BAM! 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.

SPLATT! Did you know that this week, VultureHound debuted another weekly round-up segment, as Rai Jayne Hearse started collecting all of VultureHound‘s favourite things to happen over social media? That  means two whole round-ups to take over your weekend!

KA-POW! Why am I doing these sound effects, you ask? Well, our first bit of (Batman-themed) news spells trouble for Warner Bros. DC division (although not necessarily for the fans) and thus, it seemed relevant, because what’s wrong with spicing things up every once in a while? Read on to find out what’s inspired these Batman ’66 homages!

Whedon backs out of Batgirl

Joss Whedon / On-set on Avengers: Age of Ultron / Picture courtesy of Marvel Studios

In a completely unsurprising turn of events, it has been announced that Joss Whedon has exited the director seat on the upcoming Batgirl film. So, really, this has nothing to do with Batman ’66 beyond being Batman-related.

Earlier this week, Whedon gave a brutally honest statement regarding his progress on the project:

“Batgirl is such an exciting project, and Warners/DC such collaborative and supportive partners, that it took me months to realize I really didn’t have a story. I’m grateful to Geoff and Toby and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I… uh, is there a sexier word for ‘failed’?”

This is just another in a long-line of DC films to lose it’s directors, but unlike projects like Flashpoint, The Batman and Justice League Dark, this time it may hold a silver lining for fans.

After picking up from Zach Snyder on Justice League, revelations surrounding Whedon’s supposed feminist persona came out (fired up in part by his ex-wife, Kai Cole, who wrote a candid tell-all article for The Wrap), and subsequently Whedon’s hypocritical nature and poor treatment of women were heavily criticized. Adding to the assault on his character were outspoken fans who believed that he changed JL for the worse, and did so gleefully (he was caught liking a tweet criticising the film’s villan).

So although this may be bad news for DC, in the long-run, having a male director whose relationship with women is currently the topic of scrutiny off a female-lead film is probably for the best and just what a lot of fans were clamouring for.

Batgirl WAS expected to drop in 2019.


Is Bond 25 shooting for Danny Boyle?

Daniel Craig / Skyfall / Picture courtesy of Eon

A big time rumour this week is that the folks behind the upcoming Bond 25 are hoping to snag big-shot director Danny Boyle to take on Daniel Craig’s final outing as agent 007. Although Boyle has in the past claimed that he wouldn’t take on such a gig, as pointed out by The Tracking Board

“They’re not really for me. The budgets are too big. I’m better working at a lower level of money really because I like that discipline of not having enough money to pull off whatever it is you want to pull off.  So I wouldn’t be the best person to do those. No.”

…the rumours intensified as a second rumour surfaced. This one suggested that screen writer John Hodge, who has collaborated with Boyle on numerous occasions (Shallow GraveTrainspottingA Life Less OrdinaryThe BeachAlien Love TriangleTrance AND T2 Trainspotting) is currently in the process of writing a script for the movie. Depending on whether or not the studio is a fan of Hodge’s script, they already have a back-up in place, just in case.

But what about that whole ‘Boyle said he wouldn’t direct a Bond‘ quote? Well, in spite of that, Boyle actually has previously directed Bond before, and the Daniel Craig variant, no less…

…so there’s always hope!

Bond 25 shoots into cinemas on November 8th 2019.


Chris McKay finishes with kids toys, moves on to board-games 

Having spent the majority of his life working in animation and special effects, Chris McKay hasn’t actually directed a whole lot, but the things he has directed have been a whole lot of fun; namely, serving as animation director on The LEGO Movie and as the uh… regular (?) director on The LEGO Batman Movie as well as various shorts and television shows such as Robot Chicken.

But despite having the DC movie Nightwing on his plate, that’s not stopping him from potentially taking on an equally nerdy property: Dungeons & Dragons.

Although the table-top game has seen on-screen adaptations before in the poorly received Jeremy Irons-starring film from 2000 and two made-for-TV sequels (who knew there were so many D&D movies?), studios have been pursuing this property for some time, with other directors having entered and exited the project, such as Rob Lettermen.

Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver) was previously reported to star, but who knows at this juncture? Maybe that’s still on the table. Maybe, with McKay on-board, we’ll see an approach not unlike The LEGO Movie, where we see Elgort’s character being controlled by a player from the real world.

Or maybe not. I don’t know anything about Dungeons & Dragons beyond the fact it’s a game and it presumably features both dungeons and dragons.

Dungeons & Dragons is expected to hit on July 23rd 2021.


Paul King sticks his nose into another project

Picture courtesy of Disney

Last week, we got the news that Paddington director Paul King was being courted to direct a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory film, potentially taking the prequel alley and delving into Wonka’s past.

Well, it seems King is understandably in pretty high-demand, as another studio is apparently hoping to get him behind the camera on an updated take on yet another beloved kids franchise.

As you’ve probably noticed, Disney is currently going through a phase where they’re seeking to adapt pretty much every animated film they’ve ever made into live-action. We’ve had films such as Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book be given new life, and have other projects such as Mulan and Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin ahead of us.

Reportedly, Disney wants King to take on Pinocchio, and enthuse the puppet with the same wit and charm he’s granted to one of Britain’s favourite talking bears. The film has previously seen various approaches taken on its way to an updated live-action take, with directors such as Sam Mendes, Ron Howard, Tim Burton, Paul Thomas Anderson and Guillermo del Toro working on takes for Disney and other studios. And somewhere in all of that mess, Robert Downey Jr. may or may not be involved in one of them. 

The original Pinocchio is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital Download now.