Weekly Round Up: DiCaprio, Bond, James Wan

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Skyfall - First Tease Trailer

My interests in film have always extended way back into the “classic age” of cinema. Film noir is a particularly big thing for me, and I’ve enjoyed watching them ever since I was a kid and my dad used to whack them on while we ate dinner. But I must admit I haven’t heard of the 1947 carnival drama Nightmare Alley. Not many people have, it would seem.

But that looks subject to change sooner rather than later, with news dropping this week that Leonardo DiCaprio will be teaming up with Guillermo del Toro for a remake of the movie, which follows a carnival showman who pretends to have the ability to speak with the dead as a medium in order to sell tickets.

Based on the novel of the same name, DiCaprio and del Toro’s Nightmare Alley promises to stick much closer to the original source material than the 1947 adaptation, which apparently took many creative liberties with the story, most notably the ending.

The film is looking like it’ll begin shooting late this year with aim for a release date sometime in 2020. It’ll mark the first collaboration between DiCaprio and del Toro, and, honestly, this sounds like it’s going to be great. As a big fan of both men and the bulk of their back catalogues, the prospect of them teaming up is tantalising enough. Add the film noir element to it and I’m pretty much sold on this.

It would seem the new wave of modern Stephen King adaptations is in no rush to slow down yet either. In the last couple of years we’ve had The Dark Tower, IT: Chapter One and Pet Sematary make their way to the big screen, while on the small screen we’ve seen Castle Rock and Mike Flannigan’s Gerald’s Game dropped on Netflix alongside 1922, which is an adaptation of the novella of the same. Since then we’ve heard rumours or even, in some cases, confirmation of a slew of other “modern” King interpretations making their way to the cinema, including The Shining sequel Doctor Sleep, IT: Chapter Two, a Firestarter remake and horror-centric streaming service Shudder are currently in production on a Creepshow series.

And we can now add to that list a remake of King’s iconic vampire novel Salem’s Lot, which is going to be taking the form of a feature cinematic outing produced by none other than horror master James Wan, who has brought Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, The Nun and the upcoming Annabelle Comes Home screenwriter Gary Dauberman along with him.

Considering Wan’s success within the horror genre it does seem a little strange that it has taken him this long to finally get around to a King adaptation of some sort, but given the track record of Wan and Dauberman’s previous collaborations (none of them are particularly all that good) I won’t be holding my breath on this one.

Salem’s Lot was previous adapted twice as TV mini-series, first in 1979 and then again more recently in 2004. There’s no word yet on casting or how faithful this adaptation will aim to be but expect to here more about this one soon.

Another movie we can expect to start hearing lots of news about in the coming weeks is that as yet still untitled (Shatterhand was just a working title thank God) James Bond 25. Set to be Daniel Craig’s last outing as the iconic 007, Eon and MGM recently held an event and Ian Fleming’s Goldeneye Estate in Jamaica to announce some casting decisions for the new movie.

As has previously been reported, Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek is going to be playing the films villain, while a returning cast sees Ralph Fiennes as M, Ben Whishaw as Q and Naomi Harris as Moneypenny. The film is set to be directed by True Detective Season One helmer Cary Joji Fukunaga with a scheduled release date of April 8, 2020.

I’ve enjoyed Craig’s outings for the most part, but one thing that really bothered me about Skyfall and Spectre was that, after being so excellently set-up in the two previous movies, Sam Mendes opted to drop all traces of Jeffery Wright’s Felix Leiter. Well, it would seen Bond 25 is aiming to rectify that with the news that Wright will be returning to the role and the film will see his CIA agent joining Bond on an international mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist.

The concept of a Bond “buddy” movie is intriguing, and I hope this new movie will inject some life into the franchise after Spectre.

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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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