Dakota Johnson Tracee Ellis Ross The High Note
Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross star in The High Note out August 13. Credit: Supplied.

The rise of streaming and the decline in box office tickets meant the future of cinema was already a little blurred. Then, when the coronavirus pandemic hit, those anxieties were amplified as nearly all cinemas across North America – and indeed the world – turned dark.

Blockbusters were postponed with many being rescheduled to November 2020. Some productions were delayed indefinitely. Other major releases shockingly bypassed cinemas completely, instead opting to stream online. So what will one of our favourite past times – that is, going to the movies – look like? And when we will be able to return to the cinema with our overpriced popcorn?

While the answer to those questions isn’t completely clear just yet, there’s a reassuring green light: production houses are pushing on. This week, Universal Studios announced it was throwing approximately USD $5 million to resume filming of Jurassic World: Dominion.

Deadline is reporting that it will be all systems go at London’s Pinewood Studios – where the third Jurassic Park is being filmed – from July 6. It’s good news for those wanting other major movies and TV shows to start production again.

The film, which stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, will see protocols on set completely changed to manage any outbreaks. Universal has arranged for every cast and crew member to be tested before returning to set and during filming. They will also be subjected to temperature tests and the set will be cleaned regularly. Anybody arriving into the UK for the film will have to undergo a 14-day isolation period. There will also be doctors on the set and anybody not acting in a scene will be required to wear a mask.

Following on from this news, film houses have sent out their release schedules for 2020 – and it’s looking like an exciting back-end to a tumultuous year. While local Australian film distributors are still working out exactly what the cinema-experience will look like come July, they are confident that physically going to the movies will be happening sooner than we think, even at restricted numbers. Here are some of the highlights releasing this year.

Pete Davidson will star in his first big movie The King Of Staten Island which will be released via Universal Pictures on July 16. Scott (Davidson) is in his mid-20s and hasn’t achieved much in his young life. Living with his mother, he dreams of becoming a tattoo artist but mostly spends his days smoking weed. When his mum starts dating a firefighter, it causes Scott to face his life head on.

Where’d You Go Bernadette? Based on a New York Times Bestseller by Maria Semple, this film stars Cate Blanchett as an over pedantic genius woman who is compelled to chase her creative passion after years of giving everything to her family. This also releases on July 16 via Universal Pictures.

The Broken Hearts Gallery, starring Suki Waterhouse and produced by Selena Gomez, is scheduled for release with Sony Pictures on July 16. Geraldine Viswanathan stars as a 20-something art gallery assistant living in New York City, who also happens to be an emotional hoarder. After she gets dumped by her latest boyfriend, Lucy is inspired to create The Broken Heart Gallery, a pop-up space for the items love has left behind. Word of the gallery spreads, encouraging a movement and a fresh start for all the romantics out there, including Lucy herself.

July 23 will see Australian actress Eliza Scanlan (Sharp Objects) star as a seriously ill teenager named Milla in Babyteeth. Following a similar narrative to Mandy Moore’s character in 2002’s A Walk To Remember, Milla’s first brush with love is one for the romantics among us. How we would live our lives if we knew they could end so young.

On this same date, another Australian actress will hit our screens; Elizabeth Debicki in The Burnt Orange Heresy. I personally am super excited to see this one as Mick Jagger is also in it. Charming and ambitious art critic, James Figueras (Claes Bang), has fallen from grace. He spends his days in Milan lecturing witless tourists about art history. His only glimmer of hope is a new-found love interest, the enigmatic American, Berenice Hollis (Debicki). An opportunity strikes when he is contacted by wealthy art dealer Joseph Cassidy (Jagger) who summons James to his villa on Lake Como and ask him to steal a painting from the legendary reclusive artist, Jerome Debney (Donald Sutherland). Soon, James’ greed and ambition get the better of him, and he finds himself caught in a web of his own making.

On August 6, a film called Never Rarely Sometimes Always is being released and it’s an intimate portrayal of two teenage girls in rural Pennsylvania. Faced with an unintended pregnancy and a lack of local support, Autumn and her cousin Skylar embark on a brave, fraught journey across state lines to New York City.

A couple of weeks later, GRAZIA audiences will be able to enjoy Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross in (the highly anticipated film) The High Note. Set in the dazzling world of the LA music scene Grace Davis (Ross) is a superstar whose talent, and ego, have reached unbelievable heights. Maggie (Johnson) is Grace’s overworked personal assistant who’s stuck running errands, but still aspires to her childhood dream of becoming a music producer. When Grace’s manager (Ice Cube) presents her with a choice that could alter the course of her career, Maggie and Grace come up with a plan that could change their lives forever. Out August 13.

Slim & I is a feature documentary that I think you will find endearing. For over 50 years, Joy McKean travelled with her husband, Australian country music legend Slim Dusty, as they performed around our great country. This is their story. August 20.

Disney will release Black Widow on October 29. Based in New York City, Scarlett Johansson will return to screens as Marvel great and ultimate operative Natasha Romanova. The film also stars Florence Pugh and Rachel Weisz.

No Time To Die, the Bond film which was one of the first films to cancel all promotional duties due to the pandemic, will now release on November 12. While Bond has been enjoying a peaceful life in Jamaica, trouble returns when an old friend in the CIA asks for his help to pin a villain with dangerous new technology. Also starring my girl crush Ana de Armas.

thoughts?