By John H. Foote
Hollywood took a major hit yesterday with the cancellation of three major films, one of then an Oscar front runner directed by an industry giant.
Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated remake of the Oscar winning film and Broadway smash West Side Story has been postponed an entire year, pushed back to 2021. The musical was expected to be a front runner at the Academy Awards this season, the postponement opening up an already bizarre year.
Two superhero blockbusters have also been bumped to next year, the most shocking being the highly anticipated Wonder Woman 1984, with Gal Gadot returning as the superhuman hero. The first film drew huge box office around the globe and very positive reviews for Gadot and director Patti Jenkins, who also helmed this sequel. The third cancellation was Black Widow, the stand-alone film for Scarlett Johansson’s hero, killed off in the Avengers: Endgame (2019). Eagerly awaited, the latter two films will open summer of next year, we hope.
Given the poor stability of movie theatres and the question of whether or not audiences will even go to the cinemas is how these decisions were justified. The question now comes, who is next? How many more? And are movies theatres finally finished?
John H. Foote is a well-recognized Canadian film critic/historian who has been an active critic for 30 years. His deep love for the movies began at a very young age. He began his career as co-host of the popular TV show Reel to Real where he remained for nine years. While on TV he began dabbling in education, eventually ascending to Director of the Toronto Film School, where he also taught film history. After leaving the college to care for his wife, he returned to teaching at Humber College where he taught both Film History and Method Acting Theory. John has written two books: “Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker” and the upcoming “Spielberg – American Film Visionary”. He is currently working on two books, one about the films of the seventies and another on the films of Martin Scorsese. Through his career he has worked in TV, radio, print and the web. John has interviewed everyone in the industry (more than 300 interviews) except Jack Nicholson, he says sadly. Highlights include Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.