REEL NEWS: JULY 6TH-JULY 13TH
This week; The Wolfman snifs out a director; Jude Law sets course for Neverland; Ubisoft revealed more about their upcoming games; Sabrina is cancelled; and another Batman prequel TV series.
Black Widow Spoilers From Director
It seems Marvel’s plan for Phase 4 is to not shy away from spoilers, but just have their directors flat out reveal the ending of their upcoming films.
Black Widow director, Cate Shortland revealed to Empire Magazine that the film will see Florence Pugh’s character take on the mantle of Black Widow.
Shortland said, “Scarlett is so gracious, like, ‘Oh, I’m handing her the baton.’ So it’s going to propel another female storyline”.
It was pretty obvious that this would be Scarlett Johansson’s final appearance as Natasha Romanoff since she was last seen, chronological, throwing herself off the cliffs of Voramir in Avengers: Endgame.
(Spoilers, I guess. Like you haven’t seen it by now).
One of the mysteries from the Black Widow trailers has been the identity of Taskmaster, who’s casting has not been announced, with some speculating that Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova would be the skull-faced mimic.
With Black Widow already being set between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, we already know Natasha Romanoff doesn’t die, and now that Yelena survives to carry on the mantle, there is a lack of need to see a movie we know so much about.
Halle Berry Pulls a Scarlett Johansson
Halle Berry has followed in the footsteps of Scarlett Johansson by signing on to play a transgender character. And then subsequently pulling out.
Berry was initially in talks and preparing to play a transgender man, in the early stages of transitioning.
Berry said on Instagram live, “Who this woman was is so interesting to me, and that will probably be my next project”.
Members and advocates of the transgender community, as well as supporters of trans rights and representation, were not happy.
Four days later, Berry announced she walked away from the role, stating, “I now understand that I should not have considered this role, and that the transgender community should undeniably have the opportunity to tell their own stories”.
While appreciated, Berry’s situation rings of Johansson’s a couple years back when she was (and then wasn’t) playing a transgender man in Rub & Tug.
It shows how little those in Hollywood pay attention and learn from others mistakes and only do learn when thousands of people call them specifically out and it looks bad for their careers.
Jude Law as Captain Hook
Jude Law looks to put another…feather in his cap. I’m sorry.
Law is in talks to play the sea-faring, clock and croc terrorised Captain Hook in Disney’s live-action Peter Pan & Wendy film.
Peter Pan & Wendy is from David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon) and stars Alexander Molony and Ever Anderson as the titular pair, respectively.
Peter Pan & Wendy is another adaptation of Disney’s animation back catalogue, specifically those that aren’t “woke” anymore and needed to be replaced and hopefully forgotten.
They’ve done it with Lady & The Tramp and the Siamese Cats or Dumbo and the Crows, or in Peter Pan’s case, the native Indians of Neverland.
Law joins actors like Dustin Hoffman, Hugh Jackman and Jason Isaacs as the child-hunting pirate.
Ruby Rose’s Batwoman replacement has been found.
After Ruby Rose left the cowl of Batwoman, The CW have cast Javicia Leslie as the new Batwoman lead.
Leslie is not playing Rose’s character of Kate Kane, but a brand-new character in the DC universe called Ryan Wilder, who is described as “likable, messy, a little goofy”.
Leslie said on the announcement, “I am extremely proud to be the first Black actress to play the iconic role”.
Leslie is bisexual and a part of the LGBTQ+ community, which CW/Warner Bros. were looking for to match Kate Kane’s bi-sexuality and continue to allow diverse representation on screen.
Ruby Rose also responded to the announcement saying on Instagram, “I am so glad Batwoman will be played by an amazing Black woman”.
Leslie’s casting makes her the first female African-American lead on a superhero TV show, and may see an increased viewership for the show with a renewed interest in the show.
Batwoman Season 2 is set to be released in 2021.
Leigh Whannell Directing The Wolfman
Universal’s Dark Universe might have been shockingly resurrected, Frankenstein-style.
Ryan Gosling is set to play the cursed, werewolf with Jason Blum of Blumhouse Studios, who produced The Invisible Man, also involved.
After prematurely announcing the ‘Dark Universe’ starting with Tom Cruise’s The Mummy film, Universal pretty much scrapped all the previously announced projects.
Initially, the previous incarnation of the Dark Universe was going to star: Javier Bardem as Frankenstein (either scientist or Monster); Angelina Jolie as the Bride of Frankenstein; Johnny Depp as The Invisible Man; Russell Crowe as Dr Jekyll/Mr. Hyde and Tom Cruise as either The Mummy or Van Helsing-type or whatever that 2017 Mummy film was trying to set-up.
Now, after the critical and financial success of The Invisible Man, Universal might have found a new alternative to their ongoing attempts at a Dark Universe cinematic universe.
The Wolfman is also being written by Lauren Schuker Blum (Orange is the New Black) and Rebecca Angelo (Orange is the New Black), with Whannell now involved with writing as well.
Zendaya Quarantine Film
Hollywood maybe shut down, but that hasn’t stopped Zendaya from making a new film.
Zendaya has teamed-up with Euphoria creator, Sam Levinson, to create Malcolm & Marie, which is being compared to Netflix’s Marriage Story with topical social themes.
Malcom & Marie also stars John David Washington opposite Zendaya, and was filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Filmed between June 17 and July 2, the production adhered to strict health and safety protocols with cast and crew only interacting with one another.
More on the production protocols, as well as the importance of the only setting for the film can be found at Deadline’s report here.
Malcom & Marie has no release date or studio involved so any updates can be found here.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Cancelled at Netflix
Netflix have pulled the rug out from fans of Sabrina by cancelling The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
The upcoming Part 4, or 2nd half of Season 2, of Sabrina will be the final one for the teen-horror series.
Netflix are tight-lipped about their viewing numbers so there is no way to know if Sabrina was doing poorly viewership wise.
The series, from Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, was initially set up as a potential Riverdale spin-off with many fans waiting for the inevitable crossover as Riverdale got more and more supernatural.
Well, as it turns out, Part 5 of Sabrina was supposed to see a Riverdale crossover titled ‘Witch War’.
Aguirre-Sacasa, who is showrunner on Riverdale and Sabrina tweeted the tease of the potential crossover, which will now be depicted in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comics.
Convenient that Aguirre-Sacasa reveals a long-awaited crossover after the show has been cancelled. Almost as if to stir up buzz and fan support, which it certainly has, with at least 2 Change.org petitions created.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 4 will be released on Netflix later this year, probably around October. Cause Halloween, I guess.
Naya Rivera Missing
Naya Rivera, know for her role as Santana Lopez on Glee, went missing on July 8th in Southern California.
The actress went out on a rented boat on Lake Piru with her 4-year old son before disappearing as they were swimming together .
Upon failing to return the boat, employees went looking and found the boat with only her 4-year old son on board, unharmed.
Search and rescue teams have continued to search for her, with poor water conditions affecting the speed of the search.
Glee co-stars, such as Heather Morris, have assisted the family and crew to find her, with authorities warning that the area is hazardous.
The search continues for Rivera, with many fearing the worst.
Ubisoft held their E3 substitute presentation, Ubisoft Forward and showed off details about upcoming games, including the leaked but then confirmed, Far Cry 6.
Early in the week, the PlayStation store leaked Far Cry 6 which Ubisoft quickly confirmed ahead of their livestream.
Last week, Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, The Mandalorian) teased that he was involved with an upcoming video game project which is now confirmed to be the next menacing and deceptively charming villain in the Far Cry franchise.
Ubisoft ended their livestream with a cinematic trailer for the game centring around Esposito’s character and his son.
Along with that, there was gameplay footage from Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, which looks exactly like the last one except Vikings; and Watch Dogs: Legion which looks like the last one, except British.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is being released November 17th 2020.
Watch Dogs: Legion, October 29th 2020.
Far Cry 6 will be out February 18th, 2021.
The Batman Spin-Off
Finally, The Batman is getting a prequel TV series from director Matt Reeves.
The series, exclusive to HBOMax, will be set before Batman appears and will focus on the Gotham City Police Department and the corruption that spreads through it.
The Batman director Matt Reeves is on to produce with Boardwalk Empire creator, Terence Winter, writing and executive-producing.
Early speculation point to Ed Brubaker’s comic Gotham Central as a key influence, but the show, like the movie it seems, could be influenced by a number of Batman/DC comics.
Jeffrey Wright has been cast as Commissioner Gordon for The Batman, but no word on if he will appear in the series.