Since The Avengers, Marvel Studios has been setting the superhero blockbuster tone and watching all the other studios try to scramble together whatever costumed crusaders they have. Marvel took the time to build up to Avengers and the company has the character library to move forward at a steady, deliberate pace. Meanwhile, this week has made it abundantly clear how badly the other studios want an Avengers-like movie and the universe to go with it. Wonder Woman will now be in the Batman/Superman movie; The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is so eager to lead into the Sinister Six, it’s probably showing off its post-credits scene in the first trailer; and X-Men: Days of Future Past is still five months away, but yesterday Bryan Singer was already tweeting about the next movie, X-Men: Apocalypse. We don’t know if these movies will be good, but we know they’ll be big.
In an effort to go even bigger, 20th Century Fox has made a deal with X-Men writer Simon Kinberg to create a Marvel-style movie universe for the studio. Hit the jump for more.
20th Century Fox has announced a slew of release date updates. Briefly:
- The Fantastic Four will now open in the midst of summer on June 19, 2015 instead of March 6, 2015. Josh Trank directs.
- The Assassin’s Creed movie has been pushed from June to August 7, 2015. Michael Fassbender is producing and will star in the video game adaptation.
- Director Matthew Vaughn’s graphic novel adaptation The Secret Service has been pushed out of 2014 to March 6, 2015, taking over Fantastic Four’s previous date.
- The spy comedy Susan Cooper will open on May 22, 2015. Paul Feig directs and Melissa McCarthy stars, possibly opposite Jason Statham.
- An Untitled Vince Vaughn Movie (previously referred to as Business Trip) will open on October 24, 2014.
Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned projects.
James Mangold‘s The Wolverine partially succeeded simply because it went against the trend of current superhero movies. The spin-off sequel was still stuck between serious drama and cartoonish action, but at least the stakes were worthwhile without having to put the entire world at jeopardy (that plotline will come with Wolverine’s next adventure, X-Men: Days of Future Past). With Iron Man stopping an army off Extremis soldiers, Thor battling to save his world of Asgard, helicarriers crashing into Washington D.C. in Captain America’s upcoming film, and Guardians of the Galaxy having to, well, guard an entire galaxy, Wolverine can be the only game in town where a superhero can fight for lower stakes but maintain the personal drama.
Hit the jump for how this game might continue with Mangold, Hugh Jackman, and producer Lauren Shuler Donner.
20th Century Fox has set David Fincher‘s adaptation of Gillian Flynn‘s best-selling novel Gone Girl for October 3, 2014. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike star in the lead roles of a story that centers on the disappearance of a man’s wife and the resulting investigation that follows. The cast also includes Tyler Perry, Kim Dickens, Emily Ratajkowski, Patrick Fugit, Carrie Coon, and Neil Patrick Harris. Gone Girl will share the weekend with Dracula Untold starring Luke Evans. The fall release date for Gone Girl isn’t too surprising when you consider that David Fincher now caries an awards pedigree, and he’s working from popular source material.
Hit the jump for new release dates for the new adaptation of Frankenstein starring Daniel Radcliffe, and for the Guillermo del Toro-produced animated film Book of Life.
Emma Watson is poised to reteam with The Perks of Being a Wallflower writer/director Stephen Chbosky on another adaptation. While Chbosky adapted Perks from his own novel, Deadline reports that the director has now signed on to helm an adaptation of Adena Halpern’s book 29, which will be titled While We’re Young. The book revolves around a young-at-heart 75-year-old named Ellie who feels she has more in common with her 29-year-old granddaughter Lucy than her 55-year-old daughter Barbara. On her birthday, Ellie wishes she could be 29 again for just one day, and is surprised to find that the wish magically comes true. The story explores three generations of women and how one day changes everything they know about each other.
While the premise sounds a tad saccharine, so did the logline for Perks and Chbosky crafted that film into a mature, emotional, and honest look at young life; he’s more than earned the benefit of the doubt. Hit the jump for more.
Though 20th Century Fox just pushed its adaptation of the James Dashner YA novel The Maze Runner from this coming February to September 19, 2014, the studio is apparently pretty happy with the results of the Wes Ball-directed film. Deadline reports that Fox has now acquired the rights to the second novel in the four-book series, The Scorch Trials, and has hired T.S. Nowlin to get to work on the screenplay. The sequel has yet to be greenlit, but it’s now become commonplace for studios to begin scriptwork on the follow-up to a potential franchise-starter before it hits theaters. It panned out with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but in the case of The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes, the box office disaster of the first film led Constantin Films to rethink its strategy.
Ball will be supervising Nowlin’s adaptation of The Scorch Trials, which signals that Fox is keen on him returning to direct the follow-up. The first film stars Dylan O’Brien in the lead role and concerns a group of teens who wake up to find themselves trapped in a massive maze with seemingly no way out.
Despite last week’s news that Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past) was being brought on to do a significant rewrite of the script, 20th Century Fox is still movie full-steam ahead on its Fantastic Four reboot. Josh Trank (Chronicle) remains onboard to direct and Matthew Vaughn is producing the pic alongside Kinberg, and now word has surfaced that Fox is preparing to offer test deals to a number of actors that will read for the lead roles. Names like Elizabeth Olsen and Allison Williams have been bandied about over the past year, but this new crop of actors includes Game of Thrones and House of Cards alums along with a couple of other actors who have been mentioned with regards to the project for some time.
Hit the jump to find out who Fox is looking at to play the titular Fantastic Four. The film is slated to hit theaters on March 6, 2015.
20th Century Fox’s action thriller Narco Sub is moving forward once again. Filmmaker Tony Scott was previously attached to helm the pic before his unfortunate passing, but now The Wrap reports that The Bourne Identity director Doug Liman has entered early negotiations to direct. Penned by Safe House scribe David Guggenheim, the pic takes place in the drug world (obviously) and revolves around the semi-submersible crafts that South American cartels use to smuggle cocaine into the U.S. Further plot details are unknown at this time, but Simon Kinberg is set to produce.
Liman is currently putting the finishing touches on his Tom Cruise/Emily Blunt sci-fi actioner Edge of Tomorrow, which opens in theaters next June. He has been attached to a few other projects, including Time and Again at Lionsgate and The Tourist at Sony, but it sounds like Narco Sub may be his next film.
While David Yates is finally getting his Tarzan film off the ground at Warner Bros., the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows director is lining up another project at Fox. Heat Vision reports that Fox has acquired the rights to the Image comic Who Is Jake Ellis? with Yates attached to direct. Written by Nathan Edmonson and drawn by Tonci Zonjic, the espionage comic follows Jon Moore, a former CIA analyst and mercenary spy on the run who is protected by the mysterious title character, “a man seemingly invisible to everyone except Jon, but who has a unique knowledge of tradecraft that Jon desperately needs.”
Jake Ellis is decidedly darker territory for Yates, who helmed the final four Harry Potter films back-to-back after directing the British miniseries State of Play. Peter Chernin will produce the project, and Fox is currently out to writers while Yates gears up to start production on Tarzan early next year.
Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot is getting yet another screenwriter. Shortly after Chronicle helmer Josh Trank came onboard to direct, Fox set Jeremy Slater to pen the script for the new superhero film. Development continued over the past year, during which Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) came onboard to do a polish on the screenplay. Casting rumors have swirled as of late, with Michael B. Jordan, Allison Williams, and Miles Teller all being mentioned as possibilities for lead roles, but it now appears that there’s still quite a bit of work to do before production can begin, as Fox has tapped X-Men: Days of Future Past screenwriter Simon Kinberg to do a “significant” rewrite on the project. Hit the jump for more.
Movie studios have a tough time understanding quality, but they have no issue with quantity. They look at The Avengers and don’t see a well-told story full of sharp writing and interesting characters. They see a bunch of superheroes who have crossed over into one gigantic movie. Warner Bros. is making steps towards Justice League by crossing over Batman and Superman, Sony Pictures is working towards getting Sinister Six into The Amazing Spider-Man franchise, and 20th Century Fox already has superhero teams with The Fantastic Four and X-Men. But it’s apparently not enough to simply have pre-made teams. For Fox’s creative consultant Mark Millar, those teams then need to interact.
Hit the jump for more.
While director Darren Aronofsky is currently knee-deep in post-production on his 2014 Biblical epic Noah, it appears that the filmmaker is ready to start looking for his next film. Deadline reports that Aronofsky is in early talks to develop an adaptation of the Jason Matthews novel Red Sparrow to direct. The female-led espionage tale takes place in contemporary Russia and centers on a state intelligence officer named Dominika Egorova who is assigned against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress in the service. During her first assignment, Dominika strikes up a relationship with her mark, a CIA officer named Nathaniel Nash, and “in a charged atmosphere of trade craft, deception, and inevitably, a sexual attraction threatens their careers and the security of America’s most valuable mole in Moscow.”
Hit the jump for more on what could potentially be Aronofsky’s next film.
Chronicle surprised in February 2012, grossing $127 million worldwide on a $12 million budget. Fox announced a sequel shortly after the release, hiring Chronicle screenwriter Max Landis to script the follow-up. Development slowed over the last year and a half, though. A rumor surfaced that Fox was unhappy with Landis’ script for Chronicle 2. Landis responded to claim that Fox liked the script, but the dark tone raised the question, “How do we all compromise to get something we want?”
Landis and Fox were unable to find that compromise, as Landis revealed on Twitter that while Chronicle 2 is “still probably happening,” Fox hired other writers and will not be moving forward with Landis’ script. If you are unfamiliar with Landis’ persona, he is refreshingly candid, so his Twitter stream is worth a look after the jump.
2010′s Predators was a fun little B-movie, and although it was a modest hit, it didn’t provide the blockbuster returns that would prompt 20th Century Fox to seriously revive the franchise. However, it looks like Fox hasn’t given up the cloaked and dreadlocked alien hunter just yet. For people who still followed Predators on Facebook, they were given a new message this weekend—a line from 1987′s Predator: “There’s something out there waiting for us, and it ain’t no man…We’re all gonna die.” The image is a top-down, thermal view of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. Unlike everyone else with a Hall H panel, Fox stayed quiet on the information they provided to Comic-Con organizers, but THR is reporting that the studio will be bringing The Wolverine, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and a “surprise”. I don’t know if X-Men: Days of Future Past could be considered the surprise since even director Bryan Singer has mentioned a Comic-Con appearance for his movie. The surprise could be the recently announced X-Force, or it could be the return of Predator. Personally, I think either film would go over huge with the crowd.
Hit the jump to check out the image. Fox’s Comic-Con panel is from 4:15pm to 5:45pm on Saturday, July 20th. [Update: Hero Complex reports that Fox will actually be announcing a 3D Blu-ray release for Predator, not a new film.]
In the comics, the world of mutants goes far beyond the X-Men and their enemies. There are other teams of good mutants to the point where going through all of the X-books became a burden due to their numerous crossovers. In addition to the X-Men, you also have X-Force, X-Factor, X-Club, X-Statix, X-Terminators, X-Men-in-Training, X-Corporation, Excalibur, Generation X, Lights, and New Mutants (I’m sure I’m probably leaving some out, but this what Wikipedia provided). 20th Century Fox, in appraising the superhero movie landscape, may be embracing the concept that if other studios are going to go one superhero per movie in order to build a team, Fox has the power to introduce entire teams right off the bat. The X-Men movies have continued to pile in more and more mutants, and now that it’s busting at the seems with Bryan Singer‘s upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, the studio may be close to moving into the secondary teams. If so, the announcement may come at their Comic-Con panel next Saturday.
Hit the jump for more including signs that X-Force might lead the way. [Update: X-Force creator Rob Liefeld says that an X-Force movie is in the planning stages, and he's known about it since March. Hit the jump for why I have an issue with Liefeld's statement.]