A sequel to the Tom Hanks starring World War II drama, Greyhound, is now pressing ahead for release on Apple TV+, a report by Deadline confirms. The Greyhound follow-up comes as part of a new multi-year exclusive deal signed between Apple Original Films and Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone, which will see not only Greyhound 2 take shape but will also include “series, documentaries and unscripted projects” for Apple to develop and add to their growing roster.
Released to Apple TV+ in July 2020, Greyhound follows Academy Award winner Tom Hanks as U.S. Navy Cmdr. Ernest Krause, who is assigned to lead an Allied convoy across the Atlantic during World War II. His convoy, however, is pursued by German U-boats, and even though this is Krause’s first wartime mission, he finds himself embroiled in what would come to be known as the longest, largest, and most complex naval battle in history: The Battle of the Atlantic.
Directed by Aaron Schneider and starring Tom Hanks, who also wrote the screenplay, Greyhound is based on the 1955 novel “The Good Shepherd” by C. S. Forester, and co-stars Stephen Graham, Rob Morgan, Elisabeth Shue, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Karl Glusman, Tom Brittney, Matt Helm and Thomas Kretschmann alongside Hanks.
Greyhound was met with positive reviews from critics, who praised the action sequences and pacing of the World War II thriller (as well as criticizing the thinly drawn characters), with the movie currently sitting at an impressive 78% on Rotten Tomatoes. Greyhound quickly became the most-watched movie on the Apple TV+ service, before later being taken over by another Tom Hanks-led outing, ...-apocalyptic survival flick, Finch.
Greyhound has originally been scheduled for a traditional theatrical release, with Sony Pictures Releasing initially intending to bring the movie to big screens everywhere in June 2020. Of course, thanks to the pandemic, these plans had to be changed, with Greyhound ultimately being sent straight to streaming on Apple TV+.
This decision to skip theaters had been “an absolute heartbreak” for Tom Hanks, with the actor adding at the time that; “I don’t mean to make angry my Apple overlords, but there is a difference in picture and sound quality.” Thankfully, these obvious differences did not affect these aspects of Greyhound too badly, with the WWII movie receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound as the 93rd Academy Awards.
It seems that, despite his initial trepidation over the move towards streaming, Tom Hanks is now on board, at least in part, and it will be interesting to see what other projects the actor and Playtone develop for the streaming service alongside the Greyhound sequel.
The first Greyhound is now available to stream on Apple TV+. Tom Hanks has several major projects in the pipeline, including Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic in which he will star as Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’ manager; Robert Zemeckis’ live-action remake of Pinocchio in which he will star as Geppetto; and Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City, which will see Hanks star alongside a large ensemble cast that includes Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Margot Robbie, Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, and more.
Apple’s Live-Action Godzilla Series to Be Directed by WandaVision’s Matt Shakman
Matt Shakman is set to direct the first two episodes of Legendary’s live-action Godzilla TV series currently in development at Apple TV+. Shakman is best known for his work on Marvel’s Wandavision, helming all nine episodes of the Emmy-nominated Disney+ series.
Legendary Television greenlit the Godzilla series earlier this year in a bid to expand their successful Monsterverse franchise. As of yet, the series remains untitled but will explore a family’s search for answers as the whole world discovers that the monsters that were previously assumed to be mere myths are indeed real. The series is also confirmed to feature the iconic giant lizard and hordes of other titans as well. The plot synopsis for the show (via Variety) reads:
Very little is known about the Godzilla & Titans series, except that father-son duo Kurt and Wyatt Russell are reportedly in talks to play an older and younger version of a hard-nosed member of the military and that the show will be set between the events of 2014’s Godzilla and 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
The Godzilla & Titans series is created by Chris Black (Star Trek: Enterprise, Outcast) and Matt Fraction (Hawkeye). Black will also executive produce in addition to serving as the showrunner. As for Matt Shakman, the director is currently busy with Hulu’s true crime series Immigrant, based on the life of Chippendales founder Somen ‘Steve’ Banerjee, and is also involved in Paramount’s Star Trek 4. Shakman is a veteran television director and has worked on some of the greatest shows of this century, including Fargo, Mad Men, Six Feet Under, House M.D., Game of Thrones, The Boys, Succession, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Apple’s Godzilla & Titans show is definitely in good hands.
There is no word on the series’ release date yet, but considering Shakman’s busy schedule, the show will most likely commence production in the next few months as Star Trek 4 is confirmed to begin filming by the end of the year.
The negative critical and commercial reception of Godzilla: King of the Monsters almost derailed the Monsterverse back in 2019. However, Legendary and Warner Bros. learned their lesson and made sure not to repeat the same mistakes with Godzilla vs. Kong, i.e., “not enough kaiju mayhem and too many humans.”
Subsequently, Godzilla vs. Kong underwent significant reshoots that trimmed down its many human characters and focused only on the battle between the titular monsters. The result was that Godzilla vs. Kong became one of the top 10 highest-grossing movies of 2021, even after having a simultaneous streaming and theatrical release in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. A sequel is in development with Adam Wingard returning, and as for the more character-driven stories, Legendary seems to think television would be the right choice, and they are not wrong.
The plight of ordinary people as they watch their homes and entire cities get razed will make for some truly compelling drama. Godzilla and other Titans are saviors for some but catastrophic forces of destruction for others. Hopefully, the Apple TV+ series will do a better job handling the different perspectives of mankind on the Titans than the previous Monsterverse movies.
David Ayer Says His Suicide Squad Cut Needs No Reshoots
Suicide Squad was released six years ago. David Ayer’s take on the DC Comics’ task force of supervillains was met with negative reception, making the film a critical failure. However, despite the film’s story ending, the film remains highly relevant. This is primarily due to director David Ayer’s claims that the studio hampered his version of the movie due to Batman v Superman’s poor reviews.
And then, ever since Zack Snyder got his way with his version of Justice League, the Snyder Cut, the discussion around the original version of Suicide Squad gained more traction on social media. It even triggered a campaign against the studio to release the “Ayer Cut.” Now, once again, David Ayer has spoken up about his dearest project on Twitter via responding to a few tweets.
A fan asked how different Ayer’s film is from the theatrical cut on Twitter. The question was addressed to an account dedicated to Ayer Cut, @RTAyerCutSS, while Ayer was tagged in .... Surprisingly, the director responded to the question with a subtle statement, comparing the two cuts. He said,
On the same account, Ayer also responded to a question concerning the number of reshoots the film will require, even if he’s given the budget. Ayer was quick to confirm that his movie doesn’t need any rework.
According to previous reports, Ayer had included Steppenwolf as the original villain in the film before the Warner Bros. execs force changed the script, thus, revitalizing the entire project. It turns out the director has even shot sequences featuring Steppenwolf. Earlier, when Zack Snyder’s Justice League got a greenlight, Snyder convinced the studio to spend on reshoots and shot five minutes of additional footage and extensive VFX work to make it whole. Turns out, the Suicide Squad‘s “Ayer Cut” is far more complete than Snyder’s Justice League ever came close to.
However, Snyder also had a lot of input on Suicide Squad, which essentially was in direct continuation of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film featured Ben Affleck and Ezra Miller reprising their roles as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Barry Allen/The Flash. Interestingly, it was Zack who shot Miller’s cameo for the film, with Jai Courtney’s Boomerang made in the scene later on via VFX work. Confirming this, Ayer tweeted,
The calls for Ayer Cut are increasing, but the campaign has not gained the same traction as #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. It was only after the Snyder Cut that Ayer boosted the campaign for his version of Suicide Squad making a release. Still, for now, despite being almost ready to go straight to the viewers, its future looks in vain.
The reason Snyder Cut got greenlit at Warner Bros. was the constantly growing demands for it. Fans had created a massive market for the film before Warner Bros. even considered it. When stars of the Justice League joined in, the studio saw it as the perfect opportunity to promote HBO Max. However, that hasn’t been the case for Suicide Squad. The demands to get the Ayer Cut greenlit haven’t been continuous, and the campaign has lost and gained traction on social media. Ayer himself outgrew the negative comments his film continued to receive, to which he responded with an official statement, declaring he won’t speak on the matter anymore.
In 2021, the sequel The Suicide Squad, directed by James Gunn, was released in theaters and on HBO Max. Indeed, the film was a vast improvement from the previous movie and was a great hit. Ayer, however, has maintained that the theatrical Suicide Squad isn’t ‘his’ film. Given the sequel’s success, which was way different in terms of tone, setting, character designs, and story, it’s unlikely for Ayer’s cut to get a streaming release anytime soon.
It’s known that Warner Bros. did make extensive changes to Suicide Squad and its plans for the DC Extended Universe. The idea of alternate changes to the film’s script and forcing humor into a relatively dark and intense theme made it worse and resulted in a significant failure. Maybe, the studio isn’t interested in it, but there’s a solid reason to view what Ayer really created.