UNION DISPUTE MIGHT MEAN WAR OF THE PLANET OF THE APES WILL NOT FEATURE APES

HOLLYWOOD – Due to a union dispute it looks likely that War of the Planet of the Apes won’t features apes.

Following a protracted legal dispute, it is now becoming likely that Matt Reeves new film War of the Planet of the Apes will be the first in the franchise not to feature the rebellious primates.

Speaking EXCLUSIVELY with the Studio Exec, Matt Reeves has discussed for the first time the fraught conditions and legal wrangles which has placed his production in serious danger:

The fact of the matter is after the success of the first two films, the apes have let it go a little to their head and Doodles – the ape who plays Cesar – has started making exorbitant demands. A 500% wage hike, unlimited bananas and something he calls a ‘groomer’ to be on call 24 hours a day. It’s crazy. We knew that if we gave way to him, we’d have to give the same things to the rest of the cast and there are literally thousands of these Goddamned monkeys.

However, Doodles has a different view of the matter:

First off, Doodles is my slave name. I prefer to be called  Andy Serkis. It’s the name I’ve chosen for myself. Secondly, all this guff about bananas. That’s just humancentric speciesism. You assholes have got us picking flees and eating bananas and dressing up in human clothes for novelty calendars for too long. We have identities and feelings and I’d ask the studio this, do you think anyone is coming to the films to see James Franco? Or Jason Clarke? No, I didn’t think so.

In spite of the apeless planet, Matt Reeves is convinced that the new film will be as good as the ones that came before.

The monkey thing was getting a bit tired anyway. This film we’re using giraffes. They’re cheap and much funnier with their goofy necks.

War of the Planet of the Apes will be released in 2018.

EVEREST – REVIEW

EVEREST – REVIEW: John Connor and Donnie Darko go up a mountain but Josh Brolin finds it is No Country for Old Men and the whole thing collapses on Michael Kelly like a House of Cards.

The problem with Everest is that the damned thing is so f*cking big. You can’t really see it. And if you see it from the sky as a way of really getting it all in, you’re automatically taking away from it, its key characteristic: which is that it is is higher than everything else. Baltasar Kormákur’s film does a solid job of telling the true story of the disastrous 1996 expedition which was told in Jon Krakauer’s book “Into Thin Air”.  Jason Clarke plays Rob Hall, the leader of one of two commercial enterprises that takes its clients to the summit of Everest. Jake Gyllenhaal is his competitor and friend Scott Fischer who with Russian climber Anatoli Boukreev (Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson)  is leading the other group. With so many at Base Camp there is a genuine worry that something might go wrong, but there are commercial pressures of getting their expectant clients Beck (Josh Brolin) and Doug (John Hawkes) up especially as it all takes place under the watchful eye of journalist Krakauer (Kelly).

The strength of the film is in a wonderful lead performance by Clarke who is quietly fashioning a series of brilliant character pieces amidst the more generic pay days. His Rob Hall is a gentle, solid, reassuring presence: his expertise and humanity, a tribute to the man. The rest of the cast don’t quite rise to the same level but they are all solid enough. Once the storm arrives and with it disaster, there is a sense of genuine loss – though in its attempt to not point the blame, confusion seeps into the narrative so that we are never quite clear what is going on. The CGI mountain and the real thing clash occasionally, and base camp is so obviously studio bound as to be a real distraction, but in general the mountain comes over as a worthy adversary and the drama is well done if not exactly the peak that its subject seems to demand.

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VENICE DIARY 1: EVEREST

HOLLYWOOD -The 72nd Venice Film Festival has begun and the Studio Exec is loose on the Lido. Check out what he saw and why.

Last night I attended the Variety party at the Danieli Hotel in Venice. It’s a dapper little place with a nice view of the Grand Canal which you can enjoy while sipping your prosecco and avoiding Alfonso Cuaron – I still owe him $500 from a little bet I made him about Sandra Bullock and success.The food was science fiction inspired and came in little plastic pods that were fired into your mouth by myopic chefs. Delicious. Outside they were serving water melon cocktails, blue blinis and normal drinks that human beings might want. The whole place was chock-a-block with journalists, film professionals and struggling young actors and I’m ashamed to say I didn’t punch anyone, though – in my defense – I was loud and obnoxious.

This morning was a rude awakening. Back on the Lido I stumbled into the screening of “Everest”. Many people have asked me in the past ‘Why don’t you climb Everest, Exec?’ But I’ve always assumed they were just being rude, or surreal. I didn’t realize but there are actually idiots who do this. Or at least try to. The film Everest is record of the latter kind. Lesson to take home: if you’re a postman, don’t try and climb Mount Everest. More generally, if you’re anyone, don’t try and climb Everest. Jason Clarke is a great actor and I’d like to see him in more stuff. This is IMAX and 3D and has a huge mountain in it (one of the biggest I’m informed) but it is Jason Clarke who really gives the movie heart and credibility.

I also went to see a Mexican film – “A Beast with a Thousand Heads” – by the same guy who did “La Zona” back in 2007. It’s a fair thriller. Restrained, intelligent and quite funny, but it’s spoiled by one glaring implausibility. I won’t tell you because it’d spoil it for you  and I know you already have your ticket.

Tonight I’m off to see Netflix’s new movie “Beasts of No Nation”, which ironically is what I used to be referred to after I got fired from Universal.

More Venice diaries to follow.

JAMES CAMERON’S SHIRT DOESN’T LIKE TERMINATOR GENISYS

HOLLYWOOD – Director of Avatar, Titanic and the first two Terminator films, James Cameron has come out swinging in support for the latest film in the Terminator franchise, but his shirt mutely contradicted him throughout his comments.

Even as James Cameron said that he considered Terminator Genisys – starring Emilia Clarke and Jason Clarke – as the third film in the series – dismissing Terminator Rise of the Machines and Terminator Salvation – his shirt seemed to be colorfully  saying ‘I liked Terminator Rise of the Machines’. Cameron spoke about how  he loved watching Terminator Genisys as a fan and how pleased he was with how respectful the film was to its predecessors, the paisley (?) shirt suggested a suppressed love of Christian Bale’s John Connor.

Science fiction aficionados were quick to hit the comment boards and pick apart the subtext of Cameron’s shirt.

Swiss Sci-fi buff Xavier Poulis wrote on the Freejack fan site Jaegger:

I think it’s obviously a throwback to the sixties and the Golden Age of Science Fiction shirts. It’s psychedelic exuberance suggests nothing less than the Stargate section of 2001 a Space Odyssey. Although Cameron was letting off spoilers, left right and center, his shirt seemed to subtly undermine almost everything he said. Hinting that fans of the first movies will again be wearing that fixed fake smile that Schwarzenegger flashes in the trailer as they watch the new film unfold before their unbelieving eyes.

It is believed that Paramount have given James Cameron’s shirt a three picture development deal and that its first project will be a remake of The Deep.

Terminator Genisys is directed by Alan Taylor, written by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier and will be released on July 1, 2015.

JOHN CONNOR SENT BACK IN TIME TO DESTROY TERMINATOR SEQUELS

HOLLYWOOD – James Cameron announced today that he had sent John Connor back in time to destroy a number of Terminator sequels.

The sequels Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, the Sarah Connor Chronicles and Terminator Salvation will all be destroyed by Connor, James Cameron stated.

Things have gone to far and they’ve gotten way too complicated. The original film was a blast and it had a lot of stuff I was very proud of. Then Terminator 2: Judgement Day took it to another level. The best film in my opinion. Arnold Schwarzenegger has never been better and Linda Hamilton and the story actually had something interesting to say. But then we got to the third one. I didn’t direct it myself and the result was frankly substandard and then things really started to go south.

According to the Avatar director, the mission will see Connor meeting Cameron in the past and either persuading him to forego the ancillary rights or killing him.

With the sequels all gone, the new film Terminator Genisys might just make some sense.

But surely that will create a paradox?

What do you mean?

Well, if they succeed in killing you, then you won’t be able to send John Connor back to stop you from… you see?

F*ck, I have to get Arnie on the phone tout suite! Thanks Exec.

Terminator: Genisys will be released or not in the FUTURE!