It has been since July 2019 that 2-time Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali was brought in for a meeting with Marvel and asked to “pick a character” that he would want to play within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He selected the sword-wielding vampire hunter Blade, who was previously portrayed by Wesley Snipes on screen from 1998-2004. Though the announcement of Ali joining the MCU came before the 2020s, there has been a lack of news, and maybe even some that would categorize as bad news since hiring and then losing director Bassam Tariq due to creative differences. However, there is finally news on who will come in to right the ship for Ali and Marvel.
It has been reported by multiple outlets that Yann Demange (’71, Lovecraft Country) is set to helm the reboot of Blade for Marvel and will come along with a new writer as Michael Starrbury (When They See Us, Colin in Black and White) will write the newest draft of the script. Marvel has said that it aims for Blade to have a darker tone than other MCU projects. With Demange’s resume, his hiring makes sense in relation to past projects that he could be an inspired choice to direct this particular film.
The film was originally set to begin filming this month but due to Tariq’s falling out with the studio, Marvel took their time taking pitches for weeks to find the tonal remedy and cohesiveness needed to move forward with the pic. Demange has other high-profile projects in development currently in addition to Blade including a reboot of 1981’s sci-fi thriller Scanners and Exit West, feature film collaboration for Netflix with Demange directing Riz Ahmed for the Obamas production company, Higher Ground.
Mahershala Ali is a 2-time winner in the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role at the Academy Awards for Best Picture winners Moonlight and Green Book. Additionally, Ali was most recently seen (or heard) in Swan Song for AppleTV+ and his first role as Blade in a short off-screen voiceover in a post-credit scene in Eternals interacting with Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman. He’ll star next in the animated film, Wildwood from Laika Studios along with Carey Mulligan, Angela Bassett, Awkwafina and Jacob Tremblay which is set to be released in 2023.
Bradley Cooper Set as Lead in Steven Spielberg’s Reimagining of 1968’s ‘Bullitt’
It was just a few years ago that Oscar-nominated actor Bradley Cooper was courting offers from tons of directors such as Adam McKay, Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino before settling on two films that released last year and were nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Cooper selected the lead role in Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley and a small, supporting role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza. Following the success of his own directorial debut, A Star is Born, Cooper was highly coveted and now, he’s about to work with the most famous filmmaker of all-time.
According to Deadline, Bradley Cooper will star in the latest film from Steven Spielberg which will be a new original take on the legendary character Frank Bullitt played by Steve McQueen. The report details that the movie is not a remake of the original film, Bullitt, but a completely new idea that is centered around the character from the 1968 crime thriller. In the original movie, Bullitt is a sensible police officer from San Francisco who’s on the hunt for a mobster that killed one his witnesses in a case he’s on. The role is one of the more quintessential roles of McQueen’s career, so it’s interesting that someone of Spielberg’s stature would want to recreate the character for an actor such as Cooper. Having said that, this is an all-star pairing and continues Cooper’s streak of working with some of the best working directors in Hollywood. The film will be written by Josh Singer, who previously penned Spotlight and The Post.
The report also notes that the development of this project has been in the works since the COVID-19 pandemic. Spielberg and Cooper have been trying to work together ever since American Sniper, a film for which Cooper earned his third and fourth Oscar nominations, which eventually was helmed by Clint Eastwood. After that partnership fell through, Spielberg reached out to Cooper to direct his Leonard Bernstein biopic, Maestro, which Cooper eventually obliged. Following his performance and achievement in directing A Star is Born, Spielberg thought that after years of developing Maestro but maybe not having the time to direct himself, he handed the film off to the multihyphenate. Spielberg is currently on a press tour for his semi-autobiographical film, The Fabelmans which stars Paul Dano, Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen coming off of the heels of his incarnation of West Side Story which released in 2021.
Netflix Adds Prestige to Action/Comedy ‘Back in Action,’ Adds Glenn Close and Kyle Chandler to Cast
Cameron Diaz’s return to acting is drawing more A-list talent for the streaming action-comedy. According to a report from Deadline, Glenn Close and Kyle Chandler will join the cast for Back in Action alongside Diaz and Jamie Foxx. The project was announced via Foxx’s Instagram back in June and has many excited as it will be Diaz’s first film since Annie back in 2014.
The plot details are being held under wraps for now, but Back in Action will be directed by Seth Gordon, who previously directed Horrible Bosses and Baywatch. The cast assembled is exciting as almost everything Jamie Foxx is in recently is at least worth pure entertainment value while Close and Chandler bring prestige to the project as well.
Chandler will be seen next in Netflix’s Slumberland which premieres this Friday, November 18th. Chandler has been seen mostly on television recently with supporting roles in Paramount+’s Mayor of Kingstown and Showtime’s Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Uma Thurman.
Glenn Close has been nominated for 8 Oscars, including most recently in 2021 for Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy. She also recently appeared in Season 2 of AppleTV+ original, Tehran and the AppleTV+ original movie, Swan Song with Mahershala Ali. She’ll next appear in the horror film, The Deliverance directed by Lee Daniels acting alongside Caleb McLaughlin and Aunjanue Ellis.
Netflix Set to Create Live-Action Film, Animated Series based on Popular Video Game Franchise, ‘Gears of War’
Gears of War is a video game franchise that has always been meant for an adaptation for a series of films. Dave Bautista, is a star that has campaigned for years to play the central character of Marcus Fenix through all the different development deals across multiple studios but now, he may have a better chance than ever.
According to an exclusive from The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix is set to create a live-action feature film and an adult-oriented animated series based in the world of Gears of War. The original video game was released on Xbox consoles over 15 years ago and chronicles a war between a squad of COG soldiers led by sergeant Marcus Fenix fighting for their lives against a group of monstrous creatures known as the Locust Army.
The video game franchise is rich with original mythology and adds to the play that Netflix is embarking on to develop well-known IP for their powerful streaming service. Bautista would make sense to play Fenix, the main character as his stature and attitude resembles that of the pro wrestler-turned actor. Also, with Bautista’s lead role in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead for Netflix, he already has an established relationship with the streamer. Gears of War also has a passionate fanbase that has been clamoring to see these characters brought to life in the film/TV medium with many stories already in place to adapt to the big and small screen.
Cliff Bleszinski and Epic Games lead the charge in the development of the first Gears game before Microsoft acquired the rights to the game series in 2014. The Coalition, a Canadian game developer, took over for the last two releases of the series, Gears of War 4 and Gears 5 and will partner with Netflix for the planned film and animated series.
As of now, no producers, writers or directors are attached to developing these Gears of War projects, however, as THR reports, Scott Stuber, the head of original films at Netflix, was once attached as a producer when the video game was being developed in the mid-2010s so he is sure to be pleased with the acquisition for company.
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