Category Archives: Trending

Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth Are The New ‘Men In Black’

Thor: Ragnarok isn’t the last time you’re going to see the God of Thunder and Valkyrie together. In fact, their next team-up might be much sooner than you think.

After months of speculation, Columbia Pictures recently confirmed a spinoff was in the works for the Men In Black series, and just yesterday, they announced their stars. Thor: Ragnarok actors Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson will play the leads for the upcoming Men In Black reboot, taking place separately from the main film trilogy starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Hemsworth has not closed his deal yet, but he’s expected to in the coming days.

I feel a weird mix of excitement and disappointment with this news. As far as the actors themselves, I find them impeccable. Hemsworth has demonstrated time and time again that he has the chops for both serious, dramatic roles and sillier, comedic ones, while Thompson is just a revelation all her own. I loved her years ago when I first saw her as Adonis’ love interest Bianca in Creed, and since then she’s taken a mold all by herself in movies including Thor: Ragnarok and Annihilation. She is a natural and an inspiration, an up-and-coming star whose career I can’t wait to see skyrocket forward in the near future.

So as far as the casting goes, I am open to seeing these two in another movie together. In a Men In Black reboot, however, I find it indefensibly stupid. We already got our conclusion to the series six years ago with Men In Black 3. Why are we resurrecting it now for a reboot? That didn’t work with The Karate Kid, that didn’t work with Ghostbusters, and it definitely won’t work now with Men In Black, especially with one of those men in black being a woman (although I guess People In Black doesn’t sound as good of a title).

Overall, I find this to be just another recycled news story on Hollywood Boulevard: another cog in the constantly-working machine of remakes, reboots, and unoriginal ideas. But what do you guys think? Are you excited to see Thor and Valkyrie in a Men In Black movie together, or do you wish the neuralyzer could be used on you to forget this development?

Comment below, let me know.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter, Variety
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Shia LaBeouf Is Writing And Starring In A Movie About Shia LaBeouf

SOURCE: WireImage

This is the most Shia LaBeouf thing Shia LaBeouf has done in a long time.

After being mostly absent from the movies since his last appearance in 2014’s Fury, as well as a recent arrest scandal involving him shouting racial epithets at police, LaBeouf is now coming back onto the film scene with a project very personal to him. It’s a self-biographical picture called Honey Boy, and LaBeouf will be writing the film as well as starring as his own father Jeffrey.

The film will reportedly be centered on LaBeouf’s childhood with his father, mostly taking place during the 2000’s when LaBeouf became a breakout star on Disney’s “Even Stevens.” LoveTrue director Alma Har’el will direct the film, while Manchester By The Sea actor Lucas Hedges to play LaBeouf’s younger self. “Honey Boy” was a nickname given to LaBeouf by his father.

What do you guys think? Are you curious to see a self-biopic by Shia LaBeouf, or do you wish he’d just leave and put a paper bag over his head? Comment below, let me know.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly

Danny Boyle Directing 25th James Bond Film

The name’s Boyle. Danny Boyle.

The Academy Award-winning English director, whose work ranges from Best Picture-winner Slumdog Millionaire to the biopic Steve Jobs, recently confirmed his next project. He will be directing the 25th film in the James Bond franchise, co-writing a screenplay with frequent collaborator John Hodge (Trainspotting, Trance).

Plot details are under wraps, so there’s still much unknown about the untitled 25th Bond film. What is known is that Daniel Craig will be reprising the titular role and the film will take place after the most recent events portrayed in Spectre. How that’s supposed to happen since James Bond’s story supposedly wrapped up in Spectre is beyond me. Maybe Christoph Waltz will return as the villainous Blofeld to continue to haunt Bond’s life? We can only hope.

Overall, I’m very excited to see Boyle take on this project. He has a long and diverse filmography, from the zany and unusual Trainspotting to the Aaron Ralston survival epic 127 Hours. Granted, he hasn’t had much experience in the spy genre. In fact, the only action films you can really credit him for is 28 Days Later and Trance. However, the same could also be said for American Beauty director Sam Mendes, and he ended up giving us some of the best James Bond films in Skyfall and Spectre. Boyle will bring a welcome change of pace for James Bond, and however he chooses to approach the project, I have confidence he’ll bring it with the same Boyle flair that he always has in all of his other films.

What do you guys think? Are you guys excited for Danny Boyle to take on 007, or would you have preferred Sam Mendes come back for round three?

Comment below, let me know.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: Business Insider, Variety

Kristen Wiig Cast As Cheetah In ‘Wonder Woman 2’

Things are getting feisty up in here for DC Films.

After announcing the sequel to Wonder Woman during Comic-Con last year, director Patty Jenkins just confirmed yesterday who the villain will be for the film. The villain will be longtime Wonder Woman foe Cheetah, and she will be portrayed by none other than Kristen Wiig.

SOURCE: Getty Images

Debuting in Wonder Woman #7 in August 1987, Cheetah is a feminine feline savage who cut herself with an Amazonian dagger, transforming her into a human/cheetah hybrid hellbent on getting back at Wonder Woman. Besides Ares, Cheetah is perhaps one of the more well-known Wonder Woman villains, and their rivalry has been featured multiple times in miscellaneous media, more recently in the NetherRealm Studios video game Injustice 2.

With that, it seems odd that DC would cast Kristen Wiig in a role as menacing and vicious as Cheetah. Don’t get me wrong, I like her as an actor. She was funny in Bridesmaids, and she was great in smaller roles for movies including The Martian and Mother!. Yeah, she was pretty ditzy in that terrible Ghostbusters reboot, but then again everyone was pretty bad in that movie. As comedian actresses go, Wiig is a reliable talent, and it definitely seems like she belongs in a superhero movie somewhere.

But to be completely honest, I don’t see it in a villain role. Wiig has mostly portrayed friendly, loveable characters up until now. She strikes me more as a love interest akin to Lana Lang or Vicki Vale, not a supervillain as spiteful or cruel as Cheetah is. I’ll admit, I’m curious to see how she will approach this portrayal as opposed to her other film roles in the past. But at the very least, I’m more confident in this casting choice than I was when Jesse Eisenberg was cast as Lex Luthor in Batman V. Superman.

What do you guys think? Are you excited to see Kristin Wiig’s Cheetah go head-to-ahead against Diana in Wonder Woman 2? Or do you wish she’d just stick to comedy?

Comment below, let me know.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: The Washington Post, Twitter

Joss Whedon Stepping Away From DC’s ‘Batgirl’

The Avengers and the Justice League were assembled onto the big screen thanks to writer-director Joss Whedon. Too bad he can’t assemble a Batgirl movie too.

After months of pre-production, Avengers director Joss Whedon announced this week that he would be stepping away from directing Batgirl, citing a lack of creative inspiration to write a premise for the film. Reported to be helming a Batgirl movie back in March 2017, many fans were excited at the possibility of Whedon directing a DC movie.

Obviously, their hopes fell a little short of expectations.

SOURCE: Warner Bros.

This isn’t the first time Whedon was involved with a DC property. When Justice League director Zack Snyder had to step away from production in May 2017 due to a personal tragedy, Whedon stepped in as co-director to help oversee reshoots and post-production. His work as director was later criticized for interjecting forced humor into Snyder’s vision, as well as that facial hair controversy where he made the visual effects team digitally remove Henry Cavill’s mustache in post-production (the effects, as you can see above, were nothing short of terrible.) In 2007, he was also slated to write and direct an adaptation for Wonder Woman long before actress Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins were attached to the project. Again, his work received a lot of backlash from the comic-book community, mostly for overtly sexualizing his female characters while at the same time toxically characterizing some of the male figures in the script.

Maybe it’s a good thing that he’s no longer attached to directing Batgirl.

With Whedon’s removal, Warner Bros. is currently on the market for a new female director to take over for the project. The next film to be released on the DCEU’s slate is James Wan’s Aquaman, which is scheduled for release in December later this year.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: Screenrant, ComicBookMovie.com

‘Peter Rabbit’ Is Being Boycotted Due To Food Allergies. Yes, Really.

I’ve covered a wide variety of films being boycotted for various different reasons. American Sniper for alleged Islamaphobia. Beauty and the Beast for a gay character. Black Panther for a predominately black cast. Wonder Woman because a woman was in the lead. A Dog’s Purpose for its alleged treatment of animals on-set. But now, we’ve gone to the next level for what people consider offensive in a film.

Peter Rabbit is being boycotted… because of fruit allergies.

Yes, really.

SOURCE: Sony Pictures

In what is surprisingly considered a “controversial” moment from the film, the character Mr. McGregor (played by Domhnall Gleeson) is being pelted by blackberries by Peter Rabbit (James Corden) and his akin animal crew. McGregor is allergic to blackberries. In order to ward off his animal attackers, he uses an Epi-Pen to defend himself from the blackberry onslaught.

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but just from detailing that scene in the one paragraph alone made me chuckle upon imagining the picture in my head. Concerned parents, however, find nothing funny about the scene. The hashtag #BoycottPeterRabbit was created as a result of the controversy, with parents complaining that the scene was short-sighted, insensitive, and trivializing a serious issue.

In a statement released earlier today, Sony Pictures apologized for the scene and clarified that it was not their intention to make light of allergies.

“Food allergies are a serious issue,” the statement reads. “Our film should not have made light of Peter Rabbit’s archnemesis, Mr. McGregor, being allergic to blackberries, even in a cartoonish, slapstick way. We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologize.”

Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is. Slapstick is meant to be over-the-top and immature, and it usually plays to the weaknesses of the characters involved. Yes, that can include food allergies. For crying out loud, Kevin Hart’s character was allergic to cake in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and freaking exploded from accidentally eating some. What, were people allergic to cake going to be traumatized by Kevin Hart’s cake-eating-explosion scene???

Of course not. These are the movies, and they are allowed to push the boundaries in some areas for the sake of comedy and entertainment; ESPECIALLY in a movie rated PG. For crying out loud, a food allergy is not the most offensive thing to be in a comedy to date. Was nobody disturbed by Seth Rogan and James Franco killing Kim Jong-In in The Interview? The masturbating baby in The Hangover? EVERYTHING in The South Park Movie?

Overall I find this to be a very silly and absurd controversy that will blow over as the movie continues its theater run. But what do you guys think? Do you think the controversy is justified, or do you think it should stay buried in Mr. McGregor’s garden?

Comment below, let me know.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter

Tom Hanks Puts On Mr. Rogers’ Shoes

Hi there, neighbor. You’ll be seeing a lot more of Tom Hanks soon.

The Academy Award-winning actor behind classics such as Philadelphia, Forest Gump, and Apollo 13, Hanks is a Hollywood heavyweight who has starred in multiple iconic roles, from Woody in the Toy Story series to Robert Langdon in the Da Vinci Code series. This week, Hanks’ next big role was announced: he will be portraying Mr. Rogers in TriStar Pictures’ upcoming biopic You Are My Friend.

GETTY IMAGES

The creator behind the Emmy award-winning television series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” Fred Rogers is most recognized for his contributions to public broadcasting and for appealing to children’s imagination using puppets, trolleys, and music for his fictitious neighborhood. Rogers died in 2003 due to stomach cancer, but his legacy thrives to this day through more than 900 episodes of his wonderful, friendly neighborhood.

To portray one iconic talent, you also need another iconic talent to match him, and man did this production score in recruiting Hanks. Hanks has been more recently involved in a string of biographical pictures featuring notable historical figures, including Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks, Rich Phillips in Captain Phillips, James Donovan in Bridge of Spies, Chelsey Sullenberger in Sully, and Ben Bradlee in The Post. He’s right at home with Mr. Rogers, although I do think he needs to lose some weight for the role. (Not fat-shaming here. Rogers is a skinny guy!)

You Are My Friend is directed by Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) and written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster (“Transparent”). Filming will begin in September with an expected release date of 2019.

– David Dunn

SOURCES: The Hollywood Reporter, Snopes

Marvel Creator Stan Lee Accused Of Sexual Misconduct

CREATIVE COMMONS

No, Stan Lee. Not you too.

Continuing a string of sexual assault allegations sparked after the ousting of film executive Harvey Weinstein in October last year, Marvel creator Stan Lee is the most recent celebrity caught in the crosshairs to be accused of sexual misconduct.

The accusation comes from Lee’s former nursing company, which claims that Lee groped and harassed multiple nurses who were employed under him last year. The claims specify that these instances involved asking for oral sex in the shower, walking around naked, and wanted to be “pleasured” in the bedroom.

Despite these claims, the company has filed no police complaint, nor any lawsuits against Lee. However, Lee’s attorney Tom Lallas did send a cease-and-desist letter to the company, accusing the “false and despicable” claims as attempting to defame Lee’s character.

“Mr. Lee will not be extorted or blackmailed, and will pay no money to anyone because he has done absolutely nothing wrong,” Lallas said.

An insider on the accusations said the owner of Lee’s former nursing company has openly stated that Lee has sexually harassed every single nurse that went to his house, and that she even complained directly to Lee about the accusations. The source said that Lee has “lost his filter.”

However, Julie Wozniak, spokeswoman for Lee’s current nursing company Vitale Nursing Inc., defended Lee, saying he’s a kind and respectful man, adding that it’s been a privilege to take care of the comic-book author. This is Lee’s first sexual harassment accusation during his long career in the entertainment industry.

Creator of many notable superheroes including Spider-Man, the Hulk, and the X-Men, the 95-year-old publisher is a pop culture icon adored by the comic-book and moviegoing community alike. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is heavily based on many of his characters, is the highest-grossing film franchise of all time at $13 billion, with Lee making cameos in many of the associated films. His wife of 70 years Joan passed away last year from stroke complications. Their daughter Joan Celia is their only child.

This story will be updated as more details are revealed in the coming weeks.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: The Daily Mail, Comicbook.com

Disney Set To Acquire Fox Assets, including X-Men and Fantastic 4

CREDIT: Ryan Reynolds

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to get a whole lot bigger.

After weeks of negotiating and speculating, Walt Disney finally announced their intent to acquire the rights to 21st Century Fox properties for $52 billion, according to a company press release. The deal gives Disney the rights to many properties previously owned by Fox, including X-Men, Deadpool, Wolverine, and the Fantastic 4. Owner Rupert Murdoch would retain ownership of Fox News Channel, the Fox broadcast network, and associated newspapers including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post.

“I know a lot of people are wondering, ‘Why did the Murdochs come to such a momentous decision?’” Murdoch said of the merger. “Are we retreating? Absolutely not. We are pivoting at a pivotal moment.”

This news is a lot to digest, but let’s break down why exactly this is a big deal to the entertainment industry. In addition to a few of Fox’s Marvel properties, Walt Disney would also purchase the rights to Fox’s other film and television franchises, including Avatar, Home Alone, “The Simpsons”, “Family Guy”, and “This Is Us.” This means that not only would Disney control Fox’s film properties, but they would also control a big portion of Fox’s television assets as well.

In short, this means that Walt Disney would be exercising more control over the entertainment industry in its entirety. This is both a good and bad thing. Good because, in the case of Fox’s Marvel properties, they now can merge over with characters from the MCU, allowing broader opportunities in scope and storytelling. Can you imagine Wolverine, Magneto, and Deadpool all sharing the big screen with the likes of Spider-Man, the Hulk, and Doctor Strange? Such a collaboration is something fans have been hoping for a long time, and it looks like they may finally get their chance to see all of their favorite Marvel superheroes up on the big screen together.

On the other hand, this level of corporate consolidation gives Disney a nasty advantage over the rest of the market, and it may not fare well for Disney’s competitors. For one thing, this gives a sharp edge to Disney’s upcoming streaming service, which is expected to launch in 2019. Previously, Disney only had their own movies, Pixar’s, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the Star Wars franchise to stream on their platform. A solid gallery for sure, but nowhere near as expansive as Netflix or Hulu’s library. The Fox merger changes things. Now they have access to hundreds of titles to fill their library, including the Alien, Die Hard, and Planet of the Apes franchises. With this merger, Disney is now primed to compete with Netflix and Hulu’s streaming services. This merger will cost both of them a lot of business.

Second, because of this merger, Fox will be completely removed from the filmmaking business, leaving Disney as one of the only major film conglomerates left next to the likes of Warner Bros. and Universal. That much ownership is not healthy for a competitive business market, especially when Disney already owns four billion-dollar entities without Fox (Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and LucasFilm).

The mixed-bag of a merger is set to go before the U.S. Department of Justice next year, where they will review the deal and decide whether to approve or deny the sale.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: The Walt Disney Company, The Los Angeles Times

Bryan Singer Fired From ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Bryan Singer’s time has come.

After a series of on-set tensions from the upcoming Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, director Bryan Singer was fired from the production after being absent from the set for long periods of time. 20th Century Fox didn’t mince words with their statement on the subject, stating plainly that “Bryan Singer is no longer the director of Bohemian Rhapsody.”

So what exactly happened? According to The Hollywood Reporter, the problems started when Singer was missing from the set on several occasions. Frequent collaborator and cinematographer Thomas Newton Singel stepped in to both direct and shoot the film on days where Singer was absent. Actors Rami Malek and Tom Hollander were reportedly frustrated by Singer’s lack of professionalism, with Hollander even temporarily leaving production himself due to Singer’s absence.

Although Singer eventually returned under the watchful eye of Fox and a DGA representative, tensions were already heightened to the point where Malek and Singer had an intense confrontation while on-set. While it seemed that they had settled their differences and were ready to resume production, Singer went missing again during Thanksgiving break and did not return to the set. Siegel once again oversaw filming before Fox finally shut down production and fired Singer, reportedly looking for a new director to finish out the remaining two weeks of filming.

This story is perhaps one of the more unusual developments to come out of Hollywood this year. Notable for many successful projects, Singer has been at the helm of many cinematic hits, including The Usual Suspects, X2, Superman Returns, Valkyrie, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. You would think that his contributions to Bohemian Rhapsody would help the film’s production, not hinder it. And yet, Singer’s inclusion (or rather lack thereof) undoubtedly caused much on-set tensions and frustrations. This type of behavior is typically unheard of from Hollywood, especially from Singer.

Regardless, Singer is out and the project is in the market for a new director. Who should replace him? Personally I’m privy to Siegel himself, as he’s so far answered beyond the call of duty by managing much more of the film than he was originally expected to. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to see him finish out the remaining two weeks of filming, but only if he really wanted to. Plus, it would be a nice addition to his resume as Bohemian Rhapsody would technically be his first directing credit.

If he wasn’t interested in director, who would be the next best pick? Steven Soderbergh? Surely he’s got Freddie Mercury’s moves down from Magic Mike.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline
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