DEVEL­OP­MENT HELL

Your monthly glimpse into Hol­ly­wood’s hoped-for fu­ture

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Col­lect all 304 of these and fill a pool with Hol­ly­wood’s tears.

Are you tAlkin’ to me? JOKER

Joaquin Phoenix has plenty to smile about. He’s now a lock for the role of the Joker in this stand­alone movie ex­plor­ing the ric­tus-faced rise of Bat­man’s arch neme­sis. “It feels unique,” Phoenix tells Col­lider. “It is its own world in some ways and maybe, mostly, it scares the fuck­ing shit out of me…” Helmed by Todd Phillips, it’s set to be a hard-edged, mod­estly bud­geted char­ac­ter piece, tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from such lowlife scuzz-fests as Taxi Driver. In­trigu­ingly, Robert De Niro – Travis Bickle him­self – is in ne­go­ti­a­tions to play a talk show host who proves piv­otal to the Joker’s ori­gin story. Also or­bit­ing the project are Dead­pool 2’s Zazie Beetz, fron­trun­ner to play a sin­gle mother who catches the Joker’s eye, and Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story’s Frances Con­roy, in line to play Penny, the Clown Prince of Crime’s mum. Filming be­gins in New York this Septem­ber ahead of a 4 Oc­to­ber 2019 re­lease.

Hello, dolly!

ANNABELLE 3 Spook-doll klaxon! A third Annabelle movie is in devel­op­ment, and it’s set to lean into the Con­jur­ing fran­chise that spawned it, spot­light­ing para­nor­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tors the War­rens. “I’m still fi­nal­is­ing the script,” says screen­writer and direc­tor Gary Dauber­man, “but it re­ally picks up with the War­rens bring­ing Annabelle to the place where [she] can no longer wreak havoc, which is their arte­fact room. But, of course, it turns out

that she can also wreak havoc there. And she re­ally awak­ens the evil within that room, and they tar­get the War­rens’ 10-year-old daugh­ter, Judy. So that’s the setup.” Pro­ducer James Wan boils it down to the el­e­va­tor pitch: “Annabelle ba­si­cally ac­ti­vates all the other haunted arte­facts in that room. So it’s ba­si­cally A Night

At The Museum with Annabelle!” It’s due to ar­rive on 3 July 2019 – and there’s a third dose of The

Con­jur­ing in the works too. It’s a won­der we ever sleep at night.

Fin­ger-clickin’ good! AVENGERS 4

We still don’t have a ti­tle for the fourth Avengers movie – Mar­vel’s too busy hoover­ing all that pesky death-dust from the uni­verse – but one thing’s cer­tain: it’s go­ing to de­liver a proper con­clu­sion to the story that be­gan with 2008’s Iron Man. “The best sto­ries do come to an end,” says stu­dio supremo Kevin Feige. “Re­turn Of The Jedi was an end­ing for a long time, and as a 10-year-old in 1983, that car­ried me through 30 years un­til there was a se­quel. That hasn’t hap­pened be­fore in the su­per­hero genre. A new actor comes in and a new sto­ry­line starts straight away. We wanted to do it this way be­cause we think that the best sto­ries have a de­fin­i­tive end­ing to a sto­ry­line. That’s cer­tainly what’s go­ing to hap­pen next year with Avengers 4. The uni­verse, the world, many of the char­ac­ters we’ve in­tro­duced, will con­tinue on­ward in un­ex­pected ways, some of which I don’t even know yet. But bring­ing a de­fin­i­tive con­clu­sion at the 22-film mark, and just over 10 years, seemed like the right thing to do.” Hmm. Have we ever seen Thanos and Mr Feige in the same room to­gether?

FROM RUS­SIA WITH HATE! BOND 25

Danny Boyle is re­cruit­ing mis­sion spe­cial­ists for Her Majesty’s se­cret ser­vice. He’s just en­listed Mark Tildes­ley for the cru­cial role of pro­duc­tion de­signer on the next 007 ad­ven­ture. Tildes­ley’s a long-time Boyle col­lab­o­ra­tor, notch­ing up cred­its

Jeremy Ren­ner join­ing Spawn… Emma Thomp­son back for Men In Black… Dun­can Jones teas­ing an adap of 2000 AD’s Rogue Trooper… Black Pan­ther’s Danai Gurira or­bit­ing both Star Trek 4 and Godzilla Vs Kong… MGM re­mak­ing Child’s Play… Wil­liam Brent Bell to write and di­rect an adap­ta­tion of Stephen King’s From A Buick 8… Bill Mur­ray, Adam Driver and Tilda Swin­ton star­ring in Jim Jar­musch’s indie zom­bie movie The Dead Don’t Die… Cate Short­land to di­rect The Black Widow for Mar­vel… Keri Rus­sell team­ing with pro­ducer Guillermo del Toro on hor­ror thriller Antlers… Stu­dio 8 has bagged screen rights to Rob Liefeld’s su­per­sol­dier comic book Prophet… In­di­ana Jones 5 now tar­get­ing a 9 July 2021 re­lease… JB Smoove join­ing Spi­der-Man: Far From Home… Ralph Fi­ennes star­ring in Terry Gil­liam’s adap­ta­tion of Paul Auster’s novel Mr Ver­tigo… Le­gendary Pic­tures prep­ping a live-ac­tion ver­sion of mecha anime Gun­dam… Ja­son Scott Lee play­ing the vil­lain in Mu­lan… on 28 Days Later, Sun­shine and T2: Trainspot­ting, as well as the open­ing cer­e­mony of the 2012 London Olympics. A leaked cast­ing call re­port­edly teases the movie’s main Bond-both­er­ers: one male (“Charis­matic, pow­er­ful, in­no­va­tive, cos­mopoli­tan, bright, cold and vin­dic­tive”), one fe­male (“Strik­ing, in­tel­li­gent, brave, fierce, charm­ing, witty and skil­ful”), both of ei­ther Rus­sian or Balkan ex­trac­tion (there’s top­i­cal…). The pro­duc­tion’s also look­ing for a Maori actor with ad­vanced phys­i­cal com­bat skills to play some­one “au­thor­i­ta­tive, cun­ning, ruth­less and loyal”. We’ve got a hunch that’s a hench. Filming be­gins this De­cem­ber for an 8 Novem­ber 2019 re­lease.

CAN WE TALK FRANKLY? DUNE

It’s of­fi­cial – De­nis Vil­leneuve’s take on Frank Her­bert’s clas­sic shelf-buster will be split over two movies. Her­bert’s son Brian is a con­sul­tant on the new adap­ta­tion, and tweeted an up­date: “I have just re­ceived draft 4 of the Dune screen­play from Le­gendary Pic­tures. This is for the first movie, cov­er­ing ap­prox­i­mately half of the novel Dune. I’m very ex­cited and pleased about this, and I’m be­gin­ning to burn the mid­night oil.” Kevin J An­der­son – who has writ­ten a pile of Dune pre­quel nov­els with Brian – is also bring­ing his sand­worm-wran­gling skills to the project. Ti­mothée Cha­la­met – Os­car-nom­i­nated for Call Me

By Your Name – is fron­trun­ner to play Her­bert’s hero Paul Atrei­des, scion of the no­ble fam­ily that com­mands the world of Ar­rakis. Kyle Ma­cLach­lan played the role in David Lynch’s 1984 ver­sion, but you were doubtlessly too busy laugh­ing at Sting’s bat­tle-pants to no­tice.

THE FU­TURE OF LAW EN­FORCE­MENT! ROBO­COP RE­TURNS

Neill Blomkamp (Dis­trict 9) is in line to bring Robo­Cop back to the screen. He’s set to di­rect while Justin Rhodes – co-writer of the next Ter­mi­na­tor – is rewrit­ing a screen­play that Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner orig­i­nally penned in the ’80s as a po­ten­tial se­quel. “What I con­nected to as a kid has evolved over time,” Blomkamp tells Dead­line. “At first the con­sumerism, ma­te­ri­al­ism and Reaganomics, that ’80s theme of Amer­ica on steroids, came through most strongly. But as I’ve got­ten older, the part that re­ally res­onated with me is iden­tity, and the search for iden­tity. What’s so cool about Robo­Cop is that like good West­erns, sci-fi films and dra­mas, the hu­man con­nec­tion is re­ally im­por­tant… What draws me now is some­one search­ing for a lost iden­tity, taken away at the hands of peo­ple who are ben­e­fit­ing from it, and see­ing his mem­ory jogged by events. That is most cap­ti­vat­ing.”

re­turn oF tHe Jedi! STAR WARS EPISODE IX

Mark Hamill will be back in the robes and po­ten­tially giv­ing it some Force Ghost crackle for the next Star Wars movie. And he’s not the only re­turn­ing icon from the orig­i­nal tril­ogy: Billy Dee Wil­liams will encore as cos­mic scoundrel Lando Cal­ris­sian. The late Carrie Fisher, mean­while, will be rep­re­sented by pre­vi­ously un­seen footage shot for The Force Awak­ens. “Find­ing a truly sat­is­fy­ing con­clu­sion to the Sky­walker saga with­out her eluded us,” says helmer JJ Abrams. “We were never go­ing to re­cast, or use a CG char­ac­ter. With the sup­port and bless­ing from her daugh­ter, Bil­lie, we have found a way to hon­our Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX.” New faces join­ing that gal­axy far, far away in­clude Yardie’s Naomi Ackie, The Amer­i­cans’ Keri Rus­sell – re­port­edly in an “ac­tion-heavy role” – and the mighty Richard E Grant, who we hope will de­mand the finest wines avail­able in 12 sys­tems.

Ti­mothée Cha­la­met is fron­trun­ner to play Paul Atrei­des

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