Film News – Guillermo del Toro Discusses Roma + Pinocchio

Guillermo del Toro is one of the most respected creative talents working in the entertainment industry today. After his success with The Shape of Water, I am confident that he will not be short of appealing projects to work on.

At a recent appearance at the Marrakech Film Festival, he gave an exclusive interview to Collider and discussed Roma, a film directed by his friend Alfonso Cuaron, as well as his upcoming live-action remake of Pinocchio.


Here is what Guillermo del Toro had to say on the possibility of Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma winning Best Picture at the 2019 Oscars:

The beauty of Roma is that you have a guy who wins the Oscar with Gravity, makes all the money in the world and that is his choice of next film. That is extremely beautiful. He’s not only told a great story in Mexico but in black and white.”

“He’s told a story that nobody tells. It’s about his own childhood, but he didn’t choose to tell it from the point of view of the kid. That movie moves me so much. It’s one of my five favourite movies ever made. It’s Number Five.”


Guillermo del Toro also gave his reasons as to why he wanted to tell the Pinocchio story in a live-action form:

As a kid I felt a kinship with the figure of Pinocchio, not in the happy way or a good boy way. I was very interested in whether he can be himself and be loved. Does he have to turn into a real boy to be loved? Why can he not be loved exactly the way he is? Why can we not be the imperfect children of loving parents? Those are the things I connect with.”

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Film/TV News – Steve Carell Discusses Welcome to Marwen + The Office

In recent years, Steve Carell has diversified his portfolio by doing a mix of comedic and dramatic roles in films. Indeed, for every Anchorman 2 there is a Foxcatcher and this has showcased the range Steve Carell has as an actor.

Welcome to Marwen is one of his upcoming films and, at a press day for this movie in Los Angeles, Collider interviewed Steve Carell about Welcome to Marwen. He also spoke about The Office, the TV show that really propelled his career to new heights in the entertainment industry.

Welcome to Marwen

Steve Carell had this to say on the reaction he had when he found out that it was director Robert Zemeckis who had the rights to Welcome to Marwen:

Wow! I was a little overwhelmed. I just decided to take a chance, and I’ve never done that before. I’ve never felt compelled to go after something the way that I did this. The themes of the story touched me because it’s about love and hate.”

I’m not telling anyone how to feel about the film, but what I thought, going in, was that here’s a guy who experienced a very traumatic episode in his life, and the way he was able to come out the other side and find a path of healing through his art, was so beautiful and so inspiring. And the fact that from something so ugly came something so beautiful, just really touched me.”

The Office

Steve Carell also spoke about whether he has any desire to reprise his role as Michael Scott in any reunion of The Office and whether The Office would ever come back in the first place:

I’ll tell you, no. I feel like I’m a broken record, talking about this because I get asked about it. The show is way more popular now than when it was on the air. I just can’t see it being the same thing, and I think most folks would want it to be the same thing, but it wouldn’t be.”

Ultimately, I think it’s maybe best to leave well enough alone and just let it exist as what it was. You’d literally have to have all of the same writers, the same producers, the same directors, and the same actors, and even with all of those components, it just wouldn’t be the same. So, no.”

But, I love the show. It was the most exciting time, and all of those people are my friends. We all love it. It was a special thing. It was a special thing before people thought it was a special thing. It was special to us, before other people started feeling that way. But, no.”

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Film News – Nicolas Cage On Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse + Mandy

Eccentric actor Nicolas Cage could not have picked two more radically different films to star in 2018 than Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Mandy. These movies operate in completely different genres and mediums of film but they have both been well received by movie critics. In a wide-ranging email interview with Collider, Nicholas Cage discussed both Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Mandy.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Here is what Nicolas Cage said on what he did to channel noir icons such as Humphrey Bogart into his vocal performance for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:

Nothing specific but more of a recall, more of a collage of memories, to try and bring some kind of flavor or color of it – but nothing 100%. It’s still very fluid. It’s more of an essence of the way those guys would talk in their movies back in the 30s.”


Nicolas Cage had this to say on the one thing from the filming of Mandy that will stick with him forever:

We were trying to get this one shot after Red already had the skull juice and turned into a golem of sorts…and he is about to grab one of the cult children and throw him against the tree and Panos had to have it happen just right. It was all about timing, the speed in which I would get him against the tree.”

We did that shot about 15 or 20 times – which we never had happen before, and after I looked at Panos and said ‘That was the shot from Hell.’ and he looked at me and took about a two-second beat and he said, ‘Well, they are all from Hell.’”

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TV News – Michael Schur On The Office

It is very rare for a UK television show to be successfully adapted into a US TV series. You just have to look at The Inbetweeners to see this. However, The Office is an exception. Indeed, the US version is beloved and it is considered by many to be one of the best modern comedy TV shows. One of the writers of The Office was Michael Schur and, in an interview with Vox, he explains why the US version of The Office eventually succeeded.

The Office

Here is what Michael Schur had to say on some of the reasons why the US version of The Office succeeded:

The path [The Office] took was fascinating, and even though I was working on that show, I became a sort of student of the path of that show. And I remember tracking, internally, all of the things that went right with that show. There are so many, but I’ll give you three examples of things that went right for that show.”

Thing No. 1: That show was developed by Kevin Reilly, who was running NBC at the time. He had come from FX, and he loved the British show, and he was very passionate about The Office. So he gave [creator] Greg [Daniels] the chance to basically do it the way he wanted and basically cast it the way he wanted. He was very invested in the show.”

Thing No. 2: Over that off-season, after those six episodes aired that nobody liked, Steve Carell became a gigantic movie star. Just totally coincidentally, 40-Year-Old Virgin comes out, and the world goes, ‘Oh my God, look at this guy. Look how funny he is, and look how kind he is, and look how talented he is.’ And NBC goes, ‘Well, we have this giant movie star under contract…’”

And, look, things one and two are related here. They partially gave us the second season because they had Steve under contract.”

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Film News – Cinematographer James Laxton On If Beale Street Could Talk

Barry Jenkins has, for many, followed up Moonlight with a film as equally impressive in the form of If Beale Street Could Talk. From the reviews I have read and/or watched for this movie, one of the qualities that unites both Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk is the impressive cinematography.

James Laxton was the cinematographer for both films and, in an exclusive interview with Collider, Laxton had the chance to speak in-depth about If Beale Street Could Talk.

If Beale Street Could Talk

One of the things James Laxton discussed was the initial conversations he had with Barry Jenkins about If Beale Street Could Talk:

So I guess I knew about Beale Street not long after Moonlight, in terms of when it was discussed. He wrote them at the same time, so being a close collaborator of Barry’s, I learned about Beale Street around the same time that I learned about Moonlight and then making Moonlight first, but this story and this movie adaptation was long coming.”

That’s something I think is a good benefit of Barry and I, we get to hash out ideas over the course of months if not years of sharing thoughts and perspectives about a project long before we even get to the set.”

So while we like to use natural light and work quickly, the basic vocabulary of films, and the more fleshed out concepts of what we apply on screen kind of comes from having conversations weeks, months, years back. So I learned about Beale Street somewhere around 2016 probably, 2015 maybe even.”

And yeah I think the early conversations were just sort of poking at the surface of an idea of what the language of the film could be. Closer to when the production started, during pre-production I think we talked about sharing Mr. Baldwin’s written vocabulary—how he writes, his style of writing—to try and adapt that to the screen in terms of how do we move the camera.”

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Film News – Laurence Fishburne On Apocalypse Now + His Career

Laurence Fishburne is an actor who commands respect. Indeed, his roles in classic movies such as The Matrix, Boyz n the Hood and Apocalypse Now as well as his role as Perry White in the DCEU have given him a successful career in the film industry.

He has no plans to stop now with upcoming roles in John Wick 3 and Clint Eastwood’s The Mule. In an interview with Collider at the Marrakech Film Festival, Laurence Fishburne discussed Apocalypse Now and his career in general.

Apocalypse Now

Laurence Fishburne had this to say on how important Apocalypse Now was for him:

That movie was really the beginning of me thinking of myself as an artist. It was the beginning of my understanding of cinema, it was the beginning of my understanding of the world, because I was suddenly taken out of Brooklyn and I was in the Philippines in the middle of Asia.”

I was in a place where most of the people looked like me, so it opened up a whole world of possibilities. My work with Francis on Apocalypse Now and all the films I did afterwards with him (The Cotton Club, Rumble Fish, Gardens of Stone) really shaped me and formed me as an artist.”

His Career

Laurence Fishburne also spoke about whether he has seen any progression in the film industry from his perspective as a black actor:

Things have been changing. People have been trying to change things throughout my career. For people of color, for women, for everybody and I think now people are succeeding in a way that we haven’t seen before. So it’s a great time.”

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Film News – Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman + Peter Ramsey Discuss Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

It feels really weird to be in December and not have a new Star Wars film being released. Still, the void is slightly filled with movies such as Aquaman, Bumblebee, Mary Poppins Returns and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Indeed, the latter of these films is receiving a ton of praise with many film critics stating that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the best animated superhero film ever made in addition to being one of the best films of 2018.

The directors for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse are Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman and Peter Ramsey and, in an interview with Collider, they had the chance to speak about this Marvel animated superhero movie.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman had this to say on the process of creating the script for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse:

PETER RAMSEY: “It’s an insanely organic process. Even the writing of the script is part of that whole flow, so there’s very little delineation between like an actual script page and what ends up in boards or what comes out of the art department. It’s all a really free-flowing sort of thing that we all just shepherded along and threw things in the pot, stir, and stir, and taste it.

See where we are, then it’ll bounce back to pages. Its one of those things that it’s like, it really was all about the film as a process in and of itself rather than, ‘Here we have a finished script. Now we will do exactly what’s on the page and nothing more.’ It was much more alive than that.”

ROTHMAN: “Some ideas start in the script. Most ideas, a lot of ideas happen downstream from the script and then as we’re working on the script, if we have to tweak or rewrite a scene, all of a sudden we’ve seen what animation is doing, or we’ve seen what the art department has added.”

And that makes us think of this other idea. It is a really organic process of seeing what the team is doing and then refining what you’re doing and emphasizing things that seem to be working well and disappearing things that aren’t.”

Miles Morales

Bob Persichetti said this on what type of person they wanted Miles Morales to be in this film:

A kid from Brooklyn, first and foremost. He’s meant to be your average teenager from Brooklyn with a loving mom and dad. That’s the big difference between him and Peter Parker is he still has both his parents.”

We tried to make him as relatable as possible, because even though it’s a radioactive spider that triggers it, it’s really just a simple coming of age story for him. Putting him in New York, and thinking about all the aspects of this film, a lot of the different cultural aspects of this film originated in New York from comic books to hip-hop to graffiti to the idea of Spider-Man, period.”

It was really just trying to create a kid who maybe had a little bit of a creative soul in him and was searching for an identity. Making sure that he was challenged and grew and had like a radioactive puberty.”

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Film News – Director Josie Rourke On Mary, Queen of Scots

Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan are starring together in Mary, Queen of Scots, a film that focuses on the relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Mary I of Scotland. The director for this movie is Josie Rourke and, in an interview with Collider, she had the chance to speak about various aspects of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Mary, Queen of Scots

One of the things Josie Rourke spoke about was how much of the script was done when she became involved with Mary, Queen of Scots:

None. There was a screenplay that had gone through a number of iterations. Working Title had been wanting to make this project for a long time, and Saoirse [Ronan] had been attached to it since she was eighteen.”

I came onto it a couple of years ago. I looked at the material that was there— Elizabeth was not in that screenplay… Really what the movie aims to do now is what I wanted [from] the screenplay. I knew that in order to do that, I would need to start afresh and ideally, I would need Beau Willimon.”

I knew from his work on House of Cards, he could write with a Shakespearean dimension. He really understands how to make politics vivid and dramatic. I wanted to take these women seriously as politicians and think about their leadership and the cost of power.”

That was something I knew Beau would do brilliantly, so I wrote a pitch. A tiny one that basically said I think we need to take Mary more seriously than history and the screen has taken her up to this point.”

Let’s revise that. Let’s have an amazing scene that’s like a Renaissance Heat [between Elizabeth & Mary]. Let’s think about looking at just one period of Mary’s life. That’s where Beau and I began.”

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Film News – Robert De Niro On The Irishman

When a film from a famous director such as Martin Scorsese comes out, it is an event for hardcore movie fans. This was the case with Silence and it is going to be the case once again when it comes to The Irishman. This is a film that sees Martin Scorsese reunite with Harvey Keitel, Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro and, at the Marrakech Film Festival, Robert De Niro spoke to Collider about The Irishman.

The Irishman

One of the things De Niro spoke about was the role Netflix has had with the making of The Irishman:

There had been a lot of juggling regarding who would put money in and when it was coming. When Netflix came in they just came in. They relieved a lot of anxiety and grief about doing it in a certain way, the way Marty wanted to do the film and it’s as it should be.”

So now it has to be presented in a traditional grand style. When Netflix switches to small screens, even if today they can be big, that’s something to be worked out and debated. I don’t know where that stands.”

De Niro also talked about the de-aging technology used in this movie as well as teaming up again with Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel for The Irishman:

This particular project was the right thing to do, so that’s why it took us a long time to get it going. It was a great experience.”

The idea was to go back four, maybe five decades. So Marty wanted the people at ILM to do this as best as it’s been done to this point, to make us look younger. And I was excited by that. It gave us the freedom to do scenes when we are younger and not worry about makeup so much.”

Sometimes we used movies when I’m in my 50s, in my earlier years, just without makeup. So I’m very curious to see how it looks.”

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Film News – Lukas Haas Discusses First Man + Widows

For any actor to be in one film that is in contention for awards is a great achievement. But, to be in two in the same year should be applauded. This has happened for Lukas Haas who has roles in both First Man and Widows. In an interview with Collider, Lukas Haas had the opportunity to speak about being in both of these movies.

First Man + Widows

This is what Lukas Haas said about being in both First Man + Widows:

I actually did Widows first. I think somebody else was cast for that role and had to drop out, for whatever reason, and they were scrambling to find somebody quickly. My manager hit my up and asked me to self-tape, really quickly, that day.”

They were like, ‘You have to send it in now, or it’s gonna be too late.’ So, I called my friend over and they helped me record it with my iPhone. I just read off of the page and sent them a little audition, and I got a call later that day from (director) Steve [McQueen] saying that I got the role.”

And then, I was in Chicago, two weeks later, for filming. It really just happened out of nowhere, and I was there for maybe a week, if that. Everything that I shot was packed into three days.”

And then, First Man was the opposite. I was there for four months, or something like that, and there was a whole process. I got to go to NASA, see everything and ask every question, and we had astronauts escorting us through it.”

We went to not just Florida, but Houston, traveling from NASA to NASA and checking everything out. It was very, very cool. That whole part of the experience was the coolest film field trip that I’ve ever been on, for sure […] It’s just interesting how it took a few days to film one, and months to film the other.”

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