Ignore the calendar: to Hollywood, summer starts this weekend with the release of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” Here’s what else you can look forward to in your multiplexes (and on some streaming services) this season:
The New Wonder Woman
You might not know the name Gal Gadot right now, but you’ve probably seen her in “The Fast and the Furious” movies. Now comes the biggest moment in her career: the title role in Warner Brothers’ “Wonder Woman,” due in June. It will be the first live-action superhero movie in more than a decade led by female talent in front of and behind the camera. Our reporter Roslyn Sulcas was on set during production and asked her whether she was feeling any pressure to prove that men aren’t the only ones who can succeed with such a franchise. Ms. Gadot laughed and said, “When you put it like that, yes!” Read more here.
The New Heartthrob
Think of a romantic-comedy leading man, and Hugh Grant may come to mind. But the standup comic Kumail Nanjiani (Dinesh on HBO’s “Silicon Valley”) is changing the archetype with his Sundance hit “The Big Sick,” due in June. Based on his own marriage — which was not an arranged match, as his Pakistani-American family had hoped — the film may just be revolutionary for showing, in his words, “Muslims being matter-of-fact Muslim.” Read more here.
The ‘Alien’ Effect
Ever since that vicious thing burst from John Hurt’s chest in the terrifying “Alien” (1979), deadly menaces and crews stranded in space have been a screen staple in one form or another. Before the latest prequel “Alien: Covenant” returns to the screen May 19, the writer Mekado Murphy talks with the original’s director Ridley Scott about the many ways “Alien” has left its mark. (Remember when the serial killer Jason went to space?) Read more here.
The Arrival of ‘Dark Tower’
For years, fans of Stephen King’s saga “The Dark Tower” have clamored for a screen adaptation. Now that they’ve finally got their wish — the trailer for the August release dropped this week — the rest of us don’t have much time to catch up on all 4,000-plus pages. Gilbert Cruz offers a succinct guide with everything you need to know. Read more here.
The Return of ‘Baywatch’
Did you know “Baywatch” was canceled and then returned to the air thanks to a deal for the rights that cost a whopping $10? That David Hasselhoff, the actor who’s practically synonymous with the show, objected to the casting of Pamela Anderson, the actress who is practically synonymous with the show? And that Leonardo DiCaprio was nearly cast as Mr. Hasselhoff’s son? (The mind boggles.) Those are just some of the surprising facts we learned in advance of the big-screen adaptation of “Baywatch,” arriving May 23. Read more here.