Weekly Round Up: Hellraiser, Michael Rooker, Disney


Right. Everybody, calm down and take some deep breaths. We’ve got some massive, humongous, potentially Earth-shattering news for you this week. In fact, it’s basically the only story that matters. So, just chill out, try to control your excited squeals, and read on. First up, Hellraiser.

Hellraiser is getting a reboot.

Sorry, is that not quite what you were expecting. Oops. Maybe I need to give you some context. As a horror fan this news is intriguing enough to me anyway, but I have something of a strange personal connection to Hellraiser in that it was one of the first Hellraiser movies I remember watching and genuinely loving from a filmmaking perspective. It’s definitely one of the key movies in my movie watching journey, and the news of a potential reboot has been something I’ve been waiting to hear for some time.

In terms of the remake itself, I’m weary about it. While the general idea of rebooting the franchise has been around almost as long as the franchise itself, the fact that franchise creator Clive Barker appears not to be involved is something of a disappointment. It also worries me in the sense that the franchise hasn’t fared well without Barker’s involvement.

Stepping in to lead this new take on the Cenobites is David S Goyer, who is perhaps most well known as the writer behind Blade, Man of Steel and one of the co-writers of The Dark Knight. He’s a perfectly serviceable screenwriter, although his work is often elevated by the involvement of others.

Perhaps most interesting about the new Hellraiser movie though is that it is the first movie announced by the newly reformed Spyglass Entertainment. In the early 2000s Spyglass were recognisable for the studio who provided Touchstone with many of their hits, most notably Shanghai Noon and The Sixth Sense. I’ll keep an eye on this one, but I remain cautious.

Speaking of cautious optimism, James Gunn’s Suicide Squad sequel (which is still titled The Suicide Squad) continues to become one of the more interesting prospects of the superhero landscape moving forward. Ever since Gunn was announced as the writer/director of the DC project there have been rumours that at least one of his Marvel stars would be joining him on the “other side”.

Initially it was thought that Dave Bautista, who was supposedly up for the role of Peacemaker, would be joining the cast, which includes Idris Elba, Viola Davis, and Margot Robbie, but it looks likely that ex-wrestler and all round surprisingly decent actor John Cena will be taking that part instead.

Well, this week we learned that Yondu himself, Michael Rooker is in talks to play the villain of the piece, King Shark. Gunn and Rooker have frequently collaborated together to great effect (if you haven’t seen Slither then… well, go see Slither. Seriously. Just stop reading this round-up right now and go watch Slither. It’s worth your time). Personally, I’m pretty pleased to hear they’re looking to collaborate once more, Rooker is always fun on screen and he and Gunn clearly work well together, and the more I learn about The Suicide Squad the more into it I am.

In other superhero news, it appears Winter is Coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe post-Endgame. Richard Madden, who appeared in HBO’s Game of Thrones as Robb Stark, The King in the North, is reportedly in talks with Marvel to potentially join the cast of The Eternals. Previously we’ve learned that Angelina Jolie has joined The Eternals as Sersi, while both Kumail Nanjiani and Ma Dong-Seok have been cast in unknown roles.

Madden would be playing the part of Ikaris who, in the comics, has been a leader of The Eternals in the past.

I’m not really sure what I think of this project. I’m interested, sure, but it seems very strange at the same time. Still, the cast is impressive, and the fact that Chloe Zhao, who’s previous films The Rider and Songs my Brothers Taught Me are both critically acclaimed, has been placed in the director’s chair intrigues me. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Okay. So, I suppose we’ve got to get the whole “Galaxy Far, Far Away” thing out of the way, don’t we?

Disney recently dropped their upcoming slate, which stretches on through to 2024 and reveals an awful lot about their plans now the Fox merger is complete. There are announcements, changes, and some surprising news, but the one that caught everyone’s attention is the one involving Star Wars.

It would seem that Disney may not have been entirely honest when they claimed they wanted to slow down the Star Wars franchise. After this year’s The Rise of Skywalker (still, f**k that title. It’s stupid) there will be a three-year gap and then, in December of 2022, there will be a new Star Wars movie every two years, with the next coming in December of 2024 and then in 2026.

The big mystery, though, is what these movies actually are. It has long been understood that Rian Johnson, the writer/director of The Last Jedi, has been working on a new trilogy, although some have speculated this is no longer happening due to the “controversy” over TLJ (I put the word “controversy” in quotation marks like that because it’s a joke that we all actually take the fan backlash against TLJ so seriously). Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are also supposedly developing a new trilogy, this one rumoured to be based on the Old Republic period seen in video games, so it could also be that. Once again, I guess we’ll just have to have to wait and see.

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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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