Some weeks, I struggle to narrow this news round-up down to a manageable number of stories. Often, it’s casting announcements and sometimes it’s trailers. With that said, I can’t remember a week since I started doing this round-up that has featured the release of so many new teasers. The week’s news cycle has allowed for roughly an hour of discussion on each trailer before Twitter has to move on to the next shiny preview, whether it’s a big new animation, a horror remake or the rarest of beasts – a Transformers movie that actually looks quite watchable.
With that in mind, this week’s news round-up will focus entirely on the deluge of trailers. There has been some other news, including an enormous number of additions to the cast of Quentin Tarantino‘s epic-sounding Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Donald Glover topping the shortlist to be the new Willy Wonka and Matthew Vaughn announcing a whole new universe of movies based on his Marv properties.
However, here’s your trailer round-up…
Lego Movie 2 goes Mad Max in teaser trailer
Of all of the trailers released this week, the teaser for The Lego Movie 2 was perhaps the one I most expected to enjoy. The first film is an absolute delight and the subsequent shared universe of Lego stories has been mostly very entertaining. This trailer follows Emmet (Chris Pratt) and Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) as they try to survive in a Bricksburg that has become a post-apocalpytic wasteland. Emmet’s unerring positivity only falters when his friends are kidnapped, triggering an intergalactic rescue mission.
I was disappointed by this trailer, which seems to suggest they didn’t quite know what to do with a sequel to The Lego Movie. The post-apocalyptic thing is tired and it doesn’t seem to chime with what we learned about the inner workings of the universe in the third act of the last movie. With that said, this franchise has a lot going for it and I remain very excited. The Lego Movie 2 will be released in the UK in February 2019.
Toothless gets a girlfriend in Dragon threequel
Speaking of animated movies that are struggling with their own formula, we’re getting a third entry in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise. This third movie, The Hidden World, will bring the series to a close and it also introduces a love interest for Toothless, in the shape of a white dragon known as a Light Fury. Meanwhile, there’s another threat that involves some sort of dragon-hunting maniac so that the humans have something material to do while the dragons are off doing a romcom.
Both of the previous movies in this series have been good fun, albeit not life-changing, and this one looks like it’s essentially more of the same. It’s really enjoyable to spend time with these characters, but I can’t help but wish that the story threads at play were slightly more original. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is due for a February 2019 release.
Strode goes badass for the Halloween reboot
One of horror’s most memorable icons gave us a first taste of his return this week, as Michael Myers gets set to go slashing again in a reboot of the Halloween series. Director David Gordon Green, along with co-writer Danny McBride, has binned all of the movies other than the 1978 original in order to tell a story of Laurie Strode, played by a returning Jamie Lee Curtis, and her preparations for the inevitable return of Michael. The trailer gives us some genuinely horrifying scare sequences, including Michael delivering a set of teeth to one of his victims and a killer final jolt that, in true Myers fashion, involves a closet with a flimsy-looking door.
Everything about this trailer makes it look as if the film is going to be wonderful. It feels like a Halloween movie in the best sense, with the involvement of John Carpenter as an executive producer obviously paying dividends. In a year that has already provided some of the best horror we’ve seen in a long time with A Quiet Place and Revenge, this movie has a tough act to follow. On the strength of this trailer, though, Michael is in good hands. Halloween is, unsurprisingly, due for an October release.
Dakota sheds 50 Shades for Suspiria remake
Just like anyone who has become well known for a widely derided mega-franchise, Dakota Johnson is going to have to do some drastic things to move away from the world of Fifty Shades. Judging by the trailer we saw this week, Suspiria is going to be that movie. It’s directed by Call Me By Your Name helmer Luca Guadagnino and the scuttlebutt is that it’s a dark, brave and grotesque horror movie that pushes boundaries in the same way that Dario Argento did with the 1977 original.
This looks like a dark and atmospheric film in the best way, harnessing the bizarre invention that powered the first movie, along with a killer cast that also includes Tilda Swinton. As I mentioned when talking about Halloween, this is a golden age of horror and this movie – helmed by someone who just made an Oscars favourite – looks set to be a part of that. Suspiria is due for a November release in the USA, with no UK date yet confirmed.
Cooper meets Gaga in A Star is Born
We’re sticking with remakes for this next trailer, which gives us our first glimpse at the fourth version of A Star is Born. Most recently filmed in 1976, this new version is set to be helmed by Bradley Cooper in his debut as director and the Oscar nominee will also star as a country musician who falls in love with a talented youngster, played by a strikingly normal-looking Lady Gaga. It’s a film that is being positioned for a prime awards season push, particularly given Cooper’s recent status as an awards season darling.
This is a lovely trailer and, as a fan of country music, that’s an instant tick on the checklist. Cooper’s more blokey awards season roles have left me largely unmoved – I didn’t like American Sniper at all – but this looks like it could be the perfect mixture of fun and schmaltz. A Star is Born will twinkle into UK cinemas in October.
Ryan Gosling goes to the moon in First Man
One of the more straightforward trailers of this week is the first look at the new movie from Whiplash and La La Land director Damien Chazelle. First Man sees Chazelle’s La La Land star Ryan Gosling play Neil Armstrong – the astronaut who would become the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. The film will follow Armstrong as he and the various geniuses behind the space programme work to ensure that the mission is capable of getting him to the moon and back again safely.
Based on this trailer, what we have with First Man is a pretty safe awards season biopic. There’s very little here to suggest that this is up to the standard of Chazelle’s excellent previous movies, as everything about it seems conventional. However, it would be silly to bet against Chazelle, who has proven himself to be a filmmaking wunderkind, capable of extraordinary things. First Man is hitting the UK in October.
Transformers discards Bay for Bumblebee
In one of the most unusual things to happen this week, a trailer for a Transformers film actually made me more excited to see it. Michael Bay is nowhere to be seen in Bumblebee, in which Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight will step up to the plate for the origin story of one of the franchise’s most popular characters. Pitch Perfect star Hailee Steinfeld, who has been doing quietly brilliant work for years, is set to take on the leading human role.
There’s a quasi-Spielbergian feel of adventure fun to this trailer, which teases a genuine and believable relationship between Steinfeld’s character and the eponymous shape-shifting yellow car. It looks sweet, silly and crucially a great deal more subtle than the other Transformers films. On this basis, it looks like the Transformers universe may actually have some life in it outside of the Bayhem of the main movies. Bumblebee will smash into cinemas over the Christmas period later this year.
Foy replaces Mara as new Lisbeth Salander
Will it be third time lucky for Lisbeth Salander on the big screen? Noomi Rapace made it all the way through the Millennium Trilogy in its original Swedish language before Rooney Mara took over for an adaptation of the first story in English. This time around, The Crown leading lady Claire Foy is ditching her fancy frocks to play the hacker who, in new story The Girl in the Spider’s Web, is an avenging angel whom we meet torturing a sleazy CEO in this week’s trailer. Evil Dead director Fede Alvarez is at the helm, which suggests a very dark, brutal tone.
This is an unconventional trailer, with a continuous scene placed at the start of the teaser, rather than the more disorganised montage editing that forms the second half of this preview. Foy, last seen on the big screen in Unsane, has completely transformed to play Salander and she will certainly have a tough act to follow given the acclaim awarded to the previous two actors who have taken on the role. Audiences will be able to see The Girl in the Spider’s Web in the UK in November 2018.
McQueen returns to the screen with Widows
The prospect of a team-up between 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen and Gone Girl writer Gillian Flynn is an utterly compelling one. That’s exactly what we’re getting with Widows, which follows the eponymous women as they conspire to ensure their futures after being left with debt by their respective criminal husbands. This is a movie with a killer cast, including Viola Davis and Michelle Rodriguez, with Liam Neeson and Daniel Kaluuya also popping up in this first trailer.
It’s absolutely great to see a new Steve McQueen movie making its way into cinemas. This trailer suggests that the former Turner Prize winner has again brought his artistic sensibilities to the screen – this time with a story that suggests something of a change of pace in moving across to the thriller world. Widows is due for a November release in the UK.
Which of this week’s many trailers makes you the most excited to see the movie? Let me know in the comments section and come back next Sunday for another news round-up.