Rami Malek No Time to Die
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Credit: MGM/Eon Productions

WIRE Buzz: Rami Malek talks Bond villain; Hocus Pocus cast back for sequel; Evil Dead update

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Oct 26, 2020, 2:45 PM EDT

Speaking with Empire Magazine last fall, James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli described No Time to Die's main villain, Safin (Rami Malek), as "a nasty piece of work" that "really gets under Bond’s skin."

Not only did the former SPECTRE assassin pose a headache for Daniel Craig (in his last stint as 007), but he was also a pain in the behind for Malek himself. During an interview with British GQ, the Oscar-winner characterized Safin as a "ruthless" individual, who "can detach from empathy in order to meticulously carry out his will." Due to the baddie's complete moral bankruptcy, Malek found the role "quite petrifying and psychologically something that was not easy for me to tap into."

Credit: MGM/Eon Productions

Thanks to a face of scarred makeup from Game Of Thrones' Emmy-winning prosthetics supervisor Barrie Gower, the actor was able to inhabit the role in a way that took Craig by surprise. "I think I met Daniel for the first time with that make-up on and he took a step back from me. That was already a good sign," Malek remembered.

Aside from a few pieces of scant plot details, we don't know much about Safin, except that his master plan involves the death of millions. Thanks to his connection to SPECTRE, it's been confirmed that he has mysterious links to both Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) and Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux).

No Time to Die is currently slated to hit theaters April 2, 2021 — about a year after its intended release date.

The OG Sanderson sisters are most likely coming back for the Hocus Pocus sequel coming to Disney+. While promoting her upcoming Hulaween charity gala (featuring a Hocus Pocus reunion), Bette Middler confirmed to Fox 5 New York that she, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy are down to reprise their witchy roles for the follow-up feature to the 1993 cult hit.

"They want to make a [new] movie. They've asked us if we were interested and, of course, all of us said, 'Yeah.' I'm game. I'm totally game," she said.

Adam Shankman (Hairspray, Bedtime Stories) has been tapped to direct the sequel from a screenplay written by Jen D’Angelo (Workaholics).

Credit: Disney

When it came to putting on the costumes back on for Hulaween, Middler said: "It was so bizarre to have been these characters 27 years ago. And to put all that gear on — the wig and the teeth — it was so bizarre because we fell into exactly the same relationships we had and the same style of behaving onscreen that we had 27 years ago. It was as if we had been off for a weekend."

You can get tickets for the virtual gala here.

Since Lee Cronin (The Hole in the Ground) was hired to direct the fifth Evil Dead movie (titled Evil Dead Rise) over the summer, we haven't had any real updates on the groovy project. Courtesy of a new interview with the legendary Bruce Campbell (aka Ash Williams), we have a little bit more to go on. He once again stated that Cronin is attached with a finished script. Now, all that's needed is a distributor.

"We have a couple of bidders and we’re trying to just find the correct suitor," the actor said, describing the story as "a modern-day urban tale." He went on to admit that production hopes to kick off sometime in 2021. 

Credit: Showtime

In the next installment, the franchise will focus on a female protagonist. Campbell was rather hesitant to use the word "reboot" or "remake" when talking about Rise, but assured his interviewer that the movie is a different exploration of the same beloved mythos. It's just that the Necronomicon is bothering someone other than Ash.

"What we’re doing now is we’re saying, 'Look, this is another Evil Dead movie and that book gets around, a lot of people run into it and it’s another story.' The main key with Evil Deal is they’re just regular people who are battling what seems to be a very unstoppable evil, and so that’s where the horror comes from," he said. "It’s not someone who’s skilled. They’re not fighting a soldier. They’re not fighting a scientist. They’re not fighting anybody more than your average neighbor. This one is going to be a similar thing. We’re going to have a heroine, a woman in charge, and she’s going to try and save her family."