Weekly news round-up: John Boyega joins Pacific Rim and Fast 8’s cast take a bow

The cast of Fast 8

by Phil de Semlyen |
Published on

This week, in news: Rumours of Steven Soderbergh’s retirement prove premature, Dominic Toretto organises a family photo for Fast 8, China flocks orc-wards as Warcraft storms the box office and it’s John Bo-jaeger in Pacific Rim 2.

Hilary Swank and Katherine Waterston get lucky

With some recent TV credits behind him, Steven Soderbergh’s retirement from filmmaking is drawing to a happy end with his crime movie Logan Lucky taking shape. His latest recruits are Hilary Swank and Katherine Waterston, joining an eclectic and potent-looking cast that already boasts Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum, Katherine Heigl, Adam Driver and Seth MacFarlane. Soderbergh has a 2017 release date planned for the film which follows brothers planning to pull off a heist under the cover of a big NASCAR race. The Killing meets Days Of Thunder, then? Fingers crossed…

Warcraft storms into China

Western critics haven’t warmed to it and audiences have so-far been lukewarm, but Warcraft has been drawing huge crowds in China this week. The significance of this new market to Hollywood was demonstrated by a $90 million box-office take across only two days. Its producer Legendary has rolled up its sleeves and talked it into two-thirds of all cinemas in China… which is a lot of cinemas. Expect a sequel to follow.

The Passion of the Mel

Unless we were misreading the New Testament, things got wrapped up pretty neatly in the story of Christ's Passion. The whole ascent-to-heaven part wasn’t what you’d call exactly sequel-baiting. Still, Mel Gibson hasn’t been put off at least investigating opportunities to extend his Passion Of The Christ into a sequel. There’s 612 million reasons why it idea might appeal – the first movie was a huge hit in 2004 – and Mel’s own filmmaking resurrection is underway with Hacksaw Ridge. The project has miles to go but writer Randall Wallace is eager. "The Passion is the beginning and there's a lot more story to tell,” he said this week.

Say hello to Vin's kin

Fast & Furious' eightquel is underway – engines are running, rubber burning in Cleveland, Iceland, Cuba and the Big Apple – and like the daddy of the group, Vin Diesel gathered together his family for a pic this week. And there’s a few of them. Eleven to be exact, including Jason Statham, Kristofer Hivju, Kurt Russell, Tyrese Gibson, Charlize Theron, Michelle Rodriguez, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Scott Eastwood and Dwayne Johnson and Diesel himself. Head to the story and then to Vin’s Instagram page for a closer look.

John Boyega will star in Pacific Rim 2

On-again, off-again, Pacific Rim 2 is finally clanking into gear without Guillermo del Toro (at least in a directorial capacity) but, as of this week, with John Boyega. The Star Wars actor will be swapping X-wings for Jaegers as newbie director Steven S. DeKnight recommences humanity’s desperate battle with a scaly array of kaiju bastards. "The Pacific Rim universe will be reinforced with [John] as a leading man as it continues to be a multicultural, multi-layered world,” says del Toro, now producer of the franchise. "‘The World saving the world’ was our goal and I couldn't think of a better man for the job.” Read more about the tantalising [Idris Elba/John Boyega team up](http://www.empireonline.com/people/john-boyega/idris-elba-pacific-rim-guillermo-del-toro-john-boyega/

) as cinema's coolest father-and-son pair.

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