de­vel­op­ment hell

Your monthly glimpse into Hol­ly­wood’s hoped-for fu­ture

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert - Nick Setchfield’s

Ich bin ein ber­liner!

MUTE

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.

She Lives!

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?’”

Tow­er­ing Am­bi­tion!

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?’

Dark Deeds!

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.

Af­fir­ma­tive, Mas­ter!

K-9: TIME­QUAKE

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…

Croft’S Orig­i­nal!

TOMB RAIDER

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.

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