Hollywood Remakes

Hollywood Remakes

New Generation of Superheroes

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The superhero franchises are taking over Hollywood in the next two years, many of which are remakes. In the next few years, we will be witness to a new generation of the familiar superhero movies.

Hollywood has 9 big-budget superhero flicks in the works: X-Men: First Class, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, Green Lantern, The Wolverine, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and Superman.

The 3 most famous superheroes, Spider-Man, Batman and Superman, each have new movies coming out by the end of 2012.

In honor of this, here’s 3 things you need to know about each of the upcoming films:

Spider-Man:

  • The film’s name, The Amazing Spider-Man, was released on Feb. 14 (here’s hoping it can live up to its name). It has a scheduled release date of July 2012.
  • Who’s Who: As previously reported, 500 Day’s of Summer’s Marc Webb will direct and Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) will play Spider-Man/ Peter Parker. Emma Stone (Easy A) will play Parker’s love interest, Gwen Stacy. Other notable cast members include Sally Field and Martin Sheen as Parker’s Aunt May and Uncle Ben, Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill) as Dr. Curt Connors and his alter-ego, The Lizard, and C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders) as Ray Cooper, a name unfamiliar in the Spider-Man lexicon.
  • This reboot will bring Peter Parker back to high school when he first begins to develop his abilities. There is no official word on how many films will be in the series, but rumor has it that there will be a trilogy.

Batman:

  • Director Christopher Nolan recently announced the film will be called The Dark Knight Rises. The movie will begin filming in April.
  • Who’s Who: Nolan will resume his role as director. As will Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, Michael Caine as Alfred, and Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon. However, Nolan is bringing on a slew of new characters, several of whom starred in his summer film, Inception. Anne Hathaway will play Selina Kyle (Catwoman in the comics), Tom Hardy (Inception) will play Bane, Best Actress winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose, Inception) will play Talia al Ghul, and Joesph Gordon- Levitt (Inception)  will play Roman Sionis.
  • Get your fill of Bale’s vigilante batman because this is the last film in Nolan’s trilogy.

Superman:

  • Director Zach Snyder of 300 and Watchmen film will direct the film. Christophe Nolan will produce.
  • Who’s Who: Matthew Goode, Armie Hammer, Matthew Bomer, Joe Manganiello, and Robin O’Donoghue were all on the short list to play the man of steel. However, Brit Henry Cavill (The Tudors, The Count of Monte Cristo) beat out his competitors and won the role of Superman/ Clark Kent.
  • The film will be called Superman: Man of Steel. It is slated for Christmas 2012, but there is not official release date yet. Rumor has it that the villains will be Superman’s arch-nemesis Lex Luthor, as well as Braniac.

The Departed: A remake to admire

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Hong Kong directors Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s 2002 film International Affairs is revered in many film circles as one of the best crime dramas of all time. The film tells the story of an undercover cop who works his way into the underground mob, The Triads, and a police officer who is secretly working for the gang. The film starred big Hong Kong names Andy Lau and Tony Leung.

The film was beautifully contsructed and intimately acted. It was a huge hit in Hong Kong and has a cult-following in the United States.

However, not many people know that Martin Scorsese’s 2006 hit The Departed was a remake of International Affairs. There are times when remakes do a complete disservice to the original, but The Departed is certainly not one of them. Filmmakers who plan to undertake remakes should take a note out of Scorsese and screenwriter William Monahan’s book.

Scorsese’s vision of International Affairs and made The Departed into a wonderful, gritty crime drama that transported viewers into the complicated lives of Boston’s underground mob and corrupt police force.

Five things that make The Departed a great remake

1. The cast: It’s hard to beat a cast that features names such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, and Mark Whalberg. The actors had their work cut out for them when remaking the beautifully acted International Affairs, but they took their roles and made them their own . The men took the Boston accent, allegedly one of the most difficult accents to imitate, and managed to sound like naturals (it helps that Damon and Whalberg are natives to South Boston).

2. Screenwriter William Monahan claims not to have watched International Affairs while writing the script for The Departed. Many remakes, such as Gus Van Sant’s shot-for-shot remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho, do not strive for that level of originality.

3. The Irish neighborhood of Dorchester, Massachusetts infuses the film with gritty culture and realism. Boston Red Sox paraphenilia pops up every few minutes, landmarks like the Massachusetts State House make appearances and slang, like “staties” (a nickname for the Massachusetts State Police), is incorporated into the film’s vocabulary. This rich, local setting is almost like a character itself.

4. The film opened to rave reviews and was named the best film of the year by esteemed publications such as Rolling Stone, The AV Club and Roger Ebert.

5.  After directing classics like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas,  Scorsese finally scored his long-awaited Best Director Academy Award with The Departed. Oh, and it won an Oscar for Best Picture.

Top five remakes in the works

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Today’s movie culture is facing a revolution of sorts. Gone are the days of original content popping of left and right. Now, we have remakes of past films which we can look forward to.

In the past week alone, Hollywood has unveiled plans to remake the 1994 mini-series adaption of Steven King’s post-apocalyptic novel The Stand. In casting news, British Henry Cavill won the role of the Man of Steel in  Zach Snyder’s remake of the classic franchise.

However, Hollywood’s redirection to remakes isn’t necessarily a bad thing. From the exciting to the strange yet enticing, (here’s looking at you, Jay-Z) the movie industry has an impressive slate of remakes in the works.

The following films range from a web-slinging superhero to a 3D adaptation of a beloved novel. Each feature some of Hollywood’s most talented actors and directors, as well as promising new visions on familiar film territory.

Five Hollywood remakes to look out for:

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo: Director David Fincher’s adaptation of the best-selling novel stars Daniel Craig as journalist Mikael Blomkvist and Rooney Mara (The Social Network) as heroine Lisbeth Slander. Under Fincher’s direction, the film is sure to be in league with Swedish director Niel Arden Oplev’s version. The film will be released Dec. 21, 2011.
  • My Fair Lady: Negotiations for a director are still in process for the 1964 Audrey Hepburn classic, but with Brit Carey Mulligan (An Education, Wall Street:Money Never Sleeps) attached as star Eliza Doolittle and Emma Thomson on board as a producer and script writer, things are looking up.
  • Arthur: Russel Brand (Get Him to the Greek) stars as Arthur Bach, the drunken lethario who loses his inheritance after falling for a women his family doesn’t approve of in the remake of the 1981 comedy. Helen Mirren costars as Arthur’s former butler, now nanny, Hobson and Jennifer Garner will play his love interest. The film will be released on April 8, 2011.
  • The Great Gatsby: Director Baz Luhrmann’s remake of the 1974 film starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow is still in development. However, Leonardo DiCaprio is attached as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy and Tobey Maguire as Nick. It was recently announced that the film will be filmed in 3D in Alaska.
  • Spider-Man: The still untitled 2012 Spider-Man reboot stars another Brit, Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) as the titular character. The remake will allegedly focus on Spidey’s high school years. Director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) will bring a fresh outlook to the franchise.
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