Guillermo Del Toro’s Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark Drops First Look

No one loves monsters quite like Guillermo del Toro. The Oscar-winning director is a huge horror nerd and he’ll be contributing all that love and knowledge to Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Based on the short story collections of the same name, the live action movie aims to give everyone the heebie-jeebies. Look for no further proof than the first poster for the film, which features a certain scarecrow familiar to those who know the books.

The poster for the film was sent with the message “This Sunday Will Be Scary,” which was probably a hint to the first trailer dropping during the February 3 Super Bowl.

Directed by André Øvredal (Troll Hunter) and written by Daniel Hageman, Kevin Hageman, and Guillermo del Toro, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is based on a series of short stories from Alvin Schwartz. The stories were a lot of horror fans’ introduction to the genre, and the books feature some real skin-crawling monsters and frights.

We’ve been left to guess just how frightful the live-action film will be, but now we have our first real indication that it will be quite creepy. A new poster for the film is making its way across the internet and it features an off-putting scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield. Those who have read the short stories will likely be able to pinpoint the identity of this guy pretty darn quick.

Harold is a scarecrow that served as the subject of one of the short stories. Simply titled “Harold,” the story followed two farmers who treat their scarecrow poorly until one day when the scarecrow begins to show signs of life. Eventually, Harold is walking on the roof in the middle of the night and really takes the saying that there’s more than one way to skin a cat (or a farmer) to heart.

Not too much is known yet about Scary Stories or which of the written tales will be included in the film. The plot will follow a group of teenagers who must solve the mystery surrounding sudden and macabre deaths in their small town. Deaths that I assume include farmers that are mean to scarecrows.

Thanks to the talent involved in Scary Stories, the film is drumming up lots of hype among horror fans. If you’ve ever seen Troll Hunter, than you know that André Øvredal has the goods to bring the book to life and del Toro doesn’t have anything to prove at this point.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 9, 2019. There are bound to be more updates (like a trailer, probably tomorrow!) soon enough, so be sure to stick with CinemaBlend and we’ll keep you updated as soon as the information is available. In the meantime, keep yourself occupied with everything else that will be hitting theaters this year with our handy 2019 movie release schedule.

The Escape From New York Remake Just Took A Big Step Forward

A remake of Escape From New York has been on the table for a while, with a few different writers and directors attached to the project. So far, none of them have been able to see it to the finish line. But now the remake has got some new creative talent attached. Leigh Whannell, the writer and director of Upgrade, has signed on to direct the new Escape From New York.

Escape From New York is a 1981 action movie starring Kurt Russell and directed by the legendary John Carpenter. Set in the far off future of 1997, Manhattan has been transformed into a maximum security prison for the worst of the worst criminals. When the President of the United States crash lands in the middle of the dystopian city, an outlaw (Russell) is convinced to infiltrate the city and rescue the president.

The movie was followed by a sequel, Escape From L.A., in 1996, with John Carpenter and Kurt Russell returning. It wasn’t received as well as the first movie and was a box office bomb, but Escape From New York is considered a classic.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Leigh Whannell has signed on to write the screenplay for the remake. While there is no director attached yet, it’s apparently on the table for Whannell to handle directing duties as well. John Carpenter is on board as an executive producer.

Previously, Neil Cross, the creator of the BBC series Luther starring Idris Elba, wrote a draft of the script and Robert Rodriguez was attached to direct. However, Leigh Wannell will be starting from scratch with a script that will retain elements of the original but incorporate new ideas. Sources close to the project say that Whannell is looking to avoid the pitfalls of other remakes of ’80s movies such as Total Recall and Robocop.

Leigh Whannell’s name might be familiar to horror fans. The filmmaker got his start writing and co-creating the Saw franchise with James Wan, the extremely successful director of Aquaman. The would also collaborate on another hit franchise, Insidious, and Whannell made his directorial debut with Insidious: Chapter 3.

Leigh Whannell’s latest feature was Upgrade, a sci-fi action film that he wrote and directed. While not a smash hit, the film has a strong following and earned positive reviews. It was enough to convince studio heads that Whannell was a man to be in business with. News recently broke that Whannell will write and direct a revamped The Invisible Man for Universal as it adjusts its strategy for Dark Universe.

While I don’t know if we need another Escape From New York, Whannell seems like the guy to bring it to fruition. There’s no release date for the remake yet, but stay tuned for more update with CinemaBlend.

How To Train Your Dragon 3 Sold Out Hundreds Of Early Screenings

According to Fandango, sales for the early access screenings exceeded expectations, with hundreds of theaters selling out long before today’s big event. The roughly 1,000 screenings are taking place at select theaters this afternoon, so be prepared to see some honest reactions from fans spreading across social media. (If you’re one of those fans, consider sharing your thoughts with the class in the comments.)

How to Train Your Dragon 3 already screened for critics, and it currently has a 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Early reactions have been very positive, but it’s always interesting to hear from the fans themselves.

How to Train Your Dragon 3 is the final movie of this trilogy, arriving five years after the second film was released. Hiccup star Jay Baruchel said fans will most likely walk away sad … but satisfied. That sounds about right.

The Hidden World was written and directed by Dean DeBlois, and the script earned high praise from Steven Spielberg, who said he had trouble reading the ending through his tears. “It’s a complete unqualified classic and better than the original,” Spielberg said. Sure, the How to Train Your Dragon movies are DreamWorks Animation films, and Steven Spielberg was a DreamWorks founder. But still. He doesn’t gush about every film.

Fandango surveyed more than 1,000 Hidden World moviegoers, and shared these polled results:

I’m guessing 100% will be sorry to see the story end with this film. Then again, if it has a satisfying ending, then maybe the story concludes at the perfect time.

The trilogy started with 2010’s How to Train Your Dragon and continued with 2014’s How to Train Your Dragon 2, loosely based on the book by Cressida Cowell. The story continued with a TV series, and the sixth and final season of Dragons: Race to the Edge was released last February 16, 2018.

Now it’s all coming to an end with How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, which arrives in theaters for the rest of us here in the U.S. on February 22, 2019. Keep an eye out for reactions from these early screenings — guessing they will be very positive, but kids can be tough critics. How to Train Your Dragon 3 is one of the early films to hit the big screen in what is going to be an extremely busy spring at the movies. Bookmark our 2019 movie release guide to stay up-to-date on everything ahead.

BB-8 Puppeteer Wraps Star Wars: Episode IX After 5-Year ‘Amazing Ride’

Is BB-8 saying goodbye for now or forever after Star Wars: Episode IX? It’s the end of the new trilogy, but with Disney+ coming, and standalone movies hitting theaters, it’s hard to imagine this is really The End.

Brian Herring is one of the puppeteers and lead performer behind BB-8. You may not think of the process that goes into creating the character, but it has been his life — and his dream — for the past five years. Now that many stars are wrapping their roles on Star Wars: Episode IX, Herring took a moment to thank the Lucasfilm team and look back fondly on his journey:

What a joy. Brian Herring joined the creature shop for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was directed by J.J. Abrams. Abrams returned to direct Episode IX, which has yet to reveal its title. Herring’s BB-8 was also part of the saga in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, directed by Rian Johnson.

Brian Herring also worked on other creatures in the Star Wars galaxy, including Porgs, Fathiers, and the sea cows Luke Skywalker milked. Herring shared BB-8 puppeteer duty with Dave Chapman. And did you know Bill Hader and Ben Schwartz were both credited as “BB-8 vocal consultants” in The Force Awakens?

Brian Herring has a great interview on StarWars.com from March 2018, talking about the differences as a puppeteer going from operating a droid puppet to operating an organic creature like a Porg. He also talked about why it’s important to have the practical effects puppets versus just using CGI for the movies:

Good points! BB-8 is not the only droid saying his goodbyes right now. Anthony Daniels just shared his own farewell, after playing C-3PO since the very first Star Wars movie back in 1977. But it’s also not clear if his goodbye was for now or forever. After all, once Return of the Jedi completed the first trilogy in 1983, no one really saw six more movies coming to the big screen with the prequels and now this new trilogy.

Mission: Impossible 7 And 8 Announce Release Dates

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to play the Mission: Impossible theme in your head as you mark down the following dates in your handy movie release calendar:

Funny to think we’re already planning things for 2022. It was already revealed that star Tom Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie would be returning for two more M:I films, to be released back-to-back. (Some other more unexpected familiar faces may also return.) Previously, we just heard plans for “summer 2021” and “summer 2022,” but Paramount isn’t playing around. They are locking in some dates. Maybe the dates will move down the line, or maybe every other movie will stay out of their way.

Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie are hot off the success of Mission: Impossible 6, aka Fallout, which was incredible. As Deadline noted, Mission: Impossible – Fallout was the highest-grossing film of the franchise to date, showing there’s still a lot of life in this series.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout was released in July 2018 and made $791,115,104 worldwide. Christopher McQuarrie also wrote and directed the previous movie, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, which came out in 2015 and made $682,714,267.

The Mission: Impossible movies have made $3.5 billion worldwide so far, and these two newcomers will mark four in a row for Christopher McQuarrie. Will 7 and 8 be the final Mission: Impossible movies? We’ll see.

Hopefully Tom Cruise gets through the next two action films without more injuries. The guy is 56 right now. His birthday was July 3, 1962, which means Mission: Impossible 8 will arrive when he turns 60. (I bet you anything he’ll look exactly the same.)

Despite pushing 60, Tom Cruise still insists on doing most if not all of his own stunts. He does a great job, but he also broke his ankle during one Fallout stunt that delayed production (although apparently that delay was a good thing). And people on set thought he might’ve broken his back during a helicopter stunt, but that stunt turned out OK. Well, more than OK, really.

Christopher McQuarrie had previously teamed up with Tom Cruise as the writer of Valkyrie and Edge of Tomorrow, and writer/director of Jack Reacher. McQuarrie also wrote Top Gun: Maverick, the Top Gun sequel set for release on June 26, 2020.

So Tom Cruise plans to have some pretty busy summers in the next few years.

So far, Tom Cruise has a pretty great track record with Ethan Hunt. But it’s probably smart of Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie to sit out 2019, since it’s already jam-packed with potential blockbusters. Keep up with everything in our handy 2019 movie schedule.

Watch Captain Marvel’s Epic Car Chase Train Fight In Extended Scene

Goose the cat may steal Captain Marvel, but it won’t be due to lack of other action. Last night, Carol Danvers star Brie Larson dropped a new extended look at her film. While Captain Marvel gets into a fight on the roof of a train, ’90s-era Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) have their own car chase trying to keep up. Check it out:

Superheroes always do so much damage — destroying property, flinging pieces of train across a freeway. Yeah, they save the world, but that is going to clog traffic for HOURS.

The clip ends with Fury and Coulson planning to “meet them at the station,” so the scene must then head to a train station.

We’re assuming that’s a Skrull Carol is fighting, right? The first trailer showed Captain Marvel punching a little old lady on a train, and we’re also assuming that lady was a shape-shifting Skrull in disguise. So this scene should continue right into that moment, yes? Since Carol punches a hole in the roof and jumps inside the train?

Perpetual blockbuster bad guy Ben Mendelsohn will be playing Talos, who leads the Skrulls’ invasion of Earth. Jude Law plays the commander of Starforce and also Carol Danvers’ mentor, with Annette Bening as the Kree scientist who rescued Carol and made her part-Kree. Djimon Hounsou plays a Kree mercenary called Korath, with Gemma Chan as Kree sniper Minn-Erva. Lashana Lynch plays Carol’s friend and fellow Air Force pilot Maria “Photon” Rambeau.

The MCU’s Captain Marvel is set in the 1990s, well before the events of Avengers: Infinity War, but we’re expecting the story to connect the dots and explain why Nick Fury sent a message to Captain Marvel before being dust-busted by Thanos. Since Avengers: Endgame opens about a month-and-a-half after Captain Marvel, we’re also expecting Danvers’ story to segue into the aftermath of Infinity War.

So there’s a lot we still need to learn, but Captain Marvel isn’t going to just sit us down for long exposition talks, it’s going to give some train fights and car chases and other such action. Captain Marvel arrives in theaters March 8, followed by Avengers 4, aka Avengers: Endgame, on April 26. Keep up with all things MCU in our handy Marvel Cinematic Universe guide. And here’s what else is playing on the big screen during the busy busy busy blockbuster-heavy spring 2019 movie season.

Rami Malek Speaks Candidly On Bohemian Rhapsody Director Bryan Singer

Oscar-nominated Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek was just honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and he took the opportunity to address the allegations against director Bryan Singer. Malek told the crowd that his situation with Singer “was not pleasant.” Singer had been fired from the film with a few weeks left to filming. Just recently, Singer was met with additional allegations of sexual misconduct against underage boys.

Rami Malek was asked about the claims against Bryan Singer during the film festival panel discussion, and here’s how Malek responded:

The Freddie Mercury star also hinted to some darkness in his own experience working with Bryan Singer:

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rami Malek was visibly emotional after talking about his unpleasant situation with Bryan Singer.

Bryan Singer was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody with fewer than three weeks left to filming, but the reasoning was not connected to any sexual misconduct allegations. From Singer’s perspective, he asked for time off to go back home to handle an ailing parent’s health concerns, and Fox denied him. Director Dexter Fletcher was hired to finish the film, and did add a few scenes, but most of the film was by Bryan Singer and he retained his director’s credit.

THR reports that Bryan Singer could make more than $40 million from Bohemian Rhapsody, which was a very profitable movie, making more than $800 million worldwide on a budget of just over $50 million. Singer will also reportedly get an upfront fee of $10 million to direct Red Sonja.

Bohemian Rhapsody was a surprise winner of the 2019 Golden Globe for Best Drama, and it has five Oscar nominations going into the 91st Academy Awards. Rami Malek — who worked so hard to transform into Freddie Mercury — has an excellent chance of picking up his first Oscar for Best Actor for playing the Queen frontman.

We’ll find out if Rami Malek wins, and if Bohemian Rhapsody can continue to defy its critics, when the 2019 Oscars air Sunday, February 24 on ABC. Here’s what’s playing in theaters so far this year.

One Cool Way DC Should Celebrate Tim Burton’s Batman Turning 30

This is a big year for Batman for several reasons. For one thing, 2019 marks the 80th anniversary of when the Caped Crusader debuted in the pages of Detective Comics #27, and at the end of March, that same publication will reach its 1000th issue. Cinematically, while attention is now turned towards The Batman and who will replace Ben Affleck under the cape and cowl, we can’t forget that this is also the 30th anniversary of Tim Burton’s Batman, which reshaped how the general public saw the eponymous character. To celebrate this important chapter of Batman’s history, DC Comics should take a page from the Batman TV series’ book and start publishing comic book stories set in the Burton Batman universe continuity.

For those unaware, back in 2013, DC Comics began publishing the Batman ’66 comic book, which was set in the same continuity as the popular TV series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. So not only could fans experience more adventures featuring the Dynamic Duo clashing against familiar foes like The Joker and The Riddler (all of whom were naturally illustrated to look just like the actors who played them on the small screen), but they were also treated to campy adaptations of villains who never appeared on the original show, like Poison Ivy, Bane, Harley Quinn Scarecrow. And that was just the main series, which lasted 30 issues. Several miniseries have also been published depicting Batman and Robin crossing over with other properties, like The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Steed and Mrs. Peel (a.k.a. the British Avengers) and Wonder Woman ’77.

Batman ’66 expanded the mythology of a TV series that had ended decades before, but still kept a sizable fanbase. After all, for many folks, Adam West was their first Batman. The same can be said for Michael Keaton in the 1989 Batman movie, so why not take that chapter of Batman history and bring it to the printed page as well? Even if DC Comics doesn’t already have such a plan in motion, it could be possible to get a Batman ’89 comic book series rolling in the latter half of the year, thus not only celebrating this movie’s 30th anniversary, but also giving fans of Tim Burton’s first two Batman movies at least (ideally) several more years of adventures set in that world.

Just to be clear, if DC were to move forward with a Batman ’89 comic book series, it would be set in a purely Burton-ized world. Batman and Batman Returns are the only in-continuity movies, and Batman Forever and Batman & Robin would be ignored. While part of me is curious to see more adventures set in Joel Schumacher’s wacky world, the fact of the matter is that Burton’s Gotham City doesn’t resemble Schumacher’s Gotham City whatsoever. If it weren’t for Michael Gough and Pat Hingle’s presence in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, you might as well consider those movies a complete reboot of the Batman film series that weren’t nearly as critically acclaimed as their predecessors.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of Batman material to be mined for a Batman ’89 comic book series. Obviously these stories could explore unresolved plot points from the Tim Burton Batman movies, such as show what happened to Selina Kyle after she survived electrocution in Batman Returns and explain the specifics behind why Bruce Wayne and Vicki Vale broke up. More importantly, we could see numerous unique, Burton-ized spins on Batman’s rogues gallery and other prominent characters. For example, Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face.

You’ll recall that Billy Dee Williams had a minor role as Harvey Dent in Batman, and had Tim Burton stuck around for what was then just Batman 3, the plan was for Williams’ Dent to have half his face scarred and become a criminal mastermind. However, once Joel Schumacher took over on what we now know as Batman Forever, he started fresh on Two-Face and cast Tommy Lee Jones in the role instead. A Batman ’89 comic book series finally gives us the opportunity to see Williams’ Dent fall from grace and become the duality-obsessed antagonist he was meant to become.

Naturally if Two-Face could be Burton-ized, so could the other Schumacher-era villains, i.e. Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and Bane. Those movies adapted those baddies through a zany lens, but just imagine how they could be portrayed in Tim Burton’s darker and gothic Gotham City. They’d be more serious, but there’d still be that sense of fantastical fun that was in Batman and Batman Returns. And needless to say that Batman villains who haven’t didn’t have their time to shine in the Burton/Schumacher film series, or at all so far, are on the table, like Hugo Strange, The Ventriloquist, Killer Croc, Man-Bat, etc.

But a Batman ’89 comic book series doesn’t have to just be about Michael Keaton’s Batman fighting the forces of evil on his own. We could also see Batman’s circle of allies expand past just Alfred Pennyworth and a loose partnership with Commissioner Gordon. Batman Forever saw Dick Grayson joining Bruce Wayne’s life and become Robin, so let’s see that happen with Keaton’s Bruce Wayne, perhaps taking in a younger Dick as opposed to one who’s on the cusp of adulthood. Let’s get a Batgirl who is actually Commissioner Gordon’s daughter and becomes so enamored with Batman that she turns to vigilantism. Bring in some of the more obscure members of the Bat-Family, like Azrael, Huntress, Lucius Fox, Bluebird, etc.

1989’s Batman wasn’t just a landmark achievement for Gotham City’s Dark Knight, but also a huge stepping stone for the superhero genre. It’d be a worthwhile endeavor for DC Comics to honor this period of Batman’s history by expanding that particular mythos on the printed page. Considering how popular Batman still is and how often DC publishes out-of-continuity stories (Elseworlds, Black Label, whatever you want to call it), you can bet such a series would pique a fair amount of interest. The key is for whoever writes and illustrates this series to to envision how Tim Burton would have handled all these characters had he been allowed to continue his Batman film series for as long as possible.

Whether or not DC Comics moves forward with a Batman ’89 comic book series, there’s plenty to look forward to on the Batman front both on screen and on the printed page this year. As far as the character’s cinematic future goes, The Batman is scheduled to hit theaters on June 25, 2021, and director Matt Reeves is reportedly looking for a younger, big name actor to succeed Ben Affleck. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for updates.

Would You Read A Batman ’89 Comic Book Series?

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Anne Hathaway Shares A Hopeful Princess Diaries 3 Update

Disney’s modern classic The Princess Diaries is now almost 18 years old, but that doesn’t mean there’s not more stories to be told with a third film. While rumors and distant conversations of a third chapter have been buzzing for some time, Anne Hathaway finally settled the status of another Princess Diaries movie, and it’s an encouraging one. Here’s what she said:

Shut. Up. Anne Hathaway spilled this sweet cup of tea while on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen promoting her new film Serenity with Matthew McConaughey when a fan phoned in and asked for an update about Princess Diaries 3.

There’s nothing quite like hearing this news from the star of the original, along with her exciting Julie Andrews name drop and  some reassurance that they are taking some time to get it right. Most fans have been waiting for a big chunk of their lives after all, considering the family-friendly film’s original fans are now 20 to 30-somethings today.

This isn’t the first word we’ve heard about Princess Diaries 3. A few years ago, director Garry Marshall said there had been talks with Disney, Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews about making a sequel, though Marshall sadly died in 2016. This new update shows the two stars haven’t given up on the franchise and are still moving forward with these plans.

The 2001 film followed an belovedly-awkward teenaged girl, Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway), who is told by her grandma (Julie Andrews) that she is the Princess of Genovia. Mia starts becoming mentored in the ways of royalty as her high school class also soon becomes aware of her elite status. The movie was Hathaway’s first film and breakout role, and Andrews’ most iconic role of the past few decades.

Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement came out in 2004, moving the focus on the young princess as she prepares to wed in Genovia, thanks to a pesky old rule, introducing a young Chris Pine into the mix as her love interest. No doubt many would love to see Pine return, along with Mandy Moore as high school “mean girl,” Heather Matarazzo as her best friend Lilly and Hector Elizondo as Joe.

Per Anne Hathaway’s update, there is a script somewhere out in the world, but there is more work left to be done on the project, so it might be some time before we see Princess Diaries 3. Check back with CinemaBlend for updates as they come and check out our 2019 release schedule to plan out your next trip to the movies.

Ewan McGregor Is Glad Star Wars Fans Are Finally Starting To Appreciate The Prequels

While there’s certainly been no lack of debate amongst Star Wars fans about the quality of the Disney-era movies set in a galaxy far, far away, but let’s not forget that the Prequel Trilogy over a decade ago wasn’t exactly received with the highest of praise either. That said, as the years have passed since that particular trilogy concluded, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith have started to be looked at more kindly by some, and Ewan McGregor, who portrayed the younger Obi-Wan Kenobi, is thankful for this appreciation. As he put it:

While Ewan McGregor’s comments to Vanity Fair doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone who grew up in the late ‘90s to 2000s looks at the Star Wars prequels with kind eyes, he does have a point. As the actor acknowledged, George Lucas intended to make The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith different kinds of stories than what A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were. Whether or not you approve of those differences, for a generation, those Star Wars movies were influential, or at the very least led them to check out other corners of the Star Wars universe.

However you feel about the Star Wars prequels, they carved out a lot of new mythology for the franchise that’s still explored through video games, in-canon novels and comic books. Plus, three years after Revenge of the Sith’s release, The Clone Wars animated series came out, which canonically peeled back the curtain on the conflict that occurred between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. That series is returning for a seventh season on the upcoming Disney+ streaming service.

As for Ewan McGregor, while he’s expressed interest numerous times in reprising Obi-Wan Kenobi, so far there are no plans to make that happen. He did, however, briefly “return” to the character for The Force Awakens, where both his voice and Sir Alec Guinness’ voice were heard during Rey’s Force vision.

The final chapter of the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: Episode IX, arrives in theaters on December 20, but there are still plenty of Star Wars movies planned for afterwards, including Rian Johnson’s trilogy and the film series being overseen by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest updates on what’s happening with the space opera franchise.