Derrickson, The Grudge, Deadpool: Weekly Round Up. Alright, I managed to get a couple of weeks into 2020 without having to mention Marvel, but this week there’s just no avoiding Disney’s comic book movie powerhouse. So, let’s get the Marvel stuff out of the way, so we can move on. Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then I’ll begin.
Scott Derrickson, who was, until his work on Marvel’s Doctor Strange, best known for low budget cult horrors Hellraiser: Inferno and Sinister, has departed the much-anticipated follow-up to the Benedict Cumberbatch starring superhero movie, citing those damned creative differences as his reasoning.
Speculation as to what those “creative differences” might be began swarming in almost immediately, with the most likely guess being that Derrickson and Marvel had different ideas about just what “Marvel’s first horror movie” should look like. Titled Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (a clear nod to Lovecraftian horror), the 2021 scheduled sequel was supposedly set to deliver a far more horror-centric tone than any Marvel film to this date.
I consider the Derrickson departure from the project something of a disappointment (and you can read more about that over on my blog if you’re interested) because, while the original Doctor Strange had some interesting visual stuff going on, it never really gave us the movie the Derrickson placement as director suggested. The sequel looked set to do that, but it would seem Feige and the folks at Marvel/Disney got cold feet – once again – and weren’t ready to really delve into something different.
Also on the Marvel front we have news this week that none other than Academy Award winner Christian Bale has joined the cast of Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love & Thunder. Bale’s involvement is interesting not least because he’s such a big star but also because of his involvement in a certain other comic book movie series.
Having played Batman in all three of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films, Bale is, for many, considered the definitive onscreen version of the Caped Crusader. Bale’s casting in Love & Thunder brings with it its own speculation, as we don’t actually know who he’ll be playing. The online favorite at the moment seems to be Beta Ray Bill, an alien who has long featured in Marvel comics (although this would likely mean Bale would be featuring in the film as a voice only role).
Nonetheless, we’re likely to learn more soon, as Waititi revealed that the movie will begin shooting in August of this year.
Another actor making the leap from one superhero universe to another is Ryan Reynolds, although Reynolds will actually be playing the same character despite the transition. The Deadpool star announced this week that Deadpool 3 is on the move with the “whole team” attached.
Deadpool’s future was somewhat hazy after the Disney/Fox merger, but now it seems the character will be moving on over to the MCU. Quite how screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick plan to make this work remains a mystery, although we are all no doubt aware of Deadpool’s unique ability to break the fourth wall, so this will probably go some ways as to explaining that.
Still, it’s a rather interesting concept, even for me, who is well and truly fed up with the Marvel machine at this point. Will the character and series maintain the R-Rated reputation? How will it fit in with the noticeably lighter in tone universe of the MCU when compared to X-Men? I guess we’ll have to wait and see how this one pans out.
Right, no we’ve got the Marvel stuff out the way, let’s move on to the genuinely interesting stuff, shall we?
After the surprise but much deserved success of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, it would seem Lionsgate are keen to see Daniel Craig’s sleuth Benoit Blanc solve another mystery. While the studio are yet to officially greenlight the project, Johnson has announced that he is busy working away on a script for the sequel and hopes to start filming as early as the end of this year!
For my money’s worth, I’d be pretty happy to have a new Benoit Blanc movie every couple of years. Knives Out was great fun, and easily one of the best films of last year, and given the possibilities are pretty much endless (Blanc can, of course, basically be put on any case with any cast) I see no reason why this can’t be franchise material. Who doesn’t love a good whodunnit?
Finally, my favorite story of the week, and arguably the one with the least details.
The new version of The Grudge has been getting a pretty brutal beating from critics across the pond, ahead of its UK release in February, but that hasn’t stopped me from remaining excited about it. One thing that has kept my interest is the involvement of Sam Raimi as producer.
But, while on the press circuit for The Grudge, Raimi dropped a bit of a bombshell, especially if you, like me, are a fan of his own debut as director, The Evil Dead, and its remake.
Raimi revealed that he is, in fact, working with a new writer/director on a new Evil Dead project. We don’t know who, although we can assume it isn’t the remake’s director, Fede Alvarez. I enjoyed Alvarez’s movie, and would have been more than happy to see that film get a sequel, but any new Evil Dead is music to my ears.
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