25 February 2016 5288 Views


by James Murphy




It’s an increasingly competitive and saturated market for movie news, nowadays. Within seconds of a genuine exclusive news story or official announcement breaking to the trade dailies, studio sites and big player movie magazines, the information will have been recycled, rehashed and repackaged, in multiple outlets. Some are good. Some less so.

It’s easy to feel bombarded and a little bit lost and that’s before one factors in the ‘Click Bait’ pieces that promise some massive spoiler, only to disappoint you by wasting time with idle speculation.

It would be insane to try and compete with all that noise. At least, at THIS stage.

Instead, we are now running a regular digest rundown of the major news items that are trending in the major franchises. Some you’ll know already. Some you may have missed. All helpful and exciting, we hope!

Here we go..

STAR WARS (nb spoilers might be inferred)


The world is STILL waiting on a ROGUE ONE trailer and it seemed genuinely surprising that the SUPERBOWL did not give us so much as a glimpse. And yet, all is not lost. There WILL be a trailer and rumor has it the final cuts are being locked now, probably for release at CELEBRATION 2016. 

The general feeling is that the film will be like SAVING PRIVATE RYAN in space; putting the ‘war’ back into STAR WARS. It will probably feature DARTH VADER at the peak of his powers and thereby have a ‘dark’ tone. Released in DECEMBER of this year. MADS MIKKELSON is possibly playing the architect of the DEATH STAR: half villain, half anti-hero?


In fact, DECEMBER is now ‘THE’ slot for STAR WARS. Spielberg’s READY PLAYER ONE has already moved from December 2017 to avoid EPISODE 8, which moved to that month in the wake of THE FORCE AWAKENS and its incredible Christmas season success.

Meantime, EPISODE 8 has begun filming and the news was launched with a teaser video. We were shown a glimpse of MARK HAMILL as LUKE SKYWALKER on that island, as though picking up directly from where THE FORCE AWAKENS left off. BENICIO DEL TORO and LAURA DERN have joined the cast, too, with all the major players (except ONE..yes..HIM) returning from the last installment. JOHN BOYEGA promises an even more physical performance and has posted pictures of his evolving work out regime.

If that’s still not enough to look forward to? Well, DISNEY have unveiled their plans for the STAR WARS LAND in theme park attractions. The piece was introduced by HARRISON FORD. Speaking of ‘him’, the young HAN SOLO is soon to be announced, it seems. And, as we predicted, it MIGHT just MIGHT be TARON EGERTON (please make it so!), though he must also fit in KINGSMAN 2 (doing battle with JULIANNE MOORE: just announced as playing the baddie).



MARVEL / DC (spoilers incoming)


JUSTICE LEAGUE is nearing the end of heavy pre-production. It is now thought that the adversary to match the hero team will be none other than DARKSEID (think the DC answer to Marvel’s THANOS) with full filming set to begin in APRIL. By then of course, the figures will be in for the opening of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (BVS). Thanks to DEADPOOL, ‘R’ rated super-hero movies are now a ‘thing’. One movie’s success has broken down box office barriers, overnight.

We can therefore expect an ‘R’ rated cut of BVS and the forthcoming WOLVERINE sequel. This makes a great deal of sense in that it enables a studio to maximise audience appeal and revenue, with multiple cuts representing multiple purchases. The drawback is that some consumers may feel exploited and the core identity of the original movie is arguably lost? But an ‘R’ is not the same as an NC-17 and one can simply view it as an extended cut rather than a more ‘adult’ version.

DEADPOOL does not, at present, have a PG-13 version in circulation, because that would defeat the object of the film and its ethos. I don’t know how violent CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR will be, but if there is a shock death in there, perhaps Cap and co will also get a harder edged grown up cut. Meantime, look out for the new DAREDEVIL trailers on NETFLIX, if gritty, hard edged and violent superhero thrillers really do it for you.



But it’s not all ‘dark’ or ‘adult’. It IS possible to be upbeat, fun, a bit naughty and yet still family friendly. Case in point? GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Its sequel (titled simple ‘Volume 2’: matching the compilation mix tape motif that defined the excellent first film) has started filming, officially. The main team players from part one are all back (CHRIS PRATT, ZOE SALDANA, DAVE BAUTISTA, BRADLEY COOPER, VIN DIESEL, MICHAEL ROOKER, GLENN CLOSE) and joined by the legendary KURT RUSSELL (perhaps as the Dad of Pratt’s Peter ‘STAR LORD’ Quill?).

vol 2

It also looks as though HULK (MARK RUFFALO) will inject some extra fun ‘SMASH’ to the forthcoming THOR: RAGNAROCK. 



Calm down! DANIEL CRAIG has NOT left yet. At least, not officially, anyway. Hopefully (and probably), he will do another. That will be his fifth and probably take him to age 50, thereby leaving him a clear decade to move on from Bond or equally just enough time to do a sixth and push it to 52 or 53. Either option works, frankly.

There are murmurings about filming two back to back and whilst that sounds an epic undertaking for such an action heavy brand, it is entirely possible to pull off. Also makes logical sense, given the way sequels and franchises are marketed and released now, like the serials of old. It is thought CHRISTOPH WALTZ will return as the big bad BLOFELD. 


And, whilst plenty a Bond fan thinks a retread of ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE / a ‘proper’ version of Fleming’s YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE is due (ie Bond gets married; Bond gets widowed; Bond gets revenge), the filmmakers must first sit down and ask themselves ‘what is the world worried about right now?’. Last time: surveillance. This time: wait and see.

Meantime? Buy SPECTRE on DVD / Blu-Ray /digital download. It is excellent fun, minor reservations and scant special features on the discs aside. You will enjoy the film be it as an engrossing thrill ride or even a background companion piece to dull domestic chores.




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