20th Century Fox Film
The power of YA fiction is undeniable. While not every film becomes a sure-fire hit in cinemas, some do gangbusters. It's a gamble, but one that can pay off extremely well. The last Hunger Games film netted $864 million worldwide, while other films like Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars both did great business that far exceeded their respective budgets. But the thing that all these films have in common are that they're all fronted by female protagonists. Looking on the other side of the coin, YA films with primarily male protagonist tend to not do nearly as well as their counterparts. From I Am Number Four, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker, Ender's Game, City of Ember, the two Percy Jackson films, and countless others have all failed to become to next big thing in ya cinema. Outside of Harry Potter (which we're going to call the exception that proves the rule), it's hard to think of a male fronted YA series that has had as big of an impact as something like Twilgiht.
So what chance does The Maze Runner stand? The film, directed by Wes Ball, is only the latest hopeful in the YA film craze, one that shares a ton of themes with huge hits like The Hunger Games and Divergent. This time, dozens of teenage boys are locked in the middle of the glade, a grassy plain enclosed by gigantic maze with seemingly no solution. Each day, a group of boys ventures into the maze to search for clues, but many fall victim to the mysterious creatures that lurk in its passages.
The latest trailer boasts an intriguing premise with a ton of potential mysteries to be explored, but the undeniably male-centric cast might not have the appeal to capture as wide as an audience as a series like The Hunger Games, which has ballooned into a minor phenomenon. Since The Maze Runner is only the first part in a planned series of films, and answers to the mysteries won't likely come until deep into the series. We're hoping that this series goes the distance, but the box office may be a maze to complicated for this film to solve.
Actors Aldis Hodge and Neil Brown, Jr. have been added to the cast of the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. Hodge will play MC Ren, while Brown Jr. will portray DJ Yella in the film, which will also feature Ice Cube's son O'Shea Jackson, Jr. as the MC, Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre and Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E.
F. Gary Gray will direct the film about the Compton, California rappers' rise to fame in the late 1980s, and their subsequent split in 1991.
The movie is scheduled to hit theatres in August, 2015.
Rapper Nelly has risked the wrath of boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. by taking a swipe at the boxing champ's lack of education moments after denying the pair is feuding. The two stars fell out earlier this year (14) after Nelly began dating the sportsman's ex-girlfriend Shantel Jackson, just weeks after she split from the fighter.
The boxer took aim at Nelly during a radio interview in May (14) after news of the blossoming romance emerged, prompting the Hot In Herre hitmaker to fire back via a post on social media.
Nelly was quizzed about the alleged feud during a TV appearance on U.S. sports commentary show Highly Questionable on Monday (28Jul14), when he was asked to detail the extent of his issues with Mayweather, Jr.
However, Nelly insisted there was no fall out, saying, "I don't have a beef (problem) with Floyd Mayweather...", only to then take aim at the boxer by adding, "I think the whole thing is misunderstood. I try to understand where he's coming from, which is a little hard to do...
"But... it's kind of hard talking to a guy who hasn't graduated from high school."
Rapper/actor Ice Cube has opened up about his controversial decision not to cast the late Eazy-E's son as the hip-hop icon in his forthcoming N.W.A. biopic, insisting the role required an experienced actor with "a lot of range". Eazy-E's son, Eric Wright, Jr., auditioned for the Straight Outta Compton film job and recently admitted he was disappointed after movie bosses decided to cast newcomer Jason Mitchell as the younger version of his tragic father.
Now Ice Cube, who is serving as one of the project's producers, has explained the reasons behind the decision, insisting aspiring actor Wright, Jr. simply wasn't a good fit.
Speaking to Colorado radio station KS 107.5, Ice Cube says, "He (Wright, Jr.) is an up-and-coming actor trying to do it, but we needed somebody who was a little more polished to play Eazy, because he goes through a lot in his life. He goes from selling dope in Compton to fighting for his life in a hospital bed. So we needed to find an actor with a lot of range. And we just couldn't use just anybody. We gave him (Wright, Jr.) a shot, and it just didn't work out."
Wright, Jr. wasn't the only N.W.A. offspring snubbed for a role in the film - Dr. Dre's aspiring actor/rapper son Curtis Young was also passed over in favour of Corey Hawkins, although Ice Cube's kid, O'Shea Jackson, Jr., will play his dad onscreen.
Meanwhile, the remaining N.W.A. bandmates MC Ren and DJ Yella will be played by Aldis Hodge and Neil Brown, Jr., respectively.
F. Gary Gray will direct the film about the rise of the iconic California rap group and their split in 1991.
The biopic is scheduled for release next summer (15).
Joe Jackson has paid tribute to his singer daughter Janet for her support during his health battle last year (13). The Jackson family patriarch penned an open letter as part of a series on his website blog, in which he reflects on each member of his family.
He reveals the Nasty hitmaker was one of only two relatives to visit him in hospital after he suffered a series of strokes last year, writing, "When I suffered 4 strokes last year, and was in the hospital recovering, only two people in my family traveled all the way to see in the hospital. My granddaughter Brandi... and my baby girl Janet. She sat right next to me as I lay in bed, spent time with me, talking about a lot together. It meant a lot to me."
Jackson also opened up about his daughter's childhood, adding, "She was real rough... She was a tomboy. She could whop (sic) all the girls. Really rough and really really smart."
Orange Is The New Black star Taylor Schilling celebrated her 30th birthday in New York City nightclub Catch Roof over the weekend (26-27Jul14) with Joshua Jackson, Rose Byrne and Byrne's boyfriend Bobby Cannavale. Her TV co-stars, including Laura Prepon, Laverne Cox and Natasha Lyonne, also joined the party.
Warner Bros. Pictures
The Lord of the Rings movies could be heavy. They could be plenty sincere, rather haunting, and tearfully grave. But they also knew when to play the mood high: to be fun, exciting, and upbeat. After a dismally bland first Hobbit film, The Desolation of Smaug showcased Peter Jackson's knack for good times. The movie gave us a barrel-rolling scene to rival the kinetic fun of Mario Kart, not to mention a sequence featuring some mighty satisfying dragon trickery. That's why we're so surprised to see the final chapter in the Hobbit trilogy, Battle of the Five Armies, shooting for such a somber attitude.
Even in the much improved second Hobbit flick, we weren't quite latching onto the characters, nor embedding so deeply in the film's mythology. What roped us in was the fun. But that fun is nowhere to be found in the first Five Armies trailer. Instead, the clip expects us to hang our heads low for the doom about to befall our heroes, to connect with their heavy hearts as the clouds of tragedy swarm their Tolkienian skies.
Sorry, but no dice. The only figure in this franchise with any semblance of a character arc is Bilbo; the rest are pseudo-anonymous set dressing with funny hair. And we like the hair! We like the funny! We like the barrel-rolling, the dragon-duping, and the riddles of Gollum! So why aren't we seeing more of that in this trailer, Jackson?
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United Artists via Everett Collection
The Beatles approached director Stanley Kubrick to make a film adaptation of The Lord Of The Rings novels back in their heyday, according to moviemaker Peter Jackson.
The Fab Four starred in five movies during their career, including A Hard Day's Night and Help! in the 1960s, and when they were considering their third film, the musicians went to Kubrick to discuss adapting J.R.R. Tolkien's books into a movie version but the author had not yet sold the rights.
Tolkien eventually released the book for film adaptation and Jackson brought the franchise to cinemas from 2001.
The director tells Deadline.com, "The Beatles once approached Stanley Kubrick to do The Lord Of The Rings. This was before Tolkien sold the rights. They approached him and he said no. I actually spoke about this with Paul McCartney. He confirmed it. I'd heard rumours that it was going to be their next film after Help. John Lennon was going to play Gollum. Paul was going to play Frodo. George Harrison was going to play Gandalf, and Ringo Starr was going to play Sam. And a lot of other people were going to play other roles."
"Paul was very gracious; he said, 'It was a good job we never made ours because then you wouldn't have made yours and it was great to see yours.' I said, 'It's the songs I feel badly about; you guys would have banged out a few good tunes for this. You were The Beatles, after all. It's a shame we missed out.'"
The Hobbit director Peter Jackson is offering 75 "ultimate fans" of the franchise the chance to attend a luxury screening of the final film The Battle of Five Armies. The fans will get a week-long tour around Middle Earth set locations in New Zealand before watching the movie in the capital Wellington with Jackson in December (14). The competition will launch on 25 August (14).
Game Of Thrones actress Maisie Williams was yet another celebrity who went undercover at this year's (14) San Diego Comic-Con. The 17 year old donned a Spider-Man mask as she roamed the floor at the annual convention before attending the Game of Thrones panel on Friday (25Jul14). Daniel Radcliffe put on the same superhero suit to go unnoticed by fans, and Jack Black and Lord of the Rings filmmaker Peter Jackson also donned costumes for the event.