Welcome back from the long weekend for those of you that had Monday off for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday celebration.
We have a big week ahead with the Wednesdasy Inauguration of former VP Joseph R. Biden as the 46th President of the United States and former Senator Kamala Harris as the first-ever woman Vice President, as well as the first woman of color to ever achieve that level of office within our federal government.
In some ways, the biggest news over the weekend was the passing of music producer Phil Spector in a hospital after spending the past 12 years in jail for the murder of Lana Clarkson. It’s impossible to deny Spector’s contribution to music, and it’s tragic that he died of COVID at the age of 81 with his legacy marred by his legendary and highly-questionable behavior. Spector’s ex-wife , singer Ronnie Spector, called her former husband “a brilliant producer but a lousy husband.”
The popular BBC One crime series Peaky Blinders, which airs in the States on Netflix, will be coming to an end with its sixth season. The Cillian Murphy series, created by screenwriter Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) was one of the many TV series that was hit by issues due to the COVID pandemic, but filming is already underway for its final season.
In a statement, Knight promised it would be back in some form: “Peaky is back and with a bang. After the enforced production delay due to the Covid pandemic, we find the family in extreme jeopardy and the stakes have never been higher. We believe this will be the best series of all and are sure that our amazing fans will love it. While the TV series will be coming to an end, the story will continue in another form.”
The show’s Executive Producer Caryn Mandabach added: “Along with our wonderful, supportive, partners at BBC and Netflix, we have been working diligently to ensure we can get Peaky safely back into production; the safety of our cast and crew is always our priority. Thank you to all the Peaky fans who have been so unwaveringly supportive and patient. Steve’s scripts are incredible and mark the end of an epic story that has entranced audiences since it first started in 2013, but the world of Peaky Blinders will most definitely live on.”
The Suicide Squad (and Guardians of the Galaxy) director James Gunn has begun production on his Peacemaker spin-off series, starring John Cena, for HBO Max, sharing the news on his Twitter feed. Gunn has also said that the series will be quite R-rated, definitely more aligned with HBO’s original series than Warners’ tendency towards PG-13 fare.
It seems like every actor in Hollywood has been attached to one Marvel Studios movie or television show or another, something that’s becoming more and more true as Ethan Hawke has joined the Disney+ series, Moon Knight, as the title character’s primary villain. It’s scheduled to start filming in Budapest, Hungary in March with Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Synchronic) helming the pilot.
More cast has joined Working Title‘s What’s Love Got To Do With It?, directed by Shekhar Kupar (Elizabeth), with Lily James, Shazad Latif and Emma Thompson joined by Rob Brydon (The Trip), Shabana Azmi and Sajal Ali. The film is based on an original script by Jemima Khan (The Case Against Adnan Syed) and is currently filming in London.
You can read more about developments on these projects in Below the Line’s Production Listings.
Over the weekend, the IDA Documentary Awards announced their 36th annual awards with the Netflix doc Crip Camp, directed and produced by Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht, taking its award for Best Feature. Time director Garrett Bradley won the IDA for Best Director, while PBS‘s American Experience won for Best Curated Series and Last Chance U, also from Netflix, won Best Episodic Series. You can read the full list of winners at Documentary.org.
While many thought that Warner Bros‘ action sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, might win a third weekend at #1 at the box office, that honor instead went to the Liam Neeson action-thriller The Marksman, directed by Robert Lorenz and released by Open Road, which grossed $3.7 million over the four-day holiday weekend in less than 2,000 theaters. In fact, there are NO movies in more than 2,000 theaters since so many of them have shut down again due to COVID. It’s actually Neeson’s second #1 movie during the pandemic after Honest Thief — also released by Open Road — which opened with $4.1 million in 2,425 theaters in October and grossed $14.2 million total. That gives you some example of how badly movie theaters are failing to bring in audiences. Many are closing and even the ones still open are bringing in less business in general. Wonder Woman dropped to second place with $2.6 million over the three-day weekend but Universal Pictures‘ The Croods: A New Age continues to do quite well in third place with $2.9 million and $40.1 million total, despite already being available On Demand. The Paul Greengrass–Tom Hanks Western News of the World took fourth with $1.3 million and $8.7 million, although it also became available on VOD last Friday.
Those who read my Top 10 for 2020 will know that I’m a huge fan of Emerald Fennell‘s thriller Promising Young Woman, starring Carey Mulligan, and we’ll be covering the film’s crafts more over the next few months, but I wanted to point out a great interview with the film’s Production Designer Michael Perry by Variety‘s Jazz Tangcay, which you can read here.
We’re going to do something a little different for this week’s trailers, by sharing a couple for upcoming CBS series starting in February, the new version of The Equalizer, starring Queen Latifah, which will debut after the Super Bowl on February 7, and Clarice, the Silence of the Lambs sequel starring Maya McNair as Agent Clarice Starling, which premieres on February 11.