Disney held their annual D23 Expo in Anaheim, California today and several announcements were made and unveiled including some exciting casting additions to Marvel’s The Eternals. The Cast of FROZEN 2 even did a performance!
Check-out some of the highlights!
President of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” director/writer/producer J.J. Abrams showcased the riveting conclusion to the Skywalker saga. Kennedy and Abrams revved up the audience, introducing nine stars from the film—many of whom marked this as their first D23 Expo appearance: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran and Billy Dee Williams, plus special appearances from R2-D2, BB-8 and the new droid D-O. A brand-new poster was revealed—and gifted to the entire audience. And all were given a look back at the incredible legacy of Star Wars storytelling and treated to a sneak peek of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” which opens in theatres on Dec. 19, 2019.
Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, kicked off his presentation with a surprise visit from “Black Panther” director and co-writer Ryan Coogler. Together, they revealed that “Black Panther 2” (working title) will hit theatres on May 6, 2022.
Feige segued to next year’s “The Eternals,” inviting cast members from the much-anticipated film to the stage: Richard Madden, who portrays the all-powerful Ikaris; Kumail Nanjiani, who plays cosmic-powered Kingo; Lauren Ridloff, who portrays the super-fast Makkari, the first deaf hero in the MCU; Brian Tyree Henry, who plays the intelligent inventor Phastos; Salma Hayek, who plays the wise and spiritual leader Ajak; Lia McHugh, who portrays the eternally young, old-soul Sprite; Don Lee, who plays the powerful Gilgamesh; and Angelina Jolie, who stars as the fierce warrior Thena. Feige revealed concept art images of each character, and announced three new cast members and their characters: Gemma Chan, who plays humankind-loving Sersi; Kit Harington, who was cast as non-Eternal Dane Whitman, and Barry Keoghan, who portrays aloof loner Druig, and was on hand for the event. Directed by Chloé Zhao, who helmed the critically acclaimed Sundance film “The Rider,” “The Eternals” opens in theatres on Nov. 6, 2020.
Feige concluded with “Black Widow,” the Cate Shortland-directed first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which hits theatres on May 1, 2020. Feige shared a pre-recorded greeting featuring stars Scarlett Johansson, who reprises her role of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow; David Harbour, who was cast as Alexei the Red Guardian; and Florence Pugh, who plays Yelena. The audience was also treated to an exclusive look at the upcoming film.
DISNEY LIVE ACTION
Sean Bailey, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, took the audience through upcoming releases for the studio, including next summer’s “Jungle Cruise,” a rousing adventure inspired by the classic theme-park attraction. Star Dwayne Johnson, who plays riverboat captain Frank Wolff, entered Hall D23 aboard an original Jungle Cruise boat, introducing a “trailer” that showed off his character—so much so, that co-star Emily Blunt, who portrays Dr. Lily Houghton, arrived via classic car to share with fans her own “trailer,” offering a different perspective—Bailey laughingly informed Johnson and Blunt that neither trailer was official. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” hits theatres on July 24, 2020.
Bailey welcomed Angelina Jolie back to the stage to present exclusive footage and details about Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” the exciting follow-up to the hit 2014 film. Maleficent, portrayed by Jolie, and her goddaughter Aurora, played by Elle Fanning, begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies and new dark forces at play. Aurora’s imminent marriage to Prince Phillip is cause for celebration—however, Prince Phillip’s mother, Queen Ingrith, portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer, challenges Maleficent’s role as Aurora’s mother figure. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Connal, one of the leaders of the dark fey who becomes Maleficent’s ally. Ejiofor, Pfeiffer and Fanning were all welcomed to the stage by an enthusiastic audience. Directed by Joachim Rønning, who co-helmed 2017’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” arrives in theatres on Oct. 17, 2019.
Bailey next introduced acclaimed filmmaker Niki Caro, director of “Mulan,” the upcoming live-action reimagining of the 1998 classic animated film. Caro expressed to fans her passion for the project, sharing several minutes of footage from the epic adventure inspired by one of China’s fiercest warriors. In Disney’s “Mulan,” which opens in theatres on March 27, 2020, the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders. So, the eldest daughter of an honored but ailing warrior masquerades as a man, transforming into a heroic warrior to ultimately earn her the respect of a grateful nation and a proud father.
Next up, Bailey shared details about “Cruella,” an all-new feature film starring Emma Stone and Emma Thompson. Stone, who plays the iconic “Cruella,” sent D23 Expo fans a greeting from the London-based set with help from a spotted, four-legged co-star. Fans also got a glimpse of an image of Stone in full costume with Cruella’s signature black-and-white hair. Director Craig Gillespie, who helmed “I, Tonya” and “The Finest Hours,” brings “Cruella” to the big screen on May 28, 2021, with a fresh, 1970s, punk-rock approach.
PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS
Pixar Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter guided the audience through Pixar’s upcoming film slate of originals. Docter began with next summer’s release, “Soul,” which he directs. The film journeys from the streets of New York City to the never-before-seen cosmic realms and “The You Seminar,” the fantastical place where we all discover our unique personalities. Producer Dana Murray, co-director/writer Kemp Powers and writer Mike Jones joined Docter on stage, and together they set up the film for the audience and shared a sneak peek. The team revealed members of the voice cast who joined them on stage, including Ahmir Questlove Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, Tina Fey and Jamie Foxx. Foxx lends his voice to Joe Gardner, a middle-school band teacher whose true passion is playing jazz. Fey plays 22, a soul-in-training who has an unexpected encounter with Joe when he accidentally finds his way to the “You Seminar.” Together, the two are going to find a way to get Joe back to Earth, making him think again about what it truly means to have soul. Filmmakers also revealed that globally renowned musician Jon Batiste will be writing original jazz music for the film, and Oscar®-winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (“The Social Network”), from Nine Inch Nails, will compose an original score that will drift between the real and soul worlds. Disney and Pixar’s “Soul” opens in theatres on June 19, 2020.
Docter next introduced director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae, who shared details and more than ten minutes of exclusive footage from Pixar’s upcoming feature film “Onward.” The movie, which opens in theatres on March 6, 2020, stars Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, who embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic left in the world. Set in a modern fantasy world, Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” is inspired by Scanlon’s personal experiences with his brother. Holland, Pratt and Julia Louis-Dreyfus—who voices Mom in the movie—joined the filmmakers on stage—much to the delight of the audience, who all received an exclusive “Onward” poster.
WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee presented an overview of the studio’s next two features, beginning with the Thanksgiving 2020 fantasy-action-adventure, “Raya and the Last Dragon.” Directors Paul Briggs and Dean Wellins (“Big Hero 6,” “Frozen”), producer Osnat Shurer (“Moana”) and writer Adele Lim (“Crazy Rich Asians”) joined Lee on stage to set up the film, which introduces Raya, a lone warrior from the fantasy kingdom of Kumandra who teams up with a crew of misfits in her quest to find the Last Dragon and bring light and unity back to their world. The D23 Expo crowd was the first to get a look at the new film, viewing an exclusive three-minute piece. They also met two newly announced members of the voice cast: Awkwafina lends her voice to Sisu, the Last Dragon, who was left on Earth in case dark forces return to the world, and Cassie Steele voices the lead character, Raya. Exploring themes of community and hope, and inspired by the beautiful and diverse cultures of Southeast Asia, the fantasy-action-adventure “Raya and the Last Dragon” opens in theatres on Nov. 25, 2020.
Lee, who directs “Frozen 2” with Chris Buck, and wrote the screenplay, invited Buck to join her on stage as the Oscar®-winning duo revealed new details about the upcoming film, which opens in theatres on Nov. 21. Lee and Buck introduced two new “Frozen 2” cast members: Sterling K. Brown, who voices Lieutenant Destin Mattias, and Evan Rachel Wood, who voices Queen Iduna, Anna and Elsa’s mother. The crowd—who received an exclusive D23 Expo “Frozen 2” poster—saw never-before-seen footage of the new characters, including a scene that featured Wood as Iduna singing to young Elsa and Anna. The song, “All Is Found,” is one of seven all-new original songs by Oscar®-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. The audience also saw a sequence from the movie that showcased Elsa’s yearning for answers about the past, culminating in another song, “Into the Unknown.” And a climactic performance of the song “Some Things Never Change” by Menzel, Bell, Groff and Gad brought the audience to its feet, capping off the studio presentation in extraordinary style.
(Photo credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada)
The 91st annual Academy Awards took place tonight at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Taking top honours was GREEN BOOK winning Best Picture, a total three Oscars. The TIFF ’18 People’s Choice Award winnerdirected by Peter Farrelly, also received Best Original Screenplay.
Bohemian Rhapsody took home the most Oscars this evening,victorious in Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Film Editing. Rami Malek won Best Actor for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody bringing the Biopic’s win tally to four. Olivia Colman took home Best Actress for her work in The Favourite, springing a mild upset. Supporting Actor went to Mahershala Ali who nabbed his second award in the category for Green Book. Regina King won Supporting Actress for If Beale Street Could Talk. Directing went to ROMA Helmer Alfonso Cuarón, whose lifetime total at the Awards now is at ten.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper stole the show with a touching performance of Shallow from A Star is Born before the audience. The song later went on to win Original Song, accepted by Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt.
Despite being host-less this year, the show got an introduction from a trio of funnywomen in Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph, preceded by a medley of hits from Queen, fronted by Adam Lambert.
Toronto’s Domee Shi won Animated Short for Pixar‘s BAO which played before INCREDIBLES 2 in its theatrical run.
Some winning looks a this evening included: Gemma Chan in Valentino Lady Gaga in Alexander McQueen Michelle Yeoh in Elie Saab Regina King in Oscar de la Renta Bradley Cooper in Tom Ford Glenn Close in Carolina Herrera Melissa McCarthy in Brandon Maxwell
It’s hard to believe another year’s passed by! 2018 certainly was a stand-out year for Cinema and Team Mr. Will true to tradition, share with you their best of 2018. If you haven’t seen some of these, it’s time to start adding to your Must-See Lists this winter!
AMANDA GILMORE (@gilmoreamanda)
It was such a great year for Film that it’s near impossible for me to choose the Top Ten. I could have easily made a Top 30 list (if it was allowed). However, I managed to squeeze in ten films, which are in alphabetical order rather than being ranked. I’ve included films from a range of genres and narratives that I’ve thought about since my first viewing.
A Star Is Born
A Quiet Place
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Mission Impossible: Fallout
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse
Ready Player One
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
A Quiet Place
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Legend of the Demon Cat
Mary Poppins Returns
As usual, my list consists of movies I saw on the Silver Screen within the calendar year. They’re organized according to release date, and are thus relieved of any hierarchy. Annihilation is the dark Sci-Fi wizardry I live for; Ready Player One is my kind of Spielberg cinema; and A Quiet Place is my top scare of 2018. Solo gave me more Star Wars; Demon Cat made this year’s TIFF magical; and First Man is the brand of brooding Drama I adore. Fantastic Beasts 2 is dope AF; Green Book is a beautiful performance piece; and Spider-Man is the Comic Movie I’ve been waiting forever for. To wrap it all up… Mary Poppins Returns! She has, and it warms my heart.
DAVID BALDWIN (@DaveMABaldwin)
2018 was an incredible year for Cinema. Full stop. If anyone tells you otherwise, they did not see enough movies. Every genre fired on all cylinders, and the mid-budget and independent scenes were filled with positively exquisite Filmmaking that will go down as some of the best of the decade. And even better than that, 2018 proved the power and importance of diversity and gender in Cinema. The number of movies I genuinely liked and loved that missed my Top Ten can attest to how outstanding a year this was. But I can say with confidence that the list of films below shook me right through to my bones whether through fear, laughter, wonder, charm, thrills, or genuine emotion. And yes, I know I cheated with including a tie — but it would be a disservice to not include all of these titles on my list.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
The Hate U Give
[tie] Can You Ever Forgive Me? / Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
GEORGE KOZERA (@PartyG)
I saw 164 movies this year. It took a long time to whittle the list down to 26 movies that I considered to be the best of 2018. This was a year that brought fantastic highs that had me gasping with wonder and admiration or so bad that they had me rolling my eyes in disbelief! Whether it was one of the most original Horror movies in a long time (A Quiet Place) or a Superhero, Comic Book movie so innovative and supremely well-acted that it validated a genre many were hoping would just go away (Black Panther). It was a banner year for documentary features, musicals and an LGBTQ movie was released for the first time ever by a major Hollywood studio (Love, Simon). Dramas were rampant with stories that touched one’s soul, though there was a lack of Comedies that were consistently funny throughout (with the exception of “Game Night”). All that said, I submit my pick for the best film of the year and the next nine movies (in alphabetical order) that moved, enthralled and will stay with me for years to come.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Lean on Pete
Leave No Trace
Mary Poppins Returns
Three Identical Strangers
JUSTIN WALDMAN (@DubsReviews)
It is time for the annual Top Ten movies I saw that I absolutely adored and loved this year. Some are best of the year, while others are the movies I had the most fun watching this year. There have been some truly incredible movies this year, and dare I say the ‘blockbusters’ for the most part have been fine, nothing really spectacular outside of a few gems. If you haven’t seen something on this list, go out and see it. Most of these movies will appeal to the masses, enjoy yourselves. Here’s to a 2019 with some hot titles coming out over the next few weeks, Glass anyone, and next few months, US am I right? 2019 is sure to be a stellar year
Anna and the Apocalypse
A Quiet Place
Sorry to Bother You
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse
Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. A QUIET PLACE, directed by and starring John Krasinski (and also partner Emily Blunt!) quietly has been building buzz and raves were loud after its SXSW Premiere recently in Austin. It debuts atop the Box Office with a smashing $50 million for Paramount Pictures from 3,508 theatres. It gets a 97% on the Tomatometer and a B+ CinemaScore.
In second is last week’s champ READY PLAYER ONE with $24 million from 4,234 theatres, a total $94 million over two weeks for Warner Bros.
Third is new entrant BLOCKERS with $20 million from 3,379 theatres for Universal Pictures. The Comedy was made for $19 million and gets 83% on the Tomatometer and a B CinemaScore for first-time Feature Director Kay Cannon.
BLACK PANTHER is far from done, in fourth this weekend with $8.2 million in its eighth week out for Marvel/Disney. It has made $665 million to-date in North America.
Tyler Perry’s ACRIMONY debuts in fifth with $7.3 million from 2,006 theates for Lionsgate Films/eOne Films. The Director’s highest opening still goes to 2009’s Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail with $41 million.
CHAPPAQUIDDICK debuts in seventh with $5.7 million from 1,560 theatres for Entertainment Studios/D Films. The TIFF ’17 selection starring Jason Clarke gets an impressive 79% on the Tomatometer and a B CinemaScore.
THE MIRACLE SEASON rounds-out the Top Ten in its opening with $3.8 million from 1,707 theatres for LDEntertainment/Elevation Pictures. It gets 36% on the Tomatometer and an A CinemaScore from Audiences.
READY PLAYER ONE isn’t playin’ at all this Easter Weekend! The latest Steven Spielberg Film debuts atop the Box Office with a strong $52 million from 4,234 theatres for Warner Bros. It gets 76% on the Tomatometer and an A- CinemaScore from Audiences.
Debuting a second this weekend is Tyler Perry‘s ACRIMONY with $16.9 million from 2,006 theatres for Lionsgate Films/eOne Films. It gets 30% on the Tomatometer and an A- CinemaScore.
In third is BLACK PANTHER with $11.5 million in its seventh week out. Its gross in North America comes to $650 million.
Faith-based Drama I CAN ONLY IMAGINE is in fourth this weekend with $10.4 million for Roadside Attractions. It has made $55 million over three weeks.
PACIFIC RIM UPRISING lands in fifth spot with $9.5 million in its second week out, a two-week total of $46 million domestically.
Rounding-out the Top Ten is ISLE OF DOGS with $2.8 million, a total $5.9 million over two weeks.
We don’t believe our eyes! BLACK PANTHER after a five-week reigns is toppled by PACIFIC RIM UPRISING in its debut this weekend with $26.2 million from 2,850 theatres for Universal Pictures. The Film gets a 47% on the Tomatometer and a B CinemaScore. Its 2013 Predecessor opened with $37 million.
BLACK PANTHER settles for second with $16.6 million from 3,708 theatres for Disney/Marvel. In its six-weeks it has made $631 million domestically in an outstanding run.
Faith Drama I CAN ONLY IMAGINE is in third spot with $13.7 million for Roadside Attractions, expanding to 2,553 theatres in North America this weekend. It already has grossed $38 million in two weeks.
TOMB RAIDER settles in fourth with $10 million for Warner Bros., a two-week total of $41.3 million in North America.
Opening in fifth is SHERLOCK GNOMES with $9.7 million for Paramount Pictures from 3,662 theatres. By contrast, its Predecessor, 2011’s GNOMEO & JULIET opened with $25 million. It gets 19% on the Tomatometer and a B+ CinemaScore
PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST gets a timely pre-Easter release, opening with $4.9 million from 1,473 theatres for Sony Pictures, good enough for eighth spot.
MIDNIGHT SUN starring Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger, places ninth and opens in 2,173 theatres with $4 million for eOne Films/Open Road Films. It gets 21% on the Tomatometer and an A- CinemaScore.
Rounding-out the Top Ten is UNSANE with $3.8 million from 2,023 theatres for 20th Century Fox Canada/Bleecker Street Films. The Steven Soderbergh Film gets 79% on the Tomatometer and a B- CinemaScore.
BLACK PANTHER is triumphant a fifth straight week at the Box Office, taking-in $28.5 million from 3,834 theatres for Marvel/Disney. In its domestic run, the Blockbuster has made an outstanding $606 million over five weeks.
TOMB RAIDER makes a courageous challenge but only can muster $23.5 million from 3,854 theatres for Warner Bros., good enough for a close second and on any other weekend perhaps good enough for top spot. It gets a 50% on the Tomatometer and a B CinemaScore.
A WRINKLE IN TIME places third with $17 million in its second week out, a total $60.5 million for Disney thus far in North America.
In fourth with $15.1 million its debut from 1,629 theatres for Lionsgate Films, is Christian Rock Movie I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, starring Dennis Quaid. It gets 60% on the Tomatometer and an A+ CinemaScore.
LOVE, SIMON debuts in fifth spot with $11.7 million for 20th Century Fox from 2,402 theatres. The Greg Berlanti Teen Comedy starring Nick Robinson, gets a 91% on the Tomatometer and an A+ CinemaScore from Audiences.
DEATH WISH rounds-out the Top Ten with $3.4 million. It has made $30 million over three weeks for eOne Films/MGM.
No real surprises here, it’s a Disney-double at the Box Office this weekend, taking the top two spots. BLACK PANTHER takes top spot with $41 million in its third week out from 3,942 theatres. To date it has made $561 million in North America.
Debuting at number two is Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME with $32.7 million from 3,980 theatres. The Film by AvaDuVernay and starring Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon and newcomer Storm Reid, gets a 42% on the Tomatometer and B CinemaScore.
Opening in third is the Horror, THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT with $10.2 million from 2,141 theatres for Aviron Pictures/Elevation Pictures. It gets 35% on the Tomatometer and a C CinemaScore.
RED SPARROW is in fourth with $7.9 million for 20th Century Fox in its second week out, a two-week tally of $30 million.
GRINGO rounds-out the Top Ten with $3 million from 2,404 theatres for STX Entertainment/VVS Films. It gets 38% on the Tomatometer and a C+ CinemaScore.
BLACK PANTHER reigns a third straight week at the Box Office with $62 million from 4,084 theatres for Marvel/Disney. It is just shy of the $500-million-mark in its third week out in North America.
RED SPARROW flies in its debut with $17.4 million from 3,056 theatres for 20th Century Fox. The Spy-Action-Thriller starring Jennifer Lawrence, gets 51% on the Tomatometer from Critics and a B CinemaScore.
DEATH WISH lands in third with $12 million from 3,847 theatres for eOne Films/MGM. It gets a 14% on the Tomatometer and a B+ CinemaScore.
GAME NIGHT is in fourth with $10.2 million for Warner Bros., a total $33 million earned over two weeks.
PETER RABBIT continues to perform solidly in fifth with $9.1 million from 3,607 theatres for Sony Pictures. It has made $82 million over four weeks domestically.
ANNIHILATION is in sixth with $5.4 million, a total $20.4 million for Paramount Pictures over two weeks.
EVERY DAY rounds-out the Top Ten with $1.5 million from 1,669 theatres for Open Road Films/Elevation Pictures, a two week tally of $5.2 million.