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Falcon Age Review: A Beautiful Friendship

Falcon Age is about more than the bond between you and your (adorable) bird. It’s about reclaiming your culture, and it’s a story told beautifully.

Animal-lovers know what it’s like to have a special bond with a furry (or feathered) friend. Whether they own a Chihuahua or a Furby, they build a connection to this creature, one that transcends the boundaries of language. In far rarer cases, the friendship goes even further, seeing the animal and human work as one; two sides of the same spirit. Instances of this may be purely fictional, but they’re the kind of bond that is explored in Falcon Age, one that connects the player to their falcon, and through that fosters an understanding of culture and history.

There are countless games that feature animal companions. There’s Rush from Mega Man, Epona from Ocarina of Time, and of course the Pokemon from Pokemon. But while the idea of having a virtual “pet” is nothing new, Falcon Age goes much further to acknowledging the truth of the bond between player and creature. It’s not just about watching your Pokemon fight while you sit back and collect Gym Badges, or riding your horse and feeding them occasionally. Your falcon is a wild animal, and the creed of “Falcon Hunter” is an ancient tradition of your people.

Related: Breath of the Wild Gets Full VR Support Later This Month

Falcon Age is a first-person adventure game (in optional VR) where the player takes on the role of Ara. She’s a young girl with a lot to prove to her Aunt, her people, and herself. After bonding with a baby falcon in prison, they hatch (pun-intended) an escape plan and journey out into the barren land of their world. With the guidance of other members of the Resistance, Ara will reclaim her people’s land from the oppressive robot government and discover more about the traditions that have been destroyed.

One of these traditions, of course, is that of the Falcon Hunter. With the special bond Ara formed with the baby bird, she will hone her skills and train to become the very best (that no one ever was… etc.). As it is made for VR and the basic PS4 set up, thankfully the game controls excellently and the camera movement can be modified to achieve the perfect look for any specs. The gameplay in Falcon Age is very simple. With the click of a button, players can send their falcon to attack different key points like robot enemies or rabbits to hunt. Players can also whistle for their bird to land on their hand where a number of actions can take place. They can feed them with crafted food, equip different items, or pet them.

This cannot be stressed enough: petting them is the most adorable thing, and players are recommended to do it often. There’s a practical reason of course, as petting your falcon can heal them if they have been damaged from fighting robots. But even if they are at full health, it’s hard to resist wanting to give them a fist bump, do the thing where you make a heart with your hands and they put their head through, and more! This may seem like an odd mechanic to harp on, but for a game about the bond between friends across species’ boundaries, it’s vital (and cute).

Falcon Age involves more than just telling your falcon to do things; you have work to do as well. Ara must navigate the land, completing relatively basic objectives to help the growing resistance. The map isn’t gigantic, but it feels big enough for the short campaign and is filled with a ton of beautiful imagery in a unique artistic style. Most of the missions involve using Ara’s handy whip/baton to defeat batches of enemies, while guiding her falcon to assist in the skies. The way the game makes the combo of Ara’s attacks necessary with the falcons in order for neither to get hurt is wonderfully done. The combat is never challenging (the game even offers “Imprint Mode” where combat is optional) but it still remains satisfying.

The game also does a great job of breaking up the (occasionally) monotonous hack-n-slash with fun side quests and mini-games. There’s hunting of course, which isn’t super “involved,” though it is always fun to watch your falcon dive from the heavens on to her prey. Falcon Age also has a kid-friendly crafting system, where meat collected from hunting is processed in a blender to make edible pellets for your bird bud. There are a bunch of different recipes, and plenty of open areas to explore to find the next meal. There’s also a very goofy futuristic “golf” game involving the Ara’s whip, where the ball is knocked towards the hole using the momentum of the swing.

But Falcon Age wouldn’t be complete without the ability to change your falcon’s outfit. Players can give her plenty of different hats, including one that makes her look like a chick again even when she is all grown up. Upgrades can also be made like the addition of sonar and armor, to give players an edge up in their fights. As Auntie says early on in the game, “it’s not about you.” The story is about the bond you create with your falcon, so it’s understandable that they get all the accessories.

Though Falcon Age embraces the friendship of human and animal in a way few games have done (The Last Guardian comes to mind as this game’s equal), that’s not all that sets it apart. Through all the bonding the player does with their bird, they also grow closer to the culture their world abandoned. There’s a powerful moment in the game where Ara admits her name was shortened by the government because the robots couldn’t pronounce it correctly. Her Aunt replies “because they weren’t built by people who cared.” These indigenous peoples whose land and traditions were stolen from them lead a triumphant narrative of self-discovery and technological impact. In the end, players will have made an adorable bird friend, but the bond with a forgotten culture is even more memorable.

More: Dangerous Driving Review: Race, Crash, Repeat

Falcon Age is out now on PS4 and PSVR for $19.99. Screen Rant was provided with a digital PS4 copy for the purposes of this review.


2019-04-09 01:04:03

Ty Sheedlo

11-11 Memories Retold Review: A Hauntingly Beautiful War Story

Many story-driven games seem to hang in the balance between player-involvement and cinematic experience, maintaining a kind of requisite distance to deliver a tale. 11-11: Memories Retold brings a deeply ambitious concept to this sensibility, delivering an intimate sense of humanity but a somewhat unrewarding approach to game mechanics, creating an experience that is hard-fought and won through sheer sincerity of vision and narrative sophistication. It’s an unheralded combination of the talents of Aardman Studios (best known for the Wallace & Grommit claymation classics, or this year’s Early Man) and developer DigixArt revisiting the setting of World War I after 2014’s Valiant Hearts.

Harry Lambert and Kurt Wagner are two individuals compelled into The Great War on opposite sides, neither of which muster easy comparison to conventional portrayals of soldiers. Harry is a young photographer by trade and passion, while Kurt is a mechanic and technician, one of dozens of employees in a German zeppelin factory. They’re most similar in their approach to the war — purposes borne out of love, romantic and familial, respectively — but are otherwise completely different in age and background, and they meet by pure coincidence. From this point onward, though, their given paths continuously snake together over time, with the player shifting control of each character, ricocheting the story across the conflict’s border.

Related: Transpose Review – Mindbending Puzzles in VR

With a vocal performance by Elijah Wood, Harry is slightly wet behind the ears when he enlists, captivated by the menacing charm and bombast of General Barrett, a customer at the photography studio he works at. Kurt’s entrance to the war differs completely, as a father desperate to find his enlisted son and seeing no other way to ensure his safety than to don a uniform himself. The two performances are passionate, thoughtfully directed and delivered, though Sebastian Koch as Kurt outshines his more recognizable co-star, injecting believable voice-cracking pathos into the straightforward script.

The earliest hour or so of 11-11: Memories Retold unfortunately fails at making a positive first impression. That criticism is in partial consideration of the idiosyncratic art style, a unique blend of Impressionist brushstrokes slathered onto 3D models and environments, hearkening to the work of Monet and Degas but presented in constantly animated motion. For broad views and vistas, wide angles of forests and pastures, or standout settings like the blood-red poppy fields at The Battle of Vomy Ridge, the style is no less than breathtaking. However, in simplistic environments, like some early-game trenches and underground tunnels, the effect is indistinct at best, sometimes even outright ugly, and it frequently compromises a player’s ability to distinguish specific objects and goals. This means that the most brilliant stages of the plot and the game’s interest in showing you its most impressive visual application are firmly gated until approximately 1/4 of the way through…but they’re well worth the wait.

A similar sense of patience might be needed for much of 11-11: Memories Retold’s interactive portions throughout. While it’s true that adventure games have rarely been heralded for the pleasure of their mechanical gameplay, many of the specific scenes and moments in this one are frustrating and ungainly. An objectives system is in place to ensure that players are aware of their limited and immediate goals, but that’s where any guidance ends; it’s not uncommon to be given a new task bereft of any information about where to even find it. A character yells for the player to “come over here” in a wintry POW camp but, lacking a mini-map or a way to distinguish most NPCs from one another, you’ll just wander to and fro until you find the right character to speak to and progress the story. Interactive hotspots are always marked by a discreet white circle, but these only emerge in close proximity, and are hard to make out in the frenetic mass of brushstrokes.

Furthermore, once you do nail down these hotspots, there’s rarely a rewarding activity to partake in. You might press a button, hear an NPC bark, fuss with a simplistic minigame, or just push a crate several feet to proceed. At its worst, these moments feel unfit to the alternating intimacy and grandeur of the story itself, but they’re not where the game’s meaningful value lies. Harry and Kurt become complex and absorbing characters, adeptly yoking players into their decisions and confusions, the drastic purpose they each bring to bear on the big picture around them. There are truly well-earned moments that will make certain players weep, and not by doggedly pursuing a predictable melodramatic gutpunch. To say anything further risks spoiling them, but the twists that inevitably raise are rarely obvious, and the basic conflict of two nationally-opposed “non-soldiers” intuiting their own mustered heroism evolves with poignant grace.

While the art style can waver unevenly in practice, it’s hard to imagine anyone having a single negative thing to say about the music. Quite simply, 11-11: Memories Retold possesses one of the finest original soundtracks of any video game released in years, performed and composed by Olivier Deriviere & The Philharmonia Orchestra and recorded at the legendary Abbey Road studios. Drawing from composers like Debussy and Ravel, the music is artistically linked to the historical era and even the visual style of the game, and will compel many players to seek out the album for purchase once the game is complete.

A complete century has passed since the World War I armistice, which is a momentous occasion in and of itself, and effectively fuels the essential concepts of the game. An attention to the importance of historical conflicts and their relevant echoes into the modern era connects to the War Child DLC, a fairly brief and charity-driven supplement to the game that frames The Great War against the globally-relevant crisis of war-affected children. It’s a reference point that prompts no active effect on the game experience, with the DLC mostly just throwing in a few additional collectible items and several profound live-action documentary shorts. Still, War Child is an NGO well-deserving of charitable attention, and its mere inclusion adds a context of immediacy to 11-11: Memories Retold‘s themes.

Those DLC collectibles mix into the rest of the recoverable ephemera in the game, squirreled away in far corners of the mostly-small explorable environments. While these collectibles deliver excellent texture to the historical era being presented, they never fail to create dissonance in the minute-to-minute gameplay. A character may be yelling at Harry to hurry along in the wake of a threat, but the player choosing to busy themselves looking for hidden notes in overlooked corners effectively shatters the (mostly harmless) illusion of threat. In a lesser story, this dissonance would risk subverting the tone completely, but this narrative perseveres. During latter portions of the game, players will probably find themselves caring less and less about these collectibles as they’re drawn further into the story, but they’ll be available for pickup in future replays.

Why replay the game come story’s end? 11-11: Memories Retold is actually filled with numerous path-diverting choices of alternating scope and significance, all of them feeding into a decisive, heart-stopping endgame that can vary quite drastically. Oftentimes, these choices take the form of QTEs, which run the gamut from trivially meaningless to shocking, and they can surprise players within a given instance or cutscene. Additionally, there’s a photography gameplay element linked to Harry’s character, reminiscent of Beyond Good & Evil, which also affects how certain sections play out.

Longtime fans of Telltale Games’ oeuvre will readily take to 11-11: Memories Retold, as many of the abovementioned criticisms could equally be thrown at Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead. History buffs will likely appreciate the attention to detail apparent in most of the game as well, excusing things like the spotty autosave checkpointing system or the goofy look of the main character’s faces in closeup. Still, even for those less experienced with adventure games, 11-11: Memories Retold ultimately succeeds in its unique approach to the setting, best-in-class production values, and affecting, memorably beautiful interactive story.

More: Fallout 76 Review – A Risky and Rewarding Post-Apocalyptic Camping Trip

11-11: Memories Retold is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One $29.99. Screen Rant was provided a digital PS4 code for this review.



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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

World War Z Sequel Begins Production in June, Confirms Producer

It seems World War Z 2 will finally begin production next June, according to one of the movie’s producers. Getting the first movie – which was directed by Marc Forster and based on a script by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, and Damon Lindelof – onto the big screen was a long and arduous journey. While it wasn’t a direct adaptation of Max Brooks’ acclaimed novel of the same name, it was still a different take on the zombie subgenre.

However, that doesn’t mean it revolutionized the horror genre. World War Z received generally positive reviews from critics and earned a whopping $540 million at the worldwide box office against an estimated production budget of $190 million, which was more than enough for Paramount Pictures to commission a sequel. But development on the follow-up installment lagged for years until the studio’s new chief came on board in 2017 and started to push it forward. Now, it’s slated to start filming next summer.

Related: Why Jurassic World 2’s J.A. Bayona Dropped Out Of Directing World War Z 2

In an interview with Variety on the red carpet for Beautiful Boy, producer Dede Gardner confirmed that World War Z 2 will begin production in June 2019. She also reaffirmed that Brad Pitt would be reprising his role from the first movie as Gerry Lane, with David Fincher on board to direct. Furthermore, producer Jeremy Kleiner provides an update on the script, saying that screenwriter Dennis Kelly is still working on it, but they’re quite happy with what they have so far.

It’s interesting that Paramount Pictures, especially under new leadership, still sees potential in this story despite it being more than five years since the first movie released. Sure, it performed well at the box office, but the zombie genre is even more crowded now than it was then. After all, Paramount recently and briefly started to develop a reputation for offloading properties they thought wouldn’t perform well in theaters, primarily to streaming giant Netflix. That’s why movies like Annihilation and The Cloverfield Paradox suddenly found themselves streaming online. But in the midst of all the apparent turmoil was World War Z 2, which kept on trudging forward.

Fincher started filming the second season of Netflix’s Mindhunter this past summer, so, given how adamant Gardner is about the June production start time frame, it seems the filmmaker has set aside time next summer to get the ball rolling on the long-awaited World War Z sequel. Whether they actually make that production start date remains to be seen, but at least fans can rest assured knowing the studio hasn’t forgotten about the movie.

Next: World War Z Horde Gameplay Trailer Recreates Movie’s Zombie Tsunami

Source: Variety





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2018-10-08 08:10:30 – Mansoor Mithaiwala

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

WARNING: Major spoilers for A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born‘s ending undoes what could have been a Hollywood classic – but that’s not exactly Bradley Cooper’s fault. From its first version in 1937, A Star Is Born has always had a problematic resolution to its story, one that’s only got worse over the past century, and this latest version is no different.

A Star Is Born is a classic story that Hollywood loves so much it’s told it four times (with a suspiciously-similar earlier version, several failed attempts and many, many imitators). A top-of-his-game star (in 2018, Bradley Cooper’s rock star Jackson Maine) is suffering from alcoholism and in a stupor discovers a struggling artist (Lady Gaga as Ally, a waitress moonlighting in a drag bar), falling in love with both her and her talent. He provides her with a big break, sending her fame into the stratosphere just as his addictions begin to derail his career. The pair marry, but despite their love things begin to fray.

Related: Read Our A Star Is Born Review

It’s a tale of rags to riches, of falls from grace, of the power of love, and personal identity within all of that. And, for much of the runtime, A Star Is Born 2018 is genuinely a great version of all those stories. Gaga’s first major concert leaves you floating, Cooper shows mental affliction with grace, both perform their songs incredibly (to actual live crowds, no less), and are utterly believable as troubled lovers. It is, for much of its runtime, a very good film worthy of that deafening hype.

However, everything implodes into a black hole of pretentiousness as what could have been a great film its own right has to follow through on being called A Star Is Born

  • This Page: The Problem With A Star Is Born’s Ending
  • Page 2: A Star Is Born’s Ending Has Always Been Bad
  • Page 3: Why Bradley Cooper Couldn’t Fix A Star Is Born

What Happens In A Star Is Born’s Ending

We’ll stick with Cooper’s take for now before going deeper into the past. A Star Is Born‘s third act is kicked off by Ally winning the Grammy for Best New Artist – a major step for her career, undercut entirely by Jack drunkenly taking to the stage with her and relieving himself on live TV. He goes into rehab and she wrestles with where her focus should lie, eventually deciding to try and protect her recovering husband. She cancels her European tour when her agent, Rez, blocks the duo playing together.

As a result, Jack kills himself. He’s confronted by a seething Rez who has no sympathies or expectations of sobriety and states outright Jack’s ruining his wife’s career. When she matter-of-fact states the tour cancellation, he sees the impact of his actions and, while she plays a concert, he hangs himself in their garage.

Related: Every Song On A Star Is Born’s Soundtrack

This breaks Ally at first, leaving her emotionally distraught, before her understanding the meaning of Jack’s sacrifice – to enable her to truly become the star he always saw – helps her pull through. The film ends at a tribute concert in Jack’s memory. “My name is Ally Maine.” she declares before singing “I’ll Never Love Again”, a song based on their relationship they wrote together while he was recovering. A flashback shows the pair singing, she looks through the camera at the audience, the end.

Why A Star Is Born’s Ending Is Bad

Removing the ending of all presentation and self-imposed importance (a character looking into the camera at the end is an overused trope that Cooper simply doesn’t earn), in just writing down the events of A Star Is Born its problems should be obvious.

Jack decides to kill himself to save his wife, committing suicide because it’s the only way to set her free. This comes about two hours into a film which has slowly built up its numerous interpersonal relationships, and so comes as a drastic and rather unearned turn. Now, there is an argument to be made about accuracy to the unpredictability of mental illness, but given the intimacy audiences had with both Jack and Ally up until this moment, that doesn’t fit with the rest of the film. A Star Is Born, plainly, presents suicide as the only way out. It’s meant to come across as a selfless act but still values success as a true route to happiness, meaning anything emotional about the “gesture” is laced with hypocrisy.

But it’s what comes after and Ally’s coming to terms with her loss that’s so disquieting. For all her innate talent being the drive of the story and her freely made decision to step back what motivated Jack to kill himself, the final scene makes everything about Jack; the mononymous singer for the first time takes on her husband’s surname at his concert, where she performs a song that he helped her write in her original singer style. The suggestion is meant to be that Jack was holding her back, but in the shadow of the previous two hours the strange implication is that the act of a true star being born came from the adversity of Jack’s sacrifice. Making Ally’s success symbiotic to her dead husband is already heavily in the text of the film, but the final scene makes her final ascension even more indebted to his drastic act.

It’s hard to not read A Star Is Born‘s ending as trivializing suicide down to a plot point to give the fundamentally broken male lead the defining role in its female protagonist’s arc. It’s a weird move to make in 2018, although don’t believe this is just the product of an 80-year-old movie being remade. There’s something flawed at the heart of A Star Is Born.

Page 2: A Star Is Born’s Ending Has Always Been Bad

The True Story Behind A Star Is Born’s Ending Explains The Problem

There have been four versions of A Star Is Born: the 1937 Hollywood-skewering original starring Janet Gaynor and Frederick March, the 1954 musical starring Judy Garland and James Mason, the 1976 shift to the music industry with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and the latest Cooper/Gaga release. Each one has its own quirks, but all endeavor to tell the same story of love and fame intertwined, and all have the same basic ending. But the 1937 version isn’t the start. While A Star Is Born‘s narrative is a fiction, it’s very much based on truth; each movie is rooted heavily in the entertainment industry of the time – Hollywood for the 1937 and 1954 versions, music for 1976 and 2018 – and aims to tell an encapsulating story. There are some real-life events that inspired it.

The established star falling for an unknown as she climbs to the top was seen in actors Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Fay’s relationship, with the pair marrying in 1928 when the former was an unknown after starring in a Broadway show together. Their marriage fell apart after she rose above him and he fell into alcoholism. They separated in 1935 after seven years of marriage, two years before A Star Is Born was released. This appears to have been composited with the death of silent film actor John Bowers, who died at sea in 1936 after failing to win a part (whether it was a suicide or not is unclear). There are others (as we’ll see) but these are regarded as the ones who powered the 1937 version.

Related: Lady Gaga Fans Are Trolling Venom With Fake Bad Reviews

Of course, there’s one key distinction between inspiration and movie: in real life, it was two unrelated stories. There are the famous lovers who piggyback success and the past-it star who takes his own life, but in all cases these two aspects are entirely independent; the woman goes on to greater success by cutting the man out, while elsewhere another man falls from grace. Both stories epitomize Hollywood together, and taken alongside each other rather than melded have an ingrained believability. A Star Is Born trades that for something more streamlined in having the suicide be the culmination of the romance, but it’s also idealistic and wistful, losing the real moral of either.

This is reflected in what is regarded as a proto-Star Is Born, the 1932 film What Price Hollywood? Released five years before the 1937 version and produced also by David O. Selznick (and directed by George Cukor, who was approached for the first A Star Is Born and directed the first remake), this is regarded as something of a dry run at the story. Obviously from the release year it can’t share the same real-life inspirations (although, because this is the Golden Age of Hollywood, there are others pointed to), but the core concept and even smaller story beats are there, albeit with one massive difference: the leads are not romantically involved. Lowell Sherman’s Max drunkenly finds Constance Bennett’s Mary and helps make her a star, eventually killing himself after he sees realizes how far he’s fallen and is hurting his friend, while Mary’s suffers an ill-fated marriage that breaks down due to her absences filming and is reconciled at the end.

Watched today, What Price Hollywood? has a cynicism about the film industry ahead of its time despite ultimately being a movie romanticizing Hollywood – and at the core of this is the tragic story of Max and its impact on Mary’s life. The title question is apt.

How The Remakes Have Tried To “Fix” The Ending

In contrast to What Price Hollywood?, A Star Is Born 1937 carries a self-awareness and charm, but in bridging the romantic and the career side of protagonist Esther creates the problematic suicide reading. It’s not helped by dated elements, including the defining part of Esther’s ascension being the actress known as Vicki Lester taking on her husband’s name with a declaration “This is Mrs. Norman Maine“. It works given the time period, but even 16 years later needed an update.

Related: Watch the Trailer For A Star Is Born

The 1954 version is, for the most part, a beat-for-beat remake, just with dance number expansion to make it a musical, but it does make some strides to justifying the ending. The toll that caring for a drunk has on Judy Garland’s Vicki Lester is shown gradually, most upsettingly in an off-stage breakdown she immediately returns to filming from: an unavoidable presentation of the line between art and performer. But, ultimately, it ends in the same way: Norman Maine overhears Vicki’s plans to quit acting to care for her husband, so he feigns going for a swim and drowns himself; after a traumatic period and being unmasked at her funeral (the invasion of the press), Vicki returns to the public eye where she declares herself “Mrs. Norman Maine“. Every issue discussed is here.

The 1976’s A Star Is Born is overall incredibly melodramatic, nowhere less than its handling of the ending. What it should be praised for is its attempts at giving the female lead a greater sense of autonomy: throughout Streisand’s Esther makes decisions that power the narrative, not just being led along by Kristoffersen as those who came before her, but that’s lost thuddingly in the finale. After his meltdown, John Howard has imposed isolation – not rehab – and when returning home immediately sleeps with a reporter wanting an interview for Esther. The couple tries to power past this, but John figures he’s still broken and crashes his car at high speeds. Again, Esther is sad before taking his name (and singing at a tribute event).

Like we’ve already explored with A Star Is Born 2018, all versions have tried to provide their own contemporary spin on the tale to iron out its kinks, yet all wind up having to repeat the same suicide-anger-name triple-tap that doesn’t belong. A degree can be accounted to the changing times, but that ignores that the original trio of movies released over nearly 40 years, and that Cooper wasn’t able to address it either.

Page 3: Why Bradley Cooper Couldn’t Fix A Star Is Born

Why Bradley Cooper Can’t Fix A Star Is Born

Bradley Cooper certainly tries to bring a modern slant to the worn tale of A Star Is Born. He invests heavily in making Jack and Ally’s opposite trajectories operate independently – Jack is suffering from tinnitus before he’s heard a note of “La Vie En Rose”, while Ally’s SNL appearance is deemed to contradict his advice – while making the love story more immediate. It’s a bigger story, more personal and considerably more consummately paced.

But, like all the others, the ending hits a snag. And some of his decisions make it worse. The method of final descent is different, with the awards show upset and rehab undone not by Maine going off the rails again as in every other take, but rather by Ally’s agent calling his supposed bluff. It’s implied from the British Rez knowing when exactly Jackson first toured across the pond that he was once a fan, now disillusioned with his hero, making him a millennial scapegoat to any affronting reading.

Related: 2018 Fall Movie Preview: The 30 Films to See

This generational push and pull could have been what sent A Star Is Born to greatness. Sam Elliott’s speech about there only being twelve notes played over and over, with the majesty coming from how the artist uses them is a beautiful sentiment that sees Cooper self-justifying another remake and appears like a zen view on the entertainment business that birthed it. Except it isn’t, because this idea is also trying to explain the ending, claiming that the music industry is cyclical and that stars are born and then new stars are born later; Jack’s death is enabling that. What the film seems to miss is that for one state to ever enter another, a star must always die. Ally will fall too. The raw textual argument is that the failures are as eternal as the successes, raising the question of worth, yet the film provides no further exploration and presents it as somehow immediately uplifting.

And that’s the hump that A Star Is Born 2018, like its predecessors, can’t get over. The story thinks it’s a biting, self-aware take on itself, but it’s too close to the subject to see that it’s really just propagating a harsh cycle. This isn’t helped by the film being weighted by so much – the casting of Lady Gaga, his writer-director-producer-actor whammy, even Sam Elliott as the Sam Elliott-type – although those concerns are also the key explanation for what’s really going on.

A Star Is Born Only Exists Because Of Ego

Throughout this article, there’s been one question dangling unspoken. Why are there four versions of A Star Is Born anyway? It’s a story that is flawed and dated, on a topic which has been tackled in more films than any other. Yes, each movie got serious Oscar nominations and wins, but that alone isn’t enough to justify going back. The true answer is enlightening.

1954’s A Star Is Born was conceived as a bid to restart Judy Garland’s career after it stalled over the 1940s. 1976’s A Star Is Born was Barbra Streisand’s attempt (along with then-husband Jon Peters) to boost her standing in Hollywood. And 2018’s A Star Is Born is Bradley Cooper’s grand attempt to win the Oscar that he believes he deserves (his entire post-Hangover career is a carefully played game of chess with a Golden Baldie the King). There are studio concerns too (before Cooper, Warner Bros had been attempting to get a remake off the ground since the early 2010s, although as a Beyonce vehicle has the same career expansion goals), but those are the primary purposes of each version. A Star Is Born is a vanity project on repeat.

Related: A Star Is Born Is An Oscar Favorite – But Could An Infamous Producer Hurt Its Chances?

Now, vanity projects needn’t be bad, and indeed a lot of good comes from each of these attempts. Indeed, each was ultimately successful in both their primary and commercial goals: Garland’s career was rejuvenated; Streisand won her second Oscar; and Cooper’s currently the front-runner in multiple categories for next year’s Academy Awards.

But this aspect appears to be why each version of A Star Is Born struggles to understand the real meaning of its ending. Each powering force believes this movie will be what takes them being a Norman/Jack Maine to a new Esther/Ally while missing that it’s built into the story to be impossible. They believe so much in the two contradictory Hollywood legends wholesale, so don’t see that the story is almost warning against such a thing.

A Star Is Born Is No Longer Needed

In recent years, we’ve seen Hollywood’s reliable rotation of movies about itself take a genuinely incisive slant. 2015’s Best Picture Winner Birdman was an ostentatious exploration of ego that too ended with the protagonist committing suicide, but there it was with the wry critique that fame and adoration are fleeting and that such a bold act was the only way for the self-involved hero to reach the heights he dreamed of. Then there’s 2017’s almost-Best Picture Winner La La Land, which was a celebration of Hollywood-gone-by looking at love in a city of stars, eventually concluding that success required the sacrifice of the central relationship.

Together, these take on all the ideas that A Star Is Born is playing with and apply them in a more thoughtful way. The messages are more widely applicable and their endnotes have considerably less of the hypocrisy. Birdman and La La Land may find joy in the arts, but they also uncover the trials of creativity and fame, keeping the brutal truths in earshot while presenting from a position of success.

A Star Is Born 2018 is a good movie, an undeniable achievement for both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. But there is a flaw at the heart of the tale that just doesn’t ring true. Unless it’s made with a completely revisionist, ego-less eye, in twenty years we do not need another one.

More: Every Version Of A Star Is Born Ranked, From Garland To Gaga



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2018-10-06 01:10:52 – Alex Leadbeater

Mortal Engines Footage Description: First 25 Minutes Debuts At NYCC

Following The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, Peter Jackson returns as a producer on Mortal Engines, and at the movie’s New York Comic Con panel, the first 25 minutes of footage debuted; we offer a brief breakdown of what’s included.

Adapted from Philip Reeve’s novel of the same name, Mortal Engines takes place in a futuristic world where cities are moving beasts that roam the world searching for fuel to keep moving. Meanwhile, smaller also mobile towns have become the prey of larger city-states like London. The film follows Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar), a fugitive with a deadly grudge against London’s Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving). Hester runs across historian Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan) as she attempts to defeat Valentine and protect smaller cities and towns from the insatiable hunger that is London.

Related: Mortal Engines Trailer #2 Debuts At NYCC

Ahead of the film’s release in December, Jackson, Mortal Engines director Christian Rivers and members of the cast appeared on a panel at NYCC. Prior to a Q&A with the cast and filmmakers during the Mortal Engines NYCC panel, Andy Serkis presented the first 25 minutes of the movie. Much of the opening footage focused on building out the world of Mortal Engines. The film kicks off with an opening monologue setting the stage for the post-apocalyptic world (what Jackson refers to as a “post-post-apocalyptic” world) following the 60-Minute War that destroyed society as we know it.

After the voiceover, viewers get to meet Hester, who’s on a cliff and spots the approaching predator city of London. Once she sees the oncoming, mobile city, Hester runs back to a grouping of smaller, mobile towns that break apart and start running from London. Hester is stuck on one town that can’t seem to get its engines started and winds up being the “prey” pursued by London. The town flees across the open land, which Jackson referred to as “the great hunting ground” (essentially, where Europe used to be). The chase sequence continues for much of the opening, as the smaller town is chased by London and attempts to lose the larger city-state amid some foothills. While the sequence is filled with tension, the town is eventually caught by London and “ingested.”

On board London, Tom meets Katherine Valentine (Leila George) at the London Museum, where he shows her some of the artifacts he’s collected to help with her research into the 60-Minute War. Tom shows Katherine a video of a pre-war city being destroyed using some kind of quantum technology. Then, Tom reveals he’s been collecting similarly dangerous technology, some of which has been stolen. Once London ingests the smaller town, Tom is tasked with going down to sort through it for valuable artifacts, and he’s accompanied by Katherine. There, they meet Thaddeus, but Hester is lurking in the crowd of people moving from the town into London. When she has a moment, she attempts to assassinate Thaddeus, but she’s stopped by Tom and has to flee.

The final sequence of the footage screened includes a foot chase through the ingested mining town as Hester runs from Tom and Thaddeus (though the latter is following more slowly due to the injury Hester inflicted). Hester flees from Tom through the town as it’s being destroyed by massive saws and metal jaws. Eventually, she reaches a platform that overlooks a tunnel out of London and she jumps. Tom catches her and Hester tells him to ask Thaddeus about her mother, revealing that Thaddeus murdered her mother. Then she forces Tom to drop her and when Tom does mention to Thaddeus what Hester said, Thaddeus pushes Tom down the tunnel and out of London.

Altogether, the footage shown at NYCC for Mortal Engines introduced an expansive world akin to that of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit with sweeping, beautiful visuals. It remains to be seen if Mortal Engines turns out to be a massive blockbuster success on par with the trilogies for which Jackson is most well known. But, with Jackson on board as a producer and Rivers at the helm, it’s clear Mortal Engines will provide some stunning sequences for moviegoers – which they’ll get to see when the film hits theaters in December.

Next: The Biggest Changes Mortal Engines Makes to the Book



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2018-10-05 12:10:02 – Molly Freeman

20 Twilight Fan Castings Better Than What We Got In The Movies

Casting perfectly for a single film is important; casting perfectly for a film that will spawn a five-film saga is vital. Not every casting decision for a film franchise is going to be perfect. Even renowned franchises such as the MCU, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings have actors in roles that didn’t quite suit them or where there was an even more perfect casting decision staring them in the face.

Finding the perfect cast for a film is much harder than most people give these casting director’s credit for. All they have to go off of is the script, the director’s vision, and possibly (luckily for many big blockbusters) the source material. It’s even harder when adapting a book series whose fans have been picturing the characters in their heads for years.

Finding the perfect cast after a film’s complete is much more fun, even if it has no real impact. Though films are often recast when remade (A Star is Born) or when sequels are released and the original cast doesn’t return (The Girl in the Spider’s Web) it’s fun to still find that perfect cast when there’s no remake/sequel in sight. The Twilight Saga’s cast has been ridiculed and spoofed more than most franchises; some criticism warranted, some not. Fans took to the internet, as they’re known to do, with their ideal picks for who they think the cast of The Twilight Saga should have been.

Without further ado, here are 20 Twilight Fan Castings Better Than What We Got.

20 Rosie Huntington-Whitley As Rosalie Hale

Rosie Huntington-Whitley is more known for her runway walks and magazine covers than for her filmography, but she has three acting entries under her IMDb page; a 2009 short, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Mad Max: Fury Road.  Her resume  may be short, but it surely consists of some prominent movies. Her modeling career on the other hand, is one of the most prestigious and fruitful in the world.

While Nikki Reed may have been fine in retrospect for the character’s lack of screen-time in comparison to the other Cullen members, a woman with the following of Huntington-Whitley could added a higher profile cast member for the film.

19 Tom Sturridge As Edward Cullen

Robert Pattinson may be one of the few casting decisions the original filmmakers made that most fans are pretty okay with. A certain fan had a different actor they thought could have played the part a little bit better; Tom Sturridge.

Casting him with a certain actress who we’ll touch on a bit later, the On the Road and Far from The Madding Crowd actor has a lot in common with Pattinson himself.

Both men were born in London, both were in the 2004 drama Vanity Fair, and birth dates are less than six months apart.

Sturridge’s career never quite took off the way it should have, something that a leading role in a billion-dollar franchise surely could have helped.

18 David Harbour As Charlie Swan

Since his role as Eleven’s guardian in Stranger Things, Harbour has been branded as one of the best character actors to play a loving and concerned father. Billy Burke is one of the few who many fans actually thought fit the role well, but Harbour would have been such a fun and comedic addition. Many may think that Harbour would be too old to play Bella’s dad; those fans would be hard-pressed to learn that Burke is actually nine years Harbour’s senior.

Harbour has for many years been a supporting actor in films like Suicide Squad, A Walk Among the Tombstones, and End of Watch; another supporting role such as Charlie Swan would have been just perfect for the actor.

17 Angelina Jolie As Victoria

Victoria had already been replaced once, so why not do it again? Rachelle Lefevre played the red-haired vampire who was part of the coven that homes James and Laurent in the first two films, but then was blindsided when recast and portrayed by future Jurassic World star Bryce Dallas Howard for Eclipse.

The books characterize Victoria as a beautiful and strong woman, adjectives that describe Angelina Jolie quite perfectly.

As of late, Jolie has focused her time more behind the camera then in front of it, but having her play the part would have been quite exciting, especially standing next to a vampiric Ben Stiller.

16 Ben Stiller As James

James, while not the most important figure in the saga, was the main antagonist of the first film. When his coven stumbles upon the Cullen’s and Bella playing a pretty athletic game of baseball, he decides that the human will be his next meal, causing Edwards and his family to go to vast lengths to protect her.

While Cam Gigandet may have had the physique for James, Ben Stiller’s rendition of the vampire would have given the character new depth.

Stiller’s dramatic work is pretty scarce, but having acted in film like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Brad’s Status prove he’d be able to handle it. Stiller’s one of the biggest movie stars in the world, so getting him would have been no easy task, but could have brought something unique to the film.

15 Millie Bobbie Brown As Jane

Some might say that Millie Bobbie Brown is far too young to play the millennia old vampire, but the character was turned at the age of 12. Brown would have been far too young during the original films– she was five during Jane’s first appearance in New Moon– but she would be perfect now.

The young actress has obtained fame from her portrayal as Eleven in Netflix’s Stranger Things, though look for her soon in the Godzilla sequel, Godzilla: King of Monsters and its crossover event Godzilla vs. Kong. Jane’s supposed to be a mysterious character with an old soul, something that Brown portrays brilliantly throughout the first two seasons of Stranger Things.

14 Shiloh Fernandez As Edward Cullen

Shiloh Fernandez may not be the most well-known actor out there, but then again, neither was Rob Pattinson when he was cast as Edward more than a decade ago. As featured on one of the greatest website names of all time, otherguysasedwardcullen-blog.tumblr.com, Shiloh would have made a great Edward, after some make-up work done to make him look a little less alive.

The Utah-born actor is roughly the right age, and as seen in the picture above, looks quite convincing as a vampire when his eyes are brightened and yellowed, with his skin a bit paler, like most of the Cullen’s.

13 Liv Tyler As Esme Cullen

Though she’s been rather absent from the big screen since playing Ed Norton’s love interest in the MCU’s The Incredible Hulk, she’s still etched in cinephiles minds for her roles in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Strangers, and (less so) Armageddon.

Tyler looks like she was born to play a vampire, and it’s a shame she’s never been given the opportunity.

Esme is a pretty small role in relation to the other Cullens, but  Tyler could have maybe brightened up the role a bit, or at the very least, given the family a more familiar feel for viewers.

12 Hugh Jackman As Garrett

The second best cast role in the saga– we’ll talk about the first in just a bit– is none other than a small character named Garrett played by the brilliant Lee Pace. Garrett is vampire who joins the Denali coven at the end of Breaking Dawn when he and Kate begin to form a relationship.

The only way that Lee Pace could be outdone is if one of the most beloved actors of our time replaced him: Hugh Jackman.

Jackman spent a movie hunting vampires back in 2004 with the critically berated Van Helsing, so maybe joining them would be more his suit. Classy as all could be, the Jackman above (provided by Nocuus) would have been perfect for Garrett, a man who was changed in mid 18th century New England.

11 Anton Yelchin As Mike Newton

This one, awfully unfortunately, will never be able to come to fruition because of a tragic accident which resulted in Anton Yelchin losing his life at the age of 27. Mike was played by Michael Welch, but Yelchin would have been the perfect age, and perfect casting for the role. Welch actually auditioned for the role of Edward, but ended up being cast as Mike after Pattinson was brought aboard.

The nice guy from high school is more or less exactly who Yelchin was born to play, and imagining him trying to hold Bella’s hand at the movies is textbook teenage romance that feels just right with Yelchin. Yelchin, like Jackman, isn’t a stranger to vampire films, having starred in the remake of Fright Night. Yelchin’s untimely passing came right at the height of his fame, and a Twilight film would have added right to it.

10 Lily Collins As Alice Cullen

Lily Collins actually auditioned for Twilight, but for the role of Bella; “I think everything happens for a reason and everyone who gets the roles they get were meant to.”

Collins has the flowing movement that Greene brought to the performance, but could have come off a bit more authentic in her compassion.

Greene was not been the worst actress in the franchise, but Collins would have potentially been a step up from the unexperienced performer. Greene’s career never took off quite like Collin’s did, which makes the films down the line seem a bit more dated when new viewers can’t recognize the fourth-billed lead; something that casting Collins could have changed.

9 Hugo Weaving as Aro

Michael Sheen wasn’t just the best casting of any of the actors in the franchise with his turn as Aro, but he gave the best performance from anyone, and even liked the source materia, Sheen may have been flawless, but another actor could have the potential to have done better; that man is Hugo Weaving. Though Aro is much younger than both Sheen and Weaving in the novels, both actors are very similar in age.

Like Liv Tyler, Weaving is famous for his part in The Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as the Wichowskis’ Matrix trilogy. Hugo’s vampire transformation above is a very reminiscent of his Elvish lineage in LOTR, but also extremely similar to Aro’s Volturi attire in the Twilight Saga.

8 Alexander Skarsgård As Emmett Cullen

Either it’s a coincidence that so many of the fan casting decisions were previously in vampire films/TV shows, or there is just an abundance of vampire films/TV shows. Alexander Skarsgård played Eric Northman on HBO’s cult vampire drama True Blood. Though he initially played the show’s antagonist, he was the favorite amongst fans and had far and away the most successful career after the show.

Standing at 6′ 4”,the Stockholm born actor has a much more towering physique than Kellan Lutz, who played Emmett in the films.

As he already plays brooding and mysterious extremely well, letting Skarsgård show a comedic soft side would have given the actor the chance to stretch his wings.

7 Rachel McAdams As Rosalie Hale

Rising to fame four years before the first films release with her starring role in The Notebook and near-perfect teenage antagonist in Mean Girls, McAdams has had an incredible career in the 15 years since; including an Oscar nomination for Spotlight. The inclusion of a renowned thespian like McAdams would have been a welcome addition for the filmmakers as well as the fans.

McAdams may be, and have been back in 2008, a little old to play a vampire who was turned at the age of 18. However she played a high schooler at the age of 26 for Mean Girls, so just a few years more later wouldn’t have been much more of a stretch.

6 Henry Cavill As Carlisle Cullen

Henry Cavill may not have been the household name back then that he is now due to his DCEU fame, but Twilight could have been that jumpstart he needed.

Though Cavill may have had a hand in pretty huge blockbusters with Man of Steel, Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Mission Impossible: Fallout, he had been in only one mainstream film pre 2010; Stardust.

Had they stayed faithful to the books, Cavill would have been a perfect casting.

With Carlisle being the make-shift patriarch of the Cullen coven, the filmmakers wanted to go with someone a bit older than the character in the books.

5 Amber Midthunder as Leah Clearwater

Leah is the only female shapeshifter in Quileute history, and played by Native actress Julia Jones. Jones is an incredible actress, but newcomer Amber Midthunder has thrusted onto the scene after appearing in Hell or High Water and FX’s Legion.

Leah is 21 in the books, thus Midthunder is the perfect age to play the young woman, if the film were to come out today.

Acting in both Sunshine Cleaning and Swing Vote in 2008, the actress was already in high profile films the same year of the first film’s release. Midthunder’s a fan favourite on Legion, so expect the young lady to take off in the future; who knows, maybe even in a remake of Twilight.

4 Steven Strait As Jacob Black

Taylor Lautner became an overnight sensation with the success of the Twilight films, but no one could deny that the actor’s performance lacked authenticity. Steven Strait may not be any more of a household name than Lautner was, but the actor had already starred in his own film, something Lautner hadn’t done when first cast.

Strait starred in the Roland Emmerich vehicle 10,000 BC, which didn’t get rave reviews but gave the actor the experience of being first billed. Strait may be a bit older than Lautner, but that maturity and experience surely would have helped the character command a scene.

3 K.J. Apa as Edward Cullen

Riverdale may be a new show, but the Netflix series is a refreshing and original way to adapt a beloved medium. K.J. Apa shines as Archie, the title character of the original comics and his personality and way he carries himself on the show would be downright perfect for the sensitive and loving vampire.

Apa is still a relative newcomer to the scene, but with Riverdale under his belt and a role in the new drama The Hate U give he’s turning himself into a familiar face. Pattinson was a fine Edward and his career has surely taken off since ending his tenure as a vampire, but he may have been a bit happier had someone else taken the role.

2 Emily Browning As Bella Swan

Emily Browning was infamously author Stephanie Meyer’s first choice to play the role of Bella, though it obviously didn’t come to fruition. The young actress who appeared in A Series of Unfortunate Events, Sucker Punch, and Sleeping Beauty has had a very successful career by anyone’s standard, though has never been in a film quite as popular as Twilight.

The actress had this to say during a 2011 Indiewire interview: “The author at one point stated that I would be her ideal Bella, but I chose not to audition because I was at a point in my career where I wasn’t sure I wanted to work, I definitely didn’t want to sign onto a trilogy so I didn’t audition.”

Of course her wishes were respected, but one could only wonder what a Twilight saga with Browning at the helm could have looked like.

1 Millie Bobby Brown As Renesmee Cullen

That’s right, Millie Bobby Brown’s on here twice. She’s just that good!

This bit of casting could have potentially happened, with Brown being just six when Breaking Dawn: Part 2 was released.

Mackenzie Foy has matured into a great actress, but her performance in the film was a little flat. Renesmee in the book seemed to be smarter than her age; more advanced than she should be. This is something Brown would excel at, having done it for two seasons in Stranger Things.

Let’s be honest, anything would have been better than the CGI Renesmee at the beginning of her the last film.

Which actor do you wish could have had a major role in The Twilight Saga? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-05 08:10:45 – Mark A. Silba

Tyrion Lannister Will Get a Beautiful GoT Ending, According to Peter Dinklage

Peter Dinklage promises that Tyrion Lannister will get a beautiful ending on Game of Thrones. Viewers will just have to wait to find out if it’s a happy one. Dinklage has been portraying the fan favorite character for the show’s entire run, beginning in 2011.

Based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, Game of Thrones is set to conclude when the show returns for its 8th season next year. The show originally hewed closely to the source material, but diverged in later seasons as it began to outpace Martin’s novels. With his sixth installment no closer to release, showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have decided that the upcoming six-episode season will also be the show’s last. Martin, certain Thrones could continue on for many years, was stunned by this revelation.

Related: Game of Thrones: Jon Snow’s Direwolf Is Returning For Final Season

According to ET, Peter Dinklage had only positive things to say about next year’s finale. He stated, “There are no better writers in television than Dan Weiss and David Benioff. They ended it brilliantly. Better than I could have imagined and you people are in for it. It ends beautifully for my character whether it be tragic or not.”

Martin wasn’t the only one surprised and saddened by the news that Thrones would be ending its run so soon. Fans are already going through withdrawal, counting the days until the show returns. Season 7 ended in August 2017 and all viewers know for certain is that “winter is coming” sometime in 2019.

Dinklage’s statement may not be entirely comforting, but it’s not exactly shocking either. Both the series and Martin’s novels have never been shy about killing off major characters, regardless of how beloved they may be. This is not to say that Tyrion won’t survive the finale, but Dinklage’s comments certainly leave room for that to be the case. Without Martin’s novels as a blueprint, little is known about how the series will wrap up. Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, feels that the ending may prove divisive among fans.

The show’s final details have been shrouded in secrecy, with the scripts disappearing as soon as the episodes are shot. Fans have been scouring the internet for clues and some feel that Turner’s direwolf tattoo and Maisie Williams’s cryptic Instagram post both point to the survival of at least some of the Starks. The rampant speculation is to be expected. Game of Thrones has become a worldwide phenomenon and most viewers will be sad to see it go, regardless of whether the ending is satisfying or not. At least a prequel series was ordered earlier this year, so audiences won’t have to completely bid farewell to Westeros just yet.

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

Game of Thrones season 8 premieres on HBO in 2019.

Source: ET



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2018-10-05 07:10:24 – Jamie Gerber