Alfred, Scream, Dean: Weekly Round Up.
I know I already said this, but I’m saying it again now; as far as big budget, studio produced, superhero-centric blockbusters go, Matt Reeves’ The Batman is my most anticipated movie of 2021. I was already intrigued by the choice of director – Reeves is interesting filmmaker at the very least – but it’s the cast that continues to keep me on board.
Robert Pattinson is a fascinating choice to play the dark knight, and his trajectory post-Twilight has been more than enough to dispel the myth that all he can do is sparkle in the sunlight (although that doesn’t stop crazy people who claim their movie fans keeping that one going), while the news that Paul Dano will be playing The Riddler alongside Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman only furthered my curiosity.
Last month we also got conformation that Jeffrey Wright will be appearing in the film as Commissionaire Gordon, which might be the most inspired casting since, well, Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter. Seriously, more Jeffrey Wright can only be a good thing.
But the new Alfred casting news arriving this week is some of the most fascinating yet. Firstly, we have Andy Serkis playing Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler Alfred – and I’m assuming it won’t be a mo-cap performance – which, truthfully, I think is an absolutely brilliant choice. Serkis has a brilliant screen-presence and is always a hoot to watch on screen, but this is a character of the kind we’ve never really seen him tackle before, and that makes for interesting consideration. What kind of Alfred is this Alfred going to be?
Secondly, and perhaps even more intriguing, is the news that Colin Farrell will be appearing as long-time Batman villain The Penguin. Since the last time we saw Penguin on the big-screen he came in the form of the Gothic heavy Danny DeVito in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, it’s safe to say that whatever Reeves and Farrell are doing with the character, it’s going to be an incredibly different interpretation than the kind we’ve seen before.
Seriously, this movie just keeps going from strength to strength, and you have absolutely no idea how much I am hoping it will actually turn out to be good.
Following the Weinstein Company’s bankruptcy, the Spyglass Media Group, who now own the rights to the Scream franchise, announced that they plan to move ahead with a new movie under that title. The first Scream, directed by horror icon Wes Craven, is arguably one of the most influential films to have come from the slasher sub-genre in, well, ever. It was responsible for popularizing the “meta” aspect that so many horror films strive to hit these days, and was so successful it spawned three sequels of varying quality (Scream 2 is great, Scream 3 is bad, and I actually really enjoyed Scream 4) as well as a TV spin-off set during a different continuity.
Whether this new movie will be a reboot or a fourth sequel remains to be seen, but either way it is moving forward without the involvement of Craven – who died in 2015 – or Kevin Williamson, who wrote the scripts for the original, the sequel, and number four.
I’ll be honest, I’m not going to hold my breath on this one. While I hope it’ll be great, I’m not entirely sure how relevant a Scream movie can be in today’s Conjuring dominated landscape. The original was so influential, as I already mentioned, and the fourth film already toyed with the reboot idea in a clever way, so what else is there for the franchise to honestly tackle? Ghost Ghostface? I’m not keen on that.
And now, the Terminator franchise…
There have been three different attempts to reboot the Terminator franchise in the last decade, and not a single one of them has really lit the box-office on fire. The reasons for this are varied and subjective – I actually don’t mind Salvation, although it’s certainly not a great movie, while Genisys was just God awful. But Dark Fate looked, for a while at least, like it might prove an exception, what with James Cameron returning as producer and giving the film his blessing.
Despite that, and despite a relatively positive critical reception, the film didn’t really do much with audiences, and Paramount have stated that there are no plans to attempt another movie anytime soon. They have said, however, that they’re considering a TV series. I think we should just give the whole thing a rest now.
Speaking of giving things a rest, or rather not, our final bit of news this week is that James Dean is going to be appearing in a new film… or rather, he isn’t, a digital recreation of him is.
You can read my full views on the topic here but suffice it to say that I think this is just creepy and really disrespectful. The film in question, which Dean is supposedly going to “star” in (again, he’s not. He can’t. He died in 1955) is a Vietnam War movie called Finding Jack. And the filmmakers behind the film seem to be hell-bent on proving the understand absolutely nothing about actors or the acting profession, as they make absurd claims about how James Dean was the perfect character to play the part, and stuff.
For the final time, James Dean won’t be playing anything. He won’t be in that movie.
They’ll be using old film footage and photographs to digitally recreate the star, after securing his image rights. It’s a similar thing to what happened with Peter Cushing in Rogue One, and that was equally as uncomfortable, disrespectful and downright weird.
This idea of taking dead actors and putting them in movies they never agreed to be in is just wrong. It’s wrong on a moral level (after all, maybe they wouldn’t have wanted to be in it) and it’s wrong on a craft level, since it won’t be a performance from that actor, and it’s depriving audiences and actors from the opportunity to get new performances.
I’d really like it if we didn’t do this, really.
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