Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Scene Has an Alfred Hitchcock Connection

The recent teaser for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has fans speculating that J.J. Abrams may have slipped a few visual references to Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest into his 2019 blockbuster. The first teaser trailer for the final film in Disney’s sequel trilogy premiered on Friday during Star Wars Celebration. Since posting online, the trailer has garnered over 13 million views. Fans have been eagerly dissecting every frame of the trailer to try to figure out exactly what Abrams has in store for them.

Abrams previously helmed the first entry in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, The Force Awakens. After sitting out the previous installment and letting the story go in a different direction, Abrams returned to the director’s chair for the latest film, taking over for Colin Trevorrow. Now returning to conclude the trilogy he began, Abrams is facing high expectations. The Rise of Skywalker, coming after the divisive The Last Jedi, will need to wrap up all three Star Wars trilogies. Fans are hoping he can deliver a satisfying conclusion to the iconic series. The first teaser for the film is already promising a fittingly epic finale. The ominous teaser confirmed the main cast of the previous two films would return, including the late Carrie Fisher’s Leia Organa. It also revealed all new images, including the return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, and the return of Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine.

Related: Star Wars Celebration 2019 Round-Up: The Biggest News & Reveals

Going past the reveals and into the filmmaking itself, Star Wars fan Dharma Bhagalia noted a similarity between a sequence in the trailer and Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. The Hitchcock film’s famous “crop duster” scene, in which Roger Thornhill tries to outrun an approaching plane on a dusty rural road, seems to have inspired a similar scene in The Rise of Skywalker. The teaser features Rey in a dusty location, looking into the distance, then looking over her shoulder and sensing danger, and finally trying to frantically outrun some kind of aircraft. A side-by-side comparison shows that her framing, actions, and the entire situation are strikingly reminiscent of Hitchcock’s 1959 suspense classic.

Strangely enough, this isn’t even the first time fans have drawn a link between Star Wars and North by Northwest. In 2016, Fabrice Mathieu created Darth by Darthwest, a short film that composited North by Northwest with elements of Star Wars, including Roger Thornhill being chased by a TIE Fighter. That clip went viral, and now seems almost prophetic.

Abrams is no stranger to classic film references. Viewing the teaser scene as an homage to one of film’s most famous moments makes sense, especially considering Abrams’s previous Star Wars film The Force Awakens as well as several moments from his Star Trek reboot series were criticized for taking too much from older works. Choosing that particular scene to open the teaser was a deliberate choice that could say many things. It has a hint of nostalgia, but also a sense of grandeur. Those words have come to define Disney’s sequel trilogy. Whether or not Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lives up to the legacy of Hitchcock or past Star Wars films remains to be seen, but, if nothing else, this teaser trailer has got fans excited for the possibility.

Source: Dharma Bhagalia/Twitter

2019-04-13 12:04:27

Ricky Miller

Every DCEU Connection In Shazam

Shazam! may be something of a standalone film, but it’s still closely connected to the rest of the DC Extended Universe. When the DCEU launched in 2013, Warner Bros. was attempting to weave a single consistent narrative through multiple films. That’s why there are Superman references and the Batman cameos in Suicide Squad; because they helped create a sense of narrative cohesion.

The last few DC movies have abandoned that approach, though. Aquaman contained a throwaway reference to the battle against Steppenwolf in Justice League, but other than that it might as well have been a standalone origin story. That’s even more the case with Shazam!, a film that revels in taking place in the same world as Superman and Batman, and yet has the courage to stand on its own two feet.

Related: Everything We Know About Shazam 2

So how does Shazam! fit into the wider DCEU? That question is best answered by looking at all Shazam!‘s connections to the rest of the shared universe, some subtle and some far more obvious.

  • This Page: DC Superhero Merchandise and Souvenirs
  • Page 2: Ace Chemicals and the Superman Cameo

Shazam! features a wealth of superhero merchandise, most notably in one scene where Billy finds himself tossed into a toy shop. Amusingly, every piece of merchandise – every action figure, every toy, and every piece of superhero memorabilia – really does exist. But director David F. Sanberg has stressed that it was all chosen with the greatest of care. Toys were only used if they represented heroes already confirmed to exist in the DCEU; a Green Lantern reference, for example, would have been completely out of place.

That level of conscious thought turns this superhero merchandise into an important plot point in the DCEU as a whole. It means that all the heroes featured in the toy store – most prominently Batman and Superman, but also Wonder Woman – are now viewed as celebrities by the entire world. In Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the world was deeply divided in its view of superheroes; some adored heroes, others distrusted them. Evidently the Justice League’s defeat of Steppenwolf, and the accompanying resurrection of Superman, has changed that. Now, kids adore superheroes, even re-enacting real-life events – as shown in one scene where a child bashes together a Superman and Batman action figure, playing out his own version of Batman v Superman.

Interestingly, if Warner Bros. did indeed put this level of thought into the various toys featured in that toy shop, then Shazam! has added another key event into the history of the DCEU’s Batman. In the background, one of the Batman toys is what looks to be the Fisher Price version of the Superheavy mech. In the comics, this suit of armor was created by the Gotham City Police Department at a time when Batman was believed to be dead, and was worn by none other than Commissioner Gordon himself. Its inclusion in Shazam! suggests that similar events have played out in the DCEU as well.

Related: Shazam! Every Easter Egg & Secret DC Reference

Meanwhile, Billy’s foster-brother Freddy is shown as the ultimate superhero fanboy, all done in such a way as to make him an amusing parody of comic book fans in the real world. Freddy’s room contains a shrine to his favorite superheroes, packed with newspaper clippings and magazines discussing the events of previous films. The most notable are an issue of TIME Magazine, dedicated to exploring the psychological impact of General Zod’s attack on Metropolis in Man of Steel, and a clipping celebrating Superman’s return – “SUPERMAN IS BACK!” Meanwhile, Freddy also has a collection of different pieces of superhero memorabilia, including a few items that have probably cost him quite a bit. The most beloved is a bullet that bounced off of Superman’s chest, flattened from the impact with the Man of Steel; it even has a certificate of authenticity. A sharp-edged Batarang proves a lot more useful than anyone could have expected, distracting Sivana at a key moment, and helping Mary work out how to beat the villain.

Throughout Shazam!, Freddy wears T-shirts inspired by his legendary heroes, including Superman and Batman. The film even highlights one of these in a post-credits scene, where Freddy is getting Billy to test if he has the power to talk to fish. Billy objects that this sounds stupid, and asks when that power would ever come in useful. In response, Freddy simply points to his Aquaman T-shirt. This doesn’t just confirm that Aquaman is as celebrated a hero as the rest of the Justice League in the DCEU; it also hints that the dramatic end of Aquaman – in which Arthur Curry’s ability to talk to fish brought an end to the war between the Tribes of Atlantis, before it could spill over on to the surface world – are now public knowledge.

Page 2: Ace Chemicals and the Superman Cameo

The most explicit DCEU connection in Shazam! is the Superman cameo. At the end of the film, Billy delights his foster-brother Freddy when he turns up at the school cafeteria to eat with him – “in costume.” Even better, to Freddy’s delight he brings along a friend, who he’s presumably teamed up with in an unseen adventure; Superman. The camera carefully avoids showing the hero’s face, but it doesn’t need to; the costume isn’t exactly difficult to recognize, and Freddy’s joy is palpable, confirming this is the real deal.

There’s been a slight costume change from the version last seen in Justice League – this suit has two red and gold portions at the hips. From an out-of-universe perspective, there’s a reason Shazam! hides Superman’s face; it’s because Henry Cavill wasn’t involved. At the time Shazam! was shooting, there were reports that the relationship between Cavill and Warner Bros. was close to falling apart, with rumors Cavill was attempting to renegotiate this contract. Given the uncertainty over Cavill’s DCEU future, it’s easy to see why Sandberg took this approach.

Related: Shazam’s Origin Story, Powers & Movie Changes Explained

Finally, there’s a subtle connection between Shazam! and Suicide Squad. In one key scene, Billy and Freddy head to an abandoned warehouse in order to try and work out just what Billy’s powers are. They test his strength, his speed, and his endurance, and generally seem to have a lot of fun. But, while the focus is upon the comedic training montage, the real Easter egg is of a corporate logo left behind amidst the metal beams and massive tanks. The logo is that of ACE Chemicals, one of the most notorious corporations in all of the DC Universe.

In the comics, ACE Chemicals are a company normally associated with Gotham City. One night, a fleeing criminal raced into ACE Chemicals, pursued by the Batman, and stumbled into a vat of unknown toxins. The Caped Crusader believed he had died, but in reality he had been transformed, emerging from ACE Chemicals as the Joker. The DCEU hasn’t confirmed that its version of the Joker shares this origin story, but Suicide Squad heavily implied it, with a flashback scene showing the Joker give Harley Quinn the chance to prove her love by jumping into the same vat. They ultimately had a weird ‘chemical wedding,’ with the Joker jumping in again after her.

Amusingly, the empty warehouse in Shazam! is actually the Hearn Generating Station, a now-decommissioned power plant outside Toronto, Ontario. The exact same location was used to shoot the ACE Chemicals scenes in Suicide Squad.

More: Every DC Movie Coming After Shazam

2019-04-07 07:04:23

Thomas Bacon

Shazam: The Suicide Squad/Joker Connection You Missed

Warning: SPOILERS for Shazam!

The Shazam! movie mentions almost every member of the DCEU’s Justice League, but the film’s coolest secret actually connects Billy Batson’s story directly to the romance between Harley Quinn and Joker. Did YOU spot it?

As the comic book fans likely already know Shazam! is FILLED with Easter Eggs that most viewers will completely miss. But one of the best touches forms a direct link between Billy Batson’s rise to superheroics… and the romance between Joker and Harley Quinn in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. The best part? The connection isn’t just in the fiction of the DCEU, but the real world, too.

RELATED: The Shazam Family of (Adult?) Superheroes Explained

Those audience members who decided to stick around and see the post-credits scene for Shazam! or even the faceless Superman cameo may think be worried that they missed a pivotal detail, but fear not. The actual connection between Billy Batson, Freddy Freeman, Joker, and Harley is forged much earlier in the movie, when the boys are trying to discover just how many superpowers Billy’s magical form can exhibit.

His use of electricity, super speed, super strength, and bullet immunity all become clear in the first night of testing. But with the possibilities truly appearing endless, Billy and Freddy decide to ditch class, head to an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of Philadelphia, and start to discover what Billy–sorry, ‘Thundercrack’ is truly capable of. The process is a complex one, finding Billy flossing, punching through concrete walls, shattering cinder blocks, and being unwittingly set on fire. But it isn’t the tests fans will want to be watching.

The empty warehouse might seem boring, but one shot of the testing trials reveals a corporate logo left behind amidst the metal beams and massive tanks. The logo is that of ACE Chemicals, one of the most notorious corporations in all of the DC Comics Universe. Why? Because they were the makers of the very toxins that transformed a normal man into the bleached-skinned, green-haired, crazed and maniacal Joker. ACE Chemicals has shown up numerous times in DCEU movies as a Gotham institution, but the remnants of its Philadelphia operation are no coincidence. Believe us, it gets weirder.

Fans may not have realized it, but they have already watched one other scene of testing and discovery set inside an ACE Chemicals factory in the DCEU. While it’s never explicitly said that Jared Leto’s Joker in Suicide Squad went through the exact same origin story, his decision to let Dr. Harleen Quinzel prove her love leaves little doubt. Heading directly to ACE Chemicals, Joker asks Harley to take the same plunge he did, leading to their so-called ‘chemical wedding’ in the vat of toxins (that recolor her as it did him).

Thankfully there are no such toxins left behind in Philly (we hope) along with the company’s logo, but there’s an even more incredible explanation for the ACE Chemicals branding. The empty warehouse in which Billy and Freddy test Shazam’s powers is actually the Hearn Generating Station, a now decommissioned electrical generating station outside of Toronto, Ontario. That’s the exact same location used for ACE Chemicals during Suicide Squad, meaning this link between films, heroes, and villains could be an intentional move by director David F. Sandberg… or could just be a case of spray painted set decoration being left up to do the work for them.

Either way, the bonds between the different branches of the DCEU have grown in number, pulling two of the most polar opposite movies closer than almost any other. Not to mention making us crave a crossover between Shazam and Harley Quinn more than we expected.

MORE: Everything We Know About Shazam 2

2019-04-06 07:04:57

Andrew Dyce

Every Riverdale Connection in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 2

Warning: Minor SPOILERS ahead

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season 2 offers some fresh connections to its sister show over on The CW, Riverdale. While there’s no news of an actual crossover between the two shows yet, both Riverdale and Sabrina have waved to one another from afar and they appear to be set in the same universe – even if Sabrina’s side is a little more supernatural.

Both Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina were created by Archie Comics CCO Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. They’re both lifted from the pages of Archie Comics, and are both distributed internationally by Netflix (though Riverdale episodes air on The CW first). Riverdale has referenced Sabrina’s home town of Greendale, with Archie and Jughead taking a nighttime road trip there in one particularly spooky season 2 episode. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has returned the favor, with season 1 dropping a reference to Riverdale High.

Related: How A Riverdale & Sabrina Crossover Could Already Be Being Set Up

In season 2 the connections are still in the realm of being Easter eggs rather than actual plot links, but they subtly sell the idea that The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Riverdale are part of the same universe. Here are the major nods to Archie’s world that we spotted.

There are many things about Sabrina’s world that are odd, not the least of which is the fact that Archie Comics exist in-universe. In The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season 1, Sabrina was seen using a retro Archie Comics thermos flask, and in season 2 Afterlife With Archie comics are prominently displayed in Cerberus Books. Sabrina’s ex-boyfriend Harvey can be seen buying the comics for himself in episode 2. Afterlife With Archie is also written by Aguirre-Sacasa, and is set in an alternative reality version of Riverdale where Sabrina, Archie and the gang accidentally kick off a zombie apocalypse. Of course, one could question why a shop in Greendale has comics featuring fictional versions of teens who live in a nearby town, but it’s best not to overthink these things.

Sweetwater River played a prominent role in Riverdale season 1, as the fateful spot where Jason Blossom was found dead. Later that same season, Cheryl Blossom came close to joining her twin brother in Sweetwater River’s frozen waters. In The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season 2, Sabrina and Ambrose pay their own visit to Sweetwater River (though we don’t actually see it) in an effort to build a golem, bring it to life, and then cast it into the river. The plan doesn’t actually work out, and only succeeds in getting Sabrina covered in mud. Still, at least no one drowned.

Speaking of the Blossoms, we get another taste of them in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season 2 when Sabrina creates a doppelganger from a mandrake. In true Men in Black form, the first thing the impostor wants is lots and lots of sugar, so she asks Aunt Hilda to make her blueberry pancakes and then proceeds to drown them in syrup. It’s not just any syrup, though – it’s Blossom maple syrup, the liquid gold that made the Blossom family so wealthy… with a little help from an illicit drug operation. Let’s hope the Spellmans are only addicted to the syrup!

More: Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Part 2 Review

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season 2 is now available on Netflix.

2019-04-05 03:04:43

Hannah Shaw-Williams

Halloween 2018: Every Reference And Connection To The Original Film

John Carpenter’s Halloween is one of the most influential and beloved horror films of all-time. The movie has inspired countless slasher films that followed as well as several sequels, reboots and remakes. The success of these films varied, none living up to the original. However, in 2018 a new Halloween was released and infused the franchise with some new life.

RELATED: Halloween 2018 Is The Best Since The Original Says John Carpenter

The new film is a direct sequel to the original, finding Laurie Strode and Michael Myers coming face-to-face again 40 years later. Though the film updates the story, it was obviously made with great love of the original in mind. Halloween 2018 is filled with fun references and connections to the 1978 version for fans to enjoy. Here are some of the ones you might have missed.

18 Loomis

As much as Michael Myers and Laurie Strode, Dr. Samuel Loomis has been an integral part of this franchise. The psychiatrist treated Michael before becoming convinced that the man was nothing but pure evil who had to be stopped. Loomis was played by Donald Pleasence in five of the Halloween films.

Pleasence passed away in 1995 but his presence is still felt strongly in the 2018 film. Michael’s new psychiatrist, Dr. Sartain is a protégé of Loomis and is even referred to as the “new Loomis” by Laurie. We are also hear tape recordings of Loomis and see photographs as a nod to a character and actor who were a big part of the original films’ legacy.

17 The Mask

Few things are as iconic in the horror genre than Michael Myers’ white mask. Who knew a repurposed William Shatner mask could be so scary?

Obviously, the mask makes a reappearance here, and unlike some of the other sequels, it is explained this is Michael’s original mask. In the opening seen, we see true crime podcasters attempting to speak to Michael and bring along the mask to tempt him. It proves to be a deadly mistake for them as Michael is soon reunited with his favorite Halloween costume.

16 The Opening Credits

The original film did a wonderful job setting up the tense and foreboding feeling of the film all leading up to Michael’s killing spree on Halloween night. One aspect that really helps with this is the amazing opening title sequence.

RELATED: The Ultimate Horror Movie Fan’s Gift Guide

With a simple shot of a jack-o-lantern and Carpenter’s amazing score really help set the mood. The new film wisely recreates that opening. Although, in a clever twist, we see the jack-o-lantern reverse decomposing, seeming to hint at the return of Michael after all these years.

15 Carpenter’s Involvement

One major bonus that this film has is direct involvement from John Carpenter himself. Carpenter wrote and directed the original, and while he was consulted on some of the early sequels, he eventually distanced himself from the franchise and subsequent remakes.

The mastermind of the original film is credited as Executive Producer on this film and was apparently consulted on certain aspects of the film. But most significantly, Carpenter also created new music for the film which compliment his original score very nicely.

14 Walking To School

Halloween 2018 has fun recreating a lot of the similar shots and settings of the original film. Along with feeling like a nice nostalgic return to the town of Haddonfield, it also keeps audiences on their toes to revisit the places Michael already stalked through.

RELATED: Halloween: Original Michael Myers Actor Open to Returning for Sequel

Mirroring the original scene when Laurie and her friends walking to school, this film recreates it with Laurie’s grand-daughter, Allyson and her friends. Although we don’t see Michael watching them like in the original, the threat of him looms heavy.

13 Watching From Afar

Much of the first act of the original Halloween is dedicated to Michael stalking Laurie and creepily watching her from afar. There is the aforementioned walk to school, and even more memorable, the shot of Michael outside Laurie’s classroom. Halloween 2018 references this moment, but it is Laurie watching Allyson.

It seems like an obvious nod to the original, but fits in the themes of the film. Laurie, no longer the victim, is a survivor watching over her family while waiting for Michael’s return.

12 Lonnie

One of the most random connections to the original film comes through Allyson’s boyfriend, Cameron Elam. As it turns out, Cameron’s father is Lonnie Elam, the young boy who bullied Tommy Doyle in the original film.

It’s a rather strange reference as Lonnie was hardly an important character in the first film. However, the movie does have some fun with the connection as Allyson’s father keeps bringing up how terrible of a kid Lonnie was when he was younger.

11 The Shape

Though he has always been known as Michael Myers, the killer in the Halloween films also went by another name. In the first film, he is referred to as The Shape in the final credits.

Not only is Michael credited as The Shape in this film in a nod to the original, but he is actually referred to by this title for the first time by Laurie. It’s a creepy title for the killer and helps to cement the fact that, although he has a name, Michael Myers seems to be more than just a man.

10 Breakout

While Halloween 2018 does have some fun with its own story, it follows the original plot. In both film, Michael begins the film behind bars only to breakout and terrorize Haddonfield on Halloween night.

Appropriately, the breakout in the sequel pays homage to the similar situation in the original. In this film, a father and son come across the eerie sight of the asylum patients wandering in the middle of the road after their transport bus crashed. The scene is similar to the original when Loomis comes across the patients in the dark road following Michael’s original escape.

9 The Murder Of Judith Myers

The murder of Judith Myers, Michael’s sister, kicked off his bloodlust all those years ago. And Michael seems to find some importance in that first kill. In the original film, Michael steals Judith’s tombstone from the cemetery and displays it with Annie’s body later on.

The tombstone makes another appearance in this film as those nosy podcasters visit the grave site and narrate about the death as we see flashbacks to the famous POV opening sequence. It’s a good reminder that all these years later, all this carnage began with a horrific act of a small child.

8 The Babysitter Murders

Some fans of the original will know that the original title of the film was The Baby Sitter Murders. The script took place over the course of several days and did not involve Halloween. Due to budget restrictions, it was decided the timeframe would be shorter and take place of Halloween. The rest is history.

RELATED: Jason Blum Wants to Make 10 More Halloween Movies

While Halloween is much more effective, the original title does get a nod as Officer Hawkins refers to “The Baby Sitter” murders that Michael committed 40 years prior.

7 Familiar Jumpsuit

While Michael’s mask is instantly recognizable, his jumpsuit is just as important to his famous look.

Halloween 2018 manages to have Michael recreate his original costume all in one violent scene. He stalks the podcasters down to a remote gas station where he kills them and retrieves his mask, but not before killing a poor gas station attendant and stealing his jumpsuit. It might be a bit convenient that he finds someone who shares his size, but let’s not nitpick.

6 Sheet Ghost

While Michael can sometimes seem like he’s just a mindless killer, he has shown that he also has a flair for the dramatic. He does this a few times in the 2018 film, displaying his victims in creative ways, and he even recreates one of his most famous kills.

RELATED: 20 Wild Details Behind The Making Of The Halloween Movies

In the original, after killing Bob, Michael dons his ghost sheet costume to go terrorize Linda. This time around, Michael uses the ghost sheet trick to display Vicky’s body which Hawkins discovers.

5 Laurie Takes Charge

One of the thrills of the 2018 Halloween is seeing Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie turn into a complete badass. But while she is in full-blown warrior mode here, Laurie was certainly tough in the original film as well.

While her friends were killed left and right, Laurie fought back and even managed to protect the young children she was babysitting. She is still in protector mode in this film, and gets to repeat her famous line, “Do as I say” as she tries to keep her family alive.

4 Friendly Neighbors

In these slasher movies, you have to wonder how a killer manages to chase down and murder several screaming teenagers without anybody noticing. In the original Halloween, this is basically explained away with indifference as Laurie runs to a neighbor’s house for help only for them ignore her pleas and turn off their porch lights.

There’s a nice reference to that rather cold moment when Allyson desperately runs to a neighbor’s home, banging on the door and the porch light comes on in response. It seems Haddonfield has become of more neighborly place in the last few decades.

3 The Prey Becomes The Hunter

The relationship between Michael and Laurie is much different in this film. Yes, Michael is still very dangerous after all these years, but now Laurie is as well. It’s a real thrill that this movie reverses the roles in the third act, with Laurie now hunting Michael.

This leads to some great moments that callback to the original but now it is Laurie in killer mode. We see famous shots like Laurie emerging from the shadows the same way Michael did. But the best moment is when Laurie is thrown from the balcony then does Michael’s famous disappearing act.

2 Myers House

The Myers house has become a somewhat iconic location in this series. While none of the 2018 film actually takes place there, it is referenced with a small doll house in Laurie’s home that seems to resemble that famous house closely.

RELATED: Halloween Producer Explains Why Two Sequels Weren’t Filmed Back-to-Back

The doll house does raise a few questions. Did Laurie have it made to remind herself of Michael or is it a coincidence? Either way, it’s a nice nod and the shot of the doll house burning at the end might signal the end of a chapter.

1 Breathing

The last we see of Michael Myers in this film, he’s in a rather precarious spot. Locked in Laurie’s basement while flames engulf the room, he seems like a goner. However, we’ve learned many times that Michael doesn’t die easily.

At the end of the original film, Michael escapes and his breathing can be heard as the film cuts to black. Similarly, as the credits to the 2018 film come to an end, that same deep breathing can be heard, hinting that Michael will return.

NEXT: Ranking Every Halloween Movie, From 1978 To 2018

2019-03-20 05:03:47

Colin McCormick

Wonder Woman Does The Unthinkable To Save DC’s Magic

Warning: SPOILERS For Wonder Woman #56

The latest chapter of The Witching Hour crossover has seen Wonder Woman and her allies in Justice League Dark joining forces with her most powerful enemy – the sorceress Circe. Given Circe’s long-standing grudge against the Amazons and Diana, it would take extraordinary circumstances for her to put aside her legendary spite for a common goal.  Of course with magic itself dying in DC’s Universe, describing the current circumstances as “extraordinary” is putting things lightly.

Based on the character from Greek mythology, the DC Comics version of Circe first appeared in Wonder Woman #37 in 1949. The precise reasons for Circe’s hatred of The Amazons and Wonder Woman have changed several times over the years, but the most common reasons are that The Amazons were responsible for imprisoning Circe for her crimes against humanity and that a prophecy predicted that Circe’s doom would be brought about by the Amazon princess. Though she first appeared during the Golden Age of Comics, it was not until George Perez’s revamp of Wonder Woman in 1987 that Circe was redeveloped into a major player in Princess Diana’s Rogues’ Gallery. It is a position of dishonor she has held ever since.

Related: Wonder Woman Unlocks New Powers of Witchcraft

The first chapter of The Witching Hour revealed that Wonder Woman was a conduit for hereto unknown magic powers – the result of her having been branded as a child by followers of Hectate, the Ancient Greek goddess of Magic. With Zatanna having discovered the meaning of the magical brand, Justice League Dark was able to start seeking answers as to what was happening to Wonder Woman and why.

This led them to Aeaea – the island home of Circe, according to The Odyssey. It was hoped that Circe, who drew her powers from a connection to Hectate, might know something of what was going on and be willing to bargain for that knowledge.

Though she was hostile at first, Circe was mollified the moment she saw what she called “the witchmark” on Diana’s forehead. Circe went on to explain the history of Hectate and how she was truly a power far older than the Olympian gods. The first wizards tried to tap Hectate’s power for their own uses unsuccessfully, caging a far more evil source of power that would come to slowly infect the world, and Hectate herself, with darkness.

This led Hectate to take the majority of her power and split it among five mortal vessels, The Witchmarked, who would hold Hectate’s pure and unsullied essence until a time when the magic of the rising darkness had begun to fade. Then Hectate would reclaim her power to defeat it, once and for all. As each of The Witchmarked died, the followers of Hectate would find another woman to hold Hectate’s power, passing her energy down from generation to generation.

The problem, Circe reveals, is that the passing years have corrupted Hectate’s mind and she is now a being born of spite and hatred rather than love and light and it was that desire for revenge that made Circe into a perfect avatar for Hectate’s power. The practical upshot is that while Hectate may be capable of fighting the rising darkness, she will forever destroy magic as it is known on Earth, with no magical power but her’s existing. This leaves Justice League Dark with few good options, as Wonder Woman seems doomed to die no matter what and the best option involves all magic being under the control of a single vengeful goddess. Of course all this assumes that Circe is telling the truth and this isn’t part of her own plan for revenge on Diana.

Wonder Woman #56 is now available from DC Comics.

More: Say Goodbye To Magic in DC’s Comic Universe

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2018-10-11 01:10:54 – Matt Morrison

Harry Potter: 20 Crazy Details Only True Potterheads Knew About Wormtail

For a lot of reasons, Peter Pettigrew, AKA “Wormtail”, may be one of the creepiest characters in all of the Harry Potter series. First and foremost, is the rather strange decision on the part of author J.K. Rowlings, to make Pettigrew’s animagus form hang around so closely with a preteen Ronald Weasley. With that particularly large elephant out of the room, we can get into some of the more unnerving, crazy, and interesting facts about this Voldemort supporter.

Everyone knows Wormtail to be the man who betrayed Lily and James Potter’s location to Voldemort, who sought to destroy them and their newborn son after finding out that Harry may one day defeat him. Although Voldemort’s attempt on Harry’s life backfired (quite literally), this moment it did cement Wormtail as one of Tom Riddle’s most famous supporters. In addition to this, Wormtail also got away with it all by blaming Sirius Black for that horrible night.

In many ways, Wormtail was the most unlikely member of Voldemort’s inner circle. He didn’t have the dedication to Voldemort’s evil agenda that Lucius Malfoy did. Nor did he have the obsessive nature of the deranged Bellatrix Lestrange. At the end of the day, Wormtail was a coward, and that why he let betrayed his friends to become part of one of the darkest cults of all time. Despite all he has done, Wormtail was still a far more engaging character than most fans may recall.

Without further ado, here are 20 Crazy Facts About Wormtail.

20 He Was Almost Not Sorted Into Gryffindor

When Peter Pettigrew arrived at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he lined up with the rest of the First Years to await The Sorting Hat’s decision on which House he would join. While in line, he met both Sirius Black, who uttered his contempt for Slytherin House, and James Potter. Immediately, Pettigrew took a liking to these boys and longed to be Sorted with them.

When he finally was placed under The Sorting Hat, Pettigrew waited a whole five minutes to be placed in Gryffindor.

This is what was called a “Hatstall.” The Sorting Hat clearly saw that this character was suitable for more than one house. Although Slytherin would be the obvious alternative choice, Hufflepuff was one as well.

19 He Was A Member Of The Order Of The Phoenix

Due to Peter Pettigrew’s friendship with James, Remus, and Sirius, he joined The Order of the Phoenix after his time at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The Order of the Phoenix was a secret society founded by Albus Dumbledore to combat Voldemort and his sycophantic followers during the First Wizarding War. This was the time when Voldemort returned from traveling abroad and sought to overthrow the Ministry of Magic and persecute Muggles and Muggle-born magical folk. Although Pettigrew wasn’t a fan of Voldemort’s ideology, he was part of the Order purely because his friends were. It was a community for him. He did not have the same passion for the cause as the other members did.

18 He Wasn’t A True Believer In Voldemort

Much like Peter Pettigrew wasn’t a true believer in the Order of the Phoenix, he wasn’t one of Voldemort’s dedicated followers either. He did not share the same lust for dominance over the Wizarding World, nor the same level of intolerance.

When Pettigrew became a spy for Voldemort, it was purely out of fear.

Wormtail, at the end of the day, is an opportunist. He is someone who will do just about anything to survive, and that included betraying his best friends in order to remain on the powerful dark wizard’s good side. In many instances, especially in the books, Wormtail even couldn’t bear Voldemort’s violence and occasionally attempted to suggest alternative measures to achieve his dark desire.

17 McGonagall Didn’t Like Him, even as a kid

If there’s one thing that Minerva McGonagall has never done, it’s mince words. First and foremost, this Transfiguration professor and Gryffindor Head of House is brutally honest. In the books, she was honest about how she felt about Peter Pettigrew during his time at Hogwarts.

Of course, McGonagall taught him Transfiguration as well as watched over him as the H.O.H. She claimed that Pettigrew “hero-worshipped” both James Potter and Sirius Black. In fact, she even described him as a “lump of a boy” who constantly followed Sirius around like his lap-dog. She even claimed that Peter was “stupid” as well as “foolish.” However, Minerva clearly grew to have some respect for him once he joined the Order. She even spoke sadly about him before she learned that he was the one responsible for the betrayal and not Sirius.

16 He Lived As A Rat For 12 Years

As most fans know, Peter Pettigrew was one of the Mauraders, the small group of friends that consisted of James Potter, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin. Peter even decided to become an animagus in order to make Remus feel more comfortable with the fact that he was tragically turned into a werewolf. The fact that Pettigrew could turn into a rat at will was something that came in handy after he was forced to fake his own demise in order to properly frame Sirius Black.

Due to his fear of being caught, Pettigrew lived as a rat for a solid 12 years.

He was eventually discovered by Sirius and Remus in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

15 He Chose The Weasleys As Owners To Avoid The Death Eaters

After Pettigrew faked his demise, he chose to live as a rat in order to both keep up his lie as well as to avoid the Death Eaters. At this stage, many of Voldemort’s followers were unknown to the authorities and lived amongst the common-folk. Due to the fact that Voldemort’s apparent demise happened due to Pettigrew’s information, the Death Eaters believed that Pettigrew was a traitor and therefore sought to destroy him.

Wormtail knew that he stood a better chance at staying alive if he picked a “good” family to stay with. Eventually, he came to be Percy Weasley’s possession and was handed down to Ron. Presumably, Wormtail (as “Scabbers”) stayed with the Weasleys because he knew that the family would treat him right as well as shield him from Voldemort’s secret followers.

14 He Almost Ruined Ron And Hermione’s Relationship

Although Wormtail didn’t mean to, he almost completely ruined Hermione and Ron’s friendship in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Throughout the book and the film (to a lesser extent), Ron was constantly trying to save Scabbers (AKA Wormtail) from Hermione’s carnivorous new cat, Crookshanks. When Wormtail heard that Sirius Black had escaped from Azkaban and was poking around the Hogwarts grounds, he decided to flee, faking his demise a second time.

In the book, he bit himself in order to leave blood that suggested that Crookshanks had finally taken him out.

It completely convinced Ron, and the pair’s relationship nearly ended until the truth was revealed. This is just another instance of Peter Pettigrew doing anything necessary to remain alive.

13 Rats helped him find Voldemort

A lot of fans of Harry Potter who haven’t paid close enough detail to the books wonder how Wormtail and Voldemort were reunited before the events of The Goblet of Fire. Well, the truth is Wormtail learned from fellow rats that a dark force was living in a forest in Albania. This force ended up being Voldemort himself, who was living off the animals in the forest. However, Voldemort was just clinging to life in his shriveled-up form.

Wormtail lured a prominent ministry witch, who was on vacation in Albania, into the forest and then proceeded to force information out of her that helped persuade Voldemort to take him back into his good graces.

12 He Fed Voldemort Nagini’s Milk to Save Him

Aside from finding Lord Voldemort in a forest in Albania and giving him some vital information about the upcoming Triwizard Tournament from the ministry official he lured into the forest, Wormtail also stayed in Voldemort’s good graces due to the fact that he kept him alive. At this point, Voldemort was simply a shriveled up humanoid creature who barely had any power at all.

With Wormtail’s help, he managed to stay strong enough to last until the end of The Goblet of Fire when he was “reborn.”

Wormtail was able to do this because he milked the venom out of Nagini, Voldemort’s giant snake who will appear in human form in Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grindelwald. This venom provided Voldemort with the rudimentary body we see in Goblet of Fire.

11 He Helped Capture Mad-Eye

When Wormtail traveled to Albania to seek Voldemort, he ran into a ministry official who he forced into telling him legitimate information about the goings on at Hogwarts. This included the upcoming Triwizard Tournament that they would get Harry Potter to take part in, as well as the fact that Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody would be the next Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.

Another piece of information this ministry official gave was that there was a Voldemort supporter hiding out in England. This ended up being Barty Crouch Jr., who, with the help of Wormtail, tracked down Mad-Eye Moody and captured him. Crouch then famously continued to take locks of Mad-Eye’s hair in order to brew a Polyjuice Potion that turned him into Mad-Eye.

10 Snape Got His Revenge On Pettigrew

As we found out through various flashbacks during Harry’s time learning legilimency from Severus Snape, Severus was teased and pushed around by Harry’s father, Lupin, Sirius, and Peter Pettigrew as a child. Pettigrew probably wouldn’t have been the one to instigate this, but he was happy to play along with what the “cool kids” were doing. That, after all, was sort of his M.O. However, in their later years, Snape got his revenge on Wormtail after Voldemort ordered Wormtail to live with Snape at Spinner’s End in order to help him with various things.

Wormtail ended up being Snape’s punching bag and personal servant.

In fact, Snape treated him quite poorly, which, without a doubt had more to do with Wormtail betraying Lily Potter than anything else.

9 Voldemort Loathed Him

Lord Voldemort may not have had the ability to love anything except for himself, and even that is arguable, but he certainly had some appreciation and respect for certain members of his cult. At one time, he had immense respect for Lucius Malfoy, but that went away after Lucius continued to fail him. Bellatrix and Snape seem to be in his good graces constantly as they appeared to be his most ardent supporters. Snape, specifically, was the one he thought was infiltrating Dumbledore and the Order.

Wormtail is a different story entirely. Voldemort never liked Wormtail at all. He put up with him because Wormtail helped to keep him alive. But even before Voldemort’s first downfall, the villain knew that Wormtail was only around out of fear, not out of duty or respect.

8 He Wasn’t Skilled At Magic

Throughout the course of the Harry Potter series, two very different powerful magical folk made comments on Wormtail’s lack of power. The first was Wormtail’s old Transfiguration teacher, Minerva McGonagall, who claimed that he was far less talented than his friends when it came to magic. Then there’s Voldemort, who always regarded his servant as particularly weak. The truth is, they were mostly right about him.

He was a hopeless dueler, only besting opponents when catching them off-guard.

However, there are a couple of instances where he’s shown more potential than even he believed. One of these moments was when he caused an explosion that ended the lives of twelve Muggles and allowed him to get away from Sirius Black.

7 He Was Surprisingly Intelligent And An Opportunist

You can say a lot about Peter Pettigrew, including his cowardly demeanor, but one thing you can’t say is that he was dumb. On the contrary, Wormtail was actually pretty intelligent. This cunning helped him frame Sirius for the crime that he committed, as well as search out Voldemort.

Wormtail’s intelligence also allowed him to be quite the opportunist. This trait perhaps sums him up the most, as from the start of things he knew how to get in with the “right” crowd. When the tides changed and there was a better group to be associated with, that’s exactly where Wormtail would end up. A fool wouldn’t be able to navigate situations like this, let alone stay on Voldemort’s good side.

6 The Other Death Eaters Didn’t Like Him

Being an opportunist didn’t quite go over well when it came to Voldemort’s closest servants. First of all, many of them, including Bellatrix Lestrange, were there because they either believed in Voldemort’s cause or Voldemort himself.

Many of these Death Eaters saw Wormtail as a clinger; someone who was merely there to survive and never truly fought for what they believed in.

Another major source of the dislike the Death Eaters had for Wormtail had to do with Voldemort’s first downfall. This event happened on Wormtail’s information. When Voldemort was seemingly annihilated after attacking Harry Potter, many Death Eaters saw Wormtail as a traitor who purposefully led Voldemort to his grave.

5 His Hand Was Cursed

Although the filmmakers behind the Harry Potter movies didn’t explore Wormtail’s silver hand, it was certainly talked about in detail in J.K. Rowling’s novels. Wormtail first got this magical silver hand after he severed it from his body while resurrecting Voldemort in The Goblet of Fire. However, it came with a catch.

The catch with Wormtail’s replacement hand was that it was cursed. Sure, the hand had magical properties, including being impervious to certain jinxes, but it also led to his downfall. Though Wormtail didn’t receive a proper final scene in the films, his demise in the books occurred when he was planning to do good on his “life debt” to Harry. Wormtail’s magical hand turned on him, wrapped around his neck, and took his life.

4 He was insecure about his body

Every single person on the planet has their own set of insecurities. This is true of all of the characters within J.K. Rowling’s masterful series. For Wormtail, it was his stature. Not only was his short height an issue for him, but his weight and shape particularly bothered him. He no doubt compared himself to the more traditionally handsome James Potter and Sirius Black while growing up.

Due to actor Timothy Spall’s height, Wormtail was portrayed a taller than he was in the books.

However, when he first appeared in Prisoner of Azkaban, he was around the same height as a 13 and 14-year-old Harry and Hermione. Both Harry and Hermione would grow to be taller, while Pettigrew remained the same height.

3 He Was Made More Rat-Like For The Films

J.K. Rowlings described Peter Pettigrew has had some of the qualities of a rat, especially after living as one for a solid twelve years. These traits included watery eyes, grubby skin, a pointed nose, and even a squeaky voice that followed him after he revealed himself in The Prisoner of Azkaban.

Azkaban director Alfonso Cuaron wanted to make sure audiences absolutely knew that Pettigrew would have maintained some of his rat-like qualities after his twelve-year stint. These added details included extra nostril hair, knuckle hair, two big teeth, and a consistency between Scabbers’ fur and Wormtail’s locks. Hiding his neck with the right coat also made Wormtail’s rat-like look more believable. These details also came in handy for Wormtail’s visual transition back into his animagus form as he escaped.

2 He Took Voldemort’s Wand

Wormtail didn’t keep his distance the day after Voldemort’s downfall in Godric’s Hollow. He made sure he was nearby as he hoped his information would be useful. Voldemort, of course, wanted to take out a young Harry Potter due to the prophecy that stated that the boy could lead to his demise. Unfortunately for Voldemort, his attempt on Harry’s life backfired and he was practically disintegrated.

Wormtail deduced this once he came across the rubble of the house. He then found Voldemort’s iconic phoenix-feathered wand and took it for safe keeping.

He later gave it back to Voldemort once he was strong enough to use it once more.

There’s no telling where exactly Wormtail stored the wand while living as a rat for twelve years.

1 His Demise Was Connected To The Marauders

Wormtail’s connection to the Marauders, Lupin (Mooney), Sirius (Padfoot), and James (Prongs) was fully realized the day that he met his end. This is because Wormtail’s demise (at least in the book) was very similar to those of his three classmates.

All four of them, in one way or another, passed away while trying to protect or save Harry.

James met his end at the hands of Lord Voldemort that day in Godric’s Hollow. Sirius was protecting Harry when he was struck by Bellatrix’s curse. Lupin fought in the Battle of Hogwarts, giving Harry a moment to escape from Dolohov, who was later revealed to have taken Lupin out. Finally, Wormtail’s cursed hand turned on him the moment he was about to let Harry go, honoring his life-debt.

What do you think is the craziest fact about Wormtail in Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments below!

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2018-10-10 06:10:32 – Dylan Parker

22 July Review: Paul Greengrass Delivers Another Intense Docudrama

Despite some general storytelling issues, Greengrass succeeds in delivering another well-crafted and intelligent docudrama-thriller with 22 July.

In-between his efforts on the Bourne movies, journalist-turned filmmaker Paul Greengrass has spent much of his career making docudrama-thrillers about real-world events, ranging from the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. (United 93) to the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama in 2009 (Captain Phillips). While there’s an inherent risk of exploiting a real-world tragedy that comes with any such project, Greengrass has long been celebrated for his ability to dramatize terrible events on the big screen in a manner that’s intense, yet sensitive and ultimately insightful in its presentation. Thankfully, that remains the case with his Netflix Original 22 July, even if it doesn’t necessarily represent the writer/director at his finest. Despite some general storytelling issues, Greengrass succeeds in delivering another well-crafted and intelligent docudrama-thriller with 22 July.

22 July picks up on July 21, 2011 in Oslo, Norway, as Anders Behring Breivik (Anders Danielsen Lie) – a self-declared right wing extremist – prepares to carry out a terrorist attack on the city the next day. He begins his assault by setting off a bomb in a van near the main office of the then-current Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (Ola G. Furuseth), killing eight people in the process. Breivik then proceeds to continue his attack by gunning down 69 members of a summer camp organized by the AUF – the youth division of the Norwegian Labour Party – on the island of Utøya, before he is ultimately apprehended by the police and taken into custody.

Among the members of the summer camp is one Viljar Hanssen (Jonas Strand Gravli), who manages to survive Breivik’s attack despite being shot multiple times and left permanently maimed. As Viljar struggles to recover both physically and psychologically from what happened to him (along with everyone else who survived the Utøya shootings and their loved ones), Breivik works with his chosen lawyer Geir Lippestad (Jon Øigarden) to mount a defense and use his trial as a platform to publicly announce his political agenda (which calls for the immediate deportation of all Muslims and heavier restrictions on immigration to Norway, among other things). When it becomes clear to Viljar what Breivik intends to do, he grows increasingly determined to continue his rehabilitation and testify against him in court for not only himself, but also every other person whose lives were affected by what took place on July 22.

Adapted from the book One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway — and Its Aftermath by Åsne Seierstad, Greengrass’ script for 22 July has a very clear-cut three act structure – with the first act focused on the July 22 attack, the second part set during its immediate aftermath, and the final third centered on Breivik’s trial. The film is strongest during its first and third acts in particular, as those chapters (respectively) play to Greengrass’ strengths as a suspense-thriller storyteller and provide the emotional payoff to Viljar and, thus, Norway’s overarching journey of recovery and survival. It’s the second act where things start to drag and get a little muddled, especially as 22 July splits its focus between not only Viljar’s story thread, but also Lippestad and Breivik’s trial preparation, and the investigation into Stoltenberg’s administration and its failure to prevent a terrorist attack. While there’s nothing in the second act that feels inessential, 22 July struggles to divide its attention evenly between its three plotlines and the film’s pacing suffers for it.

On the whole, however, 22 July does a nice job covering a fair amount of narrative ground, even when taking its pretty substantial runtime into consideration. It helps that Greengrass (as he’s known now for doing, as a director) never fully lifts his foot off the gas pedal and keeps the film’s proceedings feeling on-edge throughout, even during its more purely dramatic portions. The filmmaker, working this time around with DP Pål Ulvik Rokseth (The Snowman) and Oscar-winning Argo editor William Goldenberg, uses essentially the same vérité cinematography and restless editing style that he has on his previous movies, in order to fully immerse viewers in the film’s setting and action. At the same time, Greengrass slows things down a bit here and, in turn, delivers a movie that’s more visually cohesive than some of his weaker efforts in the past (see the last Bourne sequel, in particular). This serves 22 July well, allowing it to effectively work as both a grounded drama and thriller.

Given the sheer amount of information that 22 July strives to cover, though, there’s not a lot of room for the film’s actors to really shine – not in the way that Barkhad Abdi and Tom Hanks did in Captain Phillips, for example. Even so, the 22 July cast is uniformly strong across the board, with Gravli especially doing an excellent job of portraying Viljar’s struggles with his physical injuries, PTSD, and the sheer amount of emotional baggage that he’s saddled with after barely managing to escape the attack on Utøya with his own life. Actors like Thorbjørn Harr and Isak Bakli Aglen are similarly moving in their smaller roles as members of Viljar’s family, as is Seda Witt as Lara Rashid, a young woman who starts to make a romantic connection with Viljar before both of their lives are shattered by Breivik’s attack. As for Breivik himself: Lie is quite compelling in the role and portrays the terrorist as a fully-developed person – one whose rationalization of his behavior makes him chilling and pathetic in equal measure.

As with his previous films, Greengrass uses 22 July as a means for delivering larger sociopolitical commentary about the state of things in the world, specifically where it concerns the rise of xenophobic and nationalist ideologies in various countries (the U.S. included). While his scripted dialogue can start to become a bit on the nose as its strives to get these points across (especially in the third act), Greengrass largely succeeds in allowing the story here to shine a light on these issues organically, without getting up on his figurative soapbox to drive the point home. If there’s a downside to the filmmaker’s approach, though, it’s that July 22 winds up handling its subject matter in a way that’s more engaging intellectually than emotionally and, thus, lacks the emotional resonance of Greengrass’ best work to date.

All things considered, however, Greengrass does a very good job of bringing the true story behind 22 July to cinematic life. The final result is a film that makes for an enlightening and otherwise respectful documentation of a horrifying real-world event, rather than one that comes off as exploitative or manipulative. 22 July is showing in select theaters now – in order to qualify for next year’s major film awards shows – and it certainly benefits from being seen on the big screen, but can still be appreciated just as much as a Netflix Original on your home TV. While it’s obviously not a light-hearted viewing experience, 22 July is very much worth checking out if you’ve enjoyed Greengrass’ previous non-Bourne efforts and/or would like to know more about Norway’s own infamous modern terrorist attack.


22 July is now available for streaming on Netflix and is playing in select U.S. theaters. It is 143 minutes long and is rated R for disturbing violence, graphic images, and language.

Let us know what you thought of the film in the comments section!

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2018-10-10 01:10:22 – Sandy Schaefer

New York Comic-Con: 26 Biggest Announcements (And 4 Weirdest Possibilities)

It might not be as big as San Diego Comic-Con, but New York’s pop culture celebration is just as eventful. This year’s New York Comic-Con was littered with scoops. Whether it’s juicy rumors or brand new trailers, there was plenty to see and talk about. Of course, the convention weekend can get a bit overwhelming — the onslaught of news, panels, and footage seems endless. Thankfully, we’ve collected all of this biggest topics for those of you who are lost amidst all of the comic book news.

For this list, we’re going to cover the most important stories of this year’s New York Comic-Con, including some big ones that just happened to drop during the week rather than at the convention itself. The list will even feature a few big rumors that have come out of the con for some good measure — or for those of you who just like some gossip. Even those who attended the convention might have missed some of the major stories, so use this as your post-NYCC guide to recap the weekend as things begin to wind down.

We know it’s difficult to keep track of all this news, especially after the convention weekend. This list should make things a bit easier. Even if you didn’t attend, the bombardment of news is probably still filling your news feed. So after you’re finished watching trailers all day and unpacking your NYCC hauls, settle in and we’ll break everything down for you.

Here are the 26 Biggest Announcements From NYCC (And 4 Weirdest Possibilities).

30 Aquaman’s New/Old Armor

The new Aquaman trailer was the highlight of the weekend for many. It revealed a surprising amount of footage — some would say too much. The extended look — roughly five minutes long — featured a plenty of unseen footage.

Audiences were treated to a sequence involving Arthur and Mera in desert ruins, another look at Atlantis, and even an extended action sequence between the two leads as they are chased by Black Manta. Perhaps the biggest spoiler in the trailer was the reveal of Aquaman’s iconic orange and green outfit.

29 Hellboy First Look

While no footage from the Hellboy panel has been released to the public, convention-goers were treated to a poster reveal and an exclusive first look at the upcoming film.

The panel footage wooed many fans in attendance and featured a tone that balanced the movie’s violence and gore with humor. It saw Hellboy receive his iconic handgun and show off the Hand of Doom, and it highlighted his especially shaky relationship with his ally Ben Daimio.

The trailer’s money shot had Hellboy in all-out demon mode, rising out of a pit sporting a flaming sword and crown.

Hopefully it won’t be long before this footage is released to the public.

28 Bullseye in Daredevil Season 3

Daredevil’s new trailers suggest a return to the grounded crime-noir tones of the first season with some big new developments. The first trailer reveals that not only is Kingpin out of prison, but he appears to design a smear campaign to turn New York against Daredevil.

One of the ways this may be happening is through a Daredevil impostor, who is none other than the hero’s most famous villain, Bullseye. Bullseye is the subject of the second new trailer, exploring his life as a government agent-turned-assassin under the employ of Kingpin.

27 Titans Is Grittier Than The DCEU

Titans has already received flak for the marketing’s seriously dark tone. Now, after the first two episodes were screened for viewers at NYCC, it is getting the same criticism.

Not only does Titans sport the DCEU’s same dark tone, but apparently the show is even more violent than the films.

The footage featuring Robin displayed some extremely violent and lethal combat, complete with the same amount of gore and disrespect for human life one might find in — well, anything but a comic book show. With that said, the show did receive a warm reception from the audience, so maybe Titans has potential after all.

26 Possibility — Will Rick Grimes Survive?

The Walking Dead is losing its lead character this season, with the confirmed departure of Rick Grimes actor Andrew Lincoln. His impending exit has been talked about for months now, but fans still don’t know how his character will be written out of the show. In a new rumor, it seems that Rick Grimes might meet a brutal end.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Andrew Lincoln joked that he might not “make it through the credits sequence” teasing Rick’s potential demise. Fans don’t want to say goodbye to Rick, but it will be even harder to do so if he is torn apart by walkers. Can’t somebody get a happy ending on this show?

25 Spock On Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek fans weren’t left out of the fun this year, with a new trailer for season two of Star Trek: Discovery. The trailer promises a ride that might be just as intense as the first season, with plenty of action, character beats, and visuals so gorgeous that one would think the show had the budget of a feature-length film.

Amidst the sizzle of the trailer is a big reveal — the inclusion of a young, bearded Spock.

The character is supposedly connected to the “Red Angel” visions that Burnham is experiencing, though details on his appearance in the season are still under wraps.

24 First 35 minutes of new Spider-Man movie

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is still a few months out but panel attendees were treated to the first 35 minutes — and apparently what they saw was incredible. Reactions to the NYCC footage is overwhelmingly positive, citing the stylish animation and and lighthearted tone as some of the film’s standout elements. These early reactions come off the back of a new trailer for the film, which shows off several more of the alternate universe versions of Spider-Man.

Of course, this was only the first 35 minutes. Much of the movie is still under wraps and it has a long road ahead of it, being only one of many tentpole releases hitting theaters this December.

23 Deadly Class is coming in 2019

SYFY’s adaptation of the critically acclaimed Deadly Class comic series made a big showing this year. Between the close collaboration with series writer Rick Remender, the promise of intense action, and the Russo brothers at the helm (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers Infinity War), this long-awaited series has the potential to be a household name.

Not only does the show seem like a contender for the “next big thing” in comic book television, but it finally has a release date.

This was revealed to be January 16 in a new trailer that focuses on the coming-of-age aspect of the anarchic action series.

22 Star Wars’ The Mandalorian

The first image of Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars series was released on Thursday, getting fans hyped for the first real TV show in a galaxy far far away. The photo was released alongside new details about the show, namely its title: The Mandalorian.

Set between Return of the Jedi and The Force AwakensThe Mandalorian centers on a warrior from Mandalore travelling across the galaxy. The title character wears the iconic armor that the planet is known for — a costume shared by fan-favorite character Boba Fett. Plenty remains unknown about the series, though it is set to premiere on Disney’s upcoming streaming service.

21 Possibility — Kingpin and Spider-Man Crossover

Marvel fans will rejoice if this rumor comes true — during all of the Daredevil buzz over the convention weekend, Vincent D’Onofrio made a very reassuring tweet.

When a fan tweeted that the world will never see the him as Kingpin in an MCU film, D’Onofrio responded with “Who says?”

Marvel’s Netflix shows have been especially vague in their references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but having Kingpin show up in a Tom Holland Spider-Man film would be the perfect connection. The chances are slim, but at least there’s hope.

20 Bane On Gotham

Gotham‘s fifth and final season was revealed in a trailer this weekend, promising quite the grand finale. The trailer hints that Gotham will be adapting the classic No Man’s Land comic book story this season, and also teased another big bad.

Actor Shane West has been cast as Bane, one of Batman’s greatest adversaries and one of the only major rogues that the show hasn’t yet adapted. Bane’s appearance so early in Bruce Wayne’s life has been met with mixed reactions among fans, but at least that suggests a bombastic end to the pre-Batman series.

19 The X-Men Go To Space

New York Comic-Con got an extended look at X-Men: Dark Phoenix, despite being subject to what seems like endless delays. The exclusive footage, which still has not been revealed to the public, gave fans a look at the fully-formed X-Men team and their upcoming cosmic adventure.

Highlights of the footage included an argument between Mystique and Professor X, Jean Grey absorbing a solar flare, and the team going on a rescue mission in space.

While most of the movie likely takes place on Earth, it’s nice to know that the movies aren’t above digging into the spacebound shenanigans that the comics do.

18 Penny from The Big Bang Theory is Harley Quinn

Among the many DC Universe announcements this weekend was the trailer for the Harley Quinn animated series, which has taken many fans by surprise. The show looks like a quirky adult comedy with Harley breaking the fourth wall and using foul language.

The show is already being compared to the likes of Deadpool, with positive reactions coming out of NYCC. It also features a great cast, with Kaley Cuoco, Alan Tudyk, Ron Funches, JB Smoove, and Wanda Sykes among the voice talent. It is set to release late in 2019 on the DC Universe streaming service.

17 Umbrella Academy’s Big Debut

Netflix’s adaptation of Gerard Way’s superhero darling The Umbrella Academy came to play during NYCC, with a handful of new images and even a trailer exclusive to the folks at Comic-Con. An Umbrella Academy movie has been in the works for many years, but after the switch to television and some time in development freefall, it finally seems right around the corner.

The series — which consists of a dysfunctional family of superheroes — seems to be maintaining its gothic comic book aesthetic.

The show looks like surreal than its counterpart on the pages, but it already has people excited. Umbrella Academy hits Netflix on February 15, 2019.

16 Doctor Who First Reactions

Those who attended the Doctor Who panel were in for quite the event. The attendees got to see the premiere of the new season as well as have an in-depth talk with the season’s Doctor, Jodie Whittaker. The audience’s response to the episode was ecstatic to say the least, and that sentiment seems to be shared by viewers around the world.

Not only was the show a critical hit, but its viewer ratings were record-breaking. The premiere episode “The Woman Who Fell to Earth” peaked at 9 million viewers, which the highest the show has ever had! Sounds like the new season of Doctor Who is off to a fantastic start.

15 Odin’s true form in American Gods season 2

Last year’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods was a massive hit and the trailer for the new season looks just as enticing.  Shadow Moon and Mr. Wednesday are back on their surreal fantasy roadtrip, accompanied by even more colorful characters and bizarre, unsettling visuals.

The footage teases a war between Mr. Wednesday and Mr. World, with an especially striking shot of Wednesday in his true form: Odin. 

American Gods is a trippy, gorgeous series that many may have missed last year, and with such a great-looking sequel on the way, now might be the time to go back and binge. The second seasons drops in 2019.

14 Possibility — Sabrina/Riverdale Crossover

A full trailer for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina hit the web early last week, revealing a spooky-yet-fun adaptation of the comics, as well as a revival of the late ’90s sitcom. Sadly, Archie fans will be disappointed to hear that Sabrina is not currently attached to the hit CW series, Riverdale.

While the Sabrina was originally set to appear on the CW as Riverdale’s companion show (much like CW’s Arrowverse), the move to Netflix seems to have stifled the idea. Still, Sabrina showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is holding out hope for a potential crossovers so that the original plan can come to fruition.

13 George R. R. Martin’s new show

Those of you eagerly awaiting Game of Thrones… well, we don’t have any good news for you. But, if you want more content from the mind of George R.R. Martin, an adaptation of his book Nightflyers has received a new trailer and a first-episode premiere at New York Comic-Con.

The sci-fi thriller follows a crew they struggle to survive on their space mission.

Not everything is as it seems on the vessel, as the show promises some solid horror scares as well as a character-driven story. The show doesn’t officially premiere until December 2nd, but at least sci-fi horror fans have something to look forward to.

12 She-Ra And The Princesses’ LGBT rep

Dreamworks Animation has been launching hit after hit lately — between shows like Trollhunters and Voltron: Legendary Defender, their work has earned them much success on Netflix. The newest series from the studio, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, dropped a poster and teaser trailer at New York Comic-Con that looks like promising fun for young viewers.

The reboot of the ’80s television show sports new cartoony visuals, witty humor, and a diverse cast of characters — even including a same gender couple. While the show’s initial reveal was met with some backlash, the trailer seems infectiously pleasant and fun.

11 Matt Bomer stars in DC’s Doom Patrol

While Titans got plenty of attention at NYCC, the next DC Universe original series got a brief first look. Doom Patrol is set to release next spring, but panel attendees were show some exclusive photos of Brendan Fraser’s character, Robotman. Fraser appeared at the panel and talked through the first look.

Seeing as Doom Patrol is currently filming, it shouldn’t be long before official footage hits the web.

The Robotman design look remarkably accurate to the comics, which has gotten many fans even more excited for the obscure property’s TV adaptation. Supplementing this news was the casting of Matt Bomer as Negative Man — another big name

10 The Spawn Trilogy

Fans hoping for a Spawn trailer at NYCC were out of luck this weekend, but series creator Todd McFarlane spoke at length about his plans for the newly rebooted movie. McFarlane explained that he envisions an ambitious trilogy of Spawn movies, with each one visually and tonally distinct from the last.

The first film might be described as a kind of existential horror-superhero film, with characters wondering if what they see is even real. While the project is still a ways off, the Jamie Foxx-led vehicle is going to emphasize the dark tones of the book with a hard R-rating, as well as cater to the now-older readers of the comic series.

9 DC Universe Streaming Plans

DC Comics and Warner Bros wanted to spotlight their DC Universe streaming service at this year’s NYCC, several small news breaks on he various related properties. Not only did they show footage of Titans, Doom Patrol, and Harley Quinn, but they also revealed the service’s content release schedule over the coming year.

While no specific dates were given, the timeline depicts various release windows for the service’s different original series.

While Young Justice: Outsiders seems to have been split into two parts, Doom Patrol will drop next spring followed by Swamp Thing in the summer, with both Stargirl and Harley Quinn dropping next fall.

8 Pet Sematary First Look

Horror fans might not have had much to talk about at Comic-Con, but during the convention some promo images dropped for the reboot of a Stephen King classic. The first images of the Pet Sematary remake were released, featuring Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, and Amy Seimetz.

The best image of the bunch comes in the form of the Creed family cat, Church, looking meaner and mangier than ever.

While an evil cat may not be the scariest thing you’ll find in Pet Sematary, it’s a nice preview of the Stephen King spookiness to come, especially after the success of 2017’s It. Pet Sematary is set for release on April 5, 2019.

7 Runaways Season 2 Footage

A new trailer for the second season of Runaways shows that the series has moved way past high school drama, and further into superhero action territory. The trailer features the Runaways’ comic book hideout, huge action set-pieces, and plenty of superpowers to go around.

Highlights of the trailer include a kiss between Nico and Karolina, a battle on an airport runway, and a glimpse at Gert’s pet dinosaur Old Lace. The first season of the show was a quiet hit among the newer Marvel properties, but this season promises a much deeper dive into the superhero genre that fans of the series are have been waiting for.

6 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

One reveal snuck in towards the end of Comic-Con — a very short trailer for How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Although very brief, the trailer is made up of all-new footage.

The trailer consists of baby Hiccup in his father’s arms as he is told about the legendary world of dragons.

During his father’s narration, the titular Hidden World is given a brief tease as hundreds of dragons flutter across a cavernous landscape. It ends with a shot of Hiccup and Toothless overlooking a town covered in dragons. It’s not as extensive as the film’s last trailer, but it might hold fans over until the film’s release on February 22, 2019.

5 Good Omens Trailer

It’s a great year for Neil Gaiman lovers as they got not one, but two different Gaiman projects revealed at NYCC. First was the second season of American Gods, and now Amazon’s adaptation of Good Omens. 

The trailer for the new series pits Michael Sheen and David Tennant against each other as an angel and a demon who must join forces in order to prevent the apocalypse. The dark subject matter is contrasted by the show’s whimsical tone and David Tennant’s devilish charisma. It sets up what looks to be a very fun buddy comedy about he end of the world.

4 First 25 Minutes Of Peter Jackson’s Mortal Engines

Fans of director Peter Jackson were treated to the first 25 minutes of his next project, Mortal Engines, at this year’s New York Comic-Con. Mortal Engines is another expansive world, like the Tolkien material that Jackson has worked with before, but with a post-apocalyptic twist.

The most talked about elements of the footage were the massive scale of the world and the jaw-dropping visuals.

The Mortal Engines footage introduces viewers to Hester, a girl who lives in a world that was ravaged by the “60 Minute War” that destroyed civilization. Now the world consists of giant cities on wheels that fight each other. Audiences won’t see it for themselves until December 14.

3 The Boys Teaser Trailer

Amazon’s adaptation of Garth Ennis’s hyper-violent superhero comic The Boys has finally been revealed with a brief teaser trailer . The teaser features a public service announcement from Vought International, a company that facilitates the operation of the Seven, this world’s league of superheroes. At the end of the PSA, the titular Boys can be seen sitting on a couch, rudely gesturing to their televisions.

The Boys is already setting itself apart from the traditonal superhero fare, and with good reason — the series is about a team of people who keep out-of-control superheroes in check– by blackmailing them, stealing from them, and beating them up. It’s extremely adult-oriented and it already looks like fun.

2 Voltron Ends in December

The release date and synopsis for the eighth and final season of Voltron was revealed at New York Comic-Con, finally bringing the critically acclaimed Netflix series to a close.

The last season will feature the final battle between the Paladins and Witch Haggar.

A few promo images were released as well — one featuring the villain Honerva and another depicting the Voltron Paladins in a control room with Shiro commanding the gang in a background role. While no footage was shown at NYCC, the release date was confirmed to be December 14. The show’s final season will premiere on Netflix.

1 Possibility — Avengers 4 Titled “Avengers: Annihilation”

This rumor went viral during the weekend of NYCC — “Avengers: Annihilation” may or may not be the name of the still untitled Avengers 4. Speculation over the film’s name has driven fans mad in recent months, with “Annihilation” being yet another choice amidstthe rumored titles titles like “Avengers: Forever”, “Avengers: Endgame”, and “The Last Avenger”.

Annihilation comes from the name comic storyline of the same name, though it bears few similarities to the Infinity Gauntlet story that the films are adapting. Seriously, Marvel, just call it “Avengers: Assemble” and get it over with already. Don’t keep us waiting!

What announcements from New York Comic-Con excite you the most? Make sure to leave a comment before you go to share your thoughts!

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2018-10-08 07:10:26 – Jonathan Figueroa

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