Pitt, Whannell, Halloween: Weekly Round Up

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Pitt, Whannell, Halloween: Weekly Round Up – Although it might seem strange to think it now, there was a point in time where Keanu Reeves was all washed up. His career had been steadily declining for many years. Of course, all that changed once John Wick came along and reignited interested in the star, and rewrote the rules of the modern action movie as we know it.

While Brad Pitt’s career isn’t what one would call in decline, after all, only last year he had great success appearing in a leading role in Tarantino’s well-received Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, it has been a while since we last saw the actor take on a role in an out and out action movie.

This looks set to change, mind, with this week’s announcement that Pitt will be starring in action thriller Bullet Train, directed by John Wick and Atomic Blonde director David Leitch. The film will be adapted from the Japanese novel Maria Beetle, by author Kotaro Isaka, a tells the story of five assassins who find themselves on the same train as each other, headed from Tokyo.

Of course, as you can no doubt imagine from that set-up alone, this leads to all sorts of carnage, and with Leitch at the helm, it’s a safe bet to assume all of this will be realized in energetic and exciting action set-pieces. After all, his last film was the Fast and Furious spin-pff Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw, which was a lot of goofy fun.

Although, truthfully, I’m sort of hoping for a more grounded adrenaline-fuelled thrill-ride of the kind we’ve seen before in both the John Wick franchise and the excellent and underappreciated Atomic Blond. Although, either way, with that premise, Leitch’s involvement, and Pitt leading the film’s cast. I’ll admit that I’m pretty excited about this one either way.

But, now we’ve had a little good and interesting news, let’s move on to some downright depressing stuff, shall we?

This week we learned that the movie industry is still not free and clear of the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this has been made no clearer than in Universal Studios’ decision to push back four of their highest-profile horror movies.

The first was Nia DaCosta’s Candyman (a film that I genuinely cannot wait for), which was originally scheduled for a release date of June 12th, but is now scheduled for October 16th of this year instead. It’s not too harsh a push, but it’s enough to feel the frustration. Then with have the next installment in the Purge franchise (seriously surprised that thing is still going, guys), titled The Forever Purge, which was supposed to be coming out July 10th but has now been pushed back a whole year to 2021. 

Perhaps the highest-profile of these films, though, comes in the form of the two sequels to 2018’s Halloween reboot (also called Halloween, which… I mean, does anyone else find that infuriatingly complicated and a little lazy?).

Producer John Carpenter released a statement on Twitter explaining the decision for the move, and also confirmed that the new 2021 release date for Halloween Kills will include an IMAX release of the movie. Of course, the full-year push back for Kills means that the third movie, Halloween Ends, has also been pushed back a year, meaning we won’t be seeing that film until 2022.

Fortunately, for horror fans like me at least, it’s not all push backs and doom in the genre, as this week we got some pretty exciting news concerning Blumhouse’s upcoming reboot of the classic Universal monster movie The Wolf Man.

We already knew that the film would star Ryan Gosling, but what we didn’t know, that we do now, is that the film will be written and directed by Leigh Whannell.

For those of you unfamiliar with Whannell, he’s the man who brought us the excellent reboot of The Invisible Man, so his involvement here is pretty exciting. Universal and Blumhouse both seem keen to get these new monster movies off the ground as quickly as the can, perhaps to make everyone forget about the awful Dark Universe attempt that we had with Mummy: Impossible (but I’m going to keep bringing it up anyway). 

Either way, after the success of The Invisible Man it makes sense to bring Whannell back, meaning that these films are going to have certain similarities beyond their shared inspiration. It’s been a long time since we had a genuinely scary, well-made werewolf movie, so here’s hoping that Gosling and Whannell can bring that to the piece. – Pitt, Whannell, Halloween: Weekly Round Up

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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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