It has been a busy week in the world of movie news, with new revelations from the Star Wars franchise and the DC superhero extended universe. There was also a mixed bag of news for women in film, with one series soaring as another one looks set to come to an end.
Here’s your round-up of movie news.
A-list additions to all-female Ocean’s 8
The glittering, A-list world of the Ocean’s franchise has gotten even more glittering and A-list with a whole load of new casting for the all-female reboot – Ocean’s 8. Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett had already been confirmed, but they have now been joined by Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, pop star Rihanna and rapper Awkwafina. This still leaves one space wide open in the central cast, with the likes of Elizabeth Banks and Jennifer Lawrence heavily rumoured to be involved.
This is one hell of a cast and the Ocean’s franchise seems ripe for a reboot. It’s good to have something positive to say about female-led movies in the same week that Ghostbusters looks set for a massive $70m loss. Unlike Ghostbusters, though, the Ocean’s franchise does not have legions of rabid fans ready to bitch and moan about the film being made with women in the lead roles. These performers are the perfect mix of youth, experience, comedy and gravitas and should make for a compelling movie.
Rogue One teased and Lando set for Han origin
There was movement on the Star Wars front this week, with the release of a new trailer for Rogue One. It’s another teaser that leans heavily on the action, with Gareth Edwards‘ film being promoted as very much a war movie rather than the sci-fi of previous installments. There’s plenty of Felicity Jones in the new trailer, as well as a much longer look at Forest Whitaker‘s character. Everything we’ve seen of Rogue One thus far looks really good and it seems as if it will be able to differentiate itself from the rest of the universe when it turns up in cinemas in December.
Elsewhere in the galaxy far, far away, Alden Ehrenreich looks set to be joined in the young Han Solo film by a brand new Lando Calrissian. According to The Wrap, casting is underway for the role originated by Billy Dee Williams in Empire Strikes Back. Given the history between the two characters, it’s little surprise that Lando is going to pop up in Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s take on the character. I’m still on the fence about this one, but I have every faith in the directors.
Finally, there was a slice of very sad news for Star Wars fans as R2-D2 actor Kenny Baker passed away at the age of 81. He died after a long illness. As well as his star-making work in Star Wars, Baker also appeared in Time Bandits and The Elephant Man. He will be sadly missed. RIP.
Say hello to my little remake!
Antoine Fuqua is set to take the remake risk when his take on classic western The Magnificent Seven arrives in cinemas later this year. It looks likely that he could be about to hop on board another reimagining of a classic, with Deadline reporting that he is in talks to helm a Scarface remake for Universal. News of the remake has been circulating the internet for a while, but this seems to suggest that the project could be a high priority for the studio.
Any remake of Scarface will, of course, stand in the shadow of Brian De Palma’s 1983 film with Al Pacino, which was in itself a remake of a Howard Hawks gangster movie from 1932. Fuqua has action credentials and seems like a solid choice, but the key to this will be in casting a lead actor who can come close to matching Pacino’s indelible Tony Montana.
From Aquaman to The Crow?
Corin Hardy seems to be standing firm at the helm of the incredibly troubled remake of The Crow. The revolving door of lead actors has seen three or four big names attached and then promptly unattached and it looks like the latest one could be Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa, set to make a splash for DC as their Aquaman. Mashable reported that Momoa is in talks for the role and has found a way to fit the project in around his DC commitments. It remains to be seen whether Momoa has the punky intensity required for the role, but he’s certainly a strong physical choice.
Meanwhile, in Aquaman news, it looks like the big bad in James Wan’s fishy feature will be Black Manta. The Wrap revealed that Manta, who is perhaps Aquaman’s most famous foe, will appear in the movie. Aquaman is slated for a July 2017 release.
Fincher in the frame for zombie sequel
The sequel to zombie blockbuster World War Z was dealt a blow earlier this year when it lost director Juan Antonio Bayona, who will take the reins of the follow-up to Jurassic World. It seems that they are now targeting a rather unusual name for the job, with Variety writing that David Fincher is in talks with Paramount. Brad Pitt, who has worked with Fincher on the likes of Se7en and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, is a producer on the film and so has likely been attempting to grease the wheels on that front.
It’s highly unlikely that Fincher will take on a project like the World War Z sequel. He is famously lukewarm towards blockbusters after this experiences on the third Alien movie and, given that so much time has elapsed since the first film’s released, this project likely does not have the requisite fire that would bring him back to the world of big budget filmmaking.
MIB/Jump Street cross-over is now unlikely
The Jump Street and Men in Black crossover sounded like a mad idea when it was posed a year or two ago and it still seems pretty crazy now. However, it has been getting alarmingly close to happening. The plans now seem to be on ice, though, if Jonah Hill is to be believed. Hill told the Toronto Sun that the crossover was his idea, but he now “[doubts] that movie will get made”. He cited difficulties with getting the Men in Black deal to work and it slotting in with the Jump Street movies’ desire to make fun of sequels.
It’s probably just as well that MIB 23 remains as a mad idea rather than a real movie. It’s almost certainly funnier in concept than it would be in practice and both franchises have run their course to the extent that this would feel more like a cash-in than a serious creative commitment.
Netflix boss defends Adam Sandler deal
Quite why anyone would want to defend Adam Sandler is beyond me, but Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos has taken up the mantle. In a roundtable chat with The Hollywood Reporter, Sarandos leapt to the defense of the star, who is two movies into a four picture deal. Sarandos said that both The Ridiculous Six and The Do-Over premiered in the top ten of every Netflix territory in the world. He added that “the thing that is most global on Netflix is Adam Sandler”.
It’s a terrifying thought that Sandler is as close to a sure thing as Netflix has but, given his success, it’s no surprise that Netflix is keen to stick by him. The Netflix business model is built on providing an eclectic range of archive content and fresh, original programming that is equally eclectic. I don’t want to buy what Sandler is selling, but the Netflix model means I don’t have to and, if it helps Netflix make enough money for films like Beasts of No Nation, I’m on board.
Are you excited for the all-female Ocean’s 8? What do you think of this week’s Star Wars news? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.