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Star Wars: 10 Secrets Hidden At Darth Vader’s Castle

Did you know that Darth Vader has his own castle? It recently made an appearance during Rogue One, but later kept making appearances in his solo comic run. There are specific reasons why Vader chose to have a fortress for himself, and it’s only partially because he prefers to be left alone… when he isn’t killing people that is.

There are also reasons why he chose its location, and more disturbing, there’s a specific purpose to the castle itself. Many secrets have been hidden inside this castle, some more disturbing than others. Here is a list of ten of the secrets that Darth Vader’s Castle possesses.

RELATED: How Darth Vader’s Castle Changed From Empire Strikes Back Drafts to Rogue One

10 Mustafar

Vader had a choice of location for where to build. His master was even willing to give up his home planet to Vader, to give an idea of what was at stake. Instead, Darth Vader opted to go for the planet where he was bitterly wounded. But is there more to it than that?Mustafar is a planet of the Outer Rim. It’s not what one would consider habitable by most standards. It’s covered in lava and flame. The people that live here are tough and have adapted to the temperatures and volcanic nature of the planet.

9 The Mustafarians

As mentioned above, the Mustafarians are a hardy people. They’d have to be, in order to survive on this planet. They can literally sense the fluctuations in the planet, and even fight them in their own way. They begin actively resisting what Vader is doing, and for a while, he isn’t even aware of it.

Additionally, the Mustafarians are capable of summoning lava fire. This would be a phenomenal feat by any means. But then consider what the application would be against Vader. Darth Vader has very few weaknesses, but surely he remembers what it felt like to be eaten away by lava. It’s surprising that Vader would choose to live so near a people such as this. Perhaps he was hoping to exact revenge on them?

8 Where Vader Made His Kyber Crystal Bleed

It is a Sith tradition that they must take the lightsaber of a Jedi they have slain. There is a very specific reason for this. They remove the Kyber crystals inside – and they make them bleed. The process for making them bleed isn’t clearly defined, other than it requires immense power from the Dark Side.

RELATED: Darth Vader: All Your Questions About The Sith Lord Answered

When Vader had to collect his Kyber crystal and make it bleed, he opted to go to Mustafar to do it. Here he meditated and worked on the crystal until he succeeded. It was also here that he had a vision. If he chose to keep his Kyber crystal intact, he knew that he would eventually turn back to the light side and ultimately destroy himself. Or he could bleed the crystal and become even stronger. We all know which option he went with.

7 The Dark Side Is Strong Here

When Darth Vader was bleeding his crystal, he had a vision. We already discussed this. Vader realization the implications of the vision and the strength of his power here. The dark side is stronger on Mustafar. It’s even stronger at one specific location – the place he decided to eventually build his castle.

It is known that some locations are stronger in either the light side or the dark side. We’ve seen this in the movies, novels, and comics. That Darth Vader managed to find one isn’t all that surprising. It is however surprising that it was so close to the area where he was so badly wounded.

6 Home Of Lord Momin

The location was once the home and testing site of Lord Momin a Sith. It’s unclear if this was his birthplace, or if he was drawn to the location just as Darth Vader was. We do know that Momin was a genius when it came to inventions. He considered designing and creating weapons and buildings to be the highest form of his art.

Lord Momin was eventually brought down by the Jedi, but not before he managed to do quite a lot of damage. But more on that later. The important thing to note is that this is the location where Momin likely died.

5 Death Engine Testing

Lord Momin, as mentioned above, loved to test out new weapons and designs. One of these designs very well have been the precursor to the Death Star. He designed – and tested – a weapon he called the Death Engine. It took out cities at a time, while still allowing him to be close enough to see the pain and devastating that he caused.

RELATED: Star Wars Is Trying To Turn Darth Vader Into An Anti-Hero (And That’s Very Bad)

Mustafar is the very location where he tested this device. It’s ultimately the reason why the Jedi were forced to act against Momin. It’s also entirely possible that buried somewhere on this planet are the discarded remains of his Death Engine.

4 A Tuning Fork

The Castle of Vader is designed to be a tuning fork, of sorts. Lord Momin himself helped Darth Vader to design the castle. It took several iterations to get right, during which time Momin should consider himself lucky that he wasn’t mortal.

The goal was to use the castle as a tuning fork – a way to reach through the veil and connect Vader with whatever was on the other side. While he never admitted it, he desperately sought his lost wife, Queen Amidala. What he would have done had he found her is a completely different story.

3 Force Locus

The Castle wasn’t the only factor at play. They needed to design monoliths to help concentrate and direct the force being plied into it. It’s unlikely that this would have ever succeeded with a weaker Sith, but that was never a concern for Vader.

With the Castle and Locus properly aligned the door of the veil could be opened. What is on the other side is a different question. This whole process once again required the help of the spirit of Lord Momin. As Momin put it “The Door to the Dark Side is locked, this is the key” (Darth Vader #22).

2 Resurrection

Momin repeatedly stated that this was the location where the veil between life and death could be pierced. His motive should have been more obvious from the start, but there was so much going on. It’s no surprise that Vader missed the vital signs of what Momin was actually intending to do here.

This site soon became the location of Lord Momin’s resurrection. Here he opened the veil and got his body back. In full form once again, he was able to manipulate the force and once again be whole. All he wanted to do was continue his inventing and experimentation.

1 The Truth

Darth Vader had hoped to find Padme when he opened the door. Instead, he found the truth. The truth of who and what he is. The truth of Padme’s fate – how there is nothing he could have done, no choice he could have made, that would have prevented her death. There was nothing he could do now either, to bring her back.

Vader learned many truths on this day, and it certainly would have broken a lesser man. For all we know the truth did break Vader, at least a little bit. It’s not like we could easily tell. What we do know is that Darth Sidious was proud of Vader for learning the truth and surviving it.

Related: Star Wars Confirms: Vader ALWAYS Knew Luke Would Defeat Him


2019-03-08 11:03:09

Cat Wyatt

10 Weird Rules Enforced In The Hogwarts Castle

Who didn’t dream of spending their school years in Hogwarts castle? A big ol’ stone castle in the highlands, packed with magical artifacts and secret passageways, where you can learn how to become a real-life witch or wizard! The atmosphere of the common rooms and the library, the feasts at the Great Hall… everything about this castle is a total fairy tale (even taking into account the skulking Filtch and the possibility of a painful death if you happen to stumble across something you shouldn’t have).

Related: 20 Surprising Harry Potter Characters Even Fans Forget Are Related

However, even the most devoted fan of this magical series might be able to see that there are a few things going on at Hogwarts that just don’t make any sense.

10. Disapparating Is Banned

Admittedly, the inability to apparate or disapparate within the Hogwarts grounds comes in extremely handy throughout the Harry Potter series, as it prevents Voldemort and his Death Eaters from attacking the children. But before this, why is there such a strict ban on Apparition at a school – what were the kids being protected from? They don’t even start to learn how until they are of age, and it would seem to make sense for the teachers to be able to come and go at will… seems like maybe the school founders were a bit paranoid with this one.

9.No One May Enter The Restricted Section

The Hogwarts library is an incredible repository of knowledge – and while many of the books are available to all students, the Restricted Section is a bit of a puzzler. It makes sense that there might be books on magic that are only suitable for the older students, or with the permission of a particular teacher… but if these books of Dark magic are so terrible, why are they only separated from the rest of the library with a sign? Surely a magic school could come up with a little better security for this particular part of the school!

8. Only The Mauraders Knew All The Passageways

Again, this turned out to be quite handy for Harry and his friends, as the Mauraders Map showed them all the passages in and out of the school that no one else knew about. Except… why would a group of four students be the only ones to know about all the secret passages in and out of the school? The one to the Shrieking Shack makes sense, of course, but it seems a bit far-fetched that the only students who were aware of all the passages were these ones – including the caretaker and groundskeeper, who would presumably know them perfectly well.

7. Students Must Keep To A Strict Curfew…

On the surface, this seems to be a totally logical rule – students have to stay in their dorms after lights out, for their own safety (and because they are children and need a certain amount of discipline). However, it stops making so much sense when you realize that no bathrooms are ever mentioned inside the dorms – although they are repeatedly mentioned in the hallways. It’s also worth noting that detentions often take place at night, and there are no curfews in the dorms themselves – why bother having one in the halls, then

6. …Unless You Get Locked Out

The Hogwarts Castle curfew makes even less sense when considering the number of times that students reference being stuck outside of their dorms; having forgotten the password to get in, or been unable to solve the riddle. It’s suggested that students would even have to sleep out in the hallways if no one could let them in… which means that they would be breaking curfew, presumably. It seems that it’s ok to be in the hallways and out of bed as long as you are sleeping by the common room door, which makes absolutely no sense.

5. Pets Are Allowed, Even Hundreds Of Them

Finding somewhere pet-friendly to live isn’t an easy job, so just head to Hogwarts – where every student is allowed to bring a pet with them (a cat, a toad, a rat, or an owl… or a pygmy puff, once Fred and George started selling them). Except… with hundreds of students at the school, presumably, things start to get a little bit chaotic in the dorm rooms, with dozens of cats chasing rats and toads all over the place, while owls swoop in? Can’t be the most hygienic, either (not that we’d want Harry Potter without Hedwig and Crookshanks, of course!).

4. No Electronic Equipment (Even For The Muggle-Born)

The Muggle-born occupy an interesting space at Hogwarts – witches and wizards who had no clue this world even existed until their eleventh birthday, and who have to get used to an entirely new way of life. And that includes having no electronic equipment because it is against the rules at Hogwarts (and wouldn’t work, thanks to all the magic in the air). Which means that muggle-born kids aren’t allowed to call their parents, or their friends at home, and just have to rely on letters for their entire school year. Seems a bit harsh, really

3. The Castle Is Not Responsible For Tardiness

The castle involves all kinds of slightly frustrating pitfalls – nothing too dangerous, but annoying little things, like staircases that move of their own accord, or the include trick steps that will suck you in and keep you stuck. Which is all very interesting… but it seems that a Hogwarts rule states that even if it is the castle that prevents a student being on time to class, they are still dinged points. It seems that these students are expected to be on time, even if actual magic is attempting to prevent it – which is a lot stricter than most Muggle schools!

2. The Paintings Are Allowed To Visit Each Other

In most of the wizarding world, paintings follow some fairly strict guidelines. Paintings can talk, and the portraits can visit their portraits hanging elsewhere, or leave the frame. However, in the Hogwarts halls, paintings seem to have an ability that doesn’t exist elsewhere in the wizarding world rulebook – that they can wander freely through each other’s paintings, as long as they are within the school. Except not all of them… Phineas Nigellus claims that he cannot go wandering from portrait to portrait, only between his own two paintings. The rules of painting magic are clearly being bent in this castle.

1. No Magic In The Corridors

One of the weirdest Hogwarts rules is the one forbidding magic in between classes and in the corridors – and this is one that is routinely broken by pretty much everyone. After all, who could pack a few hundred young people into a castle, teach them how to use magic, and then forbid them from actually using it outside a classroom or dorm? It also makes no sense, as any anti-bullying rules would surely be about the intent of behavior – magical or non-magical, and students might even want to practice their magic while on the way to class… which is something most teachers would want to see!

Next: 11 Most Powerful (And 10 Weakest) Magical Creatures In Harry Potter, Ranked



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2018-12-07 02:12:50

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween Interview – R.L. Stine

Halloween is just around the corner, and to celebrate the spookiest holiday of the year there’s a new Goosebumps movie arriving in theaters – Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. The movie features a new cast of kids – played by Jeremy Ray Taylor (IT), Caleel Harris (Castle Rock), and Madison Iseman (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) – who discover a lost Goosebumps book in a hidden room and unwittingly unleash a new season of terror, as Slappy the Dummy brings Halloween costumes to life and wreaks havoc on the city.

Jack Black reprises his role as Goosebumps author R.L. Stine in Haunted Halloween , so to celebrate the movie’s release, Screen Rant spoke to the real R.L. Stine to find out about the new monsters on parade, and ask whether Black’s curmudgeonly portrayal of the author is accurate.

Related: Watch the Trailer For Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

I have to ask, because the movie’s about a secret Goosebumps book hidden in a box – is there actually a secret Goosebumps book somewhere out there?

R.L. Stine: No. I wish [laughs]. I wish there were some extra ones somewhere that I could pull out. No, no secret book… But it’s kind of creepy, these two boys go into this house and knock over something and find this book and it’s locked, and they unlock it. And that starts all the action. All the horrible action.

Are there any Goosebumps monsters in this movie that we didn’t see in the last one?

Stine: Well, there are gummy bears [laughs]. They didn’t have gummy bears. After the first one I said, “How will we ever do a sequel? You used every single monster in the first movie!” There was nothing left. But yes, there are some. There’s an ogre, for one thing. We didn’t have an ogre in the first one. And my very favorite scene is the one with the gummy bears. Cute little gummy bears and then they turn into monsters.

But they’re so cute, what harm could they possibly do?

Stine: Well, they grow teeth for one thing. And then they all stick together and become a huge blob and attack people. It’s a wonderful scene [laughs]. Very proud of that!

It seems like there aren’t a lot of scary movies aimed at kids, since so many horror movies involve blood and gore. Is there a special trick to terrifying kids?

Stine: No, it’s the same as for grown-ups, I think. I think it’s surprise, it’s travelling into the unknown where you don’t really know what’s next and you can’t see what’s coming up, and it’s a lot of twists and turns. I think it’s the same as doing horror for adults.

There’s a whole new cast of kids in this movie. Can you tell us a bit about them?

Stine: Well, there’s a delightful boy who’s building a replicas of Tesla’s lab, because Tesla’s real lab is actually in their town. And he’s fiddling with the electricity and he keeps blowing out all the electricity in the house, but he’s determined to do it. And his doing this leads to an amazing scene near the end at Tesla’s real lab. It’s a real Frankenstein type lab. I went to Atlanta, where we filmed the film… and they showed me these sets. These guys are geniuses! They built this amazing Frankenstein’s lab… I couldn’t believe what these guys could build. It was incredible.

So Slappy the Dummy is the ringleader in this movie again. What is it about Slappy that people love so much?

Stine: I don’t really get it [laughs]. I don’t know why a dummy coming to life is so scary. But people are really frightened of him, and he’s so popular now that every other Goosebumps book has to be a Slappy book. I think I’ve written about fourteen of them [laughs]. It doesn’t get any easier to think of plots about a dummy coming to life.

Maybe it’s also because he likes to insult people. People like comedy roasts, so maybe that’s why they like Slappy.

Stine: Well that’s why I like to write him – he’s really an insult comedian. That’s why I love writing him, because he’s so rude!

Do you think kids are easier to scare than adults, or harder?

Stine: Probably easier. Probably don’t have to work as hard to scare them. But you know, my audience – seven to twelve year-olds – I get them the last time in their lives they’ll ever be enthusiastic. And then when they turn twelve, they have to be cool… and they’re gone. But before then they love writing to an author, they love reading, they love hearing from you, they love going to things… it’s just the best audience.

Was Jack Black’s portrayal of you in the first movie accurate?

Stine: I love Jack. Not accurate at all! Nothing accurate. But he’s a great guy, I thought he was wonderful. He flew to New York in a blizzard to meet me, to try to figure out how he was going to play the character. And we had lunch and he was like, looking at me, right? [Laughs] And then he said, “Bob… what about the script is true about you?” And I said, “Nothing, not one thing, none of it’s true!” And he said, “I’m going to be a sinister version of you.” And that’s what he decided to do.. And then when it started filming he started talking like Orson Welles, right? He does, in that first film, and I said, “Jack, I’m from Ohio, I don’t sound like that!” But I thought it was really fun. What a weird thing, to be a character in a movie.

Seeing as, unlike Jack’s version of you, you don’t hate kids – is there a favorite interaction with a young fan that you’ve had?

Stine: I’ve had way too many. I’m just so lucky. Because I go out, I really talk to kids, I go to schools, and I really do like kids. And you know, I have a son and I have a grandson, who’s four and hilarious. And he’s taking after my son, he won’t read my books. That’s my son’s claim to fame, he never read one. Isn’t that horrible?

Does he tell you that all the time?

Stine: He bragged about it, how he never read one!

You should write him into a book so that he has to read it.

Stine: I did! I made him the star of a Fear Street book, it was a vampire book, and he was the star and he didn’t read that one either. In the very last paragraph of the book he gets bit in the neck. [Laughs] I got my revenge!

More: Read Screen Rant’s Review of Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween arrives in theaters this weekend.



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2018-10-11 04:10:45 – Hannah Shaw-Williams

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

The Shining Sequel Doctor Sleep Is Aiming For An R-Rating

Doctor Sleep – the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining – is aiming for an R-rating, according to director Mike Flanagan. Just about as long as there have been Stephen King books, there have been Stephen King movies. King’s first published novel, 1974’s Carrie, was translated into a film by no less a director than Brian De Palma in 1976. Ever since, King’s work has remained a go-to source for Hollywood studios, including several franchises. However, while sequels to King-based movies are common, very rarely are they based on actual follow-ups by the author.

The reason for that is simple: King doesn’t write sequels often. For the most part, King is content to let his stories stand alone, outside of the Easter eggs and select recurring characters he enjoys throwing in for fans as a way to establish that most of his work takes place in the same universe. While some notable exceptions exist – The Dark Tower saga, the Mr. Mercedes books – King generally prefers to tell new stories, rather than revisit his old ones. Which is what made King’s decision to release a sequel to The Shining in 2013 such a delight for his longtime fans.

Related: Ewan McGregor Says Doctor Sleep Movie is Faithful to Stephen King’s Book

While most King diehards would be unlikely to argue that Doctor Sleep measures up to its classic predecessor – a novel many hold up as one of King’s all-time best – reaction to the book – which focuses on the adult life of Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor), decades after the spirits of the Overlook Hotel corrupted his father Jack – was largely positive. Now, five years later, Warner Bros. is prepping a film adaptation of Doctor Sleep. For anyone worried that King’s sequel will be sanitized of violence, adult content, and language in order to draw in more viewers with a PG-13, director Mike Flanagan tells Collider that the film will likely be rated-R.

The news that Doctor Sleep is aiming for an R-rating is sure to please both fans of King and fans of the horror genre as a whole. While there have certainly been good horror films made with a PG-13-rating, too often studios are all too willing to compromise a story’s content in order to make it more accessible to a wider theatrical audience. For example, one need only look at the heavily compromised Dark Tower movie, although to be fair, the rating was hardly its biggest problem. Thankfully, with the runaway success of films like and Deadpool and Warner Bros’ 2017 King adaptation IT, studios are becoming less resistant to the idea that a film can be both R-rated and hugely successful financially.

It’s going to be an interesting couple of years for King fans, as 2019 will see both IT: Chapter Two and Pet Sematary hit theaters, with both films also expected to receive R ratings. A Netflix original film adaptation of King and son Joe Hill’s novella In The Tall Grass is also slated for next year, while Doctor Sleep will arrive in early 2020. In the meantime, Hulu’s Castle Rock series is set to return for season 2, while the Audience Network’s Mr. Mercedes show continues to air, and CBS All Access is in development on a limited series adaptation of The Stand. It’s good to be the King, and right now, it’s good to be one of his fans.

More: 25 Crazy Facts Behind The Making Of The Shining

Source: Collider



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2018-10-10 08:10:58 – Michael Kennedy

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

Showtime Orders Season 2 Of Jim Carrey’s Kidding

Just a few weeks after its series premiere, Showtime announces that it has renewed Kidding, the fascinating tragicomedy starring Jim Carrey. In addition to Carrey, the series also features the likes of Catherine Keener, Judy Greer, and Frank Langella as members of the Piccirillo family, ostensibly the people caught in the orbit of the national treasure that is Carrey’s Jeff Pickles, aka Mr. Pickles, the beloved children’s entertainer who happens to be going through a massive existential crisis at the moment, as he struggles with the grief over losing a child and seeing his home life disintegrate as a result. 

While that might not sound like the typical kind of comedy Carrey is known for, it does strike a chord similar to his work on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with acclaimed director Michel Gondry, who is an executive producer on Kidding and also directed the pilot episode. The result is a show with a lot of emotion, a dark sense of humor, and that takes place in a slightly heightened world. It all adds up to one of the more unique series on Showtime right now. 

More: The Man In The High Castle Season 3 Review: More Sci-Fi Action Refocuses The Series

Showtime announced the news today in an official press release that included a statement from Gary Levine, the network’s president of programming. Levine said: 

“KIDDING has established itself as one of the most endearing and inventive shows on television. I feel like I have been watching Mr. Pickles my whole life, and I look forward to being entranced by his unique blend of hilarity and heartbreak in season two.”

The news comes shortly after the network axed I’m Dying Up Here, the ’70s-set stand up comedy drama, on which Carrey served as an executive producer. With that series lasting only two seasons, and with the continuation of network’s long-running Shameless now in question, following the planned departures of both Emmy Rossum and Cameron Monaghan (Gotham), Showtime is in a position where a series like Kidding – i.e., one with big stars – could become a key part to the network’s future success. While it’s questionable whether or not the fates of those other two series played a role in Kidding being renewed for season 2 or not, it certainly seems as though the fascinating, melancholic series could be an important part of Showtime’s lineup for quite some time. 

Next: Titans Premiere Review: Mature Content Doesn’t Make For Mature Storytelling

Kidding continues this Sunday with ‘The Cookie’ @10pm on Showtime.



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2018-10-10 02:10:38 – Kevin Yeoman

Making A Murderer Part 2 Trailer: The Conviction Was Just The Beginning

Part 2 of Netflix’s true-crime docuseries Making a Murderer is set to stream on October 19, according to the first trailer. The new season is an anticipated follow-up to one of the most talked-about true-crime series in recent memory. The original series, which premiered in 2015, joined the likes of Serial and HBO’s The Jinx, as not only captivating television (or podcasts), but also highly influential series with real-world implications. The two subjects of Making a Murderer, Steven Avery and his newphew Brendan Dassey, had their convictions investigated — and in Dassey’s case, overturned before being upheld again — by a lengthy and fraught legal battle that is now the subject of the series’ second season. 

That Netflix would want to capitalize on the fervor of the first season is no surprise, but given that the follow-up was announced soon after the first season became a sensation, it is rather surprising the streaming service was willing to wait as long as it did for more. That certainly works in favor of the new episodes, as not only does it feel less opportunistic, but it also presents a greater likelihood that there will be more new information viewers were perhaps unaware of. 

More: Titans Premiere Review: Mature Content Doesn’t Make For Mature Storytelling

The trailer for Making a Murderer Part 2 plays out less as a follow-up to season 1 than a response to the furor it caused. The new season focuses its attentions on the efforts by attorney Kathleen Zellner to overturn the conviction of Avery and Dassey, and there’s plenty of seemingly compelling evidence presented to make is seem as though Zellner, her team, and Avery have a fighting chance. Check out the trailer below:

“Netflix presents the highly-anticipated second chapter of the critically acclaimed, Emmy Award-winning original documentary series Making a Murderer, which followed the unprecedented journey of Steven Avery from DNA exoneree and reformer to convicted murderer. Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos return to the Midwest where they have exclusive access to Steven Avery and his co-defendant and nephew Brendan Dassey, their families and the legal teams fighting for justice on their behalf.  Over the course of 10 new episodes, Making a Murderer Part 2 provides an in-depth look at the high-stakes post-conviction process, exploring the emotional toll the process takes on all involved.”

Of course, with all true crime documentaries, the news and the internet will beat them to the punch, so what they offer will be a more in-depth look at the process of overturning a conviction and, presumably, the evidence that will once again get viewers creating petitions to overturn a murder conviction. Whether Making a Murderer Part 2 will be the phenomenon season 1 was remains to be seen, but true-crime obsessives won’t have to wait long to get their fix. 

Next: The Man In The High Castle Season 3 Review: More Sci-Fi Action Refocuses The Series

Making a Murderer part 2 will stream on Netflix on Friday, October 19.



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2018-10-09 01:10:40 – Kevin Yeoman

20 Crazy Details Behind The Making Of The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Roger Ebert once wrote that The Rocky Horror Picture Show was less a movie and more of a “social phenomenon.” This is probably the most accurate way to describe the 1975 rock musical, as it just isn’t an ordinary film. First released to a less-than-stellar reception, Rocky Horror eventually found long-lasting fame from an unlikely source: audience participation. Its original theatrical run didn’t garner much praise, but the film came into its own when theaters began showing it at midnight screenings, now infamous for the almost ritualistic ways the audience dresses, shouts, and flings objects at the screen.

Rocky Horror is a legend of cult cinema– one of the few movies that has earned that title again and again. The film follows what appears to be a whole married couple, Brad and Janet (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon), as they stay the night at a spooky old mansion owned by Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry, in the performance that rocketed him to stardom). What ensues is a celebration of kitsch, camp, horror, and science fiction cinema, a musical that makes very little logical sense but is a ton of fun.

Naturally, a film like that has to have a riveting story behind the scenes. Written by Richard O’Brien and directed by Jim Sharman, The Rocky Horror Picture Show has just as many crazy details behind the camera as in front of it. Those details will be counted down here, and we’ll get straight to it, as we can see you tremble with antici…

Pation. This is 20 Crazy Details Behind The Making Of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

20 It originally had a different title

The original stage version of the movie had a whirlwind creative process, with Richard O’Brien whipping up the show with his artist and actor friends fairly quickly. As it happens, they were originally rehearsing the show under a different title.

It was called They Came From Denton High due to the story being set somewhere near Denton, Texas.

Obviously, that didn’t last, but O’Brien and director Jim Sharman didn’t change it until the very last minute. Sharman suggested the name change just before previews of the stage show, based on the genres they were spoofing. Thus was “The Rocky Horror Show” born (only the movie had the extra “Picture” in the title, naturally).

19 Brad and Janet were replaced

The cast of Rocky Horror is mostly unchanged from the stage show to the movie. Richard O’Brien and Jim Sharman kept their creative team mostly intact, too, so when you’re watching the movie it should really feel like you’re just seeing a filmed version of the stage show. Well, except for a few roles.

Aside from the high-profile cameo from Meat Loaf and a few other replacements, the protagonists were also switched out.

The original actors for Brad and Janet wanted to reprise their roles, but studio executives at Fox felt they needed two US actors in those parts to help sell the movie. Rocky Horror fans can’t complain, as Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon did a great job as Brad and Janet, but we feel for those two original actors whose roles were taken from them.

18 The story behind the lips

Everyone who has seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show– not to mention plenty of people who have only seen the poster– are familiar with the lips that open the film. This iconic image is actually the product of several people working together, rather than just one actress.

The lips that appear in the film are Patricia Quinn’s (who also played Magenta), but she’s only lip-syncing the song “Science Fiction/Double Feature” even though she did in the stage show. The singer is actually creator Richard O’Brien. And the lips on that famous poster are those of somebody else entirely, former model Lorelei Shark.

17 The costume designer didn’t want to do it

Costume designer Sue Blane is credited with much of The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s lasting appeal thanks to her designs that spoofed the traditions of cinema and leaned heavily into camp. The movie wouldn’t be the same without her, but it almost had to do just that, as she wasn’t interested in the project at first.

In fact, Blane herself says that it took director Jim Sharman meeting with her personally and getting her tipsy before she saw the light. Blane didn’t like the idea of doing a silly project for very little money, but when she found out Tim Curry and a bunch of her other favorite colleagues and friends were already committed to the show, she relented. Thank goodness for that.

16 Tim Curry wasn’t new to corsets

Tim Curry has a long and storied career on the stage and screen, and his rise to prominence came largely thanks to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Given that it was his first hit movie role, people tend to forget that Curry wasn’t a complete rookie. Case in point: Curry had actually starred in a similar stage show before originating the role of Frank N. Furter in Rocky Horror’s stage incarnation.

Curry had also worn a corset in a production of The Maids.

Costume designer Sue Blane had worked that same production. For Rocky Horror, Blane says she simply asked the theater for the same corset for Curry to wear. Naturally, Blane remarked that Curry took to the corset “like a duck to water.”

15 Susan Sarandon’s sickness

Cinema can be a fickle thing– while you’d expect film sets to be glamorous affairs, with every possible amenity available to the actors, you would occasionally be very wrong. The Rocky Horror Picture Show was no picnic to make, as the cast and crew had to endure unheated sets while filming scenes in pools.

This might not sound like a big deal, but it was for Susan Sarandon, who fell ill during production. The filmmakers had nothing but kind words for her after her gritty effort to push through with the work, as they mentioned that she was literally “shaking with fever” on set but kept on going in spite of that.

14 Rocky was supposed to talk

Sometimes you’ve just gotta improvise when you’re making a film. While the creative team behind The Rocky Horror Picture Show might have thought they had the perfect casting when they got Peter Hinwood to play the character of Rocky Horror, they changed their minds when they found out he was a model who had zero acting experience. Rocky Horror originally had dialogue in the film, but after watching Hinwood act, Sharman and O’Brien elected to remove all his speaking parts.

Another singer dubbed over the character’s singing parts, so Hinwood’s voice never actually shows up in the film.

Clearly, they were in love with his looks, but not the way he sounded.

13 You can book a room where it was filmed

The Rocky Horror Picture Show was filmed at Oakley Court in England, a castle that had been host to several horror films in its past. While it may not have been the most welcoming place for the film crew in 1975 (at the time, it had no heating and few bathrooms), it’s doing a better job of that nowadays.

Oakley Court is now a ritzy hotel, allowing guests to stay in the location that was the home to many of their favorite spooky movies from days gone by. Nowadays, of course, the hotel advertises its proximity to LEGOLAND more than it does its connection to film history, but we’d like to think there are still a few Rocky Horror fans who make the trip.

12 The David Bowie connection

This might seem unrelated to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but it isn’t.

Pierre LaRoche was one of the creative forces behind David Bowie’s now-iconic Ziggy Stardust look, but that wasn’t the only influential job the makeup artist held.

LaRoche was also the person film producers turned to when they wanted a makeup redesign for the characters in Rocky Horror. While Sue Blane gets the lion’s share of the credit for the character designs in the film, we shouldn’t forget that it was Pierre LaRoche who actually came up with the makeup designs. Though the make-up is a touch more subtle than costumes, it’s still one of the main reasons the visuals of the film are so fun to watch.

11 Meat Loaf didn’t actually drive the motorcycle

Singer and occasional actor Meat Loaf has a memorable turn in Rocky Horror as Eddie, the delivery boy and partial brain donor to Rocky, who is tragically stabbed by Frank N. Furter. Eddie gets a fun entrance, bursting out of a freezer on a motorcycle, but the problem is that Meat Loaf didn’t actually ride that motorcycle. Aside from a few less dangerous wide shots, Meat Loaf left the actual driving to a stunt man as he says he didn’t feel comfortable doing anything risky on it.

For the close-up shots that needed to look like Eddie was on the motorcycle, the crew rigged up a wheelchair for Meat Loaf to ride.

That way, safety didn’t need to be sacrificed. Or that was the theory, anyway, as the wheelchair didn’t turn out to be that safe anyway.

10 The on-set injuries

Though it wasn’t Jim Sharman’s debut feature, The Rocky Horror Picture Show was not a film staffed by the most experienced team. This is perhaps reflected best by the apparently high number of on-set injuries that occurred– even ignoring the on-set illnesses, including Sarandon’s.

In the same interview, Meat Loaf describes an incident that happened while he was sitting in his wheelchair, where it fell off a ramp on the set, shattered a camera, caused a few cuts on Meat Loaf’s face and arm, and snapped a stand-in’s leg in two. While some efforts were made for safety, injuries ran rampant even with the wheelchair.

9 The skeleton inside the clock was real

One of the single most famous props in all of Rocky Horror is the skeleton clock; a coffin that has a clock face set on the front. The reveal that there is a skeleton inside the coffin is a fun moment in the movie, but the filmmakers dropped another bombshell in later years: the skeleton inside was real.

The skeleton clock actually lived on past the film.

In 2002, Sotheby’s auction house in London sold the clock for an exorbitant sum, 35,000 pounds. Adjusting for inflation, that would be approximately $63,000 today. Even true Rocky Horror fans might balk at that price, if the real human remains inside weren’t a turn-off.

8 Steve Martin auditioned for Brad

Whatever you think of Barry Bostwick’s performance as Brad in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, have you ever considered how different it might have been if another actor had taken on the role? Well, according to rumors and stories even repeated by the likes of Newsday, the role almost went to Steve Martin.

Given that Martin went on to star in a fairly similar movie musical, Little Shop of Horrors, this shouldn’t be too big a surprise.

Martin apparently auditioned for the role of Brad, but lost out to Bostwick. Maybe he played the antagonist in Little Shop of Horrors as a way to soothe the hurt of rejection.

7 It got terrible reviews when it first came out

Nowadays, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is viewed as one of the greatest classics of midnight cult cinema, as its popularity has only grown amongst its fans since its release. But to become a cult hit, you usually have to be a theatrical flop, and Rocky Horror was exactly that, both critically and commercially.

Some critics straight-up hated the film when it was first released, and others simply ignored it. Partially because of the counter-culture the film represented and the lack of a conventional plot structure, some seemed offended it even existed. Even today, many critics view the film more as an audience experience than a genuinely good movie.

6 Frank N. Furter’s villainous inspiration

The unquestionable star of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is Dr. Frank N. Furter, the role Tim Curry originated on the London stage and reprised in the film. Even critics who didn’t like the film enjoyed Curry’s assured and magnetic performance. That makes sense, given all the larger-than-life figures Curry took inspiration from to create the character.

Writer Richard O’Brien describes Frank as a combination of Vlad the Impaler and Cruella De Vil, which makes a lot of sense, but Curry didn’t stop there. On top of those villainous ancestors, he added a posh accent, said to be modeled on both Elizabeth II and Curry’s own mother. That’s one doozy of a mixture for the role, and obviously it worked to perfection.

5 It was a stage show first

When Richard O’Brien first set out to tell his story, it was a work of theater, as that was his primary area of expertise. Thus, The Rocky Horror Picture Show started out as The Rocky Horror Show– the “Picture” part was added for the film. O’Brien wrote the play in his spare time, then gathered some of his friends in London to help him make it.

The play premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 1973, and it was an immediate hit, moving to larger venues soon after. The show ran for weeks and weeks and eventually attracted the notice of producers, even Hollywood. This is the origin story for Rocky Horror— we wouldn’t have the film is the London stage show hadn’t been so popular.

4 The writer is Riff Raff

Given its reputation as one of the true classics of cult cinema, viewers today may not know that the original writer– playwright of the stage show, co-screenwriter of the movie, and Riff Raff in both, Richard O’Brien had never professionally written anything before the script for The Rocky Horror Show and its film adaptation The Rocky Horror Picture Show. That’s right, Rocky Horror is a debut work, by a person who never even wanted to be a writer.

O’Brien was living in London as an actor, struggling to make ends meet, and mostly wrote it just to keep himself occupied.

Luckily for him, the project resonated with his artistic friends, and they helped him turn it into the phenomenon it became.

3 O’Brien never thought it would be a big deal

Even when The Rocky Horror Show was making waves on the London theater circuit, it never registered with Richard O’Brien that he might have created a real hit. In an interview, O’Brien recalls when producer Michael White told him he thought this would be something big. “I said, ‘Oh, that’s nice,’ and walked away. It just didn’t register.”

For a while, it seemed like O’Brien was right to think it wouldn’t be a big deal. The film didn’t do well commercially when it came out, despite the popularity of the play, and it looked like that would be the end of the Rocky Horror story. But midnight viewers began to flock to the showings known for audience participation, and the film’s long-lasting appeal proved to be its greatest strength.

2 The writer thinks it was successful because it’s childish

The Rocky Horror Picture Show was originally written by a young actor with no writing experience, who just wanted something fun to occupy his time. Richard O’Brien, the writer in question, thinks that this process lent the show a quality of childlike naïveté, which contributed to its eventual popularity. In an interview, O’Brien said the show’s innocence is “very endearing and not threatening.” Continuing, he mentioned that every character in the show may appear to be intelligent or “sophisticated, but they’re really not.”

This quality allows young viewers to identify with the energy of the film, making it appeal to adolescent viewers.

O’Brien think this might be the key behind the social phenomenon that is Rocky Horror.

1 Originally, it started in black and white

The writing and directing team of Richard O’Brien and Jim Sharman had a lot of grand ideas for the film adaption of Rocky Horror, but not all of them were allowed to come to pass. Chief among these was the plan to film the opening section of the movie in black and white.

The film would have burst into color when Frank N. Furter made his entrance.

Everyone who has seen the movie remembers that scene– now imagine if it had this added bit of pizzaz, with the first frame of color coming on a shot of Tim Curry’s lips. Susan Sarandon lamented that they weren’t allowed to make this vision a reality, as studio executives rejected the idea due to budgetary concerns.

Do you have any The Rocky Horror Picture Show trivia to share? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-08 05:10:06 – Eric McAdams

The Man In The High Castle Season 3 Review: More Sci-Fi Action Refocuses The Series

Despite its high production values,  disturbingly relevant through-line about encroaching fascism, and creative pedigree that included not only sci-fi author Philip K. Dick but also former X-Files writer and producer Frank Spotniz, Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle often felt overwhelmed by and occasionally lost in its own immense storytelling ambitions. The series seemed at odds with its slow-burn exploration of the spread of authoritarianism, in an alternate reality where Nazi Germany and Japan won World War II, and its need to deliver the kind of fast-paced genre entertainment that not only ensures subscribers continue subscribing to Amazon Prime. For all intents and purposes, that need now also extends to the streaming service’s efforts to garner the kinds of accolades and global attention earned by HBO’s Game of Thrones. 

Suffice to say, The Man in the High Castle is no Game of Thrones, at least not yet. After Spotniz parted ways with Amazon during the production of season 2, the series drifted along, rudderless without a formal showrunner who had a vision of what the show’s future looked like. The result, then, was a lackluster second installment that followed an admittedly slow-paced first season. By all accounts, it seemed as though Amazon’s ambitious foray into genre television was collapsing under the weight of its own concept. Caught between an attempt to deliver meaningful commentary about the fragility of democracy and nationalism’s easy seduction of a population, and its baser genre inclinations. At the start of season 3, it seems the latter has won out. Yet maybe The Man in the High Castle is better suited to such a story, one whose pursuits are more focused on twisty inter-dimensional dualities and, ultimately, a looming battle between the fascists in control of an altered reality and those fighting to free themselves of it.

More: Bob’s Burgers Season 9 Premiere Review: A Musical Ode To Teenage Hormones

That may not be what the original text was meant to cover, or the direction Spotniz himself intended to take the series, but it nevertheless pulls The Man in the High Castle out of the creative tailspin it was in following season 2. The climax of the second season established a solid foundation for the series moving forward, one that was apparently successful enough that Amazon already renewed the show for a fourth season. Those efforts pay off early, too, as the new season is much more focused in its presentation. Even though problems with pacing and and overall urgency still persist, showrunner Eric Overmyer has worked to streamline various character threads by aligning characters and giving them the opportunity to enact change. 

By now it’s clear that Juliana Crane (Alexa Davalos) is the series’ primary protagonist, and that she is destined to have a tremendous impact on the Reich’s stranglehold of what was once the United States and, certainly, the rest of the world. The series isn’t exactly subtle about Juliana’s role in the story to come, either, as she comes to experience the sort of visions most saviors of mankind are prone to in stories such as this. As Juliana’s role becomes clear, so too do the roles of those assigned to support her. In addition to Trade Minister Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and her half-sister from another dimension, Trudy (Conor Leslie), Juliana finds herself in business (and more) with series newcomer Wyatt Price (Jason O’Mara), a black market dealer who takes a shine to her early on. 

Juliana’s plot exists primarily to give weight to the idea that the Man in the High Castle’s films aren’t just peculiar examples of an alternate course of human events, but that they can somehow effect change in the reality in which this story is set. Juliana, as it turns out, is key to enacting that change, and the ways in which the series sets out to prove this gradually become more interesting, even as the series’ third season becomes more convoluted as it moves forward. 

Much of that has to do with the story threads within the Reich, mainly the continued rise of John Smith (Rufus Sewell) and the conspiratorial path taken by Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank), after his journey to Berlin in season 2 ended disastrously for him and his father, Martin Heusmann (Sebastian Roché). That these threads are so disparate from Juliana’s is often a cause for concern. Not only are the characters separated from each other by the better part of the country, but, thematically, they are miles apart as well. Smith is struggling to keep his family together in the wake of losing their chronically ill son, while Joe once again puts his loyalties to the test, aligning himself with one group and then the next. 

These contrasting threads sometimes grind the story to a screeching halt. Viewers may well suffer narrative whiplash when an episode swings from Juliana’s attempt to send her sister back to her own dimension to John’s still-grieving wife Helen (Chelah Horsdal) violently assaulting a neighbor. But without them, The Man in the High Castle would lose its most appealing yet problematic asset: the immense scope of its narrative. The ability to jump from San Francisco to Colorado to New York and even Berlin instills the show with a sense of enormity befitting its concept. And in season 3, that enormity does more than build a fascinating, terrifying world; it helps create stakes for the characters, concretizes their place within that world and, in some cases, hints at how they may play a role in this world’s undoing. 

It’s a risky bet, narrowing the ambitions of a show down to a fight between good and evil, but considering the troubling sense of aimlessness in the first two seasons, narrowing things down is a move in the right direction. That much is made clear as the season’s overarching plans come into focus. The more The Man in the High Castle gives in to its science fiction leanings, the more it entertains. It may not elevate the themes of the drama in quite the same way as originally intended, but at least the series’ newfound focus keeps it from getting lost in the sprawl of its own story. 

Next: Titans Premiere Review: Mature Content Doesn’t Make For Mature Storytelling

The Man in the High Castle season 3 will stream on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, October 5.



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2018-10-04 05:10:05 – Kevin Yeoman