Alden Ehrenreich Cast as Young Han Solo
This December, Disney will kick off their Star Wars anthology films with the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The next chapter in the series will be another prequel in the form of a young Han Solo movie. A substantial casting search began a few months ago and it appears the studio has finally found their man.
Alden Ehrenreich has been cast as Solo according to multiple outlets and first reported by Page Six. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who helmed the Jump Street films and The LEGO Movie, will direct from a script written by Star Wars veteran Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan.
Ehrenreich is a relatively unknown actor to most movie audiences. His breakout role came in the since forgotten YA adaptation Beautiful Creatures. He also acted in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine and he recently appeared in and supposedly stole scenes in the Coen Brothers comedy Hail, Caesar!
The thought of a Han Solo prequel has always been puzzling to me. With such an expansive universe, why go back to the well with an icon character made famous by Harrison Ford? The expectations for Ehrenreich and Lord and Miller will be enormous and I have to imagine fans will be thinking of Ford when watching the movie. Ford was 35 when Star Wars came out and Ehrenreich will be nearly 30 by the time this new version is released. Ehrenreich will likely be playing Solo in his early 20s, but it’s still hard to imagine someone else holding the blaster.
But Lord and Miller have an excellent track record so far so we will see. The young Han Solo movie arrives in theaters May 25, 2018.
Justin Lin to Direct ‘Space Jam 2’ Starring LeBron James
A sequel to Space Jam starring LeBron James has been rumored for a few years now with little to no progress. But according to TheWrap, James will indeed star in the film and Warner Bros. has landed a big-time director to guide the project.
Justin Lin, who directed four Fast & Furious films and the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, is in talks to direct from a script from Andrew Dodge (Bad Words). The project is still in the early stages of development, but at least this is something.
The original Space Jam was released in 1996 and starred Michael Jordan at the height of his fame. Despite Jordan’s lack of acting chops, the film still managed to earn more than $230 million worldwide thanks to the combination of Jordan and the team of Looney Tunes including Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
James recently signed a production deal with Warner Bros. and part of that deal is that he will have to approve the script before officially signing on to star. It’s good to be LeBron James.
This project has always made sense to me. James is the most popular basketball player and perhaps the most popular athlete in the world since Jordan and a sequel would be a de-facto passing of the torch. James is certainly a better actor than Jordan after seeing Trainwreck and the thought of seeing James interacting with the Looney Tunes would be nostalgic and a reminder to these kids today of what real cartoons look like. Have you seen what the kids watch these days?
In addition to James, other basketball players are expected to cameo in addition to a few well-known actors. No word on whether Bill Murray will return but why the hell not.
Russell Crowe in Talks to Play Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Last week, I noted that Universal did not have a single superhero franchise to its name. In an attempt to remedy that, the studio has begun to relaunch their dormant monsters including The Mummy, Frankenstein and The Wolfman and create a Monsters Universe because that’s what studios do now.
They’ve already landed Tom Cruise, who’s starring in the rebooted Mummy that will be released next summer and now they may have recruited another movie star to play an iconic character.
According to Deadline, Russell Crowe is in early talks to play Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the ambitious and brilliant doctor by day and unstable monster by night. If Crowe agrees, he will make an appearance in The Mummy as Dr. Robert Louis Stevenson before potentially leading his own franchise.
But the movie star recruitment doesn’t end there. Universal has reportedly already landed Johnny Depp to play The Invisible Man and they’re courting Angelina Jolie to play Frankenstein’s Bride.
Universal has already tried to reboot some of their monsters. They successfully turned The Mummy into a trilogy of blockbuster summer movies starring Brendan Fraser, but they failed with other characters including The Wolfman starring Benicio del Toro (Who remembers that one?) and Dracula Untold which was supposed to jump-start the Monster Universe until it crashed-and-burned at the box office.
I like the idea of bringing back Universal’s iconic monsters, but it appears they’re going down the blockbuster route rather than horror. It makes sense monetarily, but fanboys of the characters will no doubt be upset.
Universal’s experiment will begin June 9, 2017 when The Mummy arrives in theaters and they have two untitled monster pics planned for April 13, 2018 and February 15, 2019. It’s risky and ambitious but movie studios are always on the lookout for more franchises because that’s where the money comes from.