Parasite aside, the 2020 Oscars were completely baffling

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You would be forgiven for guessing that this year’s Academy Awards – which saw Parasite win Best Picture – took place somewhere in the mid-noughties, with Eminem performing his hit from 2003 ‘Lose Yourself’, and Steve Martin and Chris Rock making a speech. There was no host, and someone let James Corden and Rebel Wilson don costumes of their characters from Cats. When Joaquin Phoenix won the leading actor award at the Baftas, he called out systematic racism in the film industry. When he took to the stage for the Oscars, it seemed as if he would go the same way when he asked the audience to “use our voice for the voiceless”. But he took it one step further, going full-vegan by saying “we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world.”

Coronavirus killed Birds of Prey

Suicide Squad wasn’t exactly the most successful supervillian film of all time. It was panned by critics and disliked by audiences, but still DC Films soldiered on with a female-led sequel. Now Warner Bros, its distributors, is blaming the meagre box office weekend of $84.5 million ($49.1m less than Suicide Squad’s opening) on coronavirus. China is the second largest movie market after the United States, but cinemas have been shut down due to the outbreak. The movie’s R rating in the US and the lack of demand for a Harley Quinn solo film probably didn’t help either. Birds of Prey surprised critics by being just as mindlessly violent as its predecessor. Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) has been dumped by the Joker (Jared Leto, not Joaquin Phoenix) and has a new enemy after her who wants to peel the skin off her face. She joins together with a group of badass women to become vigilantes of Gotham City.

Amazon versus Nazi books

Nazi-themed items and other materials that glorify hatred aren’t allowed on Amazon – though the same rules don’t apply to books. But, the New York Times reports that over the last 18 months the website has taken down a number of hate-filled titles, including two books by former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke and several titles by George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party. The retailer’s rules haven’t officially changed, but behind the scenes hate speech is no longer being allowed.

The Cyberman has been given a revamp

Doctor Who has given us a blast from the past with its redesigned Cybermen. A new trailer for the final few episodes of series 12 revealed their new look which has been inspired by the Cybermen of old with their large headpieces, longer faces and more angular body armour. Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor is set to battle with an army of them in a two-part finale, after Captain Jack Harkness made a surprise return to warn her about a lone cyberman. The seventh episode of the long-running television show aired on February 9, set in ancient Syria, where people are being terrorised by a threatening creature.

Tom Holland’s sci-fi disaster

It’s not unusual for a film to require a couple of reshoots, but apparently the initial cuts of Chaos Walking were of such poor quality they were deemed ‘unreleasable’. Extensive reshoots were required, adding an additional $15 million to the film’s budget. The movie, based on a novel by Patrick Ness, was supposed to be released in 2019 and cameras first started rolling back in 2017. When it was decided that reshoots were needed, it was tricky to schedule them around star Daisy Ridley’s Star Wars schedule, and Holland’s Marvel commitments. A release date of January 22, 2021 has now been given, but only time will tell if all these extra measures were worth it.

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Maria Mellor is a writer for WIRED. She tweets from @Maria_mellor

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