A breakdown of the biggest movie news headlines from the last week (16 January – 23 January).

First Look at Leslie Grace’s Batgirl (16 January)

Those anticipating the DCEU’s upcoming Batgirl movie were rewarded this week with a first look at Leslie Grace in costume as the character.

Grace shared the snap to Twitter:

Batgirl is currently shooting in Glasgow, and is being directed by Bad Boys For Life duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. The film stars Grace as Barbarba Gordon (AKA Batgirl) alongside JK Simmons’ Police Commissioner Jim Gordon, Michael Keaton’s Batman, and Brendan Fraser’s Garfield Lynns (AKA Firefly, a villainous arsonist).

Batgirl is currently scheduled for release on HBO Max some time in 2022, although no official date has yet been announced.

John Cena And Alison Brie To Star In Action-Comedy Freelance (16 January)

John Cena has long been something of an action star, but recent years have seen him really hone his comedic talents with films such as Vacation Friends and James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. He’s now set to combine the two in Freelance, an action-comedy which will see Cena star alongside Alison Brie.

Taken director Pierre Morel is set to direct the film, which follows an ex-special forces operator (Cena) who takes a job providing security for a journalist (Brie) who sets out to interview a dictator, although the pair soon find themselves in the middle of a military coup.

Filming is scheduled to start later this month in Colombia.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Daniel Radcliffe To Play Weird Al Yankovic (18 January)

One of Hollywood’s most underrated actors has proved himself (yet again) to be one of the most unpredictable performers out there – Daniel Radcliffe is taking on the role of ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic.

Radcliffe will star in upcoming biopic Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, which is due to start shooting soon.

Speaking on Radcliffe’s casting, Yankovic himself said:

“When my last movie UHF came out in 1989, I made a solemn vow to my fans that I would release a major motion picture every 33 years, like clockwork. I’m very happy to say we’re on schedule. And I am absolutely thrilled that Daniel Radcliffe will be portraying me in the film. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for.”

Source: Empire

Robert Pattinson In Talks To Join Bong Joon Ho’s Next Film (19 January)

Following up on his award-winning 2019 thriller Parasite, Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho is in talks to adapt upcoming novel Mickey7 for Warner Bros., and it looks as though he might have his star already, with Robert Pattinson in talks to take the lead role.

Edward Ashton’s novel comes out this spring, and will follow Mickey7, an Expendable – a disposable employee sent to colonize the ice world Niflheim – who regenerates into a new body each time he dies.

More on Bong’s Mickey7 as it develops.

Source: Deadline

Chicken Run Sequel Coming To Netflix (20 January)

Netflix have released details on the long-awaited sequel to Chicken Run – including its official title and cast.

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget will release on Netflix in 2023, starring Thandiwe Newton and Zachary Levi as Ginger and Rocky, respectively. The pair replace original voice actors Julia Sawalha and Mel Gibson for the roles, and will be joined by Bella Ramsey (of Game of Thrones and the HBO’s upcoming The Last of Us series), Imelda Staunton, Romesh Ranganathan, and David Bradley.

Dawn of the Nugget‘s official synopsis reads:

“Having pulled off a death-defying escape from Tweedy’s farm, Ginger has finally found her dream – a peaceful island sanctuary for the whole flock, far from the dangers of the human world. When she and Rocky hatch a little girl called Molly, Ginger’s happy ending seems complete. But back on the mainland the whole of chicken-kind faces a new and terrible threat. For Ginger and her team, even if it means putting their own hard-won freedom at risk – this time, they’re breaking in!”

Directed by Sam Fell, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget will come to Netflix in 2023.

Plans For Film Studio In Space Unveiled (20 January)

Image: Space Entertainment Enterprise

The company co-producing Tom Cruise’s upcoming space movie, Space Entertainment Enterprise (S.E.E.), have unveiled their plans to build a production studio (and also, weirdly, a sports arena) in space.

The idea is that they will be built in a new module, named SEE-1, attached to the International Space Station, eventually reaching the point where it can be detached and become its own commercial facility.

Co-founders Dmitry and ELena Lesnevsky said in a statement:

“SEE-1 is an incredible opportunity for humanity to move into a different realm and start an exciting new chapter in space. It will provide a unique, and accessible home for boundless entertainment possibilities in a venue packed with innovative infrastructure which will unleash a new world of creativity. With worldwide leader Axiom Space building this cutting-edge, revolutionary facility, SEE-1 will provide not only the first, but also the supreme quality space structure enabling the expansion of the two trillion-dollar global entertainment industry into low-Earth orbit.”

It certainly seems like an exercise in futility, as it’ll likely make for needlessly difficult working conditions, but we may soon be seeing films that were produced in space. If the project stays on track, it should be up and running before the end of 2024, before separating from the ISS in 2028.

Source: Variety

Live-Action Adaptation of The Aristocats In Production At Disney (20 January)

A live-action adaptation of Disney’s The Aristocats is in early development at the House of Mouse.

It’s reported that Disney are starting work on the adaptation, which is being written by Will Gluck and Keith Bunin, and will be produced by Gluck through Olive Bridge Entertainment.

The 1970 original Aristocats has drawn criticism in recent years, particularly for its depiction of racial stereotypes, with Disney making moves to censor the family favorite last year.

With the live-action adaptation of The Aristocats being in the early stages of development, not much else is currently known about the film. It has been speculated that it will have a similar look to Disney’s 2019 live-action Lady and the Tramp.

Source: Deadline