Anne HAtH­AwAy

Riverbank News - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Tony Rizzo

If “It” scared you good and you want more ... well, brace your­self, be­cause the 2017 film, which grossed $700 mil­lion, will scare you again as “It: Chap­ter Two.” An all-star cast headed by Jes­sica Chas­tain, James McAvoy and Bill Hader will por­tray the tor­mented kids as adults (with the orig­i­nal kids re­turn­ing as well). Bill Skars­gard reprises his role as Pen­ny­wise. Chas­tain is cur­rently film­ing “Woman Walks Ahead,” in which she plays a widow who paints a por­trait of Chief Sitting Bull (Michael Greyeyes). It opens June 29 and also stars “Three Bill­boards” Os­car-win­ner Sam Rock­well.

*** Get ready for more gen­der switch­ing. Last year pro­duc­ers re­cast “Ghost­busters” with an all-fe­male cast and grossed $229 mil­lion against a $144 mil­lion cost. Now the $70 mil­lion “Ocean’s 8” opens June 8 with San­dra Bul­lock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hath­away, Mindy Kal­ing, Sarah Paul­son and He­lena Bon­ham Carter. Mean­while, Os­car­win­ner Hath­away and Rebel Wil­son are em­body­ing Steve Martin and Michael Caine’s roles in “The Hus­tle,” a fe­male re­boot of “Dirty Rot­ten Scoundrels” (1988).

*** Now that “Black Pan­ther” is out on DVD, it’s doubt­ful it will still be in the­aters. “Pan­ther” has set­tled into the No. 9 spot of the all-time top-gross­ing box-of­fice films, pass­ing “Frozen,” “The Last Jedi” and “Harry Pot­ter & the Deadly Hal­lows: Part 2.” How­ever, “Avengers: In­fin­ity War” has sailed past them, as well as “Avengers: The Age of Ul­tron” (No. 8), “Fu­ri­ous 7” (No. 7), “Mar­vels: The Avengers” (No. 6) and “Juras­sic World” (No. 5), and into the No. 4 berth, mov­ing fast and threat­en­ing No. 3 “The Force Awak­ens” and the big boys, “Ti­tanic” (No. 2) and “Avatar” (No. 1).

It looks like the in­mates have taken over the asy­lum. We used to sup­port films like “Gone With the Wind” (1939), “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) and “Casablanca” (1942), to name three of my fa­vorites, but when you look over the above list, it’s all fan­tasy and su­per­heroes. Is re­al­ity so bad that we need to es­cape it with pure fan­tasy?

*** Emily Blunt, on fire with “A Quiet Place” (which has grossed more than $275 mil­lion), will hit again at Christ­mas with “Mary Pop­pins Re­turns,” and is cur­rently shoot­ing Dis­ney’s “Jun­gle Fan­tasy,” with Dwayne John­son, Jack White­hall and Paul Gia­matti. Her “Quiet Place” hus­band and co-star, John Krasin­ski, also is red hot, land­ing the ti­tle role in the Ama­zon se­ries “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” with Os­car­win­ner Ti­mothy Hut­ton and Peter Fonda. Its first eight episodes haven’t even be­gun air­ing (that hap­pens Aug. 1), but the se­ries al­ready has been re­newed for eight episodes of sea­son 2. As busy as Blunt and Krasin­ski are, you can be sure they’d kill for a Quiet Place!

Photo credit: De­posit­pho­tos

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