Dwayne Johnson Thinks A Black Superman Will Happen Soon

Dwayne Johnson states his belief that one day cinematic comic book adaptations will see a version of Superman played by a black actor. The action star is next to be seen in The Fast and the Furious spin off Hobbs & Shaw, which features a line where Idris Elba’s villainous super soldier Brixton Lore declares himself “black Superman.”

Recent years have seen POC characters from comics begin to receive greater prominence in movie adaptations, with the likes of Black Panther and Miles Morales’ Spider-Man headlining their own movies, while the likes of Falcon, War Machine and Captain Marvel’s Maria Rambeau have played important supporting roles. It’s also worth noting that the film often seen as the first Marvel movie of the modern age, the pre-MCU Blade, has a black protagonist.

Related: Krypton Turns A Superman Villain Into The Greatest Weapon Against Zod

The subject came up when Johnson was interviewed by Variety at the world premiere for Hobbs & Shaw. When asked about how he believes Hollywood is handling inclusion and diversity in its superhero output, he was optimistic, stating that Marvel has done a “tremendous job.” Regarding DC, he has a more personal perspective – Johnson is of mixed race descent, with a black Nova Scotian father and a Samoan mother – from his upcoming starring role in the standalone film of Shazam villain Black Adam. A for the subject of a black Superman specifically, he finally quips, “You’re looking at him!” You can watch the whole statement below.

A precedent for a black Superman already exists in DC Comics canon, in the shape of Kryptonian refugee Val-Zod on the New 52’s version of Earth 2. After spending most of his life inside his escape capsule he developed agoraphobia, and had only started to overcome it with the help of Lois Lane’s Red Tornado when he was called upon to battle Kal-El, who had been revealed as a clone under the control of Darkseid for an invasion of Earth by the forces of Apokolips. Ultimately victorious over the mockery of his planetary brother, he subsequently took on the mantle of Superman and began reclaiming the world from the invaders.

From his inception, Superman has largely been portrayed as white, but such a skin tone is often seen as a ‘default’ with little bearing on who the character is, meaning that should an adaptation see them played by an actor of a different ethnicity, it would not alter the character’s fundamental nature. Such a change was recently seen in the DCEU’s Aquaman, where a character historically depicted as a pale blonde man was portrayed by the Hawaiian Jason Momoa. Having a black actor play Superman would certainly cause a stir and possibly an internet outcry even bigger than any other time a similar announcement has been made, such as recently regarding Halle Bailey as The Little Mermaid or Lashana Lynch in the next James Bond movie. The very purpose of Superman as a character is to embody everything that is good and admirable about humanity, something for which a pale skin tone is not specifically required, meaning that anyone with merely the right kind of presence, charisma and physicality would suit the role. Perhaps Idris Elba isn’t so short of the mark after all.

Next: Dwayne Johnson Likens His Black Adam Character’s Powers To Superman

Source: Variety

2019-07-15 01:07:47

Andrew Marshall

Sam Raimi Still Thinks About Spider-Man 4 | ScreenRant

Director Sam Raimi says he still thinks about his unmade Spider-Man 4. Raimi is best known for creating The Evil Dead, but he also dabbled in superhero movies in the early 2000s. Raimi directed a total of three Spider-Man films from 2002 to 2007 starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker.

Despite Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy making Sony a ton of money at the box office, the series was rebooted in 2012 with Andrew Garfield as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. That being said, Raimi had plans for a fourth Spider-Man movie before it was canceled. Raimi didn’t want to rush Spider-Man 4, but Sony had to keep making Spider-Man movies or the rights to the character would revert back to Marvel. The film was expected to star John Malkovich as the Vulture and Anne Hathaway as Black Cat, while also including a montage at the beginning of Spider-Man battling villains like Rhino, Shocker, Prowler, and even Mysterio (who would have been played by Bruce Campbell). Unfortunately, the sequel never happened, but Raimi still thinks about it to this day.

Related: The Plot Of Sam Raimi’s Cancelled Spider-Man 4

When Yahoo interviewed Raimi about the recently released Crawl, which Raimi produced, he briefly talked about his unmade Spider-Man film. Raimi explained that he frequently thinks about what could have been saying,

“I think about it all the time. It’s hard not to, because each summer another Spider-Man film comes out! So when you have an unborn one, you can’t help but think what might have been. But I try to focus on what will be, and not look into the past.”.

While Raimi has turned more to producing horror movies these days, he previously revealed that he would be open to directing another Marvel movie at some point. That being said, his Marvel movie probably wouldn’t be Spider-Man 4 since Sony and Marvel are seeing so much success with Tom Holland as the famous web-slinger. There has been a lot of fan art recently imagining Maguire, Garfield, and Holland in a live-action Spider-Verse movie, but that is only wishful thinking at this point.

As mentioned previously, fans have widely accepted Holland as Spider-Man, but there are those that still think that the 2004 Spider-Man 2 is still one of the best superhero movies ever made. Spider-Man 3 was a disappointment to many, but if Raimi would have gotten another shot with Spider-Man 4, he could have ended his series on a high note. While many fans would be thrilled to finally get Spider-Man 4, it’s extremely unlikely that will ever happen.

More: How Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy Set Up The Lizard

Source: Yahoo

2019-07-13 06:07:50

Christopher Fiduccia

Walking Dead Actor Thinks Killing Glenn & Abraham Was Overkill For Fans

AMC’s The Walking Dead actor Michael Cudlitz says it was a mistake to have Negan kill both Abraham and Glenn in the same episode, as it was too much of a loss for fans. Based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead debuted on AMC in 2010 and quickly established itself as one of the highest rated shows on cable TV, with numbers rivaling those of network series. However, ratings for The Walking Dead have seen a steady decline in recent seasons, with the recently aired season 9 hitting new lows for the long-running show.

Pinpointing exactly why The Walking Dead has seen a decline in interest may be difficult, but it seems clear that for many fans, a big turning point was the highly controversial season 7 premiere in which bad guy Negan brutally murdered fan favorite characters Abraham and Glenn. Death was of course a big part of The Walking Dead even before that episode, but many fans thought the show went over the line in depicting the full graphic violence of Negan beating Abraham and Glenn to death with his baseball bat Lucille. It didn’t help that the murders came after a season 6 cliffhanger that left fans feeling manipulated.

Related: The Walking Dead Season 9 Ending Explained

In a recent appearance on The IMDb Show, one of the participants in The Walking Dead‘s bloodiest and most controversial episode gave his own thoughts on why the show miscalculated in having Negan unleash his full brutality on two such popular characters. Cudlitz, who played Abraham, says he believes the double-murder was simply too much for the audience to take, and it was a particular mistake to kill Glenn given what he represented to fans. Cudlitz said:

“I always said, I personally thought it was not the wisest thing to take both Abraham and Glenn out in the same episode. It’s too much of a loss for the fans, for the audience. [Glenn’s] like the moral compass and the heart of the show at the time, even pulling Rick back, he was almost the Herschel whisperer – he’d also become that other side of him that was able to guide him, or at least help guide him.”

Indeed, Cudlitz is not the first Walking Dead cast member to express regret over the way Glenn and Abraham’s deaths were played. Rick Grimes actor Andrew Lincoln previously said he wished the show hadn’t gone so over-the-top in depicting every gory detail of the murders, including showing Glenn’s eyeball popping out after a blow from Negan. Steven Yeun, the actor who played Glenn, also expressed disappointment over the way his character was handled, saying The Walking Dead never “appreciated” Glenn.

Fans certainly seem to agree with Cudlitz, Lincoln and Yeun when it comes to the way Glenn and Abraham were dispatched from the show, as many of them gave up after the season 7 premiere and never returned. Though many think The Walking Dead has seen a resurgence in quality under new showrunner Angela Kang, the audience does not seem to be returning, which speaks partly to the lingering offense fans feel over the way the show seemed to revel in the brutality of Glenn and Abraham’s deaths as though they were mere props in some wild B-grade horror movie. The Walking Dead of course remains a violent and bloody show, as evidenced by The Whisperers’ massacre in the late stages of season 9, when multiple characters including Henry, Tara and Enid were killed and their heads put on spikes, but that violence now seems tempered by a little more sensitivity toward the characters and the fans’ feelings about them.

More: What To Expect From The Walking Dead Season 10

Source: The IMDb Show

2019-04-19 08:04:27

Dan Zinski

Gearbox Boss Thinks Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store Exclusivity Will Change Gaming

Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford thinks that the Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store exclusivity deal will be the start of a massive change in the gaming industry, according to a series of tweets the president of the company fired off into the void over the course of this past weekend. Pitchford is no stranger to lengthy speeches—anyone familiar with the Borderlands 3 reveal event at PAX East just under a month ago will know that the Gearbox boss has a penchant for saying what’s on his mind.

Borderlands 3 was the center of controversy when it was announced the game would be skipping Valve’s Steam platform for the first six months of its release, with publisher 2K Games deciding to enter into an exclusivity deal with the fledgling Epic Games Store. It’s a big get for Epic, a company with more than enough money to fund a successful digital distribution platform that simply needs major games to choose its service. For Borderlands 3, however, it was a decidedly more middling affair—while some people had no issue with the decision, some decided to review bomb Borderlands 2 while attempting to protest a move that was inexplicably being called unfair.

Related: Borderlands 3 Is An Epic Games Store Exclusive, Releases This September

Pitchford began his weekend tweetstorm by reminding fans that, while he apparently has “some influence” on the process, the choice of Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store exclusivity ultimately fell to 2K Games. He also wasn’t shy in acknowledging that the Epic Games Store is lacking a number of the features that players find appealing about Steam, but Pitchford then suggested Epic’s roadmap for its online store, while already enticing, was likely not even the entirety of features that will be added over the coming months. With all the caveats out of the way, Pitchford began to illustrate why he believes Steam is no longer the future of gaming, and why Borderlands 3 could be the catalyst in changing the game industry as we know it:

To be fair, Pitchford was not attempting to assert that it was solely the Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store exclusivity deal that would bring about these changes. Rather, the Gearbox boss was insistent that having major releases like Borderlands 3 as early adopters of Epic’s platform would help bolster it during its most vulnerable periods after launch, helping to establish a legitimate competitor for Steam faster. Essentially, Pitchford is making the extremely compelling argument that competition in any business sector leads to a better environment for consumers, and as Valve scrambles to appeal to developers considering leaving the platform and Epic places a high priority on customer satisfaction, that assertion already seems to be coming true. Of course, in true Pitchford fashion, he couldn’t resist a little dig:

The “brigade” he’s discussing is likely the attempt at tearing down Borderlands on Steam, so it’s fair play to a man whose franchise, which is noted for its high quality and innovative approach to shooters, has been unfairly attacked by those upset with the digital distribution landscape.

As much as Pitchford’s thread can sometimes lose a bit of focus—it’s a lot of tweets all at once—it makes some excellent points about why the Borderlands 3 Epic Games Store exclusivity deal is probably a good thing for gaming overall. Creating competition will give digital distribution platforms incentive to pass savings on to consumers while constantly tweaking their features and, given what a toxic hellhole Steam has become when it comes to curation policy, it’s hard to imagine things getting worse as a result. We’ll wait and see, but for now, Pitchford’s impassioned speech has made yet another compelling case for the Epic Games Store, even if suggesting the inclusion of Borderlands 3 in its offerings will be a historic turning point in gaming is a pretty bold prediction.

Next: Borderlands 3 Revealed at PAX East 2019, Will Have One Billion Guns

Source: @DuvalMagic

2019-04-17 07:04:07

Cody Gravelle

Amy Hennig Thinks AAA Game Development Needs Drastic Changes

Amy Hennig thinks AAA game development needs drastic changes. The award-winning video game director and script writer has forged a highly respected career since her early days with Nintendo, navigating the industry as it continues to grow and change, while being directly involved with successful Naughty Dog franchises like Uncharted, as well as Jak and Daxter.

Having worked in the industry for such an extensive period, Hennig has seen numerous changes in how games are made and played, as well as how different the staffing of game development teams has become. With recent news that huge names in gaming like Activision-Blizzard and EA would be laying off substantial swaths of their staff, many outside and within the gaming industry have been left wondering exactly what is going on. The question becomes particularly pointed when consideration is given to the fact that Blizzard brought in record profits last year, only to turn around and eliminate 800 jobs.

Related: Here’s What Amy Hennig’s Uncharted 4 Could Have Been

Last month, at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas, Hennig spoke after being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. According to GamesIndustry, during her speech, the gaming development veteran addressed many of the realities currently being faced by AAA game developers in what is a rapidly changing industry. Though the idea of downsizing development teams is a difficult one to deal with, Hennig sees outsourced labor as the future of game creation, something that is more in line with how film and television is made. She said:

“If we’re in a studio system, but we’re all free agents, what would that look like? This is all speculative, because we’re still living in a world where big companies have these giant staffs. But even so, we never really used to do external development. Everything we did was more or less in-house. And more and more – particularly for art, visual effects, and things like that – we are working with external vendors a lot. It wouldn’t be possible to make these big, impressive games if we weren’t. So it feels like there’s already a move in that direction. Whether it just becomes that we still have big teams and more external partners or smaller teams and more things are externalized remains to be seen.”

Having spent such a lengthy period of time working in the video game industry and having made such a prominent name for herself there, it’s easy to forget that Hennig’s career path was initially intended to involve the film industry. It was a job with Atari as an animator that pulled her out of film school, making her realize that her heart was in gaming rather than film. She has also previously stated that she’s found a great use for her filmmaking education in game development, in ways that she hadn’t previously expected. And with more AAA gaming titles increasingly blurring the line between gaming and cinema (Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 even offers gamers a cinematic mode option), the future of gaming seems to indicate that the difference between video games and movies is growing smaller with each new release.

It’s especially interesting to see one of the biggest names in video game development calling for a new, industry saving model at time when filmmakers seem to be engaged in their own debate regarding what’s best for their industry. The discussion surrounding films released on streaming platforms potentially means big changes, as does a game development model that sees artists working in a freelance capacity rather than as a part of a huge team. Whether or not AAA game franchises will begin to employ this strategy on a regular basis remains to be seen, but if, at present, industry torchbearers like Amy Hennig see a future in such a model, there’s a good chance that a substantial sea change is coming.

More: Screen Rant’s 25 Most Anticipated Video Games of 2019

Source: GamesIndustry

2019-03-09 06:03:41

Mike Jones

X-Men’s Chris Claremont Thinks Idris Elba Should Play Bishop

One of the most important writers in the history of the X-Men franchise has made his choice for who should play the time-traveling mutant known as Bishop in future X-Men projects, as Chris Claremont has declared on Facebook that Idris Elba should take on the role.

Claremont is widely considered to be the most important writer in the history of the X-Men comic books. The team was originally created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, but it’s Claremont’s stint as a writer on Uncanny X-Men that helped propel the team to mainstream status, as he created and co-created the iconic “The Dark Phoenix Saga” and “Days of Future Past” storylines, the former of which is being loosely adapted for the next X-Men movie. It should be mentioned that Claremont created lots of famous X-Men characters during his tenure as writer, but Bishop was not one of them, as he was created by John Byrne and Whilce Portacio.

Related: Idris Elba In Talks To Lead Max Landis’ Supernatural Thriller Deeper

Claremont put up a post on Facebook talking about the trailer for the upcoming Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw movie, in which Elba plays the leader of a terrorist organization. It was after seeing Elba playing a villain role in the trailer that Claremont took to Facebook to talk about how he would be an amazing choice for his vision of Bishop in future X-Men movie projects.

Elba already has a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he plays Heimdall of Asgard. The last time we saw Heimdall was when he was being slain at the start of Avengers: Infinity War, but he ‘s playing a Norse god and this is a comic book movie, so he could easily be brought back to life in a future film.

Bishop has already appeared in the X-Men movie franchise as one of the mutants from the future timeline in X-Men: Days of Future Past, where he was played by Omar Sy. The movie version of Bishop was only a minor character, which is in stark contrast to the comic book version of the character. The original version of Bishop from the comics was a mutant who was sent back in time to stop the X-Men from being betrayed by one of their own, which served as a running storyline for years until it was revealed that Charles Xavier himself was the traitor. The Disney-Fox Acquisition seems to be bringing the X-Men movie franchise to a close, which means that Marvel’s mutants will soon be free to join the MCU, where they’ll all almost certainly be recast. If Heimdall has truly met his end at the hands of Thanos and his servants, then there is nothing stopping Elba from playing Bishop.

The famous “Days of Future Past” storyline has already been adapted into a movie, but that film based the time travel plot around Kitty Pryde and Wolverine. The lack of focus on Bishop in that film opens up the possibility of him playing a major role in one of the upcoming X-Men movies, as the traitor storyline (along with the “Onslaught” storyline that it led into) have yet to be adapted for the movies. It’s possible that Claremont’s casting wish might come true in the future.

More: Dark Phoenix: Jessica Chastain’s Villain Controls Jean Grey in New Image

Source: Chris Claremont

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2019-02-03 01:02:30

Dick Grayson Thinks Nightwing’s Costume is Coolest, Too

The Batman family may rely on capes, cowls, and gadgets, but Nightwing has relied on nothing but his signature suit and streak of blue to win fans. So it shouldn’t really surprise anyone that Nightwing himself, Dick Grayson, ranks his superhero suit as one of DC’s coolest.

Not that Dick Grayson would ever be the kind of superhero to brag about such a thing (there are too many… questionable Nightwing costumes in his past to get an ego). But now that he’s gotten some distance from the role, turning it over to DC’s new Nightwing, the former sidekick is finally able to see his threads with fresh eyes. Will acknowledging how good it looks to be Nightwing help lure him back into the role?

RELATED: Titans Trolls Nightwing Fans With His Iconic Weapons

After Nightwing took a bullet to the head, the status quo went out the window where Dick Grayson was concerned. He recovered, thankfully, but with his memories of everything past his circus upbringing wiped clean, he decided to embrace change. He was raised a nomad, and would become one again – even if it meant letting down Batman, Alfred, and even his undying love, Batgirl. Until now he’s managed to chart his own course as the Nightwing persona was adopted by a new vigilante. But in Nightwing #53, he finally ends up crossing paths with his replacement… and can’t help but take mental stock, seeing how everyone else sees Nightwing for the very first time.

Let’s cover the most obvious problem fans are going to have with Dick Grayson’s comments here: Yes, it IS hard to believe that any other human could fill out the Nightwing suit as well as the former Robin. That said, the appearance of Detective Alphonse Sapienza speaks for itself – proving the Blüdhaven police department demands the same level of athleticism as its rooftop vigilantes. Either way, Dick’s response shows that even for superheroes, they may not know how good they have it until passing on their name and costume to a successor.

What may get the Nightwing fans even more stirred up is the implication that Dick Grayson might be implying Detective Spaienza looks cooler than he did in his previous version. Since the most notable changes “Sap” made to the suit involve his handgun and holster, Dick noting his “cool” appearance may even prove controversial among those who believe guns and Bat-heroes don’t mix. But that was the old Dick Grayson – we’re looking at the brand new ‘Ric’ Grayson, now. Without the influence of his friends, who knows what he might be interested in these days (or how long before he comes to his senses)?

For the meantime, those interested in weighing in on the debate can check out the first pages of Nightwing #53 or pick up their own copy in physical and digital comic shops everywhere. And, of course, sound off in the comments as to whether or not you share Dick Grayson’s opinion that Nightwing’s uniform shines no matter who’s wearing it.

Nightwing #53 is available now from DC Comics.

MORE: DC Reminds Fans Nightwing is Their Most Important Hero

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Cyborg Actor Ray Fisher Reunites With Zack Snyder In New Photo

Justice League star Ray Fisher reunited with his former director, Zack Snyder, today at the filmmaker’s old office, and they both posted a photo together on social media, but it’s unclear why Fisher decided to stop by Snyder’s office. Years ago, before WB’s unofficially titled DC Extended Universe had gotten underway, Snyder – as well as his producing team and the casting department at Warner Bros. – ultimately decided to cast the actor as the DC superhero Cyborg.

While Fisher made his real debut in 2017’s Justice League movie, he first had a cameo in Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice alongside some of the rest of the world’s finest heroes, namely Jason Momoa (Aquaman) and Ezra Miller (The Flash). Even though his fellow co-stars were all thrilled to portray their superheroes, Fisher was especially excited, and he hasn’t refrained from continuing to express that enthusiasm despite everything that happened with Snyder and Justice League.

Related: Justice League’s Ray Fisher Thinks Cyborg Would Be Costly To Make

It seems that Ray Fisher visited Zack Snyder’s office today, and they both posted the photo on social media; Fisher made his post on Twitter, saying, “Me and the Cap’n making it happen… #BORGLIFE,” while Snyder, of course, posted on Vero, saying, “Look who’s hanging out at the office today.” Take a look:

A specific reason for why Fisher visited Snyder today hasn’t been determined, but it presumably had nothing to do with the DC movie universe, despite the fact that Snyder is technically still on board as producer for some of the future movies, like Aquaman and Wonder Woman 1984. In all likelihood, it’s possible that Fisher was merely on the WB lot for something else (perhaps for something in relation to HBO’s True Detective season 3, which he stars in), or maybe he just happened to be in the general area and wanted to stop by to visit Snyder, who is currently working on developing The Fountainhead (not The Last Photograph, as previously assumed), an adaptation of Ayn Rand’s 1943 novel of the same name.

Regardless of the reason Fisher and Snyder met up today, the photo could ignite some speculation that Fisher could potentially appear in Snyder’s new project or that they were discussing WB’s Cyborg movie, which doesn’t seem to have moved forward in development since its initial announcement. It was originally slated to release in 2020, but that no longer seems to be the case. Furthermore, if it ever does happen, it’s certainly possible that Snyder would be on board as a producer, just like he’s producing the other Justice League character spinoff movies.

Next: DC’s Cyborg Movie Still Happening, May Use Scrapped Justice League Story

Source: Ray Fisher, Zack Snyder

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2018-10-10 05:10:11 – Mansoor Mithaiwala

Charlie Cox Thinks The Defenders Was Too Slow, Still Wants Season 2

Marvel’s The Defenders miniseries had its issues, but Charlie Cox thinks there’s potential for a second season. The Daredevil star, who’s currently doing promotion for the third season of the Netflix Marvel universe’s flagship show, discussed the possibility of bringing all the New York heroes back together, and what needs to be different this time around to ensure it doesn’t continue to be the least-viewed Marvel series on the streaming service.

Cox isn’t the first actor to speak out about season 2. In March, prior to the release of Jessica Jones season 2, Krysten Ritter shared that if the opportunity came about, she would do another season, but that she didn’t think there were any plans to go down that path. However, more recently, at Baltimore Comic-Con, Mike Colter (who stars in Luke Cage) joked that the crowd didn’t cheer enough in response to a mention of The Defenders season 2, but then replied to the increased applause, “Alright, alright, maybe we can do something.”

Related: The Defenders Season 2 Probably Isn’t Happening

Now, Cox is adding his two cents, and he’s even more positive. Speaking with Metro, Cox revealed how much he enjoyed working on The Defenders. He said he got “a little kick out of” seeing how the four unique heroes came together, and worked side-by-side. The issue, Cox believes, was the format, agreeing with many fans that the season “felt too slow,” but that he thinks this is because there was an emphasis on setting things up naturally, and then they ran out of time to put a focus on the actual team-up.

Cox went on to praise showrunner Marco Ramirez for his ability to meld the very different heroes into one show, calling it a “mammoth undertaking” that “he did fantastically.” But moving forward, he sees the benefit in keeping things on a smaller scale. “I would like to see a story that is more in keeping with the show’s that we make, which is a little bit more grounded, a little more boots on the ground. I don’t want to see us try and compete with the Avengers in terms of the scope.” However, though he clearly has hopes for a season 2, Cox isn’t aware of any progress made toward making more of The Defenders.

Frankly, despite how cool it is to see worlds merge and superheroes team up, it’s hard to see the benefit of another season. The various loose ends from the final episode will (hopefully) be all tied up by Daredevil season 3, and it’s undeniable that the show was fraught with mistakes and plot holes. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen in some capacity. Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel TV, made some intriguing comments last month, hinting that perhaps another season could involve a different group of heroes as the Defenders. Considering the wealth of captivating supporting characters the connected series have offered, this could be an idea worth exploring for Netflix.

More: The Defenders Season 2 Probably Isn’t Happening

Source: Metro

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2018-10-09 05:10:32 – Becca Bleznak

20 Crazy Details Behind The Making Of The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Roger Ebert once wrote that The Rocky Horror Picture Show was less a movie and more of a “social phenomenon.” This is probably the most accurate way to describe the 1975 rock musical, as it just isn’t an ordinary film. First released to a less-than-stellar reception, Rocky Horror eventually found long-lasting fame from an unlikely source: audience participation. Its original theatrical run didn’t garner much praise, but the film came into its own when theaters began showing it at midnight screenings, now infamous for the almost ritualistic ways the audience dresses, shouts, and flings objects at the screen.

Rocky Horror is a legend of cult cinema– one of the few movies that has earned that title again and again. The film follows what appears to be a whole married couple, Brad and Janet (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon), as they stay the night at a spooky old mansion owned by Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry, in the performance that rocketed him to stardom). What ensues is a celebration of kitsch, camp, horror, and science fiction cinema, a musical that makes very little logical sense but is a ton of fun.

Naturally, a film like that has to have a riveting story behind the scenes. Written by Richard O’Brien and directed by Jim Sharman, The Rocky Horror Picture Show has just as many crazy details behind the camera as in front of it. Those details will be counted down here, and we’ll get straight to it, as we can see you tremble with antici…

Pation. This is 20 Crazy Details Behind The Making Of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

20 It originally had a different title

The original stage version of the movie had a whirlwind creative process, with Richard O’Brien whipping up the show with his artist and actor friends fairly quickly. As it happens, they were originally rehearsing the show under a different title.

It was called They Came From Denton High due to the story being set somewhere near Denton, Texas.

Obviously, that didn’t last, but O’Brien and director Jim Sharman didn’t change it until the very last minute. Sharman suggested the name change just before previews of the stage show, based on the genres they were spoofing. Thus was “The Rocky Horror Show” born (only the movie had the extra “Picture” in the title, naturally).

19 Brad and Janet were replaced

The cast of Rocky Horror is mostly unchanged from the stage show to the movie. Richard O’Brien and Jim Sharman kept their creative team mostly intact, too, so when you’re watching the movie it should really feel like you’re just seeing a filmed version of the stage show. Well, except for a few roles.

Aside from the high-profile cameo from Meat Loaf and a few other replacements, the protagonists were also switched out.

The original actors for Brad and Janet wanted to reprise their roles, but studio executives at Fox felt they needed two US actors in those parts to help sell the movie. Rocky Horror fans can’t complain, as Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon did a great job as Brad and Janet, but we feel for those two original actors whose roles were taken from them.

18 The story behind the lips

Everyone who has seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show– not to mention plenty of people who have only seen the poster– are familiar with the lips that open the film. This iconic image is actually the product of several people working together, rather than just one actress.

The lips that appear in the film are Patricia Quinn’s (who also played Magenta), but she’s only lip-syncing the song “Science Fiction/Double Feature” even though she did in the stage show. The singer is actually creator Richard O’Brien. And the lips on that famous poster are those of somebody else entirely, former model Lorelei Shark.

17 The costume designer didn’t want to do it

Costume designer Sue Blane is credited with much of The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s lasting appeal thanks to her designs that spoofed the traditions of cinema and leaned heavily into camp. The movie wouldn’t be the same without her, but it almost had to do just that, as she wasn’t interested in the project at first.

In fact, Blane herself says that it took director Jim Sharman meeting with her personally and getting her tipsy before she saw the light. Blane didn’t like the idea of doing a silly project for very little money, but when she found out Tim Curry and a bunch of her other favorite colleagues and friends were already committed to the show, she relented. Thank goodness for that.

16 Tim Curry wasn’t new to corsets

Tim Curry has a long and storied career on the stage and screen, and his rise to prominence came largely thanks to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Given that it was his first hit movie role, people tend to forget that Curry wasn’t a complete rookie. Case in point: Curry had actually starred in a similar stage show before originating the role of Frank N. Furter in Rocky Horror’s stage incarnation.

Curry had also worn a corset in a production of The Maids.

Costume designer Sue Blane had worked that same production. For Rocky Horror, Blane says she simply asked the theater for the same corset for Curry to wear. Naturally, Blane remarked that Curry took to the corset “like a duck to water.”

15 Susan Sarandon’s sickness

Cinema can be a fickle thing– while you’d expect film sets to be glamorous affairs, with every possible amenity available to the actors, you would occasionally be very wrong. The Rocky Horror Picture Show was no picnic to make, as the cast and crew had to endure unheated sets while filming scenes in pools.

This might not sound like a big deal, but it was for Susan Sarandon, who fell ill during production. The filmmakers had nothing but kind words for her after her gritty effort to push through with the work, as they mentioned that she was literally “shaking with fever” on set but kept on going in spite of that.

14 Rocky was supposed to talk

Sometimes you’ve just gotta improvise when you’re making a film. While the creative team behind The Rocky Horror Picture Show might have thought they had the perfect casting when they got Peter Hinwood to play the character of Rocky Horror, they changed their minds when they found out he was a model who had zero acting experience. Rocky Horror originally had dialogue in the film, but after watching Hinwood act, Sharman and O’Brien elected to remove all his speaking parts.

Another singer dubbed over the character’s singing parts, so Hinwood’s voice never actually shows up in the film.

Clearly, they were in love with his looks, but not the way he sounded.

13 You can book a room where it was filmed

The Rocky Horror Picture Show was filmed at Oakley Court in England, a castle that had been host to several horror films in its past. While it may not have been the most welcoming place for the film crew in 1975 (at the time, it had no heating and few bathrooms), it’s doing a better job of that nowadays.

Oakley Court is now a ritzy hotel, allowing guests to stay in the location that was the home to many of their favorite spooky movies from days gone by. Nowadays, of course, the hotel advertises its proximity to LEGOLAND more than it does its connection to film history, but we’d like to think there are still a few Rocky Horror fans who make the trip.

12 The David Bowie connection

This might seem unrelated to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but it isn’t.

Pierre LaRoche was one of the creative forces behind David Bowie’s now-iconic Ziggy Stardust look, but that wasn’t the only influential job the makeup artist held.

LaRoche was also the person film producers turned to when they wanted a makeup redesign for the characters in Rocky Horror. While Sue Blane gets the lion’s share of the credit for the character designs in the film, we shouldn’t forget that it was Pierre LaRoche who actually came up with the makeup designs. Though the make-up is a touch more subtle than costumes, it’s still one of the main reasons the visuals of the film are so fun to watch.

11 Meat Loaf didn’t actually drive the motorcycle

Singer and occasional actor Meat Loaf has a memorable turn in Rocky Horror as Eddie, the delivery boy and partial brain donor to Rocky, who is tragically stabbed by Frank N. Furter. Eddie gets a fun entrance, bursting out of a freezer on a motorcycle, but the problem is that Meat Loaf didn’t actually ride that motorcycle. Aside from a few less dangerous wide shots, Meat Loaf left the actual driving to a stunt man as he says he didn’t feel comfortable doing anything risky on it.

For the close-up shots that needed to look like Eddie was on the motorcycle, the crew rigged up a wheelchair for Meat Loaf to ride.

That way, safety didn’t need to be sacrificed. Or that was the theory, anyway, as the wheelchair didn’t turn out to be that safe anyway.

10 The on-set injuries

Though it wasn’t Jim Sharman’s debut feature, The Rocky Horror Picture Show was not a film staffed by the most experienced team. This is perhaps reflected best by the apparently high number of on-set injuries that occurred– even ignoring the on-set illnesses, including Sarandon’s.

In the same interview, Meat Loaf describes an incident that happened while he was sitting in his wheelchair, where it fell off a ramp on the set, shattered a camera, caused a few cuts on Meat Loaf’s face and arm, and snapped a stand-in’s leg in two. While some efforts were made for safety, injuries ran rampant even with the wheelchair.

9 The skeleton inside the clock was real

One of the single most famous props in all of Rocky Horror is the skeleton clock; a coffin that has a clock face set on the front. The reveal that there is a skeleton inside the coffin is a fun moment in the movie, but the filmmakers dropped another bombshell in later years: the skeleton inside was real.

The skeleton clock actually lived on past the film.

In 2002, Sotheby’s auction house in London sold the clock for an exorbitant sum, 35,000 pounds. Adjusting for inflation, that would be approximately $63,000 today. Even true Rocky Horror fans might balk at that price, if the real human remains inside weren’t a turn-off.

8 Steve Martin auditioned for Brad

Whatever you think of Barry Bostwick’s performance as Brad in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, have you ever considered how different it might have been if another actor had taken on the role? Well, according to rumors and stories even repeated by the likes of Newsday, the role almost went to Steve Martin.

Given that Martin went on to star in a fairly similar movie musical, Little Shop of Horrors, this shouldn’t be too big a surprise.

Martin apparently auditioned for the role of Brad, but lost out to Bostwick. Maybe he played the antagonist in Little Shop of Horrors as a way to soothe the hurt of rejection.

7 It got terrible reviews when it first came out

Nowadays, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is viewed as one of the greatest classics of midnight cult cinema, as its popularity has only grown amongst its fans since its release. But to become a cult hit, you usually have to be a theatrical flop, and Rocky Horror was exactly that, both critically and commercially.

Some critics straight-up hated the film when it was first released, and others simply ignored it. Partially because of the counter-culture the film represented and the lack of a conventional plot structure, some seemed offended it even existed. Even today, many critics view the film more as an audience experience than a genuinely good movie.

6 Frank N. Furter’s villainous inspiration

The unquestionable star of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is Dr. Frank N. Furter, the role Tim Curry originated on the London stage and reprised in the film. Even critics who didn’t like the film enjoyed Curry’s assured and magnetic performance. That makes sense, given all the larger-than-life figures Curry took inspiration from to create the character.

Writer Richard O’Brien describes Frank as a combination of Vlad the Impaler and Cruella De Vil, which makes a lot of sense, but Curry didn’t stop there. On top of those villainous ancestors, he added a posh accent, said to be modeled on both Elizabeth II and Curry’s own mother. That’s one doozy of a mixture for the role, and obviously it worked to perfection.

5 It was a stage show first

When Richard O’Brien first set out to tell his story, it was a work of theater, as that was his primary area of expertise. Thus, The Rocky Horror Picture Show started out as The Rocky Horror Show– the “Picture” part was added for the film. O’Brien wrote the play in his spare time, then gathered some of his friends in London to help him make it.

The play premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 1973, and it was an immediate hit, moving to larger venues soon after. The show ran for weeks and weeks and eventually attracted the notice of producers, even Hollywood. This is the origin story for Rocky Horror— we wouldn’t have the film is the London stage show hadn’t been so popular.

4 The writer is Riff Raff

Given its reputation as one of the true classics of cult cinema, viewers today may not know that the original writer– playwright of the stage show, co-screenwriter of the movie, and Riff Raff in both, Richard O’Brien had never professionally written anything before the script for The Rocky Horror Show and its film adaptation The Rocky Horror Picture Show. That’s right, Rocky Horror is a debut work, by a person who never even wanted to be a writer.

O’Brien was living in London as an actor, struggling to make ends meet, and mostly wrote it just to keep himself occupied.

Luckily for him, the project resonated with his artistic friends, and they helped him turn it into the phenomenon it became.

3 O’Brien never thought it would be a big deal

Even when The Rocky Horror Show was making waves on the London theater circuit, it never registered with Richard O’Brien that he might have created a real hit. In an interview, O’Brien recalls when producer Michael White told him he thought this would be something big. “I said, ‘Oh, that’s nice,’ and walked away. It just didn’t register.”

For a while, it seemed like O’Brien was right to think it wouldn’t be a big deal. The film didn’t do well commercially when it came out, despite the popularity of the play, and it looked like that would be the end of the Rocky Horror story. But midnight viewers began to flock to the showings known for audience participation, and the film’s long-lasting appeal proved to be its greatest strength.

2 The writer thinks it was successful because it’s childish

The Rocky Horror Picture Show was originally written by a young actor with no writing experience, who just wanted something fun to occupy his time. Richard O’Brien, the writer in question, thinks that this process lent the show a quality of childlike naïveté, which contributed to its eventual popularity. In an interview, O’Brien said the show’s innocence is “very endearing and not threatening.” Continuing, he mentioned that every character in the show may appear to be intelligent or “sophisticated, but they’re really not.”

This quality allows young viewers to identify with the energy of the film, making it appeal to adolescent viewers.

O’Brien think this might be the key behind the social phenomenon that is Rocky Horror.

1 Originally, it started in black and white

The writing and directing team of Richard O’Brien and Jim Sharman had a lot of grand ideas for the film adaption of Rocky Horror, but not all of them were allowed to come to pass. Chief among these was the plan to film the opening section of the movie in black and white.

The film would have burst into color when Frank N. Furter made his entrance.

Everyone who has seen the movie remembers that scene– now imagine if it had this added bit of pizzaz, with the first frame of color coming on a shot of Tim Curry’s lips. Susan Sarandon lamented that they weren’t allowed to make this vision a reality, as studio executives rejected the idea due to budgetary concerns.

Do you have any The Rocky Horror Picture Show trivia to share? Let us know in the comments!

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2018-10-08 05:10:06 – Eric McAdams