What’s a week without a slew of “Star Wars” and Marvel news to talk about? Not only do we have updates on the status of Marvel’s search for a director for “Ant-Man,” but we’ve also got some major updates on “Doctor Strange,” some big “Star Wars: Episode VII” casting news and more.

Even though “Star Wars” and Marvel absolutely dominate this week’s Movie News Cheat Sheet, a couple of other hot projects did manage to steal some spots. Find out more below:

1. “Ant-Man” Locks a New Director: After losing Edgar Wright last minute and then getting passes from Adam McKay and Rawson Thurber, Marvel has finally locked someone to take on “Ant-Man” – “Bring It On” and “Yes Man” director, Peyton Reed. News of Reed’s hiring also came with a new story synopsis: “Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.” The movie is apparently still on track for its scheduled July 17, 2015 release. (via Marvel.com)

2. Mark Wahlberg & Will Ferrell Could Team Up for “Daddy’s Home:” Four years after the release of “The Other Guys,” Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell could be coming back together. According to Deadline, Paramount has the two in talks to take the lead roles in the Gary Sanchez-produced comedy, “Daddy’s Home.” Sean Anders and John Morris are also in talks to direct with the film expected to go into production in the fall. Should the arrangement pan out, Ferrell will play a “mild-mannered radio executive who strives to become the best stepdad ever to his wife’s two children.” However, when Wahlberg’s “freewheeling, freeloading real father” comes into the picture, Ferrell’s character has to compete with him to win the affection of the kids.

3. “Doctor Strange” Gets Director and Short List: Shortly after Scott Derrickson took to Twitter to announce he’s directing “Doctor Strange,” Deadline got a hold of the short list for the title role and both Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch are on it. There are others in contention, but if they’re all of Hardy and Cumberbatch’s caliber, the film should be in good shape. “Doctor Strange” is still without an official release date, but there has been speculation it could take that July 2016 slot Marvel reserved last summer.

4. Emma Watson and Miles Teller May Take “La La Land:” After hitting it big with “Whiplash” at Sundance in January, Miles Teller and director Damien Chazelle could reunite fast with “La La Land.” According to The Wrap, both Teller and Emma Watson are in early talks to lead the film. Should their deals go through, Watson will play Mia, a lonely aspiring actress while Teller portrays Sebastian, a “cocky yet charismatic jazz pianist.” The two fall in love in Los Angeles, but, “the city that brought them together may tear them apart, as they soon discover that balancing love and art in such a cutthroat climate isn’t easy.”

5. Live-Action “Beauty and the Beast” in the Works: After scoring nearly $70 million opening weekend, it’s no surprise that Disney is quickly moving forward with another fairy-tale adaptation. As reported by Variety, Bill Condon will direct a live-action rendition of “Beauty and the Beast” with Evan Spiliotopoulos writing the script.

6. “Insurgent” Gets Daniel Dae Kim & Naomi Watts: Not that the “Divergent” sequel needs any more star power after Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort demolished the box office this weekend with “The Fault in Our Stars,” but Summit is still loading up the “Insurgent” roster with top talent. According to Variety, Daniel Dae Kim is officially on board as Jack Kang, the leader of Candor, and THR is reporting that Naomi Watts is locked to join the cast too as Evelyn, the leader of the Factionless.

7. Josh Trank to Direct a “Star Wars” Spinoff Film: We’ve got another “Star Wars” spinoff movie director! Just last month we found out Gareth Edwards will take one of the planned “Star Wars” standalone films and now Lucasfilm just announced that “Chronicle” Josh Trank will helm another. Trank stated, “The magic of the Star Wars Universe defined my entire childhood. The opportunity to expand on that experience for future generations is the most incredible dream of all time.”

8. Lupita Nyong’o & Gwendoline Christie Join “Star Wars: Episode VII:” We’ve already got John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker, but Lucasfilm just announced that two more big names are joining the list – Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie. “Star Wars: Episode VII” is currently in production and heading towards a December 18, 2015 release date.

9. Trailers: “Hercules,” “The Giver,” “Step Up All In:” We got not one, but two brand new trailers for Dwayne Johnson’s “Hercules” this week. Both are filled with swords, sandals and enormous muscles, but the international one boasts a far more effective tone and pace. We’ve also got a new trailer for the adaptation of “The Giver” and while it does finally honor the black-and-white concept in the book, the futuristic spin on the source material will undoubtedly throw some for a loop. “Step Up All In” also released its very first full trailer and while it does look like more of the same, the franchise reunion spin makes it particularly appealing.

10. Box Office: “The Fault in Our Stars” didn’t just win the weekend. It absolutely crushed the competition. Even though a young adult cancer romance might not sound like summer blockbuster fare, the film still went on to score $48 million its opening weekend. Thanks to a modest 50.6% drop and a disappointing start for “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Maleficent” managed to hold on to the #2 spot with a $34.3 million weekend two total. “Edge of Tomorrow” didn’t perform poorly per se, but, odds are, Warner Bros. was expecting to take in much more than $28.8 million to start. The fourth spot went to “X-Men: Days of Future Past” which took $15.2 million after suffering a 53.4% hit while “A Million Ways to Die in the West” came in at #5 with $7.3 million after dipping nearly 57%. (via Box Office Mojo)

By Perri Nemiroff

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

By Perri Nemiroff

Film producer and director best known for her work in movies such as FaceTime, Trevor, and The Professor. She has worked as an online movie blogger and reporter for sites such as CinemaBlend.com, ComingSoon.net, Shockya, and MTV's Movies Blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *