Scarface, Popeye, Fury Road: Weekly Round Up – Alright, folks. We’re still in lockdown, and we’re still managing to find things to cover in the weekly round-up! The Hollywood machine does not stop, it would seem, even in the face of a global pandemic. In fact, this week we’ve got more than one story I can actually say I’m genuinely excited and curious about. So, where do we begin?
Well, let’s start with Scarface, shall we? The original, Howard Hawk’ 1932 production, was famously remade by Brian De Palma into to the iconic 80s movie starring Al Pacino as that cock-a-roach Tony Montana. But it seems that good old Hollywood aren’t content to let that be it, and so we’ll be getting yet another stab at the rise-and-fall story, and much like the De Palma’s movie, this one looks to be a “loose” remake, rather than one that sticks closely to what has come before.
Director Luca Guadagnino, who directed the critically acclaimed Cal Me By Your Name and, more recently, a remake of another iconic property, Suspiria, is now attached to direct the project, which reportedly be an “immigrant story”.
Rumors quickly began circulating once the story broke that Black Panther and Creed star Michael B Jordan had been cast or was in talks to play the titular gangster, but these were revealed to be false. What we do know about the remake though, is that it will be based on a script penned by the Coen Brothers.
Guadagnino’s involvement is certainly something to pique my interested. I may not be the biggest fan of his Suspiria remake, but I can’t deny that it wasn’t an interesting take on the material. But the real draw here is that script. Joel and Ethan Coen have a rather staggeringly impressive filmography with more classics than I care to list right now. It’s their involvement in this project that gives me hope that this could be something really special.
Of course, we inevitably saw a backlash to the announcement, but from my point of view I can’t see why people would get so frustrated. After all, as I already pointed out, De Palma’s movie was already a remake of an earlier classic, and even though he and Pacino delivered an iconic piece of cinema, I struggle to see how another retelling of the story possibly impacts on that film and its fanbase.
Guadagnino is also developing a remake of Lord of the Flies, which could be cool.
The next big story from this week that I couldn’t help find myself drawn into came from the wasteland and Mad Max director George Miller.
Miller’s next movie is set to be an epic romance called Three Thousand Years of Longing starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton, and this week it looked like that film could finally be getting the greenlight, with studio MGM coming on board to distribute the project. That, in and of itself is exciting, since Miller’s filmography is almost as varied as the Coen Brothers, jumping from grindhouse Ozploitation cult classics to kids movies, to studio comedies and animated films about penguins.
But it was another piece of news that really caught my attention, with Miller this week addressing his decision to cast a younger actress in the title role of his Mad Max: Fury Road spin-off, Furiosa.
For those of you who haven’t seen Fury Road (and man, you really, really should), Furious was played by Charlize Theron in that film, and delivered an instantly iconic performance as the character. This meant that some fans were somewhat unhappy to learn that she wouldn’t be reprising the role for the next movie.
The film will be a prequel, and Miller cited CGI de-aging technology as one of his cons against recasting Theron, claiming that it hadn’t quite yet escaped the “uncanny valley”, and even went so far as to point to Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman as an example. In terms of who will be playing Furiosa in the new movie, at present not much is known, although The Witch star Anya Taylor-Joy has been mentioned as a possibility.
While I agree that it is disappointing that Theron won’t be returning to a role she made, I can’t say I’m not intrigued to see just what Miller has up his sleeve. Fury Road remains one of the best films of the last ten or so years, in my opinion, and so I’m inclined to have faith in him and his decisions.
Our final story today is perhaps a little bit of an odd one.
Ten years ago animator Genndy Tartakovsky began working on a feature-length Popeye movie, with test footage debuting online in 2014. Tartakovsky is perhaps best known for his work on the popular Hotel Transylvania series, but he has experience in animation stretching back to shows like Dexter’s Lab, The Powerpuff Girls, and the epic Samurai Jack.
Unfortunately, Sony, the studio holding the Popeye rights, pulled the plug on Tartakovsky’s vision in 2015, but in an usual turn of events for Hollywood, the rights have reverted back to King Features who have now greenlit the project with Tartakovsky back in the driver’s seat.
What this movie will be like is anyone’s guess, but I’m pretty curious to see how this one turns out. It’s likely that we’ll be getting a lot more animated movies over the coming year given social distancing measures make live-action film shoots difficult, so this could be something to look forward to sooner rather than later. – Scarface, Popeye, Fury Road: Weekly Round Up
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