Tomorrow's Theater ... Today

Greg Dean Schmitz

FML's newest column continues this week with upcoming movies associated with this week's Wonder Park, Captive State, Five Feet Apart, and Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase.

The Chaperone (3/29/2019)
Haley Lu Richardson, who stars in this week's 'Five Feet Apart,' returns in just two weeks in a PBS production also receiving a limited release. Downton Abbey showrunner Julian Fellowes wrote the screenplay which sets Elizabeth McGovern as the title character in the true story of how future silent film star Louise "Lulu" Brooks (Richardson) first arrived at dance school in New York City in the early 1920s. (Predicted FML Price: $20?)

The Curse of La Llorona (4/19/2019)
The screenwriters of Five Feet Apart also have this supernatural horror film coming next month. Also called 'The Curse of the Weeping Woman,' the film was given a Spanish title for its release in the USA, as "La Llorona" has its roots in a Latin American ghost story. This version is set in Los Angeles in the 1970s with Linda Cardellini (Velma from Scooby-Doo) playing a social worker who discovers one of her cases involves an unwanted spooky guest. (Predicted FML Price: $200?)

A Dog's Journey (5/17/2019)
Fans of Steven Spielberg are probably familiar with Amblin Entertainment, but since 2015, he's also had a separate company called Amblin Partners, which sort of serves the same role as the former DreamWorks Pictures, producing recent movies like 'First Man,' 'Green Book,' and this week's 'Captive State.' Next up is 'A Dog's Journey,' which is effectively a sequel to 2017's 'A Dog's Purpose.' (Predicted FML Price: $190?) Later this year, just in time for awards season, Amblin will also deliver the World War One drama '1917' from director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Spectre), and they're also producing the Tom Hanks post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama 'BIOS' (10/2/2020), about an inventor who creates a robot to look after his dog after he dies (pack a Kleenex).

The Lion King (7/19/2019)
John Oliver, the star of HBO's Last Week Tonight, is voicing Steve the Porcupine in this week's 'Wonder Park,' but that's not the only animated movie he's got due out in 2019. Although some people call The Lion King (7/19/2019) one of Disney's "live action remakes," it's really not, objectively, since all of the characters are just very "realistic" looking CGI characters. John Oliver will be providing the voice of Zazu, the red-billed hornbill bird who serves as an advisor to The Lion King (whether it be James Earl Jones' Mufasa, or Donald Glover's Simba). And did we mention Beyonce is voicing and singing as Nala? (Beyonce is voicing and singing as Nala.) (Predicted FML Prices: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the $350-$500 ranges?)

IT - Chapter Two (9/6/2019)
It's opening in limited release, and not even included as an option in this week's FML game, but the franchise reboot 'Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase' is playing in enough theaters that it seemed worth mentioning here, at least. Sophia Lillis, who played the young Beverly in the first half of Stephen King's 'IT' two years ago is taking over as Nancy Drew from Emma Roberts (who starred in the 2007 movie). The second half of 'IT' comes out in September, with Jessica Chastain playing the adult Beverly, but Sophia Lillis will return in flashbacks. (Predicted FML Prices: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the $300-$400 range?) Sophia Lillis is also currently filming 'Gretel and Hansel' in a retelling of the classic folk tale that focuses more on her character, Gretel.

Downton Abbey (9/13/2019)
Focus Features is mostly known as a specialty distributor, but they do occasionally handle wide release films like this week's 'Captive State.' One of their biggest films this year, which will also for sure get a wide release is the movie sequel to the popular PBS series Downton Abbey. Most of the ensemble cast is returning for the sequel, but the exact premise isn't yet confirmed. What's rumored is that the movie may involve members of the Royal Family, led by Queen Mary of Teck (the wife of King George V). But like we said, that's not confirmed quiet yet. The Queen Mary rumor could be a cover for a gory horror film that kills off most of the family and staff. (Predicted FML Price: $300?)

Sonic the Hedgehog (11/8/2019)
As a response to the success of animation at Fox, Sony, Universal, and super-obviously Disney, earlier this decade, Paramount revived their animation studio as Paramount Animation, which has to date given us 'The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water,' the live action hybrid 'Monster Trucks,' last year's 'Sherlock Gnomes,' and this week's 'Wonder Park.' We don't yet have a full trailer, or even a teaser trailer for their next film, the video game adaptation Sonic the Hedgehog, but you can see a very brief glimpse of him in motion on Twitter. (Predicted FML Price: $350?) Next year, Paramount Animation will give us the sequel 'The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge' (5/22/2020) and the long-in-the-works movie version of 'Clifford the Big Red Dog' (11/13/2020).