Invisible Woman, Bond, Joker: Weekly Round Up

Invisible Woman

Invisible Woman, Bond, Joker: Weekly Round Up – Last week I wrote about the news that we might be getting a Joker 2, and how it’s yet just another example of how Hollywood seems to have forgotten how to make anything that isn’t… well, a proven success, based off of an existing property. And this week we got yet more news that further proves that rather than going down the interesting, actually exciting path of standalone stories led by interesting creative voices, the folks over at DC and Warner’s are still just trying to… ugh, do the Marvel thing.

One of the most obvious responses to Joker’s success comes in the form of the news that the studio are pushing for an R-Rating for both the upcoming Bird of Prey movie, which sees Margot Robbie reprise her role of Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad, and for James Gunn’s reboot of that property, entitled The Suicide Squad. Because if there’s one lesson to be learned from Joker, it’s that the R-Rating was the reason for its success, and not the, y’know, original story or whatever.

Seriously, forcing something to be R-Rated when it doesn’t need to be is as stupid, if not more stupid, that forcing something to be a PG-13 when it needs to be an R. Can’t movies just be what they’re supposed to be? I get there’s a level of marketing and business involved in these things, but now we’re potentially forcing gore and swearing into what could be a perfectly fine family movie and family movie-ising (is that a word?) what could be a solid adult orientated success? That just seems stupid to me.

And that’s not the only “lesson” the studio has taken from Joker. Because if there’s another thing that was key to Joker’s success, it was the fact that Joker was a villain, and not the, y’know, original story or whatever.

That’s why we’re likely to see a spew of villain led solo-outings coming off the back the Todd Phillips’ directed, Joaquin Phoenix starring kind-of-drama. And, as if that wasn’t unoriginal enough, guess where we might be seeing these villains pop-up first…

That’s right, Matt Reeves’ The Batman, the one starring Robert Pattinson, is now set to be a launch-pad for a whole host of villain-centric movies from the studio that brought us such classics as Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and, er, Justice League, the last time they tried their hand at the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe thing. So, keep an eye-out for news around a Zoe Kravitz starring Catwoman solo-outing, a Colin Farrell led Penguin crime thriller and a Paul Dano vehicle all about what a tortured soul The Riddler is.

Or, you could just go watch movies with some originality behind them. It’s up to you. Whatever.

While we’re on the subject of studios going for that shared universe vibe, Universal Studios seem to have finally figured out what the hell they want to do with their Classic Monster properties.

We already have the trailer for Leigh Whannell’s excellent looking The Invisible Man (BRWC, if you get a screener for this, I’ll review it. I’ll review it twice.), but the studio isn’t stopping there. It would seem no amount of terrible, terrible Mummy movies can shut them down.

James Wan, the man behind Saw, Insidious and The Conjuring, as well as the far more fun that it should have been Aquaman (an ironic opinion for me, granted, given my rant not two paragraphs ago), reportedly has a Frankenstein project in development, which is rather exciting. And then there’s Paul Feig’s Dark Army, which is admittedly far less exciting, and Dracula spin-off Renfield, which we don’t really know anything about at this point other than that it’ll be directed by Dexter Fletcher.

But we also got news this week that Elizabeth Banks, who’s Charlie’s Angels was released this week to… not great box office takings, shall we say, is helming a reboot of the 1940’s movie The Invisible Woman. The film won’t be connected to Whannell’s film, much like the original wasn’t connected to James Whale’s Claude Rains starring classic, and has been described as “Thelma and Louise meets America Psycho”, which… well, that sounds quite cool, to be honest.

Finally, let’s wrap things up with some James Bond news, shall we?

We all sort of suspected that No Time To Die (I’ve still got No Time For That Title, by the way) would be Craig’s final outing as 007, but it appears that Craig has now confirmed the suspicion. Craig has had a good run, though, to be fair, and while his outings have been something of a mixed bag, he has at least managed to bring Bond back to the iconic status the series once had.

So, speculation on who should pick up the mantle? Personally, I’d like to see someone like Dan Stevens take on the role of James Bond, and for it to be set in 60s, at the height of the Cold War. The aesthetic worked for Guy Ritchie’s Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie (although it was pretty much the only thing that did), so it would be cool to see Bond head back to that era. I’d like to see the franchise – and the character of Bond – be given to a female director. My top choice would be Coralie Fargeat, who’s 2017 thriller Revenge is more than enough evidence that she could pull it off. Let’s see what a female perspective brings to a character like Bond, who is famous for his misogynistic and outdated view.

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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.