Joe Carnahan Left Bad Boys 3 Due to Creative Clashes With Will Smith

Joe Carnahan, who was set to write and direct Bad Boys for Life, left the project due to creative clashes with Will Smith. Carnahan’s departure resulted in the movie losing its 2017 release date, but it has since found its footing and will release next year. Sony has brought in rising filmmaking duo Adil El Arbi and Billal Fallah to helm the project and production on the film recently wrapped.

The original film arrived in theaters back in 1995 and a sequel followed eight years later; and though their critical reception wasn’t the best, both films were major box office successes. Bad Boys marked the feature film directional debut of Michael Bay, who is now best known for his involvement with the Transformers franchise. The film also helped launch Smith’s career, as he would go on to star in several major movies in the future. Bad Boys for Life will see Smith reunite with co-star Martin Lawrence to reprise their roles as detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett. Carnahan was attached to the project for years, but finally stepped away citing scheduling conflicts and/or creative differences as the reason. Now, Carnahan has revealed what specifically led to his departure from Bad Boys for Life.

 Related: Bad Boys 3 Has Wrapped Filming

According to ComicBook, Carnahan’s decision to leave Bad Boys for Life was due to creative clashes with Will Smith. According to Carnahan, Smith didn’t prefer his take on the film, which led to his exit from the project. Carnahan mentions that he thinks Smith is a great guy, but working with him wasn’t going well. He then mentioned that the story he envisioned and was excited to bring to life wasn’t getting made. When discussing his exit from the project, Carnahan said:

“I just know myself, man. And I thought what we were doing at that point was the law of diminishing returns. I wasn’t servicing the story that I was really excited about telling, that the studio had greenlit. And again, this isn’t to throw shade at Will it’s your face on the poster, it’s your name on the poster, you need to do things the way you want them done.”

Bad Boys for Life has faced several stumbling blocks over the years, and Carnahan’s departure was another major blow. Sony scrambled to find a replacement, and luckily two were brought on to fill in Carnahan’s role as director. And, while he has clarified what ultimately led to his departure from the project, it is not known what he and Smith specifically battled over regarding the script. Speculation about what Smith didn’t favor in the script will certainly be discussed among fans of the series, but the truth may never be made clear.

Regardless of the creative frustrations, the movie has overcome all its obstacles and production has finally wrapped. After years of wondering and waiting, the third entry in the action-comedy series is finally going to become a reality. However, once Bad Boys for Life releases next year, fans will no doubt wonder how things might have played out differently had Carnahan remained on board.

More: Bad Boys 3: Will Smith Shares Official First Look Image

Source: ComicBook

2019-04-21 04:04:18

Eric Trigg

Gemini Man CinemaCon Footage: First Look At Will Smith & Ang Lee’s Movie

Gemini Man CinemaCon footage teases Oscar-winning director Ang Lee’s upcoming sci-fi drama. The project, which had been in development for a number of years before Lee came along, stars Will Smith in what should be one of his most fascinating and challenging roles yet. In Gemini Man, Smith plays 50-year old hitman Henry, who finds himself hunted by a younger clone of himself. The likes of Clive Owen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Benedict Wong round out the ensemble.

Over the course of his career, Lee’s made a name for himself by jumping from genre to genre, trying his hand at everything from an intimate romantic drama (Brokeback Mountain) to a war drama (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk), to a spiritual tale of survival (Life of Pi). Even when Lee doesn’t quite hit the mark, his films still make for an interesting watch, so cinephiles were curious to see how Gemini Man turned out. Paramount has yet to unveil any official marketing materials, but they did screen the first bits of footage during CinemaCon.

Related: Screen Rant’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2019

At their presentation today, the studio showcased a trailer for Gemini Man. It begins with the 25-year old Henry being questioned why it’s so hard for him to kill his target. The youngster explains that whoever he’s pursuing knows his every move and then would disappear like a ghost. 25-year old Henry then learns that he’s hunting an older version of himself. Dialogue from the older Henry explains Henry was chosen for this experiment because “there’s never been anybody like me.” Owen’s character Clay Verris tells the younger Henry that he has the older version’s gifts without the pain and that he should embrace his fear. After a couple of action shots, such as a car explosion and a machine gun fight, there’s a confrontation between the two Henrys where the older one asks why they sent the younger one on this mission.

The Gemini Man footage was screened in 3D for the crowd, and attendees remarked how visually stunning it looked (including the de-aging special effects on Smith). Lee has always been one to push the boundaries of technology (many considered Life of Pi to be unfilmable before he got his hands on it), so it isn’t surprising his technical prowess is on display once more. Of course, Lee has never been one to make hollow spectacle, and it sounds like Gemini Man will have plenty of substance to balance out the style. In a taped message from Smith, he praised the film for being “an exploration of the idea of what one’s younger self can teach their older self” and described it a a blend of “nuanced related characters and some crazy action.” Some people are already comparing Gemini Man to Rian Johnson’s Looper, which definitely sounds promising.

Smith has several impressive box office hits under his belt, but more recently his filmography hasn’t been the most inspiring. Works such as Focus, Concussion, and Collateral Beauty didn’t leave much of an impression, so Smith is most certainly due for a comeback role. Hopefully, Gemini Man fits that bill for him. Lee is a two-time Academy Award winner for Best Director and has a very solid track record, all things considered. On-paper, Gemini Man has the potential to be one of 2019’s most intriguing non-franchise offerings, so ideally the proper marketing campaign will generate more hype for it.

More: Terminator: Dark Fate CinemaCon Footage Description

2019-04-04 01:04:34

Chris Agar

Aladdin CinemaCon Footage Description: Will Smith’s Genie Sings (And Raps)

Disney’s CinemaCon presentation included updates and teasers for many upcoming movies – including a five-minute clip from Aladdin in which our hero enters the Cave of Wonders and meets Will Smith’s Genie. Directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott as young lovebirds Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, Aladdin is the latest live-action remake of Disney’s animated classics, with The Lion King also still to come this year.

The marketing for Aladdin has so far been troubled by controversy and skepticism, and perhaps no aspect of it has attracted more skepticism than the Genie. Smith has the unenviable task of stepping into the curly-toed shoes of the character originally voiced by the late Robin Williams – a role that includes recreating classic songs like the Genie’s introductory number, “Friend Like Me.” We saw a glimpse of this song in the full-length trailer for Aladdin, but CinemaCon audiences got to see exactly how it has been updated for the 2019 version of the movie.

Related: Lion King CinemaCon Footage Description: Life Lessons With Mufasa

The CinemaCon footage opened with a shortened version of Aladdin’s introduction to, and exploration of, the Cave of Wonders. Jafar (played by Marwan Kenzari) promises to make Aladdin “wealthy beyond [his] wildest imagination” once he retrieves the lamp, but warns him not to touch any of the other treasures. As in the original movie, Aladdin’s pet monkey Abu doesn’t heed this morning, and lands them both in trouble. That’s when Aladdin rubs the magic lamp and the Genie bursts forth – at first putting on a deep and scary voice and addressing Aladdin as “great one who summons me,” before assuring Aladdin that he’s just kidding and launching into “Friend Like Me.”

Though not everyone who was in attendance was won over by the footage (one critic described it on Twitter as “pure nightmare fuel“) others praised it for its visual flair and creativity. “Friend Like Me” is more or less the same as in the original, except with a few extra lyrics, rap moments (the Genie even boasts about his rapping skills in the song), and a bit of Smith beatboxing. Like a lot of Disney’s “live-action” remakes, this was a very CGI-heavy sequence, but it may be lively enough to win the skeptics over.

Most of Disney’s live-action remakes have so far proven to be major hits, but this past weekend Dumbo proved that a movie cannot thrive on nostalgia alone. The Tim Burton-directed update of Disney’s 1941 classic scored a relatively meagre $45 million box office in its opening weekend (for comparison’s sake, Beauty and the Beast‘s opening weekend was $174 million). So, while all-out flops from Disney are rare these days, Aladdin is nonetheless one of the studio’s biggest box office risks of the year.

In addition to this clip from Aladdin, Disney’s CinemaCon presentation also included a brand new clip from the hotly-anticipated sequel Avengers: Endgame, and confirmation of the studio’s entire 2019 movie slate. This now includes Fox titles like Dark Phoenix and New Mutants. There are four live-action remakes in total releasing this year – Dumbo, Aladdin, The Lion King, and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil – and many more still on the way.

More: All The Live-Action Disney Remakes In Development

2019-04-03 06:04:32

Hannah Shaw-Williams

Will Smith Invites Fans to Hang Out on Set in Bad Boys for Life Contest

Will Smith is inviting fans to hang out on set in a Bad Boys For Life contest. The Bad Boys franchise began in 1995 and follows the often-chaotic lives of two Miami police detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett (played by Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, respectively). A sequel was released in 2003, with a third film, Bad Boys For Life, first announced ten years ago.

A ten-year wait for any film is certainly substantial, and there have been no small amount of delays and barriers on the road to getting the third film up and running. After the film lost director Joe Carnahan back in 2017, things continued to deteriorate for the production when it was removed altogether from Sony’s release slate. To make matters even worse for those desperate to see a third Bad Boys installment, Martin Lawrence came forward not long after the film was dropped from Sony’s release slate, revealing that he did not think another Bad Boys film would be made. As hopeless as the situation appeared to be, however, things took a sudden change for the better last spring when a start to production was finally confirmed.

Related: Bad Boys 3: Will Smith Shares Official First Look Image

Now that filming is underway on Bad Boys For Life, Smith has just taken steps to give a little something more back to fans. According to a new press release from Omaze, the famed Bad Boys star is partnering up with the online fundraising platform to help the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Each donation that fans make through Omaze to the charity will result in entries to win a trip for two to Miami (airfare and hotel provided) where they’ll meet Smith and hang out on the set of Bad Boys For Life for a day. Promoting the event as a bucket list experience, Smith posted a short video about the contest on his Instagram account, which can be viewed below:

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America is an organization that aims to give children the opportunities, focus, and life skills to better themselves and their futures. All donations made by entrants will go directly to the organization, ensuring that win or lose, something positive for all comes out of the contest. The deadline for entry is March 29, 2019 at 11:59pm Pacific Time, and unfortunately for Will Smith/Bad Boys fans around the world, the contest is only open to residents of the United States. Entrants must also be 21 or over and be able to travel to Miami on April 9, 2019.

It isn’t often that fans get a chance to spend an entire day with arguably the biggest movie star on the planet. But if there’s a downside to the contest, it’s that it’s only open to Americans. Given Smith’s superstar status, it’s clear that people from around the world would want the opportunity to take part as well. With the approximate retail value of the trip set at $2,500, one can’t help but think that it wouldn’t have cost the prize providers (in this case Smith and Omaze) much more to open it to the world, and the donations received would be drastically increased in the process. At any rate, this is certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity – whoever the lucky winner ends up being.

More: Bad Boys 3 Story Details We Learned From Character Breakdowns

Source: Omaze, Will Smith

2019-03-23 03:03:35

Mike Jones

Kevin Smith Gets Emotional Over Being Included In Captain Marvel

Warning! Mild SPOILERS for Captain Marvel

Filmmaker Kevin Smith got emotional after watching himself get referenced in Captain Marvel. Set in 1995, the new MCU film includes a Stan Lee cameo that sees comic creator reading the script for Smith’s 1995 film Mallrats, of which Lee also features in an extended cameo.

Throughout the 1960s, Lee served as Marvel’s primary creative lead and co-created now-iconic characters like Black Panther, Ant-Man, Thor, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four. Last November, Lee passed away at the age of 95, thus leading Smith and other filmmakers to publicly express their grief. The MCU’s latest film, Captain Marvel includes plenty of Easter eggs to appreciate in the film, the inclusion of Lee is significant given his recent death. For Smith, it’s even more special given the connection to his cinematic past. 

Related: Secret Stan Lee Cameos You Definitely Missed In Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

On Twitter, Smith posted an emotional message after watching Captain Marvel, complete with an up close image of the filmmaker himself. In just four sentences, Smith communicates a load of information about his love for the movies, his appreciation for Stan Lee, his understanding of the MCU, and the shock at being referenced in a movie other than his own. Check out the full tweet below:

In the photo, Smith’s eyes appear to be welling up, with his facial expression communicating gratitude and bittersweet joy. The filmmaker ends his tweet by referencing the 2018 MCU film Avengers: Infinity War, and most notably the infamous snap from the villain, Thanos, wondering – did the MCU’s Kevin Smith survive the Decimation?

For Smith, it’s been a trying decade as a filmmaker, as his last three movies performed poorly at the box office: Red State (2011), Tusk (2014), and Yoga Hosers (2016). Smith also suffered a massive heart attack in 2018. With that said, the director appears to be moving forward with his career, as he’s currently making a Jay & Silent Bob reboot and recently appeared as himself on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. In 1994, Smith released the breakthrough indie hit Clerks, and followed that up with the 1995 film Mallrats, of which Captain Marvel references.

As the mind behind the View Askewniverse, Kevin Smith’s cinematic legacy is secure. Now, he’s been directly connected to the MCU, and the Stan Lee correlation unsurprisingly resonated deeply with the American director.

More: Snyder’s Justice League Trilogy Plan: What Kevin Smith Got Right (& Wrong)

Source: Kevin Smith

2019-03-09 12:03:34

Q.V. Hough

Aladdin: Why Will Smith’s Genie Isn’t Blue Yet (And Why That’s OK)

The sneak peek at Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin reveals a distinct lack of blue in the new design for the Genie, but that’s no surprise – nor is it a bad thing. As The Walt Disney Company continue their recent and highly profitable trend of live-action remakes of their animated classics, it seemed inevitable that 1992’s Aladdin would receive the same treatment. The film, directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, was a key part of the Disney Renaissance of the ‘90s and was the highest-grossing film of its year. Its soundtrack won Grammys and Oscars, the film’s more joke-driven comedic approach, as defined by star Robin Williams, sent Disney in a new creative direction, and the property has found new life in the passing decades through straight-to-video sequels and a Tony Award-winning Broadway adaptation. Given the mighty success of 2017’s remake of Beauty and the Beast and the inevitable juggernaut that will be The Lion King, Aladdin was always going to join the live-action remake ranks.

Entertainment Weekly’s first look at Aladdin, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Will Smith as the Genie, reveals some key changes to the highly distinctive style of the animated film. Chiefly, the Genie is no longer blue. Given how these Disney remakes tend to be slavishly devoted to recreating every minute detail of the original animated films, this feels like an interesting deviation from the material. Aside from a lavish costume – blue, of course – and new hair and beard, the Genie is still distinctly Will Smith. And that may be the point.

Related: Aladdin Teaser Trailer Breakdown: 8 Hidden Secrets & Live-Action Reveals

Stylistically, the look of the Genie in these images, and indeed the costuming in general, seems to have more in common with the Broadway show than the film. There, the lack of blue makes sense from a practicality stand-point in terms of stage work; even Disney doesn’t have the budgets of provisions to mount eight shows a week with a high-tech version of the Genie. Of course, on film, one would think they’d be keener to lean into the technological aspect for a live-action remake. Part of the appeal of these films is supposed to be translating what could previously only be done in animation to live-action glory, after all. However, that’s not what Will Smith’s Genie is about, at least not yet.

So, yes, Will Smith will be blue at some point in the film. The actor took to Instagram to reaffirm that he is “gonna be BLUE” in the film, with EW suggesting the effects were simply not done. Neither elaborated further on whether he would be blue throughout or just in certain scenes. It could be that Ritchie and Disney haven’t nailed down the post-production CGI yet for the character and are still working on it or they may be saving it for a big reveal (perhaps when Jafar gains control of the Genie, he turns blue under his evil command).

What that means is that this is more about getting Smith’s face out there than it is showcasing the full extent of Aladdin‘s Genie character, which has obvious advantages. Will Smith has had a bumpy few years with some notable flops to his name but he’s still one of the biggest stars on the planet. He’s a bona fide A-Lister whose international clout has not diminished all that much in the interim decades he’s been a Hollywood star. And he’s just what Aladdin needs.

So far, this is a film Disney may have trouble selling even to nostalgic masses: the inclusion of white actor Billie Magnussen in a key role as well as the choice to hire a non-Middle Eastern Anglo Indian actress, Naomi Scott, to play Princess Jasmine, have caused much controversy, as has the decision to hire white extras and apply brown make-up to them, something Disney tried to explain by claiming it only happened “in a handful of instances.” More fundamentally, the choice of Guy Ritchie for the film’s director proved puzzling to many. Out of all the Disney live-action remakes on their roster, Aladdin feels like the least secure bet. Because of that, Disney will want to do what they can to ensure its success, and having one of the biggest celebrities on the planet, one who is universally adored and has a history of making big bucks at the box office, is its own form of insurance. Getting him out in just a basic costume can be enough.

Will Smith is at his best when he is allowed to be effervescent in his charisma. His most beloved performances are from films where he’s been given free rein to crack one-liners and dominate the screen with his goofy action man physicality. In that sense, he feels like a natural fit for the Genie, a part that was such an open stage for its original star, Robin Williams, to be himself. So much of Aladdin as a whole rests on the Genie, so Smith will have his work cut out. The lack of blue could be the least of his worries.

Next: All The Live-Action Disney Remakes In Development

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2018-12-19 02:12:41

21 Wild Details Behind The Making Of Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Mr. & Mrs. Smith became a stand-out among the typical espionage-focused action films. Though often compared to the popular couple spy movie True Lies, the film managed to hold its own by taking the concept into a more developed direction. From its conception, Mr. & Mrs. Smith was planned as a movie about a failing marriage that happened to be a spy flick. The mix of romance, comedy, and action created a story about one couple’s journey to fix their relationship and (unknowingly) try to take each other out.

Both Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt brought the star power and action movie experience to the film, bringing the Smiths to life onscreen. Although the film did manage to run over budget, the box office sales from the film more than made up for the over expense. Running on a budget of $126 million, the worldwide box office total landed at over $487 million. The birth of “Brangelina” greatly overshadowed the movie both during filming and at release. Fans became more interested in the gossip surrounding the stars than the film itself. Sadly, several interviews and features focused only on the relationship and little on the movie itself. This legacy will always remain with the film for years to come.

Though several attempts have been made to extend the movie into an established franchise, the standalone film remains as the only glimpse into the life of John and Jane Smith. We will reveal more details behind the movie’s development, filming, and its future.

From the real-life inspirations for the film to the controversy over geographical misrepresentation, here are 21 Wild Details Behind the Making of Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

21 Brad Pitt Dropped Out Because of His Co-star

The casting for Mr. & Mrs. Smith required two big-name Hollywood stars who would not only be believable as action stars but a married couple as well. Once the project was green-lit, their casting team landed on Oscar-winner star Nicole Kidman and Brad Pitt to helm the film.

Unfortunately, Kidman could not keep the role. She ran into scheduling conflicts while filming for The Stepford Wives. All plans for the film came to a halt when she dropped out of the picture. Soon after, Pitt also declined to take part in the film, hoping to work with Kidman on the project. The cast directors had to start from scratch to find their second best choices for the romantic leads.

20 Gwen Stefani Almost Landed The Lead Role 

It might be hard to imagine any other stars besides Jolie and Pitt playing the titular roles of the film. Between their onscreen chemistry and action movie experience, they became the perfect couple to play married spies. However, No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani shared with Vogue that her chances of getting the lead role were pretty good. She stated, “It was between me and Angelina Jolie, and I’m like, ‘Oh, great. I got a shot here.’”

She further elaborated on the experience on The Howard Stern Show: “I feel like I almost got it… I went to a bunch [of auditions] … [It was] very competitive and I wanted to do it, but I wanted to do music more.”

19 Pitt came back to the movie because of Angelina Jolie

After Kidman and Pitt dropped out, the production team began their search alternatives for the roles. Director Doug Liman continued to search for an onscreen couple that would work best in the action film. Additional considerations for the parts included Catherine Zeta-Jones and Will Smith. Both stars had excellent backgrounds in action films and the star appeal to bring the audiences to the theaters.

Liman expanded his search to include other possible candidates. The coupling of Johnny Depp and Cate Blanchett also became an option. However, the casting crew eventually landed on Angelia Jolie to play the role of Jane Smith. Thankfully, once her name became attached to the project, Pitt decided to come back to the cast.

18 Jolie was a Single Mom During Filming

One of the biggest stories surrounding Jolie’s personal life involved her marriage to actor Billy Bob Thornton. The couple married after only two months of dating and became one of the most unusual couples in Hollywood. Back in 2002, the couple jointly announced that they had decided to adopt a child. Jolie became the adoptive mother of seven-month-old orphan Maddox. Though this seemed to begin the start of their family together, the couple inevitably split three months later.

By the time the filming for Mr. & Mrs. Smith began, Jolie worked on the project as a single mother, given that they divorced back in 2003.

17 Jolie’s failed marriages inspired her role

Jolie decided to join the cast of the film for very specific reasons. Although the $20 million paycheck may have also been a motivator, she claimed that certain aspects of the role itself motivated her to accept the offer. In an interview with Vanity Fair, she explained how her “two failed marriages” to actor Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton helped her to connect to the role. She said, “It was a study in partnership and the things that go wrong and the things we fight through,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s: Can they work as a team? And do they have each other’s back?”

In addition, she told Extra that Jane’s ability to be so closed off and detached, aspects of her own personality, added to her interest in playing the role.

16 Director Doug Liman Clashed With Jolie

The onset drama that took place behind the scenes was not limited to gossip about Jolie and Pitt’s relationship. Sometimes Jolie and director Doug Liman clashed on set due to conflicting options about a scene. He stated, “When I was shooting a scene on Mr. & Mrs. Smith and I had one idea of how the scene should play out… Angelina Jolie had a different idea. I said, ‘OK, we could sit here and argue, but we’re wasting time, let’s just shoot it both ways’. And she was like, ‘But, then you’ll just use your way, in the editing room.’ And I was like, well, I am the director. I might. But I’m going to use the way that’s actually best for the movie. I have no ego in this.”

Clearly they worked it out, as the movie was a huge hit.

15 Brad Pitt paused filming to shoot Ocean’s 12

The production of Mr. & Mrs. Smith did hit a few issues with filming. One of the major involved the budget. Given Liman’s laid-back direction style, there were times when last-minute changes would be made to a filming schedule or location. Sometimes, the change came due to the looming paparazzi and the possibility of their interrupting the shoot. On other occasions, Liman simply couldn’’ make up his mind on how he wanted a scene to be shot. These delays, however, ended up affecting Pitt on his next production, Ocean’s 12.

In fact, the Smith filming became so delayed that scheduling overlapped into the Ocean’s shoot. Pitt had to leave the set for three months to film for his next movie, halting production of the current movie until he returned. The delay only added to the budget of the film.

14 Jolie’s Love Of Knives Helped With Filming

On occasion, an actor’s interest or hobbies outside of acting have helped in their performance onscreen. Some examples would be knowing how to ride horseback, ballroom dance, or even knowledge of martial arts. In the case of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Jolie’s usual penchant for knives helped in her preparation to be an onscreen spy. She actually had quite a collection already, many weapons she had procured while in Cambodia.

Jolie even had a room in her home in the UK dedicated to their storage and display. She also admitted to Vanity Fair that she already knew how to throw them as well. It was the perfect skill for her onscreen battles– kind of makes horseback riding a little less impressive, don’t you think?

13 Pitt and Jolie’s On-Set Gun Competitions

In the film, Jane and John Smith work for rival companies and have been assigned to eliminate one another. Their competitiveness to succeed in this task resulted in some amazing confrontations and action scenes. That same rivalry existed between Jolie and Pitt as they filmed the movie. Both stars took lessons in gun training to perfect their portrayal of seasoned spies.

Jolie explained “We went to gun training, which is actually one of the most dangerous things two actors can do. We would go to rifle ranges and actually compete with each other.” In addition, they use live ammunition in their gunplay, so the two stars learned how to work together effectively, helping them learn to trust one another.

12 Angelina Performed The Window Jump Stunt Herself

When faced with complicated stunt work and action sequences, some stars have no problem with taking a backseat and letting profession stunt workers take over. However, some actors just like to challenge themselves with completing their own stunts, adding to their credibility as an action star.

During one iconic, Jolie escaped a hotel room by taking a 40-story leap out of a window. She spoke about the scene with The Today Show: “I happened to get this stunt that suited me. But, yeah, I was a little unsure about something the first time I went down and my coat flew off and I thought, “Oh, I have no pants on. I have no pants on and there’s just a crowd of people on the floor.”

11 There Were Over 40 Different Endings Written For The Film

Although the overall development of the script for Mr. & Mrs. Smith had been completed long before production started, director Liman seemed unhappy with the way it ended. He gathered a team of writers to create numerous alternate endings for the film– as many as 50 endings.

Though this may seem a bit extreme, the director has actually become known for such over-the-top actions. According to The LA Times, he built a set for the movie using his own money in his mother’s garage in NY. After filming concluded, he destroyed it with a hand grenade. However, in the case of Mr. and Mrs. Smith‘s ending, Limon’s extreme measure didn’t pan out. They decided to keep the ending as described in the original script.

10 Paparazzi Had To be Digitally Removed From The Film

Due to its A-list Hollywood headliners and the rumors of an on-set romance, the paparazzi kept a close eye on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Flocking to any on-location filming, the cameras would follow the stars’ every move. Although the actors are used to such intense scrutiny, the presence of the paparazzi actually affected the filming of the movie.

Producer Akiva Goldsman shared with the New York Post that, “There were armies of paparazzi lining the highway… It was impossible to stop them.” The problem became so bad that some of the press made it into the movie unintentionally. In fact, it was reported that the paparazzi had to be “digitally removed” from the final version of the film.

9 The Failed TV Spin-Off 

The box office success of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, along with praise from critics and audiences led producers to find new ways to expand on the franchise. Several attempts were made to bring the spy vs. spy marriage to more viewers via television.

In 2007, the series was put to pilot for ABC, with Simon Kinberg returning as writer and Liman stepping back into the director role. The show would take place six months after the conclusion of the movie. Instead of Jolie and Pitt, the roles of the lead characters were played by Jordana Brewster and Martin Henderson. However, the charisma of the original film didn’t transfer to the TV series. In the end, ABC decided not to commission the series, resulting in only the unsold pilot being produced.

8 The Ideas For The Sequel Just Weren’t Good Enough

Given the success of the original film and the added fame due to it being the origin of “Brangelina,” the popularity of Mr. & Mrs. Smith soared. Even after its debut, fans wanted to see the new Hollywood couple portray the characters again. Plans began to move the single film into a franchise with a sequel being developed to continue the Smiths’ story. Unfortunately, writers could not develop a story that met with its stars’ approval.

Jolie shared the details of the sequel that never came to fruition: “We did ask somebody to look into Mr. & Mrs. to see if they could crack a sequel, but there wasn’t anything original. It was just, ‘Well, they’re going to get married, or they’ve got kids, or they get separated.’ Never great.”

7 Keeping Up with the Joneses

In 2010, Regency Enterprises invested in developing a prequel to the original movie. With its development coming five years after the release of the original movie, the new project would not involve the original stars. In addition, the only member of the original production team to join the project would be returning producer Akiva Goldsman.

Titled Keeping Up with The Joneses, the film would explore how the lives of the two spies after graduating from agency training. However, details for the project ceased after the initial announcement. In 2016, a film by the same name released from 20th Century Fox. Although the film bore similarities to the original project, with married couples working as spies, the film did not have any connections to the original movie.

6 The First Original Ending

The determination of director Liman to find the perfect ending for the film results in countless 40+ endings being produced. Thanks to the team of writers assigned to the task, the production team had many alternate ending to test out. Although the original conclusions in the script seemed satisfactory, Liman wanted to explore his options for the best conclusion to the spy flick.

With the characters of John and Jane finally deciding to work together, Liman considered having the two spies finally confront the “villains” behind the entire scheme. One of the original endings of the series involved them finally facing their enemies, played by actress Jacqueline Bisset (also Jolie’s godmother) and actor Terence Stamp. In the end, this version of the ending was scrapped.

5 Carrie Fisher Was One Of The Writers

For many fans, the onscreen fame of Carrie Fisher hit its peak when she played Princess Leia in the Star Wars movie franchise. Although this became her most recognizable role of her film career, Fisher actually had an extensive role in Hollywood that stretched beyond the acting realm. Her writing career also played a significant part in her showbiz career.

Not only did she writing the semi-autobiographical novel Postcards from the Edge, but she had an extensive career in screenplay doctoring. She wrote for several famous films– many uncredited– including Hook, Coyote Ugly, Sister Act, and Scream 3. In fact, Fisher actually served as one of the writers recruited to create one of 40+ ending written for Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

4 The Voice Only Parts

In yet another attempt to conclude the film, Liman decided to replace the original villains with two other stars. In place of Bisset and Stamp, he employed Angela Bassett and Keith David. Their official inclusion in the series was even announced, with their additions coming at the end of the movie’s production. Even though the characters were filmed for their scenes, their appearance never made it out of the cutting room.

In an interview with EW, Liman explained, “It was important to not give it that resolution. Because if you think about a relationship, there is no point at which you suddenly defeat the forces of antagonism.” Only the voices of the two stars remained in the film as the rival bosses.

3 Getting Bogotá all wrong

In the film, audiences witnessed the couple’s first meeting while on a trip to Bogotá, Columbia. They shared an immediate attraction upon meeting and eventually fell in love and married soon after. Although the setting appeared to be the perfect setting for their budding romance, the backdrop for their love story came under heavy criticism.

The film’s depiction of Bogotá made the city appear to be a small city in the jungle. In reality, the capital city is heavily urbanized with a population over 7 million. Then-Mayor of Bogotá Luis Eduardo Garzón and the national leader both criticized the film for its inaccurate depiction of their city. They even sent a letter to Liman and producer Arnon Milchan expressing their concerns.

2 The Idea Originated From Real-Life Marriage Therapy

The idea for the script for the film came from a personal source for screenwriter Simon Kinberg. He came up with the idea not from previous romance spy flicks, but from real-life situations. He didn’t have friends working in espionage, but he did have a few who experienced some rocky issues in their marriage.

According to an article in the Omaha World-Herald, Kinberg stated that the discussions of two friends about marriage counseling triggered the early concept of the movie. He explained, “The way they were talking about it sounded kind of aggressive and mercenary… And I just thought it would make an interesting template for a relationship inside of an action film.” That’s a pretty creative leap from marriage counseling to mercenaries for hire.

1 The Original Script was Kinberg’s Thesis for His MFA

Kinberg, who was born in London, England, came to the US to complete his higher education. He attended Brown University and graduated magna cum laude with a degree focus on film and literature. For his masters, he switched to Columbia University to obtain an MFA. During this time in school, he began working on the storyline for Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Interestingly, the development of the script had a significant impact on his education.

The Guardian reported that the screenplay for the film became his “final thesis project” for his degree. In addition to finding inspiration from his friends’ experiences, he also became motivated by Hong Kong action movies. He shared that such films “were cool, sleek… and kinetic, and all that became the impetus and framework for my original draft.”

Do you have any other trivia to share about Mr. & Mrs. Smith? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-12-05 04:12:21

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

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

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

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

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

20 Christina Ricci As Harley Quinn

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

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

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

19 Joaquin Phoenix As The Joker

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

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

18 Neil Patrick Harris As The Riddler

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

Harris as the Riddler is pure gold.

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

17 Manu Bennett As Deathstroke

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

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

16 Sophie Turner As Oracle

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

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

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

15 Oprah Winfrey As Amanda Waller

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

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

14 Will Smith As Deadshot

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

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

13 Jeffrey Dean Morgan As Batman

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

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

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

12 Rila Fukushima As Katana

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

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

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

11 Emma Stone As Poison Ivy

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

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

10 Kristen Wiig As Cheetah

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

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

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

9 Nathalie Emmanuelle As Vixen

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

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

8 Jake Gyllenhaal As The Riddler

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

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

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

7 Dave Bautista As Bane

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

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

6 Michael K. Williams As Black Manta

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

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

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

5 Bill Skarsgård As The Joker

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

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

4 Teresa Palmer As Killer Frost

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

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

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

3 Jon Bernthal as Rick Flag

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

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

2 Josh Gad As The Penguin

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

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

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

1 Margot Robbie As Harley Quinn

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

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

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

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2018-10-11 02:10:45 – Sara Schmidt

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween Review – A Pretty Slappy Sequel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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2018-10-10 01:10:58 – Sandy Schaefer

Suicide Squad Director Supports James Gunn For Sequel

Suicide Squad director David Ayer supports the hiring of James Gunn for Suicide Squad 2. Warner Bros. and DC found varying degrees of success with the first Suicide Squad movie. The film grossed nearly $750 million worldwide, despite extremely negative reviews. The criticisms largely fell on the shoulders of its director David Ayer. But, WB still expressed interest in working with him on a Harley Quinn spinoff Gotham City Sirens, while Gavin O’Connor was originally hired to direct Task Force X’s sequel.

O’Connor quietly left the project recently, leaving the job open for the taking, and the latest report says fired Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn will write and possibly direct. The news came with reports that this won’t be a true sequel, and could instead see Gunn bring his own style, tone, and cast to the film. Some fans are understandably upset that WB may be willing to throw away everything from the first film, but Ayer isn’t.

Related: James Gunn Is Better Suited For Suicide Squad Than Guardians

A fan asked Ayer on Twitter for his thoughts on Gunn’s hiring, and the report that he could basically do whatever he wants. Instead of Ayer firing back at WB for potentially wiping away what he brought to Suicide Squad’s characters and their universe, he feels like Gunn is an excellent choice, and that this move overall is great for DC.

This could obviously be a difficult scenario for fans of the first Suicide Squad. Although it wasn’t perfect, plenty still found the movie to be quite enjoyable, thanks in large part to the titular characters. Gunn potentially restarting the franchise with a brand new cast would eliminate any character work and relationships from before. But, one has to respect Ayer for voicing this opinion, even if it means years of his own work may have been for nought.

Before fans get too upset with the possibility of Gunn’s relaunch, it’s best to wait for official details to come out. The reboot report had no details on what that would entail, so it’s still possible that some of the more well-received characters could return. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Will Smith’s Deadshot are the two most likely candidates to remain, while Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang, Joel Kinneman’s Rick Flag, Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller, or Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Killer Croc could all return too. Even if none of them do, and Gunn starts from scratch completely with the characters, mythology, and so on, Ayer’s support will hopefully go a long way in calming any sections of the fanbase that may not be thrilled with where Suicide Squad 2 could be heading.

MORE: DC Characters Who Should Join Suicide Squad 2’s Team

Source: David Ayer

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2018-10-09 05:10:13 – Cooper Hood