1. The BAFTAs happened
February 12 saw the 70th British Academy Film Awards take place at the Royal Albert Hall. As is the custom, seats were sat in, drinks were drunk and awards were awarded. Annoyingly though, the evening didn’t play out in a particularly narrative-friendly manner. La La Land, despite winning Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Music and Best Cinematography didn’t sweep the board. Boo. This season, that’s usually been to the benefit of Moonlight, but the Barry Jenkins picture didn’t come away with anything; even the oft-predicted Best Supporting Actor win for Mahershala Ali didn’t come to pass. Dev Patel took home the gong for Lion instead (after Aaron Taylor-Johnson stole the Globe for Nocturnal Animals).
There were a few other noteworthy headlines from the evening though. Casey Affleck, Emma Stone and Viola Davis continued their march to Academy Awards recognition with respective wins in the acting categories. Kubo and the Two Strings won Best Animated Film. And, finally, Tom Holland’s win in the BAFTA Rising Star category showed that maybe democracy can work after all.
2. Look, everyone, Garbo is coming! Thanks to Oscar Isaac
Unsurprisingly, we’re suckers for watching biopics about historical figures. So much so that our esteemed editor wrote a whole list with some targets in mind. One that didn’t make the shortlist, but still sounds very good indeed, is the story of Juan Pujol Garcia in a film called The Garbo Project. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Isaac will play the World War II double agent who won both an Iron Cross and an MBE thanks to his work for MI5. According to Storyscape Entertainment’s Chuck Weinstock, who is producing alongside Isaac, the film will mix “both pathos and comic grandiosity”. William Wheeler (Queen of Katwe) has penned the script but no director is yet attached to the project.
3. Thor faces his greatest enemy yet: exchange rates
We’re not going to get to see the wacky adventures of Thor and Hulk until October 27 in the UK, but that doesn’t mean we can’t watch the wacky adventures of Thor and his housemate Darryl in the meantime. Five months after our first look at what the Asgardian superhero did in his downtime (notably write electronic letters, roast meat, doodle Mjölnir), Marvel have released a new Thor short. A Thort, if you will. This time out, Thor tries to pay rent with a pumpkin and decides to hire a servant. He also rides a bike indoors.
4. The Batman has a director, but will it have an Affleck?
Matt Reeves has seen the signal and he will respond. Probably. The director of Cloverfield and the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes is reportedly in negotiations with Warner Bros. over helming the standalone caped crusader flick. According to Variety, “until recently, meetings were still being held with other filmmakers,” but it’s thought that the studio like what they see in Reeves. As for Affleck, while he’s no longer directing, he has co-written the script and will act in the thing. Although…
John Campea, on the February 13 episode of Collider Movie Talk, has suggested that Affleck “want[s] out… he doesn’t want to be Batman anymore” to the extent that he’s talking with Warner Bros. about leaving the series. Campea cites three unnamed sources who have informed him that if negotiations fail, Affleck will walk away after (potentially) Reeves’ (potential) standalone. Potentially.
5. Nika Caro will make a live action film out of Mu…
…Lan. Nika Caro will make a live action film out of Mulan. That’s from a story in Variety that the director, perhaps best known for Whale Rider and 2015’s surprisingly decent McFarland, USA, is in talks to direct Disney’s second go at the Mulan story. The film is currently being fast-tracked—in part because Disney’s loving the whole live-action thing and in part because Sony have a rival adaptation in the works—for release on November 20, 2018. No actors have yet been cast but, such is the nature of film, it’s only a matter of time until some are.
6. Don’t bet against The House
Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler playing adults that act like children? Sure, it’s unfamiliar territory for the two, but New Line Cinema evidently like their odds. The House sees Scott and Kate Johansen, faced with not having the money to send their daughter to college, turning their basement into a casino and inviting over all the jobbing actors from various US sitcoms. That seems to be about it, but Jason Mantzoukas plays crazy so well it might not matter. We’ll find out which gambling puns are appropriate for review copy (this House always wins/CasiNO, thank you) come June 30.
7. Mel Gibson joins Daddy’s Home 2, may direct Suicide Squad 2
The rehabilitation of Mel Gibson continues apace. What with an Academy Award nomination for Best Director in the bag, Hollywood has seemingly forgiven Mel for starring in Machete Kills and The Expendables 3 earlier this decade. Said forgiveness has arrived in the form of a plum studio role for Gibson, his first since 2010 as Deadline reports that Gibson is set to take a significant part in the sequel to Daddy’s Home—yeah, that middling Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg vehicle. The plot, unsurprisingly, concerns more competitive parenting. This time out, Gibson and John Lithgow are the feuding fathers when they visit the homesteads of sons Wahlberg and Ferrell.
If that wasn’t enough good news for Gibson, Deadline is doubling down on the man’s rumours by reporting that the writer-director is in the frame to helm the Suicide Squad sequel. It’s early days yet but nothing says “Hollywood normal” like a superhero flick.
8. Robert Downey Jr. and Richard Linklater are getting back together
Some things are familiar and reassuring: Robert Downey Jr. and Richard Linklater are making a film together. Some things are new and frightening: the project is based on a recent podcast episode. The podcast in question is Reply All, and the episode set for adaptation focuses on the true story of Dr. John Brinkley. Brinkley was a pusher of fake medicine in the early 20th century who, among other things, implanted goat testicles in men to supposedly cure impotence. It’s not known whether Downey Jr. will play Brinkley or Dr. Morris Fishbein, the man who made it his mission to take him down but, most importantly, another biopic gives us a chance to link that list again (here you go) and keep the editor happy. [via Variety]