Another week, another bunch of stuff happens. Go figure.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Feel old yet?” story, Actor Luke Perry, known for roles in Beverly Hills 90210 and Riverdale, died on Monday after suffering a massive stroke on Wednesday. He was 52.
If that isn’t enough, then, here’s more bad news: Keith Flint, the double-mohawked lead singer and founding member of the controversial British rave band The Prodigy, was found dead in Essex, England, Sunday, his death apparently by suicide. He was 49.
What? Not bummed out enough yet? Well, March 3rd was the 25th anniversary of John Candy’s death. Yes, that’s 25 years ago. Not that anyone is counting. But it’s hard to believe that it was so long ago. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Uncle Buck still rank among my favorite comedies – and certainly my favorite John Candy films. And who didn’t love SCTV?
There are a lot of emotions attached with all this. The state of our mental and physical health is never more present in our minds than in times like this. Let’s take advantage of that and do a little self-check, and then seek assistance when needed, ok?
IN THIS WEEK’S “Casting Candyman” story, Teyonah Parris, who played one of Regina King’s daughters in If Beale Street Could Talk, is the latest addition. She joins Aquaman‘s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who was previously reported as playing the new Candyman…but that may not be correct after all. Jordan Peele is producing the new movie, while Nia DaCosta directs.
THR broke the news about Teyonah Parris joining the Candyman reboot cast, and in the midst of their report is an interesting new development. Last month, Variety reported that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who memorably played Black Manta in Aquaman, had been cast as the new Candyman – a story most other film publications, quickly picked up.
But according to THR, Abdul-Mateen II is actually in talks to play “an artist who becomes obsessed with the bloody legend” of Candyman. This was a character that Sorry to Bother You star Lakeith Stanfield was previously in talks to play. But the THR story doesn’t mention Stanfield at all, which suggests his talks fell through, and Abdul-Mateen II is now being eyed for the part.
If true, that means that the new Candyman hasn’t actually cast its Candyman yet, despite Variety’s report. Who knows. I’m sure there will be more info before too long.
IN THIS WEEK’S “The Fresh Prince as Tennis dad” story, Will Smith will play Richard Williams, the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, in the movie King Richard.
The film, based on a script by Zach Baylin, will center on Richard Williams overcoming hardship, skepticism, controversy, and his own troubled past to instruct his daughters, starting when they were four years old on the tennis courts of Compton, Calif. — despite not having a background in tennis. Baylin’s script was runner-up on the 2018 Black List.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Beasts of WWII” story, Joe Wright is in final negotiations to direct an adaptation of In the Garden of Beasts for StudioCanal and Playtone Productions.
Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman will produce the pic through Playtone. The company optioned the rights to Erik Larson’s book in 2011, when it was originally set up at Universal before the studio let it go, allowing StudioCanal to board the film.
The book is based on the true story of William Dodd, a mild-mannered Chicago professor who becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany before the Nazis began to assert an iron grip across Europe. At first, his family embraces the vibrant scene in Berlin, but the ambassador soon learns of reports of violence against Jews. Even though his dispatches to the State Department are met with indifference, he continues to be concerned with the growing press censorship and the passage of shocking laws. It leads to the gradual realization of the horrific genocide that Hitler actually has planned.
Hanks has been loosely attached to play Dodd, but it’s unknown if he will still star or just produce the film.
IN THIS WEEK’S “In case you didn’t believe it” story, Sony is in the midst of filming their next Spider-spinoff, Morbius. Star Jared Leto revealed the first somewhat-obscured set photo from production today; the filming process has another 11 weeks to go before moving into post-production for a July 2020 release date.
As for Morbius, the curious tale of a biochemist-turned-living vampire, it’s just one of quite a few spinoff tales that Sony has set in their own Spider-Man-centric cinematic Marvel universe. Venom surprised folks, myself included, with its massive box office take of $855 million, three-quarters of which came from international audiences; a sequel can’t be far behind. Morbius will be the next big test for Sony’s spinoff plan, though Spider-Man: Far From Home will act as a franchise anchor of sorts this July 5th. In other words, there’s plenty of Spider-spinoffs to come in the years ahead, so don’t expect Disney to also swallow up Sony in order to claim the rest of their wayward Marvel properties anytime soon.
ADDENDUM: Jared Harris, perhaps best known for roles in AMC’s Mad Men and Netflix’s The Crown, has signed on for the Daniel Espinosa-directed the Spider-Man Universe spinoff, Morbius, at Sony Pictures. Jared Leto is attached to take on the role of Dr. Michael Morbius, the renowned biochemist created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane.
Harris’ role is being kept under wraps.
ANOTHER Addendum: “Fast and Furious” star Tyrese Gibson is in talks join Jared Leto in Morbius, a film based on the Spider-Man villain of the same name.
Safe House filmmaker Daniel Espinosa will direct the movie. Matt Smith is also on board to appear in the film.
Exact details of who Gibson would play are currently unknown.
You know, for a movie I can’t imagine people are really interested in, they sure are throwing some star power at it.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Nolan update!” story, Christopher Nolan‘s Dunkirk follow-up is top secret, but the first tiny details are starting to trickle out.
According to a report in Production Weekly, the new Nolan film is described as a cross between Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, and Nolan’s own Inception. That’s still vague, but just enough info to get your brains working overtime.
Hoyte van Hoytema, who shot Interstellar and Dunkirk, is reuniting with Christopher Nolan for Nolan’s new untitled film. That film is “described as a romantic thriller, North by Northwest in tone meets Inception.” The idea of Nolan doing anything romantic is certainly fascinating.
Don’t know much else, but I’m sure interested.
IN THIS WEEK’S ” The original Rock” story, Universal Pictures, moving ahead with its Rock Hudson biopic All That Heaven Allows, is in talks with Richard LaGravenese to write the screenplay.
The studio bought the movie rights last year to Mark Griffin’s All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson. Greg Berlanti is attached to direct and will produce alongside Sarah Schechter for Berlanti Film Corp. and Sherry Marsh for Marsh Productions Entertainment.
Hudson was one of the leading movie stars of the 1950s and ’60s, with credits on Magnificent Obsession, Pillow Talk, All That Heaven Allows, Send Me No Flowers, and the James Dean western Giant, for which he received an Oscar nomination. Hudson successfully transitioned to television in the ’70s in the long-running series McMillan & Wife and Dynasty.
He remained discreet about his sexual orientation throughout his life and died of complications from AIDS in 1985.
Berlanti is a prolific television producer with credits on Dawson’s Creek, Brothers & Sisters, Everwood, Political Animals, Riverdale, and You. He directed last year’s Love, Simon, the first major Hollywood film to depict a gay teenage romance.
The question is, will they just skim over his sexual orientation, or actually acknowledge it?
IN THIS WEEK’S “Oh, great, I was hoping we wouldn’t have to wait so long” story, Disney on Wednesday released the first poster for Angelina Jolie’s upcoming Maleficent sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and revealed that the film will be hitting theaters earlier than expected.
The movie — a sequel to 2014’s live-action Maleficent, centered on the villainess from Disney’s 1959 animated hit Sleeping Beauty — will arrive in theaters Oct. 18, just in time for Halloween.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, starring Jolie as the titular character, was previously slated to be released on May 29, 2020.
The film will compete against an untitled Blumhouse movie on that date along with MGM’s animated version of The Addams Family.
Ok, I don’t know if this is what we call a “necessary” sequel, but the fact that it’s being moved up is not common, and one has to worry if it’s being rushed. But then, I don’t have a lot of vested interest.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Gundam goes live!” story, Famed comic book creator and New York Times bestselling author Brian K. Vaughan has signed on to write the screenplay for Gundam, the first live-action film based on the popular mecha anime and science fiction media franchise created by Sunrise. The project hails from Legendary Entertainment, in a co-production with Sunrise. Vaughan, best known for creating comic book series like Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina and Runaways, will also serve as an executive producer on the pic.
Next month marks the 40th anniversary of Mobile Suit Gundam, the mecha anime series that launched the Gundam success story as both a media and toy franchise. That 1979 series, created and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, was a middling success when first aired but then won over an impassioned fan following through reruns and a popular tie-in toy line.
Tomino’s animated saga was part of the mecha genre, the sci-fi subgenre that centers on robots in combat (and usually they are giant robots), but it veered from the formula followed by its mecha predecessors in a manner that added dramatic new tones and textures to the genre.
So, Brian K. Vaughn seems to be doing well for himself.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Really cool news” story, Idris Elba is joining the squad. Sources tell Variety that Elba is Warner Bros. choice to replace Will Smith as Deadshot in the Suicide Squad sequel.
Smith had to bow out of the upcoming DC Comics movie due to scheduling conflicts, and the studio moved fast to find another proven A-lister to replace him before production starts in September.
It’s currently unknown who will be joining Elba in the sequel, though many believe Margot Robbie will return as Harley Quinn. James Gun was tapped to write and direct the film. The release date is currently set for Aug. 6, 2021.
The original Suicide Squad — starring Smith, Jared Leto, Robbie — became a massive box office sensation when it hit theaters in 2016, grossing $746 million worldwide.
Well, I generally like Will Smith, but let’s face it, this is a bit of an upgrade. Idris Elba is awesome.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Me and my Arrow” story, the CW’s DC show Arrow will end with next season, its’ 8th. This past January the CW announced it had renewed Arrow for an 8th season, and now they say that will be its’ last. It will consist of 10 episodes.
This seems like the right move to me, as I’ve watched it less this season due to some repetition and me wondering where the show is going.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Weird title award goes to…” story, Taraji P. Henson and Ed Helms will star in the police drama Coffee & Kareem for Netflix.
Helms will portray a Detroit cop and Henson will play his girlfriend. He reluctantly teams with her 11-year-old son to clear his name and take down the city’s most ruthless criminal.
Michael Dowse is on board to direct from Shane McCarthy’s script, which was featured on the 2014 Blacklist. Helms and Mike Falbo are producing via their Pacific Electric Picture Co. banner. Sanford Nelson, Jordon Foss, Linden Nelson, and Don Foss are executive producing.
It’s just a weird title for a drama in my opinion. It just sounds more like a comedy title.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Songs of Ferrell” story, Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin has signed on to helm Eurovision, a comedy starring Will Ferrell that is being set up at Netflix, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
Ferrell is co-writing the comedy with Andrew Steele, which is set around the Eurovision Song Contest, the longest running annual international TV song competition that is ripe for parody.
Ferrell is producing with Jessica Elbaum and Chris Henchy for his Gary Sanchez Productions, and Adam McKay is executive producing.
Whatever. I’m bunrt out on Will Ferrell.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Goodbye Airwolf” story, Jan-Michael Vincent — the ’80s heartthrob best known for his role on TV’s Airwolf — has died … TMZ has learned.
Jan-Michael actually died back on February 10 after suffering cardiac arrest while a patient at a North Carolina hospital … according to the death certificate. We’re told no autopsy was performed and he was later cremated.
Jan-Michael was most recently in the 2002 movie, White Boy … but he had a long, successful career in TV and film.
His CBS hit, Airwolf, made him into a huge star. At the time, he was reportedly the highest-paid actor at $200k per episode. Jan-Michael played helicopter pilot Stringfellow Hawke on the show, but the series lasted only a couple seasons largely in part to the star’s cocaine abuse. His acting career would ultimately suffer from it.
Jan-Michael nearly died in 2012 from an infection that required his right leg to be amputated.
Jan-Michael also starred opposite Burt Reynolds in the 1978 film, Hooper — and co-starred with Kim Basinger in the 1981 film, Hard Country. He was a steady working actor in Hollywood for 3 decades, and appeared in tons of the old classics like, Lassie, Bonanza, and Gunsmoke.
Jan-Michael was 74. RIP.
IN THIS WEEK’S “More Bond 25 tidbits” story, Casting for the new James Bond movie is still under way, but a prominent part is set to be played by the ancient southern Italian town of Matera, Variety has learned.
The town of 60,000 people will provide the setting for what is expected to become Bond 25’s prologue action sequence, similar to Spectre’s opening segment in Mexico City during Day of the Dead celebrations, insiders say. Preparations to accommodate an estimated 500 production people for the shoot, which is expected to take place in late July, are already underway. Matera’s prehistoric whitewashed caves also provided the backdrops for the Jerusalem set of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.
Italy has been featured frequently in the Bond franchise, most recently in Spectre, which boasted a high-speed chase along the river Tiber in Rome, among other scenes. The opening scene of Quantum of Solace started with a car chase along Lake Garda and then segued to Siena during the Palio horse race.
Line producer Enzo Sisti, who is handling the Italian leg of the Bond 25 shoot, confirmed that a “big production is coming to Matera” but declined to confirm that it is the next, as-yet-untitled Bond outing. Eon Productions, which is producing Bond 25 with MGM, did not respond to a request for comment.
Someplace exotic for a Bond movie? Surprise!
Thanks for stopping by this week! See you next time, movie-goers!