The last seven days has obviously seen allegations mount against actors, directors and producers alike. Kevin Spacey, James Toback, Brett Ratner, Dustin Hoffman, Jeremy Piven and many others have had their actions rightfully dragged into the light. Your Week In Film, being an occasionally amusing collection of short news clips and Simpsons references, is not the best place to tackle such an issue. There exists a wealth of good writing into what’s going on. It’s just not here. Nevertheless, we hope you can appreciate our investigative reporting into stories that don’t matter. Like “what’s Tyrese Gibson up to?” Just you wait…
1. Jon Favreau’s jungle is massive
Disney’s live action Lion King has been cast. We already knew that Donald Glover will be taking the lead role, James Earl Jones will be returning as Mufasa and John Oliver is stepping into Rowan Atkinson’s shoes as Zazu – but there’s more! The highest profile new arrival is probably Beyoncé. The singer-actor-perfume magnate is playing the lioness Nala. Disney confirmed the news on Twitter on Wednesday. She joins Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Eric Andre, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, John Kani and Keegan-Michael Key. It’s not escaped our attention that Favreau has assembled an incredibly star-studded cast. Said the man, “it is a director’s dream to assemble a talented team like this.” Well, duh. We’ll see if it all pays off in July 2019 when the film is released.
— Disney (@Disney) November 1, 2017
2. Tarantino seeks new home for movie #9
Having severed ties with The Weinstein Company, Quentin Tarantino is looking for a new home. According to Deadline, the director’s ninth project is currently doing the rounds at every major studio with the exception of Disney. It’s thought that Tarantino wants a deal with a studio that can release his upcoming film globally, hence no minor players.
Although it has been reported that the film is about the 1969 Manson murders, nothing has been confirmed. Similarly, while Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson have all spoken with the director about the film, no casting decisions have been made either. Still, we’re willing to bet there’s probably a role for Jackson, Michael Madsen, Walton Goggins and Tim Roth! What we know for sure is that the film is set in Los Angeles between the late 1960s and the early 1970s. It is also, unsurprisingly, a hard R. An agreement should be in place within a fortnight.
3. The Last Jedi is awake in the latest Star Wars teaser
Will Mark Hamill’s words at the end of the newest teaser for Star Wars: The Last Jedi prove apt? Will nothing go the way that we think? To help us work this out, there’s plenty to unpick in this 45 seconds of goodness. Explosions, R2, racing, lightsabers, Leia, punching, space – The Last Jedi certainly seems to have it all. As if you needed reminding, we’ve still got a whole six weeks to wait until TLJ hits UK cinemas, so let’s click play another few times…
4. Incredibly faithful Hugh Hefner biopic is also dead
Perhaps sensibly, Playboy Enterprises has poured water on the planned Hugh Hefner biopic it had been developing with Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment. Added to that is the news that rumoured lead Jared Leto was reportedly never interested in the project. Said Leto’s rep to Deadline “Jared Leto is not and was not attached to a Brett-Ratner-directed Hugh Hefner film.” Seems an oddly specific quote. The project has been in the works for some time – Robert Downey Jr. was attached at one stage for the lead – but considering the scandal enveloping Hollywood, and the fact that Ratner controls the rights, it’s almost certain that this biopic will be put on ice for a long time yet.
5. Paramount raise Pet Sematary from the dead
The Stephen King season shows no sign of abating. The successes of It and Gerald’s Game, has naturally left Hollywood scrambling to get King’s 800 other books into production – whether they’ve been made before or not. The less said about The Dark Tower, the better. Paramount are the latest players to book some King. The studio announced this week that they have appointed Kevin Kolsh and Dennis Widmyer – helmers of Starry Eyes – to direct the remake of Pet Sematary. The story, subject of a 1989 film, tells of a family which moves into a home next to a magical, powerful cemetery. A whole lot of corpse exhumation ensues. And what could be more apt for another ride on the King coaster? [via Variety]
6. Red band trailer for I, Tonya sure is something
If you like the truth or good, clean language you probably won’t get on with I, Tonya. The first full trailer for the pseudo-biopic has been released ahead of its UK release on February 23. It’s full of sequins, awful hair, and swears. Plus, from the looks of it, it can boast a Margot Robbie at the top of her game, a perennially-smoking Alison Janney, and Sebastian Stan. Stan doesn’t do much in the trailer so no descriptive words for him.
7. Tyrese furious, threatens to skip Fast 9
Putting everything that’s going on in the world at the moment into perspective, Gibson posted a bombshell on Instagram this week. On Wednesday, the actor wrote that unless Paramount kicks the Rock and his “candy ass” out of the Fast and Furious franchise, the mighty Gibson would walk away from the movies that comprise roughly 60% of his film credits since the start of the decade. Said Gibson: “spin off these nuts selfish champ……” and “close your eyes dude you’re a ‘Clown’”.
Not long after, everything appeared to be resolved. A post on Thursday saw Gibson rescind his threat, saying “I had a real Heart [sic] to Heart [sic] with one of Dewayne’s [sic] associates and this will be my last post about him.” So there you go – it looks like everything is going to be fine. Not only that but, according to Gibson’s ramblings, “Justin Lin is back in the driver [sic] seat.” Universal still hasn’t commented on Lin’s role in the future of the franchise, but Gibson’s news is welcome to some. Namely Universal’s accountants if previous F&F returns are anything to go by.
Hello world………. hello loyal fans and loved ones from OUR fast universe…….. I’m sorry to announce that if Dewayne is in Fast9 there will no more Roman Peirce – You mess with family and my daughters survival I mess with yours……… close your eyes dude you’re a “Clown”…… #CandyAssBitchMade All my real one…. Men on integrity… my real ones out here stand UP…… folks that GP to the gym and get big naturally #NoJuice #NoOJ spin off huh? Spin off these nuts selfish champ…… pause notice who’s got his arms around my shoulder and who’s standing alone – #OurChildrenMatter
8. Can Elizabeth Banks direct her way out of a Paper Bag Princess?
The bestselling children’s book The Paper Bag Princess has been wrapped up and handed to Elizabeth Banks to direct according to Variety. The yarn, which follows a princess who adventures into the world to reclaim her worldly possessions and her kidnapped beloved from a dragon, reportedly proved extremely popular among Hollywood bigwigs. Warner Bros. were a keen suitor before Universal outbid them for the unconventional feminist fairytale. Banks, who also directed Pitch Perfect 2 and is set to helm the Charlie’s Angels remake, is all but certain to direct while Margot Robbie is down as a co-producer. Robbie may also star. We’ll have to wait and see.