Spy Movie News – January 25, 2022

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Contributed by: Dan Silvestri and Tom Pizzato - Spy Movie Navigator

Here’s our Spy Movie News for January 25, 2022!    Bond IMAX and VFX, Mission Impossible – really!, Blacklight, The Bricklayer, Conmen, Eraser: Reborn, The 355, Miénteme, Red Notice, To Catch a Thief, and more!

ONLY ONE SPY MOVIE SCHEDULED TO RELEASE IN FEBRUARY 2022

We have one new spy movie scheduled for a theatrical release in February 2022 in the US.  Liam Neeson stars in Blacklight.   As the official website, BlacklightMov.com says,” In BLACKLIGHT, LIAM NEESON is Travis Block, an operative whose discovery of a dark secret pits him against the FBI director he once swore to protect.”

The US release date is February 11.  So, we get a 2/11/22 release date.  There is a staggard release date worldwide, so you’ll need to watch for it in your country.

 

UPCOMING SPY MOVIES

So, on to the news of spy movies in development.  We’re not sure when we’ll see them, but we are looking forward to their releases.

The Bricklayer

Aaron Eckhart has signed for the upcoming spy movie The Bricklayer.   According to Deadline.com, In The Bricklayer, someone is blackmailing the CIA by assassinating foreign journalists and making it look like the agency is responsible. As the world begins to unite against the U.S., the CIA must lure its most brilliant – and rebellious – operative out of retirement, forcing him to confront his checkered past while unraveling an international conspiracy.

What is it with these spy movies pulling operatives out of retirement lately?

Miénteme

Filming has started for the Chilean-Argentine romcom/spy movie Miénteme, which translates to “Lie to me” in English.   This movie has actor Lucas Akoskin playing opposite his real-life wife, Leonor Varela.  We’re not sure how a romantic comedy/spy movie will work, but we’ll check it out for you when it comes out and let you know.   Distribution hasn’t been set yet.   You can read more about Miénteme on Yahoo.com.

Conmen

Cory Hardrict will star opposite Neil Brown Jr. in Conmen.  This is the first movie produced by Hardrict’s  Hardcor Films.  The high-level plot has two black conmen, posing as FBI agents.  They try to con a heroin dealer who is a Klansman and this Sherrif’s son.

No release date has been set for Conmen.

Eraser: Reborn

In 1996, Arnold Schwarzenegger starred as U.S. Marshall John Kruger in the movie Eraser.  Well, Johnathan Fuge tells us that a reboot, titled Eraser: Reborn was shot in the summer of 2021 in secret. It has received an R rating and is expected to be released sometime this spring.

Eraser: Reborn does not bring back John Kruger.  Instead, Dominic Sherwood plays a new U.S. Marshall, Mason Pollard.  The synopsis on IMDB says: “It is based on U.S. Marshal Mason Pollard who is specialized in engineering the fake deaths of witnesses that leaves no trace of their existence.”

To Catch a Thief

We loved the original Hitchcock movie, To Catch A Thief.  It starred Cary Grant who played an ex-cat burglar who had to prove he was falsely accused of another burglary.   Well, Gal Godot will be starring in a remake of this classic movie.  We don’t know how the plot will be changed, but we look forward to this one.  You can find out more about To Catch a Thief on MovieWeb.com.

Mission: Impossible

It is getting impossible to release Mission: Impossible 7 and 8

Well, the twice-delayed Mission: Impossible movies have hit another delay.   We should remember that Mission: Impossible 7 was originally slated to release in November 2021.  Then it was pushed to September 2022.  Now Paramount and Skydance have announced the most recent pandemic-related delays for Mission: Impossible 7 & 8.  The new release dates are now July 14, 2023, for Mission: Impossible 7 and June 28, 2024, for Mission: Impossible 8.  Ugh.

 

CURRENT SPY MOVIES

The 355

So, let’s shift gears and talk about the most recently released spy movie, The 355.   We released a no-spoiler review of this movie on January 9th. There has been some news about this movie, mostly about its box office, or lack thereof.

Box Office for The 355

An article in Variety points out that The 355 only had a $4.8 million North America haul.  Well, we just looked at BoxOfficeMojo.com and found that The 355 currently has a $16.5 million box office as we record this Newscast. This is against a production budget of about $40 million.

Given the movie’s female focus, getting young men to the theater to see it has been a challenge.  It appears young men are spending their money on Scream and Spider-Man: No Way Home and not much else.

The spy movie The King’s Man, which was released before Christmas outperformed The 355 this past weekend, even though The King’s Man has been in theaters 2 weeks longer than The 355.

For their sake, we hope The 355 has a good digital rental release.  We want spy movies to make money.

Lupita Nyongo didn’t attend the virtual press day

Lupita Nyongo, one of the leads in The 355 did not attend the virtual press day.   She had a good reason to miss this as she had tested positive for COVID-19.  She tweeted “I too have tested positive for COVID-10.  I’m fully vaccinated and taking care in isolation.”  We hope she’s recovered and is doing well by now.

Is The 355 a remake of the first Mission: Impossible movie?

In our January 9th no spoiler review of The 355, we mentioned a few similarities between The 355 and other movies.  However, we kept spoilers out of that podcast.

Our friend, Mike Reyes at Cinemablend.com has an interesting take on The 355 and its use of tropes from other movies, specifically the first Mission: Impossible movie. He’s written an article containing spoilers that compares The 355 with Mission: Impossible.  We will warn you that he has spoilers in the article so you might want to wait until you’ve seen The 355.  Reyes is dead on with his analysis here.

Red Notice

Since the Netflix movie Red Notice was released, we’ve been speculating that there will be sequels to this movie.   Well, according to an article by Mike Fleming Jr, two sequels are planned.  The thought is to shoot them back-to-back which is becoming a trend with successful movies.   Fleming says that the goal is to bring back the three main stars, Dwyane Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds.

He also says that Rawson Marshall Thurber, who wrote Red Notice, has already started writing the sequels.

James Bond

For a franchise that released its last movie back in September, there were a lot of articles written about James Bond in January. Many of them are speculation about which actor or actress will be chosen to carry on the role of James Bond.  However, some of them talk about the making of No Time To Die.

IMAX Re-Release

By now we assume you’ve had a chance to see the movie No Time To Die.  If you haven’t, the movie was rereleased beginning on January 21st in select IMAX locations. According to Mike Reyes, this release is to help celebrate James Bond’s 60th anniversary.  It will include a special James Bond 60th Anniversary Logo.  Reyes comments that he thinks the other Bond movies should get theatrical releases as part of the 60th Anniversary celebration.  He points out that the Prince Charles Cinema in London started running all of the James Bond movies in release order through SPECTRE starting January 20th and running through July 2022. He comments that he wishes other theaters or MGM itself would follow suit on a global basis.

NO TIME TO DIE VFX Team discussion

Variety’s The Shortlist Virtual FYC Fest held a panel discussion with the No Time To Die VFX Supervisors.  This was an excellent 31-minute discussion moderated by Jazz Rangcay, the Senior Artisans Editor at Variety.

Charlie Noble, who was the visual effects supervisor on No Time To Die, talks about how visual effects can help augment the practical side of moviemaking.  He says “We sort of pick up the bat where other departments leave off. They go as far as they can…and then we take over”.

Special Effects Supervisor Chris Corbould adds “The thing I think was so fantastic about it [was that] it was all invisible. It didn’t jump out at you as being, ‘Look, this is the greatest visual effects ever.’ It was just a marvelous blending of what they do creatively”.

The discussion breaks down scenes such as the DB5 donut stunt and gives some great background on what they did there.

You can see this discussion on Variety.com.

That Was One Big Explosion

Many James Bond movies have set Guinness World Records for their explosions.  The boat explosion in Thunderball was an early example. SPECTRE set a record for its explosion.

Well, according to an article on CinemaBlend.com, NO TIME TO DIE obliterated an explosion record. The big explosions at the climax of No Time To Die set the record for the most high explosives in one shot.    The previous record was for 65 kilograms of high explosives in one shot. They used 140 kilograms for the climax.  Boom.

The official 007 YouTube channel has a video with Chris Corbould talking about this record if you want to see more.

 

MOVIE INDUSTRY NEWS

Piracy has cost Black Widow a lot of money

We just talked about explosions.  Well, here’s a discussion that will blow your mind.

In previous podcasts, we’ve talked about the impact of day-and-date release schedules for movies.  if you aren’t familiar with the term, it means releasing a movie in theaters and Paid Video on Demand or streaming on the same day.  This was brought about by the pandemic, but the pandemic showed some flaws in the system.   Some distributors released using day-and-date, others shortened their theatrical window or the amount of time a movie will be in theaters only.

You also had movies like Red Notice that everyone was told was being put out by Netflix.  So, everyone assumed it was a tv movie first.  When Netflix finally decided to release it in theaters a few days before streaming it and marketed that decision badly in our opinion, it tanked in the theater.  It performed very well on Netflix but had terrible box office numbers.

Deadline.com has a fairly comprehensive breakdown of the impact of day-and-date on movies.   Some of the data is sparse due to the limited ways to get the data, but it is telling nonetheless. The stat that blew us away has to do with the movie Black Widow.  The article estimates that due to the data-and-date release of Black Widow, about $600 million was lost to Disney due to piracy.   This is because once a movie streams, it is pirated almost immediately.   Now we get why Scarlett Johansson sued Disney over their decision.

 

IN MEMORIUM

This leads us to our In Memorium section of today’s news.  This is a long list with some giants from the entertainment industry.

Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier passed away at the age of 94.  This much-celebrated actor was the first of four black actors to win the Best Actor in a Leading Role Academy Award for his role in Lillies of the Field. For spy movie fans you may remember that he played Roy Parmenter in Little Nikita.

Marilyn Bergman

We’re sad to pass on the news that Marilyn Bergman passed away at the age of 93.  She was a well-honored lyricist.  Usually working together with her husband Alan, she received three Academy Awards, four Emmy Awards, three Grammy awards.  Spy movie fans will know her for the lyrics to the title song to the James Bond movie Never Say Never Again, which she wrote with her husband.

Mace Neufeld

Mace Neufeld has also passed on at the age of 93. Spy movie fans will know his work as the producer of Jack Ryan movies and the Amazon Prime series “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”.

Hardy Kruger

German actor Hardy Kruger has also passed away at the age of 93.  Kruger is probably best known for his roles in A Bridge Too Far or Barry Lyndon. Spy movie fans may know him from his roles in The Spy Who Never Was, The Inside Man, or The Defector.

Michel Subor

French actor Michel Subor passed away at the age of 86. Spy movie fans may remember him from his movies such as Le Petit Soldat, Beau Travail, and the 1960 Hitchcock movie Topaz.

Yvette Mimieux

And finally, we lost Yvette Mimieux at the age of 80.  Her most well-known roles were in Light in the Piazza and Toys in the Attic.  However, spy movie fans may know her as Kim Stacy in the 1970 movie The Delta Factor.

So, that’s a wrap of the January 25, 2022, Spy Movie News, brought to you by SpyMovieNavigator.com – please Subscribe to our show, Cracking the Code of Spy Movies, right now on your favorite podcast app, and know when new episodes come out and more – Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too!