Jon Favreau to Direct The Lion King Remake

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Following up on the tremendous success of The Jungle Book earlier this year (currently the fourth highest grossing movie of 2016), Disney and Jon Favreau are teaming up for another adaptation of a beloved Disney animated classic. They were already in the midst of planning a sequel to The Jungle Book, but now it appears that Favreau will put that aside in favour of a new version of The Lion King. At this point I have completely lost track of which live-action remakes have already been announced by Disney, but this one had apparently been the source of speculation for a while now. The current list of upcoming animated to live-action Disney movies is as follows:

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Mike Mills’ 20th Century Women Trailer

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Director Mike Mills is back with his first film since 2010’s Beginners, which helped earn Christopher Plummer an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. While that film explored male identity and relationships as a young man grapples with the fact that his elderly father has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is also gay, his new film 20th Century Women looks to examine the plight of the modern woman through the prism of three women living in Southern California in the late 1970s. The movie stars Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning and the first trailer is set against the backdrop of President Jimmy Carter’s 1979 “Crisis of Confidence” speech. 20th Century Women premieres at the New York Film Festival on Oct. 8th before hitting select theatres on Dec. 25th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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R.I.P. Curtis Hanson and Herschell Gordon Lewis

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There have been quite a few high profile deaths over the past week, including at least a handful of movie-related ones, as 2016 seemingly continues to suck. Among them was Bill Nunn, the actor who played Radio Raheem in Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, and directors Curtis Hanson and Herschell Gordon Lewis. Hanson is best known for the films L.A. Confidential and the Eminem biopic 8 Mile, while Lewis is known as “The Godfather of Gore”, having pioneered the cult subgenre of horror known as the splatter film. Both have left an indelible impression on cinema. Hanson had been struggling with a rare terminal condition known as Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD); he was 71 years old while Herschell Gordon Lewis was 87.

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Fences Trailer Starring Denzel Washington

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Denzel Washington returns with his third feature film as a director this Christmas as he brings the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Fences to the big screen. The screenplay was written by playwright August Wilson himself prior to his death in 2005 but it also apparently had some uncredited additions from Tony Kushner (Angels in America, Lincoln). The story revolves around a former Negro league baseball player who is now working as a waste collector, struggling to provide for his family in Pittsburgh in the 1950s. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reprise their roles from the Broadway revival of the play, which earned them both Tony Awards back in 2010. Could it also win them Academy Awards? Fences hits theatres on Dec. 25th; check out the first trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Poll Results: Best Brian De Palma Movie

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Last week’s poll asked the Film Junk community to pick the single best movie from director Brian De Palma’s extensive filmography. Now that the results have been tallied, we can say that Scarface remains the clear favourite as the 1983 remake came out on top with 23% of the votes. That being said, it definitely didn’t win by a landslide as The Untouchables came in a close second with 19% of the votes followed by Blow Out with 17%. Carlito’s Way and Carrie rounded out the top 5. Mission: Impossible, Phantom of the Paradise and Body Double also had some significant support as well, although things dropped off pretty quickly from there. I should note that his 1970 film Hi, Mom! starring Robert DeNiro was accidentally left off this poll, although I don’t know that it would have really affected anything either way. Do you agree with these results?

1. Scarface — 23%
2. The Untouchables — 19%
3. Blow Out — 17%
4. Carlito’s Way — 10%
5. Carrie — 9%
6. Mission: Impossible — 5%
7. Phantom of the Paradise — 4%
8. Body Double — 4%
9. Snake Eyes — 2%
10. Dressed to Kill — 1%
11. The Fury — 1%
11. Casualties of War — 1%
13. Home Movies — 1%
13. Bonfire of the Vanities — 1%
13. Mission to Mars — 1%
13. The Black Dahlia — 1%
17. Sisters — 0%
17. Obsession — 0%
17. Wise Guys — 0%
17. Redacted — 0%
17. Passion — 0%
22. Murder a la Mod — 0%
22. Greetings — 0%
22. The Wedding Party — 0%
22. Dionysus in ’69 — 0%
22. Get to Know Your Rabbit — 0%
22. Raising Cain — 0%
22. Femme Fatale — 0%

Dog Eat Dog Trailer Starring Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe

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After Paul Schrader’s last film, The Dying of the Light, was taken away from him in post-production and re-edited without his permission, he thought it might be his final work as a director. Fortunately for us, a couple of years later he was able to reteam with Nicolas Cage for an even crazier project that apparently did not have any studio interference whatsoever. Dog Eat Dog premiered at Cannes earlier this year and also played at TIFF where it definitely had people talking. The movie stars Cage and Willem Dafoe as a couple of ex-cons who are hired to kidnap the baby of a rival mobster. Raising Arizona it ain’t, but by all accounts, the movie is violent, unhinged and hilarious, and the good news is that it’s getting a release before the end of the year. Dog Eat Dog hits theatres in New York and L.A. on Nov. 4th before expanding and arriving on VOD on Nov. 11th. Check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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Film Junk Podcast Episode #583: Sully and Hunt for the Wilderpeople

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0:00 – Intro / Jay’s Post-Screening Encounter
15:30 – Review: Sully
33:00 – Film Junk Re-review: Flight
1:03:50 – Review: Hunt for the Wilderpeople
1:21:30 – Other Stuff We Watched: Cabin Boy, Sing Street, Cat’s Eye, De Palma, Evils of the Night, Blow Out, The Fury, Sex World, Son of Zorn, The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey
1:49:40 – Junk Mail: The Marvel Symphonic Universe, Composeurs Continued, John Williams Lawsuit, Frank’s Lack of Love for Anchorman, X-Men Apocalypse Boy George Reference + PS 4 Pro
2:28:08 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray
2:34:00 – Outro

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Monday Morning Box Office Report: The Magnificent Seven Ropes in Second Best Western Opening Ever

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Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven remake gunned down all challengers over the weekend on its way to a $35 million debut, the second best opening ever for a western. Granted, the record is apparently held by Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens, which is a hybrid sci-fi film so it’s kind of an unfair comparison (and it’s only $1 million less anyway). The bigger point of contention is probably the fact that this stat is also not adjusted for inflation… I’m assuming it would be pretty far down the list if it were. Either way, that still doesn’t mean a whole lot considering that the film cost $90 million to make, although it should at the very least break even. In second place, the Warner Brothers animated film Storks earned $21.8 million, which is decent but not great. Elsewhere Sully fell to third, adding another $13.8 million and bringing its worldwide total to $126 million. Bridget Jones’s Baby and Snowden rounded out the top 5.

1. The Magnificent Seven — $35M
2. Storks — $21.8M
3. Sully — $13.8M
4. Bridget Jones’s Baby — $4.5M
5. Snowden — $4.1M
6. Blair Witch — $4.0M
7. Don’t Breathe — $3.8M
8. Suicide Squad — $3.1M
9. When the Bough Breaks — $2.5M
10. Kubo and the Two Strings — $1.1M

New to Theatres This Weekend: The Magnificent Seven, Storks, The Age of Shadows

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Two more wide releases will challenge Sully for the box office title this weekend as Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington look to repeat the success of The Equalizer with their remake of The Magnificent Seven. Westerns are always tough to predict but this one has some star power and seems to be tracking well. Also hitting theatres we have the Warner Brothers animated film Storks, directed by Nicholas Stoller. In select theatres, we have Disney’s chess drama Queen of Katwe, along with Kim Jee-woon’s period spy thriller The Age of Shadows, Christophe Gans’ version of Beauty and the Beast starring Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux, and Andrew Neel’s fraternity hazing drama Goat. What will you be watching this weekend?

This Week on DVD and Blu-ray: Neighbors 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Labyrinth: 30th Anniversary Edition

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Hitting DVD and Blu-ray this week we’ve got a couple of decent but underperforming summer sequels and a handful of Stephen King movies from the ’70s and ’80s, among other things. The high profile new releases include Neighbors 2 (now without the “Sorority Rising” subtitle, apparently), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and Free State of Jones starring Matthew McConaughey, but they will probably take a backseat to these major back catalogue titles: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: 25th Anniversary Edition and Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: 30th Anniversary Edition. If that’s not enough, Criterion is re-issuing The Coen Brothers’ first film Blood Simple and Jacques Tourneur’s Cat People, while Warner Brothers is bringing a handful of Stephen King adaptations to Blu-ray for the first time including It, Salem’s Lot and Cat’s Eye. What will you be picking up this week? Check out the full list of noteworthy new releases after the jump.

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Fist Fight Trailer Starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day

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If you’ve ever wanted to see Charlie Day get his ass kicked, then perhaps this next movie is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. Fist Fight is an upcoming comedy that seems to revolve around a pretty simple premise: when one high school teacher (Charlie Day) costs another his job, that other teacher (Ice Cube) challenges him to a fight after school. The entire movie takes place over the school day, building up to the final showdown. And while that idea is pretty good, it’s kind of already been done before (and probably done better) by Jody Hill and Danny McBride’s recent HBO series Vice Principals. That being said, Tracy Morgan has a supporting role and it’s good to see him back on screen again. Fist Fight hits theatres on Feb. 17th; check out the first trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Ghost in the Shell Teaser(s) Starring Scarlett Johansson

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Up until now, we haven’t heard much about Dreamworks’ live-action Ghost in the Shell adaptation aside from the controversy over casting a white actor in the lead role and the ugly rumours that VFX tests were performed to try and make Scarlett Johansson look Asian. Now this week our first glimpses of the film has arrived via a handful of short teasers, all of which premiered during last night’s Mr. Robot season finale. Directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman), the movie does look pretty visually striking, and based on these short clips it seems to have captured the strange dream-like atmosphere of the 1995 anime film. Of course, if you can’t get past the casting of Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi, then perhaps none of this really matters anyway. Ghost in the Shell co-stars Michael Pitt, Juliette Binoche, Michael Wincott, Pilou Asbæk, Rila Fukushima and Takeshi Kitano and it hits theatres on March 31st. Check out all five teasers after the jump and let us know what you think.

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