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.
James Gunn Says Kevin Feige Knows Everything About ‘The Suicide Squad’ – Including The Villain
When James Gunn was let go from directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, it would have been understandable had there been bad blood. But his relationship with Marvel remained solid and when he was rehired for Guardians right after signing on to direct DC’s The Suicide Squad, it turns out one of the people he turned to was none other than Marvel head Kevin Feige. One day after agreeing to tackle the DC project, Gunn got a call from Disney’s Alan Horn asking him to come back to work. Right after hearing from Horn, Gunn immediately called the next person on his list in Kevin Feige. After finding out Gunn was doing a DC project, the first thing Feige asked was whether it was Superman (it wasn’t, but Gunn had been offered that possibility). After learning it was The Suicide Squad, Feige had just one request of Gunn: “Please, please make a good movie. Just…make a great movie.” That mutual goodwill and respect also means Gunn divulged the details of his rival studio project to Feige long before anyone else. “Kevin knew who all those characters were for months before we revealed them at FanDome,” Gunn explained. “He still knows who the villain is. I think he’s pretty trustworthy with his NDA!” It’s awesome to see how close the two are, no?
‘Halloween Kills’ Unleashes A Chilling Teaser
David Gordon Green’s Halloween Kills may be pushed back to 2021 now, but that’s not stopping Blumhouse from whetting our anticipation with a few teasing tidbits ahead of time. A teaser video was unveiled during Blumhouse’s virtual BlumFest, an event showcasing a number of the horror production company’s upcoming projects. Halloween Kills will pick up right after the events of Green’s previous Halloween, with Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role as ultimate final girl Laurie Strode. This time, however, the sequel will explore how Michael Myers’ psychopathic murder spree affects an entire community instead of just one woman. Check out the teaser below and mark your calendars for October 15 of next year when it’s set to hit theaters.
Sebastian Stan & Daisy Edgar-Jones Set To Star In Social Thriller ‘Fresh’
Marvel star Sebastian Stan has found his next project. He and Normal People‘s Daisy Edgar-Joins are set to star in Legendary’s upcoming project Fresh. Mimi Cave is set to direct off a script from Lauryn Kahn and Adam McKay and Kevin Messick are on producer duties. Plot details are being kept under wraps, but it’s being described as a “social thriller,” so as far as I can figure, think of it in the vein of Get Out: a horror movie with strong themes revolving around social issues. And…that’s about all we know. I’ll update as more details drop.
Jessica Chastain & Anne Hathaway Set To Square Off In Thriller ‘Mother’s Instinct’
In other thriller news, two of our greatest working actresses have signed on for a project that sounds like it has equal amounts Oscar buzz potential and absolute camp potential. Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway are set to topline 1960s-set psychological thriller Mother’s Instinct. Writer-director Olivier Masset-Depasse will direct the film, which is a remake of 2018 Belgian movie Duelles, which itself is based on Barbara Abel’s novel Derrière La Haine. Hathaway and Chastain will play two housewives who are best friends and neighbors, each living idyllic, picture-perfect lives. But when a tragic accident unfolds, it upends their close bond with suspicion, paranoia and guilt. Soon, a psychological battle of wills begins as the dark side of their maternal instincts take over. We’re in.
Marvel’s ‘Moon Knight’ Series Finds A Director
Just a few days after the news of Oscar Isaac being eyed for the lead role in Marvel’s Moon Knight series, more news comes, this time about a director. Deadline reports Mohamed Diab (Clash) has been tapped to helm the series. He’ll be working alongside head writer and showrunner Jeremy Slater (The Umbrella Academy) on the series that revolves around Marc Spector, a former mercenary and CIA operative who is given the gift of being resurrected by the ancient Egyptian god, Khonshu, and is reborn as the superhero Moon Knight. It will be interesting to see how Diab handles the directing for this series. Spector suffers from disassociative identity disorder and while the lion’s share of showing his multiple personalities will fall to the writers and Isaac, it will be interesting to see if Diab’s directing style enhances that aspect of the character’s personality.
‘Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings’ Star Simu Liu Celebrates Wrapping Production
Among the many, many movie productions that got shut down thanks to the coronavirus epidemic was Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which was forced to shut down in March. But production started back up in Australia in July, and this week, filming on the upcoming Marvel blockbuster finally wrapped. Star Simu Liu, who has quickly become one of the more entertaining people to follow on social media, shared the news with a photo showing his gratitude for the cast and crew working tirelessly to make sure the set was safe and no one got sick.
Since Instagram embeds are still not working (womp womp), the lengthy caption reads
“Our crew came to get it DONE!
This shoot was a marathon like no other, broken up by a massive four-month hiatus during which the world completely and irrevocably changed.
We finally returned to principle photography in July with a promise that we were going to do it right, emphasizing the health and safety of our hundreds of crew members. Through the thirteen-odd weeks back we made on-set safety an absolute priority, starting from masks and frequent sanitization to rapid testing and pod systems. Everyone sacrificed, and in the end?
Over 40,000 CoVID tests without a SINGLE positive.
From the lights to the sound, behind the screen and in front, I’m so proud of this crew of people and I can’t wait to show you what we made with @destindaniel.
Also – I know, I have to get rid of that chandelier…
First Trailer For David Bowie Biopic ‘Stardust’ Is Released
A project that has flown under the radar but has plenty of people excited is IFC’s Stardust biopic based on the life of David Bowie. The title is taken, of course, from the legendary musician’s famous alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust. The story follows a young Bowie (Johnny Flynn) on his first trip to America with his struggling publicist Ron Oberman (Marc Maron) in tow. That trip inspired the creation of Ziggy Stardust and marked the turning point and sharp upswing in what would become an iconic and influential career that spanned decades. Along with Flynn and Maron, the rest of the cast includes Aaron Poole as Bowie’s guitarist Mick Ronson, Roanna Cocharne, Jorja Cadence, Annie Briggs, Ryan Blakley and Jena Malone as Angie Bowie, the artist’s ex-wife. Angie and David divorced in 1980 after ten years; Bowie later married model Iman in 1992 and they remained married until Bowie’s death in 2016. Check out the trailer below:
Letitia Wright Says It’s Only A Matter Of Time Before An All-Female Avengers Movie Happens
Fans continue to be divided over Avengers: Endgame‘s “She’s got help” scene, with some feeling it’s pandering to women after too many years of not centering them as characters and others loving the nod to women working together. But there’s no denying the appetite is there for a female Avengers team-up – or that it’s long overdue. According to Black Panther star Letitia Wright (Shuri), Marvel knows this and they’re actively working on developing it. “I don’t think we have to fight for it,” she told Yahoo! “Victoria Alonso is very strong about spearheading it, alongside Kevin. It’s only a matter of time before they do it.” Wright isn’t the only Marvel actress who wants to see it happen. Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) has been vocal about it, and last year, Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) revealed she and a number of the other women of Marvel approached Feige about doing an A-Force style movie, the A-Force being the all-women Avengers team from the comics. Fans want it and Marvel seems to want it. The only thing now appears to be working out details. Fingers crossed it’s sooner rather than later.
Netflix Developing Live-Action ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Series
After the wild success of The Witcher, Netflix is turning its eye to another video game franchise* it can adapt: Assassin’s Creed. The new live-action series will be developed in creation with Ubisoft, with Ubisoft’s Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik executive producing. Much like the aforementioned Witcher, they’re not planning on just doing a series, but mining the lore of the world to create multiple live-action, animated, and anime series. Said Netflix’s VP of Original Series Peter Friedlander, “From its breathtaking historical worlds and massive global appeal as one of the best selling video game franchises of all time, we are committed to carefully crafting epic and thrilling entertainment based on this distinct IP and provide a deeper dive for fans and our members around the world to enjoy.” Check out the announcement video below:
*Though it should be noted The Witcher streaming series is based less on the video game adaptations, more on the original series of books by Andrzej Sapkowski.
‘Avatar 2’ Set Photo Shows Off Kate Winslet’s Incredible Freediving Ability
As we know, James Cameron’s Avatar 2 is based in a water world and the cast and crew have had to spend quite a bit of time in and underwater. Because of this, a number of cast members have learned how to do extended breath-holding and undergone freediving training, including Kate Winslet. Producer Jon Landau showed off the fruits of Winslet’s labor by sharing a pic from set showing Winslet shooting a scene underwater. The caption references an interview she gave to THR back in August in which she said, “I had to learn how to free-dive to play that role in Avatar, and that was just incredible. My longest breath hold was seven minutes and 14 seconds, like crazy, crazy stuff.” Seven minutes and 14 seconds?! That is insane. Take that, Tom Cruise! Take a look:
A Biopic About Barrier-Breaking Comedian Richard Pryor Is In The Works
A hot, sought-after project has just landed at MGM: The studio nabbed the rights to the project, a Richard Pryor biopic, with Kenya Barris (Black-ish, Girls Trip) set to write and direct as well as produce via his Khalabo Ink Society banner. Pryor’s widow Jennifer Lee Pryor will also produce along with Tory Metzger. Adam Rosenberg and Renee Witt will serve as executive producers. Pryor, who died in 2005 from a heart attack and after complications from multiple sclerosis, continues to influence comedians today. His boundary-breaking career started in standup before branching into TV and movies, including Blazing Saddles, Superman III and The Wiz. Said Barris in a statement, “The way Pryor did what he did — with truth and specificity that was somehow self-aware and self-deprecating, and said with an unmatched level of vulnerability — that was the power and impact of his work. Pryor had a voice that was distinctly his and, in many ways, comedy since then has been derivative of what he created. To me, this is a film about that voice, the journey that shaped it, and what it took for it to come to be.”
‘Saved By The Bell’ Revival Drops First Trailer
Revivals of TV series decades past are all the rage right now and Saved By the Bell is the most recent to get the revival treatment, courtesy of Peacock TV. It dropped its first trailer today and while it focuses on a new generation of students, it also includes Zack and Kelly, Jessie and Slater. Zack Morris is now the Governor of California and Kelly Kapowski is the First Lady of California, AC Slater is the football coach of good ol’ Bayside High and Jessie Spano is a doctor and what appears to be either the school’s new counselor or principal. The tone of the trailer is comedic and full of meta-humor, including poking fun at the original. Here it is:
Marvel Circling Oscar Isaac To Play Moon Knight For Disney+ Series
With the movie release and production schedule still screwy, Marvel has turned its attention to loading its pipeline with Disney+ series. Next on that list is Moon Knight and it would appeal Marvel has a target for the role. Deadline reports Star Wars actor Oscar Isaac is in talks to play the titular lead. Marc Spector, a.k.a. Moon Knight, is one of the more interesting characters in Marvel. Imagine Batman if Batman had dissociative identity disorder. His origin has changed some in the comics, as they do, but Spector was raised the son of a rabbi before later becoming a boxer, Marine, CIA liaison and mercenary. One night on a mission, he’s left to die and is visited by the spirit of the ancient Egyptian god Khonshu, who gives him a choice: Serve Khonshu and get a second chance at life. Spector agrees and is reborn as the vigilante superhero of multiple personalities known as Moon Knight. If Isaac does indeed end up signing on the dotted line, it will be interesting to see how he approaches the character.
Bette Midler Confirms The OG ‘Hocus Pocus’ Sanderson Trio Are All Returning For The Sequel
Just a week after seeing a sneak peek of Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy in costume again as the Sanderson sisters for a benefit show, Midler has confirmed what we’d all hoped in a recent interview with Fox 5 New York’s Good Day New York: All three of them are returning to reprise their roles for Hocus Pocus 2. “They want to make a movie, they’ve asked us if we were interested and of course all of us said yes,” said Midler. “I’m game, I’m totally game.” And event though they first played the diabolical trio of witch sisters almost 30 years ago, Midler said getting into costume again made it feel as though no time had passed at all. “[T]o put all that gear on… it was so bizarre because we fell into exactly the same relationship we had and the same style of behaving on screen that we had 27 years ago. As if we had been off for a weekend!” The sequel to Hocus Pocus is expected to be a Disney+ release. Adam Shankman (Hairspray, What Men Want) is attached to direct.
Dwayne Johnson Shares Behind-The-Scenes Photo From ‘Red Notice’ For Ryan Reynolds’ Birthday
It was Ryan Reynolds’ birthday last Friday and, as might have been expected for an actor so well-liked in Hollywood, birthday wishes poured in from all over. One of the most interesting, however, came from Dwayne Johnson. The actor shared a pic from the set of their upcoming action-thriller Red Notice showing the two sharing a laugh while looking dashing in tuxedos. Whatever the plot of the Netflix film, it clearly involves them going full swanky James Bond at some point. Of course, The Rock couldn’t resist a nod to their respective alcohol brands and a gentle dig at the affable Reynolds: “Happy Birthday to this dashin’ SOB and my #RedNotice co-star @vancityreynolds. One shaken, not stirred @aviationgin toasting an on the rocks @teremana,” the caption reads. “Your gift is in the mail. Just wait for it. It’s huge. Super cool. It’ll show up. Eventually. If it doesn’t.. whatever.” Check out the pic below and apologies for the screenshot – embeds are wonky at the moment.
What dashing gents.
Rami Malek Says Playing James Bond Villain Safin “Was Not Psychologically Easy”
From everything we’ve heard about No Time To Die, it seems as though Rami Malek’s Safin will be a substantially different villain than we’ve seen in recent iterations of the franchise. Speaking to GQ, Malek said he had to tap deep into the darkness of the human psyche to play the “unnerving and unsettling” Safin and it wasn’t an easy task for him as an actor. Safin is a murky figure and one that operates at a sociopathic level and it was hard for Malek to get to the root of what drives his character, the actor confessed:
“I think you start asking questions about what evil is. And with this character especially I find him fascinating because he can detach from empathy in order to meticulously carry out his will and I start to wrap myself up in who that person is psychologically. He’s ruthless and that might be – I’m in danger of giving too much away here – a result of something that’s happened to him. but even acknowledging that taps into the analytical side of him as well. I think the fact that he can still find a way to appreciate his own evil is something that is quite petrifying and psychologically something that was not easy for me to tap into.”
Consider us excited to see how this plays out on screen.