MOVIE ROUND-UP: Star Trek 2, The Dark Knight Rises, Green Lantern, Richard Linklater’s Bernie, The Muppets

It’s been two years since J.J. Abrams successfully restarted the Star Trek franchise. The 2009 hit proved to be popular with mainstream audiences, and demand for a sequel has been high. The plan was to get the film into theatres for June 2012, but the studio has been forced to delay it until December, as pre-production creeps along. Abrams, who is adding the finishing touches to this summer’s Super 8, is expected to return to the director’s chair, but it isn’t a done-deal. Despite such set-backs, there is now a storyline in place. Screenwriter Robert Orci provided an update on the film: 

“Just been waiting for J.J. to be free to really decide if he likes the story and hear his suggestions before we finish the script. Once he says go, we’ll have it in no time. Meanwhile, our outline is detailed enough (70+ pages!) to do some prep.

In the meetings we’ve had with J.J., he’s already given us amazing input and ideas, and that’s been while he’s been up to his eyeballs in Super 8.”

Little is known about the proposed story, although it is assumed the Klingons will make an appearance. Their fleeting (and deleted) scene from the first film certainly got fans talking:

Anticipation has already hit fever-pitch for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, and it’s over a year away. Warner Bros. have kick-started the viral marketing campaign for the trilogy closer, revealing chief antagonist Bane (Tom Hardy), who looks like the Bat-breaking behemoth he should be. Hardy looks bigger than he was in Bronson, resembling the size of his comic book counterpart to a tee. And I’m loving what Nolan has done with the mask; keeping the series on the right side of reality. Although, it looks like he won’t be shying away from Bane’s use of a super toxin (allowing another appearance from the Scarecrow, perhaps?).

On a related note, it has also been announced that Nolan has cast Matthew Modine and Tom Conti in the film. Modine (pictured) is still best-remembered for his role as Private Joker in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, and it’s great to hear that he’s getting another shot at the big league. Conti is more obscure, but a respected character actor who recently appeared in The Tempest. There is no word on what roles the pair will be playing, although you’d expect Nolan to give them something more substantial than Anthony Michael Hall’s bit-part in The Dark Knight. Come to think of it, Modine would make a decent Edward Nygma.

Speaking of DC Comics on film, Green Lantern is out soon. Warner Bros., terrified over that reaction to the first teaser, have done everything in their power to make the June release seem like a big deal. The third trailer is now online and continues the trend of making the film look better than anyone expected. This is what we should have seen months ago: Epic space shots, thrilling action, and a classy voice-over from Geoffrey Rush. I’m still not sold completely, but my interest is piqued.

Richard Linklater is a filmmaker that I respect tremendously. From his days as an independent savant with Slacker and Dazed and Confused, to his mainstream dabbling with A Scanner Darkly and The School of Rock, Linklater is a director that refuses to repeat himself creatively. His acceptance into the Hollywood elite would be troubling if it wasn’t for the fact that Linklater does things on his own terms.

His new film, a dark comedy called Bernie, reunites him with his School of Rock star Jack Black. If there’s anyone who can resuscitate Black’s career, it’s Linklater. The film is set in his native Texas, and the director has likened the film to Fargo. Black’s titular character is a mortician, and “commits a crime but is still popular within the community, especially with one surly, wealthy widow (Shirley MacLaine).”

The film has no distribution deal yet, but is expected to debut at the Los Angeles Film Festival. We’ll keep you posted on this one.

Last, but not least, is The Muppets. Yeah, they’ve rebooted the classic Jim Henson characters. The film, which stars Jason Segal (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Amy Adams (The Fighter), has been picking up buzz for a while now. Segal co-wrote the script with Marshall director Nicholas Stoller, so there’s every possibility the film could be closer to Henson’s original, adult-friendly vision, as well as a children’s entertainment. The first trailer has been released and it’s a clever bit of misdirection; setting the film up as a rom-com before unveiling a certain frog. The Trailer Guy’s double-take when Kermit shows up is sheer brilliance. It hits UK cinemas 17th February 2012.


About Dave James

Editor-in-Chief @ Film freak, music minion, professional procrastinator.
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1 Response to MOVIE ROUND-UP: Star Trek 2, The Dark Knight Rises, Green Lantern, Richard Linklater’s Bernie, The Muppets

  1. ira says:

    I am looking forward to “Bernie” getting domestic distribution.

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