• Ellis Barthorpe

Focus News 18th-23rd Jan

The biggest movie news headlines of the week.

This week has been full of exciting movie news. As we near the end of January, there is a light at the end of the tunnel showing a glimmer of hope that we may be able to sit in cinema seats, reclining or not, before the year is out. With more films being given streaming release dates, the state of cinema showings is still uncertain. But with more innovative and exciting projects being announced, we can hope that when we eventually get the pandemic under control, people will flood back to the pictures.


The 'Wonka' prequel

Darth Vader; Bilbo Baggins; Indiana Jones; Bumblebee; Mike & Sully. These are just some of the memorable characters that have received the prequel treatment. And now the eccentric chocolate factory owner, Willy Wonka has been given one of his own. Suspected to be named 'Wonka' (thank God it wasn't Willy) speculations have begun to arise around the casting of the psychopathic sweet-lover. Most frequently: Tom Holland and Timothee Chalamat. Although I love these two actors I'm not sure they're the men for the job, they're just young and on trend right now.

But what will this prequel's plot involve? In Tim Burton's rendition of the famous Roald Dahl story we see Johnny Depp's Wonka explore the jungle with the Oompa Loompa's. This isn't a story I'm overly anxious to learn more about, but with a strong performer in the role this could be a lot of fun.


Bringing back Matt Damon

It was reported this week that Matt Damon has joined the cast of Thor: Love and Thunder. His specific role has not been revealed but after his appearance in Thor: Ragnarok, I'm not convinced that his character will be anything more than another cameo. For those who need their memory refreshing, in the first Taika Waititi directed MCU film, Damon played an actor who performed as Loki in a melodramatic telling of his "death".

I for one expect another five second appearance from the star, but I hope I'm mistaken.


More film pushbacks

Yes although this week saw Godzilla vs Kong pulled forward to an earlier release date, it also saw the pushback of so many much anticipated, big blockbuster movies. Universal and Sony have moved a bunch of their films release dates to later in the year. It's no surprise with the state of the pandemic currently, but it's still an upsetting sight to see.

The newest instalment to the James Bond franchise, No Time to Die was originally set for a March 2020 release. Yet slowly over time it's been moved and moved until now it lands a release date of 8th October. Another that I am equally as excited to see is the next Edgar Wright film Last Night in Soho, which has been moved to 22nd October, a safer date than its intended April release.

They are not the only things to move however. Peter Rabbit 2 is set for 11th June and Ghostbusters: Afterlife for 11th November. The new Cinderella musical has been pushed back to 16th July and Nobody starring Bob Odenkirk has moved from 26th February to 2nd April.

But the biggest date change comes for the new Tom Holland film Uncharted that has now been shipped to February 2022. Many fans of the game series are hoping for the film to redeem the video game movie adaptations that have come before, but are now going to have to wait until next year to see it.


By order of the Peaky Blinders...

Tommy Shelby and co are coming up to their final season on the small screen. Season six will be the final season of the hit show Peaky Blinders as was confirmed by show creator and writer Steven Knight.

But, although the story may be concluding on our television screens, Knight has always hinted that he would love to finish with a film; and when the news came of the sixth and final season, Knight also confirmed that "Peaky Blinders will continue in another form." This should in theory, only refer to one thing...the Blinders are bursting their way onto the big screen. Will this see the inclusion of the Shelby's part in the Second World War? I hope so!


The biggest cast EVER!

Now by the time you're reading this let's be honest, you've already looked at the picture with all those lovely faces on it. And yes, unbelievably all of those stars are appearing in the same film together. Director David O'Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle & Joy) has assembled this star studded cast for his next untitled film. And in case you can't put names to the faces, they are (from top left to right): Anya Taylor-Joy, Christian Bale, John David Washington, Robert De Niro, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon, Rami Malek, Margot Robbie, Andrea Riseborough, Timothy Olyphant, Zoe Saldana and Chris Rock. Wow!


Biggest films released this week

  • The White Tiger | OUT NOW | Netflix

  • The Dig | 29th January | Netflix

  • Palmer | 29th January | Apple TV+

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