As the school year comes to a close, the calendar will begin to crowd at the local cineplex. Hollywood’s major studios have their hopes riding on certain films. We cut through the packed Friday releases to highlight the most anticipated films of the summer. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (May 12) Director Guy Ritchie reimagines the medieval tale of King Arthur. Starring Charlie Huffman as Arthur along with Jude Law, David Beckham and Djimon Hounsou. Alien: Covenant (May 19) Director Ridley Scott returns to the Alien franchise with a sequel to 2012’s “Prometheus,” which started a prequel series to Scott’s original Alien saga. The film takes a crew of married couples to a new world whose only inhabitant is an android named David, played by Michael Fassbender. The film stars Katherine Waterson, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Carmen Ejogo and Fassbender, who also plays Walter, a robot on the Covenant spaceship. Baywatch (May 26) Dwayne Johnson teams up with Zac Effron to translate cult-television show “Baywatch” to the silver screen. The action-comedy pairs Johnson as the leader of an elite group of lifeguards with a former Olympian (Effron). Hilarity ensues and there is a cameo by David Hasselhoff. Directed by Seth Gordon. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (May 26) Johnny Depp is back once again as Captain Jack Sparrow in the fifth installment of the Disney franchise. This time, Sparrow is chasing an elusive artifact that allows its possessor to control the seas. Javier Bardem plays the bad guy and Orlando Bloom and Geoffrey Rush reprise their pirate roles. Sir Paul McCartney makes a cameo appearance. Wonder Woman (June 2)Gal Gadot stars in the origin story of Wonder Woman. While Gadot’s role in “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” gave viewers a glimpse of the character with some of her future teammates, this movie will fully develop the character ahead of her role in “Justice League,” which will be released in November 2017. The film also stars Chris Pine and Robin Wright. Rough Night (June 16) The ensemble cast of Scarlett Johansson, Demi Moore, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer and Zoe Kravitz comes together for a comedy about a bachelorette party gone wrong. The R-rated comedy is directed by Lucia Aniello and also features Dean Winters and Ty Burrell. Transformers: The Last Knight (June 23) Director Michael Bay continues at the helm of the fifth installment in this Paramount franchise. Mark Wahlberg returns to star in this summer action flick that sees good robot Optimus Prime again facing off against his nemises Megatron in a story arc that will explain why the Transformers keep coming back to Earth. The film also stars Anthony Hopkins, Stanley Tucci, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro. The Beguiled (June 23) Director Sofia Coppola adapts Thomas Cullinan’s 1966 novel of the same name. Colin Farrell stars as a wounded Union soldier who seeks refuge in an isolated Confederate girls boarding school at the end of the Civil War. Nicole Kidman stars as the headmistress of the Miss Martha Farnsworth Seminary for Young Ladies. Kirsten Dunst plays a school teacher and Elle Fanning portrays a teenage student named Alicia. Despicable Me 3 (June 30) Gru and his minions return in a parent-friendly animated feature with Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig reprising their voice roles along with newcomer Trey Parker (“South Park”) as the voice of Balthazar Bratt, Gru’s latest nemesis. Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7) Tom Holland jumps into the role of Peter Parker as Spider-Man finally gets a solo film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jon Watts directs the summer blockbuster that also stars Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. The film also features Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Donald Glover and Jon Favreau. War for the Planet of the Apes (July 14) The third film in the rebooted Planet of the Apes series pits ape leader Caesar against the humans in a battle to determine the fate of Earth. Andy Serkis portrays Caesar and Woody Harrelson stars as The Colonel, a soldier obsessed with eliminating the apes. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (July 21) Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne star in this film adaption of a 1960s French science fiction comic book. Set in the 28th century, the film follows special operatives charged with keeping order and safeguarding the future of the universe. Ethan Hawke, John Goodman, Clive Owen and Rihanna also star
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Up, Up and Away!
FUQUAY-VARINA The sky was a kaleidoscope over eastern Wake County for Memorial Day weekend. The annual Freedom Balloon Fest, put on by Project Uplift USA, Raleigh Jaycees and WRAL, welcomed an estimated 80,000 visitors […]