The trailers are out in force this week, most notably with Marvel seeking to capitalise on the buzz around Avengers: Infinity War by unleashing a new look at Ant-Man and the Wasp – the next MCU movie out of the blocks. There was also a first preview for the latest take on the timeless story of Robin Hood and a trailer for the film many people believed would never see the light of day – The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.
Away from the trailers, two very different action leading players lined up new projects and Eric Idle announced that he’s moving forward with the most unique of cultural artefacts – a movie based on a show based on a movie. They will do anything for a bit of cash nowadays.
Here’s your movie news round-up…
Big meets very small in Ant-Man and the Wasp
It seems like an odd change of pace after the carnage of Infinity War‘s ending, but Ant-Man and the Wasp is our next journey into the world of the MCU. Reportedly set in the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, the movie is set to feature Evangeline Lilly suiting up alongside Paul Rudd and the Quantum Realm will play a major part in the storytelling. A new trailer for the movie landed online this week, giving us a glimpse of all of the key players.
This is a fun trailer that is packed with the sort of bizarre comedy set pieces – yes, that’s an ant playing the drums – that we have come to expect from Rudd’s unconventional hero. It’s going to be an odd tonal shift after what happened in Infinity War, but maybe that’s what we all really need. Ant-Man and the Wasp is coming out all over the world in July, but us UK fans will have to wait until August thanks to conventional wisdom dictating nobody goes to the cinema during the World Cup.
Egerton steals and swaggers in Robin Hood
Is anybody excited about a new Robin Hood film? It’s a story that has been told dozens and dozens of times on the big screen and, for me at least, the scars of the exceptionally tedious Russell Crowe movie from a few years ago are still raw. That hasn’t stopped Lionsgate, who burst on to the internet this week with the first trailer for the new Robin Hood film, which pits a swaggering Taron Egerton in the title role against uber-villain Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham. I suppose they deserve credit for resisting the temptation to go all edgy reboot and just call it Hood.
As trailers go, it’s a decent enough ride, but there’s nothing here to suggest this is going to be in any way more interesting than what has come before. Egerton is a charismatic and entertaining screen presence, but the question remains as to whether he alone is enough to carry a movie that anyone who has ever seen a movie based on this story is inevitably going to feel a bit tired of before the title card even appears. Robin Hood is due to be released in November 2018.
Cena nabs action role, with Rock as producer
In recent years, John Cena has made the admirable step forward from direct-to-DVD action fluff to being one of the most dependable comedy performers in Hollywood. He’s going back to his action roots, though, as the star of The Janson Directive, which is being produced by his old WWE rival Dwayne Johnson. The movie, based on a book by Bourne author Robert Ludlum, sees Cena play the titular covert ops man turned security consultant. It was Johnson who announced the news on his Instagram account, praising Cena as a committed leading man and speaking about their lengthy friendship.
This sounds like an interesting role for Cena and one that will see him continue to diversify his big screen portfolio after the huge success of Blockers. Johnson is also in the midst of a career run that has seen virtually everything he touches turn to box office gold. It’s a smaller scale project for The Rock, but one that will likely do decent business and boast a compelling and intricate thriller narrative, if other big screen Ludlum adaptations are anything to go by.
Nyong’o up for John Woo action lead
In other action movie news, John Woo is remaking his own 1980s Hong Kong actioner The Killer and, according to Deadline, he has tapped Lupita Nyong’o to take on the lead role. Nyong’o will play an assassin who puts her own life on the line to save a woman accidentally blinded during one of her jobs. The original film is one of Woo’s most recognisable and well-known works.
It’s always good news to see Nyong’o getting a live-action role at all, let alone one that is going to allow her to be a full-on action lead. It’s exciting to see her getting to work with Woo, who is one of the most iconic action directors of all time. This is a project that is definitely going to be worth watching as it comes closer to fruition.
Gilliam’s Don Quixote movie gets a trailer
It’s a near-mythical slice of cinema at this stage, but we are now forced to conclude that Terry Gilliam‘s incredibly long gestating movie The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is a real thing that is genuinely happening – after 30 years of false starts. A full trailer for the film arrived online this week ahead of the movie appearing on the bill at the Cannes Film Festival. The preview sees Jonathan Pryce on big, broad comedy form as an actor who believes he is the real Don Quixote and Adam Driver as an advertising executive who becomes embroiled in the delusion.
This looks like an odd movie that, for some people, is going to be a delight based purely on the blood, sweat, tears and legend behind it. For me, I wasn’t sold by the trailer or its sense of humour, but I’m choosing to believe that it’s just the sort of movie that doesn’t fit neatly into the bite-size chunks a trailer requires. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is yet to be given a release date in either the USA or over here in the UK.
Idle penning movie take on Spamalot musical
Anything that brings the unique humour of Monty Python back to the big screen has to be considered a good thing. With that in mind, I’m putting cynicism to one side and allowing this week’s news, via Deadline, that Eric Idle is adapting Spamalot for the big screen. The successful stage musical, which debuted on Broadway in 2005, was described as “lovingly ripped-off” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, so it’s weird to see it morphing back into a movie, albeit one with more songs in it. Casey Nicholaw, the Tony-winning theatre director, is set to make his movie debut at the helm of this one.
This project should be fun because, with some of Python’s best ever material at its heart, there’s no way it can be anything other than enjoyable. Spamalot is a really good stage show, helped by the nostalgic nods to Holy Grail‘s best gags and set pieces, and this new movie will almost certainly channel that same spirit. This is a film that’s on the fast track over at Fox, with casting on the horizon soon ahead of a shoot in Spring 2019.
Happy Death Day sequel moving forward
Blumhouse has built its entire business model on smelling what sells and giving the audience more of it. Given that, it was no surprise to read in Deadline this week that last year’s silly slasher success story Happy Death Day is due to get a sequel. Christopher Landon is back as director, with stars Jessica Rothe and Israel Broussard returning to their roles. The film will reportedly answer some of the questions about the first movie’s time loop.
I’m very torn about this news. Firstly, I am very excited to see this universe get another go around because the film was a joyous breath of fresh air for slasher movies, which have lain somewhat dormant since Scream called them out for their tired conventions. However, the prospect of a sequel potentially over-explaining the time travel concept might lead to a muddled mess that loses some of the breezy thrills that made the first film such an entertaining ride.
Which of this week’s trailers did you most enjoy watching? How do you feel about John Cena’s latest action role? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.