John Krasinski currently writing script for A QUIET PLACE sequel!

In a year that’s likely to go down as one of the best moments in horror history, A QUIET PLACE kicked off the hype early with a round of festival buzz followed by box office success. The film came as a surprise to most — a tense and thrilling creature horror directed by and starring John Krasinski of ‘The Office’ fame and his real-life wife, Golden Globe-winning actress Emily Blunt. Set in a not-too-distant future, the film follows a family trying to survive in a world where alien invaders hunt by sound.

The film pulled in $334.5 at the box office globally and earlier this year, the studio set the sequel for May 15, 2020, a date that gave the, plenty of time to figure out the right approach to a followup — and the right creative team to lead the charge. At the time, it was still TBD whether Krasinski would return to write or direct, but during Q&A at the Silver Screen Theatre in Los Angeles (via THR), Krasinski revealed that he is in fact writing a script for the sequel…as in, he’s writing it right now.

That wasn’t what the filmmaker/actor intended. As he explained, Krasinski planned for the first film to be a one-time experience, despite the studio’s quick moves to greenlight a sequel. “That was my intention for the movie itself,” Krasinski said. “Then I had this small idea for a sequel, but I didn’t think it would go anywhere. So, I said to the studio, ‘Just go do the movie with somebody else.’”

But while the studio was taking pitches from other filmmakers, Krasinski’s idea stayed with him and eventually he filled in producer Andrew Form of Platinum Dunes. “They heard some pitches, and I told Drew about this little idea,” Krasinski said. “And he told me to think about it a little longer. And then I thought, ‘This might really work.’ So, I’m currently writing the sequel.”

The first film was written by Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, but when Krasinski came on board as director he made a significant pass at the script, adding a few crucial moments and details. In particular, Krasinski reworked the opening sequence, which was originally show in flashbacks, and came up with the backstories for the creatures. He also came up with a number of little details about life in the world of A QUIET PLACE, including touches like the sand trails for quiet walking. And, as he revealed earlier this week on Jimmy Kimmel Live! — he also played the monsters! No wonder the studio wanted him back for the sequel, he does it all.

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Joe Cornish’s YA adventure THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING finally gets a trailer, film due January 25, 2019!

With THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING, ATTACK THE BLOCK director Joe Cornish has returned with a modern take on Arthurian legend. Here, young Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis — yes, son of Andy Serkis) thinks he’s just a nobody until he stumbles across Excaliber (as you do), and is pulled into a world of action and adventure, where he must ally with his friends and Merlin (Patrick Stewart) to defeat the evil witch Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson).

In the first trailer, the movie looks like a really fun, quirky, and ultimately triumphant Arthurian take. It’s the kind of cute kid’s adventure film that — when done right — we could really use more of (enough with the dark origin tales, already). It’s also a testament to the enduring nature of this particular legend, since it has of course been adapted again and again, yet continues to be interesting and compelling. And its macro theme — of a country divided, and without a leader — continues to be relevant.

THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING opens in the US on January 25, 2019.

DESTROYER trailer: Karyn Kusama directs Nicole Kidman in neo-noir crime thriller!

Annapurna Pictures has released the first DETROYER trailer for the upcoming neo-noir crime thriller. Directed by THE INVITATION filmmaker Karyn Kusama, the film stars Nicole Kidman as an LAPD detective who is haunted by her undercover past, which gains fresh relevance when an old gang leader resurfaces. As the physically weary Kidman sets out to clean up the case, viewers are treated to flashbacks that slowly reveal how her undercover operation went so wrong.

The smart thing about this trailer is that it’s hammering on the movie’s best aspect, which is Kidman. The movie is worth seeing just for her performance, and while the film as a whole is apparently little rough around the edges and has some trouble finding an ending, it holds together largely because Kidman is so captivating. I don’t know if folks will go for a gritty neo-noir, but they should definitely go to see Kidman’s work here.

Scripted by THE INVITATION writers Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, DESTROYER also stars Sebastian Stan, Toby Kebbell, Bradley Whitford, Jade Pettyjohn, and Scoot McNairy and opens in limited theaters on December 25th.

New FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD featurette looks at Ezra Miller’s Credence!

Warner Bros. has released a new featurette for FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD that goes deeper into the film’s plot. While we previously knew that the conflict would revolve around Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) escaping and Dumbledore (Jude Law) recruiting Newt (Eddie Redmayne) to take down the dark wizard. However, this featurette reveals that part of Grindelwald’s plan involves Credence (Ezra Miller), who displayed incredible power in the first FANTASTIC BEASTS movie.

FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD opens November 16th and also stars Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, William Nadylam, Kevin Guthrie, Carmen Ejogo, and Poppy Corby-Tuech.

THE FLASH production pushed back again, eyeing 2021 release date

Warner Bros. has hit yet another jumble on the road to creating their DC Extended Universe. Variety reports that THE FLASH standalone film—which was tentatively set to start filming in March—is now eyeing a late-2019 production date, which would place DC’s speediest hero in theaters sometime in 2021.

The issue seems to simply be one of bad timing. WB is rolling forward on five installments of the FANTASTIC BEASTS franchise, the HARRY POTTER spin-off that features FLASH star Ezra Miller in a prominent role. Production on the third FANTASTIC BEASTS film is set to kick off in July, a due date that Warner Bros. doesn’t think it could beat with the current draft of a FLASH script. Original FLASH director Rick Famuyiwa (DOPE) exited the project in 2016, but his replacements, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, are presumedly still on-board.

It’s not the biggest deal in the world, but it is just yet another classic day in the DCEU, which seems to go through ups and mostly downs on the daily. The studio has two highly promising projects on the docket in James Wan‘s AQUAMAN and the cheery-looking SHAZAM, not to mention WONDER WOMAN 1984 in November 2019. But this same studio is currently developing two JOKER movies, possibly in an attempt to throw stuff at a wall amd see what sticks.

WB sets Tim Story for TOM AND JERRY and Chris Columbus for SCOOBY-DOO!

Warner Bros. is reaching out to some veteran talent to help shepherd their new takes on classic properties. First up in a live-action/animation hybrid picture is TON AND JERRY, followed by an animated SCOOBY-DOO movie. WB’s Home Entertainment wing has been cranking out animated mash-ups, one-offs, and original series and movies featuring both properties for years now, but the studio and Warner Animation Group are reportedly talking with some big names for what amounts to a modern reboot of the animated classics.

As Variety reports, Tim Story (THINK LIKE A MAN) is in negotiations to direct Tom and Jerry while Chris Columbus (HARRY POTTER) is on board the SCOOBY-DOO project as a creative producer. The people behind the resurgence of the beloved Hanna-Barbera properties include Warner Animation Group’s Allison Abbate, who oversees the division, executive Jesse Ehrman, and president of production Courtenay Valenti. The aim is, reportedly, to shine as much of a spotlight on these titles as those under the DC Comics and HARRY POTTER brands receive, though time will tell if modern audiences gravitate toward contemporary takes on these 20th century shows.

To bolster their chances, WB is pushing for a collaborative effort between their animation and live-action departments to develop both animated features and hybrid pictures. For example, the hybrid pictures’ animated component is expected to go through the normal animation process that opts for storyboarding over VFX’s normal pre-vis in order to make sure this aspect is as strong as it can be. WB is looking to leverage their strengths in both departments in order to deliver the strongest possible performers on the big screen, which is a common-sense approach but also one that’s not all that common since major studios tend to restrict their talent into silos.

Audiences and critics will get to see how this new approach plays out when TOM AND JERRY, the first live-action hybrid under this new plan, shoots in 2019. Story is coming off of wrapping production on New Line’s SHAFT, opening next summer, and was reportedly enthusiastic about taking on the famous cat-and-mouse pairing. Production is expected to shoot in the real world while incorporating the title characters as animated animals; they’ll stick to the classic shtick of using visual gags and physical comedy rather than casting actors to lend voices to the anthropomorphic antagonists. If this production plan pans out for TOM AND JERRY, the road will get a little smoother for the SPACE JAM sequel, which is another of the studio’s live-action hybrid that’s in development. LeBron James stars alongside the Looney Tunes characters in this picture produced by Ryan Coogler and directed by Terence Nance. Another hybrid picture in the works is the studio’s WILE E. COYOTE VS ACME, spirited along by Chris McKay.

Also on the schedule is the untitled SCOOBY-DOO project, a fully animated picture that’s due to arrive in theaters in the first quarter of 2020. Columbus has been interested in the film since he started working as a producer on the studio’s Gremlins reboot. He’ll work with Tony Cervone who directs from Kelly Fremon Craig‘s screenplay, adapted from Jack Donaldson and Derek Elliott‘s previous draft. And Scoob and the gang aren’t the only classic cartoons getting another shot: A JETSONS movie that has Matt Lieberman and Conrad Vernon (SAUSAGE PARTY) attached is in development, along with THE FLINTSTONES and WACKY RACES pictures.

There are a lot of properties in WB’s vaults and these are just some of the ones within arm’s reach of the door. Should the studio’s resurgent efforts prove fruitful, they might just go the Disney/Marvel route and dig a little deeper into their archives to find some truly interesting adaptations that have been waiting for the right creative team to come along.

Box Office: FIRST MAN fails on launch pad, VENOM takes first again!

One small step for man, one…equally small opening weekend for FIRST MAN, director Damien Chazelle‘s Neil Armstrong biopic starring Ryan Gosling. The film faltered right off the launching pad, taking in $16.5 million in its first weekend in theaters.

FIRST MAN is a massive hit with critics, with most noting the way Chazelle emphasizes the mix of terror and drama that comes with blasting yourself into outer space, with a huge assist from sound designer Ai-Ling Lee and cinematographer Linus Sandgren. Universal’s hope is that these glowing reviews translate into a long, long run for FIRST MAN into awards season, where the film will inevitably be nominated for most of the Oscars’ major categories. It’s worth noting that First Man has a not-as-enthusiastic B+ CinemaScore.

Meanwhile, Sony’s record-breaking VENOM and Bradley Cooper‘s directorial debut A STAR IS BORN still have a firm grasp on the box office in their second weekends. Venom fell off 55%—not great, but less than expected—to take in $35.7 million, while the Lady Gaga-starring STAR IS BORN ran nearly shoulder-to-shoulder with the Marvel symbiote, nabbing $28 million.

The disappointing surprise of the weekend is Drew Goddard‘s BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE, a star-studded puzzle box that only managed to earn a lackluster $7.2 million. The film is Goddard’s first directing project since 2012’s super fun CABIN IN THE WOODS, and is top-lined by mega-stars like Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, and Jeff Bridges. It could be the competition, it could be the film’s R-rating or ambiguous marketing, or it could be that the brief shot of Hemsworth dancing in the trailer was too sensual for mortal minds. Hard to say, really.

Check out the weekend’s top 10 estimates below, and be back here next week to see if David Gordon Green‘s HALLOWEEN reboot can scare up any money.

1. Venom $35.7M
2. A Star Is Born $28M
3. First Man $16.5M
4. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween $16.22N
5. Smallfoot $9.3M
6. Night School $8.03M
7. Bad Times at the El Royale $7.22M
8. The House with a Clock in Its Walls $3.97M
9. The Hate U Give $1.76M
10. A Simple Favor $1.38M