1. Ed Skrein leaves Hellboy

It seems like every week we’ve got an article about Hellboy. Every week it’s David Harbour this, Ian McShane that. Not this week though. This week is all about Ed Skrein, featuring Hellboy. The Transporter: Refuelled actor is in the news because he will actually not be joining the upcoming Hellboy reboot. That’s different. In a statement posted on Twitter, Skrein apologised for originally taking a role that was originally written with “mixed Asian heritage” and confessed that he had “decided to step down so the role can be cast appropriately.” Skrein had been cast as Major Ben Daimio, a part originally written as a Japanese-American marine, but the appointment prompted some inevitable backlash and now the film finds itself one cast member down.

Thankfully, Hellboy’s casting directors are still working hard. Deadline reports that Penelope Mitchell has been cast as Ganeida, an elder witch who wants to keep Milla Jovovich’s Blood Queen in check. We’ll (no doubt) keep you posted.  

2. BFI LFF announces lineup

The 61st BFI London Film Festival looks a cracker. This week, the festival released its lineup and it sees 242 films across 13 days, with 29 world premieres and Q&As featuring Cate Blanchett, David Fincher, Takashi Miike hit the Big Smoke. Picks of the lineup include Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying and Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name. Take a look at the full list here – there’s some ridiculous gems in there – or just wait for our extensive coverage from the festival. As always, ORWAV will be there in force.

3. Fox want Oscars for Apes

It’s never too early to do some Oscars campaigning; I mean just look at our lead image. At least not if you’re 20th Century Fox and have a whole load of minds to change. It appears the studio are starting a push for War for the Planet of the Apes to be recognised by the Academy – not only in technical categories like costumes, visual effects and makeup but also Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

According to Deadline’s Pete Hammond, Fox will be campaigning heavily on the film’s international appeal, as well as its status as the finale of the trilogy and its as-yet unrecognised performance from Andy Serkis. Still, it’s not like they’re putting all their eggs in one basket. Fox will also be pushing ahead with campaigns for Murder on the Orient Express, Logan, Steven Spielberg’s The Post and P.T. Barnum biopic The Greatest Showman.

4. Do you have a flag? Linklater has the last one flying – so order now

You’d be hard-pressed to know that Richard Linklater’s latest was a sequel to the The Last Detail. That’d probably because it looks to have entirely different characters and makes no reference to Hal Ashby’s 1973 feature. But sequel it is! Somehow. In any case, Last Flag Flying sees Vietnam vets Larry “Doc” Shepherd (Steve Carell), Sal Nealon (Bryan Cranston) and Richard Mueller (Laurence Fishburne) taking a road trip for ol’ times’ sake. And also to bury Shepherd’s recently-deceased son. Honestly, it’s not a super trailer, but with such talent in front of and behind the camera, it’s hard not to be interested.

5. What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?

Imagine Lord of the Flies, right, but, OK, with girls. You follow? That’s the madness that has afflicted Warner Bros. at the moment. According to Deadline, the studio is in talks with Scott McGehee and David Siegel to adapt William Golding’s classic tale with a predominantly female cast. McGehee and Siegel are perhaps best known for collapsed-marriage downers What Maisie Knew and Bee Season but felt drawn to the idea of a modernised version of Golding’s novel. Said Siegel: “we want to do a very faithful contemporized adaptation of the book, but our idea was to do it with all girls rather than boys.” According to McGehee, telling it with “girls rather than boys [will] shift things in a way that might help people see the story anew. It breaks away from some of the conventions, the ways we think of boys and aggression.” Sure, it seems like fairly reasonable stuff, but we’ll wait to read some YouTube commenters on the first trailer before we really make up our mind.

6. Leonardo DiCaprio’s going to join the DC Universe? You Joker.

As the DCEU continues to perplex and bewilder film fans around the world, it seems their latest pitch to steady the boat is to bring ol’ Leo on. Rumour is, according to Variety, that the Todd Phillips-helmed pic is looking to draw in the Oscar winner to buy the project some much-needed credibility. The reason why this rumour holds any real credence is that Martin Scorsese is set to be brought in as an executive producer on the film. Of course, we would love to see the versatile Leo don the makeup, but there is a very, very, very long way to go before we reach full confirmation. Plus, you can’t help but think that the leaking of this potential deal only adds even greater uncertainty to the new spinoff Joker film, especially with news this week that Jared Leto – the existing Joker – is pretty pissed about the deal. All in all, another week of normal service over at Warner Bros./DC.


7. Bale’s a Dick, and Rockwell to hide in Bush

When Adam McKay made moves into more “serious” dramas with The Big Short, after Anchorman 2 and The Other Guys, we were understandably itching to see how it went. One Oscar later for Best Adapted Screenplay, and McKay’s next project is looking incredibly interesting as he prepares to capture the life of former vice president Dick Cheney. Christian Bale is portraying the titular character in a story that chronicles Cheney avoiding military service in the Vietnam War, his rise to CEO of the multinational corporation Halliburton and finally becoming what some have called the most powerful US vice president ever to hold office. The Hollywood Reporter got the scoop on the latest cast additions and, oh boy, what a lineup. Sam Rockwell will play Cheney’s boss, George W. Bush, Steve Carell has been cast as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Amy Adams is playing Cheney’s wife, Lynne. Production starts in September and we can’t wait.

8. Stop. It’s hammer time. In a bad way.

Don’t expect a laugh-a-minute comedy for this one. Fresh from rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival, and a Best Actor win at the festival for Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really There is one hard-hitting number. The emphasis here being on the hitting – especially in this trailer. Phoenix stars as Joe, an ex-soldier and ex-FBI agent who is tasked with rescuing a politician’s teenage daughter from a brothel. Things get bloody from there. Before you watch, the write-up makes it seems as though we’re talking up a Taken rip-off. With Lynne Ramsay directing, of We Need To Talk About Kevin and Ratcatcher fame, that’s really not the case. Ramsay’s a tremendously hard-hitting filmmaker – but her hits aim for the feels rather than simply how much claret she can extract. One to watch.

– SON & DB