Your monthly glimpse into Hollywood’s hoped-for future
ORIGINAL PIRATE MATERIAL
STAR WARS: HAN SOLO
So what’s the collective noun for 2,500 Han Solos? A smirk? A swagger? A Harrison? That’s the number of young hopefuls who have reportedly tested for the role of the Corellian space pirate in the upcoming prequel movie (yes, some casting decisions venture beyond simply typing the words Chris and Pratt…). Candidates to wear the blood-stripes include Age Of Ultron’s Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Jurassic World’s Nick Robinson, Arrow’s Colton Haynes, Fury’s Logan Lerman, Harry Potter’s Tom Felton and Fantastic Four’s Miles Teller. We like to think the auditioning process involved gutting a Tauntaun, drawling “I know” in an epically nonchalant manner and, of course, shooting first. That’s SHOOTING FIRST. Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan promises an unexpected take for this solo Solo. “Phil Lord and Chris Miller are going to make [it] and I can’t guess what that will be like – and I’m writing it.”
THE POWER OF FOUR!
Ridley Scott, it’s fair to say, is a man with ambition. Alien: Covenant will follow 2012’s Prometheus as the second film in a brand new xenomorphic quadrilogy. “It’s a very complex story,” shares the veteran filmmaker. “It’s an evolution of what I first did with Prometheus 1… I was amazed that in the three [films] that followed [1979’s Alien] no one asked the question ‘Why the Alien, who made it and why?’” The new film will see a colony ship named Covenant
arriving at a remote planet whose sole inhabitant is Michael
Fassbender’s synthetic David. “When that’s finished there’ll be another one and then another one which will gradually drive into the back entrance of the film in 1979… Why was this space jockey there and why did he have an Alien inside him? And those questions will be answered.” Filming begins this March at Sydney’s Fox Studios. Prometheus star Noomi
Rapace will, it seems, only briefly be seen as Elizabeth Shaw but we imagine Fassbender will be rather more than a disembodied head with terrific hair.
PARTNERS IN CRIMEFIGHTING!
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
Given its $520 million global box office haul it’s no wonder Marvel are keen to recreate the unique creative alchemy that powered last summer’s Ant-Man. The studio’s now locked screenwriters Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari for sequel duty alongside Adam McKay, who wrangled the first film’s script with star Paul Rudd. But returning director Peyton Reed is equally keen to shake up the winning formula, refusing to reheat the heist movie vibe of the original film. “We have an entirely different genre template,” he tells Comic Book Resources. Reed is also looking forward to seeing Evangeline Lilly inherit the shrink-suit. “I’m excited about the idea that Ant-Man and the Wasp were a partnership throughout the history of Marvel Comics. It’s a different dynamic than we’ve seen in the rest of the Marvel movies… a romantic partnership and a heroic partnership, so it’s going to be fun to play around with that and discover what the movie version of that is.”
BACK IN BLACK!
MEN IN BLACK 4
Just like Ghostbusters, the Men In Black franchise is set for a chromosomal shake-up. Longtime producer Laurie MacDonald says the next film in the series will see the debut of “a prominent woman in black”, cueing a brand new chapter for the neuralyser-wielding ET-chasers. “We sort of looked at the first three in retrospect as a bit of a trilogy,” she tells the BBC. “We tried to tell a story about those two characters and that relationship. It sounds silly because it’s a fun science fiction comedy but when you work on these things you sort of try to find some thematic basis underneath it. Now we are looking at a reinvention, but it’s a wonderful world to get back into.” Early reports had Will Smith skipping this sequel but MacDonald says there’s still a chance he’ll strap on the Ray-Bans for a fourth turn as Agent J. “Never count Will out…” As if we would.
DOING THE IMPOSSIBLE!
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 6
A welcome economic upswing awaits manufacturers of lifelike latex masks and self-destructing cassette tapes: Tom Cruise is reuniting with Rogue Nation writer/director Christopher McQuarrie for another bout of stunty spycraft with the Impossible Missions Force. McQuarrie reveals he’s itching to push the blockbuster franchise in a new direction. “I think the biggest thing I learned is you don’t always need as much as you think you do,” he tells Slashfilm of his MI:5 experience. “The motorcycle sequence was originally so much bigger, so much longer, and so much more involved. There were so many action sequences in the movie. You can make a bigger movie with less and I’m determined to do something leaner, less heavily reliant on plot, and a little stripped down.” Word is Rogue Nation’s Rebecca Ferguson will encore as the scene-stealing Isla Faust for the sixth big-screen Mission, currently set for summer 2017.
ARE YOU MY MUMMY?
We’d heard whispers along the ancient Nile that the Mummy reboot would unwrap a female immortal in place of the traditional male monster. Now comes word that Sofia Boutella – the showstoppingly deadly Gazelle in Kingsman: The Secret Service and soon to be seen in Star Trek Beyond – is in the frame for the lead role, reinventing the Universal horror icon with a gender twist as part of the studio’s masterplan for a shared creature-verse. Don’t look for her to face down Tom Cruise, though – the star’s reps have skewered rumours that recently linked him to the movie. No such denial from Angelina Jolie’s people over reports of her being pursued for the Bride Of Frankenstein remake, mind… The Mummy is targeting a 24 March 2017 release with Alex Kurtzman helming the pyramid-powered thrills and chills.
THE NORSE AWAKENS!
Its title may promise the end of days but look for the thunder god’s next adventure to deliver more of an offbeat vibe among all the hammer-hurling, Asgardian intrigue and blatant bice-ploitation. Star Chris Hemsworth believes director Taika Waititi will bring a new voice to the franchise. “I think it needs to be injected with that sort of smart wit and unexpected kind of humour, kind of what James Gunn came in and did with Guardians,” he tells Cinema Blend. “It was off-centre and unpredictable and I think we can definitely use a dose of that, you know. We’ve done regal, we’ve done Shakespeare… I think now it’s time to go ‘Okay, cool. Let’s try something different,’ and Taika just had such a brilliant take and funny kind of ideas about how we could do that.” The movie has a new writer in Stephany Folsom and Cate Blanchett is linked to one of the female leads, possibly Marvel villainess Amora the Enchantress. Tom Hiddleston returns as Loki while Mark Ruffalo gives it some Hulk.
It’s a different dynamic than we’ve seen in the rest of the movies