It’s Friday morning, and it’s once again time for the News Bites. Now, it’s November 1st, but how about we just keep the spooky decorations up just a tiny bit longer? After all, not only is today the Day of the Dead, but this week’s News Bites features news on not one, not two, but three different spooky-themed movies. Additionally, there are rumors from galaxies far far away and Federation space, news of monuments being blown up all over the place, and two different bluesy biopics.
To find out what’s happening in Hollywood this week, keep reading.
Hal Needham, stuntman and director of Smokey and the Bandit and The Cannonball Run, has passed away at the age of 82. Thanks for the races, Hal.
What do you do when you’re working on a movie, but you’re not sure you’ll have all the elements you want? Well, if you’re Roland Emmerich, apparently you script it both ways. Emmerich has confirmed that there are two different Independence Day 2 scripts in play: One for if Will Smith joins the production, and one for if he doesn’t. How different the scripts are has not been mentioned.
Insurge Pictures, the micro-budget branch of Paramount, has picked up sci-fi script Prism, from writer Ian Fried. Plot details are currently unknown, but it is being produced by John Davis, producer of Chronicle.
Rumored last week as a front-runner, it’s now official that Emile Hirsch will be playing John Belushi in the upcoming untitled biopic.
Cedric Nicolas-Troyan will direct the Highlander remake. It will be the first feature film headed by Nicolas-Troyan, who was a second-unit director on Snow White and the Huntsman and a visual effects supervisor on the first two Pirates of the Caribbean films.
2007 horror anthology Trick ‘r Treat will be getting a sequel. Michael Dougherty is expected to return to write and direct.
Call this one semi-confirmed. Miles Teller has stated that the rumors of him being in talks to play Mr. Fantastic in the Fantastic Four reboot are true — but he doesn’t know if he has the role yet. Teller did confirm that he is signed on to reprise his Divergent role in the sequel Insurgent.
This spring’s White-House-under-attack film Olympus Has Fallen is getting a sequel, entitled London Has Fallen. Morgan Freeman and Aaron Eckhart are returning; director Antoine Fuqua is not.
Get ready to snap your fingers again. The Addams Family is getting a new film from MGM. This time around, it’s to be an animated feature. Is it too much to hope for that it’ll be traditionally animated and in the style of Charles Addams’ original drawings? (A Tim Burton-headed stop-motion adaptation was canceled earlier this year.)
Bill Murray will be stopping some haunting in 2015. No, he hasn’t signed on to the on-again, off-again Ghostbusters 3. Instead, Murray will be lending his voice to B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations, Dreamworks’ animated feature about ghosts that form an elite counter-haunting unit.
It’s finally official: Aaron-Taylor Johnson will be joining the cast of Avengers: Age of Ultron as Quicksilver.
James Brown cameod in both of the Blues Brothers films, and now a Blues Brother will be in Brown’s biopic. Dan Aykroyd will play Brown’s agent Ben Bart in Get On Up; the singer himself will be played by Chadwick Johnson.
Could Star Trek finally be heading back to television? And even be “original timeline” non-Abrams Star Trek? It’s possible; Michael Dorn has stated he’s trying to get a spin-off off the ground, tentatively titled Star Trek: Captain Worf. The show is nowhere near being greenlit yet, but it’s an idea I could see the fans getting behind… and it would certainly add new fuel to the “best captain” debates.
The all-female Expendables spin-off — now titled ExpendaBelles, in case you thought for a moment this wasn’t going to be at least as cheesy as the main films — is looking at Cameron Diaz, Milla Jovovich, and Meryl Streep for major roles.
Reportedly, there are scheduling issues with Star Wars: Episode VII. Producer Kathleen Kennedy and the film’s creative team have supposedly asked for the film to be pushed back to 2016 to give them time to pull everything together, while Disney CEO Bob Iger is adamant that it stay as a 2015 release. Hopefully this doesn’t mean the film will wind up being a rush job.
That’s all for this week’s News Bites. Thanks for reading, and leave a comment below with your thoughts!