Once again, we learn about stuff happening in the filmz n’stuff!
IN THIS WEEK’S “On one condition…” story, Jeff Bridges is open to a Big Lebowski remake, but only under one condition — he has to be in it.
Variety caught up with the actor Saturday night at the premiere of his latest film, Bad Times at the El Royale, where Bridges reflected on the 20th anniversary of the cult hit. The Only the Brave star was amused at the thought of a Big Lebowski remake. Would he be interested?
“Yeah, if I was in it!” he said with a laugh.
Clearly he’s making light of the question, but clearly serious, too.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Just a little bit off the top” story, director David Mackenzie’s film, The Outlaw King starring Chris Pine, has gotten a bit of a trim.
According to Deadline, director David Mackenzie trimmed 20 minutes off his Netflix historical epic after audiences at the festival responded poorly to the film’s bloated runtime.
“I could feel what the audience was like in the theater. I’m sensitive to the way they felt,” Mackenzie said, noting that the decision to head back into the editing room “was entirely my decision.”
The film—which follows the Scottish King Robert (Pine), a man who rose from murderer to monarch, in the years he squared off against Edward I (Stephen Dillane)—arrived at TIFF with a 137-minute runtime. Reviews praised the Hell or High Water filmmaker for his attention to period detail and the overall scope, but most mentioned the film occasionally crawled to the much-lauded climactic battle scene.
“It’s fine that Outlaw King chooses to focus on a shorter span of time and the beginning of Robert the Bruce’s reign and rebellion, but the script fails to fill that time with anything remotely interesting,” Matt Goldberg wrote in his review. “All we ever really get to know about Robert in a movie that’s over two hours long is that he’s a good guy.”
So this film sort of a tells of events that took place after stuff in Braveheart. I dig.
Outlaw King is set to hit Netflix and limited theaters on November 9.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Kingsman the 3rd” story, Fox is still going to pump out a third Kingsman movie. Filmmaker Matthew Vaughn threatened the possibility of a threequel a while ago (combined with a potential TV series and prequel film), but now it appears that Kingsman 3 is officially official.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Kingsman 3 will hit theaters in November 2019. And as expected Vaughn will return to write and helm the film, as he did for the first two films in the franchise. For those that don’t know what the raunchy spy franchise is, then long story short, it’s “Dirty James Bond.”
The first film, Kingsman: The Secret Service was a surprise hit in 2014, launching the career of Taron Egerton and proving the Colin Firth can do action. The sequel, last year’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle, was less successful, both critically and commercially. However, it appears that Fox is ready to pull the trigger with haste for the third film.
No word on a title yet, or a plot. However, Vaughn had previously told Empire that the film would be the “conclusion of the Harry Hart-Eggsy relationship.”
Well. people were pretty polarized on these films, but either way, a third seems unnessessary. But Hollywood doesn’t care what you think.
This third Kingsman film is now taking the release slot that Bond 25 was going to take, November 8, 2019.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Birds of Prey gets a date” story, The Birds of Prey movie, which will star Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and feature a team of other DC female characters, has locked down a release date. Warner Bros. will debut the film in theaters February 2020, with Cathy Yan set to direct. More on the Birds of Prey movie release date below.
The Wrap has confirmed that Birds of Prey will open February 7, 2020. This date was originally listed for an “Untitled Warner Bros. event film”, and now we know what it is. As of now, that puts Birds of Prey up against Peter Rabbit 2, with Bond 25 likely arriving the following week. Adjust your calendars accordingly.
The film – which is curiously “untitled” as of now, but will likely be called Birds of Prey – “follows the adventures of a revolving group of female heroes and villains and is based on the DC Comics characters and concepts created by Jordan B. Gorfinkel and Chuck Dixon.” Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is set to return in the lead, and several actresses have been reading for other parts.
As previously reported, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Black Mirror), Jurnee Smolett-Bell (Underground), and Janelle Monae (Moonlight) have all been considered for Black Canary, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane), Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers) and Cristin Milioti (Black Mirror) tested for Huntress, and Justina Machado (One Day at a Time) and Roberta Colindrez (Love Dick) have read for the part of Renee Montoya. The film is also looking to cast an Asian actress as Cassandra Cain, who has been reimagined as a 12-year-old girl for the film. Black Mask will be the film’s main villain.
Cathy Yan will helm the film, with a script from Christina Hodson, who is also writing the Batgirl movie (Batgirl will apparently not appear in the Birds of Prey film, even though she’s a fixture of the Birds of Prey comic).
Birds of Prey is just one of several DC films Warner Bros. has cooking, along with Suicide Squad 2, New Gods, Black Adam, and of course, the standalone Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix. Before this year is out, we’ll have Aquaman hitting theaters, with Shazam! arriving in 2019.
UPDATE: Exclusive: Warner Bros. has made their decision on the roles of Huntress and Black Canary in their next anticipated DC movie Birds of Prey movie, coming out on Feb. 7, 2020: Fargo and 10 Cloverfield Lane actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead has won the role of Huntress while Underground actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell will play Black Canary. They join Margot Robbie who reprises her Suicide Squad role of Harley Quinn in a Gotham that isn’t protected by Batman.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Say WHAT?” story, Mel Gibson has been set by Warner Bros to direct The Wild Bunch, a new version of the 1969 Sam Peckinpah-directed classic Western. Gibson is writing the script with Bryan Bagby. Gibson will be executive producer.
In The Wild Bunch, an aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the traditional American West is disappearing around them and the industrial age is taking over. They are pursued by a posse led by a former partner they double crossed. Peckinpah wrote the script with Walon Green. The original starred Wiliam Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O’Brien, Warren Oates, Jaime Sanchez and Ben Johnson.
The film was originally considered exceptionally violent, but it later came to be considered a stylistic masterpiece.
Gibson will continue to prep Destroyer, the WWII drama he will direct that will star his Daddy’s Home 2 co-star Mark Wahlberg, with a script that Rosalind Ross adapted from the John Vukovitz novel. That film is finalizing its financing, but Gibson has scouted locations in Australia, where the film is expected to begin shooting by next spring.
Gibson next stars alongside Colin Farrell in the Tommy Wirkola-directed War Pigs for Millennium. He’s repped by CAA. Bagby is CAA and Anonymous Content.
Oh, look Mel Gibson is forgiven by Hollywood. Of course. And to make matters worse, it’s to do yet another unneeded remake.
IN THIS WEEK’S “They damn well better” story, Sean Gunn is the brother of Guardians of the Galaxy director, James Gunn, who was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Awkward.
But James Gunn also wrote the screenplay for GotG3 but Sean Gunn’s relationship with Disney is intact. In fact, he is going to be a major part of ‘Avengers 4’ and imagines he’ll eventually get to make ‘Guardians 3,’ at some point.
In a new interview with Tulsa World, Gunn talks about his upcoming Marvel projects, and sheds some light on what’s going on with the now-delayed ‘Guardians 3.’
“I know all of them. I know all the secrets,” says the actor about the future of the MCU.
He continues, “I can tell you this. I can tell you that the movie is going to be really excellent. We shot them originally pretty much back-to-back with a short break … and I like (Avengers 4) even more than Infinity War, at least from the script and from shooting it, and I was really happy with ‘Infinity War.’ So I’m very hopeful that it’s going to be a great movie.”
“I think I can say this: I don’t think Kraglin’s story is finished yet. I think the fans will, at least, get to know what happens with Kraglin, even though I can’t share that right now,” Gunn reveals.
Where and when fans will learn Kraglin’s fate is left up in the air, as Guardians 3 seems to be stalled for now, in wake of James Gunn’s departure. The other Gunn knows that fans are worried about the status of the franchise, particularly if Disney doesn’t use the already-finished script from the director.
Sean Gunn attempts to explain, “I don’t really know yet what’s going on with Guardians 3. I know that Disney still wants to make the movie. I know that they have every intention of using the script that my brother wrote.
Obviously, that was a very unfortunate situation for everybody, most of all him, but I am also somebody who had been preparing to spend half a year making that movie and now that’s up in the air.”
“I had not been contacted at all for a while, but I was recently contacted by Marvel saying, ‘Yeah, we do plan to make this movie. We’re just not sure when yet,’” he continues.
Oh my, what an unfortunate situation. At least they say they’ll use James Gunn’s script. For now.
IN THIS WEEK’S ” What Tom Hardy thinks” story, since we’ve heard that Sony is planning on releasing the Venom film with a PG-13 rating, you gotta wonder what Tom Hardy felt about hits.
When asked by MTV about what question he gets asked more than anything about the film, Hardy opens up and says it’s about the movie’s rating. He explains:
“Is it going to be R-Rated? That’s the big question and the answers been answered, isn’t it? (It’s a 15 in the UK) and it’s a PG-13 in the states, but to be fair the thing can fulcrum into R-Rated and fulcrum into youth or children,” Hardy said. “My littlest ones, they watch Spider-Man and Venom quite comfortably and Venom toys appear and LEGO appear. So it’s not like they’re scared by him, and at the same time there’s a lot in the real estate that you can actually imbue with a complete sense of gratuitous ultra-violence if you really wanted to, and I think you’ve got the right people for that job if you want to push it, ‘cause that’s where I’d love to go with it.”
It’s clear that Hardy probably joined the project anticipating an R-rating. This is obvious considering the fact that everyone had been saying an R was virtually guaranteed, with director Ruben Fleischer saying so much. But yet, Sony gave the film a PG-13 in the US. The studio’s reason was clear — the potential money from an Avengers/MCU crossover.
Sony is dumb. Just make it ‘R’.
IN THIS WEEK’S “A new Train To Busan” story, James Wan and The Nun writer Gary Dauberman are on board to bring the hit South Korean zombie action thriller Train to the Busan to the United States. Wan is set to produce the Train to Busan remake, while Dauberman is set to pen the American version of the flick which has garnered a cult following since its release in 2016.
Deadline reports that several studios are engaged in a bloody bidding war over the rights to the project, with New Line, Universal, Paramount, Lionsgate and Screen Gems going to bat over the Train to Busan remake. With Wan and Dauberman on board the project is a hot package that will sell for a “seven-figure sum,” according to Deadline.
Director San-ho Yeon’s phenomenal 2016 film manages to produce one of the best zombie movies in the past decade out of a bare bones premise. It follows a group of passengers on a train en route to Busan from the capital of Seoul, when a zombie virus suddenly breaks out in South Korea. It’s a taut, claustrophobic zombie flick that plays out exactly like it sounds like it would, but soars thanks to the story’s touching emotional center.
Well, the odds are any kind of American remake of this film will be a LOT less stylistically interesting, but, hey, you never know.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Talk about timely…” story, Amazon Studios has acquired the rights to “The Female Persuasion,” an acclaimed best-seller by Meg Wolitzer.
The movie will be produced by Lynda Obst (Contact), Oscar winner Nicole Kidman, and Per Saari (Big Little Lies). Blossom Films, Kidman’s production company, recently signed a first-look deal with Amazon — this film will be a part of that pact.
The Female Persuasion centers on Greer Kadetsky, a college student who is groped at a fraternity party and becomes emboldened to speak up for women’s rights. But her assailant turns out to be a serial abuser and her university fails to take action. In addition to Greer, Wolitzer’s book follows several other characters, including Zee, a fellow student with an activist streak, and Faith Frank, a feminist icon. Reviews for the book were sterling, with The Guardian praising it as “warm and witty, and necessary.”
The book is being adapted and executive produced by This Is Us showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger. Newly minted Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke worked with Aptaker and Berger when she was entertainment president at NBC — the network that airs the hit drama. In addition to producing the film, Kidman has the option to act in the picture.
IN THIS WEEK’S “At a later date” story, it seems the the upcoming reboot of Hellboy is getting a release date push.
Hellboy has been pushed back from the January 11, 2019 release date to April 12, 2019.
But what does this mean for the upcoming Hellboy reboot? Is it in trouble? Is there behind-the-scenes drama that’s preventing it from being released?
Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any answers, but the delay could be seen as potentially positive news. January has typically been seen as a time when studios schedule films they don’t have much faith in. Obviously, in recent years, the months of January and February have been pretty profitable for some breakout hits. However, a move to April, putting it in direct competition with some big films, could be seen as Summit Entertainment being very proud of the film and wants to take advantage of the spring box office.
That means the David Harbour-starring Hellboy reboot will debut only one week after WB/DC’s Shazam! Not only that, the film will now compete directly with Robert Downey, Jr.’s The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle.
So, who knows why, but that makes next Spring a big season, indeed.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Wish it were for different reasons” story, Quentin Tarantino is setting Bruce Dern to play George Spahn in Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. That was the role that Dern’s longtime friend Burt Reynolds was going to play but was unable to shoot before he died on September 6.
Dern, who played the most pissed-off man in the world as former Confederate general Sanford Smithers in Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, will join a stellar cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, James Mardsen, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis, Lena Dunham, Emile Hirsch, Luke Perry, Scoot McNairy and James Remar. The film is a Pulp Fiction-esque tapestry of stories in an around Los Angeles in the summer of 1969, when Charles Manson and his followers massacred Sharon Tate and others. The film will be released July 26 by Sony Pictures.
Holy Hell, look at that cast. It’ll be worth seeing just to see these people work.
IN THIS WEEK’S “What a guy” story, Ryan Reynolds and Shawn Levy are teaming up for Free Guy, a sci-fi action comedy set up at 20th Century Fox.
Reynolds is attached to star in the project which Levy, the director known for Fox’s Night at the Museum movies (among other titles) and exec producer of Stranger Things, will helm.
Written by Matt Lieberman, the story centers on a background character who realizes he’s living in a video game. With the help of an avatar, he tries to prevent the makers of the game from shutting down his world.
The studio picked up the project as a spec script in 2016.
Reynolds and Levy would also produce, joining Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter as well as Adam Kolbrenner. Reynolds will produce via his Maximum Effort label while Levy will produce via 21 Laps.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Moving Day at Fox” story, things are getting moved around, for better or worse.
Fox has moved their Alita: Battle Angel movie. Directed by Robert Rodriguez and produced by Avatar filmmaker James Cameron (who famously stumbled on the Avatar technology so that he could make an Alita film), Alita was originally scheduled for the extremely crowded December 21, 2018 weekend which currently contains Paramount‘s Bumblebee, Warner Bros.’ Aquaman, Sony‘s “Holmes & Watson,” Universal‘s “Welcome to Marwen” and just two days before that, Disney‘s Mary Poppins Returns.
Dark Phoenix was originally slated for November of this year. However, it was then pushed back to February 2019. Fox even released a new trailer and poster yesterday touting the release date. But now it looks like they’ll need to update they’re marketing materials as the superhero saga has been pushed back again, this time to the summer movie season. The new X-Men movie will drop on June 7, 2019. Hey, that’s my birthday, if anyone cares.
They’ve moved Alita off Dec 21 and instead, moved the film to Feb. 14, 2019; the date “Dark Phoenix” had as of a few hours ago. But the surprise movie is adding an “Untitled Deadpool” movie in its place on December 21.
Ok, not REALLY a new Deadpool movie. It’s going to be a PG-13 version of Deapool 2. Ugh.
This is all pretty annoying as far as I’m concerned.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Gal on the Nile” story, Gal Gadot has been set to star in Death on the Nile, the latest Agatha Christie adaptation set up at 20th Century Fox with Kenneth Branagh directing. The project came together last year as the studio was finding success with its Christie ensemble Murder on the Orient Express. The pic ended up grossing $352.8 million worldwide with Branagh at the helm and also playing master detective Hercule Poirot.
Fox already has set a December 20, 2019, release date for Death on the Nile, which Christie published in 1937. It centers on Poirot investigating a murder during a luxurious cruise on the Nile River that he just happens to be on. But just as he identifies a motley collection of would-be killers, several of the suspects also meet their demise, which only deepens the mystery. Michael Green, who also adapted Orient Express, is the screenwriter.
And IN THIS WEEK’S “Most unwexpected” story, Dame Judi Dench is defending her “good friend” Kevin Spacey and doesn’t agree with the fact that he was cut from All The Money in the World due to sexual misconduct allegations against him.
“I can’t approve, in any way, of the fact — whatever he has done — that you then start to cut him out of films,” Dench said at a film festival in Spain, according to the BBC. Christopher Plummer reshot the scenes in which Spacey formerly starred as John Paul Getty.
“Are we to go back throughout history now and anyone who has misbehaved in any way, or has broken the law, or has committed some kind of offense, are they always going to be cut out?” she asked. “Are we going to exclude them from our history? I don’t know about any of the conditions of it, but nevertheless I think he is, and was, a most wonderful actor … and a good friend.”
Ok, now I love Judi Dench, and she is a great actress, but this is a bummer coming from her.
Dench also recalled a time when Spacey was an “inestimable comfort” when she filmed 2001’s The Shipping News with the actor and her husband had died. “He cheered me up and kept and kept going.”
According to Variety, Dench also spoke about the Time’s Up and the #MeToo movement, calling it an “extraordinary moment of change.”
“And there are many more parts for women, which is very good indeed, and long may that go on,” she added.
People have to choose between their friends and their ethical compass. Which is more important to you? I know it’s complicated, but at the end of the day, you have to block the grey and see the black and white.
Well, this has been a tough week. I need a weekend.