Eon’s Rhythm Section May Resume Production in June

Barbara Broccoli

The Rhythm Section, Eon Productions non-007 spy film, may resume production in June, Deadline: Hollywood reported, citing “several sources.”

The movie, part of a diversifying portfolio of projects for Eon boss Barbara Broccoli, had shut down production following a hand injury to star Blake Lively in December. The movie was about half-filmed when the injury occurred, according to The Hollywood Reporter,which reported the production half late last month.

The suspension of production has not affected The Rhythm Section’s February 2019 release date, Deadline said in its story today. Eon is making the movie with financing from Global Road, formerly IM Global. Paramount will distribute the film.

It is unclear if Eon’s problems with The Rhythm Section will affect Bond 25. The movie has a release date of November 2019. At the moment, the project has no announced distributor. The last two Bond films, Skyfall and SPECTRE, began filming in, respectively, November 2011 and December 2014 and were released in fall 2012 and 2015.

h/t to @Bond25Film on Twitter for pointing out the Deadline story.


Mission: Impossible-Fallout trailer debuts

Paramount aired a Mission: Impossible-Fallout commercial during the second quarter of the Super Bowl and released a full trailer online.

The spot, among other things, includes star Tom Cruise dangling, and then falling from, a helicopter. There was also footage of high-intensity fight scenes. It also includes the stunt where Cruise broke an ankle.

The basic theme of the ad is that the past of Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is catching up with him.

You can view the trailer below. The film is due out July 27.

Is The Ambushers coming true?

Poster for The Ambushers (1967)

Today, the Reuters news service had a story with the following first paragraph:

“High exposure to radiofrequency radiation of the type emitted by cell phones has been linked to tumors in tissues surrounding nerves in the hearts of male rats, but not female rats or any mice, according to a draft of U.S. government studies released on Friday.”

The blog couldn’t help it, but the first thing that came to mind was the 1967 movie The Ambushers, the third Matt Helm movie starring Dean Martin.

That film centered around a U.S. built flying saucer that could only be piloted by women. Why? Well, its power source killed men but left women unharmed.

At the beginning of The Ambushers, the U.S. flying saucer is undergoing its first flight. But it’s promptly hijacked by villains utilizing a giant magnet. The audience sees the saucer is piloted by Shiela (Janice Rule) but the angle about the power source killing men isn’t explained until later.

One other then-futuristic aspect of the movie has already come true. In the movie, Dino’s Helm is taking pictures with a seemingly innocent camera. He’s force to take the film out by a thug.

But it doesn’t matter because the camera already is broadcasting a digital image (though that term isn’t used) to Washington where Mac (James Gregory), the boss of ICE (Intelligence and Counter Espionage), and his assistants can view it.

Thus, Matt Helm had a digital camera decades before they became common.

First Mission: Impossible – Fallout poster revealed

The official Tom Cruise account on Twitter unveiled the first Mission: Impossible – Fallout poster today.

Also today, the Cruise Twitter account had a short video teasing the movie’s trailer.

The producer-star and Paramount are ramping up publicity for the movie, the sixth installment of the M:I film series that began in 1996. The first trailer is scheduled to be shown on Sunday during the Super Bowl.

The poster’s image isn’t detailed. It shows a man (presumably Cruise’s Ethan Hunt) dangling from a helicopter.

The movie is scheduled for a July 27 release date. Cruise broke an ankle during filming last year, an event that scrambled the film’s production schedule.

Here is the Tweet that came out today:


Here is the tweet teasing the trailer.


Eon’s Rhythm Section Shuts Down, THR Reports

Barbara Broccoli

The Rhythm Section, Eon Productions’ non-007 spy film, has shut down production after star Blake Lively suffered a hand injury in December, The Hollywood Reporter said.

The key detail from the story:

Lively sustained the injury while doing a stunt on the Dublin (Ireland) set in December. At the time, production was temporarily suspended while she took time to heal. However, sources close to the situation now tell THR that Lively’s initial hand surgery did not go as planned and the actress must undergo a second surgery and will need more time to recover.

It is currently unclear when filming will recommence. One insider said that just under half the movie had been shot while another source said it could be five months before the production resumes.

The Rhythm Section is part of Eon boss Barbara Broccoli’s growing portfolio of non-007 projects.

The project was announced in July. It’s based on a novel by Mark Burnell. It’s currently slated for a Feb. 22, 2019 release date via Paramount, though a lengthy shutdown may change that.

Bond 25, the next James Bond film, has announced a November 2019 release date in the United States, but has no announced distributor.

Broccoli has diversified from Bond, being involved with smaller-scale dramas, such as Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, as well as plays.

The Rhythm Section has a budget of about $50 million, financed by Global Road, formerly IM Global, THR said. That’s about 20 percent of the budget (after product placement deals) of 2015’s SPECTRE, the most recent Bond film.

“Hiatus on the production of The Rhythm Section has been extended due to an ongoing issue with Blake Lively’s hand injury sustained while filming an action sequence on the action thriller at the end of last year,” Eon said in a statement, according to THR.

Joseph Sargent talks about directing U.N.C.L.E.

Joseph Sargent (1925-2014)

This weekend, the blog caught up on a 2006 interview that director Joseph Sargent (1925-2014) did for the Archive of American Television and checked out what he had to say about The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Sargent said the 1964-68 spy show helped him develop as a director.

Sargent working on episodic television in general was a training ground “not the least of which was Man from U.N.C.L.E. That was like summer stock is to an actor in terms of training.”

U.N.C.L.E., he said, gave him “the opportunity to break the envelope a little bit.”

“It was an  innovative and very daring and very wild, free style kind of show. It had whip pans for instance for the first time, it gave it a sense of energy.”

Whip pans (sometimes call zip pans) have the camera move suddenly, creating a blur. U.N.C.L.E. used whip pans as a transition between scenes.

“There was this twinkle Bob Vaughn and David (McCallum) had about the whole role,” Sargent said in the 2006 interview.

The series involved “a very broad, wonderful concept of peace and cooperation between, in effect, the two major antagonists of the Cold War, the Soviet Union and America.” At the same time, he said, it employed humor which “saved it from being a heavy polemic.”

Sargent directed 11 episodes of the series, plus one episode of its spinoff, The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. The series was made at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer while the studio still had its legendary production lots still in tact.

As a result, Sargent said, scenes were devised “using the available infrastructure of MGM Studios,” which was like being “a kid in a candy store.”

U.N.C.L.E. episodes were shot in six days, often in a hurry.

Getting Napoleon Solo out of this fix had to be devised during lunch.

“We had a script that was incomplete,” Sargent said. “In this case, they were writing and still writing and I was on the scene that hadn’t been written yet and it was going to be filmed right after lunch.”

The scene to be filmed, but not yet written, involved Illya Kurykin (McCallum) having to rescue fellow agent Napoleon Solo (Vaughn) from being executed by the villains.

Over lunch, Sargent talked to the prop man who gave him a small tape recorder. After lunch, the scene was filmed. Two agents assisting Kuryakin play the tape, which is a cavalry charge, and provide Kuryakin protective fire which he performs the rescue.

“Of course, you couldn’t do that today,” Sargent said.

Two asides:

–In the interview, Sargent mis-remembers one aspect of the scene. He describes a character played by Ricardo Montalban as trying to kill Solo. Actually, that character was double crossing his allies in the story. They catch on and are trying to kill Montalban’s character as well in the scene. Remember, though, the interview was done 40 years after the episode aired.

–The episode is titled The King of Diamonds and has its oddities. It was plotted and co-scripted by Edwin Blum, who co-write Stalag 17 with Billy Wilder. The script was rewritten by Leo Townsend, a co-writer on Beach Blanket Bingo. The tone is a bit uneven.

Anyway, the portion of the 2006 interview dealing with U.N.C.L.E. is in the video below. It begins around the 11:30 mark.

Cruise releases M:I 6’s title, teases a stunt

Stunt teased by Tom Cruise on Instagram

Tom Cruise took to Instagram on Thursday to disclose the title of the sixth Mission: Impossible movie is Mission: Impossible — Fallout and to post a still of him doing a helicopter stunt.

“We’ve upped the ante for the sixth #MissionImpossible. I can’t wait for you guys to see more,” Cruise wrote on Instagram and on Twitter.

The social media posts also coincided with the release of an Empire magazine interview with Mission: Impossible — Fallout writer-director Christopher McQuarrie.

“The title has multiple meanings in the film, from the literal to the figurative,” explains McQuarrie. “There is the threat of nuclear terrorism hanging over the movie, which is the literal threat.”

And the figurative? “There’s the notion that what’s happened in the movie is the end result of choices that Ethan Hunt has made in his life. It’s Ethan’s past come back to haunt him. It’s the fallout of all his good intentions.”

The production has had setbacks, including Cruise, 55, suffering a broken ankle during filming last summer. Mission: Impossible — Fallout is slated for a late July release, which has been the summer “spy” movie release date since 2015’s Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation.

UPDATE (1:15 p.m. New York Time): Mission: Impossible — Fallout also has a Facebook page. It includes this official synopsis:

The best intentions often come back to haunt you. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong. Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett, and Vanessa Kirby also join the dynamic cast with filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie returning to the helm.