Hollywood was on temporary pause but productions are gearing back up, release dates continue to be tweaked in preparation for theaters reopening, and things are slowly starting to return to normal – or at least, our temporary new normal. Movie news is once again starting to flow, with us bringing you a few hand-picked stories we think you’ll like.

Let’s hop to it.

Ethan Hawke Quietly Joined ‘Knives Out 2’

Despite the cast of Knives Out 2 seemingly being rounded out, new leaked set pictures from the production, which is currently underway in Greece, revealed one more surprise. Veteran actor Ethan Hawke was snapped on set wearing a white suit and sporting a ponytail, filming a scene opposite Dave Bautista. As with the other actors who have joined returning cast member Daniel Craig, it’s unclear who Hawke will be playing. However, considering the “mid-80s action movie villain” vibe of his outfit and ponytail, along with the fact he is pointing what appears to be some sort of prop gun or weapon at Bautista, it suggests he’s an antagonist of some sort. With the addition of Hawke, the sequel’s cast now reads like a who’s who list of some of the most sought-after names in Hollywood. Along with the aforementioned Craig and Bautista, Kathryn Hahn, Jessica Henwick, Edward Norton, Kate Hudson, Janelle Monáe, Leslie Odom Jr., and Madelyn Cline have also been confirmed as having joined the cast. Rian Johnson’s production is filming in Greece and is set for release sometime next year.

Dracula Horror-Thriller ‘Last Voyage of the Demeter’ Adds A Few More Names To Its Cast

Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula in 1931's 'Dracula' (Courtesy: Universal)
Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula in 1931’s ‘Dracula’ (Courtesy: Universal)

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark director André Øvredal has quietly been working on his next project, and it’s an intriguing one, with a cast that just added a few names to its roster. THR reports that Ant-Man and The Suicide Squad star David Dastmalchian, Game of Thrones‘ Liam Cunningham, It Chapter Two actor Javier Botet and The Fall actress Aisling Franciosi have all joined the cast of horror-thriller Last Voyage of the Demeter. They join Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton), Jon Jon Briones, Stefan Kapicic, Nikolai Nikolaeff, Woody Norman, Martin Furulund, and Chris Walley on the production that began shooting this week in Berlin. Last Voyage of the Demeter‘s story tells exactly that: The last voyage of the Demeter, the ship in Bram Stoker’s novel that unknowingly transported Dracula from Transylvania to England and was found washed up on the shore, wrecked, with one lone survivor who had gone mad. The script, first written in 2002 by Bragi Schut with the current rewrite by Zak Olkewicz, tells the story of that doomed journey. Both Cunningham and Dastmalchian are playing fitting roles, Cunningham, the Demeter‘s captain, and Dastmalchian, the ship’s first mate, Wojchek. Franciosi will be playing Anna, a stowaway, Briones is the cook, and Kapicic and Nikolaeff members of the ship’s crew. Unsurprisingly, Botet, who has made a name for himself playing various contorted creatures in horror films such as the It movies, Crimson Peak, Øvredal’s Scary Stories, and The Conjuring 2, will be playing Dracula. Filming will move to Malta when it wraps the Berlin location shoot.

Cate Shortland Says A ‘Black Widow’ Sequel Is Possible

Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, namely, Natasha Romanoff’s sacrifice to save Clint Barton and acquire the Soul Stone, the upcoming Black Widow movie jumps back in time a few years, taking place directly after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Considering we already know the Russian super-spy turned S.H.I.E.L.D. agent’s end, it seems impossible that a sequel to her solo movie might happen. However, director Cate Shortland surprisingly didn’t rule it out in a new interview with the RadioTimes–but there’s a catch: if there is a sequel, it won’t be with Scarlett Johansson. When asked if a sequel to the film were possible, Shortland gave a succinct answer: “I think following a different character, yes,” before explaining in no uncertain terms that Johansson is done playing the character and has no plans to return to the role. That seemingly shuts the door on any sequel potential, but, without spoiling the events of the upcoming film, it leaves open a number of doors should any newly-introduced characters choose to step through, particularly Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova, who Shortland and Johansson have both said takes up the torch in ways. But before then, Black Widow is heading into theaters in a week and a half with strong reviews and positive momentum.

Read our Black Widow review.

‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ Has Started Filming

Due to the unexpected tragedy of Chadwick Boseman’s death and the necessity of an entire script rewrite, Black Panther sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is one of the more mysterious of Marvel’s upcoming projects. Virtually nothing is known about the production other than that the following cast members will be returning: Letitia Wright as Shuri, Winston Duke as M’Baku, Martin Freeman as Everett Ross, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, and Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda. Newcomer Tenoch Huerta was also reportedly added to the cast, with rumors indicating Huerta will be playing Marvel antihero Namor, the Sub-Mariner, but those rumors are unconfirmed. As far as the story goes, no details from the rewritten script have been shared, but Freeman shared in May that it has “some very odd parts” and that hopefully, fans were in for a treat. Despite the secrecy surrounding the project, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed to Variety that the sequel has started filming at Marvel’s U.S. base, the Pinewood Studios in Atlanta, saying, “It’s clearly very emotional without Chad. But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We’re going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud.”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is expected to hit theaters on July 8, 2022.

Golden Globes To Allow Foreign-Language & Animated Films & To Compete For Best Picture

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the voting body of the Golden Globes, has had a historically bad year, even for a body that has been regularly accused of bias and corruption. After a baffling nominees lineup for this year’s Golden Globes ceremony, the resulting renewed scrutiny on HFPA exposed deep racial discrimination within its ranks and member approval process, as well as other ethical violations. The resulting controversy was so intense that NBC, the network that usually airs the Golden Globes, announced it would not be airing the Globes in 2022. What kicked off the uproar was that Minari, a film that later went on to win an Academy Award, was ineligible for the Best Picture category at the Globes as it was classified as a “foreign” film for much of it being in Korean, despite it being written and directed by an American, financed and distributed by American companies, set in America, with a story about a Korean family who immigrated to America, and led by an American actor in Steven Yeun. Now the HFPA appears to be doing damage control and has announced that moving forward and effective immediately, foreign-language films will be eligible for the Best Picture categories, along with animated films. Ali Sar, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, spoke about the changes:

As an organization composed of journalists from all backgrounds, the HFPA created the best foreign-language category to ensure films with subtitles were getting just as much recognition as English-speaking films in the U.S. market. As we reexamined our guidelines this year and listened to the industry, we decided to adopt new approaches for future shows ensuring these films receive the attention they deserve. Language will no longer be a barrier to recognition as the best.

That’s a good first step, but most people in Hollywood will tell you that the HFPA needs to do a lot more to wash away the stink of ethical violations and repair its reputation as a voting body. Time will tell, but hopefully, this is a solid first step.

Patty Jenkins’ Star Wars Movie ‘Rogue Squadron’ Lands A Writer

THR has some exciting new for Star Wars fans: Rogue Squadron, the Patty Jenkins-directed project, has found itself a writer. Matthew Robinson, who co-wrote and co-directed 2009’s The Invention of Lying starring Ricky Gervais, has been tapped to write the script. Last December, Jenkins announced she’d be directing the film in a heartfelt video:

Robinson’s career as a writer has spanned multiple genres, with other writing credits including family-friendly action-adventure movie Dora and the Lost City of Gold, action creature feature Love and Monsters, Live, Die, Repeat and Repeat, which is the sequel to black comedy sci-fi Edge of Tomorrow, and the upcoming live-action adaptation of Little Shop of Horrors. So he’s an interesting choice for the film, which Jenkins says she hopes will be “the greatest fighter pilot movie ever made.” Last December, while on tour for WW84, Jenkins confirmed a writer had already been hired and was hard at work on the treatment; now we know that was Robinson. The Rogue Squadron of the title refers to the daring squadron of starfighters formed by Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles after the destruction of the first Death Star who became known not just as the Rebellion’s best pilots, but some of the best pilots in the galaxy, period. According to Jenkins, while there will be nods to the source material, it will be an original story that does not in any way adapt the novel and video games of the same name. The goal is for the movie to go into production sometime next year with a release date set for December 22, 2023.

Trailers & Clips Of The Week

And now, our trailers and clips of the week…

Jungle Cruise Character Trailers

They have great chemistry together. This one should be fun.

The Many Saints of Newark

It’s still uncanny how much Michael Gandolfini looks like his dad.

First 5 Minutes Of Fear Street Part I: 1994

’90s kids, mount up. Your Fear Street adaptation has arrived.

Blood Red Sky

A secret vampire lady going full Liam Neeson on some hijackers on a plane. Where has this movie been all my life?

Don’t Breathe 2 Official Trailer

Making the first film’s antagonist the sequel’s hero is an interesting twist.

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