We’re halfway through May, and summer movie season has kicked off in a big way. Even with the writers strike, Hollywood news isn’t slowing down, nor is the box office. This week finds Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Super Mario Bros. Movie continuing to smash the box office, Venom 3 getting a big name, John Cena’s incredible new role, and more.

As always, Atom Insider brings you a few hand-picked stories we think you’ll like. Ready? Let’s dive in.

Chiwetel Ejiofor Joins Tom Hardy In Venom 3

Doctor Strange star Chiwetel Ejiofor has lined up his next project, and it appears he’ll be stepping into a different part of the on-screen Marvel universe. Deadline broke the news that the talented actor has signed on for Venom 3 opposite Tom Hardy, though Sony is keeping the details of his character under wraps for now. The news comes a week after it was announced that Ted Lasso star Juno Temple will also be joining the cast. Hardy, of course, is returning to the titular role of Eddie Brock/Venom, with his longtime creative collaborator Kelly Marcel taking the reins as director for the first time. The third Venom installment doesn’t yet have a release date, but considering the news coming out about casting, it’s likely to start shooting in the next few months, making a release late next year possible.

Michelle Yeoh Reveals Her Secret To Choosing Roles

Michelle Yeoh’s career has been varied and daring, which is a big reason for her longevity in Hollywood and career recently catapulting to stratospheric new heights with Everything Everywhere All at Once, a performance that won her an Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards. And during the Fifth Annual Meihodo International Youth Visual Media Festival in Japan (via EW), the actress confirmed as much when speaking about her upcoming role in Jon Chu’s adaptation of the beloved Broadway musical Wicked.

“I’m trying something new right now — filming Jon Chu’s Wicked movie, which will be my first musical,” she said. “It’s very exciting, and I can’t wait for you all to see it. It was a risk, but you will never know which doors will open for you unless you try them all.”

Yeoh is set to play Madame Morrible, the headmistress of Shiz University’s Crage Hall that is a focal point in the lives of Elphaba and Glinda, the future Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch of the South. Cynthia Erivo will be playing Elphaba while Ariana Grande is set to play Glinda. The cast of the film also includes Bowen Yang, Keala Settle, Marissa Bode, Brownwyn James, Ethan Slater and Jonathan Bailey. The first part of Wicked, which is being adapted as a two-parter, is set to drop Thanksgiving week of 2024.

Box Office Updates Show Business Is Booming

After its opening weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 pushed Disney past the $2 billion mark for 2023 already. It’s continued its strong performance at the box office, already crossing the half a billion threshold. Currently, it sits at almost $543 million at the global box office after seeing only a 40% drop in its second weekend. While the release of Fast X this weekend may slow down Guardians 3‘s momentum, it’s clearly still going strong.

Meanwhile, another Chris Pratt-led movie has helped push another studio past the $2 billion mark for the year. Illumination/Nintendo/Universal’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which has blown past the billion-dollar mark at the box office. As of now, it’s hauled in an eye-popping $1.2 billion at the global box office, showing the continuing power of animation.

Twister Sequel Twisters Rounds Out Cast

Universal’s Twister sequel, aptly named Twisters, is putting together one hell of a stacked cast, adding the final pieces this week. Deadline reported that the project has rounded out its cast with Maura Tierney (The Affair), Harry Hadden-Paton (Downton Abbey), Sasha Lane (American Honey), Kiernan Shipka (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), Nik Dodani (Atypical), David Corenswet (Pearl), Tunde Adebimpe (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Katy O’Brian (The Mandalorian). They join a cast that already includes Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick), Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People), Anthony Ramos (In the Heights), Brandon Perea (Nope) and Daryl McCormack (Peaky Blinders). Minari‘s Lee Isaac Chung is set to direct from a screenplay by Mark L. Smith (The Revenant).

While details of the new movie are being kept under wraps, the original Twister is a classic. Starring Helen Hunt and the late Bill Paxton as two storm chasers, Twister was written by Michael Crichton and directed by Speed‘s Jan de Bont. The movie, which garnerd $495 million at the global box office ($957 million today adjusted for inflation), was not only a financial success, but it was lauded for its groundbreaking VFX. If Twisters wants to be nearly as successful as its predecessor, it will have to up the ante in terms of visuals.

John Cena Is Playing A Merman In The Barbie Movie

While promoting the upcoming Fast X, John Cena confirmed that he’s also set to appear in another anticipated movie, and it couldn’t be further than the nitrous- and testosterone-fueled Fast & Furious franchise. While speaking to the Today show, the wrestler-turned-actor revealed he’ll also be making an appearance in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. Not only that, but the role he’ll be playing is incredibly great: a merman. You read that right. He’ll be playing a merman.

In even better news, it was Cena himself to lobbied to be part of the Barbie movie. He explained he pitched himself for a part “in an accidental run-in with Margot Robbie” where he said, “I would do, pretty much, whatever you guys need ’cause I really enjoy the movie and they asked me if I wanted to be a merman.”

The more we hear about this movie, the more bonkers it seems. And now we get to see John Cena in a mermaid tail? Sign us up.

Trailers & Clips of the Week

And now, your trailers and clips of the week.

Haunted Mansion – Official Trailer

Could this be Disney’s next big ride-based franchise?

Five Nights at Freddy’s – Teaser Trailer

Yep, that’s about as bonkers as we expected it to be.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One – Official Trailer

This movie is going to be epic.

The Creator – Teaser Trailer

Humans vs. AI is a little too relevant these days.

Surrounded – Official Trailer

All hail the Western resurgence.

Fast X – Final Trailer

Last but not least, the final trailer for Fast X.

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