Well, we’re already a week into December. Where does the time go? Movie news keeps on coming!
In this week’s “Will there be any phaser stand-offs?” story, in one of the more bizarre turns of events, Quentin Tarantino has come up with an idea for a Star Trek movie.
Yes, that’s right, Mr. Pulp Fiction himself has apparently come up with a great idea for a Star Trek movie at Paramount and even called J.J. Abrams about it. After sharing his idea with Abrams (who himself is busy prepping Star Wars Episode IX), the plan is to assemble a writers room of scribes who’ll hear Tarantino’s take and begin to put together a movie. If it all works out, Tarantino might direct it, with Abrams producing.
Now, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t ever thought what it would be like if Tarantino were to make a film from an existing franchise, but this one might be a little too much. He has spoken about the appeal of taking on one of the James Bond movies, but the hard part of something like that is getting the rights holders to give him a wide creative swath that comes along with a final cut auteur like Tarantino. This would give a remarkable boost to the venerable franchise for Paramount (maybe), which is looking to build them under studio chief Jim Gianopulos.
Wow. I’m not sure what to think of this. how weird would it be if this actually happened?
UPDATE: this Star Trek thing is moving fast. Tarantino met for hours in a writers room with Mark L. Smith, Lindsey Beer, and Drew Pearce. They kicked around ideas and one of them will get the job. Word is, the frontrunner is Smith, who wrote The Revenant. The film will most certainly go where no Star Trek has gone before: Tarantino has required it to be R rated, and Paramount and Abrams agreed to that condition. Most mega budget tent poles restrict the film to a PG-13 rating in an effort to maximize the audience. That was the reason that Guillermo Del Toro’s $150 million At The Mountains of Madness didn’t go forward at Universal, even though Tom Cruise was ready to star. The exception to this rule was Fox’s Deadpool, but that film started out with modest ambitions before it caught on and became the biggest R rated film ever.
That rating was crucially important to Tarantino, who hopes to direct this Star Trek and who has helmed R rated films his entire career. This could certainly open up the plot – and dialogue – quite a bit. Which I think might be a bad thing. Star Trek should be family-friendly, in my opinion, even though a part of me is fine with the idea of making it more adult.
This appears to be actually happening, so…If they cast Samuel L. Jackson as a Vulcan, I’m just not prepared for that potential dialogue.
In this week’s ” House of Cards to stay standing” story, Netflix has decided that House of Cards will return in 2018, but without Kevin Spacey.
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos announced the landmark original series is going into production on its final season next year, but Kevin Spacey will not be part of the show, after reports of sexual misconduct from the star.
“I can actually give you some news in the room today, because we have been in arrangement to produce a sixth season of House of Cards.” It’ll be an eight episode season that’ll start production early ’18, and it will not involve Kevin Spacey,” said Sarandos at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York. “It will star Robin Wright. And we’re really excited about bringing some closure to the show for fans.”
Well, I’m glad they decided to at least make Robin Wright the star for the final season.
In this week’s “AWOL director gets fired” story, Fox fired Bryan Singer from the helm of Bohemian Rhapsody, after he went AWOL for three days last week when production was to resume after Thanksgiving. This followed a series of rumors of erratic behavior by Singer on the film.
Last week, sources said that Fox was discreetly canvassing directors to replace Singer, even before production shuttered. Rumors swirled this past weekend that the film will likely stay on hiatus until the new year, though Fox insiders said the hope is to resume before then. The film has about two weeks left in principal photography, and then the new director will oversee postproduction and possibly do some reshooting, so there is a lot of heavy lifting involved.
“Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody,” was the studio’s official statement today.
The studio fired Singer under the pay-or-play provision in his deal because of a pattern of behavior on the set that proved so unreliable that it was best to drop him because he had clashed with several people including the film’s star, Rami Malek.
Fox is hoping to keep the film on track for a December 2018 release.
Production has been temporarily halted on Bohemian Rhapsody, the Bryan Singer-directed film about the British rock band Queen and its frontman Freddie Mercury, with Mr. Robot‘s Rami Malek playing the singing legend. The studio has said the reason is a “health matter” involving the director.
There have been rumors surrounding Singer and the production for some time, including that film took breaks more than once because of the mercurial director going AWOL from the London shoot. Word I am hearing is that he hasn’t shown up for the past three days.
The studio issued this vague statement: “Twentieth Century Fox Film has temporarily halted production on Bohemian Rhapsody due to the unexpected unavailability of Bryan Singer.”
Singer’s reps later said in a statement: “This is a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family. Bryan hopes to get back to work on the film soon after the holidays.”
Well, that’s just bonkers. That dude seems pretty messed-up anyway.
UDPATE: Bryan Singer’s production company, Bad Hat Harry, is vacating its offices on the lot of Twentieth Century Fox.
In this week’s “Baby Drives again” story, Edgar Wright is writing a sequel.
Though Wright won’t confirm that he’s returning to the director’s chair, he does say that he plans to write the screenplay. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Wright confirmed that Sony wants a Baby Driver follow-up and that everything is in motion…he’s just not sure if he’s going to make it next or not:
“Those talks are already in the works. The deal is being hammered out as we speak. So, hopefully, I’m going to at least write a second one. I’ve definitely got lots of ideas. Whether it’s the next movie, I don’t know. I’m just working that out at the moment, actually. I have a couple of things that I’ve been developing, and also a couple of new ideas that I had, and all the nice things things that I’ve been offered since [the release of Baby Driver].”
Baby Driver grossed $226 million worldwide on a budget of only $34 million, making it one of the summer’s most profitable wide releases. Finally, audiences decided to show up for an Edgar Wright movie and learned what cinephiles have known since the Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz days – this guy makes killer movies. And it certainly sounds like the studios are ready to embrace him as well, since Wright says that he’s not exactly short on options at the moment. Still, he makes it clear that he’s not going to wait four years to make a movie again:
“I would like to get back on the saddle very shortly, because — slightly beyond my control — but there was four years between The World’s End and Baby Driver. I don’t want it to be that long again. I would love to have a film out in the next two years.”
Yeah, I’d like to see a new Edgar Wright movie within two years as well.
In this week’s “All the Money in the World couldn’t keep it on the 22nd” story, Sony and Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World was supposed to release in theaters on December 22, even with the replacement of Kevin Sapcey with Christopher Plummer. However, it seems they had to push it to Christmas Day anyway.
The film was moved because December 25 is the biggest moviegoing day, and the extra three days creates a bit of space from the Hugh Jackman-starrer The Greatest Showman, which moved to December 20.
Scott did his reshoots on Thanksgiving week with Plummer, Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg, and locked the film last week right before he turned 80. He had it ready to screen last Monday for members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in New York and Los Angeles, before they voted on Golden Globes nominations.
Pretty impressive, either way.
In this week’s “X-Men United – with Marvel?” story, Marvel Cinematic Universe architect Kevin Feige says he’s eager t bring the X-Men into the MCU.
“…22 movies in, and we’ve got another 20 movies on the docket that are completely different from anything that’s come before—intentionally,” Kevin Feige said last month about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after the next pair of Avengers movies. However, that statement was made before it became a very real likelihood that Disney was going to buy the movie and television arms of Fox. Needless to say, if and when that deal goes through, it’s going to be a massive game-changer, but more importantly for Feige, it’ll bring a boatload of Marvel characters back under their roof. And he can’t wait to get his hands on them.
Deadline reports that Feige is reportedly “eager” to have the X-Men at his disposal, and wants to “cross-pollinate the rich swarm of characters with the existing Marvel franchise heroes.”
The storytelling opportunities it would open for Feige are endless, and it ensures that the franchise could go on and on, in countless varieties, forever (to those who have predicted the death of superhero movies, you’re wrong).
The big question remains what will happen to mutant movies currently in development at Fox such as Gambit, X-Force, and Multiple Man once they move under the Marvel and Disney roof. Undoubtedly, Feige will want to put his hands on them and make sure they are patterned into the fabric of the MCU.
If the Disney/Fox merger happens, it will surely be a game-changer for the blockbuster mode. I mean, think of how big the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now, and then think of how big it COULD be. They could be a film industry unto themselves – like a film industry INSIDE the film industry. Crazy.
In this week’s “Keep on waiting” story, actor Sophie Turner has revealed Game of Thrones season 8 release target, and you won’t like it.
Game of Thrones season 8 will not premiere until 2019. The actress behind Sansa Stark revealed to Variety that HBO’s Emmy-winning fantasy epic will skip 2018 and debut its six-episode final season sometime in 2019. HBO has not confirmed a release date for season 8, but the show was widely expected to return in either 2019 or late 2018 considering production on the show will last through summer 2018.
Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss previously told Entertainment Weekly they were planning to spend at least a year and a half making the final season, which made the 2019 launch date all but certain given that production kicked off in October of this year. HBO has already revealed that Miguel Sapochnik and David Nutter will be returning to the series to direct the final episodes along with Benioff and Weiss. Each episode is rumored to be feature-length.
Well, at least we’ll get extra long episodes then. Cool. If we can keep our shit together until then.
In this week’s “Ryan Reynolds, I choose you!” story, Reynolds is going to be in a Pikachu moive!
The Deadpool star has signed on to star in Legendary’s live-action Pokemon movie, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Reynolds joins Justice Smith, who will be seen in the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Big Little Lies actress Kathryn Newton in the movie, titled Detective Pikachu, based on the gaming franchise.
Rob Letterman (Goosebumps) is directing the project, which is due to start shooting mid-January in London.
The concept of Pokemon sees players acting as trainers who collect cute but powerful monsters called Pokemon in order to compete in battle tournaments.
Pikachu is a species of Pokemon, while Detective Pikachu the character is a peculiar sort from the Pikachu set, a self-styled investigator who is good at finding things. Reynolds will portray the titular detective.
The story is kicked into gear when Smith’s character’s father is kidnapped, forcing the teen to team up with Pikachu in order to find him. Newton will play a sassy journalist who helps them on their quest.
The role is said to be motion-capture in nature, sources say.
Many details of the project are being kept off the grid, including the casting, which has been conducted under the radar by the usually secretive Legendary.
Alex Hirsch and Nicole Perlman wrote the latest draft of the script. Universal is handling distribution of the live-action film outside Japan; Toho will handle distribution in Japan.
In this week’s “Another replacement director” story, After the firing of Bryan Singer on the Queen biopic film, director Dexter Fletcher has been hired to finish the film.
Eddie the Eagle director Dexter Fletcher is replacing Bryan Singer on the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, Fox announced Wednesday.
Singer was fired from the project Monday after what the studio said were unexplained absences from the set, although the director countered that Fox refused to give him time off to care for an ill parent.
With Fletcher at the helm, production is expected to resume next week. Fletcher, who made his screen debut in 1976’s Bugsy Malone, has extensive acting credits that include Stardust and Kick-Ass. He made his directorial debut with 2011’s Wild Bill and most recently helmed 2016’s Eddie the Eagle, a biopic about the British ski jumper who took the 1988 Winter Olympics by storm.
Fox’s decision to terminate Singer came after an escalating clash between the director and Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek, who is playing Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. While Malek and Singer are said to have resolved their differences, the production, which has been shooting in London, was forced to shut down Friday due to the helmer’s absences.
After exiting the project, Singer denied he had acted unprofessionally. He claimed the studio refused to allow him to tend to “a gravely ill parent” as well as to his own health. “I wanted nothing more than to be able to finish this project and help honor the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen,” he said in a statement, “but Fox would not permit me to do so because I needed to temporarily put my health, and the health of my loved ones, first.”
Fox, New Regency and Graham King’s GK Films banner are producing Bohemian Rhapsody, which is slated for a Dec. 25, 2018, release.
In this week’s “The League shakes things up” story, other than Wonder Woman, the weak performance of DC films are making Warner Bros. change things up – again.
When the new year kicks off, DC Films will go through yet another reorg. Going out the door is producer Jon Berg, who had been running the film production arm of the comic book company, though his exit has apparently been in the works for months. More surprising however is that Geoff Johns, the quasi-Kevin Feige of DC, is expected to take a more “advisory” role in the comic book movies going forward. This is huge news. It was Johns
that promised more “hope and optimism” in the DCEU following Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, and a goal to “make the movies fun.”
That all sounded great, but it’s box office numbers that tell the real story, and those numbers have been underwhelming for the studio.
After three weeks in release, Justice League stands at $570.3 million worldwide and it keeps dropping week over week by at least 50% domestically. It’s going to come nowhere close to the $1 billion haul of the Avengers movies, and arguably might miss the $700-750 million worldwide needed to pull out some kind of profit. It’s a dismal showing so far for what easily should have been DC Films’ biggest movie.
It’s bonkers that this is the new normal for film studios. $ 570 million is a disappointing result now. That makes me wonder if Warner Bros. is only in this for the money, rather than making a cohesive film universe that makes sense. Seems to me that if you pay more attention to the true nature of these characters and write good stories around them, the money will come. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a comic book fan.
In the meantime, Warner Bros. and DC continue to lose ground on Marvel. Marvel has three films coming out every year for the next few years, something DC Films is desperate to match, but the company only has one movie coming out in 2018 (Aquaman) and two for 2019 (Shazam and Wonder Woman 2).
Suicide Squad 2, Gotham City Sirens, or a Harley Quinn movie should’ve been in production by now, but clearly the studio hasn’t gotten these scripts to the place they need to be (and David Ayer seems to have been pushed off owning the Suicide Squad universe too. There are dozens of DC Films pictures in development, Green Lantern Corps, Nightwing, Batgirl, Flashpoint, etc., but at this point who knows when they’ll come out.
I have no faith in Warner Bros. right now to get the DC Universe together.
In this week’s “Don’t we know what will happen?” story, Kathleen Kennedy wants Taika Waititi to direct a Star Wars movie.
Hey, I’d love that, too. Look how he handled Thor: Ragnarok. But, won’t she just fire him like she did Phil Lord and Christopher Miller?
Well, now that he has moved into being a blockbuster director, it certainly seems likely that he would move on to things like Star Wars. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy recently confirmed that she’d be thrilled to have Waititi direct a Star Wars film, and Waititi has expressed a vague interest in the past. So don’t be surprised if this becomes a done deal at some point.
The filmmaker has already been mentioned as a possible director for the live-action Akira, and now he can add the Star Wars franchise to his possible list of projects. Speaking with Newshub, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said she would “love for [Waititi] to direct a Star Wars movie.” Kennedy then added, “I think he has exactly the right sensibility. It was very exciting to see him step into the Marvel universe and do such an amazing job with Thor.”
For his part, Waititi has expressed interest in his patented humorous way, telling Uproxx, “I’m not an idiot. Who would actually say no to Star Wars?” He also had this to say on Twitter:
A Shawn McIlroy tweeted: “Sucks for Colin Trevorrow that things didn’t work out for Episode IX. Maybe we can get a @TaikaWaititi #StarWars movie out of this?”
Waititi responded: “Lolz. I like to complete my films.”
Then he tweeted: ” I’d be fired within a week.”
I know, right?! I’d love to see his style and humor on a Star Wars film, but I think Kennedy would boot him before too long. Besides, we now know that J.J. Abrams is back to direct Episode IX, so that’s a moot point.
In this week’s “Gary gets a cameo in a Star Wars film” story, the late Carrie Fisher’s therapy dog, Gary, has been seen briefly in The Last Jedi, and director Rian Johnson has confirmed it.
Twitter user Clair Henry found a promotion still for the movie in which Finn (John Boyega) and Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) face off at a galactic casino. On the left side of the screen, you can see a strange brown creature looking directly at the camera. That’s Gary, touched up with CGI to look like an alien pet.
Since Fisher passed away last year, the actress’ assistant, Corby McCoin, has adopted Gary and given him a new home. Fisher was introduced to Gary by her daughter, Billie Lourd, as a therapy dog to help her manage her bipolar disorder.
“Gary is mental also. My mother says Gary is a hooligan. Gary is like my heart,” Fisher told The Herald Tribune in 2015. “Gary is very devoted to me and that calms me down. He’s anxious when he’s away from me.”
And he’s cute, too.
In this week’s “Questionable Dark Phoenix” story, the upcoming X-Men sequel is indeed, Dark Phoenix. It will be Simon Kinberg, who wrote and/or produced X-Men: The Last Stand, Days of Future Past, Apocalypse, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool, that will make his directorial debut on Dark Phoenix, taking over directing duties from Bryan Singer who helmed the last two X-Men films.
Yes, he WROTE X-Men: The Last Stand, perhaps the weakest of all the X-Men films. Does this give me cause to worry? Yes. Yes it does.
Kinberg wrote the script himself to Dark Phoenix, and while fans have been curious to see just how true to the title this movie will be, it’s been revealed in EW’s new cover story that yes, X-Men: Dark Phoenix is going to space. Indeed the film appears to be adapting the Dark Phoenix comics saga pretty closely, as EW confirms that the X-Men are dispatched to space for a rescue mission, at which point “a solar flare hits the X-Jet and the surge of energy ignites a malevolent, power-hungry new force within Jean (Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner)— the Phoenix.”
In keeping with the trend of Days of Future Past and Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix takes place about 10 years after the events of X-Men: Apocalypse, in 1992. At this point in time the X-Men are national heroes, with James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier landing on the cover of Time magazine. His “growing ego” begins to put the crew in danger, and EW teases “a massive twist halfway through that will irrevocably change the course of the franchise.”
For his part, McAvoy agrees that it’s a very emotional outing:
“This is probably the most emotional X-Men we’ve done and the most pathos-driven,” McAvoy says. “There’s a lot of sacrifice and a lot of suffering.”
Ok, well, with Kinberg writing this, I am not what you’d call confident, but I’ll wait and see.
And in this week’s “Sir Patrick Stewart totally would” story, since the news of Quentin Tarantino and JJ Abrams getting a writers room together for a Star Trek idea, with plans for Tarantino to direct, Patrick Stewart has thrown an unlikely hat back into the intergalactic ring.
“People are always saying to me, ‘Will you be Jean-Luc Picard again?’ And I cannot think that would be possible, but there are ways in which something like that might come about,” the iconic actor told The Hollywood Reporter, speaking from the sidelines of the Dubai International Film Festival, where he received an honorary award.
“But one of my dreams is to work with Tarantino. I admire his work so much, and to be in a Tarantino film would give me so much satisfaction. So, if he is going to direct something to do with Star Trek and there was the possibility of dear old Jean-Luc showing up again and doing that for Mr Tarantino, I would embrace it.”
Stewart said one thing was sure about a Tarantino-directed Star Trek installment: it would be gripping.
“The one thing that characterizes all of his movies is that frame by frame, it always challenges, always demands your attention, always demands a very kind of open and generous response to what he does,” he said. “I also love his sense of humor as a filmmaker. So yes, he would be my first choice.”
Well, I have to admit, I’d get on board for that. Make it so!
~ Thanks for tuning in this week!