Weekly Round Up: Pacino, Kick-Ass, De Palma


Love him or hate him it would appear Tarantino isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. His new movie, titled Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, is stacking up one of the most impressive cast lists in recent years. The film is a sprawling saga of Hollywood set against the backdrop of the Manson murders, with Leonardo DiCaprio cast as the lead, a TV star who, along with his stunt man sidekick, played by Brad Pitt, is determined to make it into film.

This week alone saw the announcement that Al Pacino, often considered one of the best actors in cinema history, has joined the cast. It would seem Tarantino is intent on ensuring old Hollywood is represented well in his love letter to, well, old Hollywood, so it makes sense I suppose. Joining Pacino are the newly confirmed Dakota Fanning (as Manson follower Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme), Damien Lewis (as iconic movie star Steve McQueen), and Emile Hirsch (playing Manson victim Jay Sebring).

They’ll all be joining Luke Perry, Clifton Collins Jr., Keith Jefferson and Nicholas Hammond, as well as the previously announced cast including Margot Robbie (as Sharon Tate), Michael Madsen, Timothy Olyphant, Burt Reynolds and Tim Roth. Tarantino really does seem to be going all in on this one, and you can bet we’ll be seeing the rumoured casting of Walton Goggins and Tarantino regular Samuel L Jackson at some point in the near future. I, for one, look forward to seeing how this all fits into the Tarantino-verse, and whether the plot will feature any of those tasty burgers they got over at Big Kahuna Burger.

Speaking of cinematic universes (see what I did there), looks like we’ll be getting another one of those soon (yay…?) in the form of a Kick-Ass universe. It would appear whoever is in charge of this connected universe thing obviously hasn’t being paying attention to either DC or Universal’s Dark Universe, but whatever. Anyway, word has it that Matthew Vaughan, the director of Kick-Ass, plans to reboot the movie under his newly branded production company Marv Studios. I don’t know about you, but I think this is such an original idea I might just scream, who’d have ever thought of rebooting a movie already made? Pure. Genius.

This rebooted Kick-Ass will, supposedly, focus on the character of Patience Lee, a single mother who takes up the Kick-Ass mantle in the Mark Millar comics from which the film was adapted. Vaughn also intends to reboot Hit Girl, giving the character her own spin-off movie (so much originality I just can’t even) and possibly without Chloe Grace Moretz in the role, which make sense because… well, otherwise it’d just be a regular sequel wouldn’t it, and God knows we’ve had enough of those, am I right?  Marv Studios will also focus on continuing the Kingsman franchise, hopefully with more Elton John, because if there’s one thing we were all calling out for after the last one…

Reboots and remakes are all the rage these days, as I’m sure you know, and another property getting another go around is the ever popular The Addams Family. It may seem fairly kooky, but I’m actually on board with this one, at least in theory, because I often find myself up at night sweating over the lack of new Addams Family outings. The voice cast of this new, animated Addams Family, is an interesting group of talented people. Apparently, Oscar Issac will be voicing Gomez, while Charlize Theron will be offering her vocal talents for his wife, Morticia. Their two children will be voiced by Finn Wolfhard of Stranger Things fame, and Chloe Grace Moretz, who is in need of a job now she’s lost that Hit Girl role…

Actor and comedian Nick Kroll will be voicing Uncle Fester while Bette Middler will be rounding out the family as Grandmama.

Another property that would probably be best served left alone but is getting an inevitable new life is Roald Dahl’s most famous creation, Willy Wonka. This outing for the chocolate maker will be a prequel because we were most certainly all wondering where Willy Wonka came from, weren’t we? Apparently Warner Bros., the studio behind this new take on the beloved children’s character, have a shortlist of potential Wonkas. Three actor’s names were leaked. Ryan Gosling sat at the top, who is currently working on his Blade Runner 2049 follow-up, First Man. Second down was Ezra Miller, who you may know as the DC Universe’s Flash, or should that be soon-to-be ex Flash, considering DC’s current… er, situation? Finally, we have Donald Glover (as in Community, as in Atlanta, as in Childish Gambino), who, if cast, is sure to send the internet into yet another pointless and ridiculous meltdown. 

Paul King, the director of both the excellent Paddington films, is tapped to direct this one, which could be a plus, but I guess it was bound to happen anyway, I mean, it’s not like there are any new stories out there, is it? That would be silly.

And if that wasn’t enough, it looks like Jared Leto is going to be getting his own Joker movie after all. My guess is DC have decided they’re in too deep at this point to simply start over (because you can’t just start over, that would be crazy!) and are going to just push ahead until it either works or becomes one of the signs of the apocalypse. Either way, this is where we’re at. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is rumoured to be attached, although it is also speculated that she might be getting her own solo outing soon. I always liked her inclusion in Suicide Squad, because when you have a man who can control fire and a near indestructible crocodile monster you need a crazy person wielding a baseball bat to even it all out.

Finally, acclaimed director Brian De Palma suddenly hit the news this week with his announcement that he is working on a horror film based on the Harvey Weinstein scandal. He describes the project, called Predator, to feature Arnold Schwarzenegger going toe-to-toe with a superior alien species that… oh no, wait. Sorry, wrong film.

De Palma describes the project, called Predator, as a horror movie about a sexual predator in the film industry. The character isn’t called Harvey, but it’s clear to see where the inspiration came from. This could be interesting, at least because De Palma hasn’t done anything with the potential to be so pulpy since, well, Raising Cain really, and that was way back in ’92, so, who knows? Hey, at least it’s not another remake!

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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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