Movie News Roundup: Young Lando, Logan Trailer
Yes. We saw. Logan trailer. Let’s discuss.
This week we have a spate of big trailers that dropped. Not just big budget action films, but also a couple of new films from legendary directors. Speaking of directors, there is a lot of flux for some high profile projects, including Deadpool 2. In casting, we are living the dream after the Oscar’s nightmare: upcoming projects that feature a multicultural cast, none of which are about slavery. Hooray! Let’s get cracking.
Godzilla 2 written (and probably directed) by Krampus mastermind.
Michael Dougherty, who has written many big Hollywood scripts (Superman Returns, X-Men 2 and X-Men Apocalypse) is confirmed to be writing the new American Godzilla film. While those credits are not exactly breathtaking, the upside is that he provided early templates that were developed by others. Maybe his Superman Returns was amazing? Did he write the Kevin Smith/Nicholas Cage version?
Dougherty has also directed a couple of fun horror flicks, such as Trick ‘R Treat and Krampus. When given creative control, his projects are dark-humored and slick. That could bode well, as IMDB has Dougherty also listed as the director of the new Godzilla film, confirming a rumor that has been swirling for a while. Unfortunately, as we saw with the first Godzilla, talented disruptive directors get squashed by the studio in favor of a rather generic film. Gareth Edwards has made good monster movies, but had to toe the line with his outing. Can Michael Dougherty do better?
Big Trouble in Little China? John Carpenter left out of the process.
When the remake of the 1980’s cult classic was announced, fans were dubious. They were told that they would respect Carpenter’s campy supernatural action comedy, especially from star Dwayne Johnson. Unfortunately, they forgot to get John Carpenter. He’s still around, guys. Hell, he’s currently involved in the latest revival attempt for the Halloween franchise, reportedly also doing the soundtrack. He was asked about the remake, and reported that nobody reached out to him. That’s not good news.
Deadpool 2 without a director as Tim Miller steps aside.
Draaamaaa! The merc with a mouth is now the sequel without a director. Tim Miller, who poured tremendous creative capital into the first film as its director and most vocal cheerleader, has quietly left the sequel over creative differences. Inside scuttlebutt is that while early fights over tone and story flared up early, the casting of time-hopping mutant Cable (my vote’s still for Don’t Breathe’s Stephen Lang!) broke the camel’s back. Whatever transpired, this is a big loss. Ryan Reynolds and Tim Miller where the driving force behind the original Deadpool, and now the band’s broken up. Dude…I totally miss you.
A Wrinkle in Time adds two big names to its sci-fi roster.
Have you read Madeleine L’Engle’s seminal sci-fi masterpiece A Wrinkle in Time? Do it now. I’ll wait.
Back? That is one weird but wonderfully literate trip through higher dimensions. The film adaptation has taken a some time to coalesce, but is now going full speed. Ava Du Vernay is helming the project, and the film is picking up star power like an avalanche: Storm Reid (12 Years a Slave) plays the film’s heroine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Free State of Jones) and Chris Pine (Star Trek) will play her parents, and Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Oprah Winfrey play her semi-magical guardians.
The film has yet to set a release date, but with a 100 million dollar budget, a script from Jennifer Lee (Frozen, Zootopia) and the weight of Disney behind the production, expect to hear a lot more from this movie.
Donald Glover gets the nod as young Lando Calrissian in Han Solo movie.
Rogue One has yet to hit theaters, but Disney is already stirring the pot for it’s second Star Wars side story. That untitled film is set for May 2018, and will feature the adventures of a young Han Solo, set before his introduction in A New Hope. Solo will be played by Alden Ehrenreich, and now we have the name of another notorious scoundrel to add to the cast: Donald Glover.
Glover, an accomplished comedian, writer and musician hot off a new hit series, Atlanta, is joining the production as Lando Calrissian. We may finally see the fateful bet than transferred ownership of the Millennium Falcon on the big screen. Hopefully Greedo isn’t there shooting the place up.
Two New Biopics announced starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence.
Two new biopics are in development, with familiar names attached. The first is about influential rock and roll producer Sam Phillips, who helped pioneer the budding genre by discovering talent such as Elvis Presely, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. The Paramount backed project will star and be produced by Leonardo DiCaprio.
The second project features Jennifer Lawrence as Zelda Fitzgerald. Set in the 1920’s, the film will focus on her career as a novelist, her relationship with F. Scott Fitzgerald, and her struggles with mental illness. The film is being developed by Ron Howard, and Lawrence is producing alongside Brian Oliver (Black Swan.)
Thoughts: The music, visuals, and setting are all lining up for a sober and gritty film. Unlike the DC films, this one seems to have a through-line of optimism. It looks like The Road starring mutants with knives for hands, which I’m totally OK with. I’m not on fire, but this trailer definitely moved the needle.
Thoughts: If nothing else, this film will be a spectacle. Assassin’s Creed is one of those series of games that I would much rather read the story to than play, so perhaps a movie adaptation will be successful. Movies about games don’t instill a ton of confidence, though…
Planet Earth II
Thoughts: More lush photography and light natural science, in the mold of the first Planet Earth series. It should capture the imagination of younger viewers while mesmerizing audiences of any age.
Into the Inferno
Thoughts: This is the second documentary from Werner Herzog this year (Lo and Behold being the first.) It explores the mystique of volcanoes and the cultures that spring up around them. It’s free on Netflix at the end of this month, worth a view, though it does stray a bit far afield with its social conjecture.
The Cure for Wellness
Thoughts: Very little plot revelation, but a ton of slick visuals. Reminds me a bit of The Cell. I’ll need more to decide if this is a must see, but right now all of those haunting visuals have put this project, from Gore Verbinski, on my radar.