Weekly Round Up: Burt Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, Captain Marvel

Hollywood legend Burt Reynolds passed away this week, he died at the age of 82 after years of heart related conditions. Reynolds had remained active in the industry despite his numerous health issues, most recently landing a key role in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming epic Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

So, let’s begin with the sad news. Hollywood legend Burt Reynolds passed away this week, he died at the age of 82 after years of heart related conditions. Reynolds had remained active in the industry despite his numerous health issues, most recently landing a key role in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming epic Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

It is understood that Reynolds had not yet had the opportunity to shoot his scenes for the film, and so the fate of the character now hangs in the balance, with Tarantino either choosing to recast or cut the character entirely.

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Reynolds’ career spanned nearly seven decades and he was one of the most iconic actors in film during the height of his fame in the ‘70s and ‘80s. His signature roles in classic films as varied as Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit and Boogie Nights remain as popular now as they where upon their original release, and in some instances even more popular due to a growing cult following.

Reynolds had also turned down some rather famous roles during his career. Perhaps most famously is the role made iconic by Harrison Ford, Han Solo from the original Star Wars trilogy. He also turned down the role of James Bond after it was offered to him by producer Cubby Broccoli when Sean Connery retired, stating that the public would never accept an American 007. 

It is also rumoured that Reynolds turned down the role of John McClane, made famous by Bruce Willis in the 1988 action movie Die Hard. 

The Die Hard franchise hit the news this week with the announcement that 20th Century Fox will be moving forward with their Die Hard origin movie. Despite the previous instalment, A Good Day to Die Hard, earning the lowest box office numbers for the entire franchise, it looks like Fox are still keen to give this a go.

The film will be set in the 1970s and tell an origin story for the character of John McClane (which is absolutely stupid because, well, anyone who has seen Die Hard knows that the entire point of the film is that he’s just a regular old cop with marital troubles, and suddenly introducing some kind of big new story to his character removes the entire essence of that movie’s “average man in a remarkable situation” fun. But hey, when Fox want to wreck something there ain’t nothing that’ll stand in their way, right?).

Apparently the film will be called simply McClane, without any reference to the words “Die” or “Hard”, and there is no news on who will play a young McClane in the prequel, but I have heard it suggested that de-aging Bruce Willis may still be an option. I hope they do go down this route, because the film is already so dumb anyway watching CGI faced Bruce Willis phoning it in will at least add a humorous element to an already definite disaster.

Maybe I’m being too harsh, but probably not.

Meanwhile in other movie news Rian Johnson is taking a break from crafting his new Star Wars trilogy to begin work on a standalone movie entitled Knives Out. The film will star Daniel Craig, who himself is taking a break from the Bond franchise after Danny Boyle left the directors chair for Bond 25 last week.

I actually enjoyed The Last Jedi and I think Johnson’s other films are banging, so any news on that front is good news to me. But Knives Out is especially interesting because it looks set to see him return to the noir thriller genre that made his name. While we don’t know the full premise we do know that the film is to be “a modern day murder mystery in the classic whodunit style) which… I mean, yeah, I’m down for that. Let’s do this.

Another film I’m looking forward to is Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. Timothee Chalamet was cast as Paul Atreides, while Rebecca Ferguson has been cast as Paul’s mother, Lady Jessica. Ferguson is perhaps best known for her role in Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible movies, but, along with her roles in the proposed Men in Black spin-off and The Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep, she looks to be one to watch.

We’ll end on the news that this week Entertainment Weekly revealed an exclusive scoop on the first official images from Marvel’s Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson. As well as showing off the heroes costume the images also revealed what appear to be the first look at the movies shape-shifting villains, the Skrull, who were originally rumoured to be fighting the Avengers in 2012’s The Avengers.

We also got our first look at Jude Law’s villain, a Kree character who’s name is not yet known, although many have speculated that he is playing Mar-Vell, Marvel’s original Captain Marvel. 

Since the release of the picture co-director Anna Boden revealed the film will not be an origin story but will instead focus upon Larson’s Carol Danvers as an already functioning member of the Kree military, although the film is still set in the ‘90s. Quite what all this means we’ll have to wait six months to find out when the film is released on March 8th, 2019.




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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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