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The Walking Dead: Biggest Questions Left By The Season 9 Premiere

Warning! SPOILERS for The Walking Dead season 9 premiere ahead!

Tonight’s season 9 premiere of The Walking Dead introduces viewers to a new era of the long-running zombie show. “A New Beginning” is a strong season opener, and it suggests that season 9 might just be the overhaul this former ratings juggernaut so desperately needs to recapture its dwindling audience.

There other big changes in store for The Walking Dead this season as well. Both Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohen are leaving, though how remains a mystery, and their absences will leave large holes for the ensemble to fill. Then there are also the discussions of AMC creating a shared universe of Walking Dead programs, which could see more of the cast leave for their own spinoffs.

Related: Walking Dead Season 9 Premiere Review: A New Era Begins Now

“A New Beginning” doesn’t address any of these upcoming changes, but it sets up several interesting threads for the show to explore this season. And to that, we have a few questions after watching The Walking Dead season 9 premiere.

  • This Page: A Fragile Peace and a Decent Proposal
  • Page 2: Is A Civil War On The Way?

Can Rick Keep the Peace?

A big part of the season 9 premiere is establishing the new status quo. It’s been roughly two years since the war with the Saviors and there is now peace among the different communities. Together, they’re actively working to re-establish some semblance of civilization. There is trade and agriculture and manufacturing taking place and, soon, literal bridge-building between the communities to keep them united. If the hope was to create that world Carl dreamed of, then Rick is leading them in the right direction.

But, while there is peace, it is an uneasy peace. At the Sanctuary, the lack of food and supplies is causing tempers to flare. There’s even “We Are Negan” graffiti on the walls, highlighting a growing dissatisfaction. At Hilltop, many are angry that they must keeping sharing so much of their harvest with the Saviors, seeing the situation as not all that different from before. And all the communities still hold an understandable grudge against the Saviors, even after the all time that’s passed.

Rick may have been able to unite the people of Alexandria, Hilltop, Kingdom, Oceanside, and Sanctuary, but it’s becoming more difficult to hold them together. Will Rick be able to keep the peace he fought so hard to achieve? It’s hard to say, and perhaps the better question to be asking at this point is – will there still be peace between the communities when Rick is gone?

Will Carol Accept Ezekiel’s Proposal?

Season 9 quickly establishes a lighter, more uplifting mood with those opening moments of Rick, Michonne, and Judith getting to be just a normal, happy family. There are actually a few of these moments throughout the episode, like Gabriel and Anne both appreciating the humor in the “de-evolution of man” or Rick fawning over baby Hershel. But there is perhaps none more sweet and funny than Ezekiel proposing to Carol. Their relationship isn’t one we really got to see develop because of the time jump, but it’s clear there are quite the established couple by this point.

Related: Walking Dead Season 9 Is ‘Driven By Women’

Carol, of course, is completely against the proposal, listing her reasons for why this isn’t the time nor the place – “This is not happening on a horse” – and it’s cute to see the usually calm and collected Carol so flustered. Ezekiel, on the other hand, isn’t deterred, and though it may be his recent brush with death that spurs him in to popping the question, the fact that he wishes to make such a public declaration of their love is sign of how much the times have changed.

So when Ezekiel asks again as he most-certainly will, does Carol accept? If she truly cares for him as much as that kiss at the museum suggests, she likely will. But her choice to stick around at the Sanctuary and relieve Daryl of his leadership duties, while a means of helping out a friend, might imply otherwise.

Page 2: Is A Civil War On The Way?

Could Maggie And Daryl Turn On Rick?

Maggie and Daryl may have helped Rick win the war, but season 9 begins with them both calling his decision-making into question. Daryl, for instance, doubts Rick’s plan to unite this many groups of people, sharing his preference for when it was just their small group. And as for Maggie, she’s still angry over Rick’s decision to keep Negan alive, reminding Rick that he promised her he’d kill him.

Maggie even calls out Rick for once telling her that one day he’d be following her, but then never allowing that day to come. And it’s this scene between them on the balcony that really hints at a divide growing between Maggie and Rick. Daryl’s comments that he’d rather move to Hilltop instead of Alexandria seem to suggest that if made to choose, he’d pick Maggie over Rick, which really makes it appear like a split between them is inevitable.

Related: Norman Reedus Doesn’t Think Daryl Is The New Rick

Will season 9 see Maggie and Daryl turn against Rick? It’s certainly a possibility, what with both parties having very different views on how things should be run. Plus, there’s also the matter of Maggie and Rick only appearing in a limited number of episodes this season. Could it be the conflict between them that leads to their exits? That seems very likely, with the rift that forms between Maggie and Rick not necessarily being the direct cause of their departures but at the very least a factor.

What Will Be The Consequences of Hanging Gregory?

The Walking Dead season 9 premiere ends with Gregory’s hanging and it’s a disturbing scene for what is a fairly upbeat episode (by Walking Dead standards anyway). Not that anyone is likely to miss Gregory, and his manipulation of Earl and Tammy’s grief (not too mention Earl’s alcoholism) is particularly disgusting, but the public execution is still chilling. And when Maggie declares that the “punishment must fit the crime” she’s drawing a direct comparison between what she’s doing here and what Rick chose to do with Negan.

Maggie having Gregory hanged is going to have consequences. Already, it’s apparent how much Rick and Michonne don’t agree with Maggie’s decision, only deepening that divide. Then there’s the precedent this decisions sets – implying it’s okay to kill someone as long as it’s justified. Who decides when it’s justified? Well, that’s why Michonne needs to write that charter. But in the mean time, there’s a very good chance someone else will look to this as permission to take justice into their own hands.

Whether or not Maggie was justified in killing Gregory is debatable, but the deed is now done and there’s no taking it back. Future episodes will show just how Hilltop and the rest of the communities react to the news, but one thing is clear – Maggie isn’t playing around, and if given the opportunity, she will do what Rick could not and kill Negan.

Next: The Walking Dead Will Reboot (Sort Of) When Rick Leaves the Show

The Walking Dead season 9 continues next Sunday with ‘The Bridge’ at 9pm/8c on AMC.



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2018-10-07 07:10:59 – Sarah Moran

Doctor Who: Biggest Questions After Jodie Whittaker’s First Episode

Warning! SPOILERS for the Doctor Who season 11 premiere ahead!

The new season of Doctor Who finally arrived and now the world has had their first taste of Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor. The episode, “The Woman Who Fell to Earth,” is exciting, scary, action-packed, and surprisingly emotional – all the elements that make up a great Doctor Who episode. It’s a brand new era for the 50+ year-old sci-fi series, and it’s only just getting started.

Along with a new Doctor, there’s a whole new cast of characters joining Whitaker on the adventure. This cast is also the most diverse cast Doctor Who has ever had, which feels like the right choice for this new era of Who, and that diversity exists both on screen and off, with season 11 including the first writers of color in the show’s history. For a television series that can go anywhere and do just about anything, it’s about time Doctor Who began branching out and including new voices.

Related: Doctor Who Season 11 Premiere Early Reviews Praise Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor

Now that the world has seen the 13th Doctor’s first episode and gotten a taste of the show’s new direction, we have a few questions that we’re very interested to see answered in the upcoming season.

  • This Page: Why Did the TARDIS Abandon The Doctor?
  • Page 2: How Powerful Is The New Sonic Screwdriver?

Why Did The TARDIS Abandon The Doctor?

When the Doctor began regenerating from 12 into 13, the TARDIS also began to change. The console room exploded and the Doctor went tumbling out the doors. As she fell to Earth, the Doctor could only watch as the TARDIS dematerialized – abandoning her. And while the TARDIS is known to be a temperamental old thing, it doesn’t usually strand the Doctor without good reason. So where has it gone? And why?

The next episode of Doctor Who will probably reveal where the TARDIS ended up, but it could be a little while before we get a full explanation for why it disappeared in the first place. One reason might be that the TARDIS simply doesn’t care for this new version of the Doctor. As far as we know, this is the first time the Doctor has regenerated into a woman. Maybe the TARDIS just doesn’t recognize her? Or is more fond of men? Those would be rather silly explanations for why the TARDIS acted the way it did, but they aren’t entirely out of the realm of possibility.

It’s more likely, however, that the TARDIS is malfunctioning. This could be happening either as a result of the regeneration (the TARDIS also went haywire when 10 regenerated into 11) or because it’s been tampered with somehow. Whatever the reason, it’ll be up to The Doctor to reunite with her TARDIS, and in doing so, the show may just reveal more about the special bond between The Doctor and her best traveling companion.

Page 2: How Powerful Is The New Sonic Screwdriver?

How Powerful Is The New Sonic Screwdriver?

The 13th Doctor isn’t only without her TARDIS in the Doctor Who season 11 premiere – she’s also without her trusty sonic screwdriver. But the Doctor is very clever, and a bit of tinkerer. With a few parts from an alien transportation pod and some Sheffield steel, she constructs her own sonic screwdriver. Well, it’s more than a screwdriver, as fans already know, but with her building her sonic screwdriver instead of receiving one from the TARDIS we have to wonder… how is it different from previous screwdivers?

In the episode, the screwdriver already appears to have a few short circuits, sparking when the Doctor first reveals it. But then, as the episode continues, it more or less performs it’s job as it should. So will the fact that this screwdriver is handcrafted from arguably lesser quality materials than a typical sonic device (sorry Sheffield steel, you just aren’t that high tech) affect how powerful it is? And more importantly, will this screwdriver work on wood?

Related: Doctor Who Season 11 Premiere Video: Jodie Whittaker Arrives On Earth

Who Will Rescue The Doctor?

At the end of the episode, as the Doctor is attempting to transport herself to the planet where her TARDIS wound up, she manages to send not just herself but Ryan, Yaz, and Graham as well. And she doesn’t actually transport them to a planet, but rather into outer space, where they’re left floating in the vacuum.

Of course, the previews for next week’s episode already reveal they’ll be rescued, but by who? The obvious guess is that it’s the other people seen on the planet in that preview. Their outfits  appear to be space suits or a uniform, suggesting they’re a crew of some sort. They may also be military, which isn’t going to sit well with the Doctor at all. Just how they rescue The Doctor and her new companions from an icy death in space remains to be seen, but perhaps the bigger question we should be asking is – why were they transported to space in the first place?

The Doctor said the signal came from the TARDIS, but there is no TARDIS where they are. And though initially it appeared as if the TARDIS abandoned the Doctor, maybe it was actually stolen? A stolen TARDIS isn’t the same as it being lost, and it would mean someone is trying to keep the Doctor away from it – in which case, season 11 might see the Doctor searching the galaxy for her TARDIS. It’s a little unlikely given that the reveal of a new TARDIS interior is almost as big of a deal as a new Doctor, but it would be an interesting twist on the typical formula. And besides, it isn’t as if the Doctor hasn’t been without their TARDIS before.

Next: Doctor Who Season 11: New Cast & Character Guide

Doctor Who season 11 continues next Sunday with ‘The Ghost Monument’ at 8pm/7c on BBC America.



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2018-10-07 04:10:37 – Sarah Moran

20 Crazy Details Behind The Making Of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

It’s been almost forty years since E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was first released, but this 1982 Steven Spielberg-directed gem is still going strong to this day with audiences of all ages. This wonderful film about a boy and his friend alien melted the hearts of all those who first watched it back in the early 1980s, and it still remains a most treasured family film. Its legacy is seen in every aspect of our pop culture, and it is regularly cited as people’s favorite film of all time. Only a director as visionary as Spielberg could take such a simple concept and transform it into a lasting cinematic treasure.

E.T. also helped transform the lives of those who participated in its making, sending a young Drew Barrymore into stratospheric fame and solidifying Henry Thomas as one of the most famous child actors of all time. There’s no doubt that E.T. will continue to leave its mark on future generations, and we can only hope that its perfection is respected without Hollywood grasping for a remake or an ill-advised, modern-day sequel.

If you’re a fan of this classic film or if you’re a Steven Spielberg aficionado wanting to know his tricks of the trade, you’ll be fascinated by the secrets that went on behind the scenes during the movie’s making. From the movie’s conception based on Spielberg’s life to the inspiration behind E.T.’s famous face, we have all the facts you’ll want to know about this iconic film.

With that in mind, here are 20 Crazy Details Behind the Making of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

20 Henry Thomas Brought Up His Tragic Past For His Audition

Landing the role of Elliott in E.T. unquestionably changed child actor Henry Thomas’ life. Having only previously done a couple of small movie parts in 1981, Thomas all of a sudden became the most famous kid in the world thanks to his on-screen adventures with his alien co-star.  

According to the Mirror, Thomas was only nine years old when he landed this role of a lifetime. In order to secure himself the part, during the audition the young actor drew upon the traumatic experience of seeing his pet dog attacked by his neighbor’s dog, which brought on real tears. Spielberg and the casting directors were immediately impressed. Being able to call upon real emotion showed the director that he could definitely act, and solidified Thomas as a genuine child talent.

19 Drew Barrymore’s Vivid Imagination Got Her Her Role

Drew Barrymore has been on the Hollywood scene for a long time, but her first big start on screen was in E.T. playing the part of Gertie. According to an interview on Ellen, Barrymore revealed that she wasn’t originally even going to audition for E.T. During her interview, Barrymore explained how she was actually trying to get a part in Poltergeist, but the director wasn’t there that day. Instead, Poltergeist’s producer, Steven Spielberg was there in his place.

She told Ellen: “I was six, and I lied my face off. I told him I was in a rock ‘n’ roll band, that I was a drummer, that I was a cook.”

After her audition, Spielberg said she wasn’t quite right for Poltergeist, but that he’d love to have her come in and audition for another project he was working on. Sure enough, he called her up soon after and gave her the part of Gertie in E.T.

18 It had a very boring title at first

When a movie becomes a huge hit, especially one that continues to garner success decades and generations after its first release, it’s hard to imagine it separately from its title. Indeed, the title of a movie becomes its first point of cultural consciousness, and there are those that last the test of time, and those that don’t.

Mention E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial to anyone and they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about. It’s not only a memorable film title, it’s also become so deeply ingrained in our collective pop culture that we all know what it is even if we haven’t seen it. Well, E.T. might have faded away in the land of forgotten films, had they gone with the original title, A Boy’s Life, as noted by The New Yorker. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with A Boy’s Life, it’s not half as memorable as E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

17 Harrison Ford Shot a Cameo

While Spielberg was working on getting things ready to begin filming E.T., he was still in the process of filming Raiders of the Lost Ark, which, of course, starred Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Ford dating Melissa Mathison, who was the scriptwriter for E.T., at the time.

Because of his friendship with Spielberg and his relationship with Mathison, Ford agreed to make a cameo appearance in the film.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Ford’s bit part was supposed to be a kind of a joke as he was going to play against his usual type, here as an uptight school principal who would scold Elliott after the frog-releasing scene. In the final edit, the decision was made to cut the Ford scene as it didn’t fit in with the rest of the movie and it was thought Ford’s presence would be too distracting from the story line.

16 M&M’s Were Supposed To Be E.T.’s favorite candy

Reese’s Pieces surged in popularity after the release of E.T.. The candy was featured in the scene where Elliott tries lays a trail of candy to lure E.T. back to his house. Many people back then, and now for that matter, might have thought it strange that Elliott used Reese’s Pieces.

Well, according to Business Insider, the reason for the choice of sweet was down to the fact that M&Ms had refused the production permission to use its brand in the film. Culinary Lore also states that Mars Inc., which owned M&Ms, refused the filmmakers the right to use the candy because it didn’t want to be associated with aliens. This was clearly a bad call, as after the release of E.T., sales of Reese’s rose exponentially, topping the numbers sold of M&Ms for the first time ever.

15 E.T.’s Face Was Modeled On Some Famous People

E.T. is one of the most recognizable movie characters in history and one of the cutest, albeit weirdest, examples of an on-screen alien. No character had, or has since, looked like like this singular creature, and its aesthetic is all thanks to Spielberg and his incredible designer Carlo Rambaldi.

Rambaldi created the aliens for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and his talents were once again put to use in E.T.

In a special featurette called The Making of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Spielberg reveals: “I remember saying to Carlo, here’s some pictures of Albert Einstein, Ernest Hemingway and Carl Sandburg. I love their eyes, can we make E.T.’s eyes as frivolous and also wizened and as sad as those three icons.” Based on these famous celebrities, we have the E.T. we all know and recognize.

14 E.T. Was Played by Three Different Actors

With today’s technology, it would be a fairly easy task creating a CGI alien to act as the main part in a blockbuster film. However, when E.T. was being made in 1982, things were not so simple According to The Vintage News, creating a believable, friendly alien back then took three mechanical puppets as well as three actors, one of whom was a young 12-year-old boy who had been born without legs.

There wasn’t always someone wearing the suit in every scene, as often E.T. was being controlled by a team of mechanical operators. However, when the alien was required to walk or move about, a small person was often behind the movements. Watching E.T. today, the alien might seem like quite a basic piece of engineering, but back then, Spielberg and his team were making technological strides.

13 Drew Barrymore Thought E.T. Was Real

Drew Barrymore was only six years old when she played the part of Gertie in E.T., and even though she was already developing into a bright, young, talented actress, she was still very much at an age where imagination and make-believe can cloud reality. Barrymore’s acting is fantastic in the film, especially for someone so young, but her great reactions to things on screen could be down to the fact that she believed E.T. was a real alien.

 The cast and crew encouraged her to believe E.T. was really alive, and she seems to have taken the bait completely.

In a behind-the-scenes featurette for the movie, Elliott actor Henry Thomas reveals: “Drew, she’s imaginative. She introduced E.T. to her mom and said ‘He’s just a little shy now. He doesn’t want to talk to you right now but he’s just a little shy.’”

12 E.T.’s Voice Comes From Raccoons, Otters, Horses, and Burps

E.T. is one of the most imitated movie characters, with people of all ages having tried at one time or another to impersonate the alien’s singular speech patterns. If you listen closely, you’ll hear that there are a lot of different elements and sounds to the alien’s voice. This wasn’t achieved by employing one spectacularly gifted voice recording artist. Instead, as we learn from the BBC, it was a talented sound designer, Ben Burtt, who collected noises from an entire array of sources and put them together to create E.T.’s voice.

As Burtt tells the BBC: “I created the voice for E.T. out of many different things, about 18 different people and animals and sound effects. There are raccoons in there, there are sea otters, there are some horses, there’s a burp from my old cinema professor from USC.” They also used the voice of a chain-smoking housewife.

11 Spielberg Dressed As A Woman On Set

Being around such a young cast, Spielberg had to ensure that there was enough fun and playfulness on set. In The Making of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial from 1996, we learn that the director definitely didn’t take himself too seriously while on set. Apparently, around Halloween, Spielberg came to set dressed up as a lady school teacher.

As Henry Thomas remembers: “Halloween was great. He directed the whole day like that, as an old lady.”

Spielberg adds: “I didn’t have children back then in the early 1980s, and you know suddenly I was becoming a father every single day, I felt like a father and it felt good.” Spielberg certainly knew how to keep spirits high on his set, and his kind, playful personality has left wonderful lasting memories on his cast and crew.

10 A Mime Was Hired To Move E.T.’s Arms

In The Making of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, we learn that it took a lot of work to create the alien we all know and love. Aside from having a whole team of mechanics working to ensure the creature looked real, Spielberg also hired a mime to help out E.T.’s gestures.

The director reveals: “When I saw the mechanical arms, they were really great but they were very jerky when they worked. The fingers would move, but almost too thoughtfully. And I felt E.T.’s got to have almost balletic arms, almost like the hands of a mime. So I just put it out there, can we hire a mime and we’ll put the E.T. hand makeup on a mime’s hand so the artist can really be artistic about picking things up and touching themselves and reaching out. So this is where this wonderful mime artist came to work with us.”

9 The Original Ending Was Very Different

When a movie is as beloved as E.T. is, it’s hard to imagine it being any different. Grown men and women still weep when thinking about the emotionally-charged final scene, but we could have ended up an alternative ending had Spielberg gone with his original idea.

According to actor Michael MacNaughton’s interview in Express, “The last scene was going to be all of us playing Dungeons & Dragons again, except this time, Elliott’s the dungeon master. Because he was the one that found ET, he sort of got in with the group. […] And then they would pan up to the roof and you’d see the communicator and it’s still working — in other words, Elliott is still in touch with E.T. But after they did the score and they saw what they had with the spaceship taking off and everything… How can you follow that? I mean, it was a wise choice.”

8 There Was A Dark Sequel Planned

Because E.T. did so unexpectedly well at the box-office, it’s a wonder why there was never a sequel released. Had the movie been made today, it’s almost certain that Hollywood would have tried to make it a franchise. Well, according to Syfy, there was actually a story treatment for an E.T. sequel, but it was so terrible that it never got made.

Apparently, its dark tone was done on purpose.

Spielberg was reportedly completely against the idea of a sequel to his 1982 film, saying: “Sequels can be very dangerous because they compromise your truth as an artist. I think a sequel to E.T. would do nothing but rob the original of its [purity].” Who knows, maybe someday someone will dust off the draft and attempt to make it, but Spielberg will certainly be the first to veto the project.

7 They shot the movie in chronological order for the kids

It’s a well known fact that most large-scale film projects aren’t filmed in chronological order. Due to shooting schedules, location requirements, and budget factors, it’s usually not possible to film in script-order. Well, E.T. is one of the very few exceptions to this usual Hollywood practice, as Steven Spielberg insisted that the scenes be shot chronologically.

According to TIME, Spielberg made this unorthodox decision in order to help his younger cast. The director explained: “I insisted on shooting the film in complete continuity so the kids knew, emotionally, where they had been the day before, and they pretty much didn’t have any idea of where they were going the next day. So, like real life, every day was a surprise – Drew, Henry Thomas and Robert really believed that this was happening to their lives.”

6 Robert MacNaughton’s Dungeons & Dragons love got him his part

Robert MacNaughton played Elliott’s older brother Michael in the movie, and he revealed to Express that a childhood pastime of his helped land him the role. Apparently, E.T.’s screenwriter Melissa Mathison was a huge fan of Dungeons & Dragons and she was always playing it with her then husband Harrison Ford at their house.

This explains the game at the start of the film, where we see Elliott trying to join in playing D&D with Michael and his friends.

MacNaughton revealed that he too was an avid Dungeons & Dragons player, and when asked by Spielberg what his hobbies were, he told the director about his love of the game. Spielberg seemed pleased that MacNaughton’s hobbies fit with his character Michael’s pastimes, and the role became his shortly after.

5 The Film Was Shot From A Child’s Point-of-View

One of the things that you may not have noticed while watching E.T. is the fact that is is filmed from a child’s point of view. According to Filmsite, the movie was deliberately shot from a lower-angle in order to encourage younger audience members to identify more easily with the child characters on screen. It also helps adults put themselves back into the shoes of a child, encouraging them to remember how scary and threatening the taller, bigger world of adults can really be for a kid.

In fact, the only adult we ever see in full is the mother, Mary, who was played by Dee Wallace.

Otherwise, most of the other grown-ups in the movie are seen from the waist down, the way a child would see the world in front of them.

4 Real Doctors And Nurses Were Hired As Actors

E.T. is a very emotional movie. From the burgeoning friendship between Elliott and E.T. to the ending when we face the teary goodbyes between these unlikely friends, the movie is rife with sentiment. One of the most poignant, dramatic scenes is when E.T. and Elliott are lying side-by-side in the makeshift medical facility at their house, both fading away while doctors and nurses try to revive them.

According to People, the medical staff we see looking after these two friends were actually real-life medics. Spielberg contacted the UCLA Center for the Health Services in order to get information on cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and he was referred to a specialist. Wanting the scene to look as real as possible, Spielberg got real-life medical staff to play out the scene in order to simulate the chaos that really happens in emergencies.

3 E.T. was inspired by real children

E.T. is one of the most lovable incarnations of an alien to grace our screens.

Part of this androgynous creature’s charm is the fact that there’s so much goofiness and childlike innocence to it.

Well, this sweet naivete, as well as E.T.’s powers, were actually inspired by the screenwriter’s interactions with children. As Melissa Mathison tells us in The Making of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: “Many of the scenes from the movie come from my own experience being with children. For instance, what children would like [E.T.’s] powers to be. A lot of the children would mention the obvious of telepathy or telekinetic powers but I was struck by the fact that several of them mentioned that they would like this magic creature to be able to heal. And I thought it was such an incredibly poignant idea to come from a child.”

2 Spielberg Didn’t think E.T. Would Make A Lot of Money

According to Business Insider, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time– not too shabby for a low-budget film about a boy and his alien pal. While the movie became a immense success and has been hailed as the most successful film to come out of the 1980s, Steven Spielberg didn’t think it was going to be a hit with audiences.

Speaking in The Making of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, the director said: “I think E.T.’s not going to make a lot of money, I think I’m making a movie that is only going to appeal to kids. I said I’m probably making a big mistake, I’m going to make an old-fashioned Walt Disney movie about an alien and a kid and that’s all it’s going to be.”

1 The Movie Was Inspired by Spielberg’s Lonely Childhood

It’s always interesting to find out how some of our favorite movies came about, but no one would ever expect that Spielberg’s tale of a boy and an alien would stem from his own childhood experiences. In an interview with director James Cameron for People, Spielberg admitted that E.T. was “never meant to be a movie about an extra-terrestrial,” but instead about something very personal.

“It was supposed to be a movie about my mom and dad getting a divorce,” he explains.

“So I started a story, not a script per say, but I started writing a story about what it was like when your parents divide the family up and they move to different states.” Eventually, the idea for a boy and an alien friend developed from this, and the rest is E.T. history.

Do you have any other trivia to share about E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-06 04:10:51 – Steph Brandhuber

Dark Phoenix NYCC Footage Description: How Jean Grey Becomes Phoenix

Twentieth Century Fox’s upcoming X-Men movie, Dark Phoenix, screens the first continuous footage at New York Comic Con 2018 – we offer a full description of the sequence that was shown. Dark Phoenix is ultimately the culmination of the rebooted X-Men franchise, which kicked off with X-Men: First Class. But, since X-Men: Days of Future Past united the timeline with that of the original trilogy, all of Fox’s Marvel movies exist within the same continuity.

Most recently within the mainline X-Men movies, X-Men: Apocalypse introduced a younger team of heroes, who now return for Dark Phoenix. The movie adapts the fan-favorite Dark Phoenix Saga storyline from the comics, which was last brought to life in X-Men: The Last Stand – though the movie wasn’t well received by critics or fans. For this film, longtime X-Men movie producer Simon Kinberg takes the helm, directing Dark Phoenix. In order to promote the summer 2019 release of the latest X-Men installment, Kingberg appeared on a Fox NYCC panel along with producer Hutch Parker and stars Sophie Turner and Tye Sheridan. During the panel, Kinberg and Parker debuted the first continuous footage from Dark Phoenix from early on in the film, though not the very beginning of the movie.

Related: How Old The X-Men Are Supposed To Be In Dark Phoenix

In the Dark Phoenix footage, the X-Men are an established team at this point in time and when the NASA space shuttle Endeavor gets knocked off course in space, the United States President calls Professor Charles Xavier – on an X-Men branded landline phone – in order to receive the team’s help. While Hank McCoy is doubtful the X-Jet will be able to get to space, and voices these concerns to Professor X, the team ultimately goes on the rescue mission, as lead by Raven (who has reservations of her own that Jean Grey asks her about).

Once in space, Raven directs the other members of the team on how to use their powers to save the NASA shuttle crew from where their ship is trapped spinning nearby a red-orange energy mass. Cyclops uses a weapon specially fitted on the X-Jet for his powers to blast the shuttle and make it stop spinning, then Nightcrawler transports Quicksilver inside the shuttle to rescue the crew (it’s reminiscent of the previous X-Men movies’ Quicksilver scenes but much shorter) all while Storm plugs holes in the shuttle’s hull with ice. Although, the X-Men are able to save the shuttle team, their captain gets left behind. Raven wants to cut their losses since the energy mass is about to emite deadly solar flares, but Professor X demands the team leave no one behind. So Nightcrawler transports Jean to the ship, where she holds it together while he retrieves the human captain.

However, Nightcrawler doesn’t make it back to Jean in time, and he’s only able to get the human to safety, leaving Jean behind in the shuttle when it’s hit by the solar flare. Jean absorbs the energy from what’s described as a solar flare. Then, another flare threatens the X-Jet, but Jean manages to redirect it, and absorbs the second flare as well. While Jean is absorbing the energy, the scene briefly cuts to Professor X in Cerebro feeling through Jean’s mind what’s happening. Once she’s absorbed all the energy, Nightcrawler recovers her and it’s clear the X-Men believe her to be dead, but Jean is still alive. The X-Men take her home, where she says she’s fine. After the mission, Raven and Professor X get into an argument about taking too many risks to save humans. He says mutants are “one bad day away” from being hunted again and that the X-Men being a beacon of good is important to keeping mutants safe. Raven ends the argument by dropping a few zingers about how the women on the team are always saving the men and maybe Professor X should change the team name to “X-Women.”

Altogether, the scenes showcase a fully realized X-Men team and how exactly Jean becomes the Phoenix, though none of the footage revealed what comes next for the group. Those on the panel discussed the “splintering” of both Jean Grey and the X-Men team as a whole, so viewers can expect the movie to play up the more dramatic elements of the Dark Phoenix Saga storyline. But, as evidenced by the footage that screened, Dark Phoenix will also include plenty of science fiction elements. Still, whether it’s ultimately a better adaptation of the comic story remains to be seen when Dark Phoenix hits theaters next summer and fans can see for themselves.

Next: Why Dark Phoenix Isn’t Being Made Into an MCU Film



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2018-10-05 05:10:59 – Molly Freeman

Is Suicide Squad 2 Still Happening?



The development of Gavin O’Connor’s upcoming sequel Suicide Squad 2 has been slow, as Warner Bros.’ slate of DC movies continues to grow. Recently we learned that star Will Smith will film at least two more movies – Bad Boys 3 and Bright 2 – before he begins work on Suicide Squad 2. Meanwhile, Margot Robbie’s popular portrayal of Harley Quinn is set to lead a Birds of Prey movie, and potentially also a Joker/Harley movie. Amid all of this, many DC fans are wondering if Suicide Squad 2 is still on the cards at all.

The first Suicide Squad ended up in something of a strange place between success and failure. It was certainly profitable at the box office, with a $746 million worldwide gross, but the hype built up by its excellent trailers swiftly died off when it was savaged by critics, and ticket sales dropped off steeply after a muscular opening weekend. Then, just to swing things back in the other direction, Suicide Squad went on to win an Oscar – the first DC movie to do so since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

Related: Predicting DC’s 2020 Release Slate

Scheduling filming would likely have proved tricky regardless of how well the first movie performed critically and financially, since Smith and Robbie are both very in-demand actors, and Warner Bros. has a huge number of DC projects in development. At this point, there’s no reason to believe that Suicide Squad 2 has been canceled, though it does appear to have been deprioritized. Here’s what we know so far about the sequel – and when to expect it.

  • This Page: Cast Details, Filming Details, and When To Expect Suicide Squad 2
  • Page 2: Why Suicide Squad 2’s Delay is a Good Thing

Suicide Squad 2 Will Film in Late 2019 At The Earliest

In all likelihood, we probably won’t see Suicide Squad 2 in theaters until summer 2021 – late 2020 at the absolute earliest. The movie was originally supposed to begin filming in March 2018, which has obviously been and gone, and and between Smith’s filming commitments and Birds of Prey being prioritized as the next project for Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Suicide Squad 2 has gravitated towards the back-burner.

O’Connor was supposedly attached to a Green Hornet movie from Paramount Pictures, but there’s been no forward momentum on that since it was announced in 2016, so that may be dead in the water. There’s also been no further news of Atlantic Wall, the Bradley Cooper-starring World War II drama that O’Connor became attached to at around the same time. According to Geeks WorldWide, O’Connor is set to begin filming sports drama The Has-Been (starring Ben Affleck) in October 2018, so Suicide Squad 2‘s delay actually works out well for him in that regard.

There is a risk of Suicide Squad losing its director if there are further delays, since he obviously can’t be expected to wait around forever, but for the moment O’Connor still appears to be on track to direct. He’s currently working on the movie’s script alongside 12 Monkeys actor Todd Stashwick and David Bar Katz (The Pest).

Related: Is Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam In Suicide Squad 2 or Not?

Most of the Cast Will Return

As far as we know, the original main cast of Suicide Squad are all set to return in Suicide Squad 2 – possible even Jay Herndandez, whose character El Diablo sacrificed himself at the end of the movie. Earlier this year, Joel Kinnaman shared a photo of himself, Hernandez, and Captain Boomerang actor Jai Courtney at the gym with Suicide Squad’s personal trainer Brendan Johnston. Kinnaman didn’t explicitly say that they were training for Suicide Squad 2 (even if they were, this was a long away off from the movie’s planned production start), and it’s possible they simply became gym buddies after making Suicide Squad. However, given that El Diablo is an Aztec fire demon, the idea of him being “killed” in a fiery explosion was always a little suspect. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if he made a comeback in the sequel – especially since, in an earlier version of the movie, he survived.

The casting lineup isn’t official at this point, but since filming is being scheduled around Robbie and Smith’s commitments, it’s safe to assume that Harley and Deadshot will be back. Given the Suicide Squad’s often-changing lineup in the comics, it also wouldn’t be surprising if the sequel added some new faces – for example, Aquaman villain Black Manta, who is being set up to appear elsewhere in DCEU, according to actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

Page 2: Why Suicide Squad 2’s Delay is a Good Thing

Suicide Squad’s Mistakes

Suicide Squad‘s Achilles heel was a lack of proper development. Director David Ayer wrote the script in six weeks and then basically jumped straight into production, with Warner Bros. eager to get the burgeoning DC Extended Universe off the ground. As a result, the story and characters were still being worked out while the movie was filming, and Suicide Squad was heavily changed in reshoots – with Jared Leto’s role as the Joker cut down to barely a fraction of what it once was. “This thing was a beast,” Ayer said, while explaining how so much ended up on the cutting room floor. “We had over a million and a half feet of footage.”

Compare that to last year’s Wonder Woman, which notably had no deleted scenes and a relatively conservative budget of $150 million (Suicide Squad is said to have cost as much as $250 million after reshoots). Wonder Woman‘s script was a long time in development, with many different writers taking a turn at it and experimentation with different settings, like the Crimean War instead of World War 1. “We had more writers working at the same time than I’ve ever done,” producer Charles Roven told Collider. “In the history of all the movies that I’ve done, it never worked out that way before.”

Related: Every DC Villain Movie Warner Bros. is Developing

Full screenplay credit eventually went to Allan Heinberg, but the script had major contributions from Zack Snyder, Allan Heinberg, and Jason Fuchs, and Roven said that “[Producer] Geoff Johns and Patty [Jenkins – director] did a tremendous amount of collaboration” as well. Having a lot of cooks in the kitchen doesn’t always work out well for movies, but in Wonder Woman‘s case it served up a tightly-produced movie that pleased audiences and critics alike, and gave the DCEU a much-needed win. With all that in mind, Suicide Squad 2 getting a full two years of development before the camera start rolling can only be a good thing.

Suicide Squad 2 Is an Important Project For the DCEU

From what we can tell based on the occasional updates, Warner Bros. seems to be trying to move on from the DCEU’s failures and focus on building new successes. This year will see the release of an Aquaman solo movie, while next year will bring Shazam to the big screen for the first time, debut a new Joker played by Joaquin Phoenix, and continue the DCEU’s one undeniable hit in Wonder Woman 1984. Conversely, we’ve heard very little about Man of Steel 2 or Justice League 2 beyond rumors, and Matt Reeves’ The Batman will reportedly feature a new, younger actor as Bruce Wayne, replacing Ben Affleck.

But, as previously mentioned, Suicide Squad wasn’t a clear-cut failure like, say, Justice League. As with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, there was actually something of a divide between fan and critic opinions on David Ayer’s movie, and even if it didn’t quite come together as a complete picture, it certainly had plenty of great ingredients. The costumes, character design and make-up were all striking (as evidenced by that Oscar win), and the movie had a strong core cast: Smith as grizzled assassin Deadshot; Robbie juggling comedy and craziness as Harley Quinn; and Viola Davis as the ruthless puppet-master Amanda Waller.

Given proper development, better editing, a better-structured story and perhaps even a few new team members thrown into the mix, Suicide Squad still has the potential to become the DCEU’s own Guardians of the Galaxy – a colorful ensemble of bad guys to contrast with the more clean-cut superheroes. Let’s hope we get to see the Squad’s next outing sooner rather than later.

More: Every DC Movie Supposedly Filming in 2019



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