“Star Trek 3” and “Guardians 2” Get Titles – It’s Titles Tuesday!

It’s Tuesday, and everyone knows that Tuesday is the day that studios reveal the official titles of their long anticipated space based projects. What? That’s not true? Ok whatever I’m just trying to tie this stuff together. In any case, we’ve got the official names of the next Star Trek and Guardians of the Galaxy movies.

Let’s start with Trek. Justin Lin has revealed on Twitter by way of a debonair hash tag that the new project is called Star Trek Beyond. This is more or less what Simon Pegg implied a few months back but it’s good to get a little confirmation. Star Trek Beyond began production in Vancouver last week with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban and Simon Pegg returning with the test of the original crew. Pine and Quinto have also already signed on for Star Trek 4, slipping a handsome raise into the contract for good measure.

I’m a big fan of the title. I’m not a huge fan of the colon + random buzz word formula and Star Trek into Darkness was a welcome vacation from the norm. There was a hope that Star Trek Beyond would continue to experiment with the title but a lack of colons altogether is more than enough for me.

Moving right along, we’ve had a double reveal for the title of Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Both Kevin Feige via Collider and James Gunn via Twitter confirmed that the title would be Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. For those who didn’t see the first one, the title is a play on Chris Pratt‘s character Peter Quill’s Awesome Mix Volume 1 that acted as the excellent soundtrack for the movie.

Similar to Star Trek Beyond, we have very little concrete information about the movie. We know that Quill will encounter his father and there will be more emotions flying around, while Star Trek promises more action from Pegg and some Klingons.
So now we’ve got the names down, there’s no reason they shouldn’t tell us every other bit of information. So, you know, whenever you’re ready guys.

Star Trek Beyond is set to go boldly on July 8th 2016, while Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will land April 28th 2017.

“Spiderman” Could Get a New Villain and the John Hughes Treatment

Right then, Spiderman has been cast, his appearances have been scheduled, and we’ve got a release date for his first solo adventure. Now with all this solid information at our disposal, why don’t we throw it out the window and get into some good old fashioned speculation?

Well we’re in luck, because since young actor Tom Holland was cast as the web-slinger and directors or Jon Watts was reported as taking the helm, Marvel mogul Kevin Feige has taken to the interview circuit.

Screen Rant is reporting that Feige has been speaking not only on the subject of Spiderman, but also plans for the style of the film. A year or so ago this wouldn’t have been much to shout about since Marvel films tended to follow a pretty consistent style and structure. But since the reveal of Ant-Man showed that they’re playing with heist movie elements, the sky is potentially the limit for what we can expect stylistically. Feige seems to agree, according to an interview with Birth Movie Death:

“It’s the soap opera in high school, and those supporting characters, that are interesting. Just as we hadn’t seen a heist movie in a long time, or a shrinking movie in a long time, we haven’t seen a John Hughes movie in a long time. Not that we can make a John Hughes movie – only John Hughes could – but we’re inspired by him, and merging that with the superhero genre in a way we haven’t done before excites us.”

I’m pretty certain no one could have called John Hughes as a possible influence for Spiderman. But is it really so unbelievable? Hughes cut his teeth and sharpened them to razor sharpness on the 80s teen movie, making himself synonymous with youthful emotional indulgence and some pretty serious pouting. And what is the basis for Spiderman if not pubescence in superhuman flux?

While there’s definitely some scope for emotional exploration, we’ve also got some news on villain choices for the new franchise. I say news,  it’s really just Feige saying this:

“Right now we’re interested in seeing villains we haven’t seen before.”

This is a solid move for the studio. With familiar franchises where the audience is already well versed in all the characters, the tried and tested technique is focus on the hero in the first film and use a simpler, less adored villain to test the hero. Batman Begins used Rhas Al Ghul, Iron Man had the Iron Monger, even Star Trek used a Romulan time traveller no one had ever heard of! Then when you know the franchise is solid and safe, use movie number two to introduce some tasty villains.

Well it looks as though Feige is confident in Spiderman‘s chances. How about you?http://screenrant.com/spider-man-reboot-2017-new-villain-john-hughes/

Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine Sign on for “Star Trek 4”

Unless you’re True Detective, if your franchise is going to last it’s largely dependent on the cast sticking around for the long haul. While this is normally a process that happens right at the start or between movies, some key members of the Star Trek crew have already agreed to stay on the bridge for the foreseeable future.

Empire is reporting that Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, who have played Jim Kirk and Spock respectively in the last two Star Trek films, have signed contracts to star in Star Trek 4, while they’re still in the process of making Star Trek 3. Currently titled Star Trek Beyond, the third in the series has just moved into production, so a pledge to carry on for another film is a tremendous show of faith or some other force is at work. By that I mean studio influence, not magic or anything.

It’s not all good faith however. Both Pine and Quinto have negotiated a handsome salary rise for their troubles. There’s no word as yet on whether Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg or any of the other regulars have signed in for Star Trek 4 – The Search for More Money as yet, but there’s every chance that they’ll follow suit. Justin Lin, the new director for Star Trek 3, has made no mention of any future plans either. As for the film itself, we’ve got very little information to go on to measure it’s weight class, apart from insinuations about Klingons and vows from Pegg to get elbow deep in some action thus time around.

There’s obviously no confirmation here that Paramount are even remotely interested in a fourth Trek, so Pine and Quinto’s contracts could be considered more of an just in case insurance policy than anything else. However, if Star Trek 3 can continue the momentum of Into Darkness, it could be a prudent investment indeed.

Would you sign on for Star Trek 4?

Tom Hardy is Doubling Down as the Kray Twins in “Legend” Trailer

It goes without saying that we’re big fans of Tom Hardy here. Locke was one of the unique highlights of 2014 and we’ll have a hard time topping the action of Mad Max: Fury Road this summer (the gauntlet has been thrown down Ant Man). Now we have news of Hardy’s latest project in which he’ll be playing two larger than life London gangsters.

The Wrap is reporting that Hardy will star in this year’s Legend, the story of Ronald and Reginald Kray, better know as the Kray Twins, both of whom will be played by Hardy Social Network style. Have a look at the trailer:

If that wasn’t intriguing enough, the project has been written and directed by L.A. Confidential scribe Brian Heldeland of all people, so there’s already a lot of heavy muscle in this movie before the impressive cast gets their teeth into it. And impressive it is, with Hardy starring alongside Kingsman‘s Taron Egerton, Game of ThronesTara Fitzgerald and Christopher Eccleston.

Legend will track the Krays’ journey to become the most powerful gangsters in London in the 1960s, between Reggie’s keen mafia acumen and Ronnie’s unstable but always formidable braun. We’ll also get to see their balance of fame and infamy, mingling with countless celebrities of the day as well as London’s finest.
Legend will hit theatres in September in the UK and October in the US. Legendary enough for you?

“Uncharted” Loses Director as Seth Gordon Walks

It’s been a mixed week so far in the mysterious land of video game adaptations. We got word yesterday that Dwyane Johnson was officially in board for a big screen take on monster mash gem Rampage. But now we have some bad news from the Uncharted camp. Although I suppose you might think this is all bad news if you’re not a fan of video game adaptations.

Empire is reporting that Seth Gordon has left the project as director. According to those in the know, Gordon left when the studio decided to shake things up with the creative direction of the film, which would result in trimming the budget here and there. As a result they’ve got a cheaper project and an empty director’s chair.

The majority of adaptations that don’t come from popular comic book or literary characters often had speed bumps getting out of development, but Uncharted has had more than most. In its brief infancy the project has gone through a mess of writers, including Kyle Ward, David O. Russell, Marianne and Cormac Wibberley, David Guggenheim and Mark Boal. As for directors, Neil Burger was involved before heading over to Divergent.

It’s a shame because the way the Uncharted games were designed makes them ideal for adaptation. The lots are engaging,  in depth and self contained whilst still retaining the rocksteady simplicity required to make a lasting third person shooter. The button sequences alone take most of their cues from cinematic action sequences. However, while that might make storyboarding a doddle it doesn’t help when it comes to the cold, cold labyrinth of big studio logistics.

It’s unclear at the moment when Uncharted will resurface out of development, or if it ever will, but hopefully enough people want the project to succeed to keep the project alive. Should Uncharted remain uncharted?

Tom Holland is Marvel’s “Spiderman” – Jon Watts to Direct

We had a list of hopefuls, and now we have one new Spiderman. After having their pick of the up-and-coming litter for this latest incarnation of the web-slinger, Marvel has landed on fresh-faced Tom Holland to don the mask and take to the crime filled streets of New York City.

Deadline is reporting that the actor best know for his roles in The Impossible and How I Live Now won out from a wishlist including Asa Butterfield, Judah Lewis, Matthew Lintz, Charlie Plummer and Charlie Rowe. There were suggestions that Butterfield would take the role given his experience with science fiction and action in Ender’s Game, but Marvel gave opted for someone with what you might call a more versatile, dramatic background. Translation: not scifi.

Holland is also starring in this year’s In the Heart of the Sea from director Ron Howard, where he’ll be taking up with fellow Marvel star Chris Hemsworth. With any luck Hemsworth will become increasingly facial company if the rumours about Spidey’s involvement in other Marvel projects are to be believed.
But that’s not all: we also have a director in the form of Jon Watts. The decision to bring in Watts is dangerously close to Sony’s decision to enlist Marc Webb for The Amazing Spiderman. Webb had just made his mark at Sundance with 500 Days of Summer when he was recruited for the gig. It so happens that Watts has just had his own nugget of success at Sundance with Cop Car, a sharp little midnight movie if ever there was one.

Granted, Watts’ experience with using humour in his movies is a little more substantial than Webb’s. As well as Cop Car he’s directed several episodes of The Onion News Network. When you throw the vicious Clown  into the mix, it’s clear that Watts has a more acerbic humour that could suit a wisecracking Spiderman.
A solo Spiderman feature is still pencilled in for July 28th 2017,with a lot of time in between for Holland to turn up in other potential Marvel projects like Civil War.

You’d be forgiven for taking all this news with a pinch of salt – we’ve all been here before with Spiderman reboots. Hopefully we’ll have something a little more concrete to be excited about for this latest instalment.

Independence Day to be Called “Independence Day: Resurgence” – Plus Some Other Stuff

When we found out that there was going to be a live stream from the set of the childhood-reliving sequel to Independence Day, there was always a chance that nits and pieces of information were going to slop through the cracks, maybe from a not-so-tight-lipped cameraman or a fired producer with an axe to grind. Fortunately there were no such disasters on the set of this latest disaster movie, but there was a shed load of information handed out quite liberally by the cast and crew. And the images! Well, it’s probably best that you see them  for yourself, courtesy of Screen Rant.

But first, let’s get the nitty gritty out of the way. We have a title for the sequel, and it’s Independence Day: Resurgence. Ok. I’ve gotta say I’m not crazy about that. Sequels sometimes have a tendency of adding a word in there that appears and sounds dramatic and full of clout but really means nothing.

Sure, it’s explained in the video that Resurgence refers to the reuniting of earth against a common threat. But that’s essentially what happens in the first film, so what is the new title bringing to the table. It could have extra meaning, maybe it’s referenced as the title of a full scale operation to defeat the aliens but so far there’s no word on that. I’m not saying it’s an awful trailer, just a little flat. Fun fact, you could switch it around to Resurgence: Independence Day and you’d have a new sequel to the Divergent series. Not so much a fun fact as a sad nothing.

Anyway, enough about the title. Let’s have a look at some stills from the set:


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Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

That there is the moon tug, which is referenced in the video as being piloted by Liam Hemsworth‘s character, a hot shot pilot orphaned as a result of the first film’s attack. From the looks of it, humans have taken the alien technology left over from the first invasion and reverse engineered it, which is insanely cool in and of itself.

As for the rest of the characters, we now know that Jeff Golblum, who is reviving his role as David Levinson, is now head of a global initiative that unites earth against the new threat. Whilst Will Smith isn’t coming back, Jesse Usher will play his son who has a lot of his heroic fighter pilot father in him.
Speaking of characters’ children, Maika Monroe will play Bill Pullman‘s daughter, another pilot who works with the president and is a self-assured “badass”.

Bill Pullman is back too, but not as the president. Instead, Sela Ward is now president, taking a far firmer line than her predecessor did; whether that’s a good or a bad thing is up for debate.

Finally, Brent Spiner and Vivica A. Fox are both back, the former seemingly back from the dead as everyone assumed and the latter having moved from stripping to hospital administration.

That’s a lot of information to take in, but what we have is a strong foundation for what could very well be a top film. All they need to do now is finish the film and change the name. Just kidding. But they should.

Michael Keaton to Star and Produce in Comic Adap “Imagine Agents”

Given Michael Keaton‘s swan song to his Batman-ish movie past with his performance in last year’s Birdman, it would be a little odd to discover that the former comic book hero has another comic adaptation in the works right? Well, get ready to feel all kinds of odd, because Keaton’s got another one in the works.

Slashfilm is reporting that Keaton is on board  to produce and star in the big screen adaptation of Imagine Agents, a comic book written by Brian Joines and drawn by artist Bachan. What’s Imagine Agents you ask? It follows an agency that polices and surveys children’s imaginary friends, keeping them in check when necessary.  If you imagine that Men in Black merged with Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends in an amusing amorphous mass, you’d be more or less there. Here’s a description of Imagine Agents from the creators of the series:

“Ever try to wrangle an illiterate, 30-foot tall rock monster away from his 5-year-old best friend? Or calm down a 400 pound muscle-man rag-doll during her daily temper-tantrum? For Dave and Terry, it’s all in a day’s work. As agents for I.M.A.G.I.N.E., they are responsible for keeping your imaginary friends in-line… Little do they know that six-year-old Elliot and his best bear-friend, Furdlgurr, are about to be entangled in a plan to change everything!”

This looks to be a far cry from Keaton’s rubber suit. The actor will be starring as a veteran agent who takes a young recruit under his wing. Michael Sugar from Anonymous Content and Boom! Studios’ Ross Richie are on board to produce, while Stephen Christy and Eli Selden have been brought on as exec producers.

There’s no word as yet on who will be starring opposite Keaton as his eager recruit, but this could be an ideal environment for some new blood, especially with Keaton to carry the star weight.

We all know that non-denominational comic books (not Marvel or DC) don’t have a strong  predictability of success, falling  anywhere between Kick-Ass and RIPD. Hopefully Imagine Agents will fall in the former camp.


Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” – Monday Trailer Madness!

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since Interstellar landed in cinemas and made us all feel like idiots. So how about something a little different but undeniably spacey? Matt Damon had his own little twists and psychological mores to contribute to Nolan’s epic, and now he’s going back for more Ridley Scott‘s The Martian – and we’ve got a trailer.

Scott’s latest scifi and first film since Exodus: Gods and Kings follows Damon as an astronaut on the first manned voyage to Mars who gets left behind and is forced to survive until he can get a distress message back to earth. Why don’t I let Jeff Daniels explain the rest? I should clarify, Daniels stars in the film, he’s not currently writing for us. Here’s the trailer, fresh from YouTube:

Not too shabby. The film, based on Andy Weir‘s novel is definitely something a little bit different, and looks more akin to Castaway than Apollo 13. There’s also a rarity for Scott on this latest project in the form of tongue in cheek humour, with Damon announcing to his log that he’s going to have to “science the shit out of this” in order to survive at least four years on a planet where nothing grows.

Also starring Daniels, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara and Kristen Wiig, The Martian hits theatres on October 2nd. Sound good to you?

Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s “The Stanford Prison Experiment” – Monday Trailer Madness!

There’s been a hefty amount of chatter around the release of The Stanford Prison Experiment ever since we found out it was coming out. How would the film depict real life events? Would the film-makers favour creativity over truth with such a grey spot on academic history? Well it looks like we finally have a chance to find out.

The film that recalls a daring and perhaps misguided experiment at Stanford University in the 1970s that saw test subjects assume the roles of prisoners and guards finally has a trailer. Want to see how it turned out? Course you do. Go on then, here it is courtesy of YouTube:

Well that was a stressful experience. Faithful or not accounts aside, director Kyle Patrick Alvarez has created what looks to be a thoroughly engaging and thought-provoking horror. Not to mention it looks scary as all get out, using mute cinematography and a 70’s discolouration as a tool of bleakness and claustrophobia. Also, who knew Billy Crudup could play mad scientist so well whilst also wearing a bizarre moustache?

At roughly two hours, it will be interesting to see how the film manages to maintain what is clearly a relentless momentum. Set for release July 17th, The Stanford Prison Experiment stars Crudup, Ezra Miller, Olivia Thirlby, Nelsan Ellis, Tye Sheridan and Ki Hong Lee. Will you be participating?