Beyond the Screen #8

We take a look back at news of note in the world of film.

Disney Has a New ‘Let It Go’

Disney has failed to submit their latest break-out hit for Best Original Song at the Oscars, and they might be kicking themselves for it. We Don’t Talk About Bruno, from the Encanto soundtrack, has proven to be a top 5 Billboard charting hit, as the film enjoys a second wave of relevancy following its premiere on Disney Plus. This represents Disney’s biggest single since Let It Go. The song, written by the busiest songwriter in moviedom; Lin Manuel Miranda, and sung by an ensemble cast making up the film’s central family, is currently placed at number 4, and could well climb higher still in the coming weeks.

Scream Launches 2022 Box office

There aren’t many major releases for January, but Scream was certainly the one to watch for audience draw. And watch it they did, as the fifth film in the series earned a solid $30,018,805 domestically over the Martin Luther King Holiday weekend. The series has always dabbled in meta-commentary and sly winks at its “popcorn horror” status, but people have responded much more appreciatively to this self-deprecating take then to the latest Matrix film, which was dragged through the mud for its meta nature. Scream has also managed the difficult task of finally out-grossing Spider-man: No Way Home (which is in its fourth week and is reluctant to slow down), though worldwide No Way Home was still the week’s top grosser. The only film released before Scream this year which stood a chance at making an impact was The 355, an all-star ensemble spy film, which flopped with a $ $4,621,765 opening. The cast includes Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz, Fan Bingbing, Diane Kruger, and Lupita Nyong’o, but this talent pool was not enough to salvage the film, which was not received well by audiences or critics.

The Godfather Rereleases for 50th Anniversary

Paramount will rerelease the classic in multiple countries to commemorate the occasion. The entire trilogy has been restored and will also be receiving the 4K UHD box-set treatment, featuring a hardcover book. This follows the recent recut version of Godfather 3, titled Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.

Disney Ups Spending

For the 2022 fiscal year, cartoonishly loaded conglomerate Disney will be spending $33 billion dollars on content, up from around $25 billion in 2021. Most of this content will go to rounding out the company’s streaming services, to suggest greater value for money, especially in terms of allocation to their expanding field of sports content, provided for ESPN Plus. The announcement, paired with Disney’s recent placement of yet another Pixar film (Turning Red) direct to streaming continues to indicate a focus on the performance of Disney Plus.

Hunt On for Oscars Host

Thankfully, ABC has chosen to select a host for this year’s Academy Awards. At the very least, this has spurred some public debate; many have suggested Tom Holland, who could bring in a younger crowd (others going so far as to suggest all three Spider-Man actors reunite for the ceremony). Picking a popular host is key for the network; ratings for Hollywood’s most star-studded night have been plummeting for years. There have been rumours about Pete Davidson being eyed, though Variety reports that chances are slim considering the SNL star is affiliated with rival network NBC. Other suggestions include the trio of Only Murders in the Building stars; Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short. The debate initially sprang up after the Academy’s Twitter account posted: “Hypothetically, if we asked you who would you want to host the Oscars, and this is strictly hypothetical, who would it hypothetically be?”.

Spike Lee to Receive Highest Honor at DGA’s

Spike Lee, inseparable from and a gift to modern cinema, will be the latest recipient of the Director’s Guild of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Motion Picture Direction. Lee joins the ranks of only 35 other filmmaking masters, including Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa, Steven Spielberg, Ingmar Bergman, David Lean, John Huston and Stanley Kubrick. Said Lesli Linka Glatter, president of the Guild; “Icon. Trailblazer. Visionary. Spike Lee has changed the face of cinema, and there is no single word that encapsulates his significance to the craft of directing. From his groundbreaking Do the Right Thing, BlacKkKlansman, and everything in-between, to his signature ‘double dolly’ shot, Spike is an innovator on so many levels. His bold and passionate storytelling over the past three decades has masterfully entertained, as it held a stark mirror to our society and culture. And while he is no stranger to huge commercial success, he is also the beating heart of independent film. Even as countless filmmakers call Spike their mentor and inspiration, he continues to devote his time to teaching future generations how to make their mark. We are thrilled to present Spike with the DGA’s highest honor.”

Daniel Radcliffe to Play Weird Al in Biopic

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story has been co-written by Yankovic himself, and Eric Appel, best known for directing Son of Zorn and Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, a 3-minute parody trailer that could give us a good indication of what to expect from the upcoming feature. If the tongue-in-cheek sketch’s mockumentary style isn’t enough to convince you, a press release also guarantees a look into Al’s “torrid celebrity love affairs and famously depraved lifestyle”. The film should release just in time for Yankovic to make good on his promise of releasing a film once every 33 years.