Table of Contents
- Ghostbusters Cinematic Universe?
- Star Wars spinoff and sequel details confirmed
- Suicide Squad movie scoop
- First photo from production of Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur film
- Burton to direct a live-action Dumbo
- Tron 3 to film this fall?
- Kevin Smith announces his upcoming films
1. Ghostbusters Cinematic Universe?
This just feels destined to failure.
After 30 goddamn years of Bill Murray playing just-the-tip with Dan Aykroyd on whether he would allow him a Ghostbusters 3, it appeared the death of Harold Ramis finally put the nail in the coffin of the gestating sequel/reboot/remake/whatever. After all, once the Ghostbusters start dropping, it just becomes a more than a little morbid. Maybe that was what Murray was counting on. “I’ll just keep saying maybe till they die, then I’ll never have to break Aykroyd’s heart by saying no to his shitty sequel ideas.”
Now Aykroyd and original films’ director Ivan Reitman have set up the production company Ghost Corps at Sony Pictures with an eye to developing the Ghostbusters brand into a full-fledged industry a la Marvel, Harry Potter etc. Sony, which recently leased Spider-Man to Marvel in an attempt to rehabilitate that film franchise’s sagging financial fortunes, has had trouble building franchises, a big reason they wrung Spider-Man dry.
The problem trying to follow Marvel’s business method is just that; even Marvel didn’t know if their business method was going to work. That doesn’t preclude others from replicating it to some success, but this much commitment on a franchise based on nostalgia? It just begs to fall on its face. It could appear to undermine the confidence the studio has in the Paul Feig-helmed female Ghostbusters reboot.
That said, the plan is said to involve Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt, a winning combination by any stretch, especially if it is their friendship that reportedly generated the enthusiasm to, you know, actually make this movie. Because it’s not like either star is hurting for franchise roles and the like.
Four Ghostbusters films about male and female Ghostbusting teams and their team-ups. Studio filmmaking nowadays is much more a cart before the horse kind of business. We’ll see if this proposed Ghostbusters universe takes off . . . or falls flat on its face.
2. Star Wars sequels officially announced
At a shareholders meeting, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the official title of Gareth Edwards’ (Godzilla) Star Wars spinoff, Rogue One, and a May 26, 2017 release date for Rian Johnson’s (Looper) Star Wars: Episode VIII, the sequel to this year’s J.J. Abrams franchise relaunch Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
A May release is a return home for Star Wars, since the first film inaugurated the modern summer movie season in 1977. If Abrams’ and Lucasfilm exec/producer Kathleen Kennedy had had it their way, we wouldn’t be seeing The Force Awakens until May 2016 but Iger promised a new Star Wars film in 2015 when Lucasfilm was purchased by Disney in October 2012 and he wasn’t going to let pesky things like time and Harrison Ford’s broken leg get in the way of fulfilling that promise, hence this year’s Christmas release.
The spinoff, led by recent Oscar-nominee Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) will be the first live-action Star Wars film of its kind outside of the Episodic continuity of past. Edwards has proven with Godzilla he can take a beloved property and infuse it with gravity and relevance while maintaining true to the essence of the character. In said film’s sense, it was holding onto the idea that Godzilla represented nature and balance.
There have been plenty of uses of “rogue” in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, most notably the Rogue Squadron which Luke Skywalker was the leader of on Hoth during the epic snow battle. Rumors for this film however put it on the spectrum of pirates and smugglers, including Han Solo and Boba Fett, and the story is said to focus on the theft of the Death Star plans that trigger the original 1977 film’s events.
3. Suicide Squad tidbits
This week, the always-reliable and connected El Mayimbe (real name, Umberto Gonzalez) of Latino-Review released 3 Instagram scoops on the upcoming Suicide Squad film, which has been publicly developed since its announcement last fall thanks to director David Ayer’s Twitter, Will Smith and Margot Robbie’s Focus press tour, Tom Hardy dropping out and Joel Kinnaman (this weekend’s Liam Neeson-starrer Run All Night) dropping in etc.
His scoops center on the villains of film, including the main one Antiphon, a side villain in the form of lethal mercenary Deathstroke, and the Clown Prince of Crime and comic book villains, the Joker.
Antiphon has neither been rumored for nor cast for the film despite many other rumors vying for villain, from Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor to Gen. Wade Eiling, to Rick Flagg, Sr. According to the report, he is leading a rival band called Onslaught targeting superheroes and supervillains. So . . . supervillains?
Anywho, Joe Manganiello (“True Blood,” Magic Mike and its upcoming sequel) Deathstroke is a perennial Suicide Squad member but in this film it’s reported he will be opposed to them, possibly allied with Onslaught. The fact that he recently dropped out of fall television show “Scream Queens” lends credence to this one. Manganiello already has a working relationship with Ayer, having supported the 2014 Arnold Schwarzenegger bomb Sabotage.
Finally, Gonzalez teased Jared Leto’s new interpretation of the iconic Joker. Photos were posted recently of Leto undergoing a makeover to begin his transformation, including cutting and dying his hair and gaining weight. This lines up with this tease, which bases this Joker on Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns – a broad shouldered and muscular version. He is covered in scars and his whole body is bleached, a departure from the Nolanverse makeup that Heath Ledger’s iteration donned as part of his clown criminal schtick. He is visited by Amanda Waller doing hand stand push ups in jail. Like Batman in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Joker will be an established presence, with a death toll to match, including at least one Robin.
Gonzalez’s post are embedded below.
Suicide Squad is dated for August 6, 2016 Confirmed to star:
- Will Smith as Deadshot
- Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn
- Jared Leto as The Joker
- Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg
- Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang
- Cara Delevigne as Enchantress
- Viola Davis as Amanda Waller
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Today's #SUICIDESQUAD FIRE is all about Jared Leto's THE JOKER! So what I'm being told, Leto's Joker is most definitely based on THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS version. He's lean & scarred but his suit does have broad shoulders. Joker works out in his cell like an inmate when he is interrogated by Amanda Waller. He's doing hand stand push ups so it makes sense that Jared Leto said he is putting on weight. He's definitely not skinny, but in fact more muscular. He has bleached skin not make up. #SPOILER – He's killed one of Batman's sidekicks, there is a lot of references to his past crimes. He kills a lot of people. HUGE #RUMOR – I'm also told The Joker has a lot of scenes with HUGO STRANGE! He's the psychiatrist at the prison & seems to be a part of the story yet I heard nothing of casting or mention of a single casting choice. Hugo Strange has quite a few interactions with the Joker & Harley Quinn. It's not the regular security. It's internal one on one thing. #THEJOKER #THEDARKKNIGHTRETURNS #JAREDLETO #HUGOSTRANGE #AMANDAWALLER #HARLEYQUINN #DC #DCCU #DCCOMICS #SCOOP #FIRE #BOOM
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#DEATHSTROKE IN #SUICIDESQUAD! Deathstroke works with/for #ONSLAUGHT & does their dirty work. He's a hired assassin and he doesn't have any powers like in the comic book. They're going for a pre-super villain Deathstroke. He's a huge part of both of the major set pieces of the film. His introduction is INSANE! He's badass & almost takes the team down on one mission single handed. Deathstroke has THE breakout & choicest role in the film. The running gun battle that sources are describing is something else. His suit is very stealth oriented. They used an actual US military tactical outfit for the basis. He's armed to the teeth, uses a sword and automatics. In concept artwork he has two eyes. The mask is there and it's the iconic one. Rumor about Jason Clarke still in play is not true because he originally got offered Deathstroke months ago but has a scheduling conflict with Marc Foster's' 'All I See Is You.' Joel Kinnaman originally tested for the role as well but got Rick Flagg instead. Joe Manganiello has a scheduling conflict with Ryan Murphy's 'Scream Queens' BUT HE JUST DROPPED OUT! What does that mean? Deathstroke is 'probably' his. 😊 Tune in tomorrow for more scoopage!
View this post on Instagram
Meet the head bad guy in #SUICIDESQUAD – #ANTIPHON who leads a badass terrorist cell called #ONSLAUGHT which is up against #DEADSHOT & the rest of the Suicide Squad. Onslaught are hunting super heroes & villains for their own agenda. They're like a special ops team made up of mercenaries. Antiphon is a burn victim & has a prosthetic leg. Ed Harris was rumored for the role. Once Antiphon is officially cast will let you guys know. Tune in tomorrow & Friday for more cool stuff from the upcoming #DC #film which is shaping up to be really dope! #dccu #dccomics #cinematic #universe
4. First photo from Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur film
Guy Ritchie Tweeted a photo of himself and star Charlie Hunnam (“Sons of Anarchy,” Pacific Rim) from the first day of production on his King Arthur film, Knights of the Round Table.
The rest of the cast inclues Astrid Berges-Frisbey as Guinevere, Jude Law as the villain Vortigern, Djimon Hounsou as a Merlin-like mentor figure Bedivere, Eric Bana as Arthur’s father Uther Pendragon, and Aiden Gillen as the appropriately-named Gooseface Bill. The official synopsis reads
“The bold new story introduces a streetwise young Arthur who runs the back alleys of Londonium with his gang, unaware of the life he was born for until he grasps hold of the sword Excalibur – and with it, his future.”
“Instantly challenged by the power of Excalibur, Arthur is forced to make some hard choices. Throwing in with the Resistance and a mysterious young woman named Guinevere, he must learn to master the sword, face down his demons and unite the people to defeat the tyrant Vortigern, who stole his crown and murdered his parents, and become King.”
That’s . . . disappointing. While Hunnam and Ritchie might be British street toughs all grown up, making basically a medieval Sherlock Holmes-esque franchise (in another great example of cart-before-the-horse film business, they want six of these films. Six) is quite disheartening. It’s not original and, I’ll beat a dead horse, a poor attempt at mimicry. Even more egregious is the director is cribbing himself. So now we got another origin story about a “gritty” retelling of a public domain character. How unique.
5. Burton to direct a live-action Dumbo
This is stupid-o. Why? Three reasons.
1) Disney’s attempt to profit on their films should stop at the ones that have actual human protagonists, regardless of advances in motion-capture technology that have absolutely led to a glut of mo-cap films (not).
2) Burton’s attempt at adapting Alice in Wonderland was really, really bad. Pretty to look at, but really bad. Like terrible-bad. They couldn’t even be bothered to have what was enjoyable about the original picture, instead giving Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter aka latest cake-faced weirdo a fucking tragic backstory while shoehorning a dragon, a battle, and a dance number at the end. Then it made a billion dollars back when people thought they liked Depp. Now, they’ve already produced a sequel Through the Looking Glass, to be released next May, which will introduce the fucking Mad Hatter’s dad. Jesus, stop giving purposely-absurd things “realistic” origins.
3) If this leads to a live-action Bambi, where Andy Serkis (Gollum) plays the titular doe, we will curse ourselves for letting this film happen.
6. Tron 3 to film this fall?
This is getting more derision than anticipation as the delayed sequel to the 2010 sequel – itself almost 30 years too late – appears to be gearing up for filming in the fall with star Garrett Hedlund and director Joseph Kosinski set to return.
The protagonist’s name is Sam Flynn. Of course, I want this film to happen. Will I see it? Don’t know. Haven’t seen the original or Tron: Legacy. But I do of course own a Sam Flynn action figure.
Plus Kosinski and Hedlund get work which, if they has a families, will help, I guess? It’s not like Legacy set the box office on fire but then again, it was arguably more a merchandising grab than anything. In that case, obviously they got me. So, everybody wins?
7. Kevin Smith announces upcoming slate
The un-retired Kevin Smith is pulling a 180 and going into possibly the most prolific period of his career. While doing post-production on his Canada-set, Johnny Depp-featuring Yoga Hosers (starring Smith and Depp’s daughters), he announced on social media his slate for the next year-and-a-half.
Clerks III will commence filming in May following by his long-gestating hockey miniseries “Hit Somebody” in the fall (no network has been announced yet). Then, in Feb./March 2016, production will begin on the final chapter in his True North horror trilogy, Moose Jaws, and, and the holiday-horror anthology film Anti-Claus. In addition Smith teased and later confirmed he was writing a sequel to his sophomore feature, 1995’s Mallrats.
I’m a Kevin Smith fan and while his verbosity does allow him to fit many feet in his mouth at once, including his infamous retirement announcement that is now null and void I still have great respect for the man as a storyteller, raconteur, and writer/director. He’s been entertaining for over 20 years and you can’t argue with success. He has an audience.