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Leatherface Writer Reveals Why The Monster Squad Reboot Was Canceled MOVIE #1
The Monster Squad was one of the quintessential horror comedies of the 80s, so why did a planned reboot get buried?
The Monster Squad is a true cult classic of the 1980s. A campy comedy horror take on the famous monsters of Universal horrors, the 1987 movie was always potentially ripe for a sequel. However, the Fred Dekker directed movie remains as a one-off piece of cinema history, loved by those who grew up with it and unknown by many others. That could all have changed if a planned reboot by Leatherface screenwriter Seth Sherwood had gone ahead back in 2015, but as Sherwood revealed in a lengthy Twitter post he feels he can now reveal why it fell apart. Sherwood wrote:
"Everything was based around a trio of friends. Sean, Horace, and Penny. I wanted the story to be about the fear of growing up, and use monsters as an allegory for that fear," Sherwood said. He continued, "When they were little, these three had a monster club, as the original. But now, they are getting old. Penny, the oldest, has lost interest and is has drifted to more mature things and friends. Horace is refusing to grow up, still loves toys, and is obsessed with monsters. Sean is caught in the middle. He's turning 13. He has a crush on Penny. He's becoming a teenager-- but he also still likes his playing monster club. He's torn. This is the heart of the story. Horace cries REAL MONSTERS, Sean doesn't buy it, chases girl, but then OH WAIT MONSTERS!"
Although Sherwood did not reveal which production company were planning on making The Monster Squad reboot, Platinum Dunes bought the film rights to the movie about five years prior to that. As he continued to explain, the collapse of the project mainly seemed to come down to the company believing the cost of the project would not deliver a substantial enough return.
The Monster Squad’s original 1987 release was not a smash hit by any means. The almost Stephen King-esque story of a group of kids who have to face a host of classic monsters such as Dracula, The Wolfman and Frankenstein’s Monster in their own neighborhood, seems like it should have been a box office smash, but that was not the case. On release the film was a flop at the box office, but found a new audience through home video to become the much-loved classic it is today.
With the movie having celebrated its 35th anniversary last year, it falls right in the “remake zone.” Whether this is something that will happen in the near future, especially with Universal ramping up their Monsters IP with movies like Renfield and the upcoming The Wolfman, it is hard to tell. Streaming platforms are always looking for new movies though, and after so many nostalgic 80s revivals in the last few years, The Monster Squad could still be reborn for a new generation in one way or another.
Why We're Not Getting Monster Squad 2 or a TV Show Spin-Off
https://writeablog.net/jqm0dq963e I don't know about you, but one of my favorite horror movies as a kid was Night of the Creeps director Fred Dekker and Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang filmmaker Shane Black's The Monster Squad. Like many The Monster Squad fans out there, I've wished for a sequel for about as long as I can remember. And today we've learned that a Monster Squad series was in the works at one point in time! But it was ultimately abandoned because the powers that be behind the scenes felt it was too similar to Stephen King's IT. Weak.
The Monster Squad and Night of the Creeps writer-director Fred Dekker revealed this tragic bit of news recently regarding Monster Squad 2 and the possibility of getting a Monster Squad TV Show, saying this.
"Shane Black and I have both been approached about adapting The Monster Squad for television. Was it my first choice? No. But I'm a big fan now of long-form television... And figuring out a way to take The Monster Squad and turn it into a long-form series was very exciting to me. But when we were approached, it was right after Stranger Things.
I thought, well, let's make this for the people who fell in love when they were kids and say, 'Where is the squad as adults?' And Shane said to me, 'Well that's it.' I said, 'Yeah, it's a great idea.' And he goes, 'No, that's Stephen King's It. The first part of the book and the first movie is them as kids fighting monsters and the second movie is them as adults fighting monsters.'"
So does this mean we will never see a sequel to The Monster Squad or a TV series based on the beloved kid-horror movie? Well, yeah, it looks that way according to Dekker, who goes on to say.
"As a fan of the genre, there is nothing to me remotely interesting or new about "Monster Squad" as a movie or a TV show. Maybe in 10 years, maybe in 15 years. But right now it's like, well everybody's already doing it."
Again, weak. I mean I get Dekker saying that "everyone" is making similar stories these days, such as director Andy Muschietti's ongoing adaptation of Stephen King's IT to Netflix and The Duffer Brothers' Stranger Things, but still, I want more The Monster Squad, guys! I guess I can't speak for all horror fans out there, but I'm pretty sure that we would all be okay with a The Monster Squad 2 or a TV series nowadays. After all, it's not The Monster Squad ripping-off Stranger Things, now is it?
Anyhow, for those of you that might not know, Fred Dekker directed The Monster Squad from a screenplay he co-wrote along with Lethal Weapon and Iron Man 3 scribe Shane Black. Jonathan A. Zimbert produced the flick. It starred Andre Gower, Robby Kiger, Brent Chalem, and Ryan Lambert as the titular monster hunters along with Duncan Regehr as Dracula, Tom Noonan as Frankenstein's monster, Jonathan Gries as The Wolfman, Tom Woodruff Jr. as Gill-man, and Michael MacKay as The Mummy.
The theft of state unemployment funds is the first pandemic fraud tied to foreign, state-sponsored cybercriminals that the U.S. government has acknowledged publicly.
Hackers linked to the Chinese government stole at least $20 million in U.S. Covid relief benefits, including Small Business Administration loans and unemployment insurance funds in over a dozen states, according to the Secret Service.
The theft of taxpayer funds by the Chengdu-based hacking group known as APT41 is the first instance of pandemic fraud tied to foreign, state-sponsored cybercriminals that the U.S. government has acknowledged publicly, but may just be the tip of the iceberg, say U.S. law enforcement officials and cybersecurity experts.
The officials and experts, most speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject matter, say other federal investigations of pandemic fraud also seem to point back to foreign state-affiliated hackers.
“It would be crazy to think this group didn’t target all 50 states,” said Roy Dotson, national pandemic fraud recovery coordinator for the Secret Service, who also acts as a liaison to other federal agencies probing pandemic fraud.
The Secret Service declined to confirm the scope of other investigations, other than to say there are more than 1,000 ongoing investigations involving transnational and domestic criminal actors defrauding public benefits programs, and APT41 is “a notable player.”
And whether or not the Chinese government directed APT41 to loot U.S. taxpayer funds or simply looked the other way, multiple current and former U.S. officials say the fact of the theft itself is a troubling development that raises the stakes. One senior Justice Department official called it “dangerous” and said it had serious national security implications.
“I’ve never seen them target government money before,” said John Hultquist, head of intelligence analysis at cybersecurity firm Mandiant. “That would be an escalation.”
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment.
‘The horse is out of the barn’
As soon as state governments began disbursing Covid unemployment funds in 2020, cybercriminals began to siphon off a significant percentage.
The Labor Department Office of Inspector General has reported an improper payment rate of roughly 20 percent for the $872.5 billion in federal pandemic unemployment funds, though the true cost of the fraud is likely higher, administration officials from multiple agencies say.
In-depth analysis of four states showed 42.4% of pandemic benefits were paid improperly in the first six months, the department’s watchdog reported to Congress last week.
A Heritage Foundation analysis of Labor Department data estimated excess unemployment benefit payments of more than $350 billion between April 2020 and May 2021.
“Whether it’s 350, 400 or 500 billion, at this point, the horse is out of the barn,” said Linda Miller, the former deputy executive director of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, the federal government’s Covid relief fraud watchdog.
By the time that Covid relief funds appeared as a target of opportunity in 2020, APT41, which emerged more than a decade ago, had already become the “workhorse” of cyberespionage operations that benefit the Chinese government, according to cyber experts and current and former officials from multiple agencies. The Secret Service said in a statement that it considers APT41 a “Chinese state-sponsored, cyber threat group that is highly adept at conducting espionage missions and financial crimes for personal gain.”
Ambassador Nathaniel Fick, head of the State Department’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy, said cyber espionage is a long-time Chinese national priority aimed at strengthening its geopolitical position.
“The United States is target number one, because we are competitor number one.” Fick told NBC News. “It’s a really comprehensive, multi-decade, well-considered, well-resourced, well-planned, well-executed strategy.”
American officials have blamed Chinese actors for the Office of Personnel Management breach, the Anthem Health breach, and the Equifax breach, among others.
The experts and officials describe the Chinese model of “state-sponsored” hackers as a network of semi-independent groups conducting contract work in service of government espionage. The Chinese government may direct a hacking group to attack a certain target. APT41, also known to cybersecurity firms as Winnti, Barium and Wicked Panda, fits the model and is considered a particularly prolific Chinese intelligence asset, known to commit financial crimes on the side.
Demian Ahn, a former assistant U.S. attorney who indicted five APT41 hackers in 2019 and 2020, said the evidence showed APT41 had tremendous reach and resources. The defendants, who were accused of infiltrating governments and companies around the world while conducting ransomware attacks and mining cryptocurrency, talked “about having tens of thousands of machines at one time, as part of their efforts to obtain information about others, and also to generate criminal profits.” None of the five Chinese nationals indicted have been extradited, and the cases remain open.
APT41’s intrusion methods have included hacking legitimate software and weaponizing it against innocent users, including businesses and governments. Another tactic involves tracking public disclosures about security flaws in legitimate software. APT41 uses that information to target customers who don’t immediately update their software, according to a former Justice Department official familiar with the group.
The primary purpose of APT41’s state-directed activity, say the experts and officials, is believed to be collecting personally identifying information and data about American citizens, institutions and businesses that can be used by China for espionage purposes.
“They have the patience, the sophistication and the resources to carry out hacking that has a direct impact on national security,” said a former Justice Department official familiar with the group.
Law enforcement officials and counterintelligence experts have testified to Congress that by now, every adult American has had all or most of their personal data stolen by the Chinese government.
Beijing has increasingly turned its focus to breaching U.S. critical infrastructure in recent years, say current and former officials and China and cybersecurity experts, with worldwide campaigns driven by APT41.
China’s targets include state governments, which can have inadequate cybersecurity defenses. “The state governments don’t allocate a lot of cyber protection money to their state I.T. infrastructure,” said William Evanina, the former director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. “So it’s really an unprotected Wild West.”
The Covid fraud scheme that the Secret Service has publicly linked to APT41 began in mid-2020 and spanned 2,000 accounts associated with over 40,000 financial transactions.
“Where their sophistication comes in is the ability to work heavily and quickly,” said the Secret Service’s Dotson.
The agency said it has been able to recover about half of the stolen $20 million.
But while Evanina and other officials and experts consider APT41’s breach of state systems a national security issue, they aren’t convinced that stealing Covid funds was a goal of the Chinese government. Such thefts increase the risk of criminal prosecution and make it harder for China to obscure the state’s role. They believe that the Chinese government may have simply tolerated the hackers making a profit off their labors.
Many believe the hackers are still inside state IT systems.
Mandiant, which contracts with over 75 state and local government organizations and agencies, issued a report in March that the APT41 had infiltrated six — and likely more — state governments using back doors in popular software and was exfiltrating data on citizens.
Hultquist told NBC News that Mandiant analysts discovered at least two occasions involving interactions with servers associated with state benefits after May 2021.
Current officials would not comment about whether APT41 still had access to state government networks after being discovered last year.
The Department of Labor, the Small Business Administration, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the White House all declined to comment and referred NBC News to the DOJ. The FBI and DOJ declined to comment. The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to requests for comment.
But Evanina said, “Once you are in these systems with intent to promulgate theft of PII [Personally Identifying Information], you’re in forever,” noting that at the state and local level many disparate systems share an interconnected domain. “Unless,” he said, “you tear down the systems and replace everything.”
State agencies across the country continue to struggle against invisible online attackers, many lacking the proper funding and expertise to secure their online benefits systems.
“If we can come together and really have open and honest conversations about what works well and what went very wrong, we would just be in a much better place to stop this,” said Maryland Secretary of Labor Tiffany Robinson, who said her state’s system is still bogged down by thousands of fraudulent applications and phone calls each week. “Because this is not over.”
Federal officials acknowledge they are nowhere close to fully accounting for what really happened to benefits programs in the pandemic.
“A lot of these criminals, we’ll never be able to indict and locate,” said a federal law enforcement official with direct knowledge of fraud investigations involving China-based hackers. “With the internet and the dark web, it’s borderless.”
Depois da sua estranha ausência no anúncio da Fase 4 do MCU na San Diego Comic Con, meses depois tivemos o tão aguardado anúncio de Pantera Negra 2, lá na D23 de 2019. E a continuação de um dos maiores sucessos da Marvel já veio com data certa.
O filme foi anunciado por Kevin Feige e agendado para 6 de maio de 2022, contando com a presença de Ryan Coogler no palco, assim como confirmando seu retorno na direção. Além disso, ele foi confirmado como o primeiro projeto da Fase 5 do MCU.
A continuação veio com bastante celebração e importância, já que o primeiro Pantera Negra é até hoje a SEGUNDA maior bilheteria do MCU nos EUA, com 700 milhões de dólares, atrás apenas dos 858 milhões de Vingadores: Ultimato.
Infelizmente, a produção do filme sofreu com uma das maiores tragédias em toda a história da Marvel: a perda do nosso Rei T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman. O ator faleceu no dia 28 de agosto de 2020, após uma longa batalha contra um câncer de colo.
A produção foi logo paralisada em respeito a Chad, que estava a meses de iniciar o treinamento e preparo para seu retorno como o Pantera Negra. Logo depois, rompeu o mistério sobre o futuro do personagem no MCU, se teríamos uma substituição de ator ou uma recriação digital para encerrar sua história.
E está confirmado: a Marvel Studios NÃO escolherá um outro ator para ser o novo T’Challa. Kevin Feige deu a notícia no evento de Investidores da Disney, falando que não teremos mais T’Challa, mas a história de Wakanda e seus personagens continuará.
Em 03 de maio de 2021, em um trailer especial com novidades da volta do MCU aos cinemas, tivemos a revelação do título oficial da sequência: Pantera Negra: Wakanda Para Sempre (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever).
Será a primeira vez que veremos o universo de Wakanda sem a presença de Chadwick Boseman. Continuando e honrando seu legado, boa parte do elenco do filme original como Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Winston Duke deve retornar. Pantera Negra 2 recebeu um pequeno adiamento, agora marcado para 11 de Novembro de 2022.
Pantera Negra 2 não afeta quase nada a Saga do Multiverso. E daí?
Definido por Kevin Feige como “o filme mais importante” da Marvel, Wakanda Para Sempre vai muito além da continuidade do MCU
[Spoilers de Pantera Negra: Wakanda Para Sempre à frente]
Um dos filmes mais esperados do MCU, Pantera Negra: Wakanda Para Sempre chegou aos cinemas na última quinta-feira (10) e, como é de praxe para produções do Marvel Studios, o filme deve dominar algumas discussões nas redes sociais por um tempo. Desde que os primeiros críticos e produtores de conteúdo assistiram ao longa de Ryan Coogler no exterior, um ponto vem sendo frequentemente levantado: sua conexão “precária” com o MCU. Afinal, por que Kevin Feige classificou a sequência como “o filme mais importante” do estúdio até agora se ele mal mexe na Saga do Multiverso? A resposta é bem simples e relativamente óbvia: a importância da continuação se deve a Chadwick Boseman.
Mais do que apenas participar do blockbuster como ator, Boseman levou os valores do Rei T’Challa para sua vida pessoal e profissional. Considerado um exemplo por todos com quem trabalhou dentro e fora da Marvel, o astro virou, ao lado de Gal Gadot e sua Mulher-Maravilha, símbolo de uma nova fase no cinema de herói, que enfim perdeu a vergonha de contar histórias que vão além dos feitos de homens brancos cisgênero e heterossexuais. Mais do que prestar homenagem a Boseman, Wakanda Para Sempre precisava mostrar que, mesmo sem ele, pessoas que enfim se viram refletidas no MCU continuaram tendo suas vozes ouvidas.
Até por isso, Ryan Coogler e equipe trabalharam duro para fazer com que a presença de Boseman e tudo o que ele representou para os fãs desde que chegou à franquia em 2016 fosse sentida na sequência. Em Wakanda, a morte não é o fim e era essencial que a produção se apoiasse nesse sentimento, mesmo que isso significasse deixar de lado o escopo megalomaníaco do grande arco atual do MCU.
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É bom deixar claro: as críticas em relação às conexões de Wakanda Para Sempre com o restante do MCU são bem válidas. Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) e Valentina de la Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) estão deslocados dentro da sequência e sua inclusão serve para pouco mais do que dar uma história para a personagem que reunirá os Thunderbolts lá em 2024. Essa interrupção nos conflitos e nas homenagens prejudicam, sim, o andar do longa - mas não diminuem sua importância.
Pantera Negra foi pioneiro em muitas coisas. Dono de uma bilheteria bilionária, o filme foi o primeiro longa do MCU estrelado e produzido por um elenco majoritariamente negro, além de ser o primeiro do gênero a concorrer ao Oscar de Melhor Filme. Ou seja, ele provou que há espaço para pessoas não-brancas no mundo dos super-heróis e seu sucesso acarretou no lançamento de Shang-Chi e a Lenda dos Dez Anéis e Falcão e o Soldado Invernal e na encomenda de títulos como Captain America: New World Order, todos na Marvel, além das produções estreladas pelo Superman Val-Zod e pelo Super Choque assinadas por Michael B. Jordan na DC. Logo, Wakanda Para Sempre não tinha como missão principal seguir uma narrativa que só será concluída em quatro anos, mas sim honrar esse legado gigantesco deixado por seu antecessor.
Wakanda Para Sempre é essencial também para o MCU, uma vez que, a partir dele, Letitia Wright (cuja própria Shuri precisa amadurecer repentinamente), Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke e o próprio Coogler puderam superar o luto ao mesmo tempo em que mantiveram a franquia Pantera Negra viva. Boseman é ícone de uma nova fase para os filmes de herói e sua morte teve um impacto gigante em todas as pessoas tocadas por seu trabalho. Wakanda Para Sempre compreende o tamanho dessa perda e ajuda colegas e fãs do astro a darem o primeiro passo para superar a morte do ator.
Perder Boseman foi um golpe duríssimo para a equipe de Pantera Negra. A importância de Wakanda Para Sempre não pode ser medida com o quanto ele avança ou não as tramas da Saga do Multiverso, e sim pela promessa que faz a crianças, adolescentes e adultos de que o legado de Boseman seguirá vivo dentro e fora das telas.
Pantera Negra: Wakanda Para Sempre