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 past few weeks, bar a certain producer-focused scandal, have been fairly devoid of any real juicy news. Fortunately, things seem to have got back on track this week, and as a result, we’re able to bring you a round-up that covers a wealth of topics. We’ve got superhero news. We’ve got spy movie news. We’ve even got undercover Klansman news, strange as that may sound. So yeah, all in all, not a bad week. But don’t just take my word for it. Read on to find out what’s happening over in Hollywood:
Turns out, the Lethal Weapon crew may not be “Too old for [that] shit”
Earlier this week, Deadline made the bold claim that Danny Glover (aged 71), Mel Gibson (aged 61) and director Richard Donner (aged 87) are talking about making a fifth Lethal Weapon film, despite Glover’s character Murtaugh claiming that at the age of fifty, he was “too old for this shit”. And although the actor would have been 41 in real life at that time, that film still came out thirty years ago, which means that the series would definitely be pushing the boundaries of believability.
Reportedly, the film will be produced by Warner Bros., directed by Donner and written by Channing Gibson, who previously wrote Lethal Weapon 4. That film recieved mixed reviews, and the franchise has since seen the lead characters recast and the story retold in television format. The series is currently on it’s second season, but like it’s feature film predecessor, has also recieved mixed reviews.
The return to the big screen could indicate that the higher ups behind the series don’t have total confidence in it, or more likely, that original film ideas are few and far between in Hollywood, and the older action hero is in at the moment, thanks to Liam Neeson.
Still, despite it’s ups and downs, Lethal Weapon, has, for the most part, been an enduring franchise, and one that proved especially popular back in the eighties. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see if the film comes to fruition and is a success, or if Gibson, Glover and Donner are indeed “Too old for [that] shit”.
Lethal Weapon 5: Too Old For This Shit currently has no release date (or official title).
Adam Driver cast as the white Black Klansman
After graduating from his sketch show Key & Peele to directing his first feature film, Get Out, earlier this year, Jordan Peele has been a much-sought-after name in Hollywood. The film turned a satirical eye towards racism and blended in a healthy dose of horror, which lead to a breakout hit. Seriously, it’s a pretty great film, you should check it out (and read our review).
Since then, Peele has been courted to direct the live-action remake of Akira, and is currently working on a film called The Black Klansman, albeit in a producer role.
The Black Klansman is based around the autobiography of Ron Stallworth, which recounts his time as a detective in Colorado Springs, and how, in 1978 he responded to a recruitment ad for the Ku Klux Klan, in an effort to sabotage the group’s hate-crimes. Stallworth quickly rose through the ranks of the group during his infiltration mission, often gaining important information over the phone, while sending a causian colleague to meetings in his place, on account of him being black.
The film will be directed by Spike Lee, who is co-writting with fellow Chi-Raq writer Kevin Willmott. Like Get Out, the film will be co-produced by Jason Blum (of Blumhouse pictures – The Purge, Insidious, Sinister). Denzel Washington’s son, John David Washington has been tapped to star as Stallworth, and as of this week, we know he will be joined by Star Wars‘ Adam Driver, who will bring his intensity to the role of Stallworth’s colleague Flip. Flip is described as “the best of the Colorado Springs police force. He’s already had many years of experience and is a quick study. He is known on the force for being anti-social, and he’s a perfectionist, critical of others’ mistakes, but brave and dedicated.”
While that description may seem somewhat cliché, from the sounds of the rest of this film, it’ll be one to watch.
While The Black Klansman also has no release date, Adam Driver will next appear in Star Wars: The Last Jedi on December 15th 2017.
Incumbent Blofeld bows out of Bond 25
Spoilers for Spectre, I guess?
But let’s be honest; that film came out two years ago, it wasn’t all that interesting and everyone guessed that Waltz’ character, Franz Oberhauser, was actually renowned Bond villain Blofeld.
Yet, after only one film in the role, Waltz has revealed he won’t be returning for Bond 25. This past week, he told Talky Movie:
“No, I’m sorry. I’m really sad, but that’s the tradition, that there is a new… name. Sorry. I would’ve liked to.”
The reason that this is actually newsworthy is because Bond 25 is set to wrap up Daniel Craig’s run, which, unlike most Bond films, seems to have it’s own narrative – a clear beginning, middle, and as of 2019, we can assume, end. In Spectre, it was revealed that Bond’s adoptive brother (Oberhauser/Blofeld) was secretly the mastermind behind all of Craig-Bond’s adventures; the real villain pulling the strings of each antagonist in the previous films.
Another thing that ties Craig’s Bond film’s together is the stronger sense of continuity in terms of story, character development and the actor’s used. And so, to build the franchise up to a point where we finally have Bond presented with a primary villain, only to discard him after he had slowly been transformed into the iconic villain we know from the old films, seems like a strange move. Sure, poor reception to Spectre probably had something to do with it, but there’s no denying that Waltz is a good actor and could no doubt bring in a memorable performance if given a good script.
The part that has people talking the most, however, is Waltz’ comment about ‘tradition’ and a ‘new name’. He is referring to, of course, the fact that Blofeld has never been played by an actor more than once (with the exception of Anthony Dawson; whose hands and back of head could be seen from the shadows in From Russia With Love and Thunderball, as Eon had yet to cast the role properly). Does this mean that Blofeld will return in Bond 25, but with another actor?
Either Waltz has misspoken, or Eon is really looking to shake things up after Spectre for Daniel Craig’s final Bond outing.
Bond 25 shoots into cinemas on November 8th 2019.
We finally know what will happen when Billy Batson shouts ‘SHAZAM!’
If you’re not into comics, then that title probably made little sense to you, so let me explain.
DC had this superhero called Captain Marvel, the ‘World’s Mightiest Mortal’. Captain Marvel was a kid called Billy Batson, who was given super-powers by a wizard named Shazam. By shouting the wizard’s name (which was also an acronym for the sources of Captain Marvel’s power; Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury), young Batson would be transformed into an adult superhero. In later years, the creation of Marvel Comics’ own ‘Captain Marvel’ lead to a change in title for the comic-book adventures of Billy Batson, and in 2011, the character was officially renamed ‘Shazam’ (the Wizard’s name was also changed, in case you were wondering).
Anyway, a Shazam! film has been in development for some time now. David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) was announced as the director, with Dwayne Johnson having been attached to the filmto star as Shazam’s enemy ‘Black Adam’ (an anti-hero with similar powers to Shazam). While The Rock is still set to play the character of Black Adam, it’s since been revealed that he will instead feature in his own film, rather than face off against Shazam in Shazam!
With Johnson off the project for the time being, fans turned their attention to who would be playing the titular hero. The general assumption was that someone would be cast whose physicality would resemble that of Johnson’s. John Cena and Armie Hammer’s names were thrown around for a bit.
But now we know that Warner Bros. have landed on… Zachary Levi..?
Yeah, that’s right; Chuck (or Fandral, if you’re a Thor fan) is going to be playing a superhero with enough power to take on Superman himself. Sounds like Levi’s going to be hitting the gym a lot going forward.