Need a quick recap of the past week in movie news? Here are the highlights:
Rick Moranis confirmed for Shrunk: After more than 20 years mostly retired from acting, Rick Moranis will return for a sequel to his 1989 sci-fi comedy hit Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Deadline reports he signed on to reprise his role in Shrunk, which will be helmed by the original's director, Joe Johnston, and will co-star Josh Gad.
Guy Ritchie to direct Aladdin 2: Speaking of Disney sequels, Aladdin 2, which will follow last year's hit live-action reimagining, is officially in the works. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Guy Ritchie will again direct while Will Smith, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott are all expected to reprise their respective roles as the Genie, Aladdin and Jasmine.
Parasite wins Best Picture: The 92nd Academy Awards made history by naming the Korean movie Parasite as Best Picture, the first time a non-English-language feature won the top Oscar. Other big winners included Parasite helmer Bong Joon Ho for Best Director, Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor for Joker and Renee Zellweger for Best Actress for Judy.
Cynthia Erivo to star in Carrier: Harriet double nominee Cynthia Erivo did not win any Oscars this week, but she remained in the news with the announcement via Deadline that she'll produce and star in a sci-fi thriller called Carrier. The movie will be based on the podcast of the same name, which features Erivo's voice, and she will reprise the character she plays in that audio version.
Margot Robbie to work with David O. Russell: Margot Robbie, who was also nominated for an Oscar this year, is joining the cast of David O. Russell's next movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The still untitled original feature will also star Russell regular Christian Bale plus recently added actor Michael B. Jordan.
Awkwafina to play real life gambler: The Farewell star Awkwafina, who won her own share of awards this past season, is tackling a biopic about notorious gambler Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun, who figured out a way to legally beat the system of a popular casino game. According to The Wrap, the movie is based on an article in Cigar Aficionado and is titled The Baccarat Machine.
Maggie Gyllenhaal to make directorial debut: Oscar-nominated actress Maggie Gyllenhaal will make her directorial debut with the feature The Lost Daughter, which she also wrote. Variety reports that Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman will star alongside Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson and Gyllenhaal's husband, Peter Sarsgaard. In other news, Variety also reports Gyllenhaal will play Elvis Presley's mother in a Baz Lurhman-helmed musical biopic.
Olivia Wilde to helm gymnast biopic: Olivia Wilde, who last year earned many accolades with...
After scuttling the premieres of Black Widow, Mulan, and several smaller titles due to the near-shuttering of the global box office, Disney recently unveiled its new release schedule, which for the most part, looks like a return to business as usual, only five to six months later than planned.
One title, however, was noticeably missing from Disney’s new slate: The New Mutants. While films like Artemis Fowl and Onward made quick jumps to Disney+ after having their theatrical runs aborted, the long-delayed mutant horror movie had no such luck. But despite X-Men fans pleading on social media for New Mutants to drop on Disney+ or Hulu if the content isn’t suitable for the family-friendly streaming service there appears to be a significant snag in making that happen. That snag? HBO.
Even after the Disney merger, HBO still holds the premium TV rights to all 20th Century Fox films as it has for the past 30 years. That deal would presumably include New Mutants and also explain why X-Men: Dark Phoenix recently debuted on HBO instead of one of the Disney-controlled streaming services. HBO fully expects Disney to make a play for the Fox library, however, when the current deal expires in 2022.
“You don’t have to be a genius to assume [Disney chairman/CEO] Bob [Iger] will take those Fox movies back into the Disney company.” former HBO CEO Richard Plepler told The Hollywood Reporter in 2018. “But there are other ways to skin the movie cat, and we will.”
As for releasing New Mutants on VOD, Den of Geek reports that situation is another can of worms involving a Gordian knot of contractual obligations that require the film to be released theatrically or face a round of renegotiations with the cast and director. There’s a reason fans think the movie is cursed.
After watching its release date get routinely delayed while still at Fox, New Mutants seemingly disappeared into the ether following the Disney merger and fans gave up hope on the film ever seeing the light of day. But in a surprise announcement in 2019, director Josh Boone revealed that Disney was letting him finish the film, and it came so close to making it into theaters. Boone and star Maisie Williams even did a promotional tour, and then just a few weeks shy of its April 3 release date, coronavirus collapsed the entire film industry. And now, to pour salt in the wound, the bruised and beaten mutant movie is trapped in a complicated streaming limbo that probably won’t be resolved anytime soon. Although, you have to admit, it’s very on brand.