If there is any such thing as a “rockstar filmmaker” in Hollywood today, Taika Waititi would be a close contender for the title. After working in the indie film space for many years, Waititi burst into prominence with the blockbuster success of Thor: Ragnarok, and followed that up with an Oscar win for Jojo Rabbit. The eccentric filmmaker has also captured the internet’s imagination with his zany sense of humor and comic acting abilities. In a Collider interview, Armie Hammer revealed the most impressive thing he had discovered about Waiititi’s sleep habits on the sets of their upcoming film Next Goal Wins.
“Having [Taika] on set is the best. I mean, when he’s not sleeping, that is. Actually, his napping thing is also very impressive. He’s got this thing where he’ll go, ‘Okay, set up this camera over there, set up that over there, set up that over there, set up that over there. How long will that be?’ [And the crew says], ‘That’ll be about three minutes,’ [and he goes], ‘Okay great,’ and then he’ll be out [Hammer mimes sleeping for a second before talking] and then two minutes and 55 seconds later he’ll go, ‘Okay, are the cameras ready?’ and you’re just like, ‘What was that? Holy shit!'”
Next Goal Wins is a sports comedy that Taika Waititi co-wrote and is directing. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Elizabeth Moss, and Armie Hammer among others. While the three actors have garnered great critical acclaim for their dramatic roles, they are not as well known for their comic chops. According to Hammer, it was the prospect of working with Waititi and being a part of his unique blend of humor and pathos that made him want to do the film.
“[Waititi’s] phenomenally talented. He’s almost too talented for his own good. [Next Goal Wins is] the story of a coach – played hilariously and perfectly by Michael Fassbender – who goes, kind of as a dead-end job, just to kind of get rid of him, [is sent] down to American Samoa to coach a soccer team there and it’s about what happens to this coach goes down to Samoa to coach a soccer team. It’s hilarious and it’s fun and it’s heartfelt and there are things in it that are really touching. Like all of Taika’s films. Like Hunt for the Wilderpeople. That movie is funny and touching and you’ll cry and laugh in the same film. That’s very Taika. When he wants to do that, that’s what he’s gonna do.”
Apart from working on his soccer movie, Waititi is also working on the next Thor movie, which will see a new God of Thunder in the shape of Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster. Additionally, the filmmaker will also be stretching his comic abilities with the role of a video-games developer in Free Guy alongside Marvel alum Ryan Reynolds. All in all, Waititi seems poised to get even bigger with his next few projects, and fans can’t wait to come along with him for the ride. This news was first reported at Collider.
Daddy Yankee and Bad Bunny are crowned on the Latin Billboard with seven awards each
The 2020 Latin Billboard Awards were supposed to have been delivered last March, but the coronavirus pandemic caused them to be postponed until this Wednesday night, when the BB&T Center in Sunrise, outside Miami, hosted numerous artists eager to celebrate these accolades. The stars of the night were Bad Bunny and Daddy Yankee, who were crowned with seven awards each, while Enrique Iglesias was recognized as the best Latin artist of all time and Slowly was awarded as the song of the decade.
Bad Bunny was awarded the prizes for composer of the year and artist of the year, beating J Balvin, Romeo Santos and Ozuna, who left empty but after a standing ovation when taking his two children on stage.
Luis Fonsi took three statuettes, one of them for the best song of the decade for Slowly. In 2010, Fonsi won the same award for the past decade with I do not give up. “I can’t believe that these two very different songs have achieved the same recognition,” said the artist, who also highlighted that both were composed with women. Claudia Brant, the first and Erkia Ender, the second. “At the end of the day, what took me the most is that the whole world sang in Spanish, the whole world knows our ‘ay bendito’. So this award goes to you. Puerto Rico I love you very much! ”, He expressed enthusiastically.
Among the female winners, the Colombian Karol G stood out, who won two awards; Katy Perry, for best artist crossover, Lali, in the category of social networks and Jennifer Lopez, awarded for the best tour. Rosalía, as a Spanish representative and nominated for three awards, finally left empty-handed.
Romeo Santos and Enrique Iglesias were seen in public for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Santos, with four awards, received the album of the decade award for his album Formula Vol.2, with collaborations with Drake and Nicki Minaj. “I no longer feel so alone in this,” stressed the American artist of Dominican origin in a speech in which he expressed his pride in Latin culture and Spanish.
Pitbull was in charge of giving the unprecedented award for the best Latin artist of all time to his “friend” Enrique Iglesias, who limited himself to thanking his team and sending a message to his fans: “I miss you a lot”. After the ceremony, the interpreter of Dancing He published an image on his social networks in which he is seen sitting on the toilet and holding the award in his hands.
The gala, broadcast on the Telemundo network, was marked by the awareness of the artists about the importance of voting in the elections on November 3 in the United States and also by the strict security measures to avoid the contagion of the coronavirus. While the red carpet was without music and with a distance of several meters between the few authorized journalists and the artists, the ceremony was divided into four stages.
The show began with the live premiere of Hawaii, the greatest success of this year of the Colombian Maluma, who was also awarded the Spirit of Hope solidarity award for his work with his Arte de los Sueños foundation. Paulina Rubio and Raymix, Manuel Turizo, Rauw Alejandro and Myke Towers also performed; Jesse & Joy; Fonsi and Farruko and Gente de Zona and Gerardo Ortiz.
The most emotional moment of the night was the tribute to the legendary Mexican composer Armando Manzanero, who received a serenade by Luis Fonsi, Joy Huerta, Pablo Alborán and Reik, who sang some of his hits, part of the Latin American songbook. Another honoree was singer-songwriter Carlos Vives, who received the Latin Billboard Hall of Fame award from Emilio Estefan.
Brussels rules out that the Recovery Fund against the crisis is available on January 1
First stumble. Negotiations and procedures to launch the new budgetary framework of the European Union still do not advance at the desired pace and it is already considered impossible that the 750,000 million euros of the European recovery fund against the crisis will be available from next 1 from January. The Council and Parliament have been locked in a battle of numbers, with some 39 billion euros at stake. And the lack of agreement keeps the process of ratification of the new accounts paralyzed in the national parliaments. The accumulated delay will ruin the expectations of the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, who have repeatedly demanded that the extraordinary resources to alleviate the impact of the pandemic arrive at the beginning of the year .
Spain and Italy are the two countries that benefit most from the fund and expect to receive 60,000 and 65,000 million euros in subsidies, respectively. But the community manna will take time to arrive and sources from the European Commission indicate that the first disbursements will not occur until the second half of 2021, almost a year and a half after the start of the covid-19 pandemic.
“It will not be possible to have the Recovery Fund ready by January 1,” assures a high-ranking diplomat in Brussels. “It is already impossible.” In his opinion, it is easy to calculate the times: we are almost at the end of October and even if there was a sudden agreement with Parliament, the Council would still have to endorse it and ratification would finally be needed in the national parliaments, a process that could take two or three months.
The two institutions maintain an accelerated schedule of meetings to try to settle the discrepancies. “The negotiation has not come to a standstill, but continues,” says a parliamentary source. And adds that “there are at least three meetings scheduled for the next few days. In this week’s meeting, both parties maintained their positions.
The Council continues to flatly refuse to add a single euro to the agreement reached at the European summit in July, which set the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 at 1,075 billion euros and the recovery fund baptized as Next Generation EU at 750,000 million. And the European Parliament demands to add another 39,000 million to the Financial Framework and provide it with a mechanism that allows suspending European subsidies to countries where the rules of the rule of law are not respected.
The lack of agreement also keeps in the air the process of national ratification of the so-called Own Resources Decision, the essential legal text for financing the Financial Framework. Some countries, such as Hungary and Poland, even reserve that letter and threaten not to ratify the Decision if the monitoring mechanism of the rule of law becomes dangerously tougher for their interests. The veto of a single country to this legal text could ruin the entire architecture of the historic budget agreement reached at the July summit after five days and four consecutive nights of negotiation.
The presidency of the Council of the EU, occupied this semester by Germany, has offered Parliament the possibility of “a technical solution”. Some of the possibilities would be to add items of community income that until now went to the national coffers, as is the case of the fines of the European Commission for violating the competition rules, or the remnants that remain in the annual budgetary exercises. The German presidency estimates that these two sources could report some 31,000 million euros and be used for the 15 programs that the European Parliament considers key, such as university exchanges (Erasmus) and research (Horizon).
Parliamentary sources deny any responsibility for the possible delay of the Recovery Fund and attribute it to the slowness of the capitals in ratifying the Own Resources Decision. The same sources recall that the European Parliament “gave the green light to that Decision on September 15”, after an accelerated process to facilitate its ratification.
But Parliament’s negotiations with the Council have skirted the precipice from the beginning. At the first meeting, the parliamentary delegation rose from the table after twenty minutes. This week’s has left a less bitter aftertaste: it lasted three hours. To which should be added a new problem: with the covid raging again, it is plausible that soon the negotiations will no longer be possible in person. And a confined and telematic agreement seems even more complex.
The two parties have succeeded in bringing positions closer on the other open fronts. Diplomatic sources see “a horizon of agreement” in the governance of the budget and in the setting of a timetable to provide the EU with new sources of income, such as a border tax on imports from countries with excess CO2 emissions. The pact is also in sight in relation to the mechanism to link the distribution of European funds to respect for the rule of law, one of the theoretically insurmountable walls. “That chapter could be close to being resolved in the next two weeks,” says a source familiar with the negotiation.
The dispute over the final figure of the budget agreement would finally remain in the air. And although neither the Council nor the Parliament are throwing in the towel, both institutions see it as practically impossible for the Financial Framework and the Fund to be in force on January 1 as planned.
The European Commission already warned before the pandemic that a delay in the approval of the new accounts would cause great damage in the management of community resources. Brussels calculated that in the framework in force on January 1, more than 100,000 projects financed with the structural funds could not start on time; some 5,000 research jobs would be at risk; and more than a million students would not receive the scholarships of the Erasmus + program.
Added to this impact is the delay in the start-up of the Recovery Fund and the uncertainty about the arrival of the first resources. The 27 EU partners are already facing, in addition, a second wave of infections much faster and more virulent than expected, which will aggravate, according to community sources, the economic debacle and increase the financing needs of the most affected countries. The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, has called an extraordinary summit for next week, by videoconference, with a view to trying to coordinate containment measures and avoid the border lockdown last spring.
‘The Invisible Man’ Hits the Reset Button on Universal’s Classic Monster Movies
You may recall, a few years ago, tales of a movie called The Mummy. No, not The Mummy with Brendan Fraser, the other Mummy, from 2017. The one starring Tom Cruise? And Sofia Boutella? And an undead Jake Johnson, for some reason? You remember, right? You don’t? Well, that’s fine, because it was terrible: an embarrassingly bad cash-grab from a company needlessly trying to make a Marvel Cinematic Universe out of whatever they had available, focusing on all the wrong parts of what made their classic horror properties great in the first place. With The Mummy, Universal Pictures launched and, at the same time, annihilated what they had planned to call the Dark Universe, a series of films centered around the studio’s classic monster properties, from Dracula to Frankenstein to the Creature from the Black Lagoon, that would all be intricately tied together — like what Marvel is doing with its comic book superheroes and what Warner Bros. is attempting with Kong: Skull Island and its Godzilla movies. The Mummy absolutely tanked, was a critical failure, and the studios’ other upcoming properties, including its Bride of Frankenstein and Wolf Man movies, were put on hold. Given all of that, you may be wondering if Leigh Whannell’s new horror film The Invisible Man, which is a Universal movie based on a monster character from a classic book, is in any way related to the Dark Universe mess.
Is The Invisible Man a sequel to The Mummy?
No, thank god! Which is great news for everyone involved. There was actually an Invisible Man Dark Universe movie in the planning stage before The Mummy came out — it would have starred Johnny Depp as H.G. Wells’ villain in a modern setting, and would have probably in some way involved Tom Cruise’s Mummy character Nick Morton and Russell Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, the leader of the monster-hunting organization that was supposed to act as the throughline for all of these movies. But, given Depp’s various legal troubles and the doomed state of the cinematic universe in general, we’ll never see that version. Instead, this Invisible Man is completely disconnected from anything else, entirely it’s own thing, which is, of course, one reason why it’s so great. I can’t imagine having to sit there and watch Russell Crowe and Elisabeth Moss say the word “Prodigium” to each other.
What… is Prodigium?
Just don’t ask, it’s not worth knowing. Save yourself.
What happened to the Dark Universe?
Ah, Dark Universe, we hardly knew you. The Dark Universe actually started not with The Mummy, but with 2014’s Dracula Untold, which starred Luke Evans as Vlad Dracula, and tried very hard to marry a very creative version of “history” with Bram Stoker’s vampire character, to pretty much no success. It was meant to be an origin story for the character, rather than sticking to the familiar Dracula tale, and includes a scene of Dracula and Charles Dance’s evil vampire Caligula in the present day at the very end, as if setting the characters up for more. If The Mummy had done well, Evans’ Dracula would likely have appeared in a following film.
So, is The Invisible Man based on a Universal property at all?
Actually, yes. The Invisible Man is still based on the main character of the H.G. Wells 1897 horror novel, which Universal owns and has owned since the story was first adapted to film in 1933. Oliver Jackson-Cohen plays Adrian Griffin, the man who gains the power of invisibility through his scientific experiments and whose surname is taken from the main character of the book. The movie has been touted as a “reboot” of the 1933 movie and the story has been updated, obviously, focusing more on Moss’s character Cecilia Kass, who becomes Griffin’s victim, but it contains a few soft homages to the iconic original as well, including the image of a dark figure in a hat and jacket and a quick shot of a hospital patient whose face is covered in bandages.
Does that mean we won’t get a Frankenstein movie, or a Black Lagoon movie?
Because The Invisible Man is not tied to any sort of cinematic universe, it’s allowed to be its own thing, which is what Universal Pictures seems to be planning for its stable of horror villain properties. The movie is also co-produced by Blumhouse Productions — the horror-centric company behind Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Get Out, and Leigh Whannell’s previous movie, the gory action thriller Upgrade — which works almost exclusively with extremely low-budget projects. The Invisible Man was made in 40 days for a measly $8 million: that’s small potatoes compared to The Mummy’s budget, which has been reported to be as high as $195 million. The Invisible Man is barely a gamble at all, and only stands to make money — it’ll probably double its budget in its first weekend.
We’re unlikely to ever see the pre-Mummy Dark Universe versions of these monster movies, but Universal isn’t letting that hot, hot IP run away so soon. It’s already planning a Paul Feig monster ensemble comedy Dark Army, an Elizabeth Banks-starring Invisible Woman, and a movie about Renfield, Dracula’s constantly exploited spider-eating servant. We’ll see all of these monsters again, but instead of a bloated, mega-budget action movie saga, they’ll instead appear in riskier, more experimental, smaller-scale movies. The thrilling, fun, and violent mode of The Invisible Man proves that sometimes some monsters are worth resurrecting.
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