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.
‘Black Widow’ Release Delay Triples Its Box Office Projection
Moviegoers may have been bummed that Marvel recently decided to bump its much anticipated Black Widow back by two months to July 9, but there could be a bright silver lining with that decision. According to the number-crunching site The Numbers, moving from May 7 to that July date helped boost Black Widow‘s domestic box office projection by almost four times its original projection, from $45 million to $170 million, with an updated opening weekend projection of $63 million. While that’s a far cry from Marvel’s norm – the average domestic haul for an MCU film is $371 million with a $135 million opening – it’s a blockbuster amount in our current pandemic times, particularly considering even though a majority of theaters are open in the U.S. (and more will be by the time of Black Widow‘s release), they’re still operating at a reduced capacity, in some places as low as 25%. In normal times, then, Black Widow‘s new box office projections would arguably easily hit the higher end of the Marvel average. As more people get vaccinated in the next three months, it will be interesting to see if the power of the Marvel brand will boost those box office totals even higher.
‘Mortal Kombat’ Star Was Devastated To Lose Marvel’s Shang-Chi Role
We often hear from actors about what it feels like to land a huge role, but not as often do we hear from them what it’s like to lose out on one. It’s what made ET‘s recent conversation with Mortal Kombat and Wu Assassins star Lewis Tan so interesting. Speaking to them about Mortal Kombat, he explained that he’d learned he got the role right after getting the absolutely devastating news that he’d lost out on the titular role for Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings to Kim’s Convenience star Simu Liu. “I just lost a crazy job — a really, really high-caliber level job — and I heard that news on a plane to Japan and I was, like, devastated,” he said, before confirming it was for Shang-Chi. Shortly thereafter, he learned he’d landed the lead role of Cole Young in the upcoming Mortal Kombat, which is a great consolation prize. Still, it had to have hurt to miss out on Marvel. Tan has come close to striking it big in Marvel-related superhero roles three times. A fan outcry arose when he competed for the lead role of Iron Fist only to lose out to the hopelessly unprepared Finn Jones, then he got a brief supporting role in Deadpool 2 as Shatterstar before being killed off in the first act, then in the final running for Shang-Chi. Tan has been working hard for years, so it was great to see him land his biggest role to date with Mortal Kombat. Hopefully, there will be a role at Marvel with his name on it in the next few years.
Rian Johnson Reportedly Has Unprecedented Creative Control Over ‘Knives Out 2’ & ‘3’
Last week, it was reported that Rian Johnson closed a monster deal with Netflix to make Knives Out 2 and Knives Out 3. This week, THR has more details about how that deal went down and it’s genuinely a game-changer. The final total for the deal was an eye-popping $469 million, with Johnson, his production partner Ram Bergman, and star Daniel Craig standing to walk away with $100 million each. The only stipulations Netflix had was that each sequel must have at least the same budget as the original movie (around $40 million) and Craig must star in each of them. Outside of that, Netflix is giving Johnson virtually unprecedented creative control – he doesn’t even have to take notes from Netflix on his sequels and can essentially make exactly the movies he wishes to make unfettered by oversight from the streamer. According to THR, the Netflix deal only came about due to the pandemic and cratering of theaters for a year; before that, Lionsgate, which distributed the first film, had announced plans to move ahead with a sequel and reportedly had a deal that Johnson and Bergman, who are big fans of the theatrical experience, were quite happy with. However, the past year has changed things and so CAA began shopping a new deal around. With its spend-happy ways, Netflix offered them the monster deal that other companies couldn’t compete with.
‘Creed III’ Won’t Have Sylvester Stallone Return As Rocky Balboa
It’s official: Sylvester Stallone won’t be returning for Creed III. The star himself confirmed it in an Instagram comment to a fan asking him whether or not there will be a Creed III. “It will be done but I won’t be in it,” he said. “Keep punching.”
It’s something of a disappointment with how much chemistry Stallone and co-star Michael B. Jordan have had in the first two films. However, it shouldn’t be a surprise considering Rocky metaphorically passed the torch to Jordan’s Adonis Creed at the end of the second movie, and Stallone himself saying in 2018 that he was done with the franchise and was happy to step back. In an Instagram video he shot back then on what appeared to be the Creed II set, he said
“This is probably my last rodeo because what I thought happened, it has happened, I never expected. I thought Rocky was over in 2006, and I was very happy with that. Then all of a sudden this young man presented himself, and the whole story changed. It went on to a new generation, new problems, new adventures. And I couldn’t be happier because as I step back, as my story has been told, there’s a whole new world that’s gonna be opening up for the audience, for this generation. Thank you very much, Stephen. And definitely you, Michael, for making that possible. Now you have to carry the mantle.”
Part of that “whole new world” will be Jordan himself stepping behind the director’s chair for the first time ever. The first Creed was directed by Jordan’s regular collaborator Ryan Coogler while the second was directed by Steven Caple Jr. By taking over both directorial and starring duties, the Creed franchise is truly Jordan’s franchise; he’s in the driver’s seat. Jordan is a phenomenally talented actor and in recent years he’s dipped his toes in the waters of producing. It will be extremely interesting to see what kind of eye he has as a director.
Trailers of the Week
Now that vaccines are chugging along and theaters are continuing to open, one other thing is starting to get back to normal, too: trailers. If you missed them, check out this week’s best trailers: One for Marvel’s next Disney+ series, and two trailers and a clip from upcoming movies.
What chaos will the God of Mischief wreak? We’ll find out on June 11 when it premieres.
Those Who Wish Me Dead
Another tense thriller set in the remote wilderness from Sicario and Wind River director Taylor Sheridan.
Emma Stone has never looked fiercer.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife Clip
Fun fact, the Mini-Pufts were originally canonically the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man’s poops. No, I’m not joking.