Did you have a good weekend? I certainly hope see because, like it or not, it’s Monday and we’re staring down the barrel of another workweek. Fortunately, Movie Morsels is here to take the edge off and we’ve got a cavalcade of cinematic news bites to satisfy your hunger. Today’s smorgasbord features Star Wars: Episode VII, Deadpool, Pitch Perfect 2, Stretch, and much more.
Star Wars: Episode VII
This may contain mild spoilers for Star Wars: Episode VII, so if that’s not your bag, just skip ahead.
The latest bit of Star Wars news comes by way of James Bond. No, not the rumor that Daniel Craig filmed a secret cameo for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII; rather, this one comes courtesy of Roger Moore, who divulged that he’d visited the top-secret set on a recent BBC radio broadcast. Just what did he reveal exactly?
“They were filming something with a lot of mountains and snow.”
Could this be another ice planet a la Hoth? Perhaps. One thing is for sure: it is in keeping with plot details purportedly revealed over on Badass Digest:
“So begins a quest to find the missing Jedi Master. Meanwhile, on an ice planet, nefarious forces are building a super weapon, one capable of destroying not planets but entire solar systems … In many ways this plot of Episode VII is an echo of A New Hope. Instead of R2 coming to Tatooine it’s a hand falling from the sky, but the basic sweep of the story is similar, and intentionally so. But things that seem familiar may not be as familiar as you think – don’t assume that every ice or desert planet in the galaxy has already been visited, if you know what I’m saying.”
Those Star Wars: Episode VII rumors. So Hoth right now. [Slashfilm]
Last week, the news that we’d finally be getting a Deadpool feature film had us eating our body weight in celebratory chimichangas. Well, those of you hoping we’d see a gritty, ultraviolent rated-R version of the Merc with a Mouth might be in for some disappointment. On a recent Schmoes Know podcast, they dropped a bit of a bomb after speaking with director Tim Miller:
“I heard from the director that they finally figured out the script…and you guys are all going to hate this: they figured out how to make it PG-13 and therefore not lose its soul – that’s a quote – of the script, so that they can make it.”
Okay — so it might not be what we want, but a PG-13 Deadpool is better than no Deadpool at all, right? [CinemaBlend]
Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Having apparently reached critical mass for big budget adaptations of nerdy franchises, Roberto Orci has dropped out of Lionsgate’s forthcoming Power Rangers film due to scheduling conflicts with Star Trek 3, which he is writing and directing. Screenwriters Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller (X-Men: First Class) are penning the reboot of the long-running franchise, which is set for a July 22, 2016 release date. No word yet on who will play Rita Repulsa, but my money is on Nicki Minaj. [Deadline]
The Maze Runner
Did you see The Maze Runner this weekend? I didn’t, but evidently enough of you guys did to warrant Fox already greenlighting the sequel and giving it a release date. The film based on James Dashner’s eponymous YA novel grossed $32.5 million domestically this weekend, paving the way for a sequel. The Scorch Trials, as it will be called, is dated for September 18, 2015. Well, it wasn’t the birthday present I had asked for Fox, but I’ll take what I can get. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Pitch Perfect 2
New Pitch Perfect 2 details, you say? Aca-scuse me if I cut to the chase and let you know exactly what director Elizabeth Banks had to say about the sequel:
“The girls are now graduating seniors. They’re coming to the end of their time as Bellas and figuring out how to sort of leave the nest and the comfort of each other’s friendship and figure out what they’re going to do with the rest of their lives.”
No words yet about what the status of Beca (Anna Kendrick) and Jesse’s (Skylar Astin) relationship, but if Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) is back, then we’re definitely onboard. Banks also elaborated on the film’s musical influences and appearances from a cappella groups like Pentatonix, the Filharmonic, and Penn Masala.:
“It’s all about authenticity in the a capella world. We really want to honor that and honor the people who are really doing it out there who we’re inspired by when we make the movie.”
I could tell you how this makes us feel, but this GIF does a much better job:
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2
Though Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunter was one of the silliest-sounding film of last year, the joke might be on us. The film grossed $55 million domestically and a reported $170 internationally, so the Paramount asked writer-director Tommy Wirkola to work on a sequel. In an interview at Fantastic Fest, Wirkola confirmed that the sequel script is done, and it’s in the studio’s hands now:
“I’ve written the script for it. I’ve given it to Paramount and it’s up to them now. But I don’t know what’s going to happen. Jeremy [Renner] is so busy these days, I don’t know how they’re going to juggle all of that, but it’s up to [Paramount]. We’ll see. Hopefully, I’ll get to do another film first. They really liked the script I gave them. The first film was a learning curve for me working in the studio system and the script I wrote for the original was so different. We ended up taking a lot out and altering stuff that first time. I’m smarter now. I tried taking what I learned and still delivered a sequel script that’s an R-rated action film.”
Given Renner’s increasingly busy schedule, it could be difficult to get the sequel made, but then again weirder things have happened (like film happening in the first place). [ShockTillYouDrop]
Over a year after analyst Edward Snowden leaked classified NSA information and was forced into exile, we may be seeing a big screen adaptation of his story. Oliver Stone is gearing up to make a narrative feature film called The Snowden Files, and it’s looking like the top contender to play Edward Snowden is none other than Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The film hope to start production this December in Munich. As for JGL, he has a busy dance card between adapting Neil Gaiman’s Sandman for the big screen, playing high-wire artist Philippe Petit in Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk, and reuniting with his 50/50 pals Seth Rogen and Jonathan Levine for a Christmas comedy. [ComingSoon]
Joe Carnahan’s Stretch, the story of an a debt-ridden chauffeur (Patrick Wilson) who winds up carting around an eccentric billionaire (Chris Pine) on what turns out to be a ride to hell and back, look absolutely batshit crazy. Still, it’s the kind of batshit crazy that intrigues me, and Merrill Barr won’t shut up about it, so it must be worth checking out. Here’s three new clips that add 100% more David Hasselhoff to the mix.
What do you think of tonight’s top stories? Let us know in the comments below or tell me on Twitter.