Last week, and over the weekend, tons of movie and TV related news caused a stir across the internet. So let me get my thoughts on it all out in one place.
EL CAMINO: A BREAKING BAD MOVIE
It’s true, Netflix blindsided everyone by dropping a teaser trailer for a “Breaking Bad” movie starring Aaron Paul.
“Breaking Bad” was a very bingeable TV show because no matter how much it bummed me out, something crazy would always happen at the end of each episode and then I had to find out what would happen next – and that goes without mentioning the top notch artistry and astounding performances. So while I find it a tad strange that Netflix ended up being the place this upcoming movie ended up, it means I might have to give Netflix another one month resub once it hits the streaming service.
Release date: October 11, 2019
Marvel announced too many things to cover here, so I’ll just reference a few of the things that interest me.
“Black Panther 2” is coming May 6, 2022. The first movie was very popular at the box office and was celebrated by critics for being a superhero movie featuring an entirely black cast and for being a movie that celebrated African culture. Considering how well it did for Marvel a second film was expected and likely one of the most anticipated pieces of the MCU’s phase 4.
A standalone Black Widow movie is coming May 1, 2020. While it’s exciting that Black Widow is finally getting her own stand alone film, it seems like a mistake to have waited so long to make it. In fact, in retrospect, following “Endgame,” it is my opinion that Marvel should have made a Black Widow led film in which, in the absence of Nick Fury, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) is the one everyone turns to to lead the Avengers. Then they should have followed that film up with a stand alone Hawkeye film in which, following the disappearance of his family, we see Clint Barton turn into Ronin. Positioned between “Infinity War” and “Endgame,” these two films could have fleshed out that 5 year time gap and made their final scene together all the more meaningful. But because they waited too long, Marvel forced themselves into a prequel scenario, and that hurts my interest in the film in a big way. I already know how things go for her after the film, which makes anything that happens in the upcoming prequel a bit of a moot point. But fans love the character, so I can’t imagine the film doing poorly at the box office.
“The Eternals” is coming to theaters on November 6, 2020. And to be honest, I don’t know anything about “The Eternals,” so I have nothing to say about it other than I like some of the actors they got to star in it. So that’s something.
Kevin Feige being done producing Spider-Man movies for the MCU is a bummer, but I like the fact that Sony stuck it to the man by refusing to give in to the Disney power house. Tom Holland will go on playing the character for Sony, but he won’t be in the MCU films going forward. The details of ownership and what’s what in regard to Spider-Man and other Marvel characters has always been a bit hard to follow, and the split between Sony and Disney won’t help going forward.
It would be wise of Sony to continue as best they can where this summer’s “Far From Home” left off considering it was Sony’s highest grossing film ever. But will they try to build the Tom Holland Spider-Man movies into a crossover with the “Venom” film? I still haven’t seen “Venom,” but I must say, I’m very on board for a movie featuring both Tom Hardy and Tom Holland. The big question remains, can the Spider-Man movies get over the third film blues? The third Spider-Man movie in the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire series was awful, and Marc Wbb’s Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movies tanked before getting to a third film. The divorce between Disney and Sony doesn’t bode well for Tom Holland’s chances to escape this trend, but we’ll have to wait and see.
STAR WARS NEWS
Now let me just admit where I’m at with the Disney “Star Wars” series right up front so we know where I stand. I was initially positive on “The Force Awakens,” but as was my concern then, I don’t think it has aged well, especially after “The Last Jedi.” I know the internet is very divided on TLJ, but don’t judge me too harshly for not liking the film. In fact, I have questioned my “Star Wars” fandom on the whole considering how little I’ve cared for either the prequels or any of the Disney produced “Star Wars” films. But don’t they cause quite a stir if you mention them on Twitter?
THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
I wasn’t terribly impressed by the first trailer, the new poster, or the new trailer that evidently shows Rey holding a confounding dual lightsaber with a – gasp – red tint to it (the practicality of which is most certainly in question – insert Ian Malcolm meme about never asking whether you should). Chances are this is nothing more than a “Luke-sees-his-own-face-in-Darth-Vader’s-mask” style vision of a possible future. Or perhaps J.J. Abrams has seen fit to fulfill the potential squandered by “The Last Jedi” to do something truly interesting with the force, the Jedi and the Sith – to question what one must do to literally find the balance to the force within oneself. Would Rey need dark side training to balance her light side training? Will “Star Wars” finally introduce shades of gray into its tired light vs dark, good vs evil, nothing ever changes universe?
Either way, the trailer indicates nothing of why “Rise of Skywalker” makes a sensible name for the final entry in this new trilogy. Nor does it give any indication as to why Abrams decided to bring back the long presumed dead Palpatine, a move that feels, from the outside looking in, either like admitting defeat about the decision to end Snoke before doing anything interesting with the character, or a desperation play to bring back the long time “Star Wars” fans turned off by Lucasfilm’s response to fan backlash over “The Last Jedi.” Either way the choice to bring him back, much like the unexplained state of things at the beginning of “The Force Awakens,” seems to lessen whatever victory we thought our heroes had won by the end of the original trilogy.
By the end of this new movie I suspect we’ll finally have learned whether or not sequels can have as profoundly negative effect on a series as prequels, and perhaps they’ll become equally unwanted in the future.
If any of these characters have resonated with you, you can find out how their story ends when “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker” premieres on December 20, 2019.
As a fan of Jon Favreau and Pedro Pascal, “The Mandalorian” TV series remains one of the few Disney Star Wars projects I’m cautiously optimistic for. The new trailer features a serious tone that I like, some beautiful cinematography and special effects that I also like, but gives no indication whatsoever as to what the story is actually about or who any of the characters are. It is, at most, a teaser meant to wet the appetite without giving much, if anything, away. We’ll have to wait for a more meaty trailer in the future that will have more to say about the series.
Either way, it’s coming November 12 to Disney’s new Disney+ streaming service. Ugh, another subscription service to add to the pile. Maybe I can use a free trial period to marathon the show.
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO JEFF GOLDBLUM
National treasure Jeff Goldbum will host this documentary series by NatGeo, in which he will attend conventions, and interview experts in everything from ice cream to tattoos. It’s a 12-episode series that will premiere on November 12 on Disney+. As a big fan of Jeff Goldblum, I would watch that quirky man explore the world and talk to people all day if I could. “The World According to Jeff Goldblum” will help with that.
That’s all for now. I know there’s plenty of other film and television news to discuss (more Marvel news in particular), but these were the big stories to me. Let me know if you agree or disagree with my take on these, and what didn’t I mention that has you excited?