Beyond the Screen #11: The Power of the Dog, BAFTAs, The Batman, Star Wars, Apollo 10 1/2 and Florence Pugh

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

The Power of the Dog Wins Best Film at the BAFTAS

The (thankfully in-person) event opened with a booming rendition of ‘Diamonds are Forever’ by Dame Shirley Bassey to mark the 60th anniversary of the Bond franchise, before handing over to host Rebel Wilson to begin the ceremony proper. Best Film and Director were unsurprising continuations of The Power of the Dog and Jane Campion’s conjoined awards sweep, though Belfast did manage to get some love on its own turf in the Outstanding British Film category, and precisely nowhere else. Just as surefire were the wins of Drive My Car, Summer of Soul and Encanto in the Film Not in the English Language, Documentary and Animated Film Categories.

Licorice Pizza took home Best Original Screenplay, while CODA triumphed in the Best Adapted Screenplay category amid stiff competition. Whilst The Harder They Fall surprised by outdoing one-take-film Boiling Point for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer, the biggest upsets were condensed to the Acting Categories, especially when Britain’s own Joanna Scanlan, largely overlooked by the voting bodies of other Awards ceremonies, took down the likes of Lady Gaga, despite the latter’s extensive campaign-work.

Will Smith’s first time being nominated was indeed the charm, while Troy Kotsur nabbed Best Supporting Actor, paving the way for both Actors to make late season comebacks at the Oscars. Ariana Debose’s win for Supporting Actress was as thoroughly expected as it was deserved, and likely played a hand in the film’s win for Best Casting. Dune cleaned up in the technical categories (Cinematography, Production Design, Sound and Special Visual Effects), as well as garnering Hans Zimmer’s first win (and tenth nomination) for Best Original Music. Costume Design went, as seemed inevitable, to Cruella, though, in the latest of a long line of slights towards House of Gucci, it was The Eyes of Tammy Fae that took home Best Make Up and Hair. It would have been a shame for No Time to Die to walk away empty-handed from a ceremony which began by paying tribute to the 007-legacy, but lucky enough the film boasts a win for Best Editing and Lashana Lynch’s EE Rising Star Award, bestowed by the public.

Major Delays for Warner

Seinfeld co-creator and legendary comedian Larry David has pulled his upcoming documentary from release one day before its HBO Max premiere. Making the announcement on Twitter, HBO explained that the famously finickity comic has scrapped the original sit-down interview format of the doc, since he now wants to “do it in front of an audience”. The film’s original trailer has gone private on YouTube.

The Dwayne Johnson-starring DC League of Superpets and Black Adam have both been delayed to 29 July and 21 October respectively, per an announcement made on The Rock’s own Instagram. This comes after Warner’s schedule shuffle pushing back both Aquaman 2 and The Flash to next year due to Covid-related production delays, plus Shazam! Fury of the Gods and 2023’s Wonka have moved as well (audiences will be getting the sequel to Shazam early as a Christmas gift per Warner Bros.’ Jeff Goldstein).

Florence Pugh and Austin Butler in Talks for Dune Sequel

Pugh is up for the role of Princess Irulan, daughter to Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV, a Benne Gesserit, and key player in the second half of Paul Atreides’ (Timothée Chalamet) story. Pugh is reportedly “waiting to see the script” but may be fully booked during the film’s Summer-shoot, since she’s also up for the lead in the upcoming Madonna biopic. Austin Butler, himself starring as Elvis in the King’s biopic, is in talks for the part of Feyd-Rautha, whose resentful brother (Dave Bautista) we’ve already been acquainted with in the Dune Part One. Heir-apparent to the throne of the villainous Harkonnens, the sadistic warrior was memorably portrayed by Sting in the 1984 David Lynch adaptation.

The Batman Scores First $100 million+ Domestic Opening of 2022

After Uncharted managed to pull its weight at the box office on February 18th, expectations were high for the latest entrant into the DC-canon; it’s safe to say that comic book movies seem to be facing little competition in theaters. The Batman brought in $134,008,624 for its opening weekend in the US, reaching a $463 million global total by its second weekend. This marks the second highest opening since the start of the pandemic, with a low second weekend drop that speaks to the film’s positive reception, in no small part due to Matt Reeves’ gritty take on the character, played (or maybe inhabited) formidably by Robert Pattinson. The viability of non-IP-driven films at the current box office remains shaky, but all eyes are on Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum adventure comedy The Lost City as the next potentially splashy release.

Star Wars and Linklater on the Trailer Circuit

Richard Linklater’s first film for Netflix has received its first trailer. Apollo 10 ½ so named in reference to the movie’s marginally autobiographical nature resembling Fellini’s 8 ½, follows the late ’60s childhood of Stanley, at the center of ruminations narrated by Jack Black, who informs us that his younger self was selected by NASA to man an invertedly pint-sized lunar module on the first mission to the moon. The film seems to be embracing Linklater’s penchant for hangout movies and incorporates the roto-scope-esque animation style of the directors previous animated outings, albeit with a little bit more polish.

The much-anticipated Obi-wan Kenobi TV series will stream exclusively on Disney+, and the show’s first teaser gives us a look at the Ewan McGregor’s return as the beloved Jedi ten years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, alongside Hayden Christensen once again as Darth Vader. Far more exciting than any plot developments, the trailer confirms that the series won’t be confined only to yet another desert setting, as the neon-drenched cityscapes of ‘Daiyu’ also make an appearance, alongside fan-favorite Star Wars Rebels antagonist The Grand Inquisitor.

And on the front of Thor: Love and Thunder, entering reshoots as its July release date looms, we’ve yet to see a poster, let alone a trailer, for the film. Fans speculate material is being kept thoroughly under wraps to keep from a Spider-man: No Way Home-style barrage of speculation which could stand to spoil key developments in the MCU.