• Andrew Lynch

REEL NEWS: MARCH 16TH-MARCH 23RD

This week; more things are delayed; Hollywood continues to try to make money in a post-COVID-19 world; and The Mandalorian Season 2 may have cast a beloved fan favourite character.


BLACK WIDOW DELAYED

After delaying every other blockbuster release, Disney finally announced that Black Widow would be pulled from its release schedule.


As more and more theatres are closed around the world, much like Thanos, it was an inevitability for the first Phase 4 MCU film. This now leaves April and May completely free of major studio releases. The next blockbuster film on the horizon, at this point, is Wonder Woman 84 in June.


Only time will tell if the last movie humanity ever sees is Bloodshot. Oh, Lord. Oh, Jesus Christ, No! Noooo!


BLOODSHOT RELEASE DAYS AFTER THEATRICAL RELEASE

Speaking of the definitely highly sought after, Vin Diesel, comic book adaptation Bloodshot; mere days after it’s theatrical release, Sony announced the film would be available for digital purchase soon.


Following the trend of recent releases being fast-tracked to VOD, like The Invisible Man or Birds of Prey, Bloodshot will be available on March 24th, 11 days after it’s theatrical release. So, when you’re stuck inside and need something to watch...put on The Invisible Man.


OSCAR IMPACT

As a result of films facing uncertain release dates, or jumping straight to digital releases, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, must deal with their strict eligibility rules for the 2020 Oscars.


“We are in the process of evaluating all aspects of this uncertain landscape and what changes may need to be made” an Academy spokesperson said.


The Academy’s rule for a film’s eligibility is that it must be released in a commercial theatre for at least a week in the year of its consideration. This became relevant with Alfonso Cuaron’s semi-biographical film Roma, which was produced by Netflix. Before going to streaming and to comply with the rule, the film was released in cinemas for 2 weeks prior to being uploaded to the service.


Maybe after a foreign language film won Best Picture, the Academy will pull the stick out of their ass and acknowledge the wider world of cinema as a whole. Eh, who am I kidding it’ll go to some white dude with an epic, thought provoking film.


NOLAN’S COMMENT ON POST-COVID

Oh hey, here’s such a guy right now. Reddit’s greatest and only director of all time, Christopher Nolan has weighed in on the importance of cinemas in an passionate Washington Post op-ed.


Nolan wrote; “…the movie business is about everybody…Regular people, many paid hourly wages rather than a salary, earn a living running the most affordable and democratic of our community gathering places”


The director of Inception, Dunkirk and the upcoming Tenet has always been an advocate for bringing audiences to theatres, with his latest film’s trailer even ending with the prompt to ‘See the Trailer in Theatres for Maximum Effect’. He’s spoken against streaming services and how they are not the future of cinema and made it his mission to keep the IMAX industry afloat by using the cameras for all his films post-Inception, with breathtaking results.


“When this crisis passes, the need for collective human engagement, the need to live and love and laugh and cry together, will be more powerful than ever”.


EARLY RELEASES

In the ongoing Delayed/Alternate Release Saga of Hollywood, Disney and Paramount have gone their own way around the issue.


After pushing forward the release of Frozen 2 on Disney+, Disney are repeating the process with the recent Pixar, fantasy film Onward. Released March 6th, Onward was released last Friday on VOD and will come out on Disney+ April 3rd. This has only been confirmed for the US Disney+, yet since cinemas are closed in Europe, where Disney+ has recently launched, it would be a sweetener for those that had to watch the rest of the world lose their mind over Baby Yoda.


Meanwhile, Paramount have utilised their deal with Netflix and have pulled the upcoming Issa Rae-Kumail Nanjiani comedy from theatres and will debut it on the streaming giant instead. In a post-COVID world, there are two choices: streaming or digital release.


CELEBRITY CORONA CASES

On the plus side, Tom Hanks' and Rita Wilson’s coronavirus condition has improved since they self-isolated in Australia.

Look, if you’re not gonna listen to scientists or politicians about the benefits of self-isolating and quarantine, then please listen to Woody.


Also, the powers that be have given everyone a moment of righteousness as Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for coronavirus. The already sickly cockroach contracted it while in prison and has been isolated from the prisoners. Thankfully, it doesn’t look good for the 68-year old.


WEST SIDE STORY PHOTOS

In non-Corona news, the first images of Steven Spielberg’s first ever musical have been released, courtesy of Vanity Fair.

The new adaptation of the Bernstein and Sondheim musical West Side Story, from the legendary director looks to be a stylish, colourful, joyful and much needed musical for this sombre time.

Starring Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler as Tony and Maria, the film follows the plot of Romeo and Juliet in 1950s New York City with the white Jet gang duelling against the Puerto Rican Shark’s.

The film is still set for a December 17, 2020 release.

NO JJ CUT

Upon the disappointing release of the supposed end to the Skywalker Saga, The Rise of Skywalker, many “fans” attempted to justify the final project by copying DC “fans”. Now, JJ’s best bud and supporting actor in TROS, Greg Grunberg has dismissed this entirely, citing logical experience about the Hollywood system.


“I’m being completely honest here, but not once did he ever tell me that there was any pressure on him to cut things out. Every movie goes through a series of cuts; it’s just the nature of it. I don’t buy into it at all” Grunberg said in an interview with ‘The Hollywood Reporter’.


The #ReleaseTheSnyderCut for Justice League was a fan-lead belief that there exists a version of the film purely from the director’s creative control that will fix the mistakes and bring peace to the world. The same process occurred with TROS and the #ReleaseTheJJCut, with actor Dominic Monaghan adding fuel to the fire.


Of course, “fans” won’t believe this and still harass actors and crew involved for the release of a satisfying conclusion.


ROSARIO DAWSON AS AHSKOA MAYBE

Finally, actual Star Wars fans have had a minor win with the supposed announcement of Ahsoka Tano being cast in The Mandalorian Season 2.

SlashFilm have reported that Rosario Dawson has been cast as the fan favourite Clone Wars character. There has been no official word, so take this with a grain of salt. Dawson has been an online favourite for fan art of the character, just ask internet fan-casting, graphic artist BossLogic.

Ahsoka was the Padawan of Anikan Skywalker during the Clone Wars before abandoning the Jedi after losing her faith in them and wandering the galaxy as a rogue Force user as seen in Star Wars: Rebels.


If she does appear in The Mandalorian, it may fill in some details of her patchy history in the galaxy. She was last seen buried under a temple on the Sith planet of Moraband before appearing in the closing moments of Rebels, after the events of Return of the Jedi. Hopefully her appearance answers some questions or leads into a potential solo, spin-off.

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