Why, hello there folks! Welcome to another week of news from the world of film! Here’s what I found interesting – or baffling – this week:
Channing Tatum has joined the cast of Kingsman: The Golden Circle. And sources also tell Variety that Elton John is in talks for a key role. Apparently Halle Barry is in talk to star as the Head of the Central Intelligence Agency. Uh huh. Mark Strong and Colin Firth are expected to return to reprise their roles. Matthew Vaughn is back to direct this sequel.
Remember that 21 Jump Street/Men In Black crossover film I mentioned a while back? Yeah, that’s still happening. Tatum will be in that, too. For whatever reason (money).
So, if you think, like me, that there’s no reason for anyone to try and improve on the original How The Grinch Stole Christmas, you’ll be a bit perplexed by Illumination Entertainment choosing to try to do just that by Christmas 2017. Though it does give a glimmer of hope to know that Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast as the voice of The Grinch in said remake. Still, an animated film remake of The Grinch is still a kind of dodgy idea.
In this week’s “Unnecessary, but still kind of intriguing” story, It seems filming has begun on the remake of the German expressionist horror film Nosferatu, with Doug Jones in the title role. If anyone could bring that role to life, he can. Director David Lee Fisher, who made the remake of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari back in 2005 (again with Doug Jones), will direct here, creating a remix of the original film with a mixture of live-action and colorized digital backgrounds recreated from the original film. This actually may be worth checking out.
In this week’s “Oh great, more Batman news”, rumours of Ben Affleck directing a stand alone Batman movie are, indeed, true. At CinemaCon 2016, Warner Bros. Studio Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara has confirmed that this will indeed happen. When, is a different story. With the already full slate of DC superhero movies we don’t know when or where this will be scheduled. At least we know Affleck is a good director.
In this week’s “Yeah, we kinda know that already” story, Deadpool 2 is confirmed, starring Ryan Reynolds and directed by Tim Miller. In fact, pretty much the entire creative team behind Deadpool will be back for the sequel. Well, that’s good to hear.
In this week’s “I’m sorry, what’s this now?” story, Warren Beatty is “very serious” about making a sequel to Dick Tracy, his comic book film adaptation from 1990. Why after so much time? Apparently the rights were all mucked up between Beatty and Tribune Media Services. That was resolved in 2013, so things are a go now. Well, there’s a lot that could be said about this, right? Is it worth revisiting after all this time? Who would play Dick Tracy? Isn’t Beatty a bit old now at 79? I think the answer is ‘yes’. Would it be a reboot? Does anyone even care? And are there even enough people who know who Dick Tracy is anymore? Seems like a lot is already stacked against it.
Speaking of Warren Beatty though, he apparently has a passion project in the works right now about the later years of Howard Hughes. The as yet untitled film is with New Regency Productions, the company that brought us 12 Years A Slave and Birdman. They are expecting a fall or winter release date. Beatty’s last film was Bulworth in 1998. I find it fascinating that these are the two projects that have brought him out of what is essentially retirement. But hey, you go with your heart, right?
In this week’s “Excuse me, I have a question…” story, sources tell Variety that Michael Keaton is in early talks to play a villain in the next Spiderman film, Spiderman: Homecoming, starring Tom Holland as the new Spidey. Marvel and Sony had no comment on the casting yet, though, so maybe it’s all rumor.
What isn’t rumour, strangely enough, and the source of my query, is the casting of Marisa Tomei as – are you ready – Aunt May. I am pretty baffled by this because, let’s face it, Tomei is not nearly old enough to play the Auny May I remember from the comics. Tomei is a really fantastic looking 49 years old, people. I’m not sure who should be more offended – her, or the fans. HER, no contest. I don’t know, I guess they’re just trying to skew everyone younger?
Jon Watts (Cop Car) is directing from a script by John Francis Daly (Sweets from the TV show Bones, writer of the Horrible Bosses movies and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2) and Jonathan Goldstein (the same writing credits). The film will focus on Peter Parker’s high school days, but otherwise plot details are heavily guarded. This, with the knowledge that these writers have some fairly mediocre films in their resume’, does not fill me with confidence. And really, do we need another Spiderman origin film? Nah.
In this week’s “Oh, I thought we escaped this” story, James Cameron has said that he will indeed make four Avatar sequels. Yes, you read that correctly. The first of these should hit theaters as soon as 2018. He first envisioned two sequels. But after meeting with a team of four screenwriters and a group of “some of the top artists and designers in the world,” he realized that he had way too much material for just two films. He initially decided on three sequels, then jumped to four.
“So far, what I am seeing in pure imagination is far beyond the first film,” Cameron said. He said that very few people have seen the initial concepts, but a select few have been left “speechless” by what they saw. Yeah, I’ll bet. they couldn’t believe that you would stretch out this nonsense for as many as four more films…
“We have decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic project, making four epic films, each of which stands alone but together forms a complete saga,” Cameron said. His announcement came immediately after the director told theater owners he opposes the proposal by Sean Parker’s upstart Screening Room, to bring movies into customers’ homes at the same time they debut in theaters.
In further support of the first-run theatrical experience, Cameron added of the “Avatar” sequels: “Trust me, these are films that were designed to be seen in theaters and on the big screen first.” Personally, I’d prefer to see them never.
The other three films will be released at Christmas-time in 2020, 2022 and 2023. “That is our game plan,” Cameron said. Ugh. They better be unbelievably amazing scripts and not just technically like the first Avatar.
And in this week’s “Holy crap, it’s about time!” story, Toho has released their first trailer for, that’s right, their first new Godzilla film since 2005’s Final Wars! Get ready for Godzilla: Resurgence! They’ll get it first in Japan, obviously, on July 29, and hopefully they won’t wait too long to send it our way. You want to see the trailer, right? RIGHT? BOOM:
Toho’s new Godzilla looks positively mutated by radiation. His skin is like partially molten lava. I’m not sure about the arms, though. They seem a bit on the dimunitive side. But otherwise, I CAN’T WAIT! Toho is thankfully still using the man in the suit style, but have obviously added some CGI effects – and some for enhancements. Super excited!
In this week’s “Hey, isn’t that just a Jaws movie with the Transporter guy in it?” story, Jason Staham is in talks to star in the Jon Turbleltaub-directed movie, Meg, about a giant prehistoric shark, a Megalodon. Gosh, what a cute name for a giant sea monster that devours people. It’s based on the book of the same name, and produced over at Warner Bros. Gee, I hope this isn’t something they’re using as a back-up to the whole superhero movie thing. A movie about a prehistoric shark eating people off the coast of China, then sending Statham after it just doesn’t seem like something you want to bank on. Now, if this was the next CRANK movie, THEN I’m in! 😀
In this week’s “Everything old is still new” story, Shane Black, co-star of the original Predator, is writing the next Predator movie. He will also direct. I always forget this guy, even though he’s responsible for a LOT of big movies. He wrote the first Lethal Weapon film, and the story for most of the rest. He first directed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (which is great), and then directed Iron Man 3. Will he be able to write a Predator script that can make a difference? You know, a movie we actually want to see? I’m good with seeing it if it looks like he can add something new and fresh to a franchise no one else has been able to breath life into. But will they put Arnold back in it? The movie-going public seems a bit too ready to embrace this geriatric sequel/reboot trend.
And in this week’s “Is this story worth it?” story, Joe Carnahan has parted ways with Dreamworks on the long-in-development project Motorcade about a disgraced Secret Service agent who gets embroiled in a kidnapping attempt of the President of the United States as his motorcade makes it’s way through Los Angeles. There have been some high profile talent hovering around the project in the past, like Tom Cruise and Ryan Reynolds.
Carnahan joined the project about a year ago with the intent to direct, but shit happens I guess, and now Carnahan is out and I don’t know why. Well fuck this story, then. *Shrug*
And in this week’s “Well it was just a matter of time” story, Fox as acquired – for mid-six figures, I might add – an action/comedy script about the events that take place in a harrowing night of an Uber driver. It’s called Stuber, because the driver’s name is Stu. Written by Tripper Clancy, along with help form Jonathan Goldstein and Jon Francis Daly, who I mentioned earlier are writing the new Spiderman movie. You can see how this project doesn’t bolster my excitement at all.
And finally, in this week’s “Oh yeah, by the way…” story, Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau, made over 4 million dollars last night, and is expected to make a bunch of money this weekend. Surprise!
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, hoping that Godzilla: Resurgence trailer is big enough! 😉