Week in review: 1/30-2/3
Trouble in Batland: Ben Affleck will no longer direct The Batman for Warner Bros. The actor/director, who will still star in the film, said in a statement that "There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions. Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film. I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director. I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world."
Mel Gibson's in-progress comeback continues to truck along; a bit over a week after his Hacksaw Ridge picked up six Oscar nominations, the word is (per The Hollywood Reporter) that Gibson may take on a co-starring role alongside Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell in Paramount's Daddy's Home 2. John Lithgow is also rumored to join the cast.
Nightcrawler director Dan Gilroy has added Colin Farrell to the cast of his latest, a legal thriller by the name of Inner City. Denzel Washington stars as a lawyer who winds up in the middle of a dangerous new case.
Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn are set to star in Dragged Across Concrete, a crime thriller about police brutality from Bone Tomahawk director S. Craig Zahler. Per Variety, the two actors play "cops who are suspended when a video of their strong-arm tactics gets wide attention. They then descend into the criminal underworld to exact vengeance."
Warner Bros. Animation has found its director for their yet-untitled LEGO Movie sequel: Trolls helmer Mike Mitchell. Mitchell replaces TV director Rob Schrab ("Community"), who was earlier on board to direct.
Ralph Fiennes will make his third foray into directing, after Coriolanus (2011) and The Invisible Woman (2013), with The White Crow, a biopic of Russian ballet legend Rudolf Nureyev. David Hare (The Reader, The Hours) will pen the script, working off Julie Kavanagh’s book Rudolf Nureyev: The Life.
Corin Hardy, director of last year's The Hallow, is set to direct New Line's The Conjuring 2 spinoff The Nun. James Wan, who helmed The Conjuring and its sequel, will co-produce and co-write The Nun, the latter with Gary Dauberman of the previous Conjuring spinoff Annabelle.