The VH Weekly News Round-Up (25/06/2017)

The latest issue of Vulture Hound‘s magazine is out! Have you read it? You should; it’s pretty darn good.

It’s got interviews with one of the band members of Alt-J, director Mark Cousins and even Finn from Adventure Time.
It’s got a couple of articles on the importance of Wonder Woman, some insight into what makes a good Alien movie, an overview of the recent Download festival and a look back at some of our favourite albums of 2017.

It’s got all that and more. But I’m not going to sit here and list it all out for you, because I’ve got a life to get on with and you’ll probably find it more interesting if you just go read it yourself.

But you know what it hasn’t got? Your weekly film news round-up. Luckily, here on the site, we’ve still got you covered. It’s a week of various Hollywood fails, as we look at the Saw, Marvel, DC and Star Wars franchises! But first…

Daniel Day-Lewis flexes his method acting muscles for a new role: retirement

Daniel Day-Lewis / Picture courtesy of Getty Images

In a world where we keep losing great entertainers before their time, it’s quite refreshing to hear that a legendary actor won’t be gracing our screens any more for a far-less heartbreaking reason.

Ahead of his new film Phantom Thread, Daniel Day-Lewis’ team have announced that the actor will be stepping away from Hollywood and retiring from acting at the age of 60.

The reason behind Lewis’ retirement has not been revealed, and his representatives would only say the following:

“Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor. He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject. ”

Hopefully this private decision doesn’t involve anything dire and Lewis can celebrate a well-earned retirement, going out with some extremely well regarded films and three Best Actor Oscar wins (potentially four, depending on how well Phantom Thread is received, of course).

   Phantom Thread hits cinemas on Christmas Day 2017.

 

To the surprise of no one, Saw: The Final Chapter wasn’t actually the ‘Final Chapter’

Picture courtesy of Lionsgate

It’s a bit of a trend with horror movie franchises that they’ll just keep going regardless of how bad they’re getting (although, these days, I suppose you could say that about movie franchises in general. Looking at you Transformers).

The culprit this week is the Saw franchise. Back when the series started in 2004, it was sufficiently creepy and gruesome. It had some solid ideas behind it, and in general, worked quite well. Since then, the main character, John Kramer, known in-universe as the ‘Jigsaw killer’ has passed away, and been replaced by a series of copycats and followers, each of whom dragged the franchise further and further away from it’s original quality and direction.

The franchise finally treated the world by giving us Saw: The Final Chapter. The film itself wasn’t well received (it has a 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes), but the title, at least, heralded the end of a downward spiral. It was going to end on a low note, sure, but at least it was going to end.

But in a giant ‘fuck you’ to everyone everywhere, the franchise returns this year, with Jigsaw (previously titled Saw: Legacy because originality is hard to come by these days). The synopsis is as follows:

Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one man: John Kramer. But how can this be? The man known as Jigsaw has been dead for over a decade. Or has an apprentice picked up the mantle of Jigsaw, perhaps even someone inside the investigation?

To which, I say: who cares?

   Jigsaw slashes into cinemas October 27th 2017.  

 

Sony continues to prove they don’t know what they’re doing with Spider-Man

Picture courtesy of Marvel Comics

Spider-Man: Homecoming is almost upon us, and early reviews are offering some extremely positive feedback. The film is a co-production from Marvel Studios and Sony, the latter of whom has held the film rights for the famous Marvel character for far longer than they should have.

The result of their agreement is that Marvel can use Spider-Man in their films, like Captain America: Civil War, for which they receive all of the profit. However, solo films and spin-offs, like the aforementioned Homecoming send all the profits straight to Sony.

However, it’s the matter of the various upcoming Sony films continuity that makes things confusing. After the announcement of the Tom Hardy-starring Venom (co-penned by the man who gave us Kangaroo Jack), Kevin Feige explained in an interview with Allocine that there were “no plans to include [Venom] in the MCU right now. That is Sony’s project.”

But just a few days later, in an interview with FilmStarts, Amy Pascal gave the somewhat contradictory statement: “Well, those movies will all take place in the world that we’re now creating for Peter Parker. They’ll all be adjuncts to it. They may be different locations, but it will still all be in the same world. They will all be connected to each other as well.” as Feige sat besides her looking unsure about what she was saying.

The fact that the heads of the projects related to the Spider-Man deal being on different wavelengths about these films would be worrying enough, but even more worrying are the films Sony continue to announce as part of their Spider-Man-focused cinematic universe.

On top of Venom and Silver and Black (the film about Silver Sable and Black Cat – two characters who have little to no relation beyond both having white hair) word is that Sony still wants to get their Sinister Six film off the ground, and may do so by taking the Avengers approach; namely by setting up each character individually. Apparently, spin-offs focused on Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio are also being planned (the two villains on the far-right of the above picture, if you’re not very Spider-Man savvy), which, frankly is somewhat bizarre especially considering, when talking about Venom specifically, Tom Holland, Spider-Man himself, indicated that he wouldn’t be involved in these movies – and Spider-Man’s inclusion in these spin-offs hasn’t even been touched upon by the various producers of this new franchise.

I’ve been a steadfast comic-enthusiast for over half my life, so I’m more than familiar with ridiculous comic-book-related happenings. Even so, why any of these films are being green-lit is beyond me.

   Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into cinemas July 7th 2017.

 

Han Solo fails to outmaneuver directorial disputes

Harrison Ford / Return of the Jedi / Picture courtesy of Lucasfilm

For months now, trouble has apparently been simmering on the set of the untitled Han Solo film, and as we reported earlier this week, things finally boiled over.

Reports stated that comedy-writing/directing-duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller had been grating with Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy over the direction of the film, despite production starting six months ago. As a result, the pair were ousted from the film.

Apparently, the pair were going to make a film more Lord and Miller-y than Star Wars-y, and that just didn’t sit right with Kathleen Kennedy, her team, or even longtime Star Wars scribe Lawrence Kasdan, who also didn’t like the way Lord and Miller ran the set and interacted with cast and crew.

(The newest information on the topic suggests that it was the star, Alden Ehrenreich, who was worried about the film’s direction, and indirectly brought the issue to Kennedy’s attention, which lead to the ensuing fall-out.)

In what proved to be an extremely quick turnaround, Ron Howard was announced as the new director, with a mission-brief of sitting down with the cast and crew and over-looking the film so far to see what works and what doesn’t, and to go from there. Howard was likely picked because a) he’s a great director and b) he’s inoffensive and is unlikely to butt heads with the powers behind the film.

Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait very long to see what Lord and Miller would be getting up to next…

   The untitled Han Solo film flies into cinemas May 25th 2018.

 

Now ex-Han Solo directors run back to The Flash

Ezra Miller / Justice League / Picture courtesy of Warner Bros.

The production of DC’s The Flash film has been a bit of a calamity.

It all started with the aforementioned now-ex-Han Solo directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller writing a story treatment for the film. So far, so good, right? The pair were offered the position of directors as well, but had to decline due to their busy schedule (i.e: Han Solo). Instead, directing and script-writing duties went to Seth Grahame-Smith (writer of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and The LEGO Batman Movie).

Smith dropped out months later due to ‘creative differences’, but his script was kept on.

Two months later, Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) was announced as a director, and soon after, Dope-star Kiersey Clemons was cast as Iris West, The Flash’s love interest. Billy Crudup then joined the cast as Henry Allen, the Flash’s dad, and filming was scheduled to start in January of this year.

October came around, and Famuyiwa also dropped out. Once again, ‘creative differences’.

Things really started to take a turn for the worse after that, as mid-January, Joby Harold (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) was hired to re-write the whole film. As everything was now set back to the beginning, Warner Bros. set out to find a new director, and started courting Marc Webb (Amazing Spider-Man), Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future), Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman), and Sam Raimi (Spider-Man). Raimi and Webb dropped out, as rumours swirled that Crudup would follow and Vaughn would take on the next Superman film.

Things didn’t really go anywhere after that. But now, what with their schedules freeing up considerably, Lord and Miller have apparently met with Warner Bros. to discuss coming full circle and directing the film once more.

  The Flash races into cinemas March 16th 2018.

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