Academy members be damned, the 2022 Oscars will see a Spider-Man on stage accepting an award. In an effort to try and broaden interest in the Academy Awards for home viewers, there had been hopes that Spider-Man: No Way Home would get a Best Picture nomination. After all, it's the only movie to make serious money this year.
But the voters didn't play ball, so it looks like there is a back-up plan: take voting to the people through a hashtag campaign.
Twitter users will be able to nominate their favourite film of the year using the hashtags #OscarsFanFavorite and #Sweepstakes. Users will be allowed to vote up to 20 times a day. It is pretty safe to assume that this will get Tom Holland and Zendaya up on the stage accepting a trophy. Even if some Twitter users engage in shenanigans, Belfast will still likely be overwhelmed by that costumed hero who can do what a spider can.
It is worth noting that only films that are Oscars-eligible are eligible to win this fan favorite competition. Had Warner Bros released Zack Snyder's Justice League into cinemas for a limited run ahead of the HBO Max release last year, the Spidey conversation would be very different...
But who will host the Academy Awards this year?
Amy Schumer, Regina Hall, and Wanda Sykes are all in final negotiations to host the Academy Awards as a trio this year. I say, just give it to one host and be done with it. Wanda Sykes doesn't need help.
Apparently Jon Hamm exited talks to serve as a host over the weekend. Hugely disappointing - a Jon Hamm-hosted Oscars would have been incredible.
RIP Ivan Reitman 1946-2022
At the age of 75, film director Ivan Reitman died. He leaves behind an impressive body of work, including movies that shaped mainstream Hollywood.
Reitman started out his career working at a Toronto TV station, having the good fortune of befriending up and coming local talent like Dan Aykroyd and SCTV cast members Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Dave Thomas, Andrea Martin, and Rick Moranis.
Look at his filmography and you will find a constant: Reitman recognised talent and knew how far to let them go before pulling his directorial reins.
“There’s a moment when the actors can say anything they want, and then, part of the fun for me as a director is to take that raw work and just structure it and rework it and make it conform to the character work and to the plot, which is evolving as well. It’s a way of being a co-writer of a movie as it’s being shot. But it doesn’t allow for the same kind of focused direction and polished style that leads to much recognition for the creator of the film.”
A successful indie film called Cannibal Girls led to him producing National Lampoon's Animal House, which in turn led him to directing Meatballs, Stripes, Ghostbusters, and several other of your favourite movies.
Ivan Reitman. Genius.
2022 in Super Bowl news
This year the Super Bowl ads delivered some genuine surprises. So many of the best ads are telegraphed days in advance. It was a genuine joy to watch The Sopranos hawking an electric car and Larry David spruiking a cryptocurrency company.
I've compiled all of the TV and film-related Super Bowl spots:
Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power
This was the most anticipated commercial and boy did it disappoint a lot of Tolkien fans. Something to keep in mind: this is a trailer intended to capture the attention of football fans at parties a few beers in. I'd suggest it did a grand job of showing the scale of production and promising spectacle.
Maybe the show will prove to be a little more shallow than fans are expecting, but also, it's worth keeping in mind the objective of this teaser. As far as a promo goes, I feel like this did what it was supposed to.
This TV spot for Moon Knight showed a lot of new footage, plus confirmed that we will see it streaming on Disney+ March 30.
Doctor Strange gets mad
A full trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was released. What was so startling is just how generically Marvel this looks for a Sam Raimi-directed film.
Also, whose voice is that at 1:18? Some folks are suggesting it is Patrick Stewart. Could this film be how the X-Men are introduced into the MCU?
The Cable Guy
Jim Carrey is back as 'Chip Douglas' AKA The Cable Guy in this Verizon ad. It was nice seeing Douglas back on screen (that movie is good, y'all... don't be haters), even if the ad was a little comedically flat.
I don't really understand who is watching this ad and signing up to Disney+. But I do like goats.
I'm not sure I understand why T-Mobile specifically cast a Scrubs reunion for this commercial. Also, lame ad.
Austin Powers reunion
Don't be evil and drive an electric car is the message of this Austin Powers reunion, which brought back the Austin Powers 3 Dr Evil crew.
Larry David sells crypto
Does Larry David understand anything about cryptocurrency? No. And that's kind of the point of him as spokesman for crypto trader FTX. Of course, it's a bit disappointing to see the very much environment-conservation conscious Larry David pushing crypto considering how resource-hungry all of that is.
There's a behind the scenes of making the commercial article on the NY Times site:
Collaborator Jeff Schaffer was also interviewed by Variety about the ad:
Don't stop believin'
The best of the commercials was this The Sopranos commercial, recreating the opening titles with Meadow heading into Jersey to visit brother AJ.
What you may not know about this ad is that not only did they bring back Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Robert Iler to star in the commercial, but The Sopranos creator David Chase directed it.
- Episodes of Friends are being censored in China. Read: Deadline
- The Gilded Age has been renewed for a second season. Read: Deadline
- Oscars contender Drive My Car gets an HBO Max release on March 2, just a few weeks before the awards. Shorter release windows mean that all the Oscars contenders will be available for home viewing (in the US, at least) prior to the award show. Belfast, not available on an SVOD, is at least available to rent digitally. Read: Dark Horizons
- Adam Pally and Jon Gabrus will star in travel series 101 Places to Party Before You Die for truTV. Read: Deadline
- Stanley Tucci: Searching For Italy has been acquired by the BBC for UK broadcast. Read: TV Insider
- An Indian language version of Modern Love has been greenlit for Amazon Prime Video. Read: Variety
- Happy 30th anniversary to Wayne's World, one of the very few SNL spin-offs to be: a) good; and b) successful. Read: The Guardian
The American Song Contest is the US version of Eurovision. It debuts March 21.
Documentary Lucy and Desi debuts on Amazon Prime Video March 4.
Deep Water debuts on Hulu March 18. There's no word yet on whether this will also debut on Star internationally
Bridgerton season 2 debuts March 25 on Netflix.
Shoresy, a 6-episode Letterkenny spin-off, debuts in Q2 on Hulu.
Young, Famous and African debuts on Netflix March 18.
What's set for tomorrow's ABW newsletter? Hopefully far fewer YouTube embeds. Today was a bit much.