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HomeIndustry SectorFilmHump Day News Update 7/14/21: WandaVision Helmer Taking on Star Trek, Vince...

Hump Day News Update 7/14/21: WandaVision Helmer Taking on Star Trek, Vince Gilligan Reups, and More News


Happy Hump Day!

I’m sure we’re all still reeling and recovering from yesterday’s Emmy nominations, and hopefully, you’ve already checked out some of the reactions from the talented craft people who received nominations.

I certainly have some thoughts, but I’m going to leave it up to BTL’s Neil Turitz to share his thoughts later this week. (I will say that the biggest snub in my mind was Steve McQueen‘s Small Axe Anthology, and the biggest thrill was to see Bo Burnham being nominated in so many categories for his literal one-man show, Bo Burnham: Inside.)

Let’s jump right into some movie news, beginning with a few new projects…

Star Trek
Star Trek Logo (Paramount)

WandaVision director Matt Shakman (who yesterday received his second Emmy nomination for that show) has been tapped to direct the next Star Trek feature film for Paramount Pictures. What will be the 14th feature film in the franchise (and fifth in the 21st Century) has been shifting from one director to another over the past few years, including Quentin Tarantino and Fargo creator Noah Hawley throwing their hats into the ring. J.J. Abrams is once again producing with the latest script by Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, although it’s unknown whether Chris Pine or any of the cast of Abrams’reboot will return. The last Star Trek feature film, Star Trek Beyond, directed by Justin Lin, was released five years ago. Of course, the franchise has been kept alive via various CBS All Access and then Paramount+ series. 

Chariot (AWA)

Tron: Legacy Director Joseph Kosinski, whose Top Gun: Maverick sequel will finally be released this fall, has been tapped to direct the sci-fi thriller Chariot for Warner Bros. Pictures, based on the graphic novel with 21 Laps producing and Julian Meiojas writing the script.

Warners won an auction for the AWA comic created and written by Bryan Edward Hill, drawn by Priscilla Petraites, and edited by AWA CCO Axel Alonso. 21 Laps’ Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen are producing with Kosinski, while AWA’s Zach Studin is the project’s exec. producer through the recently formed AWA Studios film and television branch of the comic book publisher. The Chariot of the title is a secret Cold War government project that links an agent to a state-of-the-art sports car that can be used as a weapon, and decades later, the Chariot is discovered with the agent’s consciousness still controlling it.

Netflix has picked up Charlie McDowell‘s modern-day noir film, Windfall, with Jason Segel, Lily Collins, and Jesse Plemons starring and production having wrapped earlier this year. Segel and McDowell developed the story with a script written by Justin Lader and Andrew Kevin Walker, said to be a Hitchcockian thriller about a young couple who arrive at their vacation home to find it being robbed. Netflix reportedly bought all right for the project in an 8-figure deal.

Lionsgate is developing the top-secret romantic comedy Revenge Wedding with producers Jordan Schur of Suretone Pictures, Andrew O’Connor of What If It Barks Films, and Kristin Burr of BURR! Productions, with the latter’s Jessica Friedman co–producing. That’s all we know about this project. Intriguing, huh?

Erin Westerman, President of Production for Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said, “This is going to make a fantastic romantic comedy. It has such a juicy fun premise and we’re excited to be working with Jordan, Andrew and Kristin to find a writer with whom we can develop it.”

Anna Kendrick
Anna Kendrick (Photo: The Initiatie Group)

Staying at Lionsgate, Anna Kendrick will star in Director Mary Nighy‘s feature film directorial debut, the female-led psychological thriller, Alice, Darling. Kendrick plays Alice, who is “behaving strangely, keeping secrets about her mercurial boyfriend (Charlie Carrick) from her two best friends (Wunmi Mosaku and Kaniehtiio Horn). When the three friends take a girl’s trip out of town, all secrets are revealed when a local girl goes missing and Alice’s boyfriend arrives unannounced.” Lionsgate will handle worldwide distribution of the film, except in Canada, which will be handled by Elevation.

On the other side of the coin, Amazon Studios has decided to shelve its Lion King project, which would have starred Nicolas Cage (starring in this weekend‘s revenge drama, Pig) as Joe Exotic, according to Variety. It was always strange to see one streaming studio making a narrative film based on the popular docu-series from another streamer (in this case, Netflix), so maybe it’s for the better.

You can keep track of the projects that ARE still happening via our Production Listings, which are updated daily.

Vince Gilligan
Vince Gilligan in 2013 (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

On the television side of things, Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul creator Vince Gilligan has inked a new four-year overall deal with Sony Pictures Television, who produced and financed Gilligan’s two multiple Emmy-winning hits.

In a statement, Gilligan said, “Recently I was talking to my excellent agents (at ICM Partners), and they reminded me my current deal was at its end. I pondered my options for maybe 20 seconds, then decided to re-up. It was a no-brainer: Sony is very generous to me, they’ve been a great place to work, and I like everybody there, from Tony Vinciquerra, Jeff Frost and Jason Clodfelter on down. Also, having put in 15 years already, I’m only a decade shy of receiving a gold Walkman.”

According to Deadline, Amazon is teaming British actors James Corden and Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) for the 6-part British dramedy series, Mammals, from Britannia co-creator Jez Butterworth. Production starts this month on the series that also stars Melia Kreiling (Filthy Rich), Colin Morgan (Humans), Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Killing Eve) and Samuel Anderson (Witless) and is said to be about the challenges of marriage.

Even before the prequel series Power Book III: Raising Kanan has debuted on Starz, the cable network has gone ahead and renewed the show for a second season. Antonio Ortiz, who played the recurring character Shawn “Famous” Figueroa has been promoted to series regular for Season 2. Creator and showrunner Sascha Penn‘s Queens-based series takes place in the ’90s, showing the early years of Kanan Stark, played in Courtney Kemp‘s original series by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, though the character (spoiler) died in that series.

It’s hard to decide whether this next news bit might be considered a SPOILER for today’s finale of Marvel’s Disney+ show, Loki, but the studio announced concurrently that the show and its title character played by Tom Hiddleston would indeed be back with a second season.

Although Pixar Animation hasn’t had a movie in theaters in quite some time — not since 2020’s Onward, in fact — that division of Disney released the first teaser trailer for its March 2022 release, Turning Red, earlier this week. As you can see in the trailer, it’s about a young girl who turns into a red panda when she gets excited.

The third part of Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy, Fear Street Part 3: 1966, debuts on the streamer this Friday, so it has released the first trailer for the grand finale.

Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas has written about movies for print and the internet for over 20 years, specializing in box office analysis, reviews, and interviews. Currently, he writes features for Below the Line and Above the Line, acting as Associate Editor for the former and Interim Editor for the latter.
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