Oh man, there is stuff happening yet AGAIN!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Scary stories” story, Guillermo del Toro’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark adaptation has cast Michael Garza, Austin Abrams, Gabriel Rush, Austin Zajur and Natalie Ganzhorn with production to start this week.
Del Toro is producing the teen thriller with his Shape of Water producer J. Miles Dale. Sean Daniel and Jason Brown of Hivemind and Elizabeth Grave are also producing. CBS Films and Entertainment One are co-financing.
André Øvredal is directing from a script by del Toro and the teams of Daniel and Kevin Hageman and Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, based on Alvin Schwartz’ bestselling trilogy of books. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark follows a group of teens who must solve the mystery surrounding a wave of spectacularly horrific deaths in their small town.
Del Toro came on to the project in April, a month after winning Oscars for best picture and best director for The Shape of Water. The five new cast members, who join the previously announced Zoe Colletti in the film’s ensemble, were announced Monday.
“We spent months searching for and assembling the perfect group of actors to help us realize the most terrifying adaptation that we could conceive,” said Øvredal.
Well, ok then. Better be pretty damn scary, then.
IN THIS WEEK’S “He’s on a break” story, for the first time in decades, film maker Woody Allen is taking a break from, you know, making films.
According to Page Six, even though his IMDB says he’s working on an Untitled Woody Allen Project, Allen is currently not working on anything officially. This comes after a whirlwind of controversy resurfaced over the last year, as adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow has been very vocal about her alleged abuse by the director in light of the #MeToo movement.
This controversy, compounded by the recent string of actors and actresses vowing to never work with Allen again, has put the directors highly-publicized three-film deal with Amazon Studios in trouble. As mentioned, Amazon is currently sitting on Rainy Day in New York with no plans to release the film. There are also rumblings that Amazon is willing to dish out a huge paycheck to terminate its deal with Allen. And on top of that, the report suggests that Allen is currently unable to land any financing for a project, even if he wanted to film.
You know, if he takes a break now, he’s old enough that maybe he doesn’t have make ANY more films.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Netflix makes another deal” story, Netflix has signed bestselling American author and TV writer-producer Harlan Coben to an exclusive multi-year overall deal covering English- and foreign-language series and films to premiere worldwide on the streaming platform.
Under the deal, Netflix will work with Coben to develop 14 existing titles and future projects, including the crime and mystery author’s upcoming novel Run Away, set to be published next March. Coben will serve as an executive producer on all projects.
Coben, whose crime and mystery novels have been translated into 43 languages and sold more than 75m copies worldwide, created and served as executive producer on recent drama series Safe, produced by Canal Plus for Netflix. He also created UK series The Five and French miniseries Juste Un Regard. Projects based on his books include 2015 French series No Second Chance and 2006 French feature Tell No One.
His other novels include Fool Me Once, Don’t Let Go, the Myron Bolitar series and the Mickey Bolitar series for young adults.
Then Netflix and Coben verbally stroked each other’s egos by saying how much they loved working together and creating piles of money on which to have sleep-overs.
IN THIS WEEK’S “The Doctor joins Star Wars” story, As expected, the nature of Matt Smith’s character in the film is being kept under wraps but it’s said to be a “key role.” Resistance? First Order? Alien? Jedi? Sith? Let the guessing game begin.
Matt Smith recently played Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in the first two seasons of Netflix’s The Crown, and even scored an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Smith will be joining John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joona Suotamo, and Billie Lourd in the film, who will all be returning for the final installment of the Skywalker Saga along with Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, and Carrie Fisher.
Smith’s fellow STAR WARS-newbies include Naomi Ackie (Doctor Who), Richard E. Grant (LOGAN), Keri Russell (The Americans), and Dominic Monaghan (Lost), but much like Smith’s role, the nature of their characters remains a mystery as well.
I like the sound of this cast.
IN THIS WEEK’S “For once, not a remake” story, word of a remake of Big Trouble in Little China appeared back in 2015, with Dwayne Johnson in the starring role.
However, now three years later, one of the new movie’s producers explains that the project has evolved from a remake into something else: a Big Trouble in Little China sequel that continues the story from the original.
Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China was a commercial failure during its original theatrical release. Probably because it was pretty out in left field. Its blend of mysticism, martial arts, and certainly Russell’s memorable performance may have confused people, even though now it’s a rather appropriately beloved cult film.
Johnson has talked about wanting to bring Carpenter on board in some capacity, but no word if that actually happened.
In a new interview with Collider, producer Hiram Garcia gave an update on the project and explains that they’re now looking to continue the original story instead of retelling it:
“There’s a lot of things going on with [Big Trouble in Little China]. We are in the process of developing that, and let me tell you, the idea is not to actually remake Big Trouble in Little China. You can’t remake a classic like that, so what we’re planning to do is we’re going to continue the story. We’re going to continue the universe of Big Trouble in Little China. Everything that happened in the original exists and is standalone and I think there’s only one person that could ever play Jack Burton, so Dwayne would never try and play that character. So we are just having a lot of fun. We’re actually in a really great space with the story that we’ve cracked. But yeah, no remake. It is a continuation, and we are deep into development on that as well, and I think you’ll start hearing some things about that probably soon.”
Well, now THAT’S an interesting development.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Super Genius, indeed” story, Road Runner’s nemesis, Wile E. Coyote a.k.a. ‘Super Genius’, is getting his own big screen feature and Deadline states that Jon and Josh Silberman, the supervising producers behind CBS’ Living Biblically have been hired to write Coyote Vs. Acme.
Chris McKay, the director of The Lego Batman Movie, is producing. Two big Looney Tunes movies have made it to the screen in the last 22 years: 1996’s Space Jam which made $230.4M WW and 2003’s Looney Tunes: Back in Action which made considerably less with close to $70M WW. Out of all the Looney Tunes characters with the most slapstick potential, the arrogant and often tragic Wile E. Coyote offers limitless possibilities, even when he’s acting alone at the edge of a cliff with a parachute and anvil.
Prior to Living Biblically, the Silberman Brothers worked on the hit FX series, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, where they have been staffed for the past three seasons.
Well, it’s about time someone gave Wile E. Coyote the respect he deserves. And it’s always good to see these characters getting screen time. I hope it’s good. It’s not easy to capture the original humor and tone of the old Looney Toons.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Well, at least he’s honest” story, When filmmaker Luca Guadagnino was on the awards circuit last year for his masterful love story Call Me by Your Name, there was a lot of interest surrounding his next film, which he had already shot: a remake of Suspiria. This new movie would be markedly different than the melancholic Call Me by Your Name, but through his career Guadagnino has proven himself to be an excitingly tactile filmmaker, bringing worlds and characters to life in phenomenally vibrant ways. So on that level, fans couldn’t wait to see what he’d do within the horror genre.
The time is almost here as Suspiria is due to have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival later this week, and in anticipation of its debut, Guadagnino has spoken a bit more about his approach to the film. Speaking with THR, the filmmaker did not mince his words—he wants this movie to be absolutely terrifying:
“I hope that the movie comes across as a relentless experience that’s going to go deep into your skin all the way down into your spine. I want the movie to perform as the most disturbing experience you can have. The movie is about being immersed in a world of turmoil and uncompromising darkness.”
Aaaalrighty then. I will be prepared to be disturbed.
He continues: “In a way Suspiria is about how you behave in the relationship between mother and daughter and what happens when the balance of power is swapped. Those are things that have always been part of my upbringing. I think that in every movie you try to find metaphors or take narrative devices to communicate the things that are most close to you.”
Ok, I’m totally in. I’m looking forward to this.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Mixed feelings” story, Warner Bros. has hired Alec Baldwin to appear opposite Joaquin Phoenix in its Joker origin film, playing the role of Thomas Wayne, the father of Batman, a.k.a. Bruce Wayne.
Variety first reported that Phoenix was in talks to play the Clown Prince of Crime. As soon as his deal was finalized, the studio gave the greenlight to a September start date with a budget in the moderate $55 million dollar range.
Todd Phillips (The Hangover franchise) is on board to co-write and direct.
UPDATE: Just two days after it was announced that Alec Baldwin would be playing Batman’s father, Thomas Wayne, in Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker movie, he revealed that he’s exited the project.
Variety confirmed the news on Wednesday after the actor told USA Today that he’d be dropping out.
“I’m no longer doing that movie,” he told the outlet. “I’m sure there are 25 guys who can play that part.”
Baldwin also cited “scheduling” issues to USA Today, but just earlier on Wednesday, he had taken to Twitter to dispel rumors that his Thomas Wayne would be inspired by Donald Trump.
“Let me state, for the record, that I have NOT been hired to play a role in Todd Phillips’ JOKER as some Donald Trump manque,” Baldwin wrote. “That is not happening. Not. Happening.”
Ok then. Got it.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Oh, there will be more” story, it seems Tom Hardy has confirmed confirmed to Total Film magazine that he’s signed on for three Venom sequels. He says it’s an “open case” and that it will depend on how audiences react to it—as in, whether or not it makes a good amount of money—but he says Sony designed Venom to be a “standalone universe” that it can build new things off of in the future.
So, we could indeed see more than one Venom film with Tom Hardy. We’ll see.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Hawaiian King, The Rock” story, Warner Bros and New Line have won an auction for The King, an epic-sized film that will star Dwayne Johnson as Hawaiian king Kamehameha. Robert Zemeckis is set to direct a film that could be compared to Braveheart, and only partly because King is based on a spec written by that film’s screenwriter, Randall Wallace. Seven Bucks Productions’ Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia are producing with FlynnPictureCo’s Beau Flynn, Zemeckis and Wallace.
Kamehameha is the legendary king who was the first to unite the warring Hawaiian islands, which fulfilled the prophecy that surrounded his fabled life since birth. He took control of Hawaii’s destiny, and gave the islanders leverage in advancing the culture in trading with the foreign ships from Europe that began showing up on the shores of islands that must have seemed like paradise, albeit a sometimes dangerous one as explorers like Simon Metcalfe and Captain James Cook discovered before Kamehameha forcibly unified the islands.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Maverick makes us wait” story, top Gun: Maverick is being delayed.
The reason for delying the film – a whole year, now to release June 26, 2020 – is because they need more time for flight training.
That’s their story, and they’re sticking to it.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Another Quiet Place” story, Paramount also announced that the sequel to A Quiet Place will hit theaters May 15, 2020.
John Krasinski is writing the sequel and though there is no deal in place yet, Krasinski is expected to also direct.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Never enough of Alan” story, The Doom Patrol has found its villain. Alan Tudyk (Suburgatory, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Firefly) has been cast as Eric Morden/Mr. Nobody in DC Universe’s upcoming live-action series Doom Patrol, from Greg Berlanti and Warner Bros TV.
Oh, and by the way, there’s going to be a live action Doom Patrol series.
Written by Jeremy Carver, Doom Patrol is a reimagining of one of DC’s strangest group of outcasts: Robotman (Brendan Fraser), Negative Man, Elasti-Woman (April Bowlby) and Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero). Led by the mysterious Caulder, they’re called into action by the ultimate hero for the digital age, Cyborg (Joivan Wade). Banding together, these rejects find themselves on a mission that will take them to the weirdest and most unexpected corners of the DC universe.
Here is the backstory of Tudyk’s character: After exposure to unknown experiments by ex-Nazis in post-war Paraguay, the man formerly known as Eric Morden emerges as a living shadow able to drain the sanity of others as the enigmatic, and totally insane, Mr. Nobody.
Carver executive produces with Geoff Johns, Berlanti and Berlanti Prods’ Sarah Schechter. Berlanti Productions produces in association with Warner Bros Television
Ok, this is interesting.
IN THIS WEEK’S “It’s Cats for Christmas!” story, Universal has officially dated Working Title’s feature film version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats for December 20, 2019. Wicked, Uni’s other Broadway stage musical feature adaptation, originally occupied this date, but now the pic is being moved to accommodate its production schedule.
Despite director Tom Hooper’s attachment over the last two years, we kept hearing that Universal hadn’t greenlit a Cats movie. That obviously changed when news broke about Taylor Swift, James Corden, Jennifer Hudson and Ian McKellan joining the cast, and the release date here underscores that the film — which has long been in development by Hollywood — is finally becoming a reality.
Cats boards what will be a very busy Christmas 2019 stretch. On December 20 next year, Disney’s Star Wars: Episode IX opens along with Fox’s Death on the Nile, followed by Sony’s Masters of the Universe on Christmas Day. The thinking, based on the slow burn success of The Greatest Showman, is that even if Star Wars trounces on the musical’s opening weekend, the holiday and January box office will send ticket sales skyward, especially for branded property like Cats. If an original musical IP like Greatest Showman can post a near 20x multiple (from an $8.8M opening to $174M domestic final), Cats should have no problem.
Hooper directed Les Miserables for both studios, which resulted in close to $442M at the global box office, eight Oscar nominations for the film and three wins including a best supporting nod for Anne Hathaway. While most musicals are shot with a pre-recorded track, Hooper boldly shot the cast singing live on set.
So it’s feline festivities for the holidays, then.
IN THIS WEEK’S “When Harry and Sally parted ways” story, When Harry Met Sally is one of Hollywood’s most endearing romantic comedies, thanks to excellent performances from Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, as well as an emotionally satisfying ending that wraps up with an iconic New Year’s Eve kiss. But what if we told you that, at first, director Rob Reiner had another ending entirely in store for Harry and Sally?
While chatting with PeopleTV’s Lola Ogunnaike, the famed director revealed that after all the ups and downs of Harry and Sally’s friendship-turned-relationship, he was going to have them not end up together.
“I was single for ten years and making a mess of my personal life, in and out of relationships and not being able to make anything work,” Reiner explained. “The first draft of the script — or the draft we were going to shoot — Harry and Sally weren’t going to get together. They meet each other years later and then walk separate ways.”
Fortunately for all of us, Reiner met his future wife while filming the rom-com, and his own romance inspired him to tweak writer Nora Ephron’s ending to something more hopeful.
“We changed the ending and this is what we came up with,” he said, noting that Crystal is even responsible for some of the dialogue in that final, epic scene.
Whew! boy, are we lucky he changed that ending. I guess. Sure, yeah. why not?
Thanks for stopping by this week! More to come – next week!