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Cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, who will be serving as Director of Photography of Indiana Jones 5, has given Screen Daily the following update on the project's status:

Fast forward to 2021 and Papamichael is gearing up for the shoot of James Mangold's Indiana Jones 5 project for Walt Disney and Paramount and will shortly travel to the UK to begin work at Pinewood. "It's a great challenge. It's definitely the biggest budget movie I've ever done, by a lot," he said.

It marks Papamichael's sixth collaboration with Mangold following Identity, Walk The Line, 3:10 to Yuma, Knight And Day and Ford v Ferrari.

"I go in with a certain confidence because it's my sixth movie with James Mangold but of course, it is always a bit daunting because it [Indiana Jones] has affected generations. It comes with a certain responsibility."

Papamichael said that while his recent collaborations with Mangold like Knight And Day and Ford v Ferrari had become increasingly technical their approach even with action films was to remain focused on the character's point of view.

"All this action is really only effective when you feel for the characters when you care whether they're going to make it or not. We really try to focus on their faces, their expressions, their POV."

Papamichael worked recently with Indiana Jones lead Harrison Ford, doing some additional photography for last year's Jack London adaptation, The Call of the Wild, in which the actor starred.

"I personally found him super-fun to be around, very inspirational, [with] the enthusiasm and humour he brings. I'm just looking forward to [Indiana Jones]," Papamichael said, comparing himself to a kid "about to go to Disneyland to explore rides he maybe knows from the past."

Steven Spielberg, who co-created and directed the first four Indiana Jones films, has given his full backing to the new film, added Papamichael, although he could not say how involved he will be. "But I know he's definitely having conversations with Mangold. He is very supportive. He is very excited for us to be doing this," he said.

The project is currently in pre-production and expected to shoot in the summer. Locations are being scouted and production designer Adam Stockhausen is coming up with plans. "We get going in Pinewood and then we go to various locations which I cannot reveal to you."

Papamichael has worked in the UK before, on action-adventure The Huntsman: Winter's War. "I was very impressed by the technical crews, especially the art department, scenic painters and construction. They were very, very impressive. The camera crews were extremely experienced," he said.

Mojo stopped getting invited to film sets after that unfortunate incident with the staple gun on Funeral Parade of Roses, but it will at any rate be fun to obsessively follow the production of an Indiana Jones movie one last time. Unless Craig Derrick is ready to revive The Lucasfilm Fan Club Magazine, we're all you got. Well, us and every other web site, but still!

It's official. Here's the tweet from Paramount:

And here's the full press release:

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (March 15, 2021) – Relive the unforgettable exploits of world-renowned, globetrotting hero Indiana Jones in spectacular 4K Ultra HD when the INDIANA JONES 4-MOVIE COLLECTION arrives in a new 4K Ultra HD set June 8, 2021 from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Paramount Home Entertainment.

The cinematic classic that started it all—Raiders of the Lost Ark—celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, having first introduced audiences to the man with the hat on June 12, 1981. Forty years later, the legendary hero continues to captivate new generations of fans.

Now, for the first time ever, all four films are available together in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision® and HDR-10 for ultra-vivid picture quality and state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos® audio*. Each film has been meticulously remastered from 4K scans of the original negatives with extensive visual effects work done to ensure the most pristine and highest quality image. All picture work was approved by director Steven Spielberg.

In addition, all four films were remixed at Skywalker Sound under the supervision of legendary sound designer Ben Burtt to create the Dolby Atmos® soundtracks. All original sound elements were used to achieve the fully immersive Dolby Atmos® mixes while staying true to each film’s original creative intent.

The INDIANA JONES 4-MOVIE COLLECTION includes a collectible booklet with behind-the-scenes images from all four films. Each film is presented on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc with original theatrical trailers and access to digital copies. The set also includes a Blu-ray™ with seven hours of previously released bonus content as detailed below:

- On Set with Raiders of the Lost Ark

  • From Jungle to Desert
  • From Adventure to Legend

- Making the Films

  • The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981 documentary)
  • The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • The Making of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  • The Making of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • The Making of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (HD)

- Behind the Scenes

  • The Stunts of Indiana Jones
  • The Sound of Indiana Jones
  • The Music of Indiana Jones
  • The Light and Magic of Indiana Jones
  • Raiders: The Melting Face!
  • Indiana Jones and the Creepy Crawlies (with optional pop-ups)
  • Travel with Indiana Jones: Locations (with optional pop-ups)
  • Indy’s Women: The American Film Institute Tribute
  • Indy’s Friends and Enemies
  • Iconic Props (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) (HD)
  • The Effects of Indy (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) (HD)
  • Adventures in Post Production (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) (HD)

It's hard to complain about an extras list that wide without looking like an ass, but I was rather hoping the rumors about deleted scenes were true. Also, let's pray the "extensive visual effects work" undergone in the enhancement process doesn't mean the worst case scenario of how that can be interpreted.

You’ve already borrowed against your mortgage to afford those terrific Sam & Max action figures from Boss Fight Studio, so what’s another overextension to afford the next batch? Behold this new tease for “Wave 2”:

It’s been a while since the design for Wave 2 was unveiled, so to refresh your memory its two offerings are supposed to consist of the Rubber Pants Commandos and “Scuba Max” fighting an octopus. This is shaping up to be quite a year for Sam & Max stuff!

We previously reported that the upcoming Willow series for Disney Plus had undergone a director swap, and it seems there’s been a cascading effect on its cast. Reports Deadline:

Ruby Cruz (Castle Rock) has landed the female co-lead opposite Ellie Bamber and Erin Kellyman in Willow, Disney+ and Lucasfilm’s upcoming TV series follow-up to the 1988 fantasy movie, with the film’s star Warwick Davis reprising his title role, I have learned. She replaced Cailee Spaeny, who had been originally tapped for the role, after an extensive recasting process. Lucasfilm declined comment.

Sure, my pop culture awareness was put out to pasture about twenty years ago and thus I have no idea who any of these actors are, but what am I suppose to do -- stop covering Willow? Fat chance.

Keep your eyes on Mojo as the series heads to production, where we hope to someday confirm that the character of Willow will play a meaningful role in Willow.

Comments: 3 / Source: Deadline

Legendary artist Drew Struzan is responsible for a large quantity of iconic movie posters, then abandoned us to the purgatory of studio-preferred Photoshop jobs when he retired from full-time commission work after the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull campaign in 2008. Nevertheless, Struzan has been known to do the occasional ad hoc illustration for friends, as he did for Frank Darabont with The Walking Dead and Mob City.

James Mangold, the director of the upcoming Indiana Jones 5, is obviously hoping his next film will be a similar exception, as he is actively courting Struzan on Twitter:

Here’s hoping Mangold can seal the deal (aka: convince Disney to cut the check), but if he strikes out, William Eaken ought to be the next phone call. Plan C: Chris Miles.

And to combat skeptics like Remi, they've decided to ante up with a glimpse of the game's intro screen.

There's still no firm release date, however, so there's still time for you to save up to buy me a platform to play this on. Thanks in advance.

It is tough to be a living legend. Ron's got that mysterious new game to make, but right now his hands are literally too busy signing four trillion certificates of authenticity (huge mistake), so the auteur has no choice but to consent to help. To this end, a few new job opportunities have appeared on the Terrible Toybox web site.

Do you have what it takes to drag limestone blocks across a desert's expanse in order to construct the great pyramid that is the next Gilbert/Winnick joint? Cast your name into the bowl, qualified game developer, and be judged.

So, we all know about the Monkey Island movie that ILM was puttering around with twenty years ago from its concept art and bizarre plot synopsis, all of which was eventually collected as bonus features in the Special Edition compilation LucasArts put out in 2011.

But what about the real behind-the-scenes dirt on this legendary project’s origin and demise? What about that rumor that Steven Spielberg threw a spanner into everything by suggesting that the main character be replaced by a monkey because he has lousy story instincts?

Wait, that was never a rumor. But it is nevertheless one of the several new tidbits unveiled by Polygon’s sordid tell-all about the Monkey Island movie, which offers hitherto unavailable insight into the abandoned project with the aid of its director, visual effects supervisor David Carson. Read all about the various permutations of the story - each pass of which took it further and further from its initial form as a loose adaption of the first game - and feel elTee's shame when the stubborn rumor that the screenwriters of Pirates of the Caribbean had any meaningful involvement is forcefully refuted. Then there’s this:

Beyond the problems of adaptation, there were also more troubling concerns. This included a second meeting with Spielberg. Jim Morris, Patty Blau, Rosen, and Tom Bertino (who was going to act as animation supervisor) were all present at this meeting.

“The first meeting was just this little table, but now Steven wanted to make the project the table … [imagine] this cartoonishly long conference room where Steven is sitting at one end, Tom Bertino is sitting at the other,” Rosen recalls. “The funny thing about Hollywood meetings and creative projects when you come up with ideas is, you’re like, ‘Oh, I have this great idea,’ and then the committee assembles. All of a sudden, this story that everyone was shaking hands on becomes, ‘What if we change the main character to a monkey?’”

“We gathered in Steven’s office, and the first thing he said was that we shouldn’t have the main characters be human,” Carson says. “Instead, he suggested we should make the movie be about the monkeys on Monkey Island. Everyone just nodded, but my heart stopped. What the heck? We had worked for several weeks on a story that was based on the charm and humor of the games, and Steven wanted to throw all that out and make some new story about monkeys? I was completely confused.

Share in the confusion and add to your knowledge by reading the full article.

Comments: 9 / Source: Polygon

Telltale continues its post-death shuffle with Tales of the Borderlands, which will release for the Nintendo Switch on March 24, 2021. I've not played the game, but other people on Mojo think highly of it.


Thanks to Scummbuddy for the heads-up!

Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands is back in action in next week for Xbox, PlayStation, and PC, after being piled in rubble when the company collapsed in September 2018.

The game is set between Borderlands 2 and Borderlands 3, but is purportedly accessible to anyone who's not played them. Gameplay-wise, it follows the template set by The Walking Dead.

My entire knowledge of the series comes from The Campo Santo Quarterly Concern, which published an oral history of the game. Did you know that the series sold so poorly that Telltale almost binned it halfway through? It only survived because its developers fought studio heads for it; a skeleton crew volunteered to stay after-hours to see the game to the finish line. Makes you wonder who stuck that "popular" in Polygon's subheading.

Comments: 9 / Source: Polygon

Some good news for those who missed out on Telltale's Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventures: they're back! On Steam and GOG. On the latter of which they're 60% off at the moment, setting you back $5.99. Get going if you want 'em, lads; Mojo enjoyed the games back in the day, even if we never reviewed the fourth episode. They hold up nicely.

The real question: when did they return? The answer: who knows? How did no-one tell us about this? In what world is Mojo ahead of the news cycle? What do we pay you people for?

Comments: 9 / Source: GOG

The folks over at VR blog The Ghost Howl snagged HappyGiant CEO Mike Levine for a lengthy interview about Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual. The interview can be enjoyed in the form of a one hour video version embedded below in which subject and host are depicted as Costume Quest characters, while those of you left alarmed by this approach can stick with the transcript version.

That’s not all. Some new footage has been released, in which Sam and Max welcome you to “Cap’n Aquabear’s Funtime Park” -- the depilated amusement park which the Freelance Police have retrofitted into a training academy. Check it out below:

Says The Hollywood Reporter:

Willow, the Disney+ fantasy series based on the 1988 movie, has found a new director for its pilot.

Jonathan Entwistle, known for the well-regarded series The End of the F***ing World and I Am Not Okay With This, has been tapped to direct the pilot for the show that is set after the events of the film.

Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) was due to direct the pilot and executive produce but announced Jan. 11 that he was stepping away due to scheduling concerns and an upcoming baby due in the summer.

Entwistle is also exec producing and now joins executive producers and co-showrunners Jonathan Kasdan (Solo: A Star Wars Story) and Wendy Mericle (Arrow). Kasdan wrote the pilot.

“With its epic world of swords, sorcery and adventure, Willow captivated and influenced so many,” said Entwistle in a statement. “I’m excited to be going on this journey and working with Jon and Wendy to create something that is both deeply rooted in that original film and also a fresh, funny and charming addition to the beloved story. To be able to play within the world so painstakingly crafted by Ron back in '88 is a dream come true for me."

The series returns Warwick Davis to the title role of Willow Ufgood, the heroic apprentice Nelwyn sorcerer of the original film. Ellie Bamber and Cailee Spaeny are among the new additions.

The production begins shooting this spring in Wales.

So all of you can stop freaking out now.

An animator who pitched in on HappyGiant's upcoming Sam & Max game shared the following:

My opinion is that all attempts to date to model Max in 3D (the Freelance Police version, the Telltale version, and the one above) have done a commendable job of faithfully capturing the fuzzy maniac, and it's fun to compare the nuances. The in-engine footage of This Time It's Virtual shared so far has subjected the characters to a certain "compressed for Nintendo DS" look to my eyes, so hopefully the shipped version can have Max looking a little more like he does in the animation tool.

Mixnmojo: We pretty much just embed Tweets now.

Right here. There isn’t a whole lot more to be said, other than that their friends apparently have changed over the last fifteen years.

Image

We had a good run!

Sometimes these are easy to write.

Comments: 4 / Source: Twitter

Not surprisingly, EA has been kicked to the curb – thankfully, after the yawn fest that was Fallen Order – and Ubisoft/Massive has taken the mantle. A teaser for a new “story-driven, open-world Star Wars adventure” has been announced:

There’s a short interview which says very little, so we’ll see what happens next. Personally I’d be into a good Star Wars game that aspires to be more than painfully average.

The newly re-christened LucasFilm Games – round and around we go – is hitting the ground running. Working with Bethesda and Machine Games, a new Indiana Jones game is on its way:

No word what platforms the game will be available for, but if memory serves me right, Bethesda is now a Microsoft joint, so take from that what you want.

It was reported last year that the first four Indiana Jones movies would debut on 4K Blu-ray this year, tying in with the fortieth anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark. New rumors have narrowed that down to a June 14th release date. And here's some bad box art that may or may not be legit:

The details I am eager for are with regard to the extra features, as it had previously been suggested that Paramount was given access to the Lucasfilm archives to create new supplements, which may possibly, finally, include deleted scenes.

Comments: 4 / Source: Twitter

The Willow series for Disney Plus was meant to start shooting in March, but it seems the latest lockdown in the UK has forced a move of the production schedule. This has created an availability issue for director Jon M. Chu, originally attached to helm the pilot episode, and he has announced his departure from the project:

Ron?

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