Friday, June 9, 2017


Random Fuzzy

Universal will have to make an extraordinary offer to her to make Bride after the debacle of the The Mummy.  As of May 31, per THR, negotiations had yet to begin and Universal is now in a desperate position to get her.  After Mummy's weak U.S. opening, a box office analyst said, "There will be a lot riding on Bride of Frankenstein. And when I say a lot, I mean everything."  But if she does it, it will be out of gratitude for Unbroken and By the Sea.

The problem I see with her playing a heroine/monster Bride is she already played a heroine/villain in Maleficent and she committed to Maleficent 2 which may be ready soon.  Unlike Bride which can still be played by another actress, Disney would not have announced Maleficent 2 without a tentative commitment from her.  She and Linda Woolverrton got along very well and Woolverton's script is likely being written with considerable input from her.  Woolverton wrote the screenplay for the original animated Beauty and the Beast and Lion King.

ScreenDaily
Inspired by the ongoing global success of The Jungle Book, The Walt Disney Studios is moving ahead on its previously announced development slate including its Mary Poppins sequel to star Emily Blunt.
The roster includes the return of Jon Favreau and writer Justin Marks for The Jungle Book 2, a Tinker Bell project with Reese Witherspoon, Maleficent 2 led once again by Angelina Jolie, and Cruella with Emma Stone attached and Kelly Marcel of Saving Mr Banks and Fifty Shades Of Grey fame on board to write.
The slate features theme park adaptation Jungle Cruise pairing Dwayne Johnson with Bad Santa writers John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, Tim Burton’s Dumbo project, and adventure A Wrinkle In Time, the Madeleine L’Engle sci-fi book adaptation that last emerged from the Disney vaults as a TV movie in 2003 and sees Ava DuVerney attached to direct from a screenplay by Jennifer Lee.
The slate of reimagined classics includes The Nutcracker And The Four Realms, which teams director Lasse Hallstrom with writer Ashleigh Powell.

WGTC
Condon’s modern reimagining is part of a grand vision at the House of Mouse to reintroduce its prized catalog of fairytale adventures, replete with live-action sequences and bleeding-edge CGI. In 2016, we’ve already seen The Jungle Book and, more recently, James Bobin’s fantasy prequel Alice Through the Looking Glass maintain that momentum, which will eventually lead to Angelina Jolie’s return in Maleficent 2.
Beyond a confirmation that it exists, there’s not much to report regarding the nascent sequel. But while doing the rounds for Alice Through the Looking Glass, esteemed Disney scribe Linda Woolverton offered a brief status report on the film, revealing that at “this very minute, it’s blinking at my computer.” Woolverton remained mum on story details, but did go on to tease that Maleficent 2 represents “the next step in the relationship between Maleficent and Aurora.”

In addition, she would have her pick of director.  She previously tried to get Darren Aronofsky for Maleficent and Gullermo Del Toro is a professed lifelong Maleficent fan.

She would be building on the success of her efforts in Maleficent unlike Bride which will be facing strong headwinds after The Mummy.  Both deals will give her a share of the profits, but she will almost certainly make more with Maleficent 2. With it's horror roots, Bride would be geared for a narrower, older audience -- that just became narrower after last weekend.

Bill Condon has a decent, but uneven track record (Dreamgirls, Twilight Breaking Dawn 1 & 2).  David Koepp's last 3 films (Mortdecai, Inferno, The Mummy) combine for an average Rotten Tomatoes score of just 16 (out of 100) -- which is probably as bad a run as any blockbuster scriptwriter has had.  It's possible they have the outline for a great film, but it's a big leap of faith at this point.

To meet it's announced Feb 14, 2019 release date, Bride would have to finish filming by early 2018 in order to have time to complete the VFX.  It is already in pre-production. The absence of any other name being mentioned for such an important role at this late stage would seem to indicate that the studio is confident of closing a deal.  Their desperate position to salvage a huge investment may ironically spur her to sign on out of a sense of responsibility to return the favor for her two previous films.

I see little upside to her taking the role other than it cements her reputation as someone who repays her debts (of gratitude).   Unlike Gal Gadot, she is already a big star and a successful Bride is not going to make her any bigger or any more in-demand. It isn't likely to bring her any acting nominations.  On the other hand, if Bride is perceived to be a failure, she will be greeted with the same patronizing career advice that has sprouted for Tom Cruise.  By playing one-too many big-hearted but frightening iconic figures, she may be dampening interest in the sequel to her biggest commercial hit and a much more valuable franchise to her.  But she probably feels she owes Donna Langley, and in the end that may be what matters most to her.


 *****

The only way I can see her even considering X-Men: Dark Phoenix is if one of her children is a huge fan.


-- Fussy

******

thr

Box Office: 'The Mummy's' U.S. Demise Puts Universal's New Dark Universe on Notice

6:40am PT by Pamela McClintock

Universal got a good scare over the weekend when the Mummy reboot, starring Tom Cruise, opened to just $32.2 million to place No. 2 in North America behind holdover Wonder Woman. It is far from a monstrous start for a summer event film that cost $125 million to produce before a major marketing spend. The studio can certainly take solace in the fact that The Mummy awoke overseas with $141.8 million from 63 markets. It's Cruise's top foreign debut to date, but a film's U.S. performance still sets the tones for headlines.
Alex Kurtzman directed The Mummy, which also stars Sofia Boutella as the Mummy, Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll and Annabelle Wallis.
Executives at Universal insist that the Dark Universe — the studio's answer to Marvel and DC's superhero cinematic universes — does not rest on the success or failure of The Mummy, which was decimated by critics for turning an epic and sometimes campy tale into a modern-day action pic. The movie currently has a 17 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the worst of Cruise's career behind Cocktail (five percent).
"The Dark Universe is a continuation of a love affair the studio has had with its classic monsters. It is a Valentine to the genre that is in our DNA," says Universal domestic distribution president Nick Carpou.
But the pressure is on. The studio will need to get the creative tone, and economics, right if the plan is to work. Universal insiders stress that each film in the series will have different budgets.
The studio is already heavily touting Bride of Frankenstein, which Bill Condon is directing, for a Feb. 14, 2019 release. Universal and Condon, fresh off the $1 billion-plus success of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, have cast Javier Bardem as Frankenstein's Monster, though his female counterpart has not yet been announced.
There's also an Invisible Man movie planned with Johnny Depp, and talk of a standalone Dr. Jekyll with Crowe, among others. (Crowe's Dr. Jekyll is set to provide the glue linking the films together, with his mysterious organization Prodigium charged with tracking the world's monsters.) And there are rumors that Dwayne Johnson could resurface in the "monsterverse" for a Wolfman reboot (he starred in 2002's Mummy spinoff The Scorpion King).
"As each of these films is produced, each will have its own story to tell with unique aspirations. Each title will be its own entity," says Carpou.
Box-office analysts agree The Mummy doesn't spell an early grave for the fledgling franchise.
"I don't think Universal's Dark Universe will collapse because of The Mummy underperforming, but it should make the studio think twice about pumping so much money into their vastly expanding universe," says Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations. "There will be a lot riding on Bride of Frankenstein. And when I say a lot, I mean everything."
Paul Dergarabedian of comScore adds that many Hollywood tentpoles unearth most of their treasure overseas, including Depp's 2017 summer tentpole, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Pirates 5 has earned an okay $135 million domestically to date, compared to nearly $393 million to date internationally.
"Bad reviews and low aggregate scores combined with negative social media buzz definitely hurt The Mummy in North America, while simultaneously having almost zero impact on international returns. Sound familiar? It should," says Dergarabeidan. "If every potential universe banked its future on North American returns only, there may arguably be no movies with greater than a '2' after their title given this current climate. Thankfully for the Dark Universe and other big brands, the international component is the lifeline to a continued cinematic future and a creates a valid justification for further creative and monetary investment."




movieweb

X-Men: Dark Phoenix Targets Angelina Jolie for Mystery Role

Ryan Scott

X-Men 7, officially titled X-Men: Dark Phoenix, is going to be one of three X-Men movies Fox is releasing in 2018. With production needing to get underway relatively soon in order for the movie to hit its November 2, 2018 release date, some casting rumors are starting to surface. If this particular rumor is true, Fox is going after some A-list talent in the form of Angelina Jolie for an unspecified role in X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

The news comes courtesy of Jeff Sneider, who dropped the revelation very subtly on the latest episode of Meet the Movie Press. While talking about Universal's possible plans of nabbing Angelina Jolie for the lead role in The Bride of Frankenstein, Sneider also slipped in that she appears to be in contention for a part in X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Here's what he had to say about it.
"I still think it's going to be Angelina Jolie (for the Bride of Frankenstein).  I think Angelina Jolie needs to reassert her commercial viability and needs to do a big movie. And if it's not Dark Phoenix, which I don't think it will be, Then I think that she should do Bride of Frankenstein."
Whether it is X-Men 7 or Bride of Frankenstein, Jeff Sneider certainly doesn't seem to be wrong about Angelina Jolie being in need of reasserting her commercial viability. In recent years she has taken more to directing, but since she didn't act in the fairly successful Unbroken, which she helmed, she hasn't been in a commercially successful movie in quite a while. Something like X-Men could put her right back in the spotlight, but, according to this, it probably won't happen. Fox can look at whoever they want, but that doesn't mean they are going to sign on the dotted line. Look at what happened with Marvel when they were trying to get Joaquin Phoenix to play Doctor Strange.
At this point, outside of knowing that X-Men: Dark Phoenix is going to be taking another stab at the beloved Dark Phoenix storyline from the comics, which was first attempted (very poorly) in X-Men: The Last Stand, details have been pretty scarce. We know that Sophie Turner is coming back as Jean Grey and it seems likely that Michael Fassbender will be back as Magneto, as well as James McAvoy as Professor X. It also seems more than likely that Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Alexandra Shipp (Storm) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler) will reprise their roles from X-Men: Apocalypse as well. It is also rumored that the role of Rogue may be getting recast in this movie. Even with a cast like that, a big name like Angelina Jolie couldn't hurt anything.
The movie does need a director right now, so maybe they can double up and lock her down for that as well? Though, it has been reported that long time series producer and writer Simon Kinberg is possibly going to make his directorial debut on X-Men: Dark Phoenix, so Angelina Jolie directing is a huge stretch. But after what Patty Jenkins did with Wonder Woman we can't say something like that is impossible. You can check out the full bit from Meet the Movie Press for yourself below, with the Angelina Jolie talk kicking in at around the 5:00 mark. Universal's Dark Universe and The Bride of Frankenstein from 4:40.











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