Quick Hits: Elimia Clarke Joins Han Solo, Foster Directing Pooh Adaptation, Leitch Directing Deadpool 2, Bassett Joins Black Panther and Legendary Acquires Dune Rights

Check out some quick hit entries for movie news that broke the past few days.  These stories include Emilia Clarke being cast in the Han Solo prequel, Marc Foster directing live action Winnie the Pooh adaptation, David Leitch to direct Deadpool 2, Angela Bassett joining Black Panther cast and Legendary acquiring the rights to Dune.

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StarWars.com has announced that Emilia Clarke, most well know for her portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, has signed on to play an unknown role in the Han Solo standalone film.  She will be joining Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover who have already been cast as Solo and Lando Calrissian, respectively.  The movie is being directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (LEGO Movie) and is set to arrive in theaters May 25, 2018.  Here’s the official report from StarWars.com:

“Emilia Clarke is heading to a galaxy far, far away — and she’s going to meet Han and Chewie.  Clarke, known for her stirring portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, will join the upcoming untitled Han Solo Star Wars movie. Clarke’s role will round out a dynamic cast of characters that Han and Chewie will encounter on their adventures.”

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Variety is reporting that Marc Foster (World War Z, Finding Neverland) will direct a live action Winnie the Pooh film called Christopher Robin from a screenplay by Alex Ross Perry.   This falls in line with the numerous other reports of live action adaptations of classic Disney animated features, but provides a little twist on the typical Winnie the Pooh story.  In this movie we’ll be watching an adult Christopher Robin.  The following synopsis of the film comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.

“The story centers on Robin, the adult version of the boy who in the A.A. Milne books shares his adventures with the animals of the Hundred Acre Wood. Robin has grown out of the joyful imagination he had as a young boy and is now a businessman who prioritizes work over his wife and daughter. With his home life on the brink, the last thing his life needs is the return of Pooh, who requires his help in finding his friends again. Robin has to find a way to help both sides or risk losing everything he holds dear.”

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A Deadpool film adaptation spent years stuck in development hell despite Ryan Reynolds’ best attempts to get it made.  After finally receiving a moderate budget and off-peak release date, Deadpool surprised everyone by becoming one of the biggest hits of 2016.  A sequel was a sure thing (even being hinted at in a post-credit sequence), but then Tim Miller (the director for the first movie) exited due to creative differences leaving the future of the franchise a bit up in the air.  Now The Hollywood Reporter has announced that David Leitch (John Wick) will be taking over the reigns.

“Leitch, one half of the directing and stunt team behind the John Wick movies, has closed a deal to helm Fox’s Deadpool 2.

The development occurs just weeks after Fox lost Tim Miller as the director to the X-Men spinoff sequel. Miller, who was an integral part of the first Deadpool, which opened in February, exited the project over “creative differences” with star Ryan Reynolds.

Leitch is well versed in action-movie parlance. He made his directorial debut in 2014 co-helming Wick, the Keanu Reeves revenge thriller, with Chad Stahelski. Before that, however, he and Stahelski spent years as stunt coordinators and second unit directors, creating a stunt company named 87eleven.”

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Marvel has announced (courtesy of Deadline) that Angela Bassett (American Horror Story, London Has Fallen) has joined the cast of Marvel’s Black Panther.  Bassett will play Ramonda, the mother of T’Challa (or step-mother in the comics), aka Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman).  While no official synopsis has been released yet, Black Panther is believed to be about Boseman’s T’Challa taking over as king of Wakanda after the death of his father, and Wakanda (traditionally a very isolated nation) having to interact with the outside world.

Here’s a description of the character Ramonda from Marvel Database:

“Ramonda was a woman from South Africa who won the heart of T’Chaka King of Wakanda after his previous wife N’Yami died giving birth to T’Challa. She was surrogate mother to Hunter and T’Challa and with T’Chaka produced a daughter named Shuri. After his father died T’Challa believed Ramonda left Wakanda to be with another man though it turned out she was being held hostage. When T’Challa found out he freed her and welcomed her back to Wakanda.”

Black Pather will be directed by Ryan Coogler (Creed) and also stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Forest Whitaker, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke and Florence Kasumba.  Black Panther is set to arrive in US theaters February 16, 2018.

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Collider is reporting that Legendary has acquired the movie rights to Dune.  Dune is a science fiction classic and widely believed to be one of the most sought after but hardest to obtain properties.  Collider provided a rundown of Dune’s adaptation history to date.

“The 1965 sci-fi epic, which is the first in a long-running series, took home a Hugo Award (which it tied for with Roger Zelazny’s This Immortal) and the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel, and has gone on to become one of the best-selling science fiction novels of all time with more than 12 million copies sold. Alejandro Jodorowsky famously attempted to adapt the property in the mid-70s, and that doomed project has been chronicled in the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune. David Lynch adapted the novel in 1984 with the Kyle MacLachlan-led film of the same name, which has gone on to cult status, but was received at the time as a critical and commercial failure, grossing only $30.9 million for its $45 million budget. Dune also received an Emmy-winning SyFy miniseries back in 2000 from John Harrison.”

Here’s the official synopsis of Dune, courtesy of Collider:

“Set in the distant future, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides whose family accepts control of the desert planet Arrakis. As the only producer of a highly valuable resource, control of Arrakis is highly contested among the noble families. After Paul and his family are betrayed, the story explores themes of politics, religion, and man’s relationship to nature as Paul leads a rebellion to restore his family’s control of Arrakis.”

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