Here we go again with the film news!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Zombieland gets the Verizon guy” story, Thomas Middleditch is joining Sony Pictures’ upcoming Zombieland sequel.
The “Silicon Valley actor will star alongside Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin in Zombieland 2. As previously reported, Zoey Deutch and Rosario Dawson are also boarding the cast.
Zombieland 2 will be set in a world in which zombie slayers must face off against many new kinds of zombies that have evolved since the first movie, as well as some new human survivors.
Original Zombieland filmmaker Ruben Fleischer, who most recently helmed Sony’s Venom, is returning to direct the followup. He is re-teaming with original writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, known for their work on both “Deadpool movies. The sequel began production in January and will be released this October, on the 10th anniversary of the first film.
All I see is the Verizon guy when I look at Middleditch. That’s distracting.
IN THIS WEEK’S “So, everybody dies?” story, Paramount Pictures is developing Kyle Starks’ graphic novel Kill Them All and has set the action project up with Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse producers Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec.
The story, first published in 2015, centers on a betrayed murderess seeking revenge who partners up with a hard drinking former cop wants his job back. They have to fight their way through 15 floors of criminals, assassins, drug lords, murderers, and accountants in a Miami high rise. Elizabeth Raposo and Jon Gonda will oversee the project for Paramount.
James Coyne has been hired by Paramount to adapt Kill Them All. The project reunites Coyne with the studio, where he sold his action sci-fi pitch “Cascade. Coyne previously worked on Treasure Island and Sherlock Holmes 3 for Warner Bros.
Paramount has spy thriller Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse starring Michael B. Jordan set to release on Sept. 18, 2020.
IN THIS WEEK’S “It’s about time” story, Millennium Films’ Red Sonja film with Bryan Singer is being put on the back burner. After the movie was on the slate last year at the American Film Market, the prolific U.S. mini-studio has told us, “the project is not on the slate at the moment and is not for sale at the EFM in Berlin.”
Embattled Bohemian Rhapsody director Singer has not been formally removed from Red Sonja, but Millennium’s statement seems to at least acknowledge the filmmaker may not be the right fit for the movie at this juncture.
The big-budget action-fantasy film, which has been on the The Expendables outfit’s slate for more than a decade, was expected to shoot this year in Bulgaria, but that won’t be happening. Cast has not been set.
Singer has been the subject of multiple sexual misconduct allegations, most recently in an Atlantic exposé detailing sex with underage boys. The director has vehemently denied wrongdoing and has not been charged or convicted of a crime.
Box office sensation Bohemian Rhapsody has five Oscar nominations including Best Picture. Last week, BAFTA took the unusual step of removing the filmmaker from contention in its Outstanding British Film Category due to the allegations. In the U.S., GLAAD went a step further by removing the Queen biopic entirely from its nominees.
The allegations have led to intense scrutiny over the choice of Singer to direct comic book adaptation Red Sonja, about a sword-wielding heroine with a dark backstory including her sexual assault. Millennium Films CEO Avi Lerner last week rowed back comments he made two weeks ago praising the director and confirming him as the film’s director.
The comments “came out the wrong way”, he said last week, though the veteran producer stopped short of officially removing Singer from the project.
“I think victims should be heard and this allegation should be taken very, very seriously,” he said last week. “I just don’t agree to judge by Twitter. I want [the accused] to be judged by the court.”
IN THIS WEEK’S “Glass half full, I guess” story, Warner Bros. has taken a definitive step toward an Aquaman sequel, hiring David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick to write the script.
Aquaman 2 will be produced by Aquaman director James Wan and Peter Safran. Aquaman has over-performed for Warner Bros., coming in above pre-release projections after starting with $68.7 million in its opening weekend in North America. The title gained momentum in subsequent weeks and has hit $328 million in North America and $784 million internationally, led by nearly $300 million in China. It’s currently the 21st-highest worldwide grosser of all time.
Johnson-McGoldrick teamed with Will Beall on the Aquaman script. Aquaman stars Jason Momoa as the title character, with Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Nicole Kidman in supporting roles.
Johnson-McGoldrick and Beall wrote the Aquaman script from a story by Beall, Geoff Johns, and Wan, who also directed both “Conjuring movies. Johnson-McGoldrick began working on the script three years ago after reading Aquaman comic books while on the set of The Conjuring 2.
Warner Bros. also announced last week that it was developing The Trench as a spinoff horror movie to Aquaman. Wan and Safran will produce The Trench, which is being developed as a lower-cost version of Aquaman without the main cast involved. No director or cast is yet attached.
What? A “spinoff horror movie to Aquaman? That can’t be right.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Lord and Miller update” story, The next movie from Phil Lord and Chris Miller will see the duo heading back into the live-action realm after they conquered animation, spawning a multimillion dollar franchise with their surprise hit The LEGO Movie and shepherding last year’s critical darling Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse to possible Oscar success. Lord and Miller’s latest film, a sci-fi feature called The Last Human, has sparked a heated bidding war between several studios that landed them an eight-figure deal with Sony/Tristar.
Deadline reports that Sony’s Tristar Pictures landed the highly sought-after The Last Human when Lord and Miller’s attachment sparked a heated bidding war between Universal, Warner Bros, Netflix, MGM/Annapurna, Paramount, New Regency and MRC in what is thus far the biggest deal of the year. Everybody but Fox/Disney, for obvious reasons.
Lord and Miller will be directing and producing The Last Human, which is described as a “reverse ET, in which three robots discover and protect a human child.” The film will be based on an upcoming children’s book of the same name by Lee Bacon. Henry Gayden, the writer behind Warner Bros.’ upcoming Shazam!, will pen the script, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Here is the summary of The Last Human per THR:
“Set after the robot apocalypse, when humans have been extinct for thirty years, the story follows a 12-year-old robot, XR_935, who is happy to live in a world without crime, pollution or war. One day, XR discovers a human, Emma, who is also 12 years old, but has spent her entire life inside an underground bunker, hidden away from machines. Emma and XR form an unlikely friendship, and, with two other robotic companions, embark on a dangerous voyage in search of a mysterious point on a map, a journey that will require them to break all of the rules while also challenging ideas of prejudice.”
Ok, I’m in. I’m interested in what Lord and Miller are up to next.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Infinite Cap” story, Chris Evans is in talks to star in director Antoine Fuqua’s past-lives drama Infinite for Paramount Pictures.
Infinite will be produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian at Di Bonaventura Pictures, and John Zaozirny. Rafi Crohn is the exec producer.
John Lee Hancock and Ian Shorr are adapting D. Eric Maikranz novel’s The Reincarnationist Papers, which is centered on the Cognomina, a secret society of people who possess total recall of their past lives. A troubled young man haunted by memories of two past lives stumbles upon the centuries-old secret society of similar individuals and dares to join their ranks.
Evans will next be seen as Captain America in Disney-Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame, which opens on April 26. He’s also starring in the murder mystery Knives Out with Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Craig, and Michael Shannon, set for a Nov. 27 release from Lionsgate.
IN THIS WEEK’S ” James Gunn, and the Suicide Squad” story, there are changes ahead for Gunn’s version of The Suicide Squad.
So, there’s been talk that Margo Robbie will not reprise her role as Harley Quinn. and in a new report from Forbes, the same info is relayed, along with the suggestion that we won’t be seeing much of Jared Leto’s Joker in the DCEU’s future.
As you may have heard already, Gunn’s follow-up to 2016’s Suicide Squad is serving as a soft reboot for the series, which means that the movie will feature a mostly new cast. Sure enough, according to Forbes, the Clown Princess of Crime will likely be among the characters who aren’t coming back for the next film, which is allegedly going to avoid direct tie-ins to the events of the first movie. On top of that, it’s reported that the Joker and Harley Quinn spinoff and the Jared Leto solo flick have both “fallen by the wayside.” As for those previous rumors of a Birds of Prey and Gotham City Sirens crossover film, the report says that such a project is not in the works.
Of course, with Birds of Prey currently in production, Robbie’s character still has at least one more outing to come in the DCEU, and if the movie fares well enough with filmgoers, then there’s practically no way that Warner Bros. isn’t going to give more Harley projects the green light. For now, however, Quinn’s future remains uncertain beyond the release of Birds of Prey on February 7th, 2020.
Gunn’s take on The Suicide Squad comes out on August 6, 2021.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Breaking Aaron Paul” story, After months of speculation, today is full of actual news on Vince Gilligan‘s feature follow-up to all-time great Breaking Bad. First, Deadline reported that the mysterious movie sequel to the show will not only be headed back to its original home on AMC but it will also be on Netflix. The Hollywood Reporter didn’t want to be left behind, with even bigger news for fans of the show: Aaron Paul is confirmed to be returning to the role of Jesse Pinkman, who has been kidnapped and will try to escape in this movie.
Netflix subscribers will have first crack at the sequel, with AMC to air it after.
Gilligan will wear a lot of hats here, likely directing the film according to sources, as well as writing with Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein and executive producing too.
IN THIS WEEK’S “That Josh Brolin kid is going places” story, Josh Brolin reunites with his Sicario director and joins half of Hollywood in Denis Villeneuve‘s Dune, as Gurney Halleck, a devoted bannerman to Oscar Isaac‘s Duke Leto Atreides. The role was first played by Patrick Stewart in David Lynch‘s earlier take on the Frank Herbert sci-fi classic.
Dune isn’t a hard sci-fi franchise focused on tech; instead it’s about the big ideas of religion and politics, and it’s enchanted readers for decades. The novel is a complex story that sprawls hundreds of pages and spawned far too many sequels written by Herbert and others. In addition to serving as a producer with Mary Parent and Cale Boyter, Villeneuve adapted the novel along with Eric Roth (A Star Is Born) and Jon Spaihts (Passengers). Greig Fraser (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) serves as director of photography, following in the footsteps of Roger Deakins and Bradford Young, who’ve worked with Villeneuve in the past.
Beyond Brolin, Isaac and Chalamet (which would really be enough for any other film), Villeneuve’s adaptation also stars Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Rampling and Stellan Skarsgard. The director is also reuniting with his “Blade Runner 2049” star Dave Bautista. Zendaya is also still in the works to join the cast. They’ll likely get to travel to Budapest and Jordan, the current location options for the production beginning in the spring.
MORE FOR DUNE – Now Jason Momoa is in talks with Legendary to join the cast of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, individuals with knowledge of the talks told TheWrap.
This is getting crrazy.
Momoa is in talks to play Duncan Idaho, an ace pilot and loyal warrior who serves the Atreides family. The actor is coming off a huge run at the box office as the star of Warner Bros.’ Aquaman, which has grossed $1.1 billion worldwide.
This film is turning into a real epic. I’m looking forward to this.
IN THIS WEEK’S “I heard it both ways” story, if you still want more Psych, there’s good news.
‘Psych’ Movie Sequel Coming to USA at the end of 2019
James Roday, Dulé Hill and the core cast are all making their return for another film continuation of the fan-favorite series.
USA announced on Thursday that another film continuation of its long-running series will be coming to the network by the end of 2019. The familiar cast of characters, played by Roday, Hill, Maggie Lawson, Kirsten Nelson, Corbin Bernsen and Tim Omundson will all be returning to reprise their roles.
Over time, the show has gone from quirky freshman detective comedy to a legitimate fandom phenomenon, taking Psych to Comic-Con levels of anticipation before the first of the movies premiered in the fall of 2017.
No word yet if John Cena will also be coming back, but Psych: The Movie 2 does seem to center on some unfortunate developments in the life of Chief Carlton Lassiter (Omundson). According to USA’s official synopsis, he’s “ambushed on the job and left for dead. In a vintage Psych-style Hitchcockian nod, he begins to see impossible happenings around his recovery clinic. Shawn (Roday) and Gus (Hill) return to Lassie’s side in Santa Barbara and are forced to navigate the personal, the professional, and possibly the supernatural.”
Psych: The Movie 2 is scheduled to premiere in late 2019.
If you don’t know this about me, I LOVE the show Psych, and the movie, and look forward to this a lot.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Bucky steps in for Cap” story, Sebastian Stan is stepping into the shoes of his MCU pal Chris Evans. Stan is actually replacing Evans in Antonio Campos‘ next film, The Devil All the Time, as a result of schedule conflicts. Netflix will distribute the movie, which is based on Donald Ray Pollock‘s novel of the same name.
Stan joins the already attached (and already pretty strong) cast that includes Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Jason Clarke, Mia Wasikowska, Riley Keough and Bill Skarsgard. In an interview with Esquire, Pattinson said of the project, “There’s this line in it—and sometimes that’s all you need. And it’s like, ‘Ooh… that’s scary to say.’ Because it’ll go down in posterity and I’ll be the one saying it. You literally cannot get darker. It’s fucking dark.” That puts it squarely in line with the risk taking of much of Stan’s recent non-MCU work, including Destroyer and I, Tonya.
Here’s the plot synopsis for Pollock’s book from its publisher:
“Set in rural southern Ohio and West Virginia, The Devil All the Time follows a cast of compelling and bizarre characters from the end of World War II to the 1960s. There’s Willard Russell, tormented veteran of the carnage in the South Pacific, who can’t save his beautiful wife, Charlotte, from an agonizing death by cancer no matter how much sacrificial blood he pours on his “prayer log.” There’s Carl and Sandy Henderson, a husband-and-wife team of serial killers, who troll America’s highways searching for suitable models to photograph and exterminate. There’s the spider-handling preacher Roy and his crippled virtuoso-guitar-playing sidekick, Theodore, running from the law. And caught in the middle of all this is Arvin Eugene Russell, Willard and Charlotte’s orphaned son, who grows up to be a good but also violent man in his own right.”
Ok, this sounds wonderfully disturbing. Sign me up!
Word on the street is that this will start production this month.
IN THIS WEEK’S “One saga down…” story, Filming for Star Wars Episode IX has officially wrapped, bringing an end to a franchise that has spanned more than 40 years and eight films.
Director J.J. Abrams confirmed the news Friday tweeting, “It feels impossible, but today wrapped photography on ‘Episode IX.’ There is no adequate way to thank this truly magical crew and cast,” he wrote. “I’m forever indebted to you all.”
Production for the film began in August of last year at Pinewood Studios outside of London where a number of new actors joined the Star Wars cast, including The Americans star Keri Russell, Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant.
For me, this will be the end of an era, and yet, no doubt, if we know Disney, a new era will begin with a new saga.
Aaand, IN THIS WEEK’S “Ben couldn’t crack it” story, Ben Affleck is hanging up his cape and saying goodbye to Batman.
In an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Thursday, the actor explained why he will not be returning as the Caped Crusader in the 2021 film “The Batman,” to be written and directed by Matt Reeves. Affleck is retiring from the role after playing Bruce Wayne in only three movies: “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Suicide Squad,” and “Justice League.”
“I tried to direct a version of it and worked with a really good screenwriter, but just couldn’t come up with a version, I couldn’t crack it,” Affleck told Kimmel. “So I thought it was time to let someone else take a shot at it. They got some really good people, so I’m excited.”
Affleck says he gave it his best shot, but feels he isn’t right for the role anymore.
Well, that’s ok. It’s time to find a new Batman, and we’re still waiting for that.