Welcome to the VH Weekly News Round-Up, where we bring you five of the biggest and best bits of news from the film industry every Sunday.

Once again, we’ve had a week riddled with super-hero news, driving me to instead make the most of my time by gushing about Doctor Who. Have you watched the latest series finale? Very exciting stuff. I would recommend it. And if you’re a fan of Doctor Who, keep your eye out for my ‘Best’ and ‘Worst of the 12th Doctor’ posts coming up at some point soon. I couldn’t tell you when though, that’s for those crazy cats in the TV editorial department to decide.

Speaking of things to look out for; work has begun on the next issue of VultureHound‘s print magazine, which should be out in the coming month.

So yeah, get hyped. That’s three whole things to look out for.

Don’t say we don’t treat you.

Anyway, on to the news!

Warner Bros. conjures up new details on Fantastic Beasts sequel

Eddie Redmayne / Picture courtesy of Warner Bros.

People love Harry Potter, right? They’re good books. They’re good films. They cover a lot of ground. I only ask because despite knowing that, I’m still baffled by the fact that Warner Bros. green-lit five Harry Potter prequels (the Fantastic Beasts series) before the first had already come out (beyond the fact that it is an assured money-maker).

Maybe baffled isn’t the right word. Perhaps I’m just depressed by the modern state of film production. In fact, if you were to go back to the first Weekly News Round-Up, and read them all in order, you’d probably see me getting more and more cynical about the film industry. I can’t promise anything, but I imagine that’s the trend you may find.

Still, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them proved to be a hit. I would offer reasons as to why, but that aforementioned five film plan put me right off seeing them for the time being. Instead, I’ll just let VH‘s own Ryan Pollard tell you in his review, and get on with dropping the news about the upcoming sequel:

That news being the film has now got a synopsis:

‘J.K. Rowling wrote the screenplay for the film, which opens in 1927, a few months after Newt (Eddie Redmayne) helped to unveil and capture the infamous Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). However, as he promised he would, Grindelwald has made a dramatic escape and has been gathering more followers to his cause—elevating wizards above all non-magical beings. The only one who might be able to stop him is the wizard he once called his dearest friend, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law). But Dumbledore will need help from the wizard who had thwarted Grindelwald once before, his former student Newt Scamander. The adventure reunites Newt with Tina (Katherine Waterson), Queenie (Alison Sudol) and Jacob (Dan Fogler), but his mission will also test their loyalties as they face new perils in an increasingly dangerous and divided wizarding world. The film expands the wizarding world, moving from New York to London and on to Paris.

There are also some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that will delight fans of the books and film series.’

I hope that’s fantastical and beastly enough for you.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2 flies into cinemas November 16th 2018.


S.H.I.E.L.D. seems to be making a resurgence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Samuel L. Jackson / Picture courtesy of Marvel Studios

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the kind-of super-secret spy agency (I say kind-of because they had huge flying warships and a very conspicuous headquarters situated in Washington D.C.) S.H.I.E.L.D. discovered that ever since its conception, it had been infiltrated by the criminal organisation Hydra, and as a result, was dismantled by Captain America and his allies in arguably one of the best MCU films so far, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

While S.H.I.E.L.D. slowly started to rebuild itself in the spin-off show, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., in the movies themselves, it has remained largely absent. Former director Nick Fury returned for Age of Ultron with a helicarrier in tow, but he seemed to be working for himself, rather than a bunch of shadowy councilors, and as such, was still mostly unrelated to S.H.I.E.L.D.

Now, Randall Park (Kim Jong-un in The Interview) has joined the cast of Ant-Man and the Wasp as Special Agent Jimmy Woo. In the comics, Woo has famously been an agent of the spy organisations Atlas and, you guessed it, S.H.I.E.L.D.

Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean S.H.I.E.L.D. will be returning. But Park’s Woo won’t be the only S.H.I.E.L.D.-related super-spy hitting screens in the next few years. Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson) is returning to the MCU not only for Avengers: Infinity War and it’s untitled sequel, but also for Captain Marvel.

Or so the rumours say, but at this stage, that rumour has been covered by enough prominent outlets that it’s more likely true than not.

Will S.H.I.E.L.D. finally make it’s grand return somewhere other than the relatively unimportant (in terms of the overall MCU) Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?

Ant-Man and Wasp hits cinemas on July 6th 2018.


Luke Cage shows Marvel Studios and TV are still very much divided

Mike Colter / Picture courtesy of Netflix

Speaking of how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. remains relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, some casting for Netflix’s Luke Cage has hammered down just how disconnected these two streams of the same franchise are.

While fans have been clamouring for the Defenders to cross over into the main films, ideally in Infinity War now that they’ve missed their shot at Civil War, it’s becoming clearer that that probably won’t happen for a long time, if ever.

Captain America: Civil War shared an actor with Luke Cage, as Alfre Woodard showed up as Mariam Sharpe and Mariah Dillard, respectively, in the two mediums.

Now something similar is happening with Luke Cage and Black Panther; but this time, it’s a character who shows up in both… a character played by two different people. Nabiyah Be recently confirmed that she would be featured in Black Panther as the character Nightshade. Nightshade’s alter-ego is Tilda Johnson. Tilda Johnson is now joining Luke Cage season two, portrayed by Gabrielle Dennis.

Sure, we could surmise that the character is being split into two so that the films and television shows can maintain some inter-connectivity, but seeing as the heads of Marvel’s Film and TV divisions no longer answer to the same people anymore; it’s probably a safe bet that they just don’t really care all the much what the other is getting up to.

While Luke Cage season two has no release date as of yet, Black Panther swings into cinemas February 9th 2018.


Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom wraps filming

Chris Pratt / Picture courtesy of Universal

While all of the Weekly News Round-Up’s news is pretty fresh, this entry is by far the freshest. Just today, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom wrapped up filming, only a few weeks after the title was announced.

The film is being directed by J.A. Bayona (A Monster Calls), who has worked closely with the director of the previous outing Colin Trevorrow. While the film’s plot is still under wraps, it has been said that the film will explore various social and political themes, and, according to Trevorrow, is better than his own movie, the first Jurassic World.

On top of all of that, the film will also see franchise favourite Jeff Goldblum return as Dr. Ian Malcom, who joins returning Jurassic World cast members Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and B.D. Wong.

To celebrate the end of principal photography, Bayona released this tweet with a little gif of Chris Pratt dancing:

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom enters cinemas June 22nd 2018.


Shia LaBeouf reminds everyone of his crazy antics by getting arrested again

Shia LaBeouf / Man Down / Picture courtesy of Lionsgate

Shia LeBeouf’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

First, there was that whole scandal where he was accused of plagiarizing the work of Daniel Clowes, then there were the various weird ‘artsy’ things he did, ranging from actual performance art, to ‘motivational videos’ that ordered people not to let their dreams be dreams and to ‘just do it’.

There was also that time he watched all his films back to back. And that time he headbutted someone I know. Oh, and that anti-Trump demonstration he did featuring Jaden Smith, which lead to him getting arrested.

And there was that time when- Actually, you know what? Listing all the weird things Shia LaBeouf has done in recent years could take a while, so let’s just end it on that note and move on, what with it being the most relevant.

Because once again, Shia LaBeouf has been arrested. That scamp.

While in Georgia filming his upcoming movie The Peanut Butter Falcon, in the early hours of Saturday morning, LaBeouf was arrested for being drunk and disorderly, after trying to nab a cigarette off of someone. The request for a smoke was refused, and LaBeouf proceeded to start swearing in front of ‘women and kids’, before being taken into custody at 4am. Which, obviously, begs the question… what were a bunch of children doing out partying at such an ungodly hour?

And why is LaBeouf so quick to anger? Perhaps he’s still annoyed that one of his recent films, Man Down, only sold about three tickets (earning about £21) in the UK.

LaBeouf’s next film, Borg vs McEnroe launches into cinemas September 22nd 2017.