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WIRE Buzz: Uncharted lands director Travis Knight; Apple takes films to theaters; Snake Eyes casts its Baroness
The long-coming Uncharted film has landed an exciting new director. After losing director Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane) a month ago, the Tom Holland-starring movie has found a suitable replacement to hopefully help guide its preproduction out of uncharted waters. According to Deadline, ex-Laika bigwig and Bumblebee director Travis Knight will helm the project, which aims to start filming in early 2020.
Spider-Man star Holland has been with the project since mid-2017, but Sony has been trying to get an adaptation of the Indiana Jones-esque video game series off the ground for the better part of a decade. Still working from Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, and Rafe Judkins' script, the film plans to give treasure hunter Nathan Drake an origin story separate from the popular PlayStation games.
This project would be Knight's second foray into live action — if he lasts longer than Trachtenberg, Shawn Levy, Seth Gordon, and all the others once in charge of this film.
Next, movie theaters have a new patron in a world where MoviePass and more have left them in the cold, because Apple TV+’s competitive differences with Netflix might not only be in its streaming strategy. The company behind iPhones, Macs, and more will be working with theaters to release films produced by the company for its streaming service — something Netflix has only been doing out of obligation to awards-season contention.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple will be pushing for theatrical releases (beginning with the Bill Murray-headlined Sofia Coppola film On the Rocks) in order to attract the traditional A-listers associated with the box office. As Netflix, Disney+, and Apple TV+ all vie for market control in the streaming wars, carving out a niche in the old-school film distribution model is both a key revenue flow and a mark of differentiation.
Currently, movies have to play in theaters at least seven days in Los Angeles in order to qualify for an Academy Award. Oscar hopefuls therefore can book brief runs, then head to their permanent streaming homes. Apple is looking to take things back to a more classic process where their films will have a theatrical run regardless of awards obligations. Netflix considered acquiring theaters just to play Netflix Originals, but nothing came of the deal.
Apple TV+ launches with shows like Ronald D. Moore’s alt-history space-race drama For All Mankind on Nov. 1.
Finally, the G.I. Joe-adjacent ninja set has a new villain to add to its toy box. The Wrap reports that Spanish actress Úrsula Corberó (Snatch) will play the Baroness in Divergent series director Robert Schwentke’s Snake Eyes.
Snake Eyes, focused on the misadventures of Henry Golding’s titular ninja-commando, has already cast a wide variety of international talent, including Indonesian action star Iko Uwais (The Raid) and British badass Andrew Koji (Warrior). With Baroness now amidst their ranks, the film has a femme fatale with a history of Cobra spywork. That’ll certainly come up during a plot focused on Snake Eyes’ assassin training with the Arashikage Clan.
The script from Evan Spiliotopoulos (Charlie's Angels) will update the origin of Baroness, who is traditionally a character of Eastern European heritage. Snake Eyes is currently set for an Oct. 16, 2020, release.