Summer box office blockbusters: new movies to wait as the big screen heats up
DUBAI: If you’re planning to go back to the movies this summer, here are the hot new movies to look forward to.
Director: Cate Shortland
With: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbor
Release Date: July 8
In what will likely be this summer’s biggest hit, Scarlett Johansson’s Russian superhero Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow) returns to the big screen in a solo outing away from her Avengers teammates. The film is set after the events of 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War” and begins with Romanoff on the run and seeking to unravel a plot linked to her past as a KGB spy. As she delves into the mystery, she is forced to come to terms with a number of relationships that she left behind before becoming an Avenger. Johansson described her character as being in a “dark place where she has no one to call and nowhere to go” in the film. English actress Florence Pugh plays Yelena Belova, another “Black Widow” to whom Romanoff “will pass the baton” and “propel another female script”, according to director Cate Shortland.
A QUIET PLACE PART II
Director: John Krasinski
With: Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Djimon Hounsou
Release Date: June 10
The sequel to the acclaimed 2018 horror film sees the Abbott family (minus Daddy Lee, though he does appear in flashbacks) continuing their fight for survival in a post-apocalyptic world in which blind monsters hunt humans using their keen sense of hearing. Evelyn (Blunt), her deaf daughter Regan – who has discovered that high-frequency audio feedback can cripple monsters, her son Marcus and newborn baby must leave the relative safety of their isolated home and search for any human remaining communities – although they may prove to be as great a threat as the creatures that stalk them.
Director: Enrico Casarosa
Voice cast: Jacob Tremblay, Jack Dylan Grazer, Emma Berman
Release Date: June 17
Pixar’s big summer release is this fantasy coming-of-age comedy starring teenagers Luca and Alberto walking around the Italian seaside town of Portorosso in the 1950s. What Nobody Else Knows, is that the two boys are in fact sea monsters, who have lived off the coast all their lives before their curiosity got the better of them and they decided to explore the human world, although we told them throughout their childhood that this is a dangerous place for their species.
THE HITMAN’S WOMAN’S BODYGUARD
Director: Patrick Hughes
With: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek
Release Date: June 17
Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson revisit their sage double act that proved so popular in “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” in 2017. This time around, Michael Bryce (Reynolds), the bodyguard, is on a forced sabbatical. (meaning he is not allowed to use firearms or any other lethal weapon – you see where that is going…) when contacted by Sonia Kincaid (Hayek) the wife of Darius Kincaid (Jackson ), whose life Bryce saved four years ago. Sonia saves Bryce’s life, then asks him to help her save Darius.
THE WAR OF TOMORROW
Director: Chris McKay
With: Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, JK Simmons
Release date: July 2 (Amazon Prime)
In a move he can now regret, Paramount Pictures sold the distribution rights to this sci-fi action thriller to Amazon when its theatrical release was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With theaters reopening, this movie – in which humanity, 30 years into the future, battles an alien invasion using time travel to enlist soldiers from the present – seems like an ideal adventure on the big screen, but instead, it will only stream on Amazon.
SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
With: LeBron James, Don Cheadle, Zendaya
Release Date: July 15
It’s been a very long time coming, but the 1996 live-action / animated basketball comedy sequel is finally here, seven years after it was announced. LeBron James plays a fictional version of himself, who, along with his son Dom, is trapped in a virtual space ruled by a rogue AI. To escape, he must win a basketball game against the AI champions. The LeBron team? Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and other Looney Tunes characters.
Director: Jaume Collet Serra
With: Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Jack Whitehall
Release Date: July 29
This fantastic Disney adventure based on a ride through a Disney theme park will hopefully prove to be less fragile than its premise. With Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson on board, however, it’s fair to assume it’s going to make some money anyway. Johnson plays the captain of the riverboat Frank, who takes Dr Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) and her brother McGregor (Jack Whitehall) into the jungle, where they hope to find the tree of life. A competing German expedition – oh, and many wild animals – make their task more difficult.
THE GREEN KNIGHT
Director: David Lowery
With: Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton
Release Date: July 29
One of the most anticipated independent films of the summer, this epic fantasy based on the late 14th century poem by Athurian legend, “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”. Dev Patel plays Sir Gawain, King Arthur’s stubborn nephew, who foolishly takes on a deadly challenge from the titular knight, who is a huge and powerful tree-like creature.
Director: Shawn Levy
With: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Joe Keery
Release Date: August 12
Bank teller Guy suddenly realizes that he is, in fact, a non-player character (NPC) in the open world video game “Free City”. The reveal leads him on a quest to become the hero of the game, but time is running out. If the developers manage to shut down the game before Guy achieves his goal, then he – and “Free City” – will be lost forever. “Killing Eve” star Jodie Comer co-starred as a game developer called Milly, who also appears in the game as “Molotov Girl”.
Director: Martin Campbell
With: Maggie Q, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson
Release Date: August 19
Don’t be too confused, but here’s Samuel L. Jackson playing a hitman again. This time, his character, Moody, is tasked with raising – and training – the world’s greatest assassin, Anna (Maggie Q), a girl he discovered following a massacre in Saigon. When Moody is murdered, Anna returns to Vietnam to seek revenge on the person (s) responsible, finding herself embroiled in a deadly game of cat and mouse with a mysterious man named Rembrandt (Michael Keaton).