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  1. Gotham Knights delayed to 2022 Warner Bros. follow-up to the Batman Arkham series needs more time, team says Image: WB Games Montreal/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Gotham Knights, the open-world cooperative action game starring Red Hood, Batgirl, Nightwing, and Robin (but not Batman), won’t make its previously scheduled 2021 release date. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced a delay for the game on Friday, pushing the title to 2022. “We are giving the game more time to deliver the best possible experience for players,” Warner Bros. said in a statement posted to the game’s official Twitter account. “Thank you to our amazing fans for your tremendous support of Gotham Knights. We look forward to showcasing more of the game in the coming months.” pic.twitter.com/O1U4T0gK3u — Gotham Knights (@GothamKnights) March 19, 2021 WBIE announced Gotham Knights last summer at the DC Fandome event. The game was pitched as a co-op action-adventure set in Gotham City, which no longer has its famous protector, Batman. In the game, Bruce Wayne has supposedly perished in a massive explosion, but in a message to his surviving comrades, he tells them how to carry on in his absence. The game’s antagonists will be the Court of Owls, a generations-long secret society made up of Gotham’s wealthiest families. Developer WB Games Montreal, responsible for Batman: Arkham Origins, is behind Gotham Knights. Batman: Arkham developer Rocksteady Studios is currently working on a new Suicide Squad game titled Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, which is also scheduled for 2022. Gotham Knights is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Source: Gotham Knights delayed to 2022
  2. ‘Mortal Kombat’ Going A Week Later In April, Leaving Breathing Room For ‘Godzilla Vs. Kong’ New Line New Line’s Mortal Kombat is opening on April 23 now, not April 16. Last minute decision comes as Warner Bros. is about to sop up $20M-$30M over the next five days from the opening of Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong which will rep the biggest domestic B.O. opening during the pandemic. Also, given the heat on Mortal Kombat –the pic’s red trailer had the most views ever for a red band trailer at 116M– each week that passes brings the opportunity that seating capacity restrictions will ease greatly, allowing more moviegoers to enjoy the feature on the big screen. It’s bound to be another big one for Warner Bros. at the B.O. even though it’s also available on HBO Max. Disney’s pushing of Marvel’s Black Widow from May 7 to July 9 also leaves more room for Mortal Kombat to leg out. Source: ‘Mortal Kombat’ Going A Week Later In April, Leaving Breathing Room For ‘Godzilla Vs. Kong’
  3. 'Tenet' finally comes to HBO Max on May 1st Just don't tell Christopher Nolan. Warner Bros. Warner Bros. is finally ready to stream Tenet after months of trying to make it a theatrical success during the pandemic. Deadline reports the studio is bringing Christopher Nolan's time-bending movie to HBO Max on May 1st. That's nearly a year after its originally planned July 2020 theater debut, and more than four months after you could buy a download. Director Christopher Nolan likely isn't thrilled with the plan. He has long been opposed to simultaneous theatrical and digital releases, and balked when Warner said it would make all 2021 movies available simultaneously on HBO Max. He went so far as to call Warner's move a "bait and switch" to prop up HBO Max, and that movie creators found themselves working for the "worst streaming service." It's not certain if Nolan was directly responsible for Warner's insistence on a theater-first premiere, but he clearly prefers that route. At the same time, the HBO Max release is a concession to reality. While Tenet ultimately recouped its $200 million budget with a global box office of $363 million, ticket sales were nowhere near what they would have been if the movie had arrived before COVID-19 — it turns out people aren't willing to risk their health just to watch in theaters. A streaming version might not match Nolan's ideal viewing experience, but it might just bring Tenet to many, many more people. Good news for anyone experiencing time linearly: Tenet is streaming May 1 on HBO via HBO Max! ⌛️ pic.twitter.com/dGbxGLOwyu — HBO Max (@hbomax) March 20, 2021 Source: 'Tenet' finally comes to HBO Max on May 1st
  4. Microsoft has teamed up with Warner Bros. to store a copy of the 1978 movie “Superman” on a small glass disc about the size of a coaster. The collaboration, which will be officially unveiled at Microsoft’s Ignite 2019 conference in Orlando, Florida Monday, is a first test case for a new storage technology that could eventually help safeguard Hollywood’s movies and TV shows, as well as many other forms of data, for centuries to come. “Glass has a very, very long lifetime,” said Microsoft Research principal researcher Ant Rowstron in a recent conversation with Variety. “Thousands of years.” The piece of silica glass storing the 1978 “Superman” movie, measuring 7.5 cm x 7.5 cm x 2 mm. The glass contains 75.6 GB of data plus error redundancy codes. Microsoft began to investigate glass as a storage medium in 2016 in partnership with the University of Southampton Optoelectonics Research Centre. The goal of these efforts, dubbed “Project Silica,” is to find a new storage medium optimized for what industry insiders like to call cold data — the type of data you likely won’t need to access for months, years, or even decades. It’s data that doesn’t need to sit on a server, ready to be used 24/7, but that is kept in a vault, away from anything that could corrupt it. Turns out that Warner Bros. has quite a bit of this kind of cold data. Founded in the 1920s, the studio has been safekeeping original celluloid film reels, audio from 1940s radio shows and much more, for decades. Think classics like “Casablanca,” “The Wizard of Oz” or “Looney Tunes” cartoons. Warner Bros. stores film in cold storage vaults, where temperature and humidity are tightly controlled and air sniffers look for signs of chemical decomposition that could signal problems. “Our mission is to preserve those original assets in perpetuity,” said Brad Collar, who is leading these efforts at Warner Bros. as the studio’s senior vice president of global archives and media engineering. And while the studio is deeply invested in these classics, it also keeps adding an ever-increasing number of modern assets to its archives, ranging from digitally-shot films and television episodes to newer forms of entertainment, including video games. To date, the Warner Bros. archive contains some 20 million assets, with tens of thousands of new items being added every year. Each of them is being stored in multiple locations, explained Collar. “We want to have more than one copy.” And to this date, Warner Bros. is storing every single movie and TV show on film, even if they’re being shot digitally. For archival purposes, the studio splits a film into its CYMK color components, resulting in three distinct copies that are then written on black-and-white film. The results are being stored away in a cold vault, which is kept between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Hollywood studios have been storing films like this for decades, explained Collar. “This process is tried and true.” And it works: When Warner Bros. recently decided to reissue “The Wizard of Oz” in 4K, employees just had to go back into the studio’s vault, retrieve those 3 color-isolated copies, digitize each, and reassemble them to the color master copy. “It is an evolved process,” said Collar. However, the process doesn’t work for all kinds of assets. Video games, for instance, need to be stored digitally. Light field video captures, holograms, or whatever else the future may hold for next-generation entertainment, will likely also require different solutions. And with recent visual improvements like 4K and HDR, there is an ever-increasing need for petabytes of storage, said Warner Bros. chief technology officer Vicky Colf. “It’s the quality of the content that we are dealing with.” The studio has been researching novel storage solutions for some time. When Collar first heard about Microsoft’s Project Silica, he was instantly intrigued. After all, the idea to store media on glass sounded awfully familiar: Collar had stumbled across old audio recordings in Warner’s archives a while back, which were being stored on glass discs slightly larger than regular vinyl records. His team had to first find special players to access the recordings, but was then able to digitize them, unlocking a “Superman” radio play from the 1940s. So when the Warner started talking to Microsoft about collaborating on Project Silica, it was immediately clear that “Superman” was the right film to store on glass. Said Collar: “It’s a beautiful full circle.” Warner Bros. has been storing all of its films and TV shows, even those shot in digital formats, on 35mm film. But Microsoft’s approach is based on very different technology than what was used by 1940s-era archivists. Project Silica relies on lasers similar to those used for Lasik eye surgeries to burn small geometrical shapes, also known as voxels, into the glass. “We can encode multiple bits in each voxel,” explained Rowstron. And unlike traditional optical media like CDs or DVDs, Project Silica actually encodes data in multiple layers. Microsoft used 74 such layers to capture “Superman” in glass, but has since advanced the technology to add many more layers. Once data is stored this way, it can be accessed by shining light through the glass disc, and capturing it with microscope-like readers. In fact, in Project Silica’s early days, the company simply bought off-the-shelf microscopes for this process, which also benefits from machine learning to make sense of the captured light. The process of storing and accessing data with Project Silica is still in early stages, but it works: After burning the copy of “Superman,” Collar’s team checked to make sure the data was not corrupted. “We did a bit-by-bit check,” he said. The result: The movie was there, safe for future generations. “We have that glass now here in our vaults,” he said. Microsoft Project Silica senior optical scientist Patrick Anderson loads the system that writes data onto glass using lasers that are similar to those used in Lasik surgeries. Microsoft also did extensive tests to make sure that Project Silica storage media didn’t easily damage. “We baked it in very, very hot ovens,” said Rowstron. His team submerged the glass in boiling water, microwaved it, and even scratched it with steel wool — all without any damage to the stored data. Sure, it is breakable if you try hard enough, admitted Rowstron. “If you take a hammer to it, you can smash glass.” But absent of such brute force, the medium promises to be very, very safe, he argued: “I feel very confident in it.” And while Microsoft partnered with Warner Bros. for this first proof-of-concept, the use cases for Project Silica may ultimately extend far beyond Hollywood. Other known examples for cold data include medical data and banking information, explained Rowstron, adding that many other applications may not even be known yet. To illustrate the potential, Rowstron referenced the way consumers used to treat photos taken on their phones. A few years ago, before cloud storage became ubiquitous, a consumer may have taken a burst of photos of one motive, and then deleted all but one of those pictures. Fast forward a few years, and machine learning algorithms have gotten really good at combining these burst photo sequences, and turning them into better-looking composite images. “There is a lot of value to keep data around,” Rowstron said. Microsoft senior optical scientist James Clegg loads a piece of glass into a kind of specialized microscope to read data stored on glass. This also explains why Microsoft is interested in storage solutions like Project Silica to begin with. The company’s own Azure cloud business already safekeeps vast amounts of data for its customers, including both “hot,” frequently accessed data, as well as “cold” data. For some of its long-term storage needs, Azure still uses tape, which frequently has to be checked, and even re-copied, to maintain data integrity. Glass could one day be a more secure solution to safekeep data for the company and its customers. Warner Bros. isn’t expected to replace its existing archival strategy entirely with glass any time soon, said Colf. “It’s just another arrow in our quiver,” she said. “We hope that film is an option for us for many years to come.” There is also still a lot of work to be done before Project Silica can become a real product. Read- and write-operations need to be unified in a single device, and the amount of data stored on one piece of glass needs to increase. Microsoft isn’t revealing how much it has been able to squeeze onto the latest generations of the medium, but it is apparently not in the terabyte range just yet. Still, Rowstron is confident that Project Silica will lead to a break-through in storage technology. “I believe the future is glass,” he said. Source
  5. Warner Bros. releases trailer for noir-esque sci-fi thriller Reminiscence "You're going on a journey through memory. All you have to do is follow my voice." Hugh Jackman stars as a man who helps clients recover lost memories in the sci-fi thriller Reminiscence. A solitary man living in a dystopian near-future helps people recover lost memories and ends up uncovering a violent conspiracy in Reminiscence, a sci-fi thriller that feels like a cross between classic film noir and ambitiously heady fare like Memento and Inception. That's no surprise, as it's the feature film directorial debut of Lisa Joy, co-creator (with husband Jonathan Nolan) of HBO's critically acclaimed series Westworld. Per the official premise: Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman), a private investigator of the mind, navigates the darkly alluring world of the past by helping his clients access lost memories. Living on the fringes of the sunken Miami coast, his life is forever changed when he takes on a new client, Mae (Rebecca Ferguson). A simple matter of lost and found becomes a dangerous obsession. As Bannister fights to find the truth about Mae's disappearance, he uncovers a violent conspiracy and must ultimately answer the question: how far would you go to hold on to the ones you love? During a virtual event on Wednesday, Joy said she was inspired to make Reminiscence after finding an old photograph among her grandfather's belongings. The picture was of an unknown woman her grandfather had never mentioned to anyone in the family. "It made me start to think about memory and our lives in general," she said. "And the moments that maybe pass by, and maybe disappear—they don't stay with us, those connections necessarily—but that meant something, that changed us and touched us. And how nice it would be able to go back to these memories fully for a moment, to live that life and feel the way you felt when you experienced them." Apparently, Jackman was Joy's first choice for the lead role; he has certainly shown he's capable of gritty drama, action, and conveying tormented love. Ferguson (Mission: Impossible 5 and 6) seems like a perfect choice for the film's femme fatale, Mae. She was mesmerizing as Rose the Hat in 2019's Doctor Sleep, equal parts seductive and sinister, and she brings the same qualities to this trailer. Emmy-award winner Thandie Newton (Mission: Impossible II), who plays Maeve, the cynical madam on Westworld, is the sensible, tough-as-nails Watts, Nick's business partner in the memory recovery business. And Daniel Wu (Into the Badlands) plays crime kingpin Saint Joe, who has a mysterious connection to Mae. The trailer opens with Jackman's voiceover lulling a client into reliving a memory. ("You're going on a journey. A journey through memory. All you have to do is follow my voice.") This is a world where rising sea levels due to climate change have flooded the city of Miami, and ongoing wars have traumatized vast swaths of the population. So "nostalgia became a way of life. There wasn't a lot to look forward to. So people began looking back. Nothing is more addictive than the past." The memory-recovery tech is more than just standard hypnosis; a client's memories play out in visible holographic form, and the clients essentially relive their past experiences, complete with sensory details (touch, smell, taste, sound, and sight). Then Mae walks in right before closing time, and Nick can't resist making time for one more job. It's a classic Chandler-esque noir setup. Naturally, Nick embarks on a passionate affair with Mae, and when she suddenly disappears, that passion turns into an obsession with finding her—even if it means uncovering secrets best left buried. Watts advises him that Mae has moved on and he should, too; after all, how much did he really know about Mae? "Don't go down this path," she pleads at one point. "Stay here. In this life." But you know Nick Bannister is gonna do what he's gotta do, even if it pits him against Saint Joe and his minions. Reminiscence hits theaters on August 20 and will also stream on HBO Max for one month. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. Listing image by Warner Bros. Warner Bros. releases trailer for noir-esque sci-fi thriller Reminiscence (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  6. This looks like the end of HBO Max doing simultaneous releases AMC and Warner Bros. have struck a deal to have the studio’s movies stay exclusive to theaters for 45 days, instead of being immediately available digitally (via The Hollywood Reporter). The news was announced by AMC CEO Adam Aron during an earnings call, and it means that Warner Bros. won't be making its 2022 movies, which include The Batman and Sesame Street, available at home (or on HBO Max) until just over six weeks after they’re released in theaters. Warner Bros. already had a similar deal in place with Regal Cinemas’ owners, but today’s news truly seems to herald the end of the streaming experiment the studio was trying out in 2021. While HBO Max may not be getting movies the same day as theaters anymore, things aren’t exactly going back to the way they were pre-pandemic: theaters used to lay exclusive claim to movies for between 75 and 90 days, which is much longer than the deals being struck now. Streaming is also clearly still a focus for Warner Bros. AMC said on the call that “all Warner Bros. films” in 2022 would have the exclusivity window, but WarnerMedia’s CEO has said HBO Max would be getting 10 exclusive films next year. Warner Bros. isn’t the only studio negotiating to bring back theater exclusives. AMC and Universal have worked out a deal as well, which allows for as little as a 17-day exclusivity window, and Disney, along with Paramount, will be doing a 45-day window, too. Most of those studios have their own respective streaming services to look after and sell, but theaters still seem to be important to the movie business. During the call, AMC said it has an “active dialogue with every major studio” about theater exclusivity windows. Aron said on the call that the theater chain “was not at all happy” when Warner Bros.’ plan was to have its streaming and theater releases happen on the same day. The theater chain wasn’t alone in its angst. Directors like Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Dune) and Christopher Nolan (Tenet, Inception) all but declared same-day streaming to be the end of cinema. Actors, whose pay can be tied to box office performance, were also unhappy about day-and-date streaming releases, with Scarlett Johansson suing Disney over Black Widow’s release. With actors, filmmakers, and theaters going against them, it’s not hard to see why studios are considering going back to the old way of releasing movies (if with shorter windows). Also mentioned in the earnings call was a spate of new theaters and acquisitions — AMC says it’ll be opening about a dozen new theaters across the globe, as well as acquiring a handful of unspecified theaters from the Arclight / Pacific chain, which announced that it wouldn’t be reopening after COVID earlier this year. Good news if you want to see a movie as soon as it's publicly available. AMC and Warner Bros. have agreed to make movies exclusive to theaters for 45 days
  7. The new 'Mortal Kombat' movie isn't just about the violence Screenwriter Greg Russo says he intentionally injected some levity, for old time's sake. Warner Bros. Entertainment Greg Russo was barely a teenager when he convinced his mom to buy him Mortal Kombat for the Sega Genesis. It was 1993 and she had to drive him to the local K-Mart in South Jersey to pick up a copy. Once he had it in his hands, he felt like he’d gotten away with something wicked. Russo was aware of the controversy bubbling around Mortal Kombat at the time; how gruesome and violent it was supposed to be. His mom, not so much. “After that, it was on all day,” Russo said. “I joke with her nowadays. I'm like, ‘Hey, Mom, I may have duped you, but look, I wrote the movie.’” Russo is the screenwriter on Mortal Kombat, the film set to hit theaters and streaming services on April 23rd. He put together a story starring series newcomer Cole Young and a cast of iconic characters, wrote dozens of fight scenes and gory fatalities, and sprinkled in plenty of jokes and drama, all while drawing on his long personal history with the franchise. And for Russo, it’s definitely personal. FREDERIC J. BROWN via Getty Images “I grew up loving it,” he said. “I used to go to the arcade after school. It was kind of like it was an escape for me. I grew up in a household with divorce, so for me, it was any way to get out and be my own person, was important. And for me, it was the arcade.” In the early 1990s, Mortal Kombat became the focus of an intense Congressional debate about violence in pop culture. The game celebrated gore with a wink and a grin, featuring photorealistic characters that spewed pixelated blood as they eviscerated one another in horrific, often hilarious ways. By 1994, Mortal Kombat was partially to blame for the creation of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, which still slaps black-and-white classifications on video games today. But for Russo and plenty of other early Mortal Kombat fans, the game was pure fun and fantasy. He would play it at home, on that Sega Genesis, but when he needed an escape, he’d visit the Mortal Kombat arcade cabinet at the local Barkley Bowling Lane. “It was just me and a bunch of kids, and it just felt like our little safety net,” he said. “And Mortal Kombat was the throne that we'd all gather around. So it took on this real personal place for me, and my love for it just grew out of that experience, really.” Mortal Kombat was the throne that we'd all gather around. Barkley doesn’t exist any more, like a lot of other bowling centers across the country. Mortal Kombat, however, has endured. The series has produced dozens of video games across multiple console generations and a handful of movies, most of them cringe-worthy. Russo made sure to add levity to the new script, but not enough to throw off the dramatic momentum. As demonstrated by the film’s first seven minutes, it features slow-burning tension that explodes into bloody violence, and it doesn’t shy away from mass murder, even when it involves children. But of course, there’s humor, too. It wouldn’t be Mortal Kombat without that. “Mortal Kombat — you know, their fatalities are insane,” Russo said. “They're finding new ways to rip out faces every day, and that’s ridiculously wonderful. I give them a lot of credit. But for a film, we definitely wanted to make sure that the balance felt, that it didn't feel over the top, and it didn't go into silly territory.” There’s a rhythm to Mortal Kombat games — introduce a new character, throw them into a fight; introduce a new character; throw them into a fight — and it was Russo’s goal to infuse the film with similar beats. Warner Bros. Entertainment “If you start off with everybody kind of lumped in, Avengers-mode, it's just way too much,” he said. “You're going to be lost trying to understand who everybody is. So it allows our audience a chance to slowly acclimate to the world of Mortal Kombat as we slowly bring them in. And then we have the creative thing — I thought that was just a lot of fun, because it felt to me like you were unlocking characters as you went through the movie, kind of like in a classic gaming mode.” Russo didn’t stop playing video games once Barkley Bowling Lane closed down. He recently admitted to Polygon that he has an Xbox Live Gamerscore of “like 1.5 million,” which places him among the top 50 Xbox players in the world, and the top 15 in the US. Working on Mortal Kombat has been more than a fantastic opportunity for him. Mostly, it’s familiar. Source: The new 'Mortal Kombat' movie isn't just about the violence
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