Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Teen Actors Returning For Sequel

The teen actors from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will be returning for the upcoming sequel, Jumanji 3. The still unnamed follow-up to 2017’s Dwayne Johnson- led adventure film will mark the third film in the series and will come almost 25 years since the release of the original Jumanji back in 1995.

The first Jumanji film was based on the Chris Van Allsburg novel of the same name and starred Robin Williams. It told the story of a magical board game that would release real-life terrors upon its players. While the original film was a hit, the arrival of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle back in 2017 revived the concept and brought with it a host of star power in the form of Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan and was complete with a reimagined story that focused on a group of teenagers who find themselves swept up into the game.

Related: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Is Sony’s Highest Grossing Film Ever

As it happens, those same teenage characters from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will be back for Jumanji 3. Ser’Darius Blain, Alex Wolff, Madison Iseman and Morgan Turner will all make their return as the teens who found themselves accidentally sucked into the world of Jumanji in the previous film. News of the confirmed return of the four stars comes to us courtesy of THR and means that almost all of the key creative players in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will now be returning for the sequel.

Aside from the return of Jumanji’s protagonists, the anticipated third film will also feature new recruits in the form of Danny Glover, Danny Devito and rapper Awkwafina. Arguably one of the most enjoyable aspects of Welcome to the Jungle was its unique tweaking of the original film and creating four new teen characters who find themselves lost in the jungles and strange towns of Jumanji while inhabiting the bodies of Johnson, Hart, Black and Gillan. The concept gave a renewed sort of light-heartedness to the series, without sacrificing any of the severity of the issues the characters faced. Jumanji 3 plans to do much of the same, and according to director Jake Kasdan, the film will continue on with what both the original Williams film and Welcome to the Jungle have created, keeping all the films in line with the same world.

The return of the four teens is certainly exciting news for Jumanji fans as well as being an encouraging mark of the third film’s quality control. There have all too often been cases where a popular series fails to keep its principle cast together (most recently, Goosebumps 2 crops to mind) and pays the price as a result. Given the momentum that Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has had and the creative power that the series has both behind and in front of the camera, fans have reason to be excited for Jumanji 3 when it arrives later this year.

More: Where Are They Now? The Original Cast of Jumanji

Source: THR

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2019-02-04 02:02:16

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Sequel Casts Danny DeVito

It's Always Sunny Frank

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Danny DeVito will join Dwayne Johnson and company in the sequel to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Jumanji 3. Crazy Rich Asians actress Awkwafina also recently joined the cast of the action-comedy follow-up, which is due to begin filming in early 2019.

Now a movie and TV legend, DeVito first became a star thanks to his Emmy-winning role as Louie De Palma on the classic sitcom Taxi. The diminutive actor, known for his high energy and gruff delivery, developed into one of the most unlikely leading men in Hollywood in the 1980s through roles in movies like Ruthless People, Twins and Other People’s Money. DeVito scored one of his most memorable roles of all-time when he played the Penguin in Tim Burton’s 1992 superhero sequel Batman Returns.

Related: Jumanji 3 Will Have More Connections To The Original Film

As reported by Variety, DeVito will now return to the world of franchise action by taking on a role opposite Dwayne Johnson in the next installment in the Jumanji series. Details of DeVito’s character are being kept under wraps. The actor of course has experience teaming up with major action stars, having worked alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the comedies Twins and Junior. DeVito joins a Jumanji ensemble that includes Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan. The film is a follow-up to 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which was a surprise smash for Sony with grosses of $962 million worldwide. The film was itself a loose sequel to the 1995 Jumanji starring Robin Williams.

Indeed, DeVito himself could have starred in the original Jumanji, as the film arrived in the middle of his peak period as both an actor and director. After becoming a major comedic star, DeVito crossed over into the world of directing with Throw Momma From the Train, which he followed up with the black comedy The War of the Roses and the beloved dark children’s film Matilda. In recent years, DeVito has settled into a leading role as Frank on the long-running sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. DeVito is also set to work with Burton again in the live action Dumbo, and there’s still talk of him re-teaming with Schwarzenegger for the comedy sequel Triplets.

Over the decades, DeVito has certainly established himself as one of the most distinctive and popular comedic actors around. Sony’s follow-up to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle had already put together an interesting ensemble with Awkwafina joining Johnson, Hart, Black and Gillan, but now that cast is even spicier with DeVito lending his madcap talents to the mix. Sony is hoping to hit big with their next Jumanji movie, which is set to go up against Star Wars IX in the 2019 holiday window. The last time a Jumanji film took on the biggest brand in the galaxy, the underdog knocked the champion from the #1 spot at the box office.

More: Screen Rant’s 50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2019

Source: Variety

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2019-01-04 01:01:07

Andy Serkis Interview – Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle

Andy Serkis has become synonymous with performance capture technology in film.  He first came to mainstream attention playing Gollum in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.  He then put on an Oscar caliber performance portraying Caesar in the current Planet of the Apes series.  Now, he is the director for Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, a fantasy adventure based on the stories by Rudyard Kipling.

Screen Rant: This has been an ongoing project for you.

Andy Serkis: Yes [chuckles].

Screen Rant: It started back in 2013? Has there been a lot of changes along the way?

Andy Serkis: Yeah. I mean it’s had a life for sure. It was a big journey. But in terms of the vision, and in the script, and how I came on board with it, and why I wanted to do it, I think that’s not changed.  That’s remain rock solid. And I knew the project I wanted to make. And actually, I was looking at my mood boards, that I was drawing up at the beginning. And actually, they really are representative of the final movie in a way.

Screen Rant: Mood boards. So, did these mood boards change at all after Favreau’s project? Did you avoid that project, or did you enjoy it?

Andy Serkis: I went to see it. And I thought there was some magnificent things in it. You know, no one wants to make a movie at the same time someone else is making a movie. Don’t get me wrong.  But that was just the fact of life. And it’s not the first time it’s happened in Hollywood. But I knew that ours was going to be significantly different, whatever. Because, you know, Disney were going to make a family film, that was infused with the storytelling from the ‘67 animation. That was going to– The music, etc. etc. So, we knew that was happening. But this was always going to be a much darker and closer tonally to the original source material.

Screen Rant: Was that ever a concern? Because this story has been so closely attached to this bubbly musical kind of story in the past.

Andy Serkis: I won’t deny it. It’s a challenge to have people have a fresh perception of it.  But certainly, in terms of the story that we set out to make, I knew that we were making something that was completely and utterly different.

That was, for a start, it was a Mowgli-centric story. It was absolutely about this boy’s journey. And this boy who has a sense of being other, an outsider, trying to find– fulfill his destiny. But crucially, trying to find how he fits into the world. Which is changing. Both the world of man and animal. Gradually changing as they affect each other.

Screen Rant: You’re extremely prolific as a performance actor. And this is your third major film as a director.  But you’ve done a lot of B unit as well with Peter Jackson.

Andy Serkis: Yeah. I started directing the second unit on The Hobbit.  So, I shot an enormous amount of for that.

Screen Rant: Was there a lot of pressure though? Working with Academy Award winning actors in something like this? Or was it just having fun with your friends?

Andy Serkis: No, it’s– I mean, look. Everyone came to this, and a lot of actors came to this, a lot of great actors came to this having never done performance capture before. So, they were looking to me for some kind of leadership. But I mean I had to explain to them very quickly that the performance capture isn’t a type of acting. You don’t have to change your way of acting. It’s just a bunch of technology that films you in a slightly different way. So, it’s really about finding character. And that’s of course what they do magnificently. So, no. But I mean, we worked very closely and very hard. And with young Rohan Chand, who played Mowgli at the center of it all. And he wasn’t fazed by anything or anyone. So, it was a really creative experiences. Wonderful.

Screen Rant: Now, am I my wrong, or when I’m looking at Bagheera, you could see Christian Bale’s actual face? I could swear those are his cheekbones.

Andy Serkis. No, absolutely. We designed all of the animals around the actors who were playing them. Because my take on it was, it seems kind of crazy to have to create a photo real tiger or panther and then drop a voice on top of it and expect it to look real. The jaw wouldn’t move in the same way that a tiger’s jaw or the panther’s jaw would move in a completely different way. So, we literally took Christian, an image of Christian, and an image of the panther and then gradually morphed him over a timeline. And then, there is a sweet spot where you can actually see, as we have it in the movie, both his face and the face of the panther. And that was the key that unlocked the way to doing it for all of them.

Screen Rant: It came out wonderful. The film is wonderful.

Andy Serkis: Thank you.

Screen Rant: Thank you so much. I’m looking forward to your next directing project.

Andy Serkis: Thank you very much.

More: Read Screen Rant’s Mowgli Review

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2018-12-08 08:12:32

Christian Bale Interview – Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle

Christian Bale is one of the greatest actors of his generation, having been nominated for multiple Academy Awards. He submerges himself into a character and will often change his body to better play the part.  In 2004’s The Machinist, he lost 63 pounds to play the emaciated title character.  He gained 43 pounds to play a con artist in 2013’s American Hustle.  Now, he is playing Bagheera the panther in Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, a fantasy adventure based on the stories by Rudyard Kipling.

Screen Rant: Bagheera. Kind of an iconic role at this point. Did you look at past performances? Or listen to him?

Christian Bale: Well, I’d seen him, anyway. I didn’t see all of them. I was in India recently, and there was a series apparently there, with Freida Pinto, she was singing the jingle for. And I’d never seen that one before. But she said it’s what she grew up on. But, I’ve seen the animated films. Love ‘em. The more recent Disney iteration. Love ‘em. This is something new that you’ve never seen before. Because it’s much more true to Kipling’s original writings.

Screen Rant: Speaking about that, how was it received in India? You went there for a screening, correct?

Christian Bale: Yeah, yeah.

Screen Rant: How do they receive American films out there?

Christian Bale: A film’s a film, isn’t it? I mean, look, this is also– There’s no better place than to premiere it.  We were in Mumbai, which was the birthplace of Kipling. And Hindi was Kipling’s first language. He adored India and it’s a very Indian story. There’s global themes. But you can’t remove it from India. And so, it’s absolutely appropriate and respectful that that’s where we premiered it. And also, fascinating for me to get to go visit.

Screen Rant: There’s the old saying in film, “You don’t work with animals, you don’t work with kids.”

Christian Bale: Right [chuckles]. So, instead of that, we just became the animals. But we were working with a kid, with Rohan. But man, what a kid. He is smart beyond his years and really fantastic.

Screen Rant: You don’t do a ton of voice work on your resume. But this was more performance acting.

Christian Bale: Yeah. With voice work, I’ve done two. I did Howl’s Moving Castle and Pocahontas. But, no, this isn’t voice work. Because you are in motion all the time. You are interacting with the other actors. You do have to, albeit they’re boxes that they turn into looking like trees and hills and you know, grassy lots and whatnot. And the jungle. You’re jumping on boxes and that, but you have to interact. And all of that is what you end up seeing in the film. Whatever position I end up sitting in, that is the position that Bagheera is going to end up in. Which is why Andy said to me, “Please go study panthers and their movements.”

Screen Rant: Interesting. So, you actually did go. Did you look at videos? Did you go to the zoo?

Christian Bale: Rohan out did me. Because he actually went to a wolf sanctuary and hung out with the wolves. He beat me on that one. I was just watching them on YouTube.

Screen Rant: Well, it’s a wonderful film. I know you just got done with something everyone else is talking about. This is a wonderful film. Vice will be coming out. You look amazing. I saw pictures of how you weighted up for that. How do you do this?

Christian Bale: You just enjoy life to the extreme, too much, to put on the weight, ahh, just never stop. And then you just go to bed hungry in a miserable, to lose weight. That’s the secret.

More: Andy Serkis Interview for Mowgli

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2018-12-08 03:12:04

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle Review: A Dark, Visually Stunning Adaptation

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is a darker adaptation of Kipling’s stories, with stunning visual feats from director Andy Serkis and an impactful story.

Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book – a collection of stories published in 1894 about the animals that inhabit a jungle in India – has become the basis for many adaptations over the years. Perhaps the most famous is Disney’s animated The Jungle Book released in 1967. More recently, the studio reimagined its own animated movie to live-action. Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book blended live-action elements with CGI, hitting theaters in 2016 and becoming a critical and box office hit. At the same time Disney was producing their live-action Jungle Book, motion capture visionary Andy Serkis was working on his own adaptation of the original stories, titled Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle. This other Jungle Book adaptation is heading to Netflix more than a year and a half after Disney’s own movie hit theaters. Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is a darker adaptation of Kipling’s stories, with stunning visual feats from director Andy Serkis and an impactful story.

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle follows the young man-cub Mowgli (Rohan Chand) who was raised by wolves and protected by the pack from the vicious tiger, Shere Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch), that killed Mowgli’s parents when he was a baby. Though Nisha (Naomie Harris) made sure to raise Mowgli as another one of her wolf children, he’s aware that he’s unlike his brothers. With the help of the panther Bagheera (Christian Bale) and the bear Baloo (Andy Serkis), Mowgli trains for the running, a rite of passage in which the young wolves run from Bagheera and must avoid being caught before being officially accepted into the pack. All Mowgli wants is to prove himself to the wolves and become a part of the pack.

However, with the wolf pack’s leader Akela (Peter Mullan) growing older, Shere Khan senses weakness and begins killing the cattle of the local man village in order to sow discord among the pack and the jungle at large. Bagheera fears for Mowgli, who is no longer safe within the jungle where he was raised. Still, Mowgli struggles with his identity, having been raised as a wolf but knowing in his heart he is a man. After seeking out answers about his future from the ancient python known as Kaa (Cate Blanchett), Mowgli eventually ventures into the man village, where he’s taken in by the hunter John Lockwood (Matthew Rhys), who’s come to the jungle to kill Shere Khan. Ultimately, though, it’s unclear if Mowgli will be able to become the bridge between the jungle and the world of man, allowing the two disparate worlds to live alongside each other peacefully.

Serkis directed Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle – his second feature-length directing credit following 2017’s Breathe – from a script written by newcomer Callie Kloves, the daughter of Harry Potter movie scribe Steve Kloves. Serkis is perhaps more well known for his motion capture performances in The Lord of the Rings films and the Planet of the Apes prequel trilogy. To be sure, he puts those motion capture skills to work in Mowgli, which features a great deal of impressive CGI in order to bring the animals of the jungle to life. Because Serkis is so well-versed in motion capture technology, it’s clear he thoughtfully directed the movie to both showcase and push the limits of the technology used in Mowgli. The result is somewhat of a mixed bag, with outstanding moments of masterful CGI (a scene starring many of the animals that takes place in the rain comes to mind in particular), but there are also weaker moments – such as some especially clunky CGI humans at one point early on. For the most part, though, the CGI and motion capture blends almost seamlessly in with the live-action elements.

Further helping to bring the animals of the jungle to life are the actors behind Bagheera, Baloo, Kaa and Shere Khan. Mowgli enlisted an all-star cast to lend their talents to these characters, and they undoubtedly help these creatures nearly jump off the screen with their realness. But, perhaps what’s especially compelling about the voice acting in Mowgli may not even be the performances of Bale, Serkis, Blanchett and Cumberbatch. Mowgli manages to animalize the voices of these performers – giving Cumberbatch a menacing growl as Shere Khan, Bale a near-purring lilt when Bagheera is relaxed, Blanchett a hissing undertone as Kaa and Serkis a deep rumbling as Baloo. It’s unclear how much of the animalizing of the voices was done during the actors’ performances and how much was added in post-production, but the result is a cast of animal characters that truly sound like animals – rather than very human actors lending their voices to CGI creatures. It’s a subtle audio touch that adds to the immersive feel of Mowgli.

But, of course, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle ultimately rests on the shoulders of the actor in the titular role: Chand. The young actor is a strong lead for Serkis’ movie, portraying the conflicted Mowgli in an especially compelling manner. Legend of the Jungle also dives much deeper into Mowgli’s character than other adaptations of The Jungle Book, not shying away from the darker aspects of the young boy being raised among the wolves. In this film, Mowgli has a coming-of-age storyline in which he must learn his place in both the jungle and the world of man; a storyline paralleled by that of the young albino wolf cub Bhoot (Louis Ashbourne Serkis). Chand bears the heavy load of leading the live-action cast in Mowgli well, helping to ground the CGI elements and taking viewers through the titular character’s journey with a compelling performance.

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle still struggles somewhat in adapting the stories of Kipling’s The Jungle Book into a cohesive storyline, feeling a little disjointed at times, like the filmmakers didn’t know how to transition from one plot beat to the next. That said, Kloves’ script is perhaps the most linear adaptation of The Jungle Book, providing a clear throughline of Mowgli’s coming-of-age tale and how it intersects with the jungle creatures. Further, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle doesn’t shy away from the darker side of the jungle and the titular character himself, depicting the young boy as a true son of nature – nature that can be brutal at times. There are times when that brutality, both of the jungle and of man, is taken a little far, but those moments are neither without realism nor emotional weight that serves the larger story. Altogether, the movie is a compelling adaptation of Kipling’s stories that maintains the themes of man versus nature and finding your place in the world.

Ultimately, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle does manage to set itself apart from previous Jungle Book adaptations through its darker story and the visual mastery in its CGI animals. It’s perhaps a little too scary from younger viewers (one particular sequence showcasing the brutality of man is especially horrifying, though not violent), but is undoubtedly worth checking out for viewers interested in the story or the work of Serkis. Mowgli may additionally benefit from its Netflix release (and limited theatrical release) because, though it’s different enough from Favreau’s movie to add something to the story, it still may not be quite worth a second trip to the theater in two years for a Jungle Book adaptation. The CGI and motion capture work certainly makes Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle worth seeing on a big screen – but a big TV screen will do just as well as a theater screen, in this case.


Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is now playing in select theaters and launches globally on Netflix Friday, December 7. It is 104 minutes long and is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence including bloody images, and some thematic elements.

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

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Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween Interview – R.L. Stine

Halloween is just around the corner, and to celebrate the spookiest holiday of the year there’s a new Goosebumps movie arriving in theaters – Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. The movie features a new cast of kids – played by Jeremy Ray Taylor (IT), Caleel Harris (Castle Rock), and Madison Iseman (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) – who discover a lost Goosebumps book in a hidden room and unwittingly unleash a new season of terror, as Slappy the Dummy brings Halloween costumes to life and wreaks havoc on the city.

Jack Black reprises his role as Goosebumps author R.L. Stine in Haunted Halloween , so to celebrate the movie’s release, Screen Rant spoke to the real R.L. Stine to find out about the new monsters on parade, and ask whether Black’s curmudgeonly portrayal of the author is accurate.

Related: Watch the Trailer For Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

I have to ask, because the movie’s about a secret Goosebumps book hidden in a box – is there actually a secret Goosebumps book somewhere out there?

R.L. Stine: No. I wish [laughs]. I wish there were some extra ones somewhere that I could pull out. No, no secret book… But it’s kind of creepy, these two boys go into this house and knock over something and find this book and it’s locked, and they unlock it. And that starts all the action. All the horrible action.

Are there any Goosebumps monsters in this movie that we didn’t see in the last one?

Stine: Well, there are gummy bears [laughs]. They didn’t have gummy bears. After the first one I said, “How will we ever do a sequel? You used every single monster in the first movie!” There was nothing left. But yes, there are some. There’s an ogre, for one thing. We didn’t have an ogre in the first one. And my very favorite scene is the one with the gummy bears. Cute little gummy bears and then they turn into monsters.

But they’re so cute, what harm could they possibly do?

Stine: Well, they grow teeth for one thing. And then they all stick together and become a huge blob and attack people. It’s a wonderful scene [laughs]. Very proud of that!

It seems like there aren’t a lot of scary movies aimed at kids, since so many horror movies involve blood and gore. Is there a special trick to terrifying kids?

Stine: No, it’s the same as for grown-ups, I think. I think it’s surprise, it’s travelling into the unknown where you don’t really know what’s next and you can’t see what’s coming up, and it’s a lot of twists and turns. I think it’s the same as doing horror for adults.

There’s a whole new cast of kids in this movie. Can you tell us a bit about them?

Stine: Well, there’s a delightful boy who’s building a replicas of Tesla’s lab, because Tesla’s real lab is actually in their town. And he’s fiddling with the electricity and he keeps blowing out all the electricity in the house, but he’s determined to do it. And his doing this leads to an amazing scene near the end at Tesla’s real lab. It’s a real Frankenstein type lab. I went to Atlanta, where we filmed the film… and they showed me these sets. These guys are geniuses! They built this amazing Frankenstein’s lab… I couldn’t believe what these guys could build. It was incredible.

So Slappy the Dummy is the ringleader in this movie again. What is it about Slappy that people love so much?

Stine: I don’t really get it [laughs]. I don’t know why a dummy coming to life is so scary. But people are really frightened of him, and he’s so popular now that every other Goosebumps book has to be a Slappy book. I think I’ve written about fourteen of them [laughs]. It doesn’t get any easier to think of plots about a dummy coming to life.

Maybe it’s also because he likes to insult people. People like comedy roasts, so maybe that’s why they like Slappy.

Stine: Well that’s why I like to write him – he’s really an insult comedian. That’s why I love writing him, because he’s so rude!

Do you think kids are easier to scare than adults, or harder?

Stine: Probably easier. Probably don’t have to work as hard to scare them. But you know, my audience – seven to twelve year-olds – I get them the last time in their lives they’ll ever be enthusiastic. And then when they turn twelve, they have to be cool… and they’re gone. But before then they love writing to an author, they love reading, they love hearing from you, they love going to things… it’s just the best audience.

Was Jack Black’s portrayal of you in the first movie accurate?

Stine: I love Jack. Not accurate at all! Nothing accurate. But he’s a great guy, I thought he was wonderful. He flew to New York in a blizzard to meet me, to try to figure out how he was going to play the character. And we had lunch and he was like, looking at me, right? [Laughs] And then he said, “Bob… what about the script is true about you?” And I said, “Nothing, not one thing, none of it’s true!” And he said, “I’m going to be a sinister version of you.” And that’s what he decided to do.. And then when it started filming he started talking like Orson Welles, right? He does, in that first film, and I said, “Jack, I’m from Ohio, I don’t sound like that!” But I thought it was really fun. What a weird thing, to be a character in a movie.

Seeing as, unlike Jack’s version of you, you don’t hate kids – is there a favorite interaction with a young fan that you’ve had?

Stine: I’ve had way too many. I’m just so lucky. Because I go out, I really talk to kids, I go to schools, and I really do like kids. And you know, I have a son and I have a grandson, who’s four and hilarious. And he’s taking after my son, he won’t read my books. That’s my son’s claim to fame, he never read one. Isn’t that horrible?

Does he tell you that all the time?

Stine: He bragged about it, how he never read one!

You should write him into a book so that he has to read it.

Stine: I did! I made him the star of a Fear Street book, it was a vampire book, and he was the star and he didn’t read that one either. In the very last paragraph of the book he gets bit in the neck. [Laughs] I got my revenge!

More: Read Screen Rant’s Review of Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween arrives in theaters this weekend.

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2018-10-11 04:10:45 – Hannah Shaw-Williams

Hobbs & Shaw Photo: Idris Elba’s Fast & Furious Villain Revealed

Dwayne Johnson has posted the first photo of Idris Elba as the villainous Brixton in the Fast & Furious spinoff, Hobbs and Shaw. The Rock has arguably become as central to the illegal street racing series-turned international juggernaut that is Fast & Furious as Vin Diesel, following his debut as Luke Hobbs from 2011’s Fast Five… and he has the box office receipts to prove it. Hence, it’s not surprising that Universal has decided to prioritize a spinoff movie that centers around Johnson’s character and pairs him opposite Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw, especially after the two actors discovered they have crackling onscreen chemistry while filming last year’s Fate of the Furious.

Hobbs and Shaw officially began shooting last month, with David Leitch (Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2) calling the shots from a script by Fast & Furious franchise writer/producer Chris Morgan. Not much is known about the film’s actual narrative, admittedly, but it’s probably fair to assume that Elba’s character is a suave British mercenary of sorts (Is there any other kind of British mercenary in the movies?) who’s out to profit from his terrorist ways. And of course, the only ones who stand in his way are Hobbs, Shaw, and Mission: Impossible – Fallout‘s Vanessa Kirby as (reportedly) Shaw’s sister, an MI-5 agent.

Related: Vanessa Kirby’s Hobbs & Shaw Character is ‘Absolutely the Boss’

Johnson published the first photo of Elba in character for Hobbs and Shaw on his Instagram account and, in doing so, confirmed the mysterious baddie’s name. Take a look in the space below:

Hobbs and Shaw‘s Brixton will be but the latest villain role in a major franchise movie that Elba adds to his belt, to go along with his voice work as the tiger Shere Khan in Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book remake and his performance as the antagonist Krall in Star Trek Beyond. As compelling as the actor can be when he’s playing the nobler type onscreen (even an extremely flawed hero like the DCI John Luther on the TV series Luther), he generally makes for an equally charismatic and engaging threat to the good guys in his big screen appearances.

The Fast & Furious movies have stepped up their own villain game over the past five years by bringing in top-tier talent like Luke Evans, Charlize Theron and – once upon a time – even Statham to take on the franchise’s heroes. However, with Elba stepping into Brixton’s (fancy) shoes, there’s a pretty good chance that Hobbs and Shaw will end up delivering the most memorable bad guy that the series has seen to date.

MORE: First Look at The Rock’s Fast & Furious Spinoff

Source: Dwayne Johnson

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2018-10-11 03:10:10 – Sandy Schaefer

Rambo 5 Officially Titled Last Blood

The fifth movie in the Rambo franchise is officially titled Rambo 5: Last Blood. Back when Sylvester Stallone was solidifying himself as a major movie star on the back of the Rocky franchise, Stallone boarded another project that would ultimately take up years of his life. He first played John Rambo in 1982’s First Blood. He returned for two sequels by 1988, then wasn’t seen again as the highly-skilled soldier for a decade. Another decade has since passed Rambo by, but Stallone is finally ready to return to his roots.

The last few months have been filled with updates on the next Rambo movie, one that will see Rambo return to American soil. Stallone shared some first look images from the movie recently that tease his new rancher lifestyle, but it’ll be a conflict with human traffickers which bring him back into action – possibly for the final time.

Related: Rambo 5 Welcomes Stallone Back to Jungle in Workout Video

THR confirmed that the fifth movie in the franchise is officially titled Rambo 5: Last Blood. The title alludes to Rambo’s story coming full circle after the first film was simply titled First Blood. The direct sequel continued this trend in a way by calling it Rambo: First Blood Part II. There was hardly consistency from that point on, with the third film titled Rambo III before the fourth entry was simply called Rambo.

The confirmed subtitle for Rambo 5 has a finality to it that could make fans of the character nervous. Stallone’s been revisiting several iconic roles as of late, and is putting his familiar characters through the ringer. Rocky Balboa got cancer in Creed and could die as soon as this November in Creed II. Rambo could have a similarly short life expectancy. Even if he manages to make it out of the fifth movie alive, titling the movie Last Blood indicates that it will be the final installment of the franchise. Now, crazy success critically or financially could eventually change that, but this appears to be the direction Rambo 5 is heading.

Filming on Last Blood is currently underway as Stallone has confirmed, but not much else is set for the movie officially. Paz Vega just joined the cast as a reporter who works with Rambo following the kidnapping of her half-sister. Casting for the sister and her kidnappers hasn’t yet been announced. Get the Gringo‘s Adrian Grunberg is set to direct the film, which is expected to hit theaters in fall 2019. As long as production continues to move along smoothly and the casting process doesn’t have any hiccups, Rambo 5: Last Blood will be here before fans know it.

MORE: Rambo 5 Character & Plot Details Revealed

Source: THR

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2018-10-09 04:10:17 – Cooper Hood

Dwayne Johnson & Netflix Team Up For John Henry Movie

Dwayne Johnson and Netflix are teaming up on a folklore-inspired film titled John Henry and the Statesmen. This will mark the first collaboration between The Rock and the streaming giant, as well as the third project overall for Johnson and director Jake Kasdan. The latter duo previously joined creative forces on 2017’s smash box office hit Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and will reunite to begin shooting Jumanji 3 near the end of this year.

In addition to joining lucrative properties like Jumanji and Fast & Furious, Johnson has spent the last ten years expanding his “brand” to encompass everything from movie adaptations based on a variety of IPs (ex. video games, popular toylines) to original ventures (like this summer’s Skyscraper) and even his own HBO TV series in the form of Ballers. Interestingly enough though, The Rock really stepped up his franchise-building efforts a few years ago, around the same time that Netflix started to ramp up its own original movie and TV show content production. As such, it was probably inevitable that the pair would eventually find a project that they could develop together.

Related: First Look at The Rock’s Fast & Furious Spinoff Hobbs and Shaw

Per Netflix’s press release, Johnson will star in John Henry and the Statesman as the eponymous steel-driver and lead “an ensemble cast of the most popular figures from folklore and legend from all around the world” in the film. You can check out the teaser for the movie below, along with The Rock’s comments on what the John Henry folk story means to him, personally.

John Henry is based on a pitch that Johnson and his Seven Bucks Production team developed with screenwriter Tom Wheeler, who will (naturally) further write the movie’s script. Wheeler is already in the Netflix business, as it were, and is serving as the showrunner for the company’s upcoming Frank Miller-backed TV series Cursed (an origin story for the Lady of the Lake, essentially). The writer is also far from a stranger to fairy tales and legends, having previously written the Shrek spinoff Puss in Boots – among other films with broad, crowd-pleasing appeal.

Indeed, “crowd-pleasing” is the name of the game for Johnson and there’s fair reason to believe that he will deliver the goods again with John Henry, especially if the results of his efforts on Jumanji with Kasdan are any indicator. Moreover, John Henry is another movie that (like his upcoming Kamehameha biopic The King) is something of a passion project that holds a personal meaning to Johnson, by the sound of it. Good things tend to happen when The Rock really pours his heart and soul into his productions, so that certainly bodes well for his very first Netflix movie.

And, of course, if the film is a success, then don’t be surprised if Johnson and Netflix try to turn this one into a full-blown superhero-style franchise revolving around popular folklore figures from around the world.

MORE: Dwayne Johnson Wraps Filming on Jungle Cruise

We will bring you more details on John Henry and the Statesmen as they become available.

Source: Dwayne Johnson

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2018-10-09 01:10:07 – Sandy Schaefer

Jungle Cruise Wraps Production With Dwayne Johnson & Emily Blunt Video

Disney’s Jungle Cruise released (yet another) video, this time to celebrate the end of production on the film. The movie is based on the popular 1955 theme park ride and will combine action and adventure with a fantastical tone. No doubt Disney is hoping that Jungle Cruise will have the same success of its theme park ride-turned-movie franchise The Pirates of the Caribbean (a box office smash) rather than Tomorrowland (which underperformed at the box office) or The Haunted Mansion.

However, Jungle Cruise already seems to have the potential to be to an extremely successful film. The ride is a classic and a favorite of many park-goers for its hilarious commentary by the boat’s skippers. The film’s cast also includes megastar Dwayne Johnson and new Disney darling Emily Blunt who will also be playing Mary Poppins for the Mouse House in this year’s Mary Poppins Returns. It has been Johnson’s marketing of the film through his Instagram account that has provided the best look behind the scenes. He’s shared videos of the cast working out together, revealed the massive size of the Jungle Cruise set, and praised everyone from his co-stars to the film’s director, Jaume Collet-Serra.

Related: Jungle Cruise Receives Backlash For Stereotypically Gay Role

Now Disney (and Johnson) have shared a video celebrating Jungle Cruise wrapping production. The video shows Blunt talking about “the x-factor involved” in making the film, which Johnson jokingly assumes means him. But of course they are talking about the crew who helped bring the movie to life and the crew is present in the video to toss their (captain’s) hats and celebrate a job well done. You can watch the video below:

In the film, Johnson stars as the river boat captain Frank who takes scientist Lily (played by Blunt) and her brother (Jack Whitehall) on a journey to find a mysterious tree in South America with the ability to heal. Along the way they run into villains played by Edgar Ramírez and Jesse Plemons. Paul Giamatti also stars as the film’s “crusty harbormaster.”

Movies based on theme park rides can be hit or miss, but hopefully Jungle Cruise will capture the fun spirit of the ride. For what it’s worth, Johnson has seemed to have a great time working on the film and his enthusiasm is infectious. Judging by some of his videos, his corny lines would fit in perfectly with any of the Disney Park’s river boat skippers. Let’s hope Blunt won’t just be the straight man and will have the opportunity to show off her comedic timing as well.

Read More: Every Movie & TV Show Coming to Disney’s Streaming Service

Source: Disney

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2018-09-14 12:09:29 – Brittany Rivera