The universe of The Conjuring just keeps expanding outward. James Wan’s ’70s-set creepfest made swimming pools of money for New Line Cinema, which made a greenlighting a sequel pretty much a no-brainer. When that film sold like hotcakes too, New Line moved onto an Annabelle spinoff and a scheduled sequel, a solo project for the demon nun that torments Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, and yet another spinoff for the bowler-sporting Conjuring 2 villain known as The Crooked Man. And now the seventh film in the connected Conjuring world has been announced, promising more highly lucrative scares for New Line.
As Shane Black works on his planned Predator reboot, details continue to leak out of the production. The latest concerns a new casting notice with greater significance than one might think – an Easter egg embedded in a specific actor’s mere presence. Friends, the Busey family legacy is about to be carried on by the next generation.
Will The Emoji Movie be horrible? We just don’t know. The premise of “Toy Story, but with the little pictorial icons that live inside your smartphone” sure sounds like something that an executive with an analytics page for a heart would come up with, but it’s the critic’s responsibility to reserve judgement until the film can be seen in full. At least today brings us a bite-sized sample of The Emoji Movie with a new trailer that contains both a painfully out-of-fashion “Bye, Felicia” reference and a sincerely humorous joke about forgotten phone passwords. So it’s really anyone’s guess, at this point.
Today marks the one-year mark until we get the sequel to the 2015 box-office-crusher Jurassic World, and Universal wanted to do something special to commemorate the occasion. Now look down at that glass of water you've got close at hand. Tiny ripples in the center, a distant thunderous thudding in the distance. New information is close at hand.
Denis Villeneuve’s getting ready to tie a ribbon on Blade Runner 2049. The French filmmaker behind Arrival told Entertainment Weekly that “we are running towards the finishing line right now” on the production due for release October 6, and added that “we are elated. It feels like Christmas as we look at the completed shots.” But directors of generously budgeted studio projects have to say that, nonspecific positivity is pretty much written right into their contracts. Footage, however, cannot lie, and so it’s enticing news indeed that Villeneuve’s little exclusive with EW comes packaged with a new featurette including fresh frames from the hotly anticipated sequel.
2015 seems like forever ago — we were all so clean then, so innocent and unaware — but it hasn’t been all that long since Jack Black starred in the big-screen adaptation of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps chapter books. Though the movie itself was pretty middling, Black had gobs of fun as Stine himself, playing the noted kiddie-horror writer as a Vincent Price-esque Gothic weirdo. And it would now seem that Black had a good time with his foray into horror from his comedy home, as some wise casting director has obliged him with a high-profile new gig that should send him deeper into the genre.
Spend long enough interviewing actors for a living, you start to pick little things up. For instance, whenever a performer’s discussing their most recent production and utters any variant on the phrase “it really felt like the cast and crew was one big family,” that’s a major red flag that they’re full of crap. Costars are coworkers, and usually for about six months, and that’s on the longer side. But the ladies of Pitch Perfect 3 seem to be pretty earnest when they gush about the spirit of sisterhood and camaraderie that dominated the atmosphere on set. And for those as skeptical of myself, they proved it with video evidence.
With so many massive studio tentpoles springing up all over, you’d be forgiven for letting the gestating Jumanji remake slip your mind. The rework of the ’90s kid-friendly fantasy film, playing under the somewhat unwieldy title Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (yeah, tack the tagline right onto the title, why not!) will come to theaters December 20, but prying eyes have already ensnared some key details about the film. There was the whole brouhaha surrounding Karen Gillan’s hilariously impractical jungle outfit and her mealy-mouthed explanation as to why her character had to get all hotted up for a nature expedition, a controversy I have dubbed Midriffgate, and now today brings news of another curious detail of story.
Here’s how thoroughly Batman’s influence has permeated the mainstream: he’s claimed tacit ownership of the very notion of shining a light into the sky. The Bat-Signal, introduced in the comics as Gotham City’s method of summoning the Dark Knight, has been endlessly parodied in the annals of pop-culture — just earlier this month, the poster for Captain Underpants paid homage to the iconic (a word I mean here literally, and not in the ‘a photo of the Kardashians’ sense) design of the skyward spotlight. And all too appropriately, the Bat-Signal will now be used to give one former Batman, the dearly departed Adam West, a proper send-off.
Remember Flatliners, Joel Schumacher’s 1990 sci-fi/thriller about a group of medical students trying to cross over into the afterlife? They stop one another’s hearts just long enough to enter the great beyond, and then jolt them back into the land of the living before too long. Perhaps you noticed a fleeting reference to the film in last summer’s Popstar, wherein Bill Hader is relieved to learn that he has not pooped himself after a soft-goth Joanna Newsom artificially halts his heartbeat in a hobby he refers to as ‘flatlining.’ Ready or not, here comes a remake!
Do you wanna build a snowman... again? Disney sure hopes so, as they announced in a new press release today that their mega-successful Frozen would gain a sort of mini-sequel in an upcoming short to be bundled with Coco. But Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is no ordinary lead-in to the main event; it sounds like quite a bit has gone into the short that Disney repeatedly refers to as a “featurette,” running at 21 minutes and including four new songs, as well as returning cast members Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, and Jonathan Groff. Parents, batten down the hatches, for a new ‘Let It Go’ is close at hand.
Netflix has been notoriously secretive about their data, whether that’s subscription demographics or the all-important individual streaming figures for specific titles. Though they’ve grown into a major player in the world of entertainment, we really have no earthly idea whether Netflix is successful or not. (They almost definitely are, unless this is the single most brazen bluff in showbiz history.) The only knowledge we have of Netflix’s inner workings comes from the occasional missive issued by content head Ted Sarandos, who made one such announcement in a recent letter to shareholders. Among the financial jargon and quarterly earnings reports, Sarandos dropped the chilling detail that Netflix’s 100 million-strong user base has collectively streamed over 500 million hours of Adam Sandler movies since The Ridiculous Six opened. Today, ScreenCrush invites you to consider the brain-collapsing enormity of that number.
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