World’s top-grossing anime film ‘Your Name’ gets Hollywood live-action remake

The 2016 Japanese anime hit ‘Your Name’ is set to have a live-action adaptation from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Japan-based Toho Co. This will be a feature presentation from Paramount Pictures and adapted by Oscar-nonimated screenwriter Eric Heisserer (‘Arrival’).

Your Name is the highest-grossing anime film in the world, earning $355.2M worldwide during its theatrical run. It was also a blockbuster hit in the Philippines when it was first released in December.

The lower-budgeted animated film Your Name tells the story of a teenage boy and girl from different backgrounds who discover they can swap bodies and become persistent to cross space and time just so they can meet and stop a foreseen disaster.

For the live-action, J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Episode IX) and Lindsey Weber will produce for Bad Robot, along with Genki Kawamura from the original film.

The original Japanese version was produced by Kawamura with Minami Ichikawa, Keiji Ota, and Yoshihiro Furusawa for Toho Co., Ltd. and Noritaka Kawaguchi for CoMix Wave Films serving as executive producers.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead held captive in ’10 Cloverfield Lane’

She’s an immensely talented actress with a gift for taking on challenging roles and bringing dynamic characters to life on screen. As she fearlessly evolves her body of work with each new project, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“A Good Day to Die Hard,” “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”) is fast becoming one of today’s leading talents across both independent and mainstream film.

Now, Winstead stars in Paramount Pictures’ sci-fi thriller “10 Cloverfield Lane,” playing a woman named Michelle who after getting into a car crash, wakes up and finds herself being held captive in a mysterious bunker. Her controlling captor is named Howard (John Goodman), who tells her that she is being held there for her own good. It’s not long before she meets another person living in the bunker: Emmitt (played by John Gallagher Jr.).

“10 Cloverfield Lane” is intentionally related the 2008 sci-fi movie “Cloverfield,” which was an apocalyptic tale about space-aliens invading Earth.

Question: “10 Cloverfield Lane” basically has only three main characters. Was that more challenging for you?

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: When you’re lucky enough to have the other two people be John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr., it’s the best opportunity ever. I just got to sit through a master class of acting, just sitting opposite them every day. I couldn’t have been luckier. I think it depends on the actors. I lucked out on this one.

Q: What was going through your mind when you first read the script?

Winstead: I didn’t expect the turns to happen whatsoever, and I certainly didn’t know where it was going and where it was leading. And selfishly, as an actor, I really wanted to play this role and go on that ride of the character. It seemed like I would be able to do a lot of fun stuff. It was really refreshing, in terms of the drama, as well.

Q: How did everyone manage to keep the film under the radar for so long?

Winstead: It was there all along, it was on IMDB. It’s the same movie, just a different title. We kept the plot under wraps as much as possible because of the nature of the film — it’s a movie you don’t want to spoil for people. I didn’t want to ruin the experience of it.

Q: Did you have to prepare for the movie, mentally or physically?

Winstead: I did do a little research for myself. I read a couple books that were written by women who were kidnapped and kept in small spaces, to understand what it would do to your psyche. Physically, I prepared as much as I could … I knew it was going to be an exhausting physical experience. I didn’t want to collapse halfway through a scene [laughs]. I prepared a little bit in that sense because ultimately, Michelle wakes up in that environment having no idea how she got there and she is unprepared to be in that scenario. So I used that to my advantage and jumped into the movie somewhat unprepared.

Q: Did you ever see the 2008 “Cloverfield” movie?

Winstead: I remember seeing it in the theater and loving it. I thought it was such an inventive new take on the monster movie. They really flipped it on its head and told it in a fresh, new personal way. So I can see how it’s connected in spirit, in terms of that.

Described as a “blood relative” to the 2008 smash hit “Cloverfield,” “10 Cloverfield Lane” stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr.

Dan Trachtenberg directs “10 Cloverfield Lane” from a screenplay by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken.

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2016, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

’10 Cloverfield Lane’ reveals international poster

Paramount Pictures has just revealed the stunning, international payoff poster of producer J.J. Abrams’ “10 Cloverfield Lane.”

Described as a “blood relative” to the 2007 smash hit “Cloverfield,” the new film stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr. The official synopsis only reads, “Monsters come in many forms.”

Dan Trachtenberg directs “10 Cloverfield Lane” from a screenplay by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken. Describing the film to Empire Magazine, Trachtenberg says, “It’s a mystery/suspense thriller. If we were in the time of Alfred Hitchcock, he would be calling this ‘a suspense picture’. It very much harkens back to that kind of movie. For me it’s fun, it’s funny, and it’s visceral and exciting and thrilling. It’s all of those things.”

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2016, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

J.J. Abrams awakens ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ as unofficial sequel

While he was directing, producing and co-writing a little film called “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” J.J. Abrams still found some time left over to produce Paramount Pictures’ new suspense thriller “10 Cloverfield Lane,” an “unofficial” sequel to the 2007 found-footage hit “Cloverfield” which he also produced.

Described as a mere “blood relative” to “Cloverfield,” the new film “10 Cloverfield Lane” stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr. The film’s official synopsis only reads, “Monsters come in many forms.” Dan Trachtenberg directs “10 Cloverfield Lane” from a screenplay by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken.

Q: In what aspects is “10 Cloverfield Lane” a “blood-relative” to “Cloverfield?”

J.J. Abrams: Well, there are a number of connections, some obvious, some not. Things that I want people to sort of find on their own. Some are thematic, some are genre. But what defines a Cloverfield movie is part of a kind of bigger idea we had. This is sort of part anthology and part a larger idea. And the fun of having a movie that is connected to Cloverfield, but not a literal “Cloverfield 2,” which is of course what we would have called it had it been a literal sequel. It would have been a more obviously titled sequel. This is something that hopefully if we get a shot to continue this idea that we have, we can have a lot of fun with and come clearer what constitutes a Cloverfield movie.

Q: Even though this film isn’t shot in found-footage style like “Cloverfield,” it feels, there’s a lot of moments in it that you get the same POV feeling that “Cloverfield” had. Is that one of the connections? Is that something that you’re gonna bring on hopefully to other movies?

Abrams: I think that because the premise of this movie is so strong, meaning it is so singular in point of view, I feel like one of the many cool things that Dan did was allowed the audience to vicariously experience moment to moment what Michelle is going through. And part because Mary Elizabeth Winstead is so good. And that is there’s no strategy behind that other than I think Dan telling a story very well.

Q: How did you find Dan Trachtenberg? This is a big movie to give to a first time director.

Abrams: Lindsey Weber who produced “10 Cloverfield Lane” with me knew Dan beforehand. When we were searching for the director, she brought him in. What I was mostly impressed by was the clarity and strength of his vision for how he would do this movie. He had a confidence that I think is apparent in the film. A strong sense of tension and focus and he did this really beautiful work with the actors, with the camera, with modulation. I think that the tension of the movie, it’s not just creepy and scary, but there’s a great sense of tension to the movie that I think is really all about what Dan brought to it. So I would credit Lindsey for finding him and credit Dan for what the movie is.

Q: During the making of this film, you were off filming “The Force Awakens.” How involved were you in “10 Cloverfield Lane?”

Abrams: Well, I was involved in the script stage. I was involved in what dailies sending in, notes or suggestions or trying to help whenever I could be of help to Dan and Lindsey who was on set all the time. In post I was like more involved in helping wherever Dan needed it. But again, this was something that really was Dan’s vision and I was just trying to do what a producer does, which is help out.

Q: You are not showing much of the film, marketing-wise. How does that work? Do you have a contract with the studios to have control over the marketing?

Abrams: I can only speak for our experience with Bad Robot and the marketing department, the films we worked on. And what’s been great is there’s a relationship we have the marketing departments that feel like it’s about mutual understanding and respect and strategy. And we get together very early on to discuss how we’re gonna approach what I think it is. Obviously it’s a hugely important thing, how you announce and reveal and hopefully pique interest in a story. And we made a very specific decision early on to not announce this movie a year in advance, six months in advance. We thought let’s break the template and try something new. In an age of people knowing most everything about every stage of the prep, production, post and release of a movie. And the fun of saying here comes a movie. It will be in theaters in two months. Or three months. Not give people much time to conclude to pass judgment on a movie that they could already feel that they know everything about. But rather have some fun with a movie that I think is a fun movie worth having fun with and then surprise the audience.

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2016, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

’10 Cloverfield Lane’ opens big in North America with $25.2-M

Paramount Pictures’ and Bad Robot’s new mystery thriller “10 Cloverfield Lane” connected with American audiences in its opening weekend March 11 to 13, earning a whopping $25.2 million from 3,391 locations.

That’s a strong debut considering that the film about a woman (Mary Elizabeth Winsteavd) who finds herself trapped in a doomsday bunker, waiting out the apocalypse with the neighborhood survivalists (John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr.), cost only $13 million to produce.

Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore credited Bad Robot chief J.J. Abrams with coming up with the concept for the twisty thriller while he was in production on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” He said the key was to make sure that none of the advertisements revealed any of the film’s surprises.

“We wanted to give people just enough clues to keep them excited, interested, and wanting more,” said Moore. “That’s rare in this day and age, when so much [information] is given out so early.”

“10 Cloverfield Lane” also benefitted from positive word-of-mouth and rave reviews, averaging a high 90% score in reviews-aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes. The critics’ consenses was: “Smart, solidly crafted, and palpably tense, `10 Cloverfield Lane’ makes the most of its confined setting and outstanding cast — and suggests a new frontier for franchise filmmaking.”

Described as a “blood relative” to the 2007 smash hit “Cloverfield,” the new film stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr. So far, the official synopsis only reads, “Monsters come in many forms.”

Dan Trachtenberg directs “10 Cloverfield Lane” from a screenplay by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken.

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2016, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

WATCH: ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ thrills with new clip

Brand-new images and a new clip from Paramount Pictures and producer J.J. Abrams’ “10 Cloverfield Lane” have just been released. Check out the photos below and view the clip below.

Described as a “blood relative” to the 2007 smash hit “Cloverfield,” the new film stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr. So far, the official synopsis only reads, “Monsters come in many forms.”

Dan Trachtenberg directs “10 Cloverfield Lane” from a screenplay by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken. Trachtenberg explains to Empire Magazine how the new film became a “blood relative” to “Cloverfield”:

“’Cloverfield’ was a familiar genre that was told in a very unique way. Similarly, we are a familiar genre that’s also told in a unique way. It’s not the same way: the first ‘Cloverfield’ had that awesome hook of being told in this found-footage experience. We have something else going for us that makes it unique. I think our structure’s very interesting and there’s things in it that you have to experience.”

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2016, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

’10 Cloverfield Lane’ TV spot goes outside the cellar

Universal Pictures has launched a new TV spot for producer J.J. Abrams’ “10 Cloverfield Lane,” the mystery thriller that’s been described by Abrams as a “blood relative” to the 2008 hit “Cloverfield.” The spot may be viewed below.

The film stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr., and so far the official synopsis only reads, “Monsters come in many forms.”

The new spot shows that, after surviving a car accident, a woman wakes up in an underground cellar. She fears she has been abducted by a survivalist, who tells her he saved her life, and that “it is not safe out there.” Uncertain what to believe, she decides she must escape, no matter what dangers she may face outside.

“10 Cloverfield Lane” surprised everyone and set the internet on fire when it uploaded its first look last January. A teaser showed Goodman, Winstead and Gallagher Jr. in a normal suburban household until a mysterious “something” disturbs the peace.

The marketing campaign for 2008’s “Cloverfield,” also produced by Abrams, was similarly secretive.

Dan Trachtenberg directs “10 Cloverfield Lane” from a screenplay by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken.

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2016, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

MOVIE REVIEW: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

The force is truly awakened in the latest addition to the widely successful epic space opera saga set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is nostalgic with its refined take on the classic elements that have long since made the franchise memorable and beloved. The overall vibe resonates with such relevance not just to the fans of the film series but also to the moviegoers who have joined the hype and ended up loving it as well.

The original trilogy opened in 1977, 1980 and 1983 with Episode IV: A New Hope setting a milestone in producing a high-quality venture that has expanded into books, television series, comic books and computer games among others. The atmosphere of the first three episodes has been imbibed in The Force Awakens, making it almost impossible to remember the mixed reactions that the prequel trilogy has garnered in 1999, 2002 and 2005.

Visionary director J.J. Abrams is able to outdo the previous films and let go of the disappointments by executing the groundworks of a new story infused to the original premise. He has displayed the beauty of his craft through meticulous direction that is equally straightforward and neat.

As it is, the latest episode maintains the accessibility of its story, humor and action, the way the first three movies have offered a simple yet engaging universe with lovable characters that are still celebrated today in so many ways. With the addition of the core group of actors from the original trilogy, the classic feel remains to be a firm foundation in making The Force Awakens not just the first third of a sequel but an indispensable homage to the franchise itself.

Not to mention, the mixture of the old and the new has a very strong effect. The introduction every now and then to some of the original characters makes it a homey experience. This is their haven–a place they are familiar with, surrounded by creatures that cement them as important parts of the fantasy and science fiction genres. On the side, new exciting characters also grace the story with convictions that they have what it takes to embrace the force.

In this seventh episode of the film series, the setting is around 30 years after the events of the sixth episode Return of the Jedi. Previously, the Rebel Alliance became the Resistance while the Galactic Empire became the First Order.

The film stars the original crew of Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. Joining them are new characters Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, a dark warrior with the Force; Daisy Ridley as Rey, a scavenger on the desert planet Jakku; John Boyega as Finn, a redeemed First Order stormtrooper; Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, a Resistance X-wing fighter pilot.

Also with the cast are Lupita Nyong’o as the pirate Maz Kanata, Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca, and Max Von Sydow Lor San Tekka.

Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt.

J.J. Abrams and the rest of his team have made it possible to serve pure joy as The Force Awakens kickstarts with awesome productions that go beyond massive setpieces and visual feasts. There is just a tremendous amount of special effects and production designs that are worthy of everyone’s attention as they add up to the grandness that would definitely marvel the audiences all over the world (and beyond).

Simply put, from the first note of the theme music right to the last frame, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has indeed lived up to the growing expectations that Star Wars is bound to render more possibilities with more energy that pumps up extensively, pushing the boundaries even further.

Now who’s excited for the follow-throughs soon?

With PG rating from the MTRCB, Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on Thursday, December 17, 2015 in the Philippines as distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

star wars the force awakens philippines

Meet the new villains of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

The baddies of “Star Wars” have always been the cooler ones. Just one look at Darth Vader and the stormtroopers, and you know they absolutely kick ass.

For “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the mantle of villainy has been passed to Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson and Gwendoline Christie (HBO’s “Game of Thrones”) who play the evil triumvirate Kylo Ren, General Hux and Captain Phasma, respectively.

The three share thoughts about their roles and how it feels to be part of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Adam Driver: [Director] J.J. Abrams had ideas very clear in his mind about the conventions that he wanted to upturn and things that grounded Kylo Ren as a character. Actually, character was something that he talked about the most. I feel like some of the movies are so heavy on special effects or visuals and lot of things get lost as far as two people talking to one another. And that was something that J.J. stressed from the beginning; it was all character, there was hardly any talk of special effects. When we first originally met and talked, it was all about grounding these people in a reality, even though it’s a long time ago in a galaxy far away. If no one cares about what’s happening or no one believes that these are people are real, then you won’t care about any of it.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens. L to R: General Hux (Domnall Gleeson) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), in b/g Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie).

Domhnall Gleeson: General Hux is probably one of the bad guys, depending on your point of view. He works with Kylo Ren and General Snoke, and is in charge of the military operation. He isn’t a particularly nice fella. J.J. Abrams is a very skilled director, and he’s got this unusual combination of doing big movies in terms of scale and budget, but also working well with actors and telling real stories. All those things together are very unusual to get in the same person. A lot of people are good at one or two of those things. This is large-scale filmmaking that feels like a real story and isn’t just effects. There’s a real energy in the performances. They really get everyone going before a take and you’re reminded that this is “Star Wars,” and that it requires a step up. So I hope the energy will be in the right place. I hope the story will move forward in a very interesting way. So, in the same way you’d watch one of the original three and not know what’s coming next, I hope we can do that as well.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens. General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson).
Star Wars: The Force Awakens. General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson).

Gwendoline Christie: Captain Phasma is the captain of the Stormtroopers. She is a malevolent force. She is not a force for good and she takes particular pleasure in her cruelty. I’m absolutely thrilled to hear that Captain Phasma is the first female Stormtrooper of any rank, and of course I’m even more thrilled to be playing that part. It’s exciting that something as iconic as “Star Wars” has embraced the future and has embraced the world’s need for gender balance and female empowerment. It’s incredibly thrilling for me to be playing that part and I hope it inspires generations of women everywhere to go forward.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie).
Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie).

Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as Star Wars returns to the big screen with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

The film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt.

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, December 17, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Follow the official social media accounts of Star Wars in the Philippines, namely, (FB) StarWarsPH, (Twitter) @starwarsph and (Instagram) iamstarwars_ph and use the hashtag #TheForceAwakensPH. (PR)