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SYFY WIRE Inception

WIRE Buzz: A tantalizing tease for Christopher Nolan's next movie, a witchy new TV series, and more

By Don Kaye
Christopher Nolan

It's been fairly quiet on the Christopher Nolan front for a couple of years, but the visionary director is gearing up to begin shooting his next project, and now we're starting to get brief nuggets of info even as speculation begins to swirl around it.

Nolan's 11th feature film — which, as usual for the British filmmaker, is being kept under a tight wrap of secrecy until he's ready to talk about it — was described in a now-deleted tweet from Production Weekly as "North by Northwest in tone meets Inception." But a source familiar with the matter tells SYFY WIRE that the description was incorrect, adding that no official information is available yet about the picture.

Nolan's last film, Dunkirk, was a World War II drama, so there's no way to know at this point if his next effort will be a return to sci-fi. But the director of movies like The Prestige, Interstellar, and the Dark Knight trilogy has certainly spent a lot of time over the past 14 years in the genre space (when he's not fighting off rumors that he'll direct a James Bond thriller).

He's also a big fan of the theatrical experience, as opposed to just watching movies via streaming, and he offered another interesting hint about his next project in a videotaped message to a recent U.K. exhibitors' conference, saying (via Screen Daily), "[We] will certainly be asking [exhibitors] to really help us, and asking you to be our partners in terms of putting on a show for the audience and giving them a reason to come out for the evening, and engage with the world of cinema, which we all love so much.”

Sounds like Nolan has something big in mind. Hopefully we'll know more soon about the film, which is slated to arrive on July 17, 2020.

(This story was published on March 5, 2019 and updated on March 6, 2019.)

The Freeform cable channel has given a 10-episode series order to Motherland: Fort Salem, according to the The Hollywood Reporter. The show, an original premise, is set in an alternate version of America where witches not only exist, but defend the country at the behest of the U.S. government, with the female army using supernatural powers and weapons on the frontlines (see teaser above).

Into this scenario come three young witches: Raelle (Taylor Hickson, Deadly Class), Tally (Jessica Sutton), and Scylla (Amalia Holm), along with a drill sergeant named Anacostia (Demetria McKinney). The creator and showrunner is Eliot Laurence (Claws), while one of the production companies behind the show is Gary Sanchez Productions, which is owned by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.

Freeform president Tom Ascheim said the network, per THR, is "so excited to be able to tell this story rich with female empowerment, complex storytelling, and an incredibly creative canon." Production begins soon in Canada for a possible fall premiere.

Remember that story back in January about a movie that was being screened at Sweden's Goteborg Film Festival, which viewers were going to watch inside a coffin? Well, the movie, a heady-looking sci-fi epic called Aniara, now has an official U.S. trailer and release date. The movie will open on May 17, and here's the trippy trailer:

As you can see, Aniara isn't exactly a romp. The film is set aboard a spaceship — which is transporting colonists to Mars from a climate-ravaged Earth — that is knocked off course by a collision with an asteroid. Ejected from the solar system with little hope of getting back on course, the colonists realize that they will drift in the cold void of interstellar space forever. From the looks of the trailer, it doesn't seem like they handle the situation very well (think a more existential and dread-filled Passengers).

A Swedish/Danish co-production, Aniara premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last September to mixed reviews, but if you're into cerebral sci-fi like Arrival, Stalker, or Interstellar, this may be the voyage for you. Whether the distributor, Magnolia, imports the coffin gag along with the movie remains to be seen.