WOLVERINE 3: Liev Schreiber being considered for return!

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Thanks to fanboy journalism, journalists on the Oscars red carpet quickly turned their attention to the on-screen superheroes in attendance. While Henry Cavill was tightlipped when asked about BATMAN V SUPERMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE, Liev Schreiber was a tad more forthcoming. The actor, who celebrated in SPOTLIGHT’s Best Picture win, was rumored for a possible appearance as Sabretooth in WOLVERINE 3, the sequel to James Mangold’s THE WOLVERINE. Though whatever the final call may be is still unclear, Schreiber confirmed that there have indeed been discussions.

He told MTV News:

We talked about it. I don’t know. He’s mentioned it to me. The Old Man Logan story — that’s appealing. That’s something that I can do. Old, being the operative word.

Schreiber only portrayed Logan’s rival in 2009’s disastrous X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE. Thanks to the timeline reset afforded the franchise by Bryan Singer’s X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, it’s like that movie never happened. Ryan Reynolds got a second go at his ORIGINS character in the R-rated DEADPOOL, so shouldn’t Schreiber get the same opportunity? Based on his response to Jackman’s Twitpic from the gym, it doesn’t sound like he’s no eager to get back into mutant shape.

Not much about the plot of WOLVERINE 3 has been formally laid out, though Jackman teased an adaptation of the Old Man Logan storyline at San Diego Comic-Con International. The comic sees an older Wolverine trying to stop a post-apocalypse future, one that sees the hillbilly Hulk sons of Bruce Banner, driven mad by radiation, slaughtering his loved ones in a Wasteland. The character of Banner, however, is owned by Disney’s Marvel division (and…kinda Universal Studios as well), so it’s unclear how this story will be specifically adapted for the Fox universe.

WOLVERINE 3, which is still awaiting an official title, is scheduled for release on March 3, 2017. Mangold will direct from a script from Michael Green, and Patrick Stewart will reprise his role of Professor X.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN makes Jimmy Kimmel Live! appearance, releases new clip!

As he does every year, Jimmy Kimmel had a celebrity-filled post-Oscars special for his show Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night, but there was a twist that superhero movie fans will find particularly interesting. Ben Affleck was Kimmel’s guest, and while many assumed there would be at least something BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE related on the show, it appears that Kimmel (and Warner Bros.) went all out by debuting a “deleted scene” from the film.

During his interview with Affleck, the actor began discussing the difficulty in excising good scenes from films for a number of reasons, which set up the fact that Kimmel actually shot a role in BATMAN V SUPERMAN which was cut for time. The result is a really funny and surprisingly celebrity-filled “scene” between Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman, with Affleck and Cavill more than game to poke fun at the ridiculousness of how terribly they hide their secret identities in the movie.

While Affleck is unsurprisingly hilarious, Cavill in particular is really great here, ribbing the Superman persona with some good-hearted fun. And while I won’t spoil them, there are a couple of cameos that are played pretty perfectly.

In addition to this video, Affleck also unveiled the first clip on the show last night, which previews the physical battle between the two superheroes teased in the title. It’s visually quite dynamic, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how director Zack Snyder crafts the presumably numerous fisticuffs throughout the film. And if that wasn’t enough, Warner Bros. has also released a featurette with Snyder talking about the movie.

Check out the new BvS materials below. BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE opens in theaters on March 25th.

Box Office: DEADPOOL dominates, GODS OF EGYPT bomb-inates!

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The first big-budget box office bomb of 2016 has arrived in the form of Lionsgate’s sword-and-sandals would-be tentpole, GODS OF EGYPT, which opened to an estimated a paltry $14 million domestically with the hefty price tag of a $140 million budget. The mythological fantasy epic led by Gerard Butler and Nikolaj Coster Waldau, which debuted to resounding negative reviews, also failed to resonate with audiences overseas. While GODS OF EGYPT doesn’t arrive China until March 11th, the film fell flat internationally, grossing an estimated $24.2 million from 68 markets.

In the wake of their retiring headline franchises THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT, Lionsgate had hoped to build a new film franchise off of GODS OF EGYPT, a hope that was dashed by this weekend’s grim box office crash and burn. While GODS OF EGYPT‘s performance is certainly a disappointment, Lionsgate took preventative measures to mitigate financial risks through a combination of foreign pre-sales and a massive 46% Australian production incentive. All told, that brings the studio’s budget exposure under $10 million, but that number doesn’t include significant investments in the marketing campaign.

Elsewhere, 20th Century Fox’s superhero gamble DEADPOOL continues to soar in its third week, easily taking first place at the box office and grossing $31.5 million from 3,856 theaters domestically. That brings DEADPOOL‘s domestic haul up to an estimated $285.6 million, making it the third highest-grossing R-rated film domestically behind AMERICAN SNIPER ($350.1 million) and the long-time reigning R-rated box office champ THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST ($370.8 million). With only three weeks in theaters, there’s a chance DEADPOOL could trump those figures in its theatrical run. Internationally, DEADPOOL celebrates crossing the $600 million mark worldwide after this weekend’s returns grossed another $40 million overseas, bringing the foreign total to $324.2 million, and the global total to $610 million.

Here are the numbers from Collider:

1. Deadpool $31.5M
2. Gods of Egypt $14M
3. Kung Fu Panda 3 $9M
4. Risen $7M
5. Eddie the Eagle $6.3M
6. Triple 9 $6.1M
7. How to Be Single $5.15M
8. The Witch $5M
9. Race $4.27M
10. The Revenant $3.8M

20th Century Fox: New dates for GAMBIT, Marvel films, ALIEN: COVENANT & THE PREDATOR!

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For a film that was set to anchor 20th Century Fox’s post-WOLVERINE Marvel slate, GAMBIT is off to a bit of a rough start. First there were rumors that the film’s star Channing Tatum would walk away from the project over budget disputes. Shortly after, director Rupert Wyatt (RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) had to drop out of the film due thanks to consistently pushed start dates that eventually brought him into conflict with prior commitments. Fox scored a coup when they landed EDGE OF TOMORROW director Doug Liman to take over at the helm, but with the October 2016 release date fast approaching, and production slated to begin in March, it seemed an impossible feat for any director to have a large-scale superhero film ready in such a short window. Today, Fox announced that GAMBIT has been given some breathing room as the studio has pulled the film’s 2016 release and dated two additional unnamed Marvel films.

GAMBIT will no longer arrive in theaters on it’s planned October 7th release date, and while a new release date has not been announced, Fox has slated two mystery Marvel projects for October 6, 2017, and January 12, 2018. The first film will face off against Andy Serkis‘ THE JUNGLE BOOK: ORIGINS, while the second will be pitted against Denis Villeneuve’s BLADE RUNNER sequel.

The October 6 date falls a year after GAMBIT’s intended release, and it’s possible that Fox has given Liman and Tatum the breathing (and schedule) room they need to make the film, especially considering its lead actor’s busy schedule. Tatum recently signed on for an R-rated musical comedy with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and is also set to reprise his role as Jenko in 23 JUMP STREET, though neither film currently has a release date. It’s also likely that the success of DEADPOOL has taken some of the weight of urgency off the film’s shoulders, as the studio is no longer scrambling to find a household name to lead their next gen of their mutant franchise.

As for that second date, a peculiar one indeed given that January is often considered a dumping ground month and definitely not a home for major studio releases. However, given DEADPOOL‘s unprecedented February success (Disney’s record-shattering December release for STAR WARS, for that matter), and the serious crowding of superhero films on the docket as we near the end of the decade, it makes sense that studios will lean toward a year-round tentpole schedule. That said, the odds are that this date either belongs to the X-FORCE film, which Ryan Reynolds recently called a “priority”, or more likely, the already-ordered DEADPOOL 2, which writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are currently writing. And then, of course, there’s the possibility that these dates belong to none of these things and Fox is going to totally blow our minds.

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20th Century Fox announced a slew of new release dates this morning, but perhaps most exciting of all, the studio has set release dates for their two major monster pics, Ridley Scott’s ALIEN: COVENANT and THE PREDATOR.

ALIEN: COVENANT is up first, landing an August 4, 2017 release date, a smart move given that the date is currently only held by PITCH PERFECT 3 and the animated BLAZING SAMURAI, which aren’t exactly targeting the same audience. The PROMETHEUS semi-sequel, which is intended to be the second in a trilogy leading up to the events of ALIEN, COVENANT will supposedly pick up 10 years after the events in PROMETHEUS, and finds the crew of the colony ship Covenant headed for a remote planet, until they find a ‘paradise’ planet occupied solely by David (Michael Fassbender), the survivor of the Prometheus expedition.

Production on ALIEN: COVENANT is rumored to begin this April in Sydney, Australia and that start date makes sense given the rate at which the sequel has been acquiring its impressive cast. In addition to the returning Fassbender, Scott has lined-up Katherine Waterston as the female lead (Noomi Rapace will not return for the sequel), Demian Bichir, Danny McBride, Jussie Smollett, Amy Seimetz, Carmen Ejogo, Billy Crudup and Callie Hernandez. Scott has also confirmed that, in keeping with the ALIEN tradition, COVENANT will be rated-R.

As for THE PREDATOR, the highly-anticipated sequel/relaunch from a script by Shane Black and MONSTER SQUAD director Fred Dekker will arrive in theaters on March 2, 2018; a date that is currently only populated by an “Untitled WB Event Film”, which probably means something superhero-y. Aside from the exciting screenwriting duo, and the recently debuted first poster, not much is known about the sequel, other than producer John Davis‘ assertion that it will “re-invent the franchise.”

Fox has also pushed up the release for their Eva Green-led adaptation of MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, which moves from a Christmas release to it’s new slow on September 30, 2016. The December release would have pitted the film against an insanely crowded month, including heavy hitters like ROGUE ONE, ASSASSIN’S CREED and Jennifer Lawrence/Chris Pratt vehicle PASSENGERS, while the new September positions MISS PEREGRINE in a significantly less competitive release schedule.

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE’s Tye Sheridan cast as lead in Spielberg’s READY PLAYER ONE!

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The READY PLAYER ONE movie has found its Wade Watts. As Steven Spielberg continues to prep his highly anticipated adaptation of the Ernest Cline novel, the lengthy casting search for the film’s male protagonist has come to an end with MUD and TREE OF LIFE actor Tye Sheridan. Deadline broke the news, and it’s a small wonder we never got a typical casting shortlist for such a high-profile role. Spielberg cast the film’s first role, that of Art3mis, last year with ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL standout Olivia Cooke, and the brilliant Ben Mendelsohn subsequently signed on to play the villainous Nolan Sorrento, so Sheridan is in fine company.

The story of READY PLAYER ONE revolves around teenager Wade Watts, a gunter (a portmanteau of egg hunter) who is the first person to discover the first of the three keys left behind by OASIS creator James Halliday. OASIS is a highly valuable, online virtual reality space, and after Halliday’s death a worldwide Easter Egg hunt ensues to find a hidden treasure that gives the discoverer control over OASIS—which, in this dystopian future, means control over the world.

This won’t be Sheridan’s first foray into blockbuster territory, however, as he makes his debut as the young Cyclops in this May’s X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, and he made his feature film debut in Terrence Malick’s masterpiece THE TREE OF LIFE, so his resume is not too shabby.

Landing Spielberg was a major coup for Warner Bros. with this project, which many believed would be impossible to actually make due to the bevy of 80s pop culture references. Having Spielberg as your director makes it much easier to get permission to use, say, footage from WARGAMES or something from BACK TO THE FUTURE.

With the three key roles now set, Spielberg can work on filling the key supporting roles of Aech, Wade’s best friend, Halliday, and Ogden Morrow, the co-creator of OASIS who is essentially a Steve Wozniak type. Though initially slated for release next Christmas, Warner Bros. recently pushed READY PLAYER ONE to March 30, 2018 in order to avoid going head to head with STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII. It’s a long time to wait, but with Spielberg taking on a big, colorful blockbuster once again, and with a cast this promising, I’m sure it’ll be well worth it.

PACIFIC RIM 2 picks up ‘Daredevil’ showrunner Steven S. DeKnight as director!

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The status of PACIFIC RIM 2 has been in debate ever since pre-production was halted on the sequel over studio squabbles and Universal removed the film from its 2017 release slate. Guillermo del Toro has remained adamant that the film would eventually happen, and today brings the bittersweet news that PACIFIC RIM 2 is indeed moving ahead, but without del Toro in the director’s chair. Deadline reports that Legendary Pictures has set ‘Daredevil’ showrunner Steven S. DeKnight to take over at the helm in his feature film debut.

DeKnight has worked extensively in television over the decade, producing and directing Angel, Smallville, Dollhouse and Daredevil, and creating the Starz series Spartacus. DeKnight will direct the sequel to Del Toro and Travis Beacham’s epic monsters vs robots smackdown from a script by DOCTOR STRANGE scribe Jon Spaights. Plot details for PACIFIC RIM 2 are scarce for the time being, though del Toro previously stated that the film would pick up years after the first when Kaiju had been purged from the world, and when Collider spoke with him at the summer TCAs he stated that most everybody who survived the first film would be back for the sequel, naming Charlie Day and Charlie Hunnam specifically.

I absolutely adore PACIFIC RIM, so I’m thrilled that there’s forward movement on the sequel, but losing del Toro is quite a blow. It’s his vibrant eye and ebullient glee for the subject matter that made the first film such a pleasure to watch despite its flaws. That said, the first season of Daredevil was fantastic and the DeKnight-directed finale was one of the highlights thanks in no small part to the keen directing of Kingpin’s monologue to end all monologues. Plus, given how much love del Toro has for the project, it would be extremely surprising if he didn’t remain very involved in the sequel.

For his part, del Toro is, as ever, hard at work on countless projects including a FANTASTIC VOYAGE remake for James Cameron, a Trollhunters series for Netflix, and most recently, a film adaptation of your childhood nightmare SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK.

Ava DuVernay confirmed to direct Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME!

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Selma director Ava DuVernay is due to make the leap to blockbuster filmmaking in a big way. Following her stellar work on the Martin Luther King Jr. drama, DuVernay became one of the most highly sought after directors in Hollywood. While she entered preliminary talks to helm Marvel’s BLACK PANTHER, she and the studio amicably decided to part ways after DuVernay realized the extent of the studio’s hand in making that particular feature. But now DuVernay has finally signed on to another film, and it’s a big one: Disney’s adaptation of the classic 1963 Madeline L’Engle novel A WRINKLE IN TIME.

We actually first heard word about DuVernay’s involvement with the picture a couple of weeks ago, when news broke that Disney was courting the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE filmmaker to take the helm. Now, after six months of courtship by the studio, Deadline reports that the deal has closed and DuVernay will be directing from a script by Frozen co-writer/co-director Jennifer Buck.

The first in a series of novels in the vein of C.S. Lewis’ CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, A WRINKLE IN TIME revolves around a young girl whose government scientist father goes missing after working on a mysterious project. The subsequent search for her father takes her to alternate dimensions where she crosses paths with a variety of different creatures.

This is a massive project for DuVernay, who has shown a tremendous knack for character and POV in her previous features. And if you need proof that she knows her way around a set piece, look no further than the Edmund Pettus Bridge sequence in SELMA. Here’s hoping she brings cinematographer Bradford Young along to craft what could be the start of a major sci-fi/fantasy franchise.

But this isn’t the only movie DuVernay is considering as her next feature. Whlie the Wrinkle in Time deal is the first to close, she is also in negotiations to helm the sci-fi drama INTELLIGENT LIFE, which has Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o attached to star and tells of a U.N. worker in a department designed to represent humans in the event of first contact who falls for a mystery woman. That project has a script by JURASSIC WORLD scribes Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, with Trevorrow and Frank Marshall producing, and INTELLIGENT LIFE and A WRINKLE IN TIME are not mutually exclusive—she may very well make both. Which will go first? One assumes Disney wants to get moving sooner rather than later, but whatever the case, I’m just happy DuVernay is getting the chance to make a large-scale feature.