Happy Sunday, Shockya readers! Just before you head off to bed to rest up for the first day of the workweek, why not take a moment to gulp down the best of the best in movie news?
We’ve got quite a few casting updates for some highly anticipated films like the G.I. Joe sequel as well as Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. On the other hand, while those productions push forward, Transformers is coming to a halt, for Shia LaBeouf and Michael Bay at least. Back on the bright side, we’ve got a couple of films that recently received the go-ahead, both of which pack an enormous amount of potential, Doug Liman’s Luna and an American remake of Trollhunter.
And what’s your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet without a rundown of the latest trailers and box office standings? We’ve got the goods on Lucky and Fright Night as well as the digits for this weekend’s big release, J.J. Abrams’ Super 8.
Hold on tight because the Movie News Cheat Sheet begins now!
1. The Rock in G.I. Joe 2: G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra may have been downright rotten with a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, but thanks to a strong $302.5 million haul at the worldwide box office, soon after its summer 2009 release, word got out that a sequel was in the works. With just about a year to go until G.I. Joe 2: Cobra Strikes’ summer 2012 release, Paramount is busy bulking up the cast, most recently, with two newcomers. Dwayne Johnson is currently in talks to play Roadblock, an ex-boxer and chef, who trades in his utensils for some heavy artillery. Elodie Yung is also inches away from assuming the role of Jinx, Storm Shadow’s cousin and a G.I. Joe ninja. Rumor has it, Channing Tatum is also likely to return. (via Deadline and THR)
2. Doug Liman’s Luna Is Coming, Fast: Not only is Doug Liman’s Luna actually happening, but it’s now on the fast track at Paramount thanks to some financial assistance from David Ellison’s Skydance Pictures and New Regency. The piece, which is about “renegade scientists who build a spaceship from spare parts to steal an energy source from the moon” was originally developed by both Liman and John Hamburg, but has been reworked quite a few times, primarily polished by Simon Kinberg. Liman is all set to direct and produce the film with some help from Kinberg and Alison Shearmur. Liman is in the midst of casting and has already met with Bradley Cooper, Chris Evans and Andrew Garfield. (via Variety)
3. Human Centipede 2 Banned in the UK: And we all thought The Human Centipede (First Sequence) was hard to stomach. Apparently the sequel, The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) , is way worse because it’s officially been banned in the UK by the British Board of Film Classification:
Whereas in the first film the ‘centipede’ idea is presented as a revolting medical experiment, with the focus on whether the victims will be able to escape, this sequel presents the ‘centipede’ idea as the object of the protagonist’s depraved sexual fantasy.
Director Tom Six is not taking this issue lightly and responded to the decision by explaining, “My dear people it is a f****cking MOVIE. It is all fictional. Not real. It is all make-belief. It is art. Give people their own choice to watch it or not.” While I was hesitant to catch the first film due to the intensely horrific visuals, the incredible amount of attention the film received caused curiosity to get the better of me. Thanks to the BBFC hubbub, the same will likely happen with the sequel. (via Empire Online)
4. Kodi Smit-McPhee Joins Hailee Steinfeld in Romeo & Juliet: Now that director Carlo Carlei has one of the hottest young up-and-comers in the lead role for his rendition of Romeo & Juliet, why not add another? No, Haliee Steinfeld doesn’t have her Romeo, but the production did nab a fantastic actor for the role of Benvolio, Romeo’s watchful cousin, The Road and Let Me In’s Kodi Smit-McPhee. Smit-McPhee joins Steinfeld as well as Holly Hunter who’s set to play The Nurse and Ed Westwick who’s on board as Tybalt. It’ll be interesting to see what Carlei opts to do with the role of Romeo. As Steinfeld is just 14, it’d make sense for her Romeo to be of a similar age. Then again, the production also has a Tybalt who looks as thought he can squash Benvolio like a bug. I wouldn’t mind seeing Super 8’s 15-year-old Joel Courtney snag the lead role opposite Steinfeld, but, then again, he also doesn’t look like he’d be able to put up much of a fight against 23-year-old Westwick. (via Variety)
5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reboot:2007’s animated TMNT didn’t get much love from the critics and only served up a mediocre performance at the box office, but apparently, the franchise still has some life left in it because Paramount plans to bring our favorite heroes in a half shell back to the big screen. The studio recruited Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol scribes, Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, to pen a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle script. No, I didn’t love TMNT, but as a hardcore Ninja Turtle fan since I was a kid, all I can say about this is cowabunga, dude! I’m on board. (via Deadline)
6. Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained:We’re primarily used to seeing Leonardo DiCaprio as the dashing hero, but Quentin Tarantino sees something different in him, a villain. DiCaprio is currently in talks to sign on for Tarantino’s next production, Django Unchained, to play Calvin Candie, the evil owner of Candyland, part plantation and part club where women are sex slaves and men compete in death matches. While DiCaprio’s casting isn’t a guarantee, he’s far closer to sealing the deal than anyone else reportedly up for a part in the project. Will Smith is rumored to take the lead role of Django while Christoph Waltz will potentially play his sidekick, a dentist-turned-bounty hunter. And then there’s Samuel L. Jackson who could be DiCaprio’s character’s valet. Idris Elba, Jamie Foxx and Chris Tucker’s names are also in the mix. (via Deadline)
7. Trollhunter Gets An American Remake:Could this be Let the Right One In all over again? Damn, do I hope so. Just a few years after the Swedish film arrived and wowed audiences, Let the Right One In got an American remake and a good one at that. In Trollhunter’s case, word of an American remake comes just days after the film hit theaters and VOD in the states. Chris Columbus snatched up the rights via 1492 Pictures and has teamed up with CJ Entertainment & Media to bring the tale of a group of students who cross paths with a troll hunter stateside. (via Deadline)
8. No More Transformers for Shia LaBeouf and Michael Bay: Just as kids outgrow the Transformers toys, so do Shia LaBeouf and Michael Bay, but with their big screen, CGI counterparts. Regardless of whether or not Transformers: Dark of the Moon wins big at the box office, LaBeouf revealed, “I’m not coming back to do another one.” And LaBeouf isn’t the only one who wants out. The franchise star explained, “I don’t think Mike will either.” While Bay and LaBeouf are pivotal parts of the series, that doesn’t mean Paramount can’t go on without them and LaBeouf knows it. “It still is a hot property, I think, especially coming out of the third one. So I imagine they’ll reboot it at some point with someone else.” According to LaBeouf, at least they’re going out with a bang. “[Dark of the Moon] is the best movie we’ve made, I’m serious.” (via MTV)
9. Trailers: Fright Night & Lucky:There are two sides to the new Fright Night trailer, the one with the power to make hardcore fans jump for joy over the return of their favorite characters and then the side that’ll crush their hopes and dreams as the remake seemingly stripped Tom Holland’s original of all its honesty and heart to make room for flashy costumes, modern pop culture references and Las Vegas. As for the trailer for the comedy Lucky, while the film has an interesting premise, the trailer presents it in a rather loose and somewhat confusing fashion. Personally, what makes this trailer rise above and pack the power to pull me in is Ari Graynor. Perpetually pegged as the best friend or sidekick, Graynor is long overdue for some time in the spotlight.
10. Box Office: Super 8 didn’t earn as much as I hoped, but $37 million isn’t a bad start. Thanks to a $50 million budget, the film will undoubtedly make it into the green in just two weeks. On the other hand, while X-Men: First Class had a bigger opening, thanks to a whopping $160 million budget, it’s still got a ways to go until it makes it all back (on the domestic front, at least). First Class lost 54.6% of its week one haul to come in with $25 million this time around. Even with a 41% fall, The Hangover Part II secured the third position with $18.5 million. As for Kung Fu Panda 2, it continues to close the gap, now trailing The Hangover by just $2 million in week three. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides finds itself in the fifth position this time around, but only by a hair. Thanks to Bridesmaids’ incredibly slow decline, On Stranger Tides’ 39.6% week four fall only put it ahead of the comedy by a mere $700,000. (via Box Office Mojo)
By Perri Nemiroff