After a relatively light year at the Super Bowl for Hollywood, thanks to Covid, of course, the studios and streamers were back to business at the weekend, securing $7m spots for their shiniest of wares.
Here’s a rundown of what you might have missed:
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness
The phenomenal success of the most recent Spider-Man instalment (about to take over Avatar’s mammoth box office) and the film’s many, many cameos have upped the ante for the next Marvel adventure, something the new tease of Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange 2 is certainly aware of. While we knew from the last trailer that Elizabeth Olsen’s tortured Wanda would be a major part, the new ad has confirmed a rumour that Patrick Stewart would be starring as well. It was a mere voice tease (and not enough to 100% confirm that he’ll be playing X-Men’s Professor Xavier although it seems very very likely) but just that alone managed to briefly break the internet. We’ll find out how their worlds collide in May.
The Lord of the Rings: the Rings of Power
The Super Bowl also offered up a new look at Amazon’s ambitious new Lord of the Rings series, which has cost a reported $465m to make. It certainly looks epic in scale, but the niggling question remains: do we really need this? Peter Jackson’s original series remains virtually perfect and still all-too-recent and nothing yet, not even this handsome trailer, has shown us that Middle-earth needs revisiting.
The Lost City
A quick look at Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum’s The Lost City, a knowing spin on Romancing the Stone, doesn’t really offer us that much we haven’t already seen in the initial trailers. The story of a romance novelist who finds herself in a real adventure has plenty going for it – Bullock returning to physical comedy, Daniel Radcliffe as a bad guy, a role for the extremely funny Patti Harrison, a piss-taking cameo from Brad Pitt – but three trailers have now shown essentially the same moments on a loop (someone over at Paramount is very proud of the line “What is this, Taken? Am I took-en?”) so let’s hope there’s more to be found when it hits cinemas next month.
Probably the most anticipated trailer of the evening (that actually dropped in the morning) was for the film that had been most shrouded in secrecy up until now – Jordan Peele’s latest “social thriller” Nope, out this summer. The rather divisive title is not really explained in the first tease, but it’s quite likely meant to mean Not Of Planet Earth. Maybe. Because the Oscar-winning film-maker has turned his sights up to the sky, after going underground with Us, for a film that’s about something evil sucking people up from above (comparisons to 2004’s The Forgotten are already clogging up Twitter). Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun and some very scared horses star.
Jurassic World: Dominion
After the success of last month’s Scream, the legacy sequel – AKA the one that brings back the old to mingle with the new – continues with force this year with our first real look at the inevitable greatest hits sequel Jurassic World: Dominion. The last film brought back BD Wong and a cameo-ing Jeff Goldblum to join Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard but this time they return with both Sam Neill and Laura Dern, an exciting prospect for hardcore fans. The trailer has some promising moments but there’s an awful lot here to be juggled – despite the familiar faces, it’ll be the lesser-known DeWanda Wise who leads – so whether all balls can be kept up in the air remains to be seen.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Despite all of the pre-release fun-poking (fans ripped the character design in the trailer so much that Paramount tweaked it for the actual movie), 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog became one of the year’s biggest, and sadly only, hits with $319m worldwide. The inevitable sequel is being rushed out this April and a headache-inducing Super Bowl spot, introducing new villain Knuckles voices by Idris Elba, does little to explain the appeal to OG game fans who wisely skipped the last film.
It’s looking like a rather dark year for Marvel, after the night’s horror-tinged Doctor Strange 2 tease and now this, a second look at their new Disney+ series, Moon Knight, recently described as “brutal” by Marvel boss Kevin Feige. Oscar Isaac’s British accent remains … a decision, but there’s plenty to get excited about here, including a grizzled Ethan Hawke and some stunning on-location imagery.