Black Superman movie is long overdue says Zack Snyder
May 12, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
It was announced earlier this year that Ta-Nehisi Coates would be penning a new Superman movie that would be produced by J.J. Abrams. "To be invited into the DC Extended Universe by Warner Bros., DC Films and Bad Robot is an honor," said Coates. "I look forward to meaningfully adding to the legacy of America's most iconic mythic hero." Abrams added, "There is a new, powerful, and moving Superman story yet to be told. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with the brilliant Mr. Coates to help bring that story to the big screen, and we’re beyond thankful to the team at Warner Bros. for the opportunity." It was later revealed that Warner Bros. and DC were also committed to hiring a Black actor to play the Man of Steel as well as signing a Black director to helm the movie, and it's a move that Zack Snyder thinks it long overdue.
While speaking with the Radio Times, Zack Snyder commented on the new Superman movie and Warner Bros.' choice to cast a Black actor in the role.
My feeling is that I love JJ [Abrams], I love what he’s done in the past. I’m interested to see what happens, it’s a bold and cool and probably long overdue move. But I love Henry [Cavill] as Superman, of course I do. He’s my Superman.
With Zack Snyder's Justice League now behind him, Snyder doesn't really have much to do with Warner Bros. — he even recently called the studio "aggressively anti-Snyder" — but he's still interested in the stories of these iconic characters. "I'm not really involved in any of the decision-making at Warner Brothers in any way," Snyder said, "so I guess for me it’s just wait and see what they do with this and how it manifests itself. But on the surface, it seems interesting." Although no director or leading actor are attached to the project yet, I'm still very curious to see how this new take on the Man of Steel is handled. Zack Snyder's next project is Army of the Dead, which will be hitting Netflix on May 14th. You can check out a review of the film from our own Chris Bumbray right here.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show to end after 19 seasons
May 12, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Ellen DeGeneres has made the decision to end her popular talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, after 19 seasons. The upcoming season, its nineteenth, will be its last.
According to "The Hollywood Reporter", the decision fell solely on DeGeneres and it has been in the making for several years. The staff of her show was informed on May 11, 2021, and DeGeneres will sit down with her friend and daytime predecessor, Oprah Winfrey, to discuss her reasons for ending the show's run on May 13, 2021. DeGeneres had this to say about making the decision to bring her talk show to an end:
"When you’re a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged – and as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore."
DeGeneres has struggled in the past about when she should bring her talk show to an end. The decision has to be a difficult one. During its long run, the talk show has been a true ratings winner and has won a staggering 61 Daytime Emmy Awards, including four for Outstanding Talk Show and seven for Outstand Talk Show Entertainment, surpassing the record held by The Oprah Winfrey Show, which won nine. DeGeneres herself has also won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host four times. With all of this success, it has to be a struggle to determine when to call it quits and, back in 2018 in a "New York Times" profile, DeGeneres revealed that her wife Portia de Rossi had been encouraging to move on from the show, which produces 180 shows. a year on average. Conflicting this decision was that her comedian brother and executives at Warner Bros. pushed her to continue. By the end of it, DeGeneres signed a new three-season contract but it was made clear to herself and her team that by the end of this contract, the show would definitely be coming to an end.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been widely praised for being one of the best of its kind. The show has made nearly $70 million in charitable donations during its run and has given out more than $300 million in audience giveaways. The show reportedly earns DeGeneres about $84 million in annual income and she has always seemed to genuinely enjoy the job. In fact, DeGeneres had the rep for being the nicest person working on daytime TV.
The show has not been without controversy, in fact, some of the recent controversies likely made it a bit easier for DeGeneres to walk away. In July of 2020, "BuzzFeed News" wrote an expose that detailed allegations of a toxic workplace environment. The expose prompted an internal investigation and the dismissal of key executives. DeGeneres took a hit after the expose because many believed that since she's the name of the brand, she should've been aware of these issues and done what was necessary to fix the problems before they escalated. When season 18 opened in September of last year, DeGeneres began with a lengthy apology and told viewers "I learned that things happen here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously. And I want to say I am sorry to the people who were affected." The opener was Ellen's highest-rated premiere in years but, despite her apology, viewership quickly dwindled, signaling that much of the shine may have come off of The Ellen DeGeneres Show due to the controversy.
It should be pointed out that a lot of Hollywood's A-list remained loyal guests to her show, even after the BuzzFeed News expose. There were some that took swipes at DeGeneres for not being as nice as she seems but, for the most part, many celebrities continued to have her back and have made several appearances throughout its current 18th season. DeGeneres will also continue to be a big part of Warner Bros. as she has built a plethora of unscripted shows that have proven to be successful including Fox's The Masked Singer, NBC's Ellen's Game of Games, and HBO Max's Ellen's Next Great Designer. The studio also plans on continuing to work with her Ellen Digital Ventures footprint as well. which is responsible for more than 60 original series.
What are YOUR thoughts on The Ellen DeGeneres Show coming to an end?
Zack Snyder talks #RestoreTheSnyderVerse, calls WB aggressively anti-Snyder
May 11, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Zack Snyder may be making the rounds promoting his latest film Army of the Dead but that hasn’t stopped the press from asking him about the film he released this year: Zack Snyder’s Justice League. His definitive cut was well-received by critics and fans and the latter almost immediately started a social media movement with the hashtag #RestoreTheSnyderVerse which demanded the continuation of Snyder’s vision for the DCEU. A lot of time has passed since all of this started and now Snyder is addressing the movement.
During a talk with “Jake’s Takes“, the director was asked about what he could tell those who are still holding out hope that the SnyderVerse can be restored. Snyder does have hopes that despite Warner Bros. being “aggressively anti-Snyder”, the studio will realize that’s a huge demand for his vision of the DCEU to continue:
“Warner Bros. has been aggressively anti-Snyder if you will. What can I say? Clearly, they’re not interested in my take. But I would also say that they certainly weren’t interested in — I would have said originally — in my take on Justice League. They certainly made decisions about that. I love the characters, and I love the worlds, and I think it’s an amazing place to make a movie. It’s glorious IP. So there’s that. I don’t know what could be done as you go forward other than I think the fan movement is so strong, and the fan community, [their] intention is so pure, and I really have this huge respect for it. I would hope that cooler heads would prevail with [the studio] and they would see that there’s this massive fandom that wants more of that. But who knows what they’ll do?”
Snyder has downplayed hopes for the SnyderVerse being restored in the past. In fact, before the release of the film on HBO Max, he made it clear that he had no plans to continue the arc, but this always seemed like a studio choice rather than a decision made by Snyder. The fact that Zack Snyder’s Justice League leaves things very open-ended and sets up a sequel, it’s not surprising that fans want to see his vision continue and come to its original planned conclusion. Warner Bros. seems determined to stick to their guns and not restore the SnyderVerse because, as they’ve said before, “they’re looking towards the future.” It seems silly to ignore how significant the fanbase is, especially considering they’re the reason we have the Snyder Cut in the first place. With all this talk about multiple cinematic universes that can co-exist, I don’t see the harm in letting Snyder finish his vision.
Do YOU think there is any hope to restore the SnyderVerse?
Prodigal Son cancelled after two seasons
May 10, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
Unfortunate news if you're a fan of Fox's Prodigal Son, as it has been announced that the network has cancelled the series after two seasons. Created by Chris Fedak & Sam Sklaver, Prodigal Son followed Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne), a "criminal profiler with a rare talent for getting inside the minds of killers. He learned how they think because his father, Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen), was a notorious serial killer known as 'The Surgeon.' Now he’s using his twisted genius to help the NYPD solve their most puzzling murders."
According to THR, the network was a big fan of Prodigal Son, but unfortunately, the series didn't seem to catch on with viewers and ratings have been slowly dwindling since its debut in 2019. In addition to Tom Payne and Michael Sheen, Prodigal Son also starred Bellamy Young, Lou Diamond Phillips, Halston Sage, and Aurora Perrineau. Catherine Zeta Jones also joined the cast this past season as Dr. Vivian Capsaw, the resident MD at the Claremont Psychiatric Hospital where Dr. Martin Whitly aka The Surgeon resides. The series was a co-production between Warner Bros. Television and Fox Entertainment, and it's possible that Warner Bros. could shop the show elsewhere.
Any Prodigal Son fans out there saddened to see the series come to a close?
Golden Globes cancelled on NBC; Tom Cruise returns awards
May 10, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
UPDATE: The Golden Globes fallout is hitting hard this afternoon, with none other than Tom Cruise reportedly returning his Golden Globes for Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire and Magnolia. More on this to come, but it seems highly unlikely the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will ever bounce back from this. I expect many past winners to follow suit.
More on this to come…
NBC has announced that it will not be airing the 2022 Golden Globe Awards.
“We continue to believe that the HFPA is committed to meaningful reform. However, change of this magnitude takes time and work, and we feel strongly that the HFPA needs time to do it right,” the company said in a statement. “As such, NBC will not air the 2022 Golden Globes. Assuming the organization executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023.”
NBC's refusal to air the 2022 Golden Globes comes not long after WarnerMedia announced it's joining Netflix and Amazon in boycotting the event, or any events related to the Hollywood Foreign Press, for that matter. The reason for each studio bowing out stems from a demand for the HFPA to make lasting changes to its organization.
Executives at WarnerMedia recently sent a letter to HFPA president Ali Sar, which they then shared online for all to read. While the letter brings many of the conglomerate's concerns to the table, WarnerMedia insists that the HFPA's plans for change do not "go far enough in addressing the breadth of our concerns, nor does your timeline capture the immediate need by which these issues should be addressed. WarnerMedia Studios and Networks will continue to refrain from direct engagement with the HFPA, including sanctioned press conferences and invitations to cover other industry events with talent, until these changes are implemented.”
The letter also points out that the 18-month timeline for change will result in “the same voting body impacting the next two nomination and voting cycles,” through 2023. WarnerMedia also calls attention to a lack of diversity in the HFPA's diversity, nomination, and awards process. They also say that they've found questions at past conferences and events to be sexist and homophobic. “For far too long, demands for perks, special favors and unprofessional requests have been made to our teams and to others across the industry,” WarnerMedia said. “We regret that as an industry, we have complained, but largely tolerated this behavior until now.”
Here is the WarnerMedia letter to Sar:
As an organization, WarnerMedia is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion as moral and business imperatives, and we strive to be a force for good in our communities. As an industry, together with other production companies, studios, networks, guilds, unions, and talent agencies, we all have a responsibility to ensure that our workforce, content, and creative partners reflect the diversity of our society and the world around us. This also extends to the organizations with which we do business.
While we commend the HFPA membership’s approval of the plan to move towards radical reform, we don’t believe the plan goes far enough in addressing the breadth of our concerns, nor does your timeline capture the immediate need by which these issues should be addressed. WarnerMedia Studios and Networks will continue to refrain from direct engagement with the HFPA, including sanctioned press conferences and invitations to cover other industry events with talent, until these changes are implemented. This includes work with HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, Warner Bros. Television, TNT, and TBS.
The work of ensuring equity and inclusion is never finished and something we all must work together to achieve. We understand the challenges ahead for you, as we work towards diversifying our own executive and employee ranks. However, we call upon you to move with greater urgency. The currently planned 18-month timeline runs through the 2023 Golden Globes, which means the same voting body will be impacting the next two nomination and voting cycles. The HFPA has a membership of less than 90 journalists. Lasting and meaningful change to your membership goals could be achieved in under 18 months. The HFPA cannot accurately reflect the best of our industry until your membership expands to reflect more of the social, cultural and ethnic diversity that exists in the stories we tell and the creators with whom we work.
We’re also asking for a strong commitment to significant change in talent press conferences. We are keenly aware of how much harder we’ve had to lobby to secure press conferences for a number of Black performers and creators, representing unquestionably worthy content. This same work has often then gone unrecognized in your nomination and awards process. In addition, our teams have endured press conferences where our talent were asked racially insensitive, sexist and homophobic questions. For far too long, demands for perks, special favors and unprofessional requests have been made to our teams and to others across the industry. We regret that as an industry, we have complained, but largely tolerated this behavior until now.
Our talent and our staff deserve a professional environment while doing their jobs promoting our series and films. Therefore, we would also like to see the HFPA implement a specific and enforced code of conduct that includes zero tolerance for unwanted physical contact of all talent and staff. We recognize that this conduct is not representative of your full membership, but we need assurances that there will be timely, actionable next steps to discipline members who exhibit inappropriate behavior.
These matters deserve urgency, and the timeline you have proposed thus far does not inspire confidence that meaningful change will happen before two more seasons of voting are impacted. We welcome a discussion to address these issues with you and look forward to your response.
Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks
Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer, HBO and HBO Max
Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group
Channing Dungey, Chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group
Brett Weitz, General Manager, TBS, TNT and truTV
Johanna Fuentes, Head of Global Communications, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks
Christy Haubegger, Chief Inclusion Officer, WarnerMedia
More to come…
Theatrical windows may formally be getting shorter soon
May 7, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
Among many things, the Covid-19 pandemic might change the way audiences experience new films forever. Throughout the course of the past year and change, film studios and theater houses alike have had to adjust to unprecedented conditions regarding the distribution of new movies. While some studios have opted to sell big-ticket projects to streamers, others have stood their ground in the hope that things will soon return to “normal.” Both options present their own set of gambles, and now Cinemark has inked a new deal with five major studios that could help formalize a shorter theatrical window.
The terms of the deal are not meant for the public at this time, but suffice it to say that we could be looking at some game-changing alterations to the film industry as a result.
“Cinemark is thrilled to have reached new agreements with our major studio partners, and we are eager to continue providing movie fans an immersive, larger-than-life cinematic environment to see major upcoming films, ranging from the biggest blockbusters to specialty fare to family-friendly content,” said Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi. “In our ongoing efforts to maximize attendance and box office during the pandemic and beyond, our goal is to provide the widest range of content with terms that are in the best long-term interests of Cinemark, our studio partners, and moviegoers. We are pleased with these recent developments and are confident we are taking positive steps toward reigniting theatrical exhibition and evolving the industry for a post-pandemic landscape.”
The deal involves Cinemark entering agreements with Warner Bros. Picture Group, The Walt Disney Company, Paramount Pictures, and Sony Pictures Entertainment. One has to imagine that the deal will be similar to the one Cinemark forged with Universal in November, which permits the studio to present new movies on premium video-on-demand platforms 17 days after they open in theaters. Ah, but there’s a catch. Films that bank at least $50 million during their opening weekend must screen exclusively in theaters for 31 days or five full weekends. In other words, if your movie is a ticket seller, it’s got to stick around so theaters can enjoy their piece of the pie.
While looking at what little information there is about Cinemark’s new deal, it sounds like each studio will have its own terms. For example, Paramount says films will debut on Parmount+ 45 days after they’re released in theaters. Meanwhile, it remains unclear if Warner Bros. will attempt to simultaneously release films in theaters and on HBO Max. That movie seems to have worked out for them in 2021, but with theaters steadily increasing their capacity in some parts of the world, things could look very different by the start of 2022.
“Each deal has unique attributes specific to the individual studio that mutually benefits both parties,” Cinemark said in a statement.
Shortening the amount of time new films screen in theaters could be a big shift for the entertainment industry as a whole. Not only will it make the theater-going experience more precious, but it will also inspire more competition as streaming services fight for marquee titles. This, of course, will be a case-by-case basis, seeing as some studios will obviously port the films to their own platforms. Still, the future of film is looking very different as we arrive on the opposite side of the pandemic, and there’s no telling what new territory will be explored going forward.
Batman Forever has a renaissance coming if fans see extended cut says writer
May 7, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
#ReleaseTheSchumacherCut! That is the hashtag that began to spread when it was revealed that there is an extended director’s cut of BATMAN FOREVER, helmed by the late Joel Schumacher. Depending on who you ask, Batman Forever is either pure nostalgic fun or one of the less significant entires of the Batman franchise but the idea that Schumacher’s cut is more serious and complex has intrigued fans enough to want to see it. Showing more proof that this extended cut isn’t just a myth, writer Akiva Goldman, who penned the script, says that it does exist and that Batman Forever definitely has a renaissance coming if fans get to see it.
“By the way, Batman Forever still has a renaissance coming. I really am interested to see whether the original cut of Batman Forever comes out because I got to see it, recently, the very very first one, which was Preview Cut: One. It was really dark, it was a pretty psychological exploration of guilt and shame.”
News of the extended cut, which is reportedly 170 minutes long, was first revealed by writer and podcaster Marc Bernardin back in July of last year when he said that the cut existed somewhere in the Warner Bros. vault. At the time Bernardin said “I have it on pretty good authority that there exists in the Warner Bros. vault a 170-minute cut of Batman Forever. I think that it went much deeper into his childhood psychosis and his mental blocks and that it was a more serious, darker version of that movie that was one of the first assemblies that Joel filed with the studio and they eventually cut it down because they were like ‘it’s too dark for kids. We gotta sell these Happy Meals, so maybe let’s not invest ourselves in the trauma of childhood murder. ‘We’ve got Jim Carrey, let him do some sh*t.”
This wasn’t exactly the first time that there were hints about a darker and more extended cut of Batman Forever. It is known that about 38 minutes of extra scenes never made it into the theatrical release that we received and some of these deleted scenes have been addressed by Schumacher in the past. A lot of what was cut really isn’t all that important to change much of the film but there are some moments that were removed that could’ve taken the film in a different direction. For instance, a whole subplot about ‘the red book’ ended up on the cutting room floor. In the finished film’s version of Bruce’s flashback, the young Bruce picks up Thomas Wayne’s diary during his parents’ wake. Lamenting that his father will never write in it again, Bruce grabs the book and runs into the night. He falls down a hole, sees a huge bat, and begins his plans to become Batman. In the longer cut of the film, there was more to it than that and in an extended version of the flashback, young Bruce finds a passage in his father’s diary written shortly before his death that reads “Bruce insists on seeing a movie tonight…” As we all know, it was that fateful trip to the movies that ended with Bruce’s parents being gunned down and discovering this passage in the diary would’ve consumed Bruce with guilt and he would’ve felt personally responsible for the death of his parents. You can check out that scene below!
There is another scene that was cut where Bruce wakes up with temporary amnesia after being shot by Two-Face and taking a fall. In his incoherent state, he remembers his life as Bruce, but not his time as Batman so Alfred decides to bring Bruce down to “the cave beneath the [main Bat]cave”, where he first came up with the idea to become Batman. You can watch a version of this scene below:
If there are more moments like this to make up the 170-minute cut, it would show that Warner Bros. did go out of their way to cut some of the darker material from the film after feeling like things went too dark with Tim Burton’s first sequel, Batman Returns. That film made it very difficult for Warner Bros. to sell toys and Happy Meals as parents complained about the highly sexualized relationship between Batman and Catwoman and the outright disgustingness of Danny DeVito’s Penguin. No matter how people may feel about the overall quality of Batman Forever, the film did what Warner Bros. needed it to do and it proved to be more successful financially than its predecessor.
That being said, I’d love to see what other directions the film could’ve gone in. We could end up getting more silliness for all we know but it would be interesting to see these more adult themes cut back into the film to see if it gives the movie a bit more emotional weight. In the film, Val Kilmer dons the cape and cowl and he must battle former district attorney Harvey Dent, who is now Two-Face and Edward Nygma, The Riddler with the help from an amorous psychologist and a young circus acrobat who becomes his sidekick, Robin, after Two-Face murders his parents. The film also stars Tommy Lee Jones, Nicole Kidman, Jim Carrey, and Chris O’Donnell.
Do YOU want to see the “Schumacher Cut” of Batman Forever?
Superman: DC commits to hiring a Black lead and director for new film
May 5, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
Perhaps one of the most encouraging things about the comic book movie landscape is that the genre allows filmmakers to change things up at a moment’s notice. Since the announcement that J.J. Abrams and Ta-Nehisi Coates would be developing a new iteration of Superman that would be portrayed by a Black actor, the Interwebs have been abuzz with chatter, both positive and negative. While Michael B. Jordan has respectfully distanced himself from rumors that he would be in contention for the coveted role as the new Son of Krypton, rumor mills and theories have abounded as to who could take on the mantle of one of DC Comics’ most iconic superheroes.
The latest addition to the developing project is the news that DC and Warner Bros have committed to not only casting a Black man as Superman but are also dedicated to having a person of color direct the movie as well. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the studio considers it “tone deaf” if Abrams were to direct the film, which changes the short list of filmmakers who could direct this major endeavor.
Based on recent Oscar contenders, names bandied about include Barry Jenkins, Ryan Coogler, Creed II helmer Steven Caple Jr, One Night in Miami director Regina King, and Judas and the Black Messiah’s Shaka King. Further complicating the selection process is the competing Blade project at Marvel Studios which is also searching for a Black filmmaker to direct their Mahershala Ali reboot.
It seems that filmmakers have already met with both studios about the projects although there certainly could be other indie filmmakers without marquee credits that could be in the running. The same goes for the lead actor who could be relatively unknown to the likes of Brandon Routh or Henry Cavill, who won their franchise roles after an exhaustive search for the ideal Superman.
For those of you concerned about this film replacing Henry Cavill, it appears that DC is approaching this new film in the same way as Robert Pattinson in The Batman and Joaquin Phoenix in Joker as alternate universe takes on established characters rather than mainstream canon. That means we could have two active Supermen, both hailing from Krypton with similar origin stories.
Diversity is the key in this day and age of studio tentpoles as movies no longer rely solely on the North American box office but the global economy which is not purely Caucasian. DC and Warner Bros currently have projects in development that feature a Latino take on Blue Beetle and Supergirl, while HBO Max is casting for a gay Green Lantern (Alan Scott) for their upcoming series.
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Mugen Train is a box office Demon!
Moviegoers remained on board the anime DEMON SLAYER – THE MOVIE: MUGEN TRAIN, pushing it to the top of the box office this weekend with an estimated $6.4 million!
The R-rated release from Sony’s FUNimation was slashed by 70% from its domestic opening last weekend, but it was enough to kick the Kombatant Kompetition out of first place.
The direct sequel to the popular TV show’s first season has a ten-day domestic total of $32.2 million, and has collected a worldwide total of $469 million including its 2020 international release.
The R-rated videogame adaptation MORTAL KOMBAT got power-punched down to second place with $6.2 million, a 73% fatality from last weekend’s #1 opening.
The $55 million live-action update of the popular and bloody fighting game series has a ten-day domestic total of $34 million and a worldwide total of $66.9 million. The Warner Bros. release is also available on the studio’s HBO Max streaming platform.
In third place was the PG-13 monster conflict GODZILLA VS. KONG with $2.7 million on its fifth weekend in theaters. The $200 million Warner Bros. movie (no longer streaming on HBO Max) has a domestic total of $90.3 million and $415 million worldwide.
Opening in fourth place was the new R-rated horror movie SEPARATION with $1.8 million for the weekend.
Directed by William Brent Bell (THE BOY, THE DEVIL INSIDE), the supernatural thriller from distributor Open Road features Rupert Friend, Mamie Gummer and Brian Cox.
In fifth place was the PG-rated animated fantasy RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON with $1.3 million. The Disney adventure has a domestic total of $41.5 million and $103.5 million worldwide after nine weekends.
The Bob Odenkerk action movie NOBODY was in sixth place with $1.2 million on its sixth weekend in theaters. The R-rated Universal thriller has a domestic total of $23.3 million and $40 million worldwide, on a reported cost of $16 million.
In seventh place was the PG-13 supernatural horror movie THE UNHOLY with $1.06 million. After five weekends, the $10 million thriller from Sony has a domestic total of $13.1 million and a worldwide total of $21 million.
Returning to battle Ramona’s seven evil exes was a special Dolby reissue of SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD in eighth place with $720,000 on 152 screens.
The PG-13 action-comedy from director Edgar Wright (SHAUN OF THE DEAD, BABY DRIVER) was considered a box office failure on its initial 2010 release, ending with $48 million worldwide on a $60 million budget. But thanks to healthy home video sales, the movie went on to become a cult favorite.
With this re-release’s weekend figure, the adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel series now has a domestic total of $32.3 million.
Closing out the list for the week was the Warner Bros. animated/live-action hybrid TOM & JERRY and the R-rated comedy TOGETHER TOGETHER, which dropped by 41% from last weekend’s opening and has a ten-day domestic total of $1.02 million.
Departing the chart was the faith-based Mira Sorvino drama THE GIRL WHO BELIEVES IN MIRACLES and the Benedict Cumberbatch spy thriller THE COURIER.
Next weekend (which would normally have a huge superhero blockbuster on screens) will kick off the summer movie season with the Guy Ritchie crime thriller WRATH OF MAN.
What is your favorite anime movie? VOTE HERE!
Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train
Godzilla vs. Kong
Raya and the Last Dragon
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Tom & Jerry
Superman: Michael B. Jordan responds to rumors he’ll play the Man of Steel
April 28, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Michael B. Jordan is addressing the rumors that he’ll be playing Superman in the previously announced DC movie reboot. The new project, produced by J.J. Abrams, was announced back in February, and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates is penning the script. While casting has yet to be done for the film, Jordan’s name has been thrown around a lot to take on the iconic role and the actor took a little time to talk about the matter.
Jordan was speaking to Jake’s Takes when he was asked if he could be playing Superman. Jordan mentions being flattered that his name is in consideration for the role but he mostly played coy and said he didn’t know anything beyond the rumors that we all have been hearing:
“You hear the whispers and the rumors and stuff like that and it’s just a compliment. You know, I appreciate people that think about me in that type of way for these roles. I don’t really have anything more to give on that other than it’s just flattering and I appreciate it. But, you know, whoever they get or if it goes that way, I think it’ll be an interesting thing to see.”
Jordan gave a similar answer when speaking with “Cinepop.” The actor doubled down on the fact that he was not aware of what is happening with the reboot but he’d be excited to see a Black Superman on the big screen:
“I don’t know. I don’t really know what is going with that in particular, but I think everybody’s want and desire to see Black leads in heroic roles I think is really, really important. Representation is important.”
The rumors about Michael B. Jordan being considered for Superman aren’t exactly farfetched. Back in 2019, it was revealed that Warner Bros. actually met with Jordan at one point about the role and the actor even pitched an idea for a new film. The report originally came from “Variety” and, at the time, it was hinted that Jordan may have been too busy on other projects to fully commit to the role. It’s possible that a lot has changed since then and Jordan has been a part of the conversation but that would only be speculation at this point. The way that Jordan is responding to the rumor now without outright debunking it, makes me think that he could possibly have a shot and talks are still open.
As much as I like Michael B. Jordan as an actor, I still wish there was a chance for Henry Cavill to stay on as Superman. I think he has been solid since his debut in MAN OF STEEL but he has just been saddled in mediocre films featuring the character. Cavill has a lot of support from the fans to continue on as the Man of Steel but it seems like Warner Bros. is looking to the future and a new direction. Only time will tell.
Do YOU think Michael B. Jordan would be a good Superman?
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New MonsterVerse movie may be helmed by Godzilla vs. Kong’s Adam Wingard
April 27, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
When Godzilla: King of the Monsters under-performed, it was thought that perhaps GODZILLA VS. KONG may have been the end of Legendary’s MonsterVerse, but it turns out that audiences were desperate for some escapism as the film has become the biggest hit of the pandemic. It seems that Legendary is now keen to keep the franchise going as THR has reported that they’re in early talks with Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard to return for the next MonsterVerse movie. It’s still early days yet, but THR says that one possible title that’s been making the rounds is Son of Kong.
Since its release a little less than a month ago, Godzilla vs. Kong has grossed over $400 million worldwide, which means that it’s already surpassed the box-office take of the entire theatrical run of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. What makes it all the more impressive is that Godzilla vs. Kong has done this while the world is still in the midst of a pandemic and while the film is also streaming on HBO Max in the U.S., not to mention that it’s yet to open in several larger markets around the world. Should the deal close, Adam Wingard would be the first MonsterVerse director to return for another installment, but he also has several other high-profile projects in the works, including the Face/Off sequel for Paramount and a ThunderCats movie for Warner Bros.
What type of MonsterVerse sequel would you like to see?
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Bedrock: The Flintstones adult animated sequel series in development
April 27, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
Quick! Someone drop the bird’s beak on the turtle turntable and crank up the prehistoric jams because a Flintstones sequel series has rolled onto Fox. Say it with me, folks, Yabba-Dabba-Doo!
Word has arrived by an exotic talking bird that Fox is developing a primetime animated adult comedy series with Elizabeth Banks (Charlie Angels, Hunger Games) star set to voice Pebbles Flintstone in addition to producing. Banks has been developing the project, titled Bedrock, for several years with Warner Bros. Animation under her overall deal via her Brownstone Productions studio.
Bedrock will follow the Flintstone family two decades after the original, with Fred on the brink of retirement and 20-something Pebbles embarking on her own career. As the Stone Age gives way to a shiny and enlightened new Bronze Age, the residents of Bedrock will find this evolution harder than a swing from Bamm-Bamm’s club.
In THE FLINTSTONES canon, Pebbles grows up and finds a job working for an advertising company, marries her childhood friend, Bamm-Bamm, moves to Hollyrock, a fictional version of Hollywood. This is all according to ABC’s 1993 made-for-television animated movie, of course. For the moment, there’s no telling if the new series will find Pebbles in the same position.
Penning the pilot script for Bedrock is Lindsay Kerns, who has written episodes of both Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous and DC Super Hero Girls.
“Long before the Simpsons and Springfield, the Griffins and Quahog or even when the Belchers started serving burgers on Ocean Avenue, there were the Flintstones and Bedrock,” said Michael Thorn, President, Entertainment, Fox Entertainment. “Their imprint on the animation universe is undeniable and the idea of adapting it for today’s audience is a challenge we here at Fox are very much looking forward to taking on with Warner Bros., Elizabeth, and Lindsay. No pressure whatsoever, really.”
“The Flintstones are the first family of primetime animation,” added Peter Girardi, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming at Warner Bros. Animation. “Elizabeth and Lindsay have a brilliant take on these characters, and Fox and Brownstone are the perfect partners to bring them back to primetime. This is going to rock, sorry.”
Dave Bautista pitched playing Bane to Warner Bros. when they weren’t casting
April 22, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
I suppose Dave Bautista deserves an “A” for effort. The ARMY OF THE DEAD star is detailing a very aggressive pitch he once made to Warner Bros. to play the Batman villain Bane when they weren’t even casting for the role.
Bautista was speaking during Justice Con, the very same chat where he expressed taking on the DC character Lobo, and he recalls a good-humored pitch he made to Warner Bros. about bringing Bane to the big screen:
“Oh, it would be Bane all day long. I’ve made no secret about this. I want to play Bane so bad I went to Warner Bros., had an appointment with them, had an appointment with DC, walked in the door and said, “I want to play Bane.” I’m not kidding. They were a little like “Woah, we’re not even casting Bane.” I was like “I don’t care, I’m playing him.”
Bautista seems to have specific goals for his career path. He has been very vocal in the past about what roles he wants to play and how he actually wants to be taken seriously as an actor, particularly because he comes from a wrestling background that may not earn him the respect of most actors. He has been very particular about the directors he wants to work with and at one point, when compared to fellow wrestler turned actors like Dwayne Johnson and John Cena, he made it clear that he didn’t want to do the same kind of films that they were known for. His no-nonsense and bullish approach for pursuing the Bane role comes as no surprise once you know exactly how Bautista works. For Bautista, the fact that he even gave it a shot and approached them with gusto is admirable. The actor goes on to say that while the studio execs probably thought he was joking, Bautista made it clear to them that he was not:
“I wasn’t joking. But in all honesty they did have a good giggle and show me the exit…At least I gave it a shot. My life seems to be a continuing mission to find an alternative route to get to where I want to be. I’m good with that.”
Bane has been brought to life in live-action form by Robert Swenson in 1997’s Batman & Robin, Tom Hardy in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, and Shane West during the final season of Fox’s Gotham. The character was created by Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, and Graham Nolan, making his debut in “Batman: Vengeance of Bane” #1 in January 1993. Bane is usually depicted as a dangerous adversary of Batman and possesses a mix of brute strength and exceptional intelligence. In comic book lore, Bane is often credited as the only villain to have “broken the bat”, both mentally and physically. Bane famously broke Batman’s back in “Batman” #497 in July 1993 and it’s a moment that has been incorporated in The Dark Knight Rises, Robot Chicken’s DC Comics Special, and alluded to many times in the DCAU.
Do YOU think Bautista would be a good candidate to play Bane in a future live-action adaptation?
Zack Snyder reveals his more poetic original title for Batman v Superman
April 20, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
When it was revealed that Zack Snyder’s follow-up to Man of Steel would be titled BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, I think it’s safe to say that most of us rolled our eyes at the clunky title, and it seems that Snyder himself was never a fan. While speaking during a Justice Con panel this past weekend, Snyder confirmed that the title was the only one that Warner Bros. wanted, but if he had his way, the film would have been titled something more poetic.
RELATED: Zack Snyder describes Warner Bros. “hatred” for Batman v Superman
I remember when there was a back-and-forth that I had with the studio, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was like the only title that [Warner Bros. liked]. The whole ‘v’ instead of ‘versus,’ it was like this crazy negotiation. I was like, ‘Guys, can’t we just do something like Son of Sun and Knight of Night, or something that’s a little bit more poetic?’ And they were like, ‘Absolutely not’ [Laughs]. I was like, ‘Is it a court case?’ The only plus of it is that BvS is really easy.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice co-writer Chris Terrio was also present during the panel, and said that he would have “loved something really simple, like Batman and Superman.” The writer added that for a while, they were considering “titling it ‘Justice League: [Subtitle],’ to suggest that this movie was going to be the beginning of the Justice League, even though it didn’t really look like it. Like ‘Justice League: Foundations,’ or you know, ‘Justice League: Rising.'” I can’t imagine that Warner Bros. ever seriously considered Zack Snyder’s title preference, not when two of their biggest characters were set to appear in the same film, but you can’t help but wonder what might have been.
Speaking of Zack Snyder, our own Paul Shirey was on the set of Army of the Dead many moons ago, so be sure to check out his articles explaining everything you need to know about the zombie epic, as well as interviews with Dave Bautista and Zack Snyder himself. Army of the Dead will debut on Netflix on May 21, 2021.
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Wings of Fire: Ava DuVernay’s animated series takes flight at Netflix
April 20, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
Dragon enthusiasts, you had best steel yourselves because Ava DuVernay’s Wings of Fire animated series is set to take to the skies at Netflix.
Wings of Fire, written by Tui T. Sutherland, will be adapted into ten 40-minute episodes. That’s 400 minutes of dragon-oriented action and intrigue.
Per Deadline, the series centers around a bitter war that has raged for generations between the dragon tribes who inhabit the epic world of Pyrrhia. According to prophecy, five young dragons will rise to end the bloodshed and bring peace back to the land. Raised and trained in secret from the time they were hatched, the Dragonets of destiny – Clay, Tsunami, Glory, Starflight, and Sunny – embark on an evolving quest that will bring them face to face with their true selves and the overwhelming scope of this savage war they are destined to bring to an end.
Dan Milano (Glitch Techs), Christa Starr (Mystery Science Theater 3000), Justin Ridge (Star Wars Resistance) will act as showrunners and executive producers with Milano and Starr adapting. The series hails from DuVernay’s ARRAY Filmworks and Warner Bros. Animation.
“Within this epic book series from the mind of Tui Sutherland is an elegant saga filled with wisdom and wonder, exploring ideas of belonging and bias, camaraderie and community. On behalf of my colleagues Sarah Bremner and Paul Garnes of ARRAY Filmworks, we’re thrilled to partner with Netflix and Warner Bros. Animation for this dynamic adaptation where five young dragonets fulfill their destiny and show viewers how to fulfill their own,” DuVernay said.
“We couldn’t be more proud that Ava has chosen Netflix as the home for her first animated series. An epic fantasy saga full of sweep and spectacle, Wings of Fire promises to be a must-see event for the whole family,” Melissa Cobb Vice President, Original Animation, Netflix, said.
“When I started writing my own dragon series, Wings of Fire, I knew a few important things. I knew I wanted it to be a big epic fantasy with a sense of humor and kindhearted heroes. I wanted to explore questions of fate vs. free will, different ways of handling power, nature and nurture, family and empathy, and friendship. And perhaps most of all, I wanted it to be a story told entirely from the dragons’ point of view,” Tui T. Sutherland gushed. “I am so immensely thrilled and grateful that Ava DuVernay is our Queen of Dragons, I’m pretty sure that’s the official title. Ava is someone who saves the world every day without waiting for any prophecy to tell her what to do. I hope some of my dragons grow up to be just like her.”
While I’ve not read the Wings of Fire series, I am a big fan of DuVernay and her grasp on fantasy fiction. For my money, her Disney film A WRINKLE IN TIME is one of the studio’s trippiest movies to date, and I am all in on her taking the reins for a story filled with dragons and danger. Let’s ride!
Big monsters are still swinging!
The king-sized smackdown sequel directed by Adam Wingard (THE GUEST, YOU’RE NEXT) has pounded its way to a domestic total of $80.5 million since it first hit theaters on March 31st (the same day it also became available on HBO Max).
The $200 million Warner Bros. monster mash, also featuring humans like Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall and Brian Tyree Henry, has rumbled to a worldwide total of $390.2 million.
The rest of the chart didn’t feature much activity, with the R-rated thriller NOBODY again in second place over its fourth weekend with $2.5 million, barely dipping from last week’s figure. The $16 million action movie with Bob Odenkerk (“Better Call Saul”) now has a domestic total of $19 million and $34.5 million worldwide.
Still in third place was the supernatural thriller THE UNHOLY with $2.06 million on its third weekend. The PG-13 horror movie produced by Sam Raimi has a domestic total of $9.56 million.
RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON was in fourth place once more with $1.9 million, taking the PG-rated Disney animated fantasy to a domestic total of $37.6 million and just short of $100 million worldwide after seven weeks.
The PG-rated animated/live-action comedy TOM & JERRY was in fifth place with $1.09 million. After eight weekends, the Warner Bros. release has a domestic total of $42.5 million and $105.3 million, on a reported cost of $79 million.
In sixth place was the sci-fi drama VOYAGERS with $790,000, a loss of 43% from its opening last weekend. Director Neil Burger’s PG-13 space thriller with Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp and Colin Farrell has a ten-day domestic total of $2.55 million on a reported $29 million cost.
The faith-based Mira Sorvino drama THE GIRL WHO BELIEVES IN MIRACLES held in seventh place with $591,000, nearly on par with last week’s take to give it a ten-day domestic total of $1.8 million after three weekends.
In eighth place was the new horror movie IN THE EARTH with an opening of $506,000 for the weekend on 547 screens.
Directed by Ben Wheatley (HIGH-RISE, FREE FIRE) and filmed during the pandemic lockdown, the topical R-rated thriller follows a group of people searching for a cure to a deadly virus.
The Benedict Cumberbatch spy drama THE COURIER was in ninth place with $462,000, a slight boost over last week. After five weekends, the PG-13 period thriller has a domestic total of $5.4 million.
At the bottom, the animated DreamWorks sequel THE CROODS: A NEW AGE popped back up into tenth with $310,000 on its 21st weekend in release. The PG-rated Universal movie has a domestic total of $57.1 million and $163 million worldwide on a reported cost of $65 million.
Next weekend has brutal fisticuffs and gory fatalities as MORTAL KOMBAT simultaneously hits theaters and HBO Max. The R-rated videogame adaptation has already collected $19.2 million from international audiences.
What movie currently set for summer release (May-Aug) are you most excited for? VOTE HERE!
Godzilla vs. Kong
Raya and the Last Dragon
Tom & Jerry
The Girl Who Believes in Miracles
In the Earth
The Croods: A New Age
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Our Most Anticipated Movies in 2021
April 14, 2021 by: Daniel Woburn
EDITOR'S NOTE: As expected, since running this preview originally a few months ago, tons of movies have once again been delayed. So, as a result, we've decided to overhaul our most anticipated movies in 2021 list to reflect the new release dates, all of which, I should mention, are subject to change.
Are you ready for the onslaught of movies coming your way in 2021? With the detestable 2020 firmly in our rearview, the future looks bright. The pandemic which barred us from one of our favorite pastimes – the movie theater – is looking to be on the way out, with the announcement and slow rollout of a vaccine. That means that movie fans can expect a deluge of content in 2021; all the movies we missed last year thanks to COVID-19, we're going to be getting in spades in 2021. It's a beefy slate, ladies and gentlemen, so without further ado: here's our list of some of the most anticipated movies of 2021.
April 23rd – Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat is a mysterious, intergalactic tournament of ancient martial arts. Shaolin Monk Liu Kang, from Earth, gets invited as a competitor.
A big-screen reboot of the beloved Mortal Kombat franchise, produced by James Wan and his midas touch, is supposedly coming in April – although no trailer has been released and there's barely a synopsis. We know that the cast is populated by a who's-who of Asian talent. Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero, Tadanobu Asano as Raiden and Hiroyuki Sanada as Scorpion ensure that even if the script is God-awful, the actors delivering it will be the opposite. The Mortal Kombat reboot is one of the 2021 movies that Warner Bros. will release theatrically and on HBO Max simultaneously, meaning you can finally enjoy some R-rated fataltities from the comfort of your own home.
NEW DATE: May 28th – A Quiet Place Part II
Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family must now face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.
One of the first movies to shift from its original release date in 2020, fans of the breakout horror A Quiet Place can now look forward to seeing what becomes of the surviving members of the Abbot family as they continue searching for a way to survive in their post-apocalyptic hellscape. Once again directed by John Krasinski, who proved himself a deft hand behind the camera last time around, the trailer promises more heart-stopping action, with added Cillian Murphy. A must-see sequel for 2021's slate of movies, for sure.
June 4th – The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
The Devil Made Me Do It reveals a chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, 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.
The latest instalment in the flagship series from the biggest horror movie franchise in history – $1.8 billion in box office receipts don't lie – The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is one of the most anticipated movie releases on this 2021 list. Featuring the return of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as renowned supernatural investigators Ed & Lorraine Warren, the movie follows the trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, also known as 'the devil made me do it' case; the first time in history a murder suspect used demonic posession as a legal defense. Should be a laugh riot.
June 25th – F9
After the events of The Fate of the Furious (2017), Dominic Toretto and his family must face Dominic's younger brother Jakob, a deadly assassin, who is working with their old enemy Cipher, and who holds a personal vendetta against Dominic.
Can the Fast franchise survive the loss of The Rock to his spinoff? That'll be the main question on everybody's lips when Dom and the family come back for Fast 9 in 2021, but with Justin Lin returning to the helm and fan-favorite Han (Sung Kang) making a return… it's easy to assume we'll all be in for the same gonzo blockbuster ride we usually get. Throw in John Cena as Dom's long-lost brother (I mean, sure!) and you should leave the theater being mildly entertained by this 2021 movie.
NEW DATE: July 9th – Black Widow
EDITOR'S NOTE: Black Widow will now release on Disney+ simultaneously with its theater release!
In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow,” Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.
Perhaps the most notable movie to be shifted from the 2020 release calendar, Marvel's Black Widow is finally set to be released on July 9th, 2021. After much hemming and hawing as to whether Disney would dump the blockbuster on its streaming service, the results are in – Black Widow will still get its theatrical release. You can't help but feel bad for Scarlett Johansson, who is finally getting her own solo picture ten years after making her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe… not to mention after her character kicks the bucket. The prequel, set between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, should give fans exactly what they expect from Marvel's premier femme fatale. Roll on 2021, roll on this movie!
August 6th – The Suicide Squad
Imprisoned convicts from Task Force X are sent on a new, sentence-easing mission to the South American island of Corto Maltese to destroy Jotunheim, a Nazi-era prison and laboratory which held political prisoners and conducted experimentations.
After James Gunn's momentary firing from Marvel Studios in 2018, Warner Bros. was quick to scoop the director up in order to help reboot one of its most popular DC Comics properties; The Suicide Squad. Drawing in a cast that reaches all the way from Idris Elba to Pete Davidson, Gunn's take on Task Force X looks to be even more bonkers than David Ayer's take ended up being in 2016. A returning Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is sure to get the diehard fans returning and the film promises a catastrophic death toll for its insanely large cast. The Suicide Squad is sure to be one of the most entertaining movies on this whole damn 2021 list.
August 27th – Candyman
A "spiritual sequel" to the horror film Candyman (1992) that returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began.
Nia DaCosta – soon to direct Captain Marvel 2 – directed this reboot of Candyman for Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions in 2019, and we would have already seen it were it not for COVID-19. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II leads the cast as an artist mysteriously drawn to Cabrini Green, the projects that the Candyman first haunted in the original movies. A hybrid sequel/reboot, Candyman is bringing back Tony Todd in the titular role as well as Vanessa Estelle Williams as Anne-Marie McCoy. Being a Monkeypaw production, quality is all but guaranteed, as Jordan Peele tends to turn everything he touches to gold these days.
NEW DATE: September 3rd – Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
When Shang-Chi is drawn into the clandestine Ten Rings organization, he is forced to confront the past he thought he left behind.
Not much is known about the plot of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which just wrapped its shoot in Australia. Considering the fact that its bad guys are obviously villainous MCU organization The Ten Rings – last seen scooping Trevor Slattery out of prison in Marvel One-Shot All Hail the King – fans should expect to see The Mandarin finally depicted properly on the big screen (for all those who didn't buy into Guy Pearce's "I am the Mandarin!" exclamation in Iron Man 3). Simu Liu steps into the role of the Master of Kung Fu, but we should probably expect a Shang-Chi that's a little farther along from its exploitation roots. As one of the first movies from Marvel's Phase 4, Liu has a lot of work to do to set the tone for the future of the MCU in 2021.
NEW DATE: September 24th – Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Who knew Tom Hardy and Sony's Venom would gross nearly a billion dollars at the box office? Probably nobody, but it didn't stop Sony wishing and hoping, and their dreams came true. Now, a sequel is well on the way, which will bring Woody Harrelson's Carnage (last seen in the post credits tag for Venom) into the spotlight. Can lightning strike twice for Sony? Will we finally get a glimpse of Tom Holland's Spider-Man in the Venomverse? Keep an eye out when the movie sequel no one thought would ever happen takes a bow in June 2021.
NEW DATE: September 24th – The Many Saints of Newark
A look at the formative years of New Jersey gangster, Tony Soprano.
The prequel movie to The Sopranos you didn't know you needed, The Many Saints of Newark is one of the movies to watch out for in 2021. Starring the late, great James Gandolfini's son Michael as the younger version of the character James made famous, the film has a stellar cast rounded out by John Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Billy Magnussen, Ray Liotta and Leslie Odom Jr.
Written by David Chase and Lawrence Konner, who created and shepherded The Sopranos to greatness, the movie will be directed by Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones, Thor: The Dark World). Taylor directed nine episodes of The Sopranos back in the day, so should be no stranger to bringing out the best in Chase and Konner's writing. Whether the prequel movie lives up to the well-deserved acclaim of the original series remains to be seen.
October 1st – Dune
A mythic and emotionally charged hero's journey, "Dune" tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people.
We were supposed to get the Denis Villeneuve version of Dune this 2020 holiday season, but somebody upstairs hates us and now we'll have to wait another ten months. Warner Bros. will be releasing Dune on HBO Max the same time it hits theaters, if your preference is to watch it while butt-naked on your couch (or dressed, whatever). 2021 is going to be an interesting movie year for Warner Bros. and their grand 'day-and-date' theater/VOD release schedule, and regardless of how much they've pissed off Villeneuve (and every other director in town), we'll still get to enjoy Dune eventually. Timothée Chalamet looks to be having the time of his life as the young Paul Atreides, and who could blame him when he's surrounded by Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Zendaya and more.
NEW DATE: October 8th – No Time to Die
Recruited to rescue a kidnapped scientist, globe-trotting spy James Bond finds himself hot on the trail of a mysterious villain, who's armed with a dangerous new technology.
This is the fifth release date set for the last Daniel Craig Bond movie, after Danny Boyle initially left the helm (replaced by Cary Fukunaga) and COVID got in the way. Will it be worth the wait? Spectre was a little lacklustre, but with any luck this instalment will have Bond back on track… just in time for him to be ultimately replaced. Typical. At least Craig fans will finally be able to see his last hurrah – barring any more release date changes.
October 15th – Halloween Kills
The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode continues in the next thrilling chapter of the Halloween series.
Following the successful reboot and relaunch of the Halloween franchise with 2018's Halloween, director David Gordon Green is back in 2021 with the second in his planned trilogy; Halloween Kills. Last we saw Michael Myers, he was trapped in a flaming basement, but, come on – it's Michael Myers. Of course he survived! He'll be back to relentlessly, silently pursue Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her brood. Joining the fun this time is returning character Tommy Doyle – Laurie's young babysitting charge from the first Halloween back in 1978 – only now, he looks just like Anthony Michael Hall. Hall should be fun in the role, with his horror credentials extending to that 2002 TV adaptation of The Dead Zone which was pretty enjoyable. 2021 just got a whole lot scarier with this movie!
October 15th – The Last Duel
King Charles VI declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by challenging him to a duel.
The Last Duel is the first movie co-written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon since their Oscar-winning screenplay for Good Will Hunting back in 1997, and that should be worth the anticipation alone. Knowing the movie will be directed by Ridley Scott, returning to a Medieval playground we haven't seen him in since the likes of Kingdom of Heaven and Robin Hood, helps build that anticipation. Adam Driver starring opposite Matt Damon with Jodie Comer as the object of their affection is the cherry on top, and we haven't even gotten to the plot yet, which sees Damon and Driver's French knights fighting to the death in a duel prescribed to them by King Charles VI (Affleck). Based on the book The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France, The Last Duel should satiate a lot of appetites when the movie debuts in October 2021.
NEW DATE: October 22nd – Last Night in Soho
A young girl, passionate about fashion design, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer. But 1960s London is not what it seems, and time seems to fall apart with shady consequences.
Like almost every other movie on this list, Edgar Wright's long-awaited picture following Baby Driver was shifted from 2020 into the great onslaught of movies releasing in 2021. Armed with a screenplay from Oscar nominee Krysty Wilson-Cairns (1917), Edgar Wright's latest features performances by Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Terence Stamp and the late, great Diana Rigg. Not much is known about the enigmatic movie, other than its vague snyopsis and the fact that this writer's sister was offered a role as a stripper in the background of one sequence – which she politefully declined.
November 5th – Eternals
Marvel Studios' Eternals features an exciting new team of Super Heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ancient aliens who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows to reunite against mankind's most ancient enemy, the Deviants.
Based on characters created by Jack Kirby and the subject of one of Neil Gaiman's most exciting Marvel comic books, the Eternals seemed an odd choice for Marvel Studios to bring to the big screen – only because they're generally lesser known than a lot of their contemporaries. But the cast looks stacked, with everyone from Angelina Jolie to Kit Harington to Kumail Nanjiani getting involved; and the story looks to be one that spans millenia, following an ancient race of superpowered beings charged with protecting the Earth. Avengers? What Avengers?
November 11th – Ghostbusters: Afterlife
After being evicted from their home, two children and their single mother move to a farm in Summerville, Oklahoma, inherited from their late grandfather. When the town experiences a series of unexplained earthquakes, the children discover their family's link to the original Ghostbusters, who have become something of a myth as many have long since forgotten the events of the "Manhattan Crossrip of 1984", and the secret legacy that their grandfather left behind.
After the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot landed with a bit of a thud, we're now being treated to a return to roots that finds the grandkids of Egon Spengler rising to answer the famous call… to something strange in the neighborhood. This time, the Ghostbusters find themselves directed by Jason Reitman, son of the original's director, Ivan. Considering Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts are supposedly all back, we should be in for a good time. Throw in Paul Rudd and that one kid from Stranger Things and baby, you got a stew going. This might be Ghostbusters' last shot at a big-screen revival if audience patience wears thin, so let's hope this is one of 2021's better movie offerings on this list.
NEW DATE: November 19th – Top Gun: Maverick
After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy's top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.
If you'd been waiting since 1986 to get a sequel to the classic tale of pilot bros Top Gun, COVID-19 meant you'd have to wait a little longer. Top Gun: Maverick was meant to take a bow in 2020, but now Paramount's franchise reboot will have to wait until July. Tom Cruise is back, re-teaming with director Joseph Kosinski after their so-so sci-fi effort Oblivion in 2013. The most recent Mission: Impossible scribe/director, Christopher McQuarrie, has also had a hand in the script for this one; with Cruise seemingly getting all his favorite collaborators to join in the fun, could Top Gun: Maverick be the rare decades-late sequel that's actually good? Top Gun: Maverick will also be available on Paramount's new streaming service Paramount+ 45 days after its theatrical release.
A continuation of Spider-Man: Far From Home.
With all the rumors swirling in the media that Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and perhaps every villain Spider-Man has ever fought in any iteration on the big screen will be returning, you can't deny that Spider-Man: No Way Home sounds like it's going to be an absolute blast. Crowded, sure – but a blast nonetheless. Here's hoping Tom Holland has time for a storyline for his own Peter Parker in between all the cameos! Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange will be filling the 'bearded mentor' void left by Tony Stark, but with Holland's Peter Parker having gone through so much on his own at this point (and survived) the question is – does he really need one? The worst part about the wait for this Spider-Man movie extravaganza to roll around at Christmas is the wait itself.
NEW DATE- December 22nd – The King's Man
In the early years of the 20th century, the Kingsman agency is formed to stand against a cabal plotting a war to wipe out millions.
A prequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service, once again directed by Matthew Vaughan, The King's Man is set during the early years of the 20th century, where the nascent spy agency (led by Ralph Fiennes) attempts to prevent Rasputin (Rhys Ifans) from starting World War I. With a new apprentice in tow (Harris Dickinson), the trailers – set brilliantly to a movie trailer redo of Black Sabbath's 'War Pigs' – suggest a good, old-fashioned history romp, accentuated by Vaughan's slick action choreography and a quality supporting cast which includes Gemma Arterton, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Charles Dance, Djimon Hounsou, Daniel Brühl and Matthew Goode. Phew. It's a shame its release date has been pushed back so many times, but fans of the franchise will finally be able to see the romp when the movie bows in 2021.
December 22nd – The Matrix 4
A movie I'm still not convinced is going to happen, but apparently is anyway, is the Wachowski siblings returning for a reboot/relaunch of The Matrix franchise. In the main role is the always-awesome Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who you will have caught earlier in the year in the Candyman reboot. Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Jada Pinkett-Smith are all returning, in addition to the incoming Priyanka Chopra, Jonathan Groff and Jessica Henwick. Plot details are firmly under wraps, so no clue at all what this 2021 movie is bringing our way; if Trinity died, why is Carrie-Anne Moss back? Is this a new Matrix universe, with new takes on Neo and Trinity? Where the hell is Laurence Fishburne? Too many questions, too much time to ponder them. To round out this 2021 list of movies, we can think of no more random a sequelboot than The Matrix 4.
NEW DATE: January 21, 2022 – Morbius
One of Marvel’s most compelling and conflicted characters comes to the big screen as Oscar winner Jared Leto transforms into the enigmatic antihero, Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder, and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. What at first appears to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed and transforms this healer into a hunter.
Are you excited for Sony's Spider-Man spinoff, Morbius? Is anyone? Its 90s-feeling trailer teased a crossover with the MCU, thanks to Spider-Man graffiti and an appearance by Michael Keaton's Vulture, but it remains to be seen exactly how Jared Leto's rendition of the Living Vampire will come into contact with either of them. The connection to the MCU is probably the main reason to see this movie when it launches in March 2021.
NEW DATE: Feb 18, 2022 – Uncharted
It's been a long and rocky road to the big screen for Naughty Dog's best-selling game franchise Uncharted; the movie has been in development at one level or another since 2008, even flaunting David O. Russell as a potential director at one point. Mark Wahlberg has been attached for so long that he's even apparently aged out of the lead role Nathan Drake, instead now set to play Nathan's mentor, Sully. Drake's shoes will be filled by Tom Holland, who appears to be being dunked in everything Sony is releasing for the next ten years. Hopefully the development hell this movie has been through will produce a heavenly viewing experience when the Uncharted movie drops in 2021 2022.
NEW DATE: February 11th, 2022 – Death on the Nile
Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot's Egyptian vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer turns into a terrifying search for a murderer when a picture-perfect couple's idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short.
Kenneth Branagh is back in 2021 2022 with another movie adaptation of Agatha Christie's Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. Following the success of Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile could have been lost in the shuffle when its producer – Fox – was bought by Disney. Luckily for fans of the erstwhile sleuth, Death on the Nile debuts its all-star murder mystery in September next year. The trailer was riveting, showcasing yet another atmospheric cover of a classic Depeche Mode song (this time, it was 'Policy of Truth'), and the table is set for a fun whodunit. It's a subgenre that's making a welcome comeback, after the spirited family dynamics and razor-sharp wit of Rian Johnson's Knives Out. More please.
NEW DATE: May 27th, 2022 – Mission: Impossible 7
We've all heard Tom Cruise completely verbally destroying some of his crewmembers on the set of Mission: Impossible 7; whether he was right or wrong to do so, you can't deny that the man cares about his movie. The Mission: Impossible series has been one of the most reliable studio franchises ever since JJ Abrams relaunched it with Mission: Impossible III back in 2006. Director Christopher McQuarrie has skillfully led the last two entries, with an over-arching plot that followed a rogue clandestine organization called the Syndicate, which essentially resulted in Henry Cavill reloading his fists – worth the price of admission alone. Joining the fun this time around are Pom Klementieff, Vanessa Kirby, Hayley Atwell and Shea Whigham, as well as blast-from-the-past Henry Czerny returning as Eugene Kittridge from the first Mission: Impossible. Filming during COVID can't have been easy, so we should consider ourselves thankful we're getting another M:I movie at all in 2021 2022.
Could the Ben Affleck Solo Batman movie still happen?
April 13, 2021 by: Daniel Woburn
Could the Ben Affleck solo Batman movie still happen? Affleck’s fans on the internet say yes. On Sunday April 11th, #MakeTheBatfleckMovie was trending on Twitter with as many 67,000 tweets in support of it. After Zack Snyder’s Justice League recently stirred up renewed interest in the Snyderverse, Batfleck’s fans are now crying out for the solo Batman movie (where he was teed up to fight Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke) that was sadly not to be. Affleck’s personal issues with his divorce and his drinking led to him stepping away from the cape and cowl, prompting Warner Bros. to move on and cast Robert Pattinson in a reboot (The Batman) directed by Matt Reeves.
Since that time, Ben Affleck has not only returned to playing the caped crusader for reshoots to complete Zack Snyder’s Justice League – getting himself in better shape, so much so that the ol’ cowl was actually a size or two too big – but he’s also signed on to appear in the upcoming, oft-delayed Ezra Miller-led The Flash film. Director Andy Muschietti has described Affleck as “a substantial part of the emotional impact of the movie”. With Affleck clearly now once again comfortable to become the Dark Knight, it stands to reason he’d be tempted into trying to direct his abandoned solo Batman movie one more time. He seems to have come to a semblance of peace not just with himself, but with his role as the iconic character as it relates to him.
Considering Warner Bros’ DC Films slate is all over the show, with Suicide Squad reboots, Joker prequels and Batman reboots that don’t relate to anything else, as well as more Aquaman and more The Flash which still relate to the Snyderverse – why not give Ben Affleck’s Batman one more outing in his own little pocket-verse? The problem Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie has in coming into being isn’t just Ben Affleck’s willingness to do it – it’s Warner Bros. The studio titan have been very clear – either on the record or behind the scenes – about how they want to get away from Zack Snyder’s Justice League and forge ahead to something new. If that was the case, why even bother with Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max at all? The story goes, HBO Max and WarnerMedia are being led by different execs with different agendas.
In which case, HBO Max could be the folks who decide to take a chance on a solo Ben Affleck Batman movie, provided they get the go-ahead from the other CEOs and Presidents in the mix at WarnerMedia Entertainment. If Warner Bros don’t want to confuse audiences by having two Batmen at the same time – it’s a little late for that. Joe Q. Public is about to get Batfleck in The Flash and Robert Pattinson in The Batman. It’s safe to say that you don’t diminish one by having the other; audiences will figure it out, and obviously the diehard fans already understand what’s happening and are even okay with both. It’s more Batman than fans used to get in the span of whole decades; trust me, the fans can handle two decent actors playing Batman at the same time. It feels like the real reason behind not allowing Affleck (and a currently extremely-willing Joe Manganiello) to have his proper solo Bat offering is because of petty pissing matches behind closed doors.
With the bad press Warner Bros have been attracting – due to their replacement Justice League director Joss Whedon being exposed for his many abuses of power, and subsequent alleged cover-up/attempts to smear Ray Fisher’s character – there’s probably a few sweaty execs who feel that kowtowing to Snyderverse fans’ demands is not only ‘rolling over and showing their belly’ but an admission of failure; of being wrong about not backing the Snyder horse when they were meddling with Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and calling the Snyder Cut “unwatchable”.
If fans want the solo Ben Affleck Batman movie, it will unfortunately hinge on several variables. Affleck wanting to return; Affleck finding the time to do it; Warner Bros agreeing to it; Warner Bros finding the right time and platform to release it upon; the list goes on. Studios have been swayed by fan support before – just look at the ‘Release the Snyder Cut’ movement and its eventual, victorious four-hour debut on HBO Max. But having most of a finished movie and being persuaded to release it is one thing (okay – being persuaded to throw in an extra 70 million dollars to complete it and then release it), but starting up a movie from scratch that everyone involved gave up on attempting a few years ago is another. That said, stranger things have happened, and there’s no crime against hoping for that solo Ben Affleck Batman movie to eventually be born out into the world. Could Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie still happen? Absolutely. Will it? Time will tell, but it seems improbable at this stage.
More money for monster mash!
The PG-13 creature conflict fell by 58% from last weekend’s three-day figure, putting the Warner Bros. release at a 12-day domestic total of $69.5 million to easily make it the highest North American box office gross of the pandemic period. (The monumental slugfest will also be available on the HBO Max streaming platform through the end of April.)
The GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS/KONG: SKULL ISLAND sequel from director Adam Wingard has also knocked an additional $288.3 out of international crowds for a worldwide total of $357.8 million, on a reported $200 million cost.
Stepping up a spot to second place was the Bob Odenkirk action-thriller NOBODY with $2.6 million on its third weekend. Universal’s R-rated revenge movie (available via VOD on April 16) has a domestic total of $15.6 million and $28.7 million worldwide, on a reported cost of $16 million.
Creeping down to third place was the Sam Raimi-produced supernatural horror movie THE UNHOLY with $2.4 million. The PG-13 Sony thriller only scared away 23% of business from last weekend’s opening, for a ten-day domestic total of $6.7 million.
Disney’s animated fantasy RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON was in fourth place with $2.1 million. After six weekends in theaters, the PG-rated adventure has a domestic total of $35.2 million and a worldwide total of $97.2 million.
Drifting into fifth place was the new deep space thriller VOYAGERS with an opening of $1.35 million for the weekend.
Directed by Neil Burger (LIMITLESS, DIVERGENT), the PG-13 sci-fi drama sends Tye Sheridan, Colin Farrell and Lily-Rose Depp into the cosmos in search of a new home.
The Lionsgate release, which cost a reported $29 million, was originally scheduled for November 25, 2020 but was delayed due to obvious coronavirus-related reasons.
In sixth place was the PG-rated live-action/animated hybrid TOM & JERRY with $1.1 million on its seventh weekend in theaters. The $79 million Warner Bros. release has a domestic total of $41.1 million and a worldwide total of $94.7 million.
The faith-based Mira Sorvino drama THE GIRL WHO BELIEVES IN MIRACLES was in seventh place with $597,000, getting a slight bump in business from its Easter weekend debut for a ten-day domestic total of $1.3 million.
In eighth place was the Benedict Cumberbatch espionage thriller THE COURIER with $436,000 on its fourth weekend, taking it to a domestic total of $4.9 million.
Wrapping up the list was the new Indian legal drama VAKEEL SAAB in ninth with an opening of $411,000 on only 290 screens, while the Tom Holland/Daisy Ridley sci-fi thriller CHAOS WALKING followed in tenth.
And after 20 weekends, the animated DreamWorks sequel THE CROODS: A NEW AGE finally departed from the chart. With a domestic total $56.7 million since its Thanksgiving weekend debut, the Universal release is the third-biggest pandemic performer behind Christopher Nolan’s TENET ($57.9 million) and the leviathans currently hammering each other in first place.
Next weekend gives those colossal rivals more time to tussle before new fighters enter cinemas on April 23 with the R-rated videogame adaptation MORTAL KOMBAT (which hits HBO Max on the same day). The bloody big-screen tournament has already punched $10.7 million from overseas audiences.
What is your favorite “space mission” movie? VOTE HERE!
Godzilla vs. Kong
Raya and the Last Dragon
Tom & Jerry
The Girl Who Believes in Miracles
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Justice League’s Chris Terrio criticizes lack of DC Universe planning
April 9, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
When Warner Bros. started to get the ball rolling on their DC Universe, Marvel was already in the midst of the second phase of their Marvel Cinematic Universe, so Warner Bros. obviously had a lot of catching up to do in a short amount of time, so it didn’t take long for the studio to announce a full slate of DC films. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that there was enough planning done behind-the-scenes with how these films would connect together.
While speaking with Vanity Fair, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and JUSTICE LEAGUE screenwriter Chris Terrio said that he was in the dark a lot of the time as it seemed like Warner Bros. considered hitting a release date to be more important.
I was not consulted on the order of the films, even though I was the person writing Justice League. They just determined that it was going to be Batman/Superman, and then Wonder Woman, then Justice League, and then Aquaman. So there was never any thought to how the world was constructed before they issued this edict. They said, “Conform to this schedule.”
This lack of planning definitely complicated things for Chris Terrio, as much of the foundation for the DC Universe wasn’t in place when he was writing the script. “The Wonder Woman script wasn’t even finished when I wrote Justice League,” Terrio explained. “So I had no basis to write Wonder Woman other than Batman/Superman. Themyscira didn’t even exist. I was never shown anything on the page for it. I didn’t know whether people could talk underwater. That was a thing that I had to ask, because I didn’t know if I could do underwater scenes with Aquaman and Atlanteans. It was all just from scratch because there had been no [solo] character films.” Terrio added that because of the lack of set-up, Justice League needed to establish multiple main characters, resurrect Superman, and create a long game mythology for the franchise. “I just don’t know how you could do all that in under two hours,” Terrio said. “Maybe the 2017 release proved that you couldn’t.” Since Justice League obviously didn’t perform quite as expected, Warner Bros. have slowly started re-configuring their DC Universe and look to be embracing the multiverse more this time around, with several of their upcoming movies taking place in different universes.
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Ray Fisher: New stunning details on Justice League, Joss Whedon, and more
April 6, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
It seems not a day goes by that we don’t learn new tidbits and reveals surrounding the Joss Whedon cut of JUSTICE LEAGUE. Weeks after Zack Snyder’s restored vision was released to critical and fan acclaim along with a new rallying cry to #RestoreTheSnyderverse, one person is still not content with the outcome of the entire ordeal: Ray Fisher. Despite having his central storyline restored in Snyder’s four-hour epic, the Cyborg actor still wants the world to know just how complicated things got between himself, Whedon, Warner Bros, and studio leadership.
In a massive article published in The Hollywood Reporter, Ray Fisher goes into more detail than ever before about what exactly Warner Bros. failed to do as well as new insights into Joss Whedon’s behavior that impacted not only himself but Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa as well.
Back in June 2020, Fisher unleashed a tweet that labeled Joss Whedon as someone who exhibited “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” behavior while on the set of Justice League. In time, an investigation into the matter was launched by Warner Bros., though Fisher found the studio’s efforts unacceptable. When pressed for further action, Warner Bros. said “remedial action” was taken. However, the studio has yet to say what those actions were, stating the punishment is not meant for public consumption. In fact, a spokesperson told THR that for privacy and legal reasons, “our policy is to not publicly disclose the findings or the results of an investigation.”
Meanwhile, Katherine Forrest, a former federal judge who conducted the WarnerMedia probe, says that after interviewing 80 witnesses, she found “no credible support for claims of racial animus” or racial “insensitivity.” WarnerMedia then doubled down by saying it “made extraordinary effort to accommodate Mr. Fisher’s concerns about the investigation and to ensure its fullness and fairness” and has “complete confidence in the investigation process and [Forrest’s] conclusions.”
Fast-forward to THR’s most recent interview with Fisher, where we find the star laying it all on the line.
“I’m not looking to have any witnesses lose their jobs,” says Fisher about why he hasn’t named names.
Fisher then goes on to say that he was devastated to hear about the passing of Zack and Deborah Snyder’s daughter, Autumn, and understood why they would need to exit the Justice League film. What he was not prepared for, however, was how much his contribution to the movie would change under Joss Whedon’s direction. Fisher says that when he met with Whedon at a bar to talk about the changes, Whedon “was tiptoeing around the fact that everything was changing.” As the two parted ways, Fisher was handed a script that all but erased his character from the film. Suddenly, Cyborg’s backstory was omitted, pivotal scenes that gave the character depth were nixed. Some of those scenes ended up being a part of the Snyder Cut, but the erasure was already done for the theatrical version of the film. “It represents that his parents are two genius-level Black people,” Fisher says about the intended vision for the character. “We don’t see that every day.”
Later, during a meeting about the changes, Fisher says that he tried to offer notes about the cuts to Cyborg’s storyline, but all Whedon wanted was praise for his work. “All he was looking for was the fulsome praise,” says Fisher. Not to be deterred, he attempted to raise his concerns. Sadly, Fisher says he barely got a few words out before Whedon cut him off. “It feels like I’m taking notes right now, and I don’t like taking notes from anybody — not even Robert Downey Jr.,” Whedon responded, according to Fisher.
Feeling dejected, Fisher then turned to Geoff Johns but found no support there either. “We can’t make Joss mad,” was Johns’ response, says Fisher. Publicist Howard Bragman, who represents Johns, denies that but says Johns “recalls suggesting that any creative pitches should happen when Joss Whedon was not preoccupied so he would be most receptive.”
Fisher’s latest tell-all also raises concerns about how Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa were treated while making Justice League. According to a source close to the matter, Gal Gadot had major concerns about how her character was being portrayed in the revised version, including “issues about her character being more aggressive than her character in Wonder Woman. She wanted to make the character flow from one movie to the next.”
Perhaps the biggest issue came about when Gadot was forced to record lines she didn’t care for. Not to be challenged, Whedon reportedly threatened to hurt her career by talking with Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. While Fisher was reluctant to go into too much detail, an investigator on the WarnerMedia case says that after one instance, “Joss was bragging that he’s had it out with Gal. He told her he’s the writer and she’s going to shut up and say the lines and he can make her look incredibly stupid in this movie.” This prompted Gadot and Jenkins to meet with then-Warners chairman Kevin Tsujihara. In commenting on the result of the meeting, Gadot said: “I had my issues with [Whedon] and Warner Bros. handled it in a timely manner.”
With so many working parts to this story, my suggestion is to read THR’s full report here. It contains some truly damning stuff and will paint a clear picture as to why Whedon has all but disappeared from the face of the Earth. In short, the once sought-after filmmaker has turned into box office poison. Since the Justice League saga began, his name has been stripped off projects he helped create (The Nevers), and fans are in some ways ashamed to support his most beloved properties. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
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The Hollywood Reporter
Justice League: Zack Snyder releases extended Knightmare scene
April 2, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
Zack Snyder is nothing if not generous. Today the fan-favorite filmmaker has shared an extended version of the Batman and Joker “Knightmare” scene from Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The newly-released version includes Joker’s meme-worthy line “We live in a society,” for all you purists out there.
Snyder may not be getting the restoration of the Snyderverse as many on social media have been crusading for, but this is one of many special features the filmmaker is releasing. In addition to the black and white edition of his film, Snyder has promised more to come in the future as he and Warner Bros milk what is left of his franchise for all it is worth.
According to Snyder Cut lore, multiple versions of the “Knightmare” exchange between Ben Affleck’s Batman and Jared Leto’s Joker were filmed. In the scene, Joker becomes visibly rattled when Batman begins talking about the death of Harley Quinn, and the promise he made as she was dying in his arms. It’s brief, but you can see Joker’s madness retreat for but a moment as he remembers Harley’s devotion and magnetism. Of course, Joker isn’t about to let Batman get the upper hand, and so he reminds the Caped Crusader of how he killed Robin, and how much the Boy Wonder screamed.
Seeing as a sequel to Zack Snyder’s Justice League is unlikely, the director has shared his idea for how the story of Robin’s death would have played out. Apparently, the scene would include a Last Supper-style set up where members of Batman’s team are in attendance. Thinking that they’re all about to die, each member of the crew tells a short story. Joker’s yarn would have been about the death of Bruce Wayne’s loyal ward, Dick Grayson.
Yikes! I can’t imagine sitting down to a meal where the Joker is in attendance. There’s no telling how he’s poisoned the food or how much he’ll monologue before dessert is served. That’s a hard pass for me. You can have my invitation if you want.
Have you enlisted in the #RestoretheSnyderVerse army? Do you hope Warner Bros. reaches some kind of agreement to continue Snyder’s vision, or, are you looking forward to DC Films featuring new voices and talents?
Friends: Reunion for HBO Max announces production start date
April 2, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
After delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Friends reunion is ready to roll cameras next week. Returning for the anticipated presentation is Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry, who will reunite on a Warner Bros. soundstage for the HBO Max event.
Originally, filming for the reunion was scheduled for February 2020, but Covid-19 was like, Nah, I don't think so. Sources close to the reunion have said that each star would make $2.5 million for their participation. Can you imagine getting paid that kind of money to chat with your friends for just a few hours? Celebrities, you can't take them anywhere.
The reunion special is another major get for HBO Max, whose subscriber numbers are on the rise after the release of Zack Snyder's Justice League, Godzilla vs. Kong, and soon, Mortal Kombat. While the reunion could have been filmed via the internet, Warner Bros. execs wanted to wait until the actors could be in the same room with one another. Back in March, Bob Greenblatt – then WarmerMedia Entertainment chairman said that there was "value to having a big, raucous live audience to experience these six great friends coming back together and we didn’t want to just suddenly do it on a web call with, you know, six squares and people shooting from their kitchens and bedrooms.” It's true, there's nothing quite like filming in front of an audience. Especially a crowd as loud and proud as a bunch of Friends fans.
With cameras set to film next week, it's only a matter of time before the reunion reaches HBO Max, and oh what a time it will be. Oh, and by the way, if you're hankering for some Friends before the big to-do, all 10 seasons of the sitcom are streaming on HBO Max right now.
Ava DuVernay’s New Gods and James Wan’s The Trench have been scrapped
April 1, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
Warner Bros.' upcoming slate of DC movies is looking a little lighter as THR has reported that the studio will not be moving forward with Ava DuVernay's New Gods and James Wan's Aquaman spin-off, The Trench.
"As part of our DC slate, some legacy development titles including New Gods and The Trench will not be moving forward," Warner Bros. and DC said in a statement. "We thank our partners Ava DuVernay, Tom King, James Wan and Peter Safran for their time and collaboration during this process and look forward to our continued partnership with them on other DC stories. The projects will remain in their skillful hands if they were to move forward in the future."hands if they were to move forward in the future." Ava DuVernay took to Twitter to mark the end of her time on the project.
Tom, I loved writing NEW GODS with you. I’m upset that the saga of Barda, Scott, Granny, Highfather and The Furies ends this way. Diving into Kirby’s Fourth World was the adventure of a lifetime. That can’t be taken away. Thank you for your friendship. And remember… #DarkseidIs pic.twitter.com/XyyIjcB8Wv
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 1, 2021
THR said that it was becoming obvious that Warner Bros. didn't have a natural slot for New Gods or The Trench in its upcoming slate and didn't want to leave the filmmakers hanging, but that doesn't mean that projects are entirely dead as they could be resurrected in some form or another in the future. Ava DuVernay had been developing New Gods with Tom King since 2018, which would have revolved around the comic-book characters created by the late, great Jack Kirby. One complication which arose is that its villain was Darkseid, who, as we know, recently appeared in Zack Snyder's Justice League, so Warner Bros. is hoping to to put a little space between his appearances. As for The Trench, the Aquaman spin-off was to center around the Trench, the terrifying amphibious creatures who were seen attacking Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Mera (Amber Heard) in the first film. It would have been more of a horror film than a superhero movie, but THR says that Warner Bros. might return to it if people are still hungry for more of the Aquaman universe following the upcoming sequel which starts shooting later this year.
Suicide Squad: David Ayer speaks out regarding his director’s cut
March 30, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
Now that Zack Snyder’s Justice League has made its way to HBO Max, campaigning for alternate cuts of superhero films can finally be a thing of the past. I’m just kidding. It would appear as if things are just getting started, and the newest target is a director’s cut of David Ayer’s SUICIDE SQUAD.
While many fans have taken to adopting the #RestoretheSnyderVerse hashtag in favor of #ReleasetheSnyderCut, now that Snyder’s film is out in the wild, a section of DCEU fans is dividing their efforts to lend support to #ReleastheAyerCut as well. Some folks just want to watch the world burn, while others simply want more of the thing they love.
Recently while addressing the future of the DCEU, WarnerMedia Studios CEO Ann Sarnoff explained that Warner Bros. is not interested in releasing Ayer’s intended version of Suicide Squad. “We won’t be developing David Ayer’s cut,” said Sarnoff, which sounds rather definitive to me. However, Ayer is still holding out hope that fan demand will prevail, much like it did in the case of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
“I think the studios see now that there can be canon, there can be non-canon, the fans just want to touch it,” Ayer told Entertainment Weekly. “They love the characters, they just want to spend more time with it. And people are way more sophisticated about how movies are made and want to be participants in the journey. There’s room for different things, different versions, different assets being shared with the audience. I think it just helps strengthen the community. But absolute credit to Warner Bros. for supporting Zack and having the courage to explore that.”
It’s well known throughout the film community that Ayer’s Suicide Squad got mucked with after the failed reception to Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. As the story goes, Warner Bros. saw the box office returns for Snyder’s follow-up to Man of Steel and freaked out. In the wake of the film’s failure, the studio opted to attempt a course-correct with Suicide Squad, hoping to make it lighter in tone. Thus, reshoots were ordered, and the film transformed into something it never intended on being.
“I get it, it’s a business,” Ayer told EW. “It’s frustrating because I made a really heartfelt drama and it got ripped to pieces and they tried to turn it into Deadpool, which it just wasn’t supposed to be. And then you take the hit, you’re the captain of the ship, my name was on it. [Laughs] Even though it didn’t represent what I actually made, I would take all the bullets and be a good soldier. I made an amazing movie. It’s an amazing movie, it just scared the s— out of the executives.”
While Ayer’s version of Suicide Squad may differ from the cut that was released in theaters, it’s clear that the studio has moved on from their mistake. Case in point, a reboot of the Task Force X franchise from director James Gunn is set to launch in theaters and on HBO Max on August 4th. With a new director, tone, and overall place within the DCEU, I would bet that chances for an Ayer Cut are slim to none.
What do you think of all of this? Is there enough energy behind the #ReleasetheAyerCut hashtag to force Warner Bros. to cave? Will another version of Suicide Squad sell subscriptions to HBO Max? Is Ayer’s version of the film actually complete? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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ThunderCats movie to be directed by Godzilla vs. Kong’s Adam Wingard
March 29, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser
With GODZILLA VS. KONG slated to hit theaters and HBO Max in just a few days, director Adam Wingard has already lined up another next big project in addition to the Face/Off sequel. Deadline has reported that Warner Bros. have tapped Wingard to direct a big-screen version of ThunderCats. Next to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, ThunderCats was definitely a big part of my ’80s upbringing, but it’s been ages since I’ve seen any incarnation of the franchise.
RELATED: Godzilla vs. Kong Review
The ThunderCats movie has been in development for some time with an early script by David Coggeshall, but Deadline says that Adam Wingard will be starting from scratch to develop a hybrid CGI animated film. The original series revolved around a group of cat-like humanoid aliens who were forced to flee their dying world and wound up on Third Earth, frequently doing battle against mutants and the forces of Mumm-Ra. The film will use the animated series as a jumping-off point, with Wingard taking it in a direction that he’s been thinking about for many years. In a separate interview with Deadline, Adam Wingard explained that ThunderCats is a dream project for him as he spent his entire tenth grade year writing a ThunderCats screenplay that wound up being 272 pages long.
I still have it. It was one of those things where I would carry around my notebooks and talk about it. I didn’t even realize the kids in my class were making fun of me as they would ask me questions about my ThunderCats screenplay. It was only one day my friends asked me and I was excitedly telling him all these things about my ThunderCats screenplay. And I heard him turn around to some of the girls in the class, these were girls I had crushes on, and he’s making fun of me for writing ThunderCats! Because it was ridiculous. But that was the first moment where I had a though that maybe I would not be able to make the ThunderCats movie.
Flash forward over twenty years, and Warner Bros. is pleased with Adam Wingard’s work on Godzilla vs. Kong, which prompts him to bring up ThunderCats. “Nobody on this planet knows or has thought as much about ThunderCats as I have,” Wingard said. “They gave me the reins. I saw this as an opportunity to do a new type of fantasy sci-fi spectacle film that people have never seen before. It’s got a rich mythology; the characters are fantastic.” Wingard added that he doesn’t want to reinvent the look of the ThunderCats, in fact, he wants his ThunderCats film to take us back to that ’80s aesthetic. “I don’t want to do it live action, either,” Wingard explained. “I don’t want it to look like Cats, I don’t want those kinds of issues — no disrespect to that director, whom I don’t mean to throw under the bus any more than everyone else has. I want to do a movie you’ve never seen before. A hybrid CGI film that has a hyper real look and somehow bridges the gap between cartoon and CGI. That’s the starting point, and Simon Barrett and I are getting into the script now.”
Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs. Kong will hit theaters and HBO Max on March 31st, so be sure to check out a review from our own JimmyO.
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Better call Badass Bob!
The Universal release, starring “Better Call Saul” and “Breaking Bad” lawyer Bob Odenkirk as an assassin drawn out of retirement, also opened in several international territories last weekend and now has a worldwide total of $11.7 million.
Directed by Ilya Naishuller (HARDCORE HENRY), the new thriller takes a few pages from the Book of John Wick — the NOBODY script is from JOHN WICK series writer Derek Kolstad, and it’s produced by the first movie’s co-director David Leitch.
The movie (which also features Connie Nielsen, RZA, Christopher Lloyd and Michael Ironside) was originally scheduled for domestic release in August 2020, but was delayed due to the pandemic and then bounced around the calendar a few times before arriving this weekend.
After holding the top spot for three weekends, the animated fantasy RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON moved to second place with $3.5 million. Disney’s PG-rated adventure (still available to stream on Disney+ for extra cost) has a domestic total of $28.3 million and a worldwide total of $90.4 million.
In third place was the PG-rated animated/live-action hybrid TOM & JERRY with $2.5 million. After five weekends (and just as it’s about to disappear from the HBO Max streaming service), Warner Bros.’ $79 million cat-and-mouse comedy has a domestic total of $37 million and $85.3 million worldwide.
Director Doug Liman’s sci-fi adventure CHAOS WALKING was in fourth place with $1.18 million on its fourth weekend in theaters. The PG-13 Tom Holland/Daisy Ridley thriller has a domestic total of $11.4 million and $15.6 million worldwide, on reported cost of $100 million.
In fifth place was the Benedict Cumberbatch period thriller THE COURIER with $1.04 million, dropping by 45% from its opening last weekend. The PG-13 fact-based spy story has a ten-day domestic total of $3.4 million.
For the first time in two months, the animated DreamWorks sequel THE CROODS: A NEW AGE slipped off the top half of the chart. The Universal release has been in theaters since Thanksgiving weekend.
On its eighteenth weekend, the PG-rated release was in sixth place with $540,000, bringing it to a $56 million domestic total and $160.9 million worldwide on a reported $65 million cost.
The Liam Neeson action-thriller THE MARKSMAN remained in seventh place with $375,000 over its eleventh weekend, and the R-rated basketball drama BOOGIE followed in eighth with $340,000 for a domestic total of $3.8 million on its fourth weekend in theaters.
Ahead of next month’s Academy Awards, the nominated Steven Yeun drama MINARI popped onto the chart for its first time to grab $275,000, giving it a domestic total of $1.8 million.
The gigantic beasts won’t stomp into domestic theaters until Wednesday March 31, but GODZILLA VS. KONG has already made an impact in other parts of the world.
The colossal conflict from director Adam Wingard (YOU’RE NEXT, THE GUEST) has already collected an estimated $121.8 million from international territories, with China responsible for $70 million of that figure. The creature feature may have cost as much as $200 million.
Warner Bros.’ GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS/KONG: SKULL ISLAND sequel will also simultaneously debut on the HBO Max streaming platform on Wednesday.
Next week also has an Easter weekend offering in the form of the Sam Raimi-produced supernatural horror movie THE UNHOLY, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Cary Elwes.
What is your favorite R-rated action movie of the 21st century? VOTE HERE!
Raya and the Last Dragon
Tom & Jerry
The Croods: A New Age
Wonder Woman 1984
#RestoreTheSnyderVerse: Fan campaign reaches over 1 million tweets
March 26, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Zack Snyder’s Justice League was founded on fan demand and that demand eventually led to a film that has exceeded most of our expectations. The film is Snyder’s true vision for Justice League and in that vision, we also get a series of loose ends that need to be tied up and various cliffhangers. These story threads are going to be left dangling because Warner Bros. has insisted that this is a one-off for the fans and for Snyder to get his film out as he originally intended. There are no plans to expand on Snyder’s original planned arc for the franchise but that hasn’t stopped fans from campaigning for its restoration and that fan campaign just crossed a significant milestone.
A new social media campaign bearing the hashtag #RestoreTheSnyderVerse has generated over 1 million tweets, according to the “Discussing Film” Twitter account. The campaign reached a bit of a fever pitch yesterday because the 5th anniversary of the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was making the rounds which made conversations about all things Zack Snyder and the DCEU become a hot topic on social media. The campaign also gained support from Cyborg actor Ray Fisher, who has previously been a vocal backer of the Synderverse continuing.
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) March 26, 2021
The SnyderVerse is no stranger to fan campaigns that generate buzz. On November 17, 2019, a Twitter campaign was started on the two-year anniversary of Justice League’s theatrical release that pushed for the release of the Synder Cut. The campaign saw support from the cast as well, with Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Ray Fisher joining in on the fun. As we all know now, the fan cries became too loud to ignore and the end result is the 4-hour superhero epic adventure that is currently streaming on HBO Max.
In a recent interview, Warner Bros. CEO, Ann Sarnoff doubled down on the notion that Zack Snyder’s Justice League concludes Snyder’s trilogy that includes Man of Steel and Batman v Superman and that there are no plans to go beyond that. Sarnoff also extinguished any hopes of a David Ayer Cut of Suicide Squad by saying there were no plans to go down that road and they were “looking to the future.” There seems to be a groundswell of support to continue the SnyderVerse after the positive reception of the Snyder Cut and perhaps if the #RestoreTheSnyderVerse campaign is loud enough, Warner Bros. could change their minds but, at the moment, they seem set in their ways to not continue it.
Do YOU think the #RestoreTheSnyderVerse campaign will work?
Zack Snyder describes Warner Bros. “hatred” for Batman v Superman
March 25, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Zack Snyder is riding high on the success of his Snyder Cut of Justice League which has garnered mostly good reviews from critics and seems to be a big hit with fans. Despite the glowing reaction this time around, Snyder’s DCEU tenure wasn’t always sunshine and roses. Man of Steel received mixed reviews upon release and that response was even more polarizing for BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. Reflecting on his DCEU past, Snyder revealed Warner Bros. true feelings about the film and it turns out they wanted Snyder to distance that film as far away from Justice League.
While speaking to “SFX Magazine” about his newly-released director’s cut of Justice League, Snyder detailed that in the midst of shooting the superhero team-up film, Warner Bros. made their biases against Batman v Superman very clear:
“I feel like the studio had this hatred for Batman v Superman. There was this pressure on me to divorce the movie from Batman v Superman, which I didn’t want to do, and which I didn’t do. Frankly, it’s a trilogy of movies, so it continues the story. The narrative is affected by the things that have gone before it and that way it’s able to realize this world that sets up the Darkseid invasion, for what was planned to be a five-movie arc. It definitely finishes with this version of the film, with our heroes having mended their personal wounds and joined together as a family.”
Batman v Superman did gross $873.6 million at the worldwide box office and was considered a hit from a financial standpoint at the end of the day but the reaction was pretty polarizing. Critics weren’t kind and graced it with a 29% rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes, although the audience score is better at 63%. Warner Bros. either saw the negative reviews and wanted to ignore the film’s existence or internally they had problems with it but Snyder stuck to his guns. He had a five-movie plan that began with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman was a part of that narrative. It wouldn’t have made sense to back away from it, even if the reaction to it wasn’t 100% positive.
Snyder’s fans have come out in support of Batman v Superman over years, especially after the release of the Ultimate Edition which is widely considered a much better cut than the one we all saw in theaters. The fan reaction has really flipped over to the more positive side of things but it’s clear that the initial reaction to the film made Warner Bros. want to step in to avoid the divisive reactions that could face Justice League if Snyder continued on that road. We all know what ultimately happened with Justice League and that is a saga that has gone on to have a life of its own.
Are YOU surprised by the reaction from Warner Bros. after the release of Batman v Superman?
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Regal Cinemas to reopen in April as Cineworld reaches new deal with WB films
March 23, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Don't call it a comeback! Parent company Cineworld revealed their plans to reopen Regal Cinemas in the U.S. for the first time in six months as they also launch a multi-year deal agreement with Warner Bros.
The reopening will begin in phases with a limited number of cinemas opening their doors for the WB/Legendary film Godzilla Vs Kong on April 2, 2021. More Regal locations will then open on April 16, 2021, which is just in time for another Warner Bros. title, Mortal Kombat. The new deal with Cineworld will see the 2021 Warner Bros. theatrical film slate playing day-and-date on HBO Max and then in 2022, theatrical films released by the studio will have a 45-day window of exclusivity at Cineworld's Regal locations.
Regal's return signals more good news for the film industry as movie theaters in major markets like Los Angeles and New York City have begun to reopen at 25% limited capacity. This is expected to increase to 50% in the near future and Regal now joins AMC Theatres as the next major movie chain to reopen in these markets. Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger called the news "a great moment for us – the U.S. market represents 75% of our business – and soon will be followed with all our markets. We are great believers in the theatrical experience, which only a year ago (2019) generated $43 billion worldwide."
Cineworld's largest market is in the U.K. and a deal between the company and Warner Bros. has also been struck there. The two entities have agreed to an exclusive theatrical window of 31 days prior to their PVOD launch and that is extended to 45 days for films that open to an agreed-upon box office threshold. The situation in the U.K. in terms of their COVID-19 reopening plan a little behind the U.S. at the moment but they expect to resume operations there in May under current government guidance.
The news was pretty bleak for Cineworld and Regal Cinemas just last year. Back in October, Cineworld temporarily closed 536 Regal locations in the U.S. and 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse sites in the U.K. Regal Cinemas is the number two exhibitor in the U.S. after AMC Theatres so the closure of all of those locations was a major blow to the industry after they had been shuttered since March. Regal did reopen in certain locations but by October it was clear the odds were against them. Major releases like No Time To Die vacated planned release dates and moved into the new year while big box office markets like Los Angeles and New York City weren't budging on reopening their movie theaters.
What a difference a year makes? Things are not 100% back to normal but it's great to hear about reopening plans rather than more news about closures. I'm a firm believer in the theatrical experience and I certainly want to see it survive. The return of Regal Cinemas signals that this is an industry that can come roaring back as moviegoers embrace the communal experience of going to the movies once again.
Are YOU excited to hear that Regal Cinemas will be opening again soon? What are YOUR thoughts on Cineworld's new deal with Warner Bros.?