Tag Archives: Steve Carell

It’s Up to Zemeckis— How Much Will Hollywood Director Choose to Reveal About Film’s Real-Life Hero in His Upcoming Film, “Welcome to Marwen?”

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High on His Heels— Artist/Photographer, Mark Hogancamp, makes no secret about his fandom for feminine footwear, as this portrait of him in stilettos “pointedly” reveals. (Photo: NYT) Click to enlarge.

The Truth is Already Out There—But Will its Inclusion Hurt Box Office Receipts?

This is all public knowledge, but please stick with us. If you’ve seen 2010’s fantasy-documentary, Marwencol, or read the 2016 hardcover book, Welcome to Marwencol, then you undoubtedly already know that real-life artist-photographer, Mark Hogancamp—the lead character depicted in Robert Zemeckis’ upcoming motion picture, Welcome to Marwen (played by actor Steve Carell)—enjoys wearing women’s high-heel shoes and stockings. There. We’ve said it. Hogancamp’s “most shocking” true-life personality “spoiler” has now been re-revealed.

What isn’t known to many however, is whether Zemeckis feels that Hogancamp’s cross-dressing is “script-worthy” enough to be included in his latest release. Would such intimate insight detract from the film’s main storyline—a man struggles with PTSD after a brutal beating by creating fantasy photo-stories with 1:6 scale action figures and dolls—or enhance it? Is cross-dressing simply too “racy” a topic for the holidays, only to end up on the cutting room floor? Time—as they say, will tell.

For those who are unaware of the differences between “cross-dressing” and the better  known term, “transvestism,” we consulted that oracle of all knowledge and things online—Wikipedia—which (rightly or wrongly) defines the two (oft-misunderstood) terms thusly:

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“Transvestism is the practice of dressing and acting in a style or manner traditionally associated with the opposite sex. In some cultures, transvestism is practiced for religious, traditional or ceremonial reasons.”

“Crossdressing is the act of wearing items of clothing and other accoutrements commonly associated with the opposite sex within a particular society. Cross-dressing has been used for purposes of disguise, comfort, and self-expression in modern times and throughout history.”

Okay, that cleared it up (right?) Regardless, questions with serious financial implications remain— Will audiences harbor negative feelings about Hogancamp’s cross-dressing? And IF the topic is included in the film (we still don’t know if it will be) and “word gets out,” will that affect ticket-buying, movie-going audiences who DO harbor negative feelings about the subject and thereby cause them to stay home? You can bet the entire entertainment industry will be paying VERY close attention to this film when it premieres in theaters across the country on December 21st.

Fortunately for Zemeckis and his film

A cross-dressing dance act dubbed Junior New System (JNS) has just come to the rescue. This all-male, high-heeled dance troupe from the Philippines, recently broke onto the U.S. national scene during a series of high-energy (and high-heeled) appearances on NBC TV’s ratings-smash hit, America’s Got Talent. Their success appears to have made men-wearing-women’s-shoes a little less “offensive” in many viewer’s eyes, and much more “publicly palatable” as well. During their aggressive, athletic performances, the JNS men routinely and effortlessly switch between wearing traditional high-top sneakers to high-heel stilettos. Then, to everyone’s surprise, they proceed to perform powerful BACK-FLIPS, landing solidly on their traditionally unsteady and pointy “pumps,” without suffering any apparent missteps or twisted ankles. It has to be SEEN to be believed!

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It CAN be done!— Members of the Filipino dance group, Junior New System, proved that grown men can successfully perform backflips while wearing high-heeled, stiletto shoes. Here, they pose backstage with judge and media-mogul, Simon Cowell, during a taping of America’s Got Talent. (Photo: JNS)

As we stated at the outset, the subject of Hogancamp’s cross-dressing is largely “old news” to (most) 1:6 scalers, and has had little—to ZERO—bearing on the 1:6 community’s admiration and regard for the man’s artistic talents. His skills as an artist, photographer and customizer are obvious and beyond question. But how will non-hobbyist ticket-buyers react? That remains to be seen.

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Hogancamp’s Heroes Help Him HealMark Hogancamp, the creator of the imaginary and 1:6 scale town of “Marwencol” holds up his original, self-representational action figure—the “star” of Mark’s ongoing—and AMAZING—photo-adventures. (Photo: Mark Hogancamp) Click to enlarge.

Finally, other media outlets are also discussing this subject, largely reflecting the opinion that Hogancamp’s cross-dressing SHOULD be included in the film’s final script. The New York Times discussed it in an article HERE, and we found an overseas article about it in the UK’s The Telegraph, HERE. Clear “rumblings” of social expectation could be heard. Here’s one such quote:

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“The real truth behind Mark’s near-fatal attack is not something you’ll find in the trailer – he was set upon after admitting in the bar that he was a cross-dresser. When the film’s first American trailer landed, there was enough social-media kerfuffle to suggest that eliding this part of the story may well cause significant controversy.” —The Telegraph, UK

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Robert Zemeckis, Director of Welcome to Marwen (Photo: Hollywood Reporter)

Bottom Line: If the official Welcome to Marwen trailers are any indication of its final content, then it appears Mr. Hogancamp’s propensity for feminine footwear will NOT be made into much of an issue for the film. But, if you search the ‘net for further clues provided by Zemeckis himself, you CAN find short, inconclusive snippets about its inclusion (or exclusion) from the script. Make of the following quote what you will (especially the last line), but here’s his most telling —yet noncommittal—comment so far:

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“We can’t give everything away. There’s a lot more story than we were able to include. You’ve got to let the audience see something that they don’t know about.” —Robert Zemeckis, director, Welcome to Marwen

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Mark Your Calendars!— The Release Date for Robert Zemeckis’ New 1:6 Scale Motion Picture, “Welcome to Marwen” Has Been Confirmed

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Battle Scar— Mark Hogancamp (as portrayed by actor Steve Carell, off-camera) puts the finishing touches on his new mini-me “Cap’n Hogie” action figure, painting a scar on his right cheek a la GIjOE. During his real-life beating, the right side of Hogancamp’s face DID receive the greatest amount of damage and required extensive reconstructive surgeries. (Screenshot: Universal) Click to enlarge.

U.S. premiere of eagerly anticipated film delayed by 1 month

Finally. we have a date! It’s December 21st, 2018— a day that will forever LIVE in 1:6 scale GLORY. That is now the OFFICIAL release date for the new Robert Zemeckis-Steve Carell action-drama-fantasy, “Welcome to Marwen,” which will be opening in theaters all across the country. Just a short while ago, the film’s release date was still being touted as “sometime in November,” but according to a blurb article just spied in the August 17, 2018 issue of Entertainment Weekly (see below), the new, OFFICIAL premiere date has been moved back a month and is now slated for “12.21.”

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It’s now in PRINT— So it must be true, right? No explanation is given for why its premiere was delayed by one month, but according to this article in the August 17, 2018 issue of Entertainment Weekly, the release date for “Welcome to Marwen” is now December 21st. SO EXCITING! Click to enlarge.

Bottom Line: This official confirmation in the press means that fans will have until that time to make their plans for the premiere. Will you be dressing up as a character? Will you be organizing a GIjOE club mass-viewing? Will you be taking along an action figure—or two—to watch the film with you? Remember, according to Amazon, the DVD is not yet even available for pre-order, so until the film is re-released on say, Netflix, fans who miss it in the theaters will have to wait even longer to enjoy it in all of its (freeze-framed) 1:6 scale GLORY at home. Let’s get ready to go to the movies!

 

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UPDATE!— New (Extended) Trailer for “Welcome to Marwen” Released—Plus—New Close-Ups of Main Characters and More Patches of Pride “Sightings”

Okay, this just got even more “REAL”— In an all-new, extended-length trailer for the upcoming Robert Zemeckis film, “Welcome to Marwen,” numerous additional scenes clearly show products that were produced by longtime 1:6 scale patch company, Patches of Pride (PoP). As PoP remains the sole official sponsor of The Joe Report, we here in the “TJR Newsroom” are understandably excited whenever we see their work being enthusiastically embraced by esteemed customizers or—as in this case—Hollywood filmmakers—projected right up there on the big screen for all to see!

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Look fast, PoPstersIn this somewhat grainy “screen grab” from the new trailer, you can quickly see one of Patches of Pride’s full-color version Master Sergeant chevrons (found HERE) on the sleeve of one of the female figures. Note too, that the studio’s prop makers have blackened out the edges of the patch (to eliminate white fabric from showing) as recommended in the installation instructions included with every PoP patch order. Out-STANDING work prop-people! (Photo: Universal) Click to enlarge.

While the majority of scenes in this new trailer show CGI action figures, it’s obvious the patches depicted were based on PoP’s real-life miniatures. And whenever the film cuts back to moments of reality and utilizes real actors, then the patches being shown onscreen are clearly PoP’s products. It’s truly exciting too, to see (real) actor, Steve Carell, handling the figures and to realize that PoP had a small part in their “finishing details.” Here are some Universal publicity stills provided today—

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YOU can make this Other than the custom Steve Carell headsculpt, this would be a fairly easy figure for most customizers of 1:6 scale to recreate. Most of the elements are commonly available and that Flying Tigers patch is available from Patches of Pride HERE. (Photo: Universal) Click to enlarge.

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Howdy, SARGEAptly named, “G.I. Julie,” this character totes a Thompson machine gun and sports one of PoP’s full-color sergeant chevron patches on her left sleeve. (Photo: Universal) Click to enlarge.

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Peace, Baby— Clearly more of a “flower child” peacenik than a war-monger, this “Nicol” character promises to be quite interesting. But—a Purple Heart recipient? (Photo: Universal) Click to enlarge.

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Rock it, Roberta— Toting a BAR, this figure also wears an impressive bandolier around her chest and a bayonet strapped onto her right leg. Look out, you nasty Nazis! (Photo: Universal) Click to enlarge.

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Muy Caliente— If you need someone to fire a .50 cal, THIS is the your woman. She’s clearly got the required ammo belt—plus one grenade. Mama-SITA! (Photo: Universal) Click to enlarge.

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Tovarich in a Tutu— Looks like only half of a Russian uniform was available. But who cares? Heck, all I know is that I WANT one of these! Is that an oven mitt on her hand? (Photo: Universal) Click to enlarge.

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Viva la France— Sex appeal in a slit skirt—what else do you need? (Photo: Universal) Click to enlarge.

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Pain and Pleasure— The PAIN is evident in Steve Carell’s scarred, action figure face. The PLEASURE is sure to come to audiences who go to see this film, November, 2018. (Photo: Universal) Click to enlarge.

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Poster Perfect— With this line-up, the Nazi’s don’t stand a chance. (Photo: Universal) Click to enlarge.

Bottom Line: The more we see of this film, the more we WANT to see. Keep it comin’, Universal!

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Official “Welcome to Marwen” Trailer Released

Bottom Line: They say “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Well, a day after we “complained” here on The Joe Report about the lack of any studio trailer or promotional materials for Universal Picture’s upcoming 1:6 scale film, “Welcome to Marwen,” wouldn’t you know it—an official trailer was almost immediately posted over on YouTube—and it looks simply AMAZING. Of course we’ll analyze it frame-by-frame and in super slow-mo for any signs of the aforementioned Patches of Pride products, but until we’ve had sufficient time to do that, take a look yourself—and ENJOY!


UPDATE: Well, that didn’t take us long. After reviewing the trailer, only 2 scenes appears to clearly shows PoP’s patches. All of the rest of the closeup shots were CGI (i.e. special effects) renderings. It appears the filmmakers used PoP’s patches for some of the “live-action” scenes and also utilized them as “models” for the CGI’d versions as well. Still…all in all, VERY cool!

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Tiny patches on a BIG SCREEN— Two of the tiny patches on the pilot figure’s bomber jacket were created by 1:6 scale patch creator Mark Otnes of Patches of Pride. The nametag appears to be hand-lettered and is not a PoP product. (Screenshot: Universal Pictures) Click to enlarge.

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PoP’s Patches— This closeup reveals a great look at the 1:6 scale “Flying Tigers” patch created for Universal’s costumers by Patches of Pride. The studio’s costumers were VERY specific about this patch, requesting that it be created to an EXACT size so that it would fit within a tiny leather circle (as shown in the photo). What a PERFECT FIT! (Photo: Universal Pictures) Click to enlarge.

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Hollywood’s Name Change Game— “Untitled Robert Zemeckis Film Project” Titled “Women of Marwen” Retitled Again to “Welcome to Marwen”

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Actress Eiza González prepares to film a scene during 2017’s shooting of the recently retitled “Welcome to Marwen;” scheduled to debut in theaters November 2018. (Photo: Universal Pictures) Click to enlarge.

Security is still tight around the tiny town of Marwen.

What’s the hold-up? Universal Pictures has yet to release an official video trailer or ANY official press photos promoting its upcoming film, “Welcome to Marwen.” Indeed, intel is SO scarce that the ONLY nugget of additional information we’ve been able to gather is that the title of the movie had been changed—again. Mark Otnes, owner of Patches of Pride and supplier of 1:6 miniatures to the film project, confirmed that security has always been extremely tight, stating:

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“While we were working on the orders we’d received from the film’s costumers for miniature patches, armbands, etc., they repeatedly referred to the film only as ‘The Untitled Robert Zemeckis Project. ‘Nothing else. Then, a couple of months later, the working title of ‘Women of Marwen’ was widely spread across the internet. We thought that was that. But just recently (in June 2018), the film was retitled—this time to ‘Welcome to Marwen.’ I don’t know the reasons for all of that subtle wordplay, but I expect it was due to some sort of Hollywood focus group testing, perhaps influenced by ‘brilliant’ participant responses such as, ‘I like the word WELCOME. It seems very friendly.’ But who knows? Nobody’s talking!”

So what else do we know? Not much. In fact, only the scantest of details about the film project can be found (as of today) over on Wikipedia HERE:

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“On April 28, 2017, it was announced that Robert Zemeckis would next direct an untitled fantasy-drama film that would star Steve Carell. On May 19, 2017, it was announced that Leslie Mann and Janelle Monae had joined the cast. On May 23, 2017, Eiza Gonzalez joined the cast. In June 2017, it was reported that Diane Kruger had joined the cast to portray the villain while Gwendoline Christie also joined the cast. In July 2017, Merritt Wever and Neil Jackson joined the cast of the film. On August 6, 2017, the studio hired a German actor Falk Hentschel to play the role of a villain, as Hauptsturmsfuhrer Ludwig Topf, a Nazi captain to a squad of SS Storm Troopers who terrify the people of Belgium. On August 21, 2017, the director’s wife Leslie Zemeckis was cast in the film for an unspecified role. Principal photography on the film began in Vancouver, Canada on August 14, 2017. The filming was completed around October 19, 2017. In June 2018, the film was officially titled Welcome to Marwen.”

Bottom Line: Let’s hope the good folks in the PR department at Universal Pictures are hard at work on promotional materials for this VERY promising movie featuring 1:6 scale action figures, vehicles and other such miniature products. We’ll continue to keep an eye out for any further information and promise to pass it on to you HERE on The Joe Report as soon as it becomes available.

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Hollywood Came-a-Calling—Creator of 1:6 Scale Accessories Asked to Produce Miniature Props for Use in Upcoming 2018 Film, “The Women of Marwen”

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Meet Steve’s “Little Women”— Actor Steve Carell sits on a park bench in Vancouver, Canada, while taking a break from shooting his upcoming (Nov. 2018) film, “The Women of Marwen.” Alongside him sits a “Jeep-full” of miniature female co-stars, some (possibly) sporting tiny 1:6 scale patches or other accessories created by Mark Otnes of Patches of Pride, (Photo: Universal) Click to enlarge.

Steve Carell Pic to Feature Products Produced by 1:6 Company, “Patches of Pride”

This isn’t a “big story” by any means, but here it is, nonetheless: Patches of Pride (PoP), the well-known and respected producer of 1:6 scale miniature products (typically utilized by collectors and customizers of GIjOE action figures), has recently received (and shipped out) several mass orders of patches, armbands and other related accessories to various film industry costuming businesses in both Canada and Hollywood. Normally, that would be “non-news” to the public; the sort of boring, internal sales information typically only of interest to the businesses and individuals involved.

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Actor and toy collector, Steve Carell (Photo: Universal Pictures)

But in this case— the film industry costumers in question happened to be working on a new movie project that should hold GREAT interest for fans of 1:6 scale. In fact, the Canadian and LA costumers we’re talking about have been tasked with creating miniature 1:6 scale uniforms that will be utilized in an upcoming Universal production entitled, “The Women of Marwen” (aka “TWOM” see HERE). From what we can gather online, TWOM is being directed by “Back to the Future” auteur, Robert Zemeckis and stars actor, comedian, and action figure fan, Steve Carell, of “The 40 Year-Old Virgin” fame. The products ordered from Patches of Pride would be used to accessorize miniature costumes and military uniforms worn by some of the film’s “smaller stars.” We tracked down PoP’s head honcho, Mark Otnes, and asked him how he felt about undertaking this exciting new foray into movie prop production. He replied:

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“Well, I think it’s overstating it a bit to say that Patches of Pride has moved into ‘movie prop production.’ Yes, it is exciting to think that something we’ve created may appear ‘up there on the big screen,’ but this was probably just a one-time deal for us—unless they do a sequel. I’m a HUGE fan of both Zemeckis and Carell. Just knowing that they’re working on a film project together with 1:6 scale action figures is VERY cool news. And I LOVED Carell’s take on the societal pressures and ‘trials and tribulations’ faced by action figure collectors in ‘The 40 Year-Old Virgin.’ You could FEEL his pain at the thought of selling his beloved collectibles. Hilarious!

As to my business’ involvement with this new film, ‘The Women of Marwen,’ I simply filled a number of orders that came in from new customers located in Canada and Los Angeles. That’s it. At the time, they were very nice and notified me that the patches and other products they were ordering were for something they called, ‘an untitled Robert Zemeckis project.’ I knew who Mr. Zemeckis was, but I didn’t know that this so-called ‘untitled project’ was going to be a film. I just learned that fact recently, myself! I’d thought it was going to be a TV documentary on WWII or something like that. But hey, a Steve Carell movie sounds a WHOLE lot cooler!

And keep in mind that I also don’t know if anything I made for them will actually appear on-screen in the movie, or if PoP will get any sort of credit. Most likely not. You know how unpredictable filmmaking can be. Our products may just be used in test shots or scenes that end up on the ‘cutting room floor.’ However it all works out, you can bet that I’ll be watching the movie VERY closely for any signs of my work. Everything we sell at Patches of Pride comes from original art files that I’ve created. That way, I can easily recognize my work whenever and wherever I see it. If someone uses ANY of our products on their custom figures or vehicles, I can tell. I know ALL of the (thousands) of PoP products by heart—AND by sight.”

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Bottom Line: This sounds like it’ll be a really cool flick and a wonderful opportunity for Zemeckis, Carell and Patches of Pride as well. We wish all concerned with this project the very best of luck. “The Women of Marwen” is scheduled for a November 2018 release. If any further information becomes available before that time, we’ll be sure to share it with you here on The Joe Report ASAP. Will any of Otnes’ 1:6 scale products actually end up on screen? Stay tuned!

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