DIFF Weekly Bulletin — The Week of 9/4/2021

A brief recap of the biggest news of the film industry in the week of September 4, 2021.

BY: The DIFF Editorial Team

New Wes Anderson Film Currently in Production

With his new movie The French Dispatch (2021) opening in theaters October 22, Wes Anderson already has his eyes set on his next great adventure. Though still untitled, his new project has already lined up a star studded cast, including Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody, and its latest acquisition: Scarlett Johansen. Though the film auteur is not yet ready to share specific details about the plot, as reported by Spanish outlet El Pais, the project has begun shooting in Spain. The crew is currently expected to wrap shooting in late September.  — Olivia

Falcon & Winter Soldier Writer Contributes to Fund for Black Creatives 

Malcolm Spellman, head writer of Marvel Studio’s Falcon and The Winter Soldier (2021), has partnered with Chromatic black in the selection process for the inaugural Ida B. Wells Disrupting the Master Narrative Fund. Said grant includes a $100,000 award going towards 10 selected black creatives—with each winner allotted 10,000 each. Alongside a variety of other jurists, Spellman will critique projects submitted which embody artistic attributes like commitment, disruption, communal meaning, cultural integrity, and openness to name a few. This fund has been described as an effort to help move gifted minority storytellers toward a position of more institutional power. Angela Harman herself, co-founder of Chromatic Black see the initiative as “a cultural moment. This fund represents creative yet pragmatic thinking and effective practice when it comes to supporting chromatic black artistry and early investment in disruptive filmmakers.” Winners will be announced on September 15, 2021. — Olivia

Venice Film Festival Commences

The prestigious Venice Film Festival kicked off this Wednesday as numerous films set out in hopes of receiving the Golden Lion this year. This year’s festival will run until 9/11 with Academy Award winning Korean director Bong Joon-ho leading the jury. This Wednesday, the festival began with the newest film by Pedro Almodovar, Parallel Mothers(2021), starring Penelope Cruz as well as the famed Italian actor/director Roberto Benigni—who also received a lifetime achievement award. As the festival progresses over the next week, notable films being premiered include Last Night in Soho(2021), Dune(2021), The Power of the Dog(2021), Spencer(2021), and The Last Duel(2021). — Rhett

First Reactions Drop for Dune (2021)

Since its release in 1965, Frank Herbert’s visionary novel Dune has been notoriously difficult for filmmakers to tackle, most notably seen with Jodorowsky’s cancelled adaptation in the 70s. Then came David Lynch’s version in 1984, which aside from being a box office bomb, was heavily criticized for a variety of reasons. But there may be hope for Dune fans yet. With its ensemble cast and infamous history, Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming adaptation is one of the most anticipated films of the year. Despite some disappointment in the storytelling, many critics seem to agree that Dune (2021) is an immersive, visceral experience with a horrifically beautiful setting and score. Collider’s Steve Weintraub calls it “a masterpiece not just of science-fiction but of cinema”. Denis Villaneuve has also teased a trilogy in the future, but first, Dune(2021) comes to theaters on October 22nd, 2021. — Sophie

Scarlett Johansson’s Disney Lawsuit Stalls Russo Brothers’ Return to the MCU

The Russo Brothers might not direct another MCU movie because of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow lawsuit. This makes sense. Having worked together multiple times, The Russo Brothers and  Scarlett Johansson have formed a close relationship: Johnasson has starred in almost every Russo MCU flick.  As a result, they are taking her side in this controversial lawsuit. The reason behind said lawsuit may also explain why the Russo brothers are hesitant to direct their next MCU movie.

To summarize, Johansson is suing Disney because Black Widow (2021) did not receive a solo theatrical release, an event which went against the terms of her contract.  Not only does Johansson have the support of the Russo brothers but many of other MCU stars and coworkers have expressed similar concerns. Hence, as a result of the lawsuit, the Russo brothers are wondering how this dynamic will affect their pay. Though it has not yet been revealed what precisely their next project will be, the MCU fandom will definitely be disappointed if the iconic Russo Brothers leave this mysterious and exciting project. —Sofia

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