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Rebel Wilson Explains How She Got MPAA To Change Rating Of New Film

Australian actress Rebel Wilson explains how she convinced the MPAA to change the rating of The Hustle. Directed by Chris Addison, the upcoming comedy is a remake of the 1988 film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. The Hustle features Wilson in a starring role, and she also co-produced the film.

In The Hustle, Wilson stars alongside American actress Anne Hathaway. The two women portray two distinctly different types of scam artists, though they share a mutual goal in seeking vengeance against morally-challenged men. In the original Dirty Rotten Scoundrels film, Steve Martin and Michael Caine portray con men who manipulate rich women in the French Riviera. The late Glenne Headly stars as a wealthy American heiress in the main female role. Directed by Frank Oz, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is based on the 1964 comedy Bedtime Story starring Marlon Brando, David Niven, and Shirley Jones. For The Hustle, Wilson co-produced with Spyglass Entertainment’s Roger Birnbaum, the former co-CEO of MGM. In February 2018, The Hustle received its official title, and the first trailer released last February.

Related: The 10 Most Anticipated Big Screen Comedies Of 2019

On YouTube, BBC America released a clip from Wilson’s recent appearance on The Graham Norton Show, in which she explains the backstory for The Hustle’s MPAA rating. Appearing alongside co-star Anne Hathaway, along with actor Daniel Radcliffe and Killing Eve star Jodie Comer, Wilson discusses how she originally pitched The Hustle to MGM as “something like ‘Dirty Rotten Skanks.’” The film ultimately received an R-rating from the MPAA, prompting Wilson to utilize her law degree with hopes of receiving a PG-13 rating. During an MPAA arbitration hearing, Wilson defended The Hustle, and compared the film’s dialogue with male-centric comedies such as Anchorman. Wilson emphasized the industry’s double standards, most notably that PG films like Frozen, 101 Dalmations, and Muppet Treasure Island include sexualized comedy despite being “designed for children.” After five minutes of deliberation, Wilson was named the winner of her MPAA arbitration hearing. Watch the full clip from The Graham Norton Show below.

In 2008, Wilson co-produced the Australian musical comedy series Bogan Pride, in which she also served as a series regular. She had a supporting role in Paul Feig’s 2011 feature film hit Bridesmaids, and made her first appearance in the Pitch Perfect franchise the following year, portraying Fat Amy. Wilson created, co-produced, and starred in the short-lived ABC sitcom Super Fun Night, of which aired during the 2013-2014 season. Most recently, Wilson co-produced and starred in the 2019 comedy Isn’t It Romantic, a satire of romantic comedy genre tropes. 

Like Jonah Hill, Rebel Wilson has quietly evolved from a supporting comedic actor into a legitimate A-list star. In addition, both performers have displayed their understanding of the Hollywood industry by working behind the scenes, and even behind the camera in Hill’s case. Given Wilson’s educational background and industry experience, it only seems natural that she’d produce and direct a film in the near future. First, however, we’ll have to see if The Hustle becomes a box office hit. 

More: Crowded Comic Book Getting a Movie Adaptation From Rebel Wilson

Source: BBC America


2019-04-20 08:04:04

Q.V. Hough

Christian Groups Criticize MPAA For Giving Anti-Abortion Film R-Rating

The MPAA has been criticized by Christian groups for its decision to give anti-abortion film Unplanned an R-rating. It came to light last month that the film, which is based on a memoir of the same name by former Planned Parenthood clinic director turned anti-abortion activist Abby Johnson, was awarded the R-rating ahead of its March 29 release date.

The news didn’t go down too well with Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon, the directors of Unplanned, who called the MPAA’s standards “deeply flawed” and refused to edit their film in a bid to get it awarded a lower rating. The filmmakers received support from their distributors Pure Flix, although it put the Christian film studio in the awkward position of having an R-rated film on its roster. Meanwhile, the MPAA stated the rating was based on scenes in Unplanned it classed as including “some disturbing/bloody images” and that its decision was by no means politically motivated. The organization also pointed out that neither the filmmakers nor Pure Flix had officially challenged the rating by its appeals process.

Related: What Disney Will Do With Fox’s R-Rated Properties

Now according to THR, the MPAA has come under fire yet again for its decision in the form of an open letter signed by several Christian leaders and celebrities not involved with the production of the film. The letter, which criticizes the rating as biased and calls for Christian viewers to go see it regardless, was signed by two people who have won Academy Awards – Gray Frederickson, co-producer of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather Part II, and Schindler’s List co-producer Gerald Molen.

The open letter states that Unplanned deserves a far less restrictive rating and draws comparisons with Mel Gibson’s controversial Christian movie The Passion of the Christ, which the MPAA also rated R. It also calls abortion “the great evil of our time” and suggests the rating is motivated by what they see as the pro-choice leanings of “a group of unelected parents from Beverly Hills” – an apparent dig at the parents that make up the MPAA’s ratings board. The MPAA once again defended its position as fair and stated its board “reflects the diversity of American parents.”

According to the MPAA, the scene its board found most objectionable was one showing a screen that depicted a fetus being aborted. In its defense, this wouldn’t be the first time the organization has objected to scenes featuring abortion. It previously awarded the pro-choice leaning 1996 film If These Walls Could Talk an R-rating for its “realistic depiction of abortion,” so it doesn’t seem like the rating given to Unplanned was necessarily motivated by a bias against the anti-abortion movement.

However, the makers of Unplanned and its supporters do make a fair point that the things usually associated with an R-rating like profanity, violence, and gore don’t make an appearance in the film. Just to give an idea, Halloween and Fifty Shades Freed are some other recent movies that’ve received an R-rating from the MPAA which seem like they might be more deserving of it. On the other hand, while the directors and Pure Flix have been relatively level-headed about the decision, the open letter signees calling abortion “the great evil of our time” is a bit of a biased statement to be using when you’re leveraging accusations of bias yourself. Regardless of who is in the right, a film about an issue as contentious as abortion was always going to be a very controversial movie. No doubt Unplanned will generate further controversy after its release in late March.

Next: Titans: The Show’s Most R-Rated Moments (So Far)

Source: THR


2019-03-17 08:03:08

Helen Armitage

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

18 Best Sequels, According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 8 Stuck With 0%)

We live in an age where sequels are all the rage. Every major studio is chasing those franchises that can keep their cash flow healthy for years to come. Sometimes, they’re exhausting. Other times, they can be our most anticipated movies. Maybe we could do without more Transformers movies, but Marvel and Mission: Impossible sequels are event movies that drive us to the theater in droves.

Sequels are tricky and unpredictable, though. On one hand, they’re often necessary for expanding stories and the good ones continue sagas we want to see progress. On the other, some are soulless cash grabs that shouldn’t exist. In the worst cases, some of them completely derail promising franchises by failing to deliver the goods. Then again, in some instances, sequels can get a series back up and running after they’ve experienced setbacks.

This list will look at those rare sequels that are considered worthy — and even superior — follow-ups. Those rare beasts that make us grateful for multiple movies in a series. Furthermore, we’ll also be discussing the most maligned sequels that brought no critical good will to their respective franchises whatsoever. It’s more fun this way. In order to fully appreciate the best of the best, we also must acknowledge the worst of the worst. Without evil, we wouldn’t be able to understand all that’s good and pure. Without terrible movies, we wouldn’t be grateful for the good ones.

With this in mind, here are 18 Best Sequels According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 8 Stuck With 0%).

26 Best: Captain America: Civil War (91%)

The decision to keep the same team of writers for all three Captain America films paid off in the end. The trilogy just went from strength to strength with each passing entry, though some would argue that The Winter Soldier is equally as good — if not better — than Civil War. Either way, they’re both prime examples of how to do sequels right.

Civil War tackles the same themes you’d expect from a movie about a do-gooder like Cap, but where the film truly soars is during its wild third act. The airport showdown is the best action showdown in the MCU, and that’s saying something.

25 Worst: The Bad News Bears Go To Japan (0%)

If you didn’t know that sequels to The Bad News Bears exist then no one would think any less of you. While the first movie is a cult classic about an underdog baseball team, the sequels have faded from the collective memory with the passing of time, lost like tears in the rain. That’s for good reason.

None of the sequels are good, but The Bad News Bears Go To Japan is especially bad.

While the idea to relocate to Japan for a big game is good on paper, the sequel is just bland, forgettable, and was made to cash in on the brand name.

24 Best: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (93%)

Some fans argue that The Force Awakens is essentially a retread of A New Hope in many ways. However, clearly the critics and audiences didn’t necessarily agree, given its stellar Rotten Tomatoes score and its audience score of 87%, not to mention its impressive box office haul.

As far as Star Wars movies go, it hits the spot. The new characters are great, the return of some old faces is a trip down memory lane, and the story still made significant effort to push the franchise forward. In those regards, the film definitely succeeded.

23 Best: War for the Planet of the Apes (93%)

Anyone who has a problem with classics being rebooted needs to watch the most recent Planet of the Apes trilogy.  The finale pits the apes in a brutal battle against the humans, which leads to an epic confrontation between the Caesar the Ape and humanity’s ruthless colonel (played by an utterly wicked Woody Harrelson). As far as concluding trilogies goes, War for the Planet of the Apes has everything.

By no means is this a pleasant movie, but it is rewarding. And not only does it wrap up an epic story, but the film boasts some of the great CGI wizardry out there. The action is also ridiculously impressive and compelling, which is crazy considering it’s a movie about people versus monkeys.

22 Best: Logan (93%)

James Mangold’s Logan, the gloriously violent and heartbreaking farewell to Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, is an all-timer. Taking cues from the Old Man Logan comics, the movie has just as much in common with neo-westerns as it does with superhero yarns, which makes for a gritty, character-driven elegy to characters many of us grew up with.

Logan deserves praise for going R-rated and taking some stylistic risks.

The movie is proof that audiences will still flock to see superhero movies with some edge. If you’re going to send off some icons, this is the way to do it.

21 Worst: Return to the Blue Lagoon (0%)

Considering that no one liked The Blue Lagoon (it currently holds a 9% rating on RT), why anyone would want to return to the franchise is beyond comprehension. Of course, every sequel is a perfect opportunity to right some old wrongs if handled with care. Unfortunately, this was not. The story follows two children who are marooned on a tropical island as the grow up and fall in love, etc. The characters don’t wear enough clothes either, which makes for some weird, uncomfortable viewing.

There are some unintentional laughs to be had at the poor script and performances.

Otherwise the Blue Lagoon isn’t a scenic cinematic paradise worth spending time in unless you want to punish yourself for some reason.

20 Best: The Dark Knight (94%)

Few superhero movies are ever regarded as anything more than popcorn fare. However, if there were ever a superhero movie that proved the genre could be prestige cinema, it would be The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman is an exploration of chaos and just how far people are willing to go to achieve their goal.

The Dark Knight — for better or worse when you consider how devoid of fun some DC movies have been since — also brought a gritty, realistic touch to the genre. The movie feels more like a Michael Mann crime saga than it does a story about superheroes versus their outlandishly evil counterparts.

19 Best: Finding Dory (94%)

In recent times, Pixar has been criticized for relying too heavily on sequels, but if it ain’t broke… Finding Dory was released 13 years after Finding Nemo, and it was a smash with critics and audiences alike.

Its 94% on Rotten Tomatoes is complemented by an 84% audience score.

Upon release Finding Dory was praised for being as funny and thought-provoking as the first movie, while also adding a new dimension to the story. As with any Pixar movie, Finding Dory can be appreciated by audiences of all ages. 

18 Worst: Staying Alive (0%)

No other actor on the planet has experienced a career of ups and downs like John Travolta has. When he broke out he had the world at his dancing feet. After that, his career experienced a downturn until it was resurrected briefly following Pulp Fiction until it ultimately plummeted when he started starring in movies like Battlefield Earth. Staying Alive was released in 1983 when Travolta was experiencing his first fall from grace. Following up a classic like Saturday Night Fever was never going to be easy, but it shouldn’t have been this difficult, either.

The sequel lacks the gritty realism of its predecessor, and instead tries to get by on dance sequences. What’s the point in dancing when we don’t care about who’s doing it?

17 Best: Creed (95%)

No franchise tends to remain compelling seven sequels in, but Creed is proof that the Rocky franchise is the rare exception. Granted, some Rocky movies aren’t exactly knockouts, but Creed got things back on track and showed that it’s game for a few more rounds.

By serving as both a sequel and a spin-off/soft reboot, Creed gave the franchise a breath of new life.

It passed the gloves on to Michael B. Jordan as the eponymous character.  Creed 2 is right around the corner. Let’s see if it can do what the original saga failed to do and deliver a second outing that’s as good as the inaugural entry.

16 Worst: Leprechaun 2 (0%)

The first Leprechaun movie doesn’t come close to being certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it should come as no surprise that the sequels didn’t receive any critical acclaim. Especially not the second movie, which no critic seemed to enjoy at all.

Here, the infamous critter resurfaces in Los Angeles to find a bride, which leads to him abducting a young woman and trying to claim her as his own. This isn’t high art by any means, nor does it try to be.

15 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (96%)

The Harry Potter books were an emotional roller coaster that affected millions of readers worldwide. Reliving those adventures on the big screen was also a great time to be alive, and the grand finale lived up to expectations. In the final installment of the saga about the Boy Who Lived and his fight against the forces of darkness, the ultimate showdown finally happens as our hero and his pals face off against Voldemort in Hogwarts castle.

It’s a true epic in every sense of the word.

As far as wrapping up the story goes, Death Hallows: Part 2 delivered the goods and gave us cinematic closure in style.

14 Worst: Looking Who’s Talking Now (0%)

Look Who’s Talking is a perfectly serviceable comedy that should never have received any sequels. In a bid to end to the trilogy on a high following the disappointing previous sequel, Look Who’s Talking Too, someone thought it would be a good idea to introduce talking dogs to the mix for the series’ swan song. 

Needless to say, Look Who’s Talking Now wasn’t the glorious goodbye the series was looking for, but at least the film did cast some cute dogs.

13 Best: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (97%)

The third installment of Sergio Leone’s influential Dollars trilogy, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly is the creme de la creme of spaghetti westerns. 

The story centers around two men who form an uneasy alliance following a scam.

This leads them on a quest as it turns out there’s money buried in the desert and they want to find it. However, they have to compete against another who won’t hesitate to put a bullet in them to claim the prize. On top of being one of the most acclaimed movies out there, the film has been hailed as a major influence on directors like Quentin Tarantino.

12 Best: The Godfather: Part II (97%)

The continuation of Francis Ford Coppola’s Best Picture-winning 1972 crime saga, The Godfather: Part II chronicles Michael Corleone’s further ascendency in organized crime while simultaneously taking us back to the past to explore his dad’s humble beginnings.

Like its predecessor, the sequel also won Best Picture and is hailed by many a critic and film buff as one of the best movies ever made. Whether it’s better than the original is up for debate, but they’re like two sides of the same coin. These movies set the bar for mob pictures, and to this day, other directors are still trying to recreate the formula.

11 Mad Max: Fury Road (97%)

Director George Miller was in his seventies when he unleashed Mad Max: Fury Road, but the energy and madness imbued in every frame of this extravaganza suggest a man half his age.

Maybe we’ll never see another Mad Max movie, but the world needs a Furiosa spin-off eventually.

Fury Road is essentially one non-stop chase that barely lets up from the get-go all the way to the climactic ending. Furthermore, it’s a movie that defied expectation by taking the focus away from the titular character and making Charlize Theron’s Furiosa the real hero of the adventure. 

10 Worst: Jaws: The Revenge (0%)

Is Jaws: the Revenge a good movie? Definitely not. Is it an entertaining movie, though? Definitely yes.

How many other movies have sharks that make a conscious decision to get revenge on the humans that wronged them? Not only that, but the shark here followed its target to the Bahamas from Massachusetts. And why would someone who wants to avoid sharks go to an island surrounded by ocean? The movie is illogical, silly, nonsense, but it does offer sheer entertainment value for bad movie buffs.

9 Best: Aliens (98%)

Alien and Aliens are quite different in some regards, but they complement each other perfectly. The first is an exercise in pure suspense and terror. The sequel, on the other hand, retains the horror elements but adds a lot more action to proceedings.

Aliens shows how to make a successful sequel: acknowledge what came before but don’t be afraid to bring some fresh ideas to the table.

James Cameron was on fire in the ’80s and he wasn’t afraid to make Ridley Scott’s baby his own.

8 Best: Mad Max 2: Road Warrior (98%)

While George Miller’s inaugural Mad Max caper is a cult classic, most film buffs would agree that a couple of the sequels are slightly superior. Taking nothing away from the first movie, Road Warrior is a vast improvement when it comes to world building and sheer action spectacle. The story follows the eponymous character as he helps a group of people steal oil from a tyrannical madman and his band of goons.

As far as cinematic thrill rides go, few movies are on par with Road Warrior. Here, Miller turned up the volume significantly by making the post-apocalyptic terrains feel more dangerous and the action sequences more gung-ho and grander in scale.

7 Best: Evil Dead 2 (98%)

Sam Raimi’s first Evil Dead movie was a huge achievement for independent filmmaking when it was released back in 1981. The movie still holds up to this day with its innovative camera work, effective scares, and excellent cast as well.

The sequel is a triumph in its own right.

While the first movie contained moments of dark comedy, the sequel amps up the zaniness to become what is essentially the splatter flick equivalent of a Laurel and Hardy flick. For 90 minutes, Bruce Campbell is tormented by laughing ornaments and his own severed hand. As silly as that sounds, Evil Dead 2 still manages to pack more punch than your average MMA fighter.

6 Worst: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (0%)

In the third installment of the Police Academy franchise, the cops are understaffed and in need of some help. Naturally, the force turns to America’s civilians to help aid in their mission. Things don’t go smoothly, for the characters in the film and the movie itself.

Rotten Tomatoes describes Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol as “Utterly, completely, thoroughly and astonishingly unfunny” and  a movie which sent “a once-innocuous franchise plummeting to agonizing new depths.” That sounds about right.

5 Toy Story 3 (99%)

Few franchises manage to strike three home runs in a row. Even The Godfather stuttered when it came to the third outing. Toy Story, on the other hand, never ceases to replicate the magic time and time again.

This emotional installment sees Andy get ready to leave for college and neglect his old toys.

He’s all grown up and has no use for them anymore, and what ensues is what is by far the most heartfelt movie in the series.

4 Worst: Highlander II: The Quickening (0%)

As far as pure entertaining action-fantasy goes, the first Highlander movie is a fun slice of popcorn entertainment that aficionados of cult cinema lose their head over. The sequel, meanwhile, is an incomprehensible mess.

Highlander II is too overplotted to explain, but the cusp of the story revolves around the hero from the first movie taking on a corporation after being led to believe that they don’t have the world’s best interests in mind. In this one, our hero is a defender of the ozone as well. What makes Highlander II so awful is that it completely retcons everything good about the original film and the mythology it introduced.

3 Best: The Bride of Frankenstein (100%)

We all desire to be loved by someone special– even bolt-head monsters made up of the remains of other people. But to find them a mate, one must dig up some more corpses and create a suitable partner that’s similar in genetic make-up. This is also the storyline behind James Whale’s 1935 masterpiece, Bride of Frankenstein.

There are too many Frankenstein movies to keep track of at this point, but this sequel remains the pinnacle of the original series.

The movie is a masterpiece that successfully blends campy fun with Gothic beauty and genuine chills that’s stood the test of time as a result.

2 Paddington 2 (100%)

No one expected the the first Paddington to be as good as it is. That movie is a bona fide classic in the making in its own right, but the sequel is some next-next level brilliance.

Paddington 2 sees the lovable bear go to prison and, unsurprisingly, all the mean criminals fall in love with him as well. Critics, like the fictional convicts, were also full of praise for the titular bear and his second big onscreen adventure as well. At one point, Paddington 2 was even the best reviewed movie in history.

1 Best: Toy Story 2 (100%)

Following up a movie like Toy Story was never going to be easy, but that didn’t stop Pixar from trying and succeeding. In this one, we find out that Woody is a collectible when he’s discovered and stolen by a greedy museum owner. Naturally this prompts Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato, and the rest of the gang into action and they set out to save their friend.

General consensus on Rotten Tomatoes states that Toy Story 2 is that rare sequel that improves upon its predecessor.

The sequel raises the stakes and ups the element of adventure while retaining the humor and heart that made audiences fall in love with the franchise in the first place.

What’s your favorite sequel? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-10 04:10:39 – Kieran Fisher

Walking Dead Season 9 Premiere Live Ratings Hit All-Time Low

Despite kicking off Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) heavily hyped final season, The Walking Dead’s season 9 premiere ratings fell to an all-time low. While AMC’s long-running zombie apocalypse drama ended season 8 by once again claiming the overall ratings crown among the advertiser-coveted 18-49-year-old demographic, it did so by much closer of a margin than it’s managed in the past. That’s because over the last two seasons, The Walking Dead has seen its ratings average absolutely plummet.

Last year’s season 8 ended up averaging a 3.4 in the 18-49 demo, and about 7.8 million total viewers per episode. That amounted to an over 30 percent drop in the total viewer and demo averages posted by season 7. On that subject, season 7 averaged a 5.4 in the 18-49 demo and drew about 11.3 million viewers, itself a considerable drop from season 6’s 6.5 demo average and 13 million total viewer average per episode. While it’s fair to say that scripted TV as a whole has seen huge dips in live viewership in the last several years, the size of Walking Dead’s falls have been much bigger than most, if only because it had farther to fall.

Related: Maggie Was RIGHT In The Walking Dead Season 9 Premiere

Going into season 9, positive advance reviews and an above average amount of hype surrounding the impending departures of stars Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan looked poised to possibly right the ratings ship for Walking Dead. Sadly, that doesn’t look like it’ll be the case. As reported by TV By The Numbers, season 9’s premiere – entitled “A New Beginning” – earned only a 2.5 in the 18-49 demo, and drew in a total audience of just over 6 million live viewers. That’s down a whopping 50 percent from the 5.0 demo rating posted by season 8’s premiere, and over 30 percent from its total audience.

To put things fully in perspective, that 2.5 is The Walking Dead’s lowest premiere rating ever, even below the 2.7 earned by the series’ October 2010 debut. Sunday’s total viewer count was slightly higher than Walking Dead’s series premiere at least, which was watched live by 5.4 million viewers. Whichever way you look at it though, these numbers aren’t a good omen for season 9’s ratings prospects.

However, there’s one other factor worth considering, first pointed out earlier today by Comic Book. Last year, AMC launched a premium streaming service called AMC Premiere, which lets subscribers watch episodes ad-free, and in some cases, early. It’s only available to those who subscribe to a TV package containing AMC, but still, season 9’s premiere was made available 24 hours in advance to AMC Premiere users. Figures on how many people used that service to view the episode early aren’t available, but it definitely could’ve cut into the live viewership count. With that in mind, the real test of season 9’s ratings may be next week, although it’s worth noting that numbers rarely go up after a show’s season premiere.

More: Walking Dead Showrunner Explains Negan’s Absence From Season 9 Premiere

The Walking Dead season 9 airs Sundays on AMC.

Source: TV By The Numbers, Comic Book



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2018-10-09 03:10:07 – Michael Kennedy

Eddie Brock’s Notebook Reveals Carnage Backstory for Venom 2

Cletus Kasady’s backstory for Venom 2 is revealed thanks to Eddie Brock’s notebook from Venom. Sony’s decision to try and launch a cinematic universe of their own appears to have paid off. The Tom Hardy-led Venom just set the October opening weekend record, making a sequel almost inevitable. Through the use of its post-credits scene, Venom already established seeds for the sequel to grow as Woody Harrelson made a cameo as Cletus Kasaday, the psychotic killer who becomes Carnage in the comics.

It was originally just before production began on Venom that reports surfaced that Carnage would make an appearance. It was later reported that Harrelson had joined the film with speculation pointing to this being his true role. This began to see some fans expect to see Carnage fully realized at some point in the movie, despite him having no presence in the marketing. That is because director Ruben Fleischer is saving Carnage for the sequel.

Related: All the Spider-Villain Movies Coming After Venom

The post-credits scene for Venom only teased Kasady’s eventual escape from prison and his transformation into Carnage. As it turns out, Eddie’s interview with Cletus lasted far beyond what audiences saw. ComicBook shared an image of Eddie’s notebook that was on display at New York Comic Con, which details Kasady’s backstory that will be used for Venom 2. Between a massacre in New York and killing his grandmother, the Disciplinarian Administrator at St. Estes Home for Boys, and a random girl who wouldn’t go on a date with him, the notebook clearly establishes Kasady’s bloodlust.

Click Here To See The Notebook Photo

These details are instantly terrifying for fans and just goes to show how insane Kasady is, even before he becomes bonded with the Carnage symbiote. These multiple murders are villainous enough, but his twisted psyche is further highlighted by additional details. Eddie believes he has Oedipus Complex (the feeling of desire for the parent of the opposite sex) and is possibly the reason why he dug up his mother’s grave. Before that, Cletus tortured and killed his mother’s dog with a drill.

Kasady is a worthy villain for Venom and Eddie to hunt down based on his prior record and what he would surely do upon being freed. But, it would be the pairing of Kasady’s personality and the power of Carnage that makes him a supervillain-level threat. Since this notebook page and these details aren’t explicitly states in Venom, a sequel will likely retell parts of this backstory and maybe even show it through flashbacks. It could be difficult to do just that with a PG-13 rating, but Venom 2 isn’t expected to be R-rated either. However it happens, Carnage will be the villain of Venom 2 and at least we now know some of his backstory that Fleischer and company worked out for him.

More: Every Update You Need to Know For Venom 2

Source: ComicBook



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2018-10-08 09:10:59 – Cooper Hood

Venom 2 Will Not Be Rated-R Either, According to Avi Arad

Warning: This post contains SPOILERS for Venom

Sony is already thinking about Venom 2 and they won’t make the jump to an R-rating. After bringing Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony once again wanted to get a shared universe of their own. Tom Hardy was cast to lead Venom as Eddie Brock, and the early box office results – a record setting $80 million opening in October – indicate that this will hardly be the last Spidey-related property the studio makes. Next up is going to be Jared Leto’s Morbius, but attention is turning towards what seems to be an inevitable sequel.

Based on the post-credits scene for Venom, it’s quite clear where they want to take the character next. Eddie visits the prison cell of Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), who ends the movie saying, “When I get out, and I will, there will be carnage.” An appearance by Carnage was heavily rumored for Venom and, with the violent symbiote set to be the villain of a sequel, many fans wanted to see Venom and Carnage let loose with an R-rating, but that isn’t happening.

Related: How Venom Sets Up A (Much Better) Sequel

Collider spoke to Venom producer Avi Arad about the chances for Venom 2 to move up the MPAA’s rating scale. After all, the first Venom was reportedly envisioned as an R-rated movie, but was PG-13 when everything was all said and done. Despite Carnage joining the mix, Arad doesn’t believe he can only be done right with an R-rating.

“When you hear Carnage, the only thing you can think of is R. But, if you know his story, if you really know the comic, there’s no R here. He’s a tortured soul. It’s not about what he does, because we never have to show the knife going from here to there, and the blood is pouring. What you have to show is, what is the motivation? Was he born like that, or [is he] someone we should feel for, because if you succeeding in making a villain someone you can feel for, jackpot.”

As disappointed as some fans may be that Venom 2 won’t jump to an R-rating, one can hardly blame Sony for sticking with a PG-13 vision. The first movie just broke box office records with a PG-13 rating even with largely negative reviews from critics. If a sequel is better executed and has more positive reactions, there’s no reason to believe Venom 2 won’t perform even better if Carnage is included. Sony found success with PG-13, so why would they switch to R and potentially shrink their audience?

Of course, this may still not sit well with many. But, Arad believes they’ll be able to craft the right story around Carnage that won’t mandate extreme violence or anything else that would warrant an R-rating. This will, obviously, put a ton of pressure on the writers of Venom 2 to do this, so that way they can make a complicated foe in Carnage, and then leave it up to director Ruben Fleischer (who will likely return for the sequel) to deliver on the action. Hopefully, Arad is proven to be true and Venom 2 does the story and characters justice in a PG-13 environment.

MORE: All the Spider-Villain Movies Coming After Venom

Source: Collider



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2018-10-08 08:10:47 – Cooper Hood

New York Comic-Con: 26 Biggest Announcements (And 4 Weirdest Possibilities)

It might not be as big as San Diego Comic-Con, but New York’s pop culture celebration is just as eventful. This year’s New York Comic-Con was littered with scoops. Whether it’s juicy rumors or brand new trailers, there was plenty to see and talk about. Of course, the convention weekend can get a bit overwhelming — the onslaught of news, panels, and footage seems endless. Thankfully, we’ve collected all of this biggest topics for those of you who are lost amidst all of the comic book news.

For this list, we’re going to cover the most important stories of this year’s New York Comic-Con, including some big ones that just happened to drop during the week rather than at the convention itself. The list will even feature a few big rumors that have come out of the con for some good measure — or for those of you who just like some gossip. Even those who attended the convention might have missed some of the major stories, so use this as your post-NYCC guide to recap the weekend as things begin to wind down.

We know it’s difficult to keep track of all this news, especially after the convention weekend. This list should make things a bit easier. Even if you didn’t attend, the bombardment of news is probably still filling your news feed. So after you’re finished watching trailers all day and unpacking your NYCC hauls, settle in and we’ll break everything down for you.

Here are the 26 Biggest Announcements From NYCC (And 4 Weirdest Possibilities).

30 Aquaman’s New/Old Armor

The new Aquaman trailer was the highlight of the weekend for many. It revealed a surprising amount of footage — some would say too much. The extended look — roughly five minutes long — featured a plenty of unseen footage.

Audiences were treated to a sequence involving Arthur and Mera in desert ruins, another look at Atlantis, and even an extended action sequence between the two leads as they are chased by Black Manta. Perhaps the biggest spoiler in the trailer was the reveal of Aquaman’s iconic orange and green outfit.

29 Hellboy First Look

While no footage from the Hellboy panel has been released to the public, convention-goers were treated to a poster reveal and an exclusive first look at the upcoming film.

The panel footage wooed many fans in attendance and featured a tone that balanced the movie’s violence and gore with humor. It saw Hellboy receive his iconic handgun and show off the Hand of Doom, and it highlighted his especially shaky relationship with his ally Ben Daimio.

The trailer’s money shot had Hellboy in all-out demon mode, rising out of a pit sporting a flaming sword and crown.

Hopefully it won’t be long before this footage is released to the public.

28 Bullseye in Daredevil Season 3

Daredevil’s new trailers suggest a return to the grounded crime-noir tones of the first season with some big new developments. The first trailer reveals that not only is Kingpin out of prison, but he appears to design a smear campaign to turn New York against Daredevil.

One of the ways this may be happening is through a Daredevil impostor, who is none other than the hero’s most famous villain, Bullseye. Bullseye is the subject of the second new trailer, exploring his life as a government agent-turned-assassin under the employ of Kingpin.

27 Titans Is Grittier Than The DCEU

Titans has already received flak for the marketing’s seriously dark tone. Now, after the first two episodes were screened for viewers at NYCC, it is getting the same criticism.

Not only does Titans sport the DCEU’s same dark tone, but apparently the show is even more violent than the films.

The footage featuring Robin displayed some extremely violent and lethal combat, complete with the same amount of gore and disrespect for human life one might find in — well, anything but a comic book show. With that said, the show did receive a warm reception from the audience, so maybe Titans has potential after all.

26 Possibility — Will Rick Grimes Survive?

The Walking Dead is losing its lead character this season, with the confirmed departure of Rick Grimes actor Andrew Lincoln. His impending exit has been talked about for months now, but fans still don’t know how his character will be written out of the show. In a new rumor, it seems that Rick Grimes might meet a brutal end.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Andrew Lincoln joked that he might not “make it through the credits sequence” teasing Rick’s potential demise. Fans don’t want to say goodbye to Rick, but it will be even harder to do so if he is torn apart by walkers. Can’t somebody get a happy ending on this show?

25 Spock On Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek fans weren’t left out of the fun this year, with a new trailer for season two of Star Trek: Discovery. The trailer promises a ride that might be just as intense as the first season, with plenty of action, character beats, and visuals so gorgeous that one would think the show had the budget of a feature-length film.

Amidst the sizzle of the trailer is a big reveal — the inclusion of a young, bearded Spock.

The character is supposedly connected to the “Red Angel” visions that Burnham is experiencing, though details on his appearance in the season are still under wraps.

24 First 35 minutes of new Spider-Man movie

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is still a few months out but panel attendees were treated to the first 35 minutes — and apparently what they saw was incredible. Reactions to the NYCC footage is overwhelmingly positive, citing the stylish animation and and lighthearted tone as some of the film’s standout elements. These early reactions come off the back of a new trailer for the film, which shows off several more of the alternate universe versions of Spider-Man.

Of course, this was only the first 35 minutes. Much of the movie is still under wraps and it has a long road ahead of it, being only one of many tentpole releases hitting theaters this December.

23 Deadly Class is coming in 2019

SYFY’s adaptation of the critically acclaimed Deadly Class comic series made a big showing this year. Between the close collaboration with series writer Rick Remender, the promise of intense action, and the Russo brothers at the helm (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers Infinity War), this long-awaited series has the potential to be a household name.

Not only does the show seem like a contender for the “next big thing” in comic book television, but it finally has a release date.

This was revealed to be January 16 in a new trailer that focuses on the coming-of-age aspect of the anarchic action series.

22 Star Wars’ The Mandalorian

The first image of Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars series was released on Thursday, getting fans hyped for the first real TV show in a galaxy far far away. The photo was released alongside new details about the show, namely its title: The Mandalorian.

Set between Return of the Jedi and The Force AwakensThe Mandalorian centers on a warrior from Mandalore travelling across the galaxy. The title character wears the iconic armor that the planet is known for — a costume shared by fan-favorite character Boba Fett. Plenty remains unknown about the series, though it is set to premiere on Disney’s upcoming streaming service.

21 Possibility — Kingpin and Spider-Man Crossover

Marvel fans will rejoice if this rumor comes true — during all of the Daredevil buzz over the convention weekend, Vincent D’Onofrio made a very reassuring tweet.

When a fan tweeted that the world will never see the him as Kingpin in an MCU film, D’Onofrio responded with “Who says?”

Marvel’s Netflix shows have been especially vague in their references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but having Kingpin show up in a Tom Holland Spider-Man film would be the perfect connection. The chances are slim, but at least there’s hope.

20 Bane On Gotham

Gotham‘s fifth and final season was revealed in a trailer this weekend, promising quite the grand finale. The trailer hints that Gotham will be adapting the classic No Man’s Land comic book story this season, and also teased another big bad.

Actor Shane West has been cast as Bane, one of Batman’s greatest adversaries and one of the only major rogues that the show hasn’t yet adapted. Bane’s appearance so early in Bruce Wayne’s life has been met with mixed reactions among fans, but at least that suggests a bombastic end to the pre-Batman series.

19 The X-Men Go To Space

New York Comic-Con got an extended look at X-Men: Dark Phoenix, despite being subject to what seems like endless delays. The exclusive footage, which still has not been revealed to the public, gave fans a look at the fully-formed X-Men team and their upcoming cosmic adventure.

Highlights of the footage included an argument between Mystique and Professor X, Jean Grey absorbing a solar flare, and the team going on a rescue mission in space.

While most of the movie likely takes place on Earth, it’s nice to know that the movies aren’t above digging into the spacebound shenanigans that the comics do.

18 Penny from The Big Bang Theory is Harley Quinn

Among the many DC Universe announcements this weekend was the trailer for the Harley Quinn animated series, which has taken many fans by surprise. The show looks like a quirky adult comedy with Harley breaking the fourth wall and using foul language.

The show is already being compared to the likes of Deadpool, with positive reactions coming out of NYCC. It also features a great cast, with Kaley Cuoco, Alan Tudyk, Ron Funches, JB Smoove, and Wanda Sykes among the voice talent. It is set to release late in 2019 on the DC Universe streaming service.

17 Umbrella Academy’s Big Debut

Netflix’s adaptation of Gerard Way’s superhero darling The Umbrella Academy came to play during NYCC, with a handful of new images and even a trailer exclusive to the folks at Comic-Con. An Umbrella Academy movie has been in the works for many years, but after the switch to television and some time in development freefall, it finally seems right around the corner.

The series — which consists of a dysfunctional family of superheroes — seems to be maintaining its gothic comic book aesthetic.

The show looks like surreal than its counterpart on the pages, but it already has people excited. Umbrella Academy hits Netflix on February 15, 2019.

16 Doctor Who First Reactions

Those who attended the Doctor Who panel were in for quite the event. The attendees got to see the premiere of the new season as well as have an in-depth talk with the season’s Doctor, Jodie Whittaker. The audience’s response to the episode was ecstatic to say the least, and that sentiment seems to be shared by viewers around the world.

Not only was the show a critical hit, but its viewer ratings were record-breaking. The premiere episode “The Woman Who Fell to Earth” peaked at 9 million viewers, which the highest the show has ever had! Sounds like the new season of Doctor Who is off to a fantastic start.

15 Odin’s true form in American Gods season 2

Last year’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods was a massive hit and the trailer for the new season looks just as enticing.  Shadow Moon and Mr. Wednesday are back on their surreal fantasy roadtrip, accompanied by even more colorful characters and bizarre, unsettling visuals.

The footage teases a war between Mr. Wednesday and Mr. World, with an especially striking shot of Wednesday in his true form: Odin. 

American Gods is a trippy, gorgeous series that many may have missed last year, and with such a great-looking sequel on the way, now might be the time to go back and binge. The second seasons drops in 2019.

14 Possibility — Sabrina/Riverdale Crossover

A full trailer for Chilling Adventures of Sabrina hit the web early last week, revealing a spooky-yet-fun adaptation of the comics, as well as a revival of the late ’90s sitcom. Sadly, Archie fans will be disappointed to hear that Sabrina is not currently attached to the hit CW series, Riverdale.

While the Sabrina was originally set to appear on the CW as Riverdale’s companion show (much like CW’s Arrowverse), the move to Netflix seems to have stifled the idea. Still, Sabrina showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is holding out hope for a potential crossovers so that the original plan can come to fruition.

13 George R. R. Martin’s new show

Those of you eagerly awaiting Game of Thrones… well, we don’t have any good news for you. But, if you want more content from the mind of George R.R. Martin, an adaptation of his book Nightflyers has received a new trailer and a first-episode premiere at New York Comic-Con.

The sci-fi thriller follows a crew they struggle to survive on their space mission.

Not everything is as it seems on the vessel, as the show promises some solid horror scares as well as a character-driven story. The show doesn’t officially premiere until December 2nd, but at least sci-fi horror fans have something to look forward to.

12 She-Ra And The Princesses’ LGBT rep

Dreamworks Animation has been launching hit after hit lately — between shows like Trollhunters and Voltron: Legendary Defender, their work has earned them much success on Netflix. The newest series from the studio, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, dropped a poster and teaser trailer at New York Comic-Con that looks like promising fun for young viewers.

The reboot of the ’80s television show sports new cartoony visuals, witty humor, and a diverse cast of characters — even including a same gender couple. While the show’s initial reveal was met with some backlash, the trailer seems infectiously pleasant and fun.

11 Matt Bomer stars in DC’s Doom Patrol

While Titans got plenty of attention at NYCC, the next DC Universe original series got a brief first look. Doom Patrol is set to release next spring, but panel attendees were show some exclusive photos of Brendan Fraser’s character, Robotman. Fraser appeared at the panel and talked through the first look.

Seeing as Doom Patrol is currently filming, it shouldn’t be long before official footage hits the web.

The Robotman design look remarkably accurate to the comics, which has gotten many fans even more excited for the obscure property’s TV adaptation. Supplementing this news was the casting of Matt Bomer as Negative Man — another big name

10 The Spawn Trilogy

Fans hoping for a Spawn trailer at NYCC were out of luck this weekend, but series creator Todd McFarlane spoke at length about his plans for the newly rebooted movie. McFarlane explained that he envisions an ambitious trilogy of Spawn movies, with each one visually and tonally distinct from the last.

The first film might be described as a kind of existential horror-superhero film, with characters wondering if what they see is even real. While the project is still a ways off, the Jamie Foxx-led vehicle is going to emphasize the dark tones of the book with a hard R-rating, as well as cater to the now-older readers of the comic series.

9 DC Universe Streaming Plans

DC Comics and Warner Bros wanted to spotlight their DC Universe streaming service at this year’s NYCC, several small news breaks on he various related properties. Not only did they show footage of Titans, Doom Patrol, and Harley Quinn, but they also revealed the service’s content release schedule over the coming year.

While no specific dates were given, the timeline depicts various release windows for the service’s different original series.

While Young Justice: Outsiders seems to have been split into two parts, Doom Patrol will drop next spring followed by Swamp Thing in the summer, with both Stargirl and Harley Quinn dropping next fall.

8 Pet Sematary First Look

Horror fans might not have had much to talk about at Comic-Con, but during the convention some promo images dropped for the reboot of a Stephen King classic. The first images of the Pet Sematary remake were released, featuring Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, and Amy Seimetz.

The best image of the bunch comes in the form of the Creed family cat, Church, looking meaner and mangier than ever.

While an evil cat may not be the scariest thing you’ll find in Pet Sematary, it’s a nice preview of the Stephen King spookiness to come, especially after the success of 2017’s It. Pet Sematary is set for release on April 5, 2019.

7 Runaways Season 2 Footage

A new trailer for the second season of Runaways shows that the series has moved way past high school drama, and further into superhero action territory. The trailer features the Runaways’ comic book hideout, huge action set-pieces, and plenty of superpowers to go around.

Highlights of the trailer include a kiss between Nico and Karolina, a battle on an airport runway, and a glimpse at Gert’s pet dinosaur Old Lace. The first season of the show was a quiet hit among the newer Marvel properties, but this season promises a much deeper dive into the superhero genre that fans of the series are have been waiting for.

6 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

One reveal snuck in towards the end of Comic-Con — a very short trailer for How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Although very brief, the trailer is made up of all-new footage.

The trailer consists of baby Hiccup in his father’s arms as he is told about the legendary world of dragons.

During his father’s narration, the titular Hidden World is given a brief tease as hundreds of dragons flutter across a cavernous landscape. It ends with a shot of Hiccup and Toothless overlooking a town covered in dragons. It’s not as extensive as the film’s last trailer, but it might hold fans over until the film’s release on February 22, 2019.

5 Good Omens Trailer

It’s a great year for Neil Gaiman lovers as they got not one, but two different Gaiman projects revealed at NYCC. First was the second season of American Gods, and now Amazon’s adaptation of Good Omens. 

The trailer for the new series pits Michael Sheen and David Tennant against each other as an angel and a demon who must join forces in order to prevent the apocalypse. The dark subject matter is contrasted by the show’s whimsical tone and David Tennant’s devilish charisma. It sets up what looks to be a very fun buddy comedy about he end of the world.

4 First 25 Minutes Of Peter Jackson’s Mortal Engines

Fans of director Peter Jackson were treated to the first 25 minutes of his next project, Mortal Engines, at this year’s New York Comic-Con. Mortal Engines is another expansive world, like the Tolkien material that Jackson has worked with before, but with a post-apocalyptic twist.

The most talked about elements of the footage were the massive scale of the world and the jaw-dropping visuals.

The Mortal Engines footage introduces viewers to Hester, a girl who lives in a world that was ravaged by the “60 Minute War” that destroyed civilization. Now the world consists of giant cities on wheels that fight each other. Audiences won’t see it for themselves until December 14.

3 The Boys Teaser Trailer

Amazon’s adaptation of Garth Ennis’s hyper-violent superhero comic The Boys has finally been revealed with a brief teaser trailer . The teaser features a public service announcement from Vought International, a company that facilitates the operation of the Seven, this world’s league of superheroes. At the end of the PSA, the titular Boys can be seen sitting on a couch, rudely gesturing to their televisions.

The Boys is already setting itself apart from the traditonal superhero fare, and with good reason — the series is about a team of people who keep out-of-control superheroes in check– by blackmailing them, stealing from them, and beating them up. It’s extremely adult-oriented and it already looks like fun.

2 Voltron Ends in December

The release date and synopsis for the eighth and final season of Voltron was revealed at New York Comic-Con, finally bringing the critically acclaimed Netflix series to a close.

The last season will feature the final battle between the Paladins and Witch Haggar.

A few promo images were released as well — one featuring the villain Honerva and another depicting the Voltron Paladins in a control room with Shiro commanding the gang in a background role. While no footage was shown at NYCC, the release date was confirmed to be December 14. The show’s final season will premiere on Netflix.

1 Possibility — Avengers 4 Titled “Avengers: Annihilation”

This rumor went viral during the weekend of NYCC — “Avengers: Annihilation” may or may not be the name of the still untitled Avengers 4. Speculation over the film’s name has driven fans mad in recent months, with “Annihilation” being yet another choice amidstthe rumored titles titles like “Avengers: Forever”, “Avengers: Endgame”, and “The Last Avenger”.

Annihilation comes from the name comic storyline of the same name, though it bears few similarities to the Infinity Gauntlet story that the films are adapting. Seriously, Marvel, just call it “Avengers: Assemble” and get it over with already. Don’t keep us waiting!

What announcements from New York Comic-Con excite you the most? Make sure to leave a comment before you go to share your thoughts!



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2018-10-08 07:10:26 – Jonathan Figueroa

30 Actors Who Regretted Superhero Roles

Landing a part in the latest major superhero movie release represents the pinnacle of many an acting career. Michael Keaton, Hugh Jackman, Chris Evans and, to some extent, Robert Downey Jr might not be the household names they are today were it not for their comic book exploits.

However, while headlining the latest cinematic effort involving a caped crusader of some kind represents a dream come true for many, it’s proven to be something of a nightmare for a rare few. Bad scripts, difficult directors and a toxic work environment are just some of the many myriad reasons cited by the actors and actresses in this list – yet that’s really only the tip of the iceberg. Studio politics, stalled contract negotiations or issues around costume, make-up and iffy computer effects have also played a role in making these superhero movies not-so-super for the stars involved.

More often than not, the resulting movie has been forgettable at best and downright terrible at worst – but there are exceptions to the rule. Sometimes, an actor ended up enduring a miserable time on an otherwise enjoyable project. Other times, far sinister things were going on, unbeknownst to many involved in the finished movie.

Plenty of flops feature on this countdown but some major moneymakers can be found too, with comic book movie properties tied to Marvel, 2000AD, DC and Titan Comics all present and not very correct. Yes, landing a part in the latest superhero movie blockbuster has represented the pinnacle of many an acting career down the years but for this lot, it represented the pits.

Here are 30 Actors Who Regretted Superhero Roles.

30 Hugo Weaving – Red Skull

Hugo Weaving originally signed a multi-picture deal to play the Red Skull across various future Captain America movies. However, when the character returned in Avengers: Infinity War the character had been recast with The Walking Dead’s Ross Marquand taking Weaving’s place. It wasn’t a huge shock.

A few years prior, The Matrix actor told Collider playing the Red Skull was “not something I would want to do again.”

“It’s not the sort of film I seek out and really am excited by,” he said. “I increasingly like to go back to what I used to always do, which is to get involved with projects that I really have a personal affiliation with.”

29 Ryan Reynolds – Green Lantern

Ryan Reynolds has made no secret of the fact things didn’t exactly go to plan with 2011’s Green Lantern. He even went as far as to include a gag, poking fun at the project, in Deadpool 2. Though it’s something he is able to laugh about now, it’s clear the actor regrets signing on that particular dotted line.

“When we shot Green Lantern, nobody auditioning for the role of Green Lantern was given the opportunity to read the script because the script didn’t exist,” Reynolds told The Hollywood Reporter. The experience did at least teach him some valuable lessons about making superhero movies which was good news for Deadpool fans.

28 Jessica Alba – Invisible Woman

Jessica Alba’s experience playing Sue Storm in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was so bad it left her considering a career change. “I wanted to stop acting. I hated it. I really hated it,” Alba told Elle [via SyFy].

“I remember when I was dying in ‘Silver Surfer’. The director [Tim Story] was like, ‘It looks too real. It looks too painful. Can you be prettier when you cry? Cry pretty, Jessica.’ He was like, ‘Don’t do that thing with your face. Just make it flat. We can CGI the tears in.'” She continued: “It all got me thinking: Am I not good enough?”

27 Ben Affleck – Daredevil

Ben Affleck doesn’t just regret starring in the 2003 movie adaptation of Daredevil, he hates it. Affleck let his feelings be known to TimeTalks [via NME] during a discussion about why he signed on for Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. Affleck said: “Part of it was I wanted for once to get one of these movies and do it right – to do a good version. I hate Daredevil so much.”

“The Netflix show does really cool stuff,” he added.

“I feel like that was there for us to do with that character, and we never kind of got it right. I wanted to do one of those movies and sort of get it right,” Affleck stated.

26 Terrence Howard – War Machine

Terrence Howard has always blamed Robert Downey Jr for the fact he never got to reprise the role of James Rhodes in the Iron Man sequels. “It turns out that the person that I helped become Iron Man, when it was time to re-up for the second one, took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out,” Howard told Watch What Happens Live [via Vulture].

Howard claims the studio offered to pay him “one-eighth of what we contractually had” and when he tried to call Downey Jr to talk about it “he didn’t call me back for three months.”

25 Idris Elba – Heimdall

Idris Elba’s experience working on Thor: The Dark World was so bad the actor described parts of it as “torture” to The Telegraph. In the interview, Elba recalled how he was forced to complete reshoots in London for the Thor sequel just days after return from filming the prestige biopic Mandela, in South Africa.

“In between takes I was stuck there [hanging from a harness], fake hair stuck on to my head with glue, this fucking helmet, while they reset, he said. “And I’m thinking: ‘24 hours ago, I was Mandela.’ … Then there I was, in this stupid harness, with this wig and this sword and these contact lenses. It ripped my heart out.”

24 Ryan Reynolds – Wolverine: X-Men Origins

Ryan Reynolds’ appearance as Deadpool in Wolverine: X-Men Origins was plagued with problems, starting with the character’s appearance. “He wound up being this abomination of Deadpool that was like Barakapool, with his mouth sewn shut and weird blades that came out of his hands and these strange tattoos and stuff like that,” he told GQ.

Though Reynolds objected, the studio pressed on.

“The conversation at the time was ‘If you want to play Deadpool, this is your chance to introduce him. And if you don’t want to introduce him in this fashion, we’ll have someone else play him.'”When the film leaked online and fans reacted angrily, Reynolds response was simple: “told you so”.

23 Ed Norton – Hulk

Ed Norton clashed with producers behind the scenes on The Incredible Hulk, having only agreed to play Bruce Banner on the proviso he could have a say on the script and direction of the film. Replaced by Mark Ruffalo in the MCU, Norton couldn’t resist having a dig at the film during an appearance on Comedy Central’s Roast of Bruce Willis.

“I tried to be like you,” he told Willis [via Indiewire]. “I did a big action movie called The Incredible Hulk. You know what went wrong? I wanted a better script…I thought we should make one Marvel movie as good as the worst Christopher Nolan movie, but what the hell was I thinking.”

22 George Clooney – Batman

Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin may have fallen flat with critics and fans alike but it proved to be a serious career wake-up call for its star, George Clooney. “Up until that moment, I was an actor only concerned with finding work,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “After the failure of that film creatively, I understood that I needed to take control of the films I made, not just the role.”

Clooney successfully banished memories of his time as Batman with next three films: Out of Sight, Three Kings and O Brother, Where Art Thou?

21 Tommy Lee Jones – Two-Face

Tommy Lee Jones hated working on Batman Forever or, rather, he hated working with co-star Jim Carrey. “I was the star and that was the problem,” Carrey explained on Norm MacDonald Live [via THR].

The situation came to a head when Carrey ended up in the same restaurant as Jones during filming.

“I went over and I said, ‘Hey Tommy, how are you doing?’ and the blood just drained from his face,” Carrey said. “He went to hug me and he said, ‘I hate you. I really don’t like you.’ And I said, ‘What’s the problem?’ and pulled up a chair, which probably wasn’t smart. And he said, ‘I cannot sanction your buffoonery.'”

20 Topher Grace – Venom

Topher Grace never felt entirely comfortable in the role of Eddie Brock/Venom having bagged the role in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. “I was a huge fan of the character of Venom when I was a kid when Todd McFarlane brought him into the comic,” he told Michael Rosenbaum on the Inside of You podcast [via Cinemablend]. “And I was surprised and a little bit like ‘Huh?’ when they wanted me to play it.”

Not only does Grace accept he was miscast, but he also agrees Tom Hardy is perfect for the role. “When I look at it now… [at Tom Hardy’s Venom movie] I go ‘That’s the guy.'”

19 Mickey Rourke – Ivan Vanko

Micky Rourke trashed the bigwigs over at Marvel Studios for what they did to his character Ivan Vanko, in Iron Man 2. Rourke told Syfy that he had worked hard with writer Justin Theroux and director Jon Favreau to flesh out his Russian villain and turn him into a three-dimensional character. Someone behind-the-scenes had other ideas though.

“I wanted to bring some other layers and colors, not just make this Russian a complete murderous revenging bad guy,” he said. “Unfortunately, the [people] at Marvel just wanted a one-dimensional bad guy, so most of the performance ended up the floor.”

18 Alicia Silverstone – Batgirl

Alicia Silverstone was on the receiving end of some serious body shaming while working on Batman & Robin. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Silverstone, who was a huge star following the success of Clueless, was under intense scrutiny over her weight with one critic reportedly observing she “looked more Babe than babe.”

When rumor got out on set that she was having issues with her costume fittings, a storyboard artist ever put together a joke cartoon of Batgirl, mocking Silverstone’s issues.

The fake poster for Clueless 2: The Casting of Batgirl might have gone down well with the guys in the film’s art department but studio bosses were far from impressed.

17 Nicolas Cage – Ghost Rider

Nicolas Cage has previously spoken of his disappointment at his two Ghost Rider movies, which he felt played it too safe. Speaking to JoBlo [via Bloody Disgusting], Cage explained that he and writer David S. Goyer had always envisioned the films as being gritty and, most importantly, R-rated.

“Ghost Rider was a movie that always should’ve been an R-rated movie,” Cage said. “David Goyer had a brilliant script which I wanted to do with David, and for whatever reason, they just didn’t let us make the movie.” Though he believes there is the potential for someone else to take on the role and go down that dark path, Cage is done with the character.

16 Jim Carrey – Colonel Stars And Stripes

Jim Carrey stunned social media ahead of the release of Kick-Ass 2 by denouncing the film and its “level of violence” in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. Carrey, who is an outspoken advocate for increased gun control, took to Twitter following the incident to explain that he could no longer support the film.

“I did Kick-Ass 2 a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence,” he wrote [via The Guardian]. “My apologies to others involve[d] with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.”

15 Michael Jai White – Spawn

He may have been among the first African American actors to portray a major comic book superhero but Michael Jai White has little love for his sole outing as Spawn. In fact, White is a much bigger fan of his small but powerful role as the gangster Gambol in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

He even went as far as to conduct an interview with The Hollywood Reporter revisiting his performance alongside Heath Ledger.

During the interview, White couldn’t resist having a dig at Spawn: “There is no footage of me ever saying that I liked Spawn. I have never said that I thought that was a good movie.” Ouch.

14 Jared Leto – The Joker

Jared Leto was left far from happy with the version of Suicide Squad that made it to the cinemas. Asked by IGN whether any scenes involving the Joker were cut from the film, Leto let rip.

“There were so many scenes that got cut from the movie, I couldn’t even start. I think that the Joker… we did a lot of experimentation on the set, we explored a lot. There’s so much that we shot that’s not in the film,” he said. “If I die anytime soon, it’s probably likely that it’ll surface somewhere. That’s the good news about the death of an actor is all that stuff seems to come out.”

13 Halle Berry – Catwoman

Halle Berry’s regret at signing up for Catwoman was clear to see when she decided to make an appearance at the annual Razzie Awards back in 2005. A celebration of the year’s worst films and performances, Berry ‘won’ the Worst Actress gong for her efforts in Catwoman and, in a surprising turn of events, was on hand to deliver a memorable acceptance speech.

“I want to thank Warner Bros. for casting me in this piece-of-sh**, god-awful movie,” she said [via MTV], going on to mock the rest of her cast. “I’d like to thank the rest of the cast. To give a really bad performance like mine, you need to have really bad actors.”

12 Alan Cumming – Nightcrawler

Back when Alan Cumming was still in the frame to reprise his role as Nightcrawler in X-Men: The Last Stand, the Scottish actor shocked journalists with his response to the news Bryan Singer would not be returning for the third installment.

“I’m not disappointed, I can’t deny it,” Cumming said [via Movieweb]. “I think he’s really talented. I’m very proud of the film. I think it’s a great film. I didn’t enjoy working with him on the film.”

Evidently, Singer and Cumming didn’t see eye to eye on X-Men 2 though the source of their fractious relationship has never been divulged.

11 Ellen Page – Kitty Pryde

Ellen Page took to Facebook in 2017 to accuse director Brett Ratner of harassment during their time together on 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. According to Page, Ratner mocked her sexuality during promotional work for the film. Page was only 18 at the time.

“‘You should f*** her to make her realize she’s gay.’ He said this about me during a cast and crew ‘meet and greet’ before we began filming, X Men: The Last Stand,” Page wrote. “He looked at a woman standing next to me, ten years my senior, pointed to me and said: ‘You should f*** her to make her realize she’s gay.’”

10 Michael Fassbender – Magneto

Back in 2016, during the Toronto Film Festival’s pre-opening-night fundraising event, honoree Michael Fassbender surprised those in attendance by laying into his performance as Magneto in X-Men: Days of Future Past. According to Vulture, during a segment in which clips from several of Fassbender’s films were shown, Fassbender started “cringing and rubbing his face with embarrassment”.

“I don’t actually like that performance there, to be honest,” Fassbender said after the highlights reel finished. “I just think it’s me shouting. It’s just like [making a face and flailing his arms around] some dude shouting.”

9 Jamie Bell – Thing

Rumoured unrest on the set of Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four movie, coupled with the movie’s bad reviews left a bad taste in the mouth of its star, Jamie Bell. “There were several things on that movie I was clearly not privy to because I’m just an actor and I just do my stuff on set,” Bell told the Los Angeles Times.

“Everything starts with the best of intentions. A production begins with the idea to make something that’s unique and original and with integrity,” he said.

“I don’t know what happened between the launch of the voyage and the arrival. I think we were all bitterly disappointed with that film,” stated Bell.

8 Josh Brolin – Jonah Hex

Production delays, directorial changes, script rewrites, reshoots, and some pretty heavy-handed editing helped make Jonah Hex one of the most disappointing comic book movies of all time. It’s something the film’s star, Josh Brolin, is only too aware of. In fact, he revealed in an interview with the Nerdist that he hates it just as much as everyone else.

“Oh, ‘Jonah Hex,’ hated it. Hated it,” he said [via Collider]. “The experience of making it — that would have been a better movie based on what we did. As opposed to what ended up happening to it, which is going back and reshooting 66 pages in 12 days.”

7 Jennifer Garner – Elektra

While Ben Affleck bounced back from his Daredevil movie, Jennifer Garner never quite got going again after her spin-off effort, Elektra, bombed. Though Garner has never spoken openly about the film, her ex-boyfriend and close friend Michael Vartan revealed to Us Weekly [via SFGate] that the Alias actress was very unhappy with how the film turned out.

“I heard [Elektra] was awful. [Jennifer] called me and told me it was awful,” Vartan said. “She had to do it because of Daredevil. It was in her contract.” Garner has never denied Vartan’s claims.

6 Edward Furlong – The Crow

The Crow: Wicked Prayer is an absolute stinker of a comic book movie and currently boasts a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

It’s star, Edward Furlong, struggled to show much in the way of enthusiasm for the role during an interview with Movieweb.

Asked about how he prepared for the film’s starring role, Furlong said: “It’s sort of like a really slow process that Lance Mungia, the director, and I went through. Initially, I was just attracted to the script because it was The Crow and I got to put on some leather pants and kick people’s ass.” Given how it turned out, he must be regretting signing up for such flimsy reasons.

5 Chloë Grace Moretz – Hit-Girl

Chloe Moretz made her name as Hit Girl in Mark Millar’s original Kick-Ass but, despite the first film holding a special place in her heart, she’s always been less enthusiastic about the sequel.

During an appearance on a panel at the Provincetown Film Festival in 2018, Moretz made those feelings crystal clear. “I love the franchise, I think the first movie was really, really special. I wish the second one had been handled in a little bit of a different way,” she said [via Cinemablend]. “Because I think we were all kind of looking forward to something a little different than what happened with it all.”

4 Kate Mara – The Invisible Woman

Kate Mara played Sue Storm in Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four movie and, in an interview with The Times[via Yahoo] revealed the negative aura surrounding the film made her “a little gun-shy” about seeing the finished film.

“You don’t always have to learn some incredible life lesson when making a s*** movie. Sometimes it’s just what happens,” she said. “[Fantastic Four] was a tricky shoot but you know when you know when you’re shooting it that a film isn’t going to be what you want it to be? That was not the case at all.”

3 Jamie Kennedy – The Mask

Son of the Mask saw Jamie Kennedy replace Jim Carrey as the franchise’s star, with almost unwatchable results.

Though the movie is widely regarded as one of the worst ever made, Kennedy’s biggest regret may boil down to the make-up he had to wear on the film.

“I wore it 6 days in a row, and after that it gets rough,” he told Movieweb. “I had ears in this one, and Jim Carrey didn’t in the first one, so they would like press against my real ears and cut the circulation, so I would have to like rub my ears a bit after having on the makeup to get the blood flowing again.”

2 Sylvester Stallone – Judge Dredd

Despite starring in such turkeys as Over The Top, Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot and Oscar, Sylvester Stallone’s biggest regret was reserved for another movie. “The biggest mistake I ever made was with the sloppy handling of Judge Dredd” he once declared [via Den of Geek]. “The philosophy of the film was not set in stone – by that I mean, ‘Is this going to be a serious drama or with comic overtones’, like other science fiction films that were successful? So a lotta pieces just didn’t fit smoothly.”

“The design work on it was fantastic, and the sets were incredibly real, even standing two feet away, but there was just no communication,” he stated.

1 Lori Petty – Tank Girl

Lori Petty had a very particular gripe with the way things turned out for her Tank Girl movie: it was given an R rating. “There is nothing about that movie that is R. Nothing. Except there’s a woman talking s***. That’s why they rated it R. If they were going to rate it R I should have been butt-naked all the time, running around,” she told AV Club.

Tommy Boy came out that weekend, too, which is a hysterical movie, but it was rated PG-13. Do you know how many people bought Tommy Boy tickets and went to see Tank Girl? A billion.”

Are there any other superhero actors who regretted their roles? Sound off in the comments!



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2018-10-08 03:10:25 – Jack Beresford

Is Venom Too Scary For Kids?

Venom may be rated PG-13, but given that it’s a movie about an alien parasite that forcibly takes over someone’s body and then starts threatening to bite heads and limbs off, parents may be wondering if the movie is too scary for younger children.

Though Sony claims that Venom was always intended to have a PG-13 rating, director Ruben Fleischer was uncertain in August whether or not the movie would ultimately earn an R-rating, and stated that he was agreeable to putting together an unrated director’s cut. Add to this Fleischer’s earlier comments on taking inspiration from the works of body-horror masters John Carpenter and David Cronenberg, and Venom certainly sounds like the kind of movie that could give you nightmares – even without the 40 minutes of deleted scenes.

Related: Venom Review: Tom Hardy’s Superhero Movie is a Weirdly Fun Monster

Ultimately, the MPAA rated Venom PG-13 for “intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for language.” The BBFC rated Venom 15 for “strong threat, horror, violence.” Here is a run down of what all that means.

How Violent Is Venom?

Venom‘s violent content makes up the majority of the reason for its rating. The movie contains a lot of intense action sequences, including falls from great heights and a chase through the streets of San Francisco with explosions. There are numerous fights, with guns and tasers being employed. However, many of the on-screen deaths (particularly those caused by the main villain Riot and the two instances of Venom biting someone’s head off) happen very quickly and bloodlessly, and in the case of the bitten-off heads it’s unclear what even happened until characters talk about it afterwards. Overall, the violence is fairly standard for a superhero movie.

The Body Horror Elements

The body horror elements of Venom are far more likely to unsettle younger audiences than its action sequences. Though often played for laughs as Eddie Brock argues with the voice in his head, the idea of having your body taken over against your wishes may be uncomfortable for some viewers. There are various sequences of the slimy symbiotes latching on to their victims and crawling across their struggling bodies, forcing their way in. There’s a further element of revulsion given some of the things Brock does while under the symbiote’s influence, which include biting into a live lobster, eating a chicken out of the garbage, and later throwing up into a clearly unclean toilet. If you have emetophobia, you may want to step out of the theater for a few minutes when Eddie starts raiding his freezer.

Language And Sexual Content

Venom contains several uses of the phrase “Oh s**t” as Eddie Brock is unwillingly dragged from one dangerous situation to the next by the symbiote. There is also one use of the F-word in the lead-up to the final battle. The movie is completely free of nudity and there is no real suggestion of sexual activity apart from one scene where Eddie and his fiancee, Anne Weying, are depicted in bed together, fully-clothed, and a passionate kiss between Eddie and Venom/Anne later in the movie, in which the symbiote transfers from her to him.

More: Venom: The 10 Biggest Spoilers



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2018-10-05 03:10:15 – Matt Morrison