Interview (Written): John Michael McDonagh

A revealing Q&A with the outspoken U.K.-based writer-director.

John Michael McDonagh

The Quietus interview with John Michael McDonagh whose writing-directing credits include The Guard, Calvary, and War on Everyone.

Do you mind being compared to your brother, since you have a somewhat similar cinematic voice? Do you feel competitive with each other?

I don’t mind being compared with him, even though it’s a really banal and pointless journalistic tic. As for feeling competitive, once my debut feature The Guard became the most successful independent Irish film of all time, I felt like I’d accomplished all I wanted to accomplish, so that was that.

Might the two of you collaborate on a film someday?

No, never.

What do you think of the critical reception the film (War on Everyone) has had?

Some critics say, “I really like this film.” Other critics say, “I really hate this film.” At the end of the day, it’s all meaningless. I got paid, and we’re all going to die.

For the rest of the interview, go here.

Twitter: @theQuietus.

Interview (Written): John Michael McDonagh 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

Michael C. Hall to Play JFK in ‘The Crown’ Season 2

Michael C Hall JFK

Literally dozens of actors have played John F. Kennedy onscreen over the past several decades. Just in the past year, we’ve seen Caspar Phillipson play him in Jackie and Jeffrey Donovan take on the role in LBJ. Now Michael C. Hall will join that ever-expanding list, playing the 35th U.S. president in the next season of Netflix’s The Crown. Joining him will be Jodi Balfour as First Lady Jackie Kennedy, and Matthew Goode as Princess Margaret’s husband Anthony Armstrong-Jones.

Deadline reported the news. Created by Peter Morgan (The QueenFrost/Nixon), The Crown is a biographical drama about Queen Elizabeth II, played by Claire Foy. (If you’re like me and bad at keeping track of British royalty, yes, she is the one who’s still on the throne.) The first season chronicled her life from her marriage to Prince Philip (

The first season chronicled her life from her marriage to Prince Philip (Matt Smith) in 1947 through the end of her sister Margaret’s engagement to Peter Townsend in 1955. The second season is expected to pick up with the Suez Crisis in 1956, with the British army fighting an illegal war in Egypt. It’ll continue through the dawn of the ’60s, and conclude with the resignation of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in 1963. To put Kennedy’s career in context, he was inaugurated in 1961 and assassinated in 1963, just a few weeks after Townsend stepped down.

The Crown‘s JFK is described as…

… a natural leader and excellent public speaker who does not take kindly to being upstaged by anyone, especially his wife. Although Jackie’s accomplishments are perceived to be an asset to the president, JFK feels unmanned by his wife’s popularity. In public, he seeks revenge by flaunting his many infidelities and, behind closed doors, his jealousy surfaces in the form of anger and manipulation.

It’s not hard to see the thematic parallels between the Kennedy’s rocky relationship and Elizabeth’s own marriage to Philip, as depicted in season one. The show’s version of Jackie, meanwhile, is a “seemingly natural First Lady” whose “charming exterior of confidence and glamor hides a shy woman who loathes public life.” Rounding out this batch of casting is Goode as Armstrong-Jones, “a charming, passionate and avant-garde photographer who knows all the right people” and enjoys “bohemian and sexually liberal lifestyle.” Basically, prepare for the 1960s to shake things up in a big way.

Shooting on The Crown season 2 is already underway. No premiere date has been announced.


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Michael Douglas Confirms He’ll be Back for Ant-Man and the Wasp

Michael Douglas Confirms He'll Be Back for Ant-Man and the Wasp

Michael Douglas confirms he’ll be back for Ant-Man and the Wasp

Though it was largely a given, actor Michael Douglas has confirmed via Facebook that he will reprise his role as Dr. Hank Pym for the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp. The actor also revealed that production on the sequel is set to begin in July.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is being written by Transformers writers Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari and Academy Award winner Adam McKay (The Big Short) along with returniing director Peyton Reed and star Paul Rudd.

“I think the only thing I can tell you with certainty at this point… is that it’s going to have stuff in it that you’ve never ever seen in a movie before,” Director Peyton Reed previously teased about the forthcoming sequel.

Ant-Man and the Wasp will also feature the return of Evangeline Lilly as Hope Pym along with scene-stealer Michael Pena as Luis. Ant-Man and the Wasp is set for release on July 6, 2018.

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Watch: ‘The Dark Knight’ is in Visual Debt to Michael Mann’s Movies

This video essay looks at the influence Michael Mann’s aesthetic had on Christopher Nolan’s vision for The Dark Knight.

Michael Mann started his career in television with the hugely influential Miami Vice, one of the first network TV shows to be as stylized as a film. Mann’s aesthetic in films like 1995’s under-appreciated epic Heat, which made bank robbery into a fashion statement and Los Angeles into a character, was an influence on Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, and this video examines the ways Nolan drew inspiration from the only film to ever feature Robert De Niro and Al Pacino on screen together, as well as other films in the Mann canon.

According to the essay’s creators, “Nolan actually screened Michael Mann’s Heat for all his department heads before going into production.”

The director is quoted as saying, “I always felt Heat to be a remarkable demonstration of how you can create a vast universe within one city and balance a very large number of characters and their emotional journeys in an effective manner.”

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Michelle Monaghan and Michael Sheen to Headline The Price of Admission

Michelle Monaghan and Michael Sheen to headline The Price of Admission.

Michelle Monaghan and Michael Sheen to headline The Price of Admission

Michelle Monaghan (Patriot’s Day, True Detective) and Michael Sheen (Nocturnal Animals, Passengers) and are set to star in writer and director Peter Glanz’s next feature film project, The Price of Admission. The film is described as being part dramedy and part existential thriller and will be produced by John Powers Middleton and Alex Foster of The Middleton Media Group, Neda Armian of Armian Pictures, Adrian Politowski’s Umedia, and Glanz himself. Academy Award nominee Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea) will executive produce through his company partnership with Middleton, The Affleck/Middleton Project.

In The Price of Admission, Harold Sugar’s (Sheen) life is unraveling. He’s a middling playwright amidst a mid-life crisis and failing marriage. His wife, Eliza Sugar (Monaghan), is tired of being second-fiddle to his work, she wants a family. But incapable of functioning in reality, Harold submerges himself in an elaborate play about his life. Blurring the lines between fiction and reality, we follow Harold as he descends into madness – the theatre can be a harsh mistress.

“‘The Price of Admission’ is a brilliant, comedic dive into the mind of a playwright mounting a much anticipated play about his life while that life unravels around him scene by scene,” say Armian and Foster. “The combination of the incomparable Michael Sheen and the glorious Michelle Monaghan gives this film its cinematic heartbeat and we could not be more honored to collaborate with this team.”

“Buyers are searching for high-end, quality material that is increasingly harder to find these days in the international marketplace,” says Steinbauer, President and CEO of Radiant Films International. “‘The Price of Admission’ brings together stellar creative elements to craft this inventive, funny and original story dealing with weighty ideas in an engaging way and we are delighted to offer it to our partners at the Berlin market.”

(Photo Credit: FayesVision /

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Transformers: The Last Knight Synopsis and Michael Bay on the Writers’ Room

Transformers: The Last Knight Synopsis and Michael Bay on the Writers' Room

Transformers: The Last Knight synopsis and Michael Bay on the writers’ room

Ahead of the Super Bowl spot debut, director Michael Bay has revealed the Transformers: The Last Knight synopsis and posted a few words on the writers’ room that worked on this film and future installments in the franchise. The Last Knight synopsis reads as follows;

The Last Knight shatters the core myths of the Transformers franchise, and redefines what it means to be a hero. Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg); Bumblebee; an English Lord (Sir Anthony Hopkins); and an Oxford Professor (Laura Haddock).

There comes a moment in everyone’s life when we are called upon to make a difference. In Transformers: The Last Knight, the hunted will become heroes. Heroes will become villains. Only one world will survive: theirs, or ours.

And here is Bay’s note on the writers’ room:

“I’ve been living in this franchise for over 10 years now. For Transformers: The Last Knight, we put together a writers’ room designed to greatly expand our mythology, integrating our films in a whole new way. Every movie will interlink.

It was a huge task to expand mythology from the beginning of the world throughout history. We had a great team of writers: Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind); Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man); Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down); Zak Penn (Ready Player One); Lindsey Beer (Barbie); Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Tomb Raider); Christina Hodson (Bumblebee); Steven DeKnight (Daredevil, Smallville); Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Lost); and Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man).

Through the summer of 2015, they worked in a huge space on the Paramount lot, surrounded by over 10,000 concept images from the franchise’s history: the movies, cartoons, and comic books. They had a life-size Bumblebee, a Megatron head, and many other props staring them down. We pulled from everything. It was a fan’s dream room.

We brought in Transformers historians from Hasbro to educate them on where Transformers has been – so that they could figure out where it can go.

I can safely say that there’s never been a Transformers film with the huge visual scope and expansive mythology as this movie, The Last Knight.

It’s bittersweet for me. With every Transformers film, I’ve said it would be my last. I see the 120 million fans around the world who see these movies, the huge theme park lines to the ride and the amazing Make- A-Wish kids that visit my sets, and it somehow keeps drawing me back. I love doing these movies. This film was especially fun to shoot. But, this time might really be it. So I’m blowing this one out.

It’s a final chapter and a new beginning. Here’s the writers’ log line:

The hunted will become heroes. Heroes will become villains. Only one world will survive: theirs, or ours.”

Transformers: The Last Knight also stars Josh Duhamel as Lieutenant Colonel Lennox, Tyrese Gibson as Robert Epps, Stanley Tucci as Joshua Joyce, Jerrod Carmichael as Desi, and Isabela Moner as the film’s female lead, Izabella. Liam Carrigan (Once Upon a Time) also plays King Arthur.

Transformers: The Last Knight will open in theaters on June 23, 2017. Plans for the franchise already include a Bumblebee spin-off film to be released June 8, 2018 and the sixth Transformers movie set to debut June 28, 2019.

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Superhero Bits: Injustice 2 Gameplay, Michael Keaton Quoted Batman on Spidey Set & More

Guardians of the Galaxy - Star-Lord Alternate Design

Why does Stan Lee think that comic books need to have some kind of message or stand on social issues? What would Mahershala Ali look like as Green Lantern? Which comic book character would Taron Egerton like to see crossover with Kingsman: The Secret Service? Want to see a really weird version of the Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits.

A new trailer for the Injustice 2 video game shows off some gameplay featuring the Damian Wayne version of Robin.

Christina Ricci (Speed Racer, Black Snake Moan) has joined the animated Teen Titans: The Judas Contract voice cast.

Logan Poster

Hugh Jackman looks pretty worn down and pissed in this close-up poster for Logan that was recently released.

Before he gets his own TV series, Comic Book Resources runs through 15 things you never knew about Black Lightning.

In this clip from the animated Justice League Dark, Constantine and Jason Blood unleash the demon Etrigan.

After directing episodes of Supergirl and The Flash, Kevin Smith is hoping to be involved in the next DC crossover.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Star-Lord Alternate Design got their hands on this alternate design for Star-Lord in the first Guardians of the Galaxy.

A new photo from the set of Justice League confirms that The Flash‘s Central City will be seen in the film.


LEGO Batman Movie - Batwing

Heat Vision has a look at some upcoming LEGO Batman Movie playsets that won’t hit shelves until June this year.

Find out why Stan Lee thinks that comic books need to have a message and take a stand on social issues.

Spider-Man: Homecoming gets one of those “weird trailers” with all sorts of wackiness and goofy pop culture references.

Marvel’s Doctor Strange opened at the #1 spot at Japan’s box office when it finally opened there this past weekend.

Artist Hamza Javed created this mock-up of what Oscar nominee Mahershala Ali would look like as Green Lantern.

Taron Egerton wouldn’t mind seeing a comic book crossover between Kingsman and Deadpool on the big screen.

Patton Oswalt returns in a new clip from “Hot Potato Soup”, the 12th episode of Agents of SHIELD season four.

Tom Holland reveals that Michael Keaton kept doing Batman quotes on the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming.


Wonder Woman - Art of War Statue

The latest Art of War statue has a Wonder Woman design by José Luis García-López and sculpted by Jack Mathews.

The Avenges Lunchboxes

If you’ve got a house full of Avengers fans, get this embossed tin lunch box set with Hulk, Cap and Iron Man.

Catwoman Tumbler Pint Glass

Catwoman from the Batman: Arkham Asylum video game will join you for a drink on this glass tumbler pint glass.

Batman: The Animated Series - Poison Ivy Statue

Poison Ivy from Batman: The Animated Series gets her own 9-inch gallery statue over at Entertainment Earth.

Read the previous edition of Superhero Bits right here.

The post Superhero Bits: Injustice 2 Gameplay, Michael Keaton Quoted Batman on Spidey Set & More appeared first on /Film.


One More Trailer for ‘The Belko Experiment’ Featuring Michael Rooker

The Belko Experiment Trailer

“All employees, lend me your full attention…” BH Tilt released a third trailer for The Belko Experiment, the indie action comedy about an office building locked down where all the employees are forced to play a game of kill-or-be-killed. We’ve already seen two trailers for this film previously, and it looks good, but at this point I don’t need to see more footage. I’m already planning to watch this. Directed by Greg McLean (of Wolf Creek), written by James Gunn (of Guardians of the Galaxy), starring John Gallagher Jr, Michael Rooker, Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona, John C. McGinley, Melonie Diaz, Owain Yeoman, Sean Gunn, Brent Sexton, and Josh Brener. Fire it up below for another brief tease of wild ‘n crazy violence. ›››

Continue reading One More Trailer for ‘The Belko Experiment’ Featuring Michael Rooker

Screenwriting Lessons: Michael Arndt [5 part series]

Insights from the screenwriter of Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3

This week I re-ran a 2012 series featuring Michael Arndt whose credits include Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3, and Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens.

In the series, Arndt talks about writing Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3, and shares his take on how to craft strong story beginnings and endings.

For Part 1 of the series, go here.

Part 2, go here.

Part 3, go here.

Part 4, go here.

Part 5, go here.

Screenwriting Lessons: Michael Arndt [5 part series] 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

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