1. Tony Stark to return for Spider-Man: Homecoming
It has long been suspected that Robert Downey Jr. has been looking to hang up his (iron) boots and retire from the MCU but that moment is not yet here. The actor has signed on to appear in upcoming reboot Spider-Man: Homecoming alongside Tom Holland as the titular hero and Marisa Tomei as Aunt May [via Deadline]. However, it looks like the brief dalliance with Michael Keaton for “a villainous role” is over. Marvel and the Birdman star have failed to agree terms and it looks like director Jon Watts will have to go back to the drawing board; hey, maybe Val Kilmer’s available? In any case, early word on Holland, who makes an appearance as the young webslinger in Captain America: Civil War, is overwhelmingly positive so here’s hoping for something special from film’s most prolific rebootee.
2. Lionsgate conjure up a director for Now You See Me 3
In a feat unexplained by mere logic, Now You See Me is a moneymaking franchise. As a result, Lionsgate have already greenlit a third instalment before Now You See Me 2 has even made its theatrical bow at the box office. Of course, should the most recent instalment disappear from before our very eyes within a couple of weeks then this would likely be reversed but we’ll just bamboozle you with a story about Tyler Perry joining Blade Runner 2 or something – a classic piece of misdirection. Variety reports that Jon M. Chu will return to direct the project, with Lionsgate confident that Chu’s second instalment will produce a solid return. Bafflingly, it’s likely the project will be saddled with the title Now You See Me 3, rather than Now You Don’t but little else is known.
3. Jon Favreau anointed King of the Jungle, Box Office
Few could have predicted that Jon Favreau’s reboot/remake/re-whatever of beloved Disney property The Jungle Book would have gone on to be such a success. Not only has the film garnered a critical reception that must have Zack Snyder seething with jealousy, the film has now taken $290 million worldwide. It was a bold move on Disney’s part to drop their jungle romp so close to the inevitable box-office behemoth that is Captain America: Civil War but, then again, they own that one too…
4. Jason Bourne hacks, whacks and smacks his way around a trailer
“Why would he come back now?” asks Tommy Lee Jones in the new trailer for Jason Bourne. Well, Tommy, it’s because the Rambo for the Wikileaks generation has never been more relevant. Even though it’s been a whole nine years since he last took a hardback book to an assailant’s throat, Bourne is back – armed only with his fists, his ingenuity and his collection of firearms. Jason Bourne is set for a July 29 release and will see Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon team up once again in order to expose two hours’ worth of conspiracies before exiting on Moby’s most vital contribution to global culture. Alicia Vikander, Julia Stiles, Vincent Cassel and Tommy Lee Jones also star.
5. Gary Oldman called up to play Churchill
The fact that Gary Oldman has only been nominated for one Oscar over the course of his fantastic career is one of film’s great injustices – the fact that that is still one more nomination than John Goodman is practically criminal, but that is a battle for another day. Well, guess what? The British thespian is in talks to play Winston Churchill – an award-baiting role if ever there was one – for Joe Wright in his upcoming WWII drama Darkest Hour [via Deadline]. After Pan‘s near-universal panning, Joe Wright needs a hit. Thankfully, with The Theory of Everything‘s Antony McCarten on scripting duties, the man behind 2007’s Atonement should be in safe hands. And sure, Oldman doesn’t look much like Churchill but he doesn’t look about four feet tall either, and we know how well Tiptoes turned out.
6. Daisy Ridley taken under the wing of hobbity mentor, J.J. Abrams
When she’s not busy banishing just a little of the darkness that blights our day-to-day lives, Daisy Ridley also acts. And, while she has already been announced as the probable Lara Croft in an upcoming Tomb Raider reboot and is executive producing The Eagle Huntress, it looks like she might find time to reunite with J.J. Abrams. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions may be busy casting God Particle, but they’re also looking at remaking the Israeli TV movie Kol Ma for Paramount Pictures, from a script by Megan Holley [via The Wrap]. Mariella Heller is the likely candidate for the director’s chair.
The plot concerns a woman whose boyfriend died in a car accident 50 years prior to her own passing and, on the spiritual ferryboat to Deathville, she is presented with the choice to erase her memory of the last 50 years and start again as a 22 year-old or depart as usual. Ridley would likely play a younger version of the protagonist so it’s a pretty good bet that there’s either a helluva lot of flashbacks or she chooses to start again. Expect a sequel that concerns itself with other fairly ridiculous questions, such as “would Daisy Ridley would rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?”
7. The Magnificent Seven‘s trailer is a Western oddity…
Whoever claims responsibility for editing the first trailer for Antoine Fuqua’s remake of The Magnificent Seven has clearly never seen a Western before. In fact, it feels like the whole formula – choppily edited posturing and a few action licks to a pop record – was ripped straight from Suicide Squad‘s marketing team. For now, this looks rather odd but, with the film set for release on September 23 this year, we’ll see.
8. It’s “welcome… to Jurassic World 2”, J.A. Bayona
With Colin Trevorrow trading in creatures from 65 million years ago for the rather more vague “a long time ago”, Universal have turned their blinking reptilian eyes to J.A. Bayona for the Jurassic World sequel they’ve been hatching. Long considered the frontrunner for the job, having exited production of World War Z 2 this past January, Bayona will now get to battle another species that should have probably stayed dead. Production on JW2 will likely start at the end of this year, or the beginning of 2017, and though plot details are close to non-existent, Trevorrow has mooted in an interview with Wired that it could concern weaponised dinos and potentially even the idea of open-sourced creation. Whatever it’s about, Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and a T-Rex are likely to be involved.
9. Studio Ghibli set to return
After Japanese animation masters Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata retired with the one-two hit of The Wind Rises and The Tale of Princess Kaguya, the future looked a little bleak for the studio who gave the world My Neighbour Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and a whole collection of other animation classics. Fear not though, Studio Ghibli is set to return with When Marnie Was There from Arietty director Hiromasa Yonebayashi. An English language trailer has been released ahead of its UK release on June 10. Marnie was recently nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.
10. Alfonso Cuarón swings his way onto Jungle Book: Origins
Two weeks ago we fearlessly reported how Warner Bros. was moving its own adaptation of The Jungle Book – helmed by Andy Serkis – back in the schedules by a full year to allow the team more work with the pioneering performance capture technology being used. Serkis himself was said to be ‘‘absolutely thrilled’’ with the decision and all seemed well. However, Deadline reports that production has actually completed on the picture and Alfonso Cuarón has been brought on board to see if there are ways to improve certain aspects of the picture. Cuarón isn’t taking over the project. He’s there as a friend of the studio, willing to sweep a broom, rig a light, or suggest a thematic deviation from Act 2: Scene 16a. Serkis’ (and not Cuarón’s) Jungle Book: Origins (now simply and confusingly retitled Jungle Book) stars Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hollander and is due in cinemas October 19 2018.
- SON & EF