Boom! Another week with a ton of spell-binding news!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Don Quixote at Cannes!” story, Terry Gilliam’s notoriously long-in-the-works The Man Who Killed Don Quixote will close next month’s Cannes Film Festival, president Pierre Lescure announced Thursday.
In addition, festival organizers confirmed that Lars von Trier’s The House That Jack Built, a serial killer drama starring Matt Dillon and Uma Thurman, would screen out of competition.
Geez, we’ve been waiting on that Don Quixote pic from Gilliam for AGES. I’m looking forward to finally seeing it.
This year’s festival runs from May 8 to May 19.
On Tuesday, festival general delegate Thierry Fremaux had signaled that the Danish director would be welcomed back to the festival seven years after he was declared “persona non grata” at the festival for comments he made about Adolf Hitler.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Marvel rumors” story, after the current crop of Marvel Studios films, unofficially titled “Phase Three,” end in 2019 with Avengers 4, we really don’t know what all is on the horizon for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sequels to Black Panther, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Guardians of the Galaxy, are all confirmed, but now we might have an idea of what one of the new properties might include.
According to a rumor (get your grains of salt, ready) on Bleeding Cool, Marvel Studios is expected to announce that one of their upcoming films will be based on the comic book series The Eternals. If you read that title and think, “say what now?” then you’re not the only one. Outside of hardcore comic book fans, The Eternals is a series that has never come close to the mainstream.
Created by Jack Kirby, who sits right alongside Stan Lee and a couple other creators as Godfathers of the Marvel Universe, the Eternals are a race of humans that were created by the cosmic entities known as the Celestials as the first beings that lived on Earth. They were created as an offshoot of humanity to help defend the planet from evil. Basically, they’re ancient humans with superpowers.
Hey, if Marvel can make the less known Guardians of the Galaxy a hit, The Eternals have a chance at superstardom, too.
IN THIS WEEK’S “In Memorium” story, R. Lee Ermey, a Golden Globe-nominated actor best known for his role as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, has died.
Ermey, whose nickname was “The Gunny,” died Sunday morning from complications of pneumonia. He was 74.
Ermey not only played a member of the military in the movies, but he also was one in real life, having been a U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant and an honorary gunnery sergeant. He also served as a drill instructor for the Marines. Ermey also served 14 months in Vietnam and completed two tours in Okinawa, Japan.
After retiring from the military with 11 years of service under his belt, Ermey took some acting classes and was cast in one of his first roles, playing a helicopter pilot in 1979’s Apocalypse Now, and also serving as a technical adviser to director Francis Ford Coppola on the film. Another role he landed around that same time also hit close to home, playing a Marine drill instructor in Sidney Furie’s The Boys in Company C.
But it was his role role in Kubrick’s 1987 film Full Metal Jacket that brought him household recognition and critical acclaim; in addition to his Golden Globe nom, he also earned a best supporting actor award from the Boston Society of Film Critics.
IN THIS WEEK’s “Other Memorium” story, Harry Anderson, who became a household name starring in the massive TV hit, Night Court, has died.
Harry’s son, Dashiell, tells TMZ … his father passed away of natural causes. Anderson rose to fame playing Judge Harry T. Stone on the sitcom that ran from 1984 to 1992. Before Night Court he frequently appeared on Saturday Night Live.
The actor died at his home Monday in North Carolina. All authorities are saying is that no foul play is suspected.
Anderson also appeared on Cheers and starred in his own sitcom, Dave’s World, which ran from 1993 to 1997.
He was also an accomplished magician and even opened a magic shop in the French Quarter of New Orleans. He also had a nightclub in the French Quarter called Oswald’s Speakeasy.
In his later years, Anderson kept a low profile, only occasionally appearing in shows like 30 Rock, Son of the Beach and Comedy Bang! Bang!
He’s survived by 2 children and his wife, Elizabeth Morgan.
Anderson was 65. This is a bummer.
IN THIS WEEK’S “But WHY?” story, there’s going to be an Angry Birds 2 movie. And to answer my – and perhaps your – question as to why, the first one cost about $ 80 million to make, but took in a whopping $ 352 million in box office. So yeah, that would explain that.
The voice casting so far is as follows: Leslie Jones, Rachel Bloom, Sterling K. Brown, Eugenio Derbez, Zach Woods, Awkwafina, Lil Rel Howery, Dove Cameron, Beck Bennett and Brooklynn Prince also join returning stars Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Bill Hader, Danny McBride and Peter Dinklage. Wow.
The film will be directed by Thurop Van Orman (The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Adventure Time) and co-directed by John Rice (King of the Hill) from a screenplay written by Peter Ackerman (The Americans, Ice Age). David Maisel and Catherine Winder are executive producing. Go figure.
IN THIS WEEK’S “But will anyone care?” story, there apparently is going to be a new Doom movie.
DreadCentral points us to a tweet from an actress and singer/songwriter named Nina Bergman, who says she’s going to be starring in a new Doom film from Universal Pictures.
She Instagrammed: “Wow I’m doing the next Doom movie w Universal Pictures! I just signed all the paperwork. I get to go back to Bulgaria again and work with some of my favorite people. This movie w a super cool
Director AND my new record coming out, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world
It would appear that director Tony Giglio is the person in the director’s chair for the film.
Giglio has primarily directed low-level action movies that you’ve likely never heard of. (The biggest thing he’s done so far is the 2005 Jason Statham movie Chaos.) Couple Giglio’s credits with the fact that Nina Bergman has starred in small-time movies with titles like Assassin X and Burn Off, and all signs point to this Doom movie being a direct-to-VOD film.
So, it’s obviously not a massive budget film, and that may be a good thing. If your script is solid, you don’t need a ton of money to make a good film. So even with all the past baggage of this film adaptation of a video game, I might give this one a chance.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Surprise! New directors for Masters of the Universe.” story, The long-gestating (and I mean loooong) big screen reboot of Masters of the Universe has finally found its directors and it’s a duo with whom you are almost surely unfamiliar: Aaron Nee and Adam Nee.
Variety has the scoop, but there’s not much information beyond the hiring of the Nee brothers for the gig. If this indie duo seems like an odd fit, it’s important to remember that this project has been seeking a director for years and that some of the more obvious names have already entered and exited (not to mention the many who have surely declined behind closed doors, because really, making a movie where the main character goes by “He-Man” sounds like a tough job).
The Nee brothers previously directed the 2006 comedy The Last Romantic and 2015’s Band of Robbers, which re-imagined Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn as grown men in a modern crime story. Yes, that sounds weird, and it’s probably why they landed Masters of the Universe. If they can make that premise work, then surely the strange, fantastical landscape of this toyline turned animated series turned nostalgic touchstone will be a piece of cake.
The Nee brothers follow in the footsteps of David S. Goyer, who wrote the script for this iteration of Masters of the Universe and considered directing before bowing out. Before him, McG had the job. Before him, Mike Cahill, Chris McKay, and Harald Zwart were all under consideration. And before that, it was Jon M. Chu. And that’s before you even get into the revolving door of writers who have worked on this movie.
Well, we’ll have to see if this moves forward.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Jesse Plemons vs. The Rock” story, Jesse Plemons is setting sail with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt in Disney’s The Jungle Cruise, sources tell Variety.
Plemons will play one of the film’s villains. As previously announced, Edgar Ramirez and Jack Whitehall are also on board.
Jaume Collet-Serra is directing the movie based on the classic theme park attraction, which operates in several Disney Parks across the globe and takes guests on a guided tour through the rivers of the world. Michael Green (Logan) penned the most recent draft of the script, rewritten from screenplay by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay.
Disney plans to develop the film as a possible franchise in the vein of its billion-dollar Pirates of the Caribbean series. (Ugh.)
John Davis and John Fox will produce via Davis Entertainment; Beau Flynn will produce with his FlynnPictureCo. banner; and Johnson, Dany Garcia, and Hiram Garcia will produce through Seven Bucks Productions. Scott Sheldon is co-producing the movie, which is slated to go into production in May.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Redford goes out with a ‘bang’” story, Old Man & The Gun has been slated for a fall, Oct. 5 release date by Fox Searchlight. The ensemble heist thriller led by Robert Redford and written and directed by David Lowery also stars Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, and Tika Sumpter. It will have a platform release as it is clearly being positioned for Awards season.
The Oct. 5 release date is currently occupied by Warner Bros. with its own Oscar hopeful A Star is Born. Other films on the date include Sony’s Spider-Man spinoff Venom and Fox proper’s Bad Times at the El Royale.
The film is based on the short story by David Grann published in 2003 in The New Yorker. The film is based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Redford) who escaped from San Quentin at the age of 70 and the unprecedented string of heists that perplexed law enforcement and enamored the public. Pursuing Tucker was detective John Hunt (Affleck). Spacek plays the love interest of Tucker.
“The Old Man and the Gun” is notable for starring Robert Redford in his alleged final screen performance. The actor announced his retirement in 2016, saying he had two acting projects left before officially saying “goodbye to all that.” The first project, “Our Souls at Night,” debuted on Netflix last fall, and the second is the Lowery star vehicle.
We’ll see if Redford really retires, or if this is one of those ‘breaks’ some people take.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Amy Schumer gets a dramatic turn” story, the comedian is in talks for Christy Martin, a boxing drama based on the life and career of the titular world-champion fighter who pushed for women’s place in the sport.
The film will follow Martin’s journey from a gym in West Virginia to becoming the first woman signed by famed boxing promoter Don King. The movie will also delve into her personal life and her marriage to an abusive boxing trainer, Jim Martin, who shot and stabbed Martin after she told him she was leaving him for a woman. She would later testify against him in court, sending him to prison for 25 years.
Katherine Fugate, the writer behind Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, will direct from her own script.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Carpenter returns to Halloween” story, we are six months away from Blumhouse Productions announcement of their remake/reboot/sequel thing of Halloween. With Jamie Lee Curtis returning to her original role, things got interesting. And now, John Carpenter himself will return to compose the music to the film.
According to a tweet by Blumhouse head honcho, Jason Blum, Carpenter, the man who created the whole franchise including the iconic theme song, is back to provide the score for the new film. Regardless what you think of horror films, particularly slashers like Halloween, everyone has to admit that the score for the film goes down as one of the best ever. So, the inclusion of Carpenter to this new film adds legitimacy, as well as the assurance that the sequel will have the same “feel” of the original.
Curtis, who defined the “final girl” horror trope, is back in Haddonfield and fighting Michael Myers once again. And even though some of the previous films in the series were…less than good, Curtis promises that this one will be scary.
“I’ve seen a trailer and I’ve seen some footage, and it’s terrifying,” said Curtis, in an interview with Yahoo.
The actress also talked about what drew her to coming back to the franchise that helped launch her career. “And as soon as I read what [director/co-writer] David Green and [co-writer] Danny McBride had come up with … and the way that they connected the dots of the story, it made so much sense to me that it felt totally appropriate for me to return to Haddonfield, Ill., for another 40th-anniversary retelling,” Curtis said.
This new film is more of a “retelling” says Curtis.
“There was the idea of, ‘What do you call it?’ If I had had my druthers, I probably would’ve called it ‘Halloween Retold.’ Because it’s being retold. It’s the original story in many, many, many ways. Just retold 40 years later with my granddaughter,” said the actress.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Harley Quinn gets a director” story, Cathy Yan has been tapped to direct a DC spinoff movie based on crazed supervillain Harley Quinn.The girl gang movie will be based on the “Birds of Prey” comic, with Margot Robbie attached to star.
Robbie’s LuckyChap is producing with Sue Kroll and her Kroll & Co Entertainment, along with Bryan Unkeless of Clubhouse Pictures.
Yan, a former Wall St. Journal reporter who made her feature debut with Sundance entry Dead Pigs, will be the second female filmmaker to direct a DC film, following Patty Jenkins with Wonder Woman. She will also be the first Asian woman to helm a movie from the DC Comics universe. DC previously tapped Ava DuVernay to direct New Gods, which is still in development.
Christina Hodson, who was recently tapped to pen the Batgirl pic, wrote the script. The studio had been weighing several Quinn options, including a Suicide Squad sequel with Gavin O’Connor, before picking Birds of Prey. Sources add that script is still being worked on, but Yan is likely to take over directing reins once the script is done.
Production is expected to start at the end of the year after Robbie finishes shooting Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, for which she is currently in negotiations to play Sharon Tate.
The sequel to the Harley Quinn-starring Suicide Squad is also expected to begin production in 2018. Gavin O’Connor is on board to write the sequel and is also in talks to direct the film that co-stars Will Smith and Jared Leto.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Danny Boyle AND Kate McKinnon?” story, Director Danny Boyle’s untitled comedy starring Lily James and Kate McKinnon will hit theaters in the U.S. on Sept. 13, 2019, Universal announced Monday.
Working Title is producing the film, written by Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill). The cast, which is still being rounded out, also includes Himesh Patel.
Richard Curtis wrote the script, which is keeping its logline close to the vest. It is known to be musically themed and set in the 1960s or ’70s. McKinnon will play a talent agent; James is playing a teacher.
Universal is eyeing a summer shoot for the project, which will roll out in theaters two months before the next James Bond film, which is set to open Nov. 8, 2019.
IN THIS WEEK’S “That took longer than expected” story, Steven Spielberg is finally making a comic book movie.
The iconic filmmaker is tackling his first DC Comics property, the World War II action-adventure hero Blackhawk.
Spielberg, along with his Amblin Entertainment, will produce Blackhawk for Warner Bros., and is developing it as a directing vehicle, the studio announced Tuesday. The move reteams him with the studio behind his latest tentpole, Ready Player One.
David Koepp, who has work with Spielberg writing blockbusters Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, is writing the script.
The material seems tailor-made for the filmmaker behind the Indiana Jones movies. Blackhawk told of an international squadron of heroic pilots led by a man named Blackhawk who fought the Nazis and their ilk in World War II.
The series debuted in 1941’s Military Comics No. 1,published originally by Quality Comics before DC acquired the property in 1956. Co-created by comic book legend Will Eisner, along with Bob Powell and Chuck Cuidera, the comic was one of the biggest sellers in the 1940s.
Spielberg is still on track to make Indiana Jones 5 his next movie and is still developing a remake of West Side Story for which he is trying to cast his leads. Player One has made over $476 million worldwide since its March 29 opening.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Gremlins: sequel or reboot?” story, Columbus, who wrote the original Gremlins from 1984, spoke with MetroUS (via ScreenRant) earlier this week, and while he essentially scoffed at the notion of a Goonies sequel, he did offer this update about Gremlins 3:
“Gremlins , we are actively talking about that. So that’s what I’m working on with my production company 1492 Pictures…it will almost definitely be a reboot.”
And yet, In 2015, Gremlins star Zach Galligan explicitly said Gremlins 3 is “not going to be a reboot”. Well things have either changed or no one is talking to one another. But, Columbus did have this to say:
““It is as twisted and dark as anything, so we’ll see. It’s always a budgetary conversation when we’re going to shoot it. I wanted to go back to the really twisted sensibility of the first movie. I found that was a very easy place for me to fall back into and start writing again so hopefully we’ll see that movie soon.”
Gremlins 3 does not have a production start date or a release date scheduled yet, so I wouldn’t get excited or worried just yet.
IN THIS WEEK’S “From Fast and Furious to M.A.S.K.” story, It’s game on for F. Gary Gray and Hasbro’s M.A.S.K. property.
The Fate of the Furious filmmaker will direct the project for Paramount, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
No writer is yet attached to the project, based on the 1980s property created by the now-defunct toy company Kenner. The premise, which revolves around the task force M.A.S.K. (which stands for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) and its battle against the evil V.E.N.O.M. (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem), has spawned a cartoon series and comics in addition to a number of toys. Gray is producing the film along with Hasbro.
Gray’s Fast and Furious installment grossed $1.2 billion worldwide last year, and the director will next tackle Sony’s Men in Black reboot, which is set to star Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson and is slated for a July 2019 launch.
No date has been set for the M.A.S.K. movie, one of multiple Hasbro properties that Paramount is developing for the big screen for a potential shared universe.
No need for original material when you have a decade of 80’s toys to turn into movies.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Four times the Cable” story, The Powers That Be over at 20th Century Fox have purportedly mapped out a four-film arc for Nathan Summers (AKA Cable), beginning with Deadpool 2.
That’s according to Summers himself, who spoke to Empire Magazine (h/t CBM) in anticipation of the sequel’s release next month.
Brolin told Empire that a four-film arc is in place.
“We think about it in four movie terms. We tried to think of Cable as a full arc, not just in this movie, but in the trajectory of four films. That made it a lot more fun for me.”
And though it’s yet to be confirmed, a four-film arc would surely encompass Drew Goddard’s embryonic X-Force movie, which was tentatively announced last year. All of this is still subject to change depending on the outcome of Disney’s impending acquisition of Fox, of course.
Look for Deadpool 2 to make a beeline for theaters on May 18th. That’s kinda right in the middle of the Han Solo movie and Avengers: Infinity War. Talk about a busy film release schedule…
IN THIS WEEK’S “Vin get his xXx back” story, The H Collective and Vin Diesel’s One Race Films have acquired rights from Revolution Studios to the xXx film franchise and plan to begin shooting the fourth film in December.
Revolution Studios retains its rights to the first three films. D.J. Caruso, who directed xXx: Return of Xander Cage, will return to direct xXx 4 with Diesel reprising his role as Xander Cage. Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum will produce with Diesel, Samantha Vincent for One Race Films and the H Collective.
The companies made the announcement Tuesday. Diesel had said in early 2017 at the Return of Xander Cage premiere in London that Paramount execs had expressed interest in the fourth movie, but those plans were never solidified.
The “xXx” franchise, which includes 2002’s xXx, 2005’s xXx: State of the Union, and 2017’s xXx: Return of Xander Cage, has collectively grossed nearly $1 billion at the worldwide box-office. Diesel’s Xander Cage character is an extreme sports enthusiast and reluctant spy for the National Security Agency.
Yeah, because we need more of THOSE movies. Not my favorite Vin Diesel vehicles.
IN THIS WEEK’S “The ubiquitousness of Netflix” story, Netflix is just everywhere now when we talk about film news. Here’s some news pertaining to that.
Netflix and writer-director Wash Westmoreland have set Jack Huston for their adaptation of the Susanna Jones novel The Earthquake Bird. The Boardwalk Empire alum co-stars alongside previously set Alicia Vikander and Riley Keough as an aspiring British musician who dreams of making it big in Tokyo.
The Earthquake Bird is a Tokyo-set female-driven noir thriller that tells the story of young female expat who is suspected of murder after her friend goes missing in the wake of a tumultuous love triangle with a handsome local photographer. The pic shoots this May in Tokyo and Sado Island.
Scott Free’s Kevin Walsh and Michael Pruss will produce alongside Ann Ruark and Twenty First City’s Georgina Pope. Ridley Scott will be exec producer.
IN THIS WEEK’S “An actress in Egypt” story, David Frankel is in negotiations to direct the adaptation of Beautiful Ruins for Fox 2000.
The story centers on an American actress who travels to Italy in 1962 during the production of Cleopatra, considered the most expensive flop in Hollywood history. In a plotline spanning decades and locations, the actress’ narrative intertwines with Elizabeth Taylor, who starred in the real-life version of Cleopatra, and the subsequent love affair between Taylor and Richard Burton.
Sam Mendes will produce the book adaptation via his Neal Street banner, along with Julia Pastor and Karen Rosenfelt. Author Jess Walter will exec produce with Pippa Harris.
IN THIS WEEK’s “Goodbye Ash” story, Ash vs. Evil Dead has been cancelled. The culprit is the lackluster ratings. Let us bow our heads. But not until we make sure all the Deadites are put down!
Taking to Twitter, Bruce Campbell gave an emotional message that pays respect not just to the series but also to the history of the Evil Dead franchise itself.
“Ash Vs Evil Dead has been the ride of a lifetime. Ash Williams was the role of a lifetime. I will always be grateful to Starz, Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and our tireless fans for the opportunity to revisit the franchise that launched our careers. Thank you!” Williams wrote, attaching an image of himself as Ash with the message, “Ash has left the building.”
I’m glad that Starz granted us all the series; a way of revisiting such crazy fun. For years we never thought Evil Dead would be back in our lives, and here we’ve had three glorious seasons of hilarious gore.
AND IN THIS WEEK’S “From Smallville to Crazytown” story, Actress Allison Mack, known for her work on the superhero TV series Smallville, was arrested Friday and accused of recruiting women into a purported self-help organization, NXIVM, in which they were required to work and have sex with the group’s leader, Keith Raniere, prosecutors said.
U.S. attorney Richard P. Donoghue said in a statement Friday that Mack recruited women for Raniere, and that the women were “exploited, both sexually and for their labor.” He said Mack, who was arrested in Brooklyn, New York, is accused of “directly or implicitly” requiring women “to engage in sexual activity with Raniere. In exchange for this, Mack received financial and other benefits from Raniere.”
Raniere was arrested in Mexico in March. He traveled there after The New York Times published a report in October about the group branding women. Mack’s involvement with the group has long been a subject of speculation: She can be seen in a series of conversations posted to YouTube last year, smilingly interviewing Raniere about his teachings.
If convicted of the crimes charged, Raniere and Mack each face mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years’ imprisonment, and up to life imprisonment.
Well, that is the weird story of the week, if you ask me.