1. Cannes kicks off with a Woody Allen rape joke
The world’s classiest film festival is now underway. Just about anyone you’ve ever heard of is currently lapping up the sun on the French Riviera.
The festival got started with the the world premiere of Woody Allen’s 1930s-set fairytale Café Society, starring Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg and Blake Lively. Fittingly, the opening ceremony featured some Allen-oriented controversy as French comic Laurent Lafitte directed a rape joke in the direction of the infamous American auteur. Coming so soon after a column penned by Allen’s estranged son, Ronan Farrow, reasserting allegations of Allen’s sexually abusive past [via The Hollywood Reporter], the last few days have been pretty noteworthy for the director. Unlike some of Allen’s more recent hits, Café Society has opened to relatively strong reviews and, while it’s not garnering the praise of recent classic Midnight in Paris, it’s always nice/horrific to see Allen on form.
Coverage of Cannes will be brought to you via One Room With A View so be sure to check back in with us for the latest word from the the beach. In the meantime why not consider some of the most exciting prospects that this year’s festival has to offer?
2. Next X-Men goes comparatively modern, moves to the ‘90s
X-Men: Apocalypse hits UK cinemas next Wednesday but thinking at Sony has long since turned to the next instalment, when the franchise will have to do without Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique. With Apocalypse serving to blood a new breed of mutants that will capture our hearts and income, it’s fitting that writer/director Simon Kinberg has confirmed to ComingSoon.net that the next raft of X-Men will suit up for a ’90s-set adventure – in flannel if the time period is to be adhered to. It’s likely that Generation X-Men (title pending) will include Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey, Tye Sheridan’s Cyclops and Kodi Smit-McPhee’s Nightcrawler. The timeshift is hardly unexpected, following on from First Class exploring the early 1960s, Days of Future Past tackling the ‘70s and Apocalypse going all neon and New Coke for the 1980s.
3. First trailer for Assassin’s Creed sneaks online
The first trailer for the much-anticipated Assassin’s Creed has landed and it’s, er, interesting. The buzz generated by this adaptation is greater than most – the film will be directed by Macbeth’s Justin Kurzel and stars the Mad King and his lady themselves: Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. The plot concerns Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender), a career criminal who must delve into the Spanish Inquisition-set past of his ancestor and discover the truth about the secretive Assassin and Templar cults. The soundtrack brings to mind Baz Lurhmann and the visuals Prince of Persia (alas the film, not the game); let’s hope the result is neither.
4. Disney looking for a new CEO… in 2018
Although things appear fine and dandy at Disney at the moment – what with their current domination of the box office and a respectable strategy based around animation, live-action adaptations, Marvel superhero tentpoles and some kind of Star Wars nonsense – things are a little less settled behind the scenes.
Last month Tom Staggs, then Chief Operating Officer, departed the House of Mouse in response to a perceived lack of support in his ability to run the studio [reports Variety]. Add this to the studio shuttering its video game division and current CEO Bob Iger’s comments on Tuesday that he doesn’t have “any plans” to stay on past 2018, and Disney are very much in transition. Speaking on an earnings call with analysts, Iger stated that “the board is very involved in the succession process as it has been for some time and it believes it has ample time to identify a successor.” Expect more breathless speculation in the coming months.
5. Adam McKay to direct Irredeemable
After winning an Oscar – and coming dangerously close to winning a second – for the preachy claptrap that was The Big Short, Adam ‘‘Anchorman’’ McKay is following it up with off-kilter superhero film Irredeemable. The film will be based on Boom! Comics’ irreverent take on the genre, which essentially asks ‘‘what would happen if Superman went bad?’’ Thanks to Zack Snyder we already know what happens when Superman gets mopey, but there is no denying that Irredeemable is a fun premise. The film will follow The Plutonian, a former superhero gone rogue, as he does battle with his old colleagues.
6. Red band trailer for Swiss Army Man washes ashore
If you only see one movie starring a gassy, bloated corpse this year then keep your eyes peeled for whatever Gérard Depardieu is up to these days. But if you watch two, maybe the red band trailer for Swiss Army Man can convince you that it’s worth a look. Yes, Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano’s charming tale about a corpse with the power of GPS-enabled erections and magical farts finally unleashes some of its unfiltered magic over the course of two and a half minutes. Swiss Army Man doesn’t yet have a UK release, but is unleashed in the States on June 24.
7. Gael García Bernal to play Zorro
Now this is something to get excited about. It’s been too long since the legendary Zorro last graced our screens – Martin Campbell’s 1998 The Mask of Zorro, starring Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins, was a fine slice of old-school fun but its 2005 sequel left us wanting. Well, Zorro is back, and he’ll be played by the formidably talented Gael García Bernal [via Deadline]. Jonás ‘‘son of Alfonso’’ Cuarón’s involvement came about three months ago and his take on the legend, alongside his Desierto star, will transpose the character to the near-future where Zorro will presumably don some kind of stylised hoodie, spray-paint a Z on a wall and pop a wheelie on his Tornado-branded laser-bike. Production is slated to begin this autumn, with Pantelion Films currently shopping the project at this year’s Cannes Festival.
8. Universal eager to see new Pitch Perfect, moves release date
Coming off the back of a $286m worldwide gross, it didn’t take long for Universal to pencil in a Pitch Perfect 3, with a provisional release date of August 4 2017. Now, Variety reports that the studio has shifted the release date a few weeks to July 21, putting it up against another hotly-anticipated film about struggle, sacrifice and abandoned canon: Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. Elizabeth Banks is set to direct and star once more while Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld and Brittany Snow have all long since signed up. Obviously we’re excited, but we’re not total nerds or anything… we’re also super into close-up magic.
9. Fox set to bring two classic movies to the small screen
Fox is hoping to bring not one but two classic films to the small screen over the next year [via Variety]. First up, and the more exciting of the two, is The Exorcist. The series pilot will be directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and will initiate an updated take on William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel. It won’t be easy for the series to contend with one of the greatest horror films of all time but it will certainly provide another horror outlet for fans of American Horror Story or the sadly cancelled Hannibal. Next is Fox’s planned Lethal Weapon series. This one looks a little sketchier; the show be managed by McG (who will also direct the pilot), director of such – ahem – classics as Charlie’s Angels and Terminator Salvation. It is set to star Damon Wayans Sr. as Murtagh and Clayne Crawford as Riggs.
10. Godzilla stomps all the way back to 2019
Once Gareth Edwards is done with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story he’ll probably want something a little less full-on – maybe a light, frothy comedy about (and we’re spitballing here) a down-on-his luck news editor who finds a hidden talent for impromptu movie plotting? If he doesn’t want to take a chance on genius though, there’s always the proposed return to Godzilla, the subject matter of Edwards’ 2014 blockbuster. He may be waiting a while though. Warner Bros. and Legendary have just announced [via Variety] that Godzilla 2’s release date has been pushed back by a whole nine months, all the way to March 22, 2019, while Godzilla vs. Kong is now dated for May 29, 2020. To whet our appetites for that titanic showdown, Kong: Skull Island, starring Brie Larson and Tom Hiddleston, will be released on March 10, 2017.
- SON & EF