Ben Affleck to Direct, Co-Write, and Star in Standalone Batman Film

The rumor mill has been churning of late with regards to the standalone Batman film. The expected timeline for new Batman appearances in the DC Cinematics Universe (DCCU) are actually fairly complex, though. Of course, the first look we get at the rebooted Batman with Ben Affleck will come next March 26th with the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Then, in August of 2016, Batman will appear in some fashion in Suicide Squad, but this role is expected to be ancillary. Once we get into 2017 and beyond, we have three announced films: The Justice League Parts One and Two, and an untitled Batman standalone film. Rumors are that the film will simply be titled, “The Batman”, but that has yet to be confirmed. What has been confirmed, though, is that Ben Affleck will not only be in front of the camera for the reboot, but also behind it and in the writers’ room with DC’s Geoff Johns.
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Star Trek Less “Trek-y”, Guardians of the Galaxy More “Emotional”

Over the last week or so, details regarding a pair of space adventure sequels have started rolling in, and while there isn’t much to interpret as of yet, I do think it is interesting to consider the choices being made by these two franchises. I am speaking, of course, of the Star Trek franchise, and the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, both of which are set to release films in the next two years (the former in July 2016, the latter in May 2017). It is interesting to consider these franchises side-by-side, as both are basically space operas but differ wildly in terms of tone and execution. And, despite being the more nascent franchise, I am of the opinion that it is the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise which actually has a brighter future – especially with regards to the next entry.
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“It” Remake in Limbo: Loses Director over Creative / Budget Concerns

Those who were excited to see Cary Fukunaga’s rendition of the Stephen King classic It are going to have to find something better to do with their lives now, as the director and New Line Cinema have parted ways over budget concerns and disagreements about how best to structure the marathon story. Fukunaga, best known as the director of eight episodes of True Detective, was keen on casting Will Poulter of Maze Runner fame as the iconic Pennywise, and wanted to structure the film similar to the ABC two-part miniseries from the early 1990s by crafting the story as two separate installments. New Line Cinema was less keen on the idea of shooting two complete films, and would prefer a more recognizable actor play the eponymous creature in clown form. Unfortunately, these differences appear irreconcilable, and the director and production company have thus parted ways.
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World War Z Sequel Set for July 2017

It looks like we’re actually getting a sequel to World War Z, which had exactly zero to do with the anthology of stories by Max Brooks (a similar phenomenon can be experienced by watching I, Robot after paging through Asimov’s collection of stories of the same name). This isn’t entirely unexpected, as the original grossed over half a billion dollars at the box office worldwide, and various news items have announced that the film would contain Brad Pitt, be directed by J.A. Bayona, and would work from a script written by Steven Knight. Those involved with the film are being very close-lipped with regards to the plot of the film, but apparently they believe that they have a vast array of stories at their disposal. Since there are not any interesting plot details to discuss, I’d like to talk about the original film and the talent assembled so far.
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Kevin Smith Pens Script for “MallBrats”

On his instagram account yesterday, Kevin Smith posted a screenshot of the complete first draft of the newest entry into his View Askewniverse: a sequel to 1995’s Mallrats with the current title of MallBrats. Since struggling with directing Cop Out, the only time Smith has helmed a movie he did not write, Smith has gone in a strange direction. Red State is a fascinating departure from what he usually does, and you would be forgiven for not even noticing that it is a Kevin Smith film. Most recently, he directed the first entry in his Great White North horror trilogy: Tusk, about a killer walrus (Yoga Hosers is in post-production and Moose Jaws will round out the series in 2016). Suffice to say, Kevin Smith is up to a great deal lately, but this will be his first return to the comfort of his old world.
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