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With Danny Boyle Out, Bond 25 Will Likely Miss 2019 Release Date

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With Trainspotting director Danny Boyle exiting Daniel Craig’s final outing as the legendary super-spy James Bond earlier this week, it now looks like the flick will almost certainly miss its 2019 release date, according to a report from Variety.

The latest rumour is that Boyle turned in a screenplay with his co-writer John Hodge that didn’t meet the approval of producers, nor that of star Daniel Craig. Furthermore, Boyle reportedly clashed with the studio on the casting of the film’s primary antagonist. Now it seems the film’s script will also be chucked out, and EON Productions and MGM Studios will be seeking a new screenwriter as urgently, if not more so, than their requirement for a new director. Bond 25 had been slated to begin filming this December, however if the film is in need of a new script, then chances are it will miss that narrow time-frame – thus delaying the entire project.

This delay is virtually inevitable, with the tightly-controlled, expensive, complex set-pieces the Bond films are known for requiring months of pre-production, planning, stunt-rehearsal, and more. With the franchise’s admirable insistence on still shooting on-location for the majority of its major action beats, any delay in filming – and especially any change in script which could potentially nullify the need for certain planned set-pieces – would wildly throw off the feature’s schedule; certain locations would cease to be available, and others may simply no longer be required. All of which would have a domino effect, cascading into one unavoidable scenario: Bond 25 will have to be pushed back.

Rival studios have suggested that to have any hope of still making the film’s November 9th, 2019 release, Bond 25 would have to begin shooting in January. That gives the film just four months to find a script, secure a director, shore up locations and scout replacements for any lost, block out rehearsals, and to solidify a shooting schedule. Not impossible, but highly unlikely.

Director Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible – Fallout) has had his name reportedly bandied about in recent days within the EON offices, as the auteur made a name for himself working with hurried productions – both the fifth and sixth instalments of the M:I franchise, that he wrote and directed, begun shooting without a completed script. McQuarrie had indicated that he’d hoped his next film would move away from franchise fare, but given that he recently delivered a financial and critical success in the same genre of espionage action-thriller, it’s not hard to imagine EON and MGM already attempting to write the man a very, very large cheque.

Both companies have presently declined to comment.

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Best Popular Category Had ‘Stake Driven Through Its Heart’, But Isn’t Dead Says Oscars President

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John Bailey, the president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (who oversees the Oscars), has spoken candidly about the awards show’s bid to bring in more viewers with a distinct ‘Best Achievement in Popular Film’ award.

You’ll remember it as being the category that suffered a very public and embarrassing controversy in which Academy members openly rejected it earlier in the year, prompting the organisation to ‘temporarily shelve’ their plans until they could conduct a proper review. Speaking at the EnergaCamerimage Film Festival in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Bailey stated that the award had “seemed like a good idea, the board approved it, announced it, but we got a lot of pushback.”

“So the board reconsidered and tabled it – which is not to say that the idea is dead. Even after a stake was driven through its heart, there’s still interest.”

The Academy has a “generous” deal with ABC, who have agreed to fund and air the telecast until 2028. The challenge, in those intervening years, is to somehow save the show from haemorrhaging even more viewers. As Bailey says: “We have another decade, and we’re already starting to deal with the problem. There’s desire to expand the awards to millennials, many of whom do not have TV.”

ABC, who are majority-owned by the Walt Disney Corporation, may take some umbrage with the idea of no longer being the sole home of the Oscars, but one idea that has been repeatedly floating around is to air the telecast on the forthcoming Disney+ streaming service – a more palatable option, perhaps, for younger viewers.

However, when it comes to the concept of new categories that aren’t Best Popular, Bailey was considerably more cagey. Asked if we could see awards for motion-capture, stunt-performers, or achievements in casting, the president said: “A number of different crafts would like to be represented and there are ongoing discussions about creating new branches, but right now we’re trying to reduce the size of the board. However, nothing is written in stone.”

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Pedro Pascal Confirmed To Be Under The Helmet Of The Mandalorian

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Game of Thrones and Kingsman: The Golden Circle actor Pedro Pascal has been officially named as the man under the helmet of the titular bounty hunter of Star Wars: The Mandalorian.

Little is known of the steaming-first live-action series, which will air on Disney+, save for a brief synopsis: “After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic...”

Helmed by showrunner Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Jungle Book), the series recently announced its first crop of directors. Of note to Star Wars die-hards was the news that Dave Filoni, showrunner of fan favourite animated shows Clone Wars and Rebels, would be directing the series’ premiere episode. Meanwhile, Thor: Ragnarok’s beloved eccentric director Taika Waititi will helm an episode, along with Bryce Dallas Howard (daughter of Solo: A Star Wars Story director Ron Howard), Rick Famuyiwa (Hope), and Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones).

In Star Wars canon, the Mandalorians are a fierce race of armoured warriors that exist in tribal ‘families’, and who – until the dawn of the Clone Wars – largely kept out of the way of the rest of the galaxy. Following the devastation of their kind in the galactic civil war their numbers dwindled, until few remain by the time of the new show (roughly seven years after the events of Return of the Jedi, and twenty-three years before The Force Awakens). The race are an integral part of the Star Wars mythos, and even once warred with the Jedi Knights.

Pascal’s involvement had been heavily rumoured for the past month. The Mandalorian is currently awaiting a release date.

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Garfield Animated Feature In The Works From Director Mark Dindal

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A brand new animated Garfield movie, based on the original comic strips, is currently in the works – with Mark Dindal on board to direct.

Dindal, who also helmed The Emperor’s New Groove and Chicken Little for Disney, will adapt from a screenplay by newcomers Paul Kaplan and Mark Torgove.

Creator of Garfield, Jim Davis, has announced that he will be an executive producer on the project. Davis has been open in the past about how the inception of Garfield was always a cynical, calculated move to create an inoffensive, mass-marketable brand of light humour that could be merchandised and franchised in perpetuity. Davis’ ploy was a success, and at the height of his popularity the orange feline appeared in an estimated 2,580 newspapers and journals, with a reported audience of 260 million individual readers.

20th Century Fox, who will not be financing or distributing this new interpretation of the character, previously unleashed Garfield: The Movie on the world in 2004 – a CG/live-action hybrid family ‘comedy’ directed by Peter Hewitt, with Bill Murray as the voice of the titular cat (Murray famously saw that the film had been written by ‘Joel Cohen’ and signed on without having read the script – only to later discover that the feature was not, in fact, penned by one of the famous Coen brothers). Garfield: The Movie was mauled by critics, but grossed $200 million internationally and spawned a sequel in 2006’s Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties.

No release date for the new, wholly-CG animated version, has been announced.

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