1. Marvel will return to Comic-Con, goodies in tow
In case you forgot that Marvel Studios made comic book movies, /Film reports that the media behemoth will be attending San Diego Comic-Con this year. With a piffling worldwide gross of only $1.14 billion for Captain America: Civil War, evidently the Marvel bigwigs have decided that Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 require a significant presence at the annual celebration of all things nerd. As Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige stated last year, “if you can’t go to Comic-Con and overdeliver, then don’t go,” so who knows what’s in store this year? Apart from Marvel, obviously. San Diego Comic-Con begins July 21 and runs until the 24th. In San Diego.
2. Box office breakdown
As we reported last week, Warcraft may not be the great game adaptation that some were hoping for, but it’s certainly going down well overseas, generating a colossal box office in China. Zootropolis recently joined Frozen as Disney’s second film to gross more than $1bn worldwide (it is the fourth animated film to achieve that figure). It’s now over to Pixar to see if they can repeat Zootropolis‘ impressive takings with underwater sequel Finding Dory, due for its American release this weekend. Box office hopefuls Independence Day: Resurgence, The BFG, and The Legend of Tarzan will be looking to clean up on what is otherwise a rather light summer for film releases.
3. Teaser trailer for Disney’s Moana washes up
Disney’s first Polynesian princess (take that, Lilo, you peasant!) has herself a trailer and a pet pig by the name of Pua that will almost certainly be a best-selling plushy toy by Christmas. Moana, set for a UK release on December 2 this year, stars Dwayne Johnson as the demigod Maui and newcomer Auli’i Cravalho as the young navigator, Moana, who sets out on a quest for a fabled island. Alan Tudyk and Hamilton star Phillipa Soo are also set to star in the latest Disney flick from the writer/director team behind Aladdin and The Princess and the Frog. It looks pretty.
4. Ocean’s Eight is go
While cynics remain highly skeptical with regards to the upcoming all-female Ghostbusters reboot, there is an air of excitement brewing around Gary Ross’ all-female Ocean’s Eleven reboot. After gunning for Oscars with Seabiscuit and finding box office gold with The Hunger Games, Ross has been appointed to helm the reboot of Steven Soderbergh’s ultracool trilogy, Collider reports. First up for Ross, however, is Free State of Jones, a tale of Civil War rebellion starring the irrepressible Matthew McConaughey. Names in the hat for Ross’ Ocean’s include Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Helena Bonham Carter, Elizabeth Banks, Mindy Kaling, and perhaps even Jennifer Lawrence. This could be seriously cool.
5. David Brent passes Slough, Aldershot, Winnersh – ends up at Netflix
After the runaway existence of Ricky Gervais’ last feature film, Special Correspondents, Netflix have snapped up the next project from the self-described “Godless Ape. Comedian, Actor, Screenwriter [and] Movie Director”. Gervais spilled the beans on the Sirius XM-hosted Opie with Jim Norton Show, saying that “I’d rather 20 million people see it than half a million people see it in cinemas, do you know what I mean?” and, because Netflix doesn’t release its viewing figures, who are we to say that’s optimistic? Life on the Road sees the titular sales rep take to the road with his band Foregone Conclusion, some 15 years after the events of The Office, and is due on UK screens on August 19 this year.
6. Brendan Fraser to replace Ray Liotta in The Field
Brendan Fraser hasn’t been having much luck lately. In fact, aside from the Mummy trilogy and a supporting role in the Oscar-winning race drama Crash, Fraser hasn’t really had anything that might resemble a hit. Well, that’s all about to change. Perhaps. Maybe. Don’t quote us on this one. Rohit Karn Batra’s directorial debut The Field will tell the story of an Indian mafia family coming to terms with the death of their patriarch. Fraser has stepped in to replace Ray Liotta (also in need of a hit) as Charu, an expat American gunrunner with ties to the family [via The Hollywood Reporter]. Watch this space.
7. Helen Mirren gets cast in (and curious about) Fast 8
This week, Helen Mirren confirmed one of the most logical casting decisions of all time: she will be joining the cast of Fast 8. The matter-of-fact announcement was made in a typically hard-hitting interview with Elle where the veteran actress stated “I like [film] to be serious. Of course, having said that I’m about to do Fast and Furious 8. But that’s for the fun of it.” Mirren’s comments indicate that Fast and Furious 8 will probably be lighthearted fare and will include Mirren driving a car – ‘‘I’ll be in it, but only if I’m allowed to drive’’, said Mirren. And so, come April 2017, the 2007 Best Actress Oscar winner will be on thousands of screens alongside the 2011 CinemaCon Action Star of the Year winner, Vin Diesel – at last. It will make over a billion dollars.
8. Wicked is coming… in 2019
Universal have finally given the greenlight to a screen adaptation of stage super-hit Wicked [via The Hollywood Reporter]. The Broadway show is based on Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, a retelling of the classic story The Wizard of Oz. The show has now grossed over $1 billion and boasts a $4 billion global total (sorry, James Cameron) and featured a star-making performance for Idina Menzel, most famous to film fans as the voice of Elsa in Frozen. The film adaptation is slated for a Christmas 2019 release and will be directed by Stephen Daldry.
9. Steven Spielberg sets sights on Walter Cronkite Vietnam pic
Steven Spielberg looks set to reunite with the team behind Bridge of Spies (writer Matt Charman and producer Marc Platt) for a project following veteran newsman Walter Cronkite’s relationship with the Vietnam War – one that saw him become increasingly vocal about his general anti-war, anti-senseless death opinion. While Spielberg is not yet set to direct, his plate full of all things Mark Rylance, his Amblin Entertainment umbrella is set to produce. According to Deadline, Charman pitched the idea to Spielberg when the two were bigging up Bridge of Spies during awards season and the project’s momentum has snowballed from there. Spielberg’s handiwork can next be seen with the July 22 UK release of The BFG, while Charman has recently penned the Mark Wahlberg-starring Patriots Day, about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, which is due out next year.
10. Pete’s Dragon trailer is a thing of beauty
Disney’s decision to remake Pete’s Dragon is an odd one. The original 1977 film hardy screams “remake” and is for the most part a pretty forgettable entry in the House of Mouse’s filmography. Nevertheless, a remake is inbound and on the back of two impressive trailers it’s one worth looking out for. Helmed by David Lowery, who impressed with the underseen Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Pete’s Dragon will be released on August 12.
- SON & EF