TIME

Galaxy Quest TV Series Landing on Planet Amazon

Tim Allen, Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver
Jerry Watson—Camera Press In 1999's meta comedy Galaxy Quest, Weaver played actress Gwen DeMarco, who in turn played the not-so-bright Lt. Tawny Madison.

They never gave up, they never surrendered

A cult-classic film has found a new home thanks to Amazon Studios.

Galaxy Quest is being developed into a TV series, and Entertainment Weekly reports Amazon will bring the 1999 sci-fi film to the small screen through its streaming service.

The Galaxy Quest movie tells the story of the cast of a quasi-Start Trek television series finding themselves piloting a real spaceship and negotiating a conflict between alien species. The film spoofs various sci-fi tropes, as the race of aliens who abducts the fictional Galaxy Quest crew does not realize they are apart of a fictional series, believing their televised adventures to be historical document documents.

As the show is in the early stages of development, it is not clear yet whether the Galaxy Quest TV show will feature the original crew of the NSEA Protector. The movie’s cast included Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Sam Rockwell, and a young Justin Long.

Behind the scenes is a different matter, with a mini-reunion of the production team. Co-writer Robert Gordon will write and executive produce the pilot, while the film’s director, Dean Parisot, will direct and executive produce. Executive producers Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein are on board as well.

[EW]

 

TIME movies

8 Reasons Women Ruled the Summer Box Office

Seven of this year's top 10 films star women

The success of last summer’s female-centric movies came as a surprise. Box office analysts were confused when Scarlett Johansson’s sci-fi thriller Lucy outsold Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson’s Hercules. They were downright dumbfounded when Shailene Woodley’s tearjerker The Fault in Our Stars edged out the Tom Cruise action film Edge of Tomorrow at the box office.

Perhaps it was the success of those films that led hopeful critics and audiences to have such great expectations for this summer’s leading ladies. There weren’t many surprises—unless you count the fact that Charlize Theron’s Furiosa, not Tom Hardy’s Max, was the star of Mad Max: Fury Road. This was to be the summer of women, what with Pitch Perfect getting a sequel and TV feminist sensation Amy Schumer making her big screen debut.

And it was. These films held their own among the macho men of Avengers and Jurassic Park. In fact, seven of this year’s top 10 films so far star women. Here’s what we ought to take away from an aca-awesome summer for women at the box office.

MORE: In Praise of This Summer’s ‘Complicated Women’

CINDERELLA
Jonathan Olley—Disney

Movies don’t need men

Young, white men are the most coveted demographic in the industry — hence the endless parade of pasty male superheroes. But a FiveThirtyEight study of the biggest blockbusters since 1970 found that films that passed the Bechdel Test—a simple yet somehow elusive bar that measures whether two women in a movie talk to one another about something other than a man—make more money than those that don’t.

That theory was borne out at this year’s box office. Of this year’s top 10 grossing domestic films, seven of them — Furious 7 (#3), Inside Out (#4), Minions (#5), Cinderella (#6), Pitch Perfect 2 (#7), Home (#8) and Fifty Shades of Grey (#9) — all had women in starring roles.

Fast & Furious
Universal

The most successful studio this year is catering to women and people of color

Diversifying your films on the whole is now a proven strategy for success. Universal Pictures, despite not owning the rights to any superheroes, is handily beating its competitors at the box office this year, thanks to its blatant disregard of the white teenage boy. The studio has five of the 10 highest-grossing movies of the year. Save Jurassic World, the rest of those movies “took risks” on non-male, non-white stories.

Straight Outta Compton and Furious 7 both feature diverse casts. Pitch Perfect 2 and Fifty Shades of Grey were each directed by a woman and told women’s stories (empowering or not). And Minions — which has grossed over $1 billion worldwide — had the biggest opening weekend of any of the Despicable Me films with Sandra Bullock — not Steve Carrell — as its featured villain.

disney, pixar, inside out, amy poehler, mindy kaling, lewis black, movies
Pixar/Disney

It’s okay to ditch the crown

Following the Frozen fervor, Disney doubled down on its peppy princess strategy, green-lighting a Frozen sequel and a new film called Moana. But in June, Inside Out set a record for the highest-grossing weekend of any original film — a movie not based on a book, comic book or previous movie. More importantly, the movie’s main character has nothing to do with royalty. Families, it seems, are willing to shell out big bucks to learn about what’s going on inside the mind of an ordinary, hockey-loving girl who hates broccoli on her pizza.

MORE: Why It Matters That Inside Out’s Protagonist Is a Girl — Not a Princess

Jurassic World
Universal

You can’t get away with lazy sexism anymore

When the Jurassic World trailer premiered back in April, Avengers director, Buffy creator and self-proclaimed feminist Joss Whedon tweeted, “I’m too busy wishing this clip wasn’t 70’s era sexist. She’s a stiff, he’s a life-force—really? Still?”

Once the movie hit theaters in June, critics largely agreed with Whedon. The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis wrote Bryce Dallas Howard’s character “mostly just schemes and screams, before Owen melts her like an ice cube on a hot griddle.” Plenty of fans piled on on social media, complaining that the female star was forced to run around in heels the whole movie.

Ironically, Whedon himself came under fire later that spring for writing in a sexist plot line for Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow in which being barren is equated with being a “monster.”

Of course, take this Twitter outrage with a grain of salt. Despite these atrocious, sexist plot points, Jurassic Park and Avengers: Age of Ultron were the two highest-grossing films of the summer. Still, even if misogyny won’t affect a movie’s bottom line (yet), it won’t help the filmmakers’ standing in the cultural conversation. I doubt, for example, Whedon will be making that same mistake again.

And writers who do take women into consideration are rewarded for doing so. The spy played by Rebecca Ferguson in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation removed her heels every time she had to fight, run or ride a motorcycle. It was a small touch, but one that was greatly appreciated by female moviegoers and lovers of realism alike.

cara-delevingne-nat-wolff-paper-towns
Michael Tackett— 20th Century Fox

Movies about women still have to be good to sell

Yes, Hot Pursuit and Paper Towns fell on their faces. It turns out that — just like with all other movies — the script, the director and the casting matters. Hot Pursuit tried to capture the same movie magic Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock had conjured with The Heat, but the unconvincing premise and lame jokes fell flat. The disappointing Paper Towns box office proved that not all young adult novels (even ones by John Green) are created equal — nor are leading ladies.

Universal Pictures

Feminism and blockbusters totally mix

Amy Schumer, who made her name writing sketches that smartly skewer sexism, is well on her way to becoming a bona fide movie star. Lame boyfriends were shunted to the side in Pitch Perfect 2 in favor of girl power. The writer of the famed Vagina Monologues was asked to consult on big budget action film Mad Max: Fury Road. Feminism had made its way into mainstream culture, and it’s making for better, more complex female characters.

trainwreck-amy-schumer-bill-hader
Universal Pictures

The women blazing the trail in Hollywood are under a lot of pressure

That being said, women characters in blockbusters are far from the Platonic feminist ideal — a fact that critics are pleased to inform the few female writers and directors who bring them to the screen. Amy Schumer came under the microscope this summer: was Trainwreck empowering enough? Does the entire premise of a rom-com undermine feminist ideals?

Of the top 250 grossing films in 2014, only 11% of writers were women and just 7% of directors were female. The few women who are afforded the opportunity to helm big budget films are under scrutiny for whether they are doing their job well and whether they’re advancing their gender in doing so.

FURY ROAD
Jasin Boland—Warner Bros.

Studios need to make more female action movies already

Director George Miller can now be declared the master of “sneaky feminism.” His film, which was (smartly) sold as a testosterone-filled, post-apocalyptic road rage extravaganza, was actually a feminist manifesto about a group of women escaping sex slavery, tearing down a patriarchal society and finding safety in a community of Amazons. Charlize Theron did more shooting, driving and talking in that movie than Tom Hardy (as evidenced by the honest trailer that mocks “Tom Hardly There”)—thanks, in part, to Ensler’s consultations.

Melissa McCarthy also did her part to convince audiences that women belong in shoot-outs as much as men do. Her latest movie with director Paul Feig, Spy, placed her in the role typically reserved for the James Bonds and Ethan Hunts of the world. To the surprise of anyone who watched the trailer, McCarthy wasn’t a bumbling spy but actually a kick-ass heroine who still managed to get laughs.

Neither of these films reached Mission Impossible level box office success, but their sequels just might. And not that studios care more about reviews than the bottom line, but Mad Max was heralded by most critics as the best film of the summer. If Charlize Theron can’t convince studio execs that women can rule the summer, nobody will.

MORE: Eve Ensler on How Mad Max: Fury Road Became a ‘Feminist Action Film’

TIME movies

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Craig Zobel on Z for Zachariah‘s Surprising Ending

Roadside Attractions Margot Robbie and Chiwetel Ejiofor in Z for Zachariah

The actor and director on working with a small cast, religion and what they'd do in a post-apocalyptic scenario

This article contains spoilers. Click here to reveal them.

What would you do if you thought you were the last person on Earth, and then someone else came along? That’s the question faced by the characters in the new Craig Zobel-directed movie Z for Zachariah, in which Margot Robbie plays Ann Burden, a young woman who’s been protected from nuclear fallout by the self-contained weather system of the valley where she lives alone—until John Loomis (Chiwetel Ejiofor) shows up. And unlike Ann, a devout Christian, Loomis is an atheist and a scientist—he’s been protected from radiation by a high-tech suit—and views their situation in practical terms. Just when it seems they may be ready to take on the work of repopulating the planet, scruffy coal miner Caleb (Chris Pine) shows up, proving that three’s a crowd.

The film is an adaptation of the 1974 novel by the same title, though the character of Caleb was invented for this version; the addition complicates every aspect of their existence, from religion (Caleb, too, is a Christian) to sexual tension (Ann now has a choice of mate), making their valley a microcosm of human relations.

TIME caught up with Zobel and Ejiofor ahead of the film’s release on Friday to talk about small casts, the sci-fi genre and the film’s surprising ending.

TIME: What drew each of you to this project?

Zobel: I was drawn to the idea that it was a way to talk about relationships. It has a moment of people who are being individuals, and being alone and living with that, and then having to be with another person—even in a platonic way, just having to share a house with another person changes your life slightly, you know?—but then of course any romantic feelings… changes things. Adding a third person, it becomes a community.

Ejiofor: I thought it was fascinating for much the same reasons. I’d also been a huge fan of Craig’s film Compliance, which was a really fascinating film. Even though it’s very contained [because it’s] set in a fast-food joint, it had an epic scope and a dynamic quality to it—the discovery of characters and the nuances of language and personality. And to get into the interpersonal relationships of a two-hander and then into a three-hander, being able to ratchet up the dramatic tension just on the basis of personality—I thought, as an acting exercise, it was pretty exciting.

Had either of you done any post-apocalyptic reading in preparation, besides the book this is based on?

Zobel: In my life I have. I’m a big fan of The Last Babylon, which is kind of in the same vibe of being a realistic post-nuclear situation.

Ejiofor: I hadn’t really looked at it in terms of novels, really, but the [cinematic] sci-fi reference points are always quite strong. You [Craig] were talking about that movie The Quiet Earth. I was thinking about it in terms of the films that I’ve seen that have a minimal amount of characters. The ones that spring to mind are Dead Calm. Then there’s that movie Sleuth with Michael Caine and Lawrence Olivier.

How was working with such a small cast different from other movies you’ve worked on?

Zobel: The more I think about it, it’s still the same work. The plus is you get to know each other enough where the communication is a little faster.

Ejiofor: It’s interesting. I don’t know 100% if that’s right. There is a point that we got to where we were actually communicating at a very high rate. I remember, there was a conversation we had outside the trailers, and it was the four of us standing up, talking in a kind of a huddle. By that point we had such a rapid shorthand that there was this quickfire session that actually went on for quite a while, all of us pinging the ideas we were thinking about that scene. It’s very hard to imagine that occurring, actors and director, without ego—to be able to build that level of conversation, of trust, engagement, is quite rare. It required all that time and isolation.

Zobel: That’s true. And I’m not sure that that scene was, frankly, written as good as it could have been, and I like it in the film—it’s one of the dinner table scenes. I think it’s a strong scene in the movie, but I don’t know that it would have survived the edit if we hadn’t done that.

How did the religious aspects of the film come together?

Zobel: It’s baked into the story from the novel on. I didn’t want to make it about that first and foremost, but it’s a tribe we all do or don’t join. The interesting thing is [Ann] truly believes, and I don’t necessarily have that strong a faith, but there is a part of me that when I see people who really, truly believe, it’s fascinating to me. That does help them, and it’s something that I don’t have. If I were in her place, I would probably not feel the same way. More than anything, [it’s] essentially a level of politics that they can play.

Chiwetel, your character is more science than church. Personally if you were in this world, would you be more on the science side or the church side?

Ejiofor: I think it would be a transition from atheist to agnostic. Loomis is definitely an atheist, and cannot and will not shake that—even in the face of his minoritization when Caleb turns up and they’re starting to bond over their religion, at which point he’s completely outmaneuvered. Loomis’ close-mindedness to all that ends up not being very helpful to him than a more broadly agnostic approach might have. That’s probably where I would have ended up.

 

Obviously you didn’t pick the title, but who or what do you think is Zachariah?

Zobel: In the book, the idea is that it’s kind of like a reference on “A is for Adam” would be the first man—this certainly has an Adam and Eve thing going on—and Z is for Zachariah, he’s the last man.

Ejiofor: What is the character Zachariah? I can’t remember now.

Zobel: In the Bible? Gosh, now I can’t remember either. It doesn’t correlate quite correctly.

So, I have to ask: Did John drop Caleb?

Zobel: I think you know.

I think he does…

Zobel: Yeah. I feel like it’s heavily hinted at.

Definitely, but I did leave wondering if maybe he did decide, It’s too crazy, I’m just gonna hit the road.

Ejiofor: That’s not a terrible thing to think. I think it’s slated one way, heavier in one direction than the other.

Zobel: Sure. Because you don’t get that moment, you’re allowed to have hope.

Do you think Ann knows?

Ejiofor: She’s gotta be deeply suspicious either way. The real thing is what they can rebuild—and if they can. Or is there a point where she does drive him off the land. Is that in their future? Or is there a future in which they actually figure it out?

Zobel: It certainly isn’t superfluous why Caleb isn’t there anymore, but certainly the fact that he’s gone and Loomis is by himself is enough of the problem for her. I think it’s a different story if you fast-forward two days after the movie ended to, like, six months after the movie ended—might totally be different stories.

TIME Books

George R.R. Martin Says This Character Is Still Alive in the Books

Helen Sloan—HBO Stephen Dillane as Stannis Baratheon in Game of Thrones

Spoilers for both A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones ahead

Long live King Stannis. According to George R.R. Martin, the supposedly slain Baratheon is still alive — at least in the books.

Taking a (hopefully short) break from writing The Winds of Winter, writer George R.R. Martin fielded fan questions on LiveJournal Wednesday. When one enthusiast asked the author to “cut the crap” and confirm whether Stannis was dead or alive, Martin wrote: “In my books? Alive beyond a doubt.”

Stannis is currently presumed dead in both the show Game of Thrones and the Song of Ice and Fire books upon which the HBO series is based. In the books, Ramsay Snow spread a rumor that Stannis met his demise. But in preview chapters for the upcoming Winds of Winter that Martin posted online way back in 2012, that rumor proved untrue. Stannis is very much alive.

What this means for the onscreen version of Stannis is unclear. The last time fans Game of Thrones saw him, he was about to be killed by Brienne of Tarth. Of course, audiences never actually saw Brienne finish the job.

That doesn’t mean showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss didn’t get rid of the would-be king. The series has diverged in many ways from the books, including killing off Stannis’ daughter, Shireen.

Still, the often-bloody drama rarely shies away from a gruesome death. Any time the camera turns away is cause for suspicion. Fans will eagerly comb the Internet for photos of Stannis actor Stephen Dillane on the Game of Thrones set, just as they search for clues of the survival of The Hound or revival of Jon Snow.

TIME movies

New Star Wars Footage Shows Another Lightsaber

It popped up on Instagram today

Star Wars’ official Instagram account on Thursday uploaded new footage from The Force Awakens, taking full advantage of the app’s new change that allows users to upload landscape- and portrait-mode photos and video.

There has been an awakening… #StarWars #TheForceAwakens

A video posted by Star Wars (@starwars) on

The new footage first shows another angle on a scene we’ve already seen in the trailers, wherein a bunch of First Order bad guys are gathered in a Nazi-esque rally.

But the second and third clips are very new: Rey, looking very concerned, with droid newcomer BB-8 in the background. And then there’s the really good stuff: One of the film’s villains, Rylo Ken, activates his controversial three-bladed lightsaber (we’ve seen that), then maybe-bad-guy-turned-good-guy Finn flips on his blue lightsaber (looks like Luke’s!), presumably in defense (that’s new!).

Expect lots more of these little snippets to pop up here and there before the film’s Dec. 18 release.

TIME Television

MythBusters Puts Breaking Bad Final Scene to the Test

Could Walter White really rig a machine gun up like that?

Leave it to the team at MythBusters to put Breaking Bad protagonist Walter White’s last act of desperation under the microscope.

The Discovery Channel show recreated the machine gun booby trap that Walter White hides in the trunk of his car to take out a house of white supremacists in the series finale. Using supplies that could be found in any small town — and with help from series creator Vince Gilligan — hosts Adam and Jamie proved that the Breaking Bad ending is entirely possible.

The gun trick was Breaking Bad’s third “myth” to be busted. The hosts earlier proved that acid eating through a dead body and disintegrating parts of a bathtub and ceiling don’t work out as well in real life.

TIME Music

UK Officials Explain Why They Denied a Visa to Tyler the Creator

tyler the creator
Daniel Boczarski—Redferns/Getty Images Tyler the Creator performs on stage during Lollapalooza at Grant Park on Aug. 1, 2015 in Chicago.

Rapper's presence "is not conducive to the public good"

The British government has elaborated on its decision to ban rapper Tyler the Creator from entering the country.

“Coming to the UK is a privilege, and we expect those who come here to respect our shared values,” said a spokesperson for the U.K. Home Office, Pitchfork reports. “The Home Secretary has the power to exclude an individual if she considers that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good or if their exclusion is justified on public policy grounds.”

Born Tyler Gregory Okonma, the L.A. based rapper has been the subject of controversy since early in his career. Okonma and his friends and labelmates from the Odd Future collective are known for a sometimes obscene sense of humor. He was forced to cancel a four-date Australian tour due to pressure from a feminist group there, claiming that his music promotes violence towards women. The UK Home Office took issue with the rapper’s older lyrics, particularly from 2009 album Bastard, released when Okonma was 18 years old.

Okonma took to Twitter earlier this week to voice his frustrations, as he was forced to cancel a run of tour dates in England and Ireland, including an appearance at Reading and Leeds Festival.

[Pitchfork]

 

TIME Books

This Famous Book Is Turning 60 Today

PHILIPPINES-ZUMBA-GUINNESS
NOEL CELIS—AFP/Getty Images Filipino residents broke the record for the largest Zumba class with 12,975 participants in a single venue in Mandaluyong on July 19, 2015.

It's celebrating 60 years of superlatives

Here’s one for the record books: the Guinness Book of World Records celebrates 60 years of documenting the strangest, most impressive, and generally superlative accomplishments on Thursday.

The record book’s first edition was published in 1955. The managing director of Guinness Brewery, Sir Hugh Beaver, thought the book could distributed for free across bars, where a definitive compilation of world records would settle plenty of bar fights in the pre-Google era. It turned out to be a hit: 50,000 copies of the first edition were reprinted and sold, resulting in three more editions in the following year.

The Guinness Book of World Records has never been snobby about what it records: from the most expensive bottle of wine (a 1947 French Cheval-Blanc sold for $304,375 in 2010) to the fastest time to drink a liter of lemon juice through a straw (24.41 seconds). There’s also the man who holds a record for holding the most apples in his mouth and cutting them with a chainsaw in one minute (8 apples).

“We celebrate them all equally,” Craig Glenday told CBS News. “Whether you’re Usain Bolt, who can run a 100 meters in 9.58, or you’re the guy from Germany who can run it in clogs in 16 seconds, or on all fours, or backwards. It’s that rich variety, and we treat them all the same.”

TIME Music

This New Song From Frankie Is Pure Pop ‘Gold’: Premiere

The 23-year-old's song "Problems Problems" was already an Internet hit

It’s fitting that Frankie’s impending EP, Dreamstate, kicks off with a song called “New Obsession,” because she might just become yours too. The 23-year-old Bay Area native and Los Angeles transplant already scored a major label deal on the strength of the buzzy, blog-approved “Problems Problems,” whose mix of modern synth-pop and girl group vocal stylings made the track feel both retro yet somehow of the moment.

Perhaps that’s to be expected from a singer who grew up listening to a mix of ’70s rock and ’90s bubblegum pop and holds artists like Stevie Nicks and the Spice Girls in equal regard. Another song called “Gold,” which premieres on TIME today, sounds nothing like either of those artists, but it has its own seeming contradictions: the track has humble origins in rising producer Petros’ bedroom studio, but “Gold” sounds like it should be all over the radio with its big, in-your-face hook.

“‘Gold’ is all about me trying to figure out what success means to me verses other people, and it definitely speaks to some of my worries about getting into the entertainment industry,” Frankie tells TIME. “It’s been my experience that sometimes money and power tend to leave a bitter taste in peoples’ mouths. Meanwhile I’m out here trying to search for the pureness in this crazy world—which is the gold in everything.”

Hear “Gold,” below, and catch the rest of Dreamstate when it drops Friday:

TIME Television

Finally, Here’s Your Chance to Live in the Mansion From The O.C.

The-OC-House
Pacific Palisades Brokerage

Ready to be an honorary Newpsie?

It’s been eight years since The O.C. ended, and our long national nightmare of facing a world without Sandy Cohen’s deeply expressive eyebrows began. But there’s hope for us yet, at least those of us who have several million dollars to blow on real estate: The house that served as the exterior for the Cohen’s grand Newport Beach mansion is for sale. All you’ll need to pick it up for yourself is about $6.25 million and a strong sense of early aughts nostalgia.

A few caveats, though: The house isn’t actually located in Newport Beach, but in Malibu. There’s no pool house on the property, which means there’s no brooding juvenile delinquent with a penchant for wife-beaters and punching things on the property, either. Most tragically, there’s no Seth Cohen hanging around the manse, ready to engage in wry, pop-culture laden banter at all hours of the day. According to Trulia, the house does offer “intense privacy for residents who want to avoid the prying eyes of the paparazzi…or evil surfer dudes named Volchuk,” as well as six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and a chef’s kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances—though Kirsten never cooked, so why would you, similarly rich and gorgeous person?

The four-acre estate also boasts a sunroom, a library, a home office, the ghost of Caleb Nichol (dude had some unfinished business) and the ability to have something interesting to share about yourself at every party for the rest of your natural life.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com