A Fierce Trailer And A “Found” Documentary Offer Two Views Of Strife-Torn Detroit

So much to hope, so much to fear from Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit — at least, that’s how many of us who grew up in and around Detroit feel about the film Bigelow is directing, based on a script by collaborator Mark Boal, about the 1967 riot. When the trailer dropped earlier this month, a shudder ran through some in the Motor City.

“Here, people are so used to negative portrayals, and given the subject matter they’re just numb to another one like all the others,” offered one film-savvy Detroiter—a major fan of both Boal and Bigelow—in a private email. But, the same correspondent noted, a perhaps slightly overheated trailer, with heavy emphasis on police brutality in the Algiers Motel killings that occurred mid-way through the July unrest, doesn’t mean the filmmakers won’t have captured the combined horror and heartbreak of the Detroit uprising in a drama set for release by Annapurna Pictures on August 4.

Soon enough, the film will speak for itself. Already, though, Detroiters have been using film to examine not just the five-day riot, but also about the lost era—and the possibilities—that burned with it. Largely unnoticed here, March 30 brought the world premiere in Detroit of a documentary 12th And Clairmount, that tells a story of the uprising and its precedents largely through the use of “found footage.” Produced by the Detroit Free Press and others, the film does what even the most skillfully crafted drama would hard-pressed to match. That is, it re-captures some of the ease and even amity that sometimes prevailed in what was, after all, a still hopeful time in Detroit.

“The footage donated by the white people is just like footage donated by the black people,” said Bill McGraw, a former Free Press reporter who worked on the film, in describing it to a Free Press interviewer. “Everyone’s dancing in the basement, doing the same sort of dances, kids are riding their old Stingray bikes with their banana seats, playing Wiffle ball in the street or in front of their house. It shows how life was going on often the same for people even though they were living very separate lives.”


Obviously, the riot didn’t come from nowhere. There was deep racial injustice and a powerful reaction. “You can understand that there would be a lot of anger building up, and it exploded,” said Larry Bohner, who contributed footage to 12th And Clairmount, to the same Free Press interviewer.

That part, to judge from the red-hot Detroit trailer, is well-represented by Boal and Bigelow. But harder to recall are those better moments on the racial fault line, as when you could find yourself standing with a couple of Temptations—who were just off the stage in Cobo Arena, probably in late 1966, if I remember correctly—as they marveled at the still-novel long-hairs in a local psychedelic band, the Scot Richard Case, who were performing in the banquet-hall next door.

Through the mid-1960s, 12th And Clairmount reminds us, the city was still alive. In 1967, that Detroit promo says, the gentler part died.


Political Pundits Discover They’re Actors In Donald Trump’s ‘Presidential Apprentice’ As 100 Days Nears

TV news political pundits finally are starting to figure out they are characters in Presidential Apprentice, and that Donald Trump was once, and is still, a reality TV star.

Discussing the 100-Day milestone that Trump’s administration will hit next Saturday, political sages mulled his wild race to get health care and tax reform accomplished before the day arrives, all the while scoffing at the 100-day deadline.

On Friday Trump tweeted that the media will “kill” him no matter how much he accomplishes “during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days.”

This afternoon, CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger had a Eureka Moment:

“When we’re talking about the first 100 days and Donald Trump talking about it being a big success, it brings me back to thinking about when he was on The Apprentice and the ratings were dropping and dropping…He’d call people in the ratings division” of NBC and figure out for what 10 minutes of his reality competition series rated No. 1, “and then be able to say ‘We were No. 1’,” she told Wolf Blitzer and gang.

“Or, even if they weren’t, he would still say ‘We’re No. 1’,” she noted.

“This is what he is doing with the 100 days,” Borger concluded. “It almost doesn’t matter to him. He feels the need to say, ‘I’m the best; we’ve had the best 100 days ever’.  And he will find some yardstick by which he can say that, and then they can go out and talk about it.”


‘Hoosiers’ Creators Call Techinical Foul On Highflying Superfan Mike Pence

Vice President and former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence really, really loves Hoosiers, the 1986 underdog classic about the state’s 1954 high school basketball champs. He even had the poster in his old congressional office. But the film’s director and writer are wondering today if the Veep, his boss and the rest of Washington might be missing the point.

According to White House pool reports, Pence brought along his own personal DVD copy of the film to screen for fellow passengers on Air Force Two today, en route to Sydney. “About an hour into our journey,” wrote Politico pool reporter Hadas Gold, Pence’s press secretary Marc Lotter announced that “at the Vice President’s request – we would all be required to watch ‘the greatest sports movie ever made.’”

After MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki weighed in on the claim — tweeting that “Pence is absolutely right here” — he got an email from Hoosiers director David Anspaugh and writer Angelo Pizzo. Kornacki shared it with his Twitter followers (see it below).

“We would hope,” they wrote in the not entirely grammatical note, “that the Vice President talks to his boss about the most important thematic through line in the movie, in that nothing can be accomplished without working together for the same goal, pulling in the same direction, ‘five pistons firing at the same time.’ If the Huskers were made up of today’s Republicans and Democrats, Hickory’s record would have been 0-20, which is unfortunately how most people Washington [sic] now.”


Fox Lands ‘Luther’ Creator Neil Cross’s Supernatural Thriller Pitch ‘Inside’

EXCLUSIVE: Fox has beaten out several bidders to acquire Inside, a large-scale supernatural thriller film to be written by Neil Cross, best known as the creator of the celebrated BBC series Luther. The film will be produced by the Picture Company’s Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman. Fox expands its relationship with Cross, Rona and Heineman, who are in the middle of the Escape From New York remake that recently got Robert Rodriguez aboard to direct. Mike Ireland is the Fox exec on that project, and will serve that role on the new project.

They are keeping the plot under wraps, but sources said it’s a contemporary piece that involves a CDC-like secure facility that houses dangerous artifacts that include mythological creatures. The protagonist is a wronged man who finds himself behind bars along with the menagerie of creatures. It provides the opportunity for VFX spectacle, grounded by Cross’s sharp character writing that grounded Luther, the world weary detective played by Idris Elba. UTA brokered the Inside auction, and Cross is also repped by Independent Talent Group and attorney Fred Toczek.


Jurassic World 2 Set Photo Reveals New Dinosaur

Jurassic World 2 is currently filming in London, with some filming scheduled to take place in Hawaii later on in production. According to producer Frank Marshall, the movie is at the halfway point, at least in terms of shooting, and to honor the occasion, he has shared a brand new, behind-the-scenes photo from the set. And it looks like there is going to be at least one, brand new dinosaur added to the Jurassic Park franchise that will appear on screen Jurassic World 2.

This latest set photo from Frank Marshall was posted to his Twitter account and shows several of the producer’s chairs, which are pretty uninteresting on their own. But it is what we can see in the background of the photo that should have Jurassic Park fans pretty excited. While not totally clear what dinosaur it is, there is a full body, practical dinosaur on the set, which is being kept behind some glass in the background behind the chairs. What is clear is that this is a dinosaur that has not been seen in a previous Jurassic Park movie and, since it is in this photo, we can safely assume it will be showing up in Jurassic World 2. Here is the caption Frank Marshall provided on Twitter to go along with the new photo.

“Almost at the halfway point… @JurassicWorld #JurassicWorld2″

It wasn’t made clear what species of dinosaur is seen in this photo, but the folks at the fan site Jurassic Outpost speculate that it could be a Metriacanthosaurus. Though we haven’t actually seen that particular species in any of the previous movies before, that was one of the species that was listed on the embryo storage containers in the original Jurassic Park. In addition to the unidentified, new dinosaur, there are also some other dinos featured in the reflection on the glass in the photo. In the bottom left-hand corner, there is a reflection of what looks to the be a T-Rex. It has already been confirmed by writer/producer Colin Trevorrow that the original T-Rex, who many fans have taken to calling “Rexy,” will be appearing in the movie. So that could be what we are seeing.

Official plot details are being kept under wraps for Jurassic World 2, but this set photo does provide some more evidence that this movie will be dealing more in practical effects, as opposed to relying almost entirely on CGI. That was a complaint many had with Jurassic World, since there was only one scene that featured a practical effect. Director J.A. Bayona, who is taking over for Colin Trevorrow this time around, shared a set photo recently that showcased a large crew of puppeteers who were on set to operate an unknown dinosaur, so it is clear that there will be a more balanced blend of practical and digital effects in this movie.

Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and B.D. Wong will be returning for this installment, but there will be quite a few new cast members coming on board. Rafe Spall, Toby Jones, Daniella Pineda, Geraldine Chaplin, James Cromwell and Ted Levine have all been added to the cast this time around. Jurassic World 2 is set to hit theaters on June 22, 2018. You can check out the brand new set photo from producer Frank Marshall for yourself below.

Almost at the halfway point…

— Frank Marshall (@LeDoctor) April 21, 2017


Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio & Robert De Niro Eyeing ‘Killers Of The Flower Moon’ From Eric Roth Adaptation

EXCLUSIVE: The book was snatched last year after a bidding war for $5 million by Imperative Entertainment and now the Eric Roth feature film adaptation of David Grann’s book Killers Of The Flower Moon: The Osage Murders And The Birth Of The FBI may end up with another few good men. We hear that Imperative is working right now to put together some A-listers for the big screen; first choices happen to be Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, and we hear the three are seriously considering it. Imperative partners Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas are producing.

Scorsese and De Niro have been huddling on The Irishman at Netflix, but there’s no completed deal yet.

Grann’s Killers Of The Flower Moon, which bows this week from Doubleday, tells the true crime story about multiple murders of members of the Osage Indian tribe in Oklahoma that occurred after they found oil on their lands. It is about conspiracy, greed and murder in the Indian nation — so bad the federal government had to step in. It also chronicles the rise of J. Edgar Hoover, who led the investigation into the murders and ended up making a name for himself.

No one involved would comment.

Scorsese and DiCaprio have worked together multiple times before with Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Shutter Island, The Departed and The Wolf Of Wall Street. In addition, they are both developing The Devil In The White City, also based on a critically acclaimed book. De Niro and Scorsese, of course, have teamed on such films as Goodfellas, CasinoRaging Bull, Taxi Driver, and The King Of Comedy.

Stay tuned.


Fast & Furious Spin-Off Teams Jason Statham and The Rock

The Fate of the Furious is currently raking it in at the box office at a record-setting pace, which has led Universal to think about how they can further profit from their most bankable franchise. The series is set to end after the tenth installment, but there is always room for a spin-off or two. It looks like that is something that is currently being discussed, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character Hobbs and Jason Statham’s bad guy turned good Decker Shaw possibly getting their own Fast and Furious Spin-Off.

The news comes courtesy of Deadline, who are reporting that Universal is in the very early stages of putting together this Hobbs and Show spin-off. The report does note that the studio has had meetings about it and that the idea would be to hopefully film this movie while they figure out exactly what to do with Fast & Furious 9. So this spin-off could wind up getting put on the fast track, if it comes together. Assuming Dwayne Johnson can find room in his very crowded schedule, that is.

This was already hinted at when it was revealed that The Fate of the Furious originally had a post-credit scene that featured Hobbs and Shaw exchanging some banter. The scene wound up being cut because Vin Diesel was reportedly not happy that he wasn’t involved, so the studio ultimately removed it from the final cut, which could have definitely contributed to the feud between The Rock and Vin Diesel. But it seems like this spin-off could have been in the cards even prior to the release of Fast 8.

There has been talk of The Rock’s character Hobbs possibly getting a Fast & Furious spin-off movie in the past, but nothing really ever came of it. However, pairing him up with Jason Statham as an unlikely ally in a buddy cop movie of sorts is something that isn’t hard to envision. Especially for those who have seen The Fate of the Furious. No spoilers, but that is definitely something that is explored and something that could easily be mined for more. Not to mention that, since Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham have entered the Fast and the Furious series, it has become more profitable than ever. That is surely a consideration on Universal’s part.

Hobbs was introduced in Fast Five and, outside of the fact that movie nearly doubled the gross of any previous entry in the franchise up to that point, it is largely considered to be the best movie to come from the series so far. Jason Statham’s Decker Shaw came into the fold in a post-credit scene that was attached to Fast & Furious 6, leading to him becoming the villain in Furious 7. Fast & Furious 6 remains the second-highest grossing of the series, with a grand total of $788.7 million worldwide. But Furious 7 took the franchise to new heights, grossing $1.51 billion worldwide in 2015. The Fate of the Furious has also been a monster hit, nabbing a $532 million worldwide debut, beating the all-time record, which was set by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In just a week of release, the movie has made $685.5 million and is expected to add quite a bit to that total this weekend.

Deadline also notes that Chris Morgan will script this proposed spin-off, assuming things wind up moving forward. He has been writing the Fast & Furious movies since The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, so it makes sense that the studio would want to keep him involved. This project is in the very early stages but, if Universal can find a way to make it happen, it seems like a safe bet and a smart way to continue on the franchise.


How Diana Prince Becomes a Superhero in Wonder Woman

After Guardians of the Galaxy 2 hits theaters in just a few weeks, many fans will be looking forward to the next big superhero adventure, Warner Bros.’ and DC Films’ Wonder Woman, which arrives in June 2. This next chapter in the DCEU saga takes fans back to Diana Prince’s (Gal Gadot) homeland of Themyscira, and to the battlefields of World War I. A new piece of concept art has surfaced today, which reveals the one moment where Diana of Themyscira becomes the hero we have come to know as Wonder Woman, along with new details from Gal Gadot.

Entertainment Weekly debuted this concept art, which showcases a scene set during World War I in 1918. Gal Gadot’s Diana of Themyscira must leave her idyllic homeland to “discover her true power,” which leads her to a war-torn Europe, in a scene that takes place halfway through the film. Diana finds herself between English and German forces, and while she isn’t supposed to intervene, Diana decides not to play by the rules and save the women and children threatened by the Germans. Here’s what Gal Gadot had to say about this powerful scene below.

“It’s a very powerful moment. We have a character committing to her true self, doing what she believes needs to be done.”

Diana becomes involved in this conflict after Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes his plane near her island of Themyscira, after he is being pursued by the German army. Steve Trevor has discovered that a German general, Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston), is planning on releasing a chemical weapon that could kill millions, which is why Diana decides to get involved. Director Patty Jenkins equates this scene where Diana finally gets involved, to Clark Kent ripping open his dress shirt to reveal his Superman suit. Executive producer Geoff Johns agrees with this analogy, but thinks it’s much more powerful.

“”[This scene] reminds me of when Superman caught Lois and caught the helicopter [in the 1978 movie]. But this one is even more visceral.”

Earlier this month, box office analysts predicted that Wonder Woman would have a huge opening weekend, debuting with an estimated $80 million. While that number isn’t nearly as big as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s $166 million opening or Suicide Squad’s $133.6 million opening, it’s possible that Wonder Woman has more longevity than both of those movies, which had huge openings followed by massive week-to-week decreases. Wonder Woman was one of the few highlights of Batman v Superman for many critics, so it’s possible that this movie could get the DCEU back on the right track. Take a look at this concept art below as we get closer and closer to Wonder Woman‘s June 2 release date.

Exclusive: See the moment @GalGadot’s Diana becomes a hero in @WonderWomanFilm:

— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) April 21, 2017

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