It’s been a while since there has been a round-up of what’s in production on this fine film blog. And with an abundance of sequels, prequels and sequel prequel prequels on the horizon, I’ve decided to focus on the more interesting and innovative offerings currently in development – just to remind Hollywood that people actually CAN cope with a new story/character/franchise every now and again without weeping uncontrollably for hours and shaking in a corner, afraid and lonely.
First is news that filming of the latest Martin Scorsese/Leonardo Di Caprio shindig, Shutter Island, is well under way, with Empire unveiling a gripping set shot of the great man and his cast shooting away merrily. The film’s premise follows Di Caprio and fellow US Marshall Mark Ruffalo as they travel to the eponymous location in search of a vanished murderess who has recently escaped from a psychiatric hospital. By all accounts the plot is truly mental and twists and turns in just about every direction imaginable. Scorsese is apparently going all out with this one, following on from the Departed’s Oscar success and going for all kinds of weird, crazy-man techniques to get this made. The film is due for release early October over here.
Hot on the heels of Napoleon Dynamite comes the equally exlposive Black Dynamite. Offensive, rude, crude and brutal, this spoof blaxploitation flick looks like it could sneak in under the radar to become this year’s hit cult comedy. You can check out the fully-offensive red band trailer here, but it contains naughty words and rude bits, so it’s brilliant.
Neil Marshall is an excellent director. Dog Soldiers was fun, The Descent was the first horror film to really blow me away for a good five years and his upcoming historical-thriller-come-creepy-cool film, Centurion, looks just as promising. The premise is ace: Michael Fassbender (300, Hunger) stars as part of the mysterious Roman Ninth Legion, who ventured over Hadrian’s Wall into Scotland to fight the Scots and vanished forever… Although Wikipedia (where I do none of my research) laughs in the face of this historical nonsense it still makes for a cool pitch, with Marshall going down the line of the Romans being picked off by a mysterious presence in the woods. I’ve got faith in Marshall, keep your eye on this one
More historical tomfoolery is also in the pipeline with Outlander, a sci-fi Viking story starring Jesus. The film, directed by newcomer American, Howard McCain, will stand back and watch the madness as a humanoid from the future played by James Caviezel (the guy with the beard from The Passion of The Christ) falls from space and is taken prisoner by Vikings. According to the Guardian, McCain is a big Beowulf fan and you can expect plenty of mythical undertones as our misplaced alien attempts to warn his captors of a monster called Moorwen and all the terrible things that lie in wait for them. Interestingly though, there’s promise of a back story in which the alien’s race have a long, bitter history of persecuting the monster and it really has good reason to be annoyed. I promise none of that was made up.
Finally there’s Zombieland, a horror-comedy starring Woody Harrelson as a zombie fighter named Albuquerque fighting for survival in a world overrun by the pesky living dead. Harrelson makes up one half of a pair of mismatched survivors in this tale of friendship and redemption. There’s some cool set pictures on Flickr here which look pretty interesting. I like Woody Harrelson, mainly because he is absolutely mental. My fondness of him has increased ten fold after reading this story of him attacking a photographer who he claimed he mistook for a zombie. The good folk at filmjunk have it all here along with the most fantastic PR statement ever released and the following video of the whole affair. Enjoy.