Well, here’s some stuff that happened.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Mean Mr. Quaid” story, Dennis Quaid and Madalen Mills are joining Queen Latifah in Ray Giarratana’s independent drama Tiger Rising.
Highland Film Group is handling worldwide sales, which will launch at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival
Giarratana adapted the script from Kate DiCamillo’s 2001 New York Times bestselling children’s book of the same name. GG Filmz’s Deborah Giarratana and Streamline Global’s Ryan Smith are producing with Latifah, Allen Cheney and Christophe Suchet executive producing.
Tiger Rising centers on a reserved 12-year-old boy who has just lost his mother and meets a full-grown Bengal tiger hidden in the Florida woods, held captive by the mean-spirited motel owner, played by Quaid. Latifah plays a mysterious maid and Mills will portray the stubborn new girl in school. The boy must decide whether to set the tiger free and in turn uncage his emotional grief.
Dennis Quaid seems to be taking some weird film roles these days.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Soderbergh and Netflix” story, Steven Soderbergh‘s Netflix partnership is proving quite fruitful for Hollywood’s fastest-working auteur, who assembles an A-list cast for his latest film, The Laundromat. Starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, and Antonio Banderas, The Laundromat sees Soderbergh tackling The Panama Papers after his last Netflix film, High Flying Bird, took on the NBA.
Soderbergh is back to his stylish, fast-paced flair with The Laundromat, which touts itself as being “based on actual secrets.” Those secrets are the Panama Papers, millions of leaked documents dating back to the 1970s that revealed thousands of illegal offshore accounts. But as dry as that news may have seemed when it broke in 2015, Soderbergh is giving the Panama Papers the Big Short-style treatment, with Oldman and Banderas’ smarmy corrupt lawyers revealing how they pulled it all off, and would’ve gotten away with it too if it weren’t for a meddling Meryl Streep. Streep stars as a woman who, after tragedy strikes, begins investigating a fake insurance policy and finds a globe-spanning web of deceit and questionable dealings all linked to a Panama City law firm.
Jeffrey Wright, Melissa Rauch, Jeff Michalski, Jane Morris, Robert Patrick, David Schwimmer, Cristela Alonzo, Larry Clarke, Will Forte, Chris Parnell, Nonso Anozie, Larry Wilmore, Jessica Allain, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Matthias Schoenaerts, Rosalind Chao, Kunjue Li, Ming Lo, James Cromwell, and Sharon Stone also star in The Laundromat, which is written by Scott Z. Burns and based on Jake Bernstein’s book “Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite.”
Here is the synopsis for The Laundromat:
“When her idyllic vacation takes an unthinkable turn, Ellen Martin (Academy Award winner Meryl Streep) begins investigating a fake insurance policy, only to find herself down a rabbit hole of questionable dealings that can be linked to a Panama City law firm and its vested interest in helping the world’s wealthiest citizens amass even larger fortunes. The charming — and very well-dressed — founding partners Jürgen Mossack (Academy Award winner Gary Oldman) and Ramón Fonseca (Golden Globe nominee Antonio Banderas) are experts in the seductive ways shell companies and offshore accounts help the rich and powerful prosper. They are about to show us that Ellen’s predicament only hints at the tax evasion, bribery and other illicit absurdities that the super wealthy indulge in to support the world’s corrupt financial system.”
The Laundromat opens in select theaters on September 27, 2019 and on Netflix on October 18, 2019.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Prehistoric death” story, This fall, Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky returns to Adult Swim with an all-new animated series, and it looks like a far cry from what he’s been doing with the Hotel Transylvania film franchise.
Primal follows a caveman and a dinosaur with an unlikely bond as they try to survive the harsh, dangerous prehistoric landscape that is full of some of the most deadly creatures you’ve ever seen. A new Primal trailer has arrived to show off the incredible animation and the bloody violence that will bring this epic story to life, and i cannot wait to see it in full.
I mean, this looks pretty cool. And violent. Don’t trouble yourself with the impossibility of a human riding a dinosaur.
But aside from the violence, it seems like Tartakovsky has crafted something unique with this series. The creator previously said:
“Forget about the violence and stuff, there’s plenty of that to go around. It’s these serious themes. The biggest thing is that we trust the audience. It’s 10 episodes, no dialogue, and some of it’s pretty intense, so we are going to rely on you the audience to understand it and to pay attention.”
Without dialogue, the series will be relying heavily on the animation to keep viewers engaged, but it sounds like there’s a compelling story to be told without words here too. Maybe we should be grateful to the Hotel Transylvania franchise because the success of those movies is likely affording Tartakovsky the time and opportunity to make some things that he’s really passionate about.
Primal is getting a different kind of premiere when it hits Adult Swim this fall. All 10 episodes will air across five nights in a row, starting on October 7 and running through October 11. That’s two episodes each night, so you won’t have to wait long between episodes.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Metro 2033” story, The cult post-apocalyptic sci-fi book series and video game franchise Metro 2033 is finally becoming a movie. Based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s trilogy of Metro novels which were turned into a hit series of first-person shooter games, the rights for a Metro 2033 movie have been picked up by Russia’s Gazprom Media.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Russia’s Gazprom Media is adapting Metro 2033 into a feature film. The franchise rocketed to popularity with the series of Metro video games developed by 4A Games, first launched in 2010. The Kiev-based 4A developed all three Metro games, beginning with Metro 2033 in 2020, 2013’s Metro: Last Night and this year’s Metro Exodus.
The games are based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s bestselling trilogy of Metro novels, which are set in the ruins of Moscow following a nuclear war, with survivors forced to live in the city’s underground subway tunnels.
Glukhovsky’s original novel was published in Russian in 2002 before it was translated and published in the U.S. in 2010. Glukhovsky followed up the successful first novel with 2009’s Metro 2034 and 2015’s Metro 2025.
Glukhovsky is attached to the production as creative advisor, saying in a statement that he has “finally met a team that I can entrust Metro with.” His statement reads:
“Metro 2033 is my first novel. It played a very special role in my life, and, despite getting numerous offers to screen it, I turned them all down for over 10 years. But now I finally met a team that I can entrust Metro with. Our ambitions turned out to be similar: to create a world-class blockbuster and stun even those who have read the trilogy and know it by heart.”
No release date or director has yet been set for Metro 2033.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Can you hear me now?” story, Anna Kendrick is set to star in Unsound, a new crime thriller movie to be directed by Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and The Man Who Invented Christmas helmer Bharat Nalluri from a screenplay by Matthew Ross and Christopher Edwards.
The Oscar-nominated Kendrick will play a New England state trooper, privately struggling with irreversible hearing loss, who’s tasked with investigating the prison break of a notorious gang leader. As she digs deeper into the most dangerous case of her career, she uncovers a vast conspiracy that, coupled with her deteriorating condition, threatens to end her career — and her life.
ShowKat Production’s Jonathan Shukat, who originated the material, will produce with Untapped’s Andrew Corkin and XYZ partners Aram Tertzakian and Nate Bolotin.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Wait- so it really IS happening?” story, It appears The Flash movie has found its new director. Again. While reports swirled in July that It and It: Chapter Two director Andy Muschietti was in talks with Warner Bros. to take the helm of the troubled superhero project, Muschietti himself played coy when asked about the prospect. Now, however, it sounds like whatever contract issues needed to be hammered out are done, as the filmmaker confirmed to Fandango that The Flash will be his next project.
However, those expecting to see Muschietti bring his horror sensibilities into The Flash may find themselves disappointed:
“An element of horror? I don’t think so. What captivated me about The Flash is the human drama in it. The human feelings and emotions that play in the drama [of it]. It’s going to be fun, too. I can’t promise that there will be any horror [elements in it], really, but it’s a beautiful human story.”
Why would anyone think there would be a horror element to The Flash?
Well, I suppose everything is a ‘maybe’ until the cameras roll, right?
IN THIS WEEK’S “Speaking of Andy Muschietti” story, Warner Bros. is touting the upcoming horror sequel It Chapter Two as the end of the blockbuster film franchise (the tagline reads: “Witness the End of It”), but that might not be true if director Andy Muschietti has his way. In an interview with CinemaBlend, Muschietti revealed he is an eyeing an idea that bring together both 2017’s It and 2019’s It Chapter Two into a single movie that would run a massive 390 minutes.”
“I can’t tell you, and this is only an expression of desire, of course. The supercut is something that is yet not out as an idea,” Muschietti said. “We have to talk about it. But I definitely want to make a supercut with material that nobody has seen because it was lifted from ‘Chapter Two.’ But also new stuff, new material…It would probably be around six and a half hours.”
Muschietti said a supercut combining It and It Chapter Two is more likely than a single movie that blends the two films together in a narrative that more closely reflects Stephen King’s horror novel. King wrote It using a non-linear story structure that tells the story of the Losers Club as adults and kids at once. Muschietti’s “It” films tell the story chronologically, with the 2017 film focusing on the characters as children and the upcoming “Chapter Two” picking up over two decades later with the characters as adults. Flashbacks are included in “It Chapter Two” that feature the child actors from “It.”
That would be interesting indeed.
Warner Bros. is opening It Chapter Two in theaters nationwide September 6.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Linklater: Epic Filmmaker” story, if you think Richard Linklater’s Boyhood was an epic film to make, listen to what he has next up his sleeve.
He will now spend the next 20 years filming an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim‘s musical Merrily We Roll Along.
According to Collider, Blumhouse Productions and Linklater have teamed up for an adaptation of the aforementioned musical, with stars Ben Platt and Beanie Feldstein attached to star. And as alluded to, keeping true to the storyline of the musical, as well as the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, the new film will have its production scheduled at various points over the next 20 years.
Yep. 20 years.
For those unfamiliar with the musical and the play, Merrily We Roll Along follows the story of a Broadway composer that packs up and moves to Los Angeles to begin his career making films. The plot picks up where we find the man at the height of his Hollywood career, with flashbacks to multiple points in his life that show how his life took shape. Platt, of course, will portray the man, while Feldstein will play his best friend.
That is some serious dedication.
No word on a release date yet for Linklater’s latest project. However, let’s just pencil it in for some time in 2040. That’s a safe assumption.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Mothertrucker” story, Jill Soloway is set to write and direct a film adaptation of an upcoming memoir called Mothertrucker at Makeready, with Julianne Moore attached to star, the studio announced Wednesday.
Written by Amy Butcher, Mothertrucker chronicles Butcher’s friendship with the Instagram celebrity known as Joy Mothertrucker, a 50-year-old Instagram celebrity and, according to Butcher, America’s only female ice road trucker. Moore will play Joy Mothertrucker; the studio is developing the role of Amy as a starring vehicle for another leading actress.
The book is set to be published by Little A, an imprint of Amazon Publishing, in early 2022.
Soloway is writing and directing the film and will also produce alongside Andrea Sperling through their Topple Productions. Moore will produce, with Bart Freundlich executive producing through their fortysixty productions. Makeready partner and head of film Pam Abdy and Natalie Williams will oversee for the studio.
Mothertrucker will also be released by Focus Features as part of Makeready’s distribution deal with Universal Pictures.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Spending a day in someone else’s shoes…” story, Vince Vaughn and Kathyrn Newton will star in a currently untitled body-swap thriller from Christopher Landon, director of the Happy Death Day films, Blumhouse announced on Thursday. Landon will write and direct the film.
Newton will star as a high school student who suddenly switches bodies with a deranged serial killer, played by Vaughn. She will have less than 24 hours to find a way to reverse the switch before it becomes permanent.
The project continues a longtime relationship between Landon and Blumhouse going back to “Paranormal Activity 2” in 2010, which Landon co-wrote. Landon wrote three more films in the “Paranormal Activity” series before going on to direct Happy Death Day in 2017 and its 2019 sequel, Happy Death Day 2U.
Michael Kennedy is co-writing the upcoming film with Landon, with Jason Blum producing.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Need more Midsommer?” story, If you’re in the mood for even more Midsommar, you’re in luck. The Midsommar director’s cut will be opening in select theaters nationwide this weekend. This cut features new and extended scenes and brings the total runtime to 171 minutes. So break out your flower crowns, stir up some special herbal tea, and get ready to dance your ass around the maypole all over again.
Ari Aster‘s brightly lit, surprisingly funny folk horror film was already long in its theatrical form, clocking-in at 147 minutes. But Aster’s preferred cut of the film was even longer – 171 minutes, to be precise. This director’s cut screened recently in NYC, and it was presumed it would be included on the upcoming home video release. But it isn’t – the director’s cut doesn’t appear on either the digital release or the Blu-ray, for reasons unknown (my guess: a double-dip is in our future).
When asked Aster about his director’s cut, the filmmaker responded:
“I would say my preferred cut would have been maybe 25 minutes longer, but I actually feel like this cut is the most accessible cut. There probably will exist a director’s cut, and I would not actually call the director’s cut necessarily better. I would say, ‘This is the cut with scenes that were very painful for me to cut that I might have not cut if I weren’t encouraged to keep pushing.’ But [the theatrical version] is definitely an approved cut. I had final cut on the film, and I’m very proud of what we arrived at. But yes, I would say, the three-hour and forty-five minute cut, I would never want anybody to watch. I would say there’s a two-hour and forty-five minute cut, without credits, that I would be interested in what people thought.”
Wow. That’s a LOT of Midsommer. And yet, I might still go see it.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Aaron Sorkin directs!” story, Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 has found a domestic distributor in Paramount Pictures, according to an individual familiar with the project. The film has also added Frank Langella, another individual told TheWrap, and Mark Rylance, who is in negotiations, according to a third individual.
Cross Creek has also come aboard the historical drama as a co-financier and producer with Amblin Pictures, and production on the long-delayed and anticipated film, which Sorkin intends to direct, is now on track to begin this fall.
Langella joins the cast as U.S. District Court Judge Julius Hoffman, and Rylance will play the defense lawyer for the Chicago 7, William Kuntsler. They join a previously announced cast that includes Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jonathan Majors and Alex Sharp.
Based on Sorkin’s screenplay, the film is based on the infamous 1969 trial of seven defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more after they were arrested during the countercultural protests in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The story is set in 1968 and 1969, but it speaks directly to the divisiveness of our times and how young people can take on power and change the world.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 was put on hold last December, with Sorkin citing scheduling complications with the staging of his play based on “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It was revived in February and was introduced to international buyers at the European Film Market.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Say what, now?” story, Joel McHale, Amanda Brugel and Robert Maillet have joined the cast of the independent action-thriller Becky.
The trio will appear alongside the previously announced company of Kevin James and Lulu Wilson.
The movie follows a spunky, rebellious 14-year-old brought to a weekend getaway at a lake house by her father (played by McHale), in an effort to try to reconnect after her mother’s death. The trip immediately takes a turn for the worse when a group of convicts on the run, led by James’ merciless character, suddenly invade the lake house. Becky decides to take matters into her own hands in the film, described as John Wick with a 14-year-old girl.
“Becky” is the third feature from directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion, the filmmakers behind Bushwick and Cooties.
Wait, Kevin James as a merciless convict? We’re talking about the same Kevin James, right? Huh.
Aaaaand IN THIS WEEK’S “Professor…McConaughey?” story, The Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey will join the University of Texas as a professor who this fall will teach in the university’s Department of Radio-Television-Film.
McConaughey has been a visiting instructor at the flagship campus in Austin since 2015 and the university said in a statement Wednesday that the appointment recognizes his “outstanding work as a teacher and mentor”.
He will continue teaching a script to screen film production class for which he developed the course curriculum.
The university says McConaughey is respected for his “willingness to work with students beyond the classroom”.
McConaughey earned a film degree from the school in 1993.
Professor McConaughey. Hehehehe.
Ok, see you all next time!