Richard Stanley’s The Island of Dr. Moreau — which can hardly be called “Richard Stanley’s The Island of Dr. Moreau,” as he was fired from production only three days after it started — joined the storied halls of notoriously troubled film production disasters shortly after its release, and was even the subject of a documentary, David Gregory’s Lost Souls, that attempted to explain how the movie went so wrong. Luckily for Stanley, his long-in-development passion project might be resurrected again, twenty years after the first try.
Steven Spielberg, prolific and legendary as he is, has had plenty of flops in his time, and he’s not afraid to let everyone know which of his many film children he likes the least. While making the new documentary Spielberg, documentarian Susan Lacy spent more than 30 hours interviewing her subject, and during some of those sessions he told her which of his Indiana Jones films he likes the least. No, it’s not that one.
If an esteemed actor gets big enough, you can place a pretty good bet that he’ll be cast as at least one American president in his lifetime. Everyone from Martin Sheen to Jon Voight has played George Washington, Daniel Day-Lewis got extremely in character as Abraham Lincoln, and Robin Williams’ Teddy Roosevelt is one of the joys of the Night at the Museum movies. Since Woody Harrelson is having a real moment these days, it comes as no surprise that he’s been tapped to play one of our most recognizable presidents, Lyndon B. Johnson, in LBJ.
Lawrence of Arabia is one of the most restored movies in cinematic history. Just five years ago for it’s 50th anniversary in 2012 David Lean’s masterpiece got a pristine 4K restoration to mark the occasion, but don’t think that means anyone’s done with it yet. Lawrence of Arabia is returning to theaters soon in 70mm, the way it was meant to be seen, and the new trailer is fittingly gorgeous.
It was kind of inevitable that noted 9/11 truther Charlie Sheen would make a movie about that day, but it’s a little surprising that not only Gina Gershon, but Whoopi Goldberg would both agree to star in it. Not surprising: the trailer for Sheen’s 9/11 is shockingly, impressively bad.
One of the best things about Star Wars — given that it’s set in a galaxy far, far away full of fabulous planets and fantastic species — is how many weird alien creatures sneak their way into these movies. The original trilogy gave us wampas, banthas, Ewoks, and tauntauns, on Geonosis we saw Anakin, Padme, and Obi-wan fight the reek, the nexu, and (my favorite), the acklay, and The Force Awakens gave us a very thirsty happabore. Earlier this week, Lucasfilm gave us a closer behind-the-scenes look at The Last Jedi and while a lot of the stuff in there was cool, the best part was the porgs.
When it comes to natural disaster movies, the bigger, the better. San Andreas was delightful in its boorish stupidity, The Perfect Storm is a stone-cold classic, and don’t even get me started on how excited I am for Geostorm. Man against nature is the oldest plot in history, which is why it’s about darn time we saw Josh Brolin play a firefighter.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is an undeniable sci-fi classic, the O.G. one-of-us-in-this-room-isn’t-human narrative, which is probably why it’s been remade so many, many times. The original 1954 novel The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney inspired the 1956 Don Siegel film, which was then remade in 1978, in 1993, and agin in 2007 with Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman (The Invasion). So it should come as no surprise that Warner Bros. is making plans to reboot the story for the modern era.
Hopefully this means the end of the disappointingly ubiquitous #WheresRey hashtag. After forgoing including Rey (the main character) in the cast of figurines Hasbro made for their new Star Wars Monopoly sets, the toy company finally gave in and made a Rey token – but only for certain countries, and nowhere to be found in American toy stores. Their excuse was that American consumers aren’t interested enough in a Rey token for Hasbro to bother with it, which prompted the predictable amount of furious online backlash. Now, it looks like Hasbro has come to its senses.
When you’re part of a giant franchise, there are going to be toys of you. That’s just how these things tend to work. Star Wars is in a realm all of its own, with toys ranging from giant Star Destroyer LEGO sets to Elan Sleazebaggano action figures, and, naturally, the stars of the franchise have their favorites and least-favorites. Mark Hamill recently shared his opinion on what he thinks is the worst Luke Skywalker toy, and it’s quite a doozy.
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