News Round-up – Underwhelming teaser for The Predator, Tarantino casting, Bening joins Captain Marvel and more

Much of the film industry is currently sunning itself over at the Cannes Film Festival, basking in the glorious weather on the Croisette and delivering tidbits of casting news while reviewing cool-sounding arthouse movies that will never be released in the UK. Meanwhile, the constantly grinding machinations of the blockbuster world have mostly carried on, most notably with our first look at Shane Black‘s upcoming reboot of the Predator franchise.

There was a casting announcement that everyone expected for Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and also a casting announcement that nobody expected for Captain Marvel. There was also the revelation that two long-dead franchises are coming back for third movies.

Here’s your movie news round-up…


Internet shrugs at The Predator teaser

Olivia Munn appears in the teaser trailer for The Predator
Olivia Munn appears in the teaser trailer for The Predator

Action movie fans have high hopes for Shane Black’s upcoming take on The Predator, but many of those hopes were dampened this week when a teaser trailer for the film arrived online. It’s a pretty generic action teaser, albeit one that suggests an intriguing plotline about how the eponymous beasties have upgraded themselves using DNA from other species. There’s also plenty of screen time for Jacob Tremblay, who seems like he’s going to play a pivotal role in the story, and Olivia Munn as some sort of scientist.

What’s most shocking about this trailer is just how dull and unimaginative it is. Whatever you think of Shane Black’s work, he’s never lacking in fun and originality, but it seems as if this film is completely diluting that style. That’s an even more shocking revelation given the fact that Black was still able to bring his own style to the rigid formula of the MCU with Iron Man 3 – for better or worse. The Predator is due to arrive in UK cinemas in September.


Annette Bening joins MCU for Captain Marvel

Annette Bening as actress Gloria Grahame in Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool
Annette Bening as actress Gloria Grahame in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Annette Bening is acting royalty, but she’s not known for playing roles in big, commercial blockbusters. That’s set to change, according to The Hollywood Reporter, as Bening has signed on the dotted line to take on a role in Captain Marvel, alongside Brie Larson‘s title character. Her role is shrouded in secrecy as things stand, though “scientist” is reportedly part of her job description. Mississippi Grind directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck are currently shooting the movie in Los Angeles.

This is yet another interesting development in the Captain Marvel story, adding up to a movie that is every bit as exciting as Avengers 4. Bening is a heavyweight addition to the ensemble and hopefully she will be a major character in the action. Captain Marvel is due to arrive in March 2019, just weeks before the character looks set to play a pivotal role in the next Avengers story.


Robbie confirmed as Sharon Tate for Tarantino

Margot Robbie at Comic-Con in 2015
Margot Robbie at Comic-Con in 2015 (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

1960s-set drama Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is quickly shaping up to be an exercise in creating the biggest and most starry ensemble of his career. A report in Deadline this week revealed that Margot Robbie is finally confirmed to take on the Sharon Tate role, which she has been rumoured for ever since the project first surfaced. Burt Reynolds is also in talks to play a key character, while Tarantino alumni Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Kurt Russell are lining up roles of their own.

From a casting perspective, this sounds like a terrific film. However, and not to sound like a broken record here, this appears to be the most outright distasteful and troubling movie currently happening in the midst of the Hollywood system – particularly as it’s set for the anniversary of the Tate murders. With that said, it’s foolish to bet against Tarantino, as he has a habit of finding genius in amongst the bad taste. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be released in August 2019.


Bill and Ted 3 finally gets the official green light

Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

It has been nearly 30 years since Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves last played slacker characters Bill and Ted. In the intervening years, speculation has abounded as to the possibility of a threequel for the series. Variety confirmed this week that the third movie, entitled Bill and Ted Face the Music, is now actually in the pipeline. The film will see the characters in middle age as they receive a visitor from the future, who informs them that they need to write the greatest song ever written in order to save space and time.

The original Bill and Ted films are fun and, with 80s and 90s nostalgia absolutely in vogue right now, the time may well be right for these characters to return. The original creators, Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, are on board to write the script, which suggests this is going to be a very familiar take on the characters. The film is currently in pre-production with no timetable set for the release, especially as Reeves is busy on the third John Wick movie.


Peele casts Black Panther alumni for new film

Jordan Peele performs at Shoreline Comedy in 2012
Jordan Peele performs at Shoreline Comedy in 2012 (Photo: Kevin Edwards)

Jordan Peele probably has the pick of all of the talent in Hollywood after the enormous success of Get Out, which rocked the box office and won an Oscar. The talent he is eyeing for his next movie project, according to The Hollywood Reporter, includes Black Panther cast members Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong’o, as well as The Handmaid’s Tale star Elisabeth Moss. There’s little information around about the film at this stage, other than the fact it centres on two couples – one black, played by Duke and Nyong’o, and one white, with Moss playing one of them.

This movie is the latest fruit of the pairing between Peele and Blumhouse that produced Get Out, which suggests that the film will be another of his socially conscious genre stories. He’s an exciting filmmaking voice and this is immediately one of the most interesting projects in development. Us, despite the very early stages of its pre-production, has already been set for a March 2019 release – at least in the USA.


Sherlock Holmes 3 sets Xmas 2020 release date

Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law in Guy Ritchie's take on Sherlock Holmes
Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law in Guy Ritchie’s take on Sherlock Holmes

In the second unexpected threequel revelation of this week, the Sherlock Holmes franchise starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law is set to return. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Downey and Law are attached to return to the roles of Holmes and Watson for the third movie in the series, which will be released over the Christmas period in 2020 – nine years after the second film. This puts the movie right into the heart of a box office battle against Avatar 2 and the sequel to Sing. No director is yet attached to the project to follow Guy Ritchie, who made the first two.

I can’t say that I’ve been waiting desperately for a third Sherlock Holmes film, but both of the others were entertaining thrillers and, now that the BBC adaptation has disappeared entirely up its own rear end, there’s a gap to be filled by a more adventure-based take on the detective. On top of that, this suggests there may be a bit of room in Downey Jr’s schedule, which might have implications for Avengers 4.


Willis to play Tyson’s trainer in Cornerman

Bruce Willis promotes Red at Comic-Con in 2010
Bruce Willis promotes Red at Comic-Con in 2010 (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

After the nightmarish Trumpism of Death Wish, Bruce Willis is in need of a more credible and interesting project. He may well have exactly that as, according to Variety, he has signed up to play boxing trainer Cus D’Amato in Cornerman. The film, which marks the directorial debut of actor Rupert Friend, is set in 1980s New York City and will follow D’Amato as he discovers a teenage boxer who would go on to become Mike Tyson. The role of the world’s most famous boxer is yet to be cast.

This sounds like a decent role for Willis and one that will allow him to do something slightly more sophisticated and interesting than his more recent action work. On the other hand, though, it’s a boxing movie – arguably the most well-worn genre in American cinema. There’s no release date currently in place for Cornerman, though it’s set to begin shooting in the autumn of this year.


How did you feel about the first teaser for The Predator? Are you excited to see Annette Bening join the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain Marvel? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.

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