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Film News Roundup: Natalie Portman’s ‘Lucy in the Sky’ Gets Awards-Season Release

In today’s films news roundup, “Lucy in the Sky” and “Villains” get release dates, “The Angry Birds 2” is moved up a day, Tony Todd gets a part and Art House Theater Day is set.

RELEASE DATES

Fox Searchlight has set an awards-season release date of Oct. 4 for Natalie Portman’s astronaut drama “Lucy in the Sky.”

Noah Hawley helmed “Lucy in the Sky” in his directorial feature film debut. Portman stars as an astronaut who returns to Earth after an extended time is space and begins an obsessive affair with a fellow astronaut, played by Jon Hamm. The plot is loosely based on the true story of NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak, who was arrested in 2007 for the attempted murder of fellow astronaut Colleen Shipman, who was romantically involved with astronaut William Oefelein.

The film, formerly called “Pale Blue Dot,” also stars Dan Stevens — as the husband of Portman’s character  — Zazie Beetz and Ellen Burstyn. Portman won an Academy Award for “Black Swan” and was nominated for “Jackie” and “Closer.”

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Sony Pictures has moved the release date of “The Angry Birds 2 Movie” forward one day to Tuesday, Aug. 13.

Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, and Peter Dinklage will all reprise their roles from the first film. They are joined by Leslie Jones, Rachel Bloom, Awkwafina, Sterling K. Brown, Eugenio Derbez, Lil Rel Howery, Dove Cameron, Zach Woods and Nicki Minaj.

“Angry Birds Movie 2” is directed by Thurop Van Orman and co-directed by John Rice. The pic is produced by John Cohen and co-produced by Mary Ellen Bauder Andrews. David Maisel and Catherine Winder are executive producer. Sony Pictures Imageworks handles the animation.

“Angry Birds” grossed $350 million worldwide, including $107.5 million domestically, in 2016. The film, directed by Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis, was set on an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds — except for Red (voiced by Sudeikis), speedy Chuck (Gad), and Bomb (McBride). Hader returns as Leonard, king of the pigs, and Dinklage voices the Mighty Eagle.

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Gunpowder & Sky’s horror brand Alter has set a Sept. 20 release date for “Villains,” starring Bill Skarsgård, Maika Monroe, Jeffrey Donovan and Kyra Sedgwick.

The film, written and directed by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen, made its world premiere earlier this year at SXSW. The story centers on a couple who, after a gas station robbery, break into a nearby house looking for a new set of wheels only to find a dark secret and a pair of homeowners who will do anything to keep it from getting out.

CASTINGS

Tony Todd, best known for the “Candyman” and “Final Destination” franchises, will star in the thriller film “Realm of Shadows” as a Catholic priest.

Jimmy Drain plays a man being lured by Satan. The film, directed by Drain and Brian McCulley, also stars Vida Ghaffari, Denise Gurule, Lauren C. Mayhew, Jodi Lynn Thomas, Gregg Stone, Caustic Scifidelic, Mark Fowler and Noah Anderson.

Production is underway through ThunderKnight Entertainment in Denver. Todd is set to star in the upcoming “Candyman” reboot.

ART HOUSE THEATER DAY

The fourth annual Art House Theater Day has been set for Sept. 18 with five films showing at more than 150 outlets.

The films selected include Brett Story’s “The Hottest August,” set in New York City during August,  2017; Peter Strickland’s “In Fabric,” starring Marianne Jean-Baptiste, who begins wearing a cursed red dress; Ildikó Enyedi’s Hungarian film “My Twentieth Century,” which won the Golden Camera at Cannes in 1989; Robert Downey Sr.’s 1969 comedy “Putney Swope”; and Barbara Stratman’s “Vever (for Barbara),” which grew from abandoned projects of Maya Deren and Barbara Hammer.

“Art House Theater Day is a celebration of the essential role that art houses play in their communities,” said Art House Convergence managing director Alison Kozberg.

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