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Chiwetel Ejiofor in talks to join ‘Doctor Strange’

- January 23rd, 2015

Chiwetel Ejiofor may be following in the footsteps of his British compatriots.

The actor, best known for his Oscar nominated performance in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, is reportedly in talks to join the Marvel’s Benedict Cumberbatch lead sci-fi odyssey, Doctor Strange, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Marvel has been encouraging conversations between Ejiofor’s camp and the studio, but talks of him joining the production are still in its infant stages.

Conversation has already exploded online as to who Ejiofor could be playing in the movie after The Hollywood Reporter suggested the role wouldn’t just be a villainous one, but would be a crucial character to the film’s plot.

Various film reporters and comic book fans jumped in to discuss potential characters, but the trade magazine and Entertainment Weekly seem to have reached an agreement on the three potential roles.

The first is Baron Mordo, the most likely out of the three guesses. His origin story is irrevocably tied into Doctor Strange’s, and as a former pupil of The Ancient One (Stephen Strange’s mentor) who decides to kill his teacher, it would make for the most interesting character when being adapted for the movie. The transition from his role in the comic book to his role in the movie could be increased tenfold and the movie would still have an interesting dilemma for fans to sink their teeth on.

Baron_Mordo_Dialogue

The only problem with suggesting Mordo as a potential character is, as previously mentioned, most of his importance ties into Strange’s origin story. Director Scott Derickson has already stated that Doctor Strange wouldn’t be an origin story in the same way the original Spider-Man movies were. With that piece of information, the chances of it being Mordo seem slimmer than once thought.

The second choice, suggested by The Hollywood Reporter, is Wong. Wong, right off the bat, is a bit of a problematic suggestion. Casting Ejiofor as Wong, effectively changing the racial background of a character, would be subjected to pretty harsh criticism online.Especially in an industry where Asian actors are routinely given stereotyped roles and that’s if they’re cast at all. In the comics, Wong plays Strange’s butler and general caretaker – think the Alfred to Bruce Wayne.

wong-strange

As Entertainment Weekly suggests, it may be interesting to see the Inspector Clouseau and Cato (from The Pink Panther) relationship mould used in the film, but there are suggestive themes within that decision that would face harsh outcry from fans. Not only would the studio be making the voluntary decision to replace an Asian character with a Black character, but they’d also have a Black man serving a white man. The whole idea just screams endless thinkpieces.

The last character suggested was Nightmare, but this one seems like the least likely of the bunch. In the comics, Nightmare is one of the coolest adversary’s Strange goes up against; an entity that takes on the physical body of the victim’s worst nightmares.

Nightmare

Think Freddy Krueger meets a Boggart from Harry Potter. Seeing Nightmare manifest on the big screen would be pretty fantastic, but it’s highly unlikely Marvel wants to move their film from the realm of sci-fi to horror.

Regardless of which character Ejiofor plays, it’s not only a huge opportunity for him to become a household name in North America, but it would be a huge win for Marvel. Having two Oscar nominated (and perhaps an Oscar winner if Cumberbatch wins for his role in Imitation Game) actors in one film will help bring in a section of movie going audiences that wouldn’t normally be interested in this type of film.

Doctor Strange is slated to be released on November 4, 2016.

Simon Pegg to co-write ‘Star Trek 3′

- January 21st, 2015

Star Trek 3: Paul and Shaun Escape the Hot Fuzz on their Search for Happiness.

Okay, so maybe that’s not the actual official title of the third Star Trek series, but the star of all those amalgamated films, Simon Pegg, is co-writing the third movie in the franchise.

After Roberto Orci (writer of the first two Star Trek installments) backed out of the third film, Paramount and Skydance were in need of a new scribe that would be able to bring his or her own unique voice to the series, according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter.

Pegg, who’s played the fiery and non-conventional Scotty in both films, is a perfect pick for the position. The actor began his career as a writer and has written feature length films, as well as short films, ever since.

Most notably, he wrote the entire Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End) alongside director Edgar Wright and on screen/off screen best friend Nick Frost.

Pegg, who’s also a self-proclaimed geek, dedicated hours of his life to satirizing Star Wars and managed to incorporate a large portion of his science fiction interests in most of his films, as well as in his cult television series from 1999, Spaced.

Pegg will be partnering up with Doug Jung, writer behind several television series including Dark Blue, Banshee, and Big Love, for the third Star Trek film.

As reported earlier last year, with J.J. Abrams out of the picture, Justin Lin (Fast and the Furious) will be stepping up to direct the film.

Paramount and Skydance are still optimistic at this point in time that they’ll be able to get the film out by July 2016.

Spider-Man rejoins the Avengers in ‘Avengers: Infinity War Part 1′

- January 14th, 2015

The day Marvel fans have been waiting for is here: Spider-Man is returning home.

After tentative rumours that the web slinging hero might show up in Captain America 3: Civil War, Badass Digest and Latino Review are reporting audiences can see Peter Parker join the rest of the Avengers in Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 in 2018.

Although the deal has yet to be finalized, BadAss Digest’s Devin Faraci suggests that the silent answer from Marvel’s camp instead of an outright dismissal of the newest reports suggests secretive handshakes and meetings are happening behind closed doors.

It’s been a struggle for years to get Marvel, now Disney, and Sony to work on a contract wherein they could both share the beloved, young character. Rumours about his involvement in Civil War fell flat when contract negotiations were muddled between high level executives, but it appears things are definitely on track.

BadAss Digest also reported that Sony was supposed to have a Spider-Man summit this month, and if it has indeed already occurred, that would explain the recent news surrounding Spider-Man’s involvement in the distant Marvel film.

While the three year wait seems promising for Marvel and Sony to finalize contracts regarding who keeps majority ownership over Spider-Man, it also means there’s room for deals to go awry. Sony could still pull out of the deal in a couple of months, leaving Marvel to rummage through the archive of characters they own that could make the jump from page to screen successfully.

Other news from the sites include confirming that Thor and Captain America will not be making their return in the first part of the Avengers infinity series, as previously rumoured, but will instead be put on reserve until the second installment in 2019.

Liam Neeson is in for ‘Taken 4′

- January 13th, 2015

Despite being universally panned by critics, Taken star Liam Neeson said he’s on board for another franchise installment.

In an interview with Fox to promote the film, Neeson was asked if there was room for another movie about special-agent-gone-rogue-runaway Bryan Mills in the future.

“I think if audiences go and see it and they like these characters, I mean, I’d love to do something with Forest [Whitaker] again, and if it’s in a Taken 4 scenario, that’s great,” Neeson said.

While Taken scribe and original creator Luc Besson (Lucy) may be on board for another film, series director Olivier Megaton told Collider that he couldn’t possibly see how another Taken movie would work.

“I don’t really see how they could since [Taken 3] is supposed to be the last one,” he admitted.

But, he added, the way Taken 3 ended doesn’t wrap up the series as well as a final film should.

“Truth be told, though, the third Taken film doesn’t exactly bring the trilogy to a definite end point of conclusion…”

Megaton didn’t comment on whether or not he’d be interested in signing up for another film if the studio decided to go ahead and invest a few more million in the franchise.

In all likelihood, the decision to make another Taken movie –financially speaking- is almost non-existent as far as the studio is concerned.

Screen Rant reported that with a budget of $48 million, Taken 3 had just about doubled it during its opening weekend release, pulling in $92 million globally.

There hasn’t been any confirmation from the studio about the possibility of another Taken film, but if there is indeed one more left in Neeson then his co-stars expect to hear news about it sometime this year.

‘Batman v Superman’ rumour: Superhero epic could be split in two

- January 9th, 2015

So here’s your superhero rumour of the week. Ain’t it Cool has posted a screengrab from Imgur that purportedly shows the final frame for Warner Bros.’ upcoming trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (the ad is rumoured to screen ahead of next month’s Jupiter Ascending).

The image makes it seem that the upcoming superhero film will be split in two with the first part hitting theatres Oct. 23 with the title Enter the Knight. The second instalment retains Batman v. Superman’s original release date March 25, 2016, and will be titled Dawn of Justice.

batmanvsuperman-2-parts

Warner Bros. hasn’t commented and given the nature of the comic book movie business, it seems unlikely the film will be divided on such short notice. However, we’ve checked and if Enter the Knight was to open on Oct. 23 it wouldn’t face very stiff competition. The untitled Steve Spielberg/ Tom Hanks Cold War film opens on Oct. 16, with the 23rd currently the home to Jem and the Holograms and The Last Witch Hunter. Releasing the film earlier would also give DC a big bootprint in year that will be dominated by Marvel’s Avengers and Ant-Man.

What do you think? Would you like to see Batman v Superman hit screens sooner? Sound off in the comments.

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