1. LucasFilm votes RON, appoints Ron to helm Han Solo
A long time ago in a galaxy not so different from ours, two men were hard at work on adapting a beloved pop-culture property. They had assembled a fine cast and, under the watchful eye of an omniscient studio, they set to work adapting their vision for a beloved character. However, the studio had different ideas to the two men. Fractures developed. It all proved too much. The two left their movie half-realised and moved on; someone else could finish the job they had started but were doomed to never finish. The result was… pretty alright. The film was Ant-Man and those two men were Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish. But if there’s one thing Hollywood likes more than sunshine, superheroes and Chinese syndication deals, it’s a remake. Hence, presumably, why this week LucasFilm announced that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, would-be directors of the Han Solo spin-off movie, were leaving the project.
This is weird. While the two were well into development on the film, Variety reports that the two directors were fired. This despite the statement put out by both parties that the relationship broke down due to “creative differences”. Apparently Lord and Miller’s directorial style didn’t mesh with LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy’s dictatorial style and there was no way back after recent discussions. With a release date of May 25, 2018 approaching, no time has been lost in appointing a replacement. Step forward Ron Howard. Now take several more steps in a swift, bipedal locomotion until you reach Pinewood Studios – there’s still least two months of shooting left to wrap.
2. This week in “well, duh”
Despite no doubt being surprised at managing to craft a genuinely good DC film, Patty Jenkins knows what’s good for her (and us). Variety reports that the Wonder Woman director is already at work on a sequel, alongside Warner Bros. DC overseers Jon Berg and Geoff Johns. According to Johns, “the goal is to make another great Wonder Woman film.” However, Warner Bros. hasn’t confirmed that Jenkins will even be directing it. The studio has only commented, cryptically, that the inevitable sequel “will take place somewhere between 1917 and 2017.” For her part though, Jenkins has hinted that the next installment will take place stateside. Finally, a superhero who is based in the continental United States!
3. Miles Teller enrols in Thank You For Your Service
Apart from giving us several great films, duct tape and aviator sunglasses, what is war good for? Huh? Well, it’s given Miles Teller a job, as the first trailer for the upcoming Thank You for Your Service demonstrates. Jason Hall, who adapted American Sniper, has done his thing again – this time with puffy directing pants on. Also starring Haley Bennett, Joe Cole and Beulah Koale, the film is adapted from David Finkel’s non-fiction book of the same name and purportedly illustrates the PTSD-afflicted plight of returning soldiers.
4. Why, they should call him Daniel “calls it a” Day-Lewis
Proper acting man, and three-time Best Actor Academy Award winner, Daniel Day-Lewis, has announced his retirement from acting. Day-Lewis’ spokeswoman, Leslee Dart, announced the news on Tuesday with the succinct statement that “Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor. He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject.”
Day-Lewis has appeared to give up acting before, of course. After finishing The Boxer in 1997, the Greenwich-born actor disappeared from public life for nearly five years, reportedly training to be a cobbler. He returned at Martin Scorsese’s behest for Gangs of New York. Whether he’ll do something similar this time, we can only wait and see. Should the move be permanent, however, his final performance will be in Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming fashion-world drama Phantom Thread. It’s due for release on December 25 this year. [via Variety]
5. Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively may do Paul Feig A Simple Favor
Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters and Spy director Paul Feig is dipping his toes into thriller territory. This comes via Deadline, which reports that the veteran comedy director is set to helm A Simple Favor, a murder mystery about the disappearance of a mommy blogger and her best friend. So that he doesn’t stray too far away from the comedy experience, Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively are in talks for lead roles as the project gets set up at Lionsgate. Feig will direct from his own script, and internet commenters will presumably be distracted by some other female-led flick. This one may pass without issue!
6. Trailer for The Odyssey shows us the strife aquatic
Your Week In Film isn’t just about torturous puns and irrelevant Simpsons references. We enjoy all the meats of the film world’s cultural stew. So, here’s a trailer for a French-Belgian biographical drama about world-renowned biologist, adventurer and unofficial beanie model, Jacques Cousteau. Starring Lambert Wilson, Audrey Tautou and Pierre Niney, The Odyssey (or L’Odyssée, s’il vous plaît) looks pretty gorgeous, providing you don’t have an irrational fear of either the ocean or Lambert Wilson’s unfortunate filmography. It surfaces in UK cinemas on August 18 after a European outing that saw it pick up a César Award.
7. Gyllenhaal and Russo come Nightcrawling back to Dan Gilroy
2014’s Nightcrawler was a pretty incredible directorial debut for veteran screenwriter Dan Gilroy. As well as featuring one of Jake Gyllenhaal’s career-best performances, the film more than quadrupled its production budget. It was also very, very good. It’s unsurprising, then, that Gilroy wants to put the band back together. Deadline reports that the director is reuniting with Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo for an as-yet untitled film set in the art world. This would actually make it the fourth project that Russo had collaborated with Gilroy on (not including their marriage), but considering how well he and Jake gelled the first time, we think “one of the best actors in the business” will get up to speed quicksharp. CAA are shopping the script about this week, with multiple buyers interested. Hopefully we’ll hear something soon.
8. It was audience apathy (and Michael Bay) that killed the beast
Despite its status as the biggest ever global opening for certified moviestar Tom Cruise, The Mummy is on course to flop. Hard. Having cost Universal roughly $350million to produce, market and distribute, it always had the odds stacked against it. However, according to Deadline’s Anthony D’Allesandro, The Mummy will lose an estimated $95m.
The main reason that the film, which currently stands on a healthy-ish $298m worldwide gross, will fall is down to one thing: Michael Bay. Yes, next week sees the worldwide release of Transformers: The Last Knight. Paramount’s hulking behemoth of a franchise will not only hoover up a whole host of eager foreign eyeballs, it’ll transform into a cinema-stealing leviathan–snaffling 1,031 IMAX theatres in 52 territories. With Deadline’s source pointing to The Mummy‘s break-even point being around $450m, it looks like Universal’s Monsterverse might not get out of the blocks for a second (or third, if you count Dracula Untold) time. Universal shouldn’t feel too bad though; the studio has crossed $3 billion worldwide in record time.