|THE NEW MUTANTSMAISIE WILLIAMSANYA TAYLOR-JOYNEW MUTANTSSPOTLIGHTUTA|
Last week, Disney updated its release schedule, including new dates for nearly every Marvel Cinematic Universe movie and pushing back Indiana Jones 5 an entire year. Harrison Ford will be 80 years old when it comes out. The company also announced that Artemis Fowl, a $125 million adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s novel, is going straight to Disney+, where it will rest alongside Mr. Boogedy and junk like Beauty and the Beast. That might not be the only upcoming Disney movie to be released straight on the streaming service, according to Disney executive chairman and former-CEO Bob Iger.
“There are some we’ve decided to put on Disney+. We already announced one, Artemis Fowl, that would have been released in theaters. Others we’ve simply delayed. In some cases we’ve moved things onto Disney+ faster than we would have,” Iger told Barrons, referring to Frozen 2 and Onward, among others. He continued, “In terms of movies going ahead after Artemis, there may be a few more that we end up putting directly onto Disney+, but for the most part a lot of the big tentpole Disney films, we’ll simply wait for slots. In some cases we’ve announced new ones already, but later on in the calendar.”
What direct-to-Disney+ movies could Iger be referring to? Nothing from the Marvel Cinematic Universe or Pixar, obviously; Mulan, Jungle Cruise, and Cruella are almost certainly off-limits, too. Maybe The One and Only Ivan, a live-action/CGI hybrid starring Bryan Cranston, Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, and Danny DeVito that I’ve never heard of until now, or Raya and the Last Dragon, which actually sounds good. Then there’s The New Mutants, the most cursed movie in existence. A deal would have to be reached between Disney and HBO for the frequently-delayed X-Men universe spin-off to come out on Disney+, although, at this point, I would watch it in 10-minute chunks on Quibi.
Please someone, anyone, release The New Mutants.
As The New Mutants closes in on its long-awaited release date after falling down a rabbit hole during the Disney/Fox merger, the film’s horror elements have been front and center as director Josh Boone hopes to bring a unique take to the X-Men franchise. However, eagle-eyed fans have noticed what appears to be a same-sex relationship between Maisie Williams‘ Rahne Sinclair and Blu Hunt‘s Danielle Moonstar, and they are correct.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Williams confirms that the X-Men thriller will also push boundaries by featuring a same-sex love story.
“Rahne and Dani have a telepathic connection in the comics, and so we just wanted to extend that in the film and put that within reality,” she explains. “If they really could understand each other on that level, then you’d probably end up falling in love with that person.”
But Williams wants to make it clear that the relationship isn’t a “gimmick” and that it’s an unspoken bond that occurs naturally and is quietly accepted by the other young mutants, adding that none of them label it and “no one really questions it.”
Director Boone also chimed in that the love story is “sort of the spine and focus of some of the character-driven stuff in the film,” and Rahne’s backstory of being raised by a reverend who was terrified of his daughter’s mutant abilities encouraged Boone and screenwriter Knate Lee to pull from their shared conservative upbringing in Virginia.
“I remember watching My Own Private Island  when I was 11 or 12 and being like, ‘Maybe the people at church are wrong about gay people.’ I always felt a bit like an outsider. I’ve certainly had my head put in the toilet when I was a kid at school, had bullies chase us around, had oppressive things that I guess just made me more sensitive to things like that. So, we like to try to push anything [like Rahne and Dani] forward as much as possible.”
Since it’s inception, the X-Men have served as an allegory for civil rights, so Boone has comic book history on his side when it comes to mixing mutants and social commentary.
It’s been nearly five full years since director George Miller set the movie world on fire with Mad Max: Fury Road, one of the ballsiest films ever made and easily one of the greatest movies of the past decade. A possible sequel was mired in legal troubles for a while, but last year, it seemed as if things were finally in place for not just one movie, but multiple Mad Max movies to get underway.
Now a new report says Miller is actively holding auditions for a Mad Max Furiosa prequel movie, which he hopes to begin shooting next year. One of the people he’s auditioned for the lead role? The Witch, Split, and Emma. actress Anya Taylor-Joy.
In a Variety article discussing the uncertainty of major upcoming blockbuster production dates, there’s an aside that will be of significant interest to disciples of Miller’s Mad Max films:
Director George Miller, for instance, has been meeting with names including Anya Taylor-Joy for his ‘Furiousa’ [sic] spin-off, which he hopes to start shooting in 2021. Of course, Miller is making concessions to coronavirus — those auditions have taken place via Skype.
Rumors of a Furiosa movie have been floating around since 2016, but this is the most concrete word yet that Miller is actually prioritizing it over the other planned Mad Max movies, one of which is supposed to be a Fury Road sequel called Mad Max: The Wasteland.
The case could be made that Charlize Theron‘s searing, tight-lipped performance as Furiosa was one of the defining performances of the 2010s: Theron shaved her head, rode out into the desert for a chaotic-as-hell film shoot, butted heads with co-star Tom Hardy, and still proved to the world that this Oscar winner had major range and that she should absolutely be taken seriously as an action star. But the problem, if you can even call it that, is that she was so good as Furiosa that she’s become inextricably linked to that role. Anyone else stepping in will not only have to shoulder the requirements of whatever this movie demands, but also shrug off the audience’s deep association with Theron as that character.
It helps that it’ll be a prequel, so maybe a young star like Taylor-Joy could actually put her own stamp on the role. But remember, she hasn’t been cast yet – she’s one of several people Miller has auditioned, and the only one we know by name so far. But it’ll be interesting to see what qualities Miller is searching for in a younger version of his protagonist for this spin-off, and how audiences will react to the first Mad Max movie without Mad Max in it.
EXCLUSIVE: Spotlight production co Topic Studios is teaming with journalism outfit Field of Vision to offer $250,000 in emergency financial help for struggling documentary freelancers during the coronavirus lockdown.
The two companies are divisions of First Look Media, the org set up by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar with doc heavyweights Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and Laura Poitras.
Industry freelancers have been particularly hard hit by the economic aspects of the crisis, with film and TV production halted around the world. As such, the fund is aiming to support the most vulnerable by providing life assistance grants, such as for rent, healthcare, bills, groceries, for those who have experienced financial hardship from loss of income or opportunity. The money comes from the operating budgets of the two companies.Field of Vision / Topic Studios
The fund will offer individual grants of up to $2,000 in two chunks, initially in April and then again in May, as the situation evolves. It will open for applications between April 8 and April 10 or until the companies receive 750 applications and then again between May 6 and May 8 or until a further 750 applications are received.
Co-Founder and Executive Producer of Field of Vision, Charlotte Cook said, “This is an incredibly hard time for the documentary field and we're hoping the fund is able to offer some relief. We started with our virtual mentorship and consultation service to try and be as available to filmmakers as possible, but felt it was vitally important to also provide financial assistance. We want to support the artists working in the documentary field every day, but especially now, and will continue to build and add more resources as we can over the next few weeks and months.”
Executive Vice President of Topic Studios, Maria Zuckerman added, “We at Topic Studios are proud to launch this initiative in partnership with our close colleagues at Field of Vision. We hope to respond to the needs of our collaborators in the documentary community and look forward to a time, hopefully soon, when our main focus will again be on making great work together.”