Better late than never, here are today’s News Bites. I know they’re going up more than 12 hours later than normal, but it’s been a busy week and a bit of a trying one with a misbehaving internet connection. However, one thing it hasn’t been is a slow news week, as there are quite a lot of things to talk about on the movie front. So hit the jump to find out what’s going on!
In case you missed it, a Man of Steel sequel has already been given the green light at Warner Brothers, with all principles expected to return. The film launched in the U.S. this morning, but early tracking and commercial tie-ins had already put it as being profitable. Obviously, not much has been said about this sequel yet, but writer David S. Goyer has a few words about wanting to make Lex Luthor a believable character, as he feels he did with Lois Lane in this film, so the odds of Luthor showing up are as strong as all the fans expected. Goyer also hints at Justice League plans, mentioning that in the currect DC cinematic universe, Superman is the first superhero to show up, and others will follow after; he specifically says Bruce Wayne exists in this universe, but is not the Nolanverse Bruce Wayne.
Another recent film success that has just been given a sequel greenlight is The Purge. It is not clear whether writer-director James DeMonaco will be returning.
Leonardo di Caprio has an interesting biopic in his future… Rasputin, about the infamous “mad monk” advisor of the Russian aristocracy. The story will reportedly include a focus on his early, formative years. While that could be interesting, I hope it does cover it all the way up to the end… doing a film about Rasputin and not showing the over-the-top death sequence would just be a shame.
Some book series are obvious possibilities to adapt to the big screen. Choose Your Own Adventure is not one of them, but 20th Century Fox is giving it a go anyway. Fox has acquired the rights for multiple platforms for the property, and speculation is that movie adaptations will be based on the individual stories in the novels, not necessarily the branching possiblities therein.
Paramount Pictures is in negotiations to produce the fifth Terminator film; Arnold Schwarzenegger has already confirmed his involvement. Schwarzenegger has also confirmed he will be back for The Expendables 3.
Tracey Ullman is in talks to play the mother of Jack the Giant Killer in Disney’s live-action adaptation of Into the Woods, a comic mashup of various fairy tales. Other actors currently in negotations include Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Emily Blunt. The film is due out Christmas 2014.
Meanwhile, Emma Watson is going into high fantasy starring in Queen of the Tearling, based on an as-yet-unpublished trilogy by Erika Johansen. The series is described as not being a young adult fantasy, and having a “female Game of Thrones” feel; of course, comparisons to other novels are almost always pure marketing, and may not in any way shape or form reflect the actual content. Hopefully it’s good, whatever it actually is.
Melissa McCarthy and Seth Rogen will be providing their voices to Dreamworks Animation’s B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherwordly Operations, about ghosts who defend humans from evil hauntings. The film will be directed by Anthony Leondis, and is currently slated for a June 5, 2015 release.
John C. Reilly’s casting in Guardians of the Galaxy is now confirmed, though the role itself was subject to a mote of confusion early today. Initial reports said he would be playing Ronan the Accuser, but this has since been corrected to say that he will be playing Rhomann Dey, Nova Corps leader, as speculated earlier.
In other Marvel Comics news, Joss Whedon has stated that Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers 2 will not have characters crossing over.
And finally on the confirmed news front, CinemaBlend.com has a stack of Disney-subsidiary news, from Marvel to the Muppets. First off, two as-yet-unrevealed Marvel titles have been given release dates, of May 6, 2016 and May 5, 2017.
Saving Mr. Banks, a film about Walt Disney’s efforts to get Mary Poppins adapted to film, is scheduled for a December 20th release in most locations, but will open a week earlier in some markets.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day has been given a release date of October 10, 2014; Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner will be playing Alexander’s parents.
The Hundred-Foot Journey, to be directed by Lasse Hallstrom and produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, is set for release on August 8, 2014. It tells the story of an Indian boy living in France who becomes the apprentice to a chef who is a family rival.
Despite not being out yet, Planes has been given a sequel; Planes: Fire and Rescue is scheduled for July 18, 2014.
And finally, the sequel to The Muppets, formerly titled The Muppets… Again! has been given a new title to go with its March 21, 2014 release date. The film will now be called Muppets Most Wanted, which frankly is a much better title.
Rumors and Speculation:
It hasn’t been officially confirmed yet (unless I just missed it somewhere), but rumors are strong that Mel Gibson will be playing the villain in The Expendables 3, which is due out August 15, 2014.
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer has said he is still hoping to produce a Top Gun sequel with Tom Cruise. He is also hoping his upcoming Lone Ranger film will be successful enough to spawn sequels.
Somewhat rockier on the sequel status is Dumb and Dumber To, which was dropped by Warner Brothers this week but may not be dead yet. Red Granite Pictures is considered a possibility for picking up the franchise.
One of the strangest casting rumors about Guardians of the Galaxy is about the character Karen Gillan, recently confirmed as a cast member, could be playing. A Scottish newspaper has printed that Gillan will be playing the bounty hunter Angela, a creation of Neil Gaiman and Todd MacFarlane. Angela was originally part of the Spawn universe, for MacFarlane’s Image Comics, but after a court case, the two writers share “custody” of the character — and Gaiman has been using her in some of his recent Marvel Comics works. The character is reportedly being used in Brian Michael Bendis’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy comics, so this isn’t totally implausible.