There’s a lot of talking going on, but few projects making legitimate moves and confirming new talent.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson is currently the top choice for Quicksilver in “The Avengers 2” as is Carey Mulligan for the role of Hillary Rodham Clinton in “Rodham,” but there’s still a chance other actors could enter the mix. Mia Wasikowska is in talks to take Emma Stone’s vacated role in “Crimson Peak,” so she’s a step ahead, but she’s yet to sign on the dotted line like Benicio Del Toro who’s officially locked a role in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
You can catch the details on all of those stories as well as the latest on the upcoming “Archie” movie and the future of the “Friday the 13th” franchise in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. Witherspoon & Vergara Take “Don’t Mess with Texas:” I’m calling it early – way early; “Don’t Mess with Texas” will be on my worst of 2015 list. According to Deadline, Universal just snatched up this Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara comedy, which features the pair as a cop and prisoner on the run in Texas who must team up to evade the crooked cops on their tail. Admit it. This one’s got lame commercial nonsense written all over it. Still, apparently there was a “spirited bidding battle” over this thing and Universal now has it on the fast track, heading towards a March 2014 start date.
2. Whedon Wants Aaron Taylor-Johnson for Quicksilver in “The Avengers 2:” It looks as though we’ve got two different Quicksilvers coming our way. Just recently Evan Peters joined the ranks of “X-Men: Days of Future Past” as the hero rocking super speed, but now The Wrap is reporting that it’s not Peters bringing the character into the mix in “Avengers 2,” rather Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Even though he’s only the frontrunner for the role and no decisions have been made just yet, the news does basically confirm that Quicksilver and his twin sister Scarlet Witch will be portrayed by different actors in each movie. It’s been done before, but with “X-Men” and “The Avengers 2” coming just about a year apart, it could make for a particularly jarring switch.
3. Archie Will Face a Teenage Midlife Crisis, Not Zombies: Comic book to film adaptations are one thing and zombie movies are another, but a comic book film adaptation with zombies? It might have been a stretch to begin with, but it’s a bit of a bummer that the upcoming “Archie” film is going the “teenage midlife crisis” route rather than with a zombie apocalypse. The initial report came from Deadline, the outlet claiming that Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is adapting his own “Archie” spinoff, “Afterlife with Archie” in which Archie, Jughead and the gang face zombie apocalypse in suburban New York. However, Variety was quick to set the record straight, reporting that the “Archie” movie will see Archie trying to “find his purpose in life before graduation” – sans zombies.
4. Wasikowska May Replace Stone in “Crimson Peak:” Emma Stone is great and all, but when you’ve got a cast including Jessica Chastain, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Charlie Hunnam, a departure due to a scheduling issue is far from detrimental. Plus, according to The Wrap, Guillermo del Toro is about to replace Stone with another quality talent, Mia Wasikowska. Wasikowska is currently only in talks for Stone’s role in “Crimson Peak,” but should the arrangement go through, she’ll play Edith Cushing, a young newlywed who finds out her husband isn’t who he appears to be.
5. Carey Mulligan Top Choice For Hillary Clinton in “Rodham:” In other Emma Stone news, or non-news, Stone, Scarlett Johansson, and Jessica Chastain all appear to have lost out on the opportunity to portray Hillary Rodham Clinton on the big screen because, as reported by THR, Carey Mulligan is the top choice to lead “Rodham.” The James Ponsoldt-directed film will focus on the former First Lady, New York State Senator and Secretary of State’s earlier years in public service including her experience on the committee involved in President Richard Nixon’s impeachment and the challenge of balancing her career with her relationship with Bill Clinton. Ponsoldt and Mulligan have plans to meet, but the outlet’s source insists that an official decision has yet to be made and other actresses could still come into play.
6. Warner Bros. Traded “Friday the 13th” & “South Park” for “Interstellar:” Paramount and Warner Bros. didn’t just join forces on Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” for the opportunity to push competition aside and play nice. They struck a deal. THR reports that in order to claim half of “Interstellar,” Warner Bros. had to hand over its rights to co-finance the next “Friday the 13th” movie and its slice of the “South Park” movie pie, too. On top of that, the studio also had to give Paramount the OK to co-finance an upcoming high-profile Warner Bros. production, too. The only potential snag in this scenario for Paramount is that these rights are only good for the next five years, so if subsequent films don’t get off the ground by then, this arrangement could be looked at as a Warner Bros. win.
7. Benicio Del Toro Joins “Guardians of the Galaxy:” Glenn Close, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, John C. Reilly, and now Benicio Del Toro, too? How much bigger could Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” get? As reported by Deadline, Del Toro is the latest to join what’s looking more and more like a guaranteed mega blockbuster franchise. Marvel is keeping the details on Del Toro’s role under wraps, but the article does note that his deal did come with options so whoever he is, the chance to appear in subsequent films is there. And on a somewhat unrelated note, just because it’s adorable, check out director James Gunn hanging out with a raccoon on set right here.
8. Denzel Washington for “Shovel Ready:” The idea of Denzel Washington playing an assassin assigned to take out a young girl, but winding up protecting her sounds a little trite, but the world of “Shovel Ready” has a nice little twist to it. As described by Deadline, the narrative plays out “In a bombed-out, near future New York City where most of the population escapes reality by tapping into a digital fantasy world.” It’s still too early to dub this one as a project loaded with potential or a likely bust, but we’ll get a better idea when the book it’s being adapted from by Adam Sternbergh hits the market on January 14, 2014.
9. Trailers: “Runner Runner,” “Insidious: Chapter 2,” “The To Do List:” The first trailer for “Runner Runner” is here and while it doesn’t exactly suggest Justin Timberlake is the ideal leading man, the material seems slick and suspenseful enough to make the feature a worthy watch come September. The first trailer for “Insidious: Chapter 2” falls short as well. There’s loads of appeal for fans of the original courtesy of the thrill of seeing the Lamberts back together, but as far as narrative goes, it’s still unclear whether or not another trip into The Further is necessary. Making this edition of the Trailers section particularly diverse, we wrap up with the second red band trailer for the Aubrey Plaza comedy, “The To Do List.” This one is an ideal promo because if the cast, comedy, heart and 90s flair here strikes a cord, the full feature will be a guaranteed winner.
10. Box Office: What a weekend for “The Purge.” Considering early summer isn’t typically prime time for horror movies, “The Purge” blew away expectations with a $36.4 million weekend one grand total on a stellar $14,345 per theater average. “Fast & Furious 6” held on relatively strong moving into weekend three, dipping just 43.8% and taking another $19.8 million to the bank. “Now You See Me” is stretching its legs as well, retaining 66.4% of its opening profits for another $19.5 million. Considering it had about 800 more theaters than “The Purge” and cost $55 million more to make, “The Internship” proved to be a disappointment, kicking off its run with just $18 million. Even worse, it’ll likely be all downhill from here with “This is the End” already starting to draw away the comedy audiences on Wednesday. Poor “After Earth” plummeted nearly 60% from weekend one to two, leaving the 5th position prime for the taking. It was close, but “Epic” topped “Star Trek Into Darkness” thanks to a mere 27.2% decline, which let it take in another $12.1 million. (via Box Office Mojo)