Oh, man, another week packed full of STUFF!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Just in time” story, Fox has managed to find their replacement for Clayne Crawford and therefore renew the show Lethal Weapon for another season.
Sean William Scott will replace Clayne Crawford on the show, after Crawford’s exit from the series. This came two weeks after it was revealed the former Rectify star had twice been reprimanded for his behavior on the Lethal Weapon set. In a statement posted on Instagram, Crawford provided details of two on-set incidents for which he was reprimanded, both related to concerns over working conditions.
“Warner Bros. Television has decided not to renew Clayne Crawford’s contract for Lethal Weapon,” WBTV said in a statement Sunday. Sources say the studio would not bring the show back to Fox with Crawford attached following the on-set incidents.
The kicker? Scott will play a new character who folds into a partnership with Murtaugh (Damon Wayans). So the character of Martin Riggs is out. That’s pretty weird.
IN THIS WEEK’s “Star Trek possibilities” story, writer/director Nicholas Meyer, who has often been involved with Star Trek projects, is apparently working on a secret new Star Trek thing.
Last night, speaking to an audience at the University of California, Irvine, at a “Shakespeare and Star Trek” discussion, Meyer shared details about his Trek project for the first time — and thanks to exclusive audio obtained by TrekCore.com from this public event, we can share his comments with you.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: “A while back there were reports that you might be working on a Star Trek miniseries, is there any truth to that, if you’re allowed to say anything about that?”
MEYER: “No, I can say something. I was hired to write a stand-alone Star Trek-related trilogy, [details of which] I can’t discuss or I’d have to kill you. [Laughs] I was writing it for CBS [All] Access… but at the moment CBS is at a war with Paramount/Viacom [about merging].”
“They’re in a power struggle which turned really nasty this past week when CBS decided to sue Viacom. So I don’t think my project is going anywhere in a hurry, because everything is on hold while they sort out this merger business. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.”
The “re-merger” of CBS and Viacom/Paramount under one roof would bring all of Star Trek‘s ownership back together again — as CBS manages the franchise’s television rights and the Viacom/Paramount theatrical film side of things.
Meyer’s comments regarding the situation are of course referring to this week’s escalating legal battle between the two companies, which began Monday when CBS filed suit against parent company National Amusements to try and shake themselves free of managerial control, followed by National Amusements’ “outraged” reaction to this legal action and the two companies heading to court today amidst the annual CBS upfront presentation to television advertisers occurring this afternoon in New York City.
The project, as Meyer mentions, is likely ‘on hold’ not due to the question of the Star Trek franchise’s status, but the overall corporate situation .
And that will likely take forever, so don’t look for this promising project for a while.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Cap goes Green” story, actor Chris Evans won’t be Cap forever, and he’s planning ahead.
Director Neill Blomkamp has resigned himself to the fact that his Alien movie is never happening. Perhaps this is why he and Evans are teaming up for Blomkamp’s (Elysium, District 9) next film, Greenland, about one family’s fight for survival in the face of a cataclysmic natural disaster.
No other details or casting is known, but it’s a casting package that comes out of Cannes, and they tend to be very preliminary. No word when the film will hit theaters, but principal photography is set for Q4 at the end of this year. Here’s the official release.
Greenland is produced by Thunder Road Picture’s Basil Iwanyk (Sicario, John Wick, The Town). Anton is co-financing with Riverstone Pictures. Anton’s Sébastien Raybaud and Harold van Lier are executives producing with Riverstone’s Nik Bower and Deepak Nayar. CAA Media Finance arranged the film’s financing and will represent the project’s domestic rights alongside Endeavor Content. Anton is fast emerging as a major industry player having already introduced the $40m Fireheart to buyers at Cannes.
Thunder Road developed the picture with Riverstone and UK financier Ingenious Media.
Well, I’m giving Blomkamp the benefit of the doubt here, even if he does get overly heavy-handed at times. I’m hoping he will have learned from his Chappie misfire and bring us back to something more like District 9.
IN THIS WEEK’S “What about Alfred?” story, Epix has given a series order to Pennyworth, a Batman prequel focusing on the early life of Bruce Wayne’s butler and surrogate father Alfred Pennyworth.
Hailing from Warner Horizon Scripted Television and “Gotham” executive producers Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon, Pennyworth will tell the story of the title character’s time as a former special-forces officer living in London and working for Bruce Wayne’s father, Thomas Wayne. The series will not be directly related to Gotham, on which Pennyworth is played by Sean Pertwee, but will give a new take on the character.
Said Michael Wright, President, Epix, “As genuine fans of these classic DC characters, as well as the incredibly talented Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon, we couldn’t be more excited to make Epix the home of this series.
We can’t wait to work with Bruno and Danny – along with Peter Roth, Susan Rovner, Brett Paul and the team at Warner Horizon – on this fantastic origin story.”
Gotham is set to end its run on Fox with a 13-episode final season in 2018-19.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Closing the X-Files” story, If you were looking for a season 12 of the X-Files, well, you can stop looking.
Since the X-Files came back for season 10 and 11, it hasn’t been exactly stellar, for the most part. And with Gillian Anderson saying she’s not interested in doing any more X-Files, well, that certainly puts things in a particular light.
While creator Chris Carter said it was hard to consider more X-Files without Anderson, he didn’t entirely rule the idea out. But it looks like The X-Files have finally been closed. For now, at least.
Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn confirmed (via IndieWire) that there are currently no plans to do another season of the show.
I certainly wouldn’t mind a two-part wrap-up of the show, just for closure, but if Anderson won’t do it, then it’s best to just let the mythology drift away and let us feel like they’re still out there. The show has certainly run it’s course and I was getting to the point where I was ready to let it end.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Growing trend” story, speaking of the above, since Keifer Sutherland’s political thriller Designated Survivor got cancelled by ABC this week, Netflix is now having a look at picking it up.
The talks are early, so nothing definitive, but this is now a solid trend: online streaming services picking up shows that get cancelled by the major networks. these days, a show you love that gets canceled may not stay that way.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Speaking of that” story, Fox cancelled the show Lucifer, but is it dead? The star of the show, Tom Ellis, is trying to avoid that.
“Warner Bros are an independent studio so there are other places we can take it and those are potentially exciting places,” Ellis, who plays the lead character in the recently-canceled Fox series, said in an interview with BBC Newsnight Wednesday.
When asked if the series is being shopped to a particular platform — like Netflix or Hulu — Ellis said he’s “not in a place to talk about conversations that are or are not happening all I know is that a conversation has been sparked like this, but an obvious place would be somewhere like that [streaming services].”
“All I’m saying is watch this space,” he added.
An individual with knowledge of the situation post-cancellation tells TheWrap that it’s safe to say the studio is exploring all of its options right now.
I was extremely underwhelmed with the premise of this show when I first heard the direction it would take. Mostly because I was a huge fan of the comic series written by Mike Carey. When Lucifer aired, I thought, “fine, I’ll watch a few and see what it’s like”. And though I had issues with it, I ended up watching the whole first season. I was not as faithful with season 2, but caught up with season 3. And they left with a BIG cliffhanger.
So now I’m on board. I hope someone DOES pick up Lucifer, even if it’s only for a season to wrap it up.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Willow 2???” story, It seems director Ron Howard has been thinking a lot about Willow lately, and maybe a sequel?
According to a recent interview with Comicbook.com, the director is talking with people about bringing back the film, but not in the way you might expect.
“I don’t want to give away too much, but there is a little talk of Willow,” Howard said. “We wouldn’t call it ‘Willow 2,’ I think it would focus a lot on Elora Danan, although Willow would have to be significantly involved.”
For those that aren’t familiar with the film, then you’re missing out on one of the great ‘80s fantasy films. The film starred Warwick Davis as Willow, as he protects a baby from the evil queen. Along the way, he is joined by Madmartigan (played by Val Kilmer, at the height of his powers). Howard mentions how the sequel would follow Elora Danan, who is the infant that Willow and Madmartigan protect. That makes a lot of sense, as the time for a true sequel, focusing on Davis and Kilmer’s characters, has clearly come and gone.
Well, right now this is all talk. Who knows if this will move forward.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Spielberg, DeCaprio, and Ulysses” story, Steven Spielberg and Leonardo DiCaprio are looking to team up on another film project together. They are in early discussions to join an epic biopic that will tell the story of Ulysses S. Grant. The movie will be based on the biography written by Ron Chernow, and it will be adapted by David James Kelly, who recently worked in the upcoming Robin Hood movie with Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx.
Here’s a description of the book that the movie will be based on:
“Ulysses S. Grant’s life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and an inept businessman, or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War. But these stereotypes don’t come close to capturing him, as Chernow shows in his masterful biography, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency…”
There’s a LOT more. So much so that it would take up a lot of space here. Who knows when this movie will get underway. DiCaprio and Spielberg are both busy for a while.
IN THIS WEEK’S ” Call Me by Suspiria‘s name” story, Charting its plans for awards season, Amazon Studios will open filmmaker Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria on Nov. 2.
The remake of the 1977 Italian horror film stars Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz. The story is set in a dance academy where ominous and sadistic forces are at play. Swinton plays the artistic director of a world-renowned dance company where a young American (Johnson) has arrived to study. Mia Goth and Jessica Harper co-star.
Amazon Studios will self-distribute Suspiria in theaters before it is made available to Amazon Prime members.
The remake is Gaudagnino’s follow-up to Call Me by Your Name, the Oscar-nominated drama starring Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer.
IN THIS WEEK’S “The next Star Wars spin-off?” story, rumors abound as to the possibility of an Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off Star Wars movie. News broke last August that a movie with Kenobi was in development with Stephen Daldry (The Hours) attached to helm, and now a new report from TMZ (via IndieWire) has dropped some major details about the movie.
In what should be approached as a big rumor, the outlet claims to have gotten ahold of a production bulletin that lists the movie’s title as OBI-WAN: A STAR WARS STORY (going under the codename “Joshua Tree”), and that Daldry is indeed attached as director. As well, the movie will not be an origin story like SOLO, but rather a prequel to A NEW HOPE, following Obi after the events of REVENGE OF THE SITH. The story would center on Obi-Wan keeping an eye on a young Luke Skywalker on Tatooine, only to be brought back into the Jedi game after a dispute between Sand People and local farmers calls his attention. The report also states production is slated for next spring in London.
Now, Ean McGregor was a fine Obi-Wan, and he’s certainly the best choice in my opinion to do this film, if it happens. As for McGregor, he said recently he’s open to returning to the role, but hadn’t had conversations with Lucasfilm…yet.
Again, still all rumors at this point, so we’ll just have to see if anything real develops.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Deadpool 3, or X-Force?” story, with Deadpool 2 already looking to release huge in theaters this week (and it has), it’s not so surprising it’s not surprising that Ryan Reynolds and company are already feeling confident about the Merc with a Mouth’s next outing: specifically in the form of an X-Force team.
At the red carpet on Monday, Reynolds said there’d been talks of a X-Force film, but was less certain about the possibility of a more direct Deadpool 3.
“At this point I don’t want to think about it,” Reynolds said. “But down the road, I’m sure we’ll figure it out.”
Deadpool 2 director David Leitch gave an update on the X-Force movie’s development, with Drew Goddard, screenwriter and producer for The Martian and Netflix’s Daredevil television series, at the creative helm.
“[Goddard’s] a great writer and a great filmmaker and I think they’re trying to take these characters and develop this universe,” Leitch said.
Deadpool 2 screenwriter Rhett Reese noted that he and fellow Deadpool 2 screenwriter Paul Wernick intentionally wrote their script to accommodate future movies.
“We took great pains to try to set it up in this movie at the end,” Reese said. “So I think you’ll have some nice combination of those characters that you see at the end of this movie forming X-Force.”
Comic book writer, artist, and Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld said the success of Deadpool 2 will only lead to even more movies.
“The door is wide open: X-Force, more Deadpool, the fans are going to speak this weekend,” Liefeld said.
Reynolds also expressed a desire to make a Deadpool film that would also include Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, an idea’s he’s been sitting on for some time. Reynolds, however, said the chance to make his dream a reality rests entirely on Jackman willing to pick up the claws one more time.
“Sadly, it’s Hugh Jackman that’s the skin-covered speed bump on the road to that sort of happiness,” Reynolds said.
I guess we’ll see how persuasive Reynolds can be with Jackman.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Playing their cards right” story, producer Simon Kinberg revealed the status of the highly anticipated film, Gambit, starring Channing Tatum.
“We have a script that we love — that Channing loves,” Kinberg told Variety on the red carpet. “We’ve met with a bunch of directors in the last couple of weeks, and we’re hoping to actually pick one in the next couple of weeks and shoot the movie maybe the end of this summer.”
Since 20th Century Fox announced Gambit, the project has undergone multiple developmental setbacks. In September 2015, Rupert Wyatt, who was originally slated to direct, left the film due to a timing conflict resulting from a delay in the production schedule. Kinberg addressed the postponement in a 2016 interview.
“I think the truth is when you have these movies that need a very special and unique tone, it takes a little while to find that tone,” he said. “Deadpool feels like it exploded out of nowhere, but it was a 10-year development process on that movie. I think it was honed over those 10 years.”
And then, in January, Fox announced the release date would again be pushed back from Feb. 14, 2019, to June 7, 2019, following the exit of another director, Gore Verbinski. Unlike Wyatt, however, Verbinski cited creative differences as his reason for leaving the project.
The Gambit creative team has been on the search for a new director since his exit, leaving the fate of the Tatum tentpole uncertain. Gambit is currently set to hit theaters June 2019.
So much drama…but will it turn out ok?
IN THIS WEEK’S “Fast and Furious 9!” story, Daniel Casey has been tapped to write Fast and Furious 9, the latest installment of Universal’s franchise, Variety has confirmed.
This marks the first time the franchise has had a new writer in 12 years, as Chris Morgan penned scripts going back to The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift.
Morgan is now writing and producing the tentatively titled Hobbs and Shaw — the Fast and Furious spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.
“Fast 9” will be directed by Justin Lin, who helmed four of the Fast movies. Lin is returning to the franchise after sitting out the seventh and eighth installments. Vin Diesel is set to return as the star in the project that is slotted for a April 2020 release.
Neal Moritz is producing via his Original Film banner, Diesel through his One Race Films, and Lin via his Perfect Storm Entertainment.
Casey penned Kin, a sci-fi thriller produced by 21 Laps that is being released by Lionsgate on Aug. 31. He also wrote The Heavy for Paramount and Bad Robot.
Interested to see how completely bonkers this next one will get. Go big!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Black List for Eternals” story, Marvel has just hired Black List writers Mattheqw and Ryan Firpo to writer their Eternals movie.
Marvel Studios has pinpointed its next potential franchise, the Jack Kirby-created title The Eternals, and is moving ahead with development.
The studio behind Avengers: Infinity War has hired writers Matthew and Ryan Firpo, whose spec script Ruin shot to the top of the 2017 Black List, to pen the script for the superhero team adventure.
In comics lore, the saga of the Eternals began millions of years ago when the cosmic beings known as the Celestials genetically experimented on humans, creating the super-powered and near-immortal beings and a more monstrous off-shoot known as the Deviants. The two races moved behind the scenes throughout human history while also engaging in Game of Thrones-style cosmic powerplays.
Among the characters are Ikaris, fueled by cosmic energy; Sersi, who relishes moving amongst humans; and Thena, often mistaken for the Greek goddess Athena.
Kirby created the title in 1976 during his cosmic hero stage and influenced by such as works as Chariots of the Gods, which explored ancient gods as aliens. The comic was his part of his second sojourn at Marvel, which he had left in 1970 and done the then-unthinkable, moved to rival DC Comics.
The Firpos are best known for writing Ruin, a spec script that shot to the top of the 2017 Black List. Even before that, the project was emanating enough heat that it attracted Gal Gadot and got set up at Marc Butan’s MadRiver Pictures.
Ruin tells of an ex-Nazi captain who, to atone for his crimes, hunts down and kills the members of his former SS squad.
IN THIS WEEK’s “Bad ideas don’t die” story, for those fans of terrible ideas; rejoice! Universal’s Dark Universe may yet be alive! That’s right, we thought maybe that idea would crawl into a grave after the debacle of The Mummy, but alas, the whole thing may still exist.
Artist Robert Vargas recently took to his Instagram account (h/t Bloody Disgusting) to reveal that maybe, just maybe, the Universal’s monster movie cinematic universe might still be alive.
Vargas said he had a great meeting with the “Dark Universe team”, and that he’s “looking forward to contributing to the Universal Pictures legacy.” That’s all we have to go on at the moment. As mentioned above, Vargas is an artist, so maybe Universal has brought him on board to help with some concept art? If so, that really does mean they’re hoping to crank out some more Dark Universe movies in the future.
The only question now is: if the Dark Universe is still alive, what will Universal do with it? Are they going to continue down the original path and make big, lame, blockbuster action movies, or will they decide to do what they should’ve done from the beginning – make smaller, spookier horror flicks? Time will tell.
It’s going to take a LOT of – nay – a COMPLETE rethinking of what kind of films they want to make.
IN THIS WEEK’s “Never too old to run drugs” story, Bradley Cooper is in negotiations to star opposite Clint Eastwood in Warner Bros.’ crime drama The Mule.
Eastwood is directing the project and is also starring, marking the first time since 2012’s Trouble with the Curve that the Hollywood legend appeared on screen.
Cooper’s boarding reunites the two following their collaboration American Sniper, the war drama that saw Cooper nominated for best actor and Eastwood for best picture as it grossed an eye-popping $547 million.
Mule is based on a 2014 New York Times Magazine story that told the true story of Leo Sharp, a drug courier for a Mexican drug cartel. What made it unique was that Sharp was a 90-year-old man, an award-winning horticulturalist and decorated World War II veteran.
Eastwood is playing Sharp and Cooper would play the lead DEA agent hot on his trail.
Nick Schenk, who wrote Eastwood’s Gran Torino, and Dave Holstein (Weeds, I’m Dying Up Here) worked on the script. Imperative Entertainment (All the Money in the World) is producing with Eastwood.
And IN THIS WEEK’S “Buyer’s remorse” story, Megan Fox got duped into buying a Malibu home that turned out to be a hellhole … according to a new suit.
The actress claims Cynthia Pett-Dante — who happens to manage Brad Pitt — was part of a seller group that convinced her to drop $3.2 million on a Malibu house in 2016, but failed to mention it was riddled with major problems.
According to the docs … Fox was pregnant at the time and raising 2 toddlers, and led to believe she was buying a “paradise in bucolic Malibu where she could raise her young family..”
Instead, Fox claims the home is a “nightmarish living hell.” For starters, she says it’s on a slope that needs to be regraded, and a bunch of features are not up to code — including animal pens, a gazebo, stone walls, and a storage building for livestock feed. (What does she have, a petting zoo?)
According to the docs … there was also mold all over the house upon moving in, including in the master bedroom and bathroom and the kids’ rooms.
Fox is suing for more than $5 million in damages.
Why do people buy homes they’ve never even seen the inside of?
Ok, that’s this week, in the books! See ya next time!