JURASSIC WORLD’s Colin Trevorrow returning to direct JURASSIC WORLD 3

JURASSIC WORLD 3 now has a director, and it’s not exactly a huge surprise. While a JURASSIC PARK reboot/sequel (requel? seboot?) was in the works for years, it finally came to fruition with 2015’s JURASSIC WORLD to box office record-smashing results. Steven Spielberg had a strong hand in the crafting of that film, especially when it came to choosing a director. Indeed, Colin Trevorrow was handpicked to breathe new life into the franchise based on the strength of his Sundance indie SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, and while critics were a bit muted to the final product, audiences flocked to JURASSIC WORLD in droves.

Universal quickly greenlit a sequel, but Trevorrow was busy elsewhere so J.A. Bayona (A MONSTER CALLS, THE IMPOSSIBLE) signed on to direct this summer’s JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM. But now Trevorrow is back, as Spielebrg confirmed to EW that Trevorrow is writing and directing JURASSIC WORLD 3.

This both is and is not a surprise. The reason Trevorrow didn’t direct FALLEN KINGDOM was because after JURASSIC WORLD, Lucasfilm signed him to close out the new STAR WARS trilogy by directing STAR WARS EPISODE IX. But last fall, in the wake of Trevorrow’s box office bomb THE BOOK OF HENRY—which also received some of the most scathing reviews in recent memory—Lucasfilm parted ways with Trevorrow. To be fair the decision likely wasn’t only based on THE BOOK OF HENRY as it was reported that Trevorrow had been having creative disagreements with Lucasfilm over the STAR WARS script for some time, but THE BOOK OF HENRY was a very disappointing follow-up to a film as huge as JURASSIC WORLD, so folks were curious to see what Trevorrow would do next.

The filmmaker was intimately involved in JURASSIC WORLD 2 even if he didn’t direct, returning to co-write the script with Derek Connolly and serving as hands-on producer while Bayona brought his own visual flair to the sequel. It was announced last month that JURASSIC WORLD 3 was on track to hit theaters on June 11, 2021, with Trevorrow co-writing the script alongside Emily Carmichael (PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING), and now the film is very much in line hit that release date with Trevorrow back in the director’s chair.

It’s actually a bit ironic, as THE FORCE AWAKENS director J.J. Abrams took over Trevorrow’s duties on EPISODE IX to close out that trilogy after handing the reigns to Rian Johnson for THE LAST JEDI, and now Trevorrow is returning to his own rebooted franchise to bookend that series. If it wasn’t clear before, Spielberg has very much passed the JURASSIC PARK baton to Trevorrow, who now seems to be the main architect of this new franchise. For what it’s worth, Trevorrow mapped out a three-movie arc way back when he was making Jurassic World:

“Yes, absolutely … I knew where I wanted it to go. I remember telling Steven [Spielberg] even while we were still making the first movie, “This is the beginning. Here is the middle. And here’s the end of the end. This is where we want to go. I feel like that kind of design is crucial to a franchise like this if you really want to bring people along with you and make sure they stay interested. It needs to be thought through on that level. It can’t be arbitrary, especially if we want to turn this into a character-based franchise with people who you lean in to follow what they’re going to do.

“At the end of this movie, it’s not a cliffhanger, but it’s designed for people who want to know what’s going to happen next, whereas the earlier Jurassic Park movies had pretty clear definitive endings. They were pretty much episodic. In working with Derek Connolly, my co-writer, we were also thinking about where it was going to go in the future.”

So while THE BOOK OF HENRY was certainly a disappointment, and losing STAR WARS was probably not fun, Trevorrow’s doing fine. It’ll be interesting to see how audiences respond to FALLEN KINGDOM this summer, how closely the film will come to matching the $1.6 billion gross of the 2015 rebootquel, but clearly Universal and Spielberg have a lot of faith in Trevorrow’s vision for this series.

Advertisements

BEAT THE REAPER: Sebastian Stan to star, Goreverbinski to direct in film adaptation!

An adaptation of BEAT THE REAPER has been in development for years (it was first reported back in 2011), but now it looks like the film version of Josh Bazell’s suspense novel might finally be coming together. The Tracking Board reports that Sebastian Stan has signed on to lead the film with Gore Verbinski coming on board to direct.

Per The Tracking Board, “Beat the Reaper follows a young ER doctor whose life is upended when a patient recognizes him from his past life as a mafia hitman. He’s forced to fight to stay alive as old enemies come out of the woodwork to destroy him.”

Leonardo DiCaprio, who will co-produce through his Appian Way banner, once considered the role as a starring vehicle, but once the project moved to HBO, not much was heard about it. The Tracking Board doesn’t specify if this will remain an HBO movie or if production companies New Regency and Appian Way will be shopping this around to other studios now that it has a director and actor on board working from a script by ‘Billions’ creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien.

Verbinski left GAMBIT earlier this year, so it’s glad to see him back on board with another project. Given the bizarre plot, he should have a lot of fun with this one, and I’m eager to see what kind of performance we get from Stan.

Pedro Pascal joins WONDER WOMAN II in key role!

WONDER WOMAN II has added a new key cast member, and it’s a good one. Variety reports that Patty Jenkins has recruited Pedro Pascal for a role in her WONDER WOMAN sequel alongside Gal Gadot as the titular hero and Kristen Wiig as the villainous Cheetah. Details on Pascal’s character are still under wraps, as are details on the plot, which has remained mysterious throughout the pre-production process. Reports suggest that the film will pick up with Diana Prince in the 1980s, during the Cold War, but nothing has been confirmed.

Jenkins, who also helmed the first film, returns to direct the sequel after paving the way to a momentous deal with the success of the first film. Jenkins also crafted the story with Geoff Johns and co-wrote the screenplay with Johns and writer David Callaham (THE EXPENDABLES). WONDER WOMAN II is a reunion for Jenkins and Pascal, who previously worked together on the TV movie ‘Exposed’.

Pascal caught the attention of audiences worldwide with his breakout role as Oberyn Martell on HBO’s juggernaut series ‘Game of Thrones’ and launched off that success to the critically acclaimed Netflix series ‘Narcos’. In film, Pascal recently appeared in THE GREAT WALL and KINGSMEN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE, and will be seen alongside Denzel Washington in THE EQUALIZER 2.

Trailer for YA superpower film THE DARKEST MINDS arrives, film due August 3, 2018

20th Century Fox has released the first THE DARKEST MINDS trailer. The film follows Ruby (Amandla Stenberg), a sixteen-year-old who might be the most powerful among all her peers when teens start mysteriously developing new abilities. When she and her friends discover that running isn’t enough, they turn around and start a resistance against the adults who betrayed them.

On the surface, THE DARKEST MINDS seems a little odd since it’s being distributed by 20th Century Fox, the studio that already owns X-MEN, and this movie looks very much in the vein of that superhero franchise, but perhaps without all the baggage that series entails. But looking at the plot, THE DARKEST MINDS may inadvertently be perfectly timed to our age of youth resistance. Last weekend was the March for Our Lives, a movement by teens against the adult politicians who had failed them and bargained away their safety to the gun lobby. Movies don’t always get to choose their moment, but THE DARKEST MINDS could easily tap into the zeitgeist through a YA filter if properly executed. We’ll see about that.

THE DARKEST MINDS, directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson (KUNG FU PANDA 2), opens August 3rd and also stars Mandy Moore and Gwendoline Christie.

Full voice cast for THE VOYAGE OF DOCTOR DOLITTLE released, film due April 12, 2019!

About a year since the news that Robert Downey Jr. would be starring in Universal Pictures’ THE VOYAGE OF DOCTOR DOLITTLE, and just about a year out from the film’s release, we now know just who will be starring alongside RDJ. It’s a stellar cast, though Downey Jr. appears to have the only human role with every other major name playing members of the gifted doctor’s animal menagerie. Oscar-winner Stephan Gaghan (TRAFFIC) wrote the script and screenplay following work by Thomas Shepherd, all based on the original creation of the character back in 1920 by Hugh Lofting. Gaghan will also be directing the picture.

For the graphically challenged, here’s the rest of the cast in full: Emma Thompson as the parrot Polynesia, Craig Robinson as the mouse Fleming, Rami Malek as Chee-Chee the gorilla, Carmen Ejogo as the lioness Regine, Octavia Spencer as the duck Dab-Dab, Tom Holland as Jip the dog, Ralph Fiennes as the tiger Barry, Marion Cotillard as Tutu the fox, Kumail Nanjiani as Plimpton the ostrich, Frances de la Tour as Ginko-Who-Soars, John Cena as Yoshi the polar bear, and Selena Gomez as Betsy, a giraffe. THE VOYAGE OF DOCTOR DOLITTLE is currently slated for an April 12, 2019 release date.

New footage in AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR TV Spot, “Destiny Arrives” on April 27, 2018!

The marketing machine for Disney/Marvel’s AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR have made some wise decisions when it comes to this new TV spot for the highly anticipated movie. The first good move is the inclusion of T’Challa, a.k.a. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) getting in on the dialogue, a smart thing to do considering that the character’s title film is crushing box office records left and right. The second good move was to throw in a little adolescent Groot (an auto-tuned Vin Diesel) for good measure because fans do so love them some Groot.

Scripted by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR also stars ::deep breath:: Josh Brolin, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Rudd, and Tom Hiddleston. Look for it in theaters on April 27th!

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS unveils spooky trailer, film due September 21, 2018

Universal Pictures has released the first trailer for THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS, the new family-friendly gothic thriller from Eli Roth and Amblin Entertainment about a ten-year-old who goes to live with his uncle in “a creaky old house with a mysterious tick-tocking heart” and finds himself in a world of magic when he accidentally awakens the dead. The film stars Jack Black as the uncle, a small-town Warlock, and Cate Blanchett as the witch next door, who get caught up in the young boy’s magical adventure.

Setting aside Jack Black tossing fireballs like he’s Super Mario and some dodgy CGI that will probably be cleaned up in the months ahead, this movie looks surprisingly fun. I love the aesthetic here, and we don’t have enough movies that are designed to scare kids. While I’m still a bit skeptical, I’m at least more curious about what this movie has to offer.

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS also stars Owen Vaccaro, Kyle MacLachlan, Colleen Camp, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Vanessa Anne Williams, and Sunny Suljic and it arrives in theaters on September 21, 2018.