Some days, there are bits and bobs of news that don’t have quite enough meat on the bone for a full article. Still, they’re cool tidbits worth getting some love. We round them up for you in our Quick Hits column.
Dan Trachtenberg Tapped For Next ‘Predator’ Movie
Some fun news for Predator fans today: Deadline reports 20th Century Studios has tapped 10 Cloverfield Lane‘s Dan Trachtenberg to direct the fifth installment of the Predator franchise. Patrick Aison (Kingdom, Jack Ryan) has been hired to write the script. For now, the story is being kept under wraps but sources say it will not jump off the events of the most recent movie, 2018’s The Predator. Considering that movie was meant to be a soft reboot of the franchise, it appears this might be a harder reset, perhaps a prequel with a story that is mostly unrelated to the rest of the movies set in the modern era. As he has on every Predator movie to date, John Davis will serve as producer.
OG Freddy Krueger Joins The Cast Of ‘Stranger Things’
Here’s a casting we love: Robert Englund, the man whose iconic performance made Freddy Krueger famous, has joined the cast of Stranger Things Season 4. And what we love most is that his character will hearken back to Krueger. Englund is set to play Victor Creel, a disturbed man who has been locked away in a psychiatric hospital since the 1950s for a gruesome murder. It’s a role Englund, who excels at the sinister, seems destined to play and one that could hopefully return him to the forefront of the pop culture consciousness of a new generation, similar to what the series did for Winona Ryder. Another interesting casting related to the psychiatric hospital comes in the form of Jamie Campbell Bower (The Mortal Instruments, Sweeney Todd), who is set to play Peter Ballard, an orderly at the hospital who grows tired of the brutality he witnesses there. Other new regulars for the season are Eduardo Franco (Booksmart), who will play Jonathan’s new best friend, Argyle, and Joseph Quinn (Catherine the Great) as Eddie Munson, a misunderstood guy who runs Hawkins High’s official D&D club. Recurring new cast members for the season are Sherman Augustus (Westworld) as Lt. Colonel Sullivan, who believes he knows how to stop the evil, Mason Dye (The Goldbergs) as Jason Carver, the most popular kid in school, Nikola Djuricko (In the Land of Blood and Honey) as Russian smuggler Yuri, and Tom Wlaschiha (Game of Thrones) as Dimitri, a Russian prison guard who befriends Hopper.
Logan Lerman Joins Brad Pitt’s ‘Bullet Train’
Sony’s Brad Pitt-led action-thriller Bullet Train has added one more crucial piece to the cast. Hunters‘ star Logan Lerman has boarded the project, according to Deadline. He joins a cast that already includes Joey King, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Zazie Beetz, Michael Shannon and Andrew Koji. Deadpool 2‘s David Leitch is directing off a script by Zak Olkewicz, which is an adaptation of the bestselling Japanese novel Maria Beetle by Kotaro Isaka. The book tells the story of seven different assassins, each with a different motive, who board a Tokyo bullet train with missions to complete. As they cross paths and interfere with each other’s plans, it becomes a fight between them to see who can be the lone survivor. It’s not yet clear who Lerman is playing as plot details and characters are being kept under wraps.
Michael B. Jordan Is People’s Sexiest Man Alive For 2020
Every year, something we all look forward to and have fun with is seeing who People picks for its Sexiest Man Alive. This year, that honor goes to an extremely worthy recipient: Michael B. Jordan. The Creed and Black Panther star, who topped this year’s annual poll, first appeared in People in their 2013 list of rising stars to watch, the same year Jordan had his breakout role in Fruitvale Station. It’s a well-deserved honor. In recent years, People has been veering away from simply picking eye candy (though Jordan is indeed a good, good-looking man) and defining “sexy” in more well-rounded terms. Jordan fits the bill. Not only is he one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actors, he’s also making his mark behind the camera as producer and has become one of the loudest voices pushing for change in Hollywood diversity and inclusion, activism that also landed him on TIME’s 100 Most Influential People list for this year. Jordan responded to the People honor with his usual laid-back grace, saying, “It’s a cool feeling. You know, everybody always made that joke, like, ‘Mike, this is the one thing you’re probably not going to get.’ But it’s a good club to be a part of.” Good on him.
‘Scream 5’ Gets An Official Title
After a few months of speculation, the upcoming Scream 5 has gotten an official title, and it’s…Scream. Fans may be scratching their heads considering that’s, well, that’s just the title of the entire franchise and the title of the first movie. And, sure, on the surface, it seems silly. But it tells us quite a bit more about the next installment in the long-running franchise than you’d think. Namely, it appears to confirm this movie is truly a handing of the torch and a soft reboot for the franchise, as I’ve speculated before. While Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette are reprising their original roles, the production has added quite a few young up-and-comers to the cast, including The Boys‘ Jack Quaid. It will be exciting to see where new franchise directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett will take the franchise next.
‘Doctor Strange 2’ Will Start Filming By December
Even with the coronavirus still washing over the world in waves, big Hollywood productions are getting back to full steam ahead – with the proper health and safety precautions, of course. One of those big productions is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which was originally scheduled to hit theaters in May of next year, but will now be releasing in March 2022. This means it would have to start shooting within the next few months in order to give it a year in post and indeed, it will. Marvel star Elizabeth Olsen revealed to Conde Nast Traveller she’s moving back to London just before Christmas in order to properly quarantine, celebrate the holidays, and then start work on the Doctor Strange sequel. “I am moving back soon to film the sequel to Doctor Strange, so I’ll be there for Christmas, just outside London. Even given the current circumstances, it will be a nice trip.” However, it’s unclear whether or not she’ll be joining the cast later – it’s entirely possible it could start shooting this month. In any case, we can expect the production to be in full swing by the end of the year.
Billy Porter To Make Directorial Debut With Coming-of-Age Musical
After his star rising meteorically in both Hollywood and Broadway, the Emmy- and Tony-winning Billy Porter is set to make his feature directorial debut. Porter is set to direct What If?, a high school coming-of-age musical from the newly-relaunched Orion Pictures. The script, penned by Alvaro García Lecuona, tells the story of Khal, a high school senior who posts on Reddit about his crush on Kelsa, a trans girl at his school. With the encouragement of people on the internet, Khal goes for it and the two embark on a relationship in their senior year that neither would ever have expected. The project comes as the first in the new direction for Orion Pictures, which rebranded itself as a tent for more diverse storytelling. As for Porter, he’s excited, saying in a statement, “I’m thrilled to be part of this new space in Hollywood for telling all types of stories from all types of people. I am grateful to be in a position to usher some of these stories into the mainstream and I am humbled that heavy hitters like [producers] Christine Vachon and Alana Mayo have entrusted and empowered me in this insane time we all find ourselves in.”
‘Creed 2’ Director Eyed To Direct New Transformers Movie
After hearing the news earlier this year that Paramount had two new Transformers movies in development, things have been relatively quiet on that front. But now, one of those spinoff projects is moving forward. Deadline broke the news that Creed 2 director Steven Caple Jr. has been tapped to direct the film in the expanded and reinvented universe based on the line of Hasbro toys – or, at least, they want to. Negotiations have yet to begin in earnest, but according to reports, he’s at the top of the list for Paramount execs and a deal should be done within the next few weeks. This project is the one based on Joby Harold’s script; the other in development but not quite as far along is the project being written by James Vanderbilt. Harold put the finishing touches on the script late this summer.
Zack Snyder Reveals Black-And-White Trailer For His Cut Of ‘Justice League’
Director Zack Snyder revealed a new trailer today for his HBO Max cut of Justice League and held a trailer breakdown session explaining his process. His cut of the movie, which is rumored to cost Warner Bros. up to $70 million according to some reports, will be shown in four one-hour episodes on HBO Max next year. After adding two new actors to the cast (though Snyder says only about four minutes of brand-new footage will be in his cut), he released the new trailer. It’s black and white, though it’s worth noting HBO Max has the regular colorized version on their YouTube channel:
There you go.
Dave Bautista To Star In Sci-Fi Action Flick ‘Universe’s Most Wanted’
Dave Bautista is set for a new role that seems made for him. He’s set to start in Universe’s Most Wanted, with Rampage director Brad Peyton set to direct off a script by F. Scott Frazier (xXx: Return of Xander Cage) and Jimmy Loweree. Both Bautista and Peyton will serve as producers. The project, which just sold to international distributors at this year’s virtual American Film Market, is slated to go into production sometime next year. The sci-fi action movie centers on a small town that gets shaken up when a spaceship carrying the universe’s most dangerous criminals crash-lands in their neighborhood. Bautista plays the intergalactic peacekeeper who teams up with the son of the town’s sheriff in order to round up the alien criminals before they can escape and wreak havoc on Earth.
Terence Winter Leaves ‘The Batman’ Spinoff Series
A few months ago, it was announced that Terence Winter (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire) and Matt Reeves would be teaming up for an HBO Max series spinning off Reeves’ upcoming The Batman movie and focusing on the corruption in the Gotham PD. Now, however, THR has broken the news that Winter has unfortunately left the project due to – say it with me, everyone – creative differences. According to sources, Winter’s vision for the show didn’t line up with that of Reeves and other producers had in mind, so Winter opted to part ways. It’s a setback for the series as Winter was set to both write and serve as showrunner for the series that would be the launchpad for an extended Batman universe across multiple platforms. The project, which is currently going by the working title of Gotham Central, will be told from the POV of a crooked cop as rumors start to swirl about a new masked vigilante who has arisen and serves as a prequel to what Reeves is calling his “Batman Year Two” movie. The search is now on for a new showrunner.
Zoe Saldana And Jennifer Garner Joining Ryan Reynolds In ‘The Adam Project’
The love affair between Ryan Reynolds and Netflix is going strong with him recently set to star in Skydance vehicle The Adam Project. And now, two big names are set to co-star with him: Zoe Saldana and Jennifer Garner. Reynolds finds himself reteaming with Free Guy director Shawn Levy on the project, and both will also serve as producers along with David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger for Skydance. Jonathan Topper wrote the most recent version of the script off an initial draft by Mark Levin, Jennifer Flackett, and TS Nowlin. Reynolds stars as a fighter pilot who must travel back in time to get help from his 13-year-old self. While in the past, they encounter his late father, who was the same age as the adult Ryan Reynolds character now. Garner will play the younger version of Reynold’s mom, while Saldana will play the adult version’s wife.
Even more interestingly, this will be the first project under Reynolds’ and wife Blake Lively’s The Group Effort Initiative. The initiative is a self-financed diversity and inclusion program from Reynolds’ Maximum Effort and Blake Lively’s B for Effort banners that aims to give people of color of all ages a chance to do work and learn on the actor’s productions.