Focus Features has released the first trailer for the upcoming period drama MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS. The film hails from acclaimed artist Josie Rourke directing a script by former ‘House of Cards’ showrunner Beau Willimon, and stars Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan as the titular Mary Stuart, the Queen of France who, at the age of 18, defied pressure to remarry following her husband’s death and instead returned to her native Scotland to reclaim her throne. But she comes up against Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie), who rules over both England and Scotland, and the two fiercely independent women in a male-dominated world engage in a battle for the throne.
Casting is key in a story like this, and both Ronan and Robbie look absolutely perfect in their roles as two resolute and warring queens. There appears to be plenty or battling, steamy romances, and the kind of wigged drama you would expect from a period piece such as this, and yet, there’s also a touch of something special and dynamic about this production. High hopes for this one!
Based on the John Guy book of the same name, MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS also stars Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, Gemma Chan, Martin Compston, Ismael Cordova, Brendan Coyle, Ian Hart, Adrian Lester, James McArdle, David Tennant, and Guy Pearce and opens in limited release on December 7th.
A new official photo from FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD—the second of a magically insane planned five films—gives us a glimpse of Eddie Redmayne‘s Newt Scamander when he was a young Hogwarts student, awkwardly brandishing his wand about as all young Hogwarts students do.
Not pictured is Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald, the dark wizard committing those titular crimes (Depp is presumedly just off-camera threatening a P.A. with a prop broomstick). But we do get a great shot of Jude Law as Professor Albus Dumbledore, back when the future Hogwarts headmaster was but a teacher, allowing students to perform dangerous Defense Against the Dark Arts magic in his classroom, perhaps practicing against a shape-shifting boggart. Nothing but respect for my Young Dumbledore.
Redmayne also told EW about young Newt’s relationship with classmate Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz)—a new character who was almost definitely involved in Newt’s expulsion from the school of witchcraft and wizardry—as well as his character’s older brother Theseus, played by Callum Turner.
“Leta, it’s one of those relationships where there was definitely great love there. But was it ever a full-blown relationship? I don’t know. But certainly, she’s somebody who has touched him hugely. At the beginning of this film you realize she’s now in a relationship with Newt’s brother so, of course, that comes with great complications.”
FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD, which also stars Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogel, and Alison Sudol, hits theaters November 16.
In the most tongue-twist bit of news in recent memory, we are officially getting a Blomkamp robot reboot. DISTRICT 9 director Neill Blomkamp will helm a new installment in the ROBOCOP franchise, titled ROBOCOP RETURNS. Deadline reports the writing team behind the original film, Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner, will produce and executive-produce, respectively, while writer Justin Rhodes—who also penned an upcoming TERMINATOR movie, because woo-boy Justin Rhodes loves robot reboots—will retool a sequel script that Neumeier and Miner wrote decades ago that never came to fruition.
The first question is probably whether or not, in the year of our lord 2018, we need a movie that boiled down is about a robot police officer that shoots all the people. The answer is probably, definitely, almost 100% no; the original Paul Verhoeven flick is a fun romp, but very much of its time, as proven by the 2014 non-starter remake starring Joel Kinnaman you already forgot about. The reported plotline does not offer much more in way of an explanation: “Anarchy reigns and the fate of Detroit hangs in the balance as RoboCop makes his triumphant return to fight crime and corruption.”
But the film seems to be in enthusiastic hands with Blomkamp, who told Deadline:
“The original definitely had a massive effect on me as a kid. I loved it then and it remains a classic in the end of 20th Century sci-fi catalog, with real meaning under the surface. Hopefully, that is something we can get closer to in making of a sequel. That is my goal here. What I connected to as a kid has evolved over time. At first, the consumerism, materialism and Reaganomics, that ’80s theme of America on steroids, came through most strongly. But As I’ve gotten older, the part that really resonated with me is identity, and the search for identity. As long as the human component is there, a good story can work in any time period, it’s not locked into a specific place in history. What’s so cool about RoboCop is that like good Westerns, sci-fi films and dramas, the human connection is really important to a story well told. What draws me now is someone searching for their lost identity, taken away at the hands of people who are benefiting from it, and seeing his memory jogged by events. That is most captivating. The other thing I am excited by is the chance to work again with Justin Rhodes. He has added elements that are pretty awesome, to a sequel that was set in the world of Verhoeven. This is a movie I would love to watch.”
After a few unofficial photos sent fans into a tizzy, New Line Cinema is ready to officially unveil Zachary Levi as the newest DCEU superhero in the first proper SHAZAM image. The film marks a change of pace after gritty DC films like BATMAN V SUPERMAN and SUICIDE SQUAD, as SHAZAM is instead described as BIG meets SUPERMAN. The film tells the story of a 14-year-old boy named Billy who, when he shouts the word “SHAZAM!”, can turn into an adult superhero. Asher Angel plays the boy, while Chuck star Levi plays the adult Shazam, seen here alongside Billy’s best friend Freddy Feeman, played by IT breakout Jack Dylan Grazer.
Speaking with EW, which debuted the image, director David F. Sandberg explained his approach to crafting the superhero costume:
“I wanted to keep the shorter cape as a throwback to the original because that’s something that sets him apart from Superman or Batman. It makes him feel a bit more Golden Age superhero, which is the vibe I’m going for.”
Indeed, while Sandberg’s resume of horror hits like ANNABELLE: CREATION and LIGHTS OUT would suggest a gritty DC film, instead SHAZAM looks to be something more along the lines of the DCEU’s first comedy. If a BIG-esque tone is what they’re going for, this costume is spot-on. It’s a little silly, sure, but if you were a 14-year-old kid, wouldn’t you imagine this to be what a superhero version of yourself would look like?
Stay on the lookout for the first trailer, which will likely debut during Warner Bros.’ Comic-Con International panel a week from Saturday. SHAZAM opens April 5, 2019 and also stars Grace Fulton, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Cooper Andrews, Marta Milans, and Ron Cephas Jones.
Netflix dropped the first trailer for the curious sci-fi thriller EXTINCTION today, and you can check it out below at your leisure. Starring Michael Peña as a maintenance worker whose mundane, routine life is interrupted first by unexplained visions and then by a world-ending threat, EXTINCTION looks like a combination of a number of alien-invasion movies we’ve seen before. There are dashes of EDGE OF TOMORROW, WAR OF THE WORLDS and even BATTLE: LOS ANGELES, though the movie’s poster suggests there’s more to the story than the trailer is showing. But the more interesting tale might actually be the drama behind the scenes of this movie’s production.
Producers Todd Lieberman, Alex Young, and David Hoberman brought EXTINCTION to life through its twists and turns. It was originally set up over at Universal before the studio axed it from its schedule–it was supposed to open in theaters in January of this year. Netflix then picked it up and set its summer release date. Not mentioned in Netflix’s press release, however, is Oscar-nominated screenwriter Eric Heisserer (ARRIVAL) or Brad Kane (‘Fringe’), which is rather strange. Here’s hoping the talented cast and creative team will deliver something worthwhile here and that Netflix saw the opportunity that Universal clearly did not…hopefully.
Directed by Ben Young and written by Spenser Cohen, EXTINCTION also stars Lizzy Caplan, Mike Colter, Israel Broussard, and, of note for Jacob Tremblay fans, his sister Erica Tremblay. It’ll arrive on Netflix July 27th.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that no one, no one, does Halloween like Slappy, a fact backed up by the new poster and trailer for GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN. The October-set fright-fest continues the idea from the original that the works of prolific horror author R.L. Stine can come to life.
This go-around in the Stine-verse is lacking the Jack Black of the original, but the film did add budding horror star Jeremy Ray Taylor to the mix. Taylor, of course, broke out as portly town historian Ben Hanscom in IT last year. And the actor doesn’t seem to be the only thing GOOSEBUMPS 2 is borrowing from its more adult-oriented horrors-come-to-life cousin; that dusty abandoned R.L. Stine house in the trailer is a dead ringer for the house on Neibolt Street from IT.
But maybe I’m just nitpicking. I don’t want anyone to think I’m not hyped just because this movie is about children doing battle with homicidal gummy bears, murderous ventriloquist dummies, and other horrors dreamt up by a children’s author in the mid-1990’s. To be fair, this is all based on a series of books you forgot to return to your middle school library decades ago, but the first film—which was directed by Rob Letterman and starred Dylan Minnette alongside Black—had a werewolf-tornado’s worth of charm working for it, and was a surprisingly good if harmless little lite-horror romp. Director Ari Sandel is taking over for the sequel—from a script by Rob Lieber—but the trailer seems to be promising more of the same.
GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN also stars Ken Jeong, Chris Parnell, and Wendi McLendon-Covey and is set to hit theaters October 12.
Disney’s shuffling their early 2020s release date calendar, which comes with some lengthy delays, surprising moves up in schedule, and even new dates we’re seeing for the first time. Here’s what we’ve got:
INDIANA JONES 5, the unofficial title at the moment, was previously set for July 10, 2020 but will now open almost a year later on July 9, 2021. It was recently reported that Indy would be missing the original date since screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan was replacing David Koepp on the screenplay; the creative team was supposedly unhappy with the current state of the script. Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg are still committed to the project last we heard, though the Oscar-winning director will now turn his full attention to the WEST SIDE STORY feature musical, on which he’s in pre-production.
Also in 2021, an untitled Marvel movie makes a big leap from July 30th all the way up to February 12th, which is a pretty big chunk of time to be carving off an MCU production schedule. Anyone want to speculate as to what title this is? It’s BLACK PANTHER 2, who are we kidding.
In 2019, Disney will release their hopeful franchise starter JUNGLE CRUISE on October 11th. In 2020, Disney’s long-awaited sequel to MALEFICENT arrives on May 29th.
A little closer on the calendar is this year’s release, MARY POPPINS RETURNS, which moves up from Christmas Day to December 19th. Also RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2 is now simply titled RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET, since Disney has apparently listened to the many jabs about that unwieldy title. The family-friendly sequel opens November 21st, as scheduled.