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5 Films You Didn’t Know Were Graphic Novel Adaptations (& 5 That Need To Be Made)

Little by little over the years, movie-goers have been learning what comic book fans have known for decades now: you can tell whatever story you want to tell in a comic book. Besides the superheroes that we’ve all known about and loved for years like Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, and Wolverine; there have been other heroes birthed out of the comic books. Movies and television shows like The MaskTank Girl, and The Walking Dead are all derived from comic books and graphic novels.

RELATED: 10 Walking Dead Characters Sorted Into Their Hogwarts Houses

The comic book business has always been a place where authors can explore any and all themes, with any set of characters their imaginations could dream up. It’s why pulp comics, horror comics, and sci-fi comic books were around until the dawn of the superhero. It’s that very same imagination of authors that keeps all sub-genres of comic books going. Sometimes the story gets adapted into a film, and while it doesn’t seem like it came from a comic book, it did. Here are five examples, along with some graphic novels that haven’t been adapted (but totally deserve to be).

10 Adaptation: The Road To Perdition

Tom Hanks says “no more mister nice guy” and becomes a hitman for the mob in 2002’s Road To Perdition. The film adapted from the 1998 Paradox Press series is taken very seriously as a film. Especially when you consider the cast and the story of the movie.

Hanks plays mob enforcer Michael O’Sullivan. His boy, Michael Jr., witnesses a murder, and they take off to protect Michael Jr. while dear old dad does some dirty work to keep him safe.

9 Needs To Be Made: Maus

For many reasons, Art Spiegelman’s Maus is not only the most important comic on this list, it’s one of the most important comic books of all time. A Survivor’s Tale is all about Spiegelman’s relationship with his father, Vladek, a Holocaust survivor telling his tale of the horror of living in the camps.

Spiegelman used various animals like mice (Maus) and cats to depict the various peoples involved. Spiegelman has actually rejected all kinds of offers over the years to adapt the seminal piece, which means it will be a long time before Maus becomes a movie, if it ever does.

8 Adaptation: A History Of Violence

There is a section of comic book fans who bemoan the Hollywood elite for not recognizing films like Avengers: Endgame come awards season. Hopefully that will change this year, but comic book movies actually have been getting plenty of love from the academy for a long time. Paradox Press’ A History Of Violence is a pretty decent example of that love.

RELATED: The Witcher: 5 Book Storylines The Show Could Adapt (& 5 Games Storylines We Hope To See)

A couple of thugs try to rob a diner that Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) owns. They find out pretty quickly that they came to the wrong diner. Stall becomes a local celebrity from the ordeal and the mob come looking for him, believing he’s Joey Cusack, who’s been in the run from the Irish mob. William Hurt was nominated for Best Supporting Actor and the film for Best Adapted Screenplay.

7 Needs To Be Made: Batman: The Long Halloween

While Batman has been adapted numerous times, no live action Bat-story has tried to be a frightful adaptation of one story. The Long Halloween is one of best examples of why we all love the Caped Crusader.

Set following the events of Year One, the Batman is still building his alliance with Gordon and forging a new one with Harvey Dent. There’s supervillains galore and a mob war being ignited thanks to the Holiday Killer, who comes after at least one person once a month to celebrate a holiday.

6 Adaptation: Ghost World

Not only has Scarlet Johansson starred in a comic book movie before, she’s even been on screen with “Thor” before! Thora Birch and the future Black Widow costar in the adaptation of Terry Zwigoff’s Ghost World. Enid (Birch) and Rebecca (Johansson) are two teenage outcasts who are ripping on pop culture and whatever they feel the need to do.

It’s reminiscent of plenty of teen angst films of the late nineties. As the girls grow a little older, they start to drift apart due to the the perils of growing up and the choices that they make.

5 Needs To Be Made: My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

Emil Ferris’ debut graphic novel My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is an epic tome at over 700 pages. She takes a slew of inspiration from growing up in Chicago and loving horror to tell the story of Karen Reyes, a young girl investigating her neighbor’s death in the sixties.

RELATED: Stranger Things: 10 Most Romantic Moments, Ranked

Between the trope of growing up in the turbulent sixties and the horror elements, Monsters could be a new Stranger Things for the baby boomer generation.

4 Adaptation: The Crow

James O’Barr was inspired by the real-life death of his girlfriend when he created The Crow in 1989. The success of the story led to the 1994 film. In a time when comic book movies weren’t coming out weekly, this one was –and still is– held in high regard.

It became a movie for grunge-loving outcasts and mainstream movie goers alike. Sadly, there hasn’t been a better Crow movie since this one and it forever remains a sign of what would’ve become of the film’s star, Brandon Lee.

3 Needs To Be Made: Saga

When Star Wars came out in theaters, it was so genre-defining that seemingly all of Hollywood got together and commissioned a slew of science fiction and space opera movies to try and find the next big sci-fi craze.

With the serial trilogy winding down, should Hollywood want to do that again, they might want to take a look at Brian K. Vaughn’s Saga. Critics and fans have likened to story to Romeo & Juliet, Star Wars, Game Of Thrones, Lord Of The Rings, or any combination of those staples.

2 Adaptation: Red

What do life-long spies and spooks do when they’re getting a little long in the tooth? They actually just keep on fighting. Based on Warren Ellis’ mini-series, Red tells the story of Frank, a retired CIA agent who is so lonely that he tried to find reasons to chat with Sarah, who works in administration.

His past comes back to haunt him, and when he fears that they’ve bugged his phone, he takes Sarah (initially against her will), since the assassination squad would have bugged her phone too. The Golden-Globe-nominated comedy stars Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, and Mary Louise Parker all parodying their usual typecast roles.

1 Needs To Be Made: Black Hole

It’s the seventies and free love is all abound in Seattle. But when the free lovin’ turns into a disease causing black holes and boils, it might be time to stop getting it on.

That’s the premise of Black Hole by Charles Burns. The story is rife for genre loving directors like Wes Anderson, Kevin Smith, or even David Fincher, who was attached to try and bring this to the screen at one point.

NEXT: The 10 Most Bizarre Weapons In Sci-Fi Movies, Ranked


2019-07-14 01:07:18

Eric Rhodes

5 Films You Didn’t Know Were Graphic Novel Adaptations (& 5 That Need To Be Made)

Little by little over the years, movie-goers have been learning what comic book fans have known for decades now: you can tell whatever story you want to tell in a comic book. Besides the superheroes that we’ve all known about and loved for years like Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, and Wolverine; there have been other heroes birthed out of the comic books. Movies and television shows like The MaskTank Girl, and The Walking Dead are all derived from comic books and graphic novels.

RELATED: 10 Walking Dead Characters Sorted Into Their Hogwarts Houses

The comic book business has always been a place where authors can explore any and all themes, with any set of characters their imaginations could dream up. It’s why pulp comics, horror comics, and sci-fi comic books were around until the dawn of the superhero. It’s that very same imagination of authors that keeps all sub-genres of comic books going. Sometimes the story gets adapted into a film, and while it doesn’t seem like it came from a comic book, it did. Here are five examples, along with some graphic novels that haven’t been adapted (but totally deserve to be).

10 Adaptation: The Road To Perdition

Tom Hanks says “no more mister nice guy” and becomes a hitman for the mob in 2002’s Road To Perdition. The film adapted from the 1998 Paradox Press series is taken very seriously as a film. Especially when you consider the cast and the story of the movie.

Hanks plays mob enforcer Michael O’Sullivan. His boy, Michael Jr., witnesses a murder, and they take off to protect Michael Jr. while dear old dad does some dirty work to keep him safe.

9 Needs To Be Made: Maus

For many reasons, Art Spiegelman’s Maus is not only the most important comic on this list, it’s one of the most important comic books of all time. A Survivor’s Tale is all about Spiegelman’s relationship with his father, Vladek, a Holocaust survivor telling his tale of the horror of living in the camps.

Spiegelman used various animals like mice (Maus) and cats to depict the various peoples involved. Spiegelman has actually rejected all kinds of offers over the years to adapt the seminal piece, which means it will be a long time before Maus becomes a movie, if it ever does.

8 Adaptation: A History Of Violence

There is a section of comic book fans who bemoan the Hollywood elite for not recognizing films like Avengers: Endgame come awards season. Hopefully that will change this year, but comic book movies actually have been getting plenty of love from the academy for a long time. Paradox Press’ A History Of Violence is a pretty decent example of that love.

RELATED: The Witcher: 5 Book Storylines The Show Could Adapt (& 5 Games Storylines We Hope To See)

A couple of thugs try to rob a diner that Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) owns. They find out pretty quickly that they came to the wrong diner. Stall becomes a local celebrity from the ordeal and the mob come looking for him, believing he’s Joey Cusack, who’s been in the run from the Irish mob. William Hurt was nominated for Best Supporting Actor and the film for Best Adapted Screenplay.

7 Needs To Be Made: Batman: The Long Halloween

While Batman has been adapted numerous times, no live action Bat-story has tried to be a frightful adaptation of one story. The Long Halloween is one of best examples of why we all love the Caped Crusader.

Set following the events of Year One, the Batman is still building his alliance with Gordon and forging a new one with Harvey Dent. There’s supervillains galore and a mob war being ignited thanks to the Holiday Killer, who comes after at least one person once a month to celebrate a holiday.

6 Adaptation: Ghost World

Not only has Scarlet Johansson starred in a comic book movie before, she’s even been on screen with “Thor” before! Thora Birch and the future Black Widow costar in the adaptation of Terry Zwigoff’s Ghost World. Enid (Birch) and Rebecca (Johansson) are two teenage outcasts who are ripping on pop culture and whatever they feel the need to do.

It’s reminiscent of plenty of teen angst films of the late nineties. As the girls grow a little older, they start to drift apart due to the the perils of growing up and the choices that they make.

5 Needs To Be Made: My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

Emil Ferris’ debut graphic novel My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is an epic tome at over 700 pages. She takes a slew of inspiration from growing up in Chicago and loving horror to tell the story of Karen Reyes, a young girl investigating her neighbor’s death in the sixties.

RELATED: Stranger Things: 10 Most Romantic Moments, Ranked

Between the trope of growing up in the turbulent sixties and the horror elements, Monsters could be a new Stranger Things for the baby boomer generation.

4 Adaptation: The Crow

James O’Barr was inspired by the real-life death of his girlfriend when he created The Crow in 1989. The success of the story led to the 1994 film. In a time when comic book movies weren’t coming out weekly, this one was –and still is– held in high regard.

It became a movie for grunge-loving outcasts and mainstream movie goers alike. Sadly, there hasn’t been a better Crow movie since this one and it forever remains a sign of what would’ve become of the film’s star, Brandon Lee.

3 Needs To Be Made: Saga

When Star Wars came out in theaters, it was so genre-defining that seemingly all of Hollywood got together and commissioned a slew of science fiction and space opera movies to try and find the next big sci-fi craze.

With the serial trilogy winding down, should Hollywood want to do that again, they might want to take a look at Brian K. Vaughn’s Saga. Critics and fans have likened to story to Romeo & Juliet, Star Wars, Game Of Thrones, Lord Of The Rings, or any combination of those staples.

2 Adaptation: Red

What do life-long spies and spooks do when they’re getting a little long in the tooth? They actually just keep on fighting. Based on Warren Ellis’ mini-series, Red tells the story of Frank, a retired CIA agent who is so lonely that he tried to find reasons to chat with Sarah, who works in administration.

His past comes back to haunt him, and when he fears that they’ve bugged his phone, he takes Sarah (initially against her will), since the assassination squad would have bugged her phone too. The Golden-Globe-nominated comedy stars Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, and Mary Louise Parker all parodying their usual typecast roles.

1 Needs To Be Made: Black Hole

It’s the seventies and free love is all abound in Seattle. But when the free lovin’ turns into a disease causing black holes and boils, it might be time to stop getting it on.

That’s the premise of Black Hole by Charles Burns. The story is rife for genre loving directors like Wes Anderson, Kevin Smith, or even David Fincher, who was attached to try and bring this to the screen at one point.

NEXT: The 10 Most Bizarre Weapons In Sci-Fi Movies, Ranked


2019-07-14 01:07:18

Eric Rhodes

AMC Adapting Stephen & Owen King Novel Sleeping Beauties

AMC is adapting Stephen and Owen King’s novel Sleeping Beauties. Few authors can lay claim to the degree of success that Stephen King has achieved throughout his lengthy career. The 71-year-old novelist has redefined horror writing to such a degree that few now realize that there was a time when horror wasn’t considered literature at all.

What’s more, King has apparently passed on some of his talent and expertise to his son, Owen, whom he collaborated with on Sleeping Beauties. The father and son combination apparently works, as Sleeping Beauties earned high-praise from numerous respected critics upon its initial release, and continues to sell well. Though the novel was only Owen’s second, much like his father, offers to adapt it into a live-action production have been quick to reach him early on in his career. When Anonymous Content (True Detective, The Revenant) secured the rights in 2017, they did so before the novel had even been released.

Related: Pet Sematary 2019 Misses the Point of Stephen King’s Novel

Thanks to Deadline, we now know that Sleeping Beauties is indeed heading to TV screens, as AMC commits to a pilot deal, with the ultimate goal being an open-ended series. Based on current information, it doesn’t appear that the elder King will have much to do with the production, as just Owen is confirmed to write the pilot script. That being said, it likely doesn’t hurt having Stephen King in your corner.

The plot of Sleeping Beauties has all the classic horror/thriller components that King fans have come to know and love, alongside a fresh and timely concept. When women in the small town of Dooling begin falling asleep, enmeshed in a strange sort of cocoon, the town’s men realize that waking them results in the womens’ uncontrollable rage and immediate willingness to murder anyone who disturbs them. The sickness is called Aurora and it exists everywhere in the world as well, not just in Dooling. But as the women of the world disappear into slumber, the men are left to their own devices and it soon becomes known that one woman in Dooling is immune to Aurora. In fact, she just may be mankind’s only chance for understanding what Aurora really is and where the women go when they fall under its spell.

On its surface, Sleeping Beauties already has everything it needs to find its mark as a successful series. As previously mentioned, AMC has yet to commit to an entire series, having made a deal just for the pilot. However, given that its creative force comes at least in part from one of the most complex horror authors of all time, the fact that Sleeping Beauties seems a mixture of Stranger Things and The Handmaid’s Tale bodes very well, especially at a time where gender is such a hot topic.

More: Every Upcoming Stephen King Movie In Development

Source: Deadline


2019-04-16 08:04:03

Mike Jones

Pet Sematary 2019 Misses the Point of Stephen King’s Novel

The 2019 adaptation of Pet Sematary misses the point of Stephen King’s novel. Directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, the new Pet Sematary movie makes some radical changes to the plot of the book. Yet the problem isn’t that the story changed, but that it lost focus on the heart of the book.

Published in 1983, Pet Sematary follows the Creed family as they move from the city to rural Maine in search of a quieter life and a nicer place for the kids – eight year-old Ellie and two year-old Gage – to grow up. Unfortunately, their new property sits next to a truck route where trucks barrel along at deadly speeds all day, and the road ends up claiming first the life of the family’s pet cat, Church, and then the life of young Gage. Fortunately (or, as it turns out, unfortunately) the nearby pet cemetery holds the path to an older burial ground, where things that are buried can come back to life… though they’re not exactly the same.

Related: Pet Sematary Review

Pet Sematary was first adapted in 1989 by Mary Lambert, and thirty years later Paramount Pictures decided the story could do with an update, complete with a twist in the tale and some added horror elements. Unfortunately, in the effort to make Pet Sematary scarier, the new adaptation loses sight of what made the original novel so terrifying in the first place.

  • This Page: What Makes Stephen King’s Pet Sematary So Scary
  • Page 2: What the 1989 Pet Sematary Got Right, and the 2019 Movie Got Wrong

Though it may have a Native-American burial ground and people rising from the dead, the supernatural elements aren’t what make King’s Pet Sematary so terrifying. In fact, the core of the novel comes from two incidents that happened to King in real life, with no supernatural intervention required. In 1979, King – like Louis Creed – had gotten a job at the University of Maine (though as a writer-in-residence, not as a doctor), and was living in a house in a nearby town that bordered a major truck route. The road had a reputation for claiming the lives of local pets, and one of its victims was a cat belonging to King’s eight year-old daughter. Like Louis, King had to bury the cat in the local pet cemetery and break the news of what had happened to his daughter.

In details of the inspiration for Pet Sematary on King’s official website, he explains that the death of the cat became coupled in his mind with another horrible incident – one in which his son had almost run into a highway, and King had managed to pull him back just in time. King explains:

“I can remember crossing the road, and thinking that the cat had been killed in the road – and (I thought) what if a kid died in that road? And we had had this experience with Owen running toward the road, where I had just grabbed him and pulled him back. And the two things just came together – on one side of this two-lane highway was the idea of what if the cat came back, and on the other side of the highway was what if the kid came back.”

The idea that grew out of the horror of those two incidences was that of first pets, and then people, being brought back from the dead. But the actual, visceral fear of Pet Sematary isn’t the resurrection of Church the cat or Gage Creed, but the circumstances of their deaths in the first place.

Related: What To Expect From A Pet Sematary 2

The best horror comes from an experience that’s relatable to people, whether it’s ghost movies that play on our fear of being alone in dark and empty houses, or something more abstract like David Lynch’s Eraserhead, which puts a surreal spin of the terror of failing as a parent. While Pet Sematary has a ghost with a bloody, smashed-in head, an undead cat, and a toddler coming back from the grave with a newfound bloodlust, arguably the most frightening passage in it is the description of Gage’s death. A neighbor, Missy Dandridge, tries to comfort Louis at his son’s funeral by saying, “At least it was quick” – to which Louis (silently) responds:

Yes, it was quick, all right, he thought about saying to her… It was quick, no doubt about that, that’s why the coffin’s closed… It was quick, Missy-my-dear, one minute he was there on the road and the next minute he was lying in it, but way down by the Ringers’ house. It hit him and killed him and then it dragged him and you better believe it was quick. A hundred yards or more all told, the length of a football field. I ran after him, Missy, I was screaming his name over and over again, almost as if I expected he would still be alive – me, a doctor. I ran ten yards and there was his baseball cap and I ran twenty yards and there was one of his Star Wars sneakers, I ran forty yards and by then the truck had run off the road and the box had jackknifed in that field beyond the Ringers’ barn. People were coming out of their houses and I went on screaming his name, Missy, and at the fifty-yard line there was his jumper, it was turned inside-out, and on the seventy-yard line there was the other sneaker, and then there was Gage…

Though it’s speculated in the novel, by both Louis and Jud, that bringing Church back from the dead may have somehow started a cosmic chain of events that led to Gage’s death, it could just as easily have been the case that Gage’s death was truly random. After all, many people have buried and brought their pets back over the years without setting off a litany of further tragedies, including Jud himself. The suddenness, randomness, and violence of Gage’s death cuts to the heart of a parent’s worst nightmare, and the rest of the novel’s horror grows out of that.

Page 2: What the 1989 Pet Sematary Got Right, and the 2019 Movie Got Wrong

The first adaptation of Pet Sematary, Mary Lambert’s 1989 movie, wasn’t especially well-received upon its release. Empire scathingly called its screenplay “hacked up” and “sloppy,” and lamented that “you have to sit impatiently through scene after silly scene before the zombie attacks start.” Lambert’s Pet Sematary has, however, weathered the test of time because it recognizes that the zombie attacks were not the point of the novel.

One of the movie’s most memorable and nightmare-inducing scenes is when Rachel Creed tells Louis about her sister, Zelda, who died of convulsions as a result of spinal meningitis. There’s nothing supernatural about the story that Rachel tells but, as portrayed in the film, it captures the horror of watching a relative die slowly from disease. Denise Crosby gives a powerful performance as Rachel recalls running out of the house screaming, “Zelda’s dead! Zelda’s dead! Zelda’s dead!” – speculating that she was actually laughing, rather than crying, in relief that both Zelda and her family’s suffering was over. In the book, Rachel is left with a crippling phobia of death that causes her to lash out when Louis tells her that death is “natural,” and Lambert’s movie effectively conveys the idea that even “natural” deaths can be terrifying and monstrous.

Related: Pet Sematary: Why The Original Zelda Was Better

Crosby’s performance, along with Dale Midkiff’s as Louis Creed, is crucial in capturing the devastating power of grief that drives the novel and continually pushes Louis along a path to further disaster. Though it strays from the book in places, Lambert’s film has an awareness of what moments were most important, and it’s those scenes that are adapted closely – for example, the scene where a devastated Louis has to kill his resurrected son via lethal injection and watch Gage die all over again. Then, to emphasize how all-encompassing and ruinous Louis’ grief is, he starts the whole cycle all over again by taking the now-dead Rachel up to the burial ground. These scenes are missing from the new adaptation, and it makes all the difference.

Kölsch and Widmyer’s movie seems to share the same opinion as the aforementioned review of the 1989 Pet Sematary: that the scenes of the Creed family interacting with another (and Jud Crandall) and the gradual build-up of horror are annoying roadblocks on the way to the real meat of the story, which is zombies attacking.

Pet Sematary 2019 largely starts to go off the rails with the death of Ellie. Not only does the movie, by way of changing things up, lose the moment where Louis comes agonizingly close to pulling his child back from the road only to fail, it also makes Ellie’s death almost comically bloodless. Recall the novel’s chilling description of Louis Creed’s one hundred yard run from the place where Gage was hit to the place where his body ends up, and then compare it to Louis cradling Ellie’s completely intact body in the 2019 movie, and then later finding her looking completely pristine in her coffin. The stitches that Louis finds in the back of Ellie’s head in the novel are an extremely toned down version of a horrifying detail from the novel: that Gage’s head came completely off in the accident, and had to be stitched back on.

Conversely, Kölsch and Widmyer’s adaptation has the compulsion to spice up Zelda’s death, perhaps because the idea of someone dying from spinal meningitis wasn’t considered scary enough. The film instead concocts an incident in which Zelda falls down a dumb waiter and ends up mangled at the bottom, which is good for a jump scare but is so utterly bizarre that it’s hard to really be really horrified by it.

Related: Pet Sematary 2019 Resurrections & Ending Explained

The biggest problem with this adaptation, however, is that the entire series of terrible events is not solely driven by Louis and his refusal to accept the finality of death. In the novel, Louis brings Church back and then, even knowing that Church didn’t come back right, decides to bring Gage back as well. Bringing Gage back leads to Rachel’s death, but when Louis has an opportunity to finally leave things be, mourn his wife and son and be grateful for the daughter he still has, he still refuses to stop. Convincing himself that he “waited too long” with Gage and “something got in him,” Louis decides to repeat the process with Rachel – a decision that ultimately dooms him. King’s novel is as much a tragedy as it is a horror story, and that’s what makes it so effective.

By contrast, the last meaningful decision Louis makes in the 2019 Pet Sematary movie is the decision to bring Ellie back. From there, the movie focuses on turning Ellie into a devious, demonic killing machine who orchestrates everything else that follows. Rachel comes home and is horrified to see her daughter again, instinctively knowing that it’s not really her daughter. This is very different to the novel, where Rachel is so consumed up by happiness at having her child back that, in the moment, she doesn’t even question how it happened – a reaction that feels much more realistic.

Louis doesn’t bring anyone else back in the 2019 movie. Ellie kills Rachel and then drags her body to the burial ground, and Rachelthen  comes back for a surprise kill, impaling Louis before dragging him up to the burial ground as well. By this point the feeling of grief and desperation has long been forgotten by the movie, discarded more or less as soon as the undead Ellie showed up. Louis has no real agency and the final events are driven by external forces (demonic forces possessing the Creed family, apparently) rather than by the very human emotion of wanting to have a deceased loved one back again.

Pet Sematary 2019 isn’t necessarily a bad movie, but it is much more forgettable than the novel or the 1989 adaptation, because it lacks confidence in what made those stories scary: the simple idea that people can die at any time, and there’s nothing you can do to bring them back.

More: Pet Sematary 2019 Differences: Biggest Changes To The Book & Original Movie


2019-04-13 02:04:46

Hannah Shaw-Williams

The Shining Sequel Doctor Sleep Is Aiming For An R-Rating

Doctor Sleep – the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining – is aiming for an R-rating, according to director Mike Flanagan. Just about as long as there have been Stephen King books, there have been Stephen King movies. King’s first published novel, 1974’s Carrie, was translated into a film by no less a director than Brian De Palma in 1976. Ever since, King’s work has remained a go-to source for Hollywood studios, including several franchises. However, while sequels to King-based movies are common, very rarely are they based on actual follow-ups by the author.

The reason for that is simple: King doesn’t write sequels often. For the most part, King is content to let his stories stand alone, outside of the Easter eggs and select recurring characters he enjoys throwing in for fans as a way to establish that most of his work takes place in the same universe. While some notable exceptions exist – The Dark Tower saga, the Mr. Mercedes books – King generally prefers to tell new stories, rather than revisit his old ones. Which is what made King’s decision to release a sequel to The Shining in 2013 such a delight for his longtime fans.

Related: Ewan McGregor Says Doctor Sleep Movie is Faithful to Stephen King’s Book

While most King diehards would be unlikely to argue that Doctor Sleep measures up to its classic predecessor – a novel many hold up as one of King’s all-time best – reaction to the book – which focuses on the adult life of Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor), decades after the spirits of the Overlook Hotel corrupted his father Jack – was largely positive. Now, five years later, Warner Bros. is prepping a film adaptation of Doctor Sleep. For anyone worried that King’s sequel will be sanitized of violence, adult content, and language in order to draw in more viewers with a PG-13, director Mike Flanagan tells Collider that the film will likely be rated-R.

The news that Doctor Sleep is aiming for an R-rating is sure to please both fans of King and fans of the horror genre as a whole. While there have certainly been good horror films made with a PG-13-rating, too often studios are all too willing to compromise a story’s content in order to make it more accessible to a wider theatrical audience. For example, one need only look at the heavily compromised Dark Tower movie, although to be fair, the rating was hardly its biggest problem. Thankfully, with the runaway success of films like and Deadpool and Warner Bros’ 2017 King adaptation IT, studios are becoming less resistant to the idea that a film can be both R-rated and hugely successful financially.

It’s going to be an interesting couple of years for King fans, as 2019 will see both IT: Chapter Two and Pet Sematary hit theaters, with both films also expected to receive R ratings. A Netflix original film adaptation of King and son Joe Hill’s novella In The Tall Grass is also slated for next year, while Doctor Sleep will arrive in early 2020. In the meantime, Hulu’s Castle Rock series is set to return for season 2, while the Audience Network’s Mr. Mercedes show continues to air, and CBS All Access is in development on a limited series adaptation of The Stand. It’s good to be the King, and right now, it’s good to be one of his fans.

More: 25 Crazy Facts Behind The Making Of The Shining

Source: Collider



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2018-10-10 08:10:58 – Michael Kennedy

Crazy Rich Asians Is Highest-Grossing Rom-Com This Decade (So Far)

Wildly successful romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians looks to be leader of the pack in box office receipts for the decade. It’s been roughly two months in theaters since its mid-August release, and the runaway hit adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s best-selling book has handily outsold every other rom-com in the 2010s, and yet remains in theaters at time of this writing.

Crazy Rich Asians broke early ticket sales records from its premiere, dominating the box office for three straight weekends with no signs of slowing down. The film stars Constance Wu ( Fresh Off the Boat ) in the leading role, alongside veteran Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Star Trek: Discovery) and rising star Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8), among others. Directed by filmmaker Jon M. Chu, Crazy Rich Asians’ immediate success followed positive early buzz, making its opening weekend the biggest rom-com opening since 2015’s Trainwreck.

Related: Crazy Rich Asians’ Michelle Yeoh & Awkwafina Reunite For Action Film

That early attention simply did not waver, and the film has seen eight solid weekends of consistent sales thus far, placing in top 10 tickets sold in the first weekend of October. That momentum has seemingly secured its legacy, and, according to Box Office Mojo (via Screen Crush), Crazy Rich Asians as the sixth-highest grossing romantic-comedy of all-time at the domestic box office, with over $169 million in sales, which also makes it the highest grossing rom-com of the decade.

This news makes reports of the imminent sequel, which arrived a mere week after opening weekend, seem particularly wise on the part of Warner Bros. Titled China Rich Girlfriend, the sequel is based on the follow-up novel of the same name, and will push the story presented in the original forward. Limited information about the sequel is available at present – and there’s considerable speculation as to plot details when weighing the changes made in the Crazy Rich Asians adaptation – but the director and writers are expected to return.

Aside from its profitable reign in theaters, Crazy Rich Asians was notable as the first Hollywood studio film with primarily Asian-American leads since 1993’s award-winning The Joy Luck Club. News of the sequel aside, this distinction may have spearheaded a new trend, and Warner Bros./New Line’s recently-acquired Singles Day may represent increased trust being placed in Asian-American actors and actresses to draw audiences to theaters.

For now, Crazy Rich Asians continues its run in theaters across the country, and a mere $7 million more will see it crack the top five romantic comedies and outsell 1998’s There’s Something About Mary.

Update: Corrected the filmography of Constance Wu.

More: Crazy Rich Asians Review: This Is What Big Studio Rom-Coms SHOULD Be

Source: Box Office Mojo



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2018-10-10 06:10:50 – Leo Faierman

Cyborg Actor Ray Fisher Reunites With Zack Snyder In New Photo

Justice League star Ray Fisher reunited with his former director, Zack Snyder, today at the filmmaker’s old office, and they both posted a photo together on social media, but it’s unclear why Fisher decided to stop by Snyder’s office. Years ago, before WB’s unofficially titled DC Extended Universe had gotten underway, Snyder – as well as his producing team and the casting department at Warner Bros. – ultimately decided to cast the actor as the DC superhero Cyborg.

While Fisher made his real debut in 2017’s Justice League movie, he first had a cameo in Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice alongside some of the rest of the world’s finest heroes, namely Jason Momoa (Aquaman) and Ezra Miller (The Flash). Even though his fellow co-stars were all thrilled to portray their superheroes, Fisher was especially excited, and he hasn’t refrained from continuing to express that enthusiasm despite everything that happened with Snyder and Justice League.

Related: Justice League’s Ray Fisher Thinks Cyborg Would Be Costly To Make

It seems that Ray Fisher visited Zack Snyder’s office today, and they both posted the photo on social media; Fisher made his post on Twitter, saying, “Me and the Cap’n making it happen… #BORGLIFE,” while Snyder, of course, posted on Vero, saying, “Look who’s hanging out at the office today.” Take a look:

A specific reason for why Fisher visited Snyder today hasn’t been determined, but it presumably had nothing to do with the DC movie universe, despite the fact that Snyder is technically still on board as producer for some of the future movies, like Aquaman and Wonder Woman 1984. In all likelihood, it’s possible that Fisher was merely on the WB lot for something else (perhaps for something in relation to HBO’s True Detective season 3, which he stars in), or maybe he just happened to be in the general area and wanted to stop by to visit Snyder, who is currently working on developing The Fountainhead (not The Last Photograph, as previously assumed), an adaptation of Ayn Rand’s 1943 novel of the same name.

Regardless of the reason Fisher and Snyder met up today, the photo could ignite some speculation that Fisher could potentially appear in Snyder’s new project or that they were discussing WB’s Cyborg movie, which doesn’t seem to have moved forward in development since its initial announcement. It was originally slated to release in 2020, but that no longer seems to be the case. Furthermore, if it ever does happen, it’s certainly possible that Snyder would be on board as a producer, just like he’s producing the other Justice League character spinoff movies.

Next: DC’s Cyborg Movie Still Happening, May Use Scrapped Justice League Story

Source: Ray Fisher, Zack Snyder





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2018-10-10 05:10:11 – Mansoor Mithaiwala

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween Review – A Pretty Slappy Sequel

Goosebumps 2 lacks the charm and inventiveness of its predecessor, but still has a reasonable amount of spoopy entertainment value to offer.

R.L. Stine’s beloved 1990s children’s horror book series makes its way back to the big screen in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, a sequel to the live-action film adaptation of Stine’s novels that came out in 2015. While Jack Black starred as a fictional version of Stine in that movie, Sony didn’t even confirm the actor’s return for the followup until a few weeks before its release. Similarly, neither the director, writer, nor supporting cast of the (generally well-received) first Goosebumps film worked on the second installment. While Haunted Halloween certainly suffers for it, the sequel isn’t an entirely hollow continuation of the franchise either. Goosebumps 2 lacks the charm and inventiveness of its predecessor, but still has a reasonable amount of spoopy entertainment value to offer.

Goosebumps 2 picks up in the small town of Wardenclyffe, New York, as its residents prepare for the fast-approaching Halloween Night festivities. Meanwhile, in the Quinn household, high school senior Sarah (Madison Iseman) is trying to finish her college application and her younger brother Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) is struggling with his science class project – a miniature replica of an experimental wireless transmission station in Wardenclyffe that was built and designed by Nikola Tesla, but never finished (aka. the Tesla Tower). The Quinns are joined by Sonny’s best friend Sam Carter (Caleel Harris), who is staying over at their house while his parents are away for the Halloween holiday.

After some prodding from Sam, Sonny agrees to take a break from his project and clear out an abandoned local house, as part of the duo’s ongoing efforts to launch a (successful) junk cleanup business. While there, however, the pair stumble upon an incomplete manuscript for a Goosebumps novel, unaware that the building was once owned by R.L. Stine himself. Not knowing any better, Sam and Sonny unlock the book and inadvertently unleash the Goosebumps villain Slappy the Dummy back into the real world. While the living ventriloquist dummy seems (sorta) friendly at first, it’s not long before he reveals his true evil plan, with only Sam, Sonny and Sarah to stand in his way.

If the original Goosebumps movie was a throwback to the popular family-friendly spooky adventures of the 1990s (think Hocus Pocus), then Haunted Halloween is closer to being the 2018 equivalent of a direct-to cable scary movie for kids from the ’90s – that is, noticeably cheaper and more generic, yet otherwise harmless and playful in its own right. The Goosebumps 2 script by Rob Lieber (Peter Rabbit) likewise carries over the first movie’s imaginative premise and conceit (e.g. Stine’s Goosebumps novel manuscripts are really enchanted objects which contain and prevent his “demons” from entering the real world) and includes references to its story, yet never really tries to build on its concepts, much less its themes and lore. Instead, Haunted Halloween offers helpful, if unchallenging, life lessons for kids and a serviceable narrative that doesn’t exactly push the envelope for the larger Goosebumps brand.

At the same time, Goosebumps 2 is perhaps more successful than its predecessor when it comes to being genuinely menacing and scary for the juice box crowd, yet still light-hearted enough to avoid traumatizing them (hence, “spoopy”). Much of the credit for that goes to director Ari Sandel (The DUFF), who does a commendable job of combining suspenseful and creepy storytelling with comedic moments here, much like Stine did so well in his original Goosebumps novels. Haunted Halloween, as indicated earlier, feels like a lower-budgeted affair than the first Goosebumps, yet Sandel and his creative team – including, DP Barry Peterson (Game Night) and production designer Rusty Smith (Get Out) – still manage to deliver a movie that’s a proper cut above a comparable TV film, in terms of overall craftsmanship. That also goes for the CGI and creature effects in the sequel’s first half (more on the second half later).

The actual setting of Haunted Halloween is mostly populated by stock types, be they the film’s young heroes or the local bullies that Sonny and Sam have to deal with (not to mention, Sarah’s dishonest would-be boyfriend). While their characters are fairly two-dimensional in the Goosebumps sequel, Harris, Iseman and Ray nevertheless have the same affable screen presence that’s allowed them to stand out in films and TV shows past and, thus, make their protagonists all the easier to root for. That also goes for the adult supporting players here, as Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs) and Ken Jeong (Community) mostly channel their famous small screen personas as Sarah and Sonny’s adorkable mother Kathy and their eccentric neighbor Mr. Chu, respectively. As for Black as R.L. Stine: his own role in Goosebumps 2 is pretty superfluous, which is disappointing considering the energy that he brought to the proceedings as the first Goosebumps‘ co-protagonist (not to mention, his vocal performance as Slappy, which Black didn’t reprise in the sequel).

All in all, Haunted Halloween is a passable if derivative sequel – but not because the Goosebumps books themselves are incapable of sustaining multiple films. Rather, the problem is that the sequel recycles too much from the first movie and struggles to make creative use of the fresh elements (like the real-world Tesla Tower) that it brings into the mix here. It’s too bad, seeing as Goosebumps 2 had a wealth of different monsters and horror genres in Stine’s source novels to draw from, yet elected to continue simplifying the author’s mythology by making Slappy the big bad (again) and skimping on giving the other creatures much in the way of personality. As a result, the second half of the movie plays out as a watered down version of what happened in the original Goosebumps, albeit with lower production values and emotional impact.

Still, Goosebumps 2 should go over best with its young target demographic and provide them with enough silly scares and fun adventure to keep them engaged for its brisk runtime. Moreover, much like your average comic book movie these days, Haunted Halloween delivers its fair share of Goosebumps easter eggs and nods to the real Stine’s source material (right down to a Stan Lee-esque cameo from Stine himself), to further serve the property’s youngest fans. As for those who prefer their family-friendly fantasies with Jack Black starring front and center – The House with a Clock in Its Walls is still playing in theaters and ought to fulfill your own needs for some spoopy entertainment this Halloween season.

TRAILER

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween begins playing in U.S. theaters on Thursday evening, October 11. It is 90 minutes long and is rated PG for scary creature action and images, some thematic elements, rude humor and language.

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



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2018-10-10 01:10:58 – Sandy Schaefer

World War Z Sequel Begins Production in June, Confirms Producer

It seems World War Z 2 will finally begin production next June, according to one of the movie’s producers. Getting the first movie – which was directed by Marc Forster and based on a script by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, and Damon Lindelof – onto the big screen was a long and arduous journey. While it wasn’t a direct adaptation of Max Brooks’ acclaimed novel of the same name, it was still a different take on the zombie subgenre.

However, that doesn’t mean it revolutionized the horror genre. World War Z received generally positive reviews from critics and earned a whopping $540 million at the worldwide box office against an estimated production budget of $190 million, which was more than enough for Paramount Pictures to commission a sequel. But development on the follow-up installment lagged for years until the studio’s new chief came on board in 2017 and started to push it forward. Now, it’s slated to start filming next summer.

Related: Why Jurassic World 2’s J.A. Bayona Dropped Out Of Directing World War Z 2

In an interview with Variety on the red carpet for Beautiful Boy, producer Dede Gardner confirmed that World War Z 2 will begin production in June 2019. She also reaffirmed that Brad Pitt would be reprising his role from the first movie as Gerry Lane, with David Fincher on board to direct. Furthermore, producer Jeremy Kleiner provides an update on the script, saying that screenwriter Dennis Kelly is still working on it, but they’re quite happy with what they have so far.

It’s interesting that Paramount Pictures, especially under new leadership, still sees potential in this story despite it being more than five years since the first movie released. Sure, it performed well at the box office, but the zombie genre is even more crowded now than it was then. After all, Paramount recently and briefly started to develop a reputation for offloading properties they thought wouldn’t perform well in theaters, primarily to streaming giant Netflix. That’s why movies like Annihilation and The Cloverfield Paradox suddenly found themselves streaming online. But in the midst of all the apparent turmoil was World War Z 2, which kept on trudging forward.

Fincher started filming the second season of Netflix’s Mindhunter this past summer, so, given how adamant Gardner is about the June production start time frame, it seems the filmmaker has set aside time next summer to get the ball rolling on the long-awaited World War Z sequel. Whether they actually make that production start date remains to be seen, but at least fans can rest assured knowing the studio hasn’t forgotten about the movie.

Next: World War Z Horde Gameplay Trailer Recreates Movie’s Zombie Tsunami

Source: Variety





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2018-10-08 08:10:30 – Mansoor Mithaiwala

Star Wars Resistance Setting & How It Connects To The Force Awakens

A new chapter in the Star Wars saga begins this weekend when Star Wars Resistance debuts on the Disney Channel (followed by regular airings on Disney XD). The series takes place after the events of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi but before Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making it the first animated series (not including a few episodes of Star Wars: Forces of Destiny) to be set between these two trilogies.

For the most part, Star Wars Resistance focuses on Kazuda “Kaz” Xiono and the other pilots of the Colossus refueling station as they compete in dangerous but thrilling starship races. But there’s another reason Kaz in on Colossus – he’s a Resistance spy on orders from Poe Dameron to sniff out who supports their cause, and who supports the First Order.

Related: Star Wars Resistance Premiere Review: A Fun, Straightforward High-Flying Adventure

Though Star Wars Resistance is a more straightforward, lighthearted cartoon than either The Clone Wars or Star Wars Rebels, it still holds the potential to shed some light on a mostly unexplored period of the Star Wars saga. So when, exactly, does Resistance take place?

When Is Star Wars Resistance Set?

Star Wars Resistance is set just six months prior to the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, placing the start of the series early in the year 34 ABY of the Galactic Standard Calendar (where ABY stands for After the Battle of Yavin). This is near the end of a period known as the Cold War, where the remnants of the Empire and the New Republic are stuck in a 20-year stalemate following the end of the Galactic Civil War. During this stalemate, these Imperial remnants form the First Order, and in 34 ABY, they officially reveal themselves to the galaxy by destroying the Hosnian System, and with it, much of the New Republic government.

The Resistance, however, is not a part of the New Republic. Rather, it is a splinter group formed by Senator Leia Organa after she resigns from the Galactic Senate in 28 ABY (as depicted in the novel, Bloodline). Its purpose is to fight the growing threat of the First Order which the New Republic foolishly chose to ignore. During the Cold War, many in the New Republic consider the Resistance nothing more than terrorists and they aren’t in any way officially sanctioned or recognized by the government. Yet, there are those within the New Republic who believe in the Resistance – like the young pilot, Kaz.

How Does It Connect To The Force Awakens?

Being set so close in time to the events of The Force Awakens, there are certainly many ways in which Star Wars Resistance can tie into the film. Resistance pilot Poe Dameron, for instance, appears in the series’ two-part premiere and it’s him who recruits the young Kaz to the cause – suggesting that during this time, the Resistance is actively seeking new members. General Leia Organa will appear as she continues building her coalition and BB-8 is there, too. In fact, Poe leaves his faithful little droid behind on the Colossus to look after Kaz. On the villain’s side, Captain Phasma can be seen in the trailer and she is sure to have an important role to play in the series as the First Orders starts planning their first move.

Besides including characters from the movies, there are events from The Force Awakens and other Star Wars media which may also be referenced. For example, Resistance might include mention of Luke Skywalker’s disappearance, Poe’s search for Lor San Tekka, or even show the destruction of the Hosnian System by Starkiller Base, should the show catch up to the events of The Force Awakens. There is even potential for some crossover with Marvel’s Poe Dameron comic seeing as that series is set during the same period of time as Star Wars Resistance. This means that whenever Poe turns back up on Resistance, he might bring some members of the Black Squadron along with him.

The Importance Of Starkiller Base

Of all the nods to the larger Star Wars saga in Star Wars Resistance, the inclusion of Starkiller Base is by far the most interesting. Much like those fools in the New Republic, viewers are still very much in the dark about the First Order. But by visiting Starkiller Base at an earlier point in time than when it appears in The Force Awakens, it might just be possible that Resistance will shed some light on who came up with the idea for the planet-battle station and how it was constructed. From this, we may also learn more about the First Order itself, including its creation and how it functions differently/similarly to the Empire.

Additionally, by revealing to audiences the existence of Starkiller Base before it’s been unveiled to the galaxy teases yet another mystery for Resistance to explore – Supreme Leader Snoke. No character (besides perhaps Rey) has led to more theories and speculation about who they really are or where they came from. Resistance is the chance to dive into Snoke’s history, explaining how he rose to prominence within the First Order and how he came to be so powerful in the Force. As of the moment, there’s been no evidence that Snoke will actually appear on Star Wars Resistance, but it’s certainly a prime opportunity to finally receive some answers.

Next: Star Wars Resistance Voice Cast & Character Guide

Star Wars Resistance premieres this Sunday at 10pm/9c on the Disney Channel, with subsequent episodes airing on Disney XD.



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2018-10-07 03:10:55 – Sarah Moran