News Bits: Wars, Venom, Paddington, Mute, Tusk

Star Wars: Episode VII
Rising actress Christina Chong has reportedly scored unspecified roles in both J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: Episode VII” and Sergio Mimica-Gezzan’s upcoming digital project “Halo: Nightfall”.

Chong is a veteran of British TV, having starred in the likes of “Monroe,” “Line of Duty,” “Whitechapel” and “Doctor Who”. She most recently appeared in “24: Live Another Day.” [Source: Latino Review]

Alex Kurtzman has pretty much confirmed his old partner’s comments from earlier this week that Sony remains undecided about the future of the Spider-Man franchise, namely its spin-offs, at the moment with everything still uncertain:

“Everybody is still figuring it out. It’s all up for grabs, right now. We’re just trying to figure it out. Everything is still on the table, right now. Because it’s a universe outside of the Spider-Man universe, even though it’s connected to it, those movies have to stand on their own. So, we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes.” [Source: Collider]

Ben Whishaw (“Cloud Atlas,” “Skyfall”) is set to replace Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear in the The Weinstein Company’s upcoming live-action meets CG animated feature “Paddington”.

Firth departed a month ago with the statement that the character “simply doesn’t have my voice”. The project is still on track for a Christmas Day release in the United States. [Source: The Daily Mail]

Filmmaker Duncan Jones is currently tackling the lengthy post-production required for the upcoming “Warcraft” film adaptation, but he’s already considering what to do next. The option he favours now? Returning to his dream project “Mute”.

Set in a futuristic Berlin, the story follows a silent bartender is looking for his abducted girlfriend. Jones tweeted earlier this week: “Thinking about what film I want to try and do after Warcraft. May give Mute one more push before I put it on the ‘Don Quixote’ shelf.” [Source: Twitter]

A24 Films has announced a September 19th release date for Kevin Smith’s indie horror thriller “Tusk”. Justin Long and Michael Parks star in the story of a podcast host who travels to Canada in search of his friend who meets an adventurer obsessed with walruses. Johnny Depp, Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez and Ralph Garman make brief appearances. [Source: Twitter]