Okay. I’m going to skip over the Cineworld news and focus on the actual movie stuff this week, since it’s kind of depressing and I think we all need a bit of a pick me up. So, to that end, let’s talk about what might be the weirdest announcement around the Marvel Cinematic Universe in quite some time. Apparently, if the reports are to be believed, Jamie Foxx has been cast in the third solo-outing for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, and will be playing Electro, the character he also played in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a film that starred Andrew Garfield as the titular wall-crawler.
What does this mean, exactly? Well, at the moment it’s all sort of up for speculation. Of course, it’s important to note (Maybe. Maybe it’s not important at all. It could be nothing. Who knows?) that Sony’s MCU Spider-man films have, for the most part, made a lot of effort to separate themselves from the films that came before, mostly in the form of the connective tissue between them at the Marvel Studios productions. However, the end of Far From Home did see the return of J K Simmons as J Jonah Jameson, the character he famously played in the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies from the early 2000s.
It was assumed, perhaps naively now, that Simmons was simply playing an alternate version of the character, but Foxx’s casting could suggest something else entirely. Let’s not forget that the smash-hit Into The Spider-Verse introduced the concept of multiple realities featuring different versions of the same character, and that the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel, interestingly enough set to be directed by original Spider-Man director Sam Raimi, is titled Doctor Strange in the Multi-verse of Madness, and is expected to introduce the idea of alternate realities within its narrative.
It’s also worth noting, I think, that prior to all this Coronavirus weirdness, Sony dropped the trailer for Morbius, starring Jared Leto, a film that was expected to be a standalone movie or possibly even take place in the same universe as the Tom Hardy starring Venom, and fans were surprised to see Michael Keaton’s Vulture appear, a character that appeared in the first Tom Holland Spider-Man movie. It’s also also worth noting, perhaps, that the upcoming Flash movie is slated to see the return of Keaton’s Batman, suggestion multiple realities within that narrative too.
Are we now seeing the natural evolution of the Cinematic Universe? At what point does it end?
And while we’re on the subject of Cinematic Universes, who here has been looking at the recent slate of upcoming connected movie franchises and thought to themselves, “Well, this is all fine and dandy, but what I really want is a Doctor Suess shared universe”? Only me? Okay then.
Well, either way, it appears like I’ll be getting my wish, as J J Abrams (or, as I like to call him, man who ruined both Star Trek and Star Wars by doing the exact same thing to both and not learning from his mistakes) and his Bad Robot production company have teamed up with Warner Bros. to produce an animated adaptation of The Cat in the Hat in 2024, followed by a spin-off about the side-characters of Thing One and Thing Two in 2026.
This new cinematic universe is being dubbed the “Suessiverse” (*rolls eyes so hard they get stuck in the back of my head*) and will continue with an adaptation of Suess final book before his death, Oh, The Places You’ll Go, which is scheduled for a release in 2027.
In an odd sort of way, this actually does kind of make sense. Suess himself introduced the idea of a sort of shared universe in his books, with Whoville and the Whos appearing in a lot of his stories. Of course, the Grinch lived on a snowflake, while Horton of Horton Hears a Who was protecting a spec of dust on which the Whos of that story lived. So, with that in mind, it isn’t that much of a stretch to suggest that all these Whos are from the same town or place or whatever. Though, since this is J J Abrams we’re talking about, expect it to start intriguing, fizzle out, and ultimately lead nowhere.
Let’s move away from the cinematic universes now, though, and over to a new trend that seems to be taking Hollywood by storm – the true-life movie about making a movie. We’ve already had news that Ben Affleck is currently working on a project detailing the production of the iconic Chinatown, and of course David Fincher is busy working away on his upcoming Mank for streaming giants Netflix, which will detail the making of the Orson Welles classic Citizen Kane, and this week we’ve got a third movie to add to the list.
Francis and the Godfather will reportedly star Jake Gyllenhaal and Oscar Isaac and will tell the story of the making of The Godfather. Isaac will star as a young Francis Ford Coppola, who battles against studio exec Robert Evans, played by Gyllenhaal, to get his vision of the now iconic movie produced, and will include his famous struggle to cast Marlon Brando in the title role.
There’s no word yet on who will play Brando, but this does sound like an interesting film. Of course, my fascination with movies does sort of make me bias. The film will be directed by Barry Levinson, whose behind films like Rain Man and Good Morning Vietnam, so we’re in solid hands.
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