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.
Marvel’s ‘Blade’ Reboot Currently Looking For Writers
Ever since bringing out Mahershala Ali during their Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con last year and announcing he would lead the Blade reboot, there’s been virtually no news about that project, a rarity for Marvel. But we now know some movement appears to be happening thanks to a bit buried in a THR piece about diversity in Hollywood. According to THR, Marvel is looking to put more Black people behind the camera for Blade, similar to what they did with Black Panther. It also revealed Marvel is actively searching for writers, saying, “Current projects that studios are hoping to populate with Black behind-the-camera talent include Marvel’s Blade movie starring Mahershala Ali, which is looking for writers.” Covid-19 has slowed many projects down, but it seems Marvel is taking their time with this one because they want to get it right and that’s not a bad thing at all.
OG ‘Jurassic Park’ Trio Shares Sweet Photo From Set
After shutting down for a second time thanks to a Covid scare, filming on Jurassic World: Dominion has once again resumed. The sequel is the first in the Jurassic World run to see the return of the three OG actors from the first Jurassic Park in Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Jeff Goldblum and fans are excited to see them reunited. Director Colin Trevorrow recently shared a sweet behind-the-scenes photo of the original trio looking like they’re having the time of their lives being back together again. Check it out:
Fittingly, they’re in front of the Richard Attenborough Stage at Pinewood Studios. The late Attenborough, as fans know, played John Hammond in the first few Jurassic Park movies.
‘The Meg 2’ Finds Its Director In Ben Wheatley
After the unexpected smash hit that was The Meg, it was only a matter of time before Warner Bros. moved decisively on a sequel. The 2018 action-thriller about a giant prehistoric shark terrorizing Jason Statham and his plucky band of underwater scientists blew up, becoming an unexpected summer hit. Warner Bros. has now tapped a director for the sequel, but I have to be honest – it’s a bit of a head-scratcher. THR broke the news that director Ben Wheatley (Rebecca, High-Rise, A Field in England) is set to direct. Don’t get me wrong, Wheatley is ultra-talented. But his brand of high-concept, blackly satirical intellectualism doesn’t exactly match The Meg‘s bombastic camp and over-the-top cheese factor. It’s a further indication that Wheatley is looking to shift more fully into big-budget tentpoles to secure that paycheck; he’s also set to direct the Tomb Raider sequel, which is currently in development.
Joe Manganiello Is Set To Appear As Deathstroke In Zack Snyder’s ‘Justice League’
More news on the Justice League director’s cut front: Collider broke the news that Joe Manganiello is set to join Zack Snyder’s Justice League as Deathstroke. He briefly appeared in a post-credits scene in the 2017 theatrical release of Justice League but his planned solo movie and subsequent appearances never materialized. But he’s now set to be a part of Snyder’s cut, which, between the brand-new additions of Manganiello and Jared Leto’s Joker and the reportedly blossoming budget, is apparently going to be an entirely new movie rather than a simple ADR cleanup and VFX polishing that it purported to be when the news of it happening was first announced. As many suspected, the mythical “Snyder Cut” never existed, the persistent rumor that it did made out of whole cloth. Instead, Snyder is essentially rebuilding much of the movie from scratch. Consider us wildly curious to see how the finished product turns out because it’s one of the biggest gambles a studio has undertaken in years. Hopefully, it pays off for Warner Bros.
Iconic Scream Queens Jamie Lee Curtis & Neve Campbell Had A Great Conversation Over Zoom
Our two most famous final girls, Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) and Neve Campbell (Scream) have each anchored famous horror franchises that revitalized the genre in their respective decades. The two sat down for a fantastic conversation courtesy of Variety and it was a treat for horror fans, or anyone simply interested in the industry. The conversation covered a number of topics including how little money they got for their first few horror movies, pay equality for actresses, Jamie Lee Curtis showing off her Michael Myers COVID-19 mask, and both Campbell and Curtis admitting something shocking: They don’t particularly like horror movies as they get scared. But no worries! There’s love for the genre as a whole, they just don’t like watching them on their own. You can check out the full conversation below:
Aaron Taylor-Johnson Joins Brad Pitt Action Movie ‘Bullet Train’
Sony’s Bullet Train, directed by David Leitch, is one of the more intriguing action projects in development. For starters, Brad Pitt is starring. For a finisher, Leitch is one of Hollywood’s most inventive action directors as the co-director and producer for John Wick and director of Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2. The man knows action. The cast just got a bit bigger, with Deadline reporting Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass, Avengers: Age of Ultron) has boarded the project, joining Pitt and the previously-announced Joey King and Andrew Koji. Zak Olkewicz is adapting the script from Kotaro Isaka’s novel Maria Beetle. The story involves seven different assassins, each with a different motive, boarding a Tokyo bullet train. As their paths cross and they each become an obstacle for the other, it turns into a fight for survival and only one assassin will get off the train alive. Intriguing. We’re in.
Universal Greenlights A ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Movie With Simon Kinberg Writing
After years of fans begging and details being sorted, Universal has given the greenlight to a big-screen adaptation of beloved sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica. Longtime X-Men franchise architect Simon Kinberg has signed on to both write and produce the adaptation, though a search for a director is ongoing. Dylan Clark, who has for years been working on the project with the studio, will also produce. Battlestar Galactica, which was a short-lived but influential series, tells the epic story of human colonies in far-flung galaxies that are besieged by a war-like race known as Cylons. The survivors flee on various starships led by the Galactica and her crew in an attempt to find a mythical safe haven known as Earth. Kinberg is pumped to adapt th story. “Battlestar Galactica is one of the holy grails in science fiction, and I couldn’t be more excited about bringing something new to the franchise while honoring what’s made it so iconic and enduring,” he said in a statement. “I’m so grateful that Dylan and my partners at Universal have trusted me with this incredible universe.”
Tim Burton Making A Live-Action ‘Addams Family’ TV Series
They’re creepy and they’re kooky, they’re scary and they’re spooky, and they’re altogether getting a reboot. Deadline reports that in his first major live-action TV series, Tim Burton is looking to develop a series about the Addams family. Burton is currently in talks with MGM, who is financing the project, to produce and direct all episodes, with Alfred Gough and Miles Millar serving as head writers and showrunners as well as exec producing alongside Burton. Netflix is said to be at the top of the bidding list for the project, which will reportedly be set in the present day and tell a new Addams Family story from the perspective of the famously morose Wednesay Addams. Pairing the gothic sensibilities of Burton and The Addams Family is a no-brainer, the kind of project that makes you wonder why it hasn’t happened long before. Despite his box office struggles in recent years, I still have faith that Tim Burton has a truly great project or two left in him and hopefully, The Addams Family series is it.
‘The Falcon And The Winter Soldier’ Bringing Back Characters From Earliest Movies
MCU spinoff series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is back in the swing of production in Atlanta and will be next month in Bruges. On the ScriptApart podcast, writer Derek Kolstad shared some interesting tidbits about who we might see appearing in the show. “What I will say is that there are characters from the earliest Marvel movies that are coming back,” he teased. “We’re layering them in and reinventing them in a way that’s gonna shift the storytelling structure. It’s f-cking awesome.” It’s been long lamented of the Marvel movies that the understandable focus on the main Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy meant interesting supporting characters didn’t get as much love. Kolstad points out the series will change that for these two characters. “[We’re] taking secondary characters and putting them in the primary roles, and [as a result] they’re cooler,” he explained. “They’re more interesting. There’s more humanity, more longing, more suffering, and coming to grips with who and what they are.” Honestly, we can’t wait to see the banter between Bucky and Sam. Sign us up.
Jared Leto Shooting Scenes For Zack Snyder’s ‘Justice League’
Jared Leto has been vocal over the years about his unhappiness with so many of his Suicide Squad scenes ending up on the cutting room floor and subsequent failure to appear in 2017’s Justice League. That is apparently being remedied, with THR reporting that Leto has joined the additional shoots for Zack Snyder’s Justice League director’s cut overhaul. Snyder famously parted ways on the original Justice League project and was replaced by Joss Whedon, whose theatrical cut was quite different than what Snyder had envisioned. But HBO Max decided to hand Snyder about $30 million to finish his cut of the movie, which includes entire reshoots and additional photography along with finishing CG to achieve his original vision. Apparently, that vision includes Leto’s Joker, whose addition indicates that Snyder’s recut of Justice League will be a far different story – which makes sense, considering it was reported to be at least four hours long. We’re curious to see how this one turns out.
Turns Out We’re Getting One More ‘Fast & Furious’ Movie Than We Thought
For years, the team being the Fast & Furious franchise has indicated the story would be told in 10 movies. According to Deadline, however, they’re extending it by one more movie: Universal has plans for two final Fast & Furious movies to wrap up the franchise and bring the nearly two-decade saga to a close. Unsurprisingly, they’re looking to Justin Lin to direct. Lin directed the 3rd-6th films in the franchise, as well as F9, which is currently in post. Though it’s obviously in the earliest of development stages, the fact they’re planning on back-to-back movies indicates it may be a two-part story that unfolds over the last two films, similar to Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. With a franchise that has never once gone home when it could go big, it feels like a fitting guess. Looks like we won’t be saying goodbye to “la familia” quite as soon as we thought.
The Cast Of ‘Legally Blonde’ Reunited And It Was Adorable
Honestly, there’s not a lot of news here but simply a lovely thing I wanted to share. The cast of Legally Blonde recently reunited on star Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine YouTube Channel to benefit World Central Kitchen. Hosted by SNL‘s Chloe Fineman, the reunion featured Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Jessica Cauffiel, Jennifer Coolidge, Matthew Davis, Ali Larter, Holland Taylor, Alanna Ubach, and Luke Wilson. They shared behind-the-scenes stories, their favorite scenes, and confirmed the news that Legally Blonde 3 is dropping May 2022. You can check out the entire delightful reunion below:
Mark Hamill Doubles Down On His Theory That A Lightsaber Could Cut Through Captain America’s Shield
Let’s start off with a bit of lighter, fun news. It’s been an ongoing debate the last few years in fandom as to whether a lightsaber could cut through Captain America’s shield or the vibranium shield could withstand the lightsaber’s attack. Mark Hamill made his stance clear a few years back and he recently doubled down on it when the topic went around Twitter again and a fan tweeted at him to ask for his take. Jokingly referring to the last time he and Chris Evans got into it in which Evans pointed out he’d just have a bunch of vibranium ninja stars even if the lightsaber cut up the shield, Hamill said he still stood by his statement but would happily acquiesce to the fan’s 11-year-old son. Check out the delightful exchange:
Also, can I just note that my favorite part about that entire tweet is the fact he signs off with a camel emoji for a play on his name?
Jamie Foxx To Star In Vampire Hunter Movie ‘Day Shift’
Jamie Foxx and Netflix have forged a tight bond in the wake of grounded superhero film Project Power, with the actor and streamer exploring further projects together. They’ve found their next one in Day Shift, based on an original script by Tyler Tice. Foxx will star as a blue-collar dad who just wants to provide a stable life for his precocious, 8-year-old daughter. However, his day job as a pool cleaner is just a front for his real calling in life and his main source of income: hunting vampires. Considering the team behind it, we can expect this one to be action-centric and combat-heavy: J.J. Perry, a longtime stunt coordinator, including with the John Wick franchise, is making his directorial debut with Day Shift. John Wick director Chad Stahelski and Jason Spitz are producing for 87Eleven Entertainment, with Shaun Redick and Yvette Yates Redick for Impossible Dream Entertainment. Foxx will serve as executive produce along with Datari Turner and Peter Baxter. The most current revision of the script was written by John Wick: Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 writer Shay Hatten. So, yeah. Expect Jamie Foxx to kick large amounts of ass, and brutally, in this flick.
‘The Batman’ Is Using Virtual Production Techniques From ‘The Mandalorian’
Trying to shoot a movie in the age of COVID-19 is a daunting challenge, not just in terms of on-set safety, but also in logistics. Warner Bros.’ The Batman, which has already seen two coronavirus-related shutdowns, is employing an emerging technology to finish the shoot on time. ILM chief creative officer Rob Bredow revealed that the production is utilizing virtual production techniques for certain scenes, something that was previously used by Disney for The Lion King and The Mandalorian. Virtual production, a technology that first emerged in the video game industry, essentially enables real-time visual effects production, digitally mapping out scenes with CG VFX or mocap integrated and emulating live-action production in a VR space. It’s an enormous time-saver as it allows for immediate feedback on visual effects and real-time collaboration. It’s unclear how The Batman is integrating virtual production into the shoot, but it’s fascinating to think of where movie production might be in the next few years.
‘Willow’ Series Gets Disney+ Greenlight; Jon M. Chu Directing Pilot
After many years of speculation, it’s confirmed: We are getting a Willow reboot. However, there’s a twist. Instead of a movie reboot as was rumored, Disney has instead decided to turn it into a series for Disney+. In exciting news, Disney has also tapped Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu to direct the pilot as well as serving as executive producer with showrunners Jonathan Kasdan (who also wrote the pilot) and Wendy Mericle. Set years after the first movie, the series will see the return of Warwick Davis as a now much older Willow Ufgood and will introduce all-new characters. The original, beloved 1988 film starred Davis as Willow, a reluctant farmer who teams up with Val Kilmer’s Madmartigan, a disgraced knight, on a mission to protect a special baby with the power to finally destroy the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh). It’s not yet known what the story arc for the new series will be, but Chu is stoked about the prospect of returning to the world of Willow. As he said in a statement
“Growing up in the ’80s, Willow has had a profound effect on me,” said Chu. “The story of the bravest heroes in the least likely places allowed me, an Asian-American kid growing up in a Chinese restaurant looking to go to Hollywood, to believe in the power of our own will, determination and of course, inner magic. So the fact that I get to work with my heroes from Kathleen Kennedy to Ron Howard is bigger than a dream come-true. It’s a bucket-list moment for me. Jon Kasdan and Wendy Mericle have added such groundbreaking new characters and delightful surprises to this timeless story that I can’t wait for the world to come along on this epic journey with us.”
If this is as good as the unfortunately-canceled Dark Crystal series reboot on Netflix, count us in.
Bette Midler Shares A Pic Of The ‘Hocus Pocus’ Sanderson Sisters Reunited
Momentum on the Hocus Pocus sequel has been picking up steam with Bette Midler recently confirming her involvement. She just gave us a taste of what it will look like for the Sanderson sisters to be reunited. This time it’s for a benefit supporting the New York Restoration Project, which is committed to transforming public spaces to make a greener, more sustainable NYC. Midler shared a picture of her and Hocus Pocus costars Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker in costume for the upcoming “In Search of the Sanderson Sisters, A Hocus Pocus Hulaween Takeover” benefit. The one-night-only event will take place on October 30th at 8pm ET/5pm PT and will stream worldwide. You can get tickets here.
Honestly, Hocus Pocus 2 can’t happen soon enough.
Harrison Ford And Ed Helms Teaming Up For Odd-Couple Comedy Based On A True Story
Here’s a fun one: STX Films has acquired a 2017 Black List comedy script from Ben Bolea with Harrison Ford and Ed Helms attached to star. Currently possessing the mouthful of a title The Miserable Adventures Of Burt Squire Aboard The Horn High Yo, the script is inspired by the true story of a middle-aged family man in the midst of a midlife crisis. He sets out on what he hopes will be his lifelong dream of a seafaring sailing vacation but instead ends up shipwrecked in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with a “charming but unhinged” sea captain. As we might have guessed, Helms is playing the restless family man and Ford the eccentric captain in the sea-trip buddy comedy.
‘On My Block’ Actor Danny Ramirez Joins ‘The Falcon & the Winter Soldier’
After months of delays, Marvel Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has finally resumed filming, with Atlanta productions restarting in September and Prague locations resuming this month. With that filming comes news of a new face added to the cast: Up-and-comer Danny Ramirez (On My Block, The Gifted) has signed on to play an undisclosed by reportedly pivotal role in the series. He joins a cast headed by respective title stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan as well as Marvel alumni Emily Van Camp as Sharon Carter and Daniel Brühl as villain Baron Zemo, along with Marvel newcomer Wyatt Russell, who is set to play John Russell/US Agent. Joining the Marvel universe, even on the small screen, is another big resume builder for the quickly growing resume of Ramirez, who will never be seen in the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick.
Michael B. Jordan To Produce DC’s ‘Static Shock’ Movie
Warner Bros., which has long been looking for a vehicle for the ultra-talented Michael B. Jordan, is working with Jordan in a different way at the moment. Jordan is set to board DC’s Static Shock project not as an actor, but as a producer with Outlier Society, his WB-based banner. He joins Reginald Hudlin, who was previously announced with the project during the DC FanDome event in August. The movie is based on the animated series (based on the comics) about Virgil Hawkins, a Black teenager who gains electromagnetic powers after being exposed to a strange gas. The movie comes in conjunction with Hudlin’s relaunch of Milestone Comics, a previously-defunct company founded by Black creators and artists that worked with Warner Bros. Said Jordan in a statement, “I’m proud to be a part of building a new universe centered around black superheroes; our community deserves that. Outlier Society is committed to bringing to life diverse comic book content across all platforms and we are excited to partner with Reggie and Warner Bros on this initial step.”
Anime Movie Shatters Japan’s Opening Weekend Record
The movie business might still be sluggish here in North America, but overseas, it’s getting back to booming. That’s especially the case for Japan, where a new movie just shattered opening weekend records in the country. Anime Demon Slayer The Movie: Mugen Train just blew past previous records, hauling in $44M (¥4.623B) across a three-day weekend in Japan, making it the global box office leader for the weekend and the biggest movie in Japan’s movie industry history. It also blew through IMAX records with $2.27M (¥238M) across 38 screens. It’s an enormous accomplishment for an animated movie. Putting it into perspective, its IMAX opening was 18% bigger than previous IMAX champ Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker. Its overall opening weekend vaulted past Frozen 2‘s then-record opening of $18.2 million in Japan. So high was the anticipation for Mugen Train that screenings started at 7am on Friday with some theaters reportedly playing it up to 40 times per day. It’s based on the manga Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba by Koyoharu Gotoge and was previously adapted as an anime series; Mugen Train is the direct follow-up to that series.
China Officially Becomes The Biggest Box Office In The World
The North Amerian box office has long been globally dominant as the biggest box office in the world, but a number of industry analysts have been predicting for years that China would soon surpass the U.S. to become #1. Indeed, it finally has – all it took was a global pandemic to trigger the flip. On Sunday, movie ticket sales in China surpassed $1.988 billion for 2020, moving China past the North American movie box office total of $1.937 billion thus far. Considering the two biggest moviegoing markets of NYC and LA are still closed in the U.S. and open theaters operating at only 25-50% capacity, the box office gap is expected to widen considerably by the end of the year. Currently China’s theaters are operating at 75% capacity and moviegoers are showing little fear of going back to theaters thanks to the country’s strict lockdown measures and efficient contract tracing and containment of the coronavirus. Whether or not North America will regain the title of the world’s biggest box office once things are back to normal remains to be seen. For now, however, it appears as though China will keep that crown for the foreseeable future.