|WILL SMITHGEMINI MANGEMINI MACLIP|
Jordan Peele has successfully established himself as one of the most prominent voices in blockbuster horror today. After the success of Get Out and Us, Peele can pretty much guarantee an audience for his films in the horror genre. And now a rumor is doing the rounds that his next film under Universal Studios is looking to cast Will Smith in the lead role. And it is tied to their Universal Monsters franchise.
Last year, Universal signed Peele on for a five year, first-look deal. The studio will also produce Peele's next two movies, and it is for Jordan Peele's Untitle Universal Monsters movie that the filmmaker is rumored to be keen on casting Will Smith. In the past, Peele has voiced his desire to use his films to promote black actors, and while Smith, being one of the biggest stars in the world, is hardly in need of promoting, his collaboration with Peele under Universal can help give a boost to both their careers.
Despite owning the rights to some of the most influential monsters in the horror genre, Universal has had a bit of a mixed bag in terms of success so far. Their desire to set up their own cinematic universe comprising of Dracula, The Mummy, The Werewolf and other famous characters crumbled in the face of a negative reception to the individual movies, whether it was The Mummy with Tom Cruise or Dracula Untold with Luke Evans.
This made the studio hit reboot on their plans. Their next offering was the low budget thriller The Invisible Man, which proved to be much more profitable. It is now being said that Universal intends to continue producing low budget horror films under the direction of auteur filmmakers, which is where Jordan Peele comes in. The actor-comedian turned director has proven that he can make provocative, hard-hitting horror that gets talks about for years without needing a giant budget to do so.
As for Smith, he has not dipped his toes in the world of pure horror films so far, but his turn in I Am Legend, the post-apocalyptic action drama with tinges of horror, has proved he can be a good fit for that kind of roles. Will Smith may not be as much a mainstay of summer blockbusters these days as he once was, but his recent outings in Aladdin and Bad Boys for Life have proved that audiences worldwide still very much enjoy watching him onscreen.
Apart from Peele, Universal is also reportedly looking to have John Krasinski, of A Quiet Place fame, make a horror film for them as well. Time will tell whether all these former Dark Universe projects under Universal will finally allow the studio to properly kickstart their own cinematic universe. For now, Krasinski is busy with preparations for the release of his latest offering, the sequel to A Quiet Place, whose release got postponed due to the global lockdown. As far as Peele is concerned, he is gearing up for the release of Candyman, the reboot of the 1992 horror classic that he helped produce. This rumor comes from Full Circle...
Gemini Man, in which Will Smith comes face to face with a de-aged clone of himself, was made from a ’90s script originally meant for Tony Scott. At some point, it was saddled with mid-2000s military politics and anxieties — a la the Bourne films — until eventually, Ang Lee got his hands on it, turning it into a futuristic visual experiment. Like Lee’s previous film, the contained war drama Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk 2016, Gemini Man was shot at 120 frames per second, and was projected as such on the handful of screens that could accommodate it.
Unfortunately, not a single screen could show the film exactly as Lee had intended — at 120fps, in 3D, and at a 4K resolution — which is a shame, given that Lee is one of the most visually interesting filmmakers working in Hollywood. But does his use of “HFR” High Frame Rate actually work? Well, not exactly. I’m not sure a narrative film shot at 120fps can work, barring very specific circumstances. However, the conversation about Lee’s use of technology, and the kinds of stories he applies them to, is worth having.
First, a brief primer: What does 120fps mean?
Movies are generally shot and projected at 24 fps at least on film; it’s 23.976 on most digital cameras, which means ~24 still images are projected in quick succession, within the span of a second, to create the illusion of one continuous moving picture. At five times the frame rate, you lose the motion blur between frames, which helps approximate the vision of the human eye. Without it, things begin to look a little too smooth, almost like they’ve been sped up. You may have seen this effect on televisions in shop windows, which are usually calibrated to show off their sharpness. You can probably experiment with a similar effect at home by turning the “motion smooth” option on your TV on and off things not shot at higher frame rates will have the gaps filled by “guess frames”.
Most people’s first exposure to any HFR footage was The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 2012. Even its mere 48fps was enough to occasionally expose the seams of the makeup, sets and costumes; generally, HFR has the effect of exposing the artifice of cinema. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many side-by-side comparisons of 120fps video on the internet; if you’re reading this on a phone or laptop, your screen probably can’t handle more than 60fps, and neither can YouTube. Most HFR showings of Gemini Man were in 60fps to begin with only fourteen screens across the U.S. played it at the full 120fps; for a comparison of different viewing experiences, do read Bilge Ebiri.
So, to illustrate just some the effect created by HFR, here’s the trailer for Gemini Man in 24fps, followed by the same trailer at 60fps:
Can you spot the difference? The 120fps version of the...
Cursed Films, Shudder’s new series about the urban legends surrounding classic horror films, is a must-watch. They’ve already debuted an episode on The Exorcist, and this week they’ll be premiering a new ep devoted to Richard Donner’s 1976 classic, The Omen. We’re debuting an exclusive Cursed Films clip that features Donner and more talking about some of the spooky happenings that surrounded The Omen‘s production.Cursed Films Clip
Do you believe in curses? I don’t, but I sure love hearing about them. Especially when they’re curses associated with classic horror films. Shudder’s new series Cursed Films covers this very topic, and it’s a wonderful show. Rather than just sensationalize the material, the series – directed by Jay Cheel – actually takes the time to dig for the truth, and get to the bottom of it all.
One of this week’s new Cursed Films episodes focuses on The Omen, and in the clip above, you can hear all about the admittedly alarming amount of plane-related mishaps surrounding the pic. We learn that star Gregory Peck’s plane was struck by lightning when he was flying to England to shoot the film. Then, just a few days later, screenwriter David Seltzer was also flying to England and his plane was also struck by lightning. Lastly, we learn that still another plane Peck was supposed to be on actually crashed. And not just crashed, but crashed into a car carrying the wife and child of the plane’s pilot. Is that extremely bad luck…or the work of a sinister, supernatural curse? Cue the spooky Jerry Goldsmith music.
Cursed Films is a “five-part documentary series that explores the myths and legends behind some of Hollywood’s notoriously “cursed” horror film productions. From plane accidents and bombings during the making of The Omen, to the rumored use of real human skeletons on the set of Poltergeist, these stories are legendary amongst film fans and filmmakers alike. But where does the truth lie? Cursed Films reveals the events that haunted these productions through interviews with experts, witnesses and the cast, directors and producers who lived through the real-life events. Were these films really cursed, as many believe, or just the victims of bad luck and bizarre circumstances?”
The episode devoted to The Omen and another episode focusing on Poltergeist premieres on Shudder April 9.Source: Slashfilm.com