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Over the Weekend 9/13/21: Venice Festival Winners, A Few TIFF Thoughts, and More News

September 13, 2021 08:45 | By

Happy Monday! It was a fairly busy weekend in terms of the movie and television business, although we don’t have a ton of news persé, because that was on the slower side.

The Creative Arts Emmys took place on Saturday and Sunday, and if you haven’t seen the results, you can read them at the links below:

Creative Arts Emmys Ceremony 1 – Below-the-Line

Creative Arts Emmys Ceremony 2 – Reality, Nonfiction, Animation

Creative Arts Emmys Ceremony 3 – Variety, Miscellaneous

Some sadder news from the weekend is that Eastbound and Down co-creator Ben Best died over the weekend at the age of 46, revealed in an Instagram post by the production company, Rough House Pictures.


Power of the Dog

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog (Netflix)

One major film festival ended as the Venice International Film Festival announced the winners for its annual awards from a jury led by Parasite director Bong Joon-ho that included Chloé Zhao and Cynthia ErivoAudrey Diwan‘s French abortion drama, Happening, won the Golden Lion prize with Paolo Sorrentino‘s The Hand of God receiving the second-place Silver Lion.

Penelope Cruz won Best Actress for her role in Pedro Almodovar‘s Parallel Mothers, which seems to put her on track for her fourth Oscar nomination. (She won in 2009 for Woody Allen‘s Vicky Cristina Barcelona.) John Arcilla won Best Actor for On the Job: The Missing 8, while Filippo Scotti received the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor/Actress for his role in The Hand of God.

Jane Campion won the Silver Lion for Best Director for her critically-acclaimed Western, Power of the Dog, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten DunstMaggie Gyllenhaal won the award for Best Screenplay for her adaptation of Elena Ferrante‘s novel, The Lost Daughter. Those two movies also look to be part of the awards conversations later this fall.

Up in Canada, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) kicked off with a number of high-profile world premieres, including the one for Universal Pictures‘s Dear Evan Hansen, which opened the fest. (We’ll have a review of it very soon.) I actually watched a few movies from TIFF virtually, and caught a number of great docs, including Julie Cohen and Betsy West‘s Julia about the legendary “French Chef” Julia Child, plus there were docs on two very different music icons, Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over and Penny Lane‘s Listening to Kenny G, about two very different recording artists.

Films involving a single character in a single location seemed to have gotten popular during the pandemic with Jake Gyllenhaal starring in Antoine Fuqua‘s thriller, The Guilty, an English language version of the 2018 Danish film by Gustav MollerNaomi Watts, another TIFF regular, starred in Phillip Noyce‘s thriller, Lakewood, that involves her character learning about a school shooting at her son’s school while out on a morning job. Rob Savage premiered the follow-up to his pandemic Zoom horror film, Host, with Dashcam, which played in the “Midnight Madness” track at TIFF.

I also got around to seeing Eva Husson‘s Mothering Sunday, which features a showstopping performance by  Odessa Young and lots of nudity by her and her co-star, The Crown‘s Emmy-nominated Josh O’Connor. I was similarly impressed by a rare lead role for Clifton Collins Jr and his performance in Clint Bentley‘s Jockey. Both of these movies will be released by Sony Pictures Classics later this year.


Shang-Chi

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Marvel/Disney)

After the amazing showing by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings over Labor Day weekend, things slowed down again, although the Marvel Studios superhero movie starring Simu Liu remained at #1 with $35.8 million in its second weekend, a drop of 52.5% from its opening.

Director James Wan returned to horror with his new movie, Malignant, which Warner Bros. released into 3,485 theaters concurrently with its HBO Max debut. The latter day-and-date decision seems to have bitten Warner Media on the butt once again, as Wan’s horror film debuted with just $5.6 million and was kept out of second place by 20th Century‘s Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds, which took in $5.8 million in its fifth weekend in theaters, crossing the $100 million mark with $101.8 million.  Even so, Malignant was all the talk over the weekend as people saw it in theaters or on HBO Max with no one agreeing if the movie was good, great, or terrible. Reviews for the movie came late in the week but were mostly positive.

Paul Schrader also got one of his widest releases in quite some time with The Card Counter, starring Oscar Isaac and Tiffany Haddish, which was released into 580 theaters by Focus Features. Despite decent reviews, the movie opened with just $1.1 million to take 8th place. The Kendrick Brothers-produced faith-based doc, Show Me the Father, released by Sony‘s AFFIRM Films into 1,073 theaters didn’t make much of a mark, opening in ninth place with $700,000.

The mountain-climbing doc, The Alpinist, opened with $221,000 in 173 theaters to end up outside the Top 10.


We have a lot of bits and bobs now, including some casting and television renewals.

First up, John Lithgow has joined the cast of the Apple Original Films/A24 thriller, Sharper, which is being directed by Benjamin Caron (The Crown) and stars Julianne Moore, Sebastian StanJustice Smith, and Briana Middleton. It’s based on the Black List script by Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka with a plot being kept under wraps, and principal photography began today in New York City.

Stephan James, the breakout star of Barry Jenkins‘ If Beale Street Could Talk will star opposite Lena Headey in the drama series, Beacon 23, for Spectrum Originals and AMC Networks.

Captain Carter (as voiced by Hayley Atwell) on Marvel's What If...? (Disney)

Captain Carter (as voiced by Hayley Atwell) on Marvel’s What If…? (Disney)

Announced this morning, Hayley Atwell (who played the title character in Agent Carter and recently voiced the character for Marvel’s What If…? animated series) was announced as the voice of Lara Croft in the new Tomb Raider anime series from Netflix and Legendary, based on the popular Square Enix game that has already led to three feature films, two starring Angelina Jolie and one starring Alicia Vikander.

Billy Bob Thornton will guest star on the Paramount+  series, 1883, a period drama that will act as a prequel to the hit Paramount Network series, Yellowstone, from Taylor Sheridan.

It’s probably little surprise that HBO has renewed the political talk show, Real Time with Bill Maher, through 2024.

Remember the Fox series, Cops, and how it was cancelled by the Paramount Network due to the anger over the police murders that took place in 2020? Well, it’s ba-ack!  It looks like Cops has found a new home at Fox Nation, the Fox News streamer, and it will return on Oct. 1 with 15 episodes for its 32nd season.

Do you know what’s starting the following day on October 2? The new season of Saturday Night LiveNBC announced the premiere of the 46th season just before the show added more Emmys to its long list of wins over the weekend at the Creative Arts Emmys.


There has been a lot of news about movies being delayed, and George Miller‘s action prequel, Furiosa, was the latest one as Warner Bros. pushed it back a year to Memorial Day weekend, May 24, 2024. Presumably, this is more due to production delays and scheduling than anything COVID-related.

On Friday, Walt Disney Studios released and updates its schedule for theatrical releases for the next three years, including four dates put on hold for unnamed movies from Marvel Studios in 2024, which we presume could include a sequel to Shang-Chi and a fourth Captain America movie, this one starring Anthony Mackie. It also dated The Little Mermaid, directed by Rob Marshall, for May 26, 2023, Memorial Day weekend.

More importantly, the success of Shang-Chi (and a lawsuit by Scarlett Johansson, presumably) has changed Disney’s mind about day-and-date for its release on Disney+ Premier Access, as it was announced that Chloé Zhao‘s Eternals will not go that route and will get a 45-day theatrical window before showing up on streaming or VOD.


Speaking of Disney and Disney+, this morning, the company released the first trailer for its upcoming Marvel series, Hawkeye, starring Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld. The series will debut on the streamer on November 24 aka Thanksgiving weekend, and the trailer definitely has a bit of a holiday flavor since apparently, the show will take place over Christmas.