Oct 24, 2020Liked by Drew McWeeny

Based on Drew's comments on the Warner execs, I can only assume he is writing a script for the studio.

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Another fantastic read. I'm looking forward to the Screen Drafts episode!

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I really would have loved to see a new "Buffy" movie taking place after the series ended, and it being a trilogy to connect it with "Angel" at the end, but since the comics already expanded on those, I don't really have anything else in mind.

I've been watching horror mostly this month. Among the most notable of them are the Director's Cut of "Nightbreed," the 2018 "Suspiria," 1992's "Candyman" for the first time and "C.H.U.D." (not a fan of that one). I also watched "Found Footage 3D," which was a lot of fun.

Hope everyone is doing well.

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As far as the new JL is concerned I don't care about the drama of what came before or after I'm just happy as all hell that I'm getting a new version of a movie(4 hours!!!--yes) that I felt was a crushingly depressing letdown upon initial release. As a fan of this new DCEU direction it's a major win and for that I am grateful.

The movies as widgets -- you nailed it. I can't expand on that thesis with anymore clarity than what you already have.

And that overlit-overbright look for most family movies or most streamer movies makes me nauseous now. It's not only a crushingly dull aesthetic, but a chilling one where I feel like I'm trapped in this Matrix of mediocrity. I'm waiting for someone to buck the trend and make a remake of Lassie or Old Yeller shot on 16mm using natural light.

For TV shows -- I have this warped desire to see "The Love Boat" as a viral horror film akin to Cronenberg's SHIVERS where everyone catches an STD and goes insane trying to infect each other. Isaac and Julie are the loan survivors as they blow up the Pacific Princess before it reaches dock -- and the ending is them paddling away on a derelict raft to safe harbor as they both take a vow of celibacy. I'd see that movie.

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Going from Meyer to Tsujihara surely seems like a downgrade. A good studio head would've canceled Justice League after the BatmanVSuperman disaster. Joss Whedon should’ve been given time to write his own script for his own version of JL, this decision would have probably given us something more interesting than anything Snyder would’ve made.

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I'm a big DCEU fan and i'm pumped as hell for the new Justice League, WB's got cash to burn and with COVID through a monkey wrench into everything they want as many eyes on this thing as possible.

I thought The Witches was fine for what it was and I dug Hathaway's performance, no such thing as too over-the-top in my eyes. I like that Family-comedy cinematography look, gives the film a very warm feeling.

Honestly i've rarely been to theaters the past few years anyways, that Death Wish remake(which was criminally underrated IMO) was the last film I saw in theaters, honestly I haven't really missed theaters so i've been seeing lots of theatrical films at home anyways so seeing the new Bond at home won't be much different. Frankly i'm not even sure how effective advertising products in films even is anymore, Sears getting big product placement in Man of Steel sure as hell didn't save them from having to declare bankruptcy, same deal with Circuit City in Eagle Eye.

I remember hearing about MGM's financial issues all the time in the 2010s when their Red Dawn remake got delayed and had to be re-edited, i'm amazed their even still around at this point. It's almost inevitable that someone is going to buy them at this point, my money is on WB.

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The whole thing with Justice League reminds me of what happened with Highlander 2, and all the revisionist history that went on with that movie. It really leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

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So if the Snydercut is a sucess (I guess not with a lot of making money but maybe with a lot of fandom talking about and making free publicity of HBOMax) what would be the next step? A low budget Joker 2 movie with Affleck and Phoenix? A new Superman movie with Cavill and J. J. Abrams? I mean, I guess DC/Warner have an idea to what to do next, right?

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You're spot-on on most of your assessment of what went down with BvS/ZSJL at WB. 2 things though: 1) ZS was fired/removed as director WAY before he left publicly in the Spring of 2017. JW was going to write and direct the reshoots even if ZS didn't leave. It has always amazed me that very few people point that out. 2) HBO Max is funding ZSJL, not WB Pictures (and the only reason it's happening is because of AT&T.

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on The Witches....

Many can't help but approach a movie with certain expectations when it comes to 'A Robert Zemeckis Film'.

I have found in recent years some of his efforts have been unfairly maligned, largely because of what he has made before, rather than the films in question. Numerous ones to mention, let alone his obvious love of using technology to tell his/or others' stories.

I approached The Witches as a fan of the book as a child, and a big fan of Nicolas Roeg's 1990 effort. Zemeckis is in my DNA. Growing up with Back to the Future, Romancing the Stone, Roger Rabbit etc - he is literally one of my heroes. Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Contact - I mean, he has a back catalogue that towers over him, and success brings certain expectations. Everybody wants the Zemeckis who made Back to the Future - sure, I get it. The Zemeckis of old can be seen in the likes of Flight and The Walk. Both interesting efforts.

Going back to The Witches, well...I saw it, and it was....The Witches. Pretty much the book I read, with it's proper ending intact. A well-made, glossy studio production, steered by an assured hand. Made for a family audience, and more importantly for children who will stay that right side of being scared - but scared just enough, which is what it should do.

It all largely worked for me, and I found plenty of visual storytelling touches that were typical of the director to scratch that itch I have when it comes to what he can bring. I admired the change of situating it in 60's Alabama, and the ethnicity of the protagonist and his grandmother. Addressing the inequality, and then visiting a hotel establishment dominated by rich white folk was a very interesting take - so all of this was anything but phoned in. Subtle changes immediately made one of the book's central themes of being true to yourself and who you are resonate all the more; especially in the divided disaster that has been America of 2020.

I'm not sure this is one that can be judged just yet, and the test of time will better serve any discourse when the kids that will devour it now talk about it in years to come. Just like Polar Express, A Christmas Carol - particularly the former that has become a perennial holiday classic - despite the mixed critical reaction it received when it opened.

If anybody else had made this it would have had a much more welcoming critical reception. Yet to say anybody could have made what we've got - there's numerous moments that would suggest otherwise in there. The opening in the car, the Hathway reflection reveal, the feet under the bed, the Four Tops, Otis Redding, the face shapes in the night storm - Zemeckis is in there and engaged alright.

Zemeckis might not always make the films that I wish he would make. Yet the wheelhouse he's playing in with The Witches ended up producing a very solid adaptation of the book millions of children adore, with some typical touches from the director. Not quite as good as Spielberg's BFG for me, but I think this might well become a family favourite in the future. People may want Bob to go back in time, but he's earned the right to do what he wants - and those pictures should really be judged by their effect on the audience they're made for.

On Bond....

Wow. I mean that one blew up online yesterday Drew! Look at the power you wield! lol. Seriously though, you're right - what a poisonous world of clickbait and lack of morality internet film rumour has become.

I agree, I'll be dismayed if this happens. A new Bond film is an event designed for the big screen, and I can happily wait until the day that comes where MGM/Uni are comfortable to release it in cinemas. Like you said though, there's serious money pressures at hand here - and whilst we're on the midst of 'the streaming wars', with Apple having more money than god - this really might happen. $500 million in cold cash is more than they'd have made in theaters when you take into account exhibitors' cut etc.

If all of this is true (and based on numerous people coming to you saying its being discussed, I believe it) then it'll inevitably be down to Broccoli getting over the 'it should be in cinemas' versus the need to make the right financial decision for everybody involved. I don't see much changing in the theater landscape in the next six months that will produce a billion dollar Bond hit. Hollywood seems to be wishing upon a star, rather than facing up to the reality infront of them. All those films lined up from March-Dec 2021, week after week, are way more precarious than they'd dare to admit.

Maybe it will join Soul and Coming 2 America for Christmas.

Soul - Disney+

Coming 2 America - Amazon Prime

No Time to Die - Apple TV+??

Wonder Woman 1984 - HBO Max??

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Pretty sure Sam Esmail’s been tapped to revive Battlestar on TV. Or was, anyway. I recall he was going to spin his version off from the Ron Moore iteration, working with that show’s ‘everything that happened before, happens again’ theme. As far as a movie, I’ll believe it when I see it; I think it’s as likely as Drew does.

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"Before Zack left, they were already working with Joss Whedon on writing material for the reshoots the studio wanted, reshoots he was set to be part of, and once he left the film, it changed dramatically..."

Dear Mr. Mcweeny, this is debatable. According to Snyder himself, he had no role in the selection of Whedon and there has been word going around that he left before Whedon was hired. It is possible that the claim that he was going to be part of the Whedon-scripted reshoots was simply PR on the part of Warner.


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With the right cast and a Paul Feig-ish, Susanna Fogel-y kind of script, I think a 'Scarecrow and Mrs. King' movie could be a lot of fun.

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