Blumhouse, Tarantino, Superworld: Weekly Round Up

Blumhouse, Tarantino, Superworld: Weekly Round Up

The Cornavirus pandemic may have meant that 2020 is more or less a write-off for most of the major studios, but this year did see some early movie success, especially in the form of Leigh Whannell’s excellent update of the classic Universal Monster movie The Invisible Man. The film, which was produced by horror studio Blumhouse and starred Elizabeth Moss in the lead role, was on track for a decent haul at the box office before COVID-19 forced everything into lockdown.

Well, Blumhouse and Universal seem eager to repeat the success as not only have they signed Leigh Whannell up to write and direct another classic monster update in The Wolf Man, but this week they also announced that they have agreed to reteam with Elizabeth Moss as well, for a psychological thriller called Mrs. March.

Based on the upcoming novel of the same name by author Virginia Feito, Mrs. March tells the story of “a polished upper East Side housewife who unravels when she begins to suspect the detestable protagonist of her husband’s latest bestselling novel is based on her”.

That sounds like a rather tantalizing premise if you ask me, and Moss’ involvement – she will star in the film but it will also be produced through her Love and Squalor Pictures production company – is just more reason to be excited. 

It seems the studios are back in the business of greenlighting projects though, and they all sound rather interesting at this stage. Perhaps the most interesting, at least as far as I’m concerned, comes in the shape o a new Ben Affleck movie. Affleck, who hasn’t directed a film since the poorly received Live By Night, earned great acclaim for his fact-based drama Argo, which centered around the US Government’s bizarre plan to rescue hostages by fabricating an entire film production.

Perhaps hoping to recapture the glory that movie brought upon him, Affleck has turned his attention to another fact-based drama about film. Called The Big Goodbye, Affleck’s new film, which he signed on for this week at Paramount Pictures, is being described as a behind the scenes look at the making of Roman Polanski’s 1974 neo-noir Chinatown, starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway.

The movie is based on the book The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood, by author Sam Wasson, and Affleck will adapt the screenplay as well as direct. The most intriguing thing about all of this though is who will ultimately wind up playing the likes of Polanski, Nicholson, and Dunaway. Henry Thomas did a pretty good job of Nicholson in Doctor Sleep… just saying, while Polanski was recently depicted on screen by actor Rafal Zawierucha in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. And speaking of Tarantino…

It seems like eons ago now that we learned of Tarantino’s desires to make a Star Trek film. The situation surrounding that movie has long been unclear, but with Paramount’s recent change in leadership – Emma Watts has recently taken the reins – the studio has announced a move to put Star Trek at the top of their priority list and are “in the process of figuring out which way to go”.

We also learned this week that Tarantino’s script for the film involves 1930s gangsters, which seems to suggest that it is based on the original series episode “A Piece of the Action”, in which the Enterprise discover a planet that has adapted its culture to imitate 1920s Chicago. I’m still not entirely sure I’m sold on the idea of a Tarantino Star Trek, but I’ll admit that this news has made thing make a lot more sense, given the classic Hollywood gangster flick is one of the only genres Tarantino hasn’t paid full homage to yet.

In 2018 the Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams starring Game Night was released and became something of a surprise hit – it’s also surprisingly good and you should definitely check it out. Since then I’ve been eagerly awaiting finding out what the folks behind the movie would do next.

Well, this week we found out, with Game Night screenwriter Mark Perez reteaming with Jason Bateman for another action comedy titled Superworld. The film will be an adaptation of the recent novel by author Greg Krieger and is set in the near future of 2038, where every person on Earth but one has their own superpowers. That one without will be played by Jason Bateman, who gets the opportunity to prove himself when he finds himself up against a corporate overlord with the ability to takeaway everyone’s superpower.

It sounds zany and all kinds of bizarre, but also pretty fun, and given what a surprise Game Night was, I’m curious to learn more. Let’s just hope this isn’t like the last time Bateman was in a superhero movie, because Hancock had some decent ideas, and we all know how that turned out…

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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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