Bad Film News…..
Warner Bros has changed the release date for Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity. Originally slated for a November 21st, 2012 release, the film has been moved to unspecific date in 2013. Film Stage believes that the film has been delayed due to special effects work, which could be very true. Jeffrey Wells offers another hypothesis: a lack of IMAX and 3D screens in November and December.
One has to assume the new James Bond film, Skyfall and Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit will dominate IMAX theaters in November and December. Not to mention, Gravity, a more adult film would have to compete with the likes of Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 and family friendly films.
Most recently Universal moved the Keanu Reeves 3D samurai film 47 Ronin from a November release to February 2013 for presumably the same reason. Not enough theaters/tough market. The pessimist that lives in each film fan wants to take this news as a sign of no confidence from the studio. They shouldn’t. Yes, studios know that they’re going to lose money on some films, but we, as the audience just can’t throw our hands up and assume that a film is garbage because a release date is changed or there’s delays. This is how we killed John Carter before we even gave it a chance. Let’s just relax and wait for the film’s release and remember that North American box office returns aren’t as important as foreign markets.
If there’s a silver lining to this story, Warner Bros has moved up the release of Gangster Squad to early September.
Earlier this week, Gary Ross officially withdrew from directing The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire. With any story, there are multiple sides to it. Ross wanted a larger paycheck for the sequel from Lionsgate; Ross wasn’t nuts about the other books in the series; Ross didn’t feel like he had enough time to make the best film possible (Production on Catching Fire has begin in August so Jennifer Lawrence can start on the X-Men: First Class sequel [contractual obligation] in January 2013. In addition, Catching Fire is already penciled in for a November 2013 release).
Lionsgate and Hunger Games producers have assembled a list of directors that they would like to direct the next film. According to 24 Frames, David Cronenberg, Alfonso Cuaron, and, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu are just some of the names on this wish list.
Before one gets their hopes up about David Cronenberg’s take on the all star edition of the Hunger Game, every producer and studio creates a master list, wish list of directors that they would like to see direct their hot script. It doesn’t matter if the director is known primarily for writing their own material, they’re going to be on that list and there might be some discussions. For example, David Lynch was offered Return Of The Jedi and Cronenberg was offered Top Gun.
In addition, let’s look at the logistics and scheduling for these three directors:
- Alfonso Cuaron is still in post production on his effects heavy space epic, Gravity. Also, Cuaron’s cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki is currently working with Terrence Malick. So, he’s out.
- David Cronenberg just finished or is putting the finishing touches on Cosmopolis. He could be available.
- Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is developing a couple of projects to direct, but how far along are those productions? Perhaps Inarritu will jump on just to work and use any cache earned from directing the film to help push more of the personal projects along.
Of those three, Inarritu might make the most interesting film. He’s great with actors, directing five actors to Oscar nominations, but he’s an inexperience action director. It’s not to say that he can’t rise to the challenge, but with so much action in the book, it seems ideal to have an action director or with experience.
At the end of the day, the producers and Lionsgate should ask Jennifer Lawrence to give them a list of who she wants to work with. Obviously, the studio must appease Suzanne Collins, but Jennifer Lawrence is just as important. Happy cast, happy film.