Opening this weekend
View a guide to this weekend's new theatrical releases including Star Trek Beyond, Lights Out, Don't Think Twice, Ice Age: Collision Course, and more.
New trailers and updates for upcoming films
A remake of John Sturges' 1960 film, which itself was a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 epic The Seven Samurai, director Antoine Fuqua’s upcoming The Magnificent Seven consists of Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Byung-Hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Martin Sensmeier. Each character gets his own freeze-frame introduction in the latest trailer for this September 23rd release that finds them working for Haley Bennett after her husband is killed by industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) and his henchmen.
In the raunchy R-rated, CG-animated movie Sausage Party, supermarket foods realize their horrifying fate when they’re taken home by happy customers. Written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan and featuring voice work from Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, Edward Norton, Bill Hader, and Salma Hayek, this August 12 release earned good early notice when it was shown at SXSW as a work in progress.
xXx part iii
The Vin Diesel starring xXx was a big hit for Sony in 2002, but its follow-up (2005’s xXx: State of the Union, starring Ice Cube) failed to generate the same box office bonanza. As the title indicates, xXx: Return of Xander Cage brings back Diesel’s original character with the hopes that moviegoers will revisit the franchise. Samuel L. Jackson’s Agent Augustus Eugene Gibbons will make his third xXx appearance while D.J. Caruso (I Am Number Four) will follow in the footsteps of directors Rob Cohen and Lee Tamahori. The first trailer for this January 20, 2017 release, also starring Nina Dobrev, Donnie Yen, and Tony Jaa, finds Diesel’s Cage skiing down a tropical mountainside—no snow needed. If that isn’t extreme, what is?
The Girl on the Train
In the October 7 release The Girl on the Train, an adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ novel, Emily Blunt stars as Rachel, an alcoholic still devastated by her divorce. She spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day. But when she sees something shocking happen there, she becomes entangled in a mystery for which she is not prepared. Directed by Tate Taylor (Get On Up) and with a cast that includes Haley Bennett, Luke Evans, Rebecca Ferguson, Laura Prepon, Edgar Ramírez, Allison Janney, Justin Theroux, and Lisa Kudrow, this could be the Gone Girl of 2016.
In a Valley of Violence
Ti West, the director of The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers, and The Sacrament, moves from horror to western with In a Valley of Violence. The October 21 release follows a drifter played by Ethan Hawke as he enters the town of Denton and comes into conflict with Gilly (James Ransone), the son of the Marshall played by John Travolta. According to early reviews, West’s latest is a mixed bag of violence and humor.
Kate Plays Christine
One of two films that took on the Christine Chubbuck story at Sundance this year, Kate Plays Christine stars actress Kate Lyn Sheil as Chubbuck in a performance-based, non-fiction film from director Robert Greene (Actress). As in his previous film, Greene, who won a Special Jury Award for writing, explores the meaning and impact of reality, performance, artifice and perspective as Kate researches Christine’s life in order to portray her in a film. This August 24 release has excellent early reviews.
The murder of five women is an unlikely subject for a musical, but London Road was a hit when it premiered at the National Theatre in 2011. Now, theater director Rufus Norris has brought it to the big screen with a script by original author Alecky Blythe. The September 9 release documents (in the residents’ own words) the 2006 events in Ipswich when a community came together after a local was charged with murder.
Oliver Stone (who made his first appearance at Comic Con yesterday) jumps into the Edward Snowden controversy with Snowden, a look at the personal story of the CIA and NSA worker who exposed the vast illegal surveillance activities of his employers. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Snowden, tackling the real man’s unique cadence. Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Rhys Ifans, and Nicolas Cage also star in this September 16 release.
Hell or High Water
Written by Taylor Sheridan (Sicario) and directed by David Mackenzie (Starred Up), this story of West Texas brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) who rob from the bank that’s foreclosing on their family farm shows that the writer and director’s previous outings were no fluke. Jeff Bridges plays the Texas Ranger who’s on their tail and Gil Birmingham plays his half-Comanche partner. With excellent early reviews, Hell or High Water hits theaters August 12th.
Before I Wake
After multiple delays (due to Relativity’s bankruptcy), Oculus and Hush director Mike Flanagan will finally see Before I Wake hit theaters on September 9th. Kate Bosworth and Thomas Jane star as a married couple who, despite grieving the loss of their son, adopt Cody (Room’s Jacob Tremblay) and soon discover that the boy’s dreams manifest in reality as he sleeps. Unfortunately, not all of Cody’s dreams involve beautiful harmless butterflies.
Hands of Stone
Edgar Ramirez stars as boxer Roberto Duran, and Robert De Niro plays trainer Ray Arcel in Hands of Stone, an August 26 release. Written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz, the film tracks the life of the Panamanian fighter who made his boxing debut in 1968 as a 16-year-old and retired in 2002 at the age of 50. He is best known for beating Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher) in 1980 and then retiring in their rematch with the words “no mas.”
Author: The JT Leroy Story
The September 9 release Author: The JT Leroy Story recounts how author Laura Albert created wunderkind literary “it boy” JT Leroy. Directed by Jeff Feuerzeig (The Devil and Daniel Johnston) the film has received excellent early reviews.
Written by and starring Matt Johnson and Josh Boles and directed by Johnson (The Dirties), Operation Avalanche is a faux-documentary that puts the tired found-footage format to good use. Johnson and Owen Williams play members of the CIA’s A/V department who convince their superiors to let them go root out a Russian spy at NASA only to find themselves become the filmmakers behind the fake Apollo 11 moon landing. Look for it in theaters beginning September 16th.
Writer-director Brett Rapkin takes the subject of his 2006 documentary, Spaceman: A Baseball Odyssey, as the source of his debut narrative feature, Spaceman. Josh Duhamel stars as Bill “Spaceman” Lee, a MLB pitcher who played for the Boston Red Sox from 1969-1978 and the Montreal Expos from 1979-1982. This August 19 release focuses on Lee’s refusal to quit the game after being cut by the Expos.
Johnny Knoxville and Jackie Chan star in Skiptrace, an action-comedy coming to DirecTV July 28 and theaters and On Demand September 2.
For the Love of Spock looks at the life and career of Leonard Nimoy. Directed by Nimoy’s son, Adam Nimoy, the documentary will be available in theaters and on VOD beginning September 9th.
News and notes
- Oscar Isaac will star in Steven Spielberg’s The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara. Tony Kushner is writing the script based on David Kertzer’s novel. - Variety
- Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals and Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival will premiere at the 73rd Venice Film Festival. - Variety
- Ava DuVernay’s The 13th will be the first documentary to open the New York Film Festival. The film will then stream on Netflix beginning October 7th.
- Syriana director Stephen Gaghan’s Gold, starring Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez, and Bryce Dallas Howard, will open on December 25th.
- There will be a Star Trek 4 and Chris Hemsworth will return (somehow) as Kirk’s dad. Like the original fourth Star Trek film, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, time travel could be involved, but doesn’t expect any whales.
- Brooklyn director John Crowley will direct the adaptation of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Goldfinch from a script by Peter Straughan. - Deadline
- The Divergent Series will now end on TV (rather than in theaters) with a movie and a spinoff series. There is no word on whether all the cast members will return. - Variety
- Kirsten Dunst will direct Elle Fanning in an adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s 1963 novel The Bell Jar. - Deadline
- Margot Robbie will produce and star in an adaptation of Matt Ruff’s novel Bad Monkeys, a thriller about a woman who claims to kill for a secret organization dedicated to fighting evil. - THR
- Nate Parker will write, direct and produce his next film for Legendary Pictures. There is no word on what the movie is about. - Deadline
- Pierre Morel (Taken, The Gunman) will direct Bone Tomahawk writer-director S. Craig Zahler’s script Big Stone Grid about detectives battling serial killers. - Deadline
- Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) and Amandla Stenberg will star in Everything Everything, director Stella Meghie’s adaptation of Nicola Yoon’s young adult novel. - Variety