DIFF Weekly Bulletin — The Week of 9/18/2021

A brief recap of the biggest news of the film industry in the week of September 18, 2021.

BY: The DIFF Editorial Team

Steven Spielberg Releases Trailer For His First Musical

Steven Spielberg’s official trailer for West Side Story got released on Wednesday morning. The romantic musical drama film starring Rachel Zegler as Maria Vasquez and Ansel Eglort as Tony is a remake of the Academy Award-winning 1961 film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. Zegler sings “Tonight,” one of the musical’s most popular numbers, in the trailer. The previously released teaser trailer displayed a shot-by-shot remake of the 1961 production; however, this new one reveals some changes in the characters’ dialogue. 

Spielberg stated that this is not a remake of the film but a reimagining of its story. “This story is not only a product of its time, but that time has returned, and it’s returned with a kind of social fury,” Spielberg told Vanity Fair last year. I really wanted to tell that Puerto Rican, Nuyorican experience of basically the migration to this country and the struggle to make a living, and to have children, and to battle against the obstacles of xenophobia and racial prejudice.” EGOT ( Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards) winner Rita Moreno, who played Antina in the 1961 version, is set to return for the film as a new character named Valentina and as an executive producer. Speilberg’s first movie musical film will be released on December 10, 2021, after delays due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.  —Alondra Oliveras

Christopher Nolan Takes His Talents to Universal Studios

In a somewhat scandalous turn of events, beloved director Christopher Nolan—the man behind fan favorite films like Inception, Dunkirk, The Dark Knight Trilogy, and Tenet—has partnered with Universal for his next film, a World War II epic. Coming off of almost two decades of successful work alongside Warner Bros, Nolan was unimpressed with their decision to release all of their 2021 films concurrently on HBO, claiming the decision to sacrifice to “the worst streaming service” was a disgrace to deserving movie stars, directors, and others in the field. 

This is a huge win for Universal, who has allotted $100 million to Nolan’s upcoming drama, as well as promised a longer-than-typical screening time when the film is released in 2023 or 2024. Nolan is no easy client, self-assured in his prior success and ever-confident in his future, the director’s contract with Warner Bros always included an agreement to reserve 6 weeks for the release of one of his movies, a blackout period where no other Warner Bros endorsed film was to be launched. But his consistent ability to deliver has scored him a new relationship with Universal, and a much-anticipated upcoming film to match. —Hannah Lawry

A Further Look at Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho (2021) 

Director Edgar Wright recently shared on Twitter that he doesn’t want viewers to reveal the secrets of his newest film, Last Night in Soho, after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 4th. The time-warping, neon-lit thriller stars Thomasin McKenzie as Eloise, a fresh-faced country girl who moves to London, where mysteries abound. Wright wants the “audience to go on that journey” with her “when the film opens on October 29th.”

If you truly want to be protected from spoilers like he recommends, I’d suggest not watching the newest trailer. In a familiar situation for any film fan, rowdy commenters on the video—who I may or may not be a part of—are making clear how they think it spoiled some of the plot points and visual mystique that would be better experienced in the context of the narrative. Some exciting, non-spoilery bits I can tell you include that Wright’s penchant for bright colors and dynamic camera movement don’t appear to have been brushed aside despite this being his first foray into horror; Anya Taylor-Joy looks stunning and mysterious as Sandy, and Matt Smith has once again been cast as Guy in a Period Piece, this time christened with the Jack. See, you definitely don’t need to watch the trailer now, because if that hasn’t convinced you to look out for this movie, I don’t know what will.  — Molly Honecker

Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley Just Got Its First Trailer

On September 16th Searchlight Pictures released the first official trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s much-anticipated Nightmare Alley (2021). The impressive cast navigate a dark and twisting psychological thriller set in a 1940s carnival, a tantalizing sneak peek at the upcoming noir. Based on William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name, the 2021 film boasts an all-star ensemble, with Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett taking the lead. Among the supporting cast are award-winning actors Toni Collette, William Dafoe, and Rooney Mara. The film is set to release in theaters on December 17th, the same day as Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021). It will be tough competition, but as shown by the bold release date, Searchlight Pictures knows Nightmare Alley (2021) will make a worthy opponent. —Madysen Rufener

Amazon Drops New Slate of Thrillers  To Usher In The Halloween Season

Blumhouse Productions, most famously known for their horror and thriller movies, has just released four new trailers for up-and-coming horror movies that are set to release on Amazon by the end of 2021. Who doesn’t love a good creepy movie for Fall and Halloween vibes? Well, Bingo-Hell (2021), Black as Night (2021), Madres, and The Manor (2021) will be the perfect go-tos as spooky season looms just around the corner.

 Directed and co-written by Gigi Saul Gerrero, Bingo-Hell follows an elderly group of people who have to fight against a sinister newcomer. Next there’s Black as Night (2021), directed by Maritte Le Go, takes place in New Orleans where vampires are flooding the city. Madres (2021), directed by Ryan Zarazoga, follows the life of a Mexican-American couple living in California prior to the birth of their first child, and things do not go as planned. Some say this movie might be slightly influenced by the 1968 classic, Rosemary’s Baby. Lastly, The Manor (2021), directed by Axelle Carloyn, follows an elderly woman in a nursing home who is told the scary things she is witnessing are dementia, some comparing this to the vibe of Shutter Island (2010). —Clemmie Biddle

Audiences Prepare to Return to The Matrix

After its premier at Cinemacon, the trailer for the newest Matrix movie, The Matrix Resurrections (2021), was recently released on Youtube. Now readily available to the public, people are getting their first impressions of how this new installation will fit into the Matrix story. The first movie, The Matrix (1999), made an impression on pop culture that still lasts today. Many elements made the first movie iconic, from the action scenes to the characters and overarching themes. References and memes about the movie are still common on the internet, including the famous pill scene—would you take the red pill?

Although, it is commonly believed that the first two sequels were a disappointment, unable to live up to the high standards of the original, it seems in this newest trailer that Resurrections will be returning to the series’ roots. The trailer features Keanu Reeves’ return as Neo, who has lost all memory of the matrix and the “truth” of his reality. Filled with an eerie atmosphere, high energy action scenes, stunts, and of course colored pills, many parallels to the first film can be seen in Resurrections. Perhaps this sequel will recapture aspects of The Matrix (1999) that made the story so enjoyable for audiences in the first place. The trailer was well received, and many are now looking forward to its release on December 22 of this year. —Camila Rodriguez

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