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Perhaps the most eye-catching addition is the arrival of DC superhero movie Birds of Prey, in which Margot Robbie takes centre stage as the bat-wielding Harley Quinn. With eye-popping colour and a more violent edge than other DC Extended Universe movies, it’s a film begging to be revisited now that it’s making its way into homes.
Elsewhere, there are a handful of intriguing Sky originals. To Olivia features Hugh Bonneville as the iconic children’s author Roald Dahl, while The United States vs. Billie Holiday is an Oscar hopeful which was previously eyeing a cinema release before the pandemic.
Here’s the pick of what’s to come on Sky Cinema and NOW TV in February...
Birds of Prey — Available from 5 February
Harley Quinn splits from the Joker, but that only makes her more dangerous in this delightfully twisted comic book tale from filmmaker Cathy Yan. The cast also includes Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Ewan McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Rosie Perez. Given the effects of COVID-19, it ended up being one of the very few bona fide blockbusters to emerge in 2020 — and now fans have the chance to experience it all over again.
Villains — Available from 6 February
It Follows star Maika Monroe and Bill Skarsgård — minus his Pennywise the Clown make-up — as pair of Bonnie and Clyde-esque robbers who break into a massive house in search of fuel. But this is a horror-comedy movie and, as such, they get far more than they bargained for once they get inside. With these two rising stars at the centre of it, this seems like something well worth a watch.
Adopt a Highway — Available from 7 February
Ethan Hawke leads this drama, written and directed by Upgrade actor Logan Marshall-Green in his first outing behind the camera. Hawke plays a man emerging into the world after serving several decades in prison for drug offences and struggling to adjust to how much society has changed. When he discovers an abandoned baby, he has something to take responsibility for.
Dragon Rider — Available from 12 February
This German production, adapted from the children’s novel by Cornelia Funke, features an all-star voice cast including Felicity Jones, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Sir Patrick Stewart. The movie follows a mismatched group of dragons existing in a world in which humans are about to destroy one of their final hideaways.
To Olivia — Available from 19 February
The legacy of author Roald Dahl and his Hollywood star wife Patricia Neal goes under the spotlight in this drama, focusing on the lives of the couple in the wake of the premature death of their daughter Olivia. This is the period in which many of Dahl’s most famous works were written. Hugh Bonneville plays the author, with Keeley Hawes — recently so incredible in the TV drama It’s a Sin — as Neal.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday — Available from 26 February
Breakout leading lady Andra Day will be angling for Oscar attention with her role as the famous musician Billie Holiday in this biopic, helmed by Lee Daniels. The movie follows Holiday’s tumultuous affair with a federal agent who is investigating her as part of an undercover narcotics sting.
The Blacklist S8 — Available weekly from 2 February
The latest season of the NBC thriller series continues to follow James Spader’s criminal turned FBI informant and his bond with Megan Boone’s special agent. This week, the show was renewed for a ninth season and so now is a good time to delve into its latest run, which began airing in the USA last year.
Rob & Romesh vs. S3 — Available weekly from 4 February
Comedians Romesh Ranganathan and Rob Beckett travel the UK embarking on challenges and learning new skills, while interviewing figures who are experts in the various sports and entertainment fields the duo are dabbling in that week.
ZeroZeroZero — Available from 4 February
Intense crime series following the movement of drugs are far from rare. Critics raved, though, about ZeroZeroZero, which follows the cocaine trade. Andrea Riseborough, Dane DeHaan and Gabriel Byrne play members of an American family acting as the go-between linking criminal enterprises in Mexico and Italy.
Chicago Med S6/Chicago Fire S9/Chicago PD S8 — Available from 12 February
Emergency services dramas are always popular, and this ongoing franchise focusing on first responders in Chicago continues to wow viewers even as it nears a decade in age. Flagship show Chicago Fire was recently renewed for at least another two seasons, so these characters aren’t going anywhere in the near future.
Devils — Available from 17 February
Much like ZeroZeroZero, this is another thriller series with Italian origins. Devils focuses on the world of finance, drawing its characters into a conspiracy linking major world events with the money constantly flowing around the corridors of finance. The series premiered last year in Italy and has already been renewed for a second run.
Dating No Filter — Available weekly from 25 February
A remake of the successful show aired by E! in the USA, this dating format sees comedians setting up members of the public on dates, helping to make perfect matches.
Ultimate Food Fun — Available from 1 February
The latest instalment in the Ultimate franchise Sky has created for kids, this show aims to create a new generation of cooks by teaching children how to make their favourite food while also having plenty of fun in the kitchen.
More Best Makes Ever — Available from 8 February
Arts and craft shows have been a huge staple of children’s television for years, whether it’s Blue Peter and its sticky-back plastic or Neil Buchanan’s 90s favourite Art Attack. With lockdown continuing to present parents with home-schooling conundrums, a show like More Best Makes Ever could be the perfect way to help children get creative.
Watch: Leslie Mann discusses Sky Cinema film Blithe Spirit