Welcome back to the VH Weekly News Round-Up. As we come to the end of May and a week that had a few days hotter than any British person is prepared to deal with, we take a look at five of the most important bits of news to come out of the film industry.
Heartbreaking revelations and juicy secrets abound as this week looks at comic book related properties, video-game adaptations and some revelations courtesy of a LEGO leak of all places.
DCEU loses several directors
While there are some die-hard fans of Man of Steel, Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad and early reactions to Wonder Woman seem very positive, there is still a lot of uncertainty in the DC Extended Universe’s future.
After The Batman lost its director in Ben Affleck and The Flash has lost two directors, Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa and failing to secure writing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller (whose script was later discarded so that Joby Harold could rewrite the film), the DCEU has lost two further directors in the past week.
Doug Liman, despite just recently saying that he had an ‘amazing’ take on his upcoming Justice League Dark, recently dropped out of the film due to a scheduling conflict, making him the second director to leave the project after former director Guillermo del Toro.
Even more unfortunate is that Zach Snyder and his wife, producer Deborah Snyder, have had to leave Justice League after a family tragedy in March, when Snyder’s daughter committed suicide. Joss Whedon has taken over directing duties for the remainder of post-production and reshoots.
Justice League flies into cinemas November 17th 2017.
Universal Monsters assemble in the Dark Universe
News that Universal studios has been planning to create a shared universe franchise out of its monster movies is no secret. The plan was that their new shared universe would begin with Dracula Untold, but the film’s poor performance lead to Universal downplaying the film and building up The Mummy as their new starting point.
Now, further details have been announced; the series will be called Dark Universe, and will continue with Bride of Frankenstein, which will star Javier Bardem as Frankenstein’s monster. On top of that, Johnny Depp has been cast as the Invisible Man, giving us four definite monster stars, including Russell Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll/Mr Hyde and Sofia Boutella’s Mummy.
To hammer it down, Universal even released a teaser that harkens back to their original Universal Monsters franchise that ran from the 1920s to the 1960s:
After Bride of Frankenstein, we’ll be seeing new adaptations of Creature From the Black Lagoon in 2019 and Depp’s Invisible Man in 2020. Van Helsing and The Wolfman have also been announced, but not yet dated.
The Mummy breaks into cinemas June 9th 2017.
After last weeks announcement that Tom Hardy would be starring in the Spider-Man spin-off Venom, another film in Sony’s Marvel Universe has begun to make some headway.
The female-lead spin-off starring the thieving Black Cat and the mercenary Silver Sable has received the title of Silver and Black. Gina Prince-Bythewood is in talks to direct the film, and rewrite the script by Thor: Ragnarok writer Chris Yost.
Things are still unclear as to how exactly this new cinematic universe will work, especially as it seems that it will be unconnected to Tom Holland’s Spider-Man who is featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This, so far, seems especially strange, as Silver Sable isn’t the most well known of Spider-Man’s supporting cast, and Black Cat has previously been one of Spider-Man’s primary love-interests. We can only hope that the rumour that Holland’s Spider-Man will depart the MCU after his second solo film don’t prove to be true, so we’re not forced to witness yet another Spider-Man recasting.
The first film in Sony’s Marvel Universe, Venom, lands in cinemas October 5th 2018.
Tom Holland heads into Uncharted territory
Another bit of Spider-Man related news dropped this week, as Spider-Man himself, Tom Holland, was announced to have been cast as Nathaniel Drake; the central character in the Uncharted video-game series. This came as a surprise to many, especially after previous talk of Mark Wahlberg starring as the character.
However, after seeing the most recent cut of Homecoming, Sony’s head honcho, Tom Rothman, made the decision to build a second franchise around the young British actor. The films will follow Drake’s progression in the years before he became the charismatic adventurer seen in the video-games.
The film will be directed by Shawn Levy, once the R-Rated script by Joe Carnahan has been rewritten to suit the film’s now youthful protagonist.
Holland’s next film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, swings into cinemas July 7th 2017.
LEGO leak is ‘Making Star Wars‘ rumours come true [SPOILERS]
While many think of LEGO as a favoured toy from their childhood, it can also be a great way to get details on upcoming movies. Ant-Man’s transformation into Giant-Man was pictured in LEGO sets ahead of Captain America: Civil War, while the DC superheroes line gave fans a potential look at the villain, Ares, prior to the release of Wonder Woman.
Now, images have appeared online of the upcoming Last Jedi LEGO sets. The images can be seen in a Reddit thread, and, when paired with the rumours and details from the site Making Star Wars, give us confirmation and further hints at a wealth of Last Jedi details, including a better picture of Supreme Leader Snoke’s characterisation.
Last month, Making Star Wars’ Editor-in-Chief Jason Ward wrote a post giving new info on Snoke:
‘Snoke is looking more and more like a new character. I always believed this to be the case but you still have to speculate and ask “what if?” In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Supreme Leader is dressed in black, via hologram, looking like he shops at Palpatine’s old hot spots. The thing is old Snoke wears more outfits than just that boring black robe and in The Last Jedi we get to see him looking very decadent. I think what he wears is probably insightful to his values and concerns as an evil being.
Snoke wears a gold silky robe with a very ornate pattern on it in The Last Jedi. In fact, I think you can pretty much see the robe on page 226 of The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What is also interesting is his slippers are like “jester shoes” or “genie slippers.” They’re also gold because you have to match if you that far in with the gold robe. I think the robe and shoes are lined in red too so he’s stylin’. He has a very “blood and gold” vibe to him.
Another interesting detail is that Snoke wears a fancy ring on his left hand. Remember when I told you guys about those long puppet hands they made for him? Well his hands are decrepit and his pinky is sort of shriveling inward. But that doesn’t stop him from wearing a ring about the size of a “Ring Pop” if you remember the old candy. However, the stone in the ring is black and it could be a black Kyber Crystal according to the rumors around the ring. There will be more on that side of things later.
I don’t have a lot of details on his throne room but it is opulent. This guy cares about money. Back when he was a good looking young person, he was probably a playboy of sorts. Unlike the Sith, I think wealth means a lot to Supreme Leader Snoke based on his appearance. They based Snoke’s design on a marble aesthetic and I think his throne room has white marble and gold trim.’
Now, while none of this is a definite, the minifigure of Snoke – the first time the character has appeared in the new trilogy’s merchandising – is far more colourful than his appearance in The Force Awakens let on. And, when you take into account the fact that the Snoke details are just one of many Making Star Wars theories that this LEGO leak has confirmed, all the signs are pointing to their accumulated information being on the money.