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WIRE Buzz: Michael Peña boards Tom and Jerry; John Wick creator adapting Just Cause

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May 21, 2019

Today’s WIRE Buzz involves the glorious and eccentric stage productions of Cirque du Soleil alongside John Wick’s elegant gunplay. Somehow these are more alike than fans might initially think, and both are leading to new cinematic projects. But first, we’re going a little lower-brow — Tom and Jerry.

That’s because MCU all-star and constant scene-stealer Michael Peña has landed a starring role in the live-action Tom and Jerry film. According to Deadline, the Warner Bros. film will see Peña play Terrance, a deputy hotel manager who bullies Chloe Grace Moretz’s new hire Kayla. Luckily for her, she’ll have Tom and Jerry on her side in the conflict — and those two know how to really get back at someone.

Director Tim Story will be bringing the cat-and-mouse drama (and Peña's hilariously heartless antics) to the big screen on April 16, 2021.


 

Next, the mastermind behind Keanu Reeves’ resurgence as an action icon is tackling a new destruction-centric property: Just Cause.

Deadline reports that the video game series will get its own feature film from writer Derek Kolstad, who wrote all three John Wick films. Kolstad will be working with Avalanche Studios and Square Enix on the game side, while Constantin Film (home of the Resident Evil film franchise) and Prime Universe Films will be working on the film side to attempt to create an action franchise that equals John Wick in the amount of sheer chaos alone.

With four games out (the fourth was released last December), the franchise should have plenty to pull from. The movie will attempt to adapt Just Cause from the plot of the first game, which focuses on a revolutionary military maneuver by Agency operative Rico Rodriguez as he attempts to overthrow an island’s dictatorship. Basically, blow some stuff up and take down the bad guy with some light espionage thrown in for good measure.

With a director soon on the way for the film, Just Cause plans to begin production in 2020.


 

Finally, it’s time for film fans to head to the circus. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is teaming up with Dan Lin's production company, Rideback (Lin produced It, The LEGO Batman Movie, and many more genre films), to make movies together.

While no specific projects were announced, they will be somehow inspired by Cirque du Soleil’s varied and eccentric backlog of productions — all looking to go on the big screen and play for an international crowd. This follows the company’s snapping up of other entertainment properties like the Blue Man Group, VStar Entertainment Group, and The Works Entertainment Group.

"Cirque du Soleil has enchanted millions of people around the globe through soul-stirring artistry and journeys of the imagination that are Cirque du Soleil hallmarks,” Lin said, per Deadline. “Their expansion into movies creates a one-of-a-kind, frontier opportunity to develop entirely new narrative features driven by the awe-inspiring worlds they have created."

Whether the films turn out to be more Banana Shpeel or Michael Jackson: One remains to be seen, but fans should look forward to some very interesting cinematic experiences from this team-up soon.

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