It has been another quiet week in the world of movies, with the news agenda dominated by the new trailer for Martin Scorsese‘s highly anticipated new religious epics. Silence has been kept mostly under wraps ahead of its prime awards season release at the end of the year.
Elsewhere, Pixar debuted an unusual first look at the considerably less highly anticipated Cars 3 and we got a look at the film’s that have proved to be the biggest financial flops of 2016. There was also some exciting news about the next project on the slate of Britain’s most eclectic filmmaker Ben Wheatley.
Here’s your round-up of the week’s movie news.
Scorsese unveils religious epic Silence
There has been plenty of intrigue surrounding Martin Scorsese’s historical drama Silence, which has been pegged to a prime awards season release date. Like his previous work, The Wolf of Wall Street, this is a film of epic length, this time focusing on Jesuit missionaries Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver who risk violence when they travel to Japan to track down their mentor Liam Neeson. This week heralded the first trailer for the film, which certainly suggests it’s something epic and heavyweight for the central actors.
It’s an intriguing trailer with some very evocative images that still keeps much of the narrative details under a shroud. Scorsese, though, is one of the all-time great filmmakers and he’s in a very interesting phase of his career right now. It also looks like a prime opportunity for a roster of great actors to get their teeth into really interesting material and potentially secure awards success. Silence is set for a New Year’s Day release in the UK after debuting in the USA just before Christmas.
Grimsby among 2016’s biggest flops
The tedious action-comedy Grimsby and the horror-themed period drama Pride and Prejudice and Zombies are among the biggest financial flops of 2016, according to Forbes‘ annual list. The list was topped by Max Steel, which only made $4.4m against its $10m budget, and barely even made an appearance in UK cinemas.
Many of the entries on the Forbes list are unsurprising, but there are some that are rather depressing. It’s disappointing that the genuinely excellent Lonely Island musical comedy Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping made it on to the list in third place, having only made $9.5m from a $20m budget. That’s a film that deserved to make far more of an impression on audiences than it did.
Pixar gives us first glimpse of darker Cars 3
Pixar’s next film, set for release in the summer, is one that almost nobody actually wants to see. Cars 3 will follow Lightning McQueen as he is forced out of racing and must fight to get back into the sport. A teaser trailer for Cars 3 debuted this week and it has a surprisingly dark tinge to it. It’s a high-octane clip that showcases a rather grim colour palette and a seemingly devastating crash. It’s like Batman v Superman, but for animated vehicles.
This is one of the more bizarre teaser trailers I have seen this year and it does absolutely nothing to make the Cars franchise seem more exciting. It has produced two of Pixar’s lesser releases and this looks like it may just be another attempt to sell lunchboxes and t-shirts. Cars 3 will arrive in UK cinemas in June 2017.
Alien: Covenant poster issues ominous warning
It seems like a long time since we last heard from the Alien universe and now we are finally drawing close to the release of Alien: Covenant – Ridley Scott‘s follow-up to Prometheus. This week, a new poster for the film debuted online, featuring the fierce jaws of a xenomorph and the simple, but terrifying, tagline “run”. The poster also announced a new release date for the film, brought forward from August to May.
It’s a simple, but chillingly effective poster that recalls the truly iconic one sheet for the original Alien film. Scott has certainly put a great deal of time into getting Covenant right and, given how much a lot of people – this writer excluded – disliked Prometheus, he will benefit fro having a rather low bar to vault. Alien: Covenant is set to arrive in cinemas in May 2017.
Work begins on Wedding Crashers sequel
Following this year’s Zoolander 2 and Bad Santa 2, the noughties comedy well is set to be visited again for another belated sequel. Wedding Crashers 2 is in the works over at New Line Cinema, according to a report by Variety. Isla Fisher, who appeared in the original 2005 film, dropped the news in an interview where she was promoting her new film Nocturnal Animals. It remains to be seen at this stage how many of the original cast members will be involved.
It’s unsurprising that such a popular comedy hit is ripe for a reboot. It’s a little more surprising, though, given the relative lack of critical or commercial success that these sequels have found. Wedding Crashers doesn’t exactly seem like the most obvious choice for a sequel, but it’s clear that New Line is desperate for the injection of cash that a sequel could provide.
Ben Wheatley teams with Hiddleston again
Warner Bros is looking to team with Brit director Ben Wheatley to develop an adaptation of the Frank Miller and Geof Darrow comic Hard Boiled, according to Deadline. The story follows an insurance investigator who finds out he is actually a homicidal cyborg tax collector… apparently. Wheatley is being eyed to direct, with his High-Rise lead actor Tom Hiddleston reportedly in the frame for the central role.
Wheatley is a compelling director and the weirdness of the project seems like a logical next step for his increasingly varied filmography. He will be an interesting choice for such an odd film and Hiddleston is the kind of leading man who can sell the story without a problem. The prospect of the duo becoming the new De Niro and Scorsese partnership on the big screen is a mouth-watering one and should produce some truly great movies. Hopefully, Hard Boiled will be one of them.
Legendary acquires rights to oddball sci-fi Dune
Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel Dune has proved to be a rather slippery property to adapt, with Jodorowsky unable to get it together and David Lynch‘s version turning out to be something of a flop, despite its weirdo charm. Legendary Entertainment has now acquired the rights to the story from the Herbert estate and is looking to put together a new adaptation, according to Empire. We do not as yet know whether this will be in the form of a film or a TV show.
Dune is a bizarre story and it’s a tough one for any filmmaker to distill into a coherent work of narrative cinema. This suggests that a TV show is far more likely, allowing the tale of the Atreides family to spin into a lengthier, more detailed take on the original material. Either way, things are going to get strange… whether Sting shows up again or not.
What did you think of the trailer for Silence? Can Cars 3 turn around the course of that franchise? Did the biggest flops of the year deserve to fall on their faces? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.