Opening this weekend
View a guide to this weekend's new theatrical releases including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Edge of Seventeen, Bleed for This, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Manchester by the Sea, Nocturnal Animals, and more.
New trailers and updates for upcoming films
Your first look at ScarJo in Ghost in the Shell
Since the casting of Scarlett Johansson in the lead role, controversy has swirled around the live-action Ghost in the Shell. Directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) and based on the original manga, which has already inspired multiple animated movies, TV series, games and books, this March 31, 2017 release stars Johansson as The Major, a human-cyborg hybrid and leader of Section 9, a special task force devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals. The international cast includes Takeshi Kitano as Section 9 chief Daisuke Aramaki; Pilou Asbæk as the Major’s second-in-command Batou, plus Michael Pitt, Juliette Binoche, Kaori Momoi, Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Yutaka Izumihara, and Tuwanda Manyimo.
Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast
The latest in Disney’s string of live-action remakes of beloved animated films is Beauty and the Beast. Directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls), this March 17, 2017 release stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Kevin Kline as Belle's father, Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as Le Fou, Ewan McGregor as Lumière, Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts.
Kong: Skull Island
Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) from a script by Max Borenstein, John Gatins, and Dan Gilroy, Kong: Skull Island throws a team of explorers into an uncharted island in the Pacific that happens to be the domain of the mythic Kong. The cast of this March 10, 2017 release includes Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Thomas Mann, and Shea Whigham. As the trailer reveals, this is not a King Kong remake.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Fans of The Fifth Element will find plenty to like in this first teaser for writer-director Luc Besson’s adaptation of the the graphic novel series Valerian and Laureline. In Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne star as Valerian and Laureline, special operatives for the government of the human territories who are tasked with keeping in the peace in Alpha, a giant metropolis formed by thousands of species from across the universe. Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Rutger Hauer, Herbie Hancock, and Kris Wu form the supporting cast of this July 21, 2017 release.
Why Him? (And why this movie?)
In the December 23 release Why Him?, Bryan Cranston get to flex his comedic muscles opposite James Franco. Cranston plays overprotective father Ned Fleming, and Franco plays insane (but lovable?) billionaire Laird Mayhew, who is dating Ned’s daughter (Zoey Deutch). The two men clash over the holidays as Ned panics about his potential son-in-law. John Hamburg (I Love You, Man) directs a cast that also includes Megan Mullally, Keegan-Michael Key, Adam Devine, Casey Wilson, and Andrew Rannells.
Live By Night
Set during Prohibition and based on Dennis Lehane’s novel, Live by Night follows the exploits of Joe Coughlin (Ben Affleck), the son of the Boston Police Superintendent. Instead of enforcing the law, Joe decides to break it, but when he crosses a powerful local mob boss, Joe flees to the rum-running underworld of Tampa and plots his revenge. Opening January 13th (following an awards-qualifying run in Los Angeles and New York beginning December 25th), the film, written and directed by Affleck, stars Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, Chris Cooper, Elle Fanning, Chris Messina, Anthony Michael Hall, Brendan Gleeson, Scott Eastwood, and Titus Welliver.
Following 2013‘s Lone Survivor and this year’s Deepwater Horizon, Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg complete their American heroism trilogy with the December 21 release of Patriots Day, an account of the Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath. Based on the book Book Strong: A City’s Triumph Over Tragedy by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge. The film, a heartfelt tribute to Boston with an emphasis on action, earned good early reviews from its screening last night at AFI Fest.
Another look at likely Oscar nominee Jackie
The first English-language film from director Pablo Larrain (No, The Club) follows Jacqueline Kennedy (Natalie Portman) in the aftermath of her husband’s assassination. Jackie debuted to excellent reviews in Venice where it earned writer Noah Oppenheim the Best Screenplay award and generated lead actress awards buzz for Portman’s performance. Look for it in select theaters beginning December 2nd.
The Zookeeper’s Wife
Based on a true story and adapted from Diane Ackerman’s 2007 book, The Zookeepers Wife tells the story of Antonina Żabińska (Jessica Chastain). In 1939 Poland, Antonina and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh), run the Warsaw Zoo, but when the Nazis invade, they are forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Daniel Brühl). To fight back, Antonina and Jan join the resistance and save many lives. Directed by Niki Caro (Whale Rider), the film comes to theaters March 31, 2017.
Based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, Hidden Figures stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson, three African American women who were crucial to the success of NASA’s Mercury and Apollo missions. Directed by Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent) and boasting a supporting cast that includes Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Aldis Hodge, Mahershala Ali, and Glen Powell, the film will get an Oscar-qualifying limited release on December 25th before expanding nationwide on January 6th.
At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the latest from writer-director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, The Past) took best screenplay honors and earned Shahab Hosseini the best actor prize, but critics weren’t as quick to praise the film. Still, it has good reviews prior to its January 27 release and is Iran’s entry into the race for the foreign-language Oscar. The story follows Emad (Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti), a young couple living in Tehran, who are forced to move into a new apartment where an incident linked to the previous tenant of their new home changes the couple’s life.
With Monster Trucks, director Chris Wedge (Ice Age, Robots, Epic) makes the leap to live action, but he brings his animation skills with him for this story about the unlikely friendship between Tripp, a high school senior who loves to build monster trucks from spare parts, and Creatch, a subterranean creature who finds a new home in one of Tripp’s trucks. This January 13, 2017 release has a strong supporting cast that includes Jane Levy, Holt McCallany, Thomas Lennon, Barry Pepper, Amy Ryan, Danny Glover, Rob Lowe, Frank Whaley, and more monsters and trucks.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story comes to theaters on December 16th. Here’s the latest featurette.
Director Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro uses James Baldwin’s words to look at race in America. Find it in select theaters February 3rd.
Jackie Chan stars in Railroad Tigers as a railroad worker who leads a band of freedom fighters in an attack on an armed military train. Find it in theaters January 6, 2017.
Idris Elba stars in the ensemble drama 100 Streets, coming to select theaters and VOD on January 13, 2017.
News and notes
- Despite his recent retirement, Hayao Miyazaki wants to turn Boro the Caterpillar, a short he has been working on, into a feature film. He shouldn’t have to wait long to get the official green light. In the meantime, Spirited Away will return to theaters on December 4th for its 15th anniversary. - Anime News Network
- Matt Damon will reprise his Ocean’s Eleven character in a cameo in Ocean’s Eight. - ET
- Steve Carell is in talks to join Rob McElhenney’s Minecraft movie. - Variety
- Penelope Cruz has joined Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Michael Pena, Judi Dench and Josh Gad and director Kenneth Branagh in Murder on the Orient Express. - Deadline
- Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda) will direct the animated adaptation of Jeff Smith’s comic series Bone. - Heat Vision
- Paramount wants to reboot The Green Hornet with director Gavin O’Connor (The Accountant). - Deadline
- Ezra Edelman (O.J.: Made in America) will direct Jonah Hill in The Ballad of Richard Jewell, the man falsely accused of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic bombing. - THR
- Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) will direct an adaptation of Viktor Frankl’s WWII concentration camp memoir Man’s Search for Meaning. - THR
- Rebecca Hall, Kelly Macdonald, and Rob Brydon have joined Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in the comedy Holmes and Watson. - Variety
- According to Isla Fisher, a Wedding Crashers sequel is in the works. - Vulture