Wright, Cornish, Wood: Weekly Round Up

edgar wright

Wright, Cornish, Wood: Weekly Round Up – Whether you’re back at work, out meeting friends at a safe social distance, or still maintaining your own personal lockdown, the Hollywood machine seems to have no time for stopping. Despite all film productions behind halted during this Coronavirus outbreak, the movie industry has been busy greenlighting films, entering pre-production on may projects, and adding the finishing touches of post-production on many existing ones.

That’s not to say that there haven’t been frustrations along the way. One of my biggest grievances (I mean, aside from the UK Governments appalling inability to handle anything) was the news that Edgar Wright’s upcoming psychological horror Last Night in Soho was pushed back, and that I now have to wait even longer before I get to see it. First world problem? Most definitely. Does it still annoy the hell out of me? You betcha!

Anyway, this week we got news that suggests we might not have to wait too long before we get to see Wright, the director behind cult classics Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, follow-up Last Night in Soho. I’m taking this as a silver lining, and you can’t stop me.

Wright has signed on to direct a big screen adaptation of the 2019 novel The Chain, by Adrian McKinty, which tells the story of a mother who, after her 11 year-old daughter is kidnapped, learns that the only way to get her child back is to kidnap someone else’s. Universal Pictures snapped up the movie rights after Paramount Pictures briefly eyed the project last summer.

This won’t be Wright’s first adaptation, after all, Scott Pilgrim was based on a comic, but it will be his first dramatic one, and it sees him teaming with screenwriter Jane Goldman, the woman behind Hammer’s comeback movie The Woman In Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, as well as X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and the inexplicably popular, classist nightmare that is the Kingsman franchise, who will be writing the script.

Not much else is known about the project at the moment, but it is a rather intriguing prospect. I can’t honestly say I’m all that big a fan of Goldman’s output – I often find her work to be a little bland and “obvious”, and sometimes her endings feel underwhelming and kind of generic – but Wright’s involvement certainly makes me take note. More on this as we get it, presumably.

And while we’re talking about Edgar Wright, in 2011 Wright produced Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block, a grossly underrated and underseen gem of a movie that meshes John Carpenter-style horror sensibilities with Ken Loach-style commentary on working class Britain to both frightening and hilarious effect.

Perhaps the biggest thing to come out of Attack the Block was actor John Boyega, who I’m sure most of you will know as Finn in Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy. Attack the Block was one of Boyega’s first big movie roles, and if you haven’t seen it, I strongly suggest you seek it out.

Well, this week we discovered that Joe Cornish, who also wrote and directed last year’s excellent, and once again woefully underseen, comedy-fantasy mashup The Kid Who Would Be King, has actually met with Boyega recently to discuss potential ideas for an Attack the Block sequel.

Now, personally I’d much rather see Joe Cornish take high concept genre themes and spin them into amusingly British comedy pieces, but since none of you bothered to go and see his movies, I guess a sequel will have to do. Although quite what that sequel would be, or even if it comes to fruition, remains to be seen. Presumably, they would have to acknowledge the decade time jump between the two films, but the director didn’t really reveal much in the way of plot points.

Cornish is currently working on a TV movie adaptation of the novel Snow Crash for HBO Max, so it could very well be a little while before we get any sense of movement of this, if any at all. And, John Boyega seems to be in very high demand at the moment, despite his fears over his career after his vocal support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Attack the Block did a lot to bring an 80s sense of fun back to the horror genre, but one person who seems to have put horror at the front and center of his output is Middle Earth’s very own Frodo Baggins, Elijah Wood. Wood’s filmography, as both an actor and a producer, shows a genuine love for the genre, and it’s become somewhat exciting for me, as a horror fan, every time we get word of a new Elijah Wood project.

And this week we did get news of a new Elijah Wood project. The sinisterly titled No Man of God will see Wood team with indie filmmaker Amber Sealby, who will be directly a script by C. Robert Cargill, the co-writer of Sinister, Sinister 2, and Doctor Strange. The film will centrer on Wood’s FBI agent, Bill Hagmaier, who was the man who interrogated serial killer Ted Bundy, and is based on the real-life transcripts of their conversations from 1984 through to 1989.

I’m quite curious about this one, not going to lie. It sounds like a fascinating concept, and anytime true crime gets put under the cinematic microscope, especially in a way that draws upon the existing and very real evidence and documentation – much like Fincher’s Zodiac – I can’t help but be drawn to it. So, let us see how this one pans out moving forward.

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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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