With the release of 'Justice League' this week as Previewed below, and a slate of the DC Extended Universe characters set to grace our screens over the coming years, it seems that there is no shortage of Superhero action from both studios with enough back catalogue comic book fare to satisfy even the most discerning appetite. Here is a quick run down on what we know so far from DC for those upcoming films confirmed and in the works, giving us all something to look forward to, if big budget, epic spectacle and all out action is your thing.
* 'Justice League' - 16th November 2017 release date, Directed by Zack Snyder, starring Batman, Superman, Aquaman, The Flash, Cyborg and Wonder Woman (for more, refer below.)
* 'Aquaman' - 21st December 2018 release date, Directed by James Wan, starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren and Temuera Morrison.
* 'Shazam' - 5th April 2019 release date, Directed by David F. Sandberg, starring Zachary Levi and Mark Strong.
* 'Wonder Woman 2' - 13th December 2019 release date, Directed by Patty Jenkins, starring Gal Gadot.
* 'Cyborg' - 3rd April 2020 release date, no Director assigned yet, starring Ray Fisher.
* 'Green Lantern Corps' - 24th July 2020 release date, no Director assigned yet, with a cast yet to be announced.
Added to these, there are a swag full of films currently in various stages of development, but without a confirmed release date, Director or cast necessarily. These include :
* 'Batgirl', with Joss Whedon set to Co-Write, Produce and Direct.
* 'The Batman', with Matt Reeves set to Direct with Ben Affleck Co-Writing, Co-Producing and reprising his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne.
* 'Nightwing', with Chris McKay set to Direct, with the cast yet to be finalised.
* 'Suicide Squad 2', with Gavin O'Connor set to Direct with Margot Robbie and Jared Leto announced to reprise their roles at least.
* 'Lobo' with Brad Peyton set to Direct, with the cast yet to be finalised.
* 'Flashpoint', no Director as yet announced but starring Ezra Miller, Gal Gadot, Billy Crudup and Ray Fisher all announced to be reprising their roles from 'Justice League'.
* Also in development, with details being even more thin on the ground than those mentioned above, but in development nonetheless are 'Deathstroke', 'Black Adam', 'Justice League Dark', 'Justice League 2', 'Man of Steel 2' and standalone 'Suicide Squad' spin off's 'Harley Quinn vs. The Joker' and 'Deadshot'.
Turning back to this week there are four new release films coming your way, kick starting with a newly assembled league of Superheroes dispensing their own brand of justice to thwart an intergalactic foe; then there is a psychological horror thriller from an acclaimed, albeit left-field, Director; followed by a sporting Bio-Pic of a closely fought, nail biting, history in the making men's finals tennis match of 37 years ago; before wrapping up with a Doco on heroin dependency in one American community in particular.
Whatever your taste in big screen film entertainment is this week - be it any of the four latest release films as Previewed below, or those doing the rounds currently on general release and as Reviewed and Previewed in previous Blog Posts here at Odeon Online, you are here invited to share your movie going thoughts, opinions and observations by leaving your relevant, succinct and appropriate views in the Comments section below this or any other Post. We'd love to hear from you, and meanwhile, enjoy your big screen Odeon experience during the week ahead.
'JUSTICE LEAGUE' (Rated M) - and here finally after all the hype, the media attention and the speculation is the long awaited and eagerly anticipated fifth film in the DC Extended Universe following hot on the heels of 2013's 'Superman', 2016's 'Batman v. Superman : Dawn of Justice', and 'Suicide Squad', and 'Wonder Woman' earlier this year. Zack Snyder Directed 'Man of Steel' which grossed US$668M, and 'Batman v. Superman : Dawn of Justice' which grossed US$874M, David Ayer Directed 'Suicide Squad' which grossed US$746M and Patty Jenkins Directed 'Wonder Woman' which grossed US$822M. Once again Zack Snyder is back on Directing duty for this collective Superhero offering featuring a cast of DC characters thrust together for the first time in a live action instalment, an ensemble cast and a price tag of US$300M to bring to the big screen, making 'Justice League' one of the most expensive films ever made. But, I guess on the strength that the first four films cost a combined US$800M and grossed a collective sum total of US$3.1B, then this fifth film should represent a sure bet for the numerous Production Companies involved. A sequel to this film was scheduled for a mid-2019 release date, which has subsequently been pushed back to make way for a stand alone 'Batman' film.
'THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER' (Rated MA15+) - Co-Written, Co-Produced and Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos whose last film was the highly acclaimed dystopian black comedy 'The Lobster', here delves deeper into the troubled mind with this psychological horror film offering that had its World Premier at Cannes earlier this year in competition for the Palme d'Or where it took out the Best Screenplay Award. Here once again, Lanthimos has cast Colin Farrell as he did in 'The Lobster' as a highly regarded cardiovascular surgeon, Steven Murphy, who likes order, discipline and cleanliness in his personal and work life. Steven secretly befriends a teenage lad named Martin (Barry Keoghan) and bestows gifts and worldly advice upon the boy. Eventually Steven introduces Martin to his wife Anna (Nicole Kidman) and their two children Kim (Raffey Cassidy) and Bob (Sunny Suljic) who subsequently all begin to fall mysteriously ill. Martin reveals that this is his revenge for Steven letting his father die while being operated on by him three years previously and it will only end, when Steven fulfils a certain commitment that will bring his world crashing down around him. Also starring Alicia Silverstone, this film has garnered generally favourable Reviews albeit it is dark, unsettling and at times a tough watch.
'BORG vs. McENROE' (Rated M) - this Scandinavian Co-Produced historical biographical sports drama film is Directed by Janus Metz Pedersen and it opened at this years TIFF back in September. The film charts the on and off court intense rivalry between two tennis greats Bjorn Borg, the Swedish World #1 Tennis Champion here played by Sverrir Gudnason and John McEnroe, the American World #1 Tennis Champion, here portrayed by Shia LaBeouf as they battle it out for the Wimbledon crown in 1980. Going into that Tennis Men's Singles Final match on 5th July 1980 Borg has already won the Men's Singles Tournament four times and was defending his crown against McEnroe who had yet to win at The All England Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, England. This men's final is ranked by many as one of the greatest ever played. Also starring Stellen Skarsgard as Lennart Bergelin, Borg's Coach and tennis player in his own right. The film cost US$7.5M to make and has so far grossed US$17M since its release in Sweden and the UK in September, going on general release Stateside sometime in 2018.
'LOUIS THEROUX : HEROIN TOWN' (Rated MA15+) - Documentarian Louis Theroux here embeds himself in Huntington, West Virginia working alongside frontline emergency workers - a city stretched to the limits by widespread heroin abuse. Exploring this community where one in every ten babies born is addicted to opiates and the fatal overdose rate is thirteen time the national average, Theroux describes the film as being 'about the destruction of a community by over-prescription and Big Pharma. It also, like so many stories on highly dysfunctional behaviour, ends up being a meditation on family and love; the possibility of change and the limits of our control over those we are close to'. According to US Government data, heroin addiction now claims more lives than car accidents and gun crime and for the first time in more than twenty years, life expectancy is dropping - a decline in which the rise in fatal heroin overdose is a significant contributing factor. Theroux delivers this shocking thought provoking expose with his usual candour and empathy immersing the viewer more deeply into the world of the user than he has ever done before in his films or television episodes about drug addiction and its impacts.
With four new release films this week to tempt you out to your local Odeon, we take on a whole new assembled cast of Superheroes from that other Extended Universe, a man whose world implodes when he befriends a teenage lad, a couple of tennis greats going to head to head and making a racquet of it, and small town America and its dependency on a particular drug of choice. Remember to share your movie going thoughts with your other like minded cinephiles afterwards here at Odeon Online, and in the meantime, I'll see you sometime somewhere in the week ahead at your local Odeon.
-Steve, at Odeon Online-