There are more new trailers than you can shake a stick at in this week’s round-up of movie news, with the return of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and the highly anticipated follow-up to the incredible actioner John Wick, which frankly can’t come quickly enough.
Elsewhere, there’s some exceptionally underwhelming news from the world of superhero movies and some intriguing casting for the remake of Suspiria. We also have news of a new role for Kit Harington, who is building up an interesting portfolio of work outside the icy world of Game of Thrones.
Here’s your film news round-up…
Bardem gets ghostly in Pirates 5 trailer
It feels like the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film has been in development forever. It has been five years since the dismal fourth outing On Stranger Tides and the character of Jack Sparrow hasn’t exactly been sorely missed in the interim. A trailer for the latest film arose this week, featuring Javier Bardem heavily as the ghostly central villain. The movie is called Dead Men Tell No Tales in most of the world, but is going by the considerably less catchy name of Salazar’s Revenge in the UK, for reasons that are unclear.
Johnny Depp is notable by his absence in this preview, which focuses on Bardem and franchise newcomer Brenton Thwaites, who made a big impression on me with his role in Aussie action movie Son of a Gun. It’s a decently atmospheric trailer, but not one that does much to raise excitement for the film, which will reach UK cinemas in May 2017.
Superhero titles go right back to basics
Two upcoming superhero movies got their official titles this week and they are both on the simple side. Hugh Jackman is set to hang up his adamantium claws after the next Wolverine solo outing, which we now know will be called Logan, following a Twitter announcement from director James Mangold. Stage directions on the page of script he posted feature a very clear mission statement – this is an R-rated movie with R-rated violence. That sounds like the perfect fit for Wolverine’s curtain call, which is due to arrive in March 2017.
Meanwhile, over in the tattered remains of the DC Extended Universe, Ben Affleck is hard at work on his solo Batman movie, which we now know looks set to be called The Batman. Affleck told Associated Press that work on the script was “going well”, but stressed that the film’s title might change between now and release, which likely won’t be until 2018/19. It’s a decent title, particularly given how clearly it emphasises that Affleck is taking this character back to basics.
I’m thinking he’s back…
John Wick is a pure shot of cinematic adrenaline and it looks as if nothing is going to change when the sequel arrives. The new trailer for John Wick: Chapter 2 teases another refreshingly simple action movie, pushed along with balletic and beautifully choreographed explosions of gunplay and hand-to-hand combat. The movie will see Wick, played by Keanu Reeves, drawn out of retirement by the deceitful actions of a former associate. Maybe this time the dog will make it out alive.
There are very few ways John Wick: Chapter 2 can go wrong. It simply needs to replicate the simplicity and entertainment value of its predecessor and it will be intriguing to see if they widen out the complex underworld, of which the first film only scratched the surface. John Wick: Chapter 2 is due for a UK cinema release in February 2017.
Moretz joins cast of Suspiria remake
The remake of Suspiria has been a passion project for filmmaker Luca Guadagnino for many years. According to Variety, the film has now added Chloe Grace Moretz to a cast that already included Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson, both of whom worked with Guadagnino on A Bigger Splash. Amazon has acquired worldwide distribution rights, in what could be a lucrative move.
Guadagnino’s movie will reboot the classic Dario Argento giallo movie, which gives it frankly enormous shoes to fill in the world of horror cinema. The film has not yet set a release date, but it is due to go intro production this month. It will shoot in Europe and hopefully it will replicate the unusual tone of the original movie.
Blade Runner sequel goes back to the future
Of all of the sequels currently working their way through the Hollywood system, the Blade Runner follow-up is one of the most unusual. Sicario director Denis Villeneuve is attached to direct the movie, which was untitled until this week. The title has now been revealed as Blade Runner 2049, which hints that the story will take place 30 years after the original movie. Harrison Ford will return to the fold and will be joined by the likes of Ryan Gosling and Dave Bautista.
There continues to be a cloud of mystery surrounding the film, but that can only be a good thing in feeding in to a buzzy sci-fi sequel. We’re a year away from the October 2017 release of the film and it will be impressive if Warner Bros are able to keep a lid on plot details for that long.
Wahlberg and Berg complete US hero trilogy
Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg are forming quite the cinematic partnership. Following Lone Survivor and recent oil rig disaster pic Deepwater Horizon, the duo is back together to complete their tale of everyman heroes with Patriots Day. The film tells the story of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 and the subsequent attempts to track down those responsible. This week, a trailer for the film landed online, which leans heavily on the fluttering American flag.
It’s fair to say that Berg and Wahlberg’s collaborations to date have more than a little jingoism to them. These are films that believe America to be the greatest country in the world and want that proven, in the face of the worst adversity imaginable. Patriots Day, which depicts a raw, modern tragedy, looks set to be the culmination of this nationalism into something that may as well shout it from the rooftops – “America, fuck yeah”.
From night’s watchman to gunpowder plotter
It’s very rare that we cover TV on The Popcorn Muncher, but this one seemed interesting. Kit Harington, best known as the bafflingly popular Jon Snow in Game of Thrones, is teaming up with the BBC for an epic, cinematic miniseries based on the tale of Guy Fawkes and the ill-fated Gunpowder Plot. Deadline reported that Harington is attached to star in the series and also act as producer. He has also indicated a desire to write in the past, but it is unclear whether his screenplay will be used here.
This seems like an interesting move for Harington, who has been interesting but unremarkable in his roles outside of the world of Westeros. The role of Guy Fawkes, though, is a compelling one and it should allow him to spread his wings as an actor in portraying someone complex at the centre of one of British history’s most intriguing chapters. There’s no word yet on when this series will make its way to our television screens.
Are you excited to see another Pirates of the Caribbean movie? Which blandly titled superhero movie are you most interesting in seeing? Do you think the Suspiria remake is justified? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.