Get ready because we’ve got a number of high profile projects making some big moves this week.
Not only are the top choices for the “Fantastic Four” reboot finally here, but we’ve also got a Kyle Reese for the new “Terminator” movie, too. On top of that, we’ve got some fresh projects coming into the mix that are well worth keeping an eye on. Even though “Space Jam” first hit back in the mid-90s, plans for a sequel are first getting underway now, and then we’ve Jennifer Aniston eying the “Mean Girls”-esque project, “Mean Moms,” while Will Smith considers adopting a super power for the book-to-film adaptation of “Brilliance.”
Ready for all of that, the latest on “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the hunt for a director for “Doctor Strange” and more? It’s all coming at you in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. “Space Jam” Sequel in the Works: Sure, “Space Jam” took over $230 million worldwide, but that was 17 years ago. However, that’s not stopping Dick Ebersol’s sons from developing a sequel to the 1996 live-action/animated, basketball/Looney Tunes hybrid with LeBron James taking over for Michael Jordan and assuming the lead role. Willie Ebersol penned the script and Charlie Ebersol will take it from there, producing the piece through his production company, The Company. (via Deadline)
2. Jennifer Aniston Eying “Mean Moms:” Following in the footsteps of “Mean Girls,” which is based on Rosalind Wiseman’s “Queen Bees and Wannabes,” New Line is making plans to bring the next generation to screen using another Wiseman advice book, “Queen Bee Moms and King Pin Dads.” As reported by The Wrap, New Line has Jennifer Aniston in early talks to lead the film “Mean Moms,” which is being described as an adult-themed comedy in the spirit of “Mean Girls.” Should Aniston officially board the project, she’ll step in as a mother of two who relocates from a small town to the wealthy suburbs where she must go head-to-head with what Wiseman dubs, Queen Bee Moms.
3. “Fantastic Four” Cast Revealed: After an exhausting run in the rumor mill, the top picks for Josh Trank’s “The Fantastic Four” are finally here! As reported by The Wrap, the line-up will likely include Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch), Kate Mara as Sue Storm (aka the Invisible Woman), Miles Teller as Reed Richards (aka Mr. Fantastic) and Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm (aka The Thing). Everything isn’t locked just yet, but The Wrap breaks it down by explaining Jordan is all set, Mara is in final negotiations, Bell is in heavy discussions and then Teller is the top choice for Mr. Fantastic, but there are scheduling concerns because the shoot for the “Divergent” sequel is expected to conflict. The outlet notes that the chemistry between the foursome is a top priority and if Trank has to move on to another Mr. Fantastic option, there is a chance that The Thing could be recast as well.
4. Jai Courtney is Kyle Reese: There was talk of Nicholas Hoult, Garrett Hedlund, Wilson Bethel, Tom Cocquerel, Boyd Holbrook, Sam Reid and Jai Courtney, then it was just Holbrook and Courtney, and now just one remains; according to Variety, Courtney will play Kyle Reese in the new “Terminator” movie. No plot details have surfaced just yet, but running through the line-up does offer some perspective. In addition to Courtney, Arnold Schwarzenegger will step in front of the lens to reprise his role, Jason Clarke will portray John Connor and Emilia Clarke will take on the role of a young Sarah Connor. The plan is for this movie to be the first of a stand-alone trilogy.
5. Toy Fair 2014: Even though I’ve never collected action figures, an intense appreciation for all things Mondo and Vinylmation made covering my very first Toy Fair easy to adapt to, and quite exciting, too. Again, as someone who hasn’t touched an action figure since her youth, the precision and detail that goes into creating current collectibles is absolutely outstanding. NECA in particular had an impressive display for “Alien” that was as close to big screen accurate as they come. But while all the figures were astonishing to look at, it was the Funko selection that I wished I could walk off with. The company unveiled a slew of new items including Wacky Wobblers for “The Walking Dead” and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” as well as POP! figures for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” and so many more. Lego came ready to impress as well, unveiling a brand new “Lego Movie” set, Metal Beard’s ship, the Sea Cow, the new “Ghostbusters” Ecto-1 set and the house from “The Simpsons,” which is screen accurate both inside and out. Hasbro hit it quite big as well thanks to incoming blockbusters like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” and also showed off a rather extensive set-up for the new Star Wars Command Line, which is designed to bring back the good old days of playing war with those little green army men. I better start making some room because after roaming the aisles of the Javits Center for Toy Fair, there’s a good chance I’ll kick off another collection very soon.
6. Marvel on the Hunt for a Director for “Doctor Strange:” As reported by THR, Marvel has begun its search for a director for “Doctor Strange” and has honed in on four options – Mark Andrews (“Brave”), Nikolaj Arcel (“A Royal Affair”), Dean Israelite (“Welcome to Yesterday”) and Jonathan Levine (“Warm Bodies”). Marvel is also looking at Jon Aibel and Glenn Berger (“Kung Fu Panda) to pen the script because the studio is hoping to recruit both a writer and director now so that they can develop the property together. Doctor Strange first popped up in 1963’s “Strange Tales” No. 110. After his hands are devastatingly damaged in a car accident, the neurosurgeon is left with just one last option for treatment, traveling to Tibet to be healed by the Ancient One. When Doctor Strange saves the Ancient One from his own student, Baron Mordo, he becomes the Ancient One’s disciple himself and learns the magical arts. No release date has been announced just yet, but Marvel did snatch up May 6, 2016, July 8, 2016 and May 5, 2017, so perhaps “Doctor Strange” will claim one of those spots.
7. Will Smith Could Take “Brilliance:” Will Smith is honing in on a new project, an adaptation of the sci-fi novel, “Brilliance,” for Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures. Marcus Sakey’s book focuses on a group of exceptional humans called “brilliants.” Should Smith commit, he’ll plan one of those brilliants, Federal Agent Nick Cooper. Whereas a young girl in Wyoming is busy divulging peoples’ darkest secrets depending on how they folds their arms and a man in New York takes in $300 billion courtesy of his ability to sense patters in the stock market, Cooper’s heightened skill makes him adept at hunting terrorists. (via The Wrap)
8. “Guardians of the Galaxy” Trailer: After an endless amount of talk and hype, our first look at James Gun’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” has finally arrived and it doesn’t just live up to expectations, it demolishes them. The first trailer is loaded with striking visuals, all boasting exceptional shot composition and bold color palettes, but the standout component is that tone. We’ve always known “Guardians” would wind up being a little goofier than some of the other Marvel properties and while that has been cause for concern, this promo proves that it works. Check out the full trailer for yourself here and also be sure to catch the “Meet the Guardians of the Galaxy” videos as well. We’ve got one for Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord, one for Zoe Saldana’s Gamora, Dave Bautista’s Drax, Groot voiced by Vin Diesel and one for Rocket Raccoon that offers up a sampling of Bradley Cooper’s voice work for the character.
9. Trailers: “The Sacrament,” “Mistaken for Strangers,” “Anchorman 2:” Thanks to “The Innkeepers” and “The House of the Devil,” Ti West has come to be known as the master of the slow build, but considering the proportion of calm versus carnage in the first trailer for “The Sacrament,” it looks as though the blood could start to flow well before the third act blowout. It isn’t often that a trailer for a documentary makes its way into this portion of the Movie News Cheat Sheet, but the new one for “Mistaken for Strangers” deserves to be seen because even if you have a tendency to shy away from the format like me, the humor, charm and heart fueling this depiction of the relationship between The National frontman, Matt Berninger, and his brother, Tom, will strike a chord and leave you eager for more. And hopefully you want more “Anchorman 2,” too, because you’re getting it no matter what. As the film’s new trailer explains over and over again, the “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues: Super-Sized R-Rated” version will hit theaters for one week only beginning February 28th and show off a whopping 763 new jokes.
10. Box Office: “The Lego Movie” hit it big right from day one, but its February 7th debut is proving to be an absolutely genius starting point as far as the movie’s longevity is concerned. It opened with a whopping $69 million and has only slipped the slightest bit ever since. It dropped just 36.9% making the move from weekend two to three, letting it pull in another $31.5 million and snag the #1 spot yet again with ease. Likely contributing to “Lego’s” big profits is the fact that both “3 Days to Kill” and “Pompeii” got off the slow starts. “3 Days to Kill” came in at #2 with just $12.3 million and “Pompeii” took #3 with $10 million, but only one of the two could be in big trouble. Whereas “3 Days to Kill” will likely make it into the green courtesy of its modest $28 million production budget, “Pompeii” cost a whopping $100 million to make, making the film a significant loss for the production companies involved. “Robocop” is proving to be quite the disappointment as well. After opening at #3 with just $21.7 million, it suffered a 56.6% hit, leaving it with less than $10 million for weekend two, but managing to keep ahead of “The Monuments Men” which held on to a little more than half its profits for an $8.1 million weekend three total, good enough for the #5 spot. (via Box Office Mojo)