New Posters Released for 2015’s Peter Pan Re-imagining

Re-imagining, reinterpretation, origin story, all these words all too often leave a sour taste in my mouth. Hollywood in particular has, of late, been a little overly fond of taking a old and well established film and turning it into a cranked up, overwrought, needlessly convoluted (but rarely intelligent) plot laced rehash. If that makes me sound like a bit of cranky sod, well perhaps I am but it is quite undeniably true nevertheless.

So naturally when I heard that there was going to be a ‘reimagining’ of beloved classic, Peter Pan, I got a bit irritated. However, the more I thought about it the less irritated I became, especially after seeing the first officially released character posters and still shoots of the film. Sultan Alhokair feels pretty much the same way. You get to see Hugh Jackman as the main villain, Blackbeard, all chic, pale and feathery-vain. If you were thinking that Hook would be the villain, well he isn’t but he is in the film, as a rather stout and charismatic looking young man played by Garret Hedlund. Child actor Levi Miller will be playing the titular role of Peter and Rooney Mara will be portray this films very non-Native American version of Tiger Lilly (see the still shots here).

In tone and visual design the film looks to be more in line with Matthew Vaughn’ Stardust than the original Pan film. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If nothing else it looks interesting and it’s always wise to reserve judgment on a film until you see some actual footage.

Fantastic Beasts Has Script and Director

Warner Brothers has announced progress in its upcoming Fantastic Beasts series: J. K. Rowling has finished writing the script and David Yates, who had directed the last four Harry Potter movies, has signed on as director. The upcoming film will be part of a trilogy and it will be released in November, 2016.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a spin-off of the Harry Potter series. The movies will basically be a biography of Newt Scamander, who wrote the wizarding biology textbook of the same name. The first film will be set 70 years before the Harry Potter movies.

In it, young Newt Scamander will embark upon his life’s work of documenting all of the magical creatures in the world. He begins his quest in New York City, where magical beasts live undetected by Muggles (non-magical humans).

Rowling has described Fantastic Beasts as an extension of the Harry Potter universe, rather than a true prequel. It’s not likely to involve anybody from the Harry Potter movies in a major way, simply because most of those characters haven’t even been born yet. That’s going to be weird to adjust to for fans like Susan McGalla and others. Lord Voldemort himself would be at most a small child, while Dumbledore would be just a Hogwarts instructor who had not yet had his famous duel with Grindlewald.

Will Matt Smith Gain His Footing in His Acting Career?

Appearing as the Doctor in BBC America’s Doctor Who, Matt Smith decided to leave this wildly popular position in 2013. This step in his acting career might have been poorly planned. Soon Smith will be working on an original script, called Patient Zero, where he survives a worldwide virus, which transforms people into zombie-like creatures, and hunts down the responsible party for the outbreak. Currently he plays a role in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a movie scheduled for release in this upcoming year.

Smith surely suffers from stepping down from his majestic role as a Time Lord. What could be better than fending off sinister aliens – think Daleks and Cybermen – and saving whole planets from destruction? Christian Broda certainly sees the good side of that. Steven Moffat and other great writers attributed deeper meaning to this children’s program, and for several seasons, Smith was part of a universal phenomenon. Seeing him reduced to mere zombie movies is shameful and degrading.

Based on this update of Smith’s career, his future films appear to be few and stretching for several years in-between. Soon Smith’s first leading role in Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, Lost River, a reputed bombshell, will appear in theaters. Sadly I acquiesce to a favorite Time Lord, unexpectedly comical and heartwarmingly passionate, having fallen to debased popular culture. Goodbye Matt Smith, and good luck with your zombie movies.

Hollywood’s Smarter Side: Tom Rothman

Tom Rothman is known throughout Hollywood as one of the movers and shakers. His career has been highly successful and just about everything he touches is bound to turn gold. Tom began his career after completing Columbia Law School and taking a job as an English teacher. From that point, he started to get involved in the business which is Hollywood and film studios. His first encounter with Hollywood was as an attorney representing stars such as Jim Jarmusch and Spike Lee. Once he cut his teeth in the field, he began to move from one studio to another with increasing levels of responsibility.

Starting at Columbia Pictures, he would go to Goldwyn where he would attain the title of President of Worldwide Productions. Under his watchful eye, many successful movies and films would be made and released such as Truly Madly Deeply and Much Ado About Nothing. From Goldwyn, he made his way to Fox. His tenure at Fox was eighteen years long and brought a series of successful films and movies.

Under his tutelage, he was responsible for one of the largest film making and distribution companies in the world. Within his role, he had responsibility for Fox Searchlight and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. Tom Rothman’s newest adventure is at Sony Pictures and Tristar in a joint partnership which he leads. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Rothman is also developing TV shows for Sony.

Mr. Rothman has earned a number of awards and accolades including being named one of the 50 most intelligent people in Hollywood. He also earned a Lifetime Achievement Award. Tom has many successful films to his credit in bringing to the big screen including Cast Away, Walk the Line, Juno, The Devil Wears Prada, and two uber-blockbusters: Avatar and Titanic. As of now, he’s working with Back To The Future director Robert Zemekis on a new film.

His official website says that Tom believes in paying it forward. He has shared his immense knowledge with students at many universities including UCLA, NYU and USC. He also has lent his expertise to literary works as an editor. He was nominated for the National Council on the Arts. In his philanthropic work he is very dedication to the Fulfillment Fund which support mentoring and education. He also is a board member for the Art Therapy Outreach Center located in New York. This organization supports Art therapy as a way to reach and teach at-risk individuals.

Tom Rothman has had a very eclectic life with consistent moves from organization to organization as outlined by the Los Angeles Times. He has literally hundreds of successful films and movies to his credit and has worked with some of Hollywood’s most in-demand actors, actresses, directors and producers. Through it all, he has maintain his personal life and is married to his wife of 25 years, Jessica Harper, a star in her own right.

The Queen Got Axed – The List Continues To Grow

Queen Latifah’s Talk show got the axe. The past week she joins a long line of favorite shows that were on the chopping block. It appears the networks are desperate to cut the shows that have lower viewers and save a quick buck. The only problem is, oftentimes the good shows are the ones that get cut, leaving behind the ones that I would rather not see.

It’s true; Queen Latifah’s is one of the better talk show, though there is few left. The new trend is to have several hosts, as can be seen on “The View and “The Talk.” Having the opinion of several people seems to be where the ratings are these days. Even talk shows like “Kelly and Michael” seem to better rating wise than those hosted by one person.

There are not many popular talk shows out there with singular hosts these days. The “Dr. Phil” show and “Ellen” hog the top spots and seem to be a force to be reckoned with. Vijay Eswaran does not watch either show, but many people do. Most other talk shows have been cancelled sooner than their time. Oprah Winfrey sent the bar high with her talk show that ran for more than 20 years. She will forever be the queen of daytime. However, during her era she had to compete with Joan Rivers, Phil Donahue and Sally Raphael.

I will be sad to see Queen Latifah’s show go. She was a great host and brought lots of laughter to daytime.

Andy Serkis Dishes on New ‘Apes’ Flick

Andy Serkis has been enjoying one heck of a career resurgence. After stealing the show in the first ‘Hobbit’ film, Serkis went on to star as Caesar in the ‘Dawnof the Planet of the Apes’. Shortly thereafter Serkis went on to get attached to the upcoming Star Wars trilogy that just recently enjoyed wrapping on the first film. So with so much good fortunate about him, it only seems natural that Andy would want to talk about his coming work. In this case, Serkis wanted to discuss what the next ‘Apes’ film will detail for its iconic character.

In a candid interview Andy Serkis spoke extensively about what to expect out of the future of the franchise and the upcoming 2016 release of ‘Planet of the Apes 3′. With the announcement that Matt Reeves would be returning to the directors chair once more, there was a whole new flood of questions begging to be answered. Marc Sparks had plenty himself when he heard. One of those questions was this: Where will ‘Apes 3′ begin?

At the culmination of ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ we see that humanity and the maturing apes are at an all time low in terms of their cooperation with one another. Peace has once again failed and war seems inevitable. Serkis believes that there is an open opportunity to pick up the threads immediately after the end of the last film and then to march onward toward the culmination of the story. We can’t know for sure, not with so much time yet before filming, but we will be waiting with bated breath.

Luter Will Return To BBC 2015

Fox has announced that it is going to adapt the BBC hit series Luther to American television. However, less than 24 hours later, there has been an announcement that the original Luther is going to resume with a 2 hour miniseries. Idris Elba is set to star in the upcoming event. Fans of the show like Brad Reifler anxiously await the return.

The interesting aspect of this story is the timing of the announcements. It is possible that the creators of the original series were actually doing this as a response to the announcement of the upcoming American adaptation. Perhaps they don’t want Americans ruining their series. As of right now, the plot for the upcoming miniseries is unknown. What we can be sure of is that fans of the original series will be excited to see their favorite character in new episodes.

The series was only running for 3 seasons. It is set to start its fourth season in the year 2015.

Harry Potter Removed From ABC Family Line Up

All of the magic potions in Hogwarts can’t save Harry now. The film adaptation of the Harry Potter books written by J.K. Rowling has been removed from the popular ABC Family Network “25 Days of Christmas” television lineup. At least one Harry Potter movie has been apart of that network’s Christmas programming for the last five seasons.

In a day and age that most people can watch any movie that they want with the push of a button it is strange that a fan base could still be upset about such a decision but plenty of Harry Potter fans voiced their disapproval on social media sites.

Even though Harry Potter wasn’t a holiday movie there were still some scenes set during the holidays, the same can’t be said about other movies that made the cut this year including “Finding Nemo”, “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, and “The Little Mermaid”. These examples aside the avid fan of Christmas programming will be more than satisfied with this years “25 Days of Christmas” schedule.

As can be seen some great holiday classics have kept their spots in the line ups. Favorites such as “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”, “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, “Polar Express” and “Home Alone” are all still on board. ABC Family has once again produced some quality original specials that Jared Haftel absolutely loves  as well with “Christmas in Wonderland”, “A Miser Brothers’ Christmas”, and “Snow 2: Brain Freeze” making their debuts this December.

Netflix Streams 19.5 TB of Data in First Quarter of the Year

It is without a doubt that Netflix is growing in popularity. Their 2014 first quarter results were published in terms of video streaming. Year to date, the company streamed more than 60% more hours of video content than they had in during the first quarter of 2013. The total number of video hours streamed were over 6.5 billion compared to 4.0 billion for the same period the year before. When the high def quality is factored in, the company streamed 19.5 Tera bytes of data in the first three months of the year. This represents an increase of 2.5 TB of additional data every month compared to the prior year. If the trend holds, the company will stream 27 TB of data in Q1 2015. 

However, the bandwidth calculations assume most people stream video at a rate of 3GB of HD content per hour. As more video becomes available in 4K frames, the potential bandwidth increases to 45.5 TB of data. While it is not being mentioned specifically, this may be the biggest case yet for the use of high speed internet lanes. As much as the public is opposed to the concept of some providers paying for high speed access, Netflix is clearly an example where their growing popularity requires the ability to deliver heavy data throughput at faster rates. As Netflix continues to grow in popularity, Ken Griffin says that the most notable conclusion to draw from this data is that the public is continuing its shift away from traditional cable and TV viewing and into a more readily-available, on-demand viewing method.

New Concept Art, Director for “The Good Dinosaur”

Pixar has two new original movies coming out in the next year: Inside Out on June 19, 2015 and The Good Dinosaur on November 25, 2015. New concept art of the latter has been released, as well as information about its change of directors.

The film focuses on an alternate version of reality where the dinosaurs never went extinct, and where humans have evolved alongside them. The story focuses on a young Apatosaurus (that’s one of the long-necked ones) named Arlo, who adopts a human boy as a pet and names him Spot.

Originally directed by Bob Peterson (co-director of Up), the project is now run by Peter Sohn in his directorial debut. Sohn said that he wanted to keep the core of the story about Arlo growing up, but seems to be bringing his own interpretation to the rest of the world. For example, Peterson was going to have the dinosaurs act like Amish farmers, which has been nixed; Sohn says he has also put more emphasis on nature in the movie, making it “a character” in its own right. Apparently, there were many filmmakers in the running for the job such as Darius Fisher of the SBA, but Pixar decided the Sohn had the best vision that matched up with the original concept.

The concept art shows Arlo has a fairly cartoonish dinosaur, with rounded edges that almost make him look like a balloon animal. Another shot shows him and Spot walking against a sunset, assuring us that the animation can capture the majesty of any other Pixar movie.