Weekly Round Up: Denis Villeneuve, Star Trek, Venom
Weekly Round Up: Denis Villeneuve, Star Trek, Venom14th January 2019
Denis Villeneuve has been busy on his Due reboot, which doesn’t yet have a release date but is expected to be out at some point in 2020. The last big screen Dune adaptation came from David Lynch in 1984. Lynch was a relatively young director at the time, and the film was a box office bomb, earning less than half its production budget back. News that Villeneuve will be taking on the project came after the release of his other 1980s inspired movie, Blade Runner 2049.
This adaptation of Frank Herbert’s epic cult novel has already had its fair share of interesting casting announcements, with Timothee Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson already cast in leading roles. This week saw more actors added to the cast list, including Stellan Sakrsgard and Dave Bautista.
I’m cautiously optimistic about this one. I’m one of the very few people who actually doesn’t mind Lynch’s adaptation, and while I’m a fan of Villeneuve’s work, Arrival and Sicario are both excellent and Prisoners has a lot of interesting ideas and visuals, I can’t honestly say I was all that taken with Blade Runner 2049. Its slow, ponderous pace felt like a lacklustre attempt at recapturing the moody stylised vision of Ridley Scott’s original, of which I’m also not particularly a big fan. So I’ll hold off until we get something before passing any real judgement on this one, but I can’t say it’s got me all that excited.
In other news, who do you think is going to be playing The Batman?
With the revelation this week that Warner Bros. are likely going to be starting production on their much anticipated Batman solo outing, The Batman, speculation is ready to begin proper as to who will be taking over the role now that it looks incredibly likely that Ben Affleck won’t be returning to don the mask and cape anytime soon.
While we don’t know who’s gravely voice will be summoning fear into the hearts of Gotham’s seedy underworld, we do know that writer/director Matt Reeves has officially handed in his script and that Warner Bros are confident enough in it to begin the slow process of starting to make the movie.
Who will be playing Batman isn’t the only question the movie raises. Will it be connected to the wider DCEU is another big one, what with Birds of Prey scheduled in for a 2020 release, or will it be a totally separate, standalone movie like Todd Phillips’ Joker movie, starring Joaquin Pheonix, which is said to be a “tragic story”. What that means is any ones guess.
Speaking of movies without their original stars, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has long been dead weight. After the movies burst onto the scene with the absolutely fantastic swashbuckling adventure romp The Curse of the Black Pearl the franchise has struggled to maintain a sense of purpose, with each instalment relying more and more on the, frankly, irritating antics of one Johnny Depp as the iconic Captain Jack Sparrow.
There’s a decent argument to be made that Johnny Depp is actually part of the reason the franchise has never been able to grow beyond the original, and it would appear Disney have taken this stance as well. This week saw the news that Disney are planning to movie forward with the franchise without Depp’s involvement. Quite how this will work remains a mystery, but I have to admit I’m already more intrigued by this one than I have been by any since Gore Verbinski’s excellent original, so maybe that’s a move in the right direction.
Another franchise that could do with a reboot is Sony’s Venom. That’s quite an achievement after just one movie, but the film was so goddamn awful I’d honestly rather gouge out my own eyes and eat them for dinner than I would be subjected to having to watch it again. Nonetheless Sony are moving forward with a sequel (apparently enough of us were stupid enough to go see it at the cinema that Sony thinks it’s a sure thing… what idiots we are), which is expected to see a release date around October 2020.
The sequel will most probably focus on Woody Harrelson’s serial killer, Cletus Kassidy, who appeared in an end-credits sequence and comic book fans will know as Carnage. The film will likely see the return of both stars Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams, but not director Ruben Fleischer, who will be busy working on Zombieland 2… because that’s a thing now.
Final news of this week is some sad news in my opinion. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek reboot franchise, the third instalment in the series, Star Trek Beyond, showed a lot of real promise going forward, with the cast fully embracing their roles and the story working to focus more on their characters as they were in the original series. But it seems Paramount have now shelved the proposed fourth movie, making Star Trek Beyond the final entry into the series with this cast.
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