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Category: Hollywood

Who That Is And Why It’s Important



Nowadays, it feels weird when a superhero movie that doesn’t have a mid/end credits scene attached, but Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse doesn’t count itself among this bunch. Following behind Sony’s collaboration with Marvel Studios to have Tom Holland’s Spider-Man hang out in the MCU, as well the studio using Venom to kick off a Spider-Man-less cinematic universe, Into the Spider-Verse is a more family-friendly offering, though certainly not lacking in action and excitement. Oh, and it’s also already been confirmed it won’t be a standalone tale.

It’s been announced that both a direct sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and a female-centric spinoff are in the works. It’s hard to say when we’ll see either of these projects, but Into the Spider-Verse‘s end credits scene did subtly set the stage for the sequel through a character who’s been a part of the Spider-Man mythos for several decades. Read on to find out who this individual is, what they did in the end credits scene and why they’re important not just in the comics, but to the future of the Into the Spider-Verse film series.

Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse are ahead! Proceed at your own discretion.

Featuring six Spider-heroes is a hell of a way to kick off a new superhero franchise, seven if you count the Peter Parker Spider-Man from Miles Morales‘ universe (voiced by Chris Pine) who was killed by Kingpin early into the movie. But Into the Spider-Verse‘s final minute had one last hero to introduce after a touching tribute to both Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, the creators of Spider-Man. Enter Miguel O’Hara, a.k.a. Spider-Man 2099, voiced by Oscar Isaac.

Over in Nueva York, a female hologram clues Miguel on some of the events that went down in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, with monitors in the background showing off all the Spider-people we met in the main story. Miguel claims he was only gone for a couple hours, but he missed a lot. Fortunately, the multiverse is still intact, and as the camera pans back to fully show Spider-Man 2099, we see him putting on a wrist device that, according to the hologram, will allow him to travel through the multiverse and ideally keep him from glitching out, which is what happened to all the Spider-heroes visiting Miles’ universe. When asked where he wants to go first, Miguel answers “The beginning.”

Cut to Earth-67, a.k.a. the Earth where the 1960s animated Spider-Man TV series takes place. Even if you never watched that show, its theme song has been an ear worm for decades, and nowadays it’s gained a new following thanks to screenshots being used as meme material. Arguably the most famous of these memes is the ‘Spider-Man pointing at Spider-Man’ still, and that’s just the situation Miguel O’Hara finds himself in upon arriving on Earth-67. Spider-Man 2099 tries to recruit Spider-Man 67 for some kind of mission, but the two instead just get into an argumentative pointing match as a cop and J. Jonah Jameson watch nearby.

So that’s our introduction to Miguel O’Hara on the big screen, but who exactly is he? Well, as his superhero moniker suggests, Miguel hails from the year 2099, and although it’s labeled as Earth-928 within the Marvel multiverse, it’s also considered to be a possible future for the main 616 universe. Created by Peter David and Rick Leonardi in 1992, Miguel became the head of the genetics program Alchemax, where he was tasked with creating super-soldiers for the megacorporation.

However, when Miguel decided he wanted to leave Alchemax, he was tricked by the CEO, Tyler Stone, into taking an addictive drug called Rapture that only Alchemax was allowed to distribute, so if Miguel moved on as he intended, he would be sold out to the police. Not wanting to be blackmailed, Miguel remembered that his own genetic code was saved within one of Alchemax’s machines, so he could use it to free himself from Rapture’s grip.

But because this machine had been sabotaged by one of Miguel’s subordinates, it ended up making his genetic code 50% spider. And following the rules of comic book science, that resulted in Miguel gaining Spider-Man-like powers, albeit with some differences, like having enhanced vision and hearing instead of a spider-sense, and his hands and feet having spider-talons.

As one would expect, Miguel became Spider-Man 2099, and while he originally wanted to cure his strange condition, he soon embraced being a superhero and took the fight to all the gigantic, sinister corporations who were hurting the people, including Alchemax. Of course, since this is the future, this meant that Miguel also fought futuristic adaptations of classic Marvel villains. Eventually he met the original Spider-Man, and in the recent past, they reunited when Miguel was stranded in the present (i.e. nearly 100 years in the past for him). Outside of the comics, Miguel’s most prominent media appearances have been in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, as well as the Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and Spider-Man: Edge of Time video games.

As far as why Spider-Man 2099 was included in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller told CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg that even though Miguel O’Hara didn’t fit within the main story, he’s an interesting enough character that they wanted to highlight him. Miller explained:

We wanted to get 2099 in there because he’s such a cool character, and he didn’t fit into the story that we were telling around Miles. But we wanted to have him there to sort of open up the world even farther, and was the the easiest choice to have that guy because he is so cool and also funny and also a great actor. And he has Central American heritage, and he sounds like a guy from New York. You’ve got to have a flaw somewhere! He was so up for anything out of that one too. So we were so lucky to get to work with some of these people.

Co-director Peter Ramsey also clarified to Eric that the entire Spider-Man 2099 scene was a “very late addition” to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but he and the other creative minds wanted it to look and feel different from the rest of the movie. Co-director and writer Rodney Rothman added:

We knew we wanted to do a coda scene, and we knew we wanted to try to do one in our own style that would be distinctive. We wanted it to hopefully be as distinctive as the rest of the movie was trying to be. We liked taking a serious, badass futuristic Spider-Man, and then putting him in his nightmare.

So what does Spider-Man 2099’s appearance in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse mean for the future of this franchise? Well, aside from Miguel being another cool character to highlight whose chances of ever appearing in a live action movie were slim, it also looks like he’ll be one of the principal characters in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. While the Spider-heroes in the first movie were being exposed to the multiverse for the first time, it seems like Miguel and his holographic companion (possibly a version of either Dana D’Angelo or Xina Kwan, two of Miguel’s romantic interests in the comics) were already familiar with parallel realities before the Kingpin of Miles’ universe activated the super collider.

To that end, if Spider-Man 2099 will indeed be one of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2‘s co-leads, it stands to reason that he’ll eventually find his way to Miles Morales’ universe and recruit him for this mission that’s underway. What exactly this mission entails is unclear (one logical guess is preventing all of the realities from fracturing), but I’m guessing that rather than the action being set on Miles’ home turf again, it’ll see the teen hero traveling to other universes. Maybe he’ll reunite with some or all of the Spider-heroes from Into the Spider-Verse, or maybe there will be an all-new lineup accompanying Miles and Miguel, but if the filmmakers felt it was so important to feature Spider-Man 2099 in a coda scene, there’s a strong chance that he’ll get more time in the limelight in the coming years.

If you haven’t already, be sure to read CinemaBlend’s review of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and stay tuned to any updates about the sequel or spinoff. As for movies on the way, look through our 2019 release schedule.

 



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Why It Would Be Challenging To Bring Hamilton To The Big Screen, According Lin-Manuel Miranda



While Broadway actors sometimes transition to the film and TV world, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s success is seriously impressive. Following the award winning run of his musical In The Heights, the writer/actor took his musicality to American History with Hamilton. Hamilton is the biggest Broadway hit in years, making Miranda a household name in the process.

After gaining the notoriety and spotlight following Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda has gotten involved in the film world. The actor is starring in Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, while also working with the House of Mouse on projects like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Moana. But it turns out that turning Hamilton into a movie would be a bit challenging for the Tony winner, as he said:

Hamilton’s tricky right, because one of the things Rob is so brilliant at is that transition from scene into song. I think he does it in Mary Poppins returns as well as it can be done. You never are like, ‘Oh man, we’re breaking it… It just happens you’re in the musical number and you’ve surrendered to it before you even know it’s going on. Hamilton is sung through, beginning to end. There’s maybe a page and a half of dialogue in the the whole thing. How do you start at that tempo and keep the ball in the air with that sort of heightened speech in a way that doesn’t feel like a concert?

Touche, Alexander. Because while the interest is certainly there for Hamilton to be adapted for the silver screen, the material itself presents certain challenges. Mainly that its completely sung through, and therefore there’s no moments for dialogue. So a specific vision is going to be needed to keep a Hamilton flick moving, if it ever happens.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s comments to AV Club show how much thought the actor/writer has put into a potential Hamilton movie. Given the musical’s blockbuster-like success, the countless Hamilton fans out there would lose their collective minds if a movie version was green-lit. Miranda brought hip hop and rap to the story of the titular founding father, helping to educate and entertain at the same time. And it’s something that could become even more significant as a blockbuster.

The musical Hamilton spans years before, during, and after the revolutionary war. The Tony Award winning show begins with Alexander Hamilton as an unknown orphan, and sees as he ascends to President George Washington’s cabinet. The story is told largely through narration, as characters like Alexander, his wife Eliza, and Washington himself recount each date and event from that time. It’s dense material, and some big cuts would be needed in order to fit the two act musical into a movie with a suitable run time.

While Lin-Manuel Miranda is unsure how Hamilton would be adapted into a movie, the non-stop narration and singing seems to have struck a chord with theater audiences. Additionally, the soundtrack is extremely popular, so audiences might not have such a hard time as you’d think. Just look at how successful the cover album was.

Of course, there have been plenty of movie musicals that are almost entirely sung through, so perhaps Lin-Manuel Miranda’s assessment of a possible Hamilton movie is off-base. Just look at 2012’s Les Miserables movie. Based off the musical of the same name, both the show and movie are completely sung through, with the actors singing live on set. That movie ended up being a critical and financial success, so there as been precedent for a sung through movie musical.

Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall has helmed quite a few movie musicals, including Disney’s recent Into The Woods movie. While there was room for dialogue in that movie, it’s mostly filled with Stephen Sondheim’s iconic music. That movie also performed well, earning three Oscar nominations in the process. Musical fans are able to sit through a movie that is almost all songs, so perhaps Hamilton will end up a movie after all.

Despite Lin-Manuel Miranda’s concerns, it feels like only a matter of time before a Hamilton movie gets green-lit. The musical has been presented all over the world, and it’s still difficult to get tickets for the Broadway production. Considering how insanely popular both Hamilton and Miranda have become, there’s clearly enough interest for a movie to not only get made, but potentially make a ton of money at the box office as well.

Alas, it doesn’t look like Lin-Manuel Miranda is focusing his creative energies on adapting Hamilton for the silver screen. Instead, Miranda has been slowly chipping away at the development of an In The Heights movie. His first Broadway musical told the story of a neighborhood in Washington Heights, and helped to make Miranda a Broadway legend.

The In The Heights movie was originally going to be presented by the Weinstein Company, before Harvey Weinstein’s scandal changed the landscape of the film world forever. Lin-Manuel Miranda had to get the rights back to the In The Heights movie following Weinstein’s public fallout, a task he was successful in. And now that Mary Poppins Returns will finally arrive in theaters, it might be a good time for Miranda to continue the development of that project.

While Lin-Manuel Miranda doesn’t seem to have an interest in making Hamilton a movie right now, he’ll soon return to his Tony award nominated role of Alexander Hamilton. Miranda is reprising his part for a production of Hamilton that will benefit the relief efforts in Puerto Rico after the devastation from Hurricane Maria. As such, there’s still a chance to see the actor in the role that earned him such massive acclaim.

If Hamilton ever becomes a movie, it’ll be interesting to see if Lin-Manuel Miranda ends up playing the title character. The musical spans many years, with Alexander starting as a young man, and eventually aging quite a bit before his untimely death. Miranda is arguably too old to play the role during the first few songs, although his age would factor in positively as Hamilton’s life plays out.

You can catch Lin-Manuel Miranda in Mary Poppins Returns when it arrives in theaters on December 19th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

 



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10 Great Movies Coming To Netflix In January 2019



The great wheel of time is set to spin once again, with January marking another fresh cycle in the course of human events. It also means that on the smaller scale of things, a new lineup of content is heading over to Netflix for all subscribers to behold. While we’ve already gone over the full list of what’s headed our way, the following 10 titles are of particular interest.

Some beloved classics, and more modern favorites, are headed to the Netflix streaming library, and throughout January you can catch these near and dear films through the courtesy of your own subscription.

The Dark Knight

One has to wonder what was going through Christopher Nolan’s mind when he was moving through all phases of production on The Dark Knight. What was once seen as a promising idea for a follow up to Batman Begins quickly became a fan-adopted classic, and it’s only been a decade since the film was first released. This title seems to be in and out of the Netflix library, like any of Gotham City’s rogues gallery of villains and their many trips to Arkham Asylum. But unlike any of those nutty funsters, this is a return that’s most celebrated.

Hell Or High Water

If you ever want to hear a story of rags to riches in the movie industry, ask someone to tell you the story of Hell or High Water. Originally released as an extremely limited indie film, this western noir masterpiece went on to become more of a success than it was expected, and eventually went on to become an awards season player. Gumption and grit define this movie on the inside and out, as Chris Pine and Ben Foster play brothers knocking over banks for a very specific reason, with Jeff Bridges being one of the men hot on their trail. Sharply written, and expertly acted, this one’s a fun night home with a couple of beers and smart-assed conversation.

Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade

The internet loves to argue over sequels, and the Indiana Jones series is one of those hotbeds of discussion that never totally fades away. Many folks favor Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as their favorite sequel, while others would make the more logical choice and go for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. While the more overriding point here is that the entire Indiana Jones series will be on Netflix at the same time, and Raiders of the Lost Ark is the obvious favorite of the world, let’s not forget that this is the movie that gave us Sean Connery and Harrison Ford as father and son. It may not be Thanksgiving, but there’s always something to be thankful for.

Pan’s Labyrinth

Guillermo del Toro and Netflix are like hot chocolate and marshmallows. So obviously, this cocoa-esque collaboration would bring us Pan’s Labyrinth in the month of holiday festivities. Much like his entire filmography, you can definitely get a spooky vibe from what’s arguably del Toro’s best film. But looking closer, you’ll see that it’s actually a richly told fairy tale for adults, dissecting the horrors of war and the ugliness of reality with an intriguing underworld lying beneath it. To think that we almost had a more studio-friendly version of this film is the true horror, and it’s a good thing Guillermo del Toro stuck to his guns, and gave us the exact version of Pan’s Labyrinth we will be able to see on Netflix in January.

The Addams Family

Next year marks the year The Addams Family will return to the big screen, albeit it will be through the courtesy of a CGI cartoon reboot that looks closer to the art style of the original Charles Addams comics. And yet, no matter how good that film will potentially be, Barry Sonnenfeld’s live-action adaptation will always have a strong hold on fans of all things mysterious and spooky. It’s the kind of thing that happens when you nail the tone of the world as well as they did in the casting of Gomez and Morticia with Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston, respectively. If it’s always Halloween in your house, you’ll have no problem enjoying this one in the dead of winter.

The Departed

File the impending addition of The Departed to Netflix’s streaming library as another one of those fun bits of foreshadowing for 2019. With Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman set to be released at some point in the next year, it seems only fair to release the film that won the director his first (and so far only) Best Director Oscar. Of course, since Netflix is always on the hunt for another golden trophy to put on their mantle, releasing this darkly comic drama involving a cop and a gangster both pulling double agent duty could also be part of their own internal vision board. After all, The Departed won Best Picture, so who’s to say The Irishman won’t? Keep thinking big, guys!

The Mummy Returns

How quickly we forget a good time. Just last year, Universal tried rebooting The Mummy franchise as the first part of the Dark Universe debacle. While it could have been an interesting exercise in concept, it fell so flat it could be considered two dimensional. Meanwhile, The Mummy Returns, and its predecessor The Mummy, are being brought onto Netflix’s platform, as if to remind us of simpler, more adventurous times. Everyone could use a little more banter between Brendan Fraser, John Hannah, and Rachel Weisz in their lives, and that’s exactly what you’re getting here — with a side of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s big screen debut. Let the decades fall away, and pretend it’s the early Aughts again, in the privacy of your own home.

Watchmen

Zack Snyder’s best film in his entire career is Watchmen. Full stop. Look, I know this is my opinion, but you can rant about how the ending was changed, and you can poke fun at the speed ramping or that odd usage of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” all you want. But the fact still remains that Snyder really got what Watchmen was all about, and what it needed to come to the big screen. Now, it’s not indicated whether this will be the superior Director’s Cut, the slightly over-stuffed Ultimate Cut, or the shortened for commercial viability Theatrical Cut. That being said, all versions of the film still have the heart and soul of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ alternative history epic, and it’s something truly special to behold.

Monty Python And The Holy Grail

After announcing that the entire catalog was heading to Netflix, the day Monty Python fans in the U.S. have been waiting for has finally arrived. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a comedy classic so storied that it not only remains as funny today as it did back in its original release, but it has a musical adaptation. When you get to that point without being taken down by post-modern think pieces, or just a general opinion of “it wasn’t as funny as we thought it was back then,” it’s worth noting. If you’ve seen it, see it again. If you haven’t, or know someone who hasn’t, isn’t it about time they did?

Disney / Pixar’s Incredibles 2

January is an embarassment of riches for Disney studio content on Netflix, as both Solo: A Star Wars Story and Ant-Man and The Wasp will both be coming online through the month, even as the Netflix and Disney deals wind down. In classic Disney form, however, the company has gone and saved its best offering for last. Incredibles 2 isn’t just one of the best animated films of 2018, it’s one of the best films of the year. Not to mention, it’s one of the best sequels to have ever come out after a lengthy wait — in this case one that spanned over a decade. It’s the perfect cherry to an incredible January, so make sure to save room for the most super dessert you could ever have hoped for!

 



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The Dark Knight’s Infamous Pencil Trick Explained



Heath Ledger‘s Joker murdered a lot of people in The Dark Knight, but one of his more shocking kills was “the pencil trick,” i.e. grabbing a guy’s face and shoving it into an upward facing pencil so powerfully that it pierced through the man’s eye. For those who’ve wondered over the last decade how this “trick” was actually pulled off, it wasn’t through the use of a CG pencil, but simple film editing. Production designer Nathan Crowley stated:

As visual effects supervisor Nick Davis further, using a CG pencil for this sequence for The Dark Knight would have been problematic. Although it was easy enough even back then to create a CG pencil and “track it in and kinda make it disappear out,” because the movie was shot in IMAX, they avoided including unnecessary digital shots because “you can never really re-create an IMAX image.”

So instead, The Dark Knight took the practical route with the pencil trick, resulting in approximately 22 takes across two days and using two kinds of tables: a regular one and one made of galvanized rubber. Charles Jarman, the actor who played the unnamed henchman The Joker killed, mentioned that director Christopher Nolan told him they were going to do a couple shots where Jarman had to quickly sneak the pencil away as he was going down, which proved difficult to do since the pencil was stuck to the table.

This practical approach also resulted in Charles Jarman losing consciousness on several occasions. As he recalled to Vulture:

In the end, the pencil trick became one of The Dark Knight‘s most memorable scenes, and Charles Jarman believes the it ended up looking as real as it possibly could have, although if he had a similar job now, he’d want to pull it off in a different way. Of course, Joker quickly disposing of Gambol‘s goon happened early into The Dark Knight, and the Clown Prince of Crime would have another two hours to cement himself as Gotham City’s greatest terrorist… well, at least until Bane showed up eight years later.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest movie news, both DC Comics related and otherwise. Don’t forget to look through our 2019 release schedule to plan your trips to the theater next year accordingly.



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James Bond Is An Alcoholic, According To New Study



“Shaken, not stirred” is James Bond‘s catchphrase for a reason — the suave British Secret Service is a bit too fond of the drink. But is Agent 007 an alcoholic? Public health researchers have taken the time to study all 24 Bond films and have declared Bond a severe alcoholic.

Bond may have been too busy over the years driving fast cars and taking down seemingly insurmountable villains to stop and take care of his health, but the academics over at the University of Otago in New Zealand are here to call him and his employer MI6 out for what they have concluded is a chronic alcohol use disorder.

Per The Telegraph‘s report of research published in the Medical Journal of Australia, there is strong evidence pointing to James Bond suffering from a chronic alcohol consumption problem at the sever end of the spectrum. He has apparently sipped a drink 109 times throughout the course of the film series, with an average of 4.5 drinks in each film.

After enjoying a classy martini, the sophisticated secret service agent also engages in “risky” behavior such as badass fight sequences, high-speed driving and extreme physical efforts. Sure it looks cool on screen, but its characteristic of some serious alcoholism on Bond’s part.

According to the study, Daniel Craig’s Bond exemplified the extreme for the character’s alcoholism in 2008’s Quantum of Solace when he seemed to have 24 drinks, which would have put him at potentially fatal blood alcohol levels.

The study points a finger at 007’s employer MI6, who needs to “redefine Bond’s job to reduce his stress levels,” along with condemning M for often offering him a drink in the workplace. The researchers also suggested that MI6 offer more support for Bond in the field, and a stronger team approach so his job doesn’t weigh so heavily on him.

We’re all on the same page that James Bond is a fictional character, right?

James Bond is an iconic character that millions have watched mix martini-sipping with getting a day’s work done, so it does make sense for public health researches to study his behavior and identify it for what it is. Agent 007 is a character long looked up to by audiences, so this analysis proving that his actions detail one of a severe alcoholic is good information to keep in the back of one’s head next time we watch the character.

The next Bond film is currently in early development, with Daniel Craig reprising the role for the last time before potentially a new face takes up the mantle. Director of Maniac and Season one of True Detective, Cary Fukunaga is helming the project that began with Craig’s Bond in Casino Royale in 2006.

Maybe the character will think twice now that he’s been briefed about his alcohol disorder… but then again the man has stayed relatively the same age on screen since the ’60s so he might just say “live and let die” or “tomorrow never dies”, “die another day?”



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Looks Like DC’s Batman Movie Is Finally Coming Together



Aquaman is about to come out, Wonder Woman 1984 has been delayed, Birds of Prey has a release date, a new title and a cast; the DCEU is moving along. And yet we are all still waiting to see what is going on with Matt Reeves’ Batman movie. The questions about the film are many and news about the project is scarce, but it appears that DC’s Batman movie is finally coming together, at least according to one reporter.

We should note upfront that this is not confirmed by the studio, but if it is true it’s a sign that things are progressing with DC’s long-awaited Batman movie. The director of the film, Matt Reeves, is also writing the script. Based on the tweet from The Wrap’s Umberto Gonzalez, the rewrites on that script are due by year’s end, which is mere weeks away.

Assuming Matt Reeves meets that deadline, we’ll be one step closer to this film becoming a reality. At that point things will hopefully start coming together and moving toward pre-production so that we can finally see Batman back on the big screen.

Back in September, the same reporter said that Warner Bros. loved Matt Reeves’ first draft of his Batman script and that the film was being eyed to start production next summer. With the revisions on that script due by the end of the year, things would seemingly be on track for The Batman or whatever it winds up being called to go before cameras sometime next year.

If Warner Bros. is satisfied with Matt Reeves’ revisions and good to go on the script, hopefully that would mean the first half of next year would also bring casting news and some details about the film itself.

Matt Reeves has spoken in very broad strokes about what he is looking to do with his interpretation of the Dark Knight, from emphasizing the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the character to focusing on his often overlooked skills (on the big screen at least) as the world’s greatest detective.

Of course more than what this Batman movie will be, the question on everyone’s mind is who will don the cowl in Matt Reeves’ film and beyond in the DCEU? All signs point to Ben Affleck being out of the DCEU (along with Henry Cavill), so Matt Reeves’ movie will presumably give the character an entirely fresh start with a new actor as Bruce Wayne.

It’s perhaps cynical to say, but the best thing about this news is that it isn’t bad news. The DCEU seems to be in a state of constant flux, unable to find its footing on solid ground. While actors are leaving the franchise and movies are getting delayed, Matt Reeves has been quietly plugging away at his Batman script. Things seem to be beginning to turn around with Aquaman and Shazam! and if anything has the power to make everything right, it’s a great Batman movie.

Keep an eye on our guide for all the latest from the DCEU and check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see the biggest movies coming to theaters next year.



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James Wan Actually Pitched A Blade Reboot Years Ago



James Wan is best known as a horror director, thanks to his years spent in the genre on films like Saw and Insidious. But he’s beginning to break out of that box, first with Furious 7 and now with Aquaman. The DCEU film will be James Wan’s first foray into the realm of superheroes, but not for lack of trying. The director actually pitched a reboot of Marvel’s vampire hunter Blade years ago, as he explained:

It sounds like James Wan went to Marvel Studios coming off his success with 2013’s The Conjuring, looking to capitalize by rebooting the long-dormant vampire hunter. That was his first brush with a comic book property, and given his background as a horror director, you can see why his first thought was to reboot Blade. The director was a fan of the character, and could have brought his horror instincts to the reboot and thus kicked off that side of the supernatural in the MCU.

Obviously nothing ever came of James Wan’s Blade pitch, and he eventually moved on and wound up in the waters of DC, but it is always interesting to think about what might have been. This is just another chapter to the alternate reality stories of the Marvel and DC film universes.

The Aquaman director also told the Happy Sad Confused podcast that he didn’t have a full pitch presentation for a Blade reboot; he just had an idea that he liked. Unfortunately, he no longer remembers what his specific idea was so we are left to speculate. Maybe it’s for the best, because being introduced to a great idea and robbed of it becoming a reality at the same time is a tough pill to swallow.

While James Wan didn’t get to reboot Blade years ago, nobody has done so since. The last Blade film, Blade: Trinity was in 2004. Since then, the MCU has become the dominant force at the box office, adapting weirder and less well-known characters. As such, the calls for a reboot of the vampire hunter have grown ever louder.

Wesley Snipes has been pushing for it and the topic continues to crop up over the years. The time seems as good as any too. The success of Black Panther has shown the appetite for a black superhero, and Blade is one that people are already familiar with just waiting to daywalk again. James Wan may not be the one who does it but presumably someone will get the chance at some point and the idea of having a horror director do it seems right.

As for James Wan, he had the arguably more challenging task of taking a superhero that used to be the butt of jokes and building a massive movie tentpole movie around him, complete with extensive world-building and way fancier special effects than fake teeth and blood splatter.



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How Much Once Upon A Deadpool Made On Opening Day



When you think of the holiday season, you don’t think of Deadpool. And when you think of the Merc with a Mouth, you don’t think PG-13, but that’s exactly where we find ourselves with this week’s release of Once Upon a Deadpool. The slightly more kid-friendly, holiday-themed reimagining of this year’s Deadpool 2 arrived in theaters yesterday, December 12, and it made over $900,000 on opening day.

Including Tuesday night preview showings, the 20th Century Fox film opened at 1,566 theaters on Wednesday and is estimated to have made $953,000 according to Deadline. That number was good enough for Wade Wilson to surpass every other film at the Wednesday box office, with the exception of another holiday movie, Illumination’s The Grinch, which added another $968,000 to its domestic haul of over $226 million.

Once Upon a Deadpool will be celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas and remain in theaters until Christmas Eve. Deadpool 2 already made $318.5 million domestically and $734.2 million worldwide, and Once Upon a Deadpool‘s box office will just add to Fox’s bottom line, making for a nice little stocking stuffer for the studio.

Of course, in keeping with the spirit of the season, not every cent Once Upon a Deadpool makes will be going to the soon-to-be-Disney-owned studio. One dollar of every ticket sold for Once Upon a Deadpool during the December 12-24 time period will go to the charity Fuck Cancer, or as it is being temporarily called to keep with Once Upon a Deadpool‘s curse-averse rating, Fudge Cancer.

Once Upon a Deadpool‘s Wednesday performance shows that there was clearly was some interest in the film, even though the original version of it came out only seven months ago. Some of that interest is probably coming from younger audiences that eager to see what they couldn’t under the restrictions of the R rating.

There is also curiosity from those who saw Deadpool 2 at just what exactly this movie is and whether or not Wade Wilson can work under a PG-13 restriction (make sure to read CinemaBlend’s own Sarah El-Mahmoud’s thoughts on the matter). It will be interesting to see if this little experiment portends more PG-13 cuts of R-rated movies.

While Once Upon a Deadpool is adding to the coffers of an already successful film, there are other titles opening this weekend also looking to make their mark at the box office. Universal has Mortal Engines, which starts preview screenings at 7 p.m. on Thursday night, and Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial effort The Mule also opens this weekend.

Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse opens Thursday night as well starting at 5 p.m., and is looking at a mid-$30 million opening. The animated feature riding a wave of enthusiasm and acclaim and should swing into first place this weekend.

The year is coming to a close but there are plenty of huge movies headed to theaters next year. Check them out in our 2019 release schedule.



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The Greatest Showman Was Originally Going To Be A Broadway Musical



There’s usually one big movie musical a year, which often makes a ton of money at the box office, as its soundtrack is quickly adopted into pop culture. While all eyes are on how A Star Is Born and Mary Poppins Returns will perform during Awards Season, last year’s musical blockbuster was The Greatest Showman. Starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, the movie performed extremely well in theaters, and has remained relevant over the last calendar year through projects like the cover album.

Now separated from his iconic role as Wolverine in the X-Men franchise, Hugh Jackman is taking his musical talents on the road with a tour, including songs from The Greatest Showman. The actor recently spoke about the movie’s development, including original plans to make it a stage musical. As Jackman tells it,

While the iconic musical numbers and visual affects are part of what made The Greatest Showman a new classic, it appears that the project could have originated on the stage. Does that mean a Broadway bound musical could be on the way? Fingers crossed.

Hugh Jackman’s comments to THR might not come to a complete shock, considering the career of composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. The songwriting duo has its roots in theater, recently having a massive hit with Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen. Pasek and Paul also worked on projects like La La Land, so The Greatest Showman could have easily ended up on either film or the stage.

Ultimately, crafting The Greatest Showman into a movie allowed the story to be told in a grand scale that it couldn’t on stage. It’s a massive movie, with visual effects elevating the musical numbers and allowing zoo animals like Tigers and Elephants to appear digitally. It ultimately helps put you in the world of Barnum’s circus, although a stage play doesn’t seem out of the question for the future.

Hugh Jackman specifically referenced one Youtube video, where actress Keala Settle sang “This Is Me” for the first time in public. The video currently has 34 million views, and you can check it out below.

Pretty powerful stuff. And given how both Keala Settle and Hugh Jackman have a history on Broadway, the duo easily could have starred in The Greatest Showman, if it ended up a Broadway musical.

You can catch Hugh Jackman singing The Greatest Showman soundtrack on his tour. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New year.



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Once Upon A Deadpool Promotion Has Offended Some Members Of The Mormon Church



The new Deadpool may be more family-friendly, but that doesn’t mean that he has become entirely inoffensive. A petition is online which has asked that one of the posters for Once Upon a Deadpool be pulled, as it constitutes religious discrimination. The poster sees Deadpool at the center of the image and dressed all in white. He’s surrounded by characters from the film who look like angels. Check it out below.

The problem, according to the Change.org petition, is that the image for the Once Upon a Deadpool poster is based on a sacred picture to the Church of Latter-Day Saints, entitled The Second Coming. Deadpool has taken the place of Jesus Christ in the image, which the petition claims mocks the church, and the petition asks that the film stop using this poster and find something different to promote the PG-13 version of Deadpool 2.

Unfortunately, as written, the new petition isn’t going to carry much weight, as it’s directed to the wrong place. Change.org petitions need to be sent “to” a person or other entity and clearly, the person who created this one only did minimal research on the Deadpool franchise. This petition is being directed at Tim Miller, who was the director of the original Deadpool but left Deadpool 2 early in production, to be replaced by David Leitch.

Errors in attribution notwithstanding, the petition does have some support, as it has received over 36,000 signatures as of this writing. It’s not the massively overwhelming support that many movie based petitions have received, but it’s certainly a significant number of people.

Of course, while Once Upon a Deadpool might be a PG-13 version of the movie, the film is still a Deadpool movie. It’s not like everybody involved didn’t know what they were doing when they chose that particular religious image as the basis for the poster. Is it potentially offensive? Sure it is, but that was obviously the point. There were even rumors before the release of Deadpool 2 that the film was going to be subtitled The Second Coming, so it’s possible the studio has had this poster idea kicking around for a while, and just decided that it made sense to use it for the Christmas time release of Once Upon a Deadpool.

Of course, due to the fact that Once Upon a Deadpool has already been released in theaters, it’s unlikely that this petition will have any effect on anything. It could convince the studio to not use the image as the cover for the eventual Blu-ray release, but, honestly, the other Once Upon a Deadpool poster, which features Fred Savage and Deadpool astride Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, is a better image for that anyway. Any official response from the filmmakers or the studio seems unlikely, but we’ll have to wait and see.



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