5 Recent Horror Movies That We Hope Will Be The Start Of A Franchise (& 5 We Don’t)

The most lucrative movies to be turned into franchises right now are comic book movies. But there’s always been a place for horror franchises at the multiplex, either an endless slew of slasher rehashes like Friday the 13th or an interconnected universe like Cloverfield. No moderately successful horror movie is safe from being forced into a franchise.

RELATED: The Best Horror Movies of 2018

Even Happy Death Day got a sequel that turned it into a Back to the Future Part II homage. So, with many burgeoning horror franchises on the horizon, here are 5 Recent Horror Movies That We Hope Will Be The Start Of A Franchise (And 5 We Don’t).

10 We hope will: Us

Jordan Peele’s latest horror-fest Us, a dark tale of doppelgangers, is one of the most inventive horror movies in recent years. It’s been a hit with audiences and critics alike, and the ambiguous ending left the door open to sequels. The film set up an underlying mythology that involved government experiments and a violent nationwide invasion, so there are plenty of directions to take a sequel.

Peele has announced that he does have ideas for sequels to the movie: “There’s a lot of different ways to approach continuing in this universe that are at the very least fun in my mind and computer.” However, he’s not telling us any of the ideas just yet, because he’s not sure which one he’ll go with – or if he’ll do a sequel at all.

9 We hope won’t: The Witch

Robert Eggers’ chilling historical movie The Witch works as a horror film due to its basis in reality. There actually were witch trials and people actually did get banished from their villages and everyone actually did believe in witches and feared them.

RELATED: The Witch Director Confirms Nosferatu Remake Is His Next Film

Eggers’ haunting use of imagery like a flickering campfire in the stark black of the night to keep his audience unnerved throughout the whole movie. However, the whole mythology of witchcraft and its devastatingly cyclical nature is fully explored in the movie. Everything there is to be said about witches is said in the movie. A sequel would just be a retread.

8 We hope will: Evil Dead

Fede Álvarez’s recent remake of Sam Raimi’s indie horror classic The Evil Dead was one of the few horror remakes to actually add something to the original. Alvarez had a bigger studio budget and CGI effects that Raimi didn’t have when he was making the original.

Rather than use them as a crutch, he used them to increase the impact of every jump scare or gory moment to make them even more gut-wrenching. Jane Levy’s Mia was a more compelling and less silly protagonist than Bruce Campbell’s Ash, so it would be great to follow her through a trilogy like Ash.

7 We hope won’t: Truth or Dare

Slasher movies are ripe for franchises. Any horror movie with a mysterious killer who picks off teenagers one by one – whether they’re an escaped mental patient in a boiler suit or a demon running an evil supernatural game of “Truth or Dare” – is inevitably made into a seemingly endless franchise: Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street etc.

But please don’t let Truth or Dare become one of them. The original left the door open for a sequel by (SPOILER ALERT!) drawing millions of people across the world into the demonic game via YouTube. But the movie sucked, so there doesn’t need to be anymore.

6 We hope will: Lights Out

Lighting is among the most important elements of horror filmmaking. The way a horror film is lit can make or break it. That’s what made David F. Sandberg’s Lights Out, a scary movie in which darkness is the enemy, such a delight for horror buffs.

In this case, the franchise potential is more than just mere speculation as a sequel has actually been put into development. Eric Heisserer, the writer of the first movie, is back on board to pen the script for a potential sequel, while Sandberg has pledged to return to the director’s chair if a sequel is made – and hopefully it will.

5 We hope won’t: The Nun

As a spin-off from The Conjuring universe, this one is technically already a part of a franchise – in fact, to the tune of a $365 million worldwide box office gross, it became the highest grossing installment in that franchise. But it shouldn’t be given sequels, like fellow Conjuring spin-off Annabelle (although it certainly will), because it just wasn’t that good.

The writing was sloppy, the set pieces weren’t properly executed, and the movie relied almost solely on jump scares, which are the laziest way to scare an audience. Unfortunately, this is pointless, because a screenwriter named Akela Cooper has already been hired to write a sequel.

4 We hope will: It Follows

David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows was a frightening movie, made in the old-school style of Carpenter-era ‘70s horror cinema, and it has a rich concept that could be explored deeper in sequels. We can all relate to the fear of being followed and that’s what made the movie work so well.

According to distributor Radius-TWC’s co-president Tom Quinn, a sequel has been discussed, and it could follow Maika Monroe’s Jay, or some other unrelated protagonist, as they try to figure out where the paranormal entity came from. The first movie laid some interesting groundwork, but a franchise could really build on that.

3 We hope won’t: Get Out

The second Jordan Peele-directed entry on this list, Get Out was a monster hit with both critics and audiences, even going on to win an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. There’s been vague talks of a sequel in the years since its release, but it shouldn’t be a franchise. Get Out works brilliantly on its own as a standalone work of cinema.

RELATED: How Us Is A Very Different Film To Get Out

It was all about the twist – the sinister reason why Rose brought Chris to her parents’ house – and now that we know that, a sequel won’t be able to lull us into the same false sense of security a second time around. And there’s no need to continue Chris’ story, because we saw everything we needed to see in the first one – we can fill in the blanks ourselves.

2 We hope will: Don’t Breathe

The home invasion thriller is a horror subgenre that has been done to death, but Fede Álvarez managed to beat some fresh life out of it in 2016 with his movie Don’t Breathe. It flipped the script on the usual home invasion template by having the people breaking in as the protagonists and the guy whose house is broken into as the villain.

The most exciting thing about a sequel to Don’t Breathe, which had a somewhat ambiguous ending, is that producer Sam Raimi said of the rudimentary talks, “It’s only the greatest idea for a sequel I’ve ever heard. I’m not kidding.” That’s something we want to see.

1 We hope won’t: Hereditary

Hereditary might just be the greatest horror movie of the 21st century so far, but it’s not a movie that needs any sequels or continuation. Ari Aster’s directorial debut was acclaimed by critics and beloved by audiences, and a big part of their enjoyment of it was that it told its story neatly.

Within half an hour, moviegoers realized they’d been completely misled by the trailers about what kind of movie it would be and, from the edge of their seats, they strapped in for a frightening cinematic experience. At the end of the movie, (SPOILER ALERT!) everyone in the Graham family had died, Paimon was given a host body, and he was being worshipped by a coven of followers. We don’t need to see what happened after that, because our imagination of Paimon’s reign is far scarier than any movie could live up to.

NEXT: 15 Best Horror Movies According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 15 Stuck At 0%)

2019-04-19 03:04:47

Ben Sherlock

Marvel Just Killed [SPOILER] To Start ‘War of The Realms’

Warning: MASSIVE SPOILERS for War of the Realms #1

The War of the Realms has officially begun in Marvel’s Universe. And to prove that nobody is safe from this all-out battle, not one, but TWO iconic Asgardians have been murdered in just the first issue. Thank goodness Infinity War helped fans say goodbye to Loki once already.

With all ten realms of the Marvel Universe now destroyed or conquered by the Dark Elves, and only Thor left to lead Earth’s heroes before all of Creation falls… perhaps it’s best his father Odin and brother Loki are killed. That way they won’t be forced to see him fail. And judging by War of the Realms #1, plenty more heroes are going to be challenged, defeated, and killed before this war is over.

  • This Page: War of The Realms Begins By Killing ODIN
  • Page 2: LOKI Dies in The Most Disgusting Way Possible

The cycle of birth, death, and rebirth is nothing new for the Asgardians, which means Odin is anything but worried about the grim and “terrible ending” he senses fast approaching. The past few issues of Jason Aaron’s Thor comic have shown Odin getting drunk and miserable, proving that his time is over, and Thor’s turn as the All-Father is nearing. It’s a pathetic way to go out, Ragnarok or not. But when he sits on the thrones of Asgard and contemplates the fall of his people, his empire, his powers, and his family… he soon learns he is not alone.

RELATED: Odin Reveals The REAL Reason Thor is ‘God of Thunder’

It’s a testament to just how far Odin has fallen that Malekith, leader of the Dark Elves and the mastermind of this War of the Realms doesn’t even come to kill the All-Father personally. Instead, he sends a squad of Dark Elf assassins who get the job done with minimal casualties. Even if the story leaves Odin before his lifeless corpse can be confirmed, the slain ravens, and the flurry of assassin blades leave little doubt. And when the action shifts to Loki‘s own luck in evading the same assassins, Odin’s fate seems to be just the first in a chain of Malekith’s opening strikes against Earth’s defenders.

When Loki’s bloody and dagger-filled body crash lands in Thor’s backyard, the god of thunder recognizes that the time is up. No more adventures with his brother trying to rally the troops, or even becoming Thor, King of Hel to delay the inevitable. The War of the Realms is under way, and Malekith has murdered Loki for trying to trick him with false loyalty (trickery is kind of his thing, so you would expect better from a Dark Elf).

But things go from bad to worse for Thor when he is teleported to Malekith by Loki’s magic… only to learn that his traveling partner isn’t his brother at all. This ‘Loki’ is actually Malekith himself, masquerading as Thor’s brother in order to lure the Avenger away from Earth. So with Thor removed and Earth now vulnerable, Malekith abandons him to battle Frost Giants on Jotunheim and heads to New York City to lead his grand army.

Fortunately for Earth, there is still ONE son of Odin prepared to die for Earth, and his family. Sorry Loki fans, massive SPOILERS lie ahead.

Page 2 of 2: Loki Dies in Truly Disgusting Fashion

Odin may be completely out of the fight before it even begins, but the same can’t be said for his former wife, Freyja (step-mother to both Thor and Loki). The Queen of Asgard has followed her people to Earth in search of a new home. To date, she has received nothing but help from Thor and Jane Foster… and like everyone else, has been deceived by her son, Loki. So when the King of Jotunheim, the Frost Giant Laufey and Loki’s biological father comes to Times Square at the head of Malekith’s army, Freyja is there to meet him. Meet him, and be scooped up in his enormous fist within seconds.

RELATED: Marvel Confirms Loki Was Never ‘Evil’ in The MCU

It’s not exactly a fair fight, but lucky for Freyja, Loki arrives just in time to save her from certain death–by slicing his father’s hand clean off, with Freyja still clutched inside. By this point King Laufey is used to betrayal and effrontery by his wayward son, but it’s a bit newer for Malekith. The Dark Elf confirms that he sent assassins to kill Loki as well–assassins now transformed into toads by the trickster god–before the Avengers break up the fight long enough for Loki to give his mother the message he came to deliver.

Obviously Freyja is more than a bit suspicious, having been betrayed and stabbed in the back by Loki once already. Yet Loki persists in telling her that Thor is in need of rescue from the home of the Frost Giants, and retrieving him is now the only thing that matters. To save Earth, and what remains of the other realms, the heroes will need Thor to make it the slightest bit possible. And in response to her disbelief and unwillingness to trust anything he says… Loki reassures her that what happens next will leave no doubt as to where his loyalties lie.

And with that, the trickster god takes his mother’s place in King Laufey’s oversized crosshairs. Staring down his Frost Giant father, Loki goads him into action by claiming he is completely unlovable to even his own son, and that fathering the great Loki of Asgard is “the only noteworthy thing you’ve ever done.” Laufey doesn’t waste time giving Loki the response he clearly desires.

It’s not going to be easy for Marvel fans to wipe the above image from their minds, as King Laufey decides to do what his honor demands, and eat Loki alive with a massive, bloody crunch. Only Freyja screams in horror at the sight, understanding that her son chose loyalty to her in his final moments knowing that his sacrifice would prove exactly that. The rest of the assembled heroes of Earth are less than distraught, but who can blame them? Loki has been a pest to Earth for almost all of his life. But the point is made: nobody is safe in the coming war.

Hopefully it’s a memorable enough death to earn him the same posthumous respect as the Marvel movie version. Either way, this first issue of War of the Realms shows that Loki being choked to death by Thanos was tragic… but could have been a LOT worse. Will the trickster pull one last illusion to come back to life? We don’t know if that’s possible when you’ve been chewed to death, even for an Asgardian. But if anybody can do it, it’s Loki.

War of the Realms #1 is available now at your local comic book store, and directly from Marvel Comics.

MORE: How Loki Can Return To An Even BIGGER Role in Thor 4

2019-04-04 02:04:15

Andrew Dyce

Disney Can’t Start Developing Any X-Men TV Shows – Yet

Disney Plus X-Men TV Shows

Disney can’t start developing X-Men properties until the Fox deal closes, despite reports the studio is already planning X-Men TV shows for Disney+. In late 2017, news broke that The Walt Disney Company was looking to acquire certain assets from 21st Century Fox, particularly the latter’s studio, 20th Century Fox. In doing so, Disney would take control of Fox’s media properties, including movie franchises like Avatar and Alien. For comic book fans, though, the most important ramification of the prospective deal was that Marvel Studios would regain the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four.

Though Disney had competition from Comcast for Fox’s assets, the company’s bid was eventually accepted by Fox and the deal has been progressing through the appropriate approval channels. The latest update has the Disney/Fox deal closing in March, but it will still be some time until comic fans get to see the X-Men and Fantastic Four join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All throughout the process, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige has been clear he’s excited to use the X-Men and Fantastic Four, but as recently as last month said the studio still didn’t have access to the characters to start developing new X-Men movies and television series. Now, a new report seems to go against Feige’s comment.

Related: What The Disney-Fox Deal Really Means For Hollywood

We Got This Covered recently reported Marvel is currently “considering developing” X-Men TV shows for Disney+, Disney’s upcoming streaming service. According to WGTC, “sources [say] Marvel’s already tossing around potential ideas for X-Men-related series to go up on Disney Plus.” However, it must be noted that Disney and Marvel cannot legally be actively developing TV shows or movies using characters they’ll acquire in the deal with Fox. Doing so would violate United States antitrust laws, as it would be classified as jumping the gun before the deal is fully finalized.

Certainly, it’s possible that employees of Disney and Marvel have had informal discussions about what they’d like to do once the deal has closed. However, it’s incredibly unlikely that a corporation as massive as Disney would do something to jeopardize a deal of this magnitude by breaking antitrust laws. Disney and Marvel Studios have found a great deal of success with their current library of comic book characters, and they’re looking at a successful 2019 with Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame, as well as the launch of Disney+. While taking control of the rights to X-Men and Fantastic Four will no doubt build on that success, Disney doesn’t need to rush those new properties out, especially since Dark Phoenix and New Mutants are also still presumably arriving this year.

In terms of whether Marvel will develop X-Men television shows for Disney+, that seems to be a given. Marvel Studios is already planning a number of MCU spinoff TV shows for the streaming service. Once Marvel is allowed to begin exploring its options in adapting the X-Men and Fantastic Four, there’s little doubt one possibility is one or more Disney+ series. But, though a TV show could be developed and released much quicker than a movie, it seems incredibly unlikely Marvel would introduce the X-Men to the MCU via a TV series rather than a movie. More likely, the X-Men will join the MCU in the movies and then may be spun off into a Disney+ show.

All that being said, we won’t hear anything official from Marvel Studios or its parent company until the Disney/Fox deal is finalized. While that’s expected to happen in the early part of 2019, it’s unclear how long fans will have to wait until it’s revealed how the X-Men and Fantastic Four will be incorporated into the MCU.

Next: Rebooting The X-Men Is Easier For Marvel Than Rebooting Spider-Man

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2019-01-16 01:01:18

14 Spoilers Fans Missed At The Start Of Superhero Movies (And 6 Way Too Obvious)

It looks like superhero movies are not slowing down anytime soon. With the release of Aquaman upon us and fans still drooling over the Avengers: Endgame trailer, we’ve still got a lot of ground to cover. Based on the past experience, we have to wonder if these upcoming films will have some spoilers hidden early on in the films’ run. Foreshadowing is definitely a smart part of the storytelling process. When done well, it’s clever enough that the fans applaud it later. When done poorly, however, audiences can see it a mile away and the film becomes more boring than interesting.

Foreshadowing can definitely spoil things early on in a film, but superhero movies usually have a lot of ground to cover in a limited amount of time. It makes sense that clever filmmakers would tease things that will occur at a film’s climax much earlier on. It’s a way of subliminally preparing the viewer, even if they don’t pick up on the hints.

There have been a lot of superhero movies over the years, though hiding spoilers early on in these movies does seem to be a more recent development. At the very least, most of these movies that will appear on this list were made in the past couple decades. With that in mind, we have a lot franchises to cover and a lot of hidden– and not-so-hidden superheroic spoilers to discover.

Here are 14 Spoilers Fans Missed At The Start Of Superhero Movies (And 6 Way Too Obvious).  

20 MISSED: Luthor’s Confirmation Handshake (Batman v Superman)

While it looks like we may never see Jesse Einsenberg shave his head again, there was one very clever spoilery moment in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. When introducing himself to both Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and Clark Kent (Henry Cavill), Luthor pointedly makes a comment on their grip. When he shakes Bruce Wayne’s hand, he simply says “Good,” while with Clark Kent, he comments on how strong it really is.

Given all the research he did into their identities, this was the moment that he confirmed to himself the true identities of Batman and Superman. He needed to see how strong both of their grips were in order to get a good read on them.

19 MISSED: Sebastian Shaw’s Fate (X-Men: First Class)

Anyone who knows Magneto’s (Michael Fassbender) character in the slightest knew how things would turn out for Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon). Shaw would inevitably end the movie paying for his crimes at the hands of Erik. Well, so to speak. The manner of his passing, however, was spoiled pretty early on in the film.

Overcome with pain and anger, Erik destroys a picture of Shaw by driving a coin into the center of the photograph’s forehead. He would repeat this action with the man himself at the end of the film. Too bad Charles had to feel every painful moment of it.

18 OBVIOUS: Joker Was The Mugger (Batman 1989)

One of the movies that kickstarted the superhero craze of the ’90s, Batman (1989) remains one of Tim Burton’s best films. It was moody, atmospheric, and remains one of the best Batman movies of all time. As many people know, Burton is not a subtle director. This is definitely proven through Jack Nicholson’s Joker.

Joe Chill is the mugger who took the lives of the Wayne parents. In this movie, the crime was committed Nicholson’s Jack Napier, who would later become Batman’s greatest enemy. While it made sense narratively, it also just spoiled who Napier would later become. No one is that unhinged unless he’s the Joker.

17 MISSED: Thor’s Color Scheme On Earth (Thor: Ragnarok)

When Thor arrives in his street clothes on Earth, director Taika Waititi had him wearing purple and green. Those are the signature colors of the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). While known for his comedy, Waititi is also famous for his sly little winks and nods.

The color scheme Thor wears on Earth foreshadows who Thor will meet the next time he is off world from Asgard: his friend from work.  To be fair, most fans knew going in that Hulk and Thor would face off against each other, but it’s a little nudge that foreshadows the events of the film.

16 MISSED: Star-Lord’s Alien Heritage (Guardians of the Galaxy) 

While Peter (Chris Pratt) and the majority of the audience learn toward the end of 2014′s Guardians of the Galaxy that he’s not entirely human, some eagle-eyed viewers can catch it early on. When Peter is brought in by the Nova Corp, he is given a biological scan. What audiences miss is a flashing red light that detects a sort of anomaly in Peter’s blood. We would later learn this anomaly is the Nova Corp detecting Peter’s non-human DNA.

Why did it light up like that? As Nova Prime (Gleen Close) told Peter, it’s nothing they’d ever seen before. Of course, it would set off some major alarm bells, as Peter is a child of a Celestial.

15 OBVIOUS: Diana is the weapon (Wonder Woman)

You would think that a weapon called “Godkiller” would be given better protection, as the Amazons are meant to protect things that should fall into no mortal hand. The ease with which Diana (Gal Gadot) steals the sword is just a hint that spoils her identity as the actual weapon.

Hippolyta’s (Connie Nielson) own fear to let her daughter train as a warrior, in a culture of warriors, mixed with Diana’s own prodigious power further spoils the reveal that she is Zeus’ ultimate weapon. After all, what better way to guard a weapon than to make sure she never knows she is one. It’s definitely a clever move on the part of the Amazons, but obvious to audiences. 

14 MISSED: Loki’s Jotunn Connection (Thor)

A reveal that, while big in movie, never really lives up to expectations is that Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is Jotunn born. In 2011’s Thor, Loki’s connection to Jotunheim is spoiled early on in the film. During Thor’s coronation two Jotunns are let into Asgard to steal the Casket of Ancient Winters. They were let in by Loki. Later on, when exposed to the Casket of Ancient Winters, Loki would learn of his true heritage as being a child of Jotunheim.

Without even realizing it, Loki has helped the kin that Odin (Anthony Hopkins) subjugated to get into Asgard. It’s definitely a clever spoiler, though one that lacks impact to Loki’s subsequent appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

13 MISSED: Maria Rushing Natasha’s Time With Fury (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

In comic books, character fake their demise and return all the time. It’s unsurprising that such events happen in movies as well. Still, faking a passing is a hard thing to accomplish, especially if you have to fool one of the best spies in the world. When Fury (Samuel L Jackson) allowed HYDRA to believe they were successful in taking him out, Natasha (Scarlett Johnasson) spends some time with his body.

Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Fury’s right hand, got her out of the room with a suspicious hurry. That definitely tipped fans off to Fury’s return later in the movie. Not many people can pull one over on the Black Widow.

12 OBVIOUS: Gwen Stacy’s Fate (Amazing Spider-Man 2)

Any fan of the Spider-Man mythos knew going into the The Amazing Spider-Man franchise that Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) was not long for this world. After losing her father (Denis Leary) at the end of the first film, the second has Peter (Andrew Garfield) seeing him all around as a reminder to the promise he gave the man to stay away from Gwen. It also references that Gwen’s own time is running out because, as Captain Stacy said, Gwen will come to harm if Peter is in her life.

He’s definitely not wrong, as Gwen perishes when Peter is fighting Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan) due to a broken neck. It’s taken right out of comics, with some shoehorned in foreshadowing added.

11 MISSED: World’s Greatest Grandma (Ant-Man and the Wasp)

Both Ant-Man films are filled with little moments of bizarre humor, especially between Scott (Paul Rudd) and Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson), who have a quirky sense of humor. Like the disfigured bunny in the first film, the World’s Greatest Grandma trophy seems like another visual. However, was actually a spoiler for Scott’s possession by Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) later on in the film.

While Hope (Evangeline Lily) doesn’t have any biological children, Scott does, which could make Hank (Michael Douglas) and Janet Cassie’s step-grandparents. The mug, focusing on Grandma, spoils what happen when Janet takes possession of Scott’s body to help Hank and Hope with the last-minute adjustments to get into the Quantum Realm.

10 MISSED: Destruction of Wayne Manor (Batman Begins)

The first of the Christopher Nolan trilogy, Batman Begins hid a pretty big spoiler in the beginning of the film. While standing in his childhood home of Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) comments to Alfred (Michael Caine) that “This place is a mausoleum. When I have my way I’ll pull the damn thing down, brick by brick.”

This line foreshadows when the League of Shadows burns down the manor home later on. Unwittingly, he got his wish, though he clearly didn’t imagine it happening in this way. While not as flashy as its sequels, Batman Begins definitely knows how to deliver some payoff. 

9 OBVIOUS: The Opening Of Captain America: The First Avenger

This one is one of the most obvious spoilers ever in superhero movies. As Captain America: The First Avenger takes place in the 1940s, it’s unsurprising that we would end up in the present day MCU at some point. The beginning of the film sees the uncovering of the Valkyrie, Red Skull’s (Hugo Weaving) HYDRA plane. In it, the frozen body and shield of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is found, with SHIELD agents saying Fury needed to be called.

We then head back into the past where the story of Steve is told, though the audience all know that he will eventually end up back in the Arctic and the plane.

8 MISSED: No One Is Special (The Incredibles)

14 years before The Incredibles 2 made a splash at the box office, 2004’s The Incredibles featured some crafty light spoilers early in the film. When Helen (voiced by Helen Hunt) tells Dash (Spencer Fox) that “everyone is special,” Dash says that’s another way of saying that “no one is special.

This spoils the plan of supervillain Syndrome (Jason Lee) later on in the film. Embittered by his own lack of powers and feeling spurned by Bob (Craig T. Nelson), Syndrome monologues about how he plans on making everyone special so that no one is, which echoes Dash’s words earlier in the film.

7 MISSED: Pepper Saves The Day (Iron Man 3)

When Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) mansion is attacked in Iron Man 3, Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) saves him with the use of the Iron Man armor. While this is a callback to Pepper’s role as Rescue in the comics and Iron Man Adventures television series, it also serves as a spoiler that Pepper would save the day later in the film as well.

Dosed with Extremis and pushed into a burning abyss, it looked like Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) got his revenge on Tony by using Pepper. Pepper, however, uses the Extremis in her body to take out Killian, saving Tony and the day all at once. No wonder Tony wants to marry her!

6 OBVIOUS: Joker’s Clown Mask (The Dark Knight)

Heath Ledger’s Joker remains the definitive performance of the character. While it’s a tragedy that we will never get to see what Ledger could do with more time, it is a perfect performance in almost every way. One thing that wasn’t so perfect was the spoiler in the opening scenes of The Dark Knight.

During the bank robbery, one of the bank robbers is wearing a blue and white rubber clown mask. This clown mask harkens back to Cesar Romero’s portrayal of the character in the Adam West Batman series. It also points out which one of the robbers is the notorious archenemy of Batman to the audience.

5 MISSED: Trouble With Kryptonian Powers (Man Of Steel)

One of the more interesting aspects of 2013’s Man of Steel is seeing the younger versions of Clark Kent cope with their growing powers. Clark (Cooper Timberline) gets a sensory overload from his newly emerging X-ray vision coupled with super-hearing. It sends the young boy hiding until Martha (Diane Lane) arrives to get him. Clearly, this experience stayed with Clark (Henry Cavill) well into adulthood.

While the newly-arrived Kryptonians use their suits to stop how the yellow sun radiation changes their bodies, Clark uses this to his advantage. Clark rips off their masks, thus disabling the filtration system. This allows the grown Kryptonians to experience what Clark learned to deal with growing up. It’s a great way to foreshadow how someone will take out their enemies.

4 MISSED: The Mutant-Suppressing Serum (X-Men: Days of Future Past)

In the beginning of X-Men: Days of Future Past, we see the worst possible future in the film franchise. The mutants are kept in internment camps guarded by Sentinels and are powerless thanks to collars with a strange orange serum. The serum keeps their powers suppressed for a time.

It also spoils how some of the other mutants can be out of commission in the past. The power-suppressing serum comes back later, as seen in the hands of Charles Xavier and Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult). Using the serum, the pair keep their own powers at bay, though they do it voluntarily.

3 OBVIOUS: Steve Trevor’s Sacrifice (Wonder Woman)

Though less obvious than Captain America: The First Avenger, Wonder Woman still spoils what will happen to Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) later on in the film. When Diana first sees Steve, it begins with a plane explosion in the bright sunshine of Themyscira. This foreshadows how she will later see Steve sacrifice himself: a plane explosion in the dark night sky.

It’s definitely a beautiful sort of bookend for the journey that the couple took over the course of the film. Even so, it’s one of the more obvious spoilers. While we suspected that Steve would not live to the present day with Diana, how he first appeared in Diana’s life made it a bit too obvious.

2 MISSED: May Finds Out (Spider-Man: Homecoming)

After two Spider-Man franchises came and went without Aunt May knowing about Peter’s identity, it was a relief that May Parker (Marisa Tomei) finally learned about her nephew’s heroics in the post-credit scene of Spider-Man: Homecoming. The sequence was spoiled early on in the film, however.

Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) finds out in a similar way to May. He barges into Peter’s bedroom while the other teen is still dressed in his Spider-Man costume. In the background, we can hear May talking to the boys off-screen. This perfectly sets up when May walks in on Peter during that post-credit scene. Honestly, you’d think Peter would have learned how to lock his door!

1 MISSED: Sir Patrick’s Permission (Wonder Woman)

With Armistice on the horizon in the World War I setting of Wonder Woman, it seems quite odd that Sir Patrick (David Thewlis) would sanction the mission that Steve and Diana propose. Part of why he does, however, is a spoiler about Patrick’s true identity as Ares, the god of War. Why would a man who truly strives for eace permit a mission that could put it in jeopardy?

Ares wants Diana to see humans at their absolute worst so she can join his side. More obviously, he doesn’t want peace. Instead, he would want the war to continue, as befits, well, Ares. This sly little hint that Patty Jenkins adds early in the film perfectly prepares us for the reveal later on.

What other spoilers are hidden in superhero movies? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-12-19 02:12:00

Counterpart Review: The Sci-Fi Spy Series Delivers A Superb Start To Season 2

Counterpart season 1 was one of the best shows of 2018 (although the series premiere sneak peek arrived in late December 2017), and because the phrase “too much of a good thing” no longer has any meaning in this era of Peak TV, the series is back to begin its second go-round just before the year makes way for 2019. And although a quick turnaround of that sort might seem like a True Detective-sized red flag, or a perilous misstep on behalf of what has proven to be a smart, emotionally driven spy thriller about the nature of identity and the enormous ramifications of choice, Counterpart instead returns with a confident, focused season 2 premiere that is ready to build off of and explore the consequences of the events (and personal discoveries) that dominated and upended the story in the latter half of the first season. 

That fallout had surprisingly little to do with the fact that there is a dimensional rift beneath a governmental building in Berlin, wherein the people from two mirror worlds crossover and sometimes interact with one another (and their counterparts, naturally). Instead, it focused on a clandestine operation known as Indigo, whose primary function was to infiltrate the other dimension, exert influence over its policies, and, for some, exact a kind of misguided revenge for a flu epidemic that decimated the population. For Indigo to work, that meant replacing people from Dimension One without those with whom they were close being any the wiser. That next-level sleeper cell spy game came to a head with a terrorist attack that resulted in the crossing between the two dimensions closing, leaving those — like both versions of Howard Silk (J.K. Simmons) — who were unlucky enough to be in the wrong dimension at the time, trapped on the other side. 

More: The Gifted Fall Finale Review: The Series Delivers A Big Win For Mutankind

The emphasis Counterpart placed on Indigo and its various players gave the series the narrative thrust it needed at the tail end of season 1, and it continues generating intrigue here. But the clandestine conspiracy also allowed series creator Justin Marks and his writer’s room — which includes Mad Men alum Erin Levy — to accentuate the questions the series likes to ask about the nature of identity and the enormous ripple effect a single choice can have, not only for the person making it, but for their entire world. Those questions are paramount at the beginning of season 2, as the series finds new and interesting ways to examine the division between its characters, many of whom have been irrevocably changed by their inter-dimensional encounters, all while keeping or moving them closer in proximity to one another. The result, then, has become an engrossing, next-level spy thriller with a sci-fi twist. 

There is a tendency in second seasons to up the ante, as it were, to go bigger and bolder. Usually that means making additions to the cast or expanding the profile of characters who hit big the first go round. That doesn’t always translate to smarter television, but it does in the case of Counterpart. For one, the series expands the role of Olivia Williams as Howard’s wife, Emily. Williams was a major player in season 1, but only in terms of her Dimension Two counterpart. Now, however, Williams is pulling double duty, like her co-star, as Dimension One Emily is out of her coma and faced with a Regarding Henry-like re-evaluation of the person she was before the accident that nearly claimed her life. 

Of course, Emily is unaware (presumably) her husband isn’t the one she’d purposely deceived for 25 years, and kept from being promoted at his job, but rather the colder, more ruthless and pragmatic Howard Prime from the other dimension. It’s the sort of arrangement that can sound like gobbledygook on paper (or when you try to explain it to someone who hasn’t seen the show), and yet watching it onscreen, thanks to the nuanced performances of Simmons and Williams, it not only makes sense, but affords the series a level of dramatic weight and elegance that’s can sometimes be a rarity with such high-concept genre fare. 

It’s smart stuff that Counterpart doubles down on, turning the relationship between Peter Quayle (Harry Lloyd) and his doppelgänger wife, Clare (Nazanin Boniadi), into a worst-case example of ostensibly the same scenario. Peter and Clare are fully aware who the other is, and that level of truth makes Emily’s ignorance (either as a result of her brain injuries or her husband not being who he says he is) seem almost blissful by comparison. Little details, like the unsettling sound of the massive locks on Quayle’s “safe room,” in the house he shares with the woman who is and is not his wife, underscore the show’s willingness to examine its characters’ fascination with and fear of anyone labeled as “other.”

The weight Counterpart places on such a designation makes the arrival of Betty Gabriel’s FBI agent Naya Temple exciting beyond her potential role in rooting out the truth of Howard Prime’s prolonged visit in Dimension One and, more devastatingly, Quayle being (however unwittingly at first) the mole known as Shadow. Gabriel gives Naya’s outsiderness a purposeful sense of authority while also allowing her to be a little overwhelmed by the strange truth she’s only just now learned about the world(s) she’s been thrust into. It’s always a risk introducing a major new character into a series that ticked like a precision timepiece, but Counterpart and Gabriel make the addition look like a smart one. 

Overall, the most remarkable thing about Counterpart season 2 is that it has the confidence to make storytelling decisions and direct its narrative like a series entering its fourth or fifth season. It’s a little more methodical in its approach this time around, devoting whole hours to a smaller group of characters and parceling out Simmons’ outstanding performance of the two Howard Silks by allowing them the opportunity to more fully inhabit their respective spaces without the other’s presence. One of the most appealing aspects about season 1 was watching Simmons act opposite himself, conjuring up two completely different versions of the same man, so it’s a risk not returning to that dynamic immediately. But, as the series demonstrates the deeper it gets into season 2, it’s a calculated risk that most definitely pays off. 

Next: Nightflyers Review: SYFY’s Miniseries Gets The Tone Right But The Pacing Wrong

Counterpart continues next Sunday with ‘Outside In’ @8pm on Starz.

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2018-12-09 02:12:26

12 Spoilers Fans Missed At The Start Of Marvel Movies (And 8 Way Too Obvious)

With hundreds of characters, dozens of timelines and several decades’ worth of content, Marvel Comics has shaped modern pop culture through its wealth of creativity. Like many other fruitful ventures, the comic books have been adapted into countless movies over the years. The movies don’t always enjoy the same box office or critical success, but they’re always among the most hyped and high-profile movies.

The creatives at Marvel have proven themselves to be masterful storytellers, weaving together disparate narratives to form the most complex stories. Sometimes they drop hints at the beginning that require multiple viewings to catch. Others times, though, their hints are more like hammers hitting you over your head with how obvious they are.

Some of those “hints” are so painfully obvious that even the most uninformed viewer could see the plot twist coming from miles away. Others are disguised a simple Easter eggs and fun references to geek out over, allowing ardent fans to be blindsided. Regardless of your familiarity with Marvel’s franchises, there are bound to be spoilers that you caught and others that slipped through your fingers. If the title hasn’t clued you in on it, the list below contains plenty of spoilers not just for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also for Marvel movies from Sony and Fox. There are also some references to the comics, so if you’re super sensitive to spoilers, here’s your chance to look away.

Here are 12 Spoilers Fans Missed At The Start Of Marvel Movies (And 8 Incredibly Obvious).

20 Missed: Thor’s Shirt In Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok made waves with its boldly comical take on Thor’s journey, complete with the vivid colors and wacky humor that director Taika Waititi is known for.

One brilliant use of color that you might’ve missed involves Thor’s wardrobe in the scene where Loki and Thor track down Odin. Thor is wearing a jacket layered over two shirts; one green and one purple. It’s a subtle way to foreshadow Thor’s encounter with the Hulk on Sakaar. Or perhaps it’s Thor’s way of paying homage to his buddy, even though the Hulk has yet to don his iconic purple shorts in the MCU.

19 Obvious: Star-Lord’s Real Daddy In GotG

Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, spends a whole lot of time wondering about his biological father. Star-Lord eventually finds out that his father is Ego, a Celestial who plans to complete the Expansion. They manage to bond for a little bit until Ego reveals that he planted the tumor in Meredith’s head. Peter then realizes that Yondu is his true father figure, and is stricken with grief when the latter passes. It’s a striking realization for Peter, but not so much for the audience.

Meredith tells a young Peter that his father was an angel, made out of light. As she’s about to pass, she tells him that his father would come pick him up later on. Yondu calls himself as pretty as an angel, and literally comes to pick Peter up.

18 Missed: Feige’s Famous Pizza In Deadpool

News of Disney buying Fox was all people could talk about for a good while, and with good reason. The entertainment giant has been slowly but surely building its empire, acquiring the rights to some of the most popular (and profitable) franchises.

In Deadpool, which was distributed by 20th Century Fox, Wade orders pizza to lure the pizza delivery guy Jeremy. As the mercenary threatens Jeremy, there’s a shot that reveals the pizza place is called Feige’s Famous, a clear reference to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. The Disney/Fox deal hadn’t been put into motion when Deadpool came out, but the movie’s innocent little nod to Kevin Feige now seems just a tad bit ominous.

17 Obvious: Uncle Ben’s Spiel In Spider-Man

There are a few time-honored traditions in superhero stories: father figures will pass, and so will love interests and sidekicks, but these tragedies will always be foreshadowed by a heavy-handed speech. Perhaps the most famous instance of this is Uncle Ben’s spiel in Spider-Man.

Peter Parker’s going through a lot of changes— there’s high school, puberty, and his newfound spidey senses. Luckily, Uncle Ben’s got impeccable timing, delivering a memorable speech to his nephew in the car. Worried about Peter’s sudden changes in behavior, Uncle Ben tells Peter to be careful of the man he’s about to change into, and, of course, that with great power comes great responsibility. Sadly, Peter doesn’t heed his words until it’s too late.

16 Missed: Frozen Cap In The Incredible Hulk

It’s hard to imagine a time before Mark Ruffalo started playing Bruce Banner, but Edward Norton actually starred as the Hulk in the character’s first appearance in the MCU.

Despite the inconsistent casting, Marvel did already have a plan to weave together multiple storylines and was dropping hints everywhere. In the alternate opening of The Incredible Hulk, Bruce travels to the Arctic, having given up on finding a cure. Before Bruce can end his own life, the Hulk emerges and causes an avalanche. As the snow and ice come crashing down, you can catch a glimpse of a certain star-spangled vibranium shield in the bottom left of the frame.

15 15: Obvious: Surtur Trashing Asgard In Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok opens with Thor captured in chains as Surtur lounges on his fiery throne. It’s a quirky scene full of banter that sets the tone for the rest of Taika Waititi’s installment in Thor’s arc. Surtur waxes poetic about Asgard’s inevitable fall when he puts his crown into the Eternal Flame. Thor clearly doesn’t care, taunting him over and over as he spins around in his chains.

Surtur keeps going on and on about how Thor can’t stop Ragnarok, and since the word is literally in the movie’s title, it’s pretty obvious that the prophecy is going to come true. Sure enough, it does, although it comes with the added bonus of ending Hela’s ruthless reign over Asgard.

14 Missed: Project Pegasus And Project 42 In The Avengers

The Avengers is the culmination of years of planning, and fans were understandably excited to see our favorite heroes team up. Captain America: Civil War came out four years later, chronicling the team’s inevitable falling out over their opinions of the Sokovia Accords. As it turns out, Marvel had already dropped some small hints leading up to the Avengers’ major disagreement.

In the opening scene of The Avengers, there’s a sign that says “Project Pegasus” during the evacuation. Agent Coulson hands Tony a bunch of files, which include mentions of Project Pegasus and Project 42. Sure, Project Pegasus is the name of the Tesseract test site, but it’s also a reference to the Civil War arc in the comics.

13 Missed: Thanos’ snap survivors In Captain America: Civil War

Whether or not Ruffalo’s infamous slip about Infinity War was staged or not, it certainly got everyone talking. He was about to say something about half the characters, but quickly changed his quip. Only half of the Avengers get snapped away, so it seems like his last-minute change was sort of a save.

However, it wouldn’t have been a spoiler to the eagle-eyed few who caught this tiny hint in Civil War. The Avengers get together with Thaddeus Ross, and are informed that the UN is about to pass the Sokovia Accords. On one side of the table, there’s War Machine, Black Widow, Cap, and Iron Man, all of whom survive Thanos’s snap. Those on the other side— Wanda, Vision, and Falcon— all disintegrate.

12 Missed: “Immigrant Song” In Thor: Ragnarok

You might’ve seen Asgard’s destruction at the hands of Surtur coming from miles away— after all, it’s literally part of a prophecy– but the opening scene of Thor: Ragnarok has another hidden spoiler, specifically during the fight between Thor and Surtur.

Led Zepplin’s “Immigrant” Song underscores the scene, and it’s definitely matches the heated fight raging on. Plus, it’s inspired by Norse mythology. As it turns out, it also hints at the ending of the movie. The lyrics say “The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands.” Sure, by then Mjolnir’s been destroyed, but the Asgardians end up boarding a spaceship, transporting them away from the ruins of Asgard and toward Earth.

11 Obvious: Gwen’s fate In The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Toby Maguire might’ve been replaced by Andrew Garfield following Columbia Picture’s reboot of Spider-Man, but keeping with tradition, there was plenty of clunky foreshadowing to go around. In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Gwen Stacy delivers a speech about how temporary and fleeting life is, and how despite feeling immortal, everyone has to pass sometime. In fact, she says what makes life so valuable is that it doesn’t last forever. Get it? Because she’s one of the many famous “women in refrigerators.”

Combined with Peter’s ominous visions of Captain Stacy haunting him and warning him to stay away from Gwen, the “hint” is right up there with Uncle Ben’s speech in terms of subtly.

10 Missed: Spider-Man: Homecoming release date In Civil War

Like many of his colleagues in the MCU, Bucky Barnes has a tragic past that keeps coming back to haunt him. One of the most heart-wrenching and powerful moments has got to be when Bucky tries to resist getting activated and turned into the Winter Solider once again.

In this scene in Civil War, Zemo traps Bucky and recites a list of words that send Bucky scrambling until he’s fully activated and under Zemo’s control. The internet is abuzz with the potential significance of each word, and as it turns out, among those words are “homecoming” and “seventeen.” Spider-Man: Homecoming came out in 2017.

9 Obvious: Hope Becoming The Wasp In Ant-Man

The mid-credits scene in Ant-Man is meant to be a teaser for what’s yet to come, signalling Hope van Dyne’s transformation into the Wasp, but honestly, did anyone not see that coming? First of all, Hope is clearly a version of Hope Pym, who is also known as Red Queen in the comics, so there’s already an inkling there that she is going to be some sort of superpowered human. Second, her last name is van Dyne, and the movie explicitly states her mother was the Wasp. Third, we see a silhouette of the Wasp when Scott is in the quantum realm.

While Hope taking up the mantle isn’t much of a surprise, it’s still a significant step for the Wasp to become Marvel’s first female title character.

8 Missed: The Sentinels In X-Men: The Last Stand

It’s easy to forget that the X-Men movies are technically Marvel movies even though they’re not a part of the MCU, especially since they definitely have the intricate storytelling to match Marvel’s sprawling universe. In X-Men: The Last Stand, Wolverine and Storm have students enter the Danger Room, where they fight some Sentinels. In The Wolverine, Xavier and Magneto, knowing the Sentinels are approaching, ask Logan for his help. In Days of Future Past, the Sentinels have already taken power and are wreaking havoc on the mutants.

What started as a little Easter egg for us to geek out over turned out to be a clue to one of the most significant events in the X-Men franchise.

7 Missed: Shaw’s future In X-Men: First Class

To say Erik Lehnsherr has a tough life is a giant understatement. He’s tormented by Sebastian Shaw from an early age, and even loses his mother to the evil man. Erik’s quest for vengeance leads him to hunt down Shaw, who eventually meets his end when Magneto pushes a coin into his head.

It’s a callback to the circumstances around a traumatic event of Erik’s childhood, but it’s also foreshadowed early on. When we first see the grown-up version of Erik, he hits a picture of Shaw with the coin, and it lands right in Shaw’s forehead. You might not have foreseen the way Shaw’s life ends, but Erik certainly has given it a lot of thought.

6 Obvious: The Infinity Gauntlet In Thor

The MCU is full of Easter eggs that don’t necessarily have deeper meanings or connections to the movies they’re in. That’s why so many of these seemingly obvious clues go largely unrecognized as anything other than fun little references. However, the appearance of the Infinity Gauntlet in Odin’s vault in Thor stood out to fans.

Apart from being colorful and visually striking, it stood out compared to other Easter eggs due to its ties with Thanos, one of the biggest baddies the Avengers ever face in the comics. Plus, the fact that they had to retcon the gauntlet in Ragnarok, having Hela point out it’s a fake, just further underscores the significance of the prop going forward.

5 Missed: Iceman Comes Out In X2: X-Men United

In X2, Wolverine, Rogue, Pyro, and Iceman visit Iceman’s parents, who live in Boston. Bobby’s parents try to wrap their minds around Bobby’s mutant powers, with his mother awkwardly trying to ask him when he first found out about his mutations.

It’s a scene that had fans drawing parallels to LGBTQ experiences of coming out to family members, especially since there had been fan theories of Bobby being gay for a while. Plus, his love interest is Rogue, a girl he literally couldn’t touch at all. As it turns out, the scene foreshadowed the revelation in 2015 that Bobby is indeed gay. He joins the ranks of several other out and proud mutants in the franchise, like Northstar and Colossus.

4 Obvious: Cosmic Marvel In Iron Man

Vision came to life as an android in a synthetic body of Vibranium thanks to Tony, who used parts of J.A.R.V.I.S’s remaining data. Before J.A.R.V.I.S meets his untimely end-slash-rebirth, he’s primarily Tony’s assistant.

J.A.R.V.I.S plays a vital role for Tony when he’s in his Iron Man suit. When Tony is first testing out the suit, he tries to see how high he can fly safely. J.A.R.V.I.S is there to make sure he doesn’t mess up, of course, and he’s also there to spoil Tony’s eventual forage into space. J.A.R.V.I.S suggests that they improve the exosystems if Tony ever wants to visit other planets, and sure enough, Tony does.

3 Missed: Galaga In The Avengers

There have been a lot of parodies of and jabs at the repetitive nature of the foes the Avengers— and sci-fi heroes in general— face. The enemy is often some sort of alien creature who comes to Earth via a dimensional tunnel. The creature tries to conquer or destroy the planet with the help of mindless minions who heed their every command.

It’s a tried and tested sci-fi formula, and it’s even hinted at at the beginning of The Avengers. Tony catches a S.H.I.E.L.D technician slacking off and playing Galaga at work. The objective of the game is to protect the earth from alien invaders, much like the Avengers do at the climax of the movie.

2 Obvious: Logan Music Box In Deadpool 2

Logan made waves as not only one of the grittiest superhero movies ever scene, but also for depicting Wolverine’s final end. It’s a tearjerker of a scene with Logan holding his daughter/clone Laura’s hand.

Of course the Merc with a Mouth would make a reference to the icon’s passing in his sequel. Deadpool 2 opens with a music box with a morbid depiction of Logan’s passing. As it turns out, it’s not just an homage or irreverent poke at the mutant. It also hints at Deadpool’s own passing at the end of his movie. Deadpool’s fake demise even uses the same music that was played as Wolverine drew his last breath in Logan.

1 Missed: Super Soldier Serum In The Incredible Hulk

Cap’s cameo as a human popsicle in the alternate opening was ultimately cut from the final version of The Incredible Hulk, but the movie still has another hint to Cap’s appearance later on in the MCU. Like Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner, the main antagonist Emil Blonsky is injected with a serum designed to give him extraordinary abilities. Unlike the good guys, though, the experiment goes horribly awry for Blonsky, leaving him with a whole host of problems.

If you look closely, the serum is labelled with not only the words “Stark Industries,” but also the name of Dr. Reinstein. This is an alias of Dr. Abraham Erskine, who later shows up in Captain America to pioneer the development of the Super Soldier Serum.

What are some other spoilers at the start of Marvel movies? Tell us in the comments!

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Black Ops 4 Beginners Guide: How to Play (& Win) in Zombies Mode

The release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 brings with it a variety of different gameplay options for players. Although plenty of eyes seem to be on the title’s battle royale mode, Blackout, the traditional multiplayer modes like Team Deathmatch are still available. Also returning is the franchise’s Zombies game mode, this time with more options than ever before.

Indeed, Zombies is something of a different beast this time around. The mode comes complete with three maps, with two of them on the expansive side to boot. As such, new players might find it a little bit daunting, particularly given the intricacies of the game mode in comparison to some of the more simplistic elements of Call of Duty.

Related: Black Ops 4 Blackout Guide: Pro Tips For Battle Royale Beginners

Thankfully, new players can get a head start thanks to this guide. Read on to learn how to play Zombies mode, as well as some good strategies to help get that first win in what can be a tense and difficult part of Call of Duty.

What’s New In Zombies Mode?

This time around, Zombies is huge, with three different scenarios to choose from. Two of these revolve around Scarlett Rhodes and her band of misfits, with Voyage of Despair taking place aboard an RMS Titanic that had to handle a zombie threat alongside hitting an iceberg, while IX takes the team back in time to face gladiatorial combat in a Roman coliseum. Alongside this, there’s also the option to play Blood of the Dead, with the return of Richtofen, Dempsey, Takeo, and Nikolai.

Within that, the core gameplay loop remains the same. Survive waves of the zombie horde, unlocking areas of the map as and when the points are available, as the fight gets progressively tougher and tougher. This time around, though, it’s fair to say that the levels feel a little more maze-like and expansive, so make sure to be aware of the surroundings at all times to stop from getting stuck in a bottleneck.

Prioritize Your Points

As always, using points effectively is extremely important in Zombies. First and foremost, opening up areas of the map is a given, but more pressing is how the player uses their points towards perks and weapons. Although in early waves things like shotguns and pistols are all well and good, it’s important to aim to get weapons that have a faster fire rate and (most importantly) a faster reload rate as the game progresses. As such, look to weapons like the Spitfire or GKS to be most effective.

It’s also very important to improve the power of weapons as the game goes on. The most obvious way to do this is to keep returning to the Pack-a-Punch Machines once available, which give a 25% boost with each use. This does come at a considerable cost of 2,500 points per use, but it’s an undeniable way to get that firepower up.

Keep Moving

Staying static for too long in Zombies this time around is a recipe for disaster, as there is always the very real threat of being overrun by the horde. Whereas previous games could work with players cementing a position with a strong defensive line, at least for early portions of the game it’s recommended to keep moving. Not only does it avoid the issue of getting stuck in one place, but it also will keep players refreshed when it comes to where the different unlock options are in the map.

Keeping space from zombies is important for reasons other than this, too. Should one member of the team fall, they’ll have to be revived, and with a slightly longer revive time in Black Ops 4 it’s more vital than ever to have enough room to revive a teammate without having chunks taken out by an unseen zombie. This is particularly true when it comes to those special zombies that attack, so always keep an eye out.

Use Your Perks

In Black Ops 4‘s Zombies mode, players are able to use class customization for the first time. This isn’t just there for show, either, as a good grasp of what perks are available and how to use them can make the difference between success and failure. What’s more, the perks that can be chosen can actually work well for a variety of different play styles.

Those who want both power and speed could choose the likes of Deadshot Dealer, which automatically targets the zombie’s head when aiming down the sights, as well as Stamin-Up for a permanent boost to movement speed. Meanwhile, the frost explosion created by Winter’s Wail and the increased ammunition of Bandolier Bandit work well for those whose last stand may come from a more secure position. In essence, it comes down to how an individual best plays the game, and it’s good to have a variety of perks in the team to make the most of these options.

Work Together

As always, teamwork is the key to having an easier run of things in Zombies. Although it’s possible to play the game solo, this is always a challenge, and to help with this there are now bots to play with. Even so, it’s best to play with other human players, and as such taking on the game as a team of four is recommended.

It’s not just a matter of getting other human beings involved in the zombie slaughter, however. Working together cooperatively is key; don’t stray too far from one another, watch out for any fallen that need reviving, and potentially coordinate the perks used to make sure that everyone has bases covered for any eventuality. That way, the team should be set for what the game throws at them.

With these tips in mind, players should now have a solid framework to build on to get through the game’s Zombies mode. Whether taking a trip back in time to arena combat or trying to fight off zombified versions of Jack and Rose, Zombies is always a challenge for players, but with this guidance in mind players should be able to have a fighting chance of beating the supernatural threat.

More: Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Trophy List Completely Revealed

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2018-10-14 02:10:08 – Rob Gordon

Does Bad Times At The El Royale Have A Post-Credits Scene?

Drew Goddard’s Bad Times at the El Royale sees the writer-director try his hand at a ’60s-set noir thriller, but does it have a post-credits scene setting up a sequel or clearing up the ending? Goddard made a name for himself in Hollywood as a writer, working on TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Alias. He made his directorial debut on 2012’s The Cabin in the Woods, a film he co-wrote with Joss Whedon. The movie became a hit with critics and well-remembered by horror fans for its handling of tropes typical to the genre. Now, Goddard returns to film directing with this year’s Bad Times at the El Royale.

The movie follows seven strangers over the course of one night in the ’60s at a motel called the El Royale, which sits on the border between California and Nevada. The star-studded cast includes Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, Chris Hemsworth, Cailee Spaeny and Lewis Pullman as guests of the motel and the concierge working at the establishment. As the movie progresses, viewers follow the various characters throughout the night and gain insight into the backstories before arriving at the El Royale.

Related: Screen Rant’s Review of Bad Times at the El Royale

Now that the movie is in theaters, fans of Goddard – and/or those intrigued by the Bad Times at the El Royale trailers – have a chance to check it out, but they may be wondering if there’s an extra scene after the credits. Unfortunately, Bad Times at the El Royale does not have a post-credits scene, which means the movie wraps up entirely before the credits start to roll. While it’s always worth it to watch the credits of a film and get an idea of who was involved in making it, Bad Times at the El Royale doesn’t feature any extra teaser or scene at the very end.

Those who have seen Bad Times at the El Royale know the movie doesn’t quite leave room for a sequel, though there are undoubtedly ways one could be done. Still, it makes sense that the film doesn’t feature a post-credits scene setting up a follow-up. It’s relatively clear that there won’t be a sequel to the movie – just like there won’t be a sequel to Cabin in the Woods – but not all post-credits scenes are explicitly sequel teasers. Some are simply an additional scene that offer added context or insight into the main movie.

For instance, a Bad Times at the El Royale post-credits scene could have cleared up the mystery of who was on the film reel that’s discussed throughout the movie. Instead, viewers are left to ponder who might be the man on that reel (which was, no doubt, Goddard’s intention). So, while there may have been a way for Bad Times at the El Royale to incorporate a post-credits scene, it also doesn’t necessarily need one. At the end of the day, whether or not a movie includes a post-credits scene is up to the director and Goddard chose not to include one for Bad Times at the El Royale.

Next: Bad Times At The El Royale’s Ending & Big Mysteries Explained

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2018-10-11 04:10:56 – Molly Freeman

Wonder Woman Does The Unthinkable To Save DC’s Magic

Warning: SPOILERS For Wonder Woman #56

The latest chapter of The Witching Hour crossover has seen Wonder Woman and her allies in Justice League Dark joining forces with her most powerful enemy – the sorceress Circe. Given Circe’s long-standing grudge against the Amazons and Diana, it would take extraordinary circumstances for her to put aside her legendary spite for a common goal.  Of course with magic itself dying in DC’s Universe, describing the current circumstances as “extraordinary” is putting things lightly.

Based on the character from Greek mythology, the DC Comics version of Circe first appeared in Wonder Woman #37 in 1949. The precise reasons for Circe’s hatred of The Amazons and Wonder Woman have changed several times over the years, but the most common reasons are that The Amazons were responsible for imprisoning Circe for her crimes against humanity and that a prophecy predicted that Circe’s doom would be brought about by the Amazon princess. Though she first appeared during the Golden Age of Comics, it was not until George Perez’s revamp of Wonder Woman in 1987 that Circe was redeveloped into a major player in Princess Diana’s Rogues’ Gallery. It is a position of dishonor she has held ever since.

Related: Wonder Woman Unlocks New Powers of Witchcraft

The first chapter of The Witching Hour revealed that Wonder Woman was a conduit for hereto unknown magic powers – the result of her having been branded as a child by followers of Hectate, the Ancient Greek goddess of Magic. With Zatanna having discovered the meaning of the magical brand, Justice League Dark was able to start seeking answers as to what was happening to Wonder Woman and why.

This led them to Aeaea – the island home of Circe, according to The Odyssey. It was hoped that Circe, who drew her powers from a connection to Hectate, might know something of what was going on and be willing to bargain for that knowledge.

Though she was hostile at first, Circe was mollified the moment she saw what she called “the witchmark” on Diana’s forehead. Circe went on to explain the history of Hectate and how she was truly a power far older than the Olympian gods. The first wizards tried to tap Hectate’s power for their own uses unsuccessfully, caging a far more evil source of power that would come to slowly infect the world, and Hectate herself, with darkness.

This led Hectate to take the majority of her power and split it among five mortal vessels, The Witchmarked, who would hold Hectate’s pure and unsullied essence until a time when the magic of the rising darkness had begun to fade. Then Hectate would reclaim her power to defeat it, once and for all. As each of The Witchmarked died, the followers of Hectate would find another woman to hold Hectate’s power, passing her energy down from generation to generation.

The problem, Circe reveals, is that the passing years have corrupted Hectate’s mind and she is now a being born of spite and hatred rather than love and light and it was that desire for revenge that made Circe into a perfect avatar for Hectate’s power. The practical upshot is that while Hectate may be capable of fighting the rising darkness, she will forever destroy magic as it is known on Earth, with no magical power but her’s existing. This leaves Justice League Dark with few good options, as Wonder Woman seems doomed to die no matter what and the best option involves all magic being under the control of a single vengeful goddess. Of course all this assumes that Circe is telling the truth and this isn’t part of her own plan for revenge on Diana.

Wonder Woman #56 is now available from DC Comics.

More: Say Goodbye To Magic in DC’s Comic Universe

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2018-10-11 01:10:54 – Matt Morrison

Black Panther 2 Moving Forward With Ryan Coogler Set to Write & Direct

Ryan Coogler is confirmed to return to write and direct Black Panther 2. Marvel Studios found massive success earlier this year with the launch of Black Panther. It was the first MCU movie to star a person of color in Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa. The movie featured almost an entirely black cast and wound up receiving rave reviews, in addition to earning over $1 billion at the box office.

Due to the success, there’s been heavy speculation about the status of a sequel. There’s been no official word from Marvel Studios about where the movie stood, let alone the status of the film’s cast. However, the biggest focus for many was whether or not writer-director Ryan Coogler would return.

Related: Michael B. Jordan Open to Black Panther 2 Return

THR has now confirmed that Ryan Coogler is indeed returning to Wakanda. They’ve confirmed that he’ll write and direct Black Panther 2 for Marvel Studios. Production is currently expected to get started in late 2019 or early 2020.

Coogler returning to direct Black Panther 2 has been expected for some time, but now it is nice to finally have the confirmation that he’s returning. He’d signed up for other projects since Black Panther hit theaters, so he took his time deciding to return to Wakanda. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige previously said he wanted Coogler to make the sequel. They’re doing just that with this announcement, as they may have wanted to get the sequel moving even quicker because of just how big of a hit the original was.

Now that Coogler is locked in for Black Panther 2, the hope to shoot the sequel in late 2019 or early 2020 will depend on a few things. The first will be Coogler finishing the script and getting it into the proper place to actually start production. Feige previously said they have a “pretty solid direction” for the sequel’s story, so this may just be a matter of Coogler putting pen to paper. The other major step that will need to be completed is actually aligning the franchise’s multiple stars’ busy schedules. Boseman is continuing to take on new projects, while breakout cast members like Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong’o, and Danai Gurira have also continued to book future movies.

Although Marvel has yet to confirm Coogler’s return or even that they’re making Black Panther 2, the longterm planning on their part clued many in on this timetable for the sequel. They previously dated untitled Marvel movies into 2022, and the February 2021 release date was quickly pointed to by many as Black Panther 2‘s likely landing spot. This reported production schedule should only reaffirm that belief. Of course, Marvel doesn’t plan on announcing any of their future projects officially until after Avengers 4 hits theaters, so it may still be several months before Coogler’s involvement and Black Panther 2‘s release date become officially official. But for now, his involvement has been confirmed by several sources and is a great step forward for the sequel.

MORE: Letitia Wright Wants Shuri to Become Black Panther

Source: THR

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2018-10-11 01:10:10 – Cooper Hood