Good morning ladies and gentlemen, it’s time once again for the weekly News Bites. And this week it really does just seem to be a few bites. As opposed to the veritable smorgasbords of news we’ve had in the last few weeks, there doesn’t seem to have been much going on in the world of movie news over the past seven days. Or it was all where I wasn’t looking, perhaps. So enjoy a light repast and read on to see what’s happening.
Dreamworks and Disney are dealing with a bit of protest over their upcoming film The Fifth Estate, due out October 11. Specifically, the film about WikiLeaks is being denounced as “lie upon lie” by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is urging people not to see it. It’s tempting to question the wisdom of judging the film before it comes out, but considering who it is, we can’t really put it past him to have seen it prematurely. Of course, even ignoring the numerous and odious other legal issues surrounding Assange, it would be exceptionally hard to sympathize with somebody opposing the public viewing of a film when his organization is based around publicly disseminating other peoples’ information without their consent.
The host for the 2014 Academy Awards has been announced: Ellen DeGeneres will be returning to host again after doing so once before in 2007. This means there is a 20% lower chance of a reprisal of “We Saw Your Boobs”. Works for me; DeGeneres is usually at least moderately entertaining and is a capable host.
Universal is moving forward with a fifth Bourne film. No, Bourne isn’t in this one either. Why they aren’t just calling them Aaron Cross films is beyond me; any sales boost from using “Bourne” in the title is surely offset by the “But where’s Matt Damon?” factor.
Also moving forward is The Expendables 3, but with a shift in cast. Bruce Willis is out, declining to appear in the third film, reportedly over money disputes. Replacing him, however, is another fan-favorite aging action star: Harrison Ford. (Note: Some sites are speculating Ford will play Willis’s role; I suspect it’s more likely he’ll be playing a role that is, at most, similar, or entirely unrelated.)
And our last bit of solid news before we head into the land of rumors is news of yet another sequel moving forward, one that I’m sure everybody has been waiting for. Yes, there will be a Sharknado sequel, and its title, chosen from a Twitter contest, is every bit as brilliant as you’d expect: Sharknado 2: The Second One. Directness. That’s what’s lacking in Hollywood’s marketing departments these days.
With Man of Steel 2: Superman vs. Batman being recently announced, rumors are naturally flying about who will play Batman. Reports are that WB is going for a somewhat older Batman, one in his early 40s, but this is as yet unconfirmed. Speculation has run from Ryan Gosling to Richard Armitage to Armie Hammer. There’s been absolutely nothing in the way of confirmation this early, but there is one note on that last one: Armie Hammer isn’t interested, saying he’s not a fan of superhero movies, and he also doesn’t want to do too many films in a row with Henry Cavill, his co-star for The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Meanwhile, rumors are simultaneously swirling about Lex Luthor. Mark Strong, who played Sinestro in Green Lantern, was asked if rumors connecting him to the role were true. He neither confirmed nor denied, saying only “watch this space”.
That’s all for this week’s News Bites. Thanks for reading!