January 31, 2014

Liam Neeson To Lead Martin Scorsese's Japan-Set Drama SILENCE

Lawsuits and production delays are finally over for Martin Scorsese, as the shooting for his next film Silence is moving closer to reality. The long delayed production was expected to happen years ago, but was thrown into a legal battle. All of that has cleared up, as Deadline reports that Liam Neeson will take the lead role in the film. Neeson previously took a role in Martin's Gangs of New York, which was also a priest. Daniel Day-Lewis was originally cast in this role but would eventually exit over delays. You might remember that Neeson was original set for the lead role in Lincoln, but was later recast with Daniel after it's own delays.  It's a great career choice on the part of Neeson, who has been taking on more action focused roles. Seeing him take on a more serious role like this, might lead to him becoming a major Oscar contender again.

The film centres around a group of 17th century Jesuits who to try bring Christianity to isolated Japan. These events eventually become violent as The Shogun (ruling class in Japan) outlaw Christianity, as they see it a threat to their divine rule of the country. Other cast members include Andrew Garfield (Social Network, Red Riding, Never Let Me Go) and go-to Japanese actor Ken Watanabe (Inception, Last Samurai, Unforgiven). Oddly, enough there is zero mention of Adam Driver (Girls), who apparently landed a supporting role in the film recently. I'm dying to see this finally get made, I expect we'll be hearing more high-level western and Japanese talent added to the cast.


Jesse Eisenberg Is Lex Luthor And Jeremy Irons Is Alfred In BATMAN VS SUPERMAN!

It's official, Warner Bros. and director Zack Snyder have chosen two actors for major roles in Batman Vs Superman. The Social Network's Jesse Eisneberg will play villain Lex Luthor, while legendary British actor Jeremy Irons will play Alfred Pennyworth. The pair will also join newcomers Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot in the film that is expected to be the lead-up to Justice League. Below is a statement from Snyder about the casting announcement.

“Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940. What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain. He’s a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman. Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions.”

It's interesting they went so young with Luthor since the names linked to the role (some were likely made-up) weren't. I have to commend Mr. Snyder on this, since this would be a middle ground age range for the villain. Plus, I think we can all agree having a middle-aged Lex was starting to become a bit of a bore. Trying something new for this new era of the DCU could be exciting and fresh, I'm totally on board for this.


Bill Hader Could Co-Star In Amy Schumer's Raunchy Comedy TRAINWRECK Directed By Judd Apatow

Variety reports that stellar impressionist and all around funny man Bill Hader could co-star in Trainwreck. A raunchy comedy written/starring Amy Schumer with Judd Apatow directing. Bill has been apart of a bunch of Judd Apatow productions (directed or produced) such as Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Adventureland, Pineapple Express and Superbad. It would make sense that Hader would eventually land a lead role in one of Judd's films. We should expect more Apatow regulars added the cast of Trainwreck.

Since leaving SNL, Bill has broken out as a comedian in his own right. Being apart of the very successful Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs franchise, along with two future Pixar releases The Good Dinosaur and Inside Out. His credits don't stop at voice over work, as he co-starred with Kristen Wiig in dark comedy The Skeleton Twins, which got a solid reaction at this year's Sundance.


January 30, 2014

X-MEN Producer Pitching GAMBIT Movie Starring Channing Tatum To Fox

While doing press for White House Down, actor Channing Tatum was vocal about his desire to play the Ragin' Cajun in a Gambit movie. Apparently, this campaign has made it's way to X-Men franchise producer Lauren Shuler Donner who revealed to Empire, that she's been already talking to 20th Century Fox about Channing starring in a Gambit film.

“I’m dying to do a Gambit movie with Channing Tatum...That doesn’t have to be a great big movie. It’s a thief in New Orleans, it’s a whole different story. He’s on board, and I have to get the studio on board. How can anyone resist Channing? He’s such a sweetheart.”

A low budget Gambit movie could be almost as awesome as The Wolverine, which took place in one setting with a semi-street level story, instead of globetrotting around the world, while trying to save it. Gambit has an interesting history which includes a longstanding conflict of two warring mutant groups The Thieves (which he is apart of) and The Assassins, something that could be interesting to explore in a smaller movie. There is also his darker-side when he helped Mr. Sinister with the genocide of the Morlocks (a group of low-level sewer dwelling  mutants). Either way, this sounds like confirmation that Taylor Kitsch is going to be re-cast. Currently, a director and writer haven't been named or announced, but I assume Simon Kinberg would be involved. Fingers crossed, this could also mean Rogue and Gambit might finally cross paths.

 Channing recently got a career boost from successful features like 21 Jump Street, along with cameos in films like This Is The End and G.I. Joe: Retaliation. This year he'll be jumping between comedy and action with roles in 22 Jump Street and The Wachowskis' sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending. Tatum might be in a better place with audiences than Ryan Reynolds, who has been trying for ages to get his Deadpool out of  development limbo. Despite Ryan having a steady stream of box office failures, which might have Fox scared to invest in Reynolds as The Merc With The Mouth.


January 29, 2014

Marvel Confirms THOR 3 Writers, Surtur And Enchantress Major Players?

Marvel has finally made it official! They are moving forward with Thor 3 announcing that screenwriters Christopher Yost and Craig Kyle will co-write the script. I had heard over the summer Marvel was tossing around ideas for an outline for a third film, and it seems the studio liked what developed. Christopher previously co-wrote The Dark World and Craig has been a producer on the two Thor films.

A director hasn't been named, but Alan Taylor is about to begin production on Terminator: Genesis, which could rule him out to return. It's possible that a 2015 production date could be eyed, with Thor 3 taking one of the two 2016 release dates, since Captain America 3 is further back in the development phase.

Craig Kyle also helped Marvel with their animated features most notably writing Planet Hulk (teased in Dark World) , Hulk Vs and Doctor Strange. He previously teased Ragnarök for the third film, which has also been stated by Chris Hemsworth and Kevin Feige. Giving more validity to Surtur being the big baddie of the movie, which has been teased since the first film. A excellent way to end a trilogy, if you ask me.

We've also been hearing from insiders and Tom Hiddleston, that Amora The Enchantress will finally make her way into the MCU for the feature. There has been an Amora/Surtur connection previously, where she is enslaved by Surtur to help bring about Ragnarök. Having Loki's love-interest turned against him and a servant of Surtur for Ragnarök, could be a reason we see Loki and Thor join forces again.

"When I was first reading the comics, the relationship with the Enchantress was one of the really fun things I thought would be good to explore and may have even pitched it to [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige at some point. Because she is as sneaky and as untrustworthy as he was. ... They basically had a really fantastic and twisted relationship until they both say, ‘You know what? I don’t trust you as far as I can throw you. It’s over.’ Because they keep betraying each other, in a way. So it could be good."

Chris Hemsworth even liked MTV's suggestion of Charlize Theron (Monster, Prometheus, Mad Max Fury Road) playing Amora. Having Patty Jenkins (Monster, The Killing) return to direct the third installment might be a good way to attract Theron to the role.

"I don't know much at all but it sounds interesting," Chris Hemsworth told MTV when asked for his thoughts on the recent Enchantress rumours. "I'm not playing the usual, sidestepping that we normally have to do, I haven't read a script. They have a bunch of different ideas, but that sounds interesting." After being told that his Snow White and the Huntsman co-star Charlize Theron is a fan favourite for the role, he said: "Oh right. Well she certainly plays a pretty intimidating villain, I think she'd be awesome but I think she's tied up in 20 other films. I think she's going on to 'Mad Max' next. [But] you never know. Fingers crossed!"


January 28, 2014

The Russo Brothers Returning To Direct CAPTAIN AMERICA 3

Marvel's Kevin Feige had been hinting that Phase Three might only see two franchise sequels (aside from Avengers 3), it seemed that Thor 3 was one of those candidates. Variety reports that Captain America 3 could be our second one, stating that the Russo brothers who directed The Winter Soldier are expected to return. An official announcement hasn't been made but the Russos are currently working on an outline.

I would assume that franchise writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus will be back on script duties, but neither our mentioned in this report. There had been some speculation that villain Baron Wolfgang von Strucker's inclusion in Age of Ultron is expected to setup events for Captain America 3, possibly seeing the resurrection of Hydra. The talk of the town is, that Winter Soldier is better than any of the other Marvel Studios projects. I believe that Doc Strange and Thor 3 will more than likely take the 2016 slots, while Captain America 3 in 2017 could easily be the lead-up to Avengers 3 in 2018.


January 27, 2014

Guy Ritchie To Make Six Part KING ARTHUR Epic At Warner Bros?

A while back Warner Bros. had different directors putting together pitches for a new King Arthur movie. David Dobkin's Arthur and Lancelot tried to wrangle Colin Farrell and Gary Oldman, when the studio rejected the $130 budget along trying to cast unknowns Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) and Joel Kinnaman (Robocop).

Another project was a remake of the classic 80's film Excalibur, which had Bryan Singer attached but never really got it's legs. Singer went on to make Jack The Giant Slayer for the studio, and since has returned to the X-Men franchise to direct Days of Future Past and possibly Apocalypse.

Guy Richie (Sherlock Holmes, Snatch) was also trying to put together his own Arthur movie with Trainspotting screenwriter John Hodge. That project also didn't make it too far, as Arthur And Lancelot became the favorite at the studio.

Deadline has news that Guy Ritchie is looking revive the Arthur project at Warner Bros., with a new script from Joby Harold. They will try to establish a story that will span six films in total, a rather ambitious undertaking. Ritchie will seeming direct the first installment, no word if he'll stick around for all six movies. Guy is currently working on The Man From U.N.C.L.E, a film that also took forever to get casting and budget right, before the movie starring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer got the green-light.


RAID Director Gareth Evans Wants To Make R-Rated IRON FIST Movie

Gareth Evans seemingly has blown everyone away with his sequel to the Raid, which premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Evans has stated previously that he would be interested in making a feature film focusing on Marvel's Iron Fist. The character is getting a live-action adaptation on television for Marvel's Netflix series, while there had been a film in development for ages. Gareth continues to mention his desire to TotalFilm, but brings up the rating restrictions that would need to be removed for it to work for him. Stating the project would need to be rated-R for it to look real enough for him.

Totally, yeah. I'm not averse to it. My big thing right now is figuring out how to do that action style - and would someone like Marvel let me do a R-rated movie?
This isn't me going against PG-13 movies, it's just that the way I shoot action, it doesn't need to be bloody or aggressive or 'stabby stabby' with knives, but it's about when someone swings a punch and there's a connection there, I'm not going to hide that with a camera. I get involved with the guys in that choreography design so I can understand the intricacies of what they've done, so that when I shoot it, what the camera angles should be and the editing should be, it's doing justice to all the work they've put into it.
In PG-13 action, you hide the chaos and fill it with sound. That's something I can't do. So [if I made a comic book movie], it'd have to be an R.

Gareth is easily the most interesting new action director working today, and even more rare is that he specializes in martial arts flicks. The Raid trilogy is quickly amping up expectations, as has apparently succeeded the first film with Berandal. A rather large feat to accomplish, as Redemption was one intense ride. He's yet to be tossed into the Hollywood machine, which might be attractive to Marvel since they seem to hire outsider directors for their projects.

Taking on a Marvel project and being enthused about it, seems to be a running theme lately with recent directors like Edgar Wright (Ant-Man), James Gunn (Guardians of The Galaxy) and Russo Brothers (Winter Soldier). Seeing the studio hire passionate directors might become a regular thing. Scouting talent or finding hired guns, hasn't always worked out for them. While the Thor films are interesting and entertaining, you can tell Kenneth Branagh and Alan Taylor weren't exactly passionate about the characters or the MCU. I doubt they really even knew about the comics before being approached to direct. Having someone like Evans who loves genre and actual knows a C-Level Marvel character like Iron Fist, shows that he could end up just as excited about the material as Wright or Gunn.

Ray Park (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, X-Men) was once attached to play Danny Rand years back, but it's unknown if he'll be asked to return for either the Netflix series or a future film. Having a an actual fighter in the lead might be a solid way to attract an amazing action director like Evans, who wants to see actual blows take place in camera. If we're talking about an action actor that is able to read lines, while also kicking-ass on a high-level, Scott Adkins would be Marvel's man for the job.

 He's already been apart of the Marvel universe, doing the stunt work for Fox's controversial take on Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. When Zack Snyder was casting the new Batman for Batman Vs Superman, Scott was called-in to audition for the role, thanks in-part to an online campaign. Even if Scott doesn't land the role of Danny Rand, he needs to be at least considered for Orson Randall (since he also has lots of weapons training as well). He's also the type of actor that would be available to take on both the Netflix series and film.

They could also look at regular actors to lead the series and film. Marvel has been looking at bigger names lately for roles, landing folks like Robert Redford, Michael Douglas and Bradley Cooper to take-on MCU characters. I can see the studio aiming for big names in the future, since Disney is able to help wrangle high-profile talent. I wouldn't be shocked to see a former Disney star be considered, Ryan Gosling has been a fan favorite for the role of Danny. It doesn't hurt that Ryan had some fight training for Only God Forgives, giving him an edge when it comes to the fight scenes. Ryan has been vocal about never wanting to do a superhero film, but that could change if they land an interesting director like Evans. Other fan favorites for the role include Charlie Hunnam and Garrett Hedlund.


January 26, 2014

Rupert Sanders Will Direct Live-Action GHOST IN THE SHELL Movie

It's been years since we've heard anything new concerning the live-action Ghost In The Shell movie from Dreamworks and Steven Spielberg, but Deadline has a production update. They say that, Rupert Sanders (Snow White And The Huntsman) has made a deal to direct and the project has a new script from William Wheeler.

Previously, a draft from screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis (Avatar, Shutter Island, Terminator: Genesis) had been written but likely won't be used. Sanders has a few other productions in the works, but this could be priority, if Edge of Tomorrow (another manga adaptation) becomes a big box office hit. At one point Rupert Sanders (like Neill Blomkamp) was being eyed to direct a Halo film. This was after directing the live-action ODST trailer. Having Rupert return to science fiction is a very good thing.

Sanders is the type of director they need for this project, a stellar visionary but new enough that will try new things. While I didn't love Huntsman, I did enjoy a lot of the visuals and mostly everyone in it (besides the wooden performance of Kristen Stewart). Let's just hope Rupert can be a little more professional with his lead actress, this time around. The key aspect now will be finding the right actors.


January 23, 2014

Director Michelle MacLaren Needs To Be In The Mix For WONDER WOMAN

We learned today that Warner Bros. is considering finally making a Wonder Woman feature, with Gal Gadot in the lead role. At this point we don't even know if this project is even going to happen, or is just an option added to her contact. The studio hasn't named a director or even a writer at this point, so we should approach this slowly. As it seems like the Warner Bros. is doing the same, seeing if Gal's performance deems a solo film.

When it comes to potential directors there is a couple of interesting names, one being Nicolas Winding Refn. While stating he'd love to make film based around the character, he will likely spend his time with his original films and producing his Barbarella series. I'd even believe that 300: Rise of An Empire director Noam Murro is being groomed by Zack Snyder and WB for future DC films. Yet, I love to see WB branch out and at least consider a female director to handle one of the most high-profile superheroine films. I'm not saying a female director "has" to direct but at least consider one or more as candidates.

I recently spoke to the fact, that Lexi Alexander would have been a excellent choice to direct The Expendables spin-off The ExpendaBelles, until the script turned out to be total misogynistic garbage. Lexi recently blogged about the challenges for female directors in the industry, she called for more open-doors, allowing an equal shot at directing studio pictures, no matter the genre or budget. This blog entry caught a lot of attention online to fellow bloggers and industry people (studios too?). I believe fully in this opinion and  hope that Warner Bros. considers taking the first step, when it comes to their big comic book films.

Marvel had a chance to do this by hiring Patty Jenkins (Monster, The Killing) for Thor: The Dark World, but would later exit over creative clashes. Sadly, Alexander has turned out to be our only example of a female director taking on a major comic book film. Lexi did an excellent job servicing Punisher fans and we commend her for it, War Zone is what fans were asking for. Achieving something two previous Punisher directors couldn't. We need to see this across the board, but comic book films allow studios to take more "risks" by hiring their directors. I mean look at Winter Soldier, who would have thought the showrunners of Community would direct a massive Marvel film?

The MCU is lacking the department of female lead characters with superpowers. We know that Captain Marvel/Ms Marvel is being developed at the studio (script is being written), but looks like the character could be saved until Phase Four (2018-2022). Allowing Warner Bros. to make the first major superhero franchise that would focus on a female character. Surpassing and hopefully learning from previous missteps in movies like Elektra and Catwoman. It's possible that Wonder Woman will come out before Marvel, giving DC an edge in the genre.

So what kind of female director is suitable to make such leap into making a massive blockbuster like Wonder Woman? After a bit of researching to what made Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder such interesting comic book directors, I came up with their possible female counterpart. That would be Canadian director Michelle MacLaren, best known for her stellar television work. You'd be surprised how much awesome material she's directed over the years. Below is a bit of a run down of her credits and why directing these shows would make her an excellent candidate.

BREAKING BAD: A lot of people have been clamouring about the amazing series, but oddly we haven't heard a lot about their directors. Michelle directed a bunch of episodes (11 in total) and really understands how to give audiences a gritty world, without going overboard (it wasn't given a mature rating, like Walking Dead). Something we've come to attribute to Christopher Nolan's PG-13 films.

If you've come to love the dark and sometimes chilling performances given by Bryan Cranston, you'd have to give a lot of that credit to MacLaren. I think if she could pull out amazing dramatic skills from supporting/daytime players on Breaking Bad, imagine what she could do with Gadot and the rest of the Wonder Woman cast. I think the interesting turnaround performances by characters like Hank and Skyler are also due to her involvement.

GAME OF THRONES: She's only directed two episodes that have made it to air, but "The Bear and The Maiden Fair" was my favorite of last season, and it was directed by Michelle. Giving us a true sense of awesomeness that is Brienne and Jamie's friendship. In the fourth season we'll see more of her contribution to the Westeros, but if Alan Taylor can end up landing both Thor: The Dark World and Terminator: Genesis from his work on Thrones, Michelle could easily make the the jump to studio work as well. Michelle can handle telling stories within Martin's giant sprawling world, working within the DCU can't be as difficult.

WALKING DEAD: Besides the other shows mentioned, I don't think you could find a larger or more loyal fanbase. She may of only directed two episodes but spending time on that set, must have been a master class on how to work with in camera special effects and makeup. Something that would be needed for a film like Wonder Woman. I have to also assume that the Wonder Woman budget won't be as gigantic as Superman, Batman or Justice League films, because it hasn't really been established as a film franchise. After Green Lantern becoming a massive box office bomb, they might want to lower expectations and will be more cautious when setting the budget. Walking Dead has a minimal production budget and Michelle must have learned a lot cost cutting measures from working on that show.

Michelle MacLaren is the type of female director we need to see making the jump from television to studio pictures. If we are going to see things changes in the industry, having talented female directors thrown into the mix for studio projects like this would be a start in the right direction. This lady can direct drama, genre, fantasy, horror, action and crime stories, why not give her a shot at Wonder Woman? It would be a logical choice to get a well rounded director to take on such a complex character/world like this.

Gal Gadot's WONDER WOMAN Contract Includes JUSTICE LEAGUE And Solo Movie

Variety is expanding on recent reports that Gal Gadot has signed a three-picture deal to play Wonder Woman for Warner Bros. The three films in question include Man of Steel 2/Batman Vs Superman, Justice League, and her own standalone Wonder Woman film. This is the first time we've heard from trades that the studio is indeed pursuing a WW movie. When these two films will be shooting is another thing, as current release delays for Batman Vs Superman (pushed to May 2016) could have an effect, on when we actually see a Wonder Woman film in theatres.

This news should make DC fans happy, since we've been waiting for ages for this to happen. At one point Avengers guru Joss Whedon was tapped to write-direct a Wonder Woman feature film, with Cobie Smulders expected to play the lead. After that was given the ol' axe, along with both recent incarnations of a new television show, it was worrying what WB's ultimate plans were for her. Placing her in a supporting role similar to Scarlett Johannson's Black Widow, would have been a bit of a concern to fans.

We have no idea who will eventually write or direct the Wonder Woman film, it's very likely that David Goyer will somehow be involved. David is currently involved with BVS, Justice League and slew of other DC film properties.


January 22, 2014

Fox Looking At Daniel Espinosa To Direct Michael Fassbender In ASSASSIN'S CREED?

TwitchFilm reports that 20th Century Fox is considering Swedish director Daniel Espinosa to direct their live-action Assassin's Creed film, which has Michael Fassbender attached to star and produce. The film's script (originally penned by Michael Lesslie) is undergoing rewrites by Scott Frank, best known for writing scripts such as Minority Report, Out of Sight, The Lookout, Get Shorty and The WolverineCreed has a set release date of August 7th, 2015 with an expectation to begin production sometime in 2014.

Daniel has a history of making action-packed thrillers such as Snabba Cash and Safe House, his next film Child 44 starring Tom Hardy is a Soviet Union era serial killer mystery. This wouldn't be the first time Daniel Espinosa was on the radar at Fox for a genre project, he was once in the running to direct both X-Men First Class and The Wolverine.


Quentin Tarantino Cancels THE HATEFUL EIGHT Production Over Script Leak

Sad news for Tarantino fans, as the director has announced to Deadline that his production of The Hateful Eight has been put on hold. Quentin had hand delivered scripts to three potential actors, who shared it with their agents. Two of the three agents are under suspicion of leaking the script to other agents/actors. This has made Quentin so furious, that he's shutdown production on the project all together, and is aiming to publish the script as a novel instead.

The three actors in question were Tim Roth, Bruce Dern and Michael Madsen, one of the latter two are believed to involved in the leak. Tarantino hadn't even showed the western screenplay to either Christoph Waltz or Samuel L. Jackson, who were also expected to have lead roles in the film. It sounds like he was slighted by people he considered friends and is turned off to the project over the leak. The film's production wasn't even expected to begin until next winter, which puts doubt when his next film could happen.

Tarantino doesn't rule out coming back to make The Hateful Eight down the road, but is looking to another project which he'll make first. Giving the impression it could be five to six years before we see Eight back in production. It's hard not to consider how awesome a straight-up western would have been, but Quentin has lots of projects in the works at the moment. One of these rumored projects is a 30's era gangster flick, which I'm currently rooting for to be next.


Trent Reznor And Atticus Ross Providing Score For David Fincher's GONE GIRL

Trent Reznor has confirmed via Twitter, that he and Atticus Ross will have scoring duties on David Fincher's Gone Girl. The pair have previously composed haunting modern scores for Fincher's The Social Network and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Their first outing earned them Oscars for Best Original Score, which should help establish the tone of the crime thriller. It will be interesting to see if the duo will also provide tracks that could be used for trailers and promotional materials, as they had added a few cover songs to the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack.


FANTASTIC FOUR Script Finally Completed And Casting Is Underway

Variety has a couple updates concerning Fox's Fantastic Four reboot, stating that Simon Kinberg has completed the script rewrites (expected to tie-in with the new X-Men universe). There had been some concern that production was in trouble when casting news halted, for script reworking from Kingberg. Josh Trank (Chronicle) is still directing as production is expected to begin in Vancouver soon, First Class director Matthew Vaughn is producing the film. The studio is expected to start testing a younger cast to fill roles, by the end of the month.

Miles Teller, Kit Harington and Richard Madden (Klondike, Cinderella, Game of Thrones) expected to test for the role of team leader and uber scientist Dr. Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), but I wouldn't be shocked if one of these gentleman is also being looked at for villain Doctor Doom. Michael B Jordan (Fruitvale Station, Chronicle) is reportedly attached to play Johnny Storm (Human Torch), which could mean that Teller is the front-runner, as the pair recently worked together on the film That Awkward Moment.

The ladies in the mix for Sue Storm (Invisible Woman) include Saoirse Ronan (Hanna, Lovely Bones, Atonement) and Kate Mara (Transcendence, House of Cards, Iron Man 2), Margot Robbie (Wolf of Wall Street) had previously been in the mix too but will likely choose Tarzan instead.


January 17, 2014

Director Joe Johnston Wanted For BOBA FETT Spin-Off Coming 2018?

A Boba Fett movie has been talked about since 2011, it actually came from the lips of his co-creator Joe Johnston (Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Rocketeer, Jurassic Park 3, Captain America: The First Avenger). He confirmed his plans to make the spin-off and mentioned a treatment existed at the time, we recently heard that Fett's second co-creator Larry Kasdan (Episode VII, Empire Strikes Back, Return of The Jedi, Raiders of The Lost Ark) is being tasked to script the project (via JonSchnepp).

LatinoReview is adding a few new details to what we've already heard about the spin-off. First, that Joe Johnston is indeed wanted for the director's chair, being at the top of the studio's wish-list, something I've been hearing since Joe first talked about it during Captain America press tours in 2011. Of course, things change and considering that LR is giving it a possible release date of 2018, it would allow time for Joe to direct another feature first.

To counter-act the prequels, the Boba Fett spin-off movie planned for 2018 has an interesting twist pitched by Episode VII writer Lawrence Kasdan: the spin-off will start with a complete stranger killing Boba Fett and taking his armor, starting a Man-With-No-Name bounty hunter tale. So: someone kills the Boba Fett from the prequels and takes his armor and name. One this is for certain is that Kasdan didn’t like the prequel and wants no Bobba Fett Clone in the spin-off film. 

Sounds a lot like a Western and it sounds like it could restore a fan-favorite character that was totally a little boy with thousands of versions of his father running around. Or it could just be a lot of stupid rib-elbowing about this stranger doomed to fall into a Sarlaac pit in the most anti-climatic franchise exit ever. 

Lastly I was told by 3 sources, reps etc, etc…(so call who ever you want) that Captain American director Joe Johnston is on top of the list to direct the spin-off, which makes sort of sense since he began his career as a concept artist and effects technician on the first Star Wars film. REMEMBER NOW before you all go and say he’s directing the project, I never said he has the job, just that he’s on top of the list, lets get that perfectly clear.

It was reported by THR that Joe is in talks to direct alien invasion flick Extinction. A project that could begin shooting before a possible 2016-2017 production start for Boba Fett. Johnston recently directed the indie-thriller Not Safe For Work, which has yet to land a release date. There had been some hope that Johnston would actually take the reigns of the Star Wars franchise before Abrams was hired, along with returning to the Jurassic Park universe with Jurassic World. There is still some question who will end up directing Indiana Jones 5, as Steven Spielberg could decided to walk if it turns out to be a reboot. Having Joe involved with the new era Star Wars universe, could be a great way to keep the connections to the original trilogy.

The details about killing-off the prequel clone, is yet to be confirmed by other sources but sounds interesting. Severing connections to the prequels is the right way to go with this spin-off, and it's a way to return the mysterious origin of the bounty hunter. This sort of sounds like the possible plot points of the cancelled Boba Fett video game, which had the title of 1313.


BREAKING BAD's Jesse Plemons Confirmed For STAR WARS: EPISODE VII?

LatinoReview is reporting that Jesse Plemons (Battleship, The Master) is pretty much a lock for a major role in the next Star Wars trilogy. Giving the impression he'll be a supporting character in Episode VII and become a protagonist in Episode VIII. The role isn't named, but it's very likely it could be Luke's son Ben Skywalker. If true, this would make Jesse the first new addition to the third trilogy.

TheWrap had previously linked the Breaking Bad and Friday Night Lights star for a role in the film. Other actors previous linked or rumored for the film include Michael Fassbender, Hugo Weaving, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sullivan Stapleton and Benedict Cumberbatch. It had been said that Weaving and Cumberbatch were being looked at for villain roles.

Jesse Plemons of Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad was heavily rumored to be under consideration for a lead role in Star Wars Episode VII. We heard that this is basically a locked deal, at least as locked as anyone can be at this point.
We expect Plemons’ involvement will be announced early on, but the Disney/Star Wars PR Plemons Plan, currently, is to confirm his involvement without naming his part. So we’ll get a confirmation, but not an official confirm that Plemons is playing Ben Skywalker, Luke’s son. Plemons’ character would be the main protagonist of Episode VIII. EIGHT!


January 16, 2014

Hammer Films Continuing The Tradition Of Awesome British Horror With THE QUIET ONES Trailer


New Line has a horror hit on their hands with The Conjuring, the studio is already developing a sequel and two spin-offs. One of those spin-offs will be Annabelle, focusing on the creepy doll that cameoed in The Conjuring. While James Wan won't be directing, he will be producing the film with his cinematographer John Leonetti handling directing duties.

TheWrap reports that the studio has cast Annabelle Wallis (Peaky Blinders) and Ward Horton (The Wolf of Wall Street) as the film's two leads. The Conjuring featured real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, which were played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. Considering Annabelle ends up in the possession of the Warrens, I expect the pair will return unless these new actors are playing younger versions of the Warrens.

I'm a huge fan of what James Wan has been doing with Insidious and The Conjuring, helping to build amazing Hollywood horror franchises. Making legitimate scary films that aren't reboots, taking cues from movies like Amityville Horror and The Exorcist. I'm a bit worried that Wan isn't directing but being involved as a producer could help control it's quality.


Jai Courtney Among Five Candidates Testing For Kyle Reese In TERMINATOR: GENESIS

Variety is reporting that Terminator: Genesis is still looking for it's new Kyle Reese. Australian actor Jai Courtney (Jack Reacher, A Good Day To Die Hard, Spartacus) is leading a group of five candidates that have tested for Reese. The list of lesser known actors includes Boyd Holbrook, Tom Cocquerel, Wilson Bethel and Sam Reid. Boyd had been previously linked for the role of John Connor. The main roles are expected to be apart of a new Termintor trilogy, starting with Genesis. Courtney's previous working relationship with Skydance Pictures on Jack Reacher could make him the front-runner of the group.

The group apparently went in for screen tests on Monday, which could mean an announcement on the outcome might be released very soon. These new names could mean Taylor Kistch (Lone Survivor, Battleship, John Carter, Savages) and Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max Fury Road, X-Men Days of Future Past) are now out of the running to play Reese.

Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Jason Clarke (Lawless, Public Enemies, Zero Dark Thirty) and Arnold Schawarznegger have been confirmed for roles in the fifth installment. Emilia is the new Sarah Connor and Jason is the older John Connor. Arnold's role has yet to be revealed, but is rumored to be playing a new human character. Games of Thrones showrunner and director Alan Taylor will be helming the film. Genesis will be a follow up to Alan's massively successful feature directorial debut Thor: The Dark World, which has earned $632 million globally.

ActingAuditions has confirmed that production begins in April, and will shoot on location in New Orleans, Louisiana. The area has become a hot-spot for big action productions, which will also see Jurassic World shoot there as well. Terminator: Genesis has a release date set for July 1st, 2015.


January 15, 2014

BIG RUMOR: Jon Hamm Going From Don Draper To DOCTOR STRANGE?

ThisIsInfamous is a newer blog, which has yet to my knowledge broken a major casting story like this. But says, Jon Hamm is actually talking to Marvel about the lead of Doctor Strange. A long standing rumbling that Hamm was on Marvel's radar, was revealed today by TheDailySuperhero. While I can confirm I've also heard Jon being on Marvel's wish-list, I never actually heard a character or project they wanted him for. This doesn't mean I hate the idea of him as Stephen Strange, just take this "rumor" with a cup of salt, not the usual pinch.

Stephen Strange seems like a tailor-made Marvel character for Jon, as he starts out as a playboy surgeon according to leaked script details. Having more than a few similar characteristics of his Don Draper character from Mad Men. Hamm is also at a similar age as Robert was when he was cast as Iron Man. The rumor has been, that Stephen Strange will possibly takeover the patriarch role in the MCU from Tony Stark in Phase Three. Jon recently filmed Million Dollar Arm for Disney and his AMC series Mad Men is about to finish it's run.

This has yet to be played out, but could be a reason why Iron Man 4 wasn't apart of Robert Downey Jr's recent two-picture deal with Marvel Studios. As the actor signed contracts for Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers 3, leaving out the option for a fourth Iron Man installment.

Marvel has more new projects in the works than sequels, having a surplus of origin films could see some sequels get pushed back. As it stands, Thor 3 is currently the only sequel outside of Avengers 3 that has been officially discussed for Phase Three. Kevin has hinted that a second sequel could be included in the release dates, but that has yet to be discovered or announced. We assume that Comic-Con will be Marvel's forum to announce the rest of their Phase Three plans, and could confirm what the release lineup will actually be.

Doc Strange is likely aiming for one of the two 2016 slots, since Kevin has talked up almost as much as Ant-Man. While the recent link to Johnny Depp seems smart, it could be turn out to be nothing. A bunch of things are going against it, Depp has Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Alice In Wonderland 2 about to go into production at Disney. He also has a bit of Lone Ranger shrapnel on him leftover from the summer, which might scare Marvel away from casting Johnny in budding new genre franchise. Releasing Doc Strange in 2016 might be a sticking point with Marvel, something that could also rule Johnny out of the running, as his other commitments could conflict with that release date happening.

Johnny has been wanted for Strange for years now, even back when Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim, Hellboy, Blade 2, Crimson Peak) was attached to write and direct it. Del Toro eventually left and so did the hope Mr. Depp would star in it. I doubt Johnny would even consider the project again, without a solid director in place. Even if he took a meeting with Marvel about it recently.

If we factor in a director hasn't been announced, it's current script is from the guys who gave us the Conan reboot, Strange is not in the best of shape at the moment. Unless, Marvel already has a director in mind and is willing to also handle script rewrites. Including a possible writer-director in casting meetings, might help flush out bigger talent, than with a just first draft script and no director.


RUMOR: Jon Hamm And Mila Kunis On Marvel Studios' Radar?

TheDailySuperhero is stating a rumor that Marvel is considering Jon Hamm (The Town, Mad Men) and Mila Kunis (Ted, Jupiter Ascending, Black Swan) for future roles. Characters or projects aren't named, but it's possible these could be roles for Phase Three and beyond. We should also consider that Ant-Man is currently putting together it's cast, along with possible Doctor Strange pre-production. It's still an early report without much besides they're on the studio's radar.

Hamm was once a fan favourite to play both Superman and Batman, it could be a way to allow Jon to play a superhero outside of the DCU. I've actually considered Hamm a great candidate to play Stephen Strange or even a possible Tony Stark replacement. It doesn't hurt that Hamm will be starring in the Disney film Million Dollar Arm. Again, nothing is even being hinted to, so this all my own hope.


Clifton Collins Jr. Joins Michael Douglas And Paul Rudd In Edgar Wright's ANT-MAN

THR broke news yesterday that Marvel was possibly considering both Clifton Collins Jr. and Javier Bardem for roles in Edgar Wright's Ant-Man. It had been assumed that they weren't locks, as it was seemingly for the role Michael Pena had been reportedly offered. Pena actually taking the role hasn't been confirmed, but another one of the actors just might have been.

LatinoReview is adding that Clifton Collins Jr. has been confirmed for the film, in an unnamed role. Stating, he's the only lead actor cast in the film besides Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd. We had hoped that Collins' previous working relationship with Wright would help his chances, and it possibly could have here. No word if he is playing a villain or hero in the picture. His credits include Star Trek, Crank High Voltage, Boondock Saints 2, Traffic, Pacific Rim and Scott Pilgrim. 

It's also been pointed out by LR (but not reported), that Clifton could pass as a younger Michael Douglas (currently in his 70's). There had been rumors that the some of the film could take place in the 60's, involving a Cuban/Communist Missile Crisis as the centre of the story. Having Douglas play the present day Pym and Collins Jr. as the 60's version might be a good way to establish lineage with the character. Also, having Ant-Man set in both the present and the 60's could be very interesting.


Thomas Krestchmann Will Play Baron Strucker In AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

THR is reporting a small addition to the cast of Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron, they say that actor Thomas Krestchmann has been cast as villain Baron Wolfgang von Strucker. The creator of A.I.M and eventual successor to Hydra. He is a character actor best known for roles in films such as The Pianist, King Kong, StalingradWanted and Valkyrie. Another excellent addition to the MCU, in my own opinion. The rest of the new additions include James Spader, Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Johnson, with production expect to begin soon in the UK.

BadassDigest is suggesting that Strucker could not only be taking the place of Red Skull, but possibly also Magneto. There were a few sources (mainly HitFix) that linked Strucker for the opening sequence of the film, and would have connections to new members of the Avengers team. BAD's theory suggests that, Strucker's own superpowered children (who are also twins) might be reworked into Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. This would be a great way to sever their mutant connection, and explain why the twins start out as villains.


January 14, 2014

Clifton Collins Jr. Looking To Reunite With Edgar Wright For ANT-MAN?

Today, we heard from TheWrap that actor Michael Pena is being eyed for a role in Edgar Wright's Ant-Man. A few other names are also being linked for the role according to THR. The pair of actors are Javier Bardem (Skyfall, No County For Old Men) and Clifton Collins Jr (Traffic, Pacific Rim, Boondock Saints 2, Crank High Voltage). Of course, these names are only mentioned as being linked.

We had heard that Marvel was talking with Javier Bardem for a future role, it had been assumed that at the time it was for Doctor Strange. This was years ago, and likely had nothing to do Ant-Man as Wright was busy with other projects at the time. Having another high-profile actor like Bardem, would help get international attention.

Collins worked with Edgar on Scott Pilgrim, taking a cameo role as a one of the Vegan Police. He's also very recognizable as a very funny character actor, and seems more like an actor up to snuff to deliver action and humor we'd expect from Wright and Cornish. I'm rooting for Clifton because he was so awesome in Boondock Saints 2 and Crank High Voltage, but it likely comes down to if Pena turns down the role.


Rashida Jones And Bryce Dallas Howard Linked For ANT-MAN

Finally, we're starting to hear about actresses concerning Edgar Wright's Ant-Man. Variety reports that Rashida Jones and Bryce Dallas Howard are now being considered for the film. Jones had been linked for months along with Paul Rudd (the pair having excellent on screen chemistry), for the role of Janet van Dyne aka The Wasp. A character that was originally set for The Avengers, but was later cut out of the film. I believe Marvel is strongly considering Rashida for Janet, but there is likely a couple other female roles needed to be cast.

Marvel is planning a April shoot and the female lead the last major role left to cast. Rashida Jones and Bryce Dallas Howard have been mentioned but, as of now, no one has been offered the part. 

Even if Dallas Howard got an offer, she may have an issue with doing “Ant-Man” as she is also on board for “Jurassic World” which would turn into a scheduling conflict. Jessica Chastain was also approached for the part but passed on it.

Apparently, Bryce is being offered the role that went out to Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) earlier in the year. That character was never named, and Jessica turned it down. Dallas Howard has already committed to shooting Jurassic World alongside Guardians actor Chris Pratt, that production could conflict with her taking the role. Bryce is no stranger to the Marvel universe playing Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man 3, we've seen Marvel Studios re-cast actors that have been in other Marvel films before. One standout example being, Chris Evans crossover from Fantastic Four to Captain America.

It's possible that this role Jessica/Bryce are wanted for, might not be Janet but someone else entirely. There has been some interesting speculation that this second female role could be Hank Pym's daughter. Taking into consideration Michael Douglas' age, it's possible that he'd have a daughter in her 30's or older. Lang's wife is also another possiblity, also nothing rules out this being Cassie Lang either. Cassie could have been reworked (Scott's sister not daughter?) to fit the MCU better. Plus, having a second female lead wouldn't be a terrible thing.


Michael Pena Offered Unnamed Role In Edgar Wright's ANT-MAN

It's starting to look like Edgar Wright and Marvel are really pushing forward with casting Ant-Man quickly. Wright is known for casting his roles in a very timely fashion, we've seen this in practice previously with Scott Pilgrim and The World's End. Having already cast Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym and Paul Rudd Scott Lang as the two male leads of the picture.

TheWrap now reports that all around awesome character actor Michael Pena (American Hustle, End of Watch, Crash, Gangster Squad, Observe And Report, Shooter) has been offered an unnamed role in Ant-Man, the story has been backed up by various sources and bloggers, adding that Michael is keen on the project and will likely take it.

I don't know Ant-Man canon well enough to suggest a character for Pena, but a modified version of S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Eric O'Grady wouldn't be out of the question, as he's played many military and law enforcement roles before. This is yet another awesome casting choice on the part of Edgar and Kevin. The film begins production in April at Atlanta's Pinewood Studios, with a release date of July 31st, 2015.


Johnny Depp Meeting With Marvel About DOCTOR STRANGE

It was announced today that legendary actor Michael Douglas will be taking on the role of Dr. Hank Pym in Ant-Man. Well, a new scoop via LatinoReview could see another high profile actor join team-Marvel. They report that Johnny Depp is taking early meeting with the studio, about playing Dr. Steven Strange in Doc Strange. The film is expected to undergo a few rewrites to accommodate the Depp's age, but it's possible this the type of name would be needed to give the film a solid level of global awareness.

Just the thought of Johnny Depp, Michael Douglas and Robert Downey Jr. mixing it up in Avengers 3 is too much to handle. I'm just shocked about the overwhelming volume of male lead characters in the MCU, where is our Wasp and Captain Marvel?

Some might remember this isn't the first time Depp's name has been linked to the project. A while back Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim, Blade 2) was eyeing the director's chair and was considering Johnny for the role. The actor has made nothing but bank with Disney thanks to Pirates of the Caribbean, and seems to be their go-to-lead for budding projects. It was bound to happen his name would come up again.

The problem currently is that Disney also wants him to make Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and a sequel to Alice In Wonderland. Unless those projects are delayed by the studio, we might not see Strange in theatres until 2017. A release date has yet to be announced, along with a director.


January 13, 2014

Marvel Announces Michael Douglas Is Hank Pym And Paul Rudd Is Scott Lang In ANT-MAN

Marvel has announced that legendary actor Michael Douglas (Black Rain, The Game, Traffic, Wall Street) has landed the lead role of Dr. Hank Pym in Edgar Wright's Ant-Man. They also confirmed that Paul Rudd will play Scott Lang in the film. It's unknown at this point if Lang is a friend or foe of Pym's in the movie. Douglas is an inspiring choice, and this proves that Marvel is starting to lockdown their casting announcements.

Janet van Dyne has yet to be revealed, but a strong rumor suggests that Rashida Jones is the top contender for the role. Production is set to begin in the Spring/Summer in Atlanta's Pinewood Studios, and it's release date is set for July 30th, 2015. Below is the full announcement from Marvel.

Michael Douglas has stepped into some of the biggest--or should that be tiniest?--shoes of his career.

The two-time Academy Award-winning actor will join director Edgar Wright and Paul Rudd in Marvel's "Ant-Man," hitting theaters July 31, 2015.

"With Hank Pym's rich history in the Marvel Universe, we knew we needed an actor capable of bringing the weight and stature to the role that the character deserves," said Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. "We felt incredibly relieved when Michael Douglas agreed to step into the part with the charm and fortitude he brings to every character he inhabits, and couldn't be more excited to see what he will do to bring Hank Pym to life."

The legendary actor, who earned an Academy Award in the category of Best Actor in a Leading Role for his iconic portrayal of Gordon Gecko in "Wall Street," has also starred in numerous modern classics including "Basic Instinct," "Fatal Attraction," "The Game," "Wonder Boys," "Traffic" and many more. In addition to acting, Douglas has also served as Producer and Executive Producer on a number of films including "Romancing the Stone," John Carpenter's "Starman" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," for which he also won an Academy Award for Best Picture. Most recently, Douglas earned a Golden Globe and his first Primetime Emmy Award for his role as legendary entertainer Liberace in the HBO original film "Behind the Candelabra."

Douglas will star as Hank Pym, who first appeared in TALES TO ASTONISH #27 (Jan. 1962), with Rudd starring as Scott Lang in the film.



LatinoReview is reporting that DC Entertainment is taking a page from The Wachowskis and Peter Jackson, and are looking to double-up on their upcoming shoot of Batman Vs Superman. Stating that Justice League will also shoot either at the same time, or right after BVS. The assumption is that Zack Snyder would indeed direct both projects in 2014.

This could explain all the chatter concerning The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and other JL members showing up in a Man of Steel sequel. LR believes their incorporation is meant to include a cliffhanger that will lead into Justice League.

It's actually an older concept which dates back to the 70's, originally Richard Donner shot both Superman and a bulk of Superman II before the release of the first film. Donner would eventually get replaced with Richard Lester, but the idea was to keep the cameras going and produce a film on a regular basis. The expected length of the saga was going to be ten Superman installments with Reeves but that ended with just four. This could be a cost effective way to produce more DC films, without each one costing the studio $200 million a pop.

They also confirm that Dwayne Johnson will be involved with Justice League, but his role is uncertain. There has been speculation that it could be the new Green Lantern or Doomsday, but more plausible characters could include Black Adam (back when a Shazam! movie was in the works), Lobo (which he was considered for previously) or JL member Cyborg (mentioned by Cavill and hinted to in MOS).