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2019’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance landed as an ambitious success for Netflix with an overall positive audience response, even if that response fixated upon a gross mystery. Aside from the complex weaving of the world of Thra and those lovable Podlings, the series was a master class in craftsmanship, largely down to those puppets. In the case of the Skeksis, those creations weighed hundreds of pounds, and as it turns out, they almost went up in flames during production.
As revealed in an interview with Syfy, co-creators Will Matthews and Jeff Addiss revealed how the set caught fire on the Jim Henson Company Lot. Before untold damage could be done to the puppets, they were saved after director Louis Leterrier drew up a quick map for first responders. As Matthews revealed, Leterrier’s directions pointed them towards “two football-field-sized warehouses, full of stages,” but he didn’t tell them what was inside. The rescue mission reportedly then hit another hurdle because the firefighters sure were “spooked”:
The firefighters rushed in with their hose to spray the burning set - and then ran back out almost immediately, spooked by all the eyes they found staring back at them. The Skeksis didn’t help. At this point, Leterrier realized that he would have to help save the puppets himself, so he rushed in.
Co-executive producer Javier Grillo Marxuach describes what Leterrier did as “death-defying heroism.” That might be a slight exaggeration, since risking one’s life to save puppets is arguably an unwise risk, but fortunately, everything turned out alright. As for the future, Netflix hasn’t officially announced a second season yet, and the show may be too cost-prohibitive to continue. However, Aldiss and Matthews recently told IndieWire that they’ve got “a concrete document” ready to roll if they’re called into action once more.
Via Syfy & IndieWire
Jesse Eisenberg, best known for his roles in movies such as Zombieland and The Social Network, is staying quite busy these days. Much of the time, in recent years, that is spent on slightly smaller indie movies, which vary greatly in scope and genre. Case in point, Eisenberg is starring in not one, but two movies that are coming out on the same day this week in Resistance and Vivarium.
In the case of Resistance, directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz, Jesse Eisenberg portrays real-life mime Marcel Marceau who went on to become something of an unlikely hero during World War II, becoming a member of the French Resistance, which helped to save the lives of thousands of children. On the other side of the fence, we have Vivarium. Directed by Lorcan Finnegan, this contained sci-fi flick reteams him with his Art of Self-Defense co-star Imogen Poots and sees them as a couple looking to buy a house and they become trapped in the labyrinth of a development, forcing them to live in a suburban nightmare.
I recently had the good fortune of speaking with Jesse Eisenberg on behalf of both movies. It's actually the third time in a year I've spoken with the actor, a tradition I hope to see continue. We discussed their commonalities, what sets them apart, how the current coronavirus pandemic is influencing the way in which they will be viewed and much more.
Hey man, are you doing alright?
Jesse Eisenberg: Yeah! We're about to drive cross country in an RV.
Oh man. That's wild.
Jesse Eisenberg: It's pretty weird, yeah. So unbelievably surreal.
I don't know if you remember but I got to interview you twice in the last year. I got to talk to you for The Art of Self-Defense and Zombieland 2, so I guess we're making this something of a tradition when you have a new movie coming out.
Jesse Eisenberg: [laughs] That would be great! And hopefully this won't end, given the current pandemic.
Touching on that a little bit, we're here to talk about Resistance and Vivarium. You have two movies coming out on the same day at a time when people could really use a break from life. How does that feel for you? You mentioned the word surreal.
Jesse Eisenberg: Yeah. Also, you make these movies with a certain kind of intention and they end up coming out at a time that will necessarily affect the way they are viewed. Vivarium is this kind of claustrophobic fever dream of a movie about characters that are totally isolated who literally have no interaction with anybody besides themselves and their increasingly stir-crazy child. I think it will be filtered through the gaze of being stuck at home and quarantined now. And Resistance is this really beautiful, uplifting movie about a guy who is keeping these children entertained and distracted through a war. Again, I think it will be filtered through the lens of parents keeping their children occupied when they are not allowed to go outside or play with other...
More sad news on the Coronavirus front as several actors and artists have passed away from the deadly disease sweeping the globe. Actor Jay Benedict died Monday from the disease at age 68. He is best known in the states for roles in 1986's classic sci-fi thriller Aliens and 2012's blockbuster hit The Dark Knight Rises. Overseas he is perhaps best known for his starring role in the U.K. TV series Emmerdale.
The news of Jay Benedict's death was first reported by TCG Artist Management's Kristin Tarry. She has represented the actor for over twenty years. She had this to say about his death on Monday.'It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear client Jay Benedict, who this afternoon lost his battle with COVID-19. Our thoughts are with his family.'
Jay Benedict's role in Aliens was greatly expanded in James Cameron's director's cut of the 1986 box office hit. He played Newt's father, with a major scene featuring the actor returned in a later version of the movie. In The Dark Knight Rises he played Rich Twit for director Christopher Nolan. On Emmerdale, he played Doug Hamilton in the series, which has aired in the UK. since 1972. He made his first appearance on the show in the late '90s.
The actor is survived by wife Phoebe Scholfield and their two sons Freddie andLeopold. Friend Pierce Brosnan posted a lengthy tribute on Instagram to the late actor. He had this to say about Jay Benedict.'My dearest friend Jay Benedict, brother in this life, has passed on... we were friends for so many years, forty years and change. This is a photo taken last May outside the stage door of the Lyric theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue London. Jay and I played brothers in a Franco Zeffirelli production of Filumena... Life was so much fun with Jay, on stage and off, we laughed a lot at the world around us, at our selves, saw the funny side of life always.' 'He was a courageous man of handsome life force, that shone its light in every room he walked into, down every road he traveled, he shared his joyful radiance of kinship with all who knew him, a fine mind of intellect and compassion, he gave of himself in every way to the craft of acting, but above all else, he gave us all his great love of life, himself.'
Vicki Michelle, who co-starred with Benedict on Emmerdale, also had fond words for her friend, which she posted on twitter.
Jay Benedict was also remembered by actor David Menkin, who went onto say, 'Jay Benedict - one of the greats - passed away today. If you work in ADR, dubbing, voiceovers, theatre or film in London, you know why we're heartbroken; a big voice and even bigger personality has left us.' Benedict is the most recent in a list of celebrities, actors and artist who have lost their lives to the deadly virus sweeping across the globe at this time. Patricia Bosworth succumbed to the disease on Thursday at 86. She acted opposite Audrey Hepburn but was perhaps better known for...