de­vel­op­ment hell

Your monthly glimpse into Hol­ly­wood’s hoped-for fu­ture

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

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.

swat team!

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

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