Somehow, we are already halfway through June, and that means big movie news is heating up as the summer blockbuster movie season gets into full swing. This week brings some enormous casting news of a beloved antiheroine, rad posters for Marvel’s next Thor movie, and the announcement of new villains and new titles for some of the most anticipated upcoming sequels.

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

Lady Gaga Circling Harley Quinn Role In ‘Joker 2’

To the surprise of many considering how self-contained Joker‘s story was, it was announced a few months ago that a Joker 2 was in the works. Recently, it got the new title of Joker: Folie à Deux, leading to speculation that Harley Quinn would be appearing; “folie à deux” translates to “the folly of two” or “the madness of two.” That is indeed the case, with numerous outlets reporting that none other than Lady Gaga is in talks to play Dr. Harleen Quinzel, a.k.a. Harley Quinn, the psychiatrist who falls in love with Joker while acting as his therapist in Arkham Asylum. Joker star Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly in final talks to reprise the role, with Todd Phillips returning to direct with a script he once again wrote with Scott Silver.

Speaking of that script, if sources are correct, it will be a quite different take than the first Joker movie. Reportedly, Joker: Folie à Deux is set to be a musical. If that’s the case, it makes far more sense that Warner Bros. is targeting Lady Gaga for the starring role opposite Phoenix. Considering that, the star power circling it, and the enormous box office success of the first movie, it’s likely that Joker: Folie à Deux will have a budget much higher than the relatively modest $60 million of the first Joker.

New ‘Thor: Love & Thunder’ Posters Released

The God of Thunder is back and he’s more metal than ever. Marvel is ramping up the marketing for the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder, which is hitting theaters in just a few weeks. This week, the movie released its first batch of character posters. They fully capture that Love and Thunder will be even more neon and hair metal than Thor: Ragnarok. Check ’em out:

Chris Hemsworth as Thor

Natalie Portman as Jane Foster/Mighty Thor

Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher

Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie

Taika Waititi as Korg

Russell Crowe as Zeus

And finally, two VERY good boys in the form of Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder.

If the goats get hurt, we riot.

Get tickets now for Thor: Love and Thunder.

Justin Lin To Direct ‘One Punch Man’ Adaptation

In April, Fast X director Justin Lin exited the project a week into filming, and now, he has his next big project lined up. Deadline has broken the news that Sony has tapped him to direct their live-action adaptation of the beloved manga and anime series One Punch Man. Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, the team behind Jumanji: The Next Level and Venom, are penning the script. Lin is set to join them on the second pass of the script, with the aim for production to begin shooting in the fall.

One Punch Man is one of the most popular manga and anime series in the world. It follows Saitama, a hero who can defeat anyone and everyone with a single punch. With his unique skills, however, he grows bored of never being able to find a worthy challenge as he travels the world in search of evil to defeat. The story originally began as a webtoon from Japanese artist ONE before quickly being adapted as a proper manga and then a TV anime series. The manga series has sold more than 30 million copies on its way to being nominated for both a Harvey and an Eisner Award. With its popularity, Sony is hoping the One Punch Man movie will be a franchise starter for them. Lin’s action sensibilities should lend themselves well to the movie.

‘Hunger Games’ Prequel ‘The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes’ Casts Tributes & Mentors

Courtesy of Deadline, the first round of tributes and mentors for the Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has been revealed. Francis Lawrence, who directed the last three Hunger Games movies, is set to direct the prequel and he’s working with a young cast. Ashley Liao (Physical, Always Be My Maybe) is set to play Clemensia Dovecote, one of young Coriolanus Snow’s best friends and a mentor to a District 11 tribute, while Aamer Husain (Hudson & Rex) will play Felix Ravinstill, the mentor of the other District 11 tribute. As for the tributes themselves, Jerome Lance will play District 2’s tribute, Marcus; Knox Gibson will play District 8 tribute, Bobbin; Mackenzie Lansing (Mare of Easttown) will play Coral, the tribute from District 4; Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will be the first notable role for both Lance and Gibson. They join a cast led by Tom Blyth in the role of 18-year-old Coriolanus “Coryo” Snow and Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Baird, the tribute from the poor District 12 that he’s assigned to mentor. Coriolanus has no idea what he’ll do with someone from District 12 during the 10th Hunger Games. But when Lucy captivates Panem by singing in defiance at the reaping, Snow realizes he may be able to turn her charm and his political savvy into a win for them. They must race to figure out who is a songbird, and who is a snake, as Snow’s duplicitous nature starts to show itself.

‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ Adds The Spot As A Villain

Even though Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has been pushed back by a year, it’s still one of the most anticipated upcoming superhero movies. Word on the pre-preproduction front has been quiet, but we now know of a brand-new villain that’s squaring off against the heroes in the sequel. Jason Schwartzman will be voicing The Spot, a villain who has spots all over his body that can send him all over the multiverse. In the sequel, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) will be teaming up once again with Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) and a team of new Spider-People including newcomer Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Isaac) on an adventure across the multiverse to face a foe that is more dangerous than any villain he’s faced yet. Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson are directing off a script penned by Phil Lord and Chris Miller with contributions from David Callaham. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is set to hit theaters on June 2, 2023, and follow-up Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse on March 29, 2024.

‘Paddington 3’ & ‘Knives Out 2’ Both Get Official Titles

Two big sequels got official titles this week, though they’re catering to wildly different audiences. The first, Paddington 3, will officially be titled Paddington in Peru. Along with the new title, the threequel announced its new director: Dougal Wilson will be stepping into the director role vacated by Paul King. King previously directed the first two Paddington movies but had to step away from the third due to his commitments with Wonka, the Willy Wonka prequel movie starring Timothée Chalamet. The first movie saw the young bear Paddington travel from Peru to London in search of a home, where he’s taken in by the loving Brown family. The sequel found Paddington working a series of odd jobs to buy a gift for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, only to have a mystery on his hands when the gift is stolen. It’s unclear what the third movie will deal with as plot details are being kept tightly under wraps. However, the title Paddington in Peru suggests the gentle bear will be traveling back to his home country of Peru, perhaps in search of relatives. The movie is expected to start production next year.

As for the second movie, Rian Johnson’s Knives Out sequel now has the perplexing title of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Knowing that it’s set to be another twisty-turning whodunit, however, makes the title a little more fitting–for those who know their Beatles history. “Glass Onion,” the title of a 1968 song by The Beatles, is symbolic of something that seems transparent on the surface but has multiple layers to peel away. In the sequel, Daniel Craig’s detective Benoit Blanc heads to Greece to unravel another mystery. He’s joined by a new but equally impressive ensemble cast as the first Knives Out, including Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Dave Bautista, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Jessica Henwick, and Madelyn Cline. As with the first movie, the plot of Glass Onion is being kept tightly under wraps. It’s set to hit Netflix this holiday season, though it will likely get a brief theatrical window before it hits the streamer.

Trailers & Clips of the Week

And now, a roundup of the best trailers coming your way.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish – Official Trailer #2

It’s clearly set to be another charming family flick.

Masaaki Yuasa – INU-OH – Official Trailer

Anime is becoming big business in the U.S. and this is sure to be a hit.

NOPE – Final Trailer

Yeah, NOPE.

Fall – Official Teaser Trailer

Yeah, NOPE #2.

Ms. Marvel – ‘New Generation’ Trailer

I was lucky enough to see the first three episodes of this, and let me tell you, it’s adorable.

  • News