Filmgoers may slowly be gravitating back to megaplexes, but you can still see some new releases on any of your own screens at the same time the titles hit theaters. The latest adaptation of Frank Herbert’s landmark sci-fi novel Dune (HBO Max, October 22) will try to turn the rich source material into a hit franchise. Director Denis Villeneuve, who helmed Arrival, hopes to have better luck than David Lynch, whose 1984 version was sandblasted by critics. In this epic tale, a family becomes guardians of a dangerous desert planet’s storehouse of the most valuable substance in the universe. A Game of Thrones-style power struggle leads to the rise of a messianic hero (Timothée Chalamet). Dune costars Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Charlotte Rampling, Zendaya, and a load of giant sandworms. Audiences can also plug into the highly anticipated The Matrix 4 (HBO Max, December 22), written and directed by Lana Wachowski. Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss return as Neo and Trinity, despite both having died at the end of The Matrix Revolutions, though Hugo Weaving and Laurence Fishburne are reportedly not part of the action. Cast additions include Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen), rumored to be playing a younger version of Morpheus. And let’s call this one a postapocalyptic Cast Away! Like that 2000 Tom Hanks film, Finch (Apple TV+, Fall) features the two-time Oscar winner as one of the last human survivors of a cataclysmic event. Hoping to ensure his beloved dog will be cared for once he’s gone, he builds an android to watch over the pooch. The biggest challenge? Showing the robot how to “love.”
THEY CAN BE HEROES
The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand with Hawkeye (Disney+, November 24). Jeremy Renner reprises his Clint Barton/Hawkeye role, this time training sharp-witted protégée Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) to take over the badass archer mantle. The action-drama series also explores Barton’s time as the vengeful Ronin up until the events of Avengers: Endgame. Another MCU series, Ms. Marvel (Disney+, late 2021), centers on Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), a Pakistani- American teen raised in Jersey City who acquires shape-shifting powers.
Among the DC Comics adaptations on The CW: When Batwoman returns for a third season (October 13), crimson crusader Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) must deal with the knowledge that her biological mother is still alive and that a slew of rogue weapons—from Penguin’s umbrella to Poison Ivy’s vines—are on the loose! And rev up the Waverider: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow starts a fresh round October 13 on the heels of Season 6’s late-summer finale. Season 8 of The Flash arrives November 16, picking up after the reappearance of archnemesis Eobard Thawne, aka Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh), and Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) renewing their wedding vows in front of family and friends. Meanwhile, the unlikely misfit heroes of Doom Patrol (HBO Max, September 23) next face Madame Rouge (Michelle Gomez), an eccentric new villainess who shows up at the manor to wreak havoc. On Season 3 of the animated Harley Quinn (HBO Max, late 2021/early 2022), the punk-rock villainess navigates her relationship with BFF turned paramour Poison Ivy.
Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy concluded its second season with the Hargreeves family stopping the apocalypse, only to find themselves in an alternate timeline where adoptive father Sir Reginald (Colm Feore) and former ghost Ben (Justin H. Min) are alive! In Season 3 (late 2021/early 2022), Ben becomes a Machiavellian tactician, while Reginald is the founder of the so-called Sparrow Academy, with a whole new crop of superpowered kids under his tutelage.
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