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Fans Claim Spider-Man: Far From Home A Box Office Bomb (They’re Wrong)

Some people are saying Spider-Man: Far From Home is a box office bomb, but that assessment is very wrong. Earlier this month, the concluding chapter of the MCU’s Phase 3 hit theaters, continuing the story of Peter Parker. Picking up shortly after the events of Avengers: EndgameFar From Home saw Peter grappling between his desire to lead a normal life and fulfilling the responsibilities of being a superhero. Nick Fury recruited Peter for a new world-saving mission partially because he wanted to see if Peter was up to the task of becoming the next Iron Man.

Unsurprisingly, Far From Home was regarded as another entertaining and thrilling installment in the MCU. Critics were quick to praise the story, which combined typical high school romance/drama with blockbuster action spectacle into a funny and heartfelt package. When compared to several of the other recent live-action tentpoles from this summer, Far From Home was certainly a mark up in terms of quality. It also performed very well at the box office, exceeding initial expectations by making $185 million domestically in its first six days. Still, there are those who consider it another 2019 disappointment, though that’s off base.

Related: What to Expect From the MCU’s Spider-Man 3

People who say Far From Home underwhelmed point to the film’s $92.5 million haul from Friday-Sunday during its opening weekend, but that’s not really fair to Marvel’s latest. Its opening “weekend” was heavily skewed, since it premiered on a Tuesday (July 2) and played over the Fourth of July holiday. This wasn’t a typical release, like Spider-Man: Homecoming was. The 2017 blockbuster debuted over a normal three-day frame and tallied $117 million domestically. Odds are Far From Home would have blown that figure out of the water if it was coming out this weekend instead of going for the Independence Day crowd. It’s worth pointing out that the $92.5 million is the year’s fourth-best traditional three-day weekend, narrowly edging out Aladdin.

Far From Home has also rewritten the record books early in its run. It set a new all-time mark for highest-grossing Tuesday on its first day ($39.2 million) and even made more than Endgame on the films’ respective first Wednesdays in theaters. Far From Home was a title in high demand, as evidenced by its $603.7 million worldwide total (as of this writing). It will likely repeat as weekend champ by a healthy margin, since newcomers Stuber and Crawl are entering theaters with limited fan fare and buzz. Until The Lion King opens next week, Far From Home is the tentpole of choice and will continue to draw in large crowds – especially given all the excitement surrounding its game-changing post-credits scenes. Those who didn’t get a chance to see it over a busy holiday will want to see what the hype is about.

An argument can be made here that Endgame spoiled people with its unprecedented run earlier this year. It’s paramount to remember Endgame was unlike anything the industry had ever seen before; it was essentially a series finale that wrapped up over a decade’s worth of storylines and character arcs and was the single-biggest event in Hollywood’s biggest franchise. No film, not even Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, will be able to truly compare to that. Endgame is an unfair benchmark to expect other tentpoles to reach. It was an anomaly. Far From Home has already sailed well past its break even point and has turned a nice profit for Sony. It’ll only continue to move up the list and probably make more than Homecoming by the time it bows out.

More: Spider-Man: Far From Home Ending Explained (In Detail)


2019-07-11 03:07:26

Chris Agar

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

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

Zoe Saldana Teases Her Return As Gamora On Avengers 4 Set

Zoe Saldana teases her return as Gamora in Avengers 4. Even before reshoots for the Phase 3 capper began, the actress already let it slip that she’d be back as Gamora, despite her fate in Avengers: Infinity War. However, it wasn’t until now that fans finally learned that she’s partaking in the scheduled reshoots that will serve to wrap-up the blockbuster sequel.

One of the most integral relationships in Infinity War was that of Gamora and Thanos, who were finally reunited for the first time following the former joining the Guardians of the Galaxy. Despite what his adopted daughter thought of him, it turns out that the intergalactic villain did love Gamora, which helped make the Mad Titan compelling to viewers. With his goal of balancing the universe now fulfilled, Thanos is enjoying retirement, but with the surviving heroes gearing up to avenge the universe following the galactic genocide, the original Avengers may have one more ally to help them take down Thanos, in the form of Gamora.

Related: Bradley Cooper Defends the Thanos Snap: He Has a Point

Taking to Instagram, Saldana posted an image of her getting prepped to reprise the Gamora role for Avengers 4. The caption may have indicated “flashback,” but it could very well be in reference to Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon,” which lyrics she used in the caption. Additionally, actress Karen Gillan (Gamora’s sister Nebula) also added an Instagram story of her being made-up, using it to announce her last day on set. While some wondered if Saldana’s post might have been a throwback to a prior shoot, the fact that Gillan was on set at the same time lends credence to Saldana’s image being new. Check out Saldana and Gillan’s posts below.

While it’s no secret that Avengers 4 will bring back characters who were dead by the end of Infinity War, resurrecting Gamora will be a bit trickier compared to those who were affected by Thanos’ snap. Instead of being turned to dust, the character was thrown off a cliff, as her life was sacrificed in exchange for the Mad Titan to get the Soul Stone. Of course, since fans don’t really know much about how exactly the exchange works – with a young Gamora seemingly reunited with Thanos in the Soul World – there’s a possibility that she was just trapped in the alternate dimension like some popular theories claim. That said, Marvel Studios would have to craft a solid explanation if they decide to revive her, so as not to cheapen the impact of her emotional death in Avengers 3.

Otherwise, Gamora can appear in Avengers 4 in flashbacks or via time travel. Loki, who also died differently from those who were snapped out of existence, looks likely to make a return in the still-untitled sequel, after leaked set images made their way online last year. His involvement, however, is believed to be limited to flashbacks, as the film revisits the Battle of New York, which he was an integral part of. Considering Gamora’s large part in Thanos’ history, not to mention the fact that Nebula is still around, the sisters’ relationship with their adoptive father could be further explored, and might even factor into the villain’s defeat.

More: Loki’s TV Show Means His Infinity War Death Should Be Undone

Sources: Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan





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2018-10-09 06:10:17 – Ana Dumaraog

Roger Ailes Movie Dropped By Annapurna Shortly Before Production

Annapurna Pictures drops director Jay Roach’s untitled film about former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, just weeks before it was set to begin production. The studio had been developing the project, which chronicles the sexual harassment allegations against Ailes, for quite some time – recruiting an all-star ensemble cast to boot.

Earlier this year, Charlize Theron signed on to portray former Fox reporter Megyn Kelly, and it was only a couple of months ago John Lithgow was cast as Ailes. Other prominent thespians involved include Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman, giving the film a tremendous amount of clout and prestige. Particularly in today’s climate, the Ailes movie seemed like the socially relevant film any studio would love to have on their slate, but Annapurna has to pass on it at the last minute.

Related: The Trailer for Annapurna’s If Beale Street Could Talk

THR reports Annapurna dropped the Ailes film, with the official reasoning unknown. Some sources claim there were budgetary concerns, but that isn’t confirmed. It’s worth mentioning the project hasn’t been scrapped, and is now on the lookout for a new home. Per Variety, Focus Features may wind up distributing it.

The reported budget for the Ailes movie is roughly $35 million, which is a relatively small amount by Hollywood standards. However, Annapurna is going through quite a rough period. A separate Variety report stated Annapurna President of Film Chelsea Barnard is leaving her position as the studio also let go of the upcoming The Hustlers at Scores, which stars Jennifer Lopez as a stripper out for revenge. THR also notes the studio is hurting financially, which would explain their decision to drop two high-profile films. Last year, the indie house got in the business of distributing their own movies – an endeavor that likely hasn’t gone as well as they’d hope. To date, their biggest hit as a distributor is Eli Roth’s Death Wish remake, which earned $41.4 million worldwide.

Hopefully, Annapurna is able to find its footing soon, as it still has plenty of noteworthy films on deck. As of now, they’re distributing two of this year’s biggest Oscar hopefuls in Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk and Adam McKay’s Vice and handling the Stateside release of Bond 25. That’s a fairly tall order, particularly for a studio trying to keep its head above water. It would be a sad day for the film industry if Annapurna ends up going under, so ideally studio founder Megan Ellison will be able to work some magic and get things back on track. In the meantime, they desperately need Vice (receiving a wide release on Christmas) to be a hit this holiday season.

More: Watch The Official Vice Trailer

Source: THR, Variety [2]



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2018-10-09 04:10:51 – Chris Agar

Venom Erases Spider-Man To Avoid Marvel Mistakes

Venom may owe his origins to Spider-Man in the comic books, but in the movie version, Marvel’s hold on Disney means no Spidey at all. But while some fans worried that removing Spider-Man from Venom’s origin would be a problem, it actually makes for a way better story – and honestly, one much closer to Venom’s current origin, too.

By now even casual fans will be familiar with the classic origin story for Venom, if not from the comics, then the fact that Spider-Man 3 adapted it almost to the letter. Spider-Man brings an alien suit back from space, which eventually shows an ‘evil’ mind of its own. Spider-Man rejects the symbiote until it finds the same level of hatred for Spidey in Eddie Brock. Man meets suit, and together they become Venom to launch their revenge on Spider-Man in a tale many claim the Venom movie SHOULD have told.

The problem with that version of a Venom origin movie? It’s faithful to the original version of the comic books, sure. But it’s a story that makes Spider-Man the real star of the show, plus… that’s not what really happened, according to modern Marvel Comics.

  • This Page: Spider-Man Makes Venom Worse, Not Better
  • Page 2: Venom Avoids Marvel’s Mistake By Removing Spider-Man

Venom Should Be Eddie’s Story, Not Spider-Man’s

It’s easy to see why there would be an outcry over the need to remove Spider-Man from Venom’s origin movie. After all, the moviegoers who would know Venom’s origin best are Spider-Man fans, and who would wish to see Spider-Man in the movie more? (Not to mention removing Spider-Man means no iconic Venom logo.)

RELATED: Why Venom’s Director Saved [SPOILER] For The Sequel

But what fans want isn’t always what’s best, and in the case of Venom, the existing origin has one major problem: in the comics, it’s told as one of Spider-Man‘s most formative stories, with Eddie Brock a victim of Peter, the symbiote, and professional failure. While a victim’s story could be interesting, and has been used as a jumping-off point for other superhero origins… those heroes aren’t Venom. Besides the fact that the Venom movie is trying to have some fun with Eddie and the symbiote’s fusion, it’s built on the idea that Eddie is a good man, ruined by evil forces – not a bitter, angry, jealous man fueled by hate of Spider-Man as he was in the comic.

One of those descriptions fits a movie hero… the other fits a villain unlikely to star in a fun, subversive, and oddball body horror adventure. The result is a better version of a Venom movie. “But,” we’re sure some die-hard Spider-Man fans will cry, “you’re making Venom a different character!” And by twisting his origin to make Eddie and the symbiote a misunderstood antihero, the makers of Venom have done just that… but Marvel Comics did it first.

Marvel Has Changed Venom’s Origin Already

Revisiting the comic book history of Eddie Brock and his time as Venom means traversing more than one major retcon, or retroactive changing of his origin story. Fictionally, it’s an expansion and deepening of Eddie’s story. But practically, like most other retcons, it’s about ‘fixing’ past writing or plot that hinders the character’s next step forward. And for Eddie Brock, the idea of him being a byproduct of Spider-Man has been minimized, downplayed, or altogether changed since he first set out to play a hero in Venom: Lethal Protector, upon which the movie is based.

People who walk out of Venom excited to read that comic book inspiration are in for a rude awakening, however, since Spider-Man is without question the WORST part of it. Because Peter Parker is misinformed about who Venom is, what motivates him, and who he has become as more than just the hero’s villain. Arguably, every bit as misinformed as the people claiming the Venom movie ‘got it wrong’ by removing Spider-Man altogether.

As we see it, the makers of the Venom movie just learned from the missteps and corrections Marvel Comics has made so they wouldn’t make them in the movie, too. The first step? Taking Spider-Man out of the equation to create the Venom modern comic readers know and love.

Page 2 of 2: How Venom Avoids Marvel’s Own Mistakes

Venom Avoids Marvel’s Own Comic Mistakes

In Venom’s first solo comic outing, Spider-Man is an antagonist for completely flawed reasons. Despite Eddie being every bit the normal, evil-hating human he is in the comics, Spider-Man actively fights him, believing he’s still as evil as Marvel made him in his origin story. In his defense, Spider-Man was just late to the party, unaware that Marvel editorial, and a long line of writers and artists were already beginning to make Eddie and Venom not evil, just… misunderstood.

RELATED: Venom’s Post-Credits Scene Tease Explained

The changes came one by one: the Venom symbiote wasn’t hateful, but a traumatized member of an alien symbiote race, Eddie Brock’s rough exterior becomes a result of a cold, distant, single father, and just weeks ago, the origin was changed once more by showing that Spider-Man was evil, not the symbiote when they first merged. It’s flawed thinking to assume a movie should recreate each one of those steps, rather than looking at who Venom is today, and aiming for that from thee outset.

Still, one feels for director Ruben Fleischer for having to make that call, since he has admitted that removing Spider-Man from Venom was a challenge (that’s the origin everyone knows). But the finished film shows it was the right path to take for one simple reason: the Venom of the movie is basically the one Marvel took decades to arrive at. Not just Eddie the relatable hero, but the symbiote’s personality, voice, sense of humor, and even love for its host.

The Movie Venom is The True Comic Venom

In fact, the moments of humor and love from the symbiote may turn off older fans of the origin hero, while hitting the bullseye for the modern incarnations. After all, Eddie and the symbiote had a baby not too long ago in the comics, and it’s not hard to see a Venom movie sequel embracing that strange, borderline ludicrous plot. Leave the theater and go pick up the newest issue of Venom, and the version may not be perfect copies, but more importantly, the strengths of one are alive in the other.

And, perhaps most importantly, the existence of Spider-Man is a footnote, or back-up character at best. By now even Peter Parker understands that his time with the symbiote was a fluke, or coincidence, compared to the character Eddie and Venom became.

In Marvel’s Universe, there may not be a greater romance than Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote –  and when audiences line up for a great love story, you don’t bother starting with the flings, one-night stands, or bad dates that came before.

MORE: Venom Secretly Revealed Carnage’s Backstory



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2018-10-09 03:10:52 – Andrew Dyce

SNL Distances Themselves from Kanye West During Weekend Update

The week after Kanye West’s unaired pro-Trump ramblings during the season 44 premiere of Saturday Night Live, a few of the show’s cast members have made their feelings regarding the incident clear. Though Leslie Jones had previously expressed hope that the show might steer away from politics, that definitely wasn’t the case with this episode, which began with Matt Damon guest starring as Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings. And things only got more political from there.

West, who performed as the musical guest for the Adam Driver-hosted episode, donned a “Make America Great Again” hat for his final performance of the night. While performing “Ghost Town” with Kid Cudi and 070 Shake, the rapper invited the SNL members up on stage to close out the night. Though the cameras were off by this point, West apparently took a break from singing to launch into an aimless rant that touched on Donald Trump, slavery, and the media that was captured by audience members like Chris Rock. A week later, the Weekly Update team was joined on air by Pete Davidson to discuss what happened.

Related: SNL Weekend Update Defies Censoring with ‘S-Hole’ Trump Sketch

Davidson began by commenting on West’s mental health and calling West’s speech “one of the worst, most awkward things” he’s ever experienced while working on the show, comparing it to an encounter with Chevy Chase. Davidson refutes West’s claim that he was bullied for wearing the MAGA hat but pointed out that everyone wears “stupid” things, including himself.

The comedian continued, addressing West’s belief that slavery isn’t real, and pointing out how wrong that is. He added that West is “a genius, but like, a musical genius,” thus insinuating that he doesn’t want to hear about politics from the rapper. Davidson then addressed the importance of mental health, albeit in joke form. West expressed that the person he is now is “the real” him, because he isn’t taking prescription medications. Davidson, who has been open about his own struggles with bipolar disorder, encouraged West to reconsider getting on medication, mentioning how well it works for him. He sent his point home with a well-received statement: “Being mentally ill is not an excuse to act like a jacka**.”

This is far from the first time that West has pushed the buttons of his peers in the entertainment community: a reference to the sunken place from Get Out sparked a tweet from the film’s writer and director Jordan Peele. He also hilariously sparked comparisons to Avengers: Infinity War big bad Thanos last month. West has been on SNL in the past, and this probably isn’t enough to earn him a ban, but considering his choice to shut down his social media accounts following the incident, he may not be willing to go back in the future.

More: Kenan Thompson to Star in New NBC Sitcom, Might Leave SNL

Source: Saturday Night Live





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2018-10-07 01:10:58 – Becca Bleznak

Sesame Street Denies Former Writer’s Claim That Bert & Ernie Are Gay

Shortly after a former Sesame Street writer voiced his belief that the characters of Bert and Ernie were a gay couple, The Sesame Workshop issued an official statement denying this was the case. This prompted further commentary from Frank Oz, who originally provided the voice of Bert opposite Jim Henson’s Ernie.

The question of the exact relationship between Bert and Ernie has long been a source of humor and friction among fans of The Muppets and Sesame Street. While the official policy of the producers of the show has been that Bert and Ernie are just best friends and roommates, the two have been adopted as gay icons in much the same fashion as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and Sherlock HolmesThe controversy was a major part of the Sesame Street parody musical Avenue Q, where the characters of Rod and Nicky were clear parodies of Bert and Ernie and the two had a duet titled “If You Were Gay.”

Related: Sesame Street Suing The Happytime Murders for ‘Tarnishing’ Their Brand

The recent controversy started after former Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman was interviewed by Queerty. Saltzman, a gay man, spoke about how his relationship with film editor Arnold Glassman informed how he wrote the interaction between Bert and Ernie, due to how their friends commented on how the order-minded Glassman and the upbeat, joking Saltzman acted just like Bert and Ernie. To that end, in Saltzman’s mind, Bert and Ernie had always been a gay couple because it was impossible for him not to view them as such. Saltzaman elaborated: “That’s what I had in my life, a Bert & Ernie relationship. How could it not permeate? The things that would tick off Arnie would be the things that would tick off Bert. How could it not?

Deadline later reported on the official response by The Sesame Workshop and the Twitter commentary of original Bert actor Oz. It’s the position of The Sesame Workshop that Bert and Ernie do not have an established sexual identity. The company elaborated that “Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”

Oz went one step further in his comments on his personal Twitter account, not only affirming that Bert and Ernie are straight, but questioning why it’s so important that the characters have a defined sexuality. Oz was quickly confronted by several gay fans of Bert and Ernie, who said that they saw themselves and their partners in the characters, and that it helped them come to terms with who they are. While continuing to insist that he had created and played the character of Bert as being straight, Oz did say he was pleased “that people see themselves and others positively in those characters.”

While it’s unlikely this question will be settled to anyone’s satisfaction anytime soon, there’s one point most parties will agree upon. Oz has a point when he says that the fact that people see themselves in Bert and Ernie and that they and the other Sesame Street characters helped young people to learn something about themselves is a good thing. Regardless of whether or not Bert and Ernie love each other romantically, it’s certain that they love each other, and teach viewers that they can love each other despite their differences. That’s a powerful message, and one that kids of all ages would do well to take to heart.

More: 15 Dark Secrets About The Muppets

Sources: Queerty, Deadline, Frank Oz





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2018-09-18 08:09:31 – Matt Morrison