It’s another spooky news-filled week! We’re a day early this week because I’m going to the LA Comicon tomorrow!
IN THIS WEEK’S “More pushing back…” story, Warner Bros. has moved Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman 1984 back seven months from Nov. 1, 2019, to June 5, 2020.
The sequel, which is set in 1984, replaces Mark Wahlberg’s Six Billion Dollar Man, which has been taken off the schedule.
Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’ president of domestic distribution, said, “We had tremendous success releasing the first ‘Wonder Woman’ film during the summer so when we saw an opportunity to take advantage of the changing competitive landscape, we did. This move lands the film exactly where it belongs.”
Wonder Woman 1984 is the eighth installment in the DC Universe, and the fourth movie featuring Gadot’s Wonder Woman. The first pic earned $821.8 million worldwide, including $412.6 million in North America. The movie is the highest-grossing film with a female director, as well as the 22nd-highest-grossing movie of all time in North America.
Patty Jenkins is returning to direct. The film was originally dated on Dec. 13, 2019, but was moved forward to Nov. 1 to avoid being just a single week ahead of Disney-Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: Episode IX, which opens on Dec. 20, 2019. Chris Pine is also back and Kristen Wiig joins as the villainous Cheetah.
Warner Bros. bought the rights to Six Billion Dollar Man late last year from the Weinstein Company, which had been developing the movie with Damian Szifron — best known for directing the Argentinian drama Wild Tales. The studio had already pushed back the release date for the sci-fi action film by a year, moving the opening from May 31, 2019, to June 5, 2020, in the wake of Szifron departing as director.
There’s a lot of films getting pushed over there at Watner/DC.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Pinnochio and del Toro” story, Fresh off his Oscar win for The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro is set to make his animated feature film directing debut. Del Toro has received the green light from Netflix to film Pinocchio, a stop motion musical version of the classic children’s tale about a puppet who wants to be a real live boy. He will write and produce the film in addition to directing it.
The film will be set in Italy during the 1930s, a particularly fraught historical moment and a time when fascism was on the rise and Benito Mussolini was consolidating control of the country. Production on Pinocchio will begin this fall. Del Toro previously set The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth against a totalitarian backdrop, although he placed those stories in Franco’s Spain.
“No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio,” said del Toro in a statement. “In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend. He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world. I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember.”
Del Toro will collaborate on Pinocchio with the Jim Henson Company, the company behind The Dark Crystal and ShadowMachine, the creator of Bojack Horseman. Lisa Henson, ShadowMachine’s Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Gary Ungar of Exile Entertainment will produce the film. Blanca Lista will co-produce it.
Patrick McHale (Over The Garden Wall) will co-write the script, and Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox) will co-direct the movie. Guy Davis will serve as co-production designer and the film’s puppets will be built by Mackinnon and Saunders, the team behind Corpse Bride.
Well, with Guillermo del Toro behind the camera, it’s bound to be worth seeing.
IN THIS WEEK’S “An inexplicable reboot” story, Following Halloween’s massive success at the box-office this weekend, another slasher franchise is looking at a rebirth as Roy Lee’s Vertigo Entertainment and LeBron James’ SpringHill Entertainment are in talks to acquire the rights to a new Friday the 13th movie.
Insiders say Victor Miller, who penned the original, regained the rights, though it took both production banners to bring back the classic horror series. Given Vertigo and SpringHill’s first look deals, Warner Bros. is expected to land the film. The studio distributed the most recent Friday the 13th installment in 2009.
The project is still in early development – no writer or director is attached. It’s expected to feature the goalie-mask wearing mass murderer Jason Voorhees, who has been the center of the hit franchise since the 1980 original.
The Friday the 13th news comes on the heals of Universal and Blumhouse’s revival of Halloween, which crushed previous box office records this past weekend, grossing $77.8 million domestically.
Oh, whatever. It’s inevitable anyway.
IN THIS WEEK’S “He SEEMS sane…” story, Johnny Depp is set to play celebrated war photographer W. Eugene Smith in upcoming drama Minamata.
Based on the book by Smith and his wife, Aileen Mioko Smith, and adapted for screen by David K. Kessler, the film is being directed by Andrew Levitas, and is being billed as a “real life David versus Goliath story,” pitting Smith against a powerful corporation responsible for poisoning the people of Minamata, a Japanese fishing village, in 1971.
With the glory days of World War II far behind him, Smith has become a recluse, disconnected from society and his career. But an old friend and a commission from “Life Magazine” editor Ralph Graves convince Smith to journey back to Japan to expose a big story: the devastating annihilation of a coastal community, victims of corporate greed and complicit local police and government.
The victims’ case against the corporation responsible for this environmental disaster represents one of the biggest payouts of all time, with present-day sufferers of Minamata disease still in court today seeking compensation. Production has spent time in Minamata meeting some of the victims and their families and the film will be made with their support.
“Working with Johnny to give voice to those who have been silently suffering is a responsibility we do not take lightly” said Levitas. “Much like Eugene Smith in 1971, we could not feel more privileged or humbled to be tasked with the mission of bringing this incredible story to the world.”
This makes me think Johnny Depp has still got it together. How is his personal life so bonkers in comparison? Oh, actors, they’re so eccentric.
IN THIS WEEK’S “A Beatle instead of Bond” story, Jean-Marc Vallee is set to direct a film about John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Universal Pictures is in negotiations to option Anthony McCarten’s script with Michael De Luca Productions and Immersive Pictures producing. News first emerged in February that De Luca was collaborating with Yoko Ono for an untitled drama about Ono and her relationship with Lennon.
Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club, Big Little Lies) is attached to direct and edit. He will also rewrite the screenplay alongside McCarten. Ono will produce with De Luca, Immersive Pictures’ Josh Bratman, and McCarten. Vallee and his producing partner Nathan Ross will also produce through their production company, Crazyrose. Bruce Kaufman of Wood Hollow Pictures will executive produce.
Ono and Lennon met in 1966 at a London art gallery, where Ono was showing abstract art while the Beatles were four years into superstardom. Lennon asked Ono about her “Painting to Hammer a Nail In” piece, and if he could hammer a nail into the painting. She asked him to pay five shillings per nail, but the two then agreed that Lennon would pay imaginary money to hammer an imaginary nail.
Lennon and Ono wed in 1969 in Gibraltar, with the experience immortalized in the song “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” which was the Beatles’ final number one U.K. hit. The Beatles broke up in 1970 as each embarked on a solo career.
RELATED: After helming the Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club, the director went on to direct Reese Witherspoon’s Wild, as well as the two recent HBO series Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects. This put him atop the shortlist for the new ‘Bond 25,’ after Danny Boyle’s departure, but according to a new report, Vallée took himself out of the running to tell a love story about John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
According to Deadline, Vallée is set to direct a new biopic about the legendary Beatles frontman and his wife for Universal. The film is still in the early stages of development, so the exact details are still unknown. However, we do know that writer Anthony McCarten is on board to pen the script. For those not aware, McCarten is best known for his other biopics that include The Theory of Everything, Darkest Hour, and the upcoming Bohemian Rhapsody. So yeah, he seems like a smart choice to join Vallée.
Depending on how accurate this biopic is, I’d be interested in seeing it.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Tone deaf” story, SyFy (I still hate that spelling) is known for making some seriously cheesy, dumb movie franchises, like Sharknado and any other number of ridiculous monster movies, to varying degrees of success.
But now a new report indicates that SyFy is currently in talks to land the rights to the gloriously goofy yet twisted 1980s cult favorites Critters and Killer Klowns from Outer Space with the intention of making new movies based on the properties. The question is, just what kind of movies can we expect?
Bloody Disgusting learned of SyFy’s efforts to pick up Critters and Killer Klowns from Outer Space, the horror films created by the Chido Brothers in 1986 and 1988 respectively. Both films are known for their impressive practical creature effects, unique premises, and definitive 1980s style.
SyFy goes from one end of the spectrum to the other when it comes to quality genre programming. They could either make reboots Critters and Killer Klowns from Outer Space genuine efforts to recapture the fun and warped sensibilities of the original movie, or they could go the Sharknado route and make intentionally terrible movies that completely miss the mark.
Obviously, we’d all prefer the former, but you never know what absurd decisions are going to get made over there at SyFy. These two properties won’t be the first familiar franchise that SyFy takes a fresh crack at. They’ve got Leprechaun Returns coming in March of 2019, so who knows.
All we can do is hope.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Why can’t they make the live-action stuff this good?” story, if you’re recovering from The Death of Superman, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s previously animated adaptation of the classic DC Comics storyline, then look out, because things are about to get a lot more intense. The world must cope with the loss of Superman – and the sudden emergence of four would-be heirs to the title – in the all-new, action-packed Reign of the Supermen, part of the popular series of DC Universe Movies. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the feature-length animated film arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting January 15, 2019, and on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on January 29, 2019. And you can get your first look at the follow-up film today thanks to the newly released trailer.
The Reign of the Supermen all-star cast is led by Jerry O’Connell (Carter, Bravo’s Play by Play, Stand by Me), Rebecca Romijn (X-Men, The Librarians) and Rainn Wilson (The Office, The Meg) as the voices of Superman, Lois Lane and Lex Luthor, respectively. The potent trio is joined by the DC Universe Movies’ returning voices of the Justice League: Jason O’Mara (The Man in the High Castle, Terra Nova) as Batman, Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Rent, Daredevil) as Wonder Woman, Shemar Moore (S.W.A.T., Criminal Minds) as Cyborg, Nathan Fillion (Castle, The Rookie) as Green Lantern/Hal Jordan, Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs, Insatiable, Ugly Betty) as The Flash, and Nyambi Nyambi (Mike & Molly, The Good Fight) as Martian Manhunter.
Newly featured cast members include Cress Williams (Black Lightning) as Steel, Cameron Monaghan (Gotham) as Superboy, Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul) as Hank Henshaw, and Tony Todd (Candyman) as Darkseid. In addition, the cast includes Charles Halford (Constantine) as Bibbo Bibbowski and The Eradicator, Rocky Carroll (NCIS) as Perry White, Toks Olagundoye (Castle) as Cat Grant, Max Mittleman (Justice League Action) as Jimmy Olsen, Paul Eiding (Ben 10: Omniverse) as Jonathan Kent, Jennifer Hale (Green Lantern: The Animated Series) as Martha Kent, Trevor Devall (Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay) as Dabney Donovan and Erica Luttrell (Salvation) as Mercy.
Reign of the Supermen will be available on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack as well as on Digital.
Reign of the Supermen finds Earth’s citizens – and the Man of Steel’s heroic contemporaries – dealing with a world without Superman. But the aftermath of Superman’s death, and the subsequent disappearance of his body, leads to a new mystery – is Superman still alive? The question is further complicated when four new super-powered individuals – Steel, Cyborg Superman, Superboy and the Eradicator – emerge to proclaim themselves as the ultimate hero. In the end, only one will be able to proclaim himself the world’s true Superman.
Reign of the Supermen is the second half of a two-part DC Universe Movies experience that began in August 2018 with The Death of Superman – the two films telling a more faithful animated version of The Death of Superman, DC’s landmark 1992-93 comic phenomenon.
Producer Sam Liu (Gotham by Gaslight, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract) also directs Reign of the Supermen from a script by Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) and Tim Sheridan (Scooby-Doo and the Gourmet Ghost).
IN THIS WEEK’S “This can’t be right…” story, Disney is exploring a sixth iteration of its Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and has met with the Deadpool writing team of Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick about the pic, a source tells Variety.
Disney has no comment and no deal is in place yet. The five previous Pirates movies hauled $1.5 billion domestically and $3.07 billion internationally, with the North American market representing a progressively smaller share. The domestic total for 2017’s Dead Men Tell No Tales hit $172 million, while foreign markets delivered $622 million.
All five films have grossed more than $650 million worldwide, with Dead Man’s Chest and On Stranger Tides both topping the $1 billion mark.
Dead Men Tell No Tales centered on Johnny Depp’s swashbuckling Jack Sparrow battling deadly ghost sailors, led by the Javier Bardem’s Captain Salazar. Kaya Scodelario and Brenton Thwaites joined the cast, with Orlando Bloom returning as Will Turner and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa. Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, who teamed on Kon-Tiki, directed the movie, with Jerry Bruckheimer producing.
And it was tedious to watch. Thinking about Disney continuing this franchise in any context give me a headache.
Reese and Wernick wrote both Deadpool movies, with Ryan Reynolds joining them on the Deadpool 2 script. They also penned Life, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and both Zombieland pics. They are repped by WME.
The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Eye for an eye – or two. ” story, David Tennant is joining Emily Watson in the psychological thriller Quicksand.
The film, due to shoot in April on the Greek island of Crete, re-teams the British actors, who starred as a couple in 2013’s The Politician’s Husband, a three-episode British miniseries.
“Quicksand” follows a British couple living out their dream in the Mediterranean. But their paradise comes to an abrupt end when their visiting son is tragically murdered by a local youth. The husband is offered a chance at revenge by a dangerous stranger who won’t take no for an answer, but the price of revenge is one more murder.
TV director Mark Brozel is making his feature film debut from a script by Steve Lewis & Tony Owen.
The project will be presented to buyers at the American Film Market, which opens on Oct. 31 in Santa Monica, Calif.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Revolving Tollbooth” story, Game of Thrones director Matt Shakman was set to make his feature debut with The Phantom Tollbooth movie adaptation, but now animation filmmaker Carlos Saldanha will take his place. Saldanha directed Rio, Ferdinand and one of the Ice Age films, and will make his live-action feature debut with the film adaptation of Norton Juster’s classic children’s book about a boy who travels to a magical land.
THR has confirmed that Carlos Saldanha will now direct the Phantom Tollbooth movie. Shakman has moved on due to scheduling issues. Ted Melfi, who wrote Hidden Figures, is handling the script, which is based on the Norton Juster novel about a boy traveling to a fantastical world. The story follows “Milo, an apathetic child who is bored by everything. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through it and discovers the magical Lands Beyond — which is full of intriguing places and dynamic characters, like kidnapped princesses and Rhyme and Reason, and Tock, an oversized watchdog with a clock in his side — and learns that life is much more exciting than he had thought it to be.” Phantom Tollbooth is a well-loved children’s classic, and has sold almost four million copies since its initial publication in 1961.
I’m sorry, but is it me, or does that premise just sound like rich, white person problems. Sorry – I never read the book as a kid, so it sounds like an out-dated idea. “Boo hoo, I’m a spoiled white kid bored with the world around me. I sure hope a magical doorway into a fantastical other world will appear to make life awesome again.”
How about you try reading some books, or go outside and see some nature, or visit a museum or something, you little spoiled brat. And get off my lawn!
Ok, sorry. I know, I should do some more research before ranting. Telling the right message will make this well worth seeing. I really should read the book.
A new film version of the book was previously announced in 2010 by Warner Bros., with Ocean’s 8 director Gary Ross at the helm. Eventually, the project moved to TriStar Pictures, where it now remains. Like the 1970 film, this new Phantom Tollbooth is said to blend live action and animation. Since Saldanha’s background is primarily in animation, this makes sense. But he’ll be making his live-action directorial debut as well with the non-animated sequences.
IN THIS WEEK’S “About Bill Hicks…” story, as a fan of comedy, you may know the name “Bill Hicks”. The controversial comedian was at the forefront of stand-up comedy in the early ‘90s and became one of the best-ever before his untimely death in 1994 due to cancer. And considering Hicks’ Texas upbringing, there’s probably nobody alive better suited to adapt his life for the big screen than Oscar-nominated director Richard Linklater.
Collider has reported that Linklater has signed on to write and direct a Bill Hicks biopic for Focus Features. The film, which would tell the entire Hicks story, from his rise through the stand-up ranks thanks to his political, angry brand of comedy to his untimely death at the age of 32. Hicks has already been the subject of a film, back in 2009, when the documentary American: The Bill Hicks Story was released.
The report states that it’s unclear whether the Bill Hicks biopic is the next project for Linklater. The filmmaker had been developing a project about the 1969 space race, but according to the report, that film has fallen through. As for right now, Linklater is putting the finishing touches on his upcoming film, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” which stars Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, and Laurence Fishburne.
There’s no word on any production start date for the Bill Hicks film, as it’s still early in development. With Linklater directing, this will be worth it.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Scorcese and DiCaprio, together again.” story, Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese are teaming up again, to star in and direct respectively, for Imperative Entertainment’s Killers of the Flower Moon, which is based on the New York Times best-selling book by David Grann, individuals with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
Eric Roth wrote the screenplay. Imperative Entertainment acquired the film rights to the book in 2016. Scorsese will produce alongside Imperative Entertainment’s Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas, Sikelia Productions’ Emma Tillinger Koskoff, and Appian Way Productions.
Set in 1920s Oklahoma, the Osage Nation discover oil under their land only to find themselves being murdered one by one. As the death toll rises, the newly created FBI takes up the case and unravels a chilling conspiracy and one of the most monstrous crimes in American history.
“When I read David Grann’s book, I immediately started seeing it–the people, the settings, the action–and I knew that I had to make it into a movie,” said Scorsese in a statement. “I’m so excited to be working with Eric Roth and reuniting with Leo DiCaprio to bring this truly unsettling American story to the screen.”
Sounds like another good one from Scorcese.
IN THIS WEEK’S “What’s with Jamie Lee Curtis and knives?” story, Jamie Lee Curtis has joined the A-list ensemble of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out.
The new role comes on the heels of Curtis’ success at the box office, with Halloween slashing records last weekend,
The movie stars Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Lakeith Stanfield, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, and Ana de Armas. Johnson will write and direct, as well as produce with Ram Bergman. Production is set to begin in November.
The pic from MRC is a modern-day murder mystery in the classic whodunit style, infused with Johnson’s original voice that informed films from Brick to Looper. Craig will star as a detective assigned to solve the crime.
Details about Curtis’ character remain unknown.
IN THIS WEEK’S “One of the many” story, there are numerous Star Trek shows in development now. One of them is a 30 minute animated show. CBS All Access has given out an order for two seasons of a half-hour animated comedy series called Star Trek: Lower Decks, Variety has learned. Developed by Rick and Morty writer Mike McMahan, the series will focus on the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships.
This will mark the first animated series on CBS All Access. It will be produced by CBS Eye Animation Productions, CBS Television Studios’ new animation arm, along with Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment. Kurtzman and Heather Kadin will executive produce along with Roddenberry Entertainment’s Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth and veteran animation executive Katie Krentz. McMahan will also executive produce in addition to writing. Aaron Baiers, who brought McMahan to the project, will serve as a co-executive producer.
“Mike won our hearts with his first sentence: ‘I want to do a show about the people who put the yellow cartridge in the food replicator so a banana can come out the other end,’” Kurtzman said. “His cat’s name is Riker. His son’s name is Sagan. The man is committed. He’s brilliantly funny and knows every inch of every ‘Trek’ episode, and that’s his secret sauce: he writes with the pure, joyful heart of a true fan. As we broaden the world of ‘Trek’ to fans of all ages, we’re so excited to include Mike’s extraordinary voice.”
“As a life-long Trekkie, it’s a surreal and wonderful dream come true to be a part of this new era of ‘Star Trek,’” said McMahan. “While Star Trek: Lower Decks is a half-hour, animated show at its core, it’s undeniably ‘Trek’ – and I promise not to add an episode at the very end that reveals the whole thing took place in a training program.”
Well, thanks. That’s thoughtful of you.
Ok, then. I’m interested to see how this goes.
Thanks for stopping by this week! I’ll let you know how the LA Comicon goes! Cheers!.