Armie, Cap, Kevin Feige: Weekly Round Up – 2020 may well have been a hell of a year, but we’re not even out of January yet and 2021 doesn’t seem willing to chill. Somewhere amongst all the craziness the year has churned out so far is a bizarre online controversy surrounding Armie Hammer.
Now, I’m not going to get into the ins and outs of that here – it’s just too strange, and I don’t know enough about it to make an informed or even ill-informed statement on it – but we have learned that due to the controversy Hammer has now dropped out of the movie he was supposed to begin shooting for four months in the Dominican Republic. The film is titled Shotgun Wedding, and stars Jennifer Lopez and whoever winds up replacing Armie Hammer as a couple who are in the Caribbean for a destination wedding when they begin to get cold feet. This is only exacerbated when they, and the entire wedding party, are taken hostage.
Hammer is now the second actor to drop out of the role, the first being Ryan Reynolds. Although Reynolds decision doesn’t involve the same peculiar and unsettling reasons as Hammer’s, and he remains attached to the project as an executive producer. The film is set to be directed by Jason Moore, who was the man behind Pitch Perfect and Sisters, based on a screenplay by No Strings Attached’s Liz Merriwether and Two Night Stand’s Mark Hammer.
The strange case of Armie Hammer wasn’t the only movie-related controversy to capture the internet’s keen eye for outrage this week, but the other big one is perhaps a little less… interesting than the former Lone Ranger’s. Director Darren Aronofsky, who is no stranger to controversy anyway, has announced this week that Brendan Fraser has been cast in his upcoming movie, an adaptation of the 2012 stage-play by playwright Samuel D. Hunter, The Whale.
Indie production house (or, as I like to call them, film students’ favorite distributor) A24 will reportedly be distributing Aronofsky’s The Whale, which is about “a six-hundred-pound recluse hiding away from the world and slowly eating himself to death”.
Meanwhile, director David O. Russell has been busy filling out the cast of his as yet untitled new movie, which is currently shooting in Los Angeles and is expected to be released by 20th Century Studios (it took me a second to figure out who that was, by the way. Formally 20th Century Fox, of course, and while the merger with Disney is frustrating from a certain point of view, I will admit it’s nice to no longer have to add on that brand of hate at the end there…) as a late 2021 awards season contender.
The film had already signed Christian Bale, who has worked with Russell on both The Fighter and American Hustle, as well as Margot Robbie, and Tenet star John David Washington, but this week we got a one-two punch of big hitters rounding out the ensemble. And folks, this is one hell of an impressive cast!
On Wednesday we learned that Bohemian Rhapsody and Mr. Robot star Rami Malek and Guardians of the Galaxy’s Zoe Saldana had joined the cast, and then, on Thursday, we got the news that they would be joined by – hold your breath – Robert DeNiro, Mike Myers, Anya Taylor-Joy, Chis Rock, Michael Shannon, Matthais Shoeaerts, Andrea Riseborough, Alessandro Nivola, and Timothy Olyphant.
We don’t even know what this movie is about, although Russell is no stranger to ensemble pieces, but let me tell you, with a cast list that impressive I’m listening. All we do know at this point is that Bale and Robbie will reportedly play a lawyer and a Doctor (although which is which remains a mystery). But look, Russell has a pretty good, if not a little forgettable, track record with this kind of thing, so I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
Now, our final story today concerned the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe.
First things first, what we do know for certain is that this week it was reported that Chris Evans is expected to return for at least one more movie post-Avengers: Endgame. Of course, this has led many fans to begin speculating about just what this means, and folks, some of these theories are pretty wild.
The most obvious theory is that Evans is returning to the role of Steven Rogers, aka Captain America, and that is return will involve some sort of time-travel. This makes sense since the MCU has already set-up the possibility of time travel and it featured heavily in Endgame itself. However, there are some more “out there” theories, including one that sees Evans returning to the MCU not as plucky Steve Rogers but as Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch, a character he played previously in the Tim Storey Fantastic Four movies (which are dumb as shit, but underrated lazy Sunday movies).
Kevin Feige has confirmed that he is already casting The Fantastic Four reboot, and of course, there was the recent news that the third MCU Spider-Man outing will feature characters from previous incarnations of the wall-crawler. That, coupled with the fact that Doctor Strange is about to go exploring in the Multi-verse of Madness, and that Jonathan Majors has been cast as the time-traveling villain Kang in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, it’s not too far outside the realms of possibility.
Either way, I’ll admit I’m a little disappointed by this news. We heard a while back that Downey Jr. is also poised to return in some form, and it seems to me that along with Thor still being out there and the Black Widow movie still waiting for a release, that whole “we’re in the Endgame” of Endgame thing was… well, a load of old bollocks. – Armie, Cap,Kevin Feige: Weekly Round Up
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