Kung-Fu, Mean Girls, Del Toro: Weekly Round Up

Kung-Fu, Mean Girls, Del Toro: Weekly Round Up

Kung-Fu, Mean Girls, Del Toro: Weekly Round Up. Do you guys remember a few years back, before The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro was reportedly developing a movie for DC titled Justice League Dark? I do, because I remember thinking it sounded great. Based on the comics, Justice League Dark would see a group of DC’s more sinister characters form their own sort of group. These characters would include the likes of Constantine, Deadman and Swamp Thing.

Under del Toro’s leadership the concept was a rather tantalizing and fascinating one. Del Toro is well known for his love of tradition effects and classic monster movies, so to see him bring that Pan’s Labyrinth or Hellboy style to a project of this size meant we could have been in for something great.

Unfortunately del Toro left the project to work on the aforementioned Oscar winning fish sex movie, as well as his upcoming Nightmare Alley (which sounds pretty intriguing in its own right), and it seemed that the idea of Justice League Dark was shelved by the studio.

That is no longer the case, as DC and Warner Bros. are planning to move forward with the project once more. Sadly, however, del Toro is no longer attached. Sadder still is the fact that the project falls under part of a deal Warner Bros. have just struck with J J Abrams’ Bad Robot production company, which will see the Rise of Skywalker director develop films and television shows based on Justice League Dark and the related characters.

While we don’t actually know whether Abrams himself will be directing any of these projects himself, I think it’s a safe bet to say that all of them will be like if you took the best bits of other, better movies and forgot to make anything of note with them.

To go from the promise of a fantastic del Toro movie to the forced, unimaginative drivel of Abrams is a pretty big blow, but the fan of the mystery box does at least have a better track record as a producer than a director, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see. There are plenty of characters under the Justice League Dark banner for the company to draw upon.

Marvel, meanwhile, also seem to be moving away from the more unique, outlandish approach they seemingly promised post-Endgame. After Scott Derrickson’s departure from the superbly titled Doctor Strange in the Multi-verse of Madness over those damned creative differences, Feige and co. have now hired Wandavision staff writer Megan McDonnell to start work on the much-anticipated Captain Marvel 2.

Nothing yet is really known about Captain Marvel 2, other than that it is likely aiming for a 2022 release date, and that Marvel are reportedly seeking a female director to helm the film. McDonnell may very well bring something new to the property, but it certainly seems like Marvel are keen to keep their productions as similar to their established style as possible. That’s fine, I guess… just not sure I understand the point in a whole Cinematic Universe that only ever repeats itself.

And, speaking of filmmakers repeating themselves; Tina Fey isn’t quite done with those Mean Girls just yet.

For those who don’t know – seriously, where have you been? – Mean Girls is a 2004 high school comedy starring Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams. It is one of the best teen movies to have ever graced our screens and continues to be as relevant and funny today as it was the day it was released.

The success of that movie saw Fey take the film to Broadway in 2018, and this week Paramount Pictures announced that they will be developing a big screen adaptation of the musical, which is based on the original film. If that sounds confusing, just think of it like The Producers or Little Shop of Horrors, which itself is getting a new big screen outing.

Looking back at older properties to reboot for a younger generation remains Hollywood’s go to at the moment, we had Charlie’s Angels last year, and this year Blumhouse are tackling Fantasy Island, but the results of this practice aren’t all bad. Take Atomic Blonde and Deadpool 2 director David Leitch’s proposed adaption of Kung-Fu, for example.

Kung-Fu was a big hit back in the mid-70s. The Kung-Fu show starred David Carradine – as in Bill, from Kill Bill – as a Shaolin Monk travelling through the Wild West. It’s the kind of crazy premise just beginning for a big screen adaptation, and Leitch has more than proven he has the Kung-Fu action chops, not least with last year’s surprisingly fun Fast & Furious spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw.

Finally, for those of us who care, Richard Stanley’s batshit crazy adaptation of H P Lovecraft’s The Color Out of Space, starring Nicholas Cage, is getting a pretty decent response from critics. Stanley revealed this week that he plans to adapt two more Lovecraft tales in the hopes of creating a sort of trilogy.

I don’t know about you, but any crazy Lovecraftian horror is a win by me, and we haven’t had anything great since Carpenter’s Lovecraft inspired In the Mouth of Madness (a film I, inexplicably, can’t even by on blu-ray in the UK). Before then it was Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator and From Beyond, also two films I absolutely love, so I’m backing Stanley 100% on this one. Let’s get weird!

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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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