Michael Rooker explains “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” ending

Directed by James Gunn

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At San Diego Comic-Con International 2017, Michael Rooker (Yondu Udonta) explained to Cinema Blend how he interprets Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s ending:

Whenever there is a death, it’s not happy. I dunno if it could be happy. It’s not just melancholy, this is like big time grief going on. People who are the survivors of that are left [reeling]. The grief lasts forever, it never really goes away. You just learn to cope with it in life.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the 3rd film in Phase Three and has been playing in the United States since 5th May 2017.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Showrunner Robert Carlock fan questions

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Showrunner: Robert Carlock

Following its second season’s debut, Unbreakble Kimmy Schmidt Showrunner has taken fan questions from The New York Times:

The show was originally developed for NBC but you knew Season 2 would be on Netflix. Did you approach it differently as a result?

We knew Netflix wanted the episodes to be longer — they like the shows to be around 26 minutes, is what they told us, as opposed to 21:15 on network. That meant that while this is still Kimmy’s show, we didn’t always have to wait for our spots to start telling meatier stories with the other actors. We could be following Kimmy’s big journey into the world and her dealing with her demons, but also at the same time let Titus have a real relationship, for example. Last year you couldn’t have had an episode where both of those things were happening. We ended up telling fuller, richer stories for all of the characters, which was a goal going into the year.

How has binge-watching affected the way you conceptualize a show like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt?

It does allow us to think of the 13 episodes as a whole. It doesn’t mean we don’t do the broadcast thing of having story endings within episodes, just because we find that more satisfying. We realized we could play with time a bit more because people could catch up to a mystery. We flashback three months in the first episode and then spent eight episodes catching up to that first scene — I’m not sure we would’ve done that in broadcast. We weren’t super daring but we definitely did some small things, including calling back jokes between episodes. I think three times we had jokes about biscotti being inedible — traditionally all three of those jokes would have to be in one episode. But three episodes after the first biscotti joke, we found ourselves at an Italian family dinner and thought, let’s take another shot. Let’s take down Big Biscotti!

Is there more freedom to write a show for Netflix?

bviously content-wise, you could do almost anything. But we had written a show about a woman who was in many ways childlike and inexperienced, and it didn’t make a ton of sense to change what was working, or for that character to suddenly start swearing and having people take their pants off. I think in one of the fake American Songbook songs Titus sings, there is an s-word. I think that was the only time we said a word that you couldn’t say on broadcast. One of the things you run up against in broadcast are not standards issues, but sales issues. We tend to write a lot of jokes — and we did on 30 Rock as well — that reference brands and people in the real world, and that can be a conflict in the broadcast business model. It’s nice not to have to deal with that in streaming.

Which are your favourite characters to write for?

I always get a lot of joy out of giving lots of jokes to a guest star — the manager of the theater, or the doctor. I like the feeling of “Oh, these people aren’t just there to move the story along; they’re their own weirdos”. That’s partly what leads to these overstuffed, five-jokes-a-page things, but I never like the traditional way, when the person comes in, gives the information and raises an eyebrow at your character’s jokes. I like these incidental characters that you’ve never seen before to live in a consistent world with your other characters.

In Episode 3 this season [Kimmy Goes to a Play!], Titus does a geisha bit that becomes a source of protest and outrage. Was that explicitly a response to some of the criticism the show has received for things like the Native American sub[-]plot?

I don’t know if it was explicitly that. We like writing about those things. A lot of our writers are in the middle of that conversation, and Tina [Fey, Showrunner] and I for years have written about where we rub against each other — that sounded wrong. I mean where people have friction in their opinions, and that means writing about that stuff. We think a comedy show can be part of the conversation in a variety of ways. And our show did become part of that conversation — not always in the way that we wanted, but perhaps that was worth writing about. It’s in the air even beyond the show, the ideas about appropriation and identity. We find all that really interesting, and I know it’s often hard to look at a comedy show talking about that stuff and not think the conversation itself is being diminished. But that’s not our intention.

Thank you for this hilarious show! How do you make sure that diversity (in many forms) is represented in a way that is reflective and respectful of the unique melting pot that is New York City?

One of the many reasons we love living and working in New York is people are not in their bubble of car-office-home. You run into many kinds of people and, again, that’s where we think comedy comes from, when different kinds of people are butting heads. How conscious are we about it? Only in that we want this to look like New York and, in part, this is a show about people who are on the margins — the disenfranchised, the striving, the liminal. And that’s a diverse bunch of people. Now, when you’re at Jacqueline’s gala, it should be striking that the background does not look like New York. You should be aware of that, and that’s intentional.

How early in the development of the show did you bring in Ellie Kemper?

We built this premise around her. Physically she’s very funny, and she communicates strength and at the same time she’s got this great Midwestern open face. She plays these two paradoxical things on camera: strength and naïveté. So we played around with a variety of ways to exploit that. It called for [a character] who hasn’t experienced the typical path through our information-saturated age. We ended up in an extreme place, but that extreme place fed into many things that interest us in terms of the way women are treated, and the way the media treats these kinds of stories. There’s no show without Ellie’s ability to pull off that dichotomy of someone who is tempered steel on one hand, and kind of open and sometimes clueless about the world on the other.

Were there other scenarios you considered?

We talked about a woman coming out of a coma. We talked about prison at one point, but Orange Is the New Black has that. We talked about a nunnery. We ended up in a dark place, but we really like how that dark stuff kind of underlines a lot of things in the show.

Carlock answers more questions about television production and his career in the full interview here.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's third season will stream on Netflix.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season two Showrunner Robert Carlock on when it will finalise

“It’s a show that suggests, in our minds, some kind of lifetime. It’s not The Simpsons — it can’t go forever.I think what the core of the show is, is what it means for Kimmy to be OK. A big part of season two is her learning that she probably has to accept that she’ll never be that 14-year-old before she was kidnapped again, as much as she would like to convince herself that she could be. So what is her end point? I want her to have everything and for her to be happy. What would it take to get there? I don’t know how many years that is. Hopefully Netflix will let us figure that out.”

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was renewed for a third season before the second dropped, but how many seasons could Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt reach? Showrunner Robert Carlock, whose executive produced and written one-and-a-half episodes of season two, has told The Hollywood Reporter that the series finale is unforeseen:

It’s a show that suggests, in our minds, some kind of lifetime. It’s not The Simpsons — it can’t go forever.I think what the core of the show is, is what it means for Kimmy to be OK. A big part of season two is her learning that she probably has to accept that she’ll never be that 14-year-old before she was kidnapped again, as much as she would like to convince herself that she could be. So what is her end point? I want her to have everything and for her to be happy. What would it take to get there? I don’t know how many years that is. Hopefully Netflix will let us figure that out. There’s a sort of tiny, visual subplot throughout the season this year where you see those robot servants from the first season start to pop up in the background as if people are buying them. They now work at restaurants and they are nannies and stuff. My opinion is that by season eight, those robots are at war with mankind, the apocalypse is actually happening, the reverend was right, and Kimmy has to lead mankind against the robot armies.

Chris Terrio on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Speaking to Wall Street Journal, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice co-screenwriter Chris Terrio revealed his thought process in writing the DC Extended Universe story world, and how it establishes Justice League Part One:

Speaking to Wall Street JournalBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice co-screenwriter Chris Terrio revealed his thought process in writing the DC Extended Universe story world, and how it establishes Justice League Part One:

The first movie I ever saw was Superman II. I almost drowned in a pool at age four playing Aquaman. I went away from comics for most of my life. But I stayed on top of super-hero movies. The ones that intrigued me the most were the Nolan films. They were ways of asking interesting questions in a genre form. We stand on the shoulders of those films in a way. Nolan helped establish a space in which super-hero movies can be taken more seriously. We thought a lot about those films, to a point where I had to stop watching The Dark Knight because I found I was rewriting it. It’s impossible to know everything in the DC universe, but I threw myself into it and tried to learn as much as possible and I found such intelligence in so many of the comics. Obviously Frank Miller is a well-known and respected writer who influences this film very directly. Also writers like Grant Morrison, who asks difficult philosophical questions in an extremely smart way. I tried to take in as much as I could while also keeping a little bit of an outsider’s eye. It’s almost archetypal. In Batman’s origin, the primary thing I was thinking about is the fact he falls. It’s the primary metaphor for Western literature: There was a moment before and then everything fell. That brings up questions of Superman. I began to think Batman and Superman occupy different parts of the mythic imagination. In superhero stories, Batman is Pluto, god of the underworld, and Superman is Apollo, god of the sky. That began to be really interesting to me — that their conflict is not just due to manipulation, but their very existence. In the end, there’s a common humanity which I think is discovered at a certain moment in the film. After Man of Steel, I didn’t want to have this moment where you say, “Batman exists in this world, we forgot to tell you.” We’re saying, “No he’s been here the whole time.” With Diana Prince, I thought it would be better if we met her as a civilian first and involved her in the plot in a way that felt like a thriller. She’s a mysterious woman interested in the same things Bruce Wayne is. The fun of it is if you don’t immediately reveal her in superhero guise, you get to revel in the moment when she finally does reveal herself. If you bring in a character in a kinetic way, then you accept the reality more easily.  I initially thought I wasn’t the guy to do Justice League and went off to work on something else. But the first day I went to the set, I saw Jesse in a scene with Holly Hunter and I really did feel like I was watching some strange, great performance in an independent film. At that moment, I thought, “I’m not done with this yet. I want to go back and keep telling the story.” Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a bit of [a] Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back or The Lord of the Rings: The two Towers or any similar middle film in a trilogy. The middle film tends to be the darkest one. I do think from Man of Steel through Justice League it is one saga really. I expect Justice League will be tonally not quite as dark as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. From that point of view, I felt compelled to go back and try to lift us and myself into a different tonal place because I think when you write a darker film, sometimes you want to redeem it all a bit.  I have written Justice League Part One, but I won’t necessarily write Justice League Part Two. This has been the most rigorous intellectual exercise I’ve had in my writing life. For Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, I wanted to really dig into everything from ideas about American power to the structure of revenge tragedies to the huge canon of DC Comics to Amazon mythology. For Justice League Part One, I could be reading in the same day about red- and blueshifts in physics, Diodorus of Sicily and his account of the war between Amazons and Atlanteans, or deep-sea biology and what kind of life plausibly might be in the Mariana Trench. If you told me the most rigorous dramaturgical and intellectual product of my life would be superhero movies, I would say you were crazy. But I do think fans deserve that. I felt I owed the fan base all of my body and soul for two years because anything less wouldn’t have been appreciating the opportunity I had.

(Quote) Sherlock – The Abominable Bride writer Steven Moffat claims Holmes fits any period

Speaking to Sydney Morning Herald, Sherlock – The Abominable Bride writer Steven Moffat claims the Holmes character works regardless of time period:

Speaking to Sydney Morning HeraldSherlock – The Abominable Bride writer Steven Moffat claims the Holmes character works regardless of time period:

What we were doing all the time was saying Sherlock Holmes does work, even though he’s got an iPhone. Basically the question was, how can Sherlock Holmes work in the world where he has an iPhone? Then, within seconds of the show going out, I mean seconds, by the time we were promoting episode two people had so gotten used to the idea that it was updated that it’s never really been raised again. It just disappeared and it became its own thing. Hopefully that meant that [co-writer Mark Gatiss] and I were right when we said the period setting isn’t that important. Of course … what’s the first question we get? No kidding, it was how can Sherlock Holmes survive without his iPhone? There is some precedent for that. Back into its original setting reveals all the things that we changed … you suddenly think, hang on, the women in the Sherlock Holmes stories basically don’t talk. Mrs Hudson doesn’t speak. We’ve got a bunch of characters who according to Doyle tradition shouldn’t speak at all, which is not what we’ve done. He’s ruder in the modern day because he doesn’t have Victorian manners. He doesn’t have any of that gentlemanliness. Sherlock Holmes in the original stories is quite believably a God-fearing man and a royalist, things that you could not imagine being true of the 21st-century version. Put him back in that world, and as you’ll see from Benedict’s different performance, he is a sort of suaver, gentler, still terrifying but suaver and gentler man and he’s a Victorian person. Those things are very, very different. I think for everybody involved in it, it is one of those delightful surprises that happened. We didn’t see it coming at all. We thought we were making a good show. We did think it was good. We weren’t modest about it in that sense. But we thought it would be fine. It became a sort of magical, huge hit. There’s a genuine moment in everybody’s life when that happens. That’s something special, and we’re all sentimental enough to want to keep going on with that. And because it’s good, it’s a nice thing, isn’t it, to come back, and this one’s good. Sherlock Holmes is more than a story, it’s a myth. That’s eternal. I mean, he’s been living there since 1880, what is it? So it’s not going to change. We’re not building to an end point or a thing that ends it all. We know how it ends. If you don’t know how to end you can check his books. Beekeeping on the Sussex, that’s how it ends. That day never comes, as Robin Hood is still in Sherwood and Sherlock Holmes is still on Baker Street. So it’s not like Breaking Bad or any of these things because you have one big story. Also, legitimately they’re allowed to end it. We can’t. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson will always be there. Always.

(Quote) Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens’ Michael Arndt on early drafts

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens’ Michael Arndt mentioned the nature of early drafts:

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens‘ Michael Arndt mentioned the nature of early drafts:

Early on I tried to write versions of the story where [Rey] is at home, her home is destroyed, and then she goes on the road and meets Luke. And then she goes and kicks the bad guy’s ass. It just never worked and I struggled with this. This was back in 2012. It just felt like every time Luke came in and entered the movie, he just took it over. Suddenly you didn’t care about your main character anymore because, “Oh f–k, Luke Skywalker’s here. I want to see what he’s going to do.”