Keanu, Lovecraft, Conjuring: Weekly Round Up

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Keanu, Lovecraft, Conjuring: Weekly Round Up. 2021 will have a lot of exciting offers, I’m sure, but one of the most exciting comes in the form of Keanu Reeves verses… well, Keanu Reeves.

In case you weren’t already caught up, there’s a new Matrix film on the way. Quite what this will be is anyone’s guess at this point, but the signs seem to be pointing toward a direct sequel to the Wachowski trilogy, and Neo himself will be returning.

After they pulled their long-planned Akira live-action remake from its May 2021 release date, Warner Brothers were quick to slow the new Matrix film into its place. It might not seem quite so fascinating on its own, but one of the really curious things about this new release date is that John Wick: Chapter Four, which is another fourth entry into a Keanu Reeves starring franchise, has also been scheduled for then.

This means that Keanu Reeves will be going head to head with himself at the box-office, which is a pretty exciting prospect. Which movie will win the battle remains to be seen, I say all bets are off here. The John Wick franchise has become immensely popular in recent years, while the return of the Matrix franchise, which was spawned out of one of the most iconic movies of all time, is also sure to get people into the theatres.

The plots for both films are on pretty strict lockdown at the moment, so not much is known about either. We do know, however, that alongside Reeves returning to The Matrix will be Carrie Anne-Moss, who played Trinity in the originals, and newcomer Yahya Abdul-Mateen. And that’s about it.

While we’re on the subject of movies going head to head at the box-office, DC and Warner seem to be putting a lot of stock into their Shazam! sequel, currently titled Shazam! 2.

The film has been scheduled for an April 1st release date in 2022, which will see it pitted against two Marvel-centric movies. The first is the much-anticipated Black Panther sequel, which is currently titled… er, Black Panther 2, while the week before Shazam! gets its release, Sony will be dropping their own much anticipated sequel to the incredibly successful Into the Spider-verse.

All these movies going head-to-head will make for a rather interesting and unpredictable year for movie studios, which could be a good thing in the long run, since the oversaturation of superhero movies in mainstream cinema is being to run stale.

Not too long ago we found out that the Game of Thrones showrunners, D B Weiss and David Benioff (I put their names the wrong way round, does that bother anyone?) had left their proposed Star Wars project due to – *ahem* – “creative differences”, and people have been wondering what the pair might do with their time instead.

Well, we finally have an answer, and it comes in the form of an HBO series.

The show is going under the title Lovecraft Country, which will see the Vertigo comic Lovecraft adapted for the small screen. If anyone is unfamiliar with the work of acclaimed author H P Lovecraft, don’t fear, you’ll have undoubtedly heard or seen something related to his work at some point in your movie watching experience. Many directors cite the author as an influence, from John Carpenter, who made his own Lovecraftian movie with both The Thing and In the Mouth of Madness (which is such a classic I don’t know why it isn’t readily available in this goddamn country!), to Guillermo del Toro, who has been trying to get an adaptation of the Lovecraft novel In the Mountains of Madness off the ground for years.

Benioff and Weiss’ involvement may have some people unsure of the final result, but don’t despair too much just yet, folks! We can at least look forward to a few good seasons before it al goes belly-up come the finale, right?

One horror franchise that seems decidedly un-Lovecraftian, though, is the Conjuring franchise, which seems to be going from strength to strength despite, well, most of it not really being all that good.

This week details emerged about the upcoming third installment of the official Conjuring series (with spin-offs like The Nun, Annabelle and The Curse of Something Something being separate from them) and just what we might expect from it.

Having covered Bathsheba in the original and the infamous Enfield Haunting in the sequel, it looks now like the franchise is going for a slightly different approach to spooky haunted house movies. Conjuring 3’s official subtitle is The Devil Made Me Do It, and the film will cover the 1981 court case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, who use the line as a defense.

James Wan isn’t returning to direct this one and will instead be busy with his own original movie, so at the helm will be Michael Chaves, which is likely why the subtitle has been chosen, in an effort to separate it from Wan’s previous entries.

It’s a cool title, but to me it sounds like something Leonard Cohen would make… I can’t figure out why…

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Alex Secker is a writer/director/editor. His debut feature film, the micro-budget thriller Follow the Crows, won Best Independent Film at the Global Film Festival Awards, while his stage-play, The Door, won the People’s Choice Award at the 2017 Swinge Festival.


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