1. Sony’s MIB sequel is back, remember that
Proving that no Flatliners, Ghostbusters or Robocop flop is gonna keep them down, Sony are pressing forward with another of their patented reboots. According to Deadline, the studio are moving forward with a Men in Black spinoff. Without Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. Matt Holloway and Art Marcum, the esteemed writers of Transformers: The Last Knight, are on scripting duties and it’s thought the film will follow a new cast of characters battling extra-terrestrial villainy. This time, however, the action will be on a more global scale. This doesn’t mean that the long-rumoured mashup of MIB and Jump Street is dead though. Instead, such is the momentum behind this spinoff, it’s all but certain to make it out the door first. Sony are currently meeting with directors and we’ll keep you posted.
2. Kristen Stewart eyeing Charlie’s Angels?
Proving that no Magnificent Seven, Red Dawn or Total Recall flop is gonna keep them down, Sony are pressing forward with another of their patented reboots. This time it’s Charlie’s Angels – and Kristen Stewart is apparently being eyed for a lead role. Variety reports that the Elizabeth Banks-directed film is considering Stewart for one of the three principal roles (as opposed to, say, Charlie). And she could well be joined by 12 Years a Slave’s Lupita Nyong’o. Stewart hasn’t appeared in a big studio release since Snow White and the Huntsman seven years ago, but Sony has big franchise hopes for this one. Though Stewart has stuck to the indie circuit for the last few years – giving genuinely great performances in the likes of Personal Shopper and Still Alice – she has proven game for such projects in the past.
3. Because you deserve nice things every now and again, here’s a trailer for Paddington 2
Evidently, the feedback from the first Paddington film was simple: more English, please. Accordingly, Hugh Grant and Jim Broadbent have been recruited for the sequel. That makes two Hughs in the principal cast! This time out, the titular Peruvian seeks to earn enough money to buy a unique pop-up book. Alas, the book is soon stolen before his very eyes and Paddington finds himself framed. As a result, the Brown family must catch the real thief while Paddington must survive – and escape – prison. Meanwhile Hugh Grant’s preening actor, Phoenix Buchanan, swans about in more loopy costumes than Liberace. Brendan Gleeson, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins and Julie Walters all star, while Ben Whishaw returns as the voice of Paddington.
4. Well, finally something to excite us about Avatar
James Cameron’s cerulean-tinted franchise has been in the news this week more for Ryan Gosling’s fixation with the film’s typeface choices than for anything plot-related. Now, though, we’ve got something tangible to interest us. According to Deadline, Kate Winslet is joining the cast, marking the first time Cameron and Winslet have reunited since Titanic broke box office records. According to Cameron, the two “have been looking for something to do together for 20 years.” And while most people would just go for coffee or something, that’s not how these two roll. Oh no. Instead, Winslet is joining the cast as Ronal, a character we can call mysterious and enigmatic for the simple reason that we know nothing about her/him/it.
5. Maleficent 2 conjures up a director
Joachim Rønning knows which side his bread is buttered on. Fresh-ish from taking the wheel of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Salazar’s Revenge, Rønning is in talks to helm another Disney tentpole. Deadline reports the director is set to direct a returning Angelina Jolie in Maleficent 2. The first film took well over three-quarters of a billion dollars back in 2014 and Disney are keen to get the next in production at the beginning of next year.
Rønning may have to clear some space in his schedule however. The in-demand Norwegian is expected to return to the Pirates franchise, and hopes to direct an adaptation of the Michael Crichton novel Micro, plus an original concept titled Origins. Something may have to give, but it almost certainly won’t be one of Disney’s behemoths.
6. And after all, you’re my Wonder Wheel
The first trailer for Woody Allen’s latest is upon us and it looks a little different to a lot of the director’s recent output. Don’t worry, there’s still a nubile young female swanning about, in the form of Juno Temple. But there’s also a slightly older, more venerable lead. Why, it’s this week’s twice-featured artist, Kate Winslet.
The plot revolves around the wife of a carousel operator who falls for Justin Timberlake’s dreamy lifeguard. Matters are complicated when her husband’s estranged daughter (Temple) reappears on the run from the mob and falls for the same lifeguard (still Timberlake). According to Winslet, thus begins “the great unravelling of Ginny.” Amazon Studios are producing – another instalment in their continued partnership with Allen – and a limited US release is planned for December 1. No word yet on a UK run.
7. 20th Century Fox ready to serve up a Bob’s Burgers movie
America’s favourite animated family is getting a movie. Yes, the Belchers are coming to the big screen, courtesy of 20th Century Fox. Variety reports that the series, which focuses on a family of five who run a perennially-failing burger restaurant, will hit screens on July 17, 2020. Said series creator Loren Bouchard, “we know the movie has to scratch every itch the fans of the show have ever had, but it also has to work for all the good people who’ve never seen the show.” In addition, “it has to fill every inch of the screen with the colours and sounds and the ever-so-slightly greasy texture of the world.” Plus “it has to take our characters on an epic adventure. In other words, it has to be the best movie ever made.” It’s good to see someone in this business setting their sights at a reasonable level. Good luck, Bouchard!
8. Gore Verbinski finds cure for box office crapness?
Regular fans of Gambitwatch have had to keep themselves busy for a while. The last time we had news about the never-not-in-development Channing Tatum project was way back in January when the story was that the movie would probably come out one day. It was a slow news week. Now, however, we have something a little more concrete.
Deadline reports that Gore Verbinski is finalising a deal to tackle the film at Fox. Apparently it’s now a high priority. The script has been written by Josh Zetumer (Robocop, Patriots Day) and Channing Tatum is, as ever, still attached to play the lead. For those who forgot, that lead is a wisecracking Cajun who can turn objects (especially cards) into super projectiles. We’ll let you know when he inevitably drops out.