Your monthly glimpse into Hollywood’s hoped-for future
Puddin’ it about! HARLEY QUINN
We all know Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is going to steal Suicide Squad. And not just steal it but maybe slice off some of its fingers and mail them to the cops with a crazed ransom demand. Warner Bros clearly know this too – the word among the Gotham underworld is the studio’s developing a spin-off film for her. The plan is to populate the movie with an oestrogen-packed army of DC’s female characters, from Batgirl to Katana to Poison Ivy and the Birds of Prey. Let’s see the military industrial toy complex try not to target little girls with this one… The pitch for the project is said to have come from Robbie herself, who reportedly engaged her own writer to take a shot at it. She’ll also earn a producer’s credit. More power to her baseball bat, we say.
thunderbull? BOND 25
Somewhere in deepest Pinewood, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Aidan Turner and Jamie Bell are suspended above a pit of komodo dragons, locked in a brutal Bond-off while Barbara Broccoli watches, purring like a white Persian. Yes, the news that Daniel Craig has reportedly turned down a Max Zorin-style payday to renew his licence to kill has sent the media into casting speculation meltdown. One hard fact among the disinformation: don’t look for Sam Mendes to helm the next 007 caper (well, not unless Eon offer him a private orbital laser and volcanic pied-a-terre, and they
might…): “I think it’s time for somebody else. I’m a storyteller. And at the end of the day I want to make stories with new characters.” In the frame to helm the next mission is Susanne Bier, who made the BBC’s The Night
Manager such a compelling and stylish pseudo-Bond experience. Hey, did the odds on Hiddleston just shorten?
rock on! DOC SAVAGE
It’s a deal: Dwayne Johnson will take the title role in Shane Black’s big screen take on pulp superman Doc Savage. “He is literally master of everything,” raves The Artist Formerly Known As The Rock. “But here’s the number one reason I’m excited to become Doc Savage… He’s a fucking hilarious weirdo! Confidently, yet innocently, he has zero social graces whatsoever due to his upbringing so every interaction he has with someone is direct, odd, often uncomfortable and amazingly hilarious.” We fear Dwayne may be confusing Doc with someone he once met on the upper deck of a night bus but hey, let’s stay optimistic here. Black promises the film will stay true to the character’s ’30s roots: “It’s all about ingenuity and cleverness and thought. It wasn’t based on satellite tracking and this infinitude of gadgets. You have to find the clever, old-school ways that Doc gets out of traps.” Expect some pulp era globe-hopping too: “Back then you could still look around, and the world was full of uncharted places… Today if there’s a yeti we would have found him.”
Jason lives! dumb kids die! FRIDAY THE 13TH
Old horror franchises never die. They just keep coming at you. Next in line for a reboot from beyond the grave is hockeymasked charmer Jason Voorhees, longtime bane of Crystal Lake’s TripAdvisor page. Producer Brad Fuller tells The Reel World that the movie will give us a new perspective on Mr V: “You kind of have to understand Jason Voorhees, so we go back and we kind of start over and work our way forward. Origin-ish, but it’s an origin that no one has seen before. Obviously Pamela’s there [Jason’s dear old mum] but it’s a little bit different from what you’ve seen before.” Don’t look for Blair Witch style camcorder creepiness. “There were a lot of found footage scripts that they wanted us to make,” says Fuller. “I was not going to do that because I don’t think that can exist in Jason Voorhees’ world.” The latest draft of the screenplay is by Aaron Guzikowski, who’s also writing The Wolf Man for Universal.
There were a lot of found footage scripts that they wanted us to make
killer queen! THE MUMMY
In a cloud of ancient dust the first synopsis for Universal’s Mummy reboot has staggered, blinking, from the tomb. The movie will pit Tom Cruise against a female antagonist: an Egyptian queen “whose destiny was unjustly taken from her” and who now awakens in the present day, “bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.” That’s one hell of a Tinder profile. Star Trek Beyond’s Sofia Boutella plays the undead monarch while Russell Crowe is in talks to join the project as Dr Jekyll, part of Universal’s cunning plan to establish a functioning monsterverse. Crowe claims it’s a full-on horror take rather than a Brendan Fraser style Disneyland ride: “This one is more designed to seriously scare the shit out of you. It’s very interesting, what they’re going to do with that stuff. I’ve had a couple of chats about it with the director.” The curse is fulfilled 9 June 2017.
the definite article! THE PREDATOR
As well as prepping Doc Savage: Fucking Hilarious Weirdo Shane Black is also deep in preproduction on his resurrection of the Predator franchise. Fred Dekker – who co-wrote the screenplay with Black – tells The Movie Crypt Podcast that the next film won’t necessarily reheat the trusted pick-em-offin-the-jungle formula that made the original film such a suspensefest: “If you think of the first Predator as Alien, ours is much more Aliens. It’s not Ten Little Indians, it’s not let’s kill off all of our characters… Our idea was okay, we know that story already. What’s behind the curtain? Why are they here? What’s the bigger picture of this? I think these are questions you can answer, or at least explore, without defeating that sense of scariness. And who knows if their agenda’s changed?” Tough questions, but then these are tough times. Filming begins this autumn for a 2 March 2018 release and Black is shooting for a hard R rating.
the life aquatic! THE SHAPE OF WATER
It’s the oldest story in the world. Boy meets girl. Girl meets gill. That’s the essence of Guillermo del Toro’s next movie, pitched as an otherworldly romance in Cold War era America. Set in 1963, it’s the tale of Elisa, a mute janitor – played by Paddington’s Sally Hawkins – who works at a secret lab where an amphibious man is being held captive. Naturally she falls for his submersible, oxygen-defying charms and devises a plan to bust him out – only to discover that the lab may be a safer bet than the world outside… Think of it as Hellboy’s Abe Sapien, only with more kissing, less goggles. Man Of Steel’s Michael Shannon is currently being courted to play the villain and Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg and The Cabin In The Woods’ Richard Jenkins are also expected to star. Del Toro’s aiming to begin filming this Fox Searchlight production this summer.