The VH Weekly News Round-Up (11/06/2017)

A lot of news this week really happened closer to last week’s post. I imagine, in part, because gamers around the world have been gearing up for E3.

Even though I wouldn’t class myself as a gamer, I have been live-streaming videos about Star Wars Battlefront II for the past few hours, so I can relate somewhat.

Since it’s based on a film, I’m just going to throw the new gameplay trailer here, so you can (and should) have a watch, if you’re so inclined:

Anyway, on to that film stuff we’re meant to be talking about. As always, here are five of the biggest and best news stories to come out of the film industry this past week!

Doug Liman trades superheroes for YA movies

Doug Liman / Picture courtesy of Evan Agostini

Despite dropping two films, Gambit and Justice League Dark, in the past year, director/producer Doug Liman is piling more onto his plate.

Alongside announcing Luna Park and Live, Die, Repeat and Repeat, pushing Attica and Chaos Walking into pre-production and completing American Made, Doug Liman has signed on to make an adaption of Amie Kauffman and Meagan Spooner’s upcoming Young Adult novel, Unearthed.

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed the following about the novel:

“Set in a distant future where Earth has been undone by environmental disaster, Unearthed sees a scholar and a scavenger reluctantly team-up to venture to the planet of a now-extinct alien race. With the promise of a salve for the Earth, the two must work together to explore an ancient alien temple and finds its life-altering secrets. But the deeper they go, the more the two discover they may not be help the Earth but rather hasten its destruction.

The book is due to be published in January 2018 and has been described as a space-bound Tomb Raider meets Indiana Jones.”

Some might argue that another YA adaptation set in the future isn’t really neccessary, but then Doug Liman would probably say the same about superhero movies – having dropped two of them.

   Liman’s next directed film, American Made, flies into cinemas September 29th 2017.

 

Sony gets kid-friendly with ‘clean versions’ of their films

Kate McKinnon, Scarlett Johansson & Zoë Kravitz / Rough Night promo material / Picture courtesy of Sony

Despite the fact that their next film, Rough Night, is not kid-friendly at all…

…and, presumably, neither is the next film after that…

…Sony seems to have taken a stance against films inappropriate for children, by revealing they will be offering ‘clean versions’ of many of their pictures, which will be available to you if you buy a digital copy for no extra charge.

The first wave of ‘clean’ films to be re-released are the following:

50 First Dates, Battle Of The Year, Big Daddy, Captain Phillips, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Easy A, Elysium, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, Goosebumps, Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2, Hancock, Inferno, Moneyball, Pixels, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Step Brothers, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, White House Down

While some of these choices make sense (I guess?) some are downright bizarre. How many kids do you know that are itching to watch Inferno? The strangest choice, however, is Step Brothers; a film that, if memory serves, would take a heck of a lot of cleaning. While some parents may be overjoyed by this new initiative, Seth Rogen, for one (who tried to make a movie so outrageous with Sony it ended up with the company getting hacked – The Interview) is not a fan:

   Rough Night breaks into cinemas June 16th 2017.

 

Two more monsters creep into Universal’s Dark Universe

Russell Crowe, Javier Bardem, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp and Sofia Boutella / Picture courtesy of Universal

Early reviews of The Mummy have been mixed. Some claim it’s an enjoyable action romp, while others argue that it’s bogged down in exposition and set up for the ensuing Dark Universe series of films that are set to follow.

This is no surprise, really, as two of the most prominent examples of shared universes, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe, have been hit with the same criticsms at some point in their run time.

Despite that and the fact that last time Universal tried to start a ‘monster’ universe and it didn’t go so well, leading to them starting over; this time, they’re pushing on. As we’ve previously reportedBride of Frankenstein, Creature from the Black LagoonThe Invisible ManThe Wolfman and Van Helsing have all been announced, and now Universal have subtly added Phantom of the Opera and Hunchback of Notre Dame, alongside another take on Dracula, which was added between this week and that aforementioned post.

That’s a lot of monster movies, and how they’re all going to fit together at this stage is unclear. One thing is for sure though; this is starting to look a lot like DC’s plan of announcing tons of films before they’re certain they can come through on them…

   The Mummy is in cinemas now.

 

Patty Jenkins, surprisingly, not yet signed on to Wonder Woman 2

Patty Jenkins & Gal Gadot / Picture courtesy of Jordan Strauss

Speaking of DC, Wonder Woman, the fourth film in DC’s Extended Universe, was released last week to critical acclaim. You can read VultureHound‘s review here.

While much of the praise has been heaped on star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins, and fans were eager to hear when the two would reunite for a sequel, news came this week that Jenkins is in fact not signed on for the sequel.

Unlike Zach Snyder, who was given the keys to the DC kingdom despite Man of Steel‘s (and later Batman v Superman‘s) mixed review, DC decided to hold back when it came to Jenkins and Wonder Woman. Once again, let’s look to The Hollywood Reporter for some insight:

“While star Gal Gadot has an option in place for Wonder Woman 2 as part of her overall deal to appear in several DC movies, Warner Bros. executives enlisted Jenkins for just one film, a decision that could end up costing the studio millions of dollars if Jenkins’ reps drive a hard bargain for her to return.

At the time she was hired, Jenkins had directed just one movie, her 2003 feature debut Monster, and she was taking over the long-gestating project from Michelle MacLaren, who left over creative differences. A one-picture-only deal is said to be standard practice at Warner Bros. for directors taking on a big-budget studio film for the first time.

Warners execs also may have been a bit unprepared for the level of success and acclaim Wonder Woman has achieved; initial tracking reports predicted Jenkins’ $150 million-budgeted film would open to about $65 million domestic, solid but hardly a reason to begin planning a long-range strategy. And the studio had been focusing on putting together Justice League Dark, a supernatural team-up project, and Batgirl, a Joss Whedon-helmed film (among other Bat-offerings), as the likely next movies to go into production in the DC Comics universe.”

While this is a sensible move on the surface, it’s a move that is somewhat infuriating when compared to the handling of directors behind their other films. As previously mentioned, after Man of Steel, director Zach Snyder was allowed to go on to direct both Batman v Superman and Justice League, starting production on the latter before the former was even in cinemas. Likewise, director David Ayer was given the reigns to the upcoming Harley Quinn/Birds of Prey spin-off despite his previous film, Suicide Squad, also not faring so greatly, to the extent that Ayer himself even spoke out about how he wishes the film had gone differently.

It seems even when DC get it right, they get it wrong.

   Wonder Woman is in cinemas now.

 

Black Panther trailer reveals the glory of Wakanda

This post has been somewhat trailer heavy, but who doesn’t love a good trailer?

With that in mind, let’s round things out with one more trailer, courtesy of Marvel Studios, showcasing the Ryan Coogler directed Black Panther. We put the trailer up yesterday morning after it came out, so you may have already seen it, but just in case you haven’t, here it is again (and if you have, why not re-watch it anyway – it’s pretty great):

   Black Panther hits cinemas February 18th 2018.

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