Mes amis, it’s Friday! And that means one last Movie Morsels before the weekend, and at least three Marvel movie adaptations that need a director. In today’s Movie Morsels, Gambit adds two more directors to its list of finalists, Ant-Man and the Wasp closes in on its helmer, and Anthony Mackie weighs in on the Black Panther director’s race.
Outside of the comic book movies, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies gets a fun new trailer, and so does the new Ghost in the Shell anime movie. Finally, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers reboot film has found its Black Ranger.
Earlier this week, Gambit star Channing Tatum was reportedly courting Edge of Tomorrow and The Bourne Identity director Doug Liman to be the new helmer for the X-Men spinoff film. But now there’s a rumor that two other directors are also being pursued for Gambit: Attack the Block helmer Joe Cornish, and Shane Black, the screenwriter turned director who helmed Iron Man 3 for Marvel Studios.
If the Gambit movie manages to land any of those three directors then it should be in good shape. Director Rupert Wyatt was originally slated to begin filming Gambit next month, before he dropped out of the project. Gambit is now expected to start production in March 2016.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
Peyton Reed wasn’t Marvel’s first choice to direct Ant-Man, but he is their choice to helm the sequel: Ant-Man and the Wasp. Reed is reportedly in talks to direct the follow up film after it beat expectations to become one of the summer’s biggest hits. Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly are pretty certain to return, with Michael Douglas likely to be back as well.
The sequel may even have a role for the original Wasp, Janet van Dyne. But first, Ant-Man and the Wasp needs a screenwriter. The film will be released on July 6, 2018.
As of now, the search for a Black Panther director continues. Ava DuVernay confirmed that Marvel wanted her to direct it before she walked away over creative reasons, while F. Gary Gray and Ryan Coogler were also reportedly courted by Marvel. But according to Captain America: Civil War star Anthony Mackie, Marvel shouldn’t be focusing on black directors for Black Panther, because he feels that race doesn’t matter to storytelling.
“I don’t think [getting a black director is] important at all,” Mackie told The Daily Beast. “As a director your job is to tell a story. You know, they didn’t get a horse to direct Seabiscuit! The thing is I don’t think the race of the director has to do with their ability to tell a story. I think it’s all about the director’s ability to be able to relate to that story and do it justice. I think men can direct women, and two of my greatest work experiences were with female directors. So I think it all depends. May the best man—or woman—win.”
Marvel may feel differently. Comic book movie fans may also feel differently. One thing is certain: that Seabiscuit joke did not go over well. Mackie also praised Marvel for “pushing the envelope with characters who look like the people who are going to the movies.” But those comments appear to have been overshadowed by the backlash against Mackie’s earlier quote.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES
It’s age of romance…and the age of kicking undead ass in the new trailer for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s wildly popular mashup of zombie horror and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Cinderella star Lily James plays perhaps the most formidable Elizabeth Bennet to date, but Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley) gets his moments to shine in the trailer as well.
The new trailer also has Elizabeth and her four sisters demonstrating their battle training against the undead hordes, and it offers a quick glimpse of Game of Thrones star Charles Dance as their father, Mr. Bennet. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies arrives in theaters on Feburary 6, 2016.
GHOST IN THE SHELL: THE NEW MOVIE
There is still an American live-action remake of Ghost in The Shell on the way with Scarlett Johansson attached to star, but it’s at least two years away. Next month, a new anime film, Ghost in The Shell: The New Movie will get a limited theatrical release in the U.S. and Canada courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment. Roughly 330 theaters will run screenings of Ghost in The Shell: The New Movie on November 10, 11, and 16. FUNimation has also released a new trailer of its English dub of the movie.
MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS
The official Instagram account of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie has confirmed its third cast member. Relative newcomer Ludi Lin will portray the Black Ranger.
It’s not clear if Lin is playing Zack Taylor, the Black Ranger character played by Walter Jones on the original Power Rangers TV series. Lin’s castmates include Naomi Scott as the Pink Ranger and Dacre Montgomery as the Red Ranger. The Yellow and Blue Rangers have not yet been cast. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers will appear in theaters on January 13, 2017.
That’s a wrap for Friday’s Movie Morsels. Share your thoughts on today’s film news in the comment section below!
Featured Image: Marvel Comics