Oh, hey, it’s another week of fascinating, kooky, news!
IN THIS WEEK’S “G.I.Joe nonsense” story, No matter what the title of the next film in the ‘G.I. Joe’ is, you better believe Snake Eyes is nothing more than just a veiled attempt to reboot the franchise. And this is exactly why the latest news has Samara Weaving joining the cast as the famous ‘Joe’ character, Scarlett.
The Wrap reported that Weaving has signed on to play Scarlett in the upcoming Snake Eyes film, joining the already announced Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, and Úrsula Corberó in the cast. For those not familiar with ‘Joe’ lore, Scarlett is a character that has red hair (natch) and uses a crossbow for her primary weapon against the evil forces of Cobra. In the original 2009 film, she was portrayed by Rachel Nichols. The character didn’t show up in that film’s eventual sequel, GI Joe: Retaliation.
Ok, so this really is more like a reboot sort of thing. They just desperately want to reinvigorate this franchise. I just don’t get it.
Weaving is probably best known for her roles in films and TV series such as the recently released “Ready or Not,” the acclaimed showtime series SMILF, and the Oscar-winning film, Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri. She’s broke out in the Netflix original horror film, The Babysitter.
Snake Eyes, as the title suggests, is said to focus on the title character and his origins in the Japanese martial arts clan, the Arashikage Clan. Golding is set to play Snake Eyes, with Koji playing Storm Shadow and Corberó set to play Baroness. Japanese actor Takehiro Hira has been signed to play the main villain of the film, but we’re unsure who that character might be.
Snake Eyes is written by Evan Spiliotopoulos and directed by Red and RIPD helmer Robert Schwentke. The film is scheduled to be released on October 16, 2020.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Hypothetically speaking” story, During a recent appearance at ACE Comic Con Chicago, Hemsworth revealed if he would be willing to reunite with Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. on screen, and gave a pretty delightful suggestion as to what their next project could be.
“Absolutely. I would love to.” Hemsworth revealed. “That was so sad about kind of finishing Endgame, was just ‘Were we ever going to get to hang out again?’ And I immediately started thinking ‘What else could we do?’ And I’d love to. We could remake the Three Amigos! or something.”
For the uninitiated, Three Amigos! was a 1986 western comedy film, which united the trio of Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short. The film followed the trio as silent film stars, who are accidentally roped into a conflict in a small Mexican village when they are mistaken for real heroes. While some of the zany comedy’s elements might not exactly hold up today, the film has remained a sort of cult classic in the decades since its debut. I, in fact, LOVE Three Amigos!
Hemsworth isn’t the only one who wants to reunite with his Avengers costars for some sort of comedy, as Evans previously suggested that he and his fellow Chris star in an ’80s-style buddy comedy together.
“We had too much fun together, and truly like kids in school, we were separated because we couldn’t get shit done,” Evans said of Hemsworth earlier this year. “I would love to do one of those ’80s buddy comedies, where we could shed the characters we are known for.”
Yes, Yes, and most definitely Yes. I actually love this idea!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Better call a vigilante” story, Back to the Future star Christopher Lloyd and Wonder Woman star Connie Nielsen are set to play Bob Odenkirk‘s father and wife, respectively, in Universal’s action-thriller Nobody, Collider has exclusively learned..
Ilya Naishuller (Hardcore Henry) is directing the movie, which is a major change-of-pace for Odenkirk, as it casts him as a violent vigilante. The Better Call Saul star will play Hutch Mansell, a suburban dad, overlooked husband, and nothing neighbor — in effect, a “nobody.” When two thieves break into his home one night, Hutch’s long-simmering rage is ignited, propelling him on a brutal path that will uncover dark secrets he fought to leave behind.
John Wick scribe Derek Kolstad wrote the script, and Wick director David Leitch will produce alongside Kelly McCormick via their 87North banner, as well as Marc Provissiero via his company Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment. Odenkirk will also serve as a producer, while Braden Aftergood will produce through Eighty Two Films. Universal executive Jay Polidoro will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.
Universal will release Nobody on Aug. 14, 2020
IN THIS WEEK’S “Yorgos the first” story, For all of his seemingly out-there ideas and distinctive obsessions, Oscar-nominated Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos is one of world cinema’s most consistent creators. Even in his earliest solo feature, the hard-to-find Kinetta, Lanthimos’ unique aesthetic and worldview takes center stage. In the 2005 feature, bound for a U.S. release after all these years, Lanthimos’ panache for building out disturbing self-contained worlds that are bound by their own wild logic and weirdo rules is clear.
Though the film screened at various festivals in 2005 and 2006, it was never released stateside. Thanks to New York’s Museum of the Moving Image, the film will finally be available to American audiences, care of an upcoming run at the Queens institution. The film stars Aris Servetalis, Evangelia Randou, and Costas Xikominos.
Per the film’s official synopsis: “In a desolate Greek resort town, three tenuously connected people are motivated by mysterious impulses. A plain-clothes cop pursues triple passions for cars, tape recorders, and Russian women; a lonely, lovesick clerk works as a part-time photographer; and a hotel maid aspires to be an actress. This darkly comic and insinuatingly hypnotic film comprises the extraordinary debut from Yorgos Lanthimos, whose first three films (‘Kinetta,’ ‘Dogtooth,’ ‘Alps’) defined the Greek New Wave before he shifted to English-language films, including Academy Award nominees ‘The Lobster’ and ‘The Favourite.’”
Lanthimos went for a decidedly DIY approach when he made the jump to solo filmmaking (he had previously made “My Best Friend” alongside Lakis Lazopoulos), filming Kinetta with a minimal crew and a cast of just three actors. “It was really naïve how we approached it, and we hadn’t done it before,” Lanthimos told IndieWire in 2018. “But with that, we proved that it’s possible. We became even more thirsty to do it, so we kept making films.”
IN THIS WEEK’S “Who’s Catwoman?” story, Big Little Lies star Zoe Kravitz has been tapped to play Catwoman, the antiheroine and sometime love interest of the Caped Crusader, in Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman.
Kravitz will star opposite Robert Pattinson as Batman.
Pre-production on the Warner Bros.-DC Comics pic is expected to start this summer. No official start date has been set, although insiders tell Variety that filming could start in late 2019 or early 2020. The Batman is scheduled to hit theaters June 25, 2021.
Reeves, the filmmaker behind the last two Planet of the Apes sequels, took over Batman directing duties from Ben Affleck in January 2017. Affleck departed his role as Batman following Justice League, allowing Reeves to pick his own Bruce Wayne. Reeves’ Planet of the Apes collaborator Dylan Clark will produce.
Kravitz is coming off her second season of HBO’s Big Little Lies, which aired its finale in July. She also has the Hulu series High Fidelity coming out later this year. She is repped by Paradigm.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Adding fuel to the fire” story, so if you were impatient and left the theater before the end credits in Venom – or if you had sense and didn’t see it at all – you would have missed the fact that they were pretty clear who was going to be the villain in the Venom sequel. Woody Harrelson will be playing Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage. However, it appears that Harrelson won’t be alone in tormenting the title hero in Venom 2.
According to Deadline, Carnage will be joined by the Marvel villain known as Shriek in the upcoming Venom 2.
While we don’t know who might play the character, it’s clear from Shriek’s Marvel history that she’ll play a pivotal role in the film. Shriek has the ability to use her voice to create shields and energy blasts. Perhaps more importantly, at least for Venom 2, the villain has the distinct ability to unlock the inner darkness in people, making them violent. One could see how this might be a cinematic short-cut for creating a villain in the film.
As for her relationship to Carnage and Venom, Shriek is also the romantic partner for Kasaday, making her the right-hand woman to Harrelson in the film.
Venom 2 once again stars Tom Hardy as the title character. Except for this time, Andy Serkis replaces the outgoing Ruben Fleischer behind the camera as the film’s director.
There’s no release date set for the film, but production is expected to begin in early 2020.
IN THIS WEEK’S “In case you were wondering…” story, Tom Hardy and Tom Holland will be facing off on the big screen as Venom and Spider-Man, at least according to Venom director Ruben Fleischer. The filmmaker is currently making the press rounds in support of his new action comedy Zombieland: Double Tap and confirmed to Fandom that the plan for Hardy’s Venom franchise from the beginning has been for it to build to a Spider-Man crossover movie.
“That’s where it’s all going to lead,” Fleischer said. “And that’s the exciting thing, because we changed the origin of Venom [for the first movie]. In the comics, he evolved from Spider-Man but because of the Marvel-Sony thing we weren’t able to do that. And so the thing I think it’s building towards, and will be exciting to see, is when they actually do confront each other.”
Fleischer’s involvement with Zombieland: Double Tap prevented him from taking on the Venom sequel, which is going into production before the end of the year with director and motion-capture wizard Andy Serkis. Fans have long expected Holland’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man to face off against Hardy’s Venom. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said in June that a crossover movie “seemed likely,” although it all depended on Sony.
I think we all knew that would happen somehow. There is WAY too much money to be made in that.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Waisting no time” stowy, A sequel to the animated movie “The Addams Family” is in the works at MGM, and the studio has set a release date on Oct. 22, 2021, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
“The Addams Family” opened to $30.3 million at the domestic box office this weekend, finishing as the top new release and in second place behind “Joker.” It’s the first new release set for that date, and the film will open one week ahead of “Halloween Ends” from Universal.
United Artists Releasing will distribute the “Addams Family” sequel in the U.S., and Universal will release the film internationally.
The Addams Family beat projections of $25 million in its opening weekend, and it’s still slated to roll out internationally beginning at the end of this month through early December.
Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan directed the animated film that adapts the classic, horror-themed ’60s sitcom. Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Snoop Dogg, Bette Midler and Allison Janney provided the voices for the family comedy about the ghoulish family as they move into the suburbs and try to adapt to the modern world.
The Addams Family was originally based upon characters by Charles Addams that ran as single-panel cartoons in the New Yorker beginning in 1938 up until the time of his death in 1988. In addition to the series that ran between 1964 to 1966, the characters have also been adapted as two live-action films and as a Broadway musical.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Row, row, row, your boat” story, Alexander Ludwig is getting ready to Swing. The Vikings actor is set to join Michael Shannon for the Ivy League rowing drama.
Directed by Michael Mailer and written by Vojin Gjaja, Swing follows a group of friends and crew teammates in their last year at an Ivy League college in 1999. Their lives are changed when an army vet takes over as coach of their dysfunctional rowing team. Ludwig is set to play Alex Singleton, the team leader who aspires to make the Olympic rowing team. He is described as “cocky and arrogant with a mean streak”. His teammates aren’t too fond of him but he is the strongest rower among them and his father is the school Athletic Director.
Gjaja is a former armor officer in the United States Army and his screenplay is based on his experiences as an oarsman at Columbia University. Shannon, who also serves as a producer on the film, joined the drama in May during Cannes. Robert Ogden Barnum, Lucas Jarach and Byron Wetzel also produce.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Matrix 4 surprise” story, Neil Patrick Harris is the latest addition to the ensemble cast for the upcoming fourth installment of the Matrix franchise.
He joins Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, who will be reprising their roles in the film, as well as Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who was tapped as one of the leads last week.
Plot details are currently unknown. While it was rumored a young Morpheus could appear in the movie, sources close to the film would not confirm Harris’ specific role.
Warner Bros. announced in August that a fourth Matrix movie is officially in the works, with Reeves and Moss returning and Lana Wachowski on board to write and direct. Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures will produce and globally distribute the film.
Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell co-wrote the script with Wachowski, who will also produce with Grant Hill. The film is expected to begin production at the beginning of 2020.
I wonder if there will be a song and dance number? I would welcome that, honestly.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Hollywood friends” story, Ryan Reynolds and John Krasinski are partnering to become Imaginary Friends. The pair are currently in negotiations for the fantasy comedy at Paramount, Deadline has confirmed.
Paramount beat out the likes of Sony and Lionsgate in a bidding war for the pic which, once finalized, will have Krasinski as screenwriter and director. He will also star alongside Reynolds in the film which follows the story of a man who can see and talk to imaginary friends. As a result, he befriends many of those who have been forgotten. However, some of these imaginary friends are void of love and friendship and they turn to the dark side and Reynolds’ character must step in to save those who turn evil.
The news comes after Reynolds recently signed on to join Will Ferrell in a musical rendition of the Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol directed by Sean Anders and John Morris. The pic was acquired by Apple in a competitive bid.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Riddle me this, Paul” story, Paul Dano is in talks to join Robert Pattinson in Matt Reeves and Warner Bros. The Batman, sources tell Variety.
Though the studio would not confirm the role, insiders believe that Dano would be playing the classic comic book villain The Riddler.
Dano’s casting comes on the heels of Jonah Hill turning down an offer to join the cast. Given how long negotiations went on between the studio and Hill’s team, insiders believe WB already had an offer ready to go out to Dano once Hill passed on the role.
Pre-production on the Warner Bros.-DC Comics pic is expected to start this summer. No official start date has been set, although Variety hears that filming could start in late 2019 or early 2020. The Batman is scheduled to hit theaters June 25, 2021.
Now that is indeed an intersting choice. I feel like that would be a very different type of Riddler.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Penning Dr. Strange 2” story, Of all the Phase 4 announcements that Marvel Studios unveiled over the summer, perhaps the least surprising was Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Sure, the title was new, but the fact that the studio was working on a sequel to the 2017 film was hardly shocking. That being said, it does appear that Marvel Studios is looking to add new life to the franchise by bringing in a new writer to pen the script for the sequel.
According to Collider, Marvel has hired Jade Bartlett to write the script for ‘Doctor Strange 2.’ The writer joins already-announced director Scott Derrickson, who helmed the first film, on the sequel, which many believe will start shooting fairly soon. Not much is known about the plot of the film, other than the title alluding to multiverse shenanigans.
Bartlett is a relatively new writer on the scene, with her only major credit, at this point, being her script for Miller’s Girl, which was recently optioned by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. While we don’t know the current status on that film, it’s been reported that Bartlett will also direct MIller’s Girl. Regardless, it’s obvious that ‘Multiverse of Madness’ is the biggest project she’s been attached to yet.
Always good to have fresh blood, I say.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Well, that can’t be right” story, you’d think a story about someone making a Barney feature film would be a joke, but turns out, it’s not.
According to Mattel Films, the studio is actively developing a new modern-day Barney film that will be produced by none other than Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya. That’s right, the incredible, Academy Award-nominated actor from films such as the aforementioned Jordan Peele thriller, last year’s crime drama “Widows,” and the upcoming police-shooting film “Queen & Slim” is producing a feature-length project about the big purple dinosaur that sings about love and acceptance.
It’s a strange, strange world.
“Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood,” said Kaluuya. “We’re excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of ‘I love you, you love me’ can stand the test of time.”
Mattel Films’ Robbie Brenner said, “Working with Daniel Kaluuya will enable us to take a completely new approach to Barney that will surprise audiences and subvert expectations. The project will speak to the nostalgia of the brand in a way that will resonate with adults, while entertaining today’s kids.”
Well, this is truly horrific.
IN THIS WEEK’S “A who’s who of who slept with who” story, Scotty Bowers, a “sexual matchmaker” for dozens of stars during the Golden Age of Hollywood who wrote about his colorful — and sometimes unbelivable — life in his memoir Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars, died at his Laurel Canyon home on Sunday. He was 96.
The story of his experiences was told in the 2017 documentary Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, directed by Matt Trynauer, who confirmed his death.
A former U.S. Marine and gas station attendant, Bowers also worked as a bartender and as a go-fer to friend such as George Cukor. But the most notable part of his life was as a helpful procurer for everyone, he claimed, from Rock Hudson, Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis and Elsa Lanchester to Cary Grant, Randolph Scott, Spencer Tracy and Charles Laughton.
The actors and filmmakers, who were often bound by morality clauses in their studio contracts, turned to Bowers to arrange meetings, sometimes with same-sex partners who they would not have been able to date in public.
Born George Albert Bowers in Ottowa, Ill., Bowers moved to Los Angeles after his service in the Marines, and got a job at a gas station at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue, where a chance meeting and sexual encounter with actor Walter Pidgeon helped make his name as the person to turn to for confidential hook-ups. He began by matching up military buddies with customers on the premises and graduated to sending friends on private liaisons with high-profile Hollywood personalities, but claimed never to have taken payment for such introductions.
Among his colorful stories, as Variety‘s review of Scotty and the Secret History recalls: “Back in those days, people knew that Cary Grant and Randolph Scott were lovers; Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy’s tabloid love affair was a smoke screen for their homosexual pursuits (“I fixed her up with every bit of 150 girls” over 39 years, he wagers); he shtupped Bette Davis, Vivien Leigh, Lana Turner and Ava Gardner (together!), and J. Edgar Hoover (“He was in drag”); he even describes frolicking with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor at the Beverly Hills Hotel, thanks to a referral from Cecil Beaton.”
“The director insists that he found support for every claim made by the film,” Variety‘s review continues, though most of his stories were unverifiable or likely embellished over the years.
Bowers recounts in the documentary that it was time to hang up his matchmaking shingle when the AIDS crisis hit, though he continued to occasionally work as a bartender and handyman for celebrity friends.
Aaaaand IN THIS WEEK’S “Dolittle’s trainwreck” story, According to a recent Twitter post, which itself is a repost of a social media thread, an unnamed worker from the set of Dolittle had a ton of things to say about the filming process of the family-friendly film. While we don’t know who the whistleblower is, it would appear from the context of the stories that the person worked on the extensive animation/CGI in the film.
Before we get to the nitty-gritty, it’s important to understand that Dolittle is the upcoming film starring Robert Downey, Jr as the titular doctor that has the innate ability to literally speak to animals. And in the film, it’s not just one or two animals that converse with the good doctor. Instead, there’s a whole menagerie of wild creatures, voiced by A-list talent, that populate the film, which is credited to director Gaghan, despite already published reports of Chris McKay coming aboard to rewrite portions of the film for reshoots that were helmed by director Jonathan Liebesman.
“It was deep in production hell last year, they started filming scenes before they had even planned where the animated animals would be standing, it was nuts,” wrote the disgruntled crewmember (syntax and spelling errors kept intact). “And then the batshit director went and got fired, which was a little too late after his insane outbursts and subsequent banning from stepping foot into both the lead concept department AND the lead Pre-visual animation department.”
The rant continued, “Then he demanded that the previsual department be fired because ‘We can figure it out on the day”, yeah Stephan, you can figure out where 5+ animated characters and Robert.D.Jr are standing when you have 30 individual camera shots to film on a Monday morning, you fucking moron.”
When it was mentioned about how Liebesman and McKay were brought on to save the film, after Universal was displeased with test screenings, the crewmember admitted that they weren’t there for the reshoots, but said, “…if it’s even remotely watchable then the new guys deserve some fuckin’ medals haha.”
Adding to the laundry list of issues brought up by this crewmember is the fact that Gaghan “was literally insane, almost put a fist through a new 8k tv because the talking Goose wasn’t on screen while it was talking in one shot, even though he asked the week before for us to move the goose out of the shot…”
Now, even though these stories sound horrible, perhaps the most entertaining rant that is published by this disgruntled person is the description of Gaghan’s dog. Yes, the director’s LITERAL companion animal.
The crewmember describes the animal as “one of the most incredibly regal looking motherfucker I’ve ever seen.” However, with that regality comes a healthy dose of racism, apparently.
The dog is described as a “stone cold racist” that would “track down every human in the building with even the slightest drop of ethnic ancestry and bark.” Oof.
Look, clearly this is all hearsay and might be a whole lot of bunk. While we can’t say that any of this happened for sure, it’s clear that the person who penned this believes it 100%, and there is already a history of “Dolittle” suffering a troubled production. And frankly, I have some stories like this to tell, too, about shoots I’ve worked on in the past, so, there may indeed be a grain (or two) of truth to it.
Either way, it certainly makes for interesting chatter about the film Dolittle.