Another week of baffling and exciting news!
IN THIS WEEK’S “See ya, Rick!” story, that’s right, folks, actor Andrew Lincoln, the one and only RICK GRIMES from The Walking Dead, is leaving the show after season 9. Boom.
To fill the void in the show’s leading man status, rumor has it that AMC has offered substantial compensation to long-running series star Norman Reedus to not only stay on board, but to take over the show’s leading role.
It also turns out that Lincoln will reportedly only be in six of those episodes. And though Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is slated to also in in season 9, it’s ALSO only for six episodes.
Well, I guess when you’re on a show that long, you have to start thinking about whether you want to move on to do other things. Makes sense.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Spawn, take two” story, Jamie Foxx is set to star in Spawn, the Blumhouse film that marks the directorial debut of Todd McFarlane from his scripted adaptation of his comic book creation. Foxx will play the character who started out in the comics as Al Simmons, a member of a CIA black ops team who is betrayed twice. After being set up by his cohorts to be murdered with his corpse set aflame, Newman is double crossed in Hell. He is convinced to become a Hellspawn warrior in exchange for being able to be reunited with his wife. But Spawn finds himself stuck in a demonic creature shell, and that his wife moved on and married his best friend.
So this is one pissed-off antihero who attends to dispatching the scum of the city in good and evil battles that encompass Earth, Heaven and Hell.
The comic was huge in the 1990s and was previously turned into an animated film and a live-action pic with Michael Jai White playing the character. McFarlane has long gotten overtures on a new live-action film that could launch a franchise, but he always had creative issues that led him to his own gritty low-budget version at Blumhouse. He expects the budget to be between $10 million-$12 million for a dark R-rated realization of his vision that will stack up favorably from both a creative and financial standpoint.
He doesn’t intend to tell Spawn‘s origin story and he expects his anti-hero to be a man of few words.
IN THIS WEEk’S “James Ivory’s next gig” story, Months after becoming the Oscars’ oldest winner for adapting Call Me By Your Name, James Ivory has found a follow-up. He’ll adapt for director Alexander Payne and Fox Searchlight The Judge’s Will, based on an article in the New Yorker. It is a special assignment, given that the article was written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who was screenwriter on 23 films Ivory directed in their long partnership with producer Ismael Merchant. Now, he’ll adapt the last article she wrote before she died.
Conde Nast Entertainment’s Jeremy Steckler and Dawn Ostroff will produce with Ad Hominem Enterprises, the company Payne runs with Jim Burke and Jim Taylor.
Jhabvala wrote the article about the final moments in the chess game relationship between an ailing Delhi judge and his Bombay wife. Each had separate lives even though they lived under the same roof and, as he nears death, the judge wants to be sure that his even younger, barely educated mistress is cared for and not cast out.
The story was published in 2014 and Payne and Searchlight moved quickly to option it. Payne got busy with other projects and never had it adapted. Then Ivory, who directed so many of Jhabvala’s scripts, got the nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and Payne asked him if he would take on another writing job. He liked Payne’s idea to move the film from India to Chicago, believing that Jhabvala would herself have embraced the suggestion.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Another kids game? Film it!” story, Paramount Players has picked up the film rights to Creepy Crawlers, the iconic toy brand owned by JAKKS Pacific, the two companies announced Wednesday.
“Creepy Crawlers has been an iconic brand since the 1960’s and we are honored to work with Neal Moritz, Paramount Players, and the Nickelodeon-Viacom Family in bringing it to life on the big screen,” said Stephen Berman, chairman & CEO of JAKKS Pacific. “We, and the studio, envision the property to be developed into a family adventure film in the vein of Jumanji.”
Neal H. Moritz is set to produce alongside Marc Gurvitz. Toby Ascher and Berman will serve as executive producers.
Plot details are unknown at this time, but the film is set to be based on the toy molds developed originally by Mattel in the early ’60s. The toy was then reimagined by ToyMax in the ’90s and allowed to children to create various bug-like creatures.
Well, if it at least has a bunch of creatures in it, that should be fun.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Bong Joon-ho strikes again” story, South Korea’s top filmmaker, Bong Joon-ho has begun shooting Parasite, his first film since Okja which was backed by Netflix and debuted in competition last year in Cannes. It stars Song Kang-ho, Korea’s leading character actor.
The film is a drama about a family of four, in which each member has unique characteristics. Bong says that, despite the title, the film does not include either parasites or alien creatures.
Production started on Sunday. “The film had been originally scheduled to start shooting in our studio on May 25, but was pushed back slightly,” a spokesperson from Goyang Aqua Studio, an outfit that specializes in underwater shooting, told Variety on Wednesday.
After shooting Snowpiercer and “Okja largely in English, the film is Bong’s first Korean-language title since his 2009 Mother. He has reassembled production elements from Mother. Barunson E&A is on board as producer. CJ Entertainment is set as the Korean distributor. CJ is also to handle international sales, ahead of a release anticipated in 2019.
IN THIS WEEK’S ” Sony goes all-in” story, Sony Pictures is diving head first into their dark universe of Spiderman villains.
Last November it was revealed that they would be developing a film about Morbius, the Living Vampire anti-hero character. It was reported last November that Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama, who worked on the recent Power Rangers movie and Netflix’s Lost in Space, wrote the script. Sadly, they also wrote Dracula Untold, The Last Witchhunter, and Gods of Egypt. Yikes. Maybe they should leave those off the resume’?
Morbius is Dr. Michael Morbius, a scientist who suffered from a rare blood disease and attempted to cure himself to disastrous results. He instead became afflicted with a condition that was a form of vampirism — the thirst for blood, along with fangs and super strength — and fought Spider-Man. Over time, however, he became a slightly heroic figure in his own right.
Being referred to as a “action horror” film, here’s the synopsis:
“Horror action story of a scientist who, in trying to find a cure for a rare blood disease, accidentally transformed himself into a living vampire who, though disgusted by his own bloodlust, chooses to prey upon criminals he deems unworthy of life.”
Morbius was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane and first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #101, the first issue not written by Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee.
Holy 2nd – or 3rd – string Spiderman villains!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Woody Harrelson spills the beans” story, Back in February, it was alleged that Woody Harrelson would be playing Cletus Kasady (Carnage) in Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer‘s Venom. The report carried a massive spoiler, suggesting that the Spider-Man spinoff would not include Carnage, but set the stage for his arrival in the sequel. It was explained that, during a prison interaction, a piece of symbiote would make its way off Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and onto Kasady. The sequence is allegedly set for the closing of the film, which would mean Harrelson’s appearance is simply a cameo and that he’d be the starring antagonist in the film’s sequel.
“I’m in a little fraction of this movie, but I’ll be in the next one, you know? So I haven’t read that script, but anyways, just rolled the dice,” he told Collider.
Ok, well, that’s pretty transparent.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Not with Garland, you won’t” story, In a recent interview with IndieWire, writer-director Alex Garland said that he has zero interest in making a follow-up to his film, Annihilation. “I’ve got no objection to someone else doing that, but I’m not interested in the idea of a sequel,” Garland said. “I feel like we made this movie and this is the movie we made.”
It turns out, Alex Garland just isn’t a fan of sequels.
“When the thing is done, I am done with it,” Garland said. “I instantly start moving on, so I don’t even have an opinion on an Annihilation sequel. All the way through I was clear with everyone, from the studio to the cast, I told everyone that I didn’t really see it as part of a franchise. My goal was to make this film and do the best job I can. I didn’t even conceptualize it as the start of a trilogy. Sequels are just not something I’m interested in doing. It’s like when you don’t like steak, you don’t make the decision not to eat steak, you just don’t eat steak. I just don’t do sequels.”
I can totally appreciate that.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Sonic!, story, actor James Marsden to star in the Sonic the Hedgehog movie.
“Westworld’s James Marsden will star in Paramount’s live-action/animation hybrid movie Sonic the Hedgehog, an adaptation of the classic video game, sources tell Variety.
The studio landed the film rights to the classic game in 2017 and tapped Jeff Fowler to direct.
Neal H. Moritz, who recently signed a first-look deal with Paramount, is producing under his Original Film banner. “Deadpool director Tim Miller will serve as executive producer, along with Toby Ascher. Dmitri Johnson and Dan Jevons will co-produce.
Sega launched the Sonic game in 1991 and has sold more than 360 million copies to date, including both packaged and digital games on consoles, tablets, and mobile.
The game features a hedgehog named Sonic on a quest to defeat Doctor Robotnik, a scientist who has imprisoned animals in robots and stolen magical Chaos Emeralds.
The movie is set to bow on Nov. 15, 2019. The film marks the first time that Sonic has ever been adapted for the big screen.
Wow, some of these video game film adaptations are going to have a real challenge coming up with a plot that can be dragged out into 90 + minutes…
IN THIS WEEK’S ” Rosebud…” story, Netflix will bring Orson Welles’ generations-awaited final work to computer and cineplex screens.
Wellesnet first reported the theatrical release of The Other Side of the Wind, revealed in a May 27 tweet from Frank Marshall, production manager during the original shoot (1970-1976). More than 1,000 reels of film negatives languished in a Paris vault until March 2017, when the streaming service acquired the footage, entrusted it to a Marshall-led team of editors, and footed the completion/restoration costs.
A source close to the studio confirmed to IndieWire that The Other Side of the Wind will have numerous cinema showings, but details for the rollout are still being planned. Netflix owns global rights to the film.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Let’s just mash everything together, then” story, when you’ve already exhausted the Alice in Wonderland stuff AND Peter Pan, how do you make money on these properties? Mash them together in a prequel!
According to The Hollywood Reporter, that’s exactly what director Brenda Chapman, best known for her Oscar-winning animated film Brave, is set to do. And to add some more intrigue to the whole project, she’s bringing along Angelina Jolie and David Oyelowo to star.
Come Away is the prequel to both Alice and Peter Pan, which finds Peter and Alice as siblings before their fateful trips to Wonderland and Neverland. And when their eldest sibling dies in a tragic accident, Peter and Alice have to work together to save their parents (Jolie and Oyelowo), as they succumb to their despair. The siblings are forced to choose between home and imagination.
As mentioned, Chapman is signed on to direct, making this film her first live-action feature, and the script for Come Away is written by Marissa Kate Goodhill, making her feature film debut.
It’s amazing how much energy is spent on such nonsense. If people spent as much creative energy on actual NEW ideas for films, who knows how much good stuff would be in theaters?
IN THIS WEEK’S “Remember that show Alias?” story, Finally someone has gotten Jennifer Garner to do action, again.
Garner stars in Peppermint, a new action-thriller from Taken director Pierre Morel. Garner plays a woman out for justice after waking up from a coma to find her family murdered.
In Peppermint, Garner plays a wife and mother “who awakens from a coma after her husband and daughter are killed in a brutal attack on the family. When the system frustratingly shields the murderers from justice, Riley sets out to transform herself from citizen to urban guerilla. Channeling her frustration into personal motivation, she spends years in hiding honing her mind, body and spirit to become an unstoppable force – eluding the underworld, the LAPD and the FBI – as she methodically delivers her personal brand of justice.”
Peppermint comes from Pierre Morel, director of the first Taken film, and co-stars John Gallagher Jr., John Ortiz, Method Man, Richard Cabral, and Annie Ilonzeh.
Garner had this to say at a CinemaCon presentation:
“The thing about Alias that made it so special was J.J.’s [Abrams] script, and how compelling the stakes were for that character all the time…To do action for the sake of action has never interested me but this script was so smart. There’s no bigger stake than your children and nobody had never asked me in a smart way to do something as a mom for her child.”
She added: Garner also added: “This was to avenge your child’s death, and there’s no bigger reason to go out and get into really good shape and then kill people.” Well said, Jennifer Garner.
I have to hope that this film be good. I’m happy to see Jennifer Garner in a role like this, as opposed to her more recent trend of playing moms, or rom-com stuff. she has the experience in tough action roles, so let her be tough.
IN THIS WEEK’S “The Crow ain’t flying” story, the long in development reboot of The Crow, is dead.
However, according to Deadline, The Crow is doomed again.
The report says that star Jason Momoa and director Corin Hardy have left the production. This news stems from Sony’s reluctance to release the film after “creative and financial differences” with Samuel Hadida, whose film company has the rights and was financing the production. Long story short, The Crow is without a star, filmmaker, and distributor again.
The death of this latest ‘Crow’ attempt is especially sad, considering Momoa has posted on social media multiple times about his enthusiasm for the film. Also, Deadline says that the project was about to exit pre-production and begin filming in the next five weeks. And now, Momoa and Hardy join a long list of stars and filmmakers that have given it their best effort, but ultimately failed in producing a new version of “The Crow.
Momoa spoke about the situation on Instagram:
“I’ve waited 8 years to play this dream role. I love you @corinhardy and @sonypictures unfortunately I may have to wait 8 more. Not our team. But I swear I will. James O’Barr sorry to let you down I won’t on the next. This film needs to be set free. And to the fans. Sorry. I can’t play anything but what this film deserves and it needs love. I’m ready when it’s right.”
So, for now, that’s that for The Crow. Not that i’m itching for a reboot/remake. I’m quite fond of the film made with Brandon Lee. But I DO like Jason Momoa, and think if you’re going to remake this, then he’s a good choice.
Take a look at these other actors who have been in consideration for the role of The Crow, and tell me if you think any of them would be better. (Oh, I seriously don’t think so.) : Bradley Cooper, Mark Wahlberg, Channing Tatum, Ryan Gosling, James McAvoy, Tom Hiddleston, Jack Huston, and Luke Evans. Yeah, ok, NONE of those actors would be right for this. MAYBE James McAvoy. But seriously, can you see Wahlberg in this role? Ugh.
Ok, maybe it IS a good thing this project died.
IN THIS WEEK’S “As if anybody cares” story, the Slenderman movie is being shopped around because producers and Sony are fighting.
Distribution rights for the upcoming horror movie are on the block because the film’s producers are having heated disagreements about the release strategy with Sony Pictures, the studio that is supposed to debut the film in August. Sony sees the film as a low-budget, Blumhouse-style release, according to two insiders, while the producers have more confidence in the movie and are pushing for the picture to unspool across more screens. They also want a bigger marketing push, which will cost more money than Sony is willing to spend.
The producers have triggered a clause in their contract that allows them to solicit higher offers. They’ve shown the film to several studios including Netflix and Amazon, but some companies that have seen the nearly completed picture are skeptical about its commercial potential.
That’s industry speak for “it kinda sucks”.
If the producers cannot find another studio, Sony may move forward with its Aug. 24 release date. Slender Man is directed by Sylvain White and stars Joey King, Jaz Sinclair, and Julia Goldani Telles.
Does anyone really care about this movie?
IN THIS WEEK’S “Making us wait” story, A24 is pushing the release of Under the Silver Lake for six months.
A24 has decided to push back the release of It Follows filmmaker David Robert Mitchell’s highly anticipated follow-up Under the Silver Lake by six months. The film was set to hit theaters in just a few weeks, on June 22nd, but it will now bow on December 7th. It’s unclear exactly what led to the release date change, but the film’s Cannes Film Festival debut may hold the key. The film had its world premiere last month at Cannes, where it received mixed reviews. Most critics had some form of praise for the movie, but a recurring refrain was that Mitchell had crafted a sprawling, epic, David Lynch-like tale with plenty of detours. It’s possible that Mitchell will head back into the editing room and recut the film, which is a practice that’s been known to take place after underwhelming Cannes debuts.
Obviously for me, I was looking forward to this one, as I enjoyed It Follows.
The film also stars Jimmi Simpson, Topher Grace, Callie Hernandez, Summer Bishil, Riki Lindhome, and Zosia Mamet. AND, here’s the official synopsis:
“From the dazzling imagination that brought you It Follows comes a delirious neo-noir fever dream about one man’s search for the truth behind the mysterious crimes, murders, and disappearances in his East L.A. neighborhood.
Sam (Andrew Garfield) is a disenchanted 33-year-old who discovers a mysterious woman, Sarah (Riley Keough), frolicking in his apartment’s swimming pool. When she vanishes, Sam embarks on a surreal quest across Los Angeles to decode the secret behind her disappearance, leading him into the murkiest depths of mystery, scandal, and conspiracy in the City of Angels.
From writer-director David Robert Mitchell comes a sprawling, playful and unexpected mystery-comedy detective thriller about the Dream Factory and its denizens—dog killers, aspiring actors, glitter-pop groups, nightlife personalities, It girls, memorabilia hoarders, masked seductresses, homeless gurus, reclusive songwriters, sex workers, wealthy socialites, topless neighbors, and the shadowy billionaires floating above (and underneath) it all. Mining a noir tradition extending from Kiss Me Deadly and The Long Goodbye to Chinatown and Mulholland Drive, Mitchell uses the topography of Los Angeles as a backdrop for a deeper exploration into the hidden meaning and secret codes buried within the things we love.”
Wow, that’s kinda wordy.
IN THIS WEEK’S “The horror!” story, Brian De Palma is returning to the horror genre with a new script inspired by Harvey Weinstein.
The director, no stranger to the genre having made Carrie, revealed to French publication Le Parisien (via The Playlist) that he will be taking on Weinstein’s sexual harassment and abuse in a new film. Weinstein will not be a named character in the film, but he will inspire the movie’s narrative.
“I’m writing a film about this scandal, a project I’m talking about with a French producer,” De Palma said. “My character won’t be named Harvey Weinstein but it will be a horror film, with a sexual aggressor, and it will take place in the film industry.”
De Palma’s film is not the only work being developed based on Weinstein and his pattern of sexual abuse. Acclaimed playwright David Mamet is working on a Weinstein-related Broadway play.
Weinstein is like he new Freddie from Nightmare on Elm Street….but you know, there isn’t any humor in it. It’s way too real.
IN THIS WEEK’S “No, you’re not” story, so apparently the idea of a Rush Hour 4 being made is still very much a possibility. And Brett Ratner thinks he’s directing it. Warner Bros., however, does not agree with him.
Brett Ratner, who directed all three of the previous movies in the franchise, has been boasting that he is going to be the director of Rush Hour 4. Warner Bros. sources say that isn’t going to be the case, but it appears anyone with any power at the studio doesn’t want to tell Ratner that.
Brett Ratner was one of the many powerful figures in Hollywood accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, including Olivia Munn, Natasha Henstridge and Ellen Paige. Warner Bros. then removed him from any future DC projects, which had been producing via his company, Ratpac Entertainment. Ratner denied allegations made against him, but as an anonymous high-level executive put it in a recent interview with The Hollywood
Reporter, doing a movie with him right now would be “a suicide mission.” Here’s what the source had to say about the Rush Hour 4 situation.
“Brett has been walking around town telling people he’s going to direct a Rush Hour movie because it’s his only way back in. He’s trying to make believe he’s employable.”
Brett Ratner shoudln’t be directing anything anyway.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Oh, so THAT’s the deal” story, some more info has turned up about the whole Lethal Weapon TV show mess.
Apparently Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford did NOT get along. At all.
That conflict, which had begun to spill into public view on their respective social media accounts, appeared to be resolved in May, when producer Warner Bros. fired Crawford, replacing him with Seann William Scott and securing a season-three renewal from Fox.
But interviews with 31 people who worked on the series and spoke anonymously with Variety — not to mention a pair of never-before-seen on-set videos — reveal the full extent of the animosity between Crawford and Wayans. Behind the scenes, “Lethal Weapon” had descended into chaos, grinding production to a halt on multiple occasions, splitting the crew into factions, and creating an environment so toxic that by season’s end,
Pinkerton security guards were present on set at all times to ensure that disagreements would not deteriorate into physical violence.
Now Warner Bros. is cleaning house, parting ways with a number of below-the-liners viewed as loyal to Crawford.
Crawford and Wayans declined to comment for this story, as did representatives for Warner Bros. Television and Fox Broadcasting.
One virulent exchange from March caught on the actors’ microphones and captured in a video provided to Variety exemplifies Crawford and Wayans’ fraught relationship. Just moments before the two actors shot a scene together, they exchanged profane insults, with Crawford telling Wayans, “You’re the biggest crybaby p—y I’ve ever met in my life,” and Wayans responding, “Well suck this p–y’s d–k.”
Ok then. Ther’s more of that AND some problems with one of the directors not liking how some of the actors – including Crawford – were overly assertive with their suggestions about lines and blocking.
There is SO much more drama to read about, but there just isn’t enough room to report on it all. Sounds like one show to stay far away from.
And IN THIS WEEK’S “Gonna get crazier” story, Allison Mack, the former Smallville star arrested last month on sex trafficking charges for her role as a leader of the NXIVM organization that authorities have called a “sex cult,” said that she came up with the idea of physically branding the women in the group.
“I was like: ‘Y’all, a tattoo? People get drunk and tattooed on their ankle ‘BFF,’ or a tramp stamp,” Mack told the New York Times Magazine in a story published late Wednesday. “I have two tattoos and they mean nothing.’”
Times writer Vanessa Grigoriadis also reported that not all of the women who received the cauterized brand were told that the symbol contained the initials of both NXIVM founder Keith Raniere and Mack herself.
Mack, who is free on $5 million bail until a trial scheduled for October, said in the interviews — conducted months before her arrest — that the group used painful practices as a motivational technique.
“I found my spine, and I just kept solidifying my spine every time I would do something hard,” Mack said. She said NXIVM focused on “women coming together and pledging to one another a full-time commitment to become our most powerful and embodied selves by pushing on our greatest fears, by exposing our greatest vulnerabilities, by knowing that we would stand with each other no matter what, by holding our word, by overcoming pain.”
Mack is accused of recruiting women into the organization, and of “directly or implicitly” requiring these women to have sex with NXIVM founder Keith Raniere, according to U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue.
Mack has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking, and if convicted, she faces 15 years to life in prison.
Holy bat-shit bonkers crazy.
Ok, see you all next timem! Go see a movie!