September 29, 2014

Matt Bomer And Margaret Qualley Join Shane Black's THE NICE GUYS

Deadline reports that Matt Bomer (White Collar, Magic Mike) is on board Shane Black's Nice Guys. The 70's era thriller features Ryan Gosling as a private detective hired by a gangster played Russell Crowe to find a missing girl. Bomer is said to be possibly playing the villain of the film, while newcomer Margaret Qualley (Leftovers) will play the female lead. Black's wheelhouse has been noir-like subject matter, getting his start creating the Lethal Weapon franchise. I just want this film to exclude Black's usual Christmas setting for once.


September 27, 2014

Dwayne Johnson Confirms Lead Role In THE JANSON DIRECTIVE

It looks like Universal Pictures will have a third Bourne franchise. Actor Dwayne Johnson has confirmed via Twitter, a lead role in the studio's The Janson Directive. The film is based on Robert Ludlum's (the Bourne series) final novel, and will be scripted by Akiva Goldsman. Jason Bourne won't feature in the film, as the main character is an ex-Navy Seal named Paul Janson. However, it's hard to imagine that Universal won't try to crossover Janson with Bourne (Matt Damon) and Cross (Jeremy Renner) in the future.


September 23, 2014

If Offered, Idris Elba Would "Absolutely" Take The BOND Role!

Looks like British actor Idris Elba is confirming his desire to pick-up where Daniel Craig leaves-off, when Craig exits the Bond franchise after Bond 25. During his Reddit interview he answered a couple of questions, and the the subject of James Bond came-up. He mentions that he would "absolutely" take the role if offered. We've been hearing for ages that Elba is a fan favorite for the role, along with Michael Fassbender and others.

I'm sure producers are already considering what to do with Bond 26. As months (maybe even years) of planning would be needed to make sure it's a strong first entry into a new era. Bond 26 is years away from now, but with Elba being this vocal and his latest starring vehicle debuting #1 in North America, he seems like a strong contender for the role. We've come to expect the producers of the franchise to be progressive and think outside the box. Elba has all the charm needed for the role, not to mention lengthly action career filled with awards worthy performances along the way as well.

We know that Elba is desperately looking for the right franchise. Marvel met with him about Blade, Luke Cage and Black Panther. Elba confirmed in the Reddit posts, that Marvel has hired someone else for the Cage role. It's also unlikely with him possible return for Thor 3, that Marvel Studios would cast him other roles. There's still a bit of hope that Idris could land a role with the DCU, the roles are quickly getting gobbled-up by other actors.


RUMOR: Quentin Tarantino Wants Viggo Mortensen For A Role In THE HATEFUL EIGHT

Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight won't be shooting until this winter, but the casting rumors are already flying around. NewYorkDailyNews (via ThePlaylist) is reporting on pretty damn cool rumor, that Quentin Tarantino has met with actor Viggo Mortensen about playing a "ruthless gang leader". However, their source is a hotel guest and doesn't seem like the most reliable intel. That said, Viggo working with Tarantino doesn't seem that out of place. Mortensen gravitates towards more passionate filmmakers, and Quentin has a lot of that.

Previously over the summer, Jennifer Lawrence was being courted for a leading role. It seems like Tarantino's script rewrites have expanded the original roles. Possibly allowing for some serious stunt-casting, which could help draw-in audiences. The way having Leonardo DiCaprio playing the main villain in Django Unchained, helped make that film becoming Tarantino's biggest earners to date.

Having both Jennifer and Viggo on board, could get the attention of a audience members. I'm not entirely sure the massive Hunger Games following are massive fans of Tarantino's work. It could be a  great way to tap-into a huge group of female viewers, who usually don't pay to see his films. The film shoots this winter, and will be released sometime in December, 2015.


September 22, 2014

Marvel Confirms Shea Whigham For Lead Role In AGENT CARTER

Marvel has confirmed that character actor Shea Whigham has joined the cast of Marvel's Agent Carter on ABC. The role is that of SSR Chief Roger Dooley, a major part for the actor and the show. His time with Boardwalk Empire is over, as the series is wrapping-up with the final season currently airing. Other impressive credits include True Detective, Silver Linings Playbook, Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle and Knight of Cups. Shea doesn't shy away from genre roles either being apart of Machete, Fast And Furious, Non-Stop and Savages.

This addition certainly overshadows what ever is going on with Agents of SHIELD, and will likely become a series with some very high expectations.


Michael K. Williams Campaigning To Play Marvel's BLACK PANTHER

We know that for years now Marvel Studios has been trying to get a Black Panther movie into theatres. It was the runner-up to land this August's release date, but lost to James Gunn's Guardians of The Galaxy. The current status of the project hasn't been made known to the public. However, Kevin Feige made it clear this summer at Comic-Con, that both Black Panther and Captain Marvel movies are in active development. Stating the strong fan demand for the films hasn't gone unnoticed.

There had been talk that Chadwick Boseman was the front-runner for the role of T'Challa. Nothing has been made official, and we would normally get a press release if a deal was done. Another actor has placed his name into the race, and that would be Michael K. Williams. Best known for his iconic role as Omar from HBO's The Wire, and his prohibition gangster Chalky White in Boardwalk Empire. Not to mention a huge list of supporting roles in films like Gone Baby Gone, The Road, Brooklyn's Finest, and . He was doing an interview with CinemaBlend about his upcoming release Kill The Messenger (co-starring with Jeremy Renner), which led to talk about Black Panther. Here is what Michael said to the site.

"No not yet. And I'm saying 'yet' with a lot of emphasis. But hopefully I'm looking forward to being apart of the franchise"

"Black Panther. Yeah, definitely.

"It would depend on the script. I would definitely bring that quintessential New York City edge. You know, just a little bit of that grit."

The only problem if any, would be that Williams has already appeared in a Marvel film. He had a short cameo in The Incredible Hulk, during the NYC fight scenes (I believe in Harlem). There was speculation at the time that Michael was playing Luke Cage in the scene, it was never really confirmed. Seeing how he's talking about another Marvel character and the Netflix series is on it's way, it's unlikely he was playing anyone but a bystander.


Bryan Cranston Being Eyed For Role In Legendary's China-Set Epic GREAT WALL

Legendary's Great Wall is attracting some interesting talent. We last heard from Deadline that Matt Damon was trying to figure out his busy work load, to fit the project as he's keen to work with director Zhang Yimou. The pair almost teamed-up for the WWII drama The Flowers of War. A new development has risen as the site now reports Bryan Cranston is wanted for a leading role as well. Cranston previously worked on Legendary's Godzilla, and helped gain a lot of attention for it. Let's just hope this role allows Bryan to be feature in more than just the first act.

Another interesting bit of news concerning the project, is that the most recent draft of the script has been penned by Bourne franchise screenwriter Tony Gilroy. He also recently directed Jeremy Renner in the Bourne spin-off The Bourne Legacy. I assume this means we'll be getting some really exciting action sequences.


Bryan Singer Confirmed To Direct Fox's X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

Even after all the sex scandals Bryan Singer Fox has decided that he'll direct the next X-Men film titled X-Men: Apocalypse, according to Deadline. The director has just reached a deal to helm the next installment, which is expected to begin shooting early next year in Montreal. This isn't much of a surprise, as Singer worked closely with producer Simon Kinberg along with screenwriters Michael Doughtery and Dan Harris to flush-out a story for Apocalypse. The two writers also wrote X2, so at least where the script is concerned it's in good hands. It's release date is set for May 27th, 2016.

We'll be seeing young versions of Jean Grey, Cyclops and Storm. These were assumed at the time of the film's announcement. It's nice to see that Mystique won't be the only lady this time around in that timeline. The most interesting addition here is actually Storm, since this will be set in the 1980s. It gives a perfect reason for Singer to use her mohawk character design. Which in my opinion is her coolest look, and is also her current look in the comics as well.

Channing Tatum's Gambit might make his debut, as pointed out by Deadline. Months back Bryan Singer didn't sound as confident about using Gambit, but had originally wanted to use him during the first two X-Men films. I'm sure producers are begging him to find space for Gambit, as they are developing a spin-off for the future. Singer listed Remy by name in a small scene in the second film, so there is obviously a desire to use him. Bryan has also mentioned wanting to include a younger Nightcrawler in the film.

The only things we know about the film, is that Apocalypse will be our main villain. It's setting will be exactly a decade after the events of Days of Future Past, placing it in the 1980s. Having the setting in one single time period, rather than jumping between past and future teams (however, that could change). McAvoy is said to be playing Professor X bald this time, which should make hardcore fans happy.

It's extremely possible would could see the return of time-travelling mutants, but in this case they'll be there to kill/save the life of Charles Xavier. Bishop, who was last seen in Days of Future Past in the comics is sent back in time (with the aid of a time machine built by tech-genius Forge) to stop events from getting worse in the future (Age of Apocalypse?). This leads him to attempt to assassinate Xavier in the past, luckily for the professor another traveler is set-out to save him. That could very well be our introduction to Nathan Summers better known as Cable. Lauren Shuler Donner and others have expressed their interest in bringing that character into the franchise. There were even hints to Cable getting his own film. Apocalypse just might be the film to explain his origin, and be our window into a even worse fate for the world.

James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and Nicholas Hoult as expected to return. It's crazy to think we'll see two X-Men films released in 2016, with Deadpool in February and Apocalypse in May. We still have James Mangold chipping away at The Wolverine 2 story/script (has a date set for 2017), and we're still waiting to get an update about the fate of Jeff Wadlow's X-Force. There has also been chatter of a Gambit spin-off with Channing Tatum expected to that role. That one project doesn't have any creatives working on currently, so it's the biggest long shot at the moment.


September 21, 2014

Roberto Orci Exits POWER RANGERS And How Lionsgate Can Make This Reboot Badass

I think everyone was a bit shocked when Lionsgate announced they were resurrecting the Power Rangers movie franchise. Even more so, when Roberto Orci got involved as the project's godfather. Orci has been long since hated and championed for his contributions to the world of cinema. He's partly responsible for The Transformers franchise existing, and boils the blood of beloved film blogger Devin of BadAssDigest. Roberto co-wrote Amazing Spider-Man 2, and his promotion to director on Star Trek 3 has driven fans to panic about the direction the franchise is going. That said, Orci's priority with Trek leaves the creative vision open for Power Rangers according to.

A script is in the works from screenwriting duo Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz, best known for helping to pen X-Men Fist Class and Marvel's Thor. It also has a release date set for July 22nd, 2016. At this point the project is without a creative team, a director and actors to make-up the cast. I have some suggestions on how to make this reboot worth making, and how to ensure it's a badass one.

I have my oown theories on how to move forward without Orci, and steps Lionsgate can do to ensure this franchise is worth rebooting.


I went to Twitter and suggested a director for Power Rangers, who could actually become the next James Gunn. He's got a super stylized vision, like Gunn and similar dark humor. That would be Nova Scotia's Jason Eisener best known for his Canadian grindhouse homage Hobo With A Shotgun. Originally, he won a contest to have his original fake trailer for Hobo to play in front of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse (Planet Terror and Death Proof) in certain markets. There was so much interest in the project afterwards, it actually got made.

He's also been apart of the V/H/S horror franchise and directed a couple music videos. Jason for a time was lobbying to direct a reboot of the kids monster movie The Monster Squad (original had a script written Shane Black), but that doesn't to be happening anytime soon.

Jason doesn't scream PG-13 action franchise, but I think that's kind of the point. We're seeing a very interesting trend lately with James Gunn directing a Marvel movie, and digital effects director Tim Miller (mostly known for making game cinematics/trailers) helming Fox's Deadpool. Odd choices for directors that could really pay-off in the end. The coolest part is that Jason agreed with my original suggestion, and tweeted back "sign me up!".


The original series is actually an American version of Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, the 16th installment of the Super Sentai Series (started back in 1975) from Japan. The studio ended-up splicing-in existing footage from the original series, then reshot the rest with Western actors. I'm actually curious if they'll be bringing back villains and characters from the American series or coming-up with all new stuff. I'd love to see those Japanese root explored a bit further, and maybe even it becomes a location in the film.

I grew-up on the show and I felt the look was cheesy and dated, but still the action and design was impressive for what it was. What I'd like to see is a complete overhaul of it's look and tone. Yes, it's for kids but the series originally got into trouble for targeting a younger audience, even though violence is a staple of the show. Maybe, the new film should be pushing the limits of a PG-13 rating. Similar to what Lionsgate has done with their hugely popular Hunger Games franchise.

When it comes to it's look I'd love the world to be a mix of Pacific Rim and Dredd. It seems like the setting of this Power Rangers world would be futuristic. Playing-up on the science-fiction aspect, since they are fighting aliens with karate, laser guns, tech-weapons and giant robots. I think artist Dave Rapoza (his artwork is used at the top) could really help give the franchise a hardened look, similar to what Marvel Studios has been doing with their in-house artists like Andy Park, Ryan Meinerding and Charlie Wen. Rapoza is best known for recreating characters from the 80s and 90s, and shockingly hasn't been snapped-up by Hollywood. Below are some of his redesigns for the Red and Pink rangers. I think if put into this art into a final piece, these could be killer on screen. It should be also noted that Dave's creature design work is fantastic as well, and could make the villains/aliens look a bit more real-world than recent alien designs we've been seeing in movies.


Moving past our visionary, I think we can all agree that music tends to be an important part of a film. Even though Tron Legacy was a hugely visual film (nothing much else was there), the only thing people actually remember and talk about is it's amazing score by Daft Punk. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' work with David Fincher on The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl have made those films even more atmospheric. I'm hoping that we see a similar move when it comes to putting together the music of Power Rangers.

Jason previously worked with Australian electro-thrash duo Power Glove on Hobo, and have come into their own scoring the wildly popular Far Cry 3Blood Dragon. Playing-up the connection to the 8-bit culture would be nice a way to call-back to the video games the show spawned. I really dug the Dredd soundtrack for this reason, it was hard pumping but recalled the electronic/synth beats that would most likely populate a futuristic landscape.


In no particular order I'd love to see these actors considered for the main lineup, who actually have a bit of an action background. They include, Anton Yelchin (Like Crazy, Terminator Salvation, Fright Night, Star Trek 1-3), Michael Angarano (Forbidden Kingdom, Knick, Haywire, Red State, English Teacher) , Justin Chon (Revenge of The Green Dragons, 21 And Over, Twilight), Haliee Steinfeld (True Grit, Ender's Game, Barely Lethal, Pitch Perfect 2), Dayo Okeniyi (Hunger Games, Terminator: Gensys, Runner Runner, Spectacular Now) and Rila Fukushima (Arrow, The Wolverine, Long Goodbye).

So, Lionsgate the ball is in your court and we hope you make the right choices here. They could just slap together a rushed project, or actually spend the effort creatively to give audiences a visually stunning and fun experience.

Matt Damon Might Lead Legendary's China-Set THE GREAT WALL

We recently heard that Universal was finally putting together deals that would see Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass make another Bourne film. Another bit of possible news coming Deadline, is that Damon is being eyed for the lead in Legendary Pictures (now with Universal) supernatural China-set The Great Wall. The film has legendary (fitting I know) Chinese director Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Curse of The Golden Flowers, Flowers of War) and has been looking for a lead for some time now.

They also mention that Damon is very interested in working with Yimou, since he was in talks to take the lead in Flowers of War. That role would go to Christian Bale instead. The only problem is that shooting Ridley Scott's The Martian, and this upcoming Bourne installment, could conflict with Great Wall's production.

Before Zhang signed-on, actors such as Henry Cavill (Man of Steel, The Man From UNCLE, Batman v Superman) and Benjamin Walker (Vampire Hunter) were attached for it. Ed Zwick (Last Samurai, Defiance, Blood Diamond, The Siege) was previously set as it's director, but will instead take a producer's credit.

The plot has been sort of kept a secret, but it would reveal the "true" reasons behind the wall's construction. I assume it could be monsters or demons, since China has a rich history of folklore. Let's just hope this turns out a bit better than Universal's disastrous re-imagining of The 47 Ronin. We know that the market in China for films is going to dwarf North America, so studios having their blockbusters set there is just smart. Chinese films have come along way in the last two decades, and usually are superior to what Hollywood has been grinding-out. I'm excited to see what a visionary like Yimou can do with Legendary handling it's production.


September 19, 2014

Director David Ayer Might Tackle SUICIDE SQUAD For Warner Bros

Variety reports that Warner Bros. might be pulling-out an old DC project out of development limbo. They say that the studio is in early talks with writer-director David Ayer to helm Suicide Squad. A group of DC villains who are thrown into a government program, that places them in suicide missions. In return, the villains will be redeemed and their prison sentences reduced. The project has been kicking around for ages, and it's about time Warner Bros. put it into production.

Ayer is best known for scripting Training Day along with The Fast And The Furious and S.W.A.T., Since then, he's made a name for himself as an action director. Making cop thrillers such as End of Watch, Sabotage and Street Kings. His most recent film is the WWII-tank action flick Fury starring Brad Pitt. We really have no idea where the film is development-wise, but there was a script penned by Justin Marks. Considering Ayer's reputable screenwriting abilities, I'm sure he would be asked to handle rewrites as well. David would bring the gritty edge needed for this type of budding action franchise, and could actually give fans on hell of a DC movie. Let's just hope these talks go well.

The lineup of the Suicide Squad (headed-up by Amanda Weller) changed a lot over the years so it would be hard to pin-point which villains will be the focus. Some of the members include prime candidate Deadshot (rumored for solo film as well), Captain Boomerang, Bronze Tiger, Nightshade and more recently Harely Quinn joined the ranks. Quinn is an interesting character as her origins stem from the Batman animated series and not the comics. Warner Bros. put out a recent animated film titled Batman: Assault On Arkham, which featured the team. A majority of the group already exists on the CW series Arrow.

I'm actually in-love with the property and believe this movie is such a better venture than Shazam!, or a couple other DC films in the works.


September 18, 2014

Toby Kebbell In Talks For BEN-HUR Villain Messala

Variety reports that Toby Kebbell is in talks to play villain Messala in Timur Bekmambetov's remake of Ben-Hur. Jack Huston is in the title role with Morgan Freeman in a supporting role as well. Production is about to begin in Europe next year. And it's casting at the moment is beyond impressive. Interesting enough the script was penned by Oscar winner John Ridley (12 Years A Slave, Three Kings, Red Tails) and Keith Clarke (The Way Back).  The epic's release date is set for February 26th, 2016.

Toby played ape villain Koba played in the massive summer hit Dawn of The Planet of The Apes. Koba was actually one of my favorite blockbuster villains of the year, and it's mainly due to his motion capture performance. Director Matt Reeves has actually teased his return in the third film, which could mean Kebbell might be apart of that franchise for a while. This must have led to his casting as Dr. Doom in Josh Trank's Fantastic Four reboot, and we're highly anticipating seeing some footage of Toby as the iconic Marvel baddie. He also recently wrapped production on Duncan Jones's Warcraft for Legendary.


Astrid Berges-Frisbey Will Play Guinevere In Guy Ritchie's KNIGHTS OF THE ROUNDTABLE: KING ARTHUR

Deadline reports that French-Spanish actress Astrid Berges-Frisbey (Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) has been tapped for the female lead in Guy Ritchie's Knights of The Roundtable: King Arthur. Astrid will play the key role of Guinevere, and will likely be expected to be apart of the purposed six-part fantasy epic. The film already has Charlie Hunnam possibly playing Arthur, with Idris Elba circling a mentor role similar to Merlin.


Max Borenstein Returns To Write GODZILLA Sequel For Legendary Pictures

Deadline reports that Legendary Pictures has made a deal for screenwriter Max Borenstein (Seventh Son) to pen the Godzilla sequel. Borenstein was one of many writers on the original film, and recently wrote the studio's King Kong origin film Skull Island. Max will have plenty of time to put the script together, since director Gareth Edwards will go-off to make an untitled Star Wars film first. The release date for the sequel will be June 8th, 2018.

We've heard teases that better known kaiju could be showing-up in the next film. This was confirmed at Comic-Con, where Legendary Pictures showed concept footage that teased Rodan, Mothra and Ghidorah.

A set of female twins were teased in film and in promo footage/trailer. Monarch's name might have direct connections to him as well.  Perhaps, the fellow good-guy kaiju might have inspired the organization. Wouldn't hurt to see Godzilla team-up for some good 'old city rumbles.


Fans Rejoice, Fox's X-MEN Spin-Off DEADPOOL Officially Coming February 2016!

THR has news that 20th Century Fox has finally greenlit the long in-development Deadpool spin-off. The film set in the X-Men universe has been trying to get pushed into production for years. Problems stemmed from it's R-rating, and a completed script leaked online a while back. The character doesn't really lend itself to a PG-13 rating, as his signature is hyper-violent and filthy mouth. Since then, screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese (Zombieland, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) did a bunch of rewrites to the existing script. Fox has officially given the spin-off a release date of February 12th, 2016.

Director Tim Miller's test footage featuring Ryan Reynolds leaked online not too long ago. It's sort of fun, but also a bit average. Perhaps, being all digital might be the main problem people like myself have with it. Ryan played the mercenary's alter-ego Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and has been loosely attached throughout the entire development. It looks like Ryan is set in the role, and it's ready to go.

Lauren Shuler Donner is set as producer, as she heads-up all the films in the X-Men franchise. The producer has been vocal about trying to make the film with a smaller budget, to keep it's R-rating intact. It's February release could mean that Fox has agreed to this, as the winter months have been known as the dropping season for smaller studio R-rated genre flicks. X-Men: Apocalypse is said to begin shooting this April in Montreal, with a release date only months after Deadpool in May. The impression this gives me is that Deadpool is ready to go into production soon, or it will have less post-production and will be a smaller film.

I'm not sure how much of connection this film will have with the rest of the X-Men universe, considering Deadpool understands he's in a comic book and breaks the fourth-wall all the time. He'll likely end-up directly talking to the audience and making high-volume pop culture references. Two things we really haven't seen in other X-Men films. One of the weirder comic book characters in Marvel's lineup, it'll make for an unique movie.

At a point it was unknown if Fox would actually pursue the film. As five other Marvel projects have come into light since X-Men: Days of Future Past was announced. Another main X-Men film with Apocalypse, sequels to James Mangold's successful The Wolverine and Josh Trank's unreleased Fantastic Four. Other projects without release dates but are in development include Jeff Wadlow's X-Force and another spin-off focusing on Gambit (possibly played by Channing Tatum). This will be the first time Fox will release two X-Men films in one year, so it'll be interesting to see if this becomes a regular thing. As Marvel Studios has proven the demand is clearly there for these comic book movies, and the market can handle two major releases from a studio.