Robert Rodriguez won’t make Boba Fett look like a buffoon; Spider-Man overcomes Omicron fears overseas; James Cameron tells Denis Villeneuve that movies aren’t islands; that time Harvey Weinstein tried to use Quentin Tarantino as leverage on the Lord of the Rings films. Plus: Can you guess how many minutes Boba Fett appeared for in the original Star Wars movies? All in today’s Movie News Rundown.
Spider-Man v. Omicron: Rising cases of the mysterious new variant didn’t stop Spider-Man: No Way Home from earning 7.6 million pounds ($10.1 million) across the U.K. and Ireland on Wednesday, the biggest first-day take in those great, soggy nations since the start of, well, you know. The Hollywood Reporter has the details. Deadline, meanwhile, says No Way Home is projected to earn at least $290 million globally in its opening weekend.
‘This Idea of a Movie as an Island Has Gone Away’: That’s James Cameron, quoted in this Variety discussion between him and Denis Villeneuve. Cameron adds: “People want characters they can invest in over time.” The directors find a lot to talk about, including Cameron’s appreciation of Villeneuve’s impressive work on Dune.
A Lord of the Rings Oral History: Speaking of movies that are not islands, The Independent serves up an entertaining oral history of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy to mark the 20th anniversary of the first film, The Fellowship of the Ring. It features Ian McKellan, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, and many more. The wildest quote may be this one from Jackson’s manager, Ken Kamins, talking about Harvey Weinstein: “He’d threaten to get Quentin Tarantino to direct if Peter couldn’t do it in one film that was two-and-a-half-hours – which was the exact opposite of what he initially told us he wanted.” (Weinstein co-owned Miramax, where development of the films began.)
Robert Rodriguez: The Hollywood Reporter has a terrific profile of one of my favorite directors, talking about his work on the secretive Godfather-influenced Disney+ series, The Book of Boba Fett. Rodriguez notes that he’s always avoided franchises he didn’t create, because too many cooks are usually involved: “That changed with Boba because he was a character that was always underserved. It was a character way more popular than he should have been, based on [his limited screen time]. So it’s almost like starting with an original character. You can kind of do anything you want, so long as you make him cool and don’t make him a buffoon.”
Godfather Influenced? Yep. That’s clear from the Book of Boba Fett trailer, which THR reports was assembled from just the first minutes of the new series.
Speaking of [His Limited Screen Time]: The most surprising thing for me about the THR profile is that it notes how much screen time Boba Fett received in the original Star Wars trilogy, and it’s astonishingly little. Anyone want to guess?
Six Minutes! Six minutes! And that’s including the terrible scene that was added to the original Star Wars two decades after its original 1977 release. (Boba Fett, as everyone of course knows, first appeared as an animated character in the Star Wars Holiday Special.) Here are all of his scenes in the Star Wars trilogy:
Main image: Boba Fett in The Book of Boba Fett, coming to Disney+ on Dec. 29.