It has been a busy week for movies, with trailers landing for several of the biggest upcoming blockbusters, including Hugh Jackman‘s swansong as Wolverine and the return of James Gunn‘s surprise Marvel hit Guardians of the Galaxy.
Here’s your weekly round-up of movie news…
The Guardians are back in town
Guardians of the Galaxy seemed like a very risky proposition for Marvel back in 2014. It had no real connection to their established universe and featured a bunch of incredibly strange characters that almost no one knew anything about. More than $700m at the box office later, James Gunn’s oddball super-team is now one of the most beloved corners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This week, the first trailer for sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 arrived online and it seems this new film will have all of the fun of the original.
From Drax awkwardly giving Star Lord a bro-hug to that adorable glimpse of Groot’s new sapling form on Rocket Raccoon’s shoulder, this trailer suggests that Marvel has itself another hit. We don’t really know what the plot of the new Guardians film is, but we now know to expect Gunn’s trademark offbeat humour and the characters that we have grown to love in the last two years. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will hit UK cinemas in May 2017.
Han and Lando in the morning!
The upcoming movie featuring the exploits of a younger Han Solo has added another piece of its puzzle. Donald Glover, best known for his work on Community and as rapper Childish Gambino, has been cast as Han’s buddy Lando Calrissian, who was memorably played by Billy Dee Williams in Empire Strikes Back. Lucasfilm announced this week that Glover will join Alden Ehrenreich in the as yet untitled film, which will be directed by The Lego Movie geniuses Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
This seems like a wonderful bit of casting that will really help the Han Solo movie rise above the cynicism that many have already expressed towards it. Glover proved in Community that he is a tremendous comic performer and managed to show remarkable emotional depth in his brief turn in Magic Mike XXL. He’s an actor with great range who should be a great addition to this new corner of the Star Wars universe. The Han Solo movie will arrive in 2018.
Jackman is grizzled and grumpy in Logan
The X-Men universe has experienced both ends of the spectrum this year, with Deadpool delivering the goods whilst Apocalypse floundered amongst the summer blockbuster melee. The studio is going back to the R-rated well for the latest Wolverine outing Logan, which is set to be Hugh Jackman‘s last appearance as the pointy-fingered anti-hero. The first trailer for Logan arrived on the web this week and it showed just how different a superhero movie can be.
It’s a fantastic teaser for the film and it makes you wonder why they didn’t do an R-rated take on the character years ago. This looks like a superhero movie with real edge and depth, in which Wolverine will put his adamantium claws to good use, rather than the annoyingly bloodless violence of previous Wolverine entries. At a time when the X-Men series is struggling to stand out from the crowd, this looks like a great risk to take. Logan is due to be released in March 2017.
Potter producer in a world of pure imagination
Sadly, after Gene Wilder‘s death earlier this year, it was somewhat inevitable that someone would dust off the character of Willy Wonka for a new cinematic retread. Variety wrote this week that Harry Potter producer David Heyman and Warner Bros have acquired the rights to the story from Roald Dahl’s family and are looking to put together a new film. The new tale will focus on Wonka rather than the Dahl book and will tell the story of his earlier adventures.
This seems like a rather cynical move and there seems to be very little reason to revisit Wonka for another film, particularly given how poor the Tim Burton take on the story was. I don’t hold out much hope for this and anyone who plays Wonka is pretty much doomed to sit in the shadow of Wilder… and that’s not a shadow that’s easy to escape.
Joss Whedon eyes Star Wars and horror
Joss Whedon has been uncharacteristically quiet since the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. He has recently resurfaced to intervene in the US Election campaign, but he gave some interesting tidbits about his film career to Complex this week. Whedon revealed that he’s currently working on a horror movie set during the Second World War and that he’d love to have a stab at directing a Star Wars film.
It’s always great to hear from Whedon, particularly given that he seems genuinely excited to be making movies again. It seems as if balancing everything involved in making Age of Ultron broke him a little, but the break of a few years has finally allowed him to fall in love with the filmmaking process again. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
Deadpool 2 waves goodbye to Tim Miller
The remarkable success of Deadpool earlier this year seemed to be a result of perfect creative unity from director Tim Miller and his star Ryan Reynolds. Unfortunately, it looks as if that unity has now fallen away. Deadline wrote that Miller has now departed Deadpool 2 as a result of creative differences with Reynolds. The split is said to have been amicable, but it must have been relatively major for Miller to wave goodbye to such a lucrative and beloved property.
This is the sort of instability that could make fans a little worried about Deadpool 2. The first film did so well because it turned out to be everything that the fans have always wanted from the character and Reynolds proved to be the perfect lead to help the character into multiplexes. It’s likely that Fox will “do a Marvel” and grab themselves an equally competent director for hire who is more than capable, but will it replicate the magic? Deadpool 2 will be released in January 2018.
Baldwin is the boss… baby
This is a bit of a weird one. For a while now, DreamWorks has had a movie called The Boss Baby on its slate. It has been pushed back several times, but the film is due to arrive in March 2017 and has a bizarrely brilliant trailer. The film sees a young boy become distrustful of his suit-wearing, malevolent baby brother, who soon turns out to be voiced by Alec Baldwin. It doesn’t seem like there’s much more explanation than that.
The trailer is really fun and The Boss Baby looks like one of those bizarre premises that only seems to work in an animated movie. It’s a little disappointing that the trailer chose to spoil the big Baldwin reveal, but it’s understandable that they need the hook in order to sell the movie. I will certainly be there ready to watch the film when it finally shows up.
Which of the new superhero movie trailers is your favourite? Do you think Donald Glover is the right choice for Lando Calrissian? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.