Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
The resurgence in popularity of Dungeons and Dragons, and role-playing board games in general, meant that a tussle broke out over who owned the rights to bring it to screen with Paramount ultimately winning out. It’s not the first time someone has tried although for those who endured 2000’s reviled adaptation starring Jeremy Irons and Thora Birch, they might choose to pretend that it is. This one looks to be very much made from the Guardians of the Galaxy template – old rock music, raucous tone, wink-wink humour – which has, admittedly, started to get a little tired in recent years but the presence of Hugh Grant is enough to keep one at least mildly curious.
It’s been quite the journey for the Scream franchise in the last decade and change. The fourth instalment was such a box office flub that an entire planned trilogy was canned, leading to the slasher moving to television for a series that barely anyone even knew existed. After that was rebooted to even lesser fanfare and rights moved to Paramount, it was then announced that it would return to the big screen, a move seen as predictable in the current oversaturated horror landscape yet unnecessary. But last year’s Scream then became a surprise smash, making $140m worldwide and electrifying a new, younger fanbase, and so we’re now at a place where Scream VI is being given the full blockbuster treatment: 3D and 4DX screenings, a bloated two hour plus runtime, countless teaser posters and that big game spot. It shows us a bit more of what we’ve seen already: the gang is now in New York, fan favourite Hayden Panettiere is back and there’s a precarious extended setpiece involving a ladder. New York, new rules, new franchise to run into the ground.
The 10th Fast and Furious film (11th if we’re counting spin-off Hobbs and Shaw) is also the fifth most expensive film ever made with reports suggesting a budget of $340m, not too shabby given how the series was seen as dead in the water way back when. It’s now it’s one of the most extravagant franchises we have, with the 10th adding Brie Larson, Jason Momoa and Rita Moreno (!) to join returning cast members such as Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron and Cardi B, and the novelty this time around is that it’ll be the first F&F film to feature electric cars. Other than that our first real look shows more of the same: gravitationally impossible stunts, gravelly voiced threats and more talk of the importance of family than an episode of Love Island.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Technically not a trailer for the latest Marvel release Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania but a branded tie-in, this brief, nay pointless, spot sees Paul Rudd’s miniature superhero feel judged for drinking a beer by an actual ant. But it turns out his bottle of Heineken is actually of the zero alcohol variety which, if the ant had actually tried it, would actually be reason for more judgment…
It’s turning out to be a big old year for four-beers-in B-movies, as shown already by M3gan and Plane, and later this month with the self-explanatory Cocaine Bear but a few weeks after that, we’ll get the great pleasure of watching the often rather self-serious Adam Driver tackle dinosaurs in the nutso-looking thriller 65. He plays a pilot who crash-lands on Earth but somehow it’s 65 million years ago so things go south real fast. Please let him punch a dinosaur in the face, please.
Finally, the superhero film that we thought might never come out seems as if it is actually coming out. Thanks to the increasingly worrying and menacing behaviour of star Ezra Miller, The Flash had been surrounded with question marks. Would it get re-edited? Would it be recast? Would it be thrown away? But with the actor seeking help for their problems, the DC publicity machine is in full flow and our, ahem, flashy first look is now here. As we already knew, it’s a film heavily in debt to the most recent Spider-Man movie, bringing together Batmans past and present but whether people are ready to forgive Miller and make it an equal-sized hit remains to be seen.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts
With Paramount riding high still from the success of the jumpstarted Scream and Top Gun franchises, it makes natural sense that the studio’s biggest ever series would return. From the looks of this new tease of the new Transformers film, the next chapter appears to be closer to Bumblebee, the spin-off that didn’t make much money but found its audience over time. It stars Anthony Ramos in what seems to be a more contained character-led story, which given the wild excess of the franchise’s lowest moments, is not a bad thing.
The third instalment in one of the only current franchises that’s yet to put a foot wrong, Creed III brings star Michael B Jordan behind the camera, acting as both lead and director. He’s up against Jonathan Majors, also on bad guy duty in Ant-Man 3 this season, and early word suggests test screenings have been going remarkably well. There’s no Stallone this time around, and early word also suggests he’s not best pleased about that, but hopes are high for another knockout.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
A closer look here at Harrison Ford and his creepily de-aged face for the new Indiana Jones movie, a sequel hoping to undo the damage that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull allegedly did (*whispers* it really wasn’t that bad). We also get more of new villain Mads Mikkelsen and sidekick Phoebe Waller-Bridge. But can a Spielberg-free Indiana Jones (from James Mangold) do the job?
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon back together after 2021’s cruelly under-seen The Last Duel to tell the story of how Nike’s Air Jordans changed a number of games. It has a nice old-fashioned robustness to it, from its starry cast to its underdog narrative and should prove to be a nice early summer treat when it hits cinemas in April.