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This Avengers-Loving Household Is Winning Halloween This Year

Every year on Halloween, we see trends in decorations and the most popular costumes, trends that often reflect the zeitgeist and the cultural touchstones of the moment. On the cinematic side of things, the dominating piece of culture this year is Avengers: Infinity War, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s decade-in-the-making event. One Avengers-loving household took inspiration from that film for its decorations this year, and in so doing is winning Halloween. Take a look.

Avengers: Infinity War came out in April, but… too soon? If you want to talk about scary and horrific images that fit the spirit of the holiday, the traumatic experience of seeing Spider-Man beg and plead not to go to Tony Stark as he faded into nothingness certainly fits the bill, at least for Marvel fans.

Sure, iconic horror villains like Freddy, Jason, Pennywise and Michael Myers are more brutal in their methods, but when it comes down to kill count, Thanos is the cinematic GOAT.

This Halloween decoration is a truly brilliant and clever piece of work, and what’s particularly cool about it is that it isn’t some crazy elaborate thing that required a lot of hours of work or money to pull off. There are no sound effects, a smoke machine (not to knock those) or any other technological aids to create the scene. It is simple and yet totally effective.

This decoration not only depicts one of 2018’s most memorable cinematic moments, but it also fits with Halloween holiday and the autumn season thanks to the pumpkin and the leaves. The leaves representing Spider-Man fading to dust are an especially fantastic touch, and I imagine on a windy day with the leaves blowing around, this scene it looks even more impressive.

Just based on this Twitter post, if I had to guess, this household probably goes all out every Halloween and Christmas too. It’s likely that this is the house that backs up traffic on the block during the holidays as cars passing by stop to admire the decorations and take pictures.

I’m already curious what these Avengers fans have in store for Christmas. Perhaps some meticulously placed Christmas lights that form a glowing Infinity Gauntlet? Or maybe a big snowman with an axe placed in the chest, reminding everyone that just like Frosty, if you want to take Thanos out, you always go for the head.

As far as Thanos and the currently in-the-wind Peter Parker are concerned, we’ll next see the Marvel characters in Avengers 4. We’re still awaiting the trailer and the title for the Phase 3-ending film but we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer. The Avengers 4 trailer is supposed to arrive before year’s end.

Avengers 4 arrives in theaters on May 3, 2019. Check out our 2019 release schedule to see all of the big movies coming next year, and for all the latest on why eating too much Halloween candy might leave you not feeling so good, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.

The Simpsons’ Al Jean Responded To Reports That Apu Is Being Taken Off The Show

When The Simpsons first turned pop culture on its head, it caused mild controversy because its rebellious child character said “damn” and “hell.” Nearly 30 years later, the animation icon has been facing a more culturally significant backlash surrounding the use of Indian character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. After months without confirmed resolutions, it was recently reported that The Simpsons’ thinktank was aiming to take Apu off the show altogether. This is when showrunner and longtime executive producer Al Jean spoke up.

Al Jean mentioned Indian-American producer Adi Shankar, one of the names behind Dredd and Netflix’s Castlevania TV series, among other projects. Shankar is the one who claimed that multiple sources confirmed to him that The Simpsons was excising Apu altogether. Usually, this would be a point where fans could start assuming that Shankar was misinformed, but Jean’s tweet doesn’t exactly deny anything. Nor does it lay Shankar out to be particularly untrustworthy. It just says that Shankar isn’t a Simpsons spokesman.

The first part of Al Jean’s tweet seemed to be a jab at publications that erroneously referred to Adi Shankar as a producer for The Simpsons, which made him seem to be a lot more in the know than he actually was. Again, considering Jean didn’t outright refute Shankar’s claims, it’s interesting he addressed it on Twitter at all. Even if it was only to make that correction, it was a timely choice.

Also interesting, and perhaps to be expected, is that Adi Shankar added his voice to the dozens who commented on Al Jean’s post, in a calm way that set him apart from others. In his words:

I wish you well too. Let’s work towards common ground. Ignoring only fans the flames. The world is polarized & getting more so, and the onus is on us to bring people together. Engage in a constructive way and this matter will go to bed. I see you, now I’m asking you to see me.

At this point, it’s anybody’s guess what will happen next. Al Jean could soon respond, the two could meet, and the Apu situation could work out amazingly well for all involved. Or, more likely, something else will happen.

Without getting overly speculative or anything, could it be possible that The Simpsons is indeed getting rid of Apu (even from background shots), and that Al Jean only meant to dismiss a particular portion of Adi Shankar’s claims about it? If anyone is going to adhere to written semantics, after all, it’s probably going to be a TV writer. Here’s how Shankar specifically said things:

They’re going to drop the Apu character altogether. They aren’t going to make a big deal out of it, or anything like that, but they’ll drop him altogether just to avoid the controversy.

If The Simpsons is planning on permanently writing Apu off of the show, it’s not out of the question that Al Jean took umbrage with the claim that it wouldn’t be a big deal, and/or that it would be done just to avoid the angry fans. It’s possible there will be a gigantic celebratory send-off. Or, knowing how The Simpsons works, they might introduce five alternate-universe versions of Apu as regular characters who never leave.

Adi Shankar joined the already ongoing conversation about Apu by launching a submission-based contest to find the perfect spec script to fix the “Apu problem,” a phrase taken from comedian Hari Kondabolu’s influential documentary The Problem with Apu. That documentary pulled together and solidified viewpoints than many have voiced over the years about how strong a role Apu has had in strengthening negative Indian stereotypes in pop culture. Efforts by Shankar and others have kept those talks going, with the eventual goal being a permanent change on The Simpsons itself.

Al Jean’s tweet marks the latest in relatively few instances where Simpsons cast and crew members have publicly addressed the conversational backlash that has risen around Apu. (Even South Park took shots at the longtime Fox hit over it on a recent episode.) Following one episode’s open-ended (and widely derided) response to those asking for changes to be made, co-creator Matt Groening responded to the pushback by saying that people love to get offended. But he’d also defended the character’s placement to the New York Times, though he also admitted there wasn’t a proper way to approach it anymore.

Well, I love Apu. I love the character, and it makes me feel bad that it makes other people feel bad. But on the other hand, it’s tainted now — the conversation, there’s no nuance to the conversation now. It seems very, very clunky. I love the character. I love the show.

Of course, longtime Simpsons writer Mike Reiss pointed out in May that the show technically hasn’t given Apu more than a handful of lines in the past handful of seasons. (Something that Matt Groening echoed in his interview.) He’d addressed to Vanity Fair that the writers were already aware of growing concerns about Apu since before Hari Kondabolu’s documentary was announced.

Though there’s a lot of discussion on Apu, he’s barely had a line in the past three seasons. Hank Azaria saying he won’t voice the character anymore is like Val Kilmer announcing he won’t play Batman again—no one’s asking him to.

Meanwhile, Apu voice actor Hank Azaria has been more cautious, making it clear that he isn’t trying to offend anyone, while also refraining from speaking negatively about a beloved character he’s played for over half of his life. He did say that if the character does remain a part of Springfield’s elite, he’d love to see an actor from South Asia take over the voice work.

While the actual show likely isn’t going to team up with Adi Shankar in the immediate future, the producer is moving forward with the winning contribution form his spec script contest. (It was sent in by Maryland doctor Vishaal Buch.) Shankar will be producing the short through his Bootleg Universe branding on YouTube, where he’s released other viral content like the super-violent short films centered on the Power Rangers and The Punisher.

The Simpsons airs Sunday nights on Fox at 8:00 p.m. ET. To see what new and returning shows are on the way soon, head to our fall TV premiere schedule.

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This Glass Highlighter Gives You Beautiful Glass Skin

We’ve played out most of the ways highlighter can be fresh. Blue, gold, liquid, loose powder—each new iteration that landed in stores, I was happy to welcome into my makeup bag with open arms. Even the avant-garde, out-there ones, like Fenty’s pigmented silver Diamond Ball highlighter, found their way onto my face. And then, right when I didn’t think there was anything out there that could surprise me, what looked like an empty pan came into my life, and I felt a love that was brand new.

My interest was piqued by Instagram (isn’t that always the case). I was scrolling along when I saw it: Models with skin so smooth, poreless, and reflective that they looked like an ad for “glass skin,” the kind you allegedly get from a meticulous, 10-step Korean skin care routine. The models’ skin glowed as they posed for the videos, their skin bouncing off light with the kind of sheen you usually only see in well-lit studios. They probably were, but still—I wanted that product on my face.

Just recently launched, Danessa Myricks’ Dew Wet Balm was the glass-skin maker behind the shots I’d spotted on Instagram, but in person, it looks like you’ve received a starkly empty metal pan. Flip the top open, and the balm reflects its presence. It’s a clear, hybrid highlighter and moisturizing balm that gets its power from jojoba oil and Vitamin E.

Rub a finger in it and pat it on your cheekbone, and your skin takes on this subtle, glassy quality. It’s not totally unprecedented. Aquaphor is basically a thicker version of the same product. But if you’re not trying to reach quite that level of moist, the Wet Balm gives you the glowy look without the sticky finish, while reading more dewy than a shimmery highlighter. There are three shades: pearly Morning Dew, lightly copper Hot Water, and Clear. If you want glass skin without the intensive upkeep, it doesn’t get easier.

Danessa Myricks Beauty Dew Wet Balm, $22, danessamyricksbeauty.com

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How The Photo Of Justin Bieber Eating A Burrito Was Faked

Last week, the Internet quickly became obsessed with a random snapshot of Justin Bieber chewing on a burrito in an unconventional way. To be more specific, a photo of the pop singer in a pink hoodie opting to eat a scrumptious burrito down the middle — instead of grubbing on either the front or back end — started floating across the web a few days ago. As you would expect, it became a contentious viral sensation. There was no shortage of debates about the matter. Even Chrissy Teigen and Chipotle weighed in her thoughts on the trending topic. But it turns out, we were all fooled. Apparently, the famous Bieber photo was completely faked. Now, the folks behind the fake photo explain how they got away with tricking the Internet.

In the video explaining how they made a contentious viral Internet sensation, the people over at Yes Theory admit the Justin Bieber photo was completely staged, and it involved a Justin Bieber lookalike. The video team admit that “engineering a story” was something they always wanted to do, and this doctored photo — in which the pop singer appears to be eating a burrito the way one would typically eat corn on the cob — was the way the Yes Theory team set out to fool the Internet and make a viral sensation completely out of thin air. They’ve never done something like it before, they say.

Now, faked controversies on the Internet are certainly not new. There are a variety of examples, including a few from prominent figures like Nathan Fielder and Jimmy Kimmel, which have taken the Internet by storm unwittingly, only for the egg to be on everyone’s else’s face. But it’s not easy to fool the Internet. Proper staging and planning were necessary in order to pull it off. That included making everything from the hair to the sunglasses to the wardrobe seem authentic. Long clothes were necessary to cover up the parts of the body littered with tattoos on Justin Bieber’s figure. Special consideration was made to the angle of the photo, as it was imperative to have it from the side in order to make it look like it actually Justin Bieber.

There were two attempts made to make the faux Justin Bieber antics go viral. One involved walking a grandma across the street, the other involved the now-infamously unorthodox way in which Justin Bieber chose to chow down on his burrito. It was slow going at first, apparently, as it didn’t become an Internet sensation overnight as the video team hoped. It wasn’t until the team went to certain subreddit channels that the picture began to take the web by storm. In true Internet fashion, the photo quickly began to blow up, creating several articles, headlines, talk show debates and more all in a matter of hours.

Check out the video explaining how the Justin Bieber burrito hoax went down below.

While there were some people who figured out the image was fake (the hair appears to be a giveaway), most of the Internet was ultimately fooled by the online antics, and the guys behind the prank ate the whole thing up like, well, the way the Justin Bieber imposter ate his burrito in an unconventional way. And it is yet another example of how the Internet was duped into believing something fake right in front of their eyes. What can you believe anymore?

Russian Bots Allegedly Behind Kelly Marie Tran Star Wars: The Last Jedi Social Media Attacks

Kelly Marie Tran left social media because of an influx of negative responses to her role in a mvoei, but it seems that not all of it came from real sources. It turns out that potentially as much as half of the vitriol focused on the Star Wars: The Last Jedi actress may have come from Russian bots, not actually angry fans.

The news that Russian bots may have been involved in amplifying the negative reaction to Star Wars: The Last Jedi was part of a research study published earlier this month by Morten Bay, but in addition to the bots piling on the existing general backlash aimed at the film and director Rian Johnson, it seems that the criticism also included the anger that was focused on Kelly Marie Tran and her role in the film.

The study found that possibly as much as 51% of the negative social media response may have been bots. It seems that sources in Russia saw the negative response happening and decided to piggyback on top of it as a way to expand the decent and generally cause a commotion.

To be clear, that means that about half of the people sending negative Instagram responses to Kelly Marie Tran were actual people who thought telling her they didn’t like her role in a movie, frequently in some pretty hateful terms, was a good use of their time. That’s still far too many, but it also means that there weren’t nearly as many people actually doing it as it may have seemed.

It was several months ago that Kelly Marie Tran disappeared from Instagram. While it was rumored at the time that she had been driven away due to ongoing harassment, it was some time before the actress opened up publicly to discuss the issue. At this point, it’s unclear if Tran will ever go back to social media. Currently, the actress has an official Instagram account, but nothing has been publicly posted on it.

The fact that bots got involved in something like the social media response to a movie and its actors isn’t good news for anybody. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to Kelly Marie Tran how much of the hate she received was from legitimate sources. Plenty of it was, and the part that wasn’t just ended up making it all harder to deal with.

For people who might have had legitimate complaints, about the film The Last Jedi, nobody needed to go after an actress just doing her job, those opinions likely got overshadowed by the influx of bots and now nobody really has any idea just what the fan reaction to the movie really was. Clearly, people had strong opinions, but how many of those strong opinions were from actual people?

Every Single Outfit Meghan Markle Has Worn on Her Royal Tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand

Meghan Markle is expecting a baby, but she’s also celebrating another royal first: She and Prince Harry have embarked on a royal tour of the Commonwealth halfway across the globe. From October 16 through 31, the couple will visit Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand, with an education- and serviced-based itinerary centered around environmental conservation, youth leadership, and rehabilitation for servicemen and women. And as we know from previous royal tours, that means there are a lot of photo ops.

With several days of appearances and events lined up, we’re gearing up for two straight weeks of Duke and Duchess of Sussex moments—from PDA to, yes, fashion. And from the moment she touched down in Sydney, Markle has delivered. (Not that we expected anything less from a woman who can wear tuxedo dresses and fast-fashion blouses with equal finesse.) Early outfits have included looks by Karen Gee and Brandon Maxwell, which has only raised the anticipation for the rest of her travel wardrobe. So we’re gathering them all in one place: Check out every single ensemble Markle has worn on her 2018 royal tour so far, with plenty of updates coming throughout the next two weeks.

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Disney Originally Wanted Harry Potter Attractions, But The Plans Were Tiny

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is probably the single biggest property that you can’t find in a Disney theme park, but you could have. Disney actually was the first company to start talking to J.K. Rowling about creating attractions around Harry Potter, but it turns out that Disney’s plans weren’t nearly as grand as you might expect. According to theme park historian Jim Hill…

The idea, as described during Jim Hill Media’s Universal Joint podcast, was that Harry Potter would only be given a “mini-land” that would be built in a corner of Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom. The area would have the two attractions described above, and in addition would have a Leaky Cauldron quick serve food location, which one assumes would serve butterbeer. However, J.K. Rowling wasn’t blown away by Disney’s ideas, which led her to make a deal instead with Universal Studios theme parks, and the creation of the much more extensive Wizarding World of Harry Potter which now exists in three different theme parks around the world.

While the two attractions described may not be much, they certainly don’t sound like bad ideas. Any ride that lets you swing a magic wand in the world of Harry Potter sounds like fun. An attraction similar to the current Buzz Lightyear attraction seems like an odd choice, but one imagines all sorts of dark things surrounding the vehicles that you could blast with a wand and that sounds great.

While the “petting zoo” attraction may also seem a little unlike Disney, Jim Hill explains that it would have contained animatronic magical creatures that guests could actually interact with, such as a hippogriff that would bow to you after you bowed to it. That seems pretty cool. Being able to interact with several of the magical creatures from the Harry Potter movies could have been a lot of fun, even if it was only a simple “petting zoo.”

Of course, Disney’s loss was Universal’s gain in a big way. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was built on a scale that Universal had never undertaken before. However, it has been a remarkable success and has clearly helped Universal compete with the massive mouse house that otherwise pretty much owns the theme park industry.

Universal treats the Wizarding World almost like it’s a separate theme park and it seems like most guests do as well. Many seem to go to Universal Orlando really only to see the Harry Potter portion of the park. The rest is just a bonus.

Disney has gone through various periods in the history of their theme parks where they have tried to be frugal and it looks like the Harry Potter opportunity just came along during one of those points. Disney was already spending a lot of money for a massive upgrade of Fantasyland and probably simply didn’t have the money to spend on an entirely new land dedicated to Harry Potter.

Of course, in the end, while Disney may not have been willing to spend a bunch of money on Harry Potter, Harry Potter still made Disney spend a bunch of money.

The popularity of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter pushed Walt Disney World to compete in a way they hadn’t had to do previously. The loss of Harry Potter may have directly influenced the way that Disney has designed both the Pandora: The World of Avatar land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the upcoming Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge that will be part of both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Clearly, money has been no object in these cases. Galaxy’s Edge is the single largest — and one assumes most expensive — addition in the history of Disney Parks.

Both lands are much more immersive and complete than anything Disney had done recently. Pandora looks like you stepped off a spacecraft onto the alien planet and while nobody has experienced Batuu yet, every indication is that the new Star Wars land will create a level of guest immersion nobody has experienced before. Whether or not we’d see these lands at all, it seems a safe bet we wouldn’t be seeing them in quite the way that we are if it weren’t for Universal Studios raising the bar with Harry Potter.

Still, it makes one wonder just what would have happened had Disney won out on the Harry Potter deal. If J.K. Rowling had pushed Disney to do more and the theme park had built their own land on par with the Wizarding World we know, we might not have Pandora or Flight of Passage, the greatest theme park ride currently in existence.

By the same token, if Universal didn’t have Harry Potter, the company would have needed to find another major franchise in order to compete with Disney. If they didn’t have one, Universal would be in a very different place today.

One also wonders how a Disney/Harry Potter relationship would have worked in the long term. Disney isn’t against putting properties in the parks that they don’t own. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Avatar all started out as independent brands, but eventually, Disney took ownership of all of them. Disney made sure George Lucas knew the company was interested in Lucasfilm if the day ever came he wanted to sell. If that day ever came with J.K. Rowling with an existing relationship with Disney, it’s not hard to guess Walt’s company would be equally interested.

If nothing else, this entire exchange just goes to show how important competition is. Universal needed to make Harry Potter a special and unique land in order to compete with Disney, which in turn needed to invest in its own bigger showpieces in order to compete with Universal. In the end, the theme park guests are the big winners as we get to experience it all. The only thing we need now is enough vacation time to actually go to six different theme parks in Orlando on the same trip.

Modern Family Stars Say This Season Has A Bigger Shock Than That Death

Modern Family already threw fans for a loop when Season 10 featured the death of a “significant” character, which many complained didn’t live up to expectations. However, the ABC comedy apparently has something much more shocking on the horizon. That’s what the stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Sarah Hyland are teasing, anyway. First, here’s how Ferguson excitedly put it.

Before the recent reveal, it would have been hard to imagine a bigger Season 10 event than Modern Family‘s death, which created a lot of buzz for the show in previous months. Now that hype has fizzled, fans can latch on to Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s tease that something “big” is coming later in the season. Ferguson told THR he’s thinking viewers will be surprised by what’s coming but didn’t give any clues as to what will go down.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson isn’t the only cast member from Modern Family teasing this big plot event. Co-star Sarah Hyland backed him up, confirming this new storyline is a big shock in her opinion as well. She also doled out a bit more info as far as who may be involved, which could once again send the show’s fans into a frenzy of speculation.

Sarah Hyland could be teasing that this shocking Modern Family storyline could be centered around Haley — a pregnancy? — or could at least involve her. We can’t say for sure, of course. , and it’s also possible the big shock hits the family pretty hard and Hyland is just specifically referencing what’s going on with the character she plays. Those answers will probably be on lockdown until the big reveal, leaving Modern Family fans set up for another potentially morbid guessing game.

SPOILER WARNING for those who haven’t yet watched the latest episode. Skeptical Modern Family fans may be wary, however, with some feeling they’ve been on this speculation ride before. Tempers flared when Season 10’s “significant death” turned out to be DeDe Pritchett, who had only appeared in a handful of episodes. Granted, losing Shelley Long from any sitcom is a tragedy, just not one deserving of such mainstream hype.

For what it’s worth, Jesse Tyler Ferguson disagreed with fans who felt that the death wasn’t significant, saying that the mother of two lead characters definitely ranks as important. However, he feels that if the death news had not leaked, there may not have been as big of a fuss about it among fans. That’s a good point, since fanbases have a knack for making hullaballoos out of molehills.

Of course, there’s also a question of how shocking this storyline could possibly be, especially with Modern Family‘s future up in the air. A big game-changing development would be exciting, but it would be disappointing for some game-changer to happen, only to get left unresolved should Modern Family not return for Season 11. Perhaps the best thing to wish for is that the reveal isn’t so shocking that it can’t be contained within Season 10. Also: that it isn’t disappointing.

Modern Family airs on ABC on Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET. Fall television season is in full swing, and those already feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of new shows don’t have to panic. Just visit and bookmark CinemaBlend’s fall premiere guide, which is jam-packed with information regarding all new offerings coming to television over these next few months.

Bumblebee Prequel May Do Worse At The Box Office Than Other Transformer Movies

We’re approaching the holiday season, a time for eating and celebrating, but also a time when a lot of families visit the movie theater. As such, it makes sense that Paramount would be releasing its latest flick in the Transformers franchise, the prequel Bumblebee, during the holiday months. Unfortunately, early estimates for the flick aren’t so hot, at least when compared to previous Transformers films.

Bumblebee doesn’t officially hit theaters until just before the Christmas holiday, but the first forecasts are out regarding the estimated amount the flick could make opening weekend. According to long-range forecasts, Bumblebee is expected to bring in $15-25 million on opening weekend.

For some movies that would be a pretty solid number for an opening weekend, but for a movie related to a well-liked Transformers character, it’s not so hot. In terms of opening weekends related to the more recent Transformers movies, if Bumblebee even opens to $25 million, it will come in dead last. (The animated Transformers: The Movie did only make a little over a million bucks opening weekend in 1986.)

In fact, according to Box Office Pro’s tracking, Bumblebee isn’t even likely to win the holiday weekend, which also features Aquaman and Mary Poppins returns. Currently, the movie is forecasted to come in third place at the box office that weekend.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen had the highest opening weekend for a movie in the franchise thus far, bringing in nearly $109 million dollars. Age of Extinction brought in the second-best opening in the franchise at $100 million (although doesn’t have the second best box office overall). Transformers: Dark of the Moon brought in $97.8 million on opening weekend. The original Transformers brought in $70.5 million and last year’s Transformers: The Last Night crashed and burned in comparison to its predecessors, bringing in $44 million opening weekend.

With the Transformers movies waning in popularity and Michael Bay taking a step back from the franchise, Paramount went in a totally different direction with Bumblebee. The new movie is set in the 1980s, it focuses on young star Hailee Steinfeld and even Bumblebee himself has a new look. Reviews are not out for the new movie yet, but the first trailers for the movie have put a fresh coat of paint on the franchise. (The first one even made director Kevin Smith cry.) Take a look if you haven’t, below.

There’s always solid competition at the box office over the holidays, and this year the major studios will be vying for attention. That week, Mary Poppins Returns will get a bit of an edge by releasing on Wednesday, December 19. Both Aquaman and Bumblebee will follow on December 21, but that’s not even the end of movies opening that weekend. The Deadpool Christmas re-release is also expected to happen, along with awards contender Welcome to Marwen, which stars Steve Carell.

There’s a ton of stuff to look forward to, and if you want to start mapping out your holiday viewing plans, be sure to take a look at the 2018 movies schedule and what we know about the upcoming Bumblebee. In the meantime, we gotta ask…

Will You Be Seeing Bumblebee In Theaters?

Titans Actor Thinks His Show Is Better Than Avengers: Infinity War

Live-action comic book adaptations have come a long way over the years, and we’re now at a point where both DC and Marvel have multiple franchises across both cinema and TV. According to Alan Ritchson, who portrays Hank “Hawk” Hall in DC Universe’s Titans, fans are finally seeing the superhero genre at its most human. Which, to him, is why Titans is more worthy of his time than other fare like the mega-blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War. In his words:

I think I’m just excited that the fans are finally getting a really raw, human look at superheroes. I think, for me, the reason I don’t go see Infinity War movies or whatever these are is because there’s no stakes in it. Everybody feels invincible all the time. You know, I play a superhero without any superpowers. How great is that?

Surely, Alan Ritchson’s words are going to be perceived as highly inflammatory among certain fans, since DC vs. Marvel arguments never seem to grow old. Much in the same way that everyone’s fascination with these heroes and villains doesn’t grow old. Here, the Titans star is kind of saying that growing old and facing longterm consequences is part of what gives his show a better hook than Marvel’s big-budget films, where true character risks are rare.

Taken completely at face value, Alan Ritchson does have a point. In order for fiction to be its most effective, especially action-driven superhero stories, audiences need to genuinely worry about the main characters’ fates. Caring isn’t always so easy, though, when fans instinctively know that central protagonists are going to be as safe as the day is long.

Titans toyed with viewer expectations at the end of its second episode, putting one character in a surprising amount of jeopardy. And while the series probably won’t flat-out murder any of its central heroes, at least this early in the run, Titans is a dark enough show to possibly do just that one day in Season 3 or something.

Of course, this argument would have made a lot more sense had he maybe used any other Marvel feature that released prior to Avengers: Infinity War, which had one of the biggest death tolls of any big budget movie in existence. Granted, there are rumors about how Marvel will potentially retcon that outcome to keep its franchises going, but it was still as high-stakes as superhero movies get.

In any case, Alan Ritchson spoke more with ComicBookResources about playing Hawk like he didn’t have any superheroes. Amazingly enough, the actor said he was filming his first scene with director Brad Anderson, and it was only then that Ritchson started asking questions about how strong he was and how much pain he would feel during fights.

According to Alan Ritchson, Brad Anderson told him “no superpowers,” and the lack thereof seems to inform Hank’s gruff attitude and his overbearing confidence. Here’s what else the star said about tapping into a vigilante’s powerlessness.

Who else has explored that? So, to me, it’s about the humanity. I mean, this guy has a lot of pain. He masks it with pharmaceuticals and codependency. I mean, I and many others I think can relate to those kind of humans struggles and that’s what I’m interested in exploring. And if you do it in a fun, entertaining way through Hawk and Dove and the Titans, all the better. That’s what I’m excited for people to have.

It seems like the words “fun” and “pharmaceuticals and codependency” shouldn’t be in the same thought process, but Titans somehow makes it work. I’ll assume it’s because Beast Boy is so cool, even if he’s less human than everyone else.

Titans airs every Friday on DC Universe, so be sure to start your weekends off with brutal and grounded superheroics. To see what other new and returning shows will be offering high-stakes mayhem in the near future, head to our fall TV premiere schedule.

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