REEL NEWS: FEBRUARY 24TH-MARCH 2ND
This week in movie and TV; Disney faces a big shake-up, the initial impact of Covid-19 is felt, Weinstein faces justice, James Bond has lots of time to die, and much more.
Star Wars: Project Luminous Announcement
Lucasfilm’s mysterious Star Wars project, Project Luminous is revealed to be a publishing project called The High Republic. Set 200 years before the events of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the project sees various comics and books published from publications including Marvel, IDW and Del Rey that will follow the height of the Republic and the Jedi Order.
“This was a golden age for the Jedi, and also a time of galactic expansion in the Outer Rim. So expect there to be rich tales of exploration…” Lucasfilm’s VP of Franchise Content and Strategy James Waugh teased.
Previous Star Wars authors like Claudia Grey, Charles Soule and Daniel Jose Older are attached with the first wave of stories to debut at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim this August.
As the Coronavirus spreads around the world, its impact is being felt through the industry. Mission: Impossible 7 has delayed filming in Italy, due to, “Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew…we are altering the production plan for our three week shoot in Venice” Paramount stated.
Paramount have also halted the release of its recent family film Sonic The Hedgehog in China, as a result of the Chinese government’s order for citizens to stay at home and indoors to prevent further contagion. Since China is such a lucrative box office market, Paramount and many other studios will have to confront their films not meeting their release deadline.
Little Shop of Horrors Casting
Greg Berlanti’s Little Shop of Horrors remake is eyeing Chris Evans for the role of Dr. Orin Scrivello, played by Steve Martin in the 1986 version. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Evans is in talks and if he is signed on will continue his mission to distance himself from the Star-Spangled Avenger by playing douchebags. After telling his family to eat shit in Knives Out as Ransom, if Evans plays Southern, abusive dentist Scrivello, he’ll be done playing Mister Nice Guy.
Bob Iger Steps Down as Disney CEO
Walt Disney Company’s CEO, Bob Iger, immediately stepped down from his role on Tuesday. Iger is replaced by Bob Chapeck who recently served as chairman of the theme parks and consumer products businesses for Disney.
Iger was CEO for 15 years and shepherded Disney from financial ruin, to the dominating entertainment powerhouse it is today. Iger oversaw the acquisition of Marvel, Star Wars and recently 20th Century Fox, cementing a stable future for Disney. Bob Chapeck will report to the board, which Iger sill leads, and will fully take over at the end of 2021, once Iger’s contract is up.
Harvey Weinstein Convicted
Human goblin, Hollywood producer and rapist Harvey Weinstein has been charged in New York City of 3rd-degree rape and 1st-degree criminal sexual act.
His conviction comes 3 years after the exposure of Hollywood’s predatory environment and the commencement of the MeToo Movement, and retribution for over 30 years of abuse suffered by his grubby hands.
The 67-year old still faces two more allegations in Los Angeles, and his sentenced will be delivered on March 11, where he is facing 25 years in prison.
Jurassic World 3 Title
Colin Treverrow has announced on Twitter that shooting has begun on Jurassic World 3, or Jurassic World: Dominion based on the clapperboard in the tweet below.
The follow up to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will finally see the new cast of Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard teaming up with the original cast with Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neil and Laura Dern confirmed to return.
No Time to Die Runtime
The runtime for the 25th Bond film has possibly been revealed, by US cinema chain Regal Cinemas. The theatre chain posted on their website that No Time To Die comes in at a whopping 163 minutes, or 2 hours and 43 minutes.
If true, this makes it the longest Bond movie of all time, beating previous entry Spectre which ran for 2 hour and 40 minutes. As this is definitively the end for Daniel Craig’s Bond, expect an epic conclusion with an epic run time and plenty of time for Mr. Bond to die.
Indiana Jones 5 Director Shake-Up
Indiana Jones 5 has faced even more troubles with the departure of its director. Steven Spielberg has stepped down as director, but will stay on as a producer. This comes after years of rumour and speculation before the movie was announced in 2016. Yet its 2019 release date was pushed back, twice, eventually landing a 2021 release.
Variety report that James Mangold is being negotiated with to take over. Having directed Hugh Jackman to hang up the claws as Wolverine in Logan, Mangold seems an appropriate choice for a grumpy, old Indiana Jones to hang up his hat and whip.
The trailer for the Candyman remake/reboot/reimaging has been released. The Jordan Peele produced/written film sees Yahya Abdul-Mateen II become fascinated with the urban legend who is summoned upon saying his name 5 times in a mirror before he kills you.
Set to an eerie remix of Destiny’s Child’s ‘Say My Name’, the trailer is reminiscent to Peele’s Us which remixed LUNIZ’s ‘I Got 5 On It’ to spine-tingling results. Director Nia DaCosta has commented that the housing project, Cabrini-Green, where the original 1992 film was set helped inspire this retelling.
“Gentrification is what helped us reimagine the story because Cabrini-Green is gone…what we do in our film is talk about the ghosts that are left behind”
The trailer hints towards this commentary on gentrification with the line “You’re looking for Candyman. He’s the monster that’s part of this neighbourhood”. With this, Peele continues his trend of using horror to offer commentary on modern American society and the horrors of that, particularly for African-Americans.
Y: The Last Man Finds New Lead
FX’s adaptaion of Brian K Vaughn’s Y: The Last Man has found its new lead. After Barry Keoghan walked away, Ben Schnetzer has been brough on board. The series follows the last man left on Earth, populated only by women, when a plague wipes out humans with the Y chromosome; in other words, men.
The series could be FX’s response to dwindling viewers of The Walking Dead, a series whose comic run ended late-2019. Schnetzer joins Diane Lane, Imogen Poots and Lashana Lynch under showrunner Eliza Clark.
Leigh Whannel Signs Deal With Blumhouse
Australian horror director, Leigh Whannel has signed a two-year deal with Blumhouse Productions. Off the back of reseruecting Universal’s Dark Universe with The Invisible Man to critical success, Whannel’s deal sees Blumhouse getting first-look to all his projects for two years.
“Leigh creates movies which not only build franchises but fundamentally change the landscape of their genre” Blumhouse owner, Jason Blum commented.
Blumhouse and Whannel have partnered seven times before, with the Saw and Insidious franchise which Whannel created with directing partner James Wan.
“Ten years ago, I walked into Jason Blum’s office thinking that I was having a general meeting with a prodcer who liked horror movies-little did I know that a decade long partnership and friendship was about to begin” Whannel said in a statement.
Speculation has already begun that this deal could mark Universal’s continual attempt to create the Dark Universe, which puts Dracula, Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s Monster and other classic monsters in one universe.
The Suicide Squad Filming
James Gunn announced that The Suicide Squad has finished principle photography. The director took to Instagram to thank the cast and crew for their work and helping him get through some personal issues that bookend the film's production. Gunn's father passed away two weeks before shooting started and his dog two weeks before the end.
The Suicide Squad is a loose sequel to the 2016 Suicide Squad, and seems to reboot Task Force X and wash away the memory of David Ayer's mess of a movie. The film is set for a August 6 release, in 2021.
Weekend Box Office (Feb 28th-Mar 1st)
Top 3 results from the US weekend market. All price are USD.
The Invisible Man-$29,000,000
Sonic The Hedgehog-$16,000,000
The Call of the Wild-$13,205,000