Beyond the Screen #27 – Avatar Trailer, E.T. On Sale, Babylon’s Supersized Runtime, Superman Returns Again

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

Henry Cavill Back as Superman

Following a five-year hiatus and a secret mid-credits cameo in DC’s latest, Black Adam, Henry Cavill is confirmed to be returning to the role of Superman for the foreseeable future at DC studios, now under new management. This news may have been more surprising, were the cameo not heavily hinted at by the star of Black Adam, Dwayne Johnson, throughout much of the film’s press engagements. Cavill gave a minor indication as to the direction the character may take in future instalments: “There is such a bright future ahead for the character, and I’m so excited to tell a story with an enormously joyful Superman.”

Jeff Goldblum as The Wizard of Oz for The Wiz

Goldblum has been officially, and appropriately, cast in the upcoming, two-part The Wiz film adaptation by John Chu, director of In the Heights, in the role of the Wizard of Oz himself. However, in The Wiz, the Wizard is portrayed as a despicable conman, far from the affable goofball seen in the 1939 classic.

Original E.T. Animatronic to be Auctioned Off

The auction, arranged by Turner Classic Movies and Julien’s Auctions, also features a selection of several other props from classic Hollywood (including dresses worn by Marilyn Monroe, the staff used by Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments, gloves and shorts worn by Robert De Niro in Raging Bull and a broomstick from the Harry Potter films), though the E.T. “hero” model which made up the majority of the character’s screen time. The prop is estimated to sell for between 2 and 3 million dollars.

Avatar: Way of the Water Trailer and Runtime

The trailer plays more or less as an extended version of the previously released teaser, featuring little in the way of additional elements, characters or settings. This comes shortly after news of the film’s hefty 3 hour and 10-minute runtime. Being as long as it is, it’s a wonder that Cameron felt confident in having enough material for another 4 films down the line.

Black Panther: Wakanda ForeverWorld Premiere Reactions

The film’s premiere was attended not only by industry insiders, but also by a select few (who no doubt were screened to ensure the maximum likelihood of a positive reaction) who have shared their thoughts to social media. Among them: “Black Panther: #WakandaForever is as epic as Marvel sequels get. The story is hugely ambitious & thematically rewarding with gut-wrenching twists and turns throughout. You feel the length but it’s fun, wildly beautiful and has the best credits scene in Marvel history, no contest.” Another reads: “#WakandaForever is fantastic! Coogler delivers a soulful, wondrous sequel that packs an emotional punch & effectively explores relevant world themes. A beautiful tribute to Boseman’s legacy. Letitia; Tenoch are great, & the mid-credits scene is really moving. #BlackPanther”.

Several remark upon the film’s reverence for the late Chadwick Boseman: “Black Panther Wakanda Forever makes it clear how precious Chadwick Boseman and T’Challa were to the MCU. Without him, the film sometimes yearns for a heartbeat. It finds it at just the right moments, and it’s exhilarating. I can’t wait to see it again”, “Wakanda Forever will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. While Chadwick’s absence is felt, the cast’s performance is phenomenal. The journey and mourning each cast goes through is felt through the film. Tons of action! Namor is fantastic.”, while others stress its uniquely emotional (for the MCU) tone: “#WakandaForever is outstanding. It handles loss, grief and revenge with a maturity and seriousness rarely seen in the MCU. Black Panther continues to be their crown jewel. Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett and Tenoch Huerta all bring some of the best acting I’ve seen all year.”

The film’s marketing campaign has come into full effect, including the release of its official tie-in song by Rihanna, her first solo outing in years.

Completed Kanye West Documentary Scrapped

Television Studio MRC has issued a statement declaring their intention to halt the distribution of their completed documentary centred on the artist. “This morning, after discussion with our filmmakers and distribution partners, we made the decision not to proceed with any distribution for our recently completed documentary about Kanye West. We cannot support any content that amplifies his platform.” The move comes following a spate of dissociations by major brands from the artist in response to recent anti-Semitic remarks made via Twitter and stated to the press, along with a series of apparent delusions including the belief that actors in the roles of “fake children” have been placed in his home.

New Image of Johnny Depp as Louis XV

Jeanne Du Barry (or La Favorite) will loosely chronicle the life of… Jeanne du Barry, final mistress to Louis XV in the court of Versailles. “The illegitimate daughter of a seamstress, Jeanne du Barry uses her intelligence and beauty to rise through the ranks of 18th Century Parisian High Society and Louis XV’s Court at Versailles.” Considering France doesn’t go long between revolutions, it seems viewers shouldn’t get themselves too attached to the character of Jeanne.

Babylon is Reportedly Over 3 Hours Long

After some confusion involving an error on the Paramount For Your Consideration website, the various performances have been sorted into categories for their campaigns. Brad Pitt will push for Actor in a Supporting Role, with Margot Robbie unsurprisingly in Lead, and unknown-awards-quantity Diego Calva also pushing for a leading role nomination. Supporting players like Tobey Maguire, Jovan Adepo, Li Jun Li and Jean Smart are being touted for Supporting Actor and Actress respectively as well, an ensemble that seems to be overstuffing the ballot box, but consider the film’s epic runtime: 3 hours and 8 minutes. If Judy Dench could take home her Supporting Actress Oscar for a role spanning about 12 minutes, it’s doubtful that Babylon won’t have found significant screen time for each of its awards contenders.