Weekly Round Up: Kingsman, Tessa Thompson, Bruce Dern


After the tragic loss of Hollywood icon Burt Reynolds, one of the big questions hanging over Quentin Tarantino’s next project, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, was who would take over the role, if anyone, that Reynolds had recently signed on to play.

Well, we now have an official answer. Reynolds had been cast as the 80-year-old George Spahn, who allowed Charles Manson and his follows to stay at his Ranch. Tarantino had begun shooting the film when Reynolds sadly passed, but he was yet to shoot any of Reynolds scenes. Replacing Reynolds in the role is Tarantino regular Bruce Dern.

There’s a nice sort of aside here in that Dern was a long-time friend of Reynolds’ and the pair had previously worked together on TV projects 12 O’Clock High, Hard Round and Hard Time: The Premonition. It seems strangely fitting then that Dern should take on the role.

Last week we had far too much Marvel news, this week we only have one. One of the big questions fans had after this year’s Infinity War hit screens was what the hell happened to Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie. Last scene on the Asgardian ship at the end of Thor: Ragnorak, Valkyrie was suspiciously absent from the opening sequence of Infinity War, which takes place on the same ship.

But fear not; it seems she’s not dead (which… obviously. I can’t believe people actually thought that was possibility. Of course she’s not dead. It’s like Brian Griffin all over again, which was equally as stupid if not far more annoying) as Thompson is reportedly filming scenes for the as yet untitled Avengers 4 as I type.

In other comic book movie news, fans got their first glimpse of Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker in Todd Phillips’ origin movie. In some footage released of filming Phoenix most closely resembles Heath Ledger’s iconic take on the character in The Dark Knight, but seems to have run with the “Clown Prince of Gotham” moniker the Joker is sometimes given, with his costume more colourful and his appearance more… well, clownish than previously expected.

I have no idea what to think about this movie. On the one hand it sounds absolutely flipping ridiculous and I want to scream at Warner Bros. and DC for, for some reason, choosing to make their entire thing even more convoluted, complex and confusing that it already was (not to mention just bad… all the DCEU movies suck, and yet that includes Wonder Woman, and yes, I know this isn’t in the DCEU but you think the average audience member gets that? Some people are still coming to grips with the idea that the X-Men movies aren’t actually part of the MCU!), but on the other hand… Joaquin Pheonix. So…

But in new Hollywood nothing is safe, and if it ain’t a sequel, part of an extended universe or franchise starter then you better believe it’ll be a remake instead, and this week we got the news that Korean horror-thriller, and all-round awesome movie you probably should be watching right now, Train to Busan will be getting Americanised for Western audiences.

Producer and director James Wan, the man behind the first Saw, The Conjuring franchise and the soon to be released Aquaman (yeah, that’s not just an Entourage joke anymore) is now developing the remake with production company Atomic Monster and screenwriter Gary Dauberman on script writing duties.

Dauberman wrote Annabelle and The Nun for Wan, both of which are… well, let’s just say they’re definitely movies, so hopes are not particularly high for this one. Still, maybe if they just keep it super close to the original we’ll at least have something worth a watch, right?

The Kingsman franchise (apparently it’s a franchise now… ugh) has decided to take the fight to Bond by swooping in and nabbing the release date left vacant by Bond 25 after director Danny Boyle departed the production. For my money, I think Kingsman: The Secret Service is a decent film, but the sequel, The Golden Circle, is an absolute mess and the entire thing is basically just a one-note joke that worked on first viewing but doesn’t really translate much beyond that (aside from that Church fight scene, yeah? I mean, wow! I still get chills just thinking about that. Damn, that was cool!).

Kingsman 3 is supposedly going to be the last of a trilogy and will focus on the conclusion of the Harry-Eggsy relationship, with director Matthew Vaughn returning to helm the movie. I’ll probably catch it when it’s available for streaming, because I’m done with this one now.

Last, but most certainly not least, comes more pointless sequel news. Last years absolutely brilliant (and yes, it’s absolutely brilliant) Happy Death Day is getting a second instalment. The film is now officially titled Happy Death Day 2U, which, I’ll be honest, made me chuckle and is very in keeping with the first movies knowing sense of humour.

What this sequel is going to be about I have no idea, but I’m willing to give it a go – the first one was brilliant after all and made my top 10 of the year. So, yeah, cool.

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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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