David Chase on what it would take to get him to make another Sopranos prequel after The Many Saints of Newark; we’d love to share good trailers of the films you’re working on, and behind-the-scenes photos, too; a pair of bonkers Rick James stories. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.
But First: Here are interviews with some of the filmmakers featured in a recent celebration of Indigenous cinema hosted by our friends at New Filmmakers Los Angeles.
Meet Michael… and Robert: Director Michael Haussman wrote this very amusing piece for us about shooting his film Edge of the World in a jungle in Borneo that included crocodile-filled waters. Edge of the World stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers as James Brooke, the 1840s figure who inspired The Man Who Would be King, Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim. Michael adopted second on-set name, Robert, for reason we’ll let him explain.
Rick James: Has anyone watched Showtime’s Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James? I went very deep on two of the stories it includes: The time Rick James was in a band with Neil Young, and the time Rick James narrowly avoided being at 10500 Cielo Drive on the night of Aug. 9, 1969.
David Chase: Deadline has a terrific, long interview with Chase, creator of The Sopranos and co-writer of the excellent new prequel, The Many Saints of Newark. I would recommend not reading it unless you’re okay with some Many Saints of Newark spoilers. Chase also says he would consider making another prequel film if he could write it with Terence Winter, a veteran of The Sopranos, the creator of Boardwalk Empire, and the writer of The Wolf of Wall Street.
Also: Add David Chase to the list of filmmakers (including Dune director Denis Villeneuve) who are very unhappy about their films being released simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. Chase says he’s “extremely angry” about the situation and might never have made The Many Saints of Newark if he knew that would happen.
Many Saints of Newark Release Date: The film, directed by Alan Taylor, will be out on Oct. 1. As a big Sopranos fan, I love it. I’m sure David Chase would appreciate it if you’d see it in a theater, if you feel safe doing so.
Not Pandering: I finally watched The White Lotus and read this Vulture interview with the show’s creator, the wonderful Mike White. He responds to questions about why the show didn’t dish out retribution on some of its awful, entitled characters, and says something about pandering that I really appreciate: “I feel like I could create characters that fit some people’s political and cultural agenda and probably my own. That would be pandering. The point of art is to reflect something that feels true and conflicted.”
Good Trailer: Did you know you can DM things you’re working on, and, whenever possible, we’ll share them? Such is the case with Robbie Banfitch, who directed the very scary, very well-done trailer for his film The Outwaters. Have a look and let’s meet back below.
About Robbie Banfitch: “I’m Robbie Banfitch, the writer/director/editor and a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan,” he writes. “I’ve spent the past nine years of my life working for the environmental organization Greenpeace and the past five years of my life making three feature-length films. The first of those (The Outwaters) is ready to leave the nest. It’s a naturalistic, slow-burn story about a group of travelers who encounter menacing phenomena while camping in a remote stretch of the Mojave Desert. … the goal is to scare, and do so artfully.” The film is currently submitting to festivals. (Hey Robbie, this list may help!) You can learn more about Robbie Banfitch and The Outwaters on this Film Freeway page.
Send Us Your Good Trailers: You can always send us your good trailers, and a little about yourself and your film, to [email protected] You can also DM us @moviemakermag. We also love behind-the-scenes photos, and are happy to share them on Instagram. We obviously can’t share everything, but we’ll do our absolute best to highlight standout work.
Comment of the Day Revisited: Recent comment of the day-er Todd Schoenberger noted his annoyance with the trailer trope of “high-pitched ringing to signify disorientation.” I just want to note that The Outwaters avoids this trope, while effectively using a lot of sounds very effectively, including: wind beating on… something (right at the beginning), a hard-to-place hiss or gasp (0:07), errant… guitar? (:14) and whatever that scary thing is going on at the 18-second mark. The subtlety of all these sounds immediately pulled me in and signaled that the people behind this trailer know what they’re doing. This level of care inspires confidence that they aren’t going to waste our valuable viewing time.
Main image: Michael Gandolfini and Alessandro Nivola in the Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark.