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Disney’s Jungle Cruise floats to the top of the weekend box office

Movie News
|Box Office
Disney’s Jungle Cruise floats to the top of the weekend box office
August 1, 2021 by: Dave Davis

Rock and Blunt drift to #1!

Another big-screen adaptation of a Disney theme park ride was the top draw for crowds this weekend as JUNGLE CRUISE opened in first place with an estimated $34.2 million!

The new adventure performed fairly typical for Dwayne Johnson’s non-FAST & FURIOUS leading roles — better than the $24.9 million opening for 2018’s SKYSCRAPER but not quite that of RAMPAGE’s $35.7 million start in that same year. But it wasn’t even a close match for co-star Emily Blunt’s recent A QUIET PLACE: PART II, which opened with $47.5 million back in May.

The PG-13 action-comedy from director Jaume Collet-Serra (NON-STOP, THE SHALLOWS) also netted $27.6 million from international audiences for a worldwide opening of $61.7 million.

The movie, delayed from its original planned release in July 2020 due to coronavirus, was also simultaneously released on the Disney+ streaming service for an additional $30 charge. Disney claims the Premier Access launch pocketed an extra $30 million to technically give the movie a $90 million global total for the weekend.

The family-friendly boat trip down the Amazon, also featuring Paul Giamatti, Edgar Ramirez, Jack Whitehall and Jesse Plemons, cost a reported $200 million.

It was nearly a wash for critics, who gave the movie an average of 63% on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 49 on Metacritic. Gather up some steam and chug on over to the JoBlo review HERE.

While the overall weekend box office looked grim compared to a traditional “best case” summer period, with only one release reaching eight figures, it was also only the second time since the pandemic started that every movie in the Top 10 each made over $1 million. So that’s… something.

Opening in second place was the new period fantasy epic THE GREEN KNIGHT with $6.78 million for the weekend.

Directed by Pete Lowery (THE OLD MAN & THE GUN, PETE’S DRAGON), the latest spin on the King Arthur legend was initially scheduled for May 2020 before getting delayed along with everything else last year.

The R-rated release, distributed by indie company A24 and estimated to have cost under $30 million, features Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Sean Harris and Joel Edgerton.

Critics were mostly impressed with the take on the endlessly adapted material, giving the movie an 89% average on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 84. Get medieval with the JoBlo review HERE.

In third place was last week’s box office winner as filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan’s latest horror-thriller OLD collected $6.76 million on its second weekend.

Universal’s PG-13 release shriveled by 60% from its opening for a ten-day domestic total of $30.6 million and $48.6 million worldwide, on a reported cost of $18 million.

Marvel’s PG-13 action-thriller BLACK WIDOW was in fourth place with $6.42 million over its fourth weekend in theaters (and available on Disney+, which has prompted some ugly public contractual disputes). The $200 million Disney release is at a domestic total of $167 million and $343.5 million worldwide.

In fifth place was the new crime drama STILLWATER with an opening weekend of $5.1 million.

The R-rated drama, with an angry hatted Matt Damon (Mad Damon? Hat Damon?) trying to assist his imprisoned daughter (Abigail Breslin) in France, was yet another movie delayed (from last November) due to COVID-19.

Directed by Tom McCarthy (SPOTLIGHT, THE STATION AGENT), the release from Universal’s Focus Features had a reported production cost of $20 million.

Critics were moderately intrigued by the clearly based on Amanda Knox story, giving the movie a 75% average on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 60. Get to the bottom of things with the JoBlo review HERE.

In sixth place was animated/live-action comedy SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY with $4.2 million on its third weekend. The PG-rated Warner Bros. sequel (also streaming on HBO Max) has a ten-day domestic total of $60.7 million and $118.6 million worldwide, on a reported cost of $150 million.

The PG-13 prequel SNAKE EYES: G.I. JOE ORIGINS was in seventh place with $4 million, slashed by 70% from its opening last weekend. Paramount’s ninja action movie starring Henry Golding and Samara Weaving has a ten-day domestic total of $22.2 million, on a cost rumored to be as much as $110 million.

In eighth place was the PG-13 action sequel F9: THE FAST SAGA with $2.6 million. After six domestic weekends, the $200 million Universal release has a domestic total of $168.5 million and $641.7 million worldwide.

Closing out the list were sequels ESCAPE ROOM: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS with $2.2 million and THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS with $1.3 million.

Outside the chart, sequel THE FOREVER PURGE came to an end along with A QUIET PLACE: PART II and documentary ROADRUNNER: A FILM ABOUT ANTHONY BOURDAIN.

Next weekend brings the anticipated release of James Gunn’s R-rated DC Comics adaptation THE SUICIDE SQUAD (also on HBO Max).

What is your favorite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson performance? VOTE HERE!

#
MOVIE TITLE
WKND $
TOTAL $

1.
Jungle Cruise
$34.2 M
NEW

2.
The Green Knight
$6.78 M
NEW

3.
Old
$6.76 M
$30.6 M

4.
Black Widow
$6.42 M
$167 M

5.
Stillwater
$5.12 M
NEW

6.
Space Jam: A New Legacy
$4.26 M
$60.7 M

7.
Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins
$4 M
$22.2 M

8.
F9: The Fast Saga
$2.65 M
$168.5 M

9.
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
$2.2 M
$20.5 M

10.
The Boss Baby: Family Business
$1.3 M
$53.4 M

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source:
ComscoreThe Numbers

Stillwater: Amanda Knox slams Matt Damon film for stealing her true story

Movie News

Stillwater: Amanda Knox slams Matt Damon film for stealing her true story
August 1, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling

If the plot of Matt Damon’s STILLWATER sounds vaguely familiar it’s because a real-life event pretty much mirrors the story of the film. Amanda Knox is an activist, journalist and she wrote a book called “Waiting to Be Heard”, which details the events of her charge of murder that resulted in her spending four years in an Italian prison following her conviction of the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, a fellow exchange student who shared her apartment. The book also details her 2015 definitive acquittal and the fallout that followed but if you expect her to buy a ticket to Stillwater, which tells a similar story, you’d be sorely mistaken.

In Stillwater, Matt Damon plays an unemployed oil rig worker from Oklahoma who sets out alongside a French woman to prove his convicted daughter’s innocence. I’ve seen some reports that it is loosely based on Amanda Knox’s story and, however loosely it may be, Knox posted a series of tweets that call out Matt Damon and director Tom McCarthy for stealing her story without her consent. You can check out some of the tweets below and can read them all in full by visiting Amanda Knox’s Twitter page.

Does my name belong to me? My face? What about my life? My story? Why does my name refer to events I had no hand in? I return to these questions because others continue to profit off my name, face, & story without my consent. Most recently, the film #STILLWATER.

/ a thread

— Amanda Knox (@amandaknox) July 29, 2021

This new film by director Tom McCarthy, starring Matt Damon, is “loosely based” or “directly inspired by” the “Amanda Knox saga,” as Vanity Fair put it in a for-profit article promoting a for-profit film, neither of which I am affiliated with.

— Amanda Knox (@amandaknox) July 29, 2021

I want to pause right here on that phrase: “the Amanda Knox saga.” What does that refer to? Does it refer to anything I did? No. It refers to the events that resulted from the murder of Meredith Kercher by a burglar named Rudy Guede.

— Amanda Knox (@amandaknox) July 29, 2021

It refers to the shoddy police work, prosecutorial tunnel vision, and refusal to admit their mistakes that led the Italian authorities to wrongfully convict me, twice. In those four years of wrongful imprisonment and 8 years of trial, I had near-zero agency.

— Amanda Knox (@amandaknox) July 29, 2021

Everyone else in that “saga” had more influence over events than I did. The erroneous focus on me by the authorities led to an erroneous focus on me by the press, which shaped how I was viewed. In prison, I had no control over my public image, no voice in my story.

— Amanda Knox (@amandaknox) July 29, 2021

This focus on me led many to complain that Meredith had been forgotten. But of course, who did they blame for that? Not the Italian authorities. Not the press. Me! Somehow it was my fault that the police and media focused on me at Meredith’s expense.

— Amanda Knox (@amandaknox) July 29, 2021

The result of this is that 15 years later, my name is the name associated with this tragic series of events, of which I had zero impact on. Meredith’s name is often left out, as is Rudy Guede’s. When he was released from prison recently, this was the NY Post headline. pic.twitter.com/5wgg0YUj59

— Amanda Knox (@amandaknox) July 29, 2021

The tweets honestly go on and they detail how Stillwater isn’t the first time someone has chosen to, as she put it, “rip off my story without my consent at the expense of my reputation.” Knox invited McCarthy and Damon to join her on her podcast, “Labyrinths“, so they could get her side of the story and maybe hear theirs in regards to using her real-life tragic event to shape their film. At the end of the day, Knox wants people to understand how, “by fictionalizing away my innocence, my total lack of involvement, by erasing the role of the authorities in my wrongful conviction, McCarthy reinforces an image of me as a guilty and untrustworthy person.”

The Amanda Knox story had the world riveted when it occurred in 2007. Knox was an American college student who spent nearly four years in an Italian prison following her conviction of the murder of her roommate and fellow exchange student, Meredith Kercher. Knox, after returning to her apartment with her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, called the police and notified them that they found her roommate dead. Suspicion immediately fell on the duo with lured stories of sex games gone wrong dominating the headlines. The investigation was immediately seen as a botched job but it also showed how hard it could be for an American to receive a fair trial in another country. They were both ultimately convicted of the murder and sentenced to 25 and 26 years, respectively. Amanda Knox’s family worked tirelessly for over four years to prove their daughter’s innocence and bring her back to the U.S. Know and her boyfriend were ultimately acquitted. Sometime after the two were sentenced, a known burglar named Rudy Guede was arrested following the discovery of his bloodstained fingerprints on Kercher’s possessions. He was late found guilty of murder in a fast-track trial and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. As of December 4, 2020, an Italian court ruled that Guede could complete his term doing community service. The conviction of Guede offered up even more validation for Knox’s innocence.

McCarthy has commented on the Knox connection to the film before by saying “There were so many characters around the case that I really followed pretty closely. But really the first thing that I took away from it was, what would that be like as an American student to go over (to Europe) for what should be one of the most exciting moments in a young adult life and to find yourself in that tragedy? There were so many layers to that story that kept anyone who was following pretty riveted…Who are the people that visiting (her), and what are those relationships? Like, what’s the story around the story? We decided, ‘Hey, let’s leave that Amanda Knox case behind but let me take this piece of the story, an American woman studying abroad involved in some kind of sensational crime and she ends up in jail, and fictionalize everything around.”

There are some key differences in Stillwater compared to the real Amanda Knox story. The crime in the film takes place in Marseille, France (Not Italy) and she has been imprisoned for five years and counting. Amanda Knox, whose father was the face of the family that 100% supported her released, isn’t really mirrored in that regard in the film because Abigail Breslin’s Alison has to rely only on her estranged father from Oklahoma for help. 

This is a tough one to have an opinion on. I didn’t go through what Amanda Knox went through so this event is something that she lives with and to see a film maybe trivializing it for entertainment, might make her feel like her story is being used in such a way without her permission. At first, I was like this is free reign and the story is public so why would it matter if they loosely based it on her life but once you think about everything she went through, you begin to understand why she feels so strongly about this. 

What are YOUR thoughts on Amanda Knox and her claims against Stillwater?

Source:
Twitter

M. Night Shyamalan prefers Lady in the Water over The Sixth Sense

Movie News

M. Night Shyamalan prefers Lady in the Water over The Sixth Sense
July 31, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling

M. Night Shyamalan burst onto the scene in a big way with his 1999 supernatural horror film, The Sixth Sense. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture, and it was a HUGE box office hit, grossing $293 million domestically and $672.8 million worldwide. One would think if Shyamalan had a personal preference amongst his filmography, this one would come out on top but he wouldn’t be M. Night without a Shyamalan twist and it turns out it’s one of his more critically maligned efforts that he prefers over his breakthrough hit.

GQ Magazine,” asked the director to name “his favorites of his oeuvre” and Shyamalan answered by saying, “The ones I have the most affinity for are the ones that have maintained that quirky nature. Unbreakable, and LADY IN THE WATER, and The Visit, and this movie [Old]…the ones that are poky.” While I’m not surprised he would name Unbreakable since some consider it to be even better than The Sixth Sense, I’m a little shocked that Lady in the Water made his cut. Hell, I can even accept The Visit since it was a bit of a comeback for him and was surprisingly good. I think this might come down to Lady in the Water being a personal creative favorite of his despite it continuing this downward trend with mainstream audiences with some of his releases.

So why Lady in the Water over The Sixth Sense? Shyamalan explains that the quirkiness of Lady in the Water appeals to him more than the more composed polish of The Sixth Sense. “GQ Magazine” agreed with Shyamalan on some level by saying “there’s a decorum, a dignity to that, that makes it almost too neat” and Shyamalan adds to that by calling it a “suit and tie quality.” “GQ Magazine” concludes by saying “a film like Lady in the Water does convey the weirdness, the poky appeal of Shyamalan himself.”

Poky or not, Lady in the Water was not well-received when it was released back in 2006. The film is 25% rotten on Rotten Tomatoes and, up until Old, it was the lowest opening weekend of Shyamalan’s career at $18.2 million. The film collapsed from there, grossing $42.2 million domestically and $72.7 million worldwide on a $70 million budget. In the grand scheme of things from most moviegoers it may be better than The Happening or The Last Airbender but that is what we call faint praise. 

In Lady in the Water, a superintendent of a Philadelphia apartment complex discovers a young woman in the swimming pool. Gradually, he and his neighbors learn that she is a water nymph (or Narf) whose life is in danger from a vicious, wolf-like, mystical creature called a Scrunt that tries to keep her from returning to her watery “blue world.” The film stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Paul Giamatti, Jeffrey Wright, and Freddy Rodriguez.

Do YOU think Lady in the Water is better than The Sixth Sense?

LATEST IMAGES AND POSTERS
View the Lady in the Water Image Gallery

Source:
GQ

Awesome Art We’ve Found Around The Net: Her, Old, Psycho, Se7en, Yoda

Movie News

Awesome Art We’ve Found Around The Net: Her, Old, Psycho, Se7en, Yoda
July 31, 2021 by: Theodore Bond

Some cliche somewhere said that 'a picture is worth a thousand words.' This has proven to be the case for me and especially when it comes to fan art. I have always sought out great fan art and have wanted to share it with as many people as possible. "Awesome Art We've Found Around The Net" is the outlet for that passion. In this column, I will showcase the kick-ass artwork of some great artists, with the hopes that these artists get the attention they deserve. That's the aim. If you have any questions or comments, or even suggestions of art or other great artists, feel free to contact me at any time at [email protected].

Almost Famous by Matthew Peak 

The Goonies by cristianeres 

Her by Garbhán Grant 

Invincible by Kyle Fast

Masters of the Universe by Rob Duenas 

Old by Ryan Jardine 

Psycho by Melvin Mago 

Se7en by Vincent Tanguay 

Space Jam: A New Legacy by B4 Abraham 

Yoda by Mauricio Herrera

Previous Awesome Art We’ve Found Around The Net columns More

Her, Old, Psycho, Se7en, Yoda

He-Man, Kill Bill, Snake Eyes, Tron

The Crow, Loki, Robocop, Star Wars

Black Widow, Cruella, Luca, Shocker

Berkay Daglar

Source:
JoBlo.com

The Conjuring franchise has now grossed over $2 billion worldwide

Movie News

The Conjuring franchise has now grossed over $2 billion worldwide
July 30, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser

Given how cheap most horror movies are to produce, at least when compared to other blockbusters, the genre is almost always profitable, but James Wan’s The Conjuring Universe is on another level. As THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT has now grossed over $196 million worldwide, which pushes the franchise’s grand total to over $2 billion. With just eight films in the series at the moment, that’s mighty impressive.

The franchise kicked off in 2013 with The Conjuring, a highly effective supernatural horror film that starred Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. With a budget of just $20 million, the film went on to gross $319 million worldwide, which sparked a string of sequels and spin-offs including Annabelle, The Conjuring 2, Annabelle: Creation, The Nun, The Curse of La Llorona, Annabelle Comes Home, and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. There are several more Conjuring movies that are in development, including a sequel to The Nun and a spin-off focusing on The Crooked Man from The Conjuring 2. Hey, there’s a lot more frights to be had… and a lot more money to be made.

RELATED: The Conjuring 3 scares up a win at the weekend box office!

The most recent Conjuring film debuted in theaters and on HBO Max last month and found Ed and Lorraine Warren tackling one of the most sensational cases from their files. “It starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy,” reads the official synopsis, “then takes them beyond anything they’d ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense.” You can check out a review of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It from our own JimmyO right here.

Source:
Deadline

Taika Waititi’s animated Flash Gordon film will now be live-action

Movie News

Taika Waititi’s animated Flash Gordon film will now be live-action
July 30, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser

Disney tapped Taika Waititi with developing an animated FLASH GORDON movie two years ago, but it would seem the project has undergone something of a metamorphosis. While speaking with Collider, producer John Davis said that the Flash Gordon film is now being developed as a live-action project. “Taika is writing it,” Davis said. “It was a movie that was a huge influence on him growing up. It is one of his favorite movies. He initially said to me, ‘Let’s do it animated.’ I said, ‘Okay.’ Then we got into it and started developing it and he said, ‘No, let’s do it live-action.’ I said, ‘Even better.'”

RELATED: What’s New to Watch on Blu-ray: Deathstroke, Batwoman, Flash Gordon and more

Based upon the classic comic strip by Alex Raymond, the 1980 film follows Dr. Hans Zarkov (Topol) as he takes football star Flash Gordon (Sam Jones) and travel agent Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) into space to get to the bottom of a series of strange natural disasters which have been plaguing the Earth. Upon their arrival on the planet Mongo, they find that Ming the Merciless (Max von Sydow) has been attacking Earth out of pure boredom, and it’s up to Flash Gordon to save the day. I’d never seen Flash Gordon, but I grabbed Arrow Video’s 4K release on a whim earlier this year and absolutely loved it; Colourful and absolutely ridiculous, right up Taika Waititi’s alley. Although it was initially reported that Waititi would write and direct the Flash Gordon reboot, it seems that he’s only writing the script at the moment, but John Davis is hopeful that he’ll helm the film as well.

Well, he’s writing it. So when somebody writes a script that they’re going to direct, they’re obviously going to really like the script, right? So you get a big leg up, right? A lot of times, you go to a huge director with somebody else’s script and he’s got to reinvent it. They’ve got to make it their own. They’ve got to… whatever. This is going to be Taika-ready.

John Davis added that Taika Waititi has “the most fantastically interesting vision for this movie… It harkens in a very interesting way to the original conception from the comics.” It may be some time before Waititi is able to turn his full attention to Flash Gordon as he’s got quite a few projects in the works. He recently wrapped production on Thor: Love and Thunder, which is set to hit theaters on May 6, 2022, and also has the sports comedy Next Goal Wins awaiting release as well.

Source:
Collider

Black Adam’s powers to be brought to life with never-before-used technology

Movie News

Black Adam’s powers to be brought to life with never-before-used technology
July 30, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser

Dwayne Johnson’s BLACK ADAM movie finally wrapped production, and the actor has called the film a “career-definer,” adding that “this has been one for the ages and easily the hardest labor and toughest grind mentally and physically of my entire career.” You really do get the sense that Johnson and company have been working extra hard to make Black Adam special, and it seems that level of commitment extended to all areas of the production.

RELATED: Black Adam producer says PG-13 rating won’t lower the kill count

While speaking with Collider, Black Adam producer Hiram Garcia teased that the film will be utilizing and displaying Black Adam’s powers in a way never before seen.

This is a character with amazing abilities. He has super speed, can fly, and has world breaking strength to name a few. We wanted to make sure moviegoers feel that throughout the entire movie. You’re not going to see him use super speed just once and then it stops, this is part of his arsenal. It’s common to see abilities fall to the wayside when dealing with characters like that but one of our many goals was to keep continuity there and push the bar in terms of how we do it. For example, the technology we’re using to make Black Adam fly has never been done before. It’s completely unique. It was critical for us to ensure that it felt special, authentic, and real. Jaume took that to heart. Our special effects’ team are Oscar winners, and we certainly put them to work.

As for exactly what this unique technology is, we don’t know, but Dwayne Johnson has previously shared images of some of the “very cutting edge” shots they did during production, including one that used an advanced robotic arm called a Bolt with a high-speed Phantom camera to shoot the actor at 960 frames per second.

RELATED: Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam is the Dirty Harry of superheroes

In addition to Dwayne Johnson, Black Adam is also set to introduce the Justice Society as Noah Centineo is onboard to play Atom Smasher, with Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone, and Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Fate. Black Adam is also slated to star Sarah Shahi as “a university professor and freedom fighter leading the resistance in Kahndaq,” as well as Marwan Kenzari in a mysterious role expected to be the main villain. Mohammed Amer, James Cusati-Moyer, Uli Latukefu, and Bodhi Sabongui round out the rest of the cast. Black Adam is currently slated to hit theaters on July 29, 2022.

Source:
Collider

Tom Hanks joins Wes Anderson’s new movie

Movie News

Tom Hanks joins Wes Anderson’s new movie
July 30, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser

Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch hasn't yet hit theaters, but the director is already preparing to shoot his next film. As expected, Anderson's usual coterie of thespians will be returning for his new film, such as Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, and Adrian Brody, but THR has reported that a newbie to Wes Anderson's filmography will be joining them – Tom Hanks.

The outlet has reported that Tom Hanks has joined the cast of Wes Anderson's new movie, but sources have told them that the role is "small and could be cameo-like in nature," so don't expect Hanks to be all that prominent. But if Tom Hanks jives with Wes Anderson, he could very well return for a larger role in a future project, which would definitely be exciting. As far as plot details, not much is known at this time, only that Wes Andeson will be writing and directing and the film is expected to shoot in Spain.

RELATED: Wes Anderson: Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton set for new movie

The French Dispatch premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this month and will be released in theaters on October 22, 2021. The film has been described as "a love letter to journalists set at an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th-century French city." The ensemble cast includes Benicio del Toro, Timothee Chalamet, Elisabeth Moss, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Adrian Brody, Owen Wilson, and more. Tom Hanks was last seen in The News of the World and will next be seen in Apple TV's Finch, a sci-fi feature in which he plays an ailing inventor and the last man on Earth who builds an android to keep him and his dog company as he goes on a journey across the country. Finch doesn't have an official release date yet but is expected to hit the streaming service later this year.

Source:
THR

Update: Bob Odenkirk issues an update after heart attack

Movie News

Update: Bob Odenkirk issues an update after heart attack
July 30, 2021 by: Steve Seigh

Update: Bob Odenkirk himself has issued an update about his recovery from a “small heart attack” on Twitter. In addition to expressing his heartfelt thanks to those who have wished him well, he also says that his doctors knew how to fix the blockage without surgery.

Hi. It’s Bob.
Thank you.
To my family and friends who have surrounded me this week.
And for the outpouring of love from everyone who expressed concern and care for me. It’s overwhelming. But I feel the love and it means so much.

— Mr. Bob Odenkirk (@mrbobodenkirk) July 30, 2021

 

I had a small heart attack. But I’m going to be ok thanks to Rosa Estrada and the doctors who knew how to fix the blockage without surgery.
Also, AMC and SONYs support and help throughout this has been next-level. I’m going to take a beat to recover but I’ll be back soon.

— Mr. Bob Odenkirk (@mrbobodenkirk) July 30, 2021

Original Article: It sounds like Bob Odenkirk is going to make a swift recovery from his recent “heart-related incident,” folks. How about that, eh? An aspect of 2021 doesn’t suck. What a concept!

The good word comes courtesy of Odenkirk’s longtime friend and Mr. Show co-star David Cross, who says Odenkirk is “doing great.” Cross recently spoke with Odenkirk over the phone, who is currently at a hospital in New Mexico where he is receiving excellent care.

You can check out Cross’s tweet below, where he updated his followers (as well as Odenkirk fans) about his good buddy’s promising progress:

Just got off the phone with Bob and he’s doing great! Joking and japing and joshing. Both he and his family are overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and concern everyone has shown. You will be hearing from him soon. But he’s doing really well!!!

— david cross? (@davidcrosss) July 30, 2021

Details surrounding Odenkirk’s health trouble are being kept hush at this time. Perhaps all will be revealed once Odenkirk is ready to give his own statement. Or not, seeing as his health is his business. The important takeaway here is that he’s doing well and is in good spirits.

Odenkirk’s rep shared an update about the actor’s recovery on Wednesday, saying, “He and his family would like to express gratitude for the incredible doctors and nurses looking after him, as well as his cast, crew, and producers who have stayed by his side. The Odenkirks would also like to thank everyone for the outpouring of well wishes and ask for their privacy at this time as Bob works on his recovery.”

We here at JoBlo wish Mr. Odenkirk a swift recovery and hope to see him back in fighting form real soon.

Source:
The Hollywood Reporter

Black Adam producer says PG-13 rating won’t lower the kill count

Movie News

Black Adam producer says PG-13 rating won’t lower the kill count
July 30, 2021 by: Steve Seigh

BLACK ADAM might be rated PG-13, but apparently, that’s not going to stop the film from displaying a significant body count. That’s right, parents. Before you bring your kids to Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam, you might want to exercise a bit of caution. Oh, who am I kidding? Superheros have been offing people on-screen for generations, and who doesn’t enjoy seeing Johnson serve up a knuckle sandwich with a bit of mustard?

Speaking recently with Collider, Black Adam producer Hiram Garcia explained that the PG-13 rating would have almost no bearing on how many bodies hit the floor in DC’s upcoming film. This should sound like music to the ears of some DC fans who’ve raised concerns about the film not being rated R.

This will be PG-13, but it’s not because we’re being forced to be PG-13. The way we devised the movie, it just wasn’t necessary to make it R, and it’s something we discussed because we did want to be true to the character. The truth is that we felt we were properly able to represent the edge and power that Black Adam has without needing to go to an R rating. This movie can thrive in a PG-13 space and that’s great for us because we want to introduce Back Adam to as many people as possible.

No one ever felt like The Dark Knight was too soft. That was probably one of the hardest PG-13s you’ve ever seen. That’s the way we’ve approached our PG-13, and by no means has that rating limited our kill count!

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen filmmakers do a lot with films that are rated PG-13. It sounds to me like Black Adam director Jaume Collet-Serra will be pushing the rating to the max to tell a solid story. Fan expectations are always a concern, of course. However, if you think DC is going to build its Black Adam project around visceral violence and cuss-happy dialogue, maybe you’ve forgotten who pays the bills? One thing is for sure, Black Adam already has the potential to become one of DC’s best superhero films to date. Why? Well, not only is Dwayne Johnson star as the eponymous antihero, but Aldis Hodge, Pierce Brosnan, Marwan Kenzari, Noah Centineo, Sarah Shahi, and Quintessa Swindell also star. That’s a recipe for badassery if I ever saw one. I say we turn the PG-13 rating up to eleven and dive right in!

Source:
Collider

Black Widow lawsuit escalates after Disney responds to distressing claims

Movie News

Black Widow lawsuit escalates after Disney responds to distressing claims
July 30, 2021 by: Steve Seigh

Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney is escalating faster than a flattie spider can spin its web. On Thursday, Johansson filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Disney, alleging that her contract was breached when the studio released BLACK WIDOW on its Disney+ streaming platform. Johansson attests that her arrangement with Disney’s Marvel Entertainment would bring Black Widow exclusively to theaters. She also says that the agreement involved her salary for the film being based on its box-office performance.

Not long after the details of Johansson’s suit went public, Disney fired back with a response that left many of Johansson’s reps, friends, and fans feeling uneasy about the exchange.

“There is no merit whatsoever to this filing. The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract and furthermore, the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date,” a Disney spokesperson said.

Now, CAA co-chairman Bryan Lourd is speaking out against Disney for what he considers to be a combative response to the issue at hand.

“They have shamelessly and falsely accused Ms. Johansson of being insensitive to the global COVID pandemic, in an attempt to make her appear to be someone they and I know she isn’t,” Lourd said as a part of his public address. He also points out that Johansson has helped Disney make billions of dollars over the course of nine films.

You can read Lourd’s full statement below:

I want to address the Walt Disney Company’s statement that was issued in response to the lawsuit filed against them yesterday by our client Scarlett Johansson. They have shamelessly and falsely accused Ms. Johansson of being insensitive to the global COVID pandemic, in an attempt to make her appear to be someone they and I know she isn’t.

Scarlett has been Disney’s partner on nine movies, which have earned Disney and its shareholders billions. The company included her salary in their press statement in an attempt to weaponize her success as an artist and businesswoman, as if that were something she should be ashamed of.  Scarlett is extremely proud of the work that she and all of the actors, writers, directors, producers, and the Marvel creative team have been a part of for well over a decade.

This suit was filed as a result of Disney’s decision to knowingly violate Scarlett’s contract. They have very deliberately moved the revenue stream and profits to the Disney+ side of the company, leaving artistic and financial partners out of their new equation. That’s it, pure and simple.

Disney’s direct attack on her character and all else they implied is beneath the company that many of us in the creative community have worked with successfully for decades.

RELATED: Update: Disney responds to Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow lawsuit

In addition to Lourd calling Disney out for their “callous” response, Johansson’s move to sue Disney may trigger a ripple effect throughout Hollywood. Even as I type this, reports are starting to crop up that revolve around actors rethinking their contracts for films released during the pandemic, as well as those bound for streaming services in general.

“Good for her,” said one Hollywood talent agent. “A lot of other actors are cheering for Scarlett and rooting her on. She has a lot of power and that makes this a visible conversation that puts Disney on the spot. By doing all of this in public, she might be able to change the rulebook.”

One star who is said to be contemplating a lawsuit is Cruella’s Emma Stone. According to Former THR Editor Matt Belloni, “Emma Stone, star of Cruella, is said to be weighing her options.” He also noted that Disney is “notoriously difficult to deal with,” when it comes to its legal matters being in the public spotlight. After all, you don’t maintain a squeaky-clean image after having your name dragged through the mud.

Something tells me that this matter is far from over and that we’ll be hearing about it for days, maybe weeks to come. One thing’s for sure, the result of this lawsuit could change the way actors negotiate their contracts as streaming services continue to be an important aspect of the movie industry. Hold onto your butts, Mouseketeers. This could get uglier than a Brazilian Wandering Spider on a bad day.

Source:
The Hollywood Reporter

A.P. Bio: Bruce Campbell joins the cast of Peacock comedy

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A.P. Bio: Bruce Campbell joins the cast of Peacock comedy
July 30, 2021 by: Steve Seigh

Bruce Campbell is about to give Peacock's A.P. Bio comedy a little sugar, baby. It's been announced that The Evil Dead actor will guest star as John Griffin, father of Glenn Howerton’s Jack Griffin in the series. An absent father to Jack most of his life, he recently had a spiritual awakening with hopes to reconnect with his adult son.

Of course, Campbell is best known for playing Ash Williams in Sam Raimi's Evil Dead and for his role as Sam Axe in the Matt Nix-created crime series Burn Notice. In recent times, Campbell has also appeared in episodes of AMC's Lodge 49 and Fargo.

A.P. Bio revolves around Howerton's Jack Griffin, a former philosophy professor who takes a job teaching advanced placement biology and uses his students to get back at the people in his life who have wronged him. The series also stars Patton Oswalt, Mary Sohn, Lyric Lewis, Jean Villepique, and Paula Pell.

Campbell recently lent his voice to a new Evil Dead video game set to launch later this year. He's also set to star in Casey Tebo's horror-comedy Black Friday, which finds a group of toy store employees having to protect each other from a horde of parasite-infected shoppers. He's also producing the next film in the Evil Dead franchise, Evil Dead Rise. Be sure to look for Campbell when the fourth season of A.P. Bio comes to Peacock in December.

Source:
Deadline

The Last Mercenary Review

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The Last Mercenary Review
The Last Mercenary Review

July 30, 2021 by: Chris Bumbray

5
10

PLOT: A case of mistaken identity forces a legendary French mercenary (Jean-Claude Van Damme) to return home and meet the son he was forced to abandon long ago.

REVIEW: JCVD’s THE LAST MERCENARY is most definitely not for everyone. It belongs to a very peculiar genre – the French action-comedy. If you’re thinking Taxi, you’re kind of on the right path, but this is probably even broader than that. It’s a throwback to a specific kind of genre vehicle made by guys like Jean-Paul Belmondo in the seventies or eighties, where the French humor is so overpowering that it’ll likely turn off a large chunk of North American viewers, although French audiences more accustomed to this kind of thing might be laughing their “têtes” off.

One thing’s for sure, it’s nice to see Jean-Claude Van Damme back in a big-budget movie, and at sixty, he can still fight as well as he ever did. The only difference between Van Damme in 1990 and 2021 is that he’s a much better actor now. The Last Mercenary wasn’t my cup of tea, mostly because I’m not a fan of this particular blend of humor, but JCVD is A+ in his first big role in a while. In a lot of ways, The Last Mercenary feels destined for the same fate as another French action-comedy, Wasabi (with Jean Reno). People will largely dismiss the movie, but there are a few pretty superb little action sequences that will probably wind up playing again and again on YouTube and in JCVD compilations.

The movie seems tailor-made for the star to some degree, with his character a nineties legend who went off the grid plying his trade around the world, a lot like JCVD himself in his large run of DTV flicks. He’s called back when his long-lost son, Archibald (Samir Decazza), is mistaken by the French government for an arms dealer who happens to be obsessed with Scarface and is introduced, leading the cops in a car chase while blasting, “Push it to the Limit.” The problem is, the arms dealer has got diplomatic immunity, and some french bureaucrats are involved in his weapon smuggling scheme, so innocent slacker Archibald ends up the fall guy. Luckily, his pops and some of his streetwise pals come along to save the day.

It’s not a bad premise. Still, the whole thing plays out more like one of the lesser Pink Panther movies than an actual Van Damme vehicle, and one wishes co-writer/director David Charhon had put more emphasis on the action rather than the comedy. Whatever the case, Van Damme seems pretty loose and affable, acting in his native French (he also dubbed the English version on Netflix himself). He’s having a ball, and there are two fights here that are peak Van Damage. One is a great bit where he takes on two hired killers with a bath towel, and another is a rollicking fight scene scored by Sylvester’s dance classic “Do You Wanna Funk.”

Moments like those make me wish I loved The Last Mercenary, but the fact is the humor didn’t work for me at all. Rather than laugh, I was rolling my eyes throughout. That said, I’ll admit this type of ultra-broad French humor has never really worked for me. Even when it comes to Belmondo movies, I prefer his more serious flicks rather than the comedies, but if this gives JCVD’s career a second wind in France, I’m all for it. With this, Van Damme proves he’s more than up to the challenge of a bigger production. Hopefully, his next one is just as ambitious, if perhaps a little less silly.

Source:
JoBlo.com

WTF Happened to Kirsten Dunst?

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WTF Happened to Kirsten Dunst?
July 30, 2021 by: Chris Bumbray

WTF Happened To This Celebrity? – The JoBlo series that examines the careers of stars and filmmakers who may have fallen out of the spotlight and tells where they are now!

Kirsten Dunst started her career at a young age. She first made a big impression alongside A-list talent such as Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in Interview with the Vampire (when she was only eleven years old) before appearing in hits like Jumanji and becoming a teen idol with roles in movies like Bring it On and the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy. From there, it was straight to the A-list for Dunst. Rather than opt for purely commercial projects, Dunst mixed studio films like Wimbleton with more idiosyncratic parts in films like Sofia Coppola’s under-rated Marie Antoinette, the thriller All Good Things, and more.

RELATED: Spider-Man: J.K. Simmons calls Sam Raimi’s films a career highlight

While she had a few notable bumps in the road along the way, most significantly Cameron Crowe’s reviled Elizabethtown, Dunst has always managed to bounce back and give stunning performances. Still, the fact remains that outside of her acclaimed turn in Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, she never really gets her due. Too often, when people talk about the best actresses in Hollywood, Dunst gets overlooked, even if her roles on Fargo (opposite current partner Jesse Plemons) and the short-lived show On Becoming a God in Central Florida proves she’s indeed one of the best out there. And while her recent output may have slowed as she focuses on a new family, a look through her recent career demonstrates just how UNDERRATED she is. So fall into the web of “WTF Happened to Kirsten Dunst!”

Source:
JoBlo Videos

Hereditary: Alex Wolff says the Ari Aster film damaged him emotionally

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Hereditary: Alex Wolff says the Ari Aster film damaged him emotionally
July 30, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling

Alex Wolff has had a variety of film roles that range from horror (the recently released Old) to family fare (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and its sequel). He has steadily become an actor to watch and arguably one of his most memorable roles is that of Peter in the 2018 indie horror film, HEREDITARY. Directed by Ari Aster, the film is an attack on the psyche for the audience and, as it turns out, the film also had a lasting effect on Wolff that still sticks with him today.

During a chat with Looper to promote his role in Pig, starring Nicolas Cage, Wolff admitted that Hereditary had an effect on him like no film he had acted in before. Wolff said, “I’ll tell you that movie did as much damage to me as a movie can do.” The damage, according to Wolff, included psychological effects and loss of sleep. The actor said that he was reluctant to reveal the lingering effects of that film on him because he realizes he’s in a privileged position because of his chosen profession:

“It’s very hard because as an actor, you really don’t want to sound pretentious or self-serious or like anything is too serious because we have a cushy job in a lot of ways, but this, emotionally, it was one of those tough ones, it was one of those ones that really did some gymnastics on my emotional well-being.”

It really comes as no surprise that Wolff went through it making that film. As an audience member, Hereditary was mentally exhausting (and I mean that as the highest compliment) so I can only imagine what it was like to act in it. Wolff’s character is really put through a varying degree of emotional paces and it only builds as the film progresses. Even if you weren’t particularly method as a performer, I would think you would take some of that home with you at the end of the day.

In Hereditary, a family is haunted by a mysterious presence after the death of their secretive grandmother. When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter and grandchildren begin to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry, trying to outrun the sinister fate they have inherited. Led by a truly powerful performance from Toni Collette, Hereditary was very well-received by critics, scoring an 89% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and the film became a bit of a surprise box office hit during the summer of 2018. On a production budget of $10 million, the film grossed $44.1 million domestically and $80.2 million worldwide. The film still stands as A24’s highest-grossing film at the worldwide box office. The film also stars Milly Shapiro and Gabriel Byrne.

What are YOUR thoughts on Hereditary?

Source:
Looper

Shang-Chi featurette dives into the history of Marvel’s latest hero

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Shang-Chi featurette dives into the history of Marvel’s latest hero
July 30, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling

A new featurette and poster for Shang Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings has been released and it gives us a little bit of backstory on the history of Shang-Chi and his connection to the Ten Rings.

In the new featurette called “Destiny”,  producer Kevin Feige, stars Simu Liu and Awkwafina, and director Destin Daniel Cretton explore Shang-Chi’s backstory and his connection to the Ten Rings. The new look also delivers on action and shows that Shang-Chi is definitely ready to take his place in the MCU. You can check out the featurette at the top of the page. 

Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. The film also stars Tony Leung as Wenwu, Awkwafina as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy and Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan, as well as Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu, and Ronny Chieng.

Filming began on the project in February 2020 but was put on hold in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Production resumed in August before the film finally wrapped in October. The film was shuffled a bit on the calendar due to the pandemic but Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings will finally be released on September 3, 2021, as part of Phase Four of the MCU.

Did YOU like the new featurette? You can check out the film’s new official key art below!

Source:
JoBlo Movie Trailers

Tomb Raider 2 script coming soon, says Alicia Vikander

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Tomb Raider 2 script coming soon, says Alicia Vikander
July 30, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling

The sequel to 2018’s TOMB RAIDER reboot has seen its fair share of delays, thanks mostly to the COVID-19 pandemic but actress and star, Alicia Vikander, is hopeful that she’ll be able to reprise the role of Lara Croft very soon.

During a chat with ComicBook.com, Vikander was aware that the current circumstances with the global pandemic put the already greenlit sequel in limbo but she promised that a script is coming soon and she’s excited to give it a read:

“[Writer/director] Misha [Green] is about to … A script is coming in very soon. She’s extremely hardworking. And so, I can’t say anything, because like you said, [current circumstances] kind of put everything just up in the air. But yeah, I’m excited to read scripts and hope that it’s something that we’ll find a way to make.”

In October of last year, It was announced that MGM had pulled Tomb Raider 2 from its March 19, 2021 release date and they didn’t indicate any future dates for the film at that point. Around that time, Vikander was asked about the sequel and, given the global pandemic, she believed that she wouldn’t get to work on the film until early this year. She did confirm that the original plan was to film the sequel in 2020 but the coronavirus delays put things in limbo:

“The plan was for us to start making one this year, of course, due to the situation, that’s now very different. We’re still in discussions about it, so I hope we can probably get to it next year.”

2018’s Tomb Raider was directed by Roar Uthaug and it mostly served as an origin story for Lara Croft, taking inspiration from the most recent series of video games. The film received mixed reviews from critics, scoring a 51% rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes but the film did well enough worldwide to warrant a sequel. While the film wasn’t a huge hit domestically, the film did earn $274.6 million at the global box office on a $94 million budget. MGM is likely hoping that with a well-liked actress who has an Oscar to her name and a new filmmaker at the helm for the sequel, things can be turned around a bit to make a sequel more profitable than the first film. Misha Green, who is hot coming off showrunning the critically acclaimed Lovecraft Country, is directing the sequel and she took to social media to reveal a potential title called Tomb Raider: Obsidian. Despite that reveal, Green said, “Still a long journey to production. Title’s not even approved but first draft finished!”

Still a long journey to production. Title’s not even approved. ????????
But first draft finished!!! ???????????? #TombRaider pic.twitter.com/wrKVUubM6I

— Misha Green (@MishaGreen) May 14, 2021

Do YOU think Tomb Raider 2 will actually hit the big screen?

Source:
ComicBook.Com

Aquaman 2: Producers ignored Johnny Depp fan petition to fire Amber Heard

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Aquaman 2: Producers ignored Johnny Depp fan petition to fire Amber Heard
July 30, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling

Social media and online petitions can carry a certain amount of weight, especially when they go viral. It can show a studio or network that a fanbase is passionate enough to create enough traction to shift a project in the direction they deem necessary. Actress Amber Heard found herself at the center of one of those petitions when Johnny Depp fans campaigned to have her removed from the Aquaman sequel, AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM. The actress and Depp have been in a long and contentious battle that has drawn lines in the sand and led to nearly 2 million fans signing a petition on Change.org demanding her firing. Did this petition come under consideration as Warner Bros. headed into the sequel? According to one producer, it didn’t even move the needle.

Leading up to Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom going into production, the hashtag #JusticeForJohnnyDepp began to trend along with the petition as Warner Bros. asked Johnny Depp to resign from Fantastic Beasts 3. Depp’s supporters believed that he was innocent of Heard’s allegations that he abused her and, at the very least, they thought Warner Bros. should’ve removed her from the Aquaman sequel because they felt she was just as much in the wrong as Depp in the situation. 

Producer Peter Safran and the entire Aquaman team were fully aware of the controversy surrounding Heard’s involvement in the sequel and Safran confirms that the other producers, nor director James Wan, ever considered firing Amber Heard as an option. Safran says they would never cater to “pure fan pressure” and, while speaking on the Deadline Hero Nation podcast, he also said it was best for the film that Heard returned as Mera:

“I don’t think we’re ever going to react to, honestly, pure fan pressure. You gotta do what’s best for the movie. We felt that if it’s James Wan, and Jason Momoa, it should be Amber Heard. That’s really what it was… One is not unaware of what is going on in the Twitter-verse, but that doesn’t mean you have to react to it or take it as gospel or accede to their wishes. You have to do what’s right for the film, and that’s really where we landed on it.”

Amber Heard herself has previously dismissed the fan efforts to have her fired from the Aquaman sequel. During a chat with “Entertainment Weekly” last November, Heard spoke of the petition by saying, “Paid rumors and paid campaigns on social media don’t dictate [casting decisions] because they have no basis in reality…Only the fans actually made Aquaman and Aquaman 2 happen. I’m excited to get started next year.”  

Aquaman and the Long Kingdom see Momoa and Heard’s return, along with Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Temuera Morrison. James Wan is back on board to direct while David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick takes on screenwriting duties. The sequel follows Aquaman which blew away expectations at the box office with a final global gross of $1.1 billion.

Do YOU think it was right to keep Amber Heard in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom?

Source:
Deadline

House of Gucci trailer is filled to the brim with style and murder

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House of Gucci trailer is filled to the brim with style and murder
July 29, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser

MGM released a series of character posters for HOUSE OF GUCCI earlier today (featuring a damn-near unrecognizable Jared Leto) and now the studio has unleashed the first trailer for the Ridley Scott film. Check that out above!

RELATED: House of Gucci: Jared Leto unrecognizable in film’s first character posters

Based on the novel The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden, House of Gucci is “inspired by the shocking true story of the family empire behind the Italian fashion house of Gucci. Spanning three decades of love, betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately murder, we see what a name means, what it’s worth, and how far a family will go for control.” As you can tell from the trailer, the film has quite a packed cast; in addition to Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, who star as Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci, respectively, House of Gucci also stars Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Jack Huston, Salma Hayek, and Al Pacino.

House of Gucci is set to hit theaters on November 24, 2021.

Source:
MGM

Matt Damon auditioned to play Robin in two different Batman movies

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Matt Damon auditioned to play Robin in two different Batman movies
July 29, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser

Matt Damon as the Boy Wonder? It could have happened. Twice. While speaking with Josh Horowitz for the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Matt Damon revealed that he has actually auditioned to play Robin in two different Batman movies — Tim Burton's Batman and Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever.

RELATED: Update: Disney responds to Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow lawsuit

Although the role of Robin wound up being cut from the script in Tim Burton's movie, Matt Damon remembers auditioning when he was still a teenager. "We went down to New York. 1987 maybe — '87, 88'. I would have been 16 or 17," Damon said. "I remember that we didn't have sides — it wasn't like you're reading a scene with Batman. It was so secretive that you're reading this other scene from some other movie." A few years later, Damon once again auditioned for the role in Schumacher's movie, but Damon recalls that he was just being used by the studio to force Chris O'Donnell to accept a smaller deal.

Chris O'Donnell already had the part, but they were haggling over money. The studio was flexing, basically, by flying in two other people to screen test. They wanted Chris, but they just wanted him for a price. I knew Chris, and I remember calling and saying, "I'll work for a quarter of what that dude's working for!"

As the studio clearly wanted Chris O'Donnell, Matt Damon knew he wasn't going to get the part, but he went in to do the screen test anyway. "I remember at that stage in my career, you would go in and read, even if you knew you weren't going to get the part," Damon said. It's hard to imagine a world in which Matt Damon could have played Robin, but despite missing out on wearing tight green pants, I'd say Damon has done okay for himself.

RELATED: Suicide Squad: David Ayer blasts the theatrical cut

Matt Damon will next be seen in Stillwater, a crime drama directed by Tom McCarthy that opens in theaters tomorrow (check out a review from our own Matt Rooney). Damon will also be starring alongside Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, and Ben Affleck in Ridley Scott's The Last Duel, which is set to hit theaters on October 15, 2021.

Source:
Happy Sad Confused Podcast

The Lord of the Rings: Peter Jackson faced pressure to kill a Hobbit

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The Lord of the Rings: Peter Jackson faced pressure to kill a Hobbit
July 29, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year, which… makes me feel all kinds of old. I still remember going to the theater for the midnight premiere of the movie and just being absolutely blown away. Here was a fantasy world full of creatures and magic that felt real and genuine; I’d never seen anything quite like it. The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy was a huge success thanks to the work of director Peter Jackson and everyone involved, but that doesn’t mean that the studio didn’t try forcing a few changes of their own.

RELATED: Lord of the Rings: Tom Budge exits Amazon series amid “creative differences”

Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd recently spoke with IGN about The Friendship Onion, their new Lord of the Rings podcast series, and revealed that at one point, the studio was pressuring Peter Jackson to kill off one of the four Hobbits. As we know, that didn’t happen, which Dominic Monaghan is especially grateful for because he feels that if one of the Hobbits had been killed off… it would have been him.

It’s a good job that didn’t happen, because it would have been me. It definitely would have. There’s no way they are killing Frodo and Sam, and the only ones that would be left would be Merry and Pippin. They wouldn’t kill Pippin because Pippin has a really strong story with Gandalf. It would have definitely been me. I think Pete quite rightly was like, ‘This is a luminary piece of written work, and we need to stick close to the text.’ So, he stuck by his guns. Yeah, I’m thankful that didn’t happen.

There were several moments in The Return of the King where Merry and Pippen (or any of the characters) could have met their end, but I think we can all be thankful that everything went according to J.R.R. Tolkien’s story. To be fair, Peter Jackson did make a few of his changes to Tolkien’s work, but changing the fate of one of the major characters is perhaps a bit much.

Source:
IGN

Waterworld TV series in development with Dan Trachtenberg directing

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Waterworld TV series in development with Dan Trachtenberg directing
July 29, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser

When it was in production, WATERWORLD was the most expensive film ever made, so it certainly didn’t help when the big-budget epic flopped at the box-office and received wildly mixed reviews. Over the years, the film has certainly found its fans and become something of a cult classic, but I never imagined that Waterworld would be returning in any form. According to Collider (confirmed by THR), Waterworld producers John Davis and John Fox are in the early stages of developing a Waterworld TV series, and they’ve already snagged 10 Cloverfield Lane’s Dan Trachtenberg to direct.

RELATED: The UnPopular Opinion: Waterworld

The original movie took place after the polar ice caps had melted and submerged nearly every piece of land below water. The surviving humans huddled together in floating communities, trading with one another and trying to avoid the Smokers, a gang of pirates. Kevin Costner starred as The Mariner, a drifter who sailed around the globe by himself and who reluctantly agreed to help a woman and a young girl find the mythical Dryland. The Waterworld TV series won’t be a reboot of the film, but rather a continuation taking place decades later. “We’re going to do the streaming version of that movie, the continuation of that movie,” Davis said, adding that it will take place “20 years later. All those people. 20 years later.” As I mentioned above, the Waterworld TV series is still in the early stages, but John Fox said that it may already have a home. “For now, it’s at Universal Television, and we are putting it together. But yes, we think it already has a home,” Fox said. That seems to indicate that it may end up streaming on Peacock. Aside from Dan Trachtenberg, no one else has signed on just yet, but they are talking with a few different writers and hope to have one locked in within the next couple of weeks.

As far as any original cast members returning for the Waterworld TV series, it’s probably too early to say, but I could certainly imagine Tina Majorino reprising her role of Enola. I know Waterworld gets a lot of shit, but I’ve got a real soft spot for the film. I rewatched it recently for the first time in a long time and I found it to be a hell of a lot of fun. What do you think? Is the world ready for a Waterworld TV series?

Source:
ColliderTHR

Suicide Squad: David Ayer blasts the theatrical cut

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Suicide Squad: David Ayer blasts the theatrical cut
July 29, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser

With the overwhelmingly positive reviews for James Gunn’s The SUICIDE SQUAD rolling in, fans can’t help but look back at the first Suicide Squad film from David Ayer. Although the 2016 film was a box-office success, critics weren’t overly kind to the super-villain team-up, but it’s no secret that the theatrical cut of the film was far from the vision David Ayer had intended.

RELATED: Suicide Squad: Viola Davis confirms Jared Leto gave Margot Robbie a Rat

David Ayer took to Twitter to respond to someone who said that he should give up on the idea of a Suicide Squad director’s cut by reaffirming that while he “put his life into Suicide Squad,” the version pretty much everyone has seen is in one way the cut of his movie. “I made something amazing,” Ayer tweeted. “My cut is intricate and emotional journey with some bad people who are shit on and discarded (a theme that resonates in my soul). The studio cut is not my movie. Read that again. And my cut is not the 10 week director’s cut – it’s a fully mature edit by Lee Smith standing on the incredible work by John Gilroy. It’s all Steven Price’s brilliant score, with not a single radio song in the whole thing. It has traditional character arcs, amazing performances, a solid third-act resolution. A handful of people have seen it.” You can check out the whole Tweet below.

My turn… https://t.co/E5uumAwvdp pic.twitter.com/ckr9kzeGFD

— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) July 29, 2021

The Suicide Squad director went on to say that he’s never told his side and the story and never will, but stated that he’s “so proud” of what James Gunn has accomplished with the new film. “I’m rooting for everyone, the cast, the crew,” Ayer wrote. “Every movie is a miracle. And James’ brilliant work will be the miracle of miracles.” Although Warner Bros. have previously stated that they would not be releasing David Ayer’s cut of Suicide Squad, fans haven’t given up hope that it might see the light of day. I remain doubtful, but with the successful release of the Snyder Cut of Justice League, anything is possible.

RELATED: Suicide Squad director speaks out regarding “Ayer Cut”

The official synopsis for The Suicide Squad:

Welcome to hell — a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst Super-Villains are kept and where they will do anything to get out—even join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X. Today’s do-or-die assignment? Assemble a collection of cons, including Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2, Savant, King Shark, Blackguard, Javelin and everyone’s favorite psycho, Harley Quinn. Then arm them heavily and drop them (literally) on the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.

The Suicide Squad will hit theaters on August 5, 2021 and start streaming on HBO Max the following day. You can check out a review from our own JimmyO right here.

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Source:
THR

Bruce: Jaws-themed musical circling a 2022 opening

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Bruce: Jaws-themed musical circling a 2022 opening
July 29, 2021 by: Steve Seigh

Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water, the previously-announced JAWS-themed musical, Bruce, is headed to the small stage. Based on Jaws screenwriter Carl Gottlieb’s 1975 memoir The Jaws Log, plans are for the show to open at Seattle Rep in Seattle, Washington, next May.

Featuring music by Richard Oberacker and lyrics by Oberacker and Robert Taylor, Bruce tells the story of a virtually unknown 26-year-old director named Steven Spielberg who in 1974 sets out to film an adaptation of the best-selling novel Jaws.

Here’s the official synopsis for Bruce:

While invading a sleepy fishing island off Cape Cod to shoot on the open ocean, he faced several challenges including weather, water, hostile locals, an exploding budget, endless delays, and a highly dysfunctional mechanical star named Bruce, to bring his vision to life in what proved to be one of the biggest success stories in film history.

Originally, the stage play directed and choreographed by Stratford Festival’s Donna Feore was scheduled to open this summer at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse. Unfortunately, complications stemming from the ongoing pandemic have forced Bruce to swim away and into other waters.

Bruce will begin preview engagements at Seattle Rep’s Bagley Wright Theater on May 27, 2022, with an opening night set for June 1. It will run until June 26, 2022, and then recede into the depths once more.

Source:
Deadline

Marvel’s What If…? teaser trailer assembles bold new adventures

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Marvel’s What If…? teaser trailer assembles bold new adventures
July 29, 2021 by: Steve Seigh

As unpredictable as the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been for more than a decade, it's about to get even more outrageous. Today, we've got a new teaser trailer for Marvel Studios' What If…?, an animated series that takes the universe in bold new directions. The series takes legendary Marvel characters and reimagines them for new stories that embrace the impossible and ask the important question: What happens when the Multiverse explodes, thereby changing significant events throughout the Marvel Universe forever?

The trailer features many of your favorite characters in all-new adventures, from Peggy Carter to Killmonger, Shuri, Gamora, and more.  Each character has been reimagined for this animated anthology directed by Bryan Andrews, with AC Bradley as head writer. In addition to displaying a unique GCI-animated look for each story, the series features voice appearances from many of your favorite Marvel stars, including Hayley Atwell, Karen Gillan, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Douglas, Frank Grillo, Josh Brolin, and Tom Hiddleston, in addition to several others. I'm sure I won't be the only one who tears up at the sound of Chadwick Boseman providing the voice for T'challah for this exciting presentation.

I fully admit to being a "Marvel zombie," I love the characters, stories, and action so much that I'm willing to give anything a chance. For me, What If…? looks like an engaging odyssey into the unknown. As someone who reads countless Marvel comics every week, I think it'll be fun to see some of my favorite characters in bizarre new roles. I'm all about variety, and this series looks to have that in spades. Let's do it!

Journey into the mystery of Marvel Studios' What If…? series beginning on August 11, exclusively on Disney+.

 

Source:
Marvel

Black Widow: Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over digital release

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Black Widow: Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over digital release
July 29, 2021 by: Steve Seigh

Scarlett Johansson is about to go up against a bigger threat than Thanos, Disney’s tenacious team of ravenous lawyers. On Thursday, Johansson filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Disney, alleging that her contract was breached when the studio released BLACK WIDOW on its Disney+ streaming platform. Johansson attests that her arrangement with Disney’s Marvel Entertainment would bring Black Widow exclusively to theaters. She also says that the agreement involved her salary for the film being based on its box-office performance.

“Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of the agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel,” the suit said.

Disney has yet to comment on Johansson’s allegations or how they will go about handling the case. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say they’re probably assembling a superteam of lawyers as we speak.

Should the case go to court, it stands to make a lot of waves for Hollywood studios who’ve chosen to release a series of tentpole films on a variety of streaming services. To be fair, porting films to streaming services has proven essential for some studios as they continue to weather the ongoing pandemic. The move to host major films on outlets like Netflix, Amazon, and Disney+ has provided studios with a platform to distribute films that otherwise might have gathered dust over the past year and change. While this hasn’t always worked out for the creative teams behind each project, it has certainly kept the ball rolling for shareholders and other Hollywood types.

“Why would Disney forgo hundreds of millions of dollars in box office receipts by releasing the Picture in theatres at a time when it knew the theatrical market was ‘weak,’ rather than waiting a few months for that market to recover?” inquires the complaint. “On information and belief, the decision to do so was made at least in part because Disney saw the opportunity to promote its flagship subscription service using the Picture  and Ms. Johansson, thereby attracting new paying monthly subscribers, retaining existing ones, and establishing Disney+ as a must-have service in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

The complaint also states Disney’s actions “not only increased the value of Disney+, but it also intentionally saved Marvel (and thereby itself) what Marvel[] itself referred to as ‘very large box office bonuses’ that Marvel otherwise would have been obligated to pay Ms. Johnasson.”

According to the complaint, Johansson’s representatives attempted to renegotiate her contract upon learning about Black Widow’s simultaneous release in theaters and on Disney+. Disney and Marvel failed to respond, leaving the iconic Marvel actress in the lurch, the suit said. Due to the film’s simultaneous release, Johansson stands to lose upward of $50 million for her part in the film.

Predictably, Black Widow’s theatrical performance numbers dropped not long after the film hit cinemas. Piracy and the option to stream the movie from home certainly played a part in the film’s downturn, but no matter how you slice it, the damage was done. Many analysts questioned Disney’s move to make the film available to Disney+ subscribers (albeit for a fee of $29.99), and now one has to wonder if they’re crowing about their predictions.

I’m positive that we’ll hear more about this suit as the confrontation continues to develop. Stay tuned as Johansson’s next Marvel mission finds her going up against the studio’s own team of lawyers.

Source:
The Wall Street Journal

Batgirl: J.K. Simmons in talks to return as Commissioner Gordon

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Batgirl: J.K. Simmons in talks to return as Commissioner Gordon
July 29, 2021 by: Chris Bumbray

Here’s a piece of news I don’t think many of us were expecting, but it looks like none other than J.K. Simmons is returning to the DCEU as Commissioner Gordon in HBO Max’s upcoming BATGIRL movie. The film, which is to be directed by Bad Boys for Life filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, just recently signed In the Heights star Leslie Grace for the title role. Of course, Simmons’s deal isn’t done yet, but for those of us trying to make heads or tails of what’s going on in the DCEU, the prospect is enticing. 

Many of us assumed Grace would be playing a Batgirl related to Matt Reeves’s upcoming The Batman, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Indeed, it looks like this Batgirl will be set in the same timeline as the Zack Snyder films, the upcoming version of The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and more. 

RELATED: Snowpiercer renewed for Season 4 by TNT

While fans may be a little confused, I think this is excellent news. Simmons never really got to show what he was capable of in the role, and given that Grace will be playing his daughter, Barbara Gordon, this will likely give him way more to do than he did in Justice League. My hope, of course, is that enough of these DCEU movies do well enough that the powers that be realize the Snyderverse does indeed have come commercial value left in it, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll get that Knightmare movie or show Snyder was teasing us with at the conclusion of Justice League.

Are you excited to see Simmons back as Commissioner Gordon?

Source:
Deadline

Snowpiercer renewed for Season 4 by TNT

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Snowpiercer renewed for Season 4 by TNT
July 29, 2021 by: Steve Seigh

Just as production for SNOWPIERCER season 3 is coming to a close, TNT has announced a season 4 renewal for the post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama.

“Snowpiercer has been an incredibly successful series for us that continues to capture the imagination of viewers, grow audience and maintain strong ratings,” said Sam Linsky and Adrienne O’Riain, co-heads of scripted original programming for TBS, TNT, and truTV. “All of our seasons embark on an emotional, unexpected ride, and the well-plotted storylines will continue to evolve and remain relevant to audiences. We’re excited to keep the train running into season four.”

At the end of Snowpiercer Season 2, Layton (Diggs) and Ruth (Alison Wright), who were banished to Big Alice’s compost car, plotted to take back Snowpiercer. With the help of Javier (Roberto Urbina) and Alexandra (Rowan Blanchard), Layton and Ruth made it back to Snowpiercer and rallied with their supporters. Josie (Katie McGuiness) destroyed the Aquarium car separating Snowpiercer’s head from the remaining 1,023 cars. With Layton in command of a 10-car “pirate train,” he and his team rushed to Breslauer Research Station to find Melanie (Jennifer Connelly).

Season 3 picks up with Layton and his inner circle commanding a small pirate train in search of Melanie and a possible warm location to restart civilization, aided by a newfound survivor. Back on Snowpiercer, Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean) is consolidating power, foiled only by secret allies of Layton’s hidden on the train, committed to the cause.

Season 3 also stars Archie Panjabi, Chelsea Harris, Rowan Blanchard, Alison Wright, Mickey Sumner, Iddo Goldberg, Katie McGuiness, Lena Hall, Annalise Basso,?Sam Otto,?Roberto Urbina,?Sheila Vand, and Steven Ogg. For fans that enjoyed Mike O’Malley’s Sam Roche, you’ll be pleased to know that the character has been bumped up to a series regular for the upcoming season.

Snowpiercer is based on the 2013 movie of the same name starring Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Kang-ho Song, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Octavia Spencer, and Alison Pill. The story takes place in the future where a failed climate-change experiment has killed all life except for the lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, a new class system emerges. Considered by many to be a modern-day masterpiece of sci-fi goodness (well, lots of people aside from my wife) Snowpiercer is imaginative, scientifically baffling, and weird in ways you would not suspect. I highly recommend it. Again, my wife would differ. She hates this movie. Haha! She does love Daveed Diggs, though. Maybe that will be enough to convince her to watch the series with me?

 

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Source:
Deadline

See: Season 2 trailer finds Jason Momoa battling Dave Bautista

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See: Season 2 trailer finds Jason Momoa battling Dave Bautista
July 29, 2021 by: Steve Seigh

Apple TV+ has unveiled an official trailer for See season 2, which finds Jason Momoa's Baba and Dave Bautista's Edo Voss assembling their dogs of war. In the far future, humankind has lost its sense of sight. Jason Momoa stars as the father of twins born with the mythic ability to see – who must protect his tribe against a threatened queen.

Created by Peaky Blinders' Steven Knight, the first season of See received mixed reviews from critics. However, despite a select few being unable to see the brilliance and drive of the show, See quickly became a ratings success for Apple. A second season was ordered rather quickly, which will find Momoa's Baba coming to blows with his nemesis brother Edo (Bautista). Oh, but the story won't stop there. Apple is so pleased with See that they've already ordered a third season of the series.

Season 2 promises to have more drama, confrontations, and sword-swinging action than the first round of episodes. Plus, now that Queen Kane (Sylvia Hoeks) is pregnant with a sighted child, there's no telling how hard either side of the upcoming conflict will fight to gain a foothold on the future for their people.

Season 2 of See premieres on Apple TV+ on August 27. Be sure to catch up on the first season so you can see what happens next.

Source:
Apple TV+

Sweet Tooth renewed for Seaon 2 at Netflix

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Sweet Tooth renewed for Seaon 2 at Netflix
July 29, 2021 by: Steve Seigh

Well, this is quite a treat! The good word has come down the wire that Netflix's Sweet Tooth will be returning for a second season. The next installment of the series will run for another eight episodes and continue the grand adventure of Gus, Jepperd, and their rag-tag crew of apocalypse wanderers.

Jim Mickle is set to return as showrunner, writer, director, and exec producer. Team Downey will also return as the production team in association with Warner Bros. Television with Team Downey’s Susan Downey, Robert Downey Jr., and Amanda Burrell exec producing alongside Linda Moran. Meanwhile, Beth Schwartz, who acted as co-showrunner and exec producer on the first season, will not return for Season 2. Instead, she'll be showrunning the pilot for Peacock's Red Queen and developing new projects at Warner Bros. TV.

Sweet Tooth follows "the storybook adventures of Gus — part deer, part boy — who leaves his home in the forest to find the outside world ravaged by a cataclysmic event. He joins a ragtag family of humans and animal-children hybrids like himself in search of answers about this new world and the mystery behind his hybrid origins."

“It’s been equally thrilling and heartwarming to experience how people around the world have been falling in love with our deer-boy. We couldn’t be more excited to continue our collaboration with Netflix and keep following Gus and his friends on their extraordinary journey,” Mickle said in a statement.

I could not be more thrilled by this news. In addition to Marvel Studios' WandaVision, Sweet Tooth stands as my favorite series of 2021 so far. It's a fantasy adventure epic that takes Lemire's timeless tale and transforms it into something bold, new, and heartbreaking. If you've not checked it out yet, I highly recommend it. I hope Sweet Tooth gets as many seasons as it needs to tell a complete story without being rushed.

Source:
Deadline