Concept Art For An Alternate Reality “Toy Story 3”? Well, Sort Of…

When you hear about that brief period from 2005 to 2006 when Disney and Pixar were getting ready to part ways on less-than-kind terms, its like that month your parents weren’t living together when you were a kid that you’d half-forgotten. But unlike your parents’ brief separation, there was a lot more going on behind the scenes at Disney than new facial hair and a few dates with a younger woman. Believe it or not, Disney Animation was looking to cash in on projects certain Disney/Pixar franchises by producing quick straight-to-dvd sequels. Believe it even more or not, one of these franchises was Toy Story. Toy Story was already 6 years in the past so Disney set their sights on their own quick version of Toy Story 3. Hang on! An alternative Toy Story 3 where I maybe don’t cry my eyes out and hug the cinema seat of the woman in front of me?

Perhaps. The plot was a little less close to home – unless of course you live in East Asia. That’s right, the plan was to follow the gang of living toys as Buzz Lightyear begins to malfunction and is sent by his friends back to the factory that made him for repairs – in Taiwan. The gang learns of a massive recall of Buzz Lightyear toys and sets off for Taiwan to rescue Buzz.

You may not believe it, you may not want to believe it; you may be hugging your Lots-o-huggin Bear to your chest and swearing it isn’t so. Well it is, and now we have the concept art to prove it. Here’s a few choice pieces, courtesy of alternative screenplay writers  Bob Hilgenberg and Rob Muir along with some sketches of other recalled toys Buzz would meet on his holiday abroad from Jim Hill Media. Check them out, courtesy of Slashfilm:

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How do you think the alternative Toy Story 3 would have worked out?

Stunning Sci-Fi Short “The Landing” Ends 2014 On a Strange High

Forget fireworks, forget booze, forget Auld Lang Syne. Get yourself to a computer and ring in the new year with a chilling sci-fi short film. Don’t worry, I’m sure no one will touch the booze before you get back.

From director Josh Tanner we have The Landing, a New Year’s fable of sorts that follows a father and son as they discover a mysterious object on their farmland, along with it’s strange secrets. It’s an excellent piece of film-making for such a broad premise, so check it out, courtesy of Vimeo. Run time is 17 minutes, in case you’ve got anything in the oven:

Australian born Tanner has a strong track record of short films over the last 7 years, with projects like 2010’s Deliberation which follows the disastrous betrayal of a partner and The Accountant & The Clown which…well it’s about an accountant and a clown. The Landing definitely doesn’t do any damage to Tanner’s reputation as a creator of unique visual short stories.

We’ll hopefully be seeing more from Tanner soon, although if his current rate of output continues it may be another year or two before we see another short. Still, there’ll probably be some other films out between now so we’ll have something to do in the interim.

Are you a fan of The Landing?

Trailer for Nancy Spielberg’s Israeli Pilot Doc “Above and Beyond” Is Up and Away!

If you don’t know who Nancy Speilberg is, have a guess. That’s right, she’s Steven Spielberg’s sister, and is a film-maker in her own right. She has worked on a good few documentaries over the last few years, including Elusive Justice and Mimi and Donna.

Inkeeping with her historical bent, THR reports that Spielberg has produced Above and Beyond, a documentary that follows American pilots who came to the aid of Israel in it’s fight for independence. Many of the pilots were Jewish, and the story is made all the more incredible by the fact that these pilots had survived World War II, only to voluntarily fight in this other war three years later. There’s some intriguing footage and interviews in this trailer so have a look:

As a sucker for documentaries, this looks to be a great feature. Spielberg has definitely touched on a little known piece of both Israeli and American military history. The doc is directed by Roberta Grossman, a documentary native herself who has worked on Blessed Is The March and Homeland:Four Portraits of Native Action.

The film will première in New York on January 30th, 2015.

You’re Welcome: Stunning Concept Art for the Never-To-Be “Bioshock” Movie

Hey, wanna see some concept art for the Bioshock movie that never happened? Sure you do!

A lot of us remember how insanely big Bioshock was when Microsoft released it originally. A big, clunking, violent first-person shooter that was steam punk but not too steam punk and horror but not too horror, all set in an anti-theist utopia where you can do more or less anything in the name of scientific progression. Oh, and it’s at the bottom of the ocean. Hey, that sounds like a good idea for a movie right?

Right, and it was on everyone’s minds for a long time. The popularity of the game combined with the uniqueness of the story was gold dust to the studios. One such studio, Universal, but their money where their mouth was and got the ball rolling, bringing on Pirates of the Carribean director Gore Verbinski to helm the project. And that’s about as far as it got. There were problems from the very beginning, because everything that made Bioshock a great game made it near impossible to translate onto the screen. The film screen I mean, not the computer screen.

So the project, for want of a better word, drowned, and we were left with nothing but a tried-but-failed adaptation, which in a way is worse than the idea never coming to light at all. But fortunately there’s now something to show for the project that never came to be. Illustrator Kasra Farahani, who’s worked on Thor and Star Trek Into Darkness, released an online portfolio that includes some unused concept art from the would-be video game adaptation. Take a look, courtesy of Blastr:

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What a lovely trip down memory lane. It’s all very faithful to the game – in fact you could almost mistake these pieces for artwork from the original game as opposed to an adaptation. Also not much can be gleaned about any plot that was going to be established, but it’s interesting to wonder how the storyline would have developed if the project continued. Sorry Bioshock, but at least we’ll always have Xbox.

 

 

The Riddle of Richard Linklater: New Film is a Sequel to Both “Dazed and Confused” and “Boyhood”

There’s two things Richard Linklater does really well: one is making amazing films, the second is his delightful brainteasers. Let’s face it, there’s nothing straightforward or even remotely linear about Linklater’s style of writing or directing and that’s never been a bad thing. But his latest puzzle takes the cake, as he explained how his next project Now That’s What I’m Talking About will be a sequel of sorts to both Dazed and Confused and Boyhood.

The coming-of-age comedy Dazed and Confused is arguably one of Linklater’s most popular films and remains both a cult favourite and a quintessential high-school movie. On the other hand Boyhood is quickly becoming known as the director’s master-work, spanning twelve years and touching on the notions of memory and maturing in a way no other film has before. So how can Linklater’s next project be a sequel to both?

Rory Cochrane, Jason London and Sasha Jenson in "Dazed and Confused"
Rory Cochrane, Jason London and Sasha Jenson in “Dazed and Confused”.

Well, it is and it isn’t. While the film will follow a smaller character from Dazed and Confused, the story will begin where Boyhood left off, with the character leaving for college. Here’s how Linklater himself explains it to Creative Screenwriting:

        You’ve said in the past that your next film, That’s What I’m Talking           About, is a “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused. Do you realize           that because so many people love that movie that you’re playing                 with fire?

        Well, I think the word “spiritual” gets me off the hook. I just shot it                 and wrapped it recently, and it has nothing to do with Dazed and                   Confused other than it would be set four years later, when one of the            younger characters went off to college. It’s a party film. It’s really                    about the beginning of school, not the end of the school year. I guess            personally or autobiographically it’s kind of in that realm, but it’s also          a continuation of Boyhood, believe it or not. I don’t know if one film              can be a sequel to two different movies, but it begins right where                    Boyhood ends with a guy showing up at college and meeting his new            roommates and a girl. It overlaps with the end of Boyhood.

That’s What I’m Talking About will star a bunch of hopeful newbies, including Tyler Hoechlin,Zoey Detuch, Ryan Guzman, Blake Jenner, Will Brittain, and Wyatt Russell. We can expect it some time next year of all goes well, and it will be interesting to see how Linklater follows up both of his most celebrated pieces of work.

Trailer Trash: It’s Hard to Have Faith in New “Little Boy” Trailer

It’s been a while since we had a World War II-era feature that really popped. Angelina Jolie‘s Unbroken premièred earlier this month and was on the right track, but ultimately failed to develop the momentum that was clearly expected of it. Now we have a follow-up with another heart-warming but placid attempt with super-Christian family film Little Boy.  Nowhere near in the league of Unbroken, this meek little tale follows a boy who wants to bring his father back from the war, and discovers his faith has the power to do a lot more. Have a look and see what you think, courtesy of Open Road Films:

There’s something about Kevin James playing a kindly wise sage that to me is equally charming and foreboding. For a film that has a concrete cast, there’s very little to say about the film itself. No doubt families will be willing to sit through the bulk to get to the tear-jerking ending, but it’s hard to see any real draw for kids here. The film stars Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Michael RapaportKevin James and Jakob Salvati, and is directed by Alejandro Monteverde. Considering that the last two films released by Open Road were Nightcrawler and Rosewater, this has the potential to be a slight fall from grace for the studio. But who knows? Kevin James could save the whole thing. Stranger things have happened.

Are you rooting for Little Boy?

 

Pixar’s New Year Gift Basket: Fresh Artwork and Images for “Inside Out” and “The Good Dinosaur”

The Pixar publicity train just keeps on chugging even into the New Year period when things tend to slow down everywhere else…especially with real trains.  In anticipation of two hot projects the studio has released respectively a  new image from Inside Out and some more concept art for The Good Dinosaur.

As we know, Inside Out is set for a June 19th, 2015 release and explores the adventures of emotions Fear (Bill Hader), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Anger (Lewis Black) as they live in the the consciousness of an 11-year-old girl. We already have character posters, a teaser and a full-length trailer that plays out a good dose of footage from the film itself. Now to add to the mix is a still from the feature, showing the emotions watching what looks to be a memory. The image is inkeeping with the bubbly sleekness of the trailer and isn’t so much a big reveal as it is a warm reminder of things to come. Check out the image below, courtesy of Slashfilm:

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And behind door number two we have some concept art for The Good DinosaurIt’s no secret that the project has had a few bumps in the road with the changing of hands from Up director Bob Peterson to The Incredibles animator Peter Sohn. We won’t be seeing this project in theatres until next November 25th, 2015, so all we’ve had so far is similar artwork. But from what we’ve seen, the visuals and in particular the landscapes are going to be stunning. The cast includes Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Greer, John Lithgow, Frances McDormand and Bill Hader. Have a look and see what you think, courtesy of FirstShowing:

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Get a better look with a close-up here!

Hopefully some finished shots or maybe even a trailer will be making their way to us very soon, but in the meantime we have Inside Out to look forward to.

Which Pixar project are most psyched for?

Get Ready to Weep With Joy…Awesome “Jurassic Galaxy” Artwork

 

A bold, cocky space-adventurer born on earth but never to return, roaming the uncharted wastelands of the galaxy on his trusty raptor steed. One fateful day he discovers a sinister red lightsaber, and before he knows it the wrath of the terminator army is bearing down on him. He knows how to fight, he knows to shoot, he knows how to win. The only thing he can’t do is fall in love.

A deliciously rich gateau of sci-fi storytelling I’m sure you’ll agree, and what is certain to be my first major screenplay. The only problem is that I didn’t come up with the idea entirely on my own. I had help from artist Tim Doyle, who is the real focus of this post. Doyle recently posted a mash-up of 2014’s great action sci-fi moments, including Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Terminator Genysis. The result? Jurassic Galaxy! Check it out, straight from Doyle’s Twitter:

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Just a sheer reality-bending art orgasm isn’t it? Kudos to Doyle for sharing it, along with a humble caption “Is this a dumb thing I drew…or the DUMBEST THING I’ve EVER DRAWN?”. This could almost be a long forgotten B-Movie of the 50’s or a Weird Tales pulp cover. All I need to do is figure out how to make into wallpaper.

What’s your favourite part, apart from all of it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vin Diesel Spreads Some More Marvel Rumours: “Are You Inhuman?”

If there’s one actor in Hollywood that doesn’t need a publicist to generate hype it’s Vin Diesel. The Fast and Furious  star is more than capable of keeping himself in the public eye and part of many a movie-goer conversation. Building on the unprecedented popularity of his performance as Groot in Marvel’s dark horse Guardians of the Galaxy, Diesel teased in August that he may have something to do with another inbound Marvel project, The Inhumans, scheduled for a 2018 release. Much like the Guardians, the Inhumans are another on-the-fringe team that have connections to the alien race introduced in Guardians, the Kree. Now, Diesel is once again stirring the pot and hinting at his involvement with the race of super-humans that spend some of their time living on the moon…you heard me. Here’s the image that Diesel posted on Facebook that everyone’s talking about:

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There was no comment with this picture, but the caption says it all really. Whether or not what the image says is true is another story. Diesel also has “Inhumans” written on his fashionable shirt, if that helps. To be honest, this image has the feel of a sports clothing range an energy drink billboard with a celebrity endorsement. If it’s really Diesel’s way of saying “Hey, I’ll be in another Marvel movie”, it would a funny way of going about it. But hey, Diesel’s a funny guy…please don’t tell him I said that, he is quite terrifying.

If Diesel is in The Inhumans, there will certainly be a better chance of him having a live-action role as opposed to a voice-over as he did for Groot. There’s also a lot of members of the group that he could play – Black Bolt, Triton, Gorgon. Do these all sound like nerd colognes?

Anyway, this is one of those pieces of news that’s more “news” than news, but it’s exciting nonetheless and gets Inhumans involved in a conversation that’s been very Avengers and Dr Strange heavy recently.

 

Salma Hayek Brings the Pain in New “Everly” Trailer

It’s safe to say that we’ve had a decent amount of momentum recently when it comes to straight-action films. And I’m not talking about The Expendables and the high school reunion of all the eighties greats. I’m talkin’ John Wick, I’m talkin’ Kingsman, and now I’m hopefully talking Everly. The gun-blazing ass-kicking mantle has been handed down to Salma Hayek. She plays the titular Everly, an escort-turned police informant who has the full wrath of her former gangster boss bearing down on her and her family. Of course, it would be rude if she didn’t respond in kind. So here’s the trailer to peruse at your leisure, courtesy of the video elves at Youtube:

Like John Wick and Kingsman, Everly looks to have the fortitude of a classic action flick with a fresh pair of eyes. What also makes this an exciting project is the inclusion of Hayek, who could make a very decent living working inside her comfort zone. But she’s taking a long stride out of the box and becoming her very own Desperado.

The film is directed by Joe Lynch and also stars Hiroyuki Watanabe as Hayek’s former employer. Keep an eye out for this one later in 2015.

Would you cross Everly?