Last week had some surprising new developments in current filmmaking.
A John Wick director has set his sights on a giant monster TV series. Another Marvel Cinematic Universe movie has completed filming. A returning director may unearth his original superhero. And some intriguing news regarding China’s continuing efforts of refusing Marvel movies has been revealed. Read on to learn everything that happened this week.
Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Wraps Filming
Director James Gunn has finally returned to the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. After having directed the first two movies, he was rashly fired by Disney after some controversial tweets he apologized for. He then went onto to direct the DC Comics movie “The Suicide Squad” as well as write the spin-off series “Peacemaker”. Disney and Marvel Studios would then hire Gunn back for both a third Guardians of the Galaxy film and a Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special.
The third film, entitled “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”, is well on its way as Gunn recently announced that filming has completed. He made the announcement over Twitter with the following statement next to a slate from the picture:
After over 100 days of shooting & over 3000 shots, this is the slate for the final shot of #GotGVol3, presented to me by the camera crew. It was an easy shot of Rocket seated, 1st with @seangunn, & then nothing there, & took everything in me not to break down sobbing on the spot. pic.twitter.com/pOrTjfab2h
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) May 7, 2022
“After over 100 days of shooting & over 3000 shots, this is the slate for the final shot of #GotGVol3, presented to me by the camera crew. It was an easy shot of Rocket seated, 1st with @seangunn , & then nothing there, & took everything in me not to break down sobbing on the spot.”
He also announced the wrap with a photo of himself with the cast.
And that’s a picture wrap on the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. I love this amazing cast & crew & their beautiful talent & kind souls. I’m a lucky human to have them on the journey with me for nearly a decade. pic.twitter.com/oVQCIfJjuZ
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) May 7, 2022
“And that’s a picture wrap on the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. I love this amazing cast & crew & their beautiful talent & kind souls. I’m a lucky human to have them on the journey with me for nearly a decade.”
Not present in the photo is Zoe Saldana, the actor who plays Gamora. Gunn had an explanation for this.
“(And yes Zoe was with us but the only picture I have with her has an unannounced actor with us!)”
So it seems like “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” will have a special cameo in store. It’s uncertain if it’ll be an entirely new character or a carry-over from another Marvel movie. There could very well be some crossover with the upcoming “Thor: Love and Thunder”, considering that the Guardians of the Galaxy characters will be appearing in that film as well.
We’ll find out who that surprise character is next year when the film makes its theatrical debut on May 5, 2023.
Sam Raimi May Return to Darkman
Sam Raimi is a director who is no stranger to superheroes. Even before his most recent effort of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and his Spider-Man trilogy, he developed his own original superhero in the 1990s. He created the monster anti-hero Darkman, a melting scientist who transforms into a bandaged and enraged crime fighter. The film starred Liam Neeson as the titular hero and there were three lesser sequels that followed.
With Raimi once more becoming notable in superhero cinema for having entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe, now seems like as good a time as any to revive his one original superhero property. The director is currently in talks with Universal to get a Darkman sequel going and it’s apparently already got a producer attached, according to Raimi.
The discussions are not too in-depth at this time as Raimi has been so busy with Doctor Strange. There’s no word yet if Neeson will return to the role, although Raimi has mentioned it might be a cool idea.
Chad Stahelski Directing Kaiju Movie
Chad Stahelski is best known as the director “John Wick” and he’ll soon be dabbling in a different sort of action. Jeremy Robinson‘s “The Nemesis Saga” book series of giant monsters is soon to be adapted into a TV series. And Stahelski will be at the helm.
The series will start by adapting the first book in the series entitled “Project Nemesis”. The series is one of giant monsters but also revenge. Here’s a synopsis from the book that should give you an idea of what you can expect from the series:
“Jon Hudson, lead investigator for the Department of Homeland Security’s Fusion Center-P, thinks his job is a joke. While other Fusion Centers focus on thwarting terrorist activity, Hudson‘s division is tasked with handling paranormal threats to national security, of which there have been zero during his years at the DHS. When yet another Sasquatch sighting leads to a research facility disguised as an abandoned Nike missile site in the backwoods of Maine, Hudson‘s job becomes deadly serious. Hudson and the local Sheriff, Ashley Collins, suddenly find themselves on the run from a ruthless ex-Special Forces security team, but the human threat is short-lived as something very much not-human destroys the facility and heads for civilization, leaving only a single clue behind — a name scrawled in blood: Nemesis.
Working with his team at Fusion Center-P, Sheriff Collins, and a surly helicopter pilot named Woodstock, Hudson pursues the creature known as Nemesis, attempts to uncover the corporate secrets behind its creation and accidental release, and tries to comprehend why several clues lead to a murdered little girl named Maigo. But as the body-count explodes, along with the monster’s size, it quickly becomes clear that nothing short of a full military response can slow Nemesis‘s progress. Coordinating with every branch of the U.S. military, Hudson simultaneously searches for clues about Nemesis‘s origins and motivations, and leads the counterattack that will hopefully stop the monster before it reaches Boston and its one million residents.”
This is yet another project lined up for Chad who already has a full plate. In addition to working on John Wick 4 due out next year, he’s also working on Classified for New Line, Shibumi for Warner Bros, and Ghost of Tsushima for Sony.
No details on when filming will begin as details were quite small coming from Deadline.
China Didn’t Want Statue of Liberty in Spider-Man
There’s been a lot of scruples that big American studios have had to deal with abroad in order to meet the cultural expectations of certain foreign markets. Disney, for example, as attempted to hide gay elements from their films, as with cutting out the brief lesbian kiss shot from “Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker”.
Lately, however, studios have been less inclined to snip out certain elements. One of the more recent Marvel Cinematic Universe films, “The Eternals”, featured one of the male heroes in a same-sex relationship that was not easy to hide. Disney refused to rewrite or cut out this scene, leading to the picture being banned in a few international markets. The same goes for their upcoming animated film “Lightyear”, which also has same-sex coupling that is not being cut out for international markets.
It was recently revealed that the Chinese government had made a request for an altercation of “Spider-Man: No Way Home”, one of the biggest films of late 2021. The edit requested was to completely remove the Statue of Liberty from the climax of the film, which would not be possible since the entire final battle takes place at this iconic location. Sony refused and even though China tried to negotiate by asking Sony to trim some of the Statue of Liberty scenes, Sony said no deal. As a result, China decided not to debut the film.
This follows the recent trend of China not debuting Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and studios refusing to cater to their edits. In fact, the last MCU film to debut in China was 2019’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home”. Due to controversial calls for editing content that were not adhered to, China has had theatrical debuts of “Black Widow”, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”, “The Eternals”, and even the most recent MCU movie “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (for the character of America Chavez having gay parents and an LGBT rights pin).