So Good News: Aladdin, Lily James, A Wrinkle In Time, Mary Poppins

The world of movie news moves at light speed some days, so it’s hard to keep up with everything (even for those of us that run an entertainment website). So welcome to today’s news briefing here at So, Is It Any Good? where we round up the breaking stories you might have missed.

Arabian Nights

The much-plagued casting of Disney’s titular character for the Aladdin live action remake has finally reached a resolution. After reporting that it was “very difficult” to find an actor of Middle Eastern heritage to fill the role (and suffering the ire of the internet in response) relatively unknown Egyptian born Canadian actor Mena Massoud has been cast in the role of street rat, genie conjurer, princess woo-er.

Speaking of royalty and magic, the roles of Princess Jasmine and The Genie will be played by Naomi Scott (Power Rangers) and Will Smith respectively. While shooting was scheduled for August, it may take some phenomenal cosmic powers to keep them on track.

Time Wrinkling!

The first teaser trailer for Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time dropped overnight and hoo boy does it entice.

The film adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s 1963 fantastical novel is set for a 2018 release. A luscious cast is on board and it’s pretty mesmerising to finally see glimpses of their characters in action. Feast your eyes on the trailer which features an omniscient Oprah Winfrey, a suspiciously devious Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling being resplendent and Christopher Pine (you know, one of the white Superhero Chris’) being lost in time like a super genius chump.

Mama Mia!

Baby Driver‘s break out female queen Lily James is joining the cast of Mama Mia 2: Here We Go Again! James is set to play “Young Donna” to Meryl Streep‘s “Present Day Donna” as the narrative plans to move forward and back in time.

Just imagine a Christopher Nolan film but with a lot more oceanic vistas, Americans in Greece, and perfectly choreographed flash mobs singing ABBA songs. 

Mama Mia 2: Here We Go Again! (yes, no joke, that is literally the working title) is set for a 2018 release.

The Nanny Named Emily

Not to alarm any Mary Poppins purists but the first look at Emily Blunt as the title character in Mary Poppins Returns has been released from the childhood-nostalgia-inducing clutches of Disney studios.

Mary Poppins Returns also stars Meryl Streep, everyone’s favourite talking teapot Angela Lansbury and the very much anticipated return of Dick Van Dyke (though this time around the actor has upgraded from cheeky chimney sweep to the bank chairman). Excitingly the musical genius that is Lin Manuel Miranda will be taking up vacant role of chimney sweep.

Sit tight, Mary Poppins Returns is scheduled to be the Christmas film to rival all others for the 2018 holiday season. (Side Note: Someone seriously needs to talk to these guys about how to properly name a sequel)

Saving (Scar)Face

The Scarface reboot has lost director David Ayer. The Hollywood Reporter cited script differences, with the studio claiming Ayer’s work was “too dark”. Given that Scarface is famously violent and packs a fair amount of psychological punch, one is left wondering what on earth the director of Suicide Squad could have done to venture past the murky but acceptably dimly lit waters of the subject material.The project has been dogged by directorial misdirection, with Ayer becoming the fourth director to call it quits.

That’s it for this edition of So Good News – you’re all caught up! Don’t forget to keep coming back to So, Is It Any Good for all your movie news, reviews and general shenanigans. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!