Category Archives: In Theaters

Headline | JOKER Wins the Golden Lion in Venice

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.

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ICYMI | SONY Pulls SPIDER-MAN Out of the MCU

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.

SPIDER-MAN: ™ FAR FROM HOME

Homecoming

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!

Spider-Man (Tom Holland) takes MJ (Zendaya) out for a spin in New York City at the conclusion of “Spider-Man: Far From Home”.

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.

State Of The Cape | WB Vague on Cavill’s Departure After All

Only a day after announcing actor Henry Cavill was released from his contract to the studio to appear as the Man of Steel in any future feature film, WB plays coy with possibility of a Superman return?

On Wednesday, or actually late on Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter had announced that WB the studio holding the lease on the franchise film properties linked to the DC Comics universe had released actor Henry Cavill from any obligations he had to appear as Superman in any future installments of the hero’s one-off features or the expanded universe spin-offs, that included an appearance in the studio’s proposed big screen Supergirl which was green-lit and sped into pre-production over the summer.

The reports came as Cavill who has become a sought-after commodity in Hollywood recently appearing opposite Tom Cruise in the latest Mission: Impossible, was preparing for his next role in the highly anticipated Netflix Original Series The Witcher. The actor’s busy schedule had prevented him from shooting a “surprise” cameo in next summer’s Shazam! which stars Zachery Levy as The World’s Mightiest Mortal. regrettably, the studio was not able to make the schedules work and decidedly move forward.

While fans were arguably critical by the actor’s interpretation of Superman in Man of Steel and his subsequent appearances inside the DC Cinematic Universe, Cavill’s latest appearance as Superman in 2017’s blockbuster Justice League seemed to right the course of the much beloved iconic character. Rumors immediately began to circulate about the actor’s continuing participation in the franchises including co-starring in the aforementioned Supergirl and following-up with Man of Steel 2.

On social networking it looked like fans immediately took umbrage with the studio decision and Cavill himself posted a rather somber, though cryptic response, leading many to speculate that his fate may not be sealed, and that perhaps he might return to the cape, especially when WB decides to revisit Superman in a feature down the road. With the overall lukewarm perception that Justice League received in theaters, the one indeterminate stand-out was Cavill’s very hopeful portrayal of Superman.

Celebrate the LEAGUE On JUSTICE LEAGUE DAY!

Come Together as the most anticipated blockbuster of the season finally arrives in theaters! This weekend, Saturday, Nov. 18th celebrate JUSTICE LEAGUE DAY with fans from all over the world!

Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment are pulling out all the stops as the Justice League comes together in theaters and debuts this weekend. The film will unite for the first time on the big screen DC Comics greatest pantheon of heroes and to mark the occasion Saturday, November 18th is being heralded as “Justice League Day”! With more than one thousand comic retailers, bookstores and libraries, along with Six Flag Theme Parks and additional partners around the globe hosting special events!

Directed by Zack Snyder (Man of Steel and Watchmen) with an assist from Joss Whedon (Marvel Studio’s Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) Justice League will continue the momentum of its predecessors and continue to establish the cinematic DC Extended Universe which was launched by Snyder’s Man of Steel starring Henry Cavill and was most recently perpetuated in the blockbusters Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice which featured Ben Affleck as Batman and Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot.

Justice League will introduce additional team members The Flash played by Ezra Miller, Game of Thrones’ Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg. After the apparent loss of Superman to the killing machine Doomsday , the world finds itself hopeless and vulnerable to an unspeakable threat. The group of metahumans is brought together under one banner by Affleck’s Batman to stop an alien invasion that is only the first wave in an epic struggle to overthrow the planet! The Justice League stand together as the Earth’s first and final line of defense.

A Day to Unite

For comic book fans everywhere the Justice League feature-length film has been a long-time coming. Finally uniting these most favored heroes in one film will deliver on the swelling demand for more DC Comics heroes come to life. With the film opening on the weekend to an international audience, WB and DC have announced that Saturday, November 18th will be celebrated as “Justice League Day” and several exclusives will be made available to fans via participating retailers at comic shops including Special Edition releases of Justice League #1.

Additionally several deals are being offered online and in bookstores with over 50% off on ebooks and specially priced book deals in the DC Comics line that feature the Justice League. Purchasing advanced tickets will also entitle the consumer to free digital downloads as well as exclusive movie posters. DC Collectibles is also releasing the entire line of 12” statues based on the cast of the film in their already classic superhero alter egos and posed ready for action. This is just the beginning as additional exclusive items will also be available through retailers.

Download the “Justice League Day” activity kit here and stay connected with the DC All Access for all the ongoing action as Justice League comes to theaters this weekend.

Coming Soon: THE NEW MUTANTS First Look Trailer is here!

The X-Men’s Universe is about to get very dark! 20th Century Fox has released its first trailer for the upcoming next installment of their highly successor X-Men films franchise. The highly provocative “first look” at The New Mutants sets up some very sinister implications of a world that not only fears and hunts the extraordinarily gifted among them, but exists to frighten them most into submission!

Here is a look at the trailer:

The film directed by Josh Boone is an adaptation of the premiere spin-off of the Marvel Comics comic book The Uncanny X-Men which expanded the world of the imprints most popular characters at the time by including a “new generation” of untrained young people who were also gathered together by Professor Charles Xavier, the X-Men’s mentor and founder. The series was written by Chris Claremont who is responsible for the X-Men’s best-selling run.

Among the familiar faces appearing in the film which will be released in 2018, Game of Thrones fans will recognize Maisie Williams who will embody (most appropriately) the role of Rahne Sinclair, the ferrel beauty known as Wolfsbane. In the book, Rahne is the most obvious link between the two team, being the niece of Dr. Moira MacTaggert, a colleague of Professor X’s who is played by actress Rose Byrne in the films.

Other familiar “New Mutants” that will be appearing in the film include Cannonball, Mirage, Sunspot and Magik, the younger sister of the X-Men known as Colossus. The New Mutants is released through 20th Century Fox and will be released in theaters in 2018.

Cover2CVR :: JUSTICE LEAGUE in EMPIRE

Join the LEAGUE! The cover of EMPIRE Magazine puts the JUSTICE LEAGUE front and center…and fanboys everywhere rejoice!

If you’re not yet excited about the upcoming release of the Justice League movie, maybe you’re still suffering PTSD symptoms after 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — which is understandable — though the recent success of Wonder Woman should be taken as hopeful indicator and inspired audiences everywhere that there is hope! One thing is certain, as the premiere date gets closer and the anticipation tightens, the league are looking pretty cool!

On the cover of the latest issue of EMPIRE Magazine the Justice League have been assembled — and that’s not a play on words just because filmmaker Joss Whedon has been recruited to wrap up production on the latest installment of Warner Bros. expanding DC Comics cinematic universe — the Marvel’s Avengers director stepped in for Zack Snyder when a family tragedy forced him to move aside. It has been confirmed recently that Snyder’s will remain credited as “director”.

Come Together

The journey to cinematic blockbuster has been a long one for Justice League and especially dodgy for Warner Bros. Studios and their line of DC based films. The franchise has had an ebb and flow of popularity with audiences; not to mention the competitive pace that’s been set by the Marvel Studios films which have successfully generated a serialized universe that has also recently partnered with Sony to incorporate a certain web-slinger into the mix.

From a Hollywood studio point of view, Warner Bros. and DC have a lot to catch up on. They were certainly given a leg up with the narratively successful take on the Batman when visionary filmmaker Christopher Nolan took over that franchise. Nolan and his team of creatives have continued their association with the studio and DC, upon completion of his Dark Knight Trilogy. The reins were ceremoniously passed to Snyder who launched a universe with Man of Steel.

Starring Henry Cavill as Superman, perhaps the most iconic superhero in the entire pantheon of comic book characters, Man of Steel raised many an eyebrow with its darker and more apocalyptic tone. The Superman mythology is one that is often associated with aspiration and hope, and when its follow-up the 2016 teaming up of Batman v Superman hit theaters, it continued on a trajectory that made many moviegoers wonder whether the DC universe was a place worth visiting.

With the advent success of Wonder Woman featuring Gal Gadot in the titular role as the Amazing Amazon, first introduced as part of the trinity in BvS it all seemed to change! Wonder Woman who will star prominently alongside Ben Affleck in Justice League has proven enough of a draw in her own right to raise anticipation and ignite excitement for the first blockbuster to bring the fabled team of DC Comics heavy hitters together on the big screen.

The Justice League Covered

The cast has been making the rounds have appeared as a united front at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con sans Cavill, who has been very secretive about Superman’s role in the film — many suspect that after the hero’s seemingly final moments in BvS he may have become a pawn of the invading alien armies and may not be on the side of the angels when JL hits theaters in November. Regardless EMPIRE Magazine covered the team brilliant in their new issue.

With words by Chris Hewitt the article dives into the behind-the-scenes construction of perhaps the biggest movie ever made (at least until Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War comes to light) and especially the passing of the baton between filmmakers. With Whedon tightening up the post-production of JL and doing some script-doctoring, many have speculated the writer/director famous for his lighter touch has gifted JL with more colorful dialogue.

In the article Hewitt cites the recent reshoots that have recently concluded and will continue to factor nearly into the 11th hour, as Whedon works steadily to finish editing Justice League. Everyone is very hopeful that when the film is complete it will shape-up as one of the best for DC and herald the age of its expanded cinematic universe which will continue with The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg the additional members of the league to appear in the blockbuster.

Justice League arrives in theaters in November. The latest issue of EMPIRE Magazine with the team on the cover is currently on newsstands!

Among the collectibles rolling out in support of the film a series of action figures have been released capturing the group likenesses. Here is THE FLASH!