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.
This week: Have the troubles of Warner Bros. and DC’s Extended Universe finally been put to rest? Do we have a confirmation on Ben Affleck’s future as the Batman? Will the Flash tackle time travel? Does anyone over there actually know what they’re doing?!
Read on to find out.
Ewan McGregor ditches the Force for the Shining
While Ewan McGregor’s future as Jedi Master-turned-hermit Obi-Wan Kenobi is still up in the air, in the coming years he will once again have the opportunity to demonstrate fantastical powers with his mind, this time as the new, older face of The Shining‘s Danny Torrance in the upcoming follow-up, Doctor Sleep.
Released in 2013, thirty-six years after the initial entry, the novel Doctor Sleep sees the return of Danny Torrance, who, years later as a depressed alcoholic struggling with the horrific events of his childhood, has taken up employment at a nursing home, using his powers to comfort his dying patients as ‘Doctor Sleep’. However, after meeting a young girl called Abra, who possesses the strongest Shining powers ever seen, Danny is drawn into a conflict with a tribe called The True Knot; a group who sustain their immortality by feeding off the energies children with the Shining release as they are tortured to death.
Doctor Sleep breaks into cinemas on January 24th 2020.
Disney unveils their latest Live-Action remake
Disney has been on a roll with their remakes of classic properties as Live-Action flicks. Their recent remakes, The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, have been hits, and they have no plans on stopping soon, with Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin, Niki Curo’s Mulan and the Donald Glover and Beyoncé starring Lion King coming out in the coming years. Before all that, however, we’re getting a remake of Dumbo – the story of a young circus elephant, ridiculed for his oversized ears, which he can use as wings to fly.
Starring an all-star cast of Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Michael Keaton, Eva Green and Alan Arkin, this latest live-action adaptation hits cinemas next March, and this week saw the release a teaser trailer showcasing said cast:
Dumbo swoops into cinemas on Marvel 29th 2019.
Wonder Woman 1984 brings back a surprising supporting character
As a prequel to the main DC news, lets first take a look at DC’s most successful corner of their universe to date: namely, Wonder Woman. With the film being pretty much universally loved, due to it being competent in its execution (unlike some of its peers), it’s understandable that one of the few films in active development at the moment is a sequel, now titled Wonder Woman 1984 (the others being Aquaman and Shazam!).
Set in, you guessed it, 1984, the sequel will see Diana’s continued adventures in the world of man, as she faces off against her arch-nemesis, Cheetah – played by Kristen Wiig.
This week, WW84 star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins took to twitter to reveal some new pictures and revelations about the film, and the second in particular features a surprise returning character:
— Gal Gadot (@GalGadot) June 13, 2018
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) June 13, 2018
Wonder Woman 1984 slashes into cinemas on November 1st 2019.
DC finds their Kevin Feige
Alright, we’ve had our starter, now it’s on to the main course.
So, DC’s ‘Extended Universe’ has been infamous for bringing us critical disasters such as Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, which were followed by a less-than-stellar reaction to Justice League and a lot of behind-the-scenes reshuffling. The fact that Warner Bros. has failed to make supposedly easy hits out of the first meeting between the two most popular comic-book characters of all-time, and a team-up film featuring even more of their iconic pantheon of heroes has left many worried, but the latest news from the Hollywood Reporter suggests that they’re finally starting to figure things out. It doesn’t all sound perfect, but it definitely sounds a whole lot less chaotic.
In the same veign that a lot of Marvel’s success has come from having producer Kevin Feige at the helm, offering some much needed direction, Warner Bros. now have Walter Hamada, producer of The Conjuring films, who, as of January, is the new President of Warner Bros.’ DC-based films.
THR‘s sources were rather blunt about the unenviable task facing Hamada: “He walked into a shitshow, and he’s trying to clean it up”.
Basically, for the past few months, he’s been looking through the numerous projects in early stages of development (Batman, Flash, Cyborg, Green Lantern Corps, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Deathstroke, Birds of Prey, Gotham City Sirens, Lobo, Black Adam, Justice League Dark, Booster Gold, Nightwing, Batgirl, New Gods, Joker/Harley Quinn and two solo Joker films) and come out with a rather important first order of business – stop announcing and dating films so far ahead of schedule, only to watch them fall apart.
Furthermore, Hamada has decided to cull a number of these projects, to reduce DC’s oversaturated movie slate, hoping to move forward by keeping an eye on ‘big marquee heroes while also developing lesser-known characters that could pop big’, thereby creating a streamlined blend of movies focusing on central heroes like the Batman, and lesser known heroes who could perhaps one day be elevated into the public consciousness, not unlike the journey Iron Man has been on in the ten years since his first film debuted in 2008.
As such, the films that seem to be moving forward at the moment are a Flash film, helmed by Game Night directors John Francis Daly and Jonathan Goldstein (who also wrote Spider-Man: Homecoming) which is said to draw inspiration from Back to the Future, the Martin Scorsese Joker film starring Joaquín Phoenix, a Birds of Prey film featuring (and produced by) Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and directed by Cathy Yan. The Batgirl film, previously under the control of Joss Whedon, is said to springboard out of Birds of Prey, and has the upcoming BumbleBee‘s screenwriter Christina Hodson currently working on the script. Meanwhile, Matt Reeves’ long-gestating Batman film has seen the first act of the script complete, and will reportedly focus on a younger version of the character, rather than Ben Affleck’s seasoned variant.
This varied mix of films will see DC move forward with two separate banners – one showcasing the more conventional, brighter superhero stories, like the aforementioned Flash; the other seeing alternate, perhaps darker, takes on characters, like that of Joaquín Phoenix’s 1980s Joker origin, which is expected to start shooting this year (unfortunately, the Jared Leto Joker film is still also under consideration).