Movies: 2018 and Beyond


#164

And this is the film Danny Boyle made last summer before he planned to do Bond:


#165

Funny idea actually; I didn’t know any detail about this. Might perhaps play out a bit predictable along the comedy lines this trailer already shows.


#166

It’s indeed an original and fun idea.

If this were Curtis directing his script I’d fear it being the usual schmaltz. But having Boyles eye and energy at the helm will no doubt counter the smhmaltz. Could this prove the perfect partnership?

Should note though that the great idea wasn’t Curtis’. Another writer gets that credit, with Curtis doing the screenplay. So expect some funny moments - many awakened moments, some funny, others tedious and many a plot contrivance and predictable beats. A crowd pleaser!

I imagine it’ll look and sound great, but underneath it’s the same gags hung on a novel concept.

On a happy note, the story credit goes to a Jack Barth with writing/producing credits on mainly small fry telly over the past couple decades (according to imdb). So this must be a big deal for him and really nice to see someone finally getting that. Good for Jack, whoever he is!


#167

I don’t think it was ever reported as back to back. In May 2018, Villeneuve said: “I wish I could direct both movies at the same time but it would have been too expensive. We’ll do them one at a time.”


#168

Thanks! Sounds sensible anyway.


#169

The first movie will cover the first half of the book, according to Frank Herbert’s son. It will have to be a clear box office hit to justify a sequel. Which explains the star-studded cast they’re putting together. Blade Runner 2049 was not a domestic hit, it was (barely) saved by foreign grosses. So I assume greenlighting two Dune movies back-to-back was never an option. It’s too risky, because, like you’ve pointed out, Villeneuve’s commercial instincts don’t seem to align with market demand. In early interviews he tried to sell his movie as ‘Star Wars for adults’. I understand why he says that, but on the other hand, selling it as highbrow sci-fi is maybe not the way to go.


#170

It’s more the studio had incredibly unrealistic expectations. If they expect Dune is going to make Star Wars money, just write the word flop now.


#171

Just the first half of the first book? I hope they will have a terrific script for that. Is that before Paul and his mother flee to the desert?


#172

For me the natural beat if splitting it in 2 would be taking the water of life.

So pt1 is the journey to self realisation; escape and becoming a Fremen.
Pt2 is realising that destiny; fighting back (yep, that’s as pretentious as hell).

So if it doesn’t make the money to justify part 2 this could well turn out to be the most frustration piece of cinema in history, leaving it hanging halfway through the story.


#173

That really is a problem unless they have padded out the narrative in order to deliver a satisfying finale for this first movie.

I thought Villeneuve risked too much open ends in BR 2049, so hopefully he willnot dare to do that again.

The biggest problem IMO is the same kind of familiarity with the source material that made audiences shrug off JOHN CARTER. No one cared that other films had copied and cannibalized ideas from that pioneering story. What’s to keep people from thinking DUNE is a Star Wars clone?


#174

I think that comparison, however disingenuous would make the studio very happy.

However, i don’t see Mr V ever making a movie that people would compare to star wars. He’ll probably try to reign in his ‘art house’ sensibilities after BR’s financial ‘failure’. But i’ll wager it’ll still be art house by mainstream standards. I certainly hope so, or what’s the point?

Personally i’m guessing the biggest issue hampering BR 2049’s box office was duration. At 163 minutes it’s really testing the will of anyone to sit in an auditorium that long - even me and i’m a huge fan of the original, P. K. Dick and Mr V. These days, with auditorium decorum at an all time low; eating, texting, calling, talking and staff only concerned with food & drink sales i don’t relish cinema going in the way i used to at all.

I imagine BR 2049’s box office was a factor in deciding to split the movie into less off putting durations.


#175

But how will Villeneuve be able to show the familiar elements of DUNE differently?

The iconic image of the sandworm for example and the desert world of Arrakis can hardly look different. People will think: that’s like the Lynch film or Tatooine…


#176

Agreed. As much as I liked the film, I thought as I watched it: “Love the mise-en-scene and happy to be here, but the camera is overstaying its welcome.” Painterly images are great–projected paintings are a bore.

I think many movies today are made under the guiding concept that a longer running time adds importance and implies weightiness/thoughtfulness. Gone are the days when Mitchell Leisen made a masterpiece like MIDNGHT and it ran 94 minutes or Howard Hawks bought in HIS GIRL FRIDAY at an even brisker 92 minutes (Orson Welles thought that any film more than two hours was too long). That said, I adore Scorsese’s CASINO, but he is a master of pace and mise en scene, which only serves to prove that genius both can defy rules and is rare.


#177

Update the book and set it under water?


#178

Lol, very good… You were joking, right?

Sorry, think i misunderstood your point. No, he can’t really, nor need he; at least no more than his unique vision regards the source material. He’s shown very well in BR that he can at once recreate something we love, yet make it his own.


#179

Apocalypse Now Redux. Superior in every way, imho.


#180

I adore Scorsese’s CASINO, but he is a master of pace and mise en scene.

Don’t forget Thelma Schoonmaker’s part in this. She did the same thing with The Wolf of Wall Street, another 3 hour movie that never felt too long.


#181

Apparently Eric Roth wrote a 200 page draft for Dune. The studio wanted it shorter, but he had no idea how to accomplish that, so they hired Jon Spaihts to write a new draft. There’s a reason why they call it unfilmable.


#182

Yes–I have occasional moments of wit.

Agreed. I find it interesting that when Coppola extended (ANR, THE GODFATHER SAGA), female characters and issues were often what he added (or looked at another way: what he originally excised).

Agreed, though she always says what she accomplishes is done with Scorsese beside her.


#183

She says Scorsese films for the edit (sounds obvious but I guess the inference is that many directors don’t). And Scorsese’s said the edit is his favourite part of the process.