Hollywood is heading into the holidays, which means it’s heading into awards season. Productions are cranking right along on projects from big-budget tentpole blockbusters to indie Oscar hopeful darlings. And productions being in full swing means lots of movie news. As always, Atom Insider is bringing you a few hand-picked stories we think you’ll like. Ready? Let’s dive in.
‘Eternals’ Beats Expectations At The Box Office
Despite mixed to negative critical reviews, audiences have had no problem turning out for Marvel’s Eternals thus far. Its domestic opening weekend saw it hauling in over $71 million, good enough for the fourth-best opening of the year to date. As far as Marvel movies go, it’s not an auspicious start, but in pandemic times, it’s a strong opening, particularly considering the mixed reviews and the fact it’s a brand-new Marvel team that hasn’t had the chance to build up character recognition with broad audiences. The real test will be Eternals‘ second weekend, where word of mouth will make or break the film, as well as how many returning audiences go back for a second watch. Even if it does see a significant second-weekend dropoff at the box office, Eternals is exactly the kind of movie Marvel needed to make after wrapping up the Infinity Saga. Marvel is about as bulletproof a brand as Hollywood has, but even with all its outsized success, it needs to grow as a franchise. Eternals does just that, pushing boundaries with its diversity of cast, LGBTQ+ representation, showing Marvel’s first (admittedly PG-13) sex scene, and the vast scope of its story. Even if its second weekend doesn’t knock it out of the park, it’s likely that Eternals will become a movie that marked one of the major evolutions of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in years to come.
Ana De Armas In Talks To Lead ‘John Wick’ Spinoff ‘Ballerina’
The John Wick universe is officially expanding further. Deadline broke the exciting news that Ana de Armas is signing into the dotted line to take the lead in the John Wick spinoff movie Ballerina. The character, who was briefly seen in John Wick: Chapter 3 as one of the ballerinas in the background of the Director’s studio, is a young assassin out for revenge against the people who murdered her family. Underworld‘s Len Wiseman is set to direct off a script by Shay Hatten, who penned Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead and John Wick 3. De Armas will add to the spinoff’s solid action team in front of the camera. Her brief but memorable role as CIA agent Paloma in the recent James Bond movie No Time to Die showed just what de Armas is capable of in a slick action-thriller. Indeed, she arguably stole the thunder away from Daniel Craig in the scenes they shared together, and since then, fans have been clamoring for her to get her own James Bond spinoff movie. While that’s unlikely to happen, she’ll finally get the chance to fully flex her action chops with Ballerina. There’s no release date yet set for the John Wick spinoff, but considering Lionsgate’s big plans to expand the franchise with Ballerina and the TV series The Continental, it wouldn’t be surprising if they were to make this project a priority to fast-track.
A24 Greenlights Fantasy Epic ‘The Legend of Ochi’
Following the success of The Green Knight and the buzz that surrounded it, A24 clearly wants to continue exploring the world of fantasy epics. This time, however, the story will be even more of an original than the loose adaptation of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” Director Isaiah Saxon is set to make his feature debut with The Legend of Ochi, an original movie based on his own characters, world, and screenplay. According to Deadline, studio execs were so impressed with Saxon’s vision for the world that they jumped at the chance to work with him. Already, the project has assembled an all-star cast including Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson, Finn Wolfhard and Helena Zengel. The story follows a young girl, played by Zengel, who runs away from home and, along the way, learns to communicate with an elusive, animal creatures known as the Ochi. While not a completely family-friendly movie, it marks the studio’s first foray into getting closer to that genre, with the movie reportedly being described as “a throwback to old-school pre-Lord of Rings Peter Jackson pics.” No release date has yet been set, but this will be an interesting project to see develop.
‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’ First Look Photos
If you didn’t know it, there’s a new Downton Abbey moving heading our way courtesy of Focus Features and its official title is Downton Abbey: A New Era. Its first teaser trailer is set to run before Focus Features’ Belfast in theaters starting this weekend. Building up to that teaser trailer debut, the studio has released the first look photos of the sequel:
Downton Abbey hive, assemble!
Leonardo DiCaprio To Board MGM Biopic ‘Jim Jones’
Some find Hollywood’s obsession with serial killers and cultists to be questionable, but the true crime stories of murderers and conmen aren’t about to stop. And now, arguably the highest-profile project with the biggest A-list star is heading to screens. Academy Award winner Leonardo DiCaprio is set to star in MGM’s Jim Jones biopic about the infamous Jonestown cult leader. DiCaprio is also set to produce for his Appian Way production company alongside Jennifer Davisson. The script written by Scott Rosenberg was quickly snapped up by MGM, who are high up on the project. Jones was the founder of the unconventional Peoples Temple church in Indianapolis in 1955, but by the ’70s, Jones believed himself to be God, with his teachings leaning into bizarre conspiracy theories and a pronounced anti-government bent. In 1974, he purchased land in Guyana to create what he touted as a socialist paradise named Jonestown. After multiple allegations of human rights abuses, the United States sent a delegation led by U.S. Representative Leo Ryan to Jonestown in November 1978 to investigate the situation. Ryan and four others would lose their lives, gunned down by Jones’ fanatical cultists as they tried to leave. Shortly thereafter, Jones orchestrated a mass suicide of the entire commune, with over 918 people losing their lives. No doubt, DiCaprio has a lot to sink his teeth into with the meaty role; more Academy Award nominations are surely in his future.
‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Official Poster Teases Multiple Villains
We may not have a full trailer yet, but Sony has released the first official trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home – and those who weren’t aware may be stunned to see not one, not two, not even three, but four Spider-Man villains teased on the new one sheet. For those counting, that includes Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus (mechanical arms), Thomas Haden Church’s Sandman (tornados of sand), Jamie Foxx’s Electro (lightning), and you’ll spot Willem Dafoe’s tiny Green Goblin flying around on his hoverboard glider in the background.
The MCU multiverse is here and it’s spectacular.
Trailers & Clips of the Week
Good old-fashioned family fun.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife – Final Trailer
It’s good to see the ghostbusting gang back together again.
Being the Ricardos – Official Trailer
It will be interesting to see if Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem can pull off Lucy and Desi convincingly.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City – ‘Nightmare’ Trailer
I’m down for a fun splatter horror video game adaptation.