The following is part of my monthly column for Culture Fly
Thank you for the headline, Beyonce. It might not be my favourite song of yours but I know if I criticise you the Beyhive will come for me. I also know you, like Taylor Swift, are a copyright enthusiast so I’m too afraid not to give you credit.
If that opening paragraph seems weird, it is because I’m trying really hard not to repeat myself. The thing about monthly columns is you start to notice trends in the film release schedule, and yet again, an old movie monster gets a blockbuster update.
But, before we get there, it’s time to start with some genuine excitement as Wonder Woman (1st June) finally arrives on the big screen. It’s about damn time. Diana Prince is now 75 years old, and even Green bloody Lantern received a movie before her. Hopefully, her first film will be as awesome as her electric cello theme. Focusing on a naive Diana who leaves her women-only paradise to enter the evil world of Man and fight in World War One alongside Chris Pine, director Patty Jenkins has revealed the film is about hope and friendship in the face of adversity. Watching Wonder Woman stride into No Mans Land solo is awesome and with the DCEU being so far divisive, Wonder Woman will save the day when both Batman and Superman have failed.
If a woman is going to save one shared universe, Universal Studios are hoping a woman can start another. Decidedly featuring a female mummy for the first time, The Mummy (9th June) is the first film in the studio’s Dark Universe, a modern update of their famous monster films from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. In this rendition, Tom Cruise runs, jumps and yells over ancient monuments to fight Sofia Boutella’s titular mummy. The trailers suggest the film is playing to Cruise’s strengths in a similar way to the Mission: Impossible movies, so it’ll hopefully be entertaining. The supporting cast is rounded out by Russell Crowe, playing Dr Henry Jekyll (yes, that one), Jake Johnson, Courtney B Vance and Annabelle Wallis.
A week later, Rough Night (16th June) sees Scarlett Johansson lead her ragtag group of friends, Kate McKinnon, Zoe Kravitz, Ilana Glazer and Jillian Bell, on an epic hen night. Lucia Aniello makes her directorial debut in this mash-up of The Hangover and Weekend at Bernie’s, as this time the girls get to do the type of humour normally reserved for the boys.
On the same week, Marc Webb leaves blockbuster duty with Gifted (16th June). The North American box office’s highest grossing indie of 2017 sees Captain America star Chris Evans play Frank, a salt-of-the-earth guy who finds himself the custodian of his niece, Mary (Mckenna Grace) a mathematical prodigy. What follows is a family drama about what is best for Mary’s future as Frank takes his mother to court. Webb gives you a delicious face off you never knew you wanted as Evans goes up against ace British supporting actor Lindsay Duncan, with the great Octavia Spencer and the awesome Jenny Slate starring in supporting roles.
Colin Trevorrow, another blockbuster director returning to his indie roots, opens The Book of Henry (23rd June). The trailer sees the story go from 0-100 very fast as what starts out as a clichéd indie drama soon turns into something much more sinister. The dependable Naomi Watts leads as a single mother who is pushed to the limits by her next door neighbour (Dean Norris) and fights back with the help of her gifted son, Henry (Jaeden Lieberher). Also starring Jacob Tremblay, Trevorrow has cast two of the current best child actors, so if anything the film should show us the future of acting is bright.
Rounding off the month is Baby Driver (28th June), Edgar Wright’s first film in four years. Wright has always been a rhythmic director with his editing often causing whiplash, so his latest script about a getaway driver who drives to music seems like the perfect fit for him. Starring Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm and a deliciously sardonic Kevin Spacey, Baby Driver has the potential to be another fantastic hit in Wright’s catalogue.