This week I was having a discussion with a friend about whether directors are really storytellers at all or if they are helpless without a good script. I don’t think you can have a good movie without a good script. It’s the foundation of all great films. I remain perpetually baffled that movies spend $20 million on a special effect but won’t drop a quarter of that on a script. Some directors are just not great storytellers, but there are some who, when given something solid to work with (like Bob Gale’s great script for Back to the Future) can take those words and bring it to life in a way that exceeds anything printed on a page. Robert Zemeckis is absolutely at the top of the list of these “storytelling directors”.
Back to the Future, over 30 years after its release, still holds up as one of the great action comedies of recent memory. The film is full of iconic moments from the hoverboard chase, to Johnny B. Goode, to every time Christopher Lloyd bellows “GREAT SCOTT!”, but my favorite scene is the climactic clocktower set piece. CineFix in an Art of the Scene piece from a few years ago does a wonderful job of breaking down the nuts and bolts of how one of the most iconic scenes of the 1980s came to life. What’s probably most stunning is how much of the clocktower scene are practical effects. In an age when CGI has taken a lot of the ingenuity out of F/X work, you don’t see this kind of brilliance anymore. Back to the Future worked so well because it blended a great script, a great director, Michael J. Fox in his breakout role, and old-fashioned movie wizardry to tell a time-traveling tale that has, over the decades, become timeless.
Why isn’t a solo Hulk film on the Marvel schedule anywhere? The schedule is laid out through The Inhumans closing Phase 3 in 2019 and there is nary a big, green guy on it. After The Avengers, the Hulk was the break-out character of that film and it seems natural that Marvel would want to capitalize on that. Plus, given where Avengers: Age of Ultron ended, an adaptation of Greg Pak’s Planet Hulk storyline would seem a natural segue. It isn’t going to happen and this is why: while Marvel has the production rights to a solo Hulk movie, Universal Studios still owns the rights to distribute the film. This is exactly the same dilemma that held up production on The Hobbit films for a decade.
I’ll paste Geek Tyrant’s summary of the court’s ruling on the matter that came via Forbes, but to be honest, I think you may just see a Red Hulk on the screen before you see Bruce again. Just take a look at the cast list for Captain America: Civil War and you’ll see that William Hurt is returning as General Thunderbolt Ross after nearly a decade. Is Rulk going to be added to the MASSIVE Marvel buffet that is Cap 3? We’ll find out next May.
The report states that Universal no longer has the production rights to the Hulk. Marvel currently has them, and has had them since 2005. But Universal still holds the distribution rights on a solo Hulk movie. So if Marvel were to make a new Hulk film, Universal would be given the option of “First Refusal.” Only if they passed on the project would Disney be allowed to take over the distribution rights of that movie.
There are a few other factors that play into the reason why Marvel isn’t looking to make another solo Hulk movie yet. The real issue doesn’t lay with Marvel not being able to work something out with Universal. Forbes points out that the high cost of production and marketing for a Hulk film, mixed with the disappointing box office results of the two previous films, are a huge reason a Hulk solo film isn’t happening anytime soon. They also point out the obvious, and that is that the character simply works better as an ensemble team player with the Avengers.
Paul Walker’s death in the middle of shooting Universal’s main summer 2014 movie has left the studio and the production team scrambling to figure out an answer as to how to move forward. No one is issuing direct confirmation, but The Hollywood Reporter had this to say and I’ll quote them directly: Continue reading How Paul Walker’s Death Affects Fast and Furious 7→
That’s straight from Universal’s press release. Rumors of the film’s plot had an amusement park located on Isla Nublar (the original island). Perhaps that’s Jurassic World? Spielberg producing is nothing. He produces 10 films a year. This is all on Tereverrow. I’d love to see dinosaurs be awesome again!