Tomorrow's Theater ... Today

Greg Dean Schmitz

Now that you've picked this week's league, check out these new trailers for upcoming movies that debuted online (or made the news) this week.

Bad Trip (4/17/2020)
In a series of whirlwind announcements related to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, Hollywood's various studios and distributors this week made so many release date delays that as of this writing, there are exactly zero movies still scheduled for wide release for the next three weeks (3/20, 3/27, and 4/3). It won't be until April 10th that we see another wide release after this weekend, and even then, it's going to just be one movie ("Trolls World Tour"). Instead, some movies were shifted back to the second half of April, and one of those movies was the Jackass-style comedy "Bad Trip" (which had already been pushed back from October, 2019). The stars of Bad Trip are Eric Andre (of Adult Swim's "The Eric Andre Show") and Lil Rel Howery (who played the TSA agent in "Get Out"), but the biggest star in the trailer is arguably the barely-recognizable-under-crazy-makeup Tiffany Haddish.

Black Widow (5/1/2020)
The COVID-19-related release date shifts have most impacted the next few weeks (including "Mulan," "The New Mutants," and "A Quiet Place Part II"), but there are still a few movies in April and May that various writers are speculating could also end up being delayed. The next really big movie that hasn't yet been delayed is Marvel's "Black Widow" solo movie, which as of this writing is still scheduled for May 1st, 2020. The focus in the final trailer, which debuted online this week, appears to be on Florence Pugh's character, whom many people are speculating might be taking over the "Black Widow" mantle in future films, presuming that Scarlett Johansson won't be coming back after the events of last year's "Avengers: Endgame." Rachel Weisz and "Stranger Things" star David Harbour are also well featured, as is the film's mysterious new villain, the Taskmaster (whom one has to figure is probably one of the other characters in the movie).

Greyhound (6/12/2020)
One of the most surprising news stories this week came out of Australia, where Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have been recently while Tom films his scenes as "Colonel" Tom Parker in Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley biopic (scheduled next year for October 1, 2021). The news wasn't actually about that movie, however, as both Hanks and Wilson revealed that they had been tested positive for COVID-19 following symptoms that included aches, chills, and a mild fever. Fans of Tom Hanks got better news recently when the trailer for his next movie, "Greyhound," debuted online. "Greyhound" appears to be a return to similar themes for Tom Hanks that appeared in both "Saving Private Ryan" (World War II) and "Captain Phillips" (Tom Hanks playing a ship's captain).

Soul (6/19/2020)
We really don't know what's going to happen by the time we get to June, but for now, Disney is still planning on releasing their second Pixar film of 2020 on June 19th. Where "Onward" sort of resembled "Brave" and "Coco," this movie called "Soul" sort of resembles "Inside Out" (although it also resembles "Coco" in that both movies are partially set in the afterlife). "Soul" also has the distinction of being Pixar's first film with an African-American lead, because the main "soul" is played by Jamie Foxx (opposite another soul voiced by Tina Fey). "Soul" is Pixar's second attempt at portraying the afterlife, and in some ways, it resembles their 2015 movie, "Inside Out," which anthropomorphized human emotions.

Jungle Cruise (7/24)
Dwayne Johnson has had lots of box office successes and franchises, and with a few different studios. Johnson costarred in a few of Universal's "Fast and Furious" movies (including the "Hobbs & Shaw" spinoff last year); in Sony's two recent "Jumanji" sequels, and at Warner Bros, he will soon star in the DC Comics movie, "Black Adam." Although he hasn't yet starred in any Marvel or "Star Wars" movies, Dwayne Johnson will return to Disney (for which he starred in "Moana" a few years ago) for their long-in-development live action adaptation of the Disney theme park attraction, "Jungle Cruise." Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise is currently in something of a "sleep mode," so an argument can be made that this is a perfect time to start a new "Jungle Cruise" franchise. The new trailer's vibe is different than in the first, as it seems to recall both "Tomb Raider" and last year's "Dora and the City of Gold."

The New Mutants (TBA 2020)
The delays related to COVID-19 are particularly rough on movies that had been scheduled in March or April after already having been held back months, or some cases, years. The last Marvel Comics movie to be greenlit by 20th Century Fox before Disney took over (which will eventually lead to Marvel Studios having the rights to all of those characters) was the "X-Men" spinoff based on the 1980s comic, "The New Mutants" (which was originally scheduled for release on April 13, 2018). "The New Mutants" was supposed to have been released on April 3rd, and doesn't currently have a new date yet, but coincidentally, Disney put out a new 30 second spot this week before that delay was made. This one is really worth seeing, because it shows off a more traditional "superhero movie" vibe, including a focus toward the end on Anya-Taylor Joy's Magik character, who gets to show off both her famous costume and sword.

F9 (4/2/2021)
Although many of the movies delayed this week didn't actually get new dates (so we don't know exactly how long we have to wait), one movie that got delayed a very, very long time is "F9," the ninth movie in the "Fast and Furious" franchise starring Vin Diesel (of this week's "Bloodshot"). Production will start on the 10th movie (possibly titled "F10"), which had been scheduled for release on April 2nd of next year, but what Universal ended up doing instead is moving "F9" into that date previously reserved for "F10," leaving a release date "F10" up in the air. Universal didn't give an official reason about why "F9" was delayed nearly a year (from May 22, 2020 to April 2, 2021), but one could guess it could be related to the estimates that it could take as long as 18 months for a COVID-19 vaccine to be developed. Hopefully, of course, the movie going business will bounce back in a month or two, but in the meantime, "Fast & Furious" fans who have already seen this trailer will be left waiting over a year to see Vin Diesel and friends back in action.