Jeff Wadlow to Rewrite and Possibly Direct Masters of the Universe

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Despite having spent over a decade in development hell, Hollywood simply refuses to give up on a new live-action He-Man movie. A couple of years ago, Sony acquired the rights to the franchise from Warner Brothers and started developing it with Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) attached to direct. He eventually dropped out (and is now directing the Jem and the Holograms movie instead) but Sony has continued to search for a replacement. A few months ago we heard rumours of a director shortlist that included Harald Zwart (The Karate Kid), Chris McKay (editor on The Lego Movie) and Mike Cahill (Another Earth). While none of those choices seem all that appropriate, this week we are hearing that Kick-Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow is circling the project instead. Will it finally stick this time around?

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New to Theatres This Weekend: Draft Day, Rio 2, Oculus

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There are quite a few new movies hitting theatres this weekend, but there is only one that has any hope of taking down Captain America: The Winter Soldier at the box office: animated sequel Rio 2. Fox will be hoping to expand on the surprise success of Rio, which made $484 million worldwide back in 2011. Other major releases include the behind-the-scenes football drama Draft Day starring Kevin Costner, low budget horror flick Oculus, and Indonesian martial arts flick The Raid 2, which is finally expanding to a semi-wide release. In select theatres, there are also quite a few worthwhile alternatives including David Gordon Green’s Joe starring Nicolas Cage, salsa dancing comedy Cuban Fury starring Nick Frost and Chris O’Dowd, and Jim Jarmusch’s vampire flick Only Lovers Left Alive. What will you be watching this weekend?

I Origins Trailer Starring Michael Pitt and Brit Marling

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Mike Cahill and Brit Marling made a big splash at Sundance a couple of years ago with their indie sci-fi drama Another Earth. This year they returned to the festival with their follow-up, I Origins, another film that uses a far out scientific discovery to explore various elements of life and love. That could be interesting except that it seems to involve the intersection of science and spirituality, which automatically sets off alarm bells for me.

Michael Pitt plays a PhD student studying the evolution of the eye, who falls in love with a supermodel after a chance encounter at a party. Years later, he and his lab partner make a profound discovery about the human eye that “may fundamentally change society as we know it.” Some of the imagery looks pretty, but the tone of the movie seems awfully self-important. I Origins hits select theatres on July 18th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Stephen Colbert to Replace David Letterman in 2015

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With Jimmy Fallon taking over The Tonight Show back in February, the late night TV landscape has already been undergoing a major shift. Then last week David Letterman announced that he would be retiring in 2015 as the host of The Late Show on CBS. Over the past week we’ve been hearing all kinds of speculation as to who might be his successor, but CBS has very quickly put that debate to rest. Today they have announced that the next host of The Late Show will be none other than Stephen Colbert. The 49-year-old host of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central has reportedly signed a five-year-deal with CBS. CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler had this to say about the announcement:

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How to Train Your Dragon 2 Trailer #3

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DreamWorks has just released the third (and final?) trailer for their upcoming animated sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2, which picks up five years after the events of the first film. All of the characters you know and love are here along with the mysterious new “Dragon Rider”, who isn’t really much of a mystery if you’ve been watching all of the trailers up to this point. Call me crazy, but this latest trailer makes the movie seem a little too sentimental for its own good, although I suppose as long as there are still some great dragon flying scenes everyone will be happy. How to Train Your Dragon 2 hits theatres on June 20th; check out the new trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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Borgman Trailer: Dogtooth Meets Funny Games

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I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Dutch director Alex van Warmerdam’s film Borgman (not to be confused with Steven Kostanski’s Manborg) ever since it played at the Toronto International Film Festival last year. However, up until now, I still had very little idea as to what the movie was actually about. This week Drafthouse Films have released a domestic trailer for the movie that sheds some light on that particular subject, all while generating a certain amount of mystery and suspense.

The movie is described as a “dark suburban fable” about a nomadic group of vagrants who are being driven from their network of underground shelters. Their leader, Borgman, decides to infiltrate the lives of an upper-middle-class couple and seek revenge from the inside. The fact that it is a home invasion movie of sorts, but also surreal and darkly comedic, has brought about comparisons to the films of both Michael Haneke and Yorgos Lanthimos. Borgman hits select theatres on June 6th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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The Truman Show to Become a TV Series

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When The Truman Show hit theatres back in 1998, it proved to be incredibly prescient, predicting the rise of reality TV just a couple of years before shows like Survivor and Big Brother hit the airwaves. It wasn’t necessarily the first movie to explore such an idea, but due to the timing and the critical acclaim, it became the one most closely associated with the phenomenon. The movie went on to be nominated for three Oscars including Best Director for Peter Weir and Best Original Screenplay for Andrew Niccol. Now, some 16 years later, as reality TV is on the decline, it looks as though the movie is about to be adapted for the very medium that it was originally commenting on. That’s right, an actual TV series based on The Truman Show is currently in development at Paramount.

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Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here Trailer

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Ten years after The Shins changed your life on the soundtrack for Zach Braff’s Garden State, the band is back featuring prominently (and predictably) in the first trailer for his next feature film, Wish I Was Here. The movie was funded primarily via Kickstarter last year, which stirred up quite a bit of controversy at the time, but then the movie premiered at Sundance and we haven’t heard much about it since. The story revolves around a 35-year-old out of work actor who is forced to home school his two children when his own father is diagnosed with cancer and can no longer afford to send them to private school. Focus Features will release Wish I Was Here in theatres on July 18th; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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Battlestar Galactica Movie Gets Resurrected at Universal

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Back in 2009, around the time that the fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica was wrapping up on Syfy, Universal Pictures announced their intention to start developing a Battlestar Galactica feature film. The most surprising about the news was the fact that they were not planning to continue Ron Moore’s popular modernized version of the show, but instead they would take inspiration from the classic 1978 series. Original series creator Glen A. Larson was on board to write and produce, and soon afterward Bryan Singer signed on to direct. A year or two later, however, the project took a backseat to Singer’s return to the X-Men franchise and was put on hold indefinitely. Now this week Universal is renewing their efforts to bring BSG to the big screen… with or without the help of Bryan Singer.

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Film Junk Premium Podcast #28: The Films of M. Night Shyamalan

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The failure of last year’s After Earth starring Will Smith and Jaden Smith left many people wondering if M. Night Shyamalan’s filmmaking career might be on its last legs. In light of this, we decided to go back and revisit all of the supernatural thrillers that he has directed over the past 15 years from The Sixth Sense to The Happening in order to remind ourselves of his talent and also perhaps determine where it all went wrong. Along the way, we explore some hot topics like the rules for interacting with ghosts, the existence of crop circles, Bruce Willis’ choice to go full bald and the role of faith in Shyamalan’s films. So is M. Night a genius or did he just get lucky? Did he become a victim of his own success? Are twist endings his greatest strength or his greatest weakness? Is it possible that there are no coincidences? Grab this month’s premium podcast and swing away.

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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!

Intramural Trailer: A Sports Comedy from the Next Generation of SNL Stars

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It’s been quite a while since I’ve actually sat down and watched an episode of Saturday Night Live, but from what I understand the cast has been almost completely been overhauled this year with four major stars leaving and six new ones joining the show. Some of these new faces are wasting no time getting their movie careers started by banding together for a feature film called Intramural. As you can probably guess from the title, it is a comedy that throws its hat into a familiar ring by parodying underdog sports movies.

Directed by Andrew Disney (Searching for Sonny), the cast includes current SNL-ers Kate McKinnon, Jay Pharoah and Beck Bennett along with Jake Lacy (The Office), Nikki Reed (Twilight) and D.C. Pierson (Mystery Team). The first trailer looks like it has potential, although it also feels somewhat reminiscent of the Lonely Island guys. Intramural will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival later this month; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Roman Polanski’s Venus in Fur Trailer

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It’s pretty impressive that at the age of 80, Roman Polanski is not only continuing to direct movies, but also movies that are worthy additions to his already legendary filmography. Both Carnage and The Ghost Writer were fairly well-received in recent years, and now this year he is returning with his latest endeavour, Venus in Fur. The film premiered at Cannes last year where it generated positive reviews and later earned Polanski a nod for Best Director at the César Awards in France.

Much like Carnage, it is based on a play and takes place in a single location. Polanski’s wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, plays an actress who convinces the director of a new play to let her audition for him in an empty theatre. Mathieu Amalric, who co-starred with her in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, plays the director, who apparently becomes smitten with her. What do you think, does this look like another great Polanski film? Venus in Fur hits select theatres on June 20th; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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