News Round-up – Trailer for mother!, Riz Ahmed in Venom talks, Death of Stalin trailer and more

This was a week of movie news capped by two very interesting trailers for upcoming movies at opposite ends of the cinematic spectrum. First, we got a full trailer for Darren Aronofsky‘s slick horror movie mother! and later in the week we were treated to our first look at the return of satirical genius Armando Iannucci with The Death of Stalin.

Elsewhere, Riz Ahmed began to circle the first spin-off in Sony’s upcoming sans-Spidey Spider-Man universe and we got an interesting look at Josh Brolin in full costume as Cable as filming for Deadpool 2 continues.

Here’s your movie news round-up.


J-Law goes dark in full mother! trailer

Jennifer Lawrence stars with Javier Bardem in mother!
Jennifer Lawrence stars with Javier Bardem in mother!

We got our first look at Aronofsky’s bizarre-looking home invasion horror mother! with a teaser last week. This time around, a full trailer for the film has been released, following Jennifer Lawrence as her ideal home life with Javier Bardem is severely shaken by the arrival of a series of new faces in their house. While J-Law is unsettled by their presence, Bardem doesn’t seem to be all that bothered.

This is an atmospheric and intense trailer that suggests we’re getting something very strange and scary from Aronofsky. Lawrence and Bardem are both big stars of prestige Hollywood movies, so there must be an interesting idea bringing them into the world of horror. Aronofsky is the type of filmmaker who can be relied upon for something fresh and original and everything we have seen from mother! suggests it’s going to be just that. mother! will be released in the UK in September.


Riz Ahmed in talks for Venom movie

Riz Ahmed arrives at the Oscars ceremony in 2017
Riz Ahmed arrives at the Oscars ceremony in 2017 (Photo: ABC/Tyler Golden)

Sony’s unusual Spider-Man universe, which seems to be moving forward without the protagonist himself, may have a new addition to its roster. Variety reported this week that Riz Ahmed is in talks to play the role of a “popular Marvel Comics character” in Venom, alongside Tom Hardy. Sources the publication spoke to would not give any further information on the character Ahmed might play in the film, which is being directed by Zombieland helmer Ruben Fleischer.

This series over at Sony is very unusual and it is going to struggle to work without the presence of Spider-Man as a character. Given that Venom is largely characterised by being the antithesis of Spidey, it’s not clear how he will work when webhead isn’t around. It’s certainly assembling an enviable talent roster, though, so there must be something worth the time going on. Venom is due out in October 2018.


Iannucci returns with Death of Stalin trailer

Jason Isaacs stars in Armando Iannucci comedy The Death of Stalin
Jason Isaacs stars in Armando Iannucci comedy The Death of Stalin

It’s been a few years since we got an Armando Iannucci film in cinemas. The satirical mastermind behind The Thick of It is back with his new comedy The Death of Stalin, which got a funny new trailer this week. The film follows the frantic manoeuvring of a number of Soviet politicians attempting to seize and control power in the immediate aftermath of the death of Stalin. The cast includes a number of interesting actors including Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor and Jason Isaacs doing his best impression of Jim Bowen from Bullseye.

This is a fun trailer that looks as if Iannucci has maintained the single-camera style of The Thick of It and transposed it to a weird take on Soviet Russia. The performances look delightfully off-kilter and unusual – especially in the case of Isaacs – and there’s plenty of wit in the script, which seems to boast a series of insults that would make even Malcolm Tucker proud. The Death of Stalin is due to hit British cinemas in October.


Deadpool 2 pics reveal Josh Brolin as Cable

Josh Brolin appears as Cable in superhero sequel Deadpool 2
Josh Brolin appears as Cable in superhero sequel Deadpool 2

As superhero sequel Deadpool 2 continues filming in Vancouver, we’re getting a series of interesting tidbits from the set. Last week, we got our first look at Zazie Beetz as Domino in the film and, this week, Ryan Reynolds treated us to a glimpse of another major character. Reynolds shared an image on his Twitter account showing Josh Brolin in full costume as Cable – the time-travelling cyborg soldier who is a fan favourite with readers of Marvel comic books.

Brolin certainly looks the part as Cable and he is set to provide a physically intimidating take on the character, while hopefully his light-hearted comedy chops will allow him to wisecrack along with Reynolds. Deadpool 2 has a rather tall mountain to climb in order to match the rapturous response awarded to the original film, but it is assembling all of the parts it needs to do well. Deadpool 2 will land in cinemas in June 2018.


Lionsgate wants more of top franchises

The Hunger Games and Twilight were two of Lionsgate's biggest franchises
The Hunger Games and Twilight were two of Lionsgate’s biggest franchises

Lionsgate has been short of a major franchise since it closed the door on several major young adult series. Variety wrote this week that the company’s CEO Jon Feltheimer told a quarterly earnings call that there are plans for both The Hunger Games, which ended in 2015, and Twilight, which culminated in 2012, to continue on the big screen. Feltheimer said there are a “lot more stories to be told” in both of the franchises, but added the studio will only go ahead with the films if creators Suzanne Collins and Stephenie Meyer are on board.

This is actually a refreshing strategy from Lionsgate. The studio is openly acknowledging that it wants to continue to milk its biggest cash cows, but is waiting for the go-ahead from the minds that originally created those properties. They have presumably seen the success Warner Bros has had with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and they now want a slice of that pie, which is fair enough. Both of these YA series have rich worlds that merit further exploration on the big screen and, with decent creative forces in place, they could yield more great films.


Netflix buys Millarworld, but loses Disney

Mark Millar has inked a deal with Netflix to buy his Millarworld brand
Mark Millar has inked a deal with Netflix to buy his Millarworld brand (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

It has been something of a mixed week for streaming giant Netflix. Firstly, there was some great news for the service as they completed the purchase of the Millarworld comic book company established by Mark Millar. Netflix said they “can’t wait to harness” Millar’s creativity. The Millarworld brand theoretically gives Netflix access to some great properties and Millar is the kind of ideas man who could be very useful for the service.

Elsewhere, Netflix was dealt a big blow when Disney revealed it was pulling its content from the service in favour of its own new streaming platform. Disney has said it is launching the new platform in 2019, with a focus on its family-friendly offerings including animated giant Frozen and the Pixar back catalogue. No decision has yet been made about Marvel and Star Wars but, either way, this means there will be some huge gaps in the Netflix catalogue.


Pratt sets release date for Cowboy Ninja Viking

Chris Pratt promotes Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at Comic-Con
Chris Pratt promotes Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at Comic-Con (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Aside from the incredibly sad personal news that has put Chris Pratt‘s name into website headlines this week, there was more positive stuff going on in the world of Star-Lord thanks to a project he has long had on the back-burners. The Hollywood Reporter revealed this week that Cowboy Ninja Viking is due to be released on June 28, 2019. The film is an odd proposition, in which Pratt will star as an assassin manifesting the best skills of the three titular personas.

The film, based on an Image Comics graphic novel, is now due to be one of the prime summer releases of 2019 and, with a star as hot as Pratt in its lead role, it can’t fail to be a buzzed-about prospect when it makes its way into cinemas. It sounds like a really fun idea on paper and Pratt seems like the perfect leading man to make it work.


Which of this week’s trailers did you enjoy the most? Do you think Riz Ahmed will be a good addition to Venom? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.

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