Jason Aldean surprises ‘SNL’ with Tom Petty ‘Won’t Back Down’ tribute to Las Vegas

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Saturday Night Live has always taken great care to strike the right tone after tragedy, and this week’s episode managed to delicately address a terrible week on multiple levels, but with a single, thoughtful stroke.

Instead of a cold open mocking the Donald Trump administration — breaking what must have been some kind of record streak — the first face we saw was that of country singer Jason Aldean, about to make his first public performance since leaving the stage last Sunday as the shooting rampage in Las Vegas began last Sunday night.

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‘Blade Runner 2049’ Won’t Have Narration

Blade Runner 2049 narration

When it comes to the voiceover from Blade Runner, some people love it, most people don’t. While the director of the sequel, Denis Villeneuve, is a huge fan of the original cut and the narration’s “film noir quality,” there will be no voiceover guiding the audience in Blade Runner 2049. For the Arrival and Sicario director, a voiceover would not have worked – but that didn’t stop him from joking about it with star Harrison Ford a few times.

Below, Villeneuve confirms there’s no Blade Runner 2049 narration.

Villeneuve grew up loving the original cut of the film, not knowing its reception was less than stellar at the time of its release. While speaking with Collider, he talked about his love for it, including the voiceover, and why a character explaining what’s clearly happening in the frame is not a part of Blade Runner 2049:

That’s a joke I made with Harrison Ford when he came to do his ADR: I gave him a narration. No, there’s no narration. It’s not something that would have been welcome and the movie doesn’t need one. It was not a part of the project, no, but we were making jokes about that. It would’ve been a strange thing to see the fans’ face if the movie had started with a narration, a voiceover.

The original narration Scott and Ford weren’t satisfied with. They both wanted a narration to provide clarity, but the financiers had the narration rewritten. “I delivered it to the best of my ability, given that I had no input,” Ford once told Playboy. “I never thought they’d use it. But I didn’t try and sandbag it. It was simply bad narration.” The decision to rewrite the narration followed test audiences’ confusion.

Here’s the synopsis for Blade Runner 2049:

Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

A sequel to 1982’s Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott, Blade Runner 2049 is written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green. Ana de Armas, Jared Leto, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Barkhad Abdi, Edward James Olmos, and Dave Bautista round out the star-studded cast.

Blade Runner 2049 opens in theaters on October 6. Check out the trailer and our recent roundtable interview with Villeneuve.

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‘Justice League’ Reshoots Cost $25 Million, Joss Whedon Reportedly Won’t Receive Directing Credit

Joss Whedon Justice League directing credit

When director Zack Snyder stepped away from Warner Bros.’ and DC Films’ mega-anticipated superhero team-up film Justice League in the wake of a family tragedy, the man who directed The Avengers stepped in to take his place. But will Joss Whedon receive directing credit for his work on the movie? A new report claims he won’t, and also sheds some light on the film’s extensive (and expensive) reshoots.

Over the weekend, Warner Bros. unveiled a new trailer for Justice League at Hall H, and released it online immediately afterward. One of the channels they released it through was their official Warner Bros. UK YouTube channel, where ScreenRant noticed an interesting bit of text in the description:

A film by Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher.

That’s the first time we’d seen Whedon’s name alongside Snyder’s in any sort of official capacity like that, and the studio swiftly removed the credit from the video’s description. To be clear, it isn’t studio executives who decide if there’s a Joss Whedon Justice League directing credit. That decision lies with the Director’s Guild of America. But it’s an interesting thing to think about, and something I’ve been wondering about ever since Whedon officially boarded the project.

We know that even before he stepped into the director’s chair, Whedon did some work on the film’s script. By the time the movie is released, he’ll have been shepherding it toward the screen in a directing capacity for just under six months. And while Ray Fisher (Cyborg) indicated at SDCC that the movie’s reshoots were “brief, if anything,” we have it on good authority that Whedon has overhauled a significant amount of the movie.

A new report from Variety confirms our intel, revealing that the studio is spending $ 25 million on reshoots that have lasted roughly two months, which is far longer than the average time that’s normally built in for films of this size. The report also says that the reshoots are problems for the in-demand cast, and it hilariously uses Henry Cavill as an example: his character in Mission: Impossible 6 has a mustache, and Paramount refuses to let him shave it off when he heads across town to film his Superman scenes, so it’ll have to be digitally removed from the Justice League pick-ups.

Variety’s report also quotes an inside source as telling them that Whedon won’t be receiving directing credit on the movie. But unless their source is from the DGA, I’m not sure about the accuracy of that claim.

Directors Guild of America logo

A Brief Trip Through DGA History

The guild was created, at least in part, to preserve the creative rights of film directors, but it was in existence for decades before the studios agreed, after contract negotiations in 1978, that there would only be one director credited for a film at any given time. According to the DGA’s website:

Director Elliot Silverstein, chair of the 1978 Creative Rights Negotiating Committee, recalled that “Our concern was that the use of more than one director (and if two why not three or four, etc.?) would lead to the producer becoming an über director and the director(s) becoming messengers. We did not want the Guild’s members to be involved in a ‘piece goods’ profession, blurring individual vision, authority and credit.”

While not quite going as far as to embrace the auteur theory entirely, the guild recognized the practicality of having one person in charge of a production:

“A single director is an organizational imperative,” DGA Secretary-Treasurer and Western Directors Council member Gil Cates explained. “A film is a complex form involving the integration of many elements. It’s a composite from many people — the writer, the actor, the director of photography. I’m sure that what is going on in the world at the time is also thrown in as part of the composite. So I’m not saying the vision has to be generated by one person, but, the best way to have that integration be successful is to have it articulated by a single person.”

One of the reasons the DGA has been so strict about only crediting a single director is because of what was happening elsewhere in Hollywood. They saw the complicated arbitration process in the Writers Guild, for example, when multiple writers contributed to a screenplay and credit needed to be determined. They were also looking to avoid the proliferation of producer credits being handed out to anyone with a passing involvement with the film. While actual producers are extraordinarily important to making a movie, sometimes people receive producer credit for questionable reasons. I’ve heard stories of people being awarded producer credits who aren’t even as involved in the creation of the film as craft service personnel.

Sin City sf

There Are Exceptions to Every Rule

But the idea of a single director being credited is not a hard-and-fast rule. The reason you’ve seen filmmakers like the Coen brothers or the Russo brothers receive co-credit is because they qualify as a “bona fide team” in the guild’s eyes:

There were exceptions built into the single-director clause of the 1978 agreement — there could be more than one director for different segments of a multi-storied or multi-lingual film (e.g., New York Stories and Tora! Tora! Tora!), for different segments of a multi-part closed-end television series (e.g., Roots or Band of Brothers), assignment of a second unit director or any especially skilled director (e.g., underwater or aerial work) and for a “bona fide team.”

Robert Rodriguez (Desperado) famously quit the Directors Guild when they wouldn’t allow Rodriguez and first-time filmmaker Frank Miller to both receive credit for directing 2005’s Sin City (Quentin Tarantino also directed a section of that film), and George Lucas split from the guild after a disagreement over The Empire Strikes Back.

The guild clearly won’t see Snyder and Whedon as a “bona fide team” since they didn’t make the movie together, and I’m wondering if this decision will provide guidance for a similarly-thorny crediting issue that popped up recently: the Ron Howard/Lord and Miller fiasco over at Lucasfilm. I’ll be keeping a sharp eye on how this turns out, and I’m sure Star Wars fans will be, too.

Justice League hits theaters on November 17, 2017.

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‘Star Wars: Episode 9’ Won’t Have Carrie Fisher Appear After All

Carrie Fisher in Star Wars Episode 9

Ever since Carrie Fisher passed away before the end of 2016, Star Wars fans have wondered how her character General Leia would be handled as the Star Wars saga continued. Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that Star Wars: The Last Jedi would not have to be altered following her passing, despite reports indicating that Carrie Fisher was meant to play a bigger role in Star Wars: Episode 9. Part of the solution was to use existing footage of Carrie Fisher in Episode 9 that was shot during production of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, according to Carrie Fisher’s brother Todd Fisher. But now Lucasfilm has done a complete 180 on that proposed plan.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy recently sat down for an interview after debuting the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi (watch it over and over again right here, and then check out our trailer breakdown), and she said that we will not see Carrie Fisher in Star Wars Episode 9 after all. Find out what Kathleen Kennedy said about the matter after the jump.

Here’s the interview from ABC News where Kathleen Kennedy clarified Carrie Fisher’s future in Star Wars:

If you can’t watch the video for some reason, here’s what she said about Todd Fisher’s recent remarks about his sister being revived by way of repurposed footage from the most recently shot Star Wars movies:

“[Todd] was probably confused, because we finished everything in [Episode] 8, and Carrie is absolutely phenomenal in the movie. We’re so happy that we were able to complete shooting in the summer.

Unfortunately, Carrie passed away, so by the time we were well underway with Episode 9 – in our thoughts, we had not written the script yet – we regrouped, we started over again in January, so sadly Carrie will not be in [Episode] 9. We’ll see a lot of her in [Episode] 8.”

More than likely, Disney and Lucasfilm wanted to make sure they had as many options at their disposal when it came to deciding what to do following the death of Carrie Fisher. Though they may have asked Todd Fisher, as well as Carrie Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd, if they had permission to use existing footage that wasn’t used in either The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi, that didn’t mean that was definitively part of their plan.

star wars the last jedi trailer 6 leia

What Happens to General Leia in The Last Jedi?

The question that many fans now have is what will happen to Carrie Fisher’s character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi if she’s not going to appear in Star Wars: Episode 9? As we mentioned before, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that The Last Jedi would not be altered following Carrie’s death. If that remains true, then how will we say goodbye to the character properly?

When Paul Walker died a few years ago in the middle of production on Furious 7, his two brothers helped complete shooting as stand-ins while visual effects were used to replace their faces with a digital recreation of Paul Walker’s face, including the emotional farewell given to his character Brian O’Conner in the final scene of the movie. However, Bob Iger has said that visual effects will not be employed to create new footage of Carrie Fisher, despite the fact that they were able to complete such a feat when they brought back Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

From my perspective, it looks like one of those statements will be made false. The Last Jedi will likely have been changed in some capacity in order to compensate for Carrie Fisher not appearing in Star Wars: Episode 9. The only way that statement could remain true is if there was already a plan for General Leia to be killed off in the movie anyway. But if that was the case, then Episode 9 wouldn’t need to have changed their approach to the story and started from scratch.

The only way I could see Bob Iger being 100% right is if the opening crawl of Star Wars: Episode 9 explains that General Leia has been killed, and the opening scene of the film is a funeral for the character. That would be a touching way to say farewell to Leia without needing any new footage of Carrie Fisher. It would also serve as a good plot device to kick off whatever happens next.

At the end of the day, it wouldn’t be a big deal if part of The Last Jedi had to be changed due to Carrie Fisher’s passing. But whatever happens with General Leia, we just hope Disney and Lucasfilm have figured out how to give her a proper send-off since this is the last time we’ll see Carrie Fisher as this character.

In the meantime, if you’d like to check out a heartfelt farewell tribute to Carrie Fisher, watch the video honoring her work, including a lovely speech from Billie Lourd, right here.

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‘Fast & Furious’ in Space? Franchise Writer Won’t Rule It Out and Has a Killer Idea

Fast and Furious in Space

The Fast and Furious franchise is known for its ridiculous action as much as its overuse of the word family. When the film series started as a street racing version of Point Break back in 2001, it was a little more grounded, but a few films later, that went completely out the window as Universal embraced the insanity of the action sequences cooked up by the filmmakers.

As the Fast and Furious films have continued and the action has escalated, fans have joked that Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his de facto family will eventually have to head to space to up the ante. Writer Chris Morgan has heard this multiple times, and he surprisingly didn’t shoot down the prospect when asked about it recently. He even has one hell of an idea if it were to happen.

Uproxx sat down with Chris Morgan for an interview leading up to the release of The Fate of the Furious this coming week, and they flat out asked if we might ever see Fast and Furious in space, where there are no roads. Interestingly enough, Chris Morgan didn’t say no:

“Look, I get all versions of that question. I get, ‘Are you going to space?,’ and, ‘Please, God, tell me you’re not going to space because you’ll lose me if you do.’ … The only way I’d go to space is if I had something so good.”

Since this is the Fast and Furious franchise we’re talking about, the meaning of “something so good” doesn’t necessarily hold a lot of weight. Still, it would have to be something that makes somewhat logical sense. But Chris Morgan has an idea that is so awesome that I’d be willing to throw all logic out the window. Morgan says:

“What if Dom’s long lost brother, Richard B. Riddick showed up?”

That sound you hear is of minds being blown around the world. Could you imagine having a movie where the Fast and Furious cast not only goes to space, but they end up meeting Richard B. Riddick? For those who don’t know, that’s the character that Vin Diesel has played in Pitch Black, Chronicles of Riddick and the most recently released Riddick. Could audiences handle two bad ass versions of Vin Diesel in one movie? It just might be too much to handle.

As crazy as it sounds, the story would be the hardest thing to crack. Riddick just so happens to be a franchise that is situated at Universal Pictures, the same studio behind the Fast and Furious franchise. However, if we’re going to have a crossover that gives us two Vin Diesels, there’s one that makes a little more sense.

What audiences really need to see is a crossover that blends the xXx franchise with Fast and Furious. The blend of extreme sports action, heists and fast car chases just makes sense. But the problem there is that Paramount Pictures owns the rights to xXx, so it’s about as likely to happen as Fast and Furious going to space.

Though James Bond and Jason Voorhees both went to space, I personally can’t see this ever happening, but I’d be first in line to see what they movie would be like. We’ll just have to take solace in the fact that there’s no shortage of crazy ideas to continue the Fast and Furious franchise in the most ludicrous way possible if it ever came down to it.

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Major ISPs now say they won’t sell your browsing history. Yeah. Right.

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Internet service providers are in an awkward spot. After getting all dressed up for the sell-your-data dance, it turns out they’ll be staying home. 

Or so they claim.

Reuters reports that representatives from Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T all came out today to assure worried consumers that the companies will not in fact sell customers’ browsing histories to the highest bidder. 

“We do not sell our broadband customers’ individual web browsing history,” writes Comcast Chief Privacy Officer Gerard Lewis on the company’s blog. ”We did not do it before the FCC’s rules were adopted, and we have no plans to do so.”   Read more…

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Disney’s Live-Action ‘Mulan’ Remake Won’t Be a Musical

Mulan Remake Is Not a Musical

Ever since Maleficent was released in 2014, Disney has been obsessed with giving their animated classics the live-action remake treatment. However, out of the four that have followed, only Beauty and the Beast has been a full fledged musical. And as of now, it sounds like the lack of signature tunes in Disney’s live-action remakes will continue with the Mulan remake that’s in the works.

Mulan has Niki Caro attached to direct the live-action remake of the movie about a young girl who impersonates a man in order to join the Chinese military so that her ailing father won’t be drafted and sent to war. The film is in the final stages of pre-production, and that’s enough for Caro to know what kind of remake we’re looking at, and fans might be disappointed to hear that the original songs from the animated film are not part of the plan.

Caro recently spoke to Moviefone while promoting the arrival of her new movie The Zookeeper’s Wife. While she said that her version of the 1998 animated favorite would be “a big, girly martial arts epic” just like the animated movie, she also confirmed that Mulan remake is not a musical:

“Yes, from what I understand, no songs right now, much to the horror of my children.”

Caro’s children likely aren’t going to be the only fans horrified by a lack of songs in the new Mulan. However, this really shouldn’t be surprising when you look at how Disney has been approaching most of these remakes. The Jungle Book only incorporated a couple songs into the movie, including “Bare Necessities” and a different version of King Louie’s song “I Wanna Be Like You.” Meanwhile, Cinderella didn’t have any songs.

It’s not hard to understand why a change like this is taking place. The tone and style that the Mulan remake is going for would likely be upset by the inclusion of any musical sequences. Making those kind of interludes feel natural and organic rather than distracting can be difficult, especially if the entire movie isn’t a musical. Still, it would be nice if Niki Caro figured out a way to at least include  “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” somehow:

Our best hope is that Caro does say “no songs right now,” which indicates that their approach could change at some point. The film is supposed to start shooting in China this spring, though we have no idea who is starring in the movie yet. Hopefully we’ll find out more about Mulan soon.

Will you be disappointed if there are no songs in Mulan?

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