While the arthouse side of the movie world was cooing over the Cannes Film Festival, there were also some movements in the world of blockbusters as we head into the summer. We were treated to a new look at Tom Cruise‘s latest odyssey of mad stunts in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, as well as a glimpse at the silly, glossy Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
Elsewhere, Leonardo DiCaprio and Meryl Streep both lined up potentially award-winning heavyweight roles while, on the other side of the cinematic spectrum, there’s a genuinely filthy new trailer for The Happytime Murders – an adult comedy about a puppet killing spree.
Here’s your movie news round-up…
Cruise dangles in Mission: Impossible trailer
If you’re a fan of trailers that come across as randomly assembled collages of action set pieces, then the latest look at Mission: Impossible – Fallout is definitely the teaser for you. It’s simply a selection of moments in which Tom Cruise runs, jumps, drives and dangles off stuff in exactly the manner we have come to expect from Ethan Hunt. Plot-wise, there’s very little light shed on what is going on, but for the return of Sean Harris as Solomon Lane, who was the villain in previous film Rogue Nation, and the appearance of Henry Cavill, complete with the most infamous moustache in movie history.
The trailer is, in many ways, a decent microcosm for the Mission movies themselves. It’s a thrilling selection of action scenes, held together by the thinnest and most irrelevant of plots. In amongst the blockbusters of 2018, it’s not likely to be one of the most memorable adventures, but this is a franchise that won’t die, and it will keep ticking along for a while after this. Mission: Impossible – Fallout will be released into UK cinemas in July.
Spielberg and DiCaprio set for epic biopic
The packed cinematic slates of Steven Spielberg and Leonardo DiCaprio look set to become even more stacked, according to a report in Deadline this week. The report suggests that Spielberg and DiCaprio are looking to work together for the first time since 2002’s Catch Me If You Can on an epic biopic of American Civil War military leader Ulysses S Grant. Lionsgate has acquired the rights to a biography of Lincoln’s trusted general and the project is said to be a priority for all involved. Spielberg, however, has set Indiana Jones 5 and West Side Story as his next two films and DiCaprio has numerous movies on the go, including Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and a Leonardo Da Vinci biopic.
This is an interesting project for both men and one that has awards season success written all over it. However, it seems unlikely that the movie will be able to get out of the blocks at any time within the next few years and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some differing personnel involved if the story is a priority for Lionsgate, who won’t want to wait for a rare gap in the calendars of two of the busiest men in Hollywood.
Toe-tapping first trailer for Bohemian Rhapsody
It might not be the take on the story that we were going to get a few years ago, but Bohemian Rhapsody – the biopic of iconic Queen frontman Freddie Mercury – is set to hit cinemas this year. This week, we got our first trailer for the movie, giving us a clear look at Rami Malek as Freddie, complete with an array of the most memorable Queen hits. Dexter Fletcher, director of Proclaimers musical Sunshine On Leith, completed the film after original filmmaker Bryan Singer was sacked.
There has been criticism of this trailer, and the attached plot synopsis, for omitting any mention of the battle with AIDS that ultimately led to Freddie Mercury’s untimely death. However, this element of the Queen story will undoubtedly be a crucial part of the finished movie, but this initial trailer is simply an excuse to showcase Malek’s portrayal and blast a selection of classic, enjoyable rock songs. Bohemian Rhapsody is set for a Christmas release this year.
Zombieland sequel in the pipeline for 2019
After the success of the Deadpool movies, the screenwriting duo of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick can probably do more or less whatever they want. In an interview with Vulture this week, the incredibly busy duo said they were hoping to get the highly-anticipated sequel to Zombieland moving in time for the original movie’s 10-year anniversary next year. The duo added that the original cast would be involved, bringing back Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone to reprise some of their most beloved comic roles.
This is great news for anyone who enjoyed the first Zombieland film, which is pretty much everybody who has seen it. Reese and Wernick clearly have an appetite to get a second movie made and preliminary discussions have obviously happened with the cast members who would need to return in order to make the film work. In terms of box office, it may be a little too late to capitalise on the film’s cult popularity, but this will likely be a relatively low-budget movie and it’s definitely going to please fans.
Streep set for Soderbergh’s Panama Papers film
After she took on the Pentagon Papers with this year’s The Post, there’s a theme emerging for Meryl Streep. Her next film will see her involved with the Panama Papers, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Streep has signed on to lead The Laundromat, which is directed by Steven Soderbergh and will follow the story of the journalists working to uncover a global conspiracy allowing the wealthy to move money through international networks. It’s not clear who exactly Streep will play, but Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas are also in talks to join the cast.
It’s yet another timely role for Streep, who will certainly be bothering the Academy when this movie finds its way to the big screen. Interestingly, the report suggests Netflix is circling the project, which could give the streaming giant its first major bite at getting involved in the awards season scrum. With a topical issue at its heart, a weighty true story and an already garlanded cast, it would be foolish to bet against The Laundromat turning awards bodies towards the world of streaming.
Puppets get filthy in Happytime Murders trailer
Puppets are family-friendly. Therefore, it’s hilarious to see them doing adult things. Right? Right?! Well, sometimes. The brilliant musical Avenue Q plays heavily with the idea of puppets swearing and having sex, to great comic effect. The same is not true of the first trailer for The Happytime Murders, in which a puppet cop and his human partner (Melissa McCarthy) investigate a spate of murders in which puppets are brutally killed. The trailer trades heavily on swearing, drug-related humour and an exhausting final gag involving the *ahem* completion of a sexual act.
There aren’t more than a couple of scattered chuckles in this trailer and it’s tough to see how this rather limited range of gags can be sustained across a 90-minute movie. McCarthy is a hit-and-miss comic presence, but there’s an ensemble of talented comedy performers around her and so there’s a chance it might not be awful. Not a huge chance, but definitely a chance nonetheless. The Happytime Murders will land in UK cinemas in August.
Von Trier’s Cannes horror/Kore-eda wins Palme
The Cannes Film Festival has come to an end and, with it, we have a new selection of critical darling movies to get excited about for the year or so until some of them arrive in cinemas over here. The festival yielded trailers for several films, including Spike Lee‘s well-reviewed BlackKlansman, which left with the Grand Prix trophy, and Lars Von Trier‘s The House That Jack Built. it was Von Trier’s movie that stole the festival’s headlines, with people walking out of the premiere in the face of the film’s perceived violent misogyny.
Over on the award-winning side of things, it was Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda who left with the Palme d’Or for his new movie Shoplifters, while Pawel Pawlikowski won Best Director for Cold War. Marcello Fonte won Best Actor for Dogman, while Best Actress went to Samal Yeslyamova in Ayka. It remains to be seen whether any of these films will get a decent, wide release in the UK but, for now, they have some serious buzz behind them.
Which of the many trailers released this week was your favourite? Are you excited to see Rami Malek’s take on Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.