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Wait, Is Christian Bale Joining Thor: Love And Thunder?

Believe it or not, it hasn’t even been a decade since Christian Bale wrapped up his time as Batman in The Dark Knight Rises. But as we’ve seen so many times, just because you starred in one superhero franchise doesn’t mean you can’t contribute to another, and word’s come in that Bale is being eyed to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe via Thor: Love and Thunder.

This update comes from Collider, which shared that Christian Bale is currently in talks to join Thor: Love and Thunder. So his casting isn’t a sure thing just yet, but even if a deal is worked out, no information was provided on who Bale will play in the God of Thunder’s fourth standalone movie.

Joker Director Todd Phillips Admits To One Intentional Batman Easter Egg

Todd Phillips’ Joker largely exists as its own thing and because of that, it mostly avoids any sort of allusions to the greater Batman mythos, with the notable exception being Bruce Wayne and the murder of his parents. It’s really a story about Arthur Fleck and Todd Phillips has explicitly said that he doesn’t do Easter eggs. However, on the special features on the Joker Blu-ray, the director admits to one intentional Batman Easter egg in the film.

In Joker, when Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck goes to Wayne Manor he encounters a young Bruce Wayne. Bruce slides down a pole in his playhouse/jungle gym to go meet Arthur at the gates. It turns out that this was an Easter egg, as Todd Phillips explained:

So although Todd Phillips doesn’t like Easter eggs and doesn’t even like the term Easter egg, he admits that young Dante Pereira-Olsen’s Bruce Wayne sliding down the pole of his jungle gym falls under that designation. And although the director previously said that any Easter eggs were the result of the art department on Joker sneaking things in, this one was entirely intentional.

As Todd Phillips revealed on the home video release of Joker, Bruce sliding down the pole of his playhouse is an Easter egg reference for the Batman television series. In the 1966 television series Batman, Adam West and Burt Ward’s Batman and Robin would slide down their designated Batpoles from Wayne Manor to reach the Batcave. Bruce Wayne would always say “To the Batpoles!

Todd Phillips and his team discussed including this Easter egg in Joker and ultimately decided to do it despite the director’s general aversion to such things. He figured ‘why not’ and we got this Easter egg for the great 60s Batman in Joker.

It seems that Todd Phillips was okay with doing this Easter egg just as long as it wasn’t too cute and as long as the film didn’t do a bunch of other Easter eggs in addition to it. Easter egg inclusion was a case-by-case basis it seems and in this instance, it felt appropriate. You can understand why Todd Phillips might be generally against Easter eggs for Joker though.

Joker is a somber character study and too many knowing Easter eggs and winking nods to stuff outside the film might take you out of it and shatter the atmosphere the film creates. So it’s rather funny that a ‘66 Batman reference made its way in considering how that light and fun depiction of these characters is the tonal opposite of Joker. But it’s so brief and subtle that I think you have to be really looking for that kind of thing and familiar with Batman to pick up on it.

A sequel has yet to be confirmed but I imagine that a Joker 2 would include more references to the Batman mythology. Todd Phillips has even said that he’d like to see a Batman movie set in the Joker world. In the meantime, after racking up tons of green at the box office, Joker is looking for gold this awards season. The film already nabbed two Golden Globes last night for Best Actor and Best Original Score.

Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt Reportedly Had a ‘Friendly’ Chat After the Golden Globes 2020

“Brad was in a great mood and very social with everybody—except Jennifer Aniston, who kept her distance at a booth a level up behind Brad,” a source said.

However, the two did interact briefly at the next after-party they hit up: the CAA bash at Los Angeles’s Sunset Tower. “They said hello very quickly,” another source told E!. “Jen arrived after Brad. It was brief, but [they] were very cordial and friendly and seemed happy to be there. They approached each other once they saw each other inside and looked happy as they started to hug and say hello. Jen whispered something to Brad, but it wasn’t in an affectionate way. They both didn’t seem like they wanted to make a big deal about being together in the same room although it was a private party. They were trying to be low-key. Brad left shortly after and didn’t stay at the party long.”

Don’t read too much into this, people. Just because Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt had a friendly conversation at an industry party doesn’t mean they’re getting back together. It’s hard to believe, I know, but you can actually be civil with your exes and not have romantic feelings attached.

During an interview with Entertainment Tonight before the Golden Globes, Pitt said he’d welcome a run-in with Aniston and that she’s a “good friend.” Good vibes only in 2020, y’all.

The Western Trend Is Alive and Well—Here’s How to Wear It in 2020

Cowboy boots, wide-brim hats, and fringe jackets are obvious mainstays of western style—but designers will continue to up the ante with creative upgrades to classic staples. Gigi Hadid’s tie-dye boots merged two distinct trends in an unexpected way, making for a surprisingly cool result. Adding bright colors, going space cowboy via metallics, or updating textures with matte or silk will put a modern spin on the trend so it doesn’t feel costume-y or too on-the-nose.

Ganni Heavy Satin Western Dot Shirt

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Buffalo London Garcia Boots

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Cattle Call

JATE/Backgrid

If you follow Cardi B, you know the rapper couldn’t resist releasing her inner cowgirl in 2019, rocking everything from pastel chaps to rhinestone-encrusted 10-gallon hats onstage. But aside from her eccentric performance looks, Cardi B nailed one trend that’s more relatable for the real world: cow print. From Miaou to Burberry, the ranch-inspired print has been everywhere—but if you’re not here for a full-on cow-print look, try a statement accessory, like a handbag or fuzzy mules.

Cow Print Sateen Mini Dress

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Staud Nic Bag

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Sarto by Frank Sarto Visa Genuine Calf Hair Mule

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Burberry Cow Print Denim Jacket

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Western Workwear

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Office attire has shifted over the past ten years, with millennials rethinking what it means to be “work-appropriate” and suiting up in jeans and sneakers on more than just casual Friday. And while tees became commonplace in the boardroom, power suits and blazers are increasingly popular picks for a night out. It girls are choosing more structured looks for parties, red carpets, and even New Year’s Eve. Adding a western flair is a great way to offset your favorite power suit, similar to Solange’s all-black look, or Kendall Jenner’s low-key vibe with baby blue cowboy boots.

Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images

Sandro Checked Cotton and Wool-blend Blazer

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Free People Cash Cowboy Hat

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Free People Caroline Cut Off Shorts

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Dolce Vita Ira Mule

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Biker Vibes

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You can’t do western without fringe, leather, and boots—all of which make a nod toward typical biker style. Bella Hadid’s look at the Vogue Fashion Festival 2019 offered a fresh take on the rebellious aesthetic, pairing leather-paneled suede pants by Alexander Wang with square-toed boots and a cross necklace for major Hells Angels vibes. Style an oversized vintage Harley Davidson tee with leather skinny pants and pumps for a night our, or for a softer take, pair a boho dress with moto boots.

16Arlington Patent Leather Straight-leg Pants

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Blank NYC Snake-print Faux Leather Jacket

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Charles David Polo Western Boot

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On the Prairie

GUMU, FUFU/Backgrid

If the steel-toed boots, leather jackets, and structured silhouettes of western style read a bit more masculine than you’re used to, try a prairie dress. Whether ruffled, tiered, or high-necked, the flowy option is a chic way to serve Americana vibes in the warmer months. Elle Fanning balanced hers with a pair of white cowboy boots, finishing off the romantic look with a relaxed top-knot and rose-toned sunglasses.

& Other Stories Billowy Prairie Maxi Dress

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Matisse Elevation Bootie

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Sheer Puff Sleeve Blouse

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Rhinestone Cowgirl

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Last year was huge for Kacey Musgraves, as she crossed over into the mainstream with her Grammy Award-winning album, Golden Hour—but the singer made an impact on the style front, too. The “Space Cowboy” singer made a splash at the Met Gala with a bubblegum pink Barbie-themed getup and wore show-stopping on-stage looks all throughout her world tour. And she didn’t skimp on the rhinestones, glitter, or tinsel either. If anyone will inspire you to step into the world of western whimsy, it’s Kacey, so look to the singer for your next bedazzled moment.

If you need more rhinestone cowgirl inspo, check out the dreamy director’s cut for Solange’s When I Get Home. The R&B artist’s nod to cowboy culture—specifically the black cowboy, or “Yeehaw Agenda”—is jam-packed with western-inspired costuming worthy of your night-out aesthetic.

Topshop Crystal Fringe Crop Denim Jacket

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Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini Fringed Faux Leather Trousers

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Ranch Road Starry Presido Black Cowboy Boots

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Levi’s 501® Ripped High Waist Crop Jeans

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Athleisure Goes West

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Whether you’re referencing street style or paparazzi photos, athleisure still rules the everyday—but keeping it cozy is really nothing new. Princess Diana managed to make sweatpants look high-brow in 1989, and Kendall Jenner is following (sweat) suit. The model pulled outfit inspiration from the late-great icon and paired blue sweatpants with white knee-high cowboy boots. For 2020, channel Diana and Kendall’s DGAF outfits for stylish hibernation-mode vibes.

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Entireworld Women’s Cozy Brushed Sweatpants, Grey

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Dan Post Key West Python Cowboy Boot

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Wrangler Oversized Faux Shearling & Denim Jacket

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Polo Ralph Lauren Sportsman Corduroy Baseball Hat

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It seems that yeehaw is a style trend that we can all get behind—from the pop star to the prim and proper among us. But bringing the Wild West into 2020 means giving the campy trend a few thoughtful twists. It’s a new fashion frontier, y’all.

2020 Golden Globes: Who Do You Think Was Snubbed?

The 2020 Golden Globes wrapped up last night and featured plenty of awkward jokes and a tear-jerking Tom Hanks montage. Throughout the theatrics the Hollywood Foreign Press Association awarded some of the most coveted prizes in movies and television to a few select winners. Now that those winners are in, we want to know what you thought about the awards! While big titles such as Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and 1917 took home multiple awards, we want to know if you thought there were any snubs in the competition? Fill out the survey below and let us know in the comments!

Adam Sandler’s Uncut Gems Character Made A Sports Mistake And The Internet Is Having A Field Day

The following contains minor spoilers for Uncut Gems**.**

Uncut Gems is a move that’s getting a lot of buzz now that it has finally received a wide release. Adam Sandler’s performance is one of the most talked about things during this awards season, as the traditionally comic actor takes on a much more serious role. However, social media’s focus at the moment seems to be less on the remarkable performance and more about a pretty obvious, if generally unimportant, continuity error.

The moment comes early in the film. Adam Sandler’s character, has allowed Boston Celtics’ player Kevin Garnett to borrow his recently acquired black opal, and has put money down on the game. He’s going back and forth between dealing with his family and trying to watch the game on television, and one point, he asks his wife, played by Idina Menzel, to change the channel from what she’s watching to ESPN so he can check on the game. There’s one problem, the game is very clearly on TNT.

When the television is shown, the logo on the screen makes it very clear what channel is being watched. While there are countless continuity errors in films that most of us would never even notice, this one is actually pretty hard to overlook. I remember noticing it myself when I saw the film. A lot of other people have as well.

Apparently the error was pointed out to director Bennie Safdie by former ESPN sportscaster Adnan Virk. On his Cinephile podcast, Virk says he asked Safdie about the error directly, and apparently Safdie had not previously noticed it.

While the director may not have realized the error at the time, a lot of people have. It seems that some people are actually more than a little upset by the whole thing.

While we don’t know exactly how the error happened, it seems likely that the dialogue was shot without an actual game being broadcast on the television, and it was added to the scene later. ESPN was used in the line, because of course it was, if you’re talking about watching sports on television, the go to name is ESPN.

Then when the actual game was put in, a TNT game was used instead, maybe due to a rights issue with ESPN, and the line in the script was simply overlooked.

I had honestly forgotten that I had noticed this error at the time I saw the film. I thought it was a humorous gaffe in the moment, but then I wrote it off and completely forgot it even happened. Apparently, some people were not able to do that.

The basketball game error will make future lists of interesting continuity errors, to be sure, but beyond that it doesn’t change much. It doesn’t prevent Uncut Gems from still being a great movie with a remarkable lead performance by Adam Sandler.

Dwayne Johnson Looks Extra Ripped Ahead Of Black Adam Summer 2020 Filming

It’s been a long time since we first learned that Dwayne Johnson would be playing Black Adam in the DC film universe, but now it’s actually happening. Black Adam is set to begin filming this summer, with The Rock stepping into the DC villain/anti-hero role. He still has about half a year to go before production commences, but Dwayne Johnson already looks extra ripped ahead of Black Adam’s summer 2020 filming. Take a look:

You have to hand it to The Rock, he puts the work in. One doesn’t come by the strength of Hercules by accident in real life, and in lieu of a massive assist from the Wizard Shazam, some serious gym time is required. Dwayne Johnson has already begun his #antiherotraining, clanging and banging in the gym with a heavy set of dumbbells to get into shape to play Black Adam.

Dwayne Johnson has had a ripped, superhero physique since he first made the jump to Hollywood, but miraculously, nearly two decades since The Mummy Returns, he has yet to play a superhero. Black Adam will change all that and be his first superhero role/ Well, supervillain/anti-hero to be more exact, and he obviously wants to look the part.

Stylized filter or not, there’s no denying that all that training is paying off. Dwayne Johnson looks positively huge here with muscles on top of muscles and veins popping out everywhere. He always looks huge, sure, but maintaining that physique is no easy task. Let’s just say that based on this image, no padded suits will be necessary for the Black Adam production.

And because The Rock is nothing if not an absolute master of marketing, social media and self-promotion, in his Instagram photo, he’s wearing his own Project Rock-branded Under Armour headphones by JBL. Seriously, this man deserves an honorary marketing degree because he’s a bloody savant at it.

On Instagram, Dwayne Johnson teases that this is a ‘new era’ for the DC Universe, and that certainly seems to be the case. Warner Bros.’ comic book movie label is on a roll and Black Adam is just one of the exciting titles DC has lined up over the next couple of years.

The Rock has a habit of taking franchises to new heights, and perhaps he can again do that with his entry into the DC universe. Not to mention the fact that Joker cinematographer Lawrence Sher has joined Black Adam and intends on being rather inventive with the film’s aesthetic.

Director Jaume Collet-Serra’s Black Adam begins shooting this summer for a December 2021 release date. We recently learned that Shazam! 2 will drop in April of 2022, and with these two films in such close proximity, it seems like DC will begin building towards the inevitable onscreen clash between Zachary Levi and Dwayne Johnson’s characters.

Black Adam opens in theaters on December 22, 2021. Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see all of the big movies you can look forward to in this new year.

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Writer Explains Why Rey’s Dark Twist Doesn’t Contradict The Previous Movies

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Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker!

Since Disney acquired Lucasfilm, there has been a ton of new and exciting Star Wars content arriving for the generations of fans. Chief among them is the sequel trilogy, which continued the franchise’s main narrative, following Return of the Jedi. That trilogy recently came to an end with The Rise of Skywalker, with J.J. Abrams tasked with wrapping up the entire nine-film narrative. Major changes were made, especially related to Rey and her parentage. And co-writer Chris Terrio recently explained how Rey’s dark twist wasn’t contradicting the narrative choices of previous movies like The Last Jedi.

One of the big questions surrounding the sequel trilogy was Rey’s parentage. She was waiting for her parents in The Force Awakens, before her powers manifested themselves. In The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren said that her folks were nobodies who left her behind, although The Rise of Skywalker revealed a much more complicated backstory. Turns out her grandfather was Emperor Palpatine, and her parents were trying to protect her from the Dark Side. Writer Chris Terrio recently spoke about this dark twist for Rey, ad explained how Episode IX continued the narrative from its preceding movies. As he put it,

Rey’s story is central to the sequel trilogy’s narrative, as Daisy Ridey’s character was the hero of the new movies. When she debuted in The Force Awakens, her quick learning of The Force really stood out to fans. And it turns out that her origin was always meant to have a dark connection to The Sith.

Chris Terrio’s comments to IndieWire help to shed a light on the narrative choices that were made in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Because while J.J. Abrams created the new characters and directed two of the last three movies, Rian Johnson was given the creative reigns for The Last Jedi. The Knives Out filmmaker took plenty of narrative risks, and purposefully subverted fan expectations. Because no one expected her parents to be nothing but smugglers.

In the end, Rey’s parents were redeemed by The Rise of Skywalker. Appearing in a brief flashback (featuring a cameo by Killing Eve‘s Jodie Comer), it turns out that they were trying to keep Rey away from Palpatine by leaving her on Jakku. They weren’t remarkable people, just a pair trying to protect the galaxy. It was the Rey’s grandfather that would be her connection to The Force, as Sheev Palpatine apparently became a father before his apparent death in Return of the Jedi.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now, and making tons of money at the box office. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

5 Big 2020 Movies That Are Being Directed By Women

Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman in Wonder Woman 1984 official still

Over the last few years there has been a lot more talk about ladies leading movies both in front of and behind the cameras. In 2019, women actually directed more of the popular movies that came out in any year prior, tackling 12 of the top 100-grossing films. The next year will keep pushing into that territory, with five of the biggest budget movies being helmed by ladies.

At the tail end of 2019, Greta Gerwig’s Little Women beat box office estimations and has already earned a whopping $60 million domestically and $80 million worldwide in its first couple of weekends in theaters. Heading into 2020, though, there are some even bigger female-directed movies that should be on your radar. You can take a look at 5 of the most anticipated movies of 2020 that will be directed by women, below.

Birds of Prey girl ensemble from Warner Bros. trailer

Birds Of Prey Directed By Cathy Yan

Release Date: February 7, 2020

Birds of Prey, more formally titled Birds of Prey: And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn, will be DC’s first venture in 2020 and the first movie from the studio to come after Todd Phillips’ heavily screened Joker movie. The movie stars Margot Robbie reprising her popular character, and brings in a few other new leading ladies like Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Rosie Perez.

Everything You Need To Know About The Birds Of Prey Movie

first look at mulan in Disney's live action movie

Mulan Directed By Niki Caro

Release Date: March 27, 2020

Let’s get down to business, to… talk about Disney’s next live action remake, which will neither be a musical and is missing the indestructible Mushu in its first trailer. That said, don’t fret because at least this version of Mulan from Niki Caro is doing its own thing and not trying to straight up mimic the 1998 animated classic.

Everything You Need To Know About Disney’s Live Action Mulan

Marvel's eternals logo

Eternals Directed By Chloe Zhao

Release Date: November 6, 2020

Chloe Zhao’s Eternals may not be the most well-known Marvel property, but it does have a huge leg up thanks to its intriguing cast. We’re talking Angelina Jolie, first and foremost, but the flick also has Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden and Kumail Nanjiani, who has been in everything over the past couple of years. The Eternals are immortal aliens who should bring a lot to the cosmic side of Marvel’s Phase Four.

Everything You Need To Know About Kevin Feige’s Eternals Confirmation

black widow trailer flashback scene

Black Widow Directed By Cate Shortland

Release Date: May 1, 2020

Another of Marvel’s big outings this year will follow some leading ladies and feature a female director in Cate Shortland. Black Widow’s solo movie has been a long time coming, as Scarlett Johansson’s character has long been a popular figure in the MCU. Given what happened in Avengers: Endgame, this prequel story should give us a real chance to see Natasha Romanova in action and outside the realm of an ensemble movie at least once before she forever lives on in our memories.

Everything You Need To Know About Black Widow’s Solo Movie

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984 trailer

Wonder Woman 1984 Directed By Patty Jenkins

Release Date: June 5, 2020

As a sequel starring a popular DC comics character, it’s no real surprise that Patty Jenkins’ WW1984 is topping this list of anticipated 2020 movies. Gal Gadot will also be back reprising the character and unlike the other non-sequel movies on this list Patty Jenkins also helmed the first flick, so this is her second round at bat on a superheroine film. There’s lots to look forward to, including the mysterious return of Steve Trevor, and thanks to cool marketing so far, fans have been pumped.

Everything You Need To Know About Wonder Woman 1984

Of the 10 most anticipated movies of 2020, according to a list by Fandango, half will be led by women. It’s also worth pointing out that the top four movies on the list of 10 were female-directed and include everything on the list above except for Birds of Prey, which landed in 7th place.

Leading the sea change were the two major superhero studios at Disney/Marvel and Warner Bros./DC. Two Marvel flicks and two DC flicks are being led by female directors just this year.

The full list was 10. Fast and Furious 9. 9. Pixar’s Soul, 8. In The Heights, 7.Birds of Prey, 6. A Quiet Place Part II, 5. No Time To Die (the new Bond film), 4.Mulan, 3. Eternals, 2.Black Widow, 1. Wonder Woman 1984. Some other big movies, like Jungle Cruise and Halloween Kills didn’t make this list but popped up on lists like “Most Anticipated Horror Films” or “Most Anticipated Family Films.”

Obviously, there are plenty of other movies being directed by ladies that don’t have the leg up a bigger budget brings them. You can take a look at all of the upcoming films, whether or not they be big or small or directed by women, with our full 2020 movies schedule.

 

How The Harry Potter Movies Inspired Kevin Feige’s MCU Storytelling

Avengers: Infinity War poster

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the king of the cinema today. The franchise has taken the interconnected continuity of the comic book and applied it to film in a way that nobody had ever tried before, and has found success that even Marvel probably wasn’t expecting. However, Kevin Feige says that another major inspiration for the MCU was actually the Harry Potter movies.

Specifically, Feige told the New York Film Academy in December that it was his experience watching the films, and not reading the books, because he’s never actually read the books. Feige says the films worked simply because they didn’t require the audience to have read the books, though they likely gave the audience that did additional value, and he tries to do the same thing with the MCU. According to Feige…

I always default to my experience watching Harry Potter movies. I went to see every Harry Potter movie opening weekend. I saw it and I enjoyed it and then I forgot all about it and didn’t think about it again until the next Harry Potter movie came out. And those movies were so well made because I could follow it all. I could follow it, I could track it, occasionally I have to go, ‘Who was that?,’ but for the most part I could totally track it. Now if I had watched every movie ten times, if I had read every book, I bet there are dozens of other things in there that I would see and appreciate, but they never got in the way of me just experiencing it as a pure story. So that’s kind of what we try to navigate. If an Easter egg or a reference or something is so prevalent that it gets in the way of the story you’re telling so that people who aren’t aware of it go, ‘What is this? What’s happening?,’ then we usually pull back on it.

Kevin Feige was responding to a question asking how decisions were made trying to balance MCU movies for both the serious fan and the casual moviegoer. Feige admits that trying to please everybody is impossible but he points to Marvel’s use of test audiences as a sign of the success they have had. Apparently, test audiences that see early cuts of Marvel films, who have never seen a Marvel movie before before, largely feel that prior knowledge isn’t necessary. The references that are there don’t get in the way of a new fan’s enjoyment.

The Harry Potter books, especially the later ones, were immense novels, and as such a lot of material had to be cut out and rearranged. Of course, you only knew that if you had read them. Those that had read the books, knew a lot more about characters and interactions and details that weren’t in the films, but the movies each stood on their own. No additional details were needed to make sense of the story.

And this has been the secret weapon of the MCU. There’s this sort of general feeling that one needs to see every movie in order to understand the larger story, and that helps the box office of each and every Marvel movie. But the reality is that most of the time the connections that are made are inconsequential to the movie that you’re watching. If you miss them entirely, it doesn’t actually matter.

I for one can speak to the success that the MCU has in this regard. My own wife has watched all the Marvel movies with me, most of them only once, and she usually enjoys them, but has also said that she pretty easily forgets about them once they’re over. Then the cycle repeats with the next movie. Her experience watching the MCU follows closely with how Kevin Feige watched the Harry Potter movies, so apparently this strategy has been working quite well. She’s always interested in seeing the next MCU movie, even if she can’t really remember what happened in the last one. But it largely doesn’t matter.

Fans of the MCU want to go see every movie in order to follow all the connections and try to figure out what’s going to happen next, but Marvel Studios understands that catering exclusively to that audience isn’t enough. There are a lot more people who might only see a few of these movies, and either way, the movies need to work on their own, not simply as pieces of a larger puzzle.

Kevin Feige does admit that movies like Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame are a bit more difficult to handle this way than other films. Now that those movies are over, we can expect that Marvel will be going back to a model that is more designed to appeal to both the familiar and the new.

Marvel’s Phase 4 will include new adventures for familiar heroes like Black Widow, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and Thor, but it will also introduce entirely new characters like The Eternals, and Shang-Chi. While these characters will probably have their share of connections to the existing MCU, they will also certainly work as standalone movies designed to bring in a new audience that maybe has never given the MCU a chance before.

As far as the Harry Potter films go, the Wizarding World franchise appears to have gone in a different direction. The Fantastic Beasts movies seem to be more dependent on the audience knowing more about the world than what has been specifically in those movies. It’s even been said that the future movies will connect even more to the original films.

Whatever the reason, it’s pretty hard to argue with the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Avengers: Endgame is the highest grossing movie in the history of ever. Following more than 10 years of success, the MCU has two years of movies and Disney+ series planned for the future that we know about, and even more after that which we can expect.

Will there be a point at which the MCU becomes too big and the references and connections become too confusing? At this point, that certainly seems unlikely.