Rick, Morty, Marvel: Weekly Round Up

Rick and Morty

Rick, Morty, Marvel: Weekly Round Up – With the Coronavirus crisis still upending big portions of the world, and putting a halt on any and all new productions, most movie news coming out of the studios in recent weeks has been focused almost exclusively on projects in their early stages, or projects in their later stages. This makes sense, considering both pre-production and post-production are the only bits of the movie making machine that can possibly be done from home, but it does mean that we’re starting to hear about movies that might not be out for quite some time.

For example, Marvel have halted production on all their current films, as well as pulled Black Widow from its theatrical release, but that hasn’t stopped them from prepping a lot of upcoming projects. We’re all used to seeing two or three new Marvel movies a year, but in the next couple of years that number could potentially increase.

This week the comic book studio announced that they had finally hired a writer for the hotly anticipated third outing of Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man. Ant-Man was, of course, last seen in Avengers: Endgame, but his last solo-outing came in the form of Ant-Man and the Wasp in 2018. Since then news has been relatively scarce on just what a third outing for the size-shifting superhero would look like, but now, with this new announcement, we can gauge a kind of idea of just what type of movie Ant-Man 3 is going to be.

Writer and producer of the immensely successful adult animation sci-fi show Rick & Morty, Jeff Loveness, has won the gig over at Marvel to pen a script for Ant-Man 3, and while we don’t yet know much about the plot details, we can take an educated guess that it’ll feature some irreverent humor and possibly a far more sci-fi centric spin, given Loveness’ previous work.

What we do know is that both Paul Rudd and Evangine Lilly will be returning to play Ant-Man and the Wasp respectively, while the rumor mill has it that this film could potentially see the introduction of Scott Lang’s daughter, Cassie Lang, as the superhero Stature (a regular in the comics). She was aged up by the time jump in Avengers: Endgame, in which she was played by teen actress Emma Furhmann, so this could very well be something the folks over at Marvel are keen to get into play.

But, while sequels are the order of the day over at Marvel, the rest of Hollywood doesn’t seem to have forgotten their love affair with remakes, as we got news on not one, but two remakes of classic and iconic films coming our way once the pandemic is over.

First up, this week we learned that a remake of the Nicole Kidman starring haunted house classic The Others has been greenlit. A claustrophobic and tense thriller that cleverly plays on haunted house tropes to weave it’s narrative, The Others is perhaps most famous for its surprise conclusion, which features a now iconic twist ending.

Given how well known the twist is, you might be forgiven for wondering what the point of a remake would be. Surely the same trick can’t be pulled twice? Regardless of where you sit on that one, the remake is going ahead, with producer Renee Tab justifying the decisions by saying “it is almost eerie and uncanny how timely the themes are today: self-isolation, paranoia and fear, and of course the intense desire to protect our children and ourselves from harm.”

The film is being described as a “modern” retelling of the story, so whether that means it will be updated and set in the present-day is anyone’s guess. Either way, the use of the word “modern”, coupled with Tab’s remarks, has me wondering if the film might center itself in someway on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Other’s isnt’ the only remake of an iconic classic coming our way, though. Universal seem to have taken the success of their recent update on The Invisible Man as an excuse to delve into their entire back catalogue and fish out films no one really needs redoing. So, this week we learned that we’ll be getting a modern update of Charles Laughton’s excellent Night of the Hunter.

Night of the Hunter stars Robert Mitchum as a murderous preacher with “Love” and “Hate” famously tattooed on his knuckles. The film is recognized for its unusual tone and incredibly startling visuals.

Truth be told, I’m not sure I see the purposes of a remake for this one, given the original remains just as brilliant as ever. A modern retelling seems at odds with the mood of the piece, to me. I would much prefer to see Universal put their resources behind a restoration and rerelease of the classic rather than a remake that, no matter how good it may turn out to be, simply can’t even top what the original has already done. But, if they must remake things, I’d rather they continued to pursue their Invisible Man success and update some more of the classic monsters. But, hey, that’s just me.

And while we’re on the topic of remakes, our final story this week comes from Matt Reeves, the director behind the upcoming Robert Pattinson starring Batman. Reeves seems determined to point out to audiences that his film will, under no circumstances, be a remake of any kind. In fact, it’s not even an origin story.

This news might come as a relief to this of you who, like me, were somewhat concerned we were going to have to spend our time sitting through yet another recreation of the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents. Reeves assured everyone that this will not be the case, although the film will “still acknowledge his origins”.

The Batman has currently shut down production due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and we don’t yet know when shooting will resume, which means that it is entirely possible the film may be pushed back from its original June 2021 release date.

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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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