Your monthly glimpse into Hollywood’s hoped-for future
’Nuff said! STAN LEE: THE MOVIE
Stan “The Man” Lee – ’70s action hero? It’s either the most compellingly off-the-wall idea yet or hard evidence of a crack epidemic ravaging the studio towers of Hollywood. Face front, true believers (and dazed unbelievers too)! Twentieth Century Fox has just bagged the screen rights to Smilin’ Stan’s life story, but rather than bring us a straight biopic of Marvel’s founding father they’re plunging him into a period-set actionadventure flick, channelling the tone of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Roger Moore era Bond movies. Expect laser-firing hyperbole and submersible alliteration. Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey – the team behind Twilight, The Maze Runner and the imminent Power Rangers reboot – will produce, with Lee himself as executive producer, along with Gill Champion, his partner at POW! Entertainment. So what’s next? Jack Kirby: Pencil Of Fury? Steve Ditko: Libertarian Ninja?
Newcomers Renewed! ALIEN NATION
Now here’s a timely remake. Twentieth Century Fox are tapping Jeff Nichols – director of this year’s acclaimed Midnight Special – to give a contemporary spin to Alien Nation, the film that spliced a first contact tale with a buddy-buddy cop flick then upended a truckful of metaphor just to keep things interesting. Set in the then tremblingly near-future of 1991, the 1988 original starred James Caan
as a xenophobic LAPD officer partnered with Mandy Patinkin’s extra-terrestrial Newcomer, one of 300,000 cosmic refugees struggling to integrate into a wary America. It spawned a short-lived TV show and no less than five TV movies. Nichols will write and direct with Brian KavanaughJones (Insidious) and Sara Greene (Pacific Rim) producing. Rumours that the plot concerns a tangerine-hued demagogue building a giant wall to keep the Newcomers out remain unconfirmed at presstime.
GeNeratioN Game! AVATAR 2
A faint signals reaches us from a distant reality where someone is genuinely thrilled by the thought of four more Avatar movies. Oh, wait, it’s James Cameron… “The story in the sequels really follows Jake and Neytiri and their children,” the master of Pandora tells Variety. “It’s more of a family saga about the struggle with the humans.” Avatar 2 is scheduled for Christmas 2018 (incredibly, that’s nine years after the original – we’re fairly sure continental drift took less time) but that may slip. “We haven’t moved that target yet, but we will if we need to,” says Cameron, bullishly. “The important thing for me is not when the first one comes out but the cadence of the release pattern. I want them to be released as close together as possible. If it’s an annual appointment to show up at Christmas, I want to make sure that we’re able to fulfil on that promise.” Thanks, Santa.
strokiNG kills! BATMAN
Flash that Bat-signal, Commissioner! There’s a new threat to property values in Gotham City! Yes, Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight is set to grapple with none other than Deathstroke in the next Batman movie. First seen in the pages of The New Teen
Titans way back in 1980, Deathstroke – in no way to be confused with Deadpool, Marvel’s psychotic, scientifically-augmented mercenary whose real name is Wade Wilson – is a psychotic, scientificallyaugmented mercenary whose real name is Slade Wilson. He’ll be brought to the big screen by True Blood’s Joe Manganiello, Zack Snyder’s second choice to play Superman in Man Of Steel. Expect the Batman movie to continue Warner’s course correction of the cinematic DCU, moving closer to the core values of the comic books. “It’s a hopeful and optimistic view of life,” says DC Entertainment president Geoff Johns. “Even Batman has a glimmer of that in him. If he didn’t think he’d make tomorrow better, he’d stop…”
claws aNd effect! BLACK PANTHER
The DCU may be brightening up but the Marvel Cinematic Universe is set to embrace a darker tone in Ryan Coogler’s adaptation of Lee and Kirby’s jungle superhero. “On one hand, the Marvel movies that I’ve liked the most are the ones that are funny,” star Chadwick Boseman tells Comic Book Resources. “I love Ant-Man. But most of the time the darker superhero movies are the ones that I gravitate towards, that I love the most. So I’m glad that I’m not in an Ant-Man. I’m glad that the tone of it may be a little grittier.” And Boseman says the champion of Wakanda is a perfect fit for a darker take. “He’s not necessarily the comedic element, the sparky stuff that actually works with many of the other characters that you see in comic books. That’s not necessarily who he is. There’s a mystery and a mystique to him. So all those things to me present a recipe for a darker drama than you might normally see.”
steeliNG himself! MAN OF STEEL 2
Call us crazy but we’re not sure Warner Bros is entirely invested in this whole “Superman’s dead!” flimflammery. Another clue to the most inevitable resurrection in movie history comes with word that a standalone sequel to 2013’s Man Of Steel is in active development. And Henry Cavill won’t just be wearing the cape. This time he’ll be a producer too. “Henry has a big appetite,” Cavill’s manager, Dany Garcia, tells Newsweek. “He’s re-strategising, acquiring property [for his production company], he’s filming [Justice League] now, he’s in development for the Superman standalone… he’s beginning to expand that world. It’s beautifully teed up. In a year from now, or two years from now, he’s going to be a force globally.” Hmm. Is this the moment we put our nation’s nuclear defences on tactical alert? Maybe divert an aircraft carrier or two?
hauNted house! WINCHESTER
Draw yourselves a little closer to the campfire as we ask, “Ever heard of the old Winchester place?” You’ll find it in San Jose, out on South Winchester Boulevard. It’s the mansion that belonged to Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester firearm fortune. Now Sarah was sure she was being haunted by all those poor, damned souls whose lives had been taken by the Winchester repeating rifle. She was convinced there was a curse upon her. She reckoned the only way to beat the spirits was to keep building her home. So the lady kept building. For 38 years, 24 hours a day. Room upon room. Doors upon doors, walls upon walls. Stairways that went nowhere. All to keep the spirits sweet. Now them fancy Hollywood folk are telling her story. Got that Helen Mirren in to play her. But they’ll learn. Some stories ain’t meant to be made into movies. Damn, the fire just went out… Say, is that the sound of sawin’-and-a-hammerin’ you hear on the wind? Reckon it’s comin’ nearer?
It’s more of a family saga about the struggle with the humans