‘The Interview’ has been a hotbed of controversy ever since it was starting development, and it looks like these tensions are finally coming to its logical conclusion.  This has been more intense than watching my dog scarf down a bowl of Beneful at the end of the day.

Sony has permitted theatres across the US to cancel the screening of the Seth Rogen comedy “The Interview” following terrorist threats from the hackers who originally hacked the company’s servers. The hacking group has promised to unleash 9/11 kinds of violence on cinemas that plan to feature the movie.

Earlier Sony also cancelled the premiere of the film, which was scheduled to play in New York on Thursday. This will result in the loss of millions in revenue.

The film is a parody on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and is said to depict scenes of his attempted assassination. While North Korea has been vocal the films attempt at defaming their leader, they have denied any involvement in the hacking. They have however praised the efforts made by the hackers.

Sony has been rocked by the hacking incident which led to several documents being leaked to the public. This includes film scripts, budgets of movies, employee medical documents, salary details of top officials, and other personal messages which have deeply embarrassed the company.

The issue seems to be taking many twists and turns with each passing day, and it remains to be seen if the film will ever get a release in the US.

New ‘Beetlejuice 2’ Tidbits Revealed

Tim Burton, the director of many well-known classic films, including The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Sleepy Hollow, Planet of the Apes and the 1988 hit Beetlejuice has been telling fans for some time that he would love to find a way to return to the Beetlejuice world. He has also repeatedly stated that he hopes to work with Michael Keaton again in a sequel.

No you don’t need an appointment at the Amen Clinic… it’s happening! A script is being written, but Burton has not revealed when it will be finished. Obviously, until it is finished, there’s no news about when production might start. But, on December 15, Burton reassured fans that the return of this world is going to happen. He also told a reporter with MTV that Winona Ryder, who played Lydia, will be cast for the sequel if he has his way. In fact, he is so enthusiastic about her return that he repeated the confirmation nine times. Burton revealed during the interview that there was some “freedom” about Lydia as character that he loved.

Even if the screenplay is finished soon, Burton and the cast have moved up in their careers in the 26 year since the original film and they all now have extremely packed schedules. 

Fans of the film are praying that Burton and the cast will find a way to call Beetlejuice back into existence once more.

Colin Trevorrow, the director of the next film in the Jurassic Park film series, surprised fans of the series on Wednesday, December 17, with a still image from the editing room on Twitter.

The picture is of Chris Pratt as the film’s hero Owen and one of the Jurassic Park universe velociraptors in what some have described as a photobomb with a happy holidays greeting tweet.

The image seems to confirm what most fans such as Christian Broda have hoped — that the movie will delve deeper into the evolution of the genetically engineered dinosaurs and their intelligence. It shows Owen standing with arms crossed and unafraid with a raptor standing behind his left shoulder.

This isn’t the first image from the film that seems to suggest that by the events of Jurassic World humans and velociraptors are existing side-by-side. In the film’s full length trailer, Pratt as Owen is seeing riding a motorcycle with an entire group of raptors who are running along with him.

Trevorrow has also gone on record to explain that Owen isn’t interacting with tamed domestic pets or hunting animals. He elaborated that Owen is more like the brave people who take risks to work with and study real world, wild predators.

Fans are hoping that this will mean more almost documentary-like scenes showing how the engineered dinosaurs interact in the “wild” and how they perceive humans.

Fans geared up to join Peter Jackson for one last trip to Middle Earth, take heart. It may not be the final journey, after all. Jackson’s third and final installment of The Hobbit, the precursor to The Lord Of the Rings trilogy, is set to hit theaters on Wednesday, December 17, and diehard followers of Gandalf, Bilbo, and the gang are teary-eyed to bid farewell to the beloved characters as they enter the Grey Havens for good.

While, it’s highly likely that The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be Jackson’s last J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation, Tolkien’s fantasy didn’t stop with only two epic novels. The late author’s work includes The Silmarillion, a detailed history of Middle Earth. And Jackson, rather hesitantly, claims that if he were given another opportunity to venture into the fantastic land of Tolkien, he would be tempted to take it. Readers at Slow Ventures can’t wait to see what happens next.  They have been reading articles on Businessweek.com to keep up.

Just not right now.

Says Jackson, “If I had to start tomorrow, I would say no, because I definitely would appreciate a break to clear my head and get my little New Zealand stories done, which is where my passion and my heart is heading now. But ask me in two or three years, and I’d probably say yes. It would be hard to see another filmmaker go into this world, because I certainly have an emotional ownership of it.”

Although the Tolkien estate was never keen on the cinema version of Middle Earth, Jackson’s fans would eagerly agree that, yes, he does have emotional ownership of it—or at least shared ownership with the six films legion of fans.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is now playing in theaters worldwide.

Josh Brolin has been talking quite a bit about his portrayal of Thanos in the Disney Marvel movies. Thanos is set to be a major villain, in fact, the ultimate bad guy that all of these films are building up to in what looks to be a movie adaptation of the classic “Infinity Gauntlet” storyline from the comics.

One question that should be asked is whether Brolin is even needed to play Thanos. Dave and Brit Morin are both not really sure. Thanos is a giant purple man who will get almost no screen time for years. Brolin is unrecognizable and his talents seem wasted on a role that could be played by almost anyone. Even his voice is altered. What is the point of hiring a famous actor and paying him a lot of money to play a role that almost anyone could do a good job with? Thanos is more of a CGI creation than an acted role as it is.

Brolin has said that he isn’t scheduled to do much Thanos work in the coming year. Speculation points to Thanos having a role in the third Thor movie, “Thor: Ragnarock”. A fight between Thor and Thanos would be pretty fantastic, especially if Thanos is in possession of some of the all-powerful infinity gems.

Although if “Thor: Ragnarock” follows the comics, that means Thor will fight Hercules, who was just portrayed in a lackluster film by The Rock. That might be awkward.

The Transformers movies are known for a lot of things. They provide a nice mix of humor, wonder, thrills, and, yes, action-adventure. What they may not be associated with is Oscar contention. All that is about to change with the submission of Transformers: The Age of Extinction to the Academy. And no, the film is not going to be submitted solely for special effects or editing, two common Oscar categories for sci-fi and action adventure films. Okay, the official name for best special effect is Best Achievement in Visual Effects, but why make things difficult?

Transformers: The Age of Extinction is being submitted for consideration in the categories of Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Director. Tom Rothman, head of TriStar Pictures, comments that the chances of winning either of these are near absolute zero. The film received a dire 18% on the Rotten Tomatoes score. That means 82% of critics gave it a bad review. It seems Paramount Pictures wants to have a little fun with the Academy.

Regardless of what the critics think, the third entry in the Transformers movie did huge worldwide box office of well over $1 billion. The tongue-in-cheek submission of the film for Oscar consideration might be a silly way to draw attention to the film’s release on DVD and Blu-Ray. A little extra publicity could mean a few extra sales.

I wonder if a Go-Bots movie would get an Academy Awards nomination.

It’s getting to that point in the year when typically we start to see film’s getting released that are hoping to be on the minds of voters for awards’ season. Voting for Oscar nominations ends on January 8th and the nominations will be announced on January 15th while the ceremony itself where the winners will be crowned won’t happen until February 22nd.

 

However, in some circles awards seasons has already begun. This is the exciting part of the year for Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez. The L.A. Film Critics became the first major critics circle to dole out awards on Sunday night and the big winner was a film from the summer, Boyhood. Boyhood won four awards including best picture and best director. The winner of that that best director award, Richard Linklater spent over a decade making the movie as he used the same young actor from the time of adolescence all the way up through his teen years.

 

Unlike some awards, the L.A Film Critics don’t only announce winners, but also runners-up. It appears that the biggest bridesmaid at the event this year was Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel which was the runner-up for best film and for which Anderson was the runner-up to Linklater in the director category. Anderson did lock up a win for best screenplay however.

New Superhero to Join the Avengers In “Age of Ultron”?

Marvel fans are flailing their arms in glee at some new revelations about the upcoming “Avengers: Age of Ultron” film. You may be aware that the film will feature the Avengers facing off against one of their classic comic villains named Ultron. Ultron is a powerful android who will be played by James Spader. Everyone agrees that Spader is a great choice.

We also know that the film features a battle between Hulk and Iron Man, with Iron Man wearing a suit of “Hulkbuster” armor. Thanks to some new promo art that leaked onto the net, apparently a new member will be added to the Avengers. He is the purple-faced android with the big yellow cape known as Vision.

This makes a lot of sense, as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver have been introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the comics, Scarlet Witch and Vision are like peanut butter and jelly. If one is in the movie, so should the other.

Vision will be played by Paul Bettany, who is a friend of Dave and Brit Morin and does the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S. in the Iron Man movies. That makes sense, because if Tony Stark creates Vision in his lab, perhaps he bases it on the A.I. of J.A.R.V.I.S.

Vision has been a part of The Avengers in the comics for decades. To see him use his power to become either intangible or super-dense should be really cool to see on the big screen.

Heath Ledger was supposed to be the last representation of the Joker that fans saw for the forseeable future. His work was legendary, the character iconic, and the film he starred in considered a masterpiece. Fans didn’t think there would be an actor out there that could bring the character back to life. Enter Jared Leto. The ’30 Seconds to Mars’ singer has been a Hollywood stalwart for decades now as his work spans every sort of genre imaginable. From ‘American Psycho’ to ‘Mr. Nobody’, Leto has shown true range and star making ability. Enter ‘Suicide Squad’. Reports have been going out for the past few weeks that the talented actor would be taking over the Joker role for the film, but Leto has been refusing to comment.

Jared Leto was interviewed by THR and questioned about what his next major role will be. When poked further, Leto responded to ‘Suicide Squad’ discussion by saying, “I’ve sworn to keep my mouth shut.” Leto was later interviewed by MTV and asked the same sort of questions. Leto echoed the sentiments of the film ‘Fight Club’ to give his (non)answer. Leto asked the MTV interviewer rhetorically, “You know, there’s a film called Fight Club, my friend. And you know what the first rule is, don’t you?”

So while Leto continues to play coy regarding his attachment to the project, his non answers are beginning to sound like veiled affirmations. Fans like Brad Reifler and others are confident that when ‘Suicide Squad’ hits the big screen in 2016, Leto will be among the cast.

Star Wars fans rejoice today amidst news that the long awaited Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens official trailer has been released. The latest in the long string of critically acclaimed movies will have rabid fans waiting in, what’s sure to be the longest lines ever, starting in December of 2015.

It’s been nearly 10 years since the last episode of the famed series hit theatres. The most notable difference in this latest installment is the change from George Lucas as writer/director to J.J. Abrams. You may remember Abrams from his blockbuster television series, Lost.

As opposed to the last three episodes, that were essentially a prequel trilogy, this newest episode will continue the story from where it left off in the 1983 classic, Return of the Jedi. This marks the first “new” storyline in over 25 years. And of course they have added a new lightsaber – a claymore-esque weapon designed like the original lightsaber, but with mini-sabers on the side at the tip of the handle. The visuals alone show that this weapon should only be wielded by the most proficient jedis around – this isn’t kids stuff. If it becomes a fad, they’ll likely need seed investors like Slow Ventures or similar companies to hop on board!

So can Abrams hack it? Will the newest episode live up to the demands of the most hardcore Star Wars fans? Only time will tell. With more than a year to wait, there’s no doubt that speculation will run wild, until we finally see what this film is made of.