Focus News: May '21
The five biggest movie news headlines of the month.
The Cinemas are back! And thank the lord, we at Focus Film have been a number of times between us to see a real variety of films: Mortal Kombat, Those who wish me dead, Spiral: From the Book of Saw, The Unholy, Cruella and more! And already the UK has slipped into its' passive aggressive ways with sudden head turns to stare out the person with their phone on, or gentle shakings of heads to the people behind rustling their packets through the quieter moments. But all in all, it's good to be back! The big screen reopening means that more films are in full steam ahead mode, and more movie news is being announced every day. Here are the five biggest headlines from the month of May.
In Memoriam: Kevin Clark, age 32
Oft-times a child actor can be irritating, or too arrogant for their own good, but when a natural star graces the screen, it is such a pleasure to watch. The whole cast of School of Rock were brilliantly fun, and possibly the most riotous, outrageously cheeky of them all was drummer Freddie, played by Kevin Clark. News of his passing shocked fans of the film around the world. Although he didn't pursue acting as a further career, he was a talented musician, and continued to perform. We can just be thankful that we have School of Rock to remember him by. A tragic loss, but an incredible young performer.
MGM: Next Day Delivery
Mr Jeff Bezos and the other higher powers at Amazon have acquired the rights to MGM Studios. In a deal that surpassed $8 billion, the giant company beat both Apple and Sky to the studio rights and will now have access to its current filmography. Ranging from The Wizard of Oz to The Silence of the Lambs, an incredible amount of titles are now in Amazon's hands. Will this see a big change to the Prime Video streaming site? And what will happen to the fate of a Mr James Bond? Only Mr Bezos knows the answers...
Kraven the Hunter is one of the major villains in the Spider-Man comics, and with rumours recently of a possible appearance from the character in the next MCU Spider-Man film No Way Home, Sony have seemingly put those rumours to bed as they've cast Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the hunter in an upcoming solo film.
Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will remember Johnson as Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron, so it would be almost impossible to merge the studios for this film and put Johnson back into the MCU, as a completely different character. Sure the multiverse may exist, but this would demand an audience to extend disbelief just a little too much.
Timothée Chalamat is Wonka
The character of Willy Wonka is an extravagant, crazy, slightly creepy role to take on and with two movie adaptations under his belt, the chocolate factory owner is no stranger to a fresh, new casting.
Gene Wilder took on the hat and purple coat in the first book-to-film adaptation in 1971, and fans still love the performance to this day. Then director Tim Burton got his hands on the story and cast Johnny Depp in the star role; which was met to less raving reviews both critically and commercially. Now, young actor Timothée Chalamat has been announced as the new Willy Wonka in a prequel story directed by Paddington director Paul King. I'm not sure that the film is anything that anybody is asking for but this casting is interesting, and with Paddington 2 recently becoming one of the most loved films of all time, this is a more promising project than we first thought.
'Knives Out 2' finds its' cast
Now it's fairly obvious that this film will not be called Knives Out 2. The title was so specific to the first film that this one will most likely take a completely different name revolving around this particular mystery case.
But the cast is no mystery, it's just star-studded and full of incredible people. Dave Bautista was the first to be announced, off the back of Army of the Dead he's hot on people's minds as is Kathryn Hahn after her recent appearance in Marvel's Wandavision. Edward Norton and Janelle Monáe were added soon after, and both met with great excitement. And most recently star of Almost Famous and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Kate Hudson has joined the team alongside Academy Award nominee Leslie Odom Jr. This cast couldn't get much cooler, but we have a sneaky suspicion it might. Who would you like to see added to this incredible cast?
The four May podcast episodes to go and catch up on:
Episode 36. Rewriting 'The Rise of Skywalker'
Writer for Focus Film Oli Law has rewritten the final instalment in the Skywalker saga. In this podcast episode we talk through all of the changes he's made, and discuss what we like and dislike about the world of Star Wars.
Episode 37. List 'em up: Pixar
Using lists sent in by listeners to the podcast, we created a Top 10 Pixar films list and in episode 37 we discuss each of the films in great detail. From Toy Story to Soul, even if they didn't make the top 10 they all get a little mention.
Episode 38. talkabout Guilty Pleasures w/ Gary Hewitt
Co-host of Choose Film Podcast joined us on episode 38 to discuss his favourite guilty pleasure films. Jurassic Park 3, 17 Again and the dreaded Grown Ups 2 all get reviewed and raved about...we say all, some...we say some, a couple...
Episode 39. talkabout TV Ensembles | William Sadler
This week's main topic of discussion is the best and worst TV Ensembles, as we try to deduct who is the core of many ensemble casts. As well as that, we have an interview with star of Die Hard 2, The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile William Sadler to talk about his new horror film The Unholy.
All of the above are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music or wherever you stream your podcasts. If you don't have any access to any podcast streamers then simply hit the link below and go and check the latest episodes out.
Top 5 May films and where to view them
1. The Mitchells vs. The Machines | Netflix | ★★★★★
2. Nomadland | Cinemas/Disney+ | ★★★★
3. A Quiet Place Part 2 | Cinemas | ★★★★
4. Cruella | Cinemas/Disney+ Premier access | ★★★
5. Those who Wish me Dead | Cinemas | ★★★