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Sony Leaks Reveal ‘Aquaman’ Director, ‘X-Men’/’Fantastic Four’ Crossover Plans & More

Sony Leaks Reveal ‘Aquaman’ Director, ‘X-Men’/’Fantastic Four’ Crossover Plans & More

2014’s Sony hack will go down in infamy as the biggest/ugliest film-related scandal in recent years. For bloggers seeking movie secrets, it is the gift that keeps on giving, but honestly, isn’t enough enough? Many outlets are like lions gnawing away on carcasses for weeks just trying to find another tasty piece of rotting flesh. And yet here we are because, well, in many regards these leaks now become news whether we like it or not. Honestly, we’re not huge fans of it. It could all go away tomorrow and it would be more of a relief, but terabytes of information are still being sifted through so expect these leaks to provide info and news items for weeks to come—though keep in mind that many of these reports are just ideas or concepts and many may not come to pass. We digress. Here’s the latest, and hopefully we’ll couch all these items informatively.

Maybe we’ll rank them from the most to least plausible.

OK, so this feels the most real since it’s been rumored for a while now. And rumor or not, it makes perfect sense given the movie climate. An email from Sony exec Michael De Luca was intercepted and it said, “[Simon] Kinberg told me fox is steering ‘X-Men’ and ‘Fantastic Fourinto an eventual team up film.” Well, given that everyone’s already copying the Marvel mold and the idea of cinematic universes, of course they are. Naturally, 20th Century Fox has denied that such a team-up film exists, but one presumes it’s only a matter of time (and so I’m not sure I totally believe James Gunn’s insistence that ‘Guardians’ and ‘Avengers’ won’t crossoversure, for now anyway…) Many will see De Luca’s confirmation of an idea that conventional wisdom already saw as an inevitability. How do we know they’re copying Marvel’s plan other than it being totally fucking obvious?

Well, De Luca says it himself. “Seems to me maybe, since the Spider-man universe itself is deep, you guys should look at ‘Sinister Six,’ new Spidey, Female movie and Venom as linked pieces leading to eventual mega movie ala [Marvel’s Kevin] Feige and Fox and not stand alone single films. It’s early in all these and you can still map out a blueprint for connective tissue.” More than anything, this is really just confirmation that Hollywood has zero original ideas.

De Luca also expresses his desire to have “The Lego Movie”’s Phil Lord and Chris Miller direct “The Amazing Spider-Man 3” in 2018, which also quasi confirms what many have already been thinking given this mass of leaks around the “Spider-Man” franchise: director Marc Webb could be on the outs and Andrew Garfield’s fate probably depends on what plan Sony eventually chooses to go with (an animated Spider-Man movie directed by Lord & Miller is also another idea that has been kicked around by Sony). Given everything that’s been said in emails, some of it “leaked,” most of it out there whether it has been reported on or not, it feels doubtful that Webb will return to the series. 

In the same email, De Luca apparently reveals (or just says, who knows if he’s totally correct) that “Mud” director Jeff Nichols is directing Warner Bros.’ version of “Aquaman.” This one may not be so entirely far fetched. Nichols’ has primarily been an indie filmmaker so far, but he’s already in the Warner Bros. business and his upcoming 2015 film is a high-concept, John Carpenter-esque science fiction film called “Midnight Special.” That picture shot long ago, is likely cut and being worked on with effects and whatnot, so one could easily posit that WB’s seen a rough-cut, liked what they’ve seen, and enlisted Nichols to tackle “Aquaman” starring Jason Momoa, due in 2018. Will this new item turn out? It’s safe to say De Luca is now the second most hated Sony employee after Amy Pascal, especially given that he’s inadvertently revealing plans from other, rival studios.

Many sites are reporting that there’s another “Spider-Man” reboot in the works, but that’s not accurate. It’s just that Jeff Robinov—former Warner Bros. exec who shepherded the Christopher Nolan-directed “Dark Knight” films, but failed to entice the filmmaker to run the WB/DC Universe films—who is now at Sony under his own shingle, wrote an eight-page document proposing his pitch for a “Spider-Man” reboot. Many have called this a plan in the works, but Robinov is not one of the producers on the series that includes Avi Arad and Matt Tolamach (the former being notoriously protective of this franchise, much to the chagrin of fans and to the detriment to the series). This is just his idea and pitch to Sony chief Amy Pascal, and he suggests doing a) some story lines that revolve around Spidey villain Kraven, and b) considering some Spider-Man films with the character as an adult instead of a teenager. To say these are in the works or are a current Sony plan is beyond premature. It’s just a pitch and the studio has been fielding dozens and dozens of “Spider-Man” pitches for several months from several writers and producers, hence rumors of an Aunt May movie and all-female Spider-Man team-up. Be skeptical in your belief that any of these films will actually happen.

Now, to what feels like the biggest dream-on pipe dream. Apparently found in the various emails, Sony wants Ryan Gosling for their “Sinister Six” film and apparently as one of the (female?) “Ghostbusters.” Well, Mike Fleming also wants a pony, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Neither of these franchises are Gosling’s style and he’s already passed on “Doctor Strange” and “Suicide Squad, so don’t put a lot of stock into this one, every studio wants every major star for every major movie.

Until the DailyBeast sorts through more private emails…

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