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WIRE Buzz: Dune reshoots; AMC reopening plan; Goddard to join Hail Mary team

By Vanessa Armstrong
Dune 2020

According to Deadline, the cast of the much-anticipated Dune film directed by Denis Villeneuve is headed to Europe this August for some additional shooting. Reshoots on a film with the budget and scale of Dune is the norm and Hollywood these days, and though the pandemic has shut things down for the past few months, some productions are beginning to wind back up.

In an interview with Deadline, Oscar Issac (Star Wars), who plays Duke Leto Atreides in the film, revealed the schedule for the reshoots. “We’re going to do some additional shooting in mid-August …they’re saying in Budapest in Hungary,” said Isaac. “I saw some things cut together and it just looks amazing. Denis [Villeneuve] is a real artist and it will be exciting to see it come together. It’s kind of wild that we’re doing some additional shooting a few months before it’s supposed to come out, but that happened with Star Wars as well.”

As of now, the film’s release date is still slated for Dec. 18. It’s not clear the extent of the reshoots and whether other members of the cast such as Timothée Chalamet (Little Women), Zendaya (Spider-Man: Far From Home), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Rebecca Ferguson (Doctor Sleep) or Josh Brolin (Avengers: Endgame) will take part in the reshoots as well.

Sci-fi author Andy Weir has already had one of his books —The Martian — successfully adapted to the big screen with the help of writer, director and producer Drew Goddard. This collaboration now looks like it will continue into another of Weir’s works—according to The Hollywood Reporter, Goddard has been brought on to help craft the film version of Weir’s latest (and yet-to-be-published) book, tentatively titled Hail Mary. MGM has already bought rights to the story for an impressive $3 million, and already has directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) and actor Ryan Gosling (Blade Runner 2049) on board.

Hail Mary focuses on an astronaut (most likely played by Gosling) who finds himself far from Earth inside a tiny spacecraft with two dead crewmates and no memory of who he is, what his mission is, or how he can get back home. Goddard will work with Lord and Miller on developing the story, though it’s not clear whether he’ll take on the actual writing of the script. Goddard’s credentials are strong in the genre space, including writing and directing the 2011 film Cabin in the Woods and showrunning Netflix’s Daredevil. With the amount of talent and star talent brought to this production, it’s clear MGM is hoping this will be a tentpole property for them in the upcoming years.

AMC has announced that it will open some of approximately 450 of its theatre locations on July 15, with the intent to open all of its locations by the end of July. In light of the global pandemic still going on in the U.S. and around the world, the movie chain also announced in a mass email out to its patrons that they’ve developed a program called AMC Safe & Clean™ to limit guests' potential of exposure to COVID.

While the plan includes precautions such as seat capacity restrictions, intensified cleaning protocols and contactless ticketing, the announcement is already getting pushback for not requiring masks to be worn in all locations if there isn’t a specific directive in place in the city, county or state where their theatres are located.

Moviegoers can see if their local AMC is part of the initial rollout in early July, as well as find out what movies will be playing there (hint: according to the email to previous AMC patrons, Disney’s Mulan and Warner Bros’ Tenet will likely be on that list).

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