The road to the Oscars continues to twist and turn, with two almost entirely new contenders hopping into the race as a result of the WGA Awards. Pixar also popped up to tear the wrapping paper off the plot for one of its most highly anticipated upcoming movies and there was an interesting nugget of information about the new Roald Dahl movies that are currently working their way through the Hollywood system.
Here’s your weekly news round-up…
Incredibles 2 trailer takes new hero approach
This week, we got the first full-length trailer for Pixar’s long-awaited sequel Incredibles 2. It’s an intriguing and different take on the superhero story, following a narrative in which Elastigirl is tapped to become a famous new hero, leaving Mr Incredible to spend time at home raising the children. The trailer showcases his troubles as he attempts to run the family home, while toddler Jack-Jack discovers his own mysterious super powers.
It’s a really fun teaser that suggests Pixar has put serious time and effort into getting the plot of this one right. It would have been easy to put together either a generic superhero sequel or turn to parody for a family-friendly Deadpool equivalent. With its refreshing gender politics and character-focused story, it’s destined to be something unique and compelling. Incredibles 2 is due to hit UK cinemas in July.
Get Out and CMBYN win top WGA honours
Awards season rumbles on and, this week, it was the turn of the Writers’ Guild of America. The WGA Awards handed its prize for Original Screenplay to Jordan Peele for Get Out and its Adapted Screenplay gong to James Ivory for Call Me By Your Name. These men are now likely to win the same awards when the time comes for the Oscars to be handed out.
Both of these awards are richly deserved given the quality of both of these films. Peele’s work in Get Out is multi-layered and complex, while Ivory perfectly captures the short-lived, fleeting feeling of young love with his sun-baked romance. If these awards are replicated on Oscar night, I would be very pleased, particularly as neither of these movies are likely to be rewarded in other categories.
Paddington director eyeing Wonka movie
When the prospect of a new Willy Wonka movie was announced last year, it felt like a cynical and unnecessary move. Part of that cynicism has now fallen away, for me at least, as a result of The Hollywood Reporter revealing that Paddington director Paul King is now in the frame to make the film. There’s also, apparently, a new take on The Witches in play, with Robert Zemeckis circling as director and a script by Guillermo del Toro.
This is an intriguing move for this world, which is being developed over at Warner Bros. King is a director with a unique sense of charming British fun and so it will be interesting to see his take on Wonka. If it can get even close to the tone of the Paddington movies, it’s going to be a delight. That’s before we even get to the prospect of Del Toro getting his hands on The Witches, which is enough to make anybody excited.
Potter director to helm Five Nights at Freddy’s
The prospect of a film adaptation of horror video game phenomenon Five Nights at Freddy’s has been floating in the ether for quite some time, with the director of the Poltergeist remake on board to get behind the camera at one stage. This week, though, we got some concrete development with the news via Deadline that Blumhouse now has the rights to the property and has hired Chris Columbus to direct. Columbus made the first two Harry Potter movies, as well as Home Alone, and wrote creature feature Gremlins.
Given the enthusiasm around Five Nights at Freddy’s and the current hot streak over at Blumhouse, this is an interesting project. It’s particularly intriguing to see Columbus step up to the forefront, given how quiet he has been since disastrous fantasy comedy Pixels in 2015. The next question to answer is whether this will be more in the vein of Amblin’s darker fantasies or whether it will be the kind of fully adult scary movie that is usually the Blumhouse approach. Either way, it’s an interesting one.
McCarthy and Haddish set for serious team-up
Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish are set to star in a movie together. That news isn’t all that remarkable, until you hear that it’s a serious mob drama based on a DC comic book. Deadline revealed this week that the two will join forces for The Kitchen, which follows a trio of mob wives who take on their husband’s enterprises in brutal fashion when their spouses end up in prison. Andrea Berloff, who has a screenplay credit on Straight Outta Compton, will make her directorial debut in the movie.
This is a very novel movie and one that has real potential to be a stunning piece of work. McCarthy and Haddish are an interesting combination, especially given the fact they’re set to be playing so completely against type. There’s also plenty of reasons to support the movie given its status as a very rare major movie that’s led by women and directed by a woman as well. I will certainly be following this project closely.
Ethan Hawke to play electricity pioneer Tesla
The scientific pioneer Nikola Tesla is due to make an appearance in delayed drama The Current War, played by Nicholas Hoult, years after he was memorably played by David Bowie in The Prestige. This week, we learned that he is set to be depicted on the big screen yet again in a new movie called Tesla, according to Screen Daily, with Ethan Hawke in talks to portray him.
Tesla is a compelling, if often marginalised, scientific figure and it’s in fact oddly appropriate that he has been kept to the sidelines in supporting roles for most of his major big screen portrayals. It seems Tesla will be something of an antidote to this, with the man himself taking centre stage. Hawke is a solid character actor and a decent choice to lead a Tesla movie, but it will be interesting to see what kind of release the movie is able to muster.
Jason Statham in talks for action thriller
STX Films has taken the decision to revive a script that has been in and out of development hell for more than 20 years. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the studio has picked up action thriller The Killer’s Game and is looking to attach Jason Statham to the leading role. Genre director DJ Caruso is on board to helm the movie. The script focuses on an assassin who orders a hit on himself when he is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, only to learn that he’s not ill after all and must now outwit the hitmen on his tail.
This sounds like a great premise for a movie and, if you want to get an action movie made, casting Statham is as good a move as any. For some reason, though, it has struggled to make it to the big screen since even before the book was published in 1997. It now seems to have a real opportunity to finally see the light of day.
What did you think of Pixar’s brand new trailer for Incredibles 2? Are you excited to see Paul King take on Willy Wonka? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.