Daisy Ridley, Tom Holland are hunted on distant planet in Chaos Walking trailer

Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley star in Chaos Walking, a film adaptation of the award-wining trilogy by Patrick Ness.

A young man and woman on a distant planet called the New World find themselves on the run from a town of religious fanatics in Chaos Walking, a forthcoming film directed by Doug Limon and based on the award-winning sci-fi trilogy of the same name by Patrick Ness. And the film boasts two megastars: Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in the most recent Star Wars trilogy, and Tom Holland, the latest incarnation of Spider-Man in the MCEU.

The series consists of three novels—The Knife of Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, and Monsters of Men—as well as three short stories set in the same fictional universe, intended as companion pieces to the novels. The series takes place on a planet called New World, where we meet Todd, a boy living in a religiously devoted settlement known as Prentisstown, led by the megalomaniac mayor, David Prentiss. There are no women left, and all the men are afflicted by something called the “Noise,” which makes their thoughts audible, driving many of them mad. The same is true for Todd’s little dog, Manchee. This is purportedly the result of biological warfare on the part of a native intelligent species known as Spackle, who resented the arrival of the colonizers. The germ killed all the women and left the men with the Noise.

One day, Todd discovers a patch of silence (a “hole in the Noise”) in a nearby swamp, and when he tells his adoptive parents about it, they insist he has to flee Prentisstown. Back in the swamp, Todd comes face to face with Viola, a young girl who has crash-landed on New World in a small scouting craft, ahead of an incoming ship of new planetary settlers. They are relentlessly pursued by the Mayor, his son Davy, and an evil preacher named Aaron as they seek refuge with other, more peaceful settlements—including a town called Haven that is rumored to have a cure for the Noise—in hopes of finding a way to warn the incoming ship of the potential violence they face.

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#chaos-walking, #daisy-ridley, #doug-liman, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #lionsgate, #patrick-ness, #science-fiction

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Bruce Willis returns to space to kick some alien derriere in Breach trailer

Bruce Willis battles an alien life form aboard an interstellar ark  en route to a New Earth in Breach.

An interstellar ark transporting the last humans on Earth to a new home inadvertently brings along a shape-shifting alien stowaway in Breach, a new sci-fi action film starring Bruce Willis and directed by John Suits. The trailer just dropped, and the film looks like a fairly generic mix of elements from Alien, The X-Files, and Event Horizon. But anything that lets Willis “yippee-ki-yay” his gun-toting way to saving humanity from aliens in space is okay by me.

Suits is best known for 2016’s Pandemic, essentially a zombie horror thriller shot entirely from a first person point of view, like a video game. He also directed the recently released short Diehard is Back, a fun Willis-starring commercial for Diehard batteries that pays tongue-in-cheek homage to the franchise, including a few cameos that should delight fans. (“From fighting his way to Advance Auto Parts to racing against the clock to install his new DieHard Battery—McClane will stop at nothing, to start his car again.”) So I’m hopeful that Suits can bring a fitting mix of suspense, action, and humor to Breach, and just let Willis be Willis.

Originally titled Anti-Life, the film’s premise is that a devastating plague has wiped out much of Earth’s population, and the survivors are being evacuated via an interstellar ark to “New Earth.” Willis plays Clay Young, described as a hardened mechanic who is part of the crew selected to stay awake and maintain the ark for the six-month journey. But then he discovers a shapeshifting alien (or “a malevolent cosmic terror,” per the early press materials) has also stowed away on the ark, and it seems to be intent on killing everyone on board.

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#breach, #bruce-willis, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #saban-films, #science-fiction, #trailers

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James Corden is a snarky AI that might take out humanity in Superintelligence

An all-powerful AI (James Corden) chooses to study the most average person on Earth, Carol Peters (Melissa McCarthy), to determine if humans are worth saving in Superintelligence.

Let’s face it: this is going to a dismal holiday season for film lovers, with most movie theaters shuttered for the foreseeable future and just one major release—Wonder Woman 1984—left standing after studios shifted all their blockbusters to next year. And even Wonder Woman 1984 is likely to end up getting bumped to next year from its currently planned Christmas Day release date unless we can get this raging pandemic in check quickly.

On the bright side, streaming platforms and VOD are doing their best to fill in the gap, and the dearth of major new releases is giving a lot of smaller indie films a better chance to find an audience. Plus, HBO Max just dropped the official trailer for Superintelligence, an action comedy starring Melissa McCarthy—and directed by her husband, Ben Falcone—that will drop Thanksgiving Weekend.

But the decision to skip the usual broad theatrical release in favor of the streaming platform was made last year—before the pandemic hit. That makes this film an intriguing potential harbinger of what the media ecosystem for films might look like in the future, especially for midbudget films. It was a big marquee acquisition for the fledgling HBO Max, which officially launched in May.

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#ben-falcone, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #melissa-mccarthy

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George Clooney is a grizzled Arctic astronomer in The Midnight Sky trailer

George Clooney directs and stars in The Midnight Sky, based on the the novel Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton.

Netflix has bet heavily this year on high-profile feature films starring A-list talent: first with Chris Hemsworth in Extraction, and then with Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron in The Old Guard. That bet has largely paid off. Now the streaming platform has tapped another Oscar winner, George Clooney, to direct and star in the post-apocalyptic science fiction film The Midnight Sky. It’s adapted from the critically acclaimed 2016 debut novel, Good Morning, Midnight, by Lily Brooks-Dalton, which has been compared to Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora and Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven. The official trailer just dropped, and it’s giving us some strong Away vibes (which, alas, has been canceled by Netflix after just one season).

In the novel, a brilliant astronomer named Augustine is posted to the Arctic, scanning the night sky for clues about the birth of the universe. Then a mysterious global apocalypse occurs, prompting all his fellow scientists to evacuate. But Augustine remains behind, dedicated to continuing his research, even as the airwaves go silent. Meanwhile, a team of astronauts aboard the spaceship Aether is set to return to Earth after a mission to Jupiter. On board is Sully, who sacrificed her marriage and left her daughter behind in order to become one of the first humans to travel so far in our Solar System. The astronauts are unaware of the catastrophe that has befallen Earth, and it falls to Augustine to warn them not to return.

Snow is white, space is black

Clooney’s film adaptation looks like it will hew closely to the novel. Per the official premise: “This post-apocalyptic tale follows Augustine (Clooney, Syriana, Argo), a lonely scientist in the Arctic, as he races to stop Sully (Felicity Jones, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) and her fellow astronauts from returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.” The cast also includes David Oyelowo (Selma, Don’t Let Go) as Commander Tom Adewole, Ethan Peck (Star Trek: Discovery), Sophie Rundle (Peaky Blinders), Kyle Chandler (Bloodline, First Man) as Matthew, Tiffany Boone (The Following) as Maya, Demián Bichir (A Better Life) as Sanchez, and Caoilinn Springall as Iris, a mysterious child that Augustine befriends in the Arctic.

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#entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #george-clooney, #netflix, #science-fiction-television, #streaming-television

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Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa take on vicious creatures in Monster Hunter trailer

Milla Jovovich plays Captain Artemis, who must battle monsters after being transported to a hidden world in Monster Hunter.

US soldiers must fight for their lives in a parallel world filed with gigantic, aggressive creatures in Monster Hunter, a forthcoming film adapted from the hugely successful global video game franchise of the same name. Die-hard fans of the games are already noting their displeasure with the trailer, which I get—let’s be honest, the trailer looks a little cheesy. But the film also co-stars martial arts star Tony Jaa of the Ong-Bak franchise, which in my book makes up for a lot of sins. And director Paul W.S. Anderson was the driving creative force behind the wildly popular Resident Evil film franchise.

The Monster Hunter games are Capcom’s second bestselling game series—behind the Resident Evil series—with more than 64 million units sold globally to date across all platforms. Anderson (Mortal Kombat) discovered Monster Hunter while visiting Japan in 2008, and adapting a film from the game world became his new passion project. With the hope of establishing another successful film franchise, he enlisted his own wife, Milla Jovovich (who starred in the Resident Evil films), for the lead role of Captain Natalie Artemis, a US solider who falls into the gaming world via a portal—Anderson’s plot device for introducing cinema audiences to that universe.

In the Monster Hunter role-playing games, players choose a Hunter character, along with custom armor and weapons. The characters don’t have intrinsic abilities, like traditional RPGs; rather, whatever abilities they have derive from the choice of weapons and armor. Those choices are basic at first, and players collect additional resources from their quests to conquer various monsters—including fashioning new assets from parts gleaned from the defeated creatures. In single-player mode, the Hunters are usually accompanied by a Felyne or sentient cat creatures known as Palicos for additional support.

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#entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #monster-hunters, #sony-pictures-entertainment

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All we want for Christmas is Mel Gibson’s Bad Santa in the Fatman trailer

Mel Gibson plays a bitter, hard-drinking Chris Cringle in the forthcoming film Fatman.

If you’re one of those people who consider Die Hard and the first Lethal Weapon film a classic Christmas movie double feature, we’ve got good news for you. Mel Gibson plays a broke, embittered, hard-drinking, heavily armed Santa Claus in the forthcoming action/comedy Fatman. The official trailer dropped yesterday, and it looks like an irreverently fun, wild ride.

Written and directed by brothers Eshom and Ian Nelms (Small Town Crime), the film co-stars Walton Goggins (The Righteous Gemstones, Ant-Man and the Wasp) and Oscar-nominee Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Secrets and Lies, Blindspot). Per the official premise:

To save his declining business, Chris Cringle (Gibson), also known as Santa Claus, is forced into a partnership with the U.S. military. Making matters worse, Chris gets locked into a deadly battle of wits against a highly skilled assassin (Goggins), hired by a precocious 12-year-old after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking. ‘Tis the season for Fatman to get even, in the action-comedy that keeps on giving.

“I don’t know what I’m doing wrong—I’ve lost my influence,” we see Gibson’s Cringle mourn to Mrs. Cringle (Jean-Baptiste) about the decline in his business. “Maybe it’s time I retired the coast. Some kids with an air rifle put two holes in the sleigh and one in me. All I have is a loathing for a world that’s forgotten.” So when the US military arrives to “procure” his services, he accepts, with the caveat that it will be a “one-time deal.”

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#entertainment, #fatman, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #mel-gibson, #saban-films

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Latest Free Guy trailer is giving us strong Upload vibes

Ryan Reynolds discovers he is a background player in a video game in the epic adventure-comedy Free Guy.

20th Century Studios has dropped a new trailer for Free Guy, the sci-fi comedy starring Ryan Reynolds, currently slated for a December 11 release. But in these pandemic times, all release dates are basically pencilled in until further notice—which is why Reynolds and company also released an amusing teaser in which they debate potential alternate dates for the film’s release.

Per the official premise: “A bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game decides to become the hero of his own story… one he rewrites himself. Now in a world where there are no limits, he is determined to be the guy who saves his world his way… before it is too late.”

Tonally, the trailer feels like a live-action Wreck-It Ralph with dashes of The Matrix and the Deadpool movies thrown in for good measure. In fact, the new trailer is giving us strong Upload vibes, which can only be a good thing, since Upload was one of our fave new series this year.

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#20th-century-studios, #entertainment, #film-trailers, #free-guy, #gaming-culture, #ryan-reynolds

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Beware of sandworms: Dune trailer gives us our first look at an epic world

Timothée Chalamet stars as Paul Atriedes in Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming adaptation of Dune.

Warner Bros. debuted the first trailer today for Dune, director Denis Villeneuve’s ambitious (could it be anything else?) adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sprawling epic novel. It was preceded by a livestreamed event in which Late Show host Stephen Colbert interviewed Villeneuve and several cast members: Timothée Chalamet (who stars as Paul Atreides), Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, Jason Momoa, and Sharon Duncan-Brewster.

Dune is set in the distant future and follows the fortunes of various noble houses in what amounts to a feudal interstellar society. Much of the action takes place on the planet Arrakis, where the economy is driven largely by a rare life-extending drug called melange (“the spice”) that also conveys a kind of prescience. There’s faster-than-light space travel, a prophecy concerning a messianic figure, giant sandworms, and lots of battles, as protagonist Paul Atreides (a duke’s son) contends with rival House Harkonnen and strives to defeat the forces of Shaddam IV, Emperor of the Known Universe.

That brief synopsis hardly does justice to the sweep and enormous cultural influence of Herbert’s novel. When it was first published, the Chicago Tribune called it “one of the monuments of modern science fiction.” Astronomers have used the names of fictional planets in Dune to identify various topographical features on Saturn’s moon Titan. Herbert wrote five sequels, and the franchise also includes board games, computer games, and numerous prequels and sequels written by his son, Brian Herbert, with Kevin J. Anderson.

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New No Time To Die trailer showcases everything you’d expect in a Bond film

Daniel Craig plays James Bond for his fifth and final outing in No Time To Die.

Movie theaters are starting to open up again in spots around the globe—basically, anywhere that has gotten coronavirus outbreaks under control. So now is the perfect time to remind frustrated filmgoers about No Time To Die, the next film in the James Bond franchise, starring Daniel Craig in his fifth and final outing as 007. A fresh trailer just dropped, with a scheduled release date of November 12 in the United Kingdom and November 20 in the United States (as always, coronavirus willing).

(Spoilers for the 2015 film Spectre below.)

This 25th installment in the franchise is co-produced by MGM and Eon Productions, with United Artists and Universal serving as distributors in North America and internationally, respectively. Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective, Beast of No Nation), the film takes place about five years after the capture of Spectre‘s archvillain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), a criminal mastermind and head of the organization SPECTRE. (Ian Fleming’s original character inspired Dr. Evil and his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth, in the Austin Powers film series.)

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#daniel-craig, #entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #james-bond, #united-artists, #universal-pictures

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Robert Pattinson is a broody Caped Crusader in first teaser for The Batman

Robert Pattinson is the latest actor to don the iconic mask and cape in The Batman.

Capping off a long day of sneak peeks, panels, and teaser trailers at DC FanDome this past weekend, Warner Bros. dropped the first teaser for The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson (of High Life and the Twilight franchise) in the title role. It’s directed by Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes), and—surprise, surprise—it’s another dark, gritty take on the classic superhero—this time with more of a film noir/detective story vibe.

There is a long and tangled backstory to this latest incarnation of the classic comic book superhero. We all know that Ben Affleck was cast as Batman for a three-film trilogy in the DCEU: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), and Justice League (2017), which had its own well-publicized production woes. Warner Bros. announced plans for a standalone Batman film in the fall of 2014, with Affleck set to reprise the role, as well as directing and co-writing the screenplay.

The original plan was to set the film within the DCEU, after the events of Justice League. But as Warner Bros. was rethinking the shared-universe model for its superhero films in favor of standalone films and franchises, Affleck announced he was stepping down as director, and the studio replaced him with Reeves. Affleck would eventually withdraw from the project altogether, following his divorce from Jennifer Garner and a stint in rehab for alcohol abuse.

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#dc-fandome, #dc-universe, #entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #robert-pattinson, #the-batman, #warner-bros

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New Wonder Woman 1984 trailer offers first look at Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah

Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) fights crime in the 1980s in Wonder Woman 1984.

Warner Bros. dropped the latest trailer for Wonder Woman 1984 today during the DC Fandome online event, giving us our first real look at Kristen Wiig’s villainous Cheetah. Bonus: we get to see a miraculously revived Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) don parachute pants in an attempt to blend with the times, much to the amusement of Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince.

Inspired by the comic book heroine created by William Moulton Marston in the 1940s for DC Comics, Wonder Woman made her big-screen debut in the DCEU with 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, followed by 2017’s Justice League. As we reported previously, the first fell short of box office expectations; the second bombed outright. So when Jenkins took on Wonder Woman’s origin story, she deliberately departed from the grim humorlessness and dark sensibility of those earlier films, bringing a brighter energy and wit to her tale, along with the usual action. That vision paid off: Wonder Woman went on to gross $821 million worldwide and earned critical raves, making it the most successful of the DCEU films thus far.

Since we’re now in the 1980s, Diana is operating in a Cold War scenario, taking on Pedro Pascal’s villainous Maxwell Lord, a shrewd and powerful businessman. Wiig plays Barbara Ann Minerva, a British archaeologist who will eventually evolve into her arch-nemesis Cheetah.

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#dc-universe, #entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #warner-bros, #wonder-woman-1984

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Bill and Ted Face the Music drops final trailer with a new release date

Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter reprise their iconic roles in the final trailer for Bill and Ted Face the Music.

We finally have the official full trailer for Bill and Ted Face the Music, courtesy of Orion Pictures, plus a new release date: September 1, 2020. And for those of us who are skeptical that the majority of theaters will have opened their doors by then, the studio will be releasing the film simultaneously on demand. That’s most excellent news all around.

As we reported last month, in the original 1989 film, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are high school students in danger of flunking history. If that happens, Ted’s father will ship him off to a military academy, thus breaking up their band, Wyld Stallyns. But the band is destined to usher in a future utopia, which is now threatened. With the help of a time machine in the form of a phone booth—provided by Rufus (George Carlin), a messenger from the year 2688—the pair travels through history, meeting Socrates, Billy the Kid, Sigmund Freud, Beethoven, Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, and Abraham Lincoln, among others.

The movie was a surprise hit, grossing $40.5 million against its modest $6.5 million budget. So naturally it spawned a sequel, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991), in which the boys must defeat their evil robot doubles from the future to preserve the utopian society based on their ideals. Among the highlights: Bill and Ted must play a game against Death in order to free their souls and return to Earth to win the Battle of the Bands. It’s a clear nod to Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (1957) where a man plays a game of chess in hopes of defeating Death. Bill and Ted challenge the Grim Reaper to Battleship, Clue, and Twister, easily winning every time.

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#bill-and-ted, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #keanu-reeves, #orion-pictures

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Rasputin features in all his mad mystic glory in The King’s Man final trailer

Ralph Fiennes stars in The King’s Man, a prequel to the successful Kingsman franchise.

Any trailer that features Rhys Ifans chewing up the scenery as the mad mystic Rasputin is going to be a winner, and that’s just what we get in the final trailer for The King’s Man, Director Matthew Vaughn’s prequel film to his successful Kingsman franchise. It was originally meant to be released on November 15, 2019, then rescheduled for February 14, 2020, before 20th Century Studios moved the film to its current release date: September 18, 2020.

(Spoilers for first two Kingsman films below.)

As I wrote when the first trailer dropped last fall, the Kingsman franchise is based on the Marvel comic series The Secret Service by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, which spawned two very successful action/comedy spy films. In the first film, Eggsy (Taron Egerton), the young son of a deceased Kingsman agent, is recruited to follow in his father’s footsteps by Harry Hart (Colin Firth), aka Galahad. (All the Kingsman agents take on the monikers of the Knights of the Round Table.)

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#20th-century-studios, #entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #prequel, #the-kings-man, #trailer

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Whoa! First teaser for Bill & Ted Face the Music drops, is most excellent

Our favorite time-traveling dynamic duo is back this summer in Bill & Ted Face the Music.

Whoa! Orion Pictures has dropped the first trailer for Bill & Ted Face the Music, the long-awaited sequel to the popular franchise that launched in 1989. There’s a reason the studio chose this particular day: June 9, or 6/9, is the number Bill and Ted were thinking of when they met themselves in front of the Circle K, just over 30 years ago.

(Spoilers for first two Bill & Ted films below.)

In the original 1989 film, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) are high school students in danger of flunking history. If that happens, Ted’s father will ship him off to a military academy, thus breaking up their band, Wyld Stallyns. But the band is destined to usher in a future utopia, which is now threatened. With the help of a time machine in the form of a phone booth (provided by a messenger from the year 2688), the pair travels through history, meeting Socrates, Billy the Kid, Sigmund Freud, Beethoven, Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, and Abraham Lincoln, among others.

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#alex-winter, #be-excellent-to-each-other, #bill-ted, #bill-ted-face-the-music, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #keanu-reeves, #orion-pictures, #trailers

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Kevin Bacon is a writer with a dark secret in You Should Have Left trailer

Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried start in the forthcoming psychological horror film You Should Have Left.

Kevin Bacon achieved cult success with 1990’s Tremors, but he also starred in another film that somehow didn’t achieve the same lasting success, despite being one of his strongest performances. That film is Stir of Echoes (1999), an unjustly ignored supernatural thriller adapted from a novel by by Richard Matheson. It had the misfortune to hit theaters the same year as The Sixth Sense and The Blair Witch Project.

Now Bacon is reuniting with Stir of Echoes writer and director David Koepp in You Should Have Left, a forthcoming psychological horror film from Universal, co-produced by Jason Blum and Blumhouse Productions. The official trailer just dropped, and we’re getting some strong The Others meets The Shining vibes from this tale of a haunted house that doesn’t want to let its occupants leave, which bodes well for the final film.

The film is adapted from a 2017 German novella of the same name by bestselling author Daniel Kehlman. It’s written in the first-person style of a diary belonging to an unnamed screenwriter attempting to write a sequel to an earlier hit film. With the studio pressuring him for a draft, he rents a house and takes his wife—an aging actress for whom work is becoming scarce—and four-year-old daughter on a long vacation in hopes of finishing the script.

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#blumhouse-productions, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #horror-films, #kevin-bacon, #trailers, #you-should-have-left

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A detective hunts a costumed vigilante in Major Grom: Plague Doctor trailer

Major Grom: Plague Doctor is adapted from the Russian comics of the same name.

A rogue detective who doesn’t always play by the rules hunts a costumed vigilante serial killer in the first English-language trailer (well, subtitled) for a Russian superhero film called Major Grom: Plague Doctor, directed by Oleg Trofim (Ice). There’s some pretty strong The Punisher vibes here, as well as V for Vendetta. The Major Grom comic books, created by Artem Gabrelyanov, have been likened to the early Batman comics in tone, which might explain the Dark Knight overtones as well.

(Some spoilers for the Russian comics below.)

The original Major Grom comics were published between 2012 and 2015, later spawning several spinoffs. The protagonist is Major Igor Grom, a detective in St. Petersburg who has mean martial arts skills and takes part in the occasional amateur boxing competition (aka Russian Fight Club). He has a tendency to bend the rules, which irritates his young rookie partner, Dmitry “Dima” Dubin, who prefers to play things by the book. Grom’s love interest is an investigative reporter named Yulia Pchelkina, whose skill set proves useful in helping solve Grom’s various comic book cases. A billionaire social media mogul named Sergey Razumovsky is Grom’s archnemesis. Razumovsky is a philanthropist by day but murders homeless people by night, all in the name of cleaning up St. Petersburg.

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#bubble-comics, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #trailers

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With theaters still closed, Warner Bros. drops latest Tenet trailer in Fortnite

John David Washington and Robert Pattinson star in Christopher Nolan’s forthcoming new film, Tenet.

With cinemas shut down all over the world for months, all eyes have turned to July, when two major studio releases are set to debut: Disney’s Mulan (bumped from its original March release), and Director Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated sci-fi thriller, Tenet. It looks like Warner Bros. is boldly sticking with the latter film’s planned July 17 release date, despite all the pandemic-fueled uncertainty. The studio just dropped a new trailer, which made its debut in an unusual medium: playing every top of the hour in the popular battle royale game Fortnite

We know very little about the film, not even the usual carefully crafted official premise, although the film’s title is a palindrome, meaning it reads the same backward and forward—a subtle clue. Nolan has kept any additional details (including character names) tightly under wraps. It stars John David Washington (Ballers, BlacKkKlansman) and Robert Pattinson (Twilight franchise, The Lighthouse). The film also features Kenneth Branagh (Murder on the Orient Express), Michael Caine (Inception, Interstellar), Clémence Poésy (Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter films), Himesh Patel (Yesterday), Elizabeth Debicki (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), Martin Donovan (Ant-Man), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-ass), and Indian film stars Dimple Kapadia and Denzil Smith.

The first trailer dropped last December. As I wrote at the time, “Fresh off his Oscar-nominated World War II drama, Dunkirk, Nolan seems to be returning to his high-concept sci-fi roots with Tenet.” That trailer opened with a shot of two men rappelling up a building, in seeming defiance of the laws of physics. “We all believe we’d run into the burning building,” a voiceover tells us. “But until we feel that heat, we can never know.”

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#christopher-nolan, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #trailers, #warner-bros

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Charlize Theron is a badass immortal in action-packed The Old Guard trailer

Charlize Theron stars in the film adaptation of The Old Guard, coming soon to Netflix.

Charlize Theron is one of those actresses whose beauty seems to defy the passage of time, and in The Old Guard, a new blockbuster action movie coming to Netflix, she plays a literal immortal. Just think more mercenary-for-hire than Highlander, although there are likely to be thematic similarities with the latter. The streaming giant seems to be leaning hard into action movies with big-name stars, given this film and last month’s megahit, Extraction, starring Chris Hemsworth.

(Mild spoilers for the comics below.)

Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball), the film is an adaptation of the comic of the same name by Eisner-award winning author Greg Rucka (Lazarus, Wonder Woman), with art by Leandro Fernández (Deadpool, Punisher: MAX). The main protagonist is Andromache of Scythia, aka Andy, who is trapped in an immortal life for centuries, for some mysterious reason.

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#charlize-theron, #entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #netflix, #the-old-guard, #trailers

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Chris Hemsworth stars as a ruthless mercenary in trailer for Extraction

Chris Hemsworth stars in the new Netflix movie Extraction, produced by the Russo Brothers.

A ruthless mercenary is hired to save the kidnapped son of an international crime lord in Extraction, a new film debuting later this month on Netflix to further alleviate our sheltering-in-place ennui. It’s produced by the Russo Brothers (Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: End Game), which is probably how they snagged Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, as the star. We can thank Netflix for Stranger Things‘ David Harbour’s welcome appearance.

Joe Russo penned the script, and the duo tapped stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave to make his directorial debut. Hargrave’s stunt work has been featured in several MCU films (Captain America: Civil War, Thor: Ragnarok, for example), as well as The Hunger Games franchise and Atomic Blonde. So if nothing else, we can definitely look forward to some well-choreographed action sequences with Extraction.

The official premise is short and sweet: “Tyler Rake (Hemsworth) is a fearless black market mercenary who embarks on the deadliest mission of his career when he’s enlisted to rescue the kidnapped son of an international crime lord.” Compounding matters is the fact that Rake has recently lost his own son and is dealing with the grief and depression one might expect from such a tragedy. And the extraction of the crime lord’s son, Ovi (played by newcomer Rudraksh Jaiswal), proves significantly more difficult than originally anticipated.

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Pixar’s Soul trailer treads similar existential ground as Coco, Inside Out

Jamie Foxx voices middle school music teacher Joe Gardner in Pixar’s Soul.

A high school music teacher on the verge of a big break finds himself taking an unexpected detour through the afterlife in Soul, the latest animated feature by Pixar. Based on the trailer, it looks like Soul will have a similar existential emphasis on depicting highly abstract conceptions of human consciousness and the afterlife as Pixar’s Inside Out (2015) and Coco (2017).

Directed by Pete Docter (Inside Out, Up), Soul features the vocal talents of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, and Questlove. Per the official synopsis:

Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) is a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before—a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks, and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22 (Tina Fey), who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life’s most important questions.

Docter told Entertainment Weekly last November that the film is “an exploration of, where should your focus be? What are the things that, at the end of the day, are really going to be the important things that you look back on and go, ‘I spent a worthy amount of my limited time on Earth worrying or focused on that’?”

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Natasha Romanoff faces off against Taskmaster in final Black Widow trailer

Marvel’s Black Widow final trailer.

Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) goes back to her roots to take down a ruthless mercenary recruiting other young women to be combat operatives in the final trailer for Black Widow, Marvel’s long-overdue standalone feature film delving into the mysterious past of the late titular Avenger.

(Some spoilers for Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame below.)

As we wrote last December, we know that the Russian-born Natasha/Black Widow was trained as a spy/assassin in a secretive academy known as the Red Room, which disguised itself as a ballet school. All the “Black Widows” were sterilized, so Natasha is unable to bear children. Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), aka Hawkeye, is sent to take her out but recruits her to S.H.I.E.L.D. instead. The two become fast friends, and both wind up joining the Avengers, giving Natasha a family of sorts. When the group splits in Captain America: Civil War, Natasha initially sides with Tony Stark/Iron Man, even though that pits her against Barton and Steve Rogers. But her loyalties remain divided, and in the battle at Leipzig Airport, she lets Rogers and Bucky Barnes escape.

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We are so on board for Jordan Peele’s clever reinvention of Candyman

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Us, Watchmen) stars as visual artist Anthony McCoy in Candyman, Jordan Peele’s re-imagining of the 1990s horror franchise.

A visual artist inadvertently reawakens a monster from a Chicago urban legend in the first trailer for Candyman. Co-written by Jordan Peele and director Nia DaCosta (best known for her 2019 film Little Woods), it’s technically another sequel to the 1992 film that inspired it rather than a straight-up remake. In fact, it looks to be following the trend of such recent projects as Watchmen and Cobra Kai: honoring the prior storyline(s) while bringing them firmly into the present day.

(Spoilers for original film below.)

Based on the Clive Barker short story “The Forbidden,” the original 1992 Candyman starred Virginia Madsen as a Chicago graduate student in sociology whose thesis deals with urban legends. She hears about a series of murders in the Cabrini-Green public housing project. The killer is rumored to be the ghost of a late 19th-century artist named Daniel Robitaille (Tony Todd) who was lynched because he fathered an illegitimate child with a white woman. The mob cut off his right hand and smeared him with honey to attract bees to sting him before scattering his ashes over what is now the project’s grounds.

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