|THE RISE OF SKYWALKERBEVERLY HILLS COP 4RISE OF SKYWALKERBEVERLY HILLS COPBEVERLY HILLSHENRY CAVILLSNYDER CUTSKYWALKERCHINATOWNSUPERMANPREQUEL|
There’s one particularly telling and effective moment in The Skywalker Legacy, the feature-lenght documentary that’s included on the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker home release that sums up much of the ambivalence and consternation that some had with J.J. Abrams’ return to the Star Wars universe. After showing the intricate construction of a giant, practical snake monster, the doc cuts back to footage of Jabba The Hutt, that old analogue beast that slithered its way into our hearts. The sentiment is clear – we’re making movies like we used to! A celebration of practical effects, the dripping of k-y jelly to give viscosity just like the old costume days, it’s all there. There’s excitement on set, everyone talking about how amazing it looks, how lifelike, how this is how you’re supposed to do movies like this.
Cut to Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett who shatters the myth, letting us know the creature was replaced by a CGI version in post.
Guyett’s resume is mighty. Having made his bones on groundbreaking films like Twister and Casper, he helped Spielberg bring the events of D-Day to screen in Saving Private Ryan, helped bring to life the best looking film in the Harry Potter series, Alfonso Cuarón’s Prisoner of Azkaban, and even made the theatrical version of Rent feel more than a stage production. Guyett has had many collaborations with Abrams – from the Star Trek Reboots through The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker he was even second unit director on the former, as well as working with George Lucas on Episode III to round off the prequels. He’s in a unique position to speak to these changing landscapes of epic filmmaking.
We spoke at length about the apparent contradictions and indulgences in making a Star Wars film, and he made the case for why nothing was wasted and all contributed to the final presentation. He was erudite and open to the discussion, making for a dream conversation with a man who quite literally has helped shape what amazes us on screen for decades.
The following has been edited for clarity and concision.
We see practical effects being championed as almost a marketing ploy with the “postquels” as a mix of nostalgia and an attempt to delineate from Lucas’ second trilogy. In some ways the love of the practically-realized snake undercuts the extraordinary CGI you and your team accomplished, and raises questions about why the need to fetishize the on-set inclusions when they’re replaced anyway. Could you talk about that ethos, that somehow doing stuff on a computer is a “cheat” while doing an effect practically is not?
I think at the end of the day we’re all trying to do the best that we can, trying to make the best, most dramatic or emotional movie we can visually. I’m coming from figuring out how do you get the most...
The rumor mill has been churning hard over the last few days, with reports suggesting that Man of Steel and The Witcher star Henry Cavill is wanted as Wolverine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since then, a multitude of artists have taken to the drawing board to create depictions of what the actor may look like as the adamantium clawed member of the X-Men.
Over the weekend, unfounded rumors circulated on social media prompting discussion of whether Cavill would be a good fit for the Wolverine role in the MCU. The reports even state that Henry Cavill's Logan may make his debut in the Captain Marvel sequel. So far, there has been no confirmation or rejection of these rumors, and so the artists continue to render and the fans continue to speculate and debate whether Cavill should play the role.
The fan-art does a great job of giving us an idea of what Henry Cavill could look like with the claws, sideburns, and spikey-hair, and there is no doubt that he cast the intimidating shadow one would expect of the berserker raging Wolverine. Whilst some fans have stated that Cavill clearly has the broad chest and dark hair associated with Logan, others have criticized the idea of having another tall actor portray the famously short comic book character.
Hugh Jackman faced similar criticism at the time, but of course, went on to win fans over and played Wolverine for nearly two decades ultimately becoming the definitive live-action version. In the comics though, Wolverine stands at 5'3'', whilst Cavill is much more statuesque 6'1'', and though Jackman proved that the does not hinder an actor's ability to play the character, fans are hoping for a different, more comic-accurate take on Wolverine.
Physical attributes aside, Cavill does already have experience playing hugely famous comic book characters, having played Superman in Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and the Justice League movie. He has also demonstrated his talent for playing gruff, no-nonsense warriors with his role as Geralt in Netflix's hugely successful series of The Witcher. So, Cavill arguably could bring the character of Wolverine to life in Captain Marvel 2, but does that make him the right choice?
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige did confirm at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 that the X-Men will be coming to the MCU eventually, though currently we do not know when or how this will play out. They are of course now able to fold the X-Men and their fellow mutant-kind into the MCU thanks to Disney's purchase of Fox last year.
Henry Cavill is currently filming The Witcher season 2 for Netflix. The assortment of artwork comes from the Instagram accounts of Apex Form, Rimo Dey, Royy Ledger, and Kinoman AZ.
If there’s one miracle that can save us all from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s Zack Snyder‘s eagerly-awaited cut of Justice League. Thankfully, Honest Trailers is here to back the rallying cry of fanboys everywhere by deeming #TheSnyderCut of Justice League not just the most incredible alternate version of the movie, not just a miraculously good version of Justice League, but the greatest comic book movie every made. That’s right, pack it up Marvel, because the Justice League: The Snyder Cut Honest Trailer is dropping truth bombs like Mother Boxes up in here.Justice League: The Snyder Cut Honest Trailer
That’s right, New York’s hottest club is The Snyder Cut of Justice League. This place has everything. Superman with a black suit. An origin story for Darkseid. A high school football career for Cyborg, a romance for The Flash, much more somber dialogue, Spud Webb, and more.
Seriously though, the more stuff that Zack Snyder releases online about his cut of Justice League, the more I can’t see how this movie could have turned out good. Sure, it might have been more in line with what Zack Snyder did leading up to this, but more than likely it still would have been an absolute mess. But at least it’s single-handedly keeping Vero alive.
At this point, Warner Bros. Pictures might have to spend the money to finish The Snyder Cut of Justice League or else they’re not going to have anything worth a damn to entice viewers to subscribe to HBO Max this year.
Theaters are shut, production postponed, dealmaking stalled and writers are twisting in the wind. Given these conditions, it's perversely appropriate that the hottest new book about the movie business is focused on an angst-ridden writer. The Big Goodbye doesn't try to make the writing trade seem like fun, but the creation of Chinatown is steeped in so much drama and pathos that Sam Wasson's book has propelled itself onto bestseller lists.
In writing his Chinatown script, Bob Towne's agony was such that he became the only writer I can recall who actually hired his own ghost writer. And paid him. Towne himself wrote almost all the script.
The 1975 Jack Nicholson-Roman Polanski noir classic won 11 Oscar nominations, including Best Original Screenplay for Towne, but throughout the three-year writing process it seemed increasingly unlikely that the movie would ever get made.
Towne had earlier done touch-ups for The Godfather and other important films, but to move Chinatown into production he had to deal with a manic depressive director who periodically stopped talking to him, a studio chief whose career was on the brink of collapse, and a star who didn't believe that the dialogue in screenplays really mattered in the total picture.
Deliberations grew so disruptive that at one point Towne, though broke, decided to pay another writer, Edward Taylor, to cope with the madness and contribute key scenes Taylor, an old friend, never demanded credit.
At its inception, Chinatown seemed like a dream project. Nicholson, then a rising young star, had developed a friendship with Towne during production of Easy Rider, and now implored him to create a Raymond Chandler genre detective story for him. Towne confided that idea to Robert Evans, then production chief at Paramount, who was eager to expand his portfolio as a producer, with the added compensation.
While Evans coveted a Towne-Nicholson collaboration as his first solo production credit, there was a catch: He didn't want to make a movie about either China or Chinatown. Towne patiently explained that Chinatown was only “a state of mind,” whose intricacies involved incest, murder and a scheme to steal a city's water supply.
Unmoved, Evans instructed Towne to abandon Chinatown, offering instead a payday of $175,000 to adapt The Great Gatsby. Towne angrily pointed out that a screenplay based on the Gatsby novel would be even more confusing than Chinatown.
To prove his point, Towne turned his back on Paramount, and borrowed $10,000 to rent a bed-and-breakfast cabin on Catalina where he would start writing. While he relished his freedom, it proved illusory. There were still other voices with other opinions.
Over time he would find himself re-crafting his story with guidance...