1. Hayao Miyazaki — not the hero we deserve, but the one we need

He pulls himself out and they drag him back in. Yes, Hayao Miyazaki is set to come out of retirement for one last film. Having got out of the game back in 2013, a special TV broadcast entitled Hayao Miyazaki: The Man Who Is Not Done (slight spoiler in the title, eh?) signalled that the Ghibli geezer was dissatisfied with a short he’d been working on and decided the only way to rectify it was to transform it into a full-length film. At age 75, Miyazaki believes he’ll be finished on Boro the Caterpillar before the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Of course, Miyazaki didn’t actually confirm that he had received the green light from the studio but we’re pretty sure he’s good… [via The Verge]

2. The Sundance Kid heads off into the sunset

If you’d been acting since the 1960s and recently hit the ripe old age of 80, it’d be understandable if you wanted to retire from the world of acting. That doesn’t make Robert Redford’s recent announcement any easier to deal with though. The actor, who has given iconic performances in The Sting, Out of Africa, The Candidate, All The President’s Men and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (and we could go on) has decided his next two projects will be his last.

It’s not even like the man has lost his touch. He’s recently been out there acting it up in the likes of All is Lost, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and this year’s Pete’s Dragon—all of which we loved. Still, the Sundance Film Festival founder has decided he’ll focus on directing, and perhaps return to his favourite pastime of painting. Sounds wondrous. [via IndieWire]

3. Beauty and the Beast and the Broken Record

This week saw the first trailer for Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast hit the internets, and the tale as old as time looks as fresh as ever. And, hey, Disney know a fair bit about getting people’s interest; according to Deadline the trailer was viewed 127.6 million times on the day of its release meaning that it dethrones Fifty Shades Darker from the top spot. Starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans and Josh Gad, Beauty and the Beast will be released on the most romantic day of the year: March 17, 2017. Happy Saint Paddy’s Day, lovebirds!

4. Lionsgate prepared to steal from familiarity, give to the apathetic

Don’t worry. According to Deadline that gritty Robin Hood: Origins picture you’ve been waiting for—the one starring Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Jamie Dornan and Eve Hewson—has been allocated the release date of March 23, 2018. Directed by Otto Bathurst, best known for his work on Peaky Blinders, the film sees Robin returning to Sherwood Forest and forming a band of outlaws to rise up against the English crown and not-Alan Rickman. Joby Harold, who helped pen the script for Guy Ritchie’s upcoming King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword, is on writing duties so Robin’ Da Hood should at least have a batshit crazy trailer if nothing else.

5. Jackie Chan wins an Oscar—and it’s about damn time!

Few figures have done more to transform, evolve and genuinely improve modern cinema than Jackie Chan. Having starred in over 200 films in a career spanning an unbelievable 56 years, the Chinese actor/director surely has a place in everyone’s hearts. At the Annual Governors Awards last weekend, Chan received an Oscar in recognition for his outstanding work and contribution. He admitted, again utterly charmingly, that his desire for an Oscar began 23 years previously having seen one at Sylvester Stallone’s house. How fitting then that it was Rocky himself who handed him his gong. [via Reuters]

6. All aboard for Kong: Skull Island

It’s almost time to buy a ticket to the place where myth and science meet, where hopefully we’ll find out a few answers to the most pressing of life’s questions: Do giant apes exist? Who names a place Skull Island? Is it true it’s actually a peninsula? Thankfully our first real look at Skull Island promises us answers and a beardy John C. Reilly, so we’re pretty satisfied. Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston and John Goodman journey into UK cinemas on March 10 next year.

7. Lin-Manuel Miranda is not throwing away his shot

Not satisfied with winning the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, which is no mean feat, Lin-Manuel Miranda is attempting to produce any and every form of music coming out of the House of Mouse. Yet even with the Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson-led Moana set to reap in the millions later this month, and the songwriter masterminding the return of Mary Poppins and the Little Mermaid, he’s still not done. Word has gotten out that Miranda’s working on another secret project as he prepares to produce music alongside Disney legend Alan Menken. Details are few and far between but to see Mr Miranda’s talents rewarded so heavily is a bright spot in an otherwise cloudy conclusion to 2016. [via Vulture]

8. Sony apparently waiting for The Last Of Us to lose interest

In 2014, we said The Last of Us could be the one to do it; it could be the adaptation that showed that video games could beget great cinema. Ah, remember 2014? It all looked so rosy back then. But even after the failures of Warcraft, Hitman: Agent 47 and other forgettable entrants in the VG adaptation file, The Last of Us remains in development hell. According to Sam Raimi at an IGN event, who has been a producer on the project since 2014, “Right now [the script is] just sitting there. [Sony] doesn’t want to move forward, and it’s not my place to say why.” While Raimi remains on board, giving us hope, we worry that this adaptation may remain forever on the shelf. [via ScreenRant]

– SON & DB