REEL NEWS: APRIL 27TH-MAY 4TH
This week; a new Assassin's Creed game is revealed, Universal Studio ticks off theatres, Hollywood continues to play on nostalgia and Transformers and G.I. Joe are making a comeback.
The Last of Us 2 Leaked
One of the most anticipated, massively open world single player games since the last massively open world single player game (Red Dead Redemption 2) has been leaked.
Entire cutscenes, gameplay footage, and level names of The Last of Us Part 2 have found their way online, and while they’ve been taken down, they were up long enough for the damage to be done.
Of course, people (being the assholes that they are) have made bots that automatically tweet summaries of the leaks to anything related to the game. Cause on top of everything, fans now need to stay 1.5 metres away from The Last of Us related tweets.
Conflicting reports point to either disgruntled, former employees of developers Naughty Dog or hackers who broke into the Naughty Dog servers with access to an early version of the game.
Sony and Naughty Dog deny the rumour of a disgruntled employee, probably to save their skins of being accused of a stressful, overworked and underpaid, work environment.
A new release date for the game was recently announced of June 16, 2020 after delaying it, most likely, due to concerns over lack of stores being open for initial release sales.
It was also revealed that Last of Us Part 2 will require a massive 100GB download space to be installed, making it the biggest PS4 game, in terms of data size.
Daft Punk Return to Music (Maybe?)
In a weird series of events, French electronic music duo Daft Punk will be composing Italian horror master Dario Argento’s next film.
Maybe. Like I said, it got weird.
In an interview, director Dario Argento announced that Daft Punk would compose the music for his upcoming thriller Black Glasses (Occhiali Neri).
According to Argento in an interview with an Italian newspaper, “They [Daft Punk] learned from a mutual French friend that I was working on a new film, and they contacted me to tell me they wanted to collaborate with me”
This would have signalled the return of the iconic, robotic, duo, 7 years after their last album RAM (Random Access Memory) and 11 years since their only film work on TRON: Legacy.
However, a few days later, the film’s producer back-tracked these claims, saying, “This statement reflects Argento’s desire to work with Daft Punk, however there has been no agreement nor discussion between both parties”.
So, Daft Punk may or may not return and it may or may not be for an Italian horror film. Maybe.
Irrfan Khan Died
One of Bollywood’s biggest stars has died aged 53.
Khan appeared in over 100 Bollywood films, as well as a number of Hollywood films including Jurassic World, Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire
He died has a result of a colon cancer in Mumbai with his family.
Tributes have poured in, such as Colin Trevorrow who tweeted Khan was “a thoughtful man who found beauty in the world around him, even in pain”.
Rest in Peace, Iffran Khan.
Begun, the cinema war has.
Universal studios announced that moving forward post-COIVD-19, they would be re-addressing how they release their major motion pictures.
Universal announced that the digital home release of Trolls: World Tour made over $100 million USD, in under three weeks.
The first Trolls made $153 million USD at the US box office alone for comparison.
As a result, NBCUnviersal CEO Jeff Shell told The Wall Street Journal, “The results have exceeded our expectations and demonstrated the viability of [digital release]. As soon as theatres reopen, we expect to release moves on both formats”
Usually, studios sign a deal that all cinema releases remain in theatres for up to 90 days before heading to home release.
NBCUniversal seem to be trying to reduce that time, to capitalise on more profits, and release films on-demand “when that distribution makes sense”.
Don’t take into consideration the pandemic forcing people home, desperate for entertainment or ways to distract their children, and blame cinemas for low box office results, that should work.
As a result, US theatre chain AMC and UK chain Cineworld, will no longer show Universal content in a ballsy protest.
As theatre chains struggle to continue to stay in business, and many now face grim fates, blocking entries in billion-dollar franchises like Fast & Furious, Despicable Me and Jurassic World is a good way to shot yourself in the foot.
The lines have been drawn, how long until the theatres chain fold or the studios dump them?
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
The next Assassin’s Creed game has been announced, and the list of historical settings grows ever smaller
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla was teased with promo art by Australian, digital artist, and fan caster extraordinaire BossLogic, before a cinematic rendered trailer was released.
Set in the Viking era, Valhalla will continue the gameplay style of Origins and Odyssey as the franchise moves away from the free-runner, linear open world to a more RPG style game.
Players will play as either a male or female Viking Raider who invades and settles in England and ultimately confront the series villain, the Templars.
The game will be released sometime in the “holidays” of 2020, so the usual October or November release spot.
Transformers & G.I. Joe Return (whether you want it or not)
Everything’s gonna be okay everyone, cause Transformers and G.I. Joe are making a comeback. Hooray?
The seventh Transformer film has been announced with a release date of June 24, 2022 although no word as to whether Michael Bay will spread his Bay-hem all over the franchise again.
Along with this, writers Joby Harold (Disney+ Kenobi writer) and James Vanderbilt (The Amazing Spider-Man franchise writer) have been hired to writer separate films in the Transformers series.
ALSO, Paramount have hired Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley to develop an animated, prequel film of the Robots in Disguise, with a script from Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari who have written the Ant-Man franchise.
After the mild success of Bumblebee and diminishing returns of the main series, Paramount & Hasbro may be looking to course correct and create a convoluted film universe to rival it’s own, already inconsistent universe.
The other Hasbro property that Paramount are desperate to make relevant again is the G.I. Joe franchise.
After two lacklustre films, the last of which came out 7 years ago, a Snake Eyes solo film starring Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding is absolute, 100% coming out October 23rd this year (despite any set photos, promo images or trailer).
The fact it’s called Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins does not bode well, considering the last time a film had that kind of title was X-Men Origins: Wolverine which nearly killed the franchise.
Now, a G.I. Joe reboot is coming from Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse, who have done bio-pic films with Seberg, about 60s French New Wave actress Jean Seberg and Race, which is about Jesse Owens who ran in the 1936 Olympics.
No details have been announced besides the rumour it is a reboot more closely linked with the Snake Eyes film.
John Wick 4 Delayed
I’ll give you 3 guesses as to why?
Keanu Reeve’s Keanu-ssance is not safe from COVID, as the action star and internet hero’s latest assassin
John Wick Chapter 4 has been delayed a year from May 21, 2021 to May 27 2022.
Besides the obvious, another reason for the delay could come from a conflict of schedules for the star and director.
The Matrix 4 is also set for a May 21 2021 release, which would mean that Reeves would have to finish Matrix 4 filming and head straight into Wick 4.
Which would be easy, if the director Chad Stahelski wasn’t also working on The Matrix 4 as a stunt coordinator, which he did for the original trilogy.
COVID-19 and a conflict of schedule adds up to the only likely outcome for the Baba Yaga.
Live Action Hercules
The Disney Dragon needs more money and they are nothing if not completionists, and now 7 of the 10 Disney Renaissance films will receive live action remakes.
Feeding on your nostalgia, Disney are creating a live action Hercules film, with Joe and Anthony Russo on to produce.
So, expect Chris Hemsworth as the titular Greek hero, Josh Gad as Phil the Satyr and Ariana Grande as Megara because creativity is dead, and Disney just pick the lowest common denominator with these films.
After runaway success with Aladdin and The Lion King, Disney have added this to The Little Mermaid and The Hunchback of Notre Dame as Renaissance films being developed into live action.
Now we just wait a couple of years until Pocahontas and Tarzan get remade, while The Rescuers Down Under (the outlier of the Renaissance era) fades into obscurity.
Space Jam 2 Title
Finally, LeBron James has revealed the title for Space Jam 2.
LeBron James playing basketball with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck in a spiritual sequel to one of the most 90s of 90s movies. Oh boy, I wonder what wacky title they’ve come up with?
Space Jam: The New Legacy? Seriously.
One of the most ridiculous film concepts and you go for the most generic film title. Glad to see the filmmakers have taken care with this and aren’t just capitalising on the popularity of LeBron and nostalgia of the original.
Space Jam: (sigh) The New Legacy is set for a July 16, 2021 release.