Your monthly glimpse into Hollywood’s hoped-for future
You’re gonna need a bigger shark! MEG
Awight, pin back yer lug-’oles, sharpish. It’s Jason Statham here. That’s right, yer favourite movie hard man, takin’ over Development bleedin’ Hell to bring yer some news. Only gone and scored the starrin’ role in Meg, ain’t I? Wot’s Meg? Don’t be dense. I’ll hit yer. It’s a film, innit, based on a book by some geezer called Steve Alten. Another geezer called Jon Turteltaub’s gonna direct. He done National Treasure with that Cage. I’m goin’ against a giant prehistoric shark. In Hong Kong. A Megalodon, innit? Largest marine predator ever, they reckon. I can totally take it. Smack it right up. I mean, are they havin’ a giraffe? And listen – I could totally take a prehistoric giraffe an’ all. Wouldn’t even sweat my balls. Hold on, wot’s all this sarf-of-theriver tough-nut toss you’re puttin’ in my gob, sunshine? Who do you think I am – Danny fahkin’ Dyer?
Pandoramania! AVATAR 2,3, 4, 5…
Come with us now to a top secret Hollywood research facility where James Cameron is breeding unnecessary Avatar sequels under strict laboratory conditions. Look, there’s another one bubbling up in a Petri dish. Friskier than Tribbles, these things. Yes, no less than four – four! – more Avatar movies are on their way, staking out Christmas release slots in 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023. “We have decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic process,” declares Cameron, a crazed, potentially
world-ending glint in his eye. “So far, the art I’m seeing is, in pure imagination, really far beyond the first film. It’s going to be a true epic saga.” The plan is to shoot all four films as one huge production. “We’re working, essentially, across eight hours of story,” Cameron reveals. “It’s more the way you would shoot a miniseries.” That’s an industrial amount of blue pixels…
Willing and Cable! DEADPOOL 2
It’s official – the Merc with a Mouth has scored a sequel. Yes, just when you thought it was safe to build the fourth wall again, Twentieth Century Fox has greenlit the encore to February’s preposterously profitable franchise-launcher. And they’ve reunited the winning team: director Tim Miller, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and, of course, star Ryan Reynolds. This time Deadpool will tangle with classic X-verse character Cable, a telepathic mutant soldier from a future timeline who’s – potentially – the adult son of Scott Summers and Jean Grey’s clone (do write in if you need an information pack). “It’s the same reason we had Colossus [in the first film],” Miller tells IGN. “He’s a straight man. And I think Deadpool needs a straight man. Cable is the ultimate, archetypal, silent, strong and cynical warrior, which Deadpool is not.” Expect the snark to fly either late 2017 or early 2018.
Fast exit! THE FLASH
The Fastest Man Alive is looking for a new helmer. Seth Grahame Smith was all set to write and direct the scarlet speedster’s solo movie as part of Warner Bros’s Marvel-baiting battleplan to bring the DCU to the big screen. Now he’s gone, departing the project in a supersonic blur of “creative differences”. Just look at that dust! The project will keep his screenplay – based on a treatment by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller – and Ezra Miller is still the man in the streamlined spandex, on target for a 16 March 2018 release. Director James Wan, meanwhile, has scotched speculation that he’s poised to bail on July 2018’s Aquaman in the aftermath of Batman V Superman: Jar Of Wee’s decidedly mixed reaction. And Ben Affleck is now officially a lock to write and direct that standalone Batman movie on the Warner slate. Word is we’ll see an entire Arkham’s worth of classic Bat-villains in this one. Crazy Quilt! Kite Man! Mister Camera! You’re gonna be in showbiz!
Just how many shared universes can the cinematic multiverse hold before reality itself suffers a quantum meltdown? Brace yourselves. We may be about to find out. Warner Bros has just declared that the upcoming reboot of its dormant Scooby-Doo franchise – titled SCOOB, no less, hinting at a SHIELD-styled superspy makeover for the ghoul-chasing hippies – is its “first shot at unlocking the whole Hanna-Barbera universe.” Just imagine it: Top Cat Vs Huckleberry Hound: Dawn Of Snagglepuss… The Jetsons: Age Of Flintstone… Captain Caveman: Squiddly Diddly War… Face it, who needs Ant-Man when we have Inch High, Private Eye? SCOOB is targeting a 21 September 2018 release. Expect the Large Hadron Collider to implode shortly afterwards.
Everyone’s favourite billionaire industrialist playboy has scored another payday. Robert Downey Jr will play Tony Stark in the Sony-Marvel lovechild Spider Man: Homecoming, continuing the relationship established in Captain America: Civil War and strengthening the new film’s ties to the MCU. This reboot of the reboot will spare us the well-worn origin story in favour of charting the Webslinger’s journey to superherohood, as interpreted by young Tom Holland. “There are events that made Peter who he was, and we’ll certainly allude to those,” Marvel’s Kevin Feige tells Collider, “but we’re much more focused on the future and how he continues to grow and have a steep learning curve after the adventure he had in Civil War on how to be his own hero.” Also joining the movie are One Life To Live’s Laura Harrier and The Grand Budapest Hotel’s Tony Revolori, as well as pop star Zendaya. But don’t look for Michael Keaton to bring some Batman vs Spider-Man metatextuality: he’s passed on the chance to play the villain, rumoured to be the Vulture.
Clawing it Back! WOLVERINE 3
A blitz of casting news for the third Wolverine movie (or maybe the second if we all agree to believe 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine was simply an act of mass psychosis). Narcos star Boyd Holbrook will face Hugh Jackman as the film’s lead villain, described as “a relentless, calculating and intense head of security for a global enterprise who is set against Wolverine.” Also signed are The Office’s Stephen Merchant – at 6’ 7” surely an inspired, counter-intuitive piece of casting for X-Men character Puck? – and the mighty sneer of Richard E Grant, who’s said to be playing a villainous mad scientist type. Patrick Stewart is also in the mix as Professor X. James Mangold directs from a screenplay by David James Kelly and filming kicks off in May, with locations set to include New Orleans and New Mexico. It’s meant to be Jackman’s farewell to the claws, but as a wise Scotsman once said, never say never again…
The art I’m seeing is, in pure imagination, far beyond the first film