After making an impression at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, A.J. Edwards’ “Friday’s Child” is gearing up to compete at the Shanghai International Film Festival later this month. IndieWire is celebrating the occasion with the exclusive debut of the film’s trailer, which is the kind of visual jaw-dropper moviegoers should start expecting from Edwards.
“Friday’s Child” stars Tye Sheridan as Richie Wincott, an 18-year-old fresh out of foster care who becomes the prime suspect in a botched robbery. Wincott’s mission to avoid being captured by the police and the arrival of a stranger threatening to reveal his past (Caleb Landry Jones) cause problems for his budding romance with an unlikely friend (Imogen Poots).
Edwards started his career as a disciple of Terrence Malick, working on “The New World,” helping cast “The Tree of Life,” and serving as an editor on “To the Wonder,” and he made a name for himself as a director with his breakout debut “The Better Angels,” which debuted at Sundance in 2014. Edwards has had a front row seat to Malick’s new age style and he shows he’s capable of channeling a similar artistic voice in the “Friday’s Child” trailer. Both Sheridan and Poots are no stranger to Malick’s style having starred in “The Tree of Life” and “Knight of Cups,” respectively.
Watch the official “Friday’s Child” trailer below.
Everyone is going to know Alden Ehrenreich’s name later this month when Disney releases “Solo: A Star Wars Solo” around the world, which should only get more eyeballs on the indie war drama “The Yellow Birds.” The film is the latest from “Blue Caprice” director Alexandre Moors and debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
“The Yellow Birds” stars Ehrenreich and “Ready Player One” star Tye Sheridan as soldiers who become friends during a tour in Iraq. After a tragedy strikes their platoon, Ehrenreich’s solider must return home and pick up the pieces of his life, which includes helping a grieving mother find peace. Toni Collette and Jennifer Aniston co-star.
With its mix of psychological drama and intense war scenes, “The Yellow Birds” looks like a compelling mix of “The Hurt Locker” and Moors’ own “Blue Caprice.” Moors is known for shooting in close-up to create a level of intimacy between his characters and the viewer, and the trailer below makes it clear “The Yellow Birds” functions in a similar way.
“The Yellow Birds” will be available exclusively on DirecTV from May 17 to June 13. Lionsgate will give the drama a limited theatrical release beginning June 15. Watch the official trailer below.
Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” has crossed the $500 million mark at the worldwide box office, Warner Bros. announced Saturday.
Domestically, the film has hit $120.6 million to date since its opening on March 29. Internationally, the film has grossed $379.5 million, earning more than $200 million in China alone.
“Ready Player One” stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Mark Rylance and Simon Pegg.
Spielberg directed “Ready Player One” from a screenplay by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline, based on the latter’s novel of the same name. Donald De Line, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Dan Farah and Spielberg produced. Adam Somner, Daniel Lupi, Chris DeFaria and Bruce Berman served as executive producers.
The film follows a young man who lives in a dystopian future where almost everyone escapes their horrid reality through a virtual world called the OASIS. With the help of his friends, he sets out to complete a quest created by the OASIS’ late creator before the head of an evil corporation can finish it and take over the virtual system.
Earlier this week, Spielberg became the first director to ever gross more than $10 billion at the worldwide box office, with “Ready Player One” becoming his highest-grossing film in the last decade and nudging him into eight figures in all-time career grosses.
Spielberg’s all-time top performer was 1993’s “Jurassic Park,” which grossed $983.8 million worldwide. That was followed by 2008’s critically reviled “Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull” ($786.6 million) and the 1982 classic “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” which earned $717 million — without adjusting for inflation.
(Note: This post contains spoilers for “Ready Player One.”)
If you’re a fan of Steven Spielberg’s hit film “Ready Player One,” I get it. On the surface it’s hard to hate on the idea of a film packed with nostalgic callouts to old pop culture, plus a message of friendship, acceptance, and the value of real life versus escapism.
But that’s on the surface. Ultimately, the larger messages and themes are just backdrop to cool visuals and a ton of references, the references don’t really amount to anything except a list of things audiences probably like, and the film’s characters largely just define themselves mainly by liking that stuff.
But what if we told you there was a far superior version of “Ready Player One” that is all of that and much more, and also came out four years earlier? There is: it’s called “The LEGO Movie.”
Both “Ready Player One” and “The LEGO Movie” are epic adventures about playing in a fantasy world populated by characters owned largely by Warner Bros., dressed up in more meaningful messages to dilute the consumerism. And both films feature deliberately uninteresting protagonists who seem defined largely by their interests. But that’s where the similarities basically end.
The main character of “Ready Player One,” Wade (Tye Sheridan), proudly likes the right things — “Back to the Future,” “Buckaroo Banzai,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “The Shining” and so on. It’s part of his quest to win riches by solving a puzzle at the heart of the online virtual world OASIS, essentially an enormous online video game. But while OASIS is a place where you can supposedly “be anything,” the things that people most often end up being are the creations of other people, and owned by other people.
The mess of characters running around the OASIS — and there’s a lot of them — aren’t made interesting in some way by being used by the players who inhabit them. They’re just quick shots of things you’ve seen before. “The Iron Giant,” the DeLorean from “Back to The Future,” and so on.
But where liking the right stuff and knowing everything about it is a virtue (and Wade’s whole life) in “Ready Player One,” “The LEGO Movie” uses that idea as a jumping off point. The film follows regular guy Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) who, like Wade, likes everything everyone else likes and defines himself by his conformity.
But unlike Wade, Emmet spends the movie figuring out his own identity. The entire plot of “The LEGO Movie” is Emmet finding what makes him unique, an idea taken even further when it’s revealed the entire story is a game being played by Finn (Jadon Sand), a real-life kid. The main conflict of the movie — that LEGO character President Business (Will Ferrell) wants to destroy the universe with the “Kragle,” a bottle of Krazy Glue — is actually a metaphor for Finn’s father wanting to freeze his LEGO sets into permanent finished states. The film eventually has Finn’s father realize that his son is using the toys to create for himself, and to express his individuality.
Meanwhile, even as it makes use of a references to the Warner Bros. stable — DC superheroes, Gandalf from “The Lord of the Rings,” Dumbledore from “Harry Potter” — “The LEGO Movie” goes a step further than “Ready Player One.”
“The LEGO Movie” jokes that Superman would ghost an annoying fellow hero, that Batman would be an insufferable narcissist, that Gandalf and Dumbledore don’t have time to shepherd every random hero through his or her origin story. These aren’t just shoutouts to random characters, they’re subversions of viewer expectation. Your understanding of the source material is expanded, not just catered to.
Both “Ready Player One” and “The LEGO Movie” are ultimately about playing in a preexisting pop culture world. But where “Ready Player One” flashes a picture of a thing you like, “The LEGO Movie” bothers to know something about it, and turns it into something new and surprisingly deep. That’s special and, four years later, something that hasn’t fully been duplicated.
Tye Sheridan is front and center in Steven Spielberg’s new blockbuster hopeful “Ready Player One,” but the movie is hardly the first time the young actor has worked with one of the greatest living directors in cinema. Sheridan made his feature acting debut in “The Tree of Life,” and he shot Terrence Malick’s magnum opus when he was only 11 years old. As the actor explains on Variety’s Playback Podcast, working with Malick on his first film set a very unusual precedent.
“That was my first experience ever on a film set,” Sheridan said. “The fact that I never saw a script and I didn’t know what we were shooting until literally the moment we arrived on set, for me, I thought that was normal when I was 11 years old working on this movie.”
Sheridan eventually learned on subsequent film projects like Jeff Nichols’ “Mud” and David Gordon Green’s “Joe” that Malick’s free-flowing, spontaneous directing style was not the industry standard, which only made the experience more formative. The actor told Variety that being shaped as an actor under Malick’s eye taught him never to be tethered to a certain line or acting style because at any moment the film could change.
“What I retained from that experience is, it’s good to rehearse and work things through, but when you overwork something and you dig yourself so deep and invest yourself in one style, it’s hard to dig yourself out,” Sheridan said. “Working on Malick’s movies, he allows you to do so much and go to so many places. Sometimes you’re on set and you’re shooting a dinner scene and all of a sudden he sees birds out the window and he just wants to shoot that. He’s fascinated by capturing moments that are extremely hard to capture.”
Sheridan remembered one “magical” scene where Malick’s camera went off script to capture a butterfly landing on Jessica Chastain. “I still remember at 11 years old watching that happen in front of me,” he said. “There are things like that and they only happen in his movies. Not a lot of other directors can bottle that up.”
“Ready Player One,” now playing in theaters nationwide, is Sheridan’s second major studio tentpole after his role as Cyclops in “X-Men: Apocalypse.” He’ll reprise the character in Fox’s next “X-Men” film “Dark Phoenix,” which will be released in theaters February 14, 2019.
Steven Spielberg’s giant nostalgia trip through a huge virtual reality world, “Ready Player One,” is upon us, ready to blast audiences with crazy action scenes and visual references to everything they ever liked as an ’80s (or ’90s) kid.
The movie follows Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), who spends all his time in the OASIS, a massive online virtual world filled with things to do, places to go and characters to be. It’s like the internet if you could walk around in it. Wade is obsessed with finding Halliday’s Easter Egg, a hidden gem left by the OASIS’ late creator (Mark Rylance). Like a digital Willy Wonka, Halliday left the Easter Egg after his death for a way to pass on ownership of the OASIS to a new person, along with fabulous wealth.
“Ready Player One” is a huge romp through its own virtual universe, and in the era of properties like “Star Wars” and Marvel superhero movies, it seems like it might be primed for a cinematic universe of its own. Lots of movies include post-credits scenes teasing potential sequels to get audiences primed for the next chapter in the story — so do you need to wait around through the credits of “Ready Player One” for a post-credits scene hinting at the OASIS cinematic universe?
The answer to that question, in fact, is no. There’s no post-credits scene on “Ready Player One.” That might even be considered a callback to Spielberg’s other blockbusters, that end at the end, and then the credits roll. In any event, if you need to sprint to the bathroom or you just want to start cataloguing all the Easter Eggs that pop up in the background of “Ready Player One,” you can do so after the final scene.
Though “Ready Player One” has no teaser for future movies, it’s not hard to imagine how they might come to be if the film is a hit among fans — especially since Ernest Cline, who wrote the novel on which the film is based, has written other books about lonely fanboys like Wade, including the 2016 novel “Armada.”
In addition, the OASIS spans multiple planets, like “Planet Doom” and “Planet Minecraft,” that reference everything from popular games and movies of now, to the ones Halliday was obsessed with from the 1980s and 1990s. It’d be easy to dip into the virtual world, and potentially, to find new stories to tell.
Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” might mark the beginning of a new era in filmmaking or the end of an old one, but either way it feels like a failed experiment in building a new story on the carcasses of old movies, TV shows and video games.
Granted, I’m also not sure if this movie is aimed squarely at me or if I’m the last person who should see it: the screenplay by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline (based on Cline’s novel) seems to be weaponizing my own personal nostalgia for John Hughes, Monty Python, “Buckaroo Banzai” and other objects of obsession from my late teens and early 20s. On paper, I’m this movie’s target audience, but in practice — to put it in terms of the film’s endless quoting and referencing — it’s like being trapped in the “Ironic Punishment Division” on “The Simpsons,” only I very quickly got sick of being force-fed all those delicious donuts.
“Ready Player One” takes a fairly recognizable through line right out of “Charlie”/”Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” — eccentric creator uses a contest to search for the heir to his cuckoo kingdom — and buries it in virtual reality simulations and a hodgepodge of pop-culture nostalgia. The results are a murky mishmash that reminds us that, for all of Spielberg’s many appreciable strengths as a filmmaker, comedy and animation aren’t necessarily at the top of the list. (By the same token, if you love “1941” and/or “Tintin,” this might be the movie for you.)
Our Wonka is Halliday (Mark Rylance), who created a vast and intricate virtual world known as Oasis, which has become a respite for residents of the grimy post-apocalyptic 2045. (Oasis is supposed to be a global phenomenon; we’re apparently not meant to notice that, in the non-virtual world, all of the characters in the film live in or near Columbus, Ohio.) Upon his death, Halliday announced that he hid three keys in the recesses of the Oasis, and whoever finds them will inherit ownership of the whole kit and caboodle.
While the evil IOI corporation enslaves workers in an elaborate attempt to solve the clues and find the keys, Oasis is also full of independent treasure hunters like young Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), who is known in the virtual world as “Parzival,” or “Z” for short. When he and pals H (Lena Waithe), Sho (Philip Zhao) and Daito (Win Morisaki) aren’t playing Halliday’s games — including a virtual road race through Manhattan where the obstacles include dinosaurs and King Kong — they’re studying Halliday’s memories and his cultural obsessions for hints and guideposts.
Along the way, Z. falls for fellow treasure hunter Art3mis (Olivia Cooke, “Thoroughbreds”), although she is at first hesitant to let him get to know her in the real world as Samantha. But the closer that Wade/Z. and his friends get to Halliday’s treasure, the more that IOI bigwig Sorrento (an entertainingly hammy Ben Mendelsohn) tries to destroy them and take over Oasis for himself.
The main selling point of “Ready Player One” has been the plethora of pop-culture icons from anime, TV, video games and movies that are woven throughout the movie; there will no doubt be a fascinating Blu-ray extra in which “Pop-Up Video” bubbles appear throughout to point out all these hidden nuggets, but the camerawork is so hyperactive and the Oasis scenes are so often muddy that most of these details were lost.
Part of why we’re supposed to hiss Sorrento is his inability to tell “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (while, presumably, we notice that both “Watts” and “Samantha” are characters from “Some Kind of Wonderful” and “Sixteen Candles,” respectively). But “Ready Player One” doesn’t do much with its trove of references beyond baking a Memberberry Pie. It certainly doesn’t earn the right to have its characters blunder through a Stanley Kubrick movie at one point, although if that segment plays for you, so will the rest of the film.
And as someone who was an architect of so much 1980s pop culture (as both a director and producer), maybe Spielberg wasn’t the right fit to examine these obsessions from a fanboy perspective. (Z. drives around in the DeLorean from the Spielberg-produced “Back to the Future,” for example, and at one point he purchases a “Zemeckis Cube” that allows him to reverse time.) It’s like when a “Saturday Night Live” cast member does a devastating impersonation of a celebrity, and then the real-life celebrity shows up to stand next to the impersonator, effectively killing the joke for all time.
Spielberg is too much of a craftsman not to create at least a little delight, and “Ready Player One” comes alive every so often, whether it’s a band of player-less instruments heralding the finding of Halliday’s first key or the chemistry between Sheridan and Cooke in those rare moments that they’re interacting as flesh and blood rather than ones and zeroes.
But overall, the movie left me feeling bombarded with images, bored by the lack of an interesting story, and irritated with my own cultural past. I’ve never been much of a video-game player, but by the finale, I was ready to “Leeroy Jenkins!” my way out of the theater.
Fans will have to wait a lot longer to see Fox’s next movies based on the X-Men franchise as the studio announced Monday that Simon Kinberg’s “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” would move from November 2, 2018 to February 14, 2019.
As a result, the horror-driven X-Men spinoff “The New Mutants” is also moving, from February 22, 2019 to August 2, 2019.
The studio also bumped “The Force,” James Mangold’s adaptation of a Don Winslow novel about a crooked NYC cop, from its release schedule altogether. It had been booked for March 1, 2019.
In addition, Fox announced that Bryan Singer’s eagerly awaited Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” would hit theaters in the midst of Oscar season, on November 2, instead of its previous Christmas Day release.
Joe Cornish’s medieval epic “The Kid Who Would Be King” moves back two weeks, from February 14, 2019 to March 1.
Fox also announced that Roxann Dawson’s faith-based drama “Breakthrough” starring “This Is Us” star Chrissy Metz will land on April 12, 2019 — one week before the animated feature “Spies in Disguise” that had previously been set for January 18, 2019.
With the move of “Dark Phoenix,” which stars “Game of Thrones” alum Sophie Turner as the telepathic mutant Jean Grey, a.k.a. Phoenix, the studio will be releasing only one “X-Men” movie this year: this summer’s R-rated “Deadpool” sequel.
“Dark Phoenix” will also star Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, Olivia Munn, James McAvoy, Tye Sheridan, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters and Alexandra Shipp.
Is it possible for a Hollywood blockbuster to look both soulful and soulless, depending on where the light strikes its gleaming surfaces? Ready Player One, based on the bestseller of the same name, is a pandering, crassly commercial victory of intellectual property law that’s also, in its best moments, a grand popcorn…
Tye Sheridan, who stars as Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops in the the upcoming “X-Men” film “Dark Phoenix,” teased the movie as “more of a drama versus a superhero film.”
“Jean goes crazy in the movie,” Sheridan told TheWrap at SXSW while discussing his other new film, “Friday’s Child.” “Well, Cyclops doesn’t think she’s going crazy; Cyclops just thinks she’s gotta work some stuff out. It’s interesting, the drama in the movie. We treated this movie as much more of a drama versus a superhero film.”
In an Entertainment Weekly article from December, Jennifer Lawrence, who stars as Raven/Mystique, said she would definitely call “Dark Phoenix” a “drama.”
“We have really great action scenes and we go to space like within the first five minutes of the movie,” she explained. “So it’s definitely exciting but emotionally all these characters are taking the biggest, most extreme dives than they have in the whole series.”
Sophie Turner, who plays Jean Grey a.k.a. Phoenix, also promised in a recent interview with Empire that the film was being revolutionized and that they wanted to create a “whole new genre of superhero movie.”
Sheridan took on the role of Cyclops in 2016’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” and will reprise it in “Dark Phoenix.” The role of Cyclops was previously played by James Marsden in “X-Men,” “X-Men 2,” “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” In “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” Tim Pocock played Scott Summers.
“Dark Phoenix” will also star Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, Olivia Munn, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters and Alexandra Shipp. Simon Kinberg, who also produced three “X-Men” films, directed.
Sheridan was at SXSW Film Festival to promote his film “Friday’s Child,” directed by A.J. Edwards. Both “Friday’s Child” and Sheridan’s upcoming film “Ready Player One,” are having their world premieres on Sunday in Austin.
“Dark Phoenix” hits theaters Nov. 2.
Watch the video above.
Ernest Cline’s sci-fi bestseller “Ready Player One” is less a novel and more a love letter to the 1980s wrapped around a plot. Easter eggs and pop culture references abound throughout the novel, and Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster adaptation appears to have ripped a couple of pages from the book. Here are all the easter eggs we were able to spot in the new trailer.
Remember Madballs? No? You may not be alone, but these rubber bouncing balls were pretty popular in the 1980s and well into the next decade. As the audience is treated to a look at how crummy and bleak the world has become, we see that a graffiti artist has tagged the side of a trailer with one of these weird-looking objects.
There’s definitely a huge race coming up in the film, judging by the sheer number of cars, bikes, and other vehicles. Among the ones we’ve been able to spot include Mach 5 from “Speed Racer” and the original Batmobile from the “Batman” TV series, as well as Ryu from the “Street Fighter” video games. Some have even claimed to spot Mad Max’s Interceptor from “Fury Road.”
Protagonist Wade Watts, aka Parzival (Tye Sheridan), will participate in the aforementioned race by driving the DeLorean from “Back to the Future.” Fans were caught off guard with the brief glimpse of the iconic vehicle in the original trailer, and now it feels like it’s getting the attention it deserves.
During the race, King Kong looks to make an appearance, perched atop his own Empire State Building with biplanes circling overhead.
In the “we need to let the audience know what a big deal this is” section of the trailer, we see a newspaper that references “Oasis Coin,” a clear reference to Bitcoin.
As we get our first good look at Parzival’s competitor/love interest, Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), we’re treated to a cameo appearance by Commander Shepard from “Mass Effect” and Blanka from “Street Fighter” (nope, we’re not done with those yet).
Heck, there’s too much going on in this shot for just one slide: on the other side of the screen, a bartender wearing a Devo hat is seen to be taking an order from Lara Croft (we’re not done with her yet, either).
Fans were quick to notice Harley Quinn in the Comic-Con trailer, and now we’ve gotten a look at this rather dapper version of her beau, the Clown Prince of Crime.
One of the classic vintage relics of the era that “RP1” cherishes, the boombox also calls to mind a certain movie…
Here’s Parzival, pulling a full John Cusack from “Say Anything…” as DC supervillain Deadshot and Sagat from “Street Fighter” help lead the charge into the final battle between Oasis users and the sinister IOI corporation.
As part of the final battle, we can make out the early 1990s video game characters Battletoads, as well as a flying ostrich from the arcade game “Joust.”
This battle is going to be massive. In this one shot, we can make out Tracer from “Overwatch,” Chun-Li from “Street Fighter,” FemShep from “Mass Effect” and Lara Croft.
No, you were not imagining things. You really did see 1980s horror villain Chucky pulling a full-on, CGI Yoda and kicking some serious butt in the process.
One of the most popular franchises in Japan, “Gundam” plays a pivotal role in Cline’s book, and we’re happy to see that Spielberg kept the giant hero robot.
Arguably the biggest shocker from the Comic-Con trailer was the inclusion of Iron Giant. Nobody saw him coming. Spielberg was quick to point out that the robot was not just to make fans feel good, but he would be an important part of the story. Here he is now, diving headlong into the final battle.
Just when you think you’ve had all you can handle, Spielberg and company throw you one last treat: the instantly recognizable musical twinkle from “Back to the Future.” March 30 can not come soon enough.