It's time once again to turn on The Monitor, WIRED's roundup of the latest in the world of culture, from CGI-heavy trailers to casting to box office news. This week: Pottermania takes over multiplexes, an Avengers-like squad of movie directors assembles to save a streamer, and an elephant can fly.
Nobody Beats the Wiz
The latest entry in J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World movie series— Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald —is already making grindelwads of cash: The film earned more than $10 million in its first day overseas , with early estimates pinning its worldwide opening-weekend haul at close to $250 million . Directed by long-time Harry Potter helmer David Yates, and set in 1920s New York City, Grindelwald 's crowded cast includes the reliably exasperating Johnny Depp, Katherine Waterston, and Eddie Redmayne, who recently attempted to make amends for his other fantastically beastly epic: Jupiter Ascending , the engagingly nonsensical 2015 Wachowskis space opera in which he played a larynx-less, whispery baddie. "I won a prize for it for the worst performance of the year," the actor recently told GQ . "It was a pretty bad performance, by all accounts." But it allowed him to create so much life !
Operation Dumbo Drop
Disney has released the first extensive trailer for its Tim Burton-directed remake of Dumbo , starring Colin Farrell, Eva Green, and former Batman Returns foes Danny DeVito and Michael Keaton. "You have something very rare," Keaton's amusement-park magnate says of the big-eared, airborne pachyderm. "You have wonder, you have mystique, you have magic, you have a renewable IP with four-quadrant awareness." (Maybe we misheard that last part.) The stork brings Dumbo to theaters next March, just in time for moviegoers to prepare themselves for such 2019 Disney remakes as The Lion King , Aladdin , and Lady and the Tramp .
Raiders of a Lost Art
Several high-profile filmmakers—including Christopher Nolan, Guillermo del Toro, Barry Jenkins, and Barbra Streisand—have signed letters asking Warner Media to reconsider the fate of FilmStruck, the classic-movie streaming site scheduled to be closed at the end of November. In a pair of letters , obtained by Deadline, the writers and directors note that, without FilmStruck, "the landscape for film fans and students of cinema is especially bleak." Also lobbying for FilmStruck's survival, according to the letters, are Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, who apparently have personally pleaded with Warner Bros. chairman Toby Emmerich to keep FilmStruck going. If these combined efforts succeed, they'll make for the second movie-preservation minor-miracle of the month: This week, del Toro tweeted that Bleak House, his infamous home-slash-film-history museum , had survived the recent California fires. Feel free to drop in and check out the H.P. Lovecraft loveseat the next time you’re on the coast!
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