Welcome back Studio Coffee Folks! Disney and COVID-19 are the big headliners this week and the frightening thing is neither of those should come as a surprise. Hopefully, you’re staying inside, handwashing, social distancing and the whole nine yards because experts are saying this is just the beginning. If you need any more evidence – well look no farther than this entertainment column, which contains zero non-coronavirus adjacent updates aside from two trailers. As you can guess, we’ve got more coronavirus postponements and cancellations, though there are also a few of positives. For instance, while you’re self-quarantining, you can check out the middling finale to the Skywalker Saga a few days early, then, you can spend awhile pondering about B.J. Novak’s suspended Blumhouse thriller. And once that’s run its course, you can think about the absolute barrage of movies that’ll be flooding theaters once the populous bunkers down and makes its way out of this global pandemic.
Anyway, uhhhhh… Let’s get started!
Watch Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker a few days early on digital and Frozen 2 on D+
In the spirit of staying indoors and not increasing the spread of COVID-19, Disney is pushing up the digital release of The Rise of Skywalker and the Disney+ release of Frozen 2. The Skywalker Saga finale was originally going to hit virtual players on March 17, but, instead, dropped on March 13 across digital stores for $19.99 or $24.99m, depending on your preference of HD/SD versus 4K.
Frozen 2, on the other hand is seeing a much more significant push. It wasn’t going to hit Disney+ for another three months, but the streamer announced last week that it would be available internationally beginning checks notes today!
You’re going to have wait awhile for those Disney+ Marvel shows and the live-action The Little Mermaid
Following announcements that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier as well as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten rings would be delayed, Disney added Loki and WandaVision to that list. The studio has no word on when production will resume, as that’s contingent on how long it takes to get the virus under control. WandaVision was originally slated for a December 2020 release, while Loki was intended to air in 2021, both as Disney+ exclusives and their sibling show, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, shut down production last week in the midst of its Prague shoots.
These are far from the only Disney productions facing coronavirus postponements. The Little Mermaid live-action remake, starring Halle Bailey, was just nine days away from filming and the Guillermo del Toro thriller Nightmare Alley was already underway when the delays hit. Peter Pan & Wendy, Shrunk (the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids sequel), The Last Duel and Home Alone all join them.
Matt Reeves’ The Batman is the next cape and cowl to hit the coat rack
Warner Bros., the studio behind Robert Pattinson’s Patman I mean Batman, debut, is next on the list of coronavirus postponements. There are no diagnoses among the cast and crew – it’s just a responsible practice of social distancing. When the news came in, the production was shooting in Liverpool, still riding the hype of the new Batmobile and a very broody first look at Pattinson in the suit.
The next Dark Knight reboot casts Colin Farrell (Penguin), Zoë Kravitz (Catwoman), Paul Dano (Riddler), Jeffrey Wright (Commissioner Gordon), Andy Serkis (Alfred Pennyworth), John Torturro (Carmine Falcone) and Peter Sarsgaard (Gil Colson) and is directed by Matt Reeves. If the movie keeps up with production schedules, it’ll hit theatres on June 25, 2021. Warner Bros. also nested Fantastic Beasts 3 and King Richard under coronavirus postponements.
Surprise! B.J. Novak is directing a Blumhouse flick… was directing a Blumhouse flick
The Office’s B.J. Novak was set to make his directorial debut with the low budget master company, Blumhouse – until the coronavirus postponements. The movie, titled Vengeance, was “shooting under the radar,” per THR and was only two weeks into filming on Saturday when crew was informed, sending them home from their Albuquerque, New Mexico location.
When things resume, Novak will pull a triple threat. He’s directing, as well as writing and starring with a cast also including Issa Rae, Ashton Kutcher and Boyd Holbrook. Jason Blum is producing.
Blumhouse jumps in on the early release, pushing Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma to home video
- If, like me, you missed the window to see Invisible Man before the push to stay inside, Blumhouse has you covered. It, along with The Hunt and Emma will be available for digital purchase or 48 hour rental, domestically and internationally. Of course, part of this push to recover costs from theater attendance (see below), but it’s definitely a good note for the old to-do list.
Theatres across the world are shutting their doors, but Cannes may trudge on
In order to help a reluctant populace begin social distancing, theaters across the world are closing or taking similar preventive measures to stymie the COVID-19 virus. They started within the States on March 14, with cinemas in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. This move followed in the footsteps of European and Asian countries already dealing with the virus. On the following day, March 15, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio issued orders for their respective cities to close public venues including movie theaters as well as eateries, bars, gyms and the like.
Cannes Film Festival is marching onward for the time being. The event takes place May 12-23, and an announcement on its lineup is supposedly arriving on April 16. Weekly news magazine Le Point quotes an anonymous member of the festival’s board calling it “very difficult, if not impossible” for the show to go on this year, per THR. But Cannes itself is coming out and denying that sentiment, calling related headlines “sensational” and mentioning that a decision to cancel or continue will be made in mid-April.
Unplug for a bit and check out a trailer and teaser
Hey, this is not related to COVID-19 at all! IFC dropped a trailer for The True History of the Kelly Gang, starring George MacKay and Russell Crowe and directed by Justin Kurzel (Snowtown, Macbeth). It follows the story of actual Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly (MacKay) and Harry Power, his mentor in all things nefarious and ne’er-do-well (Crowe). With rage in his belly, Kelly leads an army of anarchists to overthrow their oppressors, which sounds very cathartic at this moment. Look for The True History of the Kelly Gang on digital on April 24.
What do we do in the shadows? We self-isolate and we watch What We Do In the Shadows on FX beginning on April 15 and the next day on Hulu. If you’ve never taken a nibble at this comedy, this sharp show follows four vampire roomies as they navigate the real world. This time around, they’ll deal with Super Bowl parties, trolls, power disparities and supernatural neighbors.
And to wrap up, why not check out John Oliver’s most recent episode of Last Week Tonight, in which he talks about – sorry if you thought we were done – COVID-19. Good info and good fun!
That’s a wrap for this week. Stay safe, look out for each other, STAY HOME and we’ll catch you back here next time.