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Avengers: Endgame’s Ending & Marvel Movie Future Explained In Detail

WARNING: Major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.

Avengers: Endgame‘s ending is the high-stakes close to the story Marvel Studios has been on for the last 11 years and an emotional send-off to some of the MCU’s biggest characters, but also a setting of the stage for what can come in Phase 4 and beyond. Now that the film is out in theaters, it is time to break it all down.

The movie sees the Avengers learn that their failure is unstoppable and irreversible at the beginning of the film, taking audiences forward five years with a time jump. The surviving heroes have all either retired, continued a seemingly hopeless search, or turned down a darker path. But, once Scott Lang aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) teases Tony Stark aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) with the possibility of time travel, everything falls into place. The Avengers hop through time stealing Infinity Stones from past MCU films with the hope of snapping their own fingers and bringing back those they lost.

Related: Everything We Know About Avengers 5

This is complicated thanks to Nebula’s (Karen Gillan) memory network alerting 2014 Thanos (Josh Brolin) that his future plan is being undermined, and sets the stage for an epic finale. There’s a lot to discuss when it comes to Avengers: Endgame‘s ending, including the return of the snap victims, death of Iron Man, new direction for Thor, new life for Captain America, and a lot more.

How Infinity War’s Snap Victims Come Back To Fight Thanos

The Avengers were successful on their missions to acquire the six Infinity Stones for themselves, and after some debate, Bruce Banner aka Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) volunteers to be the one to put on the retro-fitted Iron Man gauntlet to try and bring back the other half of the universe’s population. It appears he is able to do this when Hawkeye’s (Jeremy Renner) wife calls him on the phone, but Avengers HQ is instantly attacked by Thanos from 2014, who traveled through time himself. Avengers HQ is completed leveled, with Hulk badly injured from the effects of the snap.

Iron Man, Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) are the only ones capable of trying to defeat Thanos. But they once again fall short, leaving Cap as the only one left standing before Thanos and the massive army he’s assembled. But, just as it appears all hope is lost and Thanos will win again, portals from around the galaxy begin to open up. Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and many other sorcerers – including Wong (Benedict Wong) – are responsible for transporting all of Wakanda, the remaining Asgardians, the other alive MCU heroes, and the now returned snap victims to this location to join the fight. They all remember being dusted, but have no idea what happened in the five years since and are just focused on doing their part to protect the universe once again.

Tony Stark Sacrifices Himself To Beat Thanos

Even with the full force of the MCU behind them, the fate of the universe ultimately comes down to one key sequence. The Iron Man gauntlet with all six Infinity Stones is up for grabs and Thanos fights off several heroes to get his hands on it. Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) comes in to deliver punishing blows and is about to overpower the Mad Titan, but then he pulls out the Power Stone and uses it to punch her away. It is at this moment that Iron Man sees the window of opportunity and the one chance to win this war and complete Doctor Strange’s plan.

Related: Why Didn’t Doctor Strange Trap Thanos In A Time Loop?

He jumps back into the fight and uses the nanotech armor to transfer the Infinity Stones to his suit during this exchange with Thanos. With every stone now in his possession, Tony says “I am Iron Man” one more time as he snaps his fingers. Instead of half of the universe randomly being slaughtered, it is now Thanos and his army who are dusted. However, Tony is just a regular human being and by no means as powerful as Hulk or Thanos, who both barely survived snaps of their own. The entire right side of Tony is instantly charred, giving him just a few moments left with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), James Rhodes aka War Machine (Don Cheadle), and Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland) before he dies.

Tony Stark’s Funeral Unites The MCU

The send off to the MCU’s biggest character is sure to leave fans heartbroken, but it is also used beautifully in Avengers: Endgame to unite the rest of the universe to honor the man who started it all. An intimate funeral is held at Stark’s isolated household makes up the massive ensemble scene that many MCU stars previously teased had been filmed. Almost every single character of some significance to Stark or the MCU is present for his goodbye, but also to reflect back and show just how big the universe has become since audiences first heard “I am Iron Man” echoed across theaters.

The scene plays as one continuous shot weaving through all of the different characters who have assembled. Pepper, Rhodey, Tony’s daughter, and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) all make their way out to the lake after watching a pre-recorded message from Tony just in case this outcome happened. Outside, they are joined by the remaining original Avengers members Cap, Thor, Hulk, and Hawkeye. Tony’s newer allies and acquaintances like Peter Parker, Doctor Strange, and Ant-Man all appear, as do the Guardians of the Galaxy. Those with other personal connections to him like Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), and – of course – Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) mourn his loss, along with several others. They are all here to say goodbye to Tony Stark – who is largely responsible for many of them being here at all thanks to the success of Iron Man in 2008.

Thor Joins The Guardians of the Galaxy

While Iron Man’s story has come to a close, the ending of Avengers: Endgame opens up a new chapter for Thor. He previously moved the remaining members of his Asgardian fleet to Norway following the snap, and after not being the best king during this time, he decides it is time to move on. Thor boards the Benatar with Rocket Raccoon and the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy, marking the beginning of the Asgardians of the Galaxy, as he jokingly calls them (a reference to a recent comic run). The banter with Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) returns instantly as part of their individual struggles to be seen as the leader, and it appears this will continue for the foreseeable future.

Related: Thor Should Replace Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy

Star-Lord Wants To Find HIS Gamora

The new look Guardians of the Galaxy team does not have a clear cut mission from the get-go, but Star-Lord does have one goal in mind that he isn’t yet sharing with the team. He famously lost his cool on Titan when it was revealed that Thanos had to sacrifice Gamora (Zoe Saldana) in order to obtain the Soul Stone. Since she was not a victim of the snap, she was not among those brought back when Hulk reversed it – and he couldn’t even get Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) back either. But, after encountering the 2014 version of the galaxy’s deadliest woman, Star-Lord is shown searching the cosmos for any sign of the Gamora he knows and loves. This could be a storyline ripe for exploration in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which Saldana has teased before she could appear in.

Valkyrie Becomes Queen Of Asgard

Since Thor has left New Asgard, a new ruler had to be appointed, and he made the no-brainer decision to make Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) the queen. The former Asgardian warrior and member of the Valkyrie is a natural choice to rule according to Thor, and the recognition is moving for the character. While there’s no official announcements on what Valkyrie’s future will be as the queen, we do know from Thompson that Taika Waititi has pitched his take for Thor 4/Thor: Ragnarok 2, which now will likely feature her as the star. The only question that remains is if she’ll get a special Nidavellir weapon of her own.

What Happens To The Infinity Stones?

The Infinity Stones have been as central to past seven years of the MCU as just about any actual characters, with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige even dubbing this 22 film story the Infinity Saga. Avengers: Endgame is the end of this story, and by all means, is also the end of the Infinity Stones being part of the ongoing narrative. It’s revealed very early on in the movie that Thanos used the power of the stones to destroy them just three weeks after the snap occurs; this is why the Avengers must travel through time to acquire past versions of them. We’ve already covered how the Avengers use the stones to successfully bring back the fallen and defeat Thanos, but what happened to the stones next?

What we do know is that the Infinity Stones must be placed in the exact same point in time in which they were taken to avoid creating new realities and futures. Captain America is tasked with doing this, meaning he will travel to Morag to put back the Power Stone in 2014, Vormir to give back the Soul Stone, the Battle of New York in 2012 to return the Time Stone and Mind Stone, Asgard in 2013 to inject the Reality Stone back into Jane Foster, and place the Space Stone back in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody in 1970. The plan is for him to do this and return five seconds later in the present day, but then he misses the window… on purpose.

Related: Captain Marvel May Have Already Teased A Proper Avengers Team Replacement

Steve Rogers Gets His Dance (& Life) With Peggy Carter In The Past

After spending the last decade being the man out of time, Captain America uses this to give himself the life he never got. Instead of going back to join the Avengers, Steve decides to stay in the past so he can have the long-awaited dance with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). This single moment isn’t the end of their time together though, as he stays with Peggy and they grow old together. We have already seen in Captain America: Civil War that Peggy passed away due to old age, but Steve now was able to experience a full life together, as he is able to accept a life outside of war for the first time ever.

Falcon Becomes The New Captain America (Not Bucky)

While Cap didn’t make it back to the present day as the plan originally called for, he does return to Avengers HQ to be reunited with his best friends Sam Wilson aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) one more time. The old man Steve Rogers is sitting on a bench when Sam and Bucky notice him, and Bucky tells Sam to go over first. Sam mentions to Steve that it will be strange to live in a world without Captain America. Steve uses this opportunity to pull out the star-spangled shield and gives it to Sam, hoping that he will be the new Captain America. Sam is honored to have the shield, while Bucky appears to be perfectly happy with Steve’s decision. This will be explored further in the upcoming Disney+ series, Falcon & The Winter Soldier.

What Happens To The Rest Of The Characters At The End Of Avengers: Endgame

As for the rest of the characters in Avengers: Endgame – and there sure are a lot of them – they mostly just get quick bookends to this story that can set up their own futures. Banner is still injured and in his Professor Hulk form, while Hawkeye and Wanda have one final talk before he returns to his farmhouse to be reunited with his family. We get a quick shot of Wakanda where Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Shuri (Letitia Wright), and Ramonda (Angela Bassett) look over their thriving advanced nation. Peter returns to school an emotional wreck, but finally gets to see Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) again. Scott sits on his porch with Hope van Dyne aka Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) and an older Cassie Lang (Emma Furhmann), potentially setting up the trio working together in the future.

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see scenes like these for every character, with Doctor Strange and Captain Marvel among those not to be seen again after the funeral.

Who Are The Avengers Now?

With most of the original Avengers dead, old, or leaving, where does this leave the superhero team? Avengers: Endgame never addresses an actual passing of the torch and formation of a new team, so it is unclear at the moment if the Avengers even truly exist anymore. If they do, it may only be in loose forms, where Professor Hulk may be the only one to stick around. Rhodey is still an Avenger and didn’t drive off in the sunset at the end, so it could just be him and Hulk that are left. That said, Tony did knight Spider-Man in space to make him an Avenger, which could make him an actual member too – if he had any interest that is. Captain Marvel’s possible affiliation with them is unclear as she barely was a part of their team to begin with, but maybe Fury convinces her otherwise.

Additionally, we could see Falcon and Scarlet Witch reinstated with the Avengers. Secretary Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt) was at Tony’s funeral with all of them and showed no signs of arresting them, so the Sokovia Accords could have been voided or their past actions forgotten, which would allow them to rejoin the team. There’s also a case to be made for Ant-Man to be a member of the team officially now, as well as other heroes like Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Wasp, and more. If they aren’t members now, there is still a good chance they’ll be called upon in the future.

What Marvel Movies Are Next After Avengers: Endgame?

Avengers: Endgame is a satisfying conclusion to the MCU up to this point, but the universe is not going to slow down now. It will move forward in just a few months with the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home, which will see Peter go on summer vacation to try and get away from the superhero life after this traumatic experience. The film was recently revealed by Kevin Feige to actually be part of Phase 3 and not the kick off to Phase 4 as previously thought. But, this just means that the new Phase will kick off a brand new era with a different familiar face.

Related: Avengers: Infinity War Doesn’t Set Up Spider-Man: Far From Home

Marvel Studios is currently expected to have two 2020 releases and all signs point to those being Black Widow – which is definitely a prequel following her death in Avengers: Endgame – and a new cosmic franchise The Eternals. After this, Black Panther 2 and Doctor Strange 2 are both in development with directors Ryan Coogler and Scott Derrickson returning to their respective franchises. James Gunn was also previously reinstated on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but his initial firing has pushed back the expected timeframe. We’ll also be getting a Shang-Chi movie directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, marking the MCU’s first Asian-led movie. All of these movies are technically unconfirmed from Marvel, and even though Captain Marvel 2Ant-Man 3Thor 4, or Spider-Man 3 have also yet to be announced, they will likely happen too.

The MCU Is Now Set In 2023

One aspect to Avengers: Endgame‘s ending that may add some confusion to the larger MCU moving forward is the timeline. The movie features a five-year time jump from the end of Avengers: Infinity War and the 2014 set scenes with Thanos, Gamora, and Nebula state that these events are happening nine years in the future. That means, with little room for leeway, that the ending of Avengers: Endgame and everything that will follow it chronologically are going to be taking place several years in the future (for us).

In the past, Marvel films took place in the same year they are released – unless otherwise noted. This will not be the case anymore, as the five year Decimation period will forever remain part of the MCU’s history. Thankfully, Marvel should be able to shorten this window fairly quickly, as Black Widow and The Eternals are expected to be prequels, while the rest of Phase 4 could follow these characters in the almost immediate aftermath of Avengers: Endgame. Now we’ll just need to hope they can do this and avoid making major continuity errors.

More: Every Phase 4 MCU Movie In Development


2019-04-25 05:04:15

Cooper Hood

Gotham Introduced Its Real Barbara Gordon, The Future Batgirl

Gotham has finally confirmed viewers’ suspicions that the newest, youngest member of the cast is, in fact, Barbara Gordon, who will eventually take up the mantle of Batgirl. In the Batman comic books, Barbara is the daughter of Commissioner Jim Gordon and decides to follow Batman’s example in becoming a vigilante, taking to the streets under the name of Batgirl in an attempt to help fight crime in a way that her father cannot.

Introduced in the 1960s by creators Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino, Batgirl proved hugely popular with comic readers and spearheaded the progression of women taking on more active roles in superhero stories. As well as being a tough crime-fighter, Barbara has a PhD and following her paralysis at the hands of Joker in The Killing Joke, adopted the role of Oracle instead – aiding her allies with remote hacking and computer skills.

Related: Gotham’s Final Joker Look Isn’t Perfect – But It Works For The Show

Barbara Gordon is not only an integral part of Batman canon but also a huge part of Jim Gordon’s personal arc. And, since the Commissioner is very much at the heart of Gotham, it’s only natural that Barbara would feature in the show, although her introduction has proven far less straightforward on screen than on the page.

In Gotham‘s first season, Jim is in a relationship with Barbara Kean – Barbara Gordon’s mother in the comic books. Unfortunately, their relationship proves rather short-lived and after Kean descended into a life of villainy, murder and organized crime, it seemed that any reconciliation with the GCPD’s bastion of morality was firmly out of the question.

Naturally, this forced Gotham viewers to question how Jim’s daughter would be introduced into the series, or indeed whether she would feature at all. Barbara Gordon’s Gotham debut looked even more unlikely when Lee Thompkins, Jim’s second love interest, tragically miscarried the couple’s child and as the “No Man’s Land” arc commenced, having a child seemed the furthest thing from Jim’s mind.

Due to pure chance (and a healthy dose of adrenaline-fueled lust), Batgirl’s existence in Gotham was set into motion early in Gotham season 5, as Jim Gordon and Barbara Kean shared a night of passion within the comfy trappings of the GCPD Captain’s office. Speculation soon began suggesting that this brief tryst could pave the way for the birth of Barbara Gordon and, sure enough, Kean announced her pregnancy a couple of episodes later.

Related: 10 Times Gotham Strayed From Canon

However, it wasn’t until Gotham‘s second-to-last episode that the link between this newborn child and Batgirl was cemented. Fresh from freeing the city from the clutches of Bane and Nyssa al Ghul, Gordon holds his infant child and says “I don’t even know what to call her.” Clearly not feeling the need to discuss naming choices with the baby’s father, Kean declares that the child will be named “Barbara” – thus confirming the Batgirl link that many fans already strongly suspected.

While this moment was relatively low-key compared to the many other goings-on in the episode’s conclusion, the confirmation of Barbara Gordon actually represents a major piece of Jim Gordon’s story. It could even be argued that Gotham, essentially a Jim Gordon solo venture, would feel incomplete without introducing the Commissioner’s famous crime-fighting daughter. It’ll be fascinating to see what role young Barbara could play in the flashforwards that will occur during the forthcoming series finale.

Next: Gotham’s Batman Finale Reveal Proves The Show Changed Focus

Gotham season 5 will conclude with “The Beginning…” April 25th on Fox.


2019-04-23 02:04:46

Craig Elvy

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Voted Most Anticipated Future MCU Movie

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 tops fans’ list as their most-anticipated future Marvel Studios film. It’s been a tumultuous last several months for the MCU cosmic sub-franchise, having been put through the wringer after director and writer James Gunn was booted out of the job last year when his past offensive tweets were unearthed. For quite a time, the job was up for grabs, but in an unprecedented move, Disney reconsidered and hired Gunn back. And the public is excited about the project now more than ever.

Not much is known regarding the narrative for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, considering that much of it is expected to hinge on Avengers: Endgame. Considering the state of majority of the heroes after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, only Rocket and Nebula are left from their ranks. Kraglin is supposedly on his own mission, and there’s a good chance that he also survived the snap. So at this point, it’s difficult to gauge how the threequel will pan out given the circumstance. Despite that, fans are excited to see where the cosmic heroes’ next adventure will bring them.

Related: Every MCU Movie Coming After Captain Marvel

According to a poll done by Rotten Tomatoes, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the most-anticipated MCU film post-Endgame. The Gunn directed/written film garnered 63% of the votes, followed by Black Panther 2 and Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Far From Home tied for second place with 48%. Rounding out the top five slots are Cate Shortland’s Black Widow (40%), Chloe Zhao’s The Eternals (14%), and Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi (11%). People could vote for multiple films during the process, and they’ve also included projects that are supposed to be in active development despite Marvel Studios not yet officially announcing them.

It’s understandable that The Eternals and Shang-Chi get the bottom two spots, considering that not much is known about those projects at this point. Even in the comic books, they’re the more obscure ones, with not much recognition outside of those who are avid readers of their adventures. But considering Marvel Studios ability to develop lower-tiered comic book characters and transform them into household names, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that they’ll gain the popularity that other MCU heroes are now enjoying. If anything, the Guardians of the Galaxy heroes were unknown before they broke out in Gunn’s first film from 2014.

Seeing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as a runaway winner in this poll is quite interesting seeing that it precedes the sequel for Black Panther, which broke a lot of records and was the best received critically out of the MCU’s offerings.  Additionally, it doesn’t seem like release date matters much when it comes to fans’ preference, with Far From Home coming out a couple months after Endgame, and it’s expected to have strong narrative links to the ensemble event. Following the firing of Gunn, he signed on to direct and write DC’s The Suicide Squad 2, slated to come out in 2021 and it remains to his current priority. That means that this threequel likely won’t hit theaters until at least late 2022 or early 2023.

More: Marvel Movie Timeline: A Complete History Of The MCU

Source: Rotten Tomatoes


2019-04-22 07:04:09

Ana Dumaraog

24 Hidden Things In Back To The Future Only Super Fans Caught

The story behind the creation of Back to the Future happened by accident. While on a promotional tour for the film Used Cars, Bob Gale, who would become one of Back to the Future‘s writers and producers, made a stop in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. He decided to visit his parent’s old home and for some reason, wound up flipping through his father’s old yearbooks.

Bob ended up learning that his father was the president of his graduating class. He then started thinking about different scenarios and whether or not he would have been friends with his father back in the day since Bob himself does not consider himself to be the type of person to run for class president.

When he returned to Hollywood, he got together with his friend, Robert Zemeckis, and the two started brainstorming and coming up with ideas for a film. It did not take long before they came up with a story to pitch to Columbia Pictures. Their pitch was given an instant greenlight and the birth of one of the most iconic film trilogies of all time happened.

After working hard at creating a script for the film, the next step was casting. Both Zemeckis and Gale wanted Michael J. Fox from the start but were forced by Universal to use Eric Stoltz, who was fired after six weeks of shooting. When they finally worked out a deal to get Fox, the film was ready to go and the rest is history.

In honor of the massive fan base that Back to the Future has created over the past 30 years, we put together a list of 25 hidden things only super-fans caught.

24 Did He Say Red?

During the original Back to the Future film, Marty McFly returns to Hill Valley in 1985 by crashing into the old movie theater, which is now called Assembly of the Christ. When he gets back, he yells out to a bum that was sleeping on a park bench. He did not yell anything random, he yelled, “Red!”

This was a line that was added by Michael J. Fox during the filming and had very little significance in the overall plot of the film. It did, however, cause a ton of debate by the super-fans who began arguing that this was actually Red Thomas, the city’s mayor.

Bob Gale would later correct this and clarify that this was not Red Thomas, and just an actor playing a bum in the film.

23 The Atomic Kid

The Atomic Kid was a science-fiction comedy film starring the late Mickey Rooney, who played a uranium prospector. He ends up coming across an atomic test site and survives an atomic bomb detonation, gaining super powers in the process.

This film was fitting because it was playing at the cinema in the Town Theater during Marty McFly’s original trip to 1955. It was an Easter egg referencing the original script which involved Marty going to an Atomic test site in search of enough power to get back home.

22 Battle Of The Bands Rockstar Cameo

Besides the fact that Back to the Future has become one of the most iconic movie franchises of all time, the movie was also popular because of its’ amazing soundtrack including the film’s theme song, “Power of Love,” by Huey Lewis and the News.

Not long after Mary gets to school, do we get introduced to his band, The Pinheads, who are trying out to perform at the school dance. They are cut short of their audition by an angry man with a megaphone screaming about them being, “too darn loud.” The man who played the angry teacher was none other than Huey Lewis himself.

The song they were playing? It was, of course, “The Power of Love.”

21 Sierra No. 3, Hollywood’s Most Famous Train

Becoming a star in Hollywood can happen to just about anyone, or anything. Many people do not realize that there is a locomotive train called the Sierra No. 3 that has been starring in films since 1897. It is one of the most iconic trains in cinema history and was used in Back to the Future Part III.

The train is destroyed in the end of the film after running off the rails and into a ravine. But fortunately for locomotive fans, that was just a quarter-scale model. The actual Sierra No.3 was only used for shots where the actors were needed in close. There was too much history with the train to destroy it after having been around for nearly 100 years.

20 Who Is Joseph Glidden?

Since we are talking about Back to the Future Part III, let’s stay with the same film for a moment and talk about the scene where Doc goes into the local saloon after having his heart broken and was preparing to drink. He is approached by a random man who tries to help him get through this tough time.

The old man who appears to be just a random character put in place to help carry the scene is actually supposed to be Joseph Glidden, the man who invented barbed wire and turned into one of the richest men in America. He even makes a mention of it by telling Doc, “…peddling this barbed wire across the country.”

19 The (Edward) Van Halen Cassette Tape

Since this film has many memorable scenes, it was very hard to pinpoint the most important ones that most people missed the first time it came out. One of the important scenes was when Marty put together this entire scheme to scare his father George into asking out Lorraine, his mother. Marty dressed up in a hazmat radiation suit and called himself Darth Vader while blasting music on a walkman.

The cassette he used had Edward Van Halen written on it, with the Edward looking as if it was added later and shoved onto the tape. The reason is because Van Halen did not give the film permission to use their music or name, but Eddie Van Halen did. He even created the guitar sound and did not tell anyone until many years after.

18 The Cubs Win The World Series

The most famous prediction the second film ever made was not really missed by anyone. They predicted that the Chicago Cubs would win the World Series in 2015, over a team from Miami, which there was not in 1989. Shortly after the film, the Florida Marlins emerged from Miami and began playing in the MLB.

But what they did miss was how the Chicago Cubs won 97 games in 2015 and lost in the NLCS, one series away from the World Series. They would then go on to win the World Series in 2016. Although the film was off by one year, the fact that they predicted a team that has not won a World Series since 1907 would win one in 2015, a year off the actual results, is pretty impressive.

17 Nixon In The Headlines, Vietnam War Continues…

In Back to the Future Part II, when Doc and Marty return to Hill Valley in 1985 after going into the future to 2015, they return to their homes thinking they are going back to their normal lives. However, when Marty enters through the window of his home, he ends up breaking into someone else’s house and quickly takes off running down the street.

This alternate version of 1985 is a very dangerous place that has completely changed after Biff got the sports-book and took over the town. This new version of Hill Valley was so dark that they even made sure the newspaper headlines were just as dark. In one scene that most people missed, one of the headlines on the newspaper states that Richard Nixon is seeking a fifth term for President while the Vietnam War continues.

16 Predicting Mobile Payments

When Back to the Future Part II first came out, it was November of 1989 and technology was on the verge of a revolution. However, many of the things that we saw in the film were nothing more than a bunch of crazy ideas that the writers came up with just for fun. They had no clue it would change the actual future of technology.

One of the devices most people missed was when Marty makes a remote payment on his credit card by scanning it on a machine. The payment instantly goes through and the film continues. But the idea that we can make payments this way was many years away.

15 The Future Of The McFly Family

Although this has become a very popular Easter egg over time, when the film initially was released, there were not very many people who noticed that the 2015 version of Marty McFly had a daughter that looked eerily similar to Michael J. Fox, who we get to meet when we are introduced to the family. That was because it was Fox, in dressed as his own daughter. He also played himself and his son too.

The other detail people never realized about this scene was that Marty McFly Jr. was a millennial long before that word was ever invented. It was a sad reality that we saw coming back in the late 80s and yet could not stop the children of this world from growing into millennials.

14 Statler Toyota

The first scene of the trilogy is stacked with Easter eggs including a radio commercial for Statler Toyota. It was actually the first line of dialogue in the film franchise. This would be the first, of many, Statler references throughout the films.

The Statler family sold horses back in 1885 before changing into a DeSoto dealership in 1931, a Studebaker dealership in 1955, and finally, a Toyota dealership in 1985. The ranch owned by Mr. Statler was also the place where Doc Brown worked growing up.

13 Selling Out For The Money

Do you know why Steven Spielberg’s net worth is estimated at $3.7 billion dollars?

Because he has always been ten steps ahead of everyone else when it comes to making money. A prime example was how he sold an ad tie-in for E.T. for $1 million dollars to Hershey’s to use their Reese’s Pieces in the film, and it became iconic. They also had several others in place throughout the film. It was not the first time a film used product placement, it was just one of the most obvious times.

He would then kick it up a notch for Back to the Future Part II with several deals in place including one with Pizza Hut that ended up being so lucrative, Pizza Hut sent a pizza designer to the set to make sure their pizza looked perfect.

12 Biff’s Alternate World Has No Clock Tower

No one enjoys watching the alternate universe where Biff has used the sports-book to become a billionaire who owns the town. His version of Hill Valley was so dark, even Marty had trouble avoiding a crime scene that was fresh with two chalk outlines of bodies.

As Marty continues walking through the town, he ends up in the center of town where the old clock tower used to be. However, in this alternate reality, there is no clock tower to enjoy. It is the only time in all the alternate universes where the clock tower does not exist.

11 The Fridge & Nuclear Blast Connection To Indiana Jones

The original idea for the time machine was not a DeLorean. It was actually a refrigerator that needed the power of a nuclear blast to send it into the past. The first scene of the film delivers a memorable newscast where the first mention of a nuclear research facility is mentioned.

The beauty of this reference is that Steven Spielberg would later use it in the fourth Indiana Jones film when Indy finds himself in a house inside a nuclear testing facility. He quickly jumps into the fridge and closes the door, only to be blown away to safety before emerging from the wild ride.

10 Eastwood Ravine

When Doc Brown saves the day in Back to the Future Part III‘s epic conclusion, he crashes the train to help get Marty back to 1985 while remaining in 1885 to be with Clara. As the train is heading towards the end of the track, Doc and Clara escape on his hover board and Marty gets up to speed to be able to get back home. But no one knew that Doc escaped the train.

Earlier in the film, Marty said his name to the people in the town was Clint Eastwood, and it stuck. So when the train crashed, and the town believed that this random man who they had known for maybe a couple weeks, had perished in it, they changed the name from Shonash Ravine to Eastwood Ravine.

9 Marty Never Gets His Drinks

In each of the three Back to the Future movies, Marty orders himself something to drink. This recurring gag happens in the same corner restaurant that was a saloon, diner, and cafe over the course of the three films.

In the first film, he orders a coffee but never gets to drink it. He orders a Pepsi in the second film and ends up fighting Biff instead of being able to drink it. By the time we get to the third film, the drink has turned into an alcoholic beverage when he orders whisky and, again, does not get to enjoy it.

8 Legendary Guitar Player References

Not only was Michael J. Fox a very skilled actor loved by millions of people all over the world, he was also a pretty good guitar player. He is actually the person playing Johnny B. Goode in the movie after having learned it not long before they started filming.

Besides that, one of the things people missed from the famous guitar scene was the many references he gave to legendary guitar players. He honors Eddie Van Halen with the tapping guitar technique he made famous while also playing the guitar behind his head like the great Jimi Hendrix and kicking the amp as only Pete Townshend of AC/DC could do.

7 Jaws 19

In 2015, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the original Back to the Future film’s release, Universal Pictures decided to make fun of their own classic film, Jaws, by creating a very funny trailer for the fictional film we are teased about when Marty goes into the future in the second film.

The piece that everyone missed from the Jaws 19 scene was that it was directed by Max Spielberg, who just so happens to be the real life son of the original Jaws director, and creator, Steven Spielberg.

6 Doc’s Train Shirt

One of the most missed details in the entire Back to the Future franchise was the shirt Doc Brown was wearing in the beginning in the second film. Since the film was stocked full of information, most people were not paying attention to the details in his yellow button up shirt.

However, upon further examination, you might notice that his shirt is covered in trains that are being chased by men on horses, an easy glimpse into the future of the franchise and the final film’s epic finale.

But it does not stop there. In the third film, Doc goes on to turn that shirt into his bandanna, just in case you were not paying attention.

5 Inside Cafe 80s

The second film in the trilogy, Back to the Future Part II sent Marty McFly into the future, to the year 2015. Although the film was released in 1989, it featured many cool glimpses into the future but one of the coolest moments was when he entered Cafe 80’s, a 1980s themed nostalgia cafe.

The interior of the cafe was covered in things from the 80’s and even featured specific items like the classic arcade game, Pac-Man. If you look up on the wall, it has everything from a Los Angeles Dodgers World Series Champion t-shirt to a poster of the Royal Wedding. They also have old issues of Sports Illustrated, three different electric guitars, a row of famous political masks, some tennis shoes, a sticker wall that includes pennants, and cash.

There are several other items, but it is just too easy to break it down for you. Instead, spend a day going over it, frame by frame, and see how many of the items you can discover.

4 Twin Pines Mall Changes to Lone Pine Mall

If you can recall, the original Back to the Future movie was much darker than the other two sequels. There was even the infamous Libyan scene that took place in the empty parking lot of the Twin Pines Mall. The terrorists showed up looking for Doc, who had stolen their plutonium and replaced it with junk. They wound up shooting him, leading to Marty jumping into the DeLorean and going back to 1955.

In the first film, that scene took place in 1985 at the Twin Pines Mall. But when Marty travels back to 1955, he crashes into Mr. Peabody’s ranch, running over one of his two pine trees that were sitting near his house. The ranch was even named Twin Pines Ranch.

When Marty returns to 1985, he runs past the mall sign and it was now called Lone Pine Mall, a clue of how things are different in this future.

3 Flying Drones

Over 20 years after the release of Back to the Future Part II (1989,) if a consumer wants to purchase a drone or quadcopter for personal use, they just have to go to Best Buy or Amazon.com to find an affordable one that even a four-year old can figure out. They have become a part of mainstream technology and more and more people are starting to buy them for both commercial and consumer uses.

But that has come a long way since we were first introduced to them in the movie. Bob Gale has been asked many times over the years how they came up with the idea and he does not know. He has spoken about how the were trying to figure out ways to add technology to things we used in the late 80s and somehow that came up.

The flying drone used in the film remains one of the best future predictions in the film.

2 Thank You Tom Wilson!

After having spent most of his acting career interviewing about the Back to the Future trilogy, Tom Wilson, who plays the meathead Biff, did something that many people considered unusual at the time but was actually brilliant. He did an interview by typing up a one-page story about some of the behind the scenes details everyone wanted to hear about.

One of the best parts of his entire story was that there was many improvisations made during the filming of the three films. But the biggest revelation was that he improvised two of the best lines in the film. He claims he improvised calling people butthead, as well as “Make like a tree and get out of here.”

1 Opening Scene Foreshadowing

Without knowing much about it, the film presents fans with a massive foreshadowing moment within seconds of the film’s opening scene. Right away, we are shown an impressive amount of clocks in Doc Brown’s house. One of which showed a man hanging from a clock tower. It was silent film star Harold Lloyd and it gives away the ending without anyone ever noticing.

We also get a few other hidden gems including a newspaper article hanging from the wall that explains what happened to Doc Brown’s mansion (It burned down.) Then, on the television, a news report opens up with a story about a nuclear research facility denying the rumors that any plutonium had been stolen from their site. A few seconds later, Marty McFly enters the room and lays down his skateboard, only to watch it roll right underneath a chair, hitting a box of plutonium.


2019-04-20 07:04:22

Thomas Delatte

Will Eric Stoltz’s Back To The Future Footage Ever Be Released?

Eric Stoltz was famously cast as Marty McFly in Back To The Future and shot for over a month before being replaced, but will his footage ever be released? Back To The Future was a project created by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) and creative partner Bob Gale, and told the story of a teenager accidentally sent back in time. Zemeckis had always wanted Michael J. Fox for the lead role of Marty, but the actor was busy filming a TV show when production was set to start. Eric Stoltz was cast instead, but after filming most of the movie, Zemeckis and Gale realized Stoltz wasn’t right for the part.

They showed assembled footage of Back To The Future to Steven Speilberg, who concurred the actor felt miscast. The team made the difficult decision to fire Stoltz from the project, and a gap in Fox’s schedule allowed him to quickly jump on and take over. Since Stoltz appeared in nearly every scene, almost the entire movie had to be reshot with Fox. While this added millions to the budget, the shoot went smooth once Fox came on and the movie would later become a beloved classic that spawned two sequels.

Related: What If Back To The Future Was Cast Today?

While stills of Eric Stoltz in Back To The Future have hinted at what the movie could have looked like with him playing Marty, no full sequences of him have ever emerged. The closest fans have come to seeing Stoltz in the movie came from a brief, wordless montage of footage found on a 2010 Blu-ray release where the actor appears in key scenes that were later reshot with Fox.

Zemeckis and Gale have both praised Eric Stoltz over the years, stating that while he gave a great dramatic performance, his intensity clashed with the tone they were trying to achieve. There have been conflicting reports over just how much of Back To The Future Stoltz had shot before being replaced; some stated it was a month, and while others put it closer to the movie almost being wrapped.

Either way, that leaves a lot of unused footage of Eric Stoltz from Back To The Future sitting in a vault somewhere. Producer Bob Gale confirmed the footage wasn’t destroyed and still exists, and they didn’t include more on the 2010 Blu-ray out of respect to Stoltz. Gale also refused to rule out releasing more footage on a future release but nothing is planned. Theoretically, it would be possible to assemble Stoltz’s footage into a brand new version of Back To The Future – which would almost feel like a bizarre alternate timeline in itself – but there are currently no concrete plans to release it.

While Back To The Future fans have been dying to see more footage of Eric Stoltz’s take on Marty, there’s a good chance it will remain locked away. There was a reason it wasn’t used in the first place, so the creatives involved might want to keep it under lock and key.

Next: Why Back To The Future 4 Never Happened (& Never Will)


2019-04-19 08:04:24

Padraig Cotter

Star Trek Theory: Discovery Time Travels Into The Future For Season 3

Star Trek: Discovery season 3 may be preparing to boldly go somewhere the franchise has been avoiding for awhile – its own future. After the debut season focused on the Klingon War and the Mirror Universe, Star Trek: Discovery season 2 has largely hinged on time travel, to a degree that’s essentially unprecedented in previous Star Trek stories. The mysterious Red Angel – eventually revealed to be Michael Burnham’s long-thought-dead mother – has been bouncing around the timeline in an attempt to stop Control – Section 31’s rogue A.I. that shares some striking similarities to the Borg – from destroying all life in the galaxy.

We don’t yet know how the battle between Control and humanity will play out, but it’s becoming clear that Discovery’s third season is going to be something different. Per SyFy, the cast and crew of the show hinted that the season finale is going to be a game changer. Doug Jones, who plays Commander Saru, said the script for the finale made his jaw drop, and followed that up by saying “I think the fans can expect to boldly go where no Star Trek series has ever gone before.

Related: Star Trek Theory: Discovery Season 2 Is The Borg’s Origin

Similarly, producer Alex Kurtzman says the show is soon going to answer many of the continuity questions that have plagued Discovery from the very beginning, and again hinted at a major shift in the show’s status quo.

All of this cryptic hype may be hinting at an unprecedented change for the show’s third season – a one way trip into the far future. How could this possibly happen? Let’s take a look at how Star Trek: Discovery season 3 could be completely different.

  • This Page: All The Very Specific Star Trek: Discovery Evidence Of Time Travel
  • Page 2: Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Is Set In The Future

The Discovery Now Has The Ability To Time Travel

One of Star Trek: Discovery’s biggest additions to the franchise’s mythos has been the time crystal. You no longer have to whip around the sun or follow a Borg sphere to get to the past, you just need a time crystal and the right kind of technology to harness its power. A modified time crystal was first featured in the season 1 standout episode “Magic To Make The Sanest Man Go Mad,” which saw Harry Mudd use time travel for his own nefarious purposes. In season 2, Dr. Gabrielle Burnham utilized a time crystal in her development of a suit that could be used for time travel for Section 31. Dr. Burnham was forced to use the suit when the Klingons attacked her family, and she found herself tethered to a point 950 years in her relative future. Control managed to destroy the crystal and send Dr. Burnham and the Red Angel suit into the time stream, their ultimate destination unknown.

Related: Star Trek: Discovery’s Red Angel Reveal Was a Good Twist (But Poorly Executed)

In the latest Star Trek: Discovery episode, “Through The Valley Of Shadows,” Captain Pike travels to the Klingon world of Boreth, where a heavily protected monastery houses dozens of time crystals. Before he’s allowed to take one, Pike is forced to look into his own future, where he gets a glimpse of the gruesome fate that awaits him – he becomes an unrecognizable invalid after an accident on a training vessel, as revealed in The Original Series classic episode “The Menagerie.”

Pike obtained the time crystal as part of the Discovery’s latest plan to thwart Control by sending the sphere data into the far future, but as the episode ended, the ship was staring down over thirty Section 31 vessels intent on getting that information. Even under ideal circumstances, time crystals are volatile technology, and there’s no guarantee the Discovery’s plan would go off without a hitch, even with what looks to be an assist from the repaired Enterprise.

Discovery’s Crew Know How the Red Angel Suit Works

The mystery of the Red Angel has largely been solved, as we know it was Dr. Burnham attempting to change the future so that Control wouldn’t obliterate the galaxy. The crew of the Discovery also know the suit will only work for Dr. Burnham, or someone with near identical DNA, like her daughter.

It seems likely that Dr. Burnham will eventually find a way to get herself and the suit back to Discovery’s relative present, and the Red Angel tech will play a role in Control’s downfall. How exactly that turns out is anyone’s guess, but it’s likely a safe bet that victory will come at a cost for both Burnhams.

Related: Discovery’s Michael Burnham Obsession Is Hurting Star Trek Canon

Discovery is Desperate to Keep the Sphere Data From Control

The sphere data – a vast archive of universal knowledge bequeathed to the Discovery by a dying entity – contains the key to Control’s galactic conquest. It’s not hard to figure out why – a malevolent artificial intelligence could likely utilize such a vast resource as the sphere data to inflict devastation on a universal scale. The Discovery crew have attempted to delete the archive, but found it to be encrypted by a code they will never be able to crack. And so the Discovery itself has turned into this season’s MacGuffin, with “Through The Valley Of Shadows” flirting with the idea of destroying the ship to thwart Control.

Related: Star Trek Theory: [SPOILER] is Discovery’s Final Captain

It seems highly unlikely the Discovery is going to meet its end on a show called Star Trek: Discovery, but the crew is running out of viable solutions to keep the sphere data away from Control.

Page 2 of 2: Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Is Set In The Future

Theory: Discovery Incorporates the Time Crystal Into the Spore Drive

So how can Discovery possibly keep the sphere data away from Control? The crew’s current plan was to send the sphere data into the far future where Control could never get to it, but the specifics of that plan are still sketchy. It might make sense to pair it with the show’s other massive leap forward in previously unheard of Star Trek technology – the spore drive. The spore drive was used during season 1 to bounce the Discovery in and out of war zones in the blink of an eye, the Federation’s most potent weapon against the Klingons. It eventually malfunctioned and sent the Discovery hurtling into the Mirror Universe, where it traded in the treacherous Captain Gabriel Lorca for the equally treacherous Emperor Philippa Georgiou.

Combining the technology of the spore drive and the time crystals makes a certain amount of sense – they’re both on the mystical end of Star Trek tech, and neither was mentioned in any previous iteration of Star Trek, a surprising omission considering Discovery precedes all Star Trek series other than Enterprise. How could everyone have just forgotten about two such potent technologies?

Related: Star Trek: Discovery’s Burnham Story Homages DS9’s “The Visitor”

Star Trek: Discovery Could Jump Far Forward in Time For Season 3

It’s easy to imagine Starfleet washing their hands of both the spore drive and time crystal technology if the Discovery – the first Starfleet ship to use either – was presumed lost due to complications with that technology. What if, in its attempts to keep the sphere data away from Control, the Discovery ends up time traveling itself hundreds of years in the future – perhaps even past Dr. Burnham’s tether point – with no way of returning? To residents of the 23rd century, it would appear as if the Discovery and its crew sacrificed themselves to protect all of existence, and it wouldn’t be much of a leap to see the Federation outlaw the use of both the spore drive and time crystals as simply being too dangerous.

Leaving the Discovery stranded in the future would solve many of the show’s lingering problems. Since its very first episode, it’s been hindered by fairly standard prequelitis issues, with Michael Burnham bearing the brunt of it; it still seems unthinkable we could have never heard of Spock’s adopted human sister. But throwing the ship into the future would explain why Burnham isn’t a pivotal figure in Federation history, and the temporal fallout from Dr. Burnham’s missions and a spore jump into the future could conceivably rewrite Michael’s personal history, maybe even making it so she was raised by her own mother instead of Sarek and Amanda.

Related: Star Trek: Discovery Is Close To Repeating The Mistakes Of Season 1

It would also, finally, move the Star Trek franchise forward. Beginning with J.J. Abrams’ 2009 film reboot, all recent iterations of Star Trek have toiled in the franchise’s past, either with alternate reality stories on the big screen, or the Discovery’s adventures on the small screen, which predate TOS by about a decade. The upcoming Picard series was the first project to promise a look at Star Trek’s relative future; it’ll take place years after Star Trek: Nemesis, which is still the story that takes place the furthest into Star Trek’s future, in the late 24th century.

But Star Trek: Discovery has the chance to do something even more ambitious, by potentially transporting the ship hundreds of years into the future, far past the era of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. Does the Federation even still exist that far into the future? The storytelling possibilities are essentially limitless.

Make no mistake, this would be a massive shift in Star Trek: Discovery’s M.O. The show would change in ways that are almost too numerous to list on a very fundamental level. But say what you will of Discovery, it’s never been a show that was afraid to swing for the fences. Pushing the show into Star Trek’s far future really would take Star Trek: Discovery where no one has gone before.

Next: Star Trek Movies & TV: What The Franchise’s Future Looks Like


2019-04-08 05:04:20

Dusty Stowe

Shazam’s Ending Sets Up A Very Different DCEU Future

Shazam! set the DCEU on a whole different path. Starring Asher Angel and Zachary Levi, Shazam! is probably the most entertaining film in the DCEU to date. It effortlessly blends light and dark, with a coming-of-age narrative that’s sure to touch viewers’ hearts. While the movie is releasing in a year packed with superhero blockbusters – it comes shortly after Captain Marvel, and will swiftly be followed by Hellboy and Avengers: Endgame – positive word-of-mouth means box office predictions are improving. It’s not expected to reach Aquaman levels, but it certainly looks as though Shazam! is another win for Warner Bros.

For years, the DCEU struggled with a narrative that it was in a perpetual state of crisis. In part that was a result of a longstanding PR problem, with a constant stream of leaks and few proper official announcements. Directors James Wan and David F. Sandberg corrected this with Aquaman and Shazam!, carefully controlling the release of information so their films didn’t get that fatal negative buzz. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. is clearly confident in the new trajectory of the DCEU; they have a packed slate running through to 2022, with no less than seven films in various stages of development – some still gestating, others filming now or in post-production.

Related: Every DC Movie Confirmed For After Shazam

So what does Shazam! tell viewers about the future shape of the DCEU? The DCEU has changed significantly ever since the release of 2017’s Justice League, but in a good way. The shared universe, along with separate DC movies, are growing rapidly. But where does it all go from here? It’s time to explore the story beats, and see just what Shazam! sets up.

  • This Page: Shazam! Introduces Magic To The DCEU
  • Page 2: Shazam! And The Justice League
  • Page 3: The DCEU Stories After Shazam!

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a strong basis in science, to the extent that Marvel consulted with quantum physicists when they were planning to integrate magic in Doctor Strange. In contrast, the DCEU has no such pretensions. Previous films had already established the existence of magic and gods – the Enchantress is a mystical villain in Suicide Squad, and the gods are an important part of Wonder Woman – but Shazam! decides it’s time to give magic a proper introduction. Billy Batson is whisked away to the Rock of Eternity, an other-dimensional plane that is said to be the source of magic. By the end of Shazam!, the Rock of Eternity – with all its attendant risks and hazards – has officially become the Shazam Family’s lair.

It looks as though, in the DCEU, anyone has the potential to do magic. Doctor Sivana deduced that the Rock of Eternity could be reached through seven uses of seven symbols, although granted at great risk. These runes seem to have tremendous power, and they’re presumably only the tip of the iceberg. Meanwhile, at the end of the film, Sivana is offered further secrets of magic by Mister Mind, a mysterious yet powerful caterpillar/worm creature. “You walking, talking monkeys with your cave drawings,” Mister Mind mocked. “You assume there’s only one way to gain magic. No, no, no.” He spoke ominously of the Seven Realms – a reference to the Seven Magiclands from the comics, each of which has their own brand of magic. All of these Realms are naturally linked to the Rock of Eternity, meaning the Shazam Family will surely be at the center of Mister Mind’s plans, and magic will continue to be developed in the DCEU.

Related: Shazam’s After-Credits Scenes Explained

Early DCEU films were famed for their troubled productions, with directors reportedly in a state of constant conflict with studio execs. That came to a head in Justice League, where the studio pushed for a very different version of the film to the one Zack Snyder had planned. When Snyder departed after a family tragedy, he was replaced by Joss Whedon, and the result was something of a Frankenstein’s Monster that had barely been stitched together into a coherent story.

Warner Bros. learned from their mistakes. They’re now allowing each director to make their own kind of film, one that perfectly suits their vision of the character and their world. Aquaman was so very characteristic of Wan – the horror director’s imprint is most notable during the thrilling scene featuring the Trench – while Shazam! is exactly what Sandberg wanted it to be. It doesn’t compromise its identity in order to fit into a shared universe; it’s allowed to be its own thing. This is so much the case that Shazam! doesn’t even feature the typical DCEU intro sequence; when questioned about this on Twitter, Sandberg noted that he wanted custom logos in the movie instead, and then admitted, “Also I forgot about that one.

Related: There Are THREE Versions Of Justice League (Including The Snyder Cut): We Explain

It’s an approach lifted straight from the comics, where the best comic books allow a creative team to do their own thing. Some comics are aimed at young adults, others deal with more mature themes; some are dark and gritty, others are light and optimistic. Just as all these different styles coexist in the same comic book world, there’s no reason they can’t coexist in the same cinematic universe as well. As Shazam! producer Peter Safran explained, “every movie… should have the right tone for that particular character.” Looking forward, that explains why Warner Bros. is building a shared universe where Shazam! is as much part of the DCEU as Cathy Yan’s low-budget, R-rated Birds of Prey.

Page 2 of 3: Shazam! and the Justice League

Meanwhile, Shazam! shows a far more fun side to the Justice League. The early DCEU lifted themes from Alan Moore’s Watchmen, imagining a world where people reacted to superhumans with hate and fear. It all culminated in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where half the world saw the Man of Steel as a Messiah and the other half envisioned him as a dangerous power that needed to be restrained. “We got lucky with Superman,” Amanda Waller reflected in Suicide Squad. “He shared our values. The next Superman might not.” Justifying the creation of the Suicide Squad, David Harbour’s Dexter Tolliver imagined a scenario where Superman ripped the roof off the White House and grabbed the President of the United States right out of the Oval Office. “Who would’ve stopped him,” he asked.

While these reactions are probably more realistic, they make for a world that’s frankly a lot darker and potentially a lot less fun. Shazam! marks the point where the DCEU has finally put that behind them; in Shazam!, superheroes are celebrities. Freddy dreams of being special and combs over superhero news clippings like a fan poring over the comics; he buys commemorative bullets that have bounced off Superman’s chest with a certificate of authenticity, just like a real-world fan managing to procure a rare piece of superhero memorabilia; and superhero merchandise is seen throughout the film. In one brilliant scene, Billy rushes through a toy shop, and tosses a Batman at Doctor Sivana. In the post-credits scene, Freddy points at his Aquaman T-shirt as evidence that talking to fish can be a useful superpower. To Freddy’s delight, when Billy joins him at school lunch “in costume,” he brings a friend with him – Superman.

Related: Shazam: Superman’s Cameo Explained

The world has embraced the Justice League, reacting to the superheroes in pretty much the same way we do in the real world. As Sandberg has previously said, the people in Shazam! (and the DCEU in general) have toys because that’s what real people do in the real world. It would only make sense to put that in Shazam! as well. In an amusingly meta touch, all the merchandise shown in the toy shop really exists; Warner Bros. put in tremendous effort to make sure they only showed action figures of characters already confirmed to be part of the DCEU.

On the subject of Superman, Shazam! uses the Man of Steel in a very different way – one that means his presence continually informs the film. Superman is essentially viewed as the ultimate superhero, an ideal for Billy to strive towards. Tellingly, when Freddy puts Billy through his paces in order to identify his powers, he first tries out all the abilities traditionally associated with Superman (even if he does substitute laser eyes for heat vision). There’s a sense of irony to this, of course; in the real world, superhero comics really began in 1938, when Superman appeared in Action Comics #1. Shazam! was originally created by DC’s rival Fawcett Comics as a sort of knock-off version of Superman; circulation editor Roscoe K. Fawcett famously commissioned his staff to”give me a Superman, only have his other identity be a 10-or 12-year-old boy rather than a man.” So it’s quite fitting for Billy to aspire to be like him.

For the DCEU, this is a brand new way in which to use the Man of Steel, and yet it seems so very appropriate. Superman barely needs to appear in a film in order to be important to it, simply because every other superhero is aware of him and vaguely wants to be him. It’s a combination of the nobility of his character, the extremity of his powers, and of course the fact that in the DCEU superheroes are now celebrities. The great thing is, in the short term, the DCEU can continue using Superman even if they don’t get Henry Cavill back; they just have to keep using that logo. It’s not a long-term solution, but it will work for now.

Page 3 of 3: The DCEU’s Future Stories After Shazam!

Shazam! isn’t expected to gross anywhere near Aquaman‘s $1 billion – it faces far too much competition for that – but frankly it doesn’t need to do so, given the film had a budget of just $90 million. That means Warner Bros. will almost certainly sign up to a sequel, and the villain has already been set up: Mister Mind. A mysterious, ruthlessly intelligent being who’s variously described as a caterpillar or a worm, Mister Mind has the power to manipulate others telepathically. He’s been described as having the body of a lowly worm, the conscience of a Hitler, and the brain of a genius. Because he’s hardly a physical powerhouse, Mister Mind prefers to find others to do his will, and is particularly associated with the Monster Society of Evil.

In a plot lifted straight from the New 52 Shazam! run in the comics, Mister Mind was introduced in Shazam!‘s opening sequence, which showed a brief glimpse of a worm-like creature in a glass jar. The jar was broken open when Sivana broke into the Rock of Eternity and freed the Seven Sins, and the creature within was finally seen approaching the defeated Sivana in his cell. Mister Mind clearly intends to use Sivana as his pawn in the sequel.

Related: Everything We Know About Shazam 2

Mister Mind also dropped a reference to the Seven Realms. In the comics, these are the Seven Magiclands, all of which are accessible through the Rock of Eternity. Interestingly, one of these Magiclands is the Wildlands, a realm inhabited by sentient creatures; recent comics have hinted that Mister Mind himself originates from the Wildlands, rather than Venus as suggested by previous comics.

Meanwhile, it has to be noted that DC has stopped killing off their villains. Traditionally, superhero films have tended to end with the villains dying; sometimes because the hero chose to kill them, sometimes due to their own mistakes, and sometimes because the hero simply didn’t choose to save them. But, while that approach works for standalone movies, it doesn’t really help establish a firm foundation for a shared universe. The best villains leave a good impression, but then are gone for good, never to be used again. Recent DCEU movies have stopped doing that, though, and a growing number of key supervillains are now at large in the DCEU; Lex Luthor, the Joker, Black Manta, Orm, and now Sivana.

Warner Bros. had originally planned to build towards a Legion of Doom plot, with various villains teaming together in order to take down the heroes. When Walter Hamada was placed in charge of the DCEU last year, there were reports that these plans had been pushed back; Hamada is focused on making each movie/franchise successful and will then start to think about a crossover once that happens. But that means the Legion of Doom is potentially only delayed, rather than cancelled altogether. Keeping key villains alive is a key step towards making that Legion a reality in a potential Justice League 2, several years down the line.

On the subject of villains, Shazam! explicitly references Black Adam, the historic Champion who went bad. Dwayne Johnson has long been signed up to play Black Adam in a future DC movie, although there’s been no news about this project for over a year. Hopefully Shazam! will perform well enough for Warner Bros. to green-light a spinoff as well as a sequel.

More: Shazam! Every Easter Egg & Secret DC Reference



2019-04-06 12:04:54

Thomas Bacon

Cable Was Originally in X-Men: Days of Future Past

Cable did not make his movie debut until Deadpool 2, but he almost appeared first in X-Men: Days of Future Past. He was originally intended to perish in battle before his role was switched with another character from the series.

The mysterious time-traveling mutant known as Cable was one of the most popular characters in the X-Men comics of the ’90s, where he would form his own team of soldiers known as X-Force, whose debut issue is still the second best-selling American comic book of all time. Cable was absent from the X-Men movies until Deadpool 2, where he was played by Josh Brolin. There were plans to make an X-Force movie with Cable in a lead role, but the recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney seems to have put those plans on hold.

Related: 8 Superhero Teams We Want To See In The MCU Now That Disney Owns Fox

It seems that Cable almost appeared in the X-Men movies a few years earlier, as Rob Liefeld (the creator of Cable) has revealed exclusively to Screen Rant that Cable was originally meant to appear in X-Men: Days of Future Past. We caught up with him at WonderCon and spoke to him about Cable and how surprised we were that it took so long for him to appear in the movies.

“He was originally in Days of Future Past in the Bishop role and he got killed. And then there was a note that came back that said he’s kind of too big of a character to do this with, and poor Bishop got slaughtered instead. But I swear to you… So, summer 2012, I was like, you can’t, you can’t have Cable. Like, as much as I want to see him, fans will freaking go nuts if they see him and you kill him immediately. He’s too big.”

Bishop only had a relatively minor role in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and almost all of his storylines from the comics were ignored. That said, there is still the possibility that future X-Men movies could cover them. The same fate almost befell Cable, who would have been reduced to a small part in another high-profile story that was essentially hijacked by Wolverine.

There was some apprehension among X-Men fans when Cable was first announced for Deadpool 2, as his character design was felt to be too over the top to be taken seriously in a movie. The Liefeld aesthetic sported by Cable in the ’90s was so divisive by fans that DC actually created a character just to mock it. Brolin proved everyone wrong by showing the world that Cable could be just as awesome on screen as he is on the page (even if he doesn’t believe so himself), so it’s a good thing that the character wasn’t reduced to a footnote in X-Men: Days of Future Past

More: Exclusive: How Deadpool Created Marvel’s Own Batman


2019-04-04 09:04:13

Scott Baird

Us Director Jordan Peele Unlikely to Cast White Male Leads in Future Films

Us director Jordan Peele says he’s unlikely to cast white male leads in future films. Since grabbing the attention of audiences during his early days on FOX’s long-running sketch comedy series MAD TV, Peele has fallen into the role of the consummate artist, working as a comedian, actor, producer, writer and director.

It was his work on Get Out – the 2017 racially charged horror film debut he wrote and directed – that not only gained him mainstream acclaim, but also earned him a best original screenplay Oscar. Overnight, Peele went from being a well-known comedian to the first black recipient of a best screenplay Oscar – a veritable game changer in terms of his career and arguably for black filmmaking in general. Here was a talent who had arrived in a big way, right in the middle of a controversy surrounding the lack of minority inclusion in the making of films, and the annual awards ceremonies that failed to recognize the few who were included.

Related: What Jeremiah 11:11 Means In Us

With the release of Us – Peele’s follow up to Get Out – now obliterating box-office records and earning the distinction of the second highest-grossing opening for an original live-action film, THR has reported that during a conversation at L.A.’s legendary Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater, the red hot writer/director revealed that he’s unlikely to cast any white male leads. Peele was met with applause and shouts of agreement when he stated to the standing room only audience that:

“I don’t see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie. Not that I don’t like white dudes. But I’ve seen that movie. It really is one of the best, greatest pieces of this story, is feeling like we are in this time – a renaissance has happened and proved the myths about representation in the industry are false.”

Ever since its release, audiences have praised Us, and the film’s ability to terrify with its unrelenting pace and downright creepy onscreen depictions of the Tethered – a brutal population of doppelgangers who want everything that the earth’s current population has denied them. The film differs from Get Out in numerous ways, but one major difference is that it doesn’t try to implement notions of race into its narrative. Instead, Peele has given audiences a spectacle of true horror movie proportions – one in which its lead characters just happen to be black. In this way, Peele has already begun to single-handedly change what many would argue has previously been a film industry that’s only interested in black casts when the focus is specifically on race.

Perhaps numerous reasons and catalysts can currently be pointed to as an explanation for Hollywood beginning to change its outdated ways. And while small pockets of people might argue that Peele shouldn’t be discounting potentially casting a white male lead at some point, the fact of the matter is that Peele’s right. He has seen that film before, as we all have. Like him or not, his arrival marks a definite turning point – not just in Hollywood inclusion or race relations, but in cinema as a whole. With that in mind, it’s hard to deny that he’s the game-changer that so many have been waiting for.

More: 10 Projects You Didn’t Know Jordan Peele Worked On Other Than Us

Source: THR


2019-03-27 06:03:04

Mike Jones

Umbrella Academy Theory: The Commission Works For a Future Villain

The Commission, the villains of The Umbrella Academy, could well be working for a mysterious enemy who originates from the post-apocalyptic future. When Five arrived in the present day in The Umbrella Academy season 1, it didn’t take long for him to be pursued by time traveling assassins. The show revealed that these agents worked for “The Commission,” a mysterious group who were attempting to ensure time stayed on a predetermined course. Five had worked for them for a while, acting as an assassin who killed anyone who threatened the timeline.

The idea of the Commission is heavily adapted from Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s original comics, in which Five had gotten caught up in the activities of a group called the Temps Aeternalis. In the comics, Hazel and Cha-Cha only appeared briefly, and they were two-dimensional at best; in fact, they unwittingly destroyed the entire planet when they stole a nuclear device, although that particular timeline was rewritten. In the Netflix series, however, they’re series regulars who are as important to the overall plot as the Umbrella Academy students themselves. Their boss, the Handler, is a recurring threat throughout season 1.

Related: Umbrella Academy Theory: The Hargreeves Family Is In A Time Loop

For all they’re loosely lifted from the comics and appear prominently in The Umbrella Academy season 1, the Commission remain enigmatic. They’re sure to return in season 2, and if so it stands to reason some of their mysteries will finally be explained.

  • This Page: The Commission in Umbrella Academy Season 1
  • Page 2: The Commission Could Be Working For A Post-Apocalyptic Villain

Operating from a base in 1955, the Commission use advanced technology and their knowledge of temporal calculations to ensure that the timeline happens as they believe it’s supposed to. They monitor the entire timeline, and identify key moments in history when an individual’s free will risks pushing history in a different direction. That individual is then assassinated by one of their field operatives. Five was one of their best assassins, even tasked with the murder of US President J.F. Kennedy, and Hazel and Cha-Cha are also numbered among their top field agents.

The Umbrella Academy revealed that the Commission’s ultimate goal is to ensure the end of the world happens. They’ve been guiding human history towards the apocalypse: the moment when Vanya blasts a chunk of the Moon off and causes an extinction level event. The Commission justify this by insisting everything must happened as it is “supposed” to, but they don’t explain why they believe history has to go down this particular course. The apocalypse certainly wasn’t inevitable; after all, if that were the case they wouldn’t have needed to assassinate people at all. So why are they so committed to the end of the human race?

Meanwhile, although the Commission seem to all be human beings – albeit people picked up from different points in the timeline – they’re clearly using tech beyond anything humanity will ever develop. With the exception of Five, all their agents carry briefcases containing time travel technology. They have ways of communicating with their agents across time and space, and the Handler even possessed a means of stopping time. So not only are the Commission’s motives still relatively unexplained, their technology is also impossibly advanced.

Page 2 of 2: The Commission Could Be Working For A Post-Apocalyptic Villain

All this raises the possibility that the Commission is working for a post-apocalyptic race. When Five first jumped forward in time, he found himself in a post-apocalypse wasteland, the sole survivor of the human race. He was unable to return home, and spent years living there until he was finally approached by the Handler. Five briefly assumed the Commission would be dedicated to rewriting history and preventing the end of the world, but the Handler swiftly disabused him of that notion. She was quite relaxed about the apocalypse, and didn’t even accept that it was indeed the end of everything. Instead, she referred to it as “the end of… something.” It was an enigmatic comment that suggested the extinction of the human race was a necessary part of the timeline in order to allow something else to take humanity’s place as the dominant species on Earth.

This may well explain the Commission’s advanced technology. In the world of The Umbrella Academy, humanity never had the opportunity to develop the kind of tech used by the Commission. But perhaps this post-apocalypse race will have a closer affinity with time, and learned how to manipulate it. If that’s the case – if the next dominant life-form on Earth is a race of time-sensitives – then they would have realized that human free will could alter the timeline, preventing their coming into existence in the first place. Thus they’d found the Commission, to ensure the timeline remained stable, the human race was rendered extinct, and the right conditions developed for them to come into existence. It’s even possible that some of the Commission’s senior management are post-humans. Certainly the Handler seemed distinctly odd, and appeared to be able to freeze time without needing any technology at all.

Related: Related: Will Ben Be Alive In Umbrella Academy Season 2?

Naturally, at this stage this is only a theory, but it fits with everything in The Umbrella Academy season 1. What’s more, there would be a certain surreal irony to this idea that works perfectly with the tone and style of The Umbrella Academy. The post-apocalypse villains would essentially be using humans to police the timeline and ensure their own race was wiped out; it’s the kind of crazy idea that works in this series.

Assuming this theory is correct, the reality is that the end of The Umbrella Academy season 2 has seen their plans begin to fall apart. The apocalypse happened, but the Umbrella Academy students are about to try to rewrite history and avert it again. This time round, they’re almost all on the same page and they’re a lot more well-informed. What’s more, they’ve already proved too much for the Commission to handle, and Five knows all the Commission’s tricks. This is the post-human race’s worst nightmare.

Related: The Umbrella Academy’s Ending Was Revealed In Episode 3

It won’t be easy for them to resolve the crisis. First they’ll need to locate the Umbrella Academy, which won’t be easy; Five conducted a blind jump through time, meaning they could be anywhere or anywhen. Then they’ll probably need to intervene directly in order to beat them; they won’t be able to operate through third parties anymore. No doubt they possess a lot of tools and technology that they never passed on to the Commission; still, it remains to be seen whether or not that will be enough to beat the Umbrella Academy students. Especially if they can successfully stabilize Vanya; her power levels are off the charts, enough to pose a threat to anyone who wants to destroy them.

The interesting question, though, is whether the Commission is the only way these time-sensitives have attempted to manipulate the timeline. It’s entirely possible they’ve taken other strategies as well, and that the Commission is simply the most extreme. If the Handler was indeed a post-human, then it’s even possible they have sleeper agents planted throughout history, working hard to ensure the apocalypse happens exactly when it’s supposed to. It wouldn’t even be a surprise to find that these beings were somehow involved in the mysterious births of superhumans in the world of The Umbrella Academy in the first place.

More: What The Umbrella Academy Comics Reveal About Season 2


2019-03-24 01:03:36

Thomas Bacon