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HomeIndustry SectorFilmOver the Weekend 10/11/21: Nolan's Oppenheimer Gets Lead, Timothée Chalamet as Wonka,...

Over the Weekend 10/11/21: Nolan’s Oppenheimer Gets Lead, Timothée Chalamet as Wonka, and More News


Happy Columbus Day and/or Italian Heritage Day and/or Indigenous Peoples Day! Like many, I forgot it was a holiday today, but only because September has been so busy for me, it seems like Labor Day was just last week.

It wasn’t a particularly busy weekend, though, with most of the news and trailers coming from the return of the New York Comic Con to the Javits Center in (you guessed it) New York City.

There hasn’t been much word on negotiations between IATSE and AMPTP, although IATSE Pres. Matthew Loeb released a statement to members saying that it will be “a matter of days, not weeks” before there’s either a deal or a strike. IATSE also told members to “disregard any information you read in the press,” so…. moving along…

Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy in Inception (Warner Bros.)

You might remember that there’s been a bit of news over the past couple weeks about Christopher Nolan‘s next film, which he had been shopping around Hollywood before ending up with Universal Pictures  — this is after decades the filmmaker had spent with Warner Bros. Pictures. That untitled movie about the creation of the atomic bomb now has a title — Oppenheimer, after the film’s lead character, J. Robert Oppenheimer. It’s also official now that long-time Nolan regular, Cillian Murphywill play the title role, and Universal has already set a release date, July 21, 2023. Nolan has also been guaranteed that his movie will have a 100-day theatrical window before being released in other formats, which is closer to the older 3-month theatrical windows from the past. Most movies, even major blockbusters, don’t last that long just because there isn’t that much interest in a movie after three months, but hey, Nolan has a proven track record — Tenet aside — so his new distributor is gonna play ball.

Back at Nolan’s former home, young actor Timothée Chalamet, whose upcoming Dune will be released in North America next week, tweeted the first picture of himself as the title character in the WB’s Wonka prequel, directed by Paul King (Paddington).

Releasing the same day as Dune is The French Dispatch, the latest from Wes Anderson, and over the weekend, it was announced that his next Spain-based film has been given a title, and it’s (wait for it)… Asteroid City. Okay, then.

Sadly, we had a few deaths over the weekend, too.

Actor Granville Adams, who appeared on two Tom Fontana series, Oz and Homicide, has died at the age of 58 after losing his battle with cancer, which was revealed by the actor on his own Instagram last December. News of Adams’ death was announced by Fontana, saying, “Goodnight, sweet prince/and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest,” with a photo of the actor.  Adams’ Oz co-star, Dean Winters, created a GoFundMe page to help cover Adams’ medical costs, on which Fontana wrote, “As many of you know, our friend and brother Granville Adams has been diagnosed with cancer. In only a few months, the medical bills have skyrocketed to astronomical levels. Not only does he have to battle this ruthless disease, but now he has to fend off the hospital bills the insurance company refuses to pay.”

As mentioned above, there wasn’t a ton of actual news this weekend, although we have a few bits and bobs from Friday, including a couple things we may have missed.

That 70s Show
Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp on That ’70s Show (Fox)

On Friday, Netflix announced that the creators of the hit Fox series, That ’70s Show, which brought us the likes of Topher GraceAshton KutcherMila Kunis, and Laura Prepon, will return with the new series, That ’90s Show Gregg Mettler, an alum from the earlier show, will serve as showrunner with original series creators, Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner acting as exec. producers, along with Lindsey TurnerKurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp will reprise their roles from the original show and also serve as exec. producers for the 10-episode first season.  Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner will also be EPing for The Carsey-Werner Company.

The logline for the new show is: “Hello, Wisconsin! It’s 1995 and Leia Forman, daughter of Eric and Donna, is visiting her grandparents for the summer where she bonds with a new generation of Point Place kids under the watchful eye of Kitty and the stern glare of Red. Sex, drugs and rock ’n roll never dies, it just changes clothes.”

A24 is staying in the Emma Stone business after releasing The Favourite a few years back, as the distributor will finance and produce Jane Schoenbrun‘s I Saw the Glow, the writer/director’s follow-up to their Sundance hit, We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, along with Stone’s Fruit Tree. Stone will produce with Dave McCary and Ali Herting through Fruit Tree, along with Sarah Winshall with Smudge Films (who produced World’s Fair), and Sam Intili. A24 is financing and handling worldwide releasing. A24 and Fruit Tree also collaborated on Jesse Eisenberg‘s directorial feature debut, When You Finish Saving the World, starring Julianne Moore and Finn Wolfhard, and Stone is also starring in Benny Safdie‘s The Curse for Showtime, through A24.

Fresh off of her 2nd Primetime Emmy win, Claire Foy will star in Doomsday Machine, a scripted drama series taht focuses on tech giant Facebook, in which she will play the company’s COO Sheryl Sandberg. The project comes from Anonymous Content and wiip, and it’s created by Homeland Elegies author, Ayad Akhtar, based on Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang’s bestselling book An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination, which was based on the duo’s reporting for the New York Times, along with The New Yorker‘s Andrew Marantz. The book was published by Harper Collins imprint Harper this past July, as it chronicles “the political and social minefields Facebook has navigated on its relentless quest for growth. It focuses on Sandberg (Foy) and Mark Zuckerberg, who have been shaping the way that billions of people around the world communicate and consume information.” It covers the period before the 2016 election, and it couldn’t be a more timely announcement considering that Facebook is back under fire due to whistleblower Frances Haugen‘s testimony before the Senate last week.

Subscribing to our Production Listings is a great way to keep on top of projects like the above.


No Time to Die
Daniel Craig in No Time to Die (MGM)

Getting into this weekend’s box office, MGM Pictures was finally able to release No Time to Die, the 25th James Bond movie and Daniel Craig‘s final foray as the MI6 super-spy after multiple COVID-related delays. The movie had previews on both Wednesday and Thursday nights, which added up to a North American start of $6.3 million, which was incorporated into the movie’s Friday box office of $23.3 million. The movie played in 4,407 theaters over the weekend to end up with an estimated $56 million (actually estimated at $56.007 million… ha ha) in its first three days. This is considerably less than what many thought it would make based on the success of Sony Pictures‘ Venom: Let There Be Carnage last weekend. That is actually the lowest opening for a Bond movie since Craig’s first, Casino Royale, in 2006, which could point to franchise fatigue as much as it can be due to COVID.

Venom dropped to second place with a 65% from its pandemic record-breaking opening last week to take second place with $32 million. It has grossed $141.7 million domestically, which puts it in line to catch up to at least one of the 2021 Marvel Studios releases, but like Bond, it has a lot of competition for adult males over the coming weeks.

MGM’s other release, The Addams Family II, held up better in its second weekend with $10 million in third place, down just 42%, with $31.4 million grossed domestically so far. Warner Bros’ Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark, took a massive plunge in its second weekend, down 69% to fifth place with just $1.5 million. It has grossed $7.4 million, probably not helped by its presence on streamer HBO Max.

A24 got a nice surprise this weekend as its Icelandic fantasy-thriller, Lamb, directed by Valdimar Jóhansson and starring Noomi Rapace, broke into the top 10 at #7 with an estimated $1 million in 583 theaters. You can correct me if I’m wrong, but this might be the first Icelandic language film to make it into the top 10 EVER???

The new Bond also has crossed the $300 million mark globally with $89.4 million in its sophomore frame overseas in 66 markets shared by MGM with Universal, the latter opening the movie in France (earning $10.6 million on 1,056 screens) and Russia, where it ended up opening below the 2nd weekend of Venom.  The latter added another $24.8 million in 13 markets, most of that coming from its opening in Latin America. That gives Venom $185.6 million globally with a ton of other markets to open. Warners’ Dune has grossed $117 million, adding another $8.8 million in 32 markets over the past weekend.

As far as trailers, we have a couple teaser trailers for upcoming fan-driven shows, courtesy of the aforementioned New York Comic-Con, beginning with the first teaser trailer for the fourth season of the popular Star Trek: Discovery series, which will debut on Paramount+ on Nov. 18.

Also, the popular STARZ series, Outlander,  also saw a teaser trailer debut at NYCC for its upcoming 6th season, which will hit the cable network in “early 2022.”

Oh, let’s do one more trailer, just because I’m so excited for Edgar Wright‘s upcoming, Last Night in Soho … so excited that I don’t want to watch another trailer before I have a chance to actually watch the movie. This is the final UK trailer, but the horror-thriller will hit North American theaters on Oct. 29.

Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas has written about movies for print and the internet for over 20 years, specializing in box office analysis, reviews, and interviews. Currently, he writes features for Below the Line and Above the Line, acting as Associate Editor for the former and Interim Editor for the latter.
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