Today in Movie Culture: What Makes a Sundance Movie, the Costumes of ‘Phantom Thread’ and More

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Here are a bunch of little bites to satisfy your hunger for movie culture:

Festival Guide of the Day:

For IMDb, filmmaker Kevin Smith explains the five essential ingredients of a Sundance movie:

Craftsman of the Day:

Meet costume designer Mark Bridges and see his work on Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread:

Mashup of the Day:

Is Rocket Raccoon the galactic MacGyver of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Darth Blender mashes Guardians of the Galaxy with a classic TV show:

Movie Comparison of the Day:

Watch clips from The Walk side by side from actual footage of the same real-life events in the documentary Man on Wire:

Vintage Image of the Day:

Tippi Hedren, who turns 88 today…
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G’Day? ‘Dundee’ Teaser Reveals Danny McBride as Crocodile Dundee’s Son 

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Surprise! There’s a random Crocodile Dundee movie coming this summer.

Out of nowhere, People just revealed a first teaser for “Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home.” Danny McBride stars as Brian Dundee, son of Crocodile Dundee, in a revival of the Australian franchise. OG “That’s not a knife” bushman Mick Dundee will be back, still played by Paul Hogan.

Paul Hogan even commented for People’s story:

“Crocodile Dundee is a film that has stood the test of time. It was a defining moment in my life and one of my proudest accomplishments. Throughout the past few years, I’ve been thinking about how to bring Dundee to a new generation. I’m excited to introduce the new Crocodile Dundee to the world and look forward to sharing more news about those involved very soon.”

McBride had his own quip on the role:

“I’m not going to lie to you, to be a real Crocodile Dundee, I think 95% of it is the vest and then 5% is just being able to not fall down and stay on your feet,” he told People.

Here’s the film’s synopsis, from the official site:

“Crocodile Dundee is back. Well, actually, he’s missing in the Outback. And the only person who might be able to find him is the loudmouthed American son no one knew he had. Introducing Danny McBride as Brian Dundee. This son of a legend is forced to channel his Aussie roots as he embarks on the ultimate adventure in the land down under.

It’s time to live up to the family name.”

Check out the very brief teaser:There are photos from production on the official site, too. We’re now waiting for a trailer and a release date. Or for someone to wake us from this ’80s fever dream.

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The Week in Movie News: DC Named ‘Flashpoint’ Directors, DiCaprio Reuniting With Tarantino and More

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Need a quick recap on the past week in movie news? Here are the highlights:


DC tapped new directors for Flashpoint: Warner Bros. is moving forward on its Justice League spin-off focused on The Flash (Ezra Miller) and has just hired Vacation directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein to helm the DC superhero feature, which is called Flashpoint. Read more here and find additional DC Expanded Universe news here and here and here.


Leonardo DiCaprio will reunite with Quentin Tarantino: After playing a villainous supporting role in Django Unchained, Leonardo DiCaprio will re-team with Quentin Tarantino playing an aging actor in the filmmaker’s next project, set in 1969 amidst the Manson…
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Will Scarlett Johansson Be Paid $25 Million for ‘Black Widow’ Movie? Rumor Patrol

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Don’t jump all over this news and squeeze it to death with your legs; it’s not confirmed.

On the heels of Marvel finally hiring a writer for a “Black Widow” standalone movie comes this rumor of how much star Scarlett Johansson might get paid for the project.

The number comes from the Daily Mail, which is known more for tabloid rumors than Marvel budget reports. But their exclusive report quotes an unnamed “well-placed film industry source” who told them she would be paid $25 million to star in the movie, making her the highest-paid actress for a single movie.

On top of that, her agents are reportedly angling for her to get a producer’s credit on the project. After playing the character in seven Marvel movies, that doesn’t sound out of the question. The source also claims her agents “pushed through the revenue bonus payment,” so if the movie makes more than $900 million at the global box office, she’ll get another $6 million.

Is that true? Who knows. It’s believable. Sure, $25 million is a lot, but the Daily Mail added “the figures are still low compared to Robert Downey Jr, who earned a starting salary of $50 million before bonuses for his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man.”

Scarlett Johansson beat her Marvel costars as the top-grossing (not to be confused with paid) star of 2016, bringing in $1.2 billion at the worldwide box office. And that didn’t even include her voice roles in “The Jungle Book” and “Sing.”

She’ll next join the gang in “Avengers: Infinity War” this May (where Black Widow is now blonde), as well as “Avengers 4” next year. This Daily Mail source — whose words shouldn’t be taken as Marvel gospel — said the Black Widow script is now being written with the hope to have the film ready in cinemas by summer 2020.

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Here Are 7 Hidden Gems From Your Favorite Horror Directors

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It’s easy for horror directors to be pigeonholed. It seems to come with the territory.

If they’ve had success with one film, then that film winds up defining their entire career, whether that filmmaker likes it or not. Sometimes, though, these horror filmmakers make wild attempts with audacious films that, while they might not necessarily connect with audiences, make a big impact on those that see them. Its in this spirit of adventurousness — and coinciding with the imminent release of Shout Factory’s amazing new “Drag Me to Hell” Blu-ray — that we look at lesser known films from some of your favorite horror filmmakers that you might have missed. Just be sure to watch with the lights on.Tobe Hooper

Best Known For: “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974)

Our Recommendation: “The Funhouse” (1981)

Texas-born, Dr. Pepper-loving Tobe Hooper is best remembered for his groundbreaking “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and for directing at least part of Steven Spielberg’s “Poltergeist.” But he had a long and varied filmography, from his big budget movies with Cannon Films to his return to independent features towards the end of his career. But our recommendation is 1981’s “The Funhouse.”

It was Hooper’s first studio project and it’s as stunningly beautiful (the cinematography by Andrew Laszlo, who had just come off “The Warriors,” is amazing) as it is deeply scary. The plot concerns a group of teenagers stalked inside a carnival funhouse but that’s just an exclusive for Hooper to pile on the neatly stylized atmospherics and nifty suspense set pieces.Wes Craven

Best Known for: “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984) and “Scream” (1996)

Our Recommendation: “The Serpent and the Rainbow” (1988)

Few horror filmmakers can lay claim to an entire franchise, let alone two huge sensations. But with “Scream” and “Nightmare on Elm Street,” Wes Craven can handily take responsibility for two of the most influential horror series ever. But some of his smaller, less well-received films are also his most interesting.

Case in point, “The Serpent and the Rainbow.” Based on the nonfiction bestseller by Wade Davis, Craven sensationalized and embellished on that original text, amplifying an already horrific tale of zombies and voodoo in the Amazon jungle. Sometimes, this makes things somewhat wobbly, at least on a tonal level, but it’s undeniably gritty, thrilling stuff.John Carpenter

Best Known for: “Halloween” (1978), “The Thing” (1981).

Our Recommendation: “Prince of Darkness” (1987)

John Carpenter is one of our favorite American filmmakers, period. He’s made so many great movies. But one of his most underrated, scariest, and indeed best, is “Prince of Darkness.”

This apocalyptic tale (penned by Carpenter under a pseudonym) follows a group of grad students, scientists, and priests, as they study a vial of otherworldly green goo uncovered in the basement of an ancient church. Weird and deeply unsettling, “Prince of Darkness” goes to some genuinely unexpected places and feels formally adventurous (particularly when it comes to some early found footage-type elements). If you’ve never see it, be prepared — it’ll scare you silly.David Cronenberg

Best Known for: “The Fly” (1986)

Our Recommendation: “The Brood” (1979)

Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg broke through to the mainstream with his witty remake of “The Fly” and had a recent critical resurgence with a series of more traditional (but still Cronenbergian) thrillers. But if you’re looking for something more outré and, indeed, totally scary, then we suggest looking back to “The Brood,” made before he had crossed over.

Made around the time the director was going through a bitter custody battle, “The Brood” is unnerving and unrelenting, with suitably off-the-wall performances by Oliver Reed and a fearless Samantha Egger (there’s a moment towards the end that she totally owns that will make you go “ewwww”).Gore Verbinski

Best Known for: “The Ring” (2012)

Our Recommendation: “A Cure for Wellness” (2017)

Gore Verbinski has always flirted with the dark side, even when making giant spectacles (see his “Pirates of the Caribbean” films) and is perhaps best remembered for his chilling remake of the Japanese horror phenomenon “The Ring.” But just last year Verbinski returned to the genre and hardly anybody noticed.

“A Cure for Wellness” is long and baroque (you could imagine Vincent Price filling in for Jason Isaacs without issue) but it’s also incredibly rewarding. It’s a singularly visionary, uniquely stylized romp that satirizes our modern obsession with wellness while also tapping into something much more primordial.Sam Raimi

Best Known for: The “Evil Dead” Trilogy (1981, 1987, 1992)

Our Recommendation: “Drag Me to Hell” (2009)

Although he ushered in the modern superhero era with his beloved “Spider-Man” films, Sam Raimi got his start making down-and-dirty horror movies that both scared and delighted in equal measure. So when he got done with the web-slinger, he returned to his roots, completing the delightfully gooey “Drag Me to Hell.” And it flopped.

But already it seems that there is a small but vocal group that considers “Drag Me to Hell” a lost classic (because it is). Smartly adapted for the financial crisis, a young bank worker (Alison Lohman) is cursed by a vengeful gypsy. After that, well, it all goes to hell. You can feel Raimi’s looseness and joy coming through in every frame. He’s so excited to scare an audience again. It’s a blast.George A. Romero

Best Known for: “Night of the Living Dead” (1968)

Our Recommendation: “Monkey Shines” (1988)

When George A. Romero passed away last year, most zeroed in on his zombie films, which served as both socio-political allegories and midnight movie freakouts. But there were a number of fascinating one-offs in his career, some more celebrated than others. “Monkey Shines” is most definitely not all that appreciated, but it’s still scary as hell and very much worth a watch.

The set-up is undeniably goofy (a quadriplegic man develops a psychic and sinister bond with his service monkey) but Romero commits to the premise fully and the slick production (it was Romero’s first studio film) is undeniably impressive. (That David Shire score!) While some last-minute tinkering from the studio robbed the movie of its more moody tone, it’s still scary as hell.

Disney’s Live-Action ‘Sword in the Stone’ Hires ’28 Weeks Later’ Director

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Because these Disney reboots clearly need more zombies!

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is now negotiating to direct “The Sword in the Stone,” a live-action reimagining of Disney’s 1963 animated movie.

Fresnadillo is best known for directing the “28 Days Later” sequel “28 Weeks Later,” and also the 2011 Clive Owen horror thriller “Intrudors.” He’s a bit of a dark choice to join Disney’s live-action universe, but the script they’re using was written by “Game of Thrones” writer-producer Bryan Cogman, and he’s a pretty dark choice too. This could be a very interesting take on King Arthur. (It’s also been in the works since 2015, when Cogman was first revealed to be writing the script.)

Giorgio Armani & The Cinema Society Host A Screening Of 'Intruders' - After PartySpeaking of takes on King Arthur, Disney actually has another project in development called “The Merlin Saga,” which Ridley Scott is eyeing. Here’s an interesting theory from Collider on both projects:

“One wonders if the two projects might eventually intersect with The Merlin Saga telling the tale of a younger Merlin’s adventures while The Sword in the Stone sees the wizened wizard guiding a young Arthur and mentoring the boy as he sets out on the path to becoming king after pulling the titular sword from the titular stone.”

No idea if they’re going in that direction or not, but it’s interesting.

King Arthur tales have struggled of late, including “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” which had a rough road at the box office. But Disney is Disney and these modern live-action movies have done pretty well so far (extremely well in some cases, like “Beauty and the Beast”).

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