Oh Em Gee, it’s yet another week of film news! There are some revelations, some shocks, and some head-shaking, eye-rolling nonsense this time around. Let’s find out which is which!
In this week’s “Delusions of Grandeur” story, Vin Diesel thinks Fast And Furious 8 will win some Oscars! Yes, that’s plural.
Vin Diesel believes that “Fast 8” director F. Gary Gray will get his “comeuppance” with the upcoming movie in the Fast and Furious franchise after his Oscar snub for Straight Outta Compton.
“As bizarre as that might be, he is definitely going to get his comeuppance … He should’ve really been acknowledged for Straight Outta Compton,” Diesel said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight while promoting “Billy Lynn’s Halftime Walk.” “I think he went into making this movie with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder, going ‘Oh, really? OK. Now I’m going to take the biggest saga in the world, and I’m about to throw Oscars at you. Wait till you see what he does!”
“‘Fast 8’ is different. It’s very dark,” Diesel explained about the upcoming blockbuster. “My character is conflicted in a way that is really going to shock you. He’s coming off of a lot of emotion from ‘7’ and the loss that ‘7’ represents. It’s kind of cold-blooded. It’s going to hit you like a ton of bricks.”
Where I certainly could agree that F. Gary Gray may have deserved an Oscar for Straight Outta Compton, I don’t necessarily think Fast 8 is the film the Academy will compensate him with.
In this week’s “Spoonful of sugar” story, actor Colin Firth is in negotiations to star with Emily Blunt in the sequel to Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns. He’ll play bank president William Weatherall Wilkins.
The movie is set 25 years after the original. Michael and Jane Banks (Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer) are all grown up and suddenly get a visit from the magical nanny.
The movie also stars Meryl Streep as Poppins cousin. The film will be directed by Rob Marshall and produced by Marshall, John DeLuca, and Marc Platt.
The screenplay will be written by Oscar nominee David Magee based on The Mary Poppins Stories by P.L. Travers. Marc Shaiman is composing an all-new score and Scott Wittman will be writing original songs.
Mary Poppins Returns will hit theaters on Dec. 25, 2018.
In this week’s “Too soon?” story, producer David Heyman, responsible for the harry Potter franchise, and Warner Bros., are bringing back another classic character. turns out, Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to Willy Wonka form the Roald Dahl estate and plan to make a new film centered around the eccentric character.
Heyman will produce with Michael Siegel, who is the manager of the Dahl Estate. Kevin McCormick is exec producing. The Secret Life of Pets scribe Simon Rich is penning the script. Courtenay Valenti and Jon Gonda are overseeing the project for the studio.
Sources reveal that the film will not be an origin tale, but a standalone movie focused on Wonka and his early adventures. It’s unknown who from the original book series, other than Wonka, will be involved in the project. If the reboot is a hit, it seems likely that characters like Charlie could be seen in future installments of a possible franchise.
Dahl wrote two books in which Wonka appeared — the 1964 novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the 1972 book “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator”, which I always seem to forget — but Dahl never wrote anything focused specifically on the Wonka character.
Where the Hell are you gonig to find someone like Gene Wilder to play Wonka? NOWHERE. Ok, maybe somewhere, but I’m feeling a bit inflexable about this at the moment. Yes, it may be a bit too soon for this news.
In this week’s “JGL!” story, our pal Joseph Gordon-Levitt has signed on to star in Sovereign, the sci-fi film writen by Geoff Tock, Gregory Wilhelm, with Jack Thorne (This Is England) doing a rewrite. The story revolves around a man who embarks to find his wife and and the crew of a space station that have gone missing, and in the process comes to terms with why his marriage fell apart. Feelings…interstellar, feelings…
In this week’s “Black Metal Forever” story, Vice Films, Insurgent Media and 20th Century Fox are bringing black metal’s most infamous story to the screen with Lords of Chaos, an adaptation of the book by Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind.
Black Metal has been around along time, the early 1980’s (Venom!), and there have been some crazy stories over the years. But this one is probably the most infamous. Rory Culkin, Emory Cohen, Jack Kilmer, Valter Skarsgård and Sky Ferreira are set to star in the film, which is being co-written and directed by Jonas Åkerlund. Lords of Chaos will center around Mayhem, a Norwegian black metal band involved in a spate of highly publicized church burnings whose infighting eventually led to a murder.
“This is a wildly freaky story that our audience has been obsessed with for years,” said Vice’s Danny Gabai, “and Jonas’ brilliantly imaginative take on it is simultaneously one of the most uniquely entertaining and beautifully humanistic scripts we’ve seen in a long time.”
Åkerlund is a founding member of Bathory, one of the first black metal bands, and has directed dozens of music videos — including, most recently, segments of Beyoncé’s “Lemonade.” Vice previously produced the short documentary “True Norwegian Black Metal” in 2007.
Now THAT sounds like an interesting story.
In this week’s “One idea out of two ain’t bad” story, Leonardo DiCaprio’s company Appian Way and Paramount are negotiating for the rights to Beth Macy’s non-fiction book Truevine. According to Deadline, DiCaprio will produce the film and develop it as a potential star vehicle for himself.
The story concerns two young albino black boys in Jim Crow-era Virginia who were either kidnapped or sent into the circus by their mother in 1899. They lost touch with her and became famous performers, appearing as monstrous caricatures such as “sheep-headed cannibals” or “ambassadors from Mars”.
They appeared all over the world, including at Buckingham Palace and Madison Square Garden, and were eventually reunited with their mother after 28 years apart. Macy’s book was released in the US on Tuesday.
This sounds like a fascinating story, and in fact sounds like it should be a focus of the podcast The Dollop, if it hasn’t already.
As an aside, it was announced that DiCaprio is also reportedly planning to make a film adaptation of the 1990’s children’s cartoon show Captain Planet, about a superhero that fights pollution. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the first idea is a great choice, while this second one is only good in theory, but not in practicality. C’mon, seroisuly, a Captain Planet film? Though it’s heart would be in the right place, it already stinks of heavy-handed soapbox preaching.
In this week’s “Beatrix Potter” story, director Will Gluck, who directed Easy A and the Annie remake, is now working on making a live action film adaptation of Peter Rabbit based on the Beatrix Potter books. The voice of Peter Rabbit is none other than late night Television host, James Corden, and as his adversary, farmer MacGregor, Domhnall Gleeson has signed on. The cast already includes Daisy Ridley, Elizabeth Debicki, and Rose Byrne.
The rabbits will be in CG, and there will be some live actors, such as Gleeson. Peter Rabbit is aiming for an April 2018 release.
In this week’s “Ear pulling” story, legendary actress Carol Burnett is returning to television. She is set to star in a multi-camera comedy that has landed at ABC and is committed to a pilot. The project is to be written/executive produced by Michael Saltzman and Burnett will be paired with Amy Poehler, with Poehler executive producing through her Paper Kite banner. Universal TV is the studio.
The set up: the untitled comedy is about a family who gets a chance to buy the house of their dreams — a house they’d never be able to afford under normal circumstances, but is able to under extremely abnormal circumstances. They must live with the current owner, an older actress (Burnett) — until she dies.
It’ll be awesome to see Carol Burnett back on the telly. As a kid I was a huge fan of her variety show back in the ’70’s.
In this week’s “If you’re going to expand on something, you may as well start with Death Race 2000” story, legendary producer Roger Corman and director GJ Echternkamp are making a little something called Death Race 2050! This will be a direct sequel to the original film (excluding the 2008 remake and subsequent sequels), and basically has the very same premise:
“In the not-too-distant future, America is controlled by an all-powerful corporate government that keeps the masses placated with violent virtual-reality entertainment. The event of the year is the Death Race, where a motley assortment of drivers compete in a cross-country road race, scoring points for running down pedestrians and killing each other. The reigning champion and popular favorite is half-man, half-machine Frankenstein — but little does he know he’s taken on a rebel spy as his co-pilot.”
The cast includes Manu Bennett (of Spartacus and Arrow fame) as Frankenstein, the popular driver previous played by David Carradine and and Jason Statham. Malcolm McDowell, who seems to take almost any role, plays the chief villain. This will go straight to DVD/Bluray and VOD, January 17, 2017.
You can find a trailer online now and it looks bonkers and silly. Totally low-budget and goofy, I’d love to check it out!
In this week’s “YAY! FINALLY! SNICKT!” story, the trailer for Logan came out Thursday, and it looks really good! This will be Hugh Jackman’s last appearance as the Wolverine. That’s kind of a bummer, but he can’t do it forever.
In this week’s “Starting from scratch” story, Godzilla 2 has not only lost director Gareth Edwards a while back, but is now looking for writers as the release date has been pushed to March, 22, 2019, from a 2018 date. However, that search for new writers has born fruit. Variety reports that Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields, the writers of Krampus, are now hired to write the next U.S. Godzilla movie.
Krampus might have been a little underwhelming based on what I think was not going quite far enough, but with a $15 million budget, things went well since they made $ 43 million. I’m going to stay hopeful.
In this week’s “Ambitious debut” story, Kirsten Dunst announced this past summer that she will direct her first film, and it’s quite a big deal. She will direct Dakota Fanning as the lead role in an adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s 1963 novel, The Bell Jar.
Fanning will play Esther Greenwood, a wayward young woman, during a summer in New York City. Tormented by the death of her father, Esther arrives to take part in a prestigious internship at a magazine, but she quickly unravels as she befriends a rebellious fellow intern, Doreen, and finds herself unable to adapt to the changing times.
Actor Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad, Fargo series) will play Lenny Shepherd, a wealthy city man who gets in between Esther’s friendship with Doreen. Dunst is co-writing the screenplay with Nellie Kim and will go into production in early 2017.
In this week’s “Most ridiculous names” story, Vanilla Ice and his wife, Laura Van Winkle, are separating after nearly 20 years of marriage. Laura filed for divorce in Florida on Tuesday, after the couple had been separated for about three years.
Laura, and the 48 year old rapper (EX-rapper, really), (born Robert Van Winkle), have two daughters together, Dusti Rain, 18, and Keelee Breeze, 11. How much resentment do you think is brewing there? At least they aren’t named after fruit.
In this week’s “Dude are you begging?” story, Luc Besson REALLY wants you to go see his big comic book/dream project film next summer, Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets. It’s already promising to be a big, bold adventure, with an interesting cast that includes Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevigne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Herbie Hancock, and Kris Wu.
Besson already hs the second one mappe dout but of course he can’t count those chickens until he knows the first film is a success. “Please, please [make ‘Valerian’ successful] because I want to do the second one,” Besson enthused. “I have [the story]. I just have to be patient and humble, because you can’t start before you know if the first one works or not. So I’m eating my nails and waiting. But I have the second one, the second one is great. Go to the first one, so I can do the second one, please!”
Well, that’s one way to try to get people to see your film: desperation.
~ Neil T Weakley, your average movie-goer, thanking you for tuning in for another week of kooky film news!