Welcome to another week where a bunch of stuff happened!
IN THIS WEEK’S “I talk to giant monsters” story, Vera Farmiga has offered some strange insight into her character in Godzilla 2, aka Godzilla: King of the Monsters. According to Farmiga, her character can both communicate with and possibly control the big, city-leveling monsters in the film. Ok, that sounds very Toho.
To give a little context, Farmiga’s character is a paleobiologist, and Stranger Things breakout Millie Bobby Brown plays her daughter. Kyle Chandler plays Farmiga’s husband.
In addition to Farmiga, Brown and Chandler, King of the Monsters also stars Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Bradley Whitford, Thomas Middleditch, Charles Dance, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Aisha Hinds, Zhang Ziyi and Anthony Ramos. The movie roars into theaters on May 31, 2019.
I am absolutely giddy with delight over this film.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Black Adam, sure – but how?” story, There’s been talk of the Black Adam film being made for a while now. Dwayne Johnson is set to play the DC comics character, but they’re still trying to figure out ow to fit him into the Universe.
So, Black Adam, the mythical anti-hero blessed with the abilities of Egyptian gods, may some day grace the silver screen, but it doesn’t sound like it will be any time soon.
Many feel Johnson is the only actor with the requisite musculature to believably play someone with the strength of Amon and the stamina of Shu. That’s still the plan, Johnson said at the New York City premiere of his new action-thriller “Skyscraper,” though it’s unclear when cameras will finally roll.
“The script is coming along,” Johnson told Variety on the red carpet on Tuesday night. “I’m very happy with it. That’s a project that obviously you want to take your time with.”
Black Adam is the frequent foil of Shazam in the comics, but Johnson has publicly said he will not be appearing in the forthcoming film version of the popular title.
“I’m not in that one,” Johnson told SyFy. “It’s Shazam and Black Adam and, with the way the DC universe works, we should — in theory — meet up on the big screen. But who knows.”
Shazam with Zachary Levi in the title role hits theaters next April, but it’s a time of transition for DC, at least in terms of the films it produces. The company is struggling to achieve the kind of cinematic consistency that its rival Marvel enjoys. But there’s new leadership tasked with righting the ship and achieving greater quality control. Walter Hamada, a veteran producer, has taken over the film operations. He replaces Jon Berg, who left as co-head of DC movies last winter to become a production partner with Roy Lee, the producer of The Lego Movie and It. He also steps in for Geoff Johns, the comic book writer who was ousted last month as DC’s chief creative officer.
Oh, the shenanigans at DC.
IN THIS WEEK’S “What’s next, King of Wakanda?” story, Deadline is reporting that Chadwick Boseman has signed on to star and produce in the action film, 17 Bridges. The film follows a disgraced NYPD detective who is seeking redemption while tracking a cop killer. How the multitude of bridges fits into the plot is anyone’s guess. Coming along with Boseman are none other than Joe and Anthony Russo, who have worked with the actor in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, to help produce the film.
17 Bridges will be directed by Brian Kirk, who is probably best known for his work on Game of Thrones and Luther. The film’s script is written by newcomer Adam Mervis.
17 Bridges is expected to begin in September. That means, we can probably expect the film to hit theaters sometime in 2019.
Boseman’s career is gonna soar.
IN THIS WEEK’S “From the guy that gave us Deadpool…” story, Studio 8 has secured the movie rights to Prophet, based on the Image Comics character from Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld.
Studio 8 plans to build a franchise around the title character, John Prophet, a DNA-enhanced super-soldier placed into a cryogenic freeze for a future mission only to awaken in the wrong time — which is the present — searching for a mission that does not exist. He’s a ruthless berserker who must find his humanity.
Liefeld, Adrian Askarieh, and Brooklyn Weaver will produce. Liefeld created John Prophet in another comic, Youngblood, which led to the launch of the Prophet series in 1993. Liefeld has created over 150 characters, including Marvel’s Deadpool, Cable, Domino, and the X-Force.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Netflix and Kelly Bundy” story, Christina Applegate will star and executive produce in Netflix’s dark comedy series Dead to Me from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.
Dead to Me is a dark comedy about a powerful friendship that blossoms between a tightly wound widow and a free spirit with a shocking secret.
Applegate will play Jen, a poised and put together woman with a dark sense of humor and an anger problem that she doesn’t necessarily want to deal with. Jen has been struggling to keep it together in the months since her husband was killed in a hit and run.
The series is produced by CBS Television Studios and Gloria Sanchez Productions for Netflix. Liz Feldman, a writer and producer best known for her work on “2 Broke Girls,” wrote the script and will be the executive producer and showrunner. Applegate, Ferrell, McKay and Jessica Elbaum will also executive produce.
IN THIS WEEK’S “It’s official” story: Joaquin Phoenix will play the Clown Prince of Crime in a Joker standalone movie. We more or less already knew this, but after months of rumor and speculation, it appears Phoenix has officially, finally signed on to the project. And now Warner Bros. will make it, with Todd Phillips directing.
THR confirms that Phoenix has officially decided to give the whole comic book movie thing a try. The film will be an origin story for Batman’s most infamous foe, and rumors in the past have suggested the story will be drawing on the iconic Alan Moore and Brian Bolland comic The Killing Joke. Todd Phillips, director of The Hangover, will helm the Joker movie, which THR says will have a budget somewhere in the “$55 million range, significantly lower than the tentpoles that dominate the form. And the standalone is meant to be darker and more experimental in tone and content (at least as experimental as a studio can be with established brands such as DC), which is described as being akin to a crime drama.”
This whole ‘stand alone’ film idea at Warner/DC is pretty weird. I’m not sure I’m on board. However, Pheonix is a great actor and could potentially do something really cool with the Joker. I guess we’ll see.
There’s no release date for the Joker movie yet, but THR says it starts shooting this September, and we might see it as soon as 2019.
ADDENDUM: Phoenix says that he takes “a lot of time and consideration” when deciding which projects to pursue, and that this one “scares the fucking shit out of me” — which is part of why he’s doing it.
IN THIS WEEK’S “We JUST did this” story, District 9 director Neill Blomkamp and MGM are developing a new RoboCop flick called RoboCop Returns. The studio hopes to revive a franchise and original writers Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner are producing and exec producing with Justin Rhodes (Terminator) rewriting the script that Neumeier and Miner wrote years ago as a planned sequel to Verhoeven’s hit that never happened.
“The original definitely had a massive effect on me as a kid,” Blomkamp told Deadline. “I loved it then and it remains a classic at the end of 20th Century sci-fi catalog, with real meaning under the surface. Hopefully, that is something we can get closer to in making of a sequel. That is my goal here. What I connected to as a kid has evolved over time. At first, the consumerism, materialism and Reaganomics, that ’80s theme of America on steroids, came through most strongly. But As I’ve gotten older, the part that really resonated with me is identity and the search for identity. As long as the human component is there, a good story can work in any time period, it’s not locked into a specific place in history. What’s so cool about RoboCop is that like good Westerns, sci-fi films, and dramas, the human connection is really important to a story well told. What draws me now is someone searching for their lost identity, taken away at the hands of people who are benefiting from it, and seeing his memory jogged by events. That is most captivating. The other thing I am excited about is the chance to work again with Justin Rhodes. He has added elements that are pretty awesome, to a sequel that was set in the world of Verhoeven. This is a movie I would love to watch.”
Ok, I guess we’re getting this whether we want it or not.
IN THIS WEEK’S “From a tire, to crazy cops.” story, Remember that movie Rubber, about the sentient tire? Well that director is back.
Rubber helmer Quentin Dupieux has returned to French cinemas with his latest effort Keep An Eye Out (Au Poste) and it would appear he’s got a bit of a hit on his hands with over a hundred thousand admissions in its first week.
Louis just found the corpse of a man in front of his apartment building. Taken in for custody by Captain Buron, he finds himself on the wrong end of a surreal interrogation. But how can you prove you are innocent when the cops are crazy?
Benoit Poelvoorde and Gregoire Ludig star in what appears to be – as is the case with all of Dupieux’s work – a deeply absurd comedy.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Birds of Prey is flying”, story, if you recall, last year there was talk of this Birds of Prey movie with Margot Robbie.
Well, it’s happening. The new project has been confirmed by multiple sources, including Robbie herself, and it’s going to be called Birds of Prey. Robbie has already called it a “girl gang” film in the DC universe, and while details are still hazy and up in the air, we’ve still managed to wrangle a handful of exciting tidbits related to the project. Yes, it’s still going to be quite some time before the film hits screens – there is no release date yet.
In another interview with Yahoo!, Robbie teased a bunch of character that might make it into this so-called “girl gang.” There’s Katana from Suicide Squad, plus more from the extended DC universe: Black Canary, Huntress, Catwoman, Hawkgirl, Power Girl, Poison Ivy, and Vixen.
Birds of Prey will have an ‘R’ rating. Deadpool has done so well with it that it seems like DC wants to get in on that, too. Always a day late and a dollar short.
The goal is to fill the film with women, but Robbie also wants it to be created by women. The Wrap reports that Cathy Yan has signed on as the director. This is historic in itself — she’ll be the first Asian woman to direct a DC film. Christina Hodson is also set to pen the script, and naturally, Robbie is set to produce.
Nonetheless, this could be a fun film if they have a good script.
IN THIS WEEK’S “That was quick” story, there are not one, but TWO films in the works about the Thailand cave rescue. Two. Talk about getting the jump on a news story.
IN THIS WEEK’s “Getting closer to Black Widow” story, the Black Widow film finally has a director.
“The Berlin Syndrome helmer Cate Shortland has been tapped to direct Marvel’s Black Widow standalone movie starring Scarlett Johansson, sources confirmed to Variety.
The film has been in development for awhile, but picked up momentum in January when Jac Schaeffer was tapped to pen the script. Kevin Feige is producing the pic.
Marvel had no comment on the news.
The studio met with more than 70 filmmakers for the job before landing on Shortland, who sources say was an early favorite after a promising meeting with Johansson.
Plot details are being kept under wraps, including whether the film will be an origin tale or set after the next Avengers movie.
The film is one of several female-centric Marvel properties is either developing or in production on currently, including Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson. That movie bows on March 8, 2019.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Back to the Abbey”, story, the Downton Abbey movie has been green-lit, and the original cast is returning.
The long-awaited Downton Abbey movie is happening. The original main cast from the hit series are returning, and shooting starts in September.
Many of the stars of the series had spoken of their eagerness to return for a big-screen “Downton,” and the producers said Friday the original principal cast are on board the movie. As such, the likes of Michelle Dockery,
Maggie Smith, and Hugh Bonneville will feature.
The movie will be a Carnival Films production, with Focus Features and Universal Pictures International distributing. Julian Fellowes, who created the period drama, has written the screenplay and will produce the feature. Brian Percival, who directed the original series’ pilot, will direct the film.
The show followed the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who worked for them at the turn of the 20th century in an Edwardian English country home. Plot details of the movie are tightly under wraps.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Hint Hint?” story, actor Nathan Fillion may have teased some Uncharted related info online.
Castle and Firefly Actor Nathan Fillion made his geekiest fans flip Wednesday when he posted a clue on his social media hinting that he might be involved in something connected to the Uncharted video game franchise.
And he did it again the next day, this time with an unmistakable reference to the series.
On Wednesday, Fillion Instagramed a photo of rapper Drake, with the caption “Sic Parvis Magna.” That’s latin for “Greatness from small beginnings,” and it was the motto of British privateer Sir Francis Drake. But video game fans immediately recognized that it’s also the motto adopted by the main character of Developer Naughty Dog’s Uncharted video game series, Nathan Drake, who claims to be descended from Sir Francis.
The post also included one other tidbit: “7/16/2018.”
For those unfamiliar, the Uncharted series follow Drake, an Indiana Jones-ish thief and treasure hunter, as he trots the globe using his considerable archaeological and historical knowledge to chase down mythical artifacts and lost cities — and usually destroy them to keep warlords from using their secrets to conquer the world.
On Thursday, Fillion followed up with another image, this one of maps and a journal, and another reference to that date. In the games, Drake keeps his treasure-hunting notes in a series of journals, and in the first game, he follows in Sir Francis Drake’s footsteps using the explorer’s journal.
So yeah, the cryptic posts are definitely related to Uncharted, and the date suggests some sort of announcement is coming this Monday. What, though, is the real question. Maybe a movie?
Naughty Dog has been trying to get a movie version of the franchise off the ground for a decade with little success. At one point, David O. Russell was set to direct, with Mark Wahlberg playing the role of Nate Drake, but Russell left the project around the time his film career revived with films like Silver Linings Playbook. The most recent attempt, announced last year, would star Tom Holland as a young version of Nate, with Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy attached to direct, and a script written by Joe Carnahan. Nothing more has been heard since the initial announcement however.
So, maybe Fillion is teasing that an announcement about an Uncharted film is coming, and/or that he’ll be playing Drake himself? OR, maybe he’ll play a different character? But if the film — assuming it’s a film — is the concept unveiled last year, perhaps he’d play another role, that of Nate’s mentor, Sully. Sully is Nate’s surrogate father and basically an older, lovably sleazy good time charlie who reluctantly follows Nate around even as his increasing age makes it kind of tough.
Or maybe it’s video game related? Who knows, but perhaps we’ll all find out on Monday. Fingers crossed!
IN THIS WEEK’s “Zombie comedy with Bill Murray?” story, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch has a new project. He’s in the process of filming a new film that is dubbed a zombie comedy, and he has one of the best casts ever.
The news about The Dead Don’t Die comes from a couple of sources, but each with juicy tidbits. The first news came from an interview that Philly.com had with actor Bill Murray. When asking about his upcoming projects, the actor/comedian said, “I’ve got a good job coming up. Brace yourself: It’s a zombie movie. Jim Jarmusch has written a zombie script that’s so hilarious and it has a cast of great actors: Rosie Perez, Daniel Craig. It’s titled The Dead Don’t Die, and it shoots over the summer. But, no, I will not play a zombie.”
In addition to Murray, Perez, and Craig, the film will star Selena Gomez, Adam Driver, Chloe Sevigny, and Austin Butler
There’s no release date set for the film and no idea about distribution or much else at this point. But I’m looking forward to it!
IN THIS WEEK’S “IN THIS WEEK’S “Game of Thrones is coming” story, HBO has chosen a location for shooting the Game of Thrones prequel.
According to Belfast Telegraph, the series will begin filming this October in Belfast through Paint Hall studios in the city’s Titanic Quarter. Paint Hall studios handled most of the filming for the main Game of Thrones series and will also handle a Star Wars spinoff next year.
The prequel pilot, which author George R.R. Martin revealed has the working title The Long Night, is set thousands of years before the events of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. So don’t expect much in the way of cameos of current GoT characters.
So far, HBO has only ordered the pilot, so we’ll see how things go. Yeah, right, as if people won’t watch it i droves.
IN THIS WEEK’S “”Post Get Out” story, Jordan Peele’s next film is Us, and here’s some updates on that.
Though details of the plot are still unknown, we do know that the story focuses on two couples, one white and one black. According to an interview with Insider, the film will be the second in a series of thrillers that addresses what Peele calls “social demons.” Much like Get Out examines race and racism, Us will center around “these innately human monsters that are woven into the fabric of how we think and how we interact.” While he says the movie will follow the same tone as Get Out, it will be a completely different film and not focus on addressing race.
Lupita Nyong’o was the first official cast member of Us. Winston Duke and Elisabeth Moss joined the project soon after, to play her husband and one half of the white couple respectively. The Hollywood Reporter announced that Tim Heidecker joined the cast, completing the foursome.
Us will be written and directed by Peele and produced by his company Monkeypaw Productions, along with Get Out producer Jason Blum. The film is set to be released March 15, 2019.
And that wraps up another week of news! See ya real soon!