Posts with «movies» label

Bandai Namco is reportedly making a live-action Pac-Man movie

Bandai Namco is developing a live-action Pac-Man film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Japanese publisher has reportedly tapped Wayfarer Studios, best known for its work on 2019’s Five Feet Apart, to produce the project. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film was pitched by Sonic the Hedgehog producer Chuck Williams.

The movie does not have a release date yet and Bandai Namco could decide not to move forward with the project. That said, the involvement of Williams says a lot about the company’s aspirations. In 2020, Sonic the Hedgehogbroke the record for a US video game movie debut after earning $57 million at the domestic box office during its opening weekend. Despite the pandemic, the film went on to earn $319 million. Two years later, Sonic 2 beat the previous high watermark set by its predecessor with a $71 million US debut. Clearly, Bandai Namco wants a similar outcome. Here’s hoping Pac-Man doesn’t have to go through an ugly CGI phase to get there.

Netflix to pay $42 million in dispute over screenwriter compensation

Netflix will have to shell out a hefty sum in a fight over screenwriter pay. As Deadlinereports, the Writers Guild of America has won an arbitration ruling that will have Netflix pay 216 theatrical movie writers an extra $42 million in unpaid residuals. The WGA is also seeking another $13.5 million in interest for late payment.

The WGA accused Netflix of "self-dealing" that helped it skimp on writer pay. Residuals for theatrical releases are supposed to be paid on revenues earned in a given market, according to the guild, and licenses like Netflix's (where it's both the producer and distributor) demand fees based on more conventional relationships — a Sony movie licensed to Netflix, for example. Netflix, however, reportedly negotiated deals with the Directors Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) that let it pay residuals on its own movies for "significantly less" than the cost of the film.

The win was helped by an earlier victory over the Sandra Bullock movie Bird Box, the WGA claimed. An arbitrator found that Netflix significantly underpaid a screenwriter using a formula like that from the most recent dispute. The officiator told Netflix to pay the writer $1.2 million in residuals and interest.

We've asked Netflix for comment. The WGA wasn't shy about its criticism, however. It characterized Netflix as one of the "worst violators" of the guild's basic agreements for residuals, and saw the arbitration as a pushback against media companies trying to "depress" pay through streaming services. Don't be surprised if there are more battles like this across the industry.

‘GoldenEye 007’ fans are creating a full game mod based on ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’

There's a mod in the works for Nintendo 64 classic GoldenEye 007 that turns another James Bond film into a full game. Fans are building a playable version of The Spy Who Loved Me, Roger Moore's third, and some would argue best, Bond movie.

As spotted by EuroGamer, YouTuber Graslu00 posted a playthrough video showing 11 levels of The Spy Who Loved Me 64. The mod depicts the key events and locations of the film, taking Bond from the Alps to the pyramids of Egypt and a supertanker in the Atlantic Ocean. It includes Moore's likeness, as well as characters such as Anya Amasova (aka Agent XXX) and villain Karl Stromberg. It's possible to run the mod on an emulator in 4K at 60 frames per second, though you can also play it on an N64 console.

It's a work in progress, as Graslu00 notes. The build of The Spy Who Loved Me 64 that's available on N64 Vault is a demo of the first three levels with a peek at a planned four-player multiplayer mode. It looks like there's quite a way for the fans working on the game to go, though. The stage select screen shows 20 levels including, curiously, Bond's childhood home of Skyfall — that seems to be one of the multiplayer maps.

Meanwhile, there's an official James Bond title in the works. It emerged in late 2020 that Hitman studio IO Interactive is developing a game that delves into the superspy's origins. It's expected to be the first official Bond game since 2012's 007 Legends.

Keanu Reeves to star in Hulu's adaptation of 'Devil in the White City'

Hulu has ordered a limited series adaptation of Devil in the White City, which will star Keanu Reeves and be executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. The streamer announced the news today at the Television Critics Association’s summer tour. Based on the book of the same name by Erik Larson about the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, the series will be the first time the work is adapted for the screen after more than a decade’s worth of deals and bidding by numerous studios. Todd Field (In the Bedroom,Little Children) is set to direct the series. Deadlinereported that the eight-episode series is aiming for a 2024 release.

As The Hollywood Reporternotes, DiCaprio first optioned the rights to the book in 2010, and was set to star in a feature film adaptation that would be directed by Scorcese. Now, both men will executive produce the limited series, which will be a co-production of Paramount Television Studios and Disney’s ABC Signature.

Disney signed a deal with Comcast where it will buy its 33 percent stake in Hulu in 2024 — granting it full operational control of the streamer. But as CNBC notes, the deal was signed before the launch of Disney+, and there’s current confusion over what role another streaming service will play in the vast Disney empire. Hulu also houses a number of critically-acclaimed series, including Dopesick, The Dropout and The Handmaid’s Tale. With Devil in the White City, it seems Disney is attempting to position Hulu within the crowded streaming landscape as an adult-oriented platform for prestige TV.

Netflix's 'The Gray Man' is getting a sequel and a spin-off

It's only been a few days since Netflix started streaming The Gray Man, its most expensive film to date, but the company has already announced plans to turn it into a major franchise. A sequel is in the works with star Ryan Gosling and directors Joe and Anthony Russo returning. Netflix didn't say when the follow-up is expected to arrive.

A spin-off from Zombieland and Deadpool screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese is in development too. Netflix says that movie will explore a different aspect of The Gray Man universe, but it's keeping quiet on the details for now.

While critics by and large had a lukewarm reaction to The Gray Man, the film appears to be a hit with viewers. It has a 91 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. It debuted as the number one movie on Netflix in 92 countries when it was released last Friday. Netflix hasn't revealed more specific viewership data as yet.

Whether that apparent success translates into helping Netflix retain subscribers and attract new ones remains to be seen. The company lost almost a million subscribers last quarter, though the attrition wasn't as bad as Netflix feared.

Netflix spent a reported $200 million to make The Gray Man. So, along with moves the company is making elsewhere, it's not a huge shock that Netflix is turning it into a franchise. Sequels to other Netflix blockbusters are in the pipeline, including follow-ups to Extraction and Army of the Dead. Netflix also snapped up the sequels to the terrific murder mystery film Knives Out.

In case it's not clear, Netflix is very eager to build beloved franchises of its own. "We want to have our version of Star Wars or our version of Harry Potter, and we're working very hard to build that,” the company's vice president of original series Matthew Thunell told Reuters last week.

Netflix does have a few hit franchises already. A Stranger Things spin-off series and stage play are in development. The company has made a Korean version of La Casa de Papel and is working on a spin-off. It's expanding Squid Game, Bridgerton and The Witcher beyond the core shows as well.

'Dungeons & Dragons' movie trailer looks like a loud, dumb and hopefully fun time

San Diego Comic-Con 2022 kicked off with a trailer for the movie Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, and it... actually looks promising? The upcoming film has an all-star cast with Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page and Hugh Grant, and blends action, fantasy, comedy and some of D&D's most iconic monsters. 

"A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers undertake an epic heist to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people," the description reads. "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves brings the rich world and playful spirit of the legendary roleplaying game to the big screen in a hilarious and action-packed adventure."

The trailer delivers the dragons you'd expect, including possibly an acid-breathing Ancient Black Dragon and a Red Dragon. We also see a Mimic disguised as a treasure chest, a Displacer Beast, a Gelatinous Cube and an Owlbear — a beast that goes back to the original D&D game. As for realms and spells, there's what looks like the Underdark, a Heat Metal spell, Dimension Door spell and others. 

The film is being produced and distributed by Paramount and Hasbro, which controls the rights of the game and recently acquired the popular digital game-playing toolset D&D Beyond. Hasbro is also working on other film and TV adaptations for its toys including Transformers and My Little Pony. 

Not all Netflix shows will be streamable on the ad-supported tier

When Netflix's cheaper ad-supported tier launches next year, subscribers may find themselves unable to access some of the service's titles available on its regular plan. As Deadline notes, Netflix co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos has admitted during the company's most recent earnings call that the upcoming subscription option will not include all of its licensed content at launch. It will be missing shows and movies from both US and international studios and distributors, unless the company can successfully (and quickly) convince them to change the deal they originally agreed to. 

Netflix is in talks with studios to amend their deals and be able to make their shows available for streaming alongside ads. Based on a previous Wall Street Journal report, Netflix is renegotiating its deals with Warner Bros. (the studio behind You), Universal (the producer of Russian Doll) and Sony Pictures Television (producer of Cobra Kai). The service will reportedly have to renegotiate the terms for some of the older shows it carries, as well, including Breaking Bad

Sarandos said during the earnings call:

"Today, the vast majority of what people watch on Netflix, we can include in the ad-supported. There’s some things that don’t and we’re in conversations with the studios on, but if we launched the product today, members in the ad-tier would have a great experience. We will clear some additional content but certainly not all of it but don’t think it’s a material holdback for the business."

In the same call, Netflix also admitted that it lost nearly 1 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2022. It still turned a $1.44 billion net profit and expects to add a net 1 million subscribers in the next quarter, but it's hoping that some of the measures it's taking will help it grow its userbase yet again. The ad-supporter tier it's launching with Microsoft early next year could help Netflix grow in markets where there's strong ad spending. 

Pixar's 'Lightyear' will hit Disney+ on August 3rd

Lightyear didn't hit the box office heights Disney hoped for, despite it being the first Pixar movie to debut exclusively in theaters in over two years. You won't have to wait too much longer to stream the movie at home, though. It's coming to Disney+ on August 3rd, 47 days after it landed in theaters.

While it's technically a Toy Story spinoff, it has a meta element to it. The action figure in the Toy Story movies is supposedly based on Lightyear, an in-universe film characters like Andy seemingly watched (making this a quasi-prequel). This time around, Buzz is in human form and is voiced by Chris Evans. He's an astronaut who, along with his crew and commander, gets stuck on a strange planet and needs to find a way home. The cast also includes Keke Palmer, Peter Sohn, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules, James Brolin and Uzo Aduba.

Get ready to blast off with Disney and Pixar’s #Lightyear streaming August 3 only on @DisneyPlus. 🚀💫

— Pixar (@Pixar) July 19, 2022

Nintendo is buying an animation studio to help create its own 'visual content'

Nintendo has acquired the Japanese CG production company Dynamo Pictures and plans to rebrand it as "Nintendo Pictures," the company announced. Its aim with the new subsidiary is to develop visual content using Nintendo IP and focus on "the planning and production of visual content including CG animation." Dynamo worked with Nintendo before on the Metroid: Other M game also has credits on anime TV series like Evangelion: 2.0

Nintendo is gearing up for its Super Mario Bros. movie starring Chris Pratt, which was recently delayed to April 2023. The live adaptation of Detective Pikachu based on the Pokémon franchise was successful enough that a sequel is in the works, but the last major cinema release was way back in 1993 with Super Mario Bros. starring Bob Hoskins. 

Movies and TV series based on gaming IP are a popular trend at the moment, with movies like Sonic based on Sega's popular character seeing impressive success. Sony recently released an Uncharted film and HBO is producing a TV series based on The Last of Us starring Pedro Pascal. With its latest acquisition, Nintendo could be ready to bring more of its content to the small and big screens, which is (hopefully) good news for fans of its games. 

A Gran Turismo movie will arrive in 2023

Sony has confirmed a Gran Turismo movie is in the works and it's slated to arrive sooner than many folks may have expected. Its Columbia Pictures imprint will release the film on August 11th, 2023. District 9's Neill Blomkamp, who is far from a stranger to the world of video games, is directing. American Sniper scribe Jason Hall wrote the screenplay.

The movie is based on a true story, as Deadline reports. It will tell the tale of a Gran Turismo player who gets a shot at becoming a professional racecar driver. For several years, players had a path to real-life motorsport through the GT Academy.

This is the latest example of Sony adapting its gaming franchises for the big and small screen. That's become a bigger priority for the company over the last few years under its PlayStation Productions banner.

Shows based on The Last of Us and Twisted Metal have been in the works for a while, and Sony recently revealed Horizon and God of War adaptations are coming to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video respectively. The company at long last released the Uncharted movie earlier this year, while a Ghost of Tsushima movie is in the pipeline. Sony also mentioned that a Gran Turismo TV show is in development, but it's unclear whether that's still going ahead after the movie announcement.