Apple Announces Titles on Upcoming Film Slate Headed to Theaters, Apple TV+

Apple has unveiled a glimpse at its slate of Apple Original Films set to premiere globally in theaters and on Apple TV+ over the next year.

The 2022 slate features filmmakers and stars including Alfonso Cuaron, Antoine Fuqua, Dakota Johnson, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Ryan Reynolds, Will Ferrell, Octavia Spencer, Bill Murray, Russell Crowe and many more.

Cha Cha Real Smooth, winner of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Dramatic Audience Award, will premiere globally on Apple TV+ June 17. In the film, writer-director Cooper Raiff also stars as a recent college graduate stuck back at home with his family and working as a party-starter for bar and bat mitzvahs who strikes up a unique friendship with a young mom (Dakota Johnson) and her teenage daughter.

Additional Apple Original Films set to debut this summer include a documentary executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and directed by Reginald Hudlin about the career and life of the late Sidney Poitier; and Luck, a new animated feature from Skydance Animation about the unluckiest girl in the world, starring Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, Eva Noblezada, Simon Pegg, Flula Borg, Lil Rel Howery, Colin O’Donoghue, John Ratzenberger and Adelynn Spoon, premiering Aug. 5.

This fall comes the premiere of the feature documentary Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrong, a look at the master musician’s life and legacy as a founding father of jazz, produced under Apple’s first-look agreement with Imagine Documentaries; Raymond & Ray, which follows half-brothers Raymond and Ray (Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke) who have lived in the shadow of a terrible father; and Peter Farrelly’s The Greatest Beer Run Ever, a new dramedy starring Zac Efron and Russell Crowe based on the true story of John “Chickie” Donohue, who in 1968 left New York to track down and share a few beers with his childhood buddies now in the Army — fighting in Vietnam. The documentary feature The Sound of 007 will also make its global debut this fall, to mark the 60th anniversary of the James Bond film series.

For the holidays comes Spirited, a modern musical rendition of Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story “A Christmas Carol” starring Ryan Reynolds, Will Ferrell and Octavia Spencer.

Available before the end of 2022 is Antoine Fuqua and Will Smith’s new film Emancipation, which tells the story of a man who escapes from slavery.

Also coming soon is the premiere of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Killers of the Flower Moon. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, John Lithgow and more, the film follows the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation, a string of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror.

Matthew Vaughn’s next spy thriller, Argylle, featuring an ensemble cast that includes Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, Dua Lipa and Ariana DeBose with John Cena and Samuel L. Jackson, will also soon be added to Apple’s lineup, as will Sharper, a New York City-set suspense-thriller from writers Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka starring Julianne Moore, Sebastian Stan, Justice Smith, Briana Middleton and John Lithgow, and Tetris, starring Taron Egerton, which follows the extraordinary journey of one of the most iconic computer games in the world.

Also due are Ridley Scott’s Napoleon, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the French military leader and emperor alongside Vanessa Kirby as Josephine; a pair of complementary documentaries entitled Number One on the Call Sheet, celebrating Black leading women and men in Hollywood; Ghosted, a high concept romantic action adventure film starring Chris Evans and Ana de Armas; Skydance Animation’s Spellbound, which follows a young girl who sets out to break the spell that has divided her kingdom in two; and The Beanie Bubble, inspired by the story behind one of the biggest speculative crazes in American culture in the 1990s and starring Elizabeth Banks, Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Snook and Geraldine Viswanathan.

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Apple Original Films is also currently in development on Adam McKay’s Bad Blood, about the rise and fall of Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, with Jennifer Lawrence producing and starring as Holmes; the genre-bending film Bride, produced by and starring Scarlett Johansson; Snow Blind with Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star; a new Sue Mengers biopic starring  Jennifer Lawrence; Dolly, a new feature film written by Vanessa Taylor and Drew Pearce with Florence Pugh attached to star; an adaption of Judy Heumann’s bestselling memoir Being Heumann from Siân Heder; an Audrey Hepburn biopic; and a thriller with George Clooney and Brad Pitt, written and directed by Jon Watts, about two lone fixers who are assigned to the same job.

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Apple has landed overall deals for feature films from studios and production companies including Martin Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions, Adam McKay’s Hyperobject Industries, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way, Richard Plepler’s Eden Productions, Siân Heder, Tracy Oliver, A24, Imagine Entertainment, Skydance Animation and Skydance Media.

Cate Blanchett and Kevin Kline to Star in Apple TV+ Thriller Series From Alfonso Cuarón

Apple TV+ has ordered “Disclaimer,” a new original series from director, writer, producer, cinematographer and editor Alfonso Cuarón (Roma, Gravity, Children of Men) through his production company Esperanto Filmoj.

The psychological thriller will star Cate Blanchett, who will also executive produce, and Kevin Kline.

Cuarón will write, direct and executive produce the series.

Based on the novel of the same name by Renee Knight, “Disclaimer” will star Blanchett as Catherine Ravenscroft, a successful and respected television documentary  journalist whose work has been built on revealing the concealed transgressions of long-respected institutions. When an intriguing novel written by a widower (Kline) appears on her bedside table, she is horrified to realize she is a key character in a story that she had hoped was long buried in the past.

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The series will be the first project to debut from a multiyear deal with Cuarón, who is developing television series exclusively for Apple TV+. It also marks first time Cuarón has written and directed all episodes of an original series. Cuarón currently serves as producer on Apple Original Film Raymond and Ray, which is now in production from Apple Studios.

Criterion Releasing Netflix’s ‘Roma’ on Blu-ray and DVD

The Criterion Collection will release director Alfonso Cuarón’s Oscar-winning 2018 drama Roma on Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 11.

Cuarón re-created the early-1970s Mexico City of his childhood, portraying the life of a middle-class family through the experiences of Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), their maid. Charged with the care of four small children abandoned by their father, Cleo tends to the family even as her own life is shaken by personal and political upheavals.

It was released briefly in theaters in the United States by Netflix before being available on the streaming service.

Roma earned 10 Oscar nominations, and won for Best Foreign-Language Film, Best Cinematography and Best Director. It was the first time a foreign-language film won for direction, and the first time a director won for cinematography for his own film.

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The disc release will include a 4K digital master supervised by Cuarón, with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack on the Blu-ray, plus alternate French subtitles and Spanish SDH.

Extras include:

  • “Road to Roma,” a new documentary about the making of the film, featuring behind-the-scenes footage and an interview with Cuarón;
  • “Snapshots from the Set,” a new documentary featuring actors Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira, producers Gabriela Rodríguez and Nicolás Celis, production designer Eugenio Caballero, casting director Luis Rosales, executive producer David Linde, and others;
  • New documentaries about the film’s sound and postproduction processes, featuring Cuarón; Sergio Diaz, Skip Lievsay, and Craig Henighan from the postproduction sound team; editor Adam Gough; postproduction supervisor Carlos Morales; and finishing artist Steven J. Scott
  • A new documentary about the film’s theatrical campaign and social impact in Mexico, featuring Celis and Rodríguez;
  • “Nothing at Stake,” a new video essay by filmmaker Kogonada;
  • Trailers;
  • Essays by novelist Valeria Luiselli and historian Enrique Krauze.

 

The Blu-ray will exclusively feature an essay by author Aurelio Asiain and production-design images with notes by Caballero.

Other February 2020 Criterion Blu-ray releases include Hiroshi Teshigahara’s Antonio Gaudí (Feb. 18), a 1984 tribute to the visionary Catalan architect; Pier Paolo Pasolini’s provocative 1968 film Teorema (Feb. 18), starring Terence Stamp; 1990’s Paris Is Burning (Feb. 25), a look at Harlem’s vibrant drag-ball culture in the 1980s, featuring more than an hour of never-before-seen outtakes; and Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman (Feb. 25) collecting the renowned special-effects fabulist’s film’s Journey to the Beginning of Time, Invention for Destruction and The Fabulous Baron Munchausen.

Kino Lorber Sets DVD Release Date for ‘Roma’-like ‘The Chambermaid’

Art house supplier Kino Lorber has set an Oct. 22 release date for The Chambermaid, a 2018 Mexican drama directed by Lila Avilés and starring Gabriela Cartol and Teresa Sánchez.

The film will be available on DVD only at a suggested retail price of $29.95.

Mexico’s official submission to the 2020 Academy Awards, The Chambermaid follows the monotonous life of Eve (Cartol), a young woman working in one of Mexico City’s posh hotels. Motivated to do better for herself and her four-year-old son, she enrolls in the hotel’s higher education program to help improve her life and move up the ranks.

The Chambermaid is set in the same city, and follows a similar theme, as Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, which received ten nominations at the 91st Academy Awards, winning for Best Foreign Language Film, Best Cinematography and Best Director.

The Chambermaid grossed over $80,000 domestically and another $79,000 internationally.

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Netflix’s ‘Roma’ Big Winner at 2019 BAFTA Awards

Heading into the Oscars, Netflix original movie Roma emerged the big winner at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts 2019 EE British Academy Film Awards held Feb. 10 in London.

The black-and-white film won awards for Best Film, Director, Cinematography and Film Not in the English Language. Director Alfonso Cuarón won in each of these categories as well.

Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical movie about growing up in Mexico has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards in the United States.

Separately, Oscar nominee The Favourite was named Outstanding British Film, with Olivia Colman receiving the BAFTA for Leading Actress, Rachel Weisz taking Supporting Actress and Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara winning Original Screenplay. Sandy Powell won Costume Design, Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton won Production Design and Nadia Stacey won Make Up & Hair.

Colman has assumed the role of Queen Elizabeth II (from Claire Foy) for the upcoming third season of Netflix original series “The Crown.”

Meanwhile, Rami Malik won Leading Actor playing the late Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody; the film also won the award for Sound.

Supporting Actor went to Mahershala Ali for Green Book; BlacKkKlansman won Adapted Screenplay. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse took the award for Animated Film, and Documentary was won by Free Solo.

A Star Is Born won Original Music and Vice took the BAFTA for Editing. Black Panther received the BAFTA for Special Visual Effects.

 

 

 

Netflix Ups ‘Roma’ Global Theatrical Release Venues

Netflix’s decision to release the original motion picture Roma exclusively in theaters paid off as The Los Angeles Film Critics Association Dec. 9 named director Alfonso Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical black-and-white movie best picture of 2018.

The news follows the SVOD pioneer’s decision to expand exclusive theatrical distribution of the movie in more than 100 theaters in the United States to more than 500 theaters internationally in over 40 countries.

Netflix will stream the movie globally beginning Dec. 14.

Domestic theatrical access (including in Mexico) began Nov. 21, reportedly already selling out theatres in New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City, London and Toronto, among others.

The passion and pride from viewers in Mexico created a reported “Roma fever,” leading to an increasing number of theaters reaching out to exhibit the film. Roma will be in nearly 100 theaters throughout the country this weekend.

This weekend the film will continue its expansion, hitting nearly 50 theaters in the US and over 200 theaters internationally. The innovative roll-out allows consumers worldwide the opportunity to experience the film theatrically, both before and during the film’s global streaming release, where it will be available to over 130 million people.

The film premiered earlier this year at the Venice Film Festival where it took home the Golden Lion for best film and has played in nearly 70 film festivals to great acclaim worldwide. The film has received numerous accolades, including recently being named Best Picture of the year by the New York Film Critics Circle, a prestigious award from the American Film Institute and 3 Golden Globe Award nominations. All of this further affirming that this timely story about human condition demands to be seen.

“We love this film and our goal is to bring this cinematic experience to audiences everywhere, and our theatrical plan, combined with the reach of our service, has made Roma an event film and cultural moment,” Scott Stuber, head of Netflix’s film group, said in a statement. “We’re expanding our theatrical engagements, not only in major markets, but also in places like Honduras, South Africa, and Iceland. When the film premieres on December 14, we will be in 600 theaters worldwide.”

The global release campaign includes theatrical engagements in:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan (2019)
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • The Netherlands
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

 

Italy Looking to Legalize Theatrical Window

Italian lawmakers are moving to make law the country’s 105-day theatrical window granting exhibitors exclusive access to new release feature films ahead of home entertainment and over-the-top video.

Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli said the move was aimed at protecting the country’s cinemas against SVOD services such as Netflix, which typically makes its original movies concurrently available for streaming and theatrical exhibition.

Netflix, as it has in France and the United States, drew the ire of Italian exhibitors following its Venice Film Festival winning entry, Roma from Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón (GravityChildren of Men).

The law would reduce the window to 60 days if a movie is distributed in fewer than 80 theatres and/or attracts less than 50,000 moviegoers.

Interestingly, Netflix has transitioned toward brief theatrical windows in the U.S. for select movies – including Roma– to gain favor with Academy Award voters.

The SVOD behemoth’s first original movie – Beasts of No Nation– was ignored by voters in 2015 despite widespread critical acclaim, including for actors Idris Elba, Abraham Attah and director Cory Joji Fukunaga.

The movie generated just $90,777 at the box office.

 

 

 

Netflix Reverses Script, Bowing Three Movies Theatrically

The old adage, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” has been taken to heart by Netflix when it comes to theatrical releases.

The streaming video-on-demand behemoth revealed it will debut original movies Roma, from Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity); The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel and Ethan Coen) and post-apocalyptic thriller Bird Box, from Danish helmer Susanne Bier (Oscar-winning In a Better World) in limited domestic theatrical releases – ahead of streaming.

Netflix, through a longstanding mandate by CCO Ted Sarandos to upend the theatrical window, has always made its original movies available theatrically and streaming at the same time.

The stance has angered the Hollywood status quo, notably some film festivals (Cannes) and exhibitors – the latter refusing to screen Netflix movies also available to its 130 million subscribers.

It has also kept Netflix movies out of Oscar award consideration, whose voters apparently prefer watching new titles in the theater. And Netflix feels it has a trio of possible contenders. Hence the policy the change.

As a result, Roma will bow in theaters in select markets Nov. 21, followed by streaming on Dec. 14. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (featuring Tim Blake Nelson, James Franco, Liam Neeson and Stephen Root, among others) will hit the box office on Nov. 8 – eight days ahead of streaming. The same time gap for Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock and Sarah Paulson, which hits screens Dec. 13 and SVOD on Dec. 21.

“These upcoming engagements are following the success of our theatrical and Netflix releases of Private Lifeand 22 July,” Scott Stuber, head of original films at Netflix, said in a statement. “There’s been an overwhelming response to all of our films this festival season, including Outlaw King, which will be in theaters and on Netflix next week, and this plan is building on that momentum.”

Stuber said the policy change reflects the Netflix’s desire to attract the best filmmakers and talent.

Indeed, one of Netflix’s first original movies – Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba and Abraham Attah, and directed by Cary Fukunaga (“True Detective”) was ignored by the Academy Awards despite strong critical reviews. A move many saw as an industry rebuke of Netflix’s release strategy.

“Our members benefit from having the best quality films from world class filmmakers and our filmmakers benefit by being able to share their artistry with the largest possible audience in over 190 countries worldwide,” said Stuber.