James Gunn is in talks to direct 'Suicide Squad 2' - Silver Screen Beat
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James Gunn is in talks to direct ‘Suicide Squad 2’ months after being hired as screenwriter

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Months after being fired by Disney as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 following what seemed to be a targeted smear campaign by right-wing media figures, THR is reporting that James Gunn is officially set to return to the director’s chair with DC’s forthcoming Suicide Squad film.

Indeed, Gunn, who was hired by Warner Bros. last October to begin writing the screenplay for what is being titled The Suicide Squad, is now in active negotiations to direct the film, which will not be a direct sequel to David Ayer’s 2016 film but rather a complete relaunch of the DC franchise.

“Sources say that Gunn’s focus is to take the franchise in a new direction with a mostly all-new cast of characters and actors,” writes THR. “Sources also say that the project is also very much rooted in Gunn’s vibe, as seen in the Guardians movies.”

Charles Roven and Peter Safran are producing The Suicide Squad with Zack Snyder and Deborah Snyder serving as executive producers.

Despite being panned by critics, 2016’s Suicide Squad, which has a measly 27% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, was actually a massive box office success, earning more than $325 million domestic and more than $746 million worldwide.

The film starred Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Will Smith as Deadshot, Jared Leto as the Joker, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, and Karen Fukuhara as Katana. It’s currently unclear as to whether or not the cast will reprise their roles for the new Suicide Squad film.

The Suicide Squad will hit theaters on August 6, 2021.

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Paramount taps ‘Fargo’ creator Noah Hawley to write, direct next installment in ‘Star Trek’ series

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Fresh off the release of his feature directorial debut Lucy in the Sky last month, Noah Hawley has been set to write and direct the upcoming next installment in the Star Trek franchise, according to Deadline.

Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, and the rest of the principal cast are all expected to return for Star Trek 4, which Hawley will also produce for his 26 Keys banner along with JJ Abrams and Bad Robot.

The film is not in any way related to the R-rated spinoff Abrams and Quentin Tarantino have been developing with writer Mark L. Smith and will serve as a direct sequel to 2016’s Star Trek Beyond.

S.J. Clarkson had been attached to direct Star Trek 4 as recently as last year and was poised to become the first woman to helm a film in the sci-fi series but reportedly parted ways with the project after development stalled in mid-2018.

Hawley — perhaps best known for his work on FX series such as Fargo and Legion — recently made his directorial debut with the Natalie Portman-led drama Lucy in the Sky, which tanked at the domestic box office amid harsh reviews from critics.

Production on Star Trek 4 is expected to get underway in 2020.

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Netflix releases final trailer for Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ ahead of streaming debut

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Netflix has released the final trailer for Martin Scorsese’s masterful gangster epic The Irishman starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci ahead of its debut on the streaming service next week.

Based on Charles Brandt’s true-crime novel I Heard You Paint HousesThe Irishman chronicles the story of Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a high-ranking labor union official and mob hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century, including Bufalino crime family boss Russell Bufalino (Pesci) and Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino).

The film spans decades and offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organized crime, including its inner workings and connections to mainstream politics, as well as a glimpse into the mysterious 1975 disappearance of Hoffa, whose body was never actually found by authorities.

In addition to its three main stars, The Irishman boasts an incredible ensemble cast that also includes Ray Romano as Bill Bufalino, Harvey Keitel as Angelo Bruno, Anna Paquin as Peggy Sheeran, Jesse Plemons as Chuckie O’Brien, Bobby Cannavale as Felix DiTullio, and Stephen Graham as Anthony Provenzano.

The Irishman is currently playing in select theaters around the US and will begin streaming on Netflix just in time for Thanksgiving on November 27.

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David Fincher, Robert Towne begin development on ‘Chinatown’ prequel series at Netflix

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Chinatown
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A prequel series to Roman Polanski‘s 1974 neo-noir classic Chinatown from David Fincher and Robert Towne is in early development at Netflix, Silver Screen Beat has learned.

Per Deadline, Fincher and Towne — the latter of the two having won an Oscar for his screenplay for the film starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway — have closed deals to begin working on a pilot script for the series.

The duo will also executive produce the project, which centers around “a young Jake Gittes (played by Nicholson in Polanski’s film) as he plies his business in a town where the wealthy and corruption involves areas like land, oil, and gangs.”

Fincher has reportedly expressed interest in directing an episode of the yet-to-be-titled series, though his current deal with the streamer only includes the pilot script and his handling of directorial duties would have to be negotiated into the agreement.

Netflix has developed quite a relationship with Fincher over the past several years, having collaborated with the director on series such as Love, Death & Robots, House of Cards, and Mindhunter.

Fincher’s latest collaboration with Netflix — a feature film about the life of Hollywood screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz titled Mank — stars Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, and Lily Collins, and is expected to begin shooting in Los Angeles later this month.

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