And we’re back. Last week didn’t have a News Bites feature, because last week didn’t have any posts at all, but it’s time to get back to work. It’s Friday morning, it’s time for the News Bites. This week involves some horror updates, some strange sequel news, a little bit of release date roulette, and a whole mess of superhero movie rumors, including one of the most bizarre to ever grace these pages.
So if you want to know what’s going on, just keep reading.
Not that this would surprise anybody, but R2-D2 is confirmed to be in Star Wars: Episode VII.
It’s a Wonderful Life may get a sequel more than 65 years after its release. Star Partners plans to make It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story, starring Karolyn Grimes, the woman who played Zuzu Bailey as a girl. Grimes will reprise her role, only Zuzu will now be an angel herself (it being more than six decades later, after all), and will be showing her Scrooge-like nephew how much better the world would have been without him. Paramount has already said they’ll fight to block it, an announcement no doubt supported by many fans of the film who don’t see the need for a sequel. Given the film’s peculiar copyright status, it’d be an interesting fight to watch. But what puzzles me more than anything is that here’s a film premise that isn’t all that bad… but has no need whatsoever to be a sequel. Just do your double-homage to A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life and leave out any direct connections to the original story, just like any number of Wonderful Life-inspired Christmas movies. All legal and clear then, and it could stand as its own thing. But perhaps that makes too much sense.
CBS has committed to a pilot for a How I Met Your Mother spin-off titled How I Met Your Dad. Apparently they’re not big on syllabic symmetry over at CBS.
The legal battle between MGM & Danjak and Kevin McClory’s estate over key James Bond elements has ended. MGM is now free, going forward, to use Blofeld and SPECTRE once more if they choose to do so.
For reasons I’m not entirely clear on, I’ve been reporting on news of Dumb and Dumber To since the sequel was first announced. Well, the last important bit is now out of the way, as it has been given a release date of November 14, 2014, approximately 20 years after the original. Both original stars and the original directors will be working on the film.
Also on the twenty year plan is Independence Day 2, which has just been delayed to July 1, 2016.
Fans of The Conjuring may be pleased to hear that there will be two more films in the franchise. Besides the sequel The Conjuring 2 (whether this is a direct sequel or not is unclear), there will also be a spin-off, titled Annabell, about the haunted doll from the film’s prologue.
Terry Gilliam is making his seventh attempt to get The Man Who Killed Don Quixote off the ground. Here’s hoping.
The film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand has lost its director, Scott Cooper, allegedly over creative differences regarding what MPAA rating to aim for.
Those looking to see Tom Hardy as Mad Max can now pencil the date in on their calendar; Mad Max: Fury Road is scheduled for May 15, 2015.
Hammer Horror is continuing their resurgence with a remake of one of their films from 1957: The Abominable Snowman. One wonders how a true monster movie will play to today’s possession-obsessed horror fans.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon will be teaming up to produce Sleeper, based on an Ed Brubaker comic book about a man who is impervious to pain and who has been placed undercover in a villain organization.
After three Lord of the Rings films and three The Hobbit films, is there room for another J.R.R. Tolkien movie? Fox Searchlight thinks there is, but it’s not an adaptation of one of Tolkien’s works… it’s an adaptation of his life. Screenwriter David Gleeson has written the script for the Tolkien biopic.
The various Marvel series that will run on Netflix (Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and The Defenders) are not currently up for films, but they could be if they’re successful enough.
Meanwhile, there are hints that Sony wants to take a page from Marvel’s playbook regarding comic book universes. A few comments from Sony executives have spawned rumors that the company is planning to start spinning-off Spider-Man-related characters into their own films. Co-Chairman Amy Pascal stated they plan to access “Marvel’s full world of Spider-Man characters”; besides the villains and characters that may be tied up in rights elsewhere (such as mutant Spider-friends Firestar and Iceman), this would potentially include Scarlet Spider, Black Cat, occasional anti-hero Venom, or more obscure characters. If that’s what Sony is getting at, anyway.
Want more Man of Steel 2 rumors? Probably not, but you’re getting them anyway. First up, WB has registered a whole slew of trademarks that may be potential title changes (but given that there are a lot of them, most are probably for video games and the like.) Second, Adam Driver was rumored to be playing Nightwing (Dick Grayson, the original Robin), but he has denied this. And finally, the latest rumor is that WB is looking at Terry O’Quinn of Lost to play Lex Luthor. The rumor’s basis, as with the earlier Bryan Cranston rumor that several sites ran as “confirmed” before it was officially debunked, appears to be “this guy is bald”. One wonders if the rumormongers have heard of razors.
Also on the DC Comics front, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is rumored to be in talks to play Morpheus, king of dreams, in an adapation of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. I’ll believe it when I see it… but I’d pay to see it.
Finally, in what may be the most unexpected comics character rumor I’ve ever had to report — and by way of comparison I’ll remind you we once heard rumors of a Lobo movie — Warner Brothers reportedly sent Midtown Comics (a major NYC comic store) a teaser poster for a Wonder Twins (from Super Friends) movie starring Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis. There are, as I see it, three possibilities, and two are delightfully absurd. The first possibility, of course, is that this is precisely what it seems to be, and that we’ll be getting a Wonder Twins movie in 2014, before we get any of the other DC superhero films leading up to Justice League. The second possibility is that Midtown Comics is pranking everybody; this is most likely, and also the least interesting. The third possibility is that Warner Brothers is pranking Midtown Comics. The idea that someone at WB would take the time to do so is perhaps even more hilarious than the idea of the movie being real.
That’s all for this week’s News Bites. Thanks for reading, and leave a comment below with your thoughts!