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Marvel drops first 'Eternals' footage
And Elon's SNL ideas
What to know
If you’re not a Marvel head, I’m not sure how much of this will resonate with you — that said, if you are, are you OK? Remember to breathe. It’s a lot to take in. Let’s start with the debut Eternals footage. Judging by the beautiful sunset and western prairie shot of Salma Hayek, it appears Chloé Zhao has made a Chloé Zhao movie! At quick glance, I definitely thought Richard Madden was Sebastian Stan. He’s not, but they do look alike. What else did we learn? Wakanda Forever and The Marvels are really cool and evocative titles for the Black Panther and Captain Marvel sequels respectively. Guardians 3 hits theaters May 5, 2023 while Ant-Man 3 goes Feb 17, 2022. And you’re going to want to go to the theaters for all of this.
A few other Marvel bits: Michael B. Jordan says it’s unlikely he’ll return for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but to never say never. With the way that movie is shaping, it seems unlikely Jordan’s Killmonger will take on the mantle of Black Panther. It turns out Doctor Strange was cut from the WandaVision finale. And, Falcon/Winter Soldier showrunner Malcolm Spellman says Marvel won’t tell him what happened to Chris Evans’s Steve Rogers, which could mean they have secret plans for the character?
Musk is still set to host SNL this weekend and in addition to floating his own ideas, he turned to Twitter for some sketch premises. I’ll admit his mash up of Baby Shark and Shark Tank is pretty good. Meanwhile, Page Six says SNL cast members who don’t want to appear in sketches with Musk won’t have to. It might be hard to tell on Saturday whether cast members didn’t want to appear in the episode or if their material simply got cut.
In other SNL news, three-name wonders Keegan-Michael Key and Anya Taylor-Joy will host the final two episodes of the season, with Olivia Rodrigo and Lil Nas X respectively. Those shows ought to be good.
“To alcohol. The cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.” John Swartzwelder wrote that joke and countless others in his beloved 59 Simpsons episodes. He’s one of the most revered comedy writers of all time — and yet he remains mostly a mystery. If you love The Simpsons or comedy in general definitely give this a read. There’s an incredible joke in it that I’ll embed down below.
NYC capacity restrictions end May 19, Broadway still expecting Sept return … the show might go on soon 🎭
The Grammys cut secretive nominating committees after Weeknd snub … seems like a positive step 🏆
Alan Moore is releasing a 5-volume fantasy book series … speaking of notorious recluses 📚
What to watch
Action, heart, comedy, and visuals. I’m not sure what else you could want from a movie that The Mitchells vs. the Machines, now on Netflix, doesn’t deliver. The animated feature—produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, written and directed by Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe—tells the hilarious, heart-pounding, and heartfelt story of a quirky family facing a robot apocalypse. And it signals an arrival of sorts for its producers. Lord and Miller have proven themselves to be in the conversation with Pixar, Disney, and Miyazaki.
As the best of Lord and Miller’s movies do, The Mitchells packs an absurd amount of jokes, both visual and dialogue-based, into every minute. Comedy bits and call backs literally explode onto the frame. Rianda and Rowe draw humor from specific, well-drawn characters, as well as punchy satire of technology, social media, and more. The levels at play are downright impressive.
Yet they do not forget the film’s primary directive of action, adventure, and eye-popping visuals. The movie’s visual style is poppy, fast moving, and fun. It leans heavily into the doodles ‘created’ by its teenage heroine to cross blend hand-drawn and computer animation a la Phil Lord’s Spider-Man Into the Spiderverse. The action set pieces are super clever and never skimp on the stakes or peril. Rianda and Rowe’s ability to weave character moments and action is also quite thrilling.
Anchoring the whole thing is the movie’s beating heart, its story about family, fathers and daughters, and growing up. The combination of a robot apocalypse and a family dealing with immense change works shockingly well. Abbi Jacobson and Danny McBride ground the movie with their performances and inject as much soul as any Pixar hit. It’s miraculous how such a heightened, fantastical narrative reveals so much about ourselves.
I could go on and on about The Mitchells vs. the Machines. For example, I didn’t even mention its kick ass score and soundtrack, filled with a dozen banger needle drops (I really love the end credits track “On My Way”). It’s become clear that Lord and Miller do not miss. From Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, to the Lego franchise, and Spiderverse, they’ve created an animation style and comedic voice all their own. Sony should consider itself lucky to have them and Netflix should consider itself lucky to have this movie.
New notables this week:
Star Wars: The Bad Batch s1 premiere (May 4) — Disney+ animated series | No RT
Girls5eva s1 (May 6) — Peacock Tina Fey sitcom | No RT
That Damn Michael Che s1 (May 6) — HBO Max sketch series | No RT
Jupiter’s Legacy s1 (May 7) — Netflix superhero series | No RT
Ziwe s1 premiere (May 9) — Showtime sketch series | No RT
Before you go… purely Swartzweldian