How Shazam’s ‘Mary Marvel’ Actress Secretly Joined The DCEU

Shazam! fans always knew Billy Batson’s story could be something special, even in a blockbuster genre already filled with superheroes. But even the most confident comic fans didn’t ever expect the movie to introduce the entire Shazam Family–or that the adult cast would be kept a secret until release day.

Yet somehow the Shazam! team managed exactly that, as audiences were unexpectedly introduced to not just Billy Batson’s adult form, but Mary (Michelle Borth), Freddy (Adam Brody), Darla (Meagan Good), Eugene (Ross Butler), and Pedro (D. J. Corona). And with their roles in the DC movie universe now revealed, the cast is finally able to discuss their even-more-secretive-than-usual path to bringing a family of heroes to life on screen.

RELATED: Shazam Finally Sets Up a Justice League Dark Movie

While most of Billy’s foster siblings were introduced as magic champions in DC’s New 52 reboot back in 2011, his sister Mary Marvel and best friend Freddy a.k.a. Captain Marvel, Jr. are almost as old as he is, created alongside Superman in the earliest days of superhero comics. Screen Rant had the chance to speak with Mary Marvel herself, actress Michelle Borth, about the process of landing an unknown role in DC’s Justice League universe, and the rare opportunity to be part of one of the most diverse superhero teams–superhero families audiences may ever see.

Well I want to make sure that I don’t owe you an apology, because I think we were the first to figure out that you were actually in the movie playing Mary Marvel.

Oh, no way!

I think so, yeah. We ran a piece on the entire Shazam Family cast back in March, that you had all been cast in secret–

Wait a second, wait a second…

We did a photoshop of you and Zac in the hero suits…

Oh my God! Yes you were! I remember being so excited about that! You don’t have to apologize, I want to say thank you. Because listen: if it didn’t come from me, it was fine. You know what I mean? As long as it didn’t come from me. That was my only responsibility, was just to keep my mouth shut. But anybody else…

No! I remember–we’re all in a group chat, we’re all like ridiculous best friends, not kidding. Like, it sounds so cheesy but we really are family, it’s really gross. But I remember seeing that, and I texted everyone like, ‘It’s been leaked, someone’s leaking it!’ And everyone was like ‘Yes! Leak it! Yes!’ Because you know, we all want to talk about it. We all want to shout on the mountaintop of like, ‘We’re superheroes!’ And so we were really excited, thank you.

Then I can’t imagine how happy you are to finally be able to talk about your role in Shazam!

Ridiculous. Ridiculous. It’s been the hardest secret to have to sit on. And it’s coming up on almost two years for me, you have no idea. I’m very pleased with myself, because I didn’t have a big ‘oopsie’ at some point. But it’s such a relief, I’m so excited.

I imagine that going through the ‘superhero movie experience’ must be something, it’s really only been available to a select group of people in all of movie history.


How clear was it, just how top secret this was going to be? How did this experience start for you?

[Laughs] Sooo top secret. This is like classified, C.I.A. material. It was as closed as the Mueller case, I’ll put it that way. So no, I knew nothing, I knew nothing! I got this audition and it was like a three page monologue. The notes that I got from it were, ‘We don’t have a script, and there’s no character breakdown, but they’d like you to do this and put it to a dance.’ I was like, ‘Hold up, hold up.’ ‘Yeah that’s all, we’re really sorry. That’s all the information we have. Just do the best you can.’

I read it and it was just about a woman who was in a wrong class, who had signed up to go to an exercise class and got there and it was a dance class. Long story short, I was like, ‘You know what, I’m just going to have fun with it. I don’t know what it’s for, I’ve got nothing to lose.’ I spent the entire weekend Google-ing YouTube videos of the Saturday Night Fever dance. Like, the whole shebang. I went through every single step that John Travolta did. I memorized it, I got it down, and then I set it to this monologue. And then at the end of the monologue it kind of ran short–the dance wasn’t long enough–so at the end of the monologue I decided to go into an interpretive dance [Laughs]. So I did, I went into interpretive dance and started doing butterfly arms, and I just had a lot of fun with it. Again, had no idea what it was for. And didn’t afterwards, either. I completely forgot about it.

I want to say like two, three months later I get a call and they’re like, ‘By the way, remember that really weird audition you went in for? You’re Mary Marvel.’ I was like, ‘What?’ ‘That was for DC Comics, and they want you for Mary Marvel.’ I’m like, ‘Oh my God that’s amazing! When do I test? Do I have to screen test, when is the producer session, I have to prepare.’ They’re like, ‘No no Michelle, that was it.’ So I was like ‘That can’t be it!’ ‘No, that was it, you are Mary Marvel now. No testing, no one else.’ From that tape. From that tape! The magical tape. So you can imagine, when I was told that I started bawling. Like, it wasn’t me laughing, it wasn’t me going ‘Yay!’ When they finally were like, ‘Michelle, do you get it? You are Mary Marvel now.’ I dropped the phone and just started crying. I’m like ‘I’m okay! I’m okay! Give me two minutes, I’m fine! I have to just pull my stuff together.’ And they just started laughing at me. Just like, ‘Cry it out girl! Cry it out!’

RELATED: Shazam! Director Reveals His Secret Movie Cameo

We had a chance to speak with David Sandberg on the set. You obviously weren’t there–or maybe you were, apparently.

Or I was hiding around a corner somewhere, yeah.

He spoke a lot about the energy and youthful exuberance he looked for in Zachary Levi’s Shazam, but I imagine it would be the same for all the kids. How did he explain the role, or how this movie was going for something a little bit different?

I think the major difference that sets it apart from more typical superhero films and what we got to work with was… the reference was Big. In the long-short of it. The reference was Big. Once I heard that, because you know, I’m a child of the ’80s, I love Tom Hanks, I was like, ‘Oh I totally get it. They stay the same, they turn into superheroes but we get to stay kids.’ Because up until we got a script I didn’t really know that Mary Marvel was a seventeen year old girl in a superhero costume. So that was the clincher for us. We do have this real playful and light, not so serious all the time. Superhero movies can be really serious where we’re kind of goofballs, you know? We look like we’re really badass, but we’re all just goofballs having a lot of fun like kids playing. So that energy was where we knew we were all coming from, and knew was going to make this movie different. Basically like kids do, this film doesn’t take itself too seriously. That’s the beauty of it.

I’m curious to know how much of shaping Mary was figuring it out with David, or with Grace Fulton who plays Mary. That seems like a singular kind of challenge for an actor.

It was.I have to say though, out of all of them, I was probably the luckiest. Because we all wanted to at some point come to set and watch the kids, or be able to watch playback, or a reel, or something like that. We had to get some sort of idea of who these kids were, how the kids were playing their roles, otherwise it’s just not going to work. So it’s a little bit more difficult when you have a really young child. I lucked out because I got Grace. Grace is ridiculously beautiful and talented and smart, so I got to sit down with her like and adult. Because she is an adult [laughs], she just looks really young. I got to sit down with her and pick her brain. Because in essence… WE are Mary, you know what I mean? Both of us are Mary Marvel. And I was like, ‘Give it to me, how are you doing this, how are you going to go about that, what’s in your brain?’ And with her information it was really easy for me to say, ‘Oh okay! Then this is what I’m going to do with my part of Mary Marvel.’ She was like, ‘Perfect, great. So when I shoot this scene, I’m going to do this’…

Mary’s really uptight when you meet her, she has a lot of responsibilities. She takes the role of a second mom, and is always worried. And forgets that she’s a teenager, so Grace plays that. Mary is focused on college, and focused on raising these kids, and forget how to laugh at some point. So my whole job is the best part, in my opinion, because I get to make Mary have fun. I get to let Mary let her hair down, be badass, and have a blast doing it. She’s got her confidence now. She’s tough, she’s strong, she’s beating up these sins. You know, playing with it. ‘Oh you want more? You want seconds? C’mon, have at it!’ I get to have fun with her and make her a teenager again.

That sense of fun seems like it will be what a lot of people will take away from it. But anyone who follows you on social media knows that you are outspoken when it comes to the causes that you support and promote…

[Laughs] You do know! Yes I am!

So what does it mean to be a part of not just a superhero story, but one that is based in a foster family, a group of vulnerable kids who are forming a family and getting to overcome all kinds of insecurities and disabilities. Was that a connecting point for you in the story?

Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s really the heart of the film, to be quite honest. The heart and soul of the film is that… one, I kind of look at it in the sense that foster parents are superheroes. The foster parents who take in these kids and are selfless, and give a home and a good life to someone who is in need is something, to me, that should be celebrated. That they are everyday superheroes. And on the other side, I think no more than anyone else, a foster kid feels very alone, and very isolated. And probably is going to struggle socially through life. I hope the message that comes through is that your family doesn’t necessarily have to be the one you were born to. That you can find a community, and you can find people like yourself, and create a family. Because these days, almost every family is a broken family. It’s true! I mean there are a lot of split families going on, and a lot of kids who feel isolated. Because of technology, and spending a lot of time alone.

Billy Batson is constantly looking for his mom. Even when he’s in the foster home, he’s still looking for his mom. It hasn’t dawned on him yet that he’s been given this gift. So at the end of the movie he finally realizes that this is his family now. Just because he wasn’t born into it, and they’re not his blood mother and father, or blood brothers and sisters, they don’t love him any less. Or are going to not have his back in life. I think that’s an important message to have. Sometimes, if you weren’t given the best situation you can go out there and make that family. Whether it’s at workplace or with friends. You can connect with people.

RELATED: Shazam! Star Zachary Levi Auditioned For Freddy Freeman

I always thought that was such a beautiful part of the comic the movie is based on–that Billy doesn’t even have to be alone as a superhero. That was a major surprise in the comic, and I expect it will be one for movie audiences too. Are you just counting down the days until people get to vocally respond to it?

I am! I mean I’m so excited, but I’m also nervous, you know? You just don’t know how people are going to respond. But I’m mostly really excited because when I watch the film I thought it was fantastic. I thought it was fantastic. We all left feeling just… happy. It just has this feeling to it that I walked away feeling really positive. When I know that a couple hours earlier I was feeling really negative about everything that’s going on in our country. You know? I mean all the stuff that is happening right now, particularly here in the U.S. is really unfortunate and really sad. I don’t know how much it trickles down to kids and how much they understand what’s going on, but the thing about this film is that it’s a positive experience.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m really proud to be a part of something that is going to be a positive experience for people today. Particularly in the environment that we are all experiencing right now. I mean I am very tapped into it, I think a lot of people are, it’s kind of hard not to be. It’s kind of hard to not get jaded by it. To not feel some sort of negativity in one way or another. You know what’s so fantastic? I get to offer something really great, like a ray of sunshine and some joy into peoples’ lives. And make them laugh, hopefully make them feel inspired, give them that warm fuzzy feeling, even if it’s just for an hour or two. That, to me, is paramount that we get to do that. That makes me really proud.

People may not expect that from your director, given some of his more unsettling horror films. Can you speak to his approach, even in the marketing and build-up to the movie’s release he’s wearing his sense of humor proudly.

It’s so interesting that you say that. Because he is, he is. I’m going to be completely honest with you: when we first were in Toronto, and we first met David, he was actually very shy. I know, I know, but he was very shy. He didn’t have much to say, was a man of very few words. Absolutely kind and wonderful person, but I remember after our first meeting walking away and being like, ‘Oh he’s so shy!’ I think that… from my perspective, I think, in this process I’ve seen him not only come out of his shell as a human being, but then take on this real childlike… this beautiful, beautiful, childlike way about him that’s been really beautiful to watch. That’s my perspective of it. I don’t know if he’s always been like that! But I saw it as this slow rollout, towards the end.

I can only imagine, I mean I don’t think any of us had done a film of this magnitude before, and David along with us. So I can imagine that he came in nervous, I would assume. I mean this is a huge, $100 million budget, Warner Bros., DC film… it’s a lot to take on. And I congratulate him because he knocked it out of the park. It is so interesting to watch the diversity of people, because you would never think that this director did Annabelle, you know what I mean? You would never think that. But it just goes to the power of the script, and to the power of superheroes. Even the performances, I do a lot more serious stuff, a lot of my work is more dramatic. You get to see different sides of everyone. You get to see a different, fun side that we all tapped into this well. And then overflowed with [Laughs].

MORE: How Shazam 2 Sets Black Adam Up as a Hero, Not a Villain

2019-04-20 04:04:56

Andrew Dyce

Shazam! Actress Signed A Five Movie Deal

Actress Michelle Borth received a five-movie deal with Warner Bros. before starring in Shazam! Based on the DC Comics character, David F. Sandberg’s film marks the seventh installment of the DCEU.

In Shazam!, Asher Angel stars as William “Billy” Batson, a 14-year-old living with a foster family in Philadelphia. After receiving ancient powers, he transforms into an adult superhero, portrayed by Zachary Levi. In a minor role, Borth stars as the superhero alter ego of Billy’s foster sister Mary Broomfield (Grace Fulton). In other roles, Meagan Good, Ross Butler, and D.J. Cotrona also portray adult alter ego characters. Produced for approximately $80 to $100 million, Shazam! earned over $260 million at the box office, and currently has a 90 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. Compared to other DCEU movies, Shazam! has fared quite well, and many have argued that it’s the franchise’s best film. In April 2018, we first learned of Borth’s secret casting.

Related: Who Are The Shazam Family? DC’s New Movie Team Explained

In a recent Parade interview, Borth discussed the events leading up to her Shazam! casting and a five-movie deal with Warner Bros. While many performers try out for superhero movies without understanding the full details, Borth admits that even her agents didn’t know the specifics of her secret Shazam! audition, aside from the fact that she’d have to dance to three pages of dialogue. Borth reportedly memorized a John Travolta dance sequence from Saturday Night Fever, and ultimately took an interpretive approach with “fluttering butterfly arms and very poetic movements.” Borth didn’t receive a response for three months after her “weird audition,” only to learn from Warner Bros. that the process was complete, and that she’d been cast as Mary Marvel in Shazam! She said, “I had never gotten a role from one taped audition, let alone a five-picture deal with Warner Bros. from a one-tape audition.”

Born and raised in New York City, Borth has appeared in numerous films and television series. In the 2003 crime drama Wonderland, she had a small role opposite Val Kilmer and Kate Bosworth. For the 2017 drama Lucky You, Borth collaborated with the late director Curtis Hanson. Prior to Shazam!, however, Borth was mostly known as a TV actress, as she had a main role in the short-lived HBO series Tell Me You Love Me, and also a main role on ABC’s Combat Hospital. Over the past decade, Borth has appeared in 59 episodes of CBS’s Hawaii-Five-0 as Lieutenant Catherine Rollins. Looking back, her Shazam! audition now makes sense:

“They wanted someone who acted like a teenager, who could have fun. If we do do the sequel, you’re going to see more of the teenage part of her that we don’t really see in the first one.”

Despite a low opening weekend, Shazam! still managed to become a huge hit for the DCEU. Last month, we reported that Shazam!’s director and producer both plan to return for a sequel. As for Borth, her five-movie deal includes an option for Warner Bros, and full details about the Shazam! sequel are still developing. Based on fan reactions, though – along with critical reactions – it seems reasonable to expect Borth to reprise her Shazam! role many times over. 

More: Everything We Know About Shazam 2

Source: Parade

2019-04-17 11:04:28

Q.V. Hough

Oscars 2019: Best Supporting Actress Predictions

The Oscars will name their 2019 nominees in a few weeks (as of this writing), so it’s time to take a look at who the leading contenders for Best Supporting Actress are. Even though awards season has come into greater clarity recently with various precursors weighing in, there’s still a long way to go before the race is settled. One group that is starting to come into greater focus, however, is the acting categories, by virtue of the Screen Actors Guild recently unveiling their own nominations. While organizations like the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards can provide some insight, the guilds are the ones cinephiles follow most closely when trying to prognosticate the Oscars.

Like every year, there’s no shortage of outstanding performances in the running – many of whom are names quite familiar to awards voters already. In the months leading up to the Academy Awards, Best Supporting Actress looked like it would be one woman’s trophy to lose, but some twist and turns along the way have muddied up the picture a bit. Here are Screen Rant’s predictions for the 2019 Best Supporting Actress nominations.

Related: Screen Rant’s 2019 Best Actress Predictions

Amy Adams – Vice

Much like Leonardo DiCaprio prior to The Revenant, Adams is an Academy darling, but can never seem to secure the win. Over the course of her career, she’s amassed a total of five nominations, most recently for her performance in David O. Russell’s 2013 crime film American Hustle. Not only that, she has some notable snubs on her résumé as well (including 2016’s Best Picture nominee Arrival). The Oscars love rewarding an overdue veteran for their body of work, and with six-time nominee Glenn Close competing in the Best Actress field, Adams may finally take home her elusive Oscar in the Supporting category. In Adam McKay’s Vice, she delivers a strong turn as Dick Cheney’s wife, Lynne.

Vice itself turned out to be one of the more polarizing offerings of awards season, but it’s finding traction with voters. Adams has been a beneficiary of that reception, seeing that’s she’s secured nominations from the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice, and the all-important SAG. While Christian Bale’s incredible, eerie transformation into the former U.S. Vice President has (understandably so) generated most of the media attention for Vice, Adams is as great as she’s ever been as Lynne, channeling her determined, steely demeanor. It feels like it’s inevitable Adams will win an Oscar one day, and it could be for this turn. If she starts picking up some major wins, it’ll be no contest.

Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk

Earlier in the season, King looked like the one to beat in this category. She won Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Sharon Rivers from the National Board of Review and scored additional nominations from the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards. On top of that, she earned a plethora of other nods and wins from multiple film critics associations, making it seem as if she had the Oscar on lockdown. Nobody would have argued with that turn of events, especially since King is one of Beale Street’s most acclaimed aspects. But a funny thing happened on her way to the Oscar stage; she was snubbed by SAG. Five names were nominated in the guild’s Best Supporting Actress category and King was not one of them.

Related: Screen Rant’s If Beale Street Could Talk Review

It’s borderline impossible to overstate how significant the SAG miss is. Statistically speaking, it virtually eliminates King’s chances of winning. The last time the Oscar’s Best Supporting Actress winner did not score at least a SAG nomination was 2001, when Jennifer Connelly won for her performance in A Beautiful Mind. It’s something that’s only happened twice in history since the SAG Awards began in 1994 (Marcia Gay Harden in 2000’s Pollock is the other outlier), so King has history working against her. This isn’t to say she won’t be nominated for the Academy Award (Beale Street does have a lot of support), but King will have to buck a trend to come out on top on Oscar Sunday.

Emma Stone – The Favourite

Yorgos Lanthimos might be an acquired taste for some, but awards voters happily ate up his period costume drama, which chronicles a rivalry between Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail (Stone) for the affections of one Queen Anne (Best Actress candidate Olivia Colman). The collected efforts of that main trio deserves a lion’s share of the credit for why the film works as well as it does, so it isn’t surprising all of them are in the running. Stone, already a winner for La La Land (and another nomination for Birdman) was afforded an opportunity to display more of her range, gleefully sinking her teeth into a darkly comedic role – and she more than rose to the occasion. With The Favourite set to be a major player across the board, Stone’s in line for another nomination.

Stone’s already been recognized for her efforts by the Golden Globes, SAG, and Critics’ Choice Awards, checking off the big boxes en route to Oscar Sunday. It’ll be interesting to see if she can pull a Christoph Waltz and win two statues relatively close to each other (Waltz won Best Supporting Actor in 2009 and 2012), which is a pretty rare feat. Since Stone earned Best Actress just two years ago, voters may decide to go a different route – especially with the long overdue Adams waiting in the wings. There’s also something else that hurts Stone’s prospects: her own co-star.

Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

Much like Stone, Weisz was also nominated for the Golden Globe, SAG, and Critics’ Choice Award for her performance as Lady Sarah. Coincidentally, she is also a former Academy Award winner, taking home Best Supporting Actress in 2005 for The Constant Gardner. Once again, Weisz finds herself back in the race, but she’s facing some stiff competition – including her plucky co-star. It seems all but guaranteed Stone and Weisz will go up against each other this year, but what does that mean for either of their chances?

Related: Read Screen Rant’s The Favourite Review

In Oscar history, 34 films have been double-nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category (two of them, Come to Stable and Pinky, were released in 1950). In 22 of those instances, the Academy Award went to someone from a completely different movie, which is roughly a 65 percent clip. Those are not insurmountable odds for the Favourite ladies to overcome, but this is still somewhat difficult to pull off. To be fair, in the two most recent occurrences of this happening, the double-nominated film did win the Oscar (Melissa Leo topped Amy Adams in The Fighter; Octavia Spencer beat out Jessica Chastain for The Help), so it’s possible someone from The Favourite emerges victorious. But voters will need to truly love one performance over the other. It’ll be fascinating to see what happens.

Page 2: Claire Foy, Emily Blunt, and Margot Robbie

Claire Foy – First Man

Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic entered the season as one of the on-paper frontrunners, but it didn’t live up to those lofty expectations. Floundering at the box office and failing to connect with general audiences, the film is no longer seen as a legitimate Best Picture contender and may only find itself contending in the technical categories. One of its few realistic hopes for love in the major fields is Foy’s performance as Janet Armstrong, Neil’s wife. Foy is responsible for several of the movie’s more emotional and heart-wrenching moments, particularly when she confronts the fact her husband may never come home from his incredible journey. Due to Foy’s talent, the role of Janet rises above the typical “concerned wife” cliché and stands out.

Foy was one of two Golden Globe nominations for First Man (the other being for the musical score) and also got a nod from the Critics’ Choice Awards and other film critics associations. The big miss, of course, is SAG, meaning that even if Foy finds her way into the Oscar field, she won’t be winning. It’ll all depend on how much support First Man can get from the actors branch, but Foy has gotten enough love so far to make a nomination feasible.

Emily Blunt – A Quiet Place

Blunt may find herself a double-nominee this year, given the buzz surrounding her Mary Poppins Returns performance. In A Quiet Place, she portrays Evelyn Abbott, mother of the main family trying to protect her young children. Blunt rose to the challenge of the limited dialogue and still found a way to craft a multi-faceted portrayal; she’s humorous and light-hearted in certain scenes with the kids, but will let her vulnerabilities shine through when discussing their trying ordeal with her husband, Lee (John Krasinski). Acting may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about A Quiet Place, but Blunt was excellent.

Related: The Best Horror Movies of 2018

SAG was extremely fond of Blunt’s work, making her a surprise nominee in their Best Supporting Actress category. That’s one of only a handful of nominations Blunt’s received, but it’s definitely the biggest (no offense, Fright Meter Awards) and an impressive addition to her résumé. Since history dictates one of the SAG nominees will take home the Oscar, it means one needs to seriously consider Blunt for an Academy nomination. The one thing working against her is the Academy’s perceived genre bias; it’s unknown how much support across the board A Quiet Place will receive. But after Daniel Kaluuya was nominated for Best Actor in a horror movie last year, perhaps the voters are broadening their horizons.

Margot Robbie – Mary Queen of Scots

After scoring a Best Actress nomination for I, Tonya last year, Robbie seemed poised to get more awards love with her performance as Queen Elizabeth I in this period costume drama. And that feeling was justifiable, since this is a genre the Academy tends to go for and Robbie’s a very talented actress showcasing another side of her range. Unfortunately, Mary Queen of Scots was one of the duds of the season, never gaining traction as it was hit with lukewarm reviews. Saoirse Ronan, fresh off her acclaimed turn in Lady Bird, was bypassed by every awards organization thus far, giving one an idea of how futile Mary’s chances of winning anything are.

Outside of hair & makeup and costume design (its two Critics’ Choice Awards nods), Robbie represents the film’s best chance for a nomination. Like Blunt, she was a surprise SAG nominee in Best Supporting Actress, but that remains the movie’s only high-profile nomination. It was ignored entirely by the Golden Globes, NBR, and American Film Institute, putting Robbie at a clear disadvantage when compared to the rest of the competition. It’s fair to wonder how many voters will even bother watching Mary Queen of Scots given how small its buzz is. Fortunately for Robbie, she’ll be right back at it in 2019 in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, so maybe she’ll have better luck there.

More: Screen Rant’s 2019 Best Supporting Actor Predictions

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2018-12-27 01:12:09

Actress & Director Penny Marshall Passes Away At 75

Penny Marshall

Penny Marshall, the actress-turned-director-turned-producer, has passed away due to complications from diabetes. In her 75 years, she inspired laughter and tears through her own iconic performances and the many classic films she directed and produced.

Marshall started her acting career with a recurring guest role on The Odd Couple, directed by her brother, Garry Marshall. But her big break came when her brother needed a character named Laverne DeFazio for another of his hits, Happy Days. She, along with co-star Cindy Williams, reprised their roles in the incredibly successful spin-off Laverne & Shirley which ran for eight seasons. Marshall’s Laverne, with the signature “L” embroidered on all her clothes, is one of the most iconic TV characters of all time.

Related: Sony Aiming To Recruit Female Directors For Multiple Marvel Projects

According to THR, Marshall passed away on Monday, December 17, 2018 in her Hollywood Hills home. In a statement released by her family, they stated, “We hope her life continues to inspire others to spend time with family, work hard and make all of their dreams come true.” After her success in front of the camera, Marshall followed in her brother’s footsteps and began directing. She started out directing television, but soon transitioned to feature films in 1986 with Jumpin’ Jack Flash starring Whoopi Goldberg. Her second feature, Big, starring Tom Hanks, was a massive success and made Marshall the first woman to direct a movie that grossed more than $100 million – though her barrier-breaking has seen a slow progress in Hollywood. Her 1990 film Awakenings was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, though – unsurprisingly, given the Oscar’s track record – she was not nominated for Best Director.

Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall in Laverne & Shirley

Marhsall’s biggest hit came in 1992 with A League of Their Own, the star-studded tribute to the Rockford Peaches, the most successful team in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The uniquely quotable film (the line “There’s no crying in baseball” is listed as one of the top movie 100 quotes of all time by the American Film Institute) has become an undisputed classic that is still inspiring stories today.

From acting to directing, Penny Marshall’s career serves as inspiration to women everywhere. From blue-collar Laverne DeFazio to star-catcher Dottie Hinson, Marshall’s work helped change perceptions and expectations both in front of and behind the camera. Her wry humor and masterful touch will be greatly missed and lovingly appreciated for decades to come.

More: Where Are They Now? The Cast Of A League Of Their Own

Source: THR

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2018-12-18 01:12:27

Oscars 2019: Best Actress Predictions

With Oscar season in full force, it’s time to take a look at who the leading contenders for Best Actress are this year. In recent weeks, the race is starting to take shape and there’s a bit of clarity as cinephiles debate amongst themselves which titles are the best. So far, we’ve heard from the National Board of Review, American Film Institute, and Golden Globes (among others), which have helped raise the prospect of some films, while sinking the chances of others. At this stage, there are no clear frontrunners yet, but people have a better idea of who’s realistically in the running.

One key category film fans like to follow is Best Actress, and as always there is no shortage of worthy performances in contention. It’s shaping up to be an exciting competition filled with plenty of big names that left a sizable impression with their work this year. Here are our Best Actress predictions as things start to heat up some more.

Glenn Close – The Wife

The veteran actress has been nominated six times in her career (most recently for 2011’s Albert Nobbs) and has never won. That’s an extraordinary statistic and definitely gives Close the classic “overdue” narrative to play up on the campaign. Historically, whenever an Academy favorite stacks up this many nods and keeps coming up short, it’s only a matter a matter of time before that changes. A recent example of this is Leonardo DiCaprio, who won his elusive first Best Actor trophy back in 2015 for The Revenant. DiCaprio had been nominated in the acting categories four times prior in his illustrious career, and it was his time.

After passing Close over a near-record number of times, the Academy may be finally ready to reward her for her excellent work in The Wife. She earned strong reviews and is doing fairly well in the precursors, picking up a Golden Globe nomination in the Best Actress – Drama category and earning other nods from the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Gotham Awards. The Wife is fairly small in comparison to other films in the Oscar race, and isn’t expected to be much of a player across the board. But Close is too good in the movie to ignore, and she may finally get her shot to walk on the Oscar stage.

Lady Gaga – A Star is Born

Bradley Cooper’s remake of A Star is Born is the juggernaut of the Oscar season, and Gaga’s performance as rising pop star Ally is a main reason why. Gaga proved to be a perfect fit for the role, shedding her extravagant and elaborate stage image to portray a humble, down-to-Earth aspiring artist yearning for her big break. Her chemistry with Cooper felt very natural and grounded, and she of course handled the numerous musical set pieces with all the expected skill fans expected. All in all, it’s a very well-rounded performance that proves Gaga has a future in acting if she chooses. Yes, the role felt tailor-made for her, but she still knocked it out of the park.

Related: A Star is Born’s Ending Is Bad (And Always Has Been)

Oscar prognosticators can feel confident penciling Gaga in as one of the five for Best Actress. She already has a Golden Globe nod under her belt, and she took home Best Actress from NBR. But it remains to be seen if she has enough support to clinch the win. Gaga obviously doesn’t have the same overdue narrative as Close, and she’s all but assured to win Best Original Song this year (standout track “Shallow” is poised to blitz through the competition). If there’s anything working in Gaga’s favor right now, it’s that sometimes Best Actress can go to the hot industry star who’s riding waves of buzz (see: Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook). It’ll be interesting to see how things play out.

Emily Blunt – Mary Poppins Returns

Julie Andrews won Best Actress back in 1964 for her performance as the Practically Perfect Nanny in the original Mary Poppins, and Blunt could very well follow suit in the very belated sequel. Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns is a late arrival that’s starting to make a splash on the awards circuit, being recognized as one of the best films of the year by the NBR and AFI. It also, unsurprisingly, did very well at the Golden Globes, with Blunt earning a nomination for Best Actress – Musical or Comedy. The film is currently enjoying highly positive reactions, with many feeling Blunt’s turn is a delightful and worthy successor to Andrews. Blunt may not have watched the first film in preparation, but things seem to have turned out just fine.

Blunt’s had herself a big year, as she also earned acclaim for her role as Evelyn Abbott in A Quiet Place (which itself has earned some key notices this season). She’s never been nominated for an Oscar before, but after stringing together several strong performances in well-received films and hitting a home run as Mary Poppins in what should be one of the biggest hits of the holidays, Blunt may finally break through and find herself in the running. If she lands a Screen Actors Guild nomination, she’s likely going to the Oscars.

Olivia Colman – The Favourite

Director Yorgos Lanthimos is an acquired taste that’s definitely not for everyone, but awards voters are loving his period costume drama. The Favourite is one of the top films of the season, in large part because of the trio of excellent performances at its center. Colman stars as the frail Queen Anne, who relies heavily on her close friend Sarah (Rachel Weisz) to run the country. When Sarah’s cousin Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives to the palace in search of work, the two younger women find themselves in a competition for Anne’s affections. Critics praised it for its unique approach on a classic genre, and it’s doing well with the precursors.

Related: Read Screen Rant’s The Favourite Review

Colman’s multi-layered performance was recognized in the Globes’ Best Actress – Musical or Comedy category, and she’s picked up a handful of other awards and nominations from film critics circles and the Gotham Awards. She’s another contender in search of her first Oscar nomination, after having secured a multitude of accolades (including many for her work in television) over the past several years. With The Favourite looking more and more like one of the Oscar locks (at least, in terms of nominations), support for the film should bring Colman along for the ride.

Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

With her typical comedy schtick falling short in critical and commercial disappointments Life of the Party and The Happytime Murders, it became clear McCarthy needed a change-of-pace to get her career back on track. Fortunately for her, such a project came out at the end of 2018 in the form of Can You Ever Forgive Me?, in which McCarthy stars as Lee Israel, an author who falls into a get-rich-quick scheme by forging letters she claims to be from famous people. The film received a lot of love during its tour of the fall festivals, with McCarthy and co-star Richard E. Grant ranking as the highlights.

Comedic actors and actresses making the leap to more dramatic fare is a tried and true Hollywood tradition that’s worked out well before (Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting, for instance). McCarthy, who received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Bridesmaids in 2011 could be in the running for Lead Actress this time around. The film allows McCarthy to tap into her humorous sensibilities, but there’s also a lot of depth and nuance for her to explore, and she more than rises to the occasion. McCarthy is already armed with a Golden Globes nomination for her efforts, and while Can You Ever Forgive Me?’s status as a Best Picture long shot may preclude her from winning, she’s likely to earn another Oscar nod.

Page 2: Nicole Kidman, Toni Collette, and More

Nicole Kidman – Destroyer

Kidman is something of an awards darling, having earned a plethora of Oscar and Golden Globe nominations in her storied career. She won the Academy Award for her lead performance in The Hours and was most recently nominated for Lion. Voters clearly like her, so whenever she delivers a captivating performance, she’s a threat to earn another nod. Many feel her work in Destroyer, where she plays hardened police detective Erin Bell, could land her a fifth Oscar nomination. Kidman earned raves out of the festivals for her turn, which many feel is unlike anything she’s ever done before. Just based on the trailer footage, viewers can see how Kidman transformed herself and threw herself into the character.

What’s holding Kidman back from rising above our cutoff line right now is Destroyer’s reception. Kidman (and Sebastian Stan) are great in the drama, but the movie itself is something of a mixed bag, and Kidman represents its best chance at a nomination. She is armed with a Globes nomination for Best Actress – Drama, but it remains to be seen what other accolades she can pick up as the season progresses. There’s a chance Destroyer slides under the radar of many and Kidman doesn’t get enough votes.

Toni Collette – Hereditary

Horror films have enjoyed a recent period of critical and commercial success, even landing in the favor of awards voters. Remember, Get Out was a Best Picture nominee last year and won Best Original Screenplay. It’s still rare for genre films to break into the club, but it can happen, and many fans are wondering what will be the next one to gain traction. A24’s Hereditary seems like the likeliest option in 2018, judging by its widespread critical acclaim and strong box office. The film proved to be divisive amongst general audiences, but it still left an impression.

Related: Hereditary Ending Explained

Much like Destroyer, if Hereditary is going to work its way into the Oscar conversation, it will have to be because of Collette’s performance. She did a phenomenal job portraying Annie, always commanding viewers’ attention with a truly captivating (and disturbing) turn. It’s already found a bit of love on the awards circuit; Collette won Best Actress at the Gotham Awards and was nominated in that category at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. She’s also a previous Oscar nominee for her performance in The Sixth Sense, so she has a bit of history with the Academy. A24 does have a full plate this season (First Reformed and Eighth Grade are picking up steam), so Collette’s fate may be determined by how large a push it gets.

Elsie Fisher – Eighth Grade

Coming out over the tail end of the summer as another one of A24’s lauded counter-programming efforts, Bo Burnhams’s heartfelt and honest portrayal of adolescence has enjoyed a surge in the early stages of awards season. So far, Eighth Grade has picked up notices from NBR and AFI, as well as the Gothams and Film Independent Spirit Awards. One of the reasons why the film works as well as it does is because of Fisher, who perfectly embodies introverted teenager Kayla Day with a star-making performance that just about anyone can relate to.

Fisher was a pleasant surprise among the Globes’ nominees for Best Actress – Musical or Comedy, giving her an outside shot at earning an Oscar nomination. The Academy actually isn’t averse to recognizing younger talents, as there are several examples of child actors working their way into the field (The Sixth Sense, Beasts of the Southern Wild, etc.). However, typically that tends to happen only when the film itself is a major contender across the board, and it’s still unknown if Eighth Grade can go the distance. Fisher was its only Globes nomination, and NBR and AFI don’t always line up with the Oscars’ tastes. If Fisher is to make the top five, she’ll need to do well in other precursors.

Felicity Jones – On The Basis of Sex

A nominee for her performance as Jane Hawking in 2014’s The Theory of Everything, Jones may find her way back in the Oscar race for playing another famous historical figure. In On the Basis of Sex, she portrays a young Ruth Bader Ginsberg and by all accounts does an excellent job. Based on the reviews, Jones is a strong fit for the role, tapping into RGB’s strengths and weaknesses to make her a three-dimensional character. Cinephiles know biopics are a favorite genre of the Academy, and Jones clearly envisioned Ginsberg as another shot at Oscar gold.

Related: Golden Globes 2019 Snubs and Weird Nominations

Unfortunately, it seems highly unlikely she’ll hear her name called on nominations morning. This isn’t the fault of Jones, but the movie. On the Basis of Sex is widely seen as a solid, if unremarkable, memoir that doesn’t really break new ground. It hasn’t received any traction on the awards circuit thus far, being completely shut out by NBR, AFI, and the Globes. The odds are definitely stacked against Jones, and she’ll have to have an unprecedented rise in order to make it to Oscar Sunday.

Viola Davis – Widows

The Fences Oscar-winner is as stellar as she’s ever been in Steve McQueen’s heist film, leading the charge as the determined and steely Veronica. Davis has plenty of moments where she plays up her no-nonsense demeanor, but Gillian Flynn’s script also gives her opportunities to show a more emotionally vulnerable side of Veronica. It’s a strong performance enhanced by McQueen’s steady hand on the material, but it probably won’t be enough to appeal to Oscar voters.

Even though critics praised Widows for being one of the best offerings of the fall, it’s been largely ignored by the various award bodies. Its most high-profile nomination (of the five total it’s received) is for the People’s Choice Award at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Davis didn’t earn any individual nods for her work, so Widows likely won’t be invited to the Oscar party, either.

Of course, this list is not meant to be all-inclusive. These are just some of the standout performances that could make a case for being Oscar-worthy. Let us know who you feel is deserving in the comments section.

More: Screen Rant’s 2019 Best Actor Predictions

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2018-12-07 01:12:06

Nicole Kidman: Prolific actress of challenging, maternal roles

Academy Award and three-time Golden Globe winner Nicole Kidman is an actress known for her versatility and her talent in transferring her feelings to the audience, especially in maternal rolesClick To Continue

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How Game of Thrones Prevented Set Photos From Spoiling the Series Finale

When it comes to avoiding spoilers for Game of Thrones, filmmakers are taking no chances for season 8. The story of Game of Thrones started in 1996 when author George R.R. Martin published his book titled A Game Of Thrones, which stands as his first entry in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. His series of novels is what HBO decided to adapt into Game of Thrones which came on the air in 2011.

The show has been running for seven seasons, but Game of Thrones very quickly became one of HBO’s most popular TV shows. The series has a truly ensemble cast including actors like Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, and Lena Headey. All of these characters survived the end of season 7, but it is up in the air whether they will survive the eighth and final season. Thankfully, spoilers for the upcoming season haven’t leaked yet, which is because HBO is taking special precautions to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Related: Emilia Clarke Commemorates Game Of Thrones Ending With New Dragon Tattoos

According to EW, HBO is using new high-tech instruments to make sure drones cannot fly over filming locations called a “Drone Killer“. Previously, Game of Thrones has had leaks due to flying drones and even actual photographersAs explained by actress Sophie Turner at New York Comic Con, “If a drone flies above sets, there’s a thing that can kill the drones, which is really cool. It creates a field around it and the drones just drop. It’s very X-Men.” While this new development will no doubt help contain spoilers on the highly anticipated season, the show has still had trouble in the past keeping elements of the plot a secret.

Last August, hackers stole 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO which contained Game of Thrones scripts as well as the cast’s personal information. The leak was a big blow to HBO as people were less inclined to tune in if the episodes had been spoiled. The filmmakers behind the newest season seem to not be playing games when it comes to season 8. In addition to this, the Game of Thrones scripts now supposedly vanish after the scenes have been filmed. It was also rumored that the show would film multiple endings, but those rumors have since been debunked by the cast.

Even though Game of Thrones is still quite a ways away, the eighth season is looking to be the biggest one yet (despite being the shortest in number of episodes). After all, this season will feature the biggest battle in Game of Thrones history. The series will also have to effectively tie up each of the characters storylines and finally reveal who will sit atop the Iron Throne. Regardless of what HBO has in store for fans, they are doing everything they can to ensure that this season doesn’t get spoiled early.

More: Game of Thrones’ Jamie Lannister Didn’t Think He Would Live to Season 8

Game of Thrones season 8 premieres on HBO in 2019.

Source: EW

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2018-10-11 05:10:42 – Christopher Fiduccia

Johnny Depp Feels Bad J.K. Rowling Had to Defend His Casting to Harry Potter Fans

Johnny Depp is finally addressing those who oppose his casting in the upcoming Harry Potter film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, including how they have affected writer J.K. Rowling. Last year, following the release of the first cast photo for the film, the author expressed her support of the casting. Rowling, along with director David Yates, skated around the concerns, saying that she is “genuinely happy” to have him on board.

Controversy regarding Depp’s involvement in the beloved franchise came about around the time of the first film. Depp had been embroiled in a legal battle with his ex-wife, Amber Heard, over allegations of domestic violence. The Aquaman actress responded to a statement made by Warner Bros. (the studio behind both films), sharing the joint statement released by the pair following their divorce, but indicating that she is not necessarily in support of her ex.

Related: Johnny Depp Confirms Fantastic Beasts 3 Return As Grindelwald

Now, Depp is speaking out for the first time about his role, and a little about the various allegations against him. In an interview with EW, the actor remarks that he “felt bad” that Rowling was called to defend her choice to cast him. However, he maintains that he is innocent, remarking that he is suing The Sun for defamation. He insists that Rowling is aware of his innocence, which is why she supports him. “She would not stand up if she didn’t know the truth. So that’s really it,” he says.

The allegations he speaks of goes beyond those made by Heard. In July, Depp was sued for assault surrounding an incident that allegedly occurred on the set of his film City of Lies. The actor fought back, claiming that the accusations were false and he didn’t ever touch the defendant, location manager Gregg “Rocky” Brooks. In August, just a month before the film’s scheduled release, City of Lies was pulled, though it’s unknown if this was connected. But in the case of Fantastic Beasts, things continue on as they have.

The studio has clearly fully embraced Depp in the role. At San Diego Comic-Con 2018, he appeared separate from his fellow actors during the Warner Bros. panel, making a speech as Gellert Grindelwald. He is also featured prominently in the latest image for the Fantastic Beasts sequel, front and center with his back to the viewer as the rest of the characters, including Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander and Judd Law’s young Albus Dumbledore, face forward looking at him. Now that it’s been announced that he’ll be returning in the third film, it seems as though everyone has decided to lean in and ignore the problematic allegations against Depp, even as they persist.

More: Johnny Depp’s Casting In Fantastic Beasts 2 Is A Mistake

Source: EW

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2018-10-11 03:10:55 – Becca Bleznak

20 DC Characters Who Can Be In James Gunn’s Suicide Squad (And Who Should Play Them)

James Gunn may be off the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 project after being fired by Disney for some controversial tweets surfaced from long ago, but not only has he apologized and insisted that he’s a much different person than he was at that period in his life; he’s reportedly also getting another stab at creating a comic adaptation with the next Suicide Squad film.

While Marvel fans mourn the loss of the man behind some of the best movies in the MCU, it’s quite possible that Gunn will give the DC universe the boost it desperately needs to really compete with Marvel.

While we’ll have to wait and see what the actual film brings to the party, we have plenty of time to speculate about what its plot might be, what kind of tone to expect and above all, which characters might be included and who might be cast in those roles. While many of us are hoping to see some members of the Squad from the first film return, we’re also crossing our fingers, wishing for a chance to meet more members who weren’t included in the first movie. There’s really an endless amount of speculation to enjoy here and many fans have already photoshopped their choices for the best portrayals of characters audiences have loved for decades.

Casting for these iconic personalities won’t be an easy task, but here are 20 DC Characters Who Can Be In James Gunn’s Suicide Squad (And Who Should Play Them).

20 Christina Ricci As Harley Quinn

Let’s be honest: Margot Robbie is a sure-in for Harley Quinn at this point. The star surprised many fans while proving others right with her incredible performance as the psychiatrist turned psychopath. Ensuring that Quinn not only shone as the premiere talent in a film with its problems, but that she would endure for her own film afterward, Robbie is a fan favorite, through and through.

We could definitely see this version of Harley in a Gunn movie.

If for some reason Robbie had to back out of the project, as much as it would pain fans, some have taken to casting other ideas for actresses who could play Harleen Quinzel. Artist D3SIGNMILTIA’s piece depicts an interesting version of the character that might work well with Christina Ricci.

19 Joaquin Phoenix As The Joker

We’ve seen so many incarnations of The Joker over the years that it’s getting more and more difficult to choose the perfect person to play an updated version of Batman’s most notorious foe. Whether or not he’ll be in the next Suicide Squad film is unclear. Who can measure up to Jack Nicholson’s chilling Joker and Heath Ledger’s perfect monster?

Joaquin Phoenix, currently starring in Todd Phillips’ solo Joker, is certainly one candidate. Phoenix, who’s also utilized some unorthodox acting methods in the past, might give us a bit more grave swagger as the criminal mastermind. His ongoing presence in the DCEU will likely depend on the success of Joker, due out in October 2019.

18 Neil Patrick Harris As The Riddler

Everyone’s favorite child doctor has grown up to become a much beloved singer, showman, and nemesis of the Baudelaire children. Neil Patrick Harris shines in just about everything he’s in, so including him in the next installment of Suicide Squad makes perfect sense.

Harris as the Riddler is pure gold.

He’s got the chops to bring the perfect blend of humor and intelligence that the Riddler needs to truly succeed, which might hopefully replace the slapstick Riddler we got in Batman Forever years ago. Harris isn’t everyone’s favorite for the Riddler, though; stay tuned for more artist manipulations involving the Riddler later.

17 Manu Bennett As Deathstroke

Given the fact that the Arrowverse and TV adaptations of DC stories have proven so successful, it makes sense to borrow from that character pool to not only connect the universe but to help ensure the success of Suicide Squad 2. If Gunn and company are planning on including Deathstroke in the sequel, we think Manu Bennet would be a clear choice for the character.

While some fans speculate that Joe Manganiello will play the part, since he is Mr. Wilson in Justice League and has announced that he’s working on three more films featuring the character, his involvement in Suicide Squad 2 remains speculation at this point. Many believe that Deathstroke will indeed be a primary villain in the film, and Bennet has already proven that he would do the character justice.

16 Sophie Turner As Oracle

Lots of fans are imagining Marvel actors in DC roles, which is pretty delightful for those of us who Make Ours Marvel and DC. Sophie Turner, who gave us the Jean Grey that we were waiting for in X-Men: Apocalypse and is set to reprise the role in Dark Phoenix, would also make an excellent Oracle.

Barbara Gordon’s time as Oracle has included a gig as tech support for the Suicide Squad.

With Ruby Rose’s debut as Batwoman and a Batgirl movie announced, the inclusion of Oracle could provide some timeline intrigue. Plus, after decades of Batman saturation, this much Bat-women power would be so much fun.

15 Oprah Winfrey As Amanda Waller

Viola Davis was a pretty stellar Amanda Waller, which comes as no surprise to anyone who has ever seen Viola Davis in anything. Davis could read a grocery list and deserve an Oscar. That said, Kode Logic has imagined what Oprah might bring to the role and we have to say that it looks impressive. Firm, ruthless and beautiful, Oprah’s Waller seems to give the character a bit more experience points, which are conveyed in that hard gaze.

Davis has said that she loved playing Amanda Waller, who is aligned so well with her character Annalise Keating in the hit TV drama How to Get Away with Murder in many ways, but how much fun would it be to see Oprah bend the rules?

14 Will Smith As Deadshot

You don’t mess with what works, and Will Smith certainly worked as Deadshot in the original Suicide Squad. He did so well, in fact, that plenty of people thought that he deserved his own film and said that they’d have watched Suicide Squad again if it only starred Smith. This really isn’t a surprise, given Smith’s star power, and it’s been announced that he’s returning to the franchise in the role again.

It’s a good thing that we have some time before the movie’s released, too, since Smith is set to star in Bad Boys for Life and Bright 2 around the same time. Smith’s got three films releasing in 2019 alone, and while one is only a vocal role, he’s definitely going to be busy for the next couple of years.

13 Jeffrey Dean Morgan As Batman

Utter the words “Jeffrey Dean Morgan” in the same sentence as “The Batman” and you’re bound to get a room full of excited fans. He’s absolutely perfect for Wayne in an adaptation of something like Batman Beyond, but we could definitely see him as the Batman in just about any adaptation of the series, and DeviantArt user evelius has given us some visual art to really picture the idea.

Morgan has the darkness and the voice necessary for Batman to match this ragtag team of violent convicts.

While Bale and Affleck had their time in the cowl, it’s time for a new man behind the mask. Why not Negan?

12 Rila Fukushima As Katana

While Katana was featured in the first Suicide Squad film, most people believe her role was too small to really critique or appreciate. Japanese-American actress Karen Fukuhara wasn’t bad in the role; she just didn’t get much to do.

Adding Rila Fukushima in the second movie might lend Katana some traction given that she already portrays the character in the Arrowverse.

While Fukuhara, who is set to play Glimmer in the new She-Ra and the Princesses of Power TV series, is rumored to be reprising the role, Fukushima, star of last year’s Ghost in the Shell, was also fantastic as Yukio in The Wolverine, which would give us another fun link between the DC and Marvel universes.

11 Emma Stone As Poison Ivy

Who doesn’t love quirky, smart, and funny Emma Stone? The actress would be perfect for an updated role as Poison Ivy following Uma Thurman’s beautiful but wonky portrayal of Pamela Isley. One of BossLogic’s many creative manipulations, this artwork features Stone as the iconic plant-loving villain and it’s pretty impressive.

We already know that Ivy will be a big part of the upcoming Gotham City Sirens film, which will also feature Harley Quinn and Catwoman at its heart, so why not include her in the Suicide Squad movie as well? There are several other cool artist manipulations of actresses who might be great in the role, such as Jessica Chastain, so it’s going to be a tough one to cast.

10 Kristen Wiig As Cheetah

Many of us can’t stop celebrating Kristen Wiig being cast as Cheetah in Wonder Woman 1984. The strongest thing the DC movies have going for it right now is all the incredible female characters, most notably Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman, and we can’t wait to see where Aquaman takes us. If all goes well it would make perfect sense to include Wiig in Suicide Squad 2, especially since weaving in characters from multiple films would help provide better continuity for the DCEU.

Wiig is funny, smart, and beautiful, and we think she’s going to make an excellent foe for Wonder Woman.

In that case, her inclusion in another movie would also be fantastic to see.

9 Nathalie Emmanuelle As Vixen

DeviantArt artist farrou has created some truly amazing fanart of DC characters, and one of them, which features Nathalie Emmanuelle as Vixen, makes us believers. While we’re not sure if Emmanuelle has a Tantu Totem, we’re pretty sure she could make it work if Gunn and co. gave her one. The actress, best known for her role as Missandei on HBO’s Game of Thrones, is definitely ready for a a super suit and action in a big movie like this.

Then again, Jada Pinkett Smith has expressed interest in the role of Vixen, which would not only be interesting due to her husband’s presence in the movie but also due to her previous DC role as Fish Mooney in the TV series Gotham. Both actresses would be well-cast for the movie.

8 Jake Gyllenhaal As The Riddler

Do we really need the Riddler to come out and play in Suicide Squad 2? After the weirdness of Batman Forever and the sinister developments of Gotham, perhaps it’s time to reinvent the villain. Jake Gyllenhaal makes sense to play the villain not only because he was David Goyer’s original choice to play Batman in the Christopher Nolan movies, but because this fanart made by Vaskoho is something to behold.

While there are several people who could pull off the role, we think Donnie Darko has a fighting chance.

Fans point out that there were some Riddler Easter eggs in the Batman v Superman movie, so it’s possible that we’ll see The Riddler on film someday.

7 Dave Bautista As Bane

Can we all agree that, no matter the context, Dave Bautista must appear in Suicide Squad 2? Not only has the Drax actor delighted us all with his hilarious yet poignant portrayal in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, but he’s also publicly stated that he supports Gunn and wants to be involved in his next project.

We’re pretty sure any role could be molded to make room for such a beloved actor, but as as BossLogic has pointed out, he’d make an excellent Bane. After having two Banes that didn’t work so well in the Batman universe, we could definitely use a fresh face for the role. If he’s not Bane, Bautista would make a fantastic Solomon Grundy, too. We’re not too picky on this one.

6 Michael K. Williams As Black Manta

Could Black Manta make an appearance in Suicide Squad 2? It’s too early to rule anything out and many fans think he’d make a good inclusion, particularly following the Aquaman movie. While the majority of his screen time might simply have his head shrouded in a big bubble, his casting would be nonetheless important. Artist diamondking13 suggests actor Michael K. Williams for the job and we love the idea.

It would be cool to see how Gunn and co, would update the suit for a more modern, movie-friendly look.

Famous for his critically acclaimed roles in The Wire and Boardwalk Empire, Williams was just cast in Jordan Peele and Misha Green’s Lovecraft Country, but Suicide Squad 2 is far enough in the future to give him time for both gigs.

5 Bill Skarsgård As The Joker

This one is a no-brainer. Many of us just don’t care to see Jared Leto return as The Joker and it’s quite possible that The Joker won’t even see a second of footage in the second film. While we’d all probably be okay with that, if a new Joker is cast, Bill Skarsgård is a fantastic choice.

Skarsgård is hot right now following his success as Pennywise in the new adaptation of Stephen King’s It. He also played a less troubling character in Castle Rock over the summer, proving his mettle yet again in King’s world. Considered one of the good things to come out of Netfix’s Hemlock Grove, Skarsgård could probably do the Joker justice, as artist aikoaiham has shown.

4 Teresa Palmer As Killer Frost

After witnessing Killer Frost in the Arrowverse, many fans are calling for her inclusion in Suicide Squad 2. DeviantArt creator farrou has imagined what it might look like if Teresa Palmer played the villain and it’s a pretty spot-on representation.

The Australian actress is no stranger to action movies and could do well in the role.

Kristin Bauer van Straten has already voiced Killer Frost in the animated Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, while Danica McKellar voices her in Lego DC Superhero Girls. She’s also been in 2009’s Public Enemies animated feature between Batman and Superman, but she’s never been in a live action movie before. Danielle Panabaker portrays the character in The Flash, but she hasn’t made a film in a few years.

3 Jon Bernthal as Rick Flag

Jon Bernthal is another actor already present in the MCU, portraying the most accurate and adept version of the Punisher we could ever hope for, so tossing the talented actor into the DC mix would just be plain fun. It’s not that Joel Kinneman was terrible as Rick Flag, and he’s done a great job standing up for the original film and its purpose, but Jon Bernthal would just be better.

The skill Bernthal has in striking that tricky sweet spot between ruthlessness and gravitas while still being a compelling, empathetic human being isn’t something anyone can do. Artist Riku7kun shows us what Bernthal as Flag might look like. It’s a little bare in comparison to Kinneman’s look, but that might actually work with Bernthal.

2 Josh Gad As The Penguin

It’s no secret that Josh Gad wants the role of The Penguin, having pushed for it himself in social media, and fans are clamoring for the opportunity to see the voice of the snowman, Olaf, and Gaston’s buddy LaFou in a much more sinister role.

Whether or not Gad will show up in The Batman remains to be seen but he definitely has the flippers to play the beloved villain.

BossLogic has given us some art imagining what he might look like in the role and it can only get better from here. In March, Gad started hilariously trolling Matt Reeves on Twitter, sending him animated penguin GIFs and hinting at what he could bring to the Batman franchise.

1 Margot Robbie As Harley Quinn

It’s an obvious inclusion, but it’s necessary. While the original Suicide Squad, hyped up to be the most incredible DC movie of all time, had plenty of problems, most fans and critics agree that the shining star of the whole production was Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Robbie’s portrayal was everything we hoped for– brutal, nuanced, and a delicate balance between her joker obsession and Harley coming into her own person without being too over-the-top.

Who isn’t excited to see Robbie return as Harley in theBirds Of Prey adaptation featuring the awesome women of DC, which is so ardently anticipated that it pushed Suicide 2 to the back burner? After this much love, Robbie has to be in this universe.

Who do you most want to see in a new Suicide Squad movie? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-10-11 02:10:45 – Sara Schmidt

20 Things Wrong With American Horror Story We All Choose To Ignore

The horror anthology hit TV show American Horror Story just might be the magnum opus of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck. Scarier and more riveting than any of the duo’s other projects, the spine-tingling series features a new theme and characters every season that are all still linked to each other’s universe. From the casting announcements to the series hints, theme reveals, and each season’s unique introductory visuals, it’s riveting entertainment all around. Even so, some seasons fall further off the mark than others, with many episodes barely even registering on the “horror” radar while others left us scratching our heads wondering what the heck just happened.

The thing is, we tend to give glaring errors, plot flops, and other things wrong with the show a pass because we love it so much. From intriguing horror to irresistible characters, from unexpected plot twists to some of the best storytelling on TV, American Horror Story keeps us coming back, not because it’s flawless but because it’s still addictive despite, and sometimes because of, its many flaws.

We might love a character and conveniently forget that he or she is a monster. We’ll keep tuning in even after an entire sequence left us feeling disgusted, embarrassed for the actress who had to play out the scene, or even angry at the creators themselves. It’s just that addictive.

We love it and we’ll keep coming back for me, even with these 20 Things Wrong With American Horror Story We All Choose To Ignore.

20 Some Seasons Aren’t Scary

With a name like American Horror Story, you might expect every episode to be a scream-fest. That’s just not the case, especially in seasons four and five. While there’s no shortage of horror-inducing characters in these seasons, they didn’t really give us nightmares like previous and subsequent seasons were able to do.

Were we jaded from all the mutants, ghosts, zombies, and other creatures in previous seasons?

Both Freak Show and Hotel fell short on promises of terror, often vying for more intense drama (a calling card of Falchuck and Murphy) instead. While we still received interesting stories, Gaga’s vampire and Twisty the Clown just weren’t all that scary.

19 There’s No Reason Given For All The Hotel Vampire Kids

In season five, Hotel, Lady Gaga’s character, The Countess Elizabeth, is a little less fabulous than we expected her to be. Perhaps she couldn’t live up to the Gaga we all know and love already. One of the things that just made zero sense about the character was her propensity to collect children and turn them into little vampires. Does Elizabeth have an old woman in the shoe complex? Is she just that bored? What is the point?

Here’s the thing about kids in horror movies: they add instant scare-factor. Take a look at most scary film kids, from Village of the Damned to The Others and you’ll see the scariest moments. The fact that the vampire kid collection wasn’t even scary was a pretty big letdown.

18 Teeth Fall From The Sky For No Reason

Season six of AHS, Roanoke, was able to recover some of the lost ground from the previous two less-scary seasons but still suffered from the lack of the one and only Jessica Lang. The season saw a return to the haunted house theme, always popular in AHS history, and wove in some new elements, like the whole “based on a true story” theme.  Between Deliverance-like hillbillies and more incredible Kathy Bates, Roanake was much better-received than Hotel, but it had some weird unexplained moments, like teeth randomly falling from the sky.

Not only do the teeth inexplicably fall while Matt is at work, but they also disappear.

The reason why is never given, prompting us to chalk this one up to “random scare tactic.”

17 Queenie Tried To Hook Up With A Minotaur

While we definitely applaud Murphy and Falchuck’s use of mythology throughout American Horror Story, it often makes no sense. Gabourey Sidibe was fantastic as Queenie, the young and lonely witch who gave as well as she got, used LaLaurie as her own personal racist slave, and really deserved main credits billing. But there was that one time she tried to hook up with a grotesque Minotaur…

While the inclusion of adult content is pretty standard in AHS, getting involved with a man who has bull’s head sewed over his own is pretty far out there. It didn’t make any sense, nor did Queenie’s own survival following the incident (or anything else including the Minotaur, really), so we just move along and say that there’s nothing to see here.

16 Zoe’s Hell Is Just Life Without Kyle

Zoe Benson, portrayed by Taissa Farmiga, starts out as a compelling character in the third season of American Horror Story, Coven. She has unique powers that pay homage to classic horror and a long journey ahead.

Tossing in a love interest is a great way to derail a personal growth story.

That’s what happened to Zoe with Kyle, her resurrected boyfriend played by Evan Peters. While we’re glad that Murphy and Falchuck used Kyle to illustrate that mothers can be abusive to their sons just as much as fathers can, “life without Kyle” as Zoe’s own personal hell is really stupid and overly angst-ridden.

15 Aliens In Asylum Makes No Sense

When it comes to American Horror Story, many fans reacted to the inclusion of aliens in season two, Asylum, in the same way that fans of Indiana Jones reacted to the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. For many horror fans, aliens don’t enter the territory without very specific rules, and you certainly don’t add aliens into an already-existing story for a scare factor.

The aliens of AHS also just weren’t scary. Sure, they made Pepper more interesting and gave convenient explanations for a few weird happenings, but at the end of the day mixing aliens in with mutants, a mean nun, demons, and war criminals just doesn’t work. It’s a hodgepodge of plot devices tossed together like a salad with too many kinds of dressing. Sometimes simpler is just better.

14 The Musical Sequences

We get that Sister Jude is losing her mind in this tenth episode of season two, Asylum, but must we lose ours as well? The episode itself was gripping, but watching Jessica Lange sashay through “The Name Game” wasn’t nearly as eerie as it should have been. It played off as more of an homage to the creators’ Glee in a way that didn’t work.

While some critics enjoyed the mind-boggling number, many of us like to pretend it never happened.

It’s not the last time the showrunners implemented a bit of music and dance, either. Season four, Freak Show, featured several ditties, including a rendition of “Come As You Are” by Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson’s “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, and Lange singing David Bowie’s “Life on Mars”.

13 What Happens To Dr. Arden’s Experiments?

The mutants created in Dr. Arden’s horrific experiments are the stuff of nightmares, and they definitely present an interesting side story among the rest of the godawful happenings at Briarwood Manor in season two of American Horror Story, Asylum. Their issue, of course, is that they disappear off the radar without much of a peep.

Once turned into a mutant and taken to a hospital, Shelley, played by Chloë Sevigny as a homage to the many women unjustly committed to asylums throughout history, seems as if she may be able to lead the authorities toward Arden, but alas, Joseph Fiennes’ conflicted yet greedy Monsignor Timothy Howard takes her out instead. We don’t hear much about them afterward. What happened to the mutants?

12 The Messed-Up Historical Figures

Anne Frank was lobotomized by the evil Dr. Arden from Briarcliff Manor in season two, Asylum. Not only does this make zero sense, but it also really does a disservice to Anne Frank’s memory. There is a lot of artistic license taken with historical figures throughout American Horror Story, from Delphine Lalaurie to James March. Even characters used as backgrounds for new characters, like Nellie Bly’s inspiration for Lana Winters, often seems a bit much, especially when the representation is so loose.

The misrepresentation or grand re-representation of historical figures is nothing new.

Our own history books present complete falsehoods about everyone from Christopher Columbus to Paul Revere. Perhaps it’s just so glaring because we acknowledge that now, particularly during an age of “fake news” awareness.

11 The Opening Sequence And Spoilers Promise More Than We Get

One of the most exciting elements of a new season of American Horror Story is always the opening sequence and the slowly-revealed spoilers. Cast announcements and cool visuals trickle in until we finally get to see that first episode with its incredible casting graphics. The creepy opening sequence does much more than announce the cast: it revs us up like the announcer for a really scary joust about to take place.

The only problem is that it often goes downhill from there. While season 1 typically delivered, the casting graphics in seasons like Freak Show were actually scarier than the episodes themselves. That’s a real problem if we are supposed to be watching a horror program.

10 We Have No Idea What Happened To The Pig Boys

They were a successful execution of “the scary children” in a way that the little vampire entourage of the previous season just couldn’t seem to manage, so maybe that’s why Murphy and Falchuck decided to never let the “pig boys” of season six be seen again.

Aside from the fact that the boys could have made for some truly scary storytelling, the problem here isn’t just that they had no deeper involvement in the story than “check out these creepy kids” but that they don’t even have a resolution. Why the kids say, “Croatoan!” and why they drink pig milk remains unknown, and we may never know what happened to the charming little tykes.

9 No Consequences for the bad things the “good guys” do

As fans of American Horror Story, we sure do forgive a lot of murderers, don’t we? When someone bad finally goes good, all of their wicked deeds don’t seem to be as problematic. Even sweet Nan takes out Joan. Misty Day, otherwise a kind hippie, offs a couple of guys with alligators.

Were these warranted attacks? Maybe, but that doesn’t erase the fact that many characters end the lives of others and we pretty much turn a blind eye toward it like we wouldn’t if they occurred in real life. Of course, from people returning from the grave to mutant attacks near an asylum, there’s really not a lot in the show that applies to real life.

8 There’s Really No War Between The Coven And The Voodoo Witches

During season three, Coven, there’s a big build up about an oncoming war between the coven and the voodoo witches of the area. Both are led by powerful women, and who wasn’t excited to see Fiona, played by Jessica Lange, and Marie Laveau, played by Angela Bassett, go up against one another?

While there was plenty of tension and a zombie attack, it pretty much stopped there, especially after the witch hunters came to town.

AHS often builds up to something we’re expecting and completely abandon it for another plot instead. While we get that they want to keep us on our toes, broken promises do leave us unsatisfied and underwhelmed.

7 Zoe And Madison Gave Their Souls To Azaezel And It Never Came Up Again

When the bus full of frat boys who assaulted Madison wrecks, taking out all of the monsters on board on Madison’s whim, it’s satisfying. Even seeing Kyle taken out doesn’t bother some of us, given that we’ve already seen Evan Peters return from the grave before and wouldn’t be surprised if he returned. He may have stopped his “brothers” but he certainly tried to help them not get caught, making him complicit in the attack.

When Zoe and Madison decide to put “boy parts” together to resurrect Kyle as the perfect Frankenstein boyfriend, they sell their souls to Azaezel in order to do so, and yet it never comes up again. Given that both girls bite the dust during the show, shouldn’t that at least be an issue?

6 Roanoke’s Reality Show Inception

It was one of the most pointless plot points to ever be inserted into a season of American Horror Story. During season six, Roanoke, we’re treated to a reality show type of setting where re-enactors help us understand what happened to the Millers in “My Roanoke Nightmare”, an obvious play on so many other popular reality-based ghost hunting and experience shows. That’s an intriguing concept that works well for much of the season, but then we’re hit with reality-ception.

Getting all of the actors and people involved in actual events together for the blood moon event is one thing, but what about the disclaimer that nobody even survived the ordeal? If that’s true (which makes sense, since this is Roanoke), how did we get the footage in the first place?

5 There’s No Point To Scathach

Scathach, the mythical warrior from the Isle of Skye in Irish folklore, is an incredible character. It’s too bad we didn’t really get to know her in season six, Roanoke.

Lady Gaga’s Scathnach has a plethora of powers, is said to be the first Supreme and yet has no real point in the series.

The witch does a few nefarious things here and there, from purchasing souls to rendering people evil and insane, but in the grand scheme of things she has no real point except to serve as one of those random elements of horror woven in to just be spooky. Given the history of the traditional character, it would be amazing to see Murphy and Falchuck to use this as a tie-in for a more myth-heavy season.

4 People Are Constantly Offed Only To Be Brought Back

Character losses in the American Horror Story realm are pretty much like those in any comic book series: you don’t ever count them as permanent. Even when an entire series ends and you believe a character to be truly gone, they may return in another season! It’s definitely not a new tactic to have characters return from the grave; it’s a strategy used in everything from Dallas to Supernatural.

It makes us feel a little more jaded and a little less invested when tragedy does strike.

Oh, Fiona is sick? Oh, Ethel’s not going to make it? It’s too often meaningless. We want to feel affected, and we can’t help but worry a bit because we do love these characters, but deep down we’re always still wondering when they’ll return.

3 Twisty’s “Resolution” Is Basically A Deus Ex Machina

Season four’s big villain, Twisty the Clown, turned out to be much more Bozo than Pennywise. Sure, he was scary-looking, and he had the tragic backstory to boot, but Twisty’s crimes felt more garden variety scary movie than the monstrous panache we’d expect from AHS.

Twisty, played by John Carroll Lynch, even had a disappointing resolution as a character. Not only was he never really sorted out by a main character or a victim bent on revenge, but he was literally yanked out of the show to join Edward Mordrake’s nightmarish troupe, collecting the clown’s soul after hearing his tale of woe.

2 Misty Day Was Unjustly Lost

One of the characters fans most resonated with in season three, Coven, was Misty Day, played by the talented Lily Rabe. Misty’s character screamed Supreme, from her unique abilities to her lack of really caring about the position.

Misty was all about fairness, being kind to animals, and protecting the vulnerable, making her a fantastic character to root for.

Unfortunately she was also a red herring. Falchuck and Murphy offed her in such a terrible way in a Hell made up of her own personal vivisection nightmare, which made zero sense given her ability to bring things back to life so easily. Misty didn’t deserve her ending, but neither did Nan and many other characters.

1 Tate Is A School Shooter

Tate Langdon is one of the most romanticized characters in the history of AHS. The season 1 character is a doting friend, devoted boyfriend who would do anything for Violet, and speaks volumes of teen angst to many a smitten heart. It doesn’t hurt that Evan Peters, who plays Tate, is easy on the eyes as well. Is that why it’s so hard to remember that Langdon is such a deplorable character?

Tate is a school shooter. He took the lives of several classmates and should represent what we most despise and do not condone in this nation right now. He also assaulted Violet’s mother, Vivian, causing her to become pregnant with his Antichrist baby. How can anyone still crush on this guy knowing what harm he’s done?

What other problems with American Horror Story do fans overlook? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-10-10 08:10:37 – Sara Schmidt