Titans’s Bruce Wayne Casting Could Set Up a Batman Beyond Show

Season 2 of Titans has cast veteran actor Ian Glenn as Bruce Wayne/Batman in a move that creates the exciting possibility of a live-action Batman Beyond show on the DC Universe streaming service.

We already knew the Batman in Titans continuity was in the back half of his career, having fought crime for years and trained multiple Robins, but bringing in Ian Glen as the Caped Crusader gives us an idea of the billionaire vigilante’s actual age in the show. At age 57, Glen is the oldest actor to ever play Batman in live-action by a wide margin. Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman as a seasoned version of the World’s Greatest Detective happened when the actor was only in his early 40s, nearly a decade and a half younger than Glen.

RELATED: Titans’ Bruce Wayne Casting Can Fix Season 1’s Batman Problem

While Glen’s Bruce Wayne will surely be portrayed as a few years younger than Glen’s actual age, it’s still a Batman that’s been fighting crime in Gotham for potentially 30 years, or at least close to it. While the traditional Batman timeline wouldn’t have Terry McGinnis replace Bruce Wayne as the Dark Knight for another decade or two after the events of Titans, having Glen portray Batman puts them within reach of a broad range of older Batman ages. With the help of a little makeup, he could play a version of Batman anywhere from his late 40s to his early 70s. Batman’s older years are especially easy to flex, given Bruce Wayne works to maintain peak physical condition.

The DC Universe streaming service has been mining a number of properties for its live-action shows, from Titans to Doom Patrol to the upcoming Swamp Thing, and eventually Stargirl. So far, they’ve maintained a loose sense of continuity between Doom Patrol and Titans, so Batman Beyond is a perfect fit, especially since, for all intents and purposes, Ian Glen would likely be the only cast member from other shows that would need to appear.

With an older Batman already cast, the biggest concern of bringing a live-action Batman Beyond show to life is budget. Set in a futuristic neon noir world with a far more advanced Bat-suit, a Batman Beyond show could be a tricky proposition to pull off within DC Universe’s budget range, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Swamp Thing reportedly has a budget of around $85 million, and when you consider the quality of some low budget sci-fi movies like Upgrade, which takes place in a similar neon noir Blade Runner-esque aesthetic to Batman Beyond, was made for under $5 million, a Batman Beyond series doesn’t seem entirely out of reach.

It will certainly be curious to see what the DC Universe has in store for Ian Glen. As the oldest on-screen Batman yet, he opens the possibility for a number of older-Batman stories we haven’t been able to see in live-action.

NEXT: Doom Patrol Is A Hit – But It Can’t Beat Titans’ Popularity

2019-04-20 01:04:04

Stephen M. Colbert

Titans Season 2 Set Video Reveals First Look At Bruce Wayne – & He’s Blonde

The first look at Bruce Wayne in season 2 of Titans has arrived thanks to a new set video. The first season of Titans debuted last fall on DC’s digital service DC Universe and introduced subscribers to the young group of heroes. Their lineup consisted of Dick Grayson/Robin (Brenton Thwaites), Rachel Roth/Raven (Teagan Croft), Kory Anders/Starfire (Anna Diop), and Gar Logan/Beast Boy (Ryan Potter), but they also met some other super-powered individuals during their time together. One of these characters was Bruce Wayne (aka Batman), although he never received a proper introduction.

This will change during season 2 after it was announced that Game of Thrones‘ Iain Glen was cast as Batman. The addition of Batman is a big one for Titans, which is also seeing major DC antihero and longtime Titans foe Deathstroke (Esai Morales) join the story. However, this has also made fans eager to see what exactly Titans’ take on Robin’s mentor will be like, as they had a falling out heading into the first season.

Related: Titans’ Bruce Wayne Casting Can Fix Season 1’s Batman Problem

Filming is currently underway on season 2 of Titans and, thanks to a video posted on Twitter by Titans Brasil, we now have our first look at Glen playing Bruce Wayne. Fans have been expecting an older and grizzled version of Batman in Titans based on the casting of Glen, but what many may not have anticipated is that he would keep his natural blonde hair. As seen in this video, which features Bruce and Dick walking together (likely through Wayne Manor), the usual black hair of Bruce Wayne has been ditched.

The blonde look for Bruce Wayne may be somewhat unexpected, but it shouldn’t really make a difference in Glen’s portrayal. His ability to bring his personality and presence to life is much more important than the hair color. This set video may not give us much of any context as to whether or not Glen is pulling this off so far, but his past roles thankfully leave little reason to believe he won’t be able to. Now that this video has surfaced, though, hopefully it won’t be too long before an official image of Glen is released, with or without the Batsuit on, that is just as great as fans have imagined.

Beyond Bruce’s look, the video is our first glimpse of him and Dick back together for season 2. According to the official description of Bruce for the new season, he is the one who seeks out his former sidekick and his new team to try helping them out. The conversation they are having could be them mending fences in order to work together once again, or this scene could already be past that stage and this is them actually figuring out what their first or next move is going to be. Either way, it is just great to see Thwaites and Glen filming together and is hopefully something that season 2 of Titans will have plenty of.

MORE: DC Needs More Stories Like Shazam – And Less Like Titans

Titans season 2 premieres Fall 2019 on DC Universe.

Source: Titans Brasil

2019-04-19 06:04:43

Cooper Hood

Shazam May Confirm Bruce Wayne’s ‘Retirement’ from Batman

Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Shazam!

The Superman cameo in Shazam! may be the most obvious DCEU connection fans will be talking about, but it’s not the biggest. Thanks to one tiny Easter Egg, Shazam! seems to confirm that Bruce Wayne has retired as Batman once already. AND the identity of his replacement.

In hindsight it’s a shame that BOTH connections to the DCEU’s Batman and Superman are bittersweet, since neither Henry Cavill nor Ben Affleck are likely to ever appear in the roles post-Shazam. But as Warner Bros. pumps the brakes on fleshing out their shared movie universe, it’s up to the fans to start filling in the gaps. So even if Justice League gave Bruce Wayne a brand new mission to save the world, Shazam! gives a terrific nod to the story that saw him abandon the role in DC’s New 52–and to the fan-favorite, shredded Gotham cop who took over as Batman in his place.

  • This Page: The Batman Easter Egg in Shazam! Explained
  • Page 2: Bruce Was Replaced as Batman By [SPOILER]?

There are honestly too many DCEU Easter Eggs and references in Shazam! to count so far, and that’s mostly thanks to Freddy Freeman’s obsession with Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, and the rest of DC’s heroes. Whether it’s the t-shirts worn by Freddy, the souvenir Batarang he has in his bedroom, or the newspapers referencing the Man of Steel attack and Superman’s subsequent headlines, it’s clear that these are directly connected to the movie versions of the heroes. And in a world where the Justice League are celebrities and not just fictional characters, they are used to sell merchandise all the same. A point made perfectly clear when Shazam! shows what a toy store looks like in the DCEU post-Justice League.

RELATED: The Shazam/Suicide Squad Connection You Missed

The audience may have some difficulty taking in all of the merchandise contained inside the toy store, since Billy Batson is running through it in terror, pursued by Dr. Sivana. A large toy version of Batman is used to draw attention to the pop culture status of the world’s actual heroes, but one other item is likely to be missed. The Batman figure? That just acknowledges Batman’s existence. But this toy… acknowledges so much more.

After Billy tosses aside the Batman figure, and immediately before he is tackled off of the Big-esque floor piano, one toy can be seen in the lower right corner of the frame. The yellow-accented Bat symbol will be easy to spot, but the blue armor (complete with shoulder-mounted, yellow-tipped rockets) surrounding that symbol may be harder to place. After conducting some research, we can confidently say that the toy in question is the Fisher-Price Imaginext® DC Super Friends™ Batbot Xtreme.

So why should DC fans care? Because the toy wouldn’t exist without the comic book Bat Armor that it’s based on… and that armor wouldn’t exist if Bruce Wayne hadn’t retired from Batman. The presence of the Batbot toy in the DCEU is all the encouragement we need to connect the dots, and also consider the Batman story it’s based on as fair game. Not only confirmation of Bruce Wayne’s retirement, but his replacement by Detective Jim Gordon, too.

Page 2: When Bruce Retired, Jim Gordon Became Batman (Yes, Really)

On the off chance that moviegoers never witnessed the completely unexpected “Superheavy” arc of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman run, we’re more than happy to explain (even now, it’s hard to believe it’s truly DC canon). We’ll spare the details that got Bruce Wayne to a near-death defeat in fighting The Joker, and simply say that with Batman missing in action Gotham City needed a replacement. The answer came from Geri Powers, a billionaire mogul who absorbed Wayne’s operations and immediately initiated “Project Batman.” The centerpiece of which was the Batman Exo-Suit, a “graphene armor exoskeleton” that could be piloted by anyone. But a job that only Jim Gordon–a smoke-free, buzzcutted, physically fit Jim Gordon–was right for.

RELATED: The Shazam! Cameo That Changes The Entire DCEU

It’s this blue and yellow, horned, rocket-firing Batsuit that the DC Super Friends™ Batbot Xtreme is modeled after, turning an incredible piece of Batman technology into a children’s toy. But after director David F. Sandberg confirmed that every DC toy in the store was approved of for continuity purposes, the presence of the Batbot is an Easter Egg fans should get excited about:

I mean, everything exists that we had in there. It’s all these DC toys–they’re all real DC toys that are in there. I mean, for some [the studio/producers] were like, “Hey, you can’t have that character, because that character’s not in the universe yet. You have to stick to these characters.”

So if the “Superheavy” Batman story is being referenced in the DCEU by including a toy based directly on Bruce’s retirement and Jim Gordon’s substitution, at least somebody on the studio side of things knew fans would notice its inclusion, and come to the the most obvious conclusion. But the main reason we’re accepting these clues as the new DCEU head canon? It finally explains why Zack Snyder cast the ridiculously muscular J.K. Simmons to play his version of Gotham Police Commissioner Jim Gordon.

Few will ever forget the first time they got a glimpse of J.K. Simmons flexing his absurd muscles while training ahead of Justice League. While impressive, the actor eventually explained that his physique and his role were unrelated… but it always seemed like a missed opportunity. After all, Simmons’ part in Justice League was a minor one to begin with, even before the infamous reshoots sliced several characters out of the film completely. So if fans were left wishing they could have had more of Jim Gordon in the DCEU, Shazam! is the movie to deliver. Not in actually getting to see a larger role for Jim in the Batman legacy, but at least a playful suggestion that he already did years in the past.

To be clear, we’re not suggesting that Snyder or then-Batman director Ben Affleck ever intended to make “Gym” Gordon a physical threat in the Justice League continuity. That said, Simmons himself admitted he hoped to portray a “badass” version of Jim Gordon, and “a guy that can take care of himself, a guy that’s a real partner to Batman, not just a guy that turns on the bat signal and goes ‘Help! Help, Batman!’”

Does Shazam! prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jim Gordon got to play exactly that, stepping into his own Batsuit during Bruce Wayne’s temporary retirement–a Batsuit that would be adapted into toy form along with every other DCEU superhero? Maybe not. But now that all the pieces are there for fans who wish to believe it… just try and tell us it never happened.

MORE: Shazam Ignores Captain Marvel, But Makes a Captain America Joke

2019-04-14 04:04:57

Andrew Dyce

Warrior Creator Jonathan Tropper On Staying True To Bruce Lee’s Original Ideas

Jonathan Tropper, the creator and writer of Cinemax’s Warrior, wanted to stay true to the thematic concepts in Bruce Lee’s original eight-page treatment, but also found he was able to bring plenty more to the story. The treatment for what would eventually become Warrior has been around Hollywood for the better part of 50 years, and series producer Shannon Lee (Bruce Lee’s daughter) has had many offers to see the project finally come to fruition. It wasn’t until Justin Lin (Fast and Furious) approached her that she found the right creative partner. And with Tropper on board, the project finally made its way to television. 

Obviously there is a great deal of history wrapped up on Bruce Lee’s original idea for the show, much of which stems from the actor and martial arts master’s huge cinematic presence and his place in popular culture — contemporary or otherwise. That is a big part of Warrior’s selling point, but, as it turns out, it was also a point of concern for Tropper before he came on board to flesh out and develop the series and its many characters. 

More: Warrior Review: Cinemax Unleashes A Pulpy Martial Arts Period Drama

In a recent interview with Screen Rant, Tropper discussed his approach to Warrior, and how he worked to stay true to the original ideas and thematic concepts in Lee’s treatment, while still making the series fit in with is style of writing (and those who’ve watched Tropper’s previous Cinemax series, Banshee, know what that means). Tropper said:  

“That had been my hesitation in first getting involved but once I read the treatment, it left a tremendous amount of room for me to climb because he was really only dealing with three or four characters. 

And [Bruce Lee] was dealing much more thematically with what he wanted the show to explore. So by just staying true to the thematic explorations that were in the treatments and the characters he kind of drafted in there, I was free to kind of invent the plot and create many more characters. I think other than our lead character and the cop, Big Bill, Ah Sahm and Big Bill and one other, there really weren’t a lot characters in there so I was able to really populate the world and really work on the plot lines with my writers. Just sort of staying true to both his intentions for the show and then for the Bruce Lee philosophy as a whole.” 

Shannon Lee also spoke with Screen Rant ahead of the series premiere, and she said the series was always intended to be both a reflection of her father’s enduring legacy, but it also needed to be entertaining beyond that. 

“There are ways to celebrate his legacy and his art and his philosophy and all those things, but also make it entertaining at the same time, which by the way was what my father believed in. And so I think what has needed to happen is for people to want to trust that they can collaborate with me and luckily Justin trusted that and brought me into the project rather than trying to keep me away from the project. In which case, it probably would not have come together because I’m constantly having people sort of… bristle at the idea that I might have some kind of contractually obligated input to projects around my father.”

With two episodes under its belt already, it looks as though Warrior is building an interesting series from Bruce Lee’s original treatment, one that makes his influence apparent but still has plenty of room to do its own thing. The question of how the series balances those two parts as the season progresses might be reason enough to continue watching. 

Next: Black Summer Review: Netflix Delivers A Relentlessly Paced Zombie Drama

Warrior continues next Friday with ‘John Chinaman’ @10pm on Cinemax.

2019-04-13 12:04:27

Kevin Yeoman

Warrior: Series Creators Were Actively Avoiding A Bruce Lee Impersonation

Cinemax’s Warrior is inspired by the writings of Bruce Lee, but in casting the show, series creator Jonathan Tropper and executive producer Shannon Lee wanted to avoid putting an impersonation of Lee on screen. The new Cinemax series premiered last week, with Andrew Koji in the role of Ah Sahm, the protagonist whose confident personality certainly bears some resemblance to the famed martial arts master. But, for the most part, that is where the similarities end, as Koji’s take on Ah Sahm is distinctly his own, something that’s increasingly apparent as the series progresses. 

Though he’s appeared in projects like Fast & Furious 6, The Wrong Mans, and in season 2 of Starz’s American Gods, Koji came to the project as something of an unknown quantity, a trait that works out in his and the show’s favor. Because he doesn’t bring a lot of baggage with him from previous roles, Koji tends to surprise in the part of Ah Sahm, both in terms of how he brings the character to life and for his competence when it comes to the show’s primary draw — its depiction of martial arts brawls.

More: Warrior Review: Cinemax Unleashes A Pulpy Martial Arts Period Drama

In a recent interview with Screen Rant, Tropper discussed what went in to casting the role of Ah Sahm, and how it was decided early on that the show wouldn’t be casting based on how well an actor could impersonate Bruce Lee. Tropper said: 

“What we decided going in were two things. The first thing is we weren’t looking for a Bruce Lee impersonation. 

We felt that we would only lose trying to do that. It’s a losing proposition to get someone who’s going to have the grace and the charisma and do matching echoes of Bruce Lee. Instead, we wanted to find someone who brings his own character to it and find ways to pay homage to Bruce Lee doing that. So we ultimately made the decision, we’d rather get a really good actor who needs to be taught martial arts, than get a great martial artist who would be taught to act. 

We then went around the world looking at great Asian actors who could portray Ah Sahm. Actually one of the last guys we saw was Koji who is from England and he didn’t look like what we had been expecting. He didn’t approach the role like what we had been expecting but in pace, there was this raw energy and charisma and darkness that we wall just kind of looked at each other and said, ‘This guy’s really got something.’ And we flew him in to see it in person and to throw some curve balls at him and we just felt this guy’s a leading man… and we then built the character around him.”

For Shannon Lee, the casting process meant going through a lot of audition tapes of actors offering up various kinds of impersonations of her father. Like Tropper, she was impressed with the way Koji approached the role, and felt his onscreen presence outweighed his knowledge and experience with martial arts. 

“All I can say is that Andrew [Koji] really came in owning the role. He had this great soulfulness to him, and we were actually a little concerned about whether he could do the martial arts well because he was not the best martial artists that we saw. But more important for us was ‘Could he impart the spirit and essence of the role?’ And of course we made him go through the paces of showing us what he could do physically. And then as soon as he was hired we were like, ‘You need to start training right now.’ 

He does a great job by the way. He had taken martial arts. He just hadn’t done it in awhile, and he was very athletic and physical and had done some stunt work and stuff like that.”

Next: Black Summer Review: Netflix Delivers A Relentlessly Paced Zombie Drama

Warrior continues next Friday with ‘John Chinaman’ @10pm on Cinemax.

2019-04-13 10:04:44

Kevin Yeoman

Titans’ Bruce Wayne Casting Can Fix Season 1’s Batman Problem

Casting Iain Glen as Bruce Wayne in the second season of Titans could correct some of the series’ biggest mistakes regarding how it handled Batman in season 1. In particular, having a strong actor in the role of Batman could do wonders in strengthening the subplot built around Dick Grayson and his internal torment over his role as Robin.

This conflict was a key part of Titans‘ first season, which saw Dick Grayson working as a police detective in Detroit, trying to put his life as Bruce Wayne’s ward and Batman’s sidekick behind him. As the season progressed, however, it became clear that Dick was suffering from some form of PTSD as a result of his working with Batman. Yet despite all of the attention paid to Dick’s vigilante mentor, Titans told us far more about Bruce Wayne and Batman than it ever showed – and it told us very little.

Related: How Doom Patrol Connects To Titans In The DC Universe Timeline

It is understandable that Titans‘ showrunners would want to avoid Robin and the rest of the cast being caught in Batman’s shadow. Indeed, Dick’s entire emotional arc in season 1 is built around his trying to become his own man rather than the weapon Bruce Wayne turned him into, and escape from being forever attached to his mentor. Unfortunately, in trying to keep Batman from stealing the show, the writers only made him more conspicuous in his absence.

Titans went to comical extremes in trying to hint at Batman’s existence without ever actually letting the audience see him as season 1 progressed. This culminated in the season finale, where we see Dick Grayson forced to bring down his foster father after Bruce crosses the line and becomes a crazed killer, in what was revealed to be a nightmare triggered by Trigon to awaken Dick’s dark side. Until the very end, we only see Batman in silhouette or a fleeting glimpse of a distant caped figure. While this may have been meant to dehumanize Bruce and leave the audience seeing him as the monster he had become in Dick’s head, all it really did was make it all the more obvious that Brenton Thwaites was facing off against a stuntman.

By casting an actor of Iain Glen’s caliber as Bruce Wayne and allowing him to be seen, the audience can finally put a face to the name and begin to form an emotional bond with Batman’s character, for good or for ill. Once the audience has something real to connect to rather than their projected image of what they think Batman should be, the emotional arc of the show’s writing can fully impact the viewers. This can only serve to strengthen Titans‘ storyline in season 2 and make the show better.

More: Titans Shows Why Robin is Batman’s DUMBEST Idea

2019-04-11 03:04:49

Matt Morrison

Gotham’s Bruce Wayne Is Still Missing Two Big Batman Ingredients

With only two episodes remaining, Bruce Wayne is almost ready to become Batman in Gotham, although there’s still a couple of things that need to be addressed first. Gotham‘s primary focus has always been on Jim Gordon, but the development of David Mazouz’s young millionaire has been given just as much prominence in the narrative, particularly during the show’s later seasons.

Starting out as a timid young boy trying to process the tragedy of his parents’ deaths, Bruce has transformed into a mature, wise and intelligent figure in Gotham City, trusted by many powerful people to get things done. Bruce has a steely determination and a drive to help others at any given opportunity. The teenager has also become a formidable physical force, training initially under his butler and former military man Alfred Pennyworth, before taking instruction from the mysterious Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Shadows.

Related: Gotham’s Joker Wasn’t A Proper Joker (But Still The Show’s Best Villain)

Bruce has discovered a secret cavern underneath (the now-destroyed) Wayne Manor that will one day serve as the Bat-Cave and struck up a budding romance with future lover Selina Kyle. He’s lived on the streets, become skilled in espionage and used a prototype suit from Lucius Fox to fight crime in the dead of night. Even as a youngster, Bruce has already gone toe-to-toe with several recognizable Batman villains, such as Azrael, The Court of Owls and Joker. Almost all of the pieces are in place for Bruce to become the Dark Knight, but Gotham isn’t quite there yet.

Where Does The Bat Influence Come From In Gotham?

During Bruce Wayne’s amateur crime-fighting escapades in Gotham, the young vigilante has been wearing a black suit and mask strongly resembling an early, rudimentary version of Batman’s famous gear. However, the getup is noticeably lacking any reference to bats: no pointy-ears, no logo on the chest and no Bat-shaped objects to throw at the undesirables of Gotham City. Clearly, the influence of flying mammals is an integral element of the Batman character and has been explained in previous adaptations as the result of a phobia or an attempt to use theatrics to gain an advantage.

No such reference has been made in Gotham, with the show remaining largely bat-free for the entirety of its run. Only once have the creatures featured properly, in season 4’s “A Beautiful Darkness.” In this episode, Bruce Wayne witnessed a vision of his future self as a masked vigilante who, at the end, burst into a flock of bats. Whether the vision is a reverie from Bruce’s subconscious mind or a glimpse at the future is left open to interpretation, but if this alone is why Bruce chooses the bat as a symbol, then Gotham has created somewhat of a paradox where Batman’s trademark style comes from a future version of himself.

And even though the vision-Batman didn’t have any visible bat-themed gear, a recently released Gotham finale poster has confirmed that Mazouz’s grown-up crime fighter will indeed adopt the traditional, iconic Batman imagery in the show’s final episode.

Related: Gotham Twist Brings Season 5 Even Closer To The Dark Knight Rises

Gotham has been infamously restricted by studio higher-ups in how it can use the Joker, and it’s possible that similar limits are in place for Batman himself, with the show potentially banned from using any bat imagery until the final episode. Now that the finale is here however, the lack of explanation regarding Bruce’s connection to bats is a glaring piece of the puzzle yet to be put into place and one of the main points that needs addressing in the final two episodes.

Why Does Batman Resolve To Work Outside Of The Law?

Beyond the look, Batman is defined by his status as a vigilante. Due to the corruption and ineffectiveness of Gotham’s police, the superhero chooses to work outside of the law, only ever trusting Commissioner Gordon and a few other select cops – and, even then, that relationship can be temperamental. This certainly isn’t the case with Gotham‘s Bruce Wayne, who has thus far spent season 5 working hand-in-hand with the GCPD to help protect the city and its people. In fact, Bruce has spent far more time in Gotham working with the police than against them, and only during a brief spell as a masked vigilante in season 4 did the youngster seriously fall foul of the law.

The determination to do the right thing, seek justice and help the weak has always been obvious in David Mazouz’s Bruce, even from Gotham‘s very first episode, but his transition into a warrior has come with no small amount of self-doubt. The early stages of Bruce’s crime-fighting career have been tainted by the influence of Ra’s al Ghul and a moral dilemma over how to exert control and discipline over one’s skills. While season 5 Bruce is a more self-assured young man, his way of operating is quite far from how Batman takes care of business.

Gotham‘s current Bruce is largely working legitimately with the city’s remaining authorities, and using his hidden combat skills to take on side missions but, crucially, is doing so without any sort of mask or disguise. Bruce is fulfilling his desire to do good and fight evil, but as himself instead of the Dark Knight. Obviously, this is a situation that will someday change, but with Bruce and Wayne Enterprises doing so much good for citizens alongside the GCPD, there needs to be some explanation as to why the future Batman decides Jim Gordon’s men aren’t up to task and that being a lone force in the shadows is the way forward.

Next: All 25 DC Movies & TV Shows Coming In 2019

Gotham continues with “They Did What?” April 18 on Fox.

2019-04-04 10:04:02

Craig Elvy

Raymond Chow, Hong Kong producer behind Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, dies at 91

Legendary Hong Kong film producer Raymond Chow, who introduced the world to Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan and even brought the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the big screen, has died at age 91.

Hong Kong’…Click To Continue

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The Flash Premiere Had The Arrowverse’s First Batwoman Easter Egg

The fifth season premiere of The Flash surprised fans by making the first official reference to the existence of Batwoman, months ahead of her first scheduled appearance during the annual Arrowverse crossover event this winter. The episode also dropped a number of references to the classic comic book mini-series Crisis On Infinite Earths, which has been hinted as an eventual occurrence in the future of the Arrowverse.

Batwoman’s arrival in the Arrowverse was first announced shortly before San Diego Comic Con 2018, when the news broke that The CW was considering developing a television series based around Kate Kane, a cousin of Bruce Wayne who unintentionally followed in his footsteps when she became a vigilante. It was later confirmed that not only was The CW developing the series, but they intended to introduce Kate Kane as part of Elseworlds – the next annual Arrowverse crossover event. Ruby Rose, of Orange Is The New Black fame, was ultimately cast in the role of Kate Kane.

Related: First Look At Ruby Rose In Costume As Batwoman In Arrowverse Crossover

The nod to Batwoman came near the end of the third segment of “Nora.” The action of the episode centered around Nora West-Allen, the future daughter of Barry Allen and Iris West-Allen, accidentally traveling back in time to before she was born and meeting her parents shortly after they got married. Barry quickly realized something was up when Nora seemed more concerned about spending time with him than doing the same with Iris and asked Nora, point blank, if that had anything to do his disappearance during a crisis in 2024, which he had read about in a future newspaper. Nora responded by showing Barry a newspaper from her time – the year 2049 – and confirming that he never returned home and that she grew up without a father.

Published 25 years to the day after the original article from the future, which was first seen in the first episode of The Flash, the 2049 article discusses the same crisis, but with a bit more detail. The 2024 article mentioned The Flash disappearing while fighting alongside Green Arrow, The Atom, and Hawkgirl. The 2049 article lists a larger number of heroes being involved in the battle, including Batwoman. The article says:

“But in the years following the crisis, accounts only grew more contradictory. Some eyewitnesses remember dozens of other heroes present, including Green Arrow, Batwoman, and Elongated Man. Others remember heroes thought lost in time, like The Atom, or from other worlds, like Supergirl. Some even contend they saw Reverse-Flash leading an army of ‘shadow demons’.”

It is interesting to note that Batwoman is mentioned in the same sentence as Green Arrow and Elongated Man – two heroes who frequently fight alongside The Flash on Earth-One. Until now, it had not been confirmed what Earth in the Arrowverse Kate Kane would be based on, though most assumed she would be from Earth 38 – the same Earth as Supergirl – as that would make it easier for the two to team-up in the future, in the same way that Batman and Superman frequently join forces in the comics. The wording of the article would suggest, however, that Kate Kane will be from Earth-One.

The mention of Reverse-Flash leading an army of shadow demons is another point of interest, given that shadow demons were the main mooks of The Anti-Monitor – the villain of the Crisis On Infinite Earths mini-series, where The Flash seemingly died saving the multiverse. The article also makes mention of The Psycho Pirate – another super-villain who had a major role in the events of The Crisis. It has long been suspected that the Arrowverse would eventually reenact Crisis On Infinite Earths in live-action and this latest bit of news about Batwoman from The Flash premiere seems to make that probability all the more certain.

More: The Flash Fixes Plot Hole By Secretly Changing Arrowverse History

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2018-10-10 07:10:43 – Matt Morrison

18 Best Sequels, According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 8 Stuck With 0%)

We live in an age where sequels are all the rage. Every major studio is chasing those franchises that can keep their cash flow healthy for years to come. Sometimes, they’re exhausting. Other times, they can be our most anticipated movies. Maybe we could do without more Transformers movies, but Marvel and Mission: Impossible sequels are event movies that drive us to the theater in droves.

Sequels are tricky and unpredictable, though. On one hand, they’re often necessary for expanding stories and the good ones continue sagas we want to see progress. On the other, some are soulless cash grabs that shouldn’t exist. In the worst cases, some of them completely derail promising franchises by failing to deliver the goods. Then again, in some instances, sequels can get a series back up and running after they’ve experienced setbacks.

This list will look at those rare sequels that are considered worthy — and even superior — follow-ups. Those rare beasts that make us grateful for multiple movies in a series. Furthermore, we’ll also be discussing the most maligned sequels that brought no critical good will to their respective franchises whatsoever. It’s more fun this way. In order to fully appreciate the best of the best, we also must acknowledge the worst of the worst. Without evil, we wouldn’t be able to understand all that’s good and pure. Without terrible movies, we wouldn’t be grateful for the good ones.

With this in mind, here are 18 Best Sequels According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 8 Stuck With 0%).

26 Best: Captain America: Civil War (91%)

The decision to keep the same team of writers for all three Captain America films paid off in the end. The trilogy just went from strength to strength with each passing entry, though some would argue that The Winter Soldier is equally as good — if not better — than Civil War. Either way, they’re both prime examples of how to do sequels right.

Civil War tackles the same themes you’d expect from a movie about a do-gooder like Cap, but where the film truly soars is during its wild third act. The airport showdown is the best action showdown in the MCU, and that’s saying something.

25 Worst: The Bad News Bears Go To Japan (0%)

If you didn’t know that sequels to The Bad News Bears exist then no one would think any less of you. While the first movie is a cult classic about an underdog baseball team, the sequels have faded from the collective memory with the passing of time, lost like tears in the rain. That’s for good reason.

None of the sequels are good, but The Bad News Bears Go To Japan is especially bad.

While the idea to relocate to Japan for a big game is good on paper, the sequel is just bland, forgettable, and was made to cash in on the brand name.

24 Best: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (93%)

Some fans argue that The Force Awakens is essentially a retread of A New Hope in many ways. However, clearly the critics and audiences didn’t necessarily agree, given its stellar Rotten Tomatoes score and its audience score of 87%, not to mention its impressive box office haul.

As far as Star Wars movies go, it hits the spot. The new characters are great, the return of some old faces is a trip down memory lane, and the story still made significant effort to push the franchise forward. In those regards, the film definitely succeeded.

23 Best: War for the Planet of the Apes (93%)

Anyone who has a problem with classics being rebooted needs to watch the most recent Planet of the Apes trilogy.  The finale pits the apes in a brutal battle against the humans, which leads to an epic confrontation between the Caesar the Ape and humanity’s ruthless colonel (played by an utterly wicked Woody Harrelson). As far as concluding trilogies goes, War for the Planet of the Apes has everything.

By no means is this a pleasant movie, but it is rewarding. And not only does it wrap up an epic story, but the film boasts some of the great CGI wizardry out there. The action is also ridiculously impressive and compelling, which is crazy considering it’s a movie about people versus monkeys.

22 Best: Logan (93%)

James Mangold’s Logan, the gloriously violent and heartbreaking farewell to Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, is an all-timer. Taking cues from the Old Man Logan comics, the movie has just as much in common with neo-westerns as it does with superhero yarns, which makes for a gritty, character-driven elegy to characters many of us grew up with.

Logan deserves praise for going R-rated and taking some stylistic risks.

The movie is proof that audiences will still flock to see superhero movies with some edge. If you’re going to send off some icons, this is the way to do it.

21 Worst: Return to the Blue Lagoon (0%)

Considering that no one liked The Blue Lagoon (it currently holds a 9% rating on RT), why anyone would want to return to the franchise is beyond comprehension. Of course, every sequel is a perfect opportunity to right some old wrongs if handled with care. Unfortunately, this was not. The story follows two children who are marooned on a tropical island as the grow up and fall in love, etc. The characters don’t wear enough clothes either, which makes for some weird, uncomfortable viewing.

There are some unintentional laughs to be had at the poor script and performances.

Otherwise the Blue Lagoon isn’t a scenic cinematic paradise worth spending time in unless you want to punish yourself for some reason.

20 Best: The Dark Knight (94%)

Few superhero movies are ever regarded as anything more than popcorn fare. However, if there were ever a superhero movie that proved the genre could be prestige cinema, it would be The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman is an exploration of chaos and just how far people are willing to go to achieve their goal.

The Dark Knight — for better or worse when you consider how devoid of fun some DC movies have been since — also brought a gritty, realistic touch to the genre. The movie feels more like a Michael Mann crime saga than it does a story about superheroes versus their outlandishly evil counterparts.

19 Best: Finding Dory (94%)

In recent times, Pixar has been criticized for relying too heavily on sequels, but if it ain’t broke… Finding Dory was released 13 years after Finding Nemo, and it was a smash with critics and audiences alike.

Its 94% on Rotten Tomatoes is complemented by an 84% audience score.

Upon release Finding Dory was praised for being as funny and thought-provoking as the first movie, while also adding a new dimension to the story. As with any Pixar movie, Finding Dory can be appreciated by audiences of all ages. 

18 Worst: Staying Alive (0%)

No other actor on the planet has experienced a career of ups and downs like John Travolta has. When he broke out he had the world at his dancing feet. After that, his career experienced a downturn until it was resurrected briefly following Pulp Fiction until it ultimately plummeted when he started starring in movies like Battlefield Earth. Staying Alive was released in 1983 when Travolta was experiencing his first fall from grace. Following up a classic like Saturday Night Fever was never going to be easy, but it shouldn’t have been this difficult, either.

The sequel lacks the gritty realism of its predecessor, and instead tries to get by on dance sequences. What’s the point in dancing when we don’t care about who’s doing it?

17 Best: Creed (95%)

No franchise tends to remain compelling seven sequels in, but Creed is proof that the Rocky franchise is the rare exception. Granted, some Rocky movies aren’t exactly knockouts, but Creed got things back on track and showed that it’s game for a few more rounds.

By serving as both a sequel and a spin-off/soft reboot, Creed gave the franchise a breath of new life.

It passed the gloves on to Michael B. Jordan as the eponymous character.  Creed 2 is right around the corner. Let’s see if it can do what the original saga failed to do and deliver a second outing that’s as good as the inaugural entry.

16 Worst: Leprechaun 2 (0%)

The first Leprechaun movie doesn’t come close to being certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it should come as no surprise that the sequels didn’t receive any critical acclaim. Especially not the second movie, which no critic seemed to enjoy at all.

Here, the infamous critter resurfaces in Los Angeles to find a bride, which leads to him abducting a young woman and trying to claim her as his own. This isn’t high art by any means, nor does it try to be.

15 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (96%)

The Harry Potter books were an emotional roller coaster that affected millions of readers worldwide. Reliving those adventures on the big screen was also a great time to be alive, and the grand finale lived up to expectations. In the final installment of the saga about the Boy Who Lived and his fight against the forces of darkness, the ultimate showdown finally happens as our hero and his pals face off against Voldemort in Hogwarts castle.

It’s a true epic in every sense of the word.

As far as wrapping up the story goes, Death Hallows: Part 2 delivered the goods and gave us cinematic closure in style.

14 Worst: Looking Who’s Talking Now (0%)

Look Who’s Talking is a perfectly serviceable comedy that should never have received any sequels. In a bid to end to the trilogy on a high following the disappointing previous sequel, Look Who’s Talking Too, someone thought it would be a good idea to introduce talking dogs to the mix for the series’ swan song. 

Needless to say, Look Who’s Talking Now wasn’t the glorious goodbye the series was looking for, but at least the film did cast some cute dogs.

13 Best: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (97%)

The third installment of Sergio Leone’s influential Dollars trilogy, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly is the creme de la creme of spaghetti westerns. 

The story centers around two men who form an uneasy alliance following a scam.

This leads them on a quest as it turns out there’s money buried in the desert and they want to find it. However, they have to compete against another who won’t hesitate to put a bullet in them to claim the prize. On top of being one of the most acclaimed movies out there, the film has been hailed as a major influence on directors like Quentin Tarantino.

12 Best: The Godfather: Part II (97%)

The continuation of Francis Ford Coppola’s Best Picture-winning 1972 crime saga, The Godfather: Part II chronicles Michael Corleone’s further ascendency in organized crime while simultaneously taking us back to the past to explore his dad’s humble beginnings.

Like its predecessor, the sequel also won Best Picture and is hailed by many a critic and film buff as one of the best movies ever made. Whether it’s better than the original is up for debate, but they’re like two sides of the same coin. These movies set the bar for mob pictures, and to this day, other directors are still trying to recreate the formula.

11 Mad Max: Fury Road (97%)

Director George Miller was in his seventies when he unleashed Mad Max: Fury Road, but the energy and madness imbued in every frame of this extravaganza suggest a man half his age.

Maybe we’ll never see another Mad Max movie, but the world needs a Furiosa spin-off eventually.

Fury Road is essentially one non-stop chase that barely lets up from the get-go all the way to the climactic ending. Furthermore, it’s a movie that defied expectation by taking the focus away from the titular character and making Charlize Theron’s Furiosa the real hero of the adventure. 

10 Worst: Jaws: The Revenge (0%)

Is Jaws: the Revenge a good movie? Definitely not. Is it an entertaining movie, though? Definitely yes.

How many other movies have sharks that make a conscious decision to get revenge on the humans that wronged them? Not only that, but the shark here followed its target to the Bahamas from Massachusetts. And why would someone who wants to avoid sharks go to an island surrounded by ocean? The movie is illogical, silly, nonsense, but it does offer sheer entertainment value for bad movie buffs.

9 Best: Aliens (98%)

Alien and Aliens are quite different in some regards, but they complement each other perfectly. The first is an exercise in pure suspense and terror. The sequel, on the other hand, retains the horror elements but adds a lot more action to proceedings.

Aliens shows how to make a successful sequel: acknowledge what came before but don’t be afraid to bring some fresh ideas to the table.

James Cameron was on fire in the ’80s and he wasn’t afraid to make Ridley Scott’s baby his own.

8 Best: Mad Max 2: Road Warrior (98%)

While George Miller’s inaugural Mad Max caper is a cult classic, most film buffs would agree that a couple of the sequels are slightly superior. Taking nothing away from the first movie, Road Warrior is a vast improvement when it comes to world building and sheer action spectacle. The story follows the eponymous character as he helps a group of people steal oil from a tyrannical madman and his band of goons.

As far as cinematic thrill rides go, few movies are on par with Road Warrior. Here, Miller turned up the volume significantly by making the post-apocalyptic terrains feel more dangerous and the action sequences more gung-ho and grander in scale.

7 Best: Evil Dead 2 (98%)

Sam Raimi’s first Evil Dead movie was a huge achievement for independent filmmaking when it was released back in 1981. The movie still holds up to this day with its innovative camera work, effective scares, and excellent cast as well.

The sequel is a triumph in its own right.

While the first movie contained moments of dark comedy, the sequel amps up the zaniness to become what is essentially the splatter flick equivalent of a Laurel and Hardy flick. For 90 minutes, Bruce Campbell is tormented by laughing ornaments and his own severed hand. As silly as that sounds, Evil Dead 2 still manages to pack more punch than your average MMA fighter.

6 Worst: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (0%)

In the third installment of the Police Academy franchise, the cops are understaffed and in need of some help. Naturally, the force turns to America’s civilians to help aid in their mission. Things don’t go smoothly, for the characters in the film and the movie itself.

Rotten Tomatoes describes Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol as “Utterly, completely, thoroughly and astonishingly unfunny” and  a movie which sent “a once-innocuous franchise plummeting to agonizing new depths.” That sounds about right.

5 Toy Story 3 (99%)

Few franchises manage to strike three home runs in a row. Even The Godfather stuttered when it came to the third outing. Toy Story, on the other hand, never ceases to replicate the magic time and time again.

This emotional installment sees Andy get ready to leave for college and neglect his old toys.

He’s all grown up and has no use for them anymore, and what ensues is what is by far the most heartfelt movie in the series.

4 Worst: Highlander II: The Quickening (0%)

As far as pure entertaining action-fantasy goes, the first Highlander movie is a fun slice of popcorn entertainment that aficionados of cult cinema lose their head over. The sequel, meanwhile, is an incomprehensible mess.

Highlander II is too overplotted to explain, but the cusp of the story revolves around the hero from the first movie taking on a corporation after being led to believe that they don’t have the world’s best interests in mind. In this one, our hero is a defender of the ozone as well. What makes Highlander II so awful is that it completely retcons everything good about the original film and the mythology it introduced.

3 Best: The Bride of Frankenstein (100%)

We all desire to be loved by someone special– even bolt-head monsters made up of the remains of other people. But to find them a mate, one must dig up some more corpses and create a suitable partner that’s similar in genetic make-up. This is also the storyline behind James Whale’s 1935 masterpiece, Bride of Frankenstein.

There are too many Frankenstein movies to keep track of at this point, but this sequel remains the pinnacle of the original series.

The movie is a masterpiece that successfully blends campy fun with Gothic beauty and genuine chills that’s stood the test of time as a result.

2 Paddington 2 (100%)

No one expected the the first Paddington to be as good as it is. That movie is a bona fide classic in the making in its own right, but the sequel is some next-next level brilliance.

Paddington 2 sees the lovable bear go to prison and, unsurprisingly, all the mean criminals fall in love with him as well. Critics, like the fictional convicts, were also full of praise for the titular bear and his second big onscreen adventure as well. At one point, Paddington 2 was even the best reviewed movie in history.

1 Best: Toy Story 2 (100%)

Following up a movie like Toy Story was never going to be easy, but that didn’t stop Pixar from trying and succeeding. In this one, we find out that Woody is a collectible when he’s discovered and stolen by a greedy museum owner. Naturally this prompts Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato, and the rest of the gang into action and they set out to save their friend.

General consensus on Rotten Tomatoes states that Toy Story 2 is that rare sequel that improves upon its predecessor.

The sequel raises the stakes and ups the element of adventure while retaining the humor and heart that made audiences fall in love with the franchise in the first place.

What’s your favorite sequel? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-10-10 04:10:39 – Kieran Fisher