There’s no doubt that Star Wars dominated the world of movie news this week as all eyes turned to Florida for the ‘Star Wars Celebration’ event that served as a wonderful tribute to the late Carrie Fisher and, of course, yielded our first look at footage from The Last Jedi ahead of its December release.
In doing so, it almost stole the thunder of a certain Marvel God’s latest outing and some blockbuster casting for two big upcoming movies as a pair of highly sought after roles were handed to major A-listers in Jude Law and Josh Brolin.
Here’s your movie news round-up…
The Last Jedi trailer wows Star Wars fans
It’s what we’ve all been waiting for. After months of grabbing at morsels of information and over-analysing toy packaging, we finally got the first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi this week, as director Rian Johnson unveiled the teaser at the Celebration event in Florida. It’s a teaser focused on Daisy Ridley as Rey and her relationship with Mark Hamill, who returned as Luke Skywalker in the final moments of The Force Awakens.
The focus on Rey in this trailer is very welcome and, equally, the absence of plot is great. All of the marketing for The Force Awakens did a solid job of keeping the story under wraps, but it had the advantage of being able to exist entirely on nostalgia. Without the rush of warmth, The Last Jedi has a much tougher job, but it is a compelling teaser that sets up some key threads for the movie and provides a sense of mood. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is due to hit UK cinemas in December 2017.
Thor trailer reveals odd workplace relationship
Elsewhere in trailer land, Disney’s other huge blockbuster arm flexed its muscles as Marvel created a huge amount of buzz for Taika Waititi‘s upcoming Thor: Ragnarok. The colourful first teaser for the third Thor film embraces a bizarre tone closer to Guardians of the Galaxy than the serious moral quandaries of Captain America: Civil War. It starts with a horrific clash with Cate Blanchett‘s goth-looking villain Hela and culminates with a hilarious moment of recognition as Chris Hemsworth is pitted in a gladiatorial battle with Hulk – whom he knows “from work”.
This is a fiercely funny trailer and one that suggests there will be plenty of Waititi’s absurdist style in the new Marvel behemoth. Coming so soon after Guardians of the Galaxy 2, there’s a risk that it might be offbeat overkill in the MCU this year, but this one is definitely distinctive and could be a real surprise package as the studio builds towards Infinity War. As DC doubles down on darkness, it seems Marvel is embracing the light. Thor: Ragnarok will hit cinemas in October 2017.
Jude Law to step into iconic Dumbledore cloak
Few people would have pegged Jude Law as the obvious choice to play a young Michael Gambon, but that’s what we’ll be getting when the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel rolls around. Variety broke the news this week that Law has been cast ahead of a tonne of other British actors to take on the role, which director David Yates said will explore the “unexpected facets” of the character. Following on from last year’s first film, the sequel will see Dumbledore appearing as the transfiguration professor at Hogwarts as the dark wizard Grindelwald looms large over the magical world.
This seems like quite an odd casting choice, but not necessarily a bad one. The franchise has already shown willingness to go unconventional with its casting, having handed Johnny Depp the pivotal role of Grindelwald. The likes of Jared Harris – son of original Dumbledore, Richard Harris – may have seemed like a more logical pick, but that’s not to say that Law won’t do great things in bringing a younger Dumbledore to life. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2 is due to grace our cinema screens in November 2018.
Brolin gets the nod for Cable in Deadpool 2
The role of Cable in superhero sequel Deadpool 2 has been an incredibly coveted one in recent months. The chance to join Ryan Reynolds in the follow-up to his incredibly successful R-rated super-comedy has been linked to just about every major male actor in Hollywood, with Michael Shannon one of the recent frontrunners. Now, though, the role appears to have been cast. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Josh Brolin has signed a four movie deal to play the incredibly strong cyborg in director David Leitch‘s film.
Brolin feels like a solid choice for Cable and it’s certainly a good bit of business for the actor, adding a second comic book string to his bow alongside his ongoing work as the supervillain Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Michael Shannon may have made for a slightly more unconventional casting pick, but Deadpool is plenty unconventional enough already so it doesn’t exactly need the help.
Fede Alvarez to helm new Labyrinth film
Just over a year after the death of David Bowie, a spin-off based on his most famous movie is now in the works. Deadline wrote that horror movie specialist Fede Alvarez has been hired to direct the movie, which everyone involved is keen to stress is a spin-off within the same universe rather than a remake. Although Bowie’s Goblin King character will not appear in the new film, his shadow will almost certainly loom over the whole project. Alvarez is set to get started on the film once he is finished with The Girl in the Spider’s Web, which he will shoot this autumn.
The original Labyrinth was the final film directed by Muppets creator Jim Henson before his death and it has become even more of a cult favourite since Bowie’s death. After his work on the blood-soaked Evil Dead remake and the shockingly nasty Don’t Breathe, it will be interesting to see what he can do with the world of Labyrinth. Things are definitely going to get dark.
Teller and Woodley back together for Adrift
Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley know each other very well now, having co-starred in The Spectacular Now and the three Divergent films. They are now set to work together for a fifth time, according to The Hollywood Reporter, as Teller is in talks to join Woodley in survival thriller Adrift. Teller would play the husband of Woodley’s character, who must use all of her skills to save herself when her boat becomes ruined when a storm hits.
Teller and Woodley have great chemistry on screen and the film, from Everest director Baltasar Kormákur, sounds like a very interesting prospect. If all goes well and the schedules match up, Adrift is set to go in front of cameras over the summer.
Sansa Stark changes tone with romcom role
Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner is swapping the death and horror of Westeros for something altogether lighter as she is set to take one of the lead roles in romcom Time Freak. Deadline reported this week that Turner will join Asa Butterfield in the movie, which follows a physics student who builds a time machine after his girlfriend breaks up with him, in order to retrace his steps and fix the various things that he got wrong during the course of the relationship.
The concept sounds very similar to any number of stories that have blended time travel with romance, including About Time. However, Turner and Butterfield are very interesting actors and the story is based upon a short film from the same director that was nominated for an Oscar, so there’s plenty of potential surrounding this one. The film is shooting right now, so we should hopefully be able to see it sooner rather than later.
Which of the week’s big trailers made you the most excited for later this year? Has Fox made the right choice with Josh Brolin? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.