UK broadcaster Sky has landed rights to a host of upcoming features, packing its film slate for 2021 with titles including the Allison Janney-starring Breaking News in Yuba County and the Irvine Welsh-penned Creation Stories.
The company says it will release two ‘original’ films every month this year and one per week from next year. The full list of 14 newly-announced originals is below, they join previously announced pics on the slate such as Twist with Michael Caine, the animation Dragon Rider voiced Felicity Jones and Patrick Stewart, and To Olivia starring Hugh Bonneville and Keeley Hawes.
In the past, Sky has released its original titles day-and-date with UK cinemas. Once venues are able to re-open post-lockdown this could once again come into play.
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Asked if Sky is being opportunistic about its film slate in light of cinema closures and delayed movie releases, Zai Bennett, Sky’s managing director of content in the UK and Ireland, said: “We’ve been making original movies for a while… and we absolutely planned to supercharge this area, but we’ve definitely gone at it even harder since February/March last year.”
He added: “If there are any ways we can get films onto the platform, we are trying them. We are not trying to undermine theatrical, we want a thriving theatrical market, not least because our existing studio deals… will all be trigged [by releases]. In the meantime, we are talking to the studios about all the ways we can help them.”
Bennett said film consumption on Sky Cinema went up by around 10% last year, with popular exclusive releases including Secret Garden (which clocked up 1.5M views) and Four Kids And IT (nearly 2M views).
Here’s the list of new titles with supplied synopses:
Save The Cinema: Samantha Morton, Jonathan Pryce, Adeel Akhtar, Susan Wokoma and Tom Felton star in this new British film based on true events. Liz Evans makes it her mis-sion to stop her local cinema from being demolished.
Kindred: A psychological thriller about a vulnerable mother-to-be who is taken in by her recently deceased boyfriend’s mother and stepson, who seem increasingly obsessed with her every move. Starring Fiona Shaw, Tamara Lawrence and Jack Lowden.
Creation Stories: Written by Irvine Welsh and Dean Cavanagh, Creation Stories charts the true story of the rise and fall of Creation Records and its infamous founder Alan McGee, who signed generation-defining bands such as Oasis and Primal Scream.
Breaking News In Yuba County: A dark and twisted comedy that explores the outrageous lengths some people will go to in order to garner some much-desired attention. Starring Allison Janney, Mila Kunis and Awkwafina.
Six Minutes To Midnight: Emmy Award winner Eddie Izzard and Academy Award winner Judi Dench battle to protect a group of students from the grip of Hitler in this World War II thriller.
The Comeback Trail: Two movie producers who owe money to the mob set up their ageing movie star for an insurance scam to try and save themselves. Starring Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones and Zach Braff.
Antebellum: A terrifying new thriller with a kiss of horror from the producer of the acclaimed films Get Out and Us, starring Janelle Monáe.
The Glorias: The Glorias is the female led story of feminist icon Gloria Steinem; known for her world-shaping activism, guidance of the revolutionary women’s movement, and writing that has impacted generations. Written and directed by Julie Taymor.
Every Breath You Take: Academy Award-winning actor Casey Affleck stars as a psychiatrist who finds his life in turmoil following the sudden suicide of his patient. When he invites his patient’s surviving brother (Sam Claflin) into his home to meet his wife (MichellemMonaghan) and daughter, his family life and career are suddenly torn apart.
Extinct: Op and Ed are two adorable donut-shaped animals – Flummels – who accidentally time-travel from 1835 to modern-day Shanghai. Starring Rachel Bloom, Adam Devin and Ken Jeong.
Monster Family 2: To free Baba Yaga and Renfield from the clutches of Monster Hunter Mila Starr, the Wishbone Family once more transforms into a Vampire, Frankenstein’s Monster, a Mummy and a Werewolf. Starring Jason Isaacs, Emily Watson and Nick Frost.
The Secrets We Keep: In post-WWII America, a woman rebuilding her life in the suburbs with her husband kidnaps her neighbour and seeks vengeance for the heinous war crimes she believes he committed against her. Starring Noomi Rapace, Chris Messina and Joel Kinnaman.
Jolt: A female driven action-comedy that follows Lindy (Kate Beckinsale), a bouncer with a murderous anger management problem that she controls with the help of an electrode-lined vest to shock herself back into normalcy whenever she feels homicidal. Starring Stanley Tucci and Laverne Cox.
The United States v Billie Holiday: In the 1940’s, the US government targeted beloved jazz icon Billie Holiday as part of their war on drugs, to prevent her from performing her heart-wrenching ballad “Strange Fruit,” a defiant cry against lynching. Directed by Lee Daniels, written by Suzan-Lori Parks and starring Andra Day.