This Is Us will end with its upcoming sixth season
May 12, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
Although I've never watched This Is Us, I certainly haven't been ignorant to just how explosively popular the drama series became from the very beginning. Following the lives of the three children (Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley) of Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore), This Is Us mixes a contemporary storyline with both flashbacks and flashfowards packed with plenty of emotional revelations, but all good things must come to an end.
It's been announced by THR that This Is Us will be coming to an end with its upcoming sixth season, but fans have known this was coming for some time as creator Dan Fogelman has always envisioned a six-season arc. "We never set out to make a television series that was going to last 18 seasons, so we have a very direct plan," Fogelman told THR in 2019. "I have script pages I have written and I’m writing that really are deep, deep, deep into the future. We have a plan for what we’re going to do, and I know what the plan is." The series is currently nearing the end of its fifth season, and while it's not known just how many episodes the final season will consist of, THR expects that it will likely include around 18 episodes as that will be "enough to carry the series over the 100-episode threshold typically needed to secure a lucrative off-network syndication deal and triggering a cash infusion for Fogelman and Disney." Over the course of five seasons, This Is Us has received widespread acclaim and plenty of awards, so I've little doubt that the final season will continue that trend as the story of the Pearson's comes to an end.
Will you be sad to see This Is Us conclude next year or is it a good time for the series to wrap up?
Faces of Death reimagining in the works from Legendary
May 7, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
Here's a remake I didn't see coming — THR has reported that Legendary Entertainment has picked up the rights to Faces of Death, the infamous 1978 exploitation horror film that claimed to show gruesome real footage of death, and are developing a reimagining.
The original film presented itself as a documentary and followed pathologist Francis B. Gröss has he shared footage of gruesome ways to die from around the world in an attempt to understand and study the many "faces of death." Just how much of the footage is genuine continues to be up for debate, but a large portion was staged just for the film; even so, Faces of Death was banned in many countries and continues to enjoy a spine-chilling reputation. Legendary's new reimagining of Faces of Death will come courtesy of Isa Mazzei and Daniel Goldhaber, the duo behind 2018's Cam, who will write and direct, respectively.
The new Faces of Death will revolve around "a female moderator of a YouTube-like website, whose job is to weed out offensive and violent content and who herself is recovering from a serious trauma, that stumbles across a group that is recreating the murders from the original film. But in the story primed for the digital age and age of online misinformation, the question faced is are the murders real or fake?" The original film spawned numerous sequels over the years, most of which simply recycled footage from the previous movies.
Twilight of the Dead: George A. Romero’s final zombie movie in development
April 30, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
After kick-starting the zombie genre with Night of the Living Dead all the way back in 1968, George A. Romero returned to the world of the undead several times over the decades for Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, and Survival of the Dead, and prior to his death in 2017, he was working on what would have been the final chapter of his zombie saga — Twilight of the Dead.
THR has reported that Suzanne Romero, George's widow, is in the process of developing the screenplay for Twilight of the Dead with three other screenwriters. Not much is known about the project at this point, only that it will be "set in a decimated world" where "life has all but disappeared. But there still may be hope for humanity." George A. Romero had written the initial treatment with Paolo Zelati, and after George's death, Zelati asked Suzanne for permission to keep working on the story. "I gave him my full blessing as long as I could be there every step of the way for it to remain true to George’s vision," Suzanne Romero said. "We had a solid treatment and the beginning of the script. I can 100 percent say that George would be incredibly happy to see this continue. He wanted this to be his final stamp on the zombie genre." Twilight of the Dead will be picking up after the events of Land of the Dead, as Romero didn't include Diary of the Dead or Survival of the Dead as part of his main Night of the Living Dead arc
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"Everything started with my question to him: 'Where do the zombies go at the end of Land of the Dead?'" Zelati said. "It is no secret that Diary and Survival were not the way he envisioned the series ending, and George knew it very well. Twilight of the Dead was his goodbye to the genre he created and wanted to go out with a powerful film." The next step is to meet with potential directors and find one who can bring George's vision to the screen. "This is the film he wanted to make," Suzanne Romero said. "And while someone else will carry the torch as the director, it is very much a George A. Romero film."
Citizen Kane loses perfect Rotten Tomatoes score due to 80-year-old review
April 27, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
Citizen Kane has been widely regarded as the best film of all-time and has enjoyed a perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes which reflected that legacy, but thanks to a recently resurfaced 80-year-old review from the Chicago Tribune, the Orson Welles film now stands at a mere 99% on the review aggregator. Pathetic. I’ll be burning my Blu-ray copy immediately. Only the strong survive.
Penned by Mae Tinée (which was a common pseudonym at the time), the negative review leads with the headline: Citizen Kane Fails to Impress Critic as Greatest Ever Filmed. “You’ve heard a lot about this picture and I see by the ads that some experts think it ‘the greatest movie ever made,'” reads the review. “I don’t. It’s interesting. It’s different. In fact, it’s bizarre enough to become a museum piece. But its sacrifice of simplicity to eccentricity robs it of distinction and general entertainment value.” According to THR, the negative review was discovered by Rotten Tomatoes’ Archival Project, which “focuses on resurrecting critics and publications of the past and adding archived reviews to classic films.” The reviewer goes on to take aim at Citizen Kane’s ground-breaking use of light and shadow, saying that it gave them the creeps and they “kept wishing they’d let a little sunshine in.” It’s not all bad however, as the reviewer does admit that Orson Welles is a “zealous and effective performer.” Does any of this mean anything? Well, unless you’re a card-carrying member of some Rotten Tomatoes cult, I’d say not, but it is an interesting snippet of history which proves that critics hated movies back in the day as well. Golly!
Although Citizen Kane has now been bumped from Rotten Tomatoes’ illustrious 100% club, there are plenty of other classic films which remain, including 12 Angry Men, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Anatomy of Murder, Frankenstein, The Gold Rush, The Grapes of Wrath, M, The Maltese Falcon, and more. So what, you might be asking, is now the best reviewed film on Rotten Tomatoes? None other than Paddington 2!
New MonsterVerse movie may be helmed by Godzilla vs. Kong’s Adam Wingard
April 27, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
When Godzilla: King of the Monsters under-performed, it was thought that perhaps GODZILLA VS. KONG may have been the end of Legendary’s MonsterVerse, but it turns out that audiences were desperate for some escapism as the film has become the biggest hit of the pandemic. It seems that Legendary is now keen to keep the franchise going as THR has reported that they’re in early talks with Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard to return for the next MonsterVerse movie. It’s still early days yet, but THR says that one possible title that’s been making the rounds is Son of Kong.
Since its release a little less than a month ago, Godzilla vs. Kong has grossed over $400 million worldwide, which means that it’s already surpassed the box-office take of the entire theatrical run of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. What makes it all the more impressive is that Godzilla vs. Kong has done this while the world is still in the midst of a pandemic and while the film is also streaming on HBO Max in the U.S., not to mention that it’s yet to open in several larger markets around the world. Should the deal close, Adam Wingard would be the first MonsterVerse director to return for another installment, but he also has several other high-profile projects in the works, including the Face/Off sequel for Paramount and a ThunderCats movie for Warner Bros.
What type of MonsterVerse sequel would you like to see?
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Knives Out sequels: Daniel Craig & Rian Johnson could make $100 million each
April 6, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
It was always assumed that Rian Johnson’s enormously entertaining (and hugely successful) KNIVES OUT would receive a sequel, but few could have predicted that Netflix would scoop up the whodunit franchise in a massive deal that will find Rian Johnson writing and directing two sequels starring Daniel Craig.
A new report from THR has dropped a few more details on the deal, which is even bigger than previously reported. It was initially said that the deal was in the $400-$450 million range, but the final number came out to $469 million, which is a little crazy. THR’s sources have claimed that Rian Johnson, Daniel Craig, and producer Ram Bergman are looking to walk away with “upwards of $100 million”…each! “Yes, it’s overpaying but Netflix is playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers,” a streaming executive told THR. “It takes a proven theatrical commodity off the board and puts it in their pocket. And it’s another way they re-educate audiences to think of streaming and their company above a studio.” The deal doesn’t have many stipulations as it gives Rian Johnson complete creative control and means that he won’t have to take any notes from Netflix, but it does say that Daniel Craig must star in the sequels and that they must have at least the budget of the original film, which cost somewhere in the realm of $40 million. I don’t think that will be a problem.
The first Knives Out film was acquired in a single picture deal by MRC, who then distributed through Lionsgate, but Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman still controlled the rights to the franchise. When they began shopping the Knives Out sequels to other interested parties earlier this year, Johnson and Bergman weren’t sure of the “near-term viability of theatrical releasing” due to the pandemic, which prompted a bidding war from streaming services. In any other year, the sequels likely would have remained with MRC and Lionsgate, but as we know, we’re living through unusual times. Production on the first Knives Out sequel is expected to start on June 28th in Greece, which means that we should hear some casting news in the coming months.
Ray Fisher: New stunning details on Justice League, Joss Whedon, and more
April 6, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
It seems not a day goes by that we don’t learn new tidbits and reveals surrounding the Joss Whedon cut of JUSTICE LEAGUE. Weeks after Zack Snyder’s restored vision was released to critical and fan acclaim along with a new rallying cry to #RestoreTheSnyderverse, one person is still not content with the outcome of the entire ordeal: Ray Fisher. Despite having his central storyline restored in Snyder’s four-hour epic, the Cyborg actor still wants the world to know just how complicated things got between himself, Whedon, Warner Bros, and studio leadership.
In a massive article published in The Hollywood Reporter, Ray Fisher goes into more detail than ever before about what exactly Warner Bros. failed to do as well as new insights into Joss Whedon’s behavior that impacted not only himself but Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa as well.
Back in June 2020, Fisher unleashed a tweet that labeled Joss Whedon as someone who exhibited “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” behavior while on the set of Justice League. In time, an investigation into the matter was launched by Warner Bros., though Fisher found the studio’s efforts unacceptable. When pressed for further action, Warner Bros. said “remedial action” was taken. However, the studio has yet to say what those actions were, stating the punishment is not meant for public consumption. In fact, a spokesperson told THR that for privacy and legal reasons, “our policy is to not publicly disclose the findings or the results of an investigation.”
Meanwhile, Katherine Forrest, a former federal judge who conducted the WarnerMedia probe, says that after interviewing 80 witnesses, she found “no credible support for claims of racial animus” or racial “insensitivity.” WarnerMedia then doubled down by saying it “made extraordinary effort to accommodate Mr. Fisher’s concerns about the investigation and to ensure its fullness and fairness” and has “complete confidence in the investigation process and [Forrest’s] conclusions.”
Fast-forward to THR’s most recent interview with Fisher, where we find the star laying it all on the line.
“I’m not looking to have any witnesses lose their jobs,” says Fisher about why he hasn’t named names.
Fisher then goes on to say that he was devastated to hear about the passing of Zack and Deborah Snyder’s daughter, Autumn, and understood why they would need to exit the Justice League film. What he was not prepared for, however, was how much his contribution to the movie would change under Joss Whedon’s direction. Fisher says that when he met with Whedon at a bar to talk about the changes, Whedon “was tiptoeing around the fact that everything was changing.” As the two parted ways, Fisher was handed a script that all but erased his character from the film. Suddenly, Cyborg’s backstory was omitted, pivotal scenes that gave the character depth were nixed. Some of those scenes ended up being a part of the Snyder Cut, but the erasure was already done for the theatrical version of the film. “It represents that his parents are two genius-level Black people,” Fisher says about the intended vision for the character. “We don’t see that every day.”
Later, during a meeting about the changes, Fisher says that he tried to offer notes about the cuts to Cyborg’s storyline, but all Whedon wanted was praise for his work. “All he was looking for was the fulsome praise,” says Fisher. Not to be deterred, he attempted to raise his concerns. Sadly, Fisher says he barely got a few words out before Whedon cut him off. “It feels like I’m taking notes right now, and I don’t like taking notes from anybody — not even Robert Downey Jr.,” Whedon responded, according to Fisher.
Feeling dejected, Fisher then turned to Geoff Johns but found no support there either. “We can’t make Joss mad,” was Johns’ response, says Fisher. Publicist Howard Bragman, who represents Johns, denies that but says Johns “recalls suggesting that any creative pitches should happen when Joss Whedon was not preoccupied so he would be most receptive.”
Fisher’s latest tell-all also raises concerns about how Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa were treated while making Justice League. According to a source close to the matter, Gal Gadot had major concerns about how her character was being portrayed in the revised version, including “issues about her character being more aggressive than her character in Wonder Woman. She wanted to make the character flow from one movie to the next.”
Perhaps the biggest issue came about when Gadot was forced to record lines she didn’t care for. Not to be challenged, Whedon reportedly threatened to hurt her career by talking with Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. While Fisher was reluctant to go into too much detail, an investigator on the WarnerMedia case says that after one instance, “Joss was bragging that he’s had it out with Gal. He told her he’s the writer and she’s going to shut up and say the lines and he can make her look incredibly stupid in this movie.” This prompted Gadot and Jenkins to meet with then-Warners chairman Kevin Tsujihara. In commenting on the result of the meeting, Gadot said: “I had my issues with [Whedon] and Warner Bros. handled it in a timely manner.”
With so many working parts to this story, my suggestion is to read THR’s full report here. It contains some truly damning stuff and will paint a clear picture as to why Whedon has all but disappeared from the face of the Earth. In short, the once sought-after filmmaker has turned into box office poison. Since the Justice League saga began, his name has been stripped off projects he helped create (The Nevers), and fans are in some ways ashamed to support his most beloved properties. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
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Creed 3: Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky sitting this round out?
April 5, 2021 by: Chris Bumbray
When it was announced that Michael B. Jordan would be directing and starring in the long-awaited CREED III a few weeks ago, many fans wondered whether Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa would be returning to the franchise. After all, during the production of Creed II, Stallone did famously post a video on Instagram publicly retiring from the role and passing the torch to Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed, but many thought he could eventually change his mind. Alas, Sly confirmed to a fan via a response on his Instagram page a few days ago that he would indeed not be returning. Thanks to our reader Michael T. Scott for pointing out this easy to miss comment.
While it’s a shame The Italian Stallion’s not going to be a part of Creed III, I can’t help but be excited for the further adventures of Adonis Creed. What’s interesting is that Jordan seems to be following in Sly’s footsteps to some degree. Stallone famously directed many installments of the Rocky saga himself. And of course, just because Sly’s sitting this round out doesn’t mean he’s done with the franchise or the character. In 2019, Stallone told THR he had an idea for a new installment where Rocky trains an undocumented immigrant, plus just last week, he posted a treatment for a proposed Rocky prequel TV series.
So what do you think — are you still psyched for Creed III even without Stallone? And do you think he might come back in a future Creed movie?
Ava DuVernay’s New Gods and James Wan’s The Trench have been scrapped
April 1, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
Warner Bros.' upcoming slate of DC movies is looking a little lighter as THR has reported that the studio will not be moving forward with Ava DuVernay's New Gods and James Wan's Aquaman spin-off, The Trench.
"As part of our DC slate, some legacy development titles including New Gods and The Trench will not be moving forward," Warner Bros. and DC said in a statement. "We thank our partners Ava DuVernay, Tom King, James Wan and Peter Safran for their time and collaboration during this process and look forward to our continued partnership with them on other DC stories. The projects will remain in their skillful hands if they were to move forward in the future."hands if they were to move forward in the future." Ava DuVernay took to Twitter to mark the end of her time on the project.
Tom, I loved writing NEW GODS with you. I’m upset that the saga of Barda, Scott, Granny, Highfather and The Furies ends this way. Diving into Kirby’s Fourth World was the adventure of a lifetime. That can’t be taken away. Thank you for your friendship. And remember… #DarkseidIs pic.twitter.com/XyyIjcB8Wv
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 1, 2021
THR said that it was becoming obvious that Warner Bros. didn't have a natural slot for New Gods or The Trench in its upcoming slate and didn't want to leave the filmmakers hanging, but that doesn't mean that projects are entirely dead as they could be resurrected in some form or another in the future. Ava DuVernay had been developing New Gods with Tom King since 2018, which would have revolved around the comic-book characters created by the late, great Jack Kirby. One complication which arose is that its villain was Darkseid, who, as we know, recently appeared in Zack Snyder's Justice League, so Warner Bros. is hoping to to put a little space between his appearances. As for The Trench, the Aquaman spin-off was to center around the Trench, the terrifying amphibious creatures who were seen attacking Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Mera (Amber Heard) in the first film. It would have been more of a horror film than a superhero movie, but THR says that Warner Bros. might return to it if people are still hungry for more of the Aquaman universe following the upcoming sequel which starts shooting later this year.
The Black Phone: James Ransone reunites with Ethan Hawke & Scott Derrickson
March 19, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
James Ransone is ready for more spooky shenanigans as THR has reported that the actor is slated to reteam with SINISTER director Scott Derrickson for The Black Phone. As it happens, the upcoming adaptation of Joe Hill’s short story is also set to star Ethan Hawke, who worked with James Ransone in Sinister.
The Black Phone will tell the story of a young boy who finds himself locked in a basement that’s stained with the blood of half a dozen other murdered children. In the cellar with him is an antique telephone, long since disconnected, but which rings at night with calls from the dead. Creepy, I love it. Ethan Hawke will play the kidnapper, with Mason Thames playing the kid, Jeremy Davies playing his father, and Madeleine McGraw playing his sister. As for James Ransone, his part is being kept under wraps, but THR says that he’s playing a character named Max.
Scott Derrickson will direct The Black Phone and also co-wrote the script alongside C. Robert Cargill, which was adapted from Joe Hill’s short story of the same name that was included in his 20th Century Ghosts story collection. James Ransone was recently seen in It: Chapter Two as the adult version of Eddie Kaspbrak.
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The Flash: Billy Crudup has reportedly dropped out of the film
March 12, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
Billy Crudup played Henry Allen, the father of Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), in Justice League, and was slated to reprise the role for THE FLASH as well, but when the film experienced delay after delay, it was said that Crudup eventually dropped out of the film. Last October, it was reported that Billy Crudup was once again in negotiations to join The Flash, but a new report from THR claims that the actor has once again dropped out of the project due to scheduling conflicts. The Flash can’t catch a break.
The actor is set to begin shooting the next season of The Morning Show for Apple TV, and it seems as though the shooting schedule for The Flash will conflict with that. It remains to be seen if the role will be recast, but I suppose that will depend on how important the character is in the current script. (Edit: THR’s Bory Kit took to Twitter to clarify that the role will be recast.) Although Billy Crudup has exited The Flash, THR also reports that the role of Barry Allen’s mother has finally been cast. Maribel Verdú, best known for Y Tu Mama Tambien and Pan’s Labyrinth, will be playing the character, who is said to be quite important to the plot of the film, which will reportedly find Flash traveling back in time to prevent the murder of his mother, a move that will have drastic consequences when he returns to his timeline. In addition to Ezra Miller and Maribel Verdú, The Flash will also star Kiersey Clemons as Iris West, Sasha Calle as Supergirl, Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and Michael Keaton as…Bruce Wayne/Batman. Multiverse, here we come!
Andy Muschietti is slated to direct The Flash based on a screenplay by Christina Hodson, and production is finally slated to kick off this spring for a November 4, 2022 release.
Marvel’s Blade movie to be penned by Watchmen’s Stacy Osei-Kuffour
February 5, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
I never in a million years expected that BLADE would be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but here we are. It was announced in 2019 that Marvel Studios were developing a reboot of Blade that will star Mahershala Ali (True Detective), and now THR has reported that the project finally has a writer.
The outlet reports that Stacy Osei-Kuffour, who worked as a story editor and writer on HBO’s Watchmen series, has been tapped to write the Blade reboot for Marvel Studios. The studio has apparently spent the last six months looking for a writer for the project and Mahershala Ali has been “directly involved” in that search. Only Black writers were being seriously considered for the gig, pointing to Marvel’s focus on diversity and representation. THR notes that Osei-Kuffour will now become the first Black female writer to pen the script for a Marvel movie, while Nia DaCosta will be the studio’s first Black female director with Captain Marvel 2. The next step will be finding a director to helm the Blade movie. In addition to Watchmen, Stacy Osei-Kuffour was a story editor on Amazon’s Hunters and HBO’s Run and also wrote for Hulu’s comedy series PEN15.
Exactly how Blade will be folded into the Marvel Cinematic Universe remains to be seen, but now that the franchise is beginning to open up the multiverse with WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, you can imagine how Marvel might introduce the character; after all, there doesn’t exactly seem to be a bunch of vampires running around the MCU at the moment.
New Cloverfield sequel in the works
January 29, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
It’s been over a decade since Matt Reeves’ CLOVERFIELD was released but after several stealth sequels, it would appear that a direct sequel to the found-footage monster movie is in the works. THR has reported that J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Paramount Pictures are developing a sequel to Cloverfield and have tapped Joe Barton, who recently became the showrunner of HBO Max’s Gotham City Police Department series, with writing the script. According to THR’s sources, the sequel will not be in the found-footage format.
Plot details are being kept under wraps, but that’s to be expected for anything J.J. Abrams is involved in. Although Matt Reeves is not involved in the project at this time, Abrams is onboard to produce the Cloverfield sequel. The original 2008 film followed a group of New Yorkers as the city found itself under attack from a giant monster, and thanks to an imaginative viral marketing campaign, the film became a massive success and spawned two loosely connected sequels, 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Cloverfield Paradox. There had been talk of more films falling under the Cloverfield banner, with Overlord long rumoured to be connected and A Quiet Place once considered to join the franchise, but audience disappointment with The Cloverfield Paradox seemingly put the series on hiatus, until now.
J.J. Abrams was also asked in 2018 whether or not the franchise might bring together characters and monsters from the previous movies into a potential team-up movie, and although it’s all theoretical, it is something they were once considering. “We’ve talked about versions of things,” Abrams explained, “like when we did 10 Cloverfield Lane, we were thinking Michelle – the character Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays – it’s such a sort of weird origin story of this kind of incredibly, I think, awesome heroine, that idea of following her story is really cool. And then at one point, we were like, ‘You know what would be really cool? What if they crossed paths with Gugu [Mbatha-Raw]’s character Ava?’ You start to think of ‘what ifs.’ And I think the bigger ideas that we’ve had about where this thing goes haven’t necessarily been those ideas, but they’ve kind of been fun theoretical offshoots.” What are your hopes for the Cloverfield sequel?
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Timothee Chalamet in talks to reunite with Luca Guadagnino for Bones & All
January 28, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
Timothee Chalamet's star has been rising considerably in recent years, largely thanks to his Oscar-nominated performance in Luca Guadagnino's Call Me By Your Name, and Deadline has reported that the actor is in talks to reunite with the director for a new project.
The outlet reports that Timothee Chalamet (Dune) and Taylor Russel (Lost in Space) are in talks to star in Bones & All, a horror-love story that will be directed by Luca Guadagnino from a script by David Kajganich (Suspiria). Other than those skant details, not much is known about Bones & All, but Deadline states that there are multiple parties interested to acquiring the project. Chalamet and Guadagnino have apparently been looking for another project to do together ever since Call Me By Your Name, but this seems to be the first that hasn't fallen victim to scheduling difficulties. THR added that Bones & All is likely based on the novel of the same name by Camille DeAngelis, which follows a young woman on a "cross-country trip as she searches for the father she's never met in an attempt to understand why she has the urge to kill and eat the people that love her." Sounds like fun.
Speaking of Call Me By Your Name, Luca Guadagnino has also been discussing a sequel for several years, saying that he would love to make a "cycle of films about these characters" and that he thinks their "experience of life is ripe for many, many adventures." It remains to be seen whether the sequel will ever happen, but Guadagnino has previously teased that the next chapter will take place "right after the fall of Berlin wall and that great shift that was the end of Russia, of the USSR, sorry. And we'll see people leaving home and going in the world. That's what I can say for now."
Dungeons & Dragons TV series in development from John Wick writer
January 15, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
Although a big-screen adaptation of the popular fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons is currently in development, THR has reported that Hasbro's eOne production studio is also developing a Dungeons & Dragons TV series. Next up, a podcast and officially licensed bed pans.
The Dungeons & Dragons TV series is still in the early stages, but the studio has tapped Derek Kolstad, the writer behind the John Wick franchise, to write the script and develop a pitch for the series. THR added that eOne are also looking for more writers to develop various other projects that will be set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, so get ready for more dungeons and…dragons…than you know what to do with. My ignorance of the franchise is showing, isn't it? In addition to all three John Wick movies, Derek Kolstad is also known for Marvel's upcoming The Falcon and the Winter Soldier TV series which will debut on Disney+ on March 19, 2021, as well as Nobody, an action/thriller starring Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) that will debut on February 26, 2021.
As for the Dungeons & Dragons movie, that project is slated to be directed by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley (Game Night), who also penned the script that was based on a draft by Michael Gilio. It was also announced last month that Chris Pine (Wonder Woman 1984) will be starring in the film and that production is expected to kick off later this year.
Christopher Nolan slams Warner Bros.’ HBO Max release plans
December 7, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser
While most directors would certainly love to see their films on the big-screen, few advocate for the cinematic experience more than Christopher Nolan (TENET). Naturally, COVID-19 has largely brought that experience to a halt, and studios have had to adjust to the current circumstances. Most recently, Warner Bros. announced that they would be releasing their entire 2021 theatrical slate simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max, and I’m sure you can imagine what Christopher Nolan thinks of that.
While speaking with ET Online, Christopher Nolan commented on his reaction to Warner Bros.’ recent decision.
Oh, I mean, disbelief. Especially the way in which they did. There’s such controversy around it, because they didn’t tell anyone. In 2021, they’ve got some of the top filmmakers in the world, they’ve got some of the biggest stars in the world who worked for years in some cases on these projects very close to their hearts that are meant to be big-screen experiences. They’re meant to be out there for the widest possible audiences… And now they’re being used as a loss-leader for the streaming service — for the fledgling streaming service — without any consultation. So, there’s a lot of controversy. It’s very, very, very, very messy. A real bait and switch. Yeah, it’s sort of not how you treat filmmakers and stars and people who, these guys have given a lot for these projects. They deserved to be consulted and spoken to about what was going to happen to their work.
In a further statement to THR, Nolan continued: “Some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before thinking they were working for the greatest movie studio and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service,” Nolan said. “Warner Bros. had an incredible machine for getting a filmmaker’s work out everywhere, both in theaters and in the home, and they are dismantling it as we speak. They don’t even understand what they’re losing. Their decision makes no economic sense and even the most casual Wall Street investor can see the difference between disruption and dysfunction.” As Christopher Nolan has largely called Warner Bros. his home for the past twenty years, those are certainly some harsh words.
As far as what the future will bring based on Warner Bros.’ choice, Christopher Nolan told ET Online that he believes that “all of the studios know that the movie theater experience will bounce back and be a very important part of the ecosystem long-term. What you have right now in our business is a lot of the use of the pandemic as an excuse for sort of grappling for short-term advantage. And it’s really unfortunate. It’s not the way to do business and it’s not the best thing for the health of our industry. But when the theaters are back and people are going back to the movies, when the vaccine has been rolled out and there’s an appropriate health response from the federal government, I’m very bullish on the long-term prospects of the industry. People love going to the movies and they’re going to get to go again.” Nolan isn’t the only one who isn’t pleased with Warner Bros. at the moment, as AMC Theatres have also denounced the plan and Legendary Entertainment is also considering legal action. Christopher Nolan’s Tenet will be released on DVD/Blu-ray/4K Ultra HD on December 15th.
Joss Whedon exits HBO’s The Nevers
November 25, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser
Joss Whedon's return to television will have to wait a little longer as it's been announced that the writer/director has departed The Nevers, HBO's upcoming sci-fi/drama series that has been in development for several years. The series will center around a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world. Joss Whedon was slated to write, direct, executive produce, and serve as showrunner on The Nevers, but he made a statement to CinemaBlend explaining why he will be departing the series.
This year of unprecedented challenges has impacted my life and perspective in ways I could never have imagined, and while developing and producing The Nevers has been a joyful experience, I realize that the level of commitment required moving forward, combined with the physical challenges of making such a huge show during a global pandemic, is more than I can handle without the work beginning to suffer. I am genuinely exhausted, and am stepping back to martial my energy towards my own life, which is also at the brink of exciting change. I am deeply proud of the work we have done; I’m grateful to all my extraordinary cast and collaborators, and to HBO for the opportunity to shape yet another strange world. The Nevers is a true labor of love, but after two plus years of labor, love is about all I have to offer. It will never fade.
In a statement to THR, HBO said, "We have parted ways with Joss Whedon. We remain excited about the future of The Nevers and look forward to its premiere in the summer of 2021." Casting on The Nevers is already set, with the series slated to be led by Laura Donnelly (Outlander), who will be playing Amalia True, "the most reckless, impulsive, emotionally damaged hero of her time. A menace to stuffy Victorian society, she would die for the cause and kill for a drink." The rest of the cast includes Olivia Williams (Dollhouse), James Norton (Grantchester), Tom Riley (Da Vinci's Demons), Ann Skelly (Death and Nightingales), Ben Chaplin (SNOWDEN), Pip Torrens (The Crown), Zackary Momoh (DOCTOR SLEEP), Amy Manson (Torchwood), Nick Frost (FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY), Rochelle Neil (TERMINATOR: DARK FATE), Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark), and Denis O'Hare (This Is Us).
Godzilla vs. Kong release could be heading to a streaming service
November 25, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser
If you haven’t noticed, we’re living through some strange times at the moment. In terms of the entertainment industry, COVID-19 has forced studios to make some major changes with how they release movies. Over the past few months, we’ve seen studios drop more than a few films on streaming services that were once destined for theaters, and that’s not likely to stop anytime soon.
According to THR, the latest movie that could be heading to a streaming service might just be GODZILLA VS. KONG, the upcoming film from director Adam Wingard (YOU’RE NEXT) that pits the two giant titans against one another. The outlet has heard from several sources that Netflix has made an offer of more than $200 million for the film, but that WarnerMedia blocked the deal and are planning on preparing their own offer to stream the film on HBO Max. Legendary Entertainment declined to comment, but a spokesperson for Warner Bros. said, “We plan to release GODZILLA VS. KONG theatrically next year as scheduled.” THR added that WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar and Warner Bros. chairman Ann Sarnoff are said to be working on an offer that will allow for a streaming release that “also includes a theatrical component,” perhaps similar to the recent WONDER WOMAN 1984 release plans that will find the film debuting on both HBO Max and in theaters on Christmas Day. Should the simultaneous HBO Max/theatrical release of WONDER WOMAN 1984 go as planned, I’d imagine that we could easily see GODZILLA VS. KONG following suit.
Here’s the official logline for GODZILLA VS. KONG: “In a time when monsters walk the Earth, humanity’s fight for its future sets Godzilla and Kong on a collision course that will see the two most powerful forces of nature on the planet collide in a spectacular battle for the ages. As Monarch embarks on a perilous mission into uncharted terrain and unearths clues to the Titans’ origins, a human conspiracy threatens to wipe the creatures, both good and bad, from the face of the earth forever.” The film, which stars Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler, Alexander Skarsgard, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Zhang Ziyi, Demian Bichir, and Julian Dennison, is currently slated for a May 21, 2021 release.
Fantastic Beasts 3: Johnny Depp will still receive full salary despite exit
November 9, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser
Just days after losing his libel case against The Sun, who referred to him as a “wife beater,” Johnny Depp announced last week that he would no longer be playing Gellert Grindelwald in Warner Bros. FANTASTIC BEASTS franchise after the studio asked him to resign. “I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindelwald in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and I have respected and agreed to that request,” wrote Depp in an Instagram post. Warner Bros. thanked the actor for his work on the films to date, and also announced that the role of Grindelwald will soon be recast.
Production on FANTASTIC BEASTS 3 is currently underway, and before he was asked to step down, Johnny Depp had already shot one scene for the film. Although Johnny Depp’s ongoing legal battles against former wife Amber Heard have created something of a public relations nightmare for Warner Bros. (not to mention J.K. Rowling’s recent comments), a new report from THR says that the studio “wanted to allow due process to take its course before making a decision on the embattled star’s future in the franchise.” Once Depp’s defamation claims were dismissed, Warner Bros. chief Toby Emmerich made the call that led to Depp’s exit. That said, Johnny Depp will still be receiving his full salary, said to be somewhere in the realm of eight-figures, as the actor had a pay-or-play contract with the studio, which means that he’s required to be fully compensated whether or not the film is made or even if his role is recast. J.K. Rowling, who had previously supported Depp’s involvement in the franchise, reportedly “did not push back” when Warner Bros. said they would be asking the actor to exit.
THR added that FANTASTIC BEASTS 3 has been described as a “three-hander,” with Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Eddie Redmayne sharing equal screen time. With Depp no longer in the picture and the role of Grindelwald growing larger, we’ll likely be hearing who will be playing the Dark Wizard sooner rather than later. FANTASTIC BEASTS 3 was initially slated to hit theaters on November 12, 2021, but Warner Bros. shifted the film to July 15, 2022 earlier today.
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The Meg sequel to be directed by Rebecca’s Ben Wheatley
October 23, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser
We’ve got more pre-historic sharks in our future and it would seem that Ben Wheatley is the man to give them to us. THR has reported that Wheatley, whose adaptation of REBECCA debuted on Netflix just days ago, has signed on to direct a sequel to THE MEG, the 2018 giant shark movie that was directed by Jon Turteltaub (NATIONAL TREASURE).
RELATED: The UnPopular Opinion: The Meg
Many of the key talents involved with the first film are expected to return for THE MEG 2, including Jason Statham, who is said to be creatively involved this time around. An initial draft of the sequel was written by Dean Georgaris, with Jon and Erich Hoeber now in the process of crafting the screenplay. The three writers also wrote the script for the first film. THE MEG starred Jason Statham as Jonas Taylor, an expert deep-sea rescue diver who is recruited to save the crew of a submersible that has been attacked by a Megalodon, a massive pre-historic creature thought to have been extinct. Although THE MEG received mixed reviews upon release, it was a box-office success, grossing over $530 million worldwide, and talk of a sequel quickly emerged. Personally, although I definitely had fun with the film, I found it a little mediocre when all was said and done. Hopefully the sequel is able to improve on what the first film set up. What are you hoping to see from a sequel to THE MEG?
Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of REBECCA is now streaming on Netflix, so be sure to check out a review from our own JimmyO.
Mel Gibson, Cole Hauser join Crank co-director’s newest action thriller
October 15, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser
Mark Neveldine, who co-directed CRANK, CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE, GAMER, and GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE alongside Brian Taylor, will by flying solo for his next project as he's slated to take the helm of PANAMA, and THR has reported that the upcoming action/thriller is slated to star Cole Hauser and Mel Gibson.
Scripted by Daniel Adams and William R. Barber, PANAMA will follow a "rugged and decorated ex-marine (Hauser) who is sent undercover by his former commander (Gibson) to execute a high-value deal with untrustworthy adversaries." If that sounds at all familiar, you might be thinking of the previous iteration of the project that was set to star Frank Grillo and Morgan Freeman in the roles now occupied by Hauser and Gibson. PANAMA is expected to kick off production in Puerto Rico this December, and THR says that Gibson will shoot his part and immediately move on to LEO FROM TOLEDO, an action/thriller directed by Joe Carnahan that is also set to shoot in Puerto Rico.
Mel Gibson will next be seen in FATMAN, a dark comedy action film that centers around a cash-strapped Santa Claus who is forced into a partnership with the U.S. military in order to save his declining business. Not only that, but he must face off against a deadly assassin (Walton Goggins) hired by a precocious 12-year-old who was furious after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking. The film is set to be released in select theaters on November 13, 2020, followed by an On Demand and Digital release on November 17, 2020. Cole Hauser currently stars in Yellowstone alongside Kevin Costner. The Paramount Network series finished its third season in August and has already been renewed for a fourth.
Space Mountain movie in development with Obi-Wan Kenobi writer Joby Harold
October 9, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser
Although they can't all be winners, I've learned not to turn my nose up on movie projects based on theme-park rides or toys; after all, who would have thought that THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN or THE LEGO MOVIE would have become as successful as they did. Certainly not me. Disney is looking to give another one of their famous theme-park attractions the movie treatment as THR has reported that the studio has tapped Joby Harold, who is writing and executive producing the Obi-Wan Kenobi series for Disney+, to pen the script for a live-action film based on the Space Mountain attraction.
As I've never been to Disneyland, I know next to nothing about Space Mountain, but versions of the attraction have popped up in several of Disney's parks around the world over the decades. From what I understand, the ride doesn't really have any memorable scenes or characters like those found in Pirates of the Caribbean, but THR says that the live-action film will merely be using the ride as an inspiration and that it's been described as a family adventure. In addition to penning the script, Joby Harold will also be producing the SPACE MOUNTAIN film. Harold is also known for his work on AWAKE, KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD, as well as Zack Snyder's upcoming ARMY OF THE DEAD for Netflix.
As for the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, Ewan McGregor is slated to reprise the role of the Jedi Master for a story that will be set between REVENGE OF THE SITH and A NEW HOPE. Development on the project has experienced a few hiccups since it was announced, but McGregor said last month that production will hopefully kick off next spring and that the series is expected to consist of a single season at this time. Meanwhile, ARMY OF THE DEAD will debut on Netflix sometime in 2021.
Tig Notaro will replace Chris D’Elia in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead
August 14, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser
As remakes go, Zack Snyder‘s take on George Romero‘s DAWN OF THE DEAD was pretty damn good, so it was quite exciting when we found out that Snyder would be returning to the zombie genre with ARMY OF THE DEAD. Production on the Netflix film wrapped up last year, but it seems that shooting will get underway once again in order to swap out a member of the cast.
THR has reported that Tig Notaro (Star Trek: Discovery) will be stepping in to replace Chris D’Elia, who has found himself faced with some fairly serious allegations of sexually harassing underage girls. There will be a quick round of reshoots in order fit Notaro into the film, but as most of the actors have already moved on and we’re now in the middle of a pandemic, THR says there there will be a variety of techniques used in the reshoots, ranging from “actually reshooting scenes opposite an acting partner to using green screen and CG technology to blend her in.” ARMY OF THE DEAD will be “set amid a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, during which a man assembles a group of mercenaries to take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantined zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.” In addition to the newly cast Tig Notaro, the film also stars Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Ana De La Reguera, Theo Rossi, Huma Qureshi, Omari Hardwick, Hiroyuki Sanada, Garret Dillahunt, Matthias Schweighöfer, Raúl Castillo, Nora Arnezeder, and Samantha Win.
ARMY OF THE DEAD doesn’t have a release date at the moment, but I would imagine that it will hit Netflix sometime next year.
Annabelle Wallis proud to have run on screen with Tom Cruise
August 13, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser
Tom Cruise loves to run, and audiences have definitely seen quite a lot of the actor’s distinctive full-throttle gallop over the years, but according to Annabelle Wallis, it’s rare that he lets anyone run alongside him on-screen. The actress, who starred alongside Tom Cruise in THE MUMMY, recently spoke with THR about working with Cruise and convincing him to let run with him.
He’s Tom Cruise. He’s his own thing. He’s such a movie star, and he does his own bloody stunts! He means business, and he loves this business. He’s a cinephile. I think people are in awe of that kind of passion and love for cinema and a desire to excel, to keep growing and keep pushing boundaries. He’s on a different level, and, you know, I ticked a box. I got to run on-screen with him, but he told me no at first. He said, “Nobody runs on-screen [with me],” and I said, “But I’m a really good runner.”
Wallis added that in order to convince Cruise, she would time her time on the treadmill for that Cruise would walk in and see her running. “And then he added all these running scenes,” Wallis said. “So, that was it. It was, like, better than an Oscar. I was so happy! (Laughs.) I was so happy that I got to run on-screen with Tom Cruise…. It’s so wonderful to be excited by someone and in awe of what they’ve achieved in their lives.” Until Wallis mentioned it, I don’t think I’ve ever actually realized how rarely you see anyone running along with Cruise, but I’ll definitely keep an eye out moving forward.
Annabelle Wallis will next be seen starring alongside Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in THE SILENCING, an action-thriller which follows a reformed hunter (Coster-Waldau) and a sheriff (Wallis) who are caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse when they set out to track a killer who may have kidnapped the hunter’s daughter five years ago. The film will be released to VOD on August 14th.
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Sarah Paulson’s Run to skip theaters and debut on Hulu instead
August 11, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser
Another day, another movie opting to debut on a streaming service. THR has reported that RUN, a horror thriller from writer/director Aneesh Chaganty (SEARCHING), will be skipping theaters and will instead debut on Hulu. The film stars Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story) as Diane, an unhinged mother who has raised her daughter Chloe (Kiera Allen) in almost total isolation since her birth, but Chloe is now beginning to uncover her mother’s sinister secrets
RUN was slated to have been released by Lionsgate on May 8th, but as with everything else, COVID-19 brought those plans to a halt. THR says that there were a variety of bidders for the film, but that Hulu came out the winner. “We’re super excited audiences will get to stream Run on Hulu, a platform that’s really committed to giving the movie the same, big splash that was always intended for it,” Chaganty said. “Plus, the film is about a girl who’s been quarantined at home her whole life; watching it the same way should be a fitting experience in 2020.” This isn’t the first Lionsgate film to skip theaters recently, as Lionsgate also announced last week that ANTEBELLUM would debut on PVOD instead next month. However, both ANTEBELLUM and RUN will still be released theatrically in select international markets.
The official synopsis for RUN:
They say you can never escape a mother’s love… but for Chloe, that’s not a comfort — it’s a threat. There’s something unnatural, even sinister about the relationship between Chloe (newcomer Kiera Allen) and her mom, Diane (Sarah Paulson). Diane has raised her daughter in total isolation, controlling every move she’s made since birth, and there are secrets that Chloe’s only beginning to grasp. From the visionary writers, producers and director of the breakout film Searching, comes a suspense thriller that shows that when mom gets a little too close, you need to RUN.
It’s expected that RUN will debut on Hulu later this year.
Charlize Theron is heartbroken to not return for Mad Max spinoff Furiosa
July 6, 2020 by: Steve Seigh
Back in 2015, MAD MAX FURY ROAD became a massive hit both critically and commercially and reinvigorated Charlize Theron as an action star years after the weak reception for AEON FLUX. Since then, Theron has starred in multiple FAST AND FURIOUS sequels as well as the excellent ATOMIC BLONDE and soon the Netflix franchise-starter THE OLD GUARD. But, despite many behind-the-scenes stories saying she had a challenging time on the set of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, Theron says she is disappointed that she won’t be coming back for director George Miller‘s announced prequel FURIOSA.
As the story goes, director George Miller once worried studio executives with a ballooning budget and tales of on-set disagreements between Theron and co-star Tom Hardy. Then, millions of dollars and several Oscar nominations later, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD had become one of the most revered action epics in recent film history
Theron’s comments have been neutral with regard to her experiences on set, but the rumored casting of Anya Taylor Joy as a young Furiosa appears less a jab at Theron’s exceptional work but more of a logical way to go back and tell the origin of the character.
Recently while speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Theron remarked on what it’s been like for her to be given a second chance at establishing herself as a bonafide action icon:
“A lot of women don’t get a second chance, but when men make these movies and fail miserably, they get chance after chance after chance to go and explore that again. That doesn’t necessarily happen for women,” Theron remarked to THR. “Fury Road came a good decade after Æon Flux, and there’s always been that voice in the back of my head that still somewhat responds to that. I’m still influenced by that, and it’s one thing that drives me. It’s unfortunate that we feel like the opportunity will be taken away from us in a heartbeat if we don’t succeed, but that is the truth. It’s not a very forgiving genre when it comes to women.”
As their talk continued, Theron was asked to give her take on Miller’s plans to chronicle a young Furiosa, rather than continue the journey Theron had started in Fury Road:
“It’s a tough one to swallow. Listen, I fully respect George, if not more so in the aftermath of making that film with him. He’s a master, and I wish him nothing but the best, “ Theron admits. “Yeah, it’s a little heartbreaking, for sure. I really love that character, and I’m so grateful that I had a small part in creating her. She will forever be someone I think of and reflect on fondly. Obviously, I would love to see that story continue, and if he feels like he has to go about it this way, then I trust him in that manner. We get so hung up on the smaller details that we forget the thing that we emotionally tap into has nothing to do with that minute thing that we’re focusing on.”
Those who’ve read the New York Times’ oral history of Fury Road will have learned that both Theron and Hardy had butted heads during the film’s production. And if history has taught me anything, it’s that instances of heated chemistry such as this often goes unreported for as long as it can be kept under lock and key. Here’s the thing though, when it comes to Theron and Hardy, both have admitted to making mistakes, which is all kinds of refreshing in this day and age.
“Oh, it’s the truth! It’s the truth,” Theron said when talking about her and Hardy both coming clean about their disagreements. “That’s the great thing about time, right? It gives you a moment to really reflect and have all of those things permeate. That’s evolution. That’s how we learn. That’s how we become better. So, that was not a hard thing for me to do. It’s just the truth.”
Lastly, for all you ATOMIC BLONDE fans out there, you’ll be thrilled to know that according to Theron, another film in the series is currently in the works. It’s true! When asked if there would be another film featuring the fearless Lorraine Broughton, Theron said:
“Yes, we’re in the development stages right now, and that’s the one thing that lockdown has been good for — being able to develop with writers over Zoom. So, we’re actively developing [an Atomic Blonde sequel] right now.”
For more on Theron’s experience while making MAD MAX: FURY ROAD as well as her excitement for Netflix’s THE OLD GUARD, be sure to check out THR’s full report.
Also, if you’re game to see Theron kick all kinds of ass in her new film, be sure to catch THE OLD GUARD when it premieres on Netflix this July 10.
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Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne will reportedly wear the Batsuit in The Flash
June 26, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser
Our world was thrown for a bit of a loop earlier this week when it was reported that Michael Keaton was in talks to reprise the role of Batman for Warner Bros.’ upcoming THE FLASH. Keaton of course played Bruce Wayne/Batman in Tim Burton‘s BATMAN and BATMAN RETURNS, and still stands, in my opinion, as one of the best to play the role.
While nothing about Michael Keaton‘s participation in THE FLASH is official at this point, small details have been leaking out, and the latest installment of THR’s Heat Vision newsletter includes a little tidbit about the Keaton’s role. Although long-standing rumours have pointed to Thomas Wayne’s involvement in THE FLASH, THR seems quite confident that Keaton would be playing Bruce Wayne, and not only that, but he would also be donning the cape and cowl once again. I can’t imagine that you’d ever want to bring Keaton back and not show him in some sort of Batsuit, but this is welcome news nonetheless.
It’s been said that THE FLASH will reportedly find Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) traveling back in time to save his mother, but instead create an alternate universe in which Micheal Keaton’s Batman is still operating. Sources have also told THR that Micheal Keaton’s Bruce Wayne could take on a role similar to Samuel L. Jackson‘s Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, serving as something of a mentor/guide/string-puller in a handful of DCEU movies. Umberto Gonzalez of The Wrap has also claimed that Michael Keaton‘s Bruce Wayne could also be used to introduce audiences to the concept of the DC multi-verse. Production on THE FLASH under the direction of Andy Muschietti(IT: CHAPTER TWO) is expected to kick off spring 2021, with a June 3, 2022 release.
THR Heat Vision
David Koepp on stepping away from scripting Indiana Jones 5
June 19, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser
It’s been well over a decade since the release of the last film in the INDIANA JONES franchise, but a fifth installment has been in development for quite some time under a variety of hands, including David Koepp, best known for scripting JURASSIC WORLD, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, SPIDER-MAN, as well as INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL.
While David Koepp was attached to pen INDIANA JONES 5 for a number of years, he stepped down in 2018 when Jonathan Kasdan (SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY) was brought in to replace him. Since then, Steven Spielberg also decided to step down as director, with James Mangold (LOGAN) slated to helm the sequel. While speaking with THR, Koepp touched upon how he felt about leaving INDIANA JONES 5 behind.
The reason Indiana Jones movies are so difficult is because it’s really difficult. (Laughs.) It’s hard. It has to be great. The first and third movies in that series are just utterly beloved, and ‘utterly beloved’ is a high bar. It’s really tough to get there. So, I did a couple versions of this last one that I thought were good; the last one, in particular. But it didn’t quite come together. Steven couldn’t do it in the end and whatever. It just didn’t come together. Sometimes, they do; sometimes, they don’t.
“But if there’s going to be another Indiana Jones movie,” Koepp continued, “I think James Mangold is a great guy to explore it. Certainly, what he did with Logan was remarkable — with Scott Frank’s great, great script. So, we’ll see. But it’s okay. Usually, by the time you either get fired or they move on to somebody else or the project just evolves away from you — by that time, you’re secretly a little bit relieved because at least you don’t have to bang your head against it anymore.” While it would seem that this would be good opportunity to reboot the franchise with a new actor (which is bound to happen eventually) as Indiana Jones, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has said, “We’re working away, getting the script where we want it to be and then we’ll be ready to go. Harrison Ford will be involved, yeah. It’s not a reboot; it’s a continuation.” While the next film will feature Ford as Indy, former Disney CEO Bob Iger told THR back in 2016 that they’re definitely considering what comes next. “Right now, we’re focused on a reboot, or a continuum and then a reboot of some sort,” Iger said. “Well, we’ll bring him back, then we have to figure out what comes next… We [got] Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in the film. But then what’s the direction? I’ve had discussions about what the direction is, [but] I don’t want to get into it. I don’t think it reaches the scale of the universe of Star Wars, but I see making more. It won’t be just a one-off.”
INDIANA JONES 5 has been delayed several times, and it currently slated to hit theaters on July 29, 2022, but I would imagine that date is dependent on when production on the film can get underway.
In contrast to AMC Theatres, Alamo Drafthouse will require the use of masks
June 19, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser
Update: Just moments ago, AMC Theatres announced that they will now require face-masks at all of their locations. "At AMC Theatres, we think it is absolutely crucial that we listen to our guests," reads the statement. "Accordingly, and with the full support of our scientific advisors, we are reversing course and are changing our guest mask policy. As we reopen theatres, we now will require that all AMC guests nationwide wear masks as they enter and enjoy movies at our theatres. The speed with which AMC moved to revise our mask policies is a reflection of our commitment to the safety and health of our guests." You can read the full statement at the bottom of this article.
As Cinemark, Regal Cinemas, and AMC Theatres begin the process of cautiously reopening, there's the question of just what sort of safety measures will be put in place. In addition to the obvious cleaning measures, one aspect which seems to be generating its share of controversy is the use of masks.
AMC Theatre CEO Adam Aron revealed that the chain will not require the use of masks, as they didn't "want to be drawn into a political controversy," adding, "We thought it might be counterproductive if we forced mask wearing on those people who believe strongly that it is not necessary. We think that the vast majority of AMC guests will be wearing masks. When I go to an AMC feature, I will certainly be wearing a mask and leading by example." In response, Alamo Drafthouse has issued their own statement on Twitter, saying that masks will be required as the issue is not political. "When we open, the safety of our teammates and guests cannot be compromised. This is not political," reads Alamo's statement. "We will require that guests wear masks at the theater (except when eating and drinking). Those without masks will be given one."
More to come. Let's talk next week. pic.twitter.com/Kkfz1ZhV3f
— Alamo Drafthouse (@alamodrafthouse) June 19, 2020
Not to single out AMC Theatres, but suggesting that patrons wear a mask rather requiring it also seems to be the plan for Cinemark and Regal Cinemas as well, but Aron's "political" statements have touched many the wrong way. That said, in states where the wearing of masks is mandatory, theaters will be enforcing it. Even with safety measures in place, I wonder just how many people will actually be heading out to the theaters, even for Christopher Nolan's TENET.
Here's AMC's full statement:
At AMC, we have been consulting with top scientists and health experts to create a broad, sweeping, far-reaching health and safety effort to make AMC Theatres safe for our guests and associates when our theatres reopen in July. Among many elements of that comprehensive plan was a requirement for our associates all to wear masks nationwide, as well as a requirement for our guests all to wear masks in the many parts of the country that will require it. In those areas of the country where masks will not be required, we nonetheless planned to strongly encourage mask usage by guests, and fully expected that the vast majority would do so. That policy on guest mask usage, which is directly comparable with our major competitors and many other highly regarded retailers, was announced yesterday afternoon.
This announcement prompted an intense and immediate outcry from our customers, and it is clear from this response that we did not go far enough on the usage of masks. At AMC Theatres, we think it is absolutely crucial that we listen to our guests. Accordingly, and with the full support of our scientific advisors, we are reversing course and are changing our guest mask policy. As we reopen theatres, we now will require that all AMC guests nationwide wear masks as they enter and enjoy movies at our theatres. The speed with which AMC moved to revise our mask policies is a reflection of our commitment to the safety and health of our guests.
We will constantly monitor the scientific community’s latest thinking as to the efficacy of mask usage. We also will be looking at the varying health conditions in specific localities around our theatres all across the country. This will help us to determine what our mask policy will be as we go forward, as well as to make any other needed changes to this policy. Guests coming to our theatres may bring their own masks of course, but for those who do not have one, masks will be available at our theatre box offices at a nominal $1.00 price. Those who are unwilling to wear a mask will not be admitted or allowed to stay.
Patrick Wilson joins the cast of Roland Emmerich’s Moonfall
June 12, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser
No one does destruction porn quite like Roland Emmerich, and the director's next end-of-the-world epic will find the Moon falling from the god-damned sky. Alright. As with most of Emmerich's films, MOONFALL will feature an ensemble cast which is slowly beginning to fill up, and THR has the scoop on the latest actor to join up.
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THR has reported that Patrick Wilson, who was featured in Roland Emmerich's World War II drama MIDWAY, is set to join the cast of MOONFALL. The upcoming film begins when the moon is knocked from its orbit by some mysterious force and is on a collision course for Earth. With life as we know it hanging in the balance and just weeks until impact, a ragtag team is launched into a seemingly impossible mission to land on the Moon and save humanity. Wilson will be joining Halle Berry (JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM) and Josh Gad (FROZEN II). Patrick Wilson's character is said to be a disgraced former NASA astronaut whose last mission ended in tragedy but might just hold a clue about the impending catastrophe. Berry will play a NASA astronaut-turned-administrator and former colleague of Wilson's character, while Gad will play the "genuis who correctly predicts that the moon has fallen out of its orbit, thus making the space-obsessed, profoundly unfiltered and eccentric man one of the most important people on Earth." Additionally, Charlie Plummer (ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD) has also joined the cast of MOONFALL, playing the teenage son of Wilson's character. Production on MOONFALL is looking to kick off production this fall in Montreal, with an expected 2021 release.
Last year, Emmerich said that MOONFALL is something of a mix between 2012 and INDEPENDENCE DAY, and that if you like his other movies, chances are you'll like MOONFALL as well.
If you like my movies, you’ll like this movie. It’s very much like 2012 and Independence Day. It’s a mix of the two, but without an extraterrestrial element. There is a big twist at some point, but I don’t want to give that away now. I had a very clear idea about the tone I wanted on this film. All my movies have humour and don’t take themselves too seriously. Comic relief is important in big films. Look at the original Star Wars. Or all the Marvel movies. You have to have a laugh as well.
Unlike his other movies, Roland Emmerich says that MOONFALL has franchise potential built right in. "I see this movie as having franchise potential," Emmerich said. "I haven’t done that before. On Independence Day, we did another one because the studio asked, and in fact, I have a third part if the studio is interested. I had seen Stargate as a trilogy but that didn’t come together. So all my movies but one have been standalone." Patrick Wilson will next be seen in THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT, which is slated for a September 11, 2020 release.