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Cate Shortland to direct 'Black Widow' starring Scarlett Johansson
Filmmaker Cate Shortland has been selected to direct a Black Widow standalone film for Marvel starring Scarlett Johansson.

Shortland, best known for helming World War II drama Lore, was chosen after the studio met with over 49 other female directors, Deadline reported.

Development on a Black Widow film began in January with Jan Schaffer being hired to pen the script. Schaffer recently wrote the script for the upcoming Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake The Hustle, starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson.

The film will be reportedly set before the events of the first Avengers film, noted The Hollywood Reporter.

Johansson has been portraying Black Widow, a highly-trained spy who hails from Russia, since 2010, when she first appeared as the character in Iron Man 2. The actress has reprised the role in a number of Marvel films such as the Avengers series including Infinity War and two Captain America films.

Despite Black Widow's long tenure on-screen, Marvel's first film led by a female superhero will be Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, which is due in theaters on March 6, 2019.


'Downton Abbey' movie to begin filming this summer
Focus Features announced Friday that a Downton Abbey movie is officially in the works with much of the principal cast set to return.

"Welcome back to Downton! We're thrilled to announce that #DowntonAbbey is coming to the big screen. Film production begins this summer," the studio tweeted.

Downton Abbey started out as a TV series which followed the wealthy Crawley family and those who served them at their country house in early 20th century England.

Created by writer-producer Julian Fellowes, the costume drama ran for six seasons from 2010-15 on ITV in the United Kingdom and on PBS in the United States. It starred Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, Laura Carmichael and Allen Leech.

"Since the series ended, fans of Downton have long been waiting for the Crawley family's next chapter," Focus chairman Peter Kujawski said in a statement. "We're thrilled to join this incredible group of filmmakers, actors and craftspeople, led by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, in bringing back the world of Downton to the big screen."


LOOSE LIPS:
"I was told that the first year of marriage would be really difficult and people warned me, but actually it's incredible."
--Jessica Chastain, on newlywed life with husband Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo, to PEOPLE



??? Guess Who ???

Which Black Panther star is in talks to join the monster crossover 'Godzilla vs. Kong'?


Director Jon M. Chu developing Thai cave rescue film
Filmmaker Jon M. Chu, the director behind Crazy Rich Asians, has announced on Twitter his plans to develop a second film based on the Thai cave rescue.

The cave rescue dominated headlines recently as 12 young Thai soccer players and their coach were trapped in a cave for up to 18 days until they were rescued. Thai navy SEALs led the operation.

Chu's announcement comes after Pure Flix CEO Michael Scott said on Facebook that he was going to secure movie rights to the news story, Deadline reported. Chu is attached to direct a film on the rescue through Ivanhoe Pictures whose president John Penotti said was in negotiations with Thailand's Navy and government to develop the project.

Chu noted that his reasoning for wanting to direct the film was to keep Hollywood away from whitewashing what happened.

"I refuse to let Hollywood #whitewashout the Thai Cave rescue story! No way. Not on our watch. That won't happen or we'll give them hell. There's a beautiful story abt human beings saving other human beings. So anyone thinking abt the story better approach it right & respectfully," Chu, a Chinese-American said on Twitter Wednesday.

"Its a bit early 2truly discuss but the biggest lesson I learned frm making #CrazyRichAsians is that we must tell our stories especially the important ones so history doesnt get it wrong.This one is too important 2 let others dictate who the real heroes are," he continued.

"We have the power to not only MAKE history but be the historians that RECORD it too. So that it's told correctly and respectfully. Couldn't just sit here watching how others would "interpret" this important story," he said.

Chu's Crazy Rich Asians, based on the Kevin Kwan best-selling novel of the same name and starring Constance Wu, is set for release on Aug. 17.


Chadwick Boseman to star in '17 Bridges' from 'Avengers' filmmakers
Chadwick Boseman has been cast in the upcoming action-thriller, 17 Bridges, that will be produced by Avengers: Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo.

Boseman will star in the project, from STXfilms, as a disgraced New York City detective who after being thrown into a manhunt for a cop killer, is able to seek redemption, noted The Hollywood Reporter.

Brian Kirk, a television director known for helming episodes of Game of Thrones and The Tudors, is helming 17 Bridges based on a script by Adam Mervis.

Boseman is also producing along with his writing and producing partner Logan Coles. The Russo brothers are producing under their AGBO production banner along with executive producer Mike Larocca.

Boseman worked with the Russos on Avengers: Infinity War when he reprised his Marvel superhero role as the Black Panther.

"STX has assembled a dream team of collaborators on 17 Bridges, bringing together the global talents behind two of the biggest action films ever made to give audiences a thrilling new take on the race-against-the-clock crime-drama," STXfilms chairman Adam Fogelson told Variety.

"Chadwick Boseman's razor-sharp instincts and undeniable charisma captivated millions of people around the world in Black Panther, and Joe and Anthony Russo have breathed a new energy into the action genre with films like Avengers: Infinity War," Fogelson continued. "Their unique and intelligent approach to filmmaking is anything but formulaic, and with Brian Kirk at the helm directing, this film promises to go beyond the typical popcorn fare."


??? Guess Who ???

Which Black Panther star is in talks to join the monster crossover 'Godzilla vs. Kong'?

The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira is being eyed to star in upcoming monster movie crossover, Godzilla vs. Kong.

Gurira is in early talks to join the film in a leading role, noted The Hollywood Reporter. Details surrounding her character are being kept under wraps.

Godzilla vs. Kong, set to be directed by Adam Wingard, will be the fourth entry in Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment's monster universe that consists of 2014's Godzilla, 2017's Kong: Skull Island and upcoming sequel Godzilla: King of the Monsters which is set for release on May 31, 2019.

Deadpool 2's Julian Dennison and Stranger Things alum Millie Bobby Brown who will also be appearing in King of the Monsters, are set to star in Godzilla vs. Kong.

Gurira is also in talks to star in Paramount's next Star Trek film from director S.J. Clarkson, Deadline reported.

Gurira was last seen in Marvel's Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War as Wakandan general Okoye.