My first film-related gossip column!
I’ve been thinking of doing a film-related gossip column for quite some time now. I first stumbled across the idea while reading Jason Solomons’ ‘Trailer Trash’ column in The Observer. From 1997 to 2013, this was the first dedicated film diary and gossip column in the British papers. His funny, witty insights into encounters with stars, baby news and Film Festival highlights gave me an idea that I should do one for myself.
The difference is that my gossip column is more opinionated. If there was one area Solomons’ Trailer Trash could be improved on, it was that he merely reported the big weekly news in Film without ever really giving us his own thoughts on what’s kicking off in Hollywood. For my own Film Diary, I want to report the facts, but also inject a little bit of my personality with scathing or unscathing criticism of all the juiciest bits from on or behind the big screen.
So here it goes. My first film-related gossip column with a selection of five biggest stories from the world of Film…
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Cineworld - the UK’s biggest cinema chain - are closing all 127 of its UK sites and 546 theatres in the US. The decision comes in the wake of the postponement of the latest James Bond film ‘No Time to Die’ (2021) which was due to be released in November, but has now been pushed back to April 2nd, 2021 (a whole year since it originally was scheduled to come out).
5,500 jobs are said to be at risk and I really feel for them, but unfortunately I’m not surprised. Cinemas have been starved of big-budget releases for months with studios delaying their biggest tentpoles in order to ensure the revenue of good-value cinema money as the Covid-19 pandemic wrecks the global Box Office. Personally I think it was a cowardly move on Universal’s part to delay this movie. Studios need to accept they’re not going to make as much money as they would in non-Covid times.
Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. showed bravery putting ‘Tenet’ out in cinemas back in August. It’s just a shame it’s not doing too well at the Box Office with $333 million intakes worldwide against a $200 million budget.
Still, cinemas are open now and available to screen new releases. And, if studios continue delaying their tentpoles, by the time they come out, there might not be any cinemas left to show them. Anything is possible in this pandemic…
The name’s Tom...Tom Hardy
The Sun have reported that women’s heartthrob and tough guy Tom Hardy has been already cast as the next James Bond when Daniel Craig bows out of the role now next year.
The report comes as the Vulcan reporter claimed Hardy was offered the part in June. He was said to be set to reveal his 007 status when ‘No Time to Die’ came out in November, but the pandemic has obviously now pushed back that movie’s release date until April (hence the Cineworld closure!).
Personally I think Hardy is a little too obvious a choice for Bondy and a little close to Craig’s incarnation. We know Tom as a grizzled geezer and rugged hardman despite his pretty boy looks. Daniel Craig has already been playing the same tough guy version of Bond in the recent Bond movies. I can’t see Hardy quite matching someone like Idris Elba whose casting would be a great step in the right direction for racial diversity.
Can You Feel the Moonlight?
‘Moonlight’ maestro Barry Jenkins will direct ‘The Lion King 2’. But it’s not a remake of the 1998 Disney sequel ‘The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride’. According to The Guardian, the film will delve into Mufasa’s origins story while acting as a direct sequel to 2019’s remake. Kind of like ‘The Godfather: Part II’ (1974) - a prequel-sequel.
In a recent statement, Jenkins says “helping my sister raise two young boys during the 90s, I grew up with these characters”. “Having the opportunity to work with Disney on expanding this magnificent tale of friendship, love and legacy while furthering my work chronicling the lives and souls of folk within the African diaspora is a dream come true”.
I personally hated the 2019 remake, but I really look forward to this sequel from Jenkins. He is one of the greatest directors of this century and ‘Moonlight’ (2017) is one of my favourite films. If there’s anyone who can make this work, it’s him.
The Three Spider-Men
Here’s a bit of Spidey news for you. Earlier this week, we learned the - pardon the pun - “shocking” news that Jamie Foxx would be returning as Electro in the upcoming ‘Spider-Man 3’.
Well, now, FandomWire has reported that Marvel has been secretly in talks with both former ‘Spider-Men’ Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield to get them back for ‘Spider-Man 3’ alongside current incarnation Tom Holland.
According to sources, the studio has produced a script that unites all three spider-men to team up against various villains from their past including Foxx’s Electro.
This news has excited hardcore fans dying to see a live-action version of the ‘Spider-Verse’ that has been dreamed of for decades and got an animated spin in 2018’s ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse’.
I personally am just excited to see Garfield back in the tight spider-suit. He has always been the best Spider-Man (other opinions are available) and frankly puts Tobey and Tom to shame when it comes to acting ability.
I’ve been heartbroken this month. Specifically because one of my favourite actresses and all-time cinematic crush Emma Stone reportedly got married in September. But not to former boyfriend, adorable couple goals and aforementioned Spider-Man Andrew Garfield.
Nope. Stone secretly tied the knot with SNL host Dave McCary last month having announced their engagement in December and having postponed their March wedding due to the pandemic.
I wish Emma all the best with her new marriage. It’s just a shame I wasn’t invited to the wedding! Although that would have been even more soul-destroying for me...
This article was originally written in October 2020.