News Round-up – Shape of Water leads Oscar nominations, John Cena to be Duke Nukem, Cloverfield sequel and more

This is one of those weeks where it almost feels redundant to discuss other movie news because there’s only really one story in town. Tuesday saw the Oscar nominations handed out, with all of the expected films doing well, but some surprising nods appearing to create one of the most diverse shortlists in a very long time.

Elsewhere, though, John Cena is in the mix for a big video game movie, the Cloverfield universe is taking yet another left turn and there’s a new trailer for that film where John Boyega is going to do the most perfect Idris Elba impression ever performed.

Here’s your movie news round-up…


Shape of Water leads Oscar nominations

Sally Hawkins stars in Guillermo del Toro monster movie The Shape of Water
Sally Hawkins stars in Guillermo del Toro monster movie The Shape of Water

A few years ago, the notion that a film like The Shape of Water, which is a dark fantasy and interspecies romance, could be nominated for Oscars would seem a strange one. However, this week, Guillermo del Toro‘s film landed 13 noms, leading the field among a diverse selection of contenders. The other heavy hitters are Dunkirk, with eight nominations, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri which managed seven nods. The big surprise was that the brilliant social satire Get Out netted four nods, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor.

This was perhaps the most interesting list of Oscar nominations in years and there was certainly a stronger showing than usual for genre movies. It will likely be Three Billboards that emerges with the lion’s share of the prizes, but it would be nice to see at least a degree of recognition for Get Out and Del Toro deserves to be recognised as Best Director. The Oscars ceremony will take place on March 4.


John Cena to star in Duke Nukem movie

John Cena speaks at a charity event in 2014 (Photo: Elvert Barnes)

As he attempts to mount a movie career on the level of former WWE rival Dwayne Johnson, wrestling legend John Cena is eyeing another major action role. He’s in talks with Paramount and Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes company to potentially play the lead in a movie adaptation of video game franchise Duke Nukem, according to a report in Variety this week. The character seems like an ideal fit for Cena, given Nukem’s status as a cigar-chomping tough guy, but there’s plenty of potential for him to exercise his more tongue in cheek personality as well.

The world of video game adaptations is still waiting for its first major success. Though there’s some intrigue on the surface of this one, it’s troubling to see Platinum Dunes involved, which immediately causes the spectre of Michael Bay to inevitably hover somewhere in the background of it all. That’s enough to make me wonder whether this is going to be anything other than a bangy smashy mess. I live in hope.


Cloverfield sequel could jump to Netflix

John Goodman gets terrifying in 10 Cloverfield Lane
John Goodman gets terrifying in 10 Cloverfield Lane

It seems that the ideas-heavy sci-fi Annihilation won’t be the only film first pegged for cinema release to actually head straight to Netflix this year. The Hollywood Reporter wrote this week that Cloverfield universe movie God Particle could bypass cinemas entirely and head straight to the streaming service. The story says Paramount’s new chairman has “looked at what is theatrical” in recent months and is making some tough decisions as to which films are pushed into multiplexes. It also suggests producer JJ Abrams may have had his focus shifted when he was unexpectedly handed the reins of the ninth Star Wars movie.

This is an interesting one and, ultimately, these deals will only serve to benefit Netflix. The service is good at pushing things hard when it thinks they will do well and that’s something that would certainly apply to a Cloverfield sequel. It’s also going to get the film seen by the widest possible audience, which could lead to even further expansion of a franchise that, after the wonderful 10 Cloverfield Lane, is looking like it has limitless reach.


Flanagan does more King with Doctor Sleep

Stephen King tale Doctor Sleep is a sequel to The Shining
Stephen King tale Doctor Sleep is a sequel to The Shining

Everyone might have been talking about It and its scary clown, but the best Stephen King adaptation of 2017 was Gerald’s Game, directed by Mike Flanagan and released straight to Netflix. For his next horror outing, Flanagan is taking on King once again and the daunting prospect of following up The Shining with sequel novel Doctor Sleep, Variety reports. Warner Bros has hired Flanagan to rewrite the existing script, which follows an adult Danny Torrance, as well as take the helm as director.

This is immediately one of the most exciting horror projects currently being developed in Hollywood. Flanagan is a safe pair of hands in the world of genre cinema, capable of incredibly impressive movies from Oculus to the surprisingly brilliant Ouija: Origin of Evil. If anyone is going to be capable of directing a sequel to The Shining and not being daunted by the pressure, it’s him.


Pacific Rim trailer shows Jaegers in action

A Jaeger prepares for action in the trailer for Pacific Rim: Uprising
A Jaeger prepares for action in the trailer for Pacific Rim: Uprising

The most remarkable thing about the publicity for Pacific Rim: Uprising has been how much John Boyega has managed to sound like his screen father Idris Elba. A new trailer for the movie landed online this week, showcasing Boyega’s rebellious youngster as he is brought back into the world of Jaeger pilots when a new threat means humanity needs all the help it can get in fighting back the monsters from the deep.

For the first time, this looks like a worthy successor to Guillermo del Toro’s original movie. Boyega is certainly a charismatic leading man and there’s a decent narrative thread here that, if done right, will be more than capable of holding all of the robot-versus-monster carnage together. Pacific Rim: Uprising is due to arrive in UK cinemas in March 2018.


Mission: Impossible 6 gets non-descript title

Tom Cruise will dangle from things again in Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Tom Cruise will dangle from things again in Mission: Impossible – Fallout

In a world where blockbuster movies are marketed and almost completely screened in trailer form a long time before they arrive in cinemas, it’s somewhat unusual that the sixth Mission: Impossible movie managed to get this far without a formal title. That all changed this week when star Tom Cruise announced that the film will be titled Fallout and shared a picture of himself dangling from a helicopter… obviously. In a chat with Empire, director Christopher McQuarrie says the title has “multiple meanings” within the film.

This is about as bland a title for an action movie as it’s possible to come up with, reminiscent of a Resident Evil sequel more than anything else. The prospect of Tom Cruise doing increasingly mad action, though, is always exciting and there’s the chance to see Henry Cavill sporting the moustache that was almost big enough to sink Justice League completely. That has to be worth a ticket. Mission: Impossible – Fallout will be released into UK cinemas in July.


Sky to make the move into original films

Sky Cinema is due to start making original movies in the near future
Sky Cinema is due to start making original movies in the near future

Well, just about everyone else was doing it, so Sky has now announced it is going to make its own original movie content. Deadline revealed the early slate is a mixed bag of different movies, genres and budget levels, so there’s certainly going to be some variety on show. CGI animation Monster Family will be one of the first movies out of the blocks, along with action-thriller Hurricane Heist and sci-fi pic Anon.

This is an encouraging move as it’s always interesting to see another big name step into film production. There’s also intrigue in the fact these films will be made available via Sky Cinema as well as in traditional multiplexes. This kind of day-and-date release strategy is almost certainly the future of distribution and so, if it works here, this may be the kind of concept that is rolled out more and more.


Who do you think will emerge victorious when the Oscars are handed out in March? Are you excited to see a movie adaptation of Duke Nukem? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.

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