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  • Andrew Lynch


This week; trailers a plenty, the Oscars will return at a later date, DC revealed their Comic-Con substitute, Princess Diana is in the news again (it’s been 20 years guys, give it a rest) and the Miles Morales games is confusingly clarified.

Star Wars: Celebration Cancelled

The annual Star Wars convention has not only been cancelled for this year, but next year as well.

Star Wars Celebration 2020 which was meant to be held at Anaheim, California has been cancelled.

Like a mini-Comic Con, Celebration has been the place for major Star Wars reveals including the #CloneWarsSaved announcement and the emotional 2nd trailer for The Force Awakens.

Not only was Celebration 2020 cancelled but no Celebration for 2021 was announced.

Instead Lucasfilm revealed that Celebration would return to Anaheim in 2022.

Besides the obvious health risks restricting Lucasfilm from organising a convention for next year, the lack of Star Wars content coming might play a part.

With the exception of The Mandalorian Season 2 coming later this year, there are no confirmed dates for any new major Star Wars movies, TV shows or video games to host a convention around like with the Sequel Trilogy.

In 2022, there is an untitled Star Wars film coming out in December, with another in 2024 and 2026 with the Avatar sequels in the alternating years.

That, plus the Obi-Wan Kenobi and Cassian Andor Disney+ series, along with any games like a Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order sequel, would be a substantial base to build a convention around.

Oscars Shake-Up

After altering their eligibility rules, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science has now changed the date for the Oscars ceremony.

The 93rd Academy Awards will not be held on February 28th but two months later, on April 25th.

Academy President and CEO, David Rubin and Dawn Hudson said, “Our to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films”.

Feature film eligibility period was extended to February 28th from the typical January 1st.

As the Awards ceremony continues to lose audience interest and numbers, perhaps the date might not be the issue but the Academy’s resistance to handling its systemic bias towards white men.

Credit: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science

Since the #OscarsSoWhite campaign in for the 2015 Oscars, the Academy has promised to increase its “representation and inclusion standards for Oscars eligibility”.

Currently, 16% of the Academy are people of colour while only 32% are women which is still drastically low for any real change to be implemented and felt.

Announced in a statement on Friday, starting with the 94th Academy Awards, the Best Picture limit will be set to 10 films.

Also, the Academy will introduce a “quarterly viewing process” for its streaming service for the Academy members.

The hope is that “the Academy will broaden each film’s exposure, level the playing field, and ensure all eligible films can be seen by [voters]”.

They have also introduced an “unconscious bias training” for all members and a program called “Academy Dialogue: It Starts with Us” in the hope to provide more opportunities to women and people of colour.

Jurassic World: Dominion Resumes Filming

In very on-brand fashion, Jurassic World: Dominion will restart filming in the UK while the country is still tackling new COVID-19 cases.

According to Deadline, Universal studios and producers have pushed as hard as they can to have Dominion recommence it’s 20-week production, with extensive safety protocols.

Universal have spent upward of $5 million to introduce on-set medical facilities, 150 hand sanitizer stations, 1,800 safety signs, mandatory masks, COVID training and multiple temperature tests.

Universal executives told Deadline, “We want to make sure that we are going above and beyond the national protocols to create a safe environment”.

To quote Dr. Ian Malcom, “Your scientists [substitute for executives] were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should”.

Will Smith/Antoine Fuqua Movie

Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua are teaming-up for a new runaway slave thriller film.

Emancipation, is based on a true story of a slave who must outrun hunters and survive the Louisiana swamp to reach the Union Army in the north.

Based on a script by William N. Collage, Smith is set to star was well as produce with Training Day director, Fuqua, to direct.

Production will most likely begin in early 2021, but with both star and director waiting to finish production on other projects, that may change.

Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana

In one of the stranger castings, Kristen Stewart will play in Princess Diana in an upcoming biopic.

Spencer, is from Jackie director Pablo Larráin and Peaky Blinder writer Steven Knight, and will follow Diana’s decision to divorce Prince Charles.

Stewart is no stranger to biopics, having recently played French New Wave actress Jean Seberg in Seberg.

While many would dismiss Stewart based on her Twilight years, her recent independent career in films like Still Alice and Personal Shopper has allowed her to display a far greater range as an actress.

Also, with Larráin, who directed Natalie Portman to an Oscar nominated performance in Jackie, directing, this may be one to watch come awards season.

Attack the Block Sequel

The British cult sci-fi-thriller-invasion film Attack the Block is getting a long-awaited sequel.

Writer and director Joe Cornish mentioned on the podcast ‘Script Apart’ that “I met with John [Boyega] a couple of months ago to talk about [a sequel to Attack the Block]”

Boyega responded on Twitter by all but confirming the film will be happening.

The first film established stars like John Boyega and Jodie Whitaker before they went on to galaxies far, far away and time travelling phone boxes.

Set in a London council estate building, a group of teenagers must fend off an alien invasion in a Die Hard-style alien invasion film, and still holds up with charming characters and slick action.

Following events like the tragic Grenfell Towers, the numerous London terrorist attacks and now the Black Lives Matter movement, Cornish acknowledges the role the last 10 years will have on the script.

Cornish said on the podcast, “In a way, the longer you leave it, the more interesting it is”.

Train to Busan 2 Trailer

Another trailer to the cult Korean zombie film, Train to Busan has been revealed.

Although not technically a direct sequel, the ‘Train to Busan Presents’ caption implies that this may be the start of a Korean zombie franchise.

Peninsula is from Train to Busan director Sang-ho Yeon, and is set 4 years after the events of the first film, in a world more like a zombie apocalypse than the first.

The film looks more action oriented than the first and the trailer looks absolutely metal as hell, in the best way possible.

A Mad Max style fighting arena, car chases that make Dom Toretto envious, a heist, a remote car bomb and an absurd amount of zombies. What more do you want?

Palm Springs Trailer

And now for something, completely different.

The trailer for the highest selling film at Sundance, Palm Springs, has been released.

The film stars Lonely Island’s Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti as two people trapped in what Samberg’s character Niles calls, “one of those infinite time loop situations you might have heard about”.

In another spin on the Groundhog Day formula, this time two people are stuck in the loop together, although the film seems to be told from Milioti’s perspective.

The trailer looks to be a darkly funny, rom-com which deals with themes of purpose and the importance of human connection, with grim jokes like Niles casually accepting imminent death.

The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews praising Sandberg and Milioti’s performances and the film for being inventive, funny and demented.

The film debuts on Hulu in the US on July 10.

DC Fandome

While Comic Con may have been cancelled this year, DC have created their own, virtual celebration of the DC fandom with DC FanDome (see what they did there?).

DC Fandome is a 24-hour, free virtual convention that will be held on August 22nd.

Little information has been released regarding how the event will be held, but DC have revealed a layout of the parts of the convention.

Credit: DC

The Hall of Heroes is the main ‘floor’ of the convention and will be where the main panels and content reveals will be for DC films, TV series and video games.

The other ‘Satellite Worlds’, as mentioned in the release from DC are:

· WatchVerse, where you can watch a constant live stream of behind the scenes content including interviews and never before seen footage.

· YouVerse, which will allow fans to see other fan created content including fan art and cosplay submitted to DC.

· KidsVerse which offers family friendly content such as animated episodes.

· InsiderVerse, will allow fans to gain insight into how artists like Jim Lee and producers like Walter Hamada and Greg Berlanti bring the iconic characters to life.

· FunVerse, offers the online store, DIY projects and comic book reader.

DC have confirmed that panels for Wonder Woman ’84, The Batman, The Suicide Squad, Justice League: The Snyder Cut, and Black Adam will be shown with footage released for some of them.

Snyder Cut Teased

Footage that can be confirmed to be shown at DC FanDome, will be from Justice League: The Snyder Cut.

Zack Snyder tweeted the first piece of footage from his cut of the film, with the caption that more will be shown at the online event.

The footage sees Diana, played by Gal Gadot, wandering some kind of temple with a flaming torch that illuminates a mural of the DC super villain, Darkseid.

The scene then cuts to the flashback scene with Darkseid instead of Steppenwolf in the theatrical version, which Snyder teased recently.

Over this scene, is Lex Luthor dialogue from Batman v Superman of how Superman’s death alerted Darkseid to Earth’s vulnerability, which was laid out in Snyder’s vision.

While brief, there is already an instantaneous visual difference between this and the theatrical vision, with the footage more in-line with Sndyer’s style in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman.

Netflix ‘Cursed’ Trailer

The trailer for Netflix’s latest Game of Thrones hopeful/comic book adaptation has been released.

Cursed, based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler, reimagines Arthurian legend with the Lady of the Lake wielding the sword, Excalibur, which King Arthur traditionally wields.

The series stars Katherine Langford as Nimue, who carries the sword and teams-up with a mercenary named Arthur, to find Merlin to save her people from religious zealots and King Uther.

More of a teaser than a trailer, the footage is grim and dirty with a heavy handful of slow motion and the hint of Nimue’s Druid heritage.

Medieval, political intrigue with gruesome violence and based on a comic book. This sounds like when an AI watches hours of TV and creates a show based on it.

Star Wars: Squadron Details/Gameplay

After releasing a cinematic trailer last week, EA have shown off gameplay footage from Star Wars: Squadrons.

Debuting at EA Play 2020, the trailer reveals single player story elements, multiplayer modes, HUD information and customisation options.

The single player side of the game will be split between an Imperial and New Republic pilot after the Fall of the Empire, with characters like Rae Sloane (Star Wars: Aftermath book series) and Hera Syndulla (Star Wars: Rebels TV series) playing a part.

There are only 2 multiplayer modes; Dogfight, your standard 5v5 assault mode; and Fleet Battles which is a staged format with an initial Dogfight before moving on to attack or defend larger ships, with either other players or AI.

The game also has 4 different ship classes, 50+ buffs and detailed ship and character customisation features and with cross-play support.

Star Wars: Squadron will be available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC on October 2nd.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales Details

Announced at last week’s PlayStation 5 livestream, details of the upcoming Spider-Man: Miles Morales game have finally been clarified.

After the livestream, Sony Executive Vice President, Simon Rutter said in an interview that “I guess you could call it an expansion and an enhancement to the previous game”. Whatever that means.

This on the surface sounds like Miles Morales was going to be like a lengthy DLC patch for the first Spider-Man game.

This week, the games creative director Brian Horton posted a statement saying, “You’ll experience a full story arc with Miles, one that’s more akin to a game like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in terms of overall scope

This means that Spider-Man: Miles Morales will be spin-off game that is much smaller in scale than the first game, since Uncharted: The Lost Legacy has a 7-10-hour campaign instead of Spider-Man’s 15-20.

If successful, which it most likely will, this could be the start of a secondary Spider-Man franchise for the PlayStation.

The King’s Man Trailer

Finally, Kingsman prequel The King’s Man has a new trailer.

From Kingsman series director, Matthew Vaughn, the film is set during World War 1 and sees historical villains’ team-up to rule the world, with the only logical solution being a super-spy, super-stylish secret agency.

The trailer has the visual flare of the previous Kingsman films with Vaughn’s brutal and fluid action, and all-star cast including Ralph Finnes and Stanley Tucci.

After the disappointing Kingsman: The Golden Circle, hopefully this is a more streamlined return to form in what the trailer calls a “bloody origin”.

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