This week in movie news:
10 movie sequels you will never see (see above); Ghost in the Shell casts Takeshi "Beat" Kitano; Rogue One star Diego Luna may join Flatliners remake; Surf's Up 2: WaveMania cast has been announced; The Founder moves to August 2016 release date; Disney's live-action Nutcracker movie finds a director; Death Wish remake lands new directors; Foxcatcher director will direct A Christmas Carol adaptation; Nina gets a new trailer and poster; Josh Brolin and Miles Teller will headline No Exit; The Witch star joins Barack Obama biopic; Kevin Costner joins the cast of Hidden Figures; and Louder Than Bombs gets a trailer.
Ghost in the Shell casts Takeshi "Beat" Kitano
The upcoming live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell has finally added a Japanese actor to its cast. Takeshi "Beat" Kitano will play the role of Daisuke Aramaki, founder and head of the elite Section 9 unit that aims to guard against technological threats on a global scale. The project marks his return to Hollywood; more than 20 years have passed since his last appearance, 1995 sci-fi thriller Johnny Mnemonic.
Ghost in the Shell is, of course, based on the hugely popular Japanese manga series created by Masamune Shirow. Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) will direct the film, which will star Scarlett Johansson as a special ops cyborg who faces off against the criminal underworld. Ghost in the Shell will hit theaters in the U.S. on March 31, 2017.
Source: The Wrap
Rogue One star Diego Luna may join Flatliners remake
Diego Luna -- who recently completed filming on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story -- is in talks to join Sony's upcoming remake of 1990 sci-fi thriller Flatliners. Luna is perhaps best known for his roles in Y Tu Mamá También and Milk, and if he signs on for the new film, he will star opposite Ellen Page.
Niels Arden Oplev will direct the new Flatliners, which centers on a group of medical students who experiment with near-death experiences. The original film featured an ensemble cast that includes Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, and William Baldwin, but the new version is expected to feature a more diverse cast, including three women and two men. Filming is set to begin in early July.
Source: The Wrap
Surf's Up 2: WaveMania cast has been announced
Sony Pictures Animation and WWE Studios have announced Surf's Up 2: WaveMania, a sequel to the 2007 Oscar-nominated film which centered on a group of surfing penguins. Sony will distribute the film, while WWE will lend marketing support with its established multi-platform reach and established fanbase.
The story will follow Cody Maverick -- the protagonist voiced by Shia LaBeouf in the original film -- as he joins a crew called The Hang 5 on a journey to The Trenches, famed to be home to the world's biggest waves. The new characters will be voiced by a group of WWE superstars, including John Cena, The Undertaker, Triple H, WWE Diva Paige and Mr. McMahon. Surf's Up 2: WaveMania is expected to arrive in theaters sometime in 2017.
Source: Sony Pictures Animation/WWE Studios
The Founder moves to August 2016 release date
Michael Keaton will star as Ray Kroc -- who famously acquired McDonald's in 1961 -- in upcoming biopic The Founder, and the film has just shifted its release date from November 25, 2016 to August 5, 2016. John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, Saving Mr. Banks) will direct the film based on a script by Robert D. Siegel (The Wrestler). Nick Offerman and John Carrol Lynch will play the original founders of the restaurant chain.
In the past couple of years, Keaton has experienced a career resurgence, thanks to back-to-back Best Picture winners in Birdman and Spotlight. The former earned Keaton an Oscar nomination, and it's certainly possible that a juicy role such as Kroc could see him thrust back into awards contention, since an earlier release date could help the film a chance to build buzz going into the fall.
Source: The Weinstein Company
Disney's live-action Nutcracker movie finds a director
Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules) has signed on to direct a new big-screen version of The Nutcracker for Disney. Titled The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, the film is simply the latest in a long line of adaptation of the Tchaikovsky ballet and the E.T.A. Hoffmann story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.
The tale follows a young girl named Clara who enters a magical world after receiving a nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve. Before long, she finds herself caught up in a war between gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice. No details just yet on who might join the cast of the film, which is based on a script by Ashleigh Powell.
Death Wish remake lands new directors
Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado -- best known for directing the Israeli revenge film Big Bad Wolves -- are in negotiations to helm a long-in-development remake of Death Wish. Bruce Willis is currently attached to star in the new film, which previously had Joe Carnahan attached to write and direct.
The popular 1974 version starred Charles Bronson as a vigilante who hunts down gang members responsible for killing his wife and sexually assaulting his daughter. Four sequels followed, and Kevin Bacon thriller Death Sentence was loosely based on the sequel to the original Brian Garfield novel.
Foxcatcher director will direct A Christmas Carol adaptation
A new version of Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol is in the works, with director Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) and Oscar-winning screenwriter Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love) behind it. The film will reportedly retain the period setting of the source material, though little else is known about how it will approach Dickens' story.
Since its 1843 publication, A Christmas Carol has become one of the most commonly adapted tales in history, with countless versions made for both film and television. Robert Zemeckis directed the most recent big-screen adaptation, which employed motion-capture technology to put Jim Carrey in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge.
Nina gets a new trailer and poster
RLJ Entertainment has released a new trailer for upcoming biopic Nina, which stars Zoe Saldana as musician and civil rights activist Nina Simone. Written and directed by Cynthia Mort, the film has also received a new poster promoting its release on April 22, 2016 in limited theatrical release and video-on-demand services.
Nina will follow Simone throughout her rise to and fall from face as well as her relationship with manager Clifton Henderson, who will be played in the film by Selma star David Oyelowo. Ella Thomas, Mike Epps and Ella Joyce are among the film's supporting cast.
Source: RLJ Entertainment, EW
Josh Brolin and Miles Teller will headline No Exit
Josh Brolin and Miles Teller will share the screen in No Exit, an upcoming action film centering on firefighters. Joseph Kosinksi -- best known for his sci-fi work on films like Tron: Legacy and Oblivion -- will direct the two in-demand actors on the project, though no production start date has been established just yet.
No Exit follows the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of firefighters that lost 19 crew members while facing off against one of history's deadliest wildfires in defense of an Arizona town. Brolin currently stars in the Coen Brothers comedy Hail, Caesar!, while Teller is set to appear in The Divergent Series: Allegiant this month.
The Witch star joins Barack Obama biopic
Anya Taylor-Joy -- who is currently starring in the critically acclaimed thriller The Witch -- has joined the cast of Barry, a new film focusing on young Barack Obama. Set in 1981 New York City, newcomer Devon Terrell plays Obama during his college years and covers his relationship with a fellow student (Taylor-Joy).
Vikram Gandhi will direct the film as his follow-up to the 2011 documentary Kumaré, which follows a man impersonating a wise Indian guru. Based on a script by author Adam Mansbach -- who famously wrote the adult children's book Go the F*** to Sleep -- Barry is scheduled to begin filming in April.
Kevin Costner joins the cast of Hidden Figures
Kevin Costner has joined the cast of Hidden Figures, the upcoming drama from director Ted Melfi (St. Vincent). The film is adapted from Margot Lee Shetterly's book about the African-American mathematicians who orchestrated the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit in 1962, becoming the first American to do so.
Empire star Taraji P. Henson and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer have already been announced in two of the film's three female leads. Costner will play the head of the space program and will reunite with Spencer, with whom he starred in 2014 drama Black or White.
Louder Than Bombs gets a trailer
The Orchard has released a new trailer for Louder Than Bombs, its upcoming drama starring Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne, Isabelle Huppert, David Strathairn, and Amy Ryan. The film follows the fractured relationship a father and his two sons after his wife passes away.
Co-written and directed by Joachim Trier (Oslo, August 31st), the film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Louder Than Bombs marks Trier's English-language debut and is set for release on April 8, 2016.
Source: The Orchard