Hollywood's summer season is about to begin, with Disney's "Guardians of the Galaxy" leading this year's slate of out-of-this-world adventures, superhero extravaganzas and sequels galore. But does the summer hold the same sway with audiences that it once did? AP's film writers break down the season and its stakes for big stars and film franchises alike in an all-formats package moving next week. Contact Anthony McCartney at email@example.com or (213) 346-3135.
Here are the stories AP is planning:
Monday, April 24
— FILM-SUMMER PREVIEW
NEW YORK — Has the market for escapism gone up? With many feeling overwhelmed with politics, Hollywood will hope many take solace in its usual array of spectacles, fantasies and superhero blockbusters. But considering big-budget escapism is now a year-round business, the summer movie season — which even "Star Wars" has departed for December — might not be so special anymore. By Film Writer Jake Coyle. 950 words. Photos.
— SUMMER PREVIEW -CHRIS PRATT — Lindsey Bahr speaks to Pratt, now steward of two blockbuster franchises, about which cinematic genres he wants to explore next. Photos.
— FILM-SUMMER PREVIEW-CALENDAR — A month-by-month list of summer releases. Photos.
Moving Tuesday, April 25
— SUMMER PREVIEW-RIDLEY SCOTT — Bahr speaks to director Ridley Scott, who promises his return to the "Alien" franchise will help explain 2012's confusing "Prometheus." Photos.
— SUMMER PREVIEW-DWAYNE JOHNSON — Dwayne Johnson is trying to launch his newest franchise with "Baywatch," but is mindful that the audience is king. Photos.
— SUMMER PREVIEW-FEMALE DIRECTORS — Patty Jenkins is the rare female director tapped to bring a big-budget blockbuster to life, and she has the unenviable task of helping revitalize the DC brand with "Wonder Woman." She's not alone in the summer season, joined by Oscar winners Sofia Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.
— SUMMER PREVIEW-MEET THE NEW/OLD SUPERHEROES Wonder Woman and Spider-Man step out of their cameo roles to headline major films. Here's what you need to know about Gal Gadot and Tom Holland.