Morning 5

No More 3D 'Star Wars' Prequels, Bird's 1952 is Now 'Tomorrowland' and 'Evil Dead' Remake Skirts NC-17 Rating

And Justice League's future may depend on Man of Steel's success

Star Wars 3D1.) Original plans to follow-up the 3-D re-release of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace with re-releases of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith later this year have been canned. Official word is so Disney and Lucasfilm can now concentrate solely on rebooting the franchise with Star Wars: Episode VII, which J.J. Abrams was officially announced as director over the weekend. Yes, I think we are all together in realizing that makes no sense, especially since 3-D re-releases are essentially free money, but perhaps that's just the image they weren't interested in putting out there on top of the fact Phantom Menace didn't exactly perform too well. [Deadline]

2.) Brad Bird's next film was originally going to be titled 1952, but Disney sent out a press release yesterday announcing it will now be known as Tomorrowland. There are no plot details outside of rumors the story will be UFO related. The script was written by Damon Lindelof and Bird from a concept by Lindelof and Jeff Jensen, George Clooney is set to star. The film will hit theaters on December 1, 2014.

3.) Pierre Morel (Taken) is in negotiations to direct Sean Penn in the action-thriller Prone Gunman. The film, based on a Jean-Patrick Manchette novel and a script by Peter Travis, centers on an international operative named Martin Terrier (Penn) who is betrayed by the organization he works for and must go on the run in a relentless game of cat-and-mouse across Europe. [THR]

4.) People seem to be getting more and more excited about the upcoming Evil Dead remake and news yesterday broke when director Fede Alvarez tweeted the following:

The reason for the R rating has not yet been released, but I expect I'll have it in my next MPAA bulletin or the one following that.

5.) Looks like Warner Bros. doesn't have the utmost of confidence in their upcoming Justice League film, and perhaps rightfully so after screenwriter Will Beall's Gangster Squad wasn't exactly praised for its plot line. Nevertheless, in an article at Variety the trade writes: "Warner's top brass has indicated that they are awaiting the results of Man of Steel, which opens June 14, before moving further ahead." Outside of the Batman films, especially those directed by Christopher Nolan, Warner's ability to release quality films based on their DC Comics product has been lackluster to say the least and I wonder if going to the superhero team-up immediately without building a brand, a la The Avengers, first is a good idea.

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    Actually Brad, the Evil Dead reboot has already got a rating on it's website for R-for Strong Bloody Violence and Gore, some Sexual Content, and Language.

    Glad to see that they didn't water it down to a PG-13 or limited the gore factor!

  • ckybltz

    Maybe Disney wants to remove itself a bit from the prequels in order to get the hardcore fan base excited for the new ones, especially since the prequels arent held in the highest esteem these days, despite the fact that they made a good amount of money on their initial release.

  • AJ

    I'm not sure how much a 3-D rerelease is in terms of "free money" when you have to spend to do the conversion first. Computer animated films are easy to convert, but post conversion on a regular film takes time and presumably money. Really though, I figured the 3-D releases were just Lucas' way of keep the Star Wars brand out there and selling toys, something which isn't needed now that new material is going into production instead.

    I had always assumed that WB wouldn't fully commit to "Justice League" until after they saw how "Man of Steel" did. If it's a big hit, I suspect they'll want to use it as their "Iron Man" and have "Justice League" link to it, thereby relieving some of the pressure by making it a pseudo-sequel. If it's a miss, then suddenly bundling Superman together with fellow miss Green Lantern, unable-to-launch Wonder Woman, and all the lesser knowns won't seem nearly as promising as just going back to old reliable Batman.

    • MajorFilmFan

      I agree about the 'Justice League', because it's hard to see how a movie like that could come together. The only actor that has been pretty much confirmed as Henry Cavill as Superman, and potentially the actor from the CW's TV Show, Arrow, as the Green Arrow. I DOUBT Ryan Reynolds will be brought back as Green Lantern after the movie TANKED. They'd have to cast a new Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, etc. etc. etc. They haven't got the universe set up that Marvel does where they can just throw all the elements of the different movies, such as Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, etc. that already exist, together to make the Avengers. Justice League would require a lot more work. I do think 'Man of Steel' will be a success, simply because it's fucking Superman, for god's sake. But, in my opinion, they should get a new screenwriter for Justice League

  • MajorFilmFan

    I'm intrigued to see what Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof have cooked up for us with 'Tomorrowland'. Based on the sole image released by Bird via Twitter (look it up), it appears to be about Disneyland.

  • Winchester

    I liked '1952' better.

    I think Disney is just twigging that the market for 3D reissues is pretty much dying. The returns are getting lower and lower for it's own catalogue of releases and while Phantom did ok I think they are probably indeed much more focused on this new film.

    Or they are secretly prepping the original trilogy!

    • Roger

      Visually, 3D probably looks best with Episodes I,II and III, but the most money would be made on re-releasing Episodes IV, V and VI in 3D, somewhere down the line.

  • Ian

    Tangentially on Star Wars, I'm curious as to how the rights to the current six will work out between Disney and Fox, and if that wasn't also a contributing issue to pulling the plans for the conversions. Lucasfilm owns the rights to Star Wars, with theatre and home media rights licensed to Fox. Who knows how that will play out in the long run; obviously there are still Star Wars films on the shelves from Fox though. I'm sure ultimately a deal will be cut between Disney and Fox regarding the financial side of things. But I agree that the real reason for dropping them was that 3D rereleases are pretty much dead, and the prequels definitely aren't the image they want out there leading into the new movie.

    As far as Justice League...I think this is another piece of evidence of just what a clustercuss the whole project has the potential to be. Summer 2015 might be tough to hit if they don't even get a green light until two years in advance and still have to line up a director and cast.

  • Ian

    Also, MPAA censorship reigns yet again. There's no reason there shouldn't be a widely accessible adults-only rating. Either show NC-17 films widely (the refusal to do this is a collusion between the MPAA and the chains), or drop it altogether and refuse to let anyone under 16 into an R rated film at all. That being said, Evil Dead does look absolutely disgusting (and I have a pretty strong stomach for gore). But it shouldn't be censored.

  • Roger

    It would definitely be smart to have character movies to get audiences familiar before a Justice League movie. It all rests on Man of Steel's shoulders. If this movie delivers, maybe we will see that.

    But Warner Bros. is a mess. They have exclusive rights to the entire DC line, and they don't know what to do with it. Don't do a stupid Wonder Woman tv show on The CW, get a Wonder Woman movie out there so it sets up a Justice League movie. Go ahead and copy Marvel's method. Who cares? Let Man of Steel kick it off with a teaser after the credits. Give us a Flash movie and Wonder Woman movie and another Green Lantern movie done properly. We all know who Batman is, we don't need another one until Justice League. Seems like Warner Bros just thinks a Justice League movie in theaters will generate the same $$ as Avengers did, but it took Marvel 5 years to get that movie properly made with those character movies. Marvel is actually considering B-list Doctor Strange and Ant-Man movies as Phase III, and Warner can't even get a movies out with the MAIN DC characters.

    • Winchester

      You gotta hand it to Marvel.

      They sat down and thought about what needed done and then they did it. And b the the time they got to The Avengers they reaped the benefits. They got organised and I agree WB is simply too far behind to catch up anytime soon now.

      • Roger

        The studio better have put an after-credit scene after Man of Steel. I'm sorry, but this is an absolute must. You need to tease the public for future DC movies after Man of Steel. If this doesn't launch the potential for a Justice League franchise, it will never happen. Make freakin Ryan Reynolds show up as Green Lantern in space with Superman. Even if she isn't cast, show Wonder Woman from the back holding a golden lasso, walking towards Superman. Show Clark Kent watching the news on a report of someone saving people from a building fire, and show red streaks from the Flash running. Anything!!! Just show something if you want this to be a franchise.

  • AmericanNoir

    Does anyone else never want to see anything else involving David Lindelof?