Oh, hello, yet another week of film happenings!
In this week’s “Godzilla vs…Jaegers?” story, Steven DeKnight, director of the upcoming Pacific Rim: Uprising, says that a crossover of Pacific Rim and the monsterverse including Godzilla and King Kong could happen.
“I won’t say there’s an Easter Egg but there’s been a lot of discussion about that possibility [of crossing over]. Look I think it would be fantastic to have the Pacific Rim universe join Legendary’s Monster Universe, it seems like a natural step. And part of the big overall plan after the third movie we’ve talked about is that could happen, it’s always a possibility. It’s by far not a certainty; it’s merely theoretical at this point, but as a fan myself I would love to see that happen.”
In this week’s “Kingpin” story, Vincent D’nofrio will return as Wilson Fisk in Season 3 of Daredevil! YAY!
In this week’s “More YAY!” story, AMC has renewed Preacher for a third season! YAY again!
In this week’s “Well, SOMEbody likes Avatar” story, director Michael Mann has a new film project called Comanche. I know, it’s a title that might immediately make someone worry about more white-washing of history. But it’s actually a fascinating true story.
Mann revealed he’s got an intriguing sounding western on his desk. It’s a film that’s based on the true story of Cynthia Parker, who was kidnapped at the age of 10 by a Comanche war band, and lived most of her adult life with them, learning their language and culture. She was eventually “rescued” at the age of 34, but wasn’t able to adjust to western society, and was devastated about losing her Comanche family.
“….there is this other idea that I was offered to do, which is called Comanche. The action takes place in 1871,” Mann said (via Google Translate). “It is a very ambitious [story] that follows four characters whose trajectories will gradually converge… In fact, it’s the same story as John Ford‘s The Searchers, except that film took a lot of very problematic freedoms. Cynthia Parker had nothing to do with the character who was inspired [the one played by] Natalie Wood. She was a wealthy wife and mother of five, in her forties, who did not speak English, ripped from her family to be assimilated by whites. She tried to escape several times, before committing suicide.”
Mann is also brewing “a science fiction project,” for down the road, though no other details are available. However, he did say he was excited about new technologies that allow filmmakers to create whole worlds, and shared special praise for an unlikely movie.
“James Cameron‘s work is underestimated. Avatar is an extraordinary achievement. It exceeds all the expectations that can be projected on one of his projects. Cameron has always been several frontiers ahead in this area, as he invents technology himself to support his vision,” Mann said (probably more eloquently; again, Google Translate).
Ok, well, Mr. Mann, YOU can watch Avatar again if you want. Just leave me out of it.
In this week’s “Judy, Judy, Judy…” story, Renee Zellweger is to star as Judy Garland in Judy, based on the true story of the stage and screen icon’s final concerts in London.
Pathe and Calamity Films are backing the project, based on a script by Tom Edge (The Crown, Lovesick) and to be directed by Tony nominee and two-time Olivier winner Rupert Goold, with production set to start February 2018. BAFTA winner David Livingstone (Pride) will produce for Calamity Films.
Judy will chronicle Garland’s arrival in swinging 1968 London to perform in a series of sellout shows. It has been 30 years since “the world’s greatest entertainer” shot to global fame in The Wizard of Oz and as she prepares for the concerts, she battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans, while also embarking on a courtship with Mickey Dean, her soon-to-be fifth husband. Yet Garland is also fragile, and having spent 45 of her 47 years working, is haunted by memories of a childhood lost to Hollywood and a desire to be back home with her kids.
In this week’s “What We Do On TV” story, director Taika Waititi says there are talks to bring the film he co-directed, What We Do In The Shadows, to television as a series.
Speaking with Fandango, Waititi revealed that he’s currently developing a version of the film for American television:
“We’re trying to develop a U.S. version of What We Do in the Shadows. You know, set here in the states, but a TV show.”
Seems like a great idea – and a logical one. That film was a mockumentary style film and would easily translate in to a TV series format.
Of course, the vampires from the original movie don’t exist in a vacuum. They are part of a much larger (and charmingly mundane) supernatural world full of werewolves and other entities. Waititi has spoken before about a werewolf-centric spin-off film called We’re Wolves and he told Fandango that it’s still in the works:
“We’re still trying to write that. We’re doing those [other shows] as well as trying to come up with ideas for this werewolf movie. It will happen!”
Also in the works: a second spin-off movie about the two cops from the first film as they investigate paranormal activity. Waititi describes it as a “mockumentary X-Files” and says production is set to begin soon.
I think this is all great news.
In this week’s “Really?” story, Star Trek: Discovery is getting a season 2.
CBS All Access has given a second-season pickup to the latest series in the venerable sci-fi franchise, the streaming service announced Monday.
The series premiered last month, and the initial six episodes are currently available to stream on CBS All Access. Season 1 has been divided into two chapters, with the final installment in the nine-episode first chapter debuting Nov. 12, and the six-episode second chapter kicking off in January 2018.
Apprently, Discovery set a record for subscriber sign-ups to the streaming service in a single day, week and month.
“In just six episodes, Star Trek: Discovery has driven subscriber growth, critical acclaim and huge global fan interest for the first premium version of this great franchise,” said CBS Interactive president and chief operating officer Marc DeBevoise. “This series has a remarkable creative team and cast who have demonstrated their ability to carry on the ‘Star Trek’ legacy. We are extremely proud of what they’ve accomplished and are thrilled to be bringing fans a second season of this tremendous series.”
Really? I guess it’s great for anyone who knows nothing about Star Trek. the rest of us are still left scratching our heads trying to figure out why they’re doing some of the things they do on that show.
In this week’s “Dora goes live exploring” story, Paramount Pictures has a live action Dora The Explorer movie in the works.
A live-action, feature-length film based on the Nickelodeon series Dora the Explorer is in the works at Paramount Players, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The movie will follow teenage Dora as she moves to the Big Apple to live with her cousin Diego, the titular character in the Dora spinoff Go, Diego, Go!
Though Dora was originally introduced as an eight-year-old girl in 2000, she was aged up (slightly) in 2014 for the follow-up series Dora and Friends: Into the City!
Nick Stoller (Neighbors, Storks) is penning the script, with Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes — along with Andrew Form and Brad Fuller — producing.
Oh no, Michael Bay? I’m sure he’ll find a way to ruin it.
In this week’s “Benson” story, actor Robert Guillaume, known s the voice of Rafiki in The Lion King, and as Benson from the show of the same name and Soap, passed away today (Tuesday) after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 89.
His stage roles included being the first African-American to perform the title character “Phantom of the Opera.” He earned a Tony nomination in 1977 for his part in the first all-black version of “Guys and Dolls.”
In this week’s “Life After Logan” story, as the film Logan was the end of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, it was also the beginning of his young co-star, Dafne Keen, who plays Laura a.k.a. X-23. Laura is a daughter of sorts for Logan, having been cloned from his DNA and possessing similar powers. With Logan pulling in $ 616 million worldwide, the idea of a spin-off film is certainly a good one to Fox.
In an interview with THR, director James Mangold, producer Hutch Parker, and star Hugh Jackman weighed in on continuing Laura’s story in a future movie:
“Patty [Jenkins’] success with [Wonder Woman] only solidifies more for studios that there’s less to fear with a female protagonist,” says Mangold. “The more that keeps getting hit home, that ends up giving me more space turning around and going, ‘Well here we are with a female protagonist. That’s incredible. And what are we going to do with her?’ And that’s where we are with that [the Laura script] right now, dreaming.”
Certainly a female lead would be a great idea. Studios need to see that – should’ve seen that years ago. On top of that, there are many different potential genres in which to make this film.
Parker says that they’re not even sure what genre the Laura movie will be in, but that Fox’s willingness to expand the boundaries of what a superhero movie can be has provided a lot of freedom:
“Yes, there are other facets of that character and some others potentially to explore in their own way,” says Parker, who spoke to THR while wrapping production on X-Men: Dark Phoenix earlier this month. “It may not be in the same exact tonality or with the same genre orientations as Logan, but I think part of what has been opened up in this universe to all of us now is, drawing on different genre traditions, there are new pathways to be opened for new characters that populate this universe.”
In this week’s “No Spidey, just Venom” story, cameras have officially started rolling on Sony’s Venom movie.
The studio has been trying to get a film based on the symbiote comics character off the ground for years, with Zombieland and Deadpool scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick writing the first script back in the late 2000s. Directors like Gary Ross (The Hunger Games), Josh Trank (Fantastic Four), and Alex Kurtzman (The Mummy) were attached to take the helm at one time or another, and at one point Venom was part of an ambitious plan that connected to the Andrew Garfield-led Amazing Spider-Man movies. But after that interconnected universe was scrapped Sony went back to the drawing board, and a brand new iteration of the Venom movie was born.
Ironically enough, Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer—whose other credits include Gangster Squad and 30 Minutes or Less—is at the helm of this Venom movie and Sony scored a major coup in landing Tom Hardy for the lead role. We don’t know much about this R-rated take on the Spider-Man comics character, but Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr. Banks), Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man), and Scott Rosenberg (High Fidelity) wrote the script and the wildly impressive ensemble cast includes Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams, and Jenny Slate. The villain will reportedly be Carnage.
In this week’s “Kylo Ren: cop” story, Star Wars actor Adam Driver is attached to star in Spike Lee’s Black Klansman, a crime thriller about the KKK.
Laura Harrier of Spider-Man: Homecoming has also been cast. Lee will direct from a screenplay he co-wrote with Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, and Kevin Willmott.
Lee is producing with Jordan Peele along with Sean McKittrick, Shaun Redick, and Raymond Mansfield of QC Entertainment, and Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions. Productions companies are Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions, QC Entertainment, and Blumhouse. Focus Features is releasing.
The movie follows Ron Stallworth, a detective in Colorado Springs, Colo., who in 1978 answered an ad in the local newspaper seeking new Klan members. John David Washington was announced last month for that role. Stallworth rose through the ranks to become the head of the local chapter — even though he’s African-American. He sent a white officer in his place for any in-person meetings.
Driver will play the role of an undercover police officer who is the best of the Colorado Springs police force. He is known on the force for being anti-social, and he’s a perfectionist, critical of others’ mistakes, but brave and dedicated.
In this week’s “Tom Hanks makes a robot” story, Tom Hanks will star in Bios, the hot spec package making the rounds around town with Game of Thrones helmer Miguel Sapochnik directing.
Wiitten by Craig Luck and Ivor Powell, the story follows a robot that lives on a post-apocalyptic earth. Built to protect the life of his dying creator’s beloved dog, it learns about love, friendship, and the meaning of human life. Hanks will play the ailing creator.
Robert Zemeckis and Kevin Misher is producing.
The package started being shopped around earlier this month and Amblin is the likely landing spot though Legendary and Warner Bros. is still in the mix. Once picked up, the plan is to begin shooting the film in the first quarter of 2018 when Hanks’ schedule frees up.
In this week’s “He’s on a break!” story, amazing director Guillermo del Toro is taking a break from directing!
The filmmaker recently spoke with a group of journalists and Variety reports that he’s planning to take a year off from filmmaking.
During the discussion, del Toro revealed that his black-and-white film Silver remains in the scripting stage. The story follow a luchadore who discovers all politicians are vampires and sets out to slay them, but del Toro says he only got halfway through the screenplay before deciding to pursue The Shape of Water instead. The script is still unfinished and apparently his friend and fellow director Alfonso Cuaron is bugging him to complete it.
Del Toro’s next film after The Shape of Water was supposed to be a remake of Fantastic Voyage, but apparently that’s going on hiatus with him. “I’m taking a sabbatical for a year as a director,” says del Toro. “I was going to do Fantastic Voyage, but after The Shape of Water I need to take pause.”
However, he plans to still stay active as a producer. But he’s still he’s producing two projects. “I have two projects with Bertha Navarro which we’re studying,” says Del Toro. “We’re talking about producing a film by Patricia Riggen, I can’t say the title, but she’s a super solid director, very nice person. She is the type of writer-director who can benefit from a strong production structure which helps her to express what she’s interested in.”
The other project is a documentary that sounds fascinating but also has some grisly details:
“The documentary “Ayotzinapa,” is a heart-shattering look at the tragic events of Sept. 26, 2014, when 43 students went missing and three more were killed in a highly controversial series of events. The Mexican government, drug cartels, military, the United Nations and a number of independent watch groups all have a different take on that night’s events, but the film is presented from the point of view of the families of the missing, and the students that survived the night.”
Wow. Well, I guess we don’t want him to get OVER worked.
In this week’s “The times they are a-changin'” story, it looks like Zack Snyder’s vision of the DC Universe really is being abandoned.
Executive Geoff Johns is pivoting away from the gritty, serious tone of the film, Ben Affleck might be bailing on his role as Batman, and now Gal Gadot reveals that when it was time to make Wonder Woman, the filmmakers essentially ditched Snyder’s approach to the character.
Currently doing the press rounds for Justice League, the actress reveals how they completely turned around Diana’s worldview for her solo movie.
“None of us knew exactly, the back story of Wonder Woman. And once they decided to shoot the solo movie for Wonder Woman and we started to dig in to understand the core of this character, we realized that, actually, there is no way that Wonder Woman would ever give up on mankind,” Gadot explained.
“The reason why she left the island was because she wanted to make their lives better and safer—they are her calling. So, I’m giving you a very honest answer, but it was—sometimes in a creative process, you establish something that is not necessarily the right decision, but then you can always correct it and change it. So Wonder Woman will always be there, as far as she’s concerned, for mankind,” she added.
It sounds like the changes are part of the decided shift toward “hope and optimism” that Johns promised for the brand following Batman v Superman.
…Well, now they still need to be careful here. I hope that doesn’t mean they’re going to make everyone in the films more positive or cheery. They just need to stay true to EACH character’s personality and motivation.
Batman, for instance, is still supposed to be a loner and pretty moody, to say the least. Batman being the one to create the Justice League is still contradictory to his personality. But whatever, I guess they had to save the Justice League film any way the could. It’ll be interesting to see the results of the reshoots.
And in this week’s “Forgive and NOT forget” story, actor Mark Wahlberg is asking for forgiveness.
For what, you ask? Well, FIRST on the list is Boogie Nights. It seems rather telling that he chooses that to be first.
The Oscar-nominated actor, 46, opened up about his impressive film career during an interview with the Chicago Inc on Friday, admitting he’s had a few missteps along the way.
“I just always hope that God is a movie fan and also forgiving because I’ve made some poor choices in my past,” he said.
When asked if he’d ever prayed for forgiveness for any specific movies, the actor replied: “Boogie Nights is up there at the top of the list.”
Wahlberg portrayed porn star Dirk Digger in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1997 classic. The actor shared a Screen Actors Guild best ensemble nomination for his work in the film.
During the appearance alongside Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, Wahlberg, a devout Catholic, also opened up about his adolescent prison sentence for the assault of a Vietnamese immigrant.
“It was a big wake-up call for me,” he said of going to jail. “A lot of people go to God when they get into trouble. When I heard the jail doors close behind me … I knew that was just the beginning for me.”
He continued: “I feel remorse when I’ve made mistakes. If I could go back and change a lot of things that I did, I would. I look for ways to give back.”
Oh, it’s nice that he got around to asking forgiveness for his RACIALLY MOTIVATED PHYSICAL ASSAULT ON A PERSON.
The actor said he hopes his story helps inspire others to turn their life around.
“I’ve never been shy about sharing my past and the bad decisions I’ve made and being affiliated with gangs, being incarcerated,” he said. “So absolutely I think they can identify with me on a personal level, and that’s why I’ve continued to try to do as much as I can to help young people.”
Well, I hope that at least SOME of this is genuine. It’s getting difficult to respect and appreciate people’s work as actors and filmmakers these days.
Thanks for stopping by this week! Hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween! But still party it up! Stay spooky!