Weekly news round-up: Deadpool 2; Avatar 5; Statham to fight sharks


by Phil de Semlyen |
Published on

This week, in news: James Cameron loses track of where he was up to, commits to another Avatar movie; a first look at Scarlett Johansson in Ghost In The Shell lands online; Jason Statham agrees to battle a mega-shark; Wade Wilson sneaks into 20th Century Fox's offices and greenlights Deadpool 2.

James Cameron re-ups on Avatar sequels

In a twist on Wesley Snipes’ famous roulette tip in Passenger 57{ =nofollow}, James Cameron is betting on blue. Heavily. This week brought news that he’ll now be now working his Avatar sequels into a five-movie saga, a film more than even the most hardened fan was expecting. Cameron’s faith, rarely misplaced in the past, will see him up to his eyeballs in bioluminescence, thanators and direhorses for most of the next decade. In unrelated news, Sam Worthington’s agent took the rest of the day off.

Deadpool 2 confirmed. Fourth wall unavailable for comment

Bad news, fourth wall: [Wade Wilson will be back for a Deadpool sequel](http://www.empireonline.com/movies/deadpool/ryan-reynolds-gang-officially-returning-deadpool-2/

). The bajillion dollars piled up in the 20th Century Fox coffers from the first movie may qualify this as The Least Surprising Tidings Ever, but this week's CinemaCon revelation did bring formal confirmation that director Tim Miller will be back too. Miller, star Ryan Reynolds and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are all returning to conjure up more meta-mayhem, snarky asides and Merc-fu action sequences. Prepare your eardrums for the Comic-Con victory parade.

Scarlett Johansson is a Ghost In The Shell

Last year delivered casting storms around Gods Of Egypt and Pan. This week it was Scarlett Johansson’s presence in Rupert Sanders' live-action Ghost In The Shell adaptation that had smoke coming out of the internet’s ears. Before you could say You Only Live Twice, the first look at Johansson’s once-Japanese character, a special ops cyborg, in the new take on the beloved manga was greeted with more controversy. The wig probably didn’t help, mind you.

Prepare yourself for Stathnado

Tracy Jordan once advised us to “live every week like it's shark week.” Jason Statham, as you’d expect from the great man, is taking that one step further and living every week like it’s mega-shark week. He’s signed up to star in giant killer fish project Meg, a film that sees him go head to head – possibly literally – with a prehistoric sea creature. Will he be putting his Olympic diving skills to use in some capacity or just punching it to fossil? Check out Steve Alten’s 1997 source novel for clues.

Gary Oldman plays British bulldogs

Following in the doughty footsteps of Brian Cox, Albert Finney, Rod Taylor and Simon York (among many others) in playing Churchill – the great wartime leader, not the nodding dog – will be Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour. Joe Wright’s drama will see Oldman defying Adolf Hitler during the gruelling, Blitzed days of 1940 as the Nazis try to conjure a deal to bring Britain to heel without going to all the bother of invade. Expect Oldman’s bulldog leader to tell Adolf where to stick it, while puffing on huge cigars and growling about how much he likes "the calm little moments before the storm".

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