PACIFIC RIM 2, starring FORCE AWAKENS’ John Boyega, set for February 23, 2018!

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Over the past few months, news has been creeping in about PACIFIC RIM 2. We learned that Daredevil: Season 1 showrunner Steven S. DeKnight would be taking over directing duties from Guillermo del Toro (who will return in a producing capacity), Derek Connolly (JURASSIC WORLD) would be handling the script, and that John Boyega had been cast in the lead role of Stacker Pentecost’s (Idris Elba) son.

Today, we finally know when we’ll be seeing the jaegers and the kaiju again. Universal and Legendary Pictures have announced that PACIFIC RIM 2 will open on February 23, 2018. There’s currently nothing slated for that date. However, it opens one week after BLACK PANTHER and one week before the killer shark movie MEG as well as an untitled Fox / Marvel movie (possibly DEADPOOL 2? Or maybe NEW MUTANTS?), so it’s not like it’s going to be clear sailing for the sequel.

What’s also interesting about the press release is that it lists John Boyega as the only cast member. Here’s the text:

John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) leads the cast of PACIFIC RIM 2, the follow-up to 2013’s cinematic battle for global domination that took audiences to future Earth’s land, skies and seas and introduced an entirely new kind of warfare. Steven S. DeKnight (Spartacus, Daredevil) directs the next chapter of the film that generated more than $400 million at the global box office, including a strong performance in China. The 3D epic adventure will be produced by returning PACIFIC RIM producers Thomas Tull, Guillermo del Toro and Mary Parent. Boyega joins the production team alongside Femi Oguns.

There’s no mention of Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day, or anyone else who survived the first movie but have been previously confirmed for the film. Are we getting a mostly-new cast? Will it be a more Chinese cast since the Chinese box office performance is pretty much the whole reason we’re getting this movie? It will be interesting to see what info surfaces on PACIFIC RIM 2 in the months ahead.

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WRECK-IT RALPH 2 set for March 9, 2018 release date, first details revealed!

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It’s happening, folks! Four years after Walt Disney Animation Studios unveiled the swell video game-centric animated film WRECK-IT RALPH, and after plenty of fervor for a follow-up, Disney announced today that WRECK-IT RALPH 2 is officially a “go”. Not only that, but the Mouse House has put the sequel on the release schedule for March 9, 2018, which takes the spot previously held by the Disney Animation film GIGANTIC, pushing that Jack and the Beanstalk-inspired fairy tale back to November 21, 2018.

Director Rich Moore is returning to helm the untitled WRECK-IT RALPH follow-up, which finds Ralph’s wrecking wreaking havoc on the internet as the world of WRECK-IT RALPH moves away from arcades and into the virtual space. John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman return to voice Ralph and Vanellope, respectively, with WRECK-IT RALPH co-writer Phil Johnston joining Moore as co-director and writer while Clark Spencer (ZOOTOPIA) produces.

WRECK-IT RALPH 2 has been a long time coming, with word about the sequel surfacing every few months or so without official confirmation from Disney. Moore had his hands full as co-director of Disney’s smash hit ZOOTOPIA, but now that that film is complete and in theaters, he can fully devote his time to WRECK-IT RALPH 2 as the film firmly moves forward towards its 2018 release.

On that March release date, the film currently has the weekend all to itself, although it will open one week after an untitled Fox/Marvel film and one week before Warner Bros.’ THE FLASH movie. As for Walt Disney Animation Studios, in addition to GIGANTIC they also have the Pacific Island-themed MOANA slated for release this November, and FROZEN 2 is currently in the works albeit without a firm release date just yet.

Andy Muschetti’s adaptation of Stephen King’s IT begins filming!

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Hollywood has been trying to adapt Stephen King’s massive horror novel IT for the big screen for some time, and now New Line Cinema’s IT movie has finally started filming. This iteration of the project had a long and somewhat disappointing development process, as ‘True Detective’ filmmaker Cary Fukunaga had It lined up as his next movie after BEASTS OF NO NATION. He planned a two-film adaptation, with the first film focusing on the characters as children and the second film focusing on them as adults, but when he turned in the script for the first movie that he co-wrote with Chase Palmer, New Line wasn’t thrilled with his “unconventional horror film” take and Fukunaga subsequently left the project.

Now filming is underway with MAMA director Andy Muschietti at the helm, and he’s assembled a pretty solid cast led by ‘Hemlock Grove’ actor Bill Skarsgard as the iconic villain Pennywise. New Line is sticking with Fukunaga’s plan of telling the story across two films, and this first film will star MIDNIGHT SPECIAL breakout Jaeden Lieberher as well as Finn Wolfhard, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, and Jeremy Ray Taylor as the main group of teens.

Muschietti has shared a behind-the-scenes photo to mark the beginning of filming (see below). I quite liked his handle on horror in MAMA even if the film itself was fairly conventional, but it’s going to be hard to let go of my desire to see what Fukunaga had in store for this particular Stephen King adaptation. Regardless, here’s hoping Muschietti crafts a solid horror film that at least brings something new to the table.

IT is slated for release on September 8, 2017.

Day one

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Tom Hanks performs “Miracle on the Hudson” in SULLY trailer, film due Sept. 9, 2016!


Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for director Clint Eastwood’s true story drama SULLY. The film stars Tom Hanks as Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger, the “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot who glided a disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson, saving the lives of the 155 people onboard. But the picture also tells the story of what happened next, as an investigation into the event threatened to destroy Sully’s career.

Unlike Robert Zemeckis’ FLIGHT, Sully is actually based on a true story of a modern-day hero who’s still living with the memories of that fateful day. That makes it a little easier to sell audiences on the premise, but it’s much more difficult to keep a sense of suspense, mystery, and drama throughout the film when everyone in the theater knows the ending. That being said, this first trailer does an excellent job of showing how the emergency water landing is merely the hook for Sully, while the investigation into the incident, and Sullenberger’s reaction to their questions and accusations, along with his newfound and somewhat unwanted fame, form the meat of the pice. It looks to be more a study of a man than the moment that would come to define him; there’s none better than Hanks and Eastwood to bring that story to the screen.

Scripted by Todd Komarnicki, SULLY also stars Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney and opens in theaters on September 9th.

Colorful new trailer for DreamWorks’ TROLLS, film due November 4, 2016!

DreamWorks Animation has released a new TROLLS trailer online. Per the official synopsis: “This holiday season, enter a colorful, wondrous world populated by hilariously unforgettable characters and discover the story of the overly optimistic Trolls, with a constant song on their lips, and the comedicly pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomach. “

Judging by the trailer, this looks colorful and charmingly weird. I didn’t expect to be interested in a TROLLS movie, but it looks deceptively fun and strange and explosively colorful. DreamWorks Animation doesn’t have the greatest track record, but based on this trailer, I’m willing to give TROLLS a shot.

TROLLS opens November 4th, and features the voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches, Icona Pop, and Gwen Stefani.

Feature film adaptation of the MINECRAFT video game set for May 24, 2019!

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When I last reported on the MINECRAFT movie back in February, we learned from producer Roy Lee told us that the tagline was, “part of a multiverse where humans can enter that has the feel of what the live action version of a Minecraft experience,” and that writer-director Rob McElhenney was shooting for the same audience as JURASSIC WORLD. Lee also told us about the project:

The company, Mojang, is very involved in the development. So they know everything is going to be in the movie that can give us insight into future updates so we can put things into the movie around the same time they relaunch newer versions of the game and at the same time, potentially taking ideas from the movie and putting them into the game. So I don’t know exactly what things are going into the game, but they know exactly what’s going into the movie.

For those who are unfamiliar with the wildly popular video game, it’s like digital LEGO. You can build just about anything and let your imagination run wild, which is a tall order for a film adaptation.

However, I’m eager to see what McElhenney can put together, especially now that he has a release date. According to Deadline, MINECRAFT is slated to open in 3D and IMAX on May 24, 2019. Right now, that date is so far away that there’s currently no competition scheduled. The closest competitors it has right now is AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PART 2, which opens May 3rd and then on June 14th there’s JUSTICE LEAGUE 2, so it’s sandwiched between two of the biggest superhero movies around.

And yet I’m not really worried about MINECRAFT. It’s a phenomenally successful game with a huge built in audience of devoted younger players. It’s not a WARCRAFT situation where the players are jaded adults. These are wide-eyed kids who will likely gobble up anything with MINECRAFT tacked onto it, and they’re going to get their movie just as school is letting out for the summer.

THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE voice cast revealed: Jackie Chan, Michael Pena, Dave Franco & more!

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The success of THE LEGO MOVIE inspired Warner Bros. to move forward with a number of spinoffs, one of which is THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE, a popular toy property which has already had a TV series on Cartoon Network. Other than a release date (September 22nd, 2017), little to nothing has been revealed about this one, but the voice cast and synopsis have now surfaced thanks to Brickset.

Thanks to information which surfaced at the Licensing Expo, we now know that the all-star lineup will include Jackie Chan as Master Wu, Dave Franco as Lloyd, Michael Peña as Kai, Abbi Jacobson as Nya, Kumail Nanjiani as Jay, Zach Woods as Zane, and Fred Armisen as Cole. THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE is being directed by Charlie Bean with a script by ‘Ninjago’ vets Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman.

“Inspired by the wildly popular LEGO line of toys, Ninjago is the story of six young ninja tasked with defending their island home, called Ninjago,” reads the official synopsis which has surfaced today. “By night, they’re gifted warriors, using their skills and awesome fleet of vehicles to fight villains and monsters. By day, they’re ordinary teens struggling against their greatest enemy: high school.”