1. Geoff Johns takes over DC, Comic-Con panel leaves fans intrigued
Coming back from Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice was never going to be easy; even among those reviewers that weren’t calling out for Snyder’s head (our own verdict was more favourable than most), they struggled to remain optimistic about what was, for all intents and purposes, a flop. There will no doubt be those who will continue to call for retrials but perhaps it would ultimately be better if we just left it alone and started again.
While BvS will not be written out of DC’s cinematic continuity, there have been attempts to address the problems brewing within the DC base camp. Geoff John’s relatively quiet promotion to President of DC Entertainment [via Screenrant] has clearly encouraged a change of tact as the Comic-Con trailers suggest. Beside offering a full panel with the cast of the Suicide Squad, team DC premiered not one but two exciting teasers…
2. Wonder Woman is unleashed, Justice League assembles
Of the two trailers that DC unveiled at Comic-Con, the more exciting is Wonder Woman thanks, in part, to Snyder’s lack of direct involvement and more for the fact it looks set to unveil one of comics’ most beloved characters. While she no doubt could have been given more to do than stand around looking pretty, Gal Gadot impressed during her screen time in BvS. With the period setting and fish-out-water elements, Wonder Woman’s first trailer has more than a few shades of Captain America about it but, then again it’s about time that DC start following Marvel’s example.
The other big Comic-Con trailer from DC was, of course, Justice League. In fact, it’s not so much a trailer but a series of snippets of test footage that kind of sit together to resemble a trailer. Despite the worries of a million fans, it is safe to say that there is some good stuff in it; Affleck once again brings it and there are even, whisper it, a few jokes in there (who’d have thought Snyder was capable?)
3. Black Panther cast, villain, logo confirmed
At a little shindig in Hall H at the San Diego Convention Center on Saturday, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige gave rabid fans and cool, detached, handsome newswriters a look at the confirmed cast for Black Panther. He also showed off a new logo. While we’ve known for a while that Ryan Coogler and Chadwick Boseman were involved, Feige took the opportunity to confirm the involvement of Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira as fellow cast members. Jordan will be taking the role of Erik Killmonger, Black Panther’s nemesis (with a name like that, did he ever have a chance?) while and Nyong’o and Guirira will be playing members of the Wakandan king’s bodyguards, Nakia and Okoye. Anyway, here’s that logo. Look at that subtle off-black colouring, the tasteful thickness of it…
4. Abrams approves of Star Trek 4
Star Trek Beyond might only just be out but that hasn’t stopped Paramount from beginning work on the next instalment. After word that Chris Hemsworth will be returning to the his role as George Kirk, father of James T. who perished in the opening minutes of J.J. Abram’s 2009 reboot, the most coveted geek in the universe has come out to state that the story they have in store for part four is his “favourite Star Trek story that we’ve had” [via Entertainment Weekly].
Star Trek Beyond has opened to strong reviews and a good start a the box office so it’s safe to assume that we will be seeing more from Kirk and crew as they continue to boldly go where no men have gone before…
5. Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal may unite for The Division
Jake Gyllenhaal isn’t wasting time when it comes to The Division. We wrote, only two months ago, that the potential Best Actor In Hollywood Today had signed up to star in, and produce, an adaptation of Ubisoft’s stonkingly popular video game and now here he is (potentially) snagging Jessica Chastain. Yes, The Hollywood Reporter has it that the two-time Oscar nominee is in talks to join the project, which is set in New York in the wake of a devastating smallpox pandemic that leaves warring gangs duking it out on the streets of the city like it was the 1980s all over again. Much like the upcoming Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell projects, Ubisoft is trying to create a package deal before shopping it around the big studios, so Chastain would definitely fit the bill as a necessary marquee appointment.
6. Meryl Streep decides to double down on the whole ‘‘singing’’ malarkey, joins Mary Poppins Returns
Sure, it has already been a heavily heroed week in film, but there’s still one more superhuman that wants in: Mary Poppins. According to Variety, Meryl Streep may well be joining the project as Topsy, Mary’s cousin who, until now, hasn’t been worth a mention even though she presumably looks, sounds and sings like Meryl Streep. If the casting is confirmed, it’d feed into the whole Into The Woods vibe we’re getting from the project, considering Emily Blunt and Rob Marshall are already on board. Anyway, we’ll have to wait a while for the results; MPR won’t be out until December 25, 2018.
7. James Cameron sees the future, envisions Avatar as a radio drama
In the midst of the Aliens 30th anniversary panel at Comic-Con this past week, director James Cameron let loose a few details about the Avatar franchise, which is definitely still a thing. It turns out that what was originally mooted as two sequels, or three, or even… four? has now evolved to encompass a sequel split into two parts due to Cameron (and his writers’) enthusiasm, followed by another direct sequel. This will, according to Cameron, allow him to release the films a year apart – potentially [via Variety].
The most surprising takeaway from the panel concerns the non-cinematic future of the series. Cameron apparently has more ideas than even three bumper films can hold, and is currently looking at other media that could accurately convey Avatar’s depth. While television isn’t a number one priority – “you can’t do scaled-down production value for Avatar” – radio just might be. According to the director, “radio dramas could fill in and create detail… that’s a pretty fun idea.” Truly, we live in the world of tomorrow where a franchise at the bleeding edge of cinematic technology could be transmitted to radiograms across globe.
8. Summer comes to an end with the trailer for Office Christmas Party
No it’s not yet the end of July but according to Jason Bateman: “It’s Christmas”. At least, it is in the first trailer for Office Christmas Party. Starring T.J. Miller, Jennifer Aniston, Olivia Munn, Jillian Bell, Kate McKinnon, Rob Corddry and pretty much everyone involved in US comedy that isn’t already in the Sausage Party trailer we previewed last week, it sure looks like it was a hoot to make. Just a shame the team never came up with anything more than a placeholder title.
9. Alien: Covenant will be “scarier” than Prometheus, says Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender does not seem like the sort of man that would scare easily. And if this is the case then we should pay attention when he says that Alien: Covenant will be scary. Speaking to Collider, Fassbender reports that:
‘‘[Alien: Covenant is] much scarier than Prometheus but it’s got the same sort of scope of Prometheus. It’s kind of got more of the sort of thriller, imminent disaster feel that Alien had, so it’s kind of a beautiful meeting of both of those films. I’m really excited to see it, I think it’s gonna be super scary number one and then again with the massive scope of Prometheus… Once it starts and the ball starts rolling, it doesn’t let up. It’s really gonna bring chills to the cinema.”
Fassbender starred in Ridley Scott’s divisive Alien prequel Prometheus android David, and will act as the bridge between Prometheus and Scott’s new entry into the franchise.
10. Damon goes East in The Great Wall
Zhang Yimou’s upcoming action fantasy epic The Great Wall is a bit of an oddity. The director is perhaps most famous for his contemporary wuxia classics Hero and The House of Flying Daggers and The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon, will not be the first time he has collaborated with a Western film star – his 2011 film The Flowers of War starring Christian Bale was not well received. The film sees Damon lead an army against hordes of monsters as they try and breach China’s famous wonder. Think Pacific Rim crossed with John Woo’s Red Cliff and you’re part way there…
-SON & EF