What’s a week in the film industry without a multitude of superhero movie rumors and shocking announcements?
Not only did news break that a long-time X-Men has been cut out of “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” but we’ve also got the latest on “Avengers: Age of Ultron’s” villain situation, or rather it’s double villain situation. Superheroes not your thing? This week’s Movie News Cheat Sheet has something for you, too. According to Vin Diesel, “Fast and Furious 7” just locked in a new release date and Warner Bros. is busy going after Hugh Jackman for a role in the Peter Pan origin film, “Pan.”
Ready to catch all of that plus loads more? We’ve got a Cheat Sheet packed with prime holiday time party talk right here.
1. No More Rogue in “X-Men: Days of Future Past:” Even though Anna Paquin was part of Bryan Singer’s casting board and did go on to shoot a scene for the film, according to EW, Rogue will no longer make an appearance in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” Singer told the outlet, “Through the editing process, the sequence became extraneous.” He added, “But like many things in the editing process, it was an embarrassment of riches and it was just one of the things that had to go. Unfortunately, it was the one and only sequence Anna Paquin was in, the Rogue character was in.” Of course that must be a big bummer for Paquin, but Singer also explained, “It’s very disappointing, but she’s very professional and she knows that stuff happens, particularly with material you shoot early on in production. Films evolve.” Plus, he also noted that the scene would probably be included on the DVD, so we should eventually get the chance to catch her work. But until then, it’ll be a Rogue-less “X-Men: Days of Future Past” on May 23, 2014.
2. Does “Avengers: Age of Ultron” Have a Second Villain?: It looks as though “Avengers: Age of Ultron” may be going the multi-villain route. As reported by Latino Review, Marvel’s got a character breakdown making the rounds in Hollywood for a “physically imposing man, age range 40-50, Caucasian, for a supporting role.” And the outlet doesn’t stop there. They say that supporting role is Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, one of the leaders of the terrorist organization Hydra. We’ve got to brand this little bit of information with a SPOILER ALERT, but now that you’ve been warned, the site is also purporting that in the film, Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) work for Strucker – END SPOILER ALERT. Latino Review goes on to say that Marvel is eyeing Marton Csokas and Dougray Scott for the role, but that neither has received an offer just yet. It’s important to know that Marvel hasn’t confirmed any of this, but considering the film is heading towards a February start date and then a May 1, 2015 release, more confirmed details could crop up soon.
3. Paul Rudd is Ant-Man: Just the other day, The Wrap broke the news that Paul Rudd will play Ant-Man and just a day later, Marvel sealed the deal, making the official announcement themselves. The studio had this to say about the decision: “The casting of Rudd represents the actor that Marvel had long ago identified as its first choice to play Ant-Man, continuing the studio’s desire to cast actors that bring several dimensions to its onscreen heroes.” The press release points out that plot details are top secret – surprise, surprise – but Rudd will play the Hank Pym version of the hero. He’s a scientist who develops a technology that shrinks him down to bug size and also lets him communicate with them. Production is set to begin early next year in Georgia with Edgar Wright behind the lens. The final feature will make its way into theaters on May 1, 2015.
4. Hugh Jackman May Play Blackbeard in “Pan:” Warner Bros. initially went after Javier Bardem for the role of Blackbeard in Joe Wright’s “Pan,” but now that Bardem passed, it’s on to their second choice. However, in this case, that is by no means a step down because according to Variety, the next in line for the villain role is Hugh Jackman. As an origin film, “Pan” centers on an orphan who’s taken to Neverland and winds up leading the natives into battle against the local pirates. Blackbeard will be the narrative’s primary antagonist while Hook will assume the role of an ally before turning on Pan, a part the studio once considered giving to Ryan Gosling. Warner Bros. is also currently on the hunt for someone to fill the title role as well as a mid-20s actress to play Tiger Lily.
5. Joaquin Phoenix May Snag “Batman vs. Superman” Role: It’s been a while since Joaquin Phoenix has taken on a project with a colossal budget – “Gladiator” being his priciest ever with a production tab of $103 million – but now, according to Variety, he may add one of the biggest releases of 2015 to his list, “Batman vs. Superman.” The outlet claims that Warner Bros. is after Phoenix for an unconfirmed role in the film, but that the likely option would be the main villain and that villain is probably Lex Luthor. They’re only in the very early stages of the process so it is possible negotiations could break down or that Phoenix could simply take a pass on treading into blockbuster territory. Nothing to do now, but wait and see. “Batman vs. Superman” is due in theaters on July 17, 2015.
6. “Fast and Furious 7” Due in April 2015: Since the passing of Paul Walker, there’s been loads of talk about how his untimely death would effect the release of “Fast and Furious 7.” The film was quickly uprooted from its original July 11, 2014 slot and reports poured in regarding where the production could go next – making revisions to the script that would allow them to use what’s already been shot, scrapping the entire thing and starting from scratch and yet another that suggested Walker’s brother, Cody, could take over the role of Brian in the final un-shot scenes of the film. No word on which route director James Wan will take, but what we do know is that the film has a new release date. Not only did Vin Diesel announce that “Fast and Furious 7” will hit theaters on April 10, 2015, but he also posted a photo of him and Walker during the last scene they shot together with this message: “There was a unique sense of completion, of pride we shared… in the film we were now completing… the magic captured… and, in just how far we’ve come…” Check out the full post for yourself right here.
7. Josh Gad to Lead “Gilligan’s Island” for WB: If you’ve caught “Book of Mormon,” “Jobs,” and “Frozen,” it’s quite clear that Josh Gad is a very talented and versatile dude. He deserves a starring vehicle and now he’s got one. As reported by Deadline, Warner Bros. is bringing the 1960s TV series, “Gilligan’s Island,” to the big screen and the studio is putting Gad in the lead. No word on whether that means the Skipper or Gilligan, but one certainly seems more likely than the other. Gad will also co-write the script with Benji Smit and Dan Hernandez based on the original story of a three-hour boat tour that turned into a lengthy stay on a uncharted desert isle when the boat rolls right into a storm and crash lands on the island.
8. Neil Burger Passing on “Divergent” Sequel: Even though Lionsgate is expecting big things from “Divergent,” director Neil Burger is cashing in his chips now and taking off before the sequel, “Insurgent.” According to the official Summit statement, the problem is that Burger will still be finishing up post-production on “Divergent” while “Insurgent” needs to prep and cannot do both at once. As reported by Variety, the search for a new director is on. “Divergent” will hit theaters on March 21, 2014, followed by “Insurgent” on March 20, 2015 and then by the final adaptation of the trilogy, “Allegiant” on March 18, 2016.
9. Trailers: “Transcendence,” “Welcome to Yesterday,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes:” In order for “Transcendence” to work, Wally Pfister is really going to have to make the audience believe and based on the film’s first full trailer, he might actually pull it off. The tone is rock solid and the performances are so on-point that you buy Johnny Depp’s character’s fate as well as the varying perspectives on his situation. “Welcome to Yesterday” isn’t half as layered or thoughtful as “Transcendence,” but as far as point-of-view shaky cam films go, this one could still be smart and different enough to deliver a good time, but also a compelling narrative, too. Last up is “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and it’s worth the wait. The promo is beautifully structured, using the first half of the piece to build the world and the situation before culminating in the ultimate climax – not a quick-cutting montage of action and destruction, but rather a single, lengthy and highly disconcerting shot of Caesar staring you down, making you feel the pressure of his reign.
10. Box Office: It looks like Ron Burgundy isn’t as classy as he used to be. This should have been an easy win for “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” but the film only took $26.8 million to start, letting “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” take #1 even though it dropped 57.3% for a $31.5 million second weekend out. Third place went to “Frozen,” which held exceptionally well, falling just 15.1% for a $19.16 million weekend five total, just beating out “American Hustle” and its $19.1 million haul in its first wide weekend out. “Saving Mr. Banks” also enjoyed a wide expansion this time around and those additional 2,095 theaters helped it secure a 2,154.9% change, which resulted in a $9.3 million grand total. (via Box Office Mojo)