The VH Weekly News Round-Up (27/08/2017)

Hello and welcome to VultureHound‘s weekly news round-up, where we bring you the biggest and best news to come out of the film industry every Sunday.

Sometimes in this segment, I make an attempt at a witty intro. Sometimes I just run through what’s been going on recently; whether that be with VultureHound or things I’ve spotted around the internet. Sometimes, I take the lazy option and un-creatively blurt out a brief summary of the ensuing post.

And sometimes, I find myself so dumbfounded by a piece of news that I have literally no idea how to introduce it. In case you can’t see where this is going; today is one of those times.

Read on to find out why:

Glass synopsis teases Bruce Willis v James McAvoy: Dawn of the Shyamalan-y-verse

James McAvoy / Split / Picture courtesy of Universal Pictures

Don’t worry, this isn’t the news that has left me dumbfounded – I’m sure you can figure out what the main news story is from the cover photo. Although, saying that, I am a bit confused about why everyone loves these films (Unbreakable and Split) so much. But hey, that’s just me.

Because putting my own personal opinions aside, one could note that director M. Night Shyamalan’s pseudo-super-hero trilogy, consisting of UnbreakableSplit and the upcoming Glass is a very well-received (and highly anticipated, in Glass‘ case) film series. After crafting the origins of the universe in Unbreakable, and revealing that Split was a spiritual follow-up, Shyamalan has been teasing fans with a clash of the titans, as it were, between Bruce Willis’ David Dunn and James McAvoy’s Kevin Crumb/The Beast, and promising a return of Samuel L. Jackson’s Elijah Price and Anya Taylor-Joy’s Casey.

Now, the film’s official synopsis has been revealed via a new press release, and things look to be going down pretty much as you’d expect:

“From Unbreakable, Bruce Willis returns as David Dunn as does Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, known also by his pseudonym Mr. Glass. Joining from Split are James McAvoy, reprising his role as Kevin Wendell Crumb and the multiple identities who reside within, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke, the only captive to survive an encounter with The Beast.

Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.

This riveting culmination of his worldwide blockbusters will be produced by Shyamalan and Jason Blum, who also produced the writer/director’s previous two films for Universal. They produce again with Ashwin Rajan and Marc Bienstock, and Steven Schneider, who will executive produce.”

Glass breaks into cinemas on January 18th 2019.

 

The Joker laughs his way into an origin movie

Jared Leto / Suicide Squad / Picture courtesy of Warner Bros.

Wait.. What?

The Joker has always been a popular character. He was popular when he was first introduced in the comics, he became more popular thanks to his portrayal by Cesar Romero on Batman ’66, and his popularity grew yet again due to the voice work by Mark Hamill on Batman: The Animated Series and many of the follow-up projects that Hamill worked on.

The Joker’s popularity hit new heights yet again after a stand-out performance by the late Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, where he undoubtedly made the character the best part of the three films.

And then, eight years later, we got Jared Leto in Suicide Squad. We were perplexed by his behind-the-scenes antics during filming, hyped by Leto’s bold claims of redefining the character and ultimately disappointed by the final product. That’s not neccessarily Leto’s fault (although maybe he should have spent more time crafting the role in a regular way and less time sending his co-workers used condoms and dead pigs), as when he really goes for it, he can give some stand-out performances himself (as he did in Dallas Buyers Club).

This is, essentially, a long-winded way of saying that many believe Leto’s Joker is perhaps one of the worst iterations of the character to date. So the fact that we’re now apparently getting a Joker origin movie is, on one hand, perplexing, but then on the other understandable… maybe (?).

According to Deadline, Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy) has been tapped to direct the film with a script from Scott Silver (8 Mile), which will be produced by Martin Scorsese of all people.

The reason that this is somewhat understandable is because the film is said to be set in 80s Gotham City, with the Joker being played, potentially, by a younger actor than Leto. The supposed 80s setting calls into question that film’s place in the DC Extended Universe, as in Dawn of Justice, it was established that Bruce Wayne had been Batman for about 20 years (ie, since the 90s). The tone of the movie is said to be in line with Scorsese’s other films of the era, such as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.

What’s perplexing about this is that while it makes sense to do some damage control for the character of the Joker, DC seems to be struggling to get their already extensive list of announced films off the ground, so adding another one that’s not even related to the overall narrative seems like a strange choice.

Suicide Squad is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital Download now.

 

James Gunn threatens 20 more years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan & Michael Rooker / Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 / Picture courtesy of Marvel Studios

Speaking of gratuitously stuffed super-hero film slates, some more information about the scope of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been revealed in an interview with James Gunn. As we know, Gunn is essentially the mastermind behind all things Marvel-cosmic, and after being queried about a potential Nova movie, responded with the following:

“Yes, definitely. Nova comes up occasionally as someone we might use. One of the things I’m doing with creating Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, it will take place after the next two Avengers movies and it will help to set up the next 10, 20 years of Marvel movies. It’s going to really expand the cosmic universe. We’re going to be setting up new characters. It will be the last movie of this version of Guardians of the Galaxy.”

We already knew that Vol. 3 would herald the end of the current Guardians line-up, but the really interesting part of the answer is the fact that his next Marvel film will set up the next ’10, 20 years of Marvel movies’. Sure, he may have been speaking offhand, but it’s not difficult to imagine that his estimate for how long this series will keep going (at the very least) is accurate. It’s been some years since Marvel Studios’ head-honcho Kevin Feige mentioned that they had movies planned out until 2028, so it would be understandable that since then, the slate has grown even vaster.

However, due to the fact that Marvel, unlike DC, don’t just blurt out their plans as soon as they cross their minds, a revelation like this seems newsworthy even if it is something most probably assumed anyway.

Still… I love Marvel movies, but that just seems like way too many.

Guardians of the GalaxyVol. 2 is out on DVD and Blu-Ray from October 4th 2017.

 

Surprise! More Joker news as he laughs his way into a SECOND Joker-focused movie

Margot Robbie & Jared Leto / Suicide Squad / Picture courtesy of Warner Bros.

Wait… What?!

Perhaps you thought me complaining about being dumbfounded and creating an outstanding (but not really) collage of the Joker was a little overkill for the announcement of a single Joker movie. Well guess again, because roughly 24 hours after the announcement of the first Joker spin-off, another Joker film was announced, this time featuring the aforementioned Jared Leto and co-starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.

This as-of-yet-untitled second Joker spin-off is said to be written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the pair that previously brought audiences Crazy, Stupid Love. The film will hit cinemas after Suicide Squad 2 (which Leto and Robbie are also attached to star in), and both films will be fast-tracked to ‘contend with the actors’ holding agreements’. The prospective film has been described as a ‘criminal love story’, which, frankly, goes without saying.

Rather bafflingly (due to the above comments regarding Leto’s Joker’s poor critical reception), the film is replacing the former Gotham City Sirens film on DC’s schedule. Gotham City Sirens was the original proposed Harley Quinn spin-off, which would purportedly also feature fellow Batman rogues Catwoman and Poison Ivy, and would be directed by David Ayer. But now, Ayer is out (which, after Suicide Squad, some may count as a blessing) as are Catwoman and Ivy, and the Joker is back in, bringing his weird tattooed body and pimp-ish character to the big screen more times than anyone is ready for.

So that’s two Joker films on top of the horde of DC films that have been announced.

Ignoring the official film slate, as far as we know, the future could hold the Justice League, four Justice League solo films (CyborgFlashpointAquaman and The Batman), four Batman spin-offs (BatgirlNightwing and the two Joker films), various sequels (Wonder Woman 2Suicide Squad 2 and Man of Steel 2), other films which have no clear place in the universe at this time (Green Lantern CorpsShazam and Justice League Dark) and Dwayne Johnson’s pet-project, which is also a prequel/spin-off of Shazam (Black Adam).

And frankly, who the fuck knows when any DC film post-Justice League will land at this stage.