Making Contact; Shatner Doc; James Gunn Gets Animated

Making Contact, the thoughtful Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey sci-fi epic; William Shatner agrees to participate in his life story; James Gunn is now a character in the Harley Quinn cartoon. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.

But First: Are you an environmentalist? BIPOC filmmaker? Student? Zombie lover? All of the above? No matter who you are, our new list of 15 Film Festivals You Can Enter for Free will have a festival for you. Check it out later today here at

Talk to Us: We’re meeting today about our big fall issue, which typically includes some major award-season films, lots of how-tos, and our complete guide to making movies. Anything you really want to read about? Any questions you really want answered? Let us know in the comments or email me at [email protected].

Rust Results: The Hollywood Reporter dug into what changes have come as a result of the Rust shooting in October, and the answer is not many. Except: More productions are using Airsoft guns, which are gun replicas that “don’t use gunpowder and shoot projectiles with vastly lower muzzle energy — in lieu of firearms retrofitted for blanks,” THR wrote. Filmmakers then add smoke and muzzle flashes in post, just as they often do when real guns are used.

Making Contact: Here’s a surprise-filled Vulture oral history of the 1997 sci-fi film starring Jodie Foster as an astronaut and Matthew McConaughey as a likable Christian leader. Did you know that married Contact co-writers Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan met at a party thrown by Nora Ephron? I sure didn’t.

Also In the Stars: Star Trek icon William Shatner has decided, at 91, that’s time to endorse a documentary about his life. He will introduce footage of said documentary at San Diego Comic-Con in an event moderated by Kevin Smith. Alexandre O. Philippe will direct the documentary, coming from Legion M and Exhibit A Pictures. “For years I’ve had people approaching me to do a documentary about my life, but I turned them all down because it didn’t feel like the right fit,” Shatner said in a statement. “When I heard how Legion M wanted to incorporate audiences to be a part of it, it was perfect. Fans have been responsible for my career — it only seems right that they should own this doc.”

To Learn More About Legion M: One of the most innovative entertainment companies in the known universe, read this interview I did with co-founders Paul Scanlan and Jeff Annison a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far — wait I’m sorry that’s a different movie.

Hey MovieMaker, How Was Your Chat Last Night With the Coast Team? Great, thanks! You can watch here.

James Gunn on Harley Quinn: The latest season of the very funny, very meta  animated series Harley Quinn will feature The Suicide Squad director James Gunn, whom we interviewed here. The Suicide Squad, of course, stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Gunn took over the franchise after the first Suicide Squad film, confusingly also called Suicide Squad, but without the “The.” This is all very weird and I like it.

Matthew McConaughey and Jodie Foster in Contact.