1. Don’t panic, but Star Wars: Episode IX just got a new writer

Despite the fact that director Colin Trevorrow and his writing partner Derek Connolly have been working on the script for Star Wars: Episode IX for quite some time now, LucasFilm isn’t completely satisfied. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has hired a new writer to help things along. Jack Thorne, co-creator of British series The Fades and The Last Panthers is supposedly the man to bring balance to whatever Trevorrow and Connolly are writing. However, with a release date of May 24, 2019 pencilled in, he isn’t in too much of a hurry.

The Reporter notes that “a fresh set of eyes was needed” on the project, though it’s unknown how much influence Thorne will have. Such a move calls to mind the recent firing of Chris Lord and Phil Miller from the Han Solo spinoff movie but let’s hope things progress a little smoother this time.

2. Ian McShane going to Hell… boy reboot

Lionsgate and Millennium’s Hellboy reboot has itself another cast member. Ian McShane has now joined the Neil Marshall-directed project as the red demon’s adoptive father, Professor Broom. Fans of the Del Toro adaptations will recall that John Hurt previously played the role, but with McShane’s hiring, we can safely assume the character will be a little different. What we can expect in Marshall’s adaptation of Mike Mignola’s comic series is limited. However, it has been confirmed that David Harbour’s Hellboy will face off against a sorceress who seeks to destroy mankind. It’s also due to start filming in September for a 2018 release. [via The Hollywood Reporter]

3. Because a boy’s best friend is his mother! trailer…

If you like seeing Jennifer Lawrence wander around a big country house while a voice-over swirls about, you’re in for a treat. The first teaser for David Fincher’s mother! is here, ahead of a real trailer next week. It reveals little. Little other than that Jennifer Lawrence likes to wander around a big country house while a voiceover swirls about. Starring Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a loving couple (what’s a 22 year age gap between cinematic lovers?), the two find their lives disrupted by unwanted guests. Co-starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Harris, Kristen Wiig and Domhnall Gleeson, we’ll get a closer look next week ahead of a September 15 release date but the mother! team is really stepping up their publicity game. Here’s a poster featuring Bardem:

4. John Cena flies into Bumblebee

Despite loudly affirming that he “looks like Mark Wahlberg ate Mark Wahlberg,” John Cena seems pretty pleased to invite comparisons to the Patriots Day and Transformers: The Last Knight actor. Not least in both Daddy’s Home and Daddy’s Home 2, where he plays Wahlberg’s cooler, larger-necked upgrade. And now he’s all set to follow in Wahlberg’s size 9’s and join a Transformers movie!

The film in question is Bumblebee, a spin-off from the main franchise that has already scooped Hailee Steinfeld as its lead. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cena will play a lead role in the 1987-set film wherein Steinfield discovers that her VW bug is actually a walking, talking, likely-exploding robot. Kubo And The Two Strings director Travis Knight is set to direct from a script by Shut In’s Christina Hodson. And, if all goes to Paramount’s plan, this will lead to an expanded Transformers Cinematic Universe and many, many toys sold worldwide.  

5. The writer of La La Land, the director of… the Point Break remake

Proving that it isn’t just actors who find forgotten films from their back catalogue falling into release windows when they make it big, Deadline is reporting that a script from Whiplash and La La Land’s Damien Chazelle now has itself a director. Exciting! The film, boringly titled The Claim, previously landed on The Black List and will now be brought to the screen by Ericson Core. Though an industry veteran for his cinematography work, Core has only two features to his name: the Mark Wahlberg vehicle Invincible and the less-forgettable, but no less average, Point Break. In any case, The Claim presents a genuine change of pace for the director. It focuses on a single father whose daughter is kidnapped by a couple that claim her as their own. Said producer Scott Clayton, “The Claim has all the elements to be a powerful and enthralling theatrical experience.” We’ll wait and see.

6. Tonight, we review an ageing Bruce Willis in the trailer for Death Wish 

When is a cold-blooded murder not morally repugnant? Why, when it’s set to AC/DC’s Back In Black, of course! From the looks of the first trailer for Eli Roth’s remake of the 1974 action flick, the choice of soundtrack primarily serves to keep Bruce Willis awake. It’s already being decried as the “most tone-deaf film of the year” (Pierce Brosnan’s imminent return to the island of Skopelos presumably makes Mamma Mia! 2 a shoo-in for 2018’s award) so why not have a look? Also starring Vincent D’Onofrio and an ageless Elisabeth Shue, it spills onto US streets November 22.

7. Collet-Serra says sayonara to Suicide Squad 2

For gosh-darned sake, doesn’t anyone want to direct Suicide Squad 2? Despite us confidently stating that Warner Bros. had “apparently decided on Collet-Serra” to direct the sequel to the budget-buster, we didn’t take into account Dwayne Johnson. More fool us. According to Deadline, The Shallows’ director would rather helm Dwayne Johnson’s Jungle Cruise than Suicide Squad 2. Apparently Collet-Serra believes the opportunity to create a new action-adventure franchise – though one that absolutely sounds like a must-see game show – offers him the better chance to make an impact as a director.

Jungle Cruise is being developed by Disney and is based on the “classic” theme park attraction. Side note: remember when films were based on theme park attractions? It all means that Warner Bros. are back on the hunt for a Suicide Squad 2 director, and Collet-Serra? He can get to working on ideas for a project described as Indiana Jones meets Pirates of the Caribbean.

8. Let’s have a look at Deadpool 2, shall we?

We’re still apprehensive about Deadpool 2. Could the loss of original director Tim Miller knock the franchise off-balance? How will it bring the surprise factor again? How many more jokes are there in the hero’s be-testicled face? Still, what we do know is pretty positive. Both Josh Brolin and T.J. Miller spoke about how funny it was back in July – and why would they lie? And now we’ve got something more to go on, courtesy of Ryan Reynolds’ twitter account. It’s a picture of Zazie Beetz’s costume on top of Deadpool himself, stuffed and buffed. Yup, parodying the much-viewed photo from the first film, Beetz’s Domino lies atop our foul-mouthed, foul-brained, foul-faced protagonist. Is this the start of a series of cast pictures relaxing by the fire? We can but hope.