Fast 8, Marvel, and video-game movies make news

Charlize Theron Joins Fast 8

The Fast and Furious franchise has been picking up speed with recent installments. After the tragic loss of Paul Walker, director James Wan delivered Furious 7 with poise and respect, without sacrificing the ramped up action recent installments have given us. Jason Statham’s “Ian Shaw” character has been captured, so the door is open for a new baddie to take over. Straight Outta Compton and The Italian Job director F. Gary Gray has taken over to helm the next film, Fast 8, and Charlize Theron has been brought on to give Vin Diesel and the rest of the “family” some new challenges. Her official role has not been announced yet, but, in a series that trumpets the importance of family and friends, it would not be a surprise if Theron’s character has some relation to Statham’s.

Uncharted Film Hits The Skids

I wrote an article a while back about the emergence of video games getting the big screen treatment and the plethora of titles coming down the pipe. With video game stories becoming more intricate, characters having deeper backgrounds, worlds becoming more detailed and beautiful, and gameplay becoming more cinematic, it is no surprise studios are lining up to create new big budget franchises from these fan favorites. Assassin’s Creed is the first major title coming to theaters. Coming to theaters on Dec. 21, the film stars Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs, X-Men series). In the end, though, we are still talking about Hollywood, where anything can happen and good stories can be halted for any reason.

One of the most popular and anticipated titles is Uncharted. Game developer Naughty Dog has been working with Sony Pictures to develop the script, but game director Neil Druckmann had some disappointing words on the subject at a recent event for the new Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. In an interview with IGN, Druckmann said: “Every once in a while they'll come in and they'll present to us: here's the script, here's what we're thinking. We'll tell them what we think works, what we think doesn't work…but we haven't seen anything in a while.”

"Our approach is just to steer them back to those relationships," Druckmann added. "The most important part to get right is Nathan Drake, Nathan Drake's relationship with Elena and Nathan Drake's relationship with Sullivan. If you don't get that right, I don't think the film's going to work. If you get that core right, there's a chance it could work."

It is unclear what the hold up is regarding the film, but if the studio is wholeheartedly dedicated to getting the character of Nathan Drake correct, that may take some time and shows the studio cares about delivering a film fans will appreciate. Uncharted is currently slated to hit theaters on June 30, 2017.

Marvel Characters Set to Cross-Over in Spider-Man Series

It has been over a year since Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures announced their historic partnership to “share” the Spider-Man character on the big screen. After audiences buried The Amazing Spider-Man series under harsh reviews, Sony restructured their schedule, hired young actor Tom Holland, and partnered with superhero film juggernaut Marvel to revive the web-slinger’s cinematic story. We have gotten short glimpses of Holland as Spider-Man in the trailer for Captain America: Civil War but does the door swing both ways? Will Marvel characters appear in future Spider-Man movies? In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed, “(Spider-Man) is in the universe now, and the fun of the universe is that characters go back and forth.” Sony has set their Spider-Man solo film for release on July 7, 2017 with Jon Watts (Cop Car) directing with Feige and former Sony executive Amy Pascal taking on producing roles. The film is written by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (Horrible Bosses) and stars Tom Holland and Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei as Aunt May.