Benedict Cumberbatch Knows HOW TO STOP TIME

Benedict Cumberbatch doesn’t slow down. He keeps adding projects to his already demanding schedule that includes movies and television. So what does he do next? Add another one which includes both acting and executive producing, of course. He will star in the film adaptation of Matt Haig’s How To Stop Time.

Described as “a wildly imagined love story that spans centuries and continents,” the story is about Tom Hazard (Cumberbatch) who appears to be a 41-year-old man, however due to a rare condition, is really over 400-years-old. To avoid detection, he constantly has to change identities and settles as a history teacher in London.

StudioCanal will be fully financing the film and distribute in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. Adam Ackland produce with Jamie Byng, CEO of Canongate Books, joining Cumberbatch executive producing under his production company, SunnyMarch. No word yet on who will pen the script; however, Haig does have screenwriting experience from StudioCanal’s 2014 hit, Paddington.

Canongate Books will publish Haig’s book in July. The best-selling author is known for his children’s’ books Shadow Forest and The Girl Who Saved Christmas, which was published in late 2016 and was the sequel to his hit A Boy Called Christmas. StudioCanal and Blueprint Pictures has already acquired the screen rights to that series and a feature adaptation is in development. How To Stop Time is his first adult book in a while.

In a statement, Haig stated, “The prospect of Benedict Cumberbatch playing Tom Hazard is a hugely exciting one and I could not be happier about working with Adam and Jamie, and to be reunited with StudioCanal.”

StudioCanal’s UK CEO Danny Perkins added, “We are delighted to be continuing our successful relationship with Matt Haig as well as build upon our long-running and dynamic partnership with SunnyMarch, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Adam Ackland. This compelling novel will make for a powerful film that falls in line with SudioCanal’s ongoing commitment to British talent, storytelling, and production. We look forward to bringing it to audiences around the world.

Cumberbatch next play Dr. Stephen Strange in the upcoming Marvel films Thor: Ragnarok and is currently filming both Avengers: Infinity War and The Current War where he is portraying Thomas Edison. Past projects include Sherlock and Star Trek Into Darkness.

 




SciFi4Chicks Dives Into HIDDEN FIGURES and STEM

[All images courtesy Hidden Figures Facebook page]

The Oscar-nominated movie Hidden Figures highlighted previously unknown contributions of African-American women to America’s space program and spurred discussion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers for women today. SciFi4Chicks digs into both on our March podcast.

The women of the West Computing Wing – human “computers” of NASA’s early days.

Our discussion ranges from the  multiple challenges faced and overcome by the pioneering African-American women of NASA to the work done today to inspire young women to pursue STEM careers. Mindy and Ann also reflect on their own histories with STEM subjects.

Listen in and tell us your stories and experiences in the worlds of STEM!

AND check out Teresa Wickersham’s SciFi4Me review of Hidden Figures.

 




Netflix Acquires Aaron Burns’ Horror MADRE

Netflix acquired the global streaming rights Aaron Burns’ psychological thriller, Madre. This creepy horror flick is the second project for Burns as a feature director.

The story follows Diana Prieto, a four-month pregnant mother of a severely autistic boy, who is overwhelm due to her husband’s constant work travel which leaves her alone. She hires a gifted Filipino care giver to help her. While her son’s behavior begins to quickly improve under Luz’s supervision, Diana starts to fear that he’s only being taught to speak Filipino and that Luz is using the language barrier and voodoo to turn her son into something sinister.

Chilean actress Daniela Ramírez (La Poseída, Los Archivos del Cardenal) stars as Diana, Aida Jabolin as Luz, and Matías Bassi as Diana’s son. Burns directs from his own original screenplay.

Madre is produced by Nicolás Lopez and Miguel Aseniso Llamas. It is also the first feature film for Purgatorio, a new genre production label within Sobras International Pictures which will focus on horror content for mainstream audiences “using the best of the extensive and rich Latin American folklore.”

The deal was struck prior to Madre‘s debut at SXSW this year. Burns’ Blacktino also premiered at SXSW in 2011. He has appeared in Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno and Keanu Reeves’ Knock, Knock and worked on visual effects for Grindhouse and Machete.

In an interview with Larry Heath from The Iris, Burns discussed his approach to writing a horror film:

In order to enter into the genre and be honest about it I had to come at it from a position of what scares me. In order to make something creepy for other people I had to see what scares me so that I could do it honestly and do it to its fullest.

When asked about his career plans now that he has added directing to his resume, Burns replied:

I have no plans to stop working crew. I dig working crew, I love it. I love working with my people and shooting movies, being camera operator, and just like always being up on the latest trends in tech, and all kinds of stuff like that…At the same time, I really do like directing. Anytime that a project comes about, and in this case it was Miguel and Lopez always making fun of me for being like oh, you’re a fake director, you keep on saying I’m such a great writer, blah blah blah, oh, where’s your script, when are you going to do your next movie, and they ribbed me for like a year and a half. I’m just like man, you guys are jerks, man.

Netflix will stream Madre exclusively by the end of 2017.

Check out the trailer below, if you do not have a phobia of bugs and/or ears…

https://youtu.be/SHpobhRLilI




OKJA To Have Limited Theatrical Release From Netflix

Earlier this month, we had the news that Korean director Bong Joon-Ho’s next project, Okja, would have a June release on Netflix. Now the streaming service has announced that it will have a limited theatrical release.

Details are slim. What is known is that it will be released in South Korea with Next Entertainment World distributing the film. It will also be released in the US; however, there is no word yet on who will partner with Netflix or how expansive the release will be.

When Netflix invested $50 million into this international production, there was a positive reaction in many film circles. However, some did express the desire to see the film from Joon-Ho on the big screen. He has rightly earned a reputation for creating off-the-wall, imaginative, and challenging genre films. He tends to blend family-related themes with sociopolitical metaphors to create unique and quirky films. His previous projects include The Host and Snowpiercer, which has been ordered to a pilot at TNT.

The film stars Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhall, Lily Collins, Steven Yeun, and Paul Dano. It follows a girl who befriends a strange creature and fights to save it from a powerful, multinational company. Brad Pitt’s Plan B produces.

As excited as some are for the theatrical release of Okja, some do question what Netflix has to gain from this move. By having their projects only released on the streaming network, it has the potential to draw in more subscribers. Why would a subscriber want to pay again to see it in the theater? Perhaps Netflix is testing out the idea of using the box office to draw in more subscribers while picking up extra cash on the side while gaining some extra credibility in the theatrical release market for future projects.

Whatever their secret is, the important part is that the audience will be able to enjoy Okja on multiple platforms.

https://youtu.be/E-wBI7Mh6H4




Renewal Madness: Did Your Favorites Survive?

It’s that time of year for some of our favorite past-times: March Madness, spring training, NFL draft, and show renewal time. So far, this is what we know.

The CW has picked up freshman show Riverdale for a second season. The moody, murder-mystery take featuring Archie Comics characters’ renewal comes after only six episodes into the first season. To make this sweeter, the announcement comes one week after it was revealed that Netflix would air the CW show’s entire season starting a week after the finale.

Described as a mix between Twin Peaks and Gossip Girl, Riverdale has received mixed reviews from critics, ranging from “confusing” to “addictive.” The series follows the adventures of Archie, Veronica, Betty, and Jughead, offering plenty of mystery and drama both in and out of school. Added to the show are bits of humor expected from the original comics. While the show is not considered canon, there are enough moments peppered into the show to tickle the fan’s taste buds.

The show was created by Archie Comics’ chief creative officer, Robert Aguirre-Sacasa. It stars K.J. Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse, Madelaine Petsch, Luke Perry, Marisol Nichols, and Madchen Amick.

Expanding into a thirteen episode third season is the space-based Syfy channel series The Expanse. The show has received an overwhelming positive response from both viewers and critics with its complex characters, political intrigue, attention to scientific authenticity, and amazing visual effects.

The series is set 200 years in the future and follows Captain James Holden and the crew of the spaceship Rocinate as they navigate the conflicts among the populations of Earth, Mars, and the asteroid belt. The solar system is constantly in turmoil and no one has all the information about the true forces that might threaten them all.

The first season of the show debuted in 2015 with ten episodes. The authors of The Expanse series, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (collaborating under the pen name James S.A. Corey), are very involved with the show’s production, which helps keep the complexity of the show in line with the books.

The Expanse stars Steven Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Dominique Tipper, Cas Anvar, Wes Chatham and Frankie Adams. Naren Shankar executive produces with Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby who also serve as showrunners.

Even though the seventh season of Once Upon A Time has not officially been announced, four of the cast members are in negotiations to continue living in Storybrooke. OUAT bosses Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis have previously stated they do not see season six as the end, but possibly hitting a reset button, which gives them an opportunity to expand the shows stories.

Original series stars of the ABC fantasy-drama Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan), Lana Parrilla (Regina Mills), and Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold), along with season two addition, Colin O’Donoghue (Captain Hook), are in negotiations. There is no word on Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming), Jared Gilmore (Henry Mills), and Emilie de Ravin (Belle); however, it doesn’t mean they will not return.

The OUAT bosses have recruted Andrew J. West (The Walking Dead) and Alison Fernandez (Jane the Virgin) to play pivotal roles for the season six finale. According to TV Line, if the show is renewed, they would return as series regulars.

Listed below are other SciFi4Me favorites returning next year:




Fox Has THE DARKEST MINDS

20th Century Fox is throwing its hat into the young adult series game. Casting for the adaptation of Alexandra Bracken’s series, The Darkest Minds, is complete and filming is slated to begin this month.

The series is described as a combination of superhero conventions with coming-of-age tones. When Ruby awoke on her 10th birthday, she woke to find she had changed, possibly for the worse. Whatever the change was scared her parents enough to lock her in the garage and call the authorities, who sent her to Thurmond, a brutal “rehabilitation camp” run by the government. She may have survived a mysterious disease that killed most of the children in America, but something worse has happened to those who lived: frightening abilities they are unable to control.

Now Ruby is 16 and considered one of the dangerous ones. She escapes the camp to find the only safe haven for kids like her. In her journey, she joins a group of other kids who have also escaped. Once they arrive to their destination, they find it is not what they expected. Ruby finds that she may have to make decisions that could mean giving up a life she wants.

Currently there are four books: The Darkest Minds (2012), Never Fade (2013), In The Afterlight (2014), and Through the Dark (2015). According to reviews, part of the uniqueness of the story is the willingness to face some of the darker elements characters have to face, most specifically the anxiety that develops within the community when the children begin to experience the supernatural abilities. Family members turn on each other, fearing what could happen to them if they keep the kids around rather than the well-being of their offspring.

The cast includes:

  • Amandla Stenberg as Ruby. Best known for her memorable role as Rue in the first Hunger Games movie, she also appeared in the drama As You Are, which received the special jury prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
  • Harris Dickinson plays Liam, the leader of the group of other escaped children. His last project was Beach Rats, but also has directed and written several shorts.
  • Mandy Moore recently earned a Golden Globe nomination for her work on This Is Us. She will play an altruistic doctor at Ruby’s camp, crusading against the government’s persecution but may also have ulterior motives.
  • Patrick Gibson, whose breakout role was in the Netflix series The OA as a troubled teen. He also had roles in the miniseries Passing Bells and The Tudors.
  • Skylan Brooks, who portrayed Ra-Ra in the Netflix Original Series The Get Down and starred with Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams in Southpaw.
  • Miya Cech in her first feature role, having recently been in both American Housewife and American Horror Story: Roanoke.

The Darkest Minds is filming in Atlanta Georgia. Helming the project is Jennifer Yuh Nelson. This will be her live-action directing debut after hits Kung Fu Panda 2 and Kung Fu Panda 3, and the HBO animated adaptation series of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn. The script is written by Wayward Pines’ Chad Hodge and will be produced by Shawn Levy and his 21 Laps Entertainment.

 




Todd McFarlane Teases A Darker SPAWN

Twenty years ago, Todd McFarlane’s comic series Spawn was adapted in 1997 as a film that was not very well received. Written by Alan B. McElroy and directed by Mark A.Z. Dippe, the movie starred Michael Jai White, John Leguizamo, and Martin Sheen, who agreed to be in the picture because he wanted to be in a superhero movie.

Since then, McFarlane has been very open about wanting to reboot the franchise, given that Spawn 2 went into development hell shortly after being announced in 1998. Now, with Stan Lee’s support, McFarlane shed some light on where his project now sits during a panel at Emerald City Comic Con.

GeekNation’s Clare Kramer, moderating the panel, asked about the possibility of seeing a Spawn movie. His response is that he hopes to have a big announcement for a new film by the time San Diego Comic Con opens in July. He continued on with his vision for the movie, especially now that there’s a new trend of R-rated superhero films.

Listen, I’m going to paint it for you. The movie is going to be a dark R. If here’s PG-13 and here’s Deadpool and here’s Logan, we’re going to be here. It’s going to be dark. It’s going to be nasty. I’ve already talked to Stan, and he’s going for it.

And speaking of Mr. Cameo, McFarland also has a vision for how Lee can appear in the film:

Stan Lee is in this building, and it’s a rundown building, and you kick open the door, you catch him by surprise, and he’s dressed in a wife-beater shirt. He hasn’t shaved for four days. He’s got a beer in one hand, and he’s got a big stogie in the other hand. That’s just the set-up. He always looks nice in his movies – I just want to do that crusty old curmudgeon. Basically, what his wife sees in the morning when he wakes up. The real Stan Lee. I want you to come into that movie and really act. I want you to just be nasty. It’d be awesome.

Of course, Lee is all for appearing in movies, as long as it’s a minor bit. He states, “I don’t get roles that are too big in movies, because everyone is afraid I’ll get mistaken for Clark Gable.”

Spawn was created in 1992 by McFarlane after his split from Marvel Comics. It’s the story of Albert “Al” Simmons, a Black Ops soldier whose soul is sent to Hell after he’s killed in the line of duty. There, he makes a deal with a malevolent being called Malebolgia. For a price, he is promised the opportunity to see his wife and child one more time. He returns to Earth as a hideously disfigured being, finding that five years have passed and his wife has moved on with another man. He mistakenly thinks this is the price he had to pay, but soon finds that per his contract with Malebolgia, he has become a Hellspawn, a weapon for Hell.

Columbia Pictures was the first production company to approach McFarlane about a live action movie, but he said no, feeling they wouldn’t give him enough control over the project. He finally sold the rights to New Line Cinema’s Michael DeLuca, who promised him a dark gritty film that was true to the comic. However, the final project ended up with too much cheap humor and genre clichés.

Since then, McFarlane has not given up hope for a new film. In the early 2000’s, he did have some legal issues over Spawn trademarks and characters. But that didn’t stop him. In 2011, McFarlane gave a little update about the story, saying that “in this new version, there are no super-villains, archenemies or any of that. It’s just a spook movie, something scary going bump in the night.”

Now it appears he has a game plan and he wants to stay in charge. Last year in an interview with ComicBook.com, McFarlane stressed he wanted to direct his vision, but he knows that Hollywood will not simply hand over $100 million to a first-time director. He simply wants $10 million “make a little horror movie and see if we can scare some people.”

And maybe he will.

Based on the comments at Emerald City Comic Con, it looks like he may have a big (small budgeted) announcement this year at San Diego. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

 




Legendary Artist Bernie Wrightson Passes Away

Bernie Wrightson’s wife, Liz, sadly announced the passing of the legendary comic artist on his official website, stating he had lost his battle with brain cancer on March 18, 2017. He was 69.

Wrightson, who announced his retirement this past January due to disease, was best known for his work on horror comics and being the co-creator of DC Comics iconic horror hero Swamp Thing with writer Len Wein. Throughout his career, he worked with both DC and Marvel, drawing characters such as Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange.

Born in 1948, he was raised reading EC horror comics. At 18, Wrightson began working at The Baltimore Sun as an illustrator and after meeting artist Frank Frazetta at a comic-book convention in New York City, decided to create and illustrate his own stories. In 1968, he presented his work to DC Comics editor Dick Giordano and was given his first freelance assignment.

His first professional comic book story, The Man Who Murdered Himself, appeared in House of Mystery No 179. After that, he became the “go-to” illustrator for both horror and mystery anthology comics at DC.

In 1971, he and Wein co-created Swamp Thing for DC Comics, which also became the first DC film outside of Superman: The Movie. He continued to work with DC until 1974, when he left to work for Warren Publishing, creating black and white adaptations of tales by H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe. He also formed The Studio, with fellow artists Jeff Jones, Michael Kaluta, and Barry Windsor-Smith, to pursue work outside of comic books.

Wrightson began his relationship with horror king Stephen King in 1983, when he collaborated on the comic book adaptation of the horror film Creepshow. Other adaptations include Cycle of the Werewolf, The Stand, and Wolves of the Calla, the fifth book of the Dark Tower series.

He also worked as a conceptual artist on another of film, which include the original Ghostbusters, Galaxy Quest, Serenity, and Land of the Dead.

Friends have taken to social media, remembering the legend.

https://twitter.com/joss/status/843341293065457665

https://twitter.com/neilhimself/status/843385245529489413

He is survived by his wife, two sons, and a stepson.

 




IT Makes An Impression At SXSW

Who doesn’t enjoy a good clown show? Especially the fun dancing type who are out to murder children? Apparently, Stephen King. This year Warner Bros. is releasing It: Part One – The Losers’ Club, the first of two movies based on King’s 1986 novel It. And if recent reports are any indication, director Andres Muschiette’s version will make the 1990 miniseries seem like a kid’s show.

Originally the studio wanted to make It a single film; however, producer Dan Lin announced it would be split into two shows, one following the group of children known as The Losers’ Club in the 1980’s and the second revisiting the group as adults as they return to finish It off. Muschiettie wanted to expand the story, adding plots and scenes that didn’t appear in either the book or the miniseries but still using the town of Derry. He wanted to tap into the dread he felt watching the miniseries and take the story in a new direction. He states:

My first instinct was to basically be true to my own emotional experience with the book. I read it when I was a kid, so it was all about me trying to hit the core and the heart of the story, and the characters, too. I don’t want to spoil the plot, but you will notice that the story swerves into different directions. The arc of the Losers’ Club is a bit wider in range, and you will notice there are things that happen to them in this movie that weren’t in the book or in the 1990 miniseries. So, I think it’ll be a refreshing experience for fans, and a terrifying one, too

The story follows a group of outsider kids who call themselves The Losers’ Club in Derry, Maine. They join together to hunt down a shape-shifting child-killer they call It, who emerges every 30 years for a killing spree. It changes its appearance to prey on the fears and phobias of the victim. Its most regular guise is Pennywise, The Dancing Clown. When It kills Georgie Denbrough, it prompts his brother Bill to gather his friends for revenge.

This time around Swedish actor Bill Skarsgard is playing Pennywise, with a cast of Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, and Finn Wolfhard as The Losers Club.

Not only did Muschietti want to expand on the It universe, he also wanted to have Skargard’s Pennywise stand separate from Tim Curry’s portrayal from the miniseries. His clown was a cartoonish nightmare who needed some good dental work. Skarsgard’s has a more sinister edge, marked by piercing yellow eyes and contorted movements.

The new-look Pennywise from the new-look It, getting a first sneak peek at SXSW

Wanting to keep Pennywise’s secrets, Muschietti has kept very quiet about the character, even to the young cast. This proved to be very effective. They did not think they would be afraid of their co-star, however, “The day that he showed up on the stage, they f—ing freak out” said Muschietti. “Bill is like, seven-foot high, and I can’t describe how scary he looks in person. He’s a wiry man, crouching, making sounds, snotting, drooling, speaking in Swedish sometimes. Terrifying.”

Now after nearly seven years in production due to numerous rewrites, re-castings, and a change in directors, Muschietti debuted a teaser at the South By South West film festival this week. The trailer is not available online but horror website Bloody Disgusting gave a report from the event:

The trailer opens with footage of Bill Denbrough making a paper boat for his little brother Georgie. We then move outside, where Georgie is chasing his boat in a rainstorm as it floats next to the curb.

Suddenly, Georgie runs right into a street barrier, which knocks him down on the ground. He then watches as his boat sails into a gutter. He runs to the gutter and tries to see if he can see his boat.

Then we are shown the members of the Loser’s Club meeting each other and realizing that they’ve all been seeing the same entity, before one of them finally says ‘The Clown.’

Once that happens, the teaser then moves into its centre-piece, which shows the members of the Loser’s Club looking at pictures on a carousel slide projector that suddenly acquires a life of its own and begins moving through the slides at an increasingly alarming speed.

The pictures are of Georgie and his parents, and each slide zooms in on Georgie’s face before cutting to his mother, whose hair is covering her face.

As the projector moves from slide to slide, the hair moves out of his mother’s face, and her face is revealed to be that of Pennywise himself.

The teaser ends with Bill walking down into his flooded basement, where Georgie’s ghost taunts him by repeatedly screaming… before Pennywise rises from the water and rushes at him in a moment that had the entire audience screaming.

Not only is this promising, but the fact that King himself has given the film his stamp of approval must make the team feel good about their project. Especially since in the past he has been critical with projects, like The Shining and Dreamcatcher.

https://twitter.com/StephenKing/status/839233720280309761

The first It movie will be released on September 8, 2017.




PHOENIX FORGOTTEN Teases On The 20th Anniversary Of The Phoenix Lights

On March 13th, 1997, three teens disappeared in Phoenix, Arizona after an unprecedented and inexplicable phenomenon known as “The Phoenix Lights.” Twenty years later, an unseen video from their expedition has surfaced and Cinelou Films is releasing it, titled Phoenix Forgotten, in theaters for audiences to join in the search for answers to what happen that night.

The film is produced by the team behind The Martian and 300: Wes Ball, T.S. Nowlin, Ridley Scott, Mark Canton, and Courtney Solomon. This will be Justin Barber’s feature directorial debut, which he co-wrote with Nowlin.

Actors Florence Hartigan, Chelsea Lopez, Justin Matthews, Luke Spencer Roberts, Cyd Strittmatter, and Jeanine Jackson star.

On that fateful night, there were reports of two different incidents from hundreds of people in the Phoenix area. The first was a triangular formation of lights that moved across the city from the Northwest to the Southwest. Those who witnessed this said it was on huge V-shaped ship, the size of several football fields, producing no sounds except something similar to rushing wind, and it had five spherical lights leading to the edges. The second incident was a series of stationary lights that simply hovered. This was claimed by the United States Air force later as a training exercise, flares that were dropped by am A-10 Warhog aircraft.

Phoenix Lights

The film follows the investigation of a documentary filmmaker and the younger sister of one of the missing teens. Using the newly found footage and other documentation of the night, they try to figure out what happened that night when the three kids disappeared in the desert, investigating the UFO sighting and discovering some alien horrors.

Nowlin wanted the movie to have an authentic feel, what really could have happened with this unsolved case. He also stated they researched as many real-life accounts as they could, looking for people who witnessed the lights.

The crew behind the new movie PHOENIX FORGOTTEN recreated the “Phoenix Lights” UFO phenomenon at South by Southwest on March 13, 2017. Courtesy Cinelou Films

They debuted the teaser trailer at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Austin, Texas this past week, which is the twentieth anniversary of the disappearance. Drones were used to recreate the sudden appearance of the lights in the night sky.

Phoenix Forgotten will be released April 21, 2017.

Watch the teaser and tell us what you think!

https://youtu.be/w_CybW-Ym90




Colin Trevorrow Teases The Mystery Of JURASSIC WORLD 2

Filming has begun for Jurassic World 2 and the cast and crew have decided to tease fans with posts on social media, leaving them to wonder what to expect with this next installment of the popular dinosaur franchise.

Returning for more dino fun is Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, reprising their roles as Owen Grady and Claire Dearing. Joining them is B.D. Wong, Toby Jones, Rafe Spall, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, and Ted Levine. Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly wrote the script. Director J.A. Bayona recently announced legendary actress Geraldine Chaplin had joined the cast, but did not reveal any details of her role in the film.

This is not too much of a surprise since specific details of the movie have been kept secret. The most that has been released is a new photo from Trevorrow. It shows a picture of young girl with her back to the camera in what appears to be a dimly lit room in a museum with seven dinosaur skeletons.

https://twitter.com/FilmBayona/status/839571479670980609

Since there were no girls of this age in the first Jurassic World, one can only speculate who she may be. The daughter of Owen and Claire? The child of Lex or Tim from the original Jurassic Park, which would link the old and new films of the franchise? Or could it be a flashback to Claire as a child visiting Hammond’s place at a young age, which might explain how she decided to work at Jurassic World.

Or in a fun turn of events, maybe it is a sign that the movie is going to move onto the mainland, similar to Steven Spielberg’s The Lost World, when a T-Rex was loose in the streets of San Diego. The room in the picture does resemble the New York American Natural History Museum. Dinosaurs take Manhattan?

Trevorrow has stated that this movie would not be the normal “chasing people on an island. That’ll get old real fast.” Plus, Bayona said that he was “surprised when [Trevorrow] pitched the story because it leads the story to a place that we’ve never seen before.”

There has also been the rumor that this sequel will deal with animal rights, serving as a parable for the way we treat animals in the real world. Now that the actual amusement park is shut down, what happens to the creatures? Will people fight to preserve them and attempt some sort of rescue? Or will the government try to bomb the island and wipe them out or maybe use them for military purposes? There was a logline that was recently revealed for Jurassic World 2 that leans toward that theory, stating, “The adventures at the Jurassic World resort and theme park continue as the government has trained dinosaurs to carry weapons and use them for battle purposes.”

The final rumor has been a volcanic eruption on Isla Nublar that would be the reason for a rescue mission.

All that really is known is that Bayona has said that this film will pay tribute to the franchise but will be “darker and scarier. It is the second step in a trilogy, and the second step is always dark, as in The Empire Strikes Back or the Wrath of Khan, which are the examples you always get.” This film is taking bigger steps that the viewers are not expecting, leaving them shocked.

Jurassic World 2 will premiere in U.S. theaters June 22, 2018.

 




Sci-Fi Drama CLARA Casts Patrick J. Adams and Troian Bellisario

Real life couple Patrick J. Adams (Suits) and Troian Bellisario (Pretty Little Liars) are going to test out their chemistry on screen in the sci-fi drama Clara. The film is written and will be directed by newcomer Akash Sherman. Kristen Hager (Wanted) and Ennis Esmer (Miss Sloane) will join the couple. Mark Musselman and Anant Singh from Serendipity Point Films’ will executive produce with Ari Lantos producing.

 
The story follows Issac Bruno (Adams) who is an astronomer obsessed with looking for extra terrestrial life beyond Earth even though his personal life is collapsing around him. He takes on an unqualified yet spirited young research assistant named Clara (Bellisario) who restores his balance and perspective. Together, their research leads them to a shocking yet profound scientific discovery.

According to Sherman, who started working on this when he was a freshman in film school, we have “entered a new era of science fiction storytelling whereby scientific accuracy and plausibility have superseded pure fantasy as the convention which audiences have come to expect from the genre [and the film] aims to deliver on these elevated expectations, while telling a distinctly human and emotional story of self-discovery and love which we can all relate to.”

Lantos expressed his excitement to work with “such a gifted and sophisticated young filmmaker.” He has been working with Sherman for the last three years on the project and is excited to see the “one paragraph idea…come to fruition” when its finally in theaters.

Adams is currently on USA Networks’ Suits and recently finished filming the comedy Room for Rent. Previous rolls include the NBC miniseries Rosemary’s Baby and the Canadian sci-fi thriller series, Orphan Black.

Bellisario is best known as Spencer Hastings in Pretty Little Liars. She has also had roles in Suits and Sister Cities with Jackie Weaver.

Filming has started this month in Toronto. No word yet on when Clara will be released.

 




Will The Real Robin Hood Please Stand Up?

Do not wander into Sherwood Forest anytime soon. You may be trapped by Robin Hood…or seven. It seems Hollywood wants to join his band of merry men. However, so far it seems only two will make it to the big screen. Let’s take a look.

First up is Lionsgate’s Robin Hood: Origins, a gritty retelling of the outlaw’s beginnings. Taron Egerton plays Robin of Locksley, who has returned home from The Crusades to find his beloved Sherwood Forest is now a den of corruption. He forms his band of merry outlaws to take back his home.

Joining Egerton is Jaime Doran (Fifty Shades of Grey) as Will Scarlett, Eve Hewson (Bridge of Spies) as Maid Marian, Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) as Little John, Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One) as The Sheriff of Nottingham, and Tim Minchin (Californication) as Friar Tuck.

The script is by Joby Harold, who also wrote King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and it will be directed by Otto Bathurs (Peaky Blinders, Black Mirror). Leonardo DiCaprio is producing with his Appian Way partner Jennifer Davisson with Safe House’s Harold, Tory Tunnell, and Basil Iwanyk.

Egerton stated the difference between this version of Robin Hood versus the past films saying,

Robin Hood has a reputation for being quite clean and wholesome, aside from Alan Rickman’s amazing performance in the Kevin Costner version, but it’s tights and thigh-slapping and merry men. This is really kind of dark and gritty and very funny too, but it’s a real revisionist version of the story. There’s no singing and riding through the glen in this: it’s a real war movie. Quite an anti-establishment war movie, I would say. And Robin’s not perfect in it, either, which is what I like about it. He’s not a classic hero, he makes mistakes.

Foxx agreed, stating:

Those other Robin Hoods don’t mean s—. Our Robin Hood, it’s on. We’re battling, gonna drop the same day. What’s different about ours? It’s just a grittier take. With Otto [Bathurst] directing, it’s just a grittier take. It’s not like in the Sherwood Forest, tights and all that. It’s not like that. It’s grittier, a more real version, if that makes sense. But no disrespect to anyone else’s Robin Hood.

Filming has begun in Dubrovnik, Croatia and the film is set for a March 23, 2018 release.

The next version of Robin Hood isn’t really about him. It’s about her: Marian. Recently Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad) was cast in the lead role of the Sony film.

Written by a relative unknown Pete Barry (Focus), this “serious and truly gritty” story follows the love interest of Robin after she watches his assassination and decides to pick up where he left of, leading her people to war, deciding the fate of her kingdom.

The script was at the center of a heated bidding war, which Sony won. It will be produced by Donald De Line (The Italian Job) and Amy Pascal (Ghostbusters) with Rock Shaink joining from Romark Entertainment. No director has been confirmed yet.

No official release date has been provide except sometime in 2018 after the Robin Hood: Origins.

Now on to the potential films.

Currently in pre-production is Robin Hood 2058. Originally with Warner Bros., who decided to move forward with another Robin Hood movie, the project is moving forward with Gianni Nunari’s Hollywood Gang Productions (300, Immortals). British writer Tony Lee has placed the Merry Men in a futuristic dystopian London and follows “a rogue MI5 agent on a mission to avenge injustice.” Regardless of the change of time and scenery, Lee has revealed he plans on staying faithful to the original source material. His past work does include a Robin Hood-themed graphic novel for young adults called Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood.

Acclaimed visual effects supervisor Hasraf Dulull (The Dark Knight) has joined to direct and they are planning to start filming sometime this year.

Instead of a dystopian Sherwood Forest, it seems Warner Bros. decided to quietly jump into a Robin Hood project written by Aquaman and Gangster Squad writer Will Beall. Dan Lin (The Lego Movie, Sherlock Holmes) and John Zaozirny (Castle) are producing.

They are keeping details to the project secret; however, when asked if the project will actually go into development, Beall simply states, “I don’t know…but we got a script that I think is really cool and has real potential. I don’t know what the appetite in the marketplace for a Robin Hood movie is. All that s—’s above my pay grade.”

Sony Pictures purchased their Robin Hood story from writers Cory Goodman (The Last Witch Hunter) and Jeremy Lott (Lore) with Adam Goldworld from Aperture executive producing after a heated bidding war with Paramount and Working Title Films.

Described as a having the tone of a high-action Fast & Furious meets Mission: Impossible style, their plan is to create a Marvel-style shared universe. After the first film, they intend to launch the franchise with several different movies that focus on each of Robin Hood’s band of merry men.

It has been rumored that Jerry Bruckheimer has come on to also produce.

To have a little more fun, DreamWorks spent seven figures to acquire not so much the unfinished script from Brad Ingelsby (Out of the Furnace), but more for the idea, called Merry Men. Neal Moritz (Fast Five) will produce with Scott Waugh (Act of Valor) directing.

This version would focus more on Robin Hood’s support group as an ensemble piece. It would be a high-concept revenge story that would be like placing The Dirty Dozen or Ocean’s Eleven into Sherwood Forest.

Since there is no finished product, there is no date for production to start.

Finally, Disney has stepped into the game with their own new version of Robin Hood titled Nottingham & Hood. Little is known about the script written by first time writer, Brandon Barker. However it is said to be a “revisionist” story and thematically similar to Pirates of the Caribbean. Disney is hoping to launch a new adventure franchise with it.

There is no production information on this since it appears Disney has quietly shelved the project.

What do you think about all the possibilities for Robin Hood in the future? Do any of them sound good? Let us know!

 




New Line Enters The Horrific World Of Oz

The flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz were scary as a child. They wanted to kidnap Dorothy. However, what if they wanted to kill her instead? Or the Munchkins were not really that excited about the fact that she killed the wicked Witch of the East and Glinda had something else up her sleeve?

New Line Cinema has decided it’s time to put a dark spin on what is behind the curtain. The Warner Bros. owned studio has acquired a horror pitch from Black List screenwriter Mike Van Waes. The unnamed project is reportedly in the early development stages and connected to the 1900 L. Frank Baum novel, and first in a series of 14 books, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. There is also a rumor it will also have ties to the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz, staring Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale. Since no specific story details have been revealed, it is uncertain if any of the characters from the book will appear or if the plot will simply take place in Oz.

The original movie followed Dorothy as she was “transported” to Oz by a tornado, killing the Wicked Witch of the East in Munchkin City. She then travels to the City of Oz to find a way back home to Kansas, befriending a Scarecrow, Tin-Man, and Lion while avoiding the Wicked Witch of the West.

The movie was a huge hit at the box office, spawning several more reboots and different adaptations. Others include The Wiz (1978) with Michael Jackson and Diana Ross and Oz The Great and Powerful (2013) with Mila Kunis and James Franco. In 2016, NBC debuted the show Emerald City, which uses lore from all the novels in the series. [You can read recaps here.]

The first book was also turned into a Broadway musical in 1902 and, in more recent years, the musical Wicked opened in 2003 is still currently enjoying a popular run.

New Line already has their fingers in the horror genre, producing the Conjuring films, which have been hits at the box office. In August they will releases the highly anticipated sequel Annabelle 2 and in October, an adaptation of Stephen King’s killer clown book, It.

No dates have been provided for when production will begin, or an anticipated release date.

 




Netflix Orders Korean Zombie Brains For A KINGDOM

It seems that zombies are ready to take over the world today. But, how about in the past? And in Korea? Of course! Brains have existed for quite some time now and Netflix wants to bring those zombies to life. The streaming network has picked up their second Korean original television series, Kingdom.

Kim Seong-hun will direct the zombie period piece. His film, Tunnel, earned nearly $50 million at the Korean box office last year. Kim Eun-hee (Signal) will write the eight-episode series. Korean production company Astory will produce.

Kingdom will be set in Korea’s medieval Joseon period (1392-1910). The crown prince discovers a brutal truth that threatens the kingdom when sent on a suicide mission, investigating a mysterious outbreak.

Blending the popularity of costume dramas in Korea and the booming zombie genre is almost a guaranteed hit, especially since two of 2016’s highest-grossing films, Train to Busan and The Wailing, featured the undead.

Eun-hee states, “I have been working on Kingdom since 2011. I wanted to write a story that reflects the fears and anxiety of modern times but explored through the lens of a romantic fascination of the historical Joseon period. Working with Netflix helps us to unlock this creative vision for Kingdom and I am excited to further build this unique story with the director for whom I have tremendous respect.”

Erik Barmack, vice president of International Originals at Netflix, shares Eun-hee’s enthusiasm. “Kingdom captured our imaginations from the moment we read the script with its visual feast of historical drama blended with supernatural fantasy. We are incredibly honored by this rare opportunity of pairing two premier creative minds in Korea- film director Kim Seong-hun and television writer Kim Eun-hee.”

This is the second original series from Korea that Netflix has signed on to this year, following the romance Love Alarm.

Kingdom will premiere exclusively on Netflix to its members in 190 countries in 2018.