1. The Greatest Movie Of All Time’s sequel builds its cast
Pacific Rim 2, the sequel that everyone wants—and if you don’t, take a good, long hard at yourself—has started to kick into gear ahead of its 2018 release. With John Boyega set to lead the charge alongside Scott Eastwood and newcomer Cailee Spaeny, some Eastern diversity has been added to the mix; /Film are reporting that Chinese actress Jing Tian has joined the cast. Having made her name in Chinese films such as Dragon Nest: Warriors’ Dawn, Special ID, and Police Story: Lockdown, it’s clear that Western producers have taken note of her talents; she’s also set to appear in The Great Wall and Kong: Skull Island, which are both being produced by Legendary, who are also producing the Pacific Rim sequel. What happenstance!
Here’s hoping we get a fully rounded character rather than the definition of tokenism we witnessed in Independence Day: Resurgence for poor Angelababy (her actual stage name), where she functioned more as a checkbox in their forced diversity list and had genuinely disappeared by the film’s end.
2. Jamie Dornan swaps Grey for Scarlett—joins Robin Hood: Origins
Robin Hood is known for being pretty damn sexy. Maybe it’s the tights, maybe it’s the Kevin Costner or the Cary Elwes; maybe it’s the whole fox motif. But now the hero of Sherwood Forest has some competition in the sexy stakes, courtesy of Jamie Dornan’s Will Scarlett. Variety is reporting that Dornan is in talks for the role of Will Scarlett in Robin Hood: Origins—which already counts Taron Egerton as the titular (sexy) hero and Jamie Foxx as Little John, who may or may not also be sexy. Eve Hewson will play Maid Marian. Lionsgate hasn’t commented on the rumour, but that’s not really important when it comes to rampant speculation.
3. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence are the Passengers, and they ride and they ride
Chris Pratt says both “I think something went wrong” and “something’s wrong” at two very different parts of the first trailer for Passengers, which is odd because there seems to be so much right going on. The tale of two people prematurely woken up from cryosleep without even a deadly alien to evade shows off some pretty nifty chemistry, physics and Michael Sheen in just 150 seconds; we’ll have to wait until December 23rd for substantially more than that.
4. You want another Star Wars anthology? You got it!
In the latest Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference—aka the sexiest sounding conference of them all—Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke at length about the great and good of Star Wars. The ‘great’ part involved Iger confirming a new anthology series set to be released in 2020. A new writer has been brought on board but little else—like plot, characters, actors, directors, production schedule—has been confirmed. But hey, 2020! And 2020 is far from the limit; Iger confirmed that his recent meetings with Luscasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy had led to them ‘‘talking about what we’re going to do in 2021 and beyond”.
Thinking in the more immediate future, Iger somewhat placed a mini-blanket on expectations for the upcoming Rogue One. Unsurprisingly, he predicted it would perform worse than The Force Awakens’ $2 billion take but said that “we love what we’ve seen.” With rumours of production troubles and last minute rewrites, we remain optimistic if cautious. [via Deadline]
5. Artistic icon Andy Warhol to be played by adjective noun Jared Leto
Actor, singer, used-condom bringer Jared Leto is set to star as Andy Warhol in an adaptation of the artist’s life that the nü Joker is also down to produce. Despite the fact that the part was perfected by Bill Hader in MIB3 (no, really), Leto evidently sees no issue with trying his own take on an iconic performance, and production on Warhol will begin soon—though after Leto has filmed his scenes for the upcoming Blade Runner sequel. Terence Winter, who wrote the screenplay for The Wolf of Wall Street (as well as the video game 50 Cent: Bulletproof!) is on penmanship duties while Michael De Luca will produce. [via The Hollywood Reporter]
6. Mark Wahlberg and David O. Russell team up for another sports biopic
In what will be their fourth collaboration together, Mark “Marky” Mark Wahlberg and David O. Russell are reuniting to tell the story of Father Stuart Long, a sometime American football player, fighter and actor who turned to God later in life. Fortunately for the two, Long also boxed for a bit—winning the Montana Golden Gloves tournament in 1985—so the pair can probably put those deleted scenes from The Fighter to good use. You can see Wahlberg’s confirmation of the news in a Facebook Live video (at about the 14-minute part) and while Wahlberg does address the issue of that planned sequel to The Fighter, it doesn’t look like it’ll be happening any time soon, if at all.
7. Paramount plays to our attention spans with Ghost in the Shell
It’s tough paying attention to things—that’s why you’re reading a handy listicle on the internet—so thank you, Paramount, for requiring only 15 seconds of attention apiece for Ghost in the Shell‘s new teasers. Starring Scarlett Johansson, Takeshi Kitano and Michael Pitt, the film is a semi-adaptation of the original manga of the same name and, ah, who has the time? Here’s one of the teasers: Scarlett’s holding a gun!
8. Jumanji grows in size, potentially threatening ‘90s childhoods everywhere
Earlier this week, we caught our first glimpse of the new crew for the Dwayne Johnson-led Jumanji, set for release in 2017. Now, we’re not fans of the whole “this ruined my childhood” mentality, as it’s just inane and annoying, but the vibe from this first image is hardly welcoming (see featured image).
To some extent, it largely confirms what many would suspect to be the leading issues. Jack Black appears to be playing a ‘‘larger’’ than life Professor, Kevin Hart looks like he’s playing that familiar, hyperactive individual, and Karen Gillan is the eye-candy. We can’t judge a book by its cover, but it doesn’t really want us to dive in. Still, there remains a source of hope in the form of comedian Rhys Darby, whom Deadline reports has been added to the cast. Here’s hoping his eccentricities can back up The Rock, and make Robin Williams proud.
9. Power Rangers decides another proper actor can’t hurt
Having already added Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks to its lineup, as Zordon and Rita Repulsa, the Power Rangers movie has confirmed that Bill Hader will be joining in the fun and voicing the original panicky robot that isn’t called C3PO, Alpha 5. Yes, that not-at-all annoying aye-yi-yi-spouting tyke will echoing throughout multiplexes near you on March 24th next year—providing you live in the US, as UK dates have not yet been released. It’s worth noting that Hader already has chops in the robot-acting world, having co-voiced BB8 in last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and having impersonated John Malkovich on Saturday Night Live.
10. And finally, something to warm your icy heart…
Surprisingly, the uplifting news of the week derives from Michael Bay and Transformers 5. Freya—famously dubbed Britain’s Loneliest Dog—is hitting the big time. Having been overlooked 18,000 times, the future was looking grim for Freya. Yet of all the people in the world, Michael Bay noticed her plight and hired her for Transformers 5 to star alongside Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Say what you like about Michael Bay—we can’t stop you anyhow—but it does seem that his heart appears to be in the right place this time, and he’s done something really quite nice. The director has even said on Twitter that if no one adopts Freya after her big screen appearance, he will. Fair play, Mr Bay.
-SON & DB