After much anticipation audiences are getting their first look at next summer’s blockbuster WONDER WOMAN 1984 and the Amazing Amazon is riding the storm the bring her fans all-new excitement!
<span class=“dropcap”>S</span>he’s back! After making an indelible debut in the controversially charged Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice it appeared that movie audiences were intrigued enough to make 2017’s Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot a hit, proving that superhero movies featuring leading ladies are just as bankable at the box-office as their juiced-up muscle bound male counterparts — if their down right! The first solo outing for the Amazing Amazon proved a winner especially with acclaimed filmmaker Patty Jenkins at the helm.
Which is no surprise that when the discussions began about the follow-up, Warner Bros. didn’t hesitate to reach out to Jenkins who had moved into an exceptionally good position as the movie continued to set records around the world. It helped that WW also received a very positive critical reception and its star, Gadot, appeared unscathed from the dismally reviewed next appearance of her character when she fought along the rest of the assembled team in the epic failure Justice League which reunited the trinity including Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck.
Almost immediately the fandom soared when the first images emerged of the sequel in production and featured not only the star and director hard at work, but also included Chris Pine whose character, Diana’s love interest, Steve Trevor had apparently perished. Jenkins had always said, that if there was a way, they would bring Pine back, and although there is plenty of skepticism around whether he is reprising the role of Trevor, or perhaps playing an ancestor of the Air Force captain, it doesn’t matter because the trailer for Wonder Woman 1984 is just that good!
Back to the Future…A New Era!
The movie is a period piece and finds Diana (Gadot) looking as glorious as ever in the decadent age of over-indulgence that was the benchmark of the 1980s. Diana has been keeping a very low profile (and as we also learned from the contemporarily placed Justice League) she went into hiding for most of her life following her emergence into Man’s World. Whether it was because of a broken heart or something else, we don’t know, at least not yet, but it’s possible that she will divulge some more secrets of her time away from paradise.
Joining the cast is actress Kristen Wiig who is often most commonly known for her comedic skills in such hits as Bridesmaids and the Ghostbusters revival, stepping into the role of Barbara Anne Minerva who is most commonly known to fans as Wonder Woman’s arch nemesis, The Cheetah. Also appearing in the film is PR agent and power broker Max Lord who will be portrayed by Pedro Pascal the star of the Disney+ Original Series The Mandalorian (which is set in the Star Wars universe) and was also featured in HBO’s hit Game of Thrones.
Gal Gadot as “Wonder Woman”
Chris Pine as “Steve Trevor”
Kristin Wiig as “Barbara Anne Minerva”
Pedro Pascal as “Max Lord”
Wonder Woman 1984 starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and directed by Patty Jenkins arrives in theaters June 5, 2020 and is being released by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Lightning strikes from the heavens and after much anticipation, the first images of action star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson reveal how he will look like the DC anti-hero BLACK ADAM!
Thunder rumbles in the distant heavens. The DC cinematic universe has been teasing the introduction of this particular character from their pantheon for some time, and now the first illustrated image of what action-star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will look like as the anti-hero Black Adam a feature film of which is set to premiere in theaters December 2021. It’ll be paving the way for what is certain to be an inevitable showdown between two of DC Comics’ most powerful beings!
After the success of the recent action-comedy Shazam! which brought the publishing giant’s Most Powerful Mortal to the big screen, rumors had started to circulate that Johnson would be brought into the franchise as the hero’s greatest adversary. It is now being reported that Black Adam starring Johnson will go begin production summer of 2020, and the production has released the first images of Johnson as the title character in artwork from BossLogic and DC legend Jim Lee. Johnson excitedly shared the image across social networking.
Johnson has been expressing his interest in bringing this titan to the bog screen for some time, and especially not shying away from his enthusiasm about joining the DC Cinematic Universe. The film’s producer Hiram Garcia has also revealed the depths of which they intend to dive into, by realizing Black Adam’s origins in an entirely new and textured fashion. The character was introduced as a villainous foil to Shazam!, but has become entirely something else in contemporary publications.
How the character will evolve into a film will be very carefully watched, given the critical reception most DC properties (outside of Batman) experience in the cinematic market. Successes are few and far between for Warner Bros the studio that owns the properties, unlike the competitor’s record, which is, well, marvelous! Recent releases beginning with Wonder Woman, followed by Aquaman and the recent critical and lucrative success of Todd Phillips Joker means that perhaps lightning may strike again — for Black Adam.
Black Adam starring Dwayne Johnson is scheduled for theatrical release December 2021
A new single from pop music’s most elusive and irreverent talent, it’s been too long but here now finally is material worth reminding us all of the unmatched quality George Michael contributed to music.
It’s impossible to believe that it’s been nearly a decade since we haven’t heard any new music from George Michael and even harder to accept that with an expansive catalog of tunes as diverse as the pop maestro was capable of navigating, now that he’s gone, we have to cherish every bit of the moments when something original is revealed from the performer’s archives. It couldn’t be more exciting at this moment that one of his previously unreleased treasures has finally seen the light of day.
The new single “This Is How (We Want You to Get)” has all the predictably familiar beats and rhythms that we’ve come to appreciate from Michael and is very reminiscent of some of the tracks from his 2004 release Patience with the lyrical acumen of his offerings off of 1996’s Older which is responsible for defining for his audience the “grown-up” one-time man-child, pop star now transformed. The single is off the soundtrack to the theatrical Last Christmas which nods to the artist’s quintessential holiday hit.
This track was recorded during his final studio sessions and was co-written by collaborator James Jackman and is the first original material from George Michael shared in seven years.
George Michael | “This is How (We Want You to Get High)”– Singleavailable on iTunes.
The psychological thriller taking a deep dive into the backstory of the most dangerous DC Comics villain makes them all laugh with glee winning the most prestigious award at the Venice Film Festival
It would appear that Warner Bros. has found its golden goose, or rather a Golden Lion as Joker the Todd Phillips helmed feature based on the DC character receives the highest honor at the Venice Film Festival. The film has been getting a lot of attention since it was green lit by the studio, and drew such big name talent as Robert De Niro and Joaquin Phoenix in the titular role. The film examines the life of “failed comedian” Arthur Fleck who after experiencing a series of unfortunate incidents begins a dissent into madness.
The character has become a fan favorite ever since Jack Nicholson first portrayed him on the big screen for Tim Burton’s signature blockbuster Batman and then again when Heath Ledger embodied the villain so brilliantly in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. The Joker has become something of a fascinating exploration by writers and artists, and the villain’s origins have been suspect. Phillips showed interest in Joker and co-wrote the script for the film with Scott Silver. The prestige project is expected to sit outside of “standard” film canon.
Meaning fans that are anticipating Joaquin Phoenix’s Clown Prince might eventually go toe-to-toe against Robert Pattinson the latest Hollywood A-lister to inherit the cape and cowl of the Dark Knight Detective, may not be in the cards, but perhaps after the reception the film is getting that might change. The early word is that the film is living up to expectations, and that Phoenix may well be on his way to winning himself another coveted award. Similarly perhaps when the film is released in October the studio will be the last one laughing — all the way to the bank.
Here is the final trailer for film:
Joker directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix will be released nationwide on October 4, 2019.
In the beginning, 10 years ago, it would have hardly been imaginable that a cinematic universe was in the making, now Marvel Studios has redefined the “blockbuster” and it all began something invincible, incredible and mighty!
The summer movie landscape was always the playground for Hollywood’s big-budget bonanzas! The studios figured it was the most operative and lucrative of opportunities to roll-out the popcorn fair, and it gave them the funds to drop big money into their prestigious Fall Movie releases, which were often star-power draws and dramas ready for awards season. It all started to drastically change when the studios started to see big box office returns from genre-faves like Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Bryan Singer’s X-Men.
Warner Bros. always had itself a cash cow with the Batman franchise, but when the studio decided to reboot the franchise and handed it over to visionary filmmaker Christopher Nolan Batman Begins jumpstarted a whole new way to envision the superhero film. Marvel was starting to pick up on this as well, and although it saw an interesting swing handing Ang Lee Hulk in 2003, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films were really the path of least resistance for Marvel to take, especially if its plans to control how their properties got adapted to screen was to materialize.
When Kevin Feige the president of Marvel Studios inherited the reigns, Feige imagined something not unlike the popular pulp series books that Marvel Comics introduced and had been publishing for 80 years. He saw a universe of interconnected stories, stand-alone film franchise with characters that inhabited the same linear narrative and would potentially interact with one another, and when the time was right — the people, their stories and worlds would intersect into one — just like the superheroes that Stan Lee brought to life in the Marvel Universe of comics.
Marvel Studios IRON MAN
In 2008 Marvel Studios took its biggest gamble, and it paid off when it handed the reigns of Iron Man to director Jon Favreau. The largely untested filmmaker had certainly carved a niche for himself in comedies and starred in several of his own features, but Favreau had a very deep understanding of the technological wonder that is the character and was a natural fit to bring The Invincible Iron Man to the big screen. The story goes that Favreau called in several favors, including reaching out to Academy Award Winner Gwyneth Paltrow to appear in the film.
The director’s greatest advantage came from landing Robert Downey, Jr. to star as billionaire weapons manufacturer Tony Stark, who after getting kidnapped by terrorists who want him to build them super weapons instead constructs for himself a life-saving armor. Stark becomes the Iron Man and heralds in a new hit at the box office. Iron Man took in a gross of 585.2 million and inspires a new movement with the post-credits “stinger”. At the conclusion of his epic battle with Iron-Monger (Jeff Bridges), Stark is approached by a mysterious secret agent with a proposal.
Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury suggests to Stark that it’s the beginning of a New Age and that he’s recruiting a team to tackle the threats that will require some “avenging”. This stinger sent a seismic shift through Hollywood introducing the idea of “The Avengers Initiative” — and the Marvel Studio cinematic universe was born! Favreau and Feige had a plan, a bigger picture in mind, a narrative that would run a thread through several big-screen franchises, but lead to a larger scale adventure the realm of which audiences couldn’t imagine would ever make it to the big screen.
Marvel Studios THE INCREDIBLE HULK
Perhaps the unlikeliest follow-up to the success of Iron Man was the release of The Incredible Hulk especially given how recently the big Green Goliath had been adapted for the big screen. Ang Lee took a stab at the monster’s story five-years earlier with his near art house adaptation starring Eric Bana. Credits were not amused and that movies ending left a lot to be desired, but Marvel Studios plowed forward with a “reboot” with Louis Leterrier in the director’s chair and Edward Norton now filling the role of the gamma radiated Dr. Bruce Banner.
The film almost feels like a sequel to its predecessor, although it recasts all the major roles including Liv Tyler as Betty Ross and William Hurt as General Ross, who has made it his mission to hunt down the fugitive Banner who has proven most elusive. Banner has taken to moving all over the world in an endless and tireless quest to contain the beast within him; that proves precarious when Banner gets wind of a possible cure and resurfaces. Ross has also recruited the bloodthirsty Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) — who becomes an Abomination!
The film was received with mixed reviews, but still made a dent with a take of 263.4 million in box-office; not Iron Man numbers but still proving lucrative by studio expectations. The film, in fact, did exactly perform as anticipated and served to set the ball rolling. The inclusion of a particularly important moment, at the end of the flick established Tony Stark (Downey, Jr.) in this world with an interest in Banner’s extra angry alter ego. This may not have set well with the movie’s star. It had been reported that Edward Norton clashed often with the film’s director and producers.
Norton had his own ideas about how the story should have progressed and was very vocal about his dissatisfaction with the final edit. The actor had been approached about continuing with the role, and it was also rumored that Robert Downey, Jr. was brought in to persuade the actor to stay on with the studio. It appeared that Marvel Studios would have other plans and the next time that the Hulk would appear on screen he would be embodied by a new actor that would make his mark and a smashing addition to the ensemble.
Marvel Studios Iron Man (2008) directed by Jon Favreau and starring Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges and Gwyneth Paltrow is now available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital Download.
Marvel Studios The Incredible Hulk (2008) directed by Louis Letterrier and starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth and William hurt is available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital Download.
Sony and Disney can’t come to an agreement! Keeping Spider-Man far from home and out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at least for the immediate future!
Oh what a tangled web indeed! After years of back and forth, Sony and Disney had finally come to an agreement that allowed the studio to share custody of one of Marvel Studios biggest brands Spider-Man. After a series of very successful box office hits in the early 2000s starring Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst directed by Sam Raimi, Sony sat comfortably with its winning piece of the Marvel Comic icon grabbing big-ticket sales and breaking records — before the summer movie landscape would appear littered with the competition.
It wasn’t long before the franchise would suffer from fatigue and with an underwhelming performance with its third installment, Sony found itself in the peculiar predicament as Marvel Studios started spinning out its “Expanded Cinematic Universe” with hit after hit starting with 2008’s Iron Man and followed by Thor and Captain America. Marvel waited patiently for the ownership rights of its titular web-slinger to drop our of Sony’s hands, especially after the critically panned Spider-Man 3. In an effort to stay on top Sony went to work on a “reboot”!
The 2012 effort The Amazing Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield didn’t hit the mark as had been anticipated, and with it running counter to the eventual blockbuster Avengers fans began to speculate whether Peter Parker’s friendly neighbor superhero would ever find himself in the same league as his Marvel Studio headliners. The answer to that question would have to wait, and in 2016 Disney which had since purchased the Marvel brand and all of its properties (including the film projects) introduced Spider-Man into the MCU in Captain America: Civil War.
By the 2017 release of Spider-Man: Homecoming which spotlighted Tom Holland the latest actor to wear the fancy red and blue suit, the latest reboot joyfully indoctrinated Peter Parker into the MCU with none other than Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) as the aspiring hero’s benefactor. The film was also released as a studio cooperative between Sony and Disney, granting Sony co-partnership in the distribution of the feature film, while giving Disney ownership over the placement of the character throughout its franchises. Spider-Man would play a pivotal role in Avengers: Infinity War.
And although it appeared that the web-slingers fate was sealed at the conclusion of that epic battle, the follow-up feature Avengers: Endgame reconstituted Spider-Man just in time for the hero to headline his next big theatrical outing. Spider-Man: Far From Home the fourth film to feature Holland as Spider-Man also proved box office gold for Sony giving it the largest opening for the franchise, with a worldwide hovering over 1 billion, making it the studio’s biggest grossing release ever. With that record set, it’s curious that the studios would through a kink into the works.
This week Sony and Disney announced that effective immediately, Spider-Man would be exiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe! That doesn’t mean the future of the character is hanging from a thin web strand, it means that Spider-Man will not be part of the shared expanded cinematic universe that Disney reigns over, and going forward Spidey can’t Marvel Team-Up with any captain or doctor he may have saddled up to recently, and as for that special relationship between Peter and Tony Stark — yeah, that’s gone too!
A Multiverse of Possibilities
[Warning: SPOILER ALERT] Could the filmmakers have foreseen this descent into disillusion? Given the subplot context of the Marvel Multiplex in Spider-Man: Far From Home with the villainous Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) duping Peter and SHIELD into thinking he was the last survivor from an alternate-earth in the multiverse and the success of the animated full-length feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse could Sony had suspected that its partnership with Disney would become tarnished so quickly?
Inevitably this opens the way for Tom Holland (who apparently is locked in for 2 more pictures as is the franchise’s current director Jon Watts) to interact with Venom and expand on the much talked about inhabitants of the Spider-Verse. A film focused on the femme fatale Black Cat and one-time love interest of the web-slinger has been brandished about, so has another feature meant to capitalize on the hero’s rogues gallery. For a hot minute Sony had everyone waiting with bated breath on the arrival of The Sinister Six — it never happened.
With so many ideas to mine, perhaps it isn’t such a bad idea after all. With out the distraction of having to find a way to place mild-mannered high school student, turned Avenger, Peter Parker into a more elaborate storyline to service a grander theme, the future of the Spider-Man features could be far more incapsulated and center on the hero’s own trials and tribulations. With more than 6 decades of comic book stories to draw inspiration from, it could turn out far more profitable for Sony to hold onto the character.
Fans biggest fear though may be that away from the creative lead of Marvel’s chief creative mind Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal, the Spider-Man brand will suffer without the proper amount of coddling and support from the bigger cast of characters. Certainly the upcoming slate of films on Marvel’s slate may not have to worry about it; without a “next” Avengers on the horizon, it may not even matter. In the meantime we’ll have to accept that Spidey may inevitably remain far from home and has reached his own endgame.
Spider-Man: Far From Home has gone on to become the top-grossing film in Sony Pictures entire history, taking its predecessor Skyfall down a notch with a worldwide gross of $1.1 billion.