Ron Howard Confirmed as New Director on Star Wars Han Solo Movie

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Well that didn’t take long. Just two days after announcing that Phil Lord and Chris Miller had stepped down (or… ahem… been forced out) as directors of the upcoming Star Wars Han Solo spin-off, Disney and Lucasfilm have found their replacement. Ron Howard was very quickly rumoured to be the frontrunner to take over the movie with Lawrence Kasdan and Joe Johnston also listed as possible candidates. Now it appears that Howard has finalized the deal and made it official. Kathleen Kennedy released the following statement today:

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Eli Roth to Direct The House With a Clock in Its Walls

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Over the past decade and a half, Eli Roth has continually pushed the envelope of genre filmmaking with movies like Cabin Fever, Hostel and The Green Inferno, achieving a certain level of success without pulling any punches. This year, however, he may be veering from that path a little bit and opening himself up to a wider audience in the process. He is currently putting the finishing touches on a Death Wish remake starring Bruce Willis, which may or may not end up being his first PG-13 film. After that, it looks like he will be taking a stab at his first kid-friendly horror flick: an adaptation of John Bellairs’ The House With a Clock in Its Walls. Could this be the start of a newer, softer Eli Roth? Hit the jump for more details.

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Damon Lindelof to Adapt Watchmen Series for HBO

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Although Zack Snyder’s Watchmen was generally well-received back in 2009 and is still held by many to be his finest work to date, fans of the original comic series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons have always had some reservations about it. Many feel that Snyder failed to embrace the underlying subtext of the film and that even the 3 hour 35 minute Ultimate Cut was missing key elements from the graphic novel. So when it was revealed a couple of years ago that HBO was looking to adapt it as a TV series instead, it seemed like an opportunity to finally get it right. Now they’ve got an intriguing potential showrunner lined up that is sure to get people talking. Hit the jump for more info.

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Film Junk Podcast Episode #616: It Comes at Night

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0:00 – Intro
9:45 – Review: It Comes at Night
35:10 – Headlines: RIP John G. Avildsen, Phil Lord and Chris Miller Exit Han Solo Movie
50:00 – Other Stuff We Watched: Rough Night, Cars 3, Raw, The Lego Batman Movie, Animal House, Role Models, 23 Paces to Baker Street, The Belko Experiment, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Krisha, Oh Hello on Broadway, Very Bad Things
1:59:26 – Junk Mail: Seal Busker Response + SJW Movie Podcasts, To Unwrap or Not to Unwrap, Best End Credit Songs, NYT’s Top 25 Movies of the 21st Century, Birthday Wishes, Putting Film Junk on the Map
2:34:15 – This Week on DVD and Blu-ray
2:40:10 – Outro
2:46:20 – Spoiler Discussion: It Comes at Night

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Phil Lord and Chris Miller Drop Out of the Star Wars Han Solo Spin-Off

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Update: THR is reporting that in addition to Ron Howard and Lawrence Kasdan, Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Captain America: The First Avenger) is also in the running to direct.

Just as we were sitting down to record this week’s podcast, the internet exploded with some apparently earth shattering news: Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the duo best known for 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie, have dropped out as the directors of the upcoming Star Wars Han Solo film. The movie stars Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and it was already three months into production, which makes their departure both surprising and costly. They are citing the usual “creative differences” as the reason, but as more details emerge it appears that they were actually fired after months of clashing with producer Kathleen Kennedy. Lord and Miller made the following statement about their exit from the film:

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Thank You For Your Service Trailer Starring Miles Teller

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In the decade and a half following 9/11, we’ve seen quite a few American movies made about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of them were critically acclaimed and some went on to win Oscars, but almost all of them were avoided by the general public… all except Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, which was not only a success but also went on to become the highest grossing movie of 2014. Now the writer of that movie, Jason Hall, is making his directorial debut with another war movie called Thank You For Your Service. The story seems to focus on soldiers returning home from war and the effects of PTSD, which American Sniper also touched on but ultimately set aside in favour of more straightforward hero worship. Something tells me this will not be a massive box office hit, but it could still be an awards season contender. Thank You For Your Service stars Miles Teller, Haley Bennett and Amy Schumer and it hits theatres on Oct. 27th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Transformers Bumblebee Spin-off Will Be Set in the ’80s and Sort of Like The Iron Giant

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With Transformers: The Last Knight hitting theatres this week, the press junkets have predictably resulted in a flood of new information about the upcoming Bumblebee spin-off, which will be the next Transformers movie to be released. In case you haven’t heard, it won’t be directed by Michael Bay but rather Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight and Hailee Steinfeld is in talks to be the film’s lead human. Now this week producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has come out and confirmed that the movie will deliver a heavy dose of ’80s pandering and (apparently) some actual emotions. Here’s what he had to say about the project:

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Annabelle: Creation Trailer #2

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Although Universal recently relaunched their horror-themed cinematic universe with The Mummy, Warner Brothers has also been building one for a few years now with James Wan’s The Conjuring and all of its various spin-offs. Now they have officially given it a name (The Conjuring Universe, obviously) and it features prominently in the new trailer for Annabelle: Creation, their upcoming prequel to a prequel. This installment gives us the origin story for that creepy doll, which was created by a dollmaker to take the place of his daughter who died under tragic circumstances. Annabelle: Creation is directed by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) and stars Miranda Otto (Homeland, The Lord of the Rings), Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace), Stephanie Sigman (Miss Bala, Narcos) and Tayler Buck. The movie hits theatres on Aug. 11th; check out the new trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Monday Morning Box Office Report: Cars 3 Coasts Across the Finish Line, Rough Night Stumbles

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It was another predictable win for Disney over the weekend as Cars 3 became the 16th Pixar movie (out of 18) to open at the top of the box office. That being said, its $53.5 million debut is still one of the lowest ever for Pixar, beating only The Good Dinosaur, A Bug’s Life and the original Toy Story while coming in behind the previous two Cars films as well. Wonder Woman was a strong second with $40 million, dropping just 30% in its third weekend. The Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me was a solid hit for Lionsgate, opening to $27.1 million, while The Mummy fell to fourth with $13.9 million. 47 Meters Down rounded out the top 5 with a somewhat surprising $11.5 million. Way down at #7 with just $8 million, Rough Night was a major disappointment for Sony and the second misfire of the year for Scarlett Johansson. Maybe it was just too dark for mainstream audiences… or perhaps all the women were seeing Wonder Woman a second time instead?

1. Cars 3 — $53.5M
2. Wonder Woman — $40.8M
3. All Eyez on Me — $27.1M
4. The Mummy — $13.9M
5. 47 Meters Down — $11.5M
6. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales — $8.5M
7. Rough Night — $8M
8. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie — $7.4M
9. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 — $5M
10. It Comes at Night — $2.6M

Game Junk Podcast Episode #33: E3 2017

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0:00 – Intro
7:35 – E3 Discussion: Microsoft
40:40 – E3 Discussion: Sony
1:10:45 – E3 Discussion: Nintendo
1:28:45 – E3 Discussion: Bethesda, Ubisoft, EA, Square Enix
1:44:35 – Top 5: E3 Announcements / Highlights
1:48:00 – Outro

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The Trip to Spain Trailer Starring Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan

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Bosom buddies Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have reunited with director Michael Winterbottom yet again for their third partially improvised road trip film, this time travelling through beautiful Spain. As always their goal is to sample the local cuisine while carrying on halfway thoughtful conversations and amusing each other with random impressions and comedic riffs. There are always a few minor attempts at dramatic intrigue as well, but for the most part it is just a chance to hang out with these guys and laugh. Can the third film live up to the previous installments or has the concept already run its course? The TV version of The Trip to Spain aired last month on Sky in the U.K., but the rest of us will find out when IFC brings the feature film version to North America on August 11th. Check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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The New York Times’ Top 25 Films of the 21st Century So Far

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Last week The New York Times’ two chief film critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott took it upon themselves to put together a list of the best films released since the year 2000. Unlike last year’s top 100 list put together by the BBC, this is not a consensus among a whole panel of contributors but rather a consensus between the two of them (along with some help from “cinema savants on Facebook”, as they put it). As you might expect, the resulting list is a little more unique than you usually get from these kinds of things and not only does it include quite a few movies I haven’t seen, it also includes several I’ve never even heard of. So if you’re looking for recommendations, this is worth checking out even though it shuns plenty of mainstream favourites. They also have write-ups for the movies from some well-known directors (you can see another list of favourites from six other directors here). Do you agree with their picks? Check out the full list after the jump and let us know what you think.

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