10 movie news updates, what to see this weekend

By Brian Frosti

It’s that time of the week again!  Since you all enjoyed the last post so much, we thought we’d do another. Give the people what they want. This week there’s a little shake-up as I won’t be including a movie review. But never fear! The reviews will return next week with my take on “Foxcatcher” and possibly “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.”  In the meantime, here’s your weekly dose of movie news.  This time I’ll be covering everything from the rumor about who will play the next James Bond villain to Disney’s proposed “White Fang” adaptation and much more.

1. In 2012’s “Skyfall,” Javier Bardem blew fans away with his portrayal of Raoul Silva. Now it looks like anther Oscar winner will be going toe-to-toe with Daniel Craig in 2025’s as-yet untitled Bond 24. Rumor has it that Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”) will be taking on the role of Bond’s greatest enemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Blofeld was the leader of the evil organization SPECTRE and was either the primary antagonist or pulling the strings in nine different Bond films. For now, this is only a rumor, but the idea of having Waltz in the role is enough to get fans of any age excited.

2. Another villain casting rumor, Guy Ritchie’s “King Arthur” reboot is reportedly seeking to cast Jude Law in a villainous role. The specifics of Law’s role are yet unspecified, but the talented Brit will be joining an already impressive cast, if the rumors are to be believed, which will include the likes of Charlie Hunnam (“Sons of Anarchy”) and Djimon Hounsou (“Guardians of the Galaxy”).

3. Sticking with the theme of villain casting, Daniel Brühl (“Rush”) has been cast as a minor antagonist in “Captain America: Civil War” and a major in “Doctor Strange.” Brühl’s character hasn’t been announced, but there has been wide speculation that he’ll be playing fan-favorite character Baron Mordo.

4. Breaking away from villains, it was announced this past week that the “Fast & Furious” franchise will not only continue beyond its upcoming “Furious 7,” but it also will be receiving at least three more installments, including a two-part series finale.  While the franchise has been trending upwards, the tragic loss of Paul Walker and franchise fatigue have people doubting the series’ staying power.

5. Early previews of the “Jurassic World” LEGO sets seem to confirm some rumored plot details. The sets reveal a white/translucent dinosaur that looks like the rumored D-Rex, a genetic amalgamation of created by scientists at the new Jurassic World. This leak, coupled with the launch of the film’s viral site, masraniglobal.com, has many expecting the first trailer to be around the corner, as early as Thanksgiving Day.kynva38iopqjyus3ujio

6. Director David O. Russell (“American Hustle”), has begun casting for his next film, a biopic about inventor Joy Mangano. Robert De Niro has entered into negotiations for a role, joining his “Silver Linings Playbook” costars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. If this re-team up is anywhere near as good as “Silver Linings,” then count me in.

7. This week’s big movie trailers were for Disney’s live-action “Cinderella” movie and the long-awaited “Peanuts” movie. “Cinderella” will feature an incredibly talented cast, including Lily James (“Downton Abbey”), Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”), Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”) and Helena Bonham Carter (“Les Miserables”) and looks like it successfully recaptures the magic of Disney’s beloved cartoon.

8. “Peanuts” similarly captures the magic of Charles Schultz’s beloved characters. This trailer centers primarily on Snoopy and Woodstock and showcases some absolutely gorgeous animation. There’s no doubt this flick will be a big hit with audiences of all ages.

9. Back to casting rumors, Bryan Singer has revealed his shortlists for the roles of young Cyclops and Jean Grey in “X-Men: Apocalypse.” The Jean Grey shortlist contains three hugely popular young actresses in Chloe Grace-Moretz (“If I Stay”), Elle Fanning (“Maleficient”) and Hailee Steinfeld (“Ender’s Game”), while the Cyclops list features relative unknowns in Charlie Rowe (“Red Band Society”), Ben Hardy (“EastEnders”) and Timothee Chalamet (“Interstellar”). It’s been made clear that Singer wants these two to be the core of the franchise going forward, so these casting choices will be crucial for the success of future films including and beyond “Apocalypse.”

10. Lastly, Disney has announced its plans to remake Jack London’s “White Fang.” This retelling will be directed by Lance Acord, best known for his work as cinematographer on films like “Being John Malkovich,” “God’s Pocket” and “On the Road.” It’s unknown if this new take will be closer to the original film or more faithful to the book, which features the titular animal as the main character/narrator.

And if that wasn’t enough movies for you, here’s what to watch this weekend.

“Foxcatcher” will be expanding to more theaters this weekend, and if you have the chance to see it I highly recommend it. Most experts predict the film will receive as many as six Oscar nominations, so this isn’t a film you want to miss.

If you don’t have a theater near you showing “Foxcatcher,” then your next best option is “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.” After “Catching Fire” vastly improved on the underwhelming first installment, the expectations for the third film are understandably high. Early reviews paint the film as a worthy follow-up so fans of the series won’t want to skip out on this one.

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