Yeah, we all know that banner from the other day was leaked/not leaked/official/unofficial/completely naff, but Fox have responded by going right ahead with the release of the first official photos of X-Men: First Class. And they're a lot more reassuring to look at, especially in terms of the period costumes.
Here's a little taster. Hands up if you don't wet yourself.
YOU WILL NEED A NEW PAIR OF PANTS
Read on for the other images and the rather awesome teaser poster that turned up at AICN. Maybe it's Professor X's stylish beige jacket, Kevin Bacon's sideburns or THAT white jumpsuit on January Jones, but things are starting to a lot more like the film I was hoping for...
Darren Aronofsky is looking increasingly likely to take on the helm of Wolverine 2. Which would explain why he just turned down Tales from the Gangster Squad.
Bryan Singer did it. Christopher Nolan did it. And now the director of The Wrestler seems ready to make that jump from personal independent projects to big studio releases. And that change in career will probably begin with X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2.
Warner Bros almost bagged Aronosfky for Tales from the Gangster Squad after Ben Affleck turned it down. But he's jumping from one studio to another with Wolverine, which he is in serious talks to direct. The main bonus for him? The chance to work with Hugh Jackman again.
Reuniting with The Fountain's star is one of the main appeals of this sequel, which could pretty much be summed up by the word "pointless". But if they're going from Christopher McQuarrie's script based on Frank Miller's material, set in Japan with a female love interest, and Hugh Jackman and Darren Aronofsky are given a free reign to make the film they want, this could turn out quite interesting.
That's a whole lot of ifs, though. At least Mr Aronofsky would get more money to take home to Mrs Aronofsky and the kids (well, an engaged Rachel Weisz and one son). He deserves that much - especially if Black Swan delivers on its huge buzz.
Natalie Portman is looking the favourite in the hunt for the lead female role for Ridley Scott's Alien prequel. The person she'll have to beat? Noomi Rapace.
With Lost's key player Damon Lindelof having recently finished a new draft of the script, Scott is still casting about for his feisty female star. And Natalie Portman is pretty much available, now that she's dropped out of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (which she's producing) and also dropped out of Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity.
Studio peeps seem pleased with Lindelof's work so far, with the leading role taking the form of a female military general. Scott's been meeting with a lot of actresses in the preparation for what is generally thought to be a return to the original Alien's suspenseful horror feel. The director's already met with Noomi and liked her a lot, but Natalie Portman is top of the list, and a pretty solid choice too. There's only one way to settle this... FIGHT!
Yes, you read that correctly: Darren Aronofsky is in talks to direct Wolverine 2. Mostly those are talks with Hugh Jackman, who has a big say in the director for the franchise's spin-off sequel.
Aronofsky, who's currently riding a wave of Black Swan buzz, is in competition with David Slade for the job. Slade seems to be the favourite, on paper at least, having just come off Twilight's Eclipse - he's capable of handling effects and a budget as well as he did male castration in Hard Candy.
Jackman, though, likes the idea of Aronofsky at the helm. The pair formed a good relationship when Jackman stepped in for Brad Pitt on Aronofsky's fascinating (if rubbish) epic, The Fountain. If Jackman can whip old the old Logan charm, Wolverine may well have one hell of a helmer on its hands.
Fox, meanwhile, are also trying to lock down a director for their other X-Men spin-off, Deadpool. They've been circling the project with Robert Rodriguez for weeks now, but thanks to Machete's promotional tour and the upcoming Spy Kids 4, Robert's getting a little busy. And even though Reynolds just signed on to do Safe House, Fox are keen on squeezing in The Merc with a Mouth as soon as possible. Watch this space...
Right after Adrien Brody got fingered for Mr Fantastic, Fox continue to push their franchise reboot forward with a hunt for a director. First out the gates is David Yates.
The Brit helmer, who just finished off Harry Potter for Warner Bros, has proven experience with fantasy franchises, and knows how to balance effects and character. But Yates is also in competition with two other candidates: Joe Carnahan and James McTeigue.
McTeigue, who's currently working on The Raven, is best known as the Wachowski Brothers' protege who directed V for Vendetta. Carnahan, meanwhile, followed up early thriller Narc with the blockbuster fun of The A-Team.
Both have the balls for some hefty action, especially now Marvel are bringing the 3D to everything, but it's hard not to root for Yates. Especially because he gave the world State of Play. Not that anyone at Fox will have seen the original BBC TV series - they're too busy sorting out rumour from fact. And throwing money at whoever will touch Fantastic Four after that Rise of the Silver Surfer malarkey.
So we all thought it was a done deal, Robert Rodriguez and Deadpool. Despite the denials of the studio, and the fact that Rodriguez had only actually been sent the script. But now fresh rumours are doing the rounds and it looks like the Machete director is in whispered negotiations with Fox to helm Deadpool.
The script, by Zombieland's Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, would seem to be a great match for Rodriguez's blend of humour and bloody action, and with Predators doing a pretty good job at the box office, Fox are certainly warming to the director. Talks over the X-Men spin-off are still in early stages, but we're definitely past the "will you be my girlfriend?" stage of holding hands.
Don't expect an announcement just yet, though: Rodriguez still has his new Spy Kids movie firmly on the front burner, and Ryan Reynolds (the star most likely to play The Merc with the Mouth) has a comedy, The Change-Up, lined up now that Green Lantern has finished.
It looks like Deadpool (when it does finally happen) will be heading for a 2012 release. Until then, get your glands going by using such exciting words as "profit points", "budget", "negotiations" and "Danny Trejo cameo".
Tom Felton - 9.5% carbon, 60% evil wizard, 30% monkey and 2.5% bad maths. An actor with that kind of chemical make-up is wasted on playing Draco Malfoy his whole life. Which is why Tom Felton has signed up to be Fox's monkey boy. Yes, Felton has officially joined Rise of the Apes.
The Planet of the Apes prequel already has its fair share of casting goodness, from Andy Serkis (as mo-cap monkey Caesar) to James Franco and Freida Pinto. Felton joins the cast as son of Brian Cox's nasty scientist, so expect him to either be mean to the monkeys, or conflicted over his father's ape-abusing ways. Hopefully it'll be the former.
Rupert Wyatt's film, which sees Caesar lead a primate revolution against the humans, will lead back to the beginning of the Planet of the Apes franchise. It'll be shooting within the next few weeks.
Jennifer Lawrence and Kevin Bacon have both now official signed on to join X-Men: First Class. Matthew Vaughn's X-Men prequel, featuring loads of cute ickle mutants, has now got itself a young Mystique and a villain.
The shape-shifting blue girl will be played by Jennifer Lawrence, 19 year old star of indie movie Winter's Bone, hopefully to feature a slightly bigger role than her supporting bad guy turn in Bryan Singer and Brett Ratner's movies. Perhaps some kind of weird love triangle in which she pretends to be James McAvoy’s Professor X and Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, while appearing in each other's bedroom.
While the world waits for Aaron Johnson to confirm his role as Cyclops, Vaughn has also snapped up the excellent Kevin Bacon for the piece's villain. He joins Nicholas Hoult's Beast in an exciting line-up of talent. As for the bad guy's superpowers, no-one knows anything yet. But it probably involves Bacon's ability to burst red rubber balls while staring at them intently.
Expect further details at Comic-Con. Or at least in the inevitable leaks that come just beforehand.
Guess who back. Back again. Cameron's back. And this time he's brought with him 8 minutes (count 'em, 8) of never-seen-before footage. Yes, Avatar (or "Avatar: Special Edition") now has an official re-release date: Friday 27th August.
How do you top a box office record? Release the film again and keep on counting. That's pretty much the principle behind James Cameron's extended version of his blockbusting, groundbreaking, blue-loving sci-fi epic. Naturally, it'll only be in 3-D. Because, largely thanks to Avatar, the number of digital 3-D screens in the UK has exploded. Cameron had this to say:
"Audiences repeatedly told me they wanted more of Pandora, and wished they could have stayed there longer. So we’re making that possible. Avatar: Special Edition will be exclusively in 3-D, and will have eight minutes of never before seen footage, including new creatures and action scenes. Whether you already love the movie, or you've never seen it, with this Special Edition, you'll be seeing it like never before."
Unless of course you saw it the first time. Still, eight minutes could be crucial to the plot - perhaps an alternate ending, or that long-mooted sex scene? Either way, Fox are all fired up for the second cinema event of the decade: "It's especially gratifying, because not only has Avatar become one of the most beloved films in history, but after its initial theatrical release, we have been inundated with requests to re-release the film in theaters in 3-D. Equally important, we’re thrilled that Jim Cameron is able to give audiences even more of what they loved."
Will you be in the queue on Friday 27th August? Will the snazzy poster below change your mind?
Didn't pick this up straight away, but Showbiz 411 have revealed that Michael Fassbender is officially now signed up to X-Men: First Class as the young villain, Magneto.
Following rumours that he was faced with parts in both Sony's Spidey reboot and Fox's franchise prequel, 20th Century Fox won the battle to secure the Inglourious Basterds star. Fassbender joins the already-cast James McAvoy as the young Professor Charles Xavier, with feisty female Alice Eve currently negotiating her way to the part of Emma Frost.
The X-Men prequel, directed by Matthew Vaughn, is meant to be shooting in September, so expect a wealth of casting announcements in the next few weeks. But for now, bask in the knowledge that the two sexiest men in the world will be squaring off against each other in what can only be described as Buff Fest 2011. At least until I think of a better title (suggestions below).