Last Week in Hollywood: Max Minghella Directing Horror Satire ‘Shell’; Zendaya Shot a Secret Movie During Coronavirus; Casting for ‘Scenes From a Marriage’, ‘Man & Witch’, ‘Queenpins’

There’s a lot of breaking news in Hollywood happening every minute. In the age of the blockbuster, it’s easy for some smaller movie and television news to slip through the crack. Last Week in Hollywood is our new weekly series highlighting all the interesting news from the last week that we thought didn’t warrant its own post, but was still worth mentioning. It’s less personal opinions and more a hearty roundup of what you might have missed.

Max Minghella to Direct Shell

Actor Max Minghella (The Social Network) is set to direct his second feature for HBO Max, a horror satire titled Shell. Deadline reports that Minghella is attached to direct Shell, “a satirical horror tale with sci-fi elements, set in the health and beauty industry.” Jack Stanley, who was once tapped to write a sequel to Chronicle, wrote the screenplay.

Zendaya and John David Washington Shot a Movie During Coronavirus

So during the initial stages of the current pandemic, Zendaya thought to herself, “Let’s make a movie!” She contacted Sam Levinson who wrote and directed the secret movie which also stars John David Washington. Titled Malcolm & Marie, the film gained the approval of the Writers Guild of America, Directors Guild of America, and the Screen Actors Guild due to the quality of safety for the production.

The script was written in six days. The film was shot between June 17-July 2 at the Caterpillar House, an environmentally conscious glass architectural marvel in Carmel, CA. The film will tackle numerous current social issues and it is apparently similar in tone to last year’s Marriage Story.

HBO Developing Scenes From a Marriage American Remake

HBO is developing a limited series remake of Scenes From a Marriage, the 6-episode Swedish television series directed by Ingmar Bergman in the 1970s. Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea) are set to star in the remake, which will be written, produced, and directed by Hagai Levi (The Affair).

Variety had the initial report. It states the series will “re-examine the [Swedish version’s] depiction of love, hatred, desire, monogamy, marriage and divorce through the lens of a contemporary American couple.” The original 6-episode drama covered a ten year period in the marriage between Marianne and Johan. A year after it aired it was edited into a feature film. Could HBO end up doing the same thing here for some awards love? I think Isaac is one of the most talented actors working today, so I will definitely be checking this out whenever it is released.

Man & Witch Aims to Be an ’80 Fantasy Homage

Tami Stronach (The NeverEnding Story), Sean Astin (The Goonies), and Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) are set to star in Man & Witch, a “heartwarming homage to the sci-fi/fantasy films of the ’80.” That’s certainly the right cast to unite for an ’80s homage film.

Additionally, the Jim Henson Creature Shop will design practical puppets for the movie’s talking sheep, goose, and dog. The Hollywood Reporter had the scoop. Greg Steinbruner (Stronach’s husband) will make his screenwriting debut with script. Rob Margolies (She Wants Me) will direct. Rhea Perlman (Cheers) and Michael Emerson (Lost) round out the cast.

Production is expected to begin sometime in late fall in the New York tri-state area. I always love seeing Lloyd pop up in new films, so this is definitely on my radar.

Queenpins Adds Vince Vaughn & Paul Walter Hauser

Vince Vaughn and Paul Walter Hauser have joined Leslie Jones and Kristen Bell in the counterfeiting comedy Queenpins. Husband and wife team Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly are writing and directing the true story film about the “largest coupon counterfeit in the history of the U.S.”. The plot states “when two suburban housewives stumble upon a way to make a little money with fake coupons, they soon find themselves in over their heads as their scheme grows to a $40M criminal venture.”

Dylan O’Brien Joins Viggo Mortensen in The Greatest Beer Run Ever

The Greatest Beer Run Ever has added Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner) to star opposite Viggo Mortensen (Hidalgo) in Peter Farrely‘s follow-up to Green Book. Variety says that Dylan O’Brien is currently in negotiations to join the film, which is based on the book of the same name by John “Chick” Donohue and J. T. Molloy. The book tells the true story of Donohue’s attempt to track down his friends in the Army while they were still fighting in Vietnam and bring them some beer. It’s the ultimate “crack open a cold one with the boys” story!

Brian Currie and Pete Jones will co-write the script with Farrelly. I think this has the potential to be the right mixture of heartwarming drama and laugh-out-loud comedy. Oh, and it will probably garner some awards attention if it ends up being good. I like both actors, so I’m in.

Josh Cooley to Direct Little Monsters For Universal

Another day, another new Universal Monsters project is announced. This time Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley is set to helm an all-ages approach to the classic monsters titled Little Monsters. The project is being  described as “a live-action hybrid monster feature” that’s also “a love letter to classic Hollywood and the history of filmmaking with a story that takes a multi-generational approach to the monsters.”

THR states Cooley will write and direct the project, which is based on the artistic outlines and character designs of concept artist Crash McCreery which “takes cues from the studio’s rich almost 100-year history of monster movies.”

As much as I’ve been digging the recent updates regarding the Universal Monsters, I can’t help but wonder if Universal is going Full Sony in announcing so many projects at once. The Invisible Man was one of the best movies of 2020 (so far), but that’s just one film. I don’t want these standalone projects to begin to fail because Universal couldn’t properly manage all of them being in development at once. I know for sure a couple will not make it out of development hell. I just hope it’s the stupid films centered on characters like Renfield and not Dracula or Frankenstein.

That’s it for last week. What projects mentioned are you interested in seeing once completed? Tell us down in the comments!

Author: Marmaduke Karlston

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute Doc, uh, are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?"