2022 is upon us, and as is usual with January, movie releases have slowed down in the annual post-holiday lull. Still, even if huge movies aren’t hitting theaters right now, it doesn’t mean the news stops. Exciting projects, big casting news, and Spider-Man continuing to climb the box office walls are all on the docket for this week. As always, Atom Insider brings you a few hand-picked stories we think you’ll like. Ready? Let’s dive in.
Chris Evans To Play Gene Kelly With Rian Johnson As Producer
Now that his sword no longer sworn to Marvel, Chris Evans has been getting back to his stage roots. Previously having signed on for a remake of Little Shop of Horrors, he’s now potentially eyeballing the role of a real-life song and dance man. Deadline reports that there are rumors swirling Evans is in talks to play Gene Kelly in a biopic based on an idea Evans pitched himself. Three-time Academy Award nominee John Logan is set to write the script with Evans producing with Mark Kassen, along with Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman for their T-Street Productions. Reportedly, the story is set in the early 1950s and revolves around a 12-year-old boy who works on the MGM lot and strikes up an imaginary friendship with the legendary actor-dancer Gene Kelly as he works on his next project. That’s all just a rumor, so it may not come to fruition, but considering Evans’ theater chops and his previous working relationship with Johnson, it’s not implausible. In any case, Evans would be the perfect casting to play Kelly, whose powerful, athletic dancing style reinvented the concept of a dancer from the Fred Astaire era.
Vanessa Kirby Replaces Jodie Comer On Ridley Scott’s ‘Kitbag’
Even though Jodie Comer was set to work on her second historical epic with Ridley Scott after The Last Duel, that is sadly not to be. The actress was set to play Empress Joséphine Bonaparte in Scott’s Napoleon epic Kitbag, but recently had to drop out due to scheduling issues. However, the project has already found an excellent replacement in the form of Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman, Mission: Impossible – Fallout), with her working out a deal to join the cast. Kitbag, which was penned by David Scarpa, is set to explore Bonaparte’s origins and his rapid rise to the top of France’s power structure as emperor, all told through the often volatile lens of his relationship with his wife, Joséphine. Joaquin Phoenix is currently attached to play Napoleon Bonaparte. As for Kirby, she’s having an excellent year. She earned her first Oscar nomination just this past year for her work in Pieces of a Woman, as well as earned nominations and awards for just about every prestigious ceremony for her turn on The Crown as Princess Margaret. She has a number of upcoming movies, including appearing in the next two Mission: Impossible films. Clearly, 2022 is already starting out as strong as her past few years have been.
The Beatles’ “Get Back” Rooftop Concert Set For One-Night-Only IMAX Screening
After the wild success of the documentary The Beatles: Get Back, the legendary rooftop concert of the same name will be coming to theaters for a special event titled The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert. For one night only, the iconic 1969 concert will run in select IMAX theaters around the country as a 60-minute feature with a Q&A with The Beatles: Get Back director-producer Peter Jackson. The screening is set for January 30th, the 53rd anniversary of the Beatles concert held atop the Apple Corps’ headquarters in Savile Row, London. The concert will be optimized for IMAX screens with the company’s proprietary IMAX DMR technology. After the IMAX event, a global theatrical screening of the concert feature will run in another limited engagment from February 11-13. “I’m thrilled that the rooftop concert from The Beatles: Get Back is going to be experienced in IMAX, on that huge screen,” said Jackson. “It’s The Beatles’ last concert, and it’s the absolute perfect way to see and hear it.” The Beatles: Get Back is currently streaming on Disney+. The docuseries will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on February 8. Tickets to The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert will be available when they go on sale here.
Josh Hartnett Joins Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’
Christopher Nolan’s upcoming project Oppenheimer continues to give last year’s Nightmare Alley and House of Gucci a run for their money in terms of star-studded casts. Deadline reports that he’s added one new piece to the cast puzzle in the form of Josh Hartnett, though his role is currently unknown. Hartnett joins a cast that already includes Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist who ran the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., and Rami Malek. The biopic drama about the world-changing scientist is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and the late Martin J. Sherwin, which chronicles Oppenheimer’s life from his early career straight through to his pivotal role in the Cold War. Nolan and Hartnett had previously circled working with each other as Hartnett had been on the shortlist to play the titular character in Batman Begins. Now they’re finally working together and with the incredible cast and ready-made dramatic story, Hartnett chose a great project to join forces with Nolan.
‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Box Office Updates
Spidey just keeps swinging. After a monster opening weekend and second weekend, Spider-Man: Far From Home continues to rack up dollars at the box office. To date, it’s already made $1.39 billion at the box office, which is good enough for 12th biggest movie of all time so far. Though the crazy numbers will naturally slow down some now that the holidays are over and people are heading back to school and work, it’s likely to still continue adding to that impressive total considering its second and third weekend drops were relatively small for a blockbuster of its size, especially in the pandemic era. Even more impressive is the fact that No Way Home has accomplished this even without China. The Sony-Marvel Spider-Man joint has yet to get a release date in that country and at this point, it’s becoming increasingly likely that it won’t, the same fate that has befallen a number of Hollywood blockbusters in the pandemic era. That begs the question of whether Hollywood needs to reconsider its relationship with China, but that’s another complex question for another day. Right now, it’s fun to see the webhead’s latest movie climb the charts and show that the Chicken Littles proclaiming the certain death of movie theaters just a few months ago may have been premature. Even without China, Spider-Man: No Way Home clearly has legs and it will be worth keeping an eye on it over the next few weeks to see if it climbs even higher on the all-time highest-grossing list.
Chris McKay’s ‘Renfield’ Movie Cast Grows By One
It’s no Oppenheimer (yet), but Chris McKay’s horror-action-comedy Renfield is quietly putting together an excellent cast. Deadline broke the news that Adrian Martinez (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Office Christmas Party) has boarded the Universal project. He joins a cast that already stars Nicholas Hoult as the titular character, Nicolas Cage as Dracula, Awkwafina and Ben Schwartz. Rather than continuing to force its interconnected Dark Universe into existence, Universal wisely dropped that plan and has instead focused on resurrecting its classic monsters through lower budget, director-driven movies and the results have thus far proven them right. Still, Renfield will be the biggest swing yet, based on an original story from Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead, Invincible). It follows the literary Renfield, the longtime minion of the infamous Count Dracula who has grown sick of being the vampire’s unappreciated lackey in the modern era. After centuries at his master’s side, he finds a renewed interest in life when he meets and falls in love with a chronically angry traffic cop named Quincy (Awkwafina). Martinez is set to play Quincy’s traffic beat partner, Chris. The script was penned by Rick & Morty scribe Ryan Ridley.
Trailers & Clips of the Week
The Batman – ‘The Bat and the Cat’ Trailer
The big, black Bat has never looked so good.
Uncharted Exclusive Scene – Plane Fight
This may not be what fans of the games are expecting, but it sure looks like fun.
Blacklight – Official Trailer
Remember when Liam Neeson said he was retiring from action movies? Yeah, me either.
Jackass Forever – Official Trailer
That’s exactly what you expect it to be in the best kind of way.
Peacemaker – Official Red Band Trailer
I’m so glad Hollywood realized immediately that John Cena was meant to do deadpan comedy.