Doux News Bi-Monthly Roundup: July 15, 2018

That's right, I'm back!
Scarlett will not own a massage parlor, Joaquin’s hair goes green, Neill Blomkamp turns to another 80’s franchise, Tarantino casts everyone, Whedon returns, A Doctor smiles and more!

Scarlett Johansson has stepped away from a drama titled Rub and Tug where she was set to play Dante ‘Tex’ Gill, a massage parlor owner who built up a crime empire in the 1970’s. He was also a transsexual man. Her reasons for stepping away are partially because of outcries from various Trans groups and prominent members of the LGBTQ community who were not thrilled with her casting. This type of casting is a very common issue in Hollywood which regularly gives actors roles that should go to a different race or gender (namely adaptations and biographies). Specifically, several prominent Trans roles have gone to cisgendered actors, while Trans men and women are almost universally typecast as trans characters exclusively.

There have been rumors of a stand alone Joker movie for months now, with Joaquin Phoenix being a favorite for the role. Now it’s official. Filming will begin this fall with Phoenix in the titular role. It is being budgeted for $55 million and directed by Todd Phillips who is best known for the Hangover trilogy. Not much is known yet about the project except that it will be a gritty character piece or crime drama, and possibly a cautionary tale. I honestly have no idea how they will make a Joker film without Batman to balance him out. While Batman works as a protagonist in any number of stories, the Joker existing without Batman feels off somehow. I am curious if this will actually get made, or if it will languish in production hell for a couple years before it is cancelled. It does sound more like Scarface than a Batman property, so we’ll see.

A couple of years ago Neill Blomkamp did an interview where he excitedly told us that he had been working for years on a alternate version of Alien 3, that would ignore everything that happened after the first two films. It would star Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn as Ripley and Hicks and a grown up version of Newt. Unfortunately Ridley Scott, obsessed with his Prometheus prequel nonsense, initially delayed the project, and then effectively cancelled it. It was very disappointing, since it seemed to be a dream reboot for a franchise I used to love. Well, now Blomkamp has switched focus and signed onto another 80’ franchise that has never really been given a proper sequel: Robocop. Again, this new film will act as a direct sequel to the original film starring Peter Weller, ignoring all the various sequels, TV series and the 2014 remake. The director says he was drawn to the project because of how well the original film used satire and ultra violence to tell a story of a man struggling to find his identity again. I truly wish him luck, because in the last thirty years, no one else has managed to crack this franchise.

Quentin Tarantino has just finished casting his newest film titled Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which will take place in LA in the late 60’s following a TV western star named Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Brad Pitt) as they try to make it in a suddenly different Hollywood. He also has a beautiful neighbor; Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), and if you aren’t familiar with that name, well, I hate to break it to you but she had a very sad end. The cast in this is just phenomenal, beyond those three; Burt Reynolds, Kurt Russell, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, and Al Pacino are set to co-star. This film is scheduled to premiere August 9, 2019.

Joss Whedon is a basically a television legend. He created four incredibly good and incredibly original shows (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse), each with their own massive fan base. He went on to direct two of the biggest blockbusters of all time; Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. He was briefly tied to the upcoming DC Extended Universe film Batgirl, and helped finish off the beleaguered Justice League (honestly it would’ve been an even greater mess without him). Now he’s finally coming home, returning to the small screen, and on freaking HBO to boot. Called The Nevers, his new show is to be set in Victorian times, centered on a group of women who develop unusual abilities and might have to save the world. It is an entirely new project, and not an adaption or reboot. He will also be the show runner again, and that makes it even more of an exciting project. I wasn’t sure I would keep my HBO subscription after Game of Thrones ended, but I might just have to now.

While not much more than a teaser, here is the first real glimpse of the 13th doctor.


Bits:

First there was a poster, now here's an absolutely bizarre picture from the upcoming film Glass.

Cate Shortland is now set to direct the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film Black Widow. The film is a long time coming, and it’s awesome we have some real movement on the project. The producers reportedly met with nearly seventy potential directors before settling on Shortland whose credits are mainly indie films and television.

Chris Hardwick has been (at least temporarily) replaced on Talking Dead by Yvette Nicole Brown, who is a superfan of The Walking Dead and a frequent guest on Talking Dead. This is amid allegations of sexual abuse from Hardwick’s former girlfriend Chloe Dykstra.

The entire cast is returning for the upcoming sequel to 2009’s Zombieland: Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin. Rumors of the film have been circulating for years, but scheduling the four stars has been difficult. No real information yet on plot (beyond a basic idea of the quartet fighting zombies that have somehow evolved since the first film), with a tentative January filming start and an October 2019 release date.

Films released in the last two weeks:

Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6, 2018) - Sequel to Ant-Man and part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.This sequel finds our hero finishing out a two year house arrest sentence after the events of Captain America: Civil War.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (July 13, 2018) - Third installment in the popular animated series. This time Count Dracula and his friends and family go on a summer cruise. I have never seen any installment in this series, but I've heard the first one was good.

Skyscraper (July 13, 2018) - One part Die Hard rip off, one part The Towering Inferno. This action film starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson looks so derivative it's painful, but at the same time it seems from the reviews that it's mostly just mindless fun.

Two weeks until my next post, during which time Comic Con will have come and gone. I wonder what my next article will be about?

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

6 comments:

Nick said...

Does anyone else remember this:
https://nerdist.com/joss-whedon-twist-comic-book-comic-con/

What ever happen to it, and doesn't it sound incredibly similar?

Michal Dvorak said...

In other news, HBO is now fucked.

Billie Doux said...

Michal, that was my reaction to the HBO news, too. Everyone wants to be Netflix. Not everyone can be Netflix.

Michal Dvorak said...

I really don't get AT&T's thinking here. "We need a media company to produce lots of ephemeral content - let's buy HBO!" That's like saying "We need a company to produce a lot of cheap cars - let's buy Rolls-Royce!"
Mind-boggling.

Billie Doux said...

Michal, you made me snort-laugh. Let's buy Rolls-Royce!

J.D. Balthazar said...

That article about AT&T's ideas for HBO is pure nonsense. It's clear they have no idea what they bought, and their concept for the network is not only ignorant, it's the kind of mindless corporate thinking that gets company's in serious trouble. When you have a network with that big a prophet margin, that makes critical success after critical success, you nudge them to make more of that content... not twenty minute Youtube dramas. Sure, make periphery content that could work like that. But they cannot alter what they already have. To do so would ruin the HBO brand. Sigh.