Weekly Round Up: Eve, Fantasy Island, McDonalds

McDonalds

Streaming giants Netflix have decided to pick-up Andy Serkis’ adaptation of The Jungle Book. Called Mowgli, Serkis’ film was set to be his directorial debut but was held back so as to not clash with Disney’s own live-action reimagining of the classic tale. Serkis’ vision is rumoured to be a lot darker and more adult in terms of content, and so will likely feel right at home with Netflix.

It looks like the streaming service have also decided to nab the rights to Serkis’ planned follow-up toe Mowgli, a live-action adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, which will utilise motion capture once more.

Mowgli is now scheduled to be released in early 2019, and has an impressive cast, including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch and Serkis himself, but previous distributors Warner Bros. had been nervously moving it around the release calendar since 2016. As a result Netflix’s decision to purchase the rights and “save” Mowgli is seen by some as yet another example of how the company are changing the way Hollywood works.

Meanwhile, in the world of Hollywood proper we’ve got plenty of reboots, remakes and sequels to keep you all happy. But first…

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are embarking on a joint project once more, this time a true story with Affleck directing and Damon starring as an ex-police officer who rigged the McDonald’s monopoly game for nearly 12 straight years.

This is probably the benefit of Affleck severing his commitment to DC. His previous films behind the camera have all been varying degrees of good and so it’s nice to see him turning back to it once more.

And while we’re talking about new projects, Jessica Chastain, who is currently busy at work on IT: Chapter 2, has announced that she’ll be starring in what she hopes will be her very own franchise starter (no, not Molly’s Game. That didn’t work out). The film is called Eve and will tell the story of “a ruthless assassin who is hunted by her former employers while trying to tell her family the truth about what she does for a living”.

The film is set to be written and directed by Matthew Newton, who was the man behind indie successes Who Are We Now and From Nowhere. It is just the next in a long line of smaller action movies that were kickstarted by the success of the Keanu Reeve’s starring John Wick in 2014. But hey, who am I to judge? I’m down with this trend, not least because it tends to mean much less CG, way more practical stunts and, perhaps most importantly, no superheroes!

Now, onto the big news of the week…. Sigh… Star Wars Episode IX began shooting this week with J J Abrams back in the director’s chair after his successful remake of the original Star Wars, The Force Awakens. An official cast list was also released this week, and on it was the late Carrie Fisher.

Disney has since confirmed that they will be utilising previously unused footage from previous films to include her after releasing a statement saying they wanted to honour her memory and would not consider using computer graphics to create her in the same way they did with Peter Cushing. Which does beg the question, why exactly is it okay to not honour Peter Cushing’s memory? Apparently, we’ve now reached a point where five decades of work counts to nothing if you’re not a main character or fan favourite in Star Wars…

Also on the cast list was returning Lando Billy Dee Williams, who will reprise his role after being absent from the last two chapters. Felicity star Keri Russell and Richard E Grant were also confirmed as being involved.

But who cares about Star Wars when you’ve got a movie adaptation of Fantasy Island to look forward to? Am I right? Anyone…? Bueller?

Well, like it or not, Blumhouse, the production company behind modern horror franchises such as Insidious and The Purge, as well as modern horror classics like Get Out and Happy Death Day, have announced that they’re planning to remake ABC’s 1977 to 1984 classic Fantasy Island for modern audiences.

The film will be directed by Kick Ass 2’s Jeff Wadlow, so expect it to disastrously miss everything that made the original work. I mean, c’mon. Kick Ass 2 sucked.



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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. He enjoys watching and writing about movies, having loved the medium since a young age, as well as discussing them on his weekly podcast, Cultish: A Movie Podcast. He lives in Wiltshire with his partner and two children.

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