1. Robert Downey Jr. to talk, grunt, squeak and squawk with the animals

Robert Downey Jr. is already used to speaking to a black widow, a falcon, a black panther and an ant, man. Now he’s going to have to widen his animal vocabulary. Completely disregarding Wittgenstein’s theory on language games and lion interactions, the Iron Man actor is set to star in an adaptation of The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle. Variety reports that Gold writer-director Stephen Gaghan will write and direct this third go at a possible Dolittle franchise, after Rex Harrison and Eddie Murphy’s respective portrayals. Apparently the script was the subject of a fierce bidding war, and Downey Jr. will produce alongside Universal Pictures. Those are all pretty positive signs, so it doesn’t look like Downey Jr. is regressing into his kid-friendly Shaggy Dog doldrums.

2. Lenny Abrahamson goes from Room to Farm

Room director Lenny Abrahamson has his next project all lined up. The 2016 Best Director nominee will adapt the true story of Rainbow Farm, a pot farm (that’s marijuana, mum) and ’90s festival site that eventually saw its owners getting into a standoff with the FBI and – any more would be telling. Said Abrahamson, “I’ve always been fascinated by the tension in U.S. political discourse between various ideals of personal liberty and perceived threats against them from the state.” So, looks like a lighthearted romp is in store. [via Deadline]

3. Frances McDormand is having a billboard time

Arguably, Frances McDormand is all a film really needs to get us interested. The fact that Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri can boast Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Lucas Hedges, Peter Dinklage and John Hawkes as well? It’s safe to say we’re on board. If it’s important to you, the plot involves a bereaved mother (McDormand) blaming the chief of police (Harrelson) for not finding out the murderer of her daughter. Around them, the town (everyone else) takes sides.  

4. Michael Shannon ready to play some Cable in Deadpool 2

In case this whole Batman thing doesn’t work out for Ben Affleck, the Deadpool franchise looks a pretty welcoming place for DC Universe veterans. It certainly is for Ryan Reynolds anyway, who seems much more at home in bloody red than he did in CGI green. And now it looks like it might be similarly appreciative of the erstwhile General Zod, Michael Shannon.

According to Variety, the actor is Fox’s first choice for the role of Cable in Deadpool 2 – after Brad Pitt supposedly dropped out of talks. Nerds will know that Cable, aka Nathan Summers (as in the son of Scott Summers/Cyclops), is a gruff psychic mutant with a family tree resembling overgrown ivy. Yep, Shannon is a perfect fit. The studio haven’t confirmed whether Shannon is on the list of contenders, or even that Cable will be appearing in the sequel, but it was heavily hinted at in the recent Deadpool 2 teaser.

5. Terminator is no more

If you’re a fan of relentlessly repeating the same pun into insignificance, you’ll likely have got a kick out of the news that the Terminator franchise has been terminated ended. This has come from The New York Daily News, who report that Paramount have decided against re-signing Arnie and Emilia Clarke for a whack at the presumably titled Terminator Exydus. While Genisys wasn’t a critical hit, it did make about $440 million worldwide from a budget of $155m, so the news is surprising. Of course, the thing about terminators is that you can never be sure whether or not they are dead. We might well get another roboflick in the near future.

6. Warner Bros. want us to unite The League or something

Now, the real Justice League trailer doesn’t hit the internet until sometime tomorrow. But we can’t wait until then and we didn’t fancy posting yet another Baywatch trailer (although, if you are interested, it’s here). Fortunately, to make that 24-hour wait zip by, Warner Bros. have kindly released a few teasers highlighting the individual heroes of the New Justice Team. Here’s Aquaman. Here’s the guy who can’t even outrun a monorail. And below is Batman. It’s a whole 16 seconds long but we spy him sporting a snazzy winter coat and some Nite Owl goggles that will really go well with all that associated merchandise.

7. Fans of shared names rejoice!

The Russo brothers (Joe and Anthony) and The Daniels (Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan) are going to work together. This comes via Deadline, which reports that the Jump Street and Captain America: Civil War directors will produce a sci-fi project from the writer-directors of Swiss Army Man. Little is known about the project, other than the genre, but the pairs’ humorous sensibilities and ability to shift into action bode well.