Weekly Round Up: Zoe Colletti, Maya Hawke, Eva Longoria

Maya Hawke

Probably the most interesting news this week (in my opinion, obviously, chill out guys) is that the Guillermo del Toro produced Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark began shooting this week.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a feature length adaptation of the popular children’s book series of the same name. The film is a passion project for del Toro, and will be directed by André Ǿvredal, the Norwegian filmmaker behind the movie Trollhunters. The film will have an ensemble cast, although the only official casting confirmed so far is that of Zoe Colletti, who featured in the 2014 remake of the popular musical Annie. 

According to the rumour mill Colletti will be playing Stella Michaels, a young girl haunted by her mother’s disappearance. When Stella and her friends find themselves involved in a Halloween prank gone wrong they must investigate the incident to find out if they themselves were at fault or if it was the work of a vengeful spirit who uses her scary stories to come after the teens.



It all sounds quite interesting but, truth be told, I’m cautiously optimistic. CBS Films, who are putting the project out, hardly have a positive track record in genre films (their last genre movie was Winchester which… well, yeah) and del Toro’s producing chops didn’t do much to help Are You Afraid of the Dark or Pacific Rim: Uprising, did it?

Meanwhile the never-ending cast list for Quentin Tarantino’s next project, the 1960s set homage of the entertainment industry Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, got a little longer this week too. Lena Dunham, the creator and star of HBO’s Girls, has been cast in the film as a character by the name of Gypsy who is believed to most likely be a member of the Manson family (most probably real-life Manson family member Catherine “Gypsy” Share). 

Joining Dunham in casting announcements this week is Maya Hawke, the daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman. With a cast this big and impressive Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is shaping up to be my most anticipated film of 2019.

In less positive news, acclaimed director Danny Boyle has now officially departed Bond 25, citing creative differences (that old chestnut, hey). What we do know is that Boyle and his long-time screenwriting partner John Hodges handed in a script that didn’t meet the expectations of Bond head-honchos Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, nor the approval of current 007 himself, Daniel Craig.

Probably had something to do with all the heroine, rage infected zombies and missions to the sun. It just didn’t feel very Bond.

The news was followed quickly by reports that were later confirmed that MGM had officially pushed back the November 8, 2019 release date and that the film may very well be delayed until late 2020. Eon are presumably looking for a new director to helm the project but who that might by is anyone’s guess (previous directors once reported such as Edgar Wright are now actively working on different projects).

If you ask me, which you’re not, but I write this, so you have to deal with my opinion from time to time, now is the time to reboot. As much as I’d love Craig to get a decent send-off, the truth of the matter is he only ever made one great film as Bond and that was his first. Quantum of Solace was a mess, Skyfall was good but relied to heavily on nostalgia and Spectre… well, the less said about Spectre the better, so perhaps a new direction is the way to move forward.

If we’re going in a new direction might I suggest Michael Fassbender in the lead role and I’d love them to make it a period piece, set in the 60s. Bring some of the class back to the franchise, shall we? And I’d very much like to see a woman helming the project – Bond through a female lens is such a tantalising prospect, especially Bond in the 60s – and for what it’s worth I’d pick Coralie Fargeat, the director of 2017’s excellent rape-revenge movie Revenge.

Another much anticipated film that has been put on hold this week is Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3. Obviously, this is as a result of Marvel unable to fill the void left after Disney’s ridiculous and unjust firing of James Gunn (#RehireJamesGunn).

At this point Disney are just trying to save face, but the damage is already been done. I suspect no director is likely interested in taking on the project without at the least Gunn’s public support and that is part of what makes this such a tricky role to fill. Of course, Gunn was also heavily involved and had essentially been made the head of the Marvel Cosmic Universe, so without his personal creative voice calling the shots things are going to have to change in that department.

When Nazi internet trolls are outsmarting billion-dollar studio execs something’s gone terribly wrong.

The best news this week, however, is of course that Desperate Housewives’ Eva Longoria and Ant-Man’s Michael Pena have been cast as the parents in Paramount’s upcoming live-action Dora the Explorer adaptation.

Despite sounding like a joke and being one of the most absurd ideas in all of Hollywood history, the Dora the Explorer live-action movie is apparently actually happening, and none other than Michael Bay will be producing. So, I’m expecting something so incredibly ridiculous that I can’t not be excited by the prospect. Hopefully it will meet my incredibly high expectations, but there are also rumours that it’s August 2nd, 2019 release date also marks the end of the universe as we know it.


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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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