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:
– Ben Affleck definitely out as Batman
– Details on James Gunn’s Suicide Squad
– Dune racks up an impressive cast

Read on to find out more!

Ben Affleck is the Batman no more!

Ben Affleck / Batman v Superman / Picture credit: Warner Bros.

The question of whether or not Ben Affleck would return to the role of Batman has lingered in the news cycle for well over a year now. But this week, it’s finally been officially answered. And the answer is exactly what you’d expect.

On Wednesday, new details came out about director Matt Reeves’ (War For the Planet of the Apes) upcoming Batman movie. The initial script is said to be 160 pages long, and with the idea that a page of a screenplay roughly translates to a minute of a movie, we could be seeing a rather lengthy cinematic outing when the caped crusader returns to the big screen. The script is also said to be “a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale.”

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Reeves further explained:

“It’s told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation.

There will be a Rogues Gallery. The casting process will begin shortly. We’re starting to put together our battle plan. I’m doing another pass on the script and we’ll begin some long-lead stuff to start developing conceptual things.”

Later that same day, Deadline broke the news that Reeves’ film will hit cinemas in 2021, and that Ben Affleck won’t be returning. Ben Affleck himself confirmed this as he retweeted their article:

The Batman flies into cinemas on June 25th 2021.


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After The Batman comes The Suicide Squad

Jay Hernandez, Jai Courtney, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Joel Kinnaman & Karen Fukuhara / Suicide Squad (2016) / Picture credit: Warner Bros.

This week, we also found out that The Batman won’t be the only big DC movie hitting cinemas in the summer of 2021, as two months later, The Suicide Squad has also found its release date.

In a similar vein to Reeves’ The Batman, this new Suicide Squad film will also see the property get a bit of an overhaul. Described by The Hollywood Reporter as less of a sequel and more of a relaunch, the film will be written and most likely directed by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) and will have a similar sort of vibe to Gunn’s Guardians movies.

Alongside the new tone, the movie is expected to feature a new direction ‘with a mostly all-new cast of characters and actors’.

This likely means that franchise stars like Will Smith and the ever-popular Margot Robbie will find their characters surrounded by a new team of supervillains and anti-heroes, still under the control, presumably, of Viola Davies’ Amanda Waller, but at this point in time that’s just pure speculation.

Whatever the case, these two announcements show that DC is definitely turning things around, having won back some public faith with the likes of Wonder Woman and Aquaman and building up a solid slate of upcoming movies: David F. Sandberg’s Shazam!, Todd Phillips’ Joker, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984, Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey, Matt Reeves’ The Batman and James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.

The Suicide Squad shoots into cinemas on August 6th 2021.


Denis Villeneuve’s Dune rounds up an impressive cast

Kyle MacLachlan / Dune (1984) / Picture credit: Universal

The fact that Blade Runner 2049 underperformed at the Box Office back in 2017 hasn’t stopped director Denis Villeneuve from forging ahead on his next science-fiction epic, Dune. And this week saw a slew of new casting announcements that have got fans of the franchise very excited.

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Based on the 1965 novel of the same name, this will be the second big screen adaptation of author Frank Herbert’s science-fiction classic. Set on the distant planet of Arrakis, Dune follows the story of Paul Atreides, whose family is given stewardship over the planet – which is home to a coveted spice that enhances mental abilities – and leads to a conflict with the Emperor and other noble houses.

The film will star Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, and feature Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, Rebecca Ferguson and Charlotte Rampling.

This week, even more big names were added to the cast, as Oscar Isaac joined the film as Chalamet’s on-screen father, and Zendaya was cast as Chalamet’s love interest, Chani. Finally, it was revealed that Javier Bardem was in negotiations to join the cast as the leader of Arrakis’ nomadic tribes, the Fremen.

Dune is expected to drop in two parts, with the first part going into production this year.


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