So I had a busy weekend last weekend and did not have time to write up a movie news recap, but I am here to recap two weeks of movie news now. So let’s break down all of the big stories!
JGL to Direct R-Rated Musical with Channing Tatum
Variety reported last week that Joseph Gordon-Leavitt is in talks to get back into the director’s chair now that it has been a few years since his directorial debut Don John. This time he is looking to direct a R-rated musical called Wingmen with Channing Tatum also in talks to star. Gordon-Leavitt was already attached to star and since the studio was looking for a director he put his name forward. The story follows two pilots who crash land in Las Vegas and sources tell Variety that the film is in the vein of Pitch Perfect meets Book of Mormon with the duo covering Top 100 hits with a sprinkle of adult humor. Variety also states that the studio, Universal, courted Seth Gordon, James Bobin and Book of Mormon director Casey Nicholaw before Gordon-Leavitt stepped up. This all sounds awesome to me and I cannot wait for it to come out. These are some of the biggest, funniest and best movie stars around right now so this has all the makings of a hit. Production has not started yet so there is no release date.
Robert Rodriguez in Talks to Direct Escape from New York Remake
Not too long ago we heard that 20th Century Fox is looking to remake the 1981 Kurt Russell cult classic Escape from New York. Now it appears that they may have found the captain for their ship. According to THR, Robert Rodriguez, best known for Desperado, Sin City, and From Dusk Till Dawn, is their top choice to helm the project. Fox must have liked what they saw from Rodriguez, who just did Alita: Battle Angel for them and that bodes well for that movie. Nothing is official yet, but Rodriguez is the favorite and is still in talks. John Carpenter who directed the original is executive producing, so its good to see that the movie has the original creator’s blessing. There is no official release date for this movie as of now.
Paul Greengrass in Talks to Direct Eliot Ness Movie
Deadline reported last week that Bourne franchise director Paul Greengrass is in talks to direct an Eliot Ness movie based off of the graphic novel Torso. The movie will be called Ness and already has a script written by L.A. Confidential’s Brian Helgeland. The screenplay is based on the popular graphic novel Torso penned by Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko and is about Ness’ hunt for America’s first serial killer in the Cleveland area. Paramount, the studio behind the project, hopes that this will become a franchise and are looking to start shooting this fall. This sounds like the perfect combination of director and material. Greengrass is great at creating tension in every movie he does, so his sensibilities fit perfectly with this material. I can’t wait to see how this shapes up.
Godzilla 2 Adds Another Cast Member
Over the past couple months I have written quite a few stories about the upcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters as it has been filling out its cast. We already know Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga will play the main family in the movie and now we have new cast member. Variety is reporting that Straight Outta Compton’s O’Shea Jackson Jr. is in talks to join the movie. There is no indications on what his role will be, but it sure seems like Legendary is trying to snap up all main cast members from 2015’s N.W.A biopic as Jason Mitchell and Corey Hawkins already starred in this year’s Kong: Skull Island. Jackson Jr. was a big surprise in that biopic as he expertly played his father and he is already getting good reviews for an indie he has coming out later this year called Ingrid Goes West. He is definitely a star on the rise and someone to watch. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is slated to hit theaters on March 22nd, 2019 with Michael Dougherty directing.
Aaron Sorkin to Meet with Marvel and DC
One of the most prolific and influential screenwriters of this century is most definitely Aaron Sorkin. He has written his fair share of acclaimed projects in both television (The West Wing, The Newsroom) and movies (The Social Network, Moneyball, Steve Jobs). The guy is a legend and while at CinemaCon promoting his directorial debut Molly’s Game, Sorkin told Comicbook.com that he has meeting with both comic book movie companies coming up. His full quote is:
“I happen to have meetings coming up with both DC and Marvel. I have to go into these meetings and tell them as respectfully as I can that I’ve never read a comic book. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that I’ve never been exposed to one. So, I’m hoping that somewhere in their library is a comic book character that I’m gonna love and I’m going to want to go back and start reading from the first issue on.”
It’s crazy that we live in a world where Aaron Sorkin may be penning a comic book movie. I really hope he finds a character he likes because that movie would be incredible. I think DC has the better shot at landing him because they do not have formula for their movies like Marvel, that way Sorkin would have room to play. Either way this is an interesting story to keep your eyes on.
Joss Whedon to Write/Direct Batgirl Movie for DC
In probably the biggest story of last week, Variety reported that DC and Warner Bros have pulled off a coup and are nearing a deal with Joss Whedon to write/direct a Batgirl movie for the studio. Whedon, popular among geek circles for his involvement in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Avengers, would helm the movie about Police Comissioner Jim Gordon’s daughter, Barbara, who goes on to join the Bat family and fight crime. This is the first major instance of a director jumping from one major comic book movie company to the other. Whedon is known for his prowess in writing strong female characters so this seems to be a good fit and one of the only good things to come out of DC in a while. I am still nervous about all of these projects being on the table and we have no idea which ones are actually going to get made, but this is a step in the right direction.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Remake Finds Director
Variety had a a huge week last week when it came to the scoop game and this is just further proof of it. A Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake has been in the works now for a little bit with Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson attached to star and now it has found its director. Chris Addison, best known for directing episodes of HBO’s lauded comedy Veep, has signed on to direct the remake which will be re-titled Nasty Women. This version will follow two scam artists, one low-rent and the other high class, who compete to swindle a naive tech prodigy out of his fortune. This is similar to the original where Steve Martin and Michael Caine were two con men trying to swindle an heiress. This seems to be a good fit for Addison as it will be his feature film debut. There is no release date as of now.
Warner Bros Courting Jordan Peele for Akira
The Tracking Board is reporting that Warner Bros is courting Get Out director Jordan Peele to direct their live action remake of the anime Akira. No talks have been officially began, but Peele is reportedly their top choice for the movie. The studio has been trying to adapt the popular 1998 anime for a while now with no success. Many directors have passed through on the project, but nothing has come of it. With Ghost In the Shell bombing at the box office the past few weeks I would not be surprised if this project gets shelved soon, but we will have to wait and see.
Jeremy Renner Not Coming Back for MI:6
A report from Showbiz411 last week informed us that Jeremy Renner will not be able to return for the now shooting Mission Impossible 6. According to the website his commitments filming Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel, which are shooting back to back, will take up too much time and not allow him to be in the Mission Impossible sequel. Then this week we learned from Variety that Renner has signed on to the comedy Tag so that just solidifies that he won’t be in the movie. Renner’s character William Brandt had prominent roles in the last two Mission Impossible movie and at one point it was thought he was being groomed to replace Tom Cruise. Either way its sad that he won’t be coming back. The movie should still be great as Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Sean Harris, Rebecca Ferguson and Alec Baldwin are all said to be returning with newcomer Henry Cavill who will most likely fill the Renner mold for the movie.
Stallone, Schwarzenegger Not Doing Expendables 4
Deadline reported this week that franchise architect Sylvester Stallone has left The Expendables 4 in all capacities. Apparently Stallone could not agree with studio over everything to do with the movie and just decided to part ways. Rumors are he has set a new high bar for himself after his Oscar nomination for Creed and does not want another underwhelming franchise under his belt. Later in the week Arnold Schwarzenegger came out and said if Stallone was not doing it then he would not either. All of this is interesting because as far as I know the fourth installment had not been greenlit or officially announced, so there would be no movie to leave. This franchise is just dead in the water at this point so don’t expect a new one soon.
Creature from the Black Lagoon Finds Writer
Deadline also reported this week that Aquaman writer Will Beall is going to write Universal’s The Creature from the Black Lagoon remake. Universal is in full swing on their reboot of their classic movie monster movies. Dracula Untold was a disappointment, but the studio already has The Mummy coming out later this year and has Johnny Depp attached to The Invisible Man. They have gone all out on getting stars for these movies as they have Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe and Javier Bardem besides the aforementioned Depp. It’s hard to tell whether this is a good fit as Beall does not have much under his belt, so Aquaman will be the big test. As for now Universal will still be going full steam ahead on all of these monster movies.
Colin Farrell in Talks for Steve McQueen’s Widows
Variety reported this week that Colin Farrell is in talks to join Steve McQueen’s follow up to 12 Years a Slave, entitled Widows. The movie, based on a 1983 British mini series, is about four armed robbers who are killed when a heist goes wrong so their widows finish the job. The movie already has an impressive cast including Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, The Great Gatsby’s Elizabeth Debicki, Liam Neeson, Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya, and Moonlight’s Andre Holland. McQueen only has three movies under his belt, but they are all fantastic and the movie is being written by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn. This has all the making for a fantastic movie. It is set to hit theaters sometime in 2018.
Rogen and Goldberg to Adapt Indie Comic Invincible
THR reported this week that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will write/direct/produce an adaptation of Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman’s comic Invincible. The comic has been published since 2003 is one of the longest currently running comic books. The movie is set up at Universal and is about Mark Grayson, a high school student whose father is the most powerful superhero on the planet. Grayson will also inherit his own set of powers and learn what it means to be the son of a superhero and protect the Earth. This will be Rogen and Goldberg’s third directorial feature together. This sounds really interesting and I like both of these guys so this should be interesting.
Michael Keaton in Talks to Join Tim Burton’s Dumbo
Variety, who has been killing it lately, reported this week that Michael Keaton is in talks to play the villain in Tim Burton’s upcoming live action remake of Dumbo. This would mean that the movie would have a mini Batman Returns reunion as Keaton and Danny DeVito, who is also in this movie, will once again be directed by Burton. If the deal closes Keaton would play the man who buys the circus from DeVito’s character in order to exploit the elephant with the large ears. The movie has quite the cast already as Colin Farrell and Eva Green are also starring, but the involvement of Burton is what scares me. Sometimes he gets way too carried away with his own style and loses track of they story. Another disconcerting thing is that Ehren Kruger wrote the script and he has not written a single good script in his career. We will just have to wait and see, but I am worried.
Adam McKay Rounds Up Initial Cast for Dick Cheney Biopic
Adam McKay, mostly known for irreverent comedies at the time, surprised the world with how good The Big Short was and now it seems he is going to be sticking in the political arena. His next project is an unflinching at one of the most polarizing figures in recent political history, Dick Cheney. McKay has apparently been doing lots of research into Cheney’s career, from his time in the Nixon and Ford administrations all the way through his time as Vice President under George W. Bush. Now he has a few of the main players set for the movie. Christian Bale is reportedly set to play Cheney, with Amy Adams playing Cheney’s wife Lynne and Steve Carell playing Donald Rumsfeld. This a fantastic cast and I think it will only get better. After The Big Short I cannot wait to see where this goes from here.
Forrest Gump Scribe to Write Dune Reboot
Variety reported this week that Legendary has hired Forrest Gump and Munich scribe Eric Roth to pen their reboot of science fiction classic Dune. The movie will be directed by Denis Villeneuve who is one of the most exciting directors working today. He is on a hot streak as Prisoners, Sicario and Arrival were all fantastic and he has Blade Runner 2049 coming out later this year. Roth has a lot of good titles under his belt and seems to be a good get. Legendary acquired the rights from Frank Herbert’s estates in November last year and quickly put this movie into active development. There is no release date as of yet.
Demian Bichir Joins Conjuring Spinoff The Nun
THR reported this week that Oscar Nominated actor Demian Bichir will star in The Nun for Warner Bros. The movie is a spin off set in The Conjuring franchise and will be about the demonic nun character seen in the second movie. Corin Hardy is directing the movie and Bichir will star as Father Burke, a priest dispatched by Rome to investigate the mysterious death of a nun. This all sounds pretty interesting, but the first spin off focused around the Annabelle doll from the first movie did not go well. The director and star are a better start this time around though. The movie will start shooting soon and has a release date of July 13th, 2018.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan Cast in Rampage
Deadline reported this week that The Walking Dead’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan has been cast in the upcoming adaptation of the video game Rampage. Morgan will play Agent Russell, an agent for a covert government agency called OGA who has some serious “swagger and attitude”. The arcade game featured large monsters destroying cities as government forces tried to stop them. Players would play as the monsters and advanced to a new level once the city was destroyed. I have no idea how this translates to a movie, but despite the movie boasts an impressive cast. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars alongside Malin Akerman, Joe Manganiello and Naomie Harris. It also reunites Johnson with his San Andreas director Brad Peyton. If nothing else this movie will be big dumb fun and that’s really all you can ask of it. Rampage is set to hit theaters April 20th, 2018.