Onward & The Invisible Man
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Credit: Pixar/Disney

WIRE Buzz: Onward hitting VOD & Disney+ early; Mission: Impossible not going to space; more

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Mar 20, 2020, 9:55 AM EDT

After two weeks of playing on the big screen, Pixar's Onward will be hitting VOD later today due to the coronavirus shutdown of all major theaters in the United States. Disney announced this morning that the animated flick would be available for purchase ($19.99) on Movies Anywhere at 5pm EST. 

Not only that, but Onward is also scheduled for an insanely early Disney+ debut on Friday, April 3.

“While we’re looking forward to audiences enjoying our films on the big screen again soon, given the current circumstances, we are pleased to release this fun, adventurous film to digital platforms early for audiences to enjoy from the comfort of their homes,” Dan Scanlon (the film's director and co-writer) and Kori Rae (the film's producer) said in a statement.

Two days ago, Sony made a similar announcement for Bloodshot after the comic book movie was in theaters for less than a week.

Credit: Disney/Pixar

Onward opened to $40 million in North America during its first weekend in theaters. Its second go-around yielded a 73 percent decline with $10.5 million domestically. With $41 million from foreign markets, Onward's worldwide box office haul stands at $103 million.

Tom Holland and Chris Pratt lend their voices to the story's main characters —elven brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot. Discovering a spell that can bring their late father back for one day, the siblings embark on a quest across a modern fantasy landscape in an effort to find some magic left in a world that's left spell-casting and wonder behind. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer co-star.

Sorry, folks, but the Mission: Impossible franchise won't be blasting off into outer space as long as Christopher McQuarrie has anything to say about it. Since the filmmaker is writing and directing the next two installments, you shouldn't expect to see Ethan Hunt undertake a mission above the Earth.

“He’s not going to space. Nor does he need to go to space. What’s beyond that? Plenty," McQuarrie (who wrote and directed Rogue Nation and Fallout) told Empire for the magazine's May 2020 issue.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

For the next globe-trotting adventure, the director is bringing back Henry Czerny's Kittridge, an IMF representative from the very first M:I movie (directed by Brian De Palma) back in 1996.

“I realized Kittridge had to be right in a scene, and it was transformed," McQuarrie said, describing the character as "a meddler."

Mission: Impossible 7 was supposed to kick off an extensive shoot in Europe in late February, but production was put on hold as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spiral into a global crisis. 

It's unclear whether or not the film will be able to hit its intended release of July 31, 2021. The eighth movie, which is supposed to be shot back-to-back with Mission: Impossible 7, is slated for released on August 5, 2022.

With every film and TV production shutting down amid the coronavirus scare, only one finds itself in the unique position of carrying on. That would be Timur Bekmambetov's V2. Escape From Hell, a historical action-thriller about a Soviet pilot who leads an escape from a German concentration camp during World War II.

Dedicated to his "Screenlife" approach to movie-making, Bekmambetov is certainly a trailblazer who wants to push the boundaries of Hollywood's tried and true practices for capturing a motion picture. Now, Deadline reports that the director and his crew are embracing technology that will allow them to shoot a V2. sequence remotely. On Friday, the project plans to shoot "a full air battle scene" with leading man Pavel Priluchny at the Lenfilm studio in St. Petersburg.

Priluchny will be placed into a plane's cockpit covered in LED screens playing footage from the War Thunder video game. To really simulate the experience of being in an aerial dogfight, the actor will play against other online gamers before the entire scene is later spruced up with VFX. Bekmambetov plans to direct via Microsoft Teams, while a livestream of the shoot is shared on social media.

Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

V2. Escape From Hell will be the first movie about Word War II designed for GenZ. We would like to narrate this story using modern and high-tech visual means,” Bekmambetov told Deadline. “The shooting inside a computer game will add entertainment to the project and fully immerse the viewer in what is happening on the screen – an experience that today’s gamers get from Russian-made computer games with their high realism and attention to detail.”

V2. Escape From Hell is hoping to make its 2021 release. Two formats — horizontal for theaters and vertical for mobile phones —

are to be available.

“We are making a war film here, and what is broadcast in the news resembles a ‘military communiqué’ related to coronavirus – there is a curfew, food supply interruptions, panicking population, etc,” Bekmambetov continued. “If they were going on making their films during World War II, least of all can we give in to despair now. We are looking for new ways to continue making our films, and we are helped by new technologies and a creative approach. This enables an ongoing shooting without exposing the film crew to health risks.”