We’re smack in the middle of July, in the summeriest part of summer. Blockbuster movie season is in full force, and with it comes exciting movie news and huge box office projections. This week brings some huge casting news for a few interesting projects, a huge sequel kicking off production, another Neil Gaiman book getting an adaptation, and more.

As always, Atom Insider brings you a few hand-picked stories we think you’ll like. Ready? Let’s dive in.

‘Dune: Part Two’ Begins Production

Less than a year after Denis Villeneuve brought Frank Herbert’s behemoth book to the big screen with Dune, the highly anticipated follow-up has officially begun filming. Dune: Part Two kicked off production and, unlike the first movie, which was filmed almost entirely in Jordan, the sequel will be a global shoot. This time, the film will be shot in a number of locations, including Budapest, Abu Dhabi, Jordan, and Italy.

Dune: Part Two will also feature a host of new faces. Newcomers to the cast include Florence Pugh, Lea Seydoux, Christopher Walken, Souheila Yacoub, and Austin Butler, who has recently earned Oscar buzz for his breakout role in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. They join a powerhouse cast that includes Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Charlotte Rampling, Stellan Skarsgård, Javier Bardem and Stephen McKinley Henderson. Once again, Jon Spaihts and Villeneuve have teamed up to pen the script. The movie was recently pushed back; it’s now expected to release on November 17 of next year, just in time for Thanksgiving.

‘Mortal Kombat 2’ Is Officially A Go

It was announced in January that Mortal Kombat 2 was in the early stages of development with Jeremy Slater working on a script. Now, however, Mortal Kombat 2 appears to be officially, officially a go. Deadline reports that New Line is indeed moving forward with it, and has brought Simon McQuoid, who directed the first Mortal Kombat, back to helm the sequel. The first movie, based on the classic video game series, was McQuoid’s directorial debut. It opened at #1 at the domestic box office (albeit, it was during the height of the pandemic era) with a simultaneous opening on HBO Max. Since then, it’s continued to be one of the streamer’s most-watched movies. The success of the first Mortal Kombat got New Line to hustle a sequel into production. There’s no word yet on when it’s expected to hit theaters, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Mortal Kombat 2 begin filming within the next few months.

‘Game Of Thrones’ Star Peter Dinklage Joins ‘Hunger Games’ Prequel

It seems like every other day, there’s casting news for the upcoming Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. This week brings some of the biggest casting news yet: Peter Dinklage is joining the cast as Casca Highbottom. Highbottom is the dean of the Academy that young Coriolanus Snow attends (Tom Blyth was previously cast as Snow). Dinklage, who rose to fame for his beloved turn as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones, will bring his star presence to a major portion of the movie; Highbottom is one of the most influential and important people in young Coriolanus’ life. Director Francis Lawrence confirmed as much, saying, “Dean Highbottom is one of the most powerful people in Snow’s life. As the austere and vindictive face of the games, he sets the rules that will determine every aspect of Coriolanus’ fate. I’m thrilled that Peter will be bringing him to life.” Along with Dinklage and Blyth, Rachel Zegler is set to play the co-lead as tribute Lucy Gray Baird.

Here’s the synopsis for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes:

“Years before he would become the tyrannical President of Panem, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird, the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. But, after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in their favor. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.”

It’s set to square off against Dune: Part Two on November 17, 2023.

‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Extended Cut Release Dates Revealed

For the seemingly only a dozen people who didn’t see it the first time around, and those who want to see it again, Spider-Man: No Way Home is hitting theaters again. This time, it’s the extended cut, with new scenes that weren’t in the massively successful theatrical release last year. Officially dubbed “The More Fun Stuff Version,” the extended cut is set to hit theaters once again on September 1 in the U.S. The official Twitter account tweeted out the global release dates this week:

The More Fun Stuff Version is confirmed to include both extended scenes and additional scenes. While it’s unclear what those additional scenes might be, they’ll almost certainly revolve around the three Spider-Men actors–Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire–whose chemistry was the highlight of No Way Home. Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently sitting at an eye-popping $1.9 billion dollars and the release of the extended cut is sure to put it over the $2 billion mark. Stick with Atom Tickets for alerts when tickets go on sale.

Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Graveyard Book’ Is Getting The Disney Treatment

Author Neil Gaiman has quietly become one of the most adaptable writers out there, with a plethora of his works being turned into movies and TV shows alike. His next book to hit the big screen will reportedly be The Graveyard Book, which Deadline reports is in development by Walt Disney Studios. It seems the studio is keen to get this one going, too, as it’s already tapped David Magee (Life of Pi) to write the script with Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) on board to direct.

Published in 2008, The Graveyard Book is one of Gaiman’s more youth-oriented books, winning several prestigious literary awards including the American Newberry Medal. It follows the adventures of Nobody “Bod” Owen, a young boy who is raised by ghosts and supernatural beings in a graveyard, including caretaker Silas, after his parents are murdered. Bod yearns to explore the world beyond the graveyard, but if he leaves, the same man who murdered his family will get him, too. It’s unclear whether or not the adaptation of The Graveyard Book will be live-action or animated, like the 2009 Gaiman adaptation Coraline, but considering the talent involved, it’s likely to be live-action. No release date is set yet.

Trailers & Clips of the Week

New trailers for big movies have been light this past week – everyone is waiting for this weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con for their big drops.

Halloween Ends – Official Trailer


Funny Pages – Official Trailer

This one indeed looks fun.

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