ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL
We all assumed James Cameron would finally get around to helming this adaptation of the classic Japanese manga once he’d finished with the world of Avatar. Only now do we realise he will never be finished with the world of Avatar, exiled to Pandora like one of those potential Mars colonists forced to contemplate a one-way ticket to the red planet. So he’s taking a step back to produce this tale of a 26th century female cyborg, letting Sin City’s Robert Rodriguez get on with the messy business of directing it. “We’re already like two kids building a go-kart, just having fun riffing creatively and technically,” says Cameron. “This project is near and dear to me, and there’s nobody I trust more than Robert, with his technical virtuosity and rebel style, to take over the directing reins.” Cameron continues to prep no less than three Avatar sequels, doubtlessly weeping into his beard as Earth recedes on the scanner screen.
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Don’t look for any biplaneswatting Empire State showdowns in the next King Kong movie. Star Tom Hiddleston has confirmed that the big ape’s imminent big-screen comeback is no mere remake. “It’s not set in the ’30s,” he tells Variety. “There’s no movie director with a map. There’s no out-of-work actress down on her luck. All of that stuff is respected, we’re just trying to do
Rebecca Ferguson in the frame for Ridley Scott’s Alien: Paradise Lost… Creed helmer Ryan Coogler linked to Marvel’s Black Panther… Joe Cornish, Doug Liman and Shane Black in contention to replace Rupert Wyatt as director of Gambit… Kingsman sequel locked for June 2017… Ari Sandel in talks to direct Monster High… New Line moving forward on Annabelle sequel… Lionsgate adapting graphic novel Z-Men… Luther’s Neil Cross set to write Escape From New York remake for Twentieth Century Fox… Steven Spielberg says he’ll “probably” do Indiana Jones 5 with Harrison Ford… Ron Perlman joining Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them… James McAvoy teaming with M Night Shyamalan on supernatural thriller Split… Jeremy Irons and Brendan Gleeson joining Assassin’s Creed… Sony developing an animated Ghostbusters movie… Matthew Vaughn orbiting SF epic Ascension… Twentieth Century Fox adapting RL Stine’s Fear Street books… Ellen Page in talks for Flatliners remake… something new with the myth because Kong is an icon of movies. I think he’s someone people want to see again.” Rumours of a funky ’70s setting have been stoked by word that co-star Samuel L Jackson has recently been learning to pilot a vintage ’Nam era helicopter – though given his cosmic level of bad-ass cool that may simply be for shopping trips to Walmart. Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures have confirmed that ubermonkey shall clash with megalizard in 2020 monsterfest Godzilla Vs Kong, following Godzilla 2 in 2018.
Expect a lighter touch among all the Viking apocalypse
The colour-coded cast is coming together for Lionsgate’s take on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Japan’s spandex-heavy small screen export from the ’90s. Marco Polo’s Ludi Lin will play the Black Ranger while RJ Cyler – recently seen in Me And Earl And The Dying Girl – gets to be Blue. Meanwhile The Martian’s Naomi Scott is the big-screen incarnation of the Pink Ranger, joining newcomer Dacre Montgomery as Red. We’re still waiting to hear who’ll complete the Zord-battling spectrum as the Yellow Ranger. Don’t expect a reboot – the new movie is said to preserve the continuity of the franchise while providing a neat jumping on point for anyone unfamiliar with the original. Word is the new Rangers will tangle with villainous fave Scorpina, Rita Repulsa’s shapeshifting minion in the old show. Project Almanac’s Dean Israelite directs, targeting a 13 January 2017 release.
WHaT dreams may come!
Neil Gaiman’s Dream King remains bound for the big screen. Set to be directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the project recently jumped from Warner Bros to sister studio New Line Cinema, officially home to the quirkier content of DC’s Vertigo line. Now producer David Goyer reveals that another screenwriter is taking a crack at condensing the sprawling 75-issue saga of the Endless into a viable slice of multiplex entertainment. “We’re just about to do a new draft,” he tells Collider. “We’re just starting a rewrite with a really fantastic writer… but I can’t quite announce it yet.” Goyer’s confident that the movie will go into production next year. Johnny Depp – once a potential Sandman himself – will produce and star in another Gaiman adaptation, children’s time travel tale Fortunately, The Milk, potentially to be directed by Edgar Wright from a script by Flight Of The Conchords star Bret McKenzie.
caesar THe day!
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
Spot the tiny title tweak? What was once War Of The Planet Of The Apes is now War For The Planet Of The Apes – surely a tantalising hint that the next movie in the simian saga will see the ape hordes take on humanity in a savage, blood-drenched battle over irritatingly repetitive prepositions. Jurassic World’s Judy Greer is set to return as Cornelia, chimp bride of Andy Serkis’s Caesar, while Karin Konoval is back as Maurice, surely the greatest screen orangutan since King Louie. Or at least Cuddles the Monkey. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid’s Steve Zahn joins the cast as a new mo-cap primate while Woody Harrelson supplies the human villainy. Matt Reeves is back in the director’s chair, working from a screenplay he co-wrote with The Wolverine’s Mark Bomback. The knuckledragging mayhem is unleashed 14 July 2017.