Alex Garland explains the 10 minute sequence he cut from 'Annihilation' - Silver Screen Beat
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Alex Garland explains why he decided to cut a 10-minute-long sequence from ‘Annihilation’

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Alex Garland’s head-spinning sci-fi thriller Annihilation is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary movies of the year so far. One of the things that makes the film so great is the fact that the theatrical cut of the film is exactly what Garland had in mind while writing the script—well, save for one key sequence featuring Natalie Portman’s Lena and Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Dr. Ventress that got cut pretty early on during the film’s post-production phase.

“There was one sequence that we cut. A whole sequence got cut actually really early in the edit, and that just took like ten minutes off, just like that. But then the rest of it was really just about refining it, zeroing on in the intention in a scene and making it just tight,” Garland told Collider’s Steve Weintraub during a recent interview.

“Essentially what happens in the sequence is that Natalie Portman, quite early on in the film is locked in a sort of chamber where she first meets Dr. Ventress and when Ventress leaves, Natalie’s character Lena is stuck there and she escapes from that chamber and knocks out a guard, takes his gun, shoots her way through a glass door, makes her way through the facility and finally busts out and sees the shimmer for the first time,” he continued.

Garland mentioned that certain things will make sense when you’re reading a script, but when you actually see it visually, it immediately stops making sense. After discovering the problem, rather than reshooting the entire scene, Garland and his team decided to cleverly edit around it, saving them both time and money.

“You use the dialogue, you do a hard cut, you take a little bit of film where she’s walking in her escape but she’s slowed down, she’s not running at that point, she’s walking and you use that bit, you do another hard cut to her stepping out and seeing the shimmer for the first time. Then, the sequence is gone and it makes more logical character sense,” he added.

Annihilation also stars Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, and Oscar Isaac, and is now playing in theaters.

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Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie glare intensely at each other in the ‘Bombshell’ trailer

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Despite taking place entirely in a hot, stuffy elevator and featuring little to no dialogue, the first trailer for Jay Roach’s Fox News drama Bombshell about the downfall of Roger Ailes does a pretty damn good job of showcasing what is likely to be a serious contender this awards season.

Written by Charles Randolph, Bombshell chronicles the inevitable collapse of Ailes’ reign at Fox News, where he served as chairman and CEO up until his resignation in 2016 amid dozens of sexual harassment and abuse allegations from several female employees at the conservative media empire.

Among the many women who accused Ailes of misconduct were former Fox News hosts Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, who are played here by Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman, respectively, while Margot Robbie plays as a fictional associate producer named Kayla Pospisil.

As if those three stars weren’t enough, the film’s ensemble cast also includes the likes of John Lithgow (who plays Ailes), Allison Janney, Kate McKinnon, Malcolm McDowell, Mark Duplass, Rob Delaney, and Stephen Root.

I don’t know about you, but I dig everything about this trailer (I could literally watch Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, and Margot Robbie glaring at each other in an elevator all day) and I’m actually pretty excited to see how Bombshell turns out when it drops in December.

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This whole Spider-Man dilemma between Sony and Disney is extraordinarily fucking complicated

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As you may have heard yesterday, Tom Holland‘s Spider-Man has essentially left the Marvel Cinematic Universe due to the fact that Disney and Sony were unable “to reach new terms that would have given the former a co-financing stake going forward,” according to Deadline.

Disney, after originally agreeing to receive just 5% of the box office gross of Sony’s Spider-Man movies, wanted to renegotiate a new deal that would allow them to take a much larger 50% cut because they would also be putting up half the funding under the new terms.

In other words, Disney, which basically controls half of the entertainment industry at this point, wanted to gain even more control over what is inarguably Sony’s most successful franchise to date and the latter wasn’t going to let that happen. Or so we thought?

A statement released by Sony late last night seems to pin the blame for this entire dilemma on Disney, claiming that they are the ones preventing any further involvement of Spider-Man in the MCU, furthering complicating what was already a pretty fucking complicated scenario.

“Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise. We are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision not to have him continue as a lead producer of our next live-action Spider-Man film,” the statement reads.

It goes on to say, “We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him – including all their newly added Marvel properties – do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own. Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue.”

So, uh, what’s really going on here? Is Disney actually to blame? Did Sony (rightfully) turn down the Mouse House’s astonishingly greedy 50/50 offer? Are we going to have to witness another godforsaken Spider-Man origin story? It seems a little too early to tell at this point, but time will certainly tell.

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Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Lana Wachowski are returning for a fourth ‘Matrix’ movie

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WARNER BROS.

In a truly shocking development, Variety is reporting that the Matrix 4 is officially in the works (!) with Lana Wachowski returning to the director’s chair and Keanu Reeves and Carie-Anne Moss reprising their respective roles as Neo and Trinity.

“We could not be more excited to be re-entering The Matrix with Lana,” said Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich. “Lana is a true visionary—a singular and original creative filmmaker—and we are thrilled that she is writing, directing and producing this new chapter in The Matrix universe.”

Production on the film is scheduled to begin as early as the beginning of next year with Wachowski helming from a script she co-wrote the script along with Aleksander Hemon and David Mitchell, so it shouldn’t be too long of a wait before we can finally get this thing in front of our eyeballs.

“Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now. I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends,” Wachowski said.

We’ve been hearing rumblings about a potential reboot of the Matrix franchise for a while now, so the fact that Warner Bros. seems to have abandoned that idea altogether in favor of moving forward with a true sequel with Wachowski, Reeves, and Moss all set to return is pretty damn exciting.

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