Two of the biggest blockbusters of the 2018 summer season whipped the wrapping paper off their gifts to audiences this week, with a pair of revealing trailers. We’ve seen almost every frame of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Deadpool 2 by now, but hopefully both films will have their fair share of surprises for us all when they finally arrive in cinemas.
Elsewhere, Steven Spielberg lined up an interesting project, which he will presumably take on once he’s done reviving Indiana Jones, and we found out who will be directing the next movie to feature Harley Quinn in the rapidly growing ensemble of projects that are in development over at DC Comics.
Here’s your movie news round-up…
It’s all plot in the final Fallen Kingdom trailer
The most interesting thing about the final trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is that it seems to be selling a completely different film to the one we’ve seen so much of in previous clips. Based on this most recent trailer, the first half of JA Bayona‘s film will see Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard rescue a whole load of dinosaurs from a volcanic eruption, only for the surviving prehistoric creatures to be commodified and auctioned to the highest bidder.
It’s an interesting direction to take the Jurassic Park franchise, given the fact that the park narrative has been well and truly worn out by now. This is a trailer that bodes well for the success of the movie, showcasing some more horror-tinged elements to the storytelling, which should suit Bayona just fine given his roots and pedigree in introducing horror factors to movies like A Monster Calls. The 2015 reboot was a real box office surprise and it remains the fourth highest grossing movie of all time. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will hit British cinema screens in June.
Spielberg to take on WW2 DC Comics property
When you’re the most famous film director of all time, it pays to have a packed slate of projects on the go at any one time. The long-awaited Indiana Jones 5, shooting in about a year’s time, is still expected to be Steven Spielberg’s next film, but he has added another project to his list in the shape of DC Comics adaptation Blackhawk, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The comic book is a Second World War adventure that follows an international squadron of pilots, led by the titular hero, taking on the Nazis. It’s a time period that Spielberg is very familiar with, having made some of the most iconic WW2 features ever produced.
It will be interesting to see Spielberg take on a comic book project but, otherwise, it’s fairly standard material for The Beard. He can make Second World War movies in his sleep. More difficult is deciding where Blackhawk fill fit in amongst Spielberg’s crowded diary. Indy 5 is due to go in front of cameras in April 2019 and he also has a new take on West Side Story in the pipeline. If I am even half as busy as that when I’m 71, I’ll consider my career a successful one.
Super gags aplenty in final Deadpool 2 trailer
It seldom suits a comedy movie to have too many trailers. Unfortunately for Deadpool 2, it’s also a major superhero blockbuster, and that means it’s entirely normal to have three or four full-length trailers, plus TV spots and other marketing. This week, we got the final trailer for Deadpool 2 and it’s one that features a lot of jokes I wish had been saved for the finished film, including a jab at Josh Brolin also starring as Thanos in the MCU and a very solid DC gag. There’s also the first appearance for a comedy character who has already become an internet meme, but would have been even funnier had he been saved for the movie itself.
With that said, this is arguably the funniest trailer they have released for Deadpool 2 in a marketing campaign that has mercifully become more conventional in the last few months after an obnoxiously zany start. My only fear is, as I said above, there’s a high volume of very good jokes in the trailers and so I’m worried about how much there is left in the movie. We will find out soon because Deadpool 2 is just a few weeks away, hitting UK cinemas on May 15.
Cathy Yan to direct new Harley Quinn project
There aren’t many areas in which DC utterly trounces Marvel on the big screen, but one of those areas is definitely female representation. The studio handed Patty Jenkins a big sack of money and she duly made Wonder Woman into a critical and commercial success. Marvel is lagging behind, with a female co-lead in Ant-Man and the Wasp this year and still 12 months to wait until Captain Marvel presents the first woman to direct an MCU movie. Deadline reported this week that DC is keeping its gender diversity going by hiring Cathy Yan, helmer of Sundance success Dead Pigs, to direct an untitled girl gang movie, toplined by Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Christina Hodson, who just got hired to write Batgirl, is penning the script.
DC’s movies may not be much good, with Wonder Woman as the notable exception, but there’s plenty to be excited about here. Robbie’s take on Harley Quinn was one of the less rubbish parts of the mess that was Suicide Squad and the prospect of the first ever Asian woman to helm a superhero film is a cool one. We don’t know much about this project yet, but it’s apparently based on Birds of Prey, which sees Harley Quinn as part of a group of crime-fighters. This movie would get moving after Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, if Robbie completes her long-rumoured deal to play Sharon Tate.
Ed Skrein will be the Maleficent 2 villain
Surprising just about everyone, Disney’s live-action movie Maleficent, retelling the story of Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of its villain, made a tonne of money at the global box office back in 2014. A sequel has been in development pretty much ever since and, according to Variety, it has now attached seasoned villain Ed Skrein to play an unspecified bad guy. The plot of the film is shrouded in secrecy and so there’s a big question mark over whether it will continue the Sleeping Beauty story or spin off in a different direction. Angelina Jolie is returning in the title role.
Skrein is a solid actor and it makes sense to have him as a villain given the decent job he did as a bad guy in Deadpool. He recently stepped away from a major role in the new Hellboy movie in an admirable cultural move, so it’s good to see him filling the slate back up with another very big film. The currently untitled Maleficent sequel is set to go in front of cameras before the end of this year.
Elba’s directorial debut leads Sundance London
The full line-up for Sundance London was unveiled this week and it will mark the first arrival in the UK of some of the most exciting titles that played in Utah earlier this year. Among the most interesting films on the slate is the UK premiere of crime drama Yardie, which marks the directorial debut of our very own Idris Elba. There’s also the European premiere of buzzy horror film Hereditary and screenings of the new films from Greasy Strangler director Jim Hosking and comedian Bo Burnham, as well as Desiree Akhavan‘s gay conversion drama The Miseducation of Cameron Post.
This is a very exciting list of films from a varied selection of directors, with women taking on a central role through the involvement of filmmakers like Akhavan and Jennifer Fox, who is bringing her Laura Dern starrer The Tale. It’s a great vote of confidence for the diversity of independent cinema and it will be great to be able to see these movies in the UK. The Sundance London festival will take place over the course of several days at Picturehouse Central from May 31 to June 3.
Clarke top choice for Pet Sematary remake
After a year of fantastic and hugely financial successful Stephen King adaptations, it’s unsurprising that a remake of Pet Sematary is in the works. We heard a while back that the directing duo behind Starry Eyes are making the film, which is set for release three decades after the original movie, about a house built next to the eponymous graveyard for domestic animals. Variety reported this week that Jason Clarke is in talks to play the lead role, adding another horror protagonist to his filmography after this year’s disappointing Winchester.
This is an interesting move because Clarke is a star of a reasonable level, so it’s a mark of the now glamorous spectacle of King adaptations that an actor of that fame can be lured into what will be prime genre fare, directed by relatively unknown filmmakers. Hopefully this movie will be more enjoyable and scary than Winchester, which was an exceptionally tedious watch. Pet Sematary will be released in April 2019.
Are you more excited for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom or Deadpool 2? Are you interested to see what Steven Spielberg can do in the comic book world? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.