Week in review: 2/13-2/17
Disney has reportedly found a director for their live-action Mulan remake: Niki Caro, whose previous films include Whale Rider and McFarland, USA. Bill Kong, a Hong Kong producer who worked on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero, will executive produce.
Directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, who have made a name for themselves with a line of low-brow spoofs that includes Epic Movie, Vampires Suck, The Starving Games and Meet the Spartans, will take on Star Wars with Star Worlds Episode XXXIVE=MC2: The Force Awakens the Last Jedi Who Went Rogue.
20th Century Fox is catching some heat for an unusual marketing tactic surrounding their latest, Gore Verbinski's A Cure for Wellness. Per BuzzFeed, the studio created a handful of websites geared around fake news stories littered with references to the film, among them a story about President Trump issuing a ban on certain childhood vaccinations and another about a planned tribute to Muslims at the Super Bowl halftime show. Some of the hoax news items were picked up by other sites and reported as fact. In the wake of the backlash, 20th Century Fox has replaced those sites with a more by-the-book one promoting the film.
Mahershala Ali, on the eve of potentially winning an Oscar for his supporting turn in Barry Jenkins' Moonlight, is reportedly in talks to co-star, along with Tom Hardy and Channing Tatum, in the crime thriller Triple Frontier. Margin Call's J.C. Chandor will direct the film, which is set in the lawless border zone between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.
Robert Downey Jr. has signed on to star in a Richard Linkater film based on an episode of the popular podcast “Reply All.” Per Variety, the yet-untitled film will star Downey Jr. as “Dr. John Brinkley, a charlatan who scams his way to fame using fake medicine, populism, and radio. Dr. Morris Fishbein, editor of the journal of the AMA, begins a quest to take him down as Brinkley becomes more famous — mainly for transplanting goat testicles into humans.”
Joe Carnahan, director of The Grey and the A-Team remake, has announced that he and actor Frank Grillo will collaborate on a reboot of modern action classic The Raid. Specifically, Carnahan noted that his film will be “a reimagining of the same scenario” as The Raid, this time with a new story.
Bleecker Street has acquired the latest post-“retirement” offering from Steven Soderbergh: heist comedy Lucky Logan. Channing Tatum and Adam Driver star as two brothers who attempt to pull off a robbery during a NASCAR race. Riley Keough, Hilary Swank, Seth MacFarlane, Katie Holmes, Daniel Craig, Katherine Waterston, Dwight Yoakam, Sebastian Stan, David Denman, Macon Blair, Jack Quaid and Brian Gleeson also star. Lucky Logan will open in theatres on August 18, 2017.
TV director Richie Keen ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"), whose feature debut Fist Fight hits theatres this weekend, has been tapped by New Line Cinema to helm the action-comedy Partners. Per Variety, the film is about an LAPD detective who "falls for a beautiful woman after a one-night stand and then learns that she is a FBI agent — and his new boss on a high-profile case."