Let’s talk about the top stories in Hollywood this week!
While nearly every movie has been delayed in wake of the pandemic, Warner Bros. has taken the unusual step of releasing Godzilla vs. Kong two months earlier than expected. The legendary monsters will face off on March 26, instead of May 21, in theaters and on the streaming service HBO Max. Adam Wingard directed Godzilla vs. Kong, the fourth entry in Legendary’s monster universe following 2004’s Godzilla, 2017’s Kong: Skull Island, and 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The upcoming crossover event — starring Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall and Brian Tyree Henry — pits the otherworldly giants against each other in an epic battle. (Variety)
The new IFC movie, No Man’s Land, which examines some of the human consequences of the divisiveness regarding immigration, hits theaters this week. The film tells a simple but poignant story of two families caught up in this conflict along the Texas border. The making of the movie was also something of a family affair for two native sons of Texas – Conor Allyn directed the film, and the script was written by his brother, Jake Allyn (with co-writer David Barraza), who also stars alongside George Lopez and Andie MacDowell. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Also on the big screen this week is Our Friend, the touching true story based on Matthew Teague’s sensational award-winning Esquire magazine article about his family crisis when his wife, Nicole, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and his friend came to live with him. The movie stars Casey Affleck as Matt Teague, Dakota Johnson as Nicole and Jason Segel as Dane, their best friend who selflessly puts his own life on hold in New Orleans and travels to the Teague home in Fairhope, AL, to help out the hopelessly lost friend who is about to lose his wife and mother of their two young girls. (Deadline)
Tom Hanks was a hit on the small screen hosting the virtual Inauguration celebration yesterday, but we won’t be seeing him on the big screen in the post-apocalyptic movie Bios until the summer. Universal and Amblin are moving back the feature, in which Hanks stars as a robotics engineer who wants to ensure his beloved dog will be cared for after he is gone. Studios continue to contemplate date shuffles amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the film will now open Aug. 13, after previously being slated for April, after initially being rescheduled from October 2020. Hanks’ character in the movie is one of the few survivors of a cataclysmic solar event that has left the world a wasteland, but he has been living underground in a bunker for a decade and has built his own world, which he shares with his dog, Goodyear. (The Hollywood Reporter)
The Oscars Best Documentary Feature race, which set a new record for entries in December when it passed the previous record of 170, has now left all previous years in the dust with 240 eligible films. Academy rules put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic made it easier than usual for documentaries to qualify for the Oscars this year, which opened the door for a field that obliterated the previous record, which was set in 2017. The first round of voting, in which the 240 contenders will be narrowed down to a 15-film shortlist, will take place from Feb. 1-5. (The Wrap)
Warner Bros. has set a date for Wonka, an origin story focusing on the storied chocolate factory owner. Wonka will hit theaters on March 17, 2023 and is from Paddington director Paul King and Harry Potter producer David Heyman. The studio describes it as focusing on “a young Willy Wonka and his adventures prior to opening the world’s most famous chocolate factory.” In the books by Roald Dahl, Willy Wonka is the eccentric owner of a chocolate factory, with the character debuting in the 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Gene Wilder portrayed the character in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, helping make the character an indelible pop culture figure. Johnny Depp stepping into the role for a 2005 Tim Burton film. (The Hollywood Reporter)
The Cannes Film Festival is considering whether it will keep its May dates or postpone to the summer. The festival is currently looking to take place sometime between July 5-25. Although a Cannes bow in late June had been discussed, it appears this slot will be taken by the Cannes Lions, the annual advertising market, which is still scheduled to run June 21-25. (Variety)
Top Gun: Maverick aerial Director of Photography Michael FitzMaurice and Aerial Coordinator/Helicopter Camera Pilot Kevin LaRosa Jr. are among the crew aboard for new fighter pilot movie Devotion, which gets underway next month in Savannah, Georgia. The aerial epic will chart the true story of U.S. Navy fighter pilots, Jesse Brown and Tom Hudner, two young men from different worlds. Initiated together into the VF-32 squadron, they are pushed to their limits flying a new design of fighter jet. Their friendship is tested to the hilt when one of them is shot down behind enemy lines. The film will star Jonathan Majors (Da 5 Bloods) and Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick) in the lead roles, along with Thomas Sadoski, Joe Jonas, Daren Kagasoff, Christina Jackson and Spencer Neville. (Deadline)
For a full schedule of all the new movies coming to a theater near you, check out Box Office Mojo’s Domestic Release Calendar.
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