Thursday, 17 August 2017

New trailer for Michael Winterbottom's On The Road arrives online

Lorton Entertainment have just released their first trailer for Michael Winterbottom's (9 Songs) On The Road.

Michael Winterbottom has a history of blending music with drama, and mixing real life conversations into fictional films. His latest, On The Road, has the feel of both an on tour music documentary and a love story.

One strand of On The Road's story follows North London rock four-piece Wolf Alice as they take to the streets of the UK to promote their debut album, My Love Is Cool, for the last time. Driving from city to city, playing 16 venues in three weeks, the band are joined by Estelle (Leah Harvey), an intern with the band's record company, who will be helping the band with their promotional duties, accompanying them as they visit local radio stations and give interviews to the press. Estelle strikes up a relationship with Joe (James McCardle), a member of the band's road crew, and through their eyes, we see both the magic and monotony of life on the road, giving us a glimpse behind the scenes of a passionate young rock band in their searing prime.

The film has won praise at a variety of film festivals, including London, and certainly arrives with some healthy buzz. It will be out in the UK on 29 September.

Sasha Lane joins the new Hellboy

With a hero, a villain and a mentor now in place, the new Hellboy movie – named either simply after the hero or with the subtitle Rise Of The Blood Queen, depending on which report you read – now has someone else for the demonic central character to interact with, as word arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Sasha Lane (American Honey) will play Alice Monaghan.

Torn from the pages of Mike Mignola's comicbooks, Alice is a young woman who was kidnapped by fairies to raise as their own after they discovered they could no longer have children. Hellboy rescued her and she had lingering supernatural abilities following her time with the fae folk. How much of that backstory and the exact nature of her relationship will be in the movie with Hellboy himself (played this time out by Stranger Things' David Harbour) is still unknown.

She joins a cast that already boasts Ian McShane (Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) as Hellboy's adoptive father, Professor Broom and Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element), who is playing the big threat, medieval sorceress and Blood Queen Nimue, looking to destroy the world.

Neil Marshall (The Descent) is directing the movie, aiming to kick off shooting next month in Bulgaria and the UK.

St. Vincent looking to adapt The Picture Of Dorian Gray

She has already shown her abilities as a rock multi-instrumentalist under the musical pseudonym St. Vincent, but now Annie Clark has her eye on an interesting movie project. News arrives via Variety that she is looking to adapt Oscar Wilde's 1890 novel The Picture Of Dorian Gray with a female lead.

Lionsgate are backing this one, kicking off the development process by hiring Elle (2016) writer David Birke to work on the script. The story of Dorian Gray features a Victorian hedonist who never seems to age or suffer the ill-effects of his lifestyle. His secret? A self-portrait stashed in the attic that ages while he stays the same.

While Wilde's book – his only novel in amongst his varied writings – has been adapted several times before for the screen, this adaption is set to twist the tale by exploring the expectations of female beauty.

This won't be the first time that Clark has stepped behind the camera, as she contributed the segment Birthday Party to female driven horror anthology XX, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

New trailer for The Killing Of A Sacred Deer arrives online

A24 Films have just released their first trailer for Yorgos Lanthimos' (The Lobster) The Killing Of A Sacred Deer.

With Lanthimos once again sharing script chores with co-writer Efthymis Filippou, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer finds Lobster (2015) star Colin Farrell as Steven, a charismatic surgeon faced with making an unthinkable sacrifice after his life falls apart. It is all due to him taking a teenage boy under his wing, as the youngster's behaviour turns sinister. It is probably best to go into this one not knowing that much more, since Lanthimos' work usually derives its power from the slow discovery of the story.

With Nicole Kidman (Stoker), Alicia Silverstone (Clueless), Barry Keoghan ('71), Raffey Cassidy (Tomorrowland) and Bill Camp (12 Years A Slave) also in the cast, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer will arrive in UK cinemas on 17 November.

Channing Tatum set to star in Bloodlines

Aiming to keep working on as many interesting projects as he can, Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street) is now attached to star in and produce another film, this time based on a true story of drug dealers, race horses and the FBI, with news arriving via Deadline that he is set to join Bloodlines.

Universal Pictures have bought the rights to Melissa Del Bosque's upcoming book, which is subtitled The True Story Of A Drug Cartel, The FBI, And The Battle For A Horse-Racing Dynasty. It follows the real life tale of rookie FBI agent Scott Lawson after he was assigned to the seemingly quite town of Loredo, Texas. His job mostly consists of generating reports about the drug war, which doesn't exactly seem stimulating until he is tipped off about a horse sold for a record price at an Oklahoma auction. The reason for the interest is the buyer – Miguel Trevino, one of the leaders of brutal Mexican cartel the Zetas. With a much more dangerous potential case on his hands, Lawson teamed up with more experienced colleague Alma Perez, and they discovered the chance to infiltrate as it laundered drug money through American quarter horse racing.

Jonathan Herman, who worked on Straight Outta Compton (2015), is on board to write the adaptation, and we will see how this one makes its way through the usual tricky development territory.

Tatum is back on our screens with Logan Lucky next week and is part of the cast for Kingsman: The Golden Circle, due on 20 September.

Ron Howard offers another Han Solo Star Wars standalone tease

While the focus of the Han Solo Star Wars standalone will naturally be on the early days of the scruffy looking smuggler, there are just some things you can't escape in that galaxy far, far away. And one of those is the creeping influence of the Empire. Ron Howard (Rush), who is directing the Solo movie, has just hinted at that with a new tweet from the set.

The image, of course, is of that of an Imperial helmet, one worn by soldiers on the Death Star. Will the battle station feature in the film? If it does at all, it is more likely to be a background point, since Solo didn't have experience of the giant construct until after meeting Luke Skywalker and Ben Kenobi in the original Wars.

But he did know a thing or two about outwitting the Empire, so perhaps this is more a nod to Star Destroyers and other forces. We will find out when the movie, which Howard took over directing this year, arrives on 25 May next year.

Before that though, we have Star Wars: The Last Jedi hitting our screens. And the director of that film, Rian Johnson (Looper), stopped by The Star Wars Show to talk about his work. Well, mostly he talks with Hamilton stage director Thomas Kail, but it is a fun chat nonetheless.

Alan Arkin joins Tim Burton's Dumbo

While we learned the names of most of the cast for Tim Burton's (Alice In Wonderland) new, live action take on Dumbo (1941) when Disney sent a video of the director talking about the film starting shooting to last month's D23 event, there is someone else to add to the list. News arrives via Variety that Alan Arkin (Argo) is set to join them.

Dumbo introduces Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell), a former circus star who finds his life turned upside down when he returns from the war. Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists Holt to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughing stock in an already struggling circus. But when Holt's children (Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins) discover that Dumbo can fly, persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) and an aerial artist named Colette Marchant (Eva Green) swoop in to make the peculiar pachyderm a star.

Arkin is on board to play J. Griffin Remington, a Wall Street tycoon, who we assume will be a backer for Vandevere. His new gig in a weird coincidence given that we last saw him trying to rob a bank in Going In Style.

The new Dumbo is scheduled for 29 March 2019.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

New Papillon remake images arrive online

While we are sure that there are those of you who feel a remake of the prison break drama Papillon (1973) is somewhat unnecessary, director Michael Noer (Northwest) is planning to re-work the idea and make something that feels fresh. Now, with the Toronto International Film Festival arriving next month, GEM Entertainment have released our first look at the film, featuring Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim) and Rami Malek (Mr. Robot).

With a script from Prisoners (2013) writer Aaron Guzikowski, the film is once again based on the memoir of Henri 'Papillon' Charriere, played in the original by Steve McQueen and here by Hunnam. It tells the story of his life as a petty criminal in 1930s France who is unjustly convicted of murder and sent packing to a penal colony that has a bad reputation for violence and corruption.

It is there that Charriere meets the nerdy but wealthy Louis Dega – originally played by Dustin Hoffman and by Malek here – who in return for protection agrees to fund his friend's prison escape.

With Eve Hewson (Bridge Of Spies), Ian Beattie (Alexander) and Tommy Flanagan (Gladiator) also in the cast, we will find out how the new one is received when it debuts at the Toronto International Film Festival. There is no sign of UK release date as yet.

"I'm molly bloom. Do you know about me?"

STX Entertainment have just released their first trailer for Aaron Sorkin's (Steve Jobs) directorial debut Molly's Game.

With the likes of Jessica Chastain (The Martian), Idris Elba (Prometheus) and Kevin Costner (Man Of Steel) in front of the camera and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin making his directorial debut on the other side of it, it is fair to say that Molly's Game is an anticipated movie.

Molly's Game, subtitled From Hollywood's Elite To Wall Street's Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure In The World Of Underground Poker, is the memoir of Molly Bloom, whose story is a fascinating one. A world-class skier since she could walk, she became a nationally ranked business mogul at 21 while still excelling in college. She just missed out on joining the Olympic team upon graduating and took a year off to live in Los Angeles, choosing the unlikely path of waitressing. Thanks to her business acumen, she ended up making millions by running the world's most exclusive high stakes poker game for eight years before the FBI came calling. The reason? Unbeknownst to her, some of her players had ties to the Russian mob.

Elba plays the defence lawyer who learned that there was more to her than the tabloid tales would lead anyone to believe.

With Chris O'Dowd (Calvary), Michael Cera (Juno) and Brian D'Arcy James (Game Change) also in the cast, Molly's Game will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival before arriving in the UK on 29 December.

Daniel Craig confirms he will return as James Bond

After months of speculation and misinformation, we finally have an official, unequivocal, definitive answer – Daniel Craig will return as James Bond, for a fifth film.

Craig – currently doing the press rounds for Logan Lucky, in which he plays a bleached haired redneck convict – had by his own admission been "quite cagey" about his future as 007. But in an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Craig settled the feverish tabloid debate once and for all.

He told Colbert that he had known the news for a couple of months, but held out with an official announcement for some time. He hinted, however, that the next Bond movie – his fifth in the role, and the 25th in the series overall – would likely be his last. "I think this is it," he told Colbert. "I just want to go out on a high note and I can't wait."

Eon, the production company which own the screen rights to Ian Fleming's famous MI6 spy, announced last month that the next James Bond film would arrive in 2019, but that press release made no mention of who would be stepping into the tuxedo.

There is still no word on who will direct the new movie. Sam Mendes, who directed both Skyfall (2012) and SPECTRE (2015), won't be back, and there is reportedly a director shortlist that includes Yann Demange ('71), David Mackenzie (Hell Or High Water) and Denis Villeneuve (Sicario).

Filming is likely to begin at some point in 2018, aiming towards the announced US release date of 8 November 2019, arriving a couple of weeks earlier than the UK.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

First trailer for Sean Baker's The Florida Project arrives online

A21 Films have just released their first trailer for Sean Baker's (Tangerine) The Florida Project.

Director Sean Baker broke through in a big way with Tangerine (2015), shot entirely on an iPhone, the slice of Los Angeles life drama won numerous awards. And his follow-up, The Florida Project, seems to be on a similar trajectory after debuting at Cannes Film Festival to positive reviews earlier this year.

The film is set on a stretch of highway outside Disney World, where a budget motel known as The Magic Castle squats unceremoniously. There, six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) spends her days with her best friend Jancey and lives a life that, while it may not be perfect, is fun and involving.

With her rebellious mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) doing her best to raise her, Moonee also has an unexpected friend in Bobby (Willem Dafoe), who does his best to help out, even as Halley explores more dangerous possibilities to provide for her.

The Florida Project will be out in the US on 6 October before heading to the UK on 12 January next year.

New one sheet for Mother! arrives online

Paramount Pictures have just released their latest one sheet for Darren Aronofsky's (Black Swan) Mother!

So far, the marketing material for Aronofsky's latest, Mother! have leaned towards the weird and unsettling. And that feeling continues with the latest poster, which shows some serious cracks opening up between Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) and Javier Bardem (Skyfall).

Aronofsky's first film in three years sees him back in the psychological thriller territory that won Black Swan (2010) such plaudits. Lawrence and Bardem play a couple who move into a new house, only for some uninvited guests (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) to disrupt their tranquillity. If the trailer is anything to go by, what happens next is a web of dark, mysterious and occasionally sexy horror, as their peaceful existence evaporates.

With Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina), Brian Gleeson (Snow White And The Huntsman), Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids) and Stephen McHattie (The Watchmen) also in the cast, the film is so far shrouded in much unnerving mystery, which is certainly a good thing.

Mother! arrives in UK cinemas on 15 September.

Anya Taylor-Joy in talks for Robert Eggers' Nosferatu remake

Anya Taylor-Joy was the breakout star of The Witch (2015) and has gone on to a variety of roles since, including the rather brilliant Split (2016) and Morgan (2016). Now news arrives via Variety that she is currently in talks to reunite with her The Witch director, Robert Eggers, for his new take on silent horror classic Nosferatu (1922).

Eggers is writing and directing the film, which is being kept mostly under wraps for now. But it will spin its own version of the story of Count Graf Orlok of Transylvania, who is looking to buy a house in Germany and becomes enamored with the wife of real estate agent Thomas Hutter.

You can assume Taylor-Joy will play the wife, but nothing has been officially announced. Eggers has been working on this one for a while, but it is still a ways away from happening. Particularly since Taylor-Joy's schedule is a busy one – she is currently shooting X-Men spin-off New Mutants and will also appear in her Split director M. Night Shyamalan's Glass.

Geneva Robertson-Dworet set to take over Captain Marvel script

As is often the case on major films, even in the well oiled Marvel Studios machine, there is a change being made in the writers' room for Captain Marvel. News arrives via Deadline that Geneva Robertson-Dworet, who penned the new Tomb Raider, will taking over scripting duties.

Captain Marvel, which has Brie Larson (Room) playing the titular hero, will offer an origin story for Carol Danvers, a skilled test pilot whose DNA is melded with that of Kree warrior Mar-Vell. Subsequently, she gains powers such as flight, enhanced strength, damage resistance and the ability to absorb and re-channel energy. We learned recently at the San Diego Comic Con that the film will be set in the 1990s, will feature Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury and will see her battling the cosmic threat known as the Skrulls.

Nicole Perlman (Guardians Of The Galaxy) and Meg LeFauve (Inside Out) were reportedly at work on the script, but their schedules have become increasingly busy – LeFauve, for one, is co-directing Gigantic for Walt Disney Feature Animation.

So now Robertson-Dworet, who has worked on a variety of projects still bubbling away in development, will liaise with directors Anna Boden (It's Kind of a Funny Story) and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson) on the Marvel movie, which is taking aim at an 8 March 2019 release.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

New look at Ready Player One arrives online

Empire magazine have just revealed our latest look at Steven Spielberg (Bridge Of Spies) at Ready Player One, featuring Tye Sheridan (Mud) and Olivia Cooke (Me And Earl And The Dying Girl) as Art3mis, also known as Samantha Evelyn Cook.

Click here for a closer look.

Adapted from Ernest Cline's book, Ready Player One is set in a world where millions across the planet interact in a virtual space known as Oasis, in which you can be anything you want to be. For Teenager Wade Watts (Sheridan), it is a way to escape his tough life, inside Oasis he uses the avatar Parzival. When the original co-creator of Oasis James Donovan Halliday (Mark Rylance) dies, the Steve Jobs style billionaire offers his fortune and control of Oasis to anyone who can complete an elaborate treasure hunt. Wade naturally starts questing, joined by fellow player Samantha Cook, also known as Art3mis (Cooke) and threatened by the corporate types looking to ensure they take control. They are represented by the nefarious Nolan Sorrento, played by Ben Mendelsohn (Killing Them Softly). Also aboard is Simon Pegg (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Ogden "Og" Morrow, Halliday's former colleague and one of the other brains behind Oasis.

Speaking to Empire, Cooke said that her experience was something approaching a virtual dream come true. "It felt like pure adventure," explains the Me And Earl And The Dying Girl (2015) star. "It was Willy Wonka, it was Indiana Jones. When you're a kid wanting to be an actor, the idea of working with [Spielberg] sounds absurd. It was surreal."

Ready Player One will upload into cinemas from 30 March 2018.

Donald Sutherland joins Ad Astra

With Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds), Tommy Lee Jones (No Country for Old Men) and, most recently, Ruth Negga (Loving) recruited for science fiction tale Ad Astra, the cast for James Gray's (The Lost City Of Z) latest just continues to grow. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Donald Sutherland (The Hunger Games)  is the latest to step aboard.

Gray co-wrote the script with Ethan Gross, and a few nuggets of information about the film have escaped from the soundless vacuum of space, albeit ones that could evolve during the movie's journey to the screen. The plot reportedly sees space engineer Roy McBride (Pitt) heading out into the solar system 20 years after his father (Jones) left on a one-way mission to Neptune, aiming to find signs of extra-terrestrial intelligence. Now Roy is looking to track down what happened to his father, with the story apparently boasting a Heart Of Darkness (1993) in space vibe and some talk of a threat from the dad.

As for Sutherland, we don't yet know what role he will be playing in the movie, which is gearing up to shoot shortly. But he will be seen in The Leisure Seeker and is part of the cast for Danny Boyle's (Slumdog Millionaire) Getty kidnap drama Trust.

Studio Ghibli set to re-open for Hayao Miyazaki's new film

While we were all sorry to hear that Studio Ghibli, the legendary animation company behind such films as My Neighbour Totoro (1988), Howl's Moving Castle (2004) and Spirited Away (2001) were closing their doors for an indefinite hiatus, the Ghibli team never quite went away, working on TV projects, lending thier name to other companies' films and even planning for a theme park. But now there is some good news, with word arriving via The Playlist that co-founder Hayao Miyazaki has decided to come out of retirement for a new project, and that Ghibli will be back in full production to support the feature film.

A little like Steven Soderbergh (Ocean's 11), Miyazaki himself didn't ever fully retire, instead spending his time on a short entitled Kemushi no Boro (Boro The Caterpillar) for the Ghibli museum. And, inspired by his work on that, he had announced that he intended to turn the project into a full length animated feature.

As part of a small ceremony in July, Miyazaki brought together some of the main people involved in the film to talk about the idea, with the studio starting to recruit artists later that month. Training for new arrivals will kick off in October and the film should properly be in production a few months after that. There is no official confirmation that the new project will be the full length version of Boro, but we are just happy that both he and his company are back to weave their particular magic on screens.

Leonardo DiCaprio attached to Leonardo Da Vinci film

Leonardo DiCaprio as Leonardo Da Vinci? If Paramount Pictures have their way, it will happen, as news arrives via Deadline that the actor is attached to appear in and produce a film about the famed artist and scientist.

The potential film will spring from the work of Walter Isaacson, who wrote the eponymous book about the Renaissance artist and thinker who created some of the most iconic works of all time, including the Mona Lisa and Vitruvian Man.

Paramount and Universal Pictures waged a heated bidding war for the rights to the book, and DiCaprio's Appian Way production company was first on board to oversee the film as a potential starring role for the actor. It is too early for a writer or director to be attached at this point, and DiCaprio has plenty of projects awaiting his attention, but this would certainly appear to be something Paramount will aim to get made.

DiCaprio has a lot of movies in the works as producer, and is considering a few to appear in, including The Devil In The White City and Killers Of The Flower Moon.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

"You know, all of you can kiss my Russian ass."

Entertainment One have just released their first trailer and one sheet for Armando Iannucci's (Veep) The Death Of Stalin.

In Soviet Russia, comedy satirises you! Armando Iannucci – the man behind Alan Partridge, The Thick Of It, In The Loop and about a billion other cult comedy classics – rarely steps a foot wrong, and after passing the torch on his award winning HBO comedy Veep after the fifth season, the Scottish writer, producer and director has put his hand to a new film entitled The Death Of Stalin. Those who don't watch this very funny first trailer will be first against the wall when the revolution comes.

Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Fabien Nury, the film depicts the sudden demise of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in 1953, and the chaotic fallout that followed in the Communist Party apparat, as Stalin's underlings vie for power – and their lives.

There is a giant ensemble cast populating this Kremlin, which includes Adrian McLoughlin (Stud Life) as Joseph Stalin, Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent) as Georgy Malenkov, Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) as Nikita Khrushchev, Olga Kurylenko (Quantum Of Solace) as Maria Yudina, Michael Palin (Monty Python And The Holy Grail) as Vyacheslav Molotov, Simon Russell Beale (Into The Woods) as Lavrentiy Beria, Paddy Considine (The Bourne Ultimatum) as Comrade Andreyev, Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion) as Svetlana Stalin, Rupert Friend (Young Victoria) as Vasily Stalin, Jason Isaacs (Fury) as Georgy Zhukov, Paul Whitehouse (Mortdecai) as Anastas Mikoyan, and Justin Edwards (Love & Friendship) as Spartak Sokolov.

By the looks of the trailer, there are accents flying everywhere, from faithful Russian cadences to Yorkshire lilts and distinctly New York dialects. Expect a typically witty, sweary and farcical tour de force from Iannucci and regular co-writers David Schneider (Knowing Me, Knowing You With Alan Partridge) and Ian Martin (In the Loop) when The Death Of Stalin arrives in cinemas on 20 October.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Riz Ahmed in talks for Venom

Sony Pictures' new planned Venom film already boasts the performing talents of Tom Hardy (Inception). Now word comes via Variety that if the studio has their way, it will also feature Riz Ahmed (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), who is in early talks to join the movie.

Given the preliminary nature of the attempt to hatch a deal, there has been no official confirmation, and Sony Pixtures won't say exactly who Ahmed could end up playing. But Variety has heard it would be a "popular Marvel Comics character". Is he the new Spider-Man? Maybe not, especially since Marvel has said that everyone's favourite friendly neighbourhood web-slinger (Tom Holland) may not even appear in this film, which aims to stand alone from the likes of Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Ruben Fleischer (Gangster Squad) is on to direct the new movie, with Hardy set to play Eddie Brock, who is merged with the outer space symbiont and gains his own set of powers and a distinctly less friendly attitude than Spidey. Scott Rosenberg (Con Air) and Jeff Pinkner (Zoo) have been figuring out the script for the movie, which is currently set for a 5 October 2018 release date, and an apparent stand-off with Warner Bros and DC Entertainments Extended Universe entry Aquaman.

Ahmed was last seen in City Of Tiny Lights and is currently at work on Western tale The Sisters Brothers.

Kurt Sutter and Nick Jonas join Chaos Walking

With shooting set to kick off soon, director Doug Liman (Edge Of Tomorrow) is building the cast he needs for science fiction adaptation Chaos Walking. Now news arrives via Deadline that Kurt Sutter (Sons Of Anarchy) and Nick Jonas (Careful What You Wish For) are the latest additions.

Adapted from Patrick Ness' book trilogy – The Knife Of Never Letting Go, The Ask And The Answer and Monsters Of Men – Chaos Walking finds humankind in a dark future, colonising a distant planet after the Earth has been ruined. When an infection called the Noise strikes, all thoughts become audible and chaos follows.

A corrupt autocrat takes the chance to seize control of the human settlements in order to launch a strike on native alien race the Spackles, blaming them for the infection that is apparently killing human women. Young Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland), the only boy in a town solely comprised of men, rebels to stop the oncoming destruction. Going on the run with his dog, he teams up with a mysterious girl (Daisy Ridley), who is the source of a precious patch of silence.

Deadline reports that Sutter is on to play Cillian, a farmer who became Todd's adoptive father at a young age and raised him, though their relationship isn't always calm. The Hollywood Reporter, meanwhile, has learned that Jonas will be Davy Prentiss Jr., a young soldier in the army of the mayor (Mads Mikkelsen) who also happens to be the man's son, and is envious of his close mentorship relationship with Todd.

The film is aiming at a March 2019 release date. Sutter is more normally found running TV series (though he does dabble in acting on his own productions and others), and has been overseeing the difficult genesis of the spin-off from his Sons Of Anarchy show, Mayans MC. Jonas will be back on our screens in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, due to rumble in on 20 December.

Anna Paquin set for Tell It To The Bees

Anna Paquin (The Piano) has often been drawn to dramas with deeper shadings. Now news arrives via Screen International that she is joining the cast of a new BFI and Creative Scotland funded romantic tale called Tell It To The Bees.

Annabel Jankel (D.O.A.) is aboard to direct the film, with the script provided by Henrietta and Jessica Ashworth (Dixi), which adapts Fiona Shaw's novel. Tell It To The Bees finds Holliday Grainger as a mother in 1950s Britain who is dealing with the breakdown of her marriage. She meets a doctor (Paquin) who is returning to her quiet home town to take over the practice formerly run by her late father, and a romance blossoms between the two.

The cast will also comprise Kate Dickie (The Witch), Emun Elliott (Prometheus), Steven Robertson (Kingdom Of Heaven), Lauren Lyle (Holby City) and newcomer Gregor Selkirk. Jankel is rolling the cameras now on the film, and it will likely arrive in cinemas next year.

Paquin will appear in an episode of Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams and is also part of the cast for Netflix's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace, due to hit the streaming service later this year. She is also appearing in and producing husband Stephen Moyer's (True Blood) feature directorial debut The Parting Glass.

Morten Tyldum set to direct Exit West

When they haven't been busy wrangling the two new Avengers films, Joe and Anthony Russo (Captain America: Civil War) have spent time setting up a production company and striking deals with other filmmakers for new movies. Now news arrives via Deadline that their latest collaboration will be with The Intimidation Game (2014) director Morten Tyldum, who is on to make Exit West.

Tyldum is on board to adapt Moshin Hamid's bestseller, which finds a young man named Saeed fleeing an unnamed country with a woman named Nadia when Saeed's mother is killed by a stray bullet and their city is torn apart by clashes between the government and guerillas.

Joining a mass of fellow migrants fleeing war zones, they pass through a crowded camp on the Greek Island of Mykonos and end up, via a stop in London, in California. There, their relationship is tested by the struggle to find food and shelter.

Tyldum seems happy with the new arrangement. "Joe and Anthony are phenomenal storytellers with a bold and unique vision for their company and the kind of films they and their team want to produce," he says in a statement picked up by Deadline. "As a filmmaker, it feels like coming home and I couldn't be more thrilled for what we can make together." The Russos have a deal with 20th Century Fox to distribute what they produce and earlier this year picked up the rights to handle the next film from Swiss Army Man (2016) duo the Daniels.

As for their own work, Avengers: Infinity War arrives on 27 April next year, with the follow-up landing in April 2019.

Justice League concept art shows Batman's new wonderful toy

As Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) himself admits in the latest Justice League trailer, his superpower is that he is rich. Rich enough, in fact, to splash out on a new plane to help transport his newfound friends around when they are out saving the planet. Check out the concept art of the Flying Fox courtesy of Entertainment Weekly below.

According to production designer Patrick Tatopoulos, the massive, chunky jet has plenty of cargo space and more. "You can put three Batmobiles in the lower part of it," he tells Entertainment Weekly  "I didn't want to do a sleek airplane; it needed to feel like an extremely avant-garde classic. With the maneuverability of a jet – but it can actually carry things." It has three levels – cargo in the bottom, a "cultural centre" in the middle for the team and a cockpit level at the top. Oh, and you can see every other level from wherever you are.

The one puzzling thing about the design here is the use of the Wayne Technology name on the side: Doesn't Bruce want to keep the whole secret identity thing sort of... well, secret? Perhaps it travels too quickly for anyone to see. For more from the movie, head to the Entertainment Weekly site here.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

"If you really want to see what people are, all you have to do is look."

Lionsgate have just released their latest trailer and one sheet for Stephen Chbosky's (The Perks Of Being A Wallflower) Wonder.

With Steve Conrad and Jack Thorne adapting R.J. Palacio's bestselling book, Wonder finds Jacob Tremblay (Room) as August 'Auggie' Pullman. Born with facial defects, he has been through a number of painful surgeries to alleviate his various conditions and has lived most of his life to date being home schooled.

Now, though, he is ready to confront the challenges of his peers, and finds that compassion and acceptance aren't always easy to come by. But he ends up with friends regardless and learns that you can't really blend in when you are born to stand out.

With Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson also in the cast, Wonder arrives in UK cinemas on 1 December following a 17 November release in the US.

New images from Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrive online

There has been something of a dry spell in Star Wars: The Last Jedi related activity following the brief behind the scenes footage shown at this year's D23 event. But with the December release date mere months away, Entertainment Weekly have released a batch of new images courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm.

All the expected people feature – Daisy Ridley's Rey, John Boyega's unsure Finn, an emotional look at the late Carrie Fisher as General Organa and even one or two new faces, such as Kelly Marie Tran's Rose and the furry wide eyed porgs, who live on the island of Ahch-To (where Mark Hamill's Luke has sequestered himself) and, according to the filmmakers, "get everywhere".

Among the other new pieces of information are the fact that we will get to meet Andy Serkis' Supreme Leader Snoke in the flesh, that Finn is having trouble finding his place in the Resistance and would much rather head off somewhere no one knows him, and that Tran's low-level engineer sees him as something of a hero figure, which makes him even more uncomfortable in his own skin.

Then there is Rey, who fresh from losing Han, is learning that her welcome on Ahch-To might not be as warm as she hoped. "'Oh my God, this other man that I lost within a couple days was somewhat of a father figure. Now he's gone, and instead I'm with this grumpy guy on an island who doesn't want me here,'" says Ridley to Entertainment Weekly, who admits that her character was building that first meeting up in her mind. "I don't think one girl, who he doesn't know, turning up with a lightsaber is gonna make him go, 'Oh, s—, yeah, of course I'll get back into the action...'"

For more on the movie, head over to the Entertainment Weekly site here.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be out on 15 December.

Laura Dern and Jack O'Connell join Trial By Fire

After bringing Jack Reacher back to our screens last year with Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016), director Ed Zwick is looking to another crime story, but this one based on a very real, tragic case. Now news arrives via Deadline that he has added Laura Dern (Wild) and Jack O'Connell (Unbroken) to Trial By Fire.

Geoffrey Fletcher, who took home an Academy Award® for his adaption of Precious (2009), has written the script for the film, adapting David Grann's 2009 New Yorker article, itself an award winner.

O'Connell will play Todd Willingham, a poor, uneducated young father of three with a devotion to heavy metal, a violent side and a criminal record. He was convicted of triple homicide when a fire, tagged as arson, swept through the family home. But after spending 12 years on death row, he found an unlikely friend and champion in Elizabeth Gilbert (Dern), a Texas housewife.

Zwick tells Deadline that he has been chasing the chance to make this one for some time. "From the moment I read David's brilliant reporting eight years ago, I have been possessed by this deeply moving, true story of injustice," he says. "David Grann has been one of these caught-in-the-roller-of-his-typewriter guys, quietly doing great work, and now all these wonderful things are happening with his stories being made into movies, from Killers Of The Flower Moon to the Robert Redford piece Old Man And The Gun. The story was all there, with these two compelling characters. It is a remarkable story about people. Not just capital punishment but justice, which is a very important word right now. It has to have that pull to keep you pushing it up the hill this many years." He will start the cameras rolling this October in Atlanta.

Dern, who will appear in the current run of Twin Peaks, also has Alexander Payne's (The Descendants) Downsizing on the way, and will next be seen in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, out on 15 December. O'Connell, meanwhile, has the delayed Tulip Fever finally coming out, and is the star of new TV Western series Godless, due to hit Netflix either later this year or early next.

Tim Miller set to tackle Neuromancer

He may not be making the sequel to sleeper hit anti-hero movie Deadpool (2016) and he is a man in high demand, but Tim Miller is finding a way to stay in business with 20th Century Fox. News arrives via Deadline that he is now attached to make the adaptation of William Gibson's iconic 1986 cyberpunk novel Neuromancer.

While it had been a passion project of more than one filmmaker in the past – Splice (2009) director Vincenzo Natali among them – it is now in the hands of 20th Century Fox, which is starting to look for a writer to take on the unenviable task of adapting the book. The story involves junkie hacker Case, who, as punishment for some ill-advised thievery, has had his nervous system sabotaged by a mycotoxin that prevents him from 'jacking in' to cyberspace. He is offered a cure by shady ex-military spook Armitage, provided he participates in a top secret mission against the powerful Tessier-Ashpool family and the sinister A.I. Wintermute. Along the way he encounters post-human icons like the technologically modified assassin Molly and the bodiless consciousness Dixie the Flatline.

This is just one project that Miller is developing at the moment – there is also Influx bubbling away and the not so inconsequential fact that he is currently James Cameron's chosen director to handle a new Terminator film, which should be shooting next year.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

James Cameron reveals Avatar sequel details

James Cameron is not someone who does things by halves. The man who rebuilt the Titanic is currently hard at work on four sequels to Avatar (2009), the first of which won't land until 2020. However, there are a few things about the upcoming sequels that fans will find familiar, not least of all the principal villain.

It has long been confirmed that Stephen Lang's Colonel Quartich would return, but talking to Empire magazine in their latest issue, Cameron reveals that Quaritch won't be relegated to a supporting role or appear solely in flashbacks. Rather, he will continue to menace Jake, Neytiri and the other Na'vi throughout all five movies as the saga's main antagonist.

"The interesting conceit of the Avatar sequels is it's pretty much the same characters," he says. "There are new characters and a lot of new settings and creatures, so I'm taking characters you know and putting them in unfamiliar places and moving them on this greater journey. But it's not a whole bunch of new characters every time. There's not a new villain every time, which is interesting. Same guy. Same motherfucker through all four movies. He is so good and he just gets better. I know Stephen Lang is gonna knock this out of the park."

Was Quaritch's body smuggled off-world by the departing Selfridge? Will he return more machine than man? Or, after being skewered deep within the Pandoran forest, might he himself end up transposed into an Avatar body, bringing a blue-skinned, eight-foot Na'vi Quaritch to bear on our heroes? The mind certainly boggles.

Cameron's mammoth undertaking, shooting four sequels back-to-back is not only ambitious, it is a feat of scheduling that Stephen Lang himself described as "a Mongoian clusterfuck". Cameron's inspiration for said clusterfuck? One Peter Jackson.

"I said 'It's your fault I'm doing this, motherfucker!'" He recalls. "It's one big story. But I would say a little bit different from The Lord Of The Rings, which you knew was a trilogy and that allowed you to accept a sort of truncated ending for movies one and two and then a fulfilment. This is a greater narrative broken up into four complete stories.

Avatar 2 is set to arrive in cinemas 18 December 2020, with Avatar 3 arriving 17 Dec 2021, followed by a three-year break for Avatar 4, arriving 20 December 2024 and finally Avatar 5 will then open on 19 December 2025.

New look at Pennywise from Stephen King's It arrives online

New Line Cinema have have recently released a new look at Bill Skarsgård (Hemlock Grove) as the malevolent trans-dimensional clown Pennywise in the latest incarnation of Stephen King's It via Empire Magazine.

"In order for this movie to be as effective as the book and the series, I have to scare a whole generation," Skarsgård tells Empire magazine in their latest issue. "My take was that Pennywise functions very simply. Nothing much is going on in terms of what he's thinking – he's animalistic and instinctive."

Somewhat ironically, Skarsgård admitted that Pennywise infected his own dreams after the film. "It's funny," he says, "I went back to Stockholm after we wrapped, and every night for two weeks, I had these strange recurring Pennywise dreams. I was him, but I was in the wrong setting, somehow. I was upset that people could see my face. It was surreal. I can't explain it."

Directed by Andy Muschietti (Mama), It will float into cinemas on 8 September.

Ruth Negga set for Ad Astra

With Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds) and Tommy Lee Jones (No Country For Old Men) already cast in the two leads for science fiction movie Ad Astra, director James Gray (The Lost City Of Z) has found someone more than able to match them. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Ruth Negga (Loving) has hopped aboard the film in an undisclosed role.

Gray co-wrote the script with Ethan Gross, and a few nuggets of information about the film have escaped from the soundless vacuum of space, albeit ones that could evolve during the movie's journey to the screen. The plot reportedly sees space engineer Roy McBride (Pitt) heading out into the solar system 20 years after his father (Jones) left on a one-way mission to Neptune, aiming to find signs of extra-terrestrial intelligence. Now Roy is looking to track down what happened to his father, with the story apparently boasting a Heart Of Darkness (1993) in space vibe and some talk of a threat from the dad.

The film has just started shooting, so expect more details and probably additional casting information, soon. A regular on Preacher, Negga has been building a strong body of work, and was Academy Award® nominated for her role in Loving.

Jennifer Garner in talks for revenge thriller Peppermint

It has certainly been a while since we last saw her in action form – you have to go back to the likes of Daredevil (2003), Elektra (2005), and before them, TV series Alias to find it. But Jennifer Garner is clearly ready to get back into the kicking, punching and shooting mode, with news arriving via Deadline that she is entering talks to star in revenge thriller Peppermint.

Taken (2008) director Pierre Morel, who last brought us The Gunman, will be behind the camera for this one, which has a script from Chad St. John (London Has Fallen). Despite the seemingly sweet title, Peppermint will follow a woman (Garner) whose husband and daughter are killed in a drive-by shooting. Left in a coma, our heroine wakes up and decides to spend years becoming a lethal killing machine in order to hunt down those responsible.

On the 10th anniversary of her family's death, she goes after the gang members that pulled the trigger, the lawyers who helped them dodge punishment and the crooked cops whose actions enabled the crime in the first place.

While Lionsgate appeared to have picked up the movie rights at Cannes, it has since backed out of the agreement, with STX Entertainment swooping in, no doubt hoping it can spawn a female version of John Wick (2014), even if Atomic Blonde beats it to the punch.

Garner will be seen in The Tribes Of Palos Verdes and Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. She is also part of Wakefield, which is on digital download and DVD now in the UK.

Chris Pratt's Cowboy Ninja Viking finally set to arrive in 2019

One of those films that sounded like a great concept, but then appeared destined to wander the halls of development hell has just resurfaced and nabbed a release date in the process. News arrives via Variety that Cowboy Ninja Viking, with Chris Pratt (Guardians Of The Galaxy) still attached to star, is now aiming to arrive in June 2019.

For those of you who haven't heard of the project, it will adapt a comic book, which given the title really shouldn't surprise anyone. Created by writer A. J. Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo, Cowboy Ninja Viking is an Image Comics series about secret counter-intelligence agents with multiple personality disorders. Various suitable candidates for the 'Triplet' programme were brought together by psychotherapist Dr. Sebastian Ghislain, but when the project collapsed, the subjects went their own ways as hired assassins.

Pratt's Duncan then, just to be clear, will not be an actual Cowboy Ninja Viking – those are the personality types that have been corralled in his mind for maximum effectiveness. Other characters we encounter in the comic series include Duncan's brother Carl (Staff Sergeant - Apache - Highlander), Steed Malbranque (Hitman - Navy SEAL - Dokken roadie), Lara St. Britt (Air Hostess -Joan Of Arc - Amazon), and Grear Fulkirk (Sniper - Chef - Martial Artist).

In its time, the film has attracted potential directors including John Wick (2014) duo David Leitch and Chad Stahelski and Marc Forster (World War Z), but it is currently without anyone in the big chair. Universal Pictures are currently on the hunt for someone new so that the film can hit that release date. Naturally, we would caution that it is the US release, but the film may also end up day and date in the UK.

Nicole Kidman in talks for Destroyer

Nicole Kidman (Stoker) has been enjoying a healthy batch of projects with female filmmakers of late, and now she has her eye on another. News arrives via The Tracking Board that the actress is in talks to star in Karyn Kusama's (The Invitation) Destroyer.

According to The Tracking Board, Kusama is focusing on setting this one up over any other developing projects and is keeping her fingers crossed that Kidman will make a deal to star. Not much is known about the movie itself, written by Phil Hay (The Invitation) and Matt Manfredi (R.I.P.D.), but it is apparently a crime thriller set in Los Angeles. And it promises to do something different, as Kusama told The Observer back in March that it is a "personal epic – a beautiful character study of an incredible female that we haven't seen in this genre before." Which certainly sounds like it will suit Kidman.

Kidman has a few projects ready to see screens, including How to Talk To Girls At Parties, The Upside, The Killing Of A Sacred Deer and, further in the future, Aquaman, which is shooting right now.

Elle Fanning, Timothée Chalamet and Selena Gomez join Woody Allen's next film

No one has seen Woody Allen's (Midnight In Paris) current film, Wonder Wheel yet, but with that locked, set and delivered, the prolific director is already putting the pieces together for his next project. And it appears he is aiming for a younger main cast than usual, with news arriving via Deadline that Elle Fanning (The Neon Demon), Timothée Chalamet (Interstellar) and Selena Gomez (Spring Breakers) in the lead roles.

In typical Allen fashion, there are currently no details about the film. But we can guess that the jazzy soundtrack and typical title font, will be present and correct, and you would also guess that neuroses might be part of the plot. One assumes, given that he is assembling the cast, that he is aiming to start shooting relatively shortly.

Wonder Wheel, meanwhile, boasts the likes of Kate Winslet (The Reader), Justin Timberlake (The Social Network) and Juno Temple (Killer Joe) and is set around 1950s Coney Island. Amazon Studios have the rights to that movie in the US and it will be out there on 1 December. There is no sign yet of a UK release date.