It’s been a rather quiet week in movie land, with much of the discussion focusing on the chaotic climax to the Oscars ceremony and the subsequent reprisals from that particular fiasco. However, the release of Logan has yielded a first look at Fox’s other major solo superhero with Deadpool 2.
Elsewhere, as we begin to move towards the summer blockbuster season, there were trailers for several of the biggest movies on the way in the next six months or so. There was also some major controversy around the release of a new Disney film and the announcement that one of the most successful animated films of last year is set to receive its inevitable sequel.
Here’s your movie news round-up…
Reynolds unleashes first glimpse of Deadpool 2
It’s tradition for superhero movies to come packaged with a post-credits teaser hinting at the next film in that particular franchise. Logan is an atypical superhero film in just about every way and its credits end only in a black screen. In some US cinemas, however, the film has come with a pre-credits teaser for Deadpool 2 and, courtesy of star Ryan Reynolds, that teaser has now appeared online. It depicts Wade Wilson taking an age to change into his superhero garb in a phone box and, as a result, he is unable to save the victim of a mugging from being shot dead.
In keeping with the tone of Deadpool, this is a funny teaser but not one that tells us a great deal about the upcoming film from John Wick co-director David Leitch. It serves its purpose to whet the appetite of fans, but I’m very glad it didn’t arrive as a post-credits sting as it would not have fitted with the downbeat ending of Logan at all. Deadpool 2 is due in March 2018.
Gad puts Alabama off Beauty and the Beast
Much was made this week of the announcement that Gaston’s buddy LeFou, played by Josh Gad, would be explicitly homosexual in the upcoming live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. Director Bill Condon told Attitude that there would be an “exclusively gay moment” with the character at the end, whatever that means. Perhaps predictably, this undeniably progressive move has ruffled some conservative feathers and the Henagar Drive-In Theatre in Alabama has announced it will not screen the film. In a statement, the cinema said that it was tired of companies trying to “force their views” on exhibitors and followed it up with some right-wing Christian babble.
This cinema’s decision is utter nonsense. No one is going to be offended by a gay character, particularly given that it seems there isn’t going to be a great deal of time focused on his sexuality. It’s particularly galling for this to happen just a week after a film like Moonlight, which tells the story of a man struggling with his sexuality, was lauded with the highest prize in cinema. Beauty and the Beast will be out in UK cinemas on March 17.
Creepy CGI Depp stars in Pirates 5 trailer
It’s the sequel almost no one was asking for. Six years after the entirely forgettable On Stranger Tides, the swashbuckling Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is back with either Dead Men Tell No Tales or Salazar’s Revenge depending on where in the world you are. Johnny Depp has been almost entirely absent from marketing materials thus far, but there’s no escaping him in this new trailer, which is Depp-heavy. Most unsettling, though, is that the trailer features several shots of a young version of Jack Sparrow, in which Depp is rendered several years younger with some terrifying CGI.
The trailer is frankly terrible, suggesting that this is going to be closer to the soul-destroying tedium of the last film than the genuine adventure movie thrills of the 2003 original. Depp is on 100% irritant form and, despite Javier Bardem‘s intriguing villain, it doesn’t look like there’s much new ground being explored. Hopefully there won’t be very much of the weird CGI Depp when Salazar’s Revenge hits UK cinemas in May.
Timberlake and Kendrick back for Trolls 2
It got a fair amount of flak from some critics, but I thought Trolls was a delightfully sweet addition to last year’s strong crop of animated films. A sequel was inevitable and Deadline confirmed the news this week that Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake will return for another crack at the colourful world in Trolls 2. Someone who definitely won’t be returning is director Mike Mitchell because he has signed on to make the sequel to The Lego Movie.
I’m thrilled to see that Trolls is getting a sequel because it was a genuine delight of a film. It didn’t have the weight and maturity that has come to characterise the outputs of Pixar and parent company Disney, but that didn’t stop it being fiercely entertaining throughout, bolstered by some fun musical numbers.
From subtle animation to metal on metal action
After the elegant beauty of Oscar-nominated animation Kubo and the Two Strings, we were all wondering what the next step would be for first-time director and Laika CEO Travis Knight. We got our answer this week, but it wasn’t the one we expected. According to Deadline, Knight is going to take the helm of Bumblebee – a spin-off of the decidedly bone-headed Transformers franchise. The film will be Knight’s first foray into the world of live-action.
My knowledge of the material for this film stretches about as far as knowing that Bumblebee is the yellow one in Transformers. On the face of it, this seems like a major step down for Knight, who should be taking on far more interesting material than this. However, it’s possible that this could be a new direction for the Transformers universe that could see it diversify in order to tell more intelligent stories. In that case, Knight could prove to be a very good choice.
Guardians 2 trailer yields Groot GIFs aplenty
The marketing campaign for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is continuing apace. This week, we got a new trailer that gives ample time to the entire ensemble cast for the film. Zoe Saldana actually gets to say some lines as Gamora this time around. It’s another teaser packed with visual gags, mostly centered around the utterly adorable Baby Groot, and it culminates in Kurt Russell announcing himself as Star Lord’s father.
The final moment is something that should almost certainly have been saved for the movie, but it’s a cool reveal to see Russell on screen and spend a few seconds with all of the members of the now expanded team. The Guardians live in one of the most interesting corners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and, if it’s even half as good as the first, this could well be the year’s most entertaining superhero movie. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will be released in the UK in April.
Hoult boards new Lanthimos period drama
Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos won himself a whole load of fans with oddball romance The Lobster, which was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at last week’s Oscars. His next film is period drama The Favourite, in which Lobster star Rachel Weisz is joined by Emma Stone. This week, Deadline reported that British actor Nicholas Hoult has been added to the cast. Hoult will play a Tory leader during the reign of Queen Anne at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century.
Lanthimos is an intriguing director and this film is amassing a very impressive cast indeed. On the face of it, The Favourite seems as if it could be a rather conventional period drama, but that’s not really Lanthimos’ style. I think we can prime ourselves for something a little unusual.
Did you enjoy the first teaser for Deadpool 2? Did you actually like the CGI version of a young Johnny Depp? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.
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