The Week in Film: News round-up

Big news of the week is that Star Wars may have its big-bad. Writer-director JJ Abrams has understandably been keeping his cards close to his chest regards any casting news, with of nearly every big name in Hollywood being rumoured for a part at some point, with the only solid confirmed return being R2D2. Well now industry rag Variety reports that Adam Driver, best known as Sackler from the HBO series Girls, has been approached to star as the main Villain in Star Wars Episode 7 as a “Darth Vader like character”.

If the news pans out he’ll likely be joining original cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill who are likely returning to their iconic roles in the film set to be released in December 2015.

Meanwhile over at the other side of Disney, Edgar Wright and Marvels Ant Man is shaping up to be a barnstormer as castingAnt-man continues apace with Paul Rudd set to take the lead as Scott Lang, while Michael Douglas will play his 60’s counterpart Hank Pymm. Both are very interesting and welcome casting choices that imply Wright will be skewing more towards a light comedy tone here similar to his earlier work with Pegg and co.  Can’t wait for this one.

In other completely unrelated casting news, Oscar Magnet Meryl Streep has recently been announced to star as suffragette icon Emaline Pankhhurst.  Released next year, the film, titled “Suffragette”, is written by Iron Lady scribe Abi Morgan and will only loosely follow Pankhurst, instead focusing on a young feminist played by Carey Mulligan. No doubt the Oscar voters are filling in the ballot papers already.

In trailer news, fans of big budget mega-havoc have lots to be excited about this year as Godzilla gets a fresh airing in time for his 60th anniversary. Directed by Brit Gareth Edwards, the film stars Heisenberg himself Brian Cranston as a man having to fight for his and everybody else’s life as a huge atomic fueled beast terrorizes Americas Western seaboard.

The trailer is wonderfully ominous and plays up the dramatic aspects, as well as some very impressive looking action. For a remake this looks surprisingly good. Fingers crossed.

Watch it here:

Comedy news, and Anchorman head honcho Adam Mackay recently gave fans of the franchise some good news and bad news. Good news is that Anchorman Part 2 is being re-released in cinemas this week with alternate versions of every single joke, using alternate takes from the improv-strewn shoot. Hooray! Bad news is anyone hoping to see Anchorman 3 is in for a disappointment, as he confirmed that he, Will Ferrell and the rest of the cast have run their course with the franchise and will be looking to do other fresh movies.

harold ramisSad news to close as the film world said goodbye to writer-actor-director Harold Ramis, who passed away last Monday at the age of 69. Ramis is probably best known as the boffin Egon Spengler from Ghostbusters I and II, which he co-wrote with Dan Ayckroyd. Elsewhere he was an immensely skilled comedy writer, making his big break with the classic National Lampoons Animal House and continuing the winning streak with Caddyshack and the aforementioned Ghostbusters films. However his most enduring work, and the one for which he garnered most acclaim, will always be Groundhog Day, which he wrote and directed in 1991.

Apparently Ghostbusters III, which Ramis was due to have a cameo in with his original co-stars, will still be going ahead later in the year.