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News Shotgun 7/31/21

  • Taika Waititi’s Flash Gordon movie shifts to live-action: Among his many upcoming projects, Taika Waititi has been working on a reboot of Flash Gordon.  The original plan when Waititi signed on two years ago was to make the film animated but now it seems the plan is to make it live-action, hopefully, similar in style and tone to Thor: Ragnorak.  Waititi is also working on a Star Wars project and a live-action remake of Akira.
  • Movie star lawsuits: This week saw a slew of lawsuits being unleashed by movie stars concerning payment they were never paid or were denied because of the studio’s release schedule.  Scarlett Johansson opened the floodgates by suing Disney over Black Widow.  Johansson’s claim has some fairly complicated contractual issues but the gist is that she believes Disney breached her contract and caused her to lose out on profits of Black Widow because it was released on Disney+ on the same day as theaters.  Johansson’s lawyers argue that the contract guaranteed an exclusive theatrical window of at least 90s days before the movie was available in other forms.  Emma Stone and her lawyers also announced a similar lawsuit regarding Cruella.  Disney responded to Johansson’s lawsuit with a statement revealing she was paid $20 million for Black Widow and that the lawsuit, “is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic”, basically accusing Johansson of caring more about money than the effects of the pandemic.  Gerard Butler also announced a lawsuit for $10 million from Millenium Media, where he claims he never received a portion of the net profits he was promised for Olympus Has Fallen back in 2013, despite that movie being a surprise hit and got two sequels.
  • Waterworld TV series in development: Universal is in the early development stages for a TV series based on Waterworld that would be a sequel to the 90s Kevin Costner movie.  Dan Trachtenberg, director of 10 Cloverfield Lane and currently working on the Predator movie codenamed Skulls, is in talks to direct the series.  The show will follow the characters from the movie 20 years from the end of the movie, although there are currently no actors signed on.  Universal is looking to make this a streaming series and it would seem like Peacock would be the logical choice but there’s no confirmation yet.
  • JK Simmons returning as Jim Gordon for Batgirl: JK Simmons is in talks to return to the DCEU as Jim Gordon for the upcoming Batgirl movie.  The movie will be an HBO Max exclusive and In the Heights star, Leslie Grace was recently cast as Barbara Gordon.  The movie is directed by the Bad Boys for Life duo of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah.
  • Hawkeye gets a release date: Following in the footsteps of some of his fellow MCU heroes, Hawkeye’s solo series has gotten a release date of November 24th this year, just in time for Thanksgiving.  The series will follow Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton training a new Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, played by Hailee Steinfeld.  Given the end credits scene of Black Widow, we might also get to see the return of a particular character from that movie as well.
  • Sweet Tooth renewed for Season 2: Netflix’s adaptation of Jeff Lemire’s critically acclaimed comic Sweet Tooth is getting a second season on the streaming platform.  The show was equally as critically acclaimed as the comic and the second season will be 8 more 1-hour episodes.
  • Jodie Whittaker leaves Doctor Who: The 13th Doctor is leaving the series as it was announced this week that Jodie Whittaker and current showrunner Chris Chibnall are leaving the series after the upcoming 13th season and three final specials.  Whittaker joined the series in 2017 and in true Doctor Who fashion, in her final appearance she’ll “regenerate” into whoever gets cast as the new Doctor, which the search is on for.
  • Tiffany Haddish and LaKeith Stanfield co-starring in The Haunted Mansion: Disney is making another movie based on their beloved Haunted Mansion attraction and Tiffany Haddish and LaKeith Stanfield have signed on to star.  The plot of this new take hasn’t been revealed and it’s being directed by Justin Simien, who previously directed Bad Hair and Dear White People.
  • Matt Parker and Trey Stone looking to buy Casa Bonita: The main inspiration for one of the greatest episodes of South Park, Matt Parker and Trey Stone are apparently looking to purchase the Colorado landmark, Casa Bonita.  The company that currently owns the Mexican cuisine mecca filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April of this year.  If the duo can purchase the restaurant, they are looking to update and improve a number of its iconic features, like Black Bart’s Cave and also make changes and improvements to the menu.
  • Rege-Jean Paul signs on for The Saint Reboot: A reboot of The Saint, which was previously a Roger Moore TV series and a Val Kilmer movie, has been in development for years with both Chris Pine and Chris Pratt signing on and dropping out.  Bridgerton star Rege-Jean Paul has signed on to star this week and it’s believed that the project is basically going back to square one with a new script and it’s unclear if director Dexter Fletcher is still attached, as he was the last director previously on-board.
  • Netflix getting new David Leitch/Will Smith: Netflix is getting one of the upcoming projects from Atomic Blonde/Deadpool 2 director David Leitch which is the Will Smith starring action thriller, Fast & Loose.  Smith will play a man who wakes up with no memories in Tijuana and comes to realize that he actually had two identities, a crime boss and an undercover CIA agent.  Leitch recently finished production on Bullet Train, an action movie starring Brad Pitt, Zazie Beetz, Michael Shannon, and more.
  • Vince McMahon drama series coming from Blumhouse/WWE: Blumhouse and WWE are teaming up to create a scripted drama based on Vince McMahon.  The series will specifically be set in the 90s and detail the time McMahon was brought to court in the 90s for allegedly supplying his wrestlers with illegal steroids.  Considering that McMahon himself is behind the series, it seems very heavily biased to McMahon’s position, where it alleges that the charges were trumped up and McMahon bravely faced a conviction happy FBI.
  • Netflix getting a live-action Pokemon series: Netflix is looking to bring Pokemon to their streaming service with a new live-action series that will be similar, but not a continuation, of Detective Pikachu.  Plot details were not revealed but Joe Henderson, who is the co-showrunner of Lucifer, will be behind the new series.  Netflix currently streams Pokemon: Indigo League and Pokemon Journeys.
  • The Exorcist remake is now a trilogy: Blumhouse previously revealed they were working on a sequel/reboot of The Exorcist that would be a direct sequel to the original movie, similar to what they are doing with Halloween, and it was revealed that that reboot is now going to be a new trilogy, with the second and third movies potentially being Peacock exclusives.  David Gordon Green is directing the series and the first movie will hit theaters on October 13th, 2023.  Leslie Odom Jr is starring in the first film as the father of a child who is possessed by a demon and Ellen Burstyn is returning from the original Exorcist.  After the first film, the next two movies could be exclusives to Peacock, as Universal paid $400 million for the deal and potential exclusivity.

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