Pop Goes The News — This summer’s jam-packed movie schedule includes a little bit of Canadian content.
They are not Canadian movies but they were shot entirely or primarily in Canada — and some of them are expected to be among the top-grossing movies of the season.
Here are six flicks to check out in cinemas this summer — three made in Vancouver, two in Montreal and one in Toronto.
May 27 – X-Men: Apocalypse
This is the fifth X-Men movie directed by Bryan Singer and the fourth he’s made in Canada.
Apocalypse was shot last summer in Montreal (with reshoots done in the city earlier this year) and has James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult and Michael Fassbender reprising their roles from 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past (and watch for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine).
Oscar Isaac plays the titular villain and other newcomers include Tye Sheridan and Sophie Turner.
A team of young X-Men must battle the immortal Apocalypse and his followers to save the world.
June 10 – Warcraft
This live-action adventure based on the blockbuster video game series was directed in early 2014 in Vancouver by Duncan Jones, who made 2011’s Source Code in Montreal.
Starring Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster and Dominic Cooper, the film focuses on an orc invasion of the human realm.
The cast includes Vancouver-based actors Callum Keith Rennie and Burkely Duffield.
July 1 – The BFG
Mark Rylance stars as the titular Big Friendly Giant and newcomer Ruby Barnhill plays the orphan he kidnaps in this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1982 children’s book.
Not to be confused with the 1989 animated feature — or the long-running CBC series The Friendly Giant — this fantasy adventure flick was directed last spring in Vancouver by Steven Spielberg. (Special effects were done at Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital in New Zealand.)
Except for Bill Hader the cast is mostly made up of Brits. Canadian content comes via Ontario-born Matt Frewer and Michael David Adamthwaite as well as a handful of local actors in minor roles.
The BFG will debut at the Cannes film festival in May and open in cinemas on Canada Day.
July 22 – Star Trek Beyond
The third chapter since the Star Trek movie franchise was rebooted in 2009, this is the first to be filmed in Canada. Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6) directed most of it last summer in Vancouver and Squamish.
The familiar faces are back — including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana — and Idris Elba plays the bad guy Krall.
Co-written by actor Simon Pegg (who plays Scotty), Star Trek Beyond follows the adventures of the Enterprise crew while stranded on a planet fighting unknown aliens.
Watch for Vancouver-based actor Harpreet Sandhu.
August 5 – Suicide Squad
Filming of this DC Comics antihero flick took place last spring and summer in Toronto with director David Ayer (Fury).
An all-star cast includes Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie and Viola Davis — and there were sightings of Ben Affleck on set as Batman.
Suicide Squad follows a team of super villains who are recruited by the government to battle threats in exchange for leniency.
Amidst all the special effects, Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square, Bay Street, and Yorkville neighbourhood are easily recognizable.
August 5 – Nine Lives
Kevin Spacey plays a cat — yes, a cat — in this comedy starring Jennifer Garner and Christopher Walken directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black) in Montreal last summer.
Spacey is a business tycoon who finds himself trapped inside the body of a cat and must reconnect with his family within a week or remain feline forever.
Toronto’s Robbie Amell also stars in the movie.