Quick News: October 19th 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
One notable absentee from the recent trailer for Rian Johnson’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” was that of Laura Dern’s Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. Today, a new image of the actress as the pink-haired Resistance leader has arrived courtesy of Dern herself who showed it off on an episode of Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show this week. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is set to open on December 15th. [Source: Ellen]

The Meg
Warner Bros. Pictures has revealed that they have retitled Jon Turteltaub’s prehistoric shark thriller “Meg” to “The Meg”. Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Cliff Curtis, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose and Masi Oka lead the cast of the thriller which opens August next year.

Statham plays an expert deep sea rescue diver recruited by a visionary Chinese oceanographer to save the crew of an undersea observation program from the unstoppable threat known as a Megalodon – a pre-historic 75-foot-long shark. [Source: Bloody Disgusting]

The Croods 2
DreamWorks Animation has set Joel Crawford (“DreamWorks Trolls Holiday”) to make his feature directorial debut on “The Croods” sequel. In a statement from the studio, it has also been revealed that Leslie Mann could potentially lend her voice to the project. [Source: DWA]

“Feud: Bette and Joan” writers Michael Zam and Jaffe Cohen are teaming for a biopic about Oscar-winning “Gone with the Wind” actress Vivien Leigh. David A. Stern, Tim MacReady and Mira Vucevic will produce.

The pair will adapt Hugo Vickers’ biography on the actress, with the focus on her work, her dealings with bipolar disorder and tuberculosis, and her relationship with Laurence Olivier to whom she was married from 1940 to 1960. [Source: Variety]

Paramount Players has acquired psychological horror movie “Eli” and has set a January 4th 2019 release. “Sinister 2” director Ciaran Foy is attached to helm the David Chirchirillo-penned film about a young boy undergoing treatment for a rare disease at a secluded clinic, which becomes a haunted prison with no way out. Trevor Macy will produce. [Source: Variety]

67 Shots
Jay Roach (“Trumbo,” “Game Change”) has been set to direct ShivHans Pictures’ “67 Shots” which deals with the fatal shootings at Kent State University in 1970. Roach will produce with Tina Fey, Michelle Graham, Monica Levinson, Jeff Richmond, Shivani Rawat and Eric Gurian.

Award-winning playwright Stephen Belber is writing the script about the buildup to the event in 1970 in which 29 guardsmen from the Ohio National Guard fired 67 shots into a crowd of students protesting the war in Vietnam. They killed four students and injured nine others. [Source: Deadline]

Actress Alison Brie has posted a photo from the set of Netflix’s “GLOW” which has begun production on its second season. Brie, seen posing with co-star Betty Gilpin, return as the gorgeous ladies of wrestling in the 1980s-set dramedy. Marc Maron, Sydelle Noel, Britney Young, Britt Baron, Kimmy Gatewood, Sunita Mani, Kate Nash, Gayle Rankin and Kia Stevens return for the new season which will premiere mid-2018 on the streaming service. [Source: Instagram]

We're back… #glownetflix #season2

A post shared by Alison Brie (@officialalibrie) on

The Hummingbird Project
Michael Mando (“Better Call Saul”) has joined the cast of Kim Nguyen’s drama “The Hummingbird Project” alongside Jesse Eisenberg, Salma Hayek, and Alexander Skarsgard. Filming begins this month in Montreal.

The story follows New York native cousin, Vincent and Anton, who are players in the high-stakes game of High Frequency Trading. Their dream is to build a fiber-optic cable straight between Kansas and New Jersey, making them millions. [Source: Deadline]

Chelsea Handler is ending her Netflix talk show “Chelsea” after two seasons. New episodes of “Chelsea” will continue to stream weekly until the end of this year.

Handler tweeted the news on Wednesday, saying it was her decision to not return for another season. Handler plans to continue her partnership with Netflix, and will work on a documentary for them in which she engages with people of different ethnicities, religions and political philosophies. [Source: Twitter]

Finding Your Feet
Roadside Attractions and Stage 6 Films have picked up the domestic distribution rights to Richard Loncraine’s romantic comedy “Finding Your Feet” starring Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, David Hayman, John Sessions and Joanna Lumley. Roadside is eyeing a spring release for the film.

Staunton discovers that her husband of forty years is having an affair with her best friend. She seeks refuge in London with her estranged older sister and reluctantly lets her drag her along to a community dance class, where gradually she starts finding her feet and romance. [Source: Deadline]

Finn Cole (“Animal Kingddom”) and Travis Fimmel (“Vikings”) will co-star opposite Margot Robbie in Miles Joris-Peyrafitte’s indie film “Dreamland.” Darby Camp and Kerry Condon co-star.

Nicolaas Zwart’s script is set in the 1930s Dust Bowl and follows a 17-year-old boy on his quest to capture a fugitive bank robber and collect the bounty on her head, in order to save his family farm from foreclosure. [Source: Variety]

The Gotham Group has acquired film rights to Michael Rutger’s thriller novel “The Anomaly” which hits book stores next Summer and will be turned into a vehicle for Bryan Singer to produce and potentially direct.

The story follows protagonist Nolan Moore, a rogue amateur archaeologist who discovers something in the Grand Canyon that not only throws the whole of human history into doubt but threatens to end the world as we know it. [Source: Deadline]

The Lost
Selma Blair’s production company Sainted Productions has scored the rights to Sarah Beth Durst’s novel “The Lost”. The story follows a woman running from her bleak life who finds herself trapped in a small town where all things lost – luggage, keys, and even people – are mysteriously deposited. A writer is being sought for what could be a film or TV series. If Blair will star is also uncertain at this point. [Source: Variety]

The Goldfinch
“Dunkirk” star Aneurin Barnard has landed the key role of Boris in the upcoming John Crowley-directed film adaptation of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer-winning novel “The Goldfinch” at Warner Bros. Pictures, RatPac and Amazon.

Ansel Elgort recently landed the role of Theo who survives a terrorist bombing at an art museum which kills his mother. From there, he tumbles through a series of adventures that finds him living in Las Vegas with his deadbeat father and, later, involved in art forgeries. [Source: Variety]

Bird Box
Trevante Rhodes (“Moonlight”), Danielle Macdonald (“Patti Cake$”), Rosa Salazar (“Battle Angel Alita”), Jacki Weaver (“Goldstone”), Sarah Paulson (“Carol”) and Lil Rel Howery will star alongside Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich in Susanne Bier’s “Bird Box” for Netflix.

Eric Heisserer helms the story of a woman and a pair of children who are blindfolded, and make their way through a post-apocalyptic setting along a river. Dylan Clark is producing with Chris Morgan and Clayton Townsend. [Source: Variety]

The Children
Raymond Cruz (“Major Crimes,” “Breaking Bad”) is set to play a Catholic priest turned shaman in the Michael Chaves-directed and James Wan-produced horror film “The Children” for New Line.

The story follows a social worker investigating the disappearance of two children, and soon learns her own family may too be in danger. Linda Cardellini, Sean Patrick Thomas, and Patricia Velasquez co-star. [Source: Heat Vision]

Chinese Gong Li (“Miami Vice”) is set to star in the Europe-set action-thriller “Ana” which is said to sport a “Nikita”-style tone. Arthur Sarkissian and Bruno Wu are producing and filming begins in March or April.

“Casino Royale” and “Goldeneye” director Martin Campbell will helm the project while Richard Wenk (“The Expendables 2,” “The Equalizer”) penned the script. Plot specifics are under wraps. [Source: Variety]

Irish actor Colm Meaney (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Hell on Wheels”) has been cast in the role of Father Francis in Dome Karukoski’s “Tolkien” for Fox Searchlight. David Gleeson pens the script while Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins co-star.

The film explores the formative years of the orphaned author J.R.R. Tolkien as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a fellow group of outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the ‘fellowship’ apart. [Source: Deadline]

Liv Tyler has joined Hulu’s “Harlots” as a series regular for its upcoming second season. Tyler will play Lady Isabella Fitzwilliam, the aristocratic social butterfly whose long-held secrets keep her in the thrall of Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville). Trapped in a loveless marriage, Lady Fitz will find an unexpected friend and ally in courtesan Charlotte Wells (Jessica Brown Findlay). [Source: The Live Feed]

All About Nina
Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Common are set to star in Eva Vives’ semi-autobiographical dark comedy “All About Nina”. Winstead plays a blisteringly provocative stand-up comedian whose career is taking off, but whose personal life is a near-complete disaster.

To escape a difficult ex and to prepare for a prospectively life-changing audition, Nina flees to Los Angeles where she meets Rafe (Common), who challenges almost every preconception she has. Beau Bridges, Kate Del Castillo, Chace Crawford, Clea DuVall, Jay Mohr, Melonie Diaz, Camryn Manheim, Mindy Sterling and Angelique Cabral co-star. [Source: Deadline]

Dorothy & Alice
Netflix has picked up Justin Merz’s spec script “Dorothy & Alice” which Bryan Unkeless (“I, Tonya”) will produce the potential franchise launching story which follows the fantastical friendship between two iconic figures from literature.

The story sees Dorothy Gale, haunted by nightmare’s of Oz’s impending destruction, confined to an institute with others suffering from troubling, vivid dreams. There she meets the mysterious girl, Alice, and they head out on a perilous quest to save several worlds. [Source: Deadline]

No Exit
Taylor Adams’ thriller novel “No Exit” has been optioned by 20th Century Fox with “Minority Report” and “Logan” writer Scott Frank attached to produce. The story follows a college student who, while on the way home to visit her mother, gets stranded in a blizzard at a highway rest stop for a night with four strangers.

During the night, she discovers a little girl locked in the trunk of one of the cars but she doesn’t know whose car. Without cell or phone reception and trapped by the snow, she must figure out who is the kidnapper. [Source: Heat Vision]

Maria Doyle Kennedy (Orphan Black, The Tudors) will portray Jamie‚Äôs strong willed Aunt Jocasta and Ed Speelers (“Eragon,” “Downton Abbey”) will play pirate and smuggler Stephen Bonnet in the fourth season of Starz’s “Outlander”. Filming on the new season kicked off last week in Scotland with thirteen episodes based upon Diana Gabaldon’s fourth novel “Drums of Autumn”. [Source: Starz]

The Black Viking
Paramount Television and Anonymous Content have scored the rights to Bergsveinn Birgisson’s 2013 novel “The Black Viking” with Morten Tyldum (” The Imitation Game”) attached to direct and executive produce. The story traces Geirmund Heljarskinn, one of the most powerful viking kings through history but one whose saga has mysteriously disappeared. [Source: Deadline]

Unexplained Phenomena
“Project Almanac” director Dean Israelite and writers Jason Pagan and Andrew Deutschman are re-teaming for the supernatural family adventure “Unexplained Phenomenon” at Amblin Partners.

The story revolves around a family who encounter a mysterious object that begins to change their lives. It soon draws the attention of an expert and her teen daughter who may have a connection to the object’s past. [Source: Heat Vision]

Second Act
Leah Remini, Vanessa Hudgens and Annaleigh Ashford have all joined the cast of the Jennifer Lopez-led romantic comedy “Second Act” which Peter Segal will direct for STX Films. Filming is now underway.

In the film a Big Box store employee (Lopez) reinvents her life and her lifestyle, she gets the chance to prove to Madison Avenue that street smarts are as valuable as a college degree, and that it is never too late for a Second Act. [Source: STX Films]

A Fortunate Man
Danish auteur Bille August (“Pelle the Conqueror”) is set to direct the four-part mini-series”A Fortunate Man” based on Nobel Prize winning author Henrik Pontoppidan’s 1898 novel “Lucky Per” which Nordisk Film Production is producing.

Esben Smed, Katrine Greis-Rosenthal and Tommy Kenter star in the story of a young man who decides to break free from his strict religious home and becomes an renowned and highly successful engineer and marries a beautiful girl who belongs to a wealthy Jewish family. His childhood keeps haunting him and his dogmatic family cannot accept his new life. [Source: Variety]

The official Twitter account for the upcoming revival of ABC’s classic sitcom “Roseanne” has posted photos from the first table read for the eight new episodes of the show’s revival which premieres next year.

Original cast members Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman, Sarah Gilbert, and Becky No. 1 and 2 Lecy Goranson and Sarah Chalke can all be seen in the shots, though Johnny Galecki is not there.