Here’s our December 8, 2020 edition of Spy Movie News with more lots of theater news as WarnerMedia drops a bombshell, Women as leads in Spy Movies in 2021, James Bond updates, Dr. No prop sells for over a quarter of a million dollars, Black Widow and Mission: Impossible and more!
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WarnerMedia’s movies will simultaneously release on HBO Max and theaters in 2021
CNBC.com reports a big one! Wow! On Thursday December 3rd 2020 AT&T’s WarnerMedia announced it that it’s entire 2021 slate of films will be released directly on HBO Max at the same time they would be released in theaters.
WarnerMedia CEO, Jason Kilar said this decision is definitely pandemic-related, and said for everyone to basically take a breather and not overreact. Basically, he wants to see what happens over the next 6 – 10 months.
Of course, he made no proclamations about what would happen in 2022. But the article also reminds us all that Kilar wants to turn HBO MAX into a streaming giant to compete directly with Netflix.
It was also pointed out that if you are a subscriber to HBO MAX then you would get the 17 movies in 2021 at no additional charge, unlike what Disney did for Mulan (which charged subscribers an additional $30 to view the movie). Wow – that is big.
Our Opinion: This is a major announcement for several reasons. 1) amidst the continuing global pandemic, new movie releases will be available to the HBO MAX subscribing-public. Will other movie industry companies follow suit? 2) What impact will this have on the movie theaters and movie theater chains like AMC? These are the ripple-affect questions that will be answered probably sooner than later.
Check out the full article, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar doesn’t think he destroyed the movie theaters at CNBC.com.
Movie Theater Companies in Shock
On the flipside, move theaters are in shock over the WarnerMedia announcement. Other studios have not yet followed suit, but Universal already had deals in place with key cinema chairs that would allow for a new release to be also released on-demand only 2 weeks after a movie theater run.
In an article at CinemaBlend.com, they claim these trends may change the entire movie-going experience. They suggest it may change the model to more like going to live theater to see a play – maybe you do it a couple times a year, and it is a more formal event than it is now. And more expensive.
Or they suggest theaters may morph into offering more amenities, like dinner and so, on. Dine-in theaters have been popular for live performances and theaters make a lot of money from the food. Could this happen for the movies as well? They suggest it is a possibility. Will it look more like a theater than a restaurant or more like a restaurant than a theater? All yet to be seen.
They suggest another scenario or two as well. So, check out this article on CinemaBlend.com for more.
There are many articles out right now about the movie theater chains’ reaction to this recent announcement from WarnerMedia. Here are two of them:
- See this article on CinemaBlend.com for AMC and Cinemark’s reaction
- HollywoodReporter.com has this article with Regal’s reaction.
CBS.com reported that the Arecibo Observatory radio telescope suffers major damage after cable breaks.
The radio telescope, featured in the James Bond movie GoldenEye, and in the 1997 movie Contact, had already been scheduled for demolition, but a cable snapped, causing major damage to the telescope surface December 1st. After a similar incident in November, the radio telescope, which has participated in the search for extra-terrestrial life on other planets in real-life (which was the theme of the movie Contact), was scheduled to be closed because of the severe damage,
It is sad to see this iconic radio telescope go.
Click this link to the CBS.COM article for the details.
This link to Euronews.com has a video of the collapse as it happened.
Out of this world
We reported on this one before, but confirmed again in this December 5, 2020 article on Mirror.co.uk – that Tom Cruise plans to film, for real, in outer space. Probably for Mission: Impossible 8, Tom Cruise wants to perform the ultimate stunt and take cameras beyond the Earth’s atmosphere to actually film in space, and has had discussions with the US aerospace group NASA about this already.
Our opinion: yeah – we believe if anyone can take a movie to space, and go where no movie has gone before, it’s Tom Cruise!
Mission: Impossible 7 car stunt
Check out CinemaBlend.com for this December 2nd 2020 article entitled, “Latest Mission: Impossible Set Video Highlights Epic Car Stunt”
There is a short video clip on a stunt in Rome Italy. Kind of cool – so check it out.
Also see this article on ScreenRant.com for a photo of the car chase scene in Rome, Italy, of Cruise in an overturned car. All cool stuff of course – what else can we expect from Cruise?
According to a Variety.com December 3rd article, entitled, “Sean Connery’s ‘Dr. No’ Gun Sells for $256,000 at Auction” Bond’s famous gun used in Dr. No fetched more that the projected $150,000 – $200,000 in a recent Julien’s Auctions held in Beverly Hills California.
It was noted that this semi-automatic pistol identified in the movie as a Walther PPK is really a Walther PP.
Oh darn! SpyMovieNavigator.com missed out on this one! Ha! See, the article in Variety.com for all the details.
Will NTTD Be Delayed Again?
When will we ever see No Time to Die? In this December 2, 2020 article at ScreenRant.com, titled: “No Time To Die May Be Delayed For A Third Time” the article claims that there is growing pressure for another delay due to the pandemic, and speculates a bit on what that might mean.
With other movie producers like WarnerMedia, as we talked about earlier in this article, developing a hybrid strategy to release on demand (on HBO MAX) and in theaters simultaneously, will others follow suit?
The article highlights that a major demographic of Bond films is an older audience who are even more reluctant to go to a theater at this time. A quite from the article sums it up:
“A third delay would indeed be a first, but with previously planned cinematic releases now hedging their bets away from cinemas and towards streaming services, MGM may have to adapt quicker than they thought. In fact, Universal, the distributor of No Time To Die, reportedly made a sizable profit after releasing Trolls World Tour on VOD earlier this year”
Our opinion: These are tough times and many unprecedented decisions are being made and will continue to be made as studios assess the best strategies. You can find similar articles on MovieWeb.com and JoBlo.com.
These delays mean big money to the studio as reported in this article on NME.com, which states that the delay is costing MGM about $1 million a month!
Who Over The Years Wanted Or Was Considered, To Play James Bond?
In a fun Wikipedia article, posted in November, they list all the actors who were considered to play the role of James Bond, by movie! It is a fun scan with interesting names like, Rex Harrison, Jeremy Brett (who brilliantly played Sherlock Holmes in the made-for-tv series from 1984 – 1994), Michael Caine, Dick van Dyke, John Gavin and many more!
No Time to Die has Lashana Lynch taking a lead role as an MI6 00 agent. But she is not alone in developing and promoting (literally) female spies! The movie, The 355, is scheduled for a 2021 release, starring a bunch of women, including Jessica Chastain, and Penelope Cruz and others, in what is called a “woman-led spy thriller”.
Variety.com has an article about the movie and has the trailer linked in the article. The trailer shows women spies from different world agencies working together (maybe a Man From U.N.C.L.E. kind of thing?) These women spies are from the United States, United Kingdom, Colombia, Germany and China.
DigitalSpy.com says Gal Gadot will be the female spy lead in a new upcoming spy thriller called, Heart of Stone, which the article says will put “a female spin on action franchises such as James Bond and Mission: Impossible.”
There is no release date set yet, but producers Skydance Media are keeping options open including both theatrical and streaming.
Who Have Been The Women in James Bond Movies
And, speaking of women in spy movies, if you want to see all the key women who have been in the James Bond films, see Steven Jay Rubin’s book, The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia available for purchase right now! You can order the book here. You can preview this list on our website, in our SPYmdb by clicking here!
In an article about 2021 movies at CNET.com, they claim that Black Widow is now scheduled for a May 7, 2021 release – about a year late. This picture stars Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh and others.
Please see this article on CNET.com for the details about this movie and other movies delayed due to the pandemic.
That wraps up our Spy Movie News for December 8, 2020! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@SpyNavigator) and Instagram too! And please Subscribe right now to our Cracking the Code of Spy Movies show on your favorite podcast app (see the table below for the links)!
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