If only you could see what I’ve seen through my eyes. Well actually you can… it’s time for my weekly round-up from the world of movies and those who make them!

Neon signs, giant Japanese women, a miniature Matt Damon and a sodden Sally Hawkins… this week’s got the lot.

 

JUST A LETO BIT

Visual master Ridley Scott certainly enjoys his prequels. Not content with making two origin stories for Alien, he’s released filmic forewords for Alien: Covenant and now latest production Blade Runner: 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve. The always-entertaining Villeneuve introduces a scene starring Jared Leto as villain Niander Wallace, helmed by Luke Scott.

Here’s to the future (contains violence):

As Scott’s successor explains, this is the first of three specially-commissioned shorts to bed audiences down in the mythos of 2049. It doesn’t hold a candle to the original in my view but this is a decent enough glimpse into what we should expect when the movie arrives in October.

 

DEEP BLUE DEL TORO

Macabre maestro Guillermo del Toro‘s dark fantasy The Shape Of Water is splashing down in December. Fans of his previous work, such as Pan’s Labyrinth and Crimson Peak, will know what to expect but this looks a powerful experience for all comers.

The versatile Sally Hawkins plays a caretaker in a top secret lab who forms a bond with an amphibious being (Hellboy‘s Doug Jones). The fact she’s mute makes the story’s undercurrents (sorry, couldn’t resist) all the more strong. A first clip has been posted to whet (I’ll stop now) your appetite:

Scariest man in the world Michael Shannon is on menacing duties, while Octavia Spencer and the brilliant Michael Stuhlbarg co-star.

 

SIZE MATT-ERS

The teaser trailer for Downsizing has been given a large announcement. Funny really, considering the movie’s subject matter. Matt Damon is Paul Safranek, who opts to escape his daily grind by undergoing a shrinking process. Yeah, you might want to read that sentence again.

Here’s the mini- promo:

There’s a great cast, including Kristen Wiig and Christoph Waltz and the director is one of my favourites, Alexander Payne (Sideways). While the concept seems rather half-baked, I’ll still be checking it out at Christmas.

 

USING YOUR ED

English actor Ed Skrein has dramatically withdrawn from Neil Marshall‘s Hellboy cinematic reboot over “whitewashing”. One of Tinseltown’s thorniest topics, the casting of white actors in roles associated with Asian culture came to prominence via the likes of Scarlett Johansson in Ghost In The Shell.

Skrein released a statement articulating his reasons for leaving the role of Major Ben Daimio. You can read the whole thing on Twitter but some excerpts are below:

I accepted the role unaware that the character in the original comics was of mixed Asian heritage... It is clear that representing this character in a culturally accurate way holds significance for people, and that to neglect this responsibility would continue a worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voices in the Arts…  Representation of ethnic diversity is important, especially to me as I have a mixed heritage family. It is our responsibility to make moral decisions in difficult times and to give voice to inclusivity.

Well said that man. Meanwhile, production on Hellboy continues apace. David Harbour, Milla Jovovich and Ian McShane head the roster of talent for the fiery flick, which is out next year.

 

CARBOHYDRATE CORNER

Let’s not make a mountain out of a mound of mashed potato here, but Close Encounters Of The Third Kind is hitting the big four-oh. To celebrate, Columbia Pictures/Sony are re-releasing Steven Spielberg‘s UFO odyssey on the big screen for one week only.

A mysterious teaser was used to market the anniversary and this act of surprise creativity led me to write a feature about how movies are sold. You can read it here.

 

I’ll be back with more movie news next week!

 

Sources: YouTube, THN, Twitter