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The 9 Greatest Stunts From Jean-Claude Van Damme Movies (& 1 Crazy Rattlesnake Moment)The

Though most cinephiles look at Jean-Claude Van Damme as the martial arts guy with the funny accent, JCVD represents more to many action movie aficionados. His filmography starts by representing the excesses of the 80s and 90s, only to become more self-aware in its later years, finally becoming comfortable in its cheesiness.

RELATED: The Ultimate ’80s Movie Gift Guide

A Van Damme movie might not always be art-house cinema, but it’s always exciting. So instead of focusing on what it isn’t, let’s celebrate its exciting extravagance by taking a look at the ten greatest stunts and set pieces ever filmed by the Muscles from Brussels.

10 Kicking A Cigar Out Of A Dead Man’s Face (Hard Target)

The first entry on this list, from the 1993 classic Hard Target, is simple, yet elegant. It showcases JCVD’s grace and precision with a single strike: This spin-kick is so on point that it not only knocks down the bad guy for good, it also kicks the cigar right out of his mouth. Some points have to be deducted since the baddie had already been shot multiple times before this feat was achieved and was basically dead on his feet at that point.

9 Kicks A Knife Into A Man’s Chest (The Expendables 2)

This one is similar to the first entry but differs in two important places. The first one is that Van Damme is actually the bad guy in this scene. The second one is that this spin kick actually causes his enemy’s demise, unlike the one in Hard Target.

RELATED: 10 Of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Most Badass Characters, Ranked

The precision is still there: His henchman gives him a tiny target, that being the handle of a knife, and JCVD hits it with deadly accuracy, like a lethal version of the bottle cap challenge.

8 Fighting The Pittsburgh Penguins’ Mascot (Sudden Death)

Sudden Death might be one of Van Damme’s most underappreciated movies, which is a shame because it contains one of the most quintessential JCVD scenes ever filmed: His fight with the Pittsburgh Penguins’ mascot mixes in real danger with goofy moments to create a true showcase of the man’s brand: action and drama that never takes itself too seriously.

RELATED: 10 Horror Movies From The ’80s That Will Still Terrify You Today

The highlight here is surely the multiple punches and kicks to the mascot’s suit, which somehow damages the villain that’s inside the fluffy armor anyway.

7 Splitting On A Kitchen Counter To Avoid Being Electrocuted (Timecop)

When Van Damme is not busy doing the splits in mid-air to kick someone’s head off, he also enjoys doing the splits for other reasons: He does it as a crowd-pleasing move in Double Impact, and he does it for training purposes in… every one of his movies, more or less.

RELATED: Predator Cinematographer Confirms Jean-Claude Van Damme Easter Egg

In Timecop, it’s a life-saving measure. When cornered by a bad guy with a taser and a floor full of water, his only choice is to split on top of a kitchen counter. The guy must have been really good at playing “The Floor Is Lava”.

6 The Entire Fruit Market Fight Scene (Knock Off)

A more elaborate set piece, the fruit market fight scene in Knock Off is a combination of multiple stunts filmed at a more frantic pace than what JCVD usually does. In fact, it’s almost reminiscent of a Jackie Chan movie. From defending against multiple machete-wielding henchmen to carrying Rob Schneider to safety through an entire brawl, Van Damme shows once again that he can make the most unbelievable bits entertaining. This is ten minutes of action that save an otherwise mediocre film.

5 A Dance And A Fight (Kickboxer)

Probably one of the most famous Van Damme moments of all-time, and there’s a reason why people still talk about it. Kickboxer is an otherwise brutal film, one that concentrates on gritty training montages and violent in-ring fights.

RELATED: ’80s Movie Replicas You Can Actually Own

The dance scene, where Van Damme shows that he can get his groove on and beat up some nameless baddies in one fluid motion, is the culmination of everything the man trained for in real-life: It’s his mastery of karate mixed with his ballet training that gives him an elegance few other action stars can imitate.

4 Fighting Mickey Rourke In A Roman Coliseum Surrounded By Land Mines (Double Team)

The set-up is absolutely ludicrous: Van Damme, trying to save a baby, has to fight Mickey Rourke during his craziest period, in the middle of a Roman Coliseum, with land mines buried at random places. Also, there’s a tiger on the loose, and he has to carry Dennis Rodman to action movie respectability.

RELATED: Van Damme Wanted The Predator To Kickbox

It shouldn’t work (and it arguably doesn’t on pure artistic merits), but it does make for one unforgettable scene, especially when he tops it off by shielding himself from a deadly explosion with a Coke machine.

3 Van Damme, The One-Man Army (Universal Soldier: Regeneration)

For a pure, no non-sense look at what makes Jean-Claude Van Damme such a great action star, one should look at the final 15 minutes of Universal Soldier: Regeneration. In one long scene, Van Damme takes down an entire army.

RELATED: 5 ’90s Action Movies That Didn’t Age Well (& 5 That Only Got Better)

First, he mows them down with his gun; when that runs out, he switches to a knife, and then his bare hands. He finishes this symphony of destruction by killing his old nemesis (Dolph Lundgren’s Andrew Scott), and by taking down the new bad guy played by Andrei Arlovski. Probably Van Damme’ most thrilling burst of action.

2 The Fight Against Chong Li (Bloodsport)

All of Bloodsport should be on this list, but one particular scene pushes it over the top: The final fight with Chong Li, where Van Damme’s Frank Dux finally puts it all together and avenges everyone. It’s not too drawn out, and it’s brutal to a point where you begin to wonder if Van Damme and Bolo Yeung were even trying to pull their punches and kicks. It’s a masterpiece of martial arts filmmaking.

1 Biting The Tail Off A Rattlesnake To Use It As A Booby Trap (Hard Target)

And now, for the craziest thing Van Damme ever had to do: When confronted by a dangerous rattlesnake in a Louisiana bayou, the magnificently named Chance Boudreaux does not flinch. Instead, he grabs it by throat, punches it into unconsciousness, and leaves it up in a tree as a trap for the people hunting him. What’s crazier is that IT WORKS. Of course, it’s hardly a stunt, as Van Damme was never in any real danger and did not actually fight anyone other than a snake puppet, but it’s too iconic not to mention.

NEXT: We Die Young Trailer: Jean-Claude Van Damme Battles Drug Lords


2019-07-13 05:07:56

Guy Desmarais

The 9 Greatest Stunts From Jean-Claude Van Damme Movies (& 1 Crazy Rattlesnake Moment)The

Though most cinephiles look at Jean-Claude Van Damme as the martial arts guy with the funny accent, JCVD represents more to many action movie aficionados. His filmography starts by representing the excesses of the 80s and 90s, only to become more self-aware in its later years, finally becoming comfortable in its cheesiness.

RELATED: The Ultimate ’80s Movie Gift Guide

A Van Damme movie might not always be art-house cinema, but it’s always exciting. So instead of focusing on what it isn’t, let’s celebrate its exciting extravagance by taking a look at the ten greatest stunts and set pieces ever filmed by the Muscles from Brussels.

10 Kicking A Cigar Out Of A Dead Man’s Face (Hard Target)

The first entry on this list, from the 1993 classic Hard Target, is simple, yet elegant. It showcases JCVD’s grace and precision with a single strike: This spin-kick is so on point that it not only knocks down the bad guy for good, it also kicks the cigar right out of his mouth. Some points have to be deducted since the baddie had already been shot multiple times before this feat was achieved and was basically dead on his feet at that point.

9 Kicks A Knife Into A Man’s Chest (The Expendables 2)

This one is similar to the first entry but differs in two important places. The first one is that Van Damme is actually the bad guy in this scene. The second one is that this spin kick actually causes his enemy’s demise, unlike the one in Hard Target.

RELATED: 10 Of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Most Badass Characters, Ranked

The precision is still there: His henchman gives him a tiny target, that being the handle of a knife, and JCVD hits it with deadly accuracy, like a lethal version of the bottle cap challenge.

8 Fighting The Pittsburgh Penguins’ Mascot (Sudden Death)

Sudden Death might be one of Van Damme’s most underappreciated movies, which is a shame because it contains one of the most quintessential JCVD scenes ever filmed: His fight with the Pittsburgh Penguins’ mascot mixes in real danger with goofy moments to create a true showcase of the man’s brand: action and drama that never takes itself too seriously.

RELATED: 10 Horror Movies From The ’80s That Will Still Terrify You Today

The highlight here is surely the multiple punches and kicks to the mascot’s suit, which somehow damages the villain that’s inside the fluffy armor anyway.

7 Splitting On A Kitchen Counter To Avoid Being Electrocuted (Timecop)

When Van Damme is not busy doing the splits in mid-air to kick someone’s head off, he also enjoys doing the splits for other reasons: He does it as a crowd-pleasing move in Double Impact, and he does it for training purposes in… every one of his movies, more or less.

RELATED: Predator Cinematographer Confirms Jean-Claude Van Damme Easter Egg

In Timecop, it’s a life-saving measure. When cornered by a bad guy with a taser and a floor full of water, his only choice is to split on top of a kitchen counter. The guy must have been really good at playing “The Floor Is Lava”.

6 The Entire Fruit Market Fight Scene (Knock Off)

A more elaborate set piece, the fruit market fight scene in Knock Off is a combination of multiple stunts filmed at a more frantic pace than what JCVD usually does. In fact, it’s almost reminiscent of a Jackie Chan movie. From defending against multiple machete-wielding henchmen to carrying Rob Schneider to safety through an entire brawl, Van Damme shows once again that he can make the most unbelievable bits entertaining. This is ten minutes of action that save an otherwise mediocre film.

5 A Dance And A Fight (Kickboxer)

Probably one of the most famous Van Damme moments of all-time, and there’s a reason why people still talk about it. Kickboxer is an otherwise brutal film, one that concentrates on gritty training montages and violent in-ring fights.

RELATED: ’80s Movie Replicas You Can Actually Own

The dance scene, where Van Damme shows that he can get his groove on and beat up some nameless baddies in one fluid motion, is the culmination of everything the man trained for in real-life: It’s his mastery of karate mixed with his ballet training that gives him an elegance few other action stars can imitate.

4 Fighting Mickey Rourke In A Roman Coliseum Surrounded By Land Mines (Double Team)

The set-up is absolutely ludicrous: Van Damme, trying to save a baby, has to fight Mickey Rourke during his craziest period, in the middle of a Roman Coliseum, with land mines buried at random places. Also, there’s a tiger on the loose, and he has to carry Dennis Rodman to action movie respectability.

RELATED: Van Damme Wanted The Predator To Kickbox

It shouldn’t work (and it arguably doesn’t on pure artistic merits), but it does make for one unforgettable scene, especially when he tops it off by shielding himself from a deadly explosion with a Coke machine.

3 Van Damme, The One-Man Army (Universal Soldier: Regeneration)

For a pure, no non-sense look at what makes Jean-Claude Van Damme such a great action star, one should look at the final 15 minutes of Universal Soldier: Regeneration. In one long scene, Van Damme takes down an entire army.

RELATED: 5 ’90s Action Movies That Didn’t Age Well (& 5 That Only Got Better)

First, he mows them down with his gun; when that runs out, he switches to a knife, and then his bare hands. He finishes this symphony of destruction by killing his old nemesis (Dolph Lundgren’s Andrew Scott), and by taking down the new bad guy played by Andrei Arlovski. Probably Van Damme’ most thrilling burst of action.

2 The Fight Against Chong Li (Bloodsport)

All of Bloodsport should be on this list, but one particular scene pushes it over the top: The final fight with Chong Li, where Van Damme’s Frank Dux finally puts it all together and avenges everyone. It’s not too drawn out, and it’s brutal to a point where you begin to wonder if Van Damme and Bolo Yeung were even trying to pull their punches and kicks. It’s a masterpiece of martial arts filmmaking.

1 Biting The Tail Off A Rattlesnake To Use It As A Booby Trap (Hard Target)

And now, for the craziest thing Van Damme ever had to do: When confronted by a dangerous rattlesnake in a Louisiana bayou, the magnificently named Chance Boudreaux does not flinch. Instead, he grabs it by throat, punches it into unconsciousness, and leaves it up in a tree as a trap for the people hunting him. What’s crazier is that IT WORKS. Of course, it’s hardly a stunt, as Van Damme was never in any real danger and did not actually fight anyone other than a snake puppet, but it’s too iconic not to mention.

NEXT: We Die Young Trailer: Jean-Claude Van Damme Battles Drug Lords


2019-07-13 05:07:56

Guy Desmarais

25 Crazy Things Fans Didn’t Know Behind The Making Of The Original Star Wars Movies

This December, the Skywalker saga at the core of the Star Wars franchise will be coming to a definitive end. Fans have been following the story of Luke and Leia’s bloodline for over 40 years now, so a lot is riding on the big finale.

Long before J.J. Abrams rebooted the saga for Disney, and long before George Lucas divided his own fan base with a trio of prequel movies, we had the original trilogy. Lucas came to 20th Century Fox as a young man with an idea for a weird little space movie – the fourth part of a six-part epic – and somehow managed to get it funded. But he faced an uphill battle, as the studio had very little faith in the film and even tried desperately to bury it. It was all but guaranteed to be a failure.

And then something incredible happened: it struck a chord with audiences across the world. By the second or third week of its release, people were lining up around the block to watch it for the tenth time. Two highly anticipated sequels followed and the rest is history – the Star Wars phenomenon continues to this day. It’s stronger than ever, actually. Here are 25 Crazy Things Fans Didn’t Know Behind The Making Of The Original Star Wars Movies.

25 The Producers Wanted A Movie Star To Cameo As Darth Vader

At the end of Return of the Jedi, when Darth Vader is unmasked and we see his true face for the first time ever, he’s played by Sebastian Shaw. Who? Exactly. Originally, the producers wanted a huge star like Laurence Olivier to cameo as Vader in the unmasking scene.

However, during story discussions, they scrapped the idea as they realized it would lessen the impact of the scene. It was probably the right call. It would take us out of the scene to have to say, “Oh, look, it’s Laurence Olivier!” This is the moment in which Anakin Skywalker looks upon his son with his own eyes for the first time. That’s important enough without a big movie star.

24 Lucas Didn’t Know Leia Was Luke’s Sister At The Time Of Their Kiss Scene

Everyone likes to joke about the incestuous overtones of The Empire Strikes Back’s kiss between Luke and Leia, since they were revealed to be twins one movie later. However, while George Lucas had plotted out the rough outline for all six movies from the start, he hadn’t ironed out all the details and was still making some things up as he went along.

The exact plot points in each movie were still being decided in each subsequent writing process. When they shot the kiss scene, he still hadn’t figured out that Leia was Luke’s sister. Thus, it’s not totally weird.

23 Harrison Ford Wanted Han To Be Written Out Early In Return Of The Jedi

We finally saw Han Solo breathe his final breath after being slashed down by his own son in The Force Awakens, but Harrison Ford actually wanted the character to meet his end much earlier. During the production of the original trilogy, he never signed on for more than one movie at a time.

That’s why Han was frozen in carbonite at the end of The Empire Strikes Back – in case Ford didn’t sign back on for the third movie. He did, but he really pushed for a scene where Han is terminated early on in the story. Lucas refused, because Han needed to complete his character arc for the trilogy.

22 Emperor Palpatine Was Originally Played By A Woman With Superimposed Chimpanzee Eyes

In the prequel trilogy and the Special Editions of the original trilogy (and in the upcoming The Rise of Skywalker,) Emperor Palpatine is played by Ian McDiarmid. However, in the original cut of The Empire Strikes Back, Palpatine only appears in a hologram scene and his character wasn’t fully fleshed out yet.

Back then, he was played by a female actor named Marjorie Eaton with chimpanzee eyes imposed on her face to give her a creepier look. It did successfully create the iconic Palpatine look, but future movies would just use makeup effects.

21 Mark Hamill And Carrie Fisher Didn’t Use Stunt Doubles In The Swinging Scene

The latest Star Wars movies – especially the prequels – can get around dangerous stunt work with CGI. But back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, every stunt had to be done practically (unless it involved miniatures). Most actors would just use a stunt double.

However, in A New Hope, during the Death Star escape, there’s a moment where Luke and Leia swing across a giant chasm. Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher didn’t use stunt doubles in this scene and actually performed the stunt themselves. In fact, they nailed it in one take.

20 Return Of The Jedi Was Filmed Under The Title Blue Harvest

Family Guy fans will be familiar with this fact, because Blue Harvest was used as the title of the show’s special episode parodying Star Wars. It’s a common practice now to use a fake title during the production of a much-anticipated blockbuster like The Avengers or The Dark Knight to avoid fans finding out where they’re shooting and leaking plot details from the set or interrupting filming.

But back then, it was a novel idea thought up by George Lucas to protect the set of Return of the Jedi. Blue Harvest is the most well-known fake working title used by a Hollywood production, because it started the trend.

19 Harrison Ford And Carrie Fisher Were Hungover While Shooting The Cloud City Scene

If you look closely at Han and Leia in the scene in The Empire Strikes Back where they arrive at Cloud City, you’ll notice that they look a little dazed and tired. That’s because they both had terrible hangovers from the night before.

Despite the fact they were in the middle of shooting a Star Wars movie, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher spent the night partying until six in the morning with the Rolling Stones and Monty Python’s Eric Idle – and then they had to shoot the Cloud City scene. It’s not like you’re going to turn down an invitation to party with Eric Idle and the Stones, even if you do have work in the morning.

18 George Lucas Wasn’t A Particularly Hands-On Director

A New Hope was the only movie in the original trilogy that George Lucas directed, and according to the actors, he wasn’t very attentive to their performances. Some directors, like Martin Scorsese, watch their actors intently and provide detailed feedback.

Scorsese reportedly even keeps an eye on all of his extras and gives them specific notes between takes. However, Lucas just said either “faster” or “more intense.” At one point during filming, Lucas lost his voice, so the cast gave him a board with just those two phrases on. It worked a charm!

17 Return Of The Jedi Originally Had A Much Darker Ending

After the downbeat cliffhanger ending of The Empire Strikes Back, it was a relief when Return of the Jedi ended the trilogy on a positive note – but it almost didn’t. In early story discussions, George Lucas suggested taking the plot in a much grimmer direction.

Lucas told his co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, “Luke takes [Vader’s] mask off. The mask is the very last thing – and then Luke puts it on and says, ‘Now, I am Vader.’” Kasdan replied, “That’s what I think should happen.” In the end, and probably for the best, this was scrapped in favor of the happier, more hopeful ending we got.

16 The Actors Only Stopped Goofing Around When Alec Guinness Was On-Set

According to Harrison Ford, he and Mark Hamill would goof around on the set of the original Star Wars movie, but only on the days when Alec Guinness wasn’t on the set. If Guinness, a behemoth in the acting community, was around, Ford and Hamill acted more professionally.

To be fair, back then, the Star Wars universe was completely unknown. It was up in the air if it was going to be a success or not, and the odds were against that. The actors were uttering words like “Jedi” and “lightsaber” and “Death Star,” which were nonsensical back then. They probably figured they might as well have fun while they were doing it.

15 The Lightsaber Sound Effect Was Achieved Creatively

Sound designer Ben Burtt is famous for using unusual items to create sound effects. For example, he got the sound of the lid being removed from the Ark of the Covenant from sliding the lid off the back of a toilet. In the Star Wars trilogy, he created the sound of a lightsaber by mixing the hum of an unused 35mm film projector and the feedback that comes from moving a stripped microphone cable past a TV set.

There are endless digital archives of the sound effect now that there are countless toys, video games, and TV shows it’s used in as well as the movies, but it all stems from that.

14 George Lucas Tried To Get Some Big-Name Directors To Helm Return Of The Jedi

While George Lucas directed every prequel movie from his own scripts, he only directed the first movie of the original trilogy. Irvin Kershner took on The Empire Strikes Back, while Richard Marquand handled directing duties on Return of the Jedi. But before Marquand was hired, Lucas tried to get some A-list directors on board.

He first asked his friend Steven Spielberg, who declined because Lucas was producing the movie outside the Directors Guild of America, before courting horror directors David Lynch and David Cronenberg, who both turned him down in favor of their own projects.

13 Harrison Ford Improvised The Intercom Exchange In A New Hope

Remember the scene in the original Star Wars movie in which Han Solo is on the Death Star, talking over an intercom system? He ends up shooting to intercom and saying, “Boring conversation anyway.” Apparently, Harrison Ford decided not to learn his lines for that scene and instead improvised it on the day, so that it would seem more spur-of-the-moment.

It’s rare that actors get to ad-lib in a Star Wars movie, since each one goes through a rigorous story-breaking process that ends with a pretty rigid and air-tight script, but this resulted in a nice touch of authenticity, so maybe it should be more common.

12 The Dagobah Swamp Scenes Were Partly Shot In George Lucas’ Pool

The Dagobah sequence in The Empire Strikes Back is one of the most important in Star Wars history. It introduced audiences around the world to Yoda, and also resulted in Luke being trained once and for all as a genuine Jedi. Obi-Wan had given him some pointers, but this was where he truly grappled with his Force powers.

At one point during the Dagobah scene, R2-D2 is consumed by a monster and then spat out into the swamp. He splashes into the water and starts to sink. This might look like a genuine swamp on-screen, but it was actually filmed – at least partly – in the swimming pool in George Lucas’ backyard.

11 Han Solo Is Frozen In Carbonite With A Different Shirt

When Han Solo is frozen in carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back, we see him in a white shirt with folded-over collars like what a chef would wear. But in his frozen form, as we see him for the rest of that movie and the beginning of Return of the Jedi, he’s wearing a regular shirt with a narrow, low-hanging V-neck.

This was a result of a lack of communication between the people dressing Harrison Ford for the freezing scene and the people making the carbonite prop. An important lesson was learned.

10 The Jawas’ Sandcrawler Was Mistaken For A Military Vehicle

While the original Star Wars movie was shooting in Tunisia, the Jawas’ Sandcrawler was parked a little close to the Libyan border – close enough that the Libyan government feared it was a military vehicle, and that military action was imminent. After some wacky political misunderstandings, the Tunisian government had to politely ask Lucas to move the Sandcrawler.

While Lucas and his crew were shooting the scene where Luke and Uncle Owen buy Artoo and Threepio, and the Jawas try to rip them off with a droid that has a “bad motivator,” some politicians were in a frenzy as they prepared for what they thought meant a coming war.

9 Return Of The Jedi Was The First Movie To Be Given THX Certification

We all know the THX logo that appears at the beginning of some blockbusters and blows out your eardrums with a slowly rising instrumental sound. These movies have been awarded “THX Certification” by Lucasfilm, and they come with a set of instructions for theaters, claiming each screening room “must be acoustically neutral – on-reverberant – to prevent sonic reflections from muddying dialogue; and [their] sound systems must reproduce substantial deep bass throughout the hall.”

The very first one was Return of the Jedi, and the certification was born when Lucas couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the movie’s audio. He realized it wasn’t an issue with the print, but rather the theater he was screening it in.

8 The Alien Skeleton On Tatooine In A New Hope Is Still There

In one of the scenes set on Tatooine in A New Hope, C-3PO is walking through the desert and a giant alien skeleton can be seen behind him. This skeleton was later identified as belonging to a greater krayt dragon. After the crew finished shooting in Tunisia, no one removed the skeleton and it was just left there.

Years later, when the same crew returned to the same area of Tunisia to shoot Attack of the Clones, they found that the skeleton was still there – and it still is today. Go and check it out!

7 Steven Spielberg Was The Only One Of George Lucas’ Friends Who Thought Star Wars Was Any Good

Upon completing his final cut of the first Star Wars movie, George Lucas screened it for all his director friends, like Francis Ford Coppola and Brian De Palma. He’d faced a disturbing lack of faith from the studio, the crew, and even some of the cast at this point.

And then his friends tore the movie apart. De Palma called it the “worst movie ever.” It can’t have been great for Lucas’ spirit. Spielberg was the only one of the bunch who thought it was good and would be successful – a beacon of hope, kind of like Luke in the movie.

6 George Lucas Hated Han Solo’s “I Know” Line

Towards the end of The Empire Strikes Back, right before Han Solo is frozen in carbonite and taken to Jabba the Hutt’s palace, Leia tells him, “I love you,” and Han simply replies, “I know.” It’s one of the most iconic moments in Star Wars history. But George Lucas hated the “I know” line.

Harrison Ford came up with the line himself and kept pushing for it, but Lucas thought it would be unsuitable for the film’s audience. Of course, Ford was right – it’s totally in character for Han and is remembered by every one of the saga’s fans.

5 The Big Empire Strikes Back Twist Was Kept Under Wraps

With the internet spreading any and all plot details that leak from the production of upcoming blockbusters these days, it’s tougher than ever to keep surprises and twists under wraps. But even back in 1980, it was difficult. George Lucas took some crazy precautions to keep the “I am your father” twist from leaking to the public.

In the script, the line claimed Obi-Wan eliminated Luke’s father, and this was also the line that David Prowse read (his lines as Vader were always redubbed with James Earl Jones’ voice) on the set. Mark Hamill was told the real twist seconds before the scene was shot so that he would react to the real twist, but aside from Lucas, he was the only one who knew before post-production.

4 Return Of The Jedi Was Called Revenge Of The Jedi Until The Last Minute

For most of its production, Return of the Jedi went by the title Revenge of the Jedi. George Lucas later changed it to Return of the Jedi when he realized that the Jedi would not seek vengeance. However, by this time, thousands of Revenge posters had been printed up with artwork by Drew Struzan.

Those posters even had a red twinge to reflect the darker-sounding Revenge title, which just goes to show how much a title can impact the feel of a movie. It still had Ewoks in it, but it was going to be marketed as a dark, gritty finale.

3 The Original Cut Of The Empire Strikes Back Already Identified It As “Episode V”

We know The Empire Strikes Back as the fifth chapter in the Star Wars saga now that we have the prequels and a bunch of home media releases that label the movies with the right episode numbers. However, back in 1980, as far as anyone knew, The Empire Strikes Back was the second part of the story.

Still, George Lucas put “Episode V” at the top of the opening crawl, figuring that fans would be invested enough to look into it. That’s easier to do now that we have Google, but back then, figuring this out would take some serious research.

2 George Lucas Took A Pay Cut In Exchange For Merchandising Rights

This one is actually quite widely known. When he was struggling to get funding for the original Star Wars movie, George Lucas took a pay cut in exchange for full merchandising rights. At the time, Fox executives thought he was a chump for taking the deal, since they didn’t think kids would want to buy space toys and film merchandising wasn’t that lucrative a business back then anyway.

Within a few short years, Star Wars merchandise would be a multi-billion-dollar industry, so Lucas got the last laugh and Fox executives were kicking themselves.

1 Everyone Hated The Ewoks Except George Lucas

It’s fair to say that the adorable Ewoks are not the most popular part of the Star Wars original trilogy. Very few fans really love the Ewoks, and some even wonder why they ended up in the film in the first place. Well, as it turns out, everyone in the cast and crew of Return of the Jedi absolutely despised the Ewoks.

Conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie even went as far as refusing to design them after George Lucas made it clear that he wanted them to look like teddy bears armed with primitive weapons. It’s a testament to Lucas’ resilience and commitment to his vision that he didn’t let this put him off and the Ewoks as he envisioned them made it to the final cut.


2019-04-25 05:04:52

Ben Sherlock

21 Crazy Movie Twists Spoiled In The Trailers (And 4 That Stayed Hidden)

Very few moviegoers enjoy having films spoiled in advance. While it’s fun to speculate about the next big blockbuster, nobody likes knowing everything about a film before entering the theater. With this in mind, a film’s marketing has to perform a balancing act. How can trailers entice viewers to see the movie without revealing too much? Sometimes it works out, but often a movie’s biggest twists can show up in trailers and ruin the whole thing! For this list, we’re going to take a look at popular movie trailers and see just how much they spoil.

Well-constructed trailers only tease at the best parts, but some trailers might as well show you the whole movie! There are plenty of exceptions to this, but you’ll be surprised to see just how many mind-blowing twists trailers spoiled ahead of time. We aren’t drawing the line at plot twists either — any movie that reveals too much in trailers is fair game for this list. Of course, this means that there will be major spoilers below for films new and old alike. You’ve been warned, but if you somehow haven’t seen these movies, the marketing already spoiled them anyway.

Sometimes spoilers hide so well in trailers that you’ll miss them if you blink. Other times, a misguided marketing team will blow the movie’s best moments on a commercial that spans less than a minute. Whether through disregard or desperation, these movie twists just couldn’t stay under wraps. Here are 21 Crazy Twists Spoiled In The Trailers (And 4 That Stayed Secret.)

25 Spoiled: The Terminator Is A Good Guy (Terminator 2: Judgement Day)

Back in 1991, audiences loved Arnold Schwarzenegger’s villainous Terminator. However, trailers for Terminator 2: Judgement Day ruined the best aspect of the sequel. The T-800 is no longer hunting the Connor family — he is protecting them instead.

While the trailers spell this out plainly, the movie treats it like a massive twist. The iconic scene where the T-800 saves John Connor likely shocks audiences more today than it did back then, since younger viewers wouldn’t have seen those trailers. The Terminator franchise has a history of putting spoilers in their marketing material, but thankfully this instance is the least damaging. T2 is a classic for a reason.

24 Spoiled: Wonder Woman And Doomsday (Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice)

This is the least of Batman v Superman‘s problems, but it still irked fans at the time. The film that was supposed to be the start of a successful new franchise spoiled two character reveals way before the official release.

Doomsday’s early reactions were divisive, mainly for its odd design and unnecessary inclusion in the marketing. The other reveal was Wonder Woman — a beloved take on the character now, sure, but her crowd-pleasing entrance would only please those who didn’t see it coming.

Aside from those moments, the marketing featured too much footage in general. You would think that marketing a movie with both Batman and Superman in it wouldn’t require so much effort.

23 Spoiled: Harry Lives (Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle)

Kingsman: The Secret Service was a pleasant surprise back in 2014, while the sequel wouldn’t fare quite as well. The first film features a sad end for Harry, Colin Firth’s suave spy mentor. He is shot in the head by the villain at point blank.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle has the gall to bring him back halfway through the film — a twist that appears in the trailers and ruins the surprise! The movie wasn’t received well by critics anyhow, but this reveal would have landed better with everyone if it had just been kept a secret.

22 Spoiled: Hulk’s Entrance (Thor: Ragnarok)

The main selling point of Thor: Ragnarok would have made for a crowd-pleasing twist… had it been saved for the actual film. The first trailer revealed that Thor would encounter the Hulk in space as a combatant in a gladiator match. His entrance is a total surprise, especially since Hulk’s whereabouts are left a mystery at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Showing Hulk’s appearance makes sense from a marketing standpoint — the Thor films aren’t the most successful, so teasing Hulk might entice more moviegoers. While this spoiler doesn’t ruin the film, it simply would have been a nice surprise for Marvel fans to experience in the theater and not months earlier via trailers.

21 Spoiled: Chuck Survives (Cast Away)

The trailer gives away more than just the ending. It features every narrative beat of the movie in chronological order.

As a matter of fact, Cast Away‘s trailer sells an entirely different movie — one that appears to focus on the aftermath of Chuck’s survival, rather than the act of surviving itself. Not only does the trailer breeze past his time lost in the Pacific, but it shows him back home as a changed man.

You could say that it’s about the journey, not the destination… but you’re wrong. This movie is very much about the destination. The trailer is essentially the whole movie.

20 Stayed Hidden: Han’s Son (The Force Awakens)

Star Wars is always the subject of rumors and fan speculation — The Force Awakens especially, since it was such an event. One twist that managed to stay under wraps (despite some fans who might’ve guessed) is Kylo Ren’s lineage.

The masked villain Kylo Ren is actually Ben Solo, son of Han Solo and Leia Organa. He’s part of the Skywalker family — knowledge that Supreme Leader Snoke drops without any fanfare in the first act. The movie delivers this information like it’s a minor detail and not some massive reveal. That’s pretty cool, considering it caught so many Star Wars fans off guard. Good job hiding your twist, Star Wars.

19 Spoiled: Marcus Is A Terminator (Terminator Salvation)

Terminator is on the list again? This franchise has a bad habit of giving away the twists in marketing, and Salvation is no different. The movie’s only real surprise (besides a cameo by a terrible CGI Arnold Schwarzenegger) is that the protagonist is a Terminator. Marcus Wright (played by Sam Worthington) is a human-Terminator hybrid — something every trailer spoils for no good reason.

The first trailer features the big reveal, when Marcus sees his cyborg skeleton. Another trailer has John Connor speak to Marcus as if he is the enemy, without specifically calling him a Terminator. Either way, the trailers spoiled the twist, and arguably one of the best parts of an overwhelming bland movie.

18 Spoiled: Hulk Saves Tony (The Avengers)

You’re going to see a lot of Marvel films on this list. They have a bad habit of spoiling things ahead of time. The second official trailer for The Avengers features a very minor spoiler, but thankfully it’s less jarring out of context.

At the end of the film, Iron Man steers a nuclear missile into a portal to space, hoping to stop an alien invasion, He loses consciousness once he makes it through and falls back to Earth.

The movie treats this as a tense moment. Will Tony wake up before he hits the ground? The Hulk catches him in mid-air, but if you noticed that in the trailer, you wouldn’t have been surprised.

17 Spoiled: This Is No Game (Ender’s Game)

Ender thinks his training is just that — training to prepare for intergalactic battle. He doesn’t know that his virtual reality “training programs” aren’t virtual. They’re showing him actual, real-time space combat.

The finale of Ender’s Game has Ender take one final VR test where he must destroy an alien fleet. After going a step farther and wiping out an entire alien race, Ender learns the truth and is horrified at his actions.

Trailers don’t actually reveal this moment, but the movie’s tagline is much less subtle. The phrase “This is no game” was scrawled all over the movie’s marketing. Naturally, it appears on the official poster (as taglines usually do) and in the trailers. It’s not technically a spoiler… but technically it’s a spoiler.

16 Spoiled: Most Of The Movie (Speed)

As with many of the industry’s worst movie promos, the trailers for 1994’s Speed reveal pretty much everything. While there is no particularly crazy plot twist to speak of, the trailers show way too much of every major sequence.

The trailers do more than explain the premise of the film.  The movie’s tense runaway bus sequence even has its climax spoiled, as the trailers show it explode at the Los Angeles airport. The other major action beats make an appearance as well, and anybody willing to try could probably piece the plot together from the trailers alone.

There are worse trailers on this list, but Speed‘s trailer tries way too hard to sell the film.

15 Spoiled: Feuding Predators (The Predator)

A lot seemed to go poorly for 2018’s The Predator. Between behind-the-scenes controversy and a divisive portrayal of autism, the movie had plenty on its plate before it even hit theaters. It doesn’t help the only real twist was spoiled in the first trailer.

In this reboot-sequel, the Predators are looking to evolve and become better hunters. Instead of keeping this under wraps, the trailer gives a glimpse at a showdown between a classic Predator and a bigger, more vicious one known as the Ultimate Predator. The trailers even spoil an action sequence that is interrupted by the feuding aliens. Couldn’t this have stayed secret?

14 Spoiled: Vision (Avengers: Age Of Ultron)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for secretive marketing nowadays, but earlier films in the series weren’t so careful. For instance, trailers for Avengers: Age of Ultron featured an unnecessary character reveal way in advance.

Casual fans of the movies had no idea who Vision was at the time. However, the end of the trailer gives audiences a look at Vision without any context.

It’s not necessarily a twist, but it’s an example of poor marketing. Vision is a purple robot with a glowing gem in his head — only fans of the comics would have any idea who he is at a glance. Couldn’t this have been saved for the film? It’s a reveal that only satisfies a select few, and confuses most others.

13 Spoiled: Gandalf The White (The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers)

Anyone with prior knowledge of Tolkien’s work knew all about Gandalf’s fate, but when he bites the dust in the first Lord of the Rings film, he left a lasting impact on audiences. Aside from countless memes and sheer iconic nature of the character, Gandalf is simply one of the likable members of the Fellowship.

So perhaps it is understandable, yet all the more unacceptable, that trailers for The Two Towers spoil his resurrection in all its glory. Although shots of the final battle do contain brief glimpses of him, Gandalf appears at the end of the first trailer without a hint of subtlety.

12 Spoiled: John Connor Is A Terminator (Terminator: Genisys)

Ugh, Terminator again? In typical franchise fashion, the trailers spoil Terminator: Genisys‘s biggest twist without any remorse.

John Connor, this time played by actor Jason Clarke, sends Kyle Reese back in time to save his mother from the Terminator. However, in this sequel, John turns out to be a villainous Terminator himself. It’s another twist that would have went over much better in theaters if it had been kept a secret.

The film didn’t get any love from critics or fans regardless, but can’t the Terminator films just save one secret for the theatergoers? Just once? Please? Oh, they also spoil the fight between old Arnold Schwarzenegger and the younger, CGI Arnold Schwarzenegger. You know, just in case you decided to actually see the movie.

11 Stayed Hidden: Liz’s Dad (Spider-Man: Homecoming)

One of the best scenes in Spider-Man: Homecoming just managed to survive those pesky trailers. The film’s twist comes in the third act when it’s revealed that the villainous Vulture is the father of Peter’s love interest, Liz Allen.

When Peter goes to pick up Liz for prom, Adrian Toomes answers the door. Peter knows him as the Vulture, but Toomes doesn’t know Peter. This leads to a sequence where Peter must stay calm in the presence of his unknowing enemy. Vulture even drives the couple to the prom, where he realizes that Peter is actually Spider-Man.

It’s an intense moment that stayed under wraps despite the rampant speculation around every Marvel movie.

10 Spoiled: Freeing Willy (Free Willy)

What more needs to be said? Sure, Free Willy doesn’t exactly hinge on some majestic twist, but any movie that spoils its ending in the trailers is fair game for this list.

In this case, perhaps it is about the journey and not the destination. Is there any question that Willy won’t be freed? Probably not, no. Still if anybody with a shadow of a doubt happens to see the trailer, it’ll make things pretty obvious.

We should take a moment to acknowledge that movies, generally speaking, are predictable. Especially with high profile blockbusters, it’s rare that there isn’t a happy ending somewhere down the road. Regardless, giving away an ending hardly helps with suspending disbelief.

9 Spoiled: Most Of The Movie (Spider-Man 3)

Here’s another case of a movie’s marketing giving everything away. The Black Suit, Venom’s origin, the new Green Goblin — it’s all there, ready for audiences to dissect before even walking into the theater. Even the Comic-Con trailer for Spider-Man 3, as older fans might remember, reveals the sequence of the symbiote bonding to Topher Grace’s Eddie Brock.

Yet again, there’s no real twist to speak of. Just another trailer that shows way too much. It even reveals minor plot twists, like Sandman’s connection to Uncle Ben’s mugging. Aside from the action sequences and some silly dancing, there was little that audiences couldn’t learn about Spider-Man 3 ahead of time.

8 Spoiled: Cloning Blues (The Island)

Michael Bay movies are hardly subtle, but this sci-fi thriller’s big mystery is spelled out in the trailers. After escaping a mysterious compound, the protagonists of The Island find out that they are part of a massive illegal cloning operation. They’re being kept from the real world so that they never discover the truth.

There’s little else to know, and the trailers don’t hold back. They explain this in detail alongside brief glimpses or action sequences. This movie is more about the bombastic action than unraveling the mystery anyway, but this still spoils the most interesting aspect of the plot.

7 Spoiled: Wolverine’s Cameo (X-Men Apocalypse)

It’s no secret that the X-Men franchise is struggling to stay afloat. Especially now, with the Disney-Fox deal in place, the X-Men are likely going to get a time-out for a few years. However, even back in 2016, Fox didn’t have enough confidence in the franchise to market it without major spoilers.

How does Fox get butts in seats for X-Men: Apocalypse? With the promise of Hugh Jackman, of course! Trailers for the film spoil Wolverine’s brief cameo appearance, which is easily the best sequence in the film. Rumors indicated that he would play a part in the movie, but did we really need to have this spoiled for us?

6 Spoiled: The Identity Of Cassius (The Double)

This forgettable spy-thriller is all about catching Cassius, an international assassin and fugitive. The plot mostly consists of government agents (Topher Grace and Richard Gere) trying to discover Cassius’s true identity. They probably should have just watched the trailers though, because they reveal that Cassius is Richard Gere. So much for that.

To be fair, The Double reveals this information very early on, but maybe this would feel like more of a revelation if it had been spelled out for audiences to see before they even purchased a ticket. Well, there goes all the tension in the first half of the movie.

5 Stayed Hidden: The Shyamalan Twist (The Sixth Sense)

Director M. Night Shyamalan is famous for his crazy plot twists. Many of them fall flat or fail to satisfy audiences, but one has remained famous. The plot twist in The Sixth Sense was rightfully kept out of trailers.

The film follows Bruce Willis as Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist who must uncover the mystery of young Cole’s delusions. Cole famously tells Malcolm that he sees ghosts, which should be a red flag to audiences. The end of the film reveals that Malcolm was a ghost the entire time.

The marketing for The Sixth Sense explains the supernatural premise but does little to hint at any shocking twist. This is how you do it, people.

4 Spoiled: The Ending (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)

Sony Pictures has a bad habit of spoiling their Spider-Man movies in trailers. Homecoming managed hide the Vulture’s true identity from audiences, but even most of that movie made it into commercials. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 didn’t fare much better, as it fell victim to revealing trailers and promos.

Not only did it telegraph the demise of Gwen Stacy, a famous event from the comics, but the trailers even reveal the last few shots of the movie. While the latter isn’t particularly a spoiler, it does seem odd to reveal the literal end of them movie in the marketing.

3 Spoiled: Tony’s Cameo (The Incredible Hulk)

The Incredible Hulk is a film that most Marvel fans have already forgotten. However, even at the time, the marketing gave away the only scene that tied the film to the rest of the Marvel universe. At the end of the movie, Robert Downey Jr. appears as Tony Stark to tease Hulk’s inclusion in the Avengers.

Mid-credit and post-credit scenes are staples of Marvel films. Spoiling these scenes in any way is pretty criminal — even the ones that aren’t that important. However, the post-credit scene for The Incredible Hulk showed up in the trailers.

The Avengers was hardly a secret production, but did this scene really need to be spoiled so early?

2 Spoiled: Insanity (Shutter Island)

While the trailers for Shutter Island aren’t outright spoilers, they do a bit too much to telegraph the film’s big twist. DiCaprio stars as Teddy Daniels, a detective investigating the disappearance of woman named Rachel Solando. He heads to Shutter Island, home to the insane asylum where he conducts much of his investigation.

Although the trailers do promise a noir-thriller, it reveals a few to many of Daniels’ surreal experiences. Right away, viewers can narrow things down to two options. Either the film has supernatural elements, or Daniels is crazy.

The end of the film reveals that he was a patient the entire time, and that he had been role-playing his mania with consent from the hospital staff.

1 Stayed Hidden: Thanos Wins (Avengers: Infinity War)

Nowadays, event films like Avengers: Infinity War have to be marketed very carefully. Marvel Studios played it close to the chest to avoid hinting at the depressing ending. Sometimes heroes don’t always win.

Fans of the comics might have guessed that Thanos would be victorious, but the marketing for Infinity War suggested that this was the true finale to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some people were certainly aware that it wasn’t the end, especially since a sequel was set for a year later, but the marketing treated Infinity War like it was the end of everything.

This makes it all the more emotional when the movie ends with Thanos eliminating most of the superhero cast. So much for a happy superhero ending?

———

Have you ever seen a trailer that spoiled a movie for you? Let us know by leaving your picks in the comments.


2019-04-22 08:04:49

Jonathan Figueroa

Outlander: 24 Crazy Things Only Super Fans Knew About Black Jack Randall

Every once in a while, a villain comes along on a television series that is so abhorrently yet enthralling to watch, that you can’t help but be intrigued by him (or her). In the case of Outlander, the main antagonist of the first two seasons was Jonathan Wolverton “Black Jack” Randall.

The moment we met him, we knew we were going to despise him and passionately so. He certainly left us with a bad impression when he tried to attack Claire immediately after she fell through the stones at Craigh Na Dun. His repugnant personality only served to make us hate him more with each appearance after that and yet…we couldn’t look away.

Every time he was on-screen, being the menacing man we knew him to be, his cold eyes and menacing smirk immediately would send chills down our spines. The truth of the matter is, there will likely never be a better antagonist to the Frasers and their timeless love story. And while Black Jack Randall is no more after the Battle of Culloden, there is still plenty to learn about him. Or for fellow super fans, to refresh our memories about the sinister Redcoat soldier.

For all of you Outlander fans, read on to see the 24 Crazy Things Only Super Fans Knew About Black Jack Randall.

24 Tobias Menzies Had No Problem Playing A Character Like Black Jack

The actor who bravely portrayed both Frank Randall and Black Jack Randall was Tobias Menzies, who gave a riveting performance as both Claire’s historian husband and the Redcoat soldier who inflicts misery on both Claire and Jamie.

When producers wanted to check that he was okay with play a despicable character like Black Jack, he laughed and said he had absolutely no problem with it.

Evidently, this is because British actors like Menzies enjoy being challenged with material and characters like BJR.

23 The “Black” In His Nickname Represents His Soul

Believe it or not, but Black Jack Randall didn’t get his infamous nickname from a card game. According to Jamie Fraser, the “black” in his moniker actually represents the color of his soul.

This makes perfect sense being that Randall is the epitome of evil incarnate. He literally enjoys other people’s struggle, whether it be emotional or physical. It is what truly makes him happy in life, especially if he is the one inflicting the pain.

Never has a character so perfectly emulated what it means to be a corrupt individual with a black soul.

22 The Show Brought Black Jack Back In A Different Way Than In The Books

When we first see Black Jack Randall on Outlander again after we assumed he had perished in the stampede at Wentworth, it is at the Versailles court in France. Of course, Claire had already learned that he had survived from his brother, Alex.

But in the books, this all happens in a much different way. While at another person’s home, Claire is running down a hall and runs directly into Black Jack. They grab onto each other to maintain their balance and Claire is immediately in shock upon seeing his face. She wonders if it is his brother, who he looks remarkably like, but realizes it is, in fact, him once she looks into his cold eyes.

In the book, too, Claire did not know that he had survived the stampede.

21 He Isn’t Based On A Real Person

There are plenty of characters in the Outlander series that are actually based on real-life people from history. Such as Geillis Duncan, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and other Jacobite lords. Mother Hildegarde and Lord Lovat are other notable mentions of real people from history that were featured in this tale.

But one character that definitely was not based on a real person was Jonathan Wolverton Randall a.k.a. Black Jack.

We suppose that is a good thing because he would have been one twisted man if he had actually existed back then.

20 Randall Is An Equal Opportunity Attacker

During the first two seasons of the Starz series, many fans assumed his orientation based off he seems to want to physically harm men more often than women.

This is actually not the case. Author of the Outlander series, Diana Gabaldon, actually clarified that he is “an equal opportunity” attacker.

If it seems like he goes for men over women, that is just because he has easier access to them at the prison. So whether he is brutally hurting Jamie for his pleasure, he’s perfectly happy to do the same with Claire, it seems that the gender of the individual he is hurting really has no bearing on his own preferences.

19 He Was A Minor Knight Within England

During the Jacobite Rebellion in the 18th-century, Jonathan Wolverton Randall, a.k.a. Black Jack, was a Captain Of His Majesty’s Eighth Dragoons. He was also considered a minor knight which is a prestigious title. 

Because of his rank and title, he was trusted with quashing the rebellion by the Scots and ended up, as we know, playing a pivotal role in that. It certainly helped him, too, that The Duke of Sandringham financially supported him quite a bit throughout this time period.

18 Black Jack Always Keeps His Word

This trait of his is one of the more shocking because it is a stark contrast with the evil villain we have known since he first came across Claire in the Highlands at the start of Outlander. He has rarely shown signs of being an honorable man, regardless of being in the British army.

But it seems that once he gives someone his word, he sticks to it. A prime example is when he had Jamie at Wentworth and Claire showed up trying to save him. He told Jamie to give himself to him and he would let Claire go unharmed. Jamie agreed, but BJR easily could have harmed her anyway, just because he wanted to.

Instead, he actually let her go, before going back to inflict pain on Jamie.

17 He Sets Off Most Of The Events That Occur Between Jamie And Claire Early On

When looking back at everything that happened from the start of the Outlander novels and series, it was Black Jack’s actions that set most of these things into motion.

With Jamie leaving because of the price on his head that Black Jack created, to Jamie meeting Claire after BJR attacked her, to the two getting married to save Claire from Black Jack’s nefarious plans for her, and so many other events that happened after that.

So if it weren’t for him, in some weird way, we never would have had the epic love story that centered around Jamie and Claire.

16 He Only Showed His Humanity When His Brother Perished

The only emotions we’re used to seeing from Black Jack is hate, glee from harming someone, or fury. There is not a range of other emotions we see from him because he is just a terrible person.

But there was one instance where we caught a glimpse of his humanity. This was when his younger brother, Alex, was almost at his grave.

Once his brother actually passed, you could see the despair on his face, even if he still seemed to be struggling with showing this emotion. It was so out of character for the man we had come to know but showed that even he has “normal” emotions when he loses someone he truly cared about.

15 He Disguised His Sussex Origins By Getting A Proper Education

Sussex during the 18th-century was not considered a place where the citizens were properly educated and noble. Because of this, Jonathan Randall’s parents ensured that he would receive a proper education that would effectively disguise his origins.

Though it was not always a secret that he was originally from Sussex, he still did everything he could to hide that fact and come across as a proper Englishman with higher education. It seemed that despite his evil ways, he still wanted to play the part of English gentleman.

14 He Attacks Claire’s Greatest Weaknesses

With Black Jack as the main antagonist in the first two Outlander novels and seasons of the show, it makes sense that he would constantly be going up against our main protagonist, Claire Fraser.

This creates a compelling struggle between the two and a more intriguing and dramatic storyline.

When he first sees Claire, his reaction is to assault her after recognizing her confidence and self-reliance. This is to cause doubt and insecurities to arise in her and ultimately take the control she has away from her. He continues this when he interrogates her in a later episode, making her feel at ease once he apologizes for his actions. But just as she thinks she is getting through to him and bringing him to the “light” with her wits, he turns everything around on her again. It’s really like watching the battle between good and evil unfold before your eyes.

13 He Burned Fergus With His Ring

In Dragonfly In Amber, the second book in the Outlander series, Black Jack does something unbelievably wrong, even for him. While in France, he decides instead of picking a worker, he would pick Fergus, the pickpocket who Jamie took under his wing.

Aside from being rough with the young boy, he actually burned him with his ring.

This is what caused Jamie to take notice, and immediately challenged him to a duel upon discovering what Randall had done. It was a traumatic and damaging event for Fergus, both physically and mentally.

12 In The Books, He Looked Almost Identical To His Brother, Alex

Anyone who has seen the television adaptation of the Outlander books knows that not only are Alex and Jonathan Randall night and day from each other in the personality department, but they also look damn near nothing alike.

However, in the books, they look so much alike that it’s almost hard to tell them apart. If it weren’t for Jonathan’s coldness in his eyes that are clear as day, it may even be impossible.

Of course, they had to change this part of the story for the television series, but it would have been interesting to see unfold on screen.

11 Black Jack Leads By Instilling Fear

Most leaders in any capacity want to earn the respect of those who work under them in honorable ways. They don’t normally go about getting respect by instilling fear in anyone who gets on their bad side.

But that is exactly what Black Jack Randall does with all of his soldiers in His Majesty’s Eighth Dragoons. The fear that these Redcoats feel because of BJR is palpable in any scene featuring their Captain.

It’s not very shocking since we know the type of person he is, but it is definitely not the proper way to earn your troops’ respect.

10 He Married His Brother’s Fiancé

Jonathan Randall’s younger brother, Alex, was a good man. He cared deeply for his love, Mary Hawkins. But unfortunately, he was also very sick for a long time, which eventually led to his demise.

Before he met his end, though, he had wanted his brother, Black Jack himself, to marry his fiancé. He knew that she was pregnant and he didn’t want her to have the child on her own. Plus, the child would have then become a problem in this time period just because he had no father.

It took convincing from Claire, who had her own motives for the union, but Randall did end up marrying Mary just before his brother passed.

9 Randall Has A Child That Is Actually His Brother’s

Mary Hawkins and Alex Randall were expecting a child before Alex met his untimely demise. This meant that BJR had to step up to the plate and not only marry Mary Hawkins, but he had agreed to raise the child.

This child would eventually extend the Randall lineage that would lead directly to Frank Randall, who was Claire’s first husband.

Though Black Jack had agreed to take care of the child and marry his brother’s love, he actually didn’t live long enough to make good on his word…

8 He Knew The Day He Would Go

Just before Randall began his brutal attack on Jamie at Wentworth Prison, he let Claire go and escorted her out of the prison. Claire was angry and upset over what she knew was about to occur in that prison cell, so she decided to do the only thing she could: hurt BJR with knowledge.

Before she goes, she tells him she is a witch and that she knows the exact date of his end. She then whispers it in his ear before he pushes her into a mass grave that leads to the exit of the prison.

He never forgot this date, either. But he still fought in the Battle of Culloden, knowing he would not make it out alive.

7 Black Jack Is The Polar Opposite Of Frank

Say what you will about Frank Randall, but he was a great man, especially in comparison to his ancestor, Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall.

In every way, shape, and form, Frank was the exact opposite of Black Jack. While BJR was a ruthless man, Frank was a loving, empathetic, good-natured human being.

While Claire knew there was a clear difference from the first man she ever loved and the man who hurt people for fun, it makes sense that she was so wary of being around Frank once she returned to her own time. He did look alarmingly like his ancestor, after all.

6 The Duke Of Sandringham Used BJR’s Psyche To Control Him

It’s no secret that The Duke of Sandringham could be just as despicable as Black Jack when he really wanted to. Which was often, apparently.

He used Black Jack as the pawn in most of his schemes, and they had some sort of sick and twisted partnership that created a lot of problems for Jamie and Claire throughout the first two seasons and books.

The Duke actually used BJR’s messed up psyche – that he was fully aware of – to get what he wanted. He knew Randall had a thing for inflicting wickedness on people, especially if his victim was Jamie, so he used that to his advantage time and time again.

5 BJR Traded Information On His Troops Movements For Claire’s Help

When Black Jack’s brother, Alex, had his health declining at an alarming rate, Randall had to turn to the one person who could have easily said no to their pleas for help.

Luckily, Claire wanted to help Alex because she knew that he was not anything like his brother. Even so, she ended up getting something out of it when Alex encouraged his brother to exchange information about his troops in the upcoming battle against the Scots and their planned movements.

Against his better judgment, he does trade this information to Claire for helping his brother in his time of need.

4 He Always Forces Claire To Make Increasingly Difficult Decisions

Black Jack is always one step ahead of our heroine, Claire. It is because of him that many things change her life, sometimes for the better, but a lot of times for the worse. He is the reason that she ends up staying in 18th-century Scotland and marrying Jamie Fraser, which for her, at the time, was frightening.

But even after she acclimates to her new life, he still is testing and pushing her. Because of these instances, Claire must always make high stakes decisions that will change everything.

3 He’s Competitive Over Jamie

After first met Jamie, he became obsessed with the Scotsman.

Because of this, once Claire entered the picture and married Jamie, he felt compelled to compete with her for Jamie. But not in the normal love triangle way we have seen several times in other shows and films.

No, he uses Claire to lure Jamie out and then proceeds to taunt the two of them and make threats. It’s a disturbing sight when he does this.

2 He’s Completely Obsessed With Jamie

This all began when Black Jack Randall flogged Jamie more than once and looked at his mutilated back as a work of art that he created. Even referring to it as his masterpiece. This is the first glimpse into the darkness that Black Jack has inside his soul.

After this event occurs, he becomes obsessed with Jamie Fraser. He originally offered Jamie freedom with no more flogging if he gave himself to Randall. But Jamie refused. That is what spurred Black Jack into his obsession with having Jamie all to himself. It was haunting to watch it all unfold.

1 Black Jack Randall Is The Perfect Antagonist

Though BJR did not survive the Battle of Culloden, he was still the best antagonist Outlander has ever seen. For the first two seasons, we witnessed his brutality and lack of empathy being poured out into every act he performed.

As disturbing as it all was, we also couldn’t look away. And even when he wasn’t actively inflicting pain on someone, he played manipulative mind games that still greatly affected the person’s psyche. He challenged our protagonists in ways we could have never imagined, and in the end, it brought them closer together. 

He was the definition of evil and we couldn’t imagine a greater villain in the Outlander universe because Black Jack Randall was the absolute perfect antagonist.


2019-04-15 01:04:36

Alyssa Avina

10 Crazy Fan Theories About Star Wars Episode IX’s Title: The Rise Of Skywalker

Few films are as highly anticipated as Star Wars Episode IX – which, thanks to Star Wars Celebration, we now know to be titled The Rise of Skywalker. As the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga, expectations are high for what this film will reveal, what answers it will provide, and what new mysteries and twists viewers can expect along the journey. In addition to our new generation of characters in Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn, Rose, and more, the film will also feature returning faces from the original trilogy like Leia, Lando, and Luke; as well as newcomers to the franchise like Naomi Ackie, Keri Russell, and Richard E. Grant.

But as the Episode IX panel at Star Wars Celebration Chicago revealed, there’s far more in store for the film than even the most perceptive of theories could have predicted – including, most notably, the return of the evil Emperor Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious. While Palpatine’s involvement in the film remains a mystery, there is another big mystery to the film staring fans everywhere right in the face: what the heck does The Rise of Skywalker mean? As Star Wars fans love to solve mysteries, or at least try to, theories have been popping up all over the internet ever since the title was announced.

So, what does The Rise of Skywalker mean? Here are 10 possible answers.

RELATED: 8 Directions The Star Wars Saga Can Take After Episode IX

10 It’s about the creation of the Skywalker bloodline

With the return of Palpatine in some form to the Skywalker Saga, it’s hard to resist the temptation to find a way for the story to tie together full circle – especially with the teaser trailer using some of the same language as the trailer for 1999’s The Phantom Menace. One possible theory as to what the title means in terms of the storyline, therefore, has been the idea that Palpatine’s role in the overarching saga will be revealed to be far more significant than we already knew.

Namely, some Reddit users are theorizing that The Rise of Skywalker will reveal that Palpatine was directly responsible for the creation of the Skywalker bloodline, beginning with Shmi Skywalker’s mystical birth and Anakin’s Force conception. It would run the risk of getting into the midichlorians of it all, but it’s certainly quite an interesting idea.

9 It’s about Kylo as a supremely powerful dark Skywalker

At the end of The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren assumes the role of Supreme Leader of the First Order, positioning him in what was previously the most powerful role a dark side user could have in this new sequel trilogy. While Palpatine’s return to the series could complicate that matter, it’s certainly possible that a more outlier theory, circulated on Twitter, could be true.

RELATED: Star Wars: 10 Unused Characters Who Would’ve Made Solo Better

The trailer finds Kylo Ren possibly killing one of his own Knights of Ren in an incredibly violent manner, as well as the repaired helmet he wore in The Force Awakens, now streaked through with vibrant red. Perhaps The Rise of Skywalker refers to Kylo Ren’s rise as a dark side Force wielder – the most powerful of them all.

8 It means the return of Anakin Skywalker

With the revelation that Emperor Palpatine will be playing some sort of significant role in The Rise of Skywalker, especially passionate prequel trilogy fans have begun to wonder: is he the only character from the prequels who will be making a return appearance? And, more specifically, could The Rise of Skywalker refer, even, to the sudden return of Anakin Skywalker, most likely in Force ghost form?

It may sound like a long shot, but there are many reasons why this one could be true. Hayden Christensen has been engaging with the fan base more in recent years, attending multiple Star Wars Celebrations. Additionally, Anakin has a powerful link to multiple characters still in the canon: his son Luke, his grandson Ben, and now, his former master, Darth Sidious.

7 It means Luke has become “more powerful than you could possibly imagine”

In A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi warns Darth Vader, “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” After falling at the hands of his former student, Obi-Wan becomes one with the Force, returning to the franchise time and again as a Force ghost in order to further mentor his student, Luke Skywalker.

At the end of The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker presumably becomes one with the Force, disappearing from the physical plane after overexerting himself in a show of true Force-wielding strength. Perhaps, then, The Rise of Skywalker that the title suggests will involve Luke’s triumphant return in the franchise, whether as a Force ghost, or as something else entirely. We don’t know how much Mark Hamill will really be in the film, however, so this may be one of the biggest outliers.

6 It means Leia has a bigger role than we know

Luke isn’t the only Skywalker who could have a triumphant, heroic narrative in The Rise of Skywalker, however. Leia remains one of our only surviving Skywalkers, and thanks to the remaining footage Lucasfilm had from Carrie Fisher’s performances in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, it’s guaranteed that she will play a key role in the film – and certainly an emotionally charged one, at that.

RELATED: Star Wars: 5 Things That Are Scientifically Accurate (And 5 That Make No Sense)

So maybe, Leia has a much bigger role than cautious estimates have been speculating all along. We didn’t get to see very much of Leia during the trailer, or during the panel for that matter. But it’s always possible that Leia is our titular Skywalker. Just because she’s never been one by name, doesn’t mean she isn’t a Skywalker, after all.

5 It means Rey becomes a Skywalker, through marriage

The theory that Rey and Kylo Ren could become involved romantically is one that has been circulating ever since The Force Awakens. While initially derided, the relationship known on the internet and in the media as Reylo received one heck of a confidence boost during The Last Jedi, where it became clear that these two are the sequel trilogy’s central relationship, and that their dynamic is far more intimate than most relationships we’ve seen in the saga so far.

If their relationship only progresses further in The Rise of Skywalker, therefore, it’s entirely possible that The Rise of Skywalker could refer to Rey becoming a Skywalker – through marriage to a descendant of the Skywalker bloodline. It would also be another way of bringing the series full circle with the prequels, which prominently featured a very dramatic wedding of their own.

4 It means Rey becomes a Skywalker, through a new world order

If Rey doesn’t become a Skywalker by marriage, that doesn’t mean she still can’t become a Skywalker after all. One possibility for how Rey could be the titular Skywalker of The Rise of Skywalker would find Rey embodying a new world order. Symbolically adopted into the lineage of the Skywalkers, whether by Luke’s Force ghost or perhaps even by the Force itself, Rey could be the Skywalker for a new generation.

It could also be a name she takes up for herself. Having no family name of her own, given the revelation that her parents were nobodies who abandoned her, Rey could continue trying to craft her own identity – and what better way to do so, than by taking on the legacy of those who instructed her best?

3 It means the Skywalker is a new leader

If Skywalker comes to mean something more symbolic than literal, it’s entirely possible that it could be the sequel trilogy’s answer to previous titles such as Darth on the dark side of the Force. Perhaps Skywalker, then, will be the new equivalent of Jedi Master, or Jedi Knight. Or maybe it could represent a new, neutral entity – a Supreme Leader who represents the balance that might be struck within the final entry in the saga.

RELATED: Dune Vs. Star Wars Episode IX (6 Reasons Why Dune Is Better And 4 Reasons Why It’s Not)

If this is the case, it’s still entirely likely that Rey will be the leader that is mentioned, as she is clearly telegraphed as this trilogy’s hero, and The Last Jedi‘s ending perfectly sets up a future in which there are plenty of students of the Force awaiting instruction from the right leader: a Skywalker.

2 It means Kylo Ren will be redeemed, becoming Ben Skywalker

The possibility of Kylo Ren’s redemption is one of the most hotly debated topics in all of Star Wars fandom. Some feel that, once he killed the beloved Han Solo, there was no hope for him in the future. Others point out that, in the grand scheme of things, he really hasn’t done that much bad to begin with – and certainly not as much as Darth Vader, who was granted redemption in the end, albeit with a hefty price.

But now that it’s been revealed that Emperor Palpatine is returning, thereby taking on the role of the sequel trilogy’s true Big Bad, it’s virtually impossible to imagine a film in which Kylo Ren isn’t redeemed. It’s entirely possible that Rey and Kylo Ren will be teaming up – light and dark taking on an even more fearsome evil, once and for all. So perhaps The Rise of Skywalker means the redemption of Kylo Ren – and his eventual rebirth as Ben Solo, Ben Organa, or, indeed, Ben Skywalker.

1 It means Skywalker is the new name for all Force users

But arguably the most intriguing of all the potential theories as to what The Rise of Skywalker really means is the one that takes the biggest picture look at the Skywalker Saga as a whole – as well as looking to the future of Star Wars, after the Skywalker journey ends. The prequel trilogy ended with Revenge of the Sith. The original trilogy ended with Return of the Jedi. And now, the sequel trilogy is ending with The Rise of Skywalker.

It’s entirely possible, based on this pattern, that Skywalker will come to be the new name for the new order of Force users. In the absence of the Jedi and the Sith, there will need to be a new name for the individuals gifted with the Force in the way that Rey and Kylo Ren have been. And the recent novel Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn even includes the reveal that the Chiss word Ozyly-esehembo, used to refer to Force-sensitive individuals, translates directly to Skywalkers. It doesn’t get more convincing than that.

NEXT: Star Wars: 10 Possible Takeaways From The Rumored Episode IX Leaked Art


2019-04-14 01:04:58

Katerina Daley

10 Crazy Dragon Ball Fan Theories That Make No Sense

Dragon Ball has never been a franchise that’s afraid to go just a little bit out there. Like most manga and anime, it’s a festival of absurd fight scenes, flashy special attacks, laser beams, explosions, dramatic monologues, and ridiculous deus ex machinas. We wouldn’t have it any other way, either.

RELATED: Dragon Ball: 20 Things Wrong With Frieza We All Choose To Ignore

Over the course of the series’ long run, the storytelling has taken a backseat to all of this spectacle.  As dizzying as the plot of the average Dragon Ball story arc may be, though, fan theories have pushed things even further. Let’s take a look at some of the strangest theories the community has come up with (don’t be surprised when some of them prove to be correct, either).

10 Frieza Is A Child?

When it comes to Dragon Ball villains, Frieza is probably the most iconic of all. We’ve all seen the memes. However, it’s odd to think just how little we actually know about him.

The series doesn’t often trouble to detail the age of characters, and that’s an even more complex issue where Frieza’s concerned. According to a theory from Redditor Billogi, the infamous mutant may only be a child!

Yes, he can destroy entire planets with a casual gesture of his hand, an act probably just a shade beyond most infants. As the theory argues, though, he’s a member of a mutant, hybrid race, and there’s no telling what kind of longevity they may have. Couple this with his small stature (compared to his brother Frieza and father King Cold) and general childish tantrum-throwing nature, and this absurd theory may just carry some weight.

9 Goku And Frieza’s Battle On Namek Was In Slow-Motion

Speaking of the memes surrounding Frieza, one very popular one is based on the megalomaniacal mutant’s poor timekeeping. As he famously stated, Planet Namek would be destroyed in five minutes… except it wasn’t, because he then proceeded to engage in a super dramatic fistfight with Goku for several episodes.

To cut the guy some slack here, all of us use the timescale ‘five minutes’ to mean ‘you know, some time relatively soon.’ It’s not often meant literally. That’s neither here nor there, though, because a fascinating theory arose out of all this.

Redditor Newgrewshew believes that the epic clash actually did only take five minutes, but stretched over several episodes because we were watching in slow motion! Supposedly, these two all-powerful beings fight far too quickly for our feeble human eyes to follow, so the action was slowed all the way down for our benefit.

8 Goku Black Is Future Evil Goten?

Over the years, Dragon Ball has certainly dabbled in that most confusing of storytelling elements: time travel. As Doctor Who fans will know far too well, things start getting incredibly confusing when you mess with time. Characters’ pasts, presents, and futures become blurred, nobody’s quite who you thought they were anymore, and whole new realities come into existence.

During a Reddit discussion on Dragon Ball Super fan theories, the classic ‘Goku Black is Future Evil Goten’ thing reared its head again.

Quite how this would work out is a real mystery, considering everything we know about Zamasu, but still. That’d be a turn up for the darn books if ever there was one.

7 Dragon Ball GT’s Ending Created Super?

So, that Dragon Ball GT ending, huh? It first aired way back in 1997, and the fanbase still doesn’t quite know what the heck to make of it. What really happened to Goku there? When you get right down to it, there’s really no telling.

Of course, this could have been just what the creators were shooting for. It keeps us guessing, keeps the discussion flowing, keeps fans theorizing.

One particular theory has proven far too outlandish, though: that Dragon Ball GT directly created and tied into Dragon Ball Super. Yes, Goku was just as bewildered by the events of GT as everybody else, but that’s not exactly compelling evidence.

6 Frieza Was Born With His Phenomenal Powers

As we’ve already suggested, some of Dragon Ball’s most bizarre fan theories sometimes turn out to be right on the money. After all, logic and general sense-making don’t tend to be very high on the show’s list of priorities. You can see how these sorts of situations might occur, then.

One case in point would be the root of Frieza’s strength. Throughout the show’s run, we’ve seen Goku and his Saiyan friends put their bodies through the most punishing training routines, in order to keep up with their formidable foes. Meanwhile, villains like Frieza don’t really take the time to do that. As we’ve reported before, this led fans to assume that Frieza was, like Lady GaGa, born this way.

RELATED: Dragon Ball: 15 Powers You Didn’t Know Frieza Had

Quite how you’d be born with the ability to blast planets out of the sky with your pinky is never explained, but it turns out that Frieza’s absurd power do simply come naturally to him.

5 Hybrid Saiyans Are More Powerful?

If there’s one thing anime and manga fans just love to do, it’s engage in heated who’s more powerful than who debates. What with all the ridiculous feats of strength and dramatic battles showcased, it can be very tough to say.

As such, this next fan theory is a bit of a grey area.  As we’ve reported previously, there’s no official evidence in the show that hybrid Saiyans are stronger than pure Saiyans, but some fans persist in the claim. What about Trunks and Goten, they say, who are able to achieve the Super Saiyan form incredibly quickly? What about Goku himself?

If anything, it’s probably more a case of how hard you train than how much (or how little) Saiyan blood you have.

4 Humans And Saiyans Are Related?

Speaking of Saiyan hybrids, the proud warrior race doesn’t tend to favor those sorts of inter-species relationships. Regardless, though, the resultant children do indeed seem to surpass other Saiyans in various respects. In the case of Goten, for instance, this may just be a result of plot necessity rather than any hybrid/pure Saiyan commentary.

It’s a curious thing, but some fans have concluded that humans and Saiyans are related in some way. Physically, the two races are very similar (we didn’t know the truth about Goku for some time), but it seems like a huge stretch and a major cosmic coincidence for them to be related.

3 Bulma Wished The Saiyan Saga Into Reality?

Dragon Ball, as we know, is a franchise loaded with all-powerful extra-terrestrials, mutant warriors and some of the most fearsome robots since Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator movies. With all of that in mind, you might doubt that we regular humans could have much of an impact in the show.

Bulma, in particular, is not about to defeat any supervillains single-handedly, but her tech savvy and support has turned the tide of several battles. On top of that, there’s a curious theory that Bulma made a Dragon Ball wish that kicked off the entire Saiyan Saga. Supposedly, her breakup with Yamcha caused her to seek the Dragon Balls and wish for a boyfriend. The result? Vegeta appeared, and… well, you know the rest.

Is the plausibility strong with this one? It is not. It’s a fun one to discuss, though.

2 Dr. Brief’s Android Wife?

Speaking of Bulma, here’s another fascinating theory you may not have considered (but will be entirely unable to forget once it’s brought to your attention): some Dragon Ball enthusiasts really believe that Bulma’s mom is an android!

Yes, this is the sort of thing that the brilliant Dr. Brief would be entirely capable of. Yes, Androids technically are capable of reproducing, as we explained; Android 18’s sad story attests to that. No, Panchy doesn’t seem to age a single second.

It’s one of those situations that believers can find tons and tons of corroborating ‘evidence’ for, but is just so fundamentally odd that it’ll never really stick.

1 Krillin Is The Most Powerful Being In The Dragon Ball World

Well, maybe that’s overselling him just a little. There are some incredible characters in this franchise, after all, with abilities that boggle the mind just to think about.

We’ve already snarked on mere humans’ strengths compared to those of Saiyans, but Krillin seems to be out to break all of those rules. There are some fans who will tell you that he’s the strongest around, but there’s a whole lot of mental gymnastics to do to reach that conclusion.

The argument is that he doesn’t need to transform into a Super Saiyan, a were-pig or anything else OTT to perform at the peak of his powers, but it’s a little tough to make that fly.

NEXT: Dragon Ball: 30 Storylines That Fans Want To Forget


2019-04-11 01:04:39

Chris Littlechild

20 Crazy Details About Captain Marvel’s Abilities (That She Keeps Hidden)

Captain Marvel is an obscure superhero compared to the others in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans of the comics are well aware of her eventful fictional life, but casual moviegoers might not be so informed. Now that her solo film has hit theaters, though, there is no excuse not to brush up on the franchise’s newest heroine. Carol Danvers was created way back in 1968 by comic industry legends Roy Thomas and Gene Conlan — she was originally a supporting character for the first Captain Marvel, but over the years she has become one of the most important heroes in the history of comics.

With that said, there is still plenty for casual fans to learn about her. For this list, we’re going to take a look at Captain Marvel’s film and comics to pick out details about her that the movie doesn’t flesh out. These can include anything from real life trivia to obscure comic stories that could give fans insight about the future of the character. Be aware that there are spoilers below for Captain Marvel, but judging by the insanely successful box office numbers, you’ve probably seen it already.

While Captain Marvel acts as her origin story, the movie leaves plenty of questions unanswered. Obviously, her character will develop in future films, but anybody who wants to be a Captain Marvel expert now can experience this crash course and thank us later. Here are 20 Crazy Details About Captain Marvel’s Abilities (That She Keeps Hidden.)

20 Strength To Rival Thor

While this doesn’t become clear until the very end of the film, Carol Danvers possesses incredible physical strength. Throughout the film, she demonstrates superhuman durability — surviving explosions, lasers, alien punches, and such — but Carol has the strength to rival Thor and even the Hulk.

Captain Marvel spends most of the movie fighting indoors at close-quarters. Only when she reaches space at full power does she reveal her true strength. She throws a giant missile back at her attackers and manages to take down an entire Kree spaceship single-handedly. Those feats are only a small taste of her true abilities, and if the movies plan to adhere to her source material, her actions will only get more grandiose in future films.

19 Space Survival

Audiences distracted by the light show in the third act may not have realized that Captain Marvel can survive in the vacuum of space. The beginning of the film showcases Starforce’s transformable uniforms, with each one deploying a helmet and an air-tight shield for use underwater and in space. Obviously, this is so Starforce members can continue to breathe.

At the end of the movie, Captain Marvel flies into space after engaging her helmet but not her shield. It’s never specifically stated how or why she can breathe in space, but it’s safe to assume that the movie takes after the comics in that it simply doesn’t matter. She can breathe in space, and that’s awesome.

18 The Real First Avenger

Captain America has always held the informal title of the world’s first Avenger, but Captain Marvel puts that in dispute. At the end of the film, classified photos reveal that Captain Marvel’s pilot nickname is actually Carol “Avenger” Danvers.

The moniker is emblazoned on her jet, and it is the direct inspiration for Nick Fury’s Avengers Initiative. Without seeing her nickname, he would have called it the “Protector Initiative”, and that is nowhere near as cool. Seeing as Carol inspires the superhero team, isn’t she technically the first Avenger? Captain America is the first Avenger in age (no offense, Cap,) but even he can’t dispute that Carol Danvers is the precursor to Earth’s mightiest heroes.

17 Seemingly Ageless

Captain Marvel spends most of her solo film trying to understand her past, and even after investigating she knows little about the extent of her powers. However, one thing that audiences can infer without explanation is that Carol doesn’t age beyond her prime.

Similar to Captain America, it appears that Captain Marvel’s powers have stopped (or at the very least, slowed down) her aging process. She appears in the present-day Avengers headquarters in the mid-credits scene of the film, and she looks the same as she did twenty years prior.

The new Avengers: Endgame trailer reaffirms this, as she looks exactly the same aside from some makeup and longer hair. She hasn’t sported her short hair from the comics yet, but it’s probably only longer so she can buzz it short later.

16 Carol Outranks Cap

We hate to keep comparing the Captains, but it is worth noting that Captain Marvel outranks Captain America when it comes to actual military experience. Sure, they’re both Captains in name, but while their official military titles are somewhat unclear, only one of them worked their way up the ranks.

Before becoming Captain America, Steve Rogers couldn’t actually enter the military. He entered the Super Soldier program as a test subject instead, and went on to become a media sensation before becoming an honorary Captain and soldier. On the other hand, Carol Danvers entered the Air Force and climbed the military ladder normally before becoming Captain Marvel.

It’s safe to assume that Carol has seen more combat than Steve as well, having spent most of her years off of Earth adventuring through space.

15 She Almost Appeared In Age Of Ultron

Although she is just now hitting the mainstream, Captain Marvel nearly hit screens for the first time in 2015. Early drafts of Avengers: Age of Ultron had Carol Danvers make an appearance, fully-formed as the Captain Marvel we know today.

Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon was pushing for her inclusion at the time, but Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige wasn’t so keen about Whedon’s implementation. Captain Marvel’s appearance in the film was supposed to be brief — she would appear at the end when Captain America assembles the new Avengers. She would have taken the place of Scarlet Witch, who gets a brief spotlight in that scene as she joins the new team.

Feige thought that this cameo did the character a disservice, and that Captain Marvel deserved to be introduced in her own feature film.

14 Lots Of Identities

Carol Danvers has been a constant in the Marvel universe for decades, but not necessarily as Captain Marvel. Her new title is a relatively recent development in the comics. She took on the mantle of Captain Marvel back in 2012, but she had several identities before that.

Her oldest and most popular moniker was Ms. Marvel, one she used alongside the original Captain Marvel. The name is now used by the younger hero Kamala Khan, as a tribute to Carol Danvers. For a while she was known as Warbird, and Danvers was even a villain for a few years as the fiery cosmic entity known as Binary.

Carol’s comic history looks like one giant identity crisis, but now that Captain Marvel has become a massive hit, her new name and look are likely here to stay.

13 A Prolific Hero And Leader

She might be new to movie fans, but Carol Danvers has had an eventful history. Not only has she been present for some of the comics’ craziest story-lines, but she is affiliated with the most powerful organizations in Marvel history.

Aside from being an Air Force and NASA officer, she is a veteran (and leader) of the Avengers. She heads Alpha Flight, the Earth’s primary space defense force. She has had run-ins with the Guardians of the Galaxy, the X-Men, and dozens of alien species both friendly and hostile alike. Most recently, she acted as leader of the Ultimates, a team that seeks cosmic threats and prevents them from affecting Earth.

Carol has always been a key player in the comics, so anybody hoping that the movies don’t treat her the same should be prepared to eat their words.

12 She Almost Appeared In Jessica Jones

Fans of the comics know that Captain Marvel and Jessica Jones are very close friends, but their relationship almost carried over into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Carol Danvers was initially going to appear in early versions of Jessica Jones.

Jessica Jones, set to air on ABC at the time, included a fully-powered Carol Danvers as a supporting character. As the show moved to Netflix and Marvel Studios geared toward at releasing a Captain Marvel feature film, Carol’s role was retooled. Patsy “Trish” Walker replaces Carol as Jessica’s celebrity BFF.

This change worked out better for the series and showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, who felt that having a friend without powers allowed for better juxtaposition between the two heroines. Trish Walker is her own superhero in the comics, Hellcat, though the show has not yet given her a costume.

11 Her Best Friend Is Spider-Woman

Captain Marvel has two best friends named Jessica. Although she is close with Jessica Jones, Jessica Drew is easily her closest friend and confidante in the comics. Jessica Drew is Spider-Woman — another relatively obscure character if your only exposure to Marvel is the movies.

Jessica Drew has been a staple of the comics world for years, and although she hasn’t been introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is worth noting that their friendship is the stuff of legend. Between the casual cup of coffee and superhero team-ups, these two are inseparable.

It’s unclear if Spider-Woman will ever be adapted to film, but it would be a shame for this friendship to never be realized on the big screen.

10 Her Real Name Is Car-Ell

Captain Marvel’s origin story has been altered several times over the years. Her origin always involves an explosion that gives her powers, but recently the comics took a sharp turn. Carol’s updated origin story reveals that she wasn’t given powers via exploding Kree technology, but that she was part Kree all along.

Carol’s mother Mari-Ell reveals herself as a Kree hiding on Earth. Carol Danvers’ true name is of Kree origin — Car-Ell was anglicized to “Carol” so that she would fit in on Earth. The MCU has not adapted this aspect of her origin (that we know of,) but it is her official backstory in the comics. Perhaps it’s too close to Star-Lord’s movie origin, or even too similar to Superman’s real name, Kal- El.

9 She’s Allergic To Cats

Goose steals the show in Captain Marvel. Everybody loves a cute cat, but did anybody expect this cute cat to be a violent space alien? Comic fans certainly did! Carol’s pet cat Chewie is also a “Flerken” in the comics — something Rocket Raccoon reveals like Talos does in the film. Ironically, actor Brie Larson is dangerously allergic to cats.

In the comics, Carol and her cat are practically inseparable, but Larson couldn’t get near Goose’s actors on set for too long or she would have a severe allergic reaction. Thankfully, allergy medication and limited time with Goose kept Larson from experiencing any health emergencies. Sometimes the movie renders Goose with CGI, which undoubtedly helped with the allergy.

8 Captain Marvel And War Machine

Captain Marvel has had her fair share of love interests in the comics, but most recently she and War Machine were a romantic item. Out of context, that probably surprises fans of the movies. Don’t worry, in the comics, they’re much closer in age.

The two are undeniably compatible, both being experienced soldiers with strong convictions in regard to their careers. However, their relationship was both a recent development and one that was very short-lived. War Machine loses his life in the Civil War II storyline as an indirect consequence of Carol’s actions.

It’s unlikely to see this relationship brought to the big screen given the age difference between Brie Larson and Don Cheadle… but you never know.

7 Pro-Superhero Registration

If you thought that Iron Man’s team was overpowered in Captain America: Civil War, then imagine if the movie had followed the comics. Carol Danvers also sided with Tony Stark in the Civil War storyline, hoping to enforce registration and accountability on all Marvel superheroes.

Carol only features as one of the many supporting characters in the story, but her siding with Tony is what positions her to be the leader of the Avengers after the conflict ends. This happens before she officially takes on the mantle of Captain Marvel (she was still Warbird back then,) but it’s worth noting that this is where her character begins to move to the forefront of Marvel comics.

6 Rogue Stole Her Powers

One of Captain Marvel’s most famous stories is actually an X-Men story — one that fans of X-Men: The Animated Series might remember well. Rogue fights Carol Danvers and manages to steal her powers.

Rogue, who can temporarily absorb the abilities of people she touches, holds onto Carol for so long that she retained her powers for years. Rogue could fly and exert super strength, while Carol was left powerless and with amnesia.

The story gets convoluted afterwards. Carol was abducted and experimented on by aliens, her memories started to re-surge in Rogue’s mind, and for a while she was the super-villain Binary. In the end, Carol eventually returned to her normal state and resumed her Avenger status as the reformed superhero, Warbird.

5 Built-In Wardrobe

Carol spends most of Captain Marvel wearing a Nine Inch Nails t-shirt, but when she’s not wearing casual clothes, she’s wearing a green Kree Starforce outfit. The movie later reveals that every aspect of her suit can change color, as Monica Rambeau inspires her red, yellow, and blue color scheme. However, when Monica and Carol are choosing a new look, they cycle through colors that reference other characters.

One of her color palettes is red and black, which is reference to the original Captain Marvel. Another palette is green and gray, which is the classic Kree uniform from the comics. It even turns red and yellow for a moment, referencing DC’s Captain Marvel, now known as Shazam.

4 She Fell In Love With A Monster

The most infamous Carol Danvers story is not one fans look back on fondly. Although she was initially designed as Marvel’s feminist icon, she was subjected to one of the most offensive storylines in Marvel comics. The Avengers #200, published in 1980, began a saga that made her a victim of sexual assault.

Marcus, son of Avengers villain Immortus, uses his powers to make Carol unwillingly fall in love with him. They have a child together — one that aged to adulthood in a matter of days. The baby grows up to be Marcus reincarnated (yes really,) who ends up forcing Carol to travel with him to another dimension.

It took years for Marvel to undo this bizarre story’s damage, as it wasn’t until the 2000s that Carol reemerged as a marketable character.

3 Civil War II

Captain Marvel’s most controversial appearance in recent comic history is her role in Civil War II. After the Avengers discover a boy who can accurately see into the future, the heroes clash over what to do with his information. Captain Marvel wants to use his powers to stop crimes before they happen, while Iron Man refuses to act on people who haven’t yet done anything wrong.

The promising story concept soon proved damaging to Captain Marvel. Her stance seems unreasonable in context, and many fans believe that she was written out-of-character. Captain Marvel becomes the unwitting villain of the story, causing the demise of Hulk and War Machine. She indirectly puts She-Hulk in the hospital, and even beats Tony Stark into a coma.

2 She Knows Of The Infinity Stones

Captain Marvel reveals that Wendy Lawson was experimenting with the Tesseract, the cube that houses the Space Stone. Carol actually calls the Tesseract by its name, suggesting that her memories are slowly coming back to her. From this, we can infer that she has some knowledge on the Infinity Stones.

Although Lawson seems to have kept her alien identity a secret, the fact that Carol knows about the Tesseract suggests she might know more. Even if she doesn’t know about the Infinity Stones from her time on Earth, her decades of space adventuring have likely informed her on Thanos and his quest to collect them all. This isn’t confirmed, but based on the information we do know, it’s a safe bet.

1 Captain Marvel Is Definitively The Strongest Avenger

She hasn’t had the chance to prove it to the angry trolls yet, but Marvel Studios has confirmed it.

Ever since this film was first announced, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has been boasting about her strength. Feige attests that Carol is the strongest hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rivaled only by heavy-hitters like Thor and Doctor Strange.

While no Avenger is invincible, Captain Marvel may be the closest they come. Not only is her power going to be more evident in future films, but she is poised to be the face of the franchise after Avengers: Endgame. It’s unclear if audiences will take to her as team leader, but she’ll acquire plenty more fans after she lays the smack-down on Thanos.

———

What did you learn about Captain Marvel? Are you excited for her appearance in Avengers: Endgame? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments!


2019-04-09 05:04:03

Jonathan Figueroa

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: 10 Episodes To Watch To Relive The Series

For four song-filled seasons, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has told the story of Rebecca Bunch as she gave up a successful career in New York and moved to West Covina, California in an attempt to be… happy. In the process, Rebecca made new friends, struggled with her mental health, and found herself torn between three potential boyfriends.

The tightly plotted series has told a satisfying four-season narrative that has seen all the major characters grow and change as they stumble towards fulfillment in work and in love. With Crazy Ex-Girlfriend taking its final bow, we decided to look at the best episodes to watch to relive the series. These episodes are highlights from all four seasons presented in order from season 1 to season 4, so they roughly follow the arc of the show.

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10 JOSH JUST HAPPENS TO LIVE HERE! (SEASON 1, EPISODE 1)

The pilot episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend isn’t necessarily its strongest. However, it rewards repeat viewing. In hindsight, it’s clear how this first episode lays the groundwork for the show. So much of what comes after relies on this initial outing, which establishes Rebecca and many of the other characters who become major players on the series.

Plus, it features the “Sexy Getting Ready Song,” the musical number that established that the show’s songs could be hilarious, candid, and clever all at once. The song demonstrated that a show where characters periodically break into song could still be extremely, sometimes painfully, honest. It’s still one of the highlights of the series.

9 MY MOM, GREG’S MOM, AND JOSH’S SWEET DANCE MOVES! (SEASON 1, EPISODE 8)

This holiday-themed episode saw the introduction of Rebecca’s mother, Naomi. Brilliantly played by Tovah Feldshuh, Naomi disapproved of pretty much all of Rebecca’s life choices since she moved to the West Coast. And Rebecca was torn between resentment and a strong desire to please. Meanwhile, Greg was experiencing a similar parental dynamic with his mother, who he was still angry at for leaving his father when he was a child.

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Between the two storylines, the episode showcased the sometimes-fraught dynamics between adult children and their parents. Separately, Josh tried to recapture the glory days of his youth, but soon came to the realization that he needed to focus on his future, not his past.

8 THAT TEXT WAS NOT MEANT FOR JOSH! (SEASON 1, EPISODE 11)

The plot of this episode spins out of a text about Josh that Rebecca intended to send to Paula but accidentally sent to the man himself. Who hasn’t been there? With the rocker “Textmergency,” at least the awkward scenario gave us an anthem for the next time we text the wrong person.

While Rebecca’s attempts to correct her mistake led to her alienating both Josh and Greg, her antics had a surprisingly positive impact on Paula’s marriage. Finally coming clean to her husband Jeff about helping Rebecca with her love life rekindled the couple’s romance. It also led to a hilariously meta exchange between the pair of the lyrics to season 1’s theme song.

7 JOSH HAS NO IDEA WHERE I AM! (SEASON 1, EPISODE 15)

Believing that her life in West Covina is a failure, Rebecca boards a plane back to New York to resume her old life. On the plane she finds her therapist, Dr. Akopian, is sitting right next to her. Dr. Akopian suggests they have an impromptu session. Although Rebecca agrees, it’s Rebecca so she falls asleep before they can get started. Instead, Rebecca dreams a therapy session complete with a musical number by the dream ghost version of Dr. Akopian.

Not only does the episode take us into Rebecca’s past, but it also shows many of the series’ characters coming together in concern when they realize they don’t know where she’s gone. It’s touching to see how much Rebecca’s friends care for her. The episode explores how the stories we tell ourselves about our circumstances may not be the reality and how there are all kinds of love in the world — we just need to learn to embrace them.

6 WHEN WILL JOSH AND HIS FRIEND LEAVE ME ALONE? (SEASON 2, EPISODE 4)

This is the episode where Santino Fontana’s Greg leaves the series. While he loves Rebecca, he realizes their relationship was a mess and decides he’s going to go to business school at Emory University instead.  It’s a healthy, mature decision — perhaps one of the first ones of the series.

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Of course, that and Josh’s rejection leaves Rebecca in a funk, which she tries to alleviate by making herself over in a ridiculous way. She also finally meets Heather’s permissive parents. However, Rebecca’s so absorbed in what she’s going through she doesn’t realize that Paula is in the midst of making a major life decision.

5 JOSH IS THE MAN OF MY DREAMS, RIGHT? (SEASON 2, EPISODE 11)

The Santa Ana winds are blowing, and their trickster ways are making people weird. Josh has finally proposed to Rebecca so she should be ecstatic right? Instead, she’s no longer feeling the thrill that she once did. Instead, her head’s been turned by Nathaniel. When they get stuck in an elevator together, they start to bond. Clearly, there’s a spark there. So, Rebecca changes her and Josh’s wedding date from two years away to two weeks away. Yikes!

Meanwhile, Paula struggles with what to do about her unfaithful husband. Darryl tries to advise her, but her reaction forces him to acknowledge that even though he thinks of her as his best friend, she doesn’t reciprocate his feelings.

4 I NEVER WANT TO SEE JOSH AGAIN (SEASON 3, EPISODE 5)

After Josh left her at the altar at the end of season 2, Rebecca finally hit rock bottom and alienated all her friends. So, she returns to her mother’s house in Scarsdale to lick her wounds. Her mother attempts to sever her ties to her old life in West Covina and move her back to New York. However, she also learns that Rebecca has been researching ways to take her own life.

Horrified, Naomi starts slipping her daughter anti-anxiety medication in strawberry milkshakes. Her mother is being so nice to her, that Rebecca’s beginning to wonder if she’d been too hard on Naomi in the past. Then, Rebecca’s nemesis comes over to set her straight — her mother has ulterior motives. When Rebecca realizes what they are, she boards a plane back to California. Feeling hopeless, she attempts to take her life on the plane, but asks the flight attendant for help at the last minute. The episode is funny while still sensitively and seriously exploring mental health concerns.

3 JOSH IS IRRELEVANT (SEASON 3, EPISODE 6)

This episode deals with the aftermath of Rebecca’s attempt to take her own life. Each of Rebecca’s friends deals with the news differently, some more successfully than others. Working with a new psychiatrist, Rebecca is excited to learn that he believes she’s been misdiagnosed. His take on her issues isn’t the cure-all she expected though.

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By the end of the episode, Rebecca is forced to acknowledge the new diagnosis is correct and that Josh is not responsible for what happened. The issues she’s experiencing have been there all along. This episode and the previous episode are a deep dive into Rebecca’s mental health challenges. While this has been a theme of the show since the beginning — it’s called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, after all — these two episodes show Rebecca as she starts to make strides towards actually taking care of herself. It’s an honest and heartbreaking portrayal done in the series’ signature style.

2 I’M ALMOST OVER YOU (SEASON 4, EPISODE 11)’

This season 4 episode puts Nathaniel and tertiary character Maya front and center. It also includes pretty much every romantic comedy trope that exists. Nathaniel and Maya are both heartbroken when they see their exes with other people. So Nathaniel decides they should fake a relationship to get them back.

This leads to all sorts of rom-com shenanigans, including the requisite makeovers as the ugly duckling characters get transformed into swans, the montage of them hanging out and connecting, and even a “Gratuitous Karaoke Moment” in front of their exes designed purely to make them jealous. It’s a funny hour that zeroes in on characters who aren’t usually front and center, which makes it that much more interesting.

1 I HAVE A DATE TONIGHT (SEASON 4, EPISODE 16)

This is the penultimate episode of the series. As the show winds down, Rebecca must make a choice between Josh, Greg, and Nathaniel. Everyone agrees that Rebecca will go on an individual date with each of them and then make a final decision. The guys go all out for the dates and both Josh and Nathaniel treat Rebecca to magical, romantic nights. Greg arranges a romantic outing, too, but feels funny doing something so contrived. Then, before the date can even start, his car breaks down. Instead of going out, Rebecca and Greg companionably hang out at the mechanic waiting for his car.

Meanwhile, the characters that have been following Rebecca’s saga since the beginning place bets on which guy she’ll choose. Just like fans, they all have their own opinions about who’s the right man for her. As of writing, we don’t know who Rebecca chooses, but we do know that we’re going to miss Crazy Ex-Girlfriend like crazy.

NEXT: 10 Shows Riverdale Fans Should Watch


2019-04-07 11:04:53

Cynthia Vinney

25 Crazy Rules The Big Bang Theory Actors Have To Follow

The Big Bang Theory will be signing off in a couple months and we’ll be saying goodbye to actors we’ve seen on-screen for twelve years. Someone who had just turned 18 when the show debuted will be 30 this year; you can make out just how long the show’s been on with that context. The actors feel like a part of your family since you’ve been watching them on a consistent basis for a dozen years, and the farewell will be sad indeed.

But while we’ve grown close to the characters, the rules that go into bringing these characters to life by the actors is another story. There are a lot of clauses that go into becoming the comedic personalities we see on-screen, and it’s not an easy process. Believe it or not, a lot of legal procedures are in place to make The Big Bang Theory what it is in the twenty-minute episode we watch whenever it is on. You must have noticed certain characters are more noticeable or more important than others, and this isn’t a coincidence; it’s by design.

The actors have strict rules they must follow or – yes, that’s right – they’ll be given the boot from starring on the show. Since they’ve been following these rules for so long, it’s become second nature to them, but be rest assured that these rules, often at times pretty ridiculous, need to be adhered to. So, before the show ends, here’s your chance to know what rules the actors need to follow.

25 Can’t Discuss The Original Pilot

Since the show was a runaway success the moment it aired, it’s easy to forget (or not know at all) that The Big Bang Theory was nothing like we know it today. Originally, the show had only Leonard and Sheldon, but these two had completely different personalities. They were joined by a nastier version of Penny (who was known by another name,) and a female nerd.

The cast has never been known to share details of this original pilot, bits of which are available for viewing on YouTube. While the cast has strictly kept mum about this, even creator Chuck Lorre is against the idea of releasing the original pilot since he believes that’s just showing the public The Big Bang Theory’s original failure.

24 Engage In Flash Dances

For the past several years, it has become a tradition for the entire crew of The Big Bang Theory to engage in flash dancing. These are exactly like they sound; everyone breaks out in sudden dance routines for the enjoyment of the live-audience.

Imagine being part of the audience and being lucky enough to witness this live! Not only does everyone on set get into it, the flash dancing lasts for more than several minutes, which means you get more than your money’s worth. Since these flash dancing sequences have become a staple, the actors don’t really seem to get a say in participating in it anymore, and it looks like it’s a complete requirement now.

23 Kaley, Johnny, And Jim Always Get Top Billing

You must have noticed that in the first season, the main story-lines always involved Sheldon, Leonard, or Penny, while Raj and Howard were just the side characters without any stories of their own. This was because Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons, and Johnny Gallecki are the top-3 billed members of the cast.

They are always promoted as such and when considering the “main” main characters, it is this trio who qualify. To top it all off, the first season’s DVD cover doesn’t even feature Howard and Raj, since it is only the top-3 who appear on it. Whenever there’s a listing of the cast members for the show, these three always receive the top spots in billing.

22 Kevin Sussman Only Gets Credited If He’s In The Episode

You might not have realized this, but Stuart has actually been a main cast member since all the way back in Season 6. He was upgraded only one season after Amy and Bernadette, but you must have at least noticed that Stuart is hardly ever treated as a main group friend. Even the show realizes this as Kevin Sussman is only credited if he does appear in an episode.

Check out the credits for the cast members whenever a new episode begins, and you’ll see that Kevin’s name is missing from the listings when he’s not in the episode. As far as the overall cast billing is concerned, Kevin actually is credited as part of the group.

21 Actors Upgraded To Main Roles Only Appear In Limited Episodes

If you think Kevin had it rough, then think again; he doesn’t have it nearly as bad as the other two actors who were upgraded. Leslie Winkle and Raj’s ex-girlfriend Emily were also main cast members in Season 2 and Season 9 respectively. But you’ll be forgiven for missing this little fact because those two actresses barely ever showed up.

Like the case was with Kevin Sussman, these two actresses were also only credited when they appeared, but the weird thing is that they featured regularly when they were only supposed to be recurring. Leslie and Emily appeared in more episodes before they were regulars, and pretty much disappeared when the actresses were upgraded, and then written out. Wonder what that was all about?

20 Until Season 10, The Top-3 Billed Earned More

In 2014, news of The Big Bang Theory actors making ridiculous amounts of money went mainstream, although in the last five years that buzz had dwindled down somewhat. Back then, the top-3 billed actors were promoted to receive as much as $1 million per episode!

Although it might sound wild to pay a guy who says “Bazinga” multiple times in a twenty-minute episode that much, the actors did pull in a lot of viewership to justify this. The $1 million was reserved for the top three since they were the first billed, as mentioned before.

19 After Season 10, Top-5 Billed Earned Equally

Since Raj and Howard were prominently featured after the initial seasons, it was natural for the actors to seek parity in earnings to the top-3. The two got their wish by Season 11 when it was announced that the top-3 were now the top-5, at least as far as earnings were concerned.

By this point, the main actors were now making $900k per episode, which was a $100k drop for the top-3, but this was a conscious decision (read below for further;) besides, when you consider they make 24 episodes per season, a $100k drop doesn’t seem so bad when you calculate that these guys are still making money in amounts none of us will ever see.

18 Melissa And Mayim Make Less Than The Rest Of The Cast

Amy and Bernadette were only added to the main cast in Season 4, and they were only considered as regulars starting from the fifth season, which means the actors weren’t as important as the rest when they were introduced.

This meant they weren’t paid as much either; their original earnings were “only” $175k per episode. This was almost around 10-percent the top-3 were making for appearing in the same episode. After contracts were negotiated, the top-5 agreed to lower their salaries so Mayim and Melissa’s earnings were raised to a more respectable $500k per episode. Still, even now it’s half of what the original five are making. But would you be complaining if you earned this much?

17 Actors Need To Agree On Contract Terms

Although Simon and Kunal now receive the same earnings as the top-3, there was a time where the possibility of these two being written out of the show was a possibility. This was because the two were playing hard to get with the studio as their lawyers tried to get the actors’ earnings higher.

However, it got to the point where scripts were prepared that didn’t feature Raj and Howard in case the negotiations fell through. This got the two actors to sign on, and eventually they did receive the pay parity they wanted. But it did prove a point that the actors couldn’t overestimate their importance and contract terms were meant to be agreed lest they wanted themselves to be out of a job.

16 Know How To Navigate The Set

There’s a nice video on YouTube where the actors give a tour of the set for the fans. It looks like a fun video, but just checking out the size of the set makes it clear that it’s a pretty confusing place to be.

This is why the actors are supposed to know where to go and where to be when the cameras start rolling. You see, although we think scenes are taking place outside or in different areas, everything’s right there for the actors, so they can literally walk from Leonard’s house to Howard’s in a few seconds. But navigating is a bit of a challenge, so the actors need to have it memorized in their heads where the set areas are located.

15 Have To Promote The Series On Talk Shows

When you’re paid around a million dollars per episode, then you won’t be complaining much about appearing on shows to promote the show. The actors have never come across as not wanting to be on whichever show they’re on, but whenever they do appear, it is to promote The Big Bang Theory.

The great part about this is that you get to see the actors as who they really are rather than the characters they are known to play. It’s always a delight to see these people appear on talk shows like Ellen or The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, but you should remember that they’re only there because they are supposed to be promoting The Big Bang Theory.

14 Have To Promote Episodes On Social Media

If you have your own business or you happen to be a social media influencer, then you also most likely take to using Instagram or Facebook to promote your work. In the same way, the actors on The Big Bang Theory also take it to their social media accounts to promote the upcoming episodes.

Unlike us regular folk, these actors have followings in such droves that the minimum amount of followers for one person seems to be one million – so there are a lot of people roped in from these social media posts. However, having social media accounts is not a priority as those who do not use it don’t need to promote the episodes.

13 Can’t Openly Discuss Their Dating Life

In a strange case of life imitating art, the same time that Leonard and Penny were dating, the actual actors were also dating. And then when Leonard and Penny broke up, so did Kaley and Johnny.

It’s a weird case of coincidence because we’re pretty sure the actors don’t feel so strongly about their characters that they would break up because of their characters’ break up. Still, since none of the other actors have ever been involved, it appears that the actors need to stay silent should they start dating as no one knew about Johnny and Kaley’s romance until after they had broken up.

12 Have To Perform In Front Of A Live-Audience

Edgy people nowadays like to brag they don’t like multi-cam sitcoms because they don’t want to be told when to laugh – this is a dig at the laugh track employed by these shows; however, the reality is that these laughs are real laughter from the audience watching the episodes.

The Big Bang Theory, like every other multi-cam sitcom, is filmed in front of a live studio audience, which means whatever is being filmed is witnessed by people sitting in stands. There’s no escaping performing in front of a crowd if any actor appears on The Big Bang Theory, be it a main character or a guest character.

11 Melissa And Mayim Are Always At The Back Of The Posters

Of course, if the top-3 are first billed, Simon and Kunal are second-billed; this leaves Mayim and Melissa as the third-billed cast members. In every promotional material and in the show’s credits, you’ll find the names of these two at the end.

It’s understandable since they weren’t originally supposed to be main characters at all. This is also reflected in posters and promotional material where Howard and Bernadette are always at the back. As expected, Leonard, Penny and Sheldon are in the front, while Raj and Howard follow suit. Up until the sixth season, Bernadette and Penny weren’t even part of the show posters; this changed when they gained importance, but they do still remain at the back in promotional materials.

10 Have To Accept Being Written Out

We mentioned how Emily and Leslie were written out, and this is where we elaborate on that. In Laura Spencer’s case, it’s still a mystery why she was upgraded only to be scarcely used, but in the case of Sara Gilbert, it was the writers who gave the reason that they just couldn’t come up with quality material for Leslie Winkle.

And so, Leslie was written out of the show; Emily’s case might have been similar. As far as the actors are concerned, they need to accept this change in development and carry on with their careers. There always is a chance for them to return for guest spots so it’s not like it’s completely goodbye.

9 Commit Or Get Written Out

Now we move over to those instances where the actors themselves have walked away. In this case, their roles won’t be sitting pretty for them until they return and the character will be written out.

The best example for this is the case of Kate Micucci, who played Raj’s girlfriend Lucy. Lucy was seen as the perfect girl for Raj, only for her to uncharacteristically break up with him and be seen once or twice more after that. What happened was that the actress instead opted to star in her own show called Garfunkel and Oates, and Lucy was written off. Despite her show lasting for only one season, Kate’s character wasn’t brought back for Raj after that.

8 Partake In Science Scenes

We all would like to experience the sensation of being in space at some point in our lives, so The Big Bang Theory cast must enjoy this whenever they get the chance. Simon didn’t have an option here as he was required to be in “space” for Howard’s first three episodes in Season 6.

But the cast have all been involved in their fair share of science-y sequences with some of these being experimental in nature, while others were dangerously practical. The science element of the show has been toned down in recent years, but it’s still ingrained in the DNA of the show, so whenever it beckons, the actors have to lace their boots up for it.

7 Guys Get Shaved Before Each Season

If you’ve followed these actors around when they’re not on the show, you’ll have undoubtedly noticed that the guys love to grow their beards out. This unkempt appearance is taken to the point where they start looking like they’re out of a job; when the show comes back on, they’re as smooth as a baby’s belly.

The reason for this is because you can’t have Leonard, who’s supposed to be meek in personality, walk around looking like he’s a manly man. The same goes for the rest as none of the guys have the characterization of a masculine person. A few exceptions were made when it was part of the plot; such as the guys being in places where they couldn’t shave.

6 Have To Dress Accordingly

Other than Penny, every other character has to adhere to the same wardrobe. This means that the actors don’t really have much diversity in terms of clothing and we’ve been seeing them wear the same style for twelve years now.

The exception to the lack of change was Raj, whose character underwent some reformation and he’s been much more stylish since Season 11. The characters’ affinity for their fashion sense has meant that the actors need to follow these rules and have no wiggle room. Even Penny was part of this in the beginning seasons, when her wardrobe composed of girlish dresses.

5 The Show Ends Without The Top-3

We’ve seen series’ like That ‘70s Show or The Walking Dead where the main characters have left, but the show has kept on going. This isn’t possible for the cast who aren’t in the top-3 as these actors are essential for The Big Bang Theory to continue.

We saw it happen as the show is about to end mainly due to Jim Parsons not wanting to return for a thirteenth season, which was guaranteed had he agreed to come back. But the show can’t function without these three top players and it is because of this that we’ll be saying goodbye very soon. There’s no Big Bang Theory without Sheldon, Leonard, or Penny.

4 Have To Eat The Food On Camera

A lot of these scenes we watch have these characters sitting down for dinner. And in order to make these scenes realistic, the stars have to chow some of the food down. You can catch them talking about these eating sequences and how they’ve come to cope with them.

The actors have said that in a particularly long scene, they pretend to eat while shuffling around with the food on the plate. Other times, there’s no option but to eat such as in those scenes where it’s funnier when a line is delivered while the actor’s mouth is full of food.

3 Mayim Bialik Has To Provide Assistance

You could argue Mayim deserves to be paid more than she already is considering she’s the only one apart from Johnny Gallecki and Jim Parsons who has received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her role. Not only did she achieve that, Mayim also provides consultation to the science specialist on the show.

This is because Mayim is an actual Ph.D holder in neuroscience and is the real deal. While The Big Bang Theory’s science specialist is top notch, he does require assistance from Mayim when it comes to neuroscience since it is her specialty and she’s very familiar with it.

2 Have To Learn Science Jargon

Since Mayim is a real scientist, she doesn’t need to learn anything really, but her co-stars certainly do require to memorize the science jargon seeing that they have no clue what they’re talking about.

Jim Parsons is very talented in delivering smart talk which Sheldon knows very well, but he has no idea what any of that really means and works hard in ensuring his line delivery comes across as natural. In an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden, Jim was asked to write down a science formula, and it was hilarious to see how much of a difficult time he was having, even calling one formula as a “square rooty-y thing.” This applies for everyone else sans Mayim.

1 Acknowledge The Audience After Filming

Anyone who’s watched a clip of the filming of a multi-cam sitcom will be aware that not only does the live-audience watch the production, they are also acknowledged by the actors at the end.

When an episode’s filming is completed, there’s a curtain call where the actors appear to acknowledge the crowd’s enthusiasm. It’s more fun than it sounds and you should check clips of The Big Bang Theory cast acknowledging the audience at the end of an episode; usually they dance out to an upbeat track. It’s kind of ridiculous how they need to do this every episode, but it’s also a lot of fun.


2019-04-04 07:04:33

Saim Cheeda