It has been a tumultuous week, featuring the monstrosity of Donald Trump, Donald Fucking Trump, becoming President. Leonard Cohen and Robert Vaughn, two giants of their respective media, left us for good. But we get the soothing release of Arrival to end the week on a positive, hopeful note. Please see it!!
- With a week until release we are starting to get some info as to the direction Fantastic Beasts 2 will take. First we have confirmation that Johnny Depp will indeed play the villainous Gellert Grindelwald. Next JK Rowling herself has said that a young Albus Dumbledore will appear in the sequel. It will be interesting to see a youthful, energetic wizard as opposed to the wizened whispering old man we’re used to. I’m hoping this film series tackles its own path rather than attempting to shoehorn in fan pleasing cameos, but I have faith Rowling is smarter than that. Finally, the follow up will be primarily set in Paris. Although the biggest question is, will they come up with a better title than Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2, as that is a mouthful!
- Luc Besson, that crazy French auteur who brought us Fifth Element and the cinematic sin that is Lucy, returns next year with the mega budget Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Based on a relatively unknown (over here I must say) comic book property it tells the story of two space cops, played by Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne, who unravel a mystery in the titular city which features a positively mind boggling amount of alien species. Dropping the first trailer this week, it looks suitably bonkers. Filled to the brim with visual brim and unlimited imagination, it will certainly be a treat for the eyes. My only concern is whether the story holds up, Jupiter Ascending had a similar feel and that wound up being too impenetrable to work, plus audiences can be a tricky one when it comes to large scale mega sci-fi. For every Avatar, you get the previously mentioned Wachowski folly. Take a look:
- Fox revealed a lot of info around the future of their X-Men universe. As to be expected after the success of Deadpool and the disappointment of X-Men: Apocalypse, they are steering the direction towards the merc with a mouth. Deadpool 2 is already in the works, albeit without director Tim Miller who quit two weeks back, but Fox have spoken of a third already that will work to introduce the mutant team X-Force. Alongside that the main X-Men movie-verse is in a strange stagnation. The dullness of Apocalypse has led to Fox claiming they’re rebooting the series, BUT with the young cast still involved i.e. Jennifer Lawrence et al. How you can reboot something with the same cast is an odd notion, but perhaps they mean simply that, with Hugh Jackman leaving the role after next years Logan, that the old guard will be completely brushed aside. Simon Kinberg, writer of the last 3 X-films, is currently writing this so called reboot. Although it’s going to be hard to bring aboard the bigger names such as Lawrence and Fassbender, now their contracts are up, but Fox I’m sure will put up the necessary dough required.
- Ben Affleck’s next directorial outing Live by Night graced us with a new trailer this week and it’s a doozy. Focusing on the action side, it is beautifully shot, classically styled but with a modern propulsive twist, and I’m very much looking forward to it!
- The Beauty and the Beast promo campaign continues with the first poster, and it’s a loving tribute to the original animated film. A trailer is likely to follow very soon, and I, for one, am chomping at the bit to see this thing in motion:
- The big budget behemoth Kong: Skull Island finally revealed the first look at the main beast, and he looks only marginally different to Peter Jackson’s 2005 version, mind you there’s not much you can bring to the party when it comes to a giant ape. The first teaser set an effective mood, and with the stellar cast involved, leads me to expect big things. A new trailer should be arriving soon.
- Doctor Strange had a killer opening weekend in its opening salvo last week with just shy of $86 million. A bigger weekend than the first Thor, Cap and Ant-Man films, is evident that the MCU is in rude health. With a running total of $361 million so far it’s testament to the effective advertisement that a relatively unknown character should best more notable names such as Captain America. It should be undeterred until the arrival of Fantastic Beasts next week.
- Speaking of marketing power, Disney have finished with Strange now they can move on to the other BIG property coming ever so soon: Rogue One. A new international trailer flew in offering some glimpses of unseen footage, which I will post here, but this marks the point that I will watch no more. I’ve seen enough, I’m on board, please let December 15th get here now!!
- The comic-book series Painkiller Jane is stepping ever closer to landing on our screens as it has been announced Jessica Chastain is being courted to star. A superhero impervious to pain, with flowing red hair, Chastain is a spot on pick and a fine actress to spearhead a new franchise. No director has been attached yet but look for some traction now a lead has been found.
- Warner Bros have set release dates for two of their big projects, firstly the video game adaptation of Rampage starring Dwayne Johnson (the only thing that has me intrigued by the project) crashes down April 20th 2018. A Star is Born, the all star Lady GaGa leading remake, directed by none other than Bradley Cooper (a big feature for his debut) will sing and dance its way to screens Sept 28th 2018.
- The Pacific Rim sequel has commenced filming this week. Titled Pacific Rim: Maelstrom and starring John Boyega as the son of Idris Elba’s character from the first. Sadly Guillermo Del Toro (who has just finished filming his next The Shape of Water this week) will not be returning, instead Daredevil showrunner Steven S Knight will be calling the shots. Although cliched and poorly scripted the first was impeccably designed and big fun, so here’s hoping for more of the same. Just with less “We’re cancelling the apocalypse” overkill!
- Finally Max, son of John, Landis is to write and direct a remake of his father’s An American Werewolf in London. A seminal work of horror and in camera effects, it is quite frankly a terrible idea to redo it. Making for some odd dinner time conversations between father and son I’m sure, it will inevitably be overblown, full of heartless CGI and unnecessary. But then again I was 100% sure Donald Trump would never be President so what do I know! NOTHING MAKES SENSE ANYMORE!!
On that note, time to get (movie) drunk…