News Round-up – Avengers: Infinity War and Fantastic Beasts trailers, DuVernay to direct comic book movie and more

This was a massive week for blockbuster movie trailers, with a new, full preview for Avengers: Infinity War and the first teaser for upcoming Harry Potter spin-off sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. These are two of the biggest movies set to hit cinemas this year and both trailers did plenty to whet the appetite of fans who have been anticipating these films for years.

Meanwhile, two black filmmakers appear to be in the frame for major comic book projects, in yet another big step forward for representation after the barn-storming success of Black Panther. Elsewhere, the speculation around the A-list cast of Quentin Tarantino‘s new film continues.

Here’s your movie news round-up…


Powers collide in new Infinity War trailer

Chris Pratt and Robert Downey Jr trade quips in Avengers: Infinity War
Chris Pratt and Robert Downey Jr trade quips in Avengers: Infinity War

When the first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War appeared online, social media was promptly filled with hype, speculation and all-out excitement. This week, a full trailer landed on the internet, delivering a steady stream of squee-worthy images and scenes to tease what is perhaps the most ambitious blockbuster movie ever attempted. The trailer shows Robert Downey Jr and Chris Pratt shooting verbal barbs at each other, as well as Captain America in Wakanda and Thanos squaring off with many of your favourite heroes.

The Russos certainly had their work cut out in putting something this huge together but, judging by everything we’ve seen thus far, this is set to be a compelling action movie up there with the best that Marvel has put out in the decade-long history of its cinematic universe. Avengers: Infinity War is due to hit UK cinemas in the last week of April. I will see you there, and at every subsequent showing for the next month.


Danny Boyle confirms work on Bond 25 script

Danny Boyle at the Toronto Film Festival in 2008
Danny Boyle at the Toronto Film Festival in 2008 (Photo: Gordon Correll)

In one of the most frequently misreported stories of the week, it has repeatedly been stated that Danny Boyle is confirmed as the director of the upcoming 25th Bond movie. However, the actual report courtesy of Metro US merely reveals that Boyle and Trainspotting collaborator John Hodge are working on a script for the film, with Boyle hoping to direct the movie at the end of this year, when he has finished work on his current comedy project. There’s no confirmation that he actually has that director’s chair yet.

Boyle feels like a rather safe choice for Bond, albeit the most palatable A-list choice possible. It’s only in recent years that the Bond franchise has reached for big name filmmakers, but Boyle will certainly be able to marshall the action and the comedy required to give Daniel Craig a fitting send-off for the role that has catapulted him into the upper echelons of Hollywood. Bond 25 is reportedly set for a release in 2019.


Hogwarts returns in trailer for Fantastic Beasts 2

Johnny Depp as the titular villain in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Johnny Depp as the titular villain in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

After months of debate, controversy and speculation about the decision to spotlight Johnny Depp‘s divisive take on dark wizard Grindelwald, we finally got a good look at the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel this week, with a first teaser trailer for The Crimes of Grindelwald. It’s a fairly bland re-introduction to the wizarding world, complete with the now-obligatory shared universe logo, but one that brings us back to Hogwarts and gives us a look at Jude Law‘s suave, young take on future headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

This was a disappointing trailer, but there are more than a few interesting touches to it all. Law looks to be providing a charismatic and different take on Dumbledore compared to what we have seen before. Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander looks set to be taking a key role in proceedings and there are also plenty of glimpses of Newt’s favourite creatures, ensuring that the eponymous beasts will not be sidelined by the spectre of Depp, who is somehow dressed even more oddly than he has been in previous publicity. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released in November.


DuVernay lines up DC comic book adaptation

Ava DuVernay promotes A Wrinkle in Time at D23 Expo
Ava DuVernay promotes A Wrinkle in Time at D23 Expo (Photo: Disney/Image Group LA)

With her massive Disney blockbuster A Wrinkle in Time about to land in UK cinemas, Ava DuVernay has come a long way since she was snubbed at the Oscars for Selma. According to Variety, DuVernay is to take the helm of another massive project in the shape of DC Extended Universe blockbuster New Gods. The story follows natives of the twin planets New Genesis and Apokolips, with the former idyllic and the latter a dystopia ruled by the tyrannical Darkseid, who has been hinted at as a future DCEU big bad.

This is another big move for DuVernay, who has been vocal about how New Gods character Big Barda is her favourite superhero character of all time. It’s a vote of confidence for the industry’s continuing steps forward in representation, with DuVernay the second woman to be hired to helm a DCEU film. She was the first woman of colour to be handed a budget in excess of $100m for A Wrinkle in Time and she will be working with a similarly hefty sack of cash here.


Margot Robbie begins talks for Tarantino role

Margot Robbie at Comic-Con in 2015
Margot Robbie at Comic-Con in 2015 (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Ever since the first announcement that Quentin Tarantino was working on the then-untitled project that would become Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the name of Margot Robbie has been attached to it. Robbie has been rumoured to play Manson family victim Sharon Tate, alongside the already confirmed Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. Those rumours took a step closer to truth this week, with the revelation in Deadline that Robbie has now been offered the role and is in negotiations to accept.

Everything about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood makes it sound like something rather icky, particularly as it is being timed to tie-in with the anniversary of the Manson murders. There’s no doubt, though, that the trio of DiCaprio, Pitt and Robbie would make for a compelling cast that could finally have the star power to get in the way of Tarantino’s recent exercises in tired self-indulgence. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is hitting UK cinemas in August 2019.


Lee to join Spidey universe with Nightwatch

Spike Lee at the 2011 Peabody Awards
Spike Lee at the 2011 Peabody Awards (Photo: Anders Krusberg/Peabody Awards)

Sony is looking to bring another Spider-Man character into its burgeoning universe, according to a report on The Hashtag Show this week. The site reports that Spike Lee is set to direct Nightwatch for the studio, as an extension of the universe it is getting started with Venom later this year. The alter ego of Nightwatch is Doctor Kevin Trench, who takes up the superhero mantle when he witnesses an older version of himself die while wearing the costume.

I still don’t hold out much hope for the Sony Spider-Man universe. Nightwatch seems like an interesting project and it’s definitely a different take on the idea of a superhero origin. However, the prospect of building a Spidey universe without that character himself in play doesn’t look even close to an idea that will work. A lot depends on whether Venom proves to be successful. Much like that character, Nightwatch is a vigilante and so there are definite similarities in place.


Villeneuve says Dune will be at least two films

Denis Villeneuve promotes Blade Runner 2049 at Comic-Con in 2017
Denis Villeneuve promotes Blade Runner 2049 at Comic-Con in 2017 (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Denis Villeneuve has been doing the rounds a lot recently as part of a publicity trail for the home media release of Blade Runner 2049. Now all of that chaos is out of the way, he appeared at an event described as an “intimate cinema lesson” in his native Quebec. He was asked at that event by a fan about his upcoming take on sprawling sci-fi novel Dune and, as reported by The Playlist, he said that his take on the story will be split into at least two parts, possibly more. He said it will take him two years to make the movies.

This seems like a sensible move. The previous take on Dune, as directed by David Lynch, was an entertaining mess that certainly suffered from adapting a formidably huge story. Villeneuve has shown real sci-fi vision with both Blade Runner and the Oscar-nominated Arrival, so if anyone is going to be able to do a decent job of Dune, it seems likely to be him.


Which of this week’s big blockbuster trailers was your favourite? Are you excited to see the brilliant Ava DuVernay take on another big studio movie? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.

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