Week-in-review: Weekend Box Office, Star Wars Episode IX and Shazam!

    Dinosaurs Felled By an Ant-Man! 

    Tiny, yet mighty, Ant-Man and the Wasp wrestled the last weekend’s box office away from the T. Rex’s tiny, ineffective fore paws. Less than three months since Avengers: Infinity War and six months since Black Panther, Marvel is at it again with a sequel to a 2015’s Ant-Man. Paul Rudd reprises his role as Steve Lang, a reformed criminal who becomes the superhero Ant-Man thanks to the technology invented by the scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Alongside Hank’s daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly), Steve embarks on a quest to save Hope’s mother Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), trapped in a sub-atomic space. In its opening weekend, Ant-Man and the Wasp earned $75,8 million domestically.

    According to the Box Office Mojo, in the second place of the last weekend’s box office is Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom with $28,6 million, which brought its worldwide earnings up to almost $333,4 million. Incredibles 2 is now in the third place with $28,4 million. So far, Pixar’s latest masterpiece earned over half a billion dollars worldwide. The First Purge, the latest installment in the survival horror series The Purge that began three movies and five years ago, is in the fourth place with $17,4 million. Finally, the fifth place of the last weekend’s box office belongs to Sicario: Day of the Soldado that earned a bit over $7, 6 million. 

    Keri Russell and Billy Dee Williams Join Star Wars Episode IX 

    While the upcoming standalone Star Wars movie projects may have been put on hold, production of Star Wars Episode IX seems to be chugging along just fine. Recently, Variety reported that Keri Russell began talks to appear in J. J. Abrams’ next Star Wars movie. Russell first worked with Abrams on his TV series Felicity where she played the titular role that brought her fame as well as a Golden Globe Award for her performance. In 2006 she appeared along Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 3, directed by J. J. Abrams. In 2015 Russell won a Primetime Emmy Award for her performance as a Soviet spy in the critically acclaimed TV drama The Americans.

    While nothing is as yet known about Russell’s character in the film, Billy Dee Williams’ Lando Calrissian hardly needs an introduction. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Williams has just signed on to reprise the role of a shady, yet suave space gambler he first portrayed in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. Throughout the last few years, Williams has returned to the role, voicing Calrissian in video games and cartoons. This spring, Donald Glover embodied young Lando in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

    J. J. Abrams took over directing of Episode IX last year from Colin Trevorrow. Since then, he also helped to co-write the film’s script alongside Chris Terrio. 

    First Official Look at Zachary Levi as Shazam 

    It was only after the filming of the upcoming DC’s family-friendly superhero film Shazam! ended that the studio released its first official photo of the film’s titular superhero, played by Zachary Levi – seen here courtesy of Entertainment Weekly. An actor and a singer best known for his role in the TV show Chuck, Levi also appeared in two Marvel movies – Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok. And he isn’t the only actor in Shazam! to do so.

    As AVClub reports, Djimon Hounsou will appear in Shazam! in a role of the Wizard, a mysterious and ancient character who bestows 14-year old Billy Batson (played in the film by Asher Angel) with magical abilities that turn the young orphan into the superhero Shazam. Two-times Academy Award nominee Hounsou also played the villain Koarth the Pursuer in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

    Shazam! is based on the comic book adventures of one of the world’s oldest superheroes. Also known as Captain Marvel, Shazam was created by C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker for Fawcett Comics way back in 1939. For a while, the character was even more popular than Superman, before DC Comics successfully sued Fawcett Comics into canceling the comic book on the ground of copyright infringement, before acquiring the character for itself.

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