IT director Andy Muschietti planning on returning for the sequel!

The hype for IT is getting a little too real. Andy Muschietti‘s adaptation of the beloved Stephen King novel is shaping up to be a horror hit of epic proportions: audiences are clamoring for the film (a recent trailer shattered previous view records), all signs point to the studio being happy with the film, and now, it Muschietti has stated that he will return for a sequel that will pick up with the adult half of King’s story and bring the saga of IT to a close.

When Variety asked the director point blank if there would be two films, here’s what he said,

“We are doing that. We’ll probably have a script for the second part in January. Ideally, we would start prep in March. Part one is only about the kids. Part two is about these characters 30 years later as adults, with flashbacks to 1989 when they were kids.”

That’s good news in a lot of ways. For one thing, it shows a lot of confidence on his part, which translates to confidence on the studio’s part. You don’t just go around confirming sequels willy nilly. It’s also good to hear that they’ve already got a production schedule in mind, and the plan is to start prepping for production early next year. And of course, for any fan of King’s novel, it’s good to know that we’ll get to see the sprawling story told in full rather than just the half of the children.

IT arrives in theaters on September 8.

WB developing another INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS remake!

Everybody line up and get your pods, because INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is headed back to cinemas. Deadline reports that Warner Bros. is developing another remake of the classic science fiction story, which traditionally sets its paranoid terrors in a small town where aliens invade, slowly replacing the local inhabitants with inhuman copies.

The studio has recruited David Leslie Johnson to pen the script. The screenwriter is a familiar face at Warner Bros., who worked in-house at New Line on THE CONJURINg 2 and the upcoming THE CONJURING 3 as well as developing scripts for DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS and a new A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET reboot. John Davis (THE PREDATOR) is on board to produce.

Based on Jack Finney‘s 1954 sci-fi novel ‘The Body Snatchers’, the film is the latest in a long tradition of BODY SNATCHER adaptations, both official and unofficial. The book was first adapted into a movie in the 1956 classic INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, a thinly-veiled on spin on McCarthyism. The story was retold again with Philip Kaufman‘s fantastic 1978 incarnation, starring Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams, and again in Abel Ferrara‘s 1993 thriller BODY SNATCHERS. The last remake arrived courtesy of Warner Bros. with the Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig-fronted THE INVASION, which bombed at the box office and whiffed with critics. Robert Rodriguez‘s THE FACULTY and the Edgar Wright film THE WORLD’S END also owe no small thanks to Finney’s story.

It’s certainly a timely project, if not a particularly original one at this point. Admittedly, the story is so powerful because it’s always relevant, but hopefully they’ll have an interesting take on the material because we’ve seen this movie so many times before. That said, in the age of “fake news”, vociferous partisan politics, and widespread political discord, it is a fine moment for INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS to become relevant to the conversation again.

Matt Damon’s RFK passion project gets THE DARK TOWER director Nikolaj Arcel!

One of Matt Damon‘s long-time passion projects may finally be coming together. Warner Bros. has recruited THE DARK TOWER director Nikolaj Arcel to tackle their Damon-led Robert F. Kennedy biopic, RFK, just weeks before the director’s highly anticipated Stephen King adaptation is set to hit theaters.

Per The Tracking Board, Arcel also penned the script with Felipe Marino (THE HALLOW) and Rasmus Heisterberg, who co-wrote the screenplays for a number of Arcel’s Swedish films. Damon will produce alongside Jennifer Todd (JASON BOURNE) and Drew Vinton (PROMISED LAND). The plan is for the film to kick off production next year.

Damon has been attached to RFK since 2010, when the film was set up at New Regency with Garry Ross directing and Steven Knight scripting. That version of the project fell apart, but Damon has continued to express his interest in the role in the years since. In 2014, the actor told CNBC:

“If they could figure out a way to do Bobby Kennedy, I would love to do that. I just love that guy, and the incredible things he was saying at the end of his life. he’s a really interesting figure but it’s just so hard to do those biopics without them being cumbersome. it’s very difficult to [put his story] into two hours.”

RFK was the younger brother of John F. Kennedy, and a celebrated lawyer and politician in his own right. He served as the U.S. Attorney General under both Presidents Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. An advocate for the civil rights movement and a force against organized crime, RFK went on to become a New York senator and was in the midst of a presidential campaign when he was assassinated. He’s a beloved political icon and a figure who’s long overdue for the biopic treatment, and the role could be the project to finally earn Damon that Best Actor Oscar.

VENOM and SILVER AND BLACK directors talk details of their “Non-MCU” SpiderVerse films!

When SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING was being released, fans were mighty curious how/if/when this Certified Marvel Cinematic Universe movie would connect with Sony Pictures’ other comic book films in the works like VENOM and SILVER AND BLACK. The short answer is: not at all. Marvel Studios will continue to team up with Sony on the standalone SPIDER-MAN movies featuring Tom Holland, but Sony is going it alone when it comes to their other comic book films that they hope will build into their own separate cinematic universe.

So how will this cinematic SpiderVerse work, and what’s Sony’s plan for the films? While the studio previously had ambitious plans for an interconnected universe spinning off from it’s the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN movies, including a SINISTER SIX film, those were cancelled when they opted to reboot the mainline franchise. Now new details have emerged thanks to a cover story in Variety, and it actually sounds pretty neat. Instead of tasking a Kevin Feige or Kathleen Kennedy to oversee the whole universe, Sony instead wants each movie to have a distinct style with a range of different budgets. VENOM, for instance, is seen as a twist on the horror genre, while SILVER AND BLACK is akin to buddy films like THELMA AND LOUISE and MIDNIGHT RUN. SILVER AND BLACK director Gina Prince-Bythewood elaborated on her take a bit:

“I wanted to tell the story of two damaged women who are at war with each other but need each other to survive,” says Prince-Bythewood. She’s been looking at the origins of each character in order to explain how Silver Sable became a killer for hire and why Black Cat is drawn to crime. In both cases, she found that the characters were haunted by the deaths of their parents.”

As for VENOM, which will star Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, a reporter who bonds with an alien symbiote, director Ruben Fleischer is drawing influence from the works of John Carpenter and David Cronenberg while maintaining a sense of “more pop and fun.” Fleischer says the film will be a Venom origin story and will explore the Jekyll and Hyde dynamic:

“They become almost a third being, which is what Venom is. There’s a famous quote: ‘You’re Eddie Brock. I’m the symbiote. Together we are Venom.’”

It’ll be interesting to see what other films emerge, but I think Sony’s smart to keep these distinct and to not get too caught up in the “cinematic universe” of it all. Make great movies that have a wide creative range; offer variety, and you have a better chance of making a mark.

We’ll see the first fruits of this labor when VENOM hits theaters on October 5, 2018.

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING director Jon Watts in talks to direct the 2019 sequel!

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING was a successful reboot of the SPIDER-MAN franchise, and the studio is eager to move full speed ahead on a sequel. While during the press tour there were plenty of indications that director Jon Watts would return for SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING 2, nothing was official. However, we now finally have some confirmation that negotiations are underway.

According to THR, Watts is in talks to return for SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING 2. While details are scarce on what the plot would entail, we know that Tom Holland will return as Spider-Man, the movie will pick up after the events of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, and it will feature a different MCU character (so don’t expect Tony Stark to come strolling back into Peter Parker’s neighborhood).

I thought Watts did a terrific job with SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING. Watts knocked it out of the park when it came to character and drama. Set pieces are a dime a dozen, but to really make viewers invest in Peter, his friends, and the antagonist took some heavy lifting, and Watts nailed it. Hopefully, he comes back and gets to build on what he started.

Additionally, Marvel and Sony have to be pretty happy with how the film has performed at the box office. The movie has already made $467.3 million worldwide, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. It will likely be one of the biggest hits of the year for Sony.

The untitled SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING sequel is due out July 5, 2019.

ONLY THE BRAVE trailer: Josh Brolin leads Granite Mtn. Hotshots film, due October 20, 2017!

Sony has released the first ONLY THE BRAVE trailer. Previously titled ‘GRANITE MOUNTAIN’ and ‘GRANITE MOUNTAIN HOTSHOTS’, ONLY THE BRAVE is based on the true story of the elite group of firefighters who battled the Yarnell Hill wildfire, which blazed through Arizona in June 2013.

Speaking to GQ (which previously covered the 2013 fire in the story “No Exit”), director Joseph Kosinski explained that the reason he wanted to tackle the story is because it’s told from the perspective of the guy at the top, superintendent Eric Marsh (Josh Brolin), and new recruit Brendan McDonaugh (Miles Teller):

I read an early draft of the script, and wildland firefighting was something I didn’t know anything about. You know, their job is so far away from civilization, in many cases. That was fascinating to me. And the approach of this story—taking it from two points of view simultaneously. There’s the guy at the very top: Eric Marsh [Josh Brolin], the superintendent of the Granite Mountain hotshots. And the guy at the bottom: Brendan McDonaugh [Miles Teller], who is just applying for the job. I thought that was a very interesting structure—and being a Midwest kid from a small town, I guess I related to the world of Prescott. It’s a fascinating story, and very different than anything I’ve done before.

As for the trailer, it looks like a solid film, and definitely a departure for Kosinski. The film has a great cast, and the story of the hotshots is definitely worth telling, so hopefully this all comes together. It will be interesting to see if the movie does a festival run in the hopes of getting in the awards race.

ONLY THE BRAVE opens October 20th, and also stars Jeff Bridges, Taylor Kitsch, James Badge Dale, and Jennifer Connelly.

THE SHAPE OF WATER: Guillermo Del Toro’s crazy Cold War merman thriller gets a trailer!

The first trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s new film, THE SHAPE OF WATER, has arrived courtesy of Fox Searchlight and it looks to have just about everything a GDT fan can ask for. The story follows a lonely, mute woman named Elisa (Sally Hawkins) who performs janitorial duties for a top-secret government laboratory. The facility’s greatest asset is its one-of-a-kind inhabitant, a humanoid creature who lives its life entirely underwater. When their paths cross, they each find themselves forever changed, but with grave consequences.

There’s a lot to love here, whether it’s del Toro’s time traveling back to the Cold War-stricken 60s, the portrayal of Elisa as both hard-working but also terribly isolated, the cross-species love story that introduces del Toro’s preferred twist of the other-worldly, or Michael Shannon‘s delightfully unhinged mad scientist-meets-government heavy. The trailer walks the line with giving away too much, but my ticket’s as good as purchased already.

Also starring Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg and Doug Jones, THE SHAPE OF WATER opens December 8th.