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Fall Preview

Around this time each year, I take a look ahead to some of the releases I am looking the most forward to for the upcoming fall season. Unlike in years past, there is currently a writers and actors strike raging in Hollywood, so the release dates for the productions below may be subject to change.  


RUN TIME: 3h 26min
GENRE: Crime, Drama, History
STARRING:  Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Di Niro, Lily Gladstone
DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese
WRITERS:  Eric Roth, Martin Scorsese, David Grann

Clocking in at a whopping three-and-a-half hours long, KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON, which weaves a devastating tale of genocidal conspiracy that ravaged the Osage Nation in the 1920’s, may seem like a daunting excursion. After realizing the talents attached to the project, however, it remains as one of the most anticipated films of the year. 

Directed by Martin Scorsese, the genre-bending epic stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Tantoo Cardinal, John Lithgow, and Brendan Fraser. On the outset it has all the familiar trimmings and aesthetics of a western, yet, as is often the case with Scorsese (and judging by the buzzy trailer) it will likely emerge as another entry in a long line of crime stories that will leave audiences riveted despite its staggering length.  

This serves as the tenth time that DeNiro and Scorsese have teamed up and the sixth time DiCaprio and the director have been paired together for a feature-length film.  Given the pedigree and promise of all involved, it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON fails to reach incredible heights. Scorsese’s last film, THE IRISHMAN, was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and similar expectations have been levied against his latest venture. It is an impossible standard to hold anyone to, but the master filmmaker’s latest take on power, greed, tragedy and violence will likely be a major player in the award season to come.  


RUN TIME: 1h 37min
GENRE: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
STARRING:  Zachary LeviBella, Ramsey, Thandiwe Newton
WRITERS:  Karey Kirkpatrick, John O’Farrell, Rachel Tunnard

Before the release of CHICKEN RUN, Aardman’s studios was best known for the ingenious WALLACE AND GROMIT productions. The stop-motion films were endearingly hilarious, highlighted by a perfect blend of animation, voice talents, and humor. With CHICKEN RUN, the studio took their talents to the big screen, essentially remaking THE GREAT ESCAPE into a family film about a bunch of fowl characters trying to avoid becoming their fate as the main ingredient in meat pies. It boasted all of the aspects of what made WALLACE AND GROMIT so great and remains hilarious and delightful to this day. Truth be told, I saw the film three times in theaters, taking multiple people with me each time. I simply couldn’t get enough. 

In the years that followed, Aardman enjoyed continued success with WALLACE AND GROMIT: CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT and a couple of wonderful SHAUN THE SHEEP movies. This December, CHICKEN RUN finally gets a sequel, as we get a look at the original characters after they escaped the henhouse. Though the characters may be the same, the voice talents have changed. The new cast includes Zachary Levi, Thandiwe Newton, Imelda Staunton, Bella Ramsey, and Nick Mohammed. It will be streaming on Netflix upon its release, and looks to be yet another smash for a studio whose impressive resume continues to grow with each passing release. 

WONKA (December 15)

Adventure, Comedy, Family
STARRING:  Timothée Chalamet, Olivia Colman, Hugh Grant
WRITERS:  Simon Farnaby, Paul King, Roald Dahl

After Tim Burton’s divisive adaptation of the CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, Roald Dahl’s beloved (and snarky) Willy Wonka once again finds his way into theaters.  While Johnny Depp’s take on the deranged chocolatier had as many detractors as it did fans, based on the initial trailer for WONKA, Timothee Chalamet’s turn promises to be a little less off-kilter.

Serving as a prequel to the 1971 classic WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, the film will trace Wonka’s origins from amateur to master. At the helm is Paul King, the filmmaker behind the two charming PADDINGTON films. Those proved to be two of most well-reviewed films of their respective years, with the sequel earning particularly high praise for its bright and beautiful visuals. This type of aesthetic seems tailor-made for the world of Wonka, and King has hinted that his film will be much more aligned with the original. Chalamet has quickly emerged as the darling of Hollywood and has a natural charm that should help him effectively embody the eccentric candy-maker. As someone who used to watch Gene Wilder on a loop at the video store (and detested Grandpa Joe with every fiber of my being) and adored each time my Grandfather read me Dahl’s classic novel, I have high hopes that King can apply his unique talents to provide a fresh take on one of cinema’s most iconic characters.

Brian Miller