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News Wrap: Abrams Opens Up on Super 8 Secrets, Apple Threatens Cable, Boondock Saints Web Sequel

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood June 15, 2011 at 3:58AM

During production on Super 8, director J. J. Abrams was notably secretive--as producer Steven Spielberg likes to be as well, preserving the mystery, hiding the alien. Now that the film has delivered a strong $35.5 million opening weekend, he is being less tight-lipped. [SPOILER ALERT] In an interview with MTV, Abrams was open about the many-limbed, mysterious monster in the film. He noted that Neville Page, the same man who created the monster in his 2008 film, Cloverfield, designed the creature for Super 8, but there was no “same-universe” connection. “They actually look very different,” he said, “but they both have two eyes, a nose and a mouth. So, in that regard, it also looks a lot like Laurence Olivier!" He said creating the creature was a balance; the alien needed to be scary, but also relatable, something that could be “full of rage and also could be emotional and nuanced.” (The bar for scary/relatable alien design was really set by District 9.)
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Thompson on Hollywood


During production on Super 8, director J. J. Abrams was notably secretive--as producer Steven Spielberg likes to be as well, preserving the mystery, hiding the alien. Now that the film has delivered a strong $35.5 million opening weekend, he is being less tight-lipped. [SPOILER ALERT] In an interview with MTV, Abrams was open about the many-limbed, mysterious monster in the film. He noted that Neville Page, the same man who created the monster in his 2008 film, Cloverfield, designed the creature for Super 8, but there was no “same-universe” connection. “They actually look very different,” he said, “but they both have two eyes, a nose and a mouth. So, in that regard, it also looks a lot like Laurence Olivier!" He said creating the creature was a balance; the alien needed to be scary, but also relatable, something that could be “full of rage and also could be emotional and nuanced.” (The bar for scary/relatable alien design was really set by District 9.)

Thompson on Hollywood


Christmas comes early for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained; The Weinstein Co. has set a release date of December 25, 2012. Tarantino’s partially cast spaghetti western film about a freed American slave is currently the only film with that release date.

Boondock Saints 3 might be on its way, but not to the big screen. Director Troy Duffy announced on We Got This Covered that part three of his cult classic, which had a sequel in 2009, may turn up "as a television show.” Duffy is in talks with execs and is hoping for a network like AMC or HBO, which would allow him to keep his profane tone. In a moment of characteristic exaggeration, he also said that the film’s stars, Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery, would “drop everything” for the small screen show.

Thompson on Hollywood

The battle over protecting the value of original content continues. It’s not Netflix that has the cable industry worried: it’s Apple. This according to a panel of TV business powers, including Jeff Bewkes, the CEO of Time Warner, who said said that the content that folks consume on their smart phones and tablets means that “we're now being copied and augmented by telephone and satellite companies.” He concluded that cable companies would need to control the interfaces in order to be in control of how content will be distributed. Neil Smit, president of Comcast Cable Communications, echoed this: “Whether it's an iPad or TV screen or mobile, let's let them view it the way they want to view it.”


This article is related to: Directors, Genres, Headliners, Independents, Studios, Web/Tech, Daily Read, Quentin Tarantino, J.J. Abrams, Sci-fi, Sequel, Leonardo DiCaprio, Weinsteins, Warner Bros./New Line, Netflix, Apple


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.