Keanu Reeves star keeps rising. For someone who doesn’t seem much like your typical action star, he is fresh off the hit franchise John Wick which has green lit the fourth Matrix film. The third John Wicks movie made more than $320m worldwide.
Lana Wachowski, who created the franchise with her sister Lilly, will also return as director, along with Carrie-Ann Moss. The new script is co-written by Wachowski with sci-fi novelists Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell who wrote Cloud Atlas which was also made into a Wachowski film.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first Matrix film, which told the story of computer hacker Neo and his discovery the world was in fact a computer generated reality. It was a surprise hit, making more than $460 million worldwide and launching two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. The franchise which set a new bar in special effects made more than $1.6 billion.
Rumours of a new film have been circulating since 2017, with Michael B Jordan tapped as the lead. Plot details are currently unknown, as is how the role of Morpheus will be handled, originally played by Laurence Fishburne. Some sources say the role may be recast for a younger actor.
Since the original trilogy, the Wachowskis have had a number of commercial disappointments, including Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending. Their Netflix show Sense8 was cancelled after just two seasons
So how will Matrix 4 fair with the hardcore fans? If we look at other popular franchises such as Diehard, Toy Story, Rambo, and Indian Jones, some of them did well at the box office, but most of the fans felt they were lackluster attempts at best. By the fourth film the magic is gone. While Matrx Reloaded and Matrix Revolution did alright at the box office, for the fans they were generally disappointed. Matrix entered into popular culture and still 20 years later it's still referenced both on television and in casual conversation -- a rarity for any film. Why mess with a good thing?
These days, you can’t just sit back and wait for the network to do all the marketing and sales for you. The landscape is just too competitive with too many shows out there jostling for attention. You need to take matters into your own hands as producer Anders Tangen did with his satire ‘Norsemen’.
Knowing it would get lost in the hours upon hours of programming, Tangen launched his own marketing campaign. When Tangen sold Norsemen to Netflix a couple years ago, he knew he had a winning show. It is a period comedy about Vikings but with modern day issues – first world problems, if you will. One chieftain apologizes for his "fear-based leadership style," another hires a slave as his "creative director"
Although the show was well received by audiences, there was a problem. With so many shows on Netflix, its U.S. service alone has 1,700-plus TV series, how would a Norwegian Viking comedy get noticed, especially when Netflix doesn't traditionally provide a marketing push for acquisitions?
The key to landing on Netflix's radar, Tangen knew, would be to hack the recommendation algorithm so it would appear as a suggested viewing for people searching for new shows to watch. The idea was to get enough people interested in the show early and then get Netflix's advanced recommended engine to leverage that early momentum.
Netflix had given Tangen a date for the premiere of Norsemen in its English-language territories. Three weeks before launch, he set up a Facebook advertising campaign, paying for targeted posts and Facebook promotions. The post were fairly straightforward — most included one of six 20- to 25-second clips of the show and a link, either to the show's webpage or to media coverage.
They used A/B testing — showing two versions of a campaign to different audiences and selecting the most successful — to fine-tune. The U.S. campaign cost around $18,500, which Tangen and his production partners put up themselves. Tangen focused the initial campaign in and around major U.S. cities including L.A., New York, Miami, Chicago with additional pushes in three states with large ethnic Norwegian populations. He broke potential Norsemen fans down into seven separate target groups, with each getting its own tailored Facebook campaign.
In just a month, the Norsemen campaign reached 5.5 million Facebook users, generating 2 million video views and some 6,000 followers for the show. Netflix noticed and its algorithm started to kick in. Fans who had become aware of the show through Tangen's campaign began recommending it to their friends. Norsemen started appearing on Netflix's recommendation list. Tangen invested a further $15,000 to promote the show on Facebook worldwide, using what he had learned during the initial U.S. campaign.
When Norsemen came up for a season two renewal, Netflix upped its commitment, making the show a "Netflix Original," meaning more in-house marketing. Season 3 is currently in production and will go out on Netflix worldwide next year. While it might take awhile for Tangen and his producers to recoup their $33,000 back, but it has certainly helped Norsemen and Tangen’s career.
India is known for their fantastical Bollywood movies where there is drama, romance, singing and dancing– a LOT of singing and dancing. But Indian cinema has matured over the years with more realistic storytelling and branching to other genres like thrillers, mysteries – and now science fiction.
In 2014, India sent the Mars Orbiter Mission into space, and became the first country to send a satellite to orbit the Red Plant. The patriotic feeling that followed the Mars mission has fuelled the latest example of Indian space cinema: Mission Mangal, a fictionalized account of the Orbiter Mission, starring and produced by Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar.
Contrary to most Indian films, Kumar, one of the highest-paid actors in the world, says he had long wanted to work with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to bring realism and science to the big screen.
Sci-fi isn’t a new genre in Indian cinema — Kaadu was made in 1952, which was a Tamil-American co-production, and is often considered the kickoff to Indian Science Fiction filmmaking, it has nothing like the profile it has in the United States. It only established itself after the country opened up its economy, allowing the entry of satellite channels and foreign movies, as well as studios such as Disney and Warner into Bollywood production. Before then, what little there was consisted mostly of low-budget fare involving superheroes.
While Hollywood has a long tradition of making more naturalistic films about space travel – from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner and, of course, Star Wars– it’s only now, with the enormous strides in India’s own space exploration, that such films are beginning to resonate with moviegoers.
Another key factor over the last decade has been the boom in India’s visual effects industry – to which Hollywood outsources much of its own special effects – that has enabled higher quality film-making. While the popular Koi … Mil Gaya looked like a bad 80s TV show, it received the National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues, and was screened at the Jerusalem Film Festival and the NatFilm Festival in Denmark. The film garnered the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. It also started a superhero franchise. The fourth instalment is released next year, and each film has exhibited a giant step forward in Bollywood’s use of CGI.
While India might still have a long way to go to catch up to Hollywood, with some high profile space missions, sci-fi is set to become a milestone in Indian cinema.
Just in case you were wondering, there are some major spoiler alerts in this post so you may not want to read it if you haven’t seen writer-director Quentin Tarantino's new movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
But first before we dive into it, it’s agreed upon by almost all the critics that this is Tarantino’s masterpiece. It is maybe even better than (gasp) “Pulp Fiction” or “Reservoir Dogs.” (Although probably not as quotable.) So if you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for? Stop reading and order yourself a ticket.
This film is a dreamy, idealized ode to Old Time Hollywood. The film revolves around Rick Dalton played by Leonardo DiCaprio as an actor who is past his prime. In the late fifties and early sixties, he was the star of a TV Western series called “Bounty Law,” but is now struggling to find roles, always playing the heavy, never the lead role. He is an alcoholic and spends his days wandering from his house on Cielo Drive to studios for the occasional day of filming and to various bars, driven around by his stunt man, Cliff Booth played by Brad Pitt. Cliff too is in decline after he was arrested for murdering his wife, but never convicted. (Whether he actually killed her or not, we never really get to know.) Margot Robbie plays Sharon Tate, the best known victim of the Manson family. She hardly speaks throughout the film, but does dance and walk around Los Angeles, a lot in slow motion.
The ending is true Tarantino style, albeit slightly re-writing to depart reality. The film takes a notorious bit of Hollywood history and turns it on its head in graphic and brutal fashion. While most of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is relatively violence-free, the ending takes a very brutal turn. You see what happens to the Manson Family members after they take a disliking to Leonardo DiCaprio when he screams and yells at them to get off his road.
The Manson family decide to go after him instead of Sharon Tate. Needless, to say things don't go well for the Manson family members. (Come on, nobody bests Leo or Brad.) Brad Pitt sets his dog on them and Leonardo DiCaprio finishes one of them off with a flamethrower. While this has angered some history buffs who like this sort of things to stick to reality, however, I don’t think most people will be too sorry to see the Manson family get what was coming to them.
The space race is filled with so many amazing real-life stories of courage, valour, and danger, it’s no wonder that so many amazing films have been made out of the moon landing and the events surrounding it. Just recently we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing so we put together some of our favourite films that celebrate space exploration.
Duncan Jones directed this brilliant 2009 film which is from screenplay writer Nathan Parker. In a genre where special effects and amazing shots are the norm. However, “Moon” shines for having been made on a shoestring budget. It’s a one-man show, though not necessarily a one-character show, in which Sam Rockwell gives a brilliant performance as an astronaut, Sam Bell, who’s near the end of a three-year tour of solitary duty on the moon.
The story starts as Sam Bell is supervising machines that mine helium for fusion power on Earth. Suddenly, however, he falls sick, and discovers, to his surprise, he’s not alone. Another Sam Bell has appeared, an apparent clone who insists very convincingly, that he isn’t a clone at all and that the original Sam Bell is the real clone.
“First Man” is a biopic story of the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, an intensely private man. The story behind Damien Chazelle’s film was to tell the story of mankind’s boldest adventure but telling it through an emotionally closed-off hero, Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. The casting is ideal as Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong (only that Gosling is Canadian not American), as an extremely brilliant problem solving engineer. The film is ultimately not about the trip to the moon but instead about human experience and the emotional cost all those who were involved in the voyage.
A Trip to the Moon
The famous French filmmaker Georges Méliès made this film in the world’s first movie studio, a greenhouse-like structure that he built in a Paris suburb. As we watch the nine-minute trailblazer now, 117 years later, the science is a little bizarre and silly for a modern audience. Six astronomers, wearing coats and carrying umbrellas to protect them from the gamma rays, climb into a shell which is shot by a giant cannon. The shell is rocked forwarded and hits the man in the moon smack in the eye. This is, of course, one of films most astounding and memorable scenes that is still recognizable by today's audiences.
This is definitely one of the best space films of all time, only to be rivalled by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film follows the story of the space disaster that befell three American astronauts on their way to a lunar landing in 1970. Directed by Ron Howard, the script is brilliant written by William Broyles Jr. and Al Reinert, as the perfect American story of heroism and bravery. Very rare is a film this perfect –from acting, lighting, camera work to direction. While the story is fairly well known, it brought a new understanding to the entire real life drama.
While Daniel Craig is set to reprise his role as James Bond in the 25th Bond film, the franchise is set for a shake-up, with reports that British actor Lashana Lynch of Capital Marvel fame, has been cast as 007. Originally from London, Lynch, made her film debut in the film Fast Girls and has gone to make a name for herself in the Marvel Universe.
As the scene is reported to play out in the new Bond film, James Bond is taken into the M16 office where he meets the new 007, not the new Bond, but the new holder of the licence to kill alias, a black woman named Nomi, played by Lynch.
This is a daring move for a film franchise that has largely relied on plot formulas to make money both with on-screen sponsorship and box office tickets. The big question is will people take to a female James Bond? So far the reaction has been positive on social media where the producers have been praised for taking Bond out of the dark ages.
There has been much debate over the years whether Craig’s successor could be female, or a person of colour – or both. Executive producer, Barbara Broccoli whose father, Albert R Broccoli chaperoned the franchise since its inception, said in an interview last year that Bond was created male and she intended to keep it that way. What it was that changed her mind is anybody’s guess at this moment as its’ still tightly under raps.
Lynch’s appointment signals major progress for a franchise that has for a long time felt behind the times. Up until this point, the role of the world’s greatest secret agent has been played exclusively by white men. But it sounds like in Bond 25, the classic character will have to wrangle with the #MeToo movement.
Even the current James Bond, Daniel Craig, has acknowledged that Bond’s misogyny is out of touch. The first in the Daniel Craig era, 2006 Casino Royale, ultimately amounts to an origin story for Bond’s misogyny: He softens when he falls in love with Vesper, only to be betrayed. As a result, he reverts to his previous state as an emotionless, untrusting secret agent. It’s not just that Bond is bitter toward humanity, but toward women in particular, who, he calculates, make him weak.
What has changed in the 13 years since Casino Royale? While the setting may be 2019, but Bond is still very much a man of the 1950s. Casino Royale is a brilliant film exactly because it offers the personal backstory to Bond’s misdirected hatred towards women — though the audience shouldn’t take it as a justification for his behavior.
This is a Bond for the modern era who will hopefully appeal to a younger generation while sticking true to what we all expect in a Bond film such as spectacular chase sequences and fights, and Bond is still Bond just in female in form.
Hollywood budgets are sometimes the size of a small country’s GDP and can quickly bloom upwards if things go wrong – which can happen fairly often when you deal with the unpredictability of a film set and all the moving parts.
Most of the time, if a mistake is made while filming, the director will say cut and the entire scene will be done again. While this costs time and money, it is an expected part of filmmaking. Unfortunately, occasionally some mistake won’t be caught until much later when the film has wrapped which can mean costly reshoots or extensive edits.
We have put together a list of some of the biggest Hollywood bloopers that were made, some of which even made it into the final cut.
Battlestar Galactica: model destruction
The television show Battlestar Galactica proved to be a big hit with sci-fi fans. It ran for four seasons and in one expensive blooper in an episode in the third season Admiral Adama has a very old model ship in his office. The actor playing Adama smashed the model in an impromptu piece of acting, thinking it was a prop. It wasn’t. The model was actually worth $200,000. Ouch!
The Bond adventure Skyfall had to deal with some unplanned expenses because star Daniel Craig wore a pair of leather gloves at the wrong moment. Craig asked director Sam Mendes if he could wear the gloves in a particular scene and Mendes agreed, not thinking anything about it. The cast and crew got down to work filming a sequence. However there was a pickle. In the sequence of scenes Bond uses his handprint to test his gun's fingerprint scanner in a car, then rides up an elevator, still gloveless. When he spots an assassin, 007 hides his gun and continues the scene wearing gloves.
Months later in the editing room, the editor noticed a problem: how would Bond himself have used his fingerprint-activated gun while wearing gloves? After considering the costs of a reshoot, the filmmakers decided it would be cheaper to digitally remove the gloves from Craig's hands for the entire sequence.
Brad Pitt suffered a nasty injury on the set of Seven while playing a detective. During one scene that called for Pitt to chase the suspect in the rain, he slipped and smashed his hand into a windshield, severing a tendon. Making the best of a bad situation, the director, David Fincher managed to incorporate Pitt's injury into the story of Seven. It added time and expense to the production schedule, but it was probably cheaper to explain why one of the film's main characters was suddenly wearing a cast than it would have been to delay shooting long enough for Pitt to recover.
Hateful Eight: broken guitar
In the film, outlaw Daisy Domergue plays a guitar. While she was playing, co-star Kurt Russell was supposed to grab it. The scene would cut and the vintage guitar would be traded out for a cheaper prop guitar, which Russell would smash when the cameras started to roll again. But that isn't what happened. Instead, Russell grabbed the vintage guitar from Leigh and smashed it, all in one fell swoop. That take was used in the final cut of the movie, and Leigh's horrified cries of "Whoa!" are real. How much was the vintage guitar worth? A cool $40,000.
Jack Reacher: injury
In the 2012 blockbuster Jack Reacher, Tom Cruise plays an investigator tracking a deadly serial sniper. As in many of his other movies, Cruise performed many of his own stunts in Jack Reacher, including one that would end up costing the production money.
In one scene he had to kick a man in the groin, but for some reason the filmmakers made Cruise shoot the scene over 50 times. It was actually Cruise who had to stop filming as he had kicked the guy in the groin so much he hurt his foot, needing time away from the set to recover after his foot became swollen. The delay while Cruise’s foot healed cost the movie thousands of dollars.
Apocalypse Now: replacing an entire village
Apocalypse Now is now considered a classic but at the time it was plagued with delays and budget overruns. Part of the problem was that Director Francis Ford Coppola insisted on filming everything in the Philippines instead of building a village in a film studio in Hollywood. The film was forced to stop after a typhoon hit, causing major damage to the village. It would cost around $1.5 million to rebuild the set, probably winning (or losing) as the most costly mistake ever made.
In the sixties, moviegoers fell in love with the sexy British secret agent James Bond. Part of the public’s infatuation with the spy came from his charm, wit, and sex appeal. At the time, film merchandising and sponsorship was almost no existent. However that all changed with the classic Goldfinger film where James Bond first drove the Aston Martin DB5. It was the beginning of film merchandising, a way for films to boost revenue before they even hit theaters.
Since Goldfinger, Aston Martin has become ubiquitous with the 007 movie franchise. Bond has since then had an abundance of endorsement deals from Omega watches, to Tom Ford, to Heineken, just to name a few.
Bond’s first All-Electric Vehicle
Now, nearly 60 years later, James Bond is adopting an eco-friendly approach to his spy car with the Aston Martin Rapide E which has been designed to enhance and build on the classic V12 Aston Martin. Essentially it will be an electric version of the trademark car Bond first drove in the 1963 classic film. The Aston Martin Rapide E is one of only 155 zero-emission electric cars being built by the British manufacturer. In-line with Bond’s life of luxury, the supercar is expected to retail for a cool $400, 000.
Although it’s electric, the car still packs very impressive performance specs under the hood. The Rapide E’s twin-motor drive system channels about 600 horsepower to the rear wheels, getting it from 0 to 100 km/h in about four seconds. With a top speed of 250 km/h, Bond shouldn’t have trouble escaping from any of his enemies.
The first Aston Martin Rapide E is expected to be released to the public the same year as the 25th Bond instalment, which is set to star Daniel Craig which is scheduled to premiere on April 8th, 2020. Aston Martin confirmed that the partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering resulted in a new 800V battery with 65kWh installed capacity using over 5600 lithium-ion, and powered by two rear-mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 610PS and a colossal 950Nm of torque. It is also equipped with an on-board charger. While Aston Martin didn’t specify the charge rate, it should be fully charged the battery pack in as little as 3 hours.
A newly designed underfloor streamlines airflow from the front splitter right the way through to Rapide E’s new larger rear diffuser, a feature that is now wholly dedicated to efficiency due to the removal of the exhaust system required before. The model’s forged aluminum aerodynamic wheels have also been redesigned to give greater efficiency, without compromising brake cooling capability.
Inside and out, Rapide E is equipped with the materials and technology befitting of the marque’s first EV model. Gone are the analogue displays of the past. In true James Bond fashion, the driver will have a 10” digital display now sits in their place, delivering all key information to the driver while on the move, including the battery’s state of charge, current motor power levels, regenerative performance and a real-time energy consumption meter. Swathes of carbon fibre have been deployed throughout, assisting in delivering the strict weight targets set by Aston Martin’s engineering team from the outset. The vehicle is now available to order and pricing is only available on application but unless you’re as sneaky on Bond, good luck with that.
Lucasfilm, a subsidiary of Disney, has always had an impressive number of women in management positions. Kathleen Kennedy also serves as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney's global lines of business to build,
further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Kennedy serves as producer on new Star Wars feature films, while George Lucas is the creative consultant which may be more of a decorative title than anything else.
However Lucasfilm’s best known film “Star Wars,” franchise have long struggled to echo that kind of equality in its most sought after position: feature film director. With the last of the Star Wars trilogy due out in December and spinoffs are being created, more people are asking when will a female director being granted entry into that club?
Of course strides have been made. JJ Abrams chose Victoria Mahoney as his second unit director on “The Rise of Skywalker,” marking the first time an African-American woman has served in any directing capacity on a “Star Wars” film. In addition, screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis is reportedly working on creating a film trilogy centered around the franchise’s “Knights of the Old Republic,” but that hasn’t been formally announced by Lucasfilm.
Should this new tribology be green lit, which would most likely depend on how how “The Rise of Skywalker” does at the box office, Kalogridis will join a very small group. The only other credited female writer in the “Star Wars” universe is Leigh Brackett, who shared a credit with Lawrence Kasdan on 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back.”
Despite the lack of female directors and screenwriters, the franchise continues to dig into female-centric stories, from the ongoing Skywalker Saga, which initially boasted Princess Leia as a lead and has now been given over to the journey of Daisy Ridley’s Rey, to the “Rogue One” spinoff which followed Felicity Jones as the daring Jyn Erso.
While science fiction is though of as the territory of men, this is simply not true. Women love “Star Wars,” just as they love Game of Thrones and other so-called male centric stories. However women remain mostly outnumbered behind the camera where a lot of the big decisions including story and shooting style are made. The franchise continues to announce new film projects directed by men. New films are in the pipeline from both Rian Johnson who directed “The Last Jedi” and “Game of Thrones”. In the streaming world, Lucasfilm has also tapped big names like Jon Favreau and Dan Filoni to shepherd “The Mandalorian” into the fray.
Kennedy has repeatedly said that “Star Wars” is eager to tap more diverse talent behind the camera, though the hiring of Victoria Mahoney was the first major sign of any progress. While Kennedy has taken some heat for the lack of female filmmakers, she is one of the few Hollywood heads that is actually trying to find female talent. Whether other major studios will follow her lead is anybody’s guess. It seems in one of America’s most prestigious jobs – directing a big budget film – still has a way to go when it comes to equal rights.
Jeridoo Universe Group will be in Cannes to announces the partnership with GEMM ( Gender Equality Media Management).
The Gender Equality and Diversity Media Fund was created to provide productions funds, and to ensure that both women and diversity will be afforded greater support and protection in the film industry.
JERIDOO GROUP is proud to produce feature films and series under the GEMM Film Fond Certificate.
Jeridoo Group is located in Canada, USA, Germany, Switzerland and Brazil. The Jeridoo Group, based in Bavaria Film Studios, builds out theatrical distribution, booking and billing in Germany for the German, Swiss and Austrian market.
As a digital content management company, Jeridoo Universe launches their own VOD (Video on Demand) platform and digital distribution. Jeridoo Universe Bavaria Film Studios is located at the Bavaria Film Studios, is very proud to produce international feature length films at the Bavaria Film Studios in Munich. This year, we are proudly presenting more than 20 feature films and original series at Cannes.
Two launches we are specifically proud of, is the HELVETIC UNIVERSE FILM FRANCHISE and the BACKLOT IN BRAZIL. Under the Helvetic Universe, we are launching multiple feature films and series, with the international target audience in mind. JERIDOO UNIVERSE BRAZIL has a 700’000 square meter (172 acres) backlot in development, which gives production companies incredible possibilities to build cities, landscapes and much more.
Jeridoo Group is in negotiation with Amusement Parks in Europe to make the “HELVETIC UNIVERSE THEME PARKS” a near future reality for a worldwide audience.
All of these projects and more, are financially backed by the Jeridoo Film Fond.
For more information, contact: Guido Baechler +41 79 170 80 40
Jeridoo Productions' own Blog about our Productions, Projects and Film- and Movie-related News.