1. The tale of the mouse, the fox and $52.4 billion…
The Walt Disney Co. has, at last, concluded a deal to buy a whole lot of 21st Century Fox. Fox, a substantial arm of the Murdoch media empire, is agreeing to Inception itself for a cool $52.4 billion in a deal that will see Disney welcome various assets into their ever-expanding stable.
Unsurprisingly, there is a huge amount to unpack from this deal, potentially the biggest change to the movie landscape in decades. Here are a few key breakdowns:
- This new Disney is massive. Had the two companies merged last year, the combined studio would have close to a 40% market share at the 2017 box office.
- Disney, who just a few months ago announced they were progressing with their own streaming service, have gained a helluva lot of films and shows to add to it.
- Superheroes like the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Deadpool may well find themselves fighting alongside their Marvel chums sometime soon.
- The fates of Fox Searchlight and Fox 2000 are up in the air. Bummer.
- Other major studios may feel they have to embark on their own buying or merging sprees, and independent cinemas will have to negotiate costs against a corporate behemoth.
Of course, this could all be blocked by federal regulators (though it probably won’t be) and Disney would have to pay Fox $2.4 billion. Either way, big stuff. And who says “in-depth” business reporting turns away readers?…
2. Sate your Annihilation fixation
Annihilation has been in the news recently for less-than-positive reasons. Due to conflicts between Paramount Pictures and the film’s producers, the film will receive a theatrical release only in the US, Canada and China. As for everyone else, we’ll have to watch things – very cinematic things, if the trailer is anything to go by – on the small screen, via Netflix. In an interview with Collider, director Alex Garland commented that his reaction to this wrangling was “disappointment really”. But hey, at least it looks great. Natalie Portman ventures into an environmental disaster zone with a team of heavily armed scientists? Roll on, February.
3. Seth Rogen to play Walter Cronkite
Back in the day, long before Your Week In Film, people got their news from different sources. One such source was Walter Cronkite, the venerable CBS Evening News anchor. According to Deadline, Seth Rogen is all set to play the newsman, who died in 2009, in David Gordon Green’s Newsflash. The film is set to take place the day JFK was assassinated and Cronkite gave a now legendary address on CBS, one which would help earn him the title of “the most trusted man in America.”
Deadline reports that Bryan Cranston and Mark Ruffalo are also being sought out to join the cast, but only Rogen and Green are set for the project. While Rogen has dabbled with drama before, most notably in Jobs, this will mark his first foray into dramatic leading man territory. That is, unless it turns out Cronkite smoked a lot of weed and liked dick jokes.
4. Robert Downey Jr. still on course to talk to animals, Jim Broadbent
We haven’t heard anything about Robert Downey Jr’s Dr Dolittle film for a while. Back in March we reported that Stephen Gaghan was due to direct the erstwhile Tony Stark in an adaptation of The Voyage Of Doctor Dolittle. That’s still the case, and now it seems Jim Broadbent will be along for the ride too. It’s not known what role Broadbent will play, but he joins Dunkirk’s Harry Collett in a substantial supporting role. Deadline first reported the news.
5. Ready Player One sure looks like a Steven Spielberg film…
The first proper trailer for Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One looks reassuringly familiar. A twisted future, kids fighting shady government forces, Mark Rylance… Yup, it’s all here. The film sees young nobody Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) thrust into a battle for the OASIS – a sort of VR internet – after its founder dies and his video will (the future, eh?) promises control to whomever can find an easter egg hidden within the virtual luniverse. Ben Mendelsohn, of course, plays the villain while Olivia Cooke, Simon Pegg and T.J. Miller also star.
6. Steven Caple Jr. to get in the ring for Creed 2
Despite excitedly reporting that he was “Looking forward to directing and Producing The incredibly talented Michael B Jordan in CREED 2” Sylvester Stallone has vacated the film’s comfy director’s chair. Instead, MGM and Warner Bros announced this week that Steven Caple Jr. will take the seat. Caple Jr, “known” for directing the 2016 inner-city hip-hop saga The Land, was apparently handpicked by Stallone and star Michael B. Jordan.
Despite passing up the opportunity to helm his most famous franchise, Stallone is still heavily involved. As well as producing and starring in Creed 2, the veteran actor co-wrote the screenplay with Cheo Hodari Coker (Luke Cage’s showrunner). It’s thought the sequel will focus more on Adonis Creed’s out-of-the-ring issues such as fame, family and further ambitions. [via Variety]