It’s been a big week for British cinema, with a sequel announced to Danny Boyle‘s genuinely iconic Trainspotting and rampant speculation ensuing about Daniel Craig‘s future in the James Bond franchise.
Elsewhere, a number of major trailers have landed online and the machinations of the superhero universe have continued, with Marvel dropping some casting news and big plans being revealed for a member of the Suicide Squad ensemble.
Here’s your weekly round-up of movie news.
Star Trek Beyond brings the action
This week, a new trailer landed for Star Trek Beyond – the third film in the rebooted franchise. JJ Abrams has been replaced by Fast and Furious director Justin Lin and this trailer leans heavily on spectacle, with a much larger glimpse at Idris Elba‘s villain Krall.
After the criticisms of the rather goofy previous trailer, this is a much more serious look at the movie with a conventional blockbuster feel. As a non-Trekkie, I was pleasantly surprised by how compelling Star Trek into Darkness was, but this looks like something of a step backward, as exciting as the idea of a Simon Pegg script still remains.
Star Trek Beyond will be released on July 22.
Trainspotting sequel chooses life
It’s finally official! After years of speculation, we finally have some firm information about the sequel to Trainspotting, which is now known by the rather awful title of T2. In a short teaser video, it was revealed that the film started shooting this month and is eyeing a release date of January 27, 2017. The original cast will return, alongside director Danny Boyle.
The original Trainspotting is one of the greatest British movies of all time and it’s exciting to think that the creative team is back together to return to that world. It will be interesting to check in on the compelling characters and Boyle’s unique directorial style will no doubt give the film the same visual panache that marked the predecessor out as something special. Is it January yet?
Goldblum and Blanchett join Thor: Ragnarok
It might still be over a year until Thor: Ragnarok hits multiplexes, but Marvel has just announced a tonne of new casting for the movie. Chris Hemsworth will return, of course, and we already knew that Mark Ruffalo would be turning up as Hulk.
The studio has now announced that Cate Blanchett will star as the villain Hela, based on the Norse goddess of death. Jeff Goldblum will play The Grandmaster and Creed breakout Tessa Thompson will bring Valkyrie to the big screen. Ragnarok is sounding like a stacked film with a lot going on and could be a really big step in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With actors of this calibre, it’s tough to go far wrong.
Licence to speculate for Bond fans
The future of Daniel Craig as James Bond has become the subject of fierce speculation this week, as a result of two news stories. On Sunday, The Guardian reported that bookmaker Carol had suspended bets on Tom Hiddleston becoming the next Bond after his odds were slashed. Then, insiders told the Daily Mail that Craig had turned down a $68m deal to appear in two more movies.
If Craig truly is hanging up his tuxedo, then there will no doubt be a lengthy process to choose his successor. There’s a nagging sense, though, that Hiddleston is a little bit too obvious a choice to step into the iconic role. Idris Elba would surely be a more interesting pick and it would be interesting to see a performer plucked from obscurity to play the British spy.
Robbie does a Vikander, is cast in everything
Alicia Vikander is the acknowledged queen of modern cinema, but it looks like she is set to face stiff competition from Margot Robbie in her attempts to play every role. Variety has reported that Robbie is in talks to star alongside Domhnall Gleeson in Goodbye Christopher Robin, which tells the story of author AA Milne, who created Winnie the Pooh.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros is seemingly ready to bank on the success of Robbie’s Harley Quinn, even before Suicide Squad. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio is considering a Quinn-centric movie spotlighting the female villains of the DC world. This is not a surprising announcement, given that Quinn is a favourite character of comic book fans and Robbie’s take on the role looks set to be one of the biggest talking points when Suicide Squad hits the big screen.
Purging meets politics in new trailer
The Purge is a rare example of a franchise that has got better with each instalment. The first film didn’t work at all, but 2014 sequel The Purge: Anarchy was a surprisingly interesting piece of work. The latest trailer for the well-timed threequel Election Year suggests that it could be a new highlight for the franchise.
The film focuses on a senator who has been a vocal detractor of the annual night of crime-free mayhem. Naturally, this makes her something of a target when Purge Night comes along and it is down to Frank Grillo‘s tough nut to protect her. Meanwhile, the American tradition of purging is being tainted by the arrival of “murder tourists” looking to experience the practice for themselves. That sounds like the recipe for some tense violence and bracing social commentary.
The Purge: Election Year hits UK cinemas on July 15.
Refn to produce Witchfinder General remake
There’s interesting news coming out of Cannes for horror fans as Nicolas Winding Refn is attached to co-produce a remake of British classic Witchfinder General, which starred Vincent Price. Deadline has reported that Refn and Rupert Preston, of Vertigo Films, are looking to shoot a new version of Michael Reeves’ 1968 shocker next year.
Refn, best known for stylish thriller Drive, is at Cannes with his debut horror effort The Neon Demon and he looks set to take a real interest in the genre in the coming years. Witchfinder General is a bona fide genre classic and it could make for a very interesting horror remake.
Did you like the new Star Trek Beyond trailer? Are you excited to see the Trainspotting sequel? Who should be the next James Bond? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.