James Wan Explains Why The Conjuring Expanded Into A Franchise



In a new featurette, filmmaker James Wan delves into why The Conjuring expanded into a franchise. Wan directed the first film of the connected horror universe, The Conjuring, back in 2013. The film met critical acclaim and sparked a movement in the horror genre that continues today with franchise’s latest installment, The Nun.

After The Conjuring won over horror fans and film critics alike for its ambitious efforts to break down well-worn genre tropes, Wan was encouraged to create more within the universe and wrote and directed The Conjuring 2, which takes place 6 years after the 1971 events of the first film. From there, the horror franchise was built through films such as Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, and now this year’s The Nun, all of which wind back the clock and look at the events preceding The Conjuring and its sequel to set up the conflict in those films.

Related: Here’s How The Nun Connects To Annabelle & The Conjuring

In Warner Bros.’ latest featurette for The Nun (below), Wan broke down exactly how and why he and his creative team expanded that first 2013 film into an entire horror franchise. And, as it would turn out, it was superhero films that actually inspired Wan. “One of the things that occurred to all of us early on is, they have a superhero universe, why can’t we do that in the horror world?” Wan explained, adding: “When we were making the first Conjuring, it became very apparent to us that there could be a bigger universe – so many other great stories that would be awesome to look into.”

The Nun will explore the origins of the demonic spirit that haunts the Warrens in The Conjuring 2. Set in 1952, it is the earliest-set film in the entire franchise, preceding Annabelle: Creation, which took place in 1955. American Horror Story star Taissa Farmiga plays The Nun’s protagonist Sister Irene, a young nun who encounters the evil spirit. Wan also explained in the featurette that the main inspiration for The Nun came from the success of the Annabelle pictures. The filmmaker discussed his excitement with how the Annabelle doll has become an iconic figure of the Conjuring universe through her own films and that he wanted to explore the background of The Conjuring 2’s nun character in the same way.

Wan will not be directing The Nun, but he is working on the film as a writer and also helped director Corin Hardy with additional photography. Certainly one of the reasons that the Conjuring franchise is so successful is Wan’s continued involvement through all of the films and their shared visual styles, as well as the “classical…old-school storytelling” that he’s wanted to maintain from the very beginning. The franchise isn’t ending with The Nun, either – plans for Annabelle 3 are in motion, and the studio has scheduled a 2019 release for a currently untitled Conjuring movie as well. With his franchise, James Wan is proving that extended universes should not be and are not limited to the superhero genre and that, most important of all, horror is here to stay.

More: 15 Things You Completely Missed in The Conjuring Franchise

Source: Warner Bros



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Rumor: Supergirl Movie Eyes Handmaid’s Tale’s Reed Morano to Direct



A new rumor suggests that Warner Bros. Pictures is eyeing Reed Morano to direct their upcoming Supergirl movie. DC Films chief Walter Hamada has been making all sorts of changes behind the scenes every since taking over the studio’s DC movie division late last year, but one thing that he hasn’t changed is continuing to develop a flurry of movies, almost all of which are standalone films. One such movie was revealed earlier this month: Supergirl – a solo movie focusing on Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-El.

It was reported that The Cloverfield Paradox and 22 Jump Street scribe Oren Uziel was hired to pen the screenplay for DC’s Supergirl movie, though it was unclear if that script would be an origin story or perhaps a spinoff of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Since the project is early in development, the studio hasn’t hired anyone to direct or star in the movie in the title role as of yet. But in keeping with their apparent goal of hiring female directors to helm female-led superhero movies, WB is very much hoping to hire a female filmmaker for the project – and it looks like they have identified a potential candidate.

Related: 9 Actresses Who Could Play Supergirl In The DCEU

GWW reports that WB is eyeing Reed Morano to direct the Supergirl movie, but a meeting hasn’t happened yet; therefore, no offer has been made. Morano has been a well-known cinematographer in the industry, but she recently made the jump to directing by helming a few episodes of Showtime’s Billions as well as Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, for which she won an Emmy award in 2017. She also directed her second feature film, I Think We’re Alone Now, starring Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning, a science fiction film which releases in theaters this September.

Given her recent track record, it isn’t surprising that WB would be looking at someone like Morano to helm Supergirl. However, seeing as no meeting has taken place yet, it’s safe to say that the project is still a long way off from happening. If hired, Morano would join Wonder Woman‘s Patty Jenkins and Birds of Prey‘s Cathy Yan as the DC movie universe’s female directors. And putting more female-driven superhero projects into development is something that Marvel Studios is starting to do as well, having hired Anna Boden to co-direct Captain Marvel, with Cate Shortland taking on the Black Widow movie.

While the Supergirl movie continues to gestate behind the scenes, DC Films will push forward with production for Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984, as well as start prepping for Todd Phillips’ Joker, Yan’s Birds of Prey, and Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley’s The Flash. Of course, those aren’t the only projects in the works, but they are the only ones with plans to start filming soon. Who knows, it’s possible Supergirl could wind up on that list sooner rather than later.

More: Supergirl Had A Place In Zack Snyder’s DCEU

Source: GWW



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Iron Man Decapitates Thanos in Startling Avengers 4 Fan Art



Iron Man learns from Thor’s Avengers: Infinity War mistake and goes for Thanos’ head in a brand new Avengers 4 fan-created artwork. The looming threat of the Mad Titan has been a major factor in Tony’s personal arc since 2012’s The Avengers, after he realized that aside from Earth-bound threats, there’s more to be dreaded out in the cosmos. Since then, this nagging fear, further fueled by a Scarlet Witch-induced vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron, drove him to create Ultron, causing people to see him as somewhat of an accidental villain. The conflict in Captain America: Civil War only continued that character trajectory, when he was pitted against Steve Rogers. However, in reality, Tony is anything but a bad guy. The arrival of Thanos and him ultimately succeeding in wiping out half of life in the universe proved that Tony had always been right.

Plot details for Avengers 4 are still scant at the moment, and it’s by design, considering that Marvel Studios remains mum about any official update with regard to the much-anticipated film. The culmination of the 22-film arc that the franchise has been telling since 2008’s Iron Man, the movie’s title is still a mystery and isn’t expected to be revealed until later in the year when marketing starts, though time travel and the Quantum Realm are two concepts expected to play a part in the film’s narrative. Currently, the cast and crew are busy with scheduled reshoots that will reportedly last the entire summer.

Related: Avengers 4: Popular Pepper Potts Rescue Armor Theory Isn’t True

Coming from digital artist ultraraw26 on Instagram is a new Avengers 4 artwork visualizing Iron Man defeating Thanos once and for all. Following the Mad Titan’s taunting advice to Thor at the end of Infinity War, Stark goes straight for the villain’s head, and rips it off his body. Check out the startling image below:

Admittedly, it’s highly unlikely that something this visually gruesome would happen in a Marvel film. Infinity War even scrapped a version of its Soul World ending which would’ve featured Thanos walking through a pool of blood while he talked to young Gamora because Marvel deemed it too dark, so something as gory as this will not be allowed in a usually family-friendly MCU installment. Having said that, that doesn’t mean that fans won’t see Iron Man go head-to-head again with the Mad Titan, especially given their history with each other. It’s still unclear what everyone’s status will be once Avengers 4 picks up, but fans are betting that Tony will be very motivated to find a way to restore order in the universe after Thanos’ deadly snap. And while the fight with the supervillain has always been personal for “Earth’s best defender”, Peter Parker’s death will undoubtedly further fuel his desire to take him down. However it pans out, one thing seems for sure: Tony Stark will likely play a major role in Thanos’ defeat.

Not much is known regarding the fate of Tony or Thanos past Avengers 4. Between Kevin Feige’s comments about some Phase 1 characters ending their MCU journeys with the still-untitled ensemble film, and Downey’s contract ending, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Iron Man really dies in the movie. As for the Mad Titan, Brolin previously implied that his stint as the villain will be for a limited time only, giving people the impression that he’s done playing the role after the Phase 3 capper. But in more recent interviews, he sounded more than willing to return and reprise his role, especially with plans for The Eternals film in Marvel Studios’ docket.

More: Avengers 4 Fan Trailer Unites the X-Men & the Entire MCU Against Thanos

Source: ultraraw26/Instagram





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Star Wars: 10 Characters Stronger Than Luke Skywalker (And 10 Weaker)



Without a doubt, Luke Skywalker is the most famous Jedi of all time. This is true for both our reality and the one that exists within the Star Wars universe. Within the two major sources of Star Wars entertainment; the Star Wars Legends and the Star Wars canon, Luke is widely considered not only the most famous, but also the most powerful. But this isn’t entirely factual or, if we’re honest, realistic.

There are many famous Force users– Jedi and Sith and everything in between– who could easily be ranked alongside Luke in regards to their abilities, but chances are they would fail in single combat. Luke is just stronger in terms of lightsaber skills, technical and flying abilities, and a downright masterful knowledge of the Force. He genetically received a fair amount of talent from his father but also spent his earliest years learning to become a pilot and becoming proficient at technical craftsmanship. He was then mentored by two of the most formidable Jedi of all time, Obi-Wan and Yoda.

However, certain members of the Star Wars canon have proven that they could easily take out this beloved Jedi. They usually have a combination of a better understanding or connection to the force, as well as fighting abilities.

There’s no doubt that this list will be somewhat devisive since a lot of these examples can’t be 100% proven. After all, some of these characters didn’t exist at the same time as Luke. Regardless, there is enough evidence that suggests that these Star Wars Canon characters are far more powerful than Luke.

Without further ado, here are 10 Characters Stronger Than Luke Skywalker (And 10 Weaker)

20 Stronger: Yoda

Yoda may have taught Luke much of his knowledge, but the student did not surpass the teacher. As proven in The Last Jedi, there’s much that Luke can still learn from his little green mentor.

It’s unclear whether Luke could beat Yoda in their most recent states, since, well, they’re both probably Force Ghosts.

In their prime, Luke would have absolutely lost in a battle.

Yoda is the embodiment of knowledge, practice, skill, and patience. He’s also deceptively strong and agile. We can all remember the time he first dropped his cane and fought off Count Dooku.

Luke may have projected an image of himself across the galaxy to trick Kylo Ren, but Yoda still has shown a larger variety of jaw-dropping Jedi talents.

19 Weaker: Obi-Wan Kenobi

In his prime, Obi-Wan was one of the most skilled fighters in the galaxy. He even managed to defeat Anakin Skywalker in single combat, although he didn’t have the heart to finish him off.

When Anakin and Obi-Wan met again years later, Obi-Wan basically sacrificed himself to Anakin’s rage in order to grow into a stronger being as he became one with the Force.

Without a doubt, Obi-Wan is downright formidable. However, he passed on much of his knowledge to Luke Skywalker, who has shown he has most of his father’s skills as well.

It’s hard to believe that Obi-Wan could be seen as stronger than Luke, even in both of their prime.

18 Stronger: Darth Plagueis

Darth Plagueis is the Sith Lord who mentored Palpatine and is best known for his mastery of immortality. As Palpatine described to Anakin in Revenge of the Sith, Darth Plagueis the Wise’s knowledge of the dark side of the Force was so vast that he could stop the people he loved from perishing.

Unfortunately for him, he taught most of his knowledge to his deceptive apprentice who turned on him.

The only way that Palpatine knew how to defeat Plagueis was to eliminate him in his sleep.

If Palpatine needed this kind of one-up on Plagueis, there’s little chance that Luke Skywalker would be much more powerful than him. In fact, he may not even last long in a fight.

17 Weaker: Mace Windu

When it comes to lightsaber wielding, Jedi Master Mace Windu is known as the best. Not only does he easily do away with Jango Fett, but he also manages to defeat Palpatine in lightsaber combat.

However, it can be argued that Palpatine would have easily defeated Mace with his Force skills had he not wanted Anakin to intervene in order to fully turn him to the dark side.

Although his Force Skills are seen as pretty strong, especially in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, he isn’t on par with some of his Jedi brethren, especially Luke.

While Mace may be able to defeat Luke in a lightsaber duel, Luke’s other Force abilities are far superior.

16 Stronger: Darth Sidious

It’s debatable whether or not Darth Sidious (Sheev Palpatine) is the most powerful Sith Lord in modern times or in all of history. After all, he managed to evade Jedi detection while orchestrating one of the most successful and complicated political manipulations of all time, right underneath their noses.

When the Jedi did find out that Chancellor Palpatine was, in fact, this dark lord of the Sith, they stood no chance against him. This included Master Yoda, who basically lost his duel with him in Revenge of the Sith.

Even Luke knew he could not successfully beat The Emperor.

The only weapon Luke had that could overpower him was his ability to turn his father against him through love. Although that technically counts as defeating Palpatine, chances are Luke wouldn’t stand a chance against Sidious in single combat.

15 Weaker: Count Dooku

There are many reasons why Darth Sidious chose Count Dooku (AKA Darth Tyranus) as his apprentice. First and foremost, Count Dooku spent most of his life as a Jedi, mastering their skills. When he did turn to the dark side, he became quite talented in those arts as well.

Count Dooku not only manages to beat Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker in combat but also holds his own against both Yoda and Mace Windu on separate occasions.

His array of incredible Force skills are explored more deeply on The Clone Wars series, but they’re still not enough to put him up against Luke Skywalker.

Luke has all of the physical and mental abilities of Count Dooku and much more.

14 Stronger: The Father

This insanely powerful Force user lives in the realm of Mortis alongside his daughter and son, who represents the light and dark side of the Force. He maintains the balance between the two, which is vital since they could tear the fabric of the universe apart without him.

This diety has the ability to teleport at will, manipulate lightsabers with telekinesis, change his shape, as well as all the other Force skills we’ve come to know.

The Father has been said to be the most powerful Force user ever.

This was determined by Leland Chee, whose literal job it is to determine these kinds of things. There’s no way that Luke would stand a chance against this guy.

13 Weaker: Darth Maul

Though this Star Wars character is a favorite for fans, there’s no way he could take on Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. Even though this Sith has some undeniably impressive powers, he’s failed to bring down to many other Star Wars characters.

He originally fell victim to Obi-Wan in The Phantom Menace but was later revived and fitted with mechanical legs with the help of his brother, Savage Opress. Together, he and his brother attempted to take on Emperor Palpatine, but failed– even though he was seemingly more powerful after his encounter with Obi-Wan than before.

Darth Maul may be known for being one of the most skilled swordsmen out there, but he hasn’t shown an overly impressive control over other Force abilities. Even though we got to see a lot more of his skills in the animated shows, he still doesn’t match up to Luke.

12 Stronger: Darth Revan

Though Darth Revan is known as purely a Star Wars Legends character, it’s suggested that he has become officially part of the canon.

This is because of his brief eEster egg hidden in Luke’s hut in The Last Jedi. The Easter egg is in the form of a particular red Kyber crystal that belonged to Darth Revan– not Darth Vader as some have suggested.

Many have described him as being the most powerful Force User of all time, making him superior to even Luke Skywalker and Yoda.

Darth Revan had the ability to wield the powers of both the light side and dark side of the Force.

He could communicate with people across the galaxy, heal himself and others, and was an exceptionally skilled warrior.

11 Weaker: Asajj Ventress

This Sith warrior was Count Dooku’s apprentice throughout the Clone Wars and frequently fought against multiple Jedi, including Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan, and Anakin’s apprentice, Ashoka Tano.

She primarily functioned as a ruthless Sith assassin, although she was nowhere near as effective as her reputation claimed her to be. After all, she never took down any of the major Jedi– which most of her Sith compatriots had no problem doing. Sure, she was a cool character who had a particularly strong lightsaber wielding skill, but she ultimately wasn’t nearly as powerful as she appeared.

This would make her an easy target for Luke Skywalker. Even if he couldn’t defeat her in a lightsaber duel, he would have no problem using the Force to dance around her for days.

10 Stronger: The Son And The Daughter

The Son and the Daughter are deities that represent the balance of the light and dark side of the Force throughout the galaxy. They are both of equal strength and skill, although have a variety of differing abilities

The Daughter, for instance, can heal people at will while the Son can drain the life out of them.

They are constantly in intense conflict, but a balance is kept between them by their Father on their homeworld of Mortis.

As skilled as Luke is with The Force he just doesn’t compare to living deities who represent both sides of the Force and the variety of complex powers that come with them.

9 Weaker: Qui-Gon Jinn

Though Qui-Gon Jinn was strong in the ways of the Force, including telepathy and levitation, there’s just no way he would beat Luke Skywalker in a fight.

In both of their primes, Luke still makes for a better swordfighter as well as having better agility.

Qui-Gon isn’t known for being a strong fighter.

He was tragically bested by Darth Maul on Naboo. During that battle, he seemed to lean toward the meditative nature of the Force versus the aggression needed to defeat the Sith.

Luke, on the other hand, has shown numerous times that he can handle a lightsaber as well as some of the most skilled swordsmen. Even Luke’s Force abilities seem stronger than Obi-Wan’s former master.

8 Stronger: The Force Priestesses

These five immortal Force Priestesses represent the connection between the Living Force and the Cosmic Force in the greater scheme of the universe. They dwell on the Wellspring of Life, which is believed to be the place where both midi-chlorians and life itself started.

The Force Priestesses are the guardians of the light side of the Force.

They have a vast knowledge of unlocking the secrets of immortality and the deepest secrets of the Force. They lack distinguishable features, which sort of suggests just how incredibly old and powerful they are.

Sorry, but there’s no way that even someone as powerful as Luke Skywalker could compare to cosmic, ethereal deities.

7 Weaker: Savage Opress

Originally this Star Wars: The Clone Wars character was seen as a legitimate threat to Sith villains Count Dooku and Asajj Ventress. This was because of his brutish mentality and intimidating powers that were gifted to him by the Nightsisters.

However, Savage Opress lost much of what made him intimidating once he teamed up with his revived brother, Darth Maul.

Maul easily overshadowed everything about Savage Opress. He was stronger, more experienced, and generally far nastier.

When the two attempted to bring down Darth Sidious together, they failed miserably. With all of this in mind, it should come as no surprise that this frightening Sith wouldn’t stand a chance against Luke Skywalker.

6 Stronger: Talzin

This mysterious shaman was the Clan Mother of the Nightsisters of Dathomir – a coven of highly Force-sensitive witches. These witches used a supernatural technique, called Magick, to manipulate the wilderness around them. She is also the mother of Darth Maul and Savage Opress.

Mother Talzin had a mastery of all dark magicks, as well as could manipulate the spirit ichor (a powerful ether) that flowed through the center of the planet Dathomir.

She could see into the future, set things on fire with her mind, and also had a natural connection to the Force.

In addition to all of this, she was a highly skilled fighter, so much so that she even lasted against Darth Sidious himself.

Though General Grievous eventually got the better of her, it’s not hard to believe that she would have taken down someone as strong as Luke Skywalker.

5 Weaker: Supreme Leader Snoke

It’s hard to tell just how strong Supreme Leader Snoke was since we learned so little about him before he was offed by Kylo Ren. However, what we did see was pretty impressive.

He clearly had a mastery of the basic Force skills such as telekinesis and Force lightning. He also had the ability to create a psychological bridge between Kylo Ren and Rey.

Unfortunately for him, that bridge was what led to his downfall. He clearly couldn’t foresee that Kylo Ren would turn on him the way he did.

Most of Snoke’s intimidating powers seem to come from his substantial army and weaponry. This would be enough to frighten anyone, including Luke. But it seems like Luke would have a step up on Snoke if the two ever met on the battle-field.

After all, even Snoke knew Luke was a substantial threat to him. Why else would he want to track him down and destroy him so badly?

4 Stronger: Anakin Skywalker (Before Vader)

Luke Skywalker may have beaten his father when he was half-machine, but there’s just no way he would have taken him down when he was at his best.

Anakin was the “Chosen One” for a reason.

Sure, both Luke and Anakin were expert pilots, techy experts, and skilled in the ways of the Force but could anyone actually claim that Luke was better at wielding a lightsaber than Anakin in his prime? The answer is unequivocally, “No.”

Thanks to Anakin getting emotional and cocky, and Obi-Wan taking advantage of that, the Master Jedi lost much of his most advanced physical skills after the Mustafar battle.

3 Weaker: Kylo Ren

In The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker described his nephew, Ben Solo (Kylo Ren), as being immensely powerful. He also admitted early on that he feared that these powers would corrupt him and turn him into a Darth Vader-like character. This caused him to attempt to assassinate him in his sleep. Needless to say, Kylo Ren is almost definitely a significant threat.

However, we cannot definitively say that he is more powerful than Luke. Kylo’s powers are vast but they are still highly unbalanced and difficult to control. His lets his anger get the best of him too quickly, allowing for more skilled fighters to take their time and get the best of him– as we saw at the end of The Last Jedi.

2 Stronger: Rey

Rey is included because there’s no doubt that she will become one of the strongest Jedi ever. She may not currently be at the same skill level as Luke, but that’s about to change.

Rey learned her Force skills far quicker than Luke ever could.

In fact, she may have even learned them faster than Anakin Skywalker. She received little training and still managed to fight off many seemingly proficient enemies with both Force and lightsaber skills.

Even Yoda remarks on Rey’s impressive natural abilities, which should make us all think that she will soon be able to take on any Jedi, even one as powerful as Luke.

1 Weaker: Darth Vader

Darth Vader was the most feared Sith Lord in the galaxy for quite a substantial amount of time. There’s no question that both his use of the Force, his malice, and even his lightsaber skills made him uncomfortably strong. However, he was still bested by his son at the end of Return of the Jedi.

After losing to Obi-Wan on Mustafar, Anakin became less powerful as a lightsaber wielder. His new mechanical body made him physically stronger, but he lost a large amount of agility. Sure, he was still an exceptionally strong Force user, but his anger and pain consumed him. It’s hard to blame him since he is literally using that restrictive suit to keep him from losing his life.

Which Star Wars character do you think is the strongest? Let us know in the comments!





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Ethan Hawke Slams Logan, Says It Isn’t A Great Movie



Actor Ethan Hawke criticized Logan in a recent interview, claiming that the last film starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine wasn’t such a great movie after all. James Mangold’s Logan took audiences by storm in 2017, winning over those who were both fervent fans of the superhero genre and those who were usually apathetic towards it.

Logan was a breath of fresh air to many moviegoers, who enjoyed Mangold’s efforts at making an ambitious Wolverine film that was inspired more-so by Westerns and classic American cinema than comic books. It set box office records during its run in theaters, and was the first superhero film to have a serious Oscar campaign, garnering a number of other prestigious award nominations in the process. Many industry experts thought the film had a good chance at winning in its nominated category of Best Adapted Screenplay.

Related: Why Don’t Superhero Movies Win Oscars? 

But Ethan Hawke tends to disagree with the majority of favorable assessments of Logan. In an interview with The Film Stage, Hawke talked about Logan and how the Hollywood machine tried to sell the film as one of the major greats in recent film memory.

Now we have the problem that they tell us Logan is a great movie. Well, it’s a great superhero movie. It still involves people in tights with metal coming out of their hands. It’s not Bresson. It’s not Bergman. But they talk about it like it is. I went to see Logan cause everyone was like, “This is a great movie” and I was like, “Really? No, this is a fine superhero movie.” There’s a difference but big business doesn’t think there’s a difference. Big business wants you to think that this is a great film because they wanna make money off of it.

Hawke has always been a proponent of independent cinema, and tends to prefer more intimate projects, having starred in some of the film industry’s most iconic indies, including Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy and Boyhood. His recent film First Reformed and upcoming feature film Blaze, which Hawke wrote and directed, have confirmed that Hawke is one of the best creative forces in independent film right now. With his preferences towards grounded drama, some might think that he would be a big fan of Logan, a film that James Mangold said he wrote to be more “dramatic and character-driven” than other superhero movies. But Hawke’s critical comments on Logan make it clear that he’s not a very big fan of Mangold’s film, regardless of the director’s efforts to make it more of a drama than a superhero action movie.

Hawke’s biggest criticisms of Logan seem to be aimed more at the larger issues that exist within Hollywood rather than the film itself. Elsewhere in the same interview, Hawke critiqued the “phoniness” of the film industry’s awards system, and suggested that awards aren’t a good indicator of a movie’s worth, despite everybody’s obsession over them. It appears as though Hawke’s comments simply come from an actor who’s frustrated with what Logan represents for him: the huge issue of Hollywood’s system being run as a big business with profit as the foremost concern over artistic value. However, regardless of the systemic critiques he was trying to point out, there’s no doubt that Hawke’s comments are going to cause some heated debate within the superhero film fan base.

Next: Ethan Hawke Adapting The Good Lord Bird For TV With Blumhouse

Source: The Film Stage



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10 Actors Desperate To Play Superheroes (And 10 Who Never Will Again)



In the proverbial almanac of early 21st century cinema, the section on superhero movies is going to bulge especially large. Ever since comic books and superheroes were invented, creators and studios alike were trying to put them into mixed media in order to expand the audience.

Now, at a point when CGI is becoming more advanced than theatergoers are able to predict, movies are really able to present heroes on screen in a way that blows audiences away. More of superhero films are being made every year and it seems like everyone wants their own comic book project.

In this age of expanding media markets, instant access to content online, and an incessant craving for more experimentation, superhero movies are about the only guarantees left in Hollywood these days. Sure, a number of them flop, but even those hardly ever do so because of an actor’s performance. On the contrary, playing a superhero is one of the most guaranteed ways an actor can improve their career, and at least for a shining moment, the actor becomes the center of everyone’s childhood fantasies.

The most enticing part of an actor playing a superhero is that it’s actually a lot harder than it looks, even when one does have the body to fill out a vibrantly colored suit.

From those who think they’re up to the task to those who rue the day their careers got tangled in this malarkey, here are 10 Actors Desperate To Play Superheroes (And 10 Who Say Never Again).

20 Norman Reedus – Interested

Over The Walking Dead’s odyssean nine season run, Daryl Dixon, played by Norman Reedus, has grown to be a top fan favorite, evolving from oddball recurring character to leading man. Daryl’s hunting skills, crossbow expertise, and wild temper make him a volatile but necessary member of the band of survivors.

Reedus’ ability to blend tough with fair and stay just this side of unhinged has led to questions about expanding his career one day to superhero movies. In an interview with Uproxx, promoting his new motorcycle show, Reedus eagerly espoused his love for Ghost Rider and interest in being part of a future film.

Maybe Hawkeye needs a crossbow-wielding sidekick.

19 Mickey Rourke – Never Again

As much as some fans may criticize Iron Man 2, Mickey Rourke is probably even more upset about how it came out. He’s been vocal about his displeasure on what ultimately happened to his character, Ivan Vanko, and the amount of commercialization and bureaucracy involved with making movies of that size.

He said, “I wanted to bring some other layers and colors… And they allowed me to do that. Unfortunately, the [people] at Marvel just wanted a one-dimensional bad guy, so most of the performance ended up the floor.”

Rourke isn’t the first to voice this type of concern over the creation process.

Many of the actors on this list and some of the directors of these films have said similar things. It’s still hard to imagine what could save that version of Whiplash, though.

18 John Krasinski – Interested

Coming off of the success of hit thriller A Quiet Place, John Krasinski has practically stretched out a superhero audition into an entire season of television with his starring role in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan show.

Coming a long way from the slender physique he carried in The Office, and admitting that he’s not a lifelong comic fan, Krasinski has entered into the “circle of actors eligible to play a superhero” list. He’s even expressed his own interest in an interview given to Screen Rant.

Many fans have fallen in love with the idea of Krasinski as Mister Fantastic.

It’s seemingly a natural fit for the guy next door actor. When questioned about the idea directly, Krasinski was more than amenable to the role, along with that of pretty much any other hero that’s left.

17 Jessica Alba – Never Again

Jessica Alba made a name for herself as an action hero in the James Cameron produced series, Dark Angel, and quickly made the jump to features, climbing the ladder into the superhero movie conversations of the beginning of the 2000s.

Once she became the lead in Fantastic Four and the sequel that quickly followed, however, her interest the genre was squashed.

As Sue Storm, Alba, took the franchise on her shoulders, but she’s since commented the working environment on set wasn’t conducive to any real female characterization. After criticism from her director that her crying scene wasn’t pretty enough, Alba realized that the movies had morphed from metaphorical exploration to male escape fantasy.

Though Alba says she’ll never say never to another role in the genre, but after her experience, it doesn’t sound likely.

16 Tom Hanks – Interested

Lately, Tom Hanks’ career has pointed him towards the down trodden everyman, fighting against absurd conditions just for some normalcy. In one interview, promoting Captain Phillips, Hanks revealed that he’s also interested in the big heroes in capes stuff as well.

His stated desires lean more towards supervillainy than heroism, which is even better for an actor in Tom Hanks’ position. The MCU’s villain problem is far from solved– even with strong additions like Killmonger.

An actor of Hanks’ caliber would be a worthy foe for any caped crusader.

Depending on how Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker turns out, maybe we can imagine Hanks as Mr. Freeze. 

15 Kirsten Dunst – Never Again

Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson deserves much of the credit for the condition of the superhero movie genre today. She co-starred in the Spider-Man trilogy, and balancing those movies nicely as someone who could, conceivably, be out of Peter Parker’s league, right up until she isn’t.

These days, her career is focused on smaller character pieces, presumably where she something more to do than be a damsel in distress. When asked about what she thought of the current state of the Spider-Man franchise and its recent reboot, she diminished the recent films as being more focused on money than art.

14 Eddie Redmayne – Interested

Eddie Redmayne is currently at the front of the new Harry Potter franchise, Fantastic Beasts, but he’s also got his sights set on playing a superhero one day.

Amid rumors that he auditioned for Star-Lord, Redmayne confesses that he’s a huge comic fan.

He even has a few ideas for properties he’d like to star in himself.

In an interview with Yahoo, Redmayne goes off on his enthusiasm for a cult character named Bananaman, a tongue-in-cheek British superhero. If that hero somehow proves unadaptable for cinema, Redmayne also suggests Thundercats, a beloved show that’s awakening old and new fans on Netflix.

These two choices, along with his Newt Scamander, triangulate a quirky, humorous, superhero niche for Redmayne once he concludes his current franchise.

13 Andrew Garfield – Never Again

Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man trilogy met an unhappy end after only two films. 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 threw the wall-crawler against Electro in a movie that had more sparks than juice. Box office numbers underwhelmed, plans for a third movie were canceled, and Garfield had to surrender his web shooters.

In interviews after the fact, Garfield has described the process as “heartbreaking.” According to The Telegraph, the movie that Garfield felt like they shot wasn’t what ultimately made it into theaters, resulting in weaker character and story points.

Blame game aside, Garfield’s career has thrived since, with a Tony win and an Oscar nom. After his heartbreak, it’s unlikely he’ll return to play in the superhero sandbox.

12 Megan Fox – Interested

Megan Fox made her name starring in Transformers, and though she left it long ago she’s since said that she feels at home in genre films.

In an interview with E!, Fox promoted her role in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (2014), and reiterated how much she enjoyed this kind of work with a suggestion for a superhero property for her to star in.

She named Gen 13, an Image comic featuring a trio of tough heroines fighting evil nonsense, as a story of interest.

After playing one supporting role after another, a superhero it could be just the thing to reestablish Megan Fox and introduce a wave of realistic female superhero characters on the big screen.

11 Natalie Portman – Never Again

As Jane Foster in the first two Thor movies, Natalie Portman played a somewhat awkward romantic match to the Norse god, but her role as an astronomer and kind soul made an opportunity for a great human character to balance Thor’s powers, and explore the Marvel cosmos.

Unfortunately, the tension behind Thor 2 was too much of a sacrifice to return to finish the journey. Jane was dropped from Thor: Ragnarok entirely, and Portman has confirmed that she has no plans to return to the franchise or the universe, outside of joking purposes.

The production on Thor 2 wasn’t limited to Natalie Portman’s dissatisfaction. After the firing of initial director, Patty Jenkins, that movie struggled to continue that first story of an alien prince dropped onto Planet Earth.

10 Common – Interested

Maybe he’s given up the dream after his success in the John Wick films, but there was a time when the rapper/actor/activist/author Common, would have been up on that screen flying around and fighting bad guys alongside a team of superheroes.

George Miller’s Justice League, an earlier version of the film nothing like the Snyder/Whedon version fans got years later, would have cast Common as the Green Lantern, John Stewart. The League also would have included Armie Hammer as Batman and Adam Brody as the Flash, along with the rest of a cast of late 2000s rising stars.

Miller went on to direct Mad Max, Hammer went on to The Social Network, and Common still became an action star anyway, but he still says he’d love to play the character in the future.

9 Terrence Howard – Never Again

Along with Ivan Vanko’s rocky characterization, another hurdle for Iron Man 2 was the replacement of Terrence Howard’s character, Rhodes. Don Cheadle eventually replaced him, and became a solid version of War Machine, but Howard reportedly still hasn’t forgiven the franchise, or his friends, for being pushed out of the Marvel Universe.

The details of the dispute are unclear, but an unfair contract renegotiation is at the center. When Iron Man became the success that it did, everything was redrawn to plan for a larger cinematic universe. Everything except Terrence Howard’s remuneration.

Maybe one day, in the future of the MCU, the behemoth of movie-making will try to offer an olive branch of another, lesser role, to mend fences. Is there an opening for a James Rhodes Sr.?

8 Bryce Dallas Howard – Interested

Careening off a starring role in the Jurassic World franchise reboot, Bryce Dallas Howard has made it clear that she has her sights set on playing a superhero next.

She expressed her interest in Captain Marvel, a role that eventually went to Brie Larson.

Howard was reportedly on the short-list for that character and likely will be for others.

Howard’s lifetime career in the film industry has been filled with blockbuster projects, after parts in Apollo 13, Spider-Man 3, and Terminator: Salvation. Once Howard successfully anchors the entire Jurassic trilogy, the timing will be perfect for her star to finally land among the super cosmos.

7 Eric Bana – Never Again

Today, the Incredible Hulk has found a place in the MCU with his comic expressiveness, monosyllable punchlines, and tormented nature, but earlier versions of the character were far less focused, according to Eric Bana, star of 2003’s Hulk movie, directed by Ang Lee.

In an interview given to the Huffington Post, Bana mentions that he’s actually glad the movie didn’t spawn any direct sequels, even though he’s proud of the what they “tried to accomplish.” Bana goes on to clarify that the movie might have been filled with too much tension and overemphasized the “dark approach.”

The push-pull between Bruce Banner and the Hulk is likely what attracted the intense character actor to the role in the first place, but today Eric Bana counts himself lucky that his career hasn’t been defined by a franchise.

6 Emily Blunt – Interested

Along with her husband, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt has also been mentioned in several superhero conversations, but she’s been around the game for a lot longer.

In an interview with Screen Rant, Blunt talks about the two roles she’s already turned down. She got an opportunity to play the Black Widow in Iron Man 2 and she was also favored for the role of Agent Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger. Even though she passed on these movies, Blunt is adamant that– scheduling and creative agreement permitting– she’s still interested in coming to the superhero family at some point.

Considering their relationship, and the superhero buzz around them both, Krasinski and Blunt are some fans’ dark horse favorites for the next Mister Fantastic and Sue Storm.

5 Christian Bale – Never Again

The Dark Knight Rises came out in 2012 and with it, the trilogy of Batman movies directed by Christopher Nolan came to a close. The outpouring of affection for Christian Bale’s version of Batman, and the nuance with which Bale tried to play the character, catapulted the superhero film into a new category.

Despite, or maybe because of, that success, Bale has declared that he has no interest in coming back to that or any other superhero universe.

In fact, in one interview, while wishing Affleck all the best on his portrayal, he goes on to declare that the actor inside the suit isn’t the priority, it’s the symbol presented by the work of art.

4 Hugo Weaving – Never Again

Fans who were excited to see Red Skull return in Marvel’s latest Infinity War may have noticed that the actor inside the skull was no longer Hugo Weaving.

Despite Red Skull’s prominence in the Captain America canon, and Weaving’s apparent initial intention to stay on for multiple pictures, he’s stated publicly that he’s not excited about getting back into that character.

When asked about his return, he offered a politely vague denial, but he made it clear that he doesn’t find the role creatively challenging.

This is interesting news from an actor who’s made a home in the genre, contributing to iconic portrayals of Red Skull, V, and Megatron.

It’s nice that Weaving has moved onto roles he’s more fulfilled by, but hopefully one day he’ll return to his comic book home.

3 Donald Glover – Interested

Donald Glover set off one of the first great internet storms when he tweeted out his desire to see a movie about a black Spider-Man. 

While promoting the animated Spider-Man series where he voiced Miles Morales, Glover reiterated that he’s still interested in the character on the big screen. A recent Spider-Man reboot already happened without Glover in the lead, but he did have a small cameo in the movie. He also has a voice part in the upcoming animated film, Into the Spiderverse.

We can only hope that an actor of Glover’s talent and rising star will be afforded the opportunity he so clearly deserves.

2 Jenson Ackles – Interested

Jenson Ackles has been building a genre empire over at Supernatural, a show in which a family of ghost hunters keep evil at bay. There have long been rumors that Ackles may make his jump into superhero features.

Ackles was first examined with the Marvel magnifying glass when he reportedly auditioned for the lead in Captain America: The First Avenger, (an audition also attended by John Krasinski) and even though that role eventually went to Chris Evans, Ackles is still keeping his options open for the future.

How would Ackles have been as Star-Lord? His tone could have been a little bit more serious, but that wouldn’t be such a bad thing with all the whimsy erupting around him. If Supernatural fans have their way, we’ll find out soon.

1 Hugh Jackman – Never Again

Most superhero roles require an actor who can believably beat someone to a bloody pulp one minute, and then rescue a cat out of a tree the next. Hugh Jackman was one of the first to blend those two emotions into one hero and wear it all on his spandex sleeve.

After twenty years playing Wolverine, Jackman wants to conclude that chapter and expand his range as an actor.

Jackman closed the book on playing the clawed superhero in the same interview when he was promoting his new movie about P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman. In the conversation, Jackman praises the opportunity to finally play the mature version of the character in Logan.

Which actor do you most want to see in a superhero role? Let us know in the comments!



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Game of Thrones Final Season Might Premiere Later In 2019 Than Expected



One of the most anticipated television series of 2019 is the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, and now there’s reason to believe the fate of Westeros won’t be decided until later in the year. The series’ eighth and final season was already delayed to allow creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss the necessary time to write the scripts, for production to take place on what will reportedly be much longer than normal episodes, and for the premium cabler (and many of the actors involved in the series) to begin building anticipation for not only the end of one of television’s biggest shows ever, but also to better lead in to the planned prequel series set some 10,000 years in Westeros’ past. 

The final season already has its work cut out for it. Not only does it have to satisfy fans of both the books and the immensely popular series, but it also has to fill a slot in HBO’s lineup that will give the network the most bang for its buck. While the series had staked out space in April for several years, season 7 premiered a few months later, in the summer of 2017. If Joe Bauer, the visual effects supervisor for Game of Thrones, is correct in his estimation, it sounds as though that could mean season 8 will hit around that time or later. 

More: Mr. Mercedes Season 2 Review: A Genre Switch Creates An Unusual Tension

Bauer said as much in a recent interview with The Huffington Post, in which the topic of the final season’s Emmy chances was broached. Bauer tole the publication: “In two years we’ll be eligible for the Season 8 work, which we’re just beginning now.” He went on to discuss how long the effects work will take, and also shared some insight into when work on the prequel spinoff will begin as well. 

“We’re going to be toiling away on Season 8 until May of 2019, so it’s eight or nine months away. But the prequel is starting to shoot in February, at least the pilot. So we’ll still have quite a lot to do on Season 8 when they’re beginning.”

Aside from eager fans being disappointed they’ll have to wait longer than (presumably) expected for the final six episodes of the series, HBO will have some interesting decisions to make when it comes to its scheduling in 2019. The network is certainly not without options when it comes to filling the April to June timeframe, as it has Big Little Lies season 2 and the second season of one of the best shows on TV so far this year, Succession. One will be an event series, and the other represents the future of HBO that’s not tied up in the history of Westeros, so some of the fun in finding out where Game of Thrones lands will be seeing what HBO puts up in its presumed place. 

Next: The Innocents Review: Netflix’s Supernatural Drama Takes Viewers On A Strange Trip

Game of Thrones season 8 is expected to premiere in 2019 on HBO. 

Source: The Huffington Post



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16 Best Netflix Original Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 4 Stuck With 0%)



Netflix is by far the biggest online subscription streaming service today. Even if you’re not a devoted fan of the platform or one to get down with some Netflix and Chill, you’ll be well aware of its presence as a global provider of “something for everyone” when it comes to film and television.

After offering a dazzling carousel of ever-changing programs and award-winning original TV content, Netflix has entered the movie business with a vengeance. It has single-handedly changed the way we consume films and has disrupted the movie industry in a big way with its distribution of top-quality cinema without the wait of a theatrical release.

With such an enormous array of films on offer, many of which have gone on to be featured in the most celebrated film awards, it’s often hard to know the treasures from the trash. As such, we’ve gathered together 16 of the best Netflix Original films the platform has to offer, as well as four of the worst ones, according to their scores on Rotten Tomatoes. This list does not include Netflix’s original documentaries, although it offers an incredible selection of docs that should most certainly be explored.

If you’ve ever sat there scratching your head, scanning through Netflix’s interminable lists of films, not knowing what to choose, then here’s a guide to what you shouldn’t miss and a few you’d be better off not wasting your time with.

With that in mind, here are the 16 Best Netflix Original Movies (And 4 With 0%).

20 Little Evil – 90%

Eli Craig, the director behind Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, is back with another horror comedy film, this time focusing on a man who believes his five-year-old stepson could very well be the spawn of Satan.

Starring Adam Scott, Evangeline Lilly, and Owen Atlas, Little Evil shows just how tough being a parent can be.

The film delicately uses humor to satirically address the role father’s play within the family unit, and the struggles that often come with being a step-parent. The cast is fantastically charismatic and the nods to classic horror films will delight Stans of the genre.

Little Evil combines tender sentimentality, comedic gags and horror at its heart, all while managing to be Edgar Wright-levels of clever. With a 90% score on RT, Little Evil has proven to be a big success.

19 Set It Up – 90%

Netflix has released a number of original rom-coms and its more recently releases are helping the streaming service establish itself as the go-to source of feel-good romances.

Set It Up is a refreshing take on a matchmaking tale, where two overworked and underpaid assistants team up to set their tyrant bosses up with each other in the hopes that their newfound love will get them off their backs.

Starring Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Lucy Liu, and Taye Diggs, Set It Up is an adorable love story that anybody who’s ever had a tough job can relate to.

It sticks to a well-known template of the rom-com genre while also paying homage to it in a clever, meta way.

This one’s a winner.

18 Gerald’s Game – 91%

Netflix’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Gerald’s Game clearly lives up to the writer’s work, as it holds a sparkling 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Directed by Mike Flanagan and starring Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood, Gerald’s Game is a psychological horror that is definitely not for the faint of heart. If you thought the remake of King’s It last year wasn’t scary enough, then you’ll certainly be satisfied with this film.

The main character spends most of the film handcuffed to a bed, but you’ll be squirming in your seat while you watch her go through the most scary mental experience to perhaps ever happen on screen.

The challenges of adapting this book to film were sizable, but Flanagan brings an calculated control and a palpable energy to his project, and the result is a faithful take on an exceptionally dark story.

17 Imperial Dreams – 91%

Intense drama unfolds as a reformed gangster returns to his family after being in prison and tries to re-establish himself in his old neighborhood amongst the crime and poverty that still prevails there.

Starring John Boyega as the lead character, Imperial Dreams is a dark yet inspiring story of a man trying to better himself for his young son and himself, while also facing the realities of the outside world where inner-city violence threatens his future plans.

Imperial Dreams is Malik Vitthal’s directorial debut. He does an admirable job of handling socially important topics while avoiding the preachy, cliched tones that so often lay heavy on dramas of the same type.

With a  91% RT score, you know you’re going to be in for a quality film.

16 The Ridiculous 6 – 0%

The godfather of Netflix Original failures, The Ridiculous 6 has almost become legendary in its pure, unadulterated awfulness.

The Ridiculous 6 is the template for everything wrong with Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison projects. Lazily offensive and very nearly unwatchable, this “comedy” Western that spoofs the classic Magnificent Seven was so reviled even during its making, that Native American cast members walked off the set, as reported by Variety.

It’s a wonder actual money was given to this project, as the jokes attempted are of the lowest kind possible.

The reason this film was given a 0% RT score is simply because there wasn’t a way to give it a negative number.

15 Beasts of No Nation – 91%

Film critics went wild for Idris Elba’s 2015 war drama, Beasts of No Nation, which vividly details the life of child soldiers in a nameless West African nation.

The film is based on the harrowing novel by Uzodinma Iweala, and sears on screen with its powerful images, its powerhouse performances, and its terror-inducing yet compelling narrative. The horrors of modern warfare are depicted in excruciating reality.

Although a hard watch, its importance is undeniable.

Beasts of No Nation was Netflix’s inaugural film, and the streaming service made the right call in trusting writer/director/producer/cinematographer Cary Fukunaga.

With a 91% RT rating, the platform certainly has a lot to be proud of with this one.

14 Deidra & Laney Rob a Train – 91%

Part comedy, part drama, part crime film, Deidra & Laney Rob a Train tells the story of two sisters who turn to train robbery after their mother gets arrested and thrown in jail.

The film is directed by Sydney Freeland and stars Ashleigh Murray (Riverdale) and Rachel Crow as the two leads.

The spirited dynamic between the two main actresses is infectious, and with a sharp, comical script, Deidra & Laney Rob a Train feels fresh, fun, and wholly entertaining.

With a 91% RT score, this crime caper has clearly been met with widespread approval. The suitably offbeat storyline will keep audiences invested in the shenanigans of these two desperate teenage sisters, who prove that with unwavering determination, they can be as unstoppable as a runaway train.

13 On Body and Soul – 91%

Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards, On Body and Soul proves that Netflix is capable of delivering great foreign language film projects.

This Hungarian film is written and directed by Ildikó Enyedi and tells the story of a man and a woman who discover that they share the same dreams at night, and set out to make them come true.

Stylistically brilliant and wonderfully acted, On Body and Soul is an entirely singular love story that is both brutal and bizarre. The story will certainly surprise you, but if you’re up for something excitingly different, this striking, sensitive romance will pull you right in.

12 The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) – 92%

Noah Baumbach is a genius at depicting the intricate, often awkward, dynamics of families, and he certainly does so with aplomb in his 2017 film The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).

Featuring a refreshingly good performance by Adam Sandler, and excellent turns from Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, and Emma Thompson, The Meyerowitz Stories delves into the relationships between the members of an estranged, dysfunctional family when they’re brought together to celebrate the artistic work of their father.

Baumbach’s insightful look into the lives of this damaged but entertaining family is a joy to watch.

With the fast-paced, quick-witted dialogue, you’ll be hooked all the way through.

This is one family gathering you won’t want to miss.

11 Father of the Year – 0%

Another unfortunate collaboration between Netflix and Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production company, Father of the Year is more like a budget sitcom than a feature film of any worth.

Woefully forgettable and clearly made in a hurry, Father of the Year sees a sloppy debate between two college graduates about whose father would win a fight escalate into a real, full-on brawl.

The film stars David Spade in a Joe Dirt-esque role, but it’s the two younger actors who play the sons, Matt Shively and Joey Bragg, who give the film any kind of semi-redeemable quality.

Sadly, this film is so lazily made and so ill-conceived that even these two can’t save the movie from simply feeling like a rough draft for something that could, with a lot more time and development, be decent.

10 Ali’s Wedding – 92%

Australian rom-com Ali’s Wedding is a delightful story of a man having to choose between following his heart or following his sense of duty after a little white lie spirals out of control.

Ali must decide if he will go ahead with an arranged marriage or cast off his duty and chase after the woman he really loves.

Director Jaffrey Walker’s film is adapted from the memoir Good Muslim Boy by Osamah Sami, who also wonderfully plays himself in the film. The cast emanates warmth and relatability, and the film as a whole is a joy to watch.

For a rom-com with a political edge, Ali’s Wedding does an admirable job of combining light-heartedness with the deeper issues at hand.

9 The Little Prince – 93%

Based on the famous 1943 French novel of the same name, The Little Prince follows the story of a little girl living in a very grown-up world, who is introduced to an extraordinary life of possibilities by her neighbor, the Aviator.

This is the first-ever animated feature of the classic tale originally written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and it is as magical and wonderful as the book it is based on.

Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer is behind the score, and Rachel McAdams, Jeff Bridges, James Franco, and Marion Cotillard all contribute their voices for the characters. If you’re looking for a tonic to the often depressing and dreary world we live in, then The Little Prince is for you.

8 Calibre – 93%

If you’re looking for an easy watch, then Calibre should not be your first choice of film. However, if you’re in need of some top-notch cinema, and you’re up for a frighteningly bleak Scottish rendition of Deliverance, then this is the movie for you.

It follows two friends as who venture into the Scottish Highlands for a hunting trip, but nothing can prepare them for what awaits them when they get there.

With beautiful cinematography and sensational acting, Calibre delves into the darkness of human nature and delivers an exhilarating, momentum-filled watch. With an RT score of 93%, this thrilling, relentless film will keep you on the edge of your seat, even as the credits roll.

7 Hush – 94%

Netflix has truly demonstrated that it is prepared to tackle every genre with gusto, and no movie proves this to be true more so than Hush.

Released in April 2016, this slasher film, directed by Mike Flanagan (Gerald’s Game) and co-written by and starring Kate Siegel, tells the story of a deaf author who must fight for her life when a masked visitor appears at her secluded cabin in the woods.

Hush holds a 94% RT score, proving that home invasion horror flicks aren’t always as predictable as audiences might suspect.

Flanagan previously directed Oculus, and has come back with a story that is both intensely suspenseful and ingeniously crafted. If you’ve fallen out of love with horror, than Hush will undoubtedly restore your faith in the genre.

6 The True Memoirs of an International Assassin – 0%

This fish-out-of-water action comedy tells the story of a mild-mannered author who accidentally gets mistaken for a deadly assassin after his publisher markets his book as a true story. Thrust into the world of international espionage of his lead character, he must learn to become his protagonist in order to survive.

Starring Kevin James and Kim Coates, the best thing that can be said about The True Memoirs of an International Assassin is that it will waste a couple of hours of your life if you need to do so.

Sadly, Netflix hasn’t done much for itself in the arena of comedy thanks to its continued reliance on Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison films. The True Memoirs of an International Assassin does little to convince us that their other comedic endeavors are any better.

5 Sunday’s Illness – 94%

Ramon Salazar’s stunning film about a mother trying to reconnect with the daughter she once abandoned is an intense look at the strength of parent-child bonds, and the intensity of familial ties.

Pain, loss, and love are all explored in a deliberate, disquieting pace. Each scene is as mesmerizing as the next, and the melodramatic nature of the film never takes away from the biting intelligence it so powerfully delivers.

It’s a wonder that more distributors weren’t waiting to snap this beautiful Spanish film up. Thankfully Netflix saw its pure, cinematic quality, and has offered it up to viewers on its platform. Netflix as the next powerhouse of arthouse cinema? It could be the case.

4 To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before  – 95%

One of the newest additions to the Netflix Originals roster is To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, a tender, sweet rom-com that hits all the right notes.

Based on the young adult romance novel by Jenny Han, this high-school story follows the story of teenage Lara Jean, played by Lana Condor, whose secret love letters are released, causing chaos in her life.

Although it plays to many rom-com conventions, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before benefits from a stellar cast, including Noah Centineo as Peter Kavinsky, as well as relatable characters and a heart-warming plot line.

If you have your reservations about Netflix teen-rom-coms, this one will certainly surprise you with its charm and quality.

3 Tramps – 95%

Romance and crime collide in director Adam Leone’s charming, breezy tale of two strangers who unexpectedly meet while trying to carry out a criminal assignment.

Starring Callum Turner and Grace Van Patten, Tramps is elevated by its leads’ dazzling performances and the palpable chemistry they bring to their on-screen characters.

This truly is an indie gem.

Its 95% RT rating shows that love capers are still very much a recipe for cinematic success.

Watching the two main characters travel the streets of New York is enough to make you want to pack your bags and head to the Big Apple for your own adventures. Beware of any briefcases you find, though– they’re more trouble than they may look.

2 Naked – 0%

Clearly someone thought pitching the idea of “Groundhog Day… but minus the clothes” was a winner, but this flop is anything but. Starring Marlon Wayans and Regina Hall, Naked follows one man’s repeated nightmare of waking up – sans clothing – in an elevator on the day of his wedding.

If you’re not convinced this is funny enough to make a movie worth watching, then your hunch would be correct.

Naked is so thinly woven together, and the storyline ends up being as annoyingly repetitive as the main character’s predicament. It’s no wonder the film has been slammed with a 0% RT score.

For a film that really tries to drive home the repetitive nature of its premise, this lackluster attempt at comedy will be forgotten as soon as the credits roll.

1  Mudbound – 96%

Netflix truly proved its status as a platform for quality content with Dee Rees’ period drama Mudbound. Starring Carey Mulligan, Mary J. Blige, Jason Mitchell, Garrett Hedlund, Rob Morgan, and a roster of other talented actors, Mudbound’s story of two families pitted against each other against the backdrop of the rural American South during World War II received acclaim from critics and audiences alike.

It’s whopping 96% on Rotten Tomatoes is a testament to its universal acceptance as a fantastic piece of cinema, and its four Academy Award nominations, including Best Supporting Actress for Blige and the first ever nomination for a female cinematographer, prove that Netflix isn’t just for binge watching episodes of Friends.

If you haven’t watched it yet, don’t miss out on catching this powerful, compelling Netflix Original.

What’s your favorite Netflix original movie? Let us know in the comments!



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Sylvester Stallone Teases Rambo 5 Return With Workout Prep Video



Sylvester Stallone has made the ultimate tease for Rambo 5 with a video revealing his workout prep gearing up for his return to the iconic role of Rambo. Whereas it was once up in the air whether or not Stallone would ever embody his classic ’80s action hero role again, Stallone is more than ready to take on Rambo once more.

The history of Rambo 5 is a tricky and muddled one. A reboot of the franchise was first confirmed in October 2016, and nobody was sure if Stallone would in fact return in the titular role. The film was then put on hold when plans for a Rambo television series, one not involving Stallone, seemed to gain steam. But when that series never received a green light, it cleared the way for Rambo 5 to take shape. It was only in May of this year that it was finally confirmed Stallone would strap in as the character of Rambo again, with Get the Gringo director Adrian Grunberg reportedly helming the project.

Related: Kurt Russell Pitched Action Movie Icon Shared Universe in the ’80s 

Now, Stallone is committed to showing his fans that he’s going all in for Rambo 5. On Friday, Stallone posted an intense workout video on his Instagram (below) showing exactly the lengths he’s going to in order to prep for playing Rambo. The video shows the 72-year-old actor flipping a huge 250 lb. weight across his gym floor and giving a little flourish of celebration when he finishes his set. Stallone’s caption reads, “Getting ready for Rambo Also just because you’ve REACHED a certain age doesn’t mean you have to FEEL that age! Keep pumping, keep punching!

Interestingly, in a 2016 interview, Stallone stamped out fans’ hopes of him returning to the character of Rambo because he was feeling too old for the physical activity the role demands. The actor said, then, on playing Rambo, “The heart’s willing, but the body says, ‘Stay home! It’s like fighters that go back for one last round and get clobbered. Leave it to someone else. Clearly, something has changed in Stallone’s mind, and it’s possible that he was even referencing his own 2016 comments with his latest Instagram post encouraging fans to not let their age limit them.

In another Instagram post earlier this month, Stallone released a teaser poster for Rambo 5 that confirmed a fall 2019 release. The script will reportedly see Rambo go up against one of Mexico’s most brutal cartels, though the story is not completely finished as of yet. With all of this attention surrounding the franchise and Stallone’s commitment to the upcoming film, one thing’s for certain: Rambo fans should gear up for a major return of the character come 2019.

More: 12 Facts You Didn’t Know About Rambo

Source: Sylvester Stallone





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20 Fan Redesigns Of Unexpected Final Fantasy Couples



Since fan artists have been putting pen to paper, paint to brush, or stylus to tablet, there’s been one area of fan art that has dominated over the rest: shipping.

No franchise is safe from the clutches of hungry fans who are desperate to make their one true pairings come to life.

The Final Fantasy series of Japanese RPGs is no exception. In fact, the series generates some of the most adorable, provocative and downright strange shipping art.

Since the first game launched all the way back in 1987, Hironobu Sakaguchi’s award-winning series has generated a huge global fanbase.

Most recently, Final Fantasy XV introduced us to Noctis, the Crown Prince of Lucis, who must defend his kingdom from an impending invasion from the empire of Niflheim.

By 2018, the game had sold more than seven million copies, proving the fandom is just as strong as ever.

With fifteen games in the main series, and several spin-offs, each introducing us to new and exciting playable characters and NPCs, there are plenty of romantic options for talented artists to explore.

A few of these pieces are sweet renditions of what could or should have been. Many of them are a little stranger, pairing platonic friends or even fierce rivals together.

Anything goes in the world of online shipping wars.

Here are our picks for the 20 Fan Redesigns of Unexpected Final Fantasy Couples.

20 Tifa and Lightning

Ask a Final Fantasy player what their favorite game in the series is, and there’s a strong chance they’ll immediately respond with Final Fantasy VII.

Award-winning and best-selling, it was a seminal game for many who grew up with the original Playstation.

The game introduced Tifa Lockhart, often regarded as a Japanese counterpart to Lara Croft.

Although the two characters have never met within the games canon, it was only a matter of time before Tifa was paired up with another popular female character, Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII).

This artist imagines them more as allies than lovers, but we can’t deny that there seems to be some chemistry there.

Lightning, with her iconic pink hair and hardened attitude hiding a heart of gold, gets a lot of attention in the shipping community. This is just the first of several examples.

19 Kain and Rydia

Final Fantasy IV proved a landmark entry for the blossoming franchise upon its release in 1991. It introduced revolutionary game mechanics, such as the Active Time Battle, that would set the standard for the series to come.

It also set a record for playable characters in the series, with 12 controllable allies with their own character class.

Two of these heroes include the Dragoon knight Kain Highwind, and dragon Summoner Rydia. The two enter a tumultuous friendship after Kain is sent to defeat the Dragon of Mist, and, subsequently, Rydia’s mother.

Although the two start off with a significant age gap at the star of the game, the story speeds things up for us.

Beginning as a seven year old girl, she is then forced to spend time in the Feymarch, a realm in which time goes faster, reducing the creepy factor for this art just a little.

18 Hope and Vanille

If Lightning’s tough demeanor and cold independence hide a soft interior, Oerba Dia Vanille is the exact opposite. A bubbly, optimistic young woman, her sunny personality masks her inner guilt and conflict.

She teams up with Hope Estheim in Final Fantasy XIII when they become victims of the Purge, and fight together to prevent the destruction of their home, Cocoon.

Due to Vanille’s additional four years of maturity, their friendship remains strictly professional and platonic. And the whole saving the world thing sort of gets in the way of any chance at romance.

This hasn’t stopped fan artists from shipping two of the most wholesome characters in the franchise’s history, though. It makes a little too much sense not to.

17 Ashe and Balthier

The swashbuckling era of Final Fantasy XII allowed players to take control of sky pirates, airship bandits and freefolk who roam the skies of Ivalice searching for adventure.

The playable character Balthier is a self-serving yet charming buccaneer who finds himself unwittingly drawn into a political conflict after an attempted robbery.

His devotion to his partner Fran, a viera warrior and fellow pirate aboard the Strahl, means that his story has little room for romance.

That hasn’t stopped this fan from pairing him up with former princess Ashe, despite, admittedly, only sharing a handful of scenes together.

16 Cloud and Zack

Although Japan is making concerted efforts to change their attitudes in recent years, the country as a whole is still behind on a number of LGBTQ issues.

This has meant that representation in their media, including video games, has been either slim or stereotypical.

This hasn’t stopped passionate Final Fantasy fans from embracing the full potential of shipping, and pairing same gendre couples together in a variety of glorious fan art pieces.

Final Fantasy VII follows the adventure of Cloud Strife, an arrogant yet heroic swordsman with a hidden past. Tragic flashbacks throughout the game elaborate on his close friendship with fellow soldier, Zack Fair.

This artist has reunited the pair, depicting them in a loving embrace that would make any aficionados of the series misty eyed.

15 Caius and Lightning

Pairing up the heroic lead with their evil nemesis is an absolute staple of the shipping community – especially in Japanese RPGs, which frequently depict the villains having a steamy subtext underlining their relationship to the hero.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 has possibly the most confusing title in video game history.

It also pits Lightning against a new antagonist, Caius Ballad, an immortal warrior engaged in an endless battle in Valhalla.

Five hundred years after his first defeat, he comes back for more in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.

Despite his insurmountable evil, his form-fitting armor, icy good looks and long, purple hair makes him some fan’s dream.

We don’t blame Lightning for being tempted over to the dark side in this case.

14 Noel and Paddra

Paddra Nsu-Yeul is one of the most mysterious characters in Final Fantasy history.

As a seeress from the ruined world of Yaschas Massif, she shares her name with another ancient seeress, who foresaw the War of Transgression.

She travels with Caius Ballad for unknown reasons, despite never acting antagonistic towards the heroes, and has a deep connection with the paradoxes throughout the timeline.

However, given her almost ethereal beauty, it’s no surprise that both fans of the game, and its writers, were keen to pair her up in a romance.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 includes a hastily put together relationship with protagonist Noel that barely gets a look in amongst the game’s other elements. At least they look happy in this piece of fan art.

13 Ignis and Noctis

Final Fantasy XV, the most recent game in the main series, takes the most grounded approach to the franchise yet.

Following the crown prince and heir to the throne, Noctis, it depicts the planet Eos as the closest we’ve seen Final Fantasy get to contemporary Earth (give or take a magic Crystal, some divine beings and a handful of magical creatures).

Noctis is engaged to Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, an Oracle who used to be the princess of Tenebrae, one of the four nations that make up Eos.

This hasn’t stopped artists from pairing him up with one of his three companions that accompany him throughout the game.

Ignis Scientia, a military tactician and Noctis’ advisor, clearly has a more intimate relationship with him thanks to the game’s ‘Active Cross Battle’ system, which incorporates cooperative attacks.

12 Zack and Aerith

The romance of Zack Fair and Aerith Gainsborough is riddled with tragedy, not least because both of their lives were prematurely cut short before they had time to realise their full potential.

It’s one of the series’ most popular couplings thanks to their early beginnings as childhood sweethearts, and passionate devotion to each other.

But did you know that this is only the case for English translations of Final Fantasy VII? That’s right, due to a mis-translation, their relationship has been blown way out of proportion from the original intention.

It still doesn’t make this fan art of the couple finally tying the knot any less cuter.

11 Hope and Lightning

Lightning is significantly older than Hope by the time they meet in Final Fantasy XIII. Significantly more experienced, mature, and essentially cooler in every conceivable way.

Her relationship to the plucky young hero is much more maternal than fan artists would have it, although, we admit, the pair might have more of a chance once Hope grows out of his naivety and into a strong-willed leading in XIII-2.

To the uninitiated, this artistic rendition of the couple appears to be mere wish fulfilment at first glance.

However, this is actually recreating the scene in Lightning Returns, in which the evil god Bhunivelze takes the form of Lightning to play with Hope’s feelings. No judgements here if omnipotent puppetry is your thing.

10 Cid and Vincent

Despite seemingly taking place throughout multiple different timelines and settings, the Final Fantasy franchise, in fact, has a number of recurring characters and elements, such as various different races as well as the comical double act Biggs and Wedge.

One of the most frequent appearances throughout the series is a character named Cid.

Usually an ally most often depicted as an engineer, he has appeared in almost all Final Fantasy media in different forms since his debut in Final Fantasy II.

He even gets his own romantic sub-plot in Final Fantasy VII, but this artist thinks he’s much better suited for mysterious Turk (spy), Vincent Valentine.

9 Aerith and Tifa

This particular pairing may be blasphemy to some who are particularly committed to Aerith’s tragic romance with Zack Fair.

However, as we’ve already explained, that romance is only the result of some shoddy translation errors, so, as far as we’re concerned, anything goes.

This art depicts a sensual scene between Aerith and Tifa.

The two have already demonstrated a strong bond during Final Fantasy VII, and, in the metaseries fan-film Advent Children, she even wears a pink ribbon to commemorate Aerith’s memory.

We wouldn’t be surprised if this took place off-screen at some point. Perhaps Tifa even taught the mourning Aerith how to love again, following the untimely passing of her first romance, Zack.

8 Sephiroth and Cloud

A return to the old favorite, ramping up the tension between sworn enemies until the temptation gives in and their rivalry transforms into romance.

An ex-SOLDIER for the Shinra Electric Power Company, Sephiroth was driven mad when he discovered his true, twisted origins. Once idolized by Cloud, he fell from grace, and attempted to conquer the Planet.

He represents the darker side of Cloud’s history and, if given a push, could tempt the hero into evil temptations.

We don’t know why Final Fantasy villains are so drawn to long, silky hair, but it’s a look that works for us, and is definitely working for Cloud in this piece of fan art.

7 Lightning and Vanille

Well, this ship is a no-brainer.

If opposites attract, the sunny disposition of Vanille couldn’t be further from the hardened outer shell of Final Fantasy XIII‘s protagonist Lightning.

That said, they both use their external personalities to mask their deeper conflicts within, so it’s only natural that the two would be naturally drawn together.

That is, if the series was a little braver on the same gendre coupling front.

This beautiful sketch art creates a tender scene between the two, a brief moment of peace between the chaos that could make way for a passionate kiss.

6 Balthier and Vaan

How could the buccaneering Captain of an airship not be tempted by Vaan’s roguish good looks, tousled hair and distinctly piratical, and revealing vest?

Vaan doesn’t play a huge part in Final Fantasy XII, but when he appears, it’s largely in service of a boring will-they-won’t-they relationship with his childhood friend, Penelo.

An orphaned street thief who, like Luke Skywalker, dreams of destroying the Empire and eventually owning an airship of his own, Vaan would be much better suited in the arms of a bona fide sky pirate like Balthier.

This art makes that dream a reality, because, let’s face it, there’s not much in the way of romance going on between Balthier and his ‘life partner’ Fran, anyway.

5 Prompto and Noctis

With its sports cars, American-style diners, and slick fashion choices, if any Final Fantasy world has invented the selfie, it would definitely be Final Fantasy XV‘s Eos – especially with Prompto around, a playful and flirty photographer who is constantly taking pictures of their travels.

As one of the game’s few royal protagonists, the prince Noctis seems a little reluctant to take part in the practise of commoners, but if anyone can convince him, it’s Prompto.

Their paparazzo companion is a little jealous of his friend’s nobility, but, as this fan art proves, class can’t stand in the way of friendship, or even romance.

4 Noctis and Lightning

Another awesome piece in the genre of characters who have never met but would still be perfect for each other.

If Noctis thinks being a prince comes with responsibilities, wait until he realises the full weight of Lightning’s burden.

As a knight anointed with the near-impossible task of protecting a literal god from Caius Ballad in XIII-2, she not only succeeds, but is then chosen by another god as the saviour of souls before the impending Apocalypse.

Talk about pressure.

If anyone deserves to settle down with a good-looking and heroic prince, it’s Lightning.

3 Rydia and Edge

Many fans will insist on both sides that this pairing is or isn’t canon.

Once Rydia leaves the Feymarch, she has grown into a young woman and, therefore, at the mercy of Edge’s persistent flirting.

Thanks to Edge’s huge crush on the young Summoner, it’s one of the most drawn couples we’ve seen for Final Fantasy, but due to his constant rejection, not all of the pieces are exactly… well, consensual.

Maybe if Edge hadn’t tried to leave Rydia and her friend Rosa behind during their adventure, which he describes as “grown-up work,” he would have stood more of a chance.

This piece thankfully puts the pair on equal footing, and depicts a tender kiss rather than Rydia giving in to his relentless pursuing.

2 Cloud and Aerith

We promised you redesigns, and this is one piece that finally takes the idea to the next level!

Cloud and Aerith wouldn’t look too out of place in Final Fantasy XV in this artwork.

They’ve decided to ditch the gloomy fantasy aesthetic and grab a milkshake with two straws in a classic American diner, complete with a juke box and a leather jacket.

Aerith is looking adorable in a pink dress, and, if anything, her Rosy Riveter style hair ribbon is even more fashionable in the 1950s.

It almost makes you forget about her romance with Zack.

1 Lightning and Fang

These two characters develop a strong bond over the course of Final Fantasy XIII and its two sequels. Fang even sacrifices herself to protect Lightning’s home world Cocoon.

Hundreds of years later, she and Vanille emerge from their crystallised shell, and Fang teams up with Lightning to try and prevent the Apocalypse.

Lightning’s saga has some of the highest stakes we’ve seen in a Final Fantasy game, with Fang experiencing the adventure right by her side.

Other than its black and white style, this piece could have been lifted straight from the game, the two characters sharing an intimate moment after almost witnessing the end of the world.

Can you think of any other unexpected Final Fantasy characters who belong together? Sound off in the comments!



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