Adam Wingard’s Death Note Trailer

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Following up on the disappointing Blair Witch, director Adam Wingard is turning to the creative freedom of Netflix for a live-action adaptation of the popular Death Note manga and anime. The story revolves around a young man who comes into possession of a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone simply by writing their name down. He decides to use it to become a vigilante, but soon things get out of hand as he finds himself pursued by a detective. This looks to be the first project Wingard is doing without his writing partner Simon Barrett, but he promises it will still be in the vein of his previous films (ie. chock full of violence). Death Note stars Nat Wolff, Willem Dafoe, Masi Oka, Shea Whigham, Paul Nakauchi and Lakeith Stanfield and it arrives on Netflix on Aug. 25th; check out the teaser trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Film Junk Premium Podcast #57: King Kong

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NOTE: For the first week, anyone who purchases this premium podcast will also receive a free download code for the Godzilla premium podcast!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World! With the recent release of Kong: Skull Island, we set out on the adventure of a lifetime to trace King Kong’s cinematic history from the original landmark 1933 film to the Jeff Bridges-starring 1976 version to Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake. In addition to the three different versions of King Kong, we also discuss the original sequel, Son of Kong. Topics of discussion include the unique approaches to special effects in each era, the underlying gender and racial issues, the evolution of the monster movie and Frank’s very first encounter with Kong. So are fans of the original Kong suffering from “classitosis” or does it still hold up after all these years? Is the 1976 King Kong a crime against cinema or campy fun? Does Peter Jackson’s King Kong earn its epic 3+ hour run time? There is still some mystery left in this world and you can have a piece of it for the price of this month’s premium podcast below.

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This series of premium podcasts was created to help support the regular weekly Film Junk Podcast. Head on over to Bandcamp and download full episodes for a minimum donation of just $1. As always, let us know if you experience any technical difficulties or if you have any other suggestions for future specials. Thanks for your support!

Mission: Impossible 6 Adds Henry Cavill, Tom Cruise Planning Another Big Stunt

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Although there aren’t very many movie franchises that actually seem to get better the longer they are around, the Mission: Impossible series is up there with The Fast and the Furious as one of the few that has managed to do it. As much as people love to hate Tom Cruise, you have to respect his work ethic, his eye for talent and his sense of showmanship, all of which are key to the success of these films. He knows that the best blockbusters are built on memorable action set pieces and the charisma of their cast. Now, with Mission: Impossible 6 gearing up for production, we are hearing that a familiar face has joined the cast and it also sounds like Tom Cruise has another massive stunt planned as well. Here’s what producer David Ellison had to say about it:

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The Fly Remake in the Works

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By now I think we all know how this works. A promising young director debuts his first movie at Sundance or a similar film festival and starts to get noticed. His movie gets picked up for distribution and starts to build some buzz. Hollywood studios smell some new talent that they can hire for peanuts and keep on a leash while also earning street cred, so they recruit them to direct their next big blockbuster. That blockbuster ultimately fails, the director gets blamed, and they end up in rehab for drug addiction while their career implodes. (Okay, maybe not that last part.) Anyway, J.D. Dillard, director of last year’s Sundance hit Sleight is apparently looking to remake The Fly for Fox. This news is totally unrelated to my previous rant. Hit the jump to get the full scoop.

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Princesses Movie Aims to Be a “Female-Driven Avengers”

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Just a couple of days after Disney’s Beauty and the Beast scored one of the biggest box office openings of all time, it looks like we have yet another live-action fairy tale adaptation in development. However, this particular project won’t just feature one classic story being retold; instead it will bring together several iconic princesses into one movie, Avengers-style. It isn’t a Disney movie either (at least not yet). It is a spec script being shopped around Hollywood that several major studios are currently taking a look at. If that pitch doesn’t get a studio exec foaming at the mouth, I don’t know what will. Hit the jump for more details.

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Film Junk Podcast Episode #604: The Great Wall

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0:00 – Intro
33:15 – Review: The Great Wall
1:25:35 – Headlines: The Matrix Reboot in the Works
1:46:35 – Other Stuff We Watched: Dragon Blade, King Kong Lives, Outcast, Missing Richard Simmons
2:15:15 – Junk Mail: Frank Letterboxd Fails, Making a List of Every Movie You’ve Watched, Favorite Character Actors + Favourite Movie Studio Logo, Versus Rapid Fire, Nintendo Switch Thoughts
2:48:55 – Recommended “Reeding”
3:04:40 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray / Outro

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Ridley Scott to Direct Getty Kidnapping Movie, Planning 4 More Alien Sequels

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At age 79, Ridley Scott is showing no signs of slowing down. If anything, much like Clint Eastwood, he only seems to be picking up the pace. Although he is currently putting the finishing touches on Alien: Covenant and producing Blade Runner 2049 (among other things), he has also been busy lining up plenty of follow up projects as well. Over the past year we’ve heard about a potential western, an adaptation of Don Winslow’s The Cartel, and a movie based on The Prisoner TV series, but now it looks like his next movie will be All the Money in the World, a ’70s-set drama based on the true story of the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III. However, he also apparently has quite a few more Alien movies in mind as well. Here’s what he recently had to say about that during Q&A at SXSW:

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Monday Morning Box Office Report: Beauty and the Beast Bests Batman v Superman’s March Record

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As predicted, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast had a monster opening at the box office over the weekend, earning an estimated $170 million. That’s easily the biggest opening weekend of the year so far and also the best March opening of all time, edging out last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice by a few million. It also comes in at #7 on the all-time opening weekend list, right in between Iron Man 3 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Something tells me we’re going to keep seeing these Disney live action remakes for some time to come. Elsewhere Kong: Skull Island fell to second place, followed by Logan in third. Get Out and The Shack rounded out the top 5. James Gunn and Greg McLean’s The Belko Experiment was the only other new movie in wide release and it debuted in eighth place with a decent but unremarkable $4.1 million.

1. Beauty and the Beast — $170M
2. Kong: Skull Island — $28.9M
3. Logan — $17.5M
4. Get Out — $13.2M
5. The Shack — $6.1M
6. The Lego Batman Movie — $4.7M
7. The Belko Experiment — $4.1M
8. Hidden Figures — $1.5M
9. John Wick: Chapter 2 — $1.2M
10. Before I Fall — $1M

Venom Movie Gets an Official Release Date

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With Spider-Man: Homecoming bringing Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe this summer, Sony has somehow managed to get fans excited about their second Spider-Man reboot in the just five years. What remains to be seen, however, is just what will happen with Spidey after this movie. As far as we know, he will continue to be a part of the MCU (Tom Holland supposedly has a contract to appear in 6 different Marvel movies) but Sony is also continuing to move forward with their own Spider-Man universe. Last year we heard that they were starting up development again on a standalone Venom film. Now this week they have set a release date for that project as it inches closer to reality. Hit the jump for more details.

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Transformers: The Last Knight Trailer #2

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Here’s the new trailer for Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight, which actually strikes a different tone from the previous trailers we’ve seen, largely because it focuses on newcomer Izabella (played by Nickelodeon star Isabela Moner). She seems to be one of several young kids that will play a major part in the movie, although Mark Wahlberg is still present and Josh Duhamel is now back in the fold as well. Overall they seem to be making an effort to diffuse the overload of testosterone that these movies are known for while also making the franchise a little more kid-friendly again. I, for one, am not opposed to that. Transformers: The Last Knight hits theatres on June 23rd; check out the new trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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New to Theatres This Weekend: Beauty and the Beast, The Belko Experiment, T2 Trainspotting

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Disney’s latest live action adaptation of an animated classic hits theatres this weekend with high expectations, carrying with it the distinct possibility of setting a new opening weekend record for the month of March. Beauty and the Beast is currently tracking well beyond Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and looks like it could end up with one of the top 10 debuts of all time. The only other new movie in wide release is aiming for a very different demographic as Greg McLean and James Gunn’s R-rated horror thriller The Belko Experiment arrives on over 1,300 screens. In select theatres, we also have Danny Boyle’s long-awaited T2 Trainspotting (which feels like it should be playing on more than just a handful of screens) and Terrence Malick’s Song to Song, while in Canada we have the R-rated hockey comedy sequel Goon: Last of the Enforcers. What will you be watching this weekend?

Aardman’s Early Man Teaser Trailer

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Aside from Laika, the folks at Aardman Animations are one of the few studios keeping stop motion animation alive in the face of its decreasing commercial prospects. Their last film, Shaun the Sheep, was a critical hit but their lowest grossing feature to date. That didn’t stop them from greenlighting a sequel, but in the meantime Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park is directing a new original film of his own. Early Man revolves around a group of cavemen at the dawn of time and although it may seem reminiscent of The Croods, the sensibility is unmistakably Aardman. Featuring the voices of Tom Hiddleston, Eddie Redmayne, Maisie Williams, Early Man hits theatres sometime in 2018. Check out the teaser after the jump and see what you think.

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