DE­VEL­OP­MENT HELL

Your monthly glimpse into Hol­ly­wood’s hoped-for fu­ture

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

THE UNDIS­COV­ERED DADDY! STAR TREK 4

Star Trek Be­yond has barely warped into cine­mas and al­ready we know where the fourth film is head­ing. It’s set to re-en­list Chris Hemsworth as George Kirk, fa­ther of James T, whose heroic self-sac­ri­fice in the open­ing mo­ments of 2009’s Star Trek not only made you cry but took your hot tears and made a nice big cup of snif­fle tea. The screen­play’s by JD Payne and Pa­trick McKay, the orig­i­nal writ­ers of Star Trek 3 be­fore the cre­ative warp core breach that ousted di­rec­tor Bob Orci. Given the next movie will clearly med­dle with the timestreams, what chance we’ll fi­nally see Wil­liam Shat­ner in­ter­act with the new cast? “I’ve talked to [Shat­ner] about it,” says pro­ducer JJ Abrams. “If Kirk had lived [in Star Trek Gen­er­a­tions] there’d be an an­swer. But there some­thing about his hav­ing died that makes it im­pos­si­ble.” Come now, JJ. We don’t be­lieve in the no-Will sce­nario…

DREAM WEAVER! ALIEN 5

Lord Ri­d­ley of Scott has just wrapped the pre­que­li­cious Alien: Covenant in Aus­tralia but Neill Blomkamp’s canon-fix­ing pitch for an Alien se­quel just won’t go away. First teased in early 2015, the dream project just won the back­ing of a key fig­ure in the Alien fran­chise: James Cameron, writer and di­rec­tor of 1986’s Aliens. “I think it works like gang­busters,” he says of Blomkamp’s take, which would res­ur­rect Sigour­ney Weaver’s Ri­p­ley by the cun­ning

cre­ative ploy of jam­ming its fin­gers in its ears and scream­ing “I can’t see you, Alien 3 and 4!” Cameron tells io9: “He shared it with me and I think it’s a very strong script and he could go make it tomorrow. I don’t know any­thing about the pro­duc­tion, and I don’t know what Ri­d­ley’s do­ing, but hope­fully there’ll be room for both of them. Like par­al­lel uni­verses.” Weaver’s also hope­ful she’ll kick Xenomorph ass again: “He has work to do and I have work to do. I’m hop­ing when we fin­ish those jobs we will cir­cle back and start to do it.”

FRESH FROM THE LAB! FRANKENSTEIN

Not every man is able to pull off the neck bolt. But if anyone can make it work as a style state­ment, it’s Javier Bar­dem. The Sky­fall star is said to be up for some light­ning-fu­elled re­an­i­ma­tion as Frankenstein’s mon­ster, part of Univer­sal’s ever-ex­pand­ing mon­ster­verse ini­tia­tive (other projects on the slate in­clude Tom Cruise’s The Mummy and, it’s ru­moured, The In­vis­i­ble Man with Johnny Depp and Dwayne John­son in The Wolf Man). Spin-off flick The Bride Of Frankenstein is al­ready in de­vel­op­ment and the stu­dio’s also hatch­ing a fresh take on Van Hels­ing, the crea­ture-slay­ing badass played by Hugh Jack­man in 2004. This time they’ll steal their cue from an­other re­cently re­ac­ti­vated ac­tion hero. Screen­writer Eric Heis­serer tells Hit­fix: “Early on, our in­spi­ra­tion for his be­hav­iour and man­ner­isms was all in Mad Max.” Fin­gers crossed he bat­tles were­wolves so we can de­ploy a Van Hels­ing: Furry Road pun. Oh, we just did. Feel our shame.

MOVES LIKE JAEGER!

PA­CIFIC RIM: MAELSTROM

We know that John Boyega is set to topline the re­cently green­lit se­quel to Guillermo del Toro’s mon­ster/mecha brawl-fest from 2013. Now comes word that Char­lie Hun­nam, one of the stars of the orig­i­nal movie, won’t be back. He had a key role in an early draft of the screen­play but re­grets that other film­ing com­mit­ments have left him un­able to save the world again. “I’m very ex­cited about it,” he says. “I’m glad they’re mak­ing it.” An­other re­ported ab­sen­tee is Rinko Kikuchi, who played rookie Jaeger pilot Mako Mori. Del Toro’s only pro­duc­ing this one – it’s set to be di­rected by Steven S DeKnight, who helped bring Dare­devil to the small screen – but he prom­ises “a lot of the cast from the first movie is com­ing back”. The script’s by Jurassic World’s Derek Con­nolly and the re­turn bout be­tween hu­man­ity and mon­s­ter­dom be­gins 23 Fe­bru­ary 2018.

CY­BER­PUNK ROCKS! SNOW CRASH

It’s five – five! – years since Joe Cor­nish brought us in­ner city alien in­va­sion tale At­tack The Block. Now he’s prep­ping an over­due re­turn to the big screen, adapt­ing Neal Stephen­son’s cy­ber­punk clas­sic Snow Crash. Orig­i­nally pub­lished in 1992, it’s set in an in­de­pen­dent Los An­ge­les, ruled by en­trepreneurs and con­nected by a post-in­ter­net realm. “I hope we get started on that next year,” pro­ducer Frank Mar­shall shares with Col­lider. “It’s a com­pli­cated story. It takes place in the near fu­ture and it has a lot of vir­tual re­al­ity in it. [There’s] a char­ac­ter that goes back and forth be­tween what’s called the meta­verse… the se­quences are fan­tas­tic and it re­ally gives Joe the op­por­tu­nity to show that great imag­i­na­tion that he has and cre­ate fan­tas­tic scenes.” Op­tioned on pub­li­ca­tion, the book has smoul­dered in the dig­i­tal path­ways of De­vel­op­ment Hell ever since.

IT’S A BIRD!

SPI­DER-MAN: HOME­COM­ING

It’s of­fi­cial: Tom Hol­land’s teen Spi­der-Man will tan­gle with vin­tage comic book vil­lain the Vul­ture. The creation of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, the scrote-faced winged men­ace de­buted in is­sue two of The Amaz­ing Spi­der-Man, way back in 1963. “It just felt like the right thing to do, to go back to the roots in that way,” di­rec­tor Jon Watts tells ComicBook.com. “We talked about a lot of dif­fer­ent things but the Vul­ture al­ways rose to the top. And just the op­por­tu­nity to have Spi­der-Man ver­sus a guy that can fly re­ally lends it­self to some pretty cool vi­su­als.” A role ru­moured to be ear­marked for the mighty Michael Keaton, the swoop­ing repro­bate will rock a taloned, hi-tech suit that, Tom Hol­land says, “al­lows us to in­cor­po­rate a much more phys­i­cal pres­ence from the Vul­ture… he’s a re­ally for­mi­da­ble vil­lain”. The Grand Bu­dapest Ho­tel’s Tony Revolori just joined the project as Peter Parker’s jock neme­sis Flash Thomp­son.

The premise is filled with ideas that are in­ter­est­ing to re­visit

RO­MAN­TIC IN­TEN­TIONS! STARMAN

There’s a Starman re­make, wait­ing in the sky… Yes, Night At The Mu­seum helmer Shawn Levy is set to up­date John Car­pen­ter’s ’84 clas­sic, the cos­mi­cally-tinged ro­mance that bagged an Os­car nom­i­na­tion for Jeff Bridges as an alien who crash­lands on Earth – and into the heart of the wid­owed Karen Allen. “The premise is filled with ideas that are in­ter­est­ing to re­visit in a dif­fer­ent way in 2016,” says Levy, who re­cently helmed episodes of ’80s-phile’s de­light Stranger Things. “I am go­ing to try to be faith­ful to the ro­man­tic spine to the story but also the fish-outof-wa­ter hu­mour, which is gen­uinely charm­ing and win­ning in a way that Car­pen­ter and Bridges filmed it.” Levy says he’s con­sid­er­ing pre­vi­ous col­lab­o­ra­tors for the title role, mean­ing ev­ery­one from Hugh Jack­man to Ben Stiller could be in the frame for some cross-species swoon­ing. Grace Of Monaco’s Arash Amel pro­vides the screen­play.

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