IN THIS WEEK’S “FINALLY!” story, We were worried for a minute there. The monumentally troubled, decades-spanning production of director Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has become the stuff of legend – not to mention the subject of the acclaimed 2002 documentary Lost in La Mancha. But after soldiering through enough setbacks this decade to fill a whole second documentary, the completed picture’s triumphant Cannes Film Festival premiere was at risk of being thwarted by a legal battle with the film’s ex-producer Paul Branco.
Fortunately, the courts have given the long-awaited adventure comedy the go-ahead to screen. ‘Quixote’ stars Adam Driver in a role previously held by Johnny Depp, Robin Williams, Ewan McGregor, and Jack O’Connell across the production’s many ill-fated past incarnations. Don Quixote – or at least a man who thinks he’s the eponymous protagonist of the 17th century Spanish novel – is meanwhile played by Brazil star Jonathan Pryce, though John Cleese, John Hurt, Jean Rochefort, Michael Palin, and Robert Duvall were all cast in the part at some point or another. Here’s the official synopsis for Gilliam’s much-anticipated passion project:
Toby, a cynical advertising director, finds himself trapped in the outrageous delusions of an old Spanish shoe-maker who believes himself to be Don Quixote. In the course of their comic and increasingly surreal adventures, Toby is forced to confront the tragic repercussions of a film he made in his idealistic youth – a film that changed the hopes and dreams of a small Spanish village forever. Can Toby make amends and regain his humanity? Can Don Quixote survive his madness and imminent death? Or will love conquer all?
Driver and Pryce are joined by Stellan Skarsgård, Olga Kurylenko, Joana Ribeiro, and Jason Watkins. The script was handled by Gilliam and frequent co-writer Tony Grisoni. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote premieres in US theaters on April 10 for a one-night special event.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Candyman is found!” story, Though no deal is done, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is in talks to star in MGM’s new retelling of the classic horror tale with Jordan Peele producing.
Little Woods writer-director Nia DaCosta is on board to helm. MGM and Win Rosenfeld are producing with Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions.
The studio is touting the upcoming film as a “spiritual sequel” to the original. It will return to the neighborhood where the legend began: the now-gentrified section of Chicago where the Cabrini-Green housing projects once stood. The original Candyman was released in 1992 and follows a graduate student who explores the legend of Candyman while writing a thesis on urban legends.
Candyman is expected to hit theaters on June 12, 2020. Production is expected to begin next spring.
Abdul-Mateen, who portrayed the villainous Cadillac in Netflix’s The Get Down,” will appear next in Peele’s thriller Us. He is also set to star in HBO’s Watchmen series.
IN THIS WEEK’S “A reboot nobody wants” story, The Favourite backer Fox Searchlight is lining up a reboot of Julia Roberts’ 1991 hit Sleeping With The Enemy.
Wait, that can’t be right.
Prolific UK producer Jones is in development on a strong new slate of movies with Searchlight and they have set emerging US filmmaker Nia DaCosta as writer-director of the Sleeping With The Enemy “reimagining.” DaCosta’s 2018 feature debut Little Woods starred Lily James and Tessa Thompson as sisters driven to work outside the law to better their lives.
Based on Nancy Price’s 1987 novel of the same name, thriller Sleeping With The Enemy saw Roberts – then at the height of fame just after Pretty Woman – play a woman trying to escape her abusive husband. The film was a box office hit for Fox taking $175M off a $20M budget. No other details have been released about the reboot at this stage.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Life after Hereditary” story, Sommar will be Aster’s first directorial effort since Hereditary earned critical acclaim and terrified audiences last year. A24’s announcement confirms the film is still on course to be released in 2019.
As Aster describes it, the film is a slice of “Scandinavian folk horror” that centers around a couple who visit they friend’s rural hometown in Sweden. The couple are traveling to attend the town’s legendary mid-summer festival, but their trip devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.
Aster has also referred to the film as an “an apocalyptic breakup movie” where the “recent death of the main character’s parents casts a sense of dread over the proceedings.”
Aster has assembled an impressive ensemble cast featuring some of the best rising actors in the business. Florence Pugh, who breakout in Lady Macbeth and currently stars in Fighting With My Family, stars opposite Jack Reynor and Will Poulter. The supporting cast includes Vilhelm Blomgren, William Jackson Harper, and Ellora Torchia. Aster has said the film will be his last horror effort for awhile.
“That is the only other horror movie I have,” the director said last year. “And I’m pretty sure that’s going to be it for a long time. I love the genre, I consider myself a genre filmmaker in that I want to play in every genre. I would love to make a musical. I have 10 other scripts that I’ve written that I want to make and there are other things I have. I’m writing a sci-fi film and there are at least four or five movies that I have ready to go that I am excited about making that I’d like to do in succession.”
A24 will release Sommar in theaters later this year.
IN THIS WEEK’S “In Memorium” story, Katherine Helmond, a character actress who rose to fame in the 1970s with roles on the sitcoms Soap and Who’s the Boss?, has died at age 89.
Her agency APA told TheWrap that Helmond passed away on Feb. 23 of Alzheimer’s complications in her home in Los Angeles.
In film, Helmond was a frequent collaborator of Terry Gilliam, starring in his Time Bandits, Brazil and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. She more recently provided a voice in Pixar’s trilogy of Cars films,” and she also starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s Family Plot and Garry Marshall’s Overboard.
I used to watch Soap all the time in my teens. I loved that show. And Brazil? Amazing. R.I.P.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Yep, he’s coming back” story, Warner Bros. has set Dec. 16, 2022, as the release date for its Aquaman sequel.
The studio took the first step toward Aquaman 2 earlier this month by bringing back David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick to write the script.
Aquaman 2 will be produced by Aquaman director James Wan and Peter Safran. Aquaman has over-performed for Warner Bros., coming in above pre-release projections after launching with $68.7 million in its opening weekend in North America.
The title gained momentum in subsequent weeks and has hit $330 million in North America and $805 million internationally, led by nearly $300 million in China. It’s currently the 20th-highest worldwide grosser of all time.
Johnson-McGoldrick teamed with Will Beall on the Aquaman script, from a story by Beall, Geoff Johns, and Wan. Johnson-McGoldrick began working on the screenplay three years ago after reading Aquaman comic books while on the set of Wan’s The Conjuring 2.
Aquaman 2 is the first titled film to land on Dec. 16, 2022. Disney has already scheduled an untitled live-action movie for the same slot.
However, WB has decided it will wait four years for Aquaman 2.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Hellboy goes dark” story, Good news for people who have been waiting for a naughty Hellboy movie! The Hellboy reboot is officially rated R. Further distancing itself from Guillermo del Toro’s wonderful and PG-13-rated adaptations, the new Hellboy from director Neil Marshall has earned itself an R-rating for lots of bloody violence and language. So maybe leave the kids at home.
Well, at least we know it won’t be all sunshine and rainbows.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Shenanigans” story, Kumail Nanjiani will star in the upcoming fact-based spy action comedy No Glory, which will be adapted by Sam Bain (Corporate Animals).
No director is attached yet. Bain is adapting the feature based on the original manuscript of the same name. Valparaiso Picture’s David Carrico and Adam Paulsen are producing alongside Gary Sanchez Productions’ Adam McKay, Chris Henchy and Will Ferrell. Valparaiso’s head of development Bobby Hoppey will executive produce. McKay and Nanjiani are overseeing the script, while 30West is co-repping the film with UTA.
The manuscript for No Glory, written by a former national security operative and author Scott Shephard about the operative’s time in service, was described as The Rambunctious Patriotism and World-Wide Shenanigans of a First Generation American in the Clandestine Service of a Grateful and Mostly Unwitting Nation.
Well, that’s a mouthfull. 🙂
IN THIS WEEK’S “Ali goes sci-fi” story, On the heels of winning his second Oscar, Mahershala Ali has come on board the independent science-fiction movie Sovereign.
Entertainment One will produce alongside 21 Laps Entertainment’s Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, and Dan Cohen. The trio recently produced the Netflix’s Stranger Things, as well as the sci-fi movie Arrival.
Marc Munden will direct the project from a screenplay by A Quiet Place writers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods. An original draft of the script was written by Greg Weidman and Geoff Tock, with revisions by Jack Thorne. eOne will also finance the film.
The logline for the sci-fi project is currently being kept under wraps.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Bond still moving forward” story, With production expected to start this spring, MGM and Eon are getting closer to deciding who will be joining Daniel Craig in his next outing as Agent 007 in the 25th James Bond movie.
Producers are continuing their search for two female roles — one a new MI6 agent and the other an accomplice similar to Olga Kurylenko’s character in Quantum of Solace — the main villain, and an American CIA agent similar to Jeffrey Wright’s in past installments.
Sources indicate that Billy Magnussen is the top choice to play the CIA operative that crosses paths with Bond, though it’s not known if an actual offer is on the table. Magnussen already has a working relationship with Bond 25 writer-director Cary Joji Fukunaga after recently appearing on his Netflix series, Maniac. Insiders say, before coming on to Bond 25, Fukunaga had already tried to cast him in his Leonard Bernstein pic, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, that was shelved, and that Fukunaga’s most recent draft had the character written younger to fit Magnussen’s age.
As for the villain, sources indicate there is renewed interest in tapping recent Oscar winner Rami Malek, after it was initially thought that scheduling could not be worked out with his commitments on the final season of Mr. Robot. Insiders say while meetings with other talent have taken place, producers never wavered on trying to land the role for Malek and have worked hard for months to accommodate both shoots.
Soooo, I guess no Christoph Waltz, then?
The two female leads seem to be the most open-ended as of now. Further chemistry reads with Craig are still being scheduled, since these two characters will spend the most amount of time with him on screen. It’s unknown how far along they are in this process.
MGM had no comment regarding any news related to casting for the film.
Fukunaga turned in his recent draft at the beginning of the year, and while reports surfaced that major rewrite work was done to the script, sources say no significant changes were made, and the producers and Craig were excited with what Fukunaga had delivered.
Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, and Naomie Harris will also be reprising their roles in the new installment. A recent release date change from Feb. 14 to April 8, 2020, positioned the 25th entry in the series better for the summer season.
A whole lotta unknowns still for Bond 25.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Say WHAT?” story, Even though his return had not been made official, sources tell Variety that Will Smith, who played Deadshot in the original, is not expected to return for the studio’s upcoming sequel. Sources say scheduling was the ultimate factor and that the decision was made on amicable terms between both sides with no hard feelings.
Though the studio has never confirmed who would be returning for The Suicide Squad, insiders say the studio has always wanted its biggest stars like Smith and Margot Robbie, who played Harley Quinn in the first pic, to return while figuring out other casting decisions along the way.
The studio and reps for Will Smith could not be reached for comment.
Well, just fuck continuity of any kind in the DC movie Universe.
The studio is still fully behind the sequel after the original did so well, bringing in $746 million at the box office.
James Gunn, who was brought on last year as the new writer and director, is hoping to start production this fall, which adds a ticking clock element to getting things out before it impacts pre-production.
The release date is currently set for Aug. 6, 2021.
RELATED: Turns out, Warner Bros. is no longer concerned about an “inter-connected” DC Universe.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara confirmed the future of the studio’s superhero movies rests in individualized stories and not an interconnected movie universe a la the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“The upcoming slate, with Shazam, Joker, Wonder Woman 1984, and Birds of Prey, feels like we’re on the right track. We have the right people in the right jobs working on it,” Tsujihara said. “The universe isn’t as connected as we thought it was going to be five years ago. You’re seeing much more focus on individual experiences around individual characters. That’s not to say we won’t at some point come back to that notion of a more connected universe. But it feels like that’s the right strategy for us right now.”
While the DCEU will continue to exist, Warner Bros. appears to be pulling back on stressing the interconnected nature of its films.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Please stop spinning” story, A new spinoff of The Walking Dead is in the works, AMC Networks confirmed during its quarterly earnings call with Wall Street analysts.
Asked to elaborate on CEO Josh Sapan’s mention of a third zombie outing, COO Ed Carroll said the spinoff is in “active development.” He declined to offer many more specifics, including whether it would fall under an existing distribution agreement with Hulu.
“We’re not at a stage where we’ll be announcing its plans to premiere,” Carroll said. “But we have hired creative people that have pitched story outlines. We feel very good about the development of that series. We’re not in a position to talk about partnerships in terms of other territories or ancillary windows, other than that there’s a healthy appetite for it and we’ve had a number of conversations with a lot of players in the space.”
A new TWD series comes as the mother-ship show has seen a slew of departures such as Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan and series-low ratings in its ninth season. Additionally, as more crossovers are in the works with spinoff Fear the Walking Dead, Lincoln is set for a series of TWD movies and Black Panther star Danai Gurira will be easing down her TWD presence in the show’s upcoming 10th season.
Carroll asserted that the inevitable fade of the original show should not obscure its status as the No. 1 series on cable and the No. 2 drama on TV behind NBC’s This is Us.
If you’re like me, you’d think another Walking Dead spin-off is a bad idea. I stopped watching the fisrst spin-off afte a few episodes, and now I’m just done with the original Walking Dead. I’m tapped out. Now they want to do a third one? No thanks.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Save the robot!” story, According to Deadline, Farrell has signed on to star in the upcoming film “After Yang,” which will be written and directed by director Kogonada. The film is based on the short story from author Alexander Weinstein titled “Saying Goodbye to Yang,” and will tell the story of a father and daughter who attempt to save the life of their robotic family member.
For those not familiar with Kogonada, he is the writer and director of the 2017 film “Columbus,” which starred John Cho. That film served as the feature-length directorial debut for the filmmaker and found its way to multiple Gotham and Indie Spirit nominations, as well as a ton of critics top 10 lists.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Twinsies” story, Josh Brolin and Peter Dinklage just signed on to star in the comedy Brothers, which Legendary just acquired following a bidding war.
Plot details are being kept under wraps, but who needs to know the plot when the cast has likely already sold you a ticket? This is a great pairing on paper, and while Brolin and Dinklage are known primarily for their dramatic chops, each happens to be an effective comic actor when they’re given the chance to go for a laugh instead of the jugular.
The downside of this project is that the script is written by Etan Cohen. He wrote Tropic Thunder (OK!), and then Get Hard, and the recent flop Holmes and Watson (NOT Ok!). This does not bode well. Cohen is not attached to direct the project at this time, so perhaps Legendary will find another filmmaker to bring his script to life.
This makes me curious. i’ll stay cautiously optimistic.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Visible changes” story, Elisabeth Moss is in consideration for a role in Leigh Whannell’s Invisible Man.
Johnny Depp is no longer involved with the project as previously reported. Whannell is co-producing Invisible Man with Blumhouse.
The first pic in Uni’s reboot, The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise bombed with $95M. The remake cost a reported $125M, and made $409.2M worldwide, less than 20% of that from the US. Uni reportedly will not keep Invisible Man as part of a greater interconnected “Dark Universe” as initially planned.
Variety first had the news about Moss circling Invisible Man.
Well, I’d say that’s it for this week. Next week will be another week!