Over the past few weeks, the player roster has started to stack up for the upcoming James Wan-produced Mortal Kombat reboot. The fighting game movie adaptation is gearing up to shoot in South Australia later this year, with video game commercial director Simon McQuoid helming Greg Russo’s script. Ready to get to know the actors involved in the tournament coming to theaters on March 5, 2021?
Digital artist and photoshop extraordinaire BossLogic has imagined the newly casted actors with his artwork. So while the movie may ultimately have a completely different vision for these characters in Mortal Kombat, these imaginings may give fans a taste of how the actors could pull off these iconic characters.
The first actor cast in Mortal Kombat was Indonesian actor and former Judo athlete Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero. The character is one of the original characters in the franchise who debuted in the 1992 video game. He has the ability to control ice and is defined by his famous rivalry with his arch-enemy Scorpion. Taslim has made appearances in movies — including The Raid: Redemption, Fast & Furious 6, and Star Trek Beyond — and the Cinemax television series Warrior. Check out BossLogic’s character concept:
Mortal Kombat has found its Lui Kang in Power Rangers’ Ludi Lin, who played the Black Ranger in the 2017 action flick. The actor has already played a fighting video game avatar in a recent episode of Black Mirror titled “Striking Vipers,” and he played a small role as Captain Murk in Aquaman. Check out this look of Lin as Lui Kang:
Lui Kang is another one of the original seven Mortal Kombat characters. He is a Shaolin monk, inspired by Bruce Lee, who enters the tournament to save the world from evil sorcerer Shang Tsung. Ludi Lin seems to fit right into this lead role!
Next up is the casting of Jackson “Jax” Briggs, who will be played by Supergirl’s James Olsen, Mehcad Brooks. Jax became a playable character in Mortal Kombat II and he’s U.S. Special Forces and the brawny superior to Sonya in the game. Along with starring in the CW series for four seasons and counting, Brooks has also found roles in Nobody’s Fool, About Last Night and the series Desperate Housewives, True Blood, and Necessary Roughness. Here’s how he could look:
Newcomer Australian actress Sisi Stringer is set to play Mileena in Mortal Kombat, per The Hollywood Reporter. The character is also an oldie, debuting in Mortal Kombat II as the purple-wearing evil twin to Princess Kitana and “sex symbol” in the series. Check out BossLogic’s version of Stringer as her:
The last bit of casting news has Thor actor Tadanobu Asano as the Japanese god of thunder, Raiden. Makes sense, right? Asano has played Hogun the Grim, one of the Warriors Three in the MCU along with being an accomplished actor in Japan. He’s the only actor to not yet receive a rendering from BossLogic.
Yes, now that CBS and the Paramount-owning Viacom are merging, they can “boldly go” in many creative new directions for Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, and whoever else looks ripe for brand expansion.
The merger will bring the Star Trek movies and TV shows back under the same corporate umbrella for the first time since 2005. There’s been a lot of chatter about that, with speculation that Star Trek could create its own cinematic universe like Marvel, and then counter-chatter that Star Trek doesn’t need to have anything like the MCU.
At any rate, the new company is being called ViacomCBS, and Bob Bakish is running the store. There was an investor call the other day, with Bakish making it clear (via Deadline) that the Star Trek and Mission Impossible franchises have significant potential to leverage “across all the companies’ platforms.” Incoming CBS CEO Joe Ianniello added, from an international angle, that “scale is becoming more and more important all the time.”
That “scale” note, along with content “across all the companies’ platforms,” fed into talk of a “Star Trek Cinematic Universe” — along with comparisons to Lucasfilm’s current Star Wars expansion with multiple films and TV series in the works. Is ViacomCBS going to try to beat Disney at its own game?
Star Trek is already deep in the streaming world through CBS All Access, with Star Trek: Picard coming soon to join Discovery, along with manymore. Could we see a crossover connection between those TV shows and the new Kelvin Timeline films?
Star Trek 4seems to have stalled for the moment, and we’re not sure exactly what’s going to happen with Quentin Tarantino’s plan for a Star Trek film. So stay tuned for any announcements on what this new company plans to do with the Trekverse. The possibilities are nearly endless, and it’s early days for this new team to decide the right path. (Not to belabor the MCU comparisons, but they need their own Kevin Feige as an architect for whatever happens from here.)
What about Mission: Impossible? That franchise was also brought into the investor call, and it’s no wonder why. Viacom owns Paramount, and Paramount’s Mission: Impossible franchise has been wildly successful. The most recent film, 2018’s Fallout, was not only fantastic to watch, it was the highest-grossing film of the franchise to date.
So what could happen under this new corporate merger? How about a Mission: Impossible TV series reboot on CBS or CBS All Access?
The original Mission: Impossible TV series ran from 1966 to 1973 on CBS. The show was revived for two seasons from 1988-1990 on ABC. No new plans have been announced yet, but I would not be shocked to hear about a Mission: Impossible TV series, potentially with crossover characters from the films. (May I suggest Ving Rhames’ Luther Stickell and Simon Pegg’s Benji Dunn leading a spinoff series?)
Deadline brought up some of the other franchises in the Paramount library — including the Transformers films. It doesn’t sound like they were specifically singled out in the initial investor call, but keep your mind open to the possibility of many other franchises also expanding in the ViacomCBS universe.
New ViacomCBS boss Bob Bakish told CNBC the CBS/Viacom library includes 140,000 TV episodes, 36,000 films, and 750 series — which he considers enough to compete against heavy hitters like Netflix and Disney+.
The merger means CBS is not only picking up Paramount Pictures, it also gets Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, and more. There’s also speculation that the combined ViacomCBS will look to buy another company like Sony, Starz, or Discovery.
We live in dizzying times with all of these corporate mergers. Frightening times? Content-wise, it is exciting to think about what the combined properties could mean. What do you HOPE happens for Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, and others on the big or small screens?
James Cameron’s The Terminator (which, shockingly, almost had a happy ending) is one of the sci-fi genre’s greatest achievements. I mean, who could forget lovestruck future man Kyle Reese coming to the present to save Sarah Connor? Or Schwarzenegger’s imposing villain? Or James Cameron’s deft direction? Or, you know, the entire movie? It all blends together into a bleak film shot with a glimmer of hope, a masterwork of which only the very best directors are capable of creating. Cameron is one of those directors. And now, with a recent reveal by one of the film’s stars, it’s made even clearer that this story was meant to be a masterpiece from the very beginning.
But if you look at the Knives Out cast, you’ll question whether or not it really is a smaller film. To that, I will say almost any film or film franchise is smaller than Star Wars, no matter how stacked the cast is. But for a whodunnit, the film is getting tons of press and may prove to be bigger than we realize. I mean, it stars Daniel Craig and Chris Evans, which is already more than enough reason for me to buy a ticket.
With the acquisition of 20th Century Fox, it was very apparent that one day, in the not-too-distant future, there would be a moment when the Marvel Cinematic Universe became acquainted with the X-Men (as well as possibly the Fantastic Four). The characters have been owned by the formally-independent movie studio for decades, and it milked this property for all its worth — in ways both beneficial and not to its own financial gain.
But now, the X-Men are Disney’s property. And that means the comic book characters are subsequently under Marvel’s reign now too. So, it wasn’t a matter of if the X-Men would join the MCU, but rather when. Because we all know this day is coming. We just have to wait until this much-anticipated moment happens. But when this past Comic-Con panel revealed no publicly-announced plans to place the X-Men characters inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the reality was clear: it will not be a quick transition. For better or worse, Marvel is going to take its sweet time making this move happen.
It could be three years. It could be five, ten, maybe even 15 years before we see the Marvel Cinematic Universe getting chummy with the X-Men. But it will happen one of these days, even if the producers are going to take a moment to properly shift the tides in this direction. Unlike Spider-Man, there are a lot of characters being thrown into the ring with this transition, as well as the proper introduction of mutants into the MCU. Therefore, for many reasons, it’s clear that Marvel is probably making the right decision in keeping all the X-Men at bay until it sees it’s fit to bring them into the giant fold.
The temptation to finally unveil the X-Men in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is apparent to the creators and audiences alike, and there are obviously a lot of comic book fans out there chomping at the bit to see this transition come to pass. But for reasons we’ll list here, there are several reasons why a bit of breathing room between two giant comic properties meshing into one is almost certainly the best call to make — both creatively and financially.
The Distance Will Separate Marvel’s X-Men From Fox’s X-Men
For many moviegoers, their familiarity with the X-Men comes from the Fox interpretation of the characters. They might not be that accurate to the source material or even the best (or worse) interpretations of the characters. But unlike, say, Iron Man, Captain America or Thor, to name a mere few, the general moviegoers have an idea in their heads of what these characters are like and what they should be. Perhaps for some moviegoers, there might be little room for creative freedom when they’re so used to see X-Men movies at their local cinema at a fairly frequent rotation. Filmgoers know X-Men.
There was even an X-Men movie this summer, Dark Phoenix, though you would be forgiven if you forgot about it (or avoided seeing it). And there is yet another X-Men movie on the way, but we’ll get to that in just a moment. The point is, there are about a dozen X-Men movies out there and we have gotten to see these characters time and time again. Based on the box office results for Dark Phoenix, there is an argument to be made that enough is enough. The Fox version of the X-Men has come to an end, and Disney knows their time to play in this sandbox is coming up sooner rather than later.
But patience might be a virtue here. With some time to breathe between X-Men movies, there will likely be a renewed interest in the property. It’ll be more beneficial to Marvel’s bottom line if it lets moviegoers’ memories of these characters fade into the recesses before it’s time to bring them out again. Because unlike Spider-Man, the X-Men aren’t a guaranteed box office draw at the moment. Ticket sales have wained with the last few films, and it is clear that there is some fatigue setting in for these characters. But it’s also clear that, throughout the years, there has been a lot of interest.
Therefore, it would be better for everyone to take some time apart from these famous characters before they’re brought back with new actors inhabiting them. Most notably, it’ll take some time before audiences will be ready to see someone other than Hugh Jackman in the role of Wolverine, to give only one example. Plus, Marvel already has a billion-and-a-half characters at its disposal at the moment. Unlike Fox prior to the Disney acquisition, it doesn’t need the X-Men to stay stable. It has a lot on its plate already, and the X-Men can be pushed aside for a second until it is the right time.
More Time Allows Marvel To Introduce Mutant Lore And First Characters
Similar to how Marvel gradually introduced magic and intergalactic characters into its expansive world-building, one of the key reasons why the MCU brand has remained so successful is because Marvel likes to take its time and assure audiences are well-adjusted into its newest changes. The studio doesn’t just plop things in willy nilly; it has a process, and that process involves a lot of strategy and planning in order to ensure success.
With that in mind, Marvel hasn’t really explored the introduction of mutants into their universe. There are characters like Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch who fit this definition, at least in the comics, but they’ve often been hinted at more than explored in any real or deep capacity. This is mainly due to the majority of the mutant characters being tied to Fox all these years, but now that they’ve come over to Disney and, subsequently, Marvel, this is the time when the producers have to start making baby steps and letting the characters be gradually introduced here.
That not only includes the mutant characters, but the lore itself, which is certainly going to be a big process to squeeze into this already well-ballooned universe. It would only be fitting, therefore, if Marvel took some time to properly transition the mutant lore and introductory characters inside the MCU.
Gives Producers Time To Nail The Best X-Men Cast Possible
Casting is crucial to any film’s success. Often among the most under-appreciated aspects of the filmmaking process, the right casting is often what can make or break a film. Even if the script falters or the special effects are hokey, if you are invested in the characters and the actors playing them, that mileage can go a long way. Subsequently, it is often crucial that the right actors be cast in the right parts for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Especially since these actors — with the notable exception of one or two performers — often end up playing their characters long-term, in many films.
We obviously saw that happen with the X-Men as well when they were under Fox’s tenure. Many of the main actors in the franchise were playing these characters for a decade or more at a time, often using the extensive time spent with these superhero characters for beneficial means — as seen in the better films in the franchise (at least, in my opinion) like X-Men: Days of Future Past and Logan, to name two prominent examples. It is no easy task, therefore, to cast the new X-Men in their second cinematic phase. People need to be convinced that this decision was the right creative move for this property. Ultimately, that will come down to the right actors being picked for the right parts in this universe. This is certainly not an easy task.
You have a lot of expectations for what these characters should be inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and every actor brings something different to their respective roles. It would be easy for Marvel to pick a few hot stars of today to fill in the cast and put them in the movie once they’re ready to do so. But it’s clear that Marvel has never been about simply picking big names to fill in its casting call. Marvel is enough of a sell on its own, and it knows that many Hollywood stars are coming to the studio to make it into this proven money machine. Therefore, it has no shortage of big names to fill out the roaster. It ultimately comes down to Marvel picking the actors who fit the roles best — whether they are famous or not — to make it work.
It’s not an impossible task, but it’s going to require time. Those involved need to search for the right actors, and they have a lot of shoes to fill here. The X-Men are huge — way bigger than Spider-Man and all the mainstay Avengers combined — and it’s going to take some hours and proper planning to pick the actors who are the best fit for these individual roles. This is going to be a long process for the long haul, and therefore it’s better to push any new X-Men movies aside for producer Kevin Feige and his team to decide who they should pick here and how they can fit them into everyone’s schedules.
Allows Marvel A Chance To Give Other Prominent MCU Characters Closure
With Avengers: Endgame, the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it is known today came to a close — in many different respects. It was, by no means, the end of the MCU. That probably won’t happen anytime soon. But it did close out the stories of a few key characters, as well as give a chance for this series to reflect on where it has gone and ponder where it is set to go next. It was a big turning point for the ever-expanding movie universe. And it was clear that in the next few years, the MCU would be getting a bunch of new faces, and things were hopefully going be changing for the better pretty soon.
Phase 4 is a collection of movies and TV shows centered around characters we know and some characters we’re unacquainted with as moviegoers. It is a mixed of new and old, familiar and fresh, and it will not simply be a trove of sequels and reboots. The Marvel machine is still chugging full-speed ahead. And with the introduction of several new characters, it’s clear that some other notable superheroes/do-gooders will be hanging up their tights.
It’s possible, for instance, that Thor might not be Chris Hemsworth by the time Phase 4 is done. And with Phase 5, we’ll probably be saying goodbye to the Guardians of the Galaxy, at least in their current iteration. These are only two examples, but it’s apparent that with the introduction of new things comes the departure of many of the actors and characters we’re used to seeing inside the ever-prolonging MCU. Therefore, if we’re going to be introducing dozens of new characters to the MCU with the inclusion of the X-Men, they are going to have to clear house in some regard or another, and that will take some time. After all, nobody’s residence in the MCU is permanent. There are only so many rooms available, and the X-Men need to wait before they can come in.
Interest In New X-Men Movies Can Be Renewed
As mentioned earlier, the X-Men are well-tangled into the superhero movie genre. We’ve seen several movies with these characters, and we have all been made familiar of their origins, their connections to the other X-Men and so on and so forth. We can’t expect Marvel to simply push them into the MCU and expect a huge turnout of people to not only be interested, but put aside their reverence for two-plus decades of blockbusters in an instant.
Now granted, it’s safe to say that the X-Men movies haven’t always gotten the best reputation. There are several flops scattered inside the hits, either critically or commercially (or both). But it’s clear that, at its best, the X-Men series has produced some of the most noteworthy comic book movies of the past two decades, and it’d be foolish for MCU to pretend that X-Men hasn’t played a big role in establishing the cinematic universe they created.
In many respects, the X-Men movies paved the way for audiences being ready to accept something like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hell, there are some folks out there who don’t even know that Deadpool, for instance, isn’t already inside the MCU. At least, not yet, of course. With the exception of the aforementioned Deadpool and Logan, the anticipation and appreciation for the X-Men movies has been declining in recent years. It’s pretty clear that Fox really milked the franchise for all its worth in an attempt to keep Disney at bay as long as possible, but it could only do so much with the X-Men series. It’s time to let the property take a rest for a little bit until Marvel decides it’s time to bring them back into the general public’s eye.
There’s no telling when that will be, but it’s clearly not going to happen tomorrow. Marvel likes to play things smart, and it would be wise for it to let some time pass before it gives the green light to another X-Men movie or start trickling the characters into other films inside the MCU. Let the X-Men stay quiet for a little bit, letting people know that this new interpretation of the characters is separate from what they’ve seen before. Then, after that, let them in the public’s conscious again. And while there is no guarantee that audiences will come in droves to see the film, it’s more likely to be successful after time has passed opposed to a year or two from from now, when moviegoers don’t think of, say, James McAvoy or Michael Fassbender in these parts.
There’s Time To Experiment With How To Best Use The X-Men
Obviously, Marvel can’t simply do the same thing with the X-Men. Similar to how it changed things up with its younger, more vulnerable take on Spider-Man, there is a clear need for producer Kevin Feige and the rest of the folks at Marvel to do something unique or, at the very least, a little bit different with these characters. After all, if it’s the same thing all over again, what will compel moviegoers to return to see just more of the same thing?
That might work for a spell, but it would seem in Marvel’s best interest to switch things up and flip a few scripts. That would require experimenting and seeing what would be both fresh and vibrant for these characters, while also staying true to their core components and their key foundations. It is not an easy balancing act. And if Marvel wants to do it right, it’s gonna need to take it slow and figure out the best way to approach these already established characters in a brand new light. That won’t come naturally. It will require hard-work, a lot of patience and, you guessed it, time.
It Gives Someone/Anyone Time To Release The New Mutants
Initially, I included this header as a joke, but there’s no escaping the fact that The New Mutants is probably not going to sit on a shelf forever. One of these days, it’ll come out. At least, one hopes it does. Whether it gets a proper theatrical rollout or it’s dumped on a streaming service like Disney+ or Hulu, both of which are under Disney’s thumb now, we should expect this film to come out one of these days. And it’s going to confuse quite a few folks if Disney releases the horror film shortly before the studio rolls out its new, updated take on the X-Men inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
At the moment, The New Mutants is scheduled to come out on April 3rd, 2020, but goodness knows if that release date is going to stick. The other ones certainly haven’t, and it has been several years between the release of the first trailer and the expected release of this long-shelved film. Between reshoots, a series of delays and this recent studio merger, The New Mutants has constantly remained in a shuffled state. It’s hard to know what this movie is going to look like if (or when) it finally makes it to the finished line. And the recent news about Disney’s dissatisfaction with the first quarter numbers for Fox has definitely put a lot of the studios previous movies in a state of flux. This troubled title, most certainly, is not an exception.
Therefore, it might be a while before we see The New Mutants — in whatever shape or form. If it’s going to be take a little while, as it has already, it might be wise for this reason — as well as the other reasons listed above and a few more — if Marvel puts a hold on their future X-Men plans for now.
As we’ve stressed before, the day when the X-Men enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe is bound to happen sometime soon. But it could be a few more years before it happens. It’s not something that should be rushed, and it’s clear that Kevin Feige doesn’t want to rush the process. Either for the reasons listed above or for other reasons not publicly disclosed now, the X-Men’s introduction into the MCU will happen— but probably not too soon.
Although Peggy Carter existed in the Marvel Comics universe long before Captain America: The First Avenger came out, Hayley Atwell propelled the character to new heights of popularity with her portrayal across various MCU movies and a short-lived TV series. Atwell most recently reprised Peggy in Avengers: Endgame, which ended with us seeing her and Steve Rogers finally reunited in the late 1940s and having that dance.
With Avengers: Endgame wrapping up many MCU plot threads, it’s possible this could be the last time we see Peggy Carter on the big screen. If that’s the case, Hayley Atwell is okay with her reunion and Steve finally ending up together as a final chapter of sorts. When asked what her reaction was to the Steve/Peggy scene, Atwell responded:
Hayley Atwell also briefly popped up as Peggy Carter earlier in Avengers: Endgame when Steve Rogers and Tony Stark traveled back to 1970 and Steve noticed her in a nearby office. As Hayley Atwell explained to THR, she filmed her Endgame scenes two years ago, and there wasn’t any deleted material from her brief time with the production. She was called in just to film those two scenes.
Even if Avengers: Endgame ends up Peggy Carter’s last cinematic appearance, it’s not the last we’ll see of Hayley Atwell’s version of the character… or rather, hear. The actress will vocally reprise Peggy for the animated Disney+ series Marvel’s What If?…, which revisits major moments in MCU history and shows them unfolding with different outcomes. The first episode of the series will show what would have happened if Peggy had been injected with the Super Soldier Serum instead of Steve Rogers, who ends up donning a metal suit built by Howard Stark.
It’s also rumored that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s seventh and final season could see some characters from the Agent Carter series showing up, including Peggy Carter. Should that happen, that would wrap up another chapter of the Peggy Carter story, namely her television journey, which was never properly concluded due to Agent Carter’s cancellation.
The film side of the MCU will pick back up when Black Widow is released on May 1, 2020, followed by The Eternals on November 6 of the same year. As for what else is coming, check out our Marvel movies guide for that information.
Just as Robocop Returns felt like a comfortable prospect, what with co-writer/director Neill Blomkamp on board for what seemed like a go picture, a wrench was thrown into the works. Blomkamp has now departed the project, as MGM wants to get the film underway in timely fashion and the District 9 creator is set on making a horror-thriller elsewhere.
So now there’s a movie that needs to be made with a director’s chair sitting vacant and waiting to be filled. If MGM wants to do things right and save RoboCop Returns, it needs a special breed of director to carry the torch of satirical sci-fi action into the 21st century.
That specific criteria could only be covered by a select group of directors, and nine names in particular come to mind. RoboCop Returns stands the best chance at being the long awaited sequel fans have always wanted, if it lands one of the following candidates we humbly submit to your attention.
If you were to just take The Matrix alone into consideration, The Wachowskis would have enough action and sci-fi credentials to land the gig of directing a RoboCop sequel with no problem. That said, limiting their filmography to that specific point would not only be unfair to them, but it’d also excise a very important piece of the puzzle.
With later films like Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas and even Jupiter Ascending, The Wachowskis engaged in more criticism towards the bureaucracy of the modern, corporate world. Combining their skill set from the entirety of their film canon, this famed pair of directors could make one hell of a comeback on the back of RoboCop Returns, especially since that big Matrix rumor turned out to be false.
When you make a satire as sharply witted and visually stunning as Sorry To Bother You, it becomes a calling card for a film like RoboCop Returns. As this proposed sequel is supposed to act like a directly linked sequel to Paul Verhoven’s original, it would really help if a director can put together a biting wit and some eye-popping effects work.
Director Boots Riley is just that sort of director, as his cinematic corporate takedown feels like a cousin to the sort of message the 1987 original was sending when it came to the activities of the corrupt OCP. Not to mention, if there’s enough time for a bit of a rewrite before production, Riley could lend his darkly unique vision to ensure that RoboCop Returns hits harder than ever in a modern economy.
RoboCop films definitely need a pedigree when it comes to action filmmaking, so in that respect, Mike Judge would have to bone up on how to make his potential vision of RoboCop as combat ready as Paul Verhoven’s series originator. However, when it comes to potentially hiring the mind behind Beavis and Buttheadand Idiocracy to direct RoboCop Returns, the world wouldn’t have to worry about his satirical skills.
One could even argue that’s the harder part of the RoboCop formula to master, as one can easily learn action, but satire isn’t as readily taught. Thinking about the ways Judge used both of those landmark projects to say something about popular culture and political degeneration, the stage would be set for RoboCop Returns to bring the franchise back to its socially charged roots.
Hollywood owes Lexi Alexander big time for making a movie as absolutely bonkers, and as joyously fun, as Punisher: War Zone. A film that wasn’t afraid to get bloody or go over the top with its violence and humor, her work on that movie felt like a direct descendant of RoboCop’s 1987 madness. As such, granting Alexander the director’s duties for RoboCop Returns would be one hell of a payback.
Alexander’s directing skills have only gotten sharper through working on such popular shows as Arrow, Supergirl and How To Get Away With Murder. But perhaps the greatest asset in her toolbox is the fact that Lexi Alexander has personal experience in martial arts and stunt work. So if you ever wanted to see what RoboCop Returns would look like if it was a stunt-filled masterpiece with high levels of cartoony snark, Ms. Alexander is the person you want to hire.
There has never been a genre that Edgar Wright couldn’t make his own. From Shaun of The Dead to Baby Driver, with Hot Fuzz in-between, the man’s hit a lot of spots on the map of moviemaking. Droll wit, slick action and well-tuned performances are all hallmarks of his work, so RoboCop Returns feels like a film that could not only sing in his hands, it would also be a payoff to most of the work he’s already done in his career.
You can practically see Simon Frost as a slimy OCP executive, Nick Frost as a scientist who’s keen on keeping Alex Murphy an autonomous hero for the people, and at least one shoot-out of insanely fantastic proportions. If RoboCop Returns goes to Edgar Wright, not only would we see things landing in the right hands, Wright just might be able to respectfully reinvent what being a RoboCop movie truly means.
Rachel Talalay may not be the most readily apparent option for directing RoboCop Returns, but in a similar mode to that of Lexi Alexander, Talalay knows how to go out there with her work. Just look at her work on films like Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare and Tank Girl, and you’ll see a special sort of filmmaker. Recently, her television work has been her claim to fame, as Talalay has directed episodes of shows like Supergirl,Riverdale and The Flash, but there’s one show that qualifies her extensively to work on RoboCop Returns.
With three two-part season finales of Doctor Who under her belt, and two of those seasons involving work with the Cybermen, Talalay has work with robotic characters and sarcastic humanoids locked down. Throw that in with her previous experience in some very experimental films of the ‘90s, and this project starts to look like a fantastic fit.
10 Cloverfield Lane was one hell of a debut for director Dan Trachtenberg to cut his cinematic teeth on. Jumping straight into an anthological entry in a pre-established franchise is daunting even if you’re a practiced hand at filmmaking, but Trachtenberg did it in style and won a lot of fans in the process.
RoboCop Returns would be a fantastic fit for this auteur’s genre-ready hand, but if you need some more selling, try this on for size. Without Dan Trachtenberg’s skills, we may have never gotten Amazon’s The Boys as a regular series, as he directed the pilot. Setting up a world of over-the-top action and darkly comic corporate malfeasance isn’t for everyone, but Trachtenberg is clearly up to the task.
Most folks know Kathryn Bigelow for her more serious films like The Hurt Locker and Detroit, both of which are socially relevant dramas that have a poignant message to deliver. So RoboCop Returns with her at the helm would definitely be able to play the notes of the story that see sympathy for the cyborg law enforcement agent at their most human.
However, in her earlier films Near Dark and Strange Days, there was a very horror/sci-fi slickness that gave us anti-heroes and sympathetic villains that knew how to smile when they were engaged in shady activities. It’d practically be like coming home for Bigelow to take over this new RoboCop sequel, and her prestige worthy skill set could be the sort of sheen the series could use in its latest iteration.
Sometimes, if you want a job done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. If the folks at MGM really want to get things going with RoboCop Returns, while also ensuring this new film feels like a true successor to the RoboCop name, it’s best if they bring back the man himself. Paul Verhoven should be brought back into the RoboCop series in order to directly connect his original film to the future.
As Verhoven is still an active film director, his satire muscles haven’t had that much of a flexing since 1997’s Starship Troopers. While that project may have felt like an oddity at its time of release, the level of dark humor it engaged in was way ahead of the curve. Ideally, if we want RoboCop Returns to be as effective as the first film in the series, you’re going to want to bring the man who helped start it all on board to steer the ship right.
RoboCop Returns is in a crucial stage right now, as the right director means everything to how this production can and will move forward. Neill Blomkamp is a big act to follow, as the man’s vision of science fiction seemed pretty spot on for the project. But as you can see, there’s others that could make some pretty interesting fits in the RoboCop landscape. All that needs to happen is for the studio to make the right choice.
What’s summer without a bite of aquatic horror these days? Following gator danger in July’s Crawl comes 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, another shark-thriller from director Johannes Roberts. The new weekend release is the sequel to 2017’s indie hit 47 Meters Down, which had This is Us’ Mandy Moore and Claire Holt’s sister characters trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean during a vacation in Mexico.
The original low-budget film surprised at the box office when the former straight-to-DVD release made waves was the No. 3 new movie during its opening weekend, debuting at $11 million on a $5 million production budget. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged features an entirely new cast of young actors. CinemaBlend’s own Jeff McCobb sat down with them and they said this of the predecessor’s success:
As shown in the exclusive interview, 47 MetersDown: Uncaged’s ensemble cast had varying levels of knowledge of the shark tale before coming on to the sequel. Most of them knew of it and were excited about jumping on to an indie that impressed at the box office with high earnings (approximately $62 million worldwide).
Brianne Tju explained that she was already a fan of the 2017 sleeper hit before nabbing an audition to the sequel. When she got the opportunity and read the script, which upped the stakes of the original’s concept, she was more than ready to be a part of it. Corinne Foxx said she had no idea it had broken records for indie movies in 2017 or how devoted the shark movie fanbase was when she signed on. Similarly, Sophie Nélisse had only just come across the release on Netflix when she got an audition.
The cast also consisting of Sylvester Stallone’s daughter Sistine Rose Stallone, Davi Santos, Teen Wolf actor Khylin Rhambo, NCIS’s Nia Long and My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s John Corbett was an exhausting filming process, as the cast also told CinemaBlend. They started filming exterior shots in the beautiful Dominican Republic, which didn’t feel like work. Once they got in the tanks to film 80% of their shots for two months, it was a harrowing shoot.
47 Meters Down: Uncaged follows four teens who find shark infested territory while scuba diving together on vacation. The movie opens against a ton of new releases this weekend including Good Boys, Where’d You Go Bernadette, Blinded By the Light and The Angry Birds Movie 2. Uncaged is expected to open at the No. 5 slot, once again as the No. 3 new release at a $9.5 million debut weekend.
Shark movies have consistently found killer numbers with recent films such as The Meg and The Shallows also making good cash over the summer.
There are various families that have been fixtures in Hollywood for generations, including the Fondas. Sadly, one of that clan’s most well-known members is no longer with us, as Easy Rider star Peter Fonda has died at the age of 79.
It’s been announced that Peter Fonda passed away this morning at his home in Los Angeles from respiratory failure due to lung cancer. He is survived by his daughter Bridget Fonda, his son Justin Fonda and his sister Jane Fonda. Here’s what the family had to say in a public statement (via THR):
In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy. And, while we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life.
Even more promising is the fact that the film has now landed a director of photography, and he’s a pretty impressive hire. If you’re a fan of how Once Upon A Time In Hollywood looked on the silver screen, then you’re about to see Robert Richardson’s skills for framing and scope head towards Venom 2’s production process. Richardson is the successor of Venom’s director of photography, A Star Is Born’s Matthew Libatique.