Joaquin Phoenix Doesn’t Care About Expectations for the Joker Movie

Joaquin Phoenix says he isn’t worried about fan expectations for her performance as the Clown Prince of Crime in the Joker movie. The actor has further emphasized that he isn’t approaching Joker as a superhero comic book film, but rather as a compelling study of a character who just happens to be an iconic Batman villain.

While he’s been approached for comic book film roles in the past, Phoenix has typically steered clear of franchise movies to date and instead stuck with primarily offbeat and/or director-driven projects (see his role in next month’s quirky western The Sisters Brothers, for example). As such, most everyone was surprised when Phoenix was reported to be circling Joker, an origin movie for the titular supervillain that Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy, War Dogs) is directing and cowriting. The Oscar-nominee has officially signed on for the project since then and will be joined by a big-name ensemble that already includes Robert De Niro, Deadpool 2‘s Zazie Beetz, and GLOW‘s Marc Maron in prominent roles.

Related: Zazie Beetz’s Joker Movie Role Revealed

In an interview with IndieWire to promote The Sisters Brothers, Phoenix was (naturally) asked about Joker and how he’s handling the expectations that come with playing a comic book villain that was previously brought to life in live-action by names like Jack Nicholson, Jared Leto, and Heath Ledger in an Oscar-winning turn. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the actor is far from concerned with what fans think about him taking on the Joker role to begin with:

“I could care less. I don’t really think that much about what people think. Who cares, who cares? My approach to every movie is the same. What I’m interested in is the filmmaker and the idea of the character.”

All things considered, Phoenix’s response in this interview is in keeping with his previous comments about Joker. By his own admittance, the actor has wanted to make a relatively lower-budgeted comic book movie like Joker for years, but always envisioned it as being closer to a character study along the lines of Lynne Ramsay’s grimly meditative You Were Never Really Here (which hit theaters earlier this year, with Phoenix starring), rather than a colorful supervillain feature. In other words: Phoenix has clearly never been particularly concerned about the expectations that fans have for any film adaptation of a comic book character (be it Joker or a comparatively obscure villain), so it would arguably be odd for him to start worrying about that now.

Then again, Joker doesn’t have to deal with the same kind of expectations that other upcoming DC movies are facing, anyway. Since the film isn’t part of the Justice League continuity that started with Man of Steel in 2013, there’s greater room for Phoenix and Phillips to experiment and push the boundaries of the comic book movie genre through their film, without having to be concerned about how its reception could impact other DC adaptations in the future. That’s all the more reason for Phoenix especially to “not care” about what people think – and instead, focus on delivering a Joker performance that he feels is worthwhile and satisfying, standing on its own.

MORE: Every Joker Movie Update You Need to Know

Source: IndieWire

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Capcom Reveals Aliens Inspiration For Resident Evil 2 Remake’s Sherry

Capcom’s upcoming Resident Evil 2 takes influence from James Cameron’s Aliens for an updated twist on the character of Sherry Birkin. While both Resident Evil and Fox’s Alien franchise have become synonymous with horror movies and gaming, the two now have a bigger connection.

The recent Resident Evil 2 screenshots showed off a revamped Claire Redfield and a new look for Sherry, too. It turns out that there is a deliberate homage to Aliens hiding in plain sight. Remembering back to 1986, Cameron’s action-packed sequel saw Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley marooned with a group of Colonial Marines on the LV-426 mining colony. Alongside the hard-faced grunts, actress Carrie Henn played a young girl called Newt.

Related: Capcom Worried Fans Wouldn’t Like Resident Evil 2 Remake Changes

Speaking to Eurogamer at this year’s Gamescom, Resident Evil 2 director Kazunori Kadoi revealed how he wanted a more developed version of Sherry and used Newt as the game’s blueprint, “Newt from Aliens was something of a reference point. The first time you meet her and seeing, yeah, she’s seen some serious stuff!” He continued on how the reimagined game needed an older Sherry who has experienced more of the zombie apocalypse:

“She’s definitely someone now who feels a bit more like she has her own personality. She’s thinking in her mind and she’s got her own motivations. We’re trying to take some of that stuff that was slightly unnatural and add depth to it.”

The 1998 game turned Sherry into a plot device that helped drive the game forward and she is largely remembered for being a child in distress. With Resident Evil 2‘s update following Claire as she finds Sherry behind a pile of boxes, it also echoes the scene from Aliens where Ripley finds Newt hiding in a ventilation system. Aliens added a more human side to Ripley and it sounds like this bond is something Claire and Sherry will share in Resident Evil 2.

Capcom has asked gamers not to call Resident Evil 2 a remake and has dubbed it more of a reimagining. This wording makes sense for why developers are creating a different version of Sherry instead of a straight rehash of her old stereotype. Even though developers have clearly put more thought into 2019’s Sherry, only time will tell what classic Resident Evil fandom thinks of her changes.

Sherry isn’t the only character undergoing an overhaul, but Kadoi says that Capcom is keeping its cards close to its chest when it comes to who else has been changed and how. While the crux of the story will focus on the campaigns of Leon S. Kennedy and Claire, fan-favorite characters like Ada Wong, William Birkin, and a revamped Martin Branagh will all be back for more.

With Capcom teasing that Resident Evil 2 could be the start of a reimagined franchise, the latest iteration of Sherry could be back for more Resident Evil games in the future. Check out the new Leon, Claire, Sherry, and the rest of the gang when Resident Evil 2 returns to consoles in 2019.

More: Resident Evil 2 Remake WON’T Draw Inspiration From Resident Evil 1.5

Source: Eurogamer

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Five Years Later: Screen Rant’s Thoughts On Ben Affleck’s Batman

Today, August 22, 2018, marks the five-year anniversary of Ben Affleck’s Batman casting announcement. It’s been a roller-coaster half-decade, with an initial backlash (as is customary for Bat-characters, from Michael Keaton to Heath Ledger) making way for jokes about his initial dour presentation, debate of his propensity for killing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Sad Affleck, and endless back-and-forth on whether he’s done with the DCEU.

Presently, Affleck’s future in the role is unclear. He’s appeared in Suicide Squad and Justice League since his debut, but passed over writing and directing duties on a solo movie to Matt Reeves, whose story focuses on a younger Caped Crusader. With Justice League 2 currently not a priority for DC Films, it’s possible the DCEU may move forward with a different Bats.

Related: Batfleck: The Internet’s Craziest Reactions To Ben Affleck’s Casting 5 Years Ago

To mark the occasion, Screen Rant‘s editors have taken the time to share their thoughts on Ben Affleck – including his casting, his tenure, and his future – with a wide range of resulting opinions. Let us know what you make of Batfleck down in the comments.

Ben Kendrick

Five years ago, the superhero movie landscape was a very different place – making it even harder to imagine that the (at the time) divisive casting of Ben Affleck as the DCEU Batman would turn out to be one of the least controversial aspects of Zack Snyder’s burgeoning DC movieverse. Back in 2013, we were quick to point out why Affleck was an inspired choice for the role – and our reasoning turned out to be largely correct.

Affleck was a clever choice for an older, disillusioned Dark Knight – one that, in spite of how viewers might feel about Snyder’s larger vision, delivered the best Bat-action scenes and an interesting take on Bruce Wayne that hasn’t been explored on the big screen before; specifically, a cynical vigilante who lost faith in mankind only to rediscover his own humanity through the selfless actions of a god-like alien he nearly killed.

While the future of the DCEU is still in flux, it’s a testament to Affleck that despite all of the controversy, fanboy warring, and general disappointment, most fans still want to see the actor return to the cape and cowl for a full-fledged solo movie.

Alex Leadbeater

What’s so interesting about Batfleck is that, for all the column miles written about him in the past five years (and my opinion that his casting was the smartest move in the early DCEU), Ben Affleck never really got a proper chance to play the role. The Batman v Superman iteration is so intensely dark, then, after an afternoon cameo in Suicide Squad, in Justice League he became something akin to George Clooney’s take (and now a proper, noir adventure will be at best a prequel starring a younger actor).

The two prime Batfleck movies present two extremes that both mess with the standard interpretation; perhaps best seen in the handling of Bruce Wayne, who enters a blank slate and exits giving up trying to hide his terribly-kept secret identity (the Hall of Justice is in Wayne Manor, nuff said). I feel even Dawn of Justice doesn’t have consistency (the “Martha” moment is too abstract for the character established), but the real whiplash is of course due to Justice League’s movie-altering reshoots. While they’re typically blamed more for Superman’s mustache, they don’t leave Batman much better: he’s put out of action in the final act because his gun runs out of bullets.

Between two visions muddled by extremely different context, my enduring feeling is Batfleck deserved so much better. When Ben Affleck was cast, people were debating if he had the chin for Batman (he does); five years later, I’m debating if he ever really got anything more.

Stephen Colbert

The name of the game with the DCEU is polarization. While that was an aspect of the universe long before the casting of Batman, Zack Snyder’s choice of Ben Affleck was definitely one of the more notable controversial choices. While many people came around on him after the movie, he was inherently linked to Zack Snyder’s bold vision for the franchise.

At this time, it’s pointless to defend Affleck’s casting and performance, or Snyder’s overall creative decisions, as both have been done and will remain incomplete pieces of a larger vision. But one thing that’s become clear is that Affleck’s role and Snyder’s five-part story had something that seems rare in modern blockbuster franchises: an ending.

We didn’t understand this at the time, but Affleck as Batman was never going to be like Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man or Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. He was sold on a very specific story from the start by Snyder, and over the course of three or four movies we were going to see a fallen Batman redeemed by Superman, assemble the Justice League, then probably sacrifice himself facing Darkseid.

Now that Snyder’s vision is gone, it makes sense that Affleck also might be fading from the franchise. There are rumors he could remain involved, and there’s certainly opportunity for that, but no matter how that all turns out, it’s not going to be the self-contained story he signed on for in the first place. The bold choice of bringing him on as Batman will never be properly realized in its original intent, but hopefully we’ll still get an iconic stand-alone Batman story with Affleck out of this before it’s all said and done.

Read More: Who Was Going To Die In Snyder’s Justice League 2?

Chris Agar

Ben Affleck has long been one of my favorite people in Hollywood, and though I was surprised he signed on for Batman in the wake of his Oscar win for Argo, I always supported him in the role and felt he would make a strong Batman. While the films around him haven’t always been up to par, I can say that I very much enjoyed his take on the character and felt he proved the naysayers wrong. As someone who genuinely likes Man of Steel and doesn’t mind Batman v Superman as much as others (save for a few moments), I’m disappointed that we never got to see the culmination of Zack Snyder’s original vision, which I’m almost positive is what sold Affleck on the part.

As for his future in the role, I’m a little torn. I would like to see him continue and work with Matt Reeves on the solo film, but I’m also a big fan of Affleck’s other work. I’m interested in seeing what he can do with the McDonald’s Monopoly movie, and think his upcoming turn in The Has-Been has a lot of potential to be great. I’m rooting for the best possible outcome – whatever that may be.

Andrew Dyce

It’s hard to believe that five years has passed since Ben Affleck was announced as the next Hollywood star to put on Batman’s cape and cowl. And in every year since (and likely many still to come) the truth behind his motivations and struggles has strayed closer and farther from the facts.

So the only conclusion that will last the test of time for me personally? Ben Affleck delivered the first Bruce Wayne and Batman who felt like the one I loved reading in comic books. I was there making the argument that, despite first reactions, Affleck had shown the dramatic chops to pull off both sides of the character like few other actors before. The brooding, deeply tormented man hiding behind a suit and smile… and the Dark Knight, as if he stepped straight out of a DC graphic novel.

The bittersweet reality is that after five years of watching Affleck trudge through every reason a respected actor shouldn’t play a blockbuster superhero, I’m ready for him to hang up the cape. Not because of his performance, but because WB’s plans – seen in some of Justice League‘s most regrettable moments – are clearly not what he signed on for. And perhaps for the first time ever, the actor in the cowl doesn’t actually need the role to bolster their career.

Despite the fact that I’ll never get to see Zack Snyder’s story – the one Affleck couldn’t resist being part of – there is a bright side. Not only were my hopes for “Batfleck” exceeded in and out of the Batsuit, but the choices, moments, and lines of dialogue that had me grinning in the theatre still hit me just as hard today. And no matter what WB does next, that won’t ever change.

Next: What’s Going On With Ben Affleck’s Batman?

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How The Fox Purchase Will Affect Existing Disney Properties

As Disney gets ready to acquire 21st Century Fox, much of the discussion has centered on how the Mouse House will impact Fox properties. However, the changes will go two ways: fans should also be wondering what the merger will mean for existing Disney properties.

After putting down just over $71 billion, The Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox and its various properties will see it become one of the most powerful entertainment entities on the planet. Much has been made about what this deal will mean for the future of world media across the board, from the wide-ranging issues surrounding a media monopoly to fears over the fates of beloved properties to the ways such corporate strength could disenfranchise creators and audiences alike. Disentangling the many topics attached to such a deal is no mean feat.

Related: Every Movie Franchise Disney Has Bought From Fox

For Disney, the benefits of this kind of merger are obvious. The titans of Hollywood, arguably the most recognizable brand in the industry, have made their fortune in recent years through savvy buy-outs of beloved properties and pre-existing corporate structures to expand their reach. It’s been 22 years since the company bought the ABC network and its various subsidiaries, a deal which was considered a bad investment by many experts at the time but one that has paid off handsomely. More recently, the purchases of Star Wars and Marvel have made Disney indomitable forces at the box office. Now, the Fox deal will give them even more recognizable IPs to call their own, from Alien to Avatar to Planet of the Apes. The most notable inclusions of this deal come in the form of Fox’s Marvel properties, the X-Men series and Fantastic Four, meaning Disney now have the full deck of the franchise to play with as they see fit.

Many conversations and theories have been shared over the ultimate fate of Fox’s back-catalog in the hands of the House of Mouse: will R-rated series like Alien be put to pasture by the infamously family-oriented Disney? Will Avatar become a new power player alongside Disney’s own blockbusters? How long before the X-Men and Fantastic Four are folded into the MCU canon? What has been discussed less is what the deal will mean for Disney’s pre-existing properties, from Marvel and Star Wars to their historic slate of animated films and recent splurge of live-action remakes?

One of the most commonly accepted assumptions about the Disney-Fox merger is that it will result in less movies being released in cinemas every year. Disney already release far less than most major studios, with 2017 seeing them give only seven films major cinematic releases. Each of those movies did major business, with four of them landing in the top grossing films of the year (this extends to five if Spider-Man: Homecoming, a Sony release that took advantage of the Marvel Studios brand, is included). It’s a simple but remarkably effective strategy: why make more films and risk competing with yourself when your small pool of releases are, by and large, guaranteed to make billions of dollars? But the implications go further.

  • This Page: How Marvel & Star Wars Could Be Impacted
  • Page 2: Disney’s Remakes & Animation Plans

Avatar Could Help Star Wars Share The Tentpole Load

The common consensus has been that this strategy will affect Fox properties more than Disney ones. It seems more reasonable for Disney to put more focus on their established brands than new acquisitions, especially those that are undeniably “Disney” in style and scope. Few studios are as dedicated to all-encompassing brand synergy in the way Disney is. That could manifest in an unexpected way with James Cameron’s growing Avatar franchise.

Related: How Disney Buying Fox Could Affect the Avatar Sequels

Avatar remains the highest grossing film of all time, yet while it was an inescapable entertainment phenomenon in 2009, it hasn’t had much in the way of pop culture longevity since then. The sequels have been in extended pre-production and development since, and during that time everything that made the film so unique upon release – ground-breaking 3D, amazing special effects, the evolution of motion-capture technology – became commonplace in blockbuster cinema. The fanbase didn’t stick around much either, and Avatar remains something of an anomaly on that front: A massive hit that’s left little in terms of a cultural footprint. However, it isn’t completely absent from the conversation, as Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort opened up an Avatar-themed land to much acclaim. Now, with the sequels having release dates, this would be an interesting opportunity for Disney to put more focus on their new sci-fi franchise tent-pole.

If Avatar pays off – and historically, it has always been a bad idea to bet against the idea of James Cameron making boatloads of money – then it would give Disney the chance to take the heat off Star Wars for a while. The studio’s plan to release a new Star Wars film a year has taken a hit since the financial underperformance of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Audience fatigue feels inevitable, even with the other three films released since the Disney acquisition performing to record-breaking levels. Spacing the films out with Avatar sequels (which are expected for December releases) could offer a reprieve for audiences and creators alike and allow fans to miss the properties instead of being spoiled so thoroughly.

When Will X-Men and Fantastic Four Join the MCU?

It’s not so much a question of if the Fox Marvel properties will join the main franchise as when it will happen. Original reporting on the planned acquisition framed the major business aspects almost exclusively in terms of how Marvel would be affected by such a decision. It’s clearly the element of the acquisition that has general movie fans the most excited, and it’s the one that would offer Disney the opportunity to fully explore the ambitions of the franchise.

However, it will probably be a good couple of years before such a merger of movies happens. Fox has two X-Men movies waiting to be released: X-Men: Dark Phoenix set for next February, and The New Mutants, which had its release date pushed back to August 2019 to make way for extensive reshoots. Neither of these films will connect to the MCU, but Disney still plans to release them (although any rumors of retrofitting them into continuity are unfounded).

Related: The MCU Would Be Worse If Marvel Had X-Men Rights From The Start

The next phase of the MCU is still in the planning stages, but as films for 2020 and 2021 become set, that does push back any organically melding X-Men and Fantastic Four with the rest of the saga; they may not be around until “Phase 5”. As for Deadpool, anything could happen as the fourth wall smashing nature of the story allows for chaos in all forms.

One thing this restructure could do is allow Marvel and Disney a greater foothold in television with their properties. The division between Marvel’s film and television divisions is notoriously difficult, with Marvel TV under the control of Marvel Entertainment, while Marvel Studios goes direct to Disney. This is why shows like Jessica Jones, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Inhumans have never convinced as integral parts of this sophisticated and intertwining narrative. If bigger picture changes led to restructures, it’s possible we may see things become (slightly) more cohesive.

Page 2 of 2: Disney’s Remakes & Animation Plans

What Next For the Disney Remakes?

While Marvel and Star Wars have proven to be major money spinners for Disney, it could easily be argued that their named franchise clout lies in their recent stream of remakes. Their decision to do big-budget live-action remakes of their most beloved properties hasn’t won Disney many critical favors but the box office receipts speak for themselves. Films like The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, and even Maleficent offered the studio an opportunity to tap into that all-important nostalgia demographic, as well as a chance to update various elements for modern audiences and strengthen the brands themselves. Disney has shown no sign of slowing down with this strategy either, with Tim Burton’s Dumbo, Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin, Jon Favreau’s The Lion King and Charlie Bean’s Lady and the Tramp all arriving next year.

Related: All The Live-Action Disney Remakes In Development

The issue with a business plan like this is that it inevitably has a shelf life. It took Disney’s animation studios close to 80 years to make 56 animated films (with a skew towards recent years), but if they continue remaking them at the speed they’ve committed to then it won’t take quite so many decades to have a new crop of reimaginings. The studio are currently focusing on the most beloved properties that are the most recognizable to audiences, but soon they’ll run out of those. While it may actually be more creatively beneficial to remake the properties that were less successful as animations, it remains to be seen how excited general audiences would be for, say, a live-action version of Atlantis: The Lost Empire or The Black Cauldron.

The Fox merger does not bring many nostalgic properties that could face the same live-action remake treatment. Don Bluth’s Anastasia, a princess film itself very much in the mold of the 1990s Disney Renaissance, has experienced a nostalgic boom in recent years as well as a lavish Broadway musical. Many fans have theorized that Anastasia could benefit from similar treatment and add a new princess to the official line-up.

But, really, what the Fox properties do is provide a reason to slow or curb the remakes. These are Disney’s big brands, and so they’re using them (while struggling to get new names like John Carter or Tomorrowland off the ground). With so many more nostalgic names, then surely there’s the opportunity for a changeup.

What Next For Disney and Fox’s Animation Studios?

Disney and Pixar remain the undisputed kings of animation in American cinema. While Dreamworks and Illumination Studios have put up good fights, none of them have the illustrious lineage of Disney’s decades of work and its immeasurable influence on the industry. Fox previously tried to get into the animation game with Fox Animation Studios. They even brought legendary animator Don Bluth on board. While Anastasia did well enough, Titan A.E. lost 20th Century Fox around $100 million, and soon the entire team were laid off.

Related: Everything That Must Happen Before Disney Actually Owns Fox

Fox found better success with one of their own acquisitions, Blue Sky Studios. After Ice Age established them as real power players in animation, the studio saw big box office hits with films like Rio, The Peanuts Movie and Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! However, outside of the Ice Age franchise, their work has never reached the box office heights of, say, Frozen or Illumination’s Despicable Me series. Now, Blue Sky joins the Disney team.

It certainly wouldn’t hurt Disney to have a popular new intellectual property like Ice Age under their belt. However, it’s unlikely that Disney will yield any of their animation duties to Blue Sky, especially when they have Pixar on their team too. The most likely endgame here is a round of layoffs at Blue Sky, with some of the more talented members making their way to Disney (layoffs are expected across many areas once the acquisition is fully completed). Animation is costly and Disney/Pixar’s work tends to cost more than their competitors, so a good way to balance things out is to simply swallow up one of your bigger opponents.

The major sign of this acquisition for Disney is how even the most prominent properties gained from the deal pale in comparison to those that Disney has already made their fortunes on. While they have greater options now, the true display of their immense power lies in how they are able to categorize legendary franchises like Alien, Planet of the Apes and Avatar as their B-Team. Even if they do more with these properties than many are predicting, it seems inevitable that their franchise will lie with the tried and tested products, since that strategy has worked so well for many years.

However, the real boon for Disney with the Fox acquisition is how it gives them the freedom of time. Disney can spread their offerings more evenly across the long-term movie calendar, balancing out their key properties with favorites and unexplored treats in the Fox back-catalogue. Then, of course, there is the freedom of the slate when a decent chunk of your competition has been eliminated. Disney has the ability to do as they please in a way few studios can or ever will, and therein lies the strength of their strategy. Disney’s properties, as a result, may be bigger than ever.

NEXT: Why the Disney/Fox Merger Was Approved So Fast

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Batfleck: The Internet’s Craziest Reactions To Ben Affleck’s Casting 5 Years Ago

It’s been five years since Ben Affleck joined DC Films’ shared universe (unofficially titled the DC Extended Universe) as Bruce Wayne, aka Batman – and we’re now looking back at the craziest reactions to his casting. Affleck made his debut as the iconic DC superhero in Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016 and then he briefly reprised his role later that year in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, before making his latest appearance in 2017’s Justice League.

While all three movies were critically panned, many people have praised Affleck’s depiction of Batman (and Bruce Wayne, for that matter), while many other people have lamented it. At the moment, there’s a lot of uncertainty regarding the actor’s role in the ongoing shared universe as the Caped Crusader. Affleck still has one more DC movie on his contract, which may or may not be for Matt Reeves’ The Batman movie. If it’s not, then he could potentially appear in The Flash movie, but even that seems unlikely as the studio is reportedly moving away from the Flashpoint story arc.

Related: Screen Rant’s Thoughts On Ben Affleck’s Batman

Nevertheless, with one cameo and two main roles down, Affleck has had time to prove himself as the Dark Knight (based on the scripts he was given). While there are plenty of people who truly laud his portrayal of the character, it didn’t start out that way back in 2013, when he was first cast as Batman in the follow-up movie to Snyder’s Man of Steel.

General Outrage Over Ben Affleck as Batman

Needless to say, there were a variety of reactions to Ben Affleck’s casting as Batman, many of which were just general outrage. Of course, people picked apart Affleck’s acting career, his accent, his body, and more, the vast majority of social media users who opposed Warner Bros.’ decision expressed anger, shock, and disbelief. And it wasn’t just from the general public either, quite a few professional journalists got involved as well. Here’s one example (Source: @JillPantozzi):

What’s interesting – but not so surprising, all things considered – is that the official Twitter account for Comedy Central also chimed in on the news, saying that casting Affleck as Batman is something that only the Joker would come up with… but as a distraction. Take a look (Source: @ComedyCentral):

Since Warner Bros. ultimately cast Affleck in the role, quite a few people called out the studio for incompetence and recommended that they, perhaps, pick up a comic book every once in a while. At the time, they were still known as the studio that had just completed producing Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, which should’ve given them at least some clout in the matter. (Source: @BrianLynch, @ChaseMit)

There Were Plenty Of Ben Affleck Body Shamers

When it comes to playing a superhero like Batman, being able to physically embody the characters is just as important as getting the gravitas down. Affleck’s towering height helped him in that regard, and there’s no doubt he spent a lot of time training to not only play Batman but also look like Batman. That much can be seen on display in Batman V Superman. But long before the movie came out, one of the first things his detractors did when he was cast in the role was body-shame him. (Source: @IbrahimMuqsit, @GeorgeWarnock, @AnjunaMiami)

Some people specifically pointed out Affleck’s chin as the reason he shouldn’t play Batman, especially since that’s one of the few facial features they would see while he’s in the Batsuit. Interestingly, other people used the chin as a reason for why Affleck should play Batman. (Source: @OnlyOneLuff)

Related: Wonder Woman: The Craziest Reactions To Gal Gadot’s Casting

Ben Affleck’s Filmography & Acting Skills Weren’t Up to Par

Immediate reactions to Affleck’s casting as Batman, of course, drew comparisons to his portrayal of Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil. Over the years, several actors have managed to play multiple superheroes and/or roles in rival comic book movies. For instance, Chris Evans played both Johnny Storm and Captain America, and Ryan Reynolds played both Green Lantern and Deadpool. While some actors have been given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to superhero redemption, Affleck wasn’t awarded the same courtesy by his vocal detractors. (Source: @benshapiro, @jarpad)

Even though Affleck had, by this point, starred in several acclaimed films as well as directed an Oscar-winning movie, he was still being judged on a relatively small timeframe from the early 2000s, particularly his involvement in Gigli – which is considered one of the worst movies ever made, not to mention one of the biggest box office bombs of all time. No matter how much time passes and how much Affleck tries to redeem himself, it appears that film may follow him around for the rest of his career. At least, it did come back to haunt him when he joined the DCEU.

Nobody Wanted a Batman With a Boston Accent

Bruce Wayne/Batman has been played by numerous actors over the years, each with different accents – but a Batman with a Boston accent was taking things a bit too far, apparently. And what’s interesting about that is Affleck’s accent isn’t even prominent. Everyone’s okay with Englishmen playing Batman (Christian Bale) and Superman (Henry Cavill), but someone from Boston playing Batman was an automatic no-go. (Source: @kissmycassidy)

To conclude things, a petition even launched, demanding WB remove Ben Affleck as Batman because his acting skills weren’t “even close to being believable as Bruce Wayne,” not to mention there was the idea that he wasn’t “intimidating enough” for the role, to strike fear into the hearts of his enemies. Given Batman’s not-so-subtle introduction in Batman V Superman, it’s fair to say Affleck had that part down from the get-go. But, after all this time, the question remains, is Ben Affleck a good Bruce Wayne and a good Batman?

More: What’s Going On With Ben Affleck’s Batman?

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The DCEU Has Been Setting Up Green Lantern From The Very Beginning

The Green Lantern Corps movie remains in a developmental stage but the emerald space cops already have a place in the DC Extended Universe. Since Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel established what has now become a sprawling shared universe, Green Lantern and his accompanying mythology were carefully seeded from the start. Therefore, when Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and the rest of the intergalactic corps of ring-slingers formally arrive, they’ll find their place at the table has already been set.

Currently, the next Green Lantern film is being penned by Geoff Johns, who has indicated his new script will “celebrate the mythology and reinvent it in a different way.” This seems to indicate Johns’ film will take a different approach from the failed 2011 Green Lantern that starred Ryan Reynolds. That movie hewed very closely to the acclaimed run of DC Comics masterminded by Johns, which introduced all of the classic tropes like the planet OA, the Guardians of the Universe, the fallen Lantern Sinestro, and the evil Parallax. The upcoming reboot is sure to glance with these aspects, but perhaps it may also borrow from the more “hard sci-fi” edge of the recent Green Lantern: Earth One graphic novel.

Related: How Mark Wahlberg As Green Lantern Fit In Zack Snyder’s Justice League Plans

This is just the latest attempt to bring Green Lantern to the DCEU. A previous version was described as a “buddy cop” movie for Hal Jordan and John Stewart, and actors ranging from Mark Wahlberg to Tom Cruise at various stages. At the moment, there’s no casting movement, but that doesn’t mean Green Lantern is far off from being a part of the DCEU. In fact, whenever the Corps arrive, they should slot right in thanks to some nifty setup for a space-faring army of Emerald Gladiators.

  • This Page: How Man of Steel Set Up Green Lantern
  • Page 2: Justice League Showed An Ancient Green Lantern

Man of Steel Made The DCEU Cosmic From The Start

By beginning the DCEU with Superman, the films properly launched a universe. Superman is, of course, an alien and the fact that he is a strange visitor from another planet is the source of much of the conflict in the DC movies. As is traditional, the opening of Man of Steel took place on Krypton, establishing the race of beings who gain godlike powers when exposed to the light of Earth’s yellow sun. Later in the film, as Clark Kent learns about his heritage from a hologram of his birth father Jor-El (Russell Crowe), he discovers that the Kryptonians were a space-faring race that spent centuries seeding and terraforming planets with massive devices called World Engines.

Though the Kryptonian race is now extinct outside of Superman, the villains he trapped in the Phantom Zone and possibly Supergirl, they brought their civil war to Earth and devastated Metropolis and other parts of the world in the process. However, only Superman fought the rogue Kryptonians; no Green Lantern aided the Man of Steel. Nevertheless, aliens are now a fact of life in the DCEU. For a while, Superman himself was a mistrusted symbol of controversy; he was so feared by Batman (Ben Affleck) that the Dark Knight plotted to kill the Man of Steel in Batman v Superman. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) began studying and cataloging the rise of superhuman beings on Earth and became aware of an even greater alien threat, the New Gods of Apokolips, who would eventually invade in Justice League.

Related: Tom Cruise As Green Lantern Rumors Explained

While the name “Green Lantern” is never uttered in Man of Steel or Batman v Superman, all of this points to the DCEU as a vast cosmos teeming with worlds that need protecting from evil menaces that definitely exist, especially since Superman and the Justice League are only focused on defending the Earth.

Carol Ferris Debuted in Man of Steel

There were no Lanterns in the movie, but Man of Steel still dropped a big Green Lantern Easter egg by introducing United States Air Force Major Carrie Farris (Christina Wren), who was the aide of General Calvin Swanwick (Harry Lennix). Farris also briefly appeared in Batman v Superman. The name “Carrie Farris” is a rework of Carol Ferris, the classic love interest of Hal Jordan who also becomes Star Sapphire, one of Green Lantern’s enemies. In the 2011 Green Lantern, Carol was portrayed by Blake Lively, and was the heir to the Ferris Aircraft corporation as well as being a fighter pilot herself.

Though Carrie Farris has no obvious relation to Carol Ferris or Hal Jordan outside of her name being a subtle allusion, it indicates that Zack Snyder was at least thinking about Green Lantern in the early stages of plotting out the DCEU.

Page 2: Justice League Showed An Ancient Green Lantern

Wonder Woman Introduced The Magical Side of The DCEU

Continuing the efforts of Snyder’s films, Wonder Woman wove magic and the Greek gods into the fabric of the DCEU. Princess Diana of Themyscira is a demigod whose father was Zeus, and her destiny was to be the god-killer who would vanquish Ares (David Thewlis), which she achieved during the First World War. Wonder Woman’s Amazonian history not only intersects with Green Lantern during Steppenwolf’s first invasion in Justice League, but it could also tie into it in a different way.

The original Green Lantern in the Golden Age comics of the 1940s was a hero named Alan Scott, who wore a mystical Power Ring that derived its energy from an ancient green flame, as opposed to the alien technology of the Green Lantern Corps. Though there’s been no mention of any of this in the DCEU, the foundation of magic (which also greatly factors into Shazam!) now exists for Geoff Johns’, who also penned a popular run of comics about Alan Scott and the Justice Society of America, to weave the mythology of the Golden Age emerald warrior into his reinvention of the Green Lantern Corps.

Justice League Showed An Ancient Green Lantern

Although Steppenwolf did gloats “no Lanterns” in the Justice League trailer, the words “Green Lantern was never actually said in the film (likely due to the major edit changes). However, Justice League did show a Green Lantern, albeit one who fought for Earth in the distant past. As Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) explained to Batman, five thousand years ago, the Parademon armies of Steppenwolf attacked the Earth, with the Apokoliptian general planning to use three Mother Boxes to create the Unity and terraform Earth into another fiery hellscape like his own homeworld. Steppenwolf was defeated by the combined forces of the Atlanteans, the Amazons, the armies of Man, the Greek gods, and also, a Green Lantern. This Emerald Gladiator was Yalan Gur, who was the protector of Space Sector 2814 (which contains Earth). Sadly, Gur was killed by Steppenwolf during the battle and his Power Ring was seen escaping to seek out a new wearer.

Yalan Gur in Justice League clearly established that Green Lanterns exist in the DCEU – or at least they did millennia ago. There was have been no mentions or sightings of Green Lanterns since. Fans can infer that Earth no longer has a Green Lantern protecting it since none appeared to fight off the two most recent invasions by Krypton and Apokolips. Steppenwolf himself was more concerned with Superman than he was that a Lantern might show up to stop him a second time.

Related: Every DC Movie Supposedly Filming In 2019

However, there was a scrapped Justice League post-credits scene planned early on that would show popular Green Lanterns Kilowog and Tomar-Re meeting Bruce Wayne. Instead, it was replaced in the final film by the scene with Lex Luthor and Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello) forming the Legion of Doom.

Next: Casting Green Lantern Corps For The DCEU

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How Godzilla Originally Beat Mothra (& What Could Happen In King Of The Monsters)

In Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the Monster-verse is expanding with three kaiju brethren joining Godzilla and King Kong. Among them is Mothra, one of the more famous of Toho’s monsters, and an old friend of Godzilla’s. Starring in Warner Bros. and Legendary’s blockbuster sequel means a lot of new eyes on the oversized bug, but the creature has been a pillar of the kaiju genre for quite some time.

Indeed, Mothra’s history in the realm of giant beasts stomping all over the world is decades old, and a lot of it is tied directly to Godzilla itself. What’s more, Mothra is one of the more interesting additions to the overall roster, having a pronounced quasi-supernatural element and being a more direct representation of the wonder of Mother Earth.

RELATED: Godzilla: King of the Monsters – Rodan, Mothra & Ghidorah Explained

Godzilla: King of the Monsters will be a defining chapter in the ethereal creation’s existence, being the biggest stage and, likely, audience she’s ever had. Here’s a look back at Mothra and Godzilla’s time together so far.

  • This Page: Mothra And Godzilla’s Previous Encounters
  • Page 2: What Mothra’s History Tells Us About King of the Monsters

Mothra And Godzilla’s Previous Encounters

Mothra’s first big screen appearance came in a movie of the same name in 1961. Directed by Ishiro Honda and written for the screen by Shin’ichi Sekizawa, Mothra is an adaptation of the serialized novel The Luminous Fairies and Mothra by Takehiko Fukanaga, Shinichiro Nakamura, and Yoshie Hotta. Intended as a change from the norm of Toho’s monster pictures to date, Mothra is a giant bug instead of a dinosaur or dragon, and she’s always been explicitly female.

Her origin is essentially a riff on King Kong; the egg that will hatch the giant moth is worshiped as a god by a population who live on an isolated tropical island (known as Infant Island), and interference from greedy travelers causes the creature to lash out and nearly level a city. But where it differs from King Kong is an explicitly magical element that includes telepathy and two fairy keepers (12” tall creatures that Mothra responds to called the Shobijin), and the overarching backdrop of radiation from nuclear tests that Rodan and Godzilla also already used.

A mainstay of the Showa period of the 1960s, Mothra made several appearances throughout the decade. Her return after her titular outing was 1964’s Mothra Vs. Godzilla, wherein the bug is tasked with protecting the city of Nagoya from the rampaging lizard. Here, it’s clarified that Mothra can reproduce through laying eggs, and that as the movies go on, there will be new generations of the Monster Goddess. The original Mothra, already dying of old age, is killed by Godzilla’s atomic breath, but an egg of hers hatches to spawn a pair of massive larvae who manage to ward off the big G, sending them back into the ocean.

Related: Godzilla 2’s Other Monsters Teased By The Monarch Website

That picture preceded Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster in December 1964, the central inspiration for Godzilla: King of the Monsters. There, Mothra is the one pure protagonist of the four beasts, trying to get everyone together to stop Ghidorah destroying earth. Godzilla and Rodan are too caught up in their own feud and destruction to care, forcing the larval Mothra to take on Ghidorah herself and lose. The other two, inspired to see a greater good through Mothra’s sacrifice, come together and the three see Ghidorah off in magnanimous fashion, the larva riding Rodan’s back to plant the multi-headed monstrosity with her webbing ability.

In 1966, a fully-grown Mothra assists Godzilla in battling the deep-sea monster Ebirah in Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, before most of the kaiju roster to date would star in 1968’s Destroy All Monsters, one of the defining and final works of the Showa era. A new larval Mothra attacks Beijing as part of the international onslaught the monsters of Monster Island inflict while under the control of the alien race the Kilaaks, eventually helping to take down both Ghidorah and the Kilaaks’ Fire Dragon in the climactic battle.

Mothra would remain dormant for over two years before returning in 1992’s Godzilla Vs. Mothra. The Heisei period of the mid-eighties through the nineties brought a new canon to Toho’s franchise, and Mothra’s origin was now as a guardian of an ancient race of people on earth who battle and defeated Battra, the black Mothra. This movie features another Mothra born from an egg and details the cocoon stage on-screen, seeing the larva growing to become the giant, wondrous moth. Joining forces with the back-from-the-dead Battra, the two defeat Godzilla, who had been rebooted to be more villainous.

Read More: It Looks Like Mothra Has Multiple Forms In Godzilla: King of the Monsters

She then got her own trilogy beginning with 1996’s Return of Mothra that establishes its own continuity. Here, the hero is known as Mothra Leo, in a story spanning two time periods, modern day and the Cretaceous period. Mothra Leo defeats classic kaiju Desghidorah, newer pollution-based beast Dagahra and, finally, King Ghidorah in a self-sacrificing end to the arc. Mothra features prominently in the Millenium era too, most notably defeating Gigan in the explosive Godzilla: Final Wars, the 2004 blockbuster that celebrated 50 years of the Godzilla franchise.

Page 2 of 2: What Mothra’s History Tells Us About Godzilla: King of the Monsters

What To Expect From Mothra In Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Mothra has the potential to be the stand-out gargantuan of Godzilla: King of the Monsters because of how ethereal and different she is. Her being a giant bug makes her distinct to the other three scaly stars of the work and her fantasy-element lends some mystery to the narrative. This iteration of the universe is dark and relatively grounded in that everything has some form of science behind it (even if that science is loose). There won’t be any subtitled kaiju conversations here, but telepathy and fairies is pretty necessary to Mothra and working them in might require some suspension of disbelief on behalf of the audience.

The Godzilla 2 trailer has already demonstrated that Mothra will have some magic to her. We see her three major forms: the larva; her wings spreading out after growing inside her cocoon; and emitting blinding light. These shots are the most tranquil of the footage; the glimpse of the larva brings to mind Dr. Alan Grant and the kids in Jurassic Park patting the Brachiosaurus. The wings unfurling is one of the most breath-taking images revealed so far, her mighty appendages stretching to meet the widescreen frame, emanating a calming blue glow, the human base absolutely dwarfed by the majesty. Finally, there’s her God-rays, something that made her viewed as otherworldly in the past and shows how she can be useful in a fight. Clearly, Mothra’s presence is different – she doesn’t bring devastation with her like the other monsters, she’s something else.

The plot of Godzilla: King of the Monsters looks to derive heavily from Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster, although from all evidence Mothra is probably the arc that changes the most between that film and this. We know she grows during the movie, which already deviates from the 1964 production, and her larval form taking on the three-headed dragon and losing probably won’t happen. The Monarch website that teases details about these kaiju, or “Titans,” has the Queen of the Monsters as a creature worshiped by different peoples throughout history, populations developing cults around the massive luminescent bug who had the power to shatter the sky. The company has found her in a crystallized state, with her vitals gradually rising as the events of the movie draw closer and closer.

One theory suggests Vera Famiga’s Dr. Emma Russel and Millie Bobby-Brown’s Madison Russel will be the “fairies” that can communicate with Mothra. It’s a sound prediction that ties the two big stars to a monster and provides a potentially scientific way around this key mythological aspect; we know Madison can control the monsters, and the idea that these two somehow maybe imprint on the titan during the larval sense is a sensible workaround. Depicting the Shobijin as seen in Toho, or described in the novel The Luminous Fairies and Mothra, is dicey territory for an American production for a number of reasons, and this leans into the mother-daughter, Mother Earth, reincarnation ideas that surround Mothra without going into the oriental mysticality.

Mothra is something to be excited for in Godzilla: King of the Monsters because she actually has a character beyond “Big Thing That Causes Destruction”. There’s a lot of interesting narrative potential because she doesn’t come from a place of fear or anger – she’s about the cyclical, inter-woven power of existence. Going by the little we’ve seen of her so far, there’s a different energy to her than the others, and that’s nothing to be afraid of. Unless giant bugs aren’t your thing, that is.

Next: Godzilla 2 Trailer, Cast, Every Update You Need To Know

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Who Will Be Danny Boyle’s Bond 25 Replacement? We Expect Someone Safe

Danny Boyle has left Bond 25 – who could replace him as director? James Bond is the longest, consistently-running movie franchise around, but its history is more focused on the man who plays 007 and the producers pulling the strings, meaning the director fills a rather ignominious role.

That set up actually seems to be why Boyle left the project. The Oscar-winning filmmaker jumped aboard earlier this year after a script by Trainspotting collaborator John Hodge was approved by rights owners Eon, producer Barbara Broccoli and star Daniel Craig. By all accounts, this take was going to take Bond in a bold, new direction. However, that appears to have proven too much for the powers that be, with creative differences in the direction leaving an empty directors chair and a return to a previous, undoubtedly safer Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (who’ve had a hand in every script since The World Is Not Enough in 1999).

Related: James Bond Desperately Needs New Writers

Since Boyle’s departure, several favorites have emerged. Chief among them is Christopher Nolan, who’s previously expressed an interest and has homaged Bond in multiple films, and Christopher McQuarrie, who’s worked wonders with the rival Mission: Impossible series. However, both of these – and many other names raised – are strong, creative voices just like Boyle who are likely to want screenplay control and most certainly will want to put their own stamp on the character (Nolan even previously ruled himself out of Bond 25, making clear he’d want a totally fresh start).

This sort of auteur Bond movie fans are clamouring for is quite a new quirk. It really only began with 2012’s Skyfall where Oscar-winner Sam Mendes delivered a deconstructive, self-questioning take for the franchise’s 50th anniversary (using a script by John Logan in collaboration with Purvis & Wade). There’d been more artistic Bonds before that – Casino Royale and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service being the most successful – but it wasn’t what the franchise was known for. Its directors delivered on formula, and would often come back for many more: six men have directed 19 of the 24 films so far, and the styles are mostly imperceptible to casual audiences outside of other era-specific trends and influences. It’s counter to how we discuss modern franchise films (even Marvel push the director stamp) but, evidently, it’s believed to work still.

Boyle was a coup for Bond, widely believed to be the result of Craig wanting to get a great final entry after a rocky tenure. However, as the departure announcement highlights the actor, it feels as if the creative differences would appear to run deeper than producers. Further, it suggests that we’re going to see a return to the old school approach of what’s been the series backbone. That doesn’t really fit Nolan, McQuarrie or any other names being bandied about – that’s not what Boyle’s departure has opened up.

Add in that Eon still looks to be aiming for the November 2019 release date (a similar rushed production turnaround that they attempted with Spectre) and you need above all someone who can deliver. Martin Campbell, who started off both Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig’s tenure with aplomb in GoldenEye and Casino Royale, is available and perhaps should be treated as a front-runner, while a game-playing up-and-comer with verve a la Gareth Edwards would be a suitable alt. What seems likely for Bond 25‘s eventual director is an understated choice, but that’s really what 007 needs.

Next: James Bond 25: Everything You Need To Know

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James Bond 25: Everything You Need To Know

One of the longest-running franchises in cinematic history, famed spy 007 will return in the upcoming Bond 25. The film sees Daniel Craig (who has been in the role since 2006’s Casino Royale) return to the fold. After the divisiveness of Spectre, many thought the series would enter a new era, but Craig is hoping to end his tenure on a high note with another exciting mission. Here’s all you need to know about the sequel.

  • James Bond 25
  • Release Date: November 9, 2019
  • Cast: Daniel Craig
  • Director: N/A
  • Writer: N/A

Last Update: August 21, 2018

Daniel Craig Plays James Bond For the Final Time

After Spectre, it looked like Craig’s tenure as 007 was over. Not only did the film’s ending send the spy literally riding off with his love, Craig himself seemed over the franchise. He was particularly prickly during Spectre promotion, at one point saying he’d rather slit his wrists than portray the character again. However, he later changed his tune and signed on for one more mission, saying he wants to conclude his time as Bond on a high note with Bond 25.

Read More: Bond 25 Is Daniel Craig’s Next Movie

No Bond 25 Supporting Cast Is Confirmed

Several of Bond’s MI6 allies from Skyfall, including Ralph Fiennes’ M, Naomi Harris’ Eve Moneypenny, and Ben Wishaw’s Q returned for Spectre. It’s reasonable to assume they’ll all be back for the next sequel, but nobody is officially signed on at this point in time. Presumably that will change soon, since Bond 25 needs to start filming soon to make its release date.

Read More: Naomi Harris Unsure If She’ll Be In Bond 25

Christoph Waltz Won’t Play Blofeld In Bond 25

Two-time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz was cast as Spectre’s main villain, revealed to be famed Bond nemesis Ernst Blofeld. In the film, he also went by the name Franz Oberhauser and was Bond’s foster brother. Blofeld was left alive at the end of Spectre, seemingly as a way to carry him over into a sequel. However, Waltz has gone on record to say while he would have liked to come back, he will not be returning to the franchise.

Read More: Christoph Waltz Will Not Be In Bond 25

Helena Bonham Carter is Rumored For Bond 25 Villain

Bond villains are cinematic legend at this point, so there’s always much interest in who will torment 007 next. With Waltz out of the picture, that distinction could fall to Helena Bonham Carter, who is reportedly at the top of the producers’ list for the antagonist. Carter has played a wide range of characters throughout her career, so she would be a strong fit.

Read More: Helena Bonham Carter Rumored For Bond 25

Bond 25 Does Not Have An Official Title

As many fans know by now, Bond 25 is merely a placeholder for the film’s official name, which will be revealed at some point in the future. One of the bigger rumors about the film indicates it will be called Shatterhand and draw inspiration from the novel Never Dream of Dying by Raymond Benson. The plans for Bond 25 seem to have changed since that speculation came out, so viewers shouldn’t read too much into that right now, however.

Read More: Bond 25 Rumored Title & Villain Details

Beyonce May Record Bond 25 Theme Song

One of the franchise’s most noteworthy trademarks is the song that plays over the stylized opening credits sequence. Every film sees a different artist lend their talents – to varying degrees of success. Bond 25 might bring out the big guns by recruiting none other than Beyonce to sing the tune. Arguably, Adele’s “Skyfall” is the bar for themes in the Craig era, so it’ll be interesting to see if Beyonce (or whoever takes the job) can try to match the Oscar winning number.

Read More: Beyonce Rumored To Record Bond 25 Theme Song

Bond 25’s Distribution Rights

When Craig first took on the role in 2006’s Casino Royale, it marked the beginning of MGM’s partnership with Sony, who distributed the films worldwide. That contract was for four films, meaning it expired with the release of Spectre. Hollywood became embroiled in an intense bidding war for the Bond rights, with several major studios vying for the tentpole. In the end, it was indie upstart Annapurna Pictures that landed the domestic rights, with Universal securing international. Bond is one of the biggest properties worldwide, so there’s lots of money to be made here.

Read More: Bond 25 Production & Distribution Details Confirmed

Bond 25 Has No Director

Earlier this year, it was reported Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle would call the shots on Craig’s last 007 adventure, a prospect that excited many. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be, as Boyle departed the project due to creative differences. It’s unknown what exactly transpired behind-the-scenes, but now the film need to find a new director quickly. Production was set to begin by the end of the year in order to meet the November 2019 release date.

Read More: Danny Boyle No Longer Directing Bond 25

Bond 25 Has No Official Writer

When Boyle was attached, the Bond 25 script was set to be written by Trainspotting scribe John Hodge – injecting the franchise with some much-needed new blood in regards to writing. But now that Boyle has left the project, it’s reasonable to assume Hodge is going with him. Earlier in development, the studio was debating Hodge’s script or one written by Bond veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

Read More: James Bond Desperately Needs New Writers

Bond 25 Begins Filming December 2018

With a planned November 2019 release date, the expectation is for Bond 25 to be in production later in 2018. This would give the creative team plenty of time to complete the project ahead of its premiere. For comparison, Skyfall began filming in November 2011, and Spectre was in front of the cameras in December 2014.

Read More: Ben Wishsaw Thinks Bond 25 Will Start Filming This Year

Bond 25 Does Not Have a Trailer or Poster

Since the film hasn’t started shooting yet, there are no marketing materials available. Odds are, nothing will come out until early 2019.

More Bond 25 News

  • Naomi Harris Unsure If She’s Returning
  • Christopher Nolan ‘Categorically’ Rules Himself Out As Bond Director
  • James Bond Movie Rights Could Be Part of MGM Sale

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Is Suicide Squad 2 Still Happening?

The development of Gavin O’Connor’s upcoming sequel Suicide Squad 2 has been slow, as Warner Bros.’ slate of DC movies continues to grow. Recently we learned that star Will Smith will film at least two more movies – Bad Boys 3 and Bright 2 – before he begins work on Suicide Squad 2. Meanwhile, Margot Robbie’s popular portrayal of Harley Quinn is set to lead a Birds of Prey movie, and potentially also a Joker/Harley movie. Amid all of this, many DC fans are wondering if Suicide Squad 2 is still on the cards at all.

The first Suicide Squad ended up in something of a strange place between success and failure. It was certainly profitable at the box office, with a $746 million worldwide gross, but the hype built up by its excellent trailers swiftly died off when it was savaged by critics, and ticket sales dropped off steeply after a muscular opening weekend. Then, just to swing things back in the other direction, Suicide Squad went on to win an Oscar – the first DC movie to do so since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

Related: Predicting DC’s 2020 Release Slate

Scheduling filming would likely have proved tricky regardless of how well the first movie performed critically and financially, since Smith and Robbie are both very in-demand actors, and Warner Bros. has a huge number of DC projects in development. At this point, there’s no reason to believe that Suicide Squad 2 has been canceled, though it does appear to have been deprioritized. Here’s what we know so far about the sequel – and when to expect it.

  • This Page: Cast Details, Filming Details, and When To Expect Suicide Squad 2
  • Page 2: Why Suicide Squad 2’s Delay is a Good Thing

Suicide Squad 2 Will Film in Late 2019 At The Earliest

In all likelihood, we probably won’t see Suicide Squad 2 in theaters until summer 2021 – late 2020 at the absolute earliest. The movie was originally supposed to begin filming in March 2018, which has obviously been and gone, and and between Smith’s filming commitments and Birds of Prey being prioritized as the next project for Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Suicide Squad 2 has gravitated towards the back-burner.

O’Connor was supposedly attached to a Green Hornet movie from Paramount Pictures, but there’s been no forward momentum on that since it was announced in 2016, so that may be dead in the water. There’s also been no further news of Atlantic Wall, the Bradley Cooper-starring World War II drama that O’Connor became attached to at around the same time. According to Geeks WorldWide, O’Connor is set to begin filming sports drama The Has-Been (starring Ben Affleck) in October 2018, so Suicide Squad 2‘s delay actually works out well for him in that regard.

There is a risk of Suicide Squad losing its director if there are further delays, since he obviously can’t be expected to wait around forever, but for the moment O’Connor still appears to be on track to direct. He’s currently working on the movie’s script alongside 12 Monkeys actor Todd Stashwick and David Bar Katz (The Pest).

Related: Is Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam In Suicide Squad 2 or Not?

Most of the Cast Will Return

As far as we know, the original main cast of Suicide Squad are all set to return in Suicide Squad 2 – possible even Jay Herndandez, whose character El Diablo sacrificed himself at the end of the movie. Earlier this year, Joel Kinnaman shared a photo of himself, Hernandez, and Captain Boomerang actor Jai Courtney at the gym with Suicide Squad’s personal trainer Brendan Johnston. Kinnaman didn’t explicitly say that they were training for Suicide Squad 2 (even if they were, this was a long away off from the movie’s planned production start), and it’s possible they simply became gym buddies after making Suicide Squad. However, given that El Diablo is an Aztec fire demon, the idea of him being “killed” in a fiery explosion was always a little suspect. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if he made a comeback in the sequel – especially since, in an earlier version of the movie, he survived.

The casting lineup isn’t official at this point, but since filming is being scheduled around Robbie and Smith’s commitments, it’s safe to assume that Harley and Deadshot will be back. Given the Suicide Squad’s often-changing lineup in the comics, it also wouldn’t be surprising if the sequel added some new faces – for example, Aquaman villain Black Manta, who is being set up to appear elsewhere in DCEU, according to actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

Page 2: Why Suicide Squad 2’s Delay is a Good Thing

Suicide Squad’s Mistakes

Suicide Squad‘s Achilles heel was a lack of proper development. Director David Ayer wrote the script in six weeks and then basically jumped straight into production, with Warner Bros. eager to get the burgeoning DC Extended Universe off the ground. As a result, the story and characters were still being worked out while the movie was filming, and Suicide Squad was heavily changed in reshoots – with Jared Leto’s role as the Joker cut down to barely a fraction of what it once was. “This thing was a beast,” Ayer said, while explaining how so much ended up on the cutting room floor. “We had over a million and a half feet of footage.”

Compare that to last year’s Wonder Woman, which notably had no deleted scenes and a relatively conservative budget of $150 million (Suicide Squad is said to have cost as much as $250 million after reshoots). Wonder Woman‘s script was a long time in development, with many different writers taking a turn at it and experimentation with different settings, like the Crimean War instead of World War 1. “We had more writers working at the same time than I’ve ever done,” producer Charles Roven told Collider. “In the history of all the movies that I’ve done, it never worked out that way before.”

Related: Every DC Villain Movie Warner Bros. is Developing

Full screenplay credit eventually went to Allan Heinberg, but the script had major contributions from Zack Snyder, Allan Heinberg, and Jason Fuchs, and Roven said that “[Producer] Geoff Johns and Patty [Jenkins – director] did a tremendous amount of collaboration” as well. Having a lot of cooks in the kitchen doesn’t always work out well for movies, but in Wonder Woman‘s case it served up a tightly-produced movie that pleased audiences and critics alike, and gave the DCEU a much-needed win. With all that in mind, Suicide Squad 2 getting a full two years of development before the camera start rolling can only be a good thing.

Suicide Squad 2 Is an Important Project For the DCEU

From what we can tell based on the occasional updates, Warner Bros. seems to be trying to move on from the DCEU’s failures and focus on building new successes. This year will see the release of an Aquaman solo movie, while next year will bring Shazam to the big screen for the first time, debut a new Joker played by Joaquin Phoenix, and continue the DCEU’s one undeniable hit in Wonder Woman 1984. Conversely, we’ve heard very little about Man of Steel 2 or Justice League 2 beyond rumors, and Matt Reeves’ The Batman will reportedly feature a new, younger actor as Bruce Wayne, replacing Ben Affleck.

But, as previously mentioned, Suicide Squad wasn’t a clear-cut failure like, say, Justice League. As with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, there was actually something of a divide between fan and critic opinions on David Ayer’s movie, and even if it didn’t quite come together as a complete picture, it certainly had plenty of great ingredients. The costumes, character design and make-up were all striking (as evidenced by that Oscar win), and the movie had a strong core cast: Smith as grizzled assassin Deadshot; Robbie juggling comedy and craziness as Harley Quinn; and Viola Davis as the ruthless puppet-master Amanda Waller.

Given proper development, better editing, a better-structured story and perhaps even a few new team members thrown into the mix, Suicide Squad still has the potential to become the DCEU’s own Guardians of the Galaxy – a colorful ensemble of bad guys to contrast with the more clean-cut superheroes. Let’s hope we get to see the Squad’s next outing sooner rather than later.

More: Every DC Movie Supposedly Filming in 2019

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