Your monthly glimpse into Hol­ly­wood’s hoped-for fu­ture

SFX - - Contents - Nick Setch­field’s

Be­hold the mir­a­cle of cine­matic con­cep­tion, all be­fore your eyes…

False Face Facts! BIRDS OF PREY

It’s of­fi­cial: Ewan McGre­gor will be the spe­cial guest vil­lain in this femme-powered Bat­man spin-off. He’s signed to play Black Mask, alias Ro­man Sio­nis, the Gotham City mob boss who leads the False Face So­ci­ety, a gang of repro­bates who hide their iden­ti­ties be­hind dis­guises. Cre­ated as the anti-Bruce Wayne, the wealthy but un­hinged Sio­nis’s own ebony mask was per­ma­nently welded to his face in a fire, which may ac­count for some of his more anti-so­cial ten­den­cies. Di­rected by Cathy Yan, Birds Of Prey stars Mar­got Rob­bie as Har­ley Quinn, Mary El­iz­a­beth Win­stead as Hun­tress, Jurnee Smol­lett-Bell as Black Ca­nary and Rosie Perez as GCPD de­tec­tive Re­nee Mon­toya. “I could not put the script down,” says Yan of the script by Christina Hod­son “It had so much dark hu­mour to it, which a lot of my work does, and there are themes of fe­male em­pow­er­ment which are so strong and re­lat­able.” Film­ing be­gins in Jan­uary for a Fe­bru­ary 2020 re­lease.

Pre­Pare your­selF! ALIEN NA­TION

It’s been sim­mer­ing in Devel­op­ment Hell for over two years, but Jeff Ni­chols says his Alien Na­tion re­make is still an on­go­ing con­cern. “I’m al­most done with [the screen­play],” the Mid­night Spe­cial helmer re­vealed to Slash­film. “I’m hop­ing this draft that I’m work­ing on now will be my last. The stu­dio seems to re­ally love it, and we’re work­ing on con­cep­tion de­sign of the aliens and ev­ery­thing else.” The 1988 orig­i­nal spliced buddy cop drama with a para­ble of ex­trater­res­trial New­com­ers as­sim­i­lat­ing into Earth so­ci­ety. Ni­chols prom­ises this won’t be a tra­di­tional re­make. “It’s epic. I mean, it’s the big­gest can­vas I’ve ever painted on, but it 100 per cent feels like a Jeff Ni­chols film. I’m sure there are gonna be some Alien Na­tion fans out there that are like, ‘What the fuck?’ but my hope is if peo­ple come to it ready for a new story, that they’ll like it. I put so much of my­self into it.” He re­ally did – this time the aliens re­set­tle in his home state of Arkansas.

It’s a wraP! AVATAR 2 & 3

James Cameron con­firms that the main cast has com­pleted work on Avatar 2 and 3. “Our prin­ci­pal cast are all wrapped,” he told JoBlo. “Sam [Wor­thing­ton], Zoe [Sal­dana], Sigour­ney [Weaver], Stephen Lang, Kate Winslet – they’re done now, but they gave us in­cred­i­ble per­for­mances, and I can’t tell you how proud I am of the work they did on these films.” Avatar 2 and 3 will be fol­lowed,

sure as night fol­lows day on Pan­dora, by Avatar 4 and 5. “The scripts are amaz­ing,” says

Sigour­ney Weaver, who learned to free­d­ive for the sub-aquatic ac­tion cooked up by Cameron. “In the first one, which I love, I think he hadn’t set up a lot of things. In this one he got to tell this very per­sonal story. They’re amaz­ing. There’s a mes­sage to not sac­ri­fice ev­ery­thing for greed and con­quest. It will take all four movies to re­ally make that mes­sage loud and clear for the whole world.”

what’s haP­Pen­Ing, Flash? FLASH GOR­DON

Di­i­i­i­i­ive! Over­lord helmer Julius

Avery is mak­ing a ca­reer swerve from Nazi zom­bies to Hawk­men. He’s signed to write and di­rect a new take on the leg­endary SF icon – just a man, lest we for­get, with a man’s courage, and a cool t-shirt with his name on – cur­rently in devel­op­ment at 20th Cen­tury Fox. Kings­man’s

Matthew Vaughn was orig­i­nally courted to di­rect back in 2015, work­ing from a screen­play by JD Payne and Pa­trick McKay, but will now serve as pro­ducer along­side I, Ro­bot’s John Davis. The cre­ation of Alex Ray­mond, Flash de­buted in a news­pa­per strip in 1934 be­fore rock­et­ing to the big screen two years later in the firm-jawed form of Buster Crabbe. Steve Hol­land played him on TV in the ’50s be­fore Sam J Jones flew to Mongo in 1980’s Blessed­tas­tic movie ver­sion. Al­ways re­mem­ber: this morn­ing’s un­prece­dented so­lar eclipse is no cause for alarm…

It’s only For­ever, not long at all! LABYRINTH 2

For some it was the raw ma­te­rial of night­mare, for oth­ers a gate­way into a whole new world. But enough of David Bowie’s cod­piece. We’re here to tell you that Uruguayan film­maker

Fede Al­varez has com­pleted a draft script for the Labyrinth se­quel with co-writer Jay Basu

(Mon­sters: Dark Con­ti­nent, The Girl In The Spi­der’s Web). But, as the helmer of the Evil Dead re­make tells Movieweb, there’s more work to be done be­fore the Magic Dance be­gins. “We have a first ver­sion that I think is amaz­ing. We’re gonna keep writ­ing un­til we be­lieve that it’s a per­fect script. It will take some time be­cause that’s not some­thing you rush.” The new movie is said to catch up with the now grown-up Sarah af­ter her en­counter with the Goblin King. “We had what I thought was this great idea to con­tinue that story and jump so many years later and pick up that story now. We got re­ally ex­cited about that and we started col­lab­o­rat­ing with the Hen­sons, with Jim Hen­son’s daugh­ter.”

tIme aF­ter tIme! THE TIME MA­CHINE

IT helmer Andy Muschi­etti is adapt­ing HG Wells’s clas­sic 1895 novel for Warner Bros. He’s set to di­rect – and co-write a screen­play with sis­ter Barbara Muschi­etti – for pro­duc­ers Jen­nifer Davis­son and Leonardo Di­Caprio. Wells’s pi­o­neer­ing tale of fourth-di­men­sional travel has been brought to the screen be­fore, of course – a live BBC TV play in 1949, Ge­orge Pal’s 1960 ver­sion (“In fu­tur­is­tic Metro­color”, no less), a 1978 TV movie and a 2002 film, the thought of which leaves us strangely nos­tal­gic for Sa­man­tha Mumba. There’s also a new minis­eries adap­ta­tion on the way, cour­tesy of Sky. In­trigued by the ques­tion of just how many times mankind will adapt this par­tic­u­lar book, we con­structed a crude time-travel de­vice from a penny-far­thing, Queen Vic­to­ria’s teeth and a tin bath­tub. Ar­riv­ing in a dis­tant, post-apoc­a­lyp­tic fu­ture pop­u­lated by de­volved be­ings known as Leavers and Re­main­ers, we de­cided there were more press­ing things to worry about.

There’s a mes­sage not to sac­ri­fice ev­ery­thing for greed

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