The Countdown

The week in film news

Deadpool 2 was the big trailer this week. The teaser features Ryan Reynolds’ Merc with the Mouth delivering an art lesson to camera in a spoof of US painter Bob Ross’ TV show The Joy Of Painting. Towards the end, Reynolds’ patter is interrupted by violent footage from the actual film, showcasing established characters (Brianna Hildebrand’s Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Leslie Uggams’ Blind Al) and new ones: a tease of Josh Brolin’s Cable and Hunt For The Wilderpeople’s Julian Dennison, rumoured to be playing obscure X-Men character Neal Shaara aka Thunderbird.

20th Century Fox also released a typically Deadpool-esque plot synopsis that says little about the actual story but promising Wade Wilson will “earn the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Greatest Lover.”

The Spider-Man Universe That Doesn’t Include Spider-Man added another chapter this week. After Venom (with Tom Hardy) and Silver & Black (yet to be cast), Sony are now launching Morbius The Living Vampire, an anti-hero in the webslinger’s universe. Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama, the writers of the recent Power Rangers movie, will pen the project.

For the uninitiated, Michael Morbius is a doctor who, attempting to self-cure his own blood disease, contracts vampirism (taste for blood, super strength) and takes on Spider-Man. You wouldn’t go to your GP if he was called Morbius, would you?

In further comic book movie news, Wonder Woman 2 shifted its December 13th release date to an earlier November slot. The reason is simple: Star Wars. Episode IX moving from a summer release to its now traditional Christmas opening means Wonder Woman 2 would only have one week’s play before Rey and co. strike back. Still the Amazing Amazonian won’t have it all her own way. Opening on November 1, she only has three weekends before Frozen 2 lets it go.

In the Potterverse, Fantastic Beasts 2 finally got a cast image and a title: The Crimes Of Grindelwald. This time round, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Depp, in the role previously played by Colin Farrell) is rounding up pure blood wizards to lord it over muggles, forcing a much younger Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to enlist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to thwart him. Law is sporting facial that has a long way to go to meet Michael Gambon proportions. Beardwatch begins now.

Quentin Tarantino’s film inspired by the Charles Manson murders is moving forward. As previously announced, QT wants Margot Robbie to portray Manson victim Sharon Tate and has now approached Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Cruise for unconfirmed roles.

Tarantino has also taken the film away from The Weinstein Company — Potter producer David Heyman is his new producer — and a bidding war began between Hollywood’s finest.

Variety reported WB pulled out all the stops; when the director arrived to pitch the project, the studio was decked in ‘60s paraphernalia — period cars in the car park, the ’69 Warner Bros. logo on the marquee — to match the film’s time period. Sony launched a different kind of charm offensive, providing a detailed multi-media presentation about how the film would be marketed.

The eventual winner was Sony who will stump up the hefty $100 million budget for the project. It seems even Tarantino is a sucker for PowerPoint.