Is Johnny Depp somehow Johnny Depp-proof? With the early receipts for the latest installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise now promising another blockbuster in the bag, it would appear that the actor’s somehow invulnerable to his own noxious public profile. Though the revelation that he had physically abused longtime partner Amber Heard came to light last year, it apparently hasn’t diminished his earning potential, and frustrating as that may be, it means we’re in for a whole lot more Depp. And if producer Jerry Bruckheimer has anything to say about, more Jack Sparrow in specific.
From the ranks of the Sons of Anarchy cast, Taylor Sheridan has emerged as one of the buzziest screenwriters working today. He took Cannes by storm and scored an intelligent sleeper hit with Sicario, his south-of-the-border drug war drama. He made it to the Oscars with another yarn of crime and the solemn-faced folks working to stop it, the timely Western standoff Hell or High Water. And now, the accomplished writer has delivered another potboiler set on the grand expanses of the American plains, with a sweetened deal: he’ll get the chance to prove himself as a filmmaker, too, taking his debut directorial credit on Wind River.
As noted in a new item at Variety today, Sony has been on something of a roll when it comes to getting female talent behind the camera. They’ve put together a respectable slate of films directed by women: Catherine Hardwicke was tapped to translate narco thriller Miss Bala for American audiences, Broad City mastermind Lucia Aniello wrote-directed the upcoming bachelorette-shenanigans comedy Rough Night, Michelle MacLaren landed the Sam Claflin-led thriller Nightingale, and perhaps most intriguingly of all, Elizabeth Banks has taken her next directorial project with a reboot of Charlie’s Angels. And for the latter two, today brings concrete news of impending developments.
Those viewers of the opinion that the rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise numbers among the more successful revivals in the recent deluge (and if you disagree, feel free to kindly see yourself to the e-door) tend to credit Caesar as the film’s secret weapon. The intelligent chimpanzee provided the films with a human center, ironically enough, conveying his maturation and radicalization through unprecedented motion-capture technology and acting from Andy Serkis. The upcoming War For the Planet of the Apes will form the final chapter of this trilogy, and according to the film’s producer, may hold bad news for Caesar superfans.
Martial arts expert and outspoken proponent of condom usage Jackie Chan is at it again, raring and ready to kick some enemy buttock even as he ages into his mid-sixties. The actor has kept up a steady stream of feature work (only some of which requires him to play chauffeur to a real live lion) and is currently preparing to re-mount his his kids’ cartoon series The Jackie Chan Adventures, but ever the work-horse, Chan’s just announced another new project. And what’s more, his next mission will pair him with a partner all too familiar to Eastern and Western audiences alike.
For every superhero, there is a season — turn, turn, turn. As Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters today following months of anticipation, America now turns our gnat-like attention spans to the next big super-release. In about a month, we’ll have another cape-free caper, with Wonder Woman scheduled for June 2. And while we’ve all had time to gape at the trailers and posters and Instagram posts from those on set, we still have yet to actually glimpse any in-context footage. Until now, that is!
The game of extremely handsome musical chairs that is staffing up for the next James Bond film continued apace today. The two biggest question marks — who will star as the secret agent extraordinaire, and who will direct him in the new picture — remain unresolved, but a new development may hold a clue as to the future of the franchise. A great ruckus was raised over the fact that the Bond property has entered the marketplace for a new studio overseer, and while the new management has not yet been decided, it’s starting to look like Warner Bros. has the upper hand. And it all has to do with Christopher Nolan.
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, because you almost certainly haven’t — think The Heat, but instead of tough cookie Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy teams with a street-smart puppet to bust criminal scum. Step aside, Anomalisa, a new puppet comedy has arrived to freak out audiences and challenge the boundaries of what can be considered marketable for a mass audience.
But it’s true that the upcoming sequel A Bad Moms Christmas will explore the bad moms that originally birthed the bad moms we came to know and love in last year’s sleeper hit. Variety reported last night that a power trio of Susan Sarandon, Christine Baranski, and Cheryl Hines have all joined the cast of the Yuletide-appropriate installment of the Bad Moms franchise, and the item reveals that they form the first generation of moms who dared to be bad. The new film revolves around one unending visit home for Christmas from the bad moms’ worse moms, with Baranski tormenting Mila Kunis, Sarandon nagging Kathryn Hahn, and (the 51-year-old) Hines portraying the mother of (the 36-year-old) Kristen Bell. Will the revelation that Bell’s Kiki was raised by a 15-year-old number among the twists in the new film? Maybe, but probably not.
In case you weren’t aware, a pretty major situation has been percolating in the entertainment industry over the past month. Unsatisfied with the conditions of their work and continued employment, the Writers’ Guild of America went to the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers to renegotiate the terms of their collective contract. A bitter standoff summarily broke out, with the possibility of another writers’ strike — you may remember the last freeze-out, which stretched from late 2007 into early 2008 — looming on the horizon. Today brings a resolution to the saga of the last few weeks, and in true Hollywood fashion, everyone’s getting a happy ending.
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