Holy crap, what a week! Stuff is happening!
IN THIS WEEK’S “More days of the Condor” story, Max Irons will soon follow in the formidable onscreen footsteps of Robert Redford. The forthcoming Audience Network series Condor casts the second-generation English actor (dad is Jeremy Irons) as avian-nicknamed CIA analyst Joe Turner, the role Redford originated in Sydney Pollack’s 1975 film, the Oscar-nominated Three Days of the Condor. Entertainment Weekly debuted the first trailer today, along with production photos.
The TV version adapted material from both the feature and its inspiration, James Grady’s novel Six Days of the Condor. Unlike its predecessors, this 10-episode telling is set in Washington, D.C. instead of New York City. Available to DirectTV subscribers, Audience Network is perhaps best known for another show based on a book, “Mr. Mercedes,” overseen by showrunner David E. Kelley.
In the trailer’s opening beats, praying Muslims are unaware that the world is at risk for a weaponized plague outbreak. Its engineer, Nathan Fowler (Brendan Fraser), has a personal vendetta against Turner, who developed an algorithm that helped thwart a related act of terror at a football stadium. Yet that CIA success was a coup, and the agency’s ill-advised plans for Turner’s data have him considering careers elsewhere. Turner’s fate is decided when colleagues are killed in an attack, and he’s tasked with saving humanity solo.
Ok, despite the fact that this sounds kinda interesting, I have to say a couple things. There’s no way to think of the name “Max Irons” without feeling like it’s a character from a Simpson’s episode, and Brendan Fraser has resorted to playing the villain now? So much for all the promise of his days as leading man. He had so much promise in The Mummy. He should have milked that longer. Oh well.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Make more average” story, According to THR, Millennium Films, the studio that produced The Hitman’s Bodyguard, is teeing up a sequel at Cannes, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard alongside other action titles from the studio including Angel Has Fallen, The Expendables 4, Rambo V, and The Mechanic 3. Studios using the festival as a way to round up financing, so it’s no surprise that they’re billing a sequel at Cannes. The only description for the film is “”The Good. The Bad. And the Batshit cray.” Additionally, THR reports “Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson are believed to be reprising their roles, although the casting hasn’t been confirmed, while Patrick Hughes is thought to be returning to the director’s chair.”
Well, that is a lot of sequel to handle.
IN THIS WEEK’S ” Conducting a biopic” story, Leonard Bernstein, famous for composing the music for West Side Story, among other things musical, is getting a biopic courtesy of Cary Fukunaga. Now, it looks like Fukunaga has found his leading man: Jake Gyllenhaal.
Bernstein was an acclaimed composer, musician and conductor,an outspoken figure, and often drew controversy for his political and personal opinions, including speaking out agains the Vietnam War. Fukunaga’s biopic will chronicle Bernstein’s rise to fame, and also his personal life – while the composer married Chilean-born American actress Felicia Cohn Montealegre, Bernstein was reportedly gay. Bernstein’s West Side Story collaborator Arthur Laurents once said that Bernstein was “a gay man who got married. He wasn’t conflicted about it at all. He was just gay.”
“Like many people, Leonard Bernstein found his way into my life and heart through West Side Story when I was a kid,” Gyllenhaal said (via The Playlist) “But as I got older and started to learn about the scope of his work, I began to understand the extent of his unparalleled contribution and the debt of gratitude modern American culture owes him. As a man, Bernstein was a fascinating figure—full of genius and contradiction—and it will be an incredible honor to tell his story with a talent and friend like Cary.”
IN THIS WEEK’S “Sure, why not?” story, if you think we need more than one Bernstein biopic, well, you’re in luck.
According to a report from Deadline, Bradley Cooper has decided to direct and star in a new Leonard Bernstein film from Paramount Pictures and Amblin. The film, which is based on a script by Spotlight co-writer Josh Singer, will see Cooper star as the legendary musical genius and also take another stab at directing, after his first film A Star is Born has been getting incredible buzz. Cooper will also work with Singer on a revised script.
As mentioned above, Steven Spielberg is attached to the film as a producer, alongside Martin Scorsese, Fred Berner, Amy Durning, and Kristie Macosko Krieger.
No word yet on a release date for this Bernstein biopic. Ok, whatever.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Finding Mike Tyson” story, Bruce Willis is set to play famed boxing trainer Cus D’Amato in the new drama Cornerman, about discovering Mike Tyson.
The casting was announced on Monday morning, just before the kickoff of the 71st Cannes Film Festival.
The film will be made by Homeland actor Rupert Friend, marking his debut in the director’s chair.
Cornerman is set in the 1980s New York, as it chronicles how D’Amato went from training some of the boxing world’s biggest champions to finding a 13-year-old Tyson. That role has not yet been cast.
The movie will start shooting in the fall.
“Ultimately, this is a story about a deep love between two ferocious talents, each brave enough to admit their fears to the other, and so spur one another to greatness,” Friend said in a statement. “It is a story about fighting for what you believe in, and a film that will make you question what strength really is.”
IN THIS WEEK’S “Tarantino wants Burt” story, Negotiations are underway to fill out the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s next film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, with Burt Reynolds in talks to play George Spahn, the ranch owner who rented his land out to Charles Manson and his cult, studio sources have confirmed to TheWrap.
Longtime Tarantino collaborators Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, and Michael Madsen are also in talks to play minor roles in the film. The trio starred in Tarantino’s previous film, 2015’s The Hateful Eight, and between them, they share credits in other Tarantino films including Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, and Death Proof. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt are already signed on to star in the film.
Spahn was the owner of a ranch in Los Angeles that was regularly used during the Golden Age of Hollywood as a set for Westerns. In the late 1960s, Manson persuaded Spahn to allow him and his cult to stay at the ranch.
Taking place in August 1969, “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” will follow a group of characters in Los Angeles as the Tate murder unfolds. DiCaprio and Pitt will star as former Western TV star Rick Dalton and his stunt double Cliff Booth, who have been left behind in Hollywood as the industry turned to new tastes in the ’60s. But when Tate, Dalton’s next-door neighbor, is murdered, the doldrums of their lives come to an abrupt end.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood will be released by Sony Pictures on August 9, 2019.
ADDENDUM: Timothy Olyphant is in negotiations for a co-starring role in the film! No news yet as to what the role is, but I’ll keep my eyes open for more info.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Bill and Ted, together again” story It’s official: Wyld Stallyns are reforming.
Following 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, The Hollywood Reporter can reveal that a much-discussed third Bill & Ted installment – Bill & Ted Face the Music – is now firmly in the works some 27 years later. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are set to reprise their iconic roles as time-traveling metalheads “Ted” Theodore Logan and “Bill” S. Preston Esq.
Original creators Chris Matheson (Imagine That) and Ed Solomon (Men in Black, Mosaic, Now You See Me) have penned the script, with Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, Red 2, Fun With Dick and Jane) confirmed to direct. Scott Kroopf (Limitless) will produce together with Alex Lebovici and Steve Ponce of Hammerstone Studios, with Steven Soderbergh serving as an executive producer alongside Scott Fischer, John Ryan Jr. and John Santilli.
MGM owns the rights to the film and will release it in the U.S. under its Orion Pictures banner.
Currently in preproduction, Bill & Ted Face the Music will see the duo long past their days as time-traveling teenagers and now weighed down by middle age and the responsibilities of family. They’ve written thousands of tunes, but they have yet to write a good one, much less the greatest song ever written. With the fabric of time and space tearing around them, a visitor from the future warns our heroes that only their song can save life as we know it. Out of luck and fresh out of inspiration, Bill and Ted set out on a time travel adventure to seek the song that will set their world right and bring harmony in the universe as we know it. Together with the aid of their daughters, a new crop of historical figures, and some sympathetic music legends, they find much, much more than just a song.
“We couldn’t be more excited to get the whole band back together again,” said Reeves and Winter. “Chris and Ed wrote an amazing script, and with Dean at the helm we’ve got a dream team!”
Bloom’s Alex Walton said: “Fans of Bill and Ted have been waiting for Reeves and Winter to reunite since their last Bogus Journey in 1991. This is excellent!”
Woah, don’t sound TOO desperate, Alex.
Solomon and Matheson reportedly began working on a script in 2010, with both Reeves and Winter indicating in various interviews over the years that they were interested in making the film happen.
And now it IS happening. The expectations aren’t TOO high, right? I guess we’ll see.
IN THIS WEEK’S “More Laika, please!” story, Laika’s newest animated feature has added an official title, Missing Link, a projected release and a full key voice cast with Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson joining the already-announced Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana and Zach Galifianakis. Stuart Ford’s new AGC Intl. is handling foreign sales.
Missing Link, which unveiled the first photo in Cannes, is the first Laika title to be distributed in the U.S. by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures. Laika’s first four features — Kubo and the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman and Coraline — were released by Universal/Focus Films. All received Academy Award nominations.
Directed by ParaNorman’s Chris Butler, Missing Link also stars Timothy Olyphant, Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Ching Valdez-Aran and Amrita Acharia. Annapurna has set a spring 2019 U.S. release.
Laika president-CEO Travis Knight, who will meet with foreign distributors at Cannes, describes “Missing Link” as achieving “something we’ve never tried before: a raucous comedy entwined with a swashbuckling epic, underscoring the universal need to find belonging.”
Created with 110 sets and 65 unique locations, Missing Link turns on the charismatic Sir Lionel Frost (Jackman) who sets out to prove the existence of a legendary creature the Missing Link (Galifianakis), a soulful beast who, as the last of his kind, is rather lonely.
“It’s only now with our fifth film that as a team we have the experience, the know-how and the collaborative confidence to even attempt a movie of this size and scope,” said producer Arianne Sutner.
Well, obviously, I’m in! Gotta love Laika!
IN THIS WEEK’S “A new form of income” story, Apparently studios are paying less overall to actors in their films. Oh, there’s still a handfull of those $ 20 million stars out there, but overall, because of the giant superhero franchise films, more money is going into special effects and such to wow audiences, and less is going to the cast. It appears that for the most part, gone are the days when a star was what brought people into the theater.
And those percent of profits on the back end of a film aren’t as common anymore, either.
However, there are some interesting other ways that some of these stars are making income.
As an example, want access to Dwayne Johnson’s 104 million Instagram followers? It’s going to cost you (the studio). The Rampage star is asking for a $1 million social-media fee as part of his package for the upcoming Red Notice; that includes promoting the film on the likes of Twitter and Facebook.
Wow, that’s like buying a boatload of marketing, I guess. Something to think about.
IN THIS WEEK’S ” Holmes, I presume?” story, Speaking of big paychecks, now that Robert Downey, Jr.’s time as Iron Man is coming to a close, he can jump back into the role of Sherlock Holmes.
Both Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law will reprise their respective roles as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. Hopefully we’ll also see Eddie Marsan’s Inspector Lestrade, Kelly Reilly as Watson’s wife Mary and Stephen Fry as Holmes’s brother Mycroft. Maybe even Jared Harris will be back as Holmes archnemesis Moriarty?
Chris Brancato, who co-created the Netflix series Narcos and has written for the series Hannibal, handled the script this time around. His movie credits include the 1997 feature Hoodlum, which proves he can write period crime stories.
Interestingly enough, Brancato was not a member of the writers’ room set up for the sequel in late 2016. So how did he get the job? According to the writer himself, Downey is a fan of Narcos and so requested a meeting with Brancato about penning the next Sherlock Holmes.
Director Guy Ritchie is not likely to helm the film since he’s busy on his live-action Aladdin for Disney, and then he’s going back to his crime film roots. So no director known as of yet.
Plans are to have Sherlock Holmes 3 open on December 25, 2020.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Dating crazy” story, Game of Thrones star Carice van Houten will star in Locus of Control, playing a prison psychologist who starts an affair with a serial sex offender who appears to be ready to be released back into society.
The latter role will be played by Marwan Kenzari, the Dutch actor who plays Jafar in Guy Ritchie’s upcoming “Aladdin” movie and who has starred in films including The Mummy and Wolf.
Dutch actress Halina Reijn will helm the picture, her directorial debut. She worked with van Houten on the Paul Verhoeven movie Black Book, and Bryan Singer’s Valkyrie. Locus of Control will be the first outing for the pair’s production banner, Man Up.
Van Houten is best-known as Lady Melisandre, the Red Priestess, in HBO juggernaut Game of Thrones. Shooting on Locus of Control is underway and will run through the end of the month. Van Houten is making the film in the time between her commitments on Game of Thrones.
Oooo, sounds sufficiently bonkers.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Oh crap, Tenacious D!” Story, according to Jack Black and Kyle Gass of the comedic metal band Tenacious D, they’re working on a sequel to their 2006 film TENACIOUS D: The Pick of Destiny. Black announced the the film yesterday during their performance at the Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, by saying “Part Two’s coming out in October,” Black shouted to the crowd. “I don’t know where you’ll be able to see it, but we have decided that it’s happening and it’s coming out.”
In the 2006 original film, two slacker, wannabe-rockers set out on a quest to steal a legendary guitar pick that gives its holders incredible guitar skills, from a maximum security Rock and Roll museum. During their journey, the two bone-headed musicians run afoul of Satan himself (Dave Grohl), whose judgement will determine the band’s worthiness of the magical item.
I imagine fans will be excited, but did Jack Black mean THIS October? That seems fast unless they’ve been working on it secretly. We’ll have to see if there are more developments with this one.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Make me an offer…” story, it appears that Disney isn’t the only one looking to buy Fox.
Reuters reports that Comcast is asking investment banks to increase a bridge financing facility by as much as $60 billion so it can make an all-cash offer for Fox.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Two Bright” story, THR reports that Evan Spiliotopoulos, a co-writer on Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, will be writing the Bright sequel with David Ayer directing again.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Lethal Weapon is really lethal?” story, Lethal Weapon” star Clayne Crawford will not be returning to the Fox series should it get renewed for a third season.
Variety has confirmed with sources that producers Warner Bros. Television are actively searching for a replacement for Crawford, who plays Martin Riggs in the one-hour cop drama opposite Damon Wayans’ Roger Murtaugh. Whether or not they are able to find a suitable replacement for Crawford will help determine whether or not the series gets a third season. No final decision has yet been made on the show’s future. Fox’s upfront presentation is set to take place on Monday, May 14.
Fox and Warner Bros. Television declined to comment.
Crawford said that in the first incident, which occurred last fall, he “reacted with anger over working conditions that did not feel safe or conducive to good work,” prompting an angry response from the director and assistant director of the episode being shot. Crawford said that, following instruction from Warner Bros. Television, which produces the show, he completed therapy and shared a portion of his pay from the episode with one of the parties involved.
According to Crawford, the second incident occurred this spring during production of the first Lethal Weapon episode in which he served as director. During filming, an actor was hit by a piece of shrapnel from a special effect. “I take responsibility for the incident, because I was in charge of the set,” Crawford said. “I absolutely love, respect, and care for my crew and cast and would never intentionally jeopardize so many jobs.”
Crawford’s exit from the series comes two weeks after it was revealed the former Rectify star had twice been reprimanded for his behavior on the Lethal Weapon set. In a statement posted on Instagram, Crawford provided details of two on-set incidents for which he was reprimanded, both related to concerns over working conditions.
Ok, I feel like it’s still unclear exactly what happened on set. Is Clayne Crawford a dick, or was he acting over-protective of the rest of the crew and trying to keep people from getting hurt? I’m going to need more information about this.
IN THIS WEEK’S” Locked in” story, for months Margot Robbie has been “in talks” to play Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino’s next film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Well, now it’s official. Margot Robbie has confirmed to IndieWire that she will be joining the cast of Tarantino’s latest, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. “Tarantino is one of my bucket-list directors,” the Wolf of Wall Street actress said. “As long as I can remember, I’ve been a huge Tarantino fan.” The actress then added:
“Beyond anything, I’ve just always wanted to see him work. And I want to see how he runs a set, and how he directs people, and what the vibe is onset, and what’s in the script, and then what happens on the day. I’m just fascinated by all of it, fascinated. So it’s going to be a crazy experience to witness it firsthand. It’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing.”
Robbie will playing actress Sharon Tate, who was murdered by members of the Manson Family in Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles. Tate was the wife of filmmaker Roman Polanski, who will also be featured in the film as a character. While Tarantino’s film will use the Manson Family murders as a backdrop, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood isn’t exactly a “Manson Family movie.” Instead, the film has been described as a Pulp Fiction-style movie with multiple narratives, all taking place in Hollywood in 1969.
Robbie is the latest addition to an already impressive cast. In addition to DiCaprio and Pitt, Burt Reynolds, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen are all expected to join the film. Reynolds will be playing George Spahn, who rented his land to Charles Manson and his family. Russell, Roth and Madsen will play smaller, still-unidentified roles.
IN THIS WEEK’s “The curse continues” story, Amazon is poised to pull out of distributing Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote in the United States, Variety has confirmed.
The film has been embroiled in an ongoing legal dispute over its ownership. A court decision on whether it can be screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival is expected Wednesday.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has had a tortured production history. Gilliam started shooting the picture in 1998 with Jean Rochefort as Quixote and Johnny Depp playing a marketing executive who is sent back in time. However, shooting stopped after Rochefort became ill and the film was riddled with financial difficulties and insurance problems. Gilliam’s plagued production was the subject of a 2002 documentary Lost in La Mancha. The director tried to re-start the film at several different points, with the likes of Robert Duvall, Michael Palin, John Hurt, Ewan McGregor, and Jack O’Connell all getting attached to the production and falling out as delays mounted and funding fell through.
The completed film stars Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, and Stellan Skarsgård. Amazon signed on to distribute the film in 2015. However, Roy Price, the head of the company’s entertainment operations and the man who approved the deal, was ousted last fall in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal. Amazon has been re-examining the types of films it makes and distributes in his absence.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote was recently at the heart of a legal spat between Gilliam and the film’s former producer Paulo Branco. When unveiling Cannes’ official lineup last week, the festival’s artistic director Thierry Fremaux spoke about the film’s legal troubles and suggested it could be added to the slate later. “This movie – as well as others – is in a conflict that’s been brought to the courts,” Fremaux said.
A French court dismissed the request by producer Branco on Wednesday to stop Cannes from screening the film, clearing the way for the festival to press ahead with its closing-night plans.
Gilliam has also been battling health issues. He reportedly suffered a minor stroke over the weekend and was hospitalized.
A spokesperson for the director declined to comment on his reported hospitalization but said, “We can confirm that Terry Gilliam is currently at home preparing for his trip to Cannes next week in support of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.”
IN THIS WEEK’S ” Director-less” story, Mark Wahlberg was supposed to start shooting his next film this summer – The Six Billion Dollar Man, a film adaptation of the old Lee Majors TV show, the Six Million Dollar Man.
Unfortunatley, the director, Damian Szifron (WILD TALES), who co-wrote the script, has departed the project due to, say it with me now, creative differences. Deadline adds that other reports have claimed that the Argentinean was let go due to the language barrier. To reach that conclusion after three years of development on the film? I don’t know.
The Six Billion Dollar Man will find Mark Wahlberg starring as Steve Austin, a military officer who is given bionic body parts and extraordinary abilities by a secret government program after a horrific accident nearly ends his life. It’s also been recently reported that Wahlberg had been courting Mel Gibson for a role in the film, which THR said would be that of Oscar Goldman, the government mentor of Austin. The outlet also notes that it’s possible that Gibson could be convinced to take on directing duties as well, especially as Warner Bros. is scrambling to look for another director who can keep to its previously announced schedule.
However, Mel Gibson is already in the midst of developing another directorial project, Destroyer, a World War II drama which tells the tale of how the crew of the USS Laffey “heroically withstood twenty-two kamikaze attacks at Okinawa in what the US Navy called ‘one of the great sea epics of the war.'”
They’re hoping to keep their May 31, 2019 release date. But we’ll see how that goes.
IN THIS WEEK’S ” Another Quiet Place” story, since John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place did so well, there is, of course, a sequel in the works .
John Krasinski has revealed some of his ideas for what the next movie might entail. Speaking to Deadline, the actor/director said:
“The thing that I loved in the movie, where my mind kept wandering as we were making it, was the question of who was on the other end of those fires, when the father lights the fire and in the distance those other fires light up. How did those people survive? How did that old man survive?
“In the extreme these characters are going through, there’s no room to think about that. They’re there, there’s an old man who’s about to scream, they just have to deal with that. I think it would be interesting to see what’s going on elsewhere at this same time.”
Strangely, that’s actually not as interesting to me as telling us where the creatures came from, how did they get there? I get that you could tell stories in this world like The Walking Dead, but you tell too many individual stories like that and eventually you end up telling the same story over and over again.
IN THIS WEEK’S ” Oooo, seeecrets…” story, actress Annette Bening has joined the cast of Captain Marvel in a top secret role.
The top secret part didn’t last long, as Variety’s Justin Kroll reports that Bening will play Carol Danvers’ mother.
Marvel is great at getting great actors for these films. It adds some sense of legitimacy to them. This is along the lines of getting Robert Redford for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
IN THIS WEEK’S ” Sony release dates” story, Sony has a couple high profile films that now have release dates.
The first is Bad Boys for Life, the action comedy directed by Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah that reunites the team of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence with Jerry Bruckheimer for another round of action. That one has been slated for Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend on Jan. 17, 2020.
The studio also dated the Tom Hanks starring You Are My Friend, a drama based on an Esquire article about how a writer’s life was changed when he met Fred (“won’t you be my neighbor”) Rogers, the beloved, cardigan-wearing host of a PBS children’s show. The film is slated for an Oct. 18, 2019 release date, signaling that they thinking it might have an Oscar run. At this point, Hanks is attached to star.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Gettin’ Schwifty!” story, for those wringing their hands over whether Rick and Morty was going to get renewed or not, you may commence rejoicing.
Adult Swim has confirmed it has renewed Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon’s cult favorite animated series for 70 new episodes. Rick and Morty fans have been waiting for months for the show to be picked up for Season 4, and the 70-episode announcement guarantees the series will run for multiple additional seasons. Each season of the show so far has run 10 or 11 episodes.
Rick and Morty’s acclaimed third season finished its run last October as the most watched series in Adult Swim history. The 10-episode season also earned the title of television’s #1 comedy series for adults 18-24 and 18-34 during its run. The show is expected to return to Adult Swim with new episodes in 2019.
IN THIS WEEK’S “More YAY!” story, Rick Moranis has been confirmed to join previously announced cast members Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short and Dave Thomas for the SCTV reunion special that will hit Netflix sometime in 2019.
This is the most wonderful news! Netflix announced the addition of Rick Moranis to the SCTV reunion special in a press release Thursday. It marks another surprising return for Moranis, who has been pseudo-retired from acting for over a decade. But Moranis made headlines earlier this week with a reprisal of his role as Spaceballs villain Dark Helmet in an episode of the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs. Now it seems like this could just be the beginning of a Moranisance.
The last live-action role Rick Moranis took was in the straight-to-video sequel Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves in 1997. But Moranis did voicework for Disney in the Brother Bear franchise in the 2000s. In addition, Moranis also lent his voice to a couple animated projects where he played his famous SCTV character Bob McKenzie alongside fellow comedian Dave Thomas as Doug McKenzie.
All hail The Moranis!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Peter Jackson ponders…” story, apparently director Peter Jackson has two very big projects to consider right now.
According to TheOneRing.net, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit filmmaker is weighing up whether to take another trip to Middle-earth for Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series, or tackle an a mystery DC project.
Amazon recently acquired the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and is reportedly developing a five-season prequel show with a whopping budget of $1 billion. Recent reports have suggested that Jackson could well take on an executive producer credit on the series, and has been in talks with Amazon about his potential involvement. This is however the first time that Jackson’s name has been linked to a DC project, and – much like Spielberg – he would certainly be a coup for DC Films.
Well, we know Jackson could nail the LOTR series, but may be it would be cool to see him do a DC movie? DC sure could use someone like him right now. But this is still filed under ‘rumor’, so….
IN THIS WEEK’S “Sci-fi tragedy” story, one of the great tragic events for science fiction televsion, and the genre in general, is the news that the SyFy channel has cancelled the awesome show, The Expanse.
This current third season of The Expanse will be it’s last. The last episode slated to air will be in early July. However, Alcon Television Group, which fully finances and produces the critically praised series, plans to shop it to other buyers.
“The Expanse transported us across the solar system for three brilliant seasons of television,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “Everyone at Syfy is a massive fan of the series, and this was an incredibly difficult decision. We want to sincerely thank The Expanse’s amazing cast, crew and all the dedicated creatives who helped bring James S.A. Corey’s story to life. And to the series’ loyal fans, we thank you most of all.”
Let’s hope someone out there is smart enough to see how great this show is. Really good science fiction is hard to come by, and The Expanse is a show that deserves a home that can support it. Hey, Netflix, you guys have lots of money to throw around. If you were going to pick up any show, THIS is the one.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Different name, same premise” story, Constantin Film’s Monster Hunter, the video game adaptation budgeted at around $60 million, will go into production starting in September, re-teaming Constantin with its Resident Evil star Milla Jovovich, director Paul W. S. Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt.
Meanwhile, Constantin is still working on a Resident Evil reboot, the shingle’s topper Martin Moszkowicz said at Cannes.
Like Resident Evil: the Final Chapter, which grossed $312 million worldwide, Monster Hunter will shoot in South Africa, in and around Cape Town.
“The crews are great there and, at least for a European company, it’s easy to get there: Same time zone, overnight flights. We are very much in a comfort zone of production,” said Moszkowicz.
Foreign distributors should not get too excited, however. Written by Anderson, who recently delivered a new screenplay draft, “Monster Hunter” will not come onto the open market, being the subject of a worldwide studio deal, according to Moszkowicz.
I have to wonder if we, the movie-goers, should get bother getting excited either.
Special effects will be supplied by Toronto’s Technicolor-owned Mr. X, which worked on the Resident Evil franchise. Mr. X’s CEO Dennis Berardi will take a producer credit on the movie, which Moszkowicz said will be a highly stylish big screen adaptation of the video game.
“Paul has proven over and over he does stylish movies. It’s one of his big strong points. He can make a movie look good, is very much into visuals,” he added.
Yeah…but that isn’t the only thing a movie needs, people. Cna he write a consistently god script – THAT is the question.
“Monster Hunter” is based, like Resident Evil, on a Capcom property. On Wednesday the Japanese developer and game publisher announced that “Monster Hunter: World” is its best-selling game of all time, shipping 7.9 million copies since its late January release.
Monster Hunter is envisioned as a film series: “We are in the business of brand creation,” Moszkowicz said.
Of COURSE you are.Regarding a Resident Evil reboot, Constantin is “still working on it creatively,” Moszkowicz said, adding that one option could be a TV series. ”For us, the main thing is to get it right creatively so people don’t think it’s more of the same. That’s what it’s all about these days, a fresh, different approach.”
One thing looks certain: Anderson will not return to direct.
That s a good thing.
IN THIS WEEK’S “WTF” story, Popular G.I. Joe character Snake Eyes is getting his own movie.
Why? No, wait, I’m sorry, I meant to say… WHY?
Paramount Pictures has thrown a Joe spinoff movie featuring the commando into development, with Evan Spiliotopoulos, the writer of Beauty and the Beast and The Huntsman: Winter’s War, in talks to pen the script.
Brian Goldner is among those producing the feature based on the Hasbro toyline.
Snake Eyes is the silent ninja commando that first appeared in the 1980s as part of Hasbro and Marvel Comics’ relaunch of the toyline, dubbed G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
The character, who dressed in all black, never revealed his face, and never spoke, stood apart from the rest of the military anti-terrorist group and quickly established himself as the most popular. He had a special relationship with Scarlett, for a while the team’s only female member, and sometimes carried out solo missions with his pet wolf, Timber. His archenemy is Storm Shadow, a ninja who is also his blood brother.
Paramount has made two Joe movies, 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and 2013’s G.I Joe: Retaliation, with acrobatic actor Ray Park playing the lead character in both movies.
The studio and Hasbro have been looking to reboot the franchise and in the last few years has assembled writers rooms to generate movie ideas.
Spiliotopoulos got his start in animation, working on Disney’s straight to animation movies before nabbing big-feature fantasy gigs. The writer is on an upswing and earlier this week came on board to pen the sequel to
Netflix’s fantasy cop movie, Bright.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Can’t you track this thing?” story, The original Iron Man suit worn by Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in the Marvel character’s first big screen outing in 2008 has been stolen, presumably by some kind of super villains.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the maroon and gold suit worn was reported missing from The Movie Prop Storage on Tuesday. The prop house said that the suit was taken between Feb. and April 25 of this year, according to police.
“It was reported by the storage facility that the prop was missing. It is considered a burglary,” an LAPD spokesperson told PEOPLE.
The story was first reported by The Los Angeles Times, which listed the costume’s value at $325,000.
Downey wore the suit in the original Iron Man film directed by Jon Favreau.
Get Spiderman to help look for it.
And IN THIS WEEK’S “Leave it alone” story, Roman Polanski’s attorney Harland Braun will threaten legal action if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences “refuses to follow its own rules” in regards to the “illegal expulsion” of the filmmaker from the Academy.
In a letter to Academy President John Bailey dated May 8, Braun wrote, “I am writing this letter to you to avoid unnecessary litigation. Mr. Polanski has a right to go to court and require your organization to follow its own procedures, as well as California law.”
He added, “The only proper solution would be for your organization to rescind its illegal expulsion of Mr. Polanski and follow its own Standard of Conduct by giving Mr. Polanski reasonable notice of the charges against him and a fair hearing to present his position with respect to any proposed expulsion.”
You know, if it wasn’t already hard enough to even consider watching Polanski’s films without feeling conflicted, it’s really gonna be difficult now to not feel really gross.
At the beginning of the letter, Braun cited a May 3 correspondence sent to Polanski from the Academy, saying that “this unsigned letter was the only notice that Mr. Polanski was given that he was expelled from the Academy.”
Polanski and Bill Cosby were expelled from the Academy on May 1 in accordance with the organization’s Standard of Conduct, and Polanski had said he felt “blindsided” by the decision.
“We plan to ask the Academy to follow its own rules which is to give Roman 10 days notice to present his side,” Polanski’s attorney Harland Braun said in a statement to TheWrap. “We were prepared but were blindsided by their violation of their own standards. What did the 56 members review??”
However, the Academy exercised a clause in its bylaws allowing the 54-person Board of Governors to expel any member “for cause” with a two-thirds vote. According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, the board was motivated in part by the fact that both Cosby and Polanski had been convicted of sexually related crimes in U.S. courts.
The Academy bylaws state: “any member of the Academy may be suspended or expelled for cause by the Board of Governors. Expulsion or suspension as herein provided for shall require the affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of all the Governors.”
Yeah, Roman Polanski just needs to accept it and move on.
IN ADDITION: Recently, the Polish edition of Newsweek (via AP) published an interview with the filmmaker that was conducted BEFORE the May 3 decision to expel him from the Academy. And in that interview, Polanski didn’t hold back when asked about the #MeToo movement.
Polanksi said that #MeToo is “collective hysteria of the kind that sometimes happens in the society.”
“Everyone is trying to sign up, chiefly out of fear,” he continued, comparing the movement to North Korea’s public mourning for its leaders when everyone cries so much that “you can’t help laughing.”
“To me this is total hypocrisy,” he said
Roman Polanski was recently in Poland to promote his recent film Based on a True Story, when he made those comments to the press. The AP reached out to Polanski’s lawyer in Poland, Jan Olszewski, for a comment about the recent news that he was kicked out of the Academy.
The AP reports that Olszewski said that the ruling to expel Polanski resembled “psychological abuse of an elderly person” for “populist goals.”
Holy Hell, the guy just can’t stop himself. Let’s just put a fork in Polanski.
Wow, this has been a BIG week. LOTS of high profile things happening. See ya next time!