Let’s talk about the top stories in Hollywood this week!
It’s now been almost two years since Marvel Studios last released a movie in theaters, but the studio rallied superhero fans to assemble at movie theaters once again and reminded us all what we’ve been missing with an amazing trailer looking back on the history of the MCU and teasing what’s coming soon. Featuring a moving narration by Stan Lee, the three-minute sizzle reel included clips from previous films, the audience’s reaction to the finale of Avengers: Endgame, and a look at what the next few years hold. Highlights included the first footage from Eternals, new titles for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and The Marvels, confirmed release dates for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and a teaser for The Fantastic Four. All of these huge movies are meant to be seen on the big screen, and audiences can finally check out Black Widow as the first Marvel movie back in theaters on July 9th, 2021. (We Got This Covered, Screen Rant, MovieWeb, The Hollywood Reporter, ComingSoon.net, Den of Geek)
News flash — people who love movies, love movies! When it comes to Streaming vs. Cinemas, major movie lovers want both, according to the latest study from the VAB. Frequent video streamers are more likely to be frequent movie goers, and will be the first to head back to the theaters as restrictions loosen throughout the country. 33% of frequent video streamers go to see a movie within the first two weekends of release and, in the pre-pandemic period, 23% were more likely to go to the movies at least once a month. They’re also 35% more likely to watch a 3D movie in a theater. (MediaPost)
Here today in a theater near you is Here Today, starring Billy Crystal as a venerable TV comedy writer and Tiffany Haddish as the saintly, rough-around-the-edges street singer who becomes his unlikely pal. According to Haddish, it was instant comedy chemistry “We hit it off immediately. As we he was trying to tell me about it, I’m like, you don’t have to do all of this talking. I’m doing the movie. It’s done. It’s in the can. We’re going to the Oscars.” Also in wide release in theaters this weekend is Wrath of Man, the adrenaline-fueled, twist-laden crime spree from director Guy Ritchie starring Jason Statham. (Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The Wrap)
Big news for movie fans in the top two movie markets in the country! Most capacity restrictions on venues including movie theaters, restaurants, offices, churches, and museums will end May 19 across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week. The state’s COVID-19 numbers have continued to trend downward. The seven-day average positivity rate is at 1.79 percent — down 50 percent over the last month, Cuomo’s office said. Los Angeles also qualified to move into California’s least-restrictive Yellow tier as of Thursday, where movie theatres can operate at 50% capacity. (The New York Post, Deadline)
It looks like the monsters have come out of the forest in the sequel to John Krasinski’s 2018 smash hit, A Quiet Place, and they are hungry. Whereas the first movie played hide and seek with the creatures, the final trailer for A Quiet Place Part II sees them wreaking havoc all over town, in what looks like a boiler room and, of course, back in the forest. Paramount Pictures’ debut of the final trailer is good news for the film and a vote of confidence that, as Covid numbers fall, the movie’s May 28, 2021 release date will stick. Another vote of confidence for the quality of the project: That’s Memorial Day weekend. The trailer ends with the words “Only in Theaters.” (Deadline)
Star Wars Day was upon us once more this week, and “May the 4th Be With You” began trending almost immediately on Tuesday. While there are some pretty great fan tributes on this day, it’s the posts from the actual Star Wars cast members that pulled on heartstrings the most. From the O.G. Star Wars crew to The Mandalorian to the memes to the best lightsaber battles, the force was strong across the Internet this year. (The Wrap, Noovie.com)
The dates for BlumFest 2021 are set! The second annual Halloween-tied event from Blumhouse Studios will take place Oct. 1. As with the first edition, this year’s BlumFest will be virtual. Studio founder Jason Blum revealed the news on YouTube, dressing up as a Sith Lord on May 4 to make the announcement. “Hello, I’m Jason Blum. Star Wars fans love May 4th and Blumhouse fans love October and Halloween. Join us October 1st for the second annual BlumFest, your favorite Blumhouse movies, TV shows and the actors and directors who make them. See you there!” Blum said. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Owen Wilson is set to star in Paramount’s Secret Headquarters, with Project Power directing duo Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. Jerry Bruckheimer will produce. The film is a high-concept family action movie about a kid who discovers the secret headquarters of the world’s most powerful superhero hidden beneath his home and must defend it with his group of friends when villains attack. Details behind who Wilson would be playing are still unknown, but he can next be seen on the big screen opposite Jennifer Lopez in the Universal rom-com Marry Me as well as Wes Anderson’s next film The French Dispatch, and Paint. (Deadline)
Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal have together acquired the rights to the memoir Finding the Mother Tree by scientist Suzanne Simard, and Adams will also star in the film adaptation. The book is described as a scientific detective story about how Simard explores her own journey as both an ecologist, a former logger and a mother. Simard is a scientist who discovered how trees communicate through a web of underground fungi. Simard’s work was once ridiculed, but her work has been considered influential not just to science, forever changing the way we look at trees, but also to the creative world, with James Cameron even being inspired by her work in imagining Avatar and the film’s Tree of Souls. (The Wrap)
Oscar-nominated actor Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) is making her feature debut with psychological thriller Pale Horse, which is scheduled to shoot this fall. Set in the Pacific Northwest, Pale Horse follows Naia, an esteemed, yet reclusive African-American YA book author who is living with MS. When Naia decides to shelter the man who escaped captivity with her long-missing brother, she finds herself caught up in a diabolical mystery. Asabi Lee and Paul Hart-Wilden (Wolf Town) scripted the film, which is based on a story by Chris Courtney Martin (The Last Laugh). (Deadline)
Sarah Silverman is set to star opposite Blair Underwood in the indie psychological thriller Viral. Silverman will play Emilia, the girlfriend to Andrew, played by Underwood, who falls into paranoia after his wife goes missing. Andrew tries to escape a self-destructive cycle via Emilia, a victims’ advocate and self-help blogger who is dealing with her own demons from the past. Written by Joe McClean, Viral is directed and produced by Underwood. The indie is set to shoot in New York this summer after being delayed from a 2020 shoot by the novel coronavirus pandemic. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Red Sonja has also found its star. Hannah John-Kamen, best known as the villain Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp, will wield the sword of the comic book fantasy hero in Millennium Films’ long-gestating feature adaptation. Joey Soloway (Transparent) is directing the film, from a script by Soloway and Tasha Huo (a writer on Netflix’s upcoming Tomb Raider TV series). Created in the early 1970s by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith for Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian comics, Red Sonja quickly became popular enough for her own spinoff series. Red Sonja was first adapted as a feature film in 1985 starring Brigitte Nielsen, with Arnold Schwarzenegger in a supporting role. (Variety)
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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