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Marvel nabs another Oscar winner
And 'Rock Em Sock Em Robots' movie get its star
What to know
Another day, another award-winning actor joins the Marvel family. Between WandaVision and Falcon and Winter Soldier, it’s clear Marvel is attempting to tell more “serious” and actorly stories, especially on Disney+. The series format gives the company room to do it, so it’s not a surprise that its able to attract accomplished actors like the Olivia Colmans and Julia Louis-Dreyfuses of the world. The paychecks are probably incentivizing too.
The International Animated Film Society held its Annie Awards this weekend, giving Pixar’s Soul 7 trophies and Apple’s Wolfwalkers a notable 5. Soul won best feature, while Wolfwalkers took best indie. Slate’s got an interesting op-ed suggesting that the Academy shouldn’t just give Pixar the Best Animated Film Oscar by default and that Wolfwalkers would be a good start. I agree that no studio should be the default for an award, and while Wolfwalkers is excellent (watch it if you haven’t!), Soul is better.
Disney is submitting WandaVision as a limited series and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier as an ongoing drama series. They say that’s because Falcon is more dramatic, but it also reveals that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier could return for another season, while WandaVision will not be coming back. That makes sense. It definitely seems like Wanda’s arc came to an end, while Sam and Bucky’s premise is pliable enough for future TV adventures.
Say it with me: Anything can be a movie! 1960s tabletop boxing game Rock Em Sock Em Robots is becoming a live-action movie starring Vin Diesel because obviously of course it’s starring Vin Diesel. It’s unclear whether Diesel will play one of the Rock Em Sock Em Robots, but I kind of hope so. Also, wasn’t Hugh Jackman’s Real Steel an unofficial Rock Em Sock Em Robots movie?
Reminder: Mattel is also developing movies based on American Girl, Barbie, Barney, Hot Wheels, Magic 8 Ball, Major Matt Mason, Masters of the Universe, Thomas & Friends, UNO and View-Master. I really want to know what the UNO movie is going to be.
Disgraced film and Broadway mega-producer Scott Rudin is taking what appears to be a half measure after THR’s explosive exposé. Rudin has apologized and will ‘step back’ from Broadway producing — but it seems his film producing career will continue uninterrupted. Organizations including Actor’s Equity and Time’s Up are calling for Rudin’s former employees to be released from their nondisclosure agreements which would help find out more of the truth and hopefully discourage more bad behavior.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus has a big future in the MCU … thank you Mr. Feige 🙏
Why most actors won’t try a Philly accent … Mare of Easttown’s Kate Winslet is not phowning it in 🔔
Rocky Horror has been screening to an empty theater in Portland for 54 weeks … talk about antici…pation 💪
An Audrey Hepburn TV series is in the works … from a Good Wife & Leftovers writer 🎞
John Cameron Mitchell to play Joe Exotic in Hulu miniseries … now that’s good casting 🐯
What to watch
Trailer: Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings - Sept 3 (Theaters)
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, written by Dave Callaham, starring Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Michelle Yeoh, and Ronnie Chieng
Marvel’s commitment to diversity, specifically its first Asian-led film, could not be coming at a more important time. Just like Black Panther did in 2018, Shang-Chi will bring much-needed representation of people of color to a massive American audience. Marvel has immense power and with it responsibility—shout out Uncle Ben—to put out movies like this. It’s encouraging to see.
Ironically, this trailer doesn’t immediately feel like a Marvel movie — which is a good thing. It’s clearly influenced by Hong Kong-style martial arts cinema and has some beautiful cinematography from Bill Pope, who also shot The Matrix. The only Marvel hints we get are the little bits of magical tech, some supernatural flare, and the comedic levity coming at us from Awkwafina. All in all, this trailer exudes confidence and promises another captivating origin story.
New notables this week:
Sasquatch (Apr 20) — Hulu doc series | 93% RT
Chopped 420 (Apr 20) — Discovery+ cooking competition | No RT
Cruel Summer s1 premiere (Apr 20) — Freeform teen thriller series | 86% RT
Rutherford Falls (Apr 22) — Peacock sitcom | No RT
Stowaway (Apr 22) — Netflix sci-fi film w Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette | No RT
Film Independent Spirit Awards (Apr 22 10 pm) — IFC award show
Shadow and Bone (Apr 23) — Netflix fantasy series | No RT
Mortal Kombat (Apr 23) — HBO Max video game movie also in theaters | 67% RT
The Oscars (Apr 25 8 pm) — ABC award show. Ever heard of it?
Before you go… groot vegetable