TV Latest - - by Rob Wallis

Film & TV news from the past week

Film & TV news from the past week

We’re all busy people and even the most ardent film and TV fan occasionally misses out on some breaking development or another. As such, here’s a quick rundown of all the relevant news from the past week to replenish your stores for conversation.

  • Director James Gunn has explained his rationale behind converting Guardians of the Galaxy to 3D in post-production, promising that he’s “been actively involved with converting every shot to 3D, making sure it works perfectly for the story and the film”.
  • Mark Hamill has explained his return to the Star Wars universe as being driven by “the UPFs – the ultra passionate fans. I would have a lot to answer for if I didn’t at least try to make the effort.”
  • Dame Judi Dench has joined the cast of the Tom Stoppard-scripted Tulip Fever, appearing alongside the likes of Christoph Waltz, Alicia Vikander, and Dane DeHaan. The film will document passion, painting, and, of course, the titular blooms in early 17th Century Holland.
  • Lupita Nyong’o will produce and play the lead in an adaptation Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s award-winning novel. Nyong’o has described the book – which will be produced by 12 Year co-star Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B – as  “a truly international story so full of love, humor and heart.”
  • Denzel Washington is rumored to be joining Antoine Fuqua in an upcoming remake of classic Western The Magnificent Seven. The pair first worked together on Training Day –for which Washington won the Best Actor Oscar – and more recently on an adaptation of ‘80s TV series The Equalizer, for which a sequel has already been green-lit.
  • Whiplash director Damien Chazelle wants to work with Emma Watson and reunite with Miles Teller in La La Land, a film about two struggling artists – one an actress, the other a musician – looking for fame and fortune. Chazelle describes his vision of the film as ”a contemporary musical about LA… building to a vision of the city as romantic metropolis… worthy of the dreams it inspires.”
  • Bad Neighbours actor Ike Barinholtz will play the romantic interest to Tina Fey in The Nest, a new romantic comedy from Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore. Fey and Amy Poehler star as two sisters who hold one last wild weekend in the family home that their parents have decided to sell. The film is due for release on December 18th next year, which puts it head-to-head with Star Wars: Episode VII.
  • Chronicle director Josh Trank will direct one of the Star Wars standalones set for release between Episode VII, VIII, and IX. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has described Trank as “an incredible talent” with Trank himself saying that, “The magic of the Star Wars Universe defined my entire childhood. The opportunity to expand on that experience for future generations is the most incredible dream of all time.” He joins Godzilla director Gareth Edwards and J. J. Abrams, whose Episode VII recently began filming.
  • Darren Aronofsky will executive produce a show based on Margaret Atwood’s MaddAdam trilogy for HBO, which takes place in a post-apocalyptic world laid waste by corporate greed.
  • Breaking Dawn director Bill Condon has been announced for Disney’s new live-action adaptation of Beauty & The Beast.
  • Mark Wahlberg may reunite with The Other Guys’ costar Will Ferrell as rival fathers in upcoming Paramount comedy Daddy’s Home.
  • Naomi Watts has joined the cast of Divergent sequel Insurgent as Evelyn, leader of the Factionless. Watts is also set to appear in the two-part follow-up, Allegiant.
  • Djimoun Hounsou will play Chief Mbonga in Disney’s live-action Tarzan. Alexander Skarsgard stars as the eponymous jungle man with Margot Robbie co-starring as Jane and Christoph Waltz as villain.
  • Rose Byrne is being pursued for Rodney Rothman’s The Something, a horror comedy about four guys marooned in space that come across a ship full of women. Chaos presumably ensues,
  • Sinister’s Scott Derrickson will direct Marvel’s Doctor Strange, which follows an arrogant surgeon who, after a crippling car accident, journeys to the Himalayas and acquires mystical abilities.
  • The release date of Wachowski space opera Jupiter Ascending has been pushed back to February 2015 to allow for time for work on the special effects.
  • Tom Hardy is in discussions to appear in lejandro González Iñárritu’s Reverent, which follows Leonardo DiCaprio as a wounded hunter who sets out to take his revenge on the men who left him for dead. The film is due to begin shooting in September.
  • Child actor Max Charles, who played the young Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man, has signed onto Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper as the son of Bradley Cooper Navy SEAL vet.
  • Tim Roth will be playing George Wallace – the Alabama Governor who notoriously opposed desegregation – in Ava DuVernay’s biopic of Martin Luther King, Selma. David Oyelewo will star as the legendary civil rights activist with Tom Wilkinson as LBJ.
  • Fledgling director Jordan Vogt-Roberts may helm a long-announced adaptation of Konami’s Metal Gear Solid series.
  • Will Smith may be set to star in a film addressing head injuries in America’s NFL, based on Jeanne Marie Laskas’ article Brain Drain. The film will be directed by Peter Landesman (Parkland) and produced by Ridley Scott.
  • Ron Perlman, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Joey King have all joined the cast of Roland Emmerich’s civil rights drama, Stonewall. Jeremy Irvine stars as Danny Winters, who gets caught up in the 1960s LGBT movement, based around the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York; Perlman will play the Stonewall’s manager with Myers appearing as a local hustler, and King as the sister Danny leaves behind.
  • Dame Maggie Smith has joined The Lady in the Van, an adaptation of the play written by Alan Bennett and directed by Nicholas Hynter. The film follows the real-life story of a Camden woman who parked herself in Bennett’s driveway and lived there for 15 years; frequent collaborator Alex Jennings will play Bennett himself.
  • Sigourney Weaver has revealed a willingness to return to the role that made her name, that of Alien heroine Ellen Ripley. At a recent Q&A, Weaver said that “there’s more story to tell”, that she “can imagine a situation where we could at least finish telling her story”, and another film “would be very satisfying, at least to me.”
  • Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) have both joined the cast of the new Star Wars film. Kathleen Kennedy said, “It’s thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape.”
  • Oliver Stone is adapting Guardian journalist Luke Harding’s The Snowden Files. Will this be JFK 2.0 or another The Fifth Estate?
  • The Adjustment Bureau’s George Nolfi will direct Birth of the Dragon, based around Bruce Lee’s 1965 duel with Triad-sponsored kung fu master Wong Jack Man. And yes, this apparently actually happened.
  • Jane Got A Gun’s Gavin O’Connor will direct Massacre in the Himalayas, a drama about a team of international mountaineers stranded on K2 who came under attack from Muslim extremists. O’Connor describes the film as a chance to “explore a man’s battle for survival against the Taliban, nature, and himself.
  • Gangster Squad’s Ruben Fleischer is the current favorite to direct Ghostbusters 3, having worked with the notoriously intractable Bill Murray on Zombieland.
  • Josh Brolin will be voicing super-villain Thanos, a behind-the-scenes threat in Guardians of the Galaxy and possible major antagonist in Avengers: Age of Ultron.


Rob Wallis is a graduate of the London Film School and a recent member of the Online Film Critics Society. He also keeps a rarely updated, bare-bones blog, Of All the Film Blogs, ( You can follow him on Twitter @robertmwallis.

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