Your monthly glimpse into Hollywood’s hoped-for future
Ich bin ein berliner!
Director Duncan Jones is returning to his indie sci-fi roots, following next summer’s Warcraft: The Beginning with something a little more aligned with his lo-fi 2009 debut Moon. It’s a long cherished dream project for the Jones boy – “I’ve been working towards making Mute for 12 years now,” he says – and will reunite him with two of his collaborators on Moon: Sam Rockwell and composer Clint Mansell (“Can’t do sci-fi without Sam and Clint!”). Set in Berlin “40 years from today”, it’s pitched as “a science fiction Casablanca, exploring the shadows of an immigrant-filled city where East is clashing with West”. True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgård will play the mute bartender of the title, scouring the city for his missing girlfriend, while Ant-Man star Paul Rudd is a potentially shady American surgeon. We’re already imagining Bowie’s Berlin trilogy meets Blade Runner and we like it.
THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN
Another Universal horror icon is set to take the spotlight in the studio’s slate of monsterverse pictures. Famously incarnated in the shock-haired form of Elsa Lanchester in James Whale’s 1935 classic, the Bride will earn a solo movie alongside the likes of Dracula and the Wolf Man. Universal plans to exhume a new monster movie on an annual basis, beginning with The Mummy in 2017. Expect a modern setting, a grounded approach and
contemporary resonance. “This is not a heightened world,” says writer/producer Chris Morgan. “We’re exploring issues of family identity and questions of ‘Where do I belong in this world?’” Existentialism… from beyond the grave! “We’re creating a mythology,” fellow franchise supremo Alex Kurtzman tells Variety. “We’re looking at this canon and thinking ‘What are the rules? What can we break and what are the ones that are untouchable?’”
THE DARK TOWER
The struggle to bring Stephen King’s Dark Tower saga to the screen deserves a book of its own. Possibly eight. Each of them doorstoppers. The hellish, nearly decade-long development process may have felt like a trudge across Hollywood’s very own apocalyptic wasteland of creative despair but hope may finally be in sight… Interstellar’s Matthew McConaughey is the latest marquee name to be attached to the project, though whether he’s circling King’s hero Roland Deschain the Gunslinger or villainous sorcerer Randall Flagg, aka The Man In Black, remains to be seen. The adaptation is set to be directed by Nikolaj Arcel, co-writer of the Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and helmer of 2012’s Oscar nominated A Royal Affair. Sony has now nailed down a 13 January 2017 release. Ron Howard – once signed on as director – remains onboard as producer.
GET The ball Rolling!
INDIANA JONES 5
Put the hat down, Chris Pratt. And keep your filthy mitts off the bullwhip, Bradley Cooper. Despite rumblings of an imminent reboot for the snake-fearing relic chaser it looks like Harrison Ford may complete his nostalgic victory lap as Han Solo and Rick Deckard with another shot at Indy. Steven Spielberg’s certainly up for it – “I can’t wait to work with you again on Indiana Jones 5,” he told Ford during a recent tribute show. “This is no announcement,” he clarified, “just my fervent hope.” Sorry, Steven, we think you’ll find that’s legally binding under article 17, paragraph 12 of the Don’t Get Our Hopes Up Accord. Ford’s equally game, it seems: “I’d love to do another Indiana Jones,” he tells Entertainment Weekly. “A character that has a history and a potential, kind of a rollicking good movie ride for the audience. Steven Spielberg as a director – what’s not to like?” Producer Frank Marshall, meanwhile, insists, “We’re not doing the Bond thing where we’re going to call somebody else Indiana Jones… we have to figure this out.” Pratt! The hat!
We’re looking at this canon and thinking ‘What are the rules?’
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK
With all the chatter about the upcoming roster of DC superhero movies one title that’s slipped from the news feeds of late is Justice League Dark (Justice League Hazelnut and Justice League Salted Caramel will eventually complete the range). Teaming the more morally ambiguous characters from the shadows of the DCU, it was a dream project for Guillermo del Toro, who bailed on directing it earlier this year. Now comes word that it may still be in with a chance of a greenlight. Rumours peg Colin Farrell as Warner Bros’s preferred choice for cocky occultist John Constantine with Monica Bellucci in the mix for Madame Xanadu and Ron Perlman a predictable possibility for Swamp Thing, with Ewan McGregor a fave for Jason Blood, alias Etrigan the Demon. The Dark Knight Rises’ Ben Mendelsohn is said to be the frontrunner for the film’s villain, Anton Arcane. Potential directors include Evil Dead remake helmer Fede Alvarez.
Prepare for the ultimate indignity, Doctor – beaten to the big screen by your former trundling, laser-snouted robo-dog. Yes, while the Time Lord’s cinematic ambitions remain a distant twinkle in the eyes of BBC execs, tin hound K-9 is being lined up for a solo movie. It’s set to be written by co-creator Bob Baker – better known these days for Wallace & Gromit – who retains the rights to the character. The villain of the piece is another Baker co-creation, the mad Time Lord Omega, who bedevilled 1973’s “The Three Doctors” and 1983’s “Arc Of Infinity”. Pitched as an action adventure set in deep space, it promises to showcase a hi-tech K-9 “for today’s cinema”. The filmmakers are targeting a 2017 release. Somewhere the Blake’s 7 crew are already shuddering at the thought of Orac: Positronic Gigolo…
The Lara Croft reboot has finally locked a director. His name is Roar Uthaug, which should, by rights, belong to a bloodsmeared Viking berserker. In fact he’s a Norwegian filmmaker, the director of this year’s Scandidisaster flick The Wave and 2006 thriller Cold Prey. There’s a new screenwriter in the frame too: Geneva Robertson-Dworet, one of the co-writers of Transformers 5 whose unproduced screenplay Hibernation – a high-concept futuristic thriller – garnered some sizeable buzz on Hollywood’s fabled Black List. Lara was last seen on the big screen way back in 2003’s Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle Of Life. The new movie will take its cue from the game franchise and prequelise the PlayStation icon, giving us a life-shaping origin adventure that will, no doubt, explain the complex psychological underpinnings behind those semi-orgasmic grunts and tight, tight shorts.