Welcome to my weekly update, where I round-up the best of the past seven days’ worth of movie news for your delectation. At least I presume you’re delectating, whatever that means.
All this whilst pondering whether there’s actually a dash in “round-up”, and just what to put in this damned introduction…
After much speculation, Beyoncé has been officially announced as a cast member in the live action version of The Lion King. She’ll lend her mighty vocals to Nala, described as the “love interest” to Donald Glover‘s burgeoning big cat Simba, whose epic journey forms the basis of 1994’s classic Disney animation.
Returning talent includes James Earl Jones as Mufasa and composer Hans Zimmer. Jon Favreau is in the director’s chair, employing the same performance capture magic he used for 2016’s The Jungle Book. It’s a safe bet this remake will be the “mane” competition at the box office come 2019. See what I did there, “mane” comp- oh, forget it.
THE SHAPE OF HORROR
I have to tell you readers I was wracking my brains trying to come up with an idea for a Halloween feature this week. It took quite some doing but in the end I think I took a novel approach to the whole deal. Yes, I published something about the… Halloween franchise.
Check out some terrifying tit-bits from the movies, such as Michael Myers’ (aka The Shape’s) strange connection to Wayne’s World. Come on horror fans, let’s see if we can get the click count to 666…!
MOORE ROLE FOR WOMEN
Speaking of The Lion King, its Broadway director Julie Taymor is bringing the story of Gloria Steinem to the screen. Julianne Moore has been announced in the title role of this influential feminist, whose activism became a cornerstone of the equality movement in America.
Her difficult path to the pinnacle of protest is being dramatized by Sarah Ruhl, based on Steinem’s memoir. It’s another intriguing entry on Moore’s filmic CV – she’s had mixed fortunes of late, via the well-received Wonderstruck and the critically-drubbed Suburbicon.
FROM SLAYING TO ‘FARMING’
Whilst Kate Beckinsale is arguably best known for her fantasy roles – the werewolf-busting vampire Selene in Underworld springs to mind – she has been known to appear in more realistic fare. The film she’s just wrapped on, Farming, looks to be a good example of this.
The intriguing British-set story follows a young Nigerian man (Snowfall‘s Damson Idris) who manages to rise to the top of a racist gang in the Eighties. Beckinsale takes the role of his foster mother and Gugu Mbatha-Raw is a teacher through whom Idris might avoid his self-destructive path.
Suicide Squad‘s Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is behind the semi-autobiographical story, his self-penned directorial debut. Read more about the production here.
If you thought the scares ended earlier in the week, you’re dead wrong. The teaser for British chiller Ghost Stories has been released, featuring a jarring array of freaky situations. Finding themselves caught up in the carnage are Martin Freeman, writer/star Andy Nyman and comedy legend Paul Whitehouse.
Based on the notoriously secretive stage show of the same name, Nyman and co-writer Jeremy Dyson (The League Of Gentlemen) also helm the spookier than spooky antics. Rather than laying it all on a plate, the filmmakers hope you’ll venture into your local cinema to experience the movie for yourself…
Ghost Stories is out next year.
I’ll be back with more movie news next woooooooooo -ahem. Sorry, week.