News Shotgun 2/18

  • The Lion King casts Donald Glover as Simba: Jon Favreau’s remake of The Lion King has cast Donald Glover as Simba while James Earl Jones will return as Mufasa.  The movie will be in the vein of Favreau’s Jungle Book from last year, with super realistic CG animals.
  • Disney and Universal may be working out a deal to make Unbreakable sequel: After the stunning reveal of the true nature of Split, Disney and Universal are apparently working out a deal to be partners on an Unbreakable sequel, as Blumhouse/Universal owns Split while Disney/Buena Vista were the distributor of Unbreakable.  M. Night is apparently working right now on the script.
  • Matt Reeves ends negotiations for The Batman: Although it seemed like a done deal, Matt Reeves and WB have apparently had a negotiations have broken down between them and he is no longer in line to direct The Batman.  Reeves was supposed to step in for Ben Affleck, who stepped down from the dual job of starring and acting in the solo Batman movie.
  • The Nun and The Purge 4 get release dates: Two upcoming horror movies are arriving next year as The Conjuring 2 spin-off The Nun will arrive on July 13th, 2018 while The Purge 4 is getting the prime summer slot of July 4th 2018.
  • RIP George “The Animal” Steele: WWE legend George “The Animal” Steele passed away this past week at age 79.  Steele was a wonderfully insane presence during his prime in the WWF, constantly ripping up turnbuckles and trying to lick things with his green tongue and he also co-starred in Ed Wood for Tim Burton as Tor Johnson.
  • Sam Raimi may direct a Bermuda Triangle movie: Sam Raimi is producing and may direct a new movie for Skydance about the Bermuda Triangle.  There are also Bermuda Triangle projects in development at Universal and Warner Bros.
  • Kevin Smith attached to a Sam and Twitch show for BBC America: Smith, who has gotten into the TV directing game recently in the CW Arrowverse, is writing, directing and executive producing a Sam and Twitch TV show for BBC America.  Sam and Twitch were the grizzled detectives of the Spawn universe, who would usually investigate the aftermath of whatever grisly demonic business Spawn had gotten into.
  • Universal picks up new alien thriller Extinction: Michael Pena will star in a new alien invasion thriller called Extinction where he is a man plagued by visions of losing his family and then those visions seem on the verge of coming true when an alien force invades Earth. Eric Heisserer, who wrote Arrival, is co-writing the script.
  • Mel Gibson and John Lithgow join Daddy’s Home 2: A sequel to the Mark Wahlberg/Will Ferrell comedy is coming soon and Mel Gibson and John Lithgow have signed on to play the fathers of Wahlberg and Ferrell respectively when they come to visit the family for Christmas.  According to IMDB, Daddy’s Home 2 is scheduled for November this year.
  • Amblin Entertainment developeing a “female John Wick”: The true mark of an action franchise is when the imitators start showing up, as with Die Hard in the 90’s, and now the first attempt to replicate John Wick is coming from Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment is developing a “female John Wick” called Ruthless, which follows a female assassin who develops terminal brain cancer and agrees to one last job to secure her daughter’s future.
  • Crash Bandicoot trilogy arrives on PS4 in June: The “N. Sane Trilogy” containing all three of the original PS1 games in brand new HD remastered versions is arriving on June 30th for the PS4.
  • Helen Mirren’s role in Fate of the Furious revealed: Mirren will play the matriarch of the Shaw crime family that includes Luke Evan’s Owen and Jason Statham’s Deckard, according to Luke Evans while on the Beauty and the Beast press tour.
  • American Horror Story Season 7 will be about the election: Ryan Murphy was on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live this past week and he revealed the next season of American Horror Story would be about the 2016 election in some capacity.  He didn’t reveal a title or any other details but I think chances are high Sarah Paulson will be up against some sort of blowhard, possibly demonic Trump surrogate.
  • Mel Gibson the front runner to direct Suicide Squad 2: David Ayer won’t be back to direct Suicide Squad 2 because he’s working on Gotham City Sirens so Warner Bros is apparently in early talks for Mel Gibson, recently redeemed by multiple Oscar nominations, to direct the sequel.
  • Joe Carnahan directing a remake of The Raid: Joe Carnahan is directing an English remake, or re-imagining, of the The Raid with Frank Grillo starring.  The new movie will apparently be set in Caracas, Venezuela and the director of The Raid, Gareth Evans, will be a producer.

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