Weekly Round Up: Rachel Weisz, Jai Courtney, Emma Stone

Rachel Weisz

So, last week we got the news that Angelina Jolie is in talks to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as an as yet unknow character in The Eternals, which the studio plan to shoot this year for a scheduled 2020 release date, and while we’ve had no further developments on that movie, we have had some potential casting announcements for Marvel’s other 2020 release, the long-awaited Black Widow solo-outing.

Florence Pugh was announced to be joining the cast last month, and this week we learned that Rachel Weisz and David Harbour are in talks to join the production. Weisz earned acclaim for her role in this year’s Oscar favourite The, erm, Favourite, while Harbour will be on our screens soon as Hellboy, in the reboot of that franchise.

Outside of these potential casting announcements not much is known about the Black Window movie. Will it be a prequel, or will it take place after Avengers: Endgame? For my money, I reckon it will likely be both, with a narrative in the modern world and flashbacks designed to flesh out the characters and the plot. But maybe not. I’m just guess. Leave me alone.

Speaking of The Favourite, Emma Stone will be joining Ralph Fiennes in Alexander Payne’s horror-comedy The Menu. The Menu is an interesting departure of sorts for Payne, who has received acclaim for his directorial and screenwriting skills, but his last movie, the Matt Damon starring Downsizing, received widely negative reviews.

Unlike his previous work, and despite winning Oscars for his writing, Payne hasn’t written the screenplay for The Menu. Instead the film is based off of a script by Will Tracy and Seth Reiss, who have written for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Late Night with Seth Myers respectively. The film centres on a couple who “travel to a remote island to attend an exclusive restaurant where the acclaimed chef has prepared a lavish tasting menu, along with some shocking surprises.”

I’m not the biggest Payne fan in the world, although Election and Sideways are both great, I have to admit the premise is intriguing and Stone and Fiennes’ involvement has certainly peaked my interest. I guess we’ll have to wait and see where this one goes, but anyone who knows me knows that I’m all for original horror.

James Gunn’s Suicide Squad (or should that be The Suicide Squad) is quickly becoming more and more of a strange curiosity. When it was first announced the film was described as something of a soft-reboot, featuring a new cast of (anti) heroes. Soon after, however, we received word that Margot Robbie was set to reprise her role of Harley Quinn. It was also though that Deadshot would be returning with a new face in the shape of Idris Elba, but apparently that is no longer the case.

This week we learned that two more familiar faces will be returning for the sort of, kind of, maybe sequel. Viola Davis will feature, reprising her role of Amanda Waller, the government agent who brings the Squad together, from the David Ayer directed original, while also returning is Jai Courtney, who played Captain Boomerang and was, admittedly, one of the very few highlights of that film.

While we’re on the subject of sequels, the follow-up to last years surprise hit A Quiet Place got a new casting announcement of its own this week. Up until now all that was known about this film was that the husband and wife team of John Krasinski and Emily Blunt would be returning, with Krasinski once again tackling directing duties while Blunt would once again star.

This week we got word that the two child actors from the original, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe, would also be returning for the sequel, and we also got news about a new cast member, none other than the Peaky Blinder himself, Mr Cillian Murphy.

Murphy is no stranger to post-apocalyptic settings; his breakout role was in the excellent Danny Boyle directed not-a-zombie-movie-but-quite-clearly-actually-is-a-zombie-movie 28 Days Later. For A Quiet Place 2 his character has been described as a “man with mysterious intentions who joins the family unit.”

And finally, the most interesting new of the week involves the new Child’s Play movie. And that might be a strange sentence, but there it is.

Despite only a couple of months away from release the voice of the new Chucky was yet to be announced. All that was really know was that it wouldn’t be Brad Dourif (news that brought with it a disappointment to any fan of the original franchise, including myself).

But that disappointment has been somewhat lessened by this week’s revelation that Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, will be lending his vocals to the psychotic doll. Hamill is no stranger to voice acting, famously voicing the Joker in the Batman Animated Series and then countless video games, spin-offs and TV movies since, so I’ve no doubt he’s capable of bringing the zany and psychotic Chucky to life.

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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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