Python, Garland, Star Wars: Weekly Round Up

It's...50 Years Of Monty Python!

Python, Garland, Star Wars: Weekly Round Up – So, it would seem that 2021 isn’t going to chill out and let us get the fuck on with our lives, so I guess we may as well just cut the chase. I know you don’t come here for a political chat, but I’ll shout from any platform I can and, well, seriously, this is a problem and we need to start recognizing that what’s happening across the pond the US has been on the rise here just as much. But, brushing all that aside for now, at least if we focus on some movie news then we can just forget about everything else and maybe imagine some sort of utopia where we all enjoy the cinema again. Maybe utopia is pushing it. Let’s just imagine a place that’s a little less shit.

First up this week we’ve got Star Wars, a franchise that’s never been known to turn people into hateful little toads… er… anyway, last month Disney held their big investor day event and made several announcements about the future of a galaxy far, far away, including news that Taika Waititi was busy working on his entry into the Star Wars canon, and that Patty Jenkins had been snapped up to helm Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. One project that was suspiciously absent from the event, though, was the project that would supposedly be brought to us by Marvel head honcho, Kevin Feige.

Despite Kathleen Kennedy stating that the film was still a “ways off”, this week we got some news about the project. The Feige Marvel film will reportedly be based on a screenplay by Rick and Morty producer Michael Waldron. Waldron has been working with Feige already, since he’s the chap who wrote the script for the upcoming Sam Raimi directed Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Doctor Strange in the Multi-verse of Madness, as well as serving as head writer on the upcoming Disney+ show, Loki.

Other than Waldron’s involvement, very little is still yet to be confirmed about this project and what it entails. Of course, the rumor mill is already busy churning out theories, but at the moment there is nothing concrete. It could be that we’ll have to way a while to see this thing in the flesh, though, since Waldron is expected to return to his head writer role for season two of Loki, a show that was originally thought to be a standalone mini-series.

While we’re on the subject of science-fiction, Dredd and Sunshine scribe, and the director Ex Machina and Annihilation, Alex Garland has been busy on his next project, a horror film set in the UK, titled simply Men. The film will reportedly tell the story of a young woman who “goes on a solo vacation to the English countryside after the death of her husband”.

If you’re anything like me then already this sounds rather tantalizing, and this week we got some casting announcements around the movie. Irish actress, and star of the Netflix Produced Charlie Kauffman 2020 film I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Jesse Buckley, will reportedly star in the movie alongside Rory Kinnear, an English actor who is perhaps best known for his role as Bill Tanner in the James Bond franchise.

Anyone who reads this roundup regularly will already know that I’m a big horror fan, but I am also a big fan of Garland’s work, and so this sounds great to me. I’m very curious to learn more about it and so will keep you all posted when there is more to know. One thing I will say, though, is that I’m always pleasantly surprised whenever I learn of a film set here in the UK, especially a genre piece since the UK has such a long and exciting history with the genre, in part thanks to its incredible wealth of myths and legends.

One such legend comes in the form of the classic tale of King Arthur, which has been brought to the screen many, many times. Perhaps one of the most famous and iconic of all these big-screen adaptations of the legend, though, is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Beloved the world over as a surreal and hilarious comedy classic, there are few TV based comedies to have ever made the jump to the world of movies quite so successfully.

The film’s reach stretches far beyond that of the cinema though, as it was adapted in 2005 by Monty Python member Eric Idle, and turned into a wildly popular and massively successful Broadway musical called Spamalot, which earned well over $175 million throughout its worldwide run.

20th Century Fox has originally snatched up the rights to produce a movie based on the stage show, but after the merger with Disney, Paramount Pictures have now acquired the project, which is “fully developed” with a screenplay by Idle himself. The musical’s choreographer, Casey Nicholaw, is now attached to potentially director Python Spamalot as his feature film debut, although it is also possible that he will be directing the screen version of the Mean Girls musical first.

Mean Girls, of course, recently closed down on Broadway due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, and so it could very well be that those involved in that production are keen to get the ball rolling on a big-screen outing. It is not yet known whether any of the actors who have appeared in Spamalot on stage will reprise their roles for the movie, but the show has featured the likes of Tim Curry, Hank Azaria, and David Hyde Pierce in the past, so expect a star-studded lineup. – Python, Garland, Star Wars: 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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