Your monthly glimpse into Hollywood’s hoped-for future
What’s up the Wizard’s sleeve?
MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN
Move over, Doctor Strange! Or at least shuffle an inch or two sideways into the Astral Plane. Rival comic book sorcerer Mandrake the Magician is heading for the big screen in the improbable form of Sacha Baron Cohen. Yes, the man behind Borat and Ali G is set to play the dapper, impeccably moustached occultist in a new Warner Bros blockbuster. The creation of Lee Falk, Mandrake first appeared in 1934, predating even Batman and Superman. A stage magician with a neat line in top hats and hypnotic illusions, he originally came to cinemas in a cliffhanging serial in 1939 and made the small screen in animated form in ’80s fave Defenders Of The Earth (all together now: “Master of magic, spells and illusion! Enemies crumble in fear and confusion! Mandrake!” Oh, come on, put some effort in…) Tropic Thunder’s Etan Cohen – no relation – directs.
indy lives! INDIANA JONES 5
Dispiriting news for deadly snakes, vengeful Nazis and purveyors of archaeological death-traps everywhere: turns out Indiana Jones is officially as indestructible as his hat. “I think this one is straight down the pike for the fans,” Steven Spielberg tells The Hollywood Reporter as he prepares a fifth bout of whipsnapping, globe-hopping action. “The one thing I will tell you is that I’m not killing off Harrison
[Ford] at the end of it.” Guess that rules out Shia LaBeouf having a moody five minutes with a lightsaber… “It won’t just be a one-off,” promises Disney chairman Bob Iger. “Right now we’re focused on a reboot, or a continuum and then a reboot of some sort. Well, we’ll bring him back, then we have to figure out what comes next. That’s what I mean. It’s not really a reboot, it’s a boot – a reboot.” Coming 19 July 2019: Indiana Jones And The Quote Of Wilful Obscurity.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
Scott Lang’s circumstances have not improved in the sequel. “He’s a fugitive in most of the first
Ant-Man movie,” director Peyton Reed tells Modern Myth Media. “He’s just a bigger fugitive now.” We’re not sure if this is a shameless pun on our hero’s newfound giant-size schtick but one thing’s certain: Evangeline
Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne – aka the Wasp – will be a true partner in peril. “It’s something we’re excited about,” says Reed. “For me as a comic nerd, I always thought of Ant-Man and Wasp as a team and that’s a lot of what the second movie is really about: how they work together, what their personal and professional relationships are like. To show her finally fully formed in this movie is really exciting… It’s every bit as much her movie as it is Scott Lang’s.” As to whether
Michael Peña’s Luis and the rest of the Ant Hill Mob will return, Reed says “there’s a fighting chance for that to happen.”
lunar lander! MOONFALL
Unrepentant devastation junkie
Roland Emmerich is plotting another imminent catastrophe for planet Earth. No, that Donald Trump biopic will just have to wait – this one’s called Moonfall. Close analysis of the title uncovers the craftily concealed premise: it’s the Moon, and it’s falling, and it’s falling on us. Panic in the streets! As Neil Armstrong’s footprints hurtle inexorably Earthwards only a handful of misfits can save the world. Possibly by building a giant baseball bat to knock our dear satellite chum back into orbit. With Bruce Willis taking the swing. You want ideas to goose up your blockbusters, Hollywood? We got ’em. Universal have picked up the project, pitched as Close Encounters Of The Third Kind meets 2012. Emmerich collaborated on the script with The Day After Tomorrow’s Harald Kloser and Extinction’s Spencer Cohen. Disaster fetishists got to stick together.
more moon doom! SEVENEVES
Hey, is this open season on the Moon or something? Turns out Ron Howard is also looking to bring a lunar cataclysm to the big screen. Don’t get a complex now, dear satellite chum… This one’s an adaptation of Neal Stephenson’s epic 2015 novel, which finds the Moon shattering, causing the inhabitants of Earth to flee to the stars. Five millennia later – and boy, we’re looking forward to that title card flashing up – the descendants of humanity, now evolved into seven races, return to their homeworld to find the planet utterly transformed. Well, Brian Matthew is still on Radio 2, but apart from that, utterly transformed. Howard is teaming on the project with screenwriter Bill Broyles, who wrote true-life NASA tale Apollo 13. It’ll be brought to us by Skydance Media, the production house behind the recent Star Trek and Terminator movies.
nautilus but nice!
20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA
Brace yourselves, people. We are about to reach peak Nemo. X-franchise supremo Bryan Singer is already committed to adapting Jules Verne’s classic for Twentieth Century Fox. The Wolverine’s James Mangold, meanwhile, is priming his own take for Disney, a movie that will explore the origins of the master of the oceans. Now our sonar readings reveal yet another Nautilus astern. Silent Hill’s Christophe Gans will direct this one for China’s Bliss Media. Intriguingly Gans plans to relocate Verne’s tale to a Chinese setting and is reportedly chasing an East-meets-West visual aesthetic. He’s already scouted Shanghai for potential location work and is looking to cast two Chinese actors in lead roles. Pre-production begins this autumn, just as Singer prepares his own plunge underwater. Anyone else fancy taking a crack at it? Plenty of room in the ocean…
howl soon is now? WE’RE WOLVES
Director Taika Waititi may currently be hammer-deep in the Marvel Universe, shooting the Asgardian apocalypse of Thor: Ragnarok, but he hasn’t forgotten his lo-fi, laff-packed roots. Seems he’s still keen to give us a sequel to 2014’s vampiric mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows. “We want to do it, and we’re coming up with story ideas,” he tells Entertainment Weekly. “The first film took us about seven years to make, and we don’t want to do that again. It’s a lot easier now that we have all the characters, and we know how we want to do it, and know that we can do it.” As the title not so subtly hints, the sequel will focus on the pack of lycanthropes we saw in the first film. “The same werewolf actors would come back,” says Waititi. “It would basically be Rhys [Darby] and Stu [Rutherford] vying for position as the alpha male in the werewolf gang.” The fur will fly…
We’ll bring Indy back, then we have to figure out what comes next