A spooky week of film news!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Goodbye, Captain Spaulding” story, Sid Haig, known for his role as Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses trilogy, died Saturday. He was 80.
His wife announced the news on Instagram. Haig had a fall several weeks ago and suffered serious breathing complications after arriving at the hospital. He died of a lung infection.
Haig, who worked with Zombie on House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects and briefly on 3 From Hell, played Captain Spaulding, the menacing, clown-makeup wearing father of the grisly Firefly family. According to a previous interview with Variety, before Haig’s death, Zombie said that the actor’s health complications interfered with his acting in Zombie’s recent film 3 From Hell.
Haig, born in Fresno, California under the name Sidney Eddy Mosesian, played music in the 1950s, drumming his way to a number four hit single Full House with the T-Birds.
Then, he starred in director Jack Hill’s blaxploitation films during the late 1960s and 70s and were later regarded as feminist works. Titles include “Spider Baby, “Coffy and “Foxy Brown. He starred opposite Pam Greer in many of Hill’s films.
Haig worked on dozens of films and television shows throughout his career, including George Lucas’ THX 1138, Point Blank, Beyond Atlantis, Diamonds Are Forever, Night of the Living Dead 3D and Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown. He can also be seen in Kill Bill Vol. 2.
He also made his way to the small screen, starring as a villain named Dragos in “Jason of Star Command. He also appeared in “Gunsmoke, “Get Smart, “Charlie’s Angels and “The A-Team.
He is survived by his wife, Susan L. Oberg.
We’ll miss you, Sid.
IN THIS WEEK’S “HUZZAH!” story, 38 days. It’s been a whopping 38 days since Sony and Disney sent the entirety of Hollywood into a tailspin. On August 20, it was reported that Peter Parker was leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Sony was going to move forward without the tutelage of Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios on future ‘Spider-Man’ films. Frankly, it’s shocking the world survived this chaos for this long.
But there’s great news! Sony and Disney have made up! According to Variety, Sony and Disney have decided to extend the sharing of Spider-Man to include one more sequel (the trilogy-ending film) and one more non-Spidey MCU film. This is clearly a way to appease both studios, allowing for loose ends to be tied up and a proper send-off to be given to Peter Parker in the MCU.
We still don’t have news about what the deal fully entails, as in the money side of things, which is what is said to have caused the rift in August. But we have to assume that there’s something more than just a handshake, especially since Disney was reportedly looking for well above its 5% take from the first two ‘Spider-Man’ films. Also, we’re still not sure if director Jon Watts will return to cap off his trilogy.
Also, the news comes with a release date, as well. The untitled third ‘Spider-Man’ film is now set to be released on July 16, 2021.
Well, that’s a relief, at least for now.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Small ‘Nauts, big screen!’ story, What’s an Oscar-nominated writer-director of one of the most beloved animated franchises of the last two decades to do after successfully wrapping up his trilogy? Well, in the case of filmmaker Dean DeBlois, it appears that his first post-“How to Train Your Dragon” film is the long-gestating potential blockbuster Micronauts.
According to THR, DeBlois is the man that will finally bring the cult-favorite comic book/toy characters to life in a new Micronauts film. The filmmaker will write and direct the film, which is based on the popular Japanese franchise that came over to the US in the ‘80s.
Micronauts is set in the Microverse (natch) and follows a group of heroes that come together to fight against the evil Baron Karza. The toy line from the ‘80s became so popular that Marvel Comics brought the characters into their own comic books shortly after. For years, the promise of a Micronauts film has come and gone with occasional filmmakers being attached. However, with the recent success of Bumblebee and the Transformers franchise in need of a bit of retooling, it appears that Paramount is interested in getting another Hasbro toy property off the ground.
Previously, Micronauts had JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot attached to produce with Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick attached to write. At that time, it was expected that the film would venture off from the comics into something different. It’s unclear if DeBlois is starting from scratch or building off the work that has been done before.
Either way, it seems as if Paramount is sticking true to its June 4, 2021 release date for Micronauts.
I had a bunch of Micronaut toys as a kid. I might even have a couple figures left somewhere.
IN THIS WEEK’S “WHAT.” story, of all the perplexing stories i come across, this one is high on the list.
It appears that actor Jared Padalecki has signed on to star in a new “Walker, Texas Ranger” series.
According to Deadline, CBS TV is working on a new series based on the Walker, Texas Ranger hit show from the ‘90s. The report claims that Padalecki will star in the reboot that will attempt to update ‘Walker’ for a new generation. The actor is said to play Cordell Walker, a Texas Ranger that returns to his home of Austin after being undercover for two years. When he returns, he realizes that his home needs some protecting, as he’s joined by his female partner to help fight crime and protect his two daughters.
As mentioned, “Walker, Texas Ranger” is one of the most iconic shows of the ‘90s, not for its incredible storytelling or thought-provoking episodes. Instead, the series is best known and has become the stuff of legends, thanks to the performance of Chuck Norris. So, despite Padalecki having a legion of fans thanks to “Supernatural,” the actor is inheriting a role that is synonymous with Norris. That’s a tough job for any actor.
Walker, Texas Ranger ran for 8 seasons beginning in 1993 and aired a total of 202 episodes and one TV movie. The series has been broadcast in over 100 countries and is up there with the likes of Baywatch as those series from that era that transcended typical viewing habits and become cultural phenomenons thanks to syndication.
There’s no network attached to the Walker, Texas Ranger reboot yet, but the report states that CW (the home of Padalecki’s “Supernatural”) is the most obvious home.
But is Padalecki a crazy right-wing nut job?
IN THIS WEEK’S “Stallone’s Samaritan” story, director Juius Avery (Overlord) has just signed on to direct Samaritan.
Announced earlier this year, Samaritan is a thriller about a young boy on a mission to discover whether a mythic superhero, who vanished 20 years earlier following a tragic event, is still alive. I mean, obviously, we know he’s still alive, as there wouldn’t be a movie if it turned out the superhero had died of old age, but I like the idea of exploring a hero’s psyche. If a superhero failed to save the day, or more specifically, the life of a loved one, how would that affect them? I have no idea how deep Samaritan will penetrate, but Avery’s hiring is a strong sign that there may be more to this material than meets the eye.
Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room) wrote the original screenplay and will serve as an executive producer on the film, which Stallone is producing with his Balboa Productions partner Braden Aftergood. It’ll be the first project out of the gate for Stallone’s new company, so clearly he has confidence in the idea. Production is slated to start early next year.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Still at it” story, Hollywood can’t quite crack the secret of Indiana Jones 5. The project has bounced around for years, pretty much since the debut of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, with numerous creative teams unable to come up with a suitable way to toss around a 77-year-old treasure hunter without literally killing Harrison Ford. (Among other problems, assumedly.) A year ago, Solo writer Jonathan Kasdan was hired to pen the script with eyes on a 2020 release date, but those plans fell through because of story problems and Steven Spielberg turning his attention to West Side Story. Now, a recent interview with Den of Geek revealed that Crystal Skull writer David Koepp is back on the case, and friends, I wish the update sounded more optimistic.
“I’m working on it again,” Koepp said. “We’re still trying. And I think we’ve got a good idea this time. We’ll see.”
I think we’ve got a good idea this time are not the words that fill me with confidence about a new Indian Jones project – or any other, for that matter. It’s anyone’s guess as to what that idea might be—not Nazi gold, apparently—but an interview Collider conducted with Koepp in 2016 might hint to illuminate his mindset, at least. For Koepp, who also co-wrote the script for Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones is all about the MacGuffin.
They better hurry up. Indy is getting long in the tooth.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Nicolas Cage lost pig movie! Yay!” story, Nicolas Cage is a truffle hunter who wants his pig back in Pig, which started production Monday in Oregon. The film, which Michael Sarnoski will direct from his own script, will also star Alex Wolff (Hereditary).
The script is based on a story by Sarnoski and Vanessa Block, who will also produce. Oscar-winner Cage, who is producing, will play a truffle hunter living alone in the wilderness in Oregon. When his beloved foraging pig is kidnapped, he must journey into Portland – and his long-abandoned past – to recover her.
“What began as a very personal project has transformed into a labor of love for so many talented people,” Sarnoski said. “I’m thrilled for us all to be bringing this strange world to life.”
“Michael’s vision for ‘Pig’ is a true testament of his unique voice as a writer-director, and one that we can’t wait to introduce to audiences across the world,” added Pulse Films chief Thomas Benski, also a producer. “Having such an incredible cast attached, led by Nicolas Cage and supported by Alex Wolff, speaks directly to the special nature of the story Michael and Vanessa have devised.”
Nic Cage searching for his lost pig. Who’s going to miss this? Nobody, I say.
IN THIS WEEK’S “A Christmas Carol, with Will and Ryan” story, It’s the first day of fall, but here we are talking about the most wonderful time of year thanks to news of Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds teaming up for a musical reimagining of the classic Charles Dickens holiday tale A Christmas Carol. But this will likely be unlike any adaptation we’ve seen before, since the filmmakers behind this take come from the world of straight-up comedy – and sometimes even R-rated laughs. Find out more about the A Christmas Carol musical movie below.
The Hollywood Reporter has news of A Christmas Carol musical reimagining in the works from Daddy’s Home and We’re the Millers writing duo Sean Anders and John Morris, who will also both be directing this time. The filmmakers have been shopping the project around Hollywood with several studios bidding on the project, which makes it sound like this will be something we could see in theaters next year.
As for this A Christmas Carol musical reimagining, we’re not sure what to expect since details on this particular take are being kept under wraps. But honestly, it’s the involvement of Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds combined with the musical touch that makes this rather intriguing. Plus, I’m betting this is a modern take on the material.
Who knows. I hope it doesn’t suck.
IN THIS WEEK’S “The Batman gets some co-stars” story, Sources tell Variety that Jonah Hill is in talks to join Pattinson in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Insiders also say Jeffrey Wright is in talks to play Commissioner Gordon.
According to sources, producers had long wanted Hill for the project, but casting decisions were put on hold until the role of Batman was filled. The deal hasn’t closed and sources say it could still fall apart, but both sides are engaging on Hill joining. As for who Hill is playing, that’s still being worked out as well, but sources say he’s being eyed for a villain role.
Warner Bros. and Hill and Wright’s reps could not be reached for comment.
Pre-production on the Warner Bros.-DC Comics movie is expected to start this summer. No official production start date has been set, although insiders tell Variety that filming could start in late 2019 or early 2020.
Jonah Hill, per Collider, is in talks to play The Riddler. He has previously been played in live-action by Frank Gorshin and John Astin in the 1960s Batman television series, Jim Carrey in the 1995 film Batman Forever, and Cory Michael Smith in the series Gotham.
Oh, that’s some great casting regarding Gordon, and ….interesting casting regarding the Riddler. Not sure how I feel about Jonah Hill for that yet.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Will Smith turns to crime” story, Will Smith will take on the role of New York City crime boss Nicky Barnes in his next Netflix film The Council. The project will re-team Smith with Concussion helmer Peter Landesman, who wrote the screenplay for the new film and will executive produce.
Landesman’s script tells the never-before-told story of a crime syndicate consisting of seven African-American men who ruled Harlem in the 1970s and early ’80s. No ordinary crime syndicate – the men dreamed of a self-sufficient and self-policing African American city-state, funded by revolutionizing the drug game. The movie centers on the Shakespearean court intrigue between The Council’s king, Nicky Barnes, dubbed
‘Mr. Untouchable” by the New York Times, and all the different members as one unlikely rising protégé emerges.
Barnes, born Leroy Nicholas Barnes, was active during the 1970s leading an international drug trafficking ring, in partnership with the Italian-American mafia. He was arrested in 1978 and sentenced to life imprisonment, eventually becoming a federal informant, which led to the demise of The Council. Barnes died from cancer in 2012, however, his death was recently made known due to him being under witness protection.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Beware the Drink” story, Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver are starring in the drama “The Good House” for Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners.
The duo previously starred together in Dave and The Ice Storm. The Good House, based on the adaptation of Ann Leary’s New York Times bestseller of the same name, is beginning production in Canada this week.
The film will be directed by Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky, based on a script they co-wrote about a New England realtor who lives in a small town on Boston’s North Shore who is a good neighbor, mother and grandmother. She is also a raging alcoholic and her life starts to unravel as she rekindles an old romance.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Wow, that’s a lot of money” story, Amazon boss Jennifer Salke might be the biggest Fleabag fan out there, previously saying that she’s forever optimistic about the series returning for a third season. However, considering that doesn’t seem to be in the cards anytime soon, the executive is doing the next best thing — signing up Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
According to Variety, Amazon Studios and Phoebe Waller-Bridge have agreed to a new exclusive deal to create and produce new television content for the Prime Video streaming service. The report says that deal is worth $20 million per year.
Waller-Bridge said, “I’m insanely excited to be continuing my relationship with Amazon. Working with the team on ‘Fleabag’ was the creative partnership dreams are made of. It really feels like home. I can’t wait to get going!”
And start cashing those checks, I assume. I mean, hey, who wouldn’t take that deal?
As mentioned, Salke and Amazon have not been shy in expressing their love of Waller-Bridge. In light of Fleabag winning multiple Emmys over the weekend, there is no better time than now to make sure that the creator sticks with the streaming service. It’s also been reported that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has said one of the streamer’s biggest regrets is being outbid by Amazon for Waller-Bridge’s comedy series, so you have to imagine that the writer/producer is in high demand with plenty of available suitors.
Well, it’s nice to be wanted. Or so I hear. 😉
IN THIS WEEK’S “Jurassic Familiarity” story, Original “Jurassic Park” star Laura Dern announced Tuesday that she, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum will all reprise their roles from the original Jurassic Park in the upcoming sequel Jurassic World 3.
Dern made the announcement during a Q&A after a Los Angeles screening of “Jurassic World” with Colin Trevorrow, director of that 2015 sequel who is returning to direct the still untitled Jurassic World 3. (J. A. Bayona directed the second “world” film, 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.)
In the original Jurassic Park, Dern played Dr. Ellie Sattler, Neill played Dr. Alan Grant, and Goldblum played Dr. Ian Malcolm, three scientists brought to the island as part of an inspection team to certify the park is safe (spoiler: it wasn’t). Goldblum appeared in the immediate sequel, 1997’s Jurassic Park: The Lost World, and 21 years later returned for a small supporting role in Fallen Kingdom. Dern and Neill both returned for 2001’s Jurassic Park III.
Jurassic World 3 will mark the first time all three actors will reprise their characters in the same film since the original.
IN THIS WEEK’S “A clue about Clue” story, Jason Bateman is in early negotiations to direct and star in Ryan Reynolds’ feature film based on the board game Clue for Fox and Disney.
Reynolds boarded the project last year as part of a three-year first-look deal he had signed with Fox. Reynolds’ Maximum Effort banner announced at that point that it would develop Clue as a possible starring vehicle for the actor with Allspark Pictures, the film division of Hasbro, also producing. The Deadpool writing team of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were hired to pen the script.
The game, first developed in 1949, is a contest to determine who of six suspects murdered the game’s victim, where the crime took place and which weapon was used. Each player assumes the role of one of the six suspects, and attempts to deduce who the culprit is. Paramount released a film version of “Clue” as a mystery-comedy in 1985 with Jonathan Lynn directing and Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull and Lesley Ann Warren starring.
Bateman won the Emmy on Sunday for best directing for a drama series for the Ozark episode “Reparations.” He’s also an executive producer on the series and portrays financial adviser Martin “Marty” Byrde, who launders money for a Mexican drug cartel.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Blurring the lines” story, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is developing a new Star Wars movie for Disney, Variety has learned.
Feige will join Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy on an upcoming Star Wars film as she ushers in a new wave of Star Wars content, following the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga. The last film in the series, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, opens in theaters on Dec. 20.
“We are excited about the projects Kathy and the Lucasfilm team are working on, not only in terms of ‘Star Wars’ but also Indiana Jones and reaching into other parts of the company including Children of Blood and Bone with Emma Watts and Fox,” said Walt Disney Studios co-chairman and chief creative officer Alan Horn. “With the close of the Skywalker Saga, Kathy is pursuing a new era in ‘Star Wars’ storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a ‘Star Wars’ film together.”
Does it? Does it really? I don’t know. I t seems like Feige is getting is hands into more cookie jars than he needs to. I’m just afraid he’ll spread himself too thin and something often suffers in those cases. But who knows, naybe it’ll be fine?
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.
IN THIS WEEK’S “More peripheral Spider-Stuff” story, With Spider-Man firmly in the studio’s grasp, devoid of his ties to Marvel Studios, it appears that Sony is fully committed to fleshing out its ever-growing Spider-verse.
This time, according to a new report, the studio is planning on a new film featuring the obscure Marvel character, Madame Web.
According to Collider, Sony has hired the two men behind the script for the upcoming Spider-Man spin-off film, Morbius, Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, to write a Madame Web film. Now, even if you consider yourself a pretty well-versed ‘Spider-Man’ fan, you might be scratching your head at the mention of Madame Web, and for good reason.
You see, in the comics, Madame Web is a clairvoyant/psychic character that is relegated to a web-like life-support system due to her neuromuscular disease and elderly age. Blind and unable to move, she helps Spider-Man and his allies by using her psychic abilities to locate people and predict the future. She’s also the grandmother of one of the various women to take on the name Spider-Woman.
However, in other versions of the character, such as the animated series from the ‘90s, Madame Web is more of a cosmic character that finds herself at the center of the ‘Spider-Man’ multiverse, with the ability to locate and bring together various versions of Spider-characters. If Sony were to go down this road, we could be looking at the “Madame Web” film serving as some sort of precursor to a major crossover film.
As mentioned, the writers of the film are probably best known for their work on the upcoming Morbius, which is the second film to exist in the newly-created Spider-verse that includes last year’s hit, Venom. Morbius stars Jared Leto as a former doctor that is now a “living vampire” and antihero that protects people with his powers.
Madame Web joins a variety of other projects that Sony has been developing to help fill out its Spider-Man family of films including Silk, Silver Sable, Black Cat, and Kraven the Hunter. Whether or not any or all of these films eventually gets made is anyone’s guess.
Oh, Sony, don’t fuck all this up.
IN THIS WEEK’S “But what about Fillion!?” story, Last month, Collider reported that director Dan Trachtenberg had left Sony’s long-in-development Uncharted, making him the, oh, millionth, to leave a project that has the complex narrative of “roguish hero searches for treasure.” Deadline now reports that Bumblebee and Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight is in negotiations to take the director’s chair on the project, which is still set to begin production early next year and holds a release date of December 18, 2020.
Uncharted is based off the long-running PlayStation video game series about treasure hunter Nathan Drake. While in the games Drake is in his 30s, the movies will be an origin story of sorts with Tom Holland playing the young Drake who’s just getting started in a life of traveling the world, finding ancient ruins, and accidentally destroying them when he sets off a booby trap.
There are no further details on the story or the script from writers Art Marcum & Matt Holloway and Rafe Judkins, but it’s apparently been a major hurdle that other directors haven’t been able to get over the creative differences with the studio.
I still want Nathon Fillion to be Drake. But that’s life.
Aaaaand, IN THIS WEEK’S “Alexa, call me a motherf–ker!” story, The Amazon tech assistant Alexa, will now be voiced by many favorite celebrities, the first of which is Samuel L. Jackson. The distinct voice of the badass actor will serve as the voice of any Alexa device with just a 99 cent charge. The company’s blog post says that Jackson’s voice “can tell you jokes, let you know if it’s raining, set timers and alarms, play music and more – all with a bit of his own personality,” and you will have the option of “explicit and non-explicit.”
The report also says there will be more celebrity voices available next year.
This is awesome.
~ Thanks for stopping by this week! I hope everyone is getting their spooky on. It IS Halloween season, after all.