Baton Rouge

‘Fantastic Four’ Reboot Bombs

by Arthur Vandelay on August 10, 2015

fantastic-four-2015-josh-trank-star-warsThis weekend, Fox’s attempt to reboot its Marvel comics franchise Fantastic Four bombed at the box office, earning only $26.2 million in its first three days, despite playing in nearly four thousand theaters nationwide. Even after adding the superhero actioner’s international earnings, the film’s current box office total climbs to only $60.3 million.

While the actual budget numbers are hard to come by, some reports place the production budget at circa $120 million dollars. That almost certainly excludes the cash spent when the production returned to Baton Rouge for lengthy reshoots that went on for months. It also does not include the typical marketing spend for a major tentpole release, which I’d estimate is at least $100 million.

In addition, films split box office receipts with the theaters. That means Fox has only covered circa $30 million of at least a $220 million dollar investment in Fantastic Four. Ouch.

With a very poor first weekend and an even weaker critical response, the reasons behind the film’s disappointing reception aren’t mysterious. Outside of the film’s stellar cast – which includes Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, Kate Mara as Sue Storm, Miles Teller as Reed Richards, Jamie Bell as Benn Grimm, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes alum Toby Kebbell as Dr. Doom – not much went right.

Second time director Josh Trank, who was hired in the wake of his excellent film Chronicle, had a bumpy road and was essentially removed from the project. Another director was brought in to do substantial reshoots. Just days before Fantastic Four‘s release, Trank bashed his own movie on Twitter, blaming the film’s apparently poor quality on studio meddling. At the time of its release, Fantastic Four only had a 9% positive rating on the movie review aggregator site Even the little loved 2005 film has 27% positive reviews.

Early fan reaction to the film was also not very promising. From the first images, the rebooted film seemed to be the embodiment of that soulless studio executive promise that they are going “grittier, darker.” All while retelling a boilerplate origin story already well known to audiences. There was also much made of casting a black actor as Johnny Storm, brother of Sue Storm. Both characters have been historically portrayed as white. For most people, including me, this is a ridiculous reason to criticize the film before its release. As long as there’s a plausible explanation in the story, who cares? However, this strikes me as one of those “issues” with the film that wouldn’t have mattered to fanatical Fantastic Four purists at all if the final product was a great movie. Since it wasn’t great, the move away from tradition is just one item in a long list of items that seems to indicate studio meddling that may have harmed the project.

Fox will be fine, though, thanks to 2015 hits like the animated feature Home, which has earned the studio $386 million, Kingsman: The Secret Service, which earned $406 million, and Spy, which is currently at $233 million.

Fantastic Four is now playing in theaters everywhere. Go see it for yourself and make up your own mind.

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Crashing into theaters this Friday, Baton Rouge-shot Fantastic Four tries to find success as a reboot of the Marvel comic. Following months of hype, the reboot may be overshadowed by another new movie from Marvel Studios, Ant-Man. That film has continued to be a box office force in the past few weeks. Also coming to theaters this weekend is Meryl Streep in Ricki and The Flash, as well as The Gift, The Diary of a Teenage Girl and Dark Places.

Fantastic Four

The origins of the four are illustrated as they team up and teleport to a dangerous alternate dimension. They discover powers and abilities and must band together to save Earth from Dr. Doom. Shot in Baton Rouge, the superhero flick stars Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Toby Kebbell, Jamie Bell, Michael B. Jordan and Tim Blake Nelson. 106 min. Rated PG-13.

Ricki and The Flash

An aging musician returns to her family, hoping to reconcile for abandoning them in order to follow her dreams of rock’n’roll fame. 102 min. Rated PG-13.

The Gift

Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall play a young couple whose lives are shaken by the unexpected arrival of a high school acquaintance. Dark secrets come to light through the haunting presence of this “friend” and the mysterious gifts he brings. 108 min. Rated R.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

In 1970s San Francisco, a 15 year old artistic girl begins to have an affair with her mother’s boyfriend, a man more than twice her age. 102 min. Rated R.

Dark Places

A woman haunted by her family’s murder recalls the traumatic memories in order to discover the truth about that night. 113 min. Rated R.


VIDEO: Kevin Hart Works Out with LSU Football Team

by Arthur Vandelay on July 16, 2015

In this image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Kevin Hart, left, and Will Ferrell appear in a scene from the film, "Get Hard." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Patti Perret) (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Patti Perret)

Get Hard star Kevin Hart recently spent some time with the LSU Football team at the Louisiana university’s world class facility in Baton Rouge. Alongside the team, he was joined by writer Harry Ratchford, who recently wrote for HBO’s great new show Ballers and BET’s Comicview.



We received news last week that Amirah Vann joining the cast of Underground for WGN America. And we already know that Devon Gummersall, Mykelti Williamson and Kanye West have all joined the project, although Mr. West won’t be on camera. Today, we find out that Gummersall is leaving the show. His character John Hawkes will now be played by Marc Blucas (Buffy The Vampire Slayer).

Underground tracks a group of runaway slaves from a Georgia plantation to trek six hundred miles to freedom. These slaves are helped by secret revolutionary advocates through the Underground Railroad as they run under constant fear of being brought back to the plantation dead or alive. Blucas’ John Hawkes is an abolitionist lawyer who will go against the law he should abide by to do human nature a great service.

Shooting is now underway in Baton Rouge. Cast and crew will travel to Georgia to film as well. Underground will premiere on WGN America next spring. If you’re interested in working on the set of Underground, then visit jobScene for more information.

Source: Deadline



New Orleans’ own Bryan Batt will call Baton Rouge home while on the set of MTV’s Scream. Batt is known for his role on AMC’s hit television series Mad Men. Batt famously played Salvatore Romano, the art director at Sterling Cooper. His time away from Mad Men has been fruitful. You can see him in 12 Years a Slave and he has also written two novels.

The show will star Bella Thorne (The Duff), Willa Fitzgerald (Royal Pains), Bex Taylor-Klaus (Arrow), John Karna (Premature) and Carlson Young (Key and Peele). Willa Fitzgerald’s character is the popular teenager Emma Duvall. Taylor-Klaus will play preacher’s daughter Aubrey Jensen. John Karna will play Noah Foster, the logistical student. The beautiful Carlson Young will play the adorable mastermind Brooke Maddox.

In Scream, Batt will play Quinn Maddox, the town’s mayor and father of Carlson Young’s Brooke Maddox. Bryan Batt knows that no one is safe in this slasher series. “I hope I don’t die the first season, but it is a slasher series,” he says. “Some people have already gone.” At least Batt has a great attitude and has high hopes for a future demise. “I hope it’s bloody, gory and memorable,” he says.

Watch the Scream trailers hereScream stars Bella Thorne, Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna and Carlson Young. Wes Craven’s slasher dynasty will take on the screens in your living room opposed to the box office. Directed by Jamie Travis, Scream comes into your homes on Tuesday, June 30 at 10pm.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


Royal Teeth Signs with Elektra Records

by Jordan McGuire

Royal Teeth has signed with a major label, Elektra Records, which is owned by Warner Music Group.The decision to sign with a major label is big for any band. It signals a big vote of confidence in their commercial talent. Royal Teeth is an American indie group from Lafayette, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. […]

TRAILER: New MTV Series ‘Scream,’ Shot in Baton Rouge

by Jordan McGuire

MTV unveiled their new Scream logo and then the initial teaser trailer during the MTV Movie Awards. Now we get the chance to see the nearly satirical trailer for MTV’s newest horror series Scream. First of all, the narrator absolutely dominates the stereotypical horror trailer montage. The tone of this trailer screams comedy (pun totally […]

Amirah Vann Cast in Baton Rouge-Shot ‘Underground’

by Jordan McGuire

About a week ago we received news of Kanye West becoming the musical executive producer for the new Baton Rouge-shot TV series Underground. The newest member of the Underground family is Amirah Vann. She joins the likes of Devon Gummersall (Mad Men) and Mykelti Williamson (Justified) who had previously joined the cast of the Underground Railroad period piece. WGN […]

Baton Rouge-Shot ‘Scream’ Unveils New Logo

by Jordan McGuire

MTV unveiled their new Scream logo. Scream is a Baton Rouge-shot television series that will be filled with murders, comedy, horror and teenage angst. During Sunday’s MTV Movie Awards, the first full trailer of Scream will be released. The show will star Bella Thorne (The Duff), Willa Fitzgerald (Royal Pains), Bex Taylor-Klaus (Arrow), John Karna […]