Hot celebrity gossip is always great, but geeks like me prefer movie news instead of which Kardashian will find love … again. Lucky for me and my brethren, there’s no shortage of tantalizing tidbits coming out of Hollywood right now.
With the recent news that Joss Whedon is jumping from Marvel to direct a Batgirl film for Warner Brothers’ DC Extended Universe, it got me thinking about what is coming out for comic and sci-fi lovers in the not too distant future, and whether some of those much-talked-about projects currently stuck in development hell will ever see the light of day.
One thing I know for sure is that comic book films are not going anywhere. They have become a billion-dollar industry at the box office. People love the escapism even if there’s a glut of stories coming out every year.
Science fiction is also really hot right now. People are looking to the stars hoping one day life meets fiction but for now, we have Star Trek and Star Wars taking us to distant galaxies. With the recent success of Star Trek: Beyond, what’s in store for Star Trek 4? And what is all this crazy talk about a Matrix reboot?
Below is a roundup of odds on some of the nerdy movie news that has come out over the last few months, including Ryan Reynolds double-dipping.
Comic Book and Science Fiction Film Odds
Green Lantern Corps
Warner Brothers will continue to pump out DC films and is even looking to do another Green Lantern flick. First, they need to find someone to play Hal Jordan and it appears they might have a shortlist for their Green Lantern Corps project that is set to be released in 2020.
What’s surprising is that Ryan Reynolds is in the mix to reprise his role as Jordan even though the 2011 film Green Lantern was a critical and commercial flop. Reynolds’ superhero stock has risen since last year’s smash hit Deadpool, so maybe we shouldn’t be completely surprised if the Canadian continues to double-dip in both Marvel and DC.
Still, you have to wonder if it’s in Warner Brother’s best interest to pretend the previous Lantern film didn’t happen and put a fresh face on the project.
Casting is still in its infancy but below are the odds on which actors rumored to be on the shortlist will wind up donning the green tights.
Odds to play Hal Jordan in Green Lantern Corps
- Ryan Reynolds: 2/1
- Armie Hammer: 3/1
- Jake Gyllenhaal: 4/1
- Joe McHale: 9/1
- Bradley Cooper: 15/1
- Tom Cruise: 20/1
Deadpool 2 is set to start filming this May and they still haven’t cast the Cable character yet. In the comics, Deadpool frequently partners up with Cable, a powerful, time-hopping mutant soldier. Back in the early 2000s, Cable & Deadpool was one of the most popular X-Men comics, so the addition of the big-man will be welcomed.
The question is: who will play the mutant? There have been many rumors and it appears they are close to finalizing the role.
Names like Brad Pitt and Michael Shannon have been bandied about but many feel that someone like Stephen Lang or even Russell Crowe would be better suited. Below are the odds on who will carry the big guns.
Odds to play Cable in Deadpool 2
- Michael Shannon: 3/1
- Brad Pitt: 4/1
- Russell Crowe: 4/1
- Kyle Chandler: 17/3
- David Harbour: 9/1
- Pierce Brosnan: 15/1
- Stephan Lang: 25/1
Star Trek 4
Producer J.J. Abrams has touted that Star Trek 4 will be the greatest story they have told within the rebooted universe. That’s a bold claim and some of that might have to do with the recent confirmation that Chris Hemsworth will be returning to reprise his role as Captain Kirk’s dad, George Kirk.
If you remember, George supposedly died in the opening scene of the first Star Trek reboot film. Now it appears that time travel may connect the original Trek timeline with J.J. Abrams’ “Kelvin” timeline. It’s also possible that George Kirk is found within the “mirror universe,” an element from the television shows that none of the new Trek films have touched upon.
Speaking of time, when will this new Trek film actually come out? So far there is a script and a basic cast, but no release date has been announced. Of course, we have odds that are firmly placed in present time.
Odds on Star Trek 4 release date:
- 2020: 1/1
- 2019: 3/2
- 2021: 9/1
Odds on time travel being used to restore timelines (Original and Kelvin timelines): 3/1
Who will get cast in the recently announced Joss Whedon Batgirl film? It depends on what storyline they go with. The most recent comic incarnation has featured a much younger Batgirl in the form of Barbara Gordon, a recent college graduate, as part of the New 52 comic series.
Some might point to the women that Whedon has worked with in the past as frontrunners. Actresses like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Amy Acker, Eliza Dushku, or Summer Glau might seem like good bets, but that would mean that Batgirl was no longer a recent college grad.
It might be wise to find someone younger; names like Hailee Steinfeld, Chloë Grace Moretz, or even Olivia Cooke are possibilities. But I’m clinging to the hope that Evil Dead’s Jane Levy gets a good look because she’s a dead ringer.
Odds on to play Joss Whedon’s Batgirl
- Chloe Grace Moretz: 4/1
- Hailee Steinfeld: 4/1
- Bonnie Wright: 17/3
- Zoey Deutch: 17/3
- Jane Levy: 9/1
- Olivia Cooke: 15/1
- Shailene Woodley: 20/1
- Anya Taylor-Joy: 20/1
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw: 25/1
- Alicia Vikander: 25/1
Development Hell: Odds the Following Films See the Light of Day
With Hollywood starting to look to classic anime as a source for material, could we finally get the Akira live-action adaptation that has been in rumor mills for well over two decades?
The cyberpunk anime developed a huge cult following after it was released back in 1988. There have been so many rights-holders, rumored directors and release dates that it makes you wonder if this film will ever get made.
Warner Brothers wanted director George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road) to take on the project back in 2015 and there was some buzz surrounding Justin Lin (Fast and Furious 6, Star Trek Beyond). Now it appears that Get Out director Jordan Peele (also of Key and Peele fame) is rumored to be in talks to direct the classic science fiction story. Someone will make this movie, the question is who and when.
Masters of the Universe: 3/2
No matter what you think of Michael Bay’s Transformers or the recent G.I. Joe movies, those franchises make money and so a He-Man reboot for the silver screen should eventually follow.
There have been rumors in the past with John Woo supposedly eager to direct something back in the mid-90s. Even Joel Silver had the rights at one point and wanted to do something bit edgier, similar to the feel of 300. But the parent company, Mattel, never got behind Silver’s vision and he let the project go.
Now the rights belong to Sony and, although many directors have been connected, it appears McG (Joseph McGinty Nichol) would like a stab. Let’s hope he has thhheeeee pooooowwweer to revive the Masters of the Universe!
The Matrix (Reboot): 9/1
Do we need more Matrix films? 1999’s The Matrix is now considered sci-fi royalty but some of that shine was taken off after the Wachowskis decided to craft a trilogy, delivering The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, which didn’t live up to the original. The producer of those films, Joel Silver, sort of put cold water on the whole idea last year.
Where there is smoke there is fire, though, and it appears Warner Brothers is interested in rebooting the franchise. It’s currently in the exploratory phase. I can understand why the trilogy raked in $1.8 billion worldwide. The problem is that Keanu Reeves has said he will only do more Matrix films if the Wachowskis are involved. That could hold this up. They’re high-risk for studios, and they have stated that The Matrix was only supposed to be a trilogy.
The film Stargate, directed by Roland Emmerich and starring James Spader and Kurt Russell, was a modest success back in 1994, but it spawned a television series, Stargate-SGI, which grew the franchise’s cult following and spawned two spinoffs of its own.
That success was supposed to turn into a rebooted film franchise with Emmerich at the helm. However, the director went all-in on a sequel to Independence Day, which absolutely bombed at the box office. That probably scared off FOX executives who were interested in a Stargate trilogy. Back in November, Emmerich said that the reboot has been stalled and has been put on the shelf. Well, that doesn’t sound encouraging.