The big news in the last seven days has, of course, been the Super Bowl. Naturally, the occasion has nothing to do with sport and everything to do with an onslaught of trailers for the year’s biggest blockbusters, from the brilliant to the seemingly dreadful. Elsewhere, it seems as if The Batman may have found its new director and it’s all change for a handful of the most memorable and iconic names in the horror world.
Here’s your movie news round-up…
Super Bowl trailers preview 2017 blockbusters
The Super Bowl brings together all of the most exciting blockbusters for the coming year and gives them new previews. Chief among this year’s crop was another comedy-heavy teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which is quickly shaping up to be perhaps the most entertaining of the recent Marvel movies. There was also a blockbuster look at the new Pirates of the Caribbean film, which gave us a glimpse of Johnny Depp along with plenty of ghostly visions and spectacle.
Perhaps the most interesting of the new trailers was the innovative preview for horror film A Cure for Wellness, which took the form of a drug warning message. In the midst of nearly a dozen identikit blockbuster trailers, this was a refreshing slice of invention that stuck out from the crowd. The same is arguably true of the trailer for Transformers: The Last Knight, but only in the sense that the trailer boldly gives us absolutely no clue as to what the movie is all about.
Matt Reeves gets the nod for DC’s The Batman
Last week, it emerged that Ben Affleck had waved goodbye to his directorial role on The Batman, although he would still maintain the lead role. Deadline wrote this week that Matt Reeves, who was previously said to be the favourite for the role, has been offered the job by DC and Warner Bros. It now looks likely that the man behind Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes, as well as Cloverfield, will take up the reins on a project that is very important to DC.
Reeves is a proven talent when it comes to blockbuster action and the tone of the Apes franchise seems like a solid match for Batman, particularly considering how difficult DC has found it to get the balance right between the need for fun and their desire to turn Batman into a dark and brooding figure. Hopefully, with Reeves on board, there will be a chance for The Batman to turn the franchise’s fortunes around.
Scary Movie team plans Star Wars spoof
The team behind Scary Movie have been prolific in their production of spoof movies over the last decade or so, taking on just about every genre in their quest to finally make a funny film. Writing and directing duo Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have decided that the Star Wars franchise will be their next target, according to an article in The Hollywood Reporter. In the duo’s typically clunky style, the film is due to boast the frankly ridiculous title Star Worlds Episode XXXIVE=MC2: The Force Awakens The Last Jedi Who Went Rogue. They are eyeing a filming date of autumn 2017.
Hilariously, the film’s producer described Friedberg and Seltzer as a “powerhouse duo” when speaking to the Reporter, which suggests he hasn’t read any of the reviews that greeted their last few films. Either way, this seems like a terrible idea given how extensively Star Wars has been parodied over the course of the last 40 years. It doesn’t seem likely that Friedberg and Seltzer have a great deal more to add.
Friday the 13th dies, but Halloween lives
The slasher firmament was shaken up this week as one franchise rose from the ashes, while another was pushed to the back of the shelf for now. First, Paramount and Platinum Dunes shut down their planned reboot of the Friday the 13th franchise, which was set to begin production in March. Sources close to the production told The Hollywood Reporter that the studio has lost confidence in the new film following the poor performance of J-horror reboot Rings, which flopped on its face at the global box office. It’s sad to see the film go as it would have been exciting to see Jason Voorhees hacking and slashing on the big screen once again.
There was better news, however, for fans of the Halloween franchise. Original creator John Carpenter wrote on his Facebook page this week that he is working with Blumhouse on a reboot that would bring Michael Myers back to multiplexes. Carpenter is on board as executive producer and has tapped David Gordon Green and collaborator Danny McBride to write the script, with Green set to sit in the director’s chair. The presence of Carpenter in such a supportive role is a major boon for this project, which could bring a truly classic horror villain back in to our lives.
The Rock back in the ring for wrestling comedy
The world of professional wrestling has an odd relationship with cinema, but news broke this week of a very exciting new film based on life in and around the squared circle. Fighting with my Family is a dramedy based on the life of current WWE star Paige, who has spent her entire life in the business given that her family makes up one of the most well-known dynasties in British wrestling. The Hollywood Reporter wrote this week that former wrestler and Hollywood megastar Dwayne Johnson is set to cameo as himself in the film, which will be led by rising British star Florence Pugh. The film got even bigger later in the week, with Lena Headey and Nick Frost also attached to star.
Stephen Merchant is on board to direct the film, which sounds as though it has a fair bit of weight and star power behind it. Genuinely excellent films about wrestling are incredibly rare, with Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler standing as perhaps the only example, but this project certainly seems like it has everything in its favour thus far. An appearance from The Rock should give it just the boost it needs.
Fincher still intrigued by World War Z sequel
Up until this week, Paramount was still kidding itself that World War Z 2 was in line for a release this year. The studio has now taken the tentpole off its schedule, but the follow-up to the original 2013 film is almost certainly still going to happen, given its impressive box office performance. David Fincher has long been rumoured as a potential choice to direct the film and a source close to the director told The Hollywood Reporter this week that Fincher remains “very creatively interested” in making the zombie sequel. The studio is now looking at putting the film out in either 2018 or 2019.
Few people were all that excited about World War Z when it first came out and I’m certain that even fewer have spent a moment thinking about it since. However, if Paramount can get Fincher on board to make the film, then it immediately becomes a more interesting proposition. His eye for detail would prevent the inconsistency that made the first movie a slight disappointment and his name gives the entire project a mark of quality among cinephiles. I’d certainly be in line to watch it.
Nicholson to star in Toni Erdmann remake
Toni Erdmann is not a film anyone should love, on paper. It’s a German comedy film that’s nearly three hours long. And yet, it’s arguably the frontrunner for the Best Foreign Film award at the Oscars and is winning fans all over the UK now that it’s in cinemas. Somewhat inevitably, news of an English language remake came this week, courtesy of Variety. It was something of a surprise, however, to hear that movie legend Jack Nicholson is coming out of a soft retirement to take on the central role. Nicholson hasn’t appeared in a feature film since 2010,, but will join Kristen Wiig in the Paramount remake.
Adam McKay, who was Oscar-nominated recently for The Big Short, is on board as a producer for the project, but the studio is still searching for the right director. On the one hand, it’s always a little saddening to see the US remake machine creak into action. However, the prospect of seeing Nicholson on screens again in a fun, leading role is a mouth-watering one.
Which was your favourite of this year’s Super Bowl trailers? Are you interested in seeing a spoof of the Star Wars franchise? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.