Film News: Weekly Roundup

Griffin Conlogue ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Writer
A strong news week brought some news about the upcoming Star Wars film, as well as some future roles for talented actors.  See the best of what this week brought us right here:
Monday (7/21):
Netflix has ambitious plans, possibly including original feature films, talk shows, news programs, and more broad television series’.  The idea of Netflix producing original films is intriguing, especially when you note the talented director’s that have done work with the online and mail-to-home video provider.  David Fincher, Eli Roth, and Ron Howard have all worked with Netflix.  Only about half of their shows have reached wide acclaim but it is still great that talented people are going to Netflix to produce their work.
Tuesday (7/22):
With Kickstarter being the hip trend for funding independent films, more and more directors are coming to the site in order to make their films.  Spike Lee is the latest to this fund his new film that sounds awfully a lot like a vampire film, without using the word vampire.  Lee is reportedly taking no fee for the film, showing he is clearly passionate about the project.  It is a little weird to think a prolific director like Lee who has made some extremely good films such as Malcolm X and Inside Man would need to get funding from his fans, though.  Prizes range from a $5 donation getting you a tweet from the director to $10,000 which gets you courtside at a Knicks game with Lee.  Three people (including famous film director Steven Soderbergh) have already donated $10,000 to the film.
Wednesday (7/23):
Ryan Coogler, whose directorial debut Fruitvale Station turned heads at Sundance this year, is set to direct Creed for MGM.  Creed will be a continuation of the Rocky franchise focusing on Apollo Creed’s grandson.  Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station, Chronicle) is the current target to play the lead character, while Sylvester Stallone will reprise the most famous character of his career: Rocky Balboa.  Michael B. Jordan is a fantastic actor who will fit perfectly in the role, as he proved he could play an athlete in his 2 seasons of Friday Night Lights.  It’s always exciting to hear about the future work of a talented young filmmaker.  Let’s just hope he can rise to the standards he set with Fruitvale Station.
Thursday (7/24):
With David Fincher attached to direct and Ben Affleck deep in negotiations to star, Gone Girl is a hot film in Hollywood.  Now it is reported that Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day, Barney’s Version) has been offered the role of Amy, the female lead.  Though it was previously reported that Natalie Portman, Emily Blunt, and Jessica Chastain were targets for the role, Pike has taken the lead as the frontrunner for the part.  This could be a career-defining role for the actress, as Fincher films have often shown actors at their finest.  Justin Timberlake, Andrew Garfield, Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, and Edward Norton have probably all had their best performances in his films.  Even Brad Pitt has done much of his best work with the acclaimed director.  Hopefully Pike can capture the essence of the character, and her chemistry with Ben Affleck will be strong on screen.  It is difficult to predict how large her role will be in the film as it will all depend on the direction Fincher and author/screenwriter Gillian Flynn go in.
Friday (7/25):
The Lance Armstrong biopic seems to be racing to production with casting already underway.  Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma, The Messenger) is in final talks to star as the fallen hero of cycling.  Directed by Stephen Frears, the film will tell the story of Armstrong’s life including his battle with cancer and his ultimate downfall in the sport he loves.  This could be serious Oscar bait as Frears is a talented director and Foster has proven time and time again that he can act.  Expect more news about this film as it starts to come together.
Saturday (7/26):
Paramount is officially moving forward with production on another Beverly Hills Cop film.  With the pilot shockingly not going to series, it opens up the opportunity for another film to be made.  Eddie Murphy is in serious talks to reprise his career-defining role in the franchise.  Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec are currently writing the script.  The two are talented writers who worked together previously on the fourth Mission: Impossible film.  The pilot was actually very strong and featured an incredible cameo by the talented Murphy, who has made very poor choices in the 2000’s regarding his acting career.  A role like this could revitalize his career in the way that Tower Heist should have.
Saturday (Part 2) (7/26):
Since nothing too noteworthy happened on Sunday this week, we are giving you a double dose of Saturday.  This just couldn’t go unsaid as it is possibly the biggest news of the week.  John Williams, composer of all of the previous Star Wars films, will return for at least part VII, which will be directed by JJ Abrams.  Williams score is an iconic part of the Star Wars franchise and this news is incredibly important.  Reportedly more news will be released next month at the D23 Expo in Anaheim.

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