A quick recap of this week’s movie news including a few trailers, some star casting and more news on a very belated sequel.
Blade Runner 2
A sequel to the sci-fi classic based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick was rumoured for years before an official announcement happened back in 2011. Confirmations since then have included the fact that Harrison Ford will return while original director Ridley Scott would only produce and Denis Villeneuve would direct instead. Original writer Hampton Fancher would also return while Ryan Gosling was cast in a new role late last year. However we have now had confirmation that shooting will begin in July this year although no release date has been set.
The plot remains a mystery thus far with the only solid detail being that it is set decades after the original. Attempting a sequel to a classic such as this is risky and one concern is that Fancher has been paired with another writer- Michael Green. Green has a number of small screen credits but is best known for Green Lantern, one of the most poorly received modern comic book adaptations. High hopes here but caution encouraged.
A few new, mainly animated trailers have arrived this week, ready to empty the pockets of parents this year.
First up is the The Angry Birds Movie from Sony Pictures Imageworks, starring the vocal talents of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride and Bill Hader. The film sees the birds take on the evil pigs in this adaptation of the popular mobile game and may answer the question: why are these birds so angry? Whether this film has missed its window of opportunity remains to be seen but having Gad (Frozen) and Hader (Inside Out) on board can only help. The birds take flight in May.
Next is a new trailer for Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets, set to land in June (UK) and July (USA). The film presents an odd couple dog pairing of jack russel Max and sloppy mongrel Duke who have to set aside their differences to battle an evil (yet adorable) rabbit named Snowball and an army of abandoned pets. Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart and Steve Coogan provide the voices.
An extra little something from Pixar with a tease of Finding Dory, the sequel to 2003’s Finding Nemo. A full trailer was released two months ago while this short promo merely presents Dory investigating the floating title in her own unique way. Ellen Degeneress voices the character once again. Perhaps this simple trailer is a reaction to the lukewarm reception of The Good Dinosaur, in order to remind viewers of how good Pixar can be, but it is charming nonetheless. June 17th US, July 29th UK.
Trolls provides its first teaser trailer now. Produced by DreamWorks Animation, this musical comedy is based on the Trolls Dolls toys and features Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani and James Corden. First impression: Toy advert. Let’s see if this animated movie can prove me wrong and has something more to it than sales of merchandise – scheduled for November.
Finally we come to Nine Lives, a live action comedy film with CGI elements; notably a cat. A cat with Kevin Spacey’s voice. I don’t think anything more is needed to encourage you to watch the teaser trailer for that one. Expected in August.
Director Justin Chadwick is set to start shooting espionage thriller Official Secrets in May and an impressive cast has been finalised and revealed this week. Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, Martin Freeman, Natalie Dormer and Paul Bettany will star in this adaptation of The Spy Who Tried To Stop A War: Katharine Gun And The Secret Plot To Sanction The Iraq Invasion, based on true events.
It’s only an idea but…
According to Deadline, husband and wife team Jared and Jerusha Hess have been hired to flesh out an idea that will combine several of Nickelodeon’s cartoon’s into a Who Framed Roger Rabbit?-style mash up. If this moves forward we could see characters from Rocko’s Modern Life, Ren and Stimpy, The Angry Beavers, Rugrats and more interact with each other on the big screen.
In Memory of…
On January 26th, Abe Vigoda passed away in his sleep at the ago of 94. Vigoda actively worked on stage and in film and television for many years, notably appearing in The Godfather (1971). Rest in Peace.