News Round-up – Golden Globe winners, BAFTA and DGA noms, DiCaprio joins Manson movie and more

Awards season rumbles on, with the Golden Globes lifting the curtain for the first major ceremony on the road to this year’s Oscars. It was the spiky Southern drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri that emerged victorious, but gender equality was the big message of the night, intensified by comments surrounding the all-male director shortlist, which was replicated by the BAFTAs later in the week.

Elsewhere, there were mixed fortunes in the Fox superhero stable and Leonardo DiCaprio joined one of the buzziest projects currently bubbling away in Hollywood.

Here’s your movie news round-up for the week…


Three Billboards reigns supreme at Globes

Frances McDormand is hoovering up awards for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Frances McDormand is hoovering up awards for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The #MeToo movement was at the centre of the Golden Globes ceremony, most notably in Oprah Winfrey‘s brilliant speech while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award. On the awards front, though, it was a great night for Three Billboards, which nabbed four gongs, including Best Film (Drama) and Best Original Screenplay. The film also won half of the acting awards in the drama world, while Gary Oldman won Best Actor for his performance in Darkest Hour. Over on the comedy side, Lady Bird was the big winner and is now looking like the closest contender to Martin McDonagh‘s film at the Oscars.

Three Billboards is now firmly minted as the frontrunner in the Oscars race, not least because of Frances McDormand‘s ferocious central performance. Gary Oldman now seems likely to win Best Actor, barring a major rush for either Call Me By Your Name or The Disaster Artist. I wrote a more detailed account of what the Globes mean for the rest of awards season over at Flickering Myth.


Gender row dominates BAFTA/DGA shortlists

DGA-nominated directors Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele (Photos: Sidewalks and Kevin Edwards)

The question of all-male director shortlists was a hot topic this week following Natalie Portman‘s comment when reading out the shortlist at the Globes. The discussion was only intensified when the BAFTAs announced the nominees and also managed to ignore women entirely, despite the critical success of Greta Gerwig‘s Lady Bird and Patty Jenkins for Wonder Woman. Indeed, the BAFTAs were a strange beast across the board, displaying far more love for British cinema than usual, with multiple nods for both Paddington 2 and Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, as well as a real push for Blade Runner 2049.

Elsewhere, the DGA Awards revealed their shortlist for the best director of the year, which did feature Greta Gerwig, as well as a perhaps surprising nod for Jordan Peele‘s Get Out. The DGA Award is a reliable predictor for the Best Director Oscar and has only been wrong on two occasions in the last 15 years, so this bodes well for Gerwig and Peele. It bodes considerably less well for Steven Spielberg, who was the most notable absentee, for The Post.


Leo joins Tarantino’s Manson murders movie

Leonardo DiCaprio takes to the stage at the 2017 Oscars
Leonardo DiCaprio takes to the stage at the 2017 Oscars (Photo: ABC/Eddy Chen)

In news that confirms a long-standing casting rumour, Deadline wrote this week that Leonardo DiCaprio has said yes to take on a role in Quentin Tarantino‘s new movie. This is of course the rather cloudy movie Tarantino is working on that is set in Hollywood during the Manson family murders, with Margot Robbie reportedly in the frame to play Sharon Tate. Tarantino has said the movie is not about Charles Manson, but is set in Hollywood at the time the murders were taking place.

This feels like an odd move from DiCaprio. He will certainly be keen to work with Tarantino again after the director handed him a plum role in Django Unchained, but this project has enormous potential to be offensive. Tarantino is doubling down on his own preferences of late and so such sensitive material seems ill-fitting. The movie, which is currently without a title, is set for a release in August 2019.


Verbinski steps aside as Gambit director

Gore Verbinski at the premiere of The Lone Ranger in 2013
Gore Verbinski at the premiere of The Lone Ranger in 2013 (Photo: Michael Buckner/InsideTheMagic)

The Gambit movie is seemingly cursed. Over the years, it has stopped and started so many times and lost enough directors to make Kathleen Kennedy envious. This week, another one bit the dust as Variety reported that Gore Verbinski has now stepped aside from the movie, just as it looked as if it was finally going to get started. Channing Tatum is still attached to star as the card-throwing fan favourite mutant.

This is another unusual sidestep for a project that has seemed doomed for a very long time. I imagine that execs at Fox are currently trying to frantically pluck a director-for-hire from the Hollywood machine to fill the void here. The Gambit movie has now been pushed back to June 2019, which still seems like a rather ambitious move given the current state of affairs.


J-Law goes undercover for Red Sparrow trailer

Jennifer Lawrence stars in espionage thriller Red Sparrow
Jennifer Lawrence stars in espionage thriller Red Sparrow

Jennifer Lawrence is in need of a hit right now after a couple of high-profile bum notes in her career. This week, we got our first full trailer for espionage thriller Red Sparrow, in which J-Law reteams with Hunger Games filmmaker Francis Lawrence. She plays a woman recruited as a Sparrow – a particular brand of spy trained to seduce men. This trailer then delves into the role of a CIA man who tries to turn her away from her ingrained brainwashing.

This is a solid trailer and Lawrence seems to be just about able to maintain the unusual accent she’s doing. It seems to be a very atmospheric film, but there’s a problem here in that the trailer appears to spoil almost the entire plot. Hopefully there will be plenty of surprises saved for the actual film. Red Sparrow is due out in UK cinemas in March.


Marvel hires writer for Black Widow solo movie

Scarlett Johansson as Marvel hero Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson as Marvel hero Black Widow

There was long overdue news coming out of Marvel this week. Variety revealed the studio is moving ahead with a solo movie for Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and has hired writer Jac Schaeffer to put together a script. Schaeffer broke out with a Black List script about an alien invasion during a baby shower and was subsequently hired to write Nasty Women – a female-led remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Marvel has consistently been behind on female-led superhero movies, with Captain Marvel set to be the first one in March 2019.

This is very welcome news indeed. Black Widow has been a fan favourite character in the MCU for many years and she has long deserved the chance to step into the spotlight for a solo outing. Scarlett Johansson has spent the last few years taking on action leading roles, as if trying to prove to Marvel that she is more than capable of kicking arse on her own without men to surround her.


Kitty Pryde movie happening over at Fox

Ellen Page has portrayed Kitty Pryde in the X-Men universe
Ellen Page has portrayed Kitty Pryde in the X-Men universe

In further good news for superhero movie fan favourites, Fox is currently hard at work on a solo film outing for Kitty Pryde, who has been portrayed by Ellen Page in previous X-Men movies. Collider wrote this week that Deadpool director Tim Miller is currently developing the project, alongside the million other things he is doing. There’s no word as to whether this film will be a priority at the studio, particularly as they are currently in the middle of being sold to Disney.

It’s an understandable move to at least get the ball rolling on a Kitty Pryde movie as the character is incredibly popular. I would remain sceptical though as to whether this will ever make it to the big screen, particularly as it is unlikely to get started before the Disney sale goes through, which could completely change the approach to the X-Men franchise. It’s a nice way to throw a bone to fans of the character, though, who have seen years of Wolverine-centric X-Men movies pass by.


Do you think the right films emerged victorious from the Golden Globes? Are you excited to see what Quentin Tarantino can do with the Manson family story? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.

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