Hello and welcome to VultureHound‘s weekly news round-up, where we bring you the biggest and best news to come out of the film industry every Sunday.

The Joker madness continues this week, but fortunately, it’s only taking up one spot in our weekly round-up, as today we also look at new reveals from Hellboy, an ‘anti-American Sniper‘ movie and my most anticipated movie of the year, Blade Runner 2049.

It just looks so pretty.

But we’ll get to that later. First up:

No smiles from Jared Leto about Warner’s Joker plans

Jared Leto / Suicide Squad / Picture courtesy of Warner Bros.

The madness that was Warner Bros. various Joker spin-off plans from last week continues to unfurl. Sources close to The Hollywood Reporter reveal that, contrary to the belief that the Joker origin movie was looking to cast a young actor as the Joker, the studio is actually looking to snag Leonardo DiCaprio for the lead role.

As previously reported, the film will be directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover) and produced by Hollywood superstar Martin Scorsese. The addition of Scorsese, is, apparently, a cunning attempt to woo DiCaprio into working on the film. So far, no offer has been made to DiCaprio and despite every film news outlet under the sun reporting on Scorsese’s addition to the crew, apparently his role as producer is not yet finalised.

When you look at it like that, this all seems a bit preposterous; rampant speculation and nothing more, you might think. However, considering Warner Bros. handling of their DC properties since Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy ended, these things aren’t really that far out of the realm of possibility.

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However, no matter how valid this news may be, it’s reporting has reached the ears of current Joker Jared Leto, who is none too pleased with the idea of several Joker’s running about, and has voiced his concerns to his agents at CAA (Creative Artists Agency), and as a result, a rival agency, WME, is using those concerns to woo him over to their side, much like Warner Bros. wish to use Scorsese to woo DiCaprio.

The DCEU returns to cinemas with Justice League November 17th 2017


Ed Skrein turns from Deadpool villain to anti-whitewashing hero

Ed Skrein / Picture courtesy of Tim P. Whitby

Whitewashing is, understandably, a topic floating around Hollywood that’s certain to get people across the globe real riled up, and recently, there has been a lot of backlash in the Sci-Fi/Superhero genres for that very reason.

There was backlash when Tilda Swinton was cast as the Ancient One in Doctor Strange. There was even more backlash when Scarlett Johansson was cast as Major in Ghost in the Shell. More recently, there was backlash when Ed Skrein was cast in the upcoming Hellboy reboot as Benjamin Daimo; a former U.S. Marine of ‘Mixed Asian heritage’, who returns from the dead and joins the B.R.P.D.; an agency which combats supernatural threats, and is also the workplace of the titular Hellboy.

With yet another Asian character being given to a white actor, things went south quickly after news of Skrein’s casting. But in an effort to show what a true gentleman he is, Skrein has turned down the role (and the undoubtedly large paycheck that went with it) in order for the production to cast an actor true to the characters origins, explaining his thoughts in the following tweet:

Good on you, Ed.

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The Hellboy reboot is expected to drop some time next year


Iraqi Sniper takes shots at Clint Eastwood and Chris Kyle

Bradley Cooper / American Sniper / Picture courtesy of Warner Bros.

A few years ago, actor Bradley Cooper teamed with director Clint Eastwood to make this little flick, American Sniper; you may have heard of it. With a budget of $58 million, the film went on to gross $547.1 million. So y’know, it did pretty well.

The film also generally received pretty positive reviews, but for all the praise, there was some backlash, with some critics and audiences noting the negative portrayal of the Iraqi people and the fairly black-and-white view of the Iraq war in general.

Now, years later, in response, an Egyptian producer named Amr Salama is making a film which he describes as “the anti-American Sniper“. The film has a working title of Iraqi Sniper and will follow Chris Kyle’s (the eponymous American Sniper) story from the perspective of his Iraqi adversary, Mustafa.

Salama explains that the film will be “anti-war” and is fueled by his hatred of Kyle and his desire to paint a more nuanced picture of the conflict. The film will be co-produced by fellow Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy and directed by Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad, whose new film, The Mountain Between Us, starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, will premiere at Toronto International Film Festival later this year.

American Sniper is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital Download now


Dennis Villeneuve shares the Blade Runner love with the first prequel short

Picture courtesy of Warner Bros.

The final bit of news today is less news, and more of an update for anyone who is as similarly excited for the upcoming Blade Runner 2049 as I am.

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Ahead of the film, director Denis Villeneuve has revealed that he has brought in some friends of his to direct little shorts that fill the gaps between the original Blade Runner (set in the far-off world of 2019) and the new film.

The first short is directed by Luke Scott, and is titled Nexus. It stars Benedict Wong (of Doctor Strange fame) and Jared Leto, and introduces us to Leto’s character, Niander Wallace’s new line of replicants. Check it out below:

And just for good measure, here’s the trailer again…

…to keep you going until next week’s weekly round-up. See you then!

Blade Runner 2049 flies into cinemas October 6th 2017