VH’s Weekly News Round-Up (21/01/2018)

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.

You know, I’ve been writing this segment for nine months as of tomorrow, and not once have I ever had the courage to type out that opening sentence from scratch. Every Sunday, I open up the previous installment and copy and paste it. You’d think I would have committed it to memory by now, and I have to some extent, but clearly not enough that I don’t always worry that I’ll goof it up big time.

It’s thoughts like that that make me think the editors higher up in the VH chain probably trust me too much. Nine months; still can’t confidently type out the same sentence I write every week.

Anyway, random aside… aside, let’s get into the news.

First Female Star Wars director incoming?

Although the Star Wars franchise has grown a lot since the Disney takeover of Lucasfilm; introducing women and people-of-colour as the central characters, one place that they still seem to be lacking, diversity-wise, is behind the camera. Star Wars is notorious for (like a lot of other franchises, in fairness) being a series that is directed only by straight white dudes.

Now, however, it seems that at least one of those characteristics may change in Lucasfilm’s potential future director line-up.

Reed Morano has recently been reported to having met with Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy, who reached out with her after seeing I Think We’re Alone Now. About the meeting, Reed said the following:

“I guess she was watching [I Think We’re Alone Now] with her daughter and then called people and was like, ‘Who’s this Reed person?’

She’s amazing. We’re talking about adventure movies, and I’m not even remembering that she produced Goonies. Any movie that I put my finger on that I loved when I was growing up was a movie that she produced. Anyway, it was a great meeting. Obviously, I can’t say anything about what else we were talking about.”

Yeah, obviously, but when you meet with Kennedy, the obvious assumption is that you may end up working on Star Wars. Of course, rumours about Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail potentially writing the ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ film for that very same reason have yet to come to fruition, but otherwise, Lucasfilm’s main focus is Indiana Jones, the next installment of which is known to be under the control of Stephen Spielberg, so Star Wars is a pretty safe bet.

If you’re wondering where you may know Reed from, her other films include Frozen RiverKill Your Darlings and Skeleton Twins. Her most famous work, however, may perhaps be the critical success TV show The Handmaid’s Tale.

The latest entry into the franchise, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in cinemas now.

 

New Spawn film ‘will not be a lot of fun’

Picture courtesy of Image Comics

It’s hard to keep up with all the superhero films in development these days, but one of the more alternative heroes coming to screen would be Spawn. Spawn is a demonic antihero, who previously starred in a critically panned film in the nineties (the height of his comic-book popularity).

However, with the success of R-Rated films like Deadpool and LoganSpawn-creator Todd McFarlane found himself reinvigorated to push ahead with his planned Spawn reboot, which will also be R-Rated.

However, McFarlane recently spoke out to distance his project from Deadpool and Logan, saying the following:

“It’s funny in Hollywood, if you say you want to do an R-rated movie, they go like ‘Oh like Deadpool and like Logan?’ For me, no. Deadpool, to me, was a PG-13 action movie. It just had some naked butts and a couple f-bombs. Other than that, I thought it was the same PG-13 formula.

“I’m talking R, I’m talking that there will not be a lot of fun, there will not be be any stupid lines in it… I never like my hero to make a joke right when the jeopardy was at its highest. So if I felt that my hero wasn’t afraid right now, why should I be?… I want my heroes to go ‘Shit, what do I do now?’.” 

I understand what McFarlane’s trying to say, although it does make me think that me and him watched a different film when it came to Deadpool, which featured more graphic content than just ‘some naked butts and a couple of f-bombs‘.

The worrying part of this, beyond that weird take on Deadpool, is the ‘there will not be a lot of fun’. Now, this isn’t me arguing that if a film isn’t funny like a Marvel Studios movie, then it isn’t going to work – far from it. No, the problem seems to be that it indicates the same misunderstanding of comic-book movies that Zach Snyder seemingly had when it came to crafting Batman v Superman.

Superhero films don’t need to be funny for them to be fun. You can take a dark superhero and craft a serious film and still have fun with it (The Dark Knight). Of course, I’m extrapolating and speculating a lot more from what he’s saying than what he’s actually saying, but last time a creator was insistent that their film wouldn’t be fun, we got Batman v Superman, which wasn’t just not fun, it was a trainwreck of a movie. Whatever the result, however, good superhero films without quips are always welcome, as Marvel definitely has the quipping covered, for better or for worse.

The original Spawn film is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital Download.

 

The son of an Australian legend returns home. 

Paul Hogan / Crocodile Dundee / Picture courtesy of 20th Century Fox

I’mma let this teaser trailer speak for itself:

Responses to this are… mixed, for sure.

However, if you are amongst those who don’t get/like/understand what’s going here, then never fear! Several sites are suspicious about whether or not this is actually going to turn out to be a real movie.

Although Danny McBride and Paul Hogan have offered up their thoughts on the film to People magazine, there is a suspicious lack of knowledge about this film anywhere. And for a film as big as this to be made ready to be released this summer without anyone knowing about it… well, that would be truly impressive in this day and age.

Furthermore, the Dundee site the teaser links to only features production shots of the scenes seen in the teaser, and beyond Screen Australia, the only other company seemingly involved is the unknown ‘Rimshot’ films.

So yeah, very suspicious.

But still, the actors behind it seem to be playing the part, so I guess we’ll find out this summer if Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home is actually a real movie or not.

Also, here’s what the actors had to say, in case you were wondering:

McBride: “I’m not going to lie to you, to be a real Crocodile Dundee, I think 95% of it is the vest and then 5% is just being able to not fall down and stay on your feet.”

Hogan: “Crocodile Dundee is a film that has stood the test of time. It was a defining moment in my life and one of my proudest accomplishments. Throughout the past few years, I’ve been thinking about how to bring Dundee to a new generation. I’m excited to introduce the new Crocodile Dundee to the world and look forward to sharing more news about those involved very soon.”

Crocodile Dundee is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital Download.

 

Details on Tarantino film #9 come to light.

Leonardo DiCaprio / Django Unchained / Picture courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Outside of potentially helming the next Star Trek, another future Tarantino project we know about his is sixties set flick that involves the Manson family murders.

The film caught people’s eye for a) being a Tarantino film and b) clamouring to sign on heavy hitters Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.

DiCaprio has since been signed up, and this week we learnt a bit more about his role and thus, the film as a whole, as Mike Fleming from Deadline revealed the following:

“What he plays, more specifically, is an actor who had his own Western show, Bounty Law, that ran on the air from 1958 to 1963. His attempt to transition to movies didn’t work out and in 1969 — the film is set at the height of hippy Hollywood movement– he’s guesting on other people’s shows while contemplating going to Italy which has become a hotbed for low-budget Westerns. The movie, a Pulp Fiction-esque tapestry of Los Angeles during the summer of the Manson murders, will now get busy with casting.”

Sounds like a fun premise to be sure, and what’s more, Fleming later added that fans should keep an eye on Cruise, who he’s confident will still end up snagging a role in the film. A DiCaprio/Cruise Tarantino caper? I, for one, am very interested.

Django Unchained is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital Download.

 

Rian Johnson strikes back. 

Carrie Fisher, Rian Johnson, Mark Hamill & Kathleen Kennedy / On the set of Star Wars: The Last Jedi / Picture courtesy of Vanity Fair

A bit of light-hearted fun to finish things off.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been somewhat divisive. And that’s fine. It makes the film more interesting that there are so many disenting opinions. However, some of the critiques of the movie seem somewhat forced, and I feel for director Rian Johnson, whose social media is constantly flooded with hatred from fans who take disliking a movie a step too far.

Fortunately, Johnson seems like a genuinely decent guy, and fights back the urge to argue with the haters, apart from a few select occassions when he can do it for humorous purposes. One such occassion can be seen below:

Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi

In response, some argued that that book came from before the Disney takeover, and therefore ‘doesn’t count’ anymore, seemingly missing the point that as the writer and director of a new Star Wars movie, Rian Johnson has more say in ‘what counts’ than they do, what with him being one of the six directors to have helped craft Star Wars mythology.

Also, while we’re talking about amusing Star Wars tweets, wherein people fail to understand things, here’s another:

Star Wars: The Last – you know what, I’ve already done this once. See above.