Another week closer to Godzilla King of the Monsters! Is there really anything else? …Yeah, probably.
IN THIS WEEK’S “New Nolan info!” story, Warner Bros said Wednesday that shooting has begun on Tenet, which is now officially the title of Christopher Nolan’s secretive next movie. It also has added Michael Caine, Dunkirk‘s Kenneth Branagh, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Clémence Poésy to and ensemble cast topped by John David Washington along with Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki.
The film, Nolan’s first feature since 2017’s Oscar-nominated Dunkirk, is being described as an action epic revolving around the world of international espionage. He wrote the original screenplay and shooting spanning seven countries is now underway. The studio has already set a July 17, 2020 release date for it.
Nolan and Emma Thomas are producing, with Thomas Hayslip executive producer. The Tenet team includes Dunkirk‘s director of photography Hoyte van Hoytema (shooting in a mix of Imax and 70mm) and editor Jennifer Lame, production designer Nathan Crowley, costume designer Jeffrey Kurland and VFX supervisor Andrew Jackson.
The score is being composed by Black Panther Oscar winner Ludwig Göransson.
Well, this IS exciting news!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Lady on fire” story, Neon and Hulu have acquired the North American rights to Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which premiered Sunday at the Cannes Film Festival in competition, the companies announced Wednesday.
Neon is planning that the love story will get a theatrical release later this year, along with an awards campaign planned for all categories.
Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire stars Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luana Bajrami and Valeria Golino and is set in 1770 in the French region of Brittany. Marianne (Noémie Merlant), a painter, is commissioned to do the wedding portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), a young woman who has just left the convent. Héloïse is a reluctant bride to be and Marianne must paint her without her knowing. She observes her by day, to paint her secretly.
Neon is also releasing Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, which also premiered in competition on Tuesday.
“From the moment we saw this beautiful and captivating love story, we knew we had to release this film. From Céline’s writing and directing, to the absolutely absorbing performances, we couldn’t be more excited for audiences to experience this sensationally moving piece of cinema on the big screen,” Neon and Hulu said in a joint statement.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Some JGL news!” story, Amazon Studios has acquired global rights to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s terrorist drama 7500.
The deal, announced Monday at the Cannes Film Festival, excludes Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Universum will distribute the film in Germany.
In 7500, Gordon-Levitt plays the co-pilot of a plane that has been hijacked by terrorists. The title references the code 7500, which a pilot uses in the event of a hijacking. The code is designed to silently alert air traffic controllers of the situation without tipping off the hijacker. German director Patrick Vollrath wrote the screenplay with Senad Halilbasic.
Gordon-Levitt came on board and Vollrath began shooting starting in the fall of 2017 in Cologne and Vienna. 7500 is Vollrath’s full-length feature debut following his 2015 Academy Award-nominated short, Everything Will Be Okay.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Now THIS is an interesting remake” story, John Hillcoat, director of dark, disturbing movies like The Proposition and The Road, is teaming with master of neon-sleaze Nicolas Winding Refn for a Witchfinder General remake. Based on the 1968 Vincent Price movie of the same name, Witchfinder General is a historical horror film about real-life figure Matthew Hopkins, and the terrible, torturous deeds he performed in the name of “witch hunting” in the 1600s.
Deadline broke the news that Nicolas Winding Refn will produce and John Hillcoat will direct the Witchfinder General remake. The original movie, which also goes by the title The Conquering Worm, was considered excessively violent and heavily edited in its native U.K., but U.S. audiences got to witness it uncut and intact. Over the years, it’s developed a cult following. It’s also considered to feature one of Vincent Price’s best performances.
The original is a “disturbing tale of evil set during the English Civil War. When Matthew Hopkins is appointed Witchfinder General by the Puritans under Cromwell, he is empowered to travel the countryside with his henchmen and collect a fee for each witch from whom he extracts a confession – a policy which is exploited to the full.”
“I am excited to work with fellow filmmaker Nic Refn, a maverick auteur and who, together with Rupert Preston, have been fully committed to independent cinema over the years,” Hillcoat said. “I’m drawn to the dynamic departures behind this remake. The idea of a world pushed to extremes where fear preys upon all, unleashing religious fanaticism, rival factions, tribalism, heretics, and witch hunts… feels strangely familiar in today’s world.”
“It gives me enormous satisfaction to produce John’s vision and bring the retelling of this classic British film to a new audience,” added Refn.
Ok THIS is a film I wouldn’t mind seeing updated.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Stowing away” story, Daniel Dae Kim is joining Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette and Shamier Anderson in director Joe Penna’s sci-fi thriller Stowaway.
The Hellboy star will play a biologist on a spaceship headed to Mars, where an unintended stowaway (Anderson) accidentally causes severe damage to life support systems.
Facing dwindling resources and a potentially grim outcome, a medical researcher, played by Kendrick, emerges as the only dissenting voice against the clinical logic of both her commander (Collette) and the ship’s biologist.
YouTube star turned filmmaker Penna and Ryan Morrison, the duo behind survival thriller Arctic, penned the movie’s script. Morrison will also executive produce and edit Stowaway, which will be shot in Germany, starting next month.
XYZ Films will produce alongside Augenschein Filmproduktion, Rise Pictures and RainMaker Films, in association with Yale Productions. XYZ and CAA Media Finance are financing the film.
IN THIS WEEK’S “No pressure” story, With the Star Wars films constantly changing hands from director to director, it’s difficult for some filmmakers to be beholden to fan expectations.
J.J. Abrams, who returns to direct Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker after introducing the sci-fi franchise to a new generation with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is feeling that pressure, especially on the heels of the rule-breaking, fandom-dividing film that was Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. And while some are concerned that he may fall back on the rosy nostalgia that made The Force Awakens such a mammoth success, Abrams hints that he might be going rogue with the final film in the Skywalker Saga
Abrams was able to gracefully walk that line with Episode 7, which was praised for its homages to the first trilogy while introducing a whole new generation of characters. But coming into The Rise of Skywalker, those old characters have fallen away, one by one, leaving the focus simply on the new generation. And with that shift, Abrams felt more free to make a Star Wars movie how he wants to.
“[O]n seven, I felt beholden to Star Wars in a way that was interesting—I was doing what to the best of my ability I felt Star Wars should be,”Abrams told Vanity Fair in an in-depth cover story about The Rise of Skywalker.
But that changes with Episode 9, he said:
“Working on nine, I found myself approaching it slightly differently… It felt slightly more renegade; it felt slightly more like, you know, Fuck it, I’m going to do the thing that feels right because it does, not because it adheres to something.”
The Rise of Skywalker will not “long for the past; they’re more about the promise of the future,” Vanity Fair notes, with the “young generation, this new generation, having to deal with all the debt that has come before,” Abrams said. He added:
“And it’s the sins of the father, and it’s the wisdom and the accomplishments of those who did great things, but it’s also those who committed atrocities, and the idea that this group is up against this unspeakable evil and are they prepared? Are they ready? What have they learned from before? It’s less about grandeur. It’s less about restoring an old age. It’s more about preserving a sense of freedom and not being one of the oppressed.”
It seems like Abrams is taking to heart one of the most famous lines from Johnson’s divisive The Last Jedi: “Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to.” As different as Johnson’s revolutionary approach to the Star Wars franchise was compared to Abrams’ nostalgia-infused The Force Awakens, Abrams said he was actually emboldened by the big swings that Johnson took. “Having seen what Rian did made me approach this from a place of instinct and gut,” Abrams told Vanity Fair. “I was making choices I knew I would not have made on VII, some story-wise, but more in terms of directing. I found myself feeling less like I’m going to try and do something that feels like it’s [only] true to the specifics of this franchise or the story.”
But for fans worried about whether Abrams taking creative liberties like Johnson would result in a fractured Skywalker saga, don’t worry. Abrams revealed that in meetings with The Force Awakens and original trilogy writer Lawrence Kasdan as well as Rian Johnson and George Lucas, they settled on an ending that was specifically designed to bring the nine-film series to a satisfying conclusion. “If a kid is watching all nine movies,” Abrams said, “he or she sees this one path, this inevitability and that’s the challenge of this movie.”
Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters on December 20, 2019.
Yeah, no pressure, J.J.. It’s not like 42 years of human lives aren’t at stake. Ha – that’s so dramatic. but people will surely – and many already have – respond that way if The Rise of Skywalker doesn’t live up to expectations.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Daniel Craig’s ankle” story, James Bond is taking a break from the production of Bond 25. Per the official 007 Twitter account, actor Daniel Craig will be undergoing minor ankle surgery after suffering an injury on the set of the new James Bond movie. Craig was filming with director Cary Fukunaga in Jamaica when the accident happened. The surgery will not stop production, even though Craig will head to rehab for two weeks after the operation.
The official James Bond social media account wrote in a statement: “Daniel Craig will be undergoing minor ankle surgery resulting from an injury sustained during filming in Jamaica. Production will continue whilst Craig is rehabilitating for two weeks post-surgery. The film remains on track for the same release date in April 2020.”
In addition to Craig, Bond 25 is seeing the returns of franchise players Naomi Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Jeffrey Wright, Rory Kinnear, and Lea Seydoux. Rami Malek has been in conversations to join the film for a couple months and now his casting his confirmed. He joins newcomers Billy Magnussen, Ana De Armas, and Lashana Lynch.
It’s always something with Bond 25.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Do you miss Anaconda?” story, Sixty million years ago, there was a species of giant snake known as Titanoboa, aka Titanic Boa. Reaching lengths of over 40ft and weighing more than a ton, these creatures slithered their way in the Northeastern regions of Columbia. A fearsome creature, it overshadows the anaconda without even the slightest bit of difficulty. I bring you this information because it is the foundation of an upcoming and as-yet-untitled action/horror film from the producing duo behind Resident Evil.
JB Pictures’ Jeremy Bolt and Constantin’s Robert Kulzer, who were both part of the Resident Evil franchise, will be producing while Tony Giglio, second-unit director on Resident Evil: Afterlife and writer/director of the upcoming Doom: Annihilation, will be writing the screenplay. The current plan is to begin shooting in 2020, per Deadline.
Who knew the giant snake genre was in such demand again? 😉
IN THIS WEEK’S “Another video game to film” story, Just Cause is the latest video game getting the movie treatment.
Germany’s Constantin Film has acquired movie rights to the “Just Cause video game franchise and hired John Wick creator Derek Kolstad to write the script.
Constantin Film’s Robert Kulzer and Prime Universe Films’ Adrian Askarieh will produce the pic with Kolstad, who has written the three John Wick movies. Producers unveiled Just Cause on Tuesday, a day after Lionsgate announced it has slotted John Wick 4 for May 21, 2021.
Producers are aiming to start a franchise based on the open-world action games from Avalanche Studios and Square Enix. The series draws its name from the 1989 United States invasion of Panama, code-named Operation Just Cause. The action takes place on various islands. The film will follow Rico Rodriguez (aka The Scorpion) on a race-against-time mission to stop the lethal mercenary group the Black Hand.
The project is a top priority for Constantin and will start filming in 2020.
IN THIS WEEK’S “It’s scary out there” story, There’s a long history of horror-thrillers with the basic premise that parents are trying to protect their children from the horrors that lurk outside their front door. On the surface, that what Freaks appears to be. But as you see in the new trailer, there’s way more going on in this thriller than the simple premise indicates.
The film stars Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Grace Park, Amanda Crew, and Lexy Kolker. Freaks is written and directed by the duo of Adam Stein and Zach Lipovsky. This is the first feature film by the two directors, but after releasing this film, they went on to direct the recent Kim Possible film for Disney.
Freaks will hit theaters on August 23.
Here’s the official synopsis:
In this science-fiction thriller, a disturbed father (Emile Hirsch) locks his bold 7-year-old daughter (Lexy Kolker) in a house, warning her of grave dangers outside. But the mysterious Mr. Snowcone (Bruce Dern) convinces the girl to escape and join him on a quest for family, freedom, and revenge.
I’m pretty curious about this one. I’ll check it out.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Spawn may not…spawn.” story, It’s been almost one year since Jeremy Renner and Jamie Foxx were announced as the stars of the upcoming Spawn reboot from writer-director-creator Todd McFarlane. During that time, last summer, Spawn seemed like a slam dunk to begin production in a timely manner. McFarlane got his wish of being writer-director and Blumhouse Productions were going to produce and get funding. But yet, a year later, we have nothing to show from it. And in a new interview, McFarlane hints that the whole thing could still fall apart.
“The money’s sitting on the sidelines ready to go,” said the filmmaker in an interview with Comicbook.com. “I just need to get everyone that wants to put in money to shake their heads to the same script. As you can imagine, everyone has a slightly different version of it in their head.”
He continued, “You just go and trying to appease a handful of people while not giving in to what it is that I’m trying to do myself. Because if I have to change it too much, I’ll just walk away from it all.”
– Ok, why the Hell would anyone want to make a different film than what the CREATOR of the IP wants to make? (And THAT’S the million dollar question in Hollywood).
These are bold words from a man that was seemingly ready to go in January, when he described the dismal tone of Spawn. But it appears that there are still some issues with the script that have to be worked out. And when you have Blumhouse (a studio with an incredible track record of profitability) and two major A-listers, there are a lot more eyes on the script than when it was just McFarlane writing his dream project.
So, it could get green lit tomorrow, or who knows when.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Hey Scoob!” story, Warner Bros.’ animated Scooby-Doo film Scoob has found its young Velma and Fred.
TheWrap has learned exclusively that Ariana Greenblatt will play young Velma, while Pierce Gagnon is set to voice young Fred.
Zac Efron is voicing the adult version of Fred, while Amanda Seyfried will play Daphne. Gina Rodriguez will voice Velma, while Will Forte will play Shaggy and Tracy Morgan will voice Captain Caveman — not part of the Scooby-Doo universe but a Hanna-Barbera character like the Scooby gang. Frank Welker will be voicing Scooby.
Tony Cervone is directing, while Chris Columbus, Pam Coats and Allison Abbate are serving as producers. Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Dan Povenmire and Adam Sztykiel are executive producing.
In the film, the Mystery Inc. group will team up with other members of the Hanna-Barbera universe to save the world from Dick Dastardly.
The last “Scooby” film to hit theaters was Scooby-Doo: Monsters Unleashed in 2004. That film made $84.2 million at the box office. It served as a sequel to 2002’s Scooby-Doo, which earned $153.3 million. The original television series debuted in 1969, and many spin-off series have been produced since due to its success.
Aaaand, IN THIS WEEK’S “Dan Aykroyd’s last stand” story, Dan Aykroyd jsut won’t let go of the Ghostbusters franchise. He’s very much leading the way, publicly at least, with the ideas of expanding the Ghostbusters franchise.
Speaking to Canadian outlet 660 City News, Aykroyd talked about the state of the Ghostbusters franchise, including the 2016 reboot, the upcoming sequel, and plans for a 1969-set prequel. Yeah, that’s right.
But before he talked about the future, he made sure to explain his thoughts on the highly controversial, female-led reboot from a few years ago.
“I kind of got mad, but I realized I should have blamed myself as a producer, the costs were out of control, I should have been watching as a producer a little more, but you don’t dispute with your director,” explained Aykroyd.
He added, You hire a director, you trust a director, you trust their vision. But the job that Kate [McKinnon], and Kristen [Wiig], and Leslie [Jones], and Melissa [McCarthy] did and indeed Paul [Feig] did on that movie was superior, or superb. We would have done another one but, again, the cost overruns prevented the studio from looking at it and doing another ladies’ movie…”
But with the 2016 reboot not turning a profit at the box office, the studio (and Akroyd) looked to Jason Reitman, and a much lower budget (he says in the $30 million to $50 million range), to save the franchise. And so next year, Reitman brings a new reboot/sequel to the universe with a new cast (and maybe some familiar faces).
That being said, Aykroyd isn’t done with the universe building there. In fact, as he describes, the actor has a prequel idea in mind that he’s currently developing.
“Although I’ve written Ghostbusters High, where they meet in New Jersey in 1969 and we’re looking to do that as probably a glorified feature or pilot within the next maybe five years…. And it would lead to a television project and I thought of him immediately for that,” said Aykroyd.
He continued, “It’s on [Reitman’s] desk but that’s years away from the current project. But it’s a neat idea for a prequel. Imagine casting the three characters as teenagers!”
And if the upcoming reboot-quel and potential prequel aren’t enough, don’t worry! Aykroyd has even more up his sleeve.
He revealed, “We have at least one or two other concepts for the Ghostbusters and then we’ll look at doing the prequel, which will be a perfect button on all we’ve done up to that point.”
The upcoming Ghostbusters sequel arrives in theaters next summer.
Ok, thanks for stopping by this week! Next stop; GODZILLA!