Tag Archives: michael arndt

The Greatest Showman Trailer #2 (2017) “This Is Me”

Hugh Jackman’s first film of his post-Wolverine career will be a routine to his roots: musicals.  An unknown song and dance man before becoming a household name thanks to his iconic portrayal of Wolverine in the X-Men films, Jackman will be headlining the big holiday musical of 2017.  With the songwriters of La La Land, will The Greatest Showman, starring Jackman as circus legend P.T. Barnum be able to duplicate that film’s success?  To listen to the full version of the song “This Is Me” by Keana Settle, which will be going head-to-head with Beauty and the Beast’s contributions come Oscar time, scroll down.  It’s literally playing on loop in my head and has been for days.  Co-starring Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya, The Greatest Showman will open Christmas Day.  Read more below from Coming Soon.

Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman

Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business & tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

The Greatest Showman is directed by exciting new filmmaker, Michael Gracey, with songs by Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land). Hugh Jackman produced The Greatest Showman alongside Laurence Mark and Chernin Entertainment. Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Jenny Bicks (Rio 2, Sex and the City) and Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Beauty and the Beast) wrote the screenplay.

The Greatest Show on Earth Trailer #1 (2017) “No One Ever Made a Difference by Being Like Everyone Else”

Hugh Jackman’s first film of his post-Wolverine career will be a routine to his roots: musicals.  An unknown song and dance man before becoming a household name thanks to his iconic portrayal of Wolverine in the X-Men films, Jackman will be headlining the big holiday musical of 2017.  With the songwriters of La La Land, will The Greatest Showman, starring Jackman as circus legend P.T. Barnum be able to duplicate that film’s success?  Jackman’s only Oscar nomination was for leading the cast of the big screen adaptation of Les Miserables, so this is familiar territory, the only question is can a first-time director deliver?  The first trailer looks very promising.  Co-starring Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya, The Greatest Showman will open Christmas Day.  Read more below from Coming Soon.

Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman

Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business & tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

The Greatest Showman is directed by exciting new filmmaker, Michael Gracey, with songs by Academy Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land). Hugh Jackman produced The Greatest Showman alongside Laurence Mark and Chernin Entertainment. Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Jenny Bicks (Rio 2, Sex and the City) and Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Beauty and the Beast) wrote the screenplay.

The Greatest Showman

Star Wars Episode VII and Tomorrowland Move Back; New Release Dates Announced

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In a move that isn’t terribly surprising, Disney announced Star Wars Episode VII is moving from summer to an official release date of December 18, 2015.  Their big holiday 2014 movie, Brad Bird‘s Tomorrowland, has also been moved.  2014 gets even more barren as Tomorrowland moves from December 2014 to May 22, 2015.

Prompting the move of Episode VII is, no doubt, the change in scripting duties that was remarked upon as a conflict of working schedules and methods as JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan took over the script from Michael Arndt who had been working over a year on a draft.  Story is all.  No story; no movie.  If you don’t have a strong script, you run into the problems that infuriated people with the prequels.  I’m troubled by the changeover, though Kasdan has a long history with the franchise having scripted much of and directed Empire Strikes Back.  I want it GOOD rather than NOW.  I’m more relieved by the move than anything else.  The Tomorrowland move is surprising and the second George Clooney movie to hop release dates (Monuments Men moved from next month to February 2014) in a month.  Look at the release schedule.  2014 is comic book movies and Chris Nolan’s Interstellar and the Hobbit.  That’s it.  As weak as this year was, I fear next year will be much worse.  The official press release from Lucasfilm:

With pre-production in full-swing, a confirmed release date of December 18, 2015, has been set for Lucasfilm’s highly-anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII. The film will be released in 3D.

“We’re very excited to share the official 2015 release date for ‘Star Wars: Episode VII,’ where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture,” said Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.

Star Wars: Episode VII will be directed by J.J. Abrams (Super 8Mission: Impossible IIIStar Trek) and is being scripted by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost ArkThe Empire Strikes BackReturn of the Jedi). Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, with Tommy Harper (Mission: Impossible – Ghost ProtocolJack RyanStar Trek Into Darkness) and Jason McGatlin (TintinWar of the Worlds) serving as executive producers. John Williams is returning to score Star Wars: Episode VII.

Shooting is scheduled to begin spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios.

Disney also announced today that director Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland has been pushed back from a December 12, 2014 release and will now open on May 22, 2015. Written by Damon Lindelof and Bird, the film stars George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, Thomas Robinson and Kathryn Hahn.

 

 

Michael Arndt OUT as Star Wars Episode VII Screenwriter! JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan Now Listed as the Sequel’s Screenwriters

Fan Made Poster by Clint Onkun
Fan Made Poster by Clint Onkun

In what may go a long way toward explaining why there has been a dearth of official Star Wars Episode VII announcements, Lucasfilm today announced that the screenwriters of the film are now JJ Abrams and Empire Strikes Back director Lawrence Kasdan.  I’ll paste the entire press release from Lucasfilm below and it makes it sound like the two have just assumed this duty.  Michael Arndt had a script he’d been working on for over a year.  If it wasn’t done; it was close.  This is the guy who wrote Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3.  He’s a good writer.  To have an out-of-the-blue announcement that he’s no longer involved is, to me, an extraordinary development at this point in pre-production.

Script is everything for a successful franchise rebirth for Star Wars.  It’s the foundation.  As talented and as experienced as Abrams and Kasdan are, Arndt is quite honestly a better writer than they are.  I can only deduce that this wasn’t a stylistic disagreement but a major plot shift.  It certainly explains why there’s been no official casting of any role for the film just months away from the start of shooting.

I’m almost more bothered by the tone of this release; like this is a nothing development.  This may be the biggest official announcement since the films were rolled out.  A lot of my confidence in this just got shaken and shaken hard.  I hope Abrams and Kasdan knew beyond a doubt where to take the film enough to scrap Arndt’s script, but it begs the question…how far along are they?  ARE they scrapping all of Arndt’s work?  The fact that his name has been removed from the project suggests they are.  Keeping the film in summer 2015 come hell or high water is not worth compromising on quality, because Episode VII HAS to be good if Disney wants this to work.  There are a huge portion of jaded and angry fans and if they can’t heal that rift with this film, they’re not going to get them back.  This is all just speculation because the release is so vague, but what it DOES say, makes me very very nervous.

As “Episode VII” continues pre-production, Lawrence Kasdan and director J.J. Abrams have assumed screenwriting duties for the film. Kasdan, who has been serving as a consultant on the film, is a veteran of several classic Lucasfilm productions, writing the screenplay for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and serving as co-screenwriter for “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.” Acclaimed director and screenwriter Abrams’ credits include “Super 8,” “Mission: Impossible III,” “Fringe,” and “Lost.”

“I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script,” states Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “There are very few people who fundamentally understand the way a “Star Wars” story works like Larry, and it is nothing short of incredible to have him even more deeply involved in its return to the big screen. J.J. of course is an incredible storyteller in his own right. Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point and we have an amazing filmmaking and design team in place already prepping for production.”

Location scouting, production design, casting, and costume design are already underway on “Episode VII.” A team of gifted artists are working to bring the latest installment of the “Star Wars” saga, including director of photography Dan Mindel (“Mission: Impossible III,” “Star Trek”), production designers Rick Carter (“Lincoln,” “Avatar”) and Darren Gilford (“Oblivion,” “TRON: Legacy”), costume designer Michael Kaplan (“Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol“), special effects supervisor Chris Corbould (“Skyfall,” “The Dark Knight Rises“), sound designer Ben Burtt (“Lincoln,” “Star Wars: Episodes I-VI”), re-recording mixer Gary Rydstrom (“Jurassic Park,” “Saving Private Ryan”), supervising sound editor Matthew Wood (“Star Trek Into Darkness,” “The Master”) of Skywalker Sound, and visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett (“Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”) of Industrial Light & Magic. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, with Tommy Harper (“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” “Star Trek Into Darkness”) and Jason McGatlin (“Tintin,” “War of the Worlds”) serving as executive producers.

John Williams is returning to score Star Wars: Episode VII.

Shooting is scheduled to begin Spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios for an expected 2015 release

 

Star Wars Episode VII Will Shoot at Pinewood Studios

Star Wars, Star Wars Episode VII, Fan Made Poster,
Fan Made Poster

Every previous Star Wars film has been shot in the UK and Star Wars Episode VII will be no exception.  After announcing the film would return to the UK earlier this month, Disney and Lucasfilm followed with the announcement that the seventh film will be shot at Pinewood Studios.

“Production is already moving in to Pinewood in preparation for the early 2014 shoot with crew also being assembled. As previously reported, casting is underway.”

Kathleen Kennedy, new head of Lucasfilm, said, “We’ve devoted serious time and attention to revisiting the origins of Star Wars as inspiration for our process on the new movie, and I’m thrilled that returning to the UK for production and utilizing the incredible talent there can be a part of that. Speaking from my own longstanding connection to the UK with films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Empire of the Sun and recently War Horse, it’s very exciting to be heading back.”

Casting is just beginning with general casting descriptions of the main characters having leaked last week (http://wp.me/p36nPa-No).  JJ Abrams is working with Michael Arndt on polishing the script.  The only other piece of Episode VII news I have to pass along is that George Lucas says he has not talked to JJ Abrams about the film.  That is exactly the level of consultancy that I want to hear from George.  Bravo.  He just got remarried.  Take some time, George.  Go on a cruise.  Buy an island.  Just kick back for the next, oh, 18 months or so.  Thaaaat’s a good Jedi.