1. Guy Ritchie can show you the world (when he finds a leading man)
Regarding a film that still requires a pinch in the arm to believe it exists, Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin has stalled. The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Ritchie, and Disney are no closer to filling the roles of Aladdin or Jasmine despite auditioning nearly 2,000 hopefuls. Widespread casting sessions have scoured London, Egypt, Abu Dhabi and India – as well as a charming little backwater called Hollywood – but no one has fit the bill to date. It’s thought the studio even declined signing up Riz Ahmed or Dev Patel as they want to go younger, more unknown… cheaper.
Will Smith is still earmarked for the role of the genie, which probably has nothing to do with the financial considerations of the protagonists, but Disney is also looking for an established player for the role of Jafar. While it’s probably a good sign that Disney is taking its time, in much the same way as they cast Daisy Ridley’s Rey, shooting is planned to start in August. Better get a move on.
2. Tarantino takes on the Manson Murders
In another scoop for The Hollywood Reporter, the trade recently got wind of Tarantino’s latest endeavour. The director is apparently already talking to A-list actors such as Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lawrence for lead roles for what is promising to be a unique take on the Manson Family. For those not in the know, Charles Manson and his followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations in July and August 1969. Lovely. Our interest is piqued by the fact that this this could be Tarantino’s first film that relates to real events – apart from the relatively accurate Inglourious Basterds – so it would be interesting to see how he plays with that dynamic. Reddit user u/atruthtellingliar summarised it rather well, saying “Manson did use the n-word a bunch. His followers didn’t wear shoes. They were all obsessed with bitchin’ soundtracks. Checks out.”
3. Editors made a Dave Made a Maze trailer
Actor Bill Watterson is probably better known as “not the Calvin & Hobbes” Bill Watterson, though he’s carved a reliable career out of playing characters with single-syllable names like Gil, Kip and Rick. For his directorial debut though, Watterson has created something a little less familiar. Dave Made A Maze sees would-be artist Dave (Nick Thune) lost in a cardboard labyrinth of his own creation – complete with booby traps, familiar rooms and, naturally, a minotaur. Thankfully, Dave’s girlfriend Annie (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) is willing to rescue him, with a documentary team and some of Dave’s friends in tow. For fans of cardboard (apparently Watterson and crew assembled 30,000 square feet of the stuff) and film references, this looks pretty entertaining.
4. Clint Eastwood decides “screw it”, just casts the real thing
Clint Eastwood’s ongoing mission to retell true-life events with increasing accuracy has reached new heights. Although Variety report that Eastwood had identified the principal cast for new movie The 15:17 to Paris, but decided to just go ahead and offer the role to the real thing. Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone all helped foil an attack on August 21, 2015 – subduing a gun-wielding passenger. Their reward, aside from their life and France’s Legion of Honour, is to be directed by Clint Eastwood in a story about their lives.
It’s thought The 15:17 to Paris will focus on the trio’s childhood and coming together, meaning none of the three will have leading roles, but it’s still a pretty audacious move. The biggest names in the cast are Jenna Fischer and Judy Greer. The last time Eastwood went this off grid was for 2008’s Gran Torino – and that did pretty well – so maybe he knows what he’s doing. Also, maybe he doesn’t.
5. Suicide Squad 2 might have a new director and it’s not Mel Gibson
Well folks, some things are too perfect for this precious world of ours. Mel Gibson will not be directing Suicide Squad 2. According to Deadline, it’s The Shallows director Jaume Collet-Serra that has emerged as the frontrunner to direct the sequel to Warner Bros.’ bafflingly successful comic book flick. While it’s thought that DC looked at a variety of filmmakers, including Ruben Fleischer, Daniel Espinosa and a certain Mr Mel Gibson, the studio has apparently decided on Collet-Serra. The Spanish director is in high demand at the moment. He signed up to helm a Waco miniseries back in June, and has another Liam Neeson collaboration (his fourth) on the way in the form of The Commuter. This will likely have less Neeson in it, but with Zak Penn having only just turned in a treatment ready for scripting, there’s still time.
6. Go on then, Goon
This week’s decision to showcase two indie trailers is absolutely a deliberate one and not a choice made out of necessity. No sirree. Thankfully, we enjoyed Goon, a film reassuringly aware of its limitations and its strengths. While Goon: Last Of The Enforcers doesn’t look quite so good from its text-heavy trailer, it does promise Rocky III-style thrills and spills – right down to hockey enforcer Doug “The Thug” Glatt (Seann William-Scott) teaming up with old enemy Ross “The Boss” Rhea (Liev Schreiber) to take down a hungry, young pretender. Also starring Alison Pill, Wyatt Russell, Elisha Cuthbert, T.J. Miller and co-writer-director Jay Baruchel, it looks as good an excuse as any to reacquaint ourselves with the characters which made Goon so enjoyable.
7. Make Furiosa Fast!
With Charlize Theron embracing her action talents – evilling it up in Fast and the Furious 8 and the upcoming Atomic Blonde – it appears she’s desperate to go back to what kickstarted the hubbub: the almighty Furiosa from Max Max: Fury Road. In an interview with Variety, Theron offered that she was ready to go again, saying““I’d love to. There were three scripts. They were written as backstories to Max’s character and to Furiosa’s character. But at the end of the day, this thing lives and breathes with [director] George [Miller]. I think Warner Bros. knows that. We are all waiting for him to show us the way.” Come on, Warner Bros. Everything’s gone downhill since you released Fury Road. Do us all a favour and let’s get Fast and Furiosa out there. You can change the title if you wish, though why would you want to?
8. Pesci, Pacino, De Niro, and an Irishman go into a film…
Netflix’s ship has just come in. Having backed Scorsese to the tune of $100 million for his latest project, the thick-eyebrowed director is delivering the goods. Joe Pesci has officially joined Al Pacino (whose deal is currently being finalised) and Robert De Niro in Scorsese’s Jimmy Hoffa disappearance film The Irishman. The immediate coup is Pesci who, having rejected Scorsese a rumoured 50 times, has signed on for his first film role in 10 years. With Bobby Cannavale and Harvey Keitel also rumoured to be joining the party, this is soaring towards the top of our must see list.
– SON & DB