Movie News Wrap Up: The Jungle Book, Jacob's Ladder and More

This week in movie news:

10 Star Wars mysteries that were never answered (see above); The Jungle Book introduces Shere Khan in new clip; Michael Ealy joins Jacob's Ladder reboot; Adam Sandler comedy The Do-Over gets a teaser trailer; Michael Stuhlbarg joins Guillermo del Toro's Cold War fantasy; The Hunger Games' Amandla Stenberg joins The Hate U Give; Stephen and Robbie Amell made a short film titled Code 8; Gugu Mbatha-Raw will star in An Untamed StateLive By Night and Annabelle 2 land 2017 release dates; Margot Robbie will star as Tonya Harding in I, Tonya; and Emma Stone will play JFK's sister.

The Jungle Book introduces Shere Khan in new clip

Disney has released a new clip from its upcoming live-action/CGI adaptation of The Jungle Book centering on the villainous tiger Shere Khan, voiced by Idris Elba. In the footage, the classic Disney villain searches for the jungle-dwelling boy Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), who is under the protection of the wolf pack.

With The Jungle Book hitting theaters in just a few weeks, Disney is ramping up marketing for the film, as the new clip follows a recently released set of images featuring its ensemble cast with their respective characters. Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), the film's first-rate cast also includes Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, Lupita Nyong'o and Giancarlo Esposito. The Jungle Book is set for release on April 15, 2016.

Source: Disney

Michael Ealy joins Jacob's Ladder reboot

Michael Ealy in The Perfect Guy

Michael Ealy has joined the cast of the new Jacob's Ladder. The actor has appeared in countless film and television projects since 2000, including a lead role in the short-lived sci-fi series Almost Human. David Rosenthal -- who directed Ealy in last year's thriller The Perfect Guy -- is at the helm of the Jacob's Ladder reboot, which will be written by Jeff Buhler (Pet Cemetery) and Sarah Thorp (The Bounty Hunter).

The supernatural thriller centers on two brothers and is being envisioned as a modern-day paranoid action film, with production set to begin in May. The original 1990 Jacob's Ladder starred Tim Robbins as a Vietnam veteran haunted by flashbacks and elaborate hallucinations. The film -- which also starred Elizabeth Pena and Danny Aiello -- has developed a cult following since its initial release.

Source: Variety

Adam Sandler comedy The Do-Over gets a teaser trailer

Netflix has released a new teaser for The Do-Over, the second Adam Sandler comedy in the streaming service's exclusive multi-picture deal with the funnyman. The film follows last year's controversial Western spoof The Ridiculous 6, which stars Sandler, Terry Crews, Jorge Garcia, Taylor Lautner, Rob Schneider and Luke Wilson as a group of half-brothers in search of their missing father.

The Do-Over -- directed by longtime Sandler collaborator Steven Brill (Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds) -- stars Sandler and pal David Spade as two men who fake their own deaths and assume new identities that wind up putting them in even greater danger. Paula Patton, Nick Swardson and Luis Guzmán also appear in the film, which will be released exclusively on Netflix on May 27, 2016.

Source: Netflix

Michael Stuhlbarg joins Guillermo del Toro's Cold War fantasy

Boardwalk Empire's Michael Stuhlbarg cast in Doctor Strange

Michael Stuhlbarg -- the character actor who delivered memorable supporting turns in Oscar bait films like Trumbo and Steve Jobs last year -- is in talks to join Guillermo del Toro's untitled Cold War-era fantasy film. If he joins the project, Stuhlbarg will share the screen with previously reported cast members Octavia Spencer and Sally Hawkins.

Details about the film -- set up at Fox Searchlight -- are being kept tightly under wraps, though it will reportedly center on a supernatural love story. Production is set to begin this summer, making the film the second consecutive romantic period piece for del Toro after last year's Crimson Peak. Stuhlbarg will next appear in Don Cheadle's Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead, Marvel's Doctor Strange and Denis Villeneuve's Story of Your Life.

Source: THR

The Hunger Games' Amandla Stenberg joins The Hate U Give

Amandla Sternberg in The Hunger Games

Amandla Stenberg -- best known for her memorable role as Rue in The Hunger Games -- will star in The Hate U Give, the film adaptation of Angela Thomas's upcoming debut novel. George Tillman Jr. (The Longest Ride) will direct the film, which centers on a teenage girl who witnesses a police officer shoot her best friend.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and the 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant, the project began as a short story before Thomas developed it into a full-length novel. Since her breakout appearance in The Hunger Games, Stenberg has appeared on television series Sleepy Hollow and Mr. Robinson as well as provided her voice to 2014 animated comedy Rio 2.

Source: Variety

Stephen and Robbie Amell made a short film titled Code 8

Code 8 -- the new sci-fi short film from Stephen and Robbie Amell -- is now available to view on YouTube. The project centers on a young man with superpowers who faces off with a militarized police force, and its creation serves as a proof of concept for a prospective feature-length movie version slated to be filmed later this year.

Directed by Jeff Chan, Code 8 has already raised more than $250,000 on Indiegogo, exceeding its initial goal. Stephen and Robbie Amell -- cousins who appear on The CW's Arrow and The Flash, respectively -- served as executive producers on the film, which stars Robbie Amell and Fast & Furious franchise alum Sung Kang.

Source: Code 8, Indiegogo

Gugu Mbatha-Raw will star in An Untamed State

Gugu Mbatha-Raw Beyond the Lights

Gugu Mbatha-Raw will star in An Untamed State, the upcoming drama from director Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees). The actress and filmmaker previously collaborated on acclaimed 2014 drama Beyond the Lights. Their new project -- based on Roxane Gay's debut novel -- centers on a Haitian-American woman who is kidnapped and held for ransom.

In the past few years, Mbatha-Raw has become an increasingly in-demand talent. Following her breakthrough role in 2013 period drama Belle, she has since starred opposite Will Smith in Concussion and will next be seen alongside Matthew McConaughey in Civil War epic Free State of Jones. Prince-Bythewood's other credits include 2000 hit Love & Basketball and TV movie Disappearing Acts, both starring Sanaa Lathan.

Source: Deadline

Live By Night and Annabelle 2 land 2017 release dates


While James Wan's The Conjuring 2 arrives in theaters this summer, the sequel to Conjuring spin-off Annabelle has secured a release date. Annabelle 2 will now be released on May 19, 2017, while Live By Night -- Ben Affleck's adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel -- will hit theaters on October 20, 2017.

Starring, co-written and directed by Affleck, Live By Night marks the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice star's first directorial effort since the Best Picture Oscar-winning thriller Argo. The film features an ensemble cast that also includes Scott Eastwood, Titus Welliver, Zoe Saldana, Sienna Miller, Chris Cooper, Elle Fanning and Brendan Gleeson.

Source: THR

Margot Robbie will star as Tonya Harding in I, Tonya

Margot Robbie Harley Quinn Suicide Squad Still

Rising star Margot Robbie -- who will play the first live-action Harley Quinn in this summer's Suicide Squad -- is attached to play controversy-ridden 1990s figure skater Tonya Harding in a biopic currently titled I, Tonya. The project is based on a script by Steven Rogers and currently has no director attached just yet.

Harding was expected to face off against Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 Olympic Games and is best known for the botched attack on Kerrigan that she and her husband orchestrated to incapacitate the competition. Harding was ultimately stripped of her 1991 U.S. Figure Skating Championship victory, while Kerrigan won the silver Olympic medal. The role could have tons of potential for Robbie, who has previously impressed in films like The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus and current release Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

Source: Deadline

Emma Stone to play JFK's sister

Emma Stone Amazing Spider-Man Gwen Stacy

Emma Stone is attached to star as the titular sister of John F. Kennedy in upcoming drama A Letter from Rosemary Kennedy, based on a script by Nick Yarborough. The film will reportedly center on the final days of Rosemary Kennedy's life and likely feature extensive flashbacks to her younger days. A victim of intellectual disabilities, Kennedy underwent one of the first prefrontal lobotomies at age 23.

The role could prove to be one of the most challenging to date for Stone, who received her first Oscar nomination in 2015 for her supporting turn in Birdman. The actress has thus far been best known for her comedic chops in films like Easy A, Zombieland and Superbad, though roles in The Help and Gangster Squad have helped her ease into more dramatic fare. She'll next be seen in Damien Chazelle's Whiplash follow-up, La La Land.

Source: The Wrap

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