Welcome back to another week of amazing, fascinating, and ridiculous stories in film news! Buckle up!!
Writer/director, Shane Black (The Nice Guys, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), is now in the process of writing, with Anthony Bagarozzi, a new film version of the classic Lester Dent creation, Doc Savage. It’s already got Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on board as the title character, and Black has drawn the line at making a Doc Savage film that is a period piece rather than doing some kind of updated version of the character.
Shane Black’s explains why: “It has to be. I’m not going to do it otherwise. And if it doesn’t happen for that reason it doesn’t happen. People say ‘Well, we have all these tie-ins we want to do with merchandise and we can’t do them if it’s 1930’s, can’t you make it present day? He’ll fight Al-Qaeda.’ No! That’s not who Doc Savage is. What sets him apart is that he was the first of the Supermen. With all the attendant mythology about being trained from birth to be perfect. ”
Good on you, Shane. Make the film you want to make, staying true to the character, rather than bowing to studio suit mis-guidedness.
As you may have heard, actress Brie Larson (Room) is in talks to play Captain Marvel, the studio’s first female standalone superhero film. Rumours suggest the character would be introduced in another Marvel film. Looks like The Babadook director, Jennifer Kent, and Niki Caro (Whale Rider) are rumoured to be in the running to direct, with the screenplay written by Inside Out’s Meg LeFauve and Nicole Perlman, who co-wrote Guardians of the Galaxy.
Captain Marvel is slated for a release date of 2018.
In this week’s “Video games are so real they’re like live action films” story, Jake Gyllenhaal is starring in an adaptation of Tom Clancy’s The Division video game. Gyllenhaal will also produce. The Division is a third person shooter, and is Ubi Soft’s fastest selling product, making a whopping $ 330 million in the first five days of it’s release last March.
The game is set in New York City during the outbreak of a virus, with the player taking on the role of an agent investigating while avoiding increased criminal activity.
Gyllenhaal could use a hit, as his last two films, Demolition and Southpaw, didn’t exactly “wow” audiences.
In this week’s “Brief Bond news” story, reports and rumours are that The Night Manager’s dIrector, Susanne Bier, may be in charge of the next James Bond adventure. There must be more to this story, I just have to dig more.
In this week’s “I’ve really made it” story, funny guy T.J. Miller has joined the cast of Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. He’ll be starring alongside an awesome cast that includes, Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Simon Pegg, Ben Mendelsohn, and Mark Rylance. Seriously, that is one amazing bunch of acting talent.
Miller will take on the role of “i-R0k,” an online troll in the forums for the massive virtual world where the bulk of the story takes place. So, an annoying internet commenter in a dystopian science fiction world? Yeah, that sounds like a role Miller could handle.
The film Sicario was really great, but it’s not like it screams “Sequel!” But that never stopped a studio before, so the sequel, Soldado, is moving forward. However, director Denis Villenueve has moved on to other things, so he’s possibly being replaced with Italian director Stefano Solima. I know nothing of this person, but apparently he directed the TV series Gomarrah, which tells the story of a crime syndicate operating in Naples, so at least it’s in a similar wheelhouse.
Also, the story will deal more with Benecio Del Toro’s character, so he and Josh Brolin will return, but alas, Emily Blunt will not return, as the is off making a sequel to Mary Poppins, of all things. Thankfully, original Sicario writer Taylor Sheridan is penning Saldado.
In this week’s “Superhero’s kids are entitled pricks” story, Hollywood sure loves Mark Millar, the man who gave us Wanted and Kick Ass. Turns out another one of his properties, Jupiter’s Legacy, is being adapted to film. Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers – ugh) is assisting in this endeavor, by tapping cousin and writers Brian and Mark Gunn.
The series, co-created with Frank Quitely, published issue one in 2013, with four other issues since. Jupiter’s Legacy follows the offspring of superheroes, who haven’t fully lived up to their families’ hopes and dreams for them. Instead of fighting crime, they’re more interested in partying and endorsement deals. They sound like dicks. But I haven’t read the series and it sounds interesting.
The Gunn cousins had this to say to Comicbook.com: “One of the really cool things about Jupiter’s Legacy is how it encompasses the entire sweep of American politics over the past century – the Great Depression, World War II, the culture wars of the Sixties, and so on. But it’s not just about history – it’s very of-the-moment as well…”
Ok, I’m on board.
In this week’s “Well, this could go either way” story, Ben Affleck has said in an interview that the next Batman standalone movie will be an original story as opposed to a complete adaptation of an existing Batman canon story.
Affleck said, “…I would probably do in some ways what Zack did with this movie, which is to borrow certain things from the great comic books, but create an original story around it. Because I wouldn’t want the fans to already know the story and be familiar with it, but I would borrow, and steal, great things that have been done before in the comics.”
Okaaay, well, it does keep your audience guessing, but then it also might bum people out because if you’re going to use SOME elements of existing stories to make a new story, well, then you get some of the problems you had with Batman v Superman: a contextual mess that diminishes the emotional resonance of the scenes you changed.
I will continue to glower suspiciously about this until I hear more positive things.
And in this week’s “Related news” story, Batman v Superman: The Ultimate Edition, is getting ready to be released on DVD/Bluray, etc., and there’s going to be new footage! Great. You know, if you put crap on top of crap, it’s still all just crap.
In this week’s “What the Hell is going on” story, Star Wars: Rogue One is supposedly undergoing some reshoots! Ack! This sort of thing makes me uneasy. However, apparently there is a lot of crazy rumour going on around this.
First, it was said that after the first screening of the film, Disney executives thought the film was “tonally off with what a ‘classic’ Star Wars movie should feel like.” This was a screening just for Disney executives and not for any general audiences just yet. Supposedly, the tone of Rogue One was more that of a traditional war drama, and the reshoots are an attempt to “lighten the mood, bring some levity into the story, and restore a sense of fun to the adventure”.
Ok, well, director Gareth Edwards was pretty clear up front that he would be making Rogue One like a war drama. That’s cool. The original story had said that up to 40 % of the film was to be reshot and that writer/director Christopher McQuarrie was to assist Edwards with that.
However, SlashFilm.com talked with McQuarrie and this is what he had to say: “If there are any reshoots on Rogue One, I’m not supervising them. For any outlet to say so is not only wrong, it’s irresponsible. Gareth Edwards is a talented filmmaker who deserves the benefit of the doubt. Making a film – let alone a Star Wars chapter – is hard enough without the internet trying to deliberately downgrade one’s years of hard work. Who does that even serve? Let him make his movie in peace.”
Ok, then. Rumours are just that, people. Rumours. All we have is speculation. It’s not like we aren’t going to see this anyway, right?
In this week’s story about Stephen King casting, Bill Skarsgard, son of actor Stellan Skarsgard, will play Pennywise the Clown in the remake of It. And, though this is likely old news, I’m just hearing about it now: Idris Elba is playing the Gunslinger in King’s The Dark Tower. Cool!
In this week’s “That was fast” story, or maybe “Flash News!” story, Warner Bros. has appointed Dope director Rick Famuyiwa to helm their feature The Flash. Ezra Miller stars as The Flash and the film is slated for a March 16, 2016 release. It seems to me they’ve been having some trouble getting this director thing figured out for this film. The original script treatment was done by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the Lego Movie guys that were gong to direct it first. The current script is being written by Seth Grahame-Smith, who was going to direct but then backed out due to creative differences. Now Famuyiwa is directing. Let’s see if that sticks.
In this week’s “Hey, that’s my hometown” story, Fast and Furious 8 is in production in Cleveland and it’s raining cars! I won’t elaborate, but here’s a link to a fun little video: http://www.cinemablend.com/new/You-Have-See-What-Fast-Furious-8-Just-Pulled-Off-Cleveland-Parking-Garage-134947.html Seems like just another day in Cleveland to me. 😉
In this week’s “Been in development so long the idea must undergo the ritual of Carrousel” story, after nearly 20 years of trying, Warner Bros. seems to finally have it’s Logan’s Run remake on track. They have the creator/showrunner of USA’s Colony, Ryan Condol, to write the new script. Condal will be basing his screenplay on a treatment by X-Men Apocalypse co-writer Simon Kinberg, who will be producing along with Joel Silver and DC television universe honcho Greg Berlanti.
Rather than a straight remake, however, they’re going for a fresh take on the 1967 novel by George Clayton-Johnson, who passed away last Christmas. Who knows exactly what “fresh take” means these days. Maybe it’s a reboot, maybe it’s a “re-imagining”. I kinda hate that word, though.
Joel Silver is producing, and has been pushing to get this made for years. And lots of people have been attached to this during that time, too. Among them, at various points, have been Bryan Singer & Christopher McQuarrie, Joseph Kosinski, Carl Erik Rinsch & screenwriter Alex Garland, Nicolas Winding Refn (whose version would have starred Ryan Gosling and Rose Byrne), and even video game producer Ken Levine have been attached to the film. So, I guess Warner Bros. has finally found a version they’re happy with. But will WE be happy with it?
In this week’s “Where are they now” story, if you’ve been wondering what the Hell Mel Gibson has been doing with himself since he went on that drunken rant in Malibu some years back, it turns out he’s just been in a film called Blood Father directed by French filmmaker Jean-Francois Richet. That film will be highlighted at the 63rd Sydney Film Festival this year. This year’s festival theme is “Change your view, change your world,” and a far-reaching program of 244 films from 60 countries, a virtual reality showcase, and strong themes like capital punishment and the plight of refugees see it fulfill its remit. …Sure, I’d like to say something funny about Mel Gibson, but what could I say that hasn’t already been said?
In this week’s “Look who’s slumming now” story, it seems that actor Anthony Hopkins has joined Mark Wahlberg in the cast of Transformers 5. For Gods sake, Hopkins, you were knighted by the Queen of England. Have a little self-respect.
And, in this week’s “Oh, thank the Gods – for now” story, producer Brad Fuller has assured us that – at least for now – there are no plans to do a crossover with the Teenage Mutant Turtles and Transformers. And let’s face it, in a world where we now will be getting a Men In Black/21 Jump Street crossover, this is actually a possiblility, horrifying as it may be. Fuller did say that as long as the two franchises make money on their own, there will be no crossing over. That, of course, means that as soon as either start losing money, Michael Bay could do anything. Awesome. :I
~ Neil T Weakley, your average movie-goer, printing all the film news that often furrows my brow.