Yes, Far From Home’s [SPOILER] Really Was In Iron Man 1


Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS for Spider-Man: Far From Home ahead.

Mysterio’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) elaborate deceitful plan involved several people to pull off in Spider-Man: Far From Home, apparently including one pivotal member who previously appeared in Iron Man – but did he really? After the events of Avengers: Endgame, Far From Home is the public’s first glimpse at a post-Thanos Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and the rest of the world mourns the death of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), the young hero won’t have the luxury of time as he’s thrust into a new mission.

Recruited by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to fight the so-called Elemental creatures, Spider-Man reluctantly joins in and teams up with Quentin Beck/Mysterio – a hero from another dimension who traveled to Peter’s Earth through an inter dimensional portal that opened up after Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) snap in Avengers: Infinity War. But fans of the comic books knew better than to blindly trust anything that Beck says considering his conniving ways from the comic books. As it turns out, everything was part of Mysterio’s evil plan to get ahold of the E.D.I.T.H. technology. This way, Beck can continue to project himself as an Avengers-type of hero. Like Spider-Man: Homecoming‘s Vulture (Michael Keaton), Mysterio is fueled by his grudge against Stark, as are his cohorts. But there’s one specific member of his team that fans have previously seen in an Iron Man film.

Related: All 8 Spider-Man Movies Ranked (Including Far From Home)

William Ginter Riva was the primary technical guy for Mysterio in Far From Home. He controlled the drones that created the illusions for their fake Elementals and he also provided tech support to Mysterio while they both orchestrated these made-up threats behind-the-scenes. Some fans who have been an avid fan of the MCU may find Riva quite familiar. It’s because he was the same, poor scientist that Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) chastised for not being able to re-create the Iron Man mini arc-reactor which Stark made “in a cave! With a box of scraps!” This is something that Beck pointed out during his creative expository scene – and it was true.

The character is played by Peter Billingsley, who was also the Ralphie Parker from 1983’s A Christmas Story. The 48-year-old is a close friend of Jon Favreau, hence why he’s appeared in a handful of the filmmaker’s projects. In fact, Billingsley even had a executive producer credit for Iron Man. After Riva’s appearance in the 2008 film, there was no word about his whereabouts until now. Far From Home didn’t reveal how he came together with Beck to carry out the ruse in 2024. But since Beck was still with Stark Industries until 2016, as he was involved in the creation of the B.AR.F. (Binarily Augmented Retro-Framing), there’s a chance that they both met at the company at that point.

Mysterio may be dead in the MCU, but the rest of his crew, particularly Riva, is still around. That means, that there is a chance that he’ll factor in future Spider-Man adventures moving forward. It seems like he has a hand behind the identity of the web-slinging hero revealed at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. But with previous access to E.D.I.T.H., not to mention that he was wasn’t outed in the film, he could cause more damage in the franchise if he teams up again with another prominent villain.

More: Every Marvel Movie Coming After Spider-Man: Far From Home

2019-07-08 03:07:23

Ana Dumaraog

Who Plays [SPOILER] In Avengers: Endgame?

WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for Avengers: Endgame.

Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame features the surprise appearance of real-life Jarvis, but for fans not well-versed in the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, Edwin Jarvis is played by James D’Arcy. Jarvis (or J.A.R.V.I.S.) was originally introduced in the MCU during 2008’s Iron Man, where the “character” was Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) personal user interface computer system. Among other things, Jarvis helps Tony in his workshop to build the Iron Man suit, then becomes the U.I. inside the suit itself. Over the course of the films, Jarvis becomes integrated with the Mind Stone and evolves into the Vision android in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Paul Bettany, who voiced Jarvis in the MCU movies, also plays Vision.

However, as the Marvel films saw Jarvis evolve into Vision, the television side of the MCU provided Jarvis’ back story and revealed the interface was inspired by Howard Stark’s (Dominic Cooper) personal butler Edwin Jarvis. In the Agent Carter prequel TV show, Jarvis appeared as a main character, assisting Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) in her various missions for the Strategic Scientific Reserve. For Avengers: Endgame, Marvel dug into its own TV roots for a special Jarvis appearance.

Related: Marvel Movie Timeline: A Complete History Of The MCU

When Tony and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) travel back to 1970 in order to get the Tesseract/Space Stone and more Pym Particles in order to return to the present, Tony runs across a younger version of his father, played by John Slattery. The two share some touching moments talking about fatherhood, and Tony gets some closure to his troubled relationship with Howard. At the end of this sequence, Howard gets into his car, and standing beside it is his butler Jarvis, played by Agent Carter’s own James D’Arcy.

MCU fans who have only watched the movies – or, at least, those who didn’t watch Agent Carter – may not realize the connection between Howard’s butler and the larger universe. But in fact, D’Arcy appearing as Jarvis in Avengers: Endgame is the first instance of an actor cast specifically in a Marvel TV role making the jump to the MCU movies. Fans have been calling for the likes of Daredevil and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to team up with the Avengers, but while Endgame didn’t deliver on those particular fan wishes, the movie does acknowledge at least one TV character.

Jarvis’ appearance in Endgame also further confirms the character’s life-long tie to the Stark family. Although Howard loaned Jarvis out to Peggy Carter in the 40s, he’s still very much a trusted ally to Howard in the 70s. It further cements why Tony’s user interface is named Jarvis, because Jarvis was such an important part of Howard, then Tony’s life. Bringing Jarvis to life, and having Agent Carter’s D’Arcy play him, is a good way to honor the character as well as the TV side of the MCU in Avengers: Endgame.

Next: Yes, You Should See Avengers: Endgame In IMAX

2019-04-25 08:04:36

Molly Freeman

How Captain America Is Able To [SPOILER] In Avengers: Endgame

WARNING: Major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.

Captain America lifted Mjolnir in Avengers: Endgame – but just how does it work? The third act of Avengers: Endgame was easily the most gripping action sequence in the entire MCU to date, as the Avengers Trinity faced off against Thanos at last. Steve Rogers has always been an unusual figure among these three heroes; Tony Stark is a genius who by now is wearing what’s surely his most powerful armor yet, while Thor is a literal god. Captain America may be a super-soldier, but his powers pale in comparison to his allies’ abilities.

And yet, to Thanos’ surprise, Captain America proves able to hold his own. He does this by picking up Mjolnir, proving himself worthy. What follows is a stunning fight, as Steve Rogers blends his own tactical acumen with the power of the God of Thunder. From that point on, Captain America becomes one of the Avengers’ heavy hitters, much to Thor’s delight.

Related: Avengers: Endgame’s Ending & Marvel Movie Future Explained In Detail

It’s important to remember that Mjolnir was blessed with a double-enchantment by Odin. The first is that only someone who is truly “worthy” has the ability to wield Mjolnir. The second, as Steve Rogers proved in Avengers: Endgame, is that anyone who picks up the hammer possesses the power of Thor. So why was Captain America worthy?

Why Captain America Is Worthy To Wield Mjolnir In Avengers: Endgame

The theme of “worthiness” lies at the heart of the Thor trilogy. In 2011’s Thor, the God of Thunder proved he was unworthy to take the throne of Asgard when he committed an act of war that would potentially lead to the deaths of millions. His concern was for his own glory, for the thrill of battle, and not for the good of the Nine Realms. That was when Odin stripped Thor of his powers, and placed the worthiness enchantment upon Mjolnir. By the end of the film, Thor had proved himself worthy when he was willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of those he loved. This principle was extended in Thor: The Dark World, when the God of Thunder was again willing to stand as a champion – this time not just for those he loved, but for the entire Nine Realms. The Realms saw Thor battle against Malekith, and acknowledged him as a worthy king.

In the MCU, then, the worthiness enchantment is tied to a person’s willingness to stand up for others – no matter the cost. This is pretty much the same principle as the comics, where Mjolnir has been lifted by a number of other key figures in the past, most notably Jane Foster. Jane was dying of cancer, and every time she transformed into the female Thor it reversed the effect of her chemotherapy; and yet she continued to act as a hero, irrespective of the cost. She was willing to sacrifice everything for the good of others, even for the Asgardians who distrusted and reviled her, and as a result she was worthy.

Avengers: Endgame confirms that Steve Rogers, too, is worthy. This shouldn’t really be much of a surprise; Captain America’s entire life has been a demonstration of self-sacrificial heroism, even before he became a super-soldier. Rogers was unwilling to sit the Second World War out, not because he sought glory and recognition, but because he yearned to make a difference. At the end of Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve Rogers was even willing to give his own life to protect New York City from Hydra’s bombs. Instead of dying, he awoke from cryogenic suspension 70 years later, and ever since he’s been on the front lines, battling to keep others safe. In Avengers: Endgame, the stakes are higher than ever before, and Captain America is risking his own life to literally bring back half the lives in the universe – whatever it takes.

Related: Ragnarok Revealed The Real Reason Odin Stripped Thor Of His Power

Did Captain America Already Lift Mjolnir In Avengers: Age Of Ultron?

Curiously enough, this is the second time in the MCU that Captain America has attempted to lift Mjolnir. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, there’s an entertaining scene in which the Avengers attempt to pick up Thor’s hammer. The God of Thunder watches, prideful and amused, right up until the moment Steve Rogers makes an attempt. To Thor’s shock, Mjolnir actually moves just a fraction.

Taken at face value, the scene appears to suggest that – at least in Avengers: Age of Ultron – Steve Rogers was almost worthy, but not quite. Avengers: Endgame suggests another explanation, though; that back in 2015, Captain America felt Mjolnir shift in his hands, and chose not to pick it up. Perhaps he saw the look on Thor’s face, and realized his friend would be devastated that a mortal was able to lift Mjolnir. That makes sense; Captain America is a lot less prideful than the rest of the Avengers, and he doesn’t really feel the same need to prove himself to others. But in Avengers: Endgame, with Thor being defeated by Thanos, Steve knows he has no choice. He picks up Mjolnir, claiming the power of Thor for himself, and using it against the Mad Titan. By this time Thor’s lost a lot of his pride, and as a result he’s thrilled to see that Steve Rogers is worthy.

Captain America Has Lifted Mjolnir In The Comics

There have been several occasions when Captain America lifted Mjolnir in the comics. The most famous was in The Mighty Thor #390, at a time when Rogers had abandoned the Captain America identity and just called himself “The Captain.” Thor paid a visit to Avengers Mansion, and was somewhat shocked at a very different Avengers team. His visit coincided with an attack by Seth, the Egyptian God of Death, and soon he was battling alongside the Avengers against Seth’s armies. In one scene, Thor was knocked down and Mjolnir was flung from his grasp; to everybody’s surprise, the Captain picked it up and wielded it before tossing it straight back to the God of Thunder. It happened again in 2011’s Fear Itself event, when Thor was killed by his malevolent uncle, the Serpent. Steve Rogers – who had only recently returned from the dead and reclaimed the Captain America mantle – grabbed Mjolnir and summoned the lightning as he uttered that famous battlecry: “Avengers assemble!”

Leaving aside one strange, controversial example from “Secret Empire” – it involved a warped version of reality – there have only been these two occasions where Captain America has used Mjolnir in the comics. It happens in the worst of situations, when all seems lost, and it’s as spectacular a demonstration of Steve’s character as it is of the power of Thor. That now seems to be true in the MCU as well.

More: Avengers: Endgame’s Post-Credits Surprise Explained

2019-04-25 06:04:22

Thomas Bacon

Who Was That At Avengers: Endgame’s [SPOILER]?

Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Avengers: Endgame.

Avengers: Endgame ended on a solemn note with Tony Stark’s funeral, and people have been wondering who the seemingly random kid/teenager was standing in the back. Starting with Jon Favreau’s Iron Man and ending with Anthony and Joe Russo’s Avengers: Endgame, Robert Downey Jr. has had quite the journey playing the Marvel superhero Iron Man on the big screen for the past 11 years – and since he’s not returning to the MCU after this film, it appeared that his story could only end one way: in death.

In order to bring the story full circle, Iron Man managed to snag the Infinity Stones away from Thanos and use them to wipe out the Mad Titan and his time-traveling army of Outriders, Black Order, and more. But using the power of all six Infinity Stones was too much for Tony Stark to handle, and so, he died shortly thereafter. Giving audiences the chance to grieve Iron Man’s death, Avengers: Endgame‘s final minutes contained a touching funeral for Tony. And characters from all corners of the MCU showed up for it.

Related: Avengers: Endgame Doesn’t Have A Post-Credits Scene (But DON’T Leave)

Everyone from Happy Hogan and Nick Fury (who inducted Iron Man into the Avengers) to Aunt May and Spider-Man, the Avengers: Endgame funeral scene featured one of the biggest ensembles in the MCU’s history, and that included a surprising returning character: Harley Keener. For those who may not remember, Harley Keener was the kid Tony Stark befriends in Shane Black’s Iron Man 3. Ty Simpkins reprised his role as Harley in the Avengers: Endgame funeral scene, but audiences may not easily recognize him since he’s grown quite a bit since Iron Man 3 released in 2013.

Simpkins’ role in Avengers: Endgame was previously rumored due to his name appearing in the cast sheet for the movie on IMDb. But since IMDb listings for movies that haven’t released yet aren’t always accurate, the rumor wasn’t taken too seriously. Obviously, Simpkins did return in Avengers: Endgame, but now that Tony Stark is gone, it’s unlikely that he’ll return once again. It’s, unfortunately, the same for many characters who came back in this year’s team-up movie.

Since Avengers: Endgame marks the end of the Infinity Saga, and sees several core MCU characters retire from the big screen, many characters who previously died on-screen returned thanks to the time travel plot, including Alexander Pierce, Howard Stark, Loki, and several more. But the one character that people were perhaps most confused about is Ty Simpkins’ Harley Keener.

Next: How Much Did Avengers: Endgame REALLY Cost To Make?

2019-04-25 04:04:51

Mansoor Mithaiwala

American Gods Killed [SPOILER] (But It Was More Epic Than The Books)

Warning: This article contains SPOILERS from American Gods episode “Treasure of the Sun”.

American Gods, season 2, episode 7, “Treasure of the Sun,” has given the character of Mad Sweeney a far more epic death than he received in the original book. This is somewhat strange given the care the series took in developing the leprechaun who preferred Southern Comfort to Guinness as a character. Indeed, many felt that Mad Sweeney was the break-out character of season 2.

In the original novel by Neil Gaiman, Mad Sweeney only appeared in two scenes. In the first, he got into a bar fight with protagonist Shadow Moon and taught him the trick of pulling true gold coins out of thin air, leaving him with one gold coin to keep. Later in the book, a bedraggled Mad Sweeney encounters Shadow and begs him for the return of his coin, which was a magic coin not meant to be given away. Unfortunately, for Mad Sweeny, Shadow had thrown the coin into the grave of his recently deceased wife, Laura, and when he passed by the bridge where he saw Mad Sweeney later, he saw that Mad Sweeney had apparently died of a combination of exposure and withdrawal.

Related: American Gods Has Made The Story More Interesting Than The Book

The American Gods TV series dramatically changed this story, turning Mad Sweeney (played by Pablo Schreiber) into a key member of the ensemble. The show paired Mad Sweeney with Laura Moon, who found herself unexpectedly resurrected by the magical golden coin Shadow tossed onto her grave. This led to an odd and oddly hilarious partnership, as Mad Sweeney reluctantly agreed to help Laura find her husband and a way to be resurrected in exchange for the eventual return of his coin.

“Treasure of the Sun” shifted Mad Sweeney’s story even further away from his character in the original novel, as it revealed something of his life and how he came to be a god, a legendary king, and then a leprechaun. The episode tells three conflicting stories, all tied to how the legends of the god Mad Sweeney had been, showing how he had changed over the years, becoming weaker and more confused as the core of who he was became forgotten. This seems to mirror what is happening to the Old Gods in modern day America, with the invaders of ancient Ireland taking the legends of the Celts and changing their gods into “faeries and saints and dead kings.”

The three tales also give three differing prophecies, two of which tell how Mad Sweeney would meet his end. In one, he is told he would be undone and abandoned west of the sunrise and that a dead woman’s bauble would seal his fate. In another, a Christian priest curses him to die on the end of a spear. The third prophecy has Mad Sweeney using a spear to save his people, the Tuatha Dé Danann, from the one-eyed mad god Balor.

By the end of the episode, all three prophecies come true. Mad Sweeney dies in America – west of where the sun sets relative to Ireland. His fate is sealed by the loss of his coin to Laura Moon, making it a dead woman’s bauble. Mad Sweeney dies on the end of a spear, after he tries to throw Odin’s spear Gungnir at Mr. Wednesday, only to have Shadow Moon catch it and turn the point upon him as he advances.

Things take an interesting turn as the third prophecy is fulfilled, with Mad Sweeney using his ability to access his extra-dimensional “horde” to store Gungnir where Mr. Wednesday can’t get it. In doing so, he believes he is saving his people from Balor, who he has come to associate with the one-eyed Wednesday. He may be mad to believe so, but Mad Sweeney certainly threw a monkey wrench into Mr. Wednesday’s plans for the coming conflict heading into American Gods‘ season 2 finale. It remains to be seen how Mr. Wednesday might recover his spear but the most likely bet seems to involve Shadow Moon having been taught the trick of accessing the horde for himself – a trick he seemingly forgot after his first encounter with Mad Sweeney.

More: American Gods: How Gods Are Born (And How They Die)

2019-04-22 05:04:59

Matt Morrison

Game Of Thrones: Where All The New [SPOILER] Came From

WARNING: Spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8, episode 2.

The living have a lot more to deal with than expected in Game of Thrones: just where have the new White Walkers come from? The phenomenal season 8, episode 2 ended the character development with the arrival of the Night King’s forces at Winterfell, and something stood out about them.

Previously, the Night King has been shown with a small posse of White Walkers – three in “Hardhome”, three in “The Door” and four in “Beyond The Wall” (with one apiece killed in the former and latter) – and a massive army of wights, which suggested he’s got a small group of lieutenants and a whole load of disposable foot soldiers. This only made him more intimidating, and harder to reach. However, the end of the latest episode, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, saw dozens of White Walkers with the army of the dead outside Winterfell (and the Night King wasn’t among them, an entirely separate issue).

Related: Game Of Thrones Made [SPOILER] Into The Show’s Lady Stoneheart (Sort Of)

Where have Game of Thrones‘ new White Walkers come from? The answer is, partially, rooted in the Night King’s very first appearance, season 4’s “Oathkeeper”. The episode ended in the Lands of Always Winter with a White Walker taking one of wildling Craster’s sons up further north than we’d ever seen. After the child is placed on an altar, the Night King approaches and, with a touch, turns the baby into a blue-eyed monster. In the background of this scene, twelve other White Walkers can be seen. With the Night King and his new recruit, that’s a minimum of fourteen; and with only two confirmed killed after (as mentioned in the latest episode, Sam also beat one, but back in season 3) that means there’s always more than normally portrayed out there.

However, from a brightened up image of the ending of Game of Thrones season 8, episode 2, it’s clear the numbers were always greater than that. Although, even that shouldn’t be a surprise.

The White Walkers’ presentation in the show – especially once the Night King became the big bad who created them all – has been of a small but powerful group who find strength with their undead wights, but that doesn’t quite fit their backstory. Craster had many wives and, presumably, gave away just as many sons to the White Walkers, and that’s just in one man’s lifetime. The A Song of Ice and Fire books further suggest that the Nightfort had a secret passageway through the wall for sacrifices to The Others, meaning the White Walker numbers could be in the hundreds or thousands. The odds are already against the stragglers in Winterfell, but this could be something truly dangerous.

It’s likely the lack of full White Walker numbers in Game of Thrones episodes up to this point is a result of time and budget. They require both practical makeup and CG augmentation (for at least the horses), which can be time-consuming on a show whose massive budget is already stretched across the Seven Kingdoms. Four White Walkers are still imposing, and so having the others elsewhere during “Hardhome” or “Beyond The Wall” is an easy solution.

The real question after this week’s Game of Thrones is more about who isn’t at Winterfell: the Night King can’t be seen alongside the many White Walkers. Is he simply in the air with ice dragon Viserion, but could his plan – to kill Bran so as to weaken humanity’s link to the past – not be as simple as Jon has assumed?

Next: Game Of Thrones Drops First Hint Dead Characters Will Join White Walkers

Game of Thrones season 8 continues Sundays at 9pm on HBO.

2019-04-22 03:04:18

Alex Leadbeater

Mortal Kombat 11 Leak Confirms [SPOILER] As DLC Characters

All nine of Mortal Kombat 11‘s DLC characters have been ousted by a recent datamine. As with most fighting games, the roster is a heavy focus for fans in the build up to the game’s eventual release. Mortal Kombat is no exception to this, as fans make roster wishlists and rally behind some of their favorites as they hedge their bets on who will return or debut in the game for the first time ever. Mortal Kombat, in particular, is known for crossover characters being added as downloadable content, which adds a further layer for fans to speculate on.

Past guest fighters in Mortal Kombat have included Kratos from God of War, Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jason Vorhees from Friday the 13th, Predator, Alien, and even Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s really a smorgasbord of violent offenders from outside of the Mortal Kombat franchise, and that trend was always destined to continue in Mortal Kombat 11. The only question that fans had about the DLC pertained to who was next.

Related: Mortal Kombat 11 Brings Back Movie Theme Song In Launch Trailer

It looks like Warner Bros. Interactive and NetherRealm Studios may have had the DLC lineup for Mortal Kombat 11 revealed prematurely, as dataminers have been able to find names within the code of the Nintendo Switch version for the unreleased game. These details have since been posted on Reddit, where the legitimacy of the code has been verified by a number of people. Despite being seemingly verified, consumers should still take the complete roster as a rumor until NetherRealm releases official details on the planned DLC.

With that out of the way, the allegedly complete list of add-on fighters coming to Mortal Kombat 11 can be found below:

  • Shang Tsung
  • Joker
  • Nightwolf
  • Terminator
  • Sindel
  • Spawn
  • Ash
  • Fujin
  • Sheeva

There are a few things worth noting with this cast, although the guest fighters are sure to generate the most buzz. Spawn joining Mortal Kombat 11 was expected after Spawn’s creator, Todd McFarlane, implied that the crossover would be happening. Others like Terminator and Ash (who is presumably Ash Williams from The Evil Dead), are sure to feel right at home on the Mortal Kombat 11 roster. Finally, Joker looks to be the first DC Comics character making the jump over to the bloody carnage of Mortal Kombat, although that hasn’t prevented MK characters like Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Raiden from squaring off against the clown prince in NetherRealm’s other fighting game series, Injustice.

As for the rest, they round out a respectable selection. Shang Tsung was previously announced as the first DLC character in MK11, while Sindel and Nightwolf have been longtime favorites of the community. Still, there are some noteworthy mainstays that appear to have been shafted if this list of characters turns out to be true. Reptile not appearing in Mortal Kombat 11 is one of the tougher pills to swallow, while Rain and Smoke were two characters that fans really wanted to see. Overall, the roster of Mortal Kombat 11 is very strong, but fans aren’t likely to let those characters be left by the wayside without voicing their concerns.

More: Mortal Kombat 11 Shao Kahn Reveal Trailer

Source: Reddit

2019-04-20 12:04:45

Riley Little

Shazam’s Big Cameo Proves The DCEU Doesn’t Need [SPOILER]

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Shazam!

Superman’s big cameo at the end of Shazam! proves that the DCEU doesn’t need Henry Cavill as its Man of Steel. Kal-El, Last Son of Krypton, has had some bad press in the past few years, but it looks like things may be finally turning around.

Superman has always been one of the most paradoxical mainstream superheroes. He is one of the biggest names in comic books – only Spider-Man and Batman vie for the title – and as the first spandex do-gooder undoubtedly the archetype from which all others riff (indeed, Captain Marvel aka Shazam was initially canceled after DC sued alleging plagiarism). And yet making his stories translate to the big screen has proven difficult. Superman: The Movie remains a highlight of the genre thanks to Christopher Reeve’s captivating double performance, but that series went off the deep-end into killer computers and nuclear peace messages.

Related: DC Would Make A Mistake Leaving Superman Behind

Zack Snyder attempted to reboot the character in 2013’s Man of Steel was a stripped back take in the vein of The Dark Knight (David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan conceived the story), but this new iteration of hope was a tough Kryptionian pill to swallow. This was compounded with the ambitious Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, before a brash course correction of the character with major reshoots (and CG upper lips) in Justice League finally wore out interest.

In the wake of that box office disaster, it would be easy to conclude that audiences were tired of Superman, at least the iteration first brought to life by Henry Cavill. The DCEU is moving into a new, more interesting future that puts focus on breakout stars Wonder Woman and Aquaman, but with The Batman likely a prequel and Idris Elba not, as initially reported, replacing Will Smith as Deadshot in The Suicide Squad, some continuity concerns remain. And so what can DC do other than bench the Man of Steel? Well, Shazam! has the answer.

  • This Page: Henry Cavill’s Superman Future & Shazam Absence
  • Page 2: How Superman’s Shazam Cameo Moves Past Cavill

Is Henry Cavill Out As Superman?

Before getting into what Shazam! introduces, it’s worth establishing what exactly is going on with Henry Cavill as Superman. His more grounded, haunted iteration was at the center of criticisms for Man of Steel and most certainly Batman v Superman, to the point many question what his selfless sacrifice at the end of Dawn of Justice really meant. As a result, Justice League‘s reshoots were heavily focused on lightening him up (Danny Elfman even used the John Williams score), but that wasn’t enough to correct the damage.

Last year, it was reported that, after lengthy contract negotiations, Cavill was no longer going to be Superman. The specifics were unclear, but it was alleged that his party and Warner Bros. disagreed about the actor and character’s importance to the franchise going forward. Both sides refuted the rumblings while not out-right denying them; WB said that no Superman projects were in development but the relationship was strong, and Cavill and his agent shared cryptic social media posts.

Related: The DCEU Is Dead, Long Live The DCEU

Already we’ve seen Ben Affleck step down as Batman, while Ezra Miller is reportedly making one last effort to get The Flash movie off the ground, so it looks like Cavill is just one of many casualties from Snyder’s Justice League.

Instead, the future of Kryptonians in the DCEU looks to have shifted, with a Supergirl script taking priority over Man of Steel 2. While there’s not been much word on that recently, that the upcoming DC Films slate is now pretty full up to 2022 shows how low a priority the Superman presently appears to be, at least with the current Cavill status quo.

Shazam’s Superman Cameo Is A Result Of The Cavill Issues

Which brings us to Superman’s cameo in Shazam, something that had been rumored as early as January 2018. The moment itself is a pretty big deal built up through the story. Freddy wants to play up his friendship with Shazam, so promises he’ll visit school for lunch, to which his bullies jokily ask if Superman will join too. So, of course, when Billy comes through for his friend at the end, he brings with him his Justice League pal.

In the film, Superman is only shown from the neck down, with Zachary Levi’s stunt double, and not Henry Cavill in the suit. But rather than cutting around the actor, this decision actually comes from the lack of Cavill: Shazam! director David F. Sandberg told Screen Rant that the scene came out of that restriction, with a more humorous way to include the character needed to get around the lack of recognizable star power.

Read More: Shazam’s Superman Cameo Could Have Been Henry Cavill

While that is on its own a rather nice example of improvisational filmmaking, it evidences a planned handling of Superman that sees him evolve beyond Henry Cavill.

Page 2 of 2: How Superman’s Shazam Cameo Moves Past Cavill

Shazam’s Superman Cameo Finally Makes The Man of Steel An Icon

In one joke scene at the end of the movie, Shazam! does more to cement Superman as a beacon of hope than the three movies that actually starred him (and a fourth in Suicide Squad framing the formation of Task Force X as a result of his death). There’s no confusion of what he means to people, what that “S” stands for. Superman is an icon and people love him. By removing the unclear conflict – which wasn’t a bad approach per se but its execution got in the way of the character – suddenly Superman is fully formed.

This reframing of the DC heroes has been running throughout Shazam!, with Freddy’s unabashed enthusiasm for Supes, Bats, Aquaman and the rest literally the same as real-life fans of the characters. Shazam becomes a hero modeled after the preexisting ones, who have now so permeated popular culture they’re merchandised. Rather than bridging the real world and the fantastical as in Zack Snyder’s DC films, Shazam! just accepts and runs with it.

But these aren’t the DCEU heroes explicitly. The Batman toys look and sound more like Kevin Conroy’s animated version than Ben Affleck’s brutalizer. And while Easter eggs reference the Kryptonian World Engine, the Superman who eventually appears sports a brighter suit with a more obvious red belt and, noticeably, doesn’t show his head on camera. These move us from the person in the suit to the hero they truly represent.

Related: Shazam! Every Easter Egg & Secret DC Reference

The DCEU’s Superman Is Bigger Than Henry Cavill

If you can have a moment like this where Superman can exist and capture what the hero instills in people without the actor, then why does the DCEU need to wait for contract issues to be sorted? Henry Cavill no longer represents this Superman, and that it can work without him is proven in Shazam! Superman is a beacon to the world because he’s Superman.

And while this is just a careful side-stepping for complications well beyond the Shazam! filmmakers’ control, it moves us closer to a recast. While there were certainly laughs at the overt avoidance and questions over what it means, the pervasive message is that audiences can and have divorced Superman from Henry Cavill. If he and DC can make it work, then great, but there’s no need to shelve such a high-potential, flat-out icon character just for these reasons.

Even if there’s no Man of Steel 2 (or The Superman, following DC’s recent change in nomenclature), a continuation through cameos akin to Iron Man in Phase 3 Marvel movies would be a perfect way to continue Superman’s image rehabilitation. It’s just a shame D.J. Cotrona is already tied up…

Next: Shazam Makes Up For George Miller’s Failed Justice League Movie

2019-04-19 06:04:27

Alex Leadbeater

Into The Badlands Suggests [SPOILER] Is Responsible For The Apocalypse

A new twist in the latest episode of Into the Badlands suggests that the Gift is what caused the apocalypse. The ruins of human civilization is what serves as the backdrop for the martial arts series, but the reasons for why the world fell have barely been touched upon.

Into the Badlands takes place in the state of Oklahoma, but the land no longer goes by that name. In the series, it’s only known as the Badlands, a region divided up into seven territories. Each territory is ruled by a baron who leads a large army of fighters. The Badlands is a dark, dystopian place where men and women kill for power and control. Ruined buildings and a few working vehicles are all that’s left of the old civilization. Guns are outlawed, and swords have returned as the warrior’s weapon of choice.

Related: Into The Badlands Killed Off [SPOILER] To Streamline The Final Season

More is revealed about the fall of civilization in Monday’s episode, “Black Lotus, White Rose”, when Sunny reunites with his long-lost sister, Kannin (Eugenia Yuan), who is now a member of the Black Lotus. During a conversation with their leader, Magnus (Francis Magee), Sunny learns about the origins of the ancient cult and their reasons for wanting to kill everyone with the Gift. According to Magnus, it was the Gift that caused the “Old World” to fall 500 years ago. Magnus says that the founders of the Black Lotus tried to warn the people of the Old World that the Dark Ones would lead to their destruction, but their warnings weren’t taken seriously until it was too late.

While Magnus lays the blame for the apocalypse on the Gift, he doesn’t actually explain how it happened. It was previously understood that a great war was responsible for the current state of the world. It’s possible that both explanations are true, meaning that the chaos caused by the Gift is what started the war. The Gift being the reason for the apocalypse may make it even more difficult to believe that the Gift isn’t a weapon.

While this reveal is certainly interesting, this information shouldn’t necessarily be accepted as a fact. Magnus, who could turn out to be the real villain of Into the Badlands season 3, may not be a trustworthy source. Magnus could be telling the truth, but his hatred of the Gift could be twisting his view of what really happened. However, if it is true, then it explains why the Black Lotus are so intent on wiping out all the Dark Ones. Also, it means that the series has acknowledged the apocalypse in a way that has a deep and meaningful connection to an important part of the show.

More: Into the Badlands Casts Daughter of Martial Arts Legend as Sunny’s Sister

2019-04-18 04:04:30

Nicholas Raymond

Game of Thrones Star Explains Jamie Lannister’s Reaction to Seeing [Spoiler]

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau shares what Jamie Lannister thought upon seeing Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) waiting for him in Winterfell during the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere. HBO’s juggernaut series is back after a long hiatus, and with its final season underway, lingering plot points that have yet to be addressed are finally getting the attention they need. Cue the parting moments of this year’s first episode, where the Kingslayer is reunited with the Lord of Winterfell who was waiting for his arrival –  a callback to the final scene in the show’s pilot.

Game of Thrones season 8 premiere is light on the death toll compared to previous openers, but it got some things out of the way. For instance, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is now aware of his real lineage courtesy of Sam (John Bradley). Whether or not he’s the one to deliver the news to Khaleesi (Emilia Clarke) remains to be seen, nonetheless, that’s already out in the open. Khaleesi is now in Winterfell and have met the Starks as they gear up for the battle against the Night King and the White Walkers. Meanwhile, Jon and Khaleesi’s love affair continues with a tender moment between the two. But as the episodes roll, fans expect heightened drama and tension similar to how the latest outing ended.

Related: Game of Thrones: Why Jon Snow Is Able To [SPOILER] So Easily

In the aforementioned scene, the Kingslayer didn’t have any line, instead, fans can only decipher what his reaction was thanks to the amalgamation of different facial expressions from the actor. Speaking with EW following Game of Thrones season 8 premiering, Coster-Waldau revealed what Jamie’s thinking was upon seeing Bran. His answer was initially humorous, but he previews how this reunion will effect how he operates moving forward.

“First of all, I don’t think wheelchairs are a normal thing in Westeros. I think it’s like: ‘What the hell?’ and then, ‘Oh my god, that’s the kid.’ I think he knows Bran didn’t die, but he doesn’t expect to meet him.”

“His mission changes once again. It goes from: ‘I know my brother Tyrion is there and I’m going to fight the good fight’ to ‘I’m in deep sh– now.’ Because this is the Lord of Winterfell that I tried to kill and I’m sure he wants revenge. That’s what Jaime expects.”

The promotional photos and teaser for next week’s Game of Thrones continue Jamie’s narrative in Winterfell. From the looks of it, he’ll quickly be discovered and presented to Khaleesi, and since he was the one credited for the murder of her father, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be an easy journey for him to convince them of his allegiance after learning that Cersei’s (Lena Headey) troops won’t be helping the North. It’s uncertain if he’s already had his one-on-one with Bran prior to his appearance before the Queen, but fans can rest assured that they’ll have their moment together.

At this point, it’s hard to gauge what Bran wants from Jamie. One might think that he might seek revenge as Coster-Waldau mentioned, but now that he’s already the new Three-Eyed Raven it’s curious how he’s going to handle this secret link between him and the Lannister sibling. Reading into Coster-Waldau’s comments, it seems like he’s ready for his imminent confrontation with Bran, but whether or not this assumption changes his original intentions for being in Winterfell is something that fans will find out as Game of Thrones season 8 continues. Perhaps a love-scorned Tyrion steps up for his brother, and saves him from what’s shaping up to be an unpleasant fate in the North.

More: Game of Thrones: 14 Unanswered Questions After The Season 8 Premiere

Game of Thrones continues Sunday, April 21 at 9pm on HBO.

Source: EW

2019-04-17 09:04:59

Ana Dumaraog