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

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

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

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

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

20 Christina Ricci As Harley Quinn

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

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

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

19 Joaquin Phoenix As The Joker

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

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

18 Neil Patrick Harris As The Riddler

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

Harris as the Riddler is pure gold.

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

17 Manu Bennett As Deathstroke

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

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

16 Sophie Turner As Oracle

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

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

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

15 Oprah Winfrey As Amanda Waller

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

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

14 Will Smith As Deadshot

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

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

13 Jeffrey Dean Morgan As Batman

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

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

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

12 Rila Fukushima As Katana

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

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

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

11 Emma Stone As Poison Ivy

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

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

10 Kristen Wiig As Cheetah

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

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

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

9 Nathalie Emmanuelle As Vixen

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

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

8 Jake Gyllenhaal As The Riddler

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

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

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

7 Dave Bautista As Bane

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

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

6 Michael K. Williams As Black Manta

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

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

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

5 Bill Skarsgård As The Joker

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

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

4 Teresa Palmer As Killer Frost

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

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

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

3 Jon Bernthal as Rick Flag

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

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

2 Josh Gad As The Penguin

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

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

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

1 Margot Robbie As Harley Quinn

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

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

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





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2018-10-11 02:10:45 – Sara Schmidt

The Flash Premiere Had The Arrowverse’s First Batwoman Easter Egg

The fifth season premiere of The Flash surprised fans by making the first official reference to the existence of Batwoman, months ahead of her first scheduled appearance during the annual Arrowverse crossover event this winter. The episode also dropped a number of references to the classic comic book mini-series Crisis On Infinite Earths, which has been hinted as an eventual occurrence in the future of the Arrowverse.

Batwoman’s arrival in the Arrowverse was first announced shortly before San Diego Comic Con 2018, when the news broke that The CW was considering developing a television series based around Kate Kane, a cousin of Bruce Wayne who unintentionally followed in his footsteps when she became a vigilante. It was later confirmed that not only was The CW developing the series, but they intended to introduce Kate Kane as part of Elseworlds – the next annual Arrowverse crossover event. Ruby Rose, of Orange Is The New Black fame, was ultimately cast in the role of Kate Kane.

Related: First Look At Ruby Rose In Costume As Batwoman In Arrowverse Crossover

The nod to Batwoman came near the end of the third segment of “Nora.” The action of the episode centered around Nora West-Allen, the future daughter of Barry Allen and Iris West-Allen, accidentally traveling back in time to before she was born and meeting her parents shortly after they got married. Barry quickly realized something was up when Nora seemed more concerned about spending time with him than doing the same with Iris and asked Nora, point blank, if that had anything to do his disappearance during a crisis in 2024, which he had read about in a future newspaper. Nora responded by showing Barry a newspaper from her time – the year 2049 – and confirming that he never returned home and that she grew up without a father.

Published 25 years to the day after the original article from the future, which was first seen in the first episode of The Flash, the 2049 article discusses the same crisis, but with a bit more detail. The 2024 article mentioned The Flash disappearing while fighting alongside Green Arrow, The Atom, and Hawkgirl. The 2049 article lists a larger number of heroes being involved in the battle, including Batwoman. The article says:

“But in the years following the crisis, accounts only grew more contradictory. Some eyewitnesses remember dozens of other heroes present, including Green Arrow, Batwoman, and Elongated Man. Others remember heroes thought lost in time, like The Atom, or from other worlds, like Supergirl. Some even contend they saw Reverse-Flash leading an army of ‘shadow demons’.”

It is interesting to note that Batwoman is mentioned in the same sentence as Green Arrow and Elongated Man – two heroes who frequently fight alongside The Flash on Earth-One. Until now, it had not been confirmed what Earth in the Arrowverse Kate Kane would be based on, though most assumed she would be from Earth 38 – the same Earth as Supergirl – as that would make it easier for the two to team-up in the future, in the same way that Batman and Superman frequently join forces in the comics. The wording of the article would suggest, however, that Kate Kane will be from Earth-One.

The mention of Reverse-Flash leading an army of shadow demons is another point of interest, given that shadow demons were the main mooks of The Anti-Monitor – the villain of the Crisis On Infinite Earths mini-series, where The Flash seemingly died saving the multiverse. The article also makes mention of The Psycho Pirate – another super-villain who had a major role in the events of The Crisis. It has long been suspected that the Arrowverse would eventually reenact Crisis On Infinite Earths in live-action and this latest bit of news about Batwoman from The Flash premiere seems to make that probability all the more certain.

More: The Flash Fixes Plot Hole By Secretly Changing Arrowverse History



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2018-10-10 07:10:43 – Matt Morrison

Harry Potter: 20 Crazy Details Only True Potterheads Knew About Wormtail

For a lot of reasons, Peter Pettigrew, AKA “Wormtail”, may be one of the creepiest characters in all of the Harry Potter series. First and foremost, is the rather strange decision on the part of author J.K. Rowlings, to make Pettigrew’s animagus form hang around so closely with a preteen Ronald Weasley. With that particularly large elephant out of the room, we can get into some of the more unnerving, crazy, and interesting facts about this Voldemort supporter.

Everyone knows Wormtail to be the man who betrayed Lily and James Potter’s location to Voldemort, who sought to destroy them and their newborn son after finding out that Harry may one day defeat him. Although Voldemort’s attempt on Harry’s life backfired (quite literally), this moment it did cement Wormtail as one of Tom Riddle’s most famous supporters. In addition to this, Wormtail also got away with it all by blaming Sirius Black for that horrible night.

In many ways, Wormtail was the most unlikely member of Voldemort’s inner circle. He didn’t have the dedication to Voldemort’s evil agenda that Lucius Malfoy did. Nor did he have the obsessive nature of the deranged Bellatrix Lestrange. At the end of the day, Wormtail was a coward, and that why he let betrayed his friends to become part of one of the darkest cults of all time. Despite all he has done, Wormtail was still a far more engaging character than most fans may recall.

Without further ado, here are 20 Crazy Facts About Wormtail.

20 He Was Almost Not Sorted Into Gryffindor

When Peter Pettigrew arrived at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he lined up with the rest of the First Years to await The Sorting Hat’s decision on which House he would join. While in line, he met both Sirius Black, who uttered his contempt for Slytherin House, and James Potter. Immediately, Pettigrew took a liking to these boys and longed to be Sorted with them.

When he finally was placed under The Sorting Hat, Pettigrew waited a whole five minutes to be placed in Gryffindor.

This is what was called a “Hatstall.” The Sorting Hat clearly saw that this character was suitable for more than one house. Although Slytherin would be the obvious alternative choice, Hufflepuff was one as well.

19 He Was A Member Of The Order Of The Phoenix

Due to Peter Pettigrew’s friendship with James, Remus, and Sirius, he joined The Order of the Phoenix after his time at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The Order of the Phoenix was a secret society founded by Albus Dumbledore to combat Voldemort and his sycophantic followers during the First Wizarding War. This was the time when Voldemort returned from traveling abroad and sought to overthrow the Ministry of Magic and persecute Muggles and Muggle-born magical folk. Although Pettigrew wasn’t a fan of Voldemort’s ideology, he was part of the Order purely because his friends were. It was a community for him. He did not have the same passion for the cause as the other members did.

18 He Wasn’t A True Believer In Voldemort

Much like Peter Pettigrew wasn’t a true believer in the Order of the Phoenix, he wasn’t one of Voldemort’s dedicated followers either. He did not share the same lust for dominance over the Wizarding World, nor the same level of intolerance.

When Pettigrew became a spy for Voldemort, it was purely out of fear.

Wormtail, at the end of the day, is an opportunist. He is someone who will do just about anything to survive, and that included betraying his best friends in order to remain on the powerful dark wizard’s good side. In many instances, especially in the books, Wormtail even couldn’t bear Voldemort’s violence and occasionally attempted to suggest alternative measures to achieve his dark desire.

17 McGonagall Didn’t Like Him, even as a kid

If there’s one thing that Minerva McGonagall has never done, it’s mince words. First and foremost, this Transfiguration professor and Gryffindor Head of House is brutally honest. In the books, she was honest about how she felt about Peter Pettigrew during his time at Hogwarts.

Of course, McGonagall taught him Transfiguration as well as watched over him as the H.O.H. She claimed that Pettigrew “hero-worshipped” both James Potter and Sirius Black. In fact, she even described him as a “lump of a boy” who constantly followed Sirius around like his lap-dog. She even claimed that Peter was “stupid” as well as “foolish.” However, Minerva clearly grew to have some respect for him once he joined the Order. She even spoke sadly about him before she learned that he was the one responsible for the betrayal and not Sirius.

16 He Lived As A Rat For 12 Years

As most fans know, Peter Pettigrew was one of the Mauraders, the small group of friends that consisted of James Potter, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin. Peter even decided to become an animagus in order to make Remus feel more comfortable with the fact that he was tragically turned into a werewolf. The fact that Pettigrew could turn into a rat at will was something that came in handy after he was forced to fake his own demise in order to properly frame Sirius Black.

Due to his fear of being caught, Pettigrew lived as a rat for a solid 12 years.

He was eventually discovered by Sirius and Remus in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

15 He Chose The Weasleys As Owners To Avoid The Death Eaters

After Pettigrew faked his demise, he chose to live as a rat in order to both keep up his lie as well as to avoid the Death Eaters. At this stage, many of Voldemort’s followers were unknown to the authorities and lived amongst the common-folk. Due to the fact that Voldemort’s apparent demise happened due to Pettigrew’s information, the Death Eaters believed that Pettigrew was a traitor and therefore sought to destroy him.

Wormtail knew that he stood a better chance at staying alive if he picked a “good” family to stay with. Eventually, he came to be Percy Weasley’s possession and was handed down to Ron. Presumably, Wormtail (as “Scabbers”) stayed with the Weasleys because he knew that the family would treat him right as well as shield him from Voldemort’s secret followers.

14 He Almost Ruined Ron And Hermione’s Relationship

Although Wormtail didn’t mean to, he almost completely ruined Hermione and Ron’s friendship in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Throughout the book and the film (to a lesser extent), Ron was constantly trying to save Scabbers (AKA Wormtail) from Hermione’s carnivorous new cat, Crookshanks. When Wormtail heard that Sirius Black had escaped from Azkaban and was poking around the Hogwarts grounds, he decided to flee, faking his demise a second time.

In the book, he bit himself in order to leave blood that suggested that Crookshanks had finally taken him out.

It completely convinced Ron, and the pair’s relationship nearly ended until the truth was revealed. This is just another instance of Peter Pettigrew doing anything necessary to remain alive.

13 Rats helped him find Voldemort

A lot of fans of Harry Potter who haven’t paid close enough detail to the books wonder how Wormtail and Voldemort were reunited before the events of The Goblet of Fire. Well, the truth is Wormtail learned from fellow rats that a dark force was living in a forest in Albania. This force ended up being Voldemort himself, who was living off the animals in the forest. However, Voldemort was just clinging to life in his shriveled-up form.

Wormtail lured a prominent ministry witch, who was on vacation in Albania, into the forest and then proceeded to force information out of her that helped persuade Voldemort to take him back into his good graces.

12 He Fed Voldemort Nagini’s Milk to Save Him

Aside from finding Lord Voldemort in a forest in Albania and giving him some vital information about the upcoming Triwizard Tournament from the ministry official he lured into the forest, Wormtail also stayed in Voldemort’s good graces due to the fact that he kept him alive. At this point, Voldemort was simply a shriveled up humanoid creature who barely had any power at all.

With Wormtail’s help, he managed to stay strong enough to last until the end of The Goblet of Fire when he was “reborn.”

Wormtail was able to do this because he milked the venom out of Nagini, Voldemort’s giant snake who will appear in human form in Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grindelwald. This venom provided Voldemort with the rudimentary body we see in Goblet of Fire.

11 He Helped Capture Mad-Eye

When Wormtail traveled to Albania to seek Voldemort, he ran into a ministry official who he forced into telling him legitimate information about the goings on at Hogwarts. This included the upcoming Triwizard Tournament that they would get Harry Potter to take part in, as well as the fact that Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody would be the next Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.

Another piece of information this ministry official gave was that there was a Voldemort supporter hiding out in England. This ended up being Barty Crouch Jr., who, with the help of Wormtail, tracked down Mad-Eye Moody and captured him. Crouch then famously continued to take locks of Mad-Eye’s hair in order to brew a Polyjuice Potion that turned him into Mad-Eye.

10 Snape Got His Revenge On Pettigrew

As we found out through various flashbacks during Harry’s time learning legilimency from Severus Snape, Severus was teased and pushed around by Harry’s father, Lupin, Sirius, and Peter Pettigrew as a child. Pettigrew probably wouldn’t have been the one to instigate this, but he was happy to play along with what the “cool kids” were doing. That, after all, was sort of his M.O. However, in their later years, Snape got his revenge on Wormtail after Voldemort ordered Wormtail to live with Snape at Spinner’s End in order to help him with various things.

Wormtail ended up being Snape’s punching bag and personal servant.

In fact, Snape treated him quite poorly, which, without a doubt had more to do with Wormtail betraying Lily Potter than anything else.

9 Voldemort Loathed Him

Lord Voldemort may not have had the ability to love anything except for himself, and even that is arguable, but he certainly had some appreciation and respect for certain members of his cult. At one time, he had immense respect for Lucius Malfoy, but that went away after Lucius continued to fail him. Bellatrix and Snape seem to be in his good graces constantly as they appeared to be his most ardent supporters. Snape, specifically, was the one he thought was infiltrating Dumbledore and the Order.

Wormtail is a different story entirely. Voldemort never liked Wormtail at all. He put up with him because Wormtail helped to keep him alive. But even before Voldemort’s first downfall, the villain knew that Wormtail was only around out of fear, not out of duty or respect.

8 He Wasn’t Skilled At Magic

Throughout the course of the Harry Potter series, two very different powerful magical folk made comments on Wormtail’s lack of power. The first was Wormtail’s old Transfiguration teacher, Minerva McGonagall, who claimed that he was far less talented than his friends when it came to magic. Then there’s Voldemort, who always regarded his servant as particularly weak. The truth is, they were mostly right about him.

He was a hopeless dueler, only besting opponents when catching them off-guard.

However, there are a couple of instances where he’s shown more potential than even he believed. One of these moments was when he caused an explosion that ended the lives of twelve Muggles and allowed him to get away from Sirius Black.

7 He Was Surprisingly Intelligent And An Opportunist

You can say a lot about Peter Pettigrew, including his cowardly demeanor, but one thing you can’t say is that he was dumb. On the contrary, Wormtail was actually pretty intelligent. This cunning helped him frame Sirius for the crime that he committed, as well as search out Voldemort.

Wormtail’s intelligence also allowed him to be quite the opportunist. This trait perhaps sums him up the most, as from the start of things he knew how to get in with the “right” crowd. When the tides changed and there was a better group to be associated with, that’s exactly where Wormtail would end up. A fool wouldn’t be able to navigate situations like this, let alone stay on Voldemort’s good side.

6 The Other Death Eaters Didn’t Like Him

Being an opportunist didn’t quite go over well when it came to Voldemort’s closest servants. First of all, many of them, including Bellatrix Lestrange, were there because they either believed in Voldemort’s cause or Voldemort himself.

Many of these Death Eaters saw Wormtail as a clinger; someone who was merely there to survive and never truly fought for what they believed in.

Another major source of the dislike the Death Eaters had for Wormtail had to do with Voldemort’s first downfall. This event happened on Wormtail’s information. When Voldemort was seemingly annihilated after attacking Harry Potter, many Death Eaters saw Wormtail as a traitor who purposefully led Voldemort to his grave.

5 His Hand Was Cursed

Although the filmmakers behind the Harry Potter movies didn’t explore Wormtail’s silver hand, it was certainly talked about in detail in J.K. Rowling’s novels. Wormtail first got this magical silver hand after he severed it from his body while resurrecting Voldemort in The Goblet of Fire. However, it came with a catch.

The catch with Wormtail’s replacement hand was that it was cursed. Sure, the hand had magical properties, including being impervious to certain jinxes, but it also led to his downfall. Though Wormtail didn’t receive a proper final scene in the films, his demise in the books occurred when he was planning to do good on his “life debt” to Harry. Wormtail’s magical hand turned on him, wrapped around his neck, and took his life.

4 He was insecure about his body

Every single person on the planet has their own set of insecurities. This is true of all of the characters within J.K. Rowling’s masterful series. For Wormtail, it was his stature. Not only was his short height an issue for him, but his weight and shape particularly bothered him. He no doubt compared himself to the more traditionally handsome James Potter and Sirius Black while growing up.

Due to actor Timothy Spall’s height, Wormtail was portrayed a taller than he was in the books.

However, when he first appeared in Prisoner of Azkaban, he was around the same height as a 13 and 14-year-old Harry and Hermione. Both Harry and Hermione would grow to be taller, while Pettigrew remained the same height.

3 He Was Made More Rat-Like For The Films

J.K. Rowlings described Peter Pettigrew has had some of the qualities of a rat, especially after living as one for a solid twelve years. These traits included watery eyes, grubby skin, a pointed nose, and even a squeaky voice that followed him after he revealed himself in The Prisoner of Azkaban.

Azkaban director Alfonso Cuaron wanted to make sure audiences absolutely knew that Pettigrew would have maintained some of his rat-like qualities after his twelve-year stint. These added details included extra nostril hair, knuckle hair, two big teeth, and a consistency between Scabbers’ fur and Wormtail’s locks. Hiding his neck with the right coat also made Wormtail’s rat-like look more believable. These details also came in handy for Wormtail’s visual transition back into his animagus form as he escaped.

2 He Took Voldemort’s Wand

Wormtail didn’t keep his distance the day after Voldemort’s downfall in Godric’s Hollow. He made sure he was nearby as he hoped his information would be useful. Voldemort, of course, wanted to take out a young Harry Potter due to the prophecy that stated that the boy could lead to his demise. Unfortunately for Voldemort, his attempt on Harry’s life backfired and he was practically disintegrated.

Wormtail deduced this once he came across the rubble of the house. He then found Voldemort’s iconic phoenix-feathered wand and took it for safe keeping.

He later gave it back to Voldemort once he was strong enough to use it once more.

There’s no telling where exactly Wormtail stored the wand while living as a rat for twelve years.

1 His Demise Was Connected To The Marauders

Wormtail’s connection to the Marauders, Lupin (Mooney), Sirius (Padfoot), and James (Prongs) was fully realized the day that he met his end. This is because Wormtail’s demise (at least in the book) was very similar to those of his three classmates.

All four of them, in one way or another, passed away while trying to protect or save Harry.

James met his end at the hands of Lord Voldemort that day in Godric’s Hollow. Sirius was protecting Harry when he was struck by Bellatrix’s curse. Lupin fought in the Battle of Hogwarts, giving Harry a moment to escape from Dolohov, who was later revealed to have taken Lupin out. Finally, Wormtail’s cursed hand turned on him the moment he was about to let Harry go, honoring his life-debt.

What do you think is the craziest fact about Wormtail in Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments below!



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2018-10-10 06:10:32 – Dylan Parker

18 Best Sequels, According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 8 Stuck With 0%)

We live in an age where sequels are all the rage. Every major studio is chasing those franchises that can keep their cash flow healthy for years to come. Sometimes, they’re exhausting. Other times, they can be our most anticipated movies. Maybe we could do without more Transformers movies, but Marvel and Mission: Impossible sequels are event movies that drive us to the theater in droves.

Sequels are tricky and unpredictable, though. On one hand, they’re often necessary for expanding stories and the good ones continue sagas we want to see progress. On the other, some are soulless cash grabs that shouldn’t exist. In the worst cases, some of them completely derail promising franchises by failing to deliver the goods. Then again, in some instances, sequels can get a series back up and running after they’ve experienced setbacks.

This list will look at those rare sequels that are considered worthy — and even superior — follow-ups. Those rare beasts that make us grateful for multiple movies in a series. Furthermore, we’ll also be discussing the most maligned sequels that brought no critical good will to their respective franchises whatsoever. It’s more fun this way. In order to fully appreciate the best of the best, we also must acknowledge the worst of the worst. Without evil, we wouldn’t be able to understand all that’s good and pure. Without terrible movies, we wouldn’t be grateful for the good ones.

With this in mind, here are 18 Best Sequels According To Rotten Tomatoes (And 8 Stuck With 0%).

26 Best: Captain America: Civil War (91%)

The decision to keep the same team of writers for all three Captain America films paid off in the end. The trilogy just went from strength to strength with each passing entry, though some would argue that The Winter Soldier is equally as good — if not better — than Civil War. Either way, they’re both prime examples of how to do sequels right.

Civil War tackles the same themes you’d expect from a movie about a do-gooder like Cap, but where the film truly soars is during its wild third act. The airport showdown is the best action showdown in the MCU, and that’s saying something.

25 Worst: The Bad News Bears Go To Japan (0%)

If you didn’t know that sequels to The Bad News Bears exist then no one would think any less of you. While the first movie is a cult classic about an underdog baseball team, the sequels have faded from the collective memory with the passing of time, lost like tears in the rain. That’s for good reason.

None of the sequels are good, but The Bad News Bears Go To Japan is especially bad.

While the idea to relocate to Japan for a big game is good on paper, the sequel is just bland, forgettable, and was made to cash in on the brand name.

24 Best: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (93%)

Some fans argue that The Force Awakens is essentially a retread of A New Hope in many ways. However, clearly the critics and audiences didn’t necessarily agree, given its stellar Rotten Tomatoes score and its audience score of 87%, not to mention its impressive box office haul.

As far as Star Wars movies go, it hits the spot. The new characters are great, the return of some old faces is a trip down memory lane, and the story still made significant effort to push the franchise forward. In those regards, the film definitely succeeded.

23 Best: War for the Planet of the Apes (93%)

Anyone who has a problem with classics being rebooted needs to watch the most recent Planet of the Apes trilogy.  The finale pits the apes in a brutal battle against the humans, which leads to an epic confrontation between the Caesar the Ape and humanity’s ruthless colonel (played by an utterly wicked Woody Harrelson). As far as concluding trilogies goes, War for the Planet of the Apes has everything.

By no means is this a pleasant movie, but it is rewarding. And not only does it wrap up an epic story, but the film boasts some of the great CGI wizardry out there. The action is also ridiculously impressive and compelling, which is crazy considering it’s a movie about people versus monkeys.

22 Best: Logan (93%)

James Mangold’s Logan, the gloriously violent and heartbreaking farewell to Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, is an all-timer. Taking cues from the Old Man Logan comics, the movie has just as much in common with neo-westerns as it does with superhero yarns, which makes for a gritty, character-driven elegy to characters many of us grew up with.

Logan deserves praise for going R-rated and taking some stylistic risks.

The movie is proof that audiences will still flock to see superhero movies with some edge. If you’re going to send off some icons, this is the way to do it.

21 Worst: Return to the Blue Lagoon (0%)

Considering that no one liked The Blue Lagoon (it currently holds a 9% rating on RT), why anyone would want to return to the franchise is beyond comprehension. Of course, every sequel is a perfect opportunity to right some old wrongs if handled with care. Unfortunately, this was not. The story follows two children who are marooned on a tropical island as the grow up and fall in love, etc. The characters don’t wear enough clothes either, which makes for some weird, uncomfortable viewing.

There are some unintentional laughs to be had at the poor script and performances.

Otherwise the Blue Lagoon isn’t a scenic cinematic paradise worth spending time in unless you want to punish yourself for some reason.

20 Best: The Dark Knight (94%)

Few superhero movies are ever regarded as anything more than popcorn fare. However, if there were ever a superhero movie that proved the genre could be prestige cinema, it would be The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman is an exploration of chaos and just how far people are willing to go to achieve their goal.

The Dark Knight — for better or worse when you consider how devoid of fun some DC movies have been since — also brought a gritty, realistic touch to the genre. The movie feels more like a Michael Mann crime saga than it does a story about superheroes versus their outlandishly evil counterparts.

19 Best: Finding Dory (94%)

In recent times, Pixar has been criticized for relying too heavily on sequels, but if it ain’t broke… Finding Dory was released 13 years after Finding Nemo, and it was a smash with critics and audiences alike.

Its 94% on Rotten Tomatoes is complemented by an 84% audience score.

Upon release Finding Dory was praised for being as funny and thought-provoking as the first movie, while also adding a new dimension to the story. As with any Pixar movie, Finding Dory can be appreciated by audiences of all ages. 

18 Worst: Staying Alive (0%)

No other actor on the planet has experienced a career of ups and downs like John Travolta has. When he broke out he had the world at his dancing feet. After that, his career experienced a downturn until it was resurrected briefly following Pulp Fiction until it ultimately plummeted when he started starring in movies like Battlefield Earth. Staying Alive was released in 1983 when Travolta was experiencing his first fall from grace. Following up a classic like Saturday Night Fever was never going to be easy, but it shouldn’t have been this difficult, either.

The sequel lacks the gritty realism of its predecessor, and instead tries to get by on dance sequences. What’s the point in dancing when we don’t care about who’s doing it?

17 Best: Creed (95%)

No franchise tends to remain compelling seven sequels in, but Creed is proof that the Rocky franchise is the rare exception. Granted, some Rocky movies aren’t exactly knockouts, but Creed got things back on track and showed that it’s game for a few more rounds.

By serving as both a sequel and a spin-off/soft reboot, Creed gave the franchise a breath of new life.

It passed the gloves on to Michael B. Jordan as the eponymous character.  Creed 2 is right around the corner. Let’s see if it can do what the original saga failed to do and deliver a second outing that’s as good as the inaugural entry.

16 Worst: Leprechaun 2 (0%)

The first Leprechaun movie doesn’t come close to being certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it should come as no surprise that the sequels didn’t receive any critical acclaim. Especially not the second movie, which no critic seemed to enjoy at all.

Here, the infamous critter resurfaces in Los Angeles to find a bride, which leads to him abducting a young woman and trying to claim her as his own. This isn’t high art by any means, nor does it try to be.

15 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (96%)

The Harry Potter books were an emotional roller coaster that affected millions of readers worldwide. Reliving those adventures on the big screen was also a great time to be alive, and the grand finale lived up to expectations. In the final installment of the saga about the Boy Who Lived and his fight against the forces of darkness, the ultimate showdown finally happens as our hero and his pals face off against Voldemort in Hogwarts castle.

It’s a true epic in every sense of the word.

As far as wrapping up the story goes, Death Hallows: Part 2 delivered the goods and gave us cinematic closure in style.

14 Worst: Looking Who’s Talking Now (0%)

Look Who’s Talking is a perfectly serviceable comedy that should never have received any sequels. In a bid to end to the trilogy on a high following the disappointing previous sequel, Look Who’s Talking Too, someone thought it would be a good idea to introduce talking dogs to the mix for the series’ swan song. 

Needless to say, Look Who’s Talking Now wasn’t the glorious goodbye the series was looking for, but at least the film did cast some cute dogs.

13 Best: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (97%)

The third installment of Sergio Leone’s influential Dollars trilogy, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly is the creme de la creme of spaghetti westerns. 

The story centers around two men who form an uneasy alliance following a scam.

This leads them on a quest as it turns out there’s money buried in the desert and they want to find it. However, they have to compete against another who won’t hesitate to put a bullet in them to claim the prize. On top of being one of the most acclaimed movies out there, the film has been hailed as a major influence on directors like Quentin Tarantino.

12 Best: The Godfather: Part II (97%)

The continuation of Francis Ford Coppola’s Best Picture-winning 1972 crime saga, The Godfather: Part II chronicles Michael Corleone’s further ascendency in organized crime while simultaneously taking us back to the past to explore his dad’s humble beginnings.

Like its predecessor, the sequel also won Best Picture and is hailed by many a critic and film buff as one of the best movies ever made. Whether it’s better than the original is up for debate, but they’re like two sides of the same coin. These movies set the bar for mob pictures, and to this day, other directors are still trying to recreate the formula.

11 Mad Max: Fury Road (97%)

Director George Miller was in his seventies when he unleashed Mad Max: Fury Road, but the energy and madness imbued in every frame of this extravaganza suggest a man half his age.

Maybe we’ll never see another Mad Max movie, but the world needs a Furiosa spin-off eventually.

Fury Road is essentially one non-stop chase that barely lets up from the get-go all the way to the climactic ending. Furthermore, it’s a movie that defied expectation by taking the focus away from the titular character and making Charlize Theron’s Furiosa the real hero of the adventure. 

10 Worst: Jaws: The Revenge (0%)

Is Jaws: the Revenge a good movie? Definitely not. Is it an entertaining movie, though? Definitely yes.

How many other movies have sharks that make a conscious decision to get revenge on the humans that wronged them? Not only that, but the shark here followed its target to the Bahamas from Massachusetts. And why would someone who wants to avoid sharks go to an island surrounded by ocean? The movie is illogical, silly, nonsense, but it does offer sheer entertainment value for bad movie buffs.

9 Best: Aliens (98%)

Alien and Aliens are quite different in some regards, but they complement each other perfectly. The first is an exercise in pure suspense and terror. The sequel, on the other hand, retains the horror elements but adds a lot more action to proceedings.

Aliens shows how to make a successful sequel: acknowledge what came before but don’t be afraid to bring some fresh ideas to the table.

James Cameron was on fire in the ’80s and he wasn’t afraid to make Ridley Scott’s baby his own.

8 Best: Mad Max 2: Road Warrior (98%)

While George Miller’s inaugural Mad Max caper is a cult classic, most film buffs would agree that a couple of the sequels are slightly superior. Taking nothing away from the first movie, Road Warrior is a vast improvement when it comes to world building and sheer action spectacle. The story follows the eponymous character as he helps a group of people steal oil from a tyrannical madman and his band of goons.

As far as cinematic thrill rides go, few movies are on par with Road Warrior. Here, Miller turned up the volume significantly by making the post-apocalyptic terrains feel more dangerous and the action sequences more gung-ho and grander in scale.

7 Best: Evil Dead 2 (98%)

Sam Raimi’s first Evil Dead movie was a huge achievement for independent filmmaking when it was released back in 1981. The movie still holds up to this day with its innovative camera work, effective scares, and excellent cast as well.

The sequel is a triumph in its own right.

While the first movie contained moments of dark comedy, the sequel amps up the zaniness to become what is essentially the splatter flick equivalent of a Laurel and Hardy flick. For 90 minutes, Bruce Campbell is tormented by laughing ornaments and his own severed hand. As silly as that sounds, Evil Dead 2 still manages to pack more punch than your average MMA fighter.

6 Worst: Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (0%)

In the third installment of the Police Academy franchise, the cops are understaffed and in need of some help. Naturally, the force turns to America’s civilians to help aid in their mission. Things don’t go smoothly, for the characters in the film and the movie itself.

Rotten Tomatoes describes Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol as “Utterly, completely, thoroughly and astonishingly unfunny” and  a movie which sent “a once-innocuous franchise plummeting to agonizing new depths.” That sounds about right.

5 Toy Story 3 (99%)

Few franchises manage to strike three home runs in a row. Even The Godfather stuttered when it came to the third outing. Toy Story, on the other hand, never ceases to replicate the magic time and time again.

This emotional installment sees Andy get ready to leave for college and neglect his old toys.

He’s all grown up and has no use for them anymore, and what ensues is what is by far the most heartfelt movie in the series.

4 Worst: Highlander II: The Quickening (0%)

As far as pure entertaining action-fantasy goes, the first Highlander movie is a fun slice of popcorn entertainment that aficionados of cult cinema lose their head over. The sequel, meanwhile, is an incomprehensible mess.

Highlander II is too overplotted to explain, but the cusp of the story revolves around the hero from the first movie taking on a corporation after being led to believe that they don’t have the world’s best interests in mind. In this one, our hero is a defender of the ozone as well. What makes Highlander II so awful is that it completely retcons everything good about the original film and the mythology it introduced.

3 Best: The Bride of Frankenstein (100%)

We all desire to be loved by someone special– even bolt-head monsters made up of the remains of other people. But to find them a mate, one must dig up some more corpses and create a suitable partner that’s similar in genetic make-up. This is also the storyline behind James Whale’s 1935 masterpiece, Bride of Frankenstein.

There are too many Frankenstein movies to keep track of at this point, but this sequel remains the pinnacle of the original series.

The movie is a masterpiece that successfully blends campy fun with Gothic beauty and genuine chills that’s stood the test of time as a result.

2 Paddington 2 (100%)

No one expected the the first Paddington to be as good as it is. That movie is a bona fide classic in the making in its own right, but the sequel is some next-next level brilliance.

Paddington 2 sees the lovable bear go to prison and, unsurprisingly, all the mean criminals fall in love with him as well. Critics, like the fictional convicts, were also full of praise for the titular bear and his second big onscreen adventure as well. At one point, Paddington 2 was even the best reviewed movie in history.

1 Best: Toy Story 2 (100%)

Following up a movie like Toy Story was never going to be easy, but that didn’t stop Pixar from trying and succeeding. In this one, we find out that Woody is a collectible when he’s discovered and stolen by a greedy museum owner. Naturally this prompts Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato, and the rest of the gang into action and they set out to save their friend.

General consensus on Rotten Tomatoes states that Toy Story 2 is that rare sequel that improves upon its predecessor.

The sequel raises the stakes and ups the element of adventure while retaining the humor and heart that made audiences fall in love with the franchise in the first place.

What’s your favorite sequel? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-10 04:10:39 – Kieran Fisher

John Wick 3 Movie Logo Revealed At Licensing Expo

The first logo for John Wick 3 has arrived. Keanu Reeves’ career as an action lead was revitalized in a major way with the launch of the John Wick franchise. Reeves plays the former hired gun who gets pulled back into the lifestyle he left behind after some tragic losses. His need for revenge has served the story for two films so far, and next year will see John on the run as the entire assassin community will be after him. And after the success the franchise has experienced so far, Lionsgate is moving Wick into an ultra-competitive summer next year.

Since there are still several months before John Wick 3 hits theaters, there’s been hardly any marketing for the movie outside of a photo here and there. Instead, most of the attention for the movie has come from Reeves talking about it himself. Well, the marketing campaign may be gearing up to start as the official logo has now been revealed.

Related: Keanu Reeves Escapes On A Horse In John Wick 3 Photo

Dirtees provided the first look at John Wick 3‘s logo straight from the Brand Licensing Expo in London. The logo, which could be a concept and not the final design, is rather simplistic. The outline of Wick takes the place of the “I” in his last name, while it switches the franchise to Roman numerals. The design itself is one thing, but what some may be surprised by is the actual title itself.

Studios and marketing teams traditionally like to stay consistent with franchise titles, but John Wick 3 could be an example of change. The movie was previously referred to as John Wick: Chapter 3 (and still is on the social media pages for the film). It is possible that the third installment has dropped the “Chapter” altogether, or could further point to this not being the final logo design.

However, Reeves himself made this a bit more complicated when he said that John Wick: Parabellum was the title and revealed the meaning behind it. This came after the working title was changed from Alpha Cop to Parabellum right before production began. It is possible that Reeves was simply explaining how they chose the working title as it related to Wick’s actual story and it was mistakenly thought that Parabellum was the movie’s title.

We will hopefully get complete clarity on John Wick 3 and its title sooner rather than later. Since it is moving to the summer season, the marketing needs to be a bit more aggressive to make sure the movie isn’t lost among a slew of blockbusters. The threequel does have an impressive cast that includes Halle Berry, but it may need an extra dose of the franchise’s gun-fu to really sell audiences on coming back one more time.

MORE: First Official Look at Halle Berry in John Wick 3

Source: Dirtees





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2018-10-10 04:10:31 – Cooper Hood

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween Review – A Pretty Slappy Sequel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRAILER

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

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



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2018-10-10 01:10:58 – Sandy Schaefer

22 July Review: Paul Greengrass Delivers Another Intense Docudrama

Despite some general storytelling issues, Greengrass succeeds in delivering another well-crafted and intelligent docudrama-thriller with 22 July.

In-between his efforts on the Bourne movies, journalist-turned filmmaker Paul Greengrass has spent much of his career making docudrama-thrillers about real-world events, ranging from the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. (United 93) to the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama in 2009 (Captain Phillips). While there’s an inherent risk of exploiting a real-world tragedy that comes with any such project, Greengrass has long been celebrated for his ability to dramatize terrible events on the big screen in a manner that’s intense, yet sensitive and ultimately insightful in its presentation. Thankfully, that remains the case with his Netflix Original 22 July, even if it doesn’t necessarily represent the writer/director at his finest. Despite some general storytelling issues, Greengrass succeeds in delivering another well-crafted and intelligent docudrama-thriller with 22 July.

22 July picks up on July 21, 2011 in Oslo, Norway, as Anders Behring Breivik (Anders Danielsen Lie) – a self-declared right wing extremist – prepares to carry out a terrorist attack on the city the next day. He begins his assault by setting off a bomb in a van near the main office of the then-current Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (Ola G. Furuseth), killing eight people in the process. Breivik then proceeds to continue his attack by gunning down 69 members of a summer camp organized by the AUF – the youth division of the Norwegian Labour Party – on the island of Utøya, before he is ultimately apprehended by the police and taken into custody.

Among the members of the summer camp is one Viljar Hanssen (Jonas Strand Gravli), who manages to survive Breivik’s attack despite being shot multiple times and left permanently maimed. As Viljar struggles to recover both physically and psychologically from what happened to him (along with everyone else who survived the Utøya shootings and their loved ones), Breivik works with his chosen lawyer Geir Lippestad (Jon Øigarden) to mount a defense and use his trial as a platform to publicly announce his political agenda (which calls for the immediate deportation of all Muslims and heavier restrictions on immigration to Norway, among other things). When it becomes clear to Viljar what Breivik intends to do, he grows increasingly determined to continue his rehabilitation and testify against him in court for not only himself, but also every other person whose lives were affected by what took place on July 22.

Adapted from the book One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway — and Its Aftermath by Åsne Seierstad, Greengrass’ script for 22 July has a very clear-cut three act structure – with the first act focused on the July 22 attack, the second part set during its immediate aftermath, and the final third centered on Breivik’s trial. The film is strongest during its first and third acts in particular, as those chapters (respectively) play to Greengrass’ strengths as a suspense-thriller storyteller and provide the emotional payoff to Viljar and, thus, Norway’s overarching journey of recovery and survival. It’s the second act where things start to drag and get a little muddled, especially as 22 July splits its focus between not only Viljar’s story thread, but also Lippestad and Breivik’s trial preparation, and the investigation into Stoltenberg’s administration and its failure to prevent a terrorist attack. While there’s nothing in the second act that feels inessential, 22 July struggles to divide its attention evenly between its three plotlines and the film’s pacing suffers for it.

On the whole, however, 22 July does a nice job covering a fair amount of narrative ground, even when taking its pretty substantial runtime into consideration. It helps that Greengrass (as he’s known now for doing, as a director) never fully lifts his foot off the gas pedal and keeps the film’s proceedings feeling on-edge throughout, even during its more purely dramatic portions. The filmmaker, working this time around with DP Pål Ulvik Rokseth (The Snowman) and Oscar-winning Argo editor William Goldenberg, uses essentially the same vérité cinematography and restless editing style that he has on his previous movies, in order to fully immerse viewers in the film’s setting and action. At the same time, Greengrass slows things down a bit here and, in turn, delivers a movie that’s more visually cohesive than some of his weaker efforts in the past (see the last Bourne sequel, in particular). This serves 22 July well, allowing it to effectively work as both a grounded drama and thriller.

Given the sheer amount of information that 22 July strives to cover, though, there’s not a lot of room for the film’s actors to really shine – not in the way that Barkhad Abdi and Tom Hanks did in Captain Phillips, for example. Even so, the 22 July cast is uniformly strong across the board, with Gravli especially doing an excellent job of portraying Viljar’s struggles with his physical injuries, PTSD, and the sheer amount of emotional baggage that he’s saddled with after barely managing to escape the attack on Utøya with his own life. Actors like Thorbjørn Harr and Isak Bakli Aglen are similarly moving in their smaller roles as members of Viljar’s family, as is Seda Witt as Lara Rashid, a young woman who starts to make a romantic connection with Viljar before both of their lives are shattered by Breivik’s attack. As for Breivik himself: Lie is quite compelling in the role and portrays the terrorist as a fully-developed person – one whose rationalization of his behavior makes him chilling and pathetic in equal measure.

As with his previous films, Greengrass uses 22 July as a means for delivering larger sociopolitical commentary about the state of things in the world, specifically where it concerns the rise of xenophobic and nationalist ideologies in various countries (the U.S. included). While his scripted dialogue can start to become a bit on the nose as its strives to get these points across (especially in the third act), Greengrass largely succeeds in allowing the story here to shine a light on these issues organically, without getting up on his figurative soapbox to drive the point home. If there’s a downside to the filmmaker’s approach, though, it’s that July 22 winds up handling its subject matter in a way that’s more engaging intellectually than emotionally and, thus, lacks the emotional resonance of Greengrass’ best work to date.

All things considered, however, Greengrass does a very good job of bringing the true story behind 22 July to cinematic life. The final result is a film that makes for an enlightening and otherwise respectful documentation of a horrifying real-world event, rather than one that comes off as exploitative or manipulative. 22 July is showing in select theaters now – in order to qualify for next year’s major film awards shows – and it certainly benefits from being seen on the big screen, but can still be appreciated just as much as a Netflix Original on your home TV. While it’s obviously not a light-hearted viewing experience, 22 July is very much worth checking out if you’ve enjoyed Greengrass’ previous non-Bourne efforts and/or would like to know more about Norway’s own infamous modern terrorist attack.

TRAILER

22 July is now available for streaming on Netflix and is playing in select U.S. theaters. It is 143 minutes long and is rated R for disturbing violence, graphic images, and language.

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



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2018-10-10 01:10:22 – Sandy Schaefer

Simon Pegg Interview: The Boys

Amazon’s upcoming comic book adaptation, The Boys, dropped some big news at New York Comic Con this week; not only did was the first clip from the show revealed, but so was the news that Simon Pegg would be appearing in it. The Boys is an adaptation of the Garth Ennis comic series of the same name, which satirizes the superhero world and imagines life in a universe where those with powers become corrupted by them – but maintain their public image.

The ‘Boys’ of the comic title are a group of vigilantes, mostly without superpowers, who take it upon themselves to keep tabs on the various ‘supes’ in this world – and occasionally, to take them down. The series follows Butcher (Karl Urban), his new protege Hughie (Jack Quaid), and the rest of their gang as they wreak havoc on the twisted supes that the world sees as heroes, and it promises to be violent, foul-mouthed, and hilariously dark. After the reveal that Pegg would be appearing in the show as Hughie’s father, we sat down to talk about what fans can expect from his new character on the show.

Related: The Boys TV Show Casts Simon Pegg As Hughie’s Father

SR: So, obviously this was a big reveal for The Boys today. Can we ask now how big your part in the show is?

Simon Pegg: I’m a guest role. I think I’m in a few episodes, and it was something that we really wanted to do from the off. When the show became a reality, they were very kind to get in contact when Jack was cast and say ‘maybe you can be in the show’. And I think I suggested that maybe I could play Hughie’s father or something.

SR: So it was your idea?

Simon Pegg: Well, I can’t remember, but I feel like I did say that! Whether or not they had already had the character in mind I’m not sure, because he certainly… he serves a real purpose in the show. He’s not in the comic book, but I think in the show he represents the possibility of Hughie not taking action. And the show begins with this terrible tragedy that happens to Hugie and he has two choices; he can stay on the sofa with Dad like every Campbell man has in the past, or he can actually change his life.

And so, as a sort of visual representation of Hughie’s possible destiny, the Dad works really well as a character.

SR: And do we see any of Hughie’s Mom?

Simon Pegg: No, she passed away, so it’s just Hughie and Dad, and they have a very sweet relationship. That picture that you saw of us, the family shot, is very much prior to A-Train doing what he does. They have a very sweet little… you know they are just father and son, and he’s still got his toys in his bedroom, and they live together, and Dad dotes on him. He’s a nice guy, he’s just very ineffectual.

SR: How do you feel about the fact that in the comics, obviously Hughie is Scottish and now we’re coming over to the US for this series? Are you going to be an English Dad or are you going to do the American accent?

Simon Pegg: Well, we talked about this, and I think what happened was initially I was going to play Hughie’s Dad as Scottish in reference to the comic book, but then we decided in a way that if Hughie was used to a British accent of any kind, it would make Butcher less alien to him, in a way. Because Butcher’s got to feel like he’s from a completely different world, you know, and so he has this rough Cockney accent, and so we thought ok, let’s make them American. So I play Hughie’s father as American.

SR: Which other character are you most excited about? Which one is your favorite, either in the comics or the show… is it the same one?

Simon Pegg: I was just really happy to see the Supes, you know! When I did my first scene it was quite early on in the shoot and not all of the Boys had actually arrived. I hadn’t met Karen [Fukahara] or anybody and I was kind of like, really wanting to see some superheroes. And then when I came back to shoot some more scenes later on I got to see A-Train, and pictures of the other ones, and it was just really great to see them in 3D! But the one that I saw that was a full on ‘there he is, right in front of me’ superhero was a real treat.

SR: Do you think that this show is going to be particularly appealing to people who are maybe getting a little of that so-called ‘superhero fatigue’?

Simon Pegg: Yeah, I think that in a weird way, as a satire on superheroism, that’s kind of the least of what this show is, in a way. It’s a broader satire about the notion of power and celebrity, and it just so happens that the subjects of that particular analysis are superheroes in this show. We do, obviously, satirize superhero culture a little bit, and people might enjoy the parallels to other known superheroes that The Boys delights in. But at the same time, you know, it’s still a superhero show, I think it’s just a welcome change of tone, for sure. But it’s not like, I don’t think it’s sneering at its roots in any way. In the great tradition of comics like The Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, it’s kind of a slightly skewed version of that world, no less reverent.

SR: And other than yourself, because obviously your character doesn’t exist in the comics, were there any other major changes that surprised you, going in as a fan? At least, I am assuming you are a fan!

Simon Pegg: I am, yes! Everything that I saw, I really really liked, and I appreciate the importance, when making an adaptation, of not being too slavish. You can tie yourself in knots by being desperate to please, and I think that the best thing you can do with a story that first appeared in 2008 sis to make sure that it feels relevant in 2018. So they’ve done everything they can to do that. So the changes that I saw felt completely in keeping with the spirit of the comic book, and I know that’s what Garth Ennis really wanted as well, and Darick Robertson (the artist). And so as long as they maintain the kind of mission statement of it I’m happy to see it change. It must change, in the same way that The Walking Dead as a comic book is very different to the series, but it still has its own personality. TV is a different medium, you know, and it should have its own identity.

SR: And finally, I think we have time for one more, so given that you know the works of Garth Ennis, would you think that The Pro would be an interesting thing to be adapted next? And would you like to appear in that one, if it did?

Simon Pegg: [LAUGHS] I think anything he does is always… I think Garth kind of writes specifically to try and challenge people not to adapt… as if to say ‘alright, adapt that then!’. You know, things that just seem completely unadaptable. So, yes, I would always be happy to be involved in anything that Garth does, I’ve been a fan a long time, so yeah.

And, now they’ve done Preacher and now this, I think it’s paved the way for pretty much anything he does to appear in some form, you know, however mental. I shouldn’t say that, it’s the wrong word to say.

SR: Well, it’s a very British word.

Simon Pegg: [CHUCKLES] Yeah. So – who knows, you might have started a rumor – this is how these things start!

Next: Everything We Know About Preacher Season 4

The Boys is expected to premiere on Amazon in early 2019.



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2018-10-10 01:10:06 – Rose Moore

The Flash Confirms [SPOILER] Still Happens In Barry’s Future

Warning! SPOILERS for The Flash season 5 premiere ahead!

The Flash season 5 premiere just revealed the full impact of the Crisis of 2024 – the future event from which comes the newspaper headline, “Flash Missing, Vanishes in Crisis” – and it’s not good.

As far back as season 1, we’ve known thanks to the future edition of The Central City Citizen stored in Gideon’s archive that come April 25th, 2024, The Flash would disappear. Some details have changed with the various timeline shake-ups, but that fact remains the same – during a battle with the Reverse-Flash, Barry disappears. We also know that when they disappear they actually travel back to March 18th, 2000, where the Reverse-Flash attempts to kill a young Barry but instead kills his mother. The Reverse-Flash then tries returning to his own time but can’t because he’s been disconnected from the Speed Force, and what follows leads to season 1 of the show.

Related: The Flash Fixes Plot Hole By Secretly Changing Arrowverse History

As for The Flash, it’s been assumed that after saving his past self, but not his mother, Barry returns to 2024 to face whatever new timeline awaits him. But as we learn in tonight’s season 5 premiere, that isn’t at all what happens. Nora, Barry’s daughter from the future, shares with 2018’s Barry a newspaper headline dated April 25th, 2049 which reads: “25 Years Later – Flash Still Missing.” So The Flash did not return home after chasing the Reverse-Flash to 2000, and by the time Nora travels to the past to spy on her parents, he has yet to return.

Nora’s behavior makes a lot of sense now that we know her father has been missing since she was a toddler. All throughout the premiere, she’s spouting off factoids she learned by studying every single one of his adventures, and when it comes time for their first attempt at sending her back to the future, she hugs Barry like she’s never going to see him again. Nora has clearly grown up not knowing her father so she’s spent a lot of time trying to learn everything she can about him. It’s why she travels back in time – to see her dad in action as The Flash. Of course, with traveling back in time comes the risk of changing the future – something Nora may have already done.

But the more distressing news is what happens to The Flash of the future? Why after following the Reverse-Flash to the year 2000 did he not return for at least another 25 years? The Flash season 5 is absolutely going to explore this, possibly even flashing-forward to that future date and showing what really went on – which, according to Iris’ original article, should see The Flash teaming up with Green Arrow, The Atom, and Hawkgirl to fight the Reverse-Flash as well as the ominous red skies and the immense destruction of Central City.

What The Flash season 5 may also do is explore how it is the future Flash comes back. We know that he must return because in 2056, a future Barry sends a message to Rip Hunter in 2016 warning him of Savitar. So he isn’t gone forever, just a lot longer than we initially thought. Nora’s newspaper has Barry gone for 25 years, and that isn’t exact but it’s very close to how long Barry is gone in the comics after Crisis on Infinite Earths – possibly DC Comics’ most famous storyline and in where The Flash sacrifices himself to save the world. He returns 23 years later in Final Crisis, revealing he had been stuck in the Speed Force. The CW’s The Flash has already done the whole ‘stuck in the Speed Force’ thing, so hopefully it won’t repeat itself, but it does appear as if they are preparing for The Flash of the future to finally make his return after being gone for a quarter-century.

Next: The Flash Season 5: New Cast & Character Guide

The Flash season 5 continues next Tuesday with ‘Blocked’ at 8pm/7c on The CW.



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2018-10-09 07:10:13 – Sarah Moran

Zoe Saldana Teases Her Return As Gamora On Avengers 4 Set

Zoe Saldana teases her return as Gamora in Avengers 4. Even before reshoots for the Phase 3 capper began, the actress already let it slip that she’d be back as Gamora, despite her fate in Avengers: Infinity War. However, it wasn’t until now that fans finally learned that she’s partaking in the scheduled reshoots that will serve to wrap-up the blockbuster sequel.

One of the most integral relationships in Infinity War was that of Gamora and Thanos, who were finally reunited for the first time following the former joining the Guardians of the Galaxy. Despite what his adopted daughter thought of him, it turns out that the intergalactic villain did love Gamora, which helped make the Mad Titan compelling to viewers. With his goal of balancing the universe now fulfilled, Thanos is enjoying retirement, but with the surviving heroes gearing up to avenge the universe following the galactic genocide, the original Avengers may have one more ally to help them take down Thanos, in the form of Gamora.

Related: Bradley Cooper Defends the Thanos Snap: He Has a Point

Taking to Instagram, Saldana posted an image of her getting prepped to reprise the Gamora role for Avengers 4. The caption may have indicated “flashback,” but it could very well be in reference to Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon,” which lyrics she used in the caption. Additionally, actress Karen Gillan (Gamora’s sister Nebula) also added an Instagram story of her being made-up, using it to announce her last day on set. While some wondered if Saldana’s post might have been a throwback to a prior shoot, the fact that Gillan was on set at the same time lends credence to Saldana’s image being new. Check out Saldana and Gillan’s posts below.

While it’s no secret that Avengers 4 will bring back characters who were dead by the end of Infinity War, resurrecting Gamora will be a bit trickier compared to those who were affected by Thanos’ snap. Instead of being turned to dust, the character was thrown off a cliff, as her life was sacrificed in exchange for the Mad Titan to get the Soul Stone. Of course, since fans don’t really know much about how exactly the exchange works – with a young Gamora seemingly reunited with Thanos in the Soul World – there’s a possibility that she was just trapped in the alternate dimension like some popular theories claim. That said, Marvel Studios would have to craft a solid explanation if they decide to revive her, so as not to cheapen the impact of her emotional death in Avengers 3.

Otherwise, Gamora can appear in Avengers 4 in flashbacks or via time travel. Loki, who also died differently from those who were snapped out of existence, looks likely to make a return in the still-untitled sequel, after leaked set images made their way online last year. His involvement, however, is believed to be limited to flashbacks, as the film revisits the Battle of New York, which he was an integral part of. Considering Gamora’s large part in Thanos’ history, not to mention the fact that Nebula is still around, the sisters’ relationship with their adoptive father could be further explored, and might even factor into the villain’s defeat.

More: Loki’s TV Show Means His Infinity War Death Should Be Undone

Sources: Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan





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2018-10-09 06:10:17 – Ana Dumaraog