Universal’s R-rated “Halloween” refresh is headed for a major opening at the box-office. The David Gordon Green-directed film is eyeing an opening in the $57-65 million range in the U.S., though some analysts say it could hit $70 million.
Rungano Nyoni‘s utterly captivating debut feature I Am Not a Witch centers on 8-year-old Shula (Maggie Mulubwa), a young Zambian girl who’s quickly accused of witchcraft after she shows up in a small village unannounced. A token trial follows; Shula is found guilty and sent to live in a barren, government-run witch camp, where she — like the other women interned there — is always tethered to a large, heavy spool of ribbon, to prevent her from flying off and (presumably) killing someone.
Once Shula decides to opt in on her new status as a witch — her other choice, according to those in charge, is to cut the ribbon and be turned into a goat — she’s embraced by the older women in the camp, who dote on her like a daughter/granddaughter. The affection and attention are nice, as is the status Shula earns when she’s taken to judge civil disputes and her decisions are taken seriously. But she must also face scorn, hostility, and disgust from the locals (and intrusive curiosity from visiting tourists), which ultimately outweigh the positive aspects of the witches’ community.
Viewed by Nyoni as a fairy tale, I Am Not a Witch nevertheless is based on the existence of actual witch camps in Africa; Nyoni, who was born in Zambia before moving to Wales as a young child, stayed in one in Ghana for a month that has been operating for more than 200 years. It’s clear that her research informed the film, which is richly observed and beautifully detailed.
It’s also gorgeously filmed and full of realistic, lived-in performances, especially Mulubwa’s; her Shula is simultaneously defiant and vulnerable — every inch an old soul in a young body. I Am Not a Witch raises compelling questions about superstition and fear of “the other” and how they can lead to women being blamed for misfortune even in societies that value women and in many ways view them as equal to men.
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Hulu has announced that its Stephen King anthology show Castle Rock will return for a second season. With its renewal, it will follow a brand-new storyline.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hulu says that Castle Rock is the streaming service’s most “most successful first-season original launch.” When exactly the show will return is yet to be announced.
Dustin Thomason, the show’s executive producer and writer, confirmed to THR that the show is, indeed, an anthology, which means that when the show does come back, it will do so with a new cast and storyline. He adds that it’ll take place in the same universe, true to the show’s impressionist feel:
“In terms of the anthology, each season is going to be its own self-contained story: beginning, middle and end. But I think that just as the books do, we want to surprise viewers with the ways in which the stories intersect. Just as the places the characters pop up in very unexpected ways throughout the books, that’s the kind of anthology that we would like to tell.”
Last October at New York Comic Con, the crew said that season 1 was designed to be a self-contained story, and any second season would “contain a completely new story and cast.”
The show is a bit of a mixtape of Stephen King tropes: the first season follows a nameless man (Bill Skarsgård), who mysteriously appears one day in an abandoned wing of Shawshank Prison, and the lawyer (André Holland) who returns home to try and unravel exactly what makes the town such a magnet for supernatural tragedy. Not only does it feature actors from previous King adaptations, like Skarsgård (Pennywise in the new Itmovies) and Sissy Spacek (Carrie in Carrie), it’s also brimming with Easter eggs for fans of his other books and films.
King’s works are already set in a sprawling, connected universe (the town of Castle Rock is one of its focal points), so bringing familiar characters into the municipality for a new supernatural adventure is in keeping with both King’s written oeuvre and the show’s eclectic spin on it.
As reported by POLYGON, Mega Man: Fully Charged, the first animated series for the Blue Bomber since a two-season run from 1994-1995, is now fully available on Cartoon Network’s website. The first two episodes are free for anyone to view; the remaining eight require users to log in with valid credentials to a cable or satellite TV provider.
Cartoon Network gave a sneak preview of episode one, “Throwing Shade Part 1,” two weeks ago. In the series, Aki Light — a “regular, upbeat robot schoolboy,” — has the power to turn into Mega Man. He will take on the diabolical Sgt. Night and his Robot Masters with help from Rush the dog and others. The target demographic is school-age children, but nothing’s stopping older kids and kids-at-heart from tuning in.
Fire Man is the antagonist for the first two episodes, whose summaries say culminates with Mega Man adopting his abilities (naturally) to put him out.
Mega Man: Fully Charged premieres after years of discussion and delay. Plans were first revealed for the show, by Man of Action Entertainment (Ben 10, Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble) back in 2015. It was originally due to premiere in 2017.
As reported by Screen Rant, Neill Blomkamp has confirmed his forthcoming sequel RoboCop Returns will be R-rated. The original RoboCop is a glorious mix of genres, being a sci-fi action movie with large doses of satire, horror and even religious allegory. Director Paul Verhoeven managed to balance all those tones perfectly, and in between the pitch black humor and lashings of bloodshed, he provided a story with great characters and real heart.
Sadly, none of the sequels lived up to the movie’s promise. RoboCop 2 upped the gory violence, but outside of some inspired moments, it proved to be a major disappointment. RoboCop 3 infamously turned to turn the character kid friendly and watered the satire and violence down for a PG-13 rating; it killed the movie series for 20 years. A PG-13 reboot starring Joel Kinnaman and Gary Oldman arrived in 2014, but despite a strong cast and director at the helm, it was a little too neat and clean around the edges to leave much of a mark, and a planned sequel never arrived.
Now it’s been confirmed director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) will take the reins on RoboCop Returns, which will serve as a direct sequel to the 1987 original whilst ignoring the other movies. The script will be based off an unused RoboCop 2 draft from writers Michael Miner and Ed Neumeier, which will be rewritten by Justin Rhodes (Terminator 6). The lack of an R-rating was a huge point of continuation with the most recent RoboCop movies, but in response to a tweet from games designer Cliff Bleszinski, Blomkamp has confirmed the movie won’t be compromising on gore.
This is a small but comforting step since the original RoboCop was fundamentally an adult property. On the surface, Blomkamp is a strong choice for the material, since he’s steeped in love for the genre and all of his previous projects have mixed satire with R-rated violence to some degree. The director has also been flexing his creative muscles with a series of impressive short films from his own production company Oats Studios, including bleak alien invasion story Rakka and monster movie Zygote.
The series could also use a movie that restores the reputation of the character after one too many disappointing sequels, and while there’s no word on casting yet, it would be nice to see original star Peter Weller come back for RoboCop Returns also. Alternate sequels seem to be the hot new property in Hollywood right now, with Halloween 2018 and Terminator 6 both ignoring the mistakes of previous sequels to tell new stories.
RoboCop Returns doesn’t currently have a release date, but we’ll update you as more information arrives.