Gunn, Smith, Feig: Weekly Round Up

Gunn, Smith, Feig: Weekly Round Up

Gunn, Smith, Feig: Weekly Round Up. It’s another week, which means it’s time for another weekly round-up. We’ve got a whole host of stuff to get through, so we’re going to be moving quick. Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then I’ll begin…

First up, James Gunn has revealed the full cast list for his upcoming The Suicide Squad, which is set to be a sort of remake/reboot/sequel to David Ayer’s film, which was called Suicide Squad (without the “The”), and was a hot mess. Gunn, who’s back catalogue includes the liked of both Guardians of the Galaxy movies, as well as cult classics like Slither and Super, is going to be bringing his owns special charm to preceedings.

The cast is pretty impressive. There are those we already knew, such as Margot Robbie, returning to the role of Harley Quinn after appearing in the David Ayer thing (I’m reluctant to call it a movie), along with Jai Courtney and Joel Kinnaman, who are also returning. Then there’s Idris Elba, who we know isn’t replacing Will Smith, and there’s Viola Davis.

But it’s the new members of the team that are the most interesting. Amongst them we’ve got ex-Doctor Who Peter Capaldi (who I’m hoping will be as sweary as he was as Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It), we’ve got John Cena, Taika Waititi, Michael Rooker and Alice Braga, among a whole host of others.

Perhaps my favourite bit of casting so far, though, is Nathan Fillion. Fillion has worked with Gunn before, but is best known and Captain Mal Reynolds, from Joss Whedon’s excellent cult series, and the subsequent movie outing, Firefly. Quite who he, or any of the new cast for that matter, are playing remains a mystery at this point, but Gunn tantalizingly tweeted the cast list along with the words “Don’t get too attached”, so… yeah.

Suck on that, right wingers.

More on the DC front, we learnt this week that Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker will not be meeting Robert Pattinson’s Batman anytime soon. Todd Phillips’ Joker, which stars Phoenix, seems to be one of the early favourites for Oscars this year, which is rather fascinating, but it does appear to also be a wholly standalone venture, separate from any of the other DC properties.

For my money, I think this is a really intriguing move for DC to take. Their characters have always been far more interesting than Marvel’s, but they’ve never quite managed to translate that to the big screen. Utilizing them in standalone movies, that work more like an anthology output of unique character studies, with an original creative team, could be a wise move for the studio.  Does this standalone style extend to Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman? Well, we don’t know, but I sort of hope it does.

While we’re on the subject of shared universes, anyone remember Universal’s attempt, also known as the Dark Universe?

It was supposedly set to begin with the Tom Cruise starring The Mummy, but when that film turned out to be… well, the biggest pile of shit this side of Dr Ian Malcolm,  all plans for further projects under that banner were more or less squashed. They swiftly moved on to striking a deal with Blumhouse, who hired Leigh Whannell, one of the creative team behind Saw and Insidious, as well as writer/director of the absolutely brilliant Upgrade, to take over The Invisible Man.

Well, it appears that that’s not all Universal had planned for their “Monster Squad”. Director Paul Feig, who has been at the helm of films such as Bridesmaids, Spy and… erm… the 2016 Ghostbusters movie, pitched an idea to the studio, which is currently going under the title of Dark Army. It looks set to reunite all of the classic Universal Monsters.

What Dark Army is actually about is, at this point, anyone’s guess. But we do know that it will feature, alongside the classic monsters, a whole host of new ones. While I’m not the biggest fan of Feig’s work, his last movie, A Simple Favor, was a lot of fun, and I’m a fan of the Universal Monster clan, so I’m interested.

Finally, the silliest movie news this week comes in the form of a remake.

Yes, it seems Paramount Pictures are developing a new film based on the 1997 action classic Face/Off. That film starred John Travolta and Nicholas Cage, and is possibly one of the most batshit crazy, ridiculously fun times you can have watching a film. The remake, which will be written by Sonic the Hedgehog writer Oren Uziel, has no official casting news or anything beyond the fact that they are developing it.

Whatever your thoughts are here, I think it’s safe to say this is an odd move. Face/Off, as much as I love it, is hardly remembered for being much more than a sort of joke, and I’m not sure how many people were really clamoring to see the premise given a second pass. Especially if it means we have to watch it without the presence of wild-eyed Nic Cage.

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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.