Anolther fun-filled week of information from entertainment land!
In this week’s “Before a Tomb Raider, she was a…bike messenger?” story, Alicia Vikander si our new Lara Croft, Tomb Raider in the film that comes out March 16, 2018.
But her back story is kinda random. This official synopsis is weirdly specific:
“Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.”
And it continues,
“Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous. Suddenly, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara, who—against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit — must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.”
Wow. Ok. I feel like I just read the book version of Lara Croft. And curiously, Croft can barely make her rent and yet will be able to afford to finance a global adventure.
In this week’s “They’re all back” story, in the realm of franchise’s we don’t need anymore comes yet another Terminator film. But this time, the gang’s getting back together.
Yes, James Cameron returns to write and produce, Schwarzengger will be returning, and now Linda Hamilton will be back as Sarah Connor. Plot details are not known yet, although Cameron has said that the film will be a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Previously it was reported that Arnold would be playing a human this time- in fact, he’d be the human that the Terminators were modeled after. No idea if that’s still the plan, but I guess we’ll find out when the Tim Miller (Deadpool) directed film arrives. Paramount Pictures is distributing.
The film will be based on a story by Cameron and Miller. The duo assembled a writers room that includes David Goyer and Josh Friedman, who will develop what is planned to be a trilogy.
I suppose that having James Cameron involved is a plus, even though this is a franchise that could drift off into the night never to be heard from again and I, and many others, wouldn’t really notice.
In this week’s “Do we have an escape plan for this movie?” story, Sylvester Stallone and Dave Bautista are currently shooting Escape Plan 3, and they’ve added China’s Max Zhang. I heard the first one, which co-starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, was only ‘meh’, so I put it out of my mind.
Interestingly, the first film, released in 2013, grossed $25 million in North America and another $112 million overseas. I guess it cost a lot less to make, so I can only assume that’s how they got the green light for more.
Escape Plan 3: Devil’s Station, is indeed the third of this franchise, even though I didn’t realize there was an Escape Plan 2. I guess that one sneaked in under my radar.
The new movie sees Stallone and Bautista’s characters again join forces to break out one of their team members from an inescapable prison. The pic is directed by John Herzfeld (Death and Life of Bobby Z, 15 Minutes) from Miles Chapman and John Herzfeld’s script.
Zhang has a career that started as a stunt double and now sees him stretching across Hollywood and Chinese industries. His various credits include Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Grandmaster, and Ip Man 3.
His upcoming projects also include “Pacific Rim: Uprising,” and another spin-off from the Ip Man concept, in which he will again co-star with Bautista.
Jaime King, Lydia Hull, Devon Sawa, Harry Shum Jr., and Malese Jow round out the cast of Devil’s Station.
In this week’s “Hanks adapts Intl.’ best seller” story, Tom Hanks is tackling an adaptation of the international best-selling novel A Man Called Ove.
Hanks is attached to star in the project and will produce with his Playtone banner partner Gary Goetzman. Rita Wilson, Hanks’ wife and frequent producing partner, is also producing along with Fredrik Wikstrom Nicastro, it was announced Thursday. Nicastro also executive produced the Swedish-language adaptation.
The 2012 book by Fredrik Backman told the tale of a cantankerous widower who seems to revel in his bitterness and loneliness even as his frequent attempts at suicide seem to be thwarted by bad timing and bad luck. His life, however, takes a turn toward the unexpected when a mixed-race couple with two young daughters move into the neighborhood, leading to a heartwarming and life-affirming friendship.
Yeah, this sounds like something Tom Hanks would do.
The book hit No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller list and remained on the list for a consecutive 77 weeks. It has been translated into 43 languages.
The original local-language film adaptation, directed by Hannes Holm, was nominated for two Academy Awards earlier this year and was the highest-grossing foreign-language film in the United States in 2016. In addition, the film was awarded the best comedy prize at the European Film Awards in 2016.
No mention of who will direct the film.
In this week’s “FINALLY…but who cares?” story, the long, LONG, awaited Amityville Horror sequel, Amityville: The Awakening, is finally getting released.
When, you ask? (Or maybe you didn’t because, hey, what’s the point.)
The Amityville: The Awakening story goes all the way back to 2014, when a new Amityville sequel was announced. The plan was to release the film in 2015, but obviously, that never happened. The movie, set to be distributed by horror giants Blumhouse, found itself pushed to December of 2016, only to be pushed yet again to January 2017. January came and went and not a peep – not one bump in the night or trickle of blood down the walls was to be found.
But it’s finally seeing the light of day – in a weird way. The film will first debut exclusively for free for a limited time on Google Play on October 12, 2017. After that, the plan is to release it in select theaters on October 28, 2017, just in time for Halloween.
Written and directed by Franck Khalfoun, Amityville: Awakening stars Bella Thorne, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cameron Monaghan, Taylor Spreitler, Mckenna Grace, and Jennifer Morrison, all of whom would probably be perfectly fine with the film never coming out at all at this point. The story follows a family that movies into the infamous Amityville house, where the spirits don’t stay very quiet for very long.
This latest Amityville offering was originally pitched as a found-footage style reboot of the franchise before blossoming into whatever the Hell it is today.
The official synopsis: Belle, her little sister, and her comatose twin brother move into a new house with their single mother Joan in order to save money to help pay for her brother’s expensive healthcare. But when strange phenomena begin to occur in the house including the miraculous recovery of her brother, Belle begins to suspect her Mother isn’t telling her everything and soon realizes they just moved into the infamous Amityville house.
It all smells of some kind of stink. Maybe I’ll see this as a hoot.
In this week’s “Return to Unbreakable” story, as a report on the developments on a previous story about M. Night Shymalan’s sequel to Unbreakable, some more cast members are reprising their roles.
Spencer Treat Clark and Charlayne Woodard, who appeared in M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable, are returning for Glass, the sequel in question.
In Unbreakable, Bruce Willis starred as David Dunn, a security guard who discovers he has superhuman powers that allow him to see the crimes people have committed by touching them. Both Willis and Samuel L. Jackson are returning to reprise their roles.
Shaymalan’s film, Split, was a sort of bridge – a film that was in the Unbreakable universe.James McAvoy starred and he will reprise his role in Glass. Also reprising her role from Split is Anya Taylor-Joy.
In Glass, Dunn pursues Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Elijah Price, aka Mr. Glass (Jackson), emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.
Clark is back as Willis’ son, while Woodard is returning to play Jackson’s mother.
I’m actually on board for this film. Split was surprisingly good. The movie hits theaters on Jan. 18, 2019.
In this week’s “It’s a wrap!” story, director Rian Johnson announced Thursday that they had officially finished The Last Jedi.
Yes, it’s done. Johnson celebrated with an Instagram post of the “hardest working post-production team in the galaxy”. So now it’s just about waiting for trailers and the anticipation of seeing The Last Jedi in theaters in December. Yay!
In this week’s “A Star is Born – a little earlier” story, Bradley Cooper’s first directing gig is a big one. He’ll be helming – and starring – in Warner Bros. remake of A Star is Born. In addition to that, Lady Gaga will be co-starring in the film with him.
The film was slated to open September 28, 2018, but the studio has new plans. They’ve moved it up to release May 18, 2018 instead. Turns out it will be summer movie counter programming, and that weekend only has Sony’s Slenderman, and a new film from Laika (which is a different target audience anyway), so it seems it won’t have much competition.
In the film, Cooper plays Jackson Maine, a country music star who is on the brink of decline when he discovers a talented unknown named Ally (Gaga aka Stefani Germanotta). As the two begin a passionate love affair, Jack coaxes Ally into the spotlight, catapulting her to stardom. But as Ally’s career quickly eclipses his own, Jack finds it increasingly hard to handle his fading glory.
A Star is Born also costars Andrew Dice Clay and Sam Elliot. should be interesting to see if people will want to see this during summer movie season.
In this week’s “FLASH!” story, there’s been a Flash Gordon remake brewing for a while now since it was announced some years ago. Writer/director Matthew Vaughn would have got things going sooner, but James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy interfered with what Vaughn wanted to do with it.
When asked if the project is still happening, he answered:
“Yeah, we’ve been working on it. For me, the only problem with Flash Gordon is Guardians [of the Galaxy] kind of stole what I would have liked to have done with it. You’ve got Star Wars, you’ve got Guardians, so you’ve got to have your own space opera, but you have to find something that can survive among these two very, very great franchises.
The original Flash Gordon movie (with Sam Jones, Max Von Sydow, and Melody Anderson in 1980) and Guardians both have a goofy sense of humor along with the action set in outer space. So, naturally, Vaughn now faces the dilemma of having to deliver a Flash Gordon remake that doesn’t feel like a Guardians of the Galaxy ripoff and can stand out from the juggernaut that is the Star Wars franchise, all while still staying true to the source material.
Matthew Vaughn says he’ll only continue with the Flash Gordon project, which he’s been attached to since 2015, if he’s 100 % committed to bringing it to life. He continued:
“The way I choose films is when I know I have to make it. Simple as that. There will be a moment where I can’t think of anything else other than getting behind a camera and shooting a movie. It’s a very hard switch to click; once it’s on, nothing stops me.”
Of course, as of now he’s quite busy with The Kingsman: The Golden Circle opening today, and if it does well, it’s likely that he will make a Kingsman 3. And he’s about to get started on directing I Am Pilgrim. And on top of that, there’s been renewed speculation that he might also be the one who’s tapped to helm Man of Steel 2 for the DC Film Universe. So if a Flash Gordon remake is happening, Vaughn may not even be involved with directing it anyway.
In this week’s “At least they studio is supportive” story, whatever your feelings about mother! are, I, for one, am pleased to see that Paramount Studios are standing behind the film and supporting it fully.
Paramount’s worldwide president of marketing and distribution Megan Colligan released a statement addressing the critics and audiences who were disgusted that the studio would release such a gruesome movie. Colligan basically says that Aronofsky is an auteur, Jennifer Lawrence is a star, and not everything has to be palatable. Per IndieWire:
“This movie is very audacious and brave,” Colligan said in an official statement, defending the film against audience backlash and the muted box office. “You are talking about a director at the top of his game, and an actress at the top her game. They made a movie that was intended to be bold. Everyone wants original filmmaking, and everyone celebrates Netflix when they tell a story no one else wants to tell. This is our version. We don’t want all movies to be safe. And it’s okay if some people don’t like it.”
Good for them. At least some studio out there is supporting films that aren’t made by people like Michael Bay.
In this week’s “Out of bondage comes Wonder Woman.” story, it turns out the creator of Wonder Woman was a psychologist, the inventor of the lie detector, was in an open relationship with two women, and was a BDSM enthusiast. Huh. And in the new film, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, you’ll learn all about it. Well, except for pretty much all of what you just read.
Idealistic, progressive, and maybe a bit naive, Professor William Marston (Luke Evans) pushes his DISC theory — which purports that all human behavior is influenced by either dominance, inducement, submission or compliance — on his all-female student body at Radcliffe.
Essentially, ‘Professor Marston’ pursues the idea that the Wonder Woman comics — with their underlying themes of submission and domination — appealed to a public that was perhaps more saucy behind closed doors than the morally conservative cultural gatekeepers might think.
According to The Playlist, the film basically doesn’t go into much detail and puts a very PG spin on all of it. Seems like you’d want to show the drama and passion of that story, not gloss over it and water it down. Oh well.
In this week’s “The Ritual is Netflix buying films” story, at the Toronto Film Festival, a horror film The Ritual, premiered after being bought by Netflix for $4.75 million.
The Ritual was written by BAFTA-nominated screenwriter Joe Barton (Humans, iBoy), the film revolves around four old friends from university who set out to hike through the Scandinavian wilderness after the tragic death of their best friend. But a wrong turn leads them into the ancient forests of Norse legend, where something evil is stalking their every step. Barton adapted the script from Adam Nevill’s novel of the same name, which won the August Derleth Award for best horror novel in 2012.
Rafe Spall (The BFG), Robert James-Collier (Downton Abbey), Arsher Ali (Four Lions) and Sam Troughton (The Hollow Crown) star as the unfortunate quartet.
Directed by David Bruckner (Southbound, V/H/S), The Ritual has the whole Norse mythology going for it, but I don’t know much about Bruckner, so it could be a wash, but we’ll see.
In this week’s “Not dead yet!” story, DreamWork’s Animation has pulled The Crood’s 2 out of limbo and put it back on the release schedule.
The sequel to 2013’s The Croods had been taken off the release schedule and thought to be possibly scrapped. But it is now back on track for a Sept. 18, 2020 release.
The first installment of The Croods made $587 million worldwide pointing towards signs of an obvious sequel. Leslie Mann is set to join the returning cast that included Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, and Clark Duke.
Plot details are unknown at this time.
In this week’s “Are you in, or are you out?” story, actress Jada Pinkett Smith denies being a Scientologist.
Last week, Leah Remini said that Smith is a Scientologist: “I know Jada’s in. I know Jada’s in. She’s been in Scientology a long time,” Remini told the Daily Beast, adding that the Smiths partially funded the New Village Leadership Academy, a now-closed school in Calabasas, California, where many of the staff were Scientologists.
On Monday night, however, without addressing Remini’s accusation directly, Smith wrote a thread on Twitter running down her religious practices. She’s lit Shabbat candles, prayed in mosques, and read the Bhagavad Gita, but that doesn’t mean she practices any of those religions. And while she “appreciates the merits of Study Tech,” she isn’t a Scientologist.
She then tweeted: “I practice human kindness, and I believe that we each have the right to determine what we are and what we are not.”
So she says she’s not doing the OT Levels, but she’s doing the Nice Levels. Ok, whatever you say, person that spent a boatload of money to help start a school run by Scientologists.
In this week’s “If I can’t have it – nobody will!” story, a judge on Friday denied director Farhad Safinia’s request to seize and destroy a producer’s cut of The Professor and the Madman, the Mel Gibson film about the Oxford English Dictionary.
Safinia says he was thrown off the film after Voltage Pictures refused his request to shoot five additional days at Oxford University. He filed a lawsuit accusing Voltage of defamation and copyright infringement, and asked for a restraining order to block Voltage from shopping the film to distributors.
But in her ruling Friday, Judge Consuelo Marshall rejected the request, saying Safinia had not demonstrated a likelihood of prevailing on the merits of the dispute. Safinia claims that he owns the copyright to the September 2016 version of the screenplay, and that he never subsequently assigned the rights to Voltage.
Voltage counters that Safinia had already given up his copyright to earlier drafts of the film’s screenplay under a “work made for hire” agreement, and that the September 2016 draft was nothing more than a polish of the earlier script. Voltage also notes that Safinia did not own the rights to the book on which the screenplay was based, and therefore cannot claim an independent copyright.
Marshall also ruled that Safinia is unlikely to suffer irreparable harm if the restraining order is not granted.
Gibson filed suit against Voltage in July, alleging that the producer had violated its agreement by denying him final cut. Voltage argues that Gibson and Safinia walked away from the project after Voltage CEO Nicolas Chartier refused to shoot additional scenes at Oxford. Chartier says the film was already behind schedule and over budget, and the extra shooting days would have added $2.5 million to the cost of the $25 million film.
Well, that seems like a lot of drama I don’t need.
In this week’s “Less Lex?” story, the rumour going around about the Justice League film is that Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor has been cut form the film. Zoinks!
Despite previous confirmation from Warner Bros. that he’d have a supporting role in the superhero sequel, Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor has been cut from Justice League in the wake of all of the recent changes to the film.
How it started: In a Q&A piece at the website Batman-on-Film (via Batman-News), a fan asked one of the site’s reporters how big Eisenberg’s role as Lex Luthor will be in Justice League, and the reporter gave a surprising answer:
“He doesn’t have one. If he did prior to all the changes/reshoots, it was cut.”
Now, this is still purely rumour, so you never know. Warner Bros. is still listing him as part of the cast as of now. I personally wouldn’t mind if he weren’t in it, but who know. There’s been an awful lot of changes with the film so it remains to be seen whether he’s in it or not.
And in this week’s “A Tremors return” story, you remember those giant worms from the movie Tremors, right? Well, they’re back. Oh, I know, they were back already in umpteen sequels, but this time it’s a SyFy Channel pilot.
Megan Ketch — who fronted CBS’ American Gothic and recurred on Jane the Virgin as Susanna Barnett — will star opposite Kevin Bacon in Syfy’s sequel pilot.
Emily Tremaine (Guilt, Vinyl) and Shiloh Fernandez (Gypsy) have also been cast in the project, which takes place 25 years after the 1990 cult hit about an invasion of killer worms (aka “Graboids”) that wreak havoc on an unsuspecting Nevada desert town. The worms are back, and it’s up to an aged, alcoholic Valentine McKee (Bacon) to once again save humanity.
Ketch will play Mindy Sterngood, a charismatic young doctor who was saved from a Graboid by Val at age nine and now has an eyebrow-raising fixation on him.
Tremaine will co-star as Val’s whip-smart daughter Emily McKee, while Fernandez will portray Nico Garza, an employee at Earl’s Graboid Waste Gobbling company.
Well, that all sounds well and good, but will it have the same goofy sense of fun? I hope so.
And that’s a wrap for this week!