Last Week(s) in Hollywood: ‘Renfield’, ‘The Toxic Avenger’, ‘Aquaman 2’, ‘Starlight’ & 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.

Chris McKay to Direct Renfield

Chris McKay (The Lego Batman Movie) will now direct Renfield for Universal. He takes over from the previously reported director Dexter Fletcher (Rocketman). Renfield is based on an original story outline from Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) and is scripted by Ryan Ridley.

The film will center on R. M. Renfield, a character introduced in Bram Stoker’s original novel Dracula as a patient at a lunatic asylum with a connection to the bloodsucking count. Deadline reports that McKay won out over a number of directors due to his “ultimate pitch as his ability to balance those [humor and action] in his past projects.”

Jacob Tremblay Joins Toxic Avenger Remake

Jacob Tremblay (Room) is the second actor to board Legendary‘s new Toxic Avenger remake, which is being described as a “contemporary reimagining” of the 1984 cult classic. Tremblay joins Peter Dinklage who is playing the title role.

The Toxic Avenger will follow “a struggling everyman who is pushed into a vat of toxic chemicals and turned into a mutant freak. He then must go from a shunned outcast to underdog hero as he races to save his son, his friends, and his community from the forces of corruption and greed.” Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, the original movie directors, will serve as producers on Legendary’s contemporary reimagining.

Pilou Asbaek in Talks for Aquaman 2 Role

Pilou Asbaek (Euron Greyjoy in Game of Thrones) is in talks to star opposite Jason Momoa in Aquaman 2, according to Deadline. Warner Bros. refused to comment on the potential casting.

Production on the Aquaman sequel is underway, with James Wan returning to direct. No plot details have been released yet. In addition to Momoa, Amber Heard has unfortunately confirmed that she will be back for the sequel too.

Joe Cornish to Direct Starlight

Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) will direct Starlight for 20th Century Studios. The film will be an adaptation of the Mark Millar comic of the same name. The comic’s synopsis is as follows: “Forty years ago, Duke McQueen saved an alien world from destruction. Back on earth, nobody believed his story. Now his kids are grown, his wife has passed on, and life has little to offer. Until the day a strange boy from the world he once saved makes an appearance, coaxing Duke to join him on one last adventure. Can Duke handle the leap from has-been to hero?”

I’m loving this premise. Millar is usually really good at coming up with great ideas. Unfortunately, instead of selling them to Hollywood he develops them into meh comics that then end up becoming fun movies. I’ll probably skip reading the Starlight comics and just dive straight into the film version whenever it comes out.

Oscar Nunez Boards The Lost City of D

Oscar Nunez (The Office) has been cast in The Lost City of D, a romantic action comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum. No word yet on who Nunez will be playing.The casting reunites Nunez with Bullock; they worked together in the 2009 rom-com The Proposal.

The Paramount film centers on “a romance novelist (Bullock), who gets stuck on a book tour with her cover model (Tatum). Straight out of a novella, a kidnapping attempt sweeps them both into a cutthroat jungle adventure, proving that life can be much stranger — and more romantic — than fiction.”

Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern to Star in The Son

Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern will star in The Son, the next film from Florian Zeller (The Father). It will be an adaptation of his stage play of the same name. Variety has word on who Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern will be playing. Jackman will play “Peter, Nicholas’ father, who is busy settling into a life with his new partner Emma and their baby.” Dern will play “Nicholas’ mother, Kate, who brings the teen to Peter in a desperate bid for help dealing with his depression.”

Here’s a synopsis from the play’s production at the West End in London: “Nicolas is going through a difficult phase after his parents’ divorce. He’s listless, skipping school, lying and thinks that moving in with his father and his new family may help. A fresh start. When he doesn’t settle there either, he decides that going back to his mother’s may be the answer. When change feels like the only way to survive, what will he do when the options begin to run out?”

Dave Bautista is the Universe’s Most Wanted

Okay, maybe not exactly, but Dave Bautista is tracking down the Universe’s Most Wanted. Bautista will star in a new action adventure flick directed by Brad Peyton (Rampage), which has recently been acquired by STXfilms. Peyton will direct a script by F. Scott Frazier (xXx: Return of Xander Cage) and Jimmy Loweree.

In Universe’s Most Wanted, “a small town gets a big surprise when a spaceship carrying the universe’s most wanted and dangerous criminals crash lands in their backyard. Soon the sheriff and his son become heroes when they find themselves helping an intergalactic peacekeeper (Bautista) to keep the ragtag group of alien prisoners from escaping and taking over the world.”

No word yet on when this might get released.

Wiig & Mumola Developing Evil Stepsisters Film

Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo (Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar) are doing what everyone does after their film is a huge critical success… they go to Disneyland!

The Oscar-nominated writers will reteam for a live-action untitled Cinderella Evil Stepsisters film at Disney. Sources add that at this time it is unknown whether Wiig and Mumolo would also be starring in the film since it’s so early in development, but even if they were to star it wouldn’t be as the stepsisters (which honestly sounds like a missed opportunity).

The film is “a fairy tale musical comedy that re-imagines the Cinderella classic from the point of view of her infamous evil stepsisters. Spanning their early childhood through the marriage of their universally beloved stepsister and beyond, we follow Anastasia and Drizella Tremaine as they struggle to uphold their family’s legacy.”

Rob Zombie Reinterpretating The Munsters?

Rob Zombie‘s next film might just be a new interpretation of the popular sitcom The Munsters. Bloody Disgusting is hearing, though they haven’t been able to confirm it, that The Munsters is being developed as a Peacock original/exclusive that will open day-and-date in theaters via Universal Pictures/UPHE, similar to what Warner Bros. is doing with HBO Max.

Sheri Moon Zombie and Jeff Daniel Phillips will be playing Lily and Herman Munster in the Rob Zombie-penned film, with the cast also including Richard BrakeDan RoebuckJorge Garcia and Cassandra (Elvira) Peterson. No word on if any of this is true, so wait for an official confirmation from Universal and/or Peacock.

Justin Simien Directing New Haunted Mansion Movie

Justin Simien (Dear White People) is in negotiations with Disney to direct a new Haunted Mansion movie. Katie Dippold (Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, The Heat) wrote the most recent draft of the script for this film, which will be based on the theme park attraction of the same name. Disney apparently liked Simien’s pitch for how he could revitalize the theme park franchise. I’m looking forward to seeing how Simien puts his own twist on the theme park and the titular haunted mansion in question.

Vin Diesel to Star in Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots Movie

Vin Diesel is hoping to launch a new cinematic universe centered on Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. The film is inspired by the classic toy fighting game from Mattel in which two clunky plastic robots punch each other’s heads off. Diesel will produce and star in the film.

Variety reports that Diesel is hoping to “align it with the kind of world-building, franchise-making success we have had with Universal.” So he’s about to Fast and Furious Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots? Okay! Diesel will team with Mattel Films and Universal for the project.

Lionsgate TV Talks The Continental

In an interview with Deadline, Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs revealed plenty of new details regarding the upcoming John Wick television series The Continental at Starz. The series will now consist of three 90-minute episodes and will be a prequel focusing on a young Winston (played by Ian McShane in the movies) and the origins of The Continental, the hotel for assassins.

Beggs revealed that the series will explore “young Winston and how it came to be that he and his team of confederates found their way into this hotel which we have met for the first time in the movie franchise 40 years later.” The prequel will be set in the seventies. Although Keanu Reeves was previously rumored to be making an appearance, he will now only in talks to executive produce. This makes sense as the last thing we need is a teenaged John Wick running around the streets of ’70s NYC.

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?"