Hello, and welcome to another week of exciting, interesting, surprising, and downright weird news in film!
In this weeks “Yeah, I heard that Tuesday and I am still bewildered by it” news, Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg are getting together for Indiana Jones 5, for a release in July of 2019. Ford will be 77 years old when it hits theaters. That will make him 17 years older than Sean Connery was when he played Indiana’s dad. Ponder that one.
Actor Larry Drake passed away yesterday at the age of 66. He played Benny on L.A. Law, and is also known as the title role in the Dr. Giggles horror movies.
I saw a poster in a theater for the new film, The Little Prince. Well, now it turns out Paramount Pictures has unexpectedly dropped the film and Netflix is there to pick it up. Netflix will give U.S. audiences a chance to see this film adaptation of Antoine Saint-Exupery’s classic book. Paramount pretty much blind-sided producers and director Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda).
The Little Prince is part CG and stop-motion animation and has a great voice cast, including Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, James Franco and Benecio del Toro. It’s already a hit in France and has made a $100 million – AND it was released by Paramount French division. Why the Hell would you drop a film with all that going for it? Sounds like personal problem.
Actress Amber Herd has confirmed her role as Mera in the Aquaman and Justice League films. Mera is Aquaman’s love interest and eventual Queen of Atlantis. And as some of you may know, Aquaman is played by Jason Momoa.
Divergent: Allegiant made a franchise low of $2.35 million last night. Yeah, get used to it, Divergent series, I can’t imagine it’s going to get any better with the next one.
Director Michael Mann is being pro-active in getting some more material for films he can produce and direct. He is launching a publishing imprint called Michael Mann Books, for the sole purpose of publishing novels that he can adapt into films. A prequel to Heat is in the works, but first Don Winslow (Savages) has been tapped ot write a book about mob kingpin Tony Accardo and his successor Sam Giancana, which will be made into a film producer – and perhaps directed by Mann. This is familiar ground for both Winslow and Mann, who both cut their teeth on crime drama, but apparently Mann has acquired exclusive rights to “undisclosed material” from the Accardo family.
For you 80’s pre-emo kids, you’ll be happy (on the inside) to know that a biopic about The Smiths is in the works. The film is titled Steven, and they’ve just cast actor Jack Lowden as Morrissey. First-time director Mark Gill will helm the picture, which will explore the British rocker’s days prior to founding The Smiths alongside guitarist Johnny Marr. They start shooting principle in April, with no release date set.
In a weird, partially related story about this and this weekend’s limited release of Midnight Special, actor Michael Shannon, it turns out, can sing. And that he did this past summer as he got a group of musicians together to play the entire Smiths album The Queen is Dead, live on stage in Chicago. Shannon fronted the band and it turns out he’s a decent singer. I’ll be seeing his new film, Midnight Special, tonight and will let you know how it is.
Simon Pegg is in negotiations to star in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, adapted from the novel by Ernest Cline. Pegg would play Ogden Morrow in the near-future tale; he’s the co-creator of a massively popular virtual world called Oasis that serves as an escape from the dreariness of the outside world. The film also stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, and Ben Mendelsohn, and is scripted by Zak Penn. Release date is March 30, 2018.
Studio reports actor Dylan O’Brien has been hospitalized after an injury sustained on the set of the third installment of The Maze Runner series. ““Dylan O’Brien was injured yesterday while filming Maze Runner: The Death Cure in Vancouver, Canada,” 20th Century Fox said in a statement. “He was immediately transferred to a local hospital for observation and treatment.” They, and we all, wish him a speedy recovery. That being said, are we sure the statement shouldn’t read, “Dylan O’Brien’s CAREER was injured while filming Maze Runner…” I kid. Maybe.
Wow, Zootopia has officially made $500 million dollars so far.
And in this week’s “Wait, what?” story, Colin Farrell stars in an absurdist comedy called The Lobster. Directed by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, who made Dogtooth and Alps, The Lobster takes place in a dystopian future in which a seemingly ordinary hotel serves as a twisted dating service of sorts. Unless guests hook up with a mate within 45 days, they’ll be turned into an animal of their choice and released into the wild (Farrell’s character chooses a lobster, thus, the film’s title). Okay, that sounds weird enough for me. And with co-stars like John C. Reilly and Rachel Weiss, I’m totally on board.
And in this week’s superhero’s perfectly serviceable disguise, or unimportant celebrity, story, Henry Cavill decided to test the Superman/Clark Kent disguise by showing up in Times Square wearing a SUPERMAN T-SHIRT, and just hanging out until someone recognized him. No one did. Someone did come up and ask for directions, but then left. Cavill captioned his pic on Instagram: “Dear doubter, The glasses are good enough. Regards, Superman.”
But maybe it’s just that noone cares? Aaaaand, we’re out.
~ Neil T Weakley, your average movie-goer, thanking you for stopping by and reading these news stories that are sometimes enlightening, and at times baffling.