In this week’s “SURPRISE!” story, it turns out that after all the potential directors being looked at to direct James Bond 25, now Danny Boyle is on the list.
Last summer, the studios announced a November 2019 release date for Bond 25, which started a ticking clock of sorts as they secured Daniel Craig to return, then turned their sights to finding a director. Last we heard, ’71 director Yann Demange was the top choice to take the helm, but now Variety reports that Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire filmmaker Danny Boyle is high on MGM’s list to direct.
This is certainly a twist to the conversation, as most assumed Demange had been settled on as the man who’d bring Bond 25 to the big screen. But Variety says that since Annapurna Pictures won the distribution rights to the Bond franchise, there has been “one last push” to go after a more well-known name to take the helm. Indeed, the previous deal with Sony came to a conclusion with Spectre, and Annapurna landed the distribution rights after months of wooing the franchise’s producers.
An interesting, and very competent, choice.
In this week’s “Cutting room floor” story, The Blu-ray of Star Wars: The Last Jedi will have a whopping 14 deleted scenes on it.
No clues were given about what the scenes may be, but director Rian Johnson said in previous interviews he cut a lot out of the film for time and pace.
In addition to the deleted portions, the Blu-ray will have two behind-the-scenes featurettes: “The Director and the Jedi” and “Balance of the Force.”
The Last Jedi digital release drops March 13 and the Blu-ray comes out March 27.
In this week’s “The dinosaurs continue” story, Jurassic World 3 is already in the works.
Almost four months before Universal Pictures unleashes Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the studio is making plans for a third installment of the rebooted dinosaur adventure movie series.
Jurassic World 3 will be written franchise newcomer Emily Carmichael along with Colin Trevorrow, the director of the 2015 reboot and co-writer of Fallen Kingdom.
And the studio has set a June 11, 2021 release date for the movie.
Trevorrow is returning to exec produce the new chapter along with Steven Spielberg, the filmmaker behind the original movies in the 1990s.
Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley are returning as producers.
Plot details are being kept locked in a canister but Carmichael and Trevorrow will work from a story concocted by Trevorrow and writer partner Derek Connolly. Carmichael co-wrote the upcoming Pacific Rim Uprising and most recently rewrote The Black Hole for Disney and director Joseph Kosinski. She came to Spielberg’s attention when she set up the family action-adventure Powerhouse at Amblin.
“It’s important to this franchise that we welcome new creative voices to keep our storytelling fresh and alive,” says Trevorrow. “I’m thrilled with the tension and beauty J.A. has brought to Fallen Kingdom, and I know Emily will add another layer of emotion to the concluding chapter of our trilogy.”
Fallen Kingdom, directed by J.A. Bayona, opens June 22.
In this week’s “A deal for the Duplass'” story, Jay and Mark Duplass have inked a four-picture deal with Netflix.
This deal will start with an untitled film starring Ray Romano, Netflix announced Wednesday.
Netflix’s relationship with the Duplass brothers goes back to their first feature film, The Puffy Chair, which Netflix’s Red Envelope Entertainment co-distributed in 2005. In 2015, Netflix signed an SVOD deal with the brothers that included Blue Jay, Take Me and Creep 2, as well as the upcoming Duck Butter and Outside In.
The previous agreement gave Netflix exclusive worldwide SVOD distribution rights after a short theatrical window.
The “Untitled Duplass Brothers Ray Romano Project” will be released later this year and is a bittersweet bromance about friendship, mortality, and “made-up sports.” Alex Lehmann will direct the project, which he co-wrote with Mark Duplass.
Mel Eslyn, president of Duplass Brothers, is producing with Alana Carithers and Sean Bradley.
Good for the Duplass brothers. They usually make good stuff.
In this week’s “From Nightwing to D&D” story, Chris McKay, who recently directed “The Lego Batman Movie” pic for Warner Bros., is in negotiations to direct “Dungeons & Dragons” for Paramount Pictures.
Michael Gillio will be penning the script. Hasbro’s Brian Goldner and Stephen Davis are producing.
The pic will be one of the first projects to go into production for the newly created AllSpark Pictures. Launched last October, production company aims to transform itself into an industry player to rival Marvel Studios.
Hasbro’s lines of toys and games include Mr. Potato Head, Monopoly and My Little Pony. Its products have inspired films with varying degrees of success. Paramount and Hasbro could not be reached for comment.
The film has been in development for some time but the lawsuit between Sweetpea Entertainment and Hasbro about ownership of sequel rights delayed progress. Once the settlement was finalized in 2015, Hasbro moved the project from Warner Bros. to Paramount and eventually to AllSpark after announcing the new studio.
McKay has been high on various studios’ lists since helming The Lego Batman Movie movie last year; he went on to land the coveted directing job for the Warner Bros. and DC movie Nightwing. McKay is also an exec producer on the The Lego Sequel which is currently filming.
In this week’s “Sonic the Hedghog” story, Paramount Pictures has given its Sonic the Hedgehog movie a holiday-season release for Nov. 15, 2019.
The project, based on the Sega video game franchise, had been in the works at Sony, but the studio let its film rights lapse and Paramount picked up the project in October. The studio is planning a mix of live-action and CGI.
Neal H. Moritz is producing under his Original Film banner. Deadpool director Tim Miller will serve as executive producer, along with Toby Ascher. Dmitri Johnson and Dan Jevons will be the co-producers.
Miller boarded the project in 2016. Sega launched the Sonic game in 1991 and has sold more than 360 million copies to date, including both packaged and digital games on consoles, tablets, and mobile.
The game features a blue hedgehog named Sonic whose peaceful life is often interrupted by Doctor Eggman, a mad scientist who is trying to conquer the world, and by Doctor Robotnik, another scientist who has imprisoned animals in robots and stolen magical Chaos Emeralds. The game was enormously successful and established the Sega Genesis console as a major player in the video game industry.
Fowler directed the Oscar-nominated short Gopher Broke, which Miller exec produced.
“Sonic the Hedgehog” is the second title to land on the Nov. 15, 2019. Warner Bros.’ Margie Claus, a musical comedy starring Melissa McCarthy as Santa Claus’ wife, is also on the date.
In this week’s “Reimagining Pinnocchio” story, Walt Disney Studios has found a director for its live-action reimagining of Pinocchio.
Paul King, helmer of the whimsical and acclaimed Paddington movies, has been chosen to direct the movie, with the studio hoping to being production in the fall.
Released in 1940, Pinocchio was the second animated film made by Disney, after 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It adapted the Italian story by Carlo Collodi about a wooden boy puppet crafted by an old carver named Geppetto. The puppet is brought to life by a fairy who says he will become a real boy if he shows bravery. The character of Jiminy Cricket becomes his de facto conscience and tries to steer him in the right direction. What follows is a series of adventures that include Pinocchio being kidnapped to be part of a puppet show, getting turned into a donkey and being swallowed by a whale.
Chris Weitz and his Depth of Field partner Andrew Miano are producing. Jack Thorne, who penned the surprise hit Wonder, is rewriting the script.
Sam Mendes was initially slated to direct the project but left last year. Peter Hedges and Weitz previously worked on the script.
There have been several live-action Pinocchio movies made, including one in 1996 from New Line Cinema that starred Martin Landau and Jonathan Taylor Thomas. None of those were made by Disney, however, which is currently in the midst of bringing to life, Blue Fairy-style, its animation library.
King has won over jaded execs and skeptical adults with his inventive storytelling in bringing to life the Paddington tales, becoming an in-demand filmmaker in the process. He just signed on to direct Warner Bros.’ Willy Wonka, a reimagining of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
In this week’s “Smells like Oscar” story, Halle Berry and Daniel Craig will star in Turkish director Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s second film, and first English language one, Kings.
For her second feature and English-language debut, Turkish director Deniz Gamze Ergüven set her sights on the notorious L.A. riots in the summer of 1992. Widely praised for her standout debut, “Mustang,” Ergüven attracted the likes of Halle Berry and Daniel Craig for her follow-up, which released a first trailer in anticipation of its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Berry plays a tough but protective foster mother living in South Central L.A. during the weeks leading up to the announcement of the Rodney King verdict. Craig plays one of South Central’s only white residents, who helps Berry’s character track down the kids during the demonstrations. With tensions high on all fronts, the two also grapple with their feelings for one another. Craig and Berry lead a cast of that includes accomplished television actors Kevin Carroll (“The Leftovers”), Peter Mackenzie (“Black-ish”), and Isaac Ryan Brown (“Black-ish”).
Ergüven will have to prove herself worthy of taking on such charged subject matter, especially one so outside of her experience. Mustang succeeded because it dealt with teen girls’ sexuality in a repressive Turkish culture, something about which Ergüven clearly had unique insight. The history of race in America is an entirely different story.
An interesting choice. I may be interested in seeing how she handles this material from her POV.
In this week’s “Amazing book adaptation” story, Amazon is developing a fantasy drama series based on the novel Consider Phlebas, written by Scottish author Iain M. Banks.
The digital giant has acquired worldwide rights to Consider Phlebas, the first novel in the series about a world known as “the Culture.” Dennis Kelly (“Matilda”) is on board to adapt the book for Amazon Studios and Plan B Entertainment.
“The story of the Culture is so rich and captivating that for years Hollywood has been trying to bring this utopian society to life on the screen,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, head of scripted series at Amazon Studios. “We are honored that we have been chosen, along with Dennis Kelly and Plan B Entertainment, to make ‘Consider Phlebas’ into a television series we think will be loved by fans for years to come.”
Published in 1987, Consider Phlebas revolves around a war that erupts between the Culture, a highly advanced and progressive society, and the Idirans, a deeply religious, war-like race intent on dominating the galaxy.
“Iain Banks has long been a hero of mine, and his innate warmth, humor and humanism shines through these novels,” said Kelly. “Far from being the dystopian nightmares that we are used to, Banks creates a kind of flawed paradise, a society truly worth fighting for — rather than a warning from the future, his books are a beckoning.”
The Banks estate is on board as an executive producer with Plan B and Kelly.
Consider Phlebas is in keeping with the kind of epic fantasy fare that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has sought for the entertainment arm of his empire. Amazon Studios is in the midst of an executive transition following the appointment earlier this month of NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke as its new leader.
I can say from experience – I have read a number of Iain M. Banks books – that this could be really exciting.
In this week’s “Who will heed the Call of Duty?” story, According to recent reports, it looks like the Call of Duty film is moving forward with upcoming Sicario 2: Soldado director Stefano Sollima at the helm. But that’s not all. UK’s Metro believes they have figured out who might star in the proposed film.
Speaking to Metro at the release of his short film for Campari, The Legend of the Red Hand, Sollima went out of his way to commend the work of two of Hollywood leading men, Tom Hardy and Chris Pine.
The lovefest began with Sollima talking about Hardy. “I mean, I like almost everything [Hardy’s been in]. I’m waiting for his ‘Venom.’ Even in ‘Mad Max,’ he was great,” said the director.
However, it wasn’t all Hardy-love. No, Sollima was even more reverential in regards to Pine. “He’s tough, but he’s smart and he can have a sense of humor but he can [also] be in such a dramatic role,” the director explained.
I wonder if Sollima saw This Means War…?
The report doesn’t definitively say that Hardy and Pine are the director’s first choices, probably because he hasn’t officially taken the job as director yet. However, as Metro points out, Hardy and Pine would be two great, if somewhat obvious, choices for a Call of Duty film.
Well, if they can get a script that is actually GOOD, then it may have a chance.
In this week’s “Bring back Pigs In Space!” story, Disney wants to bring back The Muppet Show on their new streaming service.
Word out of Hollywood is that Disney is keen on bringing the Muppets back yet again. But rather than bringing them to network television, the Muppets will get a new series on the forthcoming Disney streaming service that slated to launch in the fall of 2019.
The Hollywood Reporter has news of Disney’s desire for a Muppets reboot in the form of a new series on their streaming service. However, it sounds like the project is early in development, as they’re just now searching for a writer to script the series.
People seem to have trouble getting back on board even though I enjoyed their cancelled-too-soon show in 2015. It is hard to capture the same energy that Jim Henson instilled in it, though.
in this week’s “Being Prepared” story, J.J. Abrams says he has a script ready for the next Star Wars film.
J.J. Abrams seems confident about the next chapter of the “Skywalker Saga,” enough to go on a talk show and reveal that the script for the movie is finished.
“We have a script, which is a big deal for me,” Abrams confirmed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night. “Having a script in advance is something I haven’t always been lucky enough to have.”
He goes on to say that he’s “writing” with Chris Terrio (Argo) but that sudden change to present tense probably shouldn’t be seen as a contradiction. But we also shouldn’t assume they can’t make some alterations after they begin production. Still, it’s good to hear that there is something firm out there.
With all the debates about The Last Jedi, you gotta wonder how much agonizing there was over this script. How much second-guessing was there? Ugh. I wouldn’t have wanted to be the one to have to write that last chapter of THAT saga. I guess a certain percentage of people will be unhappy no matter what.
In this week’s “Can’t-lose casting” story, the always great Walton Goggins has been added to the cast of CBS’s L.A. Confidential reboot series pilot.
Based on the novel by James Ellroy, the drama follows three homicide detectives, a reporter, and an actress whose lives “intersect while the detectives pursue a sadistic serial killer among the secrets and lies of glamorous and gritty 1950s Los Angeles.” In 1997, the book was adapted as a film starring Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, and Kim Basinger.
On LA Confidential, Goggins will play “Detective Jack Vincennes, who is described as all swagger and flash with a movie-star smile. He knows how the system works and uses it to his best advantage, including some corrupt shakedowns on the side.”
Anna Fricke will executive produce the CBS pilot alongside Jordan Harper, Arnon Milchan, and Michael Dinner.
In this week’s “Not done with random sequels yet” story, Chris Tucker confirms Rush Hour 4.
Focusing on Tucker’s Detective James Carter and Chan’s Chief Inspector Lee as they meet from two different sides of the world, 1998’s Rush Hour became a surprise hit. Earning an impressive $244.4 million at the worldwide box office against a budget of just $33 million, it brought the boys back for two more installments and a big question mark hanging over a fourth movie.
Really? Have fans been waiting eagerly for news of a fourth film? I find that hard to believe.
Chan had already said he would return to the series last year on The Cruz Show, but Tucker has remained quiet on the situation until now. Speaking on ESPN’s podcast, The Plug, he reiterated that he and Chan will be practicing their best martial arts skills to make the trilogy into a quadrilogy:
“It’s happening. This is gonna be the rush of all rushes. Jackie is ready and we want to do this so that people don’t ever forget it.”
Ok, that’s a pretty big endorsement there. I realize you gotta talk it up, but are people really going to care? Brett Ratner was the director on these but with his recent sexual assault allegations, will he even be involved? Ugh.
In this week’s “DC loses again” story, if you were hopeful that Joss Whedon was going to write and direct a Batgirl movie for them, well, you can stop hoping. Joss Whedon is leaving the Batgirl project.
“Batgirl is such an exciting project, and Warners/DC such collaborative and supportive partners, that it took me months to realize I really didn’t have a story,” Whedon told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. Referring to DC president Geoff Johns and Warner Bros. Picture Group president Toby Emmerich, Whedon added, “I’m grateful to Geoff and Toby and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I…uh, is there a sexier word for ‘failed?'”
Whedon came on to Batgirl almost a year ago, in March 2017, with the hopes of bringing to the big screen a companion to the female empowerment icon Wonder Woman, with this one tied to the most popular character in comics, Batman. Batgirl is Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Gotham City police commissioner James Gordon.
But sources say that Whedon, after a year of trying, could not crack the code of what a Batgirl movie should be. Wonder Woman, meanwhile, became a cultural phenomenon as well as one of the biggest hits and most acclaimed movies of 2017.
Industry sources add that even as Whedon faced story issues, in today’s cultural entertainment environment, a male filmmaker may have faced greater public scrutiny if he were to have tackled a movie with such feminist importance such as Batgirl or Wonder Woman, much like a white filmmaker would have seen backlash taking on the Black Panther movie.
Whedon has been credited as a pioneering voice for female-focused genre fare, having created the hit TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer two decades ago.
I have some trouble believing that Whedon was having THAT much trouble finding an idea for the Batgirl film, but maybe there are other factors we aren’t being told. SO, maybe Warners and DC need to find a bright
FEMALE filmmaker to take control of this one.
UPDATE: Well, maybe a female WILL have a hand in making Batgirl. Author Roxane Gay has thrown her hat into the ring of potential writers for the upcoming Batgirl movie, and DC Comics appears to be interested.
After Joss Whedon stepped down as the film’s writer and director on Thursday, Gay tweeted saying, “Hey [DC Comics] I can write your ‘Batgirl’ movie, no prob.”
The tweet quickly garnered attention, leading Michele Wells, a Warner Bros. vice president who also works on DC films, to respond to Gay’s message.
“If you’re serious… contact me,” Wells wrote, providing her email address. Gay responded saying, “Yes I am serious. I will email you.”
“Batgirl” would tell the story of Barbara Gordon, the daughter of police commissioner James Gordon, who moonlights as one of Batman’s sidekicks, Batgirl.
However, with Whedon’s departure, it’s uncertain whether Warner Bros. will continue development of a Batgirl movie.
The Batgirl film would not be Gay’s first time working on a comic book project. In 2016 she wrote the Black Panther: World of Wakanda for Marvel Comics, though the series was cancelled in 2017.
Her other work includes books like “Bad Feminist,” “Hunger,” and “Difficult Women,” and she also contributes cultural critiques and reviews for multiple publications. She is currently compiling a book of essays about rape culture titled “Not That Bad” which features multiple contributors and will be released on May 1.
In this week’s “After Annihilation” story, writer/director Alex Garland has confirmed that a new adaptation of his book The Beach is being written.
The first film adaption of The Beach directed by Danny Boyle and starring Leonardo DiCaprio was definitely got a luke warm reception. but now, it seems, that Alex Garland may rectify that with a new version.
During a Reddit AMA, Alex Garland — who wrote the novel the film was based on — confirmed that something was brewing, though he didn’t go into much detail:
Someone asked: “Do you think there will ever be another shot at adapting The Beach?”
His reply: “Well, someone very talented is currently working on a possible adaptation, so I’m really interested to see what they write.”
Well then, that’s interesting. Garland’s newly released film, Annihilation is in theaters today, and it’s great.
In this week’s “Food-based film” story, Fox Searchlight and DeVon Franklin are set to produce the film Flamin’ Hot, which will tell the true story of Richard Montanez, who rose from humble beginnings to a successful businessman when he created a food phenomenon — Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Fox Searchlight nabbed the project in what was a highly competitive sale, with multiple studios vying for the project.
The film follows Montanez, the son of an immigrant, who grew up as a migrant farm worker picking grapes in the fields of Southern California before becoming a janitor at Frito-Lay. It was while working at the company that Montanez came up with the idea to create Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, transforming the Frito-Lay brand into a pop culture phenomenon and disrupting the entire food industry in the process. Now commonly referred to as the Godfather of Multicultural Marketing, it was that initial idea that would spark a billion-dollar brand and catapult him from janitor to elite corporate executive.
Franklin will produce the project through his Franklin Entertainment shingle. Lewis Colick will pen the script from the initial pitch, which he and Franklin developed with Montanez. Samuel Rodriguez will executive produce.
This story could have gone in a very weird direction. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos as a pitch? this better go somewhere….Luckily it appears it does.
In this week’s “It’s been over a month since it was first reported that Spider-Man: Homecoming screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein were in talks to direct a solo movie about The Flash, but Wednesday night the two told The Hollywood Reporter that they still haven’t finalized a deal with Warner Bros.
“We’re still negotiating,” Daley said at the premiere of their latest directorial effort, Game Night, a comedy thriller starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams. “Deals are in the works right now.”
They insist that they haven’t started working on the script of the film, called Flashpoint, yet because “we have to sign the deal,” Daley said. “Hopefully, it will work out.”
Goldstein joked the holdup is due to very crucial deal point. “It’s all about parking spots,” he quipped. “If you give in then you’re all the way out by craft services. You want a better spot than that.”
Flashpoint will star Ezra Miller, reprising his role as the DC superhero from Justice League. Directors Rick Famuyiwa and Seth Grahame-Smith were previously attached separately to helm Flashpoint.
And in this week’s “FINALLY!” story, Mark Hamill, who, of course, rose to fame as Luke Skywalker, is finally getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Hamill will receive the 2,630th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with the ceremony taking place at 6834 Hollywood Boulevard in front of the El Capitan Theatre at 11:30 p.m. on March 8. Star Wars creator George
Lucas and Hamill’s co-star Harrison Ford will help emcee with Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.