Terminator Avoids Dark Fate, but for How Long?

In its inaugural weekend, Terminator: Dark Fate climbed to the top of the box office, earning $29 million. However, Box Office Mojo reports that the sixth Terminator film is, nevertheless, a bit of a letdown for the studio. After all, Paramount spent almost $200 million for its production! Over the last 25 years, the studio looked for ways to expand on James Cameron’s tightly written 1984 sci-fi action film. But, with an exception of Cameron’s own Terminator 2: Judgment Day, these sequels and reboots were all pretty forgettable. Both Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger return for Dark Fate, joining Mackenzie Davis (Blade Runner 2049), Diego Luna (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Natalia Reyes (Bird of Passage).

Now in its fifth week in cinemas, Todd Phillips’ Joker keeps remains among the top five movies of the weekend, grossing almost $14 million. In the third place is Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Dropping two places since its début two weeks ago, Maleficent earned around $12,2 million. In the fourth place is this week’s second newcomer: Harriet, a biographical movie about Harriet Tubman, 19th-century slave who became an abolitionist. Featuring Cynthia Erivo (Widows, Bad Times at the El Royale) in the lead role, this biopic earned $12 million in its first weekend in cinemas. Finally, in the fifth place is the CGI-animated feature film The Addams Family with $8,5 million.

Ben Affleck to Star in Robert Rodriguez’s Hypnotic

Ben Affleck will star in Robert Rodriguez’s next film, a sci-fi action thriller called Hypnotic. Variety says Affleck will portray a police detective investigating a mystery connected to his missing daughter, a secret government program and a series of impossible high-end heists. Besides this, barely anything is known about the plot of Hypnotic, except that the film will be a “grounded cop thriller with sci-fi elements.”

In February 2018 The Hollywood Reporter first announced that Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin City) teamed up with screenwriter Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island) to film Hypnotic. Borenstein was to rewrite Rodrigeuz’s initial script. In the two years since, Rodriguez directed Alita: Battle Angel, while Borenstein penned the script for Godzilla: King of Monsters. But now, after two years, Hypnotic is going into production. Filming will start in April 2020, with an expected budget in $60-80 million range.

James Dean Reborn in the Digitally Animated Uncanny Valley

James Dean, star of movies like Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden, just landed himself a new role, well over half a century after he died in a car crash at age of 24. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a live-action film called Finding Jack will digitally insert Dean’s image, using it as a secondary lead character. His performance will consist of “full-body” CGI based on actual footage and photos. Another actor will provide the voice. Finding Jack is an action drama based on Gareth Crocker’s novel that was, in turn, inspired by the fate of over 10,000 army dogs at the end of the Vietnam War.

Anton Ernst, who will direct the film along Tati Golykh, explained their decision: “We searched high and low for the perfect character to portray the role of Rogan, which has some extreme complex character arcs, and after months of research, we decided on James Dean.” It looks as if thousands of living, breathing actors just weren’t good enough for them. Unfortunately, this decision has a warped logic to it. After recycling movies as sequels, prequels, remakes, and reboots, recycling long-gone actors as soulless, CGI-animated marionettes represents the next logical step.