Star (a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America)." I'm looking forward to seeing what the robots end up looking like.
The movie also stars Mark Wahlberg, Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Sophia Myles, T.J. Miller, and Li Bingbing. We're still waiting on official story details, but the movie comes out in theaters on June 27th, 2014.
The Walking Dead series is obviously doing very well for AMC because they never want to see the show end. When series creator Robert Kirkman created the comic, he envisioned it as a "never ending zombie story," and it seems AMC is envisioning the same thing for the series, which is pretty freakin' awesome!
AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan recently told THR,
"We hope that zombies live forever and we’ve just begun to find out what the post-apocalyptic world is like. So that we’ll be sitting here at the Barclays conference in 2022 discussing the fact that Walking Dead is not over."
The Walking Dead is currently in production of the fourth season in Atlanta Georgia. If we see this series continue, we could see Carl grow up in the series... if he doesn't end up being killed off somewhere down the line. It's a cool prospect to think about.
Even though it probably won't happen, what do you think of the prospect of this series living on forever? I could see it going for 15-20 seasons.
Star Trek costume designer Michael Kaplan has confirmed that he'll be teaming back up with J.J. Abrams to design the costumes that we'll end up seeing in Star Wars: Episode VII. Here's what he told Clothes on Film in an interview:
"I am very excited to be working on Star Wars. I’m so looking forward to collaborating, once again, with JJ."
Kaplan has also worked with Abrams on Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, and other classic films such as Fight Club and Blade Runner.
The screenplay for the movie is currently being written by Michael Arndt, and Disney is pushing it to be released in the summer of 2015.
The cheers and whoops that greeted the 2009 relaunch of the Star Trek series contained in them, I thought, a big bass note of relief. For JJ Abrams had taken on the tricky task of not only of appeasing a notoriously judgmental fan base but of winning over a new generation of Trekkies.
Abrams’s film was respectful of but not slavish towards the tradition of the TV series and previous movies, acknowledging its epic proportions without pretending that any of it was Homer. Some smart casting and a better than average script ensured that intergalactic harmony was promisingly established between old school and new.
Four years down the road and we now have this follow-up. Star Trek Into Darkness is no disaster – it has too much competence on its side for that. Abrams understands the dynamics of the blockbuster, that ability to blend the outsize with the intimate, and he has got the same writing team (Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, plus newcomer Damon Lindelof) to keep the ship steady. Once again, the conflict is scaled at a human level, turning on a moral debate between what is expedient and what is right. Once again, the Starship crew are once again sporting those mustard- colored V-necks that used to clad William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy et al. But there’s something missing, some vital creative spark to spring it from the crepuscular realm of the so-so and its border territory, the so-what.
As if to answer the burden of expectation, the film plunges us immediately into a set-piece of chaotic urgency. Spock (Zachary Quinto) is beamed down into the roaring heart of a volcano that will incinerate a whole planet unless he can put it out. Hellfires rage around him while the crew of the Enterprise make anxious faces at one another. It actually plays like the climax of a movie rather than its opening. When the danger approaches meltdown Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) contravenes Starfleet regulations by allowing the chalk-faced natives to clap eyes on the Starship rising from the ocean to rescue Spock from fiery doom. But Jim Kirk doesn’t bother about protocol, he just wants to save the life of his friend and first officer, though he omits this violation in his debrief to the authorities.
So imagine the captain’s outrage when the authorities get wind of his little misdemeanor – from Spock himself! There’s gratitude: you save a fellow from certain death, and then he goes and tattles on you for flouting the rules. Vulcans, as Spock explains, cannot lie, but that’s no comfort to Kirk as he’s stripped of his command and demoted to a subordinate role under his mentor Admiral Pike (Bruce Greenwood)
In truth, the relationship between Kirk and Spock is the heart and soul of Star Trek, being an ambiguous compound of rivalry, warmth and interspecies misunderstanding. As played by Pine, Kirk is a hothead and a daredevil who relies largely on instinct. Spock, of course, is the logician nonpareil, and Quinto has just the right expression of intellectual bemusement when faced with the muddle of human emotion. One of the best moments here comes when Kirk, about to part with his first officer, goes all misty-eyed. “Truth is, I’m gonna miss you,” he says, echoing one of the movies’ universal refrains of buddyhood, and looks to Spock’s reciprocation of the sentiment. But Spock just stares back, impassive, and poor old Jim’s left hanging, like the high-five that gets no returning smack.
Their sundering is short-lived, because news arrives from London of a major terrorist attack that has devastated its towered skyline. (Our capital in the 23rd century now resembles Dubai on steroids. ) It seems this is the fiendish handiwork of one John Harrison, played in Brit-thespian, Benedict Cumberbatch, his resonant basso profundo carrying the same frisson of sophisticated menace that won Alan Rickman similar roles 20-odd years ago. Harrison proceeds to lay waste to a Starfleet meeting in San Francisco, the cue for Kirk and Spock to reunite and pursue him to his hideout on the planet Kronos.
At which point the film enters the deep space of secret identities, interstellar debris and the notable reprise of a plot from an earlier installment of the Star Trek canon. There’s still room for a little interaction between Kirk’s faithful crew, chiefly Scotty (Simon Pegg), Uhura (Zoe Saldana), and the ever-moaning Bones (Karl Urban), while Alice Eve freshens up the cast as an unlikely weapons expert and a possible love interest for Kirk. Spock gamely puts forward the counter-argument to the crew’s avowed mission to destroy the fugitive Harrison: is it not morally incumbent on them to capture the suspect and bring him to trial instead?
That fine discrimination gets rather lost amid a welter of juddering explosions, collapsing scenery and technical glitches aboard the Enterprise, which generally involve the poor engineer Chekov (Anton Yelchin) scurrying about below decks and frantically explaining to the bridge that – well, who knows what? There’s not a great deal of suspense here. However frantic the scramble, however frequent the panic stations, do we believe that the Starship is heading into anything but the next sequel?
Star Trek Into Darkness gets the job done without ever threatening to raise one’s pulse. It’s a thoroughly professional entertainment.