Welcome back to Studio Coffee Run, the Friday Edition!
Hopefully you’ve all gotten all your Disney+ viewing in so that you’re ready for this week’s Frozen 2. Honestly, if Disney can’t save the ailing November box office, then we’re in deep doo-doo until Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalkeropens in a month, and promotion for that movie is already kicking into high gear. (See below.)
In Case You Missed It…
(And since I wrote all three stories myself, I don’t have that much further to add…)
I don’t remember Phillips being out on the interview circuit much after the release of Joker, but he’s certainly out and about during awards season doing QnAs to try and get votes, which might be why there’s some confusion about his future plans in that world. He clarified it in an interview with Indiewire with this statement:
“Here’s the real truth about a sequel. While Joaquin and I have talked about it, and while touring the world with Warner Bros executives — going to Toronto, and Venice, and other places — of course, we’re sitting at dinner and they’re saying, ‘So, have you thought about…?’ But, talking about contracts, there’s not a contract for us to even write a sequel, we’ve never approached Joaquin to be in a sequel. Will that happen? Again, I just think the article was anticipatory at best.”
A fewer smaller tidbits before we get to the main crux of this week’s column…
- It looks like the soundtrack for Jon Favreau’s The Lion King received a Grammy nomination a couple days back. Yay? (I haven’t heard it.)
- It was also revealed recently that Aquaman star Jason Momoa took “screaming lessons” from Archspire vocalist Oli Peters in order to prepare for his Apple TV+ series See. Apparently, and it’s probably not a big surprise that Momoa is a big metal head.
- I wasn’t sure if I knew any Lizzy McGuire fans, but apparently, my managing editor Samantha Puc is one, as she’s very excited that actor Adam Lamberg would be returning to play “Gordo” in the new Lizzie McGuire series planned for Disney+. And they even made an announcement video!
Is Kathleen Kennedy leaving Lucasfilm?
Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy was out and about this past week doing a bunch of interviews, including one for Rolling Stone, as a victory lap for the success of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian and in advance of Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker. There were a few revelations, including the fact that she already has a director in mind for the 2022 post-Abrams-trilogy “Star Wars” movie on the schedule. No, it’s not Rian Johnson, who had at one point been developing his own trilogy. In fact, there were rumors that Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau himself might be helming that 2022 “Star Wars” movie, which means it may or may not involve the Mandalorian.
There was also some hinting in a Hollywood Reporter story that Kennedy might be looking for an exit strategy from Lucasfilm, maybe because there have been so many issues with filmmakers being fired, replaced or movies being finished by other directors. Other than J.J. Abrams’ two movies and The Last Jedi, there have been problems on every other “Star Wars” release. It makes you wonder if it’s difficult to work with Kennedy’s Lucasfilm.
I know. How about an exclusive quote from Rian Johnson on his own experiences? I spoke with Johnson earlier this week about his great new movie Knives Out. While the full interview will hit next week, he did talk about his own experience when I asked about Kennedy’s comments in that Rolling Stone interview about his “controversial choices” for The Last Jedi.
“I can only speak to my experience there. Some of the other directors you’re talking about, they’re some of my favorite directors working today, and I’m good friends with a lot of them. I can only speak to the experience I had, which was a totally lovely one. It was collaborative with all the creative choices all the way through. It was with Kathy and with Disney and with the story group there, Lucas Fellman with JJ where we were all working on it together and all pushing it forward step by step. Everything about it, it was kind of the best it could possibly go. It felt like a very personally fulfilling, beautiful creative experience from front to back.”
Could Michael Moorcock’s “Elric Saga” be the next big fantasy TV series?
The Deadline story also mentions that Mazzara is still writing and executive producing a Dark Tower series for Amazon based on Stephen King’s novels, so clearly, the disappointing showing of the movie a few years back hasn’t hurt the brand as much as many thought.
ROBOCOP 2 is happening, and it has a director!
I’m kind of surprised by that statement, too, because I didn’t think that Sony’s 2017 remake of Robocopby Brazilian filmmaker José Padilha, starring Joel Kinnaman (Suicide Squad), did particularly well to warrant a sequel. The movie cost $120 million to make, and though it only made $58 million in North America, it made another $184 million overseas. International wins out again, and the sequel, called (what else?) Robocop 2 has just found a director in Abe Forsythe, whose debut film Little Monsters, starring Lupita Nyong’o, had many tongues wagging at this year’s Sundance before it hit Hulu over the summer. I ended up not doing interviews for it, but I saw a lot of potential in Forsythe’s first film, and it will be interesting if he can bring that same level of humor and action to the “Robocop” franchise, which has not done well since Paul Verhoeven’s classic 1987 movie.
Dracula’s nutty familiar RENFIELD getting his own movie?
Just a week after I spoke to Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher at an event for his movie, where he told me he was looking for his next thing comes this story from The Hollywood Reporter that Fletcher has been attached to direct a Renfieldmovie, based on a concept by The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman. For those unfamiliar with the character of Renfield, he’s Dracula’s familiar, an escapee from a mental asylum who becomes obsessed with immortality and does Dracula’s bidding in hopes of attaining it. Ryan Ridley, who has written for Rick and Mortyand the FX comedy Ghosted is writing the script, which is thought to be more comedic than the usual Dracula adaptations. Maybe that take will help it fit in well with Paul Feig’s planned Dark Army movie, which is also derived from Universal’s classic monster movies.
Apple TV+ runs into issues with one of its very first film releases…
Remember last year when all of this stuff came out about director Peter Farrelly and his movie Green Book, starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali? Despite all the controversy and conflict, the movie still went on to win Best Picture and Screenplay at the Oscars, while Ali won his second Oscar.
Although Apple has been focusing on its ongoing series for streaming on Apple TV+, it also picked up or produced a few movies for release including the Sundance hit Hala, which hits theaters this week. Their other narrative film, The Banker has hit a pretty major SNAFU. It was supposed to close the prestigious AFI Fest in Los Angeles last night but it was pulled less than 24 hours before its debut.
Apparently, it was pulled due to a controversy that began with comments on an Indiewire story about how hard it was to get the movie made, but a few of the relatives of Anthony Mackie’s character Bernard Garrett spoke up in the comments condemning the movie quite thoroughly:
First, Grace Garrett posted:
“This story is not being told accurately and Bernard Jr. Is lieing. Please speak with the other 8 children of Bernard Garrett Sr.”
And then his other daughter Cynthia Garrett added:
“His real wife is Linda Garrett. She’s my mother. What’s been done here is shocking. My dad would turn in his grave. No script was ever written 20 years ago. My dad wrote a small book he gave us kids. Truth was what he and my mom wanted. Instead HOLLYWOOD has partnered with our half brother and stolen my moms story after molesting me and my baby sister for years. What about fact checks? It’s sick that these men never seemed to care to know the real story here. I’ve worked in Hollywood thirty years. I’ve spoken about this in my book. And in conferences for years all over the world. Yet they partnered with our estranged half brother and erased us and our mother who co owned all the real estate and the banks. No regard for truth or family or sexual abuse victims being constantly abused. Every producer and star who played a part in this should be ashamed. Apple TV should be ashamed. We would have pride in my dads story being told but we all dreamed we would share our mom and dads truth accurately. My mom is devastated. Nia long is black. My moms face is white. I guess HOLLYWOOD prefers the racial divide to continue rather than heal it. Something will now need to be done.”
Yikes, that’s not a good way to roll out a movie that could have been Apple’s first potential Oscar movie. I was supposed to see this last week but something happened with the DCP so the screening didn’t happen. I was sent a screener that I haven’t had a chance to watch, but presumably, the movie will still be released on December 6 unless Apple decides to scrap it or dump it altogether due to the allegations.
UPDATE: Apple has decided to delay the movie’s theatrical release.
- I’m pretty sure that everyone loves or at least likes Pom Klementieff as Mantis in the MCU movies, although that is such a specific character that it will be nice to see her do other things. Fortunately, she’s been cast in Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible 7, as well as its sequel, which is being filmed at the same time.
- I’m really looking forward to Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen in January, but he’s already working on his next movie Cash Truck, and that cast has been coming together as he reunites with Jason Statham, joined by Scott Eastwood, Laz Alonso and Josh Hartnett. Irish actress Niamh Algar may not be as known as some of those fellas, but she’s a fairly up and coming TV actor with a number of shows in production and she has been added to that cast.
- Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley is gearing up to film soon, and Deadline reports that Mindhunter star Holt McCallany, who is also already in Ritchie’s Cash Truck is joining the cast of del Toro’s film, which currently is made up of Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Willem Dafoe, Bradley Cooper plus Toni Collette and David Strathairn. Apparently, he will play Anderson, a “get-the-job-done bruiser” that’s more than just his “tough guy persona.” I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this one as del Toro’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning The Shape of Water should be interesting.
Trailers! Trailers! Trailers!
- Not so much new trailers this week, mainly because the bigger ones have already debuted in front of some of the November releases, but Netflix released the final trailer for Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, which has been playing like gangbusters in limited release and will hit the streaming service on November 27, just in time to watch with the (other) family on Thanksgiving.
- Jordan Peele’s Hunters series won’t hit Amazon until sometime next year, following Al Pacino (likely to get another Oscar nomination for The Irishman) and a group of Nazi hunters in 1977 New York City who go after Nazis living in America. No date has been set but there is a first trailer, at least, but not sure Scorsese would feel about the use of the Stones in this cool-looking teaser.
- Focus Features also released a teaser trailer for its new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, starring my beloved Anya Taylor-Joy from The Witch, Split and Glass, and who really should be playing Catwoman. Maybe next time. This looks very funny and quit entertaining.
- Not sure how I feel about this Call of the Wild trailer, but it’s one of the movies that Disney picked up in its acquisition of 20th Century Fox last year, and I do love the Jack London source material. The movie features Harrison Ford with a huggable St. Bernard, and it looks like one of those classic Disney adventure movies you can probably find on Disney+. It’s directed by Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch) and will hit theaters on February 21.
The lovely and talented Josh Hilgenberg will be back on Tuesday, but then we’ll be doing things a little different the next couple weeks. First of all, I’ll be taking off next Friday for some post-Thanksgiving napping, but then I’ll be covering Josh’s Tuesday beat the following week (Dec. 3) then Josh will be covering that week’s Friday’s edition, and then we’ll be back to normal with Josh also doing Tuesday, December 10. Get it? Got it? Good!