Your monthly glimpse into Hollywood’s hoped-for future
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.
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