Here’s another week of movie news tom-foolery!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Walking Dead gets featured” story, Andrew Lincoln will stay in the Walking Dead universe.
So, needless to say, there is a SPOILER here. If you’ve already seen last Sunday’s Walking Dead, then never mind.
The AMC series veteran has signed on to play the iconic character Rick Grimes in multiple feature-length projects in development at the cable network. A series of AMC Studios Original Films, starring Lincoln and written by Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple are planned to continue the story of Rick Grimes, with the first expected to begin production as early as 2019.
The move comes after Rick was badly wounded in last week’s Walking Dead episode, with last week’s episode meant to serve as his swan song on that series.
“We have a lot on the horizon – starting with a new epic featuring one of the greatest leading actors in television history and one of the best people I’ve ever met,” said Gimple. “These films are going to be big evolutions of what we’ve been doing on the show, with the scope and scale of features. We’re starting with the first part of the continuing story of Rick Grimes, and there is much more on the way, featuring yet-unseen worlds of The Walking Dead and faces from the show’s past, as well as new characters we hope to become favorites, told by TWD veterans and emerging voices. We want to break new ground with different, distinct stories, all part of the same world that’s captured our imagination for nearly a decade of the Dead.”
I thought they were going to kill Rick off, but alas, there is clearly too much money to be made.
IN THIS WEEK’S” But will it be worth it?” story, A month before its theatrical release, Aquaman is finally complete. Director James Wan has confirmed the completion of post-production for the latest DC superhero adventure.
An exhausted James Wan took to Instagram to confirm that the two-year production of Aquaman is officially over, and that he’s going to take a very long nap. The last few months have been dedicated to polishing the visual effects for the Jason Momoa superhero film, for which Wan thanked his VFX, editorial, and sound teams for working “tirelessly” in his Instagram post:
“After two years of consuming and devouring my every waking hour, this little indie movie is finally done. It was a monster undertaking. I can’t THANK enough the amazing post team of VFX/editorial/sound for working tirelessly around the clock — crazy long days, 7 days a week, for many many many weeks without a day off — towards making this a unique and beautiful film. Everyone poured their heart and soul into it, and I can’t wait to share this 21st December! In the meantime, I’m gonna go take a really long nap now.”
Directed by Wan, Aquaman stars Momoa as the titular aquatic superhero, as well as Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Temuera Morrison.
Aquaman swims into theaters on December 21, 2018.
I am still wary of this. I fear it will be just another huge mess for Warners/DC Universe.
IN THIS WEEK’S “How did Willy Wonka become Willy Wonka?” story, The untold origin story behind one of the most iconic fictional characters in history is due to be revealed. We learned earlier this year that Warner Bros. was developing a Willy Wonka movie with Paddington and Paddington 2 director Paul King in talks to take the helm. At the time, plot details were unclear but we did know that Simon Rich (Man Seeking Woman) was writing the script and David Heyman (Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises) was producing.
A further curiosity arrived this summer when Collider broke the news that actors like Donald Glover and Ryan Gosling were on the studio’s shortlist to play Willy Wonka in this new film, which at the time was rumored to be a prequel.
Heyman said they’re still figuring the film out, but did confirm it will be a prequel to the Willy Wonka story we already know:
“We are still trying to figure out how to tell that story, what the story is. It’s a prequel, it’s not a sequel. What makes Willy—when we find him at the chocolate factory doing the golden ticket, where is he before that? What leads him to that place where he’s locked himself away?… It’s how does he get there? So we’re playing around with that.”
Heyman said he “hopes” the film gets made with Paul King directing, but King is getting ready to direct Pinocchio for Disney so his lack of availability for the next year and a half or so means Willy Wonka is probably a few years off, if he is indeed in the director’s chair.
I don’t know if a prequel to this is needed. I don’t really care how Wonka became who he is.
IN THIS WEEK’S “A Quieter Place?” story, do you wonder what the sequel to A Quiet Place will be about? Well, let’s see.
Paramount Pictures began developing a sequel to A Quiet Place quickly after realizing they had a big hit on their hands. Director/co-writer/star John Krasinski won’t be back to direct the second movie, but he is back on board as a writer. He’s spoken briefly about his A Quiet Place 2 idea in the past, but in a new interview, Krasinski confirmed his approach to the sequel and explained how the movie will be conceptually different from sequels like Aliens and Jaws 2.
Entertainment Weekly sat down with Krasinski and A Quiet Place co-stars Emily Blunt and Millicent Simmonds and managed to squeeze a few worthwhile hints about A Quiet Place 2 from them.
“In some ways, the idea of seeing who these people were before this all happened would be interesting, but I’m not quite sure because I think actually it’s now what’s the next chapter and what happens next. I think people feel very invested in this family…. I think it’s such an open book right now, and certainly for John who is lasering into something as we speak.”
Krasinski explained his small idea for A Quiet Place 2 that convinced him to officially jump on board as the writer:
“I had this very small idea, and what it was is that this is a world you can play in, this isn’t just a character to remake or a group of characters or a story. It’s actually a world, which is a whole different, very unique experience. It’s something we feel very lucky to have. It’s not like Alien or Jaws where the main villain is the thing you’re repeating; it’s an actual entire set of rules and the circumstance that the world has undergone that you can play in very different facets.”
That basically echoes what he’s said in the past: he’s interested in other people who were surviving in this world at the same time as the Abbott family in the first movie.
“How did those people survive? How did that old man survive? In the extreme these characters are going through, there’s no room to think about that. They’re there, there’s an old man who’s about to scream, they just have to deal with that. I think it would be interesting to see what’s going on elsewhere at this same time.”
And if Krasinski was being literal about those four words, that could turn this sequel into a side-quel, following a whole new group of characters but also potentially allowing the main cast from the first movie to potentially return for a cameo appearance.
Or it could just be the same fucking movie just with different people in it.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Life after Big Hero 6” story, Chris Williams, the co-director of Disney’s wonderful Big Hero 6, is making his solo directorial debut with a CG animated film produced by Netflix. Williams is penning and directing the animated adventure movie Jacob and the Sea Beast, which Netflix will produce for release on its streaming platform.
Netflix continues to be one of the most ardent streaming supporters of animation, throwing its weight behind Disney animator and screenwriter Williams for his solo directorial debut. The streaming giant announced that it would produce Williams’ Jacob And the Sea Beast for a planned release in 2022.
The Canadian American animator has worked as a writer and story artist for Disney since 1998’s Mulan, making the leap to co-directing with 2008’s Bolt and 2016’s Moana. But Williams’ first time as a solo director on an animated film will be Jacob and the Sea Beast, which tells the “epic story of a charming seafarer who sails into uncharted waters and discovers an unlikely ally in a sea monster,” according to Netflix.
Hey, I like sea monsters.
IN THIS WEEK’S “FINALLY!” story, they’ve been talking about it forever, and now it’s finally happening. HBO announced today that production its Deadwood movie has begun. The series, which ran for three seasons in the mid-2000s and won eight Emmys, ended rather abruptly at the close of Season 3 — something fans have hoped to see rectified ever since. As more time passed and the show’s cast when on to so many other projects, it seemed impossible that they could reunite for what had become a fabled movie. Not only has it happened, with all of the key players back, but according to W. Earl Brown it is the genuine damn article.
As part of the production announcement, HBO also released a synopsis and a confirmation of the cast:
“In the Deadwood film, the indelible characters of the series are reunited after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.”
Returning cast members for the Deadwood movie include: Ian McShane (Al Swearengen), Timothy Olyphant (Seth Bullock), Molly Parker (Alma Ellsworth), Paula Malcomson (Trixie), John Hawkes (Sol Star), Anna Gunn (Martha Bullock), Dayton Callie (Charlie Utter), Brad Dourif (Doc Cochran), Robin Weigert (“Calamity” Jane Canary), William Sanderson (E.B. Farnum), Kim Dickens (Joanie Stubbs) and Gerald McRaney (George Hearst).
The film will also feature new cast member Jade Pettyjohn (Caroline).
The movie has been written by David Milch, who created the series, and directed by Daniel Minahan.
Get ready for hearing the word ‘cocksucker’ a whole lot!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Big green turd” story, It’s only been seven years since Puss in Boots, the latest film in the Shrek franchise, hit theaters and earned $555 million worldwide. But as we’ve seen time and time again, it’s never too early to reboot a franchise. Although, what Dreamworks and “Despicable Me” mastermind Chris Meledandri is being called a reboot, but really doesn’t sound like what you would think is a typical use of the term.
Variety is reporting that Dreamworks has hired Meledandri, the man behind the animation studio Illumination, to figure out how to re-introduce the “Shrek” franchise to a new generation of moviegoers. The original Shrek was released in 2001 and quickly became an animated classic, spawning three sequels and one spin-off. All five of the Shrek films combined have earned a total of $3.5 billion at the worldwide box office, so you know it was only a matter of time before Dreamworks dusted off the green ogre for another round of films.
However, while this new potential film series is being dubbed a “reboot,” it’s really “more of the same,” so to speak. You see, while it’s too early to confirm this, Meledandri says he’s not really interested in recasting the film series, which stars the vocal talents of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and Antonio Banderas, among others.
He explains, “When you look back on those vocal performances they’re awesome, and while you certainly could make a case for a complete reinvention, I find myself responding to my own nostalgic feelings of wanting to go back to those characterizations. The challenge for us has been to find something that really does feel like it’s not simply yet another film in a series of sequels.”
So, he just wants to make more Shrek movies. Way to think ‘out of the box’, man.
IN THIS WEEK’S “PRE-Suspiria?” story, Suspiria just recently opened wide, and director Luca Guadagnino already has a prequel idea in mind. Rather than move forward with the story, Guadagnino wants to go back in time. Way back in time, all the way to the 1200s. There, the story would focus on Helena Markos, one of the three characters in the new film played by Tilda Swinton.
Helena Markos is one of the many witches in the new (and old) Suspiria, played this time by Tilda Swinton under a lot of makeup. While the character doesn’t have much screentime in the new film, Luca Guadagnino wants to give Markos her due in a possible prequel. Speaking with The Playlist, Guadagnino commented that he’d love to go even further back in history to tell Markos’ story:
“I have this image in my mind of Helena Markos in solitude in the year 1212 in Scotland or in Spain. Wondering through a village and trying to find a way on how she can manipulate the women of the village. I have this image. I know she was there, I know it was six to seven hundred years before the actual storyline of this film.”
Speaking with Deadline in the past, Guadagnino said: “At the beginning we were going to title the movie Suspiria: Part One but we didn’t want to give the impression of something that couldn’t stand alone. Truthfully, I’d be interested to explore the origin of Madame Blanc and Helena Marcus and also the future of Suzy Bannion in the world. So maybe. We’ll have to see how the movie goes.”
An intriguing idea, to say the least.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Back to Bad?” story, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan is developing a new film connected to the critically acclaimed series. The writer-director is currently plotting a two-hour feature, Variety reports, though it’s unclear whether the project will wind up in theaters or on television. According to The Albuquerque Journal reports, citing the New Mexico Film Office, the project will be titled Greenbrier, with production running from mid-November through early February.
The film office would neither confirm nor deny the film’s connection to Breaking Bad, though a “source close to the project” affirmed that detail to The Albuquerque Journal. The publication also teased a longline for the film, which reportedly “tracks the escape of a kidnapped man and his quest for freedom.” Slash Film “confirmed” that the “kidnapped man” will be Breaking Bad character Jesse Pinkman, with the story picking up after the show’s turbulent finale episode. Aaron Paul will reportedly reprise his co-starring role, which earned him three Emmy wins for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
A little Jesse Pinkman wrap-up? Ok by me.
IN THIS WEEK’S “The no longer secret life of Louis CK” story, Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment are already to debut the first look at their upcoming sequel, The Secret Life of Pets 2. The original opened in July 2016 and became an animated summer blockbuster, earning an impressive $875.5 million at the worldwide box office. A sequel is a no-brainer with that kind of money, and thus Secret Life of Pets 2 is coming June 2019.
Secret Life of Pets 2 is notable for doing away with Louis C.K. in the lead role. The comedian voiced the original film’s main character, a dog named Max, but he is not returning to the franchise. C.K. admitted to sexual misconduct last fall after being accused of harassment by five female comedians.
C.K. is not involved with Secret Life of Pets 2, but his character Max is once again front and center. Patton Oswalt has stepped in to voice the character in the sequel. Oswalt is no stranger to voice acting, having received critical acclaim for voicing Remy in Disney/Pixar’s Oscar winner Ratatouille. The actor will be joined by Kevin Hart and Eric Stonestreet, both of whom appeared in the original movie.
The movie is directed by Despicable Me filmmaker Chris Renaud. Brian Lynch has sole screenplay credit after co-writing the original.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 opens nationwide June 7, 2019 from Universal Pictures. The first one was kinda cute/fun, but not amazing. I am, however, now more interested simply because Patton Oswalt is starring.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Sans Eggsey” story, Matthew Vaughn has big plans for his growing Kingsman universe, and it seems the next step won’t involve franchise star Taron Egerton as the petty criminal turned sartorial super spy Gary “Eggsy” Unwin. In an interview with Yahoo UK, the actor confirmed that he will not be in the next Kingsman film.
But don’t get too confused; the next Kingsman movie is not Kingsman 3. the next Kingsman installment is not the follow up to Kingsman: The Golden Circle, it’s a spinoff/prequel Kingsman: The Great Game, which will explore the history of the Secret Service organization in the 1900s. In June, Vaughn told Empire his plan was to shoot The Great Game and Kingsman 3 back-to-back. Additionally, the filmmaker is developing a Kingsman TV series.
The Great Game will reportedly introduce a new teen hero named Conrad, who wants to fight in World War I, as well as a new dapper older gentleman, rumored to be played by Ralph Fiennes. “His idea for the new one is incredibly exciting,” Egerton told Yahoo. “I’m sad that I won’t be on that journey with him but it’s not the last you’ve seen of Eggsy.”
Eggsey will return in Kingsman 3, which Vaughn previously teased as “the conclusion of the Harry Hart-Eggsy relationship.”
The next Kingsman movie is scheduled to arrive in theaters on Nov. 9, 2019. Vaughn has a veritable Kngsman Universe to throw at us.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Avengers 4 tidbits” story, co-director, Joe Russo, answered some fan questions during an Instagram Live Q&A.
First, as for the current status Avengers 4, Russo said, “We are about halfway through the editing process. So we’re just scratching the surface on our VFX shots. There are more than 3000 VFX shots in the movie… We just started work with Alan Silvestri on the score and still editing picture at this point.”
Now, one of the biggest questions surrounding the new film is about the run-time. Considering ‘Infinity War’ clocked in at over two-and-a-half hours, many fans expected the fourth film to be equal, if not longer, than that. Joe Russo said, “The running time on Avengers 4 is currently sitting at 3 hours, so we’ll see if that holds, but we’re sitting at 3 hours right now.”
“Avengers 4” hits theaters May 3, 2019. And I can’t wait!
IN THIS WEEK’S “An interesting pairing” story, the earlier rumblings about Will Ferrell and Gus Van Sant working together are true.
Ferrell and Van Sant are set to team up on a film “Prince of Fashion” for Amazon Studios, according to Deadline. The film is based on Michael Chabon’s GQ article My Son, the Prince of Fashion, which follows the authors visit to Paris, France with his teenage son during Men’s Fashion Week. The article is a heartwarming tale of Chabon’s son experiencing the world of high-fashion for the first time, meeting his idol, attending runway shows, and finding “his people.”
As you might expect, Van Sant will write and direct the film, with Ferrell attached to star as the father role.
No release date as of yet.
IN THIS WEEK’S “FINALLY!” story, we’re going to finally get a Jonny Quest movie!
It’s been over three years since word dropped about a live-action Jonny Quest film from Lego Batman director, Chris McKay. Now, it appears that silence doesn’t always mean that things aren’t happening behind the scenes, as The Wrap reports that McKay has just signed on to bring Jonny Quest to the big screen.
For those not familiar with the popular cartoon series, Jonny Quest tells the story of the young titular hero as he travels around the world with his scientist father, his adoptive brother Hadji, and bodyguard/badass Race Bannon. Together, along with a loveable pup, Quest and his crew solve mysteries and save the world. Jonny Quest has been in development for years as a potential live-action film, most recently with Robert Rodriguez attached to direct. However, it appears that Rodriguez has since left the film and McKay has stepped up to the plate.
He was quickly attached to Nightwing for WB/DC and Dungeons and Dragons over at Paramount. While it appears that Nightwing has stalled out, Dungeons and Dragons is apparently next on the docket for McKay, with Jonny Quest sometime after that.
Previous versions of the script were written by Dan Mazeau and Terry Rossio, but who knows if McKay will call for any kind of rewrite. No release date as of yet, obviously.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Love in the stars” story, John Boyega and Letitia Wright have signed on to lead an adaptation of the Katie Khan novel Hold Back the Stars, which follows a man and woman who revisit memories of their love affair on a utopian Earth while they are trapped in the void of space with only 90 minutes of oxygen left. So it’s a musical comedy? Ah, nope.
Per THR, Another Earth filmmaker Mike Cahill is onboard to direct, and he’s a strong choice. His 2014 sci-fi love story I Origins was an underrated gem which balanced an epic scope with an intimate romance, and in the interim he helmed the pilots for Syfy’s The Magicians and their upcoming horror series Nightflyers. Hold Back the Stars boasts a screenplay by Christy Hall, and Shawn Levy is producing via his 21 Laps banner.
The project will no doubt soon be set up at a studio, and I would imagine many will be vying for this one.
And IN THIS WEEK’S “Why, I oughta…!” story, The Witch debuted to rapturous reception in 2015, immediately launching Eggers into horror fame. So with his name attached to the mysterious A24 film The Lighthouse, alongside Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, there’s no question that this will be one of the most anticipated indies of 2019. But maybe the buzz got to Eggers’ head, or maybe the two Roberts are just too intense to be put in a room together, because The Lighthouse filming wasn’t a great experience for anyone.
In an interview with Interview magazine, Dafoe and Pattinson recalled the “harsh” conditions that were so bad that the two actors “hardly talked outside of scenes,” Dafoe said. Pattinson added the role was so physically demanding that he “hardly talked to anyone” at all. That all lead to a tense atmosphere that almost ended in a punch being thrown. “That’s the closest I’ve come to punching a director,” Pattinson said, adding:
“However much I love Robert [Eggers], there was a point where I did five takes walking across the beach, and after a while I was like, ‘What the fuck is going on? I feel like you’re just spraying a fire hose in my face.’ And he was like, ‘I am spraying a fire hose in your face.’ It was like some kind of torture. It definitely creates an interesting energy. [Laughs].”
But Pattinson had a good reason — sort of? He told Interview that he didn’t “really understand this script on a cerebral level,” and so decided to approach it from a “physical level.” Hey, I think Pattinson is a pretty great actor and all, but if you don’t understand the script, maybe you talk witht he writer and director to work stuff out. This “cerebral” vs. “physical” stuff seems a little pretentious, though maybe that’s why Eggers sprayed a fire hose in his face.
“You clearly weren’t into rehearsal,” Dafoe told Pattinson, putting it in a much nicer way than Eggers probably did. “Maybe it was the nature of the role, but I always felt like you wanted to leap in and not work stuff out, as though it was more real to confront it without any pre-knowledge. I was reminded of the old Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier quote, ‘Go.’”
LOL – Willem Dafoe, being diplomatic.
The Lighthouse is set to hit theaters sometime in 2019. And now maybe I want to see it even more than I did before.
Ok, thanks for tuning in this week. Next week is…another week. More stuff will happen.