Sky Cinema: Antebellum and United States v Billie Holiday lead 2021 slate
James R | On 26, Jan 2021
Antebellum and The United States v Billie Holiday are leading Sky Cinema’s slate of original films set for release this month.
Sky Cinema will be premiering 30 new Sky Original films this year, as Sky looks to step up its profile in the living room faced by an ambitious slate of films at Netflix and the rising popularity of Disney+.
In the immediate future, already-announced Sky Original films include Twist, starring Sir Michael Caine, Dragon Rider, an animation with vocals by Felicity Jones and Patrick Stewart, and To Olivia, starring Hugh Bonneville and Keeley Hawes. Earlier this month also saw the premiere of Sky Cinema’s late-2020 acquisition, Blithe Spirit.
Following Netflix’s promise to release at least one new original movie every week, Sky Cinema will be releasing at least two new original films every month, with that number aiming to rise to one per week from 2022.
The line-up means that there is now a confirmed UK release for a number of high-profile titles, including Antebellum and Six Minutes to Midnight and Hulu’s The United States vs Billie Holiday. Equally revealing is the fact that Sky Cinema’s line-up doesn’t include any of the HBO Max titles that Warner Bros has announced will debut in cinemas and on its subscription service in US (which suggests that Warner will approach these films in the same way it did Wonder Woman 1984 in the UK, with a premium VOD release).
Nonetheless, Sky Cinema’s slate does boast a star-studded array of talent, including Judi Dench, Eddie Izzard, Lena Headey, Rita Ora, Meera Syal, Andy Serkis, Noel Clarke, Adam Devine, Ken Jeong, Maggie Smith, Kristen Wiig, Samantha Morton, Jonathan Pryce, Jim Broadbent, Morgan Freeman and Robert De Niro.
The line-up includes the recently announced A Boy Called Christmas, the origin story of Father Christmas based on Matt Haig’s best-selling novel, and family movies such as Extinct and Monster Family 2. There are films inspired by true stories and real people, including Save the Cinema, Creation Stories and The Glorias, action adventures such as Jolt and SAS: Red Notice, and comedies including The Comeback Trail and Breaking News In Yuba County.
Zai Bennett, Managing Director, Content, Sky UK & Ireland, said: “This year on Sky and NOW we’ve got an epic variety of entertainment for everyone, adding a brand-new slate of Sky Original films and Sky Original documentaries to our line-up of award-winning drama, comedy, entertainment and arts series.
“If you love film, Sky Cinema is the place for you with the latest box office movies alongside our new and exclusive 30 Sky Original films, including A Boy Called Christmas and Save The Cinema and A list stars from Judi Dench and Eddie Izzard through to Morgan Freeman and Robert De Niro. And if real life stories are your thing, we’ve got compelling documentaries on everything from the drugs trade in 1980s Liverpool to the White House Farm Murders, alongside unmissable drama from world class writers including Paul Abbott, David Farr and Joe Barton and Michael Winterbottom.”
Here’s the line-up:
Save The Cinema Samantha Morton, Jonathan Pryce, Adeel Akhtar, Susan Wokoma and Tom Felton star in this new British film based on true events. Liz Evans makes it her mission to stop her local cinema from being demolished. Coming Winter 2021
The United States v Billie Holiday In the 1940’s, the US government targeted beloved jazz icon Billie Holiday as part of their war on drugs, to prevent her from performing her heart-wrenching ballad “Strange Fruit,” a defiant cry against lynching. Directed by Lee Daniels, written by Suzan-Lori Parks and starring Andra Day. Coming February 26
A Boy Called Christmas An ordinary young boy called Nikolas sets out on an ex-traordinary adventure into the snowy north in search of his father who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of the elves, Elfhelm. Based on the bestselling book by Matt Haig, starring Jim Broadbent, Maggie Smith, Kristen Wiig, Sally Hawkins and Toby Jones, produced by Blueprint Pictures and StudioCanal and directed by Gil Kenan. Coming Winter 2021
Kindred A psychological thriller about a vulnerable mother-to-be who is taken in by her recently deceased boyfriend’s mother and stepson, who seem increasingly obsessed with her every move. Starring Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve), Tamara Lawrence (The Long Song) and Jack Lowden (Mary Queen of Scots, Dunkirk). Coming Summer 2021
Creation Stories Written by Irvine Welsh and Dean Cavanagh, Creation Stories charts the true story of the rise and fall of Creation Records and its infamous founder Alan McGee, who signed generation-defining bands such as Oasis and Primal Scream. Coming 20 March 2021
Breaking News in Yuba County A dark and twisted comedy that explores the outrageous lengths some people will go to in order to garner some much-desired attention. Starring Allison Janney, Mila Kunis and Awkwafina. Coming Spring 2021
Six Minutes to Midnight Emmy Award ® winner Eddie Izzard and Academy Award® winner Judi Dench battle to protect a group of students from the grip of Hitler in this World War II thriller. Coming 26 March 2021
The Comeback Trail Two movie producers who owe money to the mob set up their aging movie star for an insurance scam to try and save themselves. Starring Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones and Zach Braff. Coming Summer 2021
Antebellum A terrifying new thriller with a kiss of horror from the producer of the acclaimed films Get Out and Us, starring Janelle Monáe. Coming April 2021
The Glorias The Glorias is the female led story of feminist icon Gloria Steinem; known for her world-shaping activism, guidance of the revolutionary women’s movement, and writing that has impacted generations. Written and directed by Julie Taymor. Coming 7 March 2021
Every Breath You Take Academy Award-winning actor Casey Affleck stars as a psychiatrist who finds his life in turmoil following the sudden suicide of his patient. When he invites his patient’s surviving brother (Sam Claflin) into his home to meet his wife (Michelle Monaghan) and daughter, his family life and career are suddenly torn apart. Coming Summer/Autumn 2021
Extinct Op and Ed are two adorable donut-shaped animals — FLUMMELS — who accidentally time-travel from 1835 to modern-day Shanghai. Starring Rachel Bloom, Adam Devin and Ken Jeong. Coming Summer 2021
Monster Family 2 To free Baba Yaga and Renfield from the clutches of Monster Hunter Mila Starr, the Wishbone Family once more transforms into a Vampire, Frankenstein’s Monster, a Mummy and a Werewolf. Starring Jason Isaacs, Emily Watson and Nick Frost. Coming October 2021
The Secrets We Keep In post-WWII America, a woman rebuilding her life in the suburbs with her husband kidnaps her neighbour and seeks vengeance for the heinous war crimes she believes he committed against her. Starring Noomi Rapace, Chris Messina and Joel Kinnaman. Coming Spring 2021
Jolt A female driven action-comedy that follows Lindy (Kate Beckinsale), a bouncer with a murderous anger management problem that she controls with the help of an electrode-lined vest to shock herself back into normalcy whenever she feels homicidal. Starring Stanley Tucci and Laverne Cox. Coming – date TBC