A huge week for movie news with lots of stories about the biggest blockbusters coming up. Let’s break it all down!
Han Solo Spinoff Movie Cast Confirmation and Photo Released
Disney celebrated the start of principal photography this week on their Han Solo spinoff movie by releasing a cast photo and confirming all of the major players. On Tuesday they tweeted out the above photo featuring directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller as well as almost all of the main characters. In the photo is Alden Ehrenreich (Han Solo), Donald Glover (Lando Calrissian), Woody Harrelson (Han’s mentor), Emilia Clarke, Phoebe Waller-Bridge (rumored to be playing a female droid) and Chewbacca who will be played by actor Joonas Suotamo. Not pictured, but also in the cast is Westworld‘s Thandie Newton. This is an exciting cast and despite reservations about the actual necessity of this movie, I am very excited. Everyone involved is very talented and that should make for a great movie. The Han Solo spinoff movie is set to hit theaters on May 25th, 2018.
Donald Glover and James Earl Jones Cast in Lion King Remake
Following the massive success of last year’s The Jungle Book, Jon Favreau and Disney announced that they would be tackling The Lion King next using the exact same photo realistic CGI technology. Last Friday, through his Twitter account, Favreau announced the first two cast members for this project. Donald Glover, who is everywhere these days, has come on to voice Simba while James Earl Jones will reprise the role of Mufasa. This is exciting news because Glover is a huge talent and a perfect fit for the former Matthew Broderick role. Also, no one could really replace Jones as Mufasa so why not bring him back. The Lion King is one of my favorite movies of all time so I will be very interested to see how this turns out, but I have high hopes. There is no release date at this time.
David F. Sandberg in Talks to Direct Shazam
Nearly four years after announcing the Rock would play the villain of Black Adam in their scheduled Shazam movie, DC and New Line may have finally found their director. According to The Wrap David F. Sandberg is in talks to direct the movie. Sandberg is a relative unknown with only one movie under his belt with one more coming out this year. Also, interestingly enough both of those movies have been horror movies. Lights Out was a small success last summer and got rave reviews and he has Annabelle 2 set for release later this year. I honestly have no idea if this is a good or bad choice. Sandberg seems to have talent and Shazam is a relatively unknown property so it could be interesting to see what he does with it. I just have such low expectations for anything DC these days that it is hard to get any excitement going. Shazam is set to hit theaters on April 5th, 2019.
Simon Kinberg in Talks to Write/Direct New X-Men Movie
Last week I told you guys about the possibility of another X-Men movie shooting later this year and now we have even more evidence that this could be the case. According to a report coming from Collider, long time X-Nen writer/producer Simon Kinberg is in talks to write and direct the next movie X-Men movie. The report says Kinberg already has the script done and it focuses on the famous Dark Phoenix saga from the comics. Apparently it is now up to Fox to decide if they want to use the script and hire him as director. Rumors like this have persisting ever since X-Men: Apocalypse came out last year. While I love most of the X-Men movies, Kinberg is kind of a red flag for me. He is very hot and cold when it comes to developing properties and Fox really needs a good follow up to the mediocre outing from last May. All of this is just rumor for now, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Netflix to Distribute Scorsese’s The Irishman
Indiewire has dropped an exclusive report the Martin Scorsese’s next movie The Irishman has been scooped up by Netflix for distribution. Originally at Paramount, the movie was quickly dropped after studio head Brad Grey departed the company and Scorsese had to put together a new package to find a buyer. The movie centers around a former mob hitman who recalls his involvement with the murder of Jimmy Hoffa. Robert De Niro will star as Jimmy “The Irishman” Sheeran and will Scorsese will use the de-aging technology that is sweeping Hollywood right now to de-age De Niro for the flashback sequences. The movie is also rumored to star acting heavyweights Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel along with Bobby Cannavale. This a very intriguing movie now paired with a very interesting buyer. It is a huge get for Netflix and this will probably be the most prestigious movie they have distributed to date. The Irishman has no official release date, but is expected to drop sometime in 2018.
Kyle Chandler to Play Millie Bobby Brown’s Dad in Godzilla 2
After securing a director and one star for the upcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Legendary is now looking to fill out the cast of their upcoming monster movie. According to Variety they have started to do so and have signed Kyle Chandler to play the father of Millie Bobby Brown in the movie. The Stranger Things actress was a huge get for the company and Chandler is no slouch either as he is always solid in everything he does. Legendary has big plans for this franchise so hopefully they can put out a good product so those plans can actually come to fruition. Overall this is shaping up to be a cool project. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is scheduled to hit theaters on March 22nd, 2019
Matt Reeves to Direct the Batman….For Now
After reportedly breaking off negotiations due to some contention with the studio, Warner Bros announced today that Matt Reeves has officially been signed to direct the standalone Batman movie. Reeves is a great get for Warner Bros as I said last week, but I have little faith this will stick. The turnover rate for DC projects is so high right now that until I see a trailer with his name on it, I have little faith Reeves will be the one to put out this product. I want to be excited, but there is still no production start date, never mind a release date. I have no idea what is going on in DC land, but something is rotten in Denmark and until I see a streak of good products I have to meet every piece of news with skepticism.
Fox sets Writers for Upcoming Marvel Movies
Reports from Collider indicate that Fox has called in a few veteran screen writers to help with some of their upcoming Marvel movies. Drew Goddard (Daredevil TV series, Cabin in the Woods) has come on board in a consulting role on Deadpool 2 while Joe Carnahan (Narc, The Grey) has come on board to write X-Force. Ever since the success of Deadpool, Fox has doubled down on the R-rated superhero movies with Logan coming out next week and looking to be a smash success. Overall this is great news because both of these guys are extremely talented and will most likely continue Fox’s hot streak of great non main continuity X-Men movies. Deadpool 2 is expected to hit theaters March 2nd, 2018 and X-Force does not have a release date at this time.
Warner Bros Developing Nightwing Movie with Lego Batman Director
THR dropped an exclusive yesterday saying that DC is adding to its ever expanding slate of upcoming movies. The site is reporting that DC and Warner Bros are developing a Nightwing movie that Lego: Batman director Chris McKay will helm. Nightwing, also known as Dick Grayson, is one of Batman’s former Robins who goes onto start his own successful vigilante career after splitting off from the Batman. As cool as this sounds I cannot help but roll my eyes. Besides the five or six movies officially on the schedule for DC there have been rumored another 6 or 7 on top of that. They seem to have no cohesive plan and are just throwing everything at the wall to see what will stick. I really hate being this pessimistic on one studio all in the same post, but its hard not to when they put out material like this. They are moving too fast and need to scrap half of these projects in order to focus on the few they already have on the schedule. No official word from Warner Bros yet so we will have to wait and see if this actually becomes a reality.