Summer has charged into August, bringing the tail end of blockbuster movie season. Even though August is typically a slow month for Hollywood, that doesn’t mean we’re without exciting movie news and announcements. This week brings some huge news of a superhero return, who’s helming the next big Avengers movie, an interesting spinoff, and more.
As always, Atom Insider brings you a few hand-picked stories we think you’ll like. Ready? Let’s dive in.
Shang-Chi’s Destin Daniel Cretton Will Direct Avengers: The Kang Dynasty
At the recent San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios returned and announced their MCU Phase 5 and part of its Phase 6 lineup. Revealing that Phases 4-6 are officially dubbed The Multiverse Saga, Kevin Feige also revealed that Phase 6 will end with another two-part Avengers movie: Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars. Even though it’s still years away, Marvel has already tapped their director for the first of those movies: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton.
It’s not clear who will be penning the Kang Dynasty script, but what is clear is who will be the villain: Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conquerer, who is set to appear properly in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. A variant of Kang called He Who Remains appeared in Loki. Kang the Conquerer, however, is not so kind-hearted–not a flawed but well-intended keeper of the Sacred Timeline, but a ruthless warlord hellbent on conquering every world and universe he finds. Cretton’s vision for and success with Shang-Chi sets him up well for Avengers: Kang Dynasty. Currently, it’s scheduled to hit theaters on May 2, 2025, with Avengers: Secret Wars hitting theaters on November 7 of the same year.
Creed Spinoff Drago Is In The Works At MGM
It appears the Rocky franchise is getting its second spinoff in Drago, following the spinoff-reboot-sequel Creed movies spearheaded by Michael B. Jordan. Screenwriter Robert Lawton is hard at work penning the draft of the movie, which is currently in development at MGM. While plot details are scarce, it’s aiming to revolve around Dolph Lundgren’s iconic villain, Ivan Drago, and his son, Viktor, played by Florian Munteau. The pair and their tumultuous father-son dynamic were set up in Creed II, where Adonis Creed, son of Apollo Creed, squared off against the son of his father’s killer in the ring. It’s unclear how far along into development it is, but in the meantime, the next movie in the Creed installment, Creed III, is set to hit theaters on March 3, 2023. This time, star Michael B. Jordan is also trying his hand at directing, and it’s possible that it will further set up the story of Drago. It seems we’ll find out in March.
Warner Bros. Discovery Pulls The Plug On Batgirl
In some shocking news, it was announced this week that Warner Bros. Discovery has pulled the plug on Batgirl. It’s not rare for studios to cancel movies in development, but Batgirl, which had been created for HBO Max, we already in post-production and slated to release this year. In fact, the movie, directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah and starring Leslie Grace as the titular character, was already in test screenings. Though the reason given at the time was that it wasn’t up to snuff and that new CEO David Zaslav wanted to focus on big, theatrical releases, other sources have reported the reason is more likely for taxes.
It is certainly a shock to Hollywood and a shame, however. Leslie Grace has long expressed her delight and joy about playing the character of Barbara Gordon, and the cast also had a number of talented veterans starring alongside Grace. Michael Keaton was set to reprise his role of mentor-era Batman, J.K. Simmons was to play her father, Commissioner Gordon, and Brendan Fraser was set to be the film’s villain, Firefly. Whatever the reason for Batgirl getting canceled, we can only cross our fingers and hope that one day, a cut of it will make its way online.
Selena Gomez To Star In Remake Of Working Girl
One of Hollywood’s hottest stars is reportedly helping 20th Century to revive a classic ’80s film: Deadline reports that Selena Gomez is working with the studio to develop a remake of 1988’s Working Girl. The original movie starred Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, and Joan Cusack, and tells the story of a hardworking and ambitious administrative assistant who vows revenge when her boss steals her idea. When he’s laid up with a broken leg, she gets payback by pretending to be him and pretending she has his job. It’s not clear how the Working Girl reboot will reinvent the story, but it certainly has a solid foundation to work with: the 1988 movie earned six Oscar nominations including Best Picture.
Ben Affleck Reprising Batman Role In Aquaman 2
Just when it seemed like his role as Batman was done, it was announced Ben Affleck would have a small role or cameo in the upcoming The Flash movie. It seems that’s not the only upcoming DCEU movie in which he’ll be making an appearance, however: Jason Momoa revealed on his Instagram that Affleck is reprising his role in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom next year.
Along with a picture of the two together, Momoa wrote, “REUNITED bruce and arthur. love u and miss u Ben WB studio tours just explored the backlot alright. busted on set all great things coming AQUAMAN 2 all my aloha j,” the caption said.
There’s no word yet on how big Affleck’s role is expected to be in Aquaman 2 or if it’s just expected to be more of a brief cameo. Either way, it’s nice to see the two together again and the ever-enthusiastic Momoa is clearly over the moon about it.
Joker: Folie à Deux Gets Fall 2024 Release Date
This week must be DC news week, because our last story is a quick but interesting update on the Joker sequel: The Todd Phillips-helmed Joker: Folie à Deux has been slated for an October 4, 2024 release date. It’s unsurprising to see Warner Bros. picked this date for the sequel; the first Joker film also opened in October and went on to set multiple records, including the biggest opening weekend of an R-rated movie as well as the biggest R-rated movie of all time, finally capping out with a monster global total of $1.07 billion. It was nominated for a whopping 11 Oscars, winning two: Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix and Original Music Score for composer Hildur Guðnadóttir.
Thus far, details are scarce about the plot of the sequel, but we can surmise a few things from the title itself. “Folie à deux” is a French medical term referring to a delusion or mental illness shared by two people who are close to one another. That right there all but confirms that Harley Quinn will be alongside him for the sequel’s story. Those rumors picked up when it was revealed a few months back that Lady Gaga is in talks to star opposite Phoenix in the sequel, which is reportedly set to be a musical. Currently, Joker: Folie à deux is on track for its planned December production start date.
Trailers & Clips of the Week
And now, your trailers and clips of the week.
The Legend of Molly Johnson – Official Trailer
Yes, girl. You show them who’s boss.
The Banshees of Inisherin – Official Trailer
Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Martin McDonagh reunited again? This time with Barry Keoghan? Sign us up.
Devotion – Official Trailer
Get your dads ready for their new Thanksgiving release.
Andor – Official Trailer
Could the Rogue One spinoff be the best Star Wars show yet? It just might.