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News Shotgun 11/7

  • WB removes Johnny Depp from Fantastic Beasts: After two films playing Wizarding World villain Gellert Grindelwald, Johnny Depp was asked to resign from the role due to the messy legal proceedings he’s currently engaged in with ex-wife Amber Heard.  Depp agreed to the request and the role of Grindelwald will be recast for the upcoming third film in the Fantastic Beasts prequel series.
  • Free Guy and Death on the Nile removed from 2020 calendar: The fate of theatrical movies in 2020 got even direr this week as Disney/Fox removed both Free Guy and Death On the Nile from the 2020 release calendar, putting them in undetermined future dates. The only major blockbuster left on the calendar is Wonder Woman 1984, which is, as of this post, still looking at a Christmas Day release.  The major US theater chains are on the brink of collapse as Regal closed most of their theaters because it was cheaper than staying open with limited capacity and AMC is on the verge of bankruptcy.
  • Neil Marshall directing horror movie The Lair: Director Neil Marshall is going back to the style of horror that put him on the map with the upcoming movie The Lair.  Featuring a setup that seems similar to The Descent, The Lair follows a Royal Air Force Pilot, Kate  Sinclair, who crashes in Afghanistan and finds herself in a bunker full of half-human/half-alien monstrosities that were the result of horrific man-made experiments.
  • Castle Rock canceled at Hulu: Hulu has canceled their Stephen King remix series Castle Rock after two seasons.  The second season debuted last year and featured an excellent Lizzy Caplan as the younger version of Misery’s Annie Wilkes and the entire series pulled characters and plot elements from various Stephen King stories to create new stories in the titular Maine town.
  • Orphan prequel on the way: Jaume Collet-Sera’s cult horror movie Orphan is getting a prequel with original actress Isabelle Fuhrman will return as deranged killer Esther.  The studio claims they are going to use a combination of forced perspective and make-up to allow Fuhrman to play Esther again, even though she is 11 years older now than she was in Orphan.  The movie is being called Orphan: First Kill and it will co-star Julia Stiles and The Boy director William Brent Bell is behind the camera.
  • The Strange Talent of Luther Strode becoming a movie: The Strange Talent of Luther Strode from Image Comics is becoming a movie with co-creators Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore on-board writing the script and producing.  The comic follows teenager Luther Strode, who discovers an ancient text called “The Method” in a used bookstore and, after following its techniques, he becomes a powerful and perfect physical specimen, but with a taste for brutal violence.  The creators of “The Method” arrive to observe Luther’s progress and he has to decide if he will succumb to the evil of The Method or fight it and use his new powers for good.
  • The Things They Carried cast revealed: Vietnam War short story collection The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is becoming a movie from Rupert Sanders and an impressive cast has been assembled.  Tye Sheridan, Tom Hardy, Stephan James, Bill Skarsgard, Pete Davidson, Ashton Sanders, Martin Sensmeier, Moises Arias, and Angus Cloud wil star in the movie.  The book was inspired by author Tim O’Brien’s experiences in the 23rd Infantry in Vietnam and he tells the stories of his fellow soldiers based around various items they brought on missions.

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