1. Malik and Mercury make a marvellous match
Queen have finally found somebody to love for their biopic of their time with Freddie Mercury. Rami Malek, of Mr. Robot fame, will play the Tanzanian-born rock god in the film entitled Bohemian Rhapsody. The story will follow the band’s rise with Freddie, and his eventual death succumbing to the AIDS virus in 1991. Bryan Singer, fresh from X-Men: Apocalypse, will call the shots, and Queen have permitted for all their music to be used. There’ll be Fat Bottomed Girls for all! We’re happy that this movie is finally coming to pass, but it feels as if Sacha Baron Cohen’s much discussed version, canned in 2013, would serve Mercury an inch better. Cohen’s charisma, presence and similarity to Mercury, mixed with the audacious and forward nature of the singer, would have been a match made in heaven. One for our Best Films Never Made series in future perhaps…
2. Walter Goggins is up to ant-ics with Marvel
We really live Walter Goggins. Not really sure how anyone can dislike the talented, versatile actor. He’s great in the films Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight as well as being superb in cracking TV such as Justified, The Shield, and Vice Principals. Plus he just seems like the kind of fella you’d ask around for dinner. As his career continues to climb, starring in the Tomb Raider reboot next year, he’s penned a deal to jump into the Marvel Cinematic Universe joining Ant-Man and The Wasp. We rather enjoyed the first one, so we’re more than open to see more Ant-ics. Evangeline Lily, Michael Douglas and Michael Pena are also set to return to the Ant-Man franchise, with Paul Rudd and Gabriel Ferrari having written the screenplay.
3. There’ll be no protestations, just friendly crustaceans in Del Toro’s sea!
Heads up: if you want to keep things fairly spoiler-free, avoid the trailer above. If it’s too late, well… *shrugs*. Guillermo Del Toro is back to what he does best, by the looks of things, with the first trailer for The Shape of Water. The original project from Del Toro and Vanessa Taylor looks firmly up our street. The story goes that in the backdrop of Cold War era America, within a hidden high-security government laboratory, lonely Elisa’s (Sally Hawkins) life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Considering Del Toro’s commitment to visually impactful and soulful cinema, we’re 100% on board. Intriguingly there’s a December 8 release date on this fine looking gem. In other words, that’s a late, but potential slot for an awards run.
4. Luc Besson is writing two Valerian sequels already. What a time to be alive.
We all roughly know what Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets will be like. Astounding visuals propped up by a flimsy, if charming, narrative. That’s the way we like it frankly. We like Besson too. Who else would spend near $200 million on an adaptation of a French comic book series? Who else would cast Dane DeHaan as a heart throb? Whilst it is your duty to view the film upon its release next Wednesday, it’s thrilling to know the writer/director is already mapping out the next two films. In an interview with Nerdist, he said “I don’t care, I’m just happy to write it. I’m enjoying writing it. So I don’t even wait. I’m just writing for myself. I finished the [sequel] already, then I [got] bored a month ago, so I said ‘let’s write the third.’” Long live Luc.
5. Kingsman’s looking Golden
We were tremendous fans of the first Kingsman upon its release way back in early 2015. It’s tongue-in-cheek, vivacious, kinetic approach to life was a joy to behold. Colin Firth was the spy we all hoped he could be, and a star was born in Taron Egerton. Two and a bit years later, we’re here for the sequel: The Golden Circle. Glory be that the film seems to have planted, nay cemented, its tongue to the side of its cheek. Bringing in the US talents of Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges and the ever-so-talented Pedro Pascal, this is going to be a barrel of fun. A film that embraces its eccentricities taking its audience back to the swinging 60s in all its glory, carving an identity all for itself. Get us the crown as we may have found our new favourite spy franchise.
6. So who directed Poltergeist?
Our younger readers may not know this, but there’s an odd, if not widely discussed, dispute over who directed the 1982 film, Poltergeist. The sci-fi horror flick is listed as being directed by Tobe Hooper, director of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but it’s widely disputed that it was Steven Spielberg who called the shots. Spielberg, who wrote and produced the film, was under contract for E.T., and one of the key stipulations was that he was not allowed to direct any other movies before its release. Earlier this week, it seems as though the issue around creative credit has been put to bed once and for all. On the Shock Waves podcast, John R. Leonetti confessed it was Spielberg who controlled most of the production. He adds “Hooper was so nice and just happy to be there. He creatively had input. Steven developed the movie, and it was his to direct, except there was anticipation of a director’s strike, so he was “the producer” but really he directed it in case there was going to be a strike and Tobe was cool with that. It wasn’t anything against Tobe. Every once in a while, he would actually leave the set and let Tobe do a few things just because. But really, Steven directed it”. So there you have it, Spielberg’s dabbled in horror.
7. Aled Jones better run. The Snowman’s back.
Tomas Alfredson’s 2011 sublime Tinker Tailor Solider Spy delivered few immediate opportunities for the Swedish director. Six years later, the director is back in his adaptation of Jo Nesbø bestselling novel, The Snowman. The story goes that detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) as he investigates a disappearance that could be linked to an elusive serial killer. The concept sounds iffy, but Alfredson has some serious directing chops. The trailer goes some way to assuage our fears too, with some gorgeous Fincher-esque vibes coming through in this first teaser. With Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Val Kilmer (yes!), and J.K. Simmons all on deck too, there’s snow way this film can fail…
8. RIP George A. Romero
To end on a sad note for the second week in succession, the horror master George A. Romero has died aged 77. In this media resplendent world we live in, the presence of another zombie film can draw groans or eye rolling. The reason we have such a plethora of poor imitators is because of Romero. Everyone wanted to match his impact, but there is only one George A. Romero. He truly changed the world, and not just the cinematic one. The writer/director brought the undead in popular culture making the zombies much more than brainless feeding machines. Get Out is one of the finest films of this year, and its roots are clearly within Romero’s 1968 Night of the Living Dead where the director was making incisive, powerful commentary about race in America in a movie made for less than $114,000. Romero’s films had a purpose. They scared you constantly and consistently, yet his work always had something extra for its audience. He was a legend, pure and true.