With One of the most hardest places hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City, has announced a plan to reopen their theaters in a 25% limited capacity. According to an article by Variety, the plan will go into effect on March 5th. While this is indeed good news for the movie industry, in terms of something going in the right direction for a return for normalcy, it is still far from what is needed for smaller theaters looking to reopen.
Right here on the Central Coast, theaters remain closed and shut. Some Regal theaters are present along the Central Coast, but AMC, the nation's largest theater chain, is not. This leaves all other theaters in the area left to the small and independent business owners, who do not have the financial stability of the large chains. Some theaters have been trying to find creative solutions, such as Park Cinema Theaters in Paso Robles. Even the Parks Plaza Theatre, a site for many Central Coast Film Society events and only theater in the entire Santa Ynez Valley, has quietly put a "For Sale" sign out on the curb in front of the words "We Will Be Back" in their marquee.
Another theater has garnished the support of local elected leaders in Atascadero. Reports show support for the Galaxy Theater's came as the property owner announced they may have to put the property in foreclosure. “Over the past year, too many local businesses have been forced to permanently shut their doors — resulting in unprecedented job loss on the Central Coast,” Said state Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham. “With new programs available to small businesses, I join my colleagues by imploring the bank to halt foreclosures and give businesses who have been able to survive this long a chance at a California small business grant.”
However, with New York City looking at reopening, even in a very limited capacity, all eyes now are focused on the Los Angeles theaters to see if they reopen. Odds are theaters will begin gaining momentum to reopen when that happens with the proper Cinema Safe protocols. Regal has a video featuring Dr. David F. Goldsmith who speaks to how theaters will reopen safely. Most, if not all theaters, will be following the same protocols when reopening finally does happen.
2020 was the year that lots of things changed. In fact, you could probably hear the voice of Heath Ledger's Joker from The Dark Knight saying that 2020 "changed things... forever." Well, it's true! Lots of things have changed for the movie industry thanks to Covid-19 and the 2020 shutdowns, especially when it comes to the movie going experience.
Fortunately, here in early 2021, we have the vaccines beginning to roll out and hopefully that means a return to normalcy, and perhaps a return trip to the theaters again in a few months. Last year, many films were delayed and pushed to 2021, but some did screen and/or went to an online streaming service, like Mulan or Wonder Woman 1984. But what else were we supposed to see that got pushed back to this year? RottenTomatoes has a whole list of movies, but we have our own list of top 10 anticipated movies that were delayed.
10) West Side Story – Moved from December 18, 2020 to December 10, 2021
Steven Spielberg always wanted to make a musical and so he decided to remake one of the most classic on-screen musicals. But now it seems he will have to wait a little longer to see this must see remake on the big screen. Well, if someone had to remake it, it's in the best hands possible, even if he is a rookie when it comes to musicals.
9) Death on the Nile – Moved from December 18; new date unknown
A sequel (and also remake) to the mildly successful Murder on the Orient Express brings together another cast of talented performers stuck together on a boat in the nile... one of whom is a murderer. Fortunately our famous detective just happens to be onboard and will of course save the day.
8) A Quiet Place Part II – Moved from September 4, 2020 to April 23, 2021
Another sequel but to the sleeper success of the original movie. A Quiet Place stunned audiences with it's fresh take on the horror genre, especially from real life married couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. John, who is known for his role in the television show The Office, will return as writer and director of the sequel which will continue to explore this dark world.
7) Black Widow – Moved from May 1, 2020 to November 6, 2020 to May 7, 2021
Speaking of sequels, this film was supposed to be Marvel's first big screen return since the colossal Avengers: Endgame event, which was to begin opening the door to the Marvel Cinematic Universe's (MCU) Phase 4. But as it turns out, we're going to get our first look in the form of Wanda Vision coming to Disney+ in January. Black Widow is a popular character
6) Dune – Moved from December 18, 2020 to October 1, 2021
And now a return to the land of remakes. Dune was one of the most iconic science fiction films (and novels) of it's day. George Lucas has even admitted he took a lot of inspiration from the original film for Star Wars. A trailer for this version of Dune recently released and it still looks amazing and cutting edge. With an all star cast, we're still looking forward to this! That and it also features a Central Coast native, Josh Brolin.
5) Top Gun: Maverick – Moved from December 23, 2020 to July 2, 2021
Jumping back over to the sequels category, this one we are really looking forward to because it features our favorite maverick (pun intended) actually flying a fighter jet. Yes, Tom Cruise is really up there flying around. But with an iconic soundtrack and some amazing footage, this looks like a movie that will have us on the edge of our nostalgic seats.
4) The King's Man – Moved from September 18, 2020 to February 26, 2021 to March 12, 2021
And now, not a sequel or a remake... but a prequel! Threw you for a loop, I know, but this prequel to the unexpectedly popular The Kingsmen movies is set in the spy organizations origin days. Like with the original two films, The King's Man features an amazing cast and returning team of story tellers which is a perfect recipes for a fun (and highly explosive) journey to the movies. This is also slated to be the first of the movies on our list to return to theater, which is still two months away!
3) The Jungle Cruise – Moved from July 24, 2020 to July 30, 2021
Here's somewhat of an original idea. Well, except that Eddie Murphy tried to sell a Haunted Mansion, Haley Joel Osment sung with The Country Bears, George Clooney blasted Tomorrowland and Steve Guttenberg (along with Kirsten Dunst) dropped in at the Tower of Terror. Now we're ready to hear Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson tell bad jokes on Disney's latest attraction movie, The Jungle Cruise. With the trailer feeling more like something cut from the Pirates of the Caribbean style of filmmaking, but we're still going to line up in our best 1930s exploring outfits. And the fact that yours truly was in fact an authentic and certified Jungle Cruise skipper has nothing to do with this excitement.... promise.
2) No Time To Die – Moved from November, 2020 to April 2, 2021
Slated to be released early in 2021, we're so excited to bid Daniel Craig farewell as everyone's favorite spy, James Bond. Daniel Craig has been widely considered to be "the best Bond since Connery." No question, this cinematic film will be filled with action to take up every inch of your screen, and so we want to see it in the largest format possible! Yes, even though is is technically a sequel as well, it's sure to end with a "bang!"
1) Ghostbusters: Afterlife – Moved from July 10, 2020 to March 5, 2021 to June 11, 2021
Ok, so yes, it's a sequel (and to some a remake of a different sequel to cancel that sequels existence and return to the original films timeline/universe). The enigmatic trailer that was released showed what happens when you can still make a movie that doesn't feature any of the original cast, but makes it all feel so awesome. This movie is set to be one of the biggest tentpoles of the first year back in the cinemas. Let's hope we'll all be there soon.
Did we miss a movie you're looking forward to? Let us know.
Christmas came early for some hardcore Disney+ fans! Disney released a massive treasure trove today at their investors meeting, including footage of new Disney+ shows spanning from all corners of the Disney universe. This is obviously a reaction to the news of what Warner Brothers has done with HBO Max for all of their upcoming films to be released in theatrical and streaming as well. As for Disney, they will either (mostly as of right now) be releasing films on their streaming service, Disney+ or traditional theatrical releases. We'll breakdown a little here for you by section.
Just because the MCU had a nice neat button on it, known as Avengers: Endgame, doesn't mean it's over. Far, far from it... but then again we all knew that. Today was huge for Marvel, announcing new feature films such as Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, the third feature in the Ant-Man franchise; and Fantastic Four, which introduces Marvel’s most iconic family. Marvel Studios’ upcoming feature films also include Black Widow, Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther 2, Blade, Captain Marvel 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
This doesn't even include what they're doing on the small screen with Disney+. They are making many new shows for the streaming service including the animated series What If...?, a live action series for Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye (with Hailee Steinfeld joining Jeremy Renner in the series), She-Hulk, (starring Tatiana Maslany in the title role alongside co-stars Mark Ruffalo and Tim Roth), Moon Knight, Gaurdians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, and a series of original shorts, I am Groot.
But don't forget about everyone's favorite badguy, Loki, who is also getting his own show. You can see the trailer below.
Marvel also released its trailers packed with new footage for Wanda Vision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. All three shows show a distinct and vision at what is going on in the MCU, following the events of Endgame and all will be on Disney+. It was also released that these shows will play heavily into what will happen in future MCU movies, including the much rumored about Spiderman-3 with Tom Holland (ok, this is a Sony movie, but we all know the truth), and Doctor Strange Into the Multiverse.
Disney+ will also be getting numerous other MCU connected shows such as
Some of the biggest news came to the Star Wars universe. Again, with the wrap up of the main "Skywalker" saga timeline, it became open season to go hunting for sideline adventures, which has proven to be instrumental with The Mandalorian, one of Disney+'s flagship new shows when it debuted last year. The show also has continued to expand on its global influence with the second season which is currently debuting new episodes.
Star Wars has already begun its spinoffs a long time ago... in a galaxy... well, same galaxy. Alright, same galaxy, but back with the Clone Wars, and animated show, which again has a spin off of that announced called The Bad Batch. The Clone Wars features, James Arnold Taylor, a Central Coast resident as a vocal artist for Obi-Wan Kenobi in the series. But spinoffs aren't limited to animated, even in The Mandalorian there is many cross references with characters coming to live-action form, especially in season 2. One of those characters is also getting their own live action show, Ahsoka, which is Ahsoka Tano, a Jedi from The Clone Wars and Rebels.
Disney+ isn't getting shows that are spinoffs of animated shows. It was announced that the previously announced show, Obi-Wan Kenobi, a "special event series" that features Ewan McGregor back in the title role, will have Hayden Christensen return as his apprentice turned master of the dark side of the force, Darth Vader.
But then, Rogue One, one of the few theatrical Star Wars spinoffs, is getting it's own spinoff (so many spinoffs), which is described as a "a tense nail-biting spy thriller" following Diego Luna's character from the film, Cassian Andor in a show called Andor. You can see the video they released about it below.
But Star Wars wasn't finished there. They also have The Acolyte, a mystery-thriller that will take the audience into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark side powers in the final days of the High Republic era. Lando is also getting an "event series" for Disney+, but no word on if Donald Glover or Billy Dee Williams (or both) will be returning to reprise their characters.
Then there is also a new show set within the timeline of The Mandalorian, which is called Rangers of the New Republic. This new live-action series from executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni will intersect with future stories and culminate into a climactic story event. This will probably be about the X-Wing pilots we've seen in the show in both seasons now. But why stop there with X-Wings? Check out this other announcement from Wonder Woman director, Patty Jenkins.
Rogue Squadron is set to come out in theaters around Christmas 2023. Oh and don't forget about Taika Waititi's unnamed Star Wars film that will come out in the future. Honestly, they couldn't be more vague about it. But wait... theres still so much more. There's A Droid Story which will introduce us to a new hero, guided by the legendary duo, R2-D2 and C-3PO. There's also more animated shorts coming. But why stop there LucasFilm?
They also announced they're in pre-production for the next Indiana Jones film, set to begin filming in Spring of 2021 and released in theaters July of 2022, with Harrison Ford back in the fedora. Then other fun LucasFilm news would be Willow getting a series on Disney+ with Warwick Davis returning. They are set to begin filming in March of 2021 and will be on Disney+ in 2022.
Don't forget about these guys. They also have some skin in the game. Pixar's Soul is slated to come out on Disney+ after being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, going the same path as Mulan. But Disney is not stopping with the live-action remakes showing off titles for Peter and Wendy as well as Pinocchio. Also there's the spinoff movie following Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, a new version of Swiss Family Robinson and Percy Jackson and the Olympians all going to Disney+. More new films for Disney+ include, Hocus Pocus 2, a sequel to the 1993 Halloween classic. Reboots of Three Men and a Baby, with Central Coast Native, Zac Efron, and Cheaper by the Dozen with Kenya Barris and Gabrielle Union, and a new Sister Act film with Whoopi Goldberg returning.
But new shows coming to Disney+ are also interesting. The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, with Emilio Estevez returns as Gordon Bombay and Lauren Graham joins the flock. Other shows include Turner & Hooch, Big Shot and The Mysterious Benedict Society.
However, as I said earlier, Disney is "mostly" releasing their films on one or the other, does not apply to Raya and the Last Dragon, which will debut simultaneously on Disney+ Premier Access and in theatres in March 2021. Premier Access for the title will be priced at $29.99. Today's presentation also included a preview of upcoming feature films such as Jungle Cruise, Cruella and prequels to The Lion King and The Little Mermaid.
Did that seem like a bit? Yes, yes it did. That's just most of what I could find. But what we can all say is that writing does not stop during quarantines and everyone is eager to get stuff rolling. And as consumers, we can't wait... I just hope we are not drinking from a fire hose when it comes out.
What are you the most excited for with all the announcements?
Actor, writer and director, Rob Reiner, son of Carl Reiner announced the death of his father, Carl Reiner via twitter. He passed away at his home at the age of 98 last night.
Carl is credited with helping create some of the most memorable comedy ever filmed. He was a part of Sid Ceaser's team to create the Dick Van Dyke Show and worked with countless others in the comedy world, including George Burns, Steve Martin and Mel Brooks. He also lent his voice to many cartoon shows including Family Guy and even as recent as Toy Story 4 in 2019. He is also know for his role in the 2001 hit, Ocean's Eleven and it's sequel.
Carl was makes an appearance in the hit classic film It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World as the Tower Controller for the Rancho Conejo Airport, located here on the Central Coast. The scene is one of the most memorable with some of the most crazy airplane stunts caught on film. The Rancho Conejo Airport was removed shortly after filming to make way for Los Robles Greens golf course and the 101 Freeway.
Variety is reporting that Cineworld, the parent company of Regal, is anticipating reopening theaters in July after being closed since mid March.
The article says that in a statement to investors on May 28th, Cineworld said it anticipates that government restrictions related to cinemas will be lifted in each of its territories by July. “Subject to this and confirmation of the schedule for film releases, Cineworld anticipates the reopening of all of its cinemas in July.”
The company also stated that they will have new security and safety features installed to deal with the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is aimed "to ensure a safe and enjoyable cinema experience for its employees and customers."
As for what movies they will show, they plan on showing Christopher Nolan movie “Tenet” and immediately after that, Disney’s live-action version of “Mulan.” However, no specific date has been given for any theaters to reopen.
What do you think about the reopening of theaters? Will you be going back?
Variety has an article out today that was talking about how Tom Cruise has a serious need for speed. NASA administrator Jim Bridentsine tweeted that "NASA is exited to work with @TomCruise on a film aboard the @Space_Station!"
Plot details have not been revealed, although Deadline Hollywood reports that it will not be an installment of Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible” franchise. It is also reported that Cruise has been working with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and were in the early stages of teaming up with NASA for an action-adventure feature film. NASA confirmed this would be the first feature film to be shot in outer-space.
Cruise is known for doing all of his own stunts and it is expected that he will make the journey to the International Space Station for the film. No word on any other aspects of crew, equipment or other details that may hint to the production. Films have been made at the ISS in the past, but not a narrative feature film. However, Bridenstine sees this as a major plus hoping to "inspire a new generation."
The Central Coast has beautiful evening skies, which make our launches from Vandenberg AFB all the more dramatic. But also, it's a perfect place to spot the ISS orbiting overhead. So make sure to look up and watch the newest out-of-this-world filming location when cameras roll. Check out the schedule of flyovers here.
What do you think about the news? Looking forward to real space movies?
The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that classic leading man from The Comancheros, The Longest Day and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines has died in his home in Montecito yesterday. He was also known for his performance in the television show Cimarron Strip as well has for his performance in The Mark, which earned him an Academy Award nomination. According to to the article, "Whitman did get nominated for best actor but lost out to Judgment at Nuremberg's Maximilian Schell — whose sister, Maria, played Whitman's love interest in The Mark. "Maria told me she didn't know who to vote for that year!” he said."
Whitman began his on screen career in 1951's When Worlds Collide, appearing in numerous films and television shows all the way up until 2000. His work had a huge range of genres, from westerns to suspenseful crime to creature features. After his half of century of acting, he retired to his 30-acre Santa Barbara area ranch and worked in real estate.
Variety is reporting that Spielberg has left the director's chair for long awaited Indiana Jones 5 movie, scheduled to begin production sometime this summer. According to Variety, who had the exclusive news, that "Ford v Ferrari director James Mangold is in talks to take the job. Mangold has been put in this situation before when he took over the Wolverine franchise; 2017’s Logan was a blockbuster, grossing $619 million globally, and earning Mangold an Oscar nomination for adapted screenplay."
The film has been "in the works" since Disney announced it back in 2016, and subsequently has seen many delays. It is unclear if this will cause another delay, with production only a few months away. Spielberg is still set to remain on the project as a producer, but this is the first time in 39 years he will not be sitting at the director's chair. One project that delayed Indiana Jones was Spielberg's involvement with his upcoming remake of West Side Story, set to be released later this year. Harrison Ford is still attached to the project, for now, as he has been talking about his involvement as he went on his press tour for his recent release, Call of the Wild.
Spielberg is not the first crew member to step down from their role for this film. Screenwriter David Koepp left the project and Jonathan Kasdan, son of Lawrence Kasdan, came in to finish the script, causing another delay. Disney is also undergoing a major change with CEO Bob Iger stepping down effective immediately yesterday, and so upper Disney brass might be also influx. According to Variety's report, both Disney and Spielberg are declining to comment on the matter.
The last film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Krystal Skull, did feature local Central Coast iconic town of Morro Bay, standing in for Cuba during it's iconic "map sequence." You can see Morro Rock and the tall smoke stacks that are a staple of Morro Bay.
To read the full article, click here.
Kirk Douglas passed away today, according to his son, Michael Douglas' social media, Variety reports. Michael says his father, "leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come, and a history as a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet."
He is best known for his role in Spartacus, which included scenes shot here on the Central Coast at the famous destination of Hearst Castle. He has also won an honorary academy award. Douglas was also a WWII veteran and former Broadway star. But beyond this career, Douglas did lots of philanthropic work.
Variety reports that "Douglas and his wife Anne donated millions for the construction of the Kirk Douglas Care Pavilion at the Motion Picture & Television Fund for residents with Alzheimer’s. Funds were also donated to the Anne Douglas Center for Women at the Los Angeles Mission; the Center Theater Group’s Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City; Sinai Temple in Westwood; and the Kirk Douglas Scholarship fund at Douglas alma mater St. Lawrence U.
Survivors include his wife Anne; three sons: actor-producer Michael and producers Joel and Peter; and at least seven grandchildren. His youngest son, Eric, died in July 2004."
With The Original Broadway Cast.
Filmed onstage at The Richard Rodgers Theatre.
In A Theater Near You.
October 15, 2021
That's what the tweets said coming from the official Hamilton and Lin-Manuel Miranda pages. It looks like Disney is taking on the screen adaptation with the original cast. Disney and Miranda are no strangers to working together, including working closely on the lukewarm Marry Poppins Returns film, but also having him help with a song featured in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
According to Variety, Miranda said: “I fell in love with musical storytelling growing up with the legendary Howard Ashman-Alan Menken Disney collaborations — ‘The Little Mermaid,’ ‘Beauty and The Beast,’ ‘Aladdin,'” Miranda said. “I’m so proud of what Tommy Kail has been able to capture in this filmed version of ‘Hamilton’ — a live theatrical experience that feels just as immediate in your local movie theater. We’re excited to partner with Disney to bring the original Broadway company of ‘Hamilton’ to the largest audience possible.”
Hamilton debuted on Broadway in 2015 and won numerous accolades, including 11 Tonys and the Pulitzer Prize for drama.