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Mad Max v. Madman : Mel Gibson doesn’t like his latest movie!

Oscar winning filmmaker and actor Mel Gibson wants to set the record straight

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Not one to ever colour within the lines, Mel Gibson has spoken out about this dislike for his latest film, “The Professor and the Madman”.

The “Lethal Weapon” and “Dragged Across Concrete” actor feels the version of the film we’ll see on screen is not the version he signed up for.

Gibson and director Farhad Safinia took on Voltage Pictures, the film’s distributor, in court recently and though a settlement was reached, the actor and filmmaker said he’s not happy with the results.

“As the settlement details are confidential, I will not be commenting but I would like to set the record straight as a number of articles have been released that are factually inaccurate,” the actor told Deadline following the April 2 settlement between Gibson’s Icon Productions and the Nicolas Chartier-run Voltage that was unveiled in Los Angeles Superior Court.

“First, neither Farhad Safinia nor I ever walked off of the set, or cause the film to ever go over budget,” says Gibson, who co-stars opposite Sean Penn in the film, due for release in May via Vertical Entertainment.

“Professor and the Madman” poster

“Second, as partners in Icon Productions, Bruce Davey and I are huge fans of Simon Winchester’s best-selling book on which the script was based and worked for 20 years to bring this amazing story to the screen,” Gibson continues.

“This was a labor of love for the entire creative team, and it is unfortunate for all concerned that this film was never finished as written,” Gibson declared. “I regret that this film will never be seen as it was meant to be. Making it was never about money for Icon, it was about bringing this amazing story to the big screen. Sadly that has not happened in the way it could have.”

“The Voltage version of this film is a bitter disappointment to me,” the actor concluded.

Icon Pictures had sued Voltage, whose other credits include ”Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile” and “Once Upon a Time in Venice” , in July 2017 claiming the shingle had broken their contract by refusing to allow the film’s director to complete the film. The studio claimed that Gibson and Safinia walked off the film when they weren’t given permission to shoot at Oxford, due to the costs of doing so.

The full statement from Gibson is below :

As the settlement details are confidential, I will not be commenting but I would like to set the record straight as a number of articles have been released that are factually inaccurate.

First, neither Farhad Safinia nor I ever walked off of the set, or cause the film to ever go over budget.

As a co-writer and first time director, Farhad Safinia brought The Professor and the Madman to life while being a consummate professional and at great personal expense. His devotion was represented in his work on this feature as well as in his past accomplishments on Apocalypto and Boss.

Second, as partners in Icon Productions, Bruce Davey and I are huge fans of Simon Winchester’s best-selling book on which the script was based and worked for 20 years to bring this amazing story to the screen.

This was a labor of love for the entire creative team, and it is unfortunate for all concerned that this film was never finished as written.

Over the last two years, we have doggedly tried to film essential scenes in Oxford (which makes sense for a film about the Oxford English Dictionary!). Apparently, it was not meant to be: the shooting script was not completely shot. Therefore, I did not get the opportunity to choose a final cut, and cannot support the film.

Our only objectives were to tell a great story and to showcase the talent of Farhad Safinia who is one of the most talented writers and directors I have worked with. It is my hope that one day the world gets to see all he has to offer.

I regret that this film will never be seen as it was meant to be. Making it was never about money for Icon, it was about bringing this amazing story to the big screen. Sadly that has not happened in the way it could have. The Voltage version of this film is a bitter disappointment to me.

Gibson’s next films, “Boss Level”, “War Pigs”,”Waldo”, “Black Flies”, “Every Other Weekend” and “Lethal Weapon 5”, will hopefully be more positive experiences.

“The Professor and the Madman”, originally due for release in 2017, hits theaters May 10.

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A new look at the J.J Abrams’ Superman

Remember this one? Brett Ratner was going to direct it in the early noughties

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Before being crowned diet Spielberg, not to mention one of the busiest producer-director units around, J.J Abrams (“Mission : Impossible”, “Star Trek”, “Super 8”, “The Force Awakens”) was making a plum living for himself as a well-respected screenwriter.

In the ’90s, he wrote such films as “Regarding Henry” with Harrison Ford and “Forever Young” with Mel Gibson, and a couple of years after, co-wrote “Armageddon” for Michael Bay, the Danny Glover-Joe Pesci comedy “Gone Fishin'”, and “Joy Ride” starring the late Paul Walker.

At the same time he was celebrating big-time TV success with “Felicity” and “Alias”, and later “Lost” and “Fringe”.

Now around the time that he was penning lines for then curly-haired heroine Keri Russell, Abrams was working on a ‘Superman’ script for Warner Bros.  Abrams’ take on the man of steel would be fun but radical, as the Fandom page for the film reminds us :

Flyby was an origin story that included Krypton besieged by a civil war between Jor-El and his corrupt brother, Kata-Zor. Before Kata-Zor sentences Jor-El to prison, Kal-El is launched to Earth to fulfill a prophecy. Adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent, he forms a romance with Lois Lane in the Daily Planet. However, Lois is more concerned with exposing Lex Luthor, written as a government agent obsessed with UFO phenomena. Clark reveals himself to the world as Superman, bringing Kata-Zor’s son, Ty-Zor, and three other Kryptonians to Earth. Superman is defeated and killed, and visits Jor-El (who committed suicide on Krypton while in prison) in Kryptonian heaven. Resurrected, he returns to Earth and defeats the four Kryptonians, while the script ends with Superman off to Krypton, leaving a cliffhanger for a sequel.

Brett Ratner, then a much hotter commodity than he is today (aaargh), was attached to direct the film before McG (“Charlie’s Angels”) took over. Warner’s choice for the title role was then it-boy Josh Hartnett and, if I recall correctly, Robert Downey Jr was even attached to play Luthor!

Here are some previously released concept sketches for the big guy…

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The film, of course, didn’t end up coming to fruition and Warners opted to go a safer route with the “Superman” movie franchise and instead greenlight a version that would play as the fourth sequel to the Christopher Reeve-starring films. “Superman Returns”, directed by Brian Singer, was released in 2006.

And that was that for Abrams and his ‘Superman’ dream… or is it? Chatter of late has Abrams and his Bad Robot outfit circling Warner’s next take on the Man of Steel. And as opposed to the aforementioned incarnation, this is a film that he’d likely write but also produce and direct.

Anyway, over on Twitter today, “Spider-Man : Into the Spider-Verse” helmer Peter Ramsey dropped some storyboards that he’d designed for the proposed 2002 film, which gives us a pretty decent idea as to what the studio were hoping to accomplish with the film. Cool stuff!

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Movie News

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 plot leaks!?

Two hot new additions to the franchise revealed

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More fuel for the ‘Efron in the MCU’  fire today, with a report from oft-reliable Marvel insider ‘4Chan’ (via That Hashtag Show) suggesting the former Disney-staple and “Greatest Showman” star is the studio’s pick to play Adam Warlock in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”.

According to the report (which has since been deleted- interesting..), Efron would play the golden-skinned superhero in this film and possibly other, non-“Guardians” films (Considering the character’s debut in early “Thor” comics, we be thinking there’s  a chance he might pop up in the fourth film in that series.)

The main gist of this film reportedly involves Rocket’s creator, The High Evolutionary, who is the film’s main rogue. The racoon will get loved up with Llyla, who is one of the villain’s experiments. There will be good news for Drax (Dave Bautista), who discovers his daughter is still alive, and Nebula (Karen Gillan) grows closer to her sister’s former flame Star-Lord (Chris Pratt).

Efron won’t be the only ‘hunky’ new addition to the franchise, with Chris Hemsworth’s Thor also expected to join the ‘guardians’ for the threequel. In the film, the hammer-wielding Asgardian is said to be stumbling upon Beta Bay.

According to the aforesaid tipster, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3” is designed to be the last instalment in the franchise.

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Movie News

Beowulf star boards Black Widow

Versatile thesp joining Scarlett Johansson “Avengers” prequel

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Ray Winstone, the Essex-born thesp who has proven more adaptable than a universal remote control over the years, has signed on for Marvel’s “Black Widow” film.

The 62-year-old actor, known for such films as “Sexy Beast”, “Indiana Jones the Crystal Skull”, “Beowulf”, “The Departed” and “King of Thieves”, joins a cast that includes Scarlett Johansson, reprising her MCU-staple role of Natasha Romanov, with David Harbour, Florence Pugh and Rachel Weisz.

Marvel have yet to comment on the casting, first revealed by Variety, let alone reveal details of Winstone’s character.

“Black Widow” is currently filming in London.

 

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