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.
‘Cobra Kai’ Guys To Team Up For ‘Ancient Aliens’ Movie
The History Channel’s long-running pseudo-science series Ancient Aliens is getting the feature film treatment courtesy of Legendary. Josh Heald, one of the showrunners of Netflix’s hit series Cobra Kai, is set to direct. Heald will also be producing under his Counterbalance Entertainment banner alongside co-partners Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, along with Jon Jashni for Legendary. The script will be penned by Luke Ryan, who will also exec produce. The pseudo-documentary series revolves around the controversial “ancient astronaut” theory, the proponents of which believe aliens have been visiting Earth for millennia and have helped shaped humanity in everything from providing ancient humans with advanced technology to build giant monoliths and structures to being what humans thought of as deities and angels to modifying DNA to help humans evolve. Details are being kept under wraps, but will reportedly be “a two-handed, globe-spanning adventure featuring ancient sites and artifacts, confronting the theories and questions raised by the popular docuseries.”
‘Fleabag’ Star Phoebe Waller-Bridge Joins Cast Of ‘Indiana Jones 5’
Some exciting news for the upcoming Indiana Jones 5. Lucasfilm announced that Phoebe Waller-Bridge will be joining the cast and co-starring alongside titular star Harrison Ford. Waller-Bridge is one of Hollywood’s fastest-rising stars, a multitalented writer-actress who broke out huge with the brilliant Fleabag series based on her one-woman play of the same name and will soon be starring opposite Donald Glover in the Mr. and Mrs. Smith remake for Amazon. Waller-Bridge has also made a name for herself as a writer, not only on Fleabag, but also on acclaimed series Killing Eve and the No Time to Die screenplay. James Mangold (Logan, Ford v. Ferrari), who is taking over helming the fifth Indiana Jones movie from Steven Spielberg, who has directed every one since the original, had this to say in a statement:
“I’m thrilled to be starting a new adventure, collaborating with a dream team of all-time great filmmakers. Steven, Harrison, Kathy, Frank, and John are all artistic heroes of mine. When you add Phoebe, a dazzling actor, brilliant creative voice and the chemistry she will undoubtedly bring to our set, I can’t help but feel as lucky as Indiana Jones himself.”
The film will hit theaters on July 29, 2022.
Warner Bros. Announces Lucy Liu Joins Cast Of ‘Shazam!: Fury Of The Gods’ As Villain
The Shazam! sequel, Shazam!: Fury of the Gods just got a huge boost to an already impressive lineup. Warner Bros. announced that veteran actress Lucy Liu would be joining the cast in the role of the villainous Kalypso, the daughter of Atlas and the sister of Hespera, who will be played by Helen Mirren. West Side Story‘s Rachel Zegler was also previously cast in an undisclosed role. Aside from the fact they’re both daughters of Atlas and villains, nothing is yet known about Liu’s and Mirren’s roles, either. David Sandberg, who directed the first movie, will return for the sequel, as will screenwriter Henry Gayden. Of the original cast, only Zachary Levi in the titular role and Asher Angel as Billy are confirmed to be returning, but the rest of the original cast is also expected to return. The first movie dealt with teenager Billy Batson who, upon being bestowed with powers from a wizard, has to but utter the word Shazam! to turn into an adult superhero and be granted the powers of six gods: the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. Shazam! Fury of the Gods is expected to hit theaters June 2, 2023.
Will Smith & Antoine Fuqua Pull Shooting Of Slavery Drama Out Of Georgia After Voting Restriction Laws
In more serious news, star Will Smith and director Antoine Fuqua are pulling the filming of their slavery drama, Emancipation, out of Georgia. The move comes in the wake of the Georgia State Senate passing a sweeping and draconian voting restriction bill that, among other things, curtails the use of dropboxes, adds restrictive new ID requirements for absentee voting, reduces voting hours, and, in its most bizarre move, makes giving food and drink to voters waiting in line a crime. Hollywood, which has a booming business in Georgia, has been threatening to boycott the state en masse since the voting laws passed; Smith and Fuqua’s production was set to begin shooting on June 21st, and is now the first major production to pull out. The pair released a joint statement about their decision:
“At this moment in time, the Nation is coming to terms with its history and is attempting to eliminate vestiges of institutional racism to achieve true racial justice. We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access. The new Georgia voting laws are reminiscent of voting impediments that were passed at the end of Reconstruction to prevent many Americans from voting. Regrettably, we feel compelled to move our film production work from Georgia to another state.”
The historical slave drama will tell the story of Smith, who portrays real-life figure Whipped Peter, a slave who escaped a Southern plantation and joined the Union Army during the Civil War. His story became national headlines shortly thereafter when a series of photos of his back, which was scarred and torn from multiple whippings, appeared in Harper’s Bazaar.
Marvel’s ‘She-Hulk’ Series Adds ‘Hamilton’ Star
Marvel’s upcoming She-Hulk series set for Disney+ just added a powerhouse to its cast in the form of Hamilton star Renée Elise Goldsberry. There aren’t any details about her role, but she’s said to be playing a character by the name of Amelia. With Marvel’s M.O. of the past, this could be a brand-new character created for the show or a character modified from the comics going by a different name. Knowing Marvel, it could honestly be either. She-Hulk is being described as a half-hour legal comedy, where Jennifer Walters, a.k.a. She-Hulk (set to be played by Tatiana Maslany), represents various Marvel characters in court, so the potential for a number of comic book characters to appear is high and, unlike previous Marvel shows, they don’t necessarily have to be tied directly to She-Hulk in the comics. Other confirmed cast members include Ginger Gonzaga joining the cast as Jennifer’s best friend, along with Marvel stars Mark Ruffalo as Professor Hulk and Tim Roth making his long-awaited return as the Abomination. The series will be directed by Kat Coiro and Anu Valia with Jessica Gao on board as head writer. It’s set to hit Disney+ sometime next year.
The ‘Mortal Kombat’ Reboot Gets A New Theme
For those excited for the upcoming Mortal Kombat, it recently got a new theme song courtesy of composer Benjamin Wallfisch and you can hear that below.
Personally, I’m lukewarm on it. Perhaps it’s because I grew up with the iconic theme song from the 1995 movie, composed by The Immortals, but I find this new version to be far less memorable compared to the original. It still has a great beat and is fun to listen to, however.
How Do Filmmakers Get Cameras Out Of A Shot?
Here’s a very cool video showing exactly how filmmakers get cameras to disappear from shots and reflections in mirrors.
Filmmaking is honestly fascinating, right?
Trailers Of The Week
Last but not least, here are the week’s biggest trailers.
F9: The Fast Saga
Still want to know how they’re going to explain a whole mystery brother.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
Ryan Reynolds doing what he does best.
Army of the Dead
It’s a Netflix Original dropping on May 21, but it will also be hitting select theaters a week earlier on May 14.