Today I got a theory/prediction for Star Wars episode IX because everyone else does. I’m posting it here because I don’t have a reddit account and 4chan scares me so here we are. 

For the record, I 110% totally believe this will totally happen in episode IX***

John Boyega as Finn, Star Wars; The Force Awakens picture image
John Boyega as Finn, Star Wars; The Force Awakens

This theory deals with the reveal of Finn’s father and it’s not Lando.  Clearly the sequel trilogy is having Finn follow Darby’s characterization  from Space Janitors. For those of you who don’t know what Space Janitors is, I feel so bad for you.  Go watch it.  

Brendan Halloran as Darby, Space Janitors picture image
Brendan Halloran as Darby, Space Janitors

Space Janitors was a web show that had three seasons, they are all on youtube. It was about Janitors for the empire  who work on a death star like space station. Darby, the main character, wants nothing more than to be a type of person who the rebels would want to fire at, IE he is so low in the ranks the rebel ignore him.

Warning spoilers, at the end of the first season Darby learns the truth of his linage, in that he is the son of a high ranking rebel leader and his DNA code was change to protect him making him look human. In the third season Darby and his friends defect to to the rebels.

John Boyega as Finn, Star Wars; The Force Awakens picture image
John Boyega as Finn, Star Wars; The Force Awakens

An imperial janitor who defects to the rebels???? The sequel trilogy clearly copied this, just like the copied stuff from Space Balls in Last Jedi.

It will be revealed in Episode IX, that Finn is actually like Darby, an ectomorph,  or an Alien whose DNA has been changed to make them look human.

In Episode IX this was done by the First Order to adhere to conformity.  This is why there are no Aliens in the First Order except for Snoke because he needed to feel special. Finn’s father was a head of Resistance and thus he wasn’t lying when he said he was a big deal in the resistance.  It’s too perfect not to happen.  

Brendan Halloran as Darby, Space Janitors picture image
Brendan Halloran as Darby, Space Janitors

Who is Finn’s father? Watch Space Janitors, I don’t want to spoiler everything. Darby’s father is analogous  to  an awesome character in Star Wars and that is who Finn’s father truly is.  

***No I don’t this will happen, this is a joke. Please do not take this seriously. Although Space Janitors is quite good.  

Seeing as last week we got an announcement that Disney is remaking The Hunchback of Notre Dame as part of their live action remake movie trend, I thought it would be a good time to do a check on all the “new” versions of Hunchback that have been announced in recent memory.

Now in my tenure of running this blog, counting the new Disney/Josh Gad version there has been SIX “new” versions that have been announced and nothing has gotten made as of yet.

Josh Brolin picture image
Josh Brolin

The first one was the Josh Brolin version.
This was to be a “jazzy” version with Zhang Yimou slated to direct.  Now Brolin has been on and off with this one since like 2011. Back in May 2018 he said he was still trying with this version but a New York Times article back in June of 2018 used the word “was” in reference to Brolin’s Hunchback. But who knows? I’m not holding my breath for this version.  

Max Ryan picture image
Max Ryan

Then we have the Max Ryan version which was to be directed by Chuck Russell. This one I believe was announced in 2014 with the news of Russell directing being announced in 2015. I think had a 2018 release date.  But in so far nothing has come out about it. 

This version actually has a bit of a history since in was based on script from 2007 that had a cast mentioned with it. Most noticeably Monica Cruz as Esmeralda and John Rhys-Davies as Frollo. This is also the version with “Figment.”  Which I think for a while was on the IMBD page.    You can read more for a bit of a summary of that 2007 concept here.  Because it’s very weird
Anyway still no news on this version. 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame singing "God Help the Outcast" picture image
Esmeralda singing “God Help the Outcast” Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Then there is the lesser known Peter Cherin’s version. This was one was announced in 2015 as an Esmeralda POV movie. The idea was originally announced in 2013 a idea for Once Upon a Time. There has been no news of this version since 2015.   

Peter Dinklage Quasimodo picture image
Peter Dinklage

Then we have the  Charles Dance and Peter Dinklage  TV collab. This news was reported back in October 2017. So it’s still fairly new and there was a report back in May 2018  that mentioned the project.   So I assume it’s still in the works.

Idris Elba picture imahe
Idris Elba

Also back in May of 2018, Idris Elba announced he was going to take on a Hunchback version for Netflix. This was the most recent project till last week. Again not a big deal that we haven’t gotten any follow-ups yet, it’s still pretty new.  

Josh Gad for Quasimodo picture image
Josh Gad

That brings us to the Live-action remake with Josh Gad. I looked at Gad’s twitter and he has two posts (at the time I looked at his feed)  that hinted Hunchback. One of him reading the Disney version’s art book and one him outside of Notre Dame with text that said “the Bells bells bells” etc.

I do find a little interesting since Gad was already in a Live action Disney remake as Le Fou and he voices Olaf that maybe this version is a bit of a passion project. That Gad is the one who convinced Disney to do this and not the other way around. I could be wrong, I’m probably wrong. We will have to see.

So we have a race on our hands. Which Hunchback version will be the first to get released to a general audience? Or at least announces some casting news first?
Only time will tell.     

This is the exact reason I still have Google Alerts.

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image
Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Disney announced today that Hunchback is the next film in their roaster to get a live-action remake.  I have been waiting for this day for a long time.   

Here is what is know so far. Josh Gad is produce the film. Just a quick note back in late 2015 I did a post which discussed a fan casting that appeared in my google alerts and Josh Gad was their pick for Quasimodo
you can read it here

Josh Gad for Quasimodo picture image
Josh Gad

Now I couldn’t see this casting pick at the time but Gad is an actor so if he DOES follow suit like so many men who have played or have aspired to play Quasimodo to showcase their acting prowess and have a hand in the production, he might be fine in the role.
Just a note, he may not play Quasimodo but there is a trend that men spearheading Hunchback versions do so to play the  role, Gad may just want to produce, we will have to wait and see.

Another piece of information we have is they Tony- winning Playwright David Henry Hwang is writing the screenplay and the film will simply be called Hunchback. Like the 1997 version.

Hwang’s work include Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance of the Railroad. He also has worked on Aida, Flower Drum Song, Disney’s Tarzan and M. Butterfly. 

It would seem that the  remake will take its cue from the 1996 movie and the book and not the stage production.    

Also this version will be a musical with Menken and Schwartz heading the music. So that is good.

What do you think? Are you over the Disney live-action remake trend? Are you excited? Are you afraid Disney is going to ruin it?
Thoughts and feelings welcome.

Source – https://www.cnet.com/news/hunchback-of-notre-dame-next-to-get-disney-remake-treatment/
Source – https://deadline.com/2019/01/hunchback-movie-disney-live-action-david-henry-hwang-josh-gad-alan-menken-stephen-schwartz-1202536031/

My first reaction was one of utter confusion, like I had no idea how to respond. You can look at this link to see the costume. https://ew.com/movies/2018/12/19/aladdin-first-look-ew-cover-story/

I’m just going to discuss Jasmine’s and Aladdin’s costumes. The costumes were designed by Michael Wilkinson. He has designed costumes for Sucker Punch, Twilight Breaking Dawn parts 1 & 2, 300 and American Hustle and Batman V Superman.

These costumes are bad. They don’t read as for a major movie with a budget. They look more in keeping with a Disney on Ice show.  Let’s just take about the lack of midriffs. I didn’t think I would miss such a element but the way Jasmine’s costume is cover with a flesh tone fabric over her midriff looks weird. Like she was in an ice show and needed to keep warm or if the actress was extremely modest. Or were they trying to go for a meld of cultural/historical authenticity? Because it would be weird for Disney to start now, with Jasmine’s midriff as a point of contention.   It’s just a weird choice. I don’t get it and I hate it.

Also all the details is just more on more with just more. When it’s that much it starts to look cheap. Removing a few details would have help Jasmine’s costume. Like that gold thing down her bodice. What is that? Or the other gold edging on her bodice. Or those circle details that are on the nude part. I hate it.

Her jewelry is also so bad looking.  I’m not even sure what the basis for the design was because it wasn’t Jasmine’s jewelry or existed jewelry from the Middle East or even India.  It looks really modern to me. Like the got this from a Walmart and made a crown to match. I hate it.

Then there’s Aladdin’s costume and oh boy what is going on here? He’s in a pinstripe shirt with red vest. With striped pants and shoes. Also his pants have a little button at the cuff. What? Why? At least he has his fez. If he didn’t have his red fez  I wouldn’t have know it was him. No scratch that, if it wasn’t for the fact that they said it was Aladdin I couldn’t have known it was the same character.

Maybe this is Aladdin’s costume later in the movie, after he meets the Genie and he gets a new outfit and shoes. I don’t know but hate it.  

I will say that I don’t hate the textures of the fabrics, which is a weird thing to say but they look nice.  

The costumes in Once Upon a Time for these characters were so much better. These one are just confused and tacky. I hate them.    

It is bad that I hope maybe they will look better in the context of the movie? I mean they could. Here’s Hoping. 

Simba 2019 The Lion King Remake picture image

Simba 2019 The Lion King Remake

Instead of being mad that this remake seems content to enjoy its false advertising or some how trying to redefine ‘what is live action’ let’s just  considered how this movie might incorporate the “live” aspect without anyone knowing so Disney can continues to capitalize on this trend.

Disclaimer – This post is meant as joke.

So stupid idea number, this movie DOES have “live action humans” in it. Like the story is actually a nature documentary and there are humans off in the background or foreground trying to get those iconic cinematic shots and making commentary, like the narration in the Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty remakes .

Also these humans can harp on those plot-holes that were in the original that people on the internet like to point out all the time. Like the logic of King’s impact on  the weather and ecology, Nala’s dad and the incest that it implies, though watch this remake  address that Nala’s mother was taken in from some other pride so there is  no incest. Don’t worry about it because Disney fixed it.  Other plot-holes may include the elephant graveyard, Simba surviving on bugs (though Film Theory covered that ) and so on and so on. Disney will fix it, it will fix them all and create new ones but that will be the remake  of the remake’s problem.

Or perhaps maybe one of the animals is a real Animal hidden amongst the CG animation.  You will have to watch the movie 100 times to spot it. And it will be in the background and it will like a tiny lizard or something. Maybe one of the bugs Simba eats. Likes it’s a Metaphor for how CG is taking over.  But only TRUE DIE HARD DISNEY fans will spot the “live” animal in this remake.      

The reasons for these remakes  existing, besides more money, does seem to be pushing the  computer animation tech (which people are bored with at this point) AND to correct plot-holes from the originals because imagination is hard and people need things explained more. Like with Beauty and the Beast and logic of a curse and a magical castle. So now they need it with CG Lions meet Hamlet.

I hope this movie does actually shoe-horn in humans or one real animal just for the word usage of “Disney Live Remakes” but I also can’t WAIT for how people in interviews will BS some reason for how it’s “Live”  or why it doesn’t matter.   Then again does Disney actually use the term “Live Action remakes?” Is this even a problem?

Ultimately I do not care, Disney needs its money and repackage nostalgia is a safe bet to get that money.   Though if people really wanted Disney  to stop with these movies collectively we need to stop paying attention and sending money on them but we won’t so here we are with four “live action remakes” coming out in 2019.

WHERE IS THE LIVE ACTION HUNCHBACK DISNEY??????

 

Cinema Sins' take on Quasimodo from Hotel Transylvania picture image

Cinema Sins’ take on Quasimodo from Hotel Transylvania

Though considering the totality of the movie it shouldn’t have been surprising that they messed up Quasimodo. I don’t even consider this a version of Hugo’s character.

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

I’m not strictly speaking in the interest of my own personal enjoyment or in the sense that it would give me more context but with the political and social climate in America, Hollywood or Disney really should get a new version into production.

 

Esmeralda (Maureen O'Hara) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda (Maureen O’Hara)

 

America right now is politically divided on many, many issues  and  a big one is the issue of immigration and refugees. In some ways it’s a complex issue mainly on the bureaucracy end  but on the side of basic human decency and the fact that America is an immigrant nation  it’s pretty simple. So how does this tie into making a Hunchback movie and the necessity of one?

Esmeralda Illustration Image picture

19th century Illustration of Esmeralda

I truly can not speak to the historical aspect of the Romani in Paris in the 15th century but the book makes it sound like Paris was a Sanctuary city. This means in a sense you could look at Esmeralda as a refugee or at the very least she is an immigrant of sorts. This is only case in versions where she is a Romani and not following the book, which is fine. I suppose they could split the different and make her half French and half Romani or Spanish since Esmeralda’s father is a complete unknown. The only hint the book offers, that I can find, is Esmeralda’s father could have been a thief that left her mother before she learned she was pregnant. Then again this information is narrated by a secondary character, so it unknown how reliable this account is.

    

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda defying Frollo by helping Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

In any case the two major American versions that have Esmeralda as a Romani depicts her as an advocate for both her people and the “downtrodden” which aside from being her a good female role-model in these two versions, her being an advocate  great aspect to showcase to a film going population.

 

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda,

Also unlike some other movies that cast people regardless of their race, Hunchback should be a little more set in character’s cultural backgrounds. I heard when Rogue One was coming out there was a call to boycott the movie because of the diversity the cast, same for Star Wars The Force Awakens, which is dumb.   With Hunchback their cultural backgrounds inform the characters so aside from Esmeralda and in many cases Clopin, the rest of the cast are white Europeans which could help ease some people into the movie, especially people who wanted to boycott an iconic Space Fantasy movie series.

 

Gigi Radics picture image

Gigi Radics

This means the casting of Esmeralda become extremely important. I should preface that in a perfect world, anyone could play Esmeralda but we don’t and if a movie is going to characterized Esmeralda a very specific ethnic group even though the book did not, then the movie needs to cast accordingly. This is why the casting of Gigi Radics, a Hungarian singer of Romani descent would be a masterstroke of casting. Whether or not she is available or willing to play the role is a different question.  They could always cast an unknown Romani actress to take the part.  Casting an Indian or Pakistani, or Arab actress is not quite as authentic but it a step in the right direction.

 

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

A new Hunchback  movie today who help shed some light on the current situation in America and recontextualize to people who may not think it about as much and ignore the news. It might even help  people who have little exposure to immigrants and refugees  put a human face on the issue instead of short sound bite.

Julian Sands as The Phantom & Asia Argento as Christine Daae The Phantom of the Opera Argento picture image

Julian Sands as The Phantom & Asia Argento as Christine Daae

One thing I will say about the 2004 version is that it is not the worst version of The Phantom of the Opera. This isn’t even an opinion because I can guarantee that if you ask anyone they will say the 1998 Italian Horror version directed by Dario Argento is the worse movie version. This version is just downright weird and unpleasant.

In this version the Phantom is NOT deformed, instead he was raised by rats and he has a little bit of a fetish for them. This raises so many questions as he speaks normally, plays musics, wears clothes etc, Did the rats teach him all that. Also considering that the deformity is what cause him his isolation and his madness, where does it come from? This movie doesn’t even get the basics right.

Christine is also very much into the Phantom and his weird sense of pick-up lines. He also rapes her. This is not a creditable version in the slightest.

There is SO many weird off-putting side plots and visual that leave with a sense that your brain is being evaporated through your eyes.

Please Don’t Watch this movie!

 

Site Note- To deal with some burn-out have been going through, I’m taking a brief break from posting on Mondays.

 

Gerald Butler as The Phantom & Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae The Phantom of the Opera 2004 picture image

Gerald Butler as The Phantom & Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae

It’s a little unfair to discuss this movie against the book as it’s a movie version of the famous musical version of the book. It’s one degree off from anything related to the book, so instead let’s just discuss the movie for what it is, a lovely little mess.

On the whole it’s visually a pretty movie but it made a lot of bad technical and casting choices that make not a good adaptation of the musical adaptation of the book. Let’s just start with the big one, the Phantom. They got very little right about his character. First off the decide to skew younger with casting Gerald Butler and gave him a rock edge. Second the deformity is really minimal. I get that one idea they had is humanize aspect of the musical. Like all the Phantom’s tricks and genius illusions are explainable but in making his deformity which kept him apart and unloved by society no more than a bad sunburn and a slight droop in his eye is childish. Also compared to other singers of the Phantom, Butler doesn’t measure up. So we have a good looking Phantom who can’t sing and the is the major converse of his character.

As far as Emmy Rossum as Christine, I’m not a fan of how she sung the role but as far as looking innocent and doe-eyed she was fine. I do wish they and gotten someone else though but considering the casting on the Phantom especially when Ramin Karimloo (favorite Phantom) was cast in the movie as Christine’s father.

More than the questionable casting this movie despite it’s prettiness make some weird choices. For instance the Marquerade scene is all monochromatic despite the songs saying their are colors everywhere and Christine’s not in costume. Why is her Opera costume Empress Sissi and not like the other costumes prior? I could go on and on and on. Those are little things that take a person out the movie especially when you’re supposed to lots in feels.

 

The emotions that lost in this movie version are partly being the filmmaker made everything more subtle because it’s a movie. The subtly how the emotions present makes it harder to connect so it really just become boring and with the odd choice and weird casting it become a mess albeit a shallow pretty mess.

 

 

 

1987 Animated cartoon Phantom of the Opera picture image

Erik, 1987 Animated cartoon Phantom of the Opera

That’s Right, my friends, In 1987 Emerald City Production made a straight to Video animated version of Phantom of the Opera riding the coat-tails of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. It’s a really good thing Disney didn’t make a Phantom in the mid-90’s because otherwise we would have gotten stuff on the line with all Hunchback knock-offs. Can you imagine a version of Phantom were he isn’t ugly, oh wait, they already did that (sort of), but enough about that, how is the animated version?

Compared to all the other versions, this version follows the book albeit really simplified, is about 40 minutes long. The character does have much development or even interest BUT Erik does get his redemptions and dies after Christine kisses him.  Though instead of just a straight-up broken heart, he plays his organ in such a way that it makes the ceiling fall and crush him.

Also this version on the technical end of this is terrible. It’s cleared they had no budget. They is A TON of receptive animation and the movement on the character is so wooden that actually wood would have moved better. That being said I would rather watch this than the majority of the Hunchback knock-offs because this version of Phantom doesn’t speak down to it’s audience.

 

It’s a cheap yet by the book versions of Phantom. Would I recommend it? If you’re a fan of the book yeah but otherwise meh. It’s not a good version but nor is so bad that one should experience.   Though it the most accurate version to Leroux’s novel.