…DISPATCHES FROM THE FRONT LINES OF FILM..
Going to a party this weekend? I know I am! So it helps to be up to date on all the latest cinematic talking points. Here, at a glance, is a mini digest of news and comments, pre prepared, for your consideration. You are most welcome..
VENOM MOVIE FROM SONY IS LAUNCHING ITS OWN SHARED UNIVERSE:
This COULD mean that there is an end in sight for the Marvel Cinematic Universe use of Spider-Man? Or that Marvel had better work out a new deal with Sony. Things remain unclear as to quite the level of divorce /marriage between the studios. Burt Black Cat, Silver Sable, Venom sequels and possible Sinister Six films are a heartbeat away from development. All rides on VENOM and they may therefore push for a kid friendly PG-13 rating. It does look good, though. ‘Like a Turd. In the Wind’.
OBI-WAN KENOBI FILM ON HOLD?
If Ewan McGregor is in the dark, so are we. He is the leading man of record. What we know is that development was progressing and some reports had sets being designed and built for a filming start next year. That went out the window when Disney /LucasFilm panicked over SOLO not performing very well at the Box Office relative to expectation. This is incredibly silly. An Obi-wan film is what SHOULD have followed The Last Jedi. Would have been a yuge hit. As indeed, Solo might have been, but for its unfortunately garbled release date and related marketing, not to mention the extended budget and schedule thanks to the change in directors etc.
DC / WARNERS MAKE IT UP AS THEY GO ALONG?
Almost one year on from the shocking failure of JUSTICE LEAGUE. It is charming but also a bit rubbish and hardly screamed for sequels and universe building. Indeed, a reboot would have been the obvious reaction. But with WONDER WOMAN 84 a guaranteed hit independent of its counterpart DC properties and AQUAMAN in the can and ready to release..they have HAD to work around the setback. And so, we have neither clean slate nor full development and continuation. And as part of that? Continued ambiguity over whether BEN AFFLECK (Happy Bithday, btw) will return in Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN or indeed whether Henry Cavill will accept the deal offered him to return as SUPERMAN. But that’s ok because we ARE getting a SUPERGIRL movie and also a Harley-Quinn (Margot Robbie) led BIRDS OF PREY picture coming our way. And MAYBE Tom Cruise will be GREEN LANTERN. Yep. Like I say, they make it up as they go along, obviously? 😉
IDRIS ELBA IS NOT JAMES BOND. NOT YET, ANYWAY.
But that’s NOT because he’s BLACK. Honest. It’s coz he’s ‘too OLD’. So sayeth EVERY thread comment that is in no way racist or ageist, as though it’s one or other and one less acceptable as an ‘ism’ in a kind of bizarre contest, with Idris stuck in the middle. We covered this separately. Stick to FACTS. Fact 1: a Producer/Director may well have had a chat that got leaked, as with the Sony thing in 2014, whereby Amy Pascal cited Idris as a next 007 contender (mainly because the American market see him as ‘British’ rather than ‘black’, I suspect. Plus women fancy him and he’s cool and nice and great in a fight?). It is NOT political correctness gone mad. It’s commercial vision. Fact 2: Idris made a jokey ‘Elba, Idris Elba’ comment on twitter. It’s a tweet. NOT an official announcement. He has regularly trolled the trollers, with skill and finesse and humour. This is another example. He’s saying it could be him, sure. But equally, it could be anyone and anyone would enjoy that speculation /hype. Fact 3: NO official announcement yet besides the fact that DANIEL CRAIG will return in BOND 25, directed by Danny Boyle, and it is released in 2019. Fact 4: Some casting calls have been shared on;line; seeking RUSSIAN bad guys /girls. Wonder why?? Not in ANY way connected to current almost Cold War proportion of tension between UK /Russia? But even so, there is STILL time to cast Idris as a baddie in the Red Grant /Sanchez mould: a credible physical as well as psychological threat. He’s already facing Statham/The Rock in the Hobbs and Shaw (Fast and Furious spin off) movie next year. THAT will be a fight to enjoy onscreen but Idris vs Craig? In close quarter combat would bee even BETTER. Just a thought..
STAR TREK IS BACK. BIG TIME!
We have a new Spock: ETHAN PECK. He will appear on DISCOVERY. We have the one and only PICARD: Patrick Stewart, returning to the role he defined and that still defines him after 30 years. Last seen in 2002, Picard signed off with the mediocrity that was NEMESIS (though it had amazing action and introduced the world to TOM HARDY!). Quite how he comes back? And whether it’s a one man show or ensemble? All will be revealed in due course. Seems the television Trek is in better fighting shape that its cinematic counterpart. The next film was due to feature BOTH Chris Pine as Kirk AND Chris Hemsworth as his Dad. Both actors appear to have been forced to depart the project as Paramount tighten belts, given that the last instalment did not exactly break box office records and ANYONE can be replaced, anytime..hopefully it gets resolved. Trek kinda needs Pine; Hemsworth however does NOT need another franchise given that he has THOR /Marvel and next year’s MEN IN BLACK REBOOT, too.
That’s a wrap! Have a good weekend. More to come next week.