January continues! Stuff keeps happening!
in this week’s “Son of Drago!” story, Apollo Creed’s son gets a new opponent in Creed 2.
German-Romanian boxer Florian Munteanu will square off against Michael B. Jordan in Creed 2, MGM and Warner Bros.’ sequel to the 2015 hit that updated Rocky for a new generation, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Steven Caple will direct the movie, which is set to begin shooting in March in Philadelphia.
Creed starred Sylvester Stallone as boxer Rocky Balboa, who mentors Adonis Johnson (Jordan), the son of his rival, Apollo Creed.
The new pic also features a blast-from-the-past update: Munteanu will play the son of Ivan Drago, the ruthless Soviet boxer from Rocky IV, which was made at a high tension point during the 1980’s Cold War. Dolph Lundgren starred as Drago in the 1985 film and will also be returning for Creed 2. Stallone and Tessa Thompson, who starred in Creed, are also returning.
The film will be moving at top speed as MGM has set a Nov. 21 release date.
In this week’s “Rachel Weisz in the clouds” story, actor Rachel Weisz is attached to star in the indie sci-fi pic Cloud One, sources tell Variety.
Wristcutters: A Love Story director Goran Dukic is directing the film from a script he penned. Pic is based on is based on a short story by Etgar Keret and while plot details are being kept under wraps, other than it being described as a grounded sci-fi movie. The Imitation Game’s Ido Ostrowsky and Nora Grossman will produce through their Bristol Automotive banner.
The film is expected to start filming this spring. I’m in!
In this week’s “Venom gets Spidey?” story, Production is currently underway on Sony’s Venom movie starring Tom Hardy.
Having been told by Sony that this Venom movie will be seperate from the Marvel Spider-Man film Universe has many fans questioning, “How can you have a Venom movie without Spidey?”. How indeed?
The whole reason Venom has Spider-Man-like powers is because the alien symbiote went to Peter Parker first and when Peter rejected the symbiote, it found Eddie Brock, thus creating a darker, more muscular, and drool-ier version of Spider-Man. But we heard repeatedly, especially out of the Spider-Man: Homecoming junket, that the new Spider-Man played by Tom Holland exists in a separate universe than Venom and all the other Spidey spinoffs Sony has in the works.
Today on Movie Talk, Jon Schnepp said he heard a very different story and that Holland’s Spider-Man will in fact be in Venom:
““Spider-Man is going to be in Venom. For the last couple of months, we’ve been hearing how Sony is keeping it all separated, and Spider-Man is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but every other character that’s in the Spider-Man universe is separate. All I’m saying is that Spider-Man—and I’m talking about Tom Holland’s Spider-Man—is going to be in Venom.”
HOWEVER, Holland along with producers Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal both said that Spider-Man wouldn’t appear in Venom, and that it wouldn’t even be a cameo role.
So, that’s not confusing at ALL. Rumours. We’ll find out for sure when Venom opens on October 5th.
In this week’s “Is Thor saying Goobye to Hollywood?” story, actor Chris Hemsworth’s contract with Marvel is up with Avengers 4.
Yes, that’s right. Chris Hemsworth is done with principal photography on Avengers 4. There will likely end up being some reshoots at some point, simply because that’s how blockbusters operate, but otherwise, the Australian actor confirms that the Marvel Studios sequel marks the end of his current contract with the comic book movie studio. What does that mean for the future of Thor?
Speaking to USA Today, Hemsworth confirmed that Avengers 4 is the last Marvel movie that he’s contractually obligated to appear in:
“Contractually, right now — yeah, this is it. I’m done. I won’t be playing the character again. It’s sort of a scary thought. This really seemed like this never-ending thing. And now it’s potentially finishing.”
So, now what? Let’s face it, the Avengers are going up against their toughest opponent yet with Thanos in Infinity War. Characters could die. Thor could be one of them. OR, we could have Marvel/Disney make Hemsworth an offer he can’t refuse to keep him involved. Could be a lot of changes coming, though.
In this week’s “28 Weeks Later director makes Disney remake” story, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, perhaps best known for directing the zombie thriller 28 Weeks Later, is in negotiations to helm The Sword in the Stone, Disney’s live-action reimagining of the studio’s 1963 animated fantasy.
Bryan Cogman, a writer-producer on HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, wrote the script for the project, which is being produced by Brigham Taylor (The Jungle Book).
Stone was the final movie released by the studio before Walt Disney’s death; it takes a lighthearted view of the legend of King Arthur, focusing on the young Arthur being mentored by the magician Merlin.
It was loosely based on T.H. White’s novel of the same name, which later became part of White’s multibook Arthurian fantasy, The Once and Future King.
Stone is the second Arthurian project the studio is developing as it’s also working on The Merlin Saga, with Ridley Scott circling the tale of the powerful wizard’s rise.
This means that Sword in the Stone could be pretty dark, based on the director of choice. Intriguing.
In this week’s “Plan B Batman” story, rumours continue to swirl around what’s happening with Batman.
Up to now it’s been a waiting game to see what Ben Affleck is going to do – will he play Batman one more time or not? Writer/director Matt Reeves, who is going to make his film, The Batman, said it will likely be stand alone and seperate from the rest of the DC universe stuff. AND, there has been talk about who will replace Affleck, if he walks away.
So, a report surfaced in August that the actor was in fact leaving, and although that report was later retracted, Jon Hamm (Mad Men) has express his interest in the role, and director Matt Reeves is reportedly eyeing Jake Gyllenhaal. There has been a lot of back-and-forth between the studio and Affleck, with this latest report claiming the studio is “sour” on Ben. If the actor were to outright bail on The Batman at this point, Jake Gyllenhaal} will likely get the call to replace him. Here’s what an unnamed sourced had to say about Jake Gyllenhaal replacing Ben Affleck.
“Gyllenhaal is probably Batman. Affleck is not out of it yet. That’s the thing, he still has a contract. But the studio is sour on him. If Ben rolls, Jake is in. Kind of a weird web. These guys both know they control each other’s destiny.”
There was a report in late November that revealed Jake Gyllenhaal really wants the Batman role but the studio isn’t 100% sold on this prospect. It seems Warner Bros. may have changed their tune, since it could be a foregone conclusion that Gyllenhaal steps in, as soon as Affleck steps out. This latest report claims that the dealings between Affleck and the studio have been an, “enormous tug-of-war” ever since 2016, when Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad came out, with the studio often trying to pull out “all the stops” in an effort to have him stick around. Now the studio is reportedly “over” Affleck.
Ben Affleck is still contractually obligated to star in The Batman, but if the studio is really “over” Affleck, then it’s possible they could let the star out of his contract and start over with a new Batman, supposedly played by Jake Gyllenhaal.
So really, as usual, nothing is set in stone. Rumours abound.
Oy, my head hurts.
In this week’s “Could be related” story, Variety is reporting that Warner Bros has entered negotiations with John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein to helm their upcoming Ezra Miller-led DC Films adventure, Flashpoint.
According to their report, WB’s first choice for director was actually the Batman himself, Ben Affleck (Justice League), but for whatever reason, the 2x Academy Award-winner decided to pass and the project ultimately went to Daley & Goldstein. (Perhasps something to do with the previous story?) Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future) was also said to be in the running, but it appears as though the studio was not interested in waiting for his schedule to clear up.
A production start date remains unset since Miller is still in the midst of filming Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, but Joby Harold (Robin Hood; King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) did recently turn in a new draft of the screenplay after a page one rewrite.
Daley & Goldstein are probably best known for helming the critically-reviled Vacation reboot and as two of the screenwriters on Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, which was the biggest superhero movie of 2017. They’ve also penned the scripts for Horrible Bosses, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, and Horrible Bosses 2. Ahead of Flashpoint, they have the Jason Bateman/Rachel McAdams comedy Game Night slated to hit theaters next month.
In this week’s “New Duncan Jones film!” story, director Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code), has been working for along time on his next film, Mute, but it’s finally getting released.
A sci-fi passion project for Jones, was intended to be his first film, and Netflix will finally release it on February 23rd.
Alexander Skarsgard stars as a mute bartender who lost the ability to speak after a childhood accident and gets dragged into the “city’s seedy, neon underworld” when his girlfriend (Seyneb Saleh) disappears. Set in the near-future, Mute shares a world with Moon — the second of a trilogy Jones has planned out — and co-stars Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux as a pair of American surgeons who keep popping up in Skarsgard’s investigation.
Jones announced the release date on Twitter and also shared a bit about how his personal “Don Quixote” (nicknamed after Terry Gilliam’s infamously troubled adaptation) finally made it to the finish line. Jones recalls that Mute was intended to be his first film but “it seems everything was against mute ever being made.” He sent the script to Sam Rockwell, who loved it but wanted to play the part of Leo — now played by Skarsgard. Instead, Jones wrote Moon for the actor… which became his first film instead. You can read the rest of the details on Mute‘s journey to the screen in the Duncan Jones tweets.
Now THIS I’m looking forward to!
In this week’s “More Men in Black?” story, Sony has a new Untitled Men in Black sequel/spinoff in the works and has shifted the release date from May 17th to June 14th, taking it off the date currently occupied by John Wick: Chapter Three and moving it to the date where Warner Bros. has its Shaft movie remake. This kind of date jockeying is not unusual a year in advance.
Men In Black Untitled was initially fast-tracked by Columbia earlier this year from a script by Matt Holloway and Art Marcum (Iron Man and Transformers: The Last Knight). The film is being produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald and will be executive produced by Steven Spielberg. All were involved in the original franchise launched in 1997 with Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. The film became an instant box office hit and (now) has spawned not one, but two other films.
The first two films together — the second launched in 2002 — has made over $1.03B at the worldwide box office. With that kind of money, it’s no wonder the suits are looking to revive it.
In this week’s “Pegg and Frost, together again” story, Simon Pagg and Nick Frost are developing a paranormal investigation series called, Truth Seekers.
Variety has word about the new Simon Pegg and Nick Frost series in a brief profile on the duo’s upcoming projects. While they’ve each been busy with their own work, from Nick Frost’s turn in the upcoming Tomb Raider adaptation (watch the new trailer) and AMC’s Into the Badlands to Simon Pegg’s involvement in the Star Trek and Mission: Impossible franchises, the two have also taken the time to form the independent production label Stolen Picture, and that’s where this new TV series hails from.
The show is called Truth Seekers and it will follow a three-person paranormal investigation team looking into a new paranormal incident in every episode, giving it a monster-of-the-week feel. Pegg offered more details to Variety in an interview:
“It’ll start as a very parochial idea, a very small business venture for these people, but it will expand as the series goes on to be something far more global. It’s a language everyone understands, the mystery of the unknown. ‘Shaun of the Dead’ was a very parochial story set in North London and somehow it managed to get this global reach because everyone understands the language of zombie movies.”
It’s not clear it Pegg and Frost will appear in the series or if they will remain strictly behind the scenes, but I hope they at least show up in the first episode, or maybe in guest star roles at some point. Either way, sounds like fun!
In this week’s “Margo Robbie/Harley Quinn times 3?” story,actress Margo Robbie may have as many as THREE films in which she plays Harley Quinn.
Warner Bros. is weighing each of the projects as the next platform for Robbie, presently winning acclaim for playing Tonya Harding in I, Tonya. Insiders described each of the 3 films for TheWrap, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the uncertainty around where Harley will turn up next:
She could, and will likely, appear in Suicide Squad 2. One reason “Suicide Squad 2” has the best odds is that the film may serve as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s introduction to the DC Universe as the super-villain Black Adam, two insiders familiar with the idea told TheWrap.
Or, it could be in Birds of Prey. Insiders say Robbie has become something of a DC Comics expert since joining “Suicide Squad,” and has taken an interest in “Birds of Prey.” The film is not a Quinn solo movie, but would feature multiple female superheroes — and possibly villains — in the DC Comics universe. Screenwriter Christina Hodson is scripting the Harley Quinn/Birds of Prey spinoff for Warner Bros. and DC Films, TheWrap has learned exclusively.
OR, maybe it’ll be in Joker vs Harley. The third project in the mix is a love story between the two iconic super villains in the vein of Mr. and Mrs. Smith but with The Joker and Harley. Crazy, Stupid Love directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa would write as well as direct, with Jared Leto and Robbie expected to reprise their Suicide Squad roles as the Clown Prince of Crime and his deranged accomplice.
Which will happen? Who knows! But either way, it certainly seems like a win/win for Margo Robbie.
In this week’s “Luke Skywalker, as seen by JGL” story, there are a lot of polarizing opinions about director Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi. Personally I loved it. but not everyone does. But if you have some qualms about Luke Skywalker and how his journey turned out, Joseph Gordon-Levitt believes that the depiction of Luke is a natural progression for the character. Here are some eloquent words from JGL:
“Leaving Luke unchanged would have been a huge missed opportunity. Think about how rare this is. A trilogy of movies is made with a young protagonist played by an actor in his 20s. Then, no fewer than 40 YEARS LATER (A New Hope came out in 1977) this actor gets to play the same character as an older man. I don’t know how many times that has ever happened in the history of movies. Has it ever happened?
This gives the filmmaker and the actor an extraordinary opportunity to tell a story about one of the most universal truths in human experience — getting older. We all get older, and those of us who are lucky enough to survive our youth all face the joys, the terrors, the puzzles, the pitfalls, the surprises, and the inevitabilities that come along with doing so. Re-meeting our beloved protagonist decades after we last saw him, only to learn that the passing years have changed some of his most fundamental qualities, I’ll admit, it’s almost hard to see. But in that glaring contrast between the Luke of old and the new Old Luke, The Last Jedi offers a uniquely fascinating portrayal of a man’s life marching inescapably forward.
Time changes us. Go talk to anybody in their sixties and ask if they feel very different than they did in their twenties. The look on their face will almost surely speak volumes. As do so many such looks from Mark Hamill in what I feel is a beautifully nuanced and heartfelt performance….
….To me, this is a story about not losing faith: faith in the outside world, faith in your allies as well as your enemies, in the future as well as the past, in the next generation that will take your place, and yes, faith in your own damn self. Luke has made mistakes that had terrible consequences, and his regret is so strong that he wants to give up. We need to see that despair, hidden under a crusty front of indifference, so that when he finally decides to put himself out there and make the ultimate sacrifice, it means something. It means more than just stalling the First Order to let the remainder of the Resistance escape. Our protagonist has arrived at the end of his journey. He’s re-found his faith, both in the past and the future of the Jedi Order, and even more importantly, in himself. Again, it’s in that glaring contrast between a journey’s beginnings and its end where we find a story’s meaning.”
Well said, JGL, well said.
In this week’s “Not dead yet!” story, director John Carpenter would like you to know that he is, indeed, very much alive.
The horror master on Tuesday responded to an errant tweet posted by Rotten Tomatoes earlier in the morning saying the iconic Halloween director was dead.
Fans were quick to point out he was alive and had a chuckle at the irony.
“To Rotten Tomatoes, despite how it appears, I’m actually not dead,” Carpenter tweeted.
It does not appear Rotten Tomatoes did a story on Carpenter’s alleged death, but rather said he was deceased in a tweet promoting a gallery of his work as Tuesday is his 70th birthday.
The Rotten Tomatoes tweet was deleted not long after it was posted, but Twitter users were quick to grab a screenshot for some ribbing.
Oh, the internet.
In this week’s “Trying to put people OFF of watching movies” story, in a history-making move back on December 11, Saudi Arabia announced the country would officially be lifting its 35-year ban on cinema. The decision caused many to wonder what the first movie to screen publicly would be. Would representatives go with a classic? A superhero film? An acclaimed local indie like Wadjda? The real answer it turns out is perhaps the most critically reviled U.S. film of 2017: The Emoji Movie.
Reuters reports that the Sony-backed animated comedy The Emoji Movie was the first film to screen publicly in Saudi Arabia on January 13. The movie was screened as a double feature with Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. While the country continues to wait for its first movie theater to open sometime in March, authorities have begun sponsoring temporary theater locations. “The Emoji Movie, for instance, screened at a state-run cultural hall in Jeddah.
Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia has lifted its ban, the government will still censor all films to make sure they agree with the country’s cultural standards. Following the first theater’s opening this spring, the plan is to continue building theaters so that there are over 300 cinemas with over 2,00 screens by 2030.
The conservative government banned cinemas in the early 1980’s because it felt such locations encouraged public mixing between men and women. Over the last several years, however, filmmaking and film interest in Saudi Arabia has boomed.
So, in order to FINALLY give movies to the people, you chose The Emoji Movie? Great. Well, if people in Sauda Arabia don’t think we’re nut in American yet, they surely will now.
Whew! That was a LOT. Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!