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Gears of War 5 Lead Explains Why Smoking Was Really Removed

Although tobacco use has never been particularly prominent in Microsoft’s flagship cover shooter, it was rumored that Gears of War 5 would be removing all references to smoking as a result of anti-tobacco activism. But lead developer Rod Fergusson says the choice was made due to personal preference.

This comes directly after reports that anti-smoking organization, Truth Initiative successfully lobbied Gears of War developer The Coalition to cut all tobacco references and imagery from its upcoming sequel. Slated for a fast-approaching September 10 launch, Gears 5 was revealed at last month’s E3 to be shaking up the thirteen-year-old franchise in a few ways bigger than the omission of character Michael Barrick’s cigars. Along with an outlandish, character-driven trailer, an all-new mode called Escape was revealed, which will pit three players against the Swarm in a novel fight for survival that doesn’t come quite close to revolutionizing the series like Gears of War 2‘s Horde mode.

Related: New Gears 5 Map Draws Comparisons to BioShock

Responding to a now-removed Game Informer tweet about the Truth Initiative’s apparent anti-smoking victory, Rod Fergusson, studio head of The Coalition, implied that smoking likely wouldn’t have played any prominent role in the final release of Gears 5, anyway. Referring to pre-release concept art for Gears of War 2 in which a character could be seen smoking a cigarette, Fergusson backs up his anti-smoking track record in a tweet of his own when pointing out smoking’s inevitable absence from the game, saying, “I stopped it.” Though his rebuttal is undoubtedly a form of mild damage control, Fergusson later expanded upon his distaste for tobacco and its health risks when sharing that his father, who smoked, died early when Fergusson was only a small child.

In reality, it’s hard to say that the Gears of War franchise has ever done much to glorify smoking among young people, especially when considering that the most visible smoker of the COG bunch, Michael Barrick, is portrayed as a deeply damaged madman – hardly a role model for children in a series of M-rated games. Nevertheless, with the growing popularity of Juul and other vapor-based tobacco brands among kids and teens who can just get their hands on Gears 5 digitally, the removal of all tobacco products and references from the upcoming gorefest is probably for the best – regardless of who can claim responsibility for the deed.

It’s hard to say if this bit of controversy thrown The Coalition’s way was hardly deserved, but it should raise some concerns at the studio and Microsoft that this smoking debacle generated as much if not more buzz than the game’s somewhat lackluster showing at E3 2019. Ever since Epic Games’ departure from the franchise, fans have feared that Gears of War will get the axe in favor of new IP if its public zeal ever fades too greatly. And Gears 5 will have to deliver in a big way if The Coalition wants to secure further sequels.

Next: Gears 5 Won’t Have A Season Pass or Gear Packs and All Maps Are Free

Source: Rod Fergusson/Twitter



2019-07-13 01:07:25

Phillip Tinner

The Real Reason Days Gone Removed Player Choices

The final, retail version of Days Gone will not allow players to make binary choices at various junctures in the story. Back when Days Gone was originally shown off to the public, players were able to make choices that would have a minor effect on the character of Deacon St. John, the protagonist portrayed by Sam Witwer. Now, those choices are no longer part of the game.

We spoke to Days Gone writer/creative director John Garvin about both the new game and his career in the gaming industry. In particular, we discussed the many changes the game has gone through since it was first unveiled at E3 2016, including the removal of binary choices the player makes for Deacon at various points in the narrative.

Related: What Days Gone Learned From Uncharted’s Amy Hennig

The reason why they removed these choices has to do with strengthening the character of Deacon St. John and serving the narrative of Days Gone. As John Garvin explains it:

The thing about player choices is, players didn’t get it! (laughs) …We thought it was going to be this awesome thing where Boozer’s morale was going to be this thing players would have to watch, but players just didn’t understand it. For the amount of work we were putting into it, there was no payoff. It was hurting the player experience.

Basically, player choice was getting in the way of the game. Days Gone is a narrative driven experience, but it’s not Mass Effect or a Telltale game. The choices were intended to add color to the player’s perception of Deacon, but they wound up making him an unclear figure, and even unlikable. The story of Days Gone is cinematic in nature. One of the goals of Sony Bend was to apply their experience making linear, narrative driven titles like Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Syphon Filter, and apply that to an open world game. That cinematic approach is another factor which led to the removal of binary choices. John Garvin elaborates:

On a motion picture script, you’ve 90 to 120 pages, give or take. You want your character to start out flawed and broken, and you want them to be in a place where they have a lot of room to change and grow. For Deacon, he starts out as this nihilistic, broken guy. Honestly, he isn’t very likable at first. The thing is, in a movie, you’re doing that for ten or fifteen minutes before you have a catalyst that makes him begin to change. That turned out to be eight hours in Days Gone.

There are some games which have deliberately unlikable protagonists, like Kratos from the original God of War or the titular protagonists of the Kane & Lynch titles, but it’s a delicate balance, and Days Gone didn’t want to present Deacon St. John as a total jerk, but to make him someone players could root for. To achieve that, binary choices had to go. The two big examples which had been showcased were whether to kill a wounded enemy, Leon, or allow him to burn to death in a horrible fire, and giving an ally, Boozer, his shotgun or having Deacon keep it for himself. Regarding these choices, Garvin says:

“If Deacon has the ability to leave this guy to be eaten alive or to put him out of his misery, the player, at that moment, doesn’t really know what the right thing to do is. In either case, it makes Deacon out to be… If he leaves him to be eaten alive, it turns him into a real a**hole! The same with taking Boozer’s shotgun. If you have an obvious choice to make, players will always choose the good thing. It’s something that we learned from looking at something like Infamous. The number of players who choose dark over light is actually very small, believe it or not.”

The solution to the problem came in the form of simply removing the choices. Instead of being given the option to keep Boozer’s shotgun, the game automatically has Deacon return the weapon to its rightful owner:

But the biggest thing was, it made Deacon’s character stronger. We just made the choice for the player. So Deacon will always shoot Leon in the first twenty minutes, and Deacon will always leave Boozer’s shotgun. We just basically made the choices in every case where we had them, and it was always making the character stronger.

There are some instances where player choice is an important factor in shaping a story as it unfolds, but that’s not always the best solution. For Days Gone, despite its open world nature, the decision was made to keep Deacon St. John’s character arc out of the hands of the player, and to have his key interactions with other characters be crafted entirely by the game’s developers.

More: Days Gone is 30 Hours Long, With 6 Hours of Cutscenes


2019-04-24 06:04:17

Zak Wojnar

Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor Who Just Removed A Major Classic Series Element

Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who with UNIT

The Doctor Who New Year Special has just wiped out a major element of the classic series – U.N.I.T., the Unified Intelligence Taskforce. Chris Chibnall’s Doctor Who has had an interesting relationship to previous seasons of the BBC’s flagship science-fiction series. On the one hand, the show has been careful to make every episode stand on its own two feet, so viewers need precious little prior exposure to Doctor Who – or its complex continuity – to make sense of it all. On the other, though, there have been a number of subtle references to remind viewers that this is the same series that starred the likes of Tom Baker, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, or Peter Capaldi.

In the case of the New Year Special, “Resolution,” Chris Chibnall’s script contained a single scene that tied in cleverly to the classic series. Fearing the threat of a Dalek on Earth, the Doctor called for help – the first time she’s ever needed to since her regeneration, an indication of the scale of the problem facing the planet should a Dalek stay loose for long. She put out a call to U.N.I.T., the Unified Intelligence Taskforce, an organization that various Doctors have worked alongside since the Patrick Troughton era.

Related: Doctor Who Season 11 Saved The Show From Steven Moffat’s Mistakes

Unfortunately for the Doctor, it turned out U.N.I.T. no longer exists. The organization has been suspended, and it looks as though there are two simple reasons. The first appears to be austerity, with mention of a spending review; in the United Kingdom, over the last few years public spending has been slashed for many functions of government, and between 2010 and 2015 even the armed forces budget was cut by £8 billion in real terms. Critics of the Government’s austerity policies argue that even essential services have been cut, and in the world of Doctor Who it seems the Government completely withdrew funding for U.N.I.T..

A second factor also seems to have played into this. In Doctor Who lore, U.N.I.T. was conceived sometime in the 1970s, and was founded under the auspices of the United Nations. In 2019, of course, multilateral ideas like the United Nations or the European Union are out of fashion – particularly in the U.K. and the United States. It sounds as though the British Government wasn’t the only one to abandon U.N.I.T., and the organization is now completely defunct.

This leaves Earth extremely vulnerable. U.N.I.T. had built up a vast amount of experience, dealing with everything from Daleks to Daemons. They’d developed specialist resources for taking on alien presences on Earth; by the Seventh Doctor story “Battlefield,” they had silver bullets for werewolves, gold-tipped for Cybermen, high explosive rounds for Yeti, armor piercing for robots, and even teflon anti-Dalek shells. By the Tennant era, U.N.I.T. had their own mobile Helicarrier base, which they used to curb a Sontaran invasion. All that knowledge, and all those specialist resources, are no longer available in the defense of humanity.

It’s a smart move for Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall. It means that Earth is now protected solely by the Doctor and her “extended fam,” with no additional backup or support to help them. The stakes are thus infinitely higher going forward into Doctor Who‘s season 12 (due to air in 2020). Chibnall has promised more classic monsters will return, and the Doctor won’t have any help dealing with them.

More: What To Expect From Doctor Who Season 12



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2019-01-01 01:01:30

Harry Potter: 25 Behind-The-Scenes Photos That Completely Change Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows had a lot of ground to cover, as Harry had to destroy the remaining four Horcruxes that were hidden around Great Britain, while Voldemort was just beginning to take control of the wizarding world from the shadows.

The fact that there was so much content in The Deathly Hallows meant that the creators of the Harry Potter films decided to split the final book into two movies, which opened the door for the creators of the Twilight and The Hunger Games movies to do the same.

The process of creating the final two Harry Potter movies was an emotional one for everyone involved, as a series that took a decade to make was coming to an end. This wasn’t helped by the many beloved characters meeting their maker throughout the course of the story, meaning that there were a lot more emotional send-offs than in the previous movies.

We are here today to see what moments from behind-the-scenes of The Deathly Hallows movies were captured on film forever – from the last time that Remus Lupin & Severus Snape smiled, to the final day of the ten-year odyssey of the Harry Potter movie franchise.

Here are the 25 Behind-The-Scenes Photos That Completely Change Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2!

25 Lupin & Snape Getting Along

Alan Rickman so totally owned the role of Severus Snape that it’s hard to imagine any other actor playing the part. It’s also difficult not to hear Rickman’s voice whenever reading one of Snape’s scenes in the Harry Potter novels.

It’s also a surreal experience seeing Alan Rickman clowning around or smiling in any behind-the-scenes footage of the Harry Potter movies, as Snape never had anything close to a light-hearted moment or laughed at anything that was funny.

Remus Lupin and Severus Snape may have had a cold relationship in the movies, but that didn’t stop David Thewlis and Alan Rickman coming together for a photo on their last day of filming, which even resulted in a rare Snape smile.

24 Voldemort & His Tracking Dots

The Harry Potter movies decided to remove Voldemort’s nose in order to give him a more serpent-like appearance. This was only accomplishable due to advances in CGI and the fact that Voldemort generally didn’t appear that often compared to the other nose-bearing members of the cast.

In order to create the effect of Voldemort lacking a nose, Ralph Fiennes needed to have tracking dots applied to his face. These were necessary in order to tell the computers where all of the parts of Fiennes’ face where in relation to each other so that they could take away the nose and remove all traces of the dots on his face. Ralph Fiennes also had to wear other prosthetics, including a gross-looking set of fake teeth.

23 Talking Through The Nagini Chase

The scene where Neville slices Nagini in two with the Sword of Godric Gryffindor is one of the all-time greatest moments in the Harry Potter series. It is meant to reflect Harry defeating the basilisk in The Chamber of Secrets, with Neville finally becoming the hero that he was always meant to be and becoming worthy of drawing the sword from the Sorting Hat.

The movie version of The Deathly Hallows botched this scene somewhat by adding Hermione and Ron to the mix, as they attempt to deal with Nagini using spells. Neville had to rush in and save them, as they both suddenly developed the aiming skills of a Stormtrooper from Star Wars. 

22 The Dark Lord Of Clowning Around On Set

Ralph Fiennes has appeared in some of the greatest movies of all time, including the likes of Schindler’s List, The English Patient, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. He is known for his extensive theatre work and for taking on roles in serious and somber movies.

All of these serious roles may give you the impression that Ralph Fiennes lacks a sense of humor, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

He would never have taken on the part of Lord Voldemort if he was going to stick to roles that would win him Academy Award nominations. Ralph Fiennes must have known early on that the role of Lord Voldemort was going to become the one that he was most associated with, so he clearly leaned into it and had as much fun as possible with the part.

21 Hermione & Ariana

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows left us with a lot of unanswered questions about Albus Dumbledore, especially where his sister is concerned.

Ariana Dumbledore was attacked by a group of Muggle boys as a child, which left her emotionally scarred and unable to control her magic. The release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the revelations concerning Credence Barebone have led some fans to suggest that Ariana Dumbledore was an Obscurial and that Grindelwald’s obsession with them was sparked by meeting her. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 neglected to reveal much about Ariana’s backstory, though we were at least given the chance to see her in the flesh.

20 Wandless Magic

Wands are an important aspect of the Harry Potter series, which means that they appeared all of the time in the movies. The props department always had to make sure that there were lots of spare wands ready at any moment, as they were pretty flimsy and easy to accidentally break during filming.

Daniel Radcliffe broke over eighty wands on the set of the Harry Potter movies, either through being too rough with them or for just wearing them down with overuse. This can be clearly seen in the behind-the-scenes footage where he has a tendency to use them as drumsticks when bored on set. Luckily for Daniel Radcliffe, there were times when wands were added in later with CGI, so he just had to pretend to hold one.

19 Draco’s Fear Of Flying

You might think that the flying broom sequences in the Harry Potter movies are accomplished using only green screen effects, but there is a practical element involved that is necessary in order to make the movement of the brooms seem more natural.

The flying broom is connected to a rig that looks like the mechanism used for a theme park ride, which is essentially what it is.

This flying machine can be moved in such a way as to make it look like the broom is tipping or changing direction, while the background can be added in using CGI in order to complete the illusion. Poor Tom Felton was stuck riding on a broom while looking like a wimp, as Daniel Radcliffe got to look like a super cool wizard.

18 Griphook’s Goggles

One of the most difficult aspects of wearing a prosthetic mask that covers your whole head is what it does for your sweat. Robert Llewellyn who played Kryten in Red Dwarf has talked about how his mask was so tight that the sweat was all squeezed down onto his back.

Warwick Davis is no stranger to prosthetics and masks, which is why he was well-prepared for the outdoor scenes involving Griphook in The Deathly Hallows movies. The Griphook outfit not only covers all of Warwick Davis’ head but also his hands. This is why he is seen wearing goggles during outdoor sequences, as they protect his eyes from the elements without risking him accidentally touching his eyes with his clawed hands.

17 Filming Helena Ravenclaw

In order to discover the truth about Ravenclaw’s diadem, Harry must seek out the Ghost of Ravenclaw House, who is revealed to be Helena Ravenclaw. She is the one who reveals to Harry that the diadem was stored within the Room of Requirement, as Voldemort was dense enough to believe that no future Hogwarts student would ever discover the existence of the room.

The meeting between Harry and Helena involved two separate sets, as she was a ghost and spent almost all of her scenes floating off the ground or passing through objects. This meant that Kelly Macdonald (the actress who portrayed Helena) and Daniel Radcliffe had to shoot their scenes separately, as Radcliffe wasn’t available during her shooting days.

16 Filch & Harry Make Up

David Bradley played Argus Filch in almost every Harry Potter movie, missing out on only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Filch’s role was greatly diminished from that of the books and he was mostly used as a comic relief character in the movies.

As one of the few actors who had remained with the franchise from the beginning, David Bradley made sure he was there for the final day of shooting, where he embraced Daniel Radcliffe.

On the surface, this image makes it seem like Harry and Filch finally made amends, which seems out of character for both of them, even though Filch did aid in the defense of Hogwarts during its hour of need. The other reason why Filch may be smiling so much is that he’s already planning his party for the Stark family.

15 Hagrid & The March Of The Death Eaters

The role of Rubeus Hagrid was mostly played by Robbie Coltrane throughout the eight Harry Potter movies. We say mostly because another actor also played Hagrid in many different scenes. Robbie Coltrane is slightly over six-feet tall, but that still isn’t tall enough to play the role of a half-giant. This meant that Hagrid was often played by Martin Bayfield for the purpose of being a body double and performing stunts, as Bayfield is almost seven-feet tall.

The version of Hagrid from the Harry Potter books was over eleven-feet tall, meaning that it would have been impossible to recreate him on film without using CGI. This meant that Robbie Coltrane and Martin Bayfield still had to wear bulky costumes in order to increase their size in order to make Hagrid look bigger than he was, as even carrying someone that is the same size as Daniel Radcliffe needs to look like an impressive feat of strength.

14 Luna Loves Harry Potter

Evanna Lynch had never acted professionally before auditioning for the role of Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. She was a huge fan of the Harry Potter novels and won the role because, as producer, David Heyman said: “The others could play Luna; Evanna Lynch is Luna.”

The passing of Dobby and his subsequent burial was filmed outdoors, which meant that Evanna Lynch had to find some entertainment while she waited for the crew to finish setting up each scene. This would normally result in the smartphone or tablet being whipped out at this point, but Lynch decided to go old school and read her copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. 

13 Dobby Relaxing On Set

The actor who played Dobby was a notorious drama queen on-set. This was partly due to trouble that started early on in his career, brought on by the numerous fake news reports that stated he was being sued by the Russian government due to his resemblance to Vladamir Putin.

The passing of Dobby is one of the most emotional scenes in The Deathly Hallows films, which is why it took so long for his actor to get into the right frame of mind in order to expire in Harry Potter’s arms.

You may think that the Dobby guy is sneaking in a few moments of sleep while on the set, but he’s actually using an advanced method of the Meisner technique in order to get into character.

12 The Secret Of The Brooms

We mentioned earlier that the broom sequences required the use of a moveable rig and a green screen in order to make the flying sequences seem realistic, but not all of the broom scenes involved high-speed chases. There were times when the brooms sat in a static position while floating in mid-air, as they waited for their owner to climb on top of them.

In order to create these scenes, the special effects team developed a standing rig for the brooms that would suspend them above the ground. These rigs had to be strong enough to hold the weight of an adult person, while also being slender enough to be easily removed later by the special effects team. The scene shown above comes from the Seven Potters sequence, where everyone is preparing to leave Privet Drive on broomsticks, save for Hagrid, who is using Sirius Black’s bike.

11 Bellatrix & Warwick Davis

The Harry Potter franchise was very kind to Warwick Davis, as he played Professor Flitwick since the first movie and Griphook in both of The Deathly Hallows films. He also voiced Griphook in the first movie, but the physical role was played by Verne Troyer, making him one of the few American actors to appear in the Harry Potter movie series.

Warwick Davis spent much of his time in the makeup chair, as even the reworked version of Professor Flitwick still required a fancy new hairdo and mustache. The picture above gives us a glimpse of Davis out of costume, but Helena Bonham Carter wasn’t so lucky, as she was fully adorned in the Bellatrix gear.

10 Bellatrix Posing

Bellatrix Lestrange may be one of the most loathsome characters in the Harry Potter series, as she is Lord Voldemort’s most devoted follower and will gleefully commit atrocities in his name. Bellatrix is responsible for disposing of Sirius Black, which immediately earned her a significant hatedom among the Harry Potter fans.

The movie version of Bellatrix is much more difficult to hate, thanks to an incredible performance by Helena Bonham Carter, who managed to turn Bellatrix into the Harley Quinn of the Harry Potter franchise.

Helena Bonham Carter never let the fact that she was playing a crazed murderer affect her on a personal level, as she can be seen clowning around in many different behind-the-scenes photos from the Harry Potter movie series.

9 The Weasley’s Prepare For Battle

The Battle of Hogwarts is probably the most chaotic moment in the series, with seemingly every important character showing up for the final conflict between the forces of good and evil.

There were moments of the battle that were sectioned off, in order to make them easier to film. One of these involved the final duel between Bellatrix Lestrange and Molly Weasley, which took place in the Great Hall as a battle raged on behind them. The duel scene was shot in such a way that you could only see directly behind Bellatrix & Molly, which meant that you only saw a small portion of the battle that was happening. This was likely done in order to make the scene easier to film.

8 Filming The Battle Of Hogwarts

The Battle of Hogwarts was incredibly difficult to film, which is true of all battle scenes that involve a lot of participants. The reason why the Battle of Hogwarts was even more difficult than normal was the fact that almost everyone involved was either using a supernatural weapon (usually a wand) or was some kind of magical creature.

There were parts of the Battle of Hogwarts which involved Harry running through a battlefield that was filled with dueling wizards, huge spiders, suits of animated armor, and giants, all of whom were fighting each other. The producers and special effects team that worked on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 rose to the challenge and created one of the greatest looking battles in movie history. They managed to capture the chaos of a large-scale conflict while also maintaining the fantastical elements that the Harry Potter series is known for.

7 The Burrow Set

One of the new scenes that were added to the movie adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince involved the Death Eaters attacking and burning down the Burrow, which is the home of the Weasley family.

This scene wasn’t popular with the fans, as it ignored aspects of lore and was totally pointless, as the Burrow needed to return for the wedding of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movies.

Harry and his friends return to the Burrow at the start of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, after escaping from the Death Eaters at Privet Drive. This scene involved showing the lands around the Burrow, which was accomplished with the use of a green screen.

6 Dobby’s Funeral Is Hilarious

Dobby the house-elf was created almost entirely with CGI in the Harry Potter movies, which was a necessity due to his size and stature. Dobby helps Harry Potter and his friends escape from Malfoy Manor, but takes a knife to the chest for his troubles. This results in a scene where Harry cradles an injured Dobby and comforts him as he slowly passes away, in what is one of the saddest moments in the series.

The scene of Harry holding Dobby required the use of a physical Dobby puppet that Daniel Radcliffe could hold, which could be altered with CGI at a later date. The puppet that is seen in the picture above is clearly in an unfinished state, which may be why the cast is having such a laugh, as Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint are certainly not in character.

5 Stylish & Wounded

Apparition is one of the most prized skills of any wizard, or at least it would be if it weren’t possible to block apparition within certain locations. Those who wish to apparate are required to pass a test, as those who do not perform the spell properly can screw it up and cause “splinching” which is the term used for leaving pieces of your body behind.

Ron manages to harm himself in The Deathly Hallows movies through splinching, which meant that Rupert Grint needed to have injury makeup applied. This didn’t stop Rupert from looking his best and pulling off his model pose while having holes added to his arms and shoulders.

4 The Real Father Of Delphini

Daniel Radcliffe is one of those people who is impossible to hate, except by the most bitter of people who despise the fact that he was given such an important and lucrative role at such a young age. He comes off brilliantly in interviews and seems like of the most genuine and nicest people you could ever meet.

It seems that the charms of the Harry Potter actor are even effective against Death Eaters, as Helena Bonham Carter was clearly fond of her on-screen mortal enemy.

The two of them can be seen clowning around together in various behind-the-scenes clips, which must have been a way to burn off some tension before they started chasing each other with wands again.

3 The Boring Wedding Of Bill & Fleur

The hardest part of any movie/television production on the part of the actors is the waiting around between shots. It can take a long time for the crew to set up each shot for even a simple production. When you have a movie series like Harry Potter which involves huge sets that need constructing and special effects work that needs preparing for, then it can take forever to set up even a few seconds worth of footage.

The wedding of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour would have required a lot of setting up, due to the sheer amount of extras that are engaging each other in the background of each shot. It’s no wonder that the main trio doesn’t look as interested as they should be.

2 Bellatrix’s Sound Check

The reason why Helena Bonham Carter is sitting on a set of benches is that this is the location where she filmed her final duel of the series. The movie version of Bellatrix’s demise is actually way more violent than what happened in the books.

In the book version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the duel between Bellatrix Lestrange and Molly Weasley ends when Molly fires a curse that strikes Bellatrix above the heart. We never find out what spell Molly cast, but it was enough to deal with Bellatrix for good. The movie version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 shows Molly freezing Bellatrix in place and then shattering her body into pieces.

1 The Last Day

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson were cast in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone at the age of eleven. They spent the next ten years of their lives working on the Harry Potter movie series, which meant that there formative years were spent in front of the cameras. An entire generation of Harry Potter fans grew up alongside them.

As Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 finished production, more and more of the actors were given a send-off for their final day of filming.

The most emotional of these last days was the one for the main trio, who had finally finished their decade-long odyssey and hugged on the set. These last moments can be seen on the home releases of The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and it’s hard for any fan of the Harry Potter series to remain dry-eyed when seeing them say goodbye to each other and to the roles that defined their youth.

What do you think of these photos? Do they completely change Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2 for you? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-08 02:10:12 – Scott Baird

How MCU Cosmic Movies Allowed X-Men To Adapt Dark Phoenix Properly

During a panel at New York Comic Con, screenwriter and producer Simon Kinberg explained how Marvel Studios’ dip into intergalactic fare set the stage for the latest X-Men cinematic installment, Dark Phoenix. Directed by Kinberg, the film will tackle one of the most famous stories from the X-Men’s extensive comic canon as it traces the rise and fall of Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) as her immensely powerful alter-ego, the Phoenix.

The original comic book story by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, and John Byrne featured a distinct science fiction tone. After an accident in outer space exposed her to a strange flare of cosmic radiation, Jean’s powers increased exponentially, making her one of the most powerful beings on the planet. Despite Professor X’s best efforts, the power drove her insane and made her a target of a powerful extraterrestrial race, the Shi’ar Empire. The third film in the first X-Men series, X-Men: The Last Stand, adapted some of this storyline, but left out the space-related material, resulting in a less-than-satisfying adaptation of the beloved original.

Related: Here’s How Old The X-Men Are Supposed To Be In Dark Phoenix

According to Kinberg, two recent trends in Marvel movies had a significant impact on the culmination of the reboot series that began with X-Men: First Class. He cites Logan as an influence on the film’s dark dramatic themes, but also the success of the MCU’s cosmic films as preparation to expand the X-Men universe.

“What Marvel Studios has done in terms of making these movies extraterrestrial, taking them into space with Guardians [of the Galaxy], with Thor: Ragnarok, with the Avengers movies, allowed for us to tell the Dark Phoenix story not just in the dramatic, grounded emotional ways that we’re talking about… but to also go to outer space, to have alien characters.”

Fox also premiered some new footage of Dark Phoenix at NYCC, which backs up Kinberg’s description. Most likely coming early in the film, the scenes show the X-Men attempting to rescue a group of astronauts whose shuttle has gone out of control. While the attempt is mostly successful, it results in Jean’s exposure to cosmic radiation, following the similar setup from Claremont’s comics.

That’s a reassuring sign after the all-around disappointment of X-Men: The Last Stand. Adventures in outer space have been part of the X-Men’s repertoire for decades, and it’s about time that the films started to reflect that. So far there’s been no confirmation of whether the Shi’ar will appear in the story. It’s possible that the as-yet-unnamed character played by Jessica Chastain will fill that role, but Kinberg has only hinted that she’s not “from our planet.”

With the upcoming move to Marvel Studios, this is likely to be the X-Men’s swan song at Fox (excepting perhaps the more removed The New Mutants). Despite delays that pushed the premiere back to next year, Kinberg seems confident that they’ve finally brought one of the definitive X-Men stories to the big screen in the manner it deserves. Time will tell if they’ve got it right this time.

More: Your Guide To The Best Panels At New York Comic Con 2018

Source: Simon Kinberg



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2018-10-05 08:10:23 – Michael Heerema

Bill Cosby’s Star Won’t Be Removed From Hollywood Walk of Fame

Disgraced comedy icon Bill Cosby’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame will remain in place, despite his recent sentencing. On Tuesday, Cosby was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in Pennsylvania state prison. This comes in the wake of his April conviction, in which he was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault against Andrea Constand, former athletics administrator at Temple University.

Rumors surrounding Cosby have circulated amongs those in the business for years, but it wasn’t until comedian Hannibal Buress referred to them during a stand-up show in 2014 that they became a matter of public discussion. Other women began to speak up and share their similar experiences. In 2015, Constand’s case against Cosby was reopened, which led to a mistrial in 2017, before the retrial that convicted him in 2018.

Related: Bill Cosby Sentenced to 3-10 Years in State Prison

With the former star of The Cosby Show on his way to prison, some wondered whether the star honoring him on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame would remain intact. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce gave the following statement (via Deadline) following the sentencing:

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a historical record of entertainment figures past and present. Once installed, the stars become part of the historic fabric of the Walk of Fame, a ‘designated historic cultural landmark,’ and are intended to be permanent. The stars only commemorate the recipient’s professional accomplishments. It is regrettable when the personal lives of inductees do not measure up to public standards and expectations; however, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce does not remove stars from the Walk of Fame.

As allegations against celebrities piled up in the wake of Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement, several Walk of Fame stars have been called into question. Weinstein, who has faced many charges but not yet been to court, did not ever have a star, but the choice to keep those of celebrities like actor Kevin Spacey and director Brett Ratner is one that some have criticized. But as stated, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is not in the business of removing these stars: Even the star honoring President Donald Trump (who’s been accused of sexual misconduct or assault by multiple women) remains, though it’s undergone repairs after being vandalized on more than one occasion.

Despite maintaining his star, there have been other repercussions for the actor in Hollywood. Cosby was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in May 2018, following his conviction. His only presence in the media has been for his trial – unlike other prominent figures and popular names facing allegations, there’s no chance of a post-scandal comeback for him at 81. And while his role as The Cosby Show’s patriarch will always remain an important part of TV history, his legacy will be forever tainted by his pattern of horrific crimes.

More: Bill Cosby Found Guilty of Sexual Assault By Jury

Source: Deadline



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2018-09-25 08:09:11 – Becca Bleznak

Sexy Handmaid’s Tale Costume Removed From Online Stores After Backlash

A sexy version of the titular costume from Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale was removed from a popular Halloween costume and lingerie online store following social media backlash. Yandy put the “Brave Red Maiden Costume” on sale yesterday. The overwhelmingly negative response poured in within hours.

The Emmy-awarding winning TV hit adapted from Margaret Atwood’s famous dystopian novel tells the story of a future in which women’s rights have been stripped away by a zealously pious, patriarchal, right-wing government. The series follows Offred/June (Elisabeth Moss), who like all of the few fertile women in a time marred by ecological disaster and plague, lives as a Handmaid – a women purposed for breeding and replenishing the population. The series has received wide acclaim for the chilling resonance it’s achieved by paralleling present-day political turmoil. Among the many protests that the iconic red dress and white wings outfit has been spotted at, protesters dressed as Handmaids showed up during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing earlier this month.

Related: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Officially Ordered By Hulu

Yandy put out a statement that their intentions were to support the theme of female empowerment in The Handmaid’s Tale. However, they’ve received a number of messages from people who feel that the costume sends a message to the contrary. Yandy said: “Our initial inspiration to create the piece was through witnessing its use in recent months as a powerful protest image. Given the sincere, heartfelt response, supported by numerous personal stories we’ve received, we are removing the costume from our site.” See the original costume below.

The costume was originally listed with a message imploring the wearer to “be bold and speak your mind.” It was retailed at $64.95, alongside lingerie-style Halloween costumes based on other famous female characters, such as Wonder Woman, Disney Princesses, and Jessica Rabbit. Some commentators defended the costume as a fun and ironic approach to promoting sexual freedom and empowerment. Detractors quickly pointed out that portraying characters who undergo egregious sexual assault as voluptuous completely misses the point of show itself.

Critics of the costume have expressed disbelief that Yandy launched the product, which can now be added to a long list of PR disasters resulting from tone-deaf advertisers in recent history. Kendall Jenner’s 2017 Pepsi commercial was widely panned as dismissive of police brutality concerns, while social media was quick to jump on the “Lady Doritos,” campaign as a vapid attempt to capitalize on conversations about gender equality. Costumes that are considered exploitative and inappropriate have long been contentious points of online debate. Season 1 of Netflix’s Dear White People deals with college students dressing in blackface, and the exploration of racism in academic institutions.

It’s probable that masses of people who’ve heard of The Handmaid’s Tale have yet to watch the series or read the book. Especially as Hulu invests in more projects that have constructively tackled issues of gender inequity and violence, such as the Veronica Mars revival, perhaps more viewers will be encouraged to start watching.

MORE: Hulu’s Veronica Mars Revival Confirmed, Old Episodes To Stream Summer 2019

Source: Yandy





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2018-09-21 11:09:33 – Calvin Barr