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.

This week:
– The smoothest man in the galaxy returns
– Marvel’s favourite super-spy finally finds a director
– Neil Blomkamp snags a classic science-fiction sequel (but it’s not Alien)

“Hello, what have we here?”

Billy Dee Williams & Harrison Ford / The Empire Strikes Back / Picture courtesy of Lucasfilm

After last weeks news that Episode IX had cast Keri Russell, this week followed through with an even bigger casting announcement.

With Kylo Ren arguing that it was time to ‘let the past die’ throughout The Last Jedi, which saw the death of Luke Skywalker, effectively removing the last major player from the original Star Wars (Chewbacca and the droids notwithstanding), many assumed that going forward, the focus would be solely on the new heroes of the franchise.

Clearly, that was the wrong assumption, as The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that fan-favourite character Lando Calrissian will be making his triumphant return in the as of yet untitled Episode IX. Having recently been thrust back into the spotlight after Donald Glover’s portrayal of the character in Solo: A Star Wars Story, there is perhaps no better time for original actor Billy Dee Williams to make his return, especially after Solo dove deeper into Lando’s relationship not just with Han, but also the Millennium Falcon itself. 

As such, while the last episode in the ‘Skywalker Saga’ will indeed be primarily about the new characters at the center of the Sequel Trilogy, they won’t be facing the threat of the First Order alone, as with Lando’s return, the past won’t have completely died out just yet.

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Star Wars: Episode IX flies into cinemas on December 20th 2019.


Black Widow brings in a director

Scarlett Johansson / Iron Man 2 / Picture courtesy of Marvel Studios

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been clamouring for a solo film centered around the Avenger Black Widow for a while now. This past year, their wishes seemed to be fulfilled, as it was revealed that a Widow film was in development.

Now, it is a certainty, as after meeting with over 70 directors, Marvel Studios has landed on Australian director Cate Shortland to helm the picture.

Shortland currently has three feature films under her belt; the romantic drama Sommersault, the Nazi drama Lore and the psychological horror Berlin Syndrome. Still a relatively unknown presence, Shortland managed to beat out other directors such as Amma Asante (A United Kingdom) and Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) thanks to having the backing of the star, Scarlett Johansson, herself, who became a fan of Shortland thanks to her work on the aforementioned Lore.

The film still lacks a release date, but has a script courtesy of Jac Schaeffer, which reportedly explores the character’s life prior to the events of the first Avengers.

Johansson’s Black Widow will next be seen in Avengers 4 (rumoured to be Avengers: End Game)


The world’s best police officer is making a comeback

Picture courtesy of Orion Pictures

There are certain classic science-fiction franchises that are always hovering around the public consciousness and constantly prone to new takes and expansions; TerminatorAlienStar WarsPredatorStar TrekJurassic Park; these ever popular franchises always return in some capacity, no matter how bad a sequel (or prequel) they may possibly recieve. But there’s one franchise that, while moderately populated with films and spin-off media, has yet to truly recapture the public’s imagination the way its peers have.

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But that may be about to change.

This week, Neil Blomkamp, the South African director of the hugely popular District 9 and the man who seems to have spent the last several years having his prospective Alien 5 film rallied for and ultimately dismissed over and over, has now landed on a different classic science-fiction film: RoboCop.

While the franchise did have a brief resurgence in 2014, when the flick was remade with a slicker look, the film seemed to lack the heart (and excessive gore) of its predecessors, as conceptualised by Paul Verhoeven.

Now, in true 2010s fashion, RoboCop is getting a ‘requel’, a film that continues the story from the original 1987 piece, but disregards the other entries to the franchise, in the aptly titled RoboCop Returns. The film already as a script in place from Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner, the writers of the original RoboCop, which is currently being re-written by Justin Rhodes, the writer of the upcoming TerminatorGreen Lantern and Masters of the Universe requels and remakes.

The original RoboCop is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital Download.