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B O X   O F F I C E
who’s making the money
F I L M   N E W S
who’s making the headlines

NOTE: Box office reports have been suspended with the closure of all cinemas in the UK and US due to the covid-19 pandemic.

NOTE: With all film production on hold, releases cancelled and most cinemas closed, the entire industry is on pause. So getting production schedules back up and running will be tricky. Which will of course slow down announcements about forthcoming movies...


D A T E L I N E :   2 5   M A R C H . . .

Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba are set to star in THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING, about a British woman on holiday in Istanbul, where she finds a wish-granting djinn who has been trapped inside a bottle for three millennia. George Miller is writing and directing.

Jamie Foxx will direct WHEN WE PRAY, a drama about two brothers who become pastors at rival churches in the same neighbourhood, one a high-tech congregation and the other in a declining traditional style. Foxx also wrote the script with Donald Ray Caldwell.
Maya Rudolph, Will Forte, Alessia Cara, Terry Crews, Martin Short, Jane Krakowski and Ricky Gervais are voicing characters in THE WILLOUGHBYS, about a brother and sister who plot to get their parents to take a holiday so they can raise themselves. Kris Pearn and Cory Evans are directing.
Paul Bettany will star in a movie about Cambridge Analytica, the data-mining organisation that was outed in a Facebook scandal for its use of millions of people's information without their knowledge. David Gordon Green is directing from a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
Luke Wilson, Frank Grillo, Lochlyn Munro, Brandon Thomas Lee, Adelaide Kane and wrestling star CJ "Lana" Perry will join Bruce Willis in the action adventure COSMIC SIN, about a group of scientists and assassins who team up to battle an alien invasion. Corey Large and Edward Drake are writing and directing.
Grant Gustin (The Flash) will star in the thriller OPERATION BLUE EYES, about a rising-star stock tycoon who plots to kidnap Frank Sinatra's son in 1963. But everything goes wrong as he tries to improvise each step of his plan. Joe Mantegna is directing.
Karyn Kusama and James Wan will direct a new movie versions of DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN, respectively. The plan is to take new angles on the classic story, like Leigh Whannell's The Invisible Man, so both will be mid-budget thrillers set in the present day.
Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (Ready or Not) are working on a fifth film in the SCREAM franchise. A years-later sequel, rather than a remake, this is about a woman returning to her hometown to solve a series of vicious murders.
And Kal Penn and John Cho say they're up for a fourth HAROLD AND KUMAR movie, as are writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, who created the characters. There's no word yet on what they have in mind.


D A T E L I N E :   8   M A R C H . . .

Chance the Rapper has joined the cast of the SESAME STREET movie musical, which follows the iconic characters as they are expelled from their neighbourhood and struggle to prove that it actually exists. Anne Hathaway stars in the film, which is being directed by Jonathan Krisel.

Antonio Banderas, Tati Gabrielle and Sophia Ali are joining Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg in UNCHARTED, based on the globe-hopping treasure hunting videogame. Ruben Fleischer is directing from a script by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway.
Bella Thorne will star in HABIT, about religiously minded party girl who gets caught up in a violent drug deal, so goes undercover as a nun. First-timer Janell Shirtcliff is directing from a script by Suki Kaiser.
Eric Bana will write, direct and star in THE BIKE, a biopic about British motorcycle racer Mike Hailwood. The story centres on the 1978 Isle of Man race, at which 1960s champion Hailwood made a historic comeback after an 11-year gap.
Aya Cash and William Jackson Harper will team up for WE BROKE UP, a comedy about a long-term couple who break up then pretend they're still together for a family wedding. Costars include Sarah Bolger, Tony Cavalero and Peri Gilpin. Jeff Rosenberg is directing.
Sam Worthington and Colson Baker will star in THE LAST SON OF ISAAC LEMAY, a Western that begins filming next month in Montana. It's about an outlaw who becomes convinced that there's evil in his blood, so he needs to kill his children. David Von Ancken is directing.
Ed Asner, Charles Agron, Lance Henrickson and Tobin Bell will star in AWAKEN, a mystery thriller about a business trying to find out what happened to his missing daughter. Costars include Krista Dane Hoffman, Alyone Khmara and Kayla Adams. Don Fauntleroy is directing from a script by Agron.
Justin Baldoni will direct HOLD BACK THE STARS, based on the novel about a young couple revisiting their relationship while they're trapped in space with only 90 minutes of oxygen left. The screenplay is by Christy Hall (I Am Not Okay With This).
Oscar-winning filmmakers Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo) will make a drama about the 2018 rescue of 12 members of a boy's football team who were trapped in a cave in Thailand by a monsoon floodwaters. Wes Tooke (Midway) is writing the script.
In addition to JOHN WICK 2 and a HIGHLANDER reboot, director Chad Stahelski is working on what he's calling a throwback to the "great car movies", a high-concept action movie centred around a relationship. The script is by Andre Nemec and Josh Applebaum (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).
JJ Abrams will produce THE PINKERTON, a supernatural revenge thriller set in the Wild West. Other details are being kept under wraps. The script is by Daniel Casey, who worked on 10 Cloverfield Lane and cowrote the forthcoming F9: THE FAST SAGA.
Speaking of which, word has it that Ben Stiller has a role in the next Fast & Furious movie F9, which opens in May. The film again stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren, plus John Cena and Cardi B.


D A T E L I N E :   4   M A R C H . . .

Zazie Beetz, Melissa Leo, Hala Finley and David Rysdahl will star in SHELTER, about a girl who reconnects with her estranged father as they fake an illness to find shelter from a winter storm in rural Minnesota. Jen Gerber is directing from a script by Rysdahl.

Michael B Jordan will be back for CREED III, continuing the Rocky saga. It's likely Sylvester Stallone will return as well, although there's no word yet on the plot. The script is by Zach Baylin (King Richard).
Speaking of which, Liev Schreiber and Susie Abromeit are joining the cast of KING RICHARD, which stars Will Smith as the father of Venus and Serena Williams (Saniyya Syndey and Demi Singleton). Aunjaune Ellis and Jon Bernthal costar; Reinaldo Marcus Green is directing.
Rachel Brosnahan is joining Anthony Ramos in DISTANT, a sci-fi comedy about a miner travelling through space when he crash-lands on a planet and finds a woman stuck in an escape pod. Will Speck and Josh Gordon are directing.
Don Johnson, Erin Doherty, James Badge Dale and James Cromwell will join John Boyega in REBEL RIDGE, a character-based thriller that takes on the injustice in American society with a mix of action, suspense and humour. Jeremy Saulner is writing and directing.
Dolph Lundgren and Scott Adkins will reteam for CASTLE FALLS, about a crime gang trying to retrieve a hidden fortune from a block of flats before it is demolished. But the contractor in charge of demolition has discovered the loot. Lundgren is also directing the film.
British musician Yola will play Sister Rosetta Tharpe in Baz Luhrmann's ELVIS musical biopic. Tharpe's experimentation with gospel and rock had a huge influence on Elvis Presley. The film stars Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rufus Sewell.
Natacha Karam (911: Lone Star) is joining the cast of SAMARITAN, which stars Sylvester Stallone as a retired superhero called back into action. Martin Starr, Pilou Asbaek and Javon Walton costar. Julius Avery is directing.
Gil Perez-Abraham (Pose) has joined the cast of THE BATMAN, which director Matt Reeves is currently shooting. The reboot stars Robert Pattinson, Colin Farrell, Zoe Kravitz, Andy Serkis and Paul Dano.
And James Mangold is being lined up to direct the fifth INDIANA JONES movie, which will again star Harrison Ford. Steven Spielberg is still producing, but decided not to direct this one. And George Lucas isn't likely to be involved at all this time.


beyond the big screen...

Stage: Sending out an SOS

Message in a Bottle at The Peacock...

Stage: Supernatural fluidity

Alina Cojocaru at Sadler's Wells...

Stage: Grappling with intimacy

Undetectable at the King's Head...

> EXHIBITION: Dancing queens - Abba: Super Troupers at the O2 until 31st August 2020...

STAGE: Let your hair down - Teac Damsa's Mám at Sadler's Wells...

THE INSIDE SCOOP: Words & pics from the 40th London Critics' Circle Film Awards...

STAGE: Three in a bed - The Morning After at Above the Stag...

STAGE: Kitchen conversations - Four Play at Above the Stag...

SCREEN: Winter TV roundup - His Dark Materials, The Mandalorian, The Crown, Watchmen and more...


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BBC. CNN. Evening Standard. The Guardian. Film Threat. indieWire. Screen International.

© 2020 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall