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.

We’re closing in on a whole year of VH‘s Weekly News Round-Up. How exciting. Doesn’t time fly.

It’s been eleven months so far, and as you might expect, a lot of the same topics are still dominating the news cycle. You’ve got your superhero movies, your action flicks, your science-fiction. But this week, we’ve also got some insightful (and potentially controversial) words from acclaimed director Steven Spielberg, as well as a surprise revelation surrounding… the Spice Girls?!

Spielberg slams Netflix

Well, not really.

But he has weighed in on how Netflix’s films should be judged by awards ceremonies and the like. Speaking to ITV News, Spielberg discussed how Netflix could be perceived as a threat to the cinema industry and why Netflix productions shouldn’t be given the same merits as big screen feature films, saying:

“It is a challenge to cinema in the same way that television in the nineteen-fifties pulled people away from movie theatres and everybody stayed home, because it was more fun to stay home and watch a comedy on television in the nineteen-fifties than it was to go out and see a movie. 

Hollywood’s used to that. We are accustomed to being highly competitive with television. The difference today is that a lot of studios would rather just make branded, tent-pole, guaranteed box office hits from their inventory of branded successful movies than take chances on smaller films. Those smaller films that studios used make routinely are now going to Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix. And by the way, the television is greater today than it’s every been in the history of television. There’s better writing, better directing, better performances. Better stories are being told. Television is really thriving with quality and art. But it poses a clear and present danger to film goers.

Fewer and fewer filmmakers are going to struggle to raise money in order to compete in Sundance and possibly get one of the specialty labels to release their films theatrically. And more of them are going to let the [Video on Demand] businesses finance their films, maybe with the promise of a one-week theatrical window to qualify them for awards as a movie. But in fact, once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar. I don’t believe the films that are just given token qualifications in a couple of theaters for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination.”

Interestingly, this happened to coincide with some new regulations put out by the Cannes Film Festival, which included among other things, a ban on selfies on the red carpet and the announcement that VOD films, such as Netflix’s, would no longer be able to compete for their top awards.

But what do you think? Are Netflix films TV movies? Should Netflix films be able to compete for Oscars, Golden Globes and all those other shiny trophies, or are they an exclusive prize for theatre-filling films (bearing in mind that judges for Academy Awards probably make their decisions on films from review-copies they watch at home and not in the cinema)?

Spielberg’s new film Ready Player One is in cinemas March 28th 2018. 


Chris Evans throws nerds into rampant speculation mode

Picture courtesy of Marvel Comics

Speaking with the New York Times, Chris Evans mentioned his plans in regards to his future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, stating “You want to get off the train before they push you off,” and making it evident that the reshoots planned for Avengers 4 will be the last time he plays the part of Captain America.

Of course, ahead of Infinity War, a film that is liable to be more deadly for our heroes than any other Marvel movie, this sent fans off the edge, as they took it as confirmation that Captain America will die in the upcoming Avengers film.

That isn’t necessarily the case, however. Up till now, there have only been a few heroes who have had actors swapped out behind the scenes, namely the Hulk (Edward Norton to Mark Ruffalo) and War Machine (Terrence Howard to Don Cheadle), but at some point, it will inevitably happen again. Roles like Batman and James Bond are known for having a revolving door of actors playing those characters, and the likes of Captain America, Iron Man and Thor are now almost as strongly ingrained in the public consciousness, meaning that Infinity War may be the perfect time for Chris Evans (and the others) to step out and hand the role of Captain America over to another actor.

Another factor to consider is that Chris Evans has previously spoken about leaving before – explaining that he has long wanted to step behind the camera in the role of director, but is still here. There’s no reason that Captain America couldn’t take a break while Evans rejuvenates, and appears in a new string of films, five-ten years down the line.

Also important is the fact that he said he’s choosing to leave before they boot him, which implies that he hasn’t been killed off, but does indeed see Infinity War as a good jumping-off point.

Avoid the next paragraph if you’re not up for some fan speculation. 

But, for the record, I reckon Cap’s totally gonna bite the dust in Infinity War. Probably beaten to death by Thanos, before appearing for a time-travel related send-off in Avengers 4. That probably sounds a bit far-fetched and nonsensical if you’re not a Marvel fan, but hopefully you are and get what I’m saying.

Avengers: Infinity War flies into cinemas on April 26th 2018.


Men in Black casts ‘black female’ lead

Tessa Thompson & Chris Hemsworth / Thor: Ragnarok / Picture courtesy of Marvel Studios

Speaking of Chrises, Evans’ Avengers co-star Chris Hemsworth, Australian hunk and Norse God of Thunder, has found a co-star for his upcoming Men in Black reboot/sequel/requel/sidequel.

A few weeks ago, we learned that the upcoming Men in Black was to be helmed by Fast and Furious director F. Gary Gray, with a script from Matt Holloway and Art Marcum, the writers of Iron Man. The production was reportedly looking to cast a ‘white male, black female and older male’ for a globetrotting ensemble piece, that would be set within the established MiB universe, but without Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones starring.

Now, it’s been confirmed that Ragnarok co-star Tessa Thompson will play the role of ‘black female’ (not really the characters name), reuniting with Hemsworth to remind us of the fun chemistry present in the latest Thor outing.

Now, we just have to wait and see who fills the role of ‘older man’. My vote is that they complete the Ragnarok trifecta and go gunning for Jeff Goldblum. Wouldn’t that be something.

Men in Black shoots into cinemas on June 14th 2019.


Posh and co. prepare to ‘Spice up’ the super-hero genre

In 2012, Marvel made cinematic history by uniting their heroes in The Avengers and creating a bombastic shared universe. In 2016, DC brought together the world’s two biggest heroes in a fight for the ages in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

And now, the superhero cinemascape is about the change again…

The Spice Girls are going to star in their own animated superhero movie.

Following rumours that a reunion tour was on the horizon, Variety has reported that the group have banded together for a film highlighting ‘girl power’, which is currently being shopped around to various production companies. As per Variety:

“All five members of the group have signed off on their likenesses being used for a superhero-themed movie working off of the “girl power” message. Each character will be voiced by a Spice Girl — the group’s members include Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice), Melanie Brown (Scary Spice), Emma Bunton (Baby Spice), Melanie Chisholm (Sporty Spice) and Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice) — and feature a “girl power” unique to that group member that reflects each girl’s personality.”

Huh. Isn’t that something.