Things keep happening. Funny how that is.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Slowly but surely” story, James Bond 25 info tickles in little by little.
The 25th James Bond movie will be titled No Time To Die, the official 007 Twitter account announced Tuesday.
The film starring Daniel Craig returning as Bond opens in the U.K. on April 3, 2020 and on April 8 in the U.S.
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga for what will be Craig’s fifth entry in the franchise, No Time To Die finds Bond having left active service and enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
Best Actor Oscar winner Rami Malek is joining the cast as the film’s villain, and other newcomers include Dali Benssalah, Billy Magnussen, Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch and David Dencik.
TheWrap also confirmed that Christoph Waltz is returning to the series to reprise his role as the villain Blofeld. Waltz made his appearance as the iconic Bond villain in 2015’s Spectre. He’ll be joined by other returning cast members, including Ralph Fiennes as MI6 head M, Ben Whishaw as the organization’s quartermaster Q, Naomie Harris as Bond’s assistant Moneypenny, Lea Seydoux as his former flame Dr. Madeleine Swann, Rory Kinnear as MI6 chief of staff Bill Tanner and Jeffrey Wright as Bond’s CIA counterpart Felix Leiter.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Best casting addition ever” story, Michael Rooker, who played Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, has joined the cast of Universal’s Fast & Furious 9, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
Rooker will play a small role of a character named Buddy in the action sequel. He joins fellow newcomer to the franchise John Cena, as well as returning stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris and more.
Justin Lin is directing the ninth film in the franchise that is already in production. The plot is still under wraps, but Dan Casey wrote the screenplay. Diesel is producing the film via his One Race Films banner, and Lin is also producing for Perfect Storm Entertainment.
Fast & Furious 9 opens in theaters on May 22, 2020.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Another addition” story, Tracy Morgan will join the cast of Paramount’s Coming 2 America, the sequel to Eddie Murphy’s 1988 cult comedy.
Directed by John Landis, Coming to America followed Akeem (Murphy), the spoiled prince of a fictional African nation who protests against an arranged marriage set by his father, King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones). Traveling to America, he goes undercover as a fast-food employee while searching for a woman to take as his wife with the help of his friend, Semmi (Arsenio Hall).
The sequel will follow Akeem as he returns to New York to find his long-lost son and groom him to become his successor to the throne. Morgan will play the son’s uncle, a hustler named Reem whose sister, played by Leslie Jones, gave birth to the unwitting heir after a one night stand with Akeem.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Money talks, and walks” story, Marvel fans’ worst fear has seemingly come to fruition. Sony has decided to take its ‘Spider-Man’ film franchise and move on without the involvement of Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios, and Disney.
Deadline is reporting that a deal that was being worked on with Disney and Sony has completely fallen apart with the latter deciding that it doesn’t need Feige’s involvement any longer in the ‘Spider-Man’ franchise. Sony reportedly feels like they have the formula of a quality ‘Spider-Man’ film already and have secured Tom Holland and director Jon Watts for two more films. So, in Sony’s opinion, why do they need Feige?
Personally, I think this is bullshit. I mean, I GET it. Sony wants to capitalize on what they now perceive as money in the bank for a couple Spider-Man movies. But they fail to realize that now they will have NO mention, or connection with, any Marvel Cinematic Universe films or characters. I think EVERYONE loses.
ADDENDUM: Sony has released an official statement on the matter now which confirms that the split is indeed happening.
The studio’s statement promises that Spidey’s story will still continue on from where things were left off in Spider-Man: Far From Home though, even if Peter Parker can’t rub shoulders with the Avengers any longer. The statement cites that they’re “disappointed” that Kevin Feige will no longer spearhead the character’s movies but that they “respect Disney’s decision.”
It’s the last line that’s the most intriguing, though, as it gives us the first hint at what Sony will do next. “Kevin is terrific,” it says, “and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue.”
The original story of the split suggested that Tom Holland and director Jon Watts will be returning for two more movies over at Sony, which fits in line with the studio’s tease that their efforts will follow the story Feige began in the MCU. We can perhaps infer, then, that the arc which kicked off in Far From Home – that of Peter’s secret identity being outed to the world – will go ahead. Just don’t expect Nick Fury to show up next time or for Spidey to crossover in, say, Avengers 5.
Sony’s stock has already fallen since the news, with fans even calling for a boycott of their movies (despite it being Disney’s decision to split after Sony wouldn’t agree to a 50/50 share of the profits). As things stand though, Spider-Man in the MCU is no more.
As usual, it all comes down to money.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Seriously, WTF?” story, Looks like we’ll need to decide which pill to take again, the red of the blue, because a new Matrix movie is happening at Warner Bros, with Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity and Lana Wachowski set to write and direct an all-new film set in the genre-defining world.
Warner Bros will co-produce with the franchise’s original co-producer Village Roadshow.
Warner Bros Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich made the announcement today. Lana Wachowski is producing with Grant Hill. Wachowski is also co-writing with Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell.
I can not fathom why this is happening on any creative level. I suppose I AM curious to see what Lana Wachowski has in mind creatively here. But otherwise, I just don’t have any desire to see another Matrix film.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Hold, please” story, Disney is shaking up its release calendar, delaying its live action Cruella until Memorial Day 2021 and pushing Fox 2000 drama The Woman in the Window to 2020.
Cruella, starring Emma Stone, is based on the classic 101 Dalmatians villain Cruella de Vil. The revisit to Disney’s animated classic was originally set to hit theaters Dec. 23, 2020, but will now debut on May 28, 2021. I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie directed the movie, which also features Emma Stone in the title role and Joel Fry.
Amy Adams’ The Woman in the Window, which was originally scheduled for Oct. 4 of this year, has been moved to May 15, 2020. Disney acquired the movie as part of buying the 20th Century Fox film studio. Joe Wright directed from a screenplay adapted by Tracy Letts. Woman in the Window, based on the A.J. Finn novel, follows a psychologist witnessing a crime while spying on her new neighbors.
Disney also removed an untitled live-action film, once dated for May 28, 2021, from its schedule. Two Fox titles, Empty Man and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie were dated for Aug. 7, 2020 and Oct. 23, 2020, respectively.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, adapted from the British stage musical, will star Richard E. Grant as a former drag queen and mentor to a teenage boy. Empty Man is a psychological horror movie based on the popular graphic novel.
IN THIS WEEK’S “A different animal” story, it’s safe to say that the previous films in the Resident Evil franchise were varying degrees of watchable, and most certainly more action than actual scary horror. But apparently the reboot is going much more for scary than before.
ScreenRant recently sat down with director Johannes Roberts while he was making the publicity rounds for 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, and discussion turned to the developing Resident Evil reboot. Unlike most of the previous Resident Evil franchise, this new take will finally tap into the scary side of the video game series. Roberts had this to say in an update on the reboot:
“We are in active development of that at the moment. I pitched them a take, and they really loved it. So, we are just gearing up on that as we speak, really. I’m in the office all the time there. So, yeah, it’s great. It’s gonna be super scary. It’s super, super scary. And it’s just getting back to the roots of the game. I think, at the moment, I’m not really allowed to say much more than that. But it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”
If you’ve never played the original Resident Evil games, they are pretty terrifying. They’re suspenseful, they have monsters and zombies that pop out to scare the hell out of you, and when you’re on the verge of death, you genuinely feel the fear.
I like the idea of going that route. The suspense and terror of those games made it nerve-wracking to play, so if you can capture that same vibe in the film, I’d be on board.
IN THIS WEEK’S “More excellent cast additions” story, David Oyelowo is in final negotiations to join George Clooney in Netflix’s untitled adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s 2016 novel Good Morning, Midnight, sources tell Variety.
Felicity Jones and Kyle Chandler are also on board, with Clooney set to helm the pic — his first feature film directing gig since 2017’s Suburbicon. The Revenant screenwriter Mark L. Smith penned the script.
The post-apocalyptic tale follows the parallel stories of Augustine (Clooney), a lonely scientist in the Arctic, and an astronaut on board the Aether spacecraft, which is trying to return home to Earth, as Augustine races to make contact with the spaceship. Oyelowo’s role is being kept under wraps.
Clooney and Smokehouse Pictures’ Grant Heslov will produce alongside Anonymous Content and Syndicate Entertainment, who sourced the material. Production is expected to start in October.
IN THIS WEEK’S “If you say it enough, it comes true” story, since the DC Universe films have sort of been, you know, scrapped, the field for DC looks quite different at Warner Bros.
The film that seems to be most head-scratching is the Flash film with Ezra Miller. Miller seems to feel everything is a ‘go’.
After a revolving door of directors coming and going, including Phil Lord & Chris Miller, Seth Graeme-Smith, Rick Famuyiwa, and John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein, it appears that The Flash has settled on Andy Muschietti to lead the way. And according to a new interview with Ezra Miller, who has been waiting this whole time for his moment in the spotlight, even though it doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to happen, The Flash is still “absolutely confirmed.”
“Well, I’ll tell you the ones that I can tell you about because they’re absolutely confirmed. [They] are ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ [and] ‘The Flash’ movie,” said Miller.
Through all the ups and downs (of which there have been many), Miller has consistently been the biggest cheerleader for The Flash. Clearly, the actor isn’t willing to let go of the character of Barry Allen, the fastest man alive, anytime soon. And as far as fans go, most were delighted by his portrayal in Justice League (one of the few bright spots) and are interested in seeing where the character goes in the future.
As of now, however, even with Miller reiterating its existence and a new director attached, it’s hard to put faith in anything ‘Flash’ related until cameras start rolling. And for now, that appears to be pretty far off.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Hero time” story, Sin City director Robert Rodriguez signing up for a new project at the streaming service, Netflix.
We Can Be Heroes will have Robert Rodriguez writing, directing and producing an original story with Isn’t It Romantic and Baywatch co-star Priyanka Chopra Jonas starring, though the story will focus on a group of kids whose parents are kidnapped by aliens, but it’s not just an alien abduction story.
Deadline has word on the project set up at Netflix which will follows a group of children whose parents are kidnapped by aliens. However, these parents just so happen to be superheroes, leaving their kids to figure out how to use their skills to save their parents and, of course, the world.
This basically sounds like a superhero version of Spy Kids, the franchise which Robert Rodriguez also directed himself, and if the cast is made up of kids, I suspect this is a project that is intended for families. We’ll actually probably find out more about this project sooner than you think since it’s already in production and somehow flew under the radar before cameras started rolling.
In addition to Chopra, according to Collider, the project has an impressive supporting cast that includes Christian Slater, Boyd Holbrook, Sung Kang, and Pedro Pascal, as well as YaYa Gosselin, Akira Akbar, Andrew Diaz, Andy Walken, Hala Finley, Isaiah Russell-Bailey, Lotus Blossom, Lyon Daniels, Nathan Blair, Vivien Lyra Blair, Adriana Barraza, and Christopher McDonald.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Blumhouse updates” story, In notable release date news, it was announced Thursday that a pair of upcoming Blumhouse movies have been moved up two weeks — Universal’s The Invisible Man and Sony’s Fantasy Island.
Jeff Wadlow’s Fantasy Island is moving up from Feb. 28, 2020 to Feb. 14, aka Valentine’s Day, and in turn, Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man is moving up from March 13, 2020 to that Feb. 28 date vacated by Sony.
Elisabeth Moss stars in The Invisible Man alongside Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer and Oliver Jackson-Cohen, the latter of whom will be playing the title character inspired by Universal’s classic monster. While the film had a prime Friday the 13th release date for a genre movie, it would’ve opened against Godzilla vs. Kong, so it’s understandable why Universal would cede the date to that creature feature — they simply can’t afford to take any chances on the heels of The Mummy‘s failure. The two films aren’t related — sorry to say, but the Dark Universe died in the womb — but they will inevitably be conflated in the minds of audiences, which is why Whannell’s movie has to work.
As far as Fantasy Island goes, it will now open against Fox’s The King’s Man, Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog and Universal’s The Photograph.
The great Michael Pena stars in Fantasy Island as the gracious host, Mr. Roarke, and he’s joined by Wadlow’s Truth or Dare star Lucy Hale, as well as Jimmy O. Yang from and Crazy Rich Asians.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Musical directors” story, It has been a tough week for Tom Holland and Sony Pictures, as Collider has confirmed that Dan Trachtenberg is the latest director to pull out of the Uncharted movie, which he signed on to direct back in January.
Deadline reports that Sony is already closing in on a replacement and that Holland remains attached to star despite all the Spider-Man drama that has unfolded over the past 48 hours. The report didn’t include any names, but it wouldn’t shock me to see Sony turn to either Travis Knight or Rupert Wyatt, both of whom were finalists for the Venom 2 job that ultimately went to Andy Serkis.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Jon Snow goes Marvel” Deadline hears it is to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he will make his next film. Sources said that Harington will join one of Marvel and Kevin Feige’s superhero franchises.
All of Marvel and Disney is busy with the D23 Expo this weekend in Anaheim, but no one is talking yet about what film he’ll be in. WE might hear something over the weekend, though. Who knows.
Aaaand, IN THIS WEEK’S “Letting it slide” story, Robert Downey Jr. celebrated his Disney Legend status by sharing the endearing tale of how the first time he visited Disneyland, he was arrested.
The Iron Man actor was being honored in Anaheim at Disney’s biennial D23 convention. After a brief introduction by Disney chief executive officer Bob Iger, Downey felt he had to come clean to the elated crowd.
“Here’s a bit of trivia for you, the very first time I went to Disneyland I was transported to another place…within moments of being arrested,” Downey Jr. explained. “I was brought to a surprisingly friendly processing center. Given a stern warning and returned, if memory servers, to one very disappointed group chaperone. I would like to make amends for whoever had to contain me for smoking pot in the gondola without a license.
“I’m sorry, I don’t want to further confuse the issue by insinuating that pot smoking licenses for the gondola are in any way attainable, or for any of the other park attractions… Maybe the Imagineers but that’s their own business. That’s a load off.”
LOL. Such a Robert Downey, Jr. story.
Have a great weekend!