J.K. Rowling has made millions of Harry Potter fans extremely happy – and the accountants at Warner Bros. have most likely also put an order in for some new calculators – with the news that forthcoming prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will not be a trilogy but rather a pentalogy (it’s a word) – i.e, five films. The announcement coincided with a four-minute featurette (that you can see here), together with the recently released main theme tune from the movie (complete with not in the least subtle Harry Potter callbacks). With the first two directed by ‘Potter veteran David Yates (let’s hope they’re more exciting than his recent Tarzan effort) and Rowling making the leap from author to screenwriter, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is obviously going to be a mega smash hit and opens 16-18 November worldwide. More news as we get it.
Shane Black’s highly anticipated new Predator film – still slated to stalk theatres February 2018 – has lost one of its main leads. There had been rumours that Benicio del Toro, as possibly some type of alien hunter, was going to jump ship and he’s gone and done just that (well he is extremely busy, with feet in both the Marvel and Star Wars universes). In a swift bit of recasting, Boyd Holbrook has stepped in, proving that he’s swiftly becoming a hot property after doing sterling work in two seasons of Netflix hit Narcos. There has also been a title change, with the film now going under the working title “Ollie”. No, we have no idea either, but we’ll put big money on that title not making it to the poster. Black has big ambitions for this – almost as big as the hopes of fans – saying:
“We want to achieve the same sense of wonderment and newness that Close Encounters had when that came out. It’s very impossible, but we’re gonna try. It just has to feel like a powerful story that has a lot of flavours and textures”
The same sense of wonderment as Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Now that is ambitious.
Ewan McGregor’s take on a young Obi-Wan Kenobi was one of the few good things about the vilified Star Wars prequels (discuss) and, despite some reservations about acting against green screen most of the time, enjoyed it so much he’s always been up for reprising the character. With Star Wars Storys coming at us every couple of years, starting with Rogue One this December, he recently said that he’d be fully on board for an Obi-Wan film itself. Or, indeed, two of them! Said McGregor recently:
“I’ve always thought there was a story to tell between my last one and Alec Guinness’ first one. It would be fun to film that story now that I’m older; I’d be the right age. I’m 45; Alec Guinness was what, 60? I could do two of them!“
You’d be hard-pressed to find a Star Wars fan who wouldn’t want this as well. Obi-Wan in his prime, kicking ass like only a Jedi can? What’s not to like? Although he’d have to get off Tatooine somehow, and who’d watch over Luke then?
Currently the best thing on tv by some margin, Westworld has ranked as HBO’s biggest premiere in years. We love it (and read here for a theory we have about Jeffrey Wright’s Bernard – possible spoilers!) and now HBO has released some new posters, new images and new featurettes. A thoroughly retro poster is our favourite (the series has been developed from the 1973, Michael Crichton film) but you can see the rest and everything else over at HBO Westworld.
If you don’t know about Westworld, two things. First, where exactly have you been these past two weeks? Under a rock? Second, it’s a park where guests “can explore a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged”, all with the help of robot hosts that are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. There hasn’t been a malfunction at the park for thirty years. Until now. Westworld airs Sundays on HBO and Tuesdays on Sky Atlantic for UK viewers. We strongly suggest you get caught up if you’re not already.
Jason Fuchs, who has written forthcoming DC superhero movie Wonder Woman has been brought on board to take a stab at the still-in-development Minecraft movie, which is currently pencilled in for a May 25, 2019 release. Jon Spaihts, writer of the imminent Marvel blockbuster Doctor Strange was responsible for the first draft so Warner Bros. are clearly throwing some serious talent at this. As well they might, for Minecraft has been nothing short of a phenomenon since it’s release in 2009 and any movie will have a huge inbuilt audience ready and waiting, making it a potential cash-cow of a size that studio bigwigs can rarely dream of. With a VR Minecraft just released (which GameTyrant says is so good it would ruin their life), the blocky sandbox game continues to innovate. Rumours are that the film will be part live-action, leading to speculation that a character or characters will get sucked into the game in Tron-like fashion. More news as it appears.