de­vel­op­ment hell

Your monthly glimpse into Hol­ly­wood’s hoped- for fu­ture

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red alert -

The Bronze age! DOC SAV­AGE

Shane Black has found his Man of Bronze. Stand down, Tom Jones – it’s none other than the Rock who’s in his sights. “Doc Sav­age is sort of in the ether now,” Black tells Thril­list. “We’re hop­ing to make it some­time next year. I would very much like to do Doc with a fel­low named Dwayne John­son if we can make that work. I made a de­ci­sion that Dwayne is the guy. It’s on the back burner while he’s busy.” We like to imag­ine “busy” for the Rock in­volves rac­ing su­per­charged mus­cle cars while ca­su­ally sav­ing Cal­i­for­nia from a mon­ster earth­quake. A globe- trekking high ad­ven­turer from the 1930s golden age of Amer­i­can pulp mag­a­zines, Doc last came to the screen in 1975. It’s a dream project for Black, a life­long fan of the char­ac­ter. “If [ peo­ple are] in­tro­duced to it they’ll get to know, hope­fully, what I came to love as a kid.”

Sea change! AQUA­MAN

Crazed mav­er­ick James Wan vows his take on Aqua­man will in­ject a volatile com­pound called fun into the gloomy proto- mat­ter of the DC Uni­verse. “Even my darker hor­ror films gen­er­ally are still very fun and I think that’s im­por­tant for me and the kind of films I make,” the Con­jur­ing helmer de­clares. “Aqua­man is a char­ac­ter that a lot of peo­ple have made fun of over the years and I just think it’s fun to ac­tu­ally show a re­ally dif­fer­ent, cool, badass side to this char­ac­ter, but

at the same time, let’s not for­get to have fun with him.” We re­peat: fun. Wan’s also ex­cited by the prospect of some deep wa­ter ex­plo­ration. “Isn’t it crazy to think that we’ve ex­plored space more than we have ex­plored the depths of our ocean?” he asks

Slash­film. “That just fires up my imag­i­na­tion about po­ten­tial sea mon­sters and cool crea­tures.” The

Rum Di­ary’s Am­ber Heard has

just signed on as Mera, su­per­pow­ered Queen of At­lantis.

The Bat fleck rises! BAT­MAN

Ben Af­fleck’s Dark Knight just about es­caped the om­nisuck of

Bat­man V Su­per­man: Dawn Of

Jus­tice with his dig­nity in­tact. Now comes word that he’s still com­mit­ted to bring­ing his own vi­sion of the Gotham guardian to the big screen. “There’s a script that he’s writ­ten which is a re­ally cool idea,” his long­time agent Pa­trick White­sell tells The

Hol­ly­wood Re­porter. Af­fleck col­lab­o­rated on the screen­play with DC Comics supremo Ge­off Johns, and BVS helmer Zack Snyder be­lieves the triple- threat star will di­rect it, too: “Oh yeah, for sure. I think [ di­rect­ing it] is kind of the pre­req­ui­site, hope­fully, for him do­ing it.”

Kevin Smith – who di­rected Af­fleck in Chas­ing Amy and

Mall­rats – be­lieves he’ll take the BVS flak to heart. “I guar­an­tee you he’s read every­thing… and he’s like, ‘ Okay, th­ese are all the pit­falls my script isn’t go­ing to fall into.’” Bring on the sun­shine and Bat- pup­pies, Ben.

Whip-crack away! IN­DI­ANA JONES 5

Shorty, we’re home… Yes, it’s a done deal: Har­ri­son Ford will re­unite with Steven Spiel­berg on a fifth In­di­ana Jones movie, set for re­lease 19 July 2019. “I’ve al­ways thought there was an op­por­tu­nity to do an­other,” Ford tells the BBC with a rogu­ish scowl, “but I didn’t want to do it with­out Steven. And I didn’t want to do it with­out a re­ally good script. And hap­pily we’re work­ing on both. Steven is de­vel­op­ing a script now that I think we’re go­ing to be very happy with.” The screen­play will be writ­ten by David Koepp, the man who penned In­di­ana Jones And The King­dom Of The Crys­tal Skull – no, lis­ten, they have top men work­ing on it right now… top men… And fran­chise vet­eran Frank Mar­shall pro­duces along­side Lucasfilm supremo Kath­leen Kennedy. Given the time that’s passed since the ’ 50s capers of Skull, will this one see Indy ad­ven­tur­ing in the late ’ 60s? Easy Riders Of The Lost Ark, any­one?

End­less pain! SAND­MAN

The Dream­ing is over for Joseph Gor­don- Le­vitt. He was set to di­rect – and po­ten­tially star in – New Line’s adap­ta­tion of Neil Gaiman’s epic slice of comic book mythol­ogy. Now he’s gone, just as the stu­dio an­nounces that Fi­nal Des­ti­na­tion 5’ s Eric Heis­serer will take a shot at the screen­play, work­ing from a treat­ment by David Goyer. “A few months ago I came to re­alise that the folks at New Line and I just don’t see eye to eye on what makes Sand­man spe­cial,” says Gor­don- Le­vitt, “and what a film adap­ta­tion could/ should be. So un­for­tu­nately I de­cided to re­move my­self from the project. I wish noth­ing but the best for the team mov­ing for­ward.” A po­ten­tial film ver­sion of Sand­man has been tor­mented by the flames of De­vel­op­ment Hell since the mid ’ 90s, but Gaiman, an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer on this one, re­mains zen. “For me, what’s im­por­tant is the 2,500 pages of Sand­man, not a movie that may or may not ever hap­pen.”

Fur­ther mu­ta­tions! THE NEW MU­TANTS

We may well see some fa­mil­iar ge­netic ma­te­rial in The New Mu­tants, Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Fox’s next evo­lu­tion of the X- Men uni­verse. Based on the ’ 80s Mar­vel ti­tle that in­tro­duced a fresh gen­er­a­tion of gifted young­sters, it’s ru­moured to in­clude Alexan­dra Shipp – Storm in X- Men: Apoc­a­lypse – and James McAvoy’s Pro­fes­sor X as con­nec­tive tis­sue to the core films in the fran­chise. “Tra­di­tion­ally the New Mu­tants have some char­ac­ters that cross over from the main­line X- Men movies,” hints pro­ducer Si­mon Kin­berg. “I would say it’s likely that you will see some fa­mil­iar faces.” New­com­ers to Xavier’s school are said to in­clude a cou­ple of ris­ing genre stars: The Witch’s Anya Tay­lor- Joy as the sor­cer­ous Magik, sis­ter of Colos­sus, and Game Of Thrones’ Maisie Wil­liams as Scot­tish ly­can­thrope Wolfs­bane. The Fault In Our Stars’ Josh Boone di­rects.

Croft’s orig­i­nal! TOMB RAIDER

So you’ve just starred in one of the most hu­mon­gous block­busters in movie his­tory. What do you do for an en­core? If you’re Star Wars: The Force Awak­ens star Daisy Ri­d­ley – and odds are you’re not – then you’re up for a spot of grunty trea­sure- plun­der­ing in the Lara Croft re­boot. “There have been con­ver­sa­tions,” she tells The Hol­ly­wood Re­porter. “I’m wait­ing for some­one to say, ‘ I want you, let’s do it!’” Ri­d­ley chased the role on the ad­vice of fel­low Star War­rior – and gamer – John Boyega, who thought she’d be per­fect for the younger, more grounded take on Lara in­spired by 2013’ s game re­boot. “Mak­ing Lara Croft feel like a real hu­man be­ing, that’s def­i­nitely some­thing we want to bring to the big screen,” di­rec­tor Roar Uthaug tells IGN. “I’m hop­ing to bring some of my Nor­we­gian sen­si­bil­i­ties to the fran­chise… We’ll want to make it feel like a mod­ern ac­tion movie and make what’s go­ing on feel like it’s go­ing on for real.”

I think it’s fun to show a dif­fer­ent, cool, badass side to this char­ac­ter

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