Monday, September 17, 2018

First full trailer for "Mary Poppins Returns"

The much-anticipated full-length trailer for Mary Poppins Returns was released the morning:

To be honest, I was expecting more than a two second screenshot of Meryl toward the end, but I suppose that if this is truly a cameo performance (which I've always assumed it was) they're going to focus mostly on Mary and the visual sequences.

The cinematography is great and it's fun that they're using some of the seemingly old-fashioned hand-drawn animation in certain sequences. That being said, I'm big fan of Disney's first installment from 1964 and an even bigger fan of Julie Andrews. Blunt sounds fine, but she's just not that strong of a singer, which, to me, is an important point of satisfaction when I watch musicals.

Of course I'll be seeing the film regardless when it hits theaters the week before Christmas on December 19. 

PS-I think Meryl's character (Topsy) looks like a cross between Madam Ruby from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and Madame Medusa from The Rescuers:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Status of "The Nix"

This week marks two years since it was announced Meryl would team with J.J. Abrams to produce a limited TV series adaptation of Nathan Hill's novel The Nix. I've offered thoughts on the project's production over many months, but nothing really since March of this year. The last real info I can remember is from January when Hill offered that the series was probably set at nine episodes, at which time there remained every indication that Meryl was still involved.

Fast forward six months and there's not been a single blurb about production. Granted, compared to this spring, Meryl actually has a pretty hefty list of projects on her calendar. While none will likely take up a ton of her time (Little Women and The Laundromat are likely both supporting roles, possibly even rather small), there's kind of a lot going on for her in the upcoming months. Both Women and Laundromat film this fall, Mary Poppins Returns comes out in December and Big Little Lies will likely see its return around February. All this comes off the heels of a strong box-office performance for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again this summer.   

That said, her 2019 schedule, to our knowledge, is barren of roles. Abrams, who is currently busy directing the latest Star Wars film, likely won't be available for directing The Nix any time soon, as his film is supposed to shoot through early 2019 and not be released until next December. I imagine he'll be too busy with the editing process to lend a hand to the TV series next spring.

But next spring still feels like a feasible timeline were The Nix to come to fruition. And my goodness, with the story's eerie parallels to the current U.S. president, it seems like a project ripe with opportunity for success. As I've mentioned before, it's hard to tell exactly how large Meryl's part may actually be, as in the book, her character (at least the age Meryl would play her), isn't really in it all that much. That isn't to say that they couldn't have beefed it up a bit, as we know Hill was involved in making some changes to the story for how it'll play out on television.

I'll predict that if the series does eventually shoot, it'll be next spring/summer, and run (assuming they can get a freakin' network to bite) in the spring of 2020. It's anyone's guess where the country will be politically by that point. But if The Nix were to end up being a critical and viewer juggernaut, imagine its timely presence at the 2020 Emmys in September, just six weeks shy of the next presidential election.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Louis Garrel joins "Little Women"

Deadline is reporting that French actor Louis Garrel is joining the cast of Greta Gerwig's upcoming adaptation of Little Women. No word yet on Garrel's character however. With the addition of James Norton several weeks ago, we now have two actors in their 30s whose roles have not been revealed.

Timothée Chalamet has already been said to be portraying Laurie. I'm not super familiar with the book, but a quick search doesn't really leave many options for whom Garrel and Norton will play. Professor Bhaer is described as middle-aged, so I doubt it's him (although in the 1860s, 35 was probably older than "middle' age?). The other likely options are of course John Brooke, who ends up marrying Meg (I'm guessing Norton for that), and then maybe either of the Vaughan brothers. Fred and Frank Vaughan are English twins, but I don't think Frank is ever really seen, just mentioned as Fred's twin brother. Fred courts Amy in Europe which sparks Laurie to up the ante for her affections as well.

Laurie and Fred are supposed to be friends from Harvard, so it's tough to picture 22 year-old Chalamet as a schoolmate to 35 year-old Garrel. Although it's not as if they're sticking to the original ages from the book anyway. All of the actresses who play the sisters are older than their written parts.

Filming begins in just a few short weeks in Boston, so all these questions will be answered soon enough!

Monday, September 3, 2018

"Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" nearing $120 million at box office

Six weeks into its run, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is nearing $120 million at the domestic box office. After this weekend it will have also surpassed $365m worldwide. While not quite the numbers compared to the first film ten years ago, these are fantastic returns.

I post about this because although Meryl was barely in the sequel, I happened to check her film list at Box Office Mojo and realized how rare it is for a film of hers to earn more than $100 million domestically:

1. Mamma Mia! (2008)--$144m
2. Into the Woods (2014)--$128m
3. The Devils Wears Prada (2006)--$124m
4. Lemony Snicket's a Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)--$118m
5. It's Complicated (2009)--$112m
6. Kramer vs Kramer (1979)--$106m

Interesting that at one point there was a 25-year span between films crossing the $100m mark for her. This of course isn't to say she didn't have any hits, just not typically major blockbusters. And of course we have to take inflation into account. Films such as Out of Africa and The Bridges of Madison County would be well above the $100m mark by today's standards (which makes Kramer vs Kramer's haul that much more impressive).

Monday, August 27, 2018

First (brief) clip from season 2 of "Big Little Lies"

Last night, HBO released a promo for the upcoming and final season of Game of Thrones. With that, we get a tiny glimpse of Meryl in a scene (around 1:07) alongside Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon in Big Little Lies. 

It's barely anything, but it's nice to see at least a blurb of promotion for the upcoming season. Still no official word on when exactly we'll see season two, but as I've mentioned before, I'm guessing that similar to season one it'll debut around February. 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Stone out, Watson in, for Gerwig's "Little Women"

One Emma is out, another is in. Multiple sources have reported this afternoon that Emma Watson will be replacing Emma Stone in Greta Gerwig's upcoming adaptation of Little Women. Evidently Stone has promotional obligations for her upcoming film The Favorite (which I cannot wait to see) she cannot get out of.

This is an interesting turn of events only a little over a month before shooting is set to start. I'm a fan of Watson from the Harry Potter series, but I have to admit it seems like a tall order for her to step in for a recent Oscar-winner and then have to contend with the likes of Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan Laura Dern and Timothée Chalamet. Here's hoping Watson's up to the task. The role of Meg isn't a particularly flashy one, so maybe it'll be less of an issue than I expect.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Results of poll #8

Two weeks ago I posted a poll asking voters to consider with which leading man Meryl had the best chemistry. Recall that Blogger discontinued the poll feature (stupidly) and I therefore had to find an outside option for running the poll. I don't like that people weren't able to see a running tally of the voting, but I didn't want to pay for that option yet, as I'm not sure I'll use the same website in the future.

Anyway, forgive me for the janky photo below, but I made a screenshot of the results to then post here:

I have to admit, I'm rather surprised that Clint Eastwood came in first. I agree that he and Meryl had good chemistry in Bridges, but for him to finish on top with only Stanley Tucci in Julie & Julia coming close was not what I was expecting. Again, my favorite was Kevin Kline, but as you can see, he didn't fare so well. Glad to see no one got zero votes!

Thoughts for new polls?