Category Archives: Trending

Spider-Man Back In The MCU… For Now.

SOURCE: Sony Pictures

He’s back, everybody. It may be only temporarily, but for the moment Spider-Man is back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Sony Pictures left fans with a scare last month after the studio failed to renegotiate their contract with Walt Disney for the webhead’s future with the MCU. Originally, their contract gave Disney a five percent cut of Spider-Man’s earnings while Sony retained exclusive financing, distribution, and creative rights over the MCU’S Spider-Man movies. Talks of renegotiating fell apart, however, when Disney proposed a new deal that included a 50/50 co-financing agreement. Sony wasn’t satisfied with that proposal and wanted to stick with the terms of the original agreement. After neither Sony or Disney could reach a compromise, negotiations fell apart and Spider-Man was excluded from the MCU.

That all changed Friday when Sony and Disney reached a new deal to temporarily keep Spider-Man within the MCU. According to Variety, the new agreement includes a 75/25 co-financing agreement between the two studios. The new agreement allows Tom Holland to appear in a third Spider-Man movie, as well as another Marvel movie outside of his own series.

Fans that were in an uproar over last month’s developments should be able to breathe with a sigh of relief now that this new deal has gone through. With this new agreement secured between Sony and Walt Disney, Spidey will now be able to conclude his arc throughout his trilogy, as well as potentially appear in the fifth Avengers movie whenever that’s slated to come out. However, just because Spidey’s now back in the MCU doesn’t mean it will stay that way forever. It’s important to remember that while Sony and Disney have reached a temporary deal, that deal is temporary. It’s up to Sony and Disney to negotiate future Spidey appearances within the MCU after he’s appeared in his third movie and another Marvel movie, as well as what that partnership may mean going forward.

The third film in Tom Holland’s Spider-Man trilogy is scheduled for release on July 16, 2021.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: Variety, IndieWire
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Keanu Reeves Returns To ‘The Matrix’

Those within The Matrix just took the red pill once again, and they’re seeing how deep the rabbit hole goes the fourth time around.

Variety first broke the news that Lana Wachowski, one of the original writers and directors behind the very first Matrix movie, has been contracted to write and direct a fourth film in the sprawling sci-fi series. Not only that, but actors Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are slated to return, reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity respectively from the visually dazzling action franchise.

This news just suddenly came out of left field and wasn’t really expected by anybody. While The Matrix is one of the most iconic and popular franchises of all time, won four Academy Awards, and grossed over one billion dollars at the box office, they haven’t released a sequel since 2003’s Matrix Revolutions, which opened to a lukewarm box office response and critical reception. Since that time, there was no interest expressed by Lana, Reeves, or Warner Bros. at the possibility of exploring a sequel, not to mention what that would even look like 15 years later.

Regardless, Matrix 4 is happening, and I have so many questions. First of all, what implored Lana to come back to this franchise? Ever since she and her sister Lilly concluded their trilogy in 2003, they’ve gone on to work on several high-profile and visually dynamic projects, not the least of which including V For Vendetta, Speed Racer, Ninja Assassin, Cloud Atlas, and Jupiter Ascending. At this point, I presumed the Wachowskis were more interested in working on original projects rather than returning to familiar territory. What suddenly urged Lana to change course and suddenly go back into The Matrix?

Speaking of which, where is Lilly in all of this? Throughout their entire filmography, Lana and Lilly went together like two peas in a pod, like peanut butter and jelly, like Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Having Lana work on this project without her sister is just unusual. It’s like the Coen Brothers working together for years on several projects including Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and No Country For Old Men, and then suddenly Joel broke away from Ethan to direct The Ballad of Buster Scruggs all by himself.

I am enthralled to see Keanu Reeves returning to this franchise. While Reeves found mainstream success in playing Neo for The Matrix, he wouldn’t hit another high-profile role for several years until he would play John Wick in his self-titled action movie in 2014. Since then he’s gone on to play in two more John Wick movies, voicing the titular cat in the 2016 Key and Peele comedy Keanu, and would even voice Duke Caboom in the more recent Toy Story 4. He’s hit a huge success spurt as of late, and I’m excited to see Keanu return to one of his more recognizable roles that he’s obviously done so well in. Plus, it’s always cool to see the internet’s favorite boyfriend pop up on the big screen.

Overall, I’m very excited about this announcement. Surprised, yes, cautious, absolutely, and I definitely want to see where these developments will lead Neo and his crew. But more than anything else, I’m eager to see what this new chapter will bring for Neo and everyone else within The Matrix.

What do you guys think? Do you take the blue pill and believe whatever you want to believe, or do you take the red pill and see how deep the rabbit hole goes? Comment below, let me know.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: Variety, The Verge

Sony Rips Spider-Man Away From The Marvel Cinematic Universe

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man is no more.

After two successful solo movies and three appearances in the most recent Avengers and Captain America movies, the future looked bright for the MCU’s newest wall-crawler. With his most recent sequel grossing over a billion dollars at the box office, several other planned installments on the way, and a teased future appearance from famed Spider-Man villain Kraven the Hunter, it looked like Marvel was going to keep pumping out as much Spider-Man as they could for years to come.

Unfortunately, Spider-Man’s journey with the Marvel Cinematic Universe just came to an abrupt end this past Tuesday. Deadline first reported that after Walt Disney and Sony Pictures failed to renegotiate their contract, all negotiations fell apart and Sony is effectively moving forward with the Spider-Man franchise without Disney.

This means that Spider-Man will no longer be involved with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will operate completely separate from any future Avengers movies. In short, this essentially means Tom Holland’s Spider-Man as we know it is over.

The legality behind this is a little more than slightly complicated, so let me try and break it down for you. Back when Captain America: Civil War was still in development in 2015, the infamous Sony Pictures leak revealed that Sony was in active negotiations with Walt Disney to share licensing rights for Spider-Man so he could appear in Civil War and future MCU movies. After much back-and-forth, Sony and Disney agreed to a deal that would allow Spider-Man to appear in both his own solo movies and larger MCU features, including Civil War and the last two Avengers movies. The deal would still allow Sony to finance, distribute, and exercise creative control over their exclusive Spider-Man movies, but Disney would share a five percent cut of the film’s revenue and retain the right to use him in separate movies.

So what happened to make that deal collapse? To put it simply, Disney wasn’t satisfied with the original agreement and wanted to renegotiate its terms with Sony. Instead of Sony retaining its exclusive rights over the Spider-Man movies, Disney wanted to split financing and distribution with Sony right down the middle and negotiate a 50/50 co-financing agreement between the studios. This would presumably include Disney taking a larger cut of the Spider-Man movies’ box office earnings. Sony was not satisfied with this proposal and outright refused it, instead proposing to keep the terms of the previous agreement as they were originally introduced. Disney refused their proposal and sent negotiations through the ceiling, essentially pitting both studios into a standstill.

What does this mean for the web-head? The immediate effect is that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is now completely divorced from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since a deal was not reached, Tom Holland can no longer appear in any of the future Avengers movies or any other solo movie existing within the MCU. Holland technically could continue in his own solo series, but there would have to be zero mention or inference to pre-existing events or people in the MCU. Since his character is so heavily influenced by Iron Man, Captain America, and the rest of the Avengers, that would make a third Spider-Man movie featuring Holland incredibly complicated to make.

Another possibility is that Holland’s Spider-Man could now potentially appear in Sony’s spinoff superhero movies, including the Venom series and next year’s vampire movie Morbius. But again, there would have to be no inference to the MCU or the events preceding his appearance. He essentially operates completely outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe from this moment forward.

I have several emotions at this bit of news. My first reaction is shock. Then anger. Then red-hot-burning rage. And then a deep blue depression. But I try to look at this through several different lenses, and I have to remember that these franchises are as much a business model to these movie studios as they are stories in their own right. So, let’s look at it from an economic perspective.

First of all, it’s completely understandable that Disney would want to renegotiate terms for Spidey’s licensing rights. Thanks to incorporating Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel’s two Spider-Man movies have been among the most successful of the web-head’s career. Not only have Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home become among the most critically acclaimed Spider-Man movies of all time, but they’ve also become their highest grossing. Homecoming became the third highest-grossing Spider-Man movie at $880 million, just a few million shy of Spider-Man 3’s $890 million. Meanwhile Far From Home became the first movie out of the franchise to break over one billion at the box office. His appearances outside of his own movies have also boosted his profile nicely, with Captain America: Civil War grossing over a billion dollars and both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame grossing over two billion. Disney’s involvement only helped put Spider-Man on the map. No matter how you put it, Disney’s contribution was good business for Sony.

That makes Sony’s hostility to not work with Disney even less sense, especially since all their agreement has done is help boost one of their most prominent and successful franchises. Is 50 percent a little much? Possibly, and I can sympathize with resisting Disney’s monopolistic urges. Still, you couldn’t have found any way to make it work? Nothing? Nothing at all? Fox made over $52 billion for selling its media properties to Disney and made a heckuva big payload for doing so. Sony got to retain a majority of its licensing and distribution rights for Spider-Man, and you still didn’t find a benefit for trying to work with Disney? Really?

Sure, it’s possible Sony and Disney could come back to the drawing board and work out a new deal that would work to the benefit of both companies. I wouldn’t bet my chips on it, however. Not with Sony’s stickler hands trying to retain the rights of several other Spider-Man characters that it owns, including Venom, Black Cat, Silver Sable, Silk, Nightwatch, and several others. If anything, Sony would probably use the Spider-Man character to draw out appeal for its other spinoff franchises that they’re trying to launch. Would that work as well as featuring Spidey in his own original series? Probably not, but you wouldn’t have much success trying to tell Sony that.

And through this all, my biggest frustration is that Spider-Man’s story with the MCU will go on unresolved. Tom Holland won’t get to experience the full semantics of what it’s like being a friendly neighborhood superhero in the large and sprawling MCU. John Watts won’t get to explore the full scope of what Peter Parker would grow up to be like in a world without Tony Stark. All of the potential and all of the stories that could have been told with this new Spider-Man suddenly will no longer be possible, and the Avengers won’t get to experience one last adventure with the amazing web-slinger.

That’s what hurts the most about this development. Not the fact that it ended: the fact that it didn’t get the ending it deserved at all.

What do you guys think? Did Sony screw up by not trying to find a way to make things work with Disney, or do you think this frees the web-head up for new possibilities? Comment below, let me know.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: Deadline, Variety

Andy Serkis To Direct ‘Venom 2’

Venom has found a new host, and it’s in none other than “Gollum” himself Andy Serkis.

After Venom became one of the biggest commercial successes last year with $856 million at the box office, Sony was no doubt very eager to start working on a sequel. With Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, and Woody Harrelson all slated to return, all the pieces seemed to line up for Venom’s next installment. There was only one problem. Since director Ruben Fleischer started working on the sequel to Zombieland: Double Tap, that meant he was unavailable to work on other projects. For the moment, Venom 2 was out a director.

Well, not anymore. The Hollywood Reporter recently broke the news that Andy Serkis, the actor most notable for his motion-capture performances in franchises including The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, would be helming the next chapter in Venom’s saga. The actor is most known for providing motion-capture for CGI characters including Gollum in Lord of the Rings, King Kong in the 2005 remake, Caesar in the Planet of the Apes prequel trilogy, Snoke in the newest Star Wars movies, and Ulysses Klaue in last year’s Black Panther.

While he’s typically known for his primate performances in playing hobbits, apes, and dark sith lords, he’s also dabbled in a few directing projects as well, with his debut being in the 2017 drama film Breathe and last year’s Netflix movie Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, where he also portrayed Baloo.

It remains to be seen whether or not he will also play a role in Venom’s sequel in addition to directing. In either case, his extensive experience with motion capture is no doubt one of his greatest assets, and a unique feature he’ll be able to lend towards Venom 2.

What do you guys think? Are you excited to see Andy Serkis bond with Venom, or do you wish the symbiote sought out another host? Whatever you think, comment below and let me know.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter, Polygon

Rutger Hauer Dies At Age 75

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.”

Rutger Hauer has passed away, but he’ll always be remembered for the tears he left in the rain.

The 75-year-old Dutch actor, most known for his roles in movies including Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Rite, and Hobo With A Shotgun, died last week in his home in the Netherlands after suffering from what is being reported as a “short illness.” According to Hauer’s agent Steve Kenis, his funeral was held earlier today, putting the 50-year-actor to rest.

Since starting his career in a series of Dutch films that are lesser-known to the public, Hauer first got his big break in 1982’s science-fiction thriller Blade Runner, where he played the murderous yet empathetic replicant Roy Batty. He also improvised one of the most iconic death scenes in film history, where his character described the emotions and experiences he remembered and how they will be lost in time, like “tears in rain.”

From there, Hauer won a Golden Globe for his role as a Russian rebel in 1988’s Escape From Sobibor and starred in mostly smaller roles in several other movies, including Cardinal Roark in Sin City and Wayne Enterprises CEO William Earle in Batman Begins. But whatever part he played, Hauer made sure that he enjoyed doing it, stating in the 2006 documentary Blonde, Blue Eyes that he only accepted roles that he was really interested in. He was also an avid environmentalist and AIDS activist, starting an advocacy organization called the Starfish Association to spread awareness on AIDS and HIV.

Regardless of whatever he was doing, Hauer always did what he loved. May we all be as passionate and loving as he was.

R.I.P. Rutger Hauer, 1944-2019.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: Variety, Heavy.com

‘Avengers: Endgame’ Beats ‘Avatar’ For Highest-Grossing Movie of All Time

They did it. They finally did it. Avatar has officially been dethroned as the highest-grossing movie of all time by Avengers: Endgame.

Holy crow.

It’s no secret that Avatar and Avengers: Endgame have long been battling it out at the box office. Ever since Endgame dropped in theaters back in April, it was beating box office record after box office record, including being the highest opening weekend gross and being the fastest to gross one billion in a single weekend. It didn’t take long for Endgame to dethrone other $2 billion-grossing movies such as Titanic, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and even the previous installment Infinity War.

Even so, there was quite a distance between Endgame’s $2.76 billion and Avatar’s $2.789 billion box office intake. For a while, it seemed that Avatar would remain king of the box office.

Not anymore. Thanks to Kevin Feige re-releasing Endgame with new content (including a Stan Lee tribute, a deleted Hulk scene, and the opening scene to Spider-Man: Far From Home), Endgame was able to barely push ahead past Avatar and end its theatrical run with $2.79 billion, cementing its place as the highest-grossing movie of all time.

What’s especially ironic about this is that since Walt Disney bought out 20th Century Fox earlier this year, it also took ownership of several of its film properties, including Avatar. That means not only was Walt Disney essentially competing against itself: it also prevailed against itself.

With Avengers: Endgame now in the top spot as the highest-grossing movie of all time, Disney officially owns the five highest-grossing movies of all time and even owns eight of the 10 highest-grossing movies of all time as well. With those odds, it won’t be long until Disney owns Universal Pictures as well, whose pictures Jurassic World and Furious 7 are the only ones in the top 10 not owned by Disney.

Avengers assemble, indeed.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: Deadline, Entertainment Weekly

Marvel Announces Lineup for Phase 4

Although many Avengers experienced their Endgame this past summer, Marvel isn’t done with many of its heroes just yet.

In fact, a whole other lineup was just announced at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend that will propel the Marvel Cinematic Universe well beyond 2021.

The first film slated for release is Scarlett Johannson’s Black Widow, which is due for release in May 2020 despite her untimely death in Avengers: Endgame. Black Widow will take place after the events of Captain America: Civil War and before Avengers: Infinity War, and will feature Natasha going up against several Russian mercenaries including the Red Guardian, Iron Maiden, and Taskmaster. It’s an exciting lineup for a highly-anticipated solo movie that fans have been looking forward to ever since Natasha’s appearance in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Hopefully Natasha will finally have her time to shine in her own solo feature when it comes out later next year.

Next up is Marvel’s The Eternals, which follows a race of aliens who travel to Earth to defend it from their evil doppelgangers, the Deviants. Not much is known about this under-the-radar superhero team who’s lack of prominence is second only to the Guardians of the Galaxy prior to its feature film debut. Nonetheless, this superhero team-up movie has some big names associated with it, including Rick Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie. The Eternals are set to be released in November next year.

Following that is Marvel’s first Asian-led film, Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, starring “Taken” actor Simu Liu in the titular role. There was much conversation around adapting the Marvel martial-artist Shang-Chi into the Cinematic Universe for the past several years, but many people were questioning whether he would be adapted for television similar to “Daredevil” and “The Defenders” or if he would star in his own live-action feature. But with the announcement for Legend of the Ten Rings, it seems we now have our answer. The movie will also star Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu-wai, most known for Infernal Affairs fame, as the MCU’s newest Mandarin, unassociated with Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce’s characters from Iron Man 3. It’s exciting to see an Asian-American superhero finally get the front row attention he deserves, plus fans will be looking forward to seeing how Marvel handles the malicious magician during his second go-around. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is due for release in February 2021.

After that is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which will have Benedict Cumberbatch reprising the titular role and with Scott Derrickson returning to the director’s chair. Not much is known about this supernatural sequel as Marvel has kept the plot details heavily under wraps, but we know a few things for sure. For one thing, it will feature Elizabeth Olsen reprising her role as Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch, after losing her beloved Vision in Avengers: Infinity War. It will also integrate horror elements into its production, with Derrickson stating that it will be “the first scary MCU movie.” It’s highly probable that Doctor Strange will go head-to-head against Nightmare, a multi-dimensional being who haunts individuals through their dreams. Nightmare has long been a rumored villain for the Doctor Strange sequel, with “Doctor Who” actor Matt Smith and Wolverine himself Hugh Jackman rumored for the part. Regardless of however it plays out, expect Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in theaters May 2021.

Lastly is the sequel to Taika Waititi’s wildly successful 2016 movie Thor: Ragnarok, Thor: Love and Thunder, which features the God of Thunder himself teaming up side-by-side with the newest bearer of the Thor identity Jane Foster, once again to be portrayed by Natalie Portman. No other details have been offered on the zany new Thor sequel, but I will say this much on the record: if neither Beta Ray Bill or Enchantress is in Love and Thunder, then I’m boycotting the movie. Thor: Love and Thunder is due for release in November 2021.

That’s all on the film front except for one last bombshell detail: two-time Academy Award-winner Mahershala Ali will star as the vampire hunter Blade in his own movie, taking over from Wesley Snipes after his successful trilogy of films. No details have been announced as far as the cast and crew regarding this new Blade project, as its release date wasn’t even included in Phase Four’s lineup. Regardless, fans are sure to be excited at a new Blade coming to the big screen with a talent as big as Ali associated with it.

The rest of the Phase Four reveal involved television updates, with a lot of it including information that was mostly known up until this point. Anthony Mackie’s Captain America and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky, for instance, is set to team up in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” in August next year, despite the fact that it should actually be called “Captain America and the White Wolf.” It will also feature a return of Daniel Bruhl’s Zemo from Captain America: Civil War, who better have his iconic purple mask this time around. Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany’s Vision are set to co-star in their own series together “WandaVision” that is set to take place between Avengers: Endgame and Doctor Strange’s sequel (tell me how that makes sense since Vision already died in Infinity War). Tom Hiddleston will once again portray the God of Mischief in his own miniseries “Loki” and will feature the character after he escaped from the Avengers in the past in Endgame, and Hawkeye’s miniseries will feature Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton passing the Hawkeye mantle to a new sharpshooter named Kate Bishop.

Perhaps most notable from the TV lineup is the report of an animated series called “What If…?”, which will show what would happen to some MCU characters if different scenarios played out. The series is based on the comic-book series of the same name and will premiere in mid 2021.

The biggest franchise missing from this blockbuster lineup is, obviously, the Avengers movies. Every MCU phase up until now has had at least one Avengers movie. Heck, Phase three had two of them: Infinity War and Endgame. But not only does Phase Four not have an Avengers movie: it also has the least amount of movies out of any other phase so far. Phases One and Two both had six movies included in their lineup, while Phase Four only has five. It’s intriguing, yet refreshing, to watch Marvel take a step back and really try to pace themselves with this new, unpredictable future they’re dealing with, especially after the breathtaking ending Avengers: Endgame gave us just a few months ago.

Also of note: several sequels scheduled for release are also not included in this lineup. Not Black Panther, which was the highest-grossing MCU movie before Infinity War came out. Not the Fantastic Four or X-Men, both properties of which Disney owns now since they bought out Fox several months ago. Not Captain Marvel, Hulk, Ant-Man, Wasp, or even the Guardians of the Galaxy are included in the lineup, the last of which has had perhaps the most tumultuous behind-the-scenes drama with its writer and director James Gunn fired, and re-hired, after several months of back-and-forth. The lack of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s inclusion in this lineup is especially strange, given that Thor was literally high-tailing it with the Guardians at the end of Avengers: Endgame. What gives? Are they saving up for something much bigger and epic in-store, or are they just trying to tamper with fan’s appetites?

Regardless of whatever happens next for the Avengers, fans can at least sit tight knowing that the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s heroes will carry on the good fight. This franchise isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

– David Dunn

SOURCES: Marvel.com, Polygon

Taika Waititi Returns To Direct ‘Thor 4’

The God of Thunder isn’t done with the MCU just yet.

After the events of Avengers: Endgame, many comic-book fans are wondering what would become of Thor Odinson. After all, the last thing fans saw of him was that he joined up with the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy as they set out in search of Gamora throughout the cosmos. Where will their adventures lead them? What would come next for the mighty Thor?

Whatever that may be, we now know at least one thing that it will lead to for sure: another sequel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi will return to write and direct the fourth movie in Thor’s expanding saga. This will be the first time a Marvel superhero will get a fourth solo movie and the second time a tetralogy will be developed in the MCU outside of the Avengers movies.

I’m very mixed at hearing about this news. On one hand, I’m excited that Chris Hemsworth isn’t done as Thor just yet and am looking forward to seeing what new adventures are in store for the hammer-wielding thunder God. Waititi revitalized the character wonderfully years ago when he directed the stylish and retro fantasy flick Thor: Ragnarok. The sky is the limit for anything else he can do with the character and his story, and I’m eager to see those changes and creative decisions he may bring with them.

On the other hand, Thor’s story has already ended several times now, first in Thor: Ragnarok, then in Avengers: Endgame. Yeah, it was assumed he was going to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but I presumed that was going to be more of a cameo than a serious leading role all its own. It would have been perfectly fine to wrap up Thor’s story the way it did and give some sort of filler explanation as to why the character is no longer on-screen. Instead, he’s coming back for a whole new installment. If we really are going to get a fourth Thor movie, can this actually be the last one? What will Thor’s newest conquest be? Will Beta Ray Bill make an appearance? And for Pete’s sake, can we at least get Enchantress in there as the new villain???

There’s another unintended consequence as a result of Waititi coming back to helm Thor 4: now his attention is diverted away from the live-action Akira remake. For those of you that don’t know, Waititi was slated to direct the live-action remake to Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira, which tells the story of two warring bicycle gang members after one of them gets uncontrollable telekinetic abilities. Seeing his work on the visually dazzling and emotionally enriching Thor: Ragnarok made me excited at the possibilities of what he could do with a live-action Akira at his fingertips. But since he’s coming back for Thor, that means Akira will inevitably get delayed… again. Can we seriously just throw Christopher Nolan onto the project and call it a day guys?

What do you true believers out there think? Are you excited to hear that Thor is coming back to the big screen, or do you wish that his story ended with the rest of the Avengers in Endgame? Whatever you think, comment below, let me know.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter, Gizmodo

‘Captain Marvel’ Actress To Take Over As 007

In one swift motion, Metro Goldwyn-Mayer just made a casting decision that is sure to piss off both racists and misogynists alike. Brilliant.

The most recent installment of the 007 series, Bond 25, is due for release in April of next year. Once again starring Daniel Craig in the titular role and directed by Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation), the 25th film in the franchise follows James Bond post-retirement who’s called back to service after a potential global crisis hits MI6’s desk. The film features a star-studded cast, including Blade Runner 2049’s Ana de Armas, The Hunger Games’ Jeffrey Wright, and even Bohemian Rhapsody’s Rami Malek as the franchise’s newest Bond villain.

However, none of these names come close to the biggest casting shocker of them all: Lashana Lynch has officially been cast as the newest 007.

Who? You would be forgiven for not immediately recognizing her. Her most notable role up until now was as Carol Danvers’ best friend Maria Rambeau in Marvel Studios’ first heroine outing, Captain Marvel. Now The Daily Mail confirms that she has been cast as the newest MI6 agent in the upcoming film and has taken over Bond’s codename after his retirement.

There are so many aspects to this casting news to be excited about, but let’s start with the biggest one of all: the casting array for 007 has just exploded into a vastly wider margin. Years ago, there were massive debates on whether 007 could be a woman or an actor of a different race. Indeed, people damn near went up in flames when they learned that Idris Elba might be the newest James Bond. Now we live in a world where both of those casting decisions are absolute possibilities. From here on forward, anything is possible for 007. In the future, he could be a man or a woman. He could be white or black. He could even be gay or straight. Such potential would not have even been conceivable 10 years ago. Now they are. It opens the franchise up to so many realms of possibilities. Who knows where the series could go from here?

It also confirms an intriguing fan theory about James Bond – that 007 is just a code-name and not specific to Bond himself. So for the purists out there who were worried about how this would muck up the franchise continuity (such as myself), there’s no need to be concerned anymore. Now that 007 is confirmed to be merely a cover identity instead of a person, what could happen next? Will Lynch’s 007 go on to be featured in her own spinoff? Maybe star in future sequels? What if other installments brought back Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan for cameo appearances? The possibilities are endless.

I would be remiss if I did not mention Lynch herself. How do I think she’ll handle the role of 007? Quite honestly, I don’t know. I haven’t seen enough from her to make that judgment call. I did like her quite a bit in Captain Marvel, but who’s to say that she’ll handle this role just as well? After all, this is 007 we’re talking about here. That’s not just any walk in the park, especially since she’ll be featured right alongside Daniel Craig’s Bond himself.

That being said, other actors and actresses have taken over bigger roles in even lesser prominence and absolutely crushed the part they were playing. Tessa Thompson was essentially a no-name actress before she was cast opposite both Apollo Creed’s son and Thor in Creed and Thor: Ragnarok. Tom Holland was literally a child actor in the disaster flick The Impossible before he was cast in one of the biggest franchises of the decade as the MCU’s Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Those actors killed it in their respective roles. Who’s to say Lynch doesn’t have it just as much in her?

At the moment, there’s too little to tell in too soon of a time. We’ll have to wait for the first trailer to come out and see how good Lynch really is in this new role she inhabits.

In the meantime, let’s be grateful that strides of diversity are being made in Hollywood and mainstream blockbuster franchises. I eagerly await the narcissistic rage-tweeting of the closeted white nationalists out there who are utterly enraged at this casting decision. At the very least, let’s enjoy their frustration at knowing the new 007 is a black woman.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: The Daily Mail, Buzzfeed

Warner Bros. casts Robert Pattinson as ‘The Batman’

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DC has a new caped crusader. And incidentally enough, he used to be a vampire.

Although its been rumored for several days now that Twilight actor Robert Pattinson was in the running to take over the role of Bruce Wayne in the upcoming Batman movie by War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves, it was confirmed by The Wrap earlier today that Pattinson has officially signed on to portray the dark knight in what is being described as a prequel to the character in Batman V. Superman. Pattinson will be the seventh person to portray Batman on film after Ben Affleck vacated from the role earlier this year.

To say that fans have a mixed feedback to Pattinson’s casting would be a severe understatement. Since Pattinson’s most well-known role prior to this announcement was as the hundred-year-old vampire Edward Cullen in the God-awful Twilight series, many fans understandably see him as his sullen, mopey, emo-like character in those movies. But that wouldn’t be a fair assessment to Pattinson’s talents – especially when you consider how much his career has moved beyond Twilight since then.

For instance, right after his first two Twilight films he portrayed Tyler Hawkins in Remember Me, a penanceful film about a troubled youth, his rocky relationship with his father, and a brewing romance with an art student from NYU. His follow-up drama Water For Elephants had him starring alongside some dramatic heavyweights such as Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz, and he surprisingly held his own alongside them. And just after wrapping up the Twilight series he starred as billionaire Eric Packer in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, and he was just as chilling and calculated as the real Bruce Wayne would be.

What I’m saying is that people are jumping the gun on this casting and definitely judging Pattinson way too soon. The guy has a lot of talent, and I’m personally very excited to see what he will do with the role.

Plus, Affleck’s performance as the Bat was actually one of the few good things about Batman V. Superman. If Affleck can do a good job, Pattinson has just as much a shot at doing the role justice as well.

What do you guys think? Are you excited that Robert Pattinson will be playing DC’s newest Batman, or do you wish Edward Cullen would just go back to the shadows? Comment below, let me know.

– David Dunn

SOURCE: The Wrap, Screenrant
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