DIFF Weekly Bulletin — The Week of 10/2/2021

A brief recap of the biggest news of the film industry in the week of October 2, 2021.

BY: The DIFF Editorial Team

Netflix Announces Plans For Future Adventures With Geralt of Rivia

Before its second season even debuts, Netflix’s epic fantasy series The Witcher—based on a Polish book and video game series—has been renewed for a third season. The news comes as Netflix announces plans to expand its Witcher content even further, with a second anime spin-off and a more family-friendly show in the works.

The original show—which traces the story of exile-turned-hero Geralt of Rivia, cunning witch Yennefer of Vengerberg, and innocent Princess Cirilla—boasts a high Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score of 91 percent. The Tweet announcing the future release seemed to be intentionally cryptic, but it’s likely we’ll learn more once the second season actually premiers. Until then, we can only anticipate what epic magic and battles we can expect to see next in The Witcher! —Colby

Itsa Me…Chris Pratt?!

Super Mario isn’t just a game anymore. Within the last week a new animated film entitled Super Mario Bros: The Movie was announced, and is currently set to be released on December 21, 2022. Illumination Entertainment, creator of such beloved films such as Sing (2016), Ice Age (2002), and Despicable Me (2010), is bringing the classic kidnap-and-release story of Mario  and Princess Peach—set to be voiced by Chris Pratt and Anya Taylor-Joy respectively—to the big screen.

The film will also feature the voices of Charlie Day as Luigi, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, and Jack Black as Bowser, amongst many others. Game to film adaptations can be tricky; this film is sure to either spark a swell of childhood memories or wind up as a letdown of unfulfilled nostalgia—or perhaps a bit both. —Marina

Spencer Trailer Released

Amongst a numerous crowd of Diana portrayals, will Kristen Stewart stand out? Directed by Jackie’s (2016) Pablo Larraín, the film’s narrative will hyper-focused, centering on the fateful 3-day holiday weekend during which the princess decided to leave Prince Charles. Having premiered at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month, a full preview was released to the public last week.

The trailer was a collage of the richest pieces of English countryside laid in contrast against Stewart’s sorrowful eyes; it also offered a first listen of Stewart’s rendition of Diana’s instantly recognizable speaking voice. Rather than simply portraying Diana, Stewart has said“I want to know her implicitly.” Set to be unveiled on November 5, hopefully the film will immerse viewers into the true world of the late Lady Diana as well. —Marina

Daniel Craig’s Final Bond Film, No Time to Die, Finally Premieres After 18-Month Delay

Last Tuesday, September 28th, the fifth and final installment in the Daniel Craig James Bond chronology, No Time to Die (2021), premiered at Royal Albert Hall. The film—opening for an audience filled with the likes of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Jason Momoa, Billie Eilish, and more—debuted after a more than 18-month delay due to COVID-19. It was released to mostly rave reviews, so far having been described as an “epic barnstormer” and “gleefully spectacular.”

Phoebe Waller-Bridge—famous most notably for the award winning series Fleabag—made contributions to the script, which many agreed enhanced the humor and feminist qualities of this latest installment. While many critics came away feeling the two hour and 43 minute length was too long, and that the second half was encumbered by exposition and pacing issues, most agreed that No Time to Die is a fitting end to the era of Craig’s James Bond. His performance, to many, was the standout feature of the film—but what’s not to love about Daniel Craig’s self-proclaimed “Grumpy Bond?” No Time to Die (2021) will be released in US theaters next Friday, October 8th. —Cate

Scarlett Johansson and Disney Settle Black Widow Lawsuit

After a long time back-and-forth, Scarlett Johansson—star of Disney and Marvel Studios’ Black Widow (2021)—finally reached a settlement with Disney for the breach of contract over said film’s release on Disney+. Although specific terms have not been released, sources claim that Johansson has earned close to $50 million from the new deal. In July, Johansson sued Disney for sabotaging Black Widow’s box office success with its release on Disney +, arguing that the move breached her contract for an exclusively theatrical window—a window on which her bonuses depended. In the statements released on Thursday, both Johansson and Disney expressed willingness to collaborate again in the future. 

Though the case is officially over, many lingering questions remain; going forward how will Hollywood calculate talent bonuses in the age of streaming. Earlier this year, Warner Bros. reached several deals with stars like Denzel Washington and Gal Gadot, compensating them for putting its 2021 slate day and date on HBO Max. This payout may also have other unintended consequences, such as the compensation for stars on streaming movies and series. As the industry eagerly moves more and more towards streaming, so to will arise many past systems, rules, and institutions, which must be contended with. 

 

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