September 17, 2014

Jack Huston Will Play BEN-HUR In Timur Bekmambetov's Remake

Deadline reports that Boardwalk Empire and American Hustle actor Jack Huston has taken the titular role in the Ben-Hur remake. Previously, it was reported that Morgan Freeman had joined the project in a supporting part. It will be directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Night Watch, Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), let's just hope the Russian director can reign-in his exploitation roots and make a coherent film. The film is expected to begin production next year in Europe.

We know that Jack Huston has been itching for a franchise role. Becoming in the mix for the Star-Lord role in Guardians of The Galaxy, and rumored to be in the running for Doctor Strange. It's now very unlikely that Huston is still in the running (or ever was) to play Steven Strange. Only time will tell if this picture will end-up more like Gladiator, a watered-down version of Spartacus or at the end of the spectrum similar to Paul W. Anderson's Pompeii.


Tom Hiddleston Starring In Legendary's KING KONG Origin Film SKULL ISLAND

Variety reports that Tom "Loki' Hiddleston will star in Legendary Picture's King Kong origin film titled Skull Island. Godzilla and Seventh Son writer Max penned the first draft of the script. Joe Cornish (Attack The Block) and Neil Marshall (Game of Thrones, Centurion) had been pursued for the director's chair, but Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kings of Summer) has taken the gig instead. Jordan was actually in the mix to direct Marvel's Doctor Strange and is rumored to be considered for Sony's Metal Gear Solid adaptation.

Details aren't known about the film, but events would take place before the original film. The island is home to some exotic things including dinosaurs, giant bugs, ancient tribes and other dangerous creatures. Basically, everyone and everything is trying to end your life on Skull Island. Hiddleston's character is also a bit of a mystery.

What we do know is that the film is being headed-up by the same production studio that gave us Godzilla and Pacific Rim, so we're expecting this to be a bit more cohesive than Peter Jackson's take. Hiddleston's involvement isn't too much of a shock. Considering he recently finished shooting Guillermo del Toro's haunted house picture Crimson Peak, another project setup at Legendary. Skull Island is set for release on November 4th, 2016.


September 16, 2014

CASINO ROYALE Director Martin Campbell Could Return To Spy Genre With HUNTER KILLER

According to TheWrap Kiwi director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, Goldeneye) could be returning to his spy genre roots. They say he's in talks to direct Hunter Killer for Relativity Media. Other directors previously in the mix include Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Equalizer, Shooter, Olympus Has Fallen), Phillip Noyce (Salt, Patriot Games, Clear And Present Danger, The Saint), McG (This Means War) and Steve Quale (Into The Storm). The film is based on the novel Firing Point by George Wallace and Don Keith. Below is a synopsis of the novel.

A renegade Russian military leader pushing the U.S. to the brink of a nuclear confrontation and shattering a decades-old peace agreement between the two former enemies. Cut off from all outside communication, a submarine commander and an elite Navy special forces unit are all that stand between the Russian assault and all-out war.

Campbell is best known for directing the first installmets of the Pierce Broson and Daniel Craig eras of the Bond franchise, considered the highlights of those eras. Campbell has had a few hiccups lately with his Mel Gibson thriller Edge of Darkness (which I actually liked a lot at the time) not making much of a splash, and Green Lantern becoming a genre punchline. It's unlikely we'll see Campbell return to the Bond franchise. Until, I assume they get someone to replace Craig. So, it's kind of smart on Martin's part to consider jumping back into the genre with a different project. We're rooting for Campbell to get his grove back, and Hunter Killer could be the right film to do that.


Cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema Will Shoot BOND 24, Production Starts This December

There are only a handful of cinematographers, who's work you actually take notice of. One being Hoyte van Hoytema, who has been hired to lens Sam Mendes' sequel to Skyfall aka Bond 24 according to HitFlix. Some of the amazing work Hoyte has done includes, Let The Right One In, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, Spike Jonze's Her, and Christopher Nolan's Interstellar.

To say that this next Bond film will look stunning is an understatement, congrats to Mendes on landing him. It's also been expected that production will begin in December, with a release date set for November 6th, 2015. Daniel Craig is set to return in the lead, which is said to be his second-last film as 007.


If Drew Pearce Were To Make A PUNISHER Series/One-Shot, What Comics Would Influence Him?

I think you'd agree that James Gunn is one of the few people involved with Marvel Studios, to make the time to interact with fans. Another person who is always in active dialog with the fan base is writer and director Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3, Sherlock Holmes 3, Mission: Impossible 5) . If you don't remember, Drew co-wrote Iron Man 3 with Shane Black and directed the All Hail The King One-Shot (which he also wrote) short which teased the real Mandarin and setup Luke Cage's Seagate Prison. Pearce also penned the script for The Runaways movie that was effectively put into development limbo.

Drew sneakily added a small Easter Egg to All Hail The King, which hinted to villains and mob families connected to Frank Castle. Seagate Prison is currently holding a mob boss responsible for the murder of his family. Pearce has responded to the possibility of doing work on something involved with The Punisher. Pointing-out a preference to the runs from Gregg Rucka and Matt Fraction. Along with mentioning the backstory of Rachel Cole, Frank's recent sidekick. This is by no means confirmation he is or will be doing this in the future, but it's lovely to hear that Pearce doesn't hate the idea.

At this point, we have zero indication that Marvel will indeed move forward with a Punisher series or even One-Shot, but the fan demand in clearly there. Even with the Russo Brothers jokingly mentioning someone being behind the wheel in a couple of scenes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier being a strong candidate for a One-Shot. Most assume they are speaking of Frank Castle, but could be just a joke from the comedic filmmakers.

"The man who drives that truck," Joe deadpans, joking that the driver is a candidate for a future Marvel One-Shot, "Is very highly trained. He thinks on his own terms. He's got a plan and a very specific skill set." 

I wouldn't be too shocked if saw a pre-tragic Frank being a special ops operator in the former SHIELD, in the third Captain America film. Castle has ties to both Fury/Rogers and anything is possible, now that Marvel is able to use characters where ever they want. Another possibility is showing-up in the Netflix series, Daredevil making the most sense. A lot of people are expecting a Punisher series being considered for a second wave of Netflix shows.

We've had a couple of actors even try to put their name into consideration. Frank Grillo wanted a shot, but that might be an issue as he's already played villain Brock Rumlow (Crossbones) in Winter Soldier. Another actor is a bit more unlikely, as Milo Ventimiglia (Gamer, Pathology, Heroes) took to Twitter and reveal his campaign for the role. There has even been calls to bring back Thomas Jane or Ray Stevenson, but I'm not sure that's the best idea.

I personally think that Marvel should be targeting actors like Dylan McDermott (Olympus Has Fallen, Survivor, American Horror Story, Hamburger Hill, In The Line Of Fire). Someone that is well known from film work, but isn't opposed to doing a Netflix series (or cameos). Dylan's work on the Vietnam action flick Hamburger Hill, might help fans sign-on to the idea. It doesn't hurt he's been playing bad guys lately in movies like Olympus Has Fallen. He's also proved with American Horror Story he can handle dramatic roles as well.

A couple of other actors I wouldn't getting into the mix, would be Clive Owen (Children of Men, Bourne Identity, Inside Man, Killer Elite, The Driver, Sin City, Shoot 'Em Up) or Superman candidate Joe Manganiello (True Blood, Sabotage, Magic Mike, Spider-Man). Owen would mean we'll have a third foreign actor playing Castle, which I'm not opposed to. However, it's likely the reason people champion Thomas Jane for the role.


James D'Arcy Added To The Cast Of Marvel's AGENT CARTER As Original Jarvis

Variety reports that British actor James D'Arcy (Jupiter Ascending, Cloud Atlas, Survivor) has joined the cast of Marvel's Agent Carter. He'll be playing the role of Edwin Jarvis, butler to Howard Stark and ally to Peggy Carter. This would seemingly confirm that Howard is indeed going to be involved in the series, but we haven't heard if Dominic Cooper is reprising the role. However, Marvel has spent a lot of effort to setup the fact that Stark was an integral part of founding SHIELD.

This is just another hint to the level of talented casting Marvel is aiming for with the new series. In my opinion, a giant set-up from the original casting of Agents of SHIELD. Hiring legitimate and current film actors for key roles will only help keep to standards of the Marvel cinematic universe. The first episodes of Agent Carter will start airing on ABC during the mid-season hiatus for Agents of SHIELD.


Mackenzie Davis Joins Matt Damon & Jessica Chastain In Ridley Scott's THE MARTIAN

TheWrap reports that newcomer Mackenzie Davis from AMC's Halt And Catch Fire has landed a role in Ridley Scott's upcoming sci-fi thriller The Martian. Adapted from the novel by Andy Weir from screenwriter Drew Goddard (Sinister Six, Cabin In The Woods, Cloverfield, Lost) The 20th Century Fox project already has Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain co-starring in the leads. Kristen Wiig was also in the mix, but currently isn't mentioned in this new report.


Will BOURNE LEGACY Sequel Delays Give Jeremy Renner Time To Shoot Scenes For CAPTAIN AMERICA 3?

It's being reported that Universal is putting the breaks on the Bourne Legacy sequel, in favor for Matt Damon's return. This isn't the worst thing for Jeremy Renner. The sequel's looming production put in question if he'd be able to shoot scenes for Captain America 3. Renner's Clint Barton was originally expected to have a part to play in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (confirmed by directors The Russo Brothers and Renner), but scheduling became a bit of a problem.

Nothing is ruling-out Renner showing-up in this other Bourne project. However, I'd expect it to be just Damon and Greengrass. Director Justin Lin has been linked for directing a couple of season two episodes of HBO's True Detective, it adds more fuel to the thought we'll see further production delays.

Jeremy mentioned to Collider he would be game to be apart of the third film, that's if his production schedule allowed him to. He's currently shooting Mission: Impossible 5, but with Bourne delays it's possible that Renner could be available for the April start on Captain America 3. The Russo Brothers are also open to the idea, and I'd love to see them work with the character. They've done wonders reworking both Rogers and Natasha. We've been hearing that Marvel has big plans for Hawkeye, as the Avenger will have a larger role in Age of Ultron. In the comics, Barton takes-on a leadership role as the team leader of The West Coast Avengers, a splinter group of the main lineup. There are already rumors that Steve Rogers starts putting together a second team by the end of Ultron.

“There are rumblings of Captain America 3. I don’t know what’s going to happen there. I’ve got to find the time, man (laughs). I’m trying to stay home and I can’t.” 

Matt Damon And Paul Greengrass Will Return To Make Fourth BOURNE Installment

Universal is doubling-down on it's Bourne franchise. We've been hearing rumblings that Matt Damon could be returning to the Bourne role for a year or so. In 2013, Twitch originally reported talks between Matt and the studio to reprise the super-spy. His return is now being confirmed by Deadline. There had been chatter that Jeremy Renner and Matt Damon could share screen time in an installment, but that idea was never confirmed by the studio. LatinoReview scooped this story back in June being the reason for delays on Justin Lin's sequel, but met with nothing denials.

After the success of Bourne Ultimatum,  Matt and director Paul Greengrass tried to put together a fourth film. This pitch didn't go-over well at Universal, as they rejected it. The two went-off to make Iraq-War thriller Green Zone instead, and Greengrass earned some acclaim for Captain Philips. Universal, unfazed by this move put forward a reboot of sorts with Jeremy Renner's Aaron Cross in Bourne Legacy. While the film was set within the same Bourne universe, it failed to make a huge impact with audiences. A sequel was still put into motion with Justin Lin (Fast and Furious, Fast Five) set to direct and a very busy Renner attached to star. The new report suggests that Renner's sequel might be put on-hold. Lin was recently linked for directing a couple of episodes of True Detective for HBO, this delay could allow him time to make that commitment.

The Bourne Legacy sequel which was being aimed for a July 16th, 2016 release date. However, it seems like the Damon flick will try to take that spot instead. There is some doubt when Renner's spin-off will shoot, as the project is still in development. Matt is about to begin production on the Ridley Scott science fiction film The Martian, so they'll have some time to get that script ready for production.


September 15, 2014

Character Actor Glenn Scott Will Play DAREDEVIL Mentor Stick

Marvel has announced that another iconic Daredevil character has joined the lineup of the Netflix series. Character actor Glenn Scott (Sucker Punch, Bourne Ultimatum, Silence of The Lambs, Hunt For Red October) has been cast as Murdock's mentor Stick. The character was shockingly absent from Fox's mess of a film, but made an appearance in Elektra and was played by Terrence Stamp. Marvel will have some sort of presentation for the series at New York Comic-Con. It's expected they could show images or footage from the show, which is still shooting. All 13-episodes will be released sometime in May for all you bingers.


September 14, 2014

BIG RUMOR ALERT! Lucasfilm Developing An OBI WAN KENOBI Spin-Off Film?

MakingStarWars (via SlashFilm) is seemingly revealing one of the next Lucasfilm spin-offs set within the Star Wars universe. Be warned, the site's article includes a large amount of possible spoilers for Episode VII.  We've already heard that spin-off possibilities could include movies focusing on Boba Fett (with a rumored script from franchise writer Larry Kasdan), Han Solo, Yoda and Red Five film with Luke Skywalker (I assume with a new actor playing Luke) expected in the lead. They are now claiming that the studio is strongly considering an Obi Wan Kenobi movie, stating that the studio has hired concept arts to with alongside a writer.

Lucasfilm has officially confirmed these spin-offs are happening by announcing directors Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) and Josh Trank (Chronicles, Fantastic Four) for them. The studio has yet to announce what the titles of the two movies will be.

The one thing that bothers me about the report, is that they go out of their way to mention Lucasfilm was originally avoiding Sith/Jedi spin-offs. When we know that statement just isn't true, with Yoda and Red Five projects being linked by separate sources to the spin-off lineup. Red Five could easily not have Luke, but I'm sure it could upset some purists. The Yoda film has been long rumored from AICN, and we no idea why it was excluded from their report. Perhaps, the studio has ditched the Yoda film for Obi Wan Kenobi, since a lot of fans hated the idea of a Yoda spin-off. Destroying some of the mystery of the character, likely isn't the best idea.

There have been some Obi Wan books that have done well, and the character is still well liked. Thanks, to the underrated Clone Wars series a whole new generation is discovering the hero. The jedi knight is still well loved, and is one of the few characters from the prequel trilogy that managed to not be entirely hated. Kenobi will also be apart of Star Wars Rebels, the era which I assume a possible Obi Wan movie could take place. Actor Ewan McGregor has been vocal on his desire to return, and I think a lot of people would be fine with that as well.

A while back it was reported the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder had pitched a spin-off Star Was film that would be inspired by Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. An impressive take on lore, since the original film was inspired by The Hidden Fortress. When that news hit I had assumed that the group could include any number of hidden jedi across the universe, hiding from the Empire. However, it could have easily have Obi Wan as the lead character. This is just my opinion, but this idea still seems more viable than a Han Solo movie.

It also doesn't hurt that Snyder has been playing a cute game with director J.J. Abrams. Placing Star Wars characters into set BVS images, Abrams has also played back with his own images. However, Zack has been more agressive about it. I'm thinking even though he's heavily invovled with Warner Bros' DC film universe, he could eventually take a break to shoot a Star Wars movie. Since a spin-off wouldn't have massive time demand that one of the episodes would.


September 13, 2014

Keanu Reeves Action Flick JOHN WICK Looks Like A Solid Return With First Trailer

We've been seeing an interesting trend of action films in 2014, low-level character-driven stories within the backdrop of the action genre. Basically, the anti-Michael Bay/Expendables are looking like they'll deliver the fun and dark humor known previously known for the genre. Movies like The Guest and The Equalizer are gathering a lot of buzz, and looks like Keanu Reeves next film John Wick could be similar. It's trailer is slick in a Collateral kind of way, and features Reeves as an ex-hit man who is forced out of retirement.

There are so many things I like about this trailer, hopefully this isn't just a well-cut trailer and the film delivers on the potential it's footage is showing us. It's director Chad Stahelski, is best known in Hollywood for working in the stunt department for decades. Being involved with films such as Point Break, The Crow, Matrix Trilogy, 300, The Wolverine, Hunger Games 1-2, Tron Legacy, Mr. And Mrs. Smith, V For Vendetta, Rambo, Live Free or Die Hard, Spider-Man 2, Iron Man 2, Killer Elite and Expendables 1-2. That background in amazing action sequences, could see this film becoming a cult-classic or a giant hit. Check out the first trailer below.

September 11, 2014

Theo James Attached For UNDERWORLD 5 And Two New Females Leads Will Be Cast

THR reports that British actor Theo James is attached to reprise his role of David from Underworld: Awakening in Underworld 5, rumored to be titled Underworld: Next Generation (via BloodyDisgusting). The new film is expected to be set within the Underworld universe, but will move away from the Selena story. Cory Goodman (Preist, The Last Witch Hunter) penned the script.

Kate Beckinsale won't be returning, but the studio is looking to cast two female leads. No word when the film will be set, but it's possible that India Esley's Eve could return.


Sony Ever Making DRAGON TATTOO Sequel GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE? David Fincher Thinks So!

ThePlaylist has caught-wind of a foreign interview David Fincher did. According to Fincher (via Google translate), the Dragon Tattoo franchise might be back in-play. He says that the current script for The Girl Who Played With Fire is in good shape and is very different from the book. I'm sure a lot of complaints from Dragon Tattoo was that it was so similar to the original Swedish film. Although, in my opinion Fincher's film felt and looked like a stronger cinematic experience.

Fincher also mentions the fact Sony has invested a lot of money in the franchise's development and obtaining the rights. Since there are two more films to be expected, with Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig likely still obligated to be in them. They have a script from Se7en and 8mm writer Andrew Kevin Walker. Not making the film would be a waste of their time and resources.

We know that Fincher has problems with working with Sony, after a rough experience making the first installment. This led to David asking for a $10 million up-front fee to direct Sony's Steve Jobs bio-pic written by Social Network's Aaron Sorkin. However, we don't blame Sony looking elsewhere for new directors, but hopefully they can at least keep Fincher on as a consultant/producer.

Fincher's latest release Gone Girl sort of echos the stylistic somber tone of Dragon Tattoo, obviously the experience made an impact. He's also busy with two new shows for HBO and considering other film projects at the moment. I wouldn't be entirely shocked if Sony approached people like director Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Under The Skin) to move the franchise forward. However, I won't entirely shutdown the idea of Fincher returning, since he'd likely earn Sony more Oscar considerations. The first film earned five nominations, including Best Actress for Rooney Mara.

Daniel Craig has at least two more Bond installments, before he's expected to hang-up his martini glass. I imagine Sony would have to work around that as well, which wouldn't be hard since Sony now distributes the Bond films under a recent deal with MGM.


September 10, 2014

RUMOR ALERT! RAMBO 5 Back On The Table For Stallone?

Even before Expendables 2 was set to roll, there had been chatter that Millennium Films was developing a fifth and final Rambo film with Sly Stallone. An odd plot synopsis suggested the film could include animal-human hybrids, which seemed crazy as hell. Even by previous standards set-out by a studio known for oddball action flicks. News on the fifth film stopped entirely and Sly didn't mention it during press interviews.

ComingSoon is now reporting that the project is apparently alive again, and has the title Rambo: Last Blood. This hasn't been confirmed by any of the major trades, but it's safe to say that the studio and producer Avi Lerner could be pressuring Stallone for a hit. Let's take this a rumor, until we have official word from the studio or Stallone. The two love making headlines, so if true I'm sure they'll be making announcements soon.