There were a few big casting announcements made this week and a couple other bits of important news:
James McAvoy to play Charles Xavier in X-MEN: FIRST CLASS -
This film seems like an utter disaster to me just because the idea of having the titular characters played by teenagers just doesn't sound interesting. However, there are a few things keeping me slightly open to the film: 1. Matthew Vaughn is directing 2. Bryan Singer has been heavily involved in the development of the film 3. Chances of it being better than THE LAST STAND and WOLVERINE are very good considering those films are terrible and lastly - I see McAvoy as a good choice for Xavier. Yeah, there are a few people griping about this, but I can imagine it was difficult to find someone worthy of filling Patrick Stewart's chair. I like McAvoy and certainly see a lot of potential in him playing a young Xavier because he has a certain seriousness and presence that is necessary. We'll just have to wait and see who fills out the rest of the cast, most importantly Magneto. The actor who is eventually cast is going to need to have a great amount of onscreen chemistry and tension with McAvoy (Stewart and McKellen had a great friend/enemy relationship). Three actors I wouldn't mind seeing in the part: Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy and maybe Ryan Gosling. Only time will tell, but I'd be least surprised about Hardy as he worked with Vaughn in LAYER CAKE.
Christian Bale to star in John Hillcoat's THE REVENANT -
This is newsworthy to me because I'm a big fan of Hillcoat. His most recent film was THE ROAD, which was decent, but highly unpleasant to watch. However, Hillcoat was able to show off his knack for a grim visual style. I'm certainly happy to see him return to another violent, period film like he did with THE PROPOSITION. Essentially, from what I've heard, THE REVENANT is about a frontiersman (Bale) who seeks revenge on the men who left him for dead after he was mauled by a bear. That sounds awesome and the pairing of Hillcoat and Bale for this film is just perfect.
BTW, if you haven't seen Hillcoat's THE PROPOSITION, I suggest you get on that as it's one of the best westerns of all-time despite the unorthodox setting of Australia.
Tommy Lee Jones has a role in THE FIRST AVENGER: CAPTAIN AMERICA -
I was never a huge Tommy Lee Jones fan (I took BATMAN FOREVER pretty hard), but I've recently started to come around since his outstanding performance in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. I feel I can now see his appeal. He's got a particular way about him in all his roles that just appeals to me now; something equal parts humorous and severe. We learned earlier this week that he'll play General Chester Phillips in CAPTAIN AMERICA, which means he'll likely be the one who turns Steve Rogers into the superhero. TLJ as a WWII military man is very fitting and I'm very eager to see his rapport with Chris Evans. Good call casting director!
DC wants to be like Marvel -
Speaking of comic book films, Warner Brothers announced that it plans to produce films featuring The Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. THE GREEN LANTERN is sure to be a hit, so they might as well get to work on some of the other big DC properties that aren't Batman or Superman. I'm all for this as long as they put the right people in charge of the things that matter. (directing, casting, writing etc.). That's the only way they can hope to match Marvel's success. Honestly, and I know I'll catch shit for this, but the character I'd be most excited for is Aquaman. He's the butt of a lot of jokes, but I think a film about Arthur Curry has the most potential. The Flash might be more respected, but I don't know what a film focused on him would be about exactly. His villains are lame and he can run really fast, so what? Don't get me wrong, I love The Flash as a supporting JLA character, but not as a feature until I'm proven otherwise. Wonder Women is a bit too out-there for me to take seriously. You'd need to cast someone perfect too, nobody lame like Megan Fox or Beyonce (who has lobbied for the role). I don't want to see any invisible jets is all I'm saying. Returning to my original point - Aquaman, like Green Lantern, has a whole alien world to explore, in his case the sea. I see the epic, fantasy elements as having a lot of blockbuster appeal.
Also announced by Warner Brothers is that a tentative release date for the next Superman has been scheduled for late 2012. Having a superhero film outside the summer season actually seems kinda cool to me and smart. The end of the year can be just as lucrative as summer (see: AVATAR), so why not spread the wealth a little?
Finally, there's going to be a live-action Dilbert movie!
This is the stupidest idea I've heard in a long time. Do people even know who Dilbert is anymore? Didn't they try to make a Dilbert cartoon a few years back and didn't it fail miserably? This is going to lose some very dumb people a lot of money.
That's it, see ya later.