Films based on comics aren’t just limited to two publishers and Bloodshot has the potential to be huge.
Starring Vin Diesel the film is based on the Valiant character. It’s the first movie based on a Valiant Entertainment hero. Directed by Dave Wilson, Sony‘s Bloodshot stars Vin Diesel, Eiza González, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, and Guy Pearce. The comic book character was co-created by Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin, and Bob Layton.
There’s high anticipation for Morbius, the first “Spider-Man Universe” film from Sony after the release of Venom. A picture of Spider-Man can be seen on a wall in one scene in the trailer, though it’s a screenshot of the “Raimi Suit” from the Playstation 4 video game.
Jared Leto plays the lead Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder, and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. What at first appears to be a radical success soon reveals itself to be a remedy potentially worse than the disease.
The most intriguing part of the trailer is the surprise appearance by Michael Keaton at the end. Keaton played the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming. At the end of the film he’s in jail and wearing a white suit that’s very similar to this tease. It’s unknown what his role will be in this film or if he’s playing the Vulture again. That latter bit would make Morbius part of the MCU. It’s also a fun wink to Batman and Joker, which Keaton and Leto played in different films.
Morbius stars Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal, and Tyrese Gibson.
The film is directed by Daniel Espinosa from a story by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, and screenplay by Sazama, Sharpless, Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway.
Morbius was created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane and debuted in 1971 in The Amazing Spider-Man #101.
In 2020, the Los Angeles-based Secret Movie Club is hosting screenings of some of the most beloved anime of all time, as part of their Anime Buffet programming slate, which will run from January through April 2020. The Anime Buffet slate is scheduled to include such films as Ghost in the Shell, Perfect Blue, Paprika, Millennium Actress, Metropolis (2001), The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Vampire Hunter D, Grave of the Fireflies, and Tokyo Godfathers. Screenings will alternate between two different locations: the Vista Theater in Los Feliz, the historic single screen theater built in 1922, and the Club, Secret Movie Club’s new downtown location.
Attendees can purchase limited edition SECRET MOVIE CLUB posters for every screening at all events, which feature new art by contemporary illustrators. Each film is preceded by a brief talk from Secret Movie Club founder Craig Hammill and a trivia question for the audience.
COWBOY BEBOP: THE MOVIE
(2001, Sony, dir by Shinichiro Watanabe, 35mm, 115mns)
Friday, January 10, 2020 @ 11:59p, The Vista
In 2071, earth has been ravaged by catastrophe. Humans have colonized other planets and the universe is a new Wild West. A group of Bounty Hunters travel on the spaceship BeBop in search of quarry and rewards. When a contagion gets released in a truck disaster on Mars, our heroes-Spike, Jet, Faye, Ed, and Ein (a dog with human-grade smarts due to artificial enhancement) go off in search of the culprit and the reward that goes with it.
“One of the great things with Japanese anime, as with all cinema and art, is how each set of creators imbue the genre with their own personal style and stamp,” said Craig Hammill. “Cowboy Be Bop, as its title itself implies, is a mashup of sci-fi, westerns, Hong Kong action movies, and an improvisatory iconoclastic jazz rhythm that make the viewing experience a total blast and totally singular.”
VAMPIRE HUNTER D
(1985, Sentai Filmworks, dir by Toyoo Ashida, 80mns)
Friday, January 17, 2020 @ 7:30p, The Club, 1917 Bay Street, 2nd Floor, LA, CA 90021
The movie centers on Doris Lang, the daughter of a werewolf hunter, who gets bitten by 10,000 year old Count Magnus Lee one night. She then meets a strange vampire hunter, who only goes by the name D, and employs him to take on the long-lost vampire lord and try to help her from becoming a vampire herself.
“Vampire Hunter D is one of the earliest examples of Japanese anime that was made explicitly with teenagers and adults more in mind than children,” said Hammill. “Made for the then emerging direct to video market, Vampire Hunter D had a smaller budget than its feature film peers. But in a strange way, this freed up director Toyoo Ashida to make a more exciting, violent, sensual animation. Ashida has gone on the record as saying his intent with the movie was to make something thrilling that tired students could enjoy during study breaks rather than make an anime that further exhausted them. Full of genre mash-ups, amazing art and design, and storytelling, Vampire Hunter D definitely serves as a prototype and torch in the darkness for future directors like Satoshi Kon, who will take anime into ever more complex, adult, shadowy realms.”
GHOST IN THE SHELL
(1995, Lionsgate, dir by Mamoru Oshii, 85mns)
Saturday, January 18, 2020 @ 11:59p, The Vista:
Often the cyberpunk genre, which would come to full flourish here in the United States with the Wachowski’s The Matrix, can be traced most directly to two Japanese anime parents: 1988’s Akira and 1995’s Ghost in the Shell. Often considered one of the greatest Japanese anime movies of all time, Ghost in the Shell, dives head first into the darker, deeper waters of more adult sci-fi.
It’s 2029 and the human body can be augmented with “smart” prosthetic cybernetics. The most recent innovation, and the most terrifying, is a cyberbrain, which allows humans to now go online/get hooked into the internet, straight through their neural pathways. Our hero, Motoko Kusanagi, is part of an elite squad that fights crime in “New Port City” in Japan. Currently, they are kept busy by an arch criminal known as “The Puppet Master” who appears to have the ability to hack into these “cyberbrains” and get folks to assassinate, kill, commit crimes. As Motoko further explores what’s going on with both the Puppet Master and the innovations in cybernetics, she stumbles across a revelation that goes to the very heart of our philosophical understanding of what makes us unique individuals: what constitutes our “soul”.
(2006, Sony Pictures Classics, dir by Satoshi Kon, 35mm, 90mns)
Friday, January 31, 2020 @ 11:59p, The Vista:
If Hayao Miyazaki is synonymous with a kind of all-ages wildly imaginative Japanese anime, then director Satoshi Kon is synonymous with a Japanese anime that dares to go to the very limits of what any kind of cinema can explore in terms of human psychology, fear, desire, imagination. And he does it in the most creative and miraculous of artistic ways.
Paprika is one of his wildest mind-bending creations of all. In the near-future, there is a device called the “DC Mini” which allows Dr. Atsuko Chiba to enter the dreams of her patients (using her alter-ego “Paprika”) to help try to discover the root of their fears, anxieties, and hang ups. But the problem is that the “DC Mini” is still in prototype mode with no restrictions or safety barriers whatsoever. And if it gets into the wrong hands (which of course it does), it allows the thieves to enter dreams for more sinister and nefarious reasons.
(2001, Sony, dir by Rintaro, 113mns total, 35mm, Japanese with English subtitles)
Saturday, February 1, 2020 @ 10:45p, The Club
Written by Katsohiro Otomo (writer/director of the classic anime Akira), Metropolis shares much of its DNA with that seminal anime classic including a central character who is rocked to their psychological core by the realization of their “super human” abilities and an impending apocalypse that threatens the entire foundations of a huge city.
(2002, 11 Arts, dir by Satoshi Kon, 82mns, Japanese with English subtitles)
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 @ 8p, The Club
Millennium Actress tells the emotional story (in a decidedly surreal and modernist way) of famous actor Chiyoko Fujiwara, who tells her life story to documentarians and explains she only ever became an actress in the hopes of being recognized by an artist/political rebel she fell in love with as a teenager and never saw again. As Chiyoko tells her story, it becomes hard to tell what’s her real life, what are movie scenes she starred in, and where fiction/reality meet and diverge.
Special Note: There will be three originally written 3-4 minute monologues performed by three actresses ahead of the screening running a total of 10-12 minutes.
(1997, GKIDS, dir by Satoshi Kon, 35mm, 81mns)
Friday, February 21, 2020 @ 11:59p, The Vista
Kon fully commits to an anime that is as rich, dark, and complex as any Scorsese, Kubrick, Lynch, or Bergman movie. But with the added benefit of being able to cinematically represent psychological states of mind in a way that is often impossible in live-action cinema.
“If you want to see anime that absolutely succeeds in expanding the playing field of what cinema can do, come join us for Perfect Blue,” said Hammill.
THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME
(2006, Funimation, directed by Mamoru Hosoda, 98mns; English dubbed version)
Saturday, March 14, 2020 @ 10:30a, the Vista
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time tells the story of young teenager Makoto Konno who discovers a magical object in her high school that allows her to leap through time and prevent situations that caused her great embarrassment. This premise, as with all good premises fully explored, deepens into a meditation on wish fulfillment versus reality. Makoto, first using the device for frivolous things, comes to realize that the device has its price. And that she is not the only one using it. . .
GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES
(1988, GKids, directed by Isao Takahata, 90mns; Japanese with English subtitles)
Saturday, April 4, 2020 @ 10:30a, the Vista
One of the absolute greatest animes ever made, Grave of the Fireflies, directed by Isao Takahata, deals with siblings Seita and Satsuko, who have to rely on each other to survive after they’re separated from their parents during the American fire-bombing of Tokyo in the late stages of World War II.
Secret Movie Club is a group project among the founders and the audience. Audience suggestions are taken and often used. Secret Movie Club aims to celebrate the wonderful experience that comes from watching the world’s greatest movies in great movie theaters with great audiences.
The award-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is getting a sequel and release date. The anticipated animated film comes to theaters on April 8, 2022.
Sony Pictures Animation is again putting together the film which won anAcademy Award for “Best Animated Film.”
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller return to bring their vision for the next adventure of Miles Morales. The original film was directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman based on a screenplay by Phil Lord.
The voice cast of the original Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse includes Shameik Moore as Miles Morales, Jake Johnson as Peter Parker, Liev Schreiber as Kingpin, Hailee Steinfeld as Spider-Gwen, Nicolas Cage as Spider-Man Noir, John Mulaney as Spider-Ham, Kimiko Glenn as Peni Parker, Mahershala Ali as Aaron, Brian Tyree Henry as Jefferson, Luna Lauren Velez as Rio, Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”) as Aunt May, and Oscar Isaac as Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099.
Valiant and Sony‘s Bloodshot is revealed in its first trailers which dropped at midnight on the west coast. The movie stars Vin Diesel as a soldier who’s killed and brought back through the use of nanites which also imbue him with extraordinary abilities.
Based on the bestselling comic book, Diesel stars as Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the superhero Bloodshot by the RST corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins, he’s an unstoppable force –stronger than ever and able to heal instantly. But in controlling his body, the company has sway over his mind and memories, too. Now, Ray doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not – but he’s on a mission to find out.
The movie is directed by David S. F. Wilson and written by Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer. It stars Diesel, Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, and Guy Pearce. Bloodshot was originally created in 1992 by Bob Layton, Kevin VanHook, and Don Perlin.
The first trailers, domestic and international, for Bloodshot will get released this Monday. The film starring Vin Diesel is based on the Valiant comic character. It comes to theaters on February 21, 2020.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone but Disney and Sony have struck a deal to work on one more Spider-Man movie together. The film will be released July 16, 2021 and will most likely pick up where Spider-Man: Far From Home left off.
In 2015 Marvel and Sony entered into a partnership where Marvel would help create Sony’s Spider-Man films. The two released Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home together and brought the character into the Marvel Cinematic Universe appearing in Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.
Marvel’s Kevin Feige said:
I am thrilled that Spidey’s journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it. Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold.
Feige’s statement hints that the relationship might see the character continue in the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper as well.
The deal fell apart in August after Disney wanted a bigger piece of the pie and more control over other Spider-Man characters Sony controls.
Both companies have found success with the character who has become important in the MCU and the two films grossed more than the previous Sony Spider-Man films as well as the average solo character Marvel film. Marvel also gets the benefit of merchandising sales of the character.
On average, Sony has just had more success on their own compared to Marvel on their own. When you take out the three Avengers team films, the average Sony live-action Spider-Man film grosses more than Marvel films. Worldwide, Sony sees $803.2 million per film compared to Marvel’s $758.6 million (and that includes Marvel’s four billion dollar solo films). Domestically, the two are similar with Marvel grossing $309.3 million compared to Sony’s $298.7 million. Internationally, Sony wins with $504.5 million to Marvel’s $449.3 million. While Sony’s average budget is higher, they still have a higher “profit” of $606.2 million compared to Marvel’s $586.3 million. The multiplier for Sony is 4.65x on average to Marvel’s 4.17x. So, Sony has had success with their films before Marvel ever became involved (just because you didn’t like the film doesn’t mean it wasn’t a success).
Interestingly, the two are stronger together as their joint ventures beat both studios separately. On average the two joint Spider-Man films have earned $355.4 million domestically, $636.1 million internationally, $991.5 million worldwide, $824 million “profit,” and a 5.96 multiplier. Sony’s original Spider-Man trilogy has still performed better than this third volume which has really seen its success at the international box office.
Sony is in the process of setting up their own cinematic universe involving a sequel to Venom, the upcoming Morbius and more rumored films.
Sony Pictures chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra has stated that “for the moment the door is closed” when it comes to Spider-Man‘s return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But there’s a chance of a return.
Speaking at Variety‘s Entertainment & Technology summit, Vinciquerra also said “it’s a long life” cryptically hinting there is a chance for a return down the road.
Vinciquerra also stated that there’s “no ill will” between Marvel and Sony after the failure to reach an agreement and it’s been “an interesting couple of weeks” for the studio due to the fan reaction to the news.
Marvel Studio head Kevin Feige being stretched thin with the next phases of the MCU bwas part of the issue.
Sony is going ahead with their own Spider-Man universe as the company is in production on a sequel to Venom, a film based on Morbius, and “five or six” television series set in the Spider-Man world in the works.
Vinciquerra pointed towards Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and The Boys as to evidence their future endeavors will be fine and the studio is “pretty capable of doing what (they) have to do here.”
In the same talk, Vinciquerra stated Sony Studios wasn’t for sale and touched upon the studios’ decision to stay out of the streaming wars. That decision allows them to be “more transparent” to creators by not becoming “beholden to any platform.”
Today, Sony Pictures Consumer Products announced that Hasbro has been named the master toy licensee for Ghostbusters worldwide. Under the terms of the agreement, Hasbro will create a wide variety of toys inspired by the franchise and its entertainment properties globally designed to appeal to both fans of the original franchise, and a new generation of Ghostbusters around the world. Hasbro’s Ghostbusters line will be available in 2020, aligning with the highly anticipated new Ghostbusters movie that is slated for Summer 2020 in the U.S.
The upcoming product line marks a return to the Ghostbusters franchise by Hasbro. From 1986 to 1991, Kenner, which is now part of Hasbro, created and marketed The Real Ghostbusters toy line, with many of the original developers from Kenner still working with Hasbro. More recently, Hasbro collaborated with Sony Pictures to create the Transformers Generations Collaborative: Ghostbusters Mash-Up Ecto-1 Ectotron. Additionally, a Transformers / Ghostbusters crossover comic series is now available from IDW. These collaborations honor both brands’ 35th anniversaries this year.