It’s already post-Shriekfest week!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Batman queries” story, After months of speculation about who might be under the cowl for Matt Reeves’ upcoming superhero film The Batman, we now know it’s going to be Robert Pattinson. However, he’s the only actor officially attached to the project. Last week’s news that Jeffrey Wright is playing Commissioner Gordon and Jonah Hill is figuring out if he wants to play The Penguin or Riddler are still just reports and not confirmed. However, a new report says those casting announcements should be forthcoming, as well as a ton of other announcements, including more villains and a potential sidekick.
Forbes recently published a report detailing the current status of The Batman and its fluctuating cast. Apparently, Reeves is also on the hunt for someone to play the villains Catwoman and Two-Face, as well as the other role that Hill passes up. All this to say, the upcoming ‘Batman’ film is chock full of villains, and for good reason.
Apparently, the report says Reeves is planning out a story that is not only going to span the first film, but also a potential trilogy, with the option of even extending the franchise for more than three films. Warner Bros. is playing the long game here, and the studio wants to secure a ton of names for villain roles to help flesh out this new ‘Batman’ world. And that even includes the introduction of some new sidekick characters.
Perhaps most interesting of all is the news that the upcoming Batgirl film that WB is currently developing is expected to tie into this new version of ‘Batman.’ And if that’s the case, and WB does stick to the comics, we could see the seeds of that film sewn in Reeves’ project, as the character of Batgirl is canonically the daughter of Gordon. Could we see Barbara Gordon introduced in Reeves’ film?
Oh, this speculation is endless. Maybe maybe maybe. Lots of maybe’s.
The Batman is scheduled to arrive in theaters on June 25, 2021.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Some local news. “story, Great news for Los Angeles cinephiles! The iconic alternative video store Vidiots, which first opened in LA in 1985, is now reopening, with a new storefront in the Eagle Rock neighborhood set to be unveiled in fall 2020. (Deadline has the full scoop.) The new location is being billed as a community entertainment space, and will not only include a video store housing more than 50,000 titles in a variety of formats, but also a new theater as well. The screening room will be housed in the restored Eagle Theatre, which first opened as the Yosemite Theatre in 1929, and will present a lineup of repertory titles, new independent films, cult classics, and more.
Vidiots supporter and filmmaker Jason Reitman (next directing yet another Ghostbusters film) donated a 35mm projection system to the theater. “Los Angeles should have more movie theaters, not fewer, and Vidiots has come to give all us punch-drunk film lovers another place to call home where we can roam the racks,” said Reitman in a statement. “So grateful to be a small part of this evolving institution.”
The original Vidiots used to live in Santa Monica on Pico Blvd. and 3rd Street, but that location shuttered in 2017, and with a generous cash infusion from Megan Ellison began looking for a new home for its collection of Blu-Rays, DVDs, and VHS tapes. Back in July, Vidiots partnered with the Alamo Drafthouse on programming initiatives for the exhibition chain’s Video Vortex at its new downtown Los Angeles location. Currently, Video Vortex offers a free movie rentals inside the LA Drafthouse. The Vidiots partnership includes the series “Tales from the Video Store,” featuring guests, filmmakers, critics, and friends waxing nostalgic about the bygone days of brick-and-mortar video houses.
Vidiots has an array of upcoming programming partnerships with essential LA institutions, such as The Black List, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater (which recently moved to the Highland Park neighborhood of LA), and Cinema Eye Honors. Vidiots is also presenting 16mm films at the Bootleg Theater in Historic Filipinotown.
The many luminaries involved with the fundraising for and reopening of Vidiots include Mark Duplass, Karina Longworth, Rian Johnson, Phil Lord, Nate Moore, Jess Wu and Keith Calder, Mackenzie Davis, and Morgan Neville.
The new Vidiots is shooting for a Fall 2020 opening.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Getting the Halloween band back together” story, David Gordon Green must have something special up his sleeve for Halloween Kills, because he’s been busy getting the original Halloween gang back together. The latest OG cast member to join the decades-later sequel is Nancy Stephens, who you may remember as Nurse Marion.
Obviously, Jamie Lee Curtis is back as Laurie Strode, and we recently reported that Kyle Richards would return as Lindsey Wallace, one of Laurie’s young charges in the original movie. Elsewhere, Anthony Michael Hall and Robert Longstreet take over the roles of Tommy Doyle and Lonnie Elam from Brian Andrews and Brent Le Page, respectively.
In John Carpenter‘s 1978 classic, Marion Chambers (named after Marion Crane and Sheriff Chambers in Psycho) was a nurse at Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, where she worked alongside Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance). When Michael Myers escapes the night before Halloween, he does so by stealing her car. The character was brought back for the 1981 sequel and played a more significant role, in that it’s Marion who tells Dr. Loomis that Michael Myers and Laurie Strode are actually brother and sister. In subsequent sequels, Marion and Dr. Loomis become romantic partners, and she is eventually killed off in Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, becoming Myers’ 67th confirmed murder victim, per HalloweenMovies.com, which broke the news of Stephens’ return.
Blumhouse maestro Jason Blum is producing the Halloween sequels with Malek Akkad and Bill Block. Carpenter and Curtis will executive produce with Jeanette Volturno, Couper Samuelson, Ryan Freimann, Green and co-writer Danny McBride. Blumhouse’s Ryan Turek will oversee the sequels for the company, and Universal will release Halloween Kills on Oct. 16, 2020 — with Halloween Ends slated for Oct. 15, 2021.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Gemini Plan” story, While Paramount Pictures is due to release the action-thriller Gemini Man in theaters this weekend, some may or may not know that this is a project that’s been in development in Hollywood for decades, and our look at an alternate version of the movie has surfaced online. The concept for Gemini Man—an aging government assassin is hunted by a younger clone of himself—originated with Darren Lemke in 1997 and was sold to Walt Disney Pictures. The first director attached was Tony Scott, and while actors like Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, and Brad Pitt circled the film, the project was considered unfilmable because technology had not yet advanced to the point that the same actor could play both the older and younger versions of the lead character.
That didn’t stop the studio from trying, and indeed at one point The Grey and Smokin’ Aces filmmaker Joe Carnahan threw his hat into the ring with his top casting choice: Clint Eastwood. With Gemini Man finally hitting theaters with Will Smith in the lead role and Ang Lee in the director’s chair, Carnahan has re-shared the sizzle reel he put together to pitch Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer on his vision for the project. In keeping with Carnahan’s style, it very much feels like a gritty character-driven thriller, and he used footage from Eastwood’s films to have the actor play opposite himself for the purposes of this pitch.
It’s a fun look at what could have been (it’s quite a different approach than Lee’s) and also a peek behind the curtain at how directors land big projects. Indeed, sizzle reels like this are used frequently by directors to show a studio or producers a visual representation of the kind of movie they want to make.
Carnahan’s version of Gemini Man never got past some CG tests with actor Jon Voight. It is an interesting look into sizzles reels, though. Check it out here: http://collider.com/clint-eastwood-gemini-man-sizzle-reel-joe-carnahan/
IN THIS WEEK’S “More cast for the Nile” story, As production commences on Death on the Nile, based on Christie’s novel of the same name, the full cast has been announced, and it’s a doozy.
Branagh returns as both director and star, slipping back into the famed mustache that makes his hairy Belgian detective Hercule Poirot so hard to miss. He’ll be joined by a motley assortment of potential murderers, including Tom Bateman (who reprises the role of Bouc from Murder on the Orient Express), Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders, and Letitia Wright. For fans of both superhero films, awards-worthy dramas, and Absolutely Fabulous, this is a cast for everyone.
The screenplay for the film, adapted from Christie’s 1937 novel, is once again written by Michael Green. Per the film’s official synopsis, the film will follow “Hercule Poirot’s Egyptian adventure aboard a glamorous river steamer [as it] descends into a terrifying search for a murderer when an idyllic honeymoon is shattered by violent deaths. This sinister tale of obsessive love and its murderous consequences plays out in an epic landscape of danger and foreboding, with enough shocking twists and turns to leave audiences unsettled and guessing until the final, shocking denouement.”
The film will shoot at Longcross Studios outside London and on location in Egypt.
Twentieth Century Fox will release Death on the Nile on October 9, 2020.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Pippi project” story, A movie based on Pippi Longstocking is in early development from the team behind the two Paddington movies Studiocanal and Heyday Films, the production companies announced on Wednesday.
Studiocanal and Heyday are working with the Astrid Lindgren Company to develop a film based on the children’s books written by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren that were first published between 1945 and 1948. Jeffrey Clifford and Rosie Alison will also produce for Heyday.
The Pippi Longstocking character originates from bedside stories told by Lindgren to her daughter Karin about a girl with boundless energy, red hair, freckles, a free spirit and superhuman strength. The books preach girl power, confidence, kindness and generosity and have been translated into 77 languages with over 65 million copies sold worldwide.
IN THIS WEEK’S ” Roth has a scary movie to produce” story, Eli Roth doesn’t do much directing these days, and after his last film Knock Knock, that’s probably a good thing. He is still producing, though, and he’s got what sounds like an exciting new project lined up. Roth will produce 10-31, based on a story by Laurie Ashbourne and screen story by Kathy Charles. As you might have guessed from the title, the film takes place on Halloween.
According to Variety, Eli Roth is set to produce 10-31 for Orion, along with Roger Birnbaum‘s Arts District Entertainment, with a script by Ian Shorr and Peter Gamble. The film “follows a young woman who takes her niece and nephew trick-or-treating and discovers a note inside a candy wrapper that says there’s a killer loose on her block.”
“Very rarely do you get a script that grabs you by the throat, holds you until the last page, and gives you nightmares after. I don’t want to reveal too much, but this is one of the best, scariest premises for a horror film that I have read in years. Slasher films are my favorite subgenre of horror, and this script has all the ingredients of a new classic. We are very excited to make this film with Orion, who we have a long relationship with, and who understand what it takes to make a no holds barred scary movie.”
Ok, better be good with all that talk.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Treasures” story, Deadline has learned that Universal Pictures and Mandeville Films are in development on Treasure Island, a new feature take inspired by the 1883 Robert Louis Stevenson novel which two-time Oscar nominated How to Train Your Dragon filmmaker Dean DeBlois will direct.
Beauty and the Beast scribe Evan Spiliotopoulos will write the script, collaborating with DeBlois on the story. Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman of Mandeville Films will produce via their Universal deal alongside DeBlois. It was recently announced that Paramount/Hasbro’s Micronauts would rep DeBlois’ first live-action feature directorial. With that pic dated for June 4, 2021, the thinking is that Micronauts will likely go first given that Treasure Island is in early development.
Treasure Island tells the story of young Jim Hawkins who is torn between his loyalty to his benefactors and his affection for Pirate Captain Long John Silver as they seek a buried pirate treasure. The three notable movies on Treasure Island include Victor Fleming’s 1934 movie starring Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper in the respective roles of Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins. Then there’s Walt Disney’s 1950 version with Robert Newton and Bobby Driscoll and the 1972 adaptation which starred Orson Welles as Silver. There were also two TV versions: TBS’ 1990 version starring Charlton Heston, Christian Bale, Oliver Reed and Christopher Lee and Syfy’s 2012 edition with Eddie Izzard, Donald Sutherland, Elijah Wood which was nominated for two Primetime Emmys including TV movie costumes and cinematography.
Wow, didn’t really remember the TV versions.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Equal pay” story, The French actor and director Julie Delpy has revealed that she refused to make Before Midnight, the third in the celebrated romantic drama “Before” trilogy, unless she received the same pay as her co-star Ethan Hawke.
In an interview with Variety, Delpy said that for the first film in the series, 1995’s Before Sunrise, she was paid “about a 10th” of Hawke’s fee, and for the second, Before Sunset, released in 2004, she received half of what Hawke was paid. For the final 2013 film, Before Midnight, which earned her a nomination for a best screenplay Oscar along with Hawke and the film’s director, Richard Linklater, she says she insisted on pay parity. “I said:
‘Listen guys, if I am not paid the same, I am not doing it.’”
Delpy plays the same character, Céline, in all three films, which have accrued considerable acclaim. In Before Sunrise she meets Hawke’s character, Jesse, on a train and they spend the night walking around Vienna. In Before Sunset they meet nine years later in Paris and spend an afternoon together. In Before Midnight, they are in a relationship, spending the summer in Greece.
And rightfully so.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Bank on it” story, Apple’s The Banker, starring Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson, will close out the 2019 AFI Fest, the American Film Institute announced on Thursday.
“The Banker joins a remarkable group of films being released this year that openly confront centuries of racism and injustice in our country, while celebrating the brave individuals whose activism has created real change,” Michael Lumpkin, director of AFI Festivals, said.
The Banker, based on a true story, follows revolutionary businessmen Bernard Garrett (Mackie) and Joe Morris (Jackson), who “devise a risky plan to take on the racist establishment of the 1960s by helping other African Americans pursue the American dream,” according to the official plot summary. They enlist Garrett’s wife Eunice (Nia Long) to help train a working class white man, played by Nicholas Hoult, to be part of their plan.
George Nolfi directed, while Joe Viertel produces. Brad Feinstein produced under his Romulus Entertainment banner, along with Nolfi, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jonathan Baker, Davis Lewis Smith and Mackie. Joseph F.
Ingrassia, Jackson, Will Greenfield, David Gendron and Ali Jazayeri executive produced. Niceole Levy, Stan Younger, Lewis Smith and Nolfi wrote the script from a story by Lewis Smith, Younger and Brad Caleb Kane.
The Banker will hit theaters on Dec. 6 and will debut on Apple TV+ in January.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Random G.I. Joe info” story, Haruka Abe has joined the cast of Paramount and Skydance’s G.I. Joe spinoff Snake Eyes, an individual with knowledge of the deal exclusively tells TheWrap.
Her role is being kept under wraps. Crazy Rich Asians breakout Henry Golding is set to play Snake Eyes, Warrior headliner Andrew Koji is playing Storm Shadow, and Money Heist breakout star Úrsula Corberó has closed a deal to play the Baroness.
Snake Eyes, the third live-action film based on the “G.I. Joe” toy line, will focus on the origins of the fan-favorite character known for his masked face, black commando uniform and ninja training. Robert Schwentke, the director of Red and R.I.P.D., is set to direct Snake Eyes for Paramount and Skydance. The film will be released on Oct. 16, 2020.
Aaaaand IN THIS WEEK’S “Suck it, Netflix” story, The Wall Street Journal reported today that Disney has decided it will no longer accept ads from Netflix on its entertainment networks, which includes ABC and Freeform and newly acquired Fox properties like FX and Hulu.
“The direct-to-consumer business has evolved, with many more entrants looking to advertise in traditional television, and across our portfolio of networks,” a Disney spokesperson said in a statement. “While the initial decision was strictly advertising based, we reevaluated our strategy to reflect the comprehensive business relationships we have with many of these companies, as direct-to-consumer is one element.”
Disney will allow Netflix ads on non-entertainment networks, which means you may still see some Netflix ads on Disney-owned ESPN. But since that network shows sports, which Netflix does not have, it appears it’s all gravy.
This is significant given that Disney-owned ABC airs the Oscars until at least 2028, and during last year’s ceremony Netflix took the opportunity to unveil the first teaser trailer for Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. So this means on “movies’ biggest night,” you won’t be seeing any ads for upcoming Netflix movies or shows.
And that’s this week’s stuff! See ya next time!