In today’s Movie News Rundown: The complex POV of Judas and the Black Messiah; Joaquin Phoenix will star in Ari Aster’s mysterious new project; Kate McKinnon will not play a blood-obsessed CEO; midnight madness for Disney+.
But First: Here’s the story of Morbid, a death-metal musician whose life was all-but-ruined by online sleuths who decided he must have killed Elisa Lam. He didn’t! Lam’s mysterious death is the subject of Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel.
Judas and the Black Messiah POV: Judas and the Black Messiah, from Shaka King, makes the intriguing decision to tell its story largely from the perspective of treacherous FBI mole William O’Neil (LaKeith Stanfield) rather than Black Panther leader Fred Hampton (the potential Black Messiah played by Daniel Kaluuya). The latest Low Key podcast delves into how that POV plays out:
WandaVision Is Just Too Popular: Disney+ received thousands of reports of West Coast outages as midnight broke and a new episode of WandaVision arrived, The Hollywood Reporter says. Wait, how do we know everyone wasn’t looking for Steamboat Willie?
Recommendation: The High Score docuseries on Netflix is an awesome origin story of video games from Pac-Man to Donkey Kong to Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s also very fun to see the beautiful mansions of people who invented other, now-forgotten video games four decades ago.
Aster + Phoenix: A24 will produce and finance the next film from Hereditary and Midsommer director Ari Aster — which will star Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix. Deadline, which broke the news, says details are scarce but that the film will be “an intimate, decades-spanning portrait of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.” Any guesses? I say Alistair Crowley. Or, since we’re all talking about Steamboat Willie, maybe Walt Disney.
Exit Kate McKinnon: Deadline says the Saturday Night Live powerhouse will no longer star in Hulu’s The Dropout, about Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, who dreamed of disrupting the blood-testing game. Jennifer Lawrence was previously announced to play Holmes in a separate project, Bad Blood, to be directed by Adam McKay and based on the meticulously researched page-turner of the same name by Wall Street Journal reporter John John Carreyrou.
Okay, Alright, Fine: Because America has Steamboat Willie Fever, here is the original film from 1928. PLEASE do not share spoilers online until everyone has time to see it.
Questlove and Sly Stallone: Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson will follow up his Sundance award-winning Summer of Soul with a documentary about Sly and the Family Stone frontman Sly Stone. Variety has the details.
Steamboat Willie Backlash: I have received your comments, tweets and emails and agree with you: Shame on Walt Disney for the orgiastic miasma of wanton animal cruelty that is Steamboat Willie.
Comment of the Day: Here’s a reader excited about Regina King playing Shirley Chisholm in a film about her 1972 presidential run: “Can’t wait to see Shirley. In the primary that year, as a brand-new voter I was privileged to cast my first ever presidential vote. I am not sure I have ever voted since without thinking of that primary vote I cast for Shirley Chisholm. How different the world might have been,” writes Terry, who is, full disclosure, my dad. Love you, Pa!
Have a great weekend, everyone.