DIFF Weekly Bulletin — The Week of 10/30/2021

A brief recap of the biggest news of the film industry in the week of October 30, 2021.

Director Tatiana Huezo’s Newest Film Submitted for Oscar Consideration

Mexican and Salvadoran film director, Tatiana Huezo’s Prayers For The Stolen (2021), has been submitted for the upcoming Oscars ceremony in 2022. Prayers For The Stolen was originally released in Mexico on September 16, 2021, under the title Noche De Fuego and received 88% on rotten tomatoes. The film was produced by Nicolás Celis, who became well known for his production of the film, Roma (2018). The film is inspired by Jennifer Clement’s 2014 novel of the same name, and follows the story of three young girls living in a small Mexican mountain town, a town where the girls wear traditionally “boyish” haircuts and have underground hiding spots to protect themselves from being stolen.  

These girls are taught by their mothers to fear the outside world, especially those who will turn them into “slaves or ghosts.” As these friends continue to navigate their complex existences, everything changes once one of them does not make it back to the hiding spots on time. The film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and was a multi-award winner in the San Sebastian and Athens Film Festivals. Netflix has attained rights to the film and is planning on releasing it online in November. — Clemmie Biddle

Universal Studio’s Wicked Adaptation Faces Setbacks & Delay

Though shooting was intended to begin in March, production for the movie adaptation of 2003’s notorious broadway musical Wicked has now been pushed to June 2022. Universal Studios has now decided to produce the film in Sky Studios Elstree, a new facility located in the U.K,  and set a release date sometime during 2022. Nominated for 10 Tony awards in 2004, Wicked is one of broadway’s most successful musicals. It is one of three shows to surpass 1 billion dollars in revenue—the others being The Lion King and Phantom of the Opera.

The film, inspired by The Wizard of Oz (1939), centers around the sisterly relationship between Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. It received high praise for its songs including “Defying Gravity”, sung by world-renowned singers Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth.
The Universal adaptation will be directed by Jon M. Chu. known for films like Step Up 2: The Streets (2008) and the award-winning Crazy Rich Asians (2018). Chu recently produced the musical adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony award-winning musical In the Heights. After less than favorable reviews for its more recent musical adaptations Dear Evan Hansen (2021) and Cats (2019), Universal aims to garner definitive success with Wicked. Hopefully, the film will be worth the wait. —Alondra Oliveras

Ridley Scott Comes Through With Successful Medieval Period Piece

This past Friday, October 15, marked the release date of 83-year-old director Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel, scoring 86% on rotten tomatoes. The movie takes place in medieval France, displaying a story of a renown hero being accused of assault. Scott has had quite the repertoire of films, ranging from the widely panned Hannibal (2001) to more popular works like  Blade Runner (1982), The Martian (2015), and Alien: Covenant (2017)

Though his movies often fall within a large range on Rotten Tomatoes, recently Scott has generated more consistent acclaim for himself—he’s even been nominated for the Academy Award of Best Director three times. With a killer cast of Jodie Comer, Adam Driver, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and more, The Last Duel has already landed a score of 86% on Rotten Tomatoes . The movie will definitely be worth the watch, and with Scott’s recent streak of films, his age doesn’t seem to be slowing him down any time soon. —Hannah Lawry

Jeff Nichols No Longer Directing A Quiet Place 3

The untitled third installment in the A Quiet Place universe has lost director Jeff Nichols. Choosing to focus more on a developing sci-fi project with Paramount Pictures, Nichols has amicably stepped away from the upcoming horror film, thus forcing the studio to hunt for a quick replacement. The loss is considerable, with Krasinski previously praising Nichols as the perfect choice for his successor, but with A Quiet Place Part II marking one of the biggest box office hits of 2020, the third installment is still considered high priority at Paramount—as is finding Nichols’s replacement.

Not much is known about the untitled film other than its classification as a spin-off, with Emily Blunt and John Krasinski likely not reprising their roles from the two previous films. However, Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, and Krasinski will serve as returning producers, with Allyson Seeger executive producing. As of now, it’s ultimately unclear when Paramount might announce a replacement director for this highly anticipated 2023 threequel. — Madysen Rufener

Josh O’Connor and Paul Mescal to Star in Oliver Her manus’ WWI Film ‘The History of Sound’

Following his role as Prince Charles in The Crown, Josh O’Connor is set to join the cast of another period drama: the World War I-era film The History of Sound. Directed by Oliver Hermanus—Beauty (2011) and Moffie (2019)— the film will be a love story adapted from the Pushcart Prize-winning short story of the same name by Ben Shattuck. O’Connor will star alongside Paul Mescal, breakout star of Normal People (2020). The History of Sound follows the story of Lionel (Mescal) and David (O’Connor), two young men who set out to record the lives, voices, and music of their American countrymen during the World War-era. In a short-lived moment in their young lives, the men discover the epic sweep of the U.S. and are deeply changed. It is a story of love, loss, and memory.

The film will be produced by Andrew Kortschak, Lisa Ciuffetti, and Andrea Roa—The Art of Self-Defense (2019) and It Comes at Night (2017) respectively. South Africa-born Hermanus’ Moffie (2021) was BAFTA-nominated this year, while his film Living starring Bill Nighy, is currently in post-production. O’Connor recently won at both the Emmy and Golden Globe awards for his work on The Crown. He will next be seen in the upcoming film “Aisha” from director Frank Berry. Mescal was nominated at the Emmy Awards and won at BAFTA for Normal People. He will next be seen in “Carmen” and A24’s “God’s Creatures.” Production for The History of Sound is set to begin in the summer of 2022. — Cate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.