1. Bryan Cranston gets suit, less hirsute as Power Rangers’ Zordon
Slowly amassing a cast it surely has no right to, Power Rangers has found itself a booming baldie to play the role of the Mighty Morphin’ mentor: Bryan Cranston. Cranston, it turns out, has history with Power Rangers – admitting to IGN back in 2009 that he did a fair bit of voiceover work for the series for the princely sum of $50 an hour. Cranston seems pretty happy with the news that now he’ll make considerably more than that for a couple of days in front of a green-screen – and tweeted both the news and a little factoid relating to how it’s no coincidence original ‘‘teenager with attitude’’ Billy Cranston (the Blue Ranger) shares his surname.
— Bryan Cranston (@BryanCranston) June 21, 2016
2. Eli Roth to direct Bruce Willis in a Death Wish remake
I think it is fair to say that since his Cabin Fever and Hostel days Eli Roth has lost some of his notoriety since neither The Green Inferno nor Knock Knock made much of an impact. Well, he is back and set to direct Bruce Willis in a remake of Michael Winner’s revenge thriller Death Wish starring Charles Bronson (via Deadline). The original film kickstarted a franchise that ran for five films between 1974 and 1994. Essentially a more violent and grubbier version of Taken, the Death Wish series was always the subject of criticism for its use of violence and sexual violence, not to mention its endorsement of vigilante justice. It will be interesting to see what Roth can make of the material that was very much of its time.
3. Noomi Rapace will (probably) be in Alien: Covenant after all
Well, when you’re right 52% of the time you’re wrong 48% of the time. Though we reported (read: copied off a faster site) back in February that Noomi Rapace wouldn’t be joining the cast of Alien: Covenant, Deadline is reporting that Rapace is in Australia to shoot a number of weeks’ worth of scenes in the upcoming Ridley Scott flick, in the role of Dr Elizabeth Shaw once more. Plot details are relatively scarce but safe to say it will involve an alien, or perhaps aliens, and someone probably underestimating said alien’s abilities. In any case, Rapace joins a cast featuring Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride and Billy Crudup. Unless they, or she, drop out. Yeah, we’re really hedging our bets now.
4. The Girl With All The Gifts delivers an awesome trailer
While the world waits for the film adaptation of Naughty Dog’s critical hit The Last of Us, it seems as though Warner have announced the next best thing. Although it bears more than a passing resemblance to the ludicrously successful PlayStation game, The Girl With All The Gifts looks like a fine slice of post-apocalyptic sci-fi.
5. James Earl Jones will feature in Rogue One… but as who?
Well, obviously Darth Vader. Entertainment Weekly have splashed out this week with all manner of story tidbits which we won’t reproduce here to preserve a certain sense of mystery, but the big one is that Darth Vader is returning – now completely Hayden Christensen-free! Instead, James Earl Jones will be taking the mic for Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars spinoff that, last we heard, was undergoing some reshoots. Thankfully EW go into the reshoots issue, as they have previously, with the news that they’re focused more on dialogue scenes rather than calling a mulligan on large setpieces – so hurray, there’s nothing to fear. Except a 6’6’’ black-clad Sith Lord with the voice of James Earl Jones and the stature of the Green Cross Code Man.
6. Finding Dory makes a splash
It is hardly surprising that Finding Dory is a hit. The release of Disney’s aquatic sequel marks the 11th time this year that the unrivalled studio has been at the top of the box office. Finding Dory‘s $136million initial haul makes it the highest opening weekend of all time for an animated film – topping Toy Story 3‘s $110million opening weekend in 2010 (via Box Office Mojo). At this rate Disney almost certainly have anther billion dollar film on their hands as Dory is yet to make her bow in several major regions including the UK.
7. Tom cruises, reaches and punches in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back trailer
Though it has approximately 100% less Werner Herzog than its predecessor, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back looks like it will maintain its smarter-than-the-average actionspiracy credentials, with Cruise going outside the law to save a Major he believes innocent. That Major is Cobie Smulders’ Susan Turner – and it’s up to the two of them to prove her innocence and, hey, maybe smash a few heads along the way. Never Go Back rams its way into UK cinemas on October 21.
8. Tom Hardy to play Don McCullin
A seasoned gambler would know not to bet against Tom Hardy winning Oscars in his future. After his nomination for The Revenant and a string of other acclaimed performance, it seems that that future might come sooner than imagined. After the Oscar bait that is Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk Hardy is set to play famous British war photographer Don McCullin in a biopic adapted from his memoirs. McCullin’s photography is noted for providing powerful, objective views on war. This is a project worth getting excited about.
9. Like most unfinished screenplays, Spy 2 will feature lots of Jason Statham
Though busy promoting the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot, director Paul Feig took a moment to talk to Empire about the Spy franchise. Said Feig, “that’s another world that I don’t want to walk away from… I have a story for it, and a funny idea that will kick it off that involves Statham.” Depending on the reception afforded to Ghostbusters (and really, it’s so under the radar, who can say how that’ll go?), Feig could either be given free rein to do whatever he likes next, or he could be ushered back into a money-maker. Either way, Spy 2 looks a strong likelihood in the near future – just… try and find a way to include Rose Byrne?
10. Philip Roth’s American Pastoral is incoming
Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel American Pastoral is finally making its way to our screens. It does seem slightly bizarre that despite being a British actor and an untested director Ewan McGregor is the one to bring Philip Roth’s acclaimed 1997 masterpiece to the big screen. Nevertheless American Pastoral is inbound and it has a ravishing first trailer.
- SON & EF