A spinoff of Will Gluck’s Easy A (2010) is in the works, with screenwriter Bert Royal returning to draft the script as well as direct the film, which will also take place at Ojai North High School and will be about similar themes with a new cast of characters, according to /Film. With Easy A serving as a loose adaptation of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Royal was quoted in an interview as saying he planned to set similar interpretations of Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand and The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens in Ojai, California. The follow-up still has yet to be written, so no details are known yet as to whether Emma Stone, Thomas Haden Church, Lisa Kudrow, or Malcolm McDowell will reprise their parts, or when it will be released.
Filmmaker, actress, and progressive Haley Webb accused co-star Kevin Sorbo of sexually harassing her whilst filming Alejandro Itkin and Hunter Carson’s Single in South Beach (2015) on Thursday over Twitter, according to The Daily Dot. The thirty-three-year-old Webb alleges that the sixty-year-old Sorbo openly shamed her on set when she turned down his advances, then insisted on shooting a gratuitous sex scene between their two characters. Webb’s claim was a response to a tweet Sorbo posted Tuesday in defense of Sarah Huckabee Sanders; Sorbo, who has yet to reply to Webb, is a Christian film staple, starring in Harold Cronk’s God’s Not Dead (2014).
Director Paul Thomas Anderson will release a short musical film on Netflix and in select Imax theaters June 27, the same day long-time collaborator Thom Yorke is to drop his next album, ANIMA, according to Engadget. The one-reeler will feature three ANIMA songs, with Yorke both starring in as well as scoring the movie, and Netflix put out the trailer today, saying the “mind-bending visual piece” is best played loudly. Indeed, Yorke once uploaded an album online exclusively as a BitTorrent Bundle, and together with Radiohead, published a record through a hidden app that only worked on computers from the 1980s.
The year is 1976. Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1975) introduced the moviegoing public to the summer blockbuster the year before, and George Lucas’s Star Wars (1977) would go on to turn movie studios into toy factories the year after.
Brian De Palma’s Carrie (1976) is one of the last classics of its era. If you don’t know what to watch next, it’s available to stream on Netflix.
It is an adaptation of Stephen King’s debut novel, so early in his career, his name is misspelled as “Steven” in the opening credits.
It was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Actress for Sissy Spacek (the titular Carrie White), and Best Supporting Actress for Piper Laurie (Carrie’s religious fanatic mother, Margaret White).
The supernatural horror film begins in a high school locker room, where Carrie, an introverted social outcast, menstruates for the first time; because her puritanical mother never warned her about menstruation, Carrie panics, and the other girls laugh and throw tampons at her.
The saintly gym teacher, Miss Collins (Betty Buckley), punishes Carrie’s classmates, including Sue Snell (Amy Irving) and Chris Hargensen (Nancy Allen), for their bullying, and with the advent of her puberty, Carrie discovers she possesses telekinetic powers.
Meanwhile, a remorseful Sue asks her boyfriend, Tommy Ross (William Katt), the most popular boy in school, to take Carrie to the prom, and a vengeful Chris plots with her abusive lover, Billy Nolan (John Travolta, in his first big screen role), to get back at Carrie.
Carrie is as tragic as it is horrifying, the Cinderella story from Hell, as only King could imagine it. It is a monster movie with many monsters, and the mass murderer with telekinesis is not only one of them, but one of the victims, too.
That Carrie is a sympathetic figure, is the scariest part about her.
De Palma’s filmmaking is at its strongest when he’s borrowing from other artists’ work, and his interpretation of King’s book is bursting with nods to his favorite source of inspiration, Sir Alfred Hitchcock.
Composer Pino Donaggio’s shrieking violins parallel Bernard Herrmann’s score for Psycho (1960), and so does the name change from “Ewen High School” on the page to “Bates High School” on the screen.
Carrie sometimes surpasses its source material. The written word portrays Carrie as an irredeemable psychopath, whereas almost all the people Carrie kills in the picture have it coming, sparking a hellish catharsis in the viewer.
Also, it feels like parts of King’s narrative are padded for length by an author learning how to write his first novel, since before the publication of Carrie, King was a short story writer.
De Palma’s prom set piece is a masterclass of suspense, as Donaggio’s soundtrack as well as editor Paul Hirsch’s split screens and montages of cuts thrust toward a bloody, fiery climax.
Even upon revisiting it, knowing how it ends, you will still find yourself it will somehow end differently, that Carrie will get the happily ever after she deserves, that her dreams will come true, despite the nightmare she was born into.
In King’s own words, though, Carrie is dated. The special effects have aged somewhat poorly, and the jump scare at the finale has been parodied so many times, it’s borderline laughable.
But as with Carrie herself, there is so much more to cinema than what it looks like, and there is so much more to horror than whether or not it makes you cover your eyes.
Carrie may not make you scream, but it might make you cry. It will make you know what it is to be in high school again, how happy you would be to win prom royalty, and what you would do to the people who ruin it in the worst possible way.
And that is the agelessness of its time.
Franco Zeffirelli, the Academy Award-nominated director behind Romeo and Juliet (1968), died peacefully today at his home in Rome after what his son, Luciano, told the Associated Press was a prolonged illness, according to Variety. The filmmaker is known for his literary adaptations, such as The Taming of the Shrew (1967), Hamlet (1990), and Jane Eyre (1996), but his flamboyant opera and theater productions are perhaps his most lasting legacy. Zeffirelli was a controversial figure for becoming a Catholic zealot and Vatican apologist following a near-fatal car accident in 1969, and in 2018, Sparrow (1993) actor Jonathon Schaech accused him of sexual assault.
Lin-Manuel Miranda announced this morning that he was cast as Piraguero for Jon M. Chu’s In the Heights (2020), according to Broadway World. Warner Brothers will release the musical adaptation June 26, 2020 (after a bidding war with The Weinstein Company for the rights), with a screenplay by Quiara Alegría Hudes, and Anthony Bregman, Mara Jacobs, and Scott Sanders as producers. Hudes wrote the book for the play, and Miranda wrote the music and lyrics; in all, the 2008 musical won four Tony Awards out of thirteen nominations as well as a Grammy Award, and it was nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of Stephen King’s 2013 novel, Doctor Sleep (2019), will be a direct sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) despite King’s infamous disapproval of the classic horror film, according to Entertainment Weekly. Flanagan says King not only granted him permission to set the movie in the same cinematic universe as Kubrick’s own adaptation (even though he purposefully wrote Doctor Sleep outside of Kubrick’s world), but he also actively encouraged the idea. The Kubrick estate gave their blessing as well, and so Doctor Sleep will include both references to moments from The Shining in addition to actual footage.