Well, we back together to look over another week in film. It’s not pretty is it? The last seven days has seen even more allegations arise for Kevin Spacey, Jeffrey Tambor, Louis C.K. and beyond. It makes for ugly and upsetting reading. So here’s Your Week In Film: an occasionally amusing collection of short news clips and Simpsons references – let’s try and raise a smile. There exists a wealth of good writing into what’s going on.
1. Ridley Scott will erase Kevin Spacey from his film, even if it takes all the money in the world
Ridley Scott is nearly 80. He has no time to mess around. He’s always been a bit of a maverick, but his latest movie took some hefty ‘bravery’. Following the slew of horrifying allegations around Kevin Spacey, Ridley Scott has taken the unprecedented move of removing him from his latest, and notably complete, project All the Money in the World. That’s right, the film was complete, and ready to hit the festival circuit, but Scott wants it changed – and rightly so. If stories floating around the Twittersphere are to be believed, Scott fired Spacey without even informing Sony beforehand.
Resolute that one man’s actions would not smear the entire film, the cast and crew uniformly agreed to come back together to reshoot all the scenes. Scott is replacing the 58-year-old Spacey with the 87-year-old Plummer in the role of billionaire J Paul Getty. The film tells the true story of the kidnapping of Getty’s grandson in 1973, and the tycoon’s initial refusal to pay a ransom. Even more shocking is that Scott still aims to have the film released for December 22! So for now, we say bravo Ridley. You’re nearly an octogenarian, and you’ve achieved so many great things in your career, you could have let this one slide. You stood up, made the right call, and made the point that was sorely required. Three cheers Sir Ridley Scott
2. LA Times: 1. Disney: 0
Disney has had better weeks when it comes to their relationships with the press. Despite Disney boasting the strongest arsenal of any studio on the planet when it comes to properties under their roof (Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar), their braggadocious ways caught up with them. Having banned The LA Times from early screenings for their coverage of Disney’s money battles with Anaheim, Disney faced an immediate backlash from the journalist community. First to rise to their defence was The Washington Post‘s pop culture critic Alyssa Rosenberg wrote a column explaining why she planned to skip Disney screenings to show solidarity with the Times‘ film reviewers. After that The New York Times pulled out, and four critics associations announced they would withdraw any recognition for any Disney related projects. With the potential loss of awards at hand, Disney relented and everything is back to normal. The issue is that the House of Mouse has not come out of this one smelling of roses.
3. Has Universal’s Dark Universe gone… dead?
Has the Mummy risen from the dead for the last time? According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal’s ambitious Dark Universe could be over before it really got started. Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, the writer-producers behind the scheme – have apparently exited the project for other work. The Dark Universe was Universal’s attempt to create its own cinematic universe by uniting some of horror’s classic monsters – Frankenstein, Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, Tom Cruise. Unfortunately, the first step was retroactively erased (Gary Shore’s Dracula Untold) and the second was a hefty stumble as Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella’s The Mummy quickly unravelled. Now with Kurtzman and Morgan departed, it looks like the dream is over. Warning signs were there: Universal already pulled production on Bride Of Frankenstein in November. Still, nothing stays dead for too long in this industry. Universal may decide to jettison the universe approach but crank out some character-specific flicks soon enough. Well wait and see.
4. Here’s a post within a post about The Post
Steven Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, and just like that you’re hooked. The Post, a late dark horse in the awards season is the true story of the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post’s Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The aroma of quality is all around this project with Spielberg behind it, and the likes of Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk and Bradley Whitford all boosting the main superstar pairing. Even the first poster was absolutely gorgeous. Bring on the final feature.
5. The Force is strong with Rian Johnson
The world is less than two months away from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Praise be. However for the folks at Star Wars, mainly uber-producer Kathleen Kennedy, they’ve seen more than enough already. On Thursday night, Star Wars announced that Johnson will create a brand-new Star Wars trilogy, the first of which he is also set to write and direct, with longtime collaborator Ram Bergman onboard to produce. What a coup for the man who directed Brick less than a decade ago! Pledged to have this series move away from the Skywalker series, but within the same world, this has bags of potential. Goodness me, I hope we all like The Last Jedi otherwise that will make for one awkward decade of films…
6. Captain Mulligan: An Uncivil War
Remember the name, Dee Rees. With the hubbub rising for her Netflix release Mudbound, the director is hard at work for her next flick An Uncivil War. Carey Mulligan, who featured in Mudbound, has been cast to play Gloria Steinem, famed spokeswoman for the American feminist movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. According to Variety, the film will focus on efforts by Steinem, lawyer and activist Florynce Kennedy, and others to ratify the ERA, while conservative organiser Phyllis Schlafly advocates against it. The ERA was written to guarantee equal rights for all citizens regardless of sex, and although it passed both houses of Congress in 1972 and was submitted to the state legislatures for ratification, it fell short of enactment after receiving 35 of the necessary 38 state ratifications. A female powered film led by a very promise female filmmaker. Yeah, we’ll give it a shot.
7. These brothers will take no more Steps
Step Brothers is one of the underrated comedic classics of the past decade. For those not in the know, it tells the story of two aimless middle-aged losers (Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly) still living at home are forced against their will to become roommates when their parents marry. With an ever-growing appreciation of this fine film, Ferrell told the New York Daily News about what could’ve been. “We talked about Step Brothers, and then Adam and I got sidetracked with other things,” Ferrell told the Daily News. “We had a whole story where John and I follow our parents to live in a retirement community and try to convince them that we earned the right to retire as well.” Despite their conversations, and our hopes, about a possible sequel, Ferrell says there aren’t currently any plans to make one.
8. It’s Game Night with Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman
Finally somebody has put Rachel McAdams into a comedy again! Game Night coming out in March next year sees Bateman and McAdams star as Max and Annie, whose weekly couples game night gets kicked up a notch when Max’s charismatic brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler), arranges a murder mystery party, complete with fake thugs and faux federal agents. This isn’t high comedy, but it works. We’ll be the first to say that this got a few chuckles out of us. We were no fans of the directors’ last piece of work, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein’s Vacation. That being said, we’ll keep our hopes high, and three cheers for McAdams and Sharon Horgan getting a big Hollywood comedy.
> DB & SON