Monday, January 25, 2010

Scorsese and Cabret, Desplat and Potter, and Avatar the King of the World?

First thing's first. I sit here, firmly of the belief that Avatar will become the highest grossing film of all-time by the end of this week. In a way, it's kind of eerie. Just at this point last year, I was talking to a friend and telling him that Avatar was going to become the highest grossing film of all-time if it managed to deliver. Well, the film did deliver (obviously), and has delivered to the tune of $552 million domestically and an estimated $1.8 billion worldwide! Crunching the numbers, Avatar is in second place domestically and worldwide, just behind James Cameron's other behemoth, Titanic.

To be honest, I never really thought there would be another film to reach the heights of Titanic again, seeing as how just over the past ten years the release patterns of the film industry had changed so drastically, with big budget film released after big budget film. What helped Avatar was purely the rival studios were afraid of it because it was so hyped, so no other big films were scheduled to go up against Avatar for weeks on end, and by the film actually being a good film as well, it has allowed it to reach the point it has reached. It's as if the rival studios just waved the white flag and let Avatar become the juggernaut it is.

Moving on, the composer for the next Harry Potter installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, has been announced. This is a hot topic of contention, purely because it has long been rumored, and even been believed due to comments from the guy himself, that legendary composer John Williams who scored the first three Potter films would return to score Deathly Hallows, but alas it isn't so. Instead Potter fans will get to listen to the musical stylings of composer Alexander Desplat, who composed the scores for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Fantastic Mr. Fox, alongside a great many others.

In all honesty, Desplat isn't a bad choice. He is, in my opinion, the best composer out of all of the non-Williams Potter composers just from his previous works, and if his scores on stuff like Benjamin Button are any indication, we're in for a treat. This still doesn't change the fact that I am bummed about Williams not returning. John Williams is my favorite film composer of all-time and I so wished he'd return to score the final installments and round out his tenure with Harry Potter, but I guess not. Here's wishing Desplat the best of luck, I believe the dude could bring Potter home.

Finally, something I'm real intrigued to see pan out, is the news from Variety that legendary director Martin Scorsese will next direct an adaptation of the children's book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret written by Brian Selznick. The book tells the mystery/adventure story of a young orphaned boy who lives in a Paris train station and looks after the clocks. When he tries to rebuild a mechanical man, his adventure kicks into high gear.

I find this an intriguing possibility, seeing as how Scorsese has never tackled anything quite like this before. To be honest, with this source material, I might have almost thought Spielberg would have been a more likely choice, but then again, such off-the-wall choice in director could make the difference between a classic or just your average run-of-the-mill kid's adventure. As well, the book is heralded for its highly cinematic visuals, so for this reason alone, it does make sense to get probably the most cinematic director currently working in cinema.

I just can't get over it, Scorsese doing a kid's movie, the guy who directed Taxi Driver, doing a movie that is targeted towards 9-12 year old's. I find this an astonishing opportunity, not to mention Scorsese has never really done a rollicking adventure film before. I just love the fact that he's in his 60s, the point where most artists start wearing down, and he continues to try and push the limits of what people expect and what he expects of himself. Whether Scorsese can successfully pull off a children's movie has yet to be seen, but I can't wait to see it! Imagine, a Scorsese film that wont have any f-bombs or grotesque violence and a PG rating! Oh, the possibilities. There is no release date yet, but it starts filming June 1st in London, so look for this one in the coming future.

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