We’re almost to Valentine’s Day and 2024 is full steam ahead. With festival and awards season being upon us – not to mention Sunday’s Super Bowl, which will surely be dropping plenty of trailers – there’s plenty of entertainment news dropping. This week finds Jurassic World 4 landing a director, a fun new shared universe, Jeremy Renner’s MCU future, and more.

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

Miles Teller To Play Michael Jackson’s Attorney In Upcoming Biopic

It seems like there’s a new musical biopic being announced every other month, but one of the most anticipated just got some big news in the form of a casting announcement. Lionsgate has announced that Miles Teller will be joining the cast for its Michael Jackson biopic, Michael, as Jackson’s manager and lawyer, John Branca. Branca, who is currently the co-executor of the Michael Jackson estate, will be producing the film alongside his estate executive partner, John McClain.

Teller joins a cast that already includes Jaafar Jackson as Michael Jackson, Colman Domingo as Joe Jackson, and Nia Long as Michael Jackson. Jaafar Jackson’s casting is particularly fitting: he’s Jermaine Jackson’s son and the nephew of Michael. Antoine Fuqua is set to direct the film, which is slated for a 2025 release. John Logan wrote the script.

Robert Downey Jr. Pitched Himself To Christopher Nolan To Play Scarecrow In Batman Begins

At a Q&A after a screening of Oppenheimer at the Aero Theater in Los Angeles, Robert Downey Jr. had a lot of fun with the audience, revealing an anecdote about the first time he worked with Christopher Nolan – well, almost. As Downey recounted, he heard about a little movie called Batman Begins and thought he’d be perfect for the role of Scarecrow, but Nolan clearly didn’t agree.

“I’m pretty sure that I heard like, ‘There’s this role, Scarecrow,’ and I was like, ‘psh, I’m Scarecrow,'” Downey said. “I remember meeting [Nolan] for tea, and I was like, ‘He doesn’t seem like he’s really leaning in on this interview.’ And he was polite and all that, but I mean, you know, you can tell when someone is kind of like, ‘It’s not gonna go your way.’” he finished up, laughing at the memory.

Considering which superhero universe Downey landed a few years later, it’s safe to say Nolan made the right call. Recently, the director recalled how Cillian Murphy nabbed the role of Scarecrow in his Batman trilogy. He originally invited Murphy to do a screen test for Batman seeing as how extraordinary he had been in 28 Days Later. However, after seeing Murphy’s test, he just didn’t feel like he was Batman material. But he did have another character in mind.

“We did two scenes — there was a Bruce Wayne scene and a Batman scene — and I made sure that executives came down and watched what [Cillian was] doing on set,” Nolan recalled. “Everybody was so excited by watching [him] perform that when I then said to them, ‘Okay, Christian Bale is Batman, but what about Cillian to play Scarecrow?’ there was no dissent.”

Clearly, the right casting decisions were made all around.

Lisa Frankenstein Writer Diablo Cody Confirms It Takes Place In The Same Universe As Jennifer’s Body

A few fun little tidbits have come out of the press tour for Lisa Frankenstein, particularly from writer Diablo Cody. Last week, while taking to Screen Rant, Cody was asked about the possibility of Lisa Frankenstein and her 2009 cult horror-comedy Jennifer’s Body sharing a universe and she loved that idea. At the red carpet premiere for Lisa Frankenstein, however, she confirmed it, adding a fun twist to the movie: “I am just declaring that this movie takes place in the same universe,” she said. “I have decided that. I will not say that you’d see any overt references to that but I’m saying it.”

Speaking to Deadline on the red carpet, Cody also recounted how the failure of Jennifer’s Body at the time really shattered her confidence and made it hard for her to want to get back into the genre. However, her movie has since been reevaluated and is a true cult classic, appreciated for its dark sense of humor and empowering and subversive themes, and that gave her the confidence to write Lisa Frankenstein and, perhaps, a “final push that I need to actually make it happen” to get a Jennifer’s Body sequel done. “It’s hard to get things made these days.”

“I was nervous to get back into that,” she told us about revisiting the genre. “And then this magical thing happened the last few years where that movie found an audience and people began to really appreciate it. And it gave me the confidence to say, ‘You know what? I never lost my passion for that world and I want to do another one.’ So, I’m here.”

Lisa Frankenstein is in theaters this weekend. Get tickets.

The Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion Sequel Is Full Steam Ahead

Looks like we might just have (another) Romy and Michele day! Mira Sorvino has given an update on the long-awaited sequel to her much-loved 1997 comedy with Lisa Kudrow, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, and things are looking good. Speaking to Us magazine, she confirmed that she and she and Kudrow are on board. What’s more, original writer Robin Schiff is back to pen the script.

“She’s currently working on Emily in Paris, so she’s finishing up her draft to present to the studio,” Sorvino explained. “Lisa [Kudrow] and I are wrapping up our deals as executive producers on it with the studio. We’re full force ahead.”

The original 1997 movie, directed by David Mirkin, was adapted by Schiff from the 1988 play Ladies Room. The original movie followed Romy and Michele, two best friends who returned to their high school reunion and tried to impress everyone by pretending they invented Post-Its. As far as Sorvino is concerned, that goofy ethos won’t change:

“I just still want [Romy and Michele] to be as relatable, but also as dumb and lovable as they ever were. Like, I don’t think they’ve learned that much in the time in between, but they still have that unstoppable spirit and that friendship and that idiocy that makes everybody kind of love them. And so, that essential nature of them and the heart that’s at the center of that, that heart has to stay there.”

Romy and Michele forever!

New Jurassic World Movie Is Eyeballing John Wick’s David Leitch To Direct

Now we get to arguably the biggest news of the week: Jurassic World 4, which was announced a few weeks ago, now has a release date and a potential director. It was announced that the movie, which is bringing back original Jurassic Park writer David Koepp to pen the script, will surprisingly be hitting theaters on July 2, 2025. Now, it has a director, and it’s a potentially great fit: the studio is eyeballing John Wick co-creator, and Deadpool 2 and Bullet Train director David Leitch to direct. Reportedly, Universal is really high up on Leitch’s upcoming remake of The Fall Guy starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt.

Considering Leitch’s distinct style, it’s clear the studio wants to reinvigorate the franchise and take it in a slightly different direction. While the original Jurassic World trilogy starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard was quite successful, the franchise can’t merely repeat what it’s done in the past three movies. It’s time for something fresh. Leitch’s highly stylized action sensibilities will hopefully be exactly what the franchise needs to do just that.

Jeremy Renner Addresses Whether He’d Ever Return To The MCU After His Near-Fatal Accident

And finally, a promising update from Marvel actor Jeremy Renner on whether or not he’d ever return to the MCU as Hawkeye. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Renner made it clear he’s down whenever. “I’m always game,” Renner enthusiastically agreed. “I’m gonna be strong enough, that’s for sure. I’ll be ready. All those guys come to my bedside and they’ve been with me all along through this recovery, so… if they want me, they could have me. It would be something.”

Renner, of course, is a bit over a year removed from the horrific accident he suffered on New Year’s Day, when his heavy-duty snowplow ran him over and gave him multiple crushing injuries, including eight ribs broken in 14 places, his right knee, and right ankle broken, left tibia and left ankle broken, right clavicle broken, right shoulder broken, a broken jaw, pierced liver, collapsed lung, and serious contusions. Since then, he’s made a remarkable recovery, documenting his progress and extensive physical and occupational therapy journey to regain function and his life. Throughout the process, Renner has credited his family and friends – including his MCU and Avengers castmates who were right by his side in the hospital – with his remarkable recovery. “I keep pushing for many reasons, but you are my fuel,” he said in an Instagram post on November 14.

Here’s to hoping we’ll one day get to see him donning the bow and arrows once again.

Trailers & Clips of the Week

And now, your trailers and clips of the week!

A Quiet Place: Day One – Official Trailer

This looks excellent, no?

Drive-Away Dolls – Official Trailer #2

Even if it’s just one-half of the Coen Brothers, shenanigans abound.

Imaginary – Official Trailer

Bring on the horrifying childhood trauma!

Back to Black – Official Trailer

Could this be the first 2024 biopic to gun for an Oscar next year?

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