Like last time I have a super sized version of the movie news wrap up. We are going to cover around 15 stories in order to get you all caught up in the goings on of Hollywood! Let’s begin!

Brett Ratner Producing Hugh Hefner Biopic

Deadline reported last week that Brett Ratner is finally getting a biopic about Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. Ratner has acquired the life rights for the legendary magazine creator. Since the life rights have just been acquired so there is no writer or director attached, but Ratner is going to start the process of building the movie from the ground up. It should be interesting to see how this project comes together as I feel like there are quite a lot of avenues to explore here. Hopefully this is not a glossy look at his life and really delves into any problems he may have had along the way.

Jude Law cast as Young Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts Sequel

In probably the most exciting casting news of the last two weeks, we found out from Variety that Warner Bros has cast Jude Law as a young Albus Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2. Potterheads knew the moment that Johnny Depp appeared in the first movie as Grindelwald that Dumbledore would not be too far behind as their histories are intertwined. I honestly think that Law is perfect for this part. He has the right amount of stoicism needed for Dumbledore, especially in his younger years when he was a much more hardened man. Plus I feel like Law could actually age to look like Michael Gambon so he just has the right look. Finally, Law is just a fantastic actor who will raise the game of everyone else in the movie. I could not be more excited at this point. The sequel is set for release on November 16th, 2018.

Josh Brolin Cast as Cable in Deadpool 2

I have been reporting on the search for an actor to play Cable for a long time now. We have seen names like Brad Pitt, Michael Shannon and David Harbour all come through the rumor mill, but it was a surprise name that actually ended up nabbing the role. THR reported last week that MCU actor Josh Brolin has been cast as the time traveling mutant and inked a four picture deal. This came as a huge surprise because this is the first case of someone major from the current MCU crossing over to another superhero franchise and studio. It makes sense though as Brolin’s role as Thanos is just a mocap/voice actor role in which we never actually see his face. Brolin, while a surprise, is perfect casting. He has the right gruff exterior and dry humor to play off of Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool. There are few people who would have been better for the role than him. We also found out this week that Leslie Uggams will be returning as Deadpool’s roommate Blind Al. This is great news as Uggams added a whole different comedic dimension to the original and really played well off of Reynolds. Deadpool 2 is due out next year, but no specific release date has been secured at this point.

Dolph Lundgren Cast in Aquaman

THR hit it out of the park last week with two comic book casting scoops. They lead first with the Cable news and then followed that up with letting us know that DC and James Wan have cast Dolph Lundgren in an antagonist role in Aquaman. Lundgren will be playing King Nereus of the Xebel underwater kingdom. Nereus claims Aquaman’s Queen Mera as his own and is looking to take her back. This is awesome casting and really why Aquaman is my most anticipated movie on DC’s upcoming slate. It’s nice to see Lundgren getting bigger roles again as he always brings an interesting presence. Aquaman is scheduled to hit theaters December 21st, 2018

Fede Alvarez to Direct Labyrinth Sequel/Spinoff

In probably the weirdest news of last week Deadline is reporting that TriStar has hired Fede Alvarez to direct a sequel/spinoff to the 1986 cult classic Labyrinth. The website’s source stressed that it is not a remake and is just another story set in the world created by Jim Henson. The Henson Company is on board to produce while Alvarez and Jay Basu will write the story. It is also said that the iconic Goblin King Jareth, played by David Bowie, will not appear in the movie. Honestly this all sounds like an incredibly bad idea. First of all the original is beloved and even if it is not a remake, if they somehow ruin the world fans will be furious. Secondly, I know the Henson Company is one board, but I can almost guarantee they will not use puppets which would also be a bad thing. Finally, to me at least, Alvarez just seems like a weird choice for a family friendly movie. His previous movies (The Evil Dead, Don’t Breathe) and the one he is currently working on (The Girl in the Spider’s Web) are all hard R movies. We will just have to wait and see how this all plays out.

Animated Spider Man Movie Casts Two Characters

When we heard that Sony was rebooting Spider-man with Marvel’s help we also heard that they were developing an animated movie featuring not Peter Parker, but fan favorite Miles Morales. Later on we heard that the fantastic duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller were on to direct. Now we have our first cast member. THR reports that the breakout star from 2015’s Dope, Shameik Moore will voice Morales and that Liev Schreiber will voice the movie’s villain, who is unannounced at this time. Morales, who is half black and half Latino, has been a standout in the Spider-man comics in recent years and fans have been calling for a movie to feature him for a while. These are both great casting choices and having Schreiber voice the villain is fantastic. He has a great menacing voice and is a great choice for a number of Spider-man villains. Further casting is under way and the movie is expected to hit theaters December 21st, 2018.

Coming to America Sequel in Development

Despite being one of the biggest movie stars in the world in the 80’s and 90’s, Eddie Murphy has not done much recently. He has starred in a string of flops and hasn’t really found success since 2006’s Dreamgirls. Well he is looking to change that as The Tracking Board is reporting that Murphy is teaming up with the original writers of his hit Coming to America to develop a sequel. This seems like a questionable decision as we have seen in recent years that sequels to beloved comedy movies have flopped since they have come out too late. It seems like Murphy is trying to go for the easy hit, but I do not think it will work. Who wants this movie? I guess we will have to wait and see, but it does not look good for this movie.

Carrie Fisher Will Not Appear in Episode IX

Early last week we heard that Carrie Fisher could appear in the next installment of the Star Wars series through unused footage. Well that rumor was put to rest rather quickly as Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said that was not the case in an interview with ABC during Star Wars Celebration. The original news had come from Fisher’s brother Todd, but apparently he was misinformed. It is important to note that Kennedy said Fisher would not appear in Episode IX, but never said Leia would not appear. This could indicate that they may look to recast the role to finish out Leia’s arc. That last point is just speculation on my part and some may say that is sacrilege, but I am honestly not against it. I am sure they could find a way to do it super respectfully and in a way that pays tribute to her. There should be more on this story as Episode IX goes into production.

Bill Condon to Direct Bride of Frankenstein

Deadline reported this week that Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon has been hired by Universal to direct their Bride of Frankenstein movie. The studio is moving full steam ahead to fill out there monster universe and this is just another indication. Condon is a great director and this seems like a good pairing considering he has often talked about how the material is one of his favorites. Condon even made a movie (Gods and Monsters) about the original movie’s director, James Whale. I am very interested to see how this universe will shape up going forward.

Jame Gunn Returning to Write/Direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3

With only a few weeks to go until the United States release date of the second movie in the Guardians series, James Gunn has taken to his Facebook page to announce that he will be back to write and direct the third movie in the franchise. This is fantastic news as the first Guardians movie was quite a surprise for many MCU fans and is generally considered one of the best. By all accounts the second one lives up to the first, so this is great to hear. It is obvious that Gunn loves the material and Marvel gives him quite the creative freedom when it comes to creating his own world. I am really looking forward to the sequel and now I am also looking forward to this third one whenever it will hit. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters May 5th, 2017.

Hugo Weaving Reteaming With Peter Jackson

Variety reported this week that Hugo Weaving has joined the cast of Mortal Engines which is being produced and written by his Lord of the Rings director, Peter Jackson. The movie is a sci-fi/fantasy story based off of the book of the same name and is described as follows:

“Set thousands of years in the future. Earth’s cities now roam the globe on huge wheels, devouring each other in a struggle over diminishing resources. On one of these massive Traction Cities, Tom Natsworthy has an unexpected encounter with a mysterious young woman from the Outlands, who will change the course of his life forever.”

There is no word yet on Weaving’s role, but he joins the already cast Hera Hilmar, Robbie Sheehan, Ronan Rafterty, and Stephen Lang. The movie is set to go into production later this year in New Zealand and is being targeted for a December 14th, 2018 release date.

Will Smith in Talks to Play the Genie in Live Action Aladdin

Deadline broke the huge news this week that Will Smith is in talks to take on the iconic role of the Genie in Disney’s live action version of Aladdin. The role, made famous by the late Robin Williams, make sense for smith who has a background in both comedy and music. Both skills will be needed for the role as the movie is expected to be a musical like the original animated movie. Finding anyone to replace Williams was going to be a monumental task and I don’t envy the people at Disney that had to make this decision, but I think they made a good choice. First of all, in order to make this work they needed to go in a completely different direction. You cannot find someone to just do a Williams impersonation. They have to completely revamp the role and I think Smith fits that perfectly. I can easily here him singing “Friend Like Me” or “Prince Ali”. I honestly cannot think of anyone better at this point so I applaud the choice. The movie is going to be directed by Guy Ritchie and has no release date at this time.

Bidding War for Bond Franchise Ongoing

The New York Times reported this week that five major studios are currently in a bidding war for the rights for the James Bond franchise. Sony, who has distributed the last four Bond films, had the rights expire in 2015. Now the studios who make the movies, MGM and Eon Productions, are currently taking pitches from all studios. According to the report Sony is once again in the running as are Warner Bros, Universal, Fox, and Annapurna Pictures. The contract they are shopping is for only one movie so this will be a quick partnership. This has long term implications for the Bond franchise and could affect how the franchise moves forward in the future.

Scott Derrickson Set to Return for Doctor Strange 2

In a report about how Scott Derrickson will be directing the pilot for Hulu’s adaptation of the comic book Locke & Key, Deadline dropped the news that Derrickson will be returning to helm the sequel to Marvel’s smash hit from last year. The report says that Derrickson will direct the full first season if the show gets picked up and then will move onto directing the sequel. This is great news because Doctor Strange was a very entertaining movie with amazing visuals and a lot of that is thanks to Derrickson. Not much else is known at this time so we will have to keep our ears open for now.

Clint Eastwood Lines up Next Movie

Following the success of Sully, Clint Eastwood has lined up another based on a true story movie to be his next. According to Deadline, Eastwood will direct The 15:17 to Paris as his next movie. Based on the book The 15:17 To Paris: The True Story Of A Terrorist, A Train, And Three American Heroes, it tells the story of Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone who stopped an ISIS terrorist on the #9364 train from Brussels to Paris. Eastwood is a great teller of heroic tales so this should definitely be a good project for him. It helps that this is a fascinating story. I will definitely be eagerly anticipating this movie’s arrival in theaters.

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