1. AMC Theatres reject text-friendly theatres, evil

The CEO of AMC Theatres, Adam Aron, has admitted in an interview with Variety that the company have been looking to experiment with text-friendly cinemas in an attempt to appeal to that most fabled of demographics – the millennials. In the interview, Aron wisely asserts that “when you tell a 22-year-old to turn off the phone… they hear ‘please cut off your left arm above the elbow’… we’re going to have to figure out a way to do it that doesn’t disturb today’s audiences.” Alas, the second part of that specially selected passage doesn’t refer to the silent application of a bone saw but rather the combination of texting and being absorbed into the world of cinema.

Well, Aron proposed a potential ‘solution’. His idea was to “take specific auditoriums and make them more texting friendly.” He argued that this could be achieved through applying slightly-raised lighting, providing in-built charging ports, and lobotomising its customers for the price of the ticket. “Impossible!” you cry.  Well, you were heard. After a near riot online, AMC have quickly retracted their proposal. Perhaps the apocalypse isn’t inbound, after all. 

2. MIB 23

It’s fair to say that the Jump Street/Men In Black crossover is one of the stranger projects currently in development. In all honesty, it feels like a drunken, if amusing, discussion had late one night has snowballed into fruition by the sheer weirdness of its premise. That said, we’ve been in this territory before with messrs. Miller and Lord who not only gave us a reboot we never realised we wanted in the Jump Street films, but delivered one of the most enjoyable family films of recent years. While MIB 23 – as this project is somewhat confusingly called – could rank beside Suicide Squad as further evidence of Will Smith’s declining credentials as a leading man, neither Smith nor Tommy Lee Jones are yet signed on so it would be fair to expect a reboot on that side of things.  Come what may, officers Jenko and Schmidt will be joined by MIB agents for their next outing; it’s a prospect so bizarre that it might actually work.       

3. Steven Spielberg casts BFG BFF Mark Rylance for two more films

Not content with buddying up on Bridge of Spies and The BFG, Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance are going to pal around at least twice more on the set of both Ready Player One [via Variety] and The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara [via Deadline]. In the former project, Rylance will star as the creator of Oasis, the virtual world in which Tye Sheridan’s protagonist will hunt for treasure, while Edgardo Mortara will see Rylance don Popeface as Pius IX, presiding over an incident in 1858 where a child was kidnapped by the Church and raised to be a Christian. Short of Spielberg picking up any further projects in the meantime, this likely means that any talk of a fifth Indiana Jones flick will be put on hold until Rylance has space in his calendar to play an appropriate Indy villain – some kind of heart-ripping fridge-hating fascist would do the trick.


Courtesy of: 20th Century Fox.

4. Doctor Strange gets a teaser

It’s been a big week or so for trailers. Last week we had the first tantalising glimpses of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and this week Doctor Strange, Suicide Squad, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them take turns to whet our appetites. We have already had the opportunity to see Suicide Squad and Fantastic Beasts in action, but both are enjoying impressive new trailers that are well worth hunting down. Less has been seen of Doctor Strange, however, and its first teaser is a doozy! Even if it does get a little Inception-y toward the end, there is plenty to love here.  

5. Spider-Man reboot gets a definite title, possible Keaton

Jon Watts’ Spider-Man reboot already had itself a friendly neighbourhood lead actor that you could certainly take home to your parents – thanks, Tom Holland. Now it has both a title and a possible villain. Variety reports that the freshly dubbed Spider-Man: Homecoming has Michael Keaton circling an as-yet unknown villainous role. The Birdman and Batman actor’s prospective involvement is prompting talk that he may be playing the Vulture – incidentally, the presumed foe of Sam Raimi’s aborted fourth instalment. However, considering how Homecoming will focus on Spidey’s high school days it could be that he’ll just play a crusty old dean or an overbearing guidance counsellor concerned at the amount of goo in Parker’s locker. Marvel and Sony have so far not offered a comment on the matter but if Keaton is cast he’ll start production alongside Holland, Marisa Tomei and Zendaya when it all starts up this summer. Homecoming is set for release on July 7, 2017.

6. Affleck’s Batman is confirmed

Since the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice it’s been something of a rocky road for the DCCU. Despite the ostensibly harsh criticism that has been levelled at Snyder’s film the DCCU is here to stay and if you’re in the camp that reasonably argues that Affleck’s Batman was the film’s best part then perhaps there are blue skies ahead. OK, not blue; murky grey, perhaps. After a little speculation surrounding a solo movie, it was confirmed at CinemaCon in Las Vegas that Affleck will indeed be suiting up for a solo outing as Batman. While there is the complication of beginning a new iteration of the character with a Batman who is very much at the end of his career, a Batfleck solo film is is an exciting prospect indeed.


Courtesy of: WB.

7. Shin Godzilla marches on internet, releases trailer

Gareth Edwards probably thinks he’s pretty hot stuff. He’s directing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which people seem pretty buzzed about, and he can count Monsters and the surprisingly impressive Godzilla among his past successes. Alas, the latter project could be his undoing. Toho, the original Godzilla company, has unleashed its trailer for the newest take on the legendary lizard/alien/guy in rubber suit and it’s… something. Our first look at Shin Godzilla sees the beast doing a whole lot of standing and walking like a regular Rory Calhoun, all set to ominous music and interspersed with the consequences of the ancient behemoth’s wrath/hilariously long tail. Shin Godzilla will storm its way into Japanese cinemas on July 29 and global hearts the same day.

8. Channing Tatum joins Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Fans of Matthew Vaughn’s fun but silly spy caper Kingsman: The Secret Service will be pleased to hear that its cast has been expanded with the addition of Channing Tatum. The star announced via Twitter that he will be joining The Golden Circle, which already boasts a cast that includes Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, and Elton John. Yep, you read that right. On top of that, a teaser poster has implied that Colin Firth’s Harry Hart might not be as dead as we previously suspected. The film is set to arrive in June 2017.

9. John Krasinski circling possible Cloverfield instalment

It looks like John Krasinski may well hop onto the latest sci-fi flick (is there any other kind?) from J.J. Abrams. Ok, so it’s not quite from J.J.; produced by Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, God Particle is to be directed by a relative newcomer to features, Julius Onah, and has been written by Oren Uziel, who helped pen 22 Jump Street. David Oyelowo and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are already confirmed to star. Taking place in the near future, the long-delayed project sees a terrifying discovery made by a team of astronauts, forcing them into a fight for their lives – like Alien but with better marketing. Yes, there are inevitable rumours that God Particle, due for release on 24 February 2017, could be part of the Cloverfield universe, especially considering that some of the viral marketing for 10 Cloverfield Lane contained a transmission from the International Space Station. And, like, astronauts are in space ‘n’ that. This being the Abramster, it is our journalistic duty to speculate wildly about what this could possibly mean, apart from in regards to John Krasinski’s casting as that looks pretty straightforward… or is it?

10. Nicholas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon gets an exquisite trailer

Move over Batman v Superman, you’re not the most divisive film of recent years; that title could be fairly given to Nicholas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, a film met with both ecstatic praise and scathing contempt. Dark and difficult as it may be, there is a critical reappraisal in its future – Only God Forgives is a thunderously stylish thesis on good versus evil. Well, the director is back with The Neon Demon and it looks stunning. The film will open in Cannes in May.

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