Did You Hear? is a weekly examination of headlines in the entertainment industry and a take on what they could mean for the future of the industry and (often), the little geeky bubble that we occupy!
CinemaCon was This Week
TL;DR CinemaCon is an industry convention where cinema proprietors and press get an opportunity to have studios present their upcoming slate of movies to them. This often includes advanced screenings, clips, cast announcements, title reveals, and more. As a result, a ton of stories broke this week from across the Hollywood fishbowl. Most of what I have to write about this week is a result of CinemaCon’s offerings – and there is a lot! – so let’s get to it!
I will caution you to read each of the following pieces at your own risk. We aren’t called “Major Spoilers” for nothing!
To begin …
Across the Spider-Verse Sneak Peek Post Delay
Last week we shared the sad news of Across the Spider-Verse being pushed all the way back in its scheduled release to June 2023. This didn’t stop Sony, apparently, who showed 15 minutes of unfinished footage at CinemaCon which several reporters promptly spoiled in their Twitter feeds.
Per Variety creative team Lord and Miller confirmed Across the Spider-Verse will expand beyond the confines of Miles Morales’ home dimension – not bound by the same restrictions as Into the Spider-Verse. The sequel apparently reaches into 6 dimensions and will feature 240 Spider-Man characters throughout the course of the film.
If you are playing along at home, Into the Spider-Verse featured 40 characters.
Here is everything Variety reported took place during the 15 minutes of footage:
“Across the Spider-Verse” starts on Earth-65, putting the spotlight on Gwen Stacy a.k.a. Spider-Woman (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld). While at home, she gets word that Adrian Toomes, the villain also known as Vulture, is wreaking havoc on the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan. She swings into action, finding the popular landmark in shambles and fending off the chaos around her.
“This is the dumbest way to die,” a sardonic Gwen Stacy says as she’s in Vulture’s grasp. She escapes and encounters Miguel O’Hara a.k.a. Spider-Man 2099 (voiced by Oscar Isaac). He’s not too thrilled with Gwen, scolding her because she “left a hole wide enough for guys like him [Vulture] to get shot into the wrong dimension.”
Not only does she meet a new Spider-Man, she comes face to face with another Spider-Woman, known as Jessica Drew (voiced by Issa Rae). Rae’s character is five months pregnant, but she does not know the gender because her partner wants it to be a surprise. “He’s corny,” she says.
Back on Earth as we know it — or, the anchor reality introduced in the first film — Miles Morales is still struggling with timeliness. We meet him in his Spidey suit trying to thwart some bad guys while also running late for a college counseling session. His oft-exasperated parents (voiced by Luna Lauren Velez and Brian Tyree Henry) are making excuses to his dry and problematic counselor (the hilarious Rachel Dratch). When Miles does finally drop in, his parents learn of his ambition to attend Columbia University — which Mom thinks is way too far from their native Brooklyn.
“Columbia is in New York,” he cries. “How is New York far from New York?”
It’s not long before Miles is called again to fight some neighborhood crime (which also ensnares his police officer father). As Mrs. Morales prepares to leave the session solo, the counselor looks to her and says in an ominous tone, “He’s lying to you. Your son is lying to you.”
Venom 3 Announced
Sony studio chief Tom Rothman also announced more Sony Spider-Man Universe movies are heading our way over the coming years in addition to the Madame Web and Kraven movies we already know are in the making.
Variety reported the third installment in the Venom franchise has been greenlit.
Sony Pictures has greenlit a third installment in the Tom Hardy-led “Venom” franchise, following the back-to-back box office successes of 2021’s “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” ($502 million globally) and 2018’s “Venom” ($856 million globally).
For those who are more Marvel-y minded I suppose this could herald an even greater possibility of seeing Tom Hardy’s Venom and/or Eddie Brock appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as was teased in a recent after-credits scene.
Ghostbusters Slated for Another Installment
Rothman also announced Ghostbusters will be getting another feather in their cap – a strong stance following the recent passing of Ivan Reitman. It appears the studio is as interested in righting the perceived wrongs of their past Ghostbusters soft-reboot-launches than diving into new territory.
The studio also announced plans for another “Ghostbusters” installment, which will serve as a follow-up to 2021’s reboot “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” ($200 million globally).
Much like Venom 3, no additional information was revealed at CinemaCon, simply an announcement of a project heading into development. Sadly there was no new news about the “Untitled Animated Ghostbusters Movie” which was announced back in 2015.
Avatar 2 is Finally Here
… and it has a title. Avatar: The Way of the Water is finally gasping for breath after eight or ten delays since it was first announced over a decade ago. Fun fact: the movie’s original release date was 2014. Other fun fact: the Avatar franchise is now owned by Disney following the studio’s acquisition of Fox.
According to Variety attendees were treated to a minute long teaser trailer which included the following:
Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, “Avatar: The Way of Water” begins to tell the story of the Sully family — Jake, Neytiri and their kids — and the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive and the tragedies they endure.
“I know one thing,” Sam Worthington’s Jake Sully tells Zoe Saldana’s Neytiri. “Wherever we go, this family is our fortress.”
This same trailer is set to play before the general public ahead of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness early next month.
Jon Landau, Avatar producer, had this to say about The way of Water in-person to attendees:
“We need to make sure [audiences]have an experience they can’t get anywhere else, and that needs to be exclusively in theaters.”
Harley Quinn Spins Out Kite Man
Amidst the CinemaCon news Variety broke the news of HBOMax and DC Comics expanding their adult animated offerings. Soon Harley Quinn: the Animated Series will not stand alone, but fan-favourite character – Kite Man – will soon join the Clown Princess of Crime with a show of his very own.
Don’t expect this series to be titled Kite Man, however, it has been announced the spinoff will be titled Noonan’s – after the Gotham City dive bar.
Variety confirms Harley Quinn creator Patrick Schumacker, Justin Halpern, and Dean Lorey will serve as executive producers alongside Sam Register with Kaley Cuoco also joining them. Lorey will serve double duty as Noonan’s showrunner.
The series will focus on lovable loser Kite Man and his new squeeze, Golden Glider, as they moonlight as criminals to support their foolish purchase of Noonan’s, Gotham’s seediest dive bar. Matt Oberg will reprise the role of Kite Man, whom he voiced on “Harley Quinn.” HBO Max has given the show a 10 episode order.
said executive vice president of original comedy and adult animation of HBO Max and Adult Swim, Suzanna Makkos:
“We love the wild and fun world of ‘Harley Quinn’ so much we just had to make a spin-off and who better to center it around than the outcast Kite Man. Justin, Patrick, and Dean have created the perfect local hangout for Gotham City’s not-so-finest at Noonan’s, where bar patrons can blow off steam after a long day of mayhem.”
Harley Quinn will debut its third season this summer, with no release date yet announced for Noonan’s.
Mario Movie Delayed
Closing out with another non-CinemaCon story, the upcoming Mario Movie being produced by Universal and Illumination Entertainment has been until 2023, Variety reports.
On Monday Nintendo leader Shigeru Miyamoto made the following announcement via Nintendo’s social media:
Nintendo of America on Twitter: “This is Miyamoto. After consulting with Chris-san, my partner at Illumination on the Super Mario Bros. film, we decided to move the global release to Spring 2023-April 28 in Japan and April 7 in North America. My deepest apologies but I promise it will be well worth the wait. / Twitter”
This is Miyamoto. After consulting with Chris-san, my partner at Illumination on the Super Mario Bros. film, we decided to move the global release to Spring 2023-April 28 in Japan and April 7 in North America. My deepest apologies but I promise it will be well worth the wait.
“Chris-san” refers to producer Chris Meledandri.
Yes, this is the very same Mario movie wherein Christ Pratt will voice the legendary video game plumber.