Chris Miller and Phil Lord discuss their unceremonious exit from the Han Solo movie


Getting fired is no fun, but for former Han Solo movie directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord, the glass is half full.

The pair were unceremoniously removed from Solo: A Star Wars Story in June, three weeks before filming was due to be finished. A statement at the time cited “creative differences” as the reason for their departure.

Miller and Lord discussed the exit at the Vulture Festival in Los Angeles on Sunday, during a panel for their MTV series Clone High. 

Lord generously described the experience of shooting the film as “wonderful,” and both were rather kind-hearted about the unfortunate turn of events. Read more…

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Justice League Takes $96M Domestic and Reaches $185.5M Overseas

Justice League takes $ 96M domestic and reaches $ 185.5M overseas

Warner Bros. Pictures‘ Justice League opened this weekend in North America with $ 96 million from 4,051 theaters, for an average of $ 23,698 per theater. Comparing Justice League to previous DC debuts, Wonder Woman opened to $ 103.3 million, Suicide Squad to $ 133.7 million, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to $ 166 million, and Man of Steel to $ 116.6 million. Domestic audiences liked the movie more than critics on Rotten Tomatoes and gave Justice League a B+ CinemaScore.

Internationally, Justice League has earned $ 185.5 million from approximately 47,500 screens in 65 markets. Including the domestic gross, the worldwide total is up to $ 281.5 million. The international highlights include: China ($ 51.7 million); Brazil ($ 14.2 million); UK ($ 9.8 million); Mexico ($ 9.6 million); Korea ($ 8.8 million); Russia ($ 6.5 million); Australia ($ 6.3 million); and France ($ 6 million).

RELATED: What’s After Justice League? Here’s Every DC Film in Development

Directed by Zack Snyder, Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.

Lionsgate‘s Wonder is a wonder as the book adaptation far exceeded expectations and brought in $ 27 million domestically its first weekend in second place. The film, which received an A+ CinemaScore, played in 3,096 theaters and averaged $ 8,737 per location. Directed by Stephen Chbosky, Wonder stars Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay, Daveed Diggs, and Noah Jupe.

Marvel Studios‘ Thor: Ragnarok added another $ 21.8 million domestically its third weekend in the third spot and earned $ 24.1 million overseas for a global weekend of $ 45.9 million. The third installment has now collected $ 247.4 million in North America and $ 490.7 million internationally ($ 107.5 million from China alone) to take its worldwide total $ 738.1 million. The first Thor earned $ 449.3 million worldwide and Thor: The Dark World took in $ 644.5 million globally. Made for $ 180 million, Taika Waititi-directed Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Hopkins.

Placing fourth was Paramount Pictures’ Daddy’s Home 2, directed by Sean Anders and starring Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, John Lithgow, and Mel Gibson. The sequel, produced for $ 69 million, added $ 14.8 million its second weekend for a total of $ 50.6 million.

Rounding out the top five was Murder on the Orient Express (20th Century Fox) with $ 13.8 million and a total of $ 51.7 million after two weeks. Internationally, Murder on the Orient Express grossed $ 20.7 million from 54 markets to push its overseas total to $ 96.5 million and worldwide sum to $ 148.2 million. Made for $ 55 million and directed by Kenneth Branagh, the adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel features a large ensemble cast that includes Branagh, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Michael Pena, Judi Dench, Leslie Odom Jr., Tom Bateman, Lucy Boynton, Sir Derek Jacobi, Josh Gad, Penelope Cruz, Sergei Polunin, and Willem Dafoe.

Sony’s AFFIRM Films and Walden Media’s faith-based The Star grossed $ 10 million in sixth place from 2,837 theaters, an average of $ 3,525. Costing $ 20 million to make, the film received an A CinemaScore. It features the voices of Steven Yeun, Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelly Clarkson, Anthony Anderson, Aidy Bryant, Ving Rhames, Gabriel Iglesias, Patricia Heaton, Kristin Chenoweth, Christopher Plummer, Tracy Morgan, Tyler Perry, and Oprah Winfrey.

Also, STXfilms’ A Bad Moms Christmas earned $ 6.9 million its third weekend for a total of $ 50.9 million. Internationally, the film has earned $ 26.6 million for a global total of $ 77.5 million. Written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, the sequel stars Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Cheryl Hines, Christine Baranski and Susan Sarandon. It was made for $ 28 million.

Columbia Pictures’ Roman J. Israel, Esq. had an exclusive preview this weekend in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles, bringing in $ 65,000 for a $ 16,250 per-location average. The $ 22 million-budgeted film, starring Denzel Washington, will be released wide on November 22 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Seven Story Types Professional Storytellers Use

In my travels I meet film producers in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Their common complaint is never about getting the finance. It’s about finding quality projects. The producers moan that writers don’t seem to understand which of the seven story types they’re using.

With approximately 50,000 new spec screenplays in circulation each year. Roughly one of every 5,000 sold! There has to be something wrong. Could it be that all the screenwriters writing scripts are talentless dreamers? Or could it be that they are following the wrong strategy with their stories.

The trick it seems is to find which of these seven story types works for you, and then to add in other elements such as the tool of genre to really make your writing stand out.

In my early years of Raindance I read – for money – about 2,500 scripts. Never did I read a bad idea for a script – what I did read every single day, and some days as many as four scripts, I read poor execution of the story. I believe this is caused by poor understanding of the seven story types.

Allow me to explain.

Seven Story Types Professional Storytellers Use

Remember this key point: I am not talking about the tool of genre. All commercially successful movies fall into a genre. We’ll consider the role of genre at another time.

1, The value story

As we grow older our values change. As generations grow older their values become different to those of a younger generation. Sometimes this creates conflict as in the flower and hippy generations of the 1960’s and 70’s. Other times the new and older generations coexist relatively peacefully side by side as the millenials next to the baby boomers.

A successful value story is created when the writer establishes a strong value and then seeks to defend it and hopefully create acceptance in the mind of the reader.

Children’s stories are full of values. The Ugly Fairy teaches self-acceptance,
Bible stories like Noah’s Ark show the value of innovation and collaboration
Stories with a labyrinth teach the value of patience

The Beauty and the Beast definitely shows the value of self-acceptance along with loyalty, justice and love.

2. The ‘why’ story

In a why story you show why you (or the main character) is so driven. As a writer you need to reflect on your deepest motivations and see if these can be translated into your story.

One can be driven by an event
One can be driven by a motivation
One can be driven by the need to fins the truth

History is full of stories of people who found the ‘why’ they were motivated

Leonardo Da Vinci couldn’t stop drawing machines with wings that flapped like birds. He drew thousands of them. Why? These drawings and the machines he constructed were the precursors to our airplanes.

Amadeus Mozart had a dull and boring job in found his passion Salzburg when he finally escaped to Vienna. While there he created stupendous operas and orchestral works like Don Giovanni, an opera that influenced everything that came afterwards.

Mick Jagger’s parents sent him to the London School of Economics where he was distracted by the electric blues coming out of America. He started his musical career with little experience but was motivated by the Blues to write lyric after lyric, something he was much better at than studying corporate finance.

I started Raindance at a low point in my career. But I loved movies and was motivated by the ‘why’ and ‘how’ careers succeeded. That was a quarter century ago – and now I know Why I Raindance

The common thread: everyone was playing like a child, but with the experience of an adult. Get a deck of cards. Make a mood board. i don’t know! Play. You will find your motivation and the ‘why’ leaping out at you.

3. The origin story

Take the stat of any movement or thought or life story and boil it down into the key moments. Before you know it you will have a story, and you will find one of the characters speaking to you in the strongest voice. This surely will become the lead character, the hero or protagonist in your story.

That is the hidden secret of the Oscar winning 12 Years A Slave.

4. The vision story

Sometimes you will have a vision of where you think a movement or social structure is headed. This could be a dystopian future, or a way you think that relationships are headed.

We are in the middle of a social movement at the moment with the #MeTo movement which is exposing sexual malpractice in the workplace – in all different industries from Hollywood to hi-tech, politics and education.

Can you show us your vision simply and clearly? Can you show us a pathway that is tangible and easy-to-follow?
If you can create a vision with a pathway that is clear and tangible you could well hit a goldmine.

This is why I am such a big fan of Kim Hudson. Here Screenwriting From A Feminine Perspective classes are stories of vision – the vision of awakening and enlightenment. Study her work.

5. The teaching story

This is the most common type of story and one that is perhaps the easiest to write. Decide which lesson you want to teach and then work backwards.

6. The impact story

It seems that in times of political, social and environmental unrest impact stories take the forefront. Typically in documentaries.

A great impact story will highlight an issue, and then show us, the viewer, the return on investment (ROI) if we follow through on the message.

Everyone is now talking about the plastic in the ocean. This awareness was largely kickstarted by a brilliant documentary we screened at Raindance in 2016 – call Plastic Ocean. The filmmakers made sure it was screened in parliaments around the world as well as at the United Nations. A very effect example of the power of the impact story.

You can watch the trailer here and donate to the cause by purchasing the movie online for a few bucks

7. The objections story

Overcoming an established opinion you feel is wrong is a challenging and exciting way to develop a story.
Perhaps start by asking yourself:

What I hate/fear/avoid more than anything is _________.

This will give you fertile ground for an idea that just might get you moving.

in 2010 Raindance showed a powerful documentary by the Canadian Brent Leung who believed the day when the world would be AIDS-free was closer than you think. His documentary challenged the medical establishment’s definition of AIDS.

Understandably the documentary brought him a torrent of abuse. However, if you watch the documentary to it’s full extent you too might be forced to revisit your own attitude to this terrible health problem and join Brent in helping to eradicate this ‘dis ease’.

Fade Out

I’m sure I have missed out details of your favourite story type. Please do me two favours:

  • Tell your friends about this page
  • Add in your comments in the box below. I will respond personally.

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Movie Story Type: Time Travel

In Hollywood movie circles, there are genres like Horror or Science Fiction, cross genres like Action-Thriller or Drama-Comedy, and sub-genres like Romantic Comedy or Mystery Thriller.

Then there are Story Types, a shorthand way to describe a specific narrative conceit that is almost always tied directly to the movie’s central concept. They can be found in any genre, cross genre, or sub-genre.

Knowledge about and awareness of these story types can be a boost not only to your understanding of film history and movie trends, but also as fodder for brainstorming new story concepts. Mix and match them. Invert them. Gender bend them. Genre bend them. Geo bend them.

Movie story types exist for a reason: Because they work. Hopefully this series will help you make them work for you.

Today: Time Travel.

Time travel has inspired storytellers for centuries and Hollywood hasn’t slacked off in that department either. Here is a short list of time travel movies:

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949): A singing mechanic from 1912 finds himself in Arthurian Britain.

The Time Machine (1960): A Victorian Englishman travels to the far future and finds that humanity has divided into two hostile species.

Time Bandits (1981): A young boy accidently joins a band of dwarves as they jump from time-period to time-period looking for treasure to steal.

The Terminator (1984): A human-looking, apparently unstoppable cyborg is sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor; Kyle Reese is sent to stop it.

Back to the Future (1985): In 1985, Doc Brown invents time travel; in 1955, Marty McFly accidentally prevents his parents from meeting, putting his own existence at stake.

Peggy Sue Got Married (1986): Peggy Sue faints at a high school reunion. When she wakes up she finds herself in her own past, just before she finished school.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989): Two seemingly dumb teens struggle to prepare a historical presentation with the help of a time machine.

Twelve Monkeys (1995): In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

Timeline (2003): A group of archaeological students become trapped in the past when they go there to retrieve their professor. The group must survive in 14th century France long enough to be rescued.

One of the most interesting movies in recent memory is this one:

Looper (2012): In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent 30 years into the past, where a hired gun awaits. Someone like Joe, who one day learns the mob wants to ‘close the loop’ by transporting back Joe’s future self.

Here is the trailer:

The time travel setup leads to great moments like this:

And this:

What is it about time travel that makes for a potentially appealing story?

  • It’s an excellent ‘what if’ scenario, one that can grab a viewer’s imagination
  • Great FOOW (Fish-Out-Of-Water) dynamic, not only different place and culture, but also a different era
  • Major complication typically in time travel movies: How the hell do we get back?
  • Play to viewer’s wish fulfillment — to go to the past and see how things really were like or go into the future and experience how things will be

There’s also this: Time travel movies will often get us to consider the mystery of time. Every moment we live, time passes. And yet, we generally go about our day to day lives hardly thinking about time. But think on this: If you live to be 80 years old, you will have lived for…

948 months
4,122 weeks
28,855 days
692,538 hours
41,552, 284 minutes
2,493,137,087 seconds

Time travel movies can make it feel as though the limitations of our life (after all, each of us is born with an ‘expiration date’) are permeable, that we can somehow stretch the amount of time we’ve been granted to live.

What are your favorite time travel movies? And what time travel movies did I not include in my list?

Comment Archive

For more articles in the Movie Story Types series, go here.

Movie Story Type: Time Travel was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

Friday, Nov. 17 Filming Locations for This Is Us, Pose, Luke Cage, & more!

Here’s a look at various filming locations for November 17:  Filming in California TV Series: This Is Us Stars: Mandy Moore Location: 427 S Lucerne Blvd, Los Angeles (12:00 PM – 1:00 AM) TV Series: Criminal Minds Stars: Matthew Grey Guler Location: Quixote Studio, Los Angeles Filming in Illinois TV Series: Suits Spin-Off Stars: Gina […]

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On Location Vacations

Recommended Cinema for November 19-November 25, 2017

This calendar is a new addition to, and is updated each Sunday with suggested screenings for the upcoming week. Currently, the calendar contains listings for , , , , , , , and . Others will be added in the future, and if you’re interested in curating a calendar in your part of the world, ! | Recent Updates

More Monster Humor: ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ Trailer

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

“If anyone needs a vacation… it’s Drac!” Sony has unveiled the first trailer for the animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, again directed by the animation mastermind Genndy Tartakovsky. By now you should know what to expect with this series, considering we’re about to see the third one next year. Hotel Transylvania 3 brings back the “Drac Pack” and his family/squad, this time going on a summer vacation cruise. Apparently he falls for the “intriguing-yet-dangerous” captain of the ship, causing problems of course. This once again featuring the voices of Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, and Genndy Tartakovsky. I’m a fan of Tartakovsky so I want to be into these, but I don’t think I’ve watched any, and I don’t know if I want to watch them. Something just tells me no, not for me. But – enjoy it anyway. ›››

Continue reading More Monster Humor: ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ Trailer

First Teaser Trailer for Pixar’s Long-Awaited Sequel ‘The Incredibles 2’

The Incredibles 2 Teaser Trailer

“You have powers!” Disney has released the very first teaser trailer for Pixar’s The Incredibles 2, or now titled simply Incredibles 2 (drop the “the”). This teaser isn’t that much, but it is officially something, since we’ve all been (im)patiently waiting 13 years for them to make this sequel. Brad Bird directs once again, and the plot synopsis released by Disney only states that it’s about Bob navigating “the day-to-day heroics of ‘normal’ life”, allowing him time to bond with Jack-Jack, “whose superpowers are emerging—much to Dad’s surprise.” Which is pretty much what this trailer shows. Craig T. Nelson is back as the voice of Bob, with Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sarah Vowell. I’m excited to see some actual footage and find out what this sequel is going to really be about, because I’m intrigued after waiting all these years already. ›››

Continue reading First Teaser Trailer for Pixar’s Long-Awaited Sequel ‘The Incredibles 2’

The Incredibles 2 Teaser Trailer and Poster are Here!

The Incredibles 2 Teaser Trailer and Poster are Here!

The Incredibles 2 teaser trailer and poster are here!

You may want to go find your super suit for this one! Disney•Pixar’s has revealed the first teaser trailer and poster for the long-awaited Incredibles 2! Check out the Incredibles 2 teaser trailer in the player below and the poster in the gallery underneath!

Everyone’s favorite family of superheroes is back in Incredibles 2 – but this time Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is in the spotlight, leaving Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell) and Dash (voice of Huck Milner) to navigate the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life. It’s a tough transistion for everyone, made tougher by the fact that the family is still unaware of baby Jack-Jack’s emerging superpowers. When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) must find a way to work together again—which is easier said than done, even when they’re all Incredible.

Directed by Brad Bird (Iron Giant, The Incredibles) and produced by John Walker (The Incredibles) and Nicole Grindle (Sanjay’s Super Team short, Toy Story 3 associate producer), Incredibles 2 busts into theaters on June 15, 2018.

What do you think about the Incredibles 2 teaser trailer? Let us know in the comments below!

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New ‘Terminator’ Sequel Adds ‘Hunger Games’ Writer Billy Ray, New Character Details Emerge

New Terminator Sequel

Against all odds, the Terminator franchise is being kept alive thanks to producer James Cameron. The crippled sci-fi film series now has a home at 20th Century Fox, and Cameron is hoping to spark the beginning of a new Terminator trilogy, complete with original stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton reprising their roles as the T-800 killing machine and Sarah Connor respectively.

The new Terminator sequel already had a team of writers on board that included David Goyer (Man of Steel), Justin Rhodes (Green Lantern Corps.), Charles Eglee (Dark Angel) and Josh Friedman (Avatar 2), but now they’ve added another writer to the process. The Hunger Games and Captain Phillips writer Billy Ray has been brought on board to give the script one final polish. While we don’t know the story of this new Terminator sequel yet, some details on a couple new characters have emerged.

Variety announced the news of Billy Ray joining the writing team for what will be the sixth film in the Terminator franchise. However, much like the forthcoming Halloween sequel from David Gordon Green and Danny McBride, this new Terminator is supposed to be a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day, effectively ignoring all the disappointing sequels that followed.

Though the story is still under wraps, Tracking Board reporter Jeff Sneider recently took to Twitter to deliver some details about a couple new characters. Reportedly producer James Cameron and director Tim Miller are looking for an 18-year old Mexican actress to play a young female lead by the name of Dani Ramos. They’re also on the lookout for a Latin actor with fighting and stunt experience to play the new villain. Why are Hispanic actors specifically being sought? Well, aside from adding some diversity to the Terminator franchise, apparently the story might be set in Mexico City.

While I have little interest in seeing the Terminator franchise revived, having James Cameron directly involved certainly helps. Plus, with someone like Deadpool director Tim Miller behind the camera, we might finally see some innovation brought to a film series that desperately needs it. Of course, we’ve seen several Terminator sequels planned down the road before, only to have them fall apart. But if James Cameron can get four Avatar sequels together, then getting three more Terminator sequels shouldn’t be a problem. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

The untitled Terminator sequel is slated to hit theaters on July 26, 2017.

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