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20 DC Characters Who Can Be In James Gunn’s Suicide Squad (And Who Should Play Them)

James Gunn may be off the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 project after being fired by Disney for some controversial tweets surfaced from long ago, but not only has he apologized and insisted that he’s a much different person than he was at that period in his life; he’s reportedly also getting another stab at creating a comic adaptation with the next Suicide Squad film.

While Marvel fans mourn the loss of the man behind some of the best movies in the MCU, it’s quite possible that Gunn will give the DC universe the boost it desperately needs to really compete with Marvel.

While we’ll have to wait and see what the actual film brings to the party, we have plenty of time to speculate about what its plot might be, what kind of tone to expect and above all, which characters might be included and who might be cast in those roles. While many of us are hoping to see some members of the Squad from the first film return, we’re also crossing our fingers, wishing for a chance to meet more members who weren’t included in the first movie. There’s really an endless amount of speculation to enjoy here and many fans have already photoshopped their choices for the best portrayals of characters audiences have loved for decades.

Casting for these iconic personalities won’t be an easy task, but here are 20 DC Characters Who Can Be In James Gunn’s Suicide Squad (And Who Should Play Them).

20 Christina Ricci As Harley Quinn

Let’s be honest: Margot Robbie is a sure-in for Harley Quinn at this point. The star surprised many fans while proving others right with her incredible performance as the psychiatrist turned psychopath. Ensuring that Quinn not only shone as the premiere talent in a film with its problems, but that she would endure for her own film afterward, Robbie is a fan favorite, through and through.

We could definitely see this version of Harley in a Gunn movie.

If for some reason Robbie had to back out of the project, as much as it would pain fans, some have taken to casting other ideas for actresses who could play Harleen Quinzel. Artist D3SIGNMILTIA’s piece depicts an interesting version of the character that might work well with Christina Ricci.

19 Joaquin Phoenix As The Joker

We’ve seen so many incarnations of The Joker over the years that it’s getting more and more difficult to choose the perfect person to play an updated version of Batman’s most notorious foe. Whether or not he’ll be in the next Suicide Squad film is unclear. Who can measure up to Jack Nicholson’s chilling Joker and Heath Ledger’s perfect monster?

Joaquin Phoenix, currently starring in Todd Phillips’ solo Joker, is certainly one candidate. Phoenix, who’s also utilized some unorthodox acting methods in the past, might give us a bit more grave swagger as the criminal mastermind. His ongoing presence in the DCEU will likely depend on the success of Joker, due out in October 2019.

18 Neil Patrick Harris As The Riddler

Everyone’s favorite child doctor has grown up to become a much beloved singer, showman, and nemesis of the Baudelaire children. Neil Patrick Harris shines in just about everything he’s in, so including him in the next installment of Suicide Squad makes perfect sense.

Harris as the Riddler is pure gold.

He’s got the chops to bring the perfect blend of humor and intelligence that the Riddler needs to truly succeed, which might hopefully replace the slapstick Riddler we got in Batman Forever years ago. Harris isn’t everyone’s favorite for the Riddler, though; stay tuned for more artist manipulations involving the Riddler later.

17 Manu Bennett As Deathstroke

Given the fact that the Arrowverse and TV adaptations of DC stories have proven so successful, it makes sense to borrow from that character pool to not only connect the universe but to help ensure the success of Suicide Squad 2. If Gunn and company are planning on including Deathstroke in the sequel, we think Manu Bennet would be a clear choice for the character.

While some fans speculate that Joe Manganiello will play the part, since he is Mr. Wilson in Justice League and has announced that he’s working on three more films featuring the character, his involvement in Suicide Squad 2 remains speculation at this point. Many believe that Deathstroke will indeed be a primary villain in the film, and Bennet has already proven that he would do the character justice.

16 Sophie Turner As Oracle

Lots of fans are imagining Marvel actors in DC roles, which is pretty delightful for those of us who Make Ours Marvel and DC. Sophie Turner, who gave us the Jean Grey that we were waiting for in X-Men: Apocalypse and is set to reprise the role in Dark Phoenix, would also make an excellent Oracle.

Barbara Gordon’s time as Oracle has included a gig as tech support for the Suicide Squad.

With Ruby Rose’s debut as Batwoman and a Batgirl movie announced, the inclusion of Oracle could provide some timeline intrigue. Plus, after decades of Batman saturation, this much Bat-women power would be so much fun.

15 Oprah Winfrey As Amanda Waller

Viola Davis was a pretty stellar Amanda Waller, which comes as no surprise to anyone who has ever seen Viola Davis in anything. Davis could read a grocery list and deserve an Oscar. That said, Kode Logic has imagined what Oprah might bring to the role and we have to say that it looks impressive. Firm, ruthless and beautiful, Oprah’s Waller seems to give the character a bit more experience points, which are conveyed in that hard gaze.

Davis has said that she loved playing Amanda Waller, who is aligned so well with her character Annalise Keating in the hit TV drama How to Get Away with Murder in many ways, but how much fun would it be to see Oprah bend the rules?

14 Will Smith As Deadshot

You don’t mess with what works, and Will Smith certainly worked as Deadshot in the original Suicide Squad. He did so well, in fact, that plenty of people thought that he deserved his own film and said that they’d have watched Suicide Squad again if it only starred Smith. This really isn’t a surprise, given Smith’s star power, and it’s been announced that he’s returning to the franchise in the role again.

It’s a good thing that we have some time before the movie’s released, too, since Smith is set to star in Bad Boys for Life and Bright 2 around the same time. Smith’s got three films releasing in 2019 alone, and while one is only a vocal role, he’s definitely going to be busy for the next couple of years.

13 Jeffrey Dean Morgan As Batman

Utter the words “Jeffrey Dean Morgan” in the same sentence as “The Batman” and you’re bound to get a room full of excited fans. He’s absolutely perfect for Wayne in an adaptation of something like Batman Beyond, but we could definitely see him as the Batman in just about any adaptation of the series, and DeviantArt user evelius has given us some visual art to really picture the idea.

Morgan has the darkness and the voice necessary for Batman to match this ragtag team of violent convicts.

While Bale and Affleck had their time in the cowl, it’s time for a new man behind the mask. Why not Negan?

12 Rila Fukushima As Katana

While Katana was featured in the first Suicide Squad film, most people believe her role was too small to really critique or appreciate. Japanese-American actress Karen Fukuhara wasn’t bad in the role; she just didn’t get much to do.

Adding Rila Fukushima in the second movie might lend Katana some traction given that she already portrays the character in the Arrowverse.

While Fukuhara, who is set to play Glimmer in the new She-Ra and the Princesses of Power TV series, is rumored to be reprising the role, Fukushima, star of last year’s Ghost in the Shell, was also fantastic as Yukio in The Wolverine, which would give us another fun link between the DC and Marvel universes.

11 Emma Stone As Poison Ivy

Who doesn’t love quirky, smart, and funny Emma Stone? The actress would be perfect for an updated role as Poison Ivy following Uma Thurman’s beautiful but wonky portrayal of Pamela Isley. One of BossLogic’s many creative manipulations, this artwork features Stone as the iconic plant-loving villain and it’s pretty impressive.

We already know that Ivy will be a big part of the upcoming Gotham City Sirens film, which will also feature Harley Quinn and Catwoman at its heart, so why not include her in the Suicide Squad movie as well? There are several other cool artist manipulations of actresses who might be great in the role, such as Jessica Chastain, so it’s going to be a tough one to cast.

10 Kristen Wiig As Cheetah

Many of us can’t stop celebrating Kristen Wiig being cast as Cheetah in Wonder Woman 1984. The strongest thing the DC movies have going for it right now is all the incredible female characters, most notably Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman, and we can’t wait to see where Aquaman takes us. If all goes well it would make perfect sense to include Wiig in Suicide Squad 2, especially since weaving in characters from multiple films would help provide better continuity for the DCEU.

Wiig is funny, smart, and beautiful, and we think she’s going to make an excellent foe for Wonder Woman.

In that case, her inclusion in another movie would also be fantastic to see.

9 Nathalie Emmanuelle As Vixen

DeviantArt artist farrou has created some truly amazing fanart of DC characters, and one of them, which features Nathalie Emmanuelle as Vixen, makes us believers. While we’re not sure if Emmanuelle has a Tantu Totem, we’re pretty sure she could make it work if Gunn and co. gave her one. The actress, best known for her role as Missandei on HBO’s Game of Thrones, is definitely ready for a a super suit and action in a big movie like this.

Then again, Jada Pinkett Smith has expressed interest in the role of Vixen, which would not only be interesting due to her husband’s presence in the movie but also due to her previous DC role as Fish Mooney in the TV series Gotham. Both actresses would be well-cast for the movie.

8 Jake Gyllenhaal As The Riddler

Do we really need the Riddler to come out and play in Suicide Squad 2? After the weirdness of Batman Forever and the sinister developments of Gotham, perhaps it’s time to reinvent the villain. Jake Gyllenhaal makes sense to play the villain not only because he was David Goyer’s original choice to play Batman in the Christopher Nolan movies, but because this fanart made by Vaskoho is something to behold.

While there are several people who could pull off the role, we think Donnie Darko has a fighting chance.

Fans point out that there were some Riddler Easter eggs in the Batman v Superman movie, so it’s possible that we’ll see The Riddler on film someday.

7 Dave Bautista As Bane

Can we all agree that, no matter the context, Dave Bautista must appear in Suicide Squad 2? Not only has the Drax actor delighted us all with his hilarious yet poignant portrayal in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, but he’s also publicly stated that he supports Gunn and wants to be involved in his next project.

We’re pretty sure any role could be molded to make room for such a beloved actor, but as as BossLogic has pointed out, he’d make an excellent Bane. After having two Banes that didn’t work so well in the Batman universe, we could definitely use a fresh face for the role. If he’s not Bane, Bautista would make a fantastic Solomon Grundy, too. We’re not too picky on this one.

6 Michael K. Williams As Black Manta

Could Black Manta make an appearance in Suicide Squad 2? It’s too early to rule anything out and many fans think he’d make a good inclusion, particularly following the Aquaman movie. While the majority of his screen time might simply have his head shrouded in a big bubble, his casting would be nonetheless important. Artist diamondking13 suggests actor Michael K. Williams for the job and we love the idea.

It would be cool to see how Gunn and co, would update the suit for a more modern, movie-friendly look.

Famous for his critically acclaimed roles in The Wire and Boardwalk Empire, Williams was just cast in Jordan Peele and Misha Green’s Lovecraft Country, but Suicide Squad 2 is far enough in the future to give him time for both gigs.

5 Bill Skarsgård As The Joker

This one is a no-brainer. Many of us just don’t care to see Jared Leto return as The Joker and it’s quite possible that The Joker won’t even see a second of footage in the second film. While we’d all probably be okay with that, if a new Joker is cast, Bill Skarsgård is a fantastic choice.

Skarsgård is hot right now following his success as Pennywise in the new adaptation of Stephen King’s It. He also played a less troubling character in Castle Rock over the summer, proving his mettle yet again in King’s world. Considered one of the good things to come out of Netfix’s Hemlock Grove, Skarsgård could probably do the Joker justice, as artist aikoaiham has shown.

4 Teresa Palmer As Killer Frost

After witnessing Killer Frost in the Arrowverse, many fans are calling for her inclusion in Suicide Squad 2. DeviantArt creator farrou has imagined what it might look like if Teresa Palmer played the villain and it’s a pretty spot-on representation.

The Australian actress is no stranger to action movies and could do well in the role.

Kristin Bauer van Straten has already voiced Killer Frost in the animated Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, while Danica McKellar voices her in Lego DC Superhero Girls. She’s also been in 2009’s Public Enemies animated feature between Batman and Superman, but she’s never been in a live action movie before. Danielle Panabaker portrays the character in The Flash, but she hasn’t made a film in a few years.

3 Jon Bernthal as Rick Flag

Jon Bernthal is another actor already present in the MCU, portraying the most accurate and adept version of the Punisher we could ever hope for, so tossing the talented actor into the DC mix would just be plain fun. It’s not that Joel Kinneman was terrible as Rick Flag, and he’s done a great job standing up for the original film and its purpose, but Jon Bernthal would just be better.

The skill Bernthal has in striking that tricky sweet spot between ruthlessness and gravitas while still being a compelling, empathetic human being isn’t something anyone can do. Artist Riku7kun shows us what Bernthal as Flag might look like. It’s a little bare in comparison to Kinneman’s look, but that might actually work with Bernthal.

2 Josh Gad As The Penguin

It’s no secret that Josh Gad wants the role of The Penguin, having pushed for it himself in social media, and fans are clamoring for the opportunity to see the voice of the snowman, Olaf, and Gaston’s buddy LaFou in a much more sinister role.

Whether or not Gad will show up in The Batman remains to be seen but he definitely has the flippers to play the beloved villain.

BossLogic has given us some art imagining what he might look like in the role and it can only get better from here. In March, Gad started hilariously trolling Matt Reeves on Twitter, sending him animated penguin GIFs and hinting at what he could bring to the Batman franchise.

1 Margot Robbie As Harley Quinn

It’s an obvious inclusion, but it’s necessary. While the original Suicide Squad, hyped up to be the most incredible DC movie of all time, had plenty of problems, most fans and critics agree that the shining star of the whole production was Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Robbie’s portrayal was everything we hoped for– brutal, nuanced, and a delicate balance between her joker obsession and Harley coming into her own person without being too over-the-top.

Who isn’t excited to see Robbie return as Harley in theBirds Of Prey adaptation featuring the awesome women of DC, which is so ardently anticipated that it pushed Suicide 2 to the back burner? After this much love, Robbie has to be in this universe.

Who do you most want to see in a new Suicide Squad movie? Let us know in the comments!





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2018-10-11 02:10:45 – Sara Schmidt

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

22 July Review: Paul Greengrass Delivers Another Intense Docudrama

Despite some general storytelling issues, Greengrass succeeds in delivering another well-crafted and intelligent docudrama-thriller with 22 July.

In-between his efforts on the Bourne movies, journalist-turned filmmaker Paul Greengrass has spent much of his career making docudrama-thrillers about real-world events, ranging from the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. (United 93) to the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama in 2009 (Captain Phillips). While there’s an inherent risk of exploiting a real-world tragedy that comes with any such project, Greengrass has long been celebrated for his ability to dramatize terrible events on the big screen in a manner that’s intense, yet sensitive and ultimately insightful in its presentation. Thankfully, that remains the case with his Netflix Original 22 July, even if it doesn’t necessarily represent the writer/director at his finest. Despite some general storytelling issues, Greengrass succeeds in delivering another well-crafted and intelligent docudrama-thriller with 22 July.

22 July picks up on July 21, 2011 in Oslo, Norway, as Anders Behring Breivik (Anders Danielsen Lie) – a self-declared right wing extremist – prepares to carry out a terrorist attack on the city the next day. He begins his assault by setting off a bomb in a van near the main office of the then-current Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (Ola G. Furuseth), killing eight people in the process. Breivik then proceeds to continue his attack by gunning down 69 members of a summer camp organized by the AUF – the youth division of the Norwegian Labour Party – on the island of Utøya, before he is ultimately apprehended by the police and taken into custody.

Among the members of the summer camp is one Viljar Hanssen (Jonas Strand Gravli), who manages to survive Breivik’s attack despite being shot multiple times and left permanently maimed. As Viljar struggles to recover both physically and psychologically from what happened to him (along with everyone else who survived the Utøya shootings and their loved ones), Breivik works with his chosen lawyer Geir Lippestad (Jon Øigarden) to mount a defense and use his trial as a platform to publicly announce his political agenda (which calls for the immediate deportation of all Muslims and heavier restrictions on immigration to Norway, among other things). When it becomes clear to Viljar what Breivik intends to do, he grows increasingly determined to continue his rehabilitation and testify against him in court for not only himself, but also every other person whose lives were affected by what took place on July 22.

Adapted from the book One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway — and Its Aftermath by Åsne Seierstad, Greengrass’ script for 22 July has a very clear-cut three act structure – with the first act focused on the July 22 attack, the second part set during its immediate aftermath, and the final third centered on Breivik’s trial. The film is strongest during its first and third acts in particular, as those chapters (respectively) play to Greengrass’ strengths as a suspense-thriller storyteller and provide the emotional payoff to Viljar and, thus, Norway’s overarching journey of recovery and survival. It’s the second act where things start to drag and get a little muddled, especially as 22 July splits its focus between not only Viljar’s story thread, but also Lippestad and Breivik’s trial preparation, and the investigation into Stoltenberg’s administration and its failure to prevent a terrorist attack. While there’s nothing in the second act that feels inessential, 22 July struggles to divide its attention evenly between its three plotlines and the film’s pacing suffers for it.

On the whole, however, 22 July does a nice job covering a fair amount of narrative ground, even when taking its pretty substantial runtime into consideration. It helps that Greengrass (as he’s known now for doing, as a director) never fully lifts his foot off the gas pedal and keeps the film’s proceedings feeling on-edge throughout, even during its more purely dramatic portions. The filmmaker, working this time around with DP Pål Ulvik Rokseth (The Snowman) and Oscar-winning Argo editor William Goldenberg, uses essentially the same vérité cinematography and restless editing style that he has on his previous movies, in order to fully immerse viewers in the film’s setting and action. At the same time, Greengrass slows things down a bit here and, in turn, delivers a movie that’s more visually cohesive than some of his weaker efforts in the past (see the last Bourne sequel, in particular). This serves 22 July well, allowing it to effectively work as both a grounded drama and thriller.

Given the sheer amount of information that 22 July strives to cover, though, there’s not a lot of room for the film’s actors to really shine – not in the way that Barkhad Abdi and Tom Hanks did in Captain Phillips, for example. Even so, the 22 July cast is uniformly strong across the board, with Gravli especially doing an excellent job of portraying Viljar’s struggles with his physical injuries, PTSD, and the sheer amount of emotional baggage that he’s saddled with after barely managing to escape the attack on Utøya with his own life. Actors like Thorbjørn Harr and Isak Bakli Aglen are similarly moving in their smaller roles as members of Viljar’s family, as is Seda Witt as Lara Rashid, a young woman who starts to make a romantic connection with Viljar before both of their lives are shattered by Breivik’s attack. As for Breivik himself: Lie is quite compelling in the role and portrays the terrorist as a fully-developed person – one whose rationalization of his behavior makes him chilling and pathetic in equal measure.

As with his previous films, Greengrass uses 22 July as a means for delivering larger sociopolitical commentary about the state of things in the world, specifically where it concerns the rise of xenophobic and nationalist ideologies in various countries (the U.S. included). While his scripted dialogue can start to become a bit on the nose as its strives to get these points across (especially in the third act), Greengrass largely succeeds in allowing the story here to shine a light on these issues organically, without getting up on his figurative soapbox to drive the point home. If there’s a downside to the filmmaker’s approach, though, it’s that July 22 winds up handling its subject matter in a way that’s more engaging intellectually than emotionally and, thus, lacks the emotional resonance of Greengrass’ best work to date.

All things considered, however, Greengrass does a very good job of bringing the true story behind 22 July to cinematic life. The final result is a film that makes for an enlightening and otherwise respectful documentation of a horrifying real-world event, rather than one that comes off as exploitative or manipulative. 22 July is showing in select theaters now – in order to qualify for next year’s major film awards shows – and it certainly benefits from being seen on the big screen, but can still be appreciated just as much as a Netflix Original on your home TV. While it’s obviously not a light-hearted viewing experience, 22 July is very much worth checking out if you’ve enjoyed Greengrass’ previous non-Bourne efforts and/or would like to know more about Norway’s own infamous modern terrorist attack.

TRAILER

22 July is now available for streaming on Netflix and is playing in select U.S. theaters. It is 143 minutes long and is rated R for disturbing violence, graphic images, and language.

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



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2018-10-10 01:10:22 – Sandy Schaefer

Grey’s Anatomy: 20 Things That Make No Sense About Meredith

Grey’s Anatomy is the longest running scripted primetime ABC television show of all time. Ellen Pompeo is the highest-paid actress on television, banking twenty million dollars each season. Grey’s is poised to surpass ER as the longest primetime medical drama, as it waits for its sixteenth season renewal, and it has received thirty-eight Emmy Award nominations during the nearly two decades it has been on the air.

Meredith Grey has gone from a damaged intern having an affair with a resident and caring for her ailing mother to a widow with three children who runs the general surgery department at Seattle Grace. More characters have passed away on Grey’s Anatomy than most shows introduced during their entire runs, and the show is nearly unrecognizable now when compared to its first season because of its revolving cast of characters.

With twenty-nine principal cast members during its fifteen seasons, the writers of Grey’s Anatomy have so much history to contend with that maintaining continuity is an uphill battle that they often lose. As such, there are some details about our favorite dark and twisty surgeon at Seattle Grace that don’t make much sense at all. The confusion goes deeper than the debate on her hair color or who the next romantic lead of the show will be. Everything from her age to her internal motivations have been altered, forgotten and recreated during the show’s epically long run, and viewers are struggling to keep up.

Here are the 20 Things That Make No Sense About Meredith In Grey’s Anatomy.

20 Her Half-Sisters

When a show has been on the air for nearly two decades, it’s understandable that a few plotlines may get recycled. After all, who’s really going to notice if four of the show’s leads are revealed to have massive tumors in a principal cast of over twenty-five characters?

However, it’s hard to believe that Meredith Grey would have two half-sisters who she knew nothing about and that both of those women would come work as surgeons at her specific hospital in Seattle.

This is not even mentioning Lexie Grey’s questionable medical timeline – she started her medical internship program when most students are finishing their undergraduate studies – or Meredith conveniently forgetting her mother’s pregnancy before Maggie Pierce was born in the ’80s.

19 She Doesn’t Contact Derek’s Sisters When He’s About To Pass

Derek Shepard’s sisters were extremely important to him – so much so, that during the second episode of Grey’s Anatomy, Shepard explicitly states that if he were ever to be in a coma, he’d want all four of his sisters with him.

Meredith forgets this not-so-tiny detail when actually faced with a comatose Derek Shepard and takes him off of life support without giving his sisters a chance to say goodbye, including Amelia Shepard, who is her coworker and is easily reachable by phone. Meredith ignoring a key aspect of her husband’s personality, his love for his sisters, is more than an example of Meredith’s selfishness. It’s a lack of continuity and a disappointing, out of character oversight.

18 Getting Together With George

George O’Malley’s unrequited love for Meredith was well-chronicled during the show’s first season, enforcing the characters’ friendship, as O’Malley’s feelings for Meredith led him to provide emotional support when Derek Shepard chose to stay with his wife. Meredith never saw O’Malley as anything more than a friend, even after her break-up with Shepard.

Meredith getting together with O’Malley came from a desire to be wanted and treated well after Shepard had broken her trust, and O’Malley was clearly in denial about Meredith’s lack of interest. Still, it’s hard to believe that O’Malley would take advantage of Meredith in her vulnerable state or that Meredith would choose O’Malley as a physical rebound rather than an emotional one.

17 She Failed Her Intern Exam… And Still Became A Resident

The year 2007 was a rough one for Meredith Grey. Her stepmother passed away from a case of the hiccups, her father blamed her for the loss of his wife, her mom passed away, and she literally passed, and understandably, she cracked under pressure. Meredith didn’t answer a single question on her intern exam.

The logical next step here would have been to see Meredith repeat her intern year like George O’Malley does after failing that same exam.

Meredith would have been able to explore new dynamics with her peers while sorting through her many issues, and the show wouldn’t have to suffer through too drastic of a change. Instead, through some nepotism and a large suspension of disbelief, Meredith is allowed a do-over and breezes through to her residency, while poor O’Malley is given the short end of the stick yet again.

16 Her Inconsistent Pregnancies

After miscarrying her first child due to apparent stress from the Seattle Grace active shooter situation in season six, Meredith is told that the real reason for the loss of her child was actually a “hostile uterus.” Medically, in the real world, this means that it is difficult for a woman to become pregnant due to a variety of factors, including hormonal imbalances. It is treatable through synthetic estrogen or certain bypass techniques and does not necessarily cause miscarriages.

Meredith is able to conceive multiple times during the show, and she even manages to have a fairly normal pregnancy and gives birth to a healthy baby girl. A medical drama probably could have come up with a more realistic plotline for Meredith after writers’ decided that they wanted to complicate her family planning.

15 She Modeled Her Life After Ellis

After hating her mother, Ellis Grey, for most of her life, Meredith follows in her footsteps, as she becomes a mother while still chasing her medical aspirations. Meredith places the blame for her issues on her mother’s workaholic tendencies while raising her daughter, then still chooses to start her family just as her medical career is gaining momentum.

She falls in love with a married man, has his children, raises them alone, and wins a Harper Avery Award, just like her mother. Her professional life causes a rift in her relationship, like Ellis’ Harper Avery nomination leading to the termination of her relationship with Richard Weber. Instead of learning from her mother’s mistakes, Meredith has done something that she swore she’d never do: she has become Ellis.

14 Her First Marriage Wasn’t Legal

In a touching display of friendship, Derek Shepherd and Meredith Grey gave their perfect wedding to their dear friends Alex Karev and Izzie Stevens so that the couple could be married before Stevens possibly succumbed to her advanced brain cancer.

Shepherd and Meredith then have their own, private marriage ceremony in the comfort of their own home, where they write their vows on Post-It notes and promise their lives to each other.

This was all romantic and dramatic, but why on Earth would they not bother going down to City Hall and legalizing the marriage at any point before they tried to adopt their daughter? They most likely already had a marriage license, and the tax benefits alone would have been incentive enough to go through with the final step of their marriage – actually getting married.

13 She Tried To Hold Derek Back

It isn’t easy having a family with two working parents. Nannies help, and Seattle Grace has shown its daycare center on Grey’s multiple times, but Meredith’s frustration with being a mother first and a surgeon second rang true as it was depicted onscreen. Asking Derek Shepherd to take a year off from his practice to give Meredith the opportunity to work was brave and fair, considering the time that she had taken off up until that point.

However, expecting Shepherd to turn down the opportunity of a lifetime at the White House was out of character and unreasonable. Shepherd staying at Seattle Grace meant accepting a demotion, while Meredith could have kept her seniority in DC. Staying behind without Shepherd ran contrary to Meredith’s character development, especially since she expected Shepherd to make himself smaller rather than thriving with him.

12 She Ran Away To San Diego

A large factor in Meredith’s reluctance to move to Washington D.C. came from a fear of airplanes that developed after the plane crash that ended the lives of multiple doctors at the end of season eight. This makes sense, considering the circumstances. What doesn’t make sense, however, is how Meredith fled from Seattle to San Diego following her husband’s loss, telling no one of her location or her miracle pregnancy.

Her decision to choose Seattle over her husband indirectly lead to his passing, but once he’s gone, she immediately leaves. Her love for him wasn’t enough to keep her with him, but his loss was enough for her to ignore all of the reasons she had fought to stay. It’s confusing, upsetting, and utterly heartbreaking.

11 She Stayed At Seattle Grace

During season eight’s plane crash, Cristina Yang keeps asking why all of the doctors at Seattle Grace lose their lives. It was a tongue-in-cheek joke anticipating a question that all Grey’s viewers have at least once during the series. There are shootings, bombs, car crashes, drownings, a flood, a power outage, a bus explosion, and an earthquake during the twenty years that Meredith has worked at Seattle Grace.

At least fourteen doctors and family members have passed away under unusual circumstances at the hospital, filling it with horrible, PTSD-inducing memories.

Somehow, Meredith still works there. After losing parents, a sibling, a husband, best friends, and coworkers, she never thought to just go across town to the other, better-ranked hospital and leave a hospital that is so unlucky it might be on top of the Hellmouth.

10 She Still Has Her Medical License

In order to help Richard Webber’s wife Adele, Meredith enrolls her into her clinical trial for patients experiencing rapidly progressing Alzheimer’s. She tampers with the trial to give Adele the experimental drug rather than the placebo, even after Derek Shepherd’s warnings that doing so would ruin both of their careers.

Of course, because this is Meredith Grey, once her wrongdoing was exposed, no one suffered any long-term consequences. Richard takes the fall for Meredith to protect her job, but neither one loses their medical license. Richard eventually becomes the head of the residency program, while Meredith is the head of general surgery. Shepard had no real backlash for being involved. Everyone was just fine and still eligible to perform surgeries in a respected hospital, somehow.

9 She Considered Herself The Other Woman

After learning that Derek Shepherd was a married man, Meredith halted her physical relationship with him, only being intimate with him one time after learning of his marital status. She legitimately felt guilt for unknowingly dating someone’s husband and didn’t actively try to home-wreck Addison Montgomery’s marriage.

Despite the fact that many of her actions during this complicated time were respectful of Montgomery and her marriage, she still bonded with Mark Sloan when they realized that they both considered themselves homewreckers. Meredith’s characterization centers around her “dark and twisty” tendencies, so her pessimistic framing of the situation would make sense in her own mind, but there’s logically little to support her enduring belief that her relationship with Shepard began with any wrongdoing on her part.

8 She Is Still Alive

Meredith’s self-destructive and occasionally life-threatening tendencies put her in many dangerous situations. She has nearly escaped passing away so many times that its statistically improbable that she would still be alive. Setting aside the fact that she briefly drowned while helping at a ferry boat crash site, Meredith’s life makes no sense because anyone else who’d had this many close calls would not longer be with us.

Meredith held a bomb inside of a patient’s body and barely handed it off before it exploded in the hands of the bomb technician.

She also had prolonged exposure to toxic blood, she drowned for a long time, she asked an active gunman to shoot her, and her plane crashed. Yet here she is, waiting for the next ridiculous trauma that life throws at her.

7 She Barely Talks To Cristina

Cristina Yang was Meredith’s person. More than a best friend, a husband, or a family member, Yang was the one person who Meredith always relied on and trusted. Since Yang left Seattle Grace for Switzerland, all we’ve really heard from her was that Meredith didn’t tell her where she had run away to after Derek Shepherd’s car crash.

There was no confirmation that Yang came to Shepherd’s funeral, as she didn’t stay with Meredith after his passing or visit her newborn child and nary a text has been sent between the two onscreen. Long-distance friendships are hard, but with modern technology like Skype, FaceTime and texting, completely dropping off of the face of the Earth is a cause for confusion.

6 She Gives Thatcher Part Of Her Liver

The last viewers had seen of Thatcher Grey, he had drunkenly, publicly blamed Meredith for his wife’s passing and uninvited her from the funeral. This comes after he abandoned her and started a shiny new family that allowed him to forget about the daughter he left behind.

Even if Thatcher treating Meredith horribly wasn’t enough to dissuade her from saving his life, a complicated position to navigate, Thatcher had multiple daughters and presumably many other family members. Even if Lexie and her sister weren’t matches, how was there no other family member able to donate their liver other than his estranged daughter? There’s no reason it should have been Meredith except as an opportunity to inflict more unnecessary pain on our protagonist.

5 She Had A Busy Two Years

Everything that happened over the first five seasons of Grey’s Anatomy occurred during a two year period. Because the intern year occurs during seasons one through three and Meredith’s first year of residency is seasons four and five, there are many plotlines that happen in a short timeframe.

Plotlines such as George’s marriage and divorce with Callie, Denny Duquette’s storyline with Izzie Stevens, and Christina’s doomed engagement to Preston Burke all happen over the course of less than twelve months.

Meredith and her friends have known each other for only two years by season six, and so much crazy drama has occur in the midst of eighty hour work weeks and eight hour surgeries that it’s almost like they could fill half a decade’s worth of life experience.

4 She’s Always Drinking

Meredith drinks a lot of tequila for a doctor. While she’s shown abstaining from drinking while on-call, Meredith spends most of her down time getting drunk at Joe’s Bar or at home, and even had to be hooked up to an IV during a massive accident to sober herself up for work.

The state of near-constant hangover that she must be functioning in would make her workdays impossible, and the likelihood that she’s be called in during her downtime to work during a disaster situation at Seattle Grace, the grand mecca of disaster, is fairly high in the world of Grey’s Anatomy. How she manages to drink so often without a sponsorship from Pedialyte or AA is a mystery to us all.

3 Her Age

In the script for Grey’s pilot, Meredith is supposed to be thirty-two years old. After taking time off to travel through Europe with Sadie and to care for her ailing mother, it’s understandable that Meredith would be older than the average medical intern. It’s clear that the Grey’s writing team put some thought into Meredith’s backstory in the early years of the show and realized that between taking the MCAT and helping Ellis, there’s no way that Meredith could have started her internship at the median age of twenty-seven.

Meredith’s birth year is confirmed as 1978 multiple times during the course of season eleven, retconning her initial age to be twenty-eight. The writers probably weren’t too concerned about continuity ten years after the fact, but Meredith’s original age made much more sense than her current one.

2 Her Disappearing Children

After a hullaballoo regarding who should watch the children and how to be an active parent and a surgeon, Meredith’s children have completely disappeared from the show after Derek Shepherd’s passing. The children are occasionally referenced, but haven’t been shown in the hospital daycare, her home, or her carpool.

Her children have become an afterthought, despite the fact that they were the main source of conflict between Shepard and herself before he passed away.

Some of these children should be starting school, while others are still in infancy, but having Meredith completely forget that she chose to give birth and adopt multiple children erases multiple seasons of character development geared towards family and motherhood.

1 She Has Gone Through An Improbable Amount Of Trauma

As mentioned multiple times, nothing seems to go right for long in the life of Meredith Grey. Meredith’s mother passes away while Meredith was unconscious, she lost her husband, her boyfriend had a wife, she nearly passed away multiple times, she couldn’t have children, and everyone she knows left or passed away.

Every aspect of her life, from family to spouses to friends, ends with a major trauma and loss. She’s still continuing on with her life and career, while most people would be deep in therapy and rarely leaving their homes if faced with the same amount of sorrow. Meredith is a strong woman, but what she has been through could drive even the most optimistic individual to depression.

Are there any other aspects of Meredith’s character that make no sense in Grey’s Anatomy? Sound off in the comments!



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2018-10-09 01:10:23 – Kristy Pirone

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: Legendary Armor Locations Guide

In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, there are legendary armor sets that players can obtain by completing missions, defeating specific bosses, or simply opening the right chests in the right areas. Obtaining and equipping a full set of legendary armor will grant players bonuses, some of which may change the entire course of their journey (including how they approach Odyssey‘s abilities).

While some legendary armor pieces may be acquired early on in the game, it’s best to wait until at least halfway through the story until players start to really try to obtain full sets. After all, most of them require defeating members of the Cult of Kosmos – and that can be harrowing in and of itself. Plus, the Cultists aren’t even introduced until quite a bit into the story.

Related: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: How To Get The Best Ending

Furthermore, equipping just one piece of legendary armor will grant players a bonus, but equipping all five pieces of equipment can either increase damage for all weapons and abilities, increase armor resistance, and perhaps even make players immortal in the grand scheme of things. Here’s a full guide on the all the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey legendary armor sets (images via PS4Trophies):

Pilgrim’s Legendary Armor Set

Players have to scour the Greek world looking for specific chests on specific islands. And acquiring each Pilgrim armor piece allows players to spend 40% less adrenaline when using the Shadow of Nyx ability.

  • Pilgrim’s Hood – Inside a chest in the Eleusis Telesterion in Attika.
  • Pilgrim’s Gloves – Inside a chest in the Akropolis of Argos.
  • Pilgrim’s Garment – Inside a chest in the Temple of Athena in Sparta.
  • Pilgrim’s Belt – Inside a chest in the Temple of Artemis in Lakonia.
  • Pilgrim’s Boots – Inside a chest in the Temple of Britomartis in Messara.

Amazon/Achilles Legendary Armor Set

Players who play as Kassandra will obtain the Amazon legendary armor set (something akin to Wonder Woman’s armor), whereas players who play as Alexios will get the Achilles armor upon defeating all the members of the Heroes of the Cult. Both armor sets provide players will a full set bonus of +2% damage dealt restored as health.

  • Helm of Achilles – Defeat Pallas the Silencer.
  • Bracers of Achilles – Defeat Swordfish.
  • Armor of Achilles – Defeat Belos, The Beast Of Sparta, in the Arena.
  • Waistband of Achilles – Defeat Okytos the Great.
  • Sandals of Achilles – Defeat Deianeira.

Agamemnon Legendary Armor Set

Agamemnon’s legendary armor set provides players with a full set bonus of +50% burning rate. But first, players have to defeat all the members of the Silver Vein branch of the Cult of Kosmos.

  • Agamemnon’s Helmet – Defeat Machaon The Feared.
  • Agamemnon’s Gauntlets – Inside a chest at the Silver Mine in Athens.
  • Agamemnon’s Body Armor – Defeat The Silver Griffin.
  • Agamemnon’s Waistband – Defeat The Centaur Of Euboea.
  • Boots of Agamemnon – Defeat The Chimera.

Immortal Legendary Armor Set

Although players can’t become immortal while wearing the Immortal legendary armor set, they do get an additional 20% health restored to them upon respawning. However, they first need to defeat the entire Worshippers of the Bloodline branch of the Cult of Kosmos.

  • Helmet of the Immortal – Defeat Zoisme.
  • Gauntlets of the Immortal – Defeat Chrysis.
  • Armor of the Immortal – Defeat Diona.
  • Waistband of the Immortal – Defeat Melite.
  • Boots of the Immortal – Defeat Harpalos.

Greek Heroes Legendary Armor Set

Instead of taking down Cultists, for the Greek Heroes legendary armor set, players have to take on mercenaries, who will drop the Perseus Helmet, Jason’s Golden Fleece, Bracers of Theseus, Hippolyta’s Belt, and Atalanta’s Sandals. However, different mercenaries may drop different items for different players. The armor set provides a bonus of 20% to all resistances.

  • Defeat The Translucent
  • Defeat The Flash
  • Defeat The Lucky Drunk
  • Defeat The Frenzied
  • Defeat The Resplendent

Arena Fighter’s Legendary Armor Set

In order to obtain the Arena Fighter’s legendary armor set, players will have to complete the Arena – defeating every champion – for a second time at or near the max level. Wearing the full set provides players with a bonus of +10% health restored with overpower.

  • Arena Fighter’s Helmet
  • Arena Fighter’s Gauntlets
  • Arena Fighter’s Armor
  • Arena Fighter’s Waistband
  • Pit Fighter’s Boots

Artemis Legendary Armor Set

The Artemis legendary armor set is obtained by essentially completing the Daughters of Artemis quest. A full set gives players a bonus of +15% damage on all Hunter abilities.

  • Master’s Artemis Hood – Defeat the Krokottas Hyena and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.
  • Master’s Artemis Gloves – Defeat the Erymanthian Boar and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.
  • Master’s Artemis Outfit – Defeat the Krekatan Bull and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.
  • Master’s Artemis Belt – Defeat Kallisto the Bear and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.
  • Master’s Artemis Treads – Defeat the Lykaon Wolf and deliver the pelt to Daphnae.

Snake Legendary Armor Set

One of the more intriguing legendary armor sets in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is the Snake set, which grants players a bonus of +10% intoxicated damage and weakening effect. The entire Eye of Kosmos branch of the Cult of Kosmos needs to be defeated in order to obtain the full set.

  • Viper’s Hood – Defeat The Master.
  • Venom Gloves – Defeat Hermippos.
  • Scaled Armor – Defeat The Snake.
  • Slithering Belt – Defeat Sotera.
  • Noxious Boots – Defeat Midus in Argolis.

Athenian War Hero Legendary Armor Set

Players have to defeat all the cultists part of the Delian League to obtain the Athenian War Hero legendary armor set. A full set grants a bonus allowing players to penetrate shields with arrows.

  • Athenian War Hero Helmet – Defeat Kodros the Bull.
  • Athenian War Hero Gauntlets – Defeat Brison.
  • Athenian War Hero Armor – Defeat Iobates the Stoic.
  • Athenian War Hero Belt – Defeat Rhexenor the Hand.
  • Athenian War Hero Boots – Defeat Podarkes the Cruel.

Spartan War Hero Legendary Armor Set

Considering that Sparta famously fought in the Peloponnesian War, it makes sense that players have to defeat the Peloponnesian League of the Cult of Kosmos to get the Spartan War Hero legendary armor set, which appropriately grants players +15% damage to all Warrior abilities.

  • Spartan War Hero Helmet – Defeat Monger in Korinthia.
  • Spartan War Hero Gauntlets – Defeat Silanos of Paros.
  • Spartan War Hero Armor – Defeat Skylax the Fair.
  • Spartan War Hero Belt – Defeat Lagos the Archon.
  • Spartan War Hero Boots – Defeat Kallias.

Pirate Legendary Armor Set

To get the Pirate legendary armor set, perhaps one of the coolest looking armor sets in the game, players have to take down the Gods of the Aegean Sea cultists. Then, the full armor set grants a +15% damage to all Assassin abilities.

  • Pirate Hood – Defeat Melanthos.
  • Pirate Gauntlets – Defeat Asterion.
  • Pirate Armor – Defeat The Octopus.
  • Pirate Waistband – Defeat Sokos.
  • Pirate Treads – Defeat The Mytilenian Shark.

Demigod Legendary Armor Set

Loot Deimos at the end of the main story to obtain four of the five pieces of armor needed to complete the Demigod legendary armor set. The four pieces of armor are: Demigod’s Chestplate, Demigod’s Bracers, Demigod’s Belt, and Demigod’s Boots. The final armor piece, Aspasia’s Circlet, is obtained by defeating the final Cult of Kosmos member, the Ghost of Kosmos.

In total, there are 12 legendary armor sets in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Some of them will be relatively easy to obtain, while others will require some skill and ingenuity. But Ubisoft’s latest installment is quite long and expansive, so there’s no rush. After all, one or two of them can only be acquired after completing the game itself.

More: Every Assassin’s Creed Game Ranked

Images via PS4Trophies



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2018-10-08 07:10:42 – Mansoor Mithaiwala

Arrow Season 7 Trailer Introduces New Villains The Longbow Hunters

A new trailer for The CW’s Arrow reveals the Longbow Hunters, a group of villains devoted to the cause of hunting downing Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell). It appears that the group will be lead by the main antagonist of season 6, Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo). At SDCC 2018, it was confirmed that the Longbow Hunters would be appearing in season 7.

Arrow season 6 ended with Oliver Queen taking extreme measures in his efforts to defeat Diaz and save Star City. In exchange for the FBI’s help, Oliver had to turn himself in and give up his secret identity. Oliver was sent to a supermax prison, where he will encounter enemies from his past. While Oliver takes a beating behind bars, members of Team Arrow may have problems of their own, considering that Diaz is still on the loose.

Related: Elseworlds: Everything You Need To Know About The Arrowverse Crossover

The CW has released a new trailer for Arrow that previews what Oliver will go through in prison, the return of Diaz, and what the former members of Team Arrow have been doing since Oliver’s incarceration. Perhaps most importantly, though, the trailer also introduces the Longbow Hunters, a team of villains that was teased in the season 6 finale.

The trailer reveals the shield-carrying Kodiak (Michael Jonsson), Red Dart (Holly Elissa), and The Silencer (Miranda Edwards). All three seem to be working either for or with Diaz, who apparently hasn’t given up on his plans to eliminate Team Arrow, since the trailer shows him taking shots at René (Rick Gonzalez). In the SDCC 2018 trailer, Diaz vowed to go after everyone Oliver cares about.

As each member of the group has their own unique skill set, the four could prove to be dangerous adversaries for Oliver and his former allies. It’s possible that it will be their actions that forces Oliver to escape prison and return to his role as the Green Arrow. In season 6, Diaz was dangerous enough all on his own, so being surrounded by equally capable villains could provide him with a huge advantage.

Though the three new characters all originate from the comic books, it’s unclear why any of them would want to target Oliver. The Silencer, however, has ties to Talia al Ghul, which means that Arrow‘s version could be a former member of the League of Assassins looking to avenge Ra’s al Ghul. All three could have their own motivations for hunting Oliver, which may be revealed in the coming episodes.

More: Arrow Season 7 Casts Shadowhunters Alum In ‘Pivotal’ Role

Arrow season 7 premieres Monday, October 15, on The CW.

Source: The CW





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2018-10-08 02:10:06 – Nicholas Raymond

This Axe Looks Like It Could Be Captain Marvel’s Avengers 4 Weapon

Leaked concept art for Avengers 4 introduces a brand new weapon, possibly belonging to Captain Marvel. Marvel Studios is wrapping up the first eleven years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe next year, and almost every piece has been introduced for the conclusion. Avengers: Infinity War gave Thanos (Josh Brolin) a proper introduction, and they’ve spent 20 movies setting up the main heroes. Even though the next installment will tell a brand new story, the Russo brothers presumably created it with most of the important characters, locations, and such already introduced, as some characters prepare to leave. However, there will be some new elements included.

Early concept art for Avengers 4 teased some new looks for the heroes, such as Captain America’s chainmail suit, Hulk’s new look, and more. Furthermore, a recent leak revealed the best look yet at Thanos’ new sword, which he’ll use along with his battle armor and the Infinity Gauntlet. The heroes may be a bit outmatched, unless this new weapon is for their use.

Related: Avengers 4 Isn’t Going to Be MCU’s Secret Invasion

Marvel News Asia revealed a leaked piece of possible concept art for Avengers 4 that shows off a brand new weapon that is joining the mix. The weapon in question is a double-bladed axe. This is the first time such a weapon has been shown or linked to Avengers 4, and the leak doesn’t provide any additional context or insight as to whose axe this is.

Without any further information about the axe, the only thing to do is to look back at Marvel comics to see what it could be. The first and most popular suggestion is that this axe will belong to Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) in Avengers 4. This is based on the recent Fear Itself comic story where she and other Marvel heroes gained Asgardian crafted weapons, and Carol’s axe isn’t too different than the one designed here. The origins of the axe would likely change in Avengers 4, but it would give Captain Marvel an added source of power and destruction if this is indeed hers.

Although the Captain Marvel connection is one fans have already latched onto, there are some other notable axes in Marvel comics. Doctor Strange has wielded the Axe of Angarruumus in recent years, so this could be his once he is brought back to life. Another character known for his expertise with axes is Ares. There’s been no indication he is in the movie, but with rumors of a Dark Avengers script being completed, maybe he’s being set up through the use of his axe. There’s also the possibility that the axe has no connection to Marvel comics, making it even more difficult to pinpoint who this belongs to. If Thanos is already utilizing a sword, he could also grab this axe to battle the Avengers. It’ll only be a matter of time before Marvel starts marketing Avengers 4, so hopefully the first trailer can offer a clue as to whose axe this is.

MORE: Eternity War – The Best Avengers 4 Title Contender

Source: Marvel News Asia



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2018-10-06 09:10:35 – Cooper Hood

A Star Is Born’s Ending Is Bad (And Always Has Been)

WARNING: Major spoilers for A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born‘s ending undoes what could have been a Hollywood classic – but that’s not exactly Bradley Cooper’s fault. From its first version in 1937, A Star Is Born has always had a problematic resolution to its story, one that’s only got worse over the past century, and this latest version is no different.

A Star Is Born is a classic story that Hollywood loves so much it’s told it four times (with a suspiciously-similar earlier version, several failed attempts and many, many imitators). A top-of-his-game star (in 2018, Bradley Cooper’s rock star Jackson Maine) is suffering from alcoholism and in a stupor discovers a struggling artist (Lady Gaga as Ally, a waitress moonlighting in a drag bar), falling in love with both her and her talent. He provides her with a big break, sending her fame into the stratosphere just as his addictions begin to derail his career. The pair marry, but despite their love things begin to fray.

Related: Read Our A Star Is Born Review

It’s a tale of rags to riches, of falls from grace, of the power of love, and personal identity within all of that. And, for much of the runtime, A Star Is Born 2018 is genuinely a great version of all those stories. Gaga’s first major concert leaves you floating, Cooper shows mental affliction with grace, both perform their songs incredibly (to actual live crowds, no less), and are utterly believable as troubled lovers. It is, for much of its runtime, a very good film worthy of that deafening hype.

However, everything implodes into a black hole of pretentiousness as what could have been a great film its own right has to follow through on being called A Star Is Born

  • This Page: The Problem With A Star Is Born’s Ending
  • Page 2: A Star Is Born’s Ending Has Always Been Bad
  • Page 3: Why Bradley Cooper Couldn’t Fix A Star Is Born

What Happens In A Star Is Born’s Ending

We’ll stick with Cooper’s take for now before going deeper into the past. A Star Is Born‘s third act is kicked off by Ally winning the Grammy for Best New Artist – a major step for her career, undercut entirely by Jack drunkenly taking to the stage with her and relieving himself on live TV. He goes into rehab and she wrestles with where her focus should lie, eventually deciding to try and protect her recovering husband. She cancels her European tour when her agent, Rez, blocks the duo playing together.

As a result, Jack kills himself. He’s confronted by a seething Rez who has no sympathies or expectations of sobriety and states outright Jack’s ruining his wife’s career. When she matter-of-fact states the tour cancellation, he sees the impact of his actions and, while she plays a concert, he hangs himself in their garage.

Related: Every Song On A Star Is Born’s Soundtrack

This breaks Ally at first, leaving her emotionally distraught, before her understanding the meaning of Jack’s sacrifice – to enable her to truly become the star he always saw – helps her pull through. The film ends at a tribute concert in Jack’s memory. “My name is Ally Maine.” she declares before singing “I’ll Never Love Again”, a song based on their relationship they wrote together while he was recovering. A flashback shows the pair singing, she looks through the camera at the audience, the end.

Why A Star Is Born’s Ending Is Bad

Removing the ending of all presentation and self-imposed importance (a character looking into the camera at the end is an overused trope that Cooper simply doesn’t earn), in just writing down the events of A Star Is Born its problems should be obvious.

Jack decides to kill himself to save his wife, committing suicide because it’s the only way to set her free. This comes about two hours into a film which has slowly built up its numerous interpersonal relationships, and so comes as a drastic and rather unearned turn. Now, there is an argument to be made about accuracy to the unpredictability of mental illness, but given the intimacy audiences had with both Jack and Ally up until this moment, that doesn’t fit with the rest of the film. A Star Is Born, plainly, presents suicide as the only way out. It’s meant to come across as a selfless act but still values success as a true route to happiness, meaning anything emotional about the “gesture” is laced with hypocrisy.

But it’s what comes after and Ally’s coming to terms with her loss that’s so disquieting. For all her innate talent being the drive of the story and her freely made decision to step back what motivated Jack to kill himself, the final scene makes everything about Jack; the mononymous singer for the first time takes on her husband’s surname at his concert, where she performs a song that he helped her write in her original singer style. The suggestion is meant to be that Jack was holding her back, but in the shadow of the previous two hours the strange implication is that the act of a true star being born came from the adversity of Jack’s sacrifice. Making Ally’s success symbiotic to her dead husband is already heavily in the text of the film, but the final scene makes her final ascension even more indebted to his drastic act.

It’s hard to not read A Star Is Born‘s ending as trivializing suicide down to a plot point to give the fundamentally broken male lead the defining role in its female protagonist’s arc. It’s a weird move to make in 2018, although don’t believe this is just the product of an 80-year-old movie being remade. There’s something flawed at the heart of A Star Is Born.

Page 2: A Star Is Born’s Ending Has Always Been Bad

The True Story Behind A Star Is Born’s Ending Explains The Problem

There have been four versions of A Star Is Born: the 1937 Hollywood-skewering original starring Janet Gaynor and Frederick March, the 1954 musical starring Judy Garland and James Mason, the 1976 shift to the music industry with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and the latest Cooper/Gaga release. Each one has its own quirks, but all endeavor to tell the same story of love and fame intertwined, and all have the same basic ending. But the 1937 version isn’t the start. While A Star Is Born‘s narrative is a fiction, it’s very much based on truth; each movie is rooted heavily in the entertainment industry of the time – Hollywood for the 1937 and 1954 versions, music for 1976 and 2018 – and aims to tell an encapsulating story. There are some real-life events that inspired it.

The established star falling for an unknown as she climbs to the top was seen in actors Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Fay’s relationship, with the pair marrying in 1928 when the former was an unknown after starring in a Broadway show together. Their marriage fell apart after she rose above him and he fell into alcoholism. They separated in 1935 after seven years of marriage, two years before A Star Is Born was released. This appears to have been composited with the death of silent film actor John Bowers, who died at sea in 1936 after failing to win a part (whether it was a suicide or not is unclear). There are others (as we’ll see) but these are regarded as the ones who powered the 1937 version.

Related: Lady Gaga Fans Are Trolling Venom With Fake Bad Reviews

Of course, there’s one key distinction between inspiration and movie: in real life, it was two unrelated stories. There are the famous lovers who piggyback success and the past-it star who takes his own life, but in all cases these two aspects are entirely independent; the woman goes on to greater success by cutting the man out, while elsewhere another man falls from grace. Both stories epitomize Hollywood together, and taken alongside each other rather than melded have an ingrained believability. A Star Is Born trades that for something more streamlined in having the suicide be the culmination of the romance, but it’s also idealistic and wistful, losing the real moral of either.

This is reflected in what is regarded as a proto-Star Is Born, the 1932 film What Price Hollywood? Released five years before the 1937 version and produced also by David O. Selznick (and directed by George Cukor, who was approached for the first A Star Is Born and directed the first remake), this is regarded as something of a dry run at the story. Obviously from the release year it can’t share the same real-life inspirations (although, because this is the Golden Age of Hollywood, there are others pointed to), but the core concept and even smaller story beats are there, albeit with one massive difference: the leads are not romantically involved. Lowell Sherman’s Max drunkenly finds Constance Bennett’s Mary and helps make her a star, eventually killing himself after he sees realizes how far he’s fallen and is hurting his friend, while Mary’s suffers an ill-fated marriage that breaks down due to her absences filming and is reconciled at the end.

Watched today, What Price Hollywood? has a cynicism about the film industry ahead of its time despite ultimately being a movie romanticizing Hollywood – and at the core of this is the tragic story of Max and its impact on Mary’s life. The title question is apt.

How The Remakes Have Tried To “Fix” The Ending

In contrast to What Price Hollywood?, A Star Is Born 1937 carries a self-awareness and charm, but in bridging the romantic and the career side of protagonist Esther creates the problematic suicide reading. It’s not helped by dated elements, including the defining part of Esther’s ascension being the actress known as Vicki Lester taking on her husband’s name with a declaration “This is Mrs. Norman Maine“. It works given the time period, but even 16 years later needed an update.

Related: Watch the Trailer For A Star Is Born

The 1954 version is, for the most part, a beat-for-beat remake, just with dance number expansion to make it a musical, but it does make some strides to justifying the ending. The toll that caring for a drunk has on Judy Garland’s Vicki Lester is shown gradually, most upsettingly in an off-stage breakdown she immediately returns to filming from: an unavoidable presentation of the line between art and performer. But, ultimately, it ends in the same way: Norman Maine overhears Vicki’s plans to quit acting to care for her husband, so he feigns going for a swim and drowns himself; after a traumatic period and being unmasked at her funeral (the invasion of the press), Vicki returns to the public eye where she declares herself “Mrs. Norman Maine“. Every issue discussed is here.

The 1976’s A Star Is Born is overall incredibly melodramatic, nowhere less than its handling of the ending. What it should be praised for is its attempts at giving the female lead a greater sense of autonomy: throughout Streisand’s Esther makes decisions that power the narrative, not just being led along by Kristoffersen as those who came before her, but that’s lost thuddingly in the finale. After his meltdown, John Howard has imposed isolation – not rehab – and when returning home immediately sleeps with a reporter wanting an interview for Esther. The couple tries to power past this, but John figures he’s still broken and crashes his car at high speeds. Again, Esther is sad before taking his name (and singing at a tribute event).

Like we’ve already explored with A Star Is Born 2018, all versions have tried to provide their own contemporary spin on the tale to iron out its kinks, yet all wind up having to repeat the same suicide-anger-name triple-tap that doesn’t belong. A degree can be accounted to the changing times, but that ignores that the original trio of movies released over nearly 40 years, and that Cooper wasn’t able to address it either.

Page 3: Why Bradley Cooper Couldn’t Fix A Star Is Born

Why Bradley Cooper Can’t Fix A Star Is Born

Bradley Cooper certainly tries to bring a modern slant to the worn tale of A Star Is Born. He invests heavily in making Jack and Ally’s opposite trajectories operate independently – Jack is suffering from tinnitus before he’s heard a note of “La Vie En Rose”, while Ally’s SNL appearance is deemed to contradict his advice – while making the love story more immediate. It’s a bigger story, more personal and considerably more consummately paced.

But, like all the others, the ending hits a snag. And some of his decisions make it worse. The method of final descent is different, with the awards show upset and rehab undone not by Maine going off the rails again as in every other take, but rather by Ally’s agent calling his supposed bluff. It’s implied from the British Rez knowing when exactly Jackson first toured across the pond that he was once a fan, now disillusioned with his hero, making him a millennial scapegoat to any affronting reading.

Related: 2018 Fall Movie Preview: The 30 Films to See

This generational push and pull could have been what sent A Star Is Born to greatness. Sam Elliott’s speech about there only being twelve notes played over and over, with the majesty coming from how the artist uses them is a beautiful sentiment that sees Cooper self-justifying another remake and appears like a zen view on the entertainment business that birthed it. Except it isn’t, because this idea is also trying to explain the ending, claiming that the music industry is cyclical and that stars are born and then new stars are born later; Jack’s death is enabling that. What the film seems to miss is that for one state to ever enter another, a star must always die. Ally will fall too. The raw textual argument is that the failures are as eternal as the successes, raising the question of worth, yet the film provides no further exploration and presents it as somehow immediately uplifting.

And that’s the hump that A Star Is Born 2018, like its predecessors, can’t get over. The story thinks it’s a biting, self-aware take on itself, but it’s too close to the subject to see that it’s really just propagating a harsh cycle. This isn’t helped by the film being weighted by so much – the casting of Lady Gaga, his writer-director-producer-actor whammy, even Sam Elliott as the Sam Elliott-type – although those concerns are also the key explanation for what’s really going on.

A Star Is Born Only Exists Because Of Ego

Throughout this article, there’s been one question dangling unspoken. Why are there four versions of A Star Is Born anyway? It’s a story that is flawed and dated, on a topic which has been tackled in more films than any other. Yes, each movie got serious Oscar nominations and wins, but that alone isn’t enough to justify going back. The true answer is enlightening.

1954’s A Star Is Born was conceived as a bid to restart Judy Garland’s career after it stalled over the 1940s. 1976’s A Star Is Born was Barbra Streisand’s attempt (along with then-husband Jon Peters) to boost her standing in Hollywood. And 2018’s A Star Is Born is Bradley Cooper’s grand attempt to win the Oscar that he believes he deserves (his entire post-Hangover career is a carefully played game of chess with a Golden Baldie the King). There are studio concerns too (before Cooper, Warner Bros had been attempting to get a remake off the ground since the early 2010s, although as a Beyonce vehicle has the same career expansion goals), but those are the primary purposes of each version. A Star Is Born is a vanity project on repeat.

Related: A Star Is Born Is An Oscar Favorite – But Could An Infamous Producer Hurt Its Chances?

Now, vanity projects needn’t be bad, and indeed a lot of good comes from each of these attempts. Indeed, each was ultimately successful in both their primary and commercial goals: Garland’s career was rejuvenated; Streisand won her second Oscar; and Cooper’s currently the front-runner in multiple categories for next year’s Academy Awards.

But this aspect appears to be why each version of A Star Is Born struggles to understand the real meaning of its ending. Each powering force believes this movie will be what takes them being a Norman/Jack Maine to a new Esther/Ally while missing that it’s built into the story to be impossible. They believe so much in the two contradictory Hollywood legends wholesale, so don’t see that the story is almost warning against such a thing.

A Star Is Born Is No Longer Needed

In recent years, we’ve seen Hollywood’s reliable rotation of movies about itself take a genuinely incisive slant. 2015’s Best Picture Winner Birdman was an ostentatious exploration of ego that too ended with the protagonist committing suicide, but there it was with the wry critique that fame and adoration are fleeting and that such a bold act was the only way for the self-involved hero to reach the heights he dreamed of. Then there’s 2017’s almost-Best Picture Winner La La Land, which was a celebration of Hollywood-gone-by looking at love in a city of stars, eventually concluding that success required the sacrifice of the central relationship.

Together, these take on all the ideas that A Star Is Born is playing with and apply them in a more thoughtful way. The messages are more widely applicable and their endnotes have considerably less of the hypocrisy. Birdman and La La Land may find joy in the arts, but they also uncover the trials of creativity and fame, keeping the brutal truths in earshot while presenting from a position of success.

A Star Is Born 2018 is a good movie, an undeniable achievement for both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. But there is a flaw at the heart of the tale that just doesn’t ring true. Unless it’s made with a completely revisionist, ego-less eye, in twenty years we do not need another one.

More: Every Version Of A Star Is Born Ranked, From Garland To Gaga



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2018-10-06 01:10:52 – Alex Leadbeater

Mortal Engines Footage Description: First 25 Minutes Debuts At NYCC

Following The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, Peter Jackson returns as a producer on Mortal Engines, and at the movie’s New York Comic Con panel, the first 25 minutes of footage debuted; we offer a brief breakdown of what’s included.

Adapted from Philip Reeve’s novel of the same name, Mortal Engines takes place in a futuristic world where cities are moving beasts that roam the world searching for fuel to keep moving. Meanwhile, smaller also mobile towns have become the prey of larger city-states like London. The film follows Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar), a fugitive with a deadly grudge against London’s Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving). Hester runs across historian Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan) as she attempts to defeat Valentine and protect smaller cities and towns from the insatiable hunger that is London.

Related: Mortal Engines Trailer #2 Debuts At NYCC

Ahead of the film’s release in December, Jackson, Mortal Engines director Christian Rivers and members of the cast appeared on a panel at NYCC. Prior to a Q&A with the cast and filmmakers during the Mortal Engines NYCC panel, Andy Serkis presented the first 25 minutes of the movie. Much of the opening footage focused on building out the world of Mortal Engines. The film kicks off with an opening monologue setting the stage for the post-apocalyptic world (what Jackson refers to as a “post-post-apocalyptic” world) following the 60-Minute War that destroyed society as we know it.

After the voiceover, viewers get to meet Hester, who’s on a cliff and spots the approaching predator city of London. Once she sees the oncoming, mobile city, Hester runs back to a grouping of smaller, mobile towns that break apart and start running from London. Hester is stuck on one town that can’t seem to get its engines started and winds up being the “prey” pursued by London. The town flees across the open land, which Jackson referred to as “the great hunting ground” (essentially, where Europe used to be). The chase sequence continues for much of the opening, as the smaller town is chased by London and attempts to lose the larger city-state amid some foothills. While the sequence is filled with tension, the town is eventually caught by London and “ingested.”

On board London, Tom meets Katherine Valentine (Leila George) at the London Museum, where he shows her some of the artifacts he’s collected to help with her research into the 60-Minute War. Tom shows Katherine a video of a pre-war city being destroyed using some kind of quantum technology. Then, Tom reveals he’s been collecting similarly dangerous technology, some of which has been stolen. Once London ingests the smaller town, Tom is tasked with going down to sort through it for valuable artifacts, and he’s accompanied by Katherine. There, they meet Thaddeus, but Hester is lurking in the crowd of people moving from the town into London. When she has a moment, she attempts to assassinate Thaddeus, but she’s stopped by Tom and has to flee.

The final sequence of the footage screened includes a foot chase through the ingested mining town as Hester runs from Tom and Thaddeus (though the latter is following more slowly due to the injury Hester inflicted). Hester flees from Tom through the town as it’s being destroyed by massive saws and metal jaws. Eventually, she reaches a platform that overlooks a tunnel out of London and she jumps. Tom catches her and Hester tells him to ask Thaddeus about her mother, revealing that Thaddeus murdered her mother. Then she forces Tom to drop her and when Tom does mention to Thaddeus what Hester said, Thaddeus pushes Tom down the tunnel and out of London.

Altogether, the footage shown at NYCC for Mortal Engines introduced an expansive world akin to that of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit with sweeping, beautiful visuals. It remains to be seen if Mortal Engines turns out to be a massive blockbuster success on par with the trilogies for which Jackson is most well known. But, with Jackson on board as a producer and Rivers at the helm, it’s clear Mortal Engines will provide some stunning sequences for moviegoers – which they’ll get to see when the film hits theaters in December.

Next: The Biggest Changes Mortal Engines Makes to the Book



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2018-10-05 12:10:02 – Molly Freeman

Avengers 4 Directors Provide Sequel Update – And When They Expect to Be Done



Directors Anthony and Joe Russo have shed some light on the post-production process for Avengers 4, revealing when they expect to lock picture on the superhero sequel. Given how Avengers: Infinity War ended, with the fate of multiple MCU heroes in question, Avengers 4 may very well be the most anticipated movie of 2019, along with Disney’s other blockbuster-to-be, Star Wars: Episode IX. While the Russo Brothers may still be able to find time to troll fans over the Avengers 4 title, their primary focus right now is putting all of the finishing touches in place for the final MCU Phase 3 movie, and they still have a lot of work ahead of them.

In the absence of any legitimate updates on Avengers 4, fans have been keeping busy lately, to pass the time. One Avengers 4 fan trailer united Earth’s Mightiest Heroes with the X-Men, while another fan whipped up some artwork featuring Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) holding the decapitated head of Thanos. Another fan revealed a post-credit scene idea that would reunite Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) with the love of his life, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). Fans are still months away from seeing the first trailer, so at this point, they’ll take any Avengers 4 morsel they can get.

Related: The MCU Is’t Pretending To Adapt Marvel Comics Stories Anymore

In a report on the Russo’s new movie, DhakaDeadline has a brief update on Avengers 4. Anthony Russo revealed they have been working on the edit “all summer,” and that they expect to be in post-production throughout both the fall and winter months, adding, “We hope to be done by March.”

The revelation that the post-production process will extend until March 2019 isn’t too surprising. After all, it was this past March when Marvel made the unexpected decision to move up Infinity War a week to late April, a response possibly to Deadpool 2‘s shift from June 1 to May 18 as well as the desire to release the movie worldwide on the same day (or, at least the same week).

Infinity War wrapped principal photography in July 2017, giving the filmmakers roughly nine and a half months to complete post-production. Avengers 4 wrapped in January 2018, while the Russos were still in post on Infinity War, with Avengers 4 reshoots taking place this summer. Even if Marvel does make a surprising release date adjustment to Avengers 4, if they wrap in March, they should be ready for it. After all, if Infinity War proved anything, it’s that Marvel can open a movie whenever they want – and fans will still show up in droves.

More: Robert Downey Jr. Marvel Set Interview May Reveal Avengers 4 Spoiler

Source: Deadline



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