Morning and welcome back to the Friday edition of Studio Coffee Run!

Nothing in particular to talk about outside the regular news and items below. As I said last week, it’s August, and most of the movie business is enjoying some time off before festival/awards season and starting the next wave of productions.  Basically, we’re well into the August dumping ground with only a few new movies of interest this week

In Case You Missed It… 

Henry Golding in talks to star in Paramount’s SNAKE EYES…

Pretty exciting day for British actor Henry Golding as he celebrated a year after the release of his breakout film Crazy Rich Asians, with it being announced that Golding is in talks to play G.I. Joe’s popular ninja warrior in the planned spin-off movie for next year. It was announced on the same day as the trailer for his next movie Last Christmas hit as well. (See below for that.)

Another little tidbit that came out this week was that South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp (District 9) had parted ways with MGM over the planned Robocopreboot/remake, which is probably a good thing since the last one of these didn’t do that well. That was due to “scheduling.”

More Disney Developments: More Aladdin and Apes but no Lumberjanes

While I spoke a bit more broadly about the developments at Disney re: Fox movies last week, a few other things came out of the sales call with CEO Bob Iger to Wall Street analysts last week.

Lumberjanes
Boom Studios

Boom Studios is not having a good month as another one of their comics that had been optioned for a movie adaptation at Fox seems to be faltering.  Many were in shock from the announcement that Disney was ending many of Fox’s projects in development (as mentioned last week), but one of the movies that got lost in the shuffle was the fact that the live-action Lumberjanesmovie based on Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn A. Allen and Noelle Stevenson’s popular girl-friendly comic book was also not happening. This is shocking since director Wes Ball had already confirmed that Disney/Fox were bailing on his The Mouse Guard movie after production was shut down just two weeks before filming, so that’s two Boom Studios properties that we won’t see as movies.

This is not just bad news for Fox or the creators involved but also bad for movies being based on alternative material to Marvel and DC superheroes. Although I personally haven’t read Lumberjanes, I know the book has a ton of fans who would love to see those characters brought to the screen. What originally started out as an 8-issue mini-series exploded due to popular demand into an ongoing series that has published over 60 issues, specials as well as a crossover with DC Comics’ Gotham Academy. Hopefully another studio will see the potential for this movie and step up to buy the rights.

Although I already discussed some of the Fox properties that Disney is developing for its Disney+ streaming service last week, it was also lost in the shuffle of information that Iger confirmed that Disney plans a “continuation” of the “Planet of the Apes” series as well.

“It will probably take a solid year, maybe two years, before we can have an impact on the films in production. We’re all confident we’re going to turn around the results of Fox live action,” Iger told the analysts on the call.

What we don’t know is whether this “continuation” will actually continue the amazing trilogy of films starring Andy Serkis, the last two directed by The Batmandirector Matt Reeves. Those three movies were fantastic, up there with the original Planet of the Apesfrom the ‘60s, and we have to hope that the franchise doesn’t get too needlesly “Disneyfied.” Does Caesar REALLY need a 9-year-old human sidekick?

Also, SYFY Wire spoke with Aladdin producer Dan Lin who said that the filmmakers would love to make a sequel to the hit Will Smith movie that grossed a billion dollars worldwide, making it one of the biggest surprises of the summer.

“People clearly loved the movie and watched it multiple times and we get lots of fan letters and people asking us to make Return [of] Jafar. I can just tell you that we’re in early stages right now, but we’re certainly talking about another movie. Like with Aladdin, it will not be a straight remake of any movie that’s been made before, so we’re looking at ‘Where’s the best way to go with these characters?’”

Lin also said that getting Guy Ritchie back to direct would be past of the plan, adding:

“I think both he and Will Smith — even before the box office success, they said it was the best filmmaking experience of their lives and they had so much fun doing it. And we’d love to have Guy back and get the team back together.”

So that’s pretty exciting for those, like me, who quite enjoyed Aladdin without ever having seen the original animated movie. I’m sure Kyle Pinion won’t be as happy, as he didn’t like the movie.

Visual Effects Society inducts Stan Lee into VES Hall of Fame

Stan Lee
Photo Credit: Mary Katherine

Stan Lee, Marvel Comics founder and creator or co-creator of much of the company’s iconic characters, is going to be inducted into the VES Hall of Fame by the Visual Effects Society. He is part of the 2019 inductees along with Walt Disney and Stanley Kubrick, so that’s a pretty illustrious honor even if received posthumously.

The VES Hall of Fame was set-up to honor the achievements of  “a select group of professionals and pioneers who have played a significant role in advancing the field of visual effects by invention, science, contribution or avocation of the art, science, technology and/or communications.”

Granted, I’m not sure if any of those three really had that much to do with visual effects other than in Stan Lee’s case creating characters that would require lots of VFX work to bring them to life… mostly by animators being paid by the Walt Disney Company.  Either way, that’s a nice honor that I won’t disrespect further by questioning it.

Casting Tidbits…

Djimon Hounsou Sophia Cookson
Marvel Studios / 20th Century Fox

Oscar-nominated actor Djimon Hounsou continues his career goal to be in every single movie franchise possible, as it was announced this week he would be replacing Brian Tyree Henry in John Krasinski’s horror sequel A Quiet Place 2. Not that many of the actors who appeared in the first movie survived very long against creatures that killed based on sound, but Hounsou adds it to a filmmography that (this year alone) includes Captain Marvel, Shazam! and the upcoming Charlie’s Angels movie. Hounsou also voiced a “fish-man” (for lack of a better term) in last year’s Aquaman and famously questioned Starlord’s identity at the beginning of Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014.

Still fairly low-key and off-radar is Paramount Pictures’ sci-fi thriller Infinite, based on D. Eric Maikranz’s novel The Reincarnationist Papers: A Memoir of Past Lives, which is now starring Mark Wahlberg after Chris Evans departed the project due to scheduling conflicts. Variety reports that Kingsman actress Sophie Cookson is joining the project directed by Antoine Fuqua. This movie will reunite Wahlberg, Fuqua and Paramount after adapting Stephen Hunter’sPoint of Impactinto the 2007 movie Shooter, which was then spun-off into a successful USA series, and it has an interesting concept that I won’t even try to explain.  Cookson previously played Roxy, another ambitious Kingsman recruit in Matthew Vaughn’s adaptation of Mark Millar’s “The Secret Society” comic but then was casually killed off in the sequel. That movie is scheduled to hit theaters in just under a year on August 7, 2020.

Trailers! Trailers! Trailers! 

Some cool stuff released this week, not necessarily of interest to Beat readers but maybe worth knowing about. Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, which was the talk of Cannes back in May, had its first trailer released by NEON. It’s obviously not as genre-y as Director Bong’s early film The Host or recent films like Okja or Snowpiercer, but there seems to be a dark undercurrent to the trailer that makes it look like it delves into thriller territory. I really don’t know much about the plot, and I don’t want to know much more until I see this, probably at the New York Film Festival next month.

 

A lot of people are abnormally excited for Greta Gerwig’s follow-up to her Oscar-nominated Lady Bird, which she’s following up with an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic piece of empowering literature Little Women, which follows the journey of the four March sisters.  Gerwig reunites with her Lady Bird star Saoirse Ronanas Jo March, and the cast includes Emma Watson (as Meg), Midsommar’s Florence Pugh (as Amy) and Eliza Scanlen as Beth, but it also includes Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, Bob Oedenkirk and Tracy Letts. It could be a big awards player once it’s released by Sony on Christmas Day. I’m not a particular fan of the book or any of the movies based on it, but it looks Gerwig is giving the movie her own personality much like Sofia Coppola did with Marie Antoinette, which was ALSO released by Sony! (Maybe I’m a bit old wuss, but I was dubious about this movie until I watched the trailer and actually teared up a little.)

 

There was also a Star Wars: Resistance trailer released earlier in the week, as well as the last trailer for Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, which I’ve started watching in prep for its August 30 release. Lots of resistance going on…

Since I started today’s column with Henry Golding, I might as well end with him as well, as the first trailer for his holiday comedy Last Christmas, co-starring Emilia Clarke from Game of Thrones and Emma Thompson (who co-wrote the script) as her Mum. I first saw a version of this trailer at CinemaCon where Thompson was having a GRAND old time with it being her first trip to Las Vegas.  Directed by Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters), who previously cast Golding in A Simple Favor,  it looks like a cute and quirky holiday rom-com in the vein of the classic Love, Actually with rather broad comedy (especially for Clarke) so we’ll see how it does with American audiences.

That’s it for this week. See you next Friday, but make sure to check back on Tuesday for Josh Hilgenberg’s edition of Studio Coffee Run.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I think I’d rather see Lumberjanes adapted into animation than live-action anyways, and as a series, not as a feature-length film.

  2. Tweet from film critic Matt Zoller Seitz:

    “What studio is gonna make the kinds of big budget, hard-edged R-rated SF and fantasy and action pictures that 20th Century Fox used to make? I can’t even picture them releasing another Deadpool or something like Logan.”

    My thoughts exactly.

  3. “Many were in shock from the announcement that Disney was ending many of Fox’s projects in development ” I can’t imagine anyone was shocked that Disney is canceling Fox projects. This merger was not benevolent. It was a takeover of a major competitor, and seemed to be driven more by the need to acquire controlling interest in Hulu for streaming, and to acquire certain franchise properties. Disney could care less about developing something like Lumberjanes when they have franchises like Apes or Aliens to keep mining and selling merchandise for.

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