5 Bizarre Questions Raised By Upcoming Movies
With the possible exception of that one empty theater where Nicole Kidman is seemingly trapped for all eternity, crowds are finally returning to the movies again. And while the future of the industry is still uncertain, at least we have a steady crop of new releases on the horizon. But, as was the case back in the Before Times, we do have some (pretty odd) questions about certain upcoming flicks, like …
Avatar: The Way Of Water – How Was The Dead Villain Brought Back As A Na’vi?
We’re only a few months away from the release of James Cameron’s much-anticipated sequel Avatar: The Way of Water, which will bring audiences back to the world of Pandora, to reunite with characters like … what's-her-face, and … Scooter? Was there a Scooter in Avatar? Even though the movie comes out before the end of the year, we still don’t have many story details about The Way of Water, and we can only surmise that it will be a beat-for-beat remake of FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue.
One thing we do know is that several actors from the original movie are returning for the sequel, even though their characters are dead. Fans were confused why Sigourney Weaver’s name was listed in the credits before it was revealed that she is playing a whole other character: the protagonists’ teenage daughter, who for some reason sounds exactly like their deceased friend. Less clear is what’s up with Stephen Lang’s villainous Miles Quaritch, who took a couple of giant Na’vi arrows to the chest at the end of the first movie.
Apparently, Quaritch is back; fans spotted the character in the trailer, now as one of the Na’vi, tattoo and all … wait, what?
How exactly a grizzled military dude last seen at death’s door while strapped in a mech suit in an alien jungle had his consciousness Black Mirror-ed into the body of one of his giant blue enemies remains to be seen …
Will Satan Show Up In Hocus Pocus 2?
The original Hocus Pocus was chock full of weird plot points, like how it turns the perpetrators of the horrors of the Salem Witch Trials into low-key heroes, while it also becomes the rare Disney movie that’s fixated on the sexual experience of its teenaged protagonist. Well, the upcoming sequel, Hocus Pocus 2, is also making some interesting narrative choices …
According to director Anne Fletcher, the movie will feature a flashback to the 1600s, where we get to see child versions of the evil Sanderson Sisters and learn why these witches are ”the way they are” – beyond simply that they are witches in a famous witch-based comedy. Of course, if we’re going by the logic of the Salem witch trials, which again were totally justified in the world of this movie, then these women “entered into a pact with Satan.” Does that mean that this family movie will open with a bunch of little kids literally meeting Beelzebub?
Although Fletcher also claims that the film will help us “understand the what, and why of what happened to” the Sandersons and explore “the idea that the 1600s and the now are the same.” So presumably, the film will have a more critical historical lens than its predecessor … while also attempting to generate sympathy for characters who were first introduced to us while literally sucking the soul out of a small child?
How Will The Pandemic Play Into Halloween Ends?
The final (but probably not) chapter of this branch of the Halloween multiverse is set to arrive in the form of this fall’s Halloween Ends – and since Michael is in his early ‘60s now, we’re guessing that it “ends” with him trading in his butcher knife for a shuffleboard cue and a life of sharing racist Breitbart articles on Facebook from a condo in Boca Raton.
We don’t typically expect these movies to reflect the problems of the real world; there was no cursed Celtic costume scourge of 1982, for example. But reportedly, Halloween Ends will jump ahead to a “contemporary timeline” and incorporate the COVID-19 pandemic into the story. Seriously.
According to director David Gordon Green, the town of Haddonfield will have been affected not just by the events of Halloween and Halloween Kills, but also by the recent global pandemic and the “peculiar politics” of the 21st century. How that will manifest exactly in a slasher movie is anyone’s guess – although Michael Myers, for all his faults, is at the very least not an anti-masker.
Is Wonka Going To Be About … Slavery?
For those who longed for a sexier version of Willy Wonka, and somehow haven’t kept said thoughts to themselves for their entire lives, next year we’re getting Wonka, starring Timothée Chalamet as the beloved chocolatier/businessman whose dangerous facilities lead to the deaths of several children during a routine tour.
Reportedly, Wonka is a prequel set during Wonka’s youth; and while there wasn’t much written about Willy Wonka’s early years for the film to draw upon, Roald Dahl’s original novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory did include some details about Wonka’s past and … they sure aren’t great.
Yeah, the only potential prequel fodder from the book came in its first pressing and involved how Willy Wonka “imported” the Oompa Loompas – who in the original text weren’t green-skinned beatniks, but rather, African “slave” workers from “the very deepest and darkest part of the African jungle where no white man had been before.” Yikes.
Glass Onion – Is Rian Johnson Lying About The Title’s Meaning To Preserve A Twist?
Director Rian Johnson’s follow-up to the acclaimed Knives Out, Glass Onion, once again follows gentleman sleuth Benoit Blanc (played by Daniel Craig) as he attempts to unravel another complex murder mystery – this time on a cruise to a private Greek island, either as a reference to a classic ‘70s thriller or in an Adam Sandler-esque scheme to get Netflix to spring for a free vacation.
As for the title, Johnson claimed that he merely selected the name of the classic Beatles song by randomly thumbing through his iPhone for songs with the word “glass” in the title. Which seems … unconvincing? Despite what hundreds of angry YouTube videos would have you believe, Johnson has proven himself to be a meticulous filmmaker with a penchant for sneakily imbuing his stories with hidden meanings. Are we really supposed to accept that the title for his film was selected so haphazardly?
The song “Glass Onion” is notable as being one of the songs that ties into the old “Paul is Dead” conspiracy theory, which supposes that Paul McCartney was “killed in a car crash back in 1966, and the band replaced him with an imposter.” (and apparently the imposter was also a super-talented bass player capable of writing some of the greatest rock songs of all-time). In “Glass Onion,” John Lennon sings: “Here’s another clue for you all / The Walrus was Paul,” a reference to the song “I Am the Walrus” (prompting some fans to speciously claim that the Walrus was a symbol of death in various cultures).
Some believe that Lennon’s song title refers to slang for a “glass-topped coffin with a see-through lid.” What does this have to do with Johnson’s movie? Well, for one thing, Glass Onion’s setting also has a connection to the conspiracy, with some paranoid fans believing that The Beatles buried the real Paul on a “hidden Greek island,” and included clues to this fact on the cover for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, as if they were mop-topped Batman villains.
So perhaps Glass Onion’s mystery involves a secret death and a hoaxster who steals that person’s identity? Or maybe Glass Onion was just randomly pulled from Spotify, and we should just be glad that we’re not getting Mambo No. 5: A Knives Out Mystery.
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Thumbnail: Disney/20th Century Studios