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Exclusive : Backdraft II confirmed; Hannibal star to headline!

We have the scoop on a sequel to ’90s hit “Backdraft”

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UPDATE:

“Backdraft 2”, which Moviehole first told you about in March, has been confirmed by Universal. Shooting is now underway in Romania on the film (which will also utilise locations in Toronto and Chicago).

Joe Anderson (Mason Verger on “Hannibal”) is playing Brian’s nephew Sean McCaffrey in the long-awaited follow-up. William Baldwin reprises his role from the original. Gonzalo López-Gallego directs.

Alisha Bailey, Ross O’Hennessy, Sal Longbardo and Sia Alipour also among cast. Aside from Baldwin, Donald Sutherland is making an appearance as Ronald, the unhinged arsonist from the 1991 original.

Various set pics from the Romanian side of the shoot have started showing up online, here’s a few :

Previous exclusive (from March):

Spanish director Gonzalo López-Gallego, best known for 2011 sci-fi thriller “Apollo 18”, has been charged with the mission of reigniting one of the biggest titles in the Universal library.

The studio has tapped the filmmaker for its “Backdraft” sequel, tentatively titled “Backdraft II”, with filming set to begin in Romania and Toronto next month. William Baldwin is expected to reprise his role from the original 1991 blockbuster.

Film’s central character will be Sean McCaffrey, the grown son of Kurt Russell’s character from the first film (see below, pictured with on-screen mother Rebecca De Mornay in the original), an investigator with the Chicago F.D who still holds his uncle (Baldwin) responsible for the death of his pop.

The bad guys in this one are a group of agents sneaking a missile out of the country, using a series of deadly fires as a distraction.

Raffaella De Laurentiis produces.

Exciting news for fans of the original film, particularly with the character of Brian McCaffrey back, and a capable director in the helmer’s spot. Looking forward.

“Backdraft”, directed by Ron Howard and penned by Gregory Widen, starred Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rebecca De Mornay, Donald Sutherland, Robert De Niro, Jason Gedrick and J. T. Walsh. The film, made for 75 mill, didn’t spark a light with most critics but most did applaud it’s blazingly brilliant special effects and very impressive action sequences (with many of the actors performing their own stunts).

The film received three Academy Award nominations for Sound Effects Editing, Visual Effects and Best Sound.

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Exclusive : Dwayne Johnson, Atlantean!?

Mike Lowery on a possible collaboration between ‘Hobbs’ and Feige

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While he does wear a VIP lanyard at DC now, due to his lengthy involvement with the “Shazam!” franchise (he’s set to play the villainous Black Adam in a future Shazam sequel and spin-off, too), Hawaiian hulkster Dwayne Johnson is also on Marvel’s wish list – and has been for a number of years. No big surprise, right?

You may have noticed, the “Hobbs & Shaw” star took to Instagram a couple of days back to congratulate Marvel on the success they’re having, commercially and critically, with “Avengers : Endgame” – showering much of the praise on bigwig Kevin Feige. It’s a gushing – and then some – post that suggests the artist formerly known as ‘The Rock’ is indeed in good, or hopes to be, with Marvel Studios.

Something is up, right?

It sure is!

With so many Marvel productions about to gear up – expect the next phase, or part thereof, to be announced at SDCC in July – there’s undoubtedly going to be a lot of spots to fill ahead, so Feige’s been meeting with a number of A listers (rumblings of Tom Cruise wanting to collaborate with Feige too, in the future) and one of those recent meets has been with Johnson.

They’ve been talking about a number of different possibilities – the actor has his pick of the board – all of which Johnson would produce and headline.

The one gig I know about, that’s been floated Johnson’s way, is Namor!

Namor as he appeared in an episode of the “Fantastic Four” animated series.

Yep, Bill Everett’s Sub-Mariner has been taking shape over at Manhattan Beach and Johnson’s been on that go-to list for it for a while now.A snug fit too, if I don’t say so myself.

While the “Jumanji” actor had previously said “Black Adam”, over at DC/Warner, would go into production next summer the studio have yet to make any moves on it, so don’t be surprised if one of the projects Marvel want Johnson for – like the ‘Sub Mariner’ movie – comes together first.

Marvel had been looking at doing a “Sub-Mariner” movie long before, even, “Iron Man”. Back in the late ’90s, they hired Philip Kaufman to direct, and Sam Hamm (“Batman Returns”) to write the piece. That went away, just as the Universal Pictures version- which went into development in 2001 – did too. Chris Columbus was attached to direct their take at one point, as was Jonathan Mostow. These were different times, comic book movies weren’t the sure-thing successes they would seem to be today. In 2014, Marvel Studios finally got the rights back to the character from Uni (well, most of the rights – Universal still get to distribute), and have been tinkering with the film proposition ever since.


Namor, the mutant son of a human sea captain and a princess of the mythical undersea kingdom of Atlantis, has remained a historically important and popular Marvel character that regularly gets about with the Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men. While it’s possible the character might be introduced in a future “Avengers” movie, it’s much more likely he’ll be treated to a solo jaunt first.

Hopefully more info on the “Sub-Mariner” film plans emerge in San Diego this summer.

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Exclusive : Baz’s Elvis project shooting January

Search now underway for a fresh-faced to play young Elvis

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News from a very reliable source down under, Baz Luhrmann’s reported Elvis biopic for Warner Bros is a go, with filming due to kick off in January 2020.

While the “Moulin Rouge” and “Great Gatsby” director recently set Tom Hanks to play Colonel Tom Parker, the producing committee –  Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, and Gail Berman – are now on the hunt for a fresh-faced Elvis Presely. Casting agents have been given the heads up that the film has a a vacancy for a 19-28 year old to play the king before his famed persona.

The untitled film, which will feature a record crate’s full of Presley hits, is being penned by Luhrmann and regular collaborator Craig Pearce.

Luhrmann has a few projects on his to-do list – including a feature film take on classic series “Kung-Fu” – but seems the Elvis pic, which will tell the tale of the Memphis megastar “in typically wonderfully wild Baz tradition”, will be his next picture.

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Exclusive : Here’s the plot of Coming 2 America!

Who will replace Prince Akeem on the throne!?

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Happy Easter!

“Coming 2 America”. Big sequel. Highly anticipated. One of the few Eddie Murphy-headlined sequels they have been able to get off the ground – looking at you “Beverly Hills Cop 4”–  and rather quickly.  It’s headed towards the cameras soon, with both Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reprising their roles from John Landis’s timeless 1988 comedy. The casting folks behind “Empire” are casting this, slotting the supports into place as we speak.

There’s little Paramount have released about the movie, only that it somehow involves a ‘son character’ – but you know what? I have more! (courtesy the same Paramount insider that tipped us off to the “Grease” prequel plans for the original leads last week) I have the plot.. and it promises to be as welcomingly humorous as it does hearty.

While in the first film Akeem had to find a wife, and bring her back to the homeland, in this one he’s out to bring his American son back to Zumanda. If the son is willing to replace him as prince, then Akeem gets to be King.

Akeem’s long-lost son LaVelle is essentially living the flip side life to his father – he’s permanently ‘trapped’ in Queens, he is broke, he is working at a burger place just to make ends meet, and his boss (Big Reem, guy that lives at home with his mom) is no McDowell. It’s on his 30th birthday that LaVelle starts to get a deeper itch to do more and be more.

He gets that wish when he discovers he’s heir to the throne of Zamunda – where the father he never knew, Akeem is a prince – and is soon about to be King. Cue the airplane!

And yes, there’s a girl – – Zamundan Mirembe, whose parents have disowned her for becoming a ‘groomer’ – – but knowing she won’t pass muster with the royals, LaVelle doesn’t initially give it a thought. LaVelle has to first stop chasing gold and stop trying to be someone he’s not (and it’s Mirembe that ends up being the voice of reason), and realize he’s already got plenty. Maybe she’s his calling… and maybe royalty isn’t? Yep, that old nugget.

A better match for the throne might be Akeem’s eldest daughter, Meeka, an intelligent born-leader whose theories (especially in relation to Akeem’s rival, General Izzi are concerned – she knows he’s up to no good, Akeem thinks otherwise) and suggestions for her future ‘King’ father are right on the money.

You can see where this is going….

Meantime,  Dave Chappelle is rumored to be reuniting with Murphy for the flick.

According to That Hashtag Show,  Murphy’s “Nutty Professor” co-star would play Baba, an old shaman from Zamunda that advises King Jaffe (James Earl Jones) and later Prince Akeem (Murphy), in the Craig Brewer-directed sequel.

Production kicks off on the film, which will also star Arsenio Hall, Shari Headley and John Amos, later this year.

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