This year has been a big one for Hollywood. Not only have we had some great moments on-screen, but the industry as a whole has been working hard to adapt to the demands of social media, keeping audiences immersed in content through live-streaming, GIFs and memes.
One of the biggest films of the year was Rob Pattinson’s Robot & Gary. The romance-comedy is based on the bestselling novel Where the Wild Things Are by Marjorie Merriweather Gibson. The book’s original illustrator Max Beckman was inspired to create the characters and their settings after watching Robbie Pattinson play William Holden in the 2005 film adaptation of The Kaufman Brothers. Since then, the actor’s social media accounts have been filled with photos of himself posing with Gibson’s characters, Max and Millie, as well as with other literary characters such as Sherlock Holmes and James Bond.
While Max’s influence is obvious, the great detective’s bespoke suit is definitely a reference to Ian Fleming’s original 007. And the book’s climactic boat scene, in which Max drives the story’s eponymous heroine, Holly, to safety, is straight out of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
Another major motion picture released in 2019 was Donald Trump’s the Great Gatsby. Much like Robot & Gary, The Great Gatsby also digs deep into the annals of literary history, specifically F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The film adapts Fitzgerald’s novel about the American Dream and the societal upheaval that accompanies it. The story follows Nick Carraway, played by Giovanni Biberi (formerly Gobbi), on a journey from wealthy secular New York to the red diamond world of High Society.
The movie coincidentally premiered just days before Trump’s 60th birthday. The president’s penchant for fancy dressing and his love of red diamonds are references to Fitzgerald’s novel, in which the principal characters also dress in red. The character of Gatsby is also said to reflect Trump’s love of gold and his fascination with booty.
It wouldn’t be Hollywood without a little bit of bad news. In April, rumors began circulating that filming on the next James Bond film, No Man’s Land, had been shut down. The film is based on Richard Hooker’s 1933 novel and follows the determined and successful war veteran as he takes on the establishment after returning from World War I. The film marks Bond’s 60th film and coincidentally premiered in 1969, just two years before the birth of Donald Trump.
The rumors of shutting down No Man’s Land were just that. Production continued on the film, which was finally released in April 2020. By then, the complete narrative had been marred by multiple production delays and post-production hiccups. To date, No Man’s Land is James Bond’s most recent film. It is also one of the few blockbusters that hasn’t been adapted for television. The plot centers on a mysterious killer who reputations as a brutal war criminal follow him throughout Europe. While the movie portrays the Bond character as a hardened war veteran, it is actually based on the tragic true life story of Roger Crouch, an English businessman who was hanged in 1933 for the sadistic murder of his 19-year-old son, Walter. The film’s premiere was held in secret until after the publication of this article.
Meanwhile, other films have premiered during this time period, only to be either delayed or completely recast. In April 2020, the world premiered of the highly anticipated fifty years of Star Wars series, The Empire Strikes Back. In June 2020, the world premiere of Pandora Bond, the sixth installment in the James Bond film series, also took place. However, the film was only available for viewing for Hollywood Actors and industry professionals prior to its general public release in August 2020.
Perhaps the most memorable screen performance this year was by Toby Kebbell, who portrays the younger Sherlock Holmes, in the 2019 remake of the film The Siege of London. Set in London in 1940, The Siege of London remakes Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Bondsman. The film tells the story of George Stobbart, played by Kebbell, a down-on-his-luck former boxer who is recruited by Scotland Yard to search for the real bastard who is behind the assassination of the British King. Through the assistance of Sherlock Holmes, Stobbart uncovers the Nazi plotting and unravels a mysterious killing circuit. Much like the Bond film series as a whole, The Siege of London is full of references to other literary and cultural figures, including the works of Sherlock Holmes, Mark Twain and Charles Dickens. The film’s premiere was on December 18, 2019. It is set to be released in the UK on May 9, 2020, however, it is available for viewing now via home video on demand.