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Best Books to Read If You Love Romantic Comedies

The one thing all romantic comedies have in common? They celebrate the two things everyone wants in life—rom and com, of course. To honor that, we’re devoting a whole week to the genre. More on the rom-coms we love, past and present, here.

It’s normal to want to watch your favorite romantic comedies over and over again. Often, there’s something in these stories that appeals to our hearts, whether it’s the allure of finding love with your best friend, meeting a stranger who changes your life, or just discovering something new about yourself. Romantic comedies remind us of the best parts of humanity—of achieving happiness and fulfillment, and doing it with an impeccable wardrobe.

And there’s a whole subset of books that evoke the same feeling. That’s right: Rom-coms aren’t just for the big and small screens. They’re also a booming novel genre that’s only getting bigger. So if you’ve exhausted your catalog of rom-com movies but still want a fix, may I suggest scrolling Amazon for some good reads? These 12 books, below, are a great place to start. All of them will make you feel like you’re watching a big, bombastic romantic comedy—just, ya know, in your mind.

Synopsis: A young jewlery shop owner manages to convince her Instagram followers that she’s engaged—but instead of coming clean, she keeps up the charade. Buy on Amazon here.

Atria Books

Synopsis: After squashing their beef, America’s First Son, Alex, and the Prince of Wales, Henry, begin a secret romance that threatens to derail their families’ political empires. Buy on Amazon here.

Yes, Keanu Reeves Has Had Talks About The Fast And Furious Franchise

Earlier this year, around the time that John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum was in theaters, a rumor popped up that Keanu Reeves would be appearing in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. It turns out that was never true, according to director David Leitch, who previously worked with the actor on the first John Wick. However, just because he didn’t appear in Hobbs & Shaw doesn’t mean Keanu Reeves won’t ever appear in a Fast and Furious movie. In fact, he’s had talks about joining the franchise.

That’s according to the writer of Hobbs & Shaw, Chris Morgan, who spoke about bringing Keanu into the fold. Chris Morgan recalled:

Chris Morgan doesn’t just want Keanu Reeves to join the family of the Fast & Furious franchise, he’s actually already had talks with the actor about that very thing (which is why the rumors were out there). So clearly there is some interest on both sides about bringing the internet’s boyfriend and iconic action star to the highly successful action franchise.

This isn’t a new goal either. As he told ScreenRant, Chris Morgan has wanted to bring Keanu Reeves into the Fast & Furious franchise for some time. Chris Morgan is a long-time writer on the franchise, having written the scripts for every entry since The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and having served as a producer on the films since Fast & Furious 6. So Chris Morgan has some real power to bring Keanu Reeves in, it’s just a matter of making it work.

It sounds like one of the reasons that Keanu Reeves hasn’t sipped a Corona and lived life a quarter-mile at a time yet comes down to two factors: scheduling and finding the right role. Now, more than perhaps ever, Keanu Reeves is in high demand, and between stuff like The Matrix 4, Bill & Ted Face the Music and future John Wick films, he’s got a full plate.

So working out the schedule to get him into a Fast & Furious movie, mainline or spinoff, is no easy task, especially considering that these ensemble films already require coordinating schedules for a lot of actors. Beyond that, it seems like it’s about designing the right role for the actor. If you bring in Keanu Reeves, you want it to be for something good, something that excites him and fans of the franchise.

Chris Morgan also seemingly wanted it to be a role that wouldn’t just be a one-off. The initial rumor about him being in Hobbs & Shaw had him as the big bad who Idris Elba’s Brixton was working for. That big bad went unseen in the movie, so in theory Keanu could still play him in a sequel, and it would be cool to see the guy who often plays the hero as a menacing bad guy.

It may not have happened yet, but Chris Morgan really wants it to, and there will be plenty of opportunities to make it happen in the future. Fast & Furious 9 is on the way, on which Chris Morgan is also a writer, and after the success of Hobbs & Shaw, this could be a two-pronged franchise moving forward. Or maybe we’ll get a John Wick/Fast & Furious crossover, who knows.

Fast & Furious 9 hits theaters on May 22, 2020 and you can next see Keanu Reeves in Bill & Ted Face the Music, in theaters on August 21, 2020. Those are just two of the big movies you can look forward to next year. Check out the rest in our 2020 Release Schedule.

Tom Cruise Assassinated Co-Workers With Post-Its As Collateral Training

There is nobody in the world who could question Tom Cruise’s dedication to his craft. His work doing his own stunts in the Mission Impossible movies alone show how far he is willing to go for an authentic performance, and you can see just how much he throws himself into each of his roles. It clearly demands a lot of preparation work from the actor, but apparently he went a very strange route with it in the making of the 2004 film Collateral.

Specifically, Tom Cruise got ready for his part as a hitman by assassinating co-workers with Post-It notes.

This strange bit of film trivia comes from a special screening of Collateral earlier this month that was put on by Array 360 – director Ava DuVernay‘s theater in Los Angeles. Prior to the showing of the movie, a special Q&A was hosted by DuVernay with director Michael Mann, and it was during this conversation that Mann revealed the special way that Tom Cruise got into the mind of the silver-haired killer Vincent.

Per film critic Russ Fischer, who was in attendance, Michael Mann apparently put out mock hits on people who work in his office, and assigned Tom Cruise to take them out. Cruise would then follow his targets for days and figure out their patterns before making his move — which meant slapping them on the back with a Post-It that said “You’re Dead.”

This is definitely an awesome story from behind-the-scenes of an awesome movie, but what evidently wasn’t made clear from Michael Mann’s story is exactly how well Tom Cruise performed when it came to these fake assassinations. As seen in many, many, many movies, the best in the field are those who can effortlessly blend into a crowd and not stick out, and that is not exactly something that one of the most famous actors in the world can really do.

Thinking about this, it’s easy to imagine Tom Cruise sneaking around, or sitting at a cafe with a newspaper in front of his face, and then having his cover blown by a fan who wants an autograph or a photo. It’s also probably hard not to notice a three-time Oscar nominated star constantly showing up in the same places as you.

All that being said, if Tom Cruise actually was an effective fake assassin that’s all the more impressive.

Regardless, one can assume that the work was effective in giving the actor the perspective he needed for the part, as he delivers one of his best performances as Vincent in Collateral — one of the few times that he’s played an antagonist in a film. He not only has a vicious energy that perfectly helps you understand why Jamie Foxx’s taxi driver Max is so terrified of him, but he also takes care of his jobs very effectively and realistically (albeit with a few issues driving the plot along the way).

For more about Array 360 screenings in Los Angeles, you can head to the theater’s website, and, of course, you’ll always be able to find the best behind-the-scenes stories here on CinemaBlend.

Why Venom 2 Would Be A Reunion Of Sorts For Naomie Harris

As Naomie Harris gears up for the release of her action-drama Black and Blue this weekend, there’s some additional Sony business occupying the actor’s mind, as she may be cast as the Marvel villain Shriek in director Andy Serkis’ Venom 2. Should this be confirmed, it’d be a sort of reunion on two different fronts, as Harris not only has worked with Serkis, but she’s also worked with the man playing Venom 2’s main villain, Woody Harrelson.

The subject came up when I attended the Black and Blue press day on behalf of CinemaBlend and asked Naomie Harris how she felt about this potential casting. Her reaction was as follows:

With a career that includes her breakout role in director Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, big ticket franchise work through the Pirates of the Caribbean series, and her recent Academy Award-nominated performance in Moonlight, Naomie Harris has pretty much done it all. And if Venom 2 ends up landing her skills, she’ll be in fantastic hands, as she was directed by Andy Serkis in his directorial debut, the Netflix original Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle.

But in addition to that collaboration, Andy Serkis and Naomie Harris have actually acted together, back in the 2010 biopic on British punk music legend Ian Dury, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. With the potential to star as Venom 2’s Shriek, Naomie Harris would also be returning to work with Woody Harrelson, the man she had mentioned was one of her first co-stars in a major Hollywood film.

Previously, Woody Harrelson had starred with Naomie Harris in director Brett Ratner’s heist comedy After The Sunset, which was released in 2004. The pair had previously teamed up in that film to investigate Pierce Brosnan and his supposed retirement as a suspected jewel thief, which makes their potential pairing as the criminal antagonists to Tom Hardy’s Venom being all the more fitting.

With the potential of three talented forces who’ve previously worked together, all teaming with Tom Hardy to make Venom 2 the best sequel it can be, it seems like things are looking way, way up for the follow-up to last year’s surprise box office hit. And if Naomie Harris is cast as Shriek, she just might have one more reunion in store, as her part in Black and Blue partnered her with Reid Scott, also known as Dr. Dan Lewis, the would-be love interest to Michelle Williams’ character Annie Weyling, in Ruben Fleischer’s Venom.

Of course, this is all speculative at this point, as Harris is in talks to play Shriek in Venom 2. As there’s totally a chance that this deal could fall through, it’s best not to put too many eggs in this basket. But should this all line up as it might, this is just further proof that while Hollywood is a big business, it can also be a small world when it comes to where the next gig will take you.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Is Heading Back To Theaters With New Footage

Re-releasing movies right after their regular theatrical run has ended, this time with some extra footage, is quite the rage this year. Avengers: Endgame got the ball rolling back in late June, and Sony followed that up by putting fellow MCU installment Spider-Man: Far From Home back on the big screen. Now Sony is dipping back into this well again with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

The latest Quentin Tarantino flick already had a lot packed into its 161-minute-long runtime, but Sony announced today that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will head back to theaters with four additional scenes that bookend the feature, adding up to 10 minutes worth of additional footage. You can catch the extended version in 1,000 theatrical venues across the United States and Canada starting this Friday, October 25.

Here’s what Adrian Smith, President of Domestic Distribution, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, had to say about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood coming back to theaters:

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has cemented itself as a commercial hit since it first came out on July 26, ranking at 85% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes and earning a B on Cinemascore. Commercially speaking, as of this writing, it’s made over $368 million worldwide, so it’ll be interesting to see how much more money is added to its coffers from this re-release.

Either way, Quentin Tarantino and the Bona Film Group, which co-funded Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, were asked to re-edit the movie for Chinese audiences, but Tarantino refused to do so. This isn’t the first time Tarantino has dealt with controversy in China with one of his movies, as Django Unchained was pulled just minutes into being shown to Chinese audiences, and the re-cut version that did screen in completion was a dud at the box office.

Speaking of Django Unchained, it still ranks as Quentin Tarantino’s highest grossing movie with a $425.3 million haul. Since Once Upon a Time in Hollywood isn’t playing in China, this domestic re-release could be the last chance it has of knocking Django Unchained to 2nd place. It would need to make around $58 million for that to happen.

I suspect this is one of the main reasons Sony is putting Once Upon a Time in Hollywood back in theaters, with the other being that the studio wants the Quentin Tarantino movie fresher in people’s minds as we approach awards season. With all the critical attention it’s received these last several months, it’s reasonable to assume Once Upon a Time in Hollywood could be a contender at the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards, especially with regard to Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s performances.

Sebastian Stan Says It Took Years Before Marvel Fans Noticed Bucky

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been going strong for a decades of filmmaking, with the OG actors in the midst of long tenures in the massive franchise. The actors who populated Phase One have had the most experience in the MCU, and that includes Bucky Barnes actor Sebastian Stan. Bucky made his debut back in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, seemingly perishing in the battle against HYDRA. He’s since popped up a whopping four more movies, and apparently it took years before the fandom took notice of the character.

Bucky Barnes’ original appearance in Captain America wasn’t super exciting, as he was Steve’s buddy who apparently died. But he was the title character of its sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier, coming back with a vengeance as a villain, whose morality was a big plot point of the Civil War. Sebastian Stan recently spoke to his character’s arc in the MCU at an appearance, specifically how fans have responded. As he put it:

The man’s got a point. Bucky didn’t become a superpowered badass until Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and his identity wasn’t originally revealed ahead of the film’s release. As such, Sebastian Stan might have gotten pushed to the side during his first few years in the MCU.

Sebastian Stan’s comments at the Fandemic Tour Houston (via Comic Book) might surprise casual fans, considering how his character has become a fan favorite vigilante in the shared universe. Bucky ultimately got a redemption arc in Captain America: Civil War, and his mind was seemingly repaired during his time in Wakanda. His story will continue after Avengers: Endgame, while Steve Rogers’ officially came to a close.

I’m eager to see how Bucky Barnes’ story continues moving forward, both on the big screen and small. Sebastian Stain and Anthony Mackie will star in a six-episode Disney+ series, aptly titled The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. And given Avengers: Endgame‘s final scene, the series will likely focus on Sam Wilson’s new role as Captain America. Also reprising their Marvel roles are Daniel Bruhl’s Zemo and Emily VanCamp’s Sharon Carter.

It should be interesting to see how much Bucky’s comic book adventures influence the upcoming series. You can read up on the Winter Soldier’s adventures on the page here.

Bucky’s time in the MCU has been full of highs and lows. He went from a cheery sidekick to a bonafide supervillain, after being brainwashed by HYDRA. Steve Rogers continued fighting for his friend through all of it, resulting in The Avengers breaking up in Captain America: Civil War. Luckily he was able to travel to Wakanda, where he was put on ice until Shuri figured out how to free his mind. The new and improved White Wolf showed up to battle Thanos’ forces in Avengers: Infinity War, but he was dusted during Thanos’ snap.

The next installment in the MCU is Black Widow on May 1st, 2020, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is expected to arrive late 2020 on Disney+. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Two Pirates Of The Caribbean Actors Have Thoughts About The Franchise Moving Forward Without Johnny Depp

While at least one attempt to relaunch the franchise appears to have been a false start, what’s clear is that Disney is willing, if not specifically interested, in moving forward with Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but doing so without Johnny Depp. Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow has been the face of the franchise to this point, so it’s far from clear that a PotC movie without Depp would ever work.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with a pair of actors who appeared alongside Johnny Depp in the original Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and I asked them what they thought of the franchise moving forward without Depp. Vince Lozano, who played the bomb throwing pirate Jacoby, thought that something entirely new might work for the franchise, but that any attempt to bring back Jack Sparrow without Johnny Depp was a bad move. According to Lozano…

What little rumor and speculation there was regarding any new Pirates of the Caribbean movies seemed to indicate that if Johnny Depp was gone, Jack Sparrow would be too. It doesn’t look like recasting existing roles is in the cards, but at this point, it’s likely nothing is entirely off the table.

Having said that, Vince Lozano also pointed out that a character like Batman has been played many times by different actors, with each one bringing something new and different to the table. Captain Jack Sparrow certainly isn’t Batman, but that’s not to say he might not be one day.

I posed the same question to Martin Klebba, who has played the role of the pirate Marty in all of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. His first reaction was to believe that Johnny Depp was ultimately irreplaceable. Captain Jack, and therefore Depp, was vital to the franchise. Though, he did suggest that if a new lead was brought in, it would need to be a big name in order to convince the existing fan base to give it a chance.

These two pirates aren’t the only ones who would like to see Johnny Depp return. Fans started multiple petitions to ask Disney to bring the actor back.

We haven’t heard much of anything about the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise after the writing team of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick decided not to work on it. Still, considering how successful the franchise has been, it seems highly unlikely that Disney is going to just give up on it. We may or may not have heard the last of Captain jack Sparrow, but we’ll almost certainly be setting sail with pirates before too long.

Anthony Daniels Feels Like Star Wars Put Out Too Many Movies At Once

Since Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, the studio hasn’t been shy with expanding the Star Wars universe on the big screen. In the last four years alone, an entirely new trilogy for the Skywalker Saga has come to fruition – along with standalone movies Rogue One and Solo. Not to mention Disneyland’s roll-out of Galaxy’s Edge in the parks and The Mandalorian coming to Disney+ next month.

It’s an overwhelming amount of content for Star Wars fans to digest, after a history where a bit of patience benefitted the franchise. When the original batch of films were made (including the prequels), moviegoers had to wait three years before revisiting a galaxy far, far away. Anthony Daniels, aka C-3PO, is the only actor to have appeared in every main Star Wars film and he has some thoughts on Star Wars fatigue. In his words:

So there is such a thing as too much Star Wars! Although Anthony Daniels’ C-3PO has a supporting role in the franchise, he’s likely been hard at work in and out of the suit for the past few years more than ever before. He would know better than most about whether Star Wars fatigue is a valid problem Disney has bestowed on fans, and he agreed to The Times the House of Mouse overstuffed screens too fast.

At this point, it seems the studio is used to instant gratification for fans. Marvel movies are doing good? Let’s release a MCU movie three times a year. Those live-action remakes made money? How about we do three more in 2019? This isn’t even a over dramatization – Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home came this year from the Marvel side and Dumbo, Aladdin and The Lion King on the Disney live-action side. That’s all without mention of Toy Story 4, Frozen II and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.

The most obivious manifestation of Star Wars fatigue was in 2018 when Solo hit theaters just five months after The Last Jedi. The movie about Han Solo’s origin story might have been a huge hit years ago, namely just because it was of the Star Wars universe, but it vastly underperformed with a $392 million worldwide gross in comparison to the franchise usually breaking the $1 billion mark.

Coming to Netflix in November 2019: More Than 100 Titles Are Arriving in Your Queue

Netflix is here to tell you that the holiday season has arrived. In the next few weeks, the streaming platform is adding almost 120 new titles, many of which are original movies focused on the most wonderful time of the year. There’s plenty of romance centered around Christmas trees—we can’t wait for the Vanessa Hudgens-led production The Knight Before Christmas and the Rob Lowe-Kristin Davis outback adventure Holiday in the Wild—plus a bunch of other movies with enough fake snow to fill hundreds of snow globes.

But, if you want to wait a little while before really going into holiday mode, never fear. Netflix is adding lots of material that has nothing to do with tinsel and lights. The streaming service is bringing you the full Matrix series this month, plus the highly-anticipated historical drama The King, starring Timothée Chalamet and Lily-Rose Depp. We’re also getting the deeply emotional Kerry Washington Broadway adaptation, American Son. And if you need a joyful pick-me-up before doing holiday shopping, Queer Eye is back, and this time they’re heading to Japan.

Here’s everything you can stream this month:

American Son

Atypical, season 3

Drive

Fire in Paradise

Hache

Hello Ninja

Holiday in the Wild

The King

The Man Without Gravity

Queer Eye: We’re in Japan!

True: Grabbleapple Harvest

We Are the Wave

Apache Warrior

Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures: Go Team Roberts, season 1

Billy on the Street

Christmas Break-In

Christmas in the Heartlands

Christmas Survival

Elliot the Littlest Reindeer

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Grease

Holly Star

How to Be a Latin Lover

Love Jones

Mars: Season 2

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, seasons 1-2

Paid in Full

Rosemary’s Baby

Rounders

Santa Girl

Sling Blade

Spitfire: The Plane that Saved the World

Step Brothers

The Christmas Candle

The Deep, season 3

The Game

The Matrix

The Matrix Reloaded

The Matrix Revolutions

Up North

Wild Child

Zombieland

A Holiday Engagement

Christmas Crush

Dear Santa

The Devil Next Door

District 9

The End of the F*ing World, season 2

Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, season 4

Tune in for Love

Undercover Brother 2

Burning Cane

SCAMS

Shadow

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open

Busted!: Season 2

The Great British Baking Show: Holidays, season 2

Greatest Events of WWII in HD Colour

Green Eggs and Ham

Let It Snow

Paradise Beach

Wild District, season 2

Little Things, season 3

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj

A Single Man

Chief of Staff, season 2

Harvey Girls Forever, season 3

Jeff Garlin: Our Man In Chicago

Maradona in Mexico

The Stranded

Avlu, part 2

The Club

Earthquake Bird

GO!: The Unforgettable Party

House Arrest

I’m with the Band: Nasty Cherry

Klaus

Llama Llama, season 2

The Toys That Made Us, season 3

Suffragette

The Crown, season 3

Iliza: Unveiled

No Hay Tiempo Para La Verguenza

Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator

Dream/Killer

Lorena, la de pies ligeros

The Knight Before Christmas

Mortel

*Dino Girl Gauko *

Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings

The Dragon Prince, season 3

High Seas, season 2

Meet the Adebanjos, seasons 1-3

Mon Frère

Nailed It! Holiday, season 2

Narcoworld: Dope Stories

Nobody’s Looking

Singapore Social

Trolls: The Beat Goes On!, season 8

End of Watch

Shot Caller

Dirty John: Season 1

Mike Birbiglia: The New One

Super Monsters Save Christmas

True: Winter Wishes

Broken

The Irishman

Holiday Rush

*John Crist: I Ain’t Prayin For That *

Merry Happy Whatever

Mytho

Atlantics

Chip and Potato, season 2

I Lost My Body

La Reina del Sur, season 2

The Movies That Made Us

Sugar Rush Christmas