VultureHound’s Weekly News Round-Up (08/04/2018)

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.

As we trudge ever closer to blockbusters like Avengers: Infinity War and Solo: A Star Wars Story, and, more importantly, the one year anniversary of this here weekly news round-up, we’ve been struck with a blast from the past, as an old story has crept back up on us about a potential clash of titans. This week, we’re kicking off the round-up with Dwayne Johnson letting us know…

The truth behind the #FeudOfTheFurious

Vin Diesel, Charlize Theron, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Williams, Chris Bridges & Jason Statham / Fate of the Furious / Picture courtesy of Univeral

What seems like so long ago now, back before The Fate of the Furious roared into cinemas, gossip was racing across the web about a potential feud between the franchise’s leading men, Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel. First, there was the rumour that they had fought. Then, there was the rumour that the initial rumour was a publicity stunt. Then there was a rumour that that second rumour was incorrect, and the two did in fact just dislike each other.

People forgot about all that though, as a third man entered the fray; Tyrese Gibson. Gibson’s involvement in the #FeudOfTheFurious seemed far less ‘cool’. At a low point, Gibson began calling out Johnson, who he blamed for his money troubles; due to the fact that Johnson’s spin-off was pushing a potential paycheck (Fast & Furious 9) back a year – which Tyrese claimed was more due to the Rock’s ego trying to take over the F&F family than it was Universal’s decision to try something new before they went back and did the same thing for a ninth time. How are there nine of these movies?!

But I digress. Without the context of why this was getting Tyrese particularly riled up, he came off looking a bit crazy – posting garbled Instagram posts and videos of himself driving an Uber.

Fortunately, we can take a step away from that low/sad point in the #FeudOfTheFurious, as Johnson has tapped back in to his fight with Diesel. Kind of.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, the Rock had this to say about his encounters with Diesel:

“Vin and I had a few discussions, including an important face-to-face in my trailer. And what I came to realize is that we have a fundamental difference in philosophies on how we approach movie-making and collaborating. It took me some time, but I’m grateful for that clarity. Whether we work together again or not.”

We’re guessing not. As to whether he foresaw another collaboration in their future, he said…

“I’m not quite sure. Right now I’m concentrating on making the spin-off as good as it can be. But I wish him all the best, and I harbor no ill will there, just because of the clarity we have. Actually, you can erase that last part about ‘no ill will.’ We’ll just keep it with the clarity.”

Which sounds like he tried to be nice about it, but then remembered rumours one and three, and realised that everyone was already pretty certain the two hate each other and decided to cut out the civility. So, after almost a year of speculation, we can now say for certain that Vin Diesel did not like what the Rock was cooking.

The Fast & Furious spin-off speeds into cinemas on July 26th 2019.

 

Woody Harrelson’s potentially pointless Venom cameo (Speculative spoilers ahead)

Speaking of rumours, a rather big one is swirling the net about Woody Harrelson, and his potential role in the upcoming Spider-Man spin-off Venom. Starring Tom Hardy, the film will follow the Spider-Man antagonist and anti-hero Eddie Brock, as he gains a symbiotic alien suit and begins doling out his own unique brand of justice. So far, audience anticipation for the project has been limited, but a vocal minority are very much excited for the movie. However, many have critisced the film for looking less like a Spider-Man spin-off film and more like a generic action movie. You can see why in the trailer below:

Anyway, getting back on topic. The story is that Venom will adapt the comic-book storyline Lethal Protector, wherein Venom goes up against the ‘Life Foundation’, an organisation who force Venom to spawn five new symbiote offspring; Scream, Phage, Riot, Lasher and Agony. Apparently, the storyline Planet of the Symbiotes has also influenced the film, a story which, as you can probably guess, features a planet of Symbiotes.

The point of all this context is that, when the film was first announced, people assumed that the obvious candidate for the role of antagonist in a Venom movie was his more famous spawn, Carnage. Now, bringing things back to Woody Harrelson, whose role in the film is said to be minimal. Apparently, the new rumour is, that he will feature towards the end of the film, as Cletus Cassidy, a serial killer who is the alter ego of Carnage, presumably setting things up for a sequel.

Why does that make it a potentially pointless cameo? Well, for one, the odds are stacked against this movie. And secondly, Sony have given audiences zero confidence in their capability to craft a Spider-Man cinematic universe, so shoehorning in set-ups for sequels in their first film out the gate is probably them being a bit overly ambitious.

Venom swings into cinemas on October 4th 2018.

 

Tony Gilroy tells tales of Rogue One

Felicity Jones / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story / Picture courtesy of Lucasfilm

As previously stated, Solo: A Star Wars Story is on the horizon. As such, a new trailer expected to drop today (today in America, that is), news that comes soon after the recent revelation that the film will be screening at Cannes Film Festival.

However, while many are focused on the upcoming adventures of young Han Solo, Tony Gilroy, scribe and rumoured reshoot director of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has spoken out about his experience on the previous film to Brian Koppelman’s podcast The Moment:

“If you look at Rogue [One] all the difficulty with Rogue and all the confusion of it, all the smart people [working on it], all the mess and in the end when you get in there, it’s actually very simple to solve, because you go, ‘oh, this is a movie where…everyone’s going to die.’ So, it’s a movie about sacrifice. So, it’s all a question about why are these [characters], why are all these people going to sacrifice themselves? And you need to motivate them with a purity throughout the [story] and every scene has to be about the movie. And so, is that a theme, that everyone’s going to die, sacrifice? In that sense, in that film, yeah, I thought about it.

Well, everything was up in the air… Here was a call to go do something—and I knew exactly when I saw what I saw [the rough footage], it was instantly clear the first thing that had to happen which was immediately attractive. I saw the purity that was missing and I saw, at least in terms of one or two of the characters – cause who knew how big the fix was going to be, who knew what people would do – I saw something very… if you do nothing else, do this.

I have to be careful because I don’t know what the statute of limitations… I’ve never really told… I’ve never done an interview about Rogue. You know what the easiest thing to say is? You’ll understand this better than anything else, I came in after the director’s cut [and] I have a screenplay credit in the arbitration that was easily won.”

This suggests, that despite the movie being practically finished, Gilroy figured there was a lot more work that needed to go into it. And so, when quizzed about him referring to it as ‘someone else’s move, despite the fact that he clearly re-did a sizeable chunk, he had this to say:

“Right, well…at a certain point, it kinda tipped, at a certain point everybody’s looking at you like, [makes a noise suggesting everyone’s looking at him for the answers], but through a lot of it I was pretty calm, I was pretty chill.”

Finally, he gave his thoughts on directing a Star Wars film of his own:

No. Because that was my superpower. A) I don’t like Star Wars – not that I don’t like it, but I’ve never been interested in Star Wars ever, so I had no reverence for it whatsoever, I was unafraid about that and they were in such a swamp…they were in so much, terrible, terrible trouble that all you could do was improve their position.”

Isn’t it great to hear, as a Star Wars fan, that these productions can go so wrong that Lucasfilm looks to people who don’t even like Star Wars to fix things? That’s just what everyone wants to hear, I’m sure. Hopefully in the future, when Ron Howard looks back on his time on Solo, he’ll sound a bit more passionate.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is out now on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital Download.