Weekly Round Up: James Gunn, Kubrick, Rugrats

Weekly Round Up: James Gunn, Kubrick, Rugrats

Okay, shall we get this out the way first? Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has been dropped by dark overlords Disney for offensive tweets from around 10 years ago. The tweets, while already public knowledge, sparked a backlash when right-wing something Mike Cernovich, a man accused of rape on more than one occasion and who claimed “date rape does not exist”, supposedly ‘uncovered’ the tweets…

The firing of James Gunn has sparked debate among fans of the MCU online and has proved incredibly divisive. One has to wonder why Disney would choose to hire a director known for his controversial and edgy output and then be surprised when it turns out he’s controversial and edgy, but hey, that’s just me. Matt Stone and Trey Parker for the live-action Pinocchio remake, anyone?

Now we’ve done that, let’s get on to some happier, less controversial news, shall we?

Scarlet Johansson has dropped out of Rub and Tug after online backlash about her casting to play a trans character. While the Hollywood trans community were vocal in their appreciation of Johansson’s decision to leave the project, the rumour mill now has it that the entire thing is going to be cancelled with the star power someone like Johansson brought to the project.

I’m not sure that was less controversial, but it certainly seems happier…

The smash-hit Zombieland is finally getting it’s long awaited sequel. The movie will see all four of the original film’s leads reunite to tell a new story. The sequel will begin filming in January of next year and will aim for an October 11th, 2019 release date. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty pumped for this one. The original was a wonderfully surprising treat of a movie and I’m hoping this can recapture some of that magic. Although, sadly, it likely won’t feature anymore Bill Murray.

Although, if Bill Murray and zombies are your thing, well do I have good news for you. Director Jim Jarmusch, who worked with Murray on Broken Flowers and Coffee and Cigarettes among others, is currently underway shooting his next movie, a zombie film featuring a cast almost as impressive and Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. 

Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, Adam Driver, Chloe Sevigny and Tilda Swinton are all set to join Murray in the film, which tells the story of a group of police officers who find themselves caught up in the onslaught of a zombie apocalypse.

And, as if that wasn’t enough back from the dead news for you, a screenplay for a long thought lost unfilmed Stanley Kubrick movie was recently found by a British film scholar, proving once and for all that no one hordes stuff like the Brits. The screenplay is for the film Burning Secret, which Kubrick co-wrote, and was based upon a novel of the same name.

Meanwhile several projects are getting a new lease of life (as opposed to death, with zombies, see what I did there?) this week. Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell and Josh Gad will all be joined in Frozen 2 by new comers Sterling K Brown and Evan Rachel Wood, who will be voicing brand new characters for Disney to eventually merchandise to death.

You might know Brown from This Is Us on TV and Wood from HBO’s Westworld. You may know Frozen from that song that wouldn’t go away when you really, really needed it to. Be prepared for more of that. Perhaps after the release of the sequel you’ll be pleading for a zombie apocalypse.

Meanwhile, that Dune reboot directed by critic favourite Denis Villeneuve is finally doing something other than sit there and threaten to start going. The role of Atreides, played by Kyle Maclachlan in the 1984 original, has gone to none other than Timothee Chalamet, the man who’s name is the bane of spelling programmes everywhere. Coming off of successes Call Me By Your Name and Lady Bird, it seems Chalamet is determined to prove his worth.

But, the most important news of the week is that Paramount and Nickelodeon studios are planning a live-action Rugrats movie. The film is scheduled for a November 13th, 2020 release date. Quite how they plan to do this is anyone’s guess, presumably the rug rats themselves will either be child actors manipulated with CG or filly CG creations, which either way sounds absolutely terrifying, so maybe we can all just hope for that zombie apocalypse a little bit sooner?

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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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