It has been a busy week in the world of movie news, with several major projects moving forward and some big looks at many of the biggest blockbusters that are on the way. We finally got a look at what offbeat director Taika Waititi has planned for the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thor: Ragnarok and Deadpool 2 added a major new character to its cast.
Elsewhere, several actors moved out of the superhero arena to take on some interesting other projects and Steven Spielberg began to amass a frankly remarkable cast list for a major upcoming drama based on true political events.
Here’s your movie news round-up…
Thor: Ragnarok reveals new-look Avenger
We’ve been starved of information on Thor: Ragnarok for quite some time now, so it was exciting this week to see a full preview in Entertainment Weekly that gave us a tonne of photos from the set and some intriguing details about the film from Hunt for the Wilderpeople director Taika Waititi. It seems as if the film, despite its apocalyptic title, will have a more quirky tone than its predecessor and, perhaps most importantly, Chris Hemsworth is sporting a cropped, short hairdo. There’s also goth-styled Cate Blanchett as the villainous Hela and Jeff Goldblum looking beautifully barmy as The Grandmaster.
For the last few years, Marvel has been fielding accusations that its movies are becoming formulaic and a little dull. It seems as if Ragnarok, which appears to have a lot of Waititi in its DNA, might well be the antidote to that. This time, Guardians of the Galaxy might have a rival for its title of the funniest film in the Marvel world. Thor: Ragnarok is due to hit UK cinemas in October 2017.
Elgort revs up for Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver
As a result of his much-publicised departure from Marvel’s Ant-Man, we haven’t seen a film from British auteur Edgar Wright since the Cornetto trilogy concluded with The World’s End in 2013. That’s set to change this year with action thriller Baby Driver, which sees Ansel Elgort play a getaway driver completing the archetypal “one last job” for crime boss Kevin Spacey. The first trailer for the film landed this week and it has all of the Wright standards of swift editing, slick action and quips aplenty.
This trailer suggests that Baby Driver is going to be everything that Wright fans want it to be. It looks like a riotously fun action movie with the kind of offbeat style that Wright has become known for, complete with fun performances from Elgort, Spacey and a hilariously aggressive Jamie Foxx. If I wasn’t sold already, I certainly am now. Baby Driver is due to skid into British cinemas in August 2017.
Deadpool 2 finally casts its Domino
The casting of Domino in the upcoming superhero romp Deadpool 2 has been hotly speculated about online for quite some time, with Janelle Monae briefly linked to the role this week. The film’s star, Ryan Reynolds, quickly put an end to the rampant discussions this week, though, when he announced that Atlanta actress Zazie Beetz will portray the role. Domino was created as part of a government programme to create the perfect weapon and ended up as an exceptionally talented mercenary.
Deadpool 2 is becoming an increasingly intriguing prospect and, if it can mimic the comedic tone of the original film, then it’s almost certainly going to be another R-rated smash hit for the Fox-owned corner of the Marvel canon. David Leitch, co-director of the first John Wick film, is in the hotseat for this one, which does not currently have a release date set in stone.
Green rejoins Burton for new take on Dumbo
A reunion could be on the cards for Eva Green and Tim Burton. The director is currently working on a live-action remake of the Disney animated classic Dumbo and it looks as if the star of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children could be joining him, according to a report in Deadline. As well as playing the title role in Burton’s last film, Green worked with the director in TV adaptation Dark Shadows and it looks like the pair are great buddies at the moment. Deadline also revealed this week that Danny DeVito is in talks to take on a role in the film.
Thus far, the Disney live-action remake series has yielded a succession of very strong films, including last year’s exceptional The Jungle Book. Green and DeVito would be two solid additions to the cast for Dumbo and there’s no evidence to suggest that this is going to be anything other than a great success for Disney. Hopefully Burton can avoid the somewhat wonky form that has soured his recent career.
Robbie to lead female-led spin on Robin Hood
Margot Robbie is choosing intriguing projects at the moment and her latest one is an inversion of a classic tale. According to Deadline, Robbie will play the title role in Marian, which follows Maid Marian in an alternate take on the story. In this iteration of the tale, she takes up the cause after Robin Hood dies before her eyes. Given the fact that Robbie very nearly made something out of nothing with her take on Jane in The Legend of Tarzan, she’s an obvious choice to play this part.
Given that there seems to be hundreds of different Robin Hood projects on the way into cinemas, you’d be forgiven for suggesting that there doesn’t need to be another. This one, however, is an intriguing new take with a feminist edge and a killer star in Robbie. It’s different enough that it could rise above the pack to become a unique and entertaining blockbuster.
Hugh Jackman takes on Ferrari creator role
Hugh Jackman is currently wowing cinemagoers with his sweary, violent swansong as Wolverine in Logan. He has lined up his next project as well, playing car entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari in Michael Mann‘s drama Ferrari. It was revealed in Deadline that Jackman will play the motoring man in the drama, with Noomi Rapace set to portray his estranged wife. The film will dramatise the tense entrepreneurial battle between Ferrari and rival car manufacturer Maserati.
This sounds like a really fun movie and Jackman should do a great job in a role that allows him to be a little more restrained than either an all-singing musical or a violent superhero opus. Mann’s last film Blackhat was something of a disappointment, but this should hopefully see the filmmaker back on top form.
Spielberg assembles A-list for Pentagon Papers
Steven Spielberg is mounting an ambitious big screen take on the story of the Pentagon Papers and, according to a report this week in Deadline, he’s also assembling a remarkable cast of heavy-hitting A-list actors. The director has recruited both Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks to star in The Post, which dramatises the efforts of Washington Post journalists to expose the papers, which related to American involvement in Vietnam.
Given the Oscars success of Spotlight last year, tales of investigative journalism at its best are in vogue in the world of cinema at the moment. It’s difficult to imagine a more heavyweight trio than Spielberg, Streep and Hanks, so all signs point to this being an Oscar-worthy take on a hugely important story. With those three, it should walk its way into the Dolby Theater and wander out weighed down with silverware.
What do you think of our first look at Thor: Ragnarok? Are you excited to see what Edgar Wright’s new film has to offer? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.
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