George A. Romero has fully laid claim to the dominion of all things Dead — whether that’s Night of the Living, Dawn of the, Day of the, Land of the, Diary of the, or Survival of the. The elder statesman of horror cinema has no intention of resting on his laurels, however. Perhaps riding the wave of renewed interest in Night of the Living Dead that accompanied its gorgeous restoration last year, Romero has announced plans for a new addition to the ever-expanding of the Dead universe. And it looks like his new breed of zombies have a need for speed.
We owe a lot to scientists — they cured polio, got us on the moon, and they‘re doing their darnedest to stop us from methodically killing the planet. But man, what a bunch of nerds. It seems like every time biologists discover a new species of animal and need to give it a name, they take the opportunity to bust out a reference to their favorite bit of geek-approved pop culture. Lest we forget the velvet worm named after My Neighbor Totoro, and we’d be remiss to overlook the euglossa bazinga, a rare bee with a Big Bang Theory catchphrase as its namesake. And it appears that now the nerds are at it again.
We‘ve only just entered May, but in the first few months of 2017, the year has yielded a surprisingly eclectic array of blockbusters. Survey the biggest earners to date, and you’ll see a socially critical horror flick from a first-time director, a spin-off based on a cross-property licensing deal within a corporate brand expansion, and a tough-as-nails superhero side project with post-apocalyptic Western overtones. The latest Fast and Furious installment looks most at home in the top five so far, but more unexpected still is that it’s been handily defeated by the year’s top earner, Disney’s handsomely mounted revival of Beauty and the Beast. And now, the unlikely box-office behemoth has claimed another record.
For a guy whose entire acting career has been overshadowed by one role he played decades ago, Mark Hamill’s got a pretty good attitude. He loves Star Wars, and what’s more, he loves how much the people who love Star Wars love Star Wars. A regular fixture at conventions and other fan events, Hamill regularly gets in on the fun and mingles with his adoring public. And in a new video from Lucasfilms’ charity arm Force for Change, he gives a handful of diehard devotees the surprise of their lives.
In case you weren’t aware, a pretty major situation has been percolating in the entertainment industry over the past month. Unsatisfied with the conditions of their work and continued employment, the Writers’ Guild of America went to the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers to renegotiate the terms of their collective contract. A bitter standoff summarily broke out, with the possibility of another writers’ strike — you may remember the last freeze-out, which stretched from late 2007 into early 2008 — looming on the horizon. Today brings a resolution to the saga of the last few weeks, and in true Hollywood fashion, everyone’s getting a happy ending.
Johnny Depp needs some public image rehabilitation, and badly. When it came out last year that he had physically abused former spouse Amber Heard, a dark and sickly pallor was cast over the heretofore beloved actor’s profile. It isn’t helping that he hasn’t been in a good movie since 2011 (Rango, though Verbinski’s follow-up The Lone Ranger has its supporters), and hasn’t been in a really profitable one since 2014’s Into the Woods. The guy has to save a little face if he wants to secure his future in this business, and what better way to do that than to play to the only demographic unaware of his unsavory personal life: the youth!
While the post-credits scene was once a surprise specially afforded to those superfans with the dedication to sit through the final frames of a film, it’s now become par for the course, a de facto advertisement for whatever a franchise might have up its sleeve next. Marvel Studios has turned this into standard operating procedure, to the point where viewers expect nothing less than another tasty morsel of footage, the cinematic equivalent of the delicious fries waiting for you at the bottom of your McDonald’s bag. How to continue taking audiences off-guard, then? Marvel could do no post-credit scene at all, that’d certainly throw people for a loop. Or... they could do five.
Valued readers of ScreenCrush: I had the good fortune of catching an early screening of Edgar Wright’s new picture Baby Driver just last night, and while I have been sworn to semi-secrecy, I can safely and gladly echo the sentiments of my esteemed colleague Britt and affirm that holy biscuits is it good. It is a damn fine moving picture. I won’t say much more than that, and luckily, I don‘t have to because today brings the arrival of a new trailer for the high-octane crime thriller. Comin’ in hot, wheels skidding in a perfectly narrow drift, the trailer arrives with the hyperkinetic editing and blazing soundtrack cuts that make this movie such an unfettered joy.
We‘ve still got months to go until Star Wars: The Last Jedi takes over cineplexes, but the people are hungry. By this time last year, we had already gotten our first teaser for Rogue One, and the barbarians are pounding on the gates demanding fresh material. Sure, Lucasfilm could placate their more rabid fans by pulling back the curtain on one of the new toy lines that will accompany the December release, but that’s thinking small, and Lucasfilm doesn’t do small. You want to see the new toys? Well tough tauntauns, because all you’re getting today is a look at the box they’re coming in. Here is that box:
Will Arnett’s gravelly voice has defined some of his most beloved roles: it made his bombastic doofus G.O.B. into Arrested Development’s MVP, it turned him into a worthy rival for Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock, and it perfectly suited him for the role of the Lego universe’s Caped Crusader. As the star of The Lego Batman Movie, he brings a certain actorly gravitas to every punch line, and the best part is that he can take that skill with him anywhere. Trying to quell a dispute between his kids? Batman lays down the law. And in a new segment from the BBC Radio 1 station, he puts his voice to good use once more, as a prank on an unsuspecting toy store.
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