Universal could be eyeing Channing Tatum for a 'Van Helsing' movie in the Dark Universe
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Universal is eyeing Channing Tatum for a ‘Van Helsing’ movie in the Dark Universe

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After the release of The Mummy earlier this summer, which was met with negative reviews and a disappointing box office return, it became evident that Universal Pictures’ newly announced Dark Universe was off to a very rough start, and many began to speculate as to whether or not the studio would even continue to move forward with development on future installments.

However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal is indeed moving slowly, but surely, on the Dark Universe to “allow for more script development” and is “betting on names” to help save the monster-filled franchise from any further destruction at the box office.

Interestingly enough, a brief mention in the trade’s original report noted that the studio is “polishing the script” for Van Helsing and is eyeing Channing Tatum for the role. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough for you, Angelina Jolie could take on the title role in Bill Condon’s version of Bride of Frankenstein, which is expected to be the next film in the cinematic universe.

Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan created the Dark Universe with the idea in mind that they could revive Universal’s classic monster characters for a new generation of moviegoers. If Tatum and Jolie’s casting follow through, they will be joining an ensemble that already includes Johnny Depp as the Invisible Man, Javier Bardem as Frankenstein’s Monster, Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll, and Sofia Boutella as The Mummy.

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Taika Waititi’s ‘Next Goal Wins’ rounds out its cast as production gets underway in Hawaii

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Taika Waititi Next Goal Wins
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Fox Searchlight announced Wednesday that it has acquired worldwide rights to Next Goal Wins, writer-director Taika Waititi’s follow-up to his World War II satire Jojo Rabbit, which opened in theaters last month.

Production is currently underway in Honolulu, Hawaii on the film, which stars Michael Fassbender and Elisabeth Moss and tells the story of the American Samoa soccer team, who suffered the most devastating loss in World Cup history, losing to Australia 31-0 in 2001. With the 2014 World Cup approaching, the team recruits a down on his luck, maverick coach (Fassbender) to help turn their fate around.

In addition to Fassbender and Moss, the film’s cast also includes the likes of Oscar Kightley, Beulah Koale, Lehi Falepapalangi, Uli Latukefu, Rachel House, and Kaimana in their debut role.

“I’ve just started production on my next film Next Goal Wins,” Waititi said in a statement. “We have such an amazing cast and crew behind this film, and I’m stoked to be partnering once again with the lovely people at Fox Searchlight Pictures.”

Waititi wrote the script for Next Goal Wins along with Iain Morris, based on the 2014 documentary of the same name. Jonathan Cavendish, Garrett Basch, and Waititi are producers, with Andy Serkis, Will Tennant, and Kathryn Dean executive producing.

“Taika is an incredible talent and master at bringing honesty and humanity to the surface in any story. We are thrilled to be working with him again on such an extraordinary true story of perseverance in the face of defeat. He has brought together a terrific group of actors, craftspeople and sports players to bring this unique story to life,” said Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum, presidents of production at Fox Searchlight.

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Ben Affleck struggles with alcohol addiction, recovery in Gavin O’Connor’s ‘The Way Back’ trailer

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The Way Back
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Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for The Way Back, which finds director Gavin O’Connor reuniting with his The Accountant star Ben Affleck for what appears to be a heavier sort of sports drama that explores alcohol addiction and recovery.

Affleck stars here as Jack Cunningham, a one-time high school sports prodigy whose life is spiraling downward due to the alcoholism that cost him his marriage and any hope for a better life for himself.

However, Jack’s opportunity for a better life eventually comes when he’s asked to go back to his alma mater to coach the basketball team, which has been underperforming and desperately needs new leadership in order to succeed this season.

Slowly but surely, the team starts to get their act together and manages to start winning some games, proving Jack’s ability to coach, but whether that’s enough to help him cope with his addiction and set him on the road to redemption remains to be seen.

Brad Ingelsby scripted the film, which is produced by O’Connor along with Gordon Gray, Jennifer Todd, and Ravi Mehta. Al Madrigal, Michaela Watkins, Janina Gavankar, and Glynn Turman also star alongside Affleck.

The Way Back opens in theaters March 6, 2020.

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Spike Lee to direct ‘Prince of Cats,’ a hip-hop retelling of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ set in the 1980s

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Spike Lee Prince of Cats
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Spike Lee has been set to direct Legendary’s adaptation of Prince of Cats, the graphic novel hip-hop retelling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set in 1980s Brooklyn, New York, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Lee will work with Prince of Cats author Ron Wimberly and screenwriter Selwyn Seyfu Hinds on rewriting the original draft of the script, which “is described as a 1980s hip-hop take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, with the tragic star-crossed love story seen through the eyes of Tybalt, Juliet’s angry and duel-loving cousin.”

Janet and Kate Zucker of Zucker Productions are producing the film, with Legendary’s Jon Silk and Ali Mendes overseeing the production for the studio. Casting is expected to get underway some time early next year.

Lee most recently directed last year’s BlacKkKlansman, which earned him a number of Oscar nominations — including Best Picture — and a win for Best Adapted Screenplay. He’s currently in post-production on the thriller Da 5 Bloods starring Chadwick Boseman.

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