Tomorrow's Theater... today!
FML's newest column continues this week with upcoming movies associated with this week's 'After,' 'Hellboy,' 'Little,' and 'Missing Link.'
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (5/17/2019)
Ian McShane is having a busy 2019. In addition to costarring in this week's 'Hellboy' reboot, McShane also currently stars in season 2 of 'American Gods,' has the' Deadwood' movie coming to HBO next month, and also returns as his John Wick character in the third film.
Parabellum (basically Latin for "prepare for war") is presumably the final film in a trilogy (although the franchise could get spinoffs). Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, and Lance Reddick will be joined by Halle Berry as a fellow spy and friend of John Wick as he is still on the run following the events of John Wick: Chapter 2 with a price on his head and no access to the "Continental."
The Sun is Also a Star (5/17/2019)
This week's twist on 'Big' called 'Little' was written by screenwriter Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip) and features Marsai Martin from TV's Black-ish. The funny thing is that Tracy Oliver has two movies coming out this year, and the stars of both play daughters on Black-ish. Yara Shahidi costarred on Black-Ish as older sister Zoey before getting her own spinoff Grown-ish on the Freeform channel in 2018. Shahidi will play a brilliant physics student who falls in love with an exchange student facing deportation in in next month's romantic drama, 'The Sun is Also a Star' (adapted from a YA novel).
There is a lot of ongoing debate in the new Netflix-driven streaming era that smaller comedies and dramas are losing their spots as theatrical releases. One of the companies continuing to invest in mid-level movies is Annapurna (behind this week's 'Missing Link'), and their next film is a comedy called 'Booksmart' which also marks the feature film directorial debut of actress Olivia Wilde ('Her,' 'TRON: Legacy'). Beanie Feldstein ('Lady Bird') and Kaitlyn Dever (TV's 'Last Man Standing') costar as two scholastic overachievers who realize that they've spent all of their time in high school on their studies, and not enough time partying it up (so, they party it up the night before graduation!).
Men in Black: International (6/14/2019)
The Men in Black franchise is getting a soft reboot this summer with 'Men in Black: International,' which moves the action from the United States to the alien investigation unit's bureau in London. Although the cast is mostly new (including Liam Neeson and 'Thor: Ragnarok' costars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson), one character who's returning from the original trilogy is Agent O, as played by Emma Thompson (no relation), who voices a character in this week's 'Missing Link.' Other movies that Emma Thompson has in the works include 'Last Christmas' (11/15/2019) and next year's 'The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle' (1/17/2020), starring Robert Downey Jr.
In this year's 'Glass,' Samuel L. Jackson's character got his own film after similar films for the characters played by Bruce Willis ('Unbreakable') and James McAvoy ('Split'). 'Glass' united all three characters in one film, so it continued a cinematic universe, and effectively served as a sequel twice over. This summer's 'Shaft,' also costarring Samuel L. Jackson, pulls off a similar trick as it revives the Shaft franchise with a new lead character (played by Jessie T. Usher from 'Independence Day: Resurgence'). Usher's John Shaft Jr. is joined by his character's father (Jackson), and his granduncle, the original Shaft from 1971 played by Richard Roundtree. Regina Hall from this week's 'Little' also costars as the new John Shaft Jr's mom (and the ex-wife of Jackson's Shaft). That's a lot of Shafts.
The Informer (8/16/2019)
Like Annapurna, the distributor behind 'Missing Link,' another recent indie newcomer is Aviron Pictures (Serenity, A Private War), which this week distributed the drama 'After.' Their next film will be a thriller called 'The Informer,' from director Andrea Di Stefano (2014's 'Escobar: Paradise Lost'). Joel Kinnaman (the rebooted 'RoboCop' and Jack Flag from 'Suicide Squad') plays an undercover operative for the FBI into the Polish mob in New York who has to go to prison as part of their ongoing investigation (and keeping up his cover). Rosamund Pike, Common, and Clive Owen all also costar.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette (8/16/2019) (Annapurna/United Artists)
Author Maria Semple had a bestselling hit novel in 2012 with Where'd You Go, Bernadette, about a 15-year-old girl's investigation into the recent disappearance of her mother. Sort of playing against his directorial type, Richard Linklater (Boyhood, School of Rock) is taking on Semple's novel, and he was able to attract quite an all-star cast. Cate Blanchett is playing the title character, and she's supported by Billy Crudup, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer, and Laurence Fishburne.