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Casting Updates: Taken 3, The Whole Truth, Marvel & xXx 3!
Fresh off the wire as this week's festivities move forward for the European Film Festival in Berlin, Deadline confirmed that director Olivier Megaton will return to the director's seat once again for the Liam Neeson actioner, Taken 3. Neeson is expected to reprise his role with much of the main cast, namely actress Maggie Grace who plays his daughter, in addition to the film's newly annouced cast member, Forest Whitaker.
The film marks the third installation of EuropaCorp's surprise franchise success that began with Neeson starring as former CIA operative Bryan Mills trekking through France's seedy underworld of Albanian sex traffickers to hunt down his daughter's kidnappers in the Pierre Morel-directed 2008/09 film, while the 2012 sequel pit our hero against their blood thirsty family members hungry for vengeance as they stalk Mills and his family through Istanbul. As for the third offering, no plot details have been made, although Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen are back to treat the script.
Neeson will appear in his second film opposite director Jaume Collet-Serra for the high-flying hostage thriller, Non-Stop, set to release in North America on February 28, 2014.
Variety is also reporting that actor Daniel Craig is lined up for a new role in a courtroom thriller titled The Whole Truth. Nicholas Kazan, who wrote director Michael Apted's 2002 domestic violence action drama, Enough, and Michael Karbelnikoff's 1991 prohibition-era gangster crime drama, Mobsters, is providing the screenplay, while Richard Suckle and Courtney Hunt will produce and direct respectively.
Craig is currently returning to his fourth stint as the iconic MI6 agent, James Bond in the tentatively titled Bond 24 with Sam Mendes back to direct for a November 6, 2015 release.
In Marvel news, while Tom Hiddleston's previous efforts to nab the role of Marvel superhero Thor eventually segwayed into that of his adopted brother, Loki, actor Chris Hemsworth will no doubt return for the role with Hiddleston in the pending release of Thor 3 as per the slate of films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thor: The Dark World's executive producer Craig Kyle and writer Christopher Yost will be penning the script, which might center around the cyclic death and rebirth of the Asgardian gods, otherwise known as the Ragnarok story arc.
Meanwhile, reports also suggest that a writer is still being sought for the third Captain America film, but now the directors of the upcoming April 4, 2014 release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Anthony and Joe Russo are now on board to direct the third film, with actor Chris Evans reprising his role.
Marvel has three dates slated for untiltled new films between now and 2017, which could mean Thor 3 may land one of those dates. In the meantime, Hemsworth and Evans are rejoining the principle cast for The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, in addition to new actors, including South Korean local actress Kim Soo-Hyun who has been newly cast as another villain. The film bows on May 1, 2015.
Last but not least, Marvel's Guardian Of The Galaxy voice-over co-star, actor Vin Diesel continued to correspond with his #Vinbook community with viral videos and posts on Facebook accompanied by the tunes of singers Beyonce and Katy Perry. Reports suggest that Universal Pictures is granting last year's successful theatrical release of Riddickwith a sequel, which was reported in previous headlines to begin exploring 'The Underverse'. In addition further news highlights the completion of the script treatment for the long gestating development of the tentatively titled xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage following Diesel's role in the 2002 film with actor Ice Cube replacing him in the 2005 sequel.
Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy release on August 1, 2014, while Diesel continues to complete the epic production of Fast And Furious 7 slated for April 10, 2015.
Having extensively covered Universal Pictures's famed Fast franchise, this week's latest bit of coverage has to be the closest I've come. It's primarily attributed to the forthcoming live show which kicks off in London in January and obviously with a film saga so action packed, of course it's going to need a crew of some very talented stunt performers to take to task the very feats attendees can expect.
For this, it is with great pleasure to have been able to share an auspicious chat with Adam Brashaw, someone whose work thusfar in stunts, film and television have been all but impressive. He's only appeared in The Hit List a few times having done three shortfilms (two of which I have seen), and you need only to see the results for yourself apart from his exceptional work reel just above.
Brashaw is going nine years strong in his field with multiple credits to his name, including at least one upcoming film project which he discusses a bit about later in this in…
I still plan on catching Magnet's U.S. release of Miike Takashi's hit manga adaptation, Blade Of The Immortal next month. Folks in the U.K. still have a bit of a wait though and in all likelihood it won't stall any excitement that has already been drawn from the rave press reviews in the last six months, including this month at Sitges. Manji, a highly skilled samurai, becomes cursed with immortality after a legendary battle. Haunted by the brutal murder of his sister, Manji knows that only fighting evil will regain his soul. He promises to help a young girl named Rin avenge her parents, who were killed by a group of master swordsmen led by ruthless warrior Anotsu. The mission will change Manji in ways he could never imagine...
Arrow Films is releasing the film theatrically on December 8. The trailer looks something a bit similar from the international pitch from months earlier but still delivers the desired effect. Enjoy, and set the date!
Among many of the film, TV and independent projects I've followed up on, one stood out as something worth following in its early days as I had known of the folks working on its action for its director, Charlie Dennis. Fast forward three Winters later and we were introduced to the world of gritty martial arts short, Deep Pan Fury, with UK actor Andrew Koji, whose extensive TV and film acting and stunt credits include 2007 Muay Thai flick, Fighting Beat, Justin Lin's Furious 6 and as the voice of Hien in Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood.
Conclusively, I couldn't be more proud of Koji this week, and that brings us to the longstanding developments of Cinemax's upcoming ten-episode martial arts drama, Warrior which is set to go before cameras in South Africa on October 22. Netflix series Fauda helmer Assaf Bernstein is directing from a script by Banshee creator Jonathan Tropper, in turn inspired by the unproduced work of late martial artist multihyphenate, entertainer and fil…