THE FLASH’s DCEU adaptation loses director Seth Grahame-Smith!


Well this is something. Last month’s BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE kicked off Warner Bros.’ interconnected superhero universe in earnest, giving audiences a first look at Ben Affleck’s Batman, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, Ezra Miller’s The Flash, and Ray Fisher’s Cyborg and teasing their various DC Extended Universe films to come. Most of those had already been set, with Zack Snyder already back in the director’s chair on JUSTICE LEAGUE, Patty Jenkins’ WONDER WOMAN entering post-production, and James Wan hard at work developing AQUAMAN. There was also one other major superhero standalone in the works, THE FLASH movie, but that project has now taken a step backwards as it’s lost its director over “creative differences.”

Last October, Warner Bros. set Seth Grahame-Smith to write and direct THE FLASH movie starring Ezra Miller. It was a surprising choice to say the least, as Grahame-Smith’s only directorial credits are helming two episodes of the MTV series The Hard Times of RJ Berger, meaning the massive superhero tentpole THE FLASH would mark his feature directorial debut. But now THR reports that Grahame-Smith has left the project due to “creative differences,” and Warner Bros. is beginning its director search anew.

The studio had wanted THE LEGO MOVIE and JUMP STREET directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller to helm THE FLASH, but while they wrote a treatment for the project, the duo quickly became unavailable when STAR WARS came a-calling. Grahame-Smith worked off of Lord and Miller’s treatment to pen the script for the film, which THR says Warner Bros. will retain. That to me signals that the studio likes Grahame-Smith’s take, but maybe wants a more accomplished filmmaker to make the vision a reality.

There’s no major scramble here, as THE FLASH isn’t even set for release until March 3, 2018 and star Miller is busy shooting JUSTICE LEAGUE at the moment. So they have time to find a new director for the project, and if they’re keeping Grahame-Smith’s script, they won’t be starting from scratch.

But one does have to wonder if the reception of BATMAN V SUPERMAN had anything to do with Grahame-Smith’s departure. The film suffered a critical shellacking and was far from the box office behemoth that Warner Bros. was hoping for (it’s yet to crack $900 million worldwide), so it’s possible the studio is doing a bit of retooling when it comes to the DC Extended Universe to come. Grahame-Smith always felt like a bit of an odd choice when it came to a project as big as this, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of filmmaker the studio sets in his stead.

In the meantime, Grahame-Smith remains in the Warner Bros. fold as he’s a writer on THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE and is working on the screenplay for Beetlejuice 2. But now that Grahame-Smith is off of The Flash, who will take his place?

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MONSTERPOCALYPSE to be directed by EVIL DEAD’s Fede Alvarez!

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That MONSTERPOCALYPSE movie is back in a big way. Hollywood has been trying to adapt the board game of the same name for some time now, with Tim Burton and his BIG FISH scribe John August teaming up back in 2010, but that iteration stalled in development when Guillermo del Toro’s PACIFIC RIM got off the ground. You see, MONSTERPOCALYPSE has a very similar premise in that it revolves around humans in robot suits fighting monsters. When PACIFIC RIM got the jump, Burton’s own humans-fighting-kaiju movie fell apart. However, the project is now back with a vengeance, and it has Fede Alvarez—who helmed 2013’s solid EVIL DEAD remake—set to take the helm.

Per THR, a bidding war is underway between Warner Bros., DreamWorks, and Sony to acquire this MONSTERPOCALYPSE package, which has Alvarez set to direct and co-write with his writing partner Rodo Sayagues. Alvarez and Sayagues’ take is apparently decidedly different from the one that Burton was developing, further distancing the project from PACIFIC RIM.

Speaking of which, while del Toro was set to helm PACIFIC RIM 2 for a 2017 release, Universal and Legendary subsequently put the sequel on hold to address story issues. Del Toro then stepped back to simply produce the film while he moved on to other projects, and while the blockbuster follow-up has now gained ‘Daredevil’ showrunner Steven S. DeKnight as its director, it doesn’t yet have a release date.

Which means that it’s possible MONSTERPOCALYPSE could be fast-tracked for release before PACIFIC RIM 2 hits theaters. Alvarez showed remarkable promise as a filmmaker with EVIL DEAD and his follow-up, the horror-thriller DON’T BREATHE, is set for release this year, but the prospect of seeing him tackle such a large-scale monster project is certainly exciting. We should hear more news on the film very soon as a studio will likely close a deal in a matter of days.

Alicia Vikander cast as Lara Croft in TOMB RAIDER reboot!

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If you were waiting for a British actress to play Lara Croft in a TOMB RAIDER movie, you’re going to have to keep waiting. While there was word that Brit and FORCE AWAKENS star Daisy Ridley was up for the role, THR now reports that Swedish actress and Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander will be the one raiding tombs.

Per THR, “the movie project, which has Roar Uthaug (THE WAVE) on board to direct, will tell the story of a young and untested Croft fighting to survive her first adventure.” So it sounds like they’ll be going along a similar plot line for the 2013 reboot of the video game franchise (also named “Tomb Raider”) which saw a young Lara stranded on an island, feeling really bad about the first time she had to kill an animal for food, and then proceeding to murder countless bad guys over the course of the game.

Vikander getting her own franchise was really just a matter of “when” after her breakthrough 2015, and TOMB RAIDER has the makings to be a great one if they style it as a female INDIANA JONES (meanwhile, Sony can’t seem to figure out what they’re doing with UNCHARTED, which would be the only real competition to either adventuring franchise). That being said, we’ve gotten two TOMB RAIDER movies thus far and they’ve both been awful. And it’s not like Angelina Jolie is a slouch when it comes to the acting department.

Hopefully, MGM and Warner Bros can learn from the mistake of those two films and give this franchise the boost it needs. Uthaug created a solid action film with THE WAVE, so he’s definitely got the directing chops, and with a talented actress like Vikander in the lead, TOMB RAIDER is worth keeping on our radar.

First full trailer for SNOWDEN has Joseph Gordon-Leavitt as the infamous whistle-blower!

The first full-length trailer for Oliver Stone’s long-awaited biographical thriller SNOWDEN has finally arrived. The film tells the story of Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a gifted son of a family steeped in military and civil service who enlisted in the Army Reserve as a Special Forces candidate, worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, and acted as a contractor for the U.S. federal government. Stone’s focus in SNOWDEN, however, is directed toward the controversial figure’s theft and disclosure of classified National Security Agency information.

It’s clear that Snowden is a figure tailor-made for Stone’s brand of storytelling. It’s also clear from this trailer that Stone is setting up Snowden as a patriotic American citizen who’s more willing than most to sacrifice himself for the sake of his country, an outlook that’s understandable considering events related to 9/11 that surrounded Snowden and his family. It’s also just a smart filmmaking move to portray a relatable character before delving into their more controversial actions. SNOWDEN could find itself the subject of awards talk at year’s end.

The film (finally) opens in theaters on September 16th and also stars Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Rhys Ifans, and Nicolas Cage.

Spider-Man swings into action in new CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR TV spot!

Less than two weeks. That’s how long you have until CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR can be seen by every man, woman, and child in the United States and most other countries. It’s been a long run-up to the film’s release, and over a month ago, the marketing machine behind Marvel Studios brought out the big guns by giving us our first clear look at Spider-Man, as played by Tom Holland. The internet, as one might expect, lost its composure within seconds of the trailer hitting web.

This morning’s release of the latest TV spot for the film brings us a brand new look at your friendly neighborhood web-slinger via a quick scene of Peter Parker fighting with Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). Thankfully, it’s nothing that particularly gives away any big turn of the movie, unless you were really wondering if Spidey and Bucky were ever going to throw down. Still, one hopes the marketing team can slow its roll a bit over the next 10 days or so before the film hits theaters on May 6th. Trust me, everyone’s about as excited as they’re going to get at this point.

Disney announces MALEFICENT 2, THE JUNGLE BOOK 2, and new release dates!

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With director Jon Favreau‘s THE JUNGLE BOOK number one at the domestic box office for the second week in a row, Walt Disney Pictures has officially updated its release schedule for its upcoming live-action fairy tale films. Along with the new schedule comes a number of project confirmations, including the official announcement of both another Favreau-helmed JUNGLE BOOK film and the return of Angelina Jolie in MALEFICENT 2. THE JUNGLE BOOK sequel will also see the return of screenwriter Justin Marks, while Linda Woolverton will be back to write MALEFICENT 2.

The current schedule will next deliver James Bobin’s ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS to theaters on May 27. August 12 will then bring David Lowery’s updated take on PETE’s DRAGON, while March 17, 2017 will bring director Bill Condon’s much-anticipated, live-action take on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

While no specific titles have yet been announced connected to the following dates, Disney will deliver another live-action fairy tale feature on July 28, 2017 (one was previously set for December 22, 2017). 2018 will then bring three films: a fairy tale film on April 6 with two non-specified live-action features arriving on August 3 and December 25. Another live-action fairy tale film has claimed a December 20, 2019 release.

In addition to THE JUNGLE BOOK 2 and MALEFICENT 2, live-action projects in the works at Disney include CRUELLA, which will star Emma Stone as the 101 DALMATIANS villain and which will feature a screenplay by Kelly Marcel. A WRINKLE IN TIME, meanwhile, will adapt the Madeleine L’Engle novel with Ava DuVernay directing from a script by Jennifer Lee. JUNGLE CRUISE will star Dwayne Johnson and will feature a screenplay by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra writing. Tim Burton will direct DUMBO with Ehren Kruger writing. Rob Marshall will take on a MARY POPPINS sequel with Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda set to star. Lasse Hallstrom will direct Ashleigh Powell’s script THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS. And finally, Reese Witherspoon will play Tinker Bell in an untitled feature scripted by Victoria Strouse.

Final X-MEN: APOCALYPSE trailer teases Mystique-led team, Wolverine!


20th Century Fox has released what looks to be the final X-MEN: APOCALYPSE trailer which shows quite a bit more of Bryan Singer‘s final installment of the latest trilogy. In fact, the latest trailer for the 20th Century Fox adaptation of arguably Marvel’s biggest property gives an entirely new spin on what this narrative will be by underlining the role of Jennifer Lawrence‘s Mystique in the new film. As the trailer spells out, Mystique is now, essentially, the acting director of the X-Men after Professor X (James McAvoy) is hurt and seemingly kidnapped by the titular mutant-god (Oscar Isaac).

This is not entirely surprising considering the fact that Lawrence is, without question, the biggest name in the cast, which is saying something in the company of Michael Fassbender (as Magneto), Isaac, and McAvoy. Putting her front and center is a natural turn for the franchise in this thinking, but the trailer makes it clear that there will be plenty of other storylines to explore, and characters to discover. Considering that final shot of those claws coming out, however, we might be doing quite a bit of rediscovering as well.

Towards the end of the trailer, Tye Sheridan‘s Cyclops asks Mystique what to do if he can’t control his powers, to which she simply says to not try to control them. One hopes that the film will similarly not try to control the film through simple plot turns and let the action and wonder of the characters’ abilities to speak for themselves, and from these final looks at the film, it looks like that very well might be the plan for Singer’s latest.

The apocalypse is nigh, as the film is set to premiere May 27th, and also stars the likes of Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp, Josh Helman, Lana Condor, and Ben Hardy.