Ah, it’s nice to only have to do this once a week, mainly since I had so much other stuff to write. Hopefully, you checked out Josh Hilgenberg’s first Studio Coffee Run on Tuesday. There’s not a ton to talk about, mainly because it’s August and people in Hollywood are starting to take their much-needed vacations before the fall festival and awards season begins. After Labor Day, there aren’t many more “take three or four days off work” weeks until Thanksgiving and things definitely slow down in August.
Now that it’s stopped many, many studios from releasing movies this weekend and there’s one or two good ones in the bunch. I particularly liked Scary Stories in the Dark, so if you’re looking for something horror-related to see this weekend, that’s the one I recommend.
Unfortunately, things are not looking good for Fox, who are releasing one of the lesser movies this weekend, the doggie movie The Art of Racing in the Rain, which is not expected to do very well, coming out after the disastrous Dark Phoenix and Stuber. Really, it’s looking like the worst is inevitable for Fox, as Disney is axing the majority of Fox’s development slate. As expected, it was all about getting back the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters sold to Fox in the ‘90s and giving them to Kevin Feige’s insanely profitable Marvel Studios. It was also about getting some of the Fox family IP like Home Alone, Night at the Museum, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and even Cheaper by the Dozen and developing them as content for the new Disney+ streaming service.
Some of those ideas sound more promising than others, but this is not good for Fox movies likeThe New Mutants, which was supposed to come out LAST WEEK (!) and now might never see the inside of a movie theater. Nothing’s been made official yet i.e. more release schedule changes but don’t expect many Fox project announcements either. Fox still has a few things coming up like James Gray’s Ad Astra and James Mangold’s Ford vs. Ferrari, which has the unfortunate November 15 release date, literally three days after Disney+ launches. Yikes.
Despite all the focus on Disney+ series, that doesn’t mean that ABC is getting out of the Marvel game with the conclusion of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at the end of its seventh season. Deadline reports that ABC is developing another female-led Marvel series on top of the one being developed by Wonder Woman co-writer Allan Heinberg, which is also about female characters with superpowers. We can probably start the guessing games if both of these shows involve Marvel heroines. Maybe She-Hulk? (SNL star Leslie Jones has been campaigning heavily for the role but doing an ABC show might be considered a conflict of interests?)
Also, if you’re a pet lover, you might want to check out the adorable doggies that have been cast in Disney+’s The Lady and the Tramp movie, courtesy of People. Unlike The Lion King, this is going to be a movie with real dogs using CG (and celebrity voices) to make them talk ala Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
In case you missed it…
Very exciting news for those who wanted more out of last year’s Venom movie that Sony has closed a deal with The Lord of the Rings and Planet of the Apes star Andy Serkis to direct Tom Hardy in the sequel. Serkis has made two fairly decent movies, the biopic Breathe and the Netflix Roald Dahl adaptation Mowgli, and there isn’t a better filmmaker on the planet who knows how to use performance capture to its fullest… so expect Hardy to bring even more to Venom this time around. Oh, yeah, and he also has Woody Harrelson as Carnage for this sequel so even cooler!
Yesterday, it was announced that Edgar Wright’s next movie Last Night in Soho has been dated for September 25, 2020 by distributor Focus Features, which is exciting news for fans of Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and the “Three Cornettos Trilogy.” The fact it’s being released in late September means that maybe Focus might bring it to next year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) so start saving up your money!
Also, congrats to IO9 founder and one of the most brilliant sci-fi writers out there, Charlie Jane Anders, who’s joined the writing staff of FX’s Y the Last Man, a comic book-based series I’m really looking forward to. Knowing Charlie’s love of classic Doctor Who, I think she should bring some fun stuff to the show.
At last I can talk about what I've been doing in LA! I have had the outstanding good fortune of joining the @YOnFX staff, working with the ultra-talented Eliza Clark and some of the most brilliant writers ever. So thrilled to help adapt Brian K. Vaughan and @PiaGuerra's vision! pic.twitter.com/OuGXQOZOV9
— Charlie Jane Anders, Our Opinions Are Correct (@charliejane) August 7, 2019
King Kong Comings and Goings…
I’m sure I’m going to regret not getting to the Broadway musical of King Kong before it closes on August 18, less than two weeks away, but that’s not stopping New York City from celebrating the mighty Kong with an exhibit at the city’s tallest building. Earlier this week, the Empire State Building posted on its Instagram, a moving video shot of the exhibit that features Kong looking and reaching into the windows. The exhibit is open from 8am to 2pm daily but no word on how long it plans to be viewable to the public… hopefully, it lasts longer than the musical.
Also, an original 1933 poster for King Kong is expected to go for $60 thousand at auction, so I guess whomever has had that in storage for the last 85 years won’t have to work for the rest of the year. Apparently, this is a rather rare (even by 1933 standards) French poster by artist Roland Coudon that shows Kong as the “8th Wonder of the World” rather than the typical Empire State Building pose.
Everything’s Coming Up Taika…
We know that director Taika Waititi has a new comedy coming up in October called Jojo Rabbit, and we also know that he’s returning to direct Thor: Love and Thunder. Apparently, there’s still a bit of writing to do on the latter before it’s ready to start filming but also, that movie isn’t scheduled until November 2021, so Waititi probably has time to film another smaller movie while in pre-production. And apparently, that’s exactly what he’s going to do before returning to Marvel Studios.
According to Deadline, it’s a movie for Fox Searchlight called Next Goal Wins, based on a 2014 soccer documentary by Mike Brett and Steve Jamison about Dutch coach Thomas Rongen’s attempts to turn the American Samoa soccer into a winning team, and yeah, it does sound like a fun sports comedy idea ala Cool Runnings.
Not only that, but the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which to my knowledge has never premiered a single one of Taika Waititi’s earlier films, will be honoring the New Zealand filmmaker with this year’s coveted Ebert Director Award, named after the late, influential film critic (and frequent TIFF attendee) Roger Ebert.
We’ve already reported quite a bit on the casting of the third still-untitled “Walking Dead” series (i.e. the second spin-off), a lot of which came out of Comic-Con, but gender-fluid actor Nico Tortorello from TVLand series Younger will also be joining the cast as Felix, “an honorable manof his word who isn’t afraid to fight for others’ safety and acceptance.” That series is set to debut next spring.
There’s been a bit of casting news for next year’s Coming 2 America sequel, including Blade himself, Mr. Wesley Snipes, playing “General Izzi,” but also the aforementioned Leslie Jones and Kiki Layne. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall are both returning for the sequel to their 1988 comedy with Footloose director Craig Brewer behind the camera for the 2020 Paramount release. (Paramount is also releasing that sequel to Top Gun next year, so it’ll be a big year for nostalgia.)
Trailers! Trailers! Trailers!
While we might be waiting awhile for an official version of Christopher Nolan’s enigmatic Tenet, Universal quietly released a teaser trailer for Sam Mendes’ World War I movie 1917 last week. Although it’s not really in the Beat wheelhouse, it looks like a cool Saving Private Ryan-type movie with a cast that includes Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch and Richard Madden.
I’ve been keeping a close eye on Amazon Studios’ new series Carnival Row since Comic-Con, because I find the premise fascinating, kind of a detective noir set in a gothic world full of faeries, starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne. There have been a few teasers so far, but in advance of the series’ August 30 release, Amazon has released the first full trailer, and it still looks amazing.
Screen Junkies released the “Honest Trailer” for the year’s biggest movie, Avengers: Endgame, and yeah, it’s about as much fun as you can expect from one of these things. “Can I do a time heist on my life?”
That’s all for now. Check back on Tuesday when Josh Hilgenberg returns with the weekend wrap-up edition of Studio Coffee Run.