News Round-up – Vader is back, Dredd update, Carrey teams with Roth and more

It’s a bit of a quieter week than usual in movie news, with the likes of Marvel and DC uncharacteristically silent on the news front. However, there’s still plenty to talk about as a truly iconic baddie is resurrected for the first of the Star Wars anthology movies and a master of the macabre lines up two new horror projects.

Here’s your movie news round-up.


Darth Vader to march back for Rogue One

Darth Vader will return for Star Wars spin-off Rogue One
Darth Vader will return for Star Wars spin-off Rogue One

Entertainment Weekly ran one of their trademark exclusive looks at a new movie this week, and it was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in the spotlight this time. In amongst lots of new shots of Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso and the other new characters, there was an interesting nugget of information, albeit one that many had guessed already. Darth Vader is back, in all of his throaty, force-chokey glory.

We don’t know an awful lot about what precisely Vader will be doing, or indeed how much of a presence he will be in the film. However, given that the new look Star Wars universe seems to be banking on nostalgia, smart money would be on the iconic villain casting his shadow wide across the movie. Vader remains one of cinema’s greatest bad guys, so his presence in Rogue One can only be a good thing.


Rapace is back for Prometheus follow-up

Noomi Rapace will return for Prometheus follow-up Alien: Covenant
Noomi Rapace will return for Prometheus follow-up Alien: Covenant

Noomi Rapace was really good in the central role of Alien prequel Prometheus, which for me is a rather unfairly maligned sci-fi movie. Her character, Elizabeth Shaw, along with Michael Fassbender‘s android David, managed to survive the carnage of the story and seemed a dead cert for the film. After months of reporting that Rapace would be sitting out follow-up Alien: Covenant, logic won out this week and Deadline stated that Rapace was involved in the film after all.

If Covenant is going to work as a follow-up to Prometheus in any way, it simply has to continue the story of Shaw and David. With Rapace on board now and Fassbender confirmed long ago, it looks as if all of the pieces are in the right squares on the board at last.


Vikander in the frame for Agatha Christie

Alicia Vikander in Aussie action film Son of a Gun
Alicia Vikander in Aussie action film Son of a Gun

Another week, another step on the path to world domination for Alicia Vikander. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Vikander’s latest casting coup sees her being wooed by Sony to potentially play a feminist incarnation of legendary mystery writer Agatha Christie in a new biopic. There’s also a Christie movie being made over at Paramount, with Emma Stone their preferred leading lady.

Both of these films sound incredibly interesting and these are two of the most talented actors currently working and would each be solid choices to star. Christie seems to be all the rage for Hollywood at the moment, with Angelina Jolie apparently in talks to take a leading role in the upcoming Orient Express. Her work has endured both in print and on the big screen and now it seems likely that she will capture the hearts and minds of movie fans as a character in her own right.


More bad news for Dredd sequel hopes

Karl Urban in the 2012 Dredd movie
Karl Urban in the 2012 Dredd movie

Ever since Dredd was released in 2012, fans have been clamouring for a sequel. The film was a hit with devotees of the 2000 AD comics, but was something of a financial disappointment, netting only $35m worldwide against its $50m production budget. That hasn’t stopped fans hoping against hope for a follow-up, though, and star Karl Urban this week decided to weigh in on Twitter. He informed his followers that there was no sequel currently in development and that the film is “no closer to happening”.

This is incredibly disappointing news. Dredd was a tremendous movie and one that had genuine potential to start a gritty, dark universe with a compelling antihero at its heart. This news is going to do nothing, though, to silence the fanbase and they will continue to campaign for the sequel. And I really hope we get one some day.


Eli Roth lines up two new projects

Horror filmmaker Eli Roth at WonderCon in 2013
Horror filmmaker Eli Roth at WonderCon in 2013 (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Divisive horror maestro Eli Roth has lined up two new projects this week, each with a marquee actor attached to take up the lead role. Firstly, Deadline broke the news that Roth will step up to direct the remake of 70s vigilante movie Death Wish, with Bruce Willis set to play the role first made famous by Charles Bronson. Roth’s unique eye for grisly violence makes him the obvious choice for such a project.

Secondly, Roth has been snapped up to direct Jim Carrey in Aleister Arcane, which is a horror project that has languished in development hell for quite some time. Variety wrote that Carrey will take the lead in the film, based on a comic book about a late night TV host who places a curse on a town when he is taken off the air, leaving the local kids to try to thwart the curse.


What role do you think Darth Vader will play in Rogue One? Who would you like to see Alicia Vikander play next? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.

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