From Batman to Birdman to Kong: Skull Island — Michael Keaton sure loves wildlife, doesn’t he? And here’s another rhetorical question for today’s Movie Morsels — who’s looking forward to hearing more about The LEGO Movie 2? We’ve got an update on the sequel straight from Phil Lord and Chris Miller; along with news on Election collaborators Reese Witherspoon and Alexander Payne’s next film, and the trailers for Olivia Wilde’s The Lazarus Effect and David Cross’ Hits!
Riding a wave of critical acclaim through this awards season for his much-talked about turn in Birdman (pictured above), Michael Keaton has — according to Deadline — just entered negotiations to join Universal’s 3D King Kong spin-off Kong: Skull Island. If cast, the actor will co-star with Tom Hiddleston and J.K. Simmons in director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and writers John Gatins and Max Borenstein’s tale of intrepid explorers making their way through the titular remote jungle island. The film arrives on March 10, 2017.
The LEGO Movie 2
LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have just confirmed that while they will indeed produce and write the sequel to their CG-animated smash — as well as produce its two spinoffs, 2016’s LEGO Ninjago and 2017’s The LEGO Batman Movie — they won’t direct The LEGO Movie 2, scheduled for release on on May 25, 2018.
“I don’t think so,” Miller told Empire. “We’re writing the sequel right now and obviously producing all the other ones. There’s a challenge to make each one feel like its own thing. Part of the fun is finding people like Charlie [Bean], who’s doing the Ninjago movie, and Chris McKay who did so much on the first film. Each of them have their own distinct voices and ideas for tone. So it will each have its own personality and not just be, ‘Hey, remember that last movie? Here’s another one just like it!’ So that’s been a big challenge but so far it’s been going better than I expected.”
Miller explained that the sequel will take place four years after The LEGO Movie.
“Well I don’t want to give you spoilers but we were really interested in what happens to that boy who’s in the meta story in the first movie when he’s four years older. When he’s an adolescent how does that change his point of view? And it’s nice to have the characters start in a different place from the first movie. Emmet, for example, was in an existential crisis of having seen another dimension and was questioning the whole point of his existence.”
In addition to being one of the smartest comedies of the ’90s, Election was a breakthrough film for both its director Alexander Payne and star Reese Witherspoon (pictured above in Four Christmases). Now, the two are reuniting for Downsizing, in which Witherspoon will co-star with Matt Damon, who will join the project after finishing work on the next Bourne movie. The Fox release will be co-written by Payne and Jim Taylor, who together won the Adapted Screenplay Oscar for 2004’s Sideways. Deadline describes Downsizing as “a social satire in which a guy realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself.” Like Ant-Man without the special effects!
The Lazarus Effect
Olivia Wilde gets down with her bad self when she plays a medical student channeling both Doctor Frankenstein and his monster in The Lazarus Effect. Co-starring Mark Duplass, Donald Glover, and Evan Peters, the film opens on February 27th. Microbudget horror mogul Jason Blum produces the Relativity release, and David Gelb directs from a screenplay by Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater. Here’s the first official trailer for the twenty-first century’s answer to Flatliners…
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