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Avengers: Endgame Early Reviews – A True Love Letter to MCU Fans

The first reviews for Avengers: Endgame have arrived. A direct followup to Avengers: Infinity War, Anthony and Joe Russo’s Endgame marks the long-awaited finale to Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the 21 MCU films released to date. The movie further promises to usher in a whole new paradigm for the franchise at large. Indeed, by the time the Avengers have defeated Thanos once and for all in the film, the MCU (and all the beings that populate it) could end up looking a whole lot different.

That being said, it was recently revealed that July’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, not Endgame, marks the true end to Phase 3. Even so, Endgame is expected to conclude the Infinity Saga, with Far From Home serving as an epilogue that feeds into Phase 4. With so much secrecy around the latter right now, it’s little wonder that Disney and Marvel have been jumpier than usual about keeping Endgame spoilers under wraps. Now, however, they’ve finally screened the movie for the press, ahead of its release in theaters this week.

Related: Every Avengers: Endgame Trailer, TV Spot & Clip

Disney and Marvel dropped the social media embargo on Endgame reactions last night, following its world premiere. The film has since been shown to critics in general, who have started weighing in with their thoughts and feelings about the movie’s quality, all the hype and subterfuge aside. For more on that, check out these spoiler-free excerpts from the early Endgame reviews.

Molly Freeman, Screen Rant

Ultimately, Avengers: Endgame is a whole lotta movie, but the filmmakers put every single second of its three-hour runtime to good use. Since Endgame concludes the Infinity Saga (the official title of the story thus far), Marvel and the filmmakers have the unenviable task of delivering a movie that satisfies all MCU fans. While there are bound to be aspects of Avengers: Endgame that don’t work for all viewers, for the most part the movie actually, truly offers a satisfying ending to the Infinity Saga.

Leah Greenblatt, EW

For the millions who watched half the Marvel universe vaporize onscreen in the final moments of 2018’s Infinity War… there had to be one last sequel to set it right. Nearly a year to the day, Endgame returns with the promise of many things: revenge, redemption, a runtime that defies the limits of most streetside parking meters. And the movie largely delivers, splashing its ambitious three-hour narrative across a sprawling canvas of characters, eras, and not-quite-insurmountable challenges.

Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

“Avengers: Endgame” has almost nothing on its mind but crossing the Ts and dotting the Is of a far-flung superhero saga, but to anyone with even a minor emotional stake in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it has all the fleeting satisfaction of a shot of whipped cream delivered directly from the spray can. And that’s not a bad thing… “Avengers: Endgame” is a popcorn epic, of the extra salt-and-butter variety.

Angie Han, Mashable

Avengers: Endgame is not the best Marvel movie ever made. It’s not the prettiest or the funniest; it won’t blow your mind with new ideas or complicated character development. But it is the most Marvel movie ever made, and there’s something incredible about that. This is Marvel flexing, building on over 10 years and 20-plus films of careful groundwork and intricate planning to show us what it can do that no other movie franchise can. As such, it’s an immensely satisfying finish to this era of the series.

Peter Debruge, Variety

Time and again, “Endgame” makes the point that family matters, whether that means biological ties… or those bound by duty. The final takeaway from this decade-long journey is that heroism isn’t defined by bravery or super-abilities, but by what one gives up for the greater good. Among the many frustrations of the Snap was that it robbed so many great characters – and gazillions of anonymous creatures throughout the galaxy – of proactively making that choice. “Endgame” isn’t exactly a do-over, but it builds to an infinitely more satisfying conclusion.

Todd McCarthy, THR

A gargantuan film by any standard, this three-hour extravaganza shuffles back into the action numerous significant characters seen in recent Marvel films as it wraps up an epic story in which the survival of the known universe is (once again) at stake. While constantly eventful and a feast for the eyes, it’s also notably more somber than its predecessors. But just when it might seem about to become too grim, Robert Downey Jr. rides to the rescue with an inspired serio-comic performance that reminds you how good he can be.

Eric Kohn, IndieWire

Suffice to say, “Endgame” delivers the payoff countless fans hoped for, even as it struggles to fuse that commercial mandate into a gratifying whole. There’s much to enjoy about this mishmash of tender goodbyes and last-minute strategies to save the universe, but after an intelligent first hour, “Endgame” amounts to a dense nostalgia trip. With “Infinity War,” it was thrilling to watch a mass-market movie let the bad guy win, and it’s less satisfying to see the Avengers clean up the mess one last time. The title of “Endgame” is misleading: This busy love letter to the biggest movie franchise of all time unleashes several endings at once, resulting in a fascinating – if at times messy – collection of competing agendas.

Laura Prudom, IGN

Endgame is a film that feels like it was made by fans, for fans – to the point where some scenes will undoubtedly be labeled as outright fanservice. But it’s hard to view those moments as cynical pandering so much as earned and effective homages to the moments, characters, and relationships we’ve grown so invested in over the past 11 years. Several scenes truly feel like a Jack Kirby splash page come to life, and that’s an utterly exhilarating realization, something that forces you to absorb the sheer scope of what Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and his team have assembled: an interconnected cinematic endeavor beyond comparison.

Altogether, it sounds like Endgame is a splashy, sprawling, messy, and ultimately triumphant love letter to the MCU’s fans. Nearly every review for the film so far notes that it’s overflowing with fan service moments, yet appear to agree that Endgame is largely justified in taking this approach. It seems that everyone involved with the movie’s production (from its ensemble cast to its equally massive crew) are also aware of the film’s significance, and stepped up their game accordingly. The end result might not be Marvel Studios’ best, but (to paraphrase one of these reviews) it’s certainly their Marvel-est movie, and should leave fans feeling emotionally satisfied… if also pretty drained, in the end.

Yes, as though it wasn’t already obvious, nearly every review makes it clear: Endgame should succeed in making viewers feel a wide range of emotions, by the time it’s over. Several people admitted to crying multiple times while watching the film in the early reactions, so everyone would do best to prepare themselves as necessary. Beyond that, it’s good to hear that the movie lives up to the staggering expectations overall, and concludes the Infinity Saga on an altogether strong note. Here’s to the next eleven years of MCU storytelling to come.

NEXT: The 5 Movies You Have to Watch to Understand Avengers: Endgame

Source: Various [see the above links]


2019-04-23 03:04:45

Sandy Schaefer

Venom Erases Spider-Man To Avoid Marvel Mistakes

Venom may owe his origins to Spider-Man in the comic books, but in the movie version, Marvel’s hold on Disney means no Spidey at all. But while some fans worried that removing Spider-Man from Venom’s origin would be a problem, it actually makes for a way better story – and honestly, one much closer to Venom’s current origin, too.

By now even casual fans will be familiar with the classic origin story for Venom, if not from the comics, then the fact that Spider-Man 3 adapted it almost to the letter. Spider-Man brings an alien suit back from space, which eventually shows an ‘evil’ mind of its own. Spider-Man rejects the symbiote until it finds the same level of hatred for Spidey in Eddie Brock. Man meets suit, and together they become Venom to launch their revenge on Spider-Man in a tale many claim the Venom movie SHOULD have told.

The problem with that version of a Venom origin movie? It’s faithful to the original version of the comic books, sure. But it’s a story that makes Spider-Man the real star of the show, plus… that’s not what really happened, according to modern Marvel Comics.

  • This Page: Spider-Man Makes Venom Worse, Not Better
  • Page 2: Venom Avoids Marvel’s Mistake By Removing Spider-Man

Venom Should Be Eddie’s Story, Not Spider-Man’s

It’s easy to see why there would be an outcry over the need to remove Spider-Man from Venom’s origin movie. After all, the moviegoers who would know Venom’s origin best are Spider-Man fans, and who would wish to see Spider-Man in the movie more? (Not to mention removing Spider-Man means no iconic Venom logo.)

RELATED: Why Venom’s Director Saved [SPOILER] For The Sequel

But what fans want isn’t always what’s best, and in the case of Venom, the existing origin has one major problem: in the comics, it’s told as one of Spider-Man‘s most formative stories, with Eddie Brock a victim of Peter, the symbiote, and professional failure. While a victim’s story could be interesting, and has been used as a jumping-off point for other superhero origins… those heroes aren’t Venom. Besides the fact that the Venom movie is trying to have some fun with Eddie and the symbiote’s fusion, it’s built on the idea that Eddie is a good man, ruined by evil forces – not a bitter, angry, jealous man fueled by hate of Spider-Man as he was in the comic.

One of those descriptions fits a movie hero… the other fits a villain unlikely to star in a fun, subversive, and oddball body horror adventure. The result is a better version of a Venom movie. “But,” we’re sure some die-hard Spider-Man fans will cry, “you’re making Venom a different character!” And by twisting his origin to make Eddie and the symbiote a misunderstood antihero, the makers of Venom have done just that… but Marvel Comics did it first.

Marvel Has Changed Venom’s Origin Already

Revisiting the comic book history of Eddie Brock and his time as Venom means traversing more than one major retcon, or retroactive changing of his origin story. Fictionally, it’s an expansion and deepening of Eddie’s story. But practically, like most other retcons, it’s about ‘fixing’ past writing or plot that hinders the character’s next step forward. And for Eddie Brock, the idea of him being a byproduct of Spider-Man has been minimized, downplayed, or altogether changed since he first set out to play a hero in Venom: Lethal Protector, upon which the movie is based.

People who walk out of Venom excited to read that comic book inspiration are in for a rude awakening, however, since Spider-Man is without question the WORST part of it. Because Peter Parker is misinformed about who Venom is, what motivates him, and who he has become as more than just the hero’s villain. Arguably, every bit as misinformed as the people claiming the Venom movie ‘got it wrong’ by removing Spider-Man altogether.

As we see it, the makers of the Venom movie just learned from the missteps and corrections Marvel Comics has made so they wouldn’t make them in the movie, too. The first step? Taking Spider-Man out of the equation to create the Venom modern comic readers know and love.

Page 2 of 2: How Venom Avoids Marvel’s Own Mistakes

Venom Avoids Marvel’s Own Comic Mistakes

In Venom’s first solo comic outing, Spider-Man is an antagonist for completely flawed reasons. Despite Eddie being every bit the normal, evil-hating human he is in the comics, Spider-Man actively fights him, believing he’s still as evil as Marvel made him in his origin story. In his defense, Spider-Man was just late to the party, unaware that Marvel editorial, and a long line of writers and artists were already beginning to make Eddie and Venom not evil, just… misunderstood.

RELATED: Venom’s Post-Credits Scene Tease Explained

The changes came one by one: the Venom symbiote wasn’t hateful, but a traumatized member of an alien symbiote race, Eddie Brock’s rough exterior becomes a result of a cold, distant, single father, and just weeks ago, the origin was changed once more by showing that Spider-Man was evil, not the symbiote when they first merged. It’s flawed thinking to assume a movie should recreate each one of those steps, rather than looking at who Venom is today, and aiming for that from thee outset.

Still, one feels for director Ruben Fleischer for having to make that call, since he has admitted that removing Spider-Man from Venom was a challenge (that’s the origin everyone knows). But the finished film shows it was the right path to take for one simple reason: the Venom of the movie is basically the one Marvel took decades to arrive at. Not just Eddie the relatable hero, but the symbiote’s personality, voice, sense of humor, and even love for its host.

The Movie Venom is The True Comic Venom

In fact, the moments of humor and love from the symbiote may turn off older fans of the origin hero, while hitting the bullseye for the modern incarnations. After all, Eddie and the symbiote had a baby not too long ago in the comics, and it’s not hard to see a Venom movie sequel embracing that strange, borderline ludicrous plot. Leave the theater and go pick up the newest issue of Venom, and the version may not be perfect copies, but more importantly, the strengths of one are alive in the other.

And, perhaps most importantly, the existence of Spider-Man is a footnote, or back-up character at best. By now even Peter Parker understands that his time with the symbiote was a fluke, or coincidence, compared to the character Eddie and Venom became.

In Marvel’s Universe, there may not be a greater romance than Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote –  and when audiences line up for a great love story, you don’t bother starting with the flings, one-night stands, or bad dates that came before.

MORE: Venom Secretly Revealed Carnage’s Backstory



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2018-10-09 03:10:52 – Andrew Dyce

Dave Bautista Wants to Star in James Gunn’s Suicide Squad 2

In a not-so-surprising turn of events, Dave Bautista is interested in starring in James Gunn’s version of Suicide Squad 2. Earlier this summer, it was announced that Gunn had been hired as the director for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. At the time, the decision had come down from the chairman of Walt Disney Studios, but it has since been agreed to by the rest of the leadership at the Mouse House, including the heads of Marvel Studios and The Walt Disney Company.

It was a decision that struck a chord with Gunn’s fan base as well as many fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But, it particularly hit the cast and crew of the Guardians series pretty hard. In an open letter, the core member of the Guardians cast expressed their support for Gunn, though that statement stopped short of calling for his reinstatement as director. However, the one person who has championed Gunn’s cause at Marvel is Drax actor Dave Bautista, who recently indicated that he might not return to the MCU after Avengers 4. Interestingly, though, it seems there’s another comic book movie Bautista can do with Gunn.

Related: James Gunn is Writing Suicide Squad 2

Today, WB announced that James Gunn had been hired to write the script for Suicide Squad 2 with the possibility of directing it. And now, it seems that Bautista – who, again, has been a staunch supporter of Gunn’s – is interested in joining the movie, saying on Twitter, “Where do I sign up!” Given that this movie will reportedly be a new take on the team, though most likely with the same cast, it’s possible that Gunn could bring in Bautista for any number of roles. After all, Task Force X isn’t called the Suicide Squad for no reason; their roster tends to change… often.

However, it will be quite a while before the casting process for Suicide Squad 2 gets underway. Gunn was only recently hired to write the new script, and judging by recent reports, it’s apparent that the story will be different than the version that Gavin O’Connor, Todd Stashwick, and David Bar Katz had come up with. But because Gunn appears to be starting from scratch – or, at least, close to it – it may take some time before Suicide Squad 2 even starts filming. It will be a long process from here on out, especially since the new leadership at DC Films has been keen on getting their stories and scripts down before even thinking about anything else.

For now, MCU fans can look forward to seeing Bautista reprise his role as Drax (possibly for the last time?) in Anthony and Joe Russo’s Avengers 4 in 2019. Then, it’s certainly possible he can hop over to the DC movie universe in the future, whenever Suicide Squad 2 finally moves out of the development stage and into production.

Next: James Gunn Is Better Suited For Suicide Squad Than Guardians of the Galaxy

Source: Dave Bautista





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2018-10-09 02:10:21 – Mansoor Mithaiwala

Better Call Saul Season 4 Finale Ending Explained

This post contains SPOILERS for Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul’s fourth season ended with “Winner,” an exciting finale that inches the spinoff closer to its Breaking Bad roots. This year, AMC’s acclaimed drama had to followup the jaw-dropping cliffhanger of season 3, where Chuck died in a horrifying fire. That tragedy is what truly spurred Jimmy McGill’s transformation into Saul Goodman as he dealt with the consequences and aftermath of not only his brother’s death, but also his bar suspension. Over the course of the fourth season, Jimmy became more involved with the criminal underworld of Albuquerque, launching his “get-rich-quick” scheme of selling prepaid cell phones to unsavory individuals.

Elsewhere in the Saul universe, Gus Fring looked to expand his cartel operations, commissioning the construction of the famous “super lab” Walter White and Jesse Pinkman cooked in during Breaking Bad. Entrusting Mike Ehrmantraut to oversee the operation, Gus hired a group of German nationals led by Werner Ziegler. While the project was taking longer than originally planned, the crew was working diligently and hoped to have it finished soon. Of course, things hit a snag at the end of last week’s “Wiedersehen” when Werner went AWOL, leaving only a note with detailed instructions for his team. These storylines (Werner’s disappearance and Jimmy’s bar reinstatement appeal) are the crux of the finale’s narrative, with both resolving in powerful ways.

The Tragedy of Werner Ziegler

Throughout the season, Werner’s team were recurring players, frequently interacting with Mike. Early on, it looked like Kai would be the troublemaker of the group, especially after his incident with the nightclub. However, Kai turned out to be a red herring, and Werner caused the biggest headaches for Gus and Mike. Werner, of course, is far from home and dearly misses his beloved wife. Wishing to see her again, Werner pitched Mike the idea of going home for a weekend, but was denied. Since he couldn’t get his superiors’ approval, Werner took matters into his own hands and hatched a plot for a loving reunion.

“Winner” reveals Werner ran off to a resort where he planned to spend time with his wife. He made travel arrangements that would see her fly over to America for a weekend and go back home. Sadly for Werner, he never gets to see her again. Mike tracks him down and after a discussion with Gus, realizes there’s only one resolution for this setback. Allowing Werner the opportunity to call his wife and tell her to return home before Gus’ people do anything to her, Mike then (reluctantly) kills Werner. Ehrmantraut says Werner’s death will be covered up as a tragic accident and his men will be sent back. As one might expect, Gus is angered by the lack of progress on the super lab (cutting a conversation with Gale short), which he thought would be completed by now.

Related: How Better Call Saul’s (Unseen) Breaking Bad Character Connects To Jimmy

Werner clearly had no ill intent (Mike knew he was jut homesick), but when he ran off, his fate was essentially sealed. This was the second transgression Werner committed against Gus – the first being his friendly chat about construction work with bar patrons. These two incidents back-to-back made it very difficult for Gus to trust Werner moving forward, and by now, fans are well aware of Fring’s ruthlessness. Mike mentions multiple times in the episode there are other ways to go about things, but he can’t convince Gus to spare Werner’s life. No amount of begging or pleading has any effect on Gus when he’s made up his mind about something. Unfortunately for Werner, he never completely understood what he got himself into and crossed the wrong people.

Lalo also factors into this storyline, with the mysterious member of the Salamanca clan tailing Mike and trying to locate Werner for his own reasons. Lalo does discover which resort Werner is staying at and briefly speaks to the Russian over the phone, posing as one of Gus’ employees. Not knowing any better, Werner begins to tell Lalo the first couple of basic instructions for the super lab construction, before Mike arrives in person and interrupts the call. Near the end of the episode, Mike tells Gus about what happened, and it’ll be fascinating to see how this continues in season 5. Of course, Fring does not get along with the Salamancas, and despite Lalo’s cheeky offer of a peace treaty in last week’s episode, the two warring sides will continue their power struggle. Lalo is clearly curious about what Gus is up to and wants to get an upper hand for himself.

Page 2: Jimmy McGill Becomes Saul Goodman

Jimmy McGill Is Finally Saul Goodman

Jimmy’s arc in season 4 is dealing with the fallout of his felony from season 2 (tampering with Chuck’s documents) as he tries to get by in life with his one-year suspension. Picking up lawful employment at CC Mobile, he does everything he’s supposed to do to work himself back in the graces of the committee. However, last week’s episode ended with the shocking twist that Jimmy was denied reinstatement – after he was found to be insincere in his comments. Kim, as she always does, stays by Jimmy’s side to help him win the appeal. In Kim’s mind, the sincerity issue stems from Chuck and Jimmy needs to show remorse for what’s transpired.

The two forge ahead with another one of their brilliant schemes. Jimmy spends the one-year anniversary of Chuck’s death mourning at his brother’s grave. An “anonymous” donation is made to HHM to name the legal library after Chuck, with members of Jimmy’s go-to video team telling people in attendance they heard the gift was from Jimmy. It all builds up to another hearing in front of the committee, where Jimmy uses the letter Chuck left him as a weapon in his favor. After (faking) being unable to read it in place of an opening statement, Jimmy launches into a nostalgic monologue where he reminisces about his brother, talks about wanting to make Chuck proud, and credits Chuck with influencing his interest in a law career. In their celebration afterwards, Kim feels some it was truthful, but Jimmy’s reaction makes it painfully apparent it was all a show for the committee so he could get his law license back. As he prepares to sign the necessary documents, Jimmy states he’ll no longer be practicing under his legal name. Turning to a clearly shocked Kim, he closes out the season by saying, “S’all good, man.”

Related: Bob Odenkirk Responds to Fan Theory About Chuck’s Letter

At a certain time in his life, Jimmy probably aspired to be an honest, hard-working lawyer like Chuck, but the events of Better Call Saul have rendered that impossible. During a key sequence of the episode, Jimmy (as part of his sincerity scheme) sits on the board awarding scholarships in Chuck’s memory. He vouches for a student named Kristy Esposito, who received only one vote (from Jimmy) because she was found guilty of shoplifting. In that moment, Jimmy realizes that the law community at large will never accept someone with a prior record, and clearly sees himself in the young Kristy. Because of his actions in season 2, the most prominent firms in the country will always consider Jimmy a liability, no matter how much he swears he’s changed. Chasing down Kristy after the scholarship meetings, Jimmy basically lays out the Saul Goodman playbook, telling his favorite student to cut corners and to not worry about what others think (because she’ll never “make it” the traditional way).

Instead of conforming to fit within the perceived standards of the field, Jimmy gamed the system to his own advantage. He told the reinstatement committee what they wanted to hear – even though he has no intention of following through on it – and is now set to play by his own rules. In his argument with Kim on the rooftop in “Wiedersehen,” Jimmy went on the defensive about how Kim views him as “the kind of lawyer guilty people hire” and is unworthy of sharing an office with her (while she thrives at a large firm in New Mexico). Jimmy is embracing his reputation. Saul Goodman, as Breaking Bad fans know, is exactly the type of lawyer criminals hire. Howard Hamlin wouldn’t touch Walter White and Jesse Pinkman with a 10-foot pole, but Saul went into business with them, doing whatever he could to protect his clients’ rights and help them avoid jail time.

The beauty of this is how it all traces back to Chuck and recontextualizes the character of Saul Goodman. When he was introduced in the second season of Breaking Bad, he was nothing more than an entertaining side player; a riff on the “sleazy lawyer” archetype who came up with elaborate schemes to win his cases. Now, the persona is revealed as a last resort for a man who once upon a time looked up to his brother, only to have his hopes and dreams destroyed by that very same sibling. Chuck went out of his way to block Jimmy from getting a position at HHM, fearful of what “Slippin’ Jimmy with a law degree” would be capable of. He wasn’t willing to give Jimmy the benefit of the doubt, and ended up unknowingly launching the career of Albuquerque’s shadiest criminal defense attorney. Maybe if he was more accepting and loving towards Jimmy, things would have turned out differently.

It’ll be exciting to see how the confirmed fifth season picks up on this. There were already hints the Jimmy/Kim relationship was fraying (the wonderfully constructed cold open of “Something Stupid”), and the former’s new career path might be the final straw. Kim is never mentioned in Breaking Bad, so obviously something happens there. Better Call Saul correctly took the long road to get to this point, and now the possibilities for its future are wide open.

More: Better Call Saul Fills In Breaking Bad Gaps



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2018-10-08 07:10:07 – Chris Agar

Robert Downey Jr. Responds to Chris Evans’ Emotional Captain America Thank You Letter

Robert Downey Jr. has responded to Chris Evans’ Captain America thank you letter, in which the latter reflected on wrapping Avengers 4. The two actors are currently in Atlanta, where reshoots for the upcoming Marvel film are taking place. Besides Downey and Evans, other actors – including Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, Paul Rudd and Scarlett Johansson, and Elizabeth Olsen and Pom Klementieff – have all been spotted on set. Reshoots began in September. According to Mark Ruffalo, these reshoots will “finish the movie,” rather than just fixing scenes or adding additional lines.

These last days on set are sure to be an emotional period for the cast. Many of them have been playing these characters since MCU Phase 1, and have worked together onscreen almost as long. The original Avengers are so close they even got matching tattoos. Saying goodbye at the end of filming is sure to be bittersweet, as for some, it’ll be for the last time. Evans posted a tweet commemorating his wrap on Avengers 4, and saying what an honor playing Steven Rogers had been. Of course, this caused the MCU fandom to break down as well, believing that this seals Cap’s Avengers 4 fate. Regardless of if the character lives or dies, the film will most likely be the end of the line for Evans, whose contract is up.

Related: Everything We Know About Avengers 4’s Reshoots

Robert Downey Jr. subsequently responded to Evans’ emotional tweet with one of his own. He posted: “We all know who the real sheriff in town is“, with an image of Woody and Buzz from Toy Story. Buzz is dressed in Iron Man armor, while Woody is decked out in red, white, and blue Captain America regalia. The poster reads, “To Infinity War and Beyond” a cute nod to both the Avengers: Infinity War title and the saying from the animated Pixar film. Check out the tweet and image below.

Update: Chris Evans has since responded to RDJ’s response. Check it out below.

Iron Man and Captain America have been mainstays of the MCU since 2008 and 2011, respectively. The actors have become as iconic as the characters they play, and oftentimes it’s hard to draw a line between the two. It’s almost impossible to imagine the movies without either of these characters, but it’s a reality Marvel fans are slowly realizing they’re going to have to face very soon.

Avengers 4 will mark both a beginning and an end of sorts. While it’s likely time to say goodbye to actors like Evans and Downey Jr., the next round of MCU movies will also usher in a new era of characters. Heroes like Captain Marvel, Shuri, Black Panther, and Valkyrie will step up to take the place of the fallen or retired. The future of Marvel Studios is in good hands.

More: Mark Ruffalo Fake Spoils Avengers 4 Title; Directors Fake Fire Him

Source: Robert Downey Jr.





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2018-10-06 03:10:58 – Brittany Rivera

Jim Parsons Pens Letter to Fans & Cast After Big Bang Theory Cancellation



The actor behind Sheldon Cooper, Jim Parsons, has written an emotional letter to the fans and cast of The Big Bang Theory following the announcement that the show would be coming to an end. Set to air its 12th and final season next month, Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady’s The Big Bang Theory tells the story of four geeks who gradually learn to interact outside of their own individual comfort zones, largely thanks to the appearance of a waitress/aspiring actress called Penny who befriends the group. The sitcom has become one of the most popular and successful comedy series of all time, picking up numerous Emmy gongs along the way and launching the spinoff series Young Sheldon in 2017.

This week however, it was announced that The Big Bang Theory would be brought to a close, the reason for which reportedly being that actor Parsons was unwilling to renew his contract and that producers felt the show could not continue without the presence of Sheldon Cooper. Several actors have already publicly addressed the news, with Mayim Bialik, who plays Sheldon’s wife on the show, expressing her sadness at the decision.

Related: Macaulay Culkin Explains Why He Turned Down Starring In Big Bang Theory

Parsons himself has now spoken out about the end of The Big Bang Theory by posting an emotional letter to both fans and fellow cast members on his Instagram. Alongside a picture of the main cast, Parsons writes:

“It is hard (nearly impossible actually) to really accept that this is a picture of the first of the final 24 episodes we will shoot for The Big Bang Theory. I feel very fortunate that we have another 23 episodes to shoot this season because I am hopeful that with each and every one, my level of REALLY accepting this fact will sink in. Something else I feel grateful for – and this gratitude needs no time to “sink in” or becoming more “realized;” this grateful feeling is always with me but is multiplied in this moment of us announcing our final season – but I feel such intense gratitude for our devoted viewers who are the ACTUAL reason we have been graced with the opportunity to explore these characters for 12 years of our lives.

I feel grateful to our crew – many, many of whom have been with us since day one – and who are the people who bring a sense of steadiness and dependability, who are so warm and kind and always quick to say hello and smile at us every time we come to the set and who, even though you don’t see them on TV, are in many ways the real and steady heartbeat that keeps this body of work alive and breathing while we, like flailing arms and legs, act like jackasses and fools in attempt to make someone laugh.

I am grateful to all the writers of the show – those with us now and those that have come and gone – because, without them, there would literally be no Big Bang Theory at all, ever. The writers thought of this show, the writers created these characters, the writers are the ones who found ways to keep coming up with organic, entertaining ways to keep the life of this show going which is a task much, much more challenging than anyone other than them will ever know or understand.

And while I know that they already know it, it bears repeating again and again: I am so terribly grateful for the cast in this picture and the cast members who aren’t pictured here – whether they were in one scene or many episodes along the way; you are all my playmates that I have fallen in love with and who have become a part of my life on set and off. You are my playmates when we don’t feel like playing but have to because it’s our job to get out there and communicate and pretend we’re these other fictional people and we look into each other’s eyes and say these words and end up creating this weird, other reality that has enriched my life more than I will ever fully understand. I will miss of all you and all of this more than I can say and more than I can know at this time.”

The letter certainly covers all bases as far as thanking fans and colleagues goes and given how long Parsons, and indeed many of the cast, have been playing these roles, it’s understandable that the end of The Big Bang Theory is taking an emotional toll on those involved. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Parsons doesn’t address whether or not it was his decision to leave the show that triggered this situation, nor does he offer any clear reasons as to why he wanted out. His comment regarding the writers having a tough challenge in keeping the show constantly fresh could be a subtle hint, however.

In either case, this move has arguably been on the cards for quite some time. Over recent seasons, there have been numerous reports of contract disputes between the core cast of The Big Bang Theory, with actors supposedly coming close to walking away on several occasions. The Big Bang Theory has also come under increasing scrutiny from viewers and has been frequently criticized for a formulaic approach and a lack of original ideas in later seasons. Some even feel that the show too often relies on stereotypes of geek culture, race or medical conditions such as Asperger’s syndrome as the source of its humor.

More: Big Bang Theory Season 12 Will Feature A Direct Young Sheldon Connection

The Big Bang Theory season 12 premieres September 24th on CBS.

Source: Jim Parsons





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Walking Dead Showrunner Suggests Letter “A” Theory Might Be Real After All



The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang confirmed the significance of the letter “A” on the show, in a blog discussing Easter eggs from the Season 9 trailer. The trailer dropped a month ago at SDCC during TWD’s Hall H panel discussion, and confirmed, among other things, that the show would follow in the footsteps of the comic and complete the two-year time jump that follows All Out War and precedes The Whisperer War.

The trailer showcased this progress in various ways – all of the known communities (Oceanside, Alexandria, the Hilltop and the Sanctuary) are shown having advanced – presumably using the pre-industrial handbook given to Maggie by the enigmatic Georgie in Season 8 – and teams head to Washington D.C. to pillage artifacts like covered wagons in order to put them to use once more. There were also several callbacks to some of last season’s most significant loose ends, and one in particular stands poised to be more of a game-changer than anything seen on the show thus far. While fans collectively went bananas over the final shot of the trailer that heavily teased the Whisperers, the real eye-catcher was the brief shot of Jadis with a helicopter above her in the background. Presumably it’s related to or the same chopper that she tried and failed to hail last season.

Related: The Walking Dead Season 9 Trailer: A New Journey Begins

Angela Kang participated in a Q&A on Skybound’s TWD blog and provided context for some significant shots and Easter eggs, including Jadis’ appearance. While of course she didn’t explain the aircraft’s background, she did confirm the significance of two symbols painted on it – three interlocking rings and a conspicuous letter “A.”

Jadis has a new hairdo and clothing, but it looks like she might be up to her old tricks with the walkie and the helicopter. Or is she? And speaking of the helicopter, you might also notice the three rings symbol that’s appeared on various items at the Heaps before, and the ‘A’ we’ve seen crop up periodically. Yes, there is a meaning to both things. No, I won’t spoil it right now!

While the interlocking rings only started appearing in Season 7 when fans met Jadis and first visited the Heaps (it’s on the lid of the applesauce she eats after Simon guns down her people), the letter “A” has a much longer history on the show. It first cropped up in a significant way in the Season 4 finale aptly title “A”, painted on the train car that served as Rick & Co.’s simultaneous prison and family reunion site at Terminus. It can be seen in various other capacities related to the Terminus storyline, but it also showed up on Daryl’s Sanctuary prison uniform, painted on a fence in Alexandria that’s in Carol’s eye line after she thwarts a raid by the Wolves and, of course, Jadis writes it on the shipping container she uses to trap Rick in when he comes to meet with her in Season 8’s “The King, The Widow and Rick.”

At first glance, these instances feel unrelated, but Kang’s quote would seem to suggest otherwise. Whether the ultimate significance of the letter will turn out to be thematic or somehow connected to a narrative thread remains to be seen. Since the first half of Season 9 will see the departure of two major characters in both Rick and Maggie, it feels like the appropriate time to introduce a degree of inter-connectivity between prior seasons and storylines, even if it turns out to be loose.

More: Lauren Cohan Says Maggie Won’t Die

The Walking Dead returns for Season 9 on Sunday, October 7th on AMC.

Source: Skybound



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