All posts by Michelle B. Kaplan

Micheal Keaton in Early Talks to Return as Batman in ‘The Flash’ Movie

Micheal Keaton is not a stranger to the role as he played Gotham’s rich caped crusader in the 1990s Batman movies which were directed by Tim Burton. He starred in Burton’s Batman released in 1989 as well as Batman Returns which was released in 1992. Although the role made Keaton famous, his acting in the movies was top-notch. Both of these reasons must be why Warner Bros. has decided to offer the veteran actor a deal to reprise the character.

The Flash movie is theatrical release on June 3, 2022, and will feature Ezra Miller reprising his role as Barry Allen, AKA Flash. Ezra Miller has previously played the character in three other DC Movie – Justice League, Suicide Squad, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Directing the movie is Andy Muschietti while Christina Hodson who wrote Birds of Prey is on board to write the script of the movie. The movie will be produced by Michael Disco and Barbara Muschietti.

The Flash character was created in the 1950s comics when a scientist, Barry Allen, working for the city police, gained the ability to move as fast as light after he was struck by lightning whilst working on some chemicals.

Micheal Keaton’s role as Batman in “The Flash” movie does not affect the upcoming “The Batman” movie directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson as the caped crusader. Robert Pattinson’s The Batman is scheduled for theatrical release on Oct. 1, 2021, but might change if movie theaters remain closed in some part of the world.

How much Keaton features in the “The Flash” movie is not quite certain as production for the movie is yet to start.

Asides playing the caped crusader, Michael Keaton has played several other roles in popular epic movies in recent years. Some of them include playing Vulture in “Marvel’s Spiderman: Homecoming”, starring Ray Kroc in “John Lee Hannock’s The Founder”. He is also set to play Ramsey Clark in the upcoming movie “The Trial of the Chicago 7” which is set for release later this year.

Golden Globes 2021 Postponed Nearly Two Months

The annual 2021 Golden Globes ceremony is set to take place a little later than scheduled. The change which came a week after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science announced the 93rd telecast of its annual Academy Awards has been pushed back by two months to April 25, 2021, means the 2021 Golden Globes ceremony is now set for Feb. 28.

The new date for the Golden Globes 2021 awards means it will take place two months before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts’ 93rd Academy Awards telecast. The new date was initially the original date of the 2021 Oscars Award, a date set back in 2017. 

After making the announcement, the organization said, “To accommodate both domestic and intentional film and television productions, the HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Press Association) will provide further guidance around eligibility, voting period and revised nominations announcement timing in the coming weeks.”

Previous Golden Globes awards were usually held on the first Sunday of a new year to signal the start of the Hollywood Awards season of every production and movie that was done the year before. However, the pandemic this year means the usual way the awards have always been held has to be adjusted. 

The HFPA also announced that the 2021 Golden Globes awards will be hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. There is no other information about the 2021 ceremony except that it will broadcast live on NBC.

In other news, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced a change it the date of its EE Film Awards to April 11th meaning the BAFTA Film awards will come two weeks before the 2021 Oscars ceremony.

‘Mulan’ Release Date Postponed Yet Again

Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan has yet again seen a change in its theatrical release date. The studio’s change in its highly expected movie is the third time the movie’s release date has changed. This is not much of a surprise considering China, where the movie is expected to be a box office hit, is yet to set a date for the reopening of its movie theaters.

Mulan, slated to hit the big screen on July 24th will instead debut in theaters on Aug 21. This comes after the studio decided a new date was the best way to adjust to the changes the pandemic has caused Hollywood and the entire world. 

Following the change, Disney’s co-chairman Alan Bergman and co-chairman Alan Horn (also the studio’s chief creative officer) said, “While the pandemic has changed out release plans for ‘Mulan’ and we will continue to be flexible as conditions require, it has not changed our belief in the power of this film and its message of hope and perseverance. Director Niki Caro and our cast and  crew have created a beautiful, epic and moving film that is everything the cinematic experience should be, and that’s where we believe it belongs – on the world stage and the big screen for audiences around the globe to enjoy together.”

This change was announced after Warner Bros. announced “Tenet,” its sci-fi epic movie directed by Christopher Nolan, would no longer debut on its initial scheduled date but will now make its theatrical debut on August 12.

Both Mulan and Tenet were expected to herald the reopening of movie theaters as well as the start of the summer movie season given their initial July release dates. However, both studios have pushed back their movie’s release due to the lingering effects the pandemic still has in some parts of the world.

‘STAR TREK 4’: S.J. CLARKSON BECOMES THE FIRST FEMALE DIRECTOR IN FRANCHISE’S HISTORY

‘Star Trek 4’: S.J. Clarkson Becomes the First Female Director in Franchise’s History

S.J. Clarkson has been tapped to direct Star Trek 4, making her the first female to helm a film in the “Star Trek” franchise.

Paramount Pictures had no comment. The studio announced at CinemaCon in Las Vegas that it was planning a fourth movie with Chris Hemsworth,who appeared as Chris Pine’s father in 2009’s “Star Trek.” Zachary Quinto is also set to return. Paramount is developing another “Star Trek” film from J.J. Abrams and Quentin Tarantino, but sources say it is still being written and would come after the fourth movie.

While details on “Star Trek 4” are vague, sources say a key plot point sees Pine’s character running into his father (Hemsworth) in a time travel ploy.

J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay penned the screenplay. Abrams and Lindsey Weber will produce through Bad Robot Productions, while David Ellison and Dana Goldberg of Skydance Media will executive produce.

The original 2009 reboot “Star Trek” earned $385 million worldwide, while its sequel “Star Trek: Into Darkness” made $467 million globally in 2013. The third, “Star Trek Beyond,” brought in $343 million worldwide in 2016.

Clarkson is best known for her work on the TV scene with shows such as “Dexter,” “Bates Motel,” “Orange is the New Black,” and “Jessica Jones.” She recently directed a handful of episodes for Marvel’s “The Defenders.”

 

‘AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR’ HEADS TO MONSTER $225+ MILLION OPENING WEEKEND

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Heads to Monster $225+ Million Opening Weekend

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR..L to R: Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

In case you haven’t heard, Avengers: Infinity War  is heading towards an opening weekend that could end all opening weekends.

The Marvel superhero adventure is eyeing a debut weekend of $225 million to $245 million, with a possibility of even crossing the $250 million mark. If numbers reach the end of that range, “Infinity War” could have one of the biggest debuts of all time. The hefty launch should go a long way to justify its wildly expensive price tag of somewhere from $300 million to $400 million.

As of now, the biggest opening weekend of all time belongs to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which bowed with $248 million in 2015 and went on to make over $936.6 million domestically. Only five films in history have hit the $200 million mark in their debuts.

“Infinity War” picks up two years after the events of “Captain America: Civil War” with the Avengers teaming up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop the evil Thanos from inter-galactic dominance. The heroic ensemble cast includes Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Chris Evans’ Captain America, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, Chris Pratt’s Star Lord, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk.

Joe and Anthony Russo directed from a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. “Infinity War,” the sequel to 2012’s “The Avengers” and 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” is the 19th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The original “Avengers” had the highest opening to date for a Marvel film, debuting with $207.4 million. Its sequel, “Age of Ultron,” launched with $191 million. The first movie earned $623 million in North America, while the second made $459 million.

“Infinity War” comes on the coattails of the Disney-owned Marvel’s most recent success, “Black Panther,” which opened to a massive $202 million in February. Ryan Coogler’s tentpole continues to shatter records, and has earned an impressive $1.3 billion worldwide.

Naturally, no other studio considered a wide release for the superhero-intensive weekend. A Quiet Place will likely drop to the No. 2 slot in its fourth frame. The surprise hit, directed by John Krasinski and co-starring Krasinski and Emily Blunt, has made $131 million in North America. Other recent releases, such as Amy Schumer’s “I Feel Pretty” and Dwayne Johnson’s “Rampage” should also see drops as “Infinity War” will presumably gobble up the rest of the box office.

DISNEY DEBUTS LIVE-ACTION ‘LION KING,’ ‘DUMBO,’ ‘ALADDIN’ FOOTAGE AT CINEMACON

Disney Debuts Live-Action ‘Lion King,’ ‘Dumbo,’ ‘Aladdin’ Footage at CinemaCon

Disney dazzled CinemaCon attendees Tuesday with footage from its upcoming live-action The Lion King, Dumbo and Aladdin  movies, all opening in 2019.

The studio closed its 90-minute presentation at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with “The Circle of Life” opening sequence to Jon Favreau’s The Lion King  which opens July 19, 2019 — 25 years and a month after the original.

The footage appears to mirror the opening minutes of the 1994 animated blockbuster in which King Mufasa’s newborn son, Simba, is presented to the animal kingdom at Pride Rock by Rafiki the baboon, the shaman and adviser to Mufasa. Rafiki, who has the same colorful facial markings as in the animated film, rubs Simba’s face with red dust before presenting him.

Exhibitors were also impressed by the early footage from Dumbo directed by Tim Burton and loosely inspired by the 1941 animated film. The period movie includes Danny DeVito as the circus ringmaster and Michael Keaton as the owner. The footage included image of the CGI pachyderm with massive ears, but did not include any actual flying by the elephant.

“We had to hold something back,” said newly named distribution head Catherine Taff, who presided over the presentation.

Attendees also gave a positive response to footage from the live-action Aladdin, starring Will Smith as the Genie.  The film — a remake of the 1992 animated hit — also stars Mena Massoud with Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad, Billy Magnussen, and Numan Acar. It is scheduled to be released on May 24, 2019.

“Disney knows how to do it,” Smith said in a clip. “This is going to be beautiful.”

Disney has continued to exert its box office dominance in recent years with an array of live-action remakes of its animated films, including “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Jungle Book,” and last year’s “Beauty and the Beast,” which grossed $1.25 billion worldwide.

STEVEN SPIELBERG’S ‘READY PLAYER ONE’ CROSSES $500 MILLION WORLDWIDE

Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ Crosses $500 Million Worldwide

Steven Spielberg’s latest film, Ready Player One has earned more than $500 million for Warner Bros. around the globe, with a large portion emanating from China.

Ready Player One is also now the 10th-largest Chinese grosser for Warner Bros, earning more than $200 million from the country. The action-sci fi’s opening marked Warner Bros.’ largest ever in the nation with $61 million. On top of the earnings from China, the film has taken in another $179 million from foreign markets. It opened in Japan this weekend, completing its international rollout.

Domestically, “Ready Player One” has brought in more than $120 million.

Tye Sheridan stars in the film alongside Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe and T.J. Miller. Zak Penn and Ernest Cline wrote the script, based on Cline’s bestselling novel of the same name. Sheridan plays a young man living in 2045 Ohio who also leads a dual life in the virtual reality game Oasis, where many find respite from a difficult reality in a second life.

The film was produced by Donald De Line, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Spielberg and Dan Farah. Adam Somner, Daniel Lupi, Chris deFaria and Bruce Berman served as executive producers.

Spielberg became the first director whose films’ grosses topped more than $10 billion earlier this week, with “Ready Player One” marking the director’s highest-grossing film of the last 10 years. Not adjusted for inflation, Spielberg’s biggest earner was 1993’s “Jurassic Park” with $983.8 million globally.

ASH VS. EVIL DEAD’ CANCELED AT STARZ AFTER THREE SEASONS

Ash vs. Evil Dead’ Canceled at Starz After Three Seasons

Ash vs. Evil Dead has been canceled at Starz

The series will air its third season finale on April 29, which will now serve as the series finale. The series saw Bruce Campbell reprise the role of Ash Williams, the chainsaw-wielding anti-hero tasked with saving the world from evil in the “Evil Dead” film franchise. The series also starred Dana DeLorenzo, Ray Santiago, and Lucy Lawless.

The third season saw Ash, having gone from murderous urban legend to humanity-saving hometown hero, discovering that he has a long-lost daughter who has been entrusted in his care. Meanwhile, Kelly (DeLorenzo) witnessed a televised massacre with Ruby’s (Lawless) fingerprints all over it, and she returned with a new friend to warn Ash and Pablo (Santiago) that evil wasn’t done with them yet.

Campbell was also an executive producer on the series, along with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert from the original film franchise. The show had seen a steep fall off in its ratings during Season 3, averaging just a 0.08 rating in adults 18-49 and 177,000 viewers per episode with two episodes remaining in the season.

Starz current originals slate includes “Power,” “American Gods,” and “Counterpart.” They will also launch the shows “Sweetbitter” and “Vida” in May. The premium cabler previously canceled the comedy “Survivor’s Remorse” back in October after four seasons.

VERNE TROYER, MINI-ME IN ‘AUSTIN POWERS,’ DIES AT 49

Verne Troyer, Mini-Me in ‘Austin Powers,’ Dies at 49

Mandatory Credit: Photo by MediaPunch/REX/Shutterstock (8963067p)
Verne Troyer
Starkey Hearing Foundation Awards Gala, Arrivals, St.Paul, USA – 16 Jul 2017

Verne Troyer, the actor best known for playing Mini-Me in the Austin Power films and one of the shortest men in the world, has died. He was 49.

The news was announced in a post to his official Facebook page.

“It is with great sadness and incredible heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today,” the statement reads. “Verne was an extremely caring individual…[he] hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message everyday.”

In addition to his credits in “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” and “Austin Power in Goldmember,” Troyer also acted in the first Harry Potter film as Griphook the goblin. He had more than 25 other film credits to his name, including roles in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” “The Love Guru,” and “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.”

Born January 1, 1969 in Michigan, Troyer was raised in the Amish faith for a time, but his parents eventually left the religion. He graduated from Centreville High School in 1987.

Troyer’s unusual height of 2’8″ was a result of achondroplasia dwarfism. He has stated that his parents “never treated me any different than my other average-sized siblings. I used to have to carry wood, feed the cows and pigs and farm animals.”

Read the full announcement of Troyer’s death below.

“It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today.

Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible. Verne hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message everyday.

He inspired people around the world with his drive, determination, and attitude. On film & television sets, commercial shoots, at comic-con’s & personal appearances, to his own YouTube videos, he was there to show everyone what he was capable of doing. Even though his stature was small and his parents often wondered if he’d be able to reach up and open doors on his own in his life, he went on to open more doors for himself and others than anyone could have imagined. He also touched more peoples hearts than he will ever know.

Verne was also a fighter when it came to his own battles. Over the years he’s struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately this time was too much.

During this recent time of adversity he was baptized while surrounded by his family. The family appreciates that they have this time to grieve privately.

Depression and Suicide are very serious issues. You never know what kind of battle someone is going through inside. Be kind to one another. And always know, it’s never too late to reach out to someone for help.

In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make a donation in Verne’s name to either of his two favorite charities; The Starkey Hearing Foundation and Best Buddies.”

WEINSTEIN CO. ADDS BOARD MEMBER TO NAVIGATE BANKRUPTCY SALE

Weinstein Co. Adds Board Member to Navigate Bankruptcy Sale

The Weinstein Co., which is two weeks away from a bankruptcy auction, appointed a new board member on Friday who will weigh in on the sale.

Ivona Smith is a consultant at Drivetrain Advisors, a firm that provides independent board service for companies in bankruptcy. According to a statement on Friday night from the Weinstein Co., Smith was added at the urging of the committee of unsecured creditors. The five-member committee includes an actress and former Weinstein Co. employee who have filed suits accusing Harvey Weistein  of sexual misconduct.

The committee is seeking to maximize the value of the Weinstein Co. estate, providing the largest possible return for creditors. In addition to Weinstein’s victims, the unsecured creditors include numerous law firms, studios, and vendors.

“We are delighted to welcome Ms. Smith to our Board,” Bob Weinstein, the company chairman, said in a statement. “Ms. Smith brings not only substantial expertise in the bankruptcy sale process, but also enhanced transparency toward [the] Board’s goal of maximizing value for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

Smith has 20 years of experience in distressed investment. The other board members are Tarak Ben Ammar, Lance Maerov, and Frank Rainone.

Lantern Capital has submitted a stalking horse bid of $310 million, plus assumption of debt, for the company. Lantern, based in Dallas, intends to keep the company going. Other bidders are said to be solely interested in the company’s 277-title library. Bids are due on April 30.