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!