It has been a fairly uneventful week for movie news, with much of the industry’s best and brightest walking the red carpets at the traditional glut of autumn festivals. Either that or they were just completely shell-shocked after the news that broke early in the week about Daniel Craig and his potentially very lucrative future as James Bond.
Elsewhere, there were a number of exciting new trailers, the usual handful of tidbits from the world of superhero movies and surprising news about a controversial biopic that has seemed buried for many years.
Here’s your round-up of this week’s movie news…
Sony makes it rain for Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig has attracted critical and audience acclaim since taking on the role of James Bond in Casino Royale, which gave the franchise a grittier and more modern edge. It seems as if Sony recognises what they have with Craig as, according to rumours this week, the studio has offered Craig $150m to sign on the dotted line for two more films. It must be emphasised that this is only a rumour but, given Craig’s less than positive comments during publicity for Spectre, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Sony is being forced to dig deep to convince Craig to stay.
Given the well-publicised issues at Sony, the studio needs to cling on to reliable cash cows like Bond. With that in mind, it seems that Craig is in a very good negotiating position given his value to the franchise in terms of fan support. A new Bond is always divisive, so anything Sony can do to make Craig stick around, it will do. If a deal like this goes ahead, expect Craig to climb the list of highest paid actors pretty soon.
Manganiello to take on Affleck in solo Batman
Last week, a video on Ben Affleck‘s Twitter account teased that Deathstroke was making his way to the DC Extended Universe. Thanks to the Wall Street Journal, we now know that Joe Manganiello is set to play the villain in the solo Batman movie that Affleck is directing. This is relatively decent casting given Manganiello’s impressive physicality, but it’s certainly not going to set the ailing DC universe alight.
Meanwhile, there was villain news over at Marvel too. Set photos from Spider-Man: Homecoming seem to reveal that Shocker will be appearing in the movie, which is already set to feature Vulture and The Tinkerer. Everyone knows that Spider-Man movies with three villains always do well, right?
There was also some more encouraging news for Marvel fans. The studio announced on Twitter that the UK release of Doctor Strange is moving forward three days and the film will now arrive on Tuesday, October 25. The film will now arrive in Britain more than a week before it makes its bow in the USA.
Bullets fly in Free Fire trailer
Ben Wheatley produced his glossiest film to date this year with High-Rise, but it was a film that reflected Wheatley’s own unique sensibilities in adapting the bizarre work of JG Ballard. Anyone would need a palate cleanser after that and it seems as if Free Fire, Wheatley’s latest film, could be the epitome of that phrase. A first trailer for the film arrived this week on the heels of its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it received rapturous reviews. It’s a trailer packed with huge performances and gunplay.
Free Fire looks set to be a real thrill ride and features plenty of famous faces, including Oscar winner Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy and the ever-interesting Sharlto Copley. If the film possesses the same sense of anarchic fun as the trailer, it could be another great effort from Wheatley. Free Fire is due for a UK cinema release in March 2017.
Cameras will finally roll on The Crow
News broke a little while ago that Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa was in talks to take on the title role in the troubled remake of The Crow, which has seen a number of lead actors come and go. The Wrap has reported this week that the film, which is being directed by Corin Hardy, will start shooting in January when Momoa finishes with
It’s good to see that there’s finally some forward movement on The Crow after watching it rattle around in development hell for several years. Hardy has been a fan of the character for a long time and Momoa is a solid choice for the lead role. This could be a great addition to the superhero canon, with impressive darkness.
Johnny Depp on the case for Labyrinth
Things have been a bit quiet for Johnny Depp since assault allegations arose against him earlier this year. He is on his way back to the big screen, though, in new film Labyrinth. Depp will play a detective investigating the murders of hip-hop performers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. According to Screen Daily, the film is being pitched to buyers in Toronto and is a major title there. It is only in the early stages, but this sounds like it could be a compelling thriller.
Putting aside the legal and personal problems that have marred the perception of Depp the person, this is an intriguing move for Depp the actor. He has been in a handful of high-profile flops in recent years and, with the possible exception of Black Mass, it’s been a while since anyone has raved about a Depp performance. He will be hoping that Labyrinth can mark a reversal of fortunes.
Oscars ahoy in Collateral Beauty trailer
As we move closer to the final months of the year, it’s inevitable that marketing is beginning to step up for the movies that will be talked about when the Oscars and Golden Globes are handed out. One film that seems to be grabbing wildly at golden statuettes is Collateral Beauty, which stars Will Smith as a depressed man who encounters a series of mysterious people who encourage him to throw away his past and embrace the future. A trailer for the film arrived this week, loudly proclaiming the awards pedigree of its ensemble cast, which includes the likes of Kate Winslet and Keira Knightley.
Despite the remarkable amount of talent on board for Collateral Beauty, the trailer sells it as a saccharine drama that isn’t nearly as deep as it wants to be. Hopefully the finished film leans a little less heavily on the sweetness and is able to produce something fitting of the actors involved. Collateral Beauty is due to arrive in cinemas in December, where it will be in direct competition with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I know which movie my money is on.
Green Street director for wrestling biopic
There are few more controversial figures in sport or entertainment than professional wrestler Chris Benoit. He was one of WWE’s most popular and acclaimed performers, until 2007, when he killed his wife and son before committing suicide. A biopic, called Crossface, was first discussed years ago and the project has now arisen once again, with Green Street director Lexi Alexander confirming her involvement on Twitter.
The Benoit story is the kind of scandalous tale that suits Hollywood down to the ground, but the fact that WWE won’t even mention Benoit’s name means that there are bound to be legal wranglings around the project. Alexander is a really good directorial choice with experience in depicting on-screen brutality that could bring realism to the in-ring scenes. There will need to be sensitivity in how Benoit’s final days are shown and an awareness of the wider issues surrounding concussions and head trauma in the sport.
Do you think Daniel Craig has a future as Bond? Which of the week’s trailers made the biggest impression? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.