1. Mother! Bombs!
Things didn’t look super swell for Mother! when it got booed at Venice Film Festival. They looked worse when it got an F rating from Cinemascore, an organisation that polls moviegoers across the US. And now, with a US gross sitting at just over $9 million, we can see just what that means. It hasn’t been a complete disaster for Darren Aronofsky’s latest – critical reception can best be described as mixed, verging on positive – but Mother! is proving so divisive that audiences are generally staying away.
Paramount rolled the dice on a wide release bringing a return on their $30 million investment and, while it may claw back enough to break even, it doesn’t look on course to make anything like Black Swan numbers. Our own Jack Blackwell summed it up as “pandemonium that barrels towards an ending that will have you cheering or retching, or possibly both.” Paramount execs are likely leaning towards the latter right now.
2. Matt Damon will get you hard
Matt Damon is a busy man. Not content with having two films do the festival circuit at the moment, Damon has signed up to star as John R. Brinkley, a man who opened a clinic in 1918 with the promise of curing impotence and other ailments through the mystical power of implanted goat testicles. The film is based upon the 2008 best-seller from Pope Brock, Charlatan: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, The Man Who Pursued Him, And The Age Of Flimflam. That’s a bit of a mouthful for a marquee though. Instead, look out for Charlatan. As well as starring in the film, Damon will co-produce alongside Kimberly Steward. The two last collaborated on Manchester by the Sea, so maybe expect good things. [via Variety]
3. Fittingly, there’s some real dodgy CGI in the first Tomb Raider trailer
We won’t bother rehashing the old arguments about whether they’ll ever make a good film based on a video game (they will). We’ll instead invite you to take a look at Alicia Vikander’s whack at the concept. Vikander is Lara Croft. 21 years old, this spunky bike courier finds herself without a father… but with an adventure at her feet. And with a very Batman Begins opening act. The incredibly-named Roar Uthaug is directing from a script by Alastair Siddons and everywhere-at-once Geneva Robertson-Dworet. The latter’s fingerprints are not only over Tomb Raider but Captain Marvel, Gotham City Sirens, and Sherlock Holmes 3. In any case, the script appears to feature a whole lot of cutscene-like dialogue, familiar action set-pieces and dodgy CGI. Kristin Scott Thomas, Dominic West, Walton Goggins and Nick Frost also star.
4. Linda Hamilton will be back
Back in January it was reported that James Cameron was returning to oversee a new series of Terminator films. At the time, it didn’t seem especially believable. Strike one was that Terminator: Genisys didn’t do as well as hoped. Strike two was that Cameron has only been working on one of the 600 planned Avatar sequels (and a pea protein facility!) and hasn’t really offered any comments outside of that franchise in the last few years. But apparently it’s all happening.
According to Deadline, Linda Hamilton will reunite with Arnold Schwarzenegger in a new Terminator offering, set to be directed by Deadpool’s Tim Miller. Cameron reportedly made the announcement at a private event this week, opining that “it’s going to make a huge statement to have that seasoned warrior that she’s become return.” If Hamilton does sign up, she’ll likely play a role in at least the first of what is tentatively pencilled in as a trilogy by a writers’ room that counts David Goyer and Justin Rhodes as members. Cameron is set to contribute the story but, with Avatar 2 supposedly starting filming next week, don’t hold your breath.
5. The Croods 2 is back on the menu
Hey, it looks like Nicolas Cage might star in a film that actually makes money! According to Variety, Universal have added a sequel to 2013’s The Croods to its release calendar on Tuesday. It had long seemed like the sequel had lost momentum, and likelihood of existing – what with it starring bona fide busy bees like Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds – but, hey, money talks! Cage, Stone, Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke and the recently-usurped Emmy Queen Cloris Leachman are all likely to return for the film’s September 18, 2020 release date. Leslie Mann and Kat Dennings were also rumoured to be joining the project when we last heard a solid update. We’ll see. [via Variety]
6. Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones are Just Getting Started
Don’t you just hate it when Hollywood casts an ageing actor across a much younger actress and expects us to buy their spark and apparent mutual attraction? Well, Just Getting Started sets its flag at 17 years. Just because Rene Russo is 63 and Morgan Freeman is 80 doesn’t mean it’s any less weird. The two star together in Just Getting Started, the latest feature from Ron Shelton, the director behind Bull Durham, Tin Cup and White Men Can’t Jump (!). The film sees retirement community kingpin Duke Diver threatened by the arrival of Leo (Tommy Lee Jones). The two bicker and banter as they gradually grow to respect and even like each other. Then a bomb goes off and it transpires Diver is wanted by the mob. It’s a real switcheroo, alright. Just Getting Started gets started in UK cinemas on December 1.
7. Akira’s engines restarting with Taika Waititi at the helm?
Yes, we’ve been here before. The news that Warner Bros. is keen to get its Akira remake up and running is not particularly surprising. Not even though it’s collapsed on itself several times in the last decade. Not even though the fairly similar Ghost In The Shell made under $170m from a $110m budget. WB cannot be dissuaded that this is definitely a good idea. Deadline reports that the studio has entered negotiations with Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi to helm Akira – with long-standing plans to turn Katsuhiro Otomo’s graphic novel series into two films.
These headlines have been seen before, of course. Just a few years ago it looked like Dane DeHaan or Michael Pitt would suit up as main protagonist Tetsuo, while Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart were also thought to be among the confirmed cast members. No one is currently attached in a starring role but, as the action has been shifted from “New Tokyo” to “New Manhattan” you can probably bank on the same kind of headlines that ran rampant when GitS was released. Heh, gits.