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WIRE Buzz: Robert Rodriguez talks Alita sequel; AMC still working to stay afloat; and Thor 4
A sequel to last year's Alita: Battle Angel is still up in the air, but director Robert Rodriguez isn't giving up hope just yet. Speaking with Forbes, the director said that Disney+ might be open to the idea of another movie, especially now that the Mouse House owns Alita studio, 20th Century Fox (rebranded to 20th Century Studios).
"That is worth the conversation," he said. "I know other people would love to see another, and I would love to do another one. As far as where it would go or how it would be made, I think streaming has opened up many opportunities such as sequels. It’s already a pre-sold concept, it’s already got a built-in audience that wants to see it, and then it’s delivered to them in a way that’s the easiest for them to consume. So, it’s not a bad idea."
Executive produced and co-written by James Cameron, Alita (based on the manga by Yukito Kishiro) brought in over $400 million at the global box office — a pretty good haul, given its estimated budget of $170 million. The film currently holds a 61 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Rosa Salazar led the ensemble cast of Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley, and Keean Johnson.
Rodriguez now has a strong relationship with Disney+ after directing an episode of The Mandalorian's second season ("Chapter 14: The Tragedy"). In addition, he's executive producing The Book of Boba Fett spinoff, which is scheduled to premiere in December 2021. His latest movie — We Can Be Heroes — is now streaming on Netflix.
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, AMC Theatres is attempting to stay afloat with "up to 50 million additional shares for sale to raise up to $124.75 million," The Hollywood Reporter confirmed Wednesday.
"We intend to use the net proceeds from the sale of the Class A common stock offered by this prospectus for general corporate purposes, which may include the repayment, refinancing, redemption or repurchase of existing indebtedness or capital stock, working capital, capital expenditures and other investments," AMC Theatres said in a regulatory filing obtained by THR.
It's all pretty technical, but suffice it to say that it's not a very good sign when the biggest theater chain in the world is having a hard time staying financially stable amid the health crisis, which prevents large gatherings (like the communal moviegoing experience) from taking place. Moreover, the company is prepping itself for Warner Bros. unprecedented dual rollout strategy for all of its 2021 movies. Exhibitors were just as shocked by the announcement as filmmakers were.
Thankfully, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to several vaccines that are able to prevent the novel coronavirus with 90 percent or more effectiveness. Moreover, Wonder Woman 1984's release over the holiday weekend proved that folks will still attend theaters, even if they can stream a major movie at home. In its North American debut, the sequel made $16.7 million, the most money made during a COVID-era opening weekend. Most of that total came from private watch parties.
In a video posted to Instagram, Melissa McCarthy and her filmmaker/actor husband, Ben Falcone, implored Taika Waititi, Chris Hemsworth, and Marvel Studios to cast them in the fourth Thor movie: Love and Thunder. "I am not afraid to perform a monologue," says McCarthy, who also offers up her skills as a master hummus maker.
"I myself have something from The Tempest prepared," adds Falcone.
Watch their SNL-like auditiion below:
The project, which arrives in spring 2022, is currently shooting in Sydney, Australia. Waititi co-wrote the screenplay with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson (creator of Sweet/Vicious) and is back behind the camera as director. Since McCarthy and her husband are already in Australia, it probably wouldn't be too difficult to join the production since the isolated country is incredibly strict about health safety guidelines when it comes to the transmission of COVID-19.
Drawing on The Mighty Thor comics by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman, the upcoming feature will see Natalie Portman's Jane Foster taking on the God of Thunder mantle. It's unclear what Thor (Hemsworth) is up to — or what he weighs — after abdicating the Asgardian throne and heading into space with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Speaking of which, Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) is part of the ensemble cast that also includes Tessa Thompson ("Valkyrie"), Jaimie Alexander ("Sif"), and MCU newcomer Christian Bale ("Gorr the God Butcher"). There's also a good chance Waititi is going to reprise the role of the rock alien known as Korg.
Thor: Love and Thunder arrives in theaters May 6, 2022. McCarthy and Falcone's latest comedy film — Superintelligence — is now streaming on HBO Max.