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James Mangold in Early Talks to Direct ‘Swamp Thing’ for DC Studios

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Plans have begun to formulate for James Gunn and Peter Safran’s slate of DC Studios films, with filmmaker James Mangold in early talks to take on “Swamp Thing.”

Sources tell Variety that Mangold is a longtime fan of the DC Comics supernatural hero and approached Gunn and Safran with his idea for the forthcoming project.

Of course, Mangold is a comic book veteran after writing, directing and executive producing the R-rated superhero movie “Logan,” the third “Wolverine” film starring Hugh Jackman, which is regarded as the pinnacle of the “X-Men” movie franchise. However, the filmmaker has a particularly busy dance card, with “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” set to hit theaters in May and Searchlight’s Bob Dylan biopic “A Complete Unknown,” starring Timothée Chalamet, up next.

News of Mangold’s interest in “Swamp Thing” comes just 24 hours after Gunn and Safran announced the first 10 film and TV titles within the rebooted DC Universe on Tuesday morning. The co-chiefs explained that these films make up Chapter 1 of the DCU, which they are calling “Gods and Monsters.”

During the presentation, Safran said that the film will “investigate the dark origins” of the DC Comics character through the prism of horror.

“This is a much more horrific film, but we’ll still have Swamp Thing interact with the other characters,” Gunn added, making a reference to the introduction of Rocket Raccoon to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the “Guardians of the Galaxy films. “That mashup quality,” of having that character interacting with live-action players like Thor, he explained, ended up working out beautifully.

On Tuesday evening, following the project’s official announcement, Mangold posted an image of Swamp Thing to Twitter and Gunn retweeted the post, which got comic book fans buzzing that a collaboration might be in the works.

Swamp Thing was created by writer Len Wein and horror artist Bernie Wrightson (whose artwork is featured in Mangold’s tweet) and first appeared in a standalone story in 1971’s “House of Secrets No. 92,” followed by a popular run under Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette and John Totleben in the 1980s. The DC Comics character first appeared on the big screen in 1982’s “Swamp Thing,” directed by horror master Wes Craven, and most recently headlined a short-lived series created by Gary Dauberman and Mark Verheiden for the DC Universe streaming service in 2019. He also appeared in Season 3 of HBO Max’s animated series “Harley Quinn,” as a vegan, health-nut voiced by Sam Richardson.

The Hollywood Reporter was first to report news of Mangold’s involvement in the project. Warner Bros. did not comment on the reports.

Mangold is repped by WME, Entertainment 360, and Sloane Offer.

Additional reporting by Adam B. Vary.



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TCM Sets Warner Bros. 100th Anniversary Program Slate Including 10 Restored Classic Films

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Warner Bros. will commemorate its 100th anniversary with a block of programming on Turner Classic Movies starting April 1.

TCM will broadcast remastered and newly restored versions of 10 classic Warner Bros. films, each featuring an introduction from a filmmaker or film expert culled from the network’s ongoing partnership with the Film Foundation, a non-profit preservation and exhibition organization. The program coincides with the April 13-16 run of the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood.

On April 13, a new 4K restoration of 1959’s “Rio Bravo,” Howard Hawks’ classic western starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson and Angie Dickinson, will premiere on TCM and serve as the opening night film of the festival. Dickinson will attend the in-person event, while Martin Scorsese will introduce the film on TCM’s small-screen presentation. Similarly, Warner Bros. will premiere a new 4K restoration of Elia Kazan’s “East of Eden,” starring James Dean, on both the big screen and the network, the latter featuring an introduction by filmmakers Wes Anderson and Joanna Hogg.

Other films planned for broadcast on TCM include “Land of the Pharaohs” and “Storm Warning” (both introduced by Scorsese), “Rachel, Rachel” (introduced by Ethan Hawke), “Safe in Hell” (by Alexander Payne), and “A Lion is in the Streets,” introduced by Daphne Dentz and Robyn Sklaren of the Warner Bros. Discovery Library.

TCM additionally plans to program trailers, archival interviews, documentaries and other ephemera from Warner Bros., complementing festival programs such as “Looney Tunes at the Oscars” and “Warner Bros. Coming Attractions,” panels exploring the studio’s extensive history.



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Jeff Goldblum Addresses His Jurassic Park Costar’s Cancer Diagnosis

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Jurassic Park star Jeff Goldblum has addressed his costar Sam Neill’s diagnosis of stage 3 blood cancer. Goldblum portrayed mathematician Dr. Ian Macolm in the first Jurassic Park film opposite Neill’s paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant. He returned to his role as Ian in The Lost World: Jurassic Park and in Jurassic World: Dominion, the latter of which saw him reunite with Neill in the franchise for the first time since Spielberg’s original film.


Speaking with Evening Standard, Goldblum opened up about Neill’s diagnosis of stage 3 blood cancer, which the Jurassic Park actor revealed in his recent autobiography. He quietly spoke about Neill’s remission, hopeful that the actor would recover soon. Read what Goldblum had to say below:

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

“He shared it with us early on. He’s been in constant touch with me and, well, he looks fantastic, he sounds great. Hopefully, he’s as healthy as a horse now. I just adore him.”


How Jeff Goldblum & Sam Neill’s Jurassic Park Roles Defined Them

Having starred in Jurassic Park in 1993, Goldblum and Neill have continued to be friends since taking their roles in the dinosaur franchise. During the production of Jurassic World: Dominion and while dealing with the Covid pandemic, the duo began singing and posting cover songs online. The pair are good friends, which makes Goldblum’s well wishes for Neill’s recovery process all the more heartwarming.

Goldblum and Neill are also the only actors whose Jurassic Park characters visited Isla Sorna on the big screen. Ian Malcolm went to Site B in The Lost World: Jurassic Park to document the dinosaurs, while Alan Grant visited the island in Jurassic Park III after being hired to find a lost boy. Their return in subsequent Jurassic Park sequels underscores their roles as the heart of the franchise, made all the more prominent because of their reunion in Jurassic World: Dominion.

Thankfully, Neill’s cancer has been in remission for the last eight months, indicating the treatment he went through has been working to save his life. The talented actor is already filming a new project as well, having reassured his fans in an Instagram post earlier this week that he is doing well. Goldblum’s concern for his friend is one of many well wishes the Jurassic Park star has received as he continues to recover from his diagnosis.

Source: Evening Standard

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Vanessa Hudgens Sets Philippines Travel Documentary Exploring Her Family’s Asian Heritage

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Vanessa Hudgens, the Asian American actor whose career kicked off in Disney’s “High School Musical” series, is set to shoot a travel documentary in the Philippines, the country of her mother’s birth.

The untitled project will shoot in Palawan and Manila in March. Paul Soriano is attached as a director, producer and executive producer. Mark A. Victor of TEN17P will also serve as executive producer. No distributor, broadcaster or streaming platform has yet been disclosed.

Soriano’s recent credits include directing the 2019 film “Mañanita” and Manny Pacquiao biopic “Kid Kulafu.”

The documentary is said to showcase the relationship between Hudgens and her Filipino mother, Gina, who emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 25, as well as Hudgens’ sister, Stella.

Since “High School Musical,” Hudgens has notched up key roles in “Spring Breakers”, “Gimme Shelter,” “Bad Boys for Life,” and the Oscar-nominated Lin-Manuel Miranda-directed musical “Tick, Tick …Boom!” Hudgens executive produced and starred in the film “The Knight Before Christmas” and all three installments of “The Princess Switch” series for Netflix. Hudgens is next set to star in the upcoming films “French Girl” and “Bad Boys 4.”

“I feel like ours is such a relatable story to so many women all over the world,” Hudgens said in a statement announcing the documentary. “The more that we can share, the more we can lift each other up.”

“We are honored to work with Vanessa for this film project. It’s inspiring to note that with everything she has achieved in life, she wants to discover her Filipino roots and pay homage to her mother’s country. Hopefully, this opens doors for many more collaborations to come,” said Soriano in a statement.

Soriano previously produced “A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery” (2016), which won a special film award at the Berlin International Film Festival, and “Transit” in 2013, which was selected as the Philippines’ entry for the foreign language film category at the Academy Awards. He is also a presidential creative adviser to the Philippines’ government.

Hudgens is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment, the Lede Company and Ziffren Brittenham.



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