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MOVIE CHEAT SHEET: Batman delay and Orson Welles' big comeback

Brian Gasparek, 24 Hours Toronto

Ben Affleck as Batman in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. (Clay Enos/ TM & © DC Comics)

Ben Affleck as Batman in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. (Clay Enos/ TM & © DC Comics)

THE BIG STORY: Orson Welles’ comeback

Who says that just because film legend Orson Welles passed away 32 years ago, we can’t get one last great film from him? The coolest story that surfaced from Hollywood this week was that Netflix has officially purchased rights to finish Orson Welles’ last film, The Other Side of the Wind. Netflix will pick up the tab to complete  the film (which Welles started working on in 1970) and distribute it. Two of Welles’ early collaborating pals, Peter Bogdanovich and Frank Marshall, “will oversee editing based on handwritten notes that Welles left behind and their own memory of the production.” Pretty rad, huh? Believe it or not, it was said that The Other Side of the Wind (a story which Orson swore wasn’t autobiographical, despite perfectly mirroring his life in the ’70s) was intended to be Welles’ comeback movie and a film that would overshadow the success and importance of Citizen Kane. Not exactly a small feat. Although it’s highly unlikely that The Other Side of the Wind will trump Kane’s greatness, it’s beyond awesome that we’re going to have the opportunity to critique it.

I’m excited. 

FLICK HITS: Matrix reboot? No thanks. 

Dust off your black trench coats, butt-hugging leather outfits and dated sunglasses. The Matrix is getting a reboot. Gag. Warner Bros. is gearing up to give their 1999 classic a completely unnecessary redo. Word has it that the reboot will be written by X2 scribe Zak Penn, with Michael B. Jordan slated to star in “the Neo role.” Sigh. Come on, Warner. Nobody ever gave a crap about anything in the Matrix universe beyond the first film. We’ve never needed more of it. The Matrix stands alone in film history as a visual groundbreaker and that’s how it should be left. More Matrix of any sort is the last thing we need. 

Rihanna & Driver: The Musical 

… Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the last thing we need is a dramatic musical starring Adam Driver and Rihanna. Amazon studios is pushing out Annette, a musical drama that will be directed by French filmmaker Leos Carax, with script and tunes written by art-rock band Sparks. And they seriously want to use the vocal pairing of Adam Driver and the wretched-on-film Rihanna. Ideas shouldn’t be this awful. 

Dame Helen gets what she wants

If you’re like me, and still wondering how the hell Dame Helen Mirren ended up in the upcoming Fast & Furious sequel, 

The Fate of the Furious, the answer is ridiculously simple. She apparently tapped Vin Diesel on the shoulder at a swanky Hollywood party and asked if she could join. 

“She came up to me at a party last year and said, ‘I want to be in Fast & Furious with you,’” said Diesel. “The script was [already] greenlit, but she told the right person, because a week later she got written in.” Just a reminder, I’m totally not against this. 

The Batman is a long way off

The reconstruction of the upcoming Batman flick, The Batman, has officially turned into an overhaul. In addition to learning that fantastic new director Matt Reeves won’t be starting pre-production on the film until this fall (when he’s done commitments to War for the Planet of the Apes), it was just revealed the film’s script is now being rewritten from scratch. This means that production won’t start until at least 2018, with a theatrical release in 2019, at the earliest. This sounds like awful news on the surface, but it’s really for the best. Let’s encourage Warner Bros. to save this franchise with a strong comeback flick. They’re headed in the right direction!

BEST AND WORST IN THEATRES:

Exquisitely Decent: Beauty and the Beast

If you were hoping that Bill Condon’s live-action Beauty and the Beast would elevate Disney’s most classic tale and outshine the beloved original, I’m sorry to let you down. Condon’s flick follows the 1991 animated version to a tee. But don’t be discouraged. Critics are saying that Beauty and the Beast looks incredible, the cast is charming and the music is excellent. It’s a solid tribute to its source material and is guaranteed to give you all of the warm fuzzies that you’re seeking. No matter what we think of the flick, Disney is guaranteed to be poppin’ bottles. Beauty and the Beast is already set to rake in over $200 million bucks globally this weekend alone. That’s some serious dough.

Reel Talk:

“It’s said that 50% of the director’s work is casting. If I’d just take [David] Fincher’s (amazing) casting, I wouldn’t be doing half of my job.”  — Director Fede Álvarez on replacing Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig in the upcoming Girl With The Dragon sequel, The Girl In The Spider’s Web. I don’t like it.