Universal is getting ready to start production on the fifth film in their Bourne Identity franchise so that means its time to start hearing about casting decisions. And the first to join the already confirmed Matt Damon is Julia Stiles.
Stiles will be reprising her role of Nicky Parsons, sometime ally of Damon’s Jason Bourne, according to Deadline. She had appeared in the first three Bourne films as a former logistics technician of the rogue CIA black ops program that turned Bourne into an assassin. No word yet if Joan Allan, who also played a major supporting role through a majority of the franchise, will be returning as well. It has already been reported that Jeremy Renner’s character from 2012’s The Bourne Legacy will not be returning for this installment.
Director Paul Greengrass, who crystallized the franchise’s signature visual shakey-cam look starting with his initial work on the series’ second film The Bourne Supremacy (2004), is returning for his third turn behind the cameras. Additionally, he has collaborated with Damon and Christopher Rouse on the screenplay.
The as yet untitled Bourne film will be hitting theaters next summer on July 29, 2016.
Diamonds may be forever, but an actor staying in the role of cinematic superspy James Bond is not. No matter how well they are like by the public and critics, and current Bond Daniel Craig certainly is on both accounts, he will eventually bow out to make room for another actor. So who may take on the role when Craig’s time is over? It seems that some folks are betting they know, and the oddsmakers in London are responding.
This past week has seen bookmakers in London taking a number of wagers on Homeland actor Damien Lewis taking on the role of Bond, so much so that they have adjusted the odds they were offering on the actor. Previously, Lewis had been set at 25/1 of him becoming the seventh 007 but a recent flurry of betting up to £200 per person have had bookmakers William Hill adjusting his odds to 3/1 and Ladbrokes making him a 2/1 favourite. At Betfair, Lewis’s odds have been slashed from 50/1 to 4/1 while Paddy Power have cut the odds from 20/1 to 5/2.
For comparison, William Hill has Idris Elba at 5/2 odds of becoming the next James Bond, followed by Tom Hardy at 4/1, Henry Cavill at 5/1 and Michael Fassbender at 7/1.
Is Lewis a good choice for the role? While I haven’t dipped too much into Homeland, I did enjoy the intensity he brought to his role in the series Life, which ran two seasons on NBC from 2007 to 2009, in which he played a Los Angeles detective recently freed from being wrongfully imprisoned, unraveling the conspiracy that placed him behind bars. Although he sported a flawless American accent in the show, Lewis is actually British. He also recently starred in the film The Silent Storm which was produced by Bond franchise producer Barbara Brocolli, and reportedly the two got along well on that project.
Currently, the 24th Bond film, Spectre, is in production for a November release. Daniel Craig has one more film left on his current contract, so I don’t think we would see Lewis, or any replacement should Craig decide against reupping for another round, on screen in the immediate future.
If you thought Sony was just going to get out of the way and let Marvel do what they do best with the upcoming Spider-Man reboot, you’d be sadly mistaken.
According to Jeff Sneider, co-host of the Meet the Movie Press podcast, the studio that managed the screw up two Spider-Man franchises is butting heads with the studio has done no wrong with their film slate to date over who will be the new Spider-Man.
Sneider says that even though Lintz is still in contention, it really is a two horse race between Holland, who Sony wants, and Plummer, who Marvel is behind.
While a casting announcement was rumored to hit last week, this latest back and forth not only delays the announcement, but would possible delay shooting on Captain America: Civil War. Sources say Marvel was bringing potential actors to that film’s Atlanta set to audition with the hopes of immediately having the actor start shooting the character’s scenes in film. Now, it looks like the Spider-Man scenes will be delayed to at least July while the casting mess gets straightened out.
Even though he is reportedly still in talks, so there has been no definite announcement as to what his role will be, let alone even a confirmation that he will be in the film, Deadline is reporting that Chiwetel Ejiofor will be playing the role of Baron Mordo in Marvel Studios’ upcoming Dr. Strange film.
A character that dates back right to the second appearance of Doctor Strange in the comic series Strange Tales in 1963, Mordo was a student of magic under the tutelage of The Ancient One, when disgraced surgeon Stephen Strange shows up looking for a way to cure the nerve damage in his hands and quickly begins to outshine Mordo in his studies of the mystic arts.
Benedict Cumberbatch is set to play Strange, while in a stroke of inspired casting Marvel Studios has set Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One. Scott Derrickson will be directing from a script by Prometheus screenwriter Jon Spaihts.
Set for a November 4, 2016 release, the production is gearing up for a shoot later this year, so we should be expecting more casting news as the summer progresses.
Next May’s Captain America: Civil War is a film that fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are looking forward to more than this month’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Not only does the film bring to life a variation of a popular comic book storyline, but it will mark the introduction/integration of Spider-Man, a hero whose film rights were held by Sony and so was previously contractually prohibited from mingling with the inhabitants of Marvel Studio’s interconnecting franchises. The thing is that even though shooting on Civil War is ongoing in Atlanta, we still don’t know who will play the popular wall-crawling superhero.
But that answer could come to us very soon, as soon as within the next several days.
The Hollywood Reporter is stating that the studio flew the six final contenders for the role to Atlanta yesterday for screentests and that a decision based on these screentests is “expected to be made early in the week.” Of the six, the two leading contenders appear to Asa Butterfield and Tom Holland, who were reported last month to be on the studio’s shortlist for the role. The Reporter states that the other four young actors testing were Judah Lewis, Matthew Lintz, Charlie Plummer and Charlie Rowe. All six are under twenty as both Marvel and Sony want this new iteration of the comics hero to still be in his high school years.
The people making the decision as to who gets the role looks to be Marvel Studios honcho Kevin Feige, former Sony president and now producer of the Spider-Man solo film franchise for the studio Amy Pascal and Captain America: Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo.
Currently, the plan is to have Spider-Man debut in Civil War before headlining his own solo film scheduled for July 28, 2017. He will then show up for the two-part epic The Avengers: Infinity War in 2018 and 2019 before presumably continuing on with his own solo cinematic adventures.
It’s not often that casting an Academy Awards winner might raise the ire of comic fans, but that might be what happens if Tilda Swinton signs on for Doctor Strange.
The Hollywood Reporter is stating that Swinton is in talks to join Benedict Cumberbatch in the film in the role of the Ancient One, the Tibetan mystic that teaches Stephen Strange in the ways of the mystic arts. The character is portrayed in the comics as a old, Asian man, exemplified in the artwork below:
Swinton is neither ancient, Asian nor male, so this casting might cause comic fans, notorious for not receiving any change from the comics well (see the files Jordan, Michael B; Storm, Johnny; and Four, Fantastic), to begin protesting. However, Swinton seems to be very genre friendly. Arguably her biggest role was in The Chronicles of Narnia series, and if she signs on here, it would mark her third comic book film (after Constantine and Snowpiercer). And to add a deeper level of geekiness, one of her ex-husbands shared his name with a legendary comic book writer and artist–John Byrne.
In addition, she is a great actress who would bring a lot to the role. If she does sign on, the film would automatically become 2000% better, even if she isn’t gender or nationality appropriate.
When Spider-Man appears in next year’s Captain America: Civil War, it will mark the first appearance of Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But might Marvel Studios have been contemplating a different Spider-Man at one point? That has been a point of speculation for some fans, though the recently revealed short-list of actors the studio was supposedly interested in and the unconfirmed reports that Asa Butterfield is in early talks for the role may have put that to rest. However, a comment from actor Tyler James Williams suggests that might not have always been the case.
Speaking with the site Flicks And The City (via Variety), the star of the series Everybody Hates Chris reveals that he is a fan of the Miles Morales iteration of the web spinning superhero and that he has read for the studio –
I kind of follow the Miles Morales character quite a bit. And I’m open to the idea, I am. I’m not starting campaigns or anything for it because I trust Marvel. I’ve read for them before. So I trust what their decisions will be. But yeah, I’d love to do it. I would absolutely love to do it.
For the uninitiated, Miles Morales is the black Hispanic teen hero who took over the Spider-Man mantle after Peter Parker died in the Ultimate Spider-Man title, an alternate universe version of the character from the main line of Marvel Comics. He first appeared in 2011.
There has been some discussion about the diversity of Marvel superheroes being depicted in their films. As of now, only their white male characters have headlined solo films, although their two Avengers films have featured a good mix of characters. The studio does have Black Panther, featuring the titular African prince T’Challa being played by Chadwick Boseman debuting in Civil War before getting his own solo film in 2018 and the as-yet-uncast Captain Marvel, a female superhero, also set for a solo film in 2018. Marvel is apparently going with the classic, more recognizeable Peter Parker, but if they had gone with the Miles Morales character, they would have had perhaps brought the discussion to a close a year earlier.
Captain America: Civil War is set for a May 6, 2016 release with a solo Spider-Man film coming in July 2017.
In this days where comic book films are immensely popular and rumors about them fly fast and furious,when real facts come out about them, it’s easy to over look.
Phil Lord spoke with the Hippojuice Podcast and talked about a number of things–23 Jump Street, The Lego Movie, the animated Spider-Man film he’d be making. But he took a fair amount of time talking about his involvement in Warner Brothers’ The Flash film. What he said seemed like scoop, but in reality confirmed rumors that were already circling the project.
Obviously, the first is his and Chris Miller’s involvement in the project. Next he has confirmed that Ezra Miller is cast in the lead role, and the lead role will be that of Barry Allen. Miller’s casting was announced when the film was announced and it was generally assumed that Barry Allen would be the Flash they used.
For those of you holding out hope that the film will still be able to tie in to the very popular CW TV series of the same name, this bit of information might put a stake in that dream. Well, Lord was more than happy to put five more stakes in the body and then set it on fire:
We’re trying to break a story. It’s interesting, because there’s a really popular TV show out there, and we’re trying to carve out space for the movie that’s apart from that. I think we’re doing alright. … I believe [our Flash] is going to be Barry Allen. … It’s going to be it’s own [thing, apart from the TV show] — we’re more trying to stick with the cinematic universe… it really is its own thing, and kind of a stand-alone movie. We’re just trying to think of the best story. I think you guys will like it, it’s kind of a different take on superhero stuff.
All I can say to him is, good luck. CW’s The Flash is the second highest rated show in the history of the network and is one of the best shows on TV now. It seems to have captured the perfect interpretation of Barry Allen and the Flash, meaning Lord and Miller have their work cut out for them in creating something just as good yet substantially different with the character. Listen, I know that the film has been in the works much longer than the TV show and Warners had no idea the response for the show would be as good as it has been. But having both a TV series and a film with different versions of the character might blow up in their faces.
/Film seems to think that the “stand-alone film” comment means that it won’t tie in with any other DC movie, when Lord says it will in the very same sentence. I’d expect Miller’s Barry Allen will appear on the big screen far before it appears in his own movie in 2018.
Here is the podcast, in case you wish to peruse it yourself:
They have a release date – April 14, 2017 – and publicly not announced much else, but now we know that at least one cast member will be back for Fast & Furious 8.
Speaking with Collider while doing the press rounds for the earthquake disaster film San Andreas opening in a few weeks, the actor confirmed that he would be back for another installment in the franchise –
Of course. It can’t go on without Hobbs.
Well, hold on there a moment, Dwayne. You’ve only been in three of the franchise’s seven films. That’s less than half. They seemed to be doing just fine before you showed up.
OK, maybe I’m just being a bit facetious. It is hard not to argue that the franchise’s popularity started to rise with Fast Five, which did feature Johnson’s debut as U.S. Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs. But that character was just one part of the franchise’s ongoing transformation from “Point Break with cars” to the international heist/caper adventures the films are now.
Perhaps we’ll get to gauge the character’s popularity in relation to the rest of the series if the rumored spinoff film for the character ever comes about. It is something that Johnson is interested in.
We all are interested in it. I just had a big conversation with the studio. So we’ll see. I still think for me personally we’ve created a little bit of space for him in 7 and the gauge is set for what the audience will want. That’s my take on it, you know, but a lot of other people have to have input.
If a Hobbs solo spinoff film goes forward, might this be Universal trying to build their own Fast & Furious Cinematic Universe? Would you be up to see other characters in their own solo films? Personally, I think the films and characters work best in an ensemble setting, their interplay being one of the charms of the series. Of them all, I do think that the Hobbs character has probably the best chance of flying solo, though.
Matt Bomer, star USA Network’s White Collar, has signed on to MGM’s remake of The Magnificent Seven.
This version, to be directed by Antione Fuqua, is a remake of the classic western directed by John Sturges, which itself was a restting of Akira Kurosawa’s classic samurai tale Seven Samurai. In each iteration of the story seven outsiders are hired by the residents of a poor community to protect them from terrorizing outlaws. For this new version, Haley Bennet plays the woman who recruits the Seven to protect their town. Bomer will play her husband.
Bomer will be joining a pretty heavyweight cast that already includes Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Wagner Moura and Jason Momoa.