Sunday, January 10, 2010
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
On Friday, July 24th between 10:15 AM and 12:30 PM, Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are will a presentation at this year's San Diego Comic Con!
Yet no words about who from the "Where the Wild Things Are" cast or crew will attend the presentation, it's also unknown if new footage from the movie will be showed.
However, if you're attending, you have go get in early.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Details have emerged of the cast list for Channel 4’s up-coming comedy pilot The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, which includes cult film director Spike Jonze.
The pilot, which is being produced by RDF Television, will air as part of C4’s second comedy showcase season and is being written by Arrested Development star David Cross and Shaun Pye.
The story centres on a US executive who finds himself out of his depth when he is mistakenly sent to run his company’s UK arm.
Jonze is best known for directing the 1999 film Being John Malkovich, which was nominated for an Academy Award. He also directed the music video to Fat Boy Slim’s Praise You and is currently the creative director of online TV network VBS.tv.
Other cast members set to appear alongside Jonze include Russell Tovey, who plays the werewolf in Touchpaper Television’s BBC3 comedy Being Human, and David Cross’ Arrested Development co-star Will Arnett.
Monday, June 15, 2009
While promoting his new movie "Away We Go", the writer of "Where the Wild Things Are" Dave Eggers were talking about Spike Jonze and the upcoming movie (Sorry for the delay):
The A.V. Club: Which came first, working on Away We Go, Where The Wild Things Are, or the adaptations you’re doing of your books? How did you get started with Hollywood?
Dave Eggers: I’m not making any adaptations of my books, thank God. I mean, I’m not writing them. People option things, whatever. Where The Wild Things Are started back in 2003. I had never written a screenplay or started a screenplay or read a screenplay, and I didn’t know anything. That just started with a phone call from Spike. I had no idea what I was doing.
Vendela Vida: You didn’t know him that well either, right?
DE: No, we knew each other at that point, but we hadn’t worked on anything together. It just seemed like… It’s hard to say now, because I love Spike’s movies and I love the book, and I didn’t think it would be a six-year process. I thought it would be a few months, maybe. But that was still going on when Vendela and I started doing the earliest notes for this movie. We didn’t set out to write a screenplay. We were in the middle of writing other books, and we were just sort of taking notes about pregnancy…
Friday, May 22, 2009
LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) -- At Warner Bros. Pictures' marketing suites, a wild rumpus is about to start.
A year late and millions of dollars over budget, Spike Jonze will deliver his big-screen adaptation of "Where the Wild Things Are" to studio executives later this month. But the marketing department is flummoxed: While the film's new trailer is drawing plaudits from many online fans, the movie's darker-than-expected, adult tone (and bloated budget) has many at Warner Bros. privately worried about its appeal to children and parents.
"It doesn't look like a family movie," said the head of creative advertising at a rival studio familiar with Warner's angst. "Are they going for the cineastes or are they going to convince kids to go? It's the most interesting marketing problem in town right now."
In an interview with Advertising Age, "Wild Things" producer Gary Goetzman said, "Spike has made a film that crosses all demographics." But that might just be the problem.
In Mr. Jonze's "Wild Things," 9-year-old Max accidentally witnesses his single mom canoodling with her new boyfriend on the living-room sofa. It's a poignant scene, but also the sort of stark departure from the source material that might make some parents reluctant to bring to theaters the 4- to 8-year-olds Maurice Sendak's book has been entertaining since 1964.
'It respects the original'
Andrew Percival, senior VP at Mojo, one of the Los Angeles trailer houses that helped cut the "Wild Things" trailer and design its posters, said, "The film has taken these themes in the book to a very real place. For that, I do applaud it. There is an originality to this film -- it doesn't speak down to kids; it speaks with them."
"Wild Things" animation supervisor Daniel Jeannette also dismissed the idea that the film is too dark or mature for kid audiences.
"The book, too, was received as too dark for children at the time [it was published]," Mr. Jeannette said. "So in a sense, the film might not follow the track of the four-quadrant children's film. But it doesn't exclude anyone; it appeals to children of all ages, including adults. It respects the original material." The book has sold more than 10 million copies.
How does a costly motion picture intended to be a broadly accessible, kid-friendly family film turn out not to be so? And how does a studio market such a surprise?
Marketing executives at Warner Bros. wrestling with that issue declined to be interviewed by Advertising Age. Nevertheless, the studio appears to be facing at least one of two equally scary realities.
The first is that it may simply have lost control of the creators. Mr. Jonze, the director of quirky, sophisticated adult films such as "Being John Malkovich" and "Adaptation," was hardly a "safe" choice for a kids' movie. The "Wild Things" script comes from the Gen X literary icon Dave Eggers, author of "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius." Neither man screams "Bambi."
About all the studio and the filmmakers agree on is that their discussions about the tone of the film, which has been shooting since April 2006, have been contentious. Mr. Jonze, in a recent interview with fan site Ain't It Cool News, said he had "freaked the studio out" because his movie "wasn't a studio film for kids, or it wasn't a traditional film about kids."
It's unclear if that was possible because Mr. Jonze wangled what's known in Hollywood parlance as "final cut," a contractual concession that gives the director final approval of what goes into a film. Whoever wins final cut effectively determines what sort of film will be made and to whom it can be marketed. Production insiders said Mr. Jonze has final cut on the picture; studio insiders said he does not.
Not Warner's kind of movie
The second, unavoidable reality is that regardless of who had creative control, Warner Bros. no longer has the dedicated infrastructure or expertise to market sophisticated, adult movies.
It shut down both its Warner Independent Pictures and Picturehouse labels in May 2008 but greenlighted "Wild Things" back in 2006. In other words, while Warner Bros. suits may never have expected to get a traditional kid-friendly picture along the lines of a "Harry Potter" when they hired Mr. Jonze, they also had no idea the marketing division best-suited to sell "Wild Things" would be extinct two years later.
Indeed, with its realistic view of childhood fears and confusions, "Where the Wild Things Are" appears to be precisely the kind of tricky-to-market, sophisticated movie Warner Bros. has decided it is not interested in releasing: Last year, for example, the studio dropped Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire" just as it was coming to market. Fox Searchlight scooped it up, taking home both the best-picture Oscar and $141 million in domestic grosses.
Meanwhile, despite Mr. Goetzman's insistence that "everyone is going to go see this picture," it doesn't appear the studio thinks many kids will be coming: "Wild Things" will make its debut on Oct. 16, and, according to the head of marketing and distribution at a rival studio, "when you don't have a single kids' holiday nearby, that's not fertile ground for family pictures."
Have any movie going through re-shoots ever succeeded? EDIT: I mean MASSIVE re-shoots, where the director weren't allowed to get a say in it, like The Invasion or Babylon A.D.
Indeed, only three films released in October have ever opened at more than $40 million: "Scary Movie 3," in 2003; "Shark's Tale," in 2004; and "High School Musical 3," in 2008. "Wild Things" will need to open well above those lofty October numbers to justify its $100 million-plus production and marketing budget. If it doesn't, the question will go from whether "Wild Things" can be profitable to how wildly unprofitable it will be.
You already know about Jackass. That MTV show, which Spike Jonze worked on, which have nothing to do with Sofia Coppola. It's kind of like the opposite. One of Jackass' "stars" were Chris Pontius, now a friend of Spike. And Chris is apparently starting a "serious acting" career.
So now Sofia, Spike's former wife, and Chris Pontius, one of Spike's friends teams up for Sofia's new movie. That's funny....
On another note, every people on the web seems to this weird.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
It was the mid ‘90’s, and I was renting a room in Chris Moeller’s condo in Huntington Beach. We headed over to McGoo’s house for a party. There were a few riders from the U.K. staying at our place. The U.K. guys were stoked because Andy Jenkins, Lew, and Spike Jonze were supposed to show up at the party, the guys from the legendary FREESTYLIN’ magazine, and the blokes had never met Spike. Spike had become super famous over the previous couple years by directing several music videos, notably the Beastie Boy’s “Sabotage” video and Weezer’s “Buddy Holly.” So we wandered into the party, and found Andy and Lew. Since I had worked with them years before, I think I introduced them to the U.K. guys. Immediately, someone asked if Spike was coming to the party. Andy got a weird look on his face and replied, “ Uh… Spike’s camping in Africa with Francis Ford Coppola.” We all laughed at his joke, and I asked “no, seriously, where is he? These guys want to meet him.” Andy replied, “Seriously… he’s camping in Africa with Francis Ford Coppola.” Jaws dropped, and Andy and Lew just kind of shook their heads.
Nearly ten years earlier, during my short stint at FREESTYLIN’ magazine in late 1986, I was standing outside the warehouse on a break, chatting with Andy and Lew. We heard a noise, and a motorcycle turned into the parking lot and pulled up to us, piloted by Ron Wilkerson. At the time, Ron was one of Haro’s main pros, and toured extensively with Brian Blyther and Dave Nourie. The motorcycle was an old cruising bike, like a Kawasaki 650 or something. There was no faring or tail boxes like a Goldwing, it was a cruising around town street bike. On the back of the bike was a smiling, blond-haired kid who looked to be about thirteen. Ron took off his helmet and said “Hey guys, this is Spike, he was on tour with us.” And with those words, The Master Cluster began to form. The three of us looked at this kid crazy enough to get on the back of Ron Wilkerson’s motorcycle for a two hour ride in SoCal traffic. We started talking to Ron and Spike about the Haro tour they’d just returned from. Suddenly Lew made a funny face, it was an “aha” moment. He said, “Spike… are you Spike Jonze?” Spike said that he was. Lew said, "Did you send in a photo for that photo contest we had?” Spike said he had. Lew said, "You won a prize."
With that, we all headed inside. As fate would have it, we had just decided the winners, but they hadn’t been notified yet. Spike had sent in an 8 x 10 black and white print of himself doing a four foot air on a halfpipe. He had taken magic markers and colored in the photo in places. It was definitely the most original photo we had come in, but I voted against it because others had bigger airs and better riding. But Andy and Lew loved it, and we wound up giving Spike Jonze his prize that day, I think.
A few months later, I got laid off, and a couple months after that, Andy and Lew hired Spike at FREESTYLIN’. He was 17 or 18 then, but looked much younger. He melded into the scene, both as a rider and a photographer. He was a damn good rider AND skater, and could have been a decent pro in both, I think. But he was mostly a photographer, just one of the guys at the contests, shooting for FREESTYLIN’. Then in the early 90’s, we’d start hearing stories about him. Spike’s heir to the Spiegel catalog fortune, and his real name’s Adam something. Andy, Lew, and Spike are starting a magazine called Dirt. Spike started a skateboard company called Girl. Spike’s directing a music video. The Beastie Boys just mentioned Spike on the MTV Music Awards. It just kept going.
So when Andy Jenkins said that Spike was camping in Africa with Francis Ford Coppola, it really wasn’t that surprising to me. As most of you know, Spike went on to direct “Being John Malkovich” and “Adaptation,” and then produce the “Jackass” TV show and movies, with former FREESTYLIN’ art director (and fourth member of The Muster Cluster) Jeff Tremaine directing.
Yes kids, Spike Jonze WAS a BMXer. He’s also a nice guy. He’s one of the few in the bike world who has never made fun of me, which is kind of amazing since the other Wizard Publications employees, Andy, Lew, and Chris Moeller made fun of me pretty much non-stop. I last saw Spike at a ramp contest in Moreno Valley in about ‘95, and Spike actually came up and said “hi” to me. He’s a charmed one, that Spike. More power to him. - White Bear
As for now, there's only two other countries which still have "Synecdoche, New York" on the slate of upcoming releases - Denmark and Czech Republic.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Remember when it was told that Spike would direct a music video for Weezer's new single "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived"?
But nothing have happened yet.... [There's nothing (interesting) to post these days, when Spike is blogging himself]
Friday, May 15, 2009
First of all, there's "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", a chance he turned down for unknown reasons, but I guess it's the same reason he turned down "Memoirs of a Geisha" - because he was too busy working on "Where the Wild Things Are". This weird science fiction comedy, failed to meet the film's expectations, as it was based on a classic book, but received rather bland reviews by the critics, and underperformed at the boxoffice. Spike were given the script by director Jay Roach, but he suggested Nick Goldsmith and Garth Jennings (thanks imdb) instead.
When Spike still were a new young hot boy in 1999, with "Being John Malkovich" being a success, and his whole career being on a fast track, he was set to work a on a series called "Metropolis" for the sci-fi channel. However, Spike choose to leave the project, when MTV have his "Jackass" the green light. "Metropolis" were described as a "paranormal cop" series. But I don't know what happened to it, after Spike left.
As earlier posted, Empire Magazine - the world's biggest movie magazine - have given "Synecdoche, New York" a 5/5 star review.
Scriptwriters have their obsessions. For Billy Wilder it was the mercenary heart of the American Dream; with John Milius it was something as naggingly perfect as John Ford’s Western, The Searchers. For Charlie Kaufman, it’s always been the knotty perplexity of the human brain. Yet while we’ve travelled from such magical places as the inside of John Malkovich’s head in his 1999 screenwriting debut, Being John Malkovich, to the crumbling beach house at the heart of Jim Carrey’s romantic memories in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Kaufman’s scripts have always begun in frosty grey worlds inhabited by frizz-haired outcasts.
In the past, Kaufman’s director/collaborators Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry have tempered this gloom with larger-than-life performances (Malkovich, Adaptation), or a comic-book zaniness (Human Nature, Eternal Sunshine). With Kaufman at the controls, reality is grittier than ever: Caden (Philip Seymour Hoffman) lives in a cramped apartment with an unhappy artist wife Adele (Catherine Keener) and their four year-old daughter, Olive (Sadie Goldstein). Even the film stock looks grainy and deep-pored. The dream-logic of previous scripts is also more overt. Events are filtered through Caden’s rheumy worldview, where cartoons of himself feature in pharmaceutical ads on TV, and, poisoned by Adele’s artistic ambitions, both he and Olive appear to be excreting paint, their bodies decaying from the start. It’s here that you can see SNY’s roots as a horror movie project, focusing on fears of illness and death. What saves these scenes from excessive gloom is Kaufman’s desire to locate his characters in the real, rather than the comic.
When Adele leaves Caden and takes their daughter to start a new life in Berlin, Caden hooks up with the cat-like Hazel (Samantha Morton), who works in his theatre’s box office. Their relationship is flawed and frustrating, but the chemistry between the two actors is a fizzing delight which the film revels in.
This idea that we’re seeing the beauty of life that Caden is missing is brought home when he’s awarded his Genius Grant and is shown his gargantuan Manhattan work space. His only idea is an epic play about his own life — something “big, true and tough. You know, finally put my real self into something”, with actors playing his daughter, ex-wife, Hazel and himself. A grandiose attempt to make his wife notice him, Caden’s play may also signify our own desire to order the chaos of the everyday, or simply Kaufman’s inability to finish his script. But as it grows — with Caden enlisting thousands of actors and building life-size New York sets — so does the film’s richness, spinning off into a looking-glass world of magical revelations and surreal dead ends, where characters buy burning houses, become doppelgängers of each other and start dating the fake versions of themselves. By the end, it’s hard to tell whether we’re in the maze of Caden’s mind or observing real life, but what cuts through is the humanity on show. Caden’s moment of enlightenment may come too late but, for us, the experience is close to overpowering.
Astonishing. Kaufman has surpassed himself with a film that will delight and confound. You will want to see it again. And again.
Monday, May 11, 2009
First of all, I'll have to apologize for the lack of recent updates on this blog. Even though there have a few things to blog about, I overlooked the opportunities and continued this page's rest. But now (!!) there's big news! Spike Jonze himself have opened a blog, entitled "We Love You So";
In October 2009 Spike Jonze’s feature film rendition of Maurice Sendak’s classic story Where The Wild Things Are will hit movie theaters worldwide. The film represents years of work from hundreds of different artists, writers, photographers, musicians, actors, and creators of all degrees. This place has been established to help shed some light on many of the small influences that have converged to make this massive project a reality.
Simply put, this a place to learn about things we think are great and to share with you the things those things helped make. Wild Things indeed… And also probably a lot of other randoms things that catch our eye along the way.
We hope you like it.
We love you so.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
There ain't really any news in this article - sadly. Neither any new pictures. But the released pictures looks SO good on paper, and not only on a computer screen.
We already knew this, but it's still worth a mention.
This review will be online in a few days, when "Synecdoche, New York" goes into a nationwide release in England. And this review is really, really, really, REALLY positive. Really. It receives the top score 5 stars (!), on par with their review of "Being John Malkovich", and one more than "Adaptation." and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". Way to go!
Just to go OT; You have got to buy this months Empire Magazine. It's filled a lot of cool, great stuff about upcoming movies. And the edit by Steven Spielberg, all magazine through, is certainly worth a read. A nice take on different director's thought, and Steve's own vision. Could you imagine "Being Steven Spielberg"? Going into his head would probably be pretty AWESOME!
Another movie have entered the month of October, and it's studio have set it's release up against the rumpus from the wild things. And I'm talking about the looong delayed "The Road", with Viggo Mortensen, Guy Pearce, Robert Duvall and Charlize Theron. However, this ain't a movie for the family, and will certainly not be stealing "Where the Wild Things Are"'s audience, since it appeals to different crowds. Instead we can worry about the release of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 - released two weeks before, and Astro Boy - the week after.
A remake of a wildly unknown horror movie, entitled "The Stepfather" is the third movie to be released on October 16. This movie's boxoffice might be hurt by "The Road". The horror movie is rated PG-13, while "The Road" is set with a R-Rating. However, "Where the Wild Things Are" haven't yet received a rating from the MPAA, and it makes me wonder, what it will receive. It won't be a G rating, doubtfully a PG-13, but maybe a PG rating for "fantasy violence" like Narnia: Prince Caspian. In that movie, a persons head was cut off (at least that what I've heard), while in "Where the Wild Things Are" *SPOILERS* someone's arm will be ripped off.