Producers of the Spring Breakers sequel have hit back at James Franco after the actor accused them of planning a "weak" movie. Days after bosses at Muse Productions announced they are developing Spring Breakers: The Second Coming, the film's star took to Instagram.com to tell fans he and director Harmony Korine have nothing to do with the project.
Franco accused producers of "capitalising on that innovative film to make money on a weak sequel", but Muse bosses Chris and Roberta Hanley, who are currently at the Cannes Film Festival in France scouting for investors, have now responded to Franco's remarks.
Chris Hanley tells Variety, "Let's see if I can remember all of the sequels James has done... The Great and Mighty Oz (Oz the Great and Powerful), Spider-Man, Planet of the Apes (Rise of the Planet of the Apes)... and he's pushing hard to help set up the Pineapple Express sequel. I guess he thinks only too big to fail studio films are the artistically valid ventures."
Hanley also pointed out the sequel will be directed by Jonas Akerlund, and Trainspotting writer Irvine Welsh is on board to pen the script, adding, "These aren't weak or lame artists and I think our track record speaks for itself."
Annapurna Pictures via Everett Collection
Looks like spring break really is forever. According to ScreenDaily, a sequel to Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers is in the works, and is currently in the middle of acquiring a cast and funding. But if you're looking to see Brit, Candy, Cotty, and Faith go on more insane, illegal spring break adventures, we've got some bad news for you: Spring Breakers: The Second Coming will focus on brand new characters. Though there will be a few allusions to the girls from the original film, the sequel will introduce a new group of spring breakers, who must take on "an extreme militant Christian sect that attempts to convert them."
Writer/director Korine is also not returning for the next installment, and those responsibilities are being taken over by Trainspotting novelist Irvine Welsh and famed music video director Jonas Akerlund. There's been talk about a possible sequel to Spring Breakers for some time now, although the most common rumor was about a prequel centered on the friendship between James Franco's Alien and Gucci Mane's Archie. However, Korine has seemed reluctant to make a sequel, so his absence from The Second Coming isn't surprising, but it does mean that Akerlund and Welsh are faced with the challenge of essentially creating a Harmony Korine film of their own.
The biggest challenge facing the pair is matching the tone of the first film. Spring Breakers relied on a balance between a commentary on pop culture and society, the shock value of the sex-drugs-gun culture that these girls embrace, and the neon-colored aesthetics of a spring break party movie. Therefore, it would be easy for The Second Coming to lean too heavily in one of these directions, resulting in a cheesy, stereotypical film about spring break, or a movie that attempts to be even more outrageous and controversial than the original at the risk of losing the message underneath the debauchery. Without that balance, the artistry of Korine's film is lost, and the cultural commentary becomes less important than the controversial surface. It's not the ridiculous behavior of the characters that makes Spring Breakers a successful film, but the way it uses that ridiculousness to make a point.
Though Korine's method of shooting tends to differ from project to project, all of his films feature some shared stylistic elements that characterize them as a "Harmony Korine film." While his use of abstract images and non-linear storytelling might seem easier to emulate than a director with a very rigid, direct cinematic style, it also means there is more room for interpretation, and therefore will be harder for Akerlund and Welsh to match Spring Breakers in tone and style. Since the sequel features both new characters and a new creative team, the tone of the films is needed to keep them connected; otherwise, it's just a film about college students on vacation, that happens to be using the Spring Breakers name to gain attention.
However, both Akerlund and Welsh have an advantage over many other directors and writers who might ahve signed on for the project, thanks to their individual styles and experience. Spring Breakers utilized both pop music and pop culture references and imagery in order to comment on modern culture, and so Ackerlund's time working with artists like Lady Gaga and Britney Spears makes him a great choice to take over the directors chair and bring the neon-lit world of spring break back to life. His videos tend to have a distinct style - dramatically lit to give the clips a distinct mood, artistically shot, and featuring plenty of abstract imagery - which is very similar to the kind of pop video imagery that Korine used. His glossy, high-concept style will be balanced out by Welsh's gritty realism, as his most acclaimed work proves that he won't shy away from the darkness and debauchery of the spring break culture, and isn't afraid of depicting the grim reality of a situation, even if it's controversial.
Which means that while we wait and see whether Ackerlund and Welsh's styles will combine to make another entertainingly insane installment of Spring Breakers, we can focus our attention on predicting which actor will whisper about spring break through their grills this time around.
Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh has signed on to write the screenplay for the Spring Breakers sequel. Director Harmony Korine's racy 2013 movie, starring James Franco as a violent drug dealer, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens, was a critically-acclaimed hit and now movie executives at production company Wild Bunch are hoping to land a deal for Spring Breakers: The Second Coming at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival in France.
Welsh is on board to write the script, while music video ace Jonas Akerlund will direct the sequel.
Akerlund is best known for directing edgy promos for Lady Gaga and British band The Prodigy.
Lady Gaga has thrilled fans by confirming she has penned a follow-up to her huge hit track Telephone. The Poker Face superstar released the tune, which featured Beyonce, in 2010. It was a sequel to her hit Paparazzi, and the Thelma & Louise-inspired video, directed by Jonas Akerlund, reached cult status with her followers, amassing more than 173 million views on YouTube.com.
Gaga has now revealed she will work on a third track to complete the trilogy, which will be performed in London at the iTunes Festival on 1 September (13).
She tells U.K. radio station Kiss FM, "It is surely coming. I'm very excited to be filming it and doing it. I will say that one of the songs I will be playing at the Roundhouse is meant to be the continuation.
"I'm very excited about it. The Telephone video and working with Jonas Akerlund - for Paparazzi as well - was such an incredible experience. To finish this trilogy will be great as I know how much the fans want it. We've already written it, so it's going to be fantastic."
The song will appear on her third studio album, ARTPOP.
South by Southwest, like so many film fests, is a strange animal. With all the films playing at so many different locations, it’s nearly impossible to see everything, and even keeping abreast of what all is playing becomes an insurmountable task.
You may find yourself laboring under the delusion that SXSW is a fest that only showcases small films featuring largely unknown talent. But in fact, plenty of big names have new films playing this year’s film festival. Here are a few films that may not be on your radar, but that you’ll want to seek out.
Chris Hemsworth (The Cabin in the Woods)
Directed by Drew Goddard of Cloverfield, and co-written by The Avengers’ Joss Whedon, The Cabin in the Woods has already proven to be one of the biggest hits of the fest. Along with seasoned acting aces like Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins, The Cabin in the Woods stars Chris Hemsworth; now better known to theater-going public as Thor. The interesting thing about this Whedon/Hemsworth collaboration is that, despite Cabin’s being released this year, the film was shot long before Chris was Thor and therefore before he would have joined that highly anticipated superhero alliance. Read our rave reactions to the movie for further proof of why Cabin is a movie to watch for.
Matthew McConaughey (Killer Joe, Bernie)
Matthew McConaughey gets a lot of love here in Austin because he’s a local boy. He graduated from the University of Texas, he owns property out here and he’s frequent collaborator with renowned Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater. At this year’s SSSW, McConaughey once again teams with Linklater, and a very creepy-looking Jack Black, for the dark comedy Bernie. Never one to be content with doing things in the traditional fashion, McConaughey actually has two movies here this year. The other film, Killer Joe, sees Matthew playing a hitman for legendary director William Friedkin (The Exorcist).
Clive Owen (Intruders)
Clive Owen, whom we saw going toe-to-toe with Jason Statham in last year’s Killer Elite, turns in a decidedly different film for this year’s SSSW. Owen will stars in the horror film Intruders from Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later). The film centers on a faceless specter that seems hell-bent on abducting two different children. Intruders promises to be a creepy, atmospheric ghost story that should fit in quite well in its Midnight Movie slot.
Will Ferrell (Casa de mi Padre)
When you hear that Will Ferrell has a new comedy on the way, certain expectations immediately leap to mind. You picture Ferrell adopting his over-confident, developmentally-arrested chauvinist persona, built around a flimsy, but humorous, concept. Director Adam McKay’s influence almost assured. But the Will Ferrell movie playing SSSW is about as outside the man’s typical wheelhouse as he could have possibly wandered. Casa de mi Padre is, and I’m not joking, a Spanish-language comedy about two brothers vying for their father’s affections as his ranch comes under attack from a drug cartel. Casa de mi Padre is the brainchild of the creators of FunnyorDie.com and, if nothing else, we can’t possibly say that they’ve crafted an average film.
Billy Crystal (Small Apartments)
Whether or not you agree that he should have hosted the Oscars, Billy Crystal is a legend in the industry, and I’m thrilled to see that he has a new film playing SSSW. Small Apartments, from Swedish director, Jonas Akerlund, is a comedy revolving around a strange assortment of characters living in one apartment building. The film has definitely put together quite the bizarre cast to emphasize this plot point. Along with Crystal, the film features Juno Temple, James Caan, Dolph Lundgren, Johnny Knoxville, and DJ Qualls. It may be called Small Apartments, but it has a giant, if seemingly randomly generated, cast.
Britney Spears' music video for "Hold It Against Me" premiered last night on MTV, and it was directed by Jonas Akerlund (who famously directed Lady Gaga's "Telephone" and "Paparazzi" videos). Her manager was asked why Britney chose to have Akerlund as the force behind her new video, and he said "she's always wanted to work with him. You know, Jonas did "Ray of Light" for Madonna, and that's when she became a fan of his." I call that having more bullshit than whatever is in dog food. - MTV
TMZ has found a way that Lindsay Lohan could be sent to jail for stealing that necklace without even going to trial. In a regular criminal case, the DA has to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and convince a jury that there's a 98 to 99% chance he or she committed the crime. However, in a case to determine if a defendant has violated probation (say, by stealing a necklace), the judge can make a decision based on what is "likely." - TMZ
Star Magazine says Owen Wilson's baby might not be his, as his girlfriend was still living with and seeing her ex-boyfriend when she became pregnant. So....shit. - Celebitchy
Michael Jackson's estate has made $310 million since his death in 2009. - TMZ
There ain't much of one. In a nutshell a group of spun-out druggies living in the drab sun-baked land of the mini mall known as North Los Angeles Valley are focused on one thing and one thing only--getting and using drugs--and we get to tag along with them for three wasted sleepless days. There's Ross (Jason Schwartzman) a college dropout pining over a girl who dumped him and the only one of the gang you think might have some redeeming quality--until he handcuffs his stripper girlfriend spread-eagled to the bed naked duct-tapes her eyes and mouth and leaves her with a thrash metal CD--skipping--on the player for three days. (All that ruckus of course raises the suspicions of a butch biker broad--Deborah Harry in a cameo--who runs a phone sex line out of her apartment next door.) In exchange for dope Ross runs errands for a big badass Jesse James type known as the Cook (Mickey Rourke) 'cause he brews the crystal in a squalid motel room he shares with sweet misguided stripper Nikki (Brittany Murphy). The Cook provides drugs to dealer Spider Mike (John Leguizamo) a seriously paranoid hopped-up speed freak and his mossy-teethed tweaker girlfriend Cookie (Mena Suvari) who use and sell the Cook's drugs to hangers-on like the absurdly pimply faced Frisbee (Patrick Fugit) in between sex sessions and flip-outs involving guns spray paint and socks.
Every last person in this ensemble seems to relish getting down and dirty--and by dirty we mean fetid. Murphy and Rourke are particular standouts: with big kohl-smudged eyes and wide friendly smile she's sweetly innocent bobbling aournd in her f***-me Daisy Dukes and high-heeled boots; he's terrifying and larger than life in torn jeans tucked into white shitkickers a ponytail and a Stetson but he actually pulls the heartstrings when he muses about watching puppies be put to death as a boy and defends two chola mini-mart clerks from an abusive gangster. Watching Schwartzman's Ross whom you expect to like as the film's hero perform what amounts to torture on his girlfriend so casually and with such good intentions is more shocking than any of the film's drug scenes or seedy imagery and Ross becomes all the more menacing in his regular-Joe ways. Props to Suvari for letting the world watch her strain so vigorously on the can and to Leguizamo for giving his all in his few scenes whether threatening his pseudo-friends with a gun shooting up crank or jacking off. Peter Stormare and Alexis Arquette give lively performances as a sort of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas-meets-COPS pair of vice guys hot on Spider's trail; look out also for former Judas Priest singer Rob Halford porn star Ron Jeremy and Eric Roberts.
With its over-the-top caricatures hyper-frenetic camerawork and creatively near pornographic animation segments this movie looks an awful lot like a music video and with good reason: Director Jonas Akerlund is best known for his controversial Prodigy "Smack My Bitch Up" video and Madonna's "Music." He is unafraid to put this sordid bunch right up in your face flinging the greasy underbelly of the So Cal meth scene sunny side up and zooming in with the cameras up close and personal to a point that's almost unbearably uncomfortable. Akerlund's techniques are sometimes overdone like the bone-crunching sounds and wildly rolling eyeballs that herald each and every high and sometimes screamingly funny like Ross's daydream of a Patton-like Cook pontificating about the female vagina in front of an American flag. A well-done score by former Smashing Pumpkins' singer Billy Corgan moves the film fluidly from calm states of relative normalcy to paranoid herky-jerky scenes of jabbering addicts flying right off the mental deep end. These people are shallow vile and irredeemable and Akerlund's brilliance lies in making you feel for them in spite of themselves.