War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves has found his next big motion-capture project, and instead of apes, this time around it’s mice. The director has his eye on the Mouse Guard comic book series, an adaptation of which he will be producing for 20th Century Fox, and he and the studio are currently courting Maze Runner series helmer Wes Ball to direct it. Cue all the mice + maze jokes.
Even before those highly-publicized reshoots, Rogue One went through several story changes during development, which isn’t unusual for the majority of films, especially big blockbusters. Just yesterday we learned more details about the original, somewhat happier ending to the flagship installment in Lucasfilm’s A Star Wars Story series, but that was far from the only change made during the scripting stage.
When pals asked, “What was your favorite part of Rogue One?” and I responded, “The part at the end when they all died,” it sounded like a bitter joke. But it‘s true — the choice to take advantage of the film’s stand-alone nature by concluding with the cast’s noble, obliterating sacrifice was a bold and decisive storytelling choice that helped distinguish Gareth Evans’ film from the rest of the franchise. The characters meant more in death than they ever did while living, and the selflessness of their risky suicide mission attests to the power of the human spirit in wartime. But this was not always the game plan.
When all was said and done, the biggest movie of 2016 in the United States was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the only film of last year to gross more than $500 million domestically. Director Gareth Edwards managed to do something not even George Lucas had accomplished: Make a well-liked Star Wars prequel.
In the wake of this week’s election results, much of the country was left shocked by what’s perceived as one of the biggest cultural shifts in recent memory. Hollywood was not exempt, with many celebrities venting their anger and thoughts of solidarity on social media, including, perhaps unsurprisingly, the writers of the next Star Wars movie.
It’s been five years since the release of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and though Guy Ritchie’s sequel paled in comparison to its predecessor, it was a huge hit at the box office — thanks in large part to Robert Downey Jr. The sequel’s success pretty much ensured a third installment (which was officially confirmed earlier this year), and with today’s news that WB has created a writers’ room for the project, it seems that Sherlock Holmes 3 is a little closer to becoming a reality.
We have good news for fans of Matt Reeves, Gary Whitta, Mouse Guard or all of the above: The War For the Planet of the Apes director is teaming up with the former screenwriter of Rogue One to bring the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel series to the big screen. Sadly, Reeves won’t be directing the project himself, but given his experience working with mo-cap on the Apes films, he’ll make for one heck of a producer.
For his next trick, Benedict Cumberbatch will go from Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme to Warlock of War (all rights reserved) for the quite literally-named The War Magician, scripted by former Star Wars: Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta. The actor is turning his powerful eye from battling mystical comic book baddies to defeating Nazis with…magic tricks — though to be fair, the plot of The War Magician does sound like it could be a new Marvel movie based on an obscure property.
We’ve yet to see how well Star Wars can expand crossovers of its cinematic universe beyond the upcoming films, but we may yet see TV’s Rebels interacting with its big screen brethren. Original Rogue One spinoff writer Gary Whitta has confirmed writing on an upcoming Rebels episode, which could well establish some connective tissue with the larger universe.