On June 3, the World Health Organization (WHO) resumed a study looking into whether the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine could be effective in treating COVID-19.
Last week, the WHO temporarily stopped people from enrolling in the trial, part of a larger study called Solidarity that is investigating a number of different potential coronavirus therapies, over concerns about the hydroxychloroquine’s adverse effects on the heart. That followed the publication of a Lancet study on May 22, involving more than 96,000 people, which found that the drug did not improve survival among patients hospitalized with COVID-19, and that these patients were more likely to develop heart rhythm abnormalities, a known risk factor of the drug, than those not given the medication. (Researchers have raised questions about how the data was collected for that study, and the journal editors are looking into the matter, but for now, the findings stand.) Other studies have similarly found that people taking hydroxychloroquine do not benefit; the results of one trial conducted in New York suggested that COVID-19 patients taking the drug were just as likely to need a ventilator and to die from the illness than those not receiving the drug.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, said in a press briefing on June 3 that the agency’s board reviewed the data concerning heart risks and found “no reasons to modify the trial.”
Hydroxychloroquine is currently approved in the U.S. and other countries for treating malaria as well as certain autoimmune disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. After a small study in France that was publicized in March suggested it might be effective in reducing some of the symptoms of COVID-19, doctors began investigating the medication among patients for the viral illness. Those studies—including one led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)—are ongoing.
Some experts believe the drug might help control COVID-19 in part by blocking the virus’ ability to bind to the body’s cells. Studies in animals and cell cultures in the lab show it may also help suppress the aggressive immune reaction that doctors have seen in some patients’ lungs and respiratory systems. That suggests that by the time a COVID-19 patient is hospitalized, it might be too late for hydroxychloroquine to help, since the infection is already well underway. But until doctors have the results of rigorous trials that randomly assign hospitalized patients to receive hydroxychloroquine or placebo—like the ones currently conducted under the guidance of the NIH and WHO—are completed, they won’t know for sure if that’s the case.
In the meanwhile, other studies are looking at whether the drug might be effective if used earlier in the disease progression. So far, the results from these studies are not very promising. On the same day that the WHO resumed its trial, U.S. and Canadian researchers reported in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that hydroxychloroquine did not seem to protect people at high risk of infection from getting COVID-19. The study included 821 people who were exposed to people with COVID-19 infections either in a health care or household settings, and were then given either hydroxychloroquine or placebo within four days of their exposure; 49 people who were taking the drug developed COVID-19, and 58 people in the placebo group did, which didn’t turn out to be a statistically significant difference.
“We found that hydroxychloroquine was no better than placebo in preventing COVID-19 infection after people have already been exposed to it,” says Dr. Emily McDonald, assistant professor of medicine at McGill University and one of the study’s co-authors.
Dr. Radha Rajasingham, assistant professor of medicine at University of Minnesota and another co-author of the study, says “Hydroxychloroquine should not be used as post-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19.”
It’s still an open question whether the drug could be effective in protecting healthy people who haven’t yet been exposed from getting infected. Studies investigating that are ongoing, but, says Rajasingham, the data gathered so far suggest it’s unlikely. Nevertheless, she says, these studies “are still valuable and…need to finish and answer the questions they were designed to answer.”
Such studies, however, have to continue balancing the potential benefit of the treatment against its potential harms, and there is reasonable concern that the risks of hydroxychloroquine might be too high given the general trend of little improvement among people taking the drug. In a study published in Heart Rhythm on May 28, researchers led by Favio Fenton at Georgia Institute of Technology detailed how the drug affects electrical signaling in the heart of rabbits and guinea pig, and contributes to abnormal heart rhythms; these animals serve as model for understanding heart issues in humans. “We see the wavelengths of the signaling become longer, and cycles that before weren’t arrhythmic now with the drug we see big changes in the propagation waves,” he says. “We have to be careful that this drug is not allowed in patients who are not in studies where they can be monitored. Our study shows that you have to be careful.”
Indeed, on April 24, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about using hydroxychloroquine outside of study settings, and advised doctors not to prescribe the drug off-label for treating COVID-19.
Despite concerns about the medication’s side effects, the WHO decided to continue its study among hospitalized patients in order to get concrete answers, backed by solid scientific research, to an open question about the world’s most pressing health threat. “The message is that it’s possible to do the proper study, and while I know we are all eager to try out different potential therapies, it’s reasonable and proper to wait for the proper study to get the definitive answer,” says McDonald. “Otherwise the next time we have a wave [of COVID-19 cases], we are going to be asking the same questions if we don’t get the answer properly. Our study answered one question and we’re happy to have the answer one way or the other because it’s nice to know something definitive. We won’t have to revisit this particular question again and we can look at new options.”
Doug Barrett, 37, is a photographer, Army Veteran and former police officer from Atlanta who moved to Kansas in 2011.
I was a former police officer in Gwinett County, Ga., working in SWAT and narcotics. So, part of why I feel comfortable shooting photographs and getting into the thick of things is because I understand the law enforcement perspective. I understand being a black American with a camera in my hand.
I made a Facebook post last Thursday about my experiences to share with people in Manhattan, Kans., because so many people have been reaching out to me that I know in the community. They want to understand what is it that African Americans go through. What is it that they’re missing? How can we help come together and unite?
In the post I wrote:
So here it goes …
I’m not sure what to say as to not to offend anyone. I debated writing this. I laid in the bed Tuesday of this week all day and anyone who knows me knows this is not me. I was fearful as a business owner of a photographer who is seeking future opportunities I may limit my work. I’m sure I’ll lose some friends but enough is enough. You may not be able to comprehend the words that I write but I’ll share my heart with you. As a black man, I walk around with a camera making photographs but I’m not a threat. I have big hair and tattoos, but I’m not a threat. I wear a hoodie sometimes, but I’m not a threat I’m just cold. I may lean when I drive, but I’m not a thug, my back hurts most days because I had spinal surgery being a veteran.
Are you lost? Are you comprehending this? I recently walked in AutoZone less than a mile from where I live to make a purchase of jumper cables and was accused of stealing. The manager in a forceful tone told me to put what I stole on the counter or she would call the police. I made the decision in that moment to stand my ground. Oh, let me explain! Not stand my ground with a gun of right or wrong rather I knew if I left without pleading my case, that this moment could have been my last moment on this earth based on a black man’s history with police. Police were called on me, my rights read, searched, and finally released but I assure you I’m not a threat. This is everyday life. I came home cried inside only to know that what my father informed me of being black in America is what we expect. I’m almost 38 and this will not stop in until those in leadership positions accept the fact that this is real.”
Most of the people near to me can tell you I openly love and genuinely care but I assure you I’m not a threat. We are your statistics; we are you highest generating revenue race within jails but give us our day in the courts. At least we can breathe in a cell.
My camera dangles from my neck and my inhaler may be in my pocket but I assure you it’s not a gun. I’m a former police officer so I speak from experience, I’m a US military veteran, I have a master’s degree, I’m a Master Mason, Thirty Second Degree Scottish Rite, Knights Templar, I’m a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Inc, I volunteer at my church protecting the flock, and serve as an active member in my community yet because of the color of my skin and those who look like me will always be a threat.
Felony Forgery, Felony Theft, Felony Driving, Felony sitting on the couch, Felony pain who cares if you can’t breathe. It hurts we want to live.
I brought my children into this world as a responsible man and I love my children with my heart mind and soul, and I would do anything for them. My children love me as do I love them. I’ve worked hard to be where I am, I pray I don’t die in the streets making photographs.
I don’t have the answers, nor can I make the leaders in communities listen. They will only follow their own agendas because what we go through is incomprehensible to most. You may change your Facebook profile showing how you support and sending your many thoughts out to the world, but you will resume your everyday lives.
I can’t change the color of my skin but as your friend know when you walk out your door what you think about and what I think about is very different. I ask myself every day, do I look like a threat. Does my camera look like a gun, is my iPhone charged in case I need it while being pulled over to say my last words to my children? Or will I make it home.
I’ve been pulled over with my white friends in the car and I’ve narrated what will happen not because of my previous experience rather because its normal. But I assure you I’m not a threat.
I’m sharing this from the bottom of my heart, and I hope this doesn’t offend you, but this is my normal. Ill continue to make photographs, love, lead by example and walk upright until my day comes. My ask is that you help us. Our ancestors were brought over on ships and now were dying in the streets under the force of a knee.
The looting will end, and the store will recover. We can’t if we’re dead.
A concerned man, father, and photographer.
I’ve shared my personal experiences of what that looks like so that people aren’t just thinking that all cops are bad.
I was a police officer till 2011 and switched careers and joined the Army. When I came out west, and was stationed at 1st Infantry Division, in Ft. Riley, Kans.
I suffered some injuries while active-duty and took a medical retirement. Went through three surgeries to fix my back and lower extemeties. Being older, I said, you know what? I’ll take my chances being a civilian again.
After my service, I started my own company because I’d been taking images since my mom and dad gave me my first camera. I tried to find my space in the photo community, and I was determined to work on a veteran project. The documentary work, being a veteran, sharing the stories of homeless veterans in black-and-white portraits is where I find my heart.
I’m not 100%. I’m a disabled veteran. I don’t make any excuses, and I try to do the best I can each day, which is how that homeless veteran project started. I think I’ve gone to 17 states and taken black-and-white portraits of 75 homeless veterans in total. You can see them on my Instagram.
I went to photograph a protest last Friday. The two most impactful things that hit me the hardest were an image of an older African American female. She said, “I’m in my 60s, and I’m still having to protest.” I captured an image of her holding the another man’s hand.
Then I saw that I had photos of so many kids. And I remembered one of the ladies telling me she has an 8-year-old son, and she says, “My son, this is his second protest.” Because his first one was when Trayvon Martin was killed in 2012. I was like, wow, how heavy is that?
At the protest we counted about 105 people. The protest was staged by local leaders within the black community. As cars passed, people honked. People cheered, waved. They protested right there on the corner. Peacefully. No law enforcement.
They did march to the Geary County Sheriff’s Office. Two of the police officers were out there. People chanted and, voiced their concerns.
The officers smiled. They didn’t do anything reactionary to the protesters. And then the march continued back to its original point at Heritage Park.
I was with two other photographers and I decided rather than get in their space, I was going to go on the sidewalk. I saw a pop of light where I wanted to capture images. So, I started shooting and Jason Simmons with his siblings and his mom came right through that patch of light.
Two days later, I was culling through images, I was posting what I felt most of the people wanted to see. But then I was kind of reflecting. As a parent, I couldn’t even imagine taking my kid to a protest. Obviously, I’m shooting. Then again, people are taking their kids out there to see this, the experience.
I’m a contributor to @everydayblackamerica on Instagram. So just prior to going shooting this, they had asked me to start putting work out there to them. And they put the image on their page, and that’s pretty much the history on it.
Later on, the kid’s mother responded. Because somebody tagged her and said look at your babies in the picture. And her response was, “My heart just stopped. Oh, my God, this is powerful.”
When I see this photo of Jason, I think we just need to stop the hate. If we stop the hate, then we can make progress on how we fix these issues from the local level.
It’s about stopping the hate and educating, to get people to understand that this does happen. It is an ongoing issue and we just want to fix it. Nobody’s asking for anything. We just want to live.
RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to announce plans Thursday for the removal of an iconic statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond’s prominent Monument Avenue, a senior administration official told The Associated Press.
The governor will direct the statue to be moved off its massive pedestal and put into storage while his administration seeks input on a new location, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak before the governor’s announcement.
The move comes amid turmoil across the nation and around the world over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes, even after he stopped moving.
The Lee statue is one of five Confederate monuments along Monument Avenue, a prestigious residential street and National Historic Landmark district in Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy. It has been the target of graffiti during protests in recent days over Floyd’s death, including messages that say “end police brutality” and “stop white supremacy.”
It was not immediately clear when the statue would be removed.
Other tragedies in recent years have prompted similar nationwide soul searching over Confederate monuments, which some people regard as inappropriate tributes to the South’s slave-holding past. Others compare monument removals to erasing history.
Confederate memorials began coming down after a white supremacist killed nine black people at a Bible study in a church in South Carolina in 2015 and then again after a violent rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville in 2017.
The Lee monument was erected in 1890, decades after the end of the Civil War.
Also on Wednesday, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced plans to remove the other Confederate monuments along Monument Avenue, which include statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate Gens. Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart. Those statues sit on city land, unlike the Lee statue, which is on state property.
Stoney said he would introduce an ordinance July 1 to have the statues removed. That’s when a new law goes into effect, which was signed earlier this year by Northam, that undoes an existing state law protecting Confederate monuments and instead lets local governments decide their fate.
“I appreciate the recommendations of the Monument Avenue Commission – those were the appropriate recommendations at the time. But times have changed, and removing these statues will allow the healing process to begin for so many Black Richmonders and Virginians,” Stoney said. “Richmond is no longer the Capital of the Confederacy – it is filled with diversity and love for all – and we need to demonstrate that.”
Ever since Jaws set the standard for the modern-day blockbuster in 1975, audiences have flocked to theaters for summer movie season to catch action flicks, comedies and even a few Oscar hopefuls. Not so this year.
With most movie theaters still closed or operating with social distancing measures across the U.S., most of the big-budget movies that were set to release in May and June—like Wonder Woman 1984, Top Gun: Maverick and Black Widow—have already delayed their premieres until the the fall and winter. The major July and August releases will likely follow suit, with annual box office receipts expected to be down as much as 50%.
But moviegoers can take some comfort in the fact that plenty of films are shifting from theaters to video-on-demand—or, in some cases, were always set for streaming releases—so new movies will still be coming this summer, including Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods and Lonely Island’s buzzy Sundance rom-com Palm Springs. And there is still hope that movies set to debut later in the season, like Christopher Nolan’s much-anticipated Tenet and Wes Anderson’s star-studded The French Dispatch, will help jump-start the theater business before the year is out.
Below, find a new crop of summer movies coming straight to streaming for your viewing pleasure (and a few still slated for theatrical release). We’ve also included a list of rescheduled dates for summer films that have been delayed—along with older movies you can watch to scratch the itch while you wait for the return of the blockbuster.
Movies Premiering This Summer—and Where You Can Watch Them
Shirley (June 5, 2020)
Hulu, VOD and drive-ins
One of the buzziest films to emerge from Sundance, Shirley stars Elisabeth Moss as a fictionalized version of horror writer Shirley Jackson. This surreal film kicks off when a young couple interrupts the reclusive life of Shirley and her husband (Michael Stuhlbarg) and things get weird from there. (Read TIME’s review here.)
Da 5 Bloods (June 12, 2020)
Spike Lee’s latest follows a group of Vietnam War veterans, played by Delroy Lindo and Clarke Peters among others, who return to Vietnam in the present day to hunt for buried gold and bring home the remains of their fallen squad leader (BlackPanther‘s Chadwick Boseman, in flashbacks). The trailer suggests there will be violence, frank discussion of race relations and some major channeling of Apocalypse Now.
The King of Staten Island (June 12, 2020)
In the tradition of Trainwreck, Judd Apatow directs another film loosely based on a breakout comedian’s own life, this time Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson. Like the real Davidson, his character lost his father, a firefighter, when he was growing up. Unlike the real Pete, though, he’s not famous and hasn’t dated Ariana Grande (his friend-with-benefits is played by Bel Powley). He drifts through life in a haze of weed smoke, half-heartedly pursuing his dream of becoming a tattoo artist. Marisa Tomei plays his widowed mom and Bill Burr, her new boyfriend.
Artemis Fowl (June 12, 2020)
Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s YA novel about a boy criminal mastermind has been in the works for a long time. Now that theaters across the country are closed, it’s one of the few movies that Disney has decided to move out of theaters and onto its streaming service. Colin Ferrell, Judi Dench and Ferdia Shaw star.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (June 26, 2020)
Will Ferrell co-writes and co-stars, alongside Rachel McAdams, in this comedy about an Icelandic singing duo competing in the real-life Eurovision contest, a zany, uber-popular competition that gave the world ABBA and Celine Dion. The cast includes Dan Stevens, Pierce Brosnan and Demi Lovato.
Irresistible (June 26, 2020)
Jon Stewart is back. The former Daily Show host wrote and directed this political satire about a Democratic political strategist (Steve Carrell) and a Republican one (Rose Byrne) battling each other in a seemingly small-potatoes Wisconsin mayoral race that they believe will influence whether the state swings red or blue in the next national election. Chris Cooper plays the unlikely Democratic candidate.
Hamilton (July 3, 2020)
With Broadway and theaters across the country closed, live Hamilton shows are on hold. But those who have yet to catch the musical—or just want to see it again without forking over their life savings—can finally check it out at home. This is not a movie version of Hamilton but rather a filmed version of the stage production, starring the original cast, including star and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The Truth (July 3, 2020)
Famed Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters) makes his non-Japanese language debut with a film about a daughter who excavates her difficult relationship with her famous mother when the mother publishes a memoir full of half-truths. Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke star in the movie, which premiered to warm reviews at the Toronto Film Festival last year.
Palm Springs (July 10, 2020)
Hulu and drive-ins
This Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti rom-com, which set the record for the most expensive acquisition ever made at the Sundance Film Festival, comes from the Lonely Island team. That prolific comedic group also dreamt up Hot Rod and Pop Star: Never Stop Never Stopping, both of which are worth seeking out after catching the new one. Palm Springs begins with a meet-cute at a wedding, but things quickly get much weirder than your typical rom-com.
The Old Guard (July 10, 2020)
If you are bemoaning the fact that you have to wait a year to see Charlize Theron fight Vin Diesel in Fast & Furious 9 (more on that movie below), this Netflix film may sate you. Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball) directs this action-packed comic book adaptation about a group or immoral mercenaries. Chiwetel Ejiofor and Kiki Layne star alongside Theron.
Tenet (July 17, 2020)
Christopher Nolan’s latest mind-bending film has become the most anticipated movie of the summer. The thriller stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki and boasts Inception vibes: Washington’s character can, apparently, make time move backwards. This is a big movie that demands to be watched on IMAX. If it keeps its July release date, Hollywood is hoping the film can draw fans back to theaters to help save summer blockbuster season.
Mulan (July 24, 2020)
Disney has already moved the live-action adaptation of the beloved animated film Mulan from March to July in hopes of drawing massive crowds in both the U.S. and China, where the film is set. If the movie is delayed again, you can always catch the animated version on Disney+. The live-action version, which stars Liu Yifei, won’t include songs, so this is your moment to belt “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” alone in your apartment.
An American Pickle (August 6, 2020)
Seth Rogen stars in this absurdist take on Rip Van Winkle, based on a 2013 short story by Simon Rich, in which a 1920s Brooklyn man falls into a barrel of pickle brine and brines himself for 100 years. He wakes up in a much-transformed modern-day Brooklyn and seeks out his great-grandson, also played by Rogen. Hijinks ensue.
Wonder Woman 1984 (August 12, 2020)
Last we saw Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and her beloved Steve (Chris Pine), they were battling Germans in World War I. In this movie, the presumed-dead Steve appears alive and well in 1980s Washington D.C. to assist Wonder Woman in her fight against Cheetah (Kristin Wiig) and an evil bigwig (Pedro Pascal). The movie has already been delayed from June to August. Time will tell if we’ll have to wait longer to find out how Steve returned to this mortal coil.
Charm City Kings (August 14, 2020)
HBOMax acquired the rights to this film after it won the Best Ensemble prize at Sundance. Based on 12 O’Clock Boys, a 2013 documentary about the dirt bike scene in Baltimore, the intense drama features Meek Mill and a handful of newcomers.
Project Power (August 14, 2020)
The script for this sci-fi film starring Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Courtney B. Vance inspired a major bidding war back in 2017. Netflix has released few details about the movie except that involves a pill that gives people superpowers.
Bill & Ted Face the Music (August 21, 2020)
The Keanussance is far from over. Even though the next entry in the John Wick franchise has been pushed all the way until 2022, the sequel to cult comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is still scheduled to hit theaters this year, with Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter reuniting 31 years after the original film hit theaters.
Antebellum (August 21, 2020)
The Janelle Monáe horror film centers on a modern-day author who finds herself trapped on a plantation in the antebellum South and racing to solve the mystery of how she traveled back in time. The movie already shifted from its spring release date to August.
Tesla (August 21, 2020)
VOD and in theaters
Ethan Hawke re-teams with director Michael Almereyda 20 years after they worked on their modern version of Hamlet together for an absurdist and satirical biopic about inventor Nikola Tesla (Hawke) and his feud with Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan).
The New Mutants (August 28, 2020)
Oh what a journey New Mutants has taken to theaters. The plagued X-Men spinoff, originally supposed to debut in 2018, is finally (supposedly) hitting theaters this summer. The cast of the superhero-horror mashup includes buzzy young stars like Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, Emma’s Anya Taylor-Joy and Stranger Things’ Charlie Heaton.
When to Expect Delayed Summer Movies—and What to Watch in the Meantime
A Quiet Place Part II (September 4, 2020)
The much anticipated follow-up to A Quiet Place is currently slated for September, but given that writer-director John Krasinski wrote in a note to fans that he wanted to delay its March release until groups of fans could enjoy the horror movie together in a dark theater, it might be awhile until we watch Emily Blunt silently navigate her family past terrifying monsters again.
What to watch in the meantime:A Quiet Place (Amazon or Hulu) or It Comes at Night (Netflix)
The original film is available to stream, but if you’re looking for something different, Trey Edward Shults’ 2017 It Comes at Nightis a critically acclaimed horror film about a father trying to protect his family in a post-apocalyptic world where a disease has taken out much of the population. The two movies hit on a lot of the same themes.
The French Dispatch (October 16, 2020)
Wes Anderson’s latest, The French Dispatch, was one of the few Oscar hopefuls originally set to premiere this summer. If the film about a New Yorker-type magazine does indeed premiere in the fall, its ridiculously talented cast—which includes Bill Murray, Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Kate Winslet, Elisabeth Moss, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Willem Defoe, Edward Norton, Jeffrey Wright, Owen Wilson, Benicio del Toro and Jason Schwartzman — may well be seen together on the awards campaign trail collecting accolades. (Although it bears mentioning that awards season, too, may well be postponed.)
What to watch in the meantime:The Royal Tenenbaums (watch free on DirectTV or rent on Amazon or Apple)
If you’re willing to shell out a few bucks to rent or buy Anderson’s past films, you can have your pick from his oeuvre. The Royal Tenenbaums, one of his earlier and best films, which also features a stacked ensemble cast like The French Dispatch, is currently free for DirectTV subscribers.
Black Widow (November 6, 2020)
A decade after Scarlett Johansson made her debut in the Marvel movies, Black Widow is finally getting her solo superhero film. The prequel to Avengers: Infinity War features not just Johansson but Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour as Russian spies. The plot of Black Widowprobably impacts the plots of other Marvel movies set to debut after its release, so the sooner we can see its post-credits scene, the sooner we’ll see what’s next to come in the MCU.
What to watch in the meantime: The Avengers movies (Disney+) or Under the Skin (Netflix)
Sure, you could watch Black Widow in all the Marvel movies on Disney+, but you could also opt to watch a weirder ScarJo movie, Under the Skin. The creepy sci-fi thriller is the peak of Johansson’s run playing all-powerful alien and robot beings (see also: Lucy, Her and the problematic Ghost in the Shell).
Soul (November 20, 2020)
The next Pixar movie is sure to make fans weep—in a good way. The movie centers on a jazz musician (Jamie Foxx) who gets into an accident and travels to another realm to see how souls are made and help another soul (Tina Fey) find her passion. As usual, Pixar director Pete Docter (Monsters Inc., Up, Inside Out) plans to mix philosophy and humor.
Docter, the creator behind Soul, also dreamed up the wonderful Up, a heartwarming movie that will carry you away to an exotic destination if you stream it on Disney+. (If only we all had enough balloons to fly our houses to a socially-distant vacation destination.)
No Time to Die (November 21, 2020)
No Time to Die was the first major spring movie to push its release date. What initially seemed like a risky reaction to the pandemic turned out to be a savvy move: The film, long plagued by setbacks, snagged a coveted release date right before Thanksgiving. In the movie, Daniel Craig’s 007 is pulled out of retirement for one last mission, but he must team up with his replacement (Lashana Lynch) as he faces off against Rami Malek’s villain (whose name has been conspicuously withheld—perhaps he’s a familiar nemesis).
What to watch in the meantime: Casino Royale (HBO) or Skyfall (Amazon, Apple)
As Craig wraps up his run as Bond, why not revisit his debut? If already have an HBO, HBO Now or HBO Max subscription, Casino Royale is available on those platforms. (You’ll have to shell out a few bucks to rent Craig’s best Bond movie, Skyfall, on Amazon or Apple.)
Top Gun: Maverick (December 23, 2020)
The Top Gun sequel seemed tailor-made for July, with its patriotic verve and beach volleyball scenes. But fans will have to wait until Christmas to watch Tom Cruise’s Maverick show off his flying skills—and maybe even teach a thing or two to Miles Teller and Glenn Powell’s characters in the process.
What to watch in the meantime: Top Gun (Apple or Amazon) or Mission: Impossible –Fallout (Hulu or Amazon)
You’ll have to pay a few dollars to watch the original Top Gun on Apple or Amazon. But let’s be honest, with all its insane stunts, this Top Gun sequel looks more like a Mission: Impossible movie than a quaint ’80s drama. To get your yearly dose of Tom Cruise’s death-defying stunts, seek out the most recent Mission: Impossible movie, Fallout, on Hulu or Amazon Prime. The epic action film is well worth your time.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife (March 5, 2021)
Yet another sequel to Ghostbusters is headed to theaters — but not until next year. Jason Reitman, the son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, is helming the movie and has wrangled a bunch of cameos from old cast members.
What to watch in the meantime:Ghostbusters (rent or buy on Amazon or Apple) or Up in the Air (free on Hulu or Amazon)
If you’ve already memorized the original Ghostbusters, maybe check out some of Jason Reitman’s work to get a feel for his tone. He broke out with Thank You for Smoking and went on to direct Juno and Up in the Air.
Morbius (March 19, 2021)
Even though Sony currently shares Tom Holland’s Spider-Man with Marvel Studios, they have sole custody of the various villains of the Spider-Man universe and are producing solo films for several of these baddies. Last year’s critically panned but commercially successful Venom kicked off the trend of antihero films. Next will be Morbius, starring Jared Leto as a vampire.
What to watch in the meantime: Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (Netflix)
By far the best entry in the Spider-Man saga in the last several years is this animated film that snagged an Oscar in 2019. The inventive and delightful Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse brings together several Spider-people from multiple dimensions for a major battle in Brooklyn.
Fast & Furious 9 (April 2, 2021)
Fans of the family that races cars and fights crime together will have to wait an entire year from its original release to meet their newest adversary, the brother of Vin Diesel’s Dom, played by John Cena. The films’ car-based stunts have gotten increasingly ridiculous with each new installment, and while Vin Diesel and his crew are not headed to space, as some fans suspected they might, they are now apparently able to bring back the dead (#justiceforHan).
I cannot emphasize enough what a perfect summer blockbuster Fast Five is. It’s the first Fast & Furious movie that brings the crew we know and love today together from all the various Fast movies that preceded it. This film features epic stunts, corny lines that will make you laugh out loud and a chase scene through Rio that has to be seen to be believed.
Spiral: From the Book of Saw (May 21, 2021)
In a surprising swerve for the comedian, Chris Rock came up with the idea for a new Saw movie and is both producing and starring in the project. Rock and Samuel L. Jackson play detectives investigating a series of gruesome murders that are targeting cops and find themselves caught up in the killer’s game.
What to watch in the meantime:Saw (rent on Apple) or Se7en (Showtime)
Horror fans can revisit the old Saw movies, but the Spiral trailer is giving off some serious Se7en vibes, even down to an ominous-looking box.
In the Heights (June 18, 2021)
Before Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda made his name on Broadway with In the Heights. The movie version of the musical, which is direccted by Jon M. Chu and covers three days in New York City’s Dominican-American neighborhood of Washington Heights, will star Melissa Barrera and Hamilton alum Anthony Ramos.
What to watch in the meantime: Singin’ in the Rain (HBO Max)
Lin-Manuel Miranda once listedThe Little Mermaid, Singin’ in the Rain, The Bandwagon, Chicago and Labyrinth as his favorite movie musicals. While they are all worth your time, Singin’ in the Rain is one of those classics that has cemented its place in the film canon and is a must-see—especially now that it’s available to stream on HBO Max.
Minions: The Rise of Gru (July 2, 2021)
The minions have officially overtaken their master Gru as the most popular characters of the franchise since this Despicable Me prequel is, puzzlingly, made after the little yellow henchman, and not the movie’s main character Gru himself. All the little fans carrying stuffed minions to the movie theaters will have to wait a year to see Gru as a child aspiring to be a supervillain.
What to watch in the meantime:Despicable Me (Netflix)
The movie that introduced the little yellow critters as the henchman of evil mastermind Gru (Steve Carell) remains the best film from Illumination Studios.
Jungle Cruise (July 30, 2021)
Jungle Cruise is Disney’s latest attempt to turn one of their theme park rides into a sepia-toned adventure. Emily Blunt stars as a doctor who hires Dwayne ‘the Rock” Johnson’s boat captain to race a gaggle of ill-intentioned bad guys towards a magical tree that offers great medicinal powers.
What to watch in the meantime:Pirates of the Caribbean (Disney+)
Remember the last time Disney successfully turned a theme park ride into a massive franchise? You probably have not revisited the first Pirates movie in awhile. But they struck gold with that first film: Johnny Depp even got an Oscar nomination. The movie holds up (Depp as a movie star, perhaps less so).
The Forever Purge (Delayed indefinitely)
The Forever Purge will be the fifth and final installment in the horror series (though writers always find new ways to revive these scary stories). The studio has kept the details under wraps but the film will likely focus on a Purge Night—a 12-hour period when all crime, including murder, becomes legal—and deal with class warfare, a major theme of the franchise.
What to watch in the meantime:The Purge (rent on Amazon or Apple) or Snowpiercer (Netflix)
Revisit the original Purge movie starring Ethan Hawke or try another class warfare thriller, like Bong Joon Ho’s Snowpiercer, about a class revolution led by lower-class passengers (like Chris Evans’ character) against upper classes (like Tilda Swinton’s) on a post-apocalyptic train ride. (In fact, while you’re examining class clashes, you should also check out Bong’s Oscar-winning film Parasite on Hulu.)
Promising Young Woman (Delayed indefinitely)
Carey Mulligan plays a, yes, promising young woman whose life is derailed by a single incident. Years later, life presents her an opportunity to become an avenging angel against the supposed “nice guys” who abuse women, and she seizes it. The film got rave reviews out of the Sundance Film Festival.
What to watch in the meantime:Kill Bill, Vol. 1 & 2 (Hulu and Showtime)
Kill Bill and Promising Young Woman have radically different vibes and budgets. But if you’re looking for a female-fronted revenge fantasy, Kill Bill is the ultimate example of the genre.
The Woman in the Window (delayed indefinitely)
The hit mystery novel (whose real-life author also proves mysterious) gets a star-studded adaptation written by Tracy Letts. Amy Adams plays an agoraphobe who believes she witnesses a crime, a la Rear Window, but she has a troubling past of her own that makes the police question her story. The cast also includes Julianne Moore, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anthony Mackie, Gary Oldman and Brian Tyree Henry.
What to watch in the meantime:Gone Girl (free on FX and DirectTV or available to rent on Amazon or Apple)
Let’s be honest: Most of the recent years’ Girl and Woman novels and their adaptations are rip-offs of Gillian Flynn’s brilliant Gone Girl and David Fincher’s eerie adaptation of that book. Few measure up. Revisit for the twist. Stay for Ben Affleck’s incredibly suspicious smile.
The Personal History of David Copperfield (delayed indefinitely)
This new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel from Veep creator Armando Iannucci stars Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Ben Whishaw and Benedict Wong. The irreverent film has already debuted in England to raves. But Searchlight has delayed its U.S. release indefinitely.
What to watch in the meantime: Death of Stalin (Netflix)
Iannucci has consistently proven himself to be one of the funniest filmmakers around, from In the Loop to Veep. His recent film Death of Stalin is a parody of what really happened in Russia after Stalin died and his various stooges fought over who would replace him. At moments it’s so horrifying, there’s nothing you can do but laugh.
The Green Knight (delayed indefinitely)
Dev Patel was supposed to have a big summer between David Copperfield and this spooky-looking Arthurian movie from Ghost Story director David Lowery. But A24 has pulled The Green Knight from its schedule, presumably so audiences can enjoy the drama in theaters.
The vibe of the Green Knight trailer is reminiscent of A24’s hit film from last summer, Midsommar—except replace all those brightly-lit maypole dancing images with shots of brightly-robed knights in dark castles. A24 has a long history of promoting excellent and inventive films. Midsommar is a good place to start if you’re looking for something dark (for something even darker, try Hereditary).
At an annual women’s rights convention in Illinois, several new rules were laid down for members. Attendance was limited to 100 people, the general public were barred from participating and chairs at the meeting were set four feet apart.
It could almost be a scene from 2020, the kind of thing societies around the world are implementing as they begin to cautiously emerge out of coronavirus lockdown measures and adjust to a new, socially distanced way of life.
But this meeting took place in late October 1918, against the backdrop of the so-called “Spanish flu” pandemic, one of the deadliest in history, thought to have killed 50 million people worldwide by the time it ended. And the women taking part were members of the Illinois Equal Suffrage convention, eager to follow public health guidelines as well as to continue the campaign for the American woman’s right to vote.
This August will mark the centennial of the 19th Amendment, and thus 100 years of women’s suffrage across the United States. As the plans to celebrate the anniversary have been upended by COVID-19, historians are looking back to the determination of the suffragists in the face of a similarly challenging moment. “The suffragists have shown us how to persevere through the highs and the lows,” says Anna Laymon, executive director of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission. “It’s easy to find inspiration in their stories and their work. There’s a refrain of ‘if the suffragists can do what they did, we can get through this.’”
The 1918 flu outbreak started in the spring of 1918 and, in the U.S., was first identified in military personnel. The lack of advanced medicine and a vaccine meant that, much as is the case today, governments encouraged non-medical interventions such as quarantines, mask-wearing and good personal hygiene. Meanwhile, several countries around the world had already passed legislation for the enfranchisement of women. By the time the flu outbreak was first identified in the U.S. in the spring of that year, the momentum for American women’s suffrage was building rapidly. A patchwork of legislation in different states enabled women to vote in some local elections, but Congress had not yet ratified the 19th Amendment.
“This is also a moment when women are doing a lot of visible protests modeled after British suffragists,” says historian Allison K. Lange, associate professor of history at Wentworth Institute of Technology and a consulting historian for the Commission. Legislation passed in 1918 gave some women in the U.K. the right to vote, subject to specific criteria, and transatlantic tactics were shared. American women were organizing parades and the National Women’s Party started picketing outside the White House in January 1917, the same month that the U.S. entered World War I. Four months later, in April 1917, Jeannette Rankin of Montana was elected to the House of Representatives as the first female member of Congress.
But American women campaigning for the right to vote found themselves engaged in three different battles — against the practical problems and the tragedies that the flu wrought, against the crisis of the then-ongoing World War I, and against those opposed to women’s suffrage. “Everything conspires against women’s suffrage,” one local suffragist told the New Orleans Times-Picayune in October 1918.
Lange came across that particular article reported from New Orleans while researching how the suffrage movement responded to the 1918 flu, a topic that has often been overlooked in historical literature, which has tended to focus more on the impact of the war on the suffrage movement. As the fight for the vote was peaking, tens of thousands of women entered roles in the Women’s Land Army to fill the jobs that men had left when they went to war, and eight million women volunteered as American Red Cross workers taking on duties from nursing to mechanics and motorcycle messengers. “In some ways, women’s World War I contribution and the flu crisis, at least especially initially, overlapped,” says Lange.
The simultaneous challenges of the war and the pandemic forced the suffragists to adapt their priorities and campaigning methods, particularly in the face of the influenza, which prevented the public demonstrations and events that they had been so well known for. More radical suffragists felt their efforts had been thwarted, but moderate campaigners saw these obstacles as opportunities to show their patriotism and contribution to the national effort.
Although they wouldn’t have labelled their actions as “social distancing” at the time, suffragists aligned themselves with the message of the health authorities. They postponed campaigns, wore masks and focused on petitions instead of large-scale public events. Local women’s organizations signed up to volunteer with the Red Cross and a key part of their work was to help discharged soldiers recover from the flu, as several outbreaks were at military camps. It was also a moment of possibility for a more diverse group of women: during the pandemic, 18 black nurses were admitted to the Army Nurse Corps and American Red Cross, which had only previously admitted and deployed white nurses.
Between the war effort and the flu response, more moderate suffragists endeavored to show a kind of “model citizenship,” says Lange. “While the public spectacles were extremely valuable in keeping the issue in the news and in people’s minds, the rhetoric of the more moderate suffragists was adopted by public officials.” And that rhetoric helped further the argument that women’s suffrage was socially acceptable, even to those who might not otherwise have supported it.
That patience paid off, as President Woodrow Wilson addressed the Senate in support of women’s suffrage in September 1918. “This war could not have been fought…if it had not been for the services of the women—services rendered in every sphere,” he said, having written a telegram to the Illinois suffragist group just four days later to praise the way “women’s work for suffrage was being carried out during the war.”
While the suffragists themselves recognized the ways the flu impacted their work, their contribution to fighting the pandemic was perhaps overlooked, even at the time, in comparison to their contribution to the war effort. “It was assumed that women would do this [nursing] work and risk their lives to be caregivers,” says Lange. Just a week later, the influenza pandemic would claim victims in Washington, D.C., and Congress itself, showing just how much it infiltrated all aspects of life.
Despite the pandemic, the suffrage movement continued campaigning with determination and on June 4, 1919, the 19th Amendment, granting U.S. women the right to vote, was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification.
For Lange, the suffragists’ ability to adapt and change in the face of steep obstacles is a timely reminder. “They were constantly adapting new ideas and new ways of thinking about the world, and that’s exactly the kind of thing we’re hoping to do right now,” she says. “I hope we take away the idea of persistent perseverance, and hopefully see new opportunities in that adaptation.”
(WASHINGTON) — In an abrupt reversal, Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday overturned an earlier Pentagon decision to send a couple hundred active-duty soldiers home from the Washington, D.C., region, amid growing tensions with the White House over the military response to the protests.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Associated Press that the reversal came after Esper attended a meeting at the White House, and after other internal Pentagon discussions. It is unclear if Esper met with President Donald Trump. McCarthy said he believes the change was based on ensuring there is enough military support in the region to respond to any protest problems if needed.
McCarthy said he received notice of the Pentagon order to send about 200 soldiers with the 82nd Airborne’s immediate response force home just after 10 a.m. Wednesday. Hours later, the Pentagon notified him that Esper had reversed the decision.
The move to keep the troops in the region, however, comes as Pentagon leaders continue to insist they do not want to use active-duty forces to help quell the protests. Earlier in the day, Esper had tamped down threats from Trump about sending troops to “dominate” the streets, telling reporters at a Pentagon news conference that he opposes using military forces for law enforcement in containing the current street protests.
Active-duty troops should be used in the U.S. “only in the most urgent and dire of situations,” He said, adding, “We are not in one of those situations now.”
“It is our intent at this point not to bring in active forces, we don’t think we need them at this point,” McCarthy said in an interview with The Associated Press. “But it’s prudent to have the reserve capability in the queue, on a short string.”
The AP reported earlier Wednesday that the 82nd Airborne soldiers would be the first to leave and would be returning home to Fort Bragg, N.C. The remainder of the active-duty troops, who have all been kept at military bases outside the city in northern Virginia and Maryland, would get pulled home in the coming days if conditions allowed.
But then the Pentagon changed its plans.
“It’s a dynamic situation,” said McCarthy, adding that the 82nd Airborne troops “will stay over an additional 24 hours and it is our intent — we’re trying to withdraw them and get them back home.”
The active-duty troops have been available, but not used in response to the protests.
About 1,300 active-duty troops were brought in to the capital region early this week as protests turned violent. The protests came in the aftermath of the death in Minnesota of a black man, George Floyd, who died after a white police officer pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
The active-duty unit that will be last to remain on alert is the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment, which is normally most visible as the soldiers who stand at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The troops, known as the Old Guard, are based close to D.C. at Fort Myer, Virginia, and have been on 30-minute alert status. They would continue to be prepared to respond to any emergency in the region within a half-hour for as long as needed.
Pentagon leaders have consistently said there continues to be no intent to use the active-duty forces in any law enforcement capacity. They would be used to assist the National Guard or other forces.
So far, Indiana has sent about 300 National Guard troops to D.C., Tennessee has sent about 1,000 and South Carolina has sent more than 400.