Lionsgate bosses delay John Wick 4 release by a year

Lionsgate executives have postponed the release of John Wick: Chapter 4 by a full year. Studio officials announced a huge release calendar shake-up on Friday, revealing that they had pushed four of their films back by an entire year, including the four…

Lionsgate executives have postponed the release of John Wick: Chapter 4 by a full year.

Studio officials announced a huge release calendar shake-up on Friday, revealing that they had pushed four of their films back by an entire year, including the fourth instalment in the action franchise starring Keanu Reeves. It was originally due to be released in May 2021 but is now slated to hit cinemas in May 2022.

The delay comes as no surprise, as John Wick director Chad Stahelski recently told Collider he was expecting a new release date as Reeves had just begun shooting The Matrix 4 when production was shut down and he will need to complete that film before moving onto John Wick.

“The Matrix was only four weeks in when this all happened,” he said. “So, Keanu’s gotta go finish his commitment up on The Matrix, which is a big deal and which I think will probably take him until the end of the year. Then we have to go into our prep mode and then we’ll start. So release dates… who knows right now.”

Spiral, the latest film in the Saw horror franchise, has also been pushed back by a year. It was originally due to open in a couple of weeks, but will now fill the May 2021 gap left by John Wick.

In addition, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, the action-comedy sequel, has been moved from this August until August 2021 and Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo’s comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, which had been due this July, will now arrive in July 2021.

The only remaining Lionsgate films set for release this year are horror-drama Antebellum, starring Janelle Monae, which is slated to hit cinemas on 21 August, thriller Fatale, which debuts on 30 October, and sci-fi movie Voyagers, set for 25 November.

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The Hunger Games prequel movie in the works

A prequel to The Hunger Games movie franchise is in the works. Suzanne Collins’s popular young adult novel trilogy was adapted into four hugely successful films starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson between 2012 and 2015. O…

A prequel to The Hunger Games movie franchise is in the works.

Suzanne Collins’s popular young adult novel trilogy was adapted into four hugely successful films starring Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson between 2012 and 2015.

Officials at Lionsgate, the studio behind the franchise, announced on Tuesday that they would also be making a movie adaptation of Collins’s upcoming prequel novel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which is due to be released on 19 May.

“Suzanne’s new book has been worth the wait. It offers everything fans could hope for and expect from The Hunger Games while also breaking new ground and introducing an entirely new canvas of characters,” said Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, in a statement.

The new novel follows an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow, who would eventually rise to become the tyrannical ruler of the dystopian nation of Panem, and the central villain of the original Hunger Games series.

Snow, who was portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the franchise, is chosen to be a mentor for 10th annual Hunger Games, for a young girl from District 12, the future home of Lawrence’s heroine Katniss Everdeen.

Collins, who will also serve as an executive producer of the new film, added, “Lionsgate has always been the cinematic home of The Hunger Games, and I’m delighted to be returning to them with this new book.”

The prequel adaptation will serve a reunion for some behind-the-scenes crew. Francis Lawrence – no relation to Jennifer Lawrence – will return to the director’s chair after helming Catching Fire, Mockingjay – Part 1, and Mockingjay – Part 2, while Nina Jacobson, who produced all of the films in the franchise, will produce the latest film, along with her partner Brad Simpson.

Collins will write the film’s treatment and Michael Arndt, who previously helped write Catching Fire, will adapt the screenplay.

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Bad Boys for Life getting early digital release

Bad Boys for Life is the latest film to be heading to video-on-demand early as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The action-comedy, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, was unveiled in cinemas on 17 January and is currently the year’s highest-…

Bad Boys for Life is the latest film to be heading to video-on-demand early as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The action-comedy, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, was unveiled in cinemas on 17 January and is currently the year’s highest-grossing movie so far, having made $419 million (£356 million) at the worldwide box office.

However, its cinema run has been cut short due to movie theatres being forced to close in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19, so executives at Sony Pictures have decided to release it on video-on-demand early.

The movie, which served as a sequel to 1995’s Bad Boys and 2003’s Bad Boys II, will be available digitally from 31 March, 74 days after its cinema release, and on Blu-Ray and DVD on 21 April.

Most theatrical releases are usually not available for home entertainment for 90 days after debuting in cinemas. However, this has changed significantly as a result of the crisis, with films such as Onward, The Hunt, The Invisible Man, and Emma, which were all showing in cinemas when the closures happened, now being available to watch at home.

In addition to Bad Boys for Life, it was announced on Monday that British comedy Military Wives would be heading to “premium video-on-demand” platforms for a limited time from 27 March.

“The cinematic experience is key to our industry, and exhibitors continue to be our integral partners and allies. With cinemas closed nationwide due to the current climate, we want to continue to make Military Wives available to consumers,” Zygi Kamasa, chief executive of Lionsgate UK, said in a statement.

The movie, which stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan, was released in cinemas on 6 March.

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Rian Johnson: ‘Apple bosses won’t let bad guys use iPhones in films’

Rian Johnson has claimed Apple executives won’t allow bad characters to be seen using iPhones in films.The Star Wars: The Last Jedi director shared the filmmaking secret during a video interview with Vanity Fair in which he broke down a pivotal scene i…

Rian Johnson has claimed Apple executives won’t allow bad characters to be seen using iPhones in films.

The Star Wars: The Last Jedi director shared the filmmaking secret during a video interview with Vanity Fair in which he broke down a pivotal scene in his recent Agatha Christie-style whodunnit, Knives Out, which revolves around Daniel Craig’s detective Benoit Blanc investigating who killed crime novelist Harlan Thrombey.

He shed light on making the scene in which all the members of the Thrombey family converge in the mansion for the first time following Harlan’s death and revealed that you can tell who the villain of the piece is by looking at their mobile devices, as there is a reason why several characters were seen using an iPhone onscreen and one, in particular, was not.

“I don’t know if I should say this or not,” he said. “Not because it’s lascivious or something, but because it’s gonna screw me on the next mystery movie that I write. But forget it, I’ll say it, it’s very interesting. Apple, they let you use iPhones in movies, but, and this is very pivotal, if you’re ever watching a mystery movie, bad guys cannot have iPhones on camera. Every single filmmaker who has a bad guy in their movie that’s supposed to be a secret wants to murder me right now.”

Knives Out, which also starred Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, and Jamie Lee Curtis, was a critical and commercial success following its release in November.

It was recently announced that Johnson, who was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at this year’s Oscars, was working on a sequel that will follow Blanc as he investigates a new murder.

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Knives Out sequel officially in the works

Lionsgate executives have confirmed a sequel to Rian Johnson’s whodunnit Knives Out is a go.The murder mystery, which stars an ensemble cast including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Ana de Armas, has grossed nearly $300 million (£232…

Lionsgate executives have confirmed a sequel to Rian Johnson’s whodunnit Knives Out is a go.

The murder mystery, which stars an ensemble cast including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Ana de Armas, has grossed nearly $300 million (£232 million) worldwide since its release in November.

Johnson had previously expressed interest in making a sequel and reports have been swirling suggesting he was already working on a script, but the sequel was officially confirmed by Lionsgate chief executive Jon Feltheimer during an earnings conference call on Thursday, according to Deadline.

The Star Wars: The Last Jedi director told the publication in January he would be happy to continue the story.

“I had such a good time making it, such a great time working with Daniel, and now just seeing that audiences are responding to it, the idea of continuing it on seems like it would just be a blast,” he said. “But there’s a lot that has to happen before that can happen, first and foremost being writing a script. So, we’ll see.”

Johnson’s producing partner Ram Bergman also shared with The Hollywood Reporter that James Bond star Craig was eager to reprise the central role of private detective Benoit Blanc in another Agatha Christie-inspired film.

“Daniel had so much fun doing it, and he wants to do more,” Bergman said.

Knives Out has been a commercial and critical hit. It was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and Johnson has been nominated for an Oscar, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice Award, and Writer Guild of America (WGA) Award for Best Original Screenplay. At the Critics’ Choice Awards, he was beaten by Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, while at the BAFTAs and WGAs, he lost out to Bong Joon Ho for Parasite. The Oscars take place on Sunday.

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Rebel Wilson writes script for K-pop comedy Seoul Girls

Rebel Wilson has written the screenplay for upcoming K-pop comedy Seoul Girls. Executives at Lionsgate have obtained the rights to the comedy, which was written by the Pitch Perfect star before a recent revision by Billions writer Young-Il Kim, accord…

Rebel Wilson has written the screenplay for upcoming K-pop comedy Seoul Girls.

Executives at Lionsgate have obtained the rights to the comedy, which was written by the Pitch Perfect star before a recent revision by Billions writer Young-Il Kim, according to editors at Deadline.

The Australian actress will also produce and star in the film, which follows a Korean-American high school girl and her friends as they enter a worldwide talent competition to be the opening act for the world’s biggest K-pop boy band. Aided by the former member of a British girl group and an ex K-pop trainee, the Seoul Girls find their voices on the world’s biggest stage.

Wilson will produce via her Camp Sugar company alongside Alison Owen and Debra Hayward of Monumental Pictures, while Meredith Wieck and Scott O’Brien will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.

Seoul Girls will mark the 39-year-old’s feature screenwriting debut. She previously helped write Australian comedy shows The Wedge and Bogan Pride between 2006 and 2008 and her short-lived U.S. sitcom Super Fun Night, which ran from 2013 to 2014. She also helped produce her recent films, Isn’t It Romantic and The Hustle, a gender-flipped remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Wilson was recently seen on screen playing Fraulein Rahm in Taika Waititi’s Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit and will appear in the upcoming live-action movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical Cats, alongside Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, and James Corden.

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Michael Fassbender to star in spy thriller Malko

Michael Fassbender is set to headline and produce a film adaptation of the bestselling spy series S.A.S. The big screen production will be titled Malko and is based on Gerard de Villiers’ serialised novels, consisting of over 200 books. Oscar nominat…

Michael Fassbender is set to headline and produce a film adaptation of the bestselling spy series S.A.S.

The big screen production will be titled Malko and is based on Gerard de Villiers’ serialised novels, consisting of over 200 books.

Oscar nominated American Hustle screenwriter Eric Warren Singer will pen the script, while bosses at Lionsgate will develop the thriller into a possible franchise.

Fassbender will star as super spy for hire Malko Linge, an Austrian nobleman and CIA agent who endured imprisonment in a Nazi work camp for captured spies.

According to editors at Deadline, the first film will largely be based upon de Villiers’ book Checkpoint Charlie. The actor will work on the project as part of his production company DMC Film.

“We are enormously excited to be teaming with Greg Shapiro and Michael Fassbender as well as Lars Sylvest from Black Magic and Thorsten Schumacher from Rocket Science to develop Malko,” said Lionsgate president Joe Drake in a statement.

“This is a character with a tremendous 200 title library of amazing spy stories to draw from and we believe we have a world-class creative team in place with Michael and Eric Warren Singer as we move forward on this project.”

Currently starring in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Fassbender, 42, is next set to begin work on David Sandberg’s Kung Fury 2.

The S.A.S. book series has sold more than 120 million copies worldwide and have been translated into multiple languages.

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Lionsgate bosses keen to grab rights for Hunger Games prequel

Lionsgate bosses have hinted at plans for a Hunger Games prequel, based on Suzanne Collins’s upcoming book. Publishers at Scholastic have announced Collins’s untitled Hunger Games prequel novel will be released in May 2020, and Joe Drake, the chairman…

Lionsgate bosses have hinted at plans for a Hunger Games prequel, based on Suzanne Collins’s upcoming book.

Publishers at Scholastic have announced Collins’s untitled Hunger Games prequel novel will be released in May 2020, and Joe Drake, the chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, has quickly confirmed his company is interested in the rights.

“As the proud home of the Hunger Games movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s next book to be published,” he said in a statement. “We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to work closely with her on the movie.”

The prequel will be set six decades before the events of the original Hunger Games trilogy, which introduced the world to literary heroine Katniss Everdeen.

“With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival,” Collins added. “The reconstruction period 10 years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days – as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet – provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity.”

Lionsgate executives turned the three bestselling books into four hit movies, starring Jennifer Lawrence as Everdeen. Debuting in 2012, the films ranked in $3 billion at the worldwide box office.

Film producer Nina Jacobson also took to Twitter to weigh in on the news, leading to speculation she may be involved with the upcoming project.

“Cat’s out of the bag,” she posted.

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John Wick 4 confirmed for 2021 release date

The next chapter in Keanu Reeves’ John Wick franchise is to be released in 2021.Following the release of the third instalment of the series, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, earlier this month, executives at Lionsgate confirmed on Monday that they ha…

The next chapter in Keanu Reeves’ John Wick franchise is to be released in 2021.

Following the release of the third instalment of the series, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, earlier this month, executives at Lionsgate confirmed on Monday that they have greenlit another film, currently titled John Wick: Chapter 4.

The flick is slated for release on 21 May 2021, with the news first announced via a text message to fans who had signed up for news about the movies, with the note reading, “You have served. You will be of service. John Wick: Chapter 4 is coming – May 21, 2021.”

No other details regarding the cast or plot were shared.

The third feature in the neo-noir action franchise saw Reeves return as the titular character, with Chad Stahelski back directing. Also starring Halle Berry, Laurence Fishburne, Anjelica Huston, and Ian McShane, the narrative focuses on ex-hitman Wick as he discovers himself on the run after killing a member of an international assassin’s guild.

The film, which was shot in New York City, Montreal, and Morocco, has received positive reviews from critics, especially in regards to fight choreography, aesthetics and Reeves’ performance. On its opening weekend, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum grossed $57 million (£44 million) in the United States and Canada, and $35 million (£27 million) in other territories, for a worldwide total of $92 million (£72 million).

In addition to working on the new film, Reeves has a busy slate of projects at present. He is in the pre-production stages of movies The Starling and Rally Car, and is set to reprise one of his most famous roles – time-travelling layabout Ted Logan – in a new Bill & Ted movie.

The 54-year-old has also been attached to play John Rain in upcoming TV series Rain, and recently shared in a chat with Variety that he would like to play demon hunter John Constantine in a follow-up to his 2005 film Constantine.

“I’ve always wanted to play John Constantine again. I just love that world, too, and I love that character,” he commented.

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Salma Hayek signs first-look production deal

Salma Hayek is expanding her production resume by signing a first-look deal with bosses at Lionsgate. The Frida star and her producing partner Jose ‘Pepe’ Tamez will develop Spanish and English-language films under her Ventanarosa Productions banner. …

Salma Hayek is expanding her production resume by signing a first-look deal with bosses at Lionsgate.

The Frida star and her producing partner Jose ‘Pepe’ Tamez will develop Spanish and English-language films under her Ventanarosa Productions banner. They will also produce movies for Lionsgate’s Pantelion Films.

“I’m very grateful to begin this new phase of my partnership with Lionsgate,” she says. “They have built a tremendous rapport with mainstream and underserved audiences alike and their willingness to push the envelope with films that reflect a bold and authentic creative vision fills me with great excitement. I couldn’t have found a better home.

“I look forward to the adventure of working with a team that makes me feel heard and respected and that celebrates diversity and the female point of view.”

Salma and Lionsgate bosses previously teamed up on 2017’s How to Be a Latin Lover, in which she starred alongside Eugenio Derbez. She also produced Septembers of Shiraz, The Prophet, TV series Ugly Betty, The Maldonado Miracle, Frida, and In the Time of the Butterflies.

“Salma is an artist with a distinct and powerful voice whose projects resonate with audiences around the world, and we’re thrilled to partner with her and Jose on films that reflect their unique creative vision,” Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chair Joe Drake says.

“(Salma) is a major superstar who has shown that great film and television properties transcend language and cultural boundaries,” Pantelion Films CEO Paul Presburger adds. “Pantelion’s priority is to super-serve the growing Spanish-language and bilingual market with premium, enjoyable and relatable content. We look forward to partnering with Salma and Pepe on exciting new projects for our future slate.”

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