News Round-up – Beauty and the Beast trailer, Emilia Clarke joins Star Wars, Kong and more

There have been trailers flying in left, right and centre this week as many of 2017’s biggest blockbusters have started to fire their opening marketing salvos. Elsewhere, though, there was a relative lack of news as Warner Brothers sent Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them into cinemas, with the reviews and fallout from that movie dominating the film world.

Here’s your round-up of this week’s movie news…

 

Emma Watson meets the Beast in new trailer

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the new trailer for Beauty and the Beast
Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the new trailer for Beauty and the Beast

Disney’s latest live-action take on an animated classic is due next year in the shape of Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the title roles. Following a teaser earlier this year, we got the first full-length trailer for the film this week, in an almost shot-for-shot reimagining of the trailer for the 90s animated version of the story. It quickly took the internet by storm and broke the record for the most views on a trailer in the first 24 hours of release, dethroning Fifty Shades Darker.

It’s a tremendous fairytale trailer that suggests a traditional take on the material closer to Cinderella than The Jungle Book. Watson and Stevens look like they’re at home in their roles, with some impressive visual effects work enhancing the material. Disney is yet to put a foot wrong with its live-action reimaginings and it doesn’t look like they’re about to start now. Beauty in the Beast will be released in March 2017.

 

From dragons to Death Stars…

Emilia Clarke promotes Game of Thrones at Comic-Con in 2013
Emilia Clarke promotes Game of Thrones at Comic-Con in 2013 (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Elsewhere at Disney, the company is continuing to add exciting new wrinkles to the Star Wars universe, particularly in the case of the upcoming spin-off focusing on the youth of Han Solo. Alden Ehrenreich will play the roguish smuggler and Donald Glover is set to pop up as buddy Lando Calrissian. This week, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke was added to the cast. StarWars.com broke the news that Clarke will be in the film in an as yet unspecified role.

This is yet more intriguing casting for the Han Solo movie. On paper, an origin for Solo sounds like a pretty poor idea for a film and a blatant cash grab, but Disney is doing plenty to make it seem like a worthy concept. Not only have they cast exciting up-and-comers to fill the main roles, but they have also hired Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller to step behind the camera. The film is due to arrive in May 2018.

 

Kong goes ape in Skull Island trailer

Kong stands tall in the trailer for Kong: Skull Island
Kong stands tall in the trailer for Kong: Skull Island

Legendary has been rather quietly building its monsters franchise and will follow the divisive Godzilla with Kong: Skull Island, directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, best known for the great coming of age movie The Kings of Summer. After a coy teaser earlier in the year, the latest full trailer gives us a good look at the eponymous ape, suggesting this is going to be very different to the slow build and teasing of Godzilla. There’s also far more of the plot, which sees scientists disturbing the delicate life of Kong on his Pacific island.

It’s a very fun trailer, showcasing great monster action and some of the moments of levity that too many blockbusters don’t bother to convey. The monster looks great, whilst also maintaining a more classic aesthetic than the CGI-heavy Godzilla. We’re very short of genuinely fun blockbusters, but Kong: Skull Island looks like it might be something truly enjoyable when it arrives at UK multiplexes in March 2017.

 

Steve Carell set for Minecraft movie

Steve Carell attends the Australian premiere of Despicable Me 2 in 2013
Steve Carell attends the Australian premiere of Despicable Me 2 in 2013 (Photo: Eva Rinaldi)

The world-building video game Minecraft has been a genuine phenomenon for so long now though that it’s remarkable no one has made a film about it. That is set to change now thanks to Warner Brothers, who have just added the first big name to the movie in the shape of Steve Carell, according to Variety.

We know next to nothing about this film and it will be interesting to see where they go in terms of plot, considering that it’s not something which plays a major part in the game. That will either leave the film grasping for something interesting or it will allow the filmmakers to be incredibly creative. The Minecraft movie is set to arrive in cinemas in 2019.

 

Damon set for Ocean’s 8 cameo

Matt Damon meeting NASA scientists in 2015
Matt Damon meeting NASA scientists in 2015 (Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The all-female heist movie Ocean’s 8 already has an absolutely phenomenal cast, including many of Hollywood’s biggest female stars. It seems they may be joined by a face from the past in the film as Matt Damon, who played pickpocket Linus Caldwell in the previous Ocean’s trilogy, revealed this week that he is shooting a cameo for the movie. He told Entertainment Tonight that he is doing “a little bit” for the movie and added that the film is “going to be fun”.

The notion of an all-female reboot took a major blow earlier this year when Ghostbusters became something of a financial failure. Ocean’s 8, though, has attracted a hell of a cast. Damon’s involvement will be fun, but the filmmakers must be careful not to load the new film up with cameos and nods to the past. The cast here is so strong that they need to be allowed to work their magic. Ocean’s 8 is due in June 2018.

 

Jackson added to Brie Larson directorial debut

Samuel L Jackson attends a Comic-Con panel in 2013
Samuel L Jackson attends a Comic-Con panel in 2013 (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson is set to make her directorial debut with upcoming comedy Unicorn Store, which tells the story of a woman struggling to grow up. Larson has now added some big names to the cast in the shape of Samuel L Jackson, Joan Cusack and Bradley Whitford, according to a report in Variety. The film recently started shooting in LA.

It will be very interesting to see what Larson is able to pull off with her first movie as director, particularly given the fact that she is about to lose a lot of her time to a major Marvel Cinematic Universe role. Unicorn Store seems like a great string to her bow, though, amd there’s no doubt that Larson is currently one of Hollywood’s most exciting talents.

 

Jim Parsons cast in BuzzFeed drama

Jim Parsons speaks at Comic-Con in 2010
Jim Parsons speaks at Comic-Con in 2010 (Photo: Melody J Sandoval)

A charming-sounding movie about an internet phenomenon is currently in the works over at Warner Brothers. This week, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Jim Parsons, star of The Big Bang Theory, has been cast as BuzzFeed editor Matt Stopera in the upcoming friendship drama Brother Orange. The film will tell the story of the theft of Stopera’s phone in 2014, which was followed by the appearance of photos of a Chinese man in front of an orange tree on his photo stream. Both men became overnight celebrities when the story of ‘Brother Orange’ went viral.

Brother Orange sounds like it has a fun story behind it with plenty of charm. Parsons certainly has plenty of experience in this kind of part and has the star power to sell the movie to multiplex audiences. It certainly has to be less irritating than his work in animation Home.

 

Which big blockbuster trailer was your favourite? Will Emilia Clarke be a good addition to the Star Wars franchise? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.

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