After gestating for so. many. years., the Ghostbusters are making a comeback and it’s one you likely never saw coming.
Original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman expressed interest in making a threequel some time ago. Even OG castmembers Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson were game to reprise their iconic roles; Bill Murray, unfortunately, could not commit to the reunion. And then Ramis sadly passed away and the project simply didn’t come to pass.
Enter Paul Feig, director of recent female-driven comedies such as Bridesmaids and The Heat. Sony Pictures aligned with his vision of a rebooted version of the famous franchise: one that would star an all-female cast. And today he made it official by tweeting the above image on his Twitter account. The new Ghostbusters film will star Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones pulverizing poltergeists. The latter three, of course, all hail from Saturday Night Live. More, Feig previously collaborated with McCarthy and Wiig on Bridesmaids (and McCarthy would go on to star alongside Sandra Bullock in The Heat).
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in October, Feig explained his passion for flipping the playbook and featuring women in his version of Ghostbusters:
I just find funny women so great. For me it’s just more of a no-brainer. I just go, what would make me excited to do it? I go: four female Ghostbusters to me is really fun. I want to see that dynamic. I want to see that energy and that type of comedy and them going up against these ghosts and going up against human detractors and rivals and that kind of thing.
I’m sure there will be real-life human detractors up in arms about this unexpected switch-up, especially those who have been holding on tight to the idea that Reitman’s original crew would return for a threequel. I will say this: as an avid fan of franchise, I am so stoked to watch Feig reinvent and reinvigorate Ghostbusters with this truly hysterical cast that just happens to be members of the female sex. Feel me?
Ghostbusters, which is currently being scripted by Katie Dippold (whose talents did not go unnoticed in The Heat), is aiming for a July 22, 2016 release.
20th Century Fox is rebooting the Fantastic Four franchise with a more youthful cast, just as Sony Pictures did with Spider-Man in 2012. Miles Teller (Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic:), Michael B. Jordan (Johnny Storm / Human Torch), Kate Mara (Susan Storm / Invisible Woman), Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm / The Thing), and Toby Kebbell (Victor Domashev / Doom) are the Marvel superhero film’s stars this time around. Josh Trank (Chronicle) directs. Here’s the current logline:
Fantastic Four, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.
Fox (and Marvel for that matter) have been uncharacteristically quiet about this film which has a summer release date. Rumors about creative difficulties aside, this is very much a teaser that doesn’t do much in the tantalizing department. We’re briefly introduced to the updated cast and we get a strong monologue about the human desire to discover spoken by Reg E. Cathey who plays Dr. Storm. But there’s nothing here that truly amps me up, unfortunately. It looks and feels like your run-of-the-mill superhero flick–but maybe that’s because the box office has been flooded with them as of late. Who knows. Of course I have faith in Marvel, as well as Chronicle helmer Trank whose work on that film was surprisingly risky and rewarding. Here’s to hoping a beefier full-length trailer adds some oomf to this lackluster first look.
The new Fantastic Four (whose title is actually stylized like this: Fant4stic, ugh) releases August 7 in 3D.
Set on the last day of camp, in the hot summer of 1981, “Wet Hot American Summer” follows a group of counselors who are each trying to complete their unfinished business before the day ends. The entire summer of pent-up sexual frustrations, unresolved post-traumatic stress, pending separations and of course, the talent show, all weigh heavily on the minds and groins of counselors and campers alike.
Now follow me here. Flash-forward 14 years after the release of that 2001 cult comedy and coming soon to Netflix is an 8-part limited series that will take us back to the summer of ’81 following the events of the first day of camp!
Who needs a theatrical sequel when streaming giant Netflix can round up the film’s director, writers, and pretty much the entire wildly impressive ensemble cast to make a Wet Hot American Summer TV series?! WHAS director David Wain and his co-writer Michael Showalter (he also played Coop!) are reuniting to produce the show that serves as a prequel to the movie. As maybe not so conveniently explained above, the series takes place at Camp Firewood in the same summer featured in the movie, except this time we’ll be witness to the first day of camp instead of the last. Get it? Good!
The video above blasts out the returning cast and your favorite camp counselors. Think you might recognize a name or two: Elizabeth Banks, Michael Ian Black, Bradley Cooper, Judah Friedlander, Janeane Garofalo, Joe Lo Truglio, Ken Marino, Christopher Meloni, Marguerite Moreau, Zak Orth, Amy Poehler, David Hyde Pierce, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, Michael Showalter. Getting this all-star cast to return today to reprise their 2001 roles–especially when many of them like Banks, Cooper, Poehler, and Rudd have turned into massively talented and constantly working actors–is beyond impressive.
Wain and Showalter’s Wet Hot American Summer reunion hits Netflix (you guessed it) this summer.
Mumblecore heroes Jay & Mark Duplass have more than sufficiently entertained viewers with their new series Togetherness, so much so that HBO has renewed it for a second season after airing only two episodes.
“We began our love affair with HBO in our parents’ living room in 1983, and to have these brilliant creative people put a ring on our fingers with a second season of Togetherness is a real-life dream come true,” said the brothers Duplass upon hearing the great news.
Mark, along with ensemble cast members Melanie Lynskey, Amanda Peet and Steve Zissis, have constructed a show that is inherently funny, fascinatingly introspective, and most of all, fun. A husband and wife with kids, his best friend and her sister living under one roof in Los Angeles just trying to make their way and find meaning in their lives–even after just two airings Togetherness manages to captivate with its unapologetic realism and strife. Plus, Zissis is a breakout star whose fame is long overdue (see previous Duplass works Baghead, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon).
Togetherness airs Sundays at 10:30pm on HBO.
This week, two of the most prolific social networks received some exciting updates. Let’s start with the little blue bird, and then we’ll talk about the playful yellow ghost.
Twitter is updating one feature and tacking on a completely new one. Direct Messages is getting a beefed up with the added ability to host group conversations. Private DMs can now entertain up to 20 people in one threaded conversation. You can start conversations with any of your followers and they don’t all need to follow one another in order to join and participate in the chat. When you’re added to a group chat, you’ll receive a notification about it.
I’ve been waiting for this next new feature for quite some time. Twitter is finally unleashing an official way to post video to its service. The update lets you capture, edit, and share videos that can last up to 30 seconds in length. iPhone users can upload videos from the camera roll as well (coming soon to Android). It’s a simple feature, but it has been desperately missing for ages. Twitter is confident its users will discover unique ways to interact with their followers using video–30 seconds is a helluva lot longer than Vine’s constrained 6. Video, along with group DMs, are rolling out to all users “in the coming weeks.”
Now, jump after the break to learn all about the latest addition to Snapchat’s growing story. (Click here for more…)
On January 27, Apple reported its 2015 first quarter financial results. Apple posted a record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion and net profit of $18 billion. Compare this to one year ago, that’s up from revenue of $57.6 billion and net profit of $13.1 billion. Says CEO Tim Cook: “We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high. Our revenue grew 30 percent over last year to $74.6 billion, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal.”
Now let’s break it down by product category. Apple sold a record 74.5 million iPhones in the quarter (compared to 51 million in the year-ago quarter); 21.4 million iPads (compared to 26 million); and 5.5 million Macs (compared to 4.8 million). iPod sales surely declined as they do every year these days, and the company no longer discloses specifically how many units from this product line are sold.
Up to now, consumers have only privy to a somewhat large release window regarding the highly anticipated Apple Watch. In atypical Apple fashion, Cook narrowed that timeframe down to a specific launch month to eager reporters on an earnings conference call. The Apple Watch, previously pegged for an “early 2015″ release, will hit the market in April.
Looking ahead to the second fiscal quarter of 2015, Apple CFO Luca Maestri expects revenue between $52 billion and $55 billion.
Update: APPL stock is soaring following the release of these record results. That’s more than likely because of the unexpectedly high $74.6 billion revenue. At the end of last quarter, CFO Maestri expected revenue between $63.5 billion and $66.5 billion. The company undershot, and the market is currently respecting it for that.
Louis CK’s got a new stand-up special for you to purchase and download and own and enjoy for five dollars. Just like before with his Live at the Beacon Theater show, the profane comedian is making it dead simple and super cheap for you to skip torrenting and directly send a few bucks his way to help cover the costs of production. CK’s popular distribution model is something that other comedians and artists have picked up on as a real stand-up way to treat paying customers looking to support and appreciate content creators. He keeps his blurb short and sweet this time, since his bold new philosophy was sufficiently laid out before.
I developed and prepared this material over the last year or so, mostly in comedy clubs. This special kind of goes back to when I used to just make noises and be funny for no particular reason. It felt right to shoot this special in a club to give it that live immediate intimate feeling. The show is about an hour long. The opening act, who is seen at the beginning (good place for an opening act) is Jay London. One of my favorite club comics going way back to the late 80s when I first started in working in New York.
I hope you like it.
Download Live at the Comedy Store at Louis’ site today. In 1080p HD. For $5. You’re welcome. This should hold you over until Louie returns to FX in April.
Here’s your first taste of Death Cab for Cutie minus Chris Walla. The founding band member amicably parted ways with DCFC over the summer, and so this brand new single offers up the alt-rock band in a new light. No doubt, “Black Sun” still sounds like classic DCFC; frontman and lead singer Ben Gibbard remains the soulful face of the band. Fans will have to wait for nuanced differences to surface once their eighth studio album comes out; Rick Costey (a Muse, Franz Ferdinand, and Kimbra collaborator) replaced Walla as lead producer on it. Kintsugi, the followup to 2011’s Codes and Keys, drops March 31. Bassist Nick Harmer described the inspiration behind the album’s unique title to Rolling Stone: “It’s a Japanese style of art where they take fractured, broken ceramics and put them back together with very obvious, real gold. It’s making the repair of an object a visual part of its history. That resonated with us as a philosophy, and it connected to a lot of what we were going through, both professionally and personally.”
As a longtime Death Cab fan, it’s certainly sad to see Walla go after being a part of the band for 17 years, but it gives DCFC an opportunity to move forward in new directions and I’m glad that Gibbard and co. are taking it in stride. “This is an opportunity for the band to become something it could only become by losing a founding member,” Gibbard says. “It’s our goal to make records that rank amongst the best work we’ve ever done.”
When Kanye West dropped “Only One,” an emotional track featuring keyboard improvisation by The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, we knew this was just the beginning. In fact, a press release at the time stated, “[The track] will be the first publicly available recording from what has become a prolific musical collaboration between these two legendary artists.” In a surprise move, however, the next West/McCartney collab comes out of Rihanna’s camp, not West’s. Today the Barbadian singer released a fresh song called “FourFiveSeconds” and interestingly none of the three artists are labeled as being featured guests. iTunes merely reads “Rihanna and Kanye West and Paul McCartney.” Whether the song lands on RiRi’s followup to Unapologetic or gets tagged with “Only One” on West upcoming seventh studio album is anybody’s guess. For now, preview and download the track at iTunes. It’s soft and acoustic, with Rihanna adding a bit of a country flair with her vocals. She harmonizes with West, who again leaves rapping behind here and sings with auto-tune assistance. McCartney strums a cool guitar all the while.
Will Graham lives! As for the rest of Hannibal’s victims involved in last season finale’s bloodbath, we still don’t know for sure. Here’s a sublime trailer for the upcoming third season of Bryan Fuller’s dark masterpiece of a series that is Hannibal. In it, Graham (the magnificent Hugh Dancy) is plotting his revenge on the good doctor Lector (the equally magnificent Mads Mikkelsen) whose has seemingly escaped to Florence, Italy with new series regular Gillian Anderson. Also featured is Tao Okamoto (The Wolverine); she’s a new character and from the looks of it she’s ready and willing to help Graham capture his nemesis. At the end of the trailer, oddly enough, Will speaks to Hannibal, “I forgive you.” Is he playing mind games again, or is this the continuation of a never-ending twisted relationship?
The hunt begins this summer when Hannibal returns to NBC.
*If you’re paying close attention, as you should be, you’ll recognized the word “Apéritif.” It was the title of the series’ pilot episode and it translates to “a small drink of alcoholic liquor taken to stimulate the appetite before a meal.” In case you haven’t picked up on it by now, each season Fuller chooses episode names based on international fine cuisine. Season 1 was French, season 2 was Japanese, and season 3 is all about Italian foodstuffs. The premiere is titled, “Antipasto.”
On Wednesday, Microsoft held a press event to make some major announcements regarding its next operating system, Windows 10. That’s right–the company that Bill Gates built is skipping the number 9 and gunning straight for the solid number 10 for its next OS release. MSFT demoed many new features found in Win10, many of which highlight the fundamentally cohesive nature of the fresh new OS. With Windows 10, Microsoft aims to bridge the gap between hardware and software to create one unified Windows that stretches across phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and even the Xbox One. Also, Win10 will power a new product category for the company: augmented reality. For more, jump after the break. (Click here for more…)
An Italian media company has put together a heartwarming PSA about domestic violence. Italian boys ranging in age from 6 to 11 unknowingly participate in the spot when they’re each separately asked to interact with a young girl named Martina. The clip will make you smile, it will make you think, and then you’ll smile some more. Godere. That’s Italian for enjoy.
You know the blue-collar Irish American cartoon character voiced by Seth MacFarlane? That’s Peter Griffin from the long-running animated series Family Guy.
This, here, is cosplayer and aspiring voice actor Robert Franzese and he is Peter Griffin in real life. Not only does he land Peter’s prominent and unmistakable Rhode Island accent–he looks the part, too. Franzese embraces his girth by donning green pants, a run-of-the-mill white button down shirt, and round glasses to perfectly pull off the Griffin patriarch’s signature look and simplistic charm.
Mash play and watch as he wows a New York Comic Con crowd!
FOX renews ‘Gotham,’ ‘Empire’ & ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine,’ discusses futures of ‘X-Files,’ ’24’ & ‘Prison Break’ (!)
Days after renewing animated sitcom Bob’s Burgers for a sixth season, FOX is expanding its security blanket over three more of its series. Freshman Gotham and Empire, as well as sophomore sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, will be back next fall to unspool new episodes. And this renewal news shouldn’t really come as any sort of surprise: the Batman origin story and the hip hop soap opera both performed well out of the gate with popular pilots; in fact, Empire‘s ratings went up in its second week which these days is a rare feat indeed. As for the Andy Samberg laugher, that series is comfortably enjoying its new digs on Sunday nights stuffed between The Simpsons and Family Guy.
What about the fates of other FOX shows such as Bones and Sleepy Hollow? “We are in conversations on both,” FOX studio and network head Dana Walden told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour this week. “We’re at the end of our deal on Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz. We’re very hopeful Bones will return. We can’t announce it today because deals aren’t closed, [but] nothing will make us happier.”
As for Sleepy Hollow, Walden said the network is “going to wait a little bit longer” to renew it as creative calibrations are made behind-the-scenes. “We’re excited about some creative changes on the show and bringing it back to something that feels a little more episodic in nature, that has closure and doesn’t feel quite so serialized,” said Walden. In sum, the network would like the series to take the serialization down a couple pegs and “return the fun to it” that was rampant in season 1. That being said, worry not, Sleepy heads–Fox brass holds the show in a special place in their hearts and wants to see it grow. “We really love the show,” she added. “We love Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie. They have fantastic chemistry. We feel like it’s a really unique series.”
And now for the juicy stuff. Walden and network/studio co-head Gary Newman shed a glimmer of light on the futures of classic FOX series like The X-Files, 24, and yes, even Prison Break. For more, jump after the break. (Click here for more…)
‘Tis the season for awards. On the heels of the Globes wrapping up, the Oscars is raring to go. Today the nominees for the 87th Academy Awards were announced in earnest and they eight films vying for Best Picture are American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash. Alexandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman), Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher), Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), and Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) are competing for Best Director. Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel garnered the most nods with nine apiece. American Sniper and Boyhood followed closely in second with six nods each. Foxcatcher, Interstellar, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash each scored five nominations.
With every award show there are snubs. I could rant about how the sci-fi epic Interstellar only received technical and musical nods, with nothing to show for its superb director Christopher Nolan and actors Matthew McConaughey and Jessica Chastain. But no, I’m here to splay my fury about the fact that The LEGO Movie–which was previously deemed a frontrunner for Best Animated Feature–was NOT nominated for Best Animated Feature! Looking past the nearly $258 million the movie made domestically, The LEGO Movie is a technical marvel with a unique presentation, fun characters and voice cast, and a memorable story that managed to capture the imaginations of all ages. The movie was and continues to be more than popular amongst critics and movie-goers alike. It was defeated at the Globes by How to Train Your Dragon 2, which was a shocker. But the fact that it’s not even in the running here is truly unfathomable. I don’t get it. A snub for the ages. Making the cut are Big Hero 6, The Boxtrolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Song of the Sea, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya. Ever heard of those last two? Neither have I. At least co-director Phil Lord is able to take it in stride; he tweeted, “This is not a tragedy. Congrats to incredible crew and cast of The Lego Movie, who made a classic.” He also attached this image of an Oscar made of LEGOs. It’s true: “Everything Is Awesome” received a nom for Best Original Song, but still, everything is not awesome.
Cool off with me by watching this funny clip from Conan. During the nom announcements this morning, Academy president Cheryl Boone Issacs flubbed Mr. Turner cinematographer Dick Pope’s name calling him “Dick Poop.” Shortly after becoming a trending topic on Twitter, the late night host took it to a whole other level.
The Academy Awards, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, airs February 22 on ABC. Click here to view the full list of nominees.
Here’s a fun trailer that’s been making the rounds: it’s The Lazarus Effect, the latest fright fest from Jason Blum, the producer behind low-budget box office hits Paranormal Activity, The Purge, and Insidious. The logline is simple–“The film follows a group of medical students who discover a way to bring dead patients back to life.” The trailer embedded above tells that story and goes well beyond it. Spoilers abound, but that can only mean there’s so much more to it…right? In any case, Blum is deviating from the norm this time around by signing on well-known actors here including Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass (The League, Togetherness), Donald Glover (Community), and Evan Peters (American Horror Story). Looks creepy and scary and dare I say it again–fun! What do you think?
The Lazarus Effect opens February 27.
At last, the house that built Mario is spreading the (portable) love. After releasing the New Nintendo 3DS XL in Japan in October of last year, Ninty is launching the updated dual-screen portable game machine here in the States next month. The latest version of the 3DS boasts a slew of enhancements; most exciting is the inclusion of not one or two but three new control input mechanisms. The C stick (that small round nub located above the ABXY buttons) allows for intuitive camera control in games that decide to support it. And new ZL and ZR buttons positioned behind and below the top screen add even more functionality for gameplay. Nintendo has also modernized the 3D display; new face-tracking technology makes for a more stable and immersive experience. Elsewhere, an NFC chip is packed inside and with an upcoming software update you’ll be able to push your amiibo collection to Super Smash Bros. 3DS. Last, the camera has been improved and a beefier CPU will have you noticing faster game start-ups and load times.
The New Nintendo 3DS XL hits the shelves February 13 in black and red paint jobs for $199.99. Watch a video reveal after the jump. (Also coming out that day is the 3D remake of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask–score!) [Note: Ninty is only releasing the New XL in the States; the New (regular-sized) 3DS remains an overseas exclusive, for now.]
Mark your calendars: class is in session March 17, for Community season 6, that is. With series creator Dan Harmon back at the helm and a new reign of creative freedom ahead thanks to Yahoo scooping it up after NBC cancelled it last season, Community is primed to premiere its best season yet. Original cast members Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Danny Pudi, Jim Rash, and Ken Jeong are all returning, and they are joined by newbies Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds) and Keith David (The Cape). Yvette Nicole Brown joins Chevy Chase and Donald Glover on the bench this season but you never know–perhaps Harmon will surprise us with special appearances by the dearly departed study group members. Community will be watchable at Yahoo Screen (supported by ads but no subscription required). On the 17th of March two episodes will land, and then the season will unfold with one new episode every Tuesday following the double-dose premiere.
As we approach our wish for #sixseasonsandamovie, does this sixth season mark the beginning of the end for the Greendale Gang? According to Harmon, nope! When asked about the future of the series at the Television Critics Association winter press tour today, he responded like this: “I’m definitely not writing [this season] as if it’s the end. My sixth-grade mentality about it is this show has lived by the sword of its intimate relationship with the fans, and needs to die by that sword. Only when people stop watching would I ever want to stop making the product. I have to continue writing the show as if it’s going to last for 20 seasons.” Be gone, darkest timeline! For today we live in the light!
But still. As long as we get the movie in and solidify that special preordained fate, I am one happy Human Being. Now jump after the break to watch a fun little promo for the upcoming season of Community.
The Walking Dead returns in less than a month and so it’s time to ramp up anticipation for the back half of season five. AMC does it right by pumping out a flashy new poster, a truly epic teaser, and a brief sneak peek at what’s in store next for Rick and the gang. In the poster (see above), the survivors are walking down a dilapidated, deserted street. And what’s that on the side of the road? It’s the map that Abraham scribbled the following note on before departing for Washington: “The new world’s gonna need Rick Grimes.” [Spoiler!] Though Washington ended up being a bust (thanks a lot, Eugene!), perhaps the band of brothers (and sisters) are about to catch some much needed luck and find a new safe haven to fortify and for Rick to lead. A post-credits scene in the 5A finale featured Morgan finding the overrun church and that map inside; perhaps the poster is signaling a long-awaited reunion for Rick and the man who cried clear.
There’s more after the break: a haunting teaser following the survivors in the woods as they take down off-screen walkers, and a look at what’s ahead including commentary from the cast and producers. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple calls the back half of the season “a very interesting structure. There are some very emotional moments, there are some very crazy moment, and there’s a huge change for the situation for these characters.” Star Andrew Lincoln says, “it feels like a new show visually and also story-wise.”
The Walking Dead returns February 8 at 9pm on AMC.
Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Affair, and Transparent came out as the big winners of the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards.
Boyhood, the unique coming-of-age film shot over an 11-year period, came out on top crowned Best Motion Picture Drama. Director Richard Linklater and supporting actress Patricia Arquette took home statues for Boyhood, too. Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel took home only one award but it’s one that counts: Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical. Though they didn’t win the crown, Birdman and The Theory of Everything grabbed two trophies apiece: Birdman star Michael Keaton was named Best Lead Actor and the film also won Best Screenplay. Actor Eddie Redmayne also won the Lead Actor award for his turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything and the film was also recognized for its Original Score.
In TV, Showtime’s breakout freshman series The Affair won Best TV Drama, and its lead actress Ruth Wilson walked away with a globe. Amazon original series Transparent won Best TV Comedy or Musical and its star Jeffrey Tambor was named Best Lead Actor. FX hit Fargo also won twice being crowned Best TV Miniseries or Movie, and Billy Bob Thornton was recognized for his memorable performance in it.
For the full list of winners, including surprise winner Gina Rodriguez of The CW series Jane the Virgin, click here.