Josh Gad and James Corden jokingly claimed they were fired from the movies Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Hobbs & Shaw and Toy Story 4 on Monday's Late Late Show.
The pre-recorded clip opened with Corden listing everything that he and Gad have in common, saying that they are incredible actors, insanely charming and sex symbols. "Yet with everything we've got in common, we've never actually made a movie together," he said. "Biggie and Tupac never collaborated. We weren't going to let that happen with Olaf and Peter Rabbit."
Gad then joked that he and Corden were originally cast in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. "He needed two hot guys for the lead," he said of the parts that eventually went to Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Clips were then shown of the pair filming a scene for Tarantino's film, but Corden struggled to light his cigarette. Gad tried to help him before someone yelled, "cut," and the two actors blamed the issue on their "fleshy thumbs."
The host broke out into a coughing fit when they tried to film the scene again. "He may be allergic to cigarettes," said Gad as he requested water for his co-star. "We should've probably checked that out beforehand."
After Corden lit the wrong end of the cigarette in another take, he made the artistic decision to smoke an e-cigarette.
"It turns out they did not have e-cigarettes in the 1960s," Gad later said about why they were fired from the project. Corden added, "The studio thought that having two beloved, highly recognizable actors like Josh and I leading the movie would be distracting."
While they did not end up starring in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the two revealed that they were contacted to star as the titular characters in Hobbs & Shaw. Corden starred in the scenes as Dwayne Johnson's character Hobbs and Gad took on Jason Statham's role as Shaw.
The scene opened with the two men wearing bald caps as they frantically tried to get into a car. They both struggled to open the car doors and became distracted once Gad successfully opened his door.
They shot the scene again, though became equally as distracted when they got into the car and realized that they didn't know how to turn it on. "I'm scared," said Gad as the car's windshield wipers turned on after they pressed a number of buttons.
The third take of the scene showed the actors struggling to put on their seatbelts. Once Gad got his on, he had to talk Corden through how to effectively put on his seatbelt. The director eventually told the actors to not worry about the seatbelts, though they questioned "what kind of message" that would send to the viewers. "I can't be a part of a franchise that forgets a seatbelt," said Gad before the director told them they were fired.
Back in the interview setting, Gad revealed that they were fired from Hobbs & Shaw before lunch. "That's showbiz for you," said Corden. "One minute you're the cock of the walk. The next minute you're being escorted off the set with a backpack full of stolen iPhone chargers."
A clip showed the two arriving to set. While Gad was dressed up in a Buzz Lightyear costume, Corden took on the role of Woody. They confidently walked on set and declared themselves as the new faces of Disney before the harsh reality set in that they were hired to twirl signs promoting the movie.
"At first we were disappointed, but then honestly we really leaned into the roles," said Corden. "We kind of made the characters our own."
Gad later pulled a string on the back of Corden's costume and the host said, "There's a snake in my boot." Gad also got into character when he declared, "To infinity and beyond."
The men credited the success of Toy Story 4 with their promotional tactics.
"It's our summer," they enthusiastically said before they put on Angry Birds 2 hats and grabbed promotional signs to twirl.
In accordance with Amazon’s shifting originals strategy, the studio is prioritizing blockbuster content designed for global audiences over unique visions from independent artists. Jennifer Salke, the head of Amazon Studios, took the stage Saturday morning with co-heads of television Albert Cheng and Vernon Sanders and announced “Too Old To Die Young,” “The Romanoffs,” and “Patriot” would not be moving forward at the studio.
Salke first addressed Nicolas Winding Refn’s 13-hour crime noir, which seemed to fly a bit under the radar on Amazon after its Cannes premiere.
“Yes, we were happy with the show,” Salke said. “I was texting with Nic Refn this week.”
While Salke said she did not expect to pick up another installment of the limited series, the two maintain a good relationship and Amazon took Refn’s core audience into consideration when marketing the show. A reporter asked why he didn’t see the series on Amazon Prime’s homepage the week of release, to which Salke said, “We really made our push with our resources for it in Europe,” where Refn has a stronger fanbase.
Salke also said she doesn’t think there will be a second season of “The Romanoffs.” Matthew Weiner’s follow-up to “Mad Men,” which tracked the various descendants of a fictional, wealthy, Russian Royal family, was greenlit by former Amazon head Roy Price and had a high budget for an anthology series. Reviews were mixed at best, and it didn’t make a dent on the awards circuit, including receiving zero Emmy nominations earlier this month.
Finally, the cult favorite “Patriot” was also put to rest at Amazon. After two seasons of strong reviews but little overall buzz, Steve Conrad’s wistful spy series will not be continuing on Prime.
“At this time, we don’t have plans for a new season,” Cheng said. “We are not planning a new season.”
The language indicates that Amazon could revisit that decision in the future, but that kind of non-committal cancellation has become the norm during the age of revivals, when a resurgence of popularity can strike at virtually any time. Conrad is currently working on the EPIX series “Perpetual Grace, LTD.,” starring Jimmi Simpson and Ben Kingsley. Given its strong reviews and the positive critical reception for “Patriot,” Conrad looks like a clear talent waiting for that breakthrough moment.
Amazon, meanwhile, doesn’t have time to wait — not as the streaming wars with Disney+, Apple TV+, and Netflix loom. Most of the streaming service’s announcements Saturday morning focused on blockbuster programs with broad appeal — a strategy shift in place since Jeff Bezos started searching for the next “Game of Thrones” in 2017. Its biggest bet is “The Lord of the Rings,” which cost upwards of $250 million just for the rights, and Amazon announced its creative team via a hype-heavy unveiling video. “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” the globe-trotting spy thriller starring John Krasinski, released its Season 2 trailer. The big-budgeted fantasy series “Carnival Row” was also picked up for a second season ahead of its first season release August 30, and, in a sign of the times, Amazon confirmed a slew of exclusive overall and first-look deals with talent like Lena Waithe, Blake Lively, and Connie Britton.
Similar to the major movie studios shifting away from mid-budget dramas in favor of finding the next big franchise, Amazon is prioritizing its blockbusters over indie visions. They’re also seeing success with that strategy: Salke said the most successful shows in Amazon Prime history all debuted within the last year, naming “Jack Ryan,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Season 2, “Hanna,” “Good Omens,” and “Homecoming.”
All three of the canceled series were originally developed by ousted Amazon executive Roy Price and put into production before Bezos’ shifted Amazon Studios’ direction.
ike with J.J. Abrams, the David Benioff & D.B. Weiss sweepstakes are playing out over weeks, with a slew of blue-chip companies vying over their services.
Two months after the Game Of Thrones creators started shopping a global overall deal, the duo appeared to have narrowed the field. They had been in talks with Amazon Studios, which has another phantasy series juggernaut, The Lord of the Rings, in the works and would love to have GOT masterminds’ input in getting that off the ground. Additionally, Netflix is believed to have come in with a very strong offer as it too is pursuing big global franchises ala GOT.
And then there is Disney, where Benioff and Weiss are doing a Star Wars movie. Speculation is heating up that the duo may go all-in with the conglom with a FX/Disney overall deal that would give them access to all divisions of the company.
Regardless where the duo will land, the signs point to a new home after almost a decade at HBO.
“Any place that they end up at would be lucky to have them,” HBO President of Programming Casey Bloys told Deadline at TCA yesterday. “I want talent to make as much money as they can.”
Netflix is going to be a bit more selective on the projects they spend millions of dollars on. Triple Frontier reportedly didn't perform up to the streaming giant's expectations, which has led to a tighter grip on where money will be allocated in the future. Netflix has been known to dump millions of dollars into its original content and they are more than likely starting to feel the competition getting stronger with Disney+ and Apple on the way.
Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos reportedly told several of his high-ranking TV and movie executives in early June that the company has to be a lot more selective with what they spend their money on. The Ben Affleck action thriller Triple Frontier cost $115 million and is one of the projects that was brought up when talking about the new business practices going forward. Apparently, projects based on credibility and critical acclaim will not be given gigantic budgets anymore. Instead, the money will reportedly go into slam dunks, which are guaranteed to generate more viewers.
While the outrageous spending seems like a frivolous idea, it has given Netflix a lot of credibility at the same time. Movies like Roma and shows like Stranger Things and The Crown have gone a long way in proving how valuable Netflix is in the grand scheme of things. It will be interesting to see how things go in the future with the streaming platform being more choosey with what they're throwing money at. As far as Triple Frontier being a "flop," it just means there weren't enough viewers checking the movie out on the streaming service or in its initial theatrical run.
Related: Will Smith Circling Triple Frontier and Other Paramount Film News
Netflix is slated to spend $15 billion on original content in 2019, so money isn't really an issue. It seems over the years, through trial and error, the streaming platform has a better idea of what works for them at this point in time. In theory, they should be getting ready for some homeruns since they seem to be getting their system put in check. For now, we'll just have to wait and see, but they company appears to be just as good, if not better, than it ever has before. The numbers for Stranger Things season 3 should be massive on their own. And Adam Sandler's Murder Mysterywas one of the biggest hit movies the streaming giant has had yet,
Triple Frontier is not the only project that has been a headache for Netflix. Baz Luhrmann's hip-hop series The Get Down cost $120 million and did not perform as well as anyone thought it would and the same can be said for the Marco Polo series, which cost $200 million to produce. With that being said, Netflix has Martin Scorsese's The Irishman on the way this fall, which could possibly prove to the be the biggest project thus far. The Information was the first to report about Netflix's future spending habits.
While many people view summer as the time to relax, go on vacation and get some sun, this time of year is also known for another reason: its massive blockbusters. Many big studios take advantage of the time when kids are off of school to release some of their biggest box office draws in order to get the largest profit they can, which is why so many massive movies tend to be released between May and August. However, for whatever reason, these summer blockbusters seem to be getting worse and worse every year.
This year, a majority of the summer blockbusters have been major let downs. Movies like Men In Black: International, Shaft, Anna, Ma, Dark Phoenix, The Dead Don't Die and Godzilla: King of the Monsters were all met with horrendously negative reviews from critics and audiences alike. We've only seen a few decently good summer blockbusters so far this year, and most of them were creatively helmed by Disney. Even so, not even every Disney blockbuster has been that great this year we're looking at you, Aladdin.
Not every summer blockbuster is great every year, as each summer is filled with a variety of good and bad flicks, but in recent years, it has felt like the bad movies outweighed the good. The summer market for movies has definitely been decreasing in quality, and it seems audiences are finally starting to notice. The box office revenue of summer 2019 is 7% smaller than this point last year, which is actually a pretty massive drop. Overall for this year, the box office numbers are 10% smaller than what they were for 2018. While a portion of this can be credited to the rise in popularity of streaming services, there's also enough evidence to show that a good portion of this drop is simply due to lack of interest in movies that don't really look that good.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a good movie to look at to represent what this year's summer box office has become. While the movie had a great first week, once word got around that the movie really wasn't that great outside of the excessive CGI, audiences seemed to lose interest. King of the Monsters only earned $107 million in the United States, which is not that much for a movie with a $170 million budget.
The biggest issue that has caused the decline in summer blockbusters can be credited to one thing: audiences and studios are no longer on the same page. After the success of movies like Avatar and Transformers years ago, studios told themselves that an overwhelming number of moviegoers wanted to see movies with bland stories and great CGI. Unfortunately, as the CGI has improved over the years, the stories in these movies have managed to get blander. Alas, the actual box office hits for this year show that narrative is now just as important for drawing in audiences as the visuals. The biggest hit of this year has undoubtedly been Avengers: Endgame which, outside of some massive visual effects, had a lot of character work, with much more character development and story than the likes of Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Men In Black International. While the effects and massivity of the movie certainly drew people in, it was the narrative and the characters themselves that convinced audiences to come see it a second time, which was not the case for the likes of Godzilla.
Disney is already a powerhouse in the film industry, now making up about 40% of the business, but their biggest strength seems to be their ability to make blockbusters narratively interesting, whereas every other studio seems to make their blockbusters less and less interesting.The 7% box office drop reported by Variety seems to show that this is detrimental both for audiences and for the studios, as audiences lose interest in movies with bad stories, which loses money for the studios. Hopefully this will change in the coming years, but the pattern right now shows each collection of summer blockbusters somehow being worse than the last.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Movieweb.
AMC Theaters is trying to shine a light on movies that don't have superheroes in them with a new program called AMC Artisan Films. The goal of the new program is to showcase "artist-driven" movies that, in the modern marketplace, have been having a difficult time rising about splashier titles such as Avengers: Endgame and Toy Story 4. AMC had this to say about the new program in their announcement.
"Filmmaking is an art, and AMC is its museum. And just as there are masterpieces of traditional art, there are exceptional works of film. AMC Artisan Films brings a curated gallery of the finest movies to AMC where everyone can enjoy them. Any movie with the AMC Artisan Films seal is an artist-driven film that advances the art of making movies."
The program officially launches this weekend with the release of Danny Boyle's Yesterday, which highlights the music of The Beatles. Despite that, it's heading for a relatively modest $10 million opening weekend. AMC, the largest theatre chain in the U.S., is hoping to give movies such as this more opportunity to be seen by a larger number of moviegoers. Other upcoming titles to be included in the series are Midsommar, Blinded By The Light, The Peanut Butter Falcon, Downton Abbey, The Art of Self-Defense, Luce, The Kitchen and Where'd You Go, Bernadette.
It's been a brutal year at the box office for mid-level titles such as the ones listed above. Critically heralded movies such as Booksmart, which got about as much buzz as a movie like that can get ahead of its release, simply couldn't compete. Other titles such as Late Night and the stop-motion animated Missing Link suffered similar fates. A program like this could help. Or, at the very least, can't hurt anything. Elizabeth Frank, Executive Vice President of worldwide programming and chief content officer for AMC Theatres, had this to say.
"Many consumers don't realize that we play more elevated and celebrated films than anyone else in North America. With the launch of AMC Artisan Films, we aim to expose more movie-goers to specialized films and increase their theatrical success. And we plan to increase consumer access to these special films by seeking earlier runs in platform releases and holding longer in theater to give audiences time to learn about them from other passionate guests."
The idea for the new program originated in a meeting AMC CEO Adam Aron and the Director's Guild of America, where it was stressed how important it is for theatre chains to get behind small and mid-sized movies. AMC promises aggressive promotion and consistent, convenient showtimes for Artisan titles. But why go through all of this? The fact of the matter is, theatre chains can't sustain on superhero movies alone. They need mid-level movies to succeed as well, just as much as certain moviegoers want to see titles such as these continue to get theatrical releases. For more information, head on over to AMCTheatres.com.