Fassbender and Ferguson hunt a killer in THE SNOWMAN trailer, film due October 20, 2017!

Universal has released the first THE SNOWMAN trailer. Based on the bestselling novel by Swedish author Jo Nesbø and directed by Tomas Alfredson (LET THE RIGHT ONE IN), the story follows detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) as he investigates a disappearance that could be linked to an elusive serial killer. Working with a brilliant recruit (Rebecca Ferguson), Hole must work to connect cold cases to the new one before the next snowfall.

It may seem silly to try an make something as a snowman terrifying, but Alfredson has the directing chops to do it. While this trailer makes the movie look like your standard detective thriller, Alfredson’s past films show that he doesn’t do simple genre fare, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he approaches the material, especially when he has talented actors like Fassbender and Ferguson in the lead roles. Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole series (not the best name for a protagonist) is pretty extensive, so we could see the beginnings of a franchise here.

THE SNOWMAN opens October 20th and also stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Val Kilmer, and J.K. Simmons.

Walton Goggins joins ANT-MAN AND THE WASP before Marvel’s Comic-Con International event!

With all eyes turned to San Diego Comic-Con International, Marvel fans in particular are eager to see what the superhero studio has in store. Granted, Disney’s D23 expo just dropped the first footage for AVENGERS: INFINITY, but the MCU has a lot more coming to theaters over the next year. There’s THOR: RAGNAROK arriving November 3rd, followed by BLACK PANTHER kicking off Marvel’s year on February 16, 2018. The aforementioned AVENGERS/GUARDIANS team-up drops a few months later on May 4th, but ANT-MAN AND THE WASP is just after it, hitting theaters July 6th. It’s going to be a crazy year, for sure.

But it’s that latter Marvel movie, the sequel that returns Peyton Reed to the director’s chair, that made headlines today with the addition of Emmy-nominated Walton Goggins (THE HATEFUL EIGHT) in an unspecified role. Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly are set to return as the eponymous superheroes alongside Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, Michael Peña as Luis, and T.I. as Dave. They’ll be joined by newcomers Hannah John-Kamen (READY PLAYER ONE), also in an unspecified role, and Randall Park (THE INTERVIEW) as Jimmy Woo.

Deadline reports that Goggins has sealed the deal for ANT-MAN AND THE WASP ahead of the production’s kick-off in Atlanta later this month. Both the film’s plot and Goggins’ character, among other aspects, remain under wraps; perhaps we’ll get a tease at Comic-Con International this weekend. If you don’t know Goggins from his excellent turns on ‘The Shield’, ‘Sons of Anarchy’, ‘Justified’, THE HATEFUL EIGHT, or ‘Vice Principals’, don’t worry; you can still catch him in MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE and TOMB RAIDER, both due out next year along with his Marvel sequel.

Warner Bros sets two mystery DCEU Films for 2020!

Hollywood is gearing up for the annual Comic-Con Interational marketing bonanza and if there’s one studio you can always count on to go big, it’s Warner Bros. In addition to bringing out Steven Spielberg‘s READY PLAYER ONE and Denis Villeneuve‘s BLADE RUNNER 2049, the studio is of course delivering some DCEU updates. The press release promises “stars Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher talking all things JUSTICE LEAGUE, as well as an early look at director James Wan’s AQUAMAN.”

Ahead of their Hall H panel this Saturday, Warner Bros. has set two new release dates for Untitled DCEU Film on February 14 and June 5, 2020, as well as an Untitled DCEU Film for June 1, 2018. Naturally, the question now is which films they just dated. More than likely, the timing of the announcement isn’t coincidental and we’ll find out at SDCC, but for now let’s speculate wildly.

The most likely contenders are WONDER WOMAN 2 and THE BATMAN. After the success of WONDER WOMAN, which continues to break records six weeks after the release and is on track to soon surpass GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 as the highest grossing movie of the summer, the Amazonian warrior princess has no doubt become top priority over at DC. Most folks are expecting Warner Bros. to officially announce the sequel at SDCC, and hopefully that director Patty Jenkins will be returning to helm it. As for THE BATMAN, the caped crusader is a flagship hero for the DC universe and with the excellent WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES now in theaters, director Matt Reeves is finally in a position to focus on the BATMAN stand alone film.

Warner Bros. also has plenty of other DC films that could take one of those spots. SUICIDE SQUAD 2 is narrowing in on a director, with THE SHALLOWS helmer Jaume Collet-Serra emerging as the most recent frontrunner for the gig. SUICIDE SQUAD director David Ayer is set to return to the DCEU for GOTHAM CITY SIRENS, and their troubled solo film for THE FLASH has also been closing in on a new director after getting a page-one rewrite from KING ARTHUR scribe Joby Harold.

As always, I’ll be all over Comic-Con International coverage so stay tuned through the weekend for updates.

New BLADE RUNNER 2049 trailer teases the plot and themes, film due October 6, 2017!

Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment have unveiled a new trailer for BLADE RUNNER 2049, the highly anticipated sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1980s sci-fi classic. Directed by ARRIVAL and SICARIO filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, BLADE RUNNER 2049 takes place 30 years after the events of the first film and stars Ryan Gosling as a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K, who unearths a secret that leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard, which has Harrison Ford reprising the role. Villeneuve reteams with frequent cinematographer Roger Deakins for this sprawling sci-fi epic, while Ridley Scott produces. Blade Runner scribe Hampton Fancher and ‘American Gods’ co-creator/LOGAN co-writer Michael Green penned the screenplay.

This movie continues to look incredible. The sheer craftsmanship of the cinematography and production design alone make it a must-see, as even the trailers for BLADE RUNNER 2049 stand in stark contrast to the muted, CG-overloaded blockbusters that permeate our theaters every summer. Then you have the prospect of Villeneuve putting together some large-scale sci-fi action set pieces—if SICARIO is any indication we’re in for a treat. This trailer also gets a bit deeper into the plot, but thankfully still keeps things rather mysterious. The basic setup remains, but it looks like Jared Leto plays something like the (new?) creator of the replicants, and Deckard holds the key for the replicants’ future. Intriguing…

BLADE RUNNER 2049 also stars Robin Wright, Barkhad Abdi, Dave Bautista, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Lennie James, and Mackenzie Davis and opens in theaters on October 6th.

Box Office: WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES swings past SPIDER-MAN!

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES has been, well, at war with SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING this weekend at the box office. Estimates had pegged both movies to make somewhere in the upper $50 million range over the weekend with Homecoming still being powered by immense positive reception and the fact that it’s a Marvel joint, even in its second frame. Nevertheless, the beloved web-slinger was sent to the second spot in its second weekend, making an estimated $45.2 million by the end of today, while Matt Reeves‘ exceptional APES film took the top spot with $56.5 million.

Though the story arc of WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES is familiar, grim, and more than a little predictable as things get going toward the climax, it’s hard to overstate just how strange the movie is as a blockbuster. There’s very little dialogue in the film and an astounding amount of sign language, and whereas past movies hinged on men and women who wanted peace, this film places the apes as the clear heroes of the story. Reeves’ work with CGI and motion-capture is simply head and shoulders above every other film currently in theaters and most that have been released this decade. If the Academy were to ever give over a statue for motion-capture performance, Andy Serkis‘ work in this film would be the clearest example of the form’s artistry. It will likely go down as the most thrilling and ambitious big-studio release of the summer alongside WONDER WOMAN and SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING.

Edgar Wright’s BABY DRIVER is holding strong in the fourth spot with $8.7 million, right below DESPICABLE ME 3 with $18.9 million in its third frame. And in the fifth spot with $7.6 million, as seemed clear yesterday, is THE BIG SICK, Michael Showalter‘s lovely romantic comedy, which has proven to be one of the most uniformly beloved movies to be released this year. It’s made a move from a specialty box office hit to being a genuine contender on the big stage, even narrowly beating out Broad Green’s WISH UPON, an inoffensive and not particularly memorable horror film.

Here’s your top five:

1. ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ $56.5M
2. ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ $45.2M
3. ‘ Despicable Me 3’ $18.94M
4. ‘Baby Driver’ $8.75M
5. ‘The Big Sick’ $7.6M

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI character posters embrace the red side!

As we saw in the first STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI trailer, red is a bit of a prominent color, at least as far as the red ash featured in the landspeeder scene. Today, at D23, Disney unveiled six new STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI character posters that carried on with the red color motif. It’s a nice look, and it helps distinguish these new movies from the ones that came before. The watchword today at the presentation seemed to be “unexpected”, and this certainly doesn’t look like the marketing campaign we got for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS or ROGUE ONE.

It’s also interesting to see that while THE LAST JEDI does have new characters, these character posters are sticking to the ones we already know, which is a smart choice. Since we don’t know much about Rose or DJ, their character poster won’t mean much to us at this stage. Of course, based on how much we loved the new characters from THE FORCE AWAKENS, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s tons of merchandise featuring THE LAST JEDI characters closer to the film’s opening.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI opens December 15th. John Boyega (Finn), Daisy Ridley (Rey), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Dohmnall Gleeson (General Hux), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), the late Carrie Fisher (General Leia), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), and Andy Serkis (Snoke) all return, joined by newcomer Kelly Marie Tran alongside Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern.

Guy Ritchie’s live-action ALADDIN cast confirmed at D23! 

As part of Disney’s ongoing D23 expo, Guy Ritchie‘s ALADDIN, just one of the studio’s many animation-to-live-action projects, got a major update today. Even though rumors of difficulty in casting leads surfaced a few days ago, Disney had no problem announcing their core cast. They are as follows:

    Mena Massoud as Aladdin/Prince Ali
    Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine
    Will Smith as Genie

Certainly some of those names may be more familiar to you than others. Smith needs no introduction and has been rumored for the role made famous by the late Robin Williams for some time now. Scott you may know either from her relatively recent musical career, a number of TV roles (including 2011’s short-lived ‘Terra Nova’), or her highest-profile movie role to date, that of Kimberly the Pink Ranger in this year’s POWER RANGERS. And since “whitewashing” has become more and more of a concern for major movie casts of late, it’s worth noting that Scott is of Indian descent.

Massoud, on the other hand, is a relative newcomer to the scene, even compared to Scott. The actor boasts a number of TV roles, including voice roles for 2011’s animated series ‘The 99’; he’s also voiced a role in the recent ‘Watch Dogs 2’ video game. Fans of ‘Jack Ryan’ will get to see Massoud in the new series that stars John Krasinski in the title role.