Phil Lord and Christopher Miller to direct Ryan Gosling’s space movie

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have signed on to direct Ryan Gosling in a new space movie.Back in March, it was reported that the La La Land actor would be appearing in the film adaptation of Andy Weir’s upcoming untitled novel, which is being referr…

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have signed on to direct Ryan Gosling in a new space movie.

Back in March, it was reported that the La La Land actor would be appearing in the film adaptation of Andy Weir’s upcoming untitled novel, which is being referred to as Project Hail Mary, and now it has been revealed that he will be directed by the filmmaking duo.

According to Variety, the pair will also produce the project alongside Aditya Sood, from their production banner, Gosling, Ken Kao, and Amy Pascal. The latter has a long-running relationship with Lord and Miller, with them winning the Best Animated Feature Oscar together for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse last year, and this bond helped with getting the manuscript in their hands.

Sources told the publication that the First Man star lobbied studio executives at MGM to hire Lord and Miller, but they had just signed a new deal with Universal. However, after discussions, Universal gave MGM their blessing for the project to move forward with the filmmakers.

“All of us at MGM are incredibly excited by this literal dream team coming together around Andy’s astounding novel. With their masterful ability to balance drama, action, and humour, Phil and Chris are the perfect filmmakers to take on this unique material and we are thrilled to have them partner with Ryan, Ken, Andy, Amy and Aditya to bring this movie to life for big screens everywhere,” said MGM’s Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy in a statement.

Weir’s upcoming novel, which is set to be published by Random House in spring 2021, will reportedly be a solitary tale of an astronaut on a space ship who is tasked with saving the planet.

The author’s 2011 novel, The Martian, was adapted into a Golden Globe-winning film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon in 2015.

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Shazam! sequel in the works with original screenwriter

A Shazam! sequel is in development with original screenplay writer Henry Gayden.The movie, based on the DC Comics character of the same name, hit cinemas in the U.S. last Friday (05Apr19), with the story following Billy Batson (Asher Angel) as a teenag…

A Shazam! sequel is in development with original screenplay writer Henry Gayden.

The movie, based on the DC Comics character of the same name, hit cinemas in the U.S. last Friday (05Apr19), with the story following Billy Batson (Asher Angel) as a teenage boy who can transform into an adult superhero, as played by Zachary Levi.

Shazam! has received a largely positive response from critics, and grossed a worldwide total of over $159 million (£121 million) at the box office, with editors at The Wrap now reporting that a follow-up is coming.

Film insiders have told the publication that Gayden has been tapped to write the script, while David F. Sandberg is also expected to return as director, with Peter Safran serving as producer.

Gayden previously penned the screenplay for 2014’s Earth to Echo and was most recently attached to write the script for Last Human, an upcoming sci-fi flick to be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

Little else is known about the sequel, though Levi has been busy with various projects in recent months, having landed the part of Benjamin in hit TV series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and the voice-acting part of Biff Tarkin in the TV show Star Wars: Detours.

However, the former Chuck actor indicated that he was confident that another Shazam! movie would be greenlit during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last Thursday, where he explained that he was determined to maintain the buff physique he had built for the role.

“I think I gained, like, 24 pounds (10 kilograms) in the first couple of months and I’ve stayed in the gym six days a week through all of it still, till this day. And I’m healthier and stronger than I’ve ever been and I’m so grateful for that,” the 38-year-old said. “I worked out today. I’m hoping for a sequel.”

Shazam! also features Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Djimon Hounsou, and is now showing in cinemas around the world.

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse dominates Annie animation awards

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse swung to victory at the 2019 Annie Awards, picking up all seven of the prizes it was nominated for, including Best Animated Feature. The movie, which focuses on a new Spider-Man named Miles Morales, also claimed accol…

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse swung to victory at the 2019 Annie Awards, picking up all seven of the prizes it was nominated for, including Best Animated Feature.

The movie, which focuses on a new Spider-Man named Miles Morales, also claimed accolades including Writing In An Animated Feature Production for Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman, Directing In An Animated Feature Production for Rothman, Bob Persichetti, and Peter Ramsey, and Character Design In An Animated Feature Production for Shiyoon Kim.

The film’s domination caused an upset for Disney projects Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet, which had led all nominees heading into the Los Angeles ceremony on Saturday (02Feb18), with 11 and 10 nods, respectively.

However, Incredibles 2 only managed to pick up Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production and Music in an Animated Feature Production, while Ralph Breaks the Internet had just the one win in Animated Effects in an Animated Feature Production.

Mary Poppins Returns landed Best Animated Special Production and Character Animation in a Live Action Production for the section where the characters enter a hand-drawn animated world, while Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production went to Bryan Cranston for Wes Anderson’s stop-motion film Isle of Dogs, and Best Animated Independent Feature went to Mirai.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s triumph at the Annie Awards is the latest success for the film this awards season. In January, it won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature, beating Incredibles 2, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Isle of Dogs and Mirai. All five are also competing for the Academy Award, and the winner will be unveiled on 24 February. The first three titles are currently nominated for the BAFTA.

The Spider-Man outing, featuring the voices of Shameik Moore, Mahershala Ali and Jake Johnson, was released to glowing reviews in December and has so far grossed over $347 million (£266 million) worldwide against a $90 million (£69 million) budget.

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Ron Howard: ‘I’m looking forward to the backlash from Star Wars fans’

Ron Howard is looking forward to the backlash from Star Wars fans once his new spin-off is released this weekend (25May18). The director fully expects his take on the Han Solo origin story to be controversial, and he can’t wait to see what die-hards m…

Ron Howard is looking forward to the backlash from Star Wars fans once his new spin-off is released this weekend (25May18).

The director fully expects his take on the Han Solo origin story to be controversial, and he can’t wait to see what die-hards make of the blockbuster.

“When you have really fervent fans, dedicated fans, it’s a little bit like if you love sports or a certain kind of a television show, you get to be emotional about it,” he tells Press Association.

“I think that is fine, again as long as the creative people don’t go, ‘Oh my God, I don’t know what to do, so we will just repeat ourselves over and over again because that’s what we think the fans like’. Everybody involved knows that would be destructive, so you have to have a little nerve and put yourself out there and know that it’s going to be controversial.

“I’m sure that Solo will be controversial for some people because it’s sort of a different Star Wars movie. We will see how they respond. I think internally everybody had a great time doing it and feels confident about it and loves Star Wars. Nobody is trying to distort it but it’s a bit of an experiment. I think that’s a good thing. I fully expect some controversy so I’m curious about what that will be.”

Howard took over the project following the departure of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and he admits he had a blast making his first Star Wars film.

“It was unlike any experience I ever had, and unfortunate that they needed to change directors at a certain point or felt that they had to, but the one thing that I could offer was fresh excitement,” he adds. “I wouldn’t come in unless I felt the story was really strong and offered something to fans and also real belief in this charismatic, cool cast and objectivity.

“So I got to come in and sort of say, ‘Hey, this stuff is already great that you were doing but here is a new idea’, and inject it with that creative energy. I wound up having a blast.”

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Ron Howard: ‘A Willow follow-up could be in the pipeline’

Thirty years after the release of Willow, Ron Howard has begun discussing a sequel.In the 1988 fantasy flick, Warwick Davis starred as title character Willow, a reluctant farmer who plays a critical role in protecting a special baby, Elora Danan, from…

Thirty years after the release of Willow, Ron Howard has begun discussing a sequel.

In the 1988 fantasy flick, Warwick Davis starred as title character Willow, a reluctant farmer who plays a critical role in protecting a special baby, Elora Danan, from a tyrannical queen.

The film, which also starred Val Kilmer, has become something of a cult classic over the years, and now director Ron has excited fans with talk of a new Willow.

“I don’t want to give away too much, but there is a little talk of Willow,” he teased in a chat with ComicBook.com. “We wouldn’t call it Willow 2, I think it would focus a lot on Elora Danan, although Willow would have to be significantly involved.”

Since helming the movie three decades ago, actor and filmmaker Ron has become one of the most respected directors in Hollywood, winning two Oscars for A Beautiful Mind and earning a further two nominations for Frost/Nixon.

He’s been kept busy recently with Solo: A Star Wars Story, after taking over directing duties from Chris Miller and Phil Lord in 2017.

The highly-anticipated Star Wars spin-off hits cinemas later this month (May18), with Ron admitting his work on Willow informed some of his decisions on Solo.

“I thought about that movie a lot as I was working on Solo because there are certain scenes, especially around some of the Madmartigan (Kilmer’s character in Willow) stuff, was reminiscent of a character with that kind of swagger and bravado,” he shared. “And also some of the humour around some of the action in Willow was something I inspired to get into Solo.”

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Ron Howard was anxious when taking over Solo: A Star Wars Story

Ron Howard was initially anxious about taking over directing duties on Solo: A Star Wars Story after the previous moviemakers were fired.The Da Vinci Code filmmaker was drafted in to helm the Star Wars prequel spin-off, which stars Alden Ehrenreich as …

Ron Howard was initially anxious about taking over directing duties on Solo: A Star Wars Story after the previous moviemakers were fired.

The Da Vinci Code filmmaker was drafted in to helm the Star Wars prequel spin-off, which stars Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo, after directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller was ousted from the project due to creative differences with Lucasfilm executives last year (17).

Ron appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Thursday night (03May18) and admitted coming onto the film midway through production, when most elements had been developed without him, was “chaotic” and he was nervous on the first day because he was required to oversee a very technical sequence.

“I was anxious and pumped up and it was a big action scene. It’s a beautiful set and everybody’s there and it’s droids and it’s aliens and some Wookiees running around,” he shared. “I organised this very complicated shot and it took a long time to get it together and the actors were pulling hard to try to make it happen.”

After describing the camera move he was trying to pull off, the 64-year-old added that it “went beautifully” and he was feeling good about himself but felt even more validated after getting the seal of approval from the giant Wookiee Chewbacca, Han’s best pal.

“When you get a fist bump and a full body hug from Chewbacca, it’s an experience I wish every moviemaker could have, but I realised I was in the galaxy far away but it was going to be O.K.”

The former Happy Days star also stated that it was “an unusual circumstance” and it wasn’t an ideal situation for anybody on the project, but he agreed to come on board after reading the script, which he found “surprising and very satisfying”.

Solo: A Star Wars Story, which also stars Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clarke, will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on 15 May.

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Thandie Newton: ‘My Star Wars casting is a big deal’

Thandie Newton believes her Star Wars casting is a big deal, as she’s the first “woman of colour” to have a prominent role in the franchise.Thandie has joined the sci-fi universe for upcoming spin-off Solo: A Star Wars Story, which tells the stor…

Thandie Newton believes her Star Wars casting is a big deal, as she’s the first “woman of colour” to have a prominent role in the franchise.

Thandie has joined the sci-fi universe for upcoming spin-off Solo: A Star Wars Story, which tells the story of a young Han Solo, a part made famous by Harrison Ford and played by Alden Ehrenreich in the prequel.

While other black actresses, including Lupita Nyong’o, have previously appeared in Star Wars films, 45-year-old Thandie, who plays a character called Val in the movie, says it’s the size of her role that makes it so special.

“I’m the first woman of colour to have a prominent role in the Star Wars legacy,” she told Radio Times. “There have been others with one line and Lupita Nyong’o was a computer-generated character (The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi), but you didn’t get to see the colour of her skin.

“I’m the first. I’m going to have a toy and everything. It’s exciting, but that’s all I can say. It is a big deal.”

The film is due out next month (May18), and will premiere at Cannes Film Festival before hitting cinemas around the world.

It was initially meant to be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, but they quit the project in June (17) over creative differences with Lucasfilm bosses. Ron Howard stepped in to the director’s chair, and Thandie has previously reassured fans the film is still “dope” despite the director shake-up.

Talking about the importance of sci-fi in cinema, the English actress said: “Sci-fi really captures people’s attention like nothing else, but the fans are absolutely bonkers.

“I took my four-year-old to a park in Los Angeles last year, but I didn’t realise there was a huge Star Wars convention taking place up the road. All these grown-up men dressed as Stormtroopers were riding around on a kids’ train in the park. It was the most surreal sight.”

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