Wednesday, 31 May 2017

These film scenes alongside the paintings that inspired them will change how you see movies

We often talk about movies paying homage to other movies. If you have ever seen a Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained) movie, you have basically seen a collage of Kung Fu, Grindhouse, and classic film scenes repurposed into his chopped and screwed narratives. But we don't often talk about movies lifting scenes from classic paintings. Images jumping from the canvas to the screen is not an easy association to make, yet directors often do so all the time.





These calming compilations created by UK based photographer and director Vugar Efendi shows some beautiful shots from movies lifted from classic works of art. Some of these you may have known, like William Friedkin's use of L'Empire des Lumieres in The Exorcist (1973), but others – like Jutta by John Kacere and Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation (2003) or Jeune Homme Nu Assis au Bord de la Mer in There Will Be Blood (2007) – might be new revelations.

Now you have something new to look for every time you watch a good movie.







Sunday, 28 May 2017

New one sheet for Wonder Woman arrives online

Warner Bros have just released a new one sheet for Patty Jenkins (Monster) Wonder Woman.




Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on the sheltered island of Themyscira, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that is raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.

With Connie Nielsen (Gladiator), Robin Wright (House Of Cards), David Thewlis (War Horse), Danny Huston (Children Of Men) and Lucy Davis (Shaun Of The Dead) among the cast, Wonder Woman will be out in the UK on 2 June.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

New one sheet for Wonder Woman arrives online

Warner Bros have just released a new one sheet for Patty Jenkins (Monster) Wonder Woman.




Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on the sheltered island of Themyscira, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that is raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.

With Connie Nielsen (Gladiator), Robin Wright (House Of Cards), David Thewlis (War Horse), Danny Huston (Children Of Men) and Lucy Davis (Shaun Of The Dead) among the cast, Wonder Woman will be out in the UK on 2 June.

Two new one sheets for The Mummy arrive online

Universal Pictures have just released two new one sheets for Alex Kurtzman's (People Like Us) The Mummy.








As Universal Pictures prepares to breath new life into their classic monster creature features while combining them into the current hot trend for shared cinematic universes, The Mummy represents one of the big main shots at launching this linked set of stories.

With Tom Cruise (Edge Of Tomorrow) as soldier Nick Morton and Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) playing the title character, Ahmanet, the stage is set for a sandstorm of new action and chases as the supernatural threat re-emerges. It is just the latest take on a story that has been told many times on screen, though this one will mean another new start, ignoring the more recent Stephen Sommers movies. Cruise has a brush with death and Russell Crowe's (Man Of Steel) Dr. Jekyll welcomes him to a world of gods and monsters.

Alex Kurtzman directs from a script that has been work from Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) and Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher), and The Mummy will be out on 9 June.

New character one sheets for Despicable Me 3 arrive online

Universal Pictures have just released a fresh batch of character one sheets for Kyle Balda (Minions), Pierre Coffin (Despicable Me 2) and Eric Guillon's Despicable Me 3.




















As the latest trailers have revealed, the Minions find themselves in jail in the latest Despicable Me, and these latest posters feature the six lead Minions as inmates, with cute tattoos to boot.

Despicable Me (2010), its sequel and spin-off Minions (2015) have all been huge box office surprises, so no one should be shocked that a third outing for Gru (Steve Carell) and the little yellow troublemakers is on the way.

While not much is know about the plot, we do know that it will see Gru and wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) still working for the Anti Villain League. And this time, the threat comes from weird supervillain Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), a former child star gone rogue who is obsessed with the 1980s, when his fame was at its peak.

Despicable Me 3 is set for release on 30 June.

"Why have enemies when you can have friends?"

You can't really fault the logic of letting Guy Ritchie bring some mayhem to the traditionally chivalrous world of King Arthur. Back in 2009, when Benedict Cumberbatch's modern day consulting detective was yet to usher viewers into his Mind Palace, Ritchie's first Sherlock Holmes film proved a gleefully incendiary revelation, delivering unexpected thrills – and a $524 million box office hit – by splicing the deductive spirit of Arthur Conan Doyle's classic tales with the Snatch (2000) director's trademark visual brio and unwavering devotion to shirtless fight scenes.

So, in theory, you wouldn't bet against Ritchie's similarly controversial take on Arthurian legend – an urban reimagining and origin story designed to birth a six-film connected cinematic universe – to pull off a similar trick. Sadly, while their are occasional flickers of brilliance, King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword devolves into a jumbled affair, weighed down by confusing supernatural elements and a lazy reliance on visual effects.





Still, the opening scene is certainly exhilarating, creating part of an extended prologue which serves us some backstory amid scenes of Dark Ages carnage. In ancient England, we are told, ordinary men are at war with 'mages' – mystical beings with the power to control animals. During a key conflict, heroic reigning monarch King Uther (Eric Bana) makes a pivotal intervention with his magical sword, Excalibur, but the victory seems to come at some vague mystical cost – Jude Law's (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows) Vortigern, Uther's brother, has a suspicious nosebleed, for one thing – and soon treachery comes to Camelot.

Vortigern claims the throne, Uther and his wife are killed and Arthur, their only son, is hidden in a boat before washing up in Londinium. A rapidly cut montage – an irresistible show of Ritchie's stylistic verve – then depicts Arthur's hard-knock journey from naive brothel worker to streetwise brawler. After being summoned for his customary encounter with the sword in the stone, Arthur eventually falls in with a mysterious female mage (Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey) and a ragtag group of freedom fighters to topple Vortigern's regime and embrace his heroic destiny.

This middle portion of the film, where it barrels along like a cross between Robin Hood and Ocean's Eleven (2001), is undoubtedly its highpoint. But it also underscores one of its biggest failings. Even in an unexpected setting, Ritchie's tropes – East London slang, fist fights and narrative trickery – still feel hopelessly dated. And then there is David Beckham. Following a brief cameo in Ritchie's previous film, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015), Beckham effectively puts himself forward as the Ritchie's answer to Stan Lee, with a beefier appearance as a villainous soldier. It is a misguided, fist biter of a performance – almost impressive when you consider it features a man who is actually from Leytonstone playing an unconvincing Cockney – and the fact that this piece of stunt casting overshadows a hugely significant character moment for Arthur bespeaks the film's pervading ill-judged, shouty feel. Jude Law toils admirably as demonic proto-dictator Vortigern, but Charlie Hunnam's (Pacific Rim) decision to play Arthur as a smirking lunk makes him hard to root for. Ritchie is clearly still adept at marshalling an inventive action set-piece, but all hopes that this is heading anywhere interesting are ultimately dashed.

Ultimately, while King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword occasionally sparkles, the generic effects, conflicting ideas and embarrassing celebrity cameo, make Ritchie's take on the King Arthur legend a medieval mishmash that's rarely magic.






Thursday, 25 May 2017

New one sheet for Megan Leavey arrives online

Bleecker Street have just released their latest one sheet for Gabriela Cowperthwaite's (Blackfish) feature debut Megan Leavey, the true story drama about a young marine corporal who forms a lifelong bond with a military dog.





The film stars Kate Mara (127 Hours) as Megan Leavey, a U.S. Marine who was assigned to clean up the K9 unit in the Iraq War where she formed an unlikely bond with a particularly aggressive dog, Rex. The two ended up serving together and completed more than 100 missions before both were injured in a 2006 IED explosion.

Leavey received a Purple Heart and was honorable discharged after her recovery, while Rex was kept on active duty. Leavey spent the next five years fighting to adopt the dog even while Rex was scheduled to be euthanized after developing a palsy.

With Edie Falco (The Sopranos), Tom Felton (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes), Bradley Whitford (Get Out) and Common (Selma) also in the cast, Megan Leavey arrives in US cinemas 9 June but has yet to secure a UK release date.

New character one sheets for Wonder Woman arrive online

Warner Bros have just released a new batch of character one sheets for Patty Jenkins (Monster) Wonder Woman.











Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on the sheltered island of Themyscira, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that is raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.

With Connie Nielsen (Gladiator), Robin Wright (House Of Cards), David Thewlis (War Horse), Danny Huston (Children Of Men) and Lucy Davis (Shaun Of The Dead) among the cast, Wonder Woman will be out in the UK on 2 June.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

New banner for Wonder Woman arrives online

Warner Bros have just released a new banner for Patty Jenkins (Monster) Wonder Woman.





Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on the sheltered island of Themyscira, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that is raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.

With Connie Nielsen (Gladiator), Robin Wright (House Of Cards), David Thewlis (War Horse), Danny Huston (Children Of Men) and Lucy Davis (Shaun Of The Dead) among the cast, Wonder Woman will be out in the UK on 2 June.

Sir Roger Moore: James Bond legend dies aged 89

Veteran British actor Sir Roger Moore, best known for playing charismatic MI6 spy James Bond, has died aged 89. Known for his mellifluous voice, charismatic charm and arched eyebrow, he played the iconic character seven times, starting with Live And Let Die (1973).

Sir Roger's family confirmed the news on Twitter, saying he had died after "a short but brave battle with cancer".

The statement, from his children, read: "Thank you Pops for being you, and being so very special to so many people."

"With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated."





Born in London in 1927, Moore started his career in the 1950s as a knitwear model, before moving into acting with a series of small film roles. His initial breakthrough, though, came on the small screen in shows like Ivanhoe, Maverick, and The Alaskans. Moore became a household name with The Saint from 1962 to 1969, in which he played the suave, sophisticated, sharply dressed hero Simon Templar. Many of the Saint's characteristics, the easygoing manner, mocking eyebrow and ability to successfully charm every passing female, would later be incorporated into his role as James Bond.

In fact, Bond producer Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli had approached Moore twice to take the part, but his television commitments had got in the way. When Sean Connery officially retired from the role after Diamonds Are Forever (1971), the coast was clear and Moore accepted the role.

Moore played 007 seven times: Live And Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) and A View To A Kill (1985). Throughout his tenure, he established a playful and debonair take on the character, injecting a sense of fun into Ian Fleming's creation.

Following his retirement from the role, he took a short break from acting, taking on smaller bit parts. His later years were largely devoted to charity and humanitarian efforts. In a statement, his family said he considered his work with UNICEF to be "his greatest achievement".

On his approach to his most famous role, he once said "I'm have a good time doing this, and I hope you're having a good time watching me have a good time."

Russell Crowe (The Nice Guys) led the tributes to the actor on Twitter, writing simply: "Roger Moore, loved him."

Michael Caine (The Dark Knight) said: "I am truly sad and think I will be in tears if I talk about him.
"Roger was the perfect gentlemen, adored by all his friends."

Singer Michael Ball said: "My dearest uncle Roger has passed on. What a sad, sad day this is.
"Loved the bones of him. Generous, funny, beautiful and kind."

Mia Farrow (Rosemary's Baby) wrote: "Few are as kind & giving as was Roger Moore. Loving thoughts with his family & friends."

Despite his many achievements, Moore never managed to shrug off the mantle of 007.

"Of course I do not regret the Bond days," he once remarked. "I regret that sadly heroes in general are depicted with guns in their hands, and to tell the truth I have always hated guns and what they represent."

Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

imdb.com

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Tim Minchin set to play Friar Tuck in Robin Hood: Origins

While he may be better known as the musical genius behind stage shows based on Matilda and Groundhog Day, Tim Minchin has plenty of acting credits on his CV. He is about to add another, with news arriving via The Hollywood Reporter that he is set to play Friar Tuck in Robin Hood: Origins.





Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service) is preparing to play the lead role of the legendary outlaw who returns from the Crusades and battles the corrupt likes of the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) while helping the locals survive.

Origins has been building an eclectic cast so far, including Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) on as Little John, Eve Hewson (Enough Said) as Maid Marian and Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades Of Grey) playing Will Scarlet. Scarlet is traditionally more known for his musical abilities than Tuck, but perhaps they are going in a different direction with everyone.

Otto Bathurst (Peaky Blinders) will direct the film in Budapest later this year, aiming at a 23 March 2018 release in the US with no confirmed date for the UK just yet.

Robert Downey Jr set for Man Of The People adaption

News arrives via Deadline that Robert Downey Jr, closing in on his tenth anniversary playing Tony Stark, will likely follow up production of the next two Avengers films with a biopic of non-doctor John Brinkley, whose use of goat glands for medicinal purposes was his ticket to infamy in the early part of the 20th Century.





The untitled film, based on the Man Of The People episode of the Reply All podcast, focuses on Brinkley, and his rise in America with his procedure to transplant goat testicles into humans, initially to cure impotency but then for a wide variety of maladies. Using the social media of the day, radio, Brinkley spread the word of what he was doing and grew so popular that he eventually ended up managing clinics and hospitals in a number of states, and even twice ran for public office in Kansas. And all of this without ever having received a genuine medical licence. And yet despite success that turned him into a multimillionaire – spoilers alert – Brinkley died penniless due to a wide variety of lawsuits (including malpractice, wrongful death and fraud) that he became the subject of.

The film will be produced by Downey Jr and his wife's Team Downey production company, with Richard Linklater (Boyhood) directing. Downey Jr will next be seen as Iron Man in this summer's Spider-Man: Homecoming, and is currently involved in back-to-back shooting on Avengers: Infinity War and a fourth untitled Avengers film, which he says "promises to be a year of fun-filled lensing." While the actor has appeared in recent years in The Judge (2014) and Chef (2014), there are persistent rumblings of a fourth Iron Man film, hardly surprising considering that the last entry in that series, Iron Man 3 (2013), pulled in $1.2 billion at the global box office.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Two new character one sheets for The Dark Tower arrive online

Sony Pictures have just released two new character one sheets for Nikolaj Arcel's (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) The Dark Tower.








Finally headed our way after several versions failed to ignite, the cinematic adaptation of Stephen King's epic The Dark Tower series is finally heading to screens.

The Dark Tower promises a subtly different origin story for the conflict between Roland Deschain, know as The Gunslinger (Idris Elba), and warlock Walter, The Man In Black (Matthew McConaughey), who brought chaos and destruction to a realm known as Mid-World. Walter's current target is the Dark Tower, which maintains order in the various realms and multiverses, and Deschain's target is... Walter.

The first movie finds Walter on the hunt for Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) who posses 'The Shine' (you might recognise the power from another slightly well known King story), which could help destroy the Tower's support and allow Walter to bring his particular brand of apocalypse to other realms.

The Dark Tower will arrive in cinemas 28 July.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

New one sheet for Snatched arrives online

20th Century Fox have recently released their latest one sheet for Jonathan Levine's (Warm Bodies) Snatched.





With sketch show Inside Amy Schumer on hiatus for the time being, Schumer looks to be fully concentrating on the movies for the foreseeable future. First out of the gate is Snatched, in which the Trainwreck (2015) star teams up with Goldie Hawn – which is something of a coup since it is Hawn's first film since The Banger Sisters (2002).

After her boyfriend dumps her impetuous dreamer Emily Middleton (Schumer) persuades her overly cautious mother (Hawn) to accompany her on a vacation to Ecuador. Polar opposites, Emily and Linda soon realise that working through their differences as mother and daughter is the only way to escape the wildly outrageous jungle adventure that they have fallen into.

The script comes from Katie Dippold (The Heat) and is inspired by her relationship with her own mother.

With Joan Cusack (School Of Rock), Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad), Wanda Sykes (Evan Almighty) and Christopher Meloni (Man Of Steel) also in the cast, Snatched is out in the UK on 12 May.

New one sheet for Wonder Woman arrives online

Warner Bros have just released a new one sheet for Patty Jenkins (Monster) Wonder Woman.





Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on the sheltered island of Themyscira, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that is raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.

With Connie Nielsen (Gladiator), Robin Wright (House Of Cards), David Thewlis (War Horse), Danny Huston (Children Of Men) and Lucy Davis (Shaun Of The Dead) among the cast, Wonder Woman will be out in the UK on 2 June.

Taikia Waititi set to direct Bubbles

He last brought us the wonderful Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016) and has been having fun in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Thor: Ragnarok, but Taika Waititi appears ready to head to an even stranger place. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that he has signed on to co-direct Bubbles, a stop motion movie about the life of Michael Jackson's pet chimp.





Mark Gustafson, who has worked on movies such as Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) and is developing a new Pinocchio with Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim), is on to co-direct the new film, which is coming from the team behind Anomalisa (2015).

Isaac Adamson's screenplay chronicles the ape's friendship with the King Of Pop after Jackson adopted him from a Texas research facility and gave him a home at his Neverland ranch in 1983. He lived with the megastar until he became too aggressive (Bubbles, not Jacko) and was moved to a primate sanctuary in Florida, where he still lives.

"It's an idea that fascinates me and one I want to develop further," says Waititi, who previously channeled obsession with Jackson through 2010 comedy Boy. "Most people know I'm a huge Michael Jackson fan, so the main thing for me is to make sure it's respectful of him and his legacy. I'm not interested in making a biopic; I want to focus on telling a story that blends fact and fantasy, about an animal trying to make sense of the world. This film is not about Michael Jackson because that's not a story for me to tell – or a story I'd be comfortable telling – it's about a chimpanzee's fascinating journey through the complex jungle of human life. I think animation is the only way to approach a story like this."

There is no date for this one to arrive yet, but it will certainly take time given the painstaking nature of stop motion. Thor: Ragnarok, meanwhile, will arrive in cinemas on 27 October in the UK and 3 November in the US.

Joel and Ethan Coen re-Writing Scarface reboot script

Though it lost its most recent director candidate (Antoine Fuqua) but there is good news for the latest version of Scarface. News arrives via Variety that Universal Pictures have Joel and Ethan Coen (Hail, Caesar!) providing their scriptwriting services to do a polish on the new movie's screenplay.




And the producers – which includes Martin Bregman who helped bring Brian De Palma's 1983 version starring Al Pacino to screens – appear to be close to finding a replacement director to call the shots, with Diego Luna (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) still attached to star as a Mexican gangster who is looking to carve out his own slice of the American dream.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, David Mackenzie (Hell Or High Water) is in the mix alongside the man who coincidentally originally hired him for what would become that film, Peter Berg (Lone Survivor). Mackenzie's story is the more intriguing one – unable to secure most studio jobs he has since become a toast of the town and is being offered scripts all over the place. And Berg, of course, has a history with Universal Pictures via Battleship (2012) and Lone Survivor (2013).

The new version still faces an uphill battle with some who don't really want to see another remake, even given that the 1983 film is itself exactly that. Still, Universal remains confident and has handed out a 10 August 2018 release for the film in the US.

Kevin Smith planning Jay And Silent Bob reboot satire

Despite seemingly closing the book on the View Askewniverse way back at the end of Dogma (1999), Kevin Smith just can't escape its gravitational pull. He has revisited the slackers of Clerks (1994) and has a series based on Mallrats (1995) currently in development limbo. But with other projects seemingly stalled, he is turning his attention back to his two most iconic creations – Jay And Silent Bob.


This is not a drill! This is an actual image from my laptop! Yes, Kids - @jayandsilentbob are coming back! Here's the story: Sadly, Clerks III can't happen (one of our four leads opted out of the flick). So I worked on a #Mallrats movie instead... which also didn't happen because it turned into a #Mallrats series. I've pitched said sequel series to 6 different networks only to find no takers thus far. Mind you, I'm not complaining: nobody gets to make EVERYTHING they wanna make in this business (do they?). And I've been lucky to make anything at all, there's so much competition out there, so many much cooler ideas from fresh folks. And besides: I had #comicbookmen and then @tuskthemovie and @yogahosers (which all came together so crazy quickly), and the podcasts and #fatmanonbatman. With all of that, how could I bitch about no Clerks III or Mallrats 2? Then when I started directing @thecw shows, it was such a slice of Heaven on Earth, I happily put my Askewniverse sequels to the side. Since I sold #Clerks and #Mallrats years ago, they're owned by others, which limits my moves with my own material. I don't mind: back in the day, all I ever wanted to do was sell my stuff so I could be in the movie biz in the first place. So I don't own Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy or #Dogma... But I DO own #jayandsilentbob. So while I love playing with someone else's new toys on @cwtheflash and @Supergirl, I'm getting eager to play with my old toys again in the inter-connected View Askewniverse I spent the first half of my career creating. And so all last month, I had the time of my life laughing while writing "Jay and Silent Bob Reboot" - a fun flick in which the Jersey boys have to go back to Hollywood to stop a brand new reboot of the old "Bluntman & Chronic Movie" they hated so much. It's a tongue-in-cheek, silly-ass satire that pokes fun at the movie business's recent re-do obsession, featuring an all-star cast of cameos and familiar faces! And I already met with the good folks at Miramax and they're into it, so I'm hoping we'll be shooting in the summer! Never give up, kids. You CAN do anything you want in life, so long as you're patient and malleable. #KevinSmith
A post shared by Kevin Smith (@thatkevinsmith) on


Though he has more recently been known for the genre-stretching likes of Tusk (2014) and Yoga Hosers (2016), or for directing episodes of DC's TV series, Smith has decided to take a swipe at reboot culture with a new Jay and Bob film that he will star in alongside regular partner in crime (and actual bestie) Jay Mewes.

Posting the above image to Instagram, Smith wrote a long post about his plans. "This is not a drill! This is an actual image from my laptop! Yes, Kids – Jay And Silent Bob are coming back! Here's the story: Sadly, Clerks III can't happen (one of our four leads opted out of the flick). So I worked on a Mallrats movie instead... which also didn't happen because it turned into a Mallrats series. I've pitched said sequel series to 6 different networks only to find no takers thus far.

"Then when I started directing The CW shows, it was such a slice of Heaven on Earth, I happily put my Askewniverse sequels to the side. Since I sold Clerks and Mallrats years ago, they're owned by others, which limits my moves with my own material. I don't mind: back in the day, all I ever wanted to do was sell my stuff so I could be in the movie biz in the first place. So I don't own Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy or Dogma... But I DO own Jay and Bob. So while I love playing with someone else's new toys, I'm getting eager to play with my old toys again in the interconnected View Askewniverse I spent the first half of my career creating.

"And so all last month, I had the time of my life laughing while writing Jay and Silent Bob Reboot – a fun flick in which the Jersey boys have to go back to Hollywood to stop a brand new reboot of the old Bluntman & Chronic movie they hated so much. It's a tongue-in-cheek, silly-ass satire that pokes fun at the movie business's recent re-do obsession, featuring an all-star cast of cameos and familiar faces! And I already met with the good folks at Miramax and they're into it, so I'm hoping we'll be shooting in the summer!"

So there we are... Jay and Bob are coming back. Again. And probably sooner than you think.

Joe Manganiello and Marley Shelton set to join Rampage

News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike) and Marley Shelton (Planet Terror) are set to join Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas) in the video game adaption Rampage.





Those of a certain age will remember feeding coins into the arcade cabinet (and later playing at home) to control three giant monsters – George (a giant gorilla), Lizzie (a huge lizard) and Ralph (a raging werewolf), who were normal humans until they were the subject of experiments by the nefarious Scumlabs and turned into their monstrous forms. Johnson is playing an animal loving hero who may be the only hope for saving the world, while Naomie Harris (SPECTRE) is on as a geneticist with a moral streak who decides to help.

Now we can add Manganiello as the leader of a private military group and Shelton – wife of producer Beau Flynn, who is reuniting with Johnson after San Andreas (2015) – playing an astronaut.

With San Andreas director Brad Peyton overseeing the madness, Rampage will be stomping into cinemas April next year.

"No one understands the lonely perfection of my dreams."

When the Alien: Covenant title appears on the screen in Ridley Scott's third entry in Fox's six film franchise, it slowly emerges in deep space scored by Jerry Goldsmith's beautiful haunting theme. After the different, divisive Prometheus (2012), it seems like a reaffirmation of core values – this time, in space, no-one will hear you scream. If that is the intention, then Scott succeeds in fits and starts – it feels like a companion piece with Prometheus, still heavy on exposition, but edges closer to the original in terms of gore, imagery and pure excitement.





Alien: Covenant opens with the young Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) lecturing android David (Michael Fassbender) about the mysteries of creation and – to underline the point – gets him to play Wagner's Entry Of The Gods Into Valhalla on a grand piano. Clearly taking place before the events of Prometheus, we then cut to ten years after Noomi Rapace's Elizabeth Shaw put David's head in a duffel bag and blasted off to the Engineers' planet. It is now 2109 and the crew of the Covenant are transporting 2,000 colonists to paradise planet Origae-6 in order to start a new life. A random transmission – that is deciphered as John Denver's Country Roads – alerts them to the presence of a nearer planet that has better conditions to support life. Having suffered a recent tragedy that left fatalities, the crew take the easy option and set down in the untested environment. There is breathable air and fields of wheat. Only terraforming officer Daniels (Katherine Waterston) notices there is no bird sound or animal noise. Entirely devoid of organic life, it is a haunted house on the grandest possible scale

Happily, compared to Prometheus, Covenant improves on your favourite Alien tropes – crew banter, a hazardous drop to a planet, the return of ship's computer MOTHER, arguments over quarantine, running full-pelt down corridors, eggs, Facehuggers, Chestbursters and Xenomorphs. But there are twists to the formula, too. There is a newborn alien that could arguably considered cute. And we also get nifty Neomorphs, much more agile than their previous (or should that be future) counterparts, leaping like Velociraptors when cornered by the crew.

When it is intense, Covenant is really intense. The first encounter with the nascent Neomorphs is a full on onslaught, from uncomfortable scenes of uncontrollable shaking to moments of dark absurdity (slipping on blood at a key moment) to the critters revealing a hitherto unknown skill at head butting. Yet once the hunt is on, Scott struggles to muster the sustained tension of Alien or the relentless ride of James Cameron's Aliens (1986). There are some creepy kills but none that recapture the visceral imagination and design of the original's deaths. He also can't build momentum in the same way, the sense of narrative urgency sadly missing.

The Covenant crew are a particularly nondescript, inter-changeable blue collar bunch. Some show promise. Waterston's Daniels is crippled with grief. Newly promoted captain Oram (Billy Crudup) is dealing with doubts that his religious faith will undermine his authority. But only Danny McBride's (Eastbound & Down) Tennessee really registers, and that is partly because he wears a cowboy hat. In fact, the most interesting character relationships come between the two synthetics – newbie Walter and Prometheus holdover David (named after series producers Walter Hill and David Giler). Both skilfully differentiated by Michael Fassbender, the pair meet as David is the only inhabitant of the newly found planet. There are weird, interesting scenes as David teaches Walter to play flute, out score each other on Romantic poetry and in, what feels like a bizarre piece of Fassbender slash fiction, a kiss.


Yet it is also the point where Scott gets to indulge his thematic mission to explore the relationship between man and his creator. At its best, the Alien series works as B movies, embedding all the (psychosexual) meaning in the imagery. Here it is done in dialogue about the frustration of not being allowed to create and the loneliness of dreams. It is just a shame that one of cinema's greatest image makers couldn't deliver his ideas visually. Still, as The Martian (2015) proved, Scott is still a master of science fiction, be it the big stuff (the Covenant sprouting sails to harness power) or the telling details (alien atoms get highlighted in smoke rings). John Logan (SPECTRE) and Dante Harper's screenplay, after the laugh free Prometheus, also adds a joke or two.

An upgrade from Prometheus, Alien: Covenant amps up the thrills but doesn't quite deliver the memorable crew member or full on onslaught of the series at its height.





Henry Cavill and Ben Kingsley set for new thriller Nomis

News arrive via The Hollywood Reporter that Henry Cavill (Man Of Steel) and Ben Kingsley (Hugo) are leading the cast of new psychological thriller Nomis.





Alexandra Daddario (San Andreas) has also signed on to the film, which writer and director David Raymond is currently shooting in Canada. The Hollywood Reporter's story doesn't specify what they will be doing in the film, but we do know that the story finds an American police force trapping an online predator, only to discover that the depth of his crimes goes beyond anything they had thought.

"I'm overjoyed by our cast," says Raymond. "Henry's got such a strong presence onscreen, but he's also incredibly smart and has a wicked sense of humor. I think people are going to be blown away by what he's going to do with this role. Sir Ben is always incredible. I wrote the character for him, so I was quite relieved when he signed on. Alexandra is a raw talent and has an undeniable electricity, which is exactly why I wanted her in this role."

Cavill has war film Sand Castle arriving later this year and will be back in the cape for Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016) follow-up Justice League, out 17 November. Kingsley will be seen in Collide and Per Fly's (The Inheritance) Backstabbing For Beginners, while Daddario can be seen the Baywatch reboot, which arrives on our screens 2 June.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

New one sheet for War For The Planet Of The Apes arrives online

20th Century Fox have just released their latest one sheet for Matt Reeves' Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014) follow-up, War For The Planet Of The Apes.





Directed once again by Reeves, War For The Planet Of The Apes finds ape leader Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his intelligence boosted simian brethren forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel (Woody Harrelson) are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.

With Steve Zahn (Dallas Buyers Club) also in the cast, alongside returning ape performers Judy Greer, Karin Konoval and Terry Notary (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes), War For The Planet Of The Apes will arrive in cinemas 14 July.

New banners for Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales arrive online

Walt Disney Pictures have just released a new set of banners for Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning's (Kon-Tiki) Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

















The fifth and latest Pirates Of The Caribbean film has undergone something of a subtitle change for UK audiences – what is called Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales elsewhere is now known as Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge here.

We suppose the new title makes sense, focusing as it does on Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), a ghostly former cohort of Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow. Freshly escaped from the Devil's Triangle, Salazar and his spectral crew are killing all the living pirates, and Jack is their primary target.

Jack's only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong sailor in the Royal Navy. The teaser features no Jack, but instead finds Bardem's ghostly, but surprisingly polite sort demanding that Henry finds Jack for him.

Kon-Tiki's (2012) Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning are at the helm for this one, which Walt Disney Pictures will be hoping can keep the successful money tsunami going and generate some better reviews than the last outing.

We will find out if that is the case when Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge docks into UK cinemas on 26 May.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

New banner for Wonder Woman arrives online

Warner Bros have just released a new banner for Patty Jenkins (Monster) Wonder Woman.





Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on the sheltered island of Themyscira, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that is raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.

With Connie Nielsen (Gladiator), Robin Wright (House Of Cards), David Thewlis (War Horse), Danny Huston (Children Of Men) and Lucy Davis (Shaun Of The Dead) among the cast, Wonder Woman will be out in the UK on 2 June.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

New one sheet for Baby Driver arrives online

Sony Pictures have just released their latest one sheet for Edgar Wright's (The World's End) Baby Driver





Baby Driver represents something of a departure for the British filmmaker – unlike previous fare like Shaun Of The Dead (2004) or Hot Fuzz (2007) this one is not strictly a comedy. Rather, it is a pacy energetic action movie with the emphasis on car chases, driven by the iPod music of the titular Baby (Ansel Elgort).

Baby is a shades wearing getaway driver for crime kingpin Doc (Kevin Spacey) and his associates, including Buddy (Jon Hamm), Bats (Jamie Foxx), and Griff (Jon Bernthal). Baby looks keen to make it his one last job, but Doc has other plans. Lily James (Cinderella) plays Baby's waitress girlfriend Deborah.

Baby Driver will handbrake turn into cinemas from 16 August.

New one sheet for Wonder Woman arrives online

Warner Bros have just released a new one sheet for Patty Jenkins (Monster) Wonder Woman.





Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on the sheltered island of Themyscira, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that is raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.

With Connie Nielsen (Gladiator), Robin Wright (House Of Cards), David Thewlis (War Horse), Danny Huston (Children Of Men) and Lucy Davis (Shaun Of The Dead) among the cast, Wonder Woman will be out in the UK on 2 June.

New banner for Despicable Me 3 arrives online

Universal Pictures have just released a new banner for Kyle Balda (Minions), Pierre Coffin (Despicable Me 2) and Eric Guillon's Despicable Me 3.





Despicable Me (2010), its sequel and spin-off Minions (2015) have all been huge box office surprises, so no one should be shocked that a third outing for Gru (Steve Carell) and the little yellow troublemakers is on the way.

While not much is know about the plot, we do know that it will see Gru and wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) still working for the Anti Villain League. And this time, the threat comes from weird supervillain Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), a former child star gone rogue who is obsessed with the 1980s, when his fame was at its peak.

Despicable Me 3 is set for release on 30 June.

New banner for Baywatch arrives online

Paramount Pictures have just released a new banner for Seth Gordon's (Horrible Bosses) Baywatch.




Promising to inject more comedy into the sun soaked drama series concept, Baywatch finds Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas) as committed lifeguard Mitch Buchanan, who has to deal with the challenges of caring for the beach the people who use it. But when his boss, Captain Thorpe (Rob Heubel) hires hotshot Matt Brody (Efron), the pair initially butts heads.

But when a serious threat rears its head, the team springs into action – even if the local law enforcement officers aren't too thrilled.

Also in the cast are Alexandra Daddario (Texas Chainsaw 3D), Kelly Rohrbach (The PET Squad Files), Ilfenesh Hadera (Billions) and Jon Bass, with former Miss World Priyanka Chopra (Quantico), who didn't get to join the line-up fun here, as the villainous Victoria Leeds. We can also expect a cameo from one David Hasselhoff, because it wouldn't be Baywatch otherwise.

Baywatch is out in cinemas now.

Jack Nicholson and Kristen Wiig set for Toni Erdmann remake

Jack Nicholson turned 80 last month, and having not made a film since How Do You Know (2010), many in Hollywood had assumed he had retired. Indeed, as recently as last month, The Sun newspaper ran an article with the headline 'Jack Nicholson To Retire'. Almost as if in response to such headlines, word arrives via Variety that Nicholson will be starring in the English language remake of German comedy Toni Erdmann (2016), opposite Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids).





The original Toni Erdmann, written and directed by Maren Ade, was first released in Europe in 2016, and only saw a UK release in February. It starred Peter Simonischek as a fake teeth wearing prankster father, and Sandra Hüller as his highly strung daughter who finds herself on the receiving end of her father's practical jokes.

The film has received universal critical acclaim and swept the board at the European Film Awards back in December.

Adam McKay (The Big Short) will be shepherding the project as producer, with longtime partner Will Ferrell (Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy), and Wiig also producing. Original director Maren Ade will executive produce, but there is no word on who will helm the remake.

According to Variety, an English remake had been floated since May last year, but Nicholson was such a fan of the original film himself that he approached Paramount Pictures CEO Brad Grey, and the wheels quickly started to set in motion.

A People's History Of The Vampire Uprising set for big screen adaption

Anyone disappointed that Paramount Pictures have put a hold on the sequel to World War Z (2013) might take some undead solace in the news that producer and director Shawn Levy (Real Steel) and 20th Century Fox have acquired the rights to the forthcoming novel, A People's History Of The Vampire Uprising.




Written by Raymond A. Villareal, and intended to be the first of four volumes, the book will take its cue from World War Z as its to be told in an oral history format. As reported by Deadline, it deals with the "appearance, assimilation and ultimately epic and violent confrontation of vampires with the human race." The story will be told from a number of perspectives, most notably the CDC investigator who is the first person to realise that there is a new virus starting to spread, the first FBI agent assigned to the Gloaming (the name for the vampires) Crimes Unit, a librarian working in the Vatican, gossip website TMZ (!) and a civil rights attorney.

A People's History Of The Vampire Uprising is one of a variety of vampire projects that are on the horizon on both the big screen and the small, among them TV pilots for The Passage and Let The Right One In, and Anne Rice's intention of turning her Vampire Chronicles into a television series.

As far as World War Z is concerned, Paramount Pictures and star Brad Pitt have put the sequel on hold as they wait for the schedule of director David Fincher (Gone Girl) to free up. The pair certainly have form together, with Fincher directing Pitt in Se7en (1995), Fight Club (1999) and The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008). The first World War Z grossed $540 million worldwide.

Richard Armitage added to Julie Delpy's My Zoe

Busy old time for Richard Armitage (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey). He was recently recruited for heist caper and spin-off Ocean's Eight. Now word arrives via Deadline that he will be part of the cast for Julie Delpy's (2 Days In Paris) sixth film as a director, My Zoe.





The indie drama already boasts Daniel Brühl (Rush), Lior Ashkenazy (Big Bad Wolves) and Sophia Ally (A Modest Defeat) in the cast, with Delpy on writing, directing and co-starring duty. The film follows the fallout of Isabelle (Delpy) and James's (Armitage) marriage. Their relationship is well and truly over, but they stay in touch to share parenting time for their daughter, Zoe. Until, that is, tragedy strikes, and Isabelle decides to take matters into her own hands.

In addition to Ocean's Eight (due to arrive in cinemas next year), Armitage has thriller Sleepwalker and historical drama Pilgrimage headed our way, though neither film has a UK release date as yet.

New one sheet for Cars 3 arrives online

Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios' have just released their latest one sheet for storyboard artist Brian Fee's directorial debut Cars 3.





They may not enjoy the same critical, and indeed commercial reputation as some of their Pixar stablemates on purely theatrical terms, but there is no denying that the Cars films bring in serious dollars when it comes to toys and other spin-offs. But the Emeryville team doesn't just think of that aspect, and the story for Cars 3 seems to be headed down a slightly darker path.

Darker, of course, is relative, but this is a series of films that hasn't strayed from oddly dark themes – witness a car being tortured in the James Bond riffing Cars 2 (2011). This time around, the film is focusing on Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), once the young hotshot of the track, now an older veteran struggling to keep up with the competition. He is especially challenged by newcomer Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) and will need a little help from technician Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) if he is to match up.

Cars 3 will arrives in UK cinemas on 14 July, crossing the cinematic chequered flag a little under a month after its US debut on the 16 June.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Jennifer Connelly joins Alita: Battle Angel

The cameras have been cranking on Robert Rodriguez' (Sin City) manga adaptation Alita: Battle Angel for a while now, and yet still the casting announcements come. News now arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Jennifer Connelly (Blood Diamond) has joined the film.





With Rodriguez directing and James Cameron (Avatar) producing – after years developing the project, he has chosen to focus on more Avatar movies – the film adapts Yukito Kishiro's original manga. Battle Angel Alita, as it was called in print and anime form, is the story of an amnesiac female cyborg in the 26th century who becomes a bounty hunter, after being rescued from the rubbish dump and rebuilt by a professor of cybernetics. Rosa Salazar (The Maze Runner) is playing Alita, while Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) will be the professor.

They will be facing the villainy of Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen) and Ed Skrein (Deadpool) and Mahershala Ali (Moonlight). As for Connelly, there is nothing official regarding her character yet, but she likely won't be aiding our heroes.

Alita: Battle Angel will be out on 20 July 2018. Before that, Connelly has true firefighting tale Granite Mountain, out in UK cinemas on 22 September.

New one sheet for Mindhorn arrives online

StudioCanal have just released a new one sheet for Sean Foley's  Mindhorn.





Action movies are generally set in New York. Maybe Los Angeles or Miami. Sometimes London or Paris. But rarely the Isle of Man (population: 85,000), the small British dependency off the coast of the Lake District. That inauspicious locale is exactly where new action comedy Mindhorn is set, from the pens of Mighty Boosh alumni Julian Barrett and Simon Farnaby.

Barrett stars as Richard Thorncroft, a washed-up actor who pines for the past glories of his former career starring as MI5 Special Operative Bruce Mindhorn, a TV detective with an bionic lie detecting eye that allows him to quite literally "see the truth".

Decades after his prime time success, Thorncroft is wearing a toupée and desperate for work – so when a crazed criminal on the Isle of Man requests to speak to Mindhorn, he is back on the case – this time, in real life.

Sean Foley has directed the comedy, which premiered at last year's London Film Festival to a rapturous reception. Essie Davis (The Babadook), Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion) and Harriet Walter (Babel) also star.

Mindhorn is out in the UK on May 5.

New Friday The 13th's reboot shuts down

After several false starts, all looked to be finally getting back on track for the latest reboot of the Friday The 13th concept as director Breck Eisner (The Crazies) stepped aboard the project last year. But now news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Paramount Pictures have shut down the film just weeks before it was due to start shooting.





Whispers of fresh trouble for the reboot surfaced when the studio removed the film – alongside the World War Z (2013) sequel – from their planned release slot. While Jason Voorhees was to have been stalking screens in October, the movie is now back in development limbo. No official reason was given for the brakes being put on pre-production, though one source told The Hollywood Reporter that the movie was simply not ready to go. It probably didn't help that the studio's attempt to breathe new life into the Rings franchise didn't pay off quite as well as they had hoped.

We will have to wait and see what happens next, but for now, it appears that Friday The 13th, at least in its modern incarnation, is perennially unlucky.

Matthew McConaughey set to star in Harmony Korine's Beach Bum

Given his history of shirtless bongo drumming and laid back behaviour in his personal life, you can certainly imagine Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) has been preparing to star in a movie called The Beach Bum most of his adult life. And so it has come to pass, with news arriving via Screen International that his set to join Harmony Korine's (Spring Breakers) latest.





The Spring Breakers (2012) director is cooking up the new movie, but mostly keeping the plot to himself, besides acknowledging that McConaughey will be playing a rebellious, lovable rogue. "The Beach Bum will be a wild, audacious ride!" says Korine in a statement carried by Screen International. "And I can't think of anyone better than Matthew McConaughey to play our hero Moondog, a rebellious charmer in this fast-paced, uplifting and irreverent comedy."

Korine aims to have the cameras and the waves rolling in July.

As for McConaughey, he is currently on our screens in Gold and will next be seen in Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower, which arrives on 28 July.