de­vel­op­ment hell

Your monthly glimpse into Hol­ly­wood’s hoped-for fu­ture

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

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!

Zoinks! S.C.O.O.B

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.

stark Choice!

SPI­DER-MAN: HOME­COM­ING

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

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