The Past Week: Star Wars, Jurassic World 2, Scarface
It may be the safe thing for studios to do, but I strongly doubt that anyone will complain about the attention they pay to sequels and reboots. After all, audiences are more likely to respond favorably to properties and characters, much less go out of their way to see said properties and characters, that they are familiar with. Partially illustrating this is the fact that the movie and TV stories from last week that most stood out to this writer dealt with such projects, so let’s take a look at the past week’s news.
Thandie Newton In Negotiations To Act In Han Solo Star Wars Spin-Off
We won’t be seeing the highly-anticipated Han Solo spin-off from the Star Wars franchise for well over a year and precious little has been revealed about the film’s plot, but if the few actors who have been announced for the project so far are anything to go by it is very promising. Since Alden Ehrenreich was tapped to portray a young version of the laser-slinging mercenary, such noteworthy actors as Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, and Woody Harrelson have been revealed as playing roles in the film. Further inspiring confidence is the involvement of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the minds behind the unexpectedly excellent Lego Movie who are now set to direct the Star Wars spin-off.
But this week’s announcement, per Superherohype, that Thandie Newton, who made additional news recently when she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role on Westworld, will play a role should come as a welcome surprise to avid film fans. Although she is not exactly an A-lister, Newton has consistently turned in strong performances over the course of her career, such as her supporting turn as Condoleeza Rice in Oliver Stone’s W. The role she has been cast in is unknown as of now, but it will be nice to see her in such a high-profile project.
Ted Levine Joins Cast Of Jurassic World 2
I know I’m in the minority on this one, but I was not taken in by the much-ballyhooed Jurassic World. I found the story trite and the Luddite anti-consumerist message insulting, particularly coming when the messenger was a special effects-laden blockbuster. I did, however, enjoy some of the supporting characters performances, such as B.D. Wong’s inexplicably sinister scientist and Lauren Lapkus’ technician who also seemed to be the only sane person in the park’s control room.
Thus, I’m somewhat heartened to hear from Superherohype that Ted Levine is slated to play an unknown role in the inevitable sequel. You might not know his name, but you will definitely recognize him as the demented Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs. If that alone isn’t enough to make you at least open to seeing Jurassic World 2, he has also lent his voice in guest roles on the superb Superman: The Animated Series. If, like me, you aren’t interested in seeing Jurassic World 2 for the story, at least see it for Ted Levine.
Coen Brothers To Write Screenplay For Scarface Remake
Few movies serve as effectively as a counterargument to the widespread notion that remakes are necessarily inferior to the original as Brian De Palma’s Scarface. On paper, the project should have been an unmitigated disaster: transplanting the very 1930’s story of an Italian gangster rising to power in prohibition-era America to what was then the present day and modernizing it seemingly smacked of hubris and ignorance. But although the finished product was criticized for many things upon its release (namely, the now-legendary profanity and violence), its origins as a remake wasn’t one of them. As it turned out, the story of Scarface translated well to the era of the War on Drugs and mass migration from Latin America, and to this day, it is the remake that people remember, not the black and white original.
Now, all that being said, I don’t know what to make of Comingsoon.net‘s story that yet another Scarface remake is on the way, this time with a screenplay by the Coen Brothers. I love their work, I love both movies, and I, of course, know that modernizing old movies for contemporary audiences isn’t inherently bad, but I find it hard to believe that the best Scarface film will be the third one.