Weekly Round Up: Black Widow, Xavier Dolan, TMNT

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC 3 Super-Heroine Movies Marvel Should Make Right Now

As a parent I sometimes have to take away something I would enjoy as an example to my children. My kids are being naughty on the way to the cinema, we don’t go to the cinema, regardless of whether I wanted to go or not. It seems Disney have decided to apply this strategy to their Star Wars anthology movies, after the poor reception of Solo: A Star Wars Story at the box office.

Despite the films bad ticket sales most likely being down to poor timing and a rubbish release strategy than a bunch of fans so crazy mad at a movie franchise they’re actually planning to remake it themselves (can I suggest Rian Johnson as director, anyone?), Disney have decided to pull the plug on any future solo movies, which means those same fans can kiss goodbye to the Kenobi movie, the Yoda movie, the Boba Fett movie, the Lando movie, and so on and so on, and, although I’m somewhat disappointed myself (I was kind of looking forward to more of these), I guess it serves them right for choosing to get outraged over a film aimed at 10 to 12 year olds rather than, say, child concentration camps in America.

Not that Disney seem to mind to much. If the rumoured drop of anthology movies turns out to be true, they still have two more trilogies in development and that rumoured live-action TV show, so it’s no skin off their nose.



They also have Marvel, of course, which is currently eyeing up three potential directors for the long-awaited Black Widow movie, starring Scarlett Johansson in the titular role. The potentials are Amma Asante, who’s films Belle and A United Kingdom were both critical successes, Maggie Betts and Cate Shortland. With next year’s Captain Marvel being directed by film-making duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the title of Marvel’s first solo-female director is still up for grabs and looks like it may be going to one of these three.

The Black Widow movie is rumoured to be a prequel, focusing on Romanof’s life pre-The Avengers, and may feature Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier, because if there was one thing we were all really hoping a Black Widow solo movie would have more of, it was strong male superheroes…

Meanwhile Paramount Pictures, the prestigious movie studio behind such iconic classics as Indiana Jones, Forrest Gump, Gladiator and America Beauty, have announced that they’re beginning work on their next big flop, a follow-up to 2016’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.

Look, I like TMNT as much as anyone, my daughter and I watch the Nickelodeon show on a regular basis and I love every single minute of it (seriously, it’s well good and you should definitely check it out. Very funny, very well written and chock-full of surprisingly dark and serious references to movies as varied as Alien, Friday the 13th and ever the original TMNT films) but these films suck hard.

While it’s not confirmed yet that this new entry into the Turtles franchise will be a sequel or a reboot, chances are we’re looking at at least one more outing for these underwhelming pizza-loving ninjas before they head back to where it all began and try again to see if they can get this right, because Lord know they need to. Apparently, that seems unlikely to happen, however, as rumour has it Michael “doesn’t understand how to stage a scene” Bay is likely to direct this one after leaving the Transformers franchise behind.

A decent TMNT movie could be good, but until we get one of them, if ever, seriously go check out the Nickelodeon show, it’s great fun!

And while we’re on the topic of movie reboots the world probably does need, Robert Zemeckis, director of at least one of your childhood favourites, has announced he will be remaking The Witches, based on the beloved children’s book by Roald Dahl. Roald Dahl adaptations have been somewhat hit and miss over the years, with film-makers struggling to capture the fun and silliness coupled with that underlying sense of macabre that made Dahl so special. But if there’s one man we can all be sure is perfect for the job, it was probably Tim Burton, and he cocked that up with that God-awful Charlie and the Chocolate Factory film.

Still, Zemeckis is a solid director with a decent track record, so this is going to be average at worst and great and best, and isn’t that all we can hope for in the age of Marvel Cinematic Universes? The original 1990 film starred Anjelica Huston and has an impressive 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so this one should be hard to top.

The sequel to It, entitled It: Chapter Two (what happened to movie sequels having different titles? I don’t remember Dr No 2, Dirty Harry: Dirty Harryier, or The Ipcress File: The Second Chapter) started filming earlier this week and we learned that Will Beinbrink and Xavier Dolan have joined the cast. If you don’t recognise those names, don’t worry, no one does. But the rest of the cast is certainly a who’s who of actors who are who’s, including James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Jay Ruan, Bill Hader and obviously a returning Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise The Dancing Clown. Perhaps this time round they’ll also remember to make the film scary, because they certainly won’t be able to rely on that Stranger Things style nostalgia now, will they?

 


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Alex Secker is a writer/director/editor. His debut feature film, the micro-budget thriller Follow the Crows, won Best Independent Film at the Global Film Festival Awards, while his stage-play, The Door, won the People’s Choice Award at the 2017 Swinge Festival.

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