In this Hollywood news round-up, there are updates on Universal’s deal with DreamWorks Animation, the box office lessons of the summer, Blair Witch, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Star Wars: Episode VIII, Ghostbusters, Captain America: Civil War, Tremors and yet another superhero TV show. Plus, this:
Zack Snyder…something, something…Oh, screw it. Just watch this video indulge in the internet’s new favorite past time: mocking Zack Snyder
Here’s how influential China is to the film industry now: Comcast/Universal announced its intentions to purchase DreamWorks Animation in April, and the U.S. Department of Justice approved the purchase in June. Now, China is launching its own anti-trust investigation which could conceivably muddy the waters even though DreamWorks and Universal already integrated and are working together as we speak. WTF? What the heck does China have to do with this? THR explains:
DreamWorks Animation, under founder and former CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, was one of the first U.S. entertainment companies to set up a studio presence in China. In 2012, DWA partnered with China Media Capital and other state-backed entities to establish Oriental DreamWorks in Shanghai. DWA owns a 45 percent stake in the venture, which co-produced the latest film in the Kung Fu Panda franchise.
Why didn’t Independence Day: Resurgence pull a Jurassic World at the box office? Forbes has some thoughts:
Jurassic World sold itself as a must-see event for everyone. Independence Day: Resurgence disappointed because it relied entirely on the mere idea that there was another ID4 movie. And for that matter, even though Sony’s Ghostbusters technically had a gimmick or a hook (if you want to count a mere gender swap as a hook), it also sold itself and presented itself as basically the exact same story with different characters, one painfully beholden to “honoring” the original franchise with momentum-killing original cast cameos and visual callbacks. At least The Force Awakens’s marketing hid the fact that it was a glorified remake of A New Hope.
Here’s why they kept the new Blair Witch movie a secret for so long:
“Basically, whenever a remake or reboot or sequel is announced, there is a kind of initial backlash against it,” said Blair Witch writer Simon Barrett. “‘Why do this? Why not do something original? The original film was perfect.’ And largely I find myself kind of agreeing with that camp… We knew that there would be an initial negative reaction if we just announced the thing and let the hype around it kinda percolate for like three years while we made it.”
Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan will be in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Last we left him in Iron Man 3, he was laid out in a hospital watching Downton Abbey, recovering from injuries suffered while on duty as Stark Industries’ head of security. We actually have no idea what Happy will get up to in Homecoming, although Variety implied he’ll be serving as Tony’s personal driver again. I like to believe Happy will run interference between Tony and Pepper as the former looks to make something happen with Aunt May, thus finally bringing Downey Jr./Tomei late 90s rom-com Only You back into our lives.
Yoda might be in the Episode VIII. Then again, he might not.
That new Ghostbusters title (Answer the Call) for the home video release isn’t a bit of desperate Live.Die.Repeat-style marketing trickery. It’s not even new. Instead, it’s something the studio quietly added for cataloging purposes a while ago, i.e., to differentiate the new Ghostbusters from the old one without simply calling the new one Ghostbusters: 2016.
The Captain America: Civil War iTunes bonus features look pretty sick, y’all.
Greg Berlanti is adapting DC’s Black Lightning to TV. Quick thought: Is there any way they can just call it “Lightning”? It’s not like Luke Cage is called “Black Power Man” in his superhero guise. No, it’s just Power Man because the fact that he’s black doesn’t need to be added to his name. Then again, there is Black Panther. Ah, I’m probably just being way too PC about it.
Berlanti is partnering with Mara Brock Akil (The Game, Being Mary Jane) and her husband Salim Akil, and they are currently pitching to networks. Remember, CW’s prez is on record as saying he doesn’t see any room left in their schedule for more comic book shows. Could Berlanti be forced to look elsewhere? Or could Black Lightning find room on the schedule as a shorter-run series which splitting the fall/spring with Legends of Tomorrow?
Black Lightning centers on Jefferson Pierce. He made his choice: he hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago, but with a daughter hell-bent on justice and a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend — Black Lightning. Pierce aka Black Lightning was one of DC Comics’ first major African American superheroes, making his debut in 1977.
Kevin Bacon has a 10-episode Tremor’s TV show set up at Amazon. Wait, weren’t there already a bunch of direct-to-video Tremors sequels and even an actual TV series on SyFy? Yeah, but Kevin (we’re clearly on a first-name basis) wasn’t in any of those so they don’t count.
Christmas gift idea for the Star Trek fan in your life: A 3-disc Blu-Ray collection called The Roddenberry Vault which packages 12 original series classics with brand new behind the scenes footage uncovered from, where else, the Roddenberry Vault.
VOX has your hook-up for the essentials of new Netflix/Amazon/Hulu streaming options in September. Do you sometimes we wish we could all just pull an Oscar Isaac from the last X-Men movie by putting our hands on a random TV and instantly absorb all programming so that we might finally realize the internet’s collective goal of watching every single show and film ever made? #Overwhelmed #FirstWorldProblems
China. Star Trek. Go!