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The coronavirus has dramatically impacted Hollywood, and the entertainment industry will never be the same again. It has been around three months since the first cases of the virus now known as COVID-19 were reported in the Hubei province of China. Since then, the condition has spread across the globe and brought the world to a near-total standstill. As of the writing of this piece, more than 202,000 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in over 160 countries worldwide. More than 8,000 deaths have been confirmed while over 82,000 patients have officially made recoveries. In an attempt to stave off the speed with which the condition has spread, many world governments have taken drastic measures that include blanket travel bans, closed borders, curfews, and mass shutdowns of businesses and schools. The United States declared a state of emergency while countries such as Italy and Spain are in states of near-total quarantine.
The coronavirus has impacted every single part of daily life, from schooling to food to politics and much more. The entertainment world is but one aspect of this, but given its vast visibility, it has acted as a vignette, showing to even the biggest virus doubters just how massive the virus’ effect is on a global scale. Over the past two weeks, the changes have been especially notable, from the postponement of big-budget blockbusters to the closure of entire cinema chains to the cancellation of some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals.
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It is unknown how costly these measures will be, but it’s safe to say that the more prominent studios will be losing tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars over the coming weeks and beyond. The short-term impacts are glaring enough, but nobody seems to understand how much this will change Hollywood over the next few months and years. To put it bluntly, it seems unlikely that the film industry as we know it will ever be the same again thanks to the coronavirus.
For the past decade or so, Hollywood has been a strange grab-bag of contradictions. Studios like The Walt Disney Company have reported new record-breaking grosses on movies like Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but the costs of those films have ballooned to gargantuan new levels that have made breaking-even harder than ever. The much-vaunted profits of China’s growing box office became the default mode for Hollywood profits, but it remains a tricky and untested market with suspicious tactics at its core. We saw the birth of several media monopolies, from Disney acquiring Fox to the epic growth of NBCUniversal under Comcast, but that hasn’t stopped many of Hollywood’s most historic studios from struggling to stay afloat.
All that and the speedy domination of streaming in film and television hasn’t helped to stave off dwindling theatrical ticket sales. Those billion-dollar box office numbers are deceiving: The grosses may be high for some, but it’s not across the board and they barely conceal the growing troubles at the heart of the industry. Hollywood has seldom played on secure ground, but the past ten years have seen them struggling in an atmosphere of smothering precarity. Unless you’re Disney, it seems that nobody is safe. It’s no wonder that the reactions to the coronavirus have been swift and dramatic. Few can afford to dawdle on this.
The evolution of Hollywood over the past decade, as documented above, meant that their seemingly extreme responses to the coronavirus were not only necessary but inevitable. Evidence of this is seen with the first major steps taken against COVID-19, mainly in the postponement or rescheduling of those big tentpole franchise titles. The 25th Bond movie, No Time to Die, opened the door for this change when it chose to move its release from April to November. What seemed hugely risky at the time now feels like a savvy move. Fast 9 followed, jumping from May 2020 to April 2021, then Disney made the shock decision to pull Mulan from its schedule altogether. It still does not have a new release date, although the company are reportedly hoping to still get it out in 2020. All of these films are dependent on big international money, especially from China, and it simply makes no sense to continue releasing them when that market is now all but gone. All of these choices happened before major cinema chains like AMC announced that it would close all of its theaters for between six and 12 weeks, forcing other studios and distributors to follow suit, regardless of how big or small their film was.
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The shutdown of films currently in production quickly followed. With various authorities, both political and scientific, advising against gatherings of more than a hundred people, studios made the call to shut down shooting or pre-production of various titles. Disney brought a halt to their entire live-action slate, which included in-production titles like Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, and Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley. The Matrix 4 followed suit, as did The Batman, the Avatar sequels, and Jurassic World: Dominion. Television has also been greatly affected, from Netflix’s Stranger Things to essentially the entire slate of American network TV (with some notable British titles, including long-running soap opera Eastenders also shutting down).
With the traditional realms of film and television grinding to a halt, many wondered if this would be the perfect time for the worlds of streaming to shine. Streaming services have already provided formidable competition to the old-school methods of Hollywood, but few could have envisaged that even the mighty big five studios would embrace them in this manner. NBCUniversal decided to break their theatrical window and put films like the upcoming Trolls World Tour as well as titles still in cinemas like The Hunt and The Invisible Man on VOD. For $19.99 and for 48 hours only, families could rent these titles. Disney+ made a similar choice when it decided to put its billion-dollar hit Frozen II on Disney+ months before initially scheduled. These aren’t blanket policies for any of the studios involved and it’s highly unlikely you’ll see, say, Black Widow dropping on Disney+ and bypassing cinemas altogether. Still, this moment felt like Hollywood unleashing a genie that it could never put back in the bottle.
Right now, the public at large has no idea how long the coronavirus will continue to impact daily life. With many people in voluntary self-isolation and worldwide cities left as veritable ghost-towns, this period of uncertainty is proving to be especially difficult. Hollywood and the entertainment industry at large have never faced a problem of this magnitude, and that’s what makes its long-term effects so unnerving.
Currently, most live-action productions have shut down for two weeks, with the potential for that hiatus to go on indefinitely; however, even if things go back to formal after 14 days, the immediate costs will be vast. The Hollywood Reporter noted that shutting down a major production like Shang-Chi for even one day could lead to a bill of around $300,000, and those numbers will only get bigger as the days pass. Studios have insurance for emergencies, but questions remain over whether or not a literal pandemic is covered under many of these plans. That doesn’t even take into consideration the employment issues, from the need to pay actors and directors their full fees to the below-the-line workers who face sudden unemployment.
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Finished films will eventually get a release, but only time will tell if studios choose to hold out for an eventual theatrical release or if they decide that streaming is more beneficial. It’s worth remembering that we still have very little knowledge of how profitable streaming is as revenue for many of these releases. Would it really be worthwhile for Disney to just stick Mulan on Disney+ over giving it the vast worldwide rollout they had planned? The chances are the answer is no, at least not for a film of that scale. The traditional means of release may see profits dwindling, but it’s still a far safer bet than streaming right now.
2020 as a whole may be vastly different in terms of film compared to what audiences were expecting because of the coronavirus. There’s a solid chance that many of this year’s most anticipated titles won’t get released until 2021, be it due to shifting release dates or delays from shutdown productions. Given the immense costs at stake right now, it may very well be that studios simply don’t have the funds to give all their big films the releases they had originally planned for them. It’s not just blockbusters being effected either. Everything across the board will be impacted, from low-budget indies to awards season favorites to international titles. The 2021 Oscars could see a drastically slimmer field compared to the previous year, for example.
The coronavirus has fully exposed how much of Hollywood’s default way of doing business is built on the shakiest of foundations, even when they aren’t facing down a worldwide crisis. When blockbuster tentpoles require near-unprecedented levels of grosses just to break even, the industry becomes overly reliant on an already unreliable market that has no long-term certainty. Right now, time is dictating how Hollywood moves forward. Studios will need to renegotiate their leases on soundstages and crews, contracts will need to be sorted out once more, and months, possibly years, of film and television schedules will need to be drastically overhauled. Hundreds of millions of dollars of lost revenue mean that Hollywood will have to drastically change track for the long term. There simply won’t be enough money to go round to stick to business as usual, even for the big players in the game.
The most seismic shift may come in the form of a serious shortening of the theatrical window. That’s something that’s already been changing over the past few years in the age of Netflix, but it feels inevitable now. Audiences were choosing to stay at home long before the coronavirus, and studios were having a tough time getting people into the cinemas. Aside from those major event movies that by design require a high-paying worldwide audience, direct-to-streaming may become the default mode.
Hollywood has proven that it’s not ready, or at the very least willing, to make major changes to its increasingly archaic way of business. The traditional studios aren’t ready to fully embrace at-home viewing, especially since it’s yet to fully prove its status as a guaranteed money-maker; yet, even when the worst of the coronavirus has passed, people may still be hesitant to return to the cinemas to rub shoulders with coughing strangers. That is why Hollywood can never be the same after this, because the world will not be the same after this — not after dealing with a life-altering pandemic. Right now, all one can do is speculate about the future, but whatever happens, Hollywood must be fully aware that trying to revert to the status quo after this major social and economic shift would be a fool’s folly.
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Fast & Furious 9, Mulan, A Quiet Place Part II and other movie delays will lose Hollywood billions of dollars. With the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus (aka COVID-19) taking its toll globally, many large-scale measures regarding entertainment have been made.
One of the first major films to delay its release date was the 25th installment in the James Bond franchise, No Time to Die. The film announced that it was putting off the initial April release until November, much to the dismay of fans who have also endured a lengthy road to the film’s production. It was not long, however, before other films announced delays as well, with the likes of Fast & Furious 9, A Quiet Place Part II and Disney’s live-action adaptation of Mulan all having become the latest victims of rescheduled release dates. Add to this the huge number of theater closures around the world (in particular China, where 70,000 theaters have closed their doors to the public), as well as production “pauses” on franchise films such as Mission: Impossible 7 or Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and it becomes clear the coronavirus is having a massive effect on entertainment worldwide.
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In fact, as things currently stand, the uncertainty that the viral pandemic is causing has already had a major financial impact on Hollywood. And, as the disease peaks in China yet continues to grow in Europe and North America, Hollywood studios are bracing for huge financial losses. According to a report from THR, the current financial cost on the global box office as a result of the coronavirus stands at $7 billion. If the disease continues to be a threat to the general public over the remainder of March as well as April and May, another $10 billion could be added to the current number. In total, $17 billion stands to be lost within the next two and half months. Beyond that, the hit to Hollywood will only continue to grow.
Aside from revenue lost due to box office closures, release date delays and franchise production pauses, Hollywood is also facing significant issues with its TV industry. A huge number of productions have already been shut down, though some remain resolute and have made the questionable decision to soldier on. However, it is the big film productions that will really have a profound effect on Hollywood’s profit margin. China has battled the virus for two and half months now, since first acknowledging its existence on December 31st. Though infections in the East Asian nation continue, the numbers have dropped astronomically from what they were even a month earlier. This offers hope not only for the health of citizens globally, but also for the entertainment industry. If the virus’ timeline can be mapped to roughly a three-month span, then it should be business as usual for Hollywood by the crucial summer movie season. At the same time, with countries like the U.S. arguably yet to experience the full impact of the pandemic, mapping out an exact timeline is left to conjecture at best.
As much as fans of franchises such as James Bond, Mission: Impossible or Fast & Furious want to see the next installment of their favorite series, the fact of the matter is that the health and well being of the general population is far more important. Hollywood has made the decision to recognize this by delaying releases and production, which ultimately bear significant costs. Unfortunately, coronavirus poses a financial burden for everyone – not just Hollywood, and it’s well worth recognizing that studios are resilient and will indeed bounce back.
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Universal Studios Hollywood is closing through the end of March due to coronavirus concerns. Recently, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic, causing civilians around the world to take additional security precautions against the aggressive virus. Amid coronavirus concerns, events around the globe are being postponed or canceled, including South by Southwest (SXSW), video game convention E3, and the premiere of James Bond film No Time To Die.
Universal Studios Hollywood released a statement following California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ban of gatherings of more than 250 in the state:
The health and safety of our team members and guests is always our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution and in response to the guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health, Universal Studios Hollywood will temporarily close beginning Saturday, March 14. The theme park anticipates reopening on March 28 as we continue to monitor the situation. Universal CityWalk will remain open. We will provide timely updates as conditions evolve.
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With a tally surpassing 124,500 cases worldwide, the coronavirus has caused an upheaval in travel sectors, the stock market, the health care system, and the entertainment industry. Now, Universal Studios Hollywood joins the growing roster of establishments locking their doors amid COVID-19 concerns. Starting March 14, Universal Studios in Hollywood will be closed. Universal City Walk will remain open, and the iconic theme park is eyeing a reopening date of March 28.
Home to iconic attractions, including Transformers: The Ride 3D, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Jurassic World – The Ride, Universal Studios Hollywood’s decision to close arrives on the heels of New York City’s Broadway theaters going dark and Disneyland officially closing the park in Anaheim, beginning March 14.
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Over the past two decades, many of Hollywood’s older stars have seemed to be passing away in rapid succession. This is not so shocking considering that the Hollywood system has been around for over 100 years and the remaining stars of its Golden Age are far past their prime. Recently, Kirk Douglas’ passing at the age of 103 made headlines for his iconic Hollywood roles and problematic legacy over the course of his extremely long life.
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Living to be a centenarian or even into one’s late 90s is considered an achievement, given that the global average life expectancy is 72 years old. And according to one study, Oscar winners in particular (such as Douglas) are likely to live longer on average. But while Kirk Douglas achieved this uncommon milestone, he is far from the only Hollywood star to have lived for longer than average. Here are 10 of Hollywood’s brightest and oldest.
Known for her sunny persona and wholesome public image, Doris Day was considered the quintessential “girl next-door” throughout her Hollywood career. She first came to prominence as a singer before transitioning to acting, starring in classics like Calamity Jane (1953), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), and Pillow Talk (1959), for which she was nominated an Academy Award for Best Actress.
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She starred in The Doris Day Show from 1968-1973. After finishing the show and retreating from the spotlight, she turned her attention to animal activism and founded The Doris Day Animal Foundation. Today it is one of the largest animal welfare charities in the world. After living a (mostly) quiet later life, Day passed away at her home on May 13th, 2019 at the age of 97.
When people think of Karl Malden, two things come to mind: his numerous supporting roles in film and television and his “every-man” appearance. He’s best known for his Oscar-winning portrayal in 1951’s A Streetcar Named Desire and for his Oscar-nominated role in On the Waterfront (1954). From 1972-1977 he starred as Detective Mike Stone in the hit TV series The Streets of San Francisco.
Later in life, Malden served three terms as the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1989-1992 and co-wrote his autobiography When Do I Start? with his daughter Carla in 1997. When Malden passed away in 2009 at the age of 97, he was remembered by peers and critics as one of the greatest character actors of all time. He was survived by two of his daughters and his wife, Mona, who passed away in 2019 at the age of 102.
Most recognized by today’s generation as Arthur Abbott in the 2006 film The Holiday, Eli Wallach’s acting career was as prolific as it was dynamic. He appeared in several iconic films such as The Magnificent Seven (1960), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), and The Godfather Part III (1990). Of the roles he played, Wallach admitted that most of the fan mail and praise he received came from his brief stint as Mr. Freeze in the 1960’s Batman TV series.
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Wallach continued acting well into his 90s, receiving an Honorary Academy Award in 2010 for his body of work and contributions to acting at the age of 94. His final role in a feature-length film was that same year in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, after which he retired. He died of natural causes on June 24th, 2014 at 98 years old.
Lillian Gish’s long life not only lasted for the majority of the 20th century; how she lived it proved influential to on-screen acting. Through her collaborations with D.W Griffith she starred in films such as Birth of A Nation (1915), Intolerance (1916) and Broken Blossoms (1919).
She is remembered for pioneering acting techniques on screen that would differentiate performances on screen versus on stage. As filmmaking continued to change rapidly in the ’20s, Gish briefly had a contract with MGM and later stuck to roles mainly in theatre and television. She continued acting until 1987, her last movie being The Whales of August with Bette Davis. She passed away not too long after on February 27th, 1993 at the age of 99.
June Foray worked in Hollywood for over 75 years… though she’s best known for being heard rather than seen. Foray was a voice-actress, known for her work on Looney Tunes, The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show and Disney animated films voicing multiple characters. Often compared to Mel Blanc (known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices”), Looney Tunes animator Chuck Jones was quoted as saying: “June Foray is not the female Mel Blanc. Mel Blanc was the male June Foray.”
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Foray fought to have animated films recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, succeeding in 2001 when the awards for Best Animated Feature and Short were introduced. She did voice work until 2014 and passed away on July 26th, 2017 just 2 months shy of her 100th birthday.
Bob Hope’s legacy is mainly tied to being one of the early pioneers of stand-up comedy. He was the first comedian to acknowledge using writers and encourage them to get fresh and topical material by reading the news. He starred in a series of films known as Road To… with singer Bing Crosby from 1940 to 1962 and often performed at USO tours for soldiers.
A 19-time host of the Academy Awards, Hope began to lose favor with younger generations later in his career for his political views and unchanging comic persona. He retired in 1997, and died on July 27th, 2003 at the age of 100.
Over the course of his career, Kirk Douglas starred in many classics such as Champion (1949), Ace in the Hole (1951), and Lust for Life (1956). In 1955 he founded a production company called Bryna Productions (named after his mother), producing and starring in more classics such as Paths of Glory (1957) and Spartacus (1960).
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He began focusing on his family life in the 1990s, his public appearances becoming rarer over the next 30 years. At the time of his passing on February 5th, he was being both remembered fondly for his roles, and examined critically in the #MeToo era; having allegedly assaulted Natalie Wood in the 1950s.
Olivia de Havilland is known for her eight-decade acting career, with her most iconic role being in 1939’s Gone with the Wind. She received 5 Oscar nominations and won 2 of them for To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949). She’s also well known for her estranged relationship with her younger sister, Hollywood actress Joan Fontaine.
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It appears that good aging genes run in the family, as Fontaine herself lived to be 96 years old. De Havilland is still alive at 103 years old and while she may no longer be acting, she was most recently in the news for suing Ryan Murphy over her unauthorized depiction in his FX television series, Feud.
While having one of the longest lifespans in Tinseltown, Luise Rainer had the shortest career of anyone on this list. Originally born in Germany, she was discovered by MGM talent scouts in 1935. She would go on to become the first actor to win 2 consecutive Oscars for her starring roles in The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and (more problematically) The Good Earth (1937).
A decline in roles following her wins resulted in her returning to Europe after only 3 years in Hollywood. She made very few appearances in film and television following this, having been long disillusioned by the dysfunctional Hollywood system. She passed away on December 30th, 2014 just two weeks before her 105th birthday.
Like Olivia de Havilland, Norman Lloyd is still alive and well. He is primarily known for his long term working relationship with Alfred Hitchcock. He first appeared in Hitchcock’s 1942 film Saboteur and went on to be featured in Spellbound (1945) as well as producing Hitchcock’s anthology series Alfred Hitchcock Presents from 1957-1962.
He’s best known for his roles in The Dead Poet’s Society (1988), St. Elsewhere (1982-1988) and most recently, Trainwreck in 2015. In 2014, he celebrated his 100th birthday and is one of the remaining talents who can recall working with auteurs in theatre and film such as Hitchcock and Orson Welles during Hollywood’s Golden Age.
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The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is not just a global health concern — it has also had an effect on Hollywood blockbusters like No Time To Die, Mission Impossible 7, and Sonic the Hedgehog. Declared by the World Health Organization to have a “very high” global risk, the coronavirus has already claimed 2,800 lives at the time of writing (via Newsweek), with outbreaks identified in 47 countries.
The virus has incited mass panic across the globe, with governments urging citizens to remain calm and keep up hygienic practices to avoid the risk of infection. Thus far in the United States, there are 74 confirmed or presumptive individuals who have contracted the highly-contagious virus (via CNN). The outbreak has resulted in a stock market dip, as well as rising fear among Americans. However, in addition to all of the risks to public health, the coronavirus has also had a sizable impact on Hollywood and the film industry at large.
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Coronavirus COVID-19, which was first identified in China, has resulted in over 86,000+ cases globally, leading to travel bans and restrictions in and out of the originating country. Considering China’s sizable influence in the film industry (especially the global box office), this has resulted in the production and release of several major films being affected, as well as the deaths of industry professionals.
After an estimated 600+ cases were identified in Italy and 17 deaths were reported, AMC made the decision to close 22 of its 47 theatres in Italy (via Deadline). AMC cited similar actions taken by local and national governments as to why they closed and later commented that they felt it may have been an overreaction, and plan to re-open the theatres next week. AMC also noted that because they don’t have theatres in majorly-impacted countries like China, they predict minimal losses — maximizing at about $1 million.
Christopher McQuarrie’s upcoming film Mission: Impossible 7 halted production in Italy due to the coronavirus scare, which could result in a delay of the film’s release date. Mission Impossible: 7 is one of two upcoming Mission: Impossible films helmed by McQuarrie, who also directed Rogue Nation and Fallout, the franchise’s 5th and 6th entries. The film’s crew was sent home and the shoot, which was planned to last for at least three weeks, has come to a complete halt as a result of local government regulations.
Thankfully, no cast or crew members are reported to have been infected, and the production will likely resume once other Venician health protocols have been lifted. Mission Impossible 7 is currently slated to be released June 23, 2021, but that date could change as a result of these delays.
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In response to the public health care, China has closed over 11,000 theatres across the country. Several major Chinese distributors also canceled the releases of their films, coinciding with the sudden closures in cinemas. Considering how massive China’s role is in the international box office, this will likely be a costly decision for both China and the film industry as a whole — and one that isn’t likely to disperse until quarantines across China are lifted.
One of the many films affected by the coronavirus, and the shuttering of Chinese theaters, is Sonic the Hedgehog. The film was released over Valentine’s Day weekend in the United States and was also planned to have a Chinese release on February 28th. However, due to the quarantines in China, the film’s release has been postponed with a new release date to be announced at a later time, according to a press release from Paramount’s China office.
Among other reasons, the move is also likely due to China’s massive box office power — Sonic the Hedgehog has already netted $203 million globally, but China would also provide a significant boost in profits upon release. For Chinese Sonic fans, it will likely be a waiting game to see when a new release date is announced.
One of the many Chinese casualties of the Coronavirus was film executive and director Chang Kai, who passed away with his family in the province of Wuhan after a self-quarantine. The director, who was 55, chronicled the time before his death in an online post, which includes accounts of his mother, father, and sister’s passings. The province of Wuhan has been on lockdown due to the number of cases identified, and it is unclear as to when the quarantine will be lifted.
One of the many film festivals impacted by the coronavirus in the 43rd annual Hong Kong International Film Festival, which was postponed due to the outbreak (via Variety). The delay was announced by the festival’s organizers in mid February, and stated that the entire festival would be delayed until early august — at least four months after the initial date was scheduled in March. The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society also announced that the society’s Cine Fan repertory program would be canceled entirely.
One of the most highly-anticipated movies to be released this year is No Time To Die, Daniel Craig’s final outing as the international man of mystery, James Bond. However, due to the quarantines and lockdowns across China, the Chinese leg of No Time To Die‘s press tour has been canceled. Additionally, the film’s Chinese premiere has been canceled. The move will likely hurt the film at the box office in a big way — its predecessor Spectre netted $80+ million in China alone, so No Time to Die canceling the Chinese release could affect it in the same way.
Going forward, film festivals and cons around the globe will be bracing for coronavirus and taking steps to ensure attendees are safe while attending. South By Southwest, which is currently underway, announced no plans for delays, but did note a “handful of minor cancellations” (via Deadline). The festival also urged attendees to practice maintaining hygiene standards in order to avoid the risk of contamination. According to organizers, over a hundred Chinese attendees have dropped out of the Berlin Film Festival, citing the coronavirus for their reason of non-attendance. Chinese films will likely be pulled from several other major festivals as Chinese lockdowns continue.
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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood gave Rick Dalton a hopeful ending when he finally met Sharon Tate and was invited to her home, but what happened to him (and his career) after that? Quentin Tarantino offered an alternate version of 1960s Hollywood in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which just like Inglourious Basterds took real-life events and gave them a twist, while also introducing new characters.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood follows actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his best friend and stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) as they struggle to stay active and relevant in the final years of Hollywood’s golden age. The film takes viewers through many ups and downs in Rick’s career, from TV shows to films and even commercials for in-universe brands (the famous Red Apple cigarettes), but even though he did a bit of everything and was a well-known name in the industry, he dreamed of befriending his neighbors Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and Roman Polanski (Rafał Zawierucha), as he saw it as a way of reviving his declining career.
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After an encounter with members of the Charles Manson family who changed their plan at the last moment and decided to go after him, and with Cliff being taken to the hospital, Rick finally met Sharon Tate and friends, and the film ended with Rick joining them at Tate’s house. But what happened after that? Did Rick’s career come back to life?
Although the ending of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood gave viewers hope for Rick and Cliff’s careers to be revived after that disastrous night and Rick’s new connections with Tate and friends, that might have not been the case. Speaking to THR, Tarantino shared that he’s not sure Rick got his big break after that, but what he “could really see happened” is him ending up on TV shows again, but as “the older cop who’s the boss of the younger cop that sends them out on the missions”, as happened to many lead actors from the 1950s and 1960s in the early 1980s. However, he believes Rick might have been more open to roles that he would’ve turned down in the past.
Rick’s biggest role as seen in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was in the TV series Bounty Law, where he played the lead role for four years. He appeared in many more TV shows, most notably Lancer, where he met the very young but also very wise Trudi Fraser. He also had a role in The Green Hornet, and Cliff got in trouble on set with Bruce Lee (Mike Moh). Rick made a couple of films too, most notably The 14 Fists of McClusky and Nebraska Jim, the latter a spaghetti western that took him (and Cliff) to Italy for a while. Dalton came back from Italy with his career holding on to dear life and with a wife (Francesca Cappucci, played by Lorenza Izzo), which meant he could no longer afford Cliff’s services.
The events at the end of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood might have not boosted Rick’s career as he and the audience hoped, but at least he would have been less picky. As for Cliff, it’s unknown if he had the same fate as Rick or not, as he could have also worked as stunt double for someone else. Even if Tarantino’s films often include situations that seem too fantastic, there are always reality check moments, and truth is that Rick’s career probably wasn’t revived after that messy night.
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Movies operate with a suspension of disbelief which allows audiences to overlook some unrealistic details, however, when it comes to hacking, it’s hard not to look away. Fictional hacking is so notoriously bad that it has become a punchline.
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Hacking tends to be one of the least accurate aspects of moviemaking that leads to jokes among IT professionals, cybersecurity experts, and even mere hobbyists who are into coding. For those who know Hackerman from Kung Fury, you know what we’re talking about. Here are 10 ways that hacking in movies and TV shows differs from real life.
Hackers in movies tend to be condescending loners, but who can blame them? Only these select few understand the secret language of coding, and those who go to them for help are not on their level. Maybe this was true when computers were only just becoming commonplace, but not anymore.
These days, hackers rely on networking and cooperation to stay ahead of the game. Additionally, anyone can be a hacker with the help of some YouTube tutorials and free time. The hacker subculture isn’t exactly a niche lifestyle anymore, but its ranks have definitely expanded.
Hackers in films are a dangerous bunch since they can basically use a calculator and wi-fi as a universal digital key. Thing is, hacking requires specific tools and programs for specific situations. Devices and software aren’t as interchangeable as movies suggest. Phishing could work on a laptop, but breaking into databases would need a server farm.
One of the most infamous instances of this can be seen in the movie Firewall when Harrison Ford uses his daughter’s mp3 player as a hard drive. While that is hardly impossible, the process isn’t as instantaneous as implied. Harrison Ford would need a few more add-ons and devices just for the mp3 player to read the stolen bank data.
A shorthand for showing that the hackers are serious is to show off their sweet hacking technology. For example, the cast of Hackers and Johnny Mnemonic‘s protagonist use virtual reality gear to literally surf the web; meanwhile, The Warlock in Live Free or Die Hard has the most decked out one-man network farm in his mom’s basement.
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Unless these guys had to hack into a government’s database or the planet, such gigantic and overblown machinery isn’t necessary. Contrary to this trope’s implications, computers are only getting smaller. To be fair, these ideas are holdovers from a time when today’s internet and computer culture were only coming into being.
A staple of movie hacking is the accompanying graphics that reflect how radical the hacker is. Onscreen computers have lots of quirky details, like laughing skulls, cartoon characters eating code, or ticking timebombs. Real-life hacking, however, is all about reading lines upon lines of code. The zany graphics are really just a hobby and, at worst, a distraction.
The most accurate visualizations are in Blackhat and Mr. Robot, where the hackers require multiple active programs on their monitors. Meanwhile, the likes of Jurassic Park (where the park’s security systems are visualized as a bunch of digital filing cabinets that have to be clicked to get “hacked”) or Hackers (where characters swam through cyberspace) are fantastical at best and comical at worst.
According to Live Free or Die Hard, hackers are so dangerous that not only can they make your computer explode by sending a computer virus that detonates blocks of C4, but they can literally shut down the entire country. They do this by hacking into everything, including major news networks, banks, webcams, and traffic lights.
Hacking into public utility systems and networks isn’t unheard of and is frighteningly possible (for example, the Sony Pictures hack of 2014), but what Live Free or Die Hard and other movies like Swordfish get wrong is treating it like magic that can be done in a heartbeat and without apparent risk. Doing everything shown in these movies would take hours/days rather than seconds and more than just five keys pressed simultaneously.
Movie hackers always know precisely what they’re looking for. With just a few lines of code and some stolen passwords, they can break through any digital defenses and take whatever top-secret intel they need.
Real-life hacking involves a lot of guessing and trial-and-error, which are often glossed over in films for the sake of pacing and entertainment. Hackers actually got this part right, where the titular hackers sift through garbage for paperwork with the right admin passwords to narrow their search. Contrary to the smooth and oftentimes badass cinematic hackers, actual hackers really just fumble around in digital mazes until they find that sweet spot that lets them in.
Hacking schemes are always complex in movies. Live Free or Die Hard had its hackers nearly shut down all of America just to commit identity theft, while Skyfall had Silva break into MI6’s databases with a literal mutating web of codes. In contrast, real-life hacking can be a lot simpler.
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The most effective hacks are usually the simplest ones that don’t attract attention, like spam email that phishes the victims’ account information. Ocean’s 8 showed this properly, where a dubious email was all it took for Nine Ball to gain remote webcam access. Complex hacks obviously exist but hacking or making cybersecurity with the maxim “security through obscurity” in mind is more counterproductive than anything.
You know a hacking scene is intense when the hacker types at the speed of light while rad techno music starts blaring in the soundtrack. Most infamously, NCIS had Abby fight a hacking attack by getting McGee to help her type doubly fast. Since the two couldn’t stop the attack, the hackers must’ve had five people on their really big keyboard.
Actual hackers could (obviously) type fast, but they don’t need to hammer out 20 lines of code per second. Hacking is a meticulous and detailed job, where a single typo could derail the entire program. Typing at ludicrous speeds doesn’t just do nothing but it also increases the risks of making critical errors.
Movies present hacking as the coolest and most cyberpunk job on Earth. Not only is it a profession exclusive to cyber rebels who stick it to The (digital) Man, but it’s a quick, adrenaline-pumping way to earn money – legally and otherwise. What movies don’t usually show is that hacking is actually made of up so much waiting and bumming around.
Hacking is very much like fishing. After the bait is deployed, the hacker has no choice but to wait for something to bite. Similarly, decrypting and/or encoding data can take even the most talented hacker with the most sophisticated programs a while to finish the job. Add in the tedious process of trial-and-error among other things, and you have the exact opposite of fun.
The most prevalent character trait of movie hackers is that they’re the outlaws of the digital age. Whether they’re rebellious anti-heroes, neutral profiteers, or cyber villains varies on a case-to-case basis, but the common consensus is that hacking is illegal. Believe it or not, this is no longer the case. Hacking is not always a crime.
The hacking community has expanded so much that they’ve split themselves into moral alignments. The malicious hackers, like those often seen in movies, are the Black Hats, while those that go out of their way to stop them are the White Hats, who cooperate with digital firms and the authorities. Grey Hats do what White Hats do but without permission, which either makes them vigilantes or wild cards. The world of hacking is, unsurprisingly, more complicated than it may seem.
NEXT: Mr. Robot: 7 Things That Brought Us Closure (& 3 That Didn’t)
Angelo Delos Trinos
Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was one of 2019’s most critically acclaimed movies. That was reflected at this year’s Oscars, where the film went home with the awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best Production Design out of a total of 10 nominations.
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Part of what made the movie so great is that Tarantino opened and ended it with the perfect scenes to introduce us to the unique world of the story and wish us farewell, respectively. So, here are five great things about Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’s opening and five about its ending).
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood takes place in the late 1960s (1969, to be exact), and the wardrobe, color palette, and Oscar-winning production design immerse us in a gloriously nostalgic vision of that era. Everything from Sharon Tate’s dance to the suitcases in the airport recalls this point in history.
The opening Bounty Law promotion perfectly recreates westerns — and broadcast television in general — from the late ‘60s. The movie definitely views ‘60s culture and society through rose-tinted glasses, but when rose-tinted glasses make it look this beautiful, who cares?
One of the most criticisms levied at Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is that it’s too slow-paced. But when the climax arrives, this slow pacing turns out to have been building towards a gruesome finale. Tarantino claims he came up with the ending first, and worked his way backwards, so this effect makes a lot of sense.
The climactic sequence makes the first two acts’ long build-up worth it, as Cliff shows us just how deadly he is while tripping on acid and Rick “burns a hippie’s ass to a crisp.”
Robert Richardson’s cinematography is one of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s greatest assets. This shot is all about controlling the information that the audience is given. Following the 4:3 prologue introducing Rick Dalton and his career, we open so close on a painting of some teeth that it’s not really clear what we’re looking at.
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The camera slowly pulls back, revealing that we’re in the back of a car. Cliff and Rick get in and Cliff reverses out of Rick’s driveway, revealing that we’ve been staring at a poster for a Rick Dalton movie that Rick has pinned up in his own driveway.
Just as The Hateful Eight’s single-location setting was compared to Reservoir Dogs, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s interwoven tapestry of storylines was compared to Pulp Fiction. But unlike Pulp Fiction, this one has a more or less linear narrative structure, allowing those storylines to converge at the end.
Everything from throughout the movie — Cliff’s trip to Spahn Ranch, Rick’s flamethrower from The 14 Fists of McCluskey, Brandy’s loyalty to Cliff, Cliff’s acid-dipped cigarette, the fact that Rick is Sharon Tate’s neighbor etc. — suddenly comes together in the climactic set piece.
Without using any expository dialogue, Quentin Tarantino sets up the character dynamics of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as the opening titles play over a montage of shots. We see that Sharon Tate can afford to fly privately, and she’s harassed by paparazzi as soon as she lands, so she represents Hollywood’s biggest stars.
Rick Dalton is left alone by paparazzi, right after a prologue established him as a TV star, setting him up as a has-been. And his stunt double Cliff Booth is driving him around. Cliff represents the more realistic side of the film industry: he lives in a trailer that isn’t even in Hollywood, and he can’t get work anywhere.
Tarantino’s fans love stylized violence, and most of his movies have it in spades. But Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was a different kind of Tarantino picture. It told the story of a day in the life of people working at different levels of the film industry, with a couple of punches here and there.
The director saved his signature violence for the end, making his fans wait for it, and when it hit, it really hit. Cliff and Brandy ravaging the Manson Family killers is one of the most triumphantly violent sequences in Tarantino’s filmography.
Quentin Tarantino famously picks great soundtracks. He’s reluctant to let composers write original music for his films, because he doesn’t want to entrust someone else with the soul of his movie (although he made an exception for Ennio Morricone, his favorite composer of all time, who wrote the award-winning foreboding score for The Hateful Eight).
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s opening remains in silence until Cliff and Rick get in the car and turn on the radio. The song that plays on the radio, and carries through the opening scene, is perfectly matched to the ‘60s era: “Treat Her Right” by Roy Head and the Traits.
In the Tarantino universe, the Manson Family murderers decided against killing Sharon Tate and her guests and instead went to the house next door to murder Rick Dalton for teaching them to kill with his violent TV series Bounty Law.
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This can be seen as a response to all the critics of Tarantino’s own use of violence in his movies. There’s a thematic resonance in Rick using a weapon from one of his old action movies to kill the final assailant.
After we’re introduced to Sharon Tate dancing on a private plane, the opening montage returns to Rick and Cliff in the restaurant, where the date is revealed in an on-screen caption: “Saturday February 8th 1969.” Anyone with a detailed knowledge of this era knows that Tate was murdered on August 8, 1969, and anyone with a vague knowledge knows that it was late summer.
So, we go into the movie knowing roughly how far away (or exactly how far away) the climax will be. And since this is a Tarantino movie, and Tarantino is famous for tweaking history to get cinematic justice, we still have no idea what’s going to happen when that night comes.
Quentin Tarantino always ends his movies somewhat ambiguously, but there’s always a definitive sense of closure. From Reservoir Dogs to The Hateful Eight, most of Tarantino’s movies stop at the point where the audience can figure out the rest for themselves.
As Sharon Tate avoids her grisly real-life fate and invites Rick Dalton up to her house for a drink, we can assume that in Tarantino’s revised version of history, Old Hollywood remained intact, Tate enjoyed the long acting career she always deserved, and TV cowboys like Rick made a comeback.
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Each new year sees a range of young actors inch ever closer to superstardom. Some young actors seem destined for greatness right from the get-go (see Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone), while others are required to work their way up the proverbial ladder by building a resume of electric performances in a variety of different film projects.
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The actors featured in the below list of 10 promising movie stars under 30 all seem to be on the right path to achieving major success in Hollywood, with some only virtually a film or two away from becoming household names. Regardless of where these stars are currently sitting on their career path, there’s no doubt that they’re some of the industry’s top prospects.
Before Letitia Wright was cast in the role of a lifetime as Shuri in Marvel Studios’ Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame, her next biggest film credit was starring alongside Liam Neeson with a tiny role in The Commuter. Prior to that, she had starred in several TV mini-series’, but it wasn’t until she got the call from Marvel that her career trajectory seemingly skyrocketed overnight.
Wright completely owned the character of Shuri, who went on to become an instant hit with the fans. Though we’ll surely be seeing Wright appear in future Marvel films, her next big gig is a featured role in the upcoming Death on the Nile from director Kenneth Branagh, based on the classic Agatha Christie mystery tale.
Dacre Montgomery is best known for his work on TV’s Stranger Things as bad-boy Billy Hargrove, though he also starred in the reboot of the Power Rangers film franchise as Jason, the Red Ranger. While Montgomery’s star power is mostly based on his TV work, being cast as the lead in Power Rangers, which itself is a hugely popular global franchise, is a sure-fire sign that he’s well on his way to hitting the big time on the film circuit.
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Montgomery is next slated to appear in the romance film The Broken Heart Gallery from director Natalie Krinsky, which seems fitting considering his heartthrob status amongst fans. At only 25 years of age, the sky’s the limit for the young actor from Perth in Western Australia.
Another Australian-born actor well on her way to superstardom is Samara Weaving, who’s becoming somewhat of a modern-day scream-queen after starring in the cult-comedy-horror films Mayhem, The Babysitter, and Ready or Not. Weaving has a natural ability for playing strong, edgy lead characters with a penchant for violence; a trait that seems to be in high demand in the 2020s.
She can next be seen in the bonkers action-comedy film Guns Akimbo alongside Daniel Radcliffe, as well as featuring in the Bill & Ted reboot film, Bill & Ted Face the Music. Being cast next to Keanu Reeves in that film is sure to raise her profile amongst the mainstream moviegoing audience.
Elizabeth Debicki’s path to superstardom is well in effect, having recently starred in the smash-hit MCU film, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2. It was a small role but one that has a lot of room for progression and she’s already signed on for the third installment of the franchise due for release in 2021. She also impressed in Steve McQueen’s crime-drama, Widows, proving her range as an actor.
She’s yet to be cast as a leading lady, however, but her name is in the minds of some of the top directors now, as she’s set for a role in Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated upcoming science-fiction action epic, Tenet. It seems only a matter of time before Debicki is headlining her own film.
Zendaya broke out on the movie scene in 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, going on to reprise her role in the film’s sequel. HBO took notice and offered her the leading role in their controversial series, Euphoria, and her performance in that only further solidified her potential as a superstar in the making.
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Zendaya’s career in the limelight is only just picking up steam and the actor is full of potential. She’ll be starring in Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the classic sci-fi tome Dune in late 2020, which should give her the opportunity to further expand her acting abilities as Hollywood watches on. It’s only up from here for this young talent.
Will Poulter has been working his way up the Hollywood ranks over the last few years, showing his range by starring in a variety of different genre films. He never ceases to impress, whether he’s doing comedy like in We’re the Millers, action sci-fi like in The Maze Runner, hard drama like in Detroit, or disturbing horror like in Midsommar.
A character-actor like no other in his age group, Poulter is an underrated actor whose potential shows no bounds. Should he be able to keep up this run, then he’ll certainly receive the recognition he’s due and join the Hollywood elite in the near future.
After making her outstanding debut in Robert Eggers’ deeply unsettling horror film The Witch in 2015, Anya Taylor-Joy has gone from strength to strength. A natural leading lady, she has gone on to headline films like the underrated Thoroughbreds alongside fellow rising star Olivia Cooke, and more recently, 2020’s period-piece, Emma., based on the classic Jane Austen novel.
At this stage of her career, Taylor-Joy can seemingly do no wrong as this highly sought-after actor currently has 7 new projects in the works. It’s obvious that Hollywood filmmakers have seen something special in Taylor-Joy’s talent, and she’s primed to be the next big thing in Hollywood.
Florence Pugh’s work on the highly entertaining pro-wrestling biopic Fighting with My Family, followed by her lead role in the unnerving horror film Midsommar landed her a role in Greta Gerwig’s highly acclaimed 2019 period-drama, Little Women, with her performance earning her a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the 2020 Academy Awards.
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At just 24 years of age, Pugh has already proven that she can hold court with the best of them, and her next role alongside Scarlett Johansson in 2020’s Black Widow should send her even further into the limelight. With her recent Oscar-award accolade and mainstream-cinema casting, Pugh is no doubt one of the most promising young stars on this list.
Director Yorgos Lanthimos’ haunting film The Killing of a Sacred Deer put Barry Keoghan on the map in Hollywood, with the actor’s horrifying portrayal of a young man with conniving, violent tendencies. His performance caught the eye of Christopher Nolan, who then cast him in his remarkable war epic, Dunkirk.
Keoghan has a unique ability to steal every scene that he’s in, even when surrounded by veteran Hollywood stars. He always has an intense presence about him that keeps the audience intrigued any time he’s on the screen. It’s this ability that earned him a call from Marvel, inviting him to star in their upcoming Phase 4 MCU film, Eternals. Keoghan was happy to oblige.
An actor with depth beyond his years, Lucas Hedges is a name destined to become synonymous with greatness. He earned his first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 2016’s Manchester by the Sea and has continued on to display his excellence dramatic persona with roles in films like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Mid90s and Honey Boy.
Hedges is on his way to becoming an actor’s actor, the type of performer that other up-and-coming actors will look to for inspiration. If he can keep choosing excellent roles that allow him to showcase his many talents, then we can be sure to see more of Lucas Hedges at future awards ceremonies.
NEXT: 10 Best Young Actors Who Debuted This Decade
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