Monday, 29 September 2014

Angelina Jolie set to direct poaching tale Africa

With her second directorial effort Unbroken set to hit cinemas later this year, Angelina Jolie (In The Land Of Blood And Honey) is already at work on her third, By The Sea which co-stars hubby Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds). Now she has locked in a fourth, targeting another true life story with Africa.

Eric Roth (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) has written the script, based on the true story of paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey and his battle with the ivory poachers who threatened the African elephant population. The emotional story appears to be part of a trend in Hollywood at the moment: Tom Hardy (Lawless), Tobey Maguire (The Great Gatsby) and Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf Of Wall Street) are all developing another anti-poaching drama. But Jolie's attachment to this Skydance Productions films means it could have an even higher profile.
"I've felt a deep connection to Africa and its culture for much of my life, and was taken with Eric's beautiful script about a man drawn into the violent conflict with elephant poachers who emerged with a deeper understanding of man's footprint and a profound sense of responsibility for the world around him," Jolie says in a statement carried by Variety.

She has Unbroken cinematographer Roger Deakins (Skyfall) already on board, so you know it's going to look spectacular, but other details will likely have to wait until she's finished on By The Sea.

Unbroken, the story of Olympic sprinter and World War II POW Louis Zamperini, heads to UK cinemas on 26 December.

"You got fucked by Robocop dude!"

Sony Pictures have just released their latest red band trailer for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's (This Is The End) latest directorial effort, The Interview.

James Franco is Dave Skylark, the not very bright but very popular host of celebrity tabloid TV show Skylark Tonight. When he and producer/best friend Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) learn that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a huge fan of their work, they manage to land an interview with the tyrant, seeing it as their chance to establish themselves as legitimate journalists.
But with their travel to Pyongyang booked, the CIA decides that Dave and Aaron are the best shot they have at assassinating Kim, and set about finding a way for the two least qualified men imaginable to off a world leader.

This latest trailer certainly shows more of what we can expect from the film, including Skylark figuring out what the CIA agents mean by asking him to "take out" the Korean despot and Aaron trying to conceal a vital item in a rather uncomfortable place.

With Lizzy Caplan (127 Hours), Randall Park (The Five-Year Engagement), Timothy Simons (Veep) and Diana Bang (Sorority Wars) in the cast, The Interview will hit UK screens on 6 February next year. That follows a delay for some digital polishing to remove certain elements for clearance issues.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Gary Whitta hired to write Mark Millar adaptation

While his first two produced scripts, Book Of Eli (2010) and last year's After Earth, didn't exactly score a lot of critical, or in After Earth's case, commercial love, Gary Whitta is still winning big jobs. He's already at work on one of the Star Wars spin-off films with Godzilla's Gareth Edwards and has just landed the gig scripting the adaptation of Mark Millar's Starlight for 20th Century Fox.

Created by Millar and artist Goran Parlov, the new title, which hit stores back in March, is a blend of Flash Gordon and Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. Its follows Flash alike space hero Duke McQueen who saved the universe from a diabolical villain 35 years ago, but returned home to Earth to discover no-one believed his tales of intergalactic heroism.

Dining on ashes, he shrugged off the disappointment, fell in love and got married. Now, decades later, older and with kids of his own, he's called back to action when his old rocket shows up with a warning that the enemy has returned.

Simon Kinberg, who has been helping to shepherd both 20th Century Fox's superhero efforts with this years X-Men: Days Of Future Past and Walt Disney Pictures' new Star Wars universe as a writer and producer, will be overseeing the work on this one alongside Steve Asbell.

Whitta's Star Wars effort is scheduled for 16 December 2016, with no word as yet on which character it will focus on. Either way, we look forward to finding out.

Pete's Dragon remake finds two young stars

Of all the films Walt Disney Pictures could unearth from their classic archives for a fresh coat of remake paint, we were surprised to see Pete's Dragon among them. Still, it's moving forward with Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013) director David Lowery overseeing the project and has just secured two young stars in Oakes Fegley and Oona Laurence.

Fegley, who has appeared on Boardwalk Empire and has small roles in the upcoming This Is Where I Leave You and Fort Bliss, will be the titular Pete, an orphan who arrives in a small town with his magic dragon, attempting to escape his abusive adoptive parents.

Laurence, meanwhile, is a newly created character, Natalie, who also befriends our hero. The young actress won a Tony Award for her work in the Matilda Broadway musical and will next be seen in boxing drama Southpaw alongside Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners).

Lowery and co-writer Toby Halbrooks are on board to write a new take on the story, with a modern frame and, apparently, without the musical element of the original. The plan is to film live action and create the dragon via CGI, which should surprise exactly no one. We're fascinated to see what the director of the very sombre and moody Ain't Them Bodies Saints does with the cute and underrated Disney classic. It should certainly be an interesting mix.

Anthony Mackie joins Our Brand Is Crisis

After spending several months in development, political comedy drama blend Our Brand Is Crisis is is taking beautiful shape at Warner Bros. David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) will call the shots with a cast that already includes Sandra Bullock (Gravity) and Billy Bob Thornton (Jayne Mansfield's Car), and Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Sodier) is now set to join them.

Produced by Argo (2012) duo George Clooney and Grant Heslov, Our Brand Is Crisis is adapted from Rachel Boynton's 2005 documentary, which saw President Clinton's former advisors James Carville and Stan Greenberg applying what they had learned in the trenches of American politics to a campaign in Bolivia, and the effects it has on the process.

Thornton's role is still being kept under wraps, but we do now know that Bullock will be "Calamity" Jane Bodine, a charismatic retired American political consultant known for quoting famous people when she's making points. Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) wrote the script and Green will kick off shooting shortly.

Mackie is a man in much demand at the moment. He has romantic comedy Playing It Cool, with Captain America buddy Chris Evans, and Paul Bettany's (Transcendence) directorial debut Shelter in the can. He has also worked on John Hillcoat's (Lawless) crime thriller Triple Nine and Seth Rogen's (This Is The End) new, untitled Christmas set comedy. Not to mention being attached to several other potential projects including A Girl And A Gun and a planned Jesse Owens biopic.

Rian Johnson discusses his Star Wars experience so far

Back in June it was announced that Looper (2012) and Breaking Bad director Rian Johnson had been chosen to craft Star Wars: Episode VIII and, most likely, Episode IX. From the sounds of his recent reports on the new job, his experience working within the revitalised franchise is more positive than even he expected. While we don't have much in the way of new information about the films, unsurprisingly, a recent interview with TalkHouse Film should reassure people that Johnson feels creatively inspired by Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's vision.

A lifelong Star Wars fan, Johnson is enthusiastic about the work, which helps assuage some worries that directors with vision are being hired and then yoked into a system that negates what they can bring to the work. Chatting to Terry Gilliam (The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus) on the TalkHouse Film Podcast, Johnson was positive about his time so far, even though it's early days.

"I'm just starting into it, but so far it's the most fun I've ever had writing. It's just joyous," he says. "The first movies I was making in my head were part of this world, so part of it is a direct connection – it's almost like an automatic jacking-in into childhood in a weird way."

And what has he faced so far? "I'm figuring it out as I go. I'm dancing on top of the avalanche a little bit. But it's a challenge of remembering what inspires you about the original films, but I think you can probably go to the wrong place by feeling too responsible to it. You have to keep your head loose enough to tell a story you actually care about."

He also has nothing but praise for his collaborators on this mammoth endeavour. "Kathleen and her whole creative team have been so insistent on all the filmmakers they've been hiring for these new movies: 'We want you to take it and turn it into something that you really care about.' And we'll see how the process plays out. Because that just seems like their attitude towards it. It's really exciting actually."

For more from Johnson (and Gilliam), check out the first part of the podcast below.

J.J. Abrams (Star Trek Into Darkness) is currently shooting Episode VII, which features John Boyega (Attack The Block), Daisy Ridley (Silent Witness), Adam Driver (Girls), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Andy Serkis (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes), Domhnall Gleeson (About Time) and Max von Sydow (Shutter Island), plus saga veterans Harrison Ford (who will be back at work once his broken leg heals), Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker, will be out on 18 December 2015. If Disney keeps to its planned schedule, Episode VIII is set for 2017.

First trailer and one sheet for Hellmouth arrives online

Take heart fans of the strange and unusual – particularly those of you with a weakness for the era of classic drive-in pulp. Foresight Features (Monster Brawl) have just released their first trailer and one sheet for John Geddes (Exit Humanity) latest indie horror Hellmouth.

Written by Pontypool's Tony Burgess (Pontypool), Hellmouth stars Stephen McHattie (The Watchmen) as Charlie Baker, a dying gravekeeper who who must pass through Hell as he journeys to save the soul of a beautiful woman.

Reminiscent of Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's Sin City (2005), Hellmouth is an ode to classic 1950s horror and fantasy B-movies.

"I wanted to create a story-driven film with fantasy and horror combined. Something that was directly inspired by the era of Hitchcock and even Ed Wood. Working with a writer like Tony Burgess was a pleasure as we both love the simplicity in many of the old classic films of the 50′s and 60′s, and even earlier in films like Nosferatu and Faust. We worked really hard to make Hellmouth something fresh."

While the completed Hellmouth was unveiled to distributors at this years Toronto International Film Festival, no firm release date has been set as yet. As always, watch this space.

Max Borenstein set to write Godzilla sequel

Max Borenstein clearly has a thing for raging gigantic beasts. He was one of the main credited writers on Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros' Godzilla and was recently announced as the screenwriter for Legendary's stab at the King Kong mythology, Skull Island. So it probably shouldn't come as much of a surprise that he is also set to write the Godzilla sequel, taking aim at a 2018 release date.

Given that distant release date, it's not surprising that very little is known about the film yet. But with Gareth Edwards once more in the director's chair, there have been hints that classic Godzilla botherers Mothra, Rodan and Ghidorah will be the big threats this time around.

Of course, one of the big complaints about this year's outing for the giant creature was the lack of much action from the big guy himself. Hopefully that will be rectified in the sequel.

Despite his seemingly busy schedule, Borenstein should certainly have time to write both Skull Island – which recently scored Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings Of Summer) to direct and Tom Hiddleston (Thor: The Dark World) to star – and Godzilla 2, while Edwards himself develops one of the Star Wars spin-off films.

20th Century Fox announces Deadpool movie for 2016

After years in development limbo, it appears the merc with a mouth is finally getting his moment. News has arrived via The Hollywood Reporter that 20th Century Fox have officially announced a Deadpool film for 12 February 2016.

The fan favourite Marvel character has long been in demand for his own film following his disappointing big screen introduction in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009). Wade Wilson deserves better and there has been script after script written, with Zombieland's (2009) Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick two of the primary contributors.

Visual effects veteran Tim Miller is now confirmed to direct the new film and, given the man's enthusiasm for the role, Ryan Reynolds (Buried) is likely to be back as Deadpool himself, though no deal is in place as yet.

The announcement comes soon after test footage for the new film found its way online, with Reynolds telling the Niagara Falls Review it definitely helped the project's case. "The movie has been in a state of limbo for a while. There was such an overpowering reaction to the footage, you sort of feel like, 'Oh, so we weren't crazy for our reasons for loving this character, for loving this role.' It's interesting to see the power of the Internet. It's awe-inspiring, actually. And it's neat that Twitter and Facebook and Instagram can move mountains when used in the right way."

In related 20th Century Fox release date news, it appears that the Assassin's Creed adaptation won't be ready in time for 2015, and the studio has moved it from its 7 August release date in the US to an unspecified 2016 spot. That's not entirely surprising at this point; we'd have heard more about it if it had moved into full production and it would now struggle to make that date. The Fantastic Four is moving to take its place in the US, with no word yet on how that might affect the UK release, which was set for next June. The studio has also slotted in John Green novel adaptation Paper Towns for 19 June.

New stills for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 arrive online

There are just a couple of months to wait now for Francis Lawrence's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, which will start to wrap up Katniss' (Jennifer Lawrence) battle against the corrupt Capitol and its despotic rule over the outlying Districts. To remind us all of that fact, Lionsgate have just released a fresh set of stills.

The first part of Mockingjay, adapted by Danny Strong from Suzanne Collins' third novel, finds Katniss and the other rebels finally taking their fight to the Capitol and its ruthless President Snow (Donald Sutherland). But the fight against the tyrannical ruler will not be an easy one, and everyone involved will have to sacrifice if the Districts are to be finally free. And to complicate matters for Katniss personally, Peeta is now a prisoner of the Capitol and is being forced to serve their propaganda purposes.

With Lawrence back as Katniss and surrounded by fellow franchise veterans Elizabeth Banks, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Woody Harrelson plus franchise newcomers Lily Rabe (American Horror Story), Robert Knepper (R.I.P.D.), Natalie Dormer (The Counselor), Gwendoline Christie (Game Of Thrones), Elden Henson (Deja Vu), Wes Chatham (The Help), Mahershala Ali (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button), Evan Ross (Jeff, Who Lives At Home) and Julianne Moore (Crazy, Stupid, Love.), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 flies into cinemas on 21 November, followed by Part 2 on 20 November 2015.

"You don't even know what the truth is!"

The Weistein Company have just released their first trailer for Tim Burton's (Dark Shadows) Big Eyes.

Usually to be found around the macabre but strangely compelling creatures, Tim Burton has made a very different sort of film for his latest, Big Eyes. Even Big Fish (2003) had touches of the fantastical, but this is a stylish and completely real life tale.

Big Eyes chronicles the story of Walter and Margaret Keane who became known in the '50s and '60s for crafting one of the first mass-marketed art sensations: their ocularly enhanced horrors were sold in petrol stations and small stores around the US. In a sexist twist reflecting the age, it was Walter alone who became famous for the pictures, parlaying the fiction that he created them into TV talk show stardom. But it was Margaret who did the work, and claimed her share of the profits when she and Walter divorced. To prove her ownership, the judge ordered a paint-off between the pair in court.

Ed Wood (1994) writers Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander have long been trying to get the film off the ground, with previously developing incarnations seeing Thomas Haden Church (Killer Joe) and Kate Hudson (Bride Wars), and Ryan Reynolds (Buried) and Reese Witherspoon (Mud) briefly attached. In its final form with Adams and Waltz, it also co-stars Danny Huston (Wrath Of The Titans), Jason Schwartzman (Moonrise Kingdom) and Terence Stamp (The Adjustment Bureau), as, respectively, a gossip journalist, a gallery owner and a snobby art critic.

Big Eyes will arrive here on 26 December.

Astrid Bergès-Frisbey is King Arthur's Guinevere

While Guy Ritchie's (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows) King Arthur film promises to be loaded with testosterone thanks to its knight heavy ensemble, there will be at least one balancing female presence in the group. Deadline reports that Astrid Bergès-Frisbey (Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) has been cast as Guinevere.

Ritchie is currently filling his cast for the film, which Warner Bros is hoping could launch a new franchise spanning as many as six instalments. Charlie Hunnam (Paicic Rim) appears to be locked in King as Arthur, with Idris Elba (Prometheus) set to play his mentor, Bedivere.

Guinevere, of course, is Arthur's queen and a controversial character since she also engages in an affair with his best mate and first knight, Lancelot. How much of that plays into this initial film – written by Edge Of Tomorrow producer Joby Harold, who has planned out the other stories – remains to be seen. Warner Bros will no doubt lock her into a multi-film contract to ensure she's available for potential future movies.

Berges-Frisbey is next set to be on our screens in science flavoured indie I Origins, due on 26 September. She's also just worked on Claudio Cupellini's (A Quiet Life) chilly drama Alaska.

First trailer and one sheet for A Most Violent Year arrives online

A24 Films have just released their first trailer and one sheet for J.C. Chandor's (All Is Lost) A Most Violent Year.

Following his well received debut with Margin Call (2011) and the excellent Robert Redford drama All Is Lost (2013), we've been waiting with anticipation to see something from writer/director J.C. Chandor's next film, A Most Violent Year.

A Most Violent Year finds Chandor back in Manhattan, unspooling a story that takes place during the summer of 1981 when the city's crime has risen to extreme levels.

Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) is Abel Morales, an immigrant who is trying to grow his heating oil business. But the dangerous streets of the big city cause more and more problems, and Morales finds that his ethics are malleable as he fights to keep his company going with the aid of his equally tough wife, Anna (Jessica Chastain). As the year progresses, their tactics become less scrupulous and the authorities start to take an interest...

Albert Brooks (Drive), David Oyelowo (Jack Reacher), Alessandro Nivola (American Hustle) and Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full Of Grace) are all part of the cast for A Most Violent Year, which lands in the US and here on 31 December.

Matt Smith set for Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

Since leaving Doctor Who, Matt Smith has been busy adding film roles to his CV, including Ryan Gosling's (Drive) directorial debut Lost River, and a mysterious part in Alan Taylor's (Thor: The Dark World) Terminator: Genisys. He's travelling back in time – something in which he is clearly well versed – for his next gig, playing Mr. Collins in Burr Steers' (Charlie St. Cloud) Pride And Prejudice And Zombies.

The genre mash up, drawn from Seth Grahame-Smith's book injecting zombie madness into Jane Austen's classic tale of manners and moods, has been casting up quickly of late. Lily James (Fast Girls) is our heroine, Elizabeth Bennett, who juggles family expectations and a burgeoning, unexpected romance with Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) and fighting off legions of the "sorry stricken", also known as the undead.

Smith's Collins is, largely, in keeping with the original, a parson on the hunt for a wife who proposes to Elizabeth. Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire), Douglas Booth (Noah) and Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows) are also all aboard the film. Steers, who has also worked on the script, started cameras rolling this week.

As for Smith, there's no sign of a UK release date for Lost River yet, but we can expect Terminator: Genisys on 26 June next year.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Two new one sheets for The Imitation Game arrive online

StudioCanal have just released two new one sheets for Morten Tyldum (Headhunters) The Imitation Game.

The film tells the true story of the race to crack the Nazi Enigma code during World War II, with the effort led by mathematical genius Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch). Helping him in his efforts are Keira Knightley (A Dangerous Method), Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Matthew Goode (Stoker), all adding up to an impressive cast of British talent.

Cumberbatch recently revealed how intriguing he found Turing as a character: "Turing's like Churchill described Russia: a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."

The script, by Graham Moore, was on Hollywood's Black List of best unproduced screenplays in 2011 and seriously impressed the actor: "The [script's] conjunction of secrets, of a man who has to keep his homosexuality a secret, and the breaking of secrets in World War II, and the strands of his life it shed light on, I thought was masterful. I really knew who he was by reading the script."

Turing was central to cracking the code and is often called the father of modern computing. However, he was persecuted for his homosexuality after the war, and was prosecuted for it in 1952. He died from cyanide poisoning a few years later, in what is generally thought to have been suicide.

The Imitation Game will open the London Film Festival on 8 October and will be released generally on 14 November.

Kate Mara set for The Martian

Ridley Scott (Prometheus) is currently splitting his time between putting the final touches on Exodus: Gods And Kings and preparing to make his next film, science fiction adaptation The Martian. Building his cast around Matt Damon (Elysium), Scott has just signed Kate Mara (127 Hours) for one of the prime roles.

The Martian, adapted from Andy Weir's book by Drew Goddard (The Cabin In The Woods), finds Damon playing NASA astronaut Mark Watney. He is left stranded on Mars after his crewmates on the Ares 3 mission are forced to evacuate by a dust storm.

To stave off death on the Red Planet, Watney fights for survival, trying to rustle up water and grow crops. Meanwhile, his fellow astronauts are kept in the dark about his survival during their voyage back to Earth on the Hermes spacecraft. NASA struggles to find some way to rescue Watney, and the Hermes astronauts try to help when they finally learn he's alive.

With shooting pencilled in for a November start, Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) and Kristen Wiig (The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty) have been circling roles in the film, though we don't know whether Mara's casting means she has been offered one of those parts instead. Mara's next big screen role is as Sue Storm in 20th Century Fox's the new take on The Fantastic Four, which lands here on 18 June next year.

Speaking of Scott, he's adding yet another project to his ever expanding production pile, buying the film rights to Betty J. Eadie's book Embraced By The Light. The 1992 tome chronicles Eadie's experiences after dying for four hours during surgery and what she learned from her apparent glimpses of the afterlife.

Liam Neeson in talks to Tell No One

Liam Neeson (Taken) has a new mission, to blend his action man successes with slightly deeper dramatic roles in the style of this years A Walk Among The Tombstones. According to Deadline, A Walk Among The Tombstones studio Universal Pictures is looking to land him as the lead in book adaptation Tell No One.

Harlan Coben's novel follows a doctor whose wife vanishes when they're on a romantic outing at a lake. He tries to find her, but is badly beaten, and when she turns up murdered the hubby becomes the prime suspect. Soon, however, suspicion points instead to a serial killer's work. And after a few years pass, the man suddenly receives information that his wife may not be dead at all...

The tome has been in development in the US for years, and came close in 2002 before plunging back into development hell. French actor/writer/director Guillame Canet (Little White Lies) found French cinema success with the story in 2007, and since then it's been back floating around Hollywood, with Argo's (2012) Chris Terrio writing a draft of the script and that film's director, Ben Affleck considering it in 2011. Since then, the project landed with Gavin O'Connor (Warrior), who may end up making it.

According to Deadline, Neeson is waiting to see a revised script before he commits. A Walk Among The Tombstones is out now.

New trailer arrives online for The Judge

Warner Bros have just released their latest trailer for David Dobkin's (The Wedding Crashers) The Judge.

With Wedding Crashers (2005) director David Dobkin overseeing things, The Judge follows big shot lawyer Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.), who reluctantly returns to his childhood home when his mother dies. There, he discovers that his estranged father (Robert Duvall), the town's judge, is being investigated for murder.

So the man who walked away from his family years ago now finds himself having to reconnect with the man he's tried to avoid. Frosty initial relations eventually give way to more of an understanding as better memories flow, but there’s also the small matter of keeping dad from going to jail.

Alongside Downey Jr. and Duvall, the cast includes Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring), Billy Bob Thornton (Jayne Mansfield's Car), Vincent D'Onofrio (Escape Plan), Dax Shepard (Parenthood), Jeremy Strong (Zero Dark Thirty), Melissa Leo (Prisoners), Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl), David Krumholtz (This Is The End) and Sarah Lancaster (Chuck).

The Judge arrives in the UK on 17 October.

Doctor Strange secures July 2016 release date

We may not yet know who will be playing the Sorcerer Supreme himself – Joaquin Phoenix (Her) and Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire) are among those who have been rumoured – but we do know when Marvel's Doctor Strange will be arriving on the big screen, with Screen International reporting a 8 July 2016 release date.

Scott Derrickson (Sinister) is set to direct the film, working from a script that has seen work by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus), Thomas Dean Donnelly (Conan The Barbarian) and Joshua Oppenheimer (The Act Of Killing).

Doctor Strange was originally conjured from the brains of Stan Lee and art genius Steve Ditko, and began life as a selfish New York surgeon who loses his professional skills in a car crash. After falling on hard times, he visits a healer in the Himalayas known as The Ancient One, and learns to tap into psychic powers. In recognition of his selfless efforts to thwart evil fellow disciple Baron Mordo, he's taught the mystical arts and sets out to defeat other shady sorcerers and various villains.

Whoever ends up playing the man himself will be headed to the UK. As it did with Guardians Of The Galaxy, Thor: The Dark World and chunks of Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Marvel is planning to make the film here in Blighty, at Pinewood Shepperton, to be exact.

No confirmation was offered on exactly when shooting will kick off, but given that release date, late this year or early 2015 seems likely. Presumably once they lock in their chosen Doctor. As always, watch this space.

Ben Kingsley and Brie Larson join Brooklyn Bridge

Though it originally aimed to kick off filming last month, Brooklyn Bridge, a new drama about the man who oversaw the building of the famous New York structure, has been moved back to next spring. Yet there is good news on the casting front, with Ben Kingsley (Hugo) and Brie Larson (The Spectacular Now) climbing the struts to join the ensemble.

Daniel Radcliffe (Kill Your Darlings) will star as the brilliant but inexperienced engineer Washington Roebling, who inherits the mammoth project when his father (Kingsley) dies from tetanus. Initially overwhelmed by the task and driven by an obsession that threatens his family, Roebling overcomes his demons with the help of his equally talented wife Emily (Larson).

The resulting bridge took 14 years and cost $15m and 20 lives to build. It's a chapter in American history that should offer plenty of dramatic grist for writer/director Douglas McGrath's (Emma) screenplay to explore.

Kingsley, or at least his voice, is currently back on our screens in The Boxtrolls. He'll next be seen in Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb, which is out on 19 December. Larson, meanwhile, is in The Gambler alongside Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor) and is part of the cast for Judd Apatow's (This Is 40) latest, Trainwreck, which will arrive on 28 August next year.

Ciaran Hinds will Bleed For This

True life boxing drama Bleed For This already has Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now) attached as slugger Vinny Pazienza. Now we know who will be playing his father, Angelo, because Ciarán Hinds (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) has signed on to co-star.

Boiler Room (2000) writer/director Ben Younger is scripting and directing this one, charting the story of Pazienza, who broke his neck in three places in a traffic accident in 1991 while he was at the peak of his career. Against doctors' orders, Pazienza returned to the gym with his neck still encased in a metal halo, began working out and eventually won three more titles. He went on to retire with a 50-10 record.

While Hinds worries about his onscreen son's condition, Aaron Eckhart (Battle Los Angeles) will be Pazienza's trainer, Kevin Rooney, an infamous name in the boxing community of the time who pushes him to recover.

Hinds, who recently appeared in a recurring role as Mance Rayder on Game Of Thrones, will be back on the big screen in The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Them, which has yet to secure a UK release date and Hitman: Agent 47, the reboot of the console game series adaptation, due in cinemas on 20 March next year.

Margaret Qualley set for The Nice Guys

For an actress whose entire career to date has comprised of just two jobs – a role in Gia Coppola's Palo Alto (2013) alongside James Franco (127 Hours) and playing Justin Theroux's daughter in HBO's The Leftovers – Margaret Qualley is quickly grabbing attention. Now Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), who has her in talks to join his 1970s crime thriller The Nice Guys.

Black co-wrote the script with Anthony Bagarozzi and has Ryan Gosling (Drive) and Russell Crowe (Noah) already signed on the dotted to star.

The story finds Gosling as wayward, troubled private eye Holland March, who crosses paths in Los Angeles with hired muscle Jackson Healy (Crowe). These unlikely allies must prowl the mean streets of Los Angeles to solve the case of a missing girl, which soon develops links to the death of a porn star. As they unravel the cases, they discover a massive conspiracy reaching the highest levels of power.

Qualley will be a social activist who looks the spitting image of a porn star named Misty Mountains, which we're sure is something that will factor into the case. It's another big jump for her, but if her performance in The Leftovers is anything to go by, a welcome one. Black is working towards a release date now set for 17 June 2016 and should be shooting next year.

Cara Delevingne set for Paper Towns

With one adaptation already successfully under his belt with The Fault In Our Stars, author John Green is now watching the progress of another tome, Paper Towns, as it heads to the big screen. The Fault In Our Stars' Nat Wolff has snagged the male lead, and now model turned actress Cara Delevingne (Anna Karenina) is in talks for the primary female role.

Robot & Frank (2012) director Jake Schreier is set to direct the film, which sees young neighbours Quentin and Margo united by the experience of finding the body of a man who committed suicide. Though they grow apart as they age, they're suddenly thrown back together when Margo shows up one night at Quentin's window dressed as a ninja.

After launching a campaign to wreak revenge on the people who have hurt her in her life, she vanishes and our hero sets out to follow clues and discover what happened. The Fault In Our Stars writers Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter are once more on script duty and the film should be out next year, looking to keep the Green bandwagon ticking over at 20th Century Fox.

Delevingne, last seen in Anna Karenina (2012), has several films on the way including London Fields, Kids In Love and Tulip Fever. She's also in the cast for Joe Wright's (Atonement) Pan, the Peter Pan origin story that sees Garrett Hedlund (Inside Llewyn Davis) playing Hook and Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables) as Blackbeard.

Tom Hiddleston set for Skull Island

Legendary Pictures took to the San Diego Comic Con stage earlier this year to announce it was making a return to Skull Island to explore the origins of King Kong, the ape of legend. Now we know that Tom Hiddleston (Thor: The Dark World) will be starring in the film, and that The Kings Of Summer (2013) director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is set to direct.

No plot details have been released so far, though Godzilla man Max Borenstein has been hard at work on a script that takes a trip to the famous rocky landscape and promises to find massive creatures and other dangers lurking around. Vogt-Roberts represents the latest attempt by Legendary to give a director known for indie movies the keys to a blockbuster, following in the footsteps of Gareth Edwards (Monsters).

How Hiddleston fits in is a mystery for now, though we are guessing he will be a dashing adventurer heading to the island in the hope of capturing evidence or the beast itself. We also imagine that the expedition will not go particularly well, since Skull Island has disappeared into legend by the time of the original film.

Other than that, all we know at the moment is that the film will arrive in cinemas via Universal Pictures on 4 November 2016.

Hiddleston is currently preparing for Marc Abraham's (Flash Of Genius) Hank Williams biopic I Saw The Light and has most recently finished a lead role on Ben Wheatley's (Sightseers) latest, High-Rise. He will also be part of the cast for Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim) horror Crimson Peak, due to haunt cinemas on 16 October next year.

Vogt-Roberts, meanwhile, directed several episodes of US telly sitcom You're The Worst and is also attached to make a Metal Gear Solid adaptation for Sony Pictures and a TV movie called Cocked. Those will, presumably, have to wait until this is done.

Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

Though it looked for a while as if Tom Hiddleston (Thor: The Dark World) would be the new Ben-Hur, the man now looking to fill a role once assayed by Charlton Heston is Boardwalk Empire's Jack Huston.

Taken once again from Lew Wallace's 1880 novel, the new version aims to chronicle the younger days of Judah Ben-Hur and Messala, best friends growing up in Jerusalem before the Roman Empire takes over. Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince and Messala the son of a Roman tax collector who is packed off to be educated in Rome for five years. Upon his return, he mocks our hero for his religion, and, after an accident he pins on his friend, has him sold into slavery. Cue a quest for revenge that culminates (at least in the 1959 Heston film) in the iconic chariot race.

Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight Rises) is already aboard to play Ildarin, the man who teaches Ben-Hur how to be a master at the reins for the races. Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) is the director chosen by MGM and Paramount Pictures to wrangle the new take to the screen, working from a script that was most recently re-written by 12 Years A Slave's (2013) John Ridley.

Huston, who won acclaim for his role as Richard Harrow on Boardwalk Empire, has been scoring plenty of work recently. He's part of the cast for upcoming Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook) adaptation The Longest Ride, which arrives on 10 April next year, and he's also playing Mr. Wickham in Burr Steers' (Charlie St. Cloud) Pride And Prejudice And Zombies. He's also been rumoured to play Marvel's Doctor Strange, but this epic project might mean he is out of the running there. Only time, and scheduling, will tell.

First one sheet for Into The Woods arrives online

Walt Disney Pictures have just released their first one sheet for Rob Marshall's (Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) Into The Woods.

Riffing on the tales and stories of the Brothers Grimm, Into The Woods is about a childless baker who attempts to lift a family curse by venturing into an enchanted woodland to confront Meryl Streep's (The Iron Lady) evil harpy. Along the way they encounter classic characters like Rapunzel, Cinderella, Jack (of beanstalk notoriety) and Red Riding Hood, played by newcomer Lilla Crawford.

James Corden (One Chance) stars as the Baker alongside a stellar cast that includes Emily Blunt (Edge Of Tomorrow) as his wife, Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) as Cinderella, Chris Pine (Star Trek) as Cinders' handsome prince charming, Lilla Crawford as Red Riding Hood, Johnny Depp (no stranger to Sondheim after Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd adaption) as the Big Bad Wolf, Mackenzie Mauzy (Brother's Keeper) as Rapunzel, Annette Crosbie (Calendar Girls) as Grandma, Daniel Huttlestone (Les Misérables) as Jack, Frances de la Tour (Hugo) as The Giant, Tracey Ullman (A Dirty Shame) as Jack's mother and of course Meryl Streep as The Witch.

Into The Woods is set for a UK release on 9 January 2015 and makes its bow in the US on Christmas Day.

New one sheets for Interstellar arrive online

Warner Bros have just released their latest batch of one sheets for Christopher Nolan's (The Dark Knight Rises) Interstellar.

Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a trained pilot, technician and engineer, but his technical skills are more or less irrelevant in a world that's running low on food and fuel. Thank goodness, then, for Michael Caine's (Harry Brown) visionary, who has a plan to send a team of specialists into the unknown reaches of space in order to find new residence for the human race – and he needs Cooper to make the trip. With two young children at home, it's not an easy decision, but soon Cooper's off amongst the stars as the weather worsens back home.

Interstellar sees McConaughey and Caine alongside Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables), Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games), Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), Michael Caine (Inception), David Oyelowo (Jack Reacher), Topher Grace (Predators), Mackenzie Foy (The Conjuring), John Lithgow (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes) and Ellen Burstyn (W.), and will hit UK cinemas on 7 November.

Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass in talks for more Bourne

In a twist worthy of the agent himself, it appears that Matt Damon (Elysium) and director Paul Greengrass (Captain Philips) are making deals for a potential return to the Bourne franchise. According to Deadline, the pair are likely to slot in a Jason Bourne focused fifth entry to the series in place of the developing sequel to the Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) story.

It comes as something of a surprise, as both Damon and Greengrass have said on the record that they had no plans to revisit a story they felt they had already told. But then, they have both also mooted a potential return if the right script could be written and they could work together again, and it appears that that is certainly the case now.

Universal Pictures, which has yet to officially confirm anything, is apparently so enthused by the idea of the pair returning that it wants them to have the film ready for the 15 July 2016 release date that had previously been given to the Bourne Legacy (2012) follow-up that Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6) was developing to direct. That film apparently remains in development, so it could well appear after the latest Damon outing, assuming this all actually goes ahead. Lin, meanwhile, may take the opportunity to work on True Detective's second season, which he has also been linked to.

As always, watch this space.

Adam Wingard set for I Saw The Devil

After launching his latest blend of horror and thriller with The Guest, Adam Wingard has set his sights on a remake for his next project. He and regular collaborator Simon Barrett are closing on a deal to craft a new version of Kim Jee-Woon's Korean thriller I Saw The Devil (2010).

It's a surprising move when you consider the pair have previously generated their own material. But while we're not sure the story was crying out to be remade, the thought of the twisted minds behind You're Next (2011) bringing something fresh to it does have a certain appeal. And we're fairly certain they wouldn't have decided to take on the film without some new ideas.

The original is a revenge tale in which an elite special agent's pregnant fiancée is murdered by a madman. In return, he lures the killer into a violent, freaky cat and mouse game of revenge, twisting the notions of hero and villain into new forms.

Barrett and Wingard have been chasing this for a while, according to The Wrap, and Barrett is already at work on the script with Wingard starting the casting process. The Guest, meanwhile, is out now in the UK and US.

Leslie Mann in talks for Vacation

First time directors (and the writers who got the project moving in the first place) John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are now hard at work preparing the new Vacation, a story that finds Ed Helms (The Hangover) as the older Rusty Griswold taking his own brood on a trip. The film has been missing someone to play his sister Audrey, but now Leslie Mann (This Is 40) is in talks for that role.

Serving as both a sequel and a semi-reboot of the franchise, this Vacation finds the characters from the 1983 John Hughes comedy as adults, with Helms married to Christina Applegate (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues).

Audrey, who was previously played by Dana Barron (Twice), Dana Hill, Juliette Lewis and Marisol Nichols, will here be married to news anchorman Stone Crandall (Chris Hemsworth).

Charlie Day (Pacific Rim) is planning to make a one scene cameo in the film, while Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo are likely to show up as Rusty and Audrey's parents, Clark and Ellen Griswold. Daley and Goldstein are set to kick off production next week in Louisiana.

Mann was last seen in The Other Woman and is attached to star in bounty hunting comedy Las Madres.

Billy Bob Thornton in talks for Our Brand Is Crisis

With Sandra Bullock (Gravity) attached to star and David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) on board to direct, political comedy drama Our Brand Is Crisis is taking beautiful shape at Warner Bros. According to The Wrap, Billy Bob Thornton (Jayne Mansfield's Car) is now in talks to co-star.

Our Brand Is Crisis is adapted from Rachel Boynton's 2005 documentary, which saw President Clinton's former advisors James Carville and Stan Greenberg applying what they had learned in the trenches of American politics to a campaign in Bolivia, and the effects it has on the process.

Thornton's role is still being kept under wraps (though we could certainly see him as Carville), but we do now know that Bullock will be "Calamity" Jane Bodine, a charismatic retired American political consultant known for quoting famous people when she's making points.

Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) wrote the script, and Green should be shooting this autumn. Thornton, who recently scored an Emmy nomination for his role as laconic hit man Lorne Malvo in Fargo, is part of the cast for Robert Downey Jr.'s (Iron Man) latest, The Judge, due here on 17 October. He'll also be seen in London Fields and the Entourage film, which will be wandering drunkenly into UK cinemas on 19 June next year.

Ben Foster boards The Finest Hours

As shooting kicks off on his latest drama, director Craig Gillespie (Lars And The Real Girl) is gathering the remainder of the ships crew needed for real life rescue tale The Finest Hours. News now arrives via Variety that Ben Foster (Lone Survivor) and Holliday Granger (Anna Karenina) will be part of the film.

The film will tell the true story of two oil tankers caught in a huge storm off the New England coast in 1952. The ships split in two and their crews were thrown into the raging seas. The coast guard was called out and had to attempt a rescue in tempestuous waves.

Chris Pine and Casey Affleck will be part of the crew on deck while Kyle Gallner has landed the key role of the main rescue boat's engineer, a young sailor with a lot to prove on the mission. There's no word yet on which roles Foster and Grainger are taking, though we'd bet good money Foster will be setting sail.

Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (The Fighter) wrote the script, working from Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias' 2010 non-fiction book about the incident, with Gillespie set to deliver the film next year. Foster was last seen in Lone Survivor (2013) and is playing controversial cyclist Lance Armstrong in Stephen Frears' (The Queen) as yet untitled biopic. He'll also be part of the cast for Duncan Jones' (Source Code) Warcraft, which invades our cinemas on 11 March 2016.

New one sheets and trailer for Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead arrives online

Monster Pictures have just released their latest set of one sheets and trailer for Tommy Wirkola's (Dead Snow) Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead.

If the mad zombie Nazi antics of Dead Snow (2009) weren't enough to slake your thirst for over the top battles against undead bastards, then prepare yourself for the sequel.

Picking up the story after the original, Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead finds Martin (Vegar Hoel) still suffering the effects of his encounter with the creatures. He accidentally killed his girlfriend with an axe. He cut his own arm off with a chainsaw. And his friends still got devoured by a battalion of Nazi Zombies – which is a tough day by anyone's standards. And in fairness, his friends had it worse...

In this insane looking sequel he wakes up in a hospital bed with a new arm – but it's a super powered Zombie arm that wants to kill him and anything else it can reach. Martin is, understandably, not best pleased. With the help of his new Zombie Squad pals (Martin Starr, Jocelyn DeBoer and Ingrid Haas), he decides to deliver some payback to Colonel Herzog and his precious Nazi gold by raising an undead army of his own.

Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead launched its cinematic invasion of America at the Sundance Film Festival and continued its campaign at Fantastic Fest last week, following a stop in the UK at August's Frightfest. There's no sign of a general UK release date yet. As always, watch this space.

"It's not what you did, son. It's who you did it to."

Lionsgate have just released their first trailer for Chad Stahelski's directorial debut John Wick.

Blending a violent killer thriller with vague elements of absurdist laughs would seem to be a tricky proposition, but it's one that former stunt coordinator turned director Stahelski and writer Derek Kolstad (The Package) are willing to try.

Keanu Reeves stars as the titular former hitman, who has given up bullet slinging for a quiet life. Until, that is, he runs afoul of some gangsters who take a shine to his car. Rebuffed, they track him down and take everything, even killing his beloved dog. Enraged, Wick picks up the tools of his trade once more and soon no one is safe...

Surrounded by a none more eclectic cast including Adrianne Palicki (G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Willem Dafoe (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Bridget Moynahan (Battle Los Angeles), Ian McShane (Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Jason Isaacs (Green Zone), Alfie Allen (Game Of Thrones), Lance Reddick (White House Down), John Leguizamo (Moulin Rouge!) and Michael Nyqvist (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol), Reeves looks to be having a blast in this one, in more ways than one. Let's hope that translates to the film.

John Wick heads to US screens on 24 October, with no word on a UK release date as yet.

Dane DeHaan heads for Ziggy

When he's not taking small roles in big blockbusters like this years The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Dane DeHaan (Chronicle) spends most of his time in quirkier fare such as Diesel Schwarze's Ziggy. Dehaan is locked for the lead in the musical drama alongside Rooney Mara (Side Effects).

Schwarze, a former protégé of Baz Luhrmann who worked for the Aussie director on Moulin Rouge (2001) and his Broadway version of La Boheme, will call the shots for Ziggy. It follows the rise and fall of a hunchback escape artist who arrives in New York and falls for the fiancée (Mara) of a powerful media mogul. That old story...

With Electric City providing production support, Schwarze – who honed his skills directing commercials before finally making the jump to films – will tear a leaf from his old mentor's book and work with music producer Alex Da Kid to craft a contemporary soundtrack despite the movie's period trappings.

At the very least, it looks like we'll be hearing DeHaan and Mara belting tunes on screen in the near future, though there's no word on a start date as yet.

Morgan Freeman joins Ben-Hur

Timur Bekmambetov's (Wanted) Ben-Hur reboot already has Toby Kebbell (War Horse) attached as Messala, now news arrives via Deadline that Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight Rises) has officially signed on to join the film.

Taken once again from Lew Wallace's 1880 novel, the new version will chronicle more of the younger days of Judah Ben-Hur and Messala (Toby Kebbell), best friends growing up in Jerusalem before the Roman Empire takes over. Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince and Messala the son of a Roman tax collector who is packed off to be educated in Rome for five years. Upon his return, he mocks our hero for his religion, and, after an accident he pins on his friend, finds a way to have him sold into slavery. Cue a quest for revenge that culminates (at least in the 1959 Charlton Heston film) in the iconic chariot race.

Freeman's character, Ildarin, will be the man to teach our hero about the fine art of chariot racing, moulding him to become a master at the reins.

Bekmambetov is set to direct, working from a script that has seen writing by Keith Clarke (The Way Back), and, more recently, 12 Years A Slave's (2013) John Ridley. The film is currently scheduled to arrive in the UK on 19 February 2016.

Freeman recently joined Seth MacFarlane's comedy sequel Ted 2 and will next on screen in Dolphin Tale 2, hitting the UK on 3 October.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Theo James set for new Underworld film

With his profile now raised considerably thanks to his role as Four in Neil Burger's (Limitless) Divergent, Theo James is naturally in demand. But he's decided to return to an earlier acting gig – albeit with a boost in status – taking on the lead in the fifth Underworld film.

James played the vampire David in Underworld: Awakening (2012), and the plan now is to make that character the central figure in a story that isn't a reboot of the series but an expansion of the same universe. That means that Kate Beckinsale could still be kicking around as Selene, but for this one James will apparently be starring opposite two new female characters.

No director has been hired yet, but Cory Goodman (Priest) is at work on the script for the film, which should be rolling its cameras next spring for a likely 2016 release.

Aside from ongoing work on the Divergent franchise – Insurgent finished shooting recently for a planned 20 March 2015 release, and there are two more in the series, Allegiant Part 1 and Part 2, due after that – James will be seen in Martin Amis (Saturn 3) adaptation London Fields and meddling philanthropist drama Franny, starring Richard Gere (Primal Fear).

"Three crazy women for five weeks is a lot more than I bargained for."

EuropaCorp have just released their latest trailer and one sheet for Tommy Lee Jones (The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada) second big screen directorial outing, The Homesman.

Written, produced, directed and starring Jones, the Western drama finds Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby) as Mary Bee Cuddy, a staunchly independent pioneer woman who has taken on the job of shepherding three mentally unstable women from Nebraska to Iowa. Between them and their destination lies miles of rough terrain, natural barriers and swarms of threats from unfriendly wagon trains, to bandits and Native American tribes that prey on unwary travellers.

To help in her mission, Cuddy enlists the help of George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones), a claim jumper she meets when he's been sentenced to hang. Convincing him to journey with her, the pair sets out on their perilous task.

Jones has secured the services of some great actors here besides Swank, with the likes of Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), Jesse Plemons (The Master), Tim Blake Nelson (Lincoln), William Fichtner (The Lone Ranger), John Lithgow (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes), Miranda Otto (War Of The Worlds) and James Spader (Secretary) all aboard. With Luc Besson's (Léon) EuropaCorp providing the distribution funds, The Homesman will hit the US in limited release on 3 October after a festival run that includes Cannes, but doesn't have a set UK date yet.

Chris Cooper set for Demolition

Dallas Buyers Club (2013) director Jean-Marc Vallée is currently setting up his next film, Demolition. With Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners) and Naomi Watts (The Impossible) already in line to star, news arrives via Deadline that Vallée is adding the ever reliable Chris Cooper (Jarhead) to his cast.

Demolition focuses on a young investment banker (Gyllenhaal) who falls into an emotional disconnect after his wife dies. Deciding to tear his life apart to discover what went wrong, he becomes obsessed with the idea of destruction. But eventually he meets and befriends a single mother (Watts), who helps him to turn things around. She's not your average meet cute, though: she's the pot smoking customer service operative for the vending machine company whose money eating metal monstrosity sends Gyllenhaal into a rage.

While Deadline's report offers no details on what role Cooper would take, we're certainly glad to see him in the line-up. Last seen in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and August: Osage County, Cooper is next set to appear in a drama called Chickadee. Demolition, which Vallée is making as his follow-up to Reese Witherspoon (Walk The Line) pic Wild (which has been winning plaudits at this years Toronto Film Festival), should shoot soon after that.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Alex Kurtzman discusses Venom plans

Sony Pictures' planned Venom spin-off looks to continue the current superhero trend of delving into darker comic book territory. Untapping the corners of the Spider-Man universe with Alex Kurtzman (People Like Us) at the helm, the studio has even murkier terrain and a proper anti-hero movie in mind.

"The idea," Kurtzman told MTV recently, "is that you can do things with Venom that you can't do with Spider-Man". The suited incarnation of shamed journalist Eddie Brock will be no-one's idea of a straight-up crusader for justice, stressed the writer/director. "Venom is the representation of every line that will get crossed. He's a much darker character."

How the next phase of Sony's Spider-Man universe falls into place still remains to be seen. The Sinister Six movie is steaming ahead, with the malevolent sextet teased in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (as was Venom, although his role in that movie will be marginal at most), and The Amazing Spider-Man 3 now pushed back to 2018.

Kurtzman, of course, also has the small matter of a Mummy reboot to oversee for Universal Pictures, before busying himself with Venom. His advice for his colleagues on Spider-Man 3? "I think as long as it keeps staying true to character, and true to who Peter is, and putting him in interesting and complicated situations, it'll survive. Because it's so beloved – everybody loves Spider-Man."

As always, watch this space.