ATX Screen News: E3, AFS, and More

AFS Cinema reopening, Arkane Studios' vampire nightmare, and the return of Hypnotic


AFS Cinema is coming back! Keep your calendar clear for July 17, as Austin Film Society's two-screen arthouse theatre will reopen after a 16 month closure due to the pandemic. After pulling together the finances to de-mothball the cinema through the Next Picture Show fundraiser, AFS will hold a soft opening July 9 for donors, before reopening fully on July 15 with Sundance musical smash Summer of Soul, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson's remarkable documentary about the cultural impact and sheer groove of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. It will be followed later that month with local debuts for two SXSW hits by Austin documentarians: Without Getting Killed or Caught, Tamara Saviano and Paul Whitfield's recounting of the life, loves, and tragedies of Guy Clark, the dean of Texas songwriters; and Dear Mr. Brody, the new feature by Tower director Keith Maitland. See the full opening lineup at

Vampire slayers assemble! Been wondering what Arkane Studios Austin, the U.S. division of French developer Arkane Studios, has been conjuring up? Well, the team behind the Dishnonored franchise has finally announced their new mystery project, Redfall, as the show closer at Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase during last weekend's virtual Electronic Entertainment Expo, aka E3. In the co-op first-person shooter, bloodsuckers and their cultist followers have taken over the city of Redfall, Mass., and players pick from four wisecracking misfits who deploy a mix of magic and machinery (including adorable robot sidekick Bribón) to reclaim the night. The full game will be published by Xbox Games Studios for PC, and Xbox One X and S summer 2022. See the trailer at

Robert Rodriguez's Hypnotic is headed to the set (again). The Hitchcock homage, starring Ben Affleck, is scheduled to begin filming in September. It was originally supposed to shoot in Los Angeles last year, but the pandemic shutdown on the coast gave Rodriguez the opportunity to relocate production back to Austin in July, where he had originally planned to shoot and had actually set the script. However, between preproduction, Affleck's limited availability (he was due in Ireland for Ridley Scott's new historical drama, The Last Duel), and an argument over insurance, the timing did not work out. There was a brief rumor that filming would move to Vancouver last year, but sources close to the production told the Chronicle at the time that was never on the cards, as this would involve a third round of preproduction costs. Now the production will spin back up in where it was always supposed to be.

The Winchester Boys are keeping busy: Jared Padalecki's Austin-shot cowboy cop series Walker was picked up for a second season by the CW in February, and now his Supernatural co-star Jensen Ackles (also now an Austin resident) has two big superhero roles. First, on June 22 he'll be voicing the caped crusader in Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One, the animated adaptation of the fan favorite miniseries of the same name from 1996. Now he's been confirmed as playing Soldier Boy, the twisted version of Captain America in season 3 of Amazon's superhero satire, The Boys.

Ric Roman Waugh, the Austin-based director of Angel Has Fallen and Shot Caller, is reuniting with Gerard Butler and Morena Baccarin for a sequel to their disaster movie smash, Greenland. The action-thriller, about the desperate race to seek shelter before an exstinction-level asteroid strike, was a surprise hit last year after being forced from its planned theatrical window, and became one of the first succesful premium VOD releases during the pandemic. Greenland: Migration, from a script by Greenland writer Chris Sparling, will follow the Garrity family and the other survivors as they trek across a devastated Europe in search of a new home. Production is scheduled to begin in 2020.

Line 204 vs. Bastrop, round one. Los Angeles-based studio Line 204 is facing resistence from the residents of Bastrop, and most especially the Tahitian Village subdivision, over its plans to build a new studio on part of 546 acres. The studio, which leases soundstages and production offices in Los Angeles, wants to convert a quarter of the unincorprated plot southwest of the city of Bastrop into production facilites, and use the rest for recreation and residential development. The Bastrop Planning and Zoning Commission had recommended that the city approve the plans, but on June 8 the Council punted on a final vote after pushback from residents. The studio plans to submit revised plans before the council meets again on June 22.

The Austin 48 Hour Film Project wrapped up its two-day challenge last weekend, and now it's time to watch the end result. Filmmakers had from 7pm, June 11 to 7:30pm, June 13 to write, film, edit, and submit their short, and 21 productions made the deadline. Watch both blocks of shorts starting June 21, and tune back in for the awards on July 16, via Eventive.

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ATX Film News, ATX Screen News, AFS Cinema, Arkane Studios Austin, Redfall, E3, Robert Rodriguez, Hypnotic, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Batman, Ric Roman Waugh, Greenland, Line 204, Austin 48 Hour Film Project

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