What surprising things are happening this week? A LOT!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Rom Com time!” story, In the first trailer for Hampstead, Diane Keaton stars as an aging widow that is trying to get out and rejoin the dating scene. However, the men she’s coming across aren’t exactly what she’s looking for. Instead, she finds herself attracted to a man with a bushy beard that lives in a shack in the woods. That man, played by Brendan Gleeson, opens up the woman to a world vastly different than the uptight one she is used to. Obviously, you know how these sorts of films work, by now.
Joining Keaton and Gleeson in the cast are James Norton,, Alistair Petrie, and Leslie Manville.
Hampstead hits theaters and VOD on June 14.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Though Emily (Diane Keaton) and Donald (Brendan Gleeson) live in the same idyllic London neighborhood of Hampstead, the worlds they inhabit could not be more different. She is an American widow occupying a posh apartment she can no longer afford and filling her time with charity work as she struggles to figure out a next step. He is a gruff Irish loner who lives off the land in a makeshift cabin and wants nothing more than to be left in peace. When his home is threatened by greedy real estate developers, Emily believes she has found her new cause-but gets more than she bargained for when unexpected romance blossoms. Based on an inspiring true story, Hampstead is a buoyant, sparklingly witty tale of two underdogs who took on the system and showed a nation that heart is where the home is. With Lesley Manville.
IN THIS WEEK’S “We have such NEW sights to show you” story, Spyglass Media Group is breathing new life into Hellraiser with a reimagining of Clive Barker’s 1987 horror classic featuring the iconic character Pinhead, with David S. Goyer on board to produce and write the story, the company announced on Monday.
Over three decades, the Hellraiser franchise became cult favorite status with a universe that has spawned 10 films, graphic novels and merchandise.
This is the first project since Spyglass announced its launch in March. It will finance and develop the film for worldwide theatrical distribution. Keith Levine will serve as a producer alongside Goyer, under the Phantom Four banner. Chris Stone will oversee the project for Spyglass.
“Clive and I go back more than 30 years together. For generations, his brilliantly twisted and imaginative ‘Hellraiser’ haunted the minds of moviegoers with its searing imagery of Pinhead.” He added, “David is the perfect storyteller to continue Clive’s vision for a new theatrical version of ‘Hellraiser.,’” Spyglass chairman/CEO Gary Barber said in a statement
“I’ve been a fan of Clive’s work since the original ‘Books of Blood’ paperbacks and The Hellbound Heart novella. Having the chance to reimagine Pinhead and the Cenobites for a new audience is a nightmare-come-true. Gary is a true fan as well and we’re committed to making something dark and visceral,” Goyer said.
Goyer co-wrote on the Batman franchise with Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins, Dark Knight, Dark Knight Rises); Marvel’s Blade Trilogy (Blade, Blade II, Blade: Trinity) and the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate, produced by James Cameron. Goyer will showrun the upcoming Foundation series at Apple.
Weird. I thought Barker was going to write this, but I guess he’s too busy.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Campion film” story, Benedict Cumberbatch and Elisabeth Moss will star in Jane Campion’s new film, The Power of the Dog, an adaptation of the Thomas Savage novel.
Campion will direct from a script she adapted, with See-Saw Films’ in-house sales arm, Cross City Films, launching sales at this month’s Cannes Film Festival. The movie will go into pre-production at the end of the year.
“‘The Power of the Dog’ is a sublime novel that deserves a life on the big screen. I couldn’t stop thinking about the story, it really haunted me. The themes of masculinity, nostalgia and betrayal are an intoxicating mix,” Campion said. “It’s also rare to find a story where the themes, the plot and the characters build tension as they reveal each other and even the end is satisfying and unexpected. It will be the first time I’ve worked with a male lead, which is exciting. Phil is a charismatic and complex character who declares war on his brother’s new wife and her teenage son.”
The book tells the story of wealthy Montana brothers Phil (Cumberbatch) and George Burbank. Phil is brilliant and cruel, while George is fastidious and gentle. Together, they are joint owners of the biggest ranch in their Montana valley. When George secretly marries local widow Rose (Moss), an angry Phil wages a relentless war to destroy her by using her son Peter as a pawn.
The pic is a See-Saw Films and Big Shell Films/Max Films production in association with Brightstar. It originated with producer Roger Frappier of Max Films, who held the rights to the novel. Frappier offered the property to Campion following a meeting at a recent Cannes Film Festival.
Producing will be through See Saw Films and BBC Films.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Kingsley and Pearce” story, Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce are set to star in Long Gone Heroes, an upcoming action film and war story being presented to buyers at Cannes.
Producer Jason Moring and financier Double Dutch International announced on Tuesday that Kingsley and Pearce were attached to the feature that is written and will be directed by Santiago Manes Moreno
Long Gone Heroes is the story of a special forces soldier for hire who has given up country, religion, and even hope, and must return to the field of battle with his military team to track down a female reporter entangled in a huge political scandal while being hunted by the same mercenaries’ former comrades.
IN THIS WEEK’S “BIG Disney/Fox updates” story, In the aftermath of the massive Disney/Fox merger, the slate of films they are releasing is announced.
Of note, three new as-yet-untitled Star Wars films will release on the pre-Christmas weekend every other year beginning in 2022. Those dates are Dec. 16, 2022; Dec. 20, 2024; and Dec. 18, 2026. Disney announced previously that two separate Star Wars series, outside of the Skywalker saga, were in development from Rian Johnson and Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
Also, the Avatar series, which counts four sequels, will launch later then expected. Originally, Avatar 2 was set to open on Dec. 18, 2020 and it will now hit theaters on Dec. 17, 2021. An Avatar pic will play the holiday period every other year thereafter all the way to Dec. 17, 2027.
Moving in the holiday 2020 corridor is Fox/Amblin’s West Side Story adaptation, directed by Steven Spielberg, which will open on Dec. 18 and Disney’s Cruella opening Wednesday, Dec. 23, for the long holiday weekend.
Still not unveiled by Disney are next year’s Marvel movies on May 1 and Nov. 6. Word is that it’s two of three titles: Black Widow, Shang Chi or The Eternals. Diving into the details of this schedule, at the end of 2018, there were 11 untitled Marvel titles between Disney and Fox, set to be released in the years followings Avengers: Endgame. Three of those belonged to Fox/Marvel release dates and those untitled reserved slots have been removed from the schedule.
Also, Fox/Marvel’s New Mutants, which had been pushed several times on the release schedule after reshoots before the merger, moves again, jumping off Aug. 2 and zipping to April 3, 2020. Coming away from Disney and Dolby’s CinemaCon presentations last month, it was clear New Mutants wasn’t headed to Hulu.
Fox 2000’s Kevin Costner-Amanda Seyfried movie The Art of Racing in the Rain moves up to Aug. 9 this year and Fox Searchlight’s horror-thriller Ready or Not will release on Aug. 23
Ad Astra, which was set to open over Memorial Day but is still in post, heads to Sept. 20 as expected while Disney’s Artemis Fowl based on the Eoin Colfer novel will no longer go on Aug. 9 this year, but May 29 next year.
Fox awards season blue chips will stay put on their release dates: The Woman in the Window on Oct. 4 and Ford V. Ferrari on Nov. 15. Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is still going in that third weekend of October slot made rich last year by Halloween, Oct. 18. No changes for Disney Animation’s Frozen 2 on Nov. 22, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on Dec. 20. However, Fox/Blue Sky Studios’ Spies in Disguise, goes from September to Christmas. Among early 2020 titles are Fox’s Underwater on Jan. 10, a new Kingsman movie on Feb. 14, and Call of the Wild now on Feb. 21 instead of Dec. 25. Pixar’s Onward will open on March 6 and Disney’s live action take on Mulan on March 27, 2020 (no changes there).
“We’re excited to put in place a robust and diverse slate that lays the foundation of our long-term strategy, bringing together a breadth of films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Fox, Fox Searchlight, and Blue Sky Studios to create an extraordinary collection of cinematic experiences for audiences around the world,” said Cathleen Taff, President, Theatrical Distribution, Franchise Management, and Business & Audience Insights, The Walt Disney Studios.
WOW. There is a LOT of moving around there. And look at those companies all under one roof now. The sheer theatrical strength of the newly combined studios which currently control over 38% of the 2019 domestic box office with $1.4 billion through May 5, and over $3 billion worldwide.
Holy monopolies, Batman!
IN THIS WEEK’S “A Stark joins The Eternals?” story, Game of Thrones and Bodyguard star Richard Madden is in talks to star opposite Angelina Jolie and Kumail Nanjiani in Marvel’s The Eternals, which focuses on a group of ancient human beings, an individual with knowledge of the project exclusively told TheWrap. Details about Madden’s character is being kept under wraps.
The Rider director Chloe Zhao will direct the film. Matthew and Ryan Firpo (Ruin) are writing the script. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige is producing. TheWrap also first reported South Korean actor Ma Dong-seok, also known as Don Lee, will make his American film debut in the film.
Created by comic legend Jack Kirby in 1976, The Eternals are a race of ancient human beings created a million years ago by the cosmic entities known as the Celestials.
According to ComicVine, the Celestials accelerated the evolution of a handful of subjects and gave them the genetic potential to mentally manipulate limited quantities of cosmic energy, as well as other superhuman traits.
The story will focus on the female Eternal known as Sersi, (no, not the character on Game of Thrones), several insiders have told TheWrap. Angelina Jolie is currently in talks for the role.
“We have started working on what are the films post-phase 3,” Feige previously told TheWrap, referencing the forthcoming fourth part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s slate of movies after the wind-down of franchises based on the original Avengers.
Best known for playing Robb Stark on Game of Thrones, and following that up with BBC thriller Bodyguard, Madden will next be seen in Paramount’s Elton John biopic Rocketman, playing John’s longtime manager, John Reid.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Mincemeat” story, Colin Firth is reuniting with Shakespeare in Love director John Madden for the fact-based WWII drama Operation Mincemeat, See-Saw Films and Cohen Media Group announced Tuesday morning.
The King’s Speech star is set to play British intelligence officer Ewen Montagu in the stranger-than-fiction true story based on a best-selling book by Ben Macintyre of the same name. Michelle Ashford (Masters of Sex, The Pacific) adapted the screenplay, and the film is expected to go into preproduction later this year.
In 1943, as the Allies are determined to launch an all-out assault on ‘Fortress Europe,’ they face an impossible challenge — to protect a massive invasion force from entrenched German firepower and avert a potential massacre. It falls to two brilliant intelligence officers, Ewen Montagu (Firth) and Charles Cholmondeley, to dream the most inspired and improbable disinformation strategy of the war — a lunatic and dangerously precarious undertaking centered on the most unlikely of secret agents: a dead man.
Madden is known for directing Shakespeare in Love in 1998, which won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and was nominated for an additional 6 including Best Director.
IN THIS WEEK’S”Marvel Comic Universe slate” story, SO, now that we’re just about out of the Phase 3 for the MCU, what about Phase 4?
MCU and Kevin Feige have already stated that any X-Men stuff will be about 5 years out. So don’t expect that anytime soon. So, unofficially, here’s what IS coming, based on what dates have been given as place-holders:
July 2, 2019 – Spider-Man: Far From Home. We know that Mysterio is in it, and NOT a villain. he’ll be teaming up with Spidey to battle the Elementals. Ok, then.
May 1, 2020 – Black Widow. She’s finally getting a solo film. And this will be an origin story, all before she joined S.H.I.E.L.D.
November 6, 2020 – The Eternals.
February 12, 2021 – Shang-Chi.
May 7, 2021 – Black Panther 2.
July 2021 – Spider-Man 3 (Maybe). Will Sony want to wait three years for another Spider-Man movie in 2022? And remember, none of this is up to Marvel. So, it’s very possible, even though no release date exists yet, that Sony could date “Spider-Man 3” to July 2021. It’s totally unknown, but the key factor is this third film is the last film in the Sony/Marvel deal made during “Captain America: Civil War.” Does Spider-Man end his tenure in the MCU and revert back to Sony? Or does Sony keep Spider-Man in the fold and perhaps team him up with other Marvel heroes for other adventures? It’s all up in the air right now.
November 5, 2021 – Doctor Strange 2. Speaking of villains and Namor. Director Scott Derrickson, who is coming back to write and direct the Doctor Strange sequel, has already teased Namor on social media in an image with the good Doctor, but then quickly deleted the tweet (people saw it). Or is he just throwing us off the trail? Who knows.
February 18, 2022 – Deadpool 3. Nothing is known about Deadpool 3 right now, but we do know this: Ryan Reynolds will be back, the series will remain R-Rated, that means it’ll likely be branded as Fox, not Disney, which means it probably won’t directly connect to the MCU in any major way (that comes later) and that both Kevin Feige and Disney‘s Bob Iger have said that no one should mess with its winning formula. That likely means the core creative team of writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds (who was credited as a writer on Deadpool 2) remain the core creatives. A director is up in the air, as is the return of Cable (Josh Brolin), but one suspects at least Domino (Zazie Beetz) comes back. But it remains a big question mark, even on this release date.
May 6, 2022 – Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3.
July 29, 2022 – Captain Marvel 2.
Of course these dates could all change. In fact, Disney CEO Bob Iger hinted on Wednesday that Marvel Studios will unveil its next slate of films sometime this summer, according to Variety.
Does Marvel start making four films a year in 2021 or 2022 or is it a case by case scenario? Maybe something could go here, but currently, no placeholder date exists so this is pure open speculation on our part. Ant-Man & The Wasp 3 maybe? Thor 4?” There’s talk of Black Knight coming too, but we suspect that’s more into the Phase 5 or late Phase 4 end of things at the earliest along with characters like Namor and Captain Britain who have been teased as well.
Anything beyond this is broad speculation, but for the sake of connectivity, keep in mind the Disney+ streaming network will have five Marvel limited series shows: a Loki, series WandaVision (Scarlet Witch and Vision), The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, Hawkeye and eventually, a What If? animated series.
That is a LOT of Marvel stuff.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Does THIS Milkshake bring everyone to the yard?” story, Paul Giamatti, who stars in Showtime’s acclaimed series Billions, has joined the high-powered cast of Gunpowder Milkshake, an action thriller from Studiocanal and The Picture Company.
Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado, the duo behind the dark Israeli breakout Big Bad Wolves, are directing the project, which already has Avengers: Endgame’s Karen Gillan, Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey and Angela Bassett (Black Panther) on the hit list as it heads toward a June 3 production start in Berlin.
Plot details are being kept under wraps but the script, which Keshales and Papushado wrote with Ehud Lavski, is described as centering on a mother-daughter assassin duo played by Gillan and Headey.
Most of the cast will be female, but Giamatti is one of the few male leads. The details for his character are also being muzzled, but it is known that he is a person to whom all others are connected.
The Picture Company partners Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman will produce Gunpowder Milkshake through their overall deal with Studiocanal.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Emmerich keeps directing.” story, Roland Emmerich is blasting off on his latest film, which finds the Independence Day director returning to space for one of the biggest projects to be presented at the Cannes Film Festival market.
Emmerich will co-write and direct Moonfall, which will be presented to buyers at Cannes with Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios and CAA Media Finance jointly handling worldwide sales.
Emmerich will co-write the film with Harald Kloser and Spenser Cohen. The story is a sci-fi action epic in which a ragtag team of astronauts is forced to land on the moon’s surface when the moon is knocked out of Earth’s orbit, sending it hurtling on a collision course with Earth and threatening all of mankind. Read the full synopsis below:
“The Moon. It controls our nights, our days, the seasons, and our ocean tides. And since the beginning of humankind, its phases stood as a symbol of enlightenment, inner knowledge – and our own immortality. Until now. Suddenly and without warning a mysterious force knocks the Moon from its orbit around Earth and sends it hurtling on collision course with life as we know it. With mere weeks before impact, and against all odds, a ragtag team launches an impossible last-ditch mission into space, leaving behind everyone they love and risking everything to land on the lunar surface, unlock its secrets, and save our planet from annihilation. But first they must battle an unknown and unfathomable power that will challenge everything we know about the moon, the universe, and ourselves. From epic director Roland Emmerich, MOONFALL is the first battle waged by humanity against a seemingly unstoppable enemy, unlocking a mystery of cosmic proportions.”
Uh, ok, so it’s kinda like Armageddon, but with the moon instead of an asteroid. Great.
Emmerich’s production banner Centropolis Entertainment is producing Moonfall, which is currently in pre-production and is aiming a start date of the first quarter of 2020.
Emmerich is currently finishing up Midway, a historical war epic about the Battle of Midway.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Another Black Beauty” story, looks like we’re getting another remake of Black Beauty, but with a twist?
Mackenzie Foy and Kate Winslet have come aboard Constantin Film’s contemporary take on Black Beauty.
Ashley Avis is directing from her own script.
Black Beauty is based on Anna Sewell’s best-selling novel about the deep and enduring bond between a 17-year-old girl and the wild horse who helps her overcome the trauma of her loss following her parents’ death. Foy, whose credits include The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Interstellar and the last two Twilight movies, will play Jo while Winslet will voice Beauty.
I’m sorry, perhaps I’ve missed something, but did the horse speak to Jo in the book and other films? That seems new to me. I could certainly be wrong, though.
Black Beauty is being produced by Jeremy Bolt and Robert Kulzer, who teamed on the Resident Evil franchise. Martin Moszkowicz is executive producing.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Samurai Chadwick?” story, Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman will produce and topline the samurai story Yasuke, set in 16th century Japan.
Narcos co-creator Doug Miro is writing the script, which centers on an African man who arrived in Japan in 1579 in the service of an Italian Jesuit and served under the Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga. He was captured in a battle in 1582. According to legend, Yasuke is the only person of non-Asian origin to become a Samurai.
The movie will be produced by Erik Feig’s recently unveiled Picturestart, Michael De Luca and his De Luca Productions company, Stephen L’Heureux and his Solipsist banner, and Boseman and Logan Coles’ Xception Content.
Ok, this sounds like a cool story for a film.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Making the most of a post-Thor world” story, Avengers: Endgame star Chris Hemsworth and Tiffany Haddish are set to star in Down Under Cover, a buddy cop action comedy to be shopped at Cannes, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The film, being penned by Peter Hoare, will see Hemsworth play a cop who goes undercover to solve a string of casino heists where a troupe of Australian male erotic dancers are suspected as culprits. Also investigating is a lone wolf detective, played by Haddish, who clashes with her crime-solving partner.
Ok, maybe Hemsworth isn’t making the MOST of taking a break from being Thor, but he certainly is filling his schedule.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Cliffhanger Redux” story, Twenty six years after the iconic original debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, Neal Moritz’s (The Fast And The Furious) awaited reboot of hit action-thriller Cliffhanger is heading to the Cannes Marché where it will be among the buzziest projects on sale.
In a zeitgeisty twist, the reimagined, big-canvas package will have a female lead — casting is underway — and a female director in the shape of Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night). Aquaman star Jason Momoa is talks for a key cameo.
Rocket Science will launch international sales on the hot prospect in Cannes after prizing rights away from StudioCanal in a competitive situation. The latter had tried to mount a remake a couple of times with Moritz in the past decade and it was a long negotiation to convince the French studio to part with the property given its strong box office potential.
Cliffhanger has long been a passion project for Fast And The Furious franchise producer Moritz whose Original Film will produce with Rocket Science. Both partners see franchise potential in the film. The new script comes from Sascha Penn (Creed II) with a first draft expected in coming weeks.
Amirpour’s reimagining will be budgeted in the $70 million region and won’t hold back when it comes to scale and visuals. The production already has a slug of undisclosed equity in place and will likely be looking for a studio partner in the U.S.
And no, Sylvester Stallone is NOT involved with this one.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Suicide Squad updates” story, Dave Bautista was in talks to be in the next Suicide Squad film directed by James Gunn, but his schedule couldn’t be worked out. So now Michael Rooker is in talks to be in it. Reports claim the actor will likely play King Shark in the supervillain team-up sequel, where he’ll join Idris Elba, Margot Robbie, John Cena, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis, David Dastmalchian, and Daniela Melchior (as Ratcatcher!), who round out the cast.
This Suicide Squad is to be based primarily on John Ostrander’s run in the comic books series, which focused on the prime concept of lesser-known supervillains being recruited for suicide missions from a shady government entity. It is scheduled to hit theaters on August 6, 2021, with production said to begin later this year.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Coach Michael Shannon” story, Michael Shannon is set to star in a romantic coming-of-age drama from director Howard Deutch (Pretty in Pink) that Fortitude will present to buyers at the Cannes Film Festival, the company announced Wednesday.
Shannon will star in Swing, which has been compared to Friday Night Lights and Dead Poets Society. The story is set in 1999 and tells the story of a group of friends and crew teammates in their last year of college, whose lives are changed forever when a Vietnam vet (Shannon) takes over as coach of their dysfunctional team.
I can see this having some interesting and intense ‘Michael Shannon moments’. 🙂
Vojin Gjaja, a Ranger-qualified former armor officer in the United States Army, wrote the screenplay based on his own experiences as an oarsman at Columbia University.
Principal photography will begin in September in New Jersey, and Fortitude will introduce the film to buyers at the upcoming Cannes market. Casting is currently underway for the film’s remaining leads.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Tickling the ivories, but not” story, Andrew Garfield is set to portray the acclaimed concert pianist James Rhodes in a musical biopic about his life called Instrumental, Lionsgate UK announced Wednesday
Lionsgate will handle worldwide sales on the movie at the Cannes Film Festival, and Lionsgate UK has acquired the British rights.
James Marsh (The Theory of Everything) will direct Garfield in the biopic based on Rhodes’ memoir Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication and Music. It will tell the story of how the pianist struggled with mental and physical disabilities, PTSD, eating disorders and spinal damage as a result of sexual abuse at the hands of a teacher when he was a child.
Soooo, not a musical comedy, then?
Production will start on Instrumental later this year.
Debra Hayward and Alison Owen of Monumental Pictures will produce “Instrumental.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Tennesse Williams via Ethan Hawke” story, Deadline is reporting that Ethan Hawke is set to direct the adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ acclaimed play Camino Real. The film is co-written by Hawke and writer-composer Shelby Gaines, and is set to star Oscar winner Juliette Binoche. Camino Real tells the story of a group of people in a small, isolated desert town that, through a series of strange events, begin to come to terms with growing older.
No word on a release date for Camino Real, but the report states that the film is scheduled to begin production in Brazil next year.
IN THIS WEEK’S “YAY, for Paget!” story, Adult Swim is returning to the world of Harvey Birdman.
The WarnerMedia network has ordered a spinoff following Paget Brewster’s Birdgirl, who becomes CEO of the fictional Sebben & Sebben law firm that Harvey Birdman works at.
Here is the official description of the show, per Adult Swim: “After being named CEO of the world’s largest and most non-sensical corporation, Sebben & Sebben, Judy Ken Sebben (aka Birdgirl) has to find a way to maintain her work/superhero life balance. Through the halls of the company headquarters she assembles her Birdteam! By day, they try to drag the company into this century. By…mid-afternoon, they usually end up having to break a lot of things to stop something bad that one of them may have helped cause. It’s the sort of superhero team we get at this moment.”
Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law ran for 39 episodes as one of Adult Swim’s flagship series when the programming block launched in 2001. It ran until 2007, with a special in 2018. The half-hour series is created and executive produced by ME Productions. Produced by Susan Shipsky and directed by Rich Ferguson-Hull, the series is animated by Awesome, Inc.
I love Paget Brewster, and the Harvey Birdman show, so this is all great news.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Uma goes to space” story, action director John McTiernan sends Uma Thurman into space to do some ass kicking.
According to ScreenDaily, McTiernan will write and direct Tau Ceti 4, a sci-fi/action/thriller that will star Thurman. The story takes place on the fourth planet in the Tau Ceti solar system. The various oligarchs and military thugs that run the planet are put on notice when three strangers, heavily armed, show up and attempt to murder every one of them. Yes, this sort of sounds like a sci-fi version of John Wick. And I’m okay with that. Vikings and Warcraft star Travis Fimmel is aboard to star opposite Thurman.
There’s no release date set for the film, but the project is one of the many that will be sold to distributors at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival next week.
Sounds good to me.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Ben plays Burroughs” story, According to Deadline, Ben Foster is set to star and direct an untitled film about American writer William S. Burroughs. Joining him in the cast are the aforementioned Kristen Stewart and Tom Glynn-Carney, who is best known for his role in Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk.”
The film is said to explore the unique love life of the acclaimed writer, played by Foster. The story follows Burroughs, who was apparently involved in a love triangle with his muse, Joan Vollmer (Stewart) and a young man named Allerton (Glynn-Carney). Let’s just say things didn’t end well. In addition to directing and starring, Foster also co-wrote the script with Oren Moverman.
Burroughs is, of course, the famous author behind works like “Junkie,” “Naked Lunch,” and “The Nova Trilogy.”
No word on a release date for the untitled film. However, the package deal will be presented to distributors as part of next week’s Cannes Film Festival.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Another deal for Netflix” story, Netflix has closed a first look deal with Dark Horse Entertainment. Under the new deal, the company will give Netflix a first look at its IP for both film and TV with Dark Horse’s Mike Richardson, Keith Goldberg and Paul Schwake signed on to produce.
“We are very excited about this new arrangement with the talented people at Netflix,” said Richardson, Dark Horse Entertainment’s President and Founder. “We have strong creative relationships as well as a large content library to work with and, as we have seen with our recent projects, Netflix is the perfect partner to bring our stories to fans around the world.”
The two companies previously collaborated on the action-comedy series The Umbrella Academy, which Netflix recently touted on an earnings call for its viewership. The streaming giant recently renewed the series for a second season, as well as Jonas Åkerlund’s feature film “Polar.”
I loved The Umbrella Academy, but I saw Polar and thought it was only ‘ok’. However, Dark Horse comics has a LOT of material to mine, so there could be some great stuff coming.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Remeber Tammy Faye Baker?” story, Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield are on board to star in the Fox Searchlight biopic The Eyes of Tammy Faye with The Big Sick director Michael Showalter on board to helm.
Based on the documentary The Eyes of Tammy Faye, directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato from World of Wonder, the film tells the extraordinary and outlandish rise, fall and redemption of televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, played by Garfield and Chastain. In the 1970s and ’80s, Tammy Faye and Jim rose from humble beginnings to create the world’s largest religious broadcasting network and a theme park, and were revered for their message of love, acceptance and prosperity. Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life. However, it wasn’t long before financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and sexual scandal tore their marriage apart and toppled their carefully constructed empire.
Abe Sylvia penned the script.
Chastain will produce along with her producing partner Kelly Carmichael through their Freckle Films production banner as well as Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane through their Madison Wells Media. Jordana Mollick is exec producing.
That should be a hoot.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Matrix 4?” story, About two months ago, the internet was all abuzz over the idea that The Matrix was getting a reboot. But Zac Penn (the screenwriter reported to be in negotiations to write the treatment for the so-called reboot) took to Twitter to suggest that there would not be a reboot, rather, that it could be a franchise extension that might explore other characters.
Now, John Wick 3 director Chad Stahelski has added a little more info to the possibility of another movie according to Yahoo Movies UK:
“I’m super happy that the Wachowskis are not just doing a Matrix, but they’re expanding what we all loved,” Stahelski told Yahoo Movies UK. “And if it’s anywhere near the level of what they’ve already done, it wouldn’t take more than a call to go, ‘Hey, we want you to be a stunt guy’ and I would probably go and get hit by a car.”
Surprised, we followed up by asking if the Wachowskis were directing the new film. “I’m not sure of the overall,” Stahelski replied. “I’m not sure if Lana is.”
But they’re involved? “Yeah. And if they wanted help, I would absolutely put down whatever I was doing to help them.”
Ok, that’s interesting…in a ‘not sure I care sort of way’.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Jeff Goldblum wants your brain” story, Jeff Goldblum stars as a 1950’s Doctor that believes lobotomies are the way to help people in the film, The Mountain.
Set in the 1950s, the story centers on Goldblum’s character, Dr. Wallace Fiennes, who goes on a tour of sorts to promote lobotomies as a treatment of asylum patients, as you do. Joining him in this venture is Tye Sheridan‘s Andy, a troubled young man who acts as the doctor’s assistant and photographer but who harbors doubts about the brutal practice’s efficacy, especially concerning his own mother who was subjected to it.
There’s a simmering rage underneath the surface of Andy’s quiet demeanor in the trailer, paired with the possible insanity of the good doctor himself, and I, for one, think this sounds like a film I must see. Director Rick Alverson‘s The Mountain also stars Hannah Gross, Denis Lavant, and Udo Kier. Look for it in theaters July 26.
Aaaaand, IN THIS WEEK’S “So…many…jokes…” story, Santa Claus is coming to town and he’ll be played by Mel Gibson.
Yeah, you read that right.
The actor, 63, will take on the role of the man in red in the forthcoming comedy Fatman, which tells the story of a 12-year-old who hires a hitman to kill Santa after the child gets a lump of coal in his stocking. Meanwhile, this rowdy Santa is already down on his luck due to his business decline.
“Mel is the perfect choice as Kris Kringle like we’ve never seen him before,” producer Nadine de Barros said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to watch this darkly comedic Christmas film come to life.”
The film will begin filming in Canada in early 2020.
Fatman joins the slew of upcoming projects Gibson has in the works, including action flick War Pigs, drama Black Files, biographical drama The Professor and the Madman with Natalie Dormer and Sean Penn, and sci-fi thriller Boss Level with Ken Jeong and Naomi Watts.
The two-time Oscar winner also plans to produce and direct a sequel to 2004’s The Passion of the Christ. The first installment’s Jim Caviezel will reprise his role as Jesus Christ in The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection.
“I won’t tell you how he’s going to go about it,” Caviezel, 50, told USA Today in 2018 of Gibson. “But I’ll tell you this much: The film he’s going to do is going to be the biggest film in history. It’s that good.”
It really doesn’t matter what white men do, they’ll always get a chance to bounce back. Ugh.
Thanks for stopping by for a TON of info this week! See ya next time!