We live in a box office climate dominated by sequels, reboots, and remakes. A known property is a much safer bet for a studio than an original film, and even when one original idea somehow makes it through the pipeline and proves to be a massive success (eg. INCEPTION), it’s singled out as an anomaly rather than incentive to generate more original properties. As such, the major studios are always on the hunt for ways to reboot or extend franchises, and if a new report is to be believed, one such property destined for a kickstart just might be a new trilogy of THE MATRIX films.
The folks over at Latino Review are reporting that writers/directors Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski are currently developing a new trilogy of MATRIX films, with treatments and outlines already being handed into the studio. Whether these new movies will be sequels or prequels is unclear, as is whether they’ll also be directed by the Wachowski Siblings. However, it’s important to take all of this news with a grain of salt. LR’s track record has been spotty as of late, so there’s no telling whether the Wachowski Siblings are actively working on a trilogy of Matrix films or if this is nothing more than a rumor gone awry. Personally, I think this all sounds rather dubious.
That being said, it’s not hard to imagine Warner Bros. being keen on more MATRIX films. The studio has been loyal to the Wachowskis for years, but the brother/sister duo’s post-Matrix films SPEED RACER and CLOUD ATLAS, although excellent, have failed to catch the same amount of box office success. They’re aiming high with this summer’s JUPITER ASCENDING, another large-scale sci-fi/adventure pic much more in the vein of THE MATRIX than their other recent features, but who knows whether audiences will turn out for something so wholly original (not to mention weird) in a box office climate dominated by explosions and deadly serious superheroes.
The original MATRIX film was a groundbreaking work of science-fiction in 1999, and though its two sequels failed to live up to the same creative heights as the first pic, there was something admirably ambitious about where the Wachowskis took the franchise in THE MATRIX RELOADED and THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS. Do we need another MATRIX movie? Probably not, but if anyone can make the prospect of a new trilogy enticing it’s the involvement of the Wachowski Siblings themselves. Hopefully this rumor can be cleared up one way or another soon.
The highly anticipated JURASSIC WORLD has cast its villain, and it’s not exactly a T-Rex this time around. Deadline reports that Vincent D’Onofrio has landed the antagonist role in director Colin Trevorrow’s follow-up, about which we know next to nothing. One assumes the dinosaurs will still be the main threat for the film’s protagonists as D’Onofrio will likely be playing the pic’s human foil—possibly a person favoring monetary potential over the human life, though it’s also possible that Trevorrow has crafted a decidedly different feature in which a human character is actively controlling/using the dinosaurs to attack the core group of heroes.
In addition to the casting of D’Onofrio, Deadline reports that Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi) has been set in a supporting role for JURASSIC WORLD. Khan was first mentioned in connection with the project last year, so this is more of a confirmation that breaking casting news. As for D’Onofrio, this marks the first major villain role in a prominent feature for the actor since 2000’s THE CELL. He led the successful TV series Law & Order: Criminal Intent for a decade until the show came to a close in 2011, but he’s been booking roles in interesting projects ever since. He recently wrapped THE JUDGE opposite Robert Downey Jr. and will star opposite Liam Neeson in the thriller RUN ALL NIGHT.
Trevorrow co-wrote JURASSIC WORLD with Derek Connolly based on an existing script by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. The cast is led by Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, who are joined by youngsters Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins. Expect more casting announcements soon as the film gears up to start production in April. JURASSIC WORLD will open on June 12, 2015.
The new film stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, Ken Watanabe, and David Strathairn. Here’s the official synopsis:
An epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic Godzilla, this spectacular adventure pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.
GODZILLA opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on May 16, 2014!
UPDATE: Here’s a hilarious new commercial for Snickers featuring the King of Monsters himself:
After three weeks of LEGO dominance, first place will go to a new movie this weekend. Liam Neeson action flick Non-Stop has received the broader marketing push, though Son of God has been generating the type of presales that suggest it could be a breakout hit with underserved Christian moviegoers.
Here are the predictions from Box Office Mojo:
Forecast (February 28 – March 2)
1. Son of God – $27.5 million
2. Non-Stop – $25.4 million
3. The LEGO Movie – $19.4 million
One of the most popular video game franchises of the past few years is on track to potentially become a movie. Deadline reports that Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to MINECRAFT, an open world-style game from Swedish indie developer Mojang AB. The game was initially released to the public in 2009 as a developmental version, followed by the official full release in November 2011. It’s a creative game in which players are able to build practically anything they want out of textured cubes in a 3D environment, with multiple modes allowing the player to either fight for survival or let their imagination run wild by simply creating.
It’s no surprise that this news comes right after Warner Bros. just launched THE LEGO MOVIE to immense success. The animated film’s worldwide gross now stands at $279.5 million after just three weeks in release and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Indeed, Deadline reports that Warner Bros. has tapped LEGO MOVIE co-producer Roy Lee to produce MINECRAFT alongside Jill Messick (MEAN GIRLS). There’s no word on what the MINECRAFT movie will actually look like as the ink is still dry on the rights acquisition, but it will apparently be a live-action film and is already generating “huge” interest from writers and filmmakers.
We know pretty much nothing about the next James Bond film, but we do know that 2012’s SKYFALL will be an incredibly tough act to follow. Director Sam Mendes and screenwriter John Logan will give it their best shot, though, as the duo are set to return in their respective duties for BOND 24. The pic won’t be hitting theaters until November 6, 2015 in the U.S., but we now have word of when filming is set to get underway as Ralph Fiennes tells MTV News, “It’s meant to start shooting in October.”
The actor will be reprising his role as Gareth Mallory in the next pic and he added that he hasn’t yet seen a script so he couldn’t possibly tease anything about the plot, though he noted that he’d probably be sworn to secrecy anyway. Daniel Craig will return in the 24th Bond film and we assume that Naomie Harris (aka Moneypenny) will be back as well, but we recently learned the sad news that SKYFALL cinematographer and all-around Master Roger Deakins will not be returning for the follow-up.
Edgar Wright‘s ANT MAN has been lining up talented actors left-and-right with Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas set to lead the picture, and Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, and Clifton Collins Jr. all circling the film. Now another excellent actor is in the mix as The Wrap reports that Patrick Wilson (THE CONJURING) is in talks for an unknown role. Because Wright is already going in a different direction with the story by putting Scott Lang (Rudd) center stage and moving the more-familiar Hank Pym (Douglas) to a supporting role, it’s difficult to know how many of the other characters will be plucked from the comics and how many are from scratch.
Either way, I hope Wilson signs on since he’s a great addition to every film he’s in. He’ll next be seen in Joe Carnahan‘s STRETCH and he’s also attached to star in the indie THE MAN ON CARRION ROAD. ANT MAN will open on July 17, 2015. Bill Pope (THE MATRIX) will handle the cinematography, and Steven Price (GRAVITY) is composing the score. Joe Cornish (ATTACK THE BLOCK) co-wrote the script.