1. WB decide “screw it” – hire Todd Phillips director for Joker: Origins

Having failed to the tune of $745 million with Jared Leto in Suicide Squad, Warner Bros. are ready to have another whack at this whole Joker thing. According to Deadline, the studio is moving ahead with plans to have the Hangover and War Dogs director Todd Phillips co-write and direct an origins story for the legendary villain.

The film is planned to be the first under a new banner dealing with DC canon entries and spinoffs. While Jared Leto is still on track to keep the role in the perennially-delayed Suicide Squad sequel, and the Harley Quinn spinoff, it’s thought that a younger actor will take the part in this particular adaptation. Apparently “the intention is to make a gritty and grounded hard-boiled crime film set in early-’80s Gotham City.” Phillips and Scott Silver are writing, and Martin Scorsese, of all people, is co-producing.

2. Crazy, Stupid, Love directors to direct crazy, stupid lovers

Not content with baffling us with the story above, it seems WB are also in final negotiations with Glenn Ficarra and John Requa – directors and executive producers of Crazy, Stupid, Love – to script and direct a project centring on the Joker and Harley Quinn. Both Jared Leto and Margot Robbie are set to reprise their roles for the feature. The project is being fast-tracked on account of the actors’ holding agreements and the general plot will see the two engaged in a “criminal love story”. According to The Hollywood Reporter‘s sources, it’s “When Harry Met Sally on benzedrine.” According to One Room with a View, it’s ‘‘wait, what now?’’

3. New trailer for Tulip Fever sees a lot of ruff humpin’

After Fox deemed a 30-second TV trailer for Tulip Fever too hot for TV, the Weinstein Company have apparently decided to double-down on the whole sexy sex thing. Enter a new trailer. Starring Alicia Vikander, Christoph Waltz, Zach Galifianakis and, in a treat for Valerian fans, Dane DeHaan and Cara Delavigne, the film has had a very troubled history.

By 2014, Tulip Fever was cut and ready to go, perfectly timed with Vikander’s star-making performance in either Ex Machina or Seventh Son. But still it slipped out of awards season and into July 2016. Then February 2017. Then August 25. Now it seems the film will launch in US cinemas September 1, potentially bringing to an end a tortuous journey for a film that is apparently little more than so-so. Oh, it’s about a married woman in 17th century Amsterdam falling for a young artist commissioned to paint her portrait by the way. Pretty sexy.

4. Bill Pullman has himself a busy week in film*

Evidently knowing that, with Bill Paxton being taken from us far too soon, he must work twice as hard, Bill Pullman has got himself cast in two projects this week. First up, the actor will be returning to a White House facing similar challenges to those he faced in Independence Day, as part of Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic, Backseat. Pullman will play the part of Nelson Rockefeller, the former Governor of New York, and Gerald Ford’s Vice President. Christian Bale will play Cheney, who frequently butted heads with Rockefeller in the Ford administration, while Steve Carell and Amy Adams will also star.

Not content with rubbing shoulders with guaranteed Oscar-bait, Pullman has also signed on to Sony’s Equalizer sequel. Antoine Fuqua will direct once more, with Denzel Washington and Melissa Leo also returning to the franchise that pulled in almost $200 million on a $55 million budget. Good ol’ Bill Pullman. [via Deadline]

*there, that oughta hold those SEOs.

5. David Oyelowo decides to go Chaos Walking

Doug Liman’s upcoming sci-fi flick has taken another step to rounding out its cast. Deadline reports that David Oyelowo has been cast as the militant figure Aaron in Chaos Walking, an adaptation of Patrick Ness’ bestseller. Oyelowo will star opposite Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley and Mads Mikkelsen. Scheduled for March 1, 2019, the film will see Tom Holland’s protagonist living on a male-only planet where a virus known as The Noise afflicts much of the population. However, Holland’s discovery of Viola (Ridley) quickly looks like the planet’s last hope. The script was adapted by six writers which is… not a super sign. However, that sextet includes Charlie Kaufman and Ness himself. Add that to Liman’s direction and we’re pretty eager to see what they come up with.  

6. Warning: new Blade Runner trailer shows you a whole lot of stuff

You might want to skip this one. I’ve got to write about it and I’m not even watching  it. A quick Google News trawl reveals headlines such as “Oh, so *that’s* the plot of ‘Blade Runner 2049’” and “Don’t Watch This New Blade Runner 2049 Trailer”. So if you’re looking for a surprise come October 6, you might want to give this one a miss. There’s surely only so much brooding and feuding you can take anyway.

7. Paul Greengrass goes back to real-life tragedy for Netflix project

Jason Bourne director Paul Greengrass has his next film, and it’s wound up at Netflix. Though currently without a title, the picture will follow the horrific murders of 77 people in Norway in 2011. The subject matter calls to mind Greengrass’ Bloody Sunday, about the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre, and United 93, which retold events aboard the fateful United 93 flight on September 11, 2001. Like both of those examples, Greengrass will again utilise a cast of largely-unknown actors with a relatively small budget. Deadline puts the actual figure at $20 million. Apparently Netflix beat out five other offers for the highly-rated project and Greengrass will postpone production on his long-gestating Eliot Ness biopic to get this moving for the streaming service. No pressure, then.

8. Ron Howard cuts Michael Kenneth Williams…

… out of the Han Solo standalone movie. Chalk this one up to scheduling conflicts. While the Assassin’s Creed and 12 Years a Slave actor had already filmed a role in the Han Solo origins movie – a “kick-ass character” in Williams’ words – Howard required reshoots that Williams, currently shooting in South Africa, couldn’t make. As a result, Howard has removed Williams’ character from his cut. It’s still not known how much of the Han Solo spinoff outed directors Chris Lord and Phil Miller had wrapped by the time of them leaving the project, but Williams is quoted as saying that the decision reflected “the new direction which the producers wanted Ron to carry the film in.” Bummer for Michael Kenneth Williams. Potential bummer for us. [via Deadline]

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