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.

Kevin Hart Joins The ‘Borderlands’ Adaptation

In something of a departure for the normally comedic actor, THR reports that Kevin Hart has officially closed a deal to join Lionsgate’s Borderlands movie in the role of the soldier Roland. Hart had been in negotiations for months. Roland is known to fans of the video game series as a more serious, deadpan sort of character, so it will be interesting to see what Hart brings to the table. He joins a cast that already includes Cate Blanchett as master thief Lilith. Eli Roth (Hostel, The House With a Clock in its Walls) is set to direct off a script by Craig Mazin (Chernobyl). Said Roth of the casting, “I’m thrilled to be working with Kevin. Borderlands is a different kind of role for him, and we are excited to thrill audiences with a side of Kevin they’ve never seen before. He’s going to be an amazing Roland.” This cast is shaping up nicely.

Shang-Chi’ Star Simu Liu Learned The Hard Way Superhero Costumes Are Uncomfortable

Simi Liu, star of Marvel’s upcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings has quickly become a social media favorite of fans thanks to his witty sense of humor and his extreme enthusiasm over landing a role in the Marvel universe. In a humorous interview with Toronto Life (Liu currently stars in Kim’s Convenience, which shoots in Toronto), he admitted that not quite everything about being a Marvel superhero was great. Namely, the costumes, which can be extremely uncomfortable and hard to get on and off. “Marvel has never had an Asian lead. So that was such a rare and impactful moment, for me as an actor but also for people who look like me. I nearly cried. It was so emotional,” he started, before finishing, “and then of course by the fifth day, I was like, ‘Oh my god, I hate this thing, why are there so many zippers?'” In case you’re wondering, he may need all those zippers in order to allow him to move strategically, because he’s going to be doing things like this:

We really can’t wait to see him in the MCU.

Misha Green To Write & Direct ‘Tomb Raider’ Sequel

Back in 2019 it was announced that director Ben Wheatley (Free Fire, High-Rise) would be directing Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider 2. It seemed and odd choice, and now, with COVID delays and a number of other setbacks, a new director is stepping into the role. Deadline reports that Lovecraft Country creator and showrunner Misha Green is set to tackle her first big screen tentpole. Considering the action in Lovecraft, Green seems a somewhat better fit than the more cerebral Wheatley. The first Tomb Raider grossed about $275M at the global box office, which was hardly a hit for MGM but the studio seems to see potential in it, and it will be interesting to see what Green brings to the table. No release date is set yet, but with Green on board, it should be set fairly soon.

A Harry Potter Series Is Coming To HBO Max

Good news, Potterheads! THR has reported that a brand-new live-action Harry Potter series is currently in development at HBO Max. Execs from Warner Bros.’ streaming platform have reportedly met with a number of writers to hear their pitches. It should be cautioned that it’s still in very early exploratory stages; at the moment, only broad ideas are being kicked around in regard to how to bring the beloved franchise to the small screen. At the moment, no deals have been made and no writers or other talent are yet attached. Even with creator J.K. Rowling causing quite a bit of backlash for her very public anti-trans stance and Johnny Depp’s legal troubles seeing him booted from Fantastic Beasts 3, Harry Potter still remains one of WB’s most lucrative IPs and bringing it to television is a top priority of theirs. An original Harry Potter series on HBO Max would absolutely help bolster the new streaming service, which has struggled to grow its subscriber base since launching mid-last year.

Studio Ghibli Releasing First CGI Animated Feature ‘Earwig And The Witch’

This is something for the Studio Ghibli fans out there: Courtesy of Fathom Events, Studio Ghibli’s Cannes 2020 selection Earwig and the Witch will be coming to U.S. theaters in a limited event on Wednesday, February 3-Thursday, February 4. It’s the first movie from the renowned Studio Ghibli in four years and, interestingly, the first ever CGI animated feature film from the studio. The film is directed by Goro Miyazaki and produced by studio co-founder Toshio Suzuki, with planning from the legendary Hayao Miyazaki. Though the animation technology may be different, the synopsis makes it sound like pure Studio Ghibli goodness:

Growing up in an orphanage in the British countryside, Earwig has no idea that her mother had magical powers. Her life changes dramatically when a strange couple takes her in, and she is forced to live with a selfish witch. As the headstrong young girl sets out to uncover the secrets of her new guardians, she discovers a world of spells and potions, and a mysterious song that may be the key to finding the family she has always wanted. 

Fans of the studio will definitely want to keep an eye on this one.

Godzilla vs. Kong Trailer Is A Thing Of Monster Beatdown Beauty

In case you missed it, the first trailer for Godzilla vs. Kong, the fourth movie in Universal’s MonsterVerse, was released this week, and honestly, it looks like the giant kaiju throwdown we need. Check it out.

That’s good stuff.

And last but not least, just for fun…have you ever wondered what those big, shiny balls are that you sometimes spy on behind-the-scenes clips from movie sets? Turns out, they’re visual effects artists’ secret weapon. Interesting stuff – check it out:

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