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The fate of Universal’s Dark Universe is in limbo as two of the franchise’s top producers exit

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Dark Universe

Nearly six months after Universal revealed their plans for the Dark Universe, a series of films that would revive the studio’s classic monster characters for a new generation of moviegoers, a new article from The Hollywood Reporter claims the future of the cinematic universe is in limbo as two of the franchise’s top producers have exited.

Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, who helped Universal put the pieces together to get the Dark Universe off the ground, are no longer involved in the franchise and have since gone their separate ways, according to the report. Kurtzman is executive producing the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery, while Morgan is scripting the much-talked-about Fast and Furious spinoff starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.

Meanwhile, Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon’s Bride of Frankenstein, which was set to begin pre-production in London in early October, remains lifeless, and Angelina Jolie, who was expected to star as the film’s title character, is no longer attached.

“We’ve learned many lessons throughout the creative process on Dark Universe so far, and we are viewing these titles as filmmaker-driven vehicles, each with their own distinct vision,” Universal’s Peter Cramer said in a statement to THR. “We are not rushing to meet a release date and will move forward with these films when we feel they are the best versions of themselves.”

That being said, Universal is exploring other options, even considering the idea of “offering the IP to high-profile filmmakers or producers” with ideas “for one-off movies not connected to a larger universe,” which, in all honesty, could be the studio’s best bet at this stage of the game. They’ve already lost their two main producers/core creatives, so what could be worse than that?

Despite Universal’s claims that the Dark Universe just needs a little more time to get things back in order, it seems as though this is the end of the road for a franchise that, quite frankly, should have never been revealed in the first place.

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‘Dunkirk’ will be returning to select theaters in 70MM and IMAX just in time for awards season

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Dunkirk

Warner Bros. is giving you one last chance to experience Christopher Nolan’s sweeping epic Dunkirk on the big screen as the studio has announced that the film, which stars Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh, and Cillian Murphy, will be re-released in select limited engagement in 50 IMAX and 70mm locations in 34 cities.

“With Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan broke new ground in the use of large-format cameras to create a theatrical event that demands to be seen on the largest possible canvas,” said Sue Kroll, president of worldwide marketing and distribution at Warner Bros. “As we head into the holiday season, we are excited to offer audiences another opportunity to be swept up in this truly immersive movie-going experience, whether for the first time or again.”

The Dunkirk re-release will begin on December 1 in markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Dallas, Atlanta, and Toronto, among others, and will expand to more than 250 additional locations on January 4.

Dunkirk tells the true story of one of the most monumental events in history—the evacuation of more than 400,000 soldiers from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk in 1940—and immediately won the hearts of both critics and audiences alike, earning more than $524 million at the worldwide box office.

The film’s cast also includes Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, and Barry Keoghan.

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‘Wonder Woman 2’ changes its release date to November 2019 to distance itself from ‘Star Wars’

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Wonder Woman 2

In an effort to distance Patty Jenkins’ highly anticipated Wonder Woman sequel from the Star Wars: Episode IX craze in December 2019, it appears Warner Bros. has opted to push the film forward by an entire month from December 13, 2019 to November 1, 2019.

The follow-up to Star Wars: The Last Jedi was originally expected to open in theaters in May 2019 but was delayed after Colin Trevorrow was fired by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and replaced with J.J. Abrams, who is currently re-writing the sequel.

The news of the Wonder Woman sequel’s release date shift comes on the heels of a Page Six report claiming that Gal Gadot, who plays the title character, will refuse to reprise her role as the iconic DC superhero unless Warner Bros. cuts ties with accused sexual harasser Brett Ratner, though the studio claims the story is “false.”

Earlier this month, Wonder Woman crossed the $821.74 million mark at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing superhero origin movie of all time—a record previously held by Sam Raimi’s critically acclaimed 2002 Spider-Man starring Toby Maguire.

Wonder Woman is expected to be submitted to the 90th Academy Awards in 15 categories later this year including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Score.

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Denis Villeneuve says he is too busy with his ‘Dune’ adaptation to direct ‘James Bond 25’

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Denis Villeneuve James Bond

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced this past summer that the world’s most favorite MI6 agent, James Bond, would be returning to the big screen in 2019 with Daniel Craig reprising his role one last time before officially calling it quits.

However, there has been plenty of speculation as to who will direct Craig in his final outing. Yann Demange, David Mackenzie, and Denis Villeneuve are said to be the top three frontrunners for the gig, but the latter doesn’t think the timing is quite right for him.

“The thing is, I don’t know about that,” Villeneuve said when asked if he is going to direct James Bond 25. “Daniel Craig is a very inspiring actor, and I had some contact, and the thing is that I’m busy right now doing Dune. But, I will say to have the privilege to work with him, would be a dream. I would love to work with Daniel and a Bond movie, for me, would be a treat. It’s a matter of timing I guess.”

Dune is, of course, a novel that Hollywood has had a tough time bringing to the big screen in the past, with the exception of David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation, so it would only make sense that Villeneuve, one of the busiest directors working today, would be devoting all of his time to making sure he gets his own adaptation done correctly.

As for Bond 25, which is being written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, it should be safe to say that we can cross Villeneuve off the list of frontrunners and expect either Demange or Mackenzie to take the directing gig. Either way, MGM will have to make a decision soon, as the film is scheduled to open in theaters on November 8, 2019.

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