Hollywood is an industry that feeds on recycled material. It is a strategy that works: risk little with formulas that have already proven their effectiveness, repeated year after year. The 10% fall in global revenue during the first half of 2019 has resulted in critical voices in the industry. Once again, however, we find ourselves talking about new cinema productions mostly comprising sequels, remakes, reboots and superhero movies, the true stars of the 21st century.
Star Wars: the rise of Skywalker tops the list of most eagerly awaited sequels, and not only by its many fans. Episode IX of the galactic saga, which brings the third trilogy to a close, stars the same actors as the two previous films: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac. J. J. Abrams directs this superproduction, which sees Rey, Finn, Poe and company once again face the First Order, led by Snoke, who intends to conquer the galaxy and eliminate the last jedi.
Although the Joker strictly belongs to the superheroes universe (he first appeared in DC Comics as Batman’s rival), Joaquin Phoenix, together with director Todd Phillips (Hangover in Las Vegas), has created an atypical character, a tortured clown, especially through the work of the actor, rather than with the usual special effects. Highly praised at the Venice Film Festival, where it has just been shown, the enthusiasm of some critics means it is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated movies of the autumn. It arrives in cinemas here on October 4.
Walt Disney (also owner of the Star Wars saga) releases two more movies in the sequels section. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil sees Angelina Jolie back in the role of the fairy with the hardened heart. The other is the sequel to Frozen, which was the highest grossing blockbuster movie in history five years ago. And it still is today. It remains to be seen whether Frozen II, which will hit our screens on November 22, can reach similar heights. The new film reveals part of the main characters Elsa and Anna’s pasts, and introduces viewers to their mother, who was not in the original.
The list of new feature films coming out of Hollywood includes three remakes. Charlie’s Angels will be released on November 29. The famous agents made the leap from the seventies TV series to the big screen in 2000 with Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu. Times have changed however, and now it is a woman, Elizabeth Banks, who leads the new female heroines - Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska.
On the back of the Schwarzenegger trilogy, including Terminator Salvation and Terminator: Genesis, the saga now returns to cinemas on October 31 with Terminator: Dark Fate. It is directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool), while Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton again star.
Meanwhile, Roland Emmerich (Independence day, 2012) directs Midway, a movie relating a decisive battle in the Pacific War, which opens on October 31.
Amid so much industrial muscle, a handful of veteran filmmakers also take their place on the billboard. After all the controversy, Woody Allen premieres A Rainy Day in New York on October 4, starring Timothée Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez and Jude Law. Another director surrounded by controversy at this year’s Venice Film Festival, Roman Polanski, premieres An officer and a Spy (J’accuse in French) on December 13, a reconstruction of the Dreyfus case that shook France in 1894. Meanwhile, Robert Guédiguian (Marius i Jeanette) releases Gloria Mundi on November 29, while the combative cinema of Ken Loach returns to the screens with Sorry, We Missed You (October 31), and the latest Palme d’Or winner, Parasite, by Korean Bong Joon-ho, arrives in cinemas on October 25.