It’s Comic Con week!
IN THIS WEEK’S “who’s writing Barbie?” story, Barbie is looking to embolden her fashion sense by going indie.
Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, known for critically adored, film festival-playing quirky dramas, are tackling Barbie, Warner Bros.’ big-screen take on the Mattel toy icon.
Gerwig and Baumbach will write the script, with Gerwig, who last directed Lady Bird, eyeing it as a helming vehicle.
Margot Robbie is starring in the feature project and is also producing the project via LuckyChap banner and LuckyChap’s Tom Ackerley. Mattel Films’s Robbie Brenner is also producing.
A Barbie live-action feature has been in the works since 2018 and has always attracted big-names. When it was set up at Sony, Barbie had first Amy Schumer then Anne Hathaway attached to star and Alethea Jones directing. When Barbie moved her Malibu Dream House from Sony to Warners late last year, Patty Jenkins was circling as director but nothing was ever formalized.
Gerwig and Baumbach’s are outside the box for branded entertainment but shows that the studio and producers are committed to trying to make something with a unique voice in order to stand out in a crowded marketplace where titles vie for awareness.
And Gerwig and Baumbach are nothing if not unique, principally known for small-scale comedic dramas. Baumbach earned an Academy Award nomination for The Squid and the Whale and last directed The Meyerowitz Stories that starred Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller and Dustin Hoffman. Gerwig made a splash directing Lady Bird, which earned her a best directing and best screenplay Oscar nomination.
The two have collaborated on several films, including Mistress America and Frances Ha. Gerwig also starred in Baumbach’s Greenberg.
I like this development. They could actually write something interesting and maybe unexpectedly turn this material on its’ head? Maybe? I’m kinda curious.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Baz find his Elvis” story, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic has found its king of rock ‘n’ roll.
After numerous screen tests, Austin Butler has been tapped to play Elvis Presley in Luhrmann’s next feature film for Warner Bros. The studio tested with a handful of actors in full hair and make-up at the end of June to see who would join Tom Hanks, who is playing Presley’s manager, Col. Tom Parker.
“I knew I couldn’t make this film if the casting wasn’t absolutely right, and we searched thoroughly for an actor with the ability to evoke the singular natural movement and vocal qualities of this peerless star, but also the inner vulnerability of the artist,” Luhrmann said in a statement. “Throughout the casting process, it was an honor for me to encounter such a vast array of talent. I had heard about Austin Butler from his stand-out role opposite Denzel Washington in ‘The Iceman Cometh’ on Broadway, and through a journey of extensive screen testing and music and performance workshops, I knew unequivocally that I had found someone who could embody the spirit of one of the world’s most iconic musical figures.”
Luhrmann also co-wrote the script with Craig Pearce. The movie covers the relationship between the veteran manager and the young singer, who came from dirt-poor origins to become an iconic star who changed the course of music. The project marks Luhrmann’s first film since his adaptation of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio. He most recently worked on the Netflix series The Get Down.
The plan is to shoot at the top of 2020 to accommodate Hank’s schedule, which includes the upcoming Paul Greengrass movie News of the World, which shoots in the fall.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Movie I won’t see” story, The Jennifer Lopez-Owen Wilson romantic comedy Marry Me has moved from STX back to its original home, Universal Pictures.
STX previously took over the project in April. Kat Coiro is directing from a script written by John Rogers and Tami Sagher, with a rewrite by Harper Dill. Colombian singer/rapper Maluma has joined the cast and will play the fiance to Lopez’s pop star character.
The movie is based on a graphic novel by Bobby Crosby and centers on a pop star (Lopez) who, moments before marrying her rockstar fiance at Madison Square Garden, finds out that he cheated on her with her assistant. She breaks down on stage and picks a random man — a math teacher played by Wilson — out of the crowd to marry instead.
Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina will produce alongside Rogers. Executive producers are Willie Mercer, Alex Brown and J.B Roberts.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Be Vewy Quiet, again” story, production has quietly begun for A Quiet Place 2, the highly anticipated sequel to John Krasinski‘s 2018 horror sensation. Krasinski returns to helm the film that helped establish himself as a rising director, though he won’t be back in front of the camera for the sequel. Returning for A Quiet Place 2 are Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe as the Abbott family.
John Krasinski announced on Twitter that A Quiet Place 2 has begun filming, with Krasinski back on as director and Polly Morgan joining as cinematographer. Krasinski posted a photo of the clapperboard with the caption that said simply “Part II.” Whether this means the title of A Quiet Place 2 is A Quiet Place Part II is uncertain.
A Quiet Place 2 production begins in western New York, according to Syracuse.com, which tracks with the wooded setting of the first film, which was filmed in upstate New York. The film operates as a straight sequel to the first film, following the Abbott family (Blunt, Simmonds, and Jupe) as they encounter new people played by Cillian Murphy and Brian Tyree Henry. Details on the film are scarce but Krasinski offered a reason why this film is a direct sequel rather than centering on different family in the same world:
“[With A Quiet Place 2], we have the world. So it’s actually the world that’s built, it’s the idea that the rest of the world is going through this exact same experience. Are there other people that have to survive like this? It’s that idea of living through the set of circumstances, not again in the same way obviously, but exploring it more. You only got to do it intimately for a small amount of time, so what happens next?”
IN THIS WEEK’S “More Super Sizes” story, If you think that fast food restaurants have any sort of “healthy” options, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock is here to tell you the hard truth — that’s a bunch of bullshit. 13 years after making waves with his documentary “Super Size Me,” the director returns to take on the fast food corporations one more time in the upcoming sequel ‘Holy Chicken!’
As seen in the new trailer for ‘Super Size Me 2,’ Spurlock isn’t going back to his old ways and going on an all-fast food diet. Instead, he’s going to tackle the idea that these restaurants serve “healthy” food, when in fact it’s all just processed garbage. To do this, he is hoping to create his own fast food restaurant that is completely open and honest with its customers and aims to create true fast food that can seen as “healthy.”
Of course, since we’re talking about Spurlock, this isn’t some lecture series about the ills of fast food. Like his previous films and series, Super Size Me 2 looks to have the same brand of humor that made his first film such a massive success.
Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! arrives in theaters and On Demand on September 13.
Here’s the synopsis:
In the 13 years since SUPER SIZE ME, the fast-food industry has undergone a makeover. Today, chain restaurants tout food that’s “healthy,” “organic,” and “natural.” Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock explores this new reality with an approach even more immersive and subversive than that used for his first film: he sets out to open his own chicken franchise. We follow him every step of the way, from raising poultry and conjuring recipes to designing the brand and scouting a location. Spurlock brings his disarming humor to uncover the truths and lies behind this multibillion-dollar industry.
This should prove to be entertaining and disturbing. I’ll check it out.
IN THIS WEEK’S” More Hollywood” story, Damien Chazelle is not a filmmaker that likes to rest on his laurels. Back in 2014, the director debuted with his Oscar-winning feature film, Whiplash. And in the five years since, he’s helmed two more major feature films, including the Oscar-winning La La Land and last year’s First Man and is currently in production on his first Netflix series. But even before he’s done with the TV series, it appears that he’s already lining up his next film, tentatively titled Babylon.
According to Deadline, Chazelle is currently looking for a studio to support his latest project, Babylon. The film is written by the filmmaker and is slated to be his next directorial feature, with Emma Stone already looking at possibly starring. Plot details aren’t available, but “Babylon” is said to be a period film that takes place Hollywood. After exploring moviemaking in La La Land, which went on to earn a ton of awards and box office success, it shouldn’t be any surprise that Chazelle is going back to explore Hollywood one more time.
As mentioned, the filmmaker is currently in production on his series called The Eddy. That series follows another apparent love of Chazelle’s — jazz. The Eddy tells the story of a New York jazz musician that opens a club in France and finds himself involved with relationship drama with a singer and the appearance of his estranged daughter.
The report claims that there will be plenty of studios lining up to spend the money to land Babylon. Lionsgate is the apparent front-runner, as the studio has a history with Chazelle, but this new project requires a significant budget and apparently has other potential interested parties willing to bid on the latest potential blockbuster.
Obviously, no release date has been named, but it would seem like a 2020 production start date is likely.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Officially awesome news!” story, Taika Waititi will return to write and direct Thor 4, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
The filmmaker directed the third film in the installment, Thor: Ragnarok, which was written by Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle and Christopher L. Yost. The first two Thor films were directed by Kenneth Branagh and Alan Taylor, respectively.
Waititi also starred as Korg in Ragnarok, which he then reprised in Avengers: Endgame this year. His other recent directing credits include Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows. His upcoming projects include Jojo Rabbit and Akira, which has been put on hold indefinitely.
IN THIS WEEK’S ” Mermaid Styles” story, Harry Styles is the latest actor to go under the sea.
The singer-turned-actor is in early negotiations to play the iconic role of Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.
The pic, which is being directed by Rob Marshall, is in the throes of casting, having recently found its Ariel with R&B singer Halle Bailey of Chloe x Halle fame. Melissa McCarthy, Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina are also in talks to be part of Disney’s world.
Eric is the human prince who catches Ariel’s eye. The mermaid saves the prince from drowning and then makes a deal with the sea witch Ursula to exchange her voice for legs in order for a chance to make him love her. He is key in the final battle against Ursula.
The casting of Styles and Bailey show the studio’s intent of making the music a central component of the remake. Interestingly, the character of Eric performed no songs in the 1989 animated original. That was remedied, however, in the 2000s Broadway musical, with Eric now performing several numbers, including two solos.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Happy Life” STORY, Deadline has learned that San Andreas and True Detective star Alexandra Daddario is set to star in Highland Film Group’s comedy Happy Life opposite Evangeline Lilly and Ike Barinholtz.
Pic reps the directorial debut of Mindy Project and Blockers producer David Stassen which he’s also writing. Happy Life follows new mom Allison Beck (Lilly) who suspects her workaholic husband Eli (Barinholtz) is having an affair with an Instagram star (Daddario). One mistake after another leads her into the arms of a younger man as she struggles to come to terms with her life decisions as she strays farther from her perfect, responsible super-mom self. Production starts in September.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Whoa” story, turns out, Warcraft the film was going to be a trilogy. Wow. Kinda glad it wasn’t. No offense to Duncan Jones, but hey, not a film for which we needed a trilogy.
IN THIS WEEK’S “it figures” story, The sexual assault case against Kevin Spacey has been dropped due to the “unavailability of the complaining witness,” according to court documents obtained by E! News. In a press release the District Attorney for the Cape and Islands District Michael O’Keefe further explained that the case was dropped because, “a defendant cannot be convicted on the uncorroborated testimony of an immunized witness.” Furthermore, the district attorney asserts that granting immunity to the witness “compromises the witness to a degree which… makes the further prosecution untenable.”
E! News has reached out to Spacey’s attorney for comment.
Kevin Spacey was arraigned in Nantucket District Court on Monday after being accused of sexually assaulting the son of a former TV news anchor at a bar in Nantucket, Mass. back in 2016.
The 59-year-old actor flew in for the proceedings via a private plane and appeared to be smiling as he entered the courthouse around 10:45 a.m. local time. During a nine-minute hearing, Spacey was ordered to stay away from and have no contact with the alleged victim or his family. The court also ordered preservation of cell phone data from the alleged victim’s phone from July 2016 to six months after the alleged incident.
According to CNN, a plea of not guilty was entered on Spacey’s behalf.
The next hearing is scheduled for Mar. 4 at 11:00 a.m. local time. The court agreed to waive Spacey’s appearance; however, he must be available by phone.
I’m sorry, WHAT NOW? He can do it by phone? That’s appalling.
Judge Thomas Barrett oversaw the proceedings, and Spacey was represented by Alan Jackson. The alleged victim was represented by assistant district attorney Michael Giardino.
~ And in some good news, We’re off to San Diego Comic Con! See you next week!