1. Disney: The House of Mouse that roared
If 2015 was the year of Universal (and it really, really was) then 2016 looks like Disney’s for the taking. Already riding high on the box office receipts of Zootropolis and The Jungle Book, Captain America: Civil War is giving Disney execs another reason to smile. The well-received capes and capability pic scooped up just over $200million overseas in its first week of release – and has added another $60million to that amount since. Opening in the States today, Civil War is expected to match the overseas opening with $200million of its own.
When it comes to the rest of the year, if Disney isn’t sitting on its laurels just yet, it might at least be gently positioning itself over them – as Finding Dory, The BFG, Doctor Strange and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story all find themselves circled in a fair few calendars around the world
2. Alden Ehrenreich to play Han Solo
Since his star-making turn in the Coen brother’s commercially underwhelming but critically acclaimed Hail, Caesar! Alden Ehrenreich has been the one to beat to the coveted role of young Han Solo. While paperwork is still being finalised, the news is starting to come out that Ehrenreich has indeed bagged the lead role for Disney’s 2018 standalone movie [via Variety]. Nothing is known about the plot at this point other than it is effectively an origin movie for the galaxy’s greatest smuggler, but the film will be directed by The Lego Movie and Jump Street’s Phil Lord and Chris Miller, so expect lots of irreverent humour when it lands the summer after next.
3. Bad Moms gets pretty good trailer
“I’m so tired of trying to be this perfect mom” says Mila Kunis in the new trailer for Bad Moms. And lo, like a modern day Peter Finch, she isn’t going to take it anymore. Along with fellow matresfamilias Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn, the Bad Moms are here (or will be on July 29) to drink, threaten and call their kids “that big dumb motherfucker”. Originally a Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann vehicle, Bad Moms has been helmed by 21 & Over writer/directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore – and looks to be going after some of that Bad Neighbours, Bad Teacher, Bad News Bears kinda money
4. Skydance Media acquires video game company The Workshop Entertainment
Skydance Media productions might only have existed since 2010 but they have co-produced a string of hits since then, including True Grit, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Jack Reacher, Star Trek Into Darkness, World War Z, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, and, er, Terminator Genisys. While the biggest hit for video game company The Workshop Entertainment is likely 2014’s The Evil Within, a relative critical and commercial success, things could change after this new acquisition. Skydance has now launched Skydance Interactive, a subsidiary division dedicated to video games and virtual reality experiences [via Variety]. Exciting stuff.
5. Seth Grahame-Smith runs away from directing The Flash
It’s been a troublesome week for DC and Warner Bros. Not only have they had to watch as Marvel’s own take on long-beloved superheroes duking it out has swept up critical and commercial success, they’ve also lost their director for the upcoming cinematic version of The Flash [via The Hollywood Reporter]. Citing “creative differences”, Seth Grahame -Smith has dropped out of directing what was to be his directorial feature debut – though his script will remain in place. So, with The Flash set for a March 16, 2018 release, Warner Bros. and DC will need to get someone up to speed quicksharp.
Still, it’s not all doom and gloom for the studio, relatively speaking. Not long after Grahame-Smith departed, rumours began circling that James Wan was also close to leaving the Aquaman director’s throne. Fortunatetly, Wan has since intimated that this isn’t the case at all, meaning any hopes that James Cameron would jump aboard are, for now, unrealised.
6. The Killing Joke gets a trailer
Now that the dust has almost settled on the Batman v Superman debacle, Warner Bros. has stepped in with a trailer for its animated film version of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke. Not only does this promise to be a faithful adaptation of a dark, violent, and brilliant Batman story – unlike Snyder’s ‘‘adaptation’’ of The Dark Knight Returns for BvS – but it also boasts the vocal talents of Animated Series veterans and ORWAV-favourites Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill.
7. Julia Roberts gets the best Mother’s Day gift: $3million
And to think that some people would argue that Garry Marshall’s [insert holiday here] Day template brings only pain and misery to the world! Well, there’s certainly someone that has reason to be happy with Marshall’s latest mawkfest: Julia Roberts. Variety reports that for her recent turn in Mother’s Day – a film about “laughter, tears and love” – Roberts was paid a cool $3million and had to give up just four days for filming. Good news for Roberts, bad news for Marshall; if he wants to do a Father’s Day he’ll probably have to pony up about ten times that for a male star. Mother’s Day hits our shores June 10, if you’re interested. Until then, feel free to see the unrelated, unremarkable Bastille Day.
8. The Power Rangers’ suits are revealed
Only weeks ago we were graced with an early image of Elizabeth Banks’ villainous Rita Repulsa, and now we’ve been given a sneak peek of the new-look Power Rangers for the upcoming reboot [via Entertainment Weekly]. While it’s fair to say that this would could rightly be filed beside Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a nostalgia-trip that few want or need, there is no denying that the suits look kinda cool and speak to the ‘90s kid in us:
9. Miles Teller’s boxing drama times its ringwalk for awards season
Though boxing movies are never out of cinemas for long, there is definitely a renaissance in the genre at the moment. Not only did Southpaw and Creed both do well last year, but this year sees two serious contenders stepping into the ring. Hands of Stone, starring Édgar Ramírez as the legendary Panamanian pugilist Roberto Durán will premiere in Cannes on May 16 while Miles Teller’s Bleed for This has helped itself to an awards-season release of November 4, before wide release later in the month [via Variety]. Starring a shaven-headed Aaron Eckhart as trainer Kevin Rooney and a graven-chested Teller as former world champion Vinny Pazienza, the film charts ‘‘the Pazmanian Devil’s’’ struggle in and outside of the ring; it hits US cinemas on November 23.
10. James Franco’s Blood Meridian gains interest… and disappears
It seems nothing is sacred for James Franco. Having already adapted one Cormac McCarthy novel, Child of God, to decidedly mixed results (not to mention not one but two William Faulkner classics, As I Lay Dying and The Sound and the Fury) the star-cum-occasional-director set his sights on what is arguable McCarthy’s opus, Blood Meridian. Ridley Scott has long had an interest in McCarthy blood-spattered tale of mid-nineteenth century American scalp-hunters, but nothing has ever come of it. After putting together a script and drawing the attention of Ryan Reynolds and Russell Crowe, the project has been axed as Franco cannot acquire the rights to the novel. PHEW! For the record, it must be stated: James Franco, you are not a good enough director to take on such works.
- SON & EF