The Playlist

12 Indie Directors Who Jumped To Blockbuster Budgets

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • March 26, 2014 2:24 PM
  • |
  • 8 Comments
Noah, Russell Crowe, Aronofsky
This week sees the release of “Noah,” and it’s notable for a number of reasons. For one, it’s that it’s a relatively rare Biblical movie not aimed principally at religious audiences (which may or may not pay off). For another, it’s the latest film from “Requiem For A Dream” and “Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky. But perhaps more than anything else, it’s a movie that costs $125 million, almost four times as much as the director’s most expensive previous film, “The Fountain,” the helmer having been given the keys to Paramount’s war chest after the surprise smash success of “Black Swan,” which made nearly $300 million worldwide.

Marc Forster To Direct Futuristic Thriller 'Red Riding' & Seth Gordon Will Helm Lewis Carrol Pic 'Queen Of Hearts'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • February 5, 2014 4:01 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Marc Forster
Wisely, director Marc Forster kept his head down during the tumultuous post-production of "World War Z," and thankfully film was thankfully a big hit so he came out of it mostly intact. And now he's ready to work. He's already lined up a gig at Amazon Studios helming their pilot "Hand Of God," but lest you think he's been resigned to TV jobs, guess again.

Neil Marshall To Helm 'Constantine' Pilot, Marc Forster Directs Amazon Studio's 'Hand Of God' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • January 31, 2014 9:17 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Marc Forster
As comic book movies are proving to be a big deal at the box office, it's no surprise that the television world is hoping to lure the same audience. Developing steadily over the past few months, Deadline reports that NBC has now found a director for their "Constantine" pilot: Neil Marshall.

Whit Stillman Writing/Directing ‘Cosmopolitan’ For Amazon Studios; Moving His Jane Austen Movie Idea Into Novel Form

  • By Edward Davis
  • |
  • January 29, 2014 5:54 PM
  • |
  • 5 Comments
Is Amazon Studios the next Netflix? Not quite, but it’s not for lack of trying and some have already called them a Hollywood threat. Lots of stuff is cooking over there: the John Goodman-starring political comedy “Alpha House,” Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Barbarella;” even the “Zombieland” series may potentially land there. “World War Z” director Marc Forster’s “Hand Of God,” starring Ron Perlman, is also nearing an official pilot green light.

Marc Forster Won't Direct 'World War Z' Sequel, Kim Jee-Woon Lines Up New Project & More

  • By Ken Guidry
  • |
  • October 3, 2013 9:38 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
World War Z
By now, we all pretty much know about the struggles the filmmakers had while making “World War Z.” In spite of the fact that the film actually turned out to be a major success, initial reports of its “inevitable failure” hit everyone involved with the film pretty hard. The Hollywood Reporter has a very interesting piece about Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B (who made the film). The article goes into how criticism of the production of "World War Z" affected the producers involved, mentally, and they delve into how the surprise success of the film, along with the positive festival response of “12 Years a Slave” has left the company feeling pretty good about themselves.

Marc Forster Discusses Scrapped Ending For 'World War Z,' Brad Pitt Says Sequel Ideas Already Brewing

  • By Ben Brock
  • |
  • September 17, 2013 10:22 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
World War Z, Brad Pitt
"World War Z," as we noted in our recent look at this year's blockbusters, had a pretty great summer. More that $200 million in the U.S. and another half a billion bucks worldwide is good going for anyone (including Brad Pitt—it's now his highest-grossing film ever), but it's especially good going for a film that many of those in the so-called know had written off as doomed to bomb after a long, troubled production and rumours of extensive, elaborate rewrites and reshoots. The massive success of the final film was a lesson to all us cine-nerds who think that audiences actually care about that kind of thing (a subject ripe for its own discussion which we tackle right here).

‘World War Z’ Endings: The Bloody Battle In Russia Vs. Damon Lindelof's Rewrite, What Was Changed & Why

  • By Rodrigo Perez
  • |
  • June 25, 2013 12:31 PM
  • |
  • 16 Comments
World War Z, Brad Pitt
History is littered with movie productions that went haywire and melted down (we recently chronicled a few that survived bad buzz and some that didn't). Either imploding on set because of director/actor spats, budgets that ballooned into excess causing for major flops, or any number of confluent forces that created disaster. Some films escaped their thought-to-be impending doom (“Avatar,” “Titanic”) and others (“John Carter,” “Battleship,”), well, they pretty much lived up to their “this is going to bomb” narrative.

The Best & Worst Of 'World War Z'

  • By The Playlist Staff
  • |
  • June 24, 2013 4:36 PM
  • |
  • 17 Comments
World War Z
The people have spoken, and they have said braaaaaaains. Brad Pitt’s would-be runaway monster of a zombie movie “World War Z” is a hit and coming in at #2 this past weekend with the highest opening of Pitt’s career. Bad buzz be damned, ‘WWZ’ overcame the odds, the drama, the negative media attention to come out a solid winner (though as history shows, not every troubled production gets a happy ending). Sure, with global costs that could reach $400 million, it might be impossible for ‘Z’ to break even, but at this point, let’s face it, the movie wasn’t a colossal bomb and Paramount is breathing a deep sigh of relief. In fact, if the movie keeps going and has legs then its mooted sequel may not be in doubt, even if the movie can’t break even (studios always throw good money after bad and once they’ve started an investment, they don’t like to just chop it off at the wrist because it bled a little). And so, the final verdict on the Marc Forster-directed “World War Z” after everything that went down? Well, it’s pretty terrific in spots, ok in others, a little clunky at times and pretty problematic if you’re looking at it discerningly (you can read our original review here). But put it this way: it’s nowhere near the disaster we were lead to believe it might be. If you’re looking at it from a pure thrill ride perspective, “World War Z” is likely going to win, but as usual, we thought we’d drill down a little deeper and deconstruct the elements that are great, the ones that are so-so and the ones that weren’t so great. Or the “Best & Worst Of World War Z” for the sake of clean communication. Our thoughts below.

5 “Cursed” Movie Productions That Survived Bad Buzz And 5 That Didn't

  • By The Playlist Staff
  • |
  • June 24, 2013 3:51 PM
  • |
  • 14 Comments
5 Movies With Bad Buzz
“World War Z” will in all likelihood be looked back on as an important turning point in the narrative of bad buzz prematurely equating to a flop. It's an interesting case study for studios trying to turn back the tide on troubled productions. These days, with transparency and information as available as it is, bad buzz can severely hurt a film. Look at “Gangster Squad” (delayed and then had its ending reshot), “Battleship” (delayed, looked like Michael Bay at sea) or “John Carter” (delayed, had a title changes, suffered from a terrible marketing campaign). These are three recent films that only reinforced the traditional narrative -- these movies are troubled, therefore they’re going to suck.

Review: 'World War Z' Starring Brad Pitt

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • June 7, 2013 8:56 AM
  • |
  • 23 Comments
"World War Z" was always going to be a difficult nut to crack. The book of the same name, by son-of-Mel Max Brooks, was a bestseller a few years back, and a somewhat atypical one; a brainy, grim faux oral history of a zombie apocalypse that wiped out most of the world's population. It made enough of a dent in pop culture to warrant a movie adaptation, but it wasn't going to be an easy translation with no main character and a documentary-like format. So it's no surprise that the film was several years in development, and that even once filming got underway, it had one of the more publicly troubled shoots in memory, with reports flying of budget overages, script triage and extensive pick ups.

Email Updates

Recent Comments