Dark Phoenix Will Have More Than One Major Character Death

Many of today’s movie trailers have certainly been known to cross the line and give away too much before audiences get a chance to buy a ticket. This happened in a big way during the marketing of Dark Phoenix when one trailer spoiled the death of Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique at the hand of Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey.

No one slipped up. Director Simon Kinberg has said that he made the decision to reveal this early plot point in order show the high stakes the X-Men will be dealing with during the last film in the franchise. Mystique won’t be the only character to say goodbye in Dark Phoenix either. Check out Kinberg’s tease:

Looks like Dark Phoenix won’t be messing around. The movie is set up with tragedy for the team and it will only continue as the film rolls along, perhaps with even more beloved characters kicking the bucket as the long-running franchise closes out and makes room for the comic title joining the MCU sometime in the future.

While it was a surprise to see Mystique die in the trailer, it’s no shock that the character was going to be killed off in this X-Men film. Jennifer Lawrence has been vocal about her distaste with being turned blue in the harrowing makeup process since 2011, and has reportedly wanted out of the franchise for some time. The actress already has a convenient exit with the Disney/Fox merger sure to change things up, but maybe that wasn’t enough and she needed it to be official on screen.

Simon Kinberg’s words to EW do beg the question: Who else is going to die? Will the franchise go so far as to kill off the franchise’s huge players, Charles Xavier and Magneto? Though James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are likely to be finishing off their time as these characters with Dark Phoenix, will their last moments be their deaths?

There are tons of other X-Men characters in play here who could see their demises as well — such as Nicholas Hoult’s Beast, Evan Peters’ Quicksilver, Tye Sheridan’s Cyclops and Alexandra Shipp’s Storm. Considering J-Law was on the table to be killed off, who knows if they’ll make it out either.

The movie already has the tough job of creating a satisfying conclusion to the Fox franchise that started with 2000’s X-Men. The film has undergone massive reshoots and multiple release date shifts, and it may face the lowest earning opening weekend for the franchise to date, as The Secret Life of Pets 2 aims to be its biggest competition on its debut.

The movie follows the team as they venture on a space mission and Jean gets hit by a solar flare, leaving her with a new powerful burst of energy and powers to attempt to control. When she kills Mystique, the X-Men must figure out what to do about her: kill her or save her somehow? Dark Phoenix hits theaters on June 7.

Willem Dafoe Has A Great Take On Robert Pattinson As Batman

But what about his physical features? To Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson has the key attribute on that front.

Right now, Robert Pattison is co-starring with Willem Dafoe in The Lighthouse, a black-and-white horror film that just opened to raves and awards at the Cannes Film Festival. While Dafoe was interviewed about the movie, he was asked to react to the idea of Pattinson as the new Batman. Here’s Dafoe’s take:

Sold! But seriously, is that the main criteria to be a good Batman — a strong chin?

Looking back at past Batmans from Adam West and Michael Keaton to Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, and Ben Affleck — they do seem to have good chins. A certain jawline does seem to be required, since the cowl covers everything but your mouth and chin. I would also argue that the Batman voice is essential. I’m not down for an overly growly Batman voice, if the actor does not naturally have a voice that low. Don’t force it or you sound cartoonish.

Speaking of Willem Dafoe, though, the man knows from superhero movies. He’s a great example for Robert Pattinson in how to balance indie films like The Lighthouse and superhero movies like Spider-Man 3 (Norman Osborn) and Aquaman (Vulko).

During the rest of his talk with Variety, Willem Dafoe mentioned that he and “Rob” Pattinson work and rehearse very differently, which may have led to some creative tension on The Lighthouse set. No personal tension, he emphasized, but they didn’t hang out or anything.

The Lighthouse sounds like it was an intense shoot in general, and Robert Pattinson said he came the closest he ever had to punching a director when filming a particularly drenching scene. Pattinson seems to approach his roles with a lot of intensity, and that should help if he does end up playing Bruce Wayne in The Batman.

So far, The Lighthouse has earned rave reviews, with a current rating of 100% from 31 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. There’s no release date yet, beyond the recent Cannes premiere, but it’s another intriguing project for Robert Pattinson’s eclectic filmography, which may or may not also include The Batman in 2021.

Solo 2: Writer ‘Grateful And Galvanized’ By Viral Campaign For Star Wars Sequel

The first Star Wars movie opened 42 years ago today on May 25, 1977. That’s when we first met Han Solo, as played by Harrison Ford. Over 40 years later, we finally got Han’s backstory in Solo: A Star Wars Story, with the young scoundrel played by Alden Ehrenreich. Solo ended up a Star Wars scapegoat, since the box office wasn’t quite what was expected for a franchise movie. Reviews were mixed, but the fans who loved it are staunch defenders for it. Those fans recently launched a campaign to continue the story, getting #MakeSolo2Happen trending. Solo director Ron Howard had a simple reaction, but co-screenwriter Jon Kasdan had more expansive thoughts:

Yeah, Solo was set several years before the first Star Wars movie and ended with potential for how to continue Han’s story until reaching the point of Episode IV – A New Hope. Solo 2 could’ve filled that timeline easily — and maybe still could?

Jonathan Kasdan worked on the Solo script that his father, longtime Star Wars writer Lawrence Kasdan, had started before joining the The Force Awakens writing team. Solo infamously hit a rough patch when initial directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller left the film. One of the rumored issues behind-the-scenes was the directors encouraging a lot of improvisation away from the script. Ron Howard took over as director for the rest of filming, and reshoots.

The resulting film has a 70% fresh rating from 442 critics and a 64% audience score from nearly 41,000 RT users. Solo also has an A- CinemaScore from polled moviegoers, which is slightly down from the A that Rogue One, The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi all received. But the A- ties all three prequels, and it’s still better than the B- that The Clone Wars got in 2008, marking the lowest Star Wars CinemaScore.

Solo wasn’t everyone’s cup of blue milk, but it’s clear the film still has a lot of fans out there, and they have “galvanized” Jon Kasdan. Maybe he’s gearing up to make a new argument to Lucasfilm to give Solo 2 a chance — either in theaters or (more likely?) on the new Disney+ streamer launching in November. Never tell him the odds!

Meanwhile, there’s disagreement in the rest of the galaxy when it comes to the Star Wars movies that will hit the big screen. There’s a petition against the Star Wars movie being made by the Game of Thrones showrunners, and some fans aren’t excited about The Rise of Skywalker after The Last Jedi. But on the flip side, some fans are thrilled about the new Star Wars movies coming, especially The Rise of Skywalker as it ends the nine-film Skywalker Saga. Keep up with everything heading to theaters this year with our 2019 movie schedule.

The New Aladdin Seems To Be A Big Hit With Fans, If Not Critics

Disney’s second live-action remake of the year has hit theaters, which means both critics and audiences have finally had the chance to journey back into the Cave of Wonders. Turns out, Aladdin is a diamond in the rough that has caused quite the divide between the two groups of moviegoers.

While a vast majority of fans left the theater with their wishes granted concerning the live-action Disney epic, critics felt something to be desired from Aladdin. The Rotten Tomatoes audience score is currently at a near perfect 93%, while the Tomatometer has deemed the film “rotten” at 57%. So while the remake didn’t quite impress reviewers, it’s a big win for those who bought a ticket to go see the Middle East set musical.

Additionally, Aladdin passed with flying colors with its “A” CinemaScore, which measures movie appeal by asking movie theatergoers their opinions on opening night. While one might argue those who went out and saw it on the first night it was out were the most excited and invested group to see it, high anticipation can also place a more critical eye on movies too.

Many critics didn’t hate Aladdin, they just couldn’t help but compare it to the 1992 original and be disappointed. After Will Smith’s Genie previously received flack for his new look, many actually praised Smith as a high point of the film, along with the new Aladdin and Jasmine played by Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott. Perhaps the biggest criticism is toward Guy Ritchie being at the helm and the “notable limit to its creative energy” as CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg pointed out in his 2.5 star review.

Audiences were much more forgiving of Aladdin recycling from its previous iteration, and the film did bring plenty of new aspects for them to judge. The movie has an entirely new cast of actors, the live-action flair, new musical numbers, and laugh-out-loud improv scenes. The original film is almost 30 years old and may have benefited from its updating – such as Princess Jasmine’s new empowering song from the songwriters of La La Land and The Greatest Showman.

When you compare the Rotten Tomatoes score of the first film, the audience score is comparable at 92%, while the Tomatometer is just as complementary at 94%. The difference here being when Aladdin came out it was something much more original. Robin Williams’ iconic performance wasn’t a common occurrence in animation films and Disney was in the middle of a “Renaissance” that would also produce favorites including Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid.

The new Aladdin is a bit more divisive between audiences and critics than 2017’s Beauty and the Beast, even though both films recreated a beloved Disney musical with some similar methods. Beauty‘s Tomatometer score is 71% while its audience score is 80%. Perhaps critics have since grown tired of Disney’s repeated live-action remake formula since then?

You can check out Aladdin in theaters now and decide for yourself, then vote in our poll below. Don’t forget that The Lion King is adding itself to this Disney list soon, with a potentially huge box office opening that may top Beauty and the Beast‘s record take.

How Would You Grade The 2019 Aladdin?

Terminator: Dark Fate Is Rated R And Continues John Connor’s Story, James Cameron Confirms

Wait.. there’s another Terminator movie? The franchise really does take the famous “I’ll be back” line seriously, doesn’t it! After over 15 years of missteps from the movie series, Tim Miller’s Terminator: Dark Fate is going back to what made it great. Check out what James Cameron recently said about the project:

So if you haven’t already wiped Rise of the Machines, Salvation and Genisys from your memory, the upcoming action flick will do it for you as it will ignore them all. The film also marks the first time James Cameron will return to the franchise as a writer and producer. He also brought Linda Hamilton’s iconic Sarah Connor back to the story, though it did take some convincing.

In his interview with Flicks and the City, he said he wrote a long email expressing to Linda Hamilton how much fans love her and want to see her return to the role. He also was interested in the idea of bringing a strong woman to the big screen who is over 60 in a world where young empowering heroes such as Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman have gained traction.

Dark Fate will also bring back Arnold Schwarzenegger as T-800 but, as Cameron teases, he will have a completely different role in this film then he has before.

Another interesting tidbit is that the movie will also address John Connor’s future. John was not shown in the first trailer, and so far there has not been an actor announced to play Sarah’s son in Dark Fate. He’d presumably be in his 40s by now … if he’s still alive. Rumors, via Bloody Disgusting, suggest we may be getting a flashback to a T2-era John Connor, using a young actor as a CGI stand-in. It doesn’t look like T2 actor Edward Furlong will be returning, in any case.

James Cameron continued by explaining how Dark Fate will feel more related to the series’ first two entries:

Yes!! What made the first two Terminator movies great were how intense they were as Sarah Connor had to escape and fight against the lethal Terminators trying to kill her and then her son. In Dark Fate, MacKenzie Davis’ Grace and Sarah Conner will be protecting Natalia Reyes’ Dani from being hunted down by Gabriel Luna’s new Terminator.

James Cameron went more in-depth about the movie’s story with these words:

A trailer was recently released for the film and showed MacKenzie Davis’ character Grace may be a machine who is so vastly intelligent that she could be deemed human. Sarah Connor will be teaming up with her to fight the war, but her existence could certainly become a conflict in the film.

It will be especially exciting to witness Sarah Connor’s return, now as an even more badass “Terminator hunter.” James Cameron said the writers have mapped out a three-story arc that will be set in motion with this film, so if it does well, we could be in for a new trilogy. Terminator: Dark Fate hits theaters on November 1.

John Wick 3 Will Hit A Box Office Milestone Over Memorial Day Weekend

This Memorial Day weekend will see the release of three new movies, but being outnumbered has never seemed to be a concern for John Wick. Despite the heavy competition, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is open to all challengers, and while the film won’t be No.1, it will still hit a milestone at the box office. The holiday weekend will push the third film in the action franchise to exceed $100 million domestically.

Last weekend, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum opened at No. 1, finally toppling Avengers: Endgame. The action movie opened to $56.8 million domestically, the highest debut for the entire series. Currently, the film has grossed $83.2 million at the domestic North American box office, with a worldwide total of $119.7 million.

Parabellum is likely to gross $24 million at the domestic box office from Friday to Sunday, according to Box Office Mojo. This is a 58% drop from last week, which is higher than the previous two films. (44.5% for the first John Wick and 46.7% for John Wick: Chapter 2). Overall, the four-day weekend is expected to push its domestic total to about $109 million, which is a nice milestone for the film. John Wick: Chapter 2 grossed $171.5 million worldwide when all was said and done, so we will see if Parabellum can beat that score.

It’s not too surprising to see Parabellum is another success. The John Wick films are pretty well loved, scoring positive reviews from critics and moviegoers. Most importantly, the films have some of the best choreographed action sequences that you can find these days. It’s straight up action porn.

Parabellum is expected to hold second place this weekend, as three new movies open in theaters. The major release in theaters is the live-action remake of Aladdin, and it will be joined by newcomers Brightburn and Booksmart. The latter has earned rave reviews from critics, while the other two movies have received a mixed reception.

Despite the initially negative reception thanks to some early trailers, Aladdin will take the No. 1 spot. The remake is looking at an opening of more than $100 million domestically after an estimated $31 million on Friday.

Meanwhile, Brightburn is expected to earn around $10 million while Booksmart is looking at $6.5-$8 million. These are smaller scale movies when compared to Aladdin or Parabellum, so this is within expectations. Avengers: Endgame will hang on to third place while Detective Pikachu is bumped to fourth.

Moviegoers have no shortage of options this holiday weekend, so you might as well see as much as you can! John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is in theaters right now if you want to give it some extra love. To learn everything else that will be coming to theaters over the course of the next few months, be sure to check out our 2019 movie release guide.

How Brightburn Weirdly Benefitted From James Gunn’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Firing

When James Gunn was fired by Disney last summer, one of the projects most directly affected was David Yarovesky’s Brightburn. More than the fact that Gunn had a direct link to the movie as an Executive Producer, the news about his removal from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was announced just hours before the start of a San Diego Comic-Con panel that was scheduled to see the film’s title and plot revealed to the world prior to its scheduled November 30, 2018 release date. Because of the controversy, the decision was made to push the horror feature, and Screen Gems ultimately decided to make it a May 2019 release.

But while this may all seem like it would be a bad thing, in retrospect, David Yarovesky feels that it actually wound up helping Brightburn a lot.

Earlier this month I had the wonderful pleasure of sitting down with David Yarovesky to interview him for our superhero podcast HeroBlend, and the first question I asked was about what happened at San Diego Comic-Con last summer. Curious about his perspective on the ordeal, I asked how the events wound up impacting Brightburn as a movie, and he explained why it surprisingly wound up being a good thing for the project. Said the director,

There are many filmmakers who find themselves begging for more time and resources when they are working on a feature, and while David Yarovesky surely would have preferred getting both of those things for Brightburn under totally different circumstances, things did weirdly wind up working in his production’s favor at the end of the day (not to mention the fact that James Gunn was eventually rehired by Disney, bringing everything back to status quo). Yarovesky wound up getting an extra six months to make his second film as good as it could be, and it was time he took full advantage of when it was given.

I followed up by asking about exactly how David Yarovesky took advantage of the situation, and while he didn’t get extremely detailed in the discussion, he did note that the period allowed for a small amount of extra production time, as well as some much-needed edit bay work. He even admitted that Brightburn may have been delayed even without the whole “James Gunn being fired” incident, as the schedule as it had been established apparently may not have been enough for the film. He explained,

The subject of the delay was one of many things that I had the opportunity to discuss about the making of Brightburn, and we really had a wonderful spoiler-free conversation. You can listen to my entire chat with David Yarovesky on the latest episode of our HeroBlend podcast, which is available to stream and download right now:

Starring Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson Dunn, and Matt Jones, Brightburn is a twist on the classic Superman mythos, and crafts a story questioning what would happen if a Man of Steel-esque being was filled with natural malevolent intent. The movie is now playing in theaters everywhere, and we’ll have more for you about the feature in the coming days here on CinemaBlend!

Now There Are Petitions To Pull Game Of Thrones Showrunners From Star Wars Movie

You could start a petition to end petitions, but if it’s as successful as any of the other recent petitions, I’d say don’t bother. Game of Thrones critics launched a petition to remake Season 8 with “competent writers,” a clear shot at showrunners/writers David Benioff and Dan Weiss. That petition has more than 1.5 million signatures and counting, even though Game of Thrones is now over and HBO has no intention of remaking anything.

Fans are signing to make the point. And now some of the same fans may be making the same point for Star Wars.

While Game of Thrones‘ controversial final season was airing, Disney boss Bob Iger confirmed the next Star Wars movie after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker would be from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. That was great news to Rian Johnson critics, but bad news to D&D critics. (Everyone’s a critic!)

Since petitions are the new normal — and more about gathering like-minded people to vent shared frustrations rather than an actual expectation for change — you can now find several petitions to stop the Game of Thrones showrunners from making the next Star Wars film. Some of the petitions may be competing with each other for attention — I see at least two over at Change.org, one has nearly 11,000 signatures and the other only 616 so far — and nobody has picked up viral steam at this point. I was minding my own business when Care2 sent me an email about a fan’s new petition specifically to Disney CEO Bob Igner, asking Disney to choose someone else to do the next Star Wars movie. So far, that petition has close to 5,000 signatures.

Most petitions don’t get the attention of that Game of Thrones one. Even the one to Disney to rehire James Gunn, which you could consider to be a success even if it didn’t play a direct role in his rehiring, didn’t have THIS many signatures. You have to admit the timing is a bit awkward for that incredibly popular petition to be followed by the Star Wars movie announcement. Then again, with the GoT showrunners and Rian Johnson in contention for the next Star Wars movie, there was no Option B — the choice was going to be controversial. At least Rian Johnson critics are happy with the choice of D&D for the next Star Wars movie. They seem to have few major complaints about the final season of Game of Thrones vs. the continued airing of grievances over Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

There’s a 0.0% chance fans won’t have major criticisms on how Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ends the Skywalker Saga. The more people care about something, the more passionate the pro and con reactions. It’s actually kind of amazing there wasn’t more criticism for Avengers: Endgame. Not to say fans didn’t speak up, and some are still debating the logistics of the time travel elements, but there was no massive backlash. Usually something so popular has a correlating backlash to balance, at least these days, but it’s rare and wonderful when the majority of fans are content.

As the sun now stands, we don’t know if David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are making all three Star Wars movies that were recently scheduled, or just the first one. It could be those dates are being held for their potential trilogy. Or their movie could still be followed by something from Rian Johnson. Nothing has been confirmed on that front yet, and there’s a lot of time for things to move around the schedule.

In the meantime, the first live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, is set to debut on Disney+ in November, followed by Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker in theaters in December. Keep up with all of the Star Wars release dates with our handy guide.

Why Avengers: Endgame Made Tilda Swinton Reshoot Everything A Year Later

Time travel is of massive importance to Avengers: Endgame, but it’s not always an easy thing to explain. To help lay down the rules of the MCU’s version of time travel, Tilda Swinton reprises her role as the Ancient One. She explains the damaging effects of messing with time to Bruce Banner, but apparently, this scene changed a bit over the course of filmmaking. Swinton recently revealed that she was called in to reshoot the scene a year after she originally filmed it.

In their journey to collect the Infinity Stones from across space and time, the Avengers travel to New York City during the events of The Avengers in 2012. Smart Hulk goes to the Sanctum Sanctorum and confronts the Ancient One to get the Time Stone.

This scene provided some vital exposition on the rules of time travel in the film, but apparently the filmmakers didn’t quite nail it on the first try. Speaking about her surprise cameo, Swinton told IndieWire that she had to film the scene twice with a one year in between.

Specifically, the changes were a “plot thing” revolving around some key information that the Ancient One delivers to Bruce Banner, Tilda Swinton said. The Ancient One needed to explain what happens to the timeline when an Infinity Stone is removed, and how it creates a dark branched reality, while utilizing some nice visual representation with her magic.

The scene helps to set the stakes for the Avengers, who are not only risking their own lives, but the lives of an infinite amount of people across multiple realities. If they don’t bring the stones back to precisely the point that they were taken, then that timeline will splinter off with some nasty consequences.

The time travel elements of the film have been a subject of debate amongst fans, as no one can really quite agree on how it all works. I would argue that the rules of time travel aren’t necessarily important in this film as they are just a gateway to have some fun, but it’s tough to picture how much more confusing everything would have been had they not reshot that Ancient One scene.

Are you still interested in seeing Avengers: Endgame? Well, it’s still in theaters, so go check it out if you aren’t super interested in seeing Aladdin instead. For all other movies in theaters, here’s our 2019 movie release guide.

The Huge Amount The Lion King Could Make In Its Opening Weekend

The summer kicked off with a bang with Avengers: Endgame, currently the second highest-grossing movie of all time. Analysts and movie buffs are trying to find what the next big hit of the summer will be and all evidence is pointing toward The Lion King. The remake of the classic film is due to hit theaters in July and when it does, it will do so with a roar. Current projections for The Lion King have it opening to $201 million and a total domestic gross of $650 million.

Disney is no stranger to remaking the most iconic animated films in its library. It’s found massive success in films like The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, both of which were one of the highest-grossing films of the respective years they were released. So, no one was surprised when The Lion King was called up to the plate, with Jon Favreau leading the charge with cutting-edge photo-realistic technology.

The Lion King is beloved by multiple generations and those fans will turn out big time when the remake arrives in theaters. According to BoxOfficePro, The Lion King could open within the range of $180-$230 million. If that happens, the 2019 Lion King would top Beauty and the Beast‘s $174 million as the biggest opening weekend of any Disney “live-action” remake.

There are multiple factors working in The Lion King‘s favor. First off, the reaction to the trailer for The Lion King has been well received. The first trailer received 225 million views in the first 24 hours, which was ranked second all-time among all studio releases at that time. For comparison, Beauty and the Beast’s trailer scored 128 million in its first day.

Additionally, in a recent Fandango survey, the film ranked as the most anticipated summer family film, ahead of Toy Story 4, Aladdin, and The Secret Life of Pets 2.

The original Lion King was the second-highest grossing film of 1994 with $312.9 million. After adjusting for 2019 ticket prices, that number jumps to over $680 million — not including the 2011 re-release that scored $94.2 million domestic. Accounting for inflation, it’s the second highest original run by any animated release, behind only Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (over $700 million).

In short, people love The Lion King. The animated movie won two Oscars, a Golden Globe, and two Grammys, and it has a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie checks a lot of boxes and appeals to a very wide audience. The 2019 Lion King is the last family friendly movie until November, so it has ample room to stretch its legs and build up a nice total.

The only real thing working against The Lion King, is that Disney has proven to not be bullet-proof with its remakes. Just earlier this year, Dumbo underperformed with $112 million domestic, while this weekend’s Aladdin is still unclear.

However, it seems inevitable that The Lion King will reign supreme from Pride Rock when it releases on July 19, 2019.