This is probably the closest we’ll ever get to a Marvel and Star Wars crossover: Tom Holland, aka your new Spider-Man, is in talks to join Daisy Ridley, aka Rey, in Chaos Walking — the upcoming post-apocalyptic thriller based on the best-selling YA novel by Patrick Ness. In related news, maybe the real post-apocalyptic future is one in which all teen movie franchises are based on post-apocalyptic YA books; time is a flat circle and the apocalypse has already happened and we are all already dead. Happy Monday!
After Guillermo del Toro’s exit from the Dark Universe movie, fans despaired that Warner Bros. would never find another director as cool and weird as he would be. But in stepped Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman, who seems to be all set to make this Justice League Dark adaptation as weird as he possibly can.
In a world dominated by superhero franchise juggernauts and book adaptations and reboot after reboot after reboot after reboot, original concepts for science fiction movies are few and far between. Which is weird, because these movies tend to be extremely good (here’s looking at you, Oblivion, Looper, Moon, etc.) but they also tend not to do as well as they should at the box office, probably because they don’t have recognizable costumed heroes and formulaic plots that we can bundle ourselves in like giant, loud security blankets. Thankfully, probably due to its sheer star power and the fact that it did better than most, 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow is getting a well-deserved sequel, and according to its director, it’s poised to change the world of sequels forever.
The sci-fi/military fusion Edge of Tomorrow was that rarest of gifts when it debuted back in 2014, a masterful action picture with an original high-concept angle and a whip-smart script. Hollywood then scrambled to find something for director Doug Liman, a clearly skilled orchestrator of large-scale setpieces, to do with his talents. First order of business was getting him back together with his Edge of Tomorrow star Tom Cruise (their new collaboration, American Made, comes to theaters on September 29 of next year), and following that, Liman’s choice was "do everything." He signed on for the Gambit solo picture and then bailed, agreed to bring YA dystopian franchise Chaos Walking to the screen, made plans for a Edge of Tomorrow sequel, and inked a deal to direct DC’s "dark universe" picture after Guillermo Del Toro dropped out.
Hey, remember Jumper? That weird teleporting action flick poised to keep Hayden Christensen in the sci-fi limelight after Revenge of the Sith? It even had a silver-haired Sam Jackson! Anyway, the sequel no one wanted is coming to YouTube as a TV series. Oh, and YouTube does TV series now.
After Guillermo del Toro dropped out of the Dark Universe adaptation for DC and Warner Bros., it became yet another in a growing list of potentially cool movies that were never made and the future of the project was uncertain. Now it seems that Dark Universe has been resurrected, with Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman replacing del Toro, who will remain involved as producer and screenwriter.
Now here’s a pairing we can totally get behind: Star Wars hero Daisy Ridley and Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman. This news would only be better if they were making an Edge of Tomorrow sequel instead of a post-apocalyptic YA thriller, but sci-fi is still sci-fi, and more Daisy Ridley cannot possibly be a bad thing.
Yes, it’s another movie project based on a dystopian YA novel series, but the talent involved is too good to ignore. Originally intended as a directing vehicle for Robert Zemeckis, Chaos Walking’s first screenplay was penned by Charlie Kaufman — yes, as in that Charlie Kaufman, the brilliant mind behind Anomalisa, Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And now that Zemeckis is out, another exciting director has emerged to potentially replace him.
It’s been a bit of a bumpy road for Gambit, the X-Men spinoff starring Channing Tatum as the eponymous mutant. After losing director Rupert Wyatt and replacing him with Doug Liman, Fox removed nixed the film’s release date with little explanation, leaving fans to wonder if Gambit would still happen at all. In a new interview, producer Simon Kinberg confirms that the project is still moving forward and offers a bit of optimism while explaining the delay.
One of the most frustrating parts of my job are the complaints from some viewers that never line up with reality. When people want to talk about movies with me, the first question after “What should I see right now?” is always some variation of “Why are there so many sequels? Why doesn’t Hollywood make original movies?” I hear this all the time. But the sequels continue to make huge money, while the occasional risk-taking originals tend to fare poorly.