Brendan Fraser Brenaissance; Holy Rights Issues, Batman; Four Festivals
Brendan Fraser in The Whale courtesy of Heartland IFF

The Brendan Fraser Brenaissance continues, and we couldn’t be happier for him; Festivals, festivals, and more festivals; A Batman universe rights issue. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.

But First: Buckle your seatbelts, because we’ve got a bunch of film festival news today.

Heartland Exclusive: The lineup is out for the 31st annual Heartland International Film Festival, taking place from Oct. 6-16, and we have all the details first. Highlights include the opening film, Sacha Jenkins’ Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues. The closing night film will be Darren Aronofsky and A24’s The Whale starring Brendan Fraser, who was born in Indianapolis, Indiana where Heartland takes place. Heartland previously hosted Fraser in 2019 for a 20th-anniversary screening of The Mummy. “Three years ago we witnessed the phenomenon known as ‘The Brenaissance’ firsthand when we hosted Brendan Fraser at HIFF28 and I have not seen a crowd reaction that passionate in my 10+ year span with HIFF,” Heartland Film Artistic Director Greg Sorvig said. “When our team saw The Whale we knew that we had just seen Fraser’s most powerful performance yet and that this film was meant to close our 31st edition.”

Speaking of Brendan Fraser: It warmed my heart to see him get a six-minute standing ovation for his performance in The Whale at the Venice Film Festival last week. He was so moved by it that he shed a few tears. He deserves all the good things! Bring on the Brenaissance.


The People’s Joker: Vera Drew’s The People’s Joker, a queer coming-of-age movie set in the Batman universe, has been pulled from the Toronto International Film Festival lineup because of “rights issues.” Fans are bummed out, and those who got to see early screenings were super duper excited about it. Variety‘s best guess at what happened is that Warner Bros. Discovery may have issued a cease-and-desist against the film since it owns DC Comics and holds the rights to Batman, but that’s so far unconfirmed. Make what you will of Drew’s cryptic tweet about the situation:


Montclair to Honor Daniel Craig: The Montclair Film Festival is giving its 2022 tribute to James Bond star Daniel Craig. He’ll sit down for a conversation with none other than Stephen Colbert on Oct. 28 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. Plus, his latest film, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is the opening night film set to kick off this year’s Montclair Film Festival on Oct. 21. Learn more here.

Brooklyn Horror:  Highlights from the second wave of the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, running from Oct. 13-20, have been announced: Gaspar Noè’s IRREVERSIBLE: STRAIGHT CUT will be the closing night film and Charlotte Le Bon’s supernatural coming-of-age feature debut FALCON LAKE will be the centerpiece. Special screenings include the reproductive rights genre anthology GIVE ME AN A, a free world premiere screening of Tubi’s TERROR TRAIN remake, and a pre-festival screening of Paramount’s SMILE. Get festival badges here.

Beyond Fest: Speaking of genre fests, Beyond Fest is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and this year’s 2022 slate is the most extensive ever. It will include the world premiere of the 13th Halloween franchise installment, Halloween Ends — plus The Banshees of Inisherin, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, Smile, The Menu, Triangle of Sadness, Christmas Bloody Christmas, Hellraiser, and My Best Friend’s Exorcism. Find out about tickets here.

Main Image: Brendan Fraser in The Whale, courtesy of Heartland International Film Festival.