Weekly Round Up: Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek, Plastic Man

Lea Seydoux

One of the more interesting pieces of news from this week is the news that Lea Seydoux, who appeared in Sam Mendes’ 2015 Bond movie Spectre (remember that? It wasn’t very good, but it did give us Christoph Waltz as Blofeld so… I guess that’s a thing) will be returning to the role of Dr Madeline Swan for the follow-up, currently titled simply Bond 25.

This is interesting because it’s unusual. “Bond Girls” almost never return in the series, and their part within the franchise has often led to controversy over sexism within the Bond universe. While there have been actresses who have returned to play multiple roles within the series, Seydoux will be playing the same character, sparking speculation over what kind of role she will play within the film.

After the proposed project by British auteur Danny Boyle fell through earlier this year, True Detective Season One director Cary Joji Fukunaga has agreed to take the reins of this instalment of the spy thriller franchise, and the film is set to see Daniel Craig return for his fifth outing as Ian Fleming’s 007.

Rami Malek, the star of Bohemian Rhapsody and TV’s Mr Robot is reportedly being considered to play the films villain, while the film has been scheduled for release on February 14th, 2020 – or Valentine’s Day, to those of you who aren’t crushingly alone.

Fukunaga has said his intention is to continue Bond on the arc he began back in 2005’s Casino Royale, which seems to hint, along with the casting of Seydoux, that Bond 25 will act as a direct sequel to the other films. This is also likely to be Craig’s final outing in the role since he’s been looking for an excuse to jump ship since he first got on board.

In another sequel news; director Scott Derrickson has signed on to return to the director’s chair for Doctor Strange 2. Derrickson did a swell job on the first Strange movie, I thought, so I’m happy to see him back for the follow-up.

Doctor Strange 2 joins the never-ending list of Marvel properties set for production or release in the not too distant future, including the long-awaited Black Widow solo outing, Black Panther 2, The Eternals and Ms. Marvel. The future of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise remains uncertain at this point, however, considering the as yet unresolved Gunn shaped hole over at Marvel Studios.

Speaking of James Gunn, the trailer for his new film as writer dropped earlier this week. Brightburn, which stars Elizabeth Banks, with Gunn also serving as producer on the movie, sees a sort of reimagining of Superman’s origin story. What is Superman were evil, is the central premise here, and judging by the trailer, it looks to be a lot of fun.

I’ve enjoyed Gunn’s rather unusual career thus far and I hope this continues the trend of me enjoying his work into the future.

We still don’t know if he’ll be directing Suicide Squad 2, yet, but it’s looking more and more likely DC will be his home as time wears on. I, for one, am keen to see what someone like James Gunn might be able to do with the property after the mess left behind by the original.

One person who likely won’t be returning for a Suicide Squad sequel is Margot Robbie, as her Harley Quinn has what appears to be a solo spin-off movie that isn’t quite a solo spin-off movie coming out soon. The rather confusingly titled Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn) has added another cast member to its ever-expanding roster.

Joining Ewan McGregor’s villainous Black Mask as an antagonist for the film is TV’s Chris Messina – best known for his work on The Mindy Project – who will be playing the insane killer Victor Zsasz. Zsasz is most well known for the scares he has all over his body, each one representing a different victim, so Messina can expect a long morning in make-up.

DC still don’t seem to be in any rush to return to their darker edge though, with this week seeing the announcement that they’ll be releasing a movie adaptation of none other than everyone’s favourite crimefighter Plastic Man!

If you stopped and asked “who?” then don’t worry, you’re not alone, that’s what I did too.

First introduced in 1941, Plastic Man will be scripted by newcomer Amanda Idoko and will likely be lighter than DC’s output to that point, including next years Shazam! I guess we’ll have to see where all this goes and if it all works out but judging by the relatively warm reception Aquaman has received this week perhaps the tide is turning for DC.

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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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