Tomorrow's Theater ... Today

Greg Dean Schmitz

Now that you've picked this week's league, check out these upcoming movies related to this week's "The Gentlemen," "The Turning," and "The Last Full Measure."

Brahms: The Boy II (2/21/2020)

Horror movies can be produced so relatively affordably that the threshold for greenlighting a sequel is also pretty low. Most people probably don't even remember that there was a movie in 2016 called "The Boy" about a creepy doll. Basically, it's a male version of "Annabelle" (itself a spinoff of "The Conjuring"), its prequel "Annabelle: Creation," and its sequel, "Annabelle Comes Home." So, maybe it's not surprising that "The Boy" is getting a sequel next month, but if there is one, it's that STX somehow recruited "Batman Begins" and "Dawson's Creek" star Katie Holmes to sign on for this particular sequel. We're including "Brahms: The Boy II" this week because it's from the same distributor as this week's "The Gentleman."

Black Widow (5/1/2020)
For a year with a futuristic number like 2020, the movies this year are frequently rather retro, including movies set in the 1980s ("Wonder Woman: 1984"), or sequels to 1980s movies ("Top Gun: Maverick"). We don't yet know when the next Marvel Studios movie, "Black Widow" is set, but the clues in the trailer point towards a few different times, including possibly the period right after "Captain America: Civil War." The appearance of William Hurt's Thaddeus Ross, however, suggests some of it might be set in the 1990s or so, as his character looks de-aged from how he looked in 2008's "The Incredible Hulk." William Hurt is also the connection here to this week's movies, because Hurt is part of the ensemble cast in the military drama, "The Last Full Measure."

Irresistible (5/29/2020)
In this week's horror movie remake of "The Turn of the Screw" called just "The Turning," Mackenzie Davis stars as a nanny hired to watch over two orphans in what soon seems to be a ghost story. Mackenzie Davis will next be seen in the political comedy "Irresistible" from director Jon Stewart in what his first comedic feature film as director since leaving "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." For his male lead, Jon Stewart recruited one of the comedians who was previously a correspondent on that show, Steve Carell, who obviously went on to become a movie star in his own right. "Irresistible" is two political strategists (played by Steve Carell and Rose Byrne) who go to a small Wisconsin town where a military veteran (played by Chris Cooper) is running for mayor (Mackenzie Davis plays his daughter).

Top Gun: Maverick (6/26/2020)
Speaking of military veterans, our next movie brings us back to a 1980s Navy pilot who never did retire. Some thirty years later, Tom Cruise's Maverick character from "Top Gun" is still an active pilot who in this decades-in-the-making sequel is recruited to train a new generation of jet fighter pilots. Coincidentally, one of them (played by Miles Teller) is the son of "Goose," Maverick's former partner who died in the first movie (sorry if that's still a spoiler to a movie that came out over 30 years ago!). "Top Gun: Maverick" appears to have a large star-studded ensemble cast, including Jennifer Connelly as Maverick's current love interest, and Ed Harris (from this week's "The Last Full Measure") as an admiral and Maverick's commanding officer.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (7/10/2020)
Another movie from the 1980s which is getting a sequel this summer is 1984's "Ghostbusters." The chronology of the "Ghostbusters" franchise is starting to get a little wobbly, but simply put, it goes like this: "Ghostbusters" was followed in 1989 by "Ghostbusters II," and this summer's "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" is essentially a "Ghostbusters III" set decades later as a family in Oklahoma discovers the original ECTO-1 Ghostbusters car and other equipment. (The 2016 "Ghostbusters" reboot is a fourth movie then that exists outside the continuity of these three "main" Ghostbusters movies). One of the young characters who might be members of the next generation of "Ghostbusters" is played by Finn Wolfhard, who is also one of the spooky kids in "The Turning."

The King's Man (9/18/2020)
Director Guy Ritchie is returning to his his "British ensemble crime comedies" this week with "The Gentlemen," which features a large cast including Matthew McConaughey, Henry Golding, Charlie Hunnam, Hugh Grant, and Colin Farrell. Until recently, another British ensemble movie was scheduled for early in 2020 until it was eventually bumped back several months to September. That movie is "The King's Man," a prequel to the two "Kingsman" spy comedies. "The King's Man" also sports an impressive ensemble cast that includes Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Djimon Hounsou, Charles Dance, Aarton Taylor-Johnson, Stanley Tucci, and relative newcomer Harris Dickinson.