Sunday, April 21, 2024

Movies: Transformers 5 Trashed, Han Solo Solo Movie Directors Fired Over “Creative Differences”


Tough time in Tinseltown this morning:

Michael Bay, who I assume lives in several huge houses around the world, has directed another “Transformers” movie to startling reviews. The fifth edition opens today with a 16 on Rotten Tomatoes, and that may be generous. For Paramount it is hopeful the reviews won’t matter at least from now through Sunday. We’ll see how it does today.

As with Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Transformers’ is not a movie so much as it is a merchandise and marketing campaign. Will there be another one? Oh, yes. The dream lives on as long as there are little boys (and girls perhaps) heading to Toys R Us for a shiny metallic man who turns into a monster machine.

Meanwhile, the other monster machine, LucasFilms, actually fired the directors of “Han Solo” yesterday. Out the door are Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, directors of the “21 Jump Street” movies and “The LEGO Movie.” Kathleen Kennedy, high priestess of LucasFilm, says it’s “creative differences.” You know, the tempo and pace and attitude of “Han Solo” has to be just right. So Lord and Miller are gone, on to bigger things. Now we await selection of a replacement, either Ron Howard or Joe Johnston. The movie remains on schedule because nothing is certain in life except for birth, death, taxes and “Star Wars.”

Alden Ehrenreich stars as Han, and he is getting notes for an interesting book. So far he’s starred in the Coen Bros.’ flop “Hail Caesar,” about long ago Hollywood, Warren Beatty’s flop “Rules Don’t Apply” about long ago Hollywood, and now an imperiled film satire of long ago Hollywood (because you know, Han Solo is Flash Gordon, let’s face it) with changed directors. I hope he’s got a diary with a lock!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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