Come December are the year's heavyweights: Martin Scorsese, David Fincher and Steven Spielberg go against each other at the holiday box office with three literary adaptations: Hugo Cabret (December 9), The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (December 21), and War Horse (December 28), respectively. TDB expects that family-friendly Hugo Cabret, with its stellar cast, should overtake Shutter Island as Scorsese's biggest B.O. success. Similarly, we look forward to checking out Fincher's risky casting of The Social Network's Rooney Mara in Dragon Tattoo (instead of a star like Natalie Portman). And Spielberg's War Horse will remind us, TDB suggests, that "if Jaws and Jurassic Park taught us anything, it’s that nobody does animals better than Spielberg."
- The Guardian laments that while "the new year ought to be a time for ambition, hope and renewed energy in the creative industries…Hollywood's dream factory, beset by spiralling marketing costs and a pinched bottom line, is retreating into the safe bets of sequels, do-overs or films based on bestsellers and theme park rides."
They're reacting to the Weinstein's announcement of several sequels as well as the looming X-Men: First Class, Sherlock Holmes 2, Harry Potter #8 ---among many. There is reason to hope, however: the success of originals Inception and Despicable Me may portend that the "endless parade of cookie cutter titles, spin-offs, reboots and tired sequels has finally run out of road." But while some say originality is the next big thing, money-making still seems to be the bigger thing. Also, marquee names no longer carry original content single-handedly (nor as an ensemble - i.e. How Do You Know). Are sequels validated by non-commercial purposes? The Guardian's Philip French writes: "Yes, if significant improvements can be made, especially if this means going back to a literary source…Remakes are frequently interesting sociologically for the light they throw on changing times and different cultures." However, "some [remake] attempts should never be made or allowed."