Hello, everyone! It’s One Of Us’ weekly article series, “The Weekly Wrap-Up.” Covering everything from film announcements to comic books, “The Weekly Wrap-Up” ensures that the biggest stories of the week are analyzed and discussed by our team of writers. This week we have news about a live-action Disney remake, another Tron sequel and the title for the first stand-alone Star Wars movie. Be sure to read everything you might have missed over the last few days.
Tron 3 to Shoot This Fall
After years of rumor and suspected cancellation, it looks like Tron will get a third installment after all. Vancity Buzz reported that the long thought dead follow up to 2010’s Tron Legacy will in fact be shooting this fall in Vancouver. The only confirmed returns from the previous film as of yet are it’s director Joseph Kosinski (who also directed 2013’s Oblivion) and star Garrett Hedlund, who will be reprising his role as Sam Flynn.
This was certainly a surprise. Legacy, which managed to scrape by with a solid but underwhelming $400 million. Not a bad number, but not what Disney was initially hoping for. Admittingly, the original Tron wasn’t a smash hit either when it came out in 1982, so I wasn’t that astonished when the sequel performed similarly even with the retroactive love the original got following its initial release… and yet we’re getting another sequel. Basically, this franchise is full of odd surprises. I’m still curious as to whether others from the earlier films will return, particularly Olivia Wilde due to how integral she ended up being to the story of Legacy. Hopefully they don’t try to shoehorn Jeff Bridges in there, especially that creepy CLU version of him from Legacy.
Hotel Transylvania 2 Trailer
The first teaser-trailer for Hotel Transylvania 2 was just released and it promises to reunite audiences with the “Drac Pack” once again for another endearing adventure. The sequel to the critically underrated Genndy Tartakovsky (Star Wars: Clone Wars, Samurai Jack) directed original, Hotel Transylvania 2 looks to be focusing on Dracula’s (Adam Sandler) role as a grandfather, teaching his grandson, the child of his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez),and son-in-law, Johnathan (Andy Samberg), the ways of the vampire.
As the trailer suggests, the vampire training isn’t going as well as the other monsters would hope, but they all seem to generally love and care for the little red-headed human/vampire-hybrid. In any case, the teaser is suitably charming and funny, and only promises more of the same success that Tartakovsky managed to create with the first film. Hotel Transylvania 2 will be released September 25, 2015 and co-stars Mel Brooks, David Spade, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Keegan-Michael Key and Fran Drescher.
Tim Burton to Direct Live-Action Remake of Dumbo
In the continued trend of Disney reimagining their classic animated films with live action, the company has recently announced that Tim Burton (who started this trend with 2010’s Alice In Wonderland) will be directing a live action/CG hybrid retelling of their 1941 classic Dumbo. Burton will be directing a script by Ehren Kruger (writer of the last three Transformers films), who is also producing. The release date is unknown as of yet.
Now as if the idea of a live action/CG remake of Dumbo wasn’t already annoying (seriously, that movie barely has any human characters), it appears that they’ve attached the once-beloved-but-now-disappointing voice of Tim Burton to bring this horrendous vision to life. Admittingly, the story of a young lonely outcast moping around until he finds a few odd friends to support him in a circus setting obviously appeal to Burton’s taste, given his constant use of that archetype. However, his usual gothic style doesn’t jell at all with the very simple and sweet tale of a baby elephant trying to reconnect with his mother while dealing with adversity from those around him. Honestly, even if Burton goes for a more multi-hued take with this project, his output as of yet hasn’t inspired much hope for any creativity in this clear cash grab. It doesn’t help that Ehren Kruger is the screenwriter, who will likely turn the controversial crow characters from the original into the new Mudflap and Skids from one of his previous efforts Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen… unless Burton turns them into mopey goths by the final cut.
Star Wars: Rogue One
Yesterday, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced during a shareholders meeting that the first stand-alone Star Wars movie, directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), would be titled Rogue One and that Star Wars: Episode VIII would be written and directed by Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper).
Though officially announced, it was known for months that Johnson would be writing and directing Episode VIII, however, the Edwards directed Star Wars film has been a mystery for some time, with few details revealed about the secretive project. Though Iger did not announce an official plot synopsis for Star Wars: Rogue One, many people have suggested the title is more revealing than it seems. As Star Wars fans know, Rogue Squadron is the Rebellion’s elite team of X-Wing pilots. Often under the command of either Luke Skywalker or Wedge Antilles, Rogue Squadron participated in many space battles throughout the original trilogy, including the attack on the first Death Star and the Battle of Endor. Though now considered not to be canon by Disney, Rogue Squadron continued to play a significant role in the Expanded Universe Star Wars novels, often fighting a resurgent Empire under the command of Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Is it possible that Rogue One could be following the first members of the Rebellion’s Rogue Squadron? Months prior to the announcement of the title, rumors circulated that Edwards’ first film would revolve around a group of bounty hunters, possibly led by the enigmatic Boba Fett, planning a heist to steal the plans to the original Death Star. It’s possible that this still could be the case to some extent. Currently, there are no confirmations other than Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) will be starring.
Original The Simpsons Writer/Producer Sam Simon Dies at 59
An underrated, but highly influential voice in television comedy has passed. Sam Simon, who along with Matt Groening and James L. Brooks helped to develop The Simpsons for television and was involved as a writer during it’s first four seasons, passed away March 8th from colon cancer at the age of 59. Simon, who also wrote for shows like Taxi, Cheers and The Drew Carey Show, had a huge personal fortune at the time of his diagnosis in 2012, which he elected to donate most of his fortune to various charities. He was a professional poker player, a nine time Emmy winner and an avid animal rights activist. Even though he only worked on the first four seasons of The Simpsons, his influence can be felt throughout. Much like Brooks, Simon knew when to eject the right amount of emotion in the middle of the comedy of any episode. Plus, he was crucial in creating the character of Mr. Burns, initially as a sly middle finger to Barry Diller, the executive who created Fox. It’s tragic to see him pass at the age of 59, but he lived a life far more full than most others. He enjoyed his time on this Earth and decided to donate so much of his fortune to help other living creatures (person or animal) enjoy their time like he did. He will be missed.
Valiant Comics Announces Movie and Television Projects
In the minds of many comic book readers, Marvel and DC are the companies that are always trying to garner the most attention. Whether it be comic events, television projects or film announcements , the Big Two always want the focus on them. However, companies like Image and Valiant have been making a name for themselves for some time, often producing unique and well-written comics.
Recently, Valiant Comics Creator Jim Shooter and CEO Dinesh Shamdasani announced that they will be partnering with the Chinese-based film production company DMG Entertainment, the same company responsible for co-financing projects like Iron Man 3 and Transformers: Age of Extinction. With help from the production company, Shooter and Shamdasani have confirmed they are in the process of making movies for Bloodshot, Archer and Armstrong and Shadowman.
While it’s nice to see that Valiant’s properties will eventually receive their own films and television shows, their partnering with DMG Entertainment is a little concerning. The production company has a history of pushing a political and social agenda, often attempting to appeal to a Chinese audience. Though Valiant has stated that DMG Entertainment is only a minority investor, it’s reasonable to guess that the production company will most likely distribute Valiant films internationally.
Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion’s Con Man
Every geek knows about Firefly. It was a masterly-crafted science-fiction show cancelled way before it’s time. Starring Nathan Fillion as the captain of the Serenity, Malcom “Mal” Reynolds and Alan Tudyk as the ship’s pilot, Hoban “Wash” Washburne, Firefly was a Western set in space, following a band of pirates and smugglers living their lives the best way they could manage. Though the series ended, its stars have gone on to be loved and celebrated for years. Hoping to capitalize on over a decade of goodwill, Fillion and Tudyk have launched an Indiegogo campaign to finance their new comedy web-series, Con Man.
Originally conceived by Tudyk himself, the web-series follows Wray Nerely (Tudyk), an actor who played the pilot on the cult television series Firefly Spectrum. Though the series’ lead, Jack Moore (Fillion), went on to become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, Nerely finds himself touring comic book and science-fiction conventions. Somewhat bitter about his lack of success, he becomes increasingly exasperated at the weird and crazy situations he encounters while visiting con events. In addition to Fillion and Tudyk, the web-series will co-star Gina Torres (Firefly), Seth Green (Robot Chicken), Felicia Day (The Guild), James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), Sean Maher (Arrow) and Amy Acker (Angel).
Though the show’s premise is most likely catering directly to fans of Firefly and Serenity, it’s conceivable that the series will provide a humorous, but good natured take on what one could expect to see at comic conventions, making it accessible to those who may not be familiar with the cult-series and film. As of today, Con Man has been fully funded, having earned over $1.5 million.
Their campaign, which includes clips featuring Fillion and Tudyk, can be found here.
Interested in picking up some of the titles mentioned in the article? Please use our Amazon links to do so!