After creative snafu’s delayed Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur into November 2015 (with a new director), 2014 became the first year since 2005 without a new film from the computer animation giants.
2015 looks to redeem the studio, with not just one – but two – films hitting that year.
The first to hit will be June 2015’s Inside Out. Once known as The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind, Inside Out is the return of Pete Docter (Up, Monsters Inc.) to the director’s chair.
The movie has mostly been under wraps – minus a well received showing at the D23 Fan Expo last summer – but an update to Pixar’s website gives us a proper plot for the film. Certainly sounds interesting. Check it out:
From the tepuis of South America to a monster-filled metropolis, Academy Award®-winning director Pete Docter has taken audiences to unique and imaginative places. In 2015, he will take us to the most extraordinary location of all – inside the mind of an 11-year-old named Riley.
Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city,
house and school.
In a pitch so surreal that it could only come from the wild imagination of a child playing with LEGO (appropriately enough), LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham has been announced by WB Games for a Fall 2014 release.
Featuring a whopping 150 characters from the DC Universe (including ‘big figures’, a’la LEGO Marvel, to more accurately represent characters such as Killer Croc), LEGO Batman 3 sends Batman and the Justice League into space to battle Braniac and the rest of the DC Comics baddies.
Characters will be able to use unique suit upgrades, such as the Bat-Space suit you see on the cover art above, and if the announcement trailer below is any indication, this will be a real blast, when it comes to pretty much every video game system ever (PS3, PS4, X360, Xbone, Wii U, 3DS, Vita and PC) later this year. I personally missed out on LEGO Batman 2 and will not miss another Bat-Brick adventure!
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham hits shelves in the Fall.
I had a feeling that the massive opening weekend of Godzilla was going to open doors for director Gareth Edwards, but I’m not sure I expected this.
Announced Thursday evening over at StarWars.com, Edwards will direct one of the forthcoming Star Wars films, set for release in December 2016.
Joined by ex-video game journalist and screenwritter Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli), the film is assumed by most to be one of the “origin” films, rumored to star Boba Fett, Yoda or Han Solo. These movies are a part of Disney’s “new Star Wars every year” plan, which has a movie set in the universe releasing in the years where a proper “Episode” is not. (ex. Episode VII in 2015, this film in 2016, Episode VIII in 2017, and so on).
Here’s the full text of the press release. No pressure, Gareth, it’s only your THIRD movie.
GARETH EDWARDS AND GARY WHITTA ONBOARD FOR STAR WARS STAND-ALONE FILM
May 22, 2014
In addition to the episodes of a new Star Wars trilogy, Lucasfilm and Disney have begun development on multiple stand-alone movies that will offer new stories beyond the core Saga. Gareth Edwards will direct the first stand-alone film, with a screenplay by Gary Whitta. The film is due out December 16, 2016.
Gareth Edwards blazed into the filmmaking forefront with his acclaimed work on Monsters, a film he wrote, directed and served on as cinematographer and visual effects artist. The skill and vision readily apparent in Monsters earned him the high-profile spot directing this year’s smash hit Godzilla.
“Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life — join the Rebel Alliance! I could not be more excited and honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm,” said Edwards.
Gary Whitta’s screenwriting credits include 2010’s The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington. He is also well known as a journalist and editor in the video game industry, as well as part of the BAFTA award-winning team on Telltale Games adaptation of The Walking Dead.
Whitta states, “From the moment I first saw the original movie as a wide-eyed kid, Star Wars has been the single most profound inspiration to my imagination and to my career as a writer. It is deeply special to me,so to be given the opportunity to contribute to its ongoing legacy, especially in collaboration with a film-maker as talented as Gareth, is literally a dream come true. I’m still pinching myself.”
Smartly revealed to the press just before the long holiday weekend, Marvel Studios has announced the unfortunate news that innovative director Edgar Wright (The World’s End) has left the production of the 2015 release, Ant-Man.
Wright has been working on the film since 2006, long before Marvel Studios became what it is today, and with the film literally being weeks before shooting, this announcement was completely unexpected. Here’s the full text from Marvel Studios’ press release:
Marvel and Edgar Wright jointly announced today that the studio and director have parted ways on Ant-Man due to differences in their vision of the film. The decision to move on is amicable and does not impact the release date on July 17, 2015. A new director will be announced shortly.
The big question people are asking is why? Rumors have flooded the web, including that the movie was behind schedule/over budget, and that Disney brass stepped in to revise the script, without input from Wright or co-writer Joe Cornish (Attack the Block). But perhaps the best perspective came from director James Gunn.
Like Wright, Gunn has an incredibly unique sensibility as a director, and as he finishes his greatly anticipated Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy, I’d say it’s his word we can take best. From his Facebook, he wrote:
Sometimes you have friends in a relationship. You love each of them dearly as individuals and think they’re amazing people. When they talk to you about their troubles, you do everything you can to support them, to keep them together, because if you love them both so much doesn’t it make sense they should love each other? But little by little you realize, at heart, they aren’t meant to be together – not because there’s anything wrong with either of them, but they just don’t have personalities that mesh in a comfortable way. They don’t make each other happy. Although it’s sad to see them split, when they do, you’re surprisingly relieved, and excited to see where their lives take them next.
It’s easy to try to make one party “right” and another party “wrong” when a breakup happens, but it often isn’t that simple. Or perhaps it’s even more simple than that – not everyone belongs in a relationship together. It doesn’t mean they’re not wonderful people.
And that’s true of both Edgar Wright and Marvel. One of them isn’t a person, but I think you get what I mean.
Movies go through this sort of thing all of the time, and the results have been both good and bad. Thor: The Dark World moved from Patty Jenkins directing to Alan Taylor (worked out OK), X-Men: The Last Stand moved from Bryan Singer to Matthew Vaughn to Brett Ratner (did not end well), and Pixar movies go through this sort of thing all of the time – most notably with Ratatouille, which is arguably one of their finest films.
The fact is – something did not work out well for all parties. But this does not mean that Ant-Man will be bad, or that Edgar Wright is screwed, or that Marvel or Disney is evil. It just means that no one was happy.
Ant-Man will release in July 2015, and we’ll probably still end up excited for it. The script and pre-vis are mostly locked in, so there will undoubtedly be Wright-esque. Edgar Wright will go on to make incredible films. The Marvel Cinematic Universe will roll on.
And in the meantime, perhaps we should take a stand like Marvel Cinematic Architect, Joss Whedon (The Avengers), and just stand united.