Channing Tatum Has Closed His ‘Gambit’ Deal

Hot off the heals of our latest podcast about who should play Gambit after we thought that he might not play the role, THR is now reporting that the two have come to a deal for Tatum to star as the title character’s first solo film. After hearing last week that contract negotiations had hit a rough spot between FOX and Channing Tatum for Gambit, we actually thought for a moment that he might not play the character.

Tatum has been a very vocal proponent of getting the film made since he was first attached to play Gambit back in 2014. He even went as far as to make a surprise appearance at the FOX panel this year, all but confirming that Tatum had locked a deal with the studio to play Gambit. Tatum had gone as far as doing initial preparations to play the character in the Rupert Wyatt-directed film, which is currently in pre-production.

This deal is crucial for the future of the X-Men franchise, as FOX studio heads are hoping that the Gambit standalone film will set the character up to take over for Hugh Jackman after his last turn as Wolverine in that character’s fnal standalone film. If the film is successful, Gambit would be an “anchor” character that would appear in his own films, along with other X-Men films.

After speculation broke that the contract scuffle came from an unexpectedly inflated budget of $154 million, something that seems surprising given Hollywood’s pertinence for big-budget superhero films. With Gambit expected to begin filming in Louisiana this coming October, one of the big “points of contention” for Tatum was exactly how big of a role he would play in the larger universe. The deciding factor apparently was the backend points that Tatum would receive out of the deal.


While I surely think that a Tatum-led Gambit film could shepherd in a new era of possibilities for the X-Men franchise, it could also completely backfire in Fox’s face. What happened with Hugh Jackman and the role of Wolverine was something that was truly special, akin to re-capturing lightning in a bottle. Tatum is certainly no stranger to franchise non-starters, having starred in the failed G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and more recently in the atrocious Jupiter Ascending. Seeing as how this is something that could potentially last a decade or longer, one can understand the hesitance to sign onto films that haven’t even been written yet.

I honestly think that Tatum will do fine in the role. Do I think that there are better choices for the character – yes. But sometimes we have to settle for what we have instead of complaining about what we don’t. What do you think? Are you excited to see Tatum as Gambit? Or do you think that he is miscast? Sound off in the comments below!

Gambit is slated to be released on October 7, 2016.


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Spider-Man Reboot WON’T Be An Origin Story

The idea of yet another Spider-Man Reboot has been something that has left a bad taste in the mouth of many people since the new deal between Marvel & SonySpider-Man-Marvel to share the character simultaneously blew many fans minds. With the announcement of Jon Watts and Tom Holland as director and star, people have been pondering what the future of spider-man holds in store. It’s definitely a good sign that Marvel will get their hands on the newest incarnation of the superhero before Sony does this time around with Captain America: Civil War, but people weren’t quite sure what to expect with the web slinger’s next standalone film. One thing is for sure: people-including myself-are sick of continuous retellings of the same origin story.

Now that Vacation writers/directors John Frances Daily & Jonathan Goldstein have begun formulating story ideas about the Spider-Man reboot they will be writing, they have spoken out on The Andy Greenwald Podcast about the direction the franchise will take. Goldstein said this about the origin of the character:

“I think that everybody feels like you know he got bit by a spider and you know Uncle Ben died, and we probably don’t need to revisit that.”

Good news, right? Well, Goldstein elaborated further on the status of development and direction that the new Spider-Man reboot is going to take:

“We have a meeting set up at the end of the week just to go over the logistics and to look at his suit, which will be fun. But we’re so pumped about it and Marvel seems to be doing everything right; we’re both such huge fans of the stuff they’re putting out. I think it’ll be a fun departure from the Peter Parker you’ve seen, where now he is truly a kid and I think the stakes are increased in that his struggle through high school is very real and isn’t just a sort of side note; it matters now.”


When speaking about the casting of Holland, who is the youngest actor to play the character at the age of 18, Goldstein elaborated that having a young actor play the character is central to their approach:

“We want to explore the fact that just because you get superpowers doesn’t make you into a really sophisticated, successful adult. He’s still a kid and he’s clumsy and he’s a geek and he’s a bit of an outcast, and in many ways the superpowers amplify that and exacerbate his trying to fit in.”


Daily then elaborated on this thought by saying:

“He has one more secret that he has to sort of keep from the world, one more burden that he’s dealing with above all the other crap that he’s dealing with at school. So it’s gonna be fun, and we can relate to that Peter Parker character—we’re geeky guys that weren’t popular in school ourselves.”

I like the idea of having fresh approach to the material, and it’s also smart for the studio to hire writers with a comedic background, but therein lies the problem. Much like the hiring of Shane Black for Iron Man 3, I just don’t hope that the tone of the film doesn’t become overshadowed by more comedic elements of the character.

Marvel-Spider-Man cartoon image

What are YOUR thoughts on the direction of the Spider-Man Reboot? Sound off in the comments!

The Spider-Man Reboot comes out July 28, 2017.

You can watch the full podcast below, and you can hear Joel and I talk about the cinematic future of the Spider-Man HERE and HERE.

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Johnny Depp is in Too Deep in the Latest Trailer for Black Mass

BlackMass_Poster(PCM) The third official trailer for Black Mass debuted today, revealing new footage of Johnny Depp in-action and nearly unrecognizable as James “Whitey” Bulger, one of America’s most notorious criminals.

Yelawolf’s pounding “Till It’s Gone” provides the soundtrack to the third trailer for Black Mass, where we get to see Johnny Depp completely embody “Whitey” Bulger with his balding hair, icy blue eyes, and cold, cold demeanor as he navigates the Boston organized crime scene, rising to the top as a kingpin and the FBI’s second Most Wanted Man behind Osama bin Laden. Watch the new trailer below!

In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) persuades Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) to collaborate with the FBI and eliminate a common enemy: the Italian mob. The drama tells the true story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Whitey to evade law enforcement, consolidate power, and become one of the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in Boston history.

Directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace) from the screenplay by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth (Edge of Tomorrow), Black Mass is based on the book, Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob written by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill.

Starring alongside Johnny Depp are Adam Scott, Sienna Miller, Kevin Bacon, Juno Temple, Joel Edgerton, Rory Cochrane, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Dakota Johnson, and Corey Stoll.

Black Mass opens in theaters nationwide starting September 18, 2015. Visit for more info!

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Top 5 Most Effective Film Scores

The art of filmmaking involves many different components. Motion pictures and cinematography is only one ingredient in which to emotionally immerse the viewer in its unique universe. Sound is arguably the most crucial. Movies not withstanding, music has proved time and time again that it can tell its own narrative. When integrated into a motion picture, sound and music appreciably assists in helping to give the narrative its identity. From The Exorcist to Superman, film scores have become something iconic on their own. Today, we are not going to look at necessarily the best film scores, but ones that have been the most effective in evoking the appropriate emotions they desired.

1. Halloween – made on a budget of around $300,000, the score for Halloween has become one of the most sinister sounding and famous scores in the horror genre. Created by director John Carpenter, the movie was first presented to an executive working at 20th Century Fox. When told that Halloween wasn’t anywhere near scary, Carpenter was determined to come up with an effective score. Using synthesizers, he managed to create something that would have probably otherwise sounded repetitive with any other instrument, but the result was music that represented the mysterious but curious evil of the film’s main villain. Halloween soon became a franchise and the score lived on in different forms for the sequels, designed by different composers.

2. Rocky – Undoubtedly the most famous boxing movie of all time, Rocky was Sylvester Stallone’s major breakthrough which spawned five sequels and a spinoff, which is to be released late in 2015. In the original, the cinematography depressingly depicts the slums of Philadelphia and the every day mundane routine of Rocky’s life, the score often sounding tender but downbeat. However, the mood changes in the film’s second half when Rocky gets his shot at the sport’s most richest prize. The famous ‘Gonna Fly Now’ theme during the training montage has since been used in many forms of references to the film and even reached the number 1 spot in Billboard magazine seven months after Rocky’s US release. It is nothing short of the ultimate movie sport score!

3. Star Wars – usually one not to use the word “epic” where possible, it is about the only word to describe the score for Star Wars. Composed using the London Symphony Orchestra with  original ideas coming from composer John Williams, the score for Star Wars has had several re-releases throughout the years since the film’s theatrical debut on 25th May, 1977. The opening crawl is undoubtedly the most well known of all of its components, designed to tell of the forthcoming action, but also to represent the gargantuan setting of the universe.

4. The Terminator – another low budget project, The Terminator tells the story of a future when machines rule the world, but cunningly links those events to the current era in which we live. The thunderous beats of the main theme assist the gritty cinematography in a most threatening manner. The final shot of Sarah Connor driving off under heavy gray clouds with the knowledge that a storm was heading her way felt ominous and somewhat depressing. But it also conveyed the message that it was also going to be a conflict that she and the world had a fighting chance against as the theme kicked in. Its tone was decidedly lighter  to fit the more action orientated sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and its effect unfortunately became lost in the next three installments.

5. Requiem for a Dream This heavily distressing feature depicts the lives of several different characters. But their lives revolve around one priority. Drugs. Apart from the main theme which heavily foreshadows nothing but downfall, the score surprisingly contains many different moods and rhythms to represent every moment. Sequences that are seemingly, and momentarily, upbeat will still be accompanied by music that declares that the characters’ happiness will have major repercussions in the near future due to the choices they make. By the final act, the pieces turn into something of an unstoppable audio battering ram, but director Darren Aronofsky also cleverly used moments of silence in between to convey the isolation and ramifications. If you ever want to know how a score can feel like a sonic gut punch then you don’t want to miss out on the experience watching this two hour public service announcement.

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ANEW And Medavoy Pact For English Language Adaptation Of 6000

image002(PCM) Global entertainment studio All Nippon Entertainment Works (ANEW) is partnering with Mike Medavoy to develop and produce the feature film, 6000.

This English-language film will be based on the acclaimed Japanese horror/thriller Manga series, “6000: Rokusen,” from Gentosha Comics, which is partnering on the project.

This is the first collaboration between ANEW, the international producer with a mandate to build a cultural bridge between Japan’s leading creative companies and prominent Hollywood filmmakers, such as Mike Medavoy, who is behind such hits as Black Swan, Shutter Island and soon to be released The 33. The ambitious project continues ANEW’s efforts to bring fresh and crowd-pleasing IP to the global marketplace. ANEW’s Vice President of Development Tara Billik, is overseeing the project for the company. Edward McGurn and Ben Anderson are producing along with Medavoy.

6000 is set in a deep sea research facility 6,000 meters below the ocean’s surface. A mysterious disaster three years earlier killed the crew and shuttered the station. Now, when a new team is sent down to get the operation up and running again, tension builds as they must struggle against the claustrophobic environment, their own deteriorating minds, and an unleashed danger lurking in the depths.

“Gentosha Comics has, in 15 years that it’s been in business, established itself as the publisher of compelling manga entertainment, as evidenced by 6000, a project that really lends itself to being adapted for the international market,” ANEW’s Senior Vice President of Development, Annmarie Bailey said.

“The expertise and the breadth of knowledge of Mike Medavoy and his team make them a clear match for this intensely mind-bending material, and we look forward to an ongoing partnership with them,” ANEW’s Tara Billik added.

“We were immediately drawn to the tension of 6000, and are looking forward to bringing this psychological thriller to the international movie audience,” Mike Medavoy said. “We appreciate the efforts ANEW made in securing the rights to the original property and then working with us to develop it further.”

“I grew up watching Hollywood Films, which inspired me to become a comic author. So for me, 6000 is a homage to the American Movie culture, and also a horror story for anyone, like me, who struggles through hopeless situations,” the comic book’s author Nokuto Koike said. “I’m very excited to see how these top U.S. filmmakers take my original story and use it to create a film that appeals to an international audience.”

In addition to 6000, ANEW is actively developing a robust slate of feature projects based on original Japanese IP. The company is developing two titles with Chris and Paul Weitz’s Depth of Field: Ghost Train, and Birthright, as well as Soul Reviver, in association with Fields Corp. and filmmaker partners Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz of Bedford Falls Prods., and a live action remake of Toei Animation’s robot anime Gaiking, with producer Gale Ann Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment, Inc.

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Hungry, Thirsty, and Trapped 200 Stories Beneath the Earth: The First Trailer for The 33

The33_poster(PCM) Alcon Entertainment and Phoenix Pictures released the first trailer for The 33, director Patricia Riggen’s drama based on the incredible true story of the 33 mine workers who were trapped 200 stories below the ground for more than two months in 2010 after an explosion in their Chilean mine cut them off from the outside world.

Relying on the performances of Antonia Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, and the film’s other leads to engage audiences in the exhaustively-covered and globally-publicized accident, the first trailer for The 33 captures the drama, suspense, and international fervor that took over the world in the 69 days those 33 miners were trapped.

Starring Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Academy Award winner Juliette Binoche (The English Patient), James Brolin, and Lou Diamond Phillips, Bob Gunton, and Gabriel Byrne, The 33 is story of resilience, personal transformation and triumph of the human spirit, the film takes us to the Earth’s darkest depths, revealing the psyches of the men trapped in the mine, and depicting the courage of both the miners and their families who refused to give up.

In 2010, the eyes of the world turned to Chile, where 33 miners had been buried alive by the catastrophic explosion and collapse of a 100-year-old gold and copper mine. Over the next 69 days, an international team worked night and day in a desperate attempt to rescue the trapped men as their families and friends, as well as millions of people globally, waited and watched anxiously for any sign of hope. But 200 stories beneath the surface, in the suffocating heat and with tensions rising, provisions—and time—were quickly running out.

Based on the gripping true story of survival—and filmed with the cooperation of the miners, their families and their rescuers—The 33 reveals the never-before-seen actual events that unfolded, above and below ground, which became nothing less than a worldwide phenomenon.

Patricia Riggen directed The 33 from a screenplay by Mikko Alanne, Oscar nominee Craig Borten (Dallas Buyers Club) and Michael Thomas, based on the screen story by Jose Rivera and the book Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar. The film was produced by Oscar nominee Mike Medavoy (Black Swan), Robert Katz and Edward McGurn.

The 33 is slated to open on November 13, 2015 in theaters nationwide.

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