R.I.P. Ivan Reitman; Doctor Strange X Factor; a Super Bowl Valentine

R.I.P. Ivan Reitman; the Super Bowl is a Valentine to Hollywood; when Doctor Strange met Professor X. Plus: What’s a bad miracle? All in today’s Movie News Rundown.

Touchdown: Halle Berry helped turn the Super Bowl opening into a commercial for California and specifically Hollywood, which I’m sure the folks in Cincinnati loved. Hollywood is a place with constantly shifting geographic borders and it was nice to see those borders expand to Inglewood, a city many Hollywood-types only visit to go to LAX.

Movies Meet Football: Berry made a persuasive case that movies, like football, can still bring us all together, and I hope that’s true. It’s definitely true of movies with Spider-Man in them.

You Know Something I Don’t Like? When stars with millions of dollars cash in even more with Super Bowl ads. Do Larry David and Scarlett Johansson not have enough money? Maybe it’s all going to charity, in which case that’s great and I apologize.

What’s a Bad Miracle? Here’s the extremely compelling trailer for Jordan Peele’s next film, NOPE.

Weekend Box Office: Death on the Nile earned a perfectly fine $12.8 million despite the obstacles of opening on Super Bowl weekend and starring Armie Hammer. Marry Me opened to $8 million despite the obstacle of opening simultaneously in theaters and on Peacock, which may have kept some audiences home. Jackass Forever was the No. 2 movie, barely, with $8.1 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Mini Reviews: The missus and I saw both Jackass Forever (in a theater) and Marry Me (at home) and quite enjoyed both. Marry Me was sweeter and more romantic, but Jackass Forever had better scrotum smashing. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

R.I.P. Ivan Reitman: The director of Animal House, Meatballs, Stripes and Ghostbusters, among other films, died in his sleep Saturday at 75. “Our family is grieving the unexpected loss of a husband, father, and grandfather who taught us to always seek the magic in life,” said his children, Jason, Catherine and Caroline Reitman in a statement to The Associated Press. “We take comfort that his work as a filmmaker brought laughter and happiness to countless others around the world. While we mourn privately, we hope those who knew him through his films will remember him always.” Reitman had an incredible run of hit comedies that also included Kindergarten Cop and Dave, and produced films including Up in the Air and last year’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, both directed by his son, Jason.

Influence: His influence on a generation of filmmakers, especially in comedy, was profound, as evidenced by countless Twitter testimonials. “Opening night of Ghostbusters at UA Plainview was like a rock concert,” recalled Judd Apatow. “The place exploded with joy. It was one of the most memorable moments of my childhood. Ivan Reitman influenced everything we all love about film comedy. A true legend.” Phil Lord recalled Reitman’s input on an early version of Into the Spider-Verse, his animated masterpiece with Chris Miller: “Ivan Reitman was very good to me and @chrizmillr. He sought us out and encouraged us when we made our first movie. He saw an early cut of Spider-verse (‘Half of this is the best movie I have ever seen and the other half is bad’) and spent DAYS giving us helpful notes… RIP Ivan.”

Today in German Movie Studio News: Penzing Studios is open for business in Munich, Germany. The new film and TV studio, based at the former Penzing airbase, has new state-of-the-art virtual production facilities shooting in refurbished airplane hangers, with developers planning to invest an additional 100 million Euros in the next three years. Here is a picture:

Penzing Studios; R.I.P. Ivan Reitman; Doctor Strange X Factor; a Super Bowl Valentine

Wait Wait Wait Do We Just Publish Nice Blurbs About German Movies Studios Because Someone Sends a Press Release? Yes, sometimes. But the good news is YOU can also send us press releases. My email is [email protected].

Doctor Strange Meets Professor X: The new Super Bowl trailer for Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness had fans going nuts at the apparent return of Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier (at the 1:18 mark). For non-nerds, Stewart played Professor Xavier (X to his friends) in the original Fox X-Men films, but the X-Men never crossed paths with the Marvel Cinematic Universe because they were made by different studios. Now all the IP belongs to Disney, which led to fans wondering how the X-Men and MCU might meet for the first time. Is this it?

Rampant Speculation: We don’t like speculation in these parts but we feel okay about it in this case because it involves completely pretend people in a fantasy world. So with that… Comics fans are guessing that the folks who cuff Strange at the 1:10 mark are The Illuminati who were introduced in Marvel Comics in 2005. They’re a collective of heroes including Iron Man, Professor X, Black Panther and Namor, the Sub-Mariner who gather together to share intelligence on the greatest threats to our fragile world. Perhaps Doctor Strange encounters these characters via the multiverse, and they’re alternate-reality versions of the MCU characters we know?

Even More Rampant Speculation: This could be a relatively smooth way to reintroduce Iron Man and Black Panther, given that Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man is dead and Marvel has vowed not to recast Black Panther after the tragic real-life passing of Chadwick Boseman. But some Marvelites are convinced that the fiery guy at the 1:35 mark is an alternate-reality Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, and also that he’s played by Tom Cruise. There is of course no evidence that this is true — it’s essentially a wish. And it wouldn’t be in anyone’s interest to ruin the surprise. Anyway enjoy this verrrrry slooooowed dowwwwn vidddddeo.

Also: Marvel is pretty great at keeping secrets, as anyone whose seen Spider Man: No Way Home can attest.

Who Ya Gonna Call: I saw Ghostbusters in a drive-in as a kid, and in a theater a couple years ago as an old person, and both times were pure joy. A delightfully ludicrous mix of genres that shouldn’t work at all but does because of it’s deadpan commitment sense of fun.

Main image: Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez in Marry Me.