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.

‘The Matrix Resurrections’ Reveals First Images

The Matrix 4 has been one of the most mysterious movies since it was first announced to be in development a few years ago. Aside from a few returning cast members and the new cast members that have been officially confirmed, virtually nothing is known about the plot; Warner Bros. has kept an airtight lid on any details leaking out. But ahead of The Matrix Resurrections dropping its first official trailer this week, a site was launched to promote the upcoming film and it offers a slew of stills and images, as well as brief snippets of video from the movie. It gives us our first good look at how Neo has changed, along with glimpses of the new cast additions, including Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Check it out at What Is The Matrix? and check out the first official trailer down below.

‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Shatters Labor Day Weekend Box Office Records

After Black Widow had a strong opening weekend but lost a fair bit of steam in weekend two, there were ripples across the industry that the theater business was in deeper trouble than anticipated and big blockbusters might be moving again–if Marvel can’t sustain interest, who can? However, while a few movies have certainly moved since that release, Marvel’s second movie of the year – this time in theaters only – has proven that those predictions of doom and gloom might have been a bit premature. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings roared into theaters this weekend, generating $94.4 million and shattering all previous Labor Day weekend records. That total is for the full four-day count, which exceeded even Disney’s expectations by four and a half million dollars.

But even its three-day total of $75.5 million more than doubles the amount of the previous Labor Day weekend record of $30.6 million, set by Halloween in 2007. It also opened well ahead of Universal’s F9 and Paramount’s The Quiet Place Part II, both of which opened earlier in the year when the delta variant hadn’t yet taken hold. Granted, it’s Marvel, and Marvel generates box office totals unlike any other studio. But it still bodes well for theaters. After so much talk that the theater business was officially dead and people prefer to stay home to watch movies now, Shang-Chi‘s blistering opening weekend shows that the appetite by audiences to see movies in theaters is still there; studios just have to make it worth it.

Nicolas Cage To Lead Action Western ‘The Old Way’

Nicolas Cage is having himself a career renaissance as of late, and we love to see it. Hot off his critically acclaimed film, Pig, and heading into this month’s genre mash-up Prisoners of the Ghostland, Cage is leveraging himself out of his era of movies best left on the B-movie shelf and into smart, stylish films that are as unexpected as he is. Now, he’s saddling up for what is, surprisingly, his first Western. As Deadline reports, he’s signed on to play the lead in The Old Way. Cage will star as Colton Briggs, a former gunslinging cowboy who now runs a small general store and lives a quiet life with his wife and daughter. When he comes home one day to find a gang of outlaws has murdered his wife, he straps on his six-shooters once again to avenge her death with an unusual partner at his side: his 12-year-old daughter. Acts of Violence director Brett Donowho is set to direct off a script by Carl W. Lucas. The project is being shopped around at TIFF this week, but regardless of which studio picks it up for distribution, Cage is ecstatic, saying in a statement

“After 43 years in cinema, I’m only now being invited to the important and storied genre of the Western with both The Old Way and Butcher’s Crossing. Being born and raised in the West, this is another good match and long overdue. I’m excited and compelled by the complex characters of both Briggs and Miller, and to find new ground to play at 57 is indeed galvanizing.”

Let the next phase of the Nic Cage career renaissance begin!

Owen Wilson Signs On For Disney’s ‘Haunted Mansion’ Movie

Speaking of a nice career pop, Owen Wilson is apparently finding new life through Disney. Just a few months after wrapping his fan-favorite turn as Agent Mobius M. Mobius in the Disney+ Marvel series, Loki, THR reports that he’s joining the Haunted Mansion reboot. He joins a cast that already includes Tiffany Haddish and LaKeith Stanfield. Little is known about the plot, or who Wilson will be playing, but it will reportedly follow a family who moves into the titular haunted mansion. With Wilson’s doggedly bureaucratic Mobius being the straight man to Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief, it’s possible he could carry that exasperated dad energy to playing the father of the family who inherit the mansion – but that’s just a fun bit of speculation. Disney previously tapped Dear White People director Justin Simien to direct; Katie Dippold wrote the script. The movie is set to shoot in Atlanta this October, but no official release date has yet been set.

Jason Momoa Unveils First Look At New Costume For ‘Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom’

It’s been three years since Aquaman was released, but finally, production on sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is set to get underway. As proof of that, star Jason Momoa offered up a first look at two different costumes, the first of which is an orange-and-green throwback to his comic book look, and the next a sleek black number that looks like some sort of stealth suit. The caption on the post read, “Second round. New suit. More action. #aquaman Aloha j” and in an accompanying video, he revealed he was in London for the production. “I am finally in England. It is sunny out, it’s amazing, and I’m gonna start Aquaman 2 tomorrow,” he says. “This is the last day of the brown. I’m gonna be a blonde. Supposedly [they] have more fun. I don’t know about that. We’ll test it out. But I’m excited to see [director] James [Wan], see my whole cast.”

Director James Wan, whose Aquaman horror spinoff The Trench was axed by Warner Bros, nonetheless is finding away to get back to his roots with the sequel. “Aquaman 2 is very heavily inspired by Planet of the Vampires,” he explained. “You can take the boy out of horror, but you can never take the horror out of the boy. Leave it to horror maestro Wan to drop a deep cut like Planet of the Vampires when talking about Aquaman. Still, there were some Lovecraftian elements in the first Aquaman, so it’s not out of left field that the sequel may delve into some darker territory. Very curious to see how this one turns out.

And last, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include this devastating news.

Hollywood Says Goodbye To ‘The Wire’ And ‘Lovecraft Country’ Star Michael K. Williams

We got devastating news this week when it was announced that Michael K. Williams was found dead in his apartment at age 54. Williams was a powerhouse, a generational talent nominated for five Emmys starting with his breakout turn as Omar Little in The Wire, a role that Williams made one of TV’s most iconic. More accolades would later pour in for the acclaimed Boardwalk Empire, Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, and most recently, HBO’s hit Lovecraft Country. A dancer for years before he turned his attentions to acting, Williams had a magnetic presence on screen thanks to his intensity, his sensitive exploration of Black queerness in a number of roles, and his trademark scar, which he earned when he was slashed in the face with a razor blade during a bar fight when he was 25. Other memorable roles include The Road, Snitch, The Gambler, The Land, Assassin’s Creed, The Public and Motherless Brooklyn.

Williams was also quietly charitable when he wasn’t on screen, serving as the American Civil Liberties Union celebrity ambassador to the Campaign for Smart Justice along with being deeply involved in charities that addressed prison reform and transitioning incarcerated men to life outside prison. In addition, he was also the founder of the nonprofit organization Making Kids Win, whose focus is on helping educate and support kids from underserved communities.

HIs loss at the young age of 54 leaves a staggeringly huge hole behind, not just because of the loss of his immense talent but also of his immense kindness.

Rest in power.

Trailers & Clips Of The Week

The Matrix Resurrections – Official Trailer

I have no idea how Lana Wachowski is going to pull this off, but man, it’s good to see Neo and Trinity back.

Spencer – Official Teaser Trailer

This one just might net Kristen Stewart her Oscar.

Last Night in Soho

Edgar Wright is just a master craftsman of film. He really is.

The Many Saints of Newark – Trailer #2

Sopranos fans, get your fix on.

The Addams Family 2 – Final Trailer

The creepy, kooky, scary, spooky gang is back together again.

Moonfall – Announcement Teaser

A big ol’ throwback Roland Emmerich disaster movie? Sign us up!

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