Your monthly glimpse into Hol­ly­wood’s hoped-for fu­ture

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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.”



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.



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.”



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.



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.



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.



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

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