Ewan McGregor voicing Jiminy Cricket in Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Ewan McGregor is voicing the character of Jiminy Cricket in Guillermo del Toro’s take on Pinocchio. The Scottish actor has revealed that he had finished recording his dialogue for the Talking Cricket before the Covid-19 outbreak struck. “That I had …

Ewan McGregor is voicing the character of Jiminy Cricket in Guillermo del Toro’s take on Pinocchio.

The Scottish actor has revealed that he had finished recording his dialogue for the Talking Cricket before the Covid-19 outbreak struck.

“That I had started working on before I left for New York, so some of that is recorded,” McGregor told ACE Universe. “And of course it’s stop-frame animation, so it’s going to take them a great long time to make that film. But my first part of that, which is recording his dialogue, is sort of done.”

He then teased the possibility he would be singing in the movie, after his well-received performances in musical movies such as the live-action Beauty and the Beast and Moulin Rouge!

“There may or may not be a song that needs to be recorded. I’m not sure I’m at liberty to discuss that. Even though we’re just privately talking, you know,” he joked.

The Oscar-winning director’s stop-motion animation version of Carlo Collodi’s classic novel, which will be set in Italy during the rise of fascism in the 1930s, will also feature the voices of Ron Perlman, Tilda Swinton, and Christoph Waltz.

Mark Gustafson is serving as co-director alongside del Toro on Pinocchio, while Patrick McHale is co-writing the script.

The 55-year-old filmmaker previously revealed that his version of the classic tale, which was transformed into an animated musical fantasy film by Disney in 1940, will be a bleak re-telling.

“In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend,” The Shape of Water director said. “He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world.”

Pinocchio is set to be released on Netflix in 2021.

© Cover Media

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark sequel in the works

A sequel to horror Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is in the works. The original film, in which a book of stories written by a troubled young girl from the 1800s becomes reality for a group of teens in 1960s America, was a surprise hit when it was r…

A sequel to horror Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is in the works.

The original film, in which a book of stories written by a troubled young girl from the 1800s becomes reality for a group of teens in 1960s America, was a surprise hit when it was released last August, with it receiving positive reviews from critics and grossing $105 million (£85.2 million) at the worldwide box office against a production budget of around $28 million (£22.7 million).

Now, the makers of the first film are capitalising on this success by making a sequel. Director Andre Ovredal has closed a deal to return to the director’s chair and the screenplay is being penned by the same writers – brothers Dan and Kevin Hageman. The project will be based on a story by Guillermo del Toro, who produced the first movie.

The Hagemans shared The Hollywood Reporter’s article on Twitter and added, “Couldn’t be more terrified to be cooking up More Scary Stories with our favourite @Filmtroll (Ovredal).”

The Troll Hunter director retweeted their message and replied, “I will get to direct Dan and Kevin’s horror mayhem again! Yohoo!”

Executives at film studio eOne will co-finance the horror sequel and have teamed up with Paramount Pictures, who will distribute. The previous film was a collaboration between eOne, CBS Films, and Lionsgate.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, based on the children’s book series of the same name by Alvin Schwartz, was rated PG-13 and starred Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Austin Abrams, Dean Norris, and Lorraine Toussaint.

© Cover Media

David Harbour blames Guillermo del Toro fans for Hellboy reboot flop

David Harbour believes his Hellboy reboot flopped because fans love Guillermo del Toro’s movies so much. The Shape of Water director helmed 2004’s Hellboy and its 2008 sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army, both starring Ron Perlman, and while he planned…

David Harbour believes his Hellboy reboot flopped because fans love Guillermo del Toro’s movies so much.

The Shape of Water director helmed 2004’s Hellboy and its 2008 sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army, both starring Ron Perlman, and while he planned to complete a trilogy, the third film was eventually scrapped.

The Stranger Things actor replaced Perlman in Neil Marshall’s Hellboy reboot, which was a critical and commercial flop when it was released last year.

Discussing the movie in an Instagram Live this week, Harbour insisted the film never stood a chance because fans of the character and Del Toro’s films were against the reboot from the outset.

“I think it failed before we began shooting because I think that people didn’t want us to make the movie,” Harbour said. “Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman created this iconic thing that we thought could be reinvented and then (fans) certainly – the loudness of the Internet was like, ‘We do not want you to touch this.’ And then we made a movie that I think is fun and I think had its problems but was a fun movie and then people were just very, very against it and that’s people’s right but I learned my lesson in a lot of different ways.”

The 44-year-old, who will soon be seen in Marvel’s upcoming movie Black Widow, previously told reporters at London’s MCM Comic-Con last year that the film had “major problems” but it was “unfairly bludgeoned as a result of (the) comparisons” to Marvel movies.

“We did our best, but there’s so many voices that go into these things and they’re not always going to work out,” he added. “I did what I could do and I feel proud of what I did, but ultimately I’m not in control of a lot of those things.”

© Cover Media

Patrick Stewart to be honoured by Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild

Patrick Stewart is to receive a top honour at the 2020 Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild (MUAHS) Awards.The British actor, known for his roles in the Star Trek and X-Men franchises, will be bestowed with the Distinguished Artisan Award at the org…

Patrick Stewart is to receive a top honour at the 2020 Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild (MUAHS) Awards.

The British actor, known for his roles in the Star Trek and X-Men franchises, will be bestowed with the Distinguished Artisan Award at the organisation’s seventh annual prizegiving in Los Angeles on 11 January.

“Patrick Stewart is a legendary actor whose myriad of characters live in our hearts forever,” said MUAHS president Julie Socash. “He is so deserving of this special recognition spotlighting his award-winning stage and screen performances, and we celebrate his great collaboration with our talented artists.”

Stewart, 79, will be presented with the prestigious prize by Brent Spiner, star of Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Next Generation; James MacKinnon, an Emmy Award-winning make-up and prosthetic artist, and Michael Westmore, the Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning make-up artist and designer of the Star Trek franchise.

Previous recipients of the honour include Melissa McCarthy, Gary Oldman, Johnny Depp, Ryan Murphy, and Guillermo del Toro.

Each year, members of the MUAHS fete the outstanding achievements of both make-up artists and hairstylists in motion pictures, television, commercials, and live theatre.

Previously, officials announced that Thomas R. Burman, Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated make-up artist, and Martin Samuel, Oscar and Emmy-nominated film and celebrity hairstylist, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Stewart will next be seen onscreen reprising his iconic role of Jean-Luc Picard in TV series Star Trek: Picard, which is set to be released in January.

© Cover Media

Willem Dafoe signs up for Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley

Willem Dafoe has joined the likes of Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett in Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley.The upcoming project, the second movie adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name, is set in a world of carnival hus…

Willem Dafoe has joined the likes of Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett in Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley.

The upcoming project, the second movie adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name, is set in a world of carnival hustlers, and tells the story of a con man named Stanton ‘Stan’ Carlisle, portrayed by Cooper, who teams up with psychologist Lilith, to be played by Blanchett, to swindle the rich before she turns the tables on him.

The Oscar nominee has been cast as Clem Hoately, a head barker at a travelling carnival who gives Carlisle a job, according to Variety.

He joins a cast which also includes Toni Collette, who will portray a mentalist named Zeena who mentors Carlisle, and Rooney Mara, who will be playing Carlisle’s love interest, Molly.

Richard Jenkins and Michael Shannon, who previously starred in del Toro’s previous film, the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water, are also reportedly circling the project, while his Hellboy collaborator Ron Perlman is rumoured to have a role.

Del Toro will direct the film for Fox Searchlight from a script he co-wrote with Kim Morgan, with production set to begin at the start of 2020. Nightmare Alley was previously brought to the screen in 1947, with Tyrone Power taking on the role of Carlisle.

Dafoe is enjoying an impressive run of projects of late. He has been receiving critical praise for his performance alongside Robert Pattinson in David Eggers’s The Lighthouse and will soon be seen in Edward Norton’s directorial effort, Motherless Brooklyn, as well as political thriller The Last Thing He Wanted.

© Cover Media

Rooney Mara joins cast of Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley

Rooney Mara is reuniting with her Carol co-star Cate Blanchett in Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star is set to join the Australian actress and Bradley Cooper in the second movie adaptation of William Lindsay Gres…

Rooney Mara is reuniting with her Carol co-star Cate Blanchett in Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star is set to join the Australian actress and Bradley Cooper in the second movie adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name.

The A Star Is Born actor, who was drafted in to replace Leonardo DiCaprio earlier this year, will portray con artist Stanton ‘Stan’ Carlisle. Carlisle will team up with Blanchett’s psychiatrist character to trick people into giving them money.

According to editors at Deadline, Mara will play Molly, Carlisle’s love interest. He meets her early on at a circus, with the pair later taking their act to Chicago.

Mara’s casting means the movie will be a reunion for her and Blanchett, who co-starred in Todd Haynes’s 2015 lesbian romance drama Carol, which earned them both Oscar nominations.

Nightmare Alley marks the Mexican filmmaker’s first directorial effort since The Shape of Water, which was named Best Picture at the 2018 Oscars.

However, he has been busy producing horrors Antlers and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark as well as Robert Zemeckis’s adaptation of Roald Dahl classic The Witches. Del Toro is also developing his passion project, a stop-motion animation film about Pinocchio. He wrote the script for Nightmare Alley with Kim Morgan, with the narrative to be based on the novel rather than 1947 film, and production is due to begin later this year.

Most recently, the Oscar-winning director told Collider that his version will be R-rated and have “no supernatural elements”, unlike most of his films. He added it will be “the first chance I have to do a real underbelly-of-society type of movie”.

© Cover Media

Guillermo del Toro rules out returning to comic book movies

Guillermo del Toro has ruled out directing another comic book movie.The Mexican filmmaker helmed Blade II in 2002, which starred Wesley Snipes as Marvel’s crime-fighting vampire, and 2004’s Hellboy and 2008’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army, with Ron P…

Guillermo del Toro has ruled out directing another comic book movie.

The Mexican filmmaker helmed Blade II in 2002, which starred Wesley Snipes as Marvel’s crime-fighting vampire, and 2004’s Hellboy and 2008’s Hellboy II: The Golden Army, with Ron Perlman as the titular character from the graphic novels by Mike Mignola.

However, del Toro has moved on with his career and comic book movies don’t interest him anymore.

“At each moment of your life, you do the things that attract you. And back when I was doing Hellboy and Blade, it was a little bit counter to what was being made,” he told Variety. “But as you grow older, your concerns as a filmmaker change. I only direct the things that I’m incredibly avid to see, and that would not exist if I didn’t tackle it. I always ask myself, ‘Would this movie exist if I didn’t make it?’ And if the answer is yes, I don’t do it.”

While he’s ditching superhero movies, the Oscar-winning director is set to bring the tale of Pinocchio to the big screen, and warned fans of the Disney animated classic that his take will be much darker.

“To me, Pinocchio, very much like Frankenstein, is a blank canvas in which learning the curve of what the world is and what being human is are very attractive to do as a story,” he said of the beloved tale, which is based on Carlo Collodi’s 19th century novel.

“I’m very attracted to it because, thematically – and I don’t want to spoil what the movie’s about – it’s about something that is in all of my movies, which is choice. That’s a theme that is very dear to my heart. It’s essentially a very brutalist fable about what a sin disobedience is. I think there’s something that’s very attractive about seeing disobedience as a virtue, or as the beginning of a virtue.”

© Cover Media

Lana Del Rey records song for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark soundtrack

Lana Del Rey has recorded a cover of Donovan’s Season of the Witch for new horror Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The Born to Die hitmaker has covered the 1966 song for the film, which is set in 1968 and follows a group of teenagers who must face …

Lana Del Rey has recorded a cover of Donovan’s Season of the Witch for new horror Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

The Born to Die hitmaker has covered the 1966 song for the film, which is set in 1968 and follows a group of teenagers who must face their fears in order to save their lives.

Debuting the tune in a new trailer for the horror on social media, Del Rey wrote, “Ooooh (ghost emoji) I’m really excited for you to see this amazing movie! SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK @scarystoriesmovie And I’ve got a new spooky cover in there for ya of Season Of The Witch It’s in theatres this Friday produced by Guillermo del Toro and Director, Andre Ovredal!!! Song produced by Jack Antonoff.”

In a statement, the Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape of Water filmmaker, who is producing the film, heaped praise on the 34-year-old.

“I have admired Lana’s music for a while now and felt in my gut that she would run with Season of the Witch – that she would use her alchemy to transform it,” the Oscar winner said. “She is a great artist and has been an amazing partner with us in this adventure. It is an honour for me to have met her.”

The singer will also join del Toro when he is honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame star on Wednesday.

This isn’t the only time Del Rey will feature on a 2019 movie soundtrack – she has teamed up with Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande to record a collaboration for the upcoming Charlie’s Angels reboot too.

Season of the Witch has been covered a number of times for the screen, with appearances in Riverdale, American Horror Story, and True Blood. It currently appears in the trailer for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark hits cinemas from Friday.

© Cover Media

Jeremy Renner turned down Hellboy after failing to understand character

Jeremy Renner declined the opportunity to work with acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro on his 2004 adaptation of Hellboy because he just didn’t “get” the character. The Avengers: Endgame star has revealed he was approached to bring the Dark Horse …

Jeremy Renner declined the opportunity to work with acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro on his 2004 adaptation of Hellboy because he just didn’t “get” the character.

The Avengers: Endgame star has revealed he was approached to bring the Dark Horse Comics superhero to life onscreen early on in his career, but he couldn’t figure out how he would play the titular half-demon.

Renner was seriously broke at the time, but even his dire financial situation couldn’t sway him to take on the lucrative gig, because he had always vowed never to sign up for a project just for the money.

“It happened with Guillermo del Toro,” he recalled on Justin Long’s Life is Short podcast. “Amazing director, but Hellboy was the movie that they offered me, and it was a lot of money – (more) than I’d ever heard in my life, and I still had to say no, because I didn’t know a way into that character in that movie…

“It was like, a quarter million dollars, and I had no electricity, just candlelight, (but) it never crossed my brain that, ‘Oh, it’d be great to have that money.’

“I was just reading the script and (thinking) like, ‘I don’t get this…’ I just couldn’t connect to it,” he continued. “I said, ‘I can’t find a way in (to this character), I don’t know what I’d be doing,’ so I had to say no.”

Ron Perlman went on to star in the lead role, and after viewing the finished movie, which has become a cult favourite among fans, Renner knew he had made the right choice, because the character just wasn’t a good fit for him.

“There’s zero regrets, zero,” he said. “Most of the time it’s like, ‘Oh, I’m glad I didn’t do it,’ and it made sense to me. Not just Hellboy or whatever it was, and I’m not saying that it’s a good or bad movie, it’s not about that… I just wouldn’t have fit there.”

However, it was a different story for Renner when he was offered the part of another comic book character in Marvel’s Hawkeye, aka Clint Barton, because his Avengers star doesn’t boast any actual superpowers.

He shared, “When they (studio bosses) showed me my character… it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s great, it’s just a guy with no superpower; he’s just got a high skill set. I can actually attach to that.’

“I’d have passed on (the role of) Thor all day long – not that I’d ever be cast in that, but like, that kind of thing. I’d be like, ‘I don’t know how to do that, I’m sorry.’ But Hawkeye, or Clint Barton, I’m like, ‘Oh great, high skill set, I can figure that out.'”

© Cover Media

Taika Waititi exits film about Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee Bubbles

Taika Waititi has pulled out of a planned animated movie about Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee Bubbles.The Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker and Mark Gustafson signed on to co-direct the project back in February 2017, with the rights later acquired by bosses at Ne…

Taika Waititi has pulled out of a planned animated movie about Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee Bubbles.

The Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker and Mark Gustafson signed on to co-direct the project back in February 2017, with the rights later acquired by bosses at Netflix for a reported $20 million (£15 million).

However, editors at website Cartoon Brew reported on Thursday that Waititi was abandoning Bubbles due to scheduling conflicts, as he is also currently developing a live-action version of Japanese graphic novel Akira.

In addition, it was reported that Netflix is dropping the film from its slate too, as it was no longer a good fit for the streaming service without Waititi attached.

Written by Isaac Adamson, the script for Bubbles topped The Black List – an annual survey of “most liked” screenplays not yet produced – in 2015. The concept was focused on exploring Jackson’s life from Bubble’s perspective, and when he first announced his commitment to the movie, Waititi explained that he was “fascinated” by the idea.

“I’m not interested in making a biopic; I want to focus on telling a story that blends fact and fantasy, about an animal trying to make sense of the world,” the 43-year-old commented. “This film is not about Michael Jackson because that’s not a story for me to tell – or a story I’d be comfortable telling – it’s about a chimpanzee’s fascinating journey through the complex jungle of human life… I think animation is the only way to approach a story like this.”

Yet, Gustafson recently dropped out of co-directing Bubbles so he could focus on working on Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming Pinocchio project, and in an interview with Deadline earlier this month, Waititi admitted that the feature was moving at a slow pace.

“That script has been around for a long time, and it’s a little bit stuck in the early stages of trying to figure out what it could be and what it would look like. It’s a f**king brilliant script, though,” he stated.

New Zealand-born Waititi has now completed production on his latest film Jojo Rabbit, and also helmed an episode of upcoming Star Wars series The Mandalorian.

© Cover Media