Sunday, May 9, 2010


With the summer about to hit, the movie season is about to work itself into full swing. But instead of talking about some of the highly anticipated movies coming up this summer (Inception, Toy Story 3, The Last Airbender), I want to discuss some upcoming projects for future summers.

First up is a film I have been discussing quite extensively in the past. The film I am regarding is Mission: Impossible 4, which now has a new release date announced by Paramount a few days back. The film was initially slated to drop May 27, 2011, but was just been pushed back eight months to a December 16 release.

Earlier I reported that Brad Bird was being circled by Paramount to take over the directorial duties as J.J. Abrams will not be reprising his role from Mission: Impossible 3. This move was made by Abrams to produce the highly shrouded project that he wrote and directed (produced by Steven Spielberg) called Super 8.

A vague teaser trailer for Super 8 was attached to Iron Man 2. It told us very little about the project (hence shrouded), but still stimulated my interest. The thrilling action in the form a train crash followed by something in a rage pounding on the train car door from the inside is enough for my ten bucks.

Wow, back to Mission: Impossible 4. Bird has now been officially confirmed as the film's director in an interview by Empire Magazine with the film's star Tom Cruise. The Scientology connoisseur discusses Bird beating out other candidates for the position Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz) and Rueben Fleischer (Zombieland) and his thoughts on what Bird can bring to the project.

In other news, for some reason (monetary) Sony is going to pound out yet another Men in Black. I personally thought the second one was horrible, and I mean really horrible, but mindless audiences around the world still flocked to see it (crappy blockbuster movie still = money).

The first MIB was creative, innovative, and a fun action packed adventure. The second was an alienated mess of crap that was about as interesting to watch as Will Smith's other best movie, Wild Wild West.  Which variation of Men in Black will be present in this third go-round?

The movie has been confirmed to be presented in 3D (yay), but the process to create the third dimension is yet to be announced (post production conversion vs. shooting in 3D). Deadline reports Will Smith will reprise his role as Agent J warding off illegal aliens (not at the Mexican border) under the cover of the government's most secret agency.

Editors note: The sarcasm is flowing in this paragraph's first sentence.

Not officially signed onto the project are Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin. Both actors are in talks with Sony to get contracts signed, but nothing is concrete as of now. Jones is supposed to play Agent K again, and Brolin is said to be playing a younger version of Agent K as the film will use an element of time travel. Now that sounds like an interesting concept for a film. Let's hope it's more like the original than the Lara Flynn Boyle plagued second one.

Men in Black 3 is due to drop May 25, 2012. This is a particularly strange release date for any studio making this conscious decision. The competition for box office money will be fierce this time in 2012. The highly anticipated Avengers movie comes out May 4, then Star Trek 2, then the Spider-Man reboot, and some new Batman movie or something from a guy named Christopher Nolan. Men in Black is seriously going to try and make receipts agaisnt these franchises? Good luck.

Pre-production has already begun, and the Etan Cohen script is currently being perfected by David Koepp.

Lastly, I wanted to quickly discuss the Pirates of the Caribbean fourth installment called On Stranger Tides. The screenplay is based on Tim Powers' pirate novel with the same title and highlights the story of Captain Blackbeard and the fountain of youth.

Worry not, Jack Sparrow, err, I mean, Captain Jack Sparrow, will be back again and played by the one and only Johnny Depp. Picking up the role of Blackbeard will be Ian McShane and his daughter will be played by the lovely Penelope Cruz.

The movie is being directed by Rob Marshall(?) who is most well known for his work on musicals like Chicago and Nine. While I personally would be skeptical handing over a budget and a movie franchise to an inexperienced director from the wrong genre, I would like to again reiterate that talented directors can pull off anything with the right production crews and motivation. Marshall obviously has talent which he showed from the a fore mentioned films, so I'll hold judgment until I see a product.

Also worth mentioning, the LA Times are reporting that Disney is tightening up the budget on big budget master Jerry Bruckheimer for Pirates 4. After the special effects atrocity that was Pirates 3, a constant barrage of mind numbing computer generated shots (about 2000 actually) being hurled at the audience substituting for an actual worthwhile script, I think this is the right move by Disney.

This move especially works well from a pre-production standpoint because this gives the screen writers, Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot, the absolute necessity to compose a decent script before moving towards filming. Production is set to begin this summer, with an official release date of May 20, 2011.

With all these sequels past their second installments, does it feel worth it to continue paying money to see the next chapter in these franchises?


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