Top 10 Film Stories of the Week (9/12)

Hollywood moves fast. It's time to catch up.


As expected, this week proved exciting with several top stories sourced from the Toronto International Film Festival. Bill Murray sent a few EKGs throughout Spook Central, Robert Downey, Jr. ruffled up the comics, and a pair of big names hit the confessional booth to discuss their recent work. We also saw clear-cut evidence of a few all-star vehicles for two of the biggest blockbusters on the horizon. Needless to say, it wasn’t a bad week by any means.

First off…

10. Someone still wants Top Gun 2

tomcruise Top 10 Film Stories of the Week (9/12)

[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]

Justin Marks, the writer behind Disney’s upcoming live-action version of The Jungle Book, in negotiations to work on Top Gun 2, the sequel to the 1980s Tom Cruise classic that is being made by Paramount and Skydance.

I assumed the tragic death of Top Gun director Tony Scott would be enough to halt a foolish production of a sequel, but now that we have the writer of that Street Fighter movie starring Chris “You just inherited a big problem” Klein, I guess I was the fool all along. Is nothing sacred? Can’t we just leave our aviator glasses and jackets on the beach volleyball courts of the mid ‘80s? Unfortunately, Bruckheimer and T.C. (Tom Cruise) still appear down for a sequel, but without Scott this movie seems a step away from hiring John Moore in his place. It’s not impossible to imagine! I repeat: the writer of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is working on this! Now the idea of Top Gun 2 seems like a highway to the danger zone, and nothing about this could ever take my breath away. Top Pun. –Justin Gerber

09. This week’s top casting news…

casting Top 10 Film Stories of the Week (9/12)

[Source: The Playlist, Deadline]

Al Pacino’s doing the interview rounds at the Toronto International Film Festival, and The Daily Beast asked him about the status of The Irishman, the long-gestating Martin Scorsese-directed gangster picture that would reteam Pacino with Robert De Niro, along with Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel. According to the star, the project’s still pushing forward, and the quartet of actors have been joined by [Bobby] Cannavale. There’s still no firm word on when the movie will be actually shooting, but Scorsese is finally getting Silence underway next year, so it’s unlikely to be before 2016 at the earliest.


Paul Greengrass is circling to come aboard and team with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill in the Fox film they are making about Richard Jewell, the heroic security guard who discovered a suspicious backpack in the Olympics compound during the 1996 games in Atlanta. He soon was vilified as a possible terrorist, and his good work in helping clear bystanders from the area before the bomb exploded turned into a trip to the Twilight Zone. Script is by Billy Ray, who wrote Greengrass’ Captain Phillips.

Okay, so the latter isn’t so much casting as it is an ensuing collaboration. Still, the idea of seeing Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill back together on the big screen is an exciting prospect. The Wolf of Wall Street was a polarizing slice of cinema, but most would agree that the two actors work together like buddah. Toss in Greengrass, who’s a champ at this sort of subject material (skip: Captain Phillips, see: Bloody Sunday, United 93), and you can already pencil it in as an Oscar pick.

As for Scorcese’s future project, consider us stoked for a variety of reasons. It’s a gangster story, Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci are involved, Bobby Cannavale lights up the screen every chance he gets, and the famed auteur has yet to work with Al Pacino — though, not by choice. “I don’t think I’ve gotten close to doing something with Marty,” Pacino told The Daily Beast. “I know him. He’s such a great director. But I can’t think of a Scorsese movie that I would have been right for.” Time for history, folks. –Michael Roffman

08. To Rambo or not to Rambo?

 Top 10 Film Stories of the Week (9/12)

[Source: The Times-Picayune]

Nu Image/Millennium Films, the production company behind the project [Rambo V], didn’t respond to a request for comment, but production sources confirmed this week that the project — which had been set to start shooting in late October in Shreveport — has been delayed, perhaps until 2015. The cause of the delay is unclear.

This is disappointing. Before this update, it looked like a new Rambo movie titled Rambo: Last Blood was ready to role in Louisiana as early as next month. I had a joke that it was actually going to be called John Rambo: First Blood, Part V: Last Blood. Great jokes aside, one enjoys or doesn’t enjoy the Rambo franchise for its blatant embrace of machismo. The first one is more of a thriller than an action film, while the sequels get more and more ridiculous as they chug along. If Rambo V ever gets off the ground, it looks like the fight will return home with John taking on a Mexican cartel. But what if it doesn’t? How will you live, Sly? –Justin Gerber

07. This week’s round of confessions…

reitman garfield Top 10 Film Stories of the Week (9/12)

[Source: Screen Crush, The Daily Beast]

Jason Reitman on last year’s Labor Day: “It’s shitty as hell. It’s totally shitty. I mean, I was proud of my Tomato Rating and, yeah, it sucked … I’ve done more work on that movie than I’ve ever done on a movie. I’m proud of it. And then it doesn’t land and then you realize, oh, this was a misguided effort, for whatever reason.”

Andrew Garfield on this past summer’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2“I read the script that Alex [Kurtzman] and Bob [Orci] wrote, and I genuinely loved it. There was this thread running through it. [But] once you start removing things and say, ‘no, that doesn’t work,’ then the thread is broken, and it’s hard to go with the flow of the story. Certain people at the studio had problems with certain parts of it, and ultimately the studio [has] the final say in those movies because they’re the tentpoles, so you have to answer to those people.”

Eventually, everyone comments on their past faults, but usually years down the road. This week, director Jason Reitman and actor Andrew Garfield shared their two cents on why their most recent work disappointed critics. Reitman suggests that the marketing might have been off, referencing a pretty telling analysis by his father, Ivan. While Garfield blames the editing process that excised key components that made the original script so great. Both are humbling moments, though Garfield’s remarks seem to ignore the fact that the film tried to stuff too many threads into one story. Hey, I actually enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — enough to call Garfield the franchise’s strongest webslinger yet — but the film certainly could have benefited from more editing. Ah, everyone has a different perspective. –Michael Roffman

06. Superman is no match for Guardians of the Galaxy


[Source: Box Office Mojo]

On Saturday, Guardians passed last Summer’s Man of Steel, which is noteworthy given the discrepancy in pre-existing fanbases for these two superhero movies. With $294.8 million, Guardians is now the highest-grossing movie ever from the month of August (ahead of The Sixth Sense), and it’s on track to ultimately pass the original Iron Man‘s $318 million total.

Funny story: Back in July, after exiting the excellent Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, I turned to Justin Gerber and said, “Christ, that Guardians movie. I don’t know. It’s gonna be a total flop.” This is something I’ll never live down, but I’m okay with it. As “pro-gambler” Chevy Chase tells Norm MacDonald in Dirty Work, “Hindsight’s 50/50,” and never in my wildest imagination did I think the film would be quite so enjoyable. It looked fun, what with Blue Suede blasting in that now-classic trailer, but how often do we get a good science fiction adventure these days? Whatever the case, this is one of the few success stories in film this year, and it’s so well deserved. Don’t wait for DVD; go see it now. –Michael Roffman

05. Absolutely no movement on Iron Man 4 

ironman 4 Top 10 Film Stories of the Week (9/12)

[Source: Variety]

Don’t hold your breath, Tony Stark fans. In a new interview with Variety, Robert Downey Jr. shot down speculation about a fourth “Iron Man” movie. “There isn’t one in the pipe,” Downey said. “No, there’s no plan for a fourth Iron Man.”

Maybe not now, but there has to be one eventually, right? … Right? Earlier this week, Robert Downey, Jr. sent shivers down comic fans’ spines with the news while out promoting The Judge at the Toronto International Film Festival. Grantland’s Zach Dionne responded with quite an apt analysis, eventually concluding, “Always sillying, RDJ! Who knows what to believe with you! (Seriously, does anybody actually know what we’re supposed to believe here?)” But let’s be real: There’s no way Marvel is walking away from this franchise. Still, the trilogy as it stands works quite well, and if Downey, Jr.’s Iron Man only appeared in Avengers films from here on out … well, that wouldn’t be the worst thing possible. Just don’t even think about the word “re-cast,” Marvel. –Michael Roffman

04. Please be 23 Jump Street: Medical School. Please be 23 Jump Street Medical School. Please be…

jumpstreets Top 10 Film Stories of the Week (9/12)

Sony Pictures, MGM and Original Film have started forward motion on 23 Jump Street. They’ve set Rodney Rothman to write the script. Rothman was one of the writers who scripted 22 Jump Street for Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. The big question is whether Phil Lord and Christopher Miller will be back to direct the third film. I can report that they are overseeing the script with Rothman as producers on the third film with Neal Moritz, Hill and Tatum. The directing job is theirs if they want it, but insiders said they haven’t committed to direct at this point.

As far as I’m concerned, they can keep pumping out the Jump Street movies on an annual basis. 22 was just as fun as 21, and if the core team of Hill/Tatum/Lord/Miller stay involved, we’ll keep watching. They definitely painted themselves into a corner due to the closing credits sequence of “fake” Jump Street sequels, but who’s to say that should stifle them creatively? What an incredible challenge they may have set up for themselves: 23 Jump Street: Medical School for 2016, 24 Jump Street: Foreign Exchange for 2018, 24 Jump Street: Semester at Sea for 2020. Of course, 2038’s 34 Jump Street: Return of the Ghost is the one I’m looking forward to the most. –Justin Gerber

03. We gotta get us one of these…

batmobilevsuperman Top 10 Film Stories of the Week (9/12)

[Source: Hero Complex]

Zack Snyder has officially unveiled the new Batmobile that will be featured in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, his 2016 sequel to Man of Steel. Snyder released the image via Twitter late Wednesday in response to leaked photos of the vehicle that were making the rounds online.

The new Batman/Superman movie has been getting a lot of flak since casting decisions were made and announced to the general nerd public (card-carrying member, here). However, I can’t find any fault with the latest incarnation of the Batmobile. I guess it’s more of a Bat Tank in the way that Nolan’s Batman had the Bat Tumbler, but it looks like it’s going to do the job for our Sad Batman, whose soon to do battle with Sad Superman before they inevitably make up for the film’s climax, which will likely see the sad duo joining forces with the Mad Wonder Woman to fight off Lex Luthor Zuckerberg. Sad Aquaman will likely make his way to the final battle. Sadness. Infinite sadness… –Justin Gerber

02. “Look at that bucket of bolts!”

falcon x wing Top 10 Film Stories of the Week (9/12)

[Source: BBC]

Matthew Myatt originally thought his pictures of the Millennium Falcon and an X-Wing fighter were experimental aircraft at Greenham Common, Berkshire. He said: “It wasn’t too clear until I viewed the picture and then realised what it was. I grew up with Star Wars so I started jumping around.”

Well, this is geektastic. It’s strange to live in a world that is not only getting a new Star Wars movie, but one with the Millennium Falcon. And Han Solo. And Chewie. And Luke. And Leia. The list goes on, and who knows what other surprises J.J. Abrams and company have in store for us next Christmas. These tantalizing teases of full-size models both by fans (in this article) and filmmakers are definitely wetting the appetites of longtime Star Wars fans, but more importantly go to show that this movie isn’t solely relying on green screen and CGI. Look, there will inevitably be modern special effects in Episode VII, but that’s okay. Just give me something I can actually imagine reaching out to touch or walk upon and I’ll believe in it. More pictures, please. –Justin Gerber

01. Bill Murray approves female-led Ghostbusters 3, Robert Palmer videos

bill murraygb3 Top 10 Film Stories of the Week (9/12)

[Source: The Toronto Star]

“It sounds great to me. It sounds as good an idea as any other. There are a lot of women that could scare off any kind of vapor. No, it’s a grand idea, I don’t know who they’re talking about, but it’s a good idea, I would watch it. I mean, I love Robert Palmer’s videos, so why wouldn’t I love the female Ghostbusters?”


”Melissa [McCarthy] would be a spectacular Ghostbuster. And Kristen Wiig is so funny – God, she’s funny. I like this girl Linda Cardellini a lot. And Emma Stone is funny. There are some funny girls out there.”

gb3 Top 10 Film Stories of the Week (9/12)Similar to the aforementioned Robert Downey, Jr., Bill Murray was out at the Toronto International Film Festival supporting his upcoming indie comedy, St. Vincent. Naturally, The Ghostbusters 3 Question surfaced, specifically addressing the recent rumor that director Paul Feig might be attached to deliver a female-led sequel/reboot. Well, Dr. Peter Venkman has never been one to shy away from the ladies, and that’s the case here as he not only champions the idea, but offers a few suggestions, too.

Here’s the thing, though: I can see why some fans might be wary of this move. Ghostbusters is one of those franchises that holds a special place in everyone’s hearts, and unlike Star Wars, we’ve never really seen other iterations of the story on the silver screen. Cartoons, comics, and video games? Sure. But when it comes to the actual movies, it’s always been Venkman, Stantz, Spengler, and Zeddemore. “We fear change,” to paraphrase Garth Algar.

But we’re also open to it. What could make Feig’s vision work is by relying less on the gimmicky notion of selling a female-led Ghostbusters and actually finding a troupe of female talent who have written and worked together over the years. Open the writing room doors to the leads, let them in on the jokes, and make this as organic as possible. After all, that’s why Ghostbusters proved so successful in 1984. Murray, Dan Akroyd, and the late Harold Ramis were all partners in crime — even director Ivan Reitman.

Feig has one hell of a rolodex, too. If the rumors prove true, he shouldn’t have a problem finding a kinetic lineup. Our one suggestion? Keep Murray interested. If this idea can get Venkman on board — and really, could you imagine the smug one-liners between Murray and Kristen Wiig? — that’ll be worth the experiment altogether. Just remember to say the magic word for crying out loud. –Michael Roffman