Here in my home of New York, Wonder Woman still has multiple daily showtimes at multiple theaters around town, nearly two and a half months after its theatrical debut. And just yesterday, Warner Bros. announced that they would begin the film’s home-video rollout on August 29 with a Digital HD streaming option before releasing the Blu-ray and DVD on September 19. With theatrical screenings scheduled to continue until at least a week from today, that leaves an eleven-day window during which fans will have to live in a world where they can’t readily watch Wonder Woman at their leisure. It will be a brief dark age, but the specifics of the release suggest that devotees will find the wait worth it.
Taking a cue from NBC’s tried-and-true “make it 1997 again through science or magic” business model, studio Lionsgate has decided that its best bet would be to return to the safe bosom of 2012. That was a simpler, kinder time for the production and distribution house; they were riding high, with one major franchise wrapping up and another colossal cash cow on the horizon. But in the years since The Hunger Games series reached its conclusion, Lionsgate hasn’t had a real hit. And in their search for the next big payday, they’ve gone the safest route by just giving the people more of what they want. Or rather wanted in 2012.
It’s a Minion world, and we’re all just living in it. The little pill-shaped yellow critters have left an indelible imprint on the cultural mainstream, for better (footage not found) or for worse (try googling “minions memes,” I dare you). Kids and adults alike have latched onto the phenomenon with an uncommon enthusiasm, and now the numbers reflect the totality with which the Despicable Me universe has permeated modern life. In the seven brief years since Illumination Entertainment loosed the original Despicable Me on an innocent populace, the franchise has grown into the largest of its kind — the highest-grossing animated franchise of all time.
Black Panther is so close, and yet so far. We got a banger of a trailer, complete with emover-sporting Michael and an unlikely yet perfect soundtrack cut from Run the Jewels. At San Diego Comic-Con later this month, Marvel will show out in full force, and there’s no doubt they’ll tantalize audiences in Hall H with some preview footage from the film. And to accompany that, Entertainment Weekly has run a new cover spread on Ryan Coogler’s upcoming film with new photos of the royal court ruling the Black Panther’s home nation of Wakanda. All this — for a movie that isn’t out until mid-February.
The Wonder Woman sequel train has pulled out of the station, and even with Patty Jenkins’ crossover superhero hit still playing in theaters, it’s already begun to pick up steam. Star Gal Gadot will return for the second solo project for the indestructible Amazon, they’ve landed writer Geoff Johns (who co-produced the Green Lantern movie, so, yikes) to handle the script, and while Jenkins has yet to put her Jane Hancock on the dotted line for another film, details of plot are now solidifying. For Wonder Woman, Diana battled those no-good fascists in World War I, and the sequel will reportedly plop her down in another historical era to intervene in a real-life global crisis. This time, the Rooskies will be the ones shaking in their boots.
Ryan Gosling is about to play himself. (In the DJ Khaled sense, not the Being John Malkovich sense.) The actor’s been on something of a roll recently, scoring critical plaudits for The Nice Guys and La La Land last year — the latter of which ended up a surprise blockbuster and less-surprise Oscar hoarder — and continuing on into 2017 with this past spring’s Song to Song. He’s got Blade Runner 2049 on the docket for this fall, a likely smash that may earn him admiration among nerd circles, the last niche demographic he has not yet charmed. But with the world at his feet, Gosling’s now making moves to dash all the goodwill he’s recently built up.
Boys, girls, people of all ages, the Serkis has come to town! Andy Serkis, that is. The motion-capture professional will take the lead of the neo-Planet of the Apes franchise once more on July 14 for War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter in the trilogy. At this point, audiences pretty much know what to expect: the great clash between hostile humanity and peaceable simiankind rages onward and approaches a final reckoning, as the Serkis-played chimp Caesar wrestles with the terrible responsibilities of leadership in wartime. But before audiences can revisit Apeworld for one last battle, 20th Century Fox wants to be sure we all appreciate just how much went into this film.
It’s not an exact science, making movies. Plenty of projects get stuck in the suspended animation of development, and even those that move forward do so at a gradual pace. But sometimes, everything works out just perfectly: two years ago, I reported on a picture called Felt, a biopic of Watergate informant Mark ‘Deep Throat’ Felt starring Liam Neeson in the title role. I forgot about the item soon afterward, but production has been chugging along for the past couple of years, and director Peter Landesman is preparing to unveil this new film at the most perfect time imaginable. You can plan for a lot, but it takes a stroke of divine generosity for a full-scale Presidential treason investigation to break out around the time you release your Watergate movie.
Is Johnny Depp somehow Johnny Depp-proof? With the early receipts for the latest installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise now promising another blockbuster in the bag, it would appear that the actor’s somehow invulnerable to his own noxious public profile. Though the revelation that he had physically abused longtime partner Amber Heard came to light last year, it apparently hasn’t diminished his earning potential, and frustrating as that may be, it means we’re in for a whole lot more Depp. And if producer Jerry Bruckheimer has anything to say about, more Jack Sparrow in specific.
George A. Romero has fully laid claim to the dominion of all things Dead — whether that’s Night of the Living, Dawn of the, Day of the, Land of the, Diary of the, or Survival of the. The elder statesman of horror cinema has no intention of resting on his laurels, however. Perhaps riding the wave of renewed interest in Night of the Living Dead that accompanied its gorgeous restoration last year, Romero has announced plans for a new addition to the ever-expanding of the Dead universe. And it looks like his new breed of zombies have a need for speed.
Now that Austin Powers has safely moved past its “overexposure through incessant quoting” phase, there’s a lot to love about the movie. The peppy flute theme from Quincy Jones, Myers’ screwloose double-turn as the International Man of Mystery and his pinky-brandishing nemesis, the kitschy ’60s-by-way-of-’90s design, it‘s all a pretty good time. (Not to mention that the tactfully obscured nude scene is a marvel of blocking and composition.) A recent oral history has gotten Myers’ most beloved comic creation back in the public eye, and amidst rumors that a sequel may be in the cards at some indeterminate point in the future, another surprising discovery has been made.
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