SO much has been happening in the industry lately! It’s crazy.
IN THIS WEEK’S “some Spider-man news” story, Spiderman: Homecoming 2 is getting some updates.
Jake Gyllenhall has been tapped to play villain Mysterio, and now word is folks at Variety are reporting further developments from the world of the Sinister Six, with the story that Michael Keaton will reprise his role as The Vulture.
Last seen incarcerated during the end credits of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Adrian Toomes (Keaton) is confronted by another potential member of the Sinister Six, Mac Gargan, aka The Scorpion, so this could mean that we’re getting the origin of Peter Parker’s nemesis posse.
Joining Tom Holland’s friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man in the sequel are the returning trio of Zendaya (The Greatest Showman), Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny), and Jacob Batalon (Avengers: Infinity War).
The film, which Kevin Feige has confirmed will not be called Spider-Man: Homecoming 2, will take Peter Parker out of New York for an international adventure. Chris McKenna and Eric Sommers will once again take on writing duties, with Jon Watts back in the directors chair for the Marvel blockbuster.
The Spider-Man sequel will be released on July 5th 2019.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Saved?!” story, The Expanse could find new life on Amazon.
Variety has confirmed with sources that the streaming giant is in talks to pick up the sci-fi series for what would be its fourth season. The news comes after NBCUniversal-owned cable network Syfy announced they would not be picking up the show again once its third season concludes in June. The series is produced and fully financed by Alcon Television Group.
The story unfolds across a colonized solar system 200 years in the future, when two strangers become unwittingly swept up in a vast conspiracy. Based on the New York Times bestselling book series collectively known as The Expanse, written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (under the pen name James S. A. Corey), The Expanse stars Steven Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Dominique Tipper, Cas Anvar, Wes Chatham and Frankie Adams.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Jay Roach does Megyn Kelly” story, Jay Roach is planning a new film, as yet untitled, and has Charlize Theron to play Megyn Kelly.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Charlize Theron has joined on to portray Megyn Kelly as well as produce the untitled film. No stranger to playing real-life figures, Theron has inhabited the lives of starlet Britt Ekland (The Life and Death of Peter Sellers) and serial killer Aileen Wuornos (Monster). Here, Theron has a fascinating opportunity to tackle a complicated figure in popular culture.
Kelly quickly rose through the ranks of Fox News, first as a legal contributor for Brit Hume and then eventually as the host of the nightly show The Kelly File. During the 2015 Republican Party presidential debate, she earned Donald Trump’s ire when she questioned his fiery temperament. She continued to bristle against Trump’s well-documented sexism, and resorted to clever name-calling when she branded him “Voldemort.”
Theron is not expected to be the main star of the film. As he did with Recount and Game Change, Roach is relying heavily on an ensemble cast. Besides taking aim at Ailes and Kelly, the movie will also reportedly feature portrayals of Greta Van Susteren, Bill O’Reilly, and Rupert Murdoch.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Technology run amok!” story, Sony Pictures Animation has unveiled the title and first details for its previously untitled Phil Lord and Chris Miller-produced Sony Pictures Animation Movie.
The Mitchells Vs. The Machines will be an animated comedy from producers Lord and Miller, set for release on January 10, 2020.
The Mitchells are a dysfunctional yet loving family whose road trip gets interrupted by a tech uprising. All around the world, devices we love like phones and self-driving cars turn on humanity, and the Mitchells have to work past their problems to save the world.
Mike Rianda is directing the film. He also wrote the screenplay with co-director Jeff Rowe. Lord and Miller produce alongside Kurt Albrecht.
Miller and Lord’s credits include The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street. They also have an executive producing credit on the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story after the duo exited the project as directors last year.
Hollywood veteran Ron Howard was brought in by Lucasfilm to complete the film.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Grandfather in the House of El” story, SyFy has renewed the show Krypton for a second season.
The cable network has ordered Krypton Season 2 ahead of the prequel series’ Season 1 finale on May 23rd. The show hails from executive producers David S. Goyer and Cameron Welsh, with Welsh serving as showrunner, and it chronicles the goings-on over on Superman’s home planet of Krypton two generations before he’s born.
The series is told through the eyes of Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), the grandfather of the eventual Man of Steel. He’s spurred into action when the House of El is ostracized, Krypton’s leadership is in disarray, and a time-traveler from Earth visits him with news of great importance: he must save Krypton at all costs, or else Superman will never be born and thus can never save humanity from the supervillian Brainiac.
The show got off to a slow start, but I stuck with it and will be interested to see if they quicken the pace in the second season.
IN THIS WEEK’S “These cancel each other out, right?” story, in what would amount to its biggest budget feature project yet, Netflix is partnering with Skydance Media on Six Underground, an action thriller that Michael Bay will direct with Deadpool‘s Ryan Reynolds starring. Sources said the commitment here is in the $150M range, and Bay will start production this summer for 2019 release.
The project was developed by Skydance from a script by Deadpool screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, and it’s a high testosterone mission movie. Bay and Skydance announced in March their intentions to make the film together, with Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Don Granger will produce Six Underground along with Bay.
WME reps Bay and Reynolds, the latter of whom comes off a $300 million global opening for Deadpool 2.
Bay and Reynolds. One is kinda awful and one is great. Gotta wonder what this will be like.
IN THIS WEEK’S “So,will it be like Taken with aliens?” story, Liam Neeson is in negotiations to join Chis Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in in Sony’s Men in Black reboot.
Fate of the Furious filmmaker F. Gary Gray is directing the movie, written by Iron Man screenwriters Matt Holloway and Art Marcum. The studio has the film dated for June 14, 2019.
Hemsworth and Thompson are not playing the same alien-fighting and world-saving characters portrayed by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in the initial trilogy. The new movie is set in the same on-screen world, however.
Plot details and what characters Hemsworth and Thompson are playing are being kept secret but on the Neeson front, it is known that he will play the head of the Men in Black organization in London, where the story begins.
Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, who produced the original movies, are back as producers, while Steven Spielberg is returning as executive producer.
IN THIS WEEK’S “What’s in the briefcase?” story, John Wick director Chad Stahelski and Ryan Condal, the creator of USA’s alien invasion show Colony, are teaming up to adapt sci-fi comic Analog.
Lionsgate has won a bidding war to pick up the title, an Image Comic from writer Gerry Duggan and artist David O’Sullivan. Condal will write the script while Stahelski will direct. 87eleven, the production banner run by Stahelski and fellow action maestro David Leitch, will produce. Duggan will share a story by credit with Condal.
The package hit studios over the weekend, generating multiple offers. In the end, Lionsgate, which is behind the Wick movies, flexed its might, wanting to keep Stahelski in is fold.
Analog is set in the near-future where the security of the Internet has been rendered useless thanks to an event referred to as the Great Doxxing. Out of those ashes, people turn to so-called Ledger Men, agents who carry sensitive secrets the old-fashioned way – with a briefcase handcuffed to one arm, and a gun held in the other.
The first issue of the comic was released in April. Duggan is a former employee of L.A. comics shop Golden Apple that leapfrogged into writing comics. Among his credits was being the longtime co-scribe for Marvel Comics’ Deadpool titles, which landed him a reference in Deadpool 2.
Condal worked on the script for Rampage, the recent Dwayne Johnson monster movie. He co-created Colony with Carlton Cuse and the USA show began its third season earlier this month. The writer is currently developing a Conan the Barbarian series for Amazon.
Wow, local comic book shop guy makes good.
IN THIS WEEK’S “A little extra” story, Deadpool 2 had some 12 minutes of extra footage left on the cutting room floor. Wanna see it?
That’s right, Deadpool 2 is getting an extended cut — a director’s cut, in fact, one approved by helmer David Leitch (who shared the news with Cinema Blend), writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and star Ryan Reynolds.
The version of the movie in theaters is about two hours long, but before delivering that final cut there was a preferred version that was just 12 minutes longer. Leitch and the others are now restoring that cut, presumably for the home video release later this year (but possibly for a theatrical re-release).
IN THIS WEEK’S “Career move” story, New Line has acquired the pitch Public Enemy with LeBron James and Channing Tatum’s production companies, SpringHill Entertainment and Free Association, on as producers.
Lucas Carter will pen the script, which is a subversive action-comedy that looks at the speed of media in our current landscape.
James and his SpringHill Entertainment partner, Maverick Carter, will produce. Spencer Beighley and Jamal Henderson will oversee for SpringHill. Michael Parets and Andrew Schneider will oversee for Free Association.
SpringHill has been active recently in setting up a strong slate, and New Line has been particularly interested in its material, as the two are currently working on a House Party reboot, because we SO need that to happen.
What’s with basketball players trying to become movie stars now?
IN THIS WEEK’S “Hunchback update”, story, in an interesting turn, Idris Elba is set to star in, direct and produce a modern retelling of The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Netflix, an individual with knowledge told TheWrap.
The film is currently untitled. Elba will also produce the music for the feature. Producers on the project include Fred Berger (La La Land) and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (Midnight Special) for Automatik, with Elba and Ana Garantino producing for Elba’s Green Door shingle.
Michael Mitnick (The Current War) is writing the script.
Last month, the streaming platform announced Elba would star in Turn Up Charlie, a comedy in which Elba plays a struggling DJ and eternal bachelor, who is given a final chance at success when he reluctantly becomes a manny to his famous best friend’s problem-child daughter.
That Idris Elba is a talented and multi-faceted bloke. This Hunchback of Notre Dame is an intriguing notion.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Can’t wait for all the glasses” story, Paramount Pictures has dated Taron Egerton’s Rocketman for May 17, 2019.
Directed by Dexter Fletcher, the film got a finance and distribution deal last month. Egerton portrays Elton John in the various stages of his legendary life. Lee Hall wrote the script for the package, and John is producing with Marv Films and Matthew Vaughn alongside John’s Rocket Pictures partner and husband David Furnish.
Egerton is set to sing John’s songs himself, with production set to begin in August.
In 2012, John had said he wanted Justin Timberlake to play him. Then, Tom Hardy’s name was being floated by producers on the film.
Sounds like casting worked out in the end.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Vin goes comic” story, Outlander’s Sam Heughan is set to join Vin Diesel in Bloodshot for Sony Pictures. The pic, which marks Diesel’s first superhero film, starts production in July with Dave Wilson directing and Neal H. Moritz producing. The film is casting up quickly, with Eiza Gonzalez and Michael Sheen also coming aboard.
Bloodshot is a central character in the Valiant Expanded Universe – a comic book universe composed of a diverse array of thousands of characters embodying a wide variety of genres, tones and demographic groups and over 81 million comics sold. Valiant’s superheroes are ordinary people in extraordinary situations rather than gods and demi-gods; they are complex characters that reflect contemporary society, politics, and diversity of the modern world.
Wilson is a director at Blur Studios, the VFX factory owned by Tim Miller, who directed the first Deadpool and is reviving the Terminator franchise. Pic re-teams Fast and the Furious‘ Moritz and Diesel. Sony is hoping to launch a franchise here through the Bloodshot comic universe.
Of course it does.
IN THIS WEEK’s “It’s official!” story, MGM and Annapurna will team up to distribute Bond 25 in the U.S. on November 8, 2019. Universal Pictures has won the lucrative rights to handle the film’s international distribution.
Sony previously handled Bond distribution, but it’s rights to the franchise expired after Spectre and set off a bidding war among studios. The next 007 installment will open in the U.K. first on October 25, 2019.
In addition to the confirmed distributors, 007 studio Eon Productions has also confirmed Danny Boyle will direct Bond 25, which will once again star Daniel Craig as the world’s most famous spy. Boyle has been a contender for several months now, with his hiring dependent on whether or not 007 producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli liked the script Boyle hatched with his Trainspotting screenwriter John Hodge.
Boyle will start production on Bond 25 this December at Pinewood Studios in the U.K. First up on the director’s slate is an untitled musical comedy written by Richard Curtis and starring Lily James and Kate McKinnon. The movie already has a September 2019 release date.
I’d say this is a good choice!
IN THIS WEEK’s “Shouldn’t he finish writing his books, first?” story, Warner Bros. is developing George R.R. Martin’s fantasy novel The Ice Dragon as an animated movie with the Game of Thrones writer on board as a producer.
The Ice Dragon, first published in 1980, is the story of a young girl and the ice dragon she befriends in a mythical land of frigid snow after the death of her mother. The ice dragon was an untamed creature of legend and fear, and when it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land, but the girl was unafraid because she was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone could remember. Her friendship leads to the ice dragon defending the girl’s world from fiery dragons on a summer day.
Martin’s manager Vince Gerardis is the executive producer of The Ice Dragon. Warner Bros. Animation Group chiefs Allison Abbate and Chris Leahy are overseeing the project for the studio.
Martin has said that The Ice Dragon is not set in the same world as Westeros in A Song of Ice and Fire.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Neither did the audience” story, actress Emilia Clarke (you know, the Queen of Dragons?), said that she is relieved that she didn’t have to make any more Terminator sequels and admits nobody had a good time making Genysis.
In Terminator Genysis, Clarke starred as Sarah Connor in the 2015 Terminator installment, which earned dismal reviews (the film has a 26% score on Rotten Tomatoes) and only $89 million at the U.S. box office.
Clarke looked back on the chaotic production of Terminator Genisys in an interview with Vanity Fair and admitted that “no one had a good time” making the sequel. The film was directed by Alan Taylor, who Clarke knew well from Game of Thrones. Taylor directed seven “Thrones” episodes across the show’s seven seasons.
“He was not the director I remember,” Clarke said. “He didn’t have a good time. No one had a good time.”
The film’s poor box office killed any chances for “Genisys-related sequels. Clarke told Vanity Fair she was “relieved” she didn’t have to return to the role of Sarah Connor for additional “Terminator movies. The actress remembered the “Genisys production being so bad that word spread to the set of Josh Trank’s equally-as-chaotic Fantastic Four set, which was filming nearby. Clarke said that crew members on “Fantastic Four responded to news about their own troubled production by wearing jackets that read, “At least we’re not on Terminator.”
Well, we didn’t have a good time watching Genysis, either, so, I guess everyone got screwed on that one.
IN THIS WEEK’S Finally some good news” story, that aborted Boba Fett movie is back on.
The Boba Fett movie that fell apart with director Josh Trank (Chronicle) at the helm and Simon Kinberg as the writer/producer, is back on, this time with “Logan filmmaker James Mangold behind the camera.
No other details have been revealed. There is mention of Lucasfilm’s Obi-Wan Kenobi movie in development, but that Stephen Daldry in still negotiations to direct and apparently no writers are working on a script as of yet (which undercuts the ongoing rumor that the film begins shooting in spring of 2019.
Fett’s origin story as a child was seen in Attack Of The Clones, but there’s an entire lifetime that has yet to be explored on film. One could reasonably speculate it could touch upon the Solo: A Star Wars Movie era that is set in the criminal underworld of the galaxy far far away.
The Hollywood Reporter says Mangold will also write the stand-alone feature as well. Mangold was nominated for an Academy Award most recently for his screenplay for Logan co-written with Scott Frank and Michael Green.
IN THIS WEEK’s “Wait, some MORE good news” story, Paramount announced Wednesday that it has removed next year’s planned Transformers installment from its release slate.
The sequel to Transformers: The Last Knight had been scheduled for release on June 28, 2019. The sole Transformers film now left on Paramount’s slate is the spinoff Bumblebee, which will hit theaters this Christmas.
Last year, The Last Knight scored the lowest box office returns of any Transformers installment with $605 million worldwide against a $217 million production budget, including a franchise-low $130 million domestic cume.
The birth and rise of Michael Bay’s series based on the classic Hasbro toy line was one of the signature achievements of Paramount’s late former CEO Brad Grey, who passed away last year.
Jim Gianopulos, who became Paramount’s CEO last May after Grey’s death, promised to turn around Paramount’s fortunes at the studio’s CinemaCon presentation last month. One of the centerpieces of the presentation was a sneak peek of Bumblebee, a spinoff that promises a more character-driven Transformers film and may provide a glimpse at how the franchise will be retooled under the studio’s new leadership.
Taking place decades before the Transformers series, the upcoming film will explore how Bumblebee, the scout for the Autobots, first encountered humans on Earth. Paramount heavily touted the film’s director, Laika Animation’s Travis Knight, who has earned multiple Oscar nominations for his stop-motion animated films like Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings. Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena will star.
Well, at least it’s only ONE Transformers related film – for now.
And IN THIS WEEK’S “Finally some REALLY good news” story, Harvey Weinstein is expected to be served with criminal charges by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and will turn himself in to authorities on Friday, according to the New York Daily News.
The news comes after a months-long investigation by New York law enforcement into accusations of sexual assault. According to the Daily News, Weinstein faces charges in connection with accusations made by aspiring actress Lucia Evans, who said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in his Manhattan office in 2004.
According to the paper a grand jury convened several weeks ago was also presented evidence related to accusations of financial fraud though it is unclear if he will be charged for any financial crimes.
The Manhattan D.A.’s office and Weinstein’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, have both told TheWrap they will not comment at this time.
Put that shitbag in jail, please.
UPDATE: Weinstein has been officially charged with rape. According to the NYPD, “Harvey Weinstein was arrested, processed and charged with Rape, Criminal Sex Act, Sex Abuse and Sexual Misconduct for incidents involving two separate women. The NYPD thanks these brave survivors for their courage to come forward and seek justice.” One woman who is remaining anonymous alleges Weinstein raped her in March 2013. The other is actress Lucia Evans, who says Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him at his Manhattan office in 2014.
Weinstein has surrendered his passport to show authorities he is not a flight risk. He is also being fitted with a monitoring GPS device that will track his movements. Weinstein will have to get approval from a judge if he wants to travel beyond New York or Connecticut.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to the rape and sex crime charges. A court date has been set for July. His lawyer, Ben Brafman, has issued the following statement: “Mr. Weinstein has always maintained that he has never engaged in non-consensual sexual behavior with anyone. Nothing about today’s proceedings changes Mr. Weinstein’s position. He has entered a plea of not guilty and fully expects to be exonerated.”
The New York judge has set a $10 million bond, or $1 million in cash. According to Variety, Weinstein paid a $1 million cashier’s check to post bail.
Fuck this guy. Fucking rich, white, entitled scumbag rapist. He better go to REAL prison for the rest of his life.
Another bonkers week. Come back next time for more!