– Acclaimed Harry Potter author J K Rowling will make her screenplay debut penning a script for spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Rowling originally released a book of this name a number of years ago for Comic Relief, but has now turned the idea into a script. The principal character will be Newt Scamander, author of the fictional Fantastic Beasts in the Harry Potter books. Rowling has been clear to point out that while it is set in the wizarding world it is not a prequel or sequel to the original Harry Potter films.
– With newsbites on Star Wars Episode VII few and far between at the moment, Disney has instead announced some details concerning their spin-offs. It has been revealed that these will take the form of origin stories for some of the more popular characters whose back story is little known. Among those thought to be featured are Boba Fett, Yoda and Han Solo. We’re smelling the milk of a cash-cow but origin stories could see the potential for some interesting plotlines.
– Warner Bros. have announced who will be the voice of Paddington Bear…and it may not be who you would expect. Colin Firth will voice the titular character, heading a British cast including Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters and Hugh Bonneville, as well as Nicole Kidman playing an evil taxidermist. The film is due in November next year.
– Insidious Chapter Two has set new September box office records on its opening weekend, taking just over $41 million. That is a record for a live-action release in September, and is one of the highest opening grossing for any supernatural horror film ever.
– Justin Bieber has been stirring up comic book fans with the suggestion he could be in Batman Vs Superman. The singer posted a picture on Instagram with a watermarked copy of the script for the Man of Steel sequel with a hashtag of #robin. Some are claiming the picture’s ‘enhanced’ look suggests it has been doctored and may or may not be real. All we know is that the casting of Bieber would probably ruin comic books and the film industry for ever. That’s to put it mildly…
– The Golden Globes awards ceremony is set to reward Woody Allen for his achievement to cinema with the prestigious Cecil B DeMille award, effectively a reward for his contribution to cinema and film-making.
– After much speculation, Guy Ritchie has finally found a villain for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Italian actor Luca Calvani has accepted the role, playing an unforgiving heir of a smuggler of Nazi gold.
– Pirates of the Caribbean 5 looks set to be shelved for another year. Originally expected in 2015, it now looks more likely to have a 2016 release date. In a suitably vague statement Jerry Bruckheimer suggested it was because the script wasn’t ready and they want to make the film as good as it can be, a line used mere weeks ago by the team behind Jurassic Park 4. The working title is thought to be Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
– And finally in related Jurassic Park news, Universal has announced the new film will be known as Jurassic World and will be released in summer 2015. No details of the plot have been announced, largely due to the re-writes still taking place.