Movie News Roundup: Watership Down,a new Lara Croft, the final X-Men trailer, and Dredd 2?

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Movie News Roundup

Another Sunday brings us to the close of the week, and another movie news roundup.  This week we have a couple of great casting choices for announced projects, and a few long shot rumors about films that we would be thrilled to have confirmed.  At the end of it all, we’ll wrap up with our look at the final X-Men trailer before the film releases later this month, as well as a surprisingly dark Batman movie from the animation department at Warner Bros.

Movie Announcements

Desperately seeking Dredd, too.

More please.
More please.

After a movie fan site tweeted a call for Netflix or Amazon studios to make a sequel to 2012’s sci-fi action film, Dredd, they got a strong backer in the person of Karl Urban, who played the titular helmeted anti-hero on the big screen.  He tweeted, and later confirmed that he’d be down for another go at the franchise.  This is great news, since that movie was great and criminally neglected by veiwers.  I just hope that actress Olivia Thirlby is on board as well, since the interaction between her and Urban in the original was one of the surprise delights of the film.

DC to platoon the next Green Lantern movie.

No word if bird-fish face will reprise his role...
No word if bird-fish face will reprise his role…

The DCU is looking for some stability right now after Batman V Superman‘s rough landing, and one of the last places you’d expect to hear them turning is the Green Lantern property.  Already ruled out of making an appearance in the Justice League movies and badly tarnished by the big screen flop in 2011 starring Ryan “Deadpool” Reynolds, the Green Lantern is in need of a desperate overhaul.  Which it just got.  Early word is that the next chartreuse outing is going to feature 3 humans with the title of Green Lantern, and that George Miller (Mad Max) is in talks to direct.  You can bet they’re will be no CG costumes if Miller gets his hands on this project.

Jamie Foxx in R-Rated Muppets movie?

Most Wanted...for murder.
Most Wanted…for murder.

Brian Henson, son of the famous Muppeteer Jim Henson, has been working on an adult oriented puppet project for several years now, but development hell had seemingly claimed the film until just recently. Jamie Foxx has been approached to star in the film, and STX Entertainment is now backing the project.

“The Happytime Murders” centers around a Roger Rabbit-esque world where muppets and humans coexist, but rarely happily.  The Happytime Gang was a popular puppet show for children, but decades after it was cancelled members of the cast are becoming victims to a grisly spree of stuffed murders.  A muppet PI with a bad history teams up with a human detective (Foxx) to solve the crimes.

Casting News

Wonder who Nathan Fillion will be in Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

Fillion written all over it.
Fillion written all over it.

Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle) has had cameo in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie (as a blue prison guard Groot dispatches, if you’re wondering) but rumors have abounded that he may have a more substantial part in the next film, one that puts him into the proper MCU.  Leaked shots show posters for fictional action movies featuring his mug, all starring “Simon Williams.”  For those not glued to the comic’s rack, Simon Williams is a kitschy actor with super powers (a little like Mortal Kombats Johnny Cage) who goes by the super-hero moniker of Wonder Man.  Wonder Man has been an Avenger in the past, so this seems like a tailor made role for director James Gunn to finally get his buddy Fillion into the larger MCU as a character who could cross-over with other titles.

Alicia Vikander to help reboot Tomb Raider franchise.

We...uh...we don't talk about that one.
We…uh…we don’t talk about that one.

It has been announced that Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl) will be filling Angelina Jolie’s holsters as the treasure hunting archeologist Lara Croft in a rebooted version of the Tomb Raider movies. While the first Tomb Raider was the highest grossing video-game adaptation, it was never much of a critical success, and the sequel was roundly ignored.  The planned project will feature a younger Lara, more in line with the recent video game re imaginings that have been highly successful, and is confirmed to be an origin story.

Watership Down gains force from John Boyega.

Netflix and the BBC have teamed up to create a miniseries of the beloved/nightmare inducing book, Watership Down.  The book, about a community of rabbits, is full of mature material, and the animated version from 1978 spared youngsters none of the blood and rabid foaming mouths of the original.  The BBC has understandably agreed to tone down the new project, which will also be animated, and has secured the voice talent of John Boyega from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  The series is set to air in 2017.

Good luck with that, Finn!
Good luck with that, Finn!

First Look Trailers

X-Men Apocalypse Final Trailer

The final X-Men trailer has me excited for this project, against my better judgement.  My gripe through the whole series is that only Magneto, Mystique and Wolverine seem to matter to the plot, and sure enough this trailer is 60% Mystique with a quick teaser thrown in of Wolverine.  I guess I’ll have to live with it, since Oscar Isaacs has got me excited to see his take on Apocalypse, and the rest of the mutants look great.

Snowden

Edward Snowden is getting a biopic, which I’m sure has not pleased the CIA in the least.  This film looks like it has a superb cast, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing Snowden, but the whole thing hinges on how true to the facts this dramatic interpretation can get.

Batman:  The Killing Joke

This story about Batman and The Joker in one of their most iconic confrontations from the comic’s long run looks great, but sounds slightly off.  Kevin Conroy (Batman) and Mark Hamill (The Joker) are old hands and have created a tremendous body of work together as arch enemies…but their stuff has always been PG and slightly campy.  This is an R-Rated flick which has a lot of messed up stuff in it.  The animated series vibe is just not jibing with the new art and harsh tones of this piece.  I would have preferred John DiMaggio’s throatier take from Batman:  Under the Red Hood.  Still excited to see this, though.

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