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WIRE Buzz: Rumble debuts kaiju wrestling trailer; Mulan's hardcore auditions; A24 horror

By Jacob Oller

Pacific Rim, meet WWE. The latest animation from Paramount blends the kaiju of Guillermo del Toro’s Godzilla-loving monster movie with the over-the-top fandom of professional wrestling. That’s Rumble, starring Terry Crews as a giant fishy monster called Tentacular who’s dominating the monster wrestling circuit.

Now, in the first trailer for director Hamish Grieve’s film, fans can see the underdog (and his coach) after the monstrous belt. Winnie (Geraldine Viswanathan) is out to take Will Arnett’s furry beast from chubby zero to fight night hero.

Take a look:

The sci-fi adjacent film (Winnie’s on some kind of hoverbike?) heavily references Dirty Dancing in its first clip, which also has the musical sensibilities of Space Jam on steroids. The animated monster comedy also boasts a cast including Roman Reigns, Tony Danza, Becky Lynch, Susan Kelechi Watson, Stephen A. Smith, Jimmy Tatro, Ben Schwartz, and Michael Buffer.

Oh, and there’s a poster:

Rumble Poster

Rumble shakes and quakes its way into theaters on Jan. 29, 2021.

Next, the process to become the live-action representation of Disney’s Mulan was even harder than most fans might think. It wasn’t just a matter of competition: It was a matter of pure exertion.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, director Niki Caro talked about the exhaustive process of casting Liu Yifei as the legendary titular hero in this latest live-action Disney adaptation. "She's a needle in a haystack, but we were going to find her," Caro said. "It's impossible to make this movie without this person." The actress needed to be tough, English-speaking, Chinese, and with a grasp of martial arts. That’s a big ask.

In fact, the search went on so long that Disney delayed the movie years past its original November 2018 release date, until finally Liu (who had been busy with a TV show) was able to audition.

"I was determined that whoever played Mulan was not going to be fragile and feminine," Caro explained. "She had to pass as a man in a man's army." So the audition became a bit more like basic training for the army: Caro and a trainer made Liu and other actresses go through an hour-and-a-half workout session “with extreme cardio and weight exercises” to assess their physical abilities.

Check out some of her exhaustive stunt training in the featurette below ...

Liu passed the tests, obviously. Other hopefuls did not. "Boy, did they flame out," Caro laughed. The star of Mulan impressed her director because she "never complained once, never said, 'I can't.' She went to her limits." Maybe she’ll be doing that musical pole-climbing scene for real? Either way, now Liu will soon be masquerading as a man to save her people, bringing the source material back to the big screen.

Mulan allows Liu to show her stuff when it hits theaters on March 27.

Finally, Saint Maud — the A24 horror that’s also writer/director Rose Glass’s directorial debut — has dropped a new trailer teasing its combination of nursing horror, religious horror, and psychedelic freakout.

Check it out:

Starring Morfydd Clark and Jennifer Ehle, this spooky tonal mix serves up mortification of the flesh and medical power all packed into a thrilling two-hander between these two women. And, wait, does it seemingly end with the nurse’s self-immolation? This movie looks like Midsommar meets Misery, and this trailer only makes things look even freakier.

Saint Maud comes for us all when the film hits theaters on April 3.

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