Hollywood was on temporary pause but productions are gearing back up, release dates continue to be tweaked in preparation for theaters reopening, and things are slowly starting to return to normal – or at least, our temporary new normal. Movie news is once again starting to flow, with us bringing you a few hand-picked stories we think you’ll like.

Let’s hop to it.

Mads Mikkelsen Joins The Cast Of ‘Indiana Jones 5’

A week after the news that Phoebe Waller-Bridge had joined the upcoming Indiana Jones 5 comes another exciting addition. Variety reports that Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal, Casino Royale, Doctor Strange) has also joined the cast. As with Waller-Bridger’s character, details are scarce on who Mikkelsen will be playing. However, considering his on-screen history in franchise IP projects, it would be fair to speculate he’s playing the villain. This is the second big franchise for Mikkelsen in a few months; last November, it was announced Mikkelsen had been tapped to replace Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3. He was also recently nominated for a Best Actor award at the BAFTAs for his Danish film Another Round. Indiana Jones 5, which hopes to start production this summer, will be helmed by James Mangold, the first time an Indiana Jones movie has been directed by someone other than Steven Spielberg. It aims to hit theaters on July 29, 2022.

Gabriel Luna Joins Pedro Pascal In HBO’s ‘The Last Of Us’ Series

HBO’s The Last of Us series, based on the wildly popular video game from Sony and Naughty Dog, is speeding along in pre-production. Two months after the announcement that Pedro Pascal will be stepping into the co-lead role of Joel opposite Bella Ramsey’s Ellie, Variety learned that Gabriel Luna will also be joining the cast in the role of Tommy, Joel’s younger brother. A former soldier, Tommy still hasn’t lost his sense of optimism and hope for a better world in the wake of that post-apocalyptic world struggling to survive two decades after modern civilization’s collapse. Luna’s most recent major role was 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate; previously, he’d also had the fan-favorite role of Robbie Reyes, a.k.a. Ghost Rider on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and other series including Rosewood, True Detective, and Matador. Chernobyl‘s Craig Mazin is set to write and executive produce the series alongside Neil Druckmann, the writer and creative director for the video game series. It’s unclear when the series aims to start shooting, but HBO Max, which is badly in need of original content, is moving on this quickly so it’s possible it could start as early as this summer.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse 2 Taps Its Directing Team

Sony has been taking its time developing its sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and that has included choosing its team of directors. The trio of Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson have been announced as the trio behind the sequel. Dos Santos and Thompson are longtime animation veterans but this will be their first directing job. Among Dos Santos’s credits are The Legend of Korra, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Teen Titans. Thompson was the production designer on the first Spider-Verse film as well as the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movies. As for Powers, he’s currently in the running for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars for One Night in Miami, as well as being the co-director for Pixar’s Soul, which is also in the running for an Oscar in the Best Animated Feature. Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman directed the first Into the Spider-Verse film, which was groundbreaking on multiple levels. Ramsey will be returning as executive producer. In a statement, the new directing trio said, “The crew behind the first Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse set such a ridiculously high bar, and we’re humbled to take on the challenge of charting the next chapter in the story of Miles Morales.”

‘Barb and Star’ Team Developing Musical Comedy About Cinderella’s Stepsisters

Courtesy of Deadline, coming off the success of the wacky comedy Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar, Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo are teaming back up for their first feature film for Disney. The project is a live-action musical comedy revolving around Cinderella’s evil stepsisters, though it’s unknown whether the Oscar-nominated writing duo will also be acting in the film. Even if they do, however, it won’t be as the stepsisters as Disney is reportedly looking for younger actresses for those roles. Similar to how Gregory Maguire made his name rewriting fairy tales from the point-of-view of villains, as with Wicked, the movie looks to be a retelling of the story of Cinderella from the point of the stepsisters, but with a comedic bent. The reason for tapping younger actresses for the roles is due to the fact the film looks to tell the story of Anastasia and Drizella Tremaine in the years spanning their childhood up through their mother’s remarriage and the rise and wedding of their stepsister to the prince. With this film, it appears that Disney is chugging ahead with its unofficial Disney Villains series, with Cruella set to hit theaters in May, and Gaston and LeFou is currently in development as a Disney+ series with Luke Evans and Josh Gad set to reprise their roles.

Olivia Colman & Emilia Clarke In Talks To Join Samuel L. Jackson In Marvel’s ‘Secret Invasion’

With their Disney+ arm in full swing, casting is well underway for Marvel’s upcoming Secret Invasion series starring Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn reprising their roles as wily intelligence veteran & former director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury and alien Skrull ally, Talos, respectively. Now, that cast is growing by two, though it could be argued what they bring to the table is more like four: THR broke the news that Oscar winner Olivia Colman is in talks to join the series while Variety broke the news that Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke will also be boarding the Marvel series. The news of their casting came in a one-two news drop not that long after the news that One Night In Miami breakout star Kingsley Ben-Adir had also joined the cast, reportedly in the villain role. As with all Marvel projects, the roles of Colman and Clarke are being kept under wraps, but the show will borrow from the Secret Invasion storyline in the comics, in which the shapeshifting Skrull alien race have been quietly infiltrating and assimilating into the Earth’s population for years. Kyle Bradstreet (Mr. Robot) is serving as head writer and executive producer; currently, Marvel is on the hunt for directors. The series is set for a fall shoot in the U.K. and Europe.

Vin Diesel To Star In Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robot Movie

In keeping with toy companies looking to do big business in Hollywood in the form of movies based on their games, Mattel is developing a live-action movie based on Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, the tabletop robot fighting game. Fast & Furious franchise star Vin Diesel is set to lead the project. Diesel is said to be playing a father who forms and unlikely bond with an advanced war machine and robot. There is also a role for his son, though that role has not been cast yet. His company, One Race Films, is developing the project along with Mattel and Universal. Diesel released a brief statement at the time of announcement, saying, “To take the classic Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em game, with Mattel as my partner, and align it with the kind of world-building, franchise-making success we have had with Universal, is truly exciting.” Ryan Engle, who wrote Dwayne Johnson’s Rampage, is penning the script. With the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em movie, Mattel now has almost half a dozen projects in the works, including ones based on Barbie, Barney the Dinosaur, Wishbone and Uno.

Trailers Of The Week

And now, the best trailers and clips of the week.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Did this just become our most anticipated Marvel project? Yes. Yes, it did.

Mortal Kombat – First Seven Minutes

This has the potential to be one of the best video games ever and a bloody good time.

Shadow and Bone

And lastly, it’s not a movie, but Netflix’s highly-anticipated Shadow and Bone series drops this Friday and the streamer released a fun featurette showing how it built the complicated world.

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