Weekly Entertainment Digest – January 21st

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Weekly Entertainment Digest - January 21st

It’s been a busy week in entertainment. Besides the awards shows, there are a lot of new movie announcements and series coming. Keep an eye on the upcoming screening opportunities as well as reviews as well!

Check out the latest movie release schedule to find out when the movies you want to see will be hitting the big screen and streaming channels.

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Movie and Entertainment Updates:

AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER” TO BECOME THE 6TH HIGHEST-GROSSING FILM OF ALL-TIME WORLDWIDE

Movie Release Dates

The most successful worldwide release of 2022, “Avatar: The Way of Water” will become the 6th highest-grossing film worldwide today at the global box office. A new music video of The Weeknd’s original song for the film, “Nothing is Lost” (You Give Me Strength), along with featurettes highlighting cast member Sigourney Weaver and Deborah L. Scott’s costumes for the film, are now available.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” has been selected as one of the year’s top films by the AFI and National Board of Review, with James Cameron and Jon Landau nominated by the Producers Guild of America (PGA) for producing the film.

Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, “Avatar: The Way of Water” begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive,  and the tragedies they endure.  

Directed by James Cameron and produced by Cameron and Jon Landau, the Lightstorm Entertainment Production stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang and Kate Winslet. Screenplay by James Cameron & Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver. Story by James Cameron & Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver & Josh Friedman & Shane Salerno. David Valdes and Richard Baneham serve as the film’s executive producers.

Extraordinary – Streaming on Hulu on January 25th

“Extraordinary” is set in a world where everyone develops a power on their 18th birthday… everyone, that is, except for Jen. She’s turning 25 and is still waiting to get hers. She’s not even fussy about what that could be: super speed? Laser eyes? The ability to plug in a USB the right way every single time? She’ll take it. Like a caterpillar surrounded by butterflies, Jen feels unable to move forward, stuck in a dead-end job in a party shop and occasionally hooking up with Luke, a flaky young man with the irritatingly cool ability to fly. Luckily, Jen has Carrie to stop her from wallowing in her own self-pity. Inseparable since school, their relationship cycles between sister, parent, and wingman. Together they share an East London flat with Carrie’s long-term boyfriend, Kash. Carrie has the power to channel the dead but feels she’s been overshadowed by her own party trick: doesn’t anyone care about what she has to say? Kash takes his power – the ability to turn back time – very seriously, but he’s not above using it to undo minor embarrassments, or moments when he says exactly the wrong thing to long-suffering Carrie. The fourth member of the flat is a stray cat, named Jizzlord by the gang, who’s harbouring a surprising secret: turns out even cats have more power than Jen.

Adrift in a big, confusing world and armed with nothing but a bit of hope and a lot of desperation, Jen begins her journey to find her maybe-superpower. But in doing so, she might discover the joy of being just kind of ok.

Planet Sex with Cara Delevingne – Streaming on Hulu February 14th

Cara is an actress, one of the world’s most photographed people and an award-winning LGBTQ+ icon. On this immersive journey, she puts her mind and body on the line in search of answers regarding human sexuality, its joys, mysteries, and constantly changing nature.  In every episode, she shares her own personal experiences. Uniquely unfiltered and authentic, there’s no limit on how far Cara’s willing to go to explore what makes us all human.

Hulu Original Series “Animaniacs” Season 3 – Streaming February 17th

Yakko, Wakko, and Dot return with an all-new season of laughs, songs, pop culture parodies, and enough zany antics to fill a water tower (or at least 10 episodes!). Pinky and Brain’s never ending plans to take over the world journey them to the ends of new lands, deserts, and even the space time continuum. And while new friends, Starbox and Cindy continue their play date, the Warner siblings must battle their way out of a video game, learn the secrets of being a teen influencer, and escape a mad scientist’s island all while finding time to teach us about the threat of global warming!

Tickets on Sale Now for Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” – In Theaters February 17th

Tickets are now on sale for Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania,” the epic, sci-fi, big-screen adventure that transports moviegoers into the sweeping subatomic Quantum Realm. Character posters featuring Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton) are now available alongside a new TV spot that debuted last night during the NFL Super Wild Card matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, simulcast on ABC, ESPN and ESPN+. All are available to download and share. With the film’s Feb. 17 theatrical debut just one month away, fans can purchase tickets wherever tickets are sold, including Fandango

Super Heroes Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) return to continue their adventures as Ant-Man and The Wasp. Together, with Hope’s parents Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and Scott’s daughter Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton), the family finds themselves exploring the Quantum Realm, interacting with strange new creatures and embarking on an adventure that will push them beyond the limits of what they thought possible. Directed by Peyton Reed and produced by Kevin Feige, p.g.a. and Stephen Broussard, p.g.a., “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” also stars Jonathan Majors as Kang, David Dastmalchian as Veb, Katy O’Brian as Jentorra, William Jackson Harper as Quaz and Bill Murray as Lord Krylar. 

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was made to be experienced in IMAX. Filmed for IMAX with IMAX-certified cameras, audiences who watch Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania in IMAX will find themselves totally immersed in IMAX-exclusive 1.90:1 aspect ratio, providing up to 26% more picture, in select sequences throughout the film. 

DISNEY+ DEBUTS TRAILER & KEY ART FOR UPCOMING SEASON 3 OF “STAR WARS: THE MANDALORIAN” – Streaming March 1st

Disney+ debuted the thrilling new trailer for the upcoming Season 3 of “Star Wars: The Mandalorian” during halftime of the NFL Super Wild Card matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, simulcast on ABC, ESPN and ESPN+.

New key art was also released for the third season of the critically acclaimed, original, live-action series from Lucasfilm, streaming exclusively on Disney+ starting March 1.

The journeys of the Mandalorian through the Star Wars galaxy continue. Once a lone bounty hunter, Din Djarin has reunited with Grogu. Meanwhile, the New Republic struggles to lead the galaxy away from its dark history. The Mandalorian will cross paths with old allies and make new enemies as he and Grogu continue their journey together.

The series stars Pedro Pascal, Katee Sackhoff, Carl Weathers, Amy Sedaris, Emily Swallow and Giancarlo Esposito. 

The directors of the eight-episode Season 3 include Rick Famuyiwa, Rachel Morrison, Lee Isaac Chung, Carl Weathers, Peter Ramsey and Bryce Dallas Howard.

Jon Favreau is the showrunner/head writer and serves as an executive producer along with Dave Filoni, Rick Famuyiwa, Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Wilson. Karen Gilchrist and Carrie Beck are co-executive producers.

HISTORY OF THE WORLD, PART II – Streaming on Hulu March 6th

History of the World, Part II — Episode 102 — Judas betrays Jesus; Shirley Chisholm makes a big announcement. General Grant finds himself in trouble and Marco Polo meets Kublai Khan. Leon Trotsky (Ike Barinholtz), shown. (Photo by: Greg Gayne/Hulu)

After waiting over 40 years there is finally a sequel to the seminal Mel Brooks film, “History of the World Part I,” with each episode featuring a variety of sketches that take us through different periods of human history.

Scream VI – New Poster and Trailer – In Theaters March 10th

Following the latest Ghostface killings, the four survivors leave Woodsboro behind and start a fresh chapter. In Scream VI, Melissa Barrera (“Sam Carpenter”), Jasmin Savoy Brown (“Mindy Meeks-Martin”), Mason Gooding (“Chad Meeks-Martin”), Jenna Ortega (“Tara Carpenter”), Hayden Panettiere (“Kirby Reed”), and Courtney Cox (“Gale Weathers”) return to their roles in the franchise alongside Jack Champion, Henry Czerny, Liana Liberato, Dermot Mulroney, Devyn Nekoda, Tony Revolori, Josh Segarra and Samara Weaving. 

INSIDE In Theaters on Friday, March 10th

INSIDE tells the story of Nemo, an art thief trapped in a New York penthouse after his heist doesn’t go as planned. Locked inside with nothing but priceless works of art, he must use all his cunning and invention to survive.

Up Here – Streaming on Hulu March 24th

A musical romantic comedy set in New York City in the waning days of 1999, following the extraordinary story of one ordinary couple, Lindsay and Miguel, as they fall in love and discover that the single greatest obstacle to finding happiness together might just be themselves – and the treacherous world of memories, obsessions, fears and fantasies that lives inside their heads.

TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS – Streaming on Hulu April 7th

Based on the best-selling collection by Cheryl Strayed, “Tiny Beautiful Things” is about a woman – Clare (Kathryn Hahn) – who becomes a revered advice columnist when her own life is falling apart. When we first meet Clare, her marriage to her husband Danny (Quentin Plair) is on its last leg. Her daughter, Rae, will barely talk to her. And her once-promising writing career is non-existent. So when an old writing friend suggests she take over as the advice columnist Dear Sugar, she thinks she’s the last person for the job.  But after reluctantly agreeing, she realizes that she might just be completely qualified. As the letter writers force Clare to revisit her most pivotal moments – the death of her mother, the fallout with her brother, even some awful sex in the back office of a funeral home – she excavates the beauty, struggle and humor in her own life to show us that we are not beyond rescue, that it’s our stories that can ultimately save us. And maybe even bring us back home. 

SAINT X – Streaming on Hulu April 26th

The series, which is told via multiple timelines, explores and upends the girl-gone-missing genre as it explores how a young woman’s mysterious death during an idyllic Caribbean vacation creates a traumatic ripple effect that eventually pulls her surviving sister into a dangerous pursuit of the truth. 

Polite Society – In Theaters on Friday, April 28th

A merry mash up of sisterly affection, parental disappointment and bold action, POLITE SOCIETY follows martial artist-in-training Ria Khan who believes she must save her older sister Lena from her impending marriage. After enlisting the help of her friends, Ria attempts to pull off the most ambitious of all wedding heists in the name of independence and sisterhood. 

Focus Features BACK TO BLACK Announcement

January 2023 STUDIOCANAL, Focus Features and Monumental Pictures announced today they will partner on BACK TO BLACK, the highly anticipated feature film about Amy Winehouse’s vibrant years living in London in the early aughts and her intense journey to fame. Acclaimed filmmaker and visual artist Sam Taylor-Johnson will direct and executive produce the film, with break-out star Marisa Abela (INDUSTRY) landing the coveted lead role. Focus will distribute BACK TO BLACK in the U.S., with Universal Pictures International handling international distribution, excluding the UK, France, Germany, Aus/NZ, Benelux, Scandinavia, and Poland which will be handled by STUDIOCANAL. Filming is set to begin on Monday, January 16th in London.

The deal was closed by Anne Cherel, Aska Yamaguchi and Sophie Leuthreau for STUDIOCANAL and Howard Meyers and Marin Babb for Focus Features.

BACK TO BLACK was written by Matt Greenhalgh, reuniting the scribe with Taylor-Johnson following their collaboration on Nowhere Boy in 2009.  Featuring many of Amy’s hit songs, BACK TO BLACK has the full support of Universal Music GroupSony Music Publishing and The Amy Winehouse Estate.

Alison Owen (Saving Mr Banks, Me Before You, Elizabeth), Debra Hayward (Les Miserables, Bridget Jones’s Baby) of Monumental Pictures are producing, Nicky Kentish-Barnes (What’s Love Got To Do With it?, Everest) executive produces, with Nina Gold leading the casting of the film. EVP Global Production Ron Halpern and SVP Global Production Joe Naftalin executive produce and are overseeing for STUDIOCANAL.   

Amy Winehouse is widely considered one of the greatest artists in recent history, selling more than 30 million records worldwide, and today generating more than 80 million streams per month. Her acclaimed produced 2006 album Back To Black, propelled her to global stardom, going on to win a (then) record breaking 5 Grammy Awards, including Record Of The Year and Song of The Year for hit single Rehab. BACK TO BLACK will focus on Amy’s extraordinary genius, creativity and honesty that infused everything she did. A journey that took her from the craziness and colour of 90’s Camden High Street to global adoration – and back again, BACK TO BLACK crashes through the looking glass of celebrity to watch this journey from behind the mirror, to see what Amy saw, to feel what she felt. 

Director Sam Taylor-Johnson comments: My connection to Amy began when I left college and was hanging out in the creatively diverse London borough of Camden. I got a job at the legendary KOKO CLUB, and I can still breathe every market stall, vintage shop and street… A few years later Amy wrote her searingly honest songs whilst living in Camden. Like with me, it became part of her DNA. I first saw her perform at a talent show at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho and it was immediately obvious she wasn’t just ’talent’… she was genius. As a filmmaker you can’t really ask for more. I feel excited and humbled to have this opportunity to realise Amy’s beautifully unique and tragic story to cinema accompanied by the most important part of her legacy – her music. I am fully aware of the responsibility, with my writing collaborator – Matt Greenhalgh – I will create a movie that we will all love and cherish forever. Just like we do Amy.”  

Producer Alison Owen expands: “Amy Winehouse is the greatest musical talent of the 21stcentury so far. But like so many female icons, the tragedy of her death has seemed to obscure the triumph of her talent…the fun of the noughties, the craziness of Camden, her youth and brilliance – we want to reclaim that for her, with this film.”  

The Amy Winehouse Estate added: We are thrilled that STUDIOCANAL, Focus Features and Monumental are making this movie celebrating our daughter Amy’s extraordinary music legacy and showcasing her talent in the way that it deserves.”

Said Kiska Higgs, President of Production & Acquisitions at Focus, In Sam Taylor-Johnson’s exquisitely moving portrait of an artist, the genius, the heart, the energy and the woman behind the icon we all know as Amy Winehouse promise to shine through as she deserves.  We can’t wait to travel through Amy’s world and hear her voice through the wonderful Marisa Abela, and are looking forward to reuniting with Sam and our friends at Monumental and STUDIOCANAL.” 

STUDIOCANAL EVP Global Production Ron Halpern and SVP Global Production Joe Naftalin conclude: It is our enormous pleasure and privilege to produce and bring this movie to audiences. We are incredibly grateful to our partners at The Amy Winehouse Estate, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Publishing to have the opportunity to tell Amy Winehouse’s story with the use of her extraordinary music – to our partners at Focus Features – and to our amazing director, Sam Taylor-Johnson, and star Marisa Abela, who we are so excited to be working with. Amy Winehouse was a once in a generation talent – and with our producing partners at Monumental Pictures, we will endeavour to do her proud with this movie – and create a music-driven event picture for audiences new and old, that will make us all laugh, cry – and to truly celebrate Amy and her genius.”

Multi prize-winning visual artist and filmmaker Taylor-Johnson helmed the 2015 blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. Her additional credits include the acclaimed John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy and A Million Little Pieces both starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson.  She is represented by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Sloane, Offer, Weber, Dern (attorney) and Shelter PR.

Greenhalgh is an award-winning screenwriter best known for Control about Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, Nowhere Boy about John Lennon’s younger years. He was BAFTA nominated in 2018 for Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool.  

Marisa Abela is represented by WME, The Artists Partnership, Shelter PR.

Abela most recently starred in the second season of the hit hedonistic banking drama,“Industry,” from HBO and BBC Two. Her breakout leading role as publishing heiress-turned-investment banker, Yasmin Kara-Hanani, has garnered praise from audiences and critics alike, with Variety calling attention to her “scene-stealing” sensibilities. The critically acclaimed series has been renewed for a third season. She has wrapped production on the Warner Bros. live-action film adaptation from director Greta Gerwig, “Barbie,” opposite Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. This follows her captivating role in
the IFC Films and AMC+ espionage thriller, “Rogue Agent,” alongside James Norton and Gemma Arterton. Prior to this success, Abela starred in the improvisational romance from writer and director Jamie Adams, “She Is Love,” opposite Haley Bennett and Sam Riley. She first made her television debut in the action series, “Cobra.” Abela is a graduate of the highly acclaimed Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, where she still resides.

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