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Friday, September 24, 2021

This Week in Movie News: Tom Hanks Joins Wes Anderson’s Next Movie, Nicholas Hoult to Star in ‘Dracula’ Spin-Off ‘Renfield’ and More

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Need a quick recap of the past week in movie news? Here are the highlights:


Wes Anderson to direct Tom Hanks: The next Wes Anderson feature, which is still untitled and only known as his “Spain movie,” has mostly been rounding up the usual Anderson players, including Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Adrien Brody. According to The Hollywood Reporter, someone new to the troupe is coming on board: Tom Hanks. The Oscar-winning actor has never worked with Anderson, nor has he ever acted alongside the other three. Reportedly, his part could be small in the movie, but it’s enough to be a noteworthy change of scene for both the performer and the filmmaker. Anderson’s delayed latest work, The French Dispatch, hits theaters this fall with Murray, Swinton and Brody co-starring.


Nicholas Hoult is Renfield: The Universal monster movie Renfield has found its lead actor. Deadline reports that Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Mad Max: Fury Road) will star, presumably as the titular character. R.M. Renfield originated in the Bram Stoker novel Dracula and has appeared in numerous film adaptations over the years as a mental asylum patient in service of the iconic vampire. The Lego Batman Movie director Chris McKay is at the helm of the new movie, a spin-off said to be set in modern day that was conceived by Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) and scripted by Ryan Ridley (Rick and Morty).


The Ninja Turtles hire some new joke writers: Paramount Pictures has tapped a pair of writers for the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. According to Deadline, Colin Jost, the Emmy-nominated head writer of Saturday Night Live, and his brother Casey Jost, who produces the TV series Impractical Jokers, will collaborate on the screenplay. Comedy icon Seth Rogen is producing the animated feature while The Mitchells vs the Machines co-director Jeff Rowe will be at the helm. Colin Jost, who co-hosts SNL’s “Weekend Update” segments, has some experience with animation, having written for the Nickelodeon series Kappa Mikey, and he just co-starred in the hybrid family film Tom and Jerry.


Jeff Garlin and Chloe Fineman head to Babylon: Another Saturday Night Live cast member is in the news this week, as featured player Chloe Fineman has joined the cast of Damien Chazelle’s Babylon. Deadline reports that actors Troy Metcalf, who was a regular on the sitcom The Middle, and Jeff Garlin, who plays a Hollywood agent on the series Curb Your Enthusiasm, have also been cast in the movie, which is set in the film industry in the 1920s. Margot Robbie, Samara Weaving and Brad Pitt are headlining the ensemble project, which concerns the transition from silent cinema to sound and is due in theaters in late 2022.


Chronicle 2 is in the works: Another movie franchise coming back in the future is Chronicle, the first and only previous installment of which starred Michael B. Jordan and Dane DeHaan and followed super-powered teenagers through a found-footage lens. In an interview promoting Jungle Cruise, producer John Davis told Forbes that a sequel is in development at 20th Century Studios. It’s set 10 years later and deals with the concepts of fake news and cover-ups. Chronicle 2 will also offer a female perspective this time around with a story of young women just out of college who are similarly corrupted by newly acquired super powers. 


Chad Stahelski to adapt Shibumi: Stunt performer turned John Wick helmer Chad Stahelski is taking on another assassin story. Deadline reports that the filmmaker is developing an adaptation of the 1979 novel Shibumi. Written by Rodney William Whitaker, a.k.a. Trevanian (The Eiger Sanction), the book is about Nicholai Hel, a descendent of Russian aristocracy raised on Japanese arts and culture who follows the titular aesthetic concept. He’s brought out of retirement to help a Jewish commando take on a group of terrorists as well as a conspiracy involving energy companies. Stahelski, who is working on John Wick 4, is expected to direct.

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