Weekly Round Up: William Sadler, Scooby-Doo, Angelina Jolie

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It appears the MCU is about ready to add Angelina Jolie to its canon, as the actress is currently in talks to take on a leading role in Marvel’s upcoming film The Eternals. The film has been slated since early last year and is confirmed to be the film Marvel intend to enter into production with following the long anticipated Black Widow movie, and will likely see a late 2020 release.

It would seem that the studio was just waiting for some star power to raise the movie’s profile, and if Jolie joins the cast then the film won’t want for much more in that department. Although the role Jolie is currently in talks to take on is yet to be confirmed, what has been confirmed is that the movie will have two leads, Ikaris and Sersi. Since Ikaris is male it seems a safe bet to assume Jolie is going for the role of Sersi, although one can never be sure when it comes to these things.

Personally, as a non-reader of comics, I don’t know an awful lot about The Eternals, but what I do know is that Thanos, the big bad who wiped out half of all life with the snap of his fingers in Infinity War, is technically an Eternal, although that doesn’t mean much, in my understanding, since there are different groups of them anyway.

I guess we’ll have to wait a see if there are any more developments on this one before we can speculate anymore, but I’m definitely curious about what this means for the MCU going forward. Their new movies post-Endgame seem to be swinging more toward the cosmic side of things, and since that gave us James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, it can’t be a bad thing.

Speaking of James Gunn, the Scooby-Doo reboot is moving forward too (geddit? He wrote the first live-action movies…), and some rather interesting casting developments came out this week. Regardless of what you think of the original live-action films it’s pretty hard to deny that Matthew Lillard was the perfect realisation of Shaggy, indeed so much so that he went on to voice the character for the cartoon series too!

I speculated that the new animated movie might just use Lillard again, but, it would seem the studio have opted instead to go in a different direction, with comedian Will Forte taking on the role. Forte will be joined by Frank Weller as Scooby himself, Gina Rodriguez as Velma and Tracy Morgan as Captain Caveman (who will be making his big screen debut here).

But this week has seen some more voice cast announcements, and they’re big ones. Taking on the role of Fred and Daphne respectively are Zac Efron, who is currently earning critical praise for his performance as serial killer Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, and Amanda Seyfried, who most will know from Mamma Mia!, but who I still remember from Veronica Mars.

Not much else is known about this new movie just yet, although it is currently going under the title of Scoob, rather than the full Scooby-Doo, and it has been reported, although not confirmed, that the villain of the piece will be Dick Dastardly, who is most well known as a character from Wacky Races.

Joel Coen, one half filmmaking duo the Coen Brothers, is reportedly set to go it alone with his next movie. The brothers, Joel and Ethan Coen, have collaborated on almost every film they’ve worked on, and have earned themselves a name synonymous with a certain style (dubbed Coenesque) and quality. Their most recent outing, The Ballard of Buster Scruggs, earned critical praise and was released on Netflix, while their back catalogue is filled with iconic cult classics such as The Big Lebowski, Raising Arizona, Fargo, No Country for Old Men and Inside Llewyn Davis.

Joel’s solo effort will be an adaptation of William Shakespear’s famous play, MacBeth, and will be based on a screenplay written by Joel without the aid of his brother.

The film will reportedly star Denzel Washington in the title role, while Coen regular (and Joel’s wife) Francis McDormand will be joining the cast as Lady MacBeth. Not much else is known, although speculation has begun and many think the film will likely be set in a more contemporary setting, rather than the Medieval setting of Shakespear’s original.

And finally, this week we learned that William Sadler, the actor who played Death in 1992’s Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, will be reprising his role in upcoming threequel, Bill and Ted Face the Music. Quite how Death fits into the narrative, which will reportedly see an aging Bill and Ted travel back in time to figure out why their bad is yet to become famous, remains a mystery, but since he was last seen playing bass for the Wyld Stallions it’s not hard to see why they will have brought him back.

Sadler was arguably a key part in Bill and Ted’s most iconic moment, which saw them face off against the Grim Reaper in a game of twister. I’m already excited for this movie and this piece of news just increases my excitement. More please!

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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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