Barbie v. Oppenheimer, a Fast Exit; Screenwriting Deadlines Approach

Barbie v. Oppenheimer; Justin Lin exits the new Fast and the Furious movie; screenwriting competition deadlines to be aware of. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.

The Batman 2: Writer-director Matt Reeves and star Robert Pattinson will reunite for a sequel to this year’s hit, Reeves announced yesterday at CinemaCon, surprising no one. Here’s Variety with details, but spoiler alert: There really aren’t any details.

Screenwriters! Micah Khan has compiled our brand-new list of 15 Submission-Worthy Screenwriting Festivals, and deadlines for some of them are coming up very soon: Humanitas is April 30, Cinestory is May 1, and Academy Nicholl is May 2. Also remember before you submit to double check all the references to that one character whose name you changed midway who may or may not be a ghost.

NAB: The NAB Show, which wraps up today in Las Vegas, announced its Product of the Year Awards yesterday, and the Best Overall winners include Sony Electronics’ Venice 2 in the Create category, Voice Interactions’ Media Monitoring System in the Connect category, and AnyClip in the Capitalize category. You can click on those links for demo videos. You’ll want to “nab” all of these, I’m sure. (Has anyone ever made that joke before?) Here is the full list of winners.

Barbie First Look: Above is a first look at our friend Margot Robbie as Barbie in the new film from Greta Gerwig, also starring Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Simu Liu and Kate McKinnon. The film will be out July 21, 2023, the same day as Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, starring Cillian Murphy as the father of the atomic bomb. Expect to see stereotypical manperson-womanperson couples having the following argument on that divisive day: “Barbie!” “No, bombs!” “Fun and subversive take on Mattel toy line!” “I am become death, destroyer of worlds!”

Flippin’ It: Surprise. The couple having that imaginary fight are myself and my wife, MovieMaker publisher Deirdre McCarrick, and she, a womanperson, is arguing to see Oppenheimer, while I — a manperson! — fight to see Barbie. Hello, and welcome to “Flippin’ It,” a new series of short plays in which we at MovieMaker will teach important life lessons about foolhardy gender stereotypes.

American Black Film Festival: The Miami-based American Black Film Festival, one of our 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, just announced the lineup  for its 26th edition. ABFF will open with CIVIL, an intimate vérité look at the life of Ben Crump, the trailblazing civil rights attorney whose clients include the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as well as victims of “banking while Black.” The full lineup is here, and the festival will occur in-person  June 15-19 and virtually from June 20-30 on the festival’s ABFF PLAY platform.

Nantucket: The Nantucket Film Festival also just announced its lineup for this year’s festival, from June 22-27. The festival will open with the National Geographic Documentary Film’s Fire of Love, about volcanologist couple Katia and Maurice Krafft. It closes with Linoleum, written and directed by Colin West and starring Jim Gaffigan, Rhea Seehorn and Katelyn Nacon. Here are details.

Well I Guess That’s That, Then: Remember how last week the Florida Legislature tried to end the special district that allows Disney World to basically rule itself? The Miami Herald reports that Disney says Florida can’t do that until a very large debt has been paid. I’m not going to pretend to understand this, but enjoy that link.

Fast Exit: Justin Lin, who has directed five Fast and the Furious movies so far, will not direct Fast X for reasons he explains below. Hopefully Terrence Malick is available?


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Dashcam: Here’s the trailer for the wild and challenging but rewarding Rob Savage horror film Dashcam, which I saw when it screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. In the film, a MAGA-hatted social media provocateur named Annie Hardy breaks quarantine in Los Angeles to travel to the UK in the mistaken belief that people there will be less uptight. They aren’t, and very scary things happen, captured by the dashboard camera Annie uses to perform freestyle songs as she drives. Dashcam will be out on VOD & theatrically nationwide on June 3. Enjoy the trailer:

Main image: Margot Robbie as Barbie in Barbie. Not pictured: Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer.