When we heard that plans were in the works for two sequels to the sci-fi blockbuster Independence Day, both starring Will Smith, one thought crossed our minds: How will they abbreviate it? The original was inexplicably shortened to "ID4," so the next one would be, what, "ID4:2"? "ID4B"? "ID5"? Then we realized, who said it had to take place on the Fourth of July? After all, what are the odds that a battle with aliens would take place on the same day of the year twice in a row, let alone three times? Slim to none. However, to maintain the appropriate level of patriotic fervor, it's gonna have to take place on some sort of patriotic holiday. After all, how else will we convince the rest of the world to celebrate our holidays unless aliens attack on them? Here are our suggestions for some red, white and blue sequels.
The end of the week brings you updates on your favorite (and maybe not-so-favorite) superheroes and what they're up to these days. First up to bat, so to speak, is The Dark Knight. Word just came down from Warner Brothers that the megahit will be re-released in theaters and IMAX on January 23. So if you're one of the handful of Amish people who didn't see it, or you just wanted to watch it for the second or twenty-second time on the big screen, this will be your chance. This will allow The Dark Knight to gain entry into the very exclusive billion-dollar club where the only other members are Titanic, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. That ought to make Batman happy. Relatively speaking, of course. Not coincidentally, the re-release happens the day after the Academy Awards nominations are announced.
Remember that movie that came out last year, where Will Smith was the last man in Manhattan, and he fought vampires? Well, it did really well -- $584 million well, in fact -- so Warner Bros. has commissioned a prequel with Smith and returning director Francis Lawrence, according to Variety. (If you've seen the movie, you know why Smith can't be in a sequel.) The script, which is being developed now, will focus on the final days of mankind in New York as the virus sweeps through, turning everyone but Smith into a cannibal mutant. Although we were shown the sealing off of the island in flashback in the first movie, we didn't see what happened to all of the people who were left, or how Smith came to create his brownstone fortress. But my biggest concern is this: What the hell are they going to call it? I came up with a few ideas, but some of them have already been used for other projects.
Hollywood already sees Will Smith as a god -- and why not? You have to go back to 2001 to find a movie he was in that made less than $100 million -- so he might as well play a pharaoh, right? The rumors that have been circling ever since Smith's production company took on writing The Last Pharaoh were made official today: Will Smith will star as the title character in his production company's The Last Pharaoh, an ancient Egyptian ruler.
You'll never believe it: There's a trailer out there that may not be very representative of an upcoming movie. You may sense a bit of sarcasm, but I once saw a TV spot for Fight Club that made it look like a romantic comedy (I'm serious, it's in the DVD extras) and suffice it to say I learned a big lesson that day. It has come out via Dark Horizons that it has probably happened again.
Apparently, Jim Carrey still has it, as his wacky comedy Liar, Liar-- uh, we mean Yes Man topped the box office this weekend, beating out Will "I am Box Office Legend" Smith's sad-looking Seven Pounds. But just barely -- Jimbo got $18.1 million, while Big Willy got an even $16 mill. Still, they were the standouts of the weekend, which remained mellow in the face of holiday shopping. (Expect the holiday weekend, with its six major releases, to turn everything on its ear.)
Apparently, Steven Spielberg has been dying to work with Will Smith, which makes me say out loud, "Steven Spielberg hasn't worked with Will Smith yet?" How did such a big-shot director and bankable movie star not team up and gross 500 billion dollars already? It seems like this should have happened long ago. Maybe if it had, they probably wouldn't be trying to get the rights to remake the South Korean film Oldboy right this very minute. If you've seen Oldboy, you may think this is blasphemy, since Smith is the posterboy for mainstream American pablum. Or, like me, you may think this has the possibility of being Will Smith's greatest role ever, the one that finally snags him the Academy Award, and the one that makes everyone look at him differently for the rest of his life... in a good way. Maybe.
Let's play a guessing game. What movie, if any, will unseat Will Smith's Hancock this weekend? Well, let's look at what's opening and make an educated guess. First up is the sequel to that OTHER superhero movie that's opening in July, Hellboy II. The first one made money, and is something of a cult classic, and (like Dark Knight) Hellboy II reunites its cast with the director of its predecessor. I loved the original film, but this in no way has the same drawing power as Will Smith. Fans of Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo Del Toro will go, as will Hellboy fans, but that's not enough.
After Marvel announced they would be doing a Captain America movie, a lot of casting rumors started to get bandied about, and Marvel themselves reportedly said that they wouldn't mind seeing Brad Pitt or Leonardo DiCaprio in the role. While those two certainly fit Cap's blonde, blue-eyed pedigree (and have the acting chops that make fanboys happy), a new rumor has just shot out of the mill that combines acting chops with a lesser-known take on Cap to form an explosive piece of news that everyone will soon be talking about. The role of Captain America, Sentinel of Liberty, was supposedly offered to Will Smith.
Forbes' list of Hollywood's best paid actors was released this week, and even in this shit economy the boys of the big screen are certainly not hurting for cash. The girls aren't hurting either, but no woman managed to break the top ten in earning. My get-paid-less-for-doing-the-same-job-in-Tinsel-Town bitch session will commence in the break room here at Moviefile headquarters around 12:30, but in the meantime, I'll skip right to the top earners.