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‘Aquaman 2,’ ‘John Wick 4’ and More Major Blockbusters Begin Filming, Signaling Production Revival

Aquaman
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture

“It feels good to say, ‘Cinema is back!’” Vin Diesel told Variety on Saturday night.

It was reported the following morning that F9: The Fast Saga” raked in $70 million from 4,179 North American theaters, marking the largest opening at the U.S. box office since 2019’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” The previous holder of this feat was Paramount’s “A Quiet Place Part II” with $48.3 million.

While day-and-date hybrid releases have industry analysts uncertain about the longevity of this summer’s box office, studios are entering production on many major tentpole films. Four notable blockbusters commenced filming on Monday, signifying a long-awaited sign of confidence from Hollywood.

Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom,” which is set to debut in theaters on Dec. 16, 2022, is entering production 18 months ahead of its release. James Wan, the horror filmmaker who helmed 2018’s “Aquaman,” posted a picture on Instagram in an icy cavern to show that filming is underway.

The first “Aquaman” made over $1.4 billion at the worldwide box office and remains the highest-grossing film in the DC Extended Universe to this date. As far as concrete details go, not much is known about the upcoming sequel. Pilou Asbaek, who played the villainous Euron Greyjoy in “Game of Thrones,” was in talks to join the film alongside Momoa earlier this year.

The sequel will be produced by Wan and Peter Safran, while David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick returned to write the script.

 

Lionsgate was so pleased with the “John Wick” franchise that they announced the fourth film during the opening week of “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.” While the fourth chapter was initially supposed to film back-to-back with a subsequent fifth installment, the COVID-19 pandemic set production back an entire calendar year.

“John Wick: Chapter 4” is now scheduled to release in theaters on May 27, 2022 — and Lionsgate announced that the fourth film is now in production. While each “John Wick” installment started filming more than a year before releasing in theaters, “John Wick: Chapter 4” is the last horse to leave its stable with just under 11 months to go until its theatrical debut. Production is scheduled to begin this summer in France, Germany, New York City and Japan.

Keanu Reeves will be joined by Laurence Fishburne, Rina Sawayama, Shamier Anderson, Skarsgård and Donnie Yen. Directed once again by Chad Stahelski, “John Wick: Chapter 4” will be produced by Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee and Stahelski with Reeves and Louise Rosner as executive producers.

 

Rian Johnson announced on Monday morning that production on “Knives Out 2” has commenced in the warm Mediterranean shores of Greece. Like “Aquaman” for Warner Bros., the “Knives Out” franchise is a particularly lucrative property that Netflix acquired in an attempt to strengthen its slate of original films. The streaming service bought the rights to “Knives Out 2” and “Knives Out 3” for more than $450 million in March.

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as the clever private investigator Benoit Blanc alongside a new cast, including Dave Bautista, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Madelyn Cline and Jessica Henwick.

According to various media reports, shooting locations are reported to be Spetses, an affluent island off the northeastern Peloponnese coast and nearby Porto Heli, in the area known as the Greek Riviera. The film is expected to conclude shooting in Greece by the end of July or August.

Back in the U.S., Netflix also started production on Noah Baumbach’s “White Noise.” Uri Singer, a producer on the film, made the announcement on Twitter.

The film marks the writer-director’s third collaboration with Netflix, having previously directed the Oscar-nominated “Marriage Story” and “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).”

The comedy-disaster film will star Greta Gerwig, Adam Driver and Jodie Turner-Smith. Driver will play Jack, a professor who made a name for himself by teaching Hitler studies at a liberal arts college in Middle America. With his fourth wife Babette (Gerwig) and their kids, they attempt to navigate the usual rocky passages of family life. That’s put to the test when an “airborne toxic event” disrupts their existence and forces them to face the threat of death together.