Last Week(s) in Hollywood: ‘Merlin’, ‘The Mother’, ‘Batgirl’, ‘The Continental’ & More

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.

Michael Matthews to Direct Merlin

Michael Matthews (Love & Monsters) is set to direct Disney’s Merlin, an adaptation of T.A. Barron’s novel series. The film is still in early development, but will follow “a young Merlin who goes on to become the mentor of the classic literary character King Arthur.”

Jesse Garcia and Yvonne Senat Jones Join The Mother

Jesse Garcia (The Starling) and Yvonne Senat Jones (Ruthless) have joined the cast of The Mother, an upcoming Netflix action movie. They join previously announced cast members Jennifer Lopez, Joseph Fiennes, Omari Hardwick, Gael García Bernal, Paul Raci, and Lucy Paez.

Niki Caro (Mulan) will direct The Mother, which centers on “a deadly female assassin who comes out of hiding to protect the daughter that she gave up years before, while on the run from dangerous men.” Misha Green (Lovecraft Country) penned the original screenplay while Peter Craig handled recent revisions.

Jacob Scipio Cast in Batgirl

Jacob Scipio (Bad Boys for Life) has been cast in an undisclosed role in Batgirl. The news comes just days after DC FanDome where the first concept art for the film was released.

Deadline also confirmed that J.K. Simmons will be reprising his role as Commissioner Gordon, father of Leslie Grace’s Barbara Gordon / Batgirl. This means the film will be rooted firmly in the DC Extended Universe. The film will be released on HBO Max as an exclusive original film.

Mel Gibson Boards The Continental & Hot Seat

Mel Gibson is set to star in The Continental, the three-night special-event TV series prequel to the John Wick film series. Gibson will play a character named Cormac.

The Continental will explore “the origin behind the hotel-for-assassins through the eyes and actions of a young Winston Scott, who is dragged into the Hell-scape of a 1975 New York City to face a past he thought he’d left behind. Winston charts a deadly course through the New York’s mysterious underworld in a harrowing attempt to seize the iconic hotel, which serves as the meeting point for the world’s most dangerous criminals.” It will air on Starz.

Deadline reports that Gibson is also set to star in Hot Seat, a thriller set to begin production in November. James Cullen Bressack will direct. In Hot Seat, “an ex-hacker is forced to break into high-level banking institutions by an anonymous man who planted a bomb under his chair at his office.” Gibson plays “the man who must try to penetrate the booby-trapped building to get the young man off the hot seat.”

Boy Kills World Adds Samara Weaving

Samara Weaving (Ready or Not) has joined the cast of Boy Kills World alongside Bill Skarsgård (It) and Yayan Ruhian (The Raid: Redemption). German filmmaker Moritz Mohr makes his feature directorial debut on the film that was written by Arend Remmers (Sløborn) and Tyler Burton Smith (Kung Fury: The Movie). Sam Raimi is on board as a producer.

Boy Kills World is currently in pre-production to shoot in South Africa. It will follow “the protagonist (Skarsgård), a deaf and nonverbal man with an overactive imagination. After his family is murdered, he escapes to the jungle and is trained by a mysterious shaman (Ruhian) to control his imagination and become the ultimate assassin.

Millicent Simmonds Cast as Helen Keller

Millicent Simmonds (A Quiet Place) will play famed author, educator, and disability rights advocate Helen Keller in Helen & Teacher. Joining her will be Rachel Brosnahan as Anne Sullivan, Keller’s “committed yet controlling translator and companion.” Wash Westmoreland (Still Alice) will direct the upcoming biographical film.

According toThe Hollywood Reporter, Simmonds is a distant cousin of Keller. The screenplay was written by Westmoreland and Laetitia Mikles, who reportedly wrote it in consultation with the Helen Keller National Center for Youth and Adults. The story is “set during the early 1900s, following Keller’s tumultuous time at Radcliffe College of Harvard University, when her rapidly expanding worldview and sexual awakening brings her into direct conflict with the more conservative Sullivan.”

Jennifer Lawrence to Star in R-Rated Comedy

Sony is closing a deal for No Hard Feelings, an upcoming R-rated comedy set to star Jennifer Lawrence. Gene Stupnitsky (Bad TeacherGood Boys) will direct from a screenplay he wrote with John Phillips. Sony will provide a theatrical release for the comedy.

Anthony Hopkins Joins The Son

Anthony Hopkins has reteamed with his The Father director Florian Zeller for The Son. In a press statement (via The Hollywood Reporter), Zeller said:

“After our journey on The Father, I couldn’t make another film without Anthony … He was the first one to read The Son‘s script, as one of its characters was written especially for him. Having him by our side to tell this new story has been an honor, a profound joy and very emotional.”

Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby, and Zen McGrath are also part of the cast for The Son, which recently finished filming in London. Zeller has confirmed that The Son will follow a family dealing with divorce and its effect on the family’s children.

David Gordon Green to Direct Film About Disneyland

Deadline reports that David Gordon Green (Halloween Kills) is set to direct “a movie about Walt Disney’s journey to building Disneyland.” The original Disneyland in Anaheim, California, opened in 1955 and was the only park directly overseen by Walt Disney during his lifetime.

The project is set up at Disney as a future Disney+ original film. Evan Spiliotopoulos (live-action Beauty and the Beast) will write the script.

Tilda Swinton Joins Fincher’s The Killer

Tilda Swinton has joined The Killer. The upcoming Netflix movie will be directed by David Fincher from a script by Andrew Kevin Walker (Seven). Production is slated to begin shooting sometime in 2022.

The Killer is an adaptation of Alexis Nolent‘s graphic novel series of the same name, which follows “a cold-blooded assassin (Michael Fassbender) who begins to have a psychological crisis in a world with no moral compass.”

That’s it for last couple of weeks. 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?"