Lionsgate’s HELLBOY reboot set for January 11, 2019 release date!

Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment’s HELLBOY reboot is going to miss the 25th anniversary of Mike Mignola‘s Dark Horse Comics creation by about a year, but the good news is that this new take on Anung un Rama will arrive early in 2019. ‘Stranger Things’ star David Harbour takes on the title role in Neil Marshall‘s film, which also stars Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, and Daniel Dae Kim.

As THR reports, HELLBOY will arrive January 11, 2019. Currently, that puts the film in direct competition with Fox’s sci-fi/adventure flick AD ASTRA starring Brad Pitt, Donald Sutherland and Tommy Lee Jones, directed by James Gray; and Paramount’s curious comedy, WHAT MEN WANT, fronted by Taraji P. Henson. Those films will all be followed up by the highly anticipated GLASS from Blumhouse and Universal the very next week, so we’ll see which one has the best legs and/or which film(s) shifts schedules.

Here’s Harbour’s take on the character and how the reboot will approach his story:

“There are things that I’m gonna do that are different. Hellboy is the same character from the comics and from what Ron did, there are certain things that are the same thing, but I do think that—I don’t know, there’s a different approach because I sort of highlight different things, I think, than Ron does. Ron sort of embraces this machismo in himself and in Hellboy, and I really like it and it’s super fun and it’s a super fun performance, but I think Hellboy has a certain psycho dynamic where occasionally he has to prove that he’s the lion, has to roar, and I think he struggles with his own masculinity. But I don’t think he needs that as much as maybe those other movies. I have a bit of a different take on his capability or his slickness. I sort of think that for me he’s a little less skilled at constructing that persona.”


Disney casts Liu Yifei as the lead role in the upcoming live-action MULAN!

Disney has found a lot of success with its live-action adaptations of its classic animated films with BEAUTY AND THE BEAST currently sitting as the highest-grossing film of 2017 and adaptations of THE LION KING, ALADDIN, and DUMBO in the pipeline among others. The studio is also making strides with its cultural awareness, being careful not to whitewash roles featuring non-white characters.

With that in mind, the studio has cast Chinese actress Liu Yifei, who also sometimes goes by “Crystal Liu”, to play the lead in their live-action MULAN directed by Niki Caro (THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE). Per THR, “A team of casting directors visited five continents and saw nearly 1,000 candidates for the role, which requires credible martial arts skills, the ability to speak English and the most ineffable requirement of all: star quality.” Although Liu may not be a household name in the U.S. yet, she certainly will be by the time the Disney marketing machine is finished. Over in China, she recently starred in the fantasy romance, ONCE UPON A TIME, which earned $82.3 million. Liu’s other credits include the action flicks THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM and THE ASSASSINS.

It will be interesting to see who Disney casts in the other major roles, specifically the male lead Shang and the villainous Shan-Yu. There’s also the role of Mushu, Mulan’s dragon/guardian, and if that character carries over, I assume they’ll go for a celebrity voice similar to how they’ve cast Will Smith for the Genie in Guy Ritchie’s ALADDIN.

Although no start date has been announced yet, the studio is reportedly eyeing a 2019 release date, so we’ll likely hear more casting announcements in the near future. As for Liu, we wish her all the best playing such an unforgettable character, and I’m very curious to see what Caro does with her adaptation of the terrific animated movie.

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR trailer is unleashed, film due May 4, 2018!

Marvel Studios has released the first AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR trailer. In the upcoming sequel, Thanos (Josh Brolin) is on the hunt for the Infinity Stones that, when collected and placed in the Infinity Gauntlet, will give him the power to reshape reality and destroy the universe. The only ones who can stop him are the superheroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Plot details on the upcoming sequel have been scarce, but Joe and Anthony Russo‘s upcoming film will attempt to start weaving together all three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the Earth-bound Avengers will interact with cosmic characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s the most ambitious movie Marvel has ever attempted, but fans are ready to see their favorite characters finally interact and the culmination of all three phases come to the big screen.

This is a really good trailer. Keep in mind that we have a little more than five months to go before the film is released, so there’s plenty of time to give Thanos a more proper introduction (although he gets a couple nice moments in this trailer), show off The Black Order, and feature more of the characters interacting with each other. What this trailer does is work in the broad strokes of showing the entire Marvel Universe coming together and picking up threads that were left open like Peter getting his Spidey-Sense, Captain America getting a new shield, Thor meeting the Guardians, etc. All-in-all, it looks pretty dang exciting, and it should tide fans over for at least the next couple months.

Scripted by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR), AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR opens May 4, 2018, and also stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Rudd, and Tom Hiddleston.

The AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR trailer arrives tomorrow; Marvel shares fan video and poster to announce!

Marvel Studios has released the first trailer teaser for AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, but you won’t find any footage from the film in here. Instead of offering up a tease of what’s in store for fans in INFINITY WAR, Marvel instead opts to put the focus entirely on the fans, as we watch online fan reactions to trailers from previous Marvel Studios movies. Indeed, INFINITY WAR is the beginning of a culmination event. Alongside the untitled AVENGERS 4, this marks a definitive conclusion for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it—characters will die, actors will depart the MCU for good, and nothing will be the same.

Joe Russo and Anthony Russo, the filmmakers behind CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER and CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR directed both INFINITY WAR and AVENGERS 4, the latter of which is still in the midst of production. The films were shot back to back so as to cull together the massive cast, which includes almost every major character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

This teaser confirms the AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR trailer will be released tomorrow, Wednesday, and it’ll be interesting to see what it brings us. Footage debuted at Comic-Con International over the summer, but Marvel doesn’t usually repeat that footage in official trailers, so you can probably expect to see a different cut of what was shown to fans at that event.

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Sebastian Stan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Brolin, and many, many more and opens in theaters on May 4, 2018.

AVENGERS 4: Kevin Feige talks about film as “a finale”, characters will exit the MCU

Ever since Marvel Studios opted to shoot AVENGERS 3 and 4 back-to-back, there’s been plenty of talk about these films as one giant conclusion to the MCU we know so far. For one, the decision to shoot both movies back-to-back ensures this may be the one and only time this giant cast of MCU regulars can be assembled—navigating the busy schedules of all these famous actors is something of a nightmare, but squeezing it into roughly a 12-month production period for two movies is much easier than asking them all to come back at an undetermined time down the road. Moreover, while AVENGERS 3 is called AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, the title of AVENGERS 4 is being held back because it’s “a spoiler.”

All of this has seemed to suggest that we’re going to see some character deaths and/or exits at the end of this whole thing, which really does mean the end of the MCU as we know it. And indeed that’s confirmed in a sprawling (and must-read) profile in Vanity Fair about the 10-year anniversary of Marvel Studios:

“After Avengers 4, an ambitious multi-franchise crossover movie slated for release in 2019, at least some of the original characters who sit at the center of the billion-dollar Avengers team will be hanging up their capes and shields.”

This partially has to do with the fact that contracts are expiring on major actors like Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, and Chris Evans. But it also has to do with the fact that some of these folks have been doing this for 10 years, and it’s time to hand the storytelling over to fresh and new characters. Indeed, Feige says they already have another 20 movies on the docket that are completely different from what came before, with Disney CEO Bob Iger echoing this point:

“We’re looking for worlds that are completely separate—geographically or in time—from the worlds that we’ve already visited.”

It is, obviously, unclear which characters we’ll be saying goodbye to at the end of AVENGERS 4, but Johannson seems to suggest she may or may not be on the outs:

“I feel a lot of joy for the next generation,” Johansson said. “It’s a bittersweet feeling, but a positive one.”

Feige reiterates that the conclusive nature of AVENGERS 4 is in keeping with Marvel Studios’ M.O. of shaking things up and offering the unexpected:

Avengers 4, he said, will “bring things you’ve never seen in superhero films: a finale. There will be two distinct periods. Everything before Avengers 4 and everything after. I know it will not be in ways people are expecting.”

It’s going to be incredibly interesting to see who picks up the mantle after the OG MCU folks are gone—can Benedict Cumberbatch’s DOCTOR STRANGE fill RDJ’s shoes? Is Chadwick Boseman’s BLACK PANTHER the MCU’s secret weapon? We’ll find out in due time, but first up is Part One of this thrilling conclusion—AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR opens in theaters on May 4, 2018.

James Cameron talks AVATAR sequels; AVATARs 4 & 5 depend on success with 2 & 3

While we should all know by now not to bet against James Cameron, 20th Century Fox’s decision to invest in four AVATAR sequels still seems risky when you consider the current level of interest in the franchise despite the record-setting box office of the original. Nevertheless, production has begun on the first two AVATAR sequels and as we previously reported, it will be making use of brand new, underwater motion-capture. He’s a director that’s continually pushing the boundaries of technology, but he’s certainly not ignorant of the financial realities of the industry.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, Cameron says that while all five films build to a larger “meta-narrative”, if there aren’t fourth and fifth installments, that will be okay:

Let’s face it, if Avatar 2 and 3 don’t make enough money, there’s not going to be a 4 and 5. They’re fully encapsulated stories in and of themselves. It builds across the five films to a greater kind of meta narrative, but they’re fully formed films in their own right, unlike, say, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, where you really just had to sort of go, “Oh, s***, all right, well I guess I better come back next year.” Even though that all worked and everybody did.

It was previously assumed that Fox had greenlit all four sequels, but right now it looks more like there’s a tentative agreement where the studio has given Cameron the greenlight on the first two films, but the studio’s investment on the second two movies is dependent on the box office performance of AVATAR 2 and AVATAR 3, which makes sense. Unless you have something like FANTASTIC BEASTS, which is continuing the undying popularity of the HARRY POTTER brand, it’s not a good idea to make four sequels if the audience stops showing up.

The first AVATAR sequel is slated to open on December 18, 2020.

Box Office: Pixar’s COCO beats WB’s JUSTICE LEAGUE over Thanksgiving!

Performing sensationally both at home and abroad with glowing reviews from critics, Pixar’s COCO will be the number one movie in America by the end of Sunday with an impressive $71.2 million take from U.S. audiences. In China, the movie boasted Disney’s second biggest opening ever, while Mexican audiences flocked to the movie to the tune of $48 million.

This is all good news for Disney and Pixar, though I highly doubt they get much serious bad news these days. This is decidedly not good news for Zack Snyder‘s JuUSTICE LEAGUE, which has created a fiscal crisis point for the franchise. Estimates say that Snyder’s film, featuring reshoots from Joss Whedon, could lose up to $100 million all tolled, off of a budget reportedly north of $300 million. Over the holiday weekend, the film landed in second in its second frame with some $40 million, which would be great news for almost any other film in the box office top ten other than THOR: RAGNAROK, which came in fourth this weekend with $16.7 million. Still, the movie’s financial performance abroad could very well save the franchise, though changes will have to come to the basic DCEU formula no matter what to avoid such disasters.

The opposite can be said of Wonder and DADDY’S HOME 2, which came in at third ($22.3 million) and fifth ($13.2 million) respectively. Both of these movies have been carried almost exclusively by domestic interest, and though DADDY’S HOME 2 hasn’t quite made enough to make its $69 million budget and undisclosed marketing costs worth it, VOD and home video interest might sadly bring us a DADDY’S HOME 3. I would hope that Hollywood isn’t so shallow that they would look to produce a sequel to WONDER, but it’s also not like it’s impossible that such an elementally bad idea might be entertained if the money is right.

Here’s your top five at the box office for the weekend:

1. ‘Coco’ $49.02M
2. ‘Justice League’ $40.73M
3. ‘Wonder’ $22.3M
4. ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ $16.79M
5. ‘Daddy’s Home 2’ $13,.25M