1. Jordan Peele appeal for real; Universal seal deal for future reels
Having set the record for highest-grossing feature debut from a writer-director with an original screenplay (you should see the size of the plaque) it was only a matter of time before a studio locked down Jordan Peele. Well, step forward Universal Pictures. Deadline reports that the studio have signed a first-look deal with the Get Out filmmaker’s production company, Monkeypaw Productions. Under the terms of the deal, Universal will produce Peele’s next offering and have him produce a number of micro-budget projects alongside his Get Out partner Jason Blum. Seeing as micro-budget horror projects usually just rely on handheld cameras and night vision, it’ll be good to see if Peele’s cinematic vision shakes things up a bit.
2. Seth Rogen and Lonely Island totally not just adapting Fyre Festival
If you fancied a larf at some wealthy millennials over the weekend, you likely typed #fyrefestival into Twitter and had a ball. The only festival to guarantee FEMA tents and feral dogs managed to not only bring Ja Rule into our collective consciousness once more but also spoil the plot of Seth Rogen and The Lonely Island’s next project.
Rogen tweeted that “This seems like a good time to mention the movie we are making with @thelonelyisland about a music festival that goes HORRIBLY WRONG”. The Lonely Island responded accordingly. Little is known about the project, though Rogen’s reference to “we” would suggest the project is a collaboration between himself, frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg and the Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping troupe – but who knows?
3. Dark Tower trailer looks dark
Stephen King adaptations have a mixed history. For every Shawshank Redemption there’s a Room 1408, for every Misery a… Dreamcatcher. That said, we’re cautiously optimistic for Nikolaj Arcel’s adaptation of the seminal Dark Tower novels. But cautiously is the key word. After reshoots, delays and endless rounds of casting what-ifs, we finally have a trailer – and it’s got all the Idris Elba you can handle. Sony is keeping schtum on which of King’s seven Dark Tower books the movie is based on, suggesting instead that it’s a sort of sequel, but the general plot concerns the Gunslinger (Idris Elba) and young Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), who must reach the Dark Tower and save us from the enigmatic Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey). The whole shebang is due in UK cinemas on August 18, 2017.
4. Good news for all Bad Moms fans out there
Answering the prayers of at least two dozen people – who may or may not have produced the original – there has been movement on the Bad Moms sequel. Deadline reports that Susan Sarandon, Christine Baranski and Cheryl Hines have all joined the sequel, hilariously titled A Bad Moms Christmas, as the mothers of the original substandard matriarchs. Hijinks will likely ensue, set to festive classics. STXfilms promises that A Bad Moms Christmas “follows the under-appreciated and over-burdened young moms as they rebel against the challenges and expectations of the Super Bowl for moms: Christmas.” Predictably, it will be released on November 3, 52 days before big day.
5. Laura Dern 4 Prez
America. Austria. Turkey. France. Presidential elections and referendums are all the rage right now. So trust Hollywood to play to type and get on the bandwagon a little late. According to Variety, the elections for Academy President have been made interesting, and thus newsworthy, thanks to the inclusion of a particular name: Laura Dern is apparently interested in the role. The trade reports that the actress, having being elected to the board of governors last July, has been eyeing the role of President for a while and is being pushed to run by influential figures in the industry such as Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.
Dern, the star of Jurassic Park, Wild and Rambling Rose would be the fourth woman to hold the position if elected. However, it’s poor form to actually campaign for these things so we’ll have to wait for more concrete details. Initial ballots are collected this month and the Academy will vote officially sometime in July. We’ll keep you posted (but probably only if Dern wins).
6. Kill Switch, Engage
Alas, this is not a story about the rightly-forgotten Steven Seagal film from 2008. This is the new sci-fi flick starring Dan Stevens. The fact we can include the latter point is, so goes modern news, the only reason we’re interested in this project. Stevens plays a pilot who is forced – though he probably doesn’t need much prompting – to save his family when an energy experiment goes wrong. First-time director Tim Smit is at the helm of this little indie offering, and alongside Stevens are a veritable who’s-who of the European acting class: Bérénice Marlohe, Tygo Gernandt, Gijs Scholten van Aschat. Yep, who? Who?
7. Universal sets the gears in motion for another video game project
Universal Pictures have themselves a writer for their adaptation of Microsoft’s Gears of War franchise. According to Deadline, Shane Salerno – who has written or co-written Shaft, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem and Savages – is apparently the man to break the curse. While none of those past projects bode particularly well, Salerno does have some heat behind him. The writer has also been tapped to help write the numerous Avatar sequels and Ridley Scott’s The Cartel. Rather than adapt any particular game in the series, it’s thought that Serano will script an entirely new story in the Gears universe. The universe where men have necks like tractor tyres and battle a large insect/humanoid horde named the Locust. Dave Bautista, your time is now.
8. Dwayne Johnson’s Rampage flick has a “plot”
Often, a video game’s lore has been its adaptation’s downfall. Studios may like their properties pre-profitable, but so often the cinematic adaptations have drowned in their source material, either convoluting their plots or bastardising them completely. Thankfully, the team behind Rampage shouldn’t have this problem. The original arcade game focused on three monsters leveling cities and that’s about it.
However, Brad Peyton’s adaptation will just go ahead and make its own plot thanks. The news was revealed to us by the film’s star, Dwayne Johnson. According to a post on Johnson’s instagram, a rare albino gorilla – who happens to be Johnson’s character’s BFF – is infected with a serum and starts smashing stuff up, along with a similarly affected alligator and wolf whom Johnson is presumably not on such good terms with. Johnson, suitably peeved, decides to hunt down the people responsible (of which we know Malin Åkerman will be one). So there you go. Now to wait until April 13 to see whether Rampage is worth all the loose change we’ve saved up.
Goin' primal. 🦍 Good to finally have boots on the ground here in Georgia for production of #RAMPAGE. I head up an anti poaching unit out of Rwanda. My best friend is a rare albino gorilla named, George. Very bad people infect George, an alligator and a wolf with a serum. All three animals grow at an unprecedented rate. Their size, speed, agility and violent aggression is off the charts. They go on a deadly rampage and want to destroy the world. George not happy. Me not happy. When animals like you, they lick you. When they don't like you, they kill you. I will hunt down the bad people who did this to my best friend. And when I find them, I will not lick them. We have the best VFX monster making team (WETA) on the planet. Our actors and crew have been working very hard to raise the monster genre bar. As always, let's have some fun. Let's shoot. 🤙🏾 #PrimalDNA #George #Lizzy #Ralph #RAMPAGE