1. Han Solo No Mo

Principal photography has started on the Han Solo spin-off movie. To celebrate, here’s a lovely photo of the cast (and directors Christopher Lord and Phil Miller) in non-appropriate costume. Although Chewbacca looks as spiffy as ever. The news was announced on the official Star Wars website this week along with some very basic plot details. Apparently the untitled spin-off will explore the “adventure-filled past of the iconic scoundrel (Alden Ehrenreich’s Han Solo) and everyone’s favourite Wookiee (Joonas Suotamo’s Chewbacca)” and features “that other card-playing rogue from a galaxy far, far away, Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).” Don’t be too surprised.

Joining the aforementioned trio are Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and the recently confirmed Thandie Newton who either isn’t pictured or makes for a very convincing chair.

Han Solo cast

Courtesy of: Lucasfilm Ltd.

2. Academy Awards voting has ended. Hurrah!

The finish line is in sight. Voting on the 89th Academy Awards has closed. Yes, the roughly 7000 members of the Academy have had their say on who’ll win the most important naked gold man in film. The ceremony itself begins at 1.30am GMT (5.30pm PST) and you can be sure that ORWAV will be providing pithy comments and unparalleled insight via a minute-by-minute stream on the night.

For a rather more accurate representation of cinematic excellence, ORWAV’s own 2017 Oscars have started—the nominations are here. And for those who can’t stay up for our rolling commentary of the actual ceremony, we’ll have our results up way before bedtime.

3. We go “to the covenant” in the latest Alien teaser

A bunch of crewmates enjoying some space-grub and space-banter around a space-table? The latest promo for Alien: Covenant looks mighty familiar, but in a good way. It’s a four-minute affair that shows the crew of the colony ship Covenant tucking in before bedding down for cryosleep. And things are surprisingly pleasant. There’s no sweaty-panty-runny action at any point and no aliens in sight. Hell, maybe the whole thing is one big fake-out and it’ll turn out the real alien was inside us the whole time.

But then, that’s what got John Hurt

4. Netflix buys itself a Scorsese-De Niro movie

Netflix must be in a nostalgic mood. According to IndieWire, the streaming service has acquired worldwide rights to a Martin Scorsese-Robert De Niro gangster flick titled The Irishman. The project has been floating around for almost a decade—but then, we all know Scorsese loves taking his time these days—and focuses on the life of mob hitman Frank Sheeran.

Relative upstart STX Entertainment (their debut film was 2015’s The Gift) initially bought the international rights to the project at last year’s Cannes Film Festival for a hefty $50 million while Paramount was expected to back the project. However, with Paramount’s CEO Brad Grey exiting the studio, Netflix have swooped in to have the project line up between whatever Adam Sandler and Kevin James are working on these days. This also means the streaming service will probably acquire international rights from STX. That Netflix has the clout and the cash to invest so heavily in the project is a pretty big deal in industry terms.

As for the film itself, The Irishman will be the ninth collaboration between De Niro and Scorsese (and their first since 1995’s Casino) and Indiewire reports that De Niro could play the young Sheeran through the wonders of computer animation. Think Benjamin Button. Al Pacino and Joe Pesci are also in talks to join the cast, making this one helluva trip down memory lane.

5. Arthur can totally wait to be king

Guy Ritchie’s take on the King Arthur legend was marked “interesting” as soon as it pulled the oliphaunts from Lord of the Rings into its Comic-Con trailer back in July. Not wanting to disappoint, the latest promo doubles down on that vibe by showing us tree-people, CGI crowds of thousands and two-time Academy Award nominee Djimon Hounsou doing “that” role he appears to always do these days. Magical. Released on May 12 this year, Legend of the Sword will hopefully fill in all the blanks of the Arthurian legend; specifically, what’s the deal with that sword?

6. The Dark Knight rises. Again.

This story reminds us of 2004 cult classic song ‘You Will You Won’t‘, by The Zutons. This was the story that didn’t want to end. Matt Reeves (director of Cloverfield and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) initially was in to direct The Batman, but the talks broke down. Now Variety says he’s back. For good. We’re actually quite pleased with this recruitment as Reeves has handled his operatic blockbusters with an excellent eye and impressive guile, something that Warner Bros. is desperately in need of, and especially when relaunching their most important property. If Reeves can turn this ship around he’ll truly prove he’s one of the most exciting directors working in Hollywood today. But that’s one big if…

7. Charlize Theron’s next project is very Need to Know

A CIA analyst discovers that Russian agents are operating within American society? You couldn’t make it up! But Deadline is reporting that Charlize Theron will play the aforementioned analyst who makes a shocking discovery while seeking to unmask a sleeper cell. The film is Need to Know, the novel is not yet published—but it is written by former CIA analyst Karen Cleveland, and Theron is also set to produce. It’s thought that the rights to the story sparked a bidding war between several studios last week, but Universal emerged victorious. Boy are they going to be mad when they realise they’ve ended up with some fan-fiction for The Americans.

8. Donald Glover is Kimba, I mean Simba

Donald Glover is one busy fella. Not only is he donning the purple cape of Lando Calrissian but Jon Favreau revealed this week that the Atlanta and Community star has been cast as Simba in Disney’s The Lion King remake. Favreau tweeted the news alongside a fairly appropriate image. Joining Glover in The Lion King will be the dulcet tones of James Earl Jones, himself a Star Wars vet, who is all set to reprise his role of Mufasa. What with Jones stepping back into Darth Vader’s recording booth for Rogue One last year, it leaves us just needing him to redo his legendary CNN ident. Then everything will be falling into place. [via The Hollywood Reporter]

– SON & DB