It’s Friday, August 23rd, it’s 6:00 AM Pacific Time, that must mean it’s time for the News Bites. There’s a moderate amount of movie news this week; not too little, and not too much. But what there is is pretty interesting, featuring the returns of Jack Sparrow, the name in sci-fi anthologies, and even Sean Connery. Plus, if you somehow avoided hearing the hubbub on the internet last night, we now know who will be the next Batman.
You’d think that news that broke only the night before would seem fresh…
Some very sad news this week. Lee Thompson Young, who starred in The Famous Jett Jackson, Friday Night Lights, and Rizzoli & Isles, died in an apparent act of suicide at the age of 29. It’s always a tragedy when someone good dies young, but suicide makes it even more so. Find peace, Mr. Young.
Also passing on is crime novelist Elmore Leonard, at age 87 of natural causes. Leonard’s work was the inspiration for many Hollywood productions, including 3:10 to Yuma, Jackie Brown, Get Shorty, and the television series Justified.
Joseph Kosinski, director of TRON: Legacy and Oblivion, is being tapped to direct a new Twilight Zone movie.
The cast of Guardians of the Galaxy keeps getting larger. Bradley Cooper is in talks to provide the voice of Rocket Raccoon. Additionally, Gregg Henry (Super) has announced he’s taking part in the film, though his role has not been revealed.
After succesfully adapting the Boom! Studios comic 2 Guns to film, Universal is turning their eyes to another Boom! title, Day Men, about the diurnal servants of vampires. (OK, hands up everybody who didn’t know 2 Guns was based on a comic book…)
Sir Billi, the first feature-length animated film entirely produced in Scotland, will be getting a theatrical release in the U.K. (Release for the U.S. and other countries is not yet known, though it was screened at Sonoma in 2012). It is the first film from director Sascha Hartmann, based on a screenplay by his wife Tessa. Of particular note is that one of the executive producers is Sean Connery, who is also providing his voice to the film — which means The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen will not be his final film after all. Also featured is Alan Cumming.
Neill Blomkamp’s third film, Chappie, will be released March 27, 2015. In the story, Chappie (voiced by Blomkamp collaborator Sharlto Copley) is a robot who is stolen by gangsters. THR says the gangsters are “voiced” by the rappers Ninja and Yolandi Visser, indicating the feature is animated.
Natalie Portman is out, and Marion Cotillard is in to play Lady Macbeth in Justin Kurzel’s adaptation of the Scottish Play, which starts filming in January.
Are you ready for Rambo to hit the small screen? (Again) Entertainment One and Nu Image are producing a TV series based on the film franchise. Sylvester Stallone is currently in negotations to executive produce and possibly reprise his role.
The fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film now has a title: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Which distinguishes them from the makers of the franchise, who just keep going on…
There have been a lot of rumors, but the casting for Batman in Man of Steel 2: Superman vs. Batman has been announced and it’s a big name. Bruce Wayne will be played by Ben Affleck. Well, at least he won’t have to dye his hair this time… In all seriousness, I think Affleck could do a good job. I just hope Snyder, et al, somehow do. I’m also completely disregarding the internet furor over the casting; that was going to happen no matter who was cast, just like it happened every other time.
Mark Millar has stated that the X-Men film franchise and the new Fantastic Four reboot (both being produced by Fox) share the same universe. A few news sites have already taken this and run with it saying there will be a crossover, but Millar has explicitly denied this. Apparently the other team is just out there somewhere and they won’t directly interact. Considering each franchise is already a team franchise, a crossover is probably unnecessary anyway.
David Prowse, who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy in all but voice, has said he’d like to return to the franchise in Episode VII — as another character. Though Prowse is proud of his time under the mask, he’d like to play a character where his face can be seen.
Bleeding Cool is reporting that the role of Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron, having been passed up by Saoirse Ronan, is now being offered to Elizabeth Olsen.
That’s all for this week’s News Bites. Thanks for reading, and chime in below with your thoughts!