For as long as I can remember voraciously following the latest movie news, going back to the old days of reading them in print magazines even, there’s always been hints and rumors about a movie version of the classic 60s spy series, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.It was getting so that one might think we’d never see an U.N.C.L.E. movie, or at the very least won’t see it until long after everyone remembers seeing it on TV were dead.
But cynicism loses this round because it seems that The Man From U.N.C.L.E. will be starting production on time next month, and they’ve added a new member to the supporting cast today as a result. Who is it? Why it’s the charmingly befuddled Hugh Grant, who The Hollywood Reporter says is playing the head of British Naval Intelligence.
Grant will join Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer as Illya Kullyakin as the two main agents from the United Network Command for Law Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.), who are sworn to protect the world from the schemes of the villainous THRUSH. Swedish actress Alicia Vikander and The Great Gatsby‘s Elizabeth Debicki are also attached. The film will be directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes).
Grant himself had been taking a break from films until recently, most notably playing six parts in the Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis film Cloud Atlas, he also recently completed work on a romantic comedy for Marc Lawrence co-starring Marisa Tomei, J.K. Simmons, and Chris Elliott.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. should (finally) be in theaters sometime next year.
I get it. Movie stars, directors, and producers have an obligation to sing a song about how the sun shines out of the ass of every project that they are involved in, always eager to point a finger of blame in the direction of the evil cabal of movie critics when those projects shit the bed.
It’s PR spin.
But if any of them ever took responsibility for the jam soaked turd that they put into the public marketplace — all nice and pretty, wrapped in cellophane and sprayed with perfume — then they’d probably be run out of the industry on a slicked rail.
Case in point: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, and now Mark Wahlberg.
Hammer is a youngling whose first tentpole picture flopped over in the summer breeze like a necrotic cock, so it’s understandable to see him seethe over the public’s lack of adoration for his stab at playing cowboys and whatever the fuck Johnny Depp was supposed to be.
He says that American critics were “gunning for” The Lone Ranger and intimates that they — or we, since I personally dabble in the dark art of film criticism — were obsessed with the film’s production woes and its bloated budget.
Hammer’s co-star, noted thespian Johnny Depp, concurs:
I think the reviews were written 7 or 8 months, probably, before we ever released the thing. […] [The critics’] expectations of it, it must be a blockbuster, this and that, I didn’t have any expectations of that. I never do, why would I?
Pushing Depp’s “Look at me, I’m an interesting artist and above petty commerce” routine aside — despite his expectation to get paid like someone who top-lines blockbusters (and to his defenders, I invite you to look at his IMDB page in search of just five arthouse pictures that he has done since 1995’s Dead Man to prove his worth as an artist and not an utterly generic, take the money and run movie star.), this is the standard issue nonsense from people who are trying to sell a film in international markets.
What I don’t understand, though, is why Mark Wahlberg, who has nothing to do with this bloated whale corpse of a movie, would enter the fray, but Marky Mark unleashed his own funky bunch of bullshit too, saying:
First and foremost, the media is targeting all these movies, […] There’s intense scrutiny on us, way more than before.
It’s worth noting that Wahlberg also laid into the industry a bit, earning a bit of respect before cashing that in defense of Michael Bay, with whom he is now tied thanks to Transformers 4 — a film that, if anything like its predecessors, will be the kind of big, dumb, heavy metal and light worth actioner that Wahlberg maligns in his previous breath.
I don’t want to talk about that, though, I want to talk about Wahlberg’s use of the word “targeting”, because in my view, it’s movie viewers who are being targeted by the Hollywood machine and it is critics — as unsympathetic as we may be at times — who do our best to at least put a fucking shield of insight into the hands of the audience so they don’t get knocked down and cleaned out.
Why is that needed? Well, to put it plainly, movies cost money, they don’t come with a refund policy, and times are tough. It’s that simple. Going to the movies represents a gamble and consumers have no protection against a film’s PR campaign, save for word of mouth and those damned critics and entertainment journalists.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and espouse the virtues of every single film critic.
Let’s face it, some critics are shit, burdened by cynicism and inspired by a backwards set of priorities like the pursuit of access and the puffing of their own ego. These are the people who make you question their ethics as they write up a review while wearing studio swag. The people who cream their shorts for a pull quote, and who get so hard when they see a Re-Tweet from a studio that they pass out from blood loss.
Fuck those people, but they are the minority, not the majority.
The majority of critics are simply offering up their honest opinion about what they are seeing as a way of conveying information. Take their advice, don’t take their advice, it’s up to you.
But if you unequivocally trust people like Johnny Depp, Mark Wahlberg, and Jerry Bruckheimer to be straight with you while they’re trying to sell you their movie, and cheer when they say that critics are the problem, you deserve to get rolled.
The Lone Rangerwas this summer’s most spectacular Hollywood flop. Now you can watch director Gore Verbinski, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer do the slightly uncomfortable interview dance while trying to explain why those awful critics got it all wrong when it comes to The Lone Ranger. Not one is willing to step up and say there were problems with the film as they try desperately to get people into a theater seat. Face it, even the DVD sales of this one are going to suck.
I have to admit that I have not seen the movie, there were other movies I wanted to see and were willing to plunk down hard-earned cash to see. I’ll just wait for The Lone Ranger to show up on Cinemax.
If you saw the movie and liked it, let us know why. For those of you that haven’t, take a look at the video below and let us know what you think of their sour grapes. Did what they have to say change your mind about seeing the movie in the theater?
You can cross Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger) off your potential Batman list for the upcoming Superman/Batman movie announced by Warner Bros. a couple of weeks ago. Even though he had originally been on board to play Batman for George Miller‘s 2007 Justice League movie, which quickly fell off the Hollywood map, Hammer now says he has no interest in the role, or any other superhero movie for that matter. In an interview with Metrohe said:
I’m not actually a big fan of superhero films, If you have a guy who is supposed to be invulnerable, then what’s the point?
He went on to talk about working with Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) on The Man From U.N.C.L.E.and jokingly worried what people might say if the two of them then starred in another superhero movie so soon after.
I think if Henry and I did that film and then a superhero film straight after, people might start to wonder about us…
Well, who does that leave on your list to play the Caped Crusader? Check out NerdBastards list and see who else might fit the role.
The Holy Grail of Nerd Cinema….the team-up we always thought would remain the province of comics, cartoons, and video games–but would NEVER actually happen in the movies–is upon us!
There will be a Superman/Batman movie in 2015! Creatively titled: Batman Vs. Superman, it’s apparently the sequel to the recently released Supes reboot Man Of Steel. That means Henry Cavil will once again be donning the red and blue super-suit….
But what of the Dark Knight?
With Christian Bale out of the Bat-Business, who will take up the cowl and cape of Gotham City’s shadowy protector?
So far, the rumor mill has come up with only one name: Tyler Hoechlin (below)
If you’ve never heard of him, don’t worry–it just means you have enough self-respect to avoid MTV’s Teen Wolf series.
I honestly don’t know jack about this guy….maybe he’s brilliant–maybe he’ll be the best Batman since Michael Keaton. Anything’s possible….
Until an actor is officially announced, we will continue to do what nerds always do, and yammer on about our dream choices to portray the “World’s Greatest Detective”.
I’m going to say it and I’m not going to be the only one who has said it over the last year or so – the idea of a Jerry Bruckheimer produced Lone Ranger film starring Johnny Depp was a bad, bad idea. But they did not listen to my psychic warnings and went ahead with the thing anyways, and now is the time when I get to say, “I almost told you so!” Yes, the Lone Ranger has opened poorly and looks like it will be mimicking last year’s John Carter film with its epic level of financial fail.
The first five-days of the flick’s opening, the glorious July 4th weekend that should have seen some great numbers, only panned out to less than $50 million. This is about one-tenth of what was spent on the movie’s production and marketing. The “experts” are saying that if Lone Ranger continues its current poor trend, it won’t even reach the $300 million mark in total.
In my opinion, it’s no big surprise. After all, the Bruckheimer/Depp cliché-boat sailed long ago once they made a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film. Even that franchise is losing ground and the only reason it keeps going is because of the momentum it still has from the first film. Making what essentially looks like Pirates in the old west (i.e.: without the fucking pirates) a bad idea, and they’ll be paying for it to the tune of $200+ million.
What do you folks out there think? Have you had a chance to see Lone Ranger yet? Does it deserve the level of fail it’s achieved?
Off in some alternate universe, on an alternate Earth, there was a Justice League movie from George Miller that starred Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and even Aquaman! Miller’s Justice League would have been radical and unlike anything Warner Bros. or DC ever imagined doing with these characters. And who knows? In that far off, alternate world it may have been a smash. Maybe there, it’s Marvel who’s floundering at the box office and struggling to create a cohesive universe for their cinematic heroes? Here though, that movie, and possibly the dream of ever seeing the Justice League on the big screen, died before it could even begin.
Though before it died there were costumes designed for each member of the League, including Batman. Hitfix‘s Drew McWeeny had a chance to see the concept of Batman’s costume for Miller’s JL, and during the recent press for The Lone Ranger, asked that film’s would be-Bruce Wayne, Armie Hammer, what he thought of it. And surprisingly, Hammer still sounds pretty excited about his batsuit that never was.
I don’t know, man, maybe a Justice League movie that’s more than anyone at Warner Bros. is comfortable with is what they need, y’know? Something fresh to ignite the franchise. Something that’s fun, not somber. Hell, I’d take a Batman in a mechanical, spring-loaded, armor suit over the magic knee brace from Nolan’s TDKR any day.
Do you wish Warner Bros. would attempt a Justice League movie like the one George Miller almost made? Or do you want to see Man of Steel’s universe expanded upon to include more heroes?
Rumors have been swirling around the Internet the last couple of says about Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger) taking on the role of Hank Pym, aka Ant-Man in Edgar Wright’s upcoming Marvel Studios movie. Wright took to Twitter to dispel these rumors, or at least throw everyone off the scent for a day or so.
Truth . . . or smokescreen? These days you just can’t tell sometimes. I’m leaning towards truth for this one. The basis for this rumor was just way to weak to lend any credence, but who knows, it could be a fake out move.
Everyone’s been speculating about who will end up playing Hank Pym in Marvel Studio’s Ant-Man movie ever since Edgar Wright showed up at SDCC and played some test footage for the crowd. Nathan Fillion was an Internet favorite for the part, but he’s shot that down a couple of times in interviews. Today we’ve got another of the rumored Ant-Man favorites, Armie Hammer. He recently visited the set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier while traveling as part of Disney‘s press junket for The Lone Ranger and this set visit has many people in the know asking, is Armie Hammer Ant-Man?
Amy Nicholson remembered that Wright had also visited the set and cornered Hammer for a few questions, let the Ant-Man interrogation began:
So, you and Edgar Wright visited the Captain America 2 set…
Me and Edgar? Who’s Edgar? The actor?
The director. Edgar Wright.
Is this an act? If this is an act, you’re convincing.
No, it’s not an act. Who’s Edgar Wright?
The supposed director of Ant-Man.
Ant-Man? Oh! Wait! You think you know something! No, there’s nothing! What do you know? What’s the rumor?
That you were spotted on the Captain America 2 set with Edgar Wright.
No, there’s nothing.
I promise. I promise-promise. Ant-Man?
You’re saying it like you’ve never heard of him before.
No, I know the character Ant-Man—like, the comic book character.
You can’t tell me that this is the first time you’ve heard the rumor that you’re playing Ant-Man.
First in my life. I swear to god, cross my heart, hope to die. Amy! [Turns to his publicist Amy, who says, ‘”I’ve never heard of that ever ever. Who’s Ant-Man?”] They make him shrink! You’re a news-breaker right there.
Potentially fictitious, apparently.
Well, it works. [Fake enthusiasm] I’m doing Ant-Man, I’m very excited about it. Me and Edgar.
I did go visit the set, though. Not with Edgar.
Just by myself.
Um… a buddy of mine was working on the movie so I just wanted to go say hi.
! ! ! DANCE ARMIE DANCE ! ! !
Wow, Armie can two-step questions like no ones business. Does this put the nail on the “Who’s playing Ant-Man Coffin?” Not really, but it’s fun to see these actors dance around whatever non-disclosure contracts or letters of intent they must be signing with Disney.
Do you think Armie would make a great HankPym? I know everyone wants Nathan Fillion to jump into the Marvel Universe, but with his Castle contract, that doesn’t look like a near future possibility. What do you think?
Now, it’s been a couple of years since we first heard threats rumors that The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was going to get the big screen reboot/remake treatment. When we were younger and more innocent it was going to be Steven Soderbergh directing and Channing Tatum in the lead. Of course that beautiful masterpiece was to much for this world and could not be.
The latest attempt at bringing Napoleon Solo to summer blockbustersberg is being helmed by Guy Ritchie and was to draw on the star power of Tom Cruise. Well, apparently Cruise checked Wikipedia and discovered that U.N.C.L.E. not actually part of the Mission: Impossible franchise cause he just (proverbially) based jumped from the project.