Here’s our February 16, 2021 edition of Spy Movie News with updates on spy movies and TV series, Black Widow , Mission: Impossible 7, No Time to Die, a Jinx script?, Tom Holland, Ralph Fiennes, a Disney studio shuttered, The Gray Man, Jack Ryan and more! Let’s go!
Movies get made into series and series get made into movies. This time, the industry is retreading two movies from the 1990s and 2000s into series.
TRUE LIES ON CBS
The spy movie True Lies has been given the first pilot order of 2021-2022 for CBS. This is the second attempt to get a pilot made of a tv show based on the movie. Fox made a pilot commitment in 2017. The movie was a fun spy movie with Jamie Lee Curtis’ character, Helen, finding out that her husband Harry, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger was an international spy.
You can read more about it on Variety.com in this article.
Mr. & MRS. SMITH
The Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie movie about assassins hired to kill each was released in 2005. It has been announced that Mr. & Mrs. Smith will be brought out as a 2022 series by New Regency and Amazon Prime Video. This series will have two of the hottest names in the industry starring and executive producing the series. Donald Glover and Phoebe Waller-Bridge are both signed up in these roles.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith was a fun movie, and with Donald and Phoebe involved, is likely to be a fun series too.
You can read more about this in this article on Variety.com.
In our last Spy Movie News, we reported that the Marvel CEO, Herb Schribner hinted that Black Widow could possibly debut on Disney +. Well, Not so fast. According to an article on Variety.com, Disney CEO Bob Chapek in discussing Black Widow, says, “We are still intending it to be a theatrical release”. However, he did not say if they are still planning the scheduled May 7, 2021 release date. If it does release to theaters on May 7, it would be the first tentpole movie to release this year. “We’re going to be watching very carefully the reopening of theaters and consumer sentiment on going back to theaters,” he added.
Cinemablend Says This Is What They Know About Mission: Impossible 7
According to this article on CinemaBlend.com, we know this about Mission: Impossible 7:
- The current release date is November 19, 2021. As we all know too well, due to the pandemic, any movie release dates could change.
- Mission: Impossible 8 will follow a year later with a targeted release date of November 4, 2022.
- Christopher McQuarrie is directing both M: I 7 & 8, although in 2018 he was quoted as saying he’d “rather have leprosy” than direct M: I 7. So that was either a negotiating strategy or maybe it was like Daniel Craig’s quote about doing another James Bond movie back in 2015 when he said “I’d rather slash my wrists than play James Bond again” as he was just tired when asked right after production wrapped.
- Of course, we know the cast – no surprise with most of the filming finished
- It will likely get a PG-13 rating like the earlier Mission: Impossible movies
FILMING AT JAKKU FROM STAR WARS
An article on CinemaBlend.com tells us that Mission: Impossible 7 has filmed in the same United Arab Emirates desert that Star Wars: The Force Awakens shot its scenes of Jakku. It has a picture of Simon Pegg, who plays Benji in the MI series, sandboarding on the desert. Simon appeared as Unkar Plutt in The Force Awakens so he’s now filmed two movies in the same desert.
But . . . Well, this article on DailySabah.com reports that Mission: Impossible 7 was just filming in the United Arab Emirates as we said – until February 12th 2021 when the UK issued new travel restrictions for people coming into the UK from 33 “red listed” countries – meaning that starting February 15th – anyway coming into the UK must quarantine for 10 days and pay 1750 pounds for hotel accommodations to quarantine them. The crew and cast basically demanded to be returned home before this went into effect. And they were returned home over the last weekend.
They expect, of course, because of this, more delays – but they will continue filming in England. Mission: Impossible 7 is still scheduled for a November 2021 release.
Well, technology waits for no one. The Nokia product placements in No Time To Die are now . . . old technology!
In this article on GSMarena.com, they claim that the Nokia spots, now featuring the Nokia 8.3 5G phone must be reshot – as their 2019 phone is not looking so shiny and new in 2021.
What about other sponsors like Adidas, Bollinger, Omega watches and so on? We will see – these are unprecedented times and unheard of delays in releasing movies. So, this different approach may be required. Makes sense.
After Die Another Day was released, there was supposedly a spin-off in development based on Halle Berry’s character, Jinx. That movie was never released, but according to this article on CinemaBlend.com, a script attributed to Neal Purvis and Robert Wade has surfaced.
The movie was reportedly going to tell the pre-Die Another Day backstory on Jinx. It supposedly was to have Michael Madsen as Damian Falco as her handler. That would have been interesting to see. Maybe it would have been better than our opinion of Die Another Day.
The article mentions that there are now rumors of spinoffs of the characters Moneypenny and Nomi. This could get interesting.
Mike Reyes has this article in CinemaBlend.com in which Ralph Fiennes says “If anyone from Eon Films is listening, I’m very keen to continue training the new Bond. I love playing M, and I love being part of the franchise.” Given how well he plays the role, and wit the history of the James Bond movies keeping the main supporting actors while the James Bond actor changes, we hope Eon listens to him and keeps him.
24-year old Tom Holland talks about how he would love to play James Bond in an article on movieweb.com. The article, while talking about Holland’s age mentions that Henry Cavill, when 22, first auditioned for the role of Bond for Casino Royale, but lost to Daniel Craig.
The article suggests Holland, being so young, may be better suited for The Kingsmen series which has used younger actors in its leading role.
We think, who knows, by the time the next Bond movie after No Time To Die finally releases, maybe Holland will be in his 30s. He’s played Peter Parker in the Spiderman movies and was the voice of Walter in the spy movie for kids, Spies in Disguise. So, he may be too famous for EON to consider him for the role as some of their choices for Bond have been less famous actors.
Will Future James Bond movies End Up On a Streaming Service?
We mentioned in our December 29, 2020, Spy Movie News that MGM might be looking to sell. So, with the pandemic delay costing MGM around $1 million a month in interest, it is rumored that MGM is looking for a buyer. A couple of articles have updated information on this.
This article on CinemaBlend.com discusses this rumor and points to an article on Forbes.com which says that MGM wants $9-10 billion and Forbes doesn’t think they will get it. MGM has tried selling itself twice before. However, the current rumors are that Amazon Studios might be interested.
Both articles point out that Eon Productions can throw a wrench into any sale. If a service like Amazon bought the franchise, Eon Productions would want to be able to have an exclusive all of the Eon Bond movie, past and future. Currently, multiple platforms have streaming rights to the various previous Bond movies.
We here at Spy Movie Navigator will continue to monitor the situation and let you know if anything changes.
James Bond First Edition Books For Sale
This article on MovieWeb.com points out that a collection of the first edition of James Bond books is selling for more than $600,000. Ten of the books have personal inscriptions from Ian Fleming.
Even though we at Spy Movie Navigator are not in the market for these first editions, we did visit the Reading Room in the Lilly Library at Indiana University – Bloomington Indiana to read their collection of the original Fleming manuscripts, including Fleming’s hand-written notes (like Moneypenny’s name change) – exciting! The Reading Room at the library is closed until the end of the year for renovations and you need a reservation to view the manuscripts. However, if you have an opportunity in 2022, it is worth a visit for any James Bond fan. Yes, you won’t own the books, but you won’t have to shell out $600,000 to read them either (there is no charge to read them in the reading room).
We have a 2-part podcast on our trip that you can find on this link on our website.
Disney has decided to shut down the animation studio Blue Sky Studios. Blue Sky was responsible for the Ice Age series, The Peanuts Movie, as well as one of our favorite spy movies for kids, Spies in Disguise, which was released after Disney bought the studio as part of its deal with 21st Century Fox in 2019.
This news saddens us, as we had hoped that Spies in Disguise could have been turned into a series of movies. The characters of Walter and Lance could have evolved to a Q and Bond-type of relationship in future movies. The gimmick of Lance turning into a pigeon worked for Spies in Disguise, but wouldn’t have to be repeated in future movies. However, Walter’s gimmicks could be there to help Lance out. Oh well, another good idea shuttered as the original movie only grossed $171 million worldwide against an estimated $100 million budget. It’s frustrating to see that a movie that only made $71 million over it budget is considered unworthy of a follow-up.
This article on HollywoodReporter.com gives more details.
Paramount Pictures is bringing out a new Face/Off and has signed Adam Wingard to direct and co-write the movie. In this February 11th article on Movieweb.com, it is implied this will be a remake.
The original 1997 movie starred John Travolta as an FBI agent and Nicholas Cage as the villain. It was an interesting, albeit improbable plot, but an entertaining movie with Travolta and especially Cage’s performance. Not many people can play a lunatic better than Cage in our opinion. Seeing Travolta playing the lunatic Cage’s character was fun.
However, in this February 12th article on Movieweb.com, Wingard states that this won’t be a reboot or a remake, but rather a sequel to the movie. Given how the 1997 Face/Off ended, it will be interesting to see how Wingard makes this a sequel.
In our December 29th Spy Movie News, we talked about how COVID-19 was delaying production of the movie The Gray Man. Now, in this article on Movieweb.com, more information about the movie is coming to light. Production has been pushed to March. This movie supposedly has a $200 million budget and stars Chris Evans as the CIA agent, Gray Man, who tracks Gentry, played by Ryan Gosling. Ana De Armas, of No Time To Die and Knives Out fame, has also joined the production. She starred in Knives Out with Chris Evans who was the bad guy.
The Gray Man is based on the novel by Mark Greaney and is being directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. Joe Russo says “This is being conceived as a series of films, and again, potentially branching out, we could follow other characters, but we’re not gonna answer every question in the movie.” The Russos call this a “’ modern interpretation of a spy thriller’ inspired by the Bond franchise”
This article on HollywoodReporter.com discusses a judge’s dilemma trying to untangle the mess of who owns the rights to the Jack Ryan character that was created by Tom Clancy. Instead of the judge deciding, this will either go to trial or be settled. The judge says that a reasonable jury could differ on what the evidence suggests. However, as the article puts it “A dispute with the publisher. A Divorce. A Death. A Copyright Termination” all contribute to the problem.
We’ll be watching this one as it is a legal nightmare based on the history of agreements and even the rights to the character are being challenged by Clancy’s ex-wife, Wanda King.
In this Deadline.com piece, Hugh Grant, who we reported in the last Spy Movie News was, more than likely, joining the Five Eyes team, speaks here of his role in “The Undoing” and his respect for Guy Ritchie who is directing Five Eyes. He said, “ He changes the titles of his films every Tuesday but for the moment it’s called that,” Grant said, adding that his role will be “quite different” from the last Ritchie film he did, The Gentleman.”
That wraps up our Spy Movie News for February 16, 2021. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@SpyNavigator) and InstaGram too! Subscribe right now to our Cracking the Code of Spy Movies show on your favorite podcast app!