Spinning Headlines – Week 17: The Nice Guys, Tomb Raider, Batman: The Killing Joke, Dreamworks Animation, Stallone, Wolverine 3, Alita: Battle Angel…
From the ashes of the week that was, rises the Fridays headlines.
Or something as equally pompous. As always, check out the Supernaughts “News”-section for daily updates. This week we got the final “X-Men: Apocalypse”-trailer (until the 50 gazillion TV-spots hit us), that gave us probably one spoiler too many, the entire cast list for Showtime’s upcoming “Twin Peaks” revival, and for the “Alien-Day”, Neill Blomkamp teased the return on Newt for his very secretive “Alien”-project.
RETRO TRAILER FOR MY MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIE OF THE YEAR
Warner Bros. released a nice retro-trailer of Shane Black‘s “The Nice Guys“. I cant tell you how much I’m looking forward to this one. It just looks like so much fun.
TOMB RAIDER RETURNS TO BIG SCREEN – AND JUST CAST IT’S LEAD
Well – how long has it been since Jan De Bont‘s “Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life“? 13 years. I think just about the only image of that movie that I can remember is Angelina Jolie punching a shark. Since then, the film rights to the game franchise have been changing hands from Paramount to GK Films to now becoming a co-production with MGM, Warner Bros. and GK Films and the production of a movie reboot has started with Norwegian director Roar Uthaug(“The Wave“) in charge. And now the new Lara Croft has been cast: Swedish actress Alicia Vikander – who had one helluva year last year; winning an Academy Award for her supporting role in “The Danish Girl” as well as starring in “Ex Machina”, “Burnt” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”.
This new film is said to “tell the story of a young and untested Croft fighting to survive her first adventure”, so it’s a reboot in every way – something that the video game-series has also done in the recent years.
“BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE” TRAILER
Oh, hell yes. Bring it.
ONE LAST THING ABOUT THE WHOLE TILDA SWINTON/WHITEWASHING-THING
Marvel released a statement regarding the controversy over Tilda Swinton‘s casting as Ancient One in “Doctor Strange“. Here it is:
“Marvel has a very strong record of diversity in its casting of films and regularly departs from stereotypes and source material to bring its MCU to life. The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by any one character, but rather a moniker passed down through time, and in this particular film the embodiment is Celtic. We are very proud to have the enormously talented Tilda Swinton portray this unique and complex character alongside our richly diverse cast.”
In other media one of the film’s screenwriters, C. Robert Cargill made another kind of statement, calling the casting process a “Kobayashi Maru”, and going on saying:
“[The Ancient One] originates from Tibet, so if you acknowledge that Tibet is a place and that he’s Tibetan, you risk alienating one billion people who think that that’s bullsh*t and risk the Chinese government going, ‘Hey, you know one of the biggest film-watching countries in the world? We’re not going to show your movie because you decided to get political.”
“If we decide to go the other way and cater to China in particular,” he continued, ” — if you think it’s a good idea to cast a Chinese actress as a Tibetan character, you are out of your damn fool mind and have no idea what the f*ck you’re talking about.”
In other words – it’s basically pointless to argue about this thing anymore. It’s done. There were reasons – and as everything to do with movie casting ALWAYS does, it pissed some people off and some people simply do not give a shit. I’m one of the latter. This will be the last time I address this.
ANOTHER BIG STUDIO TAKEOVER
Comcast’s NBCUniversal dropped in some serious cash, as they announced this week that they are buying the Dreamworks Animation Studios. The prize tag? $3.8 billion. There has been some rumors in the recent years that the animation house, ran by Jeffrey Katzenberg, has had some finacial issues and was on the lookout for a buyer; Japan’s SoftBank and Hasbro were some of the companies they had negotiations with, but until now, nothing had materialized. Katzenberg will not be running the studio after this deal, but he will serve as chairman of DreamWorks New Media and a consultant to NBCUniversal. “DreamWorks Animation is a great addition to NBCUniversal,” said Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal. “Jeffrey Katzenberg and the DreamWorks organization have created a dynamic film brand and a deep library of intellectual property. DreamWorks will help us grow our film, television, theme parks and consumer products businesses for years to come.”
Illumination Entertainment founder Chris Meledandri, whose company has been behind the hit franchises “Despicable Me/Minions“, will run the combined animation business and “help guide the growth of the DreamWorks Animation business in the future“. So I guess the competition in the CGI-animated feature business just got a little bit more fierce.
The first trailer to Oliver Stone‘s “Snowden” was relased this week. Hit or miss?
MARTIN SCORSESE EYEING GEORGE WASHINGTON-BIOPIC
“The General” – a script written by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage is described as taking a look at George Washington’s time as a general as he is tasked with leading a dying army to safety during the revolutionary war, was originally going to be directed by Darren Aronofsky who called the story “almost ‘Unforgiven’-like” back in 2012, but he has since dropped out and now it is reported that Martin Scorsese is interested in the project. But, then again, Scorsese is one of those directors who has about half a dozen projects in development at any given time, so we’ll see. DiCaprio as George Washington?
“CELL” GETS A TRAILER
The long-in-gestation movie adaptation of Stephen King‘s novel “Cell” – starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson – has finally got it’s first trailer. And this is, I believe, almost two years after it was filmed. “Cell” has since been dropped by at least one distribution company and is now scheduled to arrive on VOD June 10th before arriving in theaters (for a limited release) on July 8th. I dunno – the film seems to have had some serious behind-the-scenes issues from day one. And looking at this trailer it looks like they have aimed to make the whole thing in a style akin to “The Walking Dead“. As I recall, the book was more about these characters’ journey than fighting hordes of “zombies”.
SOME CASTING NEWS
First off, Sylvester Stallone has been cast in “Omerta”, Antoine Fuqua‘s TV-adaptation of the last book in Mario Puzo‘s Mafia series that started with “The Godfather” and “The Last Don”. Not much of this project is known at this point, but Stallone is said to be playing “the head of a familial crime organization” – so this would be a Don, then. I have only read Puzo’s “The Godfather” and even that was about a million years ago, so I have no knowledge of this storyline.
“Wolverine 3” – or whatever it’s final title will be, added two new cast-members this week. And by the looks of these two particular actors, it seems like the movie might be a little less serious in tone this time. But I could of course be totally wrong. The two additions are Richard E. Grant(“Withnail & I”, “Hudson Hawk”) who is cast as “a villainous mad-scientist type,” and Stephen Merchant(“The Office”,“Extras”, “The Ricky Gervais Show”,”Life’s too Short”, “Hello Ladies”) whose character is a complete mystery at this point.
Tye Sheridan, who plays the young Cyclops in “X-Men: Apocalypse” – and is soon starting to film Steven Spielberg‘s “Ready Player One” – revealed that he has signed on to TWO more “X-Men”-films, so apparently the franchise’s future is now officially being rested on the younger castmembers.
“Vikings” star Katheryn Winnick has apparently joined the cast of “The Dark Tower” – but this is just a rumor.
And last but definitely not least, the search for the lead actress for “Alita: Battle Angel” is going into final three. Yes – the same “Battle Angel Alita” – as it’s original title went – that James Cameron was planning to do before he got all tangled up in bioluminescence of Pandora. Cameron is still attached to the project as producer, but the director(hand-picked by Cameron) is Robert Rodriguez, as was announced last October. Anyways, as I was saying… the search for the lead actress to play the female cyborg become bounty hunter has narrowed down to three – who have all given final screen-tests: Maika Monroe (“The Guest”, “It Follows”, “Independence Day: Resurgence”), Rosa Salazar (“The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials”) and Zendaya (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”). Now, the movie has not yet been officially greenlit by 20th Century Fox because the budget is still being hammered out, but the coice for the lead actress is expected to happen in a few weeks.
BRYAN SINGER REVEALS THE TIME PERIOD OF “20 000 LEAGUES”
While making the promotional rounds for “X-Men: Apocalypse“, Bryan Singer gave a bit of an update on his next project – an adaptation of Jules Verne’s “20 000 Leagues Under The sea“. Or more precisely, WHEN the events of his version will take place. The original story took place in 1866 and the 1954 Disney film didn’t much veer away from that, taking place in 1868. Singer’s version? Not that different, actually. As he says: “…I’m setting 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea right after the Civil War. Everything wasn’t suddenly hunky-dory between the North and the South – there was still hostility and tension. The same thing exists here.” So there will be no retooling to set the story in modern-er times.
A NEW STILL FROM “STAR TREK BEYOND”
Just to show there’s more than dirtbikes in this movie, Empire Magazine released a new still from “Star Trek Beyond” that shows Sofia Boutella‘s character more clearly. I guess she’s an alien. And what the hell is that uniform Spock’s wearing?
SPIT-TAKE OF THE WEEK
20th Century Fox is working on a prequel movie to “The Omen“, titled (drum roll)…. “The First Omen“.
That is all.