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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.
2013 saw the genesis of an ambitious and original new endeavor from Canadian martial arts film and stunt troupe, Team 2X. That project, from industry stuntman and coordinator James Mark (Wolves), hails this week from Raven Banner with forthcoming release, Kill Order, aiming to spark a new wave of feature length martial arts movie fandom with stuntman and martial artist Chris Mark (Scott Pilgrim VS. The World) setting the stage for his own feature acting debut. When David, a troubled high school student who appears to suffer from mental illness, finds himself in a situation where he is about to be taken captive for reasons unknown, a dark power takes over his body opening the doors to a world of superhuman abilities and a past kept secret.Also starring are Dan Park, Denis Akiyama and Jessica Clement along with the mind-blowing feats of Team 2X for its November 24 premiere at the Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival. Raven Banner will then follow suit with a U.S./Canada release on F…
Friday night marked another big event weekend in which I had the opportunity to partially partake. A night of festive dining, laughter and comeradery that felt all too short for me, though I managed to fend off the sleep deprivation for a whole day to write about it. Feel free to check it out of you fancy it.
Of course, the work doesn't stop there. This week's installment of the Hit List is packed with a fresh new load of film, stunt and screenfighting talent and much more.
As such, it was actress and martial artist Geneviève Doang(STUDIO+ series Dragon Race) who left a striking impression on me a few Winters ago with one of the best action comedy short you'll ever see involving two heroes kicking NAZI ass, Le Aventures De Tranh Et Nowak. The short, also starring actor Quentin d'Hainaut, was intially meant as a pilot for a hopeful series that never came to pass but you can still catch the short online. And, in pairing fashion, you will find that footage visible in thei…
Word has it that actor Lin Gengxin is a possible front runner to lead famed Hong Kong director Tsui Hark's newly confirmed adaptation of classic literary, Return Of The Condor Heroes. The story is inspired by Jin Yong's 1959 publication, the second installation of the Condor Trilogy which began in 1957 and has seen numerous film and TV adaptations, as well as its expansion into books and video games.
Hark reportedly aims to adapt the book into a trilogy of its own while fans are expecting to hear of Lin's attachment as Yang Guo, whose taboo romance with his sifu, martial arts master Little Dragon Girl, and their adventures in the martial arts world is central to the story. Lin has worked with Hark on several occassions with credits together including Young Detective Dee: Rise Of the Sea Dragon (2013), The Taking of Tiger Mountain (2014), Derek Yee's Sword Master (2016) which Hark produced, and this year's sequel hit, Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back whi…