Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Chris McKay set to make live action Nightwing film

Though the studio has only just properly locked in a director to make The Batman, Warner Bros have plans to extend its DC expanded universe line by adapting another member of the Batman family. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Chris McKay (The Lego Batman Movie) is now lining up his live action debut with Nightwing.

The hero will be familiar to Batman fans as Dick Grayson, the original Robin, introduced back in 1940. The youngest member of a family of acrobats, he became the legal ward of Bruce Wayne and assumed the Robin identity to fight crime alongside Batman. In the 1980s, as he aged, he left Batman's side, took on the Nightwing identity and led the Teen Titans.

While Robin has yet to officially appear in the live action DC universe – we were shown that a version of Robin was murdered by The Joker in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016) – he has of course appeared in McKay's Lego Batman Movie as a whimsical, overenthusiastic sidekick. Using Nightwing could be a way to avoid the usual cheese of Robin while still introducing more humour into the universe.

Bill Dubuque (The Accountant) is writing the script, and while McKay has yet to prove himself in the live action arena, his animated take on Batman proved to be one of the most entertaining versions of the character for years.

New one sheet for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter arrives online

Sony Pictures have recently released latest one sheet for Paul W.S. Anderson's final Resident Evil instalment, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.

For what is being touted as the last entry – at least from Paul W.S. Anderson, the man who has produced all and directed almost all the movies so far – the latest Resident Evil outing promises to bring the evil home. And indeed we see Milla Jovovich's Alice, having survived the conflict in Washington, heading back to Raccoon City to confront the terror of the Umbrella Corporation once and for all.

With Iain Glen returning as Dr. Alexander Isaacs, alongside Shawn Roberts' Albert Wesker and Ali Larter's Claire, plus new saga arrival Ruby Rose (Orange Is The New Black) who plays a woman named Abigail, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter has Jovovich looking to outdo her previous action moments as she prepares to hang up her guns.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is out in cinemas now.

New character one sheets for Hidden Figures arrives online

20th Century Fox have recently released a striking new batch of character one sheets for Theodore Melfi's (St. Vincent) Hidden Figures, which tells the untold story of the little heralded female figures who played a crucial role in America's early days in orbit.

Hidden Figures chronicles Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), the brilliant African-American mathematician who worked with Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) as three of the main brains behind John Glenn's first trip into space and back again in 1962. People remember his being the first orbit of the Earth, now we will properly learn who helped get him there. And despite their clear brain power, the women still have to battle racist and sexist attitudes and an institution still largely run by white men.

Theodore Melfi is behind the camera for this one, working from a script he co-wrote with Allison Schroeder based on Margot Lee Shetterly's eponymous book.

Henson, Spencer and Monáe head up a cast that includes Kevin Costner (Man Of Steel), Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Aldis Hodge (Straight Outta Compton) and Mahershala Ali (House Of Cards).

Hidden Figures is out in cinemas now.

New one sheet for Ghost In The Shell arrive online

Paramount Pictures have just released their latest one sheet for Rupert Sanders' (Snow White And The Huntsman) Ghost In The Shell.

Adapted from Masamune Shirow's original 1989 manga, Ghost In The Shell sees Scarlett Johansson (Lucy) as a special ops cyborg at the head of an elite task force known as Section 9. The team, working for Hanka Robotics, is in charge of stopping dangerous criminals and extremists, and their prime target is Kuze (Michael Pitt), a terrorist dedicated to wiping out all of Hanka's cyber technology.

Johansson's Lucy (2014) co-star Pilou Asbæk is aboard to play Batou, the second best fighter in the section and her trusted lieutenant, with Juliette Binoche (Cosmopolis), 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano (The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi), Michael Pitt (Seven Psychopaths) and Kaori Momoi (Memoirs Of A Geisha) also appearing. The members of Section 9 are played by Chin Han (The Dark knight), Danusia Samal (Tyrant), Lasarus Ratuere (The Mule), Yutaka Izumihara (Unbroken) and Tuwanda Manyimo (The Rover).

With a script by Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton), Ghost In The Shell will arrive in cinemas 31 March. For more on Ghost In The Shell, check out our Ghost In The Shell crash course guide.

New one sheet for La La Land arrives online

Lionsgate have recently released their IMAX one sheet for Damien Chazelle's (Whiplash) La La Land.

Having brought us the tempo-obsessed J.K. Simmons and browbeaten Miles Teller in Whiplash (2014), Damien Chazelle's next film, La La Land promises to be a more warmly romantic dip into musical territory.

La La Land, as the title might suggest, is set in Los Angeles and finds Ryan Gosling (Drive) as Sebastian, a dedicated jazz musician, and Emma Stone (The Help) as Mia, an aspiring actress who are struggling to make ends meet as they pursue their dreams. They make a love connection, but their relationship is tested by the pitfalls of their chosen careers.

We are certainly intrigued by the look, sound and feel of this one, and happy to see that Chazelle is keeping up the tradition of J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) berating people.

With John Legend (Soul Men), Rosemarie DeWitt (Cinderella Man), Finn Wittrock (Unbroken) and Callie Hernandez (Sin City: A Dame To Kill For) also in the cast, La La Land is out in cinemas now and you can read our review right here.

First one sheet for The Belko Experiment arrives online

BH Tilt have recently released their first one sheet for Greg McLean's (Wolf Creek) The Belko Experiment.

James Gunn might be busy putting the finishing touches to his Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014) sequel, but he still managed to find time to dust off and polish a script he wrote a few years ago, and hand it to Wolf Creek's (2005) Greg McLean to direct. The result is The Belko Experiment.

Set at a facility of the non-profit Belko company in South America which is mysteriously sealed off at the beginning of a work day, and its employees ordered to either kill each other or be killed themselves thanks to explosive charges implanted in their heads. This starts an escalation of violence, where we discover the true nature of each and every Belko employee. John C. McGinley (Scrubs) is socially awkward executive Wendell Dukes, a man who prefers to socialise with friends such as Barry Norris (Tony Goldwyn) and doesn't really enjoy being around his employees. Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station) plays Dany Wilkins, the new girl at the facility who is arguably about to experience the worst employee orientation of all time. And of course, there is a spot for Michael Rooker (Guardians Of The Galaxy), here as maintenance man Bud Melks.

With John Gallagher Jr. (10 Cloverfield Lane), Mikaela Hoover (Super) and Abraham Benrubi (The Finest Hours) also in the cast, The Belko Experiment will hit US screens on 17 March but has yet to secure a UK release.

"You're an addict. So be addicted, just be addicted to something else. Choose the ones you love. Choose your future. Choose life."

"Hello Mark," says Jonny Lee Miller's Simon 'Sick Boy' Williamson to Ewan McGregor's Renton near the start of T2 Trainspotting. "So what have you been up to... for twenty years?" It is a question that for a long time felt like it would never get an answer. Danny Boyle's era-defining 1996 adaptation of Irvine Welsh's 1993 novel became the movie avatar of Cool Britannia, a cultural movement born out of the ashes and anger of a Thatcher government, hopped up on the sweaty, squalid optimism of dance culture. Yet a middling follow-up novel (Porno), well documented director and star complications, and the fear of botching up a beloved original have kept it from multiplexes. Until now.

In a disjointed start, we learn their fates. Two decades on Renton has swapped running from shop security guards to running on treadmills, yet he can't outrun the treachery of his past. A health scare – and worse – drag him back home to a Leith of steep decline and slow regeneration. Sick Boy is running an extortion business filming the well-off with his prostitute and business partner Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova). Spud (Ewen Bremner) is still a junkie with the soul of a poet and now estranged from his wife (Shirley Henderson) and son. And then there is Begbie (Robert Carlyle), locked up inside but with a stomach churning way of getting out of prison, before revisiting his wife and son (who in a stroke of genius is doing a degree in hotel management) while still holding a grudge against Renton.

How this all builds and plays out won't be spoiled here. McGregor and Miller play the shifting dynamics between friends well – especially one who double crossed the other – and their relationship is the driving engine of the story. Their mutual attraction to Veronika also adds intrigue and Nedyalkova makes her skimpy role seem rounded and likeable. Best of all though is Carlyle's Begbie, still a terrifying hardman – he is arguably cinema's greatest C-bomber – but especially in later scenes finds vulnerabilities that make you genuinely feel for him. Bremner's Spud is perhaps the least served – bizarrely he becomes the group's stenographer but isn't given much more to round out his likeable idiot routine.

Pointedly, during Renton's updating of his Choose Life monologue, he utters "Choose watching history repeat itself". It is a mantra that pervades T2 Trainspotting. If the film is like any sequel it is like Back To The Future Part II (1989), using the second film to investigate the first, through flashback, music and subtle nods. If the first film is really about the joy of being young – the hedonism, the mistakes, the camaraderie – T2 Trainspotting is about the disappointments of growing old – the limitations, the regrets, the need for reconnection. The shared past of these friends is inextricably intertwined in their present and this is where the poignancy of the film lives. Bravely Boyle has made a mostly sombre film about how fortysomething lives work out and it is well observed and well acted. But is this what you want from a Trainspotting film?

For 20 years, T2 Trainspotting was the elephant in the room, the madman laughing in the corner – the gang perhaps mindful of Sick Boy's dictum: "You've got it, and then you lose it, and it's gone forever." But Boyle, for one, has never lost it, and every frame of this film means something to him, and those who were there the first time. Dizzyingly meta, maddeningly broad, then oddly moving, T2 takes some getting your head round, even for the faithful. Indeed, new viewers may wonder what has been slipped in their drinks.

There is a ten-minute section in the middle, where Renton and Sick Boy have to improvise a song about The Battle Of The Boyne in a pro Protestant club followed by a tribute to George Best scored to John Barry's 007 theme, that captures some of the old zest and energy. There is also a fantastic split screen scene in a toilet cubicle. Stylistically Boyle still trades in the original's mixture of hard-nosed realism and flights of fantasy.

Once more, Boyle's direction is the star here. Frenetic with verbs and spiky with life, the film fizzes along to a fantastic soundtrack of new friends (Young Fathers) and remixed favourites (Born Slippy). But it is also slightly diffuse – without Renton's acid voiceover, the narrative loses that monomaniacal focus, swapping the purity of the original high for a cocktail of different uppers and downers.

Trainspotting was never about the drugs, or the money. It was about youth, about escape. Twenty years on, with middle age encroaching and all hopes of escape long evaporated, T2 isn't about the drugs, or the money either. It is about chasing the old highs, realising you can't reach them and then, if you are lucky, finding new ones.

Wiser, sadder but very much alive and kicking, T2 Trainspotting is a film that knows you can't compete with the ghosts of the past. But at least you can dance with them.

Monday, 27 February 2017

"And the Academy Award goes to..."

Last night saw the 89th Annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, with Barry Jenkins' coming of age drama Moonlight taking home the top prize of Best Picture. But in perhaps the most extraordinary end to any Oscars in living memory, it very nearly didn't. In an apparent envelope mix-up, the presenters of the award, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, initially read out La La Land, somehow having been given the envelope for Best Actress (which went to Emma Stone).

The La La Land team promptly took to the stage, supposedly victorious, and had already begun making their speeches when Academy producers suddenly interrupted and demanded to see the winning envelopes. When the error became clear, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz announced to gasps: "This is not a joke. Moonlight won Best Picture".

It was a stunning end to a ceremony which up until that point had gone more or less without a hitch. Damien Chazelle's musical ultimately won six awards, not quite sweeping its record equalling 14 nominations but still the biggest winner overall, taking top categories like Best Director and Best Actress.

Elsewhere, Moonlight also won Best Adapted Screenplay, Casey Affleck kept Denzel Washington at bay to win Best Actor, and Viola Davis took Best Supporting Actress in an emotional speech. There was also something of a political edge to the evening, with many winners and presenters choosing to use their platform to speak out against recent immigration laws in the US – the director of the Best Foreign Language Film, Asgar Farhardi, chose not to attend in a political protest.

In the end though, it was ultimately overshadowed by the Best Picture fiasco, which saw the unbelievable sight of Academy Award winners handing over the Oscars they thought they had won to the actual winners. Not to mention the sight of a visibly shaken Warren Beatty attempt to explain to the audience what the hell had just happened.

Hats off though to La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz, who stepped in and broke the news, declaring "There's a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture. This is not a joke, come up here."

Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, who are responsible for safeguarding both the ballots and the winners' envelopes, officially took responsibility, issuing the following statement: "We sincerely apologize to Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture. The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred. We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation."

The teams behind La La Land and Moonlight will be forced to enjoy arguably the strangest, most bittersweet celebrations in Academy Awards history, and Hollywood will have to collectively attempt to pick its jaw up from the floor.

The full list of nominees and winners are below.

Best Picture
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell Or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester By The Sea

Best Director
La La Land - Damien Chazelle
Arrival - Denis Villeneuve
Hacksaw Ridge - Mel Gibson
Manchester By The Sea - Kenneth Lonergan
Moonlight - Barry Jenkins

Best Actress
Emma Stone - La La Land
Isabelle Huppert - Elle
Ruth Negga - Loving
Natalie Portman - Jackie
Meryl Streep - Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis - Fences
Naomie Harris - Moonlight
Nicole Kidman - Lion
Octavia Spencer - Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams - Manchester By The Sea

Best Actor
Casey Affleck - Manchester By The Sea
Andrew Garfield - Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling - La La Land
Viggo Mortensen - Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington - Fences

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali - Moonlight
Jeff Bridges - Hell Or High Water
Lucas Hedges - Manchester By The Sea
Dev Patel - Lion
Michael Shannon - Nocturnal Animals

Best Animated Feature
Kubo And The Two Strings
My Life As A Zucchini
The Red Turtle

Best Cinematography
La La Land

Best Costume Design
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land

Best Documentary
O.J.: Made In America
Fire At Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated

Best Documentary Short
The White Helmets
4.1 Miles
Joe's Violin
Watani: My Homeland

Best Film Editing
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell Or High Water
La La Land

Best Foreign Language Film
The Salesman
Land Of Mine
A Man Called Ove
Toni Erdmann

Best Makeup And Hair
Suicide Squad
A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Best Original Score
La La Land - Justin Hurwitz
Jackie - Mica Levi
Lion - Dustin O'Halloran And Hauschka
Moonlight - Nicholas Britell
Passengers - Thomas Newman

Best Original Song
City Of Stars - La La Land
Audition (The Fools Who Dream) - La La Land
Can't Stop The Feeling - Trolls
The Empty Chair - Jim: The James Foley Story
How Far I'll Go - Moana

Best Production Design
La La Land
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Hail, Caesar!

Best Animated Short Film
Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider And Cigarettes

Best Live Action Short
Ennemis Intérieurs
La Femme Et Le Tgv
Silent Nights

Best Sound Editing
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land

Best Sound Mixing
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi

Best Visual Effects
The Jungle Book
Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
Kubo And The Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Adapted Screenplay
Hidden Figures

Best Original Screenplay
Manchester By The Sea
Hell Or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
20th Century Women

Bill Paxton: Actor and director dies aged 61

Bill Paxton, the much loved actor, director and producer, a scene stealer able to play both moral and terrible characters with a raw charm, has died at the age of 61.

Paxton had reportedly suffered from complications following surgery.

Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas in 1955, Paxton frequently attended movies and other cultural events with his father and siblings from a young age. His interest in film and filmmaking started early too, studying in the UK at Richmond College where he met two friends and began making Super 8 movies upon their return to Texas.

He moved to Los Angeles in 1974 to break into the industry, and got his first job as a production assistant on an industrial film for the Encyclopedia Britannica. From there, he found work as a set dresser for Roger Corman's New World Pictures on movies such as Big Bad Mama (1974) and Eat My Dust (1976). He scored his first role, uncredited, on Jonathan Demme's Crazy Mama (1975) and decided to focus more on acting.

At 21, Paxton headed to New York to study acting with the famous Stella Adler, but though he was impressed with her methods, he dropped out after two years. Upon his return to LA, he made short film Fish Heads (1980) which debuted on Saturday Night Live, and began to land small roles while still working for Corman on movies such as Galaxy Of Terror (1981). He impressed James Cameron when they worked together on Corman films, and scored a small part as a punk who attempts to rob Arnold Schwarzenegger' killer cyborg in The Terminator (1984). The pair would go on to enjoy a fruitful collaboration (and deep friendship), with Paxton appearing in True Lies (1994), Titanic (1997) and, in possibly his most memorable and quotable role, as Private Hudson in Aliens (1986).

He enjoyed a varied career, and fans have loved his work on any number of movies including Weird Science (1985), Near Dark (1987), Predator 2 (1990), One False Move (1992), Tombstone (1993), Apollo 13 (1995), The Last Supper (1995), Twister (1996), A Simple Plan (1998), Haywire (2011), 2 Guns (2013) and Edge Of Tomorrow (2014).

Turning his hand to more work behind the camera, Paxton directed (and appeared in) the excellent thriller Frailty (2001), about a father driven to murder by what he claimed were visions. He also made golf drama The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005) and had been developing a new film.

On the small screen, the actor made his mark with shows such as Big Love, Hatfields & McCoys, Miami Vice, and, more recently, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., in which he impressed as the villainous John Garrett. He was currently working on the TV version of Training Day and will be seen in technology thriller The Circle.

Jamie Lee Curtis, who co-starred with Paxton in True Lies, tweeted her sadness, writing: "Nooooo. Bill Paxton is gone. Such a funny, talented, loving human."

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who acted alongside him in Terminator and True Lies, said: "Bill Paxton could play any role, but he was best at being Bill - a great human being with a huge heart. My thoughts are with his family."

Tom Hanks, who starred alongside Paxton in Apollo 13 and the forthcoming film The Circle, said: "Bill Paxton was, simply, a wonderful man. A wonderful man."

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer said: "I am devastated at the passing of my friend Bill Paxton. He was a tremendously talented actor and a wonderful man."

Paxton's family said in a statement: "A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker.

"Bill's passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. We ask to please respect the family's wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father."

Director James Cameron emailed a statement to Vanity Fair remembering the actor, whose creative endeavors with him evolved into a 36-year friendship.

"I've been reeling from this for the past half hour, trying to wrap my mind and heart around it. Bill leaves such a void. He and I were close friends for 36 years, since we met on the set of a Roger Corman ultra-low budget movie. He came in to work on set, and I slapped a paint brush in his hand and pointed to a wall, saying "Paint that!" We quickly recognized the creative spark in each other and became fast friends. What followed was 36 years of making films together, helping develop each others' projects, going on scuba diving trips together, watching each others kids growing up, even diving the Titanic wreck together in Russian subs. It was a friendship of laughter, adventure, love of cinema, and mutual respect. Bill wrote beautiful heartfelt and thoughtful letters, an anachronism in this age of digital shorthand. He took good care of his relationships with people, always caring and present for others. He was a good man, a great actor, and a creative dynamo. I hope that amid the gaudy din of Oscar night, people will take a moment to remember this wonderful man, not just for all the hours of joy he brought to us with his vivid screen presence, but for the great human that he was. The world is a lesser place for his passing, and I will profoundly miss him."

Paxton was married to Louise Newbury and is survived by his two children, James and Lydia Paxton.

Our thoughts are with his friends and family.


New one sheet for Free Fire arrives online

StudioCanal have just released their latest one sheet for Ben Wheatley's (Sightseers) Free Fire.

Free Fire is set in Boston in 1978. The story, which Wheatley is pitching as a muscular crime flick in the spirit of Jean-Pierre Melville (Le Samouraï), Howard Hawks (The Big Sleep), Walter Hill (The Driver) and Martin Scorsese (The Wolf Of Wall Street), charts the fallout from a gun-running hook-up orchestrated by Brie Larson (The Spectacular Now) in a deserted warehouse. At its centre are two Irishmen (Cillian Murphy and Michael Smiley), on a connect with a pair of arms traffickers, Ord (Armie Hammer) and Vernon (Sharlto Copley), but soon wishing they had given the whole enterprise a wide berth when the bullets start flying. Cue a desperate battle for survival.

Free Fire will arrive in UK cinemas on 31 March.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

New one sheet for Atomic Blonde arrives online

Universal Pictures have just released their first one sheet for David Leitch's (John Wick) Atomic Blonde.

Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) has been wanting to bring this one to the screen for a couple of years now, after picking up the rights to Antony Johnston and Sam Hart's graphic novel The Coldest City. With Kurt Johnstad (300) on adaptation duty, the freshly retitled Atomic Blonde finds Theron as Agent Lorraine Broughton, a skilled intelligence operative called into action when an undercover MI6 spy is killed in 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. She has to track down a list he was smuggling to the West in order to prevent her and her colleagues becoming endangered by the release of crucial information. And the mission becomes a deadly game of double-crossing agents and global agendas.

With James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class), John Goodman (Argo), Toby Jones (Captain America: The First Avenger) and Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) also in the cast, Atomic Blonde will arrive in cinemas on 11 August.

Alien: Covenant prologue short film arrives online

20th Century Fox have just released a prologue short film for Ridley Scott's Prometheus (2012) follow-up Alien: Covenant.

This prologue was conceived by Scott in collaboration with creative consultants 3AM, and directed by his son Luke Scott (Morgan). It is a chance to see James Franco's (127 Hours) Captain Branson actually appear on screen (albeit briefly) and finds the crew in a rowdy mood. There is even a fun little nod to the original Alien.

Alien: Covenant finds Ridley Scott heading back to the Alien universe after Prometheus, and following a colony ship called the Covenant headed for a remote planet, a place that the crew initially thinks is an uncharted paradise but turns out to be dark and full of terrors. And the only inhabitant is synthetic life form David (Michael Fassbender), who claims to be the lone survivor of the Prometheus mission.

Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice), Demián Bichir (The Hateful Eight), Amy Seimetz (You're Next), Carmen Ejogo (Selma), Callie Hernandez (Machete Kills), Billy Crudup (Watchmen) and Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down) make up the ship's crew, and it appears we will catch up with Noomi Rapace's Dr. Elizabeth Shaw. The eagle eyed amongst you will also notice a certain James Franco, now officially confirmed as part of the movie, playing Captain Branson. Plus we will be getting a double dose of Fassbender, as he is also playing another synthetic, this one named Walter.

Alien: Covenant will arrive in cinemas 19 May.

"I prefer to call it a new plane of existence."

Netflix have just released their first trailer and one sheet for Charlie McDowell's (The One I Love) new science fiction romantic drama The Discovery.

Co-written by Charlie McDowell and Justin Lader (The One I Love), The Discovery is set in a world where the existence of the afterlife has been scientifically proven. Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) plays Will, the son of Thomas Harbor (Robert Redford) who made the astonishing discovery in the first place, and he falls in love with Rooney Mara's (The Social Network) Isla, a woman whose past is tinged with tragedy.

A year after the big announcement is made, people everywhere are offing themselves to reach what they figure will be eternal bliss, though the answer might not be quite that simple. And how do you go about living in a world where so many others are intent on dying?

With Riley Keough (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Jesse Plemons (Black Mass) also in the cast, The Discovery will hit Netflix on 31 March.

Matt Reeves now officially set to direct The Batman

News arrives via Variety that Matt Reeves (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes) is now officially on board to direct The Batman.

Reeves was first reported as the top contender for the job – following Ben Affleck's decision to stick to just co-developing the film and playing the lead – a couple of weeks ago. And then the news broke that he was out of the running, despite entering talks. Whatever has been worked out between the director and Warner Bros appears to have settled the matter, as he is fully engaged again. "I have loved the Batman story since I was a child. He is such an iconic and compelling character, and one that resonates with me deeply," Reeves says in a statement carried by Variety. "I am incredibly honoured and excited to be working with Warner Bros. to bring an epic and emotional new take on the Caped Crusader to the big screen."

There is, interestingly, no mention of Affleck in the statement, but while rumours circled that he might be considering stepping away from the role, there has been nothing concrete on that front.

Chris Terrio (Argo) was the most recent writer on the movie, and it appears all involved are happy with his script. The aim is now to get moving as quickly as possible, though The Batman has yet to lock down a release date.

As for Reeves' most recent job, War For The Planet Of The Apes will be with us on 14 July.

Angelina Jolie considering Maleficent sequel and other film projects

Angelina Jolie clearly isn't letting recent personal troubles get in the way of her movie career. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that she is currently juggling offers for several acting jobs, including a return to play Maleficent again and has been developing a new film to direct.

As part of a large piece on the actress, producer and director in The Hollywood Reporter, there are mentions of the Maleficent (2014) sequel which Walt Disney Pictures have been developing and two other potential new acting jobs, one about Catherine The Great and the other focusing on a spy. The Catherine movie would adapt Simon Sebag Montefiore's book Catherine The Great And Potemkin: The Imperial Love Affair, which charts the long love affair between the Russian ruler and Prince Grigory Potemkin, the military leader who helped her conquer Ukraine and Crimea.

The espionage script is drawing from Clare Mulley's tome The Spy Who Loved, which follows Christine Granville, the alias for Krystyna Skarbek. She was a Polish aristocrat who became one of Britain's most highly decorated intelligence officers. A woman of action, she skied into occupied Poland and rescued one of her many lovers from a Gestapo execution squad. It is perhaps not a surprise that Ian Fleming based the character of Vesper Lynd on her for the original story of Casino Royale. And those are without considering the fact that Universal Pictures are still looking to lure her for the new version The Bride Of Frankenstein to help fill out its monster cinematic universe.

Even as the acting offers pile up, Jolie is also quietly working up her next directorial possibility, adapting Alessandro Baricco's 2004 novel Without Blood, which is set during an unnamed war and charts a child growing up to hunt down her father's murderers in peacetime. And before any of that, she has Cambodian drama memoir First They Killed My Father due on Netflix this year.

Kyle Chandler joins Godzilla: King Of Monsters

One key piece of casting is already in place for the sequel to Gareth Edwards' Godzilla (2014), as Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) joined Godzilla: King Of Monsters last month. Now we know who will be joining her, with word arriving via Variety that Kyle Chandler (The Wolf Of Wall Street) is aboard.

Michael Dougherty (Krampus) landed the job directing the film after impressing Legendary Pictures with the script he wrote alongside Zach Shields. Not much is known about the movie, besides the fact that it will feature giant monster action featuring the atomic spawned beastie. And most likely that will mean new monstrous threats for Godilla to face. One thing we do know, at least, is that on the human side of things, Chandler will play Brown's father.

Variety's sources have heard that Ken Watanabe may also be present, reprising his role from Godzilla, but that has yet to be officially confirmed. This monster sequel is part of Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros' plan to build a giant creatures universe, tying together Godzilla and King Kong with Kong: Skull Island due next month, Godzilla: King Of Monsters arriving 22 March 2019 and then Godzilla Vs. Kong on 22 May 2020.

Chandler will be seen in indie drama Sidney Hall and is about to start filming the final season of Netflix series Bloodline.

Alfie Allen joins The Predator

News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Alfie Allen (Game Of Thrones) has joined the cast for Shane Black's (Iron Man 3) The Predator.

Shane Black, working from the script he wrote with Fred Dekker, started the cameras rolling on the latest Predator movie this week. The likes of Boyd Holbrook (Narcos), Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight) and Keegan-Michael Key (Let's Be Cops) are aboard as ex-Marines who have to team up with the likes of Olivia Munn's (Mortdecai) scientist to battle the dangerous alien creatures. Jacob Tremblay (Room) is aboard as Holbrook's son, who has an affinity with languages.

As for Allen, currently best known as Theon Greyjoy on Game Of Thrones, he will play another of Holbrook's military theme.

The Predator will be in UK cinemas on 16 February next year, while Game Of Thrones returns this summer.

Charlize Theron set star in spy thriller Need To Know

Clearly not content with one spy thriller in the works – that would be David Leitch's (John Wick) The Coldest City – news arrives via Deadline that Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) is backing a new film, aiming to produce and star in Need To Know.

Universal Pictures have bought up the rights to the movie, which will adapt CIA analyst Karen Cleveland's upcoming novel. The focus for the story is on a wife and mother who shares the same job with the novelist. While on duty in the agency, she discovers something while hunting through digital files looking for evidence of a Russian sleeper cell. What she finds puts her life, and those of her friends and family, in danger.

It certainly sounds like something that could work as a vehicle for Theron, and it is a big push for Cleveland, who hasn't yet locked in a publisher for the book – this deal is sure to help that along.

As mentioned above, Theron has The Coldest City due on 11 August. Before that, she will be seen in F. Gary Gray's (Straight Outta Compton) Fast 8, which arrives in cinemas 14 April.

Guillermo Del Toro dashes hopes for Hellboy sequel

Bad news if your hopes were recently raised by director Guillermo del Toro drumming up support for a third Hellboy movie. The director has officially announced via Twitter that the sequel will not be happening.

There have been flares of flaming hope in the last few years, hope that was then quashed by the hard realities of filmmaking. Hellboy 3 is not a movie that can necessarily be made by crowdfunding, and rights issues make shopping it around somewhat tough.

So despite the driving passion of Guillermo Del Toro, Ron Perlman and others to finish the trilogy with one more film, the book appears closed on that front. Of course, there remains the chance that del Toro could find some other outlet for the story, especially in comic book form. Which would be fitting given Big Red's roots.

And at least we get to enjoy more del Toro filmmaking – his latest, The Shape Of Water, should be with us later this year.

Keanu Reeves discusses John Wick 3 story ideas

John Wick (2014) sequel John Wick: Chapter 2 exploded into cinemas across the world last week, leaving in its wake bullet shells, rave reviews and a modest box office success – and rumblings of a potential Chapter 3. Empire magazine recently sat down to chat with John Wick himself Keanu Reeves and his stunt coordinator turned director Chad Stahelski to discuss what a threequel in the action franchise might look like.

Truly excited by the idea of another entry in the Wickiverse, Reeves revealed how he saw the next film playing out, picking up from where John Wick: Chapter 2 left off. "I think the opening of the film should be Wick just trying to escape from New York," Reeves told us. "Literally trying to get off the island. Maybe he asks [Lawrence Fisburne's character] the Bowery King for help. Maybe John Leguizamo comes and helps me out. "John, I can't do it, you're excommunicado!""

Reeves continued in his usual animated fashion: "Maybe the High Table shows up. And then the High Table starts firing guns. And then maybe this kind of thing starts to happen between the High Table and Continental? Maybe John is the activator of this confrontation, and perhaps there's a war? Wouldn't that be awesome?!"

Stahelski, for his part, did not go into any specific details of what a third John Wick outing might look like, but did tease the expansion of the shady assassin's underworld. "I'd say, if we were so lucky to continue the series, I'd like to expand the world maybe another 25%," he explained. "But then I'd like to go deeper into the world that people already know – another 50%." Does this mean we get to know exactly how powerful Ian McShane's Winston is? Do we get to see Lance Reddicks' Charon kick some ass?

John Wick: Chapter 3 is yet to be officially greenlit, of course, but the appetite for Keanu Reeves to continue dispatching baddies with pencils is certainly there. As always, watch this space.

Shane Black reveals our first look at The Predator cast

With the cameras set to start rolling this week, co-writer and director Shane Black (Iron Man 3) has just released our first look at his main cast for The Predator via Twitter

Lined up from left to right are Sterling K. Brown (American Crime Story) who is set to play a government agent, Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight) as a military officer and fellow veteran to Boyd Holbrook's (Narcos) Quinn McKenna, Jacob Tremblay (Room) as Holbrook's son, Olivia Munn (Mortdecai) as Casey Bracket and Keegan-Michael Key (Let's Be Cops) as another military type. It is certainly quite a line-up, and this isn't even the full main cast.

Black has also used social media to assure those waiting to watch this one that it won't skimp on the violence or claret. "Just to be clear," he wrote, "PG-13 is for pusses. Spines bleed.... A lot." Which disturbingly makes it sounds like he has had some personal experience with that. Hopefully just of the prosthetic variety.

We are promised more from Black as the shoot progresses, and The Predator will be hunting down UK cinemas on 16 February next year.

First one sheet for All Nighter arrives online

Good Deed Entertainment have recently released their first one sheet for Gavin Wiesen's (The Art Of Getting By) All Nighter.

Written by Seth W. Owen (Morgan), All Nighter finds J. K. Simmons (Whiplash) as a globe trotting, workaholic father trying to visit his daughter (Kristen Schaal) on a last minute layover in Los Angeles. On arrival he discovers that she has disappeared and forces her awkward, nervous ex-boyfriend (Emile Hirsch) –  still nursing a broken heart – to help him find her over the course of one increasingly crazy night.

All Nighter will arrive in US cinemas on 17 March, before being released through video on demand on 24 March. There is no date for UK release as yet.

New one sheet for Wolverine solo movie Logan arrives online

20th Century Fox have recently released their latest one sheet for James Mangold's (The Wolverine) latest Wolverine solo outing, which is now officially called Logan.

Hugh Jackman is set to appear for the very last time as arguably the most iconic member of the X-Men for the third Wolverine solo movie, and so we are expecting big things from his swan song in the role. The new movie, written by David James Kelly, is being kept mostly quiet, though most reports have pegged a futuristic Old Man Logan inspiration.

Patrick Stewart returns as the older Professor Xavier, while Boyd Holbrook (Gone Girl), is the main villain, Richard E. Grant (Dom Hemingway) plays a mad scientist and Stephen Merchant (I Give It A Year), Eriq La Salle (ER), Elise Neal (Hustle & Flow) and Elizabeth Rodriguez (Fear The Walking Dead) are also on board.

Logan will arrive in UK cinemas on 3 March.

New quad poster for Trespass Against Us arrives online

Lionsgate have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for Adam Smith's feature debut Trespass Against Us.

British crime drama Trespass Against Us has been around for a while now but it is finally getting a release following its Toronto International Film Festival premiere.

The film follows three generations of outlaws who delight in illegal hunting, ram-raiding stately homes and defying the police. One, though, Chad Cutler (Michael Fassbender), has grown sick of the criminal life and wants to find a path to the straight and narrow. Naturally, his father (Brendan Gleeson) is not best pleased.

Expect hare coursing, car chases and robbery as Fassbender's wannabe law abider tries to get out but keeps finding himself pulled back in.

With a score from electronic music duo The Chemical Brothers, and Sean Harris (Prometheus), Lyndsey Marshal (The Hours), Rory Kinnear (The Imitation Game) and Killian Scott (Calvary) rounding out the cast, Trespass Against Us will arrive in UK cinemas 3 March.

New one sheet for A Cure For Wellness arrives online

20th Century Fox have recently released their latest one sheet for Gore Verbinski's (Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl) A Cure For Wellness.

Directed by Gore Verbinski and scripted by Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road), A Cure for Wellness stars Dane DeHaan (Chronicle) as an ambitious young executive who is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from an idyllic but mysterious 'wellness center' at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. He soon suspects that the spa's miraculous treatments are not what they seem. When he begins to unravel its terrifying secrets, his sanity is tested, as he finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all the guests here longing for the cure.

With Jason Isaacs (Fury) and Mia Goth (Nymphomaniac), A Cure For Wellness will arrive in cinemas on 24 February.

New character one sheets for Patriots Day arrive online

Lionsgate have recently released a batch of character one sheets for Peter Berg's (Lone Survivor) Boston Marathon bombing drama Patriots Day.

Following their collaboration on Lone Survivor (2013) and Deepwater Horizon (2016), director Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg are steadily building a reputation for working together on truth based dramas.

The film blends reality and cinematic invention to chronicle the events surrounding the bombing that happened at the finish line of the Boston race on 15 April 2013. Investigators eventually narrowed down suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and a huge manhunt followed, with Tamerlan killed in a firefight with officers and Dzhokhar found guilty of all his charges and sentenced to death.

Wahlberg is playing Sergeant Tommy Saunders, a composite of various Boston Police Department officers who were central to the case, with J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), John Goodman (Argo), Melissa Benoist (Whiplash), Michelle Monaghan (Source Code) and Kevin Bacon (Mystic River) also in the cast.

Matt Charman (Bridge Of Spies) wrote the script for the film, which is out in cinemas now.

New trailer for The City Of Tiny Lights arrives online

Icon Film Distribution have recently released their first trailer for Pete Travis' (Dredd) The City Of Tiny Lights.

To the ranks of on screen private eyes, we can now add Riz Ahmed's (Nightcrawler) Tommy Aktar, a man on a mission with a cynical eye but a well calibrated moral compass.

City Of Tiny Lights has been co-written by author Patrick Neate, adapting his eponymous novel set in the shadier streets of West London. Ahmed's Tommy is a cricket fan and the devoted son to his ailing father (Roshan Seth). His business isn't exactly healthy by any means, but then he is asked for help by prostitute Melody (Cush Jumbo), and launched into a case that could really do him and those he loves some damage. Particularly Shelley (Billie Piper) who comes back into his life...

Promising some gritty London noir, City Of Tiny Lights will be out in the UK on 7 April.

"The answer to what is happening to you is here. You five are the Power Rangers."

Lionsgate have recently released their latest trailer for Dean Israelite's (Project Almanac) Power Rangers.

Power Rangers, for the uninitiated, originated in Japan as the tokusatsu television series Super Sentai, and was adapted into Power Rangers for American audiences in the early 1990s, ultimately morphing into a giant franchise of its own.

This is the third big screen outing for the team, with director Dean Israelite giving the franchise a breath of modern fresh air and a (moderately) more grounded tone than the campy earlier versions

Power Rangers finds Becky G (House Of Sin) as Yellow Ranger Trini, Ludi Lin (Monster Hunt) as Black Ranger Zack, Dacre Montgomery as Red Ranger Jason, Naomi Scott (The Martian) as Pink Ranger Kimberly, and RJ Cyler (Me And Earl And The Dying Girl) as Blue Ranger Billy, who are recruited to suit up to save the world from evil.

The big threat this time comes from Power Rangers villain stalwart Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks). And then there is Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), a veteran of voicing baddies in the original 1993 series, who this time will be stepping in as Zordon, the guardian and mentor to the team.

Power Rangers will arrive in cinemas on 24 March.

"She's like you. Very much like you."

20th Century Fox have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for James Mangold's (The Wolverine) Logan.

When the first Logan trailer debuted last year, set to that haunting Johnny Cash cover of Hurt, it presented us with a very different breed of Woverine movie. This time out the trailer focuses on Dafne Keen's (The Refugees) Laura, finally divulging the secret that we all knew that Laura is, in fact, the mutant known as X-23. We see some superb scenes of Laura in action, literally carving her way through Donald Pierce's (Boyd Holbrook) hired goons, plus a tantalising glimpse of an X-Men comic, showing that the mutant team's exploits have been recorded (and slightly exaggerated) for posterity.

Hugh Jackman is set to appear for the very last time as arguably the most iconic member of the X-Men for the third Wolverine solo movie, and so we are expecting big things from his swan song in the role. Also returning for potentially the final time is Patrick Stewart's now nonagenarian Professor X.

Boyd Holbrook (Gone Girl) is the main villain, while Richard E. Grant (Dom Hemingway) plays a mad scientist and Stephen Merchant (I Give It A Year), Eriq La Salle (ER), Elise Neal (Hustle & Flow) and Elizabeth Rodriguez (Fear The Walking Dead) are also on board.

Logan will arrive in UK cinemas on 3 March.

New clip for John Wick: Chapter 2 arrives online

Warner Bros have recently released a new clip for Chad Stahelski's John Wick (2014) sequel John Wick: Chapter 2.

Chapter 2 finds Keanu Reeves' Wick forced fully back out of retirement when a former associate plots to seize control of the shadowy international assassins' guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome, but soon learns there is a price on his head and must square off against some of the world's deadliest killers.

Ian McShane and Lance Reddick are back for this one, and the cast also includes Common (Now You See Me), Laurence Fishburne (Contagion), John Leguizamo (Moulin Rouge!) and Ruby Rose (Orange Is The New Black).

John Wick: Chapter 2 is out in cinemas now.

New trailer for The Belko Experiment arrives online

BH Tilt have recently released their latest trailer for Greg McLean's (Wolf Creek) The Belko Experiment.

James Gunn might be busy putting the finishing touches to his Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014) sequel, but he still managed to find time to dust off and polish a script he wrote a few years ago, and hand it to Wolf Creek's (2005) Greg McLean to direct. The result is The Belko Experiment.

Set at a facility of the non-profit Belko company in South America which is mysteriously sealed off at the beginning of a work day, and its employees ordered to either kill each other or be killed themselves thanks to explosive charges implanted in their heads. This starts an escalation of violence, where we discover the true nature of each and every Belko employee. John C. McGinley (Scrubs) is socially awkward executive Wendell Dukes, a man who prefers to socialise with friends such as Barry Norris (Tony Goldwyn) and doesn't really enjoy being around his employees. Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station) plays Dany Wilkins, the new girl at the facility who is arguably about to experience the worst employee orientation of all time. And of course, there is a spot for Michael Rooker (Guardians Of The Galaxy), here as maintenance man Bud Melks.

With John Gallagher Jr., Mikaela Hoover and Abraham Benrubi also in the cast, The Belko Experiment will hit US screens on 17 March but has yet to secure a UK release.

New one sheet for Raw arrives online

Universal Pictures have just released their latest one sheet for Julia Ducournau's feature debut Raw.

The indie French horror finds young Justine (Garance Marillier) arriving at veterinary school to carry on the family tradition. Everyone in her family cares for animals and are devout vegetarians. But being away from home for the first time is a chance to experiment. Especially when you are looking to fit in whatever the cost.

During a brutal hazing ritual for the new students, she eats raw meet and starts to discover a new craving... one rooted in cannibalism. A metaphor for sexual awakening and growing up, Raw has more on its mind than simple shock value, though it doesn't skimp on the body horror.

Raw will be out in cinemas on 7 April.

Two new character one sheets for CHiPs arrive online

Warner Bros have just released two new character one sheets for Dax Shepard's (Hit And Run) CHiPs.

Turning late 1970's cop show CHiPs into a movie might have seemed like a risky stab at re-inventing something today's younger audiences might not know much about beyond some Ponch related pop culture references. But nostalgia remains a driving force, so here is Dax Shepard and Michael Peña (The Martian) squeezing into the brown motorcycle duds for an R-rated comedy adaption.

Shepard (who also wrote and directed the movie) plays Jon Baker, an injury prone pro motorcyclist looking to fix his broken marriage (if not some of his broken bones) by joining up with the California Highway Patrol in Los Angeles. He is partnered with Frank 'Ponch' Poncherello (Peña), who has his own reasons for signing up – Ponch is actually an undercover Federal agent looking to take down a suspected gang of crooked cops who may be pulling off heists.

Can this unlikely duo put their clear differences aside and work as a unit? Our guess is eventually, but as the trailer shows, the film wants to mine a lot of comedy from their approaches to the law and bikes.

With Kristen Bell* (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Adam Brody (Mr. & Mrs. Smith) and Vincent D'Onofrio (Jurassic World) also in the cast, CHiPs – or CHIPS as the movie appears to prefer – will screech into UK cinemas on 24 March.

*Kristen Bell is also the wife of Dax Shepard

"People are going to just keep killing themselves."

Netflix have recently released their first trailer for Charlie McDowell's The Discovery.

Bought by Netflix after the film was completed, moody science fiction drama The Discovery is on its way to us thanks to the streaming service.

The film, co-written by Charlie McDowell and Justin Lader (The One I Love), is set in a world where the existence of the afterlife has been scientifically proven. Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) plays Will, the son of Thomas Harbor (Robert Redford) who made the astonishing discovery in the first place, and he falls in love with Rooney Mara's (The Social Network) Isla, a woman whose past is tinged with tragedy.

A year after the big announcement is made, people everywhere are offing themselves to reach what they figure will be eternal bliss, though the answer might not be quite that simple. And how do you go about living in a world where so many others are intent on dying?

With Riley Keough (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Jesse Plemons (Black Mass) also in the cast, The Discovery will hit Netflix on 31 March.

First trailer for Lady Macbeth arrives online

Altitude Films have recently released their first trailer for William Oldroyd's Lady Macbeth.

Arriving on a buzzy tide of festival praise and awards, William Oldroyd's directorial debut Lady Macbeth seems certain to draw more attention when it arrives on our screens.

Loosely based by scriptwriter Alice Birch on Nikolai Leskov's 19th century novella Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk District, the story focuses on Katherine (Florence Pugh), a young woman dealing with a tough life in rural England in 1865.

Essentially sold into loveless marriage to Alexander (Paul Hilton) – a bitter and paranoid man twice her age – she suffers through humiliation and discomfort from both her lacklustre hubby and cruel father-in-law Boris (Christopher Fairbank). Her one release is an passionate affair with groomsman James (Cosmo Jarvis), though its Katherine who is the driving force behind the illicit relationship.

Promising a great central performance by Pugh and an impressive leap from theatre to film work from Oldroyd, Lady Macbeth will be out on 28 April.

New one sheet for Gold arrives online

Studio Canal have recently released their one sheet for Stephen Gaghan's (Syriana) based on truth tale Gold.

Stephen Gaghan's latest film, which has a script from Patrick Massett and John Zinman (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider), tells the story of the 1993 Bre-X Corporation mining scandal. The plot follows ambitious prospector Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) who stumbles upon one of the largest gold mines in the world in the Indonesian jungle.

Wells is seemingly made for life, but his haul soon attracts attention, and things spiral into a mess involving Wall Street, the FBI and the Indonesian military.

Names have been changed for this one, but the story still promises to be a ripe one. Gold also features Édgar Ramirez (The Bourne Ultimatum), Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World), Toby Kebbell (War Horse) and Corey Stoll (Ant-Man).

Gold is out in cinemas now.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

The Irishman heads for Netflix

After years in development, it appears the next – and ninth – collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro (Casino) might actually have a confirmed home. News arrives via Indiewire that The Irishman is headed to Netflix in a new deal.

In the works since at least 2008, the Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List) scripted adaptation of Charles Brandt's tome I Heard You Paint Houses, the film will look at the life of mob hitman Frank 'The Irishman' Sheeran, whose career allegedly included the slaying of union leader Jimmy Hoffa.

Paramount Pictures had previously agreed to back the movie, with STX Entertainment taking international distribution rights to share the costs of the film, which could run to around $100 million. But the studio, which is in something of a flux state following the departure of chairman Brad Grey, has backed away from a potentially risky movie, even given the talent on board. With Al Pacino (Heat) and potentially Joe Pesci (Goodfellas) still in talks to join the cast, the film should now launch in cinemas with an as yet unnamed business partner before arriving on Netflix worldwide. First, of course, Scorsese actually has to make the thing, and he is aiming for a 2019 release.

Woody Harrelson set to play Han Solo's mentor

News arrives via Variety that Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games) is set to take on the role of Han Solo's mentor in Phil Lord and Chris Miller's (The Lego movie) upcoming anthology movie. In the expanded universe, Solo as a young orphan was taken in by the cruel Garris Shrike, who uses children to steal for him. Of course, the expanded universe is no longer considered canon, so it remains to be seen quite how much this translates to a character in the movie.

Variety reports that the actor's lackadaisical Texan drawls will soon be heard in a galaxy far, far away. Harrelson is one of the last major characters to be cast in the still untitled project, which has Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) in the role originally made famous by Harrison Ford, alongside Donald Glover (Community) as Lando Calrissian and Emilia Clarke (Game Of Thrones) in an unnamed role.

Shooting is currently underway with the film due to be released in May 2018 – although, if rumours are to be believed, odds are it will be pushed back to December of that year. We all know how Han felt about odds, though.

New one set for Live Cargo arrives online

Gunpowder & Sky have just released their first one sheet for Logan Sandler's feature debut Live Cargo.

Live Cargo finds Dree Hemingway (Scarlet) and Lakeith Stanfield (Short Term 12) as a young couple who retreat to a small Bahamian island following a devastating loss. As they try to heal and move forward with their relationship, the community on the island shows signs of unravelling, with the island's mayor, Roy (Robert Wisdom), confronting a human trafficker who manipulates the impressionable homeless teenager Myron (Sam Dillon) into assisting with his smuggling operation.

Live Cargo will arrive in US cinemas 31 March but has yet to find a UK release date.

New one sheet for Mine arrives online

Well Go USA Entertainment have just released their latest one sheet for Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro's feature debut Mine.

The film sees Armie Hammer (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) as a US Marine who finds himself trapped in the desert after standing on a land mine. Seemingly stranded, he must single handedly fight off the enemy while waiting more than two days for a convoy to rescue him.

With Annabelle Wallis (Annabelle) and Tom Cullen (Weekend) also in the cast, Mine will arrive in US cinemas on 7 April before heading to the UK on DVD and Blu-ray on 17 April.

Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron set to star Flarsky

Seth Rogen is aiming to reunite with his 50/50 (2011) and The Night Before (2015) director Jonathan Levine for a new comedy, and he has a very different co-star in mind. News arrives via Variety that Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) will be the object of his affection in Flarsky.

Not, as you might suspect from the title, a farcical take on Starsky And Hutch, the script by Dan Sterling (The Interview) finds Rogen as an unemployed journalist who is fighting misfortune and his own self-destructive habits. Despite everything that is going wrong in his life, he figures the best idea is to track down and try to win the heart of his former babysitter and childhood crush (Theron), who has gone on to become one of the most powerful and unattainable women on the planet. Schlubby guy pursuing a great beauty is certainly a well worn concept, but hopefully the people involved will elevate it a little.

Rogen is still producing episodes of Preacher, which will be back for Season 2 this year. He is also in James Franco's (As I Lay Dying) film about The Room (2003), The Disaster Artist. Theron has Fast & Furious 8 due on 14 April and spy thriller Atomic Blonde heading our way on 11 August.