April Movie Guide: Zendaya plays tennis, Jack Black is back in Kung Fu and Ryan Gosling dumps Ken for The Fall Guy

Ryan Gosling brings his 'Kennergy' to his action-packed role

Source: Universal Pictures

In between the Oscars movie marathon and Hollywood’s summer release of blockbusters, the next few months are going to be unpredictable on the film front.

For April alone, the movies to watch in cinemas range from a menage-à-trois style romcom starring Dune: Part Two star Zendaya, a sci-fi where people can search their past lives to Ryan Gosling pivoting from Barbie to The Fall Guy.

We also get another round of School of Rock alumn, Jack Black has been in Australia talking all things Po and dumplings for his upcoming Kung-Fu Panda 4.

“The next few months in movies are going to be strange,” writes US entertainment website, Polygon.

Strange indeed.

Californian-born Zendaya (which means “to give thanks” in the language of Africa’s Shona people), 27, has also been Down Under promoting Challengers (April 18), where she plays a former tennis prodigy turned coach who is married to a champion on a losing streak (Mike Faist – West Side Story).

The storyline revolves around her strategy for her husband’s redemption when he has to play a washed-up Josh O’Connor (The Crown) – his former best friend and Tashi’s former boyfriend.

Zendaya’s career took off after being cast alongside Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron in The Greatest Showman, followed by her critically acclaimed role as a drug addicted teen in Euphoria and in the Spiderman and Dune blockbusters.

These days, she’s one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

The question on everyone’s lips is can she play tennis?

No, she’d never played.

Enter former world top 10 player Brad Gilbert as a tennis consultant – now the coach of US champion Coco Gauff –  who spent three months turning all three stars into ATP pros.

“Zendaya is definitely athletic … she’s a dancer and she can move and be balanced. That’s very much part of tennis,” says Gilbert, who coached her on racket skills and how to play.

“I have never played tennis before,” she told Ten’s The Project panel, adding Gilbert was “starting from scratch” with the cast.

Before Dawn: April 4

Based on real life war diaries, this Australian film tells the story of one of nation’s biggest victories during WW1, the Battle of the Hindenburg Line

Jim Collins (played by Levi Miller), leaves his family-run sheep station to join the ANZACs and fight on the Western Front with hopes of making a difference but the realities of the muddy, ruthless, and entirely unforgiving war takes its toll.

As the men in the battalion are whittled away and hope becomes a distant memory, Jim gets a final chance at redemption and risks death or forever carry the burden of leaving yet another man behind.

The First Omen: April 4

Award-winning English character actor Bill Nighy (Living) might be just the appeal to go see this 20th Century Studios’ psychological horror film, a prequel to the classic horror film franchise.

The story goes that when a young American woman is sent to Rome to begin a life of service to the church, she encounters a darkness that causes her to question her own faith and uncovers a terrifying conspiracy that hopes to bring about the birth of evil incarnate.

Kung Fu Panda 4: March 28

Po is back in ancient China on the fourth iteration of this US animated martial arts comedy, on another journey in his father’s noodle shop.

Just in time for the Easter school holidays, this story sees Po find and train his successor as the new Dragon Warrior. He teams up with fox bandit Zhen (Awkwafina) to defeat an evil sorceress before she steals the kung-fu abilities of all masters in China.

Monkey Man: April 4

Dev Patel (Lion, Slumdog Millionaire) makes his directing debut with this original story action thriller about one man’s quest for vengeance against corrupt leaders who murdered his mother.

Back to Black: April 11

Not to be confused with the documentary, Amy Winehouse: Back to Black, this years-in-the-making biopic follows the story of English singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse from her teens to making one of the best-selling albums of all time.

UK actress Marisa Abela, 27 (Rogue Agent, Barbie), trained extensively to sing Winehouse’s songs and mimic her voice.

Civil War: April 11

Some on social media reckon this film might be a case of art imitating life, as a team of journalists travel across the United States during a rapidly escalating civil war that engulfs the entire nation.

Late Night with the Devil: April 11

Set in 1977, Johnny Carson rival, Jack Delroy, is the host of ‘Night Owls’, a once hugely popular syndicated talk show. A year on from the tragic death of Jack’s wife, ratings have plummeted, and sponsors are getting nervous.

Desperate to turn his fortunes around, Jack pulls out all the stops for his annual Halloween special, booking a psychic, a professional skeptic, a parapsychologist, and a young girl allegedly possessed by the devil.

What could possibly go wrong?

The Fall Guy: April 24

Everyone will remember one of Ryan Gosling’s classic scenes for The Fall Guy was filmed on Sydney Harbour Bridge last year, stopping traffic across the CBD and forcing us all to wait in anticipation of its release.

Now it’s arrived, and although we can still see traces of Ken from Barbie, Gosling has moved on with enough kennergy to make a true action comedy thriller.

And watch out for Ted Lasso‘s Hannah Waddingham as you’ve  never seen her before.

Topics: Movies
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