DaCosta, Mulan, Disney: Weekly Round Up

DaCosta, Mulan, Disney: Weekly Round Up

DaCosta, Mulan, Disney: Weekly Round Up – One of the most frustrating things for movie fans now is the constant uncertainty surrounding the release of much anticipated movies. Throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic we have heard various bits of news surrounding release dates being pushed back, moved, and rescheduled. It has left many of us wondering when the inevitable shift to online releases would begin to take hold, since studios need to earn their money somehow.

Well, the answer seems to be here, and it is brought with it some controversy too. This week Disney have announced that they plan to release their big-budget, live action remake of the 90s classic Mulan via their streaming service, Disney+. The film will still be receiving a limited theatrical release as well, so this news in and of itself is not necessarily the source of the controversy.

Instead, what seems to have gotten people riled up is the news that Mulan will arrive on Disney+ with a $30 price tag. Arguments have raged on both sides of this, with some claiming it extortion while others pointing to the fact that the cost is arguably less than a family trip to the cinema anyway (these people, presumably, don’t have kids, or have never tried to make their kids sit down and watch a movie at home).

Mulan wasn’t the only movie to make the jump to an on-demand release this week, with Janelle Monae’s Antebellum also making the move, with a release set for September.

Disney are obviously banking on people willing to spend that money given the success of their other live-action remakes of animated classic. The same success is no doubt behind their decision to continue with the on/off production of Pinocchio, the original of which was Disney’s second movie behind Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

The live-action Pinocchio will reportedly star Tom Hanks as Geppetto and will see him reunite with his Forrest Gump and Cast Away director, Robert Zemeckis. Zemeckis himself is suffering the side-effects of the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic with his next film, a remake of Roald Dahl’s classic tale The Witches starring Anne Hathaway, awaiting a release date. A poster for the film dropped online this week, leading some to speculate that an online release could be coming for it too.

Whichever side of the fence you fall, it does seem that the tide may be shifting, with there now being rumors that Disney will provide a similar release strategy for the upcoming Marvel movie Black Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson as the titular Avenger.

And while we’re on the subject of Marvel studios, this week we got news that Nia DaCosta, the director of the hotly anticipated Candyman reboot, has signed on to direct the sequel Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson.

It’s worth noting that there are a fair few Marvel movies scheduled between now and the release of Captain Marvel 2, including The Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Black Panther II, Thor: Love & Thunder, Tom Holland’s third outing as Spider-Man, and the aforementioned Black Widow. Of course, what with the current global situation, all bets are off, and things are subject to change.

DaCosta’s signing on as director of the project is noteworthy, however, as it will make DaCosta the first African American woman to direct either a Marvel or DC movie. At the moment DaCosta and Candyman is scheduled for a traditional cinematic release in October, although it is possible this may change. 

The most interesting story this week, though (for me at least), comes in relation to the John Wick franchise, which has fast established itself as the most inventive and exciting action franchise currently out there.

John Wick 4, the follow-up to the excellently received John Wick 3: Parabellum, was original scheduled for a release in May of 2021. Of course, as we have heard so often now, due to the current situation the film was pushed back an entire year, to May of 2022. As a result, however, Lionsgate, the studio behind the franchise, have decided that they will shoot both John Wick 4 and the newly announced John Wick 5 back-to-back.

Interestingly, the folks behind John Wick, director Chad Stahelski and screenwriter Derek Kolstad, have also signed up this week to adapt an English language remake of the 2010 South Korean action thriller The Man From Nowhere, a film that itself bears a striking resemblance to the original John Wick movie.

Finally, this week, we got some rather tantalizing news regarding a potential Knight Rider reboot for the big screen. For those of you who don’t know, Knight Rider was a hugely popular TV show in the mid to late 80s that starred David Hassehoff as Michael Knight, an ex-cop who drove an A.I. powered super car called K.I.T.T., and together the pair would travel the US solving crimes (yes, it was as cheesy as it sounds).

The potential reboot may very well be coming under the watchful eye of James Wan. Wan, perhaps best known for his work on the Saw, Conjuring, and Insidious franchises, is no stranger to crazy car shenanigans, having helmed the 2014 action movie Furious 7, so watch this space. – DaCosta, Mulan, Disney: Weekly Round Up

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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.