Andy Serkis to be honoured at 2020 BAFTAs

Andy Serkis is to be honoured with the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at the upcoming British Academy Film Awards.Bosses at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) announced on Thursday that they are to celebrate the a…

Andy Serkis is to be honoured with the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at the upcoming British Academy Film Awards.

Bosses at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) announced on Thursday that they are to celebrate the actor, producer, and director for his career and for helping pioneer performance capture technology through his roles in The Lord of the Rings, the Planet of the Apes trilogy, and more.

“I’m deeply honoured and thrilled to receive this award, and count myself extremely lucky to be on such a continually fascinating journey in visual storytelling, one that has given me the opportunity to collaborate with many of the world’s greatest artists, technologists and craftspeople, with whom I’d like to share this wonderful accolade,” Serkis said in a statement.

Marc Samuelson, chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee, said the 55-year-old’s work on films which utilised motion capture technology has been “revolutionary”.

“His pioneering influence as a performer, an educator, a leading innovator and an employer has helped shape the global film industry and the positive impact will be felt for years to come,” he added. “He’s a truly remarkable ambassador for our industry and a thoroughly deserving recipient of this year’s outstanding achievement award.”

Previous recipients of the honour include Ridley and Tony Scott, the Harry Potter series of films, and John Hurt.

The British Academy Film Awards will be held at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 2 February. Joker leads the nominations with 11.

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John Turturro to play crime boss in The Batman

John Turturro is to play crime boss Carmine Falcone in The Batman.The latest standalone film about the iconic DC Comics character already stars Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as The Riddler, Andy Serkis as Al…

John Turturro is to play crime boss Carmine Falcone in The Batman.

The latest standalone film about the iconic DC Comics character already stars Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as The Riddler, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, and Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Jim Gordon, while Colin Farrell is rumoured to be playing the Penguin.

Director Matt Reeves announced that The Night Of actor was joining the cast by making reference to Turturro’s performance in 1998 classic, The Big Lebowski, on Twitter.

“(Batman) I said,” Reeves tweeted, alongside a GIF of the actor as bowling ace Jesus Quintana saying, “You said it, man.”

Nicknamed The Roman in the DC Comics, Falcone is a crime boss who is an enemy of Batman’s, but a friend of his alter ego, Bruce Wayne.

In one comic, called The Long Halloween, Carmine Falcone’s father brings his injured son to Thomas Wayne’s mansion to be treated up after being shot, and fans have speculated that Reeves is following that particular story for his take on Gotham City’s crime-fighting superhero.

Oscar-nominated British actor Tom Wilkinson played Carmine Falcone in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins back in 2005.

Reeves wrote the script with Mattson Tomlin, and has regular collaborator Michael Giacchino composing the score, as well as Greig Fraser serving as cinematographer.

Filming is due to begin in spring 2020 in London at Leavesden Studios, and is set to be released in June 2021.

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Colin Farrell in talks to play Penguin in The Batman – report

Colin Farrell and Andy Serkis are reportedly in talks for key roles in Matt Reeves’s upcoming superhero movie The Batman.Farrell has been tapped to play villain Oswald Cobblepot and his sewer-dwelling alter-ego the Penguin, while Serkis is being eyed t…

Colin Farrell and Andy Serkis are reportedly in talks for key roles in Matt Reeves’s upcoming superhero movie The Batman.

Farrell has been tapped to play villain Oswald Cobblepot and his sewer-dwelling alter-ego the Penguin, while Serkis is being eyed to portray Bruce Wayne’s long-suffering butler Alfred Pennyworth, according to editors at Deadline.

If the 55-year-old joins The Batman, it will mark a reunion with Reeves, who directed him in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 2014, and its 2017 sequel, War for the Planet of the Apes.

Pennyworth has most recently been played onscreen by Michael Caine in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy opposite Christian Bale as the crime-fighting superhero, and Jeremy Irons in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League with Ben Affleck as Batman.

The Penguin was originally played by Danny DeVito in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns in 1992, with Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader in the classic comic book movie.

The potential casting news emerges shortly after it was rumoured Matthew McConaughey might be in the running to portray Gotham City’s District Attorney, Harvey Dent, who subsequently becomes Batman’s adversary, Two-Face.

Robert Pattinson is set to lead the cast as the new Batman, with Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler, and Jeffrey Wright as Police Commissioner Jim Gordon.

Jonah Hill was previously in talks to play the Riddler, but reportedly dropped out of the project after negotiations fell through with executives at Warner Bros.

The Batman is slated for release in June 2021.

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Director Ruben Fleischer devastated after Venom was mauled by critics

Director Ruben Fleischer was “really surprised” by the negative critical reaction to Venom.Sony’s adaptation of the Marvel villain was released in October 2018, and starred Tom Hardy as journalist Eddie Brock, who becomes infected and eventually transf…

Director Ruben Fleischer was “really surprised” by the negative critical reaction to Venom.

Sony’s adaptation of the Marvel villain was released in October 2018, and starred Tom Hardy as journalist Eddie Brock, who becomes infected and eventually transforms into the terrifying alien symbiote.

Despite taking more than $856 million (£665 million) worldwide, and boasting a stellar cast including Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed, critics panned the movie, and Venom currently stands at only 29 per cent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

During a recent interview with Fandom, Fleischer confessed the harsh reviews of his comic book adaptation really affected him, and if he could change one thing about the 2018 blockbuster, it would be to have a more positive reaction from film critics.

“I was really bummed that people didn’t like it because it’s a crowd-pleasing movie and I’m not sure if there was just blowback against Sony or people just worship Marvel,” he explained. “But I was really surprised that the critics (were gunning for it) because audiences really enjoyed the movie. And so many people who’ve seen it just appreciated that it was a fun superhero movie.

“So, I was a little surprised. I don’t know what they were expecting.”

Fleischer later passed on directing the sequel, with directing duties being handed to Andy Serkis instead. However, the Zombieland filmmaker couldn’t be happier with his replacement.

“I was kinda happy to let somebody else take over. And I’m excited to see what he does with it,” the 44-year-old added.

And Fleischer also seemingly confirmed a possible Spider-Man/Venom crossover film will happen, now that Sony and Marvel have hammered out a new deal.

“That’s where it’s all going to lead,” he revealed. “And so, the thing I think it’s building towards, and will be exciting to see, is when they actually do confront each other.”

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Taika Waititi to direct Next Goal Wins adaptation before Thor 4

Taika Waititi will direct a movie adaptation of documentary Next Goal Wins before he takes on Thor: Love and Thunder.The Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker is gearing up to premiere his satire Jojo Rabbit at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in …

Taika Waititi will direct a movie adaptation of documentary Next Goal Wins before he takes on Thor: Love and Thunder.

The Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker is gearing up to premiere his satire Jojo Rabbit at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September and is slated to begin filming Thor: Love and Thunder, starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, and Tessa Thompson, in Australia in March 2020.  

Now, editors at Variety have revealed that the New Zealand-born director has taken on another project which will fit in between the two, as it begins shooting in the autumn.    

The film is believed to be a movie adaptation of Next Goal Wins, a 2014 documentary which follows Dutch coach Thomas Rongen as he attempts the nearly impossible task of turning the American Samoa soccer team from perennial losers into winners.  

Actor/director Andy Serkis and his producing partner Jonathan Cavendish optioned the rights to the documentary in 2015 and brought it to the Hunt for the Wilderpeople helmer, who signed on alongside producer Garrett Basch. They previously worked together on the TV spin-off of Waititi’s movie What We Do in the Shadows. Serkis and Cavendish will produce via their Imaginarium Productions banner.  

Waititi is adapting the film with writer/producer Iain Morris, who is best known for British sitcom The Inbetweeners and the show’s spin-off films.   

When he signed on to direct another Thor film, the 43-year-old was forced to postpone his plans to make a live-action version of Japanese graphic novel Akira, as Marvel bosses wanted him to shoot in early 2020. 

He also has a number of other projects in the pipeline, including developing an animated Flash Gordon movie, directing an episode of Star Wars TV show The Mandalorian, and writing and directing a TV show spin-off of 1981 sci-fi movie Time Bandits. 

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Tom Hardy ‘very involved’ in writing Venom sequel

Tom Hardy was “very involved” in writing the Venom sequel, according to director Andy Serkis.The British actor served as executive producer and starred as journalist Eddie Brock, who merges with an alien symbiote, in last year’s blockbuster. According …

Tom Hardy was “very involved” in writing the Venom sequel, according to director Andy Serkis.

The British actor served as executive producer and starred as journalist Eddie Brock, who merges with an alien symbiote, in last year’s blockbuster.

According to Serkis, who was recently announced as the director of the sequel, not only is Hardy reprising his role but is part of the story development process.

“Tom was very involved with the writing, with (screenwriter) Kelly Marcel, of the new story. So it’s very much centred around their take,” Serkis shared during the Television Critics Association (TCA) presentation for his new show A Christmas Carol, according to CinemaBlend.

Marcel helped write the first Venom instalment, while her other credits include Fifty Shades of Grey and Saving Mr. Banks.

Sony’s take on Marvel’s anti-hero was panned by critics, but raked in more than $856 million (£750 million) at the worldwide box office.

While director Ruben Fleischer is not returning to helm the sequel, Michelle Williams will reportedly reprise her role as Brock’s love interest, attorney Anne Weying, according to the publication.

And after a post-credits teaser, it looks like Woody Harrelson will play villain Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage, in the sequel.

The scene features Hardy’s journalist Brock visiting a prison to interview the incarcerated criminal, only to find that Kasady has written “Welcome Eddie” in his own blood on the wall. He goes on to proclaim that when he escapes “there’s gonna be carnage”, leading fans to speculate that Harrelson will play the Marvel villain in the upcoming Venom 2.

In the comics, Carnage is an alien symbiote that is the offspring of Venom and it bonds to Kasady while he’s in prison.

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Michelle Williams officially onboard for Venom 2

Michelle Williams has confirmed she’s returning for the Venom sequel.The Oscar-nominated actress played lawyer Anne Weying in last year’s blockbuster, and revealed to Yahoo that she was excited to be onboard for Venom 2 after Andy Serkis was hired to h…

Michelle Williams has confirmed she’s returning for the Venom sequel.

The Oscar-nominated actress played lawyer Anne Weying in last year’s blockbuster, and revealed to Yahoo that she was excited to be onboard for Venom 2 after Andy Serkis was hired to helm the movie.

“I’m in. I’m such a fan of Andy’s, and I’m so inspired by what he’s been able to accomplish. He’s so gifted in such a specific way, and I’m very excited to learn from him and be around him,” the 38-year-old gushed.

In 2018’s Venom, Anne was the ex-fiancee of journalist Eddie Brock, played by Tom Hardy, who becomes intertwined with an alien symbiote, to become the movie’s eponymous anti-hero.

The pair work together to try and bring down the villainous Carlton Drake, played by Riz Ahmed, and in one memorable scene, Anne briefly bonded with the symbiote and became She-Venom.

And when asked if the Marvel comic-book character of She-Venom would be making a longer appearance in the sequel, Williams gave a cryptic response.

“I hope I get equal time that way – I can say that!” she teased.

It was announced earlier this month that British filmmaker and actor Serkis will direct Venom 2, and he shared a post on Instagram confirming the exciting news.

“Verified It’s actually happening. I can feel it, the Symbiote has found a host in me, and I’m ready for the ride…Can’t wait,” Serkis wrote, alongside a picture of him posing with a Venom comic.

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Andy Serkis to direct Venom 2

Andy Serkis has been confirmed as the director of Venom 2.The British filmmaker will direct the sequel to last year’s Marvel comic book movie, starring Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, and Riz Ahmed. “Verified It’s actually happening. I can feel it, the S…

Andy Serkis has been confirmed as the director of Venom 2.

The British filmmaker will direct the sequel to last year’s Marvel comic book movie, starring Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, and Riz Ahmed.

“Verified It’s actually happening. I can feel it, the Symbiote has found a host in me, and I’m ready for the ride…Can’t wait,” Serkis wrote alongside a picture of him posing with a Venom comic on Instagram, shortly after it was confirmed he had landed the coveted role.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 55-year-old flew to Los Angeles last month to meet with Sony studio bosses, and was one of several filmmakers in the running for the job.

It will be the third directorial offering from Serkis, after he helmed 2017 drama Breathe and last year’s Netflix project Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, which was a take on the Rudyard Kipling stories.

The father-of-three is best known for his motion capture acting work for characters including Gollum in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, and as chimpanzee Caesar in the Planet of the Apes saga.

Venom 2 will once again star Hardy as the journalist Eddie Brock who inadvertently becomes intertwined with an alien symbiote. And according to multiple outlets, the sequel will revolve around villain Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage, after Venom’s end credits scene teased Woody Harrelson in the role of the incarcerated criminal.

Producer Amy Pascal also hinted at the possibility that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man could show up in sequel, as Venom is one of the web-slinger’s adversaries.

“Everybody would love to see that,” she shared. “You never know someday… it might happen.”

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Andy Serkis devised his own make-up for Long Shot role

Andy Serkis devised his own make-up to transformation for his role in the political romcom Long Shot.The 55-year-old actor, who is best known for his motion capture work in films like The Lord of the Rings, plays wizened, silver-haired media mogul Park…

Andy Serkis devised his own make-up to transformation for his role in the political romcom Long Shot.

The 55-year-old actor, who is best known for his motion capture work in films like The Lord of the Rings, plays wizened, silver-haired media mogul Parker Wembley in Jonathan Levine’s new film.

Seth Rogen, who stars as a slovenly speechwriter who falls for a presidential candidate, played by Charlize Theron, said Andy demanded he be allowed to devise the look of the character.

“We offered him the role, and then he was like, ‘Okay.’ And then he started sending ideas for what he would look like,” he told Cinema Blend. “And we were like, ‘What do you mean? I thought he kind of looked a lot like Andy Serkis.’ But he was like, ‘No, I got this whole thing.’ And we were like, ‘Whatever, man!’”

Jonathan, whose film has received rave reviews, confirmed the British star’s dedication to his craft and revealed it made his job as a filmmaker much easier.

“Andy Serkis made choices that nobody asked him to make, and that sounds like a negative thing, but as a director, actually, that’s one of the most beautiful gifts you can give a director,” he smiled. “Because he really dove into the character, and he really wanted to make it his own. The biggest thing was that he decided to be in prosthetic make-up for six hours a day.”

The director also praised the star’s physicality in the role, explaining that it’s what makes him unique to work with as an actor.

“You start to realise that this is how Andy Serkis accesses characters,” he gushed. “If you think about Andy Serkis’ career, it’s facial expressions; it’s very primal stuff. And so that really helped him figure out this guy.”

Long Shot is in cinemas now.

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Disney bosses scrap Mouse Guard days before production

Idris Elba and Andy Serkis’ planned movie adaptation of graphic novel series Mouse Guard has been halted just two weeks before moving into production. Director Wes Ball had been preparing to start shooting the live-action fantasy film, about a brother…

Idris Elba and Andy Serkis’ planned movie adaptation of graphic novel series Mouse Guard has been halted just two weeks before moving into production.

Director Wes Ball had been preparing to start shooting the live-action fantasy film, about a brotherhood of mice in a medieval world free of humans, but on Wednesday (17Apr19), Disney officials put the 21st Century Fox project on hold.

The move, which comes weeks after Disney bosses finalised their acquisition of its rival studio, now allows its producers, including War for the Planet of the Apes filmmaker Matt Reeves, to shop the movie to other buyers, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Ball was expected to make full use of motion-capture technology to bring the Mouse Guard characters to life onscreen, utilising the technique perfected by Serkis in the Planet of the Apes movies, as well as the Lord of the Rings film series and his Netflix release, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle.

Serkis had been cast as evil blacksmith Midnight, while former child star Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who worked with Ball on The Maze Runner franchise, was set to portray young Mouse Guard member Lieam, and Elba had been tapped for the part of Celanawe a former hero who becomes a recluse.

British comedian Jack Whitehall, who recently appeared in Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and will feature in the studio’s upcoming Jungle Cruise adventure epic, had also been in talks to join the line-up.

Production chiefs have yet to comment on the reason for the shelved Mouse Guard shoot, which had a budget of $170 million (£130.7 million).

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