The Indonesian superhero film Gundala is out to launch a vast cinematic universe

Photo: Courtesy of TIFF

Welcome to Cheat Sheet, our breakdown-style reviews of festival films, VR previews, and other special event releases. This review comes from the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.

Everybody working in genre movies these days wants their own long-running franchise. The financial success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has brought in billions worldwide for Disney and Marvel Studios, has become a kind of holy grail for other film studios, which keep trying to design their own series of interconnected films, generally with limited success.

The latest arrival on the scene comes from an unexpected source: Indonesia, where the studio Bumilangit is openly out to create a “Bumilangit Cinematic Universe,” drawing on a library of…

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