With Marvel Studios still holding off on releasing their plans for Phase 4, we currently know very little about the status of the upcoming Black Widow movie – but one thing that’s for sure is that the film is developing quickly. Naturally, Scarlett Johansson is attached to star – reprising the role she first played in Iron Man 2 – and Cate Shortland has been brought on to direct. Now we have the latest news about the project, which is that it’s adding a second member to its cast: Fighting With My Family star Florence Pugh.
The news on this casting development comes from Variety, though the details sadly end there. Because next to nothing is known about Black Widow (including when the movie is actually set), there are no clues regarding what role Florence Pugh might play, or which side she will be playing when it comes down to good vs. evil. All that we really know is that Pugh is getting a lot of attention right now thanks to her turn in Fighting With My Family, and Marvel Studios decided that they wanted to be in business with her.
Born in Oxford, England, Florence Pugh has been acting since 2014, getting her first role acting opposite Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams in Carol Morley’s feature The Falling. Since then she has found work on both the big and small screens – arguably the biggest project before this year being David Mackenzie’s Outlaw King with Chris Pine.
She is now very much a star on the rise, however, and it’s in large part thanks to Fighting With My Family – a film that tells the backstory of WWE star Paige and has Florence Pugh as the lead. The movie wasn’t exactly a huge box office success, earning just a little over $20 million domestically, but it earned rave reviews, particularly for Pugh’s performance. That’s the kind of stuff Marvel Studios notices, so this development isn’t really that big of a surprise.
Again, nothing is really known about the part that Florence Pugh plays in Black Widow, but it is worth noting that the actress apparently beat out some interesting competition for the part. For example, Variety’s Justin Kroll notes that Academy Award-nominee Saorise Ronan was also brought in for the potential gig, but Pugh wound up winning the role.
Jac Schaeffer, who wrote the upcoming Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake The Hustle, is currently developing the script for Black Widow, and Cate Shortland is set to make the feature has her follow-up to the 2017 thriller Berlin Syndrome. The film is expected to be one of the earliest titles released as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s Phase Four (especially because Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is no longer lined up for 2020), so it’s likely that we will start hearing more about this one very soon – including more additions to the cast. For all of the latest updates, be sure to keep checking in here on CinemaBlend.
The friction between Netflix and the Cannes Film Festival came to a head last year when the streaming service skipped out on the festival entirely because Netflix movies are ineligible to compete for the Palme d’Or. That meant that acclaimed films from big name filmmakers like Roma and The Other Side of the Wind did not premiere at the illustrious festival where so many beloved films got their start. Now, a year later, it again looks like Netflix will be skipping Cannes.
According to Variety, Netflix will be absent from the French festival for the second year in a row, with no new movie premieres either in or out of competition. This is a result of the existing issues between the two parties, which have yet to be sorted out. And, even if Netflix and Cannes had come up with an agreeable solution, the movies that Netflix would theoretically premiere at Cannes simply aren’t ready yet.
At one point, it was expected that Netflix’s most prestigious original 2019 movie, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman would be ready for, and an ideal participant in, the May festival, but the arduous task of digitally de-aging the cast for half of the film will require more time. So The Irishman wouldn’t be ready for Cannes, regardless, and will likely premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September instead.
Another possible candidate for Cannes was The Laundromat, Steven Soderbergh’s new film about the Panama Papers starring Meryl Streep and Gary Oldman. David Michôd’s The King starring Timothée Chalamet would have also been an obvious choice for Netflix to enter in the festival. Alas, the issues aren’t sorted and these movies aren’t quite ready, either.
The issues between Netflix and the Cannes Film Festival first came to the fore in 2017 when Netflix movies Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories were accepted into the festival in the competition lineup. This resulted in backlash from French theater owners, because in France there is a 36-month minimum window between a film’s theatrical release and when it can show up on a streaming platform.
Cannes gave in and required that movies could not compete unless they would eventually be released in French theaters. So Netflix pulled out of the festival last year. In the time since, Netflix and the Cannes Film Festival have been quietly negotiating in friendly talks to try to work out their differences and find a way for the streaming service’s films to come back to the festival, but as of yet those issues are still unresolved.
Although Netflix will not be premiering any of its big 2019 movies at Cannes, it does still plan to send an acquisition team to France, so the streaming service may be opening its wallet even if it isn’t bringing anything to show itself.
Even without Netflix bringing its heavy-hitters to Cannes, there are still plenty of reasons to pay attention to May’s festival. Among them are James Gray’s Ad Astra and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which are both expected to be in competition.
We’ll keep you updated on all the latest as the industry’s various elements continue to try and adapt to the elephant in the room known as Netflix. For all of this year’s biggest theatrical releases, check out our 2019 premiere guide.
After years of waiting for news on the proposed sequel to Suicide Squad, things have really been moving forward in the past few weeks. We’ve known for several months now that James Gunn would be taking over to write the second big screen appearance of the supervillain team, and he’s also on tap to direct, as well. Because of that, folks can’t stop hoping that Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista will step in to fill a role somewhere in the new film, with a lot of people set on him playing Bane, and now one artistically inclined fan has offered up some inspiration for just such a dream to come true. Take a look:
Oooh…impressive, right? All the elements are here. Instagram user willgrayart has done a fantastic job of turning Dave Bautista into a perfect vision of what his Bane could look like in _The Suicide Squad. He’s clearly got some Venom pumping through his veins, via the neon green tubing that wraps around his body in various spots, and the artist managed to really make the character look like Bautista by including one of his very recognizable real-life tattoos. We’re even gifted the luchador-esq mask that Bane often sports in the comics, while still obviously getting a look at what Bautista would look like in such a getup. My only semi-complaint would be that Bautista actually doesn’t look quite as hugely muscled as he usually does, but there’s only so much you can fit into an Instagram post and still have us be able to see all the awesome details, so, I’m not mad at it.
Interestingly enough, this is the second time that someone has given us a look at what Bautista could look like as Bane in the new movie. Several months ago, fan favorite Boss Logic gave us another glimpse at Bautista in the potential role, but that one noticeably left out details that made the hulking actor recognizable. So, while that was a cool effort that definitely gave fans something to chew on, and offered up lots of details that were missing from our last big screen representation of Bane, the work of willgray_art has some additional positives going for it.
Ever since James Gunn was fired by Disney last summer amid some of his insensitive old tweets resurfacing, which put the future of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in jeopardy, the cast of that film, and several of Gunn’s fellow superhero movie directors, have stood by him. While everyone in the cast was vocally supportive, with everyone signing a letter asking Disney to reconsider the decision to fire him, Dave Bautista was the only one who was obviously angry at the decision and publicly said he’d be willing to skip out on Guardians 3 if Gunn’s vision for the movie wasn’t fulfilled somehow, with either him returning as director or his completed script being used.
While there has been some talk of Bautista potentially boarding the total reboot of the franchise, most of the rumors on that front have come in the form of Bautista taking on the part of a less well known character, Peacemaker, who is actually much more of a hero than a villain in the comics. But, we saw some good guys join forces with the team before, so this wouldn’t be any kind of stretch.
With fans lamenting the lack of Will Smith’s Deadshot…and then rejoicing in the inclusion of Idris Elba’s new take on the character, and without knowing how much Harley Quinn we might be able to expect, lots of people are wondering just how James Gunn’s version of the team will shape up in The Suicide Squad, so the inclusion of someone who’s been so eager to take part in the film would do wonders to keep up excitement for the still sort of mysterious project.
We’re sure to get more news about The Suicide Squad, and whether or not Dave Bautista will be involved, in the coming months, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest!
In the last year, few stories rocked the superhero movie world harder than the firing of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 writer/director James Gunn. It was revealed that the filmmaker had posted some extremely inappropriate jokes on social media earlier in his career, and given how they clashed with the larger reputation of the Walt Disney Company it was decided by the studio to let Gunn go.
It was a situation where the consequences for the industry were immediately understood – and they were bad. For starters there was the fact that the move would certainly delay Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which was a big deal just because it disrupted the tightly organized release schedule for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and therefore put the whole thing in flux. The worse side, however, was the stain that was left on Marvel Studios’ reputation when it came to filmmaker relationships. Not only was it instantly clear how challenging it would be to replace Gunn on the space opera sequel, but it created a question of whether or not Marvel really had the backs of the writers and directors it employed.
Those were talking points that lasted for months, but disappeared in a puff of smoke late last week when it was revealed that the whole ordeal had been resolved, and that James Gunn would be returning to make Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3. This was news rightly met with wide-spread celebration, primarily because the filmmaker will have the opportunity to complete his vision for the blockbuster trilogy – but the positives actually go far beyond that. Because of extenuating circumstances in the matter, including other projects that are currently in the works, the move is actually far more significant for the world of superhero movies than it appears on the surface, and it could lead to a tremendously bright future.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Gets Made As It Was Intended
To start with the obvious, there is the fact that James Gunn’s rehiring turns Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 back into a viable project. While it’s true that Gunn’s influence on the film was always going to be present, as firm plans were made to continue using the script he wrote, that was never going to be enough. Not only did the cast write and sign an open letter requesting the writer/director’s return, but it was made very clear that many filmmakers were not going to “cross the picket line” by taking the job (with individuals like Edgar Wright, Chris Miller, and Taika Waititi all publicly expressing their support of Gunn). While not technically impossible, movies generally don’t get made without having directors attached, and it was clear that finding a replacement was going to be a herculean task.
Now, of course, that entire situation is resolved. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 clearly won’t happen on its original schedule (it was initially set up as a 2020 release), but it will still be a tentpole release put out as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Four plans. Twenty years from now we won’t look back on the film primarily because of all the behind-the-scenes issues, but instead see it as one of the surprisingly rare cases of a filmmaker getting to orchestrate an entire comic book movie trilogy. In one swift move, the ultimate legacy of the film changed (assuming everything goes swimmingly from here on out, of course).
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 isn’t the only project directly affected by these developments, however, as James Gunn chose to keep busy during his months away from Marvel. But that just adds to the positives here…
James Gunn Still Gets To Make His Vision Of The Suicide Squad
After losing his job, James Gunn opted not to stay unemployed very long, and that brought him across town to what many recognize as Marvel’s biggest competitor: Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe. In October 2018 it was revealed that Gunn had entered talks with the studio to help them make The Suicide Squad, to which he was originally attached only as a writer, before taking the director gig as well a few months later. It was actually a major coup for Warners, as they had successfully lured one of Marvel’s most popular writer/directors to their fold, and what makes the situation even greater is that the deal seems to be totally unaffected by the most recent Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 news.
Despite the fact that James Gunn is now back working as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, his deal to make The Suicide Squad is still intact, and plans are moving forward to have the blockbuster in theaters August 6, 2021. And this is a wonderful thing. Weird as it is, Gunn has been talking about making this kind of comic book film for years, and it’s a project that is right up his alley when you consider his sensibilities (as seen in movies like Super and Slither). It should obviously be very different than Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3, but that by itself is actually part of what makes its development so exciting.
While he’s written and produced other material in the time since he’s been working with Marvel, James Gunn has been mostly living and breathing Guardians of the Galaxy for the majority of the last six years, and part of what makes The Suicide Squad so exciting is the way in which it will allow the writer/director to really stretch his muscles in other arenas. Characters like Harley Quinn and Deadshot are quite different than the likes of Star-Lord and Drax, and orchestrating their crazy/criminal behavior while executing deadly black ops missions for the government could be a perfect creative outlet for him that also happens to give him a bit of distance and perspective on his Marvel work. So not only might we get Gunn’s unique vision of what a Suicide Squad movie could be, but making it before the trilogy capper could lead the latter film to be that much better.
We’re now getting two potentially awesome blockbusters instead of just one, and that by itself is an exciting prospect. But also not to be ignored is the way that it can influence the competition between the two biggest comic book movie brands in the world.
The Marvel Vs. DC Divide Can Mend A Bit
The rivalry that perpetuates between Marvel and DC has been around basically as long as the two companies have both existed – notably not only affecting things behind the scenes from a creative perspective, but also regularly inflaming their respective devoted fan bases. This, naturally, has very much continued into the big screen age, as aficionados can debate for hours the superiority of the Captain America trilogy over Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight movies, and vice versa. Logic would dictate that comic book fans should equally enjoy both brands and the different storytelling they are delivering (and, like myself, many do), but still it stands as a famed pop culture point of contention.
Nothing will ever stop individuals comparing and debating the merits of the Marvel Cinematic Universe versus the DC Extended Universe, but the current situation with James Gunn weirdly offers a situation that fans have never experienced before – and it could wind up having some fascinating results. It’s a bit more long term, but there is some excellent potential that exists behind the idea of fans uniting behind the work of a filmmaker who can make positive contributions to both franchises (especially if The Suicide Squad and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 are as different films as we expect them to be). People will always have preferences, but it’s nice to think of the peace that could come from movie-goers everywhere uniting in support of Gunn’s talents.
It should be recognized that this isn’t the first time in recent history that a Marvel filmmaker has worked on a DC project, but given the extremely different circumstances we can probably assume that things will go better this time around than what ended up happening with Joss Whedon’s attempt to save Justice League. They kind of have to, right?
But it’s not just the big brands that are being benefited by these turn of events, as another smaller superhero feature could wind up getting a nice boost from the situation as well.
Brightburn Isn’t Surrounded By Distraction
In the immediate wake of last year’s James Gunn controversy, one film that got unfortunately shafted was David Yarovesky’s Brightburn. Produced by Gunn and written by his brother, Brian, and cousin, Mark, the movie had a big Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con scheduled mere hours after the Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 news, and not only was the presentation cancelled, but the film was delayed. For the longest time it looked like it was going to be a victim of circumstance beyond its purview, but that’s totally changed now that the whole matter has been resolved.
Brightburn, which is basically the Superman origin story with a horror twist, is scheduled to be released on May 24th, and the environment in which it will now be released is completely different than how it appeared it would be just a few days ago. As things initially stood, the Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 firing would have been a huge distraction from the release of the film, but now all of that talk has been neutralized. Sure, there will likely still be tons of Guardians and The Suicide Squad quotes floating around, especially if James Gunn winds up doing a fair amount of press for the release, but the context of it all will be totally different, and potentially beneficial.
It was never obvious how the whole situation with James Gunn and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 was going to play out, but now that the dust is settling we can see that things have worked out quite spectacularly. There is a lot to be excited about following these developments, and it could mean a lot of great things to come in the future of comic book and superhero big screen storytelling.
19 years ago, Final Destination took off into movie history with its first entry in a series that would span five films and a little over a decade’s worth of time. And if it wasn’t for Devon Sawa’s Alex receiving that premonition on board Flight 180, we wouldn’t have had a franchise to look forward to! So it seems more than a little weird that Sawa would notice on the exact date of the 19th anniversary of that first film, his flight number seemed a little… scary.
In a twist that would surely fit in a Final Destination movie of its own, Devon Sawa was on flight 317 yesterday, which was not only St. Patrick’s Day, but also the opening day back in 2000 for his first film in the saga. While Sawa originally noted that it was 20 years ago, he corrected himself in the subtweets below, right past the point where Seth Rogen admitted he tried out for Seann William Scott’s role in the first film.
Though, to be fair, he was probably filming the movie 20 years ago, and when you’ve worked on a film like Final Destination, the production and opening dates can sometimes get a big muddled. Still, 19 years after the smash hit opening of Final Destination is a funny day to have a flight number so inexorably linked to the day of his own flight. Some would say he should have played the lottery, especially taking into account the fact that spawned around $665 million internationally.
If New Line and Warner Bros wanted to really get spooky, they should think about putting together a Final Destination reunion tour and re-release for the 20th anniversary proper next year, in service of getting at least $1 million to hit that magic number of the devil. It certainly wouldn’t hurt, what with the studio partners considering a reboot at this moment. Though if the grosses tend to be a little better coming from any sort of hypothetical anniversary, they may want to think about a potential reboot that changes the continuity to reintroduce Alex back into the game of death.
Are you ready for this whole situation to get scarier? As if the whole flight number coincidence wasn’t enough of a Twitter moment, Devon Sawa had another encounter that invoked the spirit of the Final Destination franchise. This time though it wasn’t a number, it was a person who tied it all together again, as he ran into fellow co-star Tony Todd, known partially for his role as the dire but oh so smooth undertaker who taught the kids a lesson about death in that very first film. Take a look for yourself:
Now we’re not saying Devon Sawa is cursed or anything, but two coincidences almost add up to a movie’s worth of danger. So maybe he’ll want to find a nice, cozy spot of the world to relax in; just in case anything is lurking around the corner. But for all we know, it’s just a bunch of crazy coincidences, and nothing else. It’s not like there’s any sort of plan working through the wheels of fate or anything.
In just over a month’s time, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3 will come to an end in Avengers: Endgame. More than closing out Phase 3 though, Endgame also puts a cap on the first eleven years of the MCU, a journey that consists of three Phases and twenty-one films. We’ve been told that Avengers: Endgame represents a culmination; the end of the book and narrative that began with Iron Man. Now, as we race towards its climactic conclusion, we finally know what it’s called. And it is epic.
According to Empire Magazine, Kevin Feige has revealed that the first three phases of the MCU are called The Infinity Saga.
Yup, that is an appropriately epic and fitting name for the 21-film journey we have been on since 2008. It’s a super cool name that is going to look awesome emblazoned on a massive and expensive Blu-ray box set one day. Considering that we didn’t even know that these first three phases would have a specific name (think of all the speculation we missed out on!) beyond just Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, it is a pleasant surprise as well.
Marvel has clearly taken a page out of corporate brother Lucasfilm’s book with this name. Like ‘The Skywalker Saga’, the word ‘saga’ just conveys an extra level of grandiosity and has an epic quality to it, befitting a heroic tale, vast in scope and long in telling. Series or chronicle doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. The only thing that comes close is ‘cycle’ which is what George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novel series is often referred to as.
Sometimes the most obvious answers are the right ones and The Infinity Saga frankly sounds like the most obvious and appropriate name for the Marvel Cinematic Universe films to date.
The Tesseract, which contained the Space Stone, was introduced all the way back in Phase 1 in Captain America: The First Avenger and the Infinity Gauntlet (albeit a replica) first appeared in Thor. Thanos first appeared in the end-credits scene of The Avengers and he and the Infinity Stones have acted like a specter hanging over everything and propelling the plot ever since. That the Infinity Saga built to the Avengers: Infinity War shows that this name is the right one.
I’m honestly not sure what the MCU’s first three Phases would be called other than The Infinity Saga. The Stan Lee Saga would honor the man who Marvel owes so much to and left such a legacy in the films, but it wouldn’t speak to the story. The only other choice would have been The Avengers Saga, but we may get more Avengers movies after Endgame, so that wouldn’t hold as much weight.
There are more stories yet to come in the MCU, and Endgame is a demarcation line between what came before and what comes after. What’s interesting about finding out this name is that if The Infinity Saga is book 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, what’s book 2?
We know so little about Phase 4 (if it’s even called that) that it’s difficult to make an educated guess at this point. The New Avengers Saga? The Secret Invasion Saga? The Galactus Saga? Or, wishful thinking here as this may be more book 3 material but The Mutant Saga? We probably won’t know for some time, maybe in another 21 films, but it’s fun to think about.
Avengers: Endgame concludes The Infinity Saga on April 26. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all of this year’s biggest movies.
Jordan Peele surprised a lot of people with his directorial debut, Get Out. I was one of those people. While I had been a fan of Peele’s comedy for a long time, I had no idea what to expect when I sat down to watch his first horror movie. Looking back, it’s still the best movie I’ve seen since February 2017, when it was released. When it was announced that Peele was working on his next project, a movie simply called Us, I was certainly excited. Now here I stand on the eve of being able to finally watch Peele’s new movie and I’m confronting a serious problem.
I’m actually a little scared to see this movie.
I still remember the first time i saw the trailer for Us. It was just before Christmas last year. We knew the trailer was imminent; in fact, it was expected to be released online on Christmas Day, so when I went to the theater to do a little end-of-the-year awards season maintenance and watch The Favourite, I certainly wasn’t expecting to see that trailer, not yet and not ahead of that movie, but there it was. Jordan Peele‘s name came up before anything started to get weird in the trailer, so I knew what I was watching, and as I sat in a mostly empty theater I watched one of the scariest trailers I have ever seen unfold over two minutes. Then The Favourite started and I’d be lying if i said I gave the film the proper attention, at least at the start. The trailer was still on my mind.
If you somehow have made it this far without seeing the first look at Us, here’s a reminder of what I’m talking about.
I haven’t seen anything scarier than that trailer since. In fact, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I have simultaneously been looking forward to Us, possibly more than any other movie this year, while also being terrified to actually see it.
Horror movies are a strange sort of animal. It’s the one genre of film that you sometimes hear movie fans seemingly discounting in its entirety. If you hear somebody claim they love movies, but don’t watch dramas, you’d wonder what the hell was wrong with them; however, if somebody says that about horror movies, we just move on like it’s expected and even makes sense.
Frequently, movies that should be classified as horror get called something else, if only to avoid the stigma that can come along with the genre title. Get Out itself was one of these movies. It didn’t have a murderous slasher antagonist or a series of brutal murders of or by teenagers, so by certain definitions, maybe it didn’t qualify as a horror movie. It was a horror movie, of course, but if calling it a “thriller” helped Get Out do better at the box office, so be it.
Of course, all that was part of why Get Out worked so well. Because it was absolutely a horror movie, but one that didn’t necessarily look that way at first. The film found its horrific elements in other places beyond simply violence. We didn’t get the visual horror that we expect from a traditional “slasher movie.” However, the scenario was pure nightmare fuel even if the villains didn’t wear hockey masks.
And that’s part of why Us is feeling so scary to me now now. Based on the early responses by those that saw Us at SXSW, it’s clear the movie has more to say than the trailers are letting on, in much the same way that Get Out did, yet in addition to that, the movie also has those elements of “traditional horror” that make this one feel like it’s going to be bloody and violent.
I’ve seen more than my share of horror movies in recent years, it’s sort of my job now, but when I was a kid I was certainly one of those people who “didn’t do horror.” It wasn’t so much that I avoided the genre, I simply didn’t seek it out. The idea of being uncomfortable while watching a movie just didn’t appeal to me — it wasn’t what I went to the movies for. When I did see them, horror movies didn’t necessarily scare me, but they always made me nervous that they might.
Horror movies still make me nervous and uncomfortable to some extent now. I mean, they’re supposed to, but never has it been like this. I didn’t feel like this when I went to see IT, another movie that was actually one of my favorites in 2017. I’m just as excited to see that sequel later this year, without any of the stomach-churning dread that comes with Us.
Also, it should be noted, that “jump scares” get me all the time. Every. Single. Time. Even a movie I’ve seen before has about a 40% chance of making me spill something with a jump scare. When I’m seeing a movie for the first time, popcorn flying into the aisle is virtually guaranteed.
Everything about the Us trailer makes me uncomfortable in a way that I haven’t felt in a really long time. The dark versions of the main characters feel not simply evil, but wrong. The way they look, the way they move, it all feels off. These are scariest movie monsters I’ve ever encountered, and I’ve only made it as far as the trailer.
Of course, what might make Us so potentially terrifying is that I’m also so incredibly excited to see it. I’m throwing myself to the wolves with this one in a way that I haven’t with any other recent horror movie. It makes me feel vulnerable in a way that I don’t usually let myself get with any movie. Even if it wasn’t my job to see Us, I would be seeing the new movie from the man that brought us Get Out this weekend.
I have no idea what’s in store for me when I see Us this week, although I’m prepared to be terrified on multiple levels. I may have to skip out on bringing snacks due to the aforementioned fear of throwing them all over the aisles. I can’t wait.
When Ian Fleming created the character of James Bond in his 1953 novel Casino Royale, he probably never imagined that it would start a media franchise that would not only outlive him, but also span more than 50 years of action. With countless books, 24 films, and other adaptations and depictions having taken place, there’s certainly a lot of Bond to go around for anyone who wants it.
But those who have most indelibly ingrained the character on our minds are, of course, those who got to play the character on film, and for one brief instance on television. Those eight actors are the historic watermarks for James Bond’s longevity on the screen, and without their contributions, the series just might not be the behemoth that it has evolved into. Who are the people who have played James Bond over the years? Let’s catch up on them all.
Year(s) Active: 1954 Number Of Films: 1
Believe it or not, James Bond began his journey to the silver screen as a live TV adaptation for the hit show Climax! Adapting the first book in the series, Casino Royale, writers Charles Bennett and Anthony Ellis made a rather interesting change to the source material in order for Barry Nelson to star as 007 himself. Which is why this is the only version you’ll see with an American James Bond, and a British Felix Leiter. All other versions after this would revert Bond back to being a renowned super spy for MI6, but in the Climax! version, he works for the Combined Intelligence Agency.
Year(s) Active: 1962 – 1967, 1971, 1983 Number Of Films: 7 Probably the most iconic James Bond to ever hit the screen, Sean Connery is the person that everyone thinks of when you say the words, “Bond, James Bond.” While Ian Fleming initially doubted the casting, his successful debut in 1962’s Dr. No not only won the author over to his side, it also caused him to write the character closer to the actor’s own background in subsequent novels. But while he’s one of the most iconic actors to have played the role, he’s also one of the most complicated actors to have taken the role.
This is because of the fact that while he had a straight five year run as the character, from 1962 to 1967, he was lured back twice after that golden age to reprise the character. One of those performances, 1983’s Never Say Never Again, is counted as an unofficial James Bond film; considering it was made outside of the EON Productions canon, and is a remake of Thunderball, driven by the film’s original creator, Kevin McClory. Save for a video game voice-over role in an adaptation of From Russia With Love, that was the last time Connery ever donned the tuxedo – and it’s still a source of debate between Bond fans who love it or hate it.
Year(s) Active: 1967 Number Of Films: 1 Whenever David Niven enters a conversation on film, the James Bond series is something folks wouldn’t be likely to cite as part of his resume. And yet, when Columbia bought the rights to turn Casino Royale into a comedy send-up of the still young 007 franchise, he was indeed the man they chose to play the O.G. James Bond. The second of the non-EON Productions films that is argued to either be canon or not, it took an interesting approach to the character that saw Niven being the classiest, most atypical Bond of all.
In the 1967 spoof, MI6 decides to name several agents James Bond, complete with the 007 designation. Their reasoning? Because it’ll confuse the enemy. And the one to train all of them is Niven’s Sir James Bond, who doesn’t do fancy gadgets or womanizing, but instead is a stiff upper lip type who knows his craft. The film remains an oddity for Bond fans to discuss, and while co-stars like Peter Sellers and Woody Allen technically had the Bond name as covers, David Niven was the only one to really be James Bond.
Year(s) Active: 1969 Number Of Films: 1
A first time actor and Australian model, George Lazenby was the man selected to take on the role of James Bond after Sean Connery had first bowed out of the role after 1967’s You Only Live Twice. His one, and only, turn in the role was in the 1969 format breaker On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It’s a format breaker for two key components: there’s only one, big gadget used in the entire film, and Bond ends up having a female partner / love interest.
While he was considering returning for The Man With The Golden Gun, back when it was slated to be the next film in line, Lazenby eventually vacated the role, triggering Connery’s first return to the role. Apparently, the production of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was so disheartening for George Lazenby, as he felt the creative forces mistreated him and he had grudges with two of his co-stars. Though after this slight bump in the road, the James Bond franchise would experience its most stable period yet.
Year(s) Active: 1973 – 1985 Number Of Films: 7
Thanks to his work on a rather Bond-esque television adaptation of Leslie Charteris’ The Saint, Roger Moore was eventually cast as the fifth actor to take on the role of 007. Starting in 1973’s Live and Let Die, the actor would set a record for official installments played by a single actor, as he racked up seven films by time 1985’s A View To A Kill hit theaters. Though if you were to ever discuss his tenure with die-hard Bond fans, you’ll hear some of the same criticisms come up over and over again.
Between the more joke-laden tone that the Moore films took, and the fact that Roger Moore might have been wise to retire while he could still do most of his stunt work, you’ll get some people labeling him as the worst James Bond of the lot. But it’s hard to deny that he did possess the charm that the role requires, and when allowed by the material he was given, was able to lend an air of gravitas in moments that truly counted.
Year(s) Active: 1987 – 1989 Number Of Films: 2
When On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was trying to cast the role of James Bond, one particular actor was considered but eventually deemed too young for the role. That man was none other than Timothy Dalton, a classically trained actor who was eventually given another chance when someone with a very similar situation had to back out when casting 1987’s The Living Daylights. Naturally, the role went to Dalton, and the rest was rather interesting history.
Known as a super serious Bond, Dalton only made two very experimental appearances as the character, with 1989’s License To Kill being his swan song. In both films, 007 ditched the Moore era’s tone of winks and smiles, and instead delved more into Ian Fleming’s original intent for the character to be a noir-ish hard case. Even the trademark womanizing was toned down, as Bond focused more on his job and less on the ladies surrounding him on both occasions. He would never get to reprise the role, as legal troubles for the series would delay production on his proposed third film so long, his contract had expired and not been brought up for renewal.
Year(s) Active: 1995 – 2002 Number Of Films: 4
After legal troubles, and the end of the Cold War took place in the gap between License To Kill and 1995’s Goldeneye, the storied franchise of 007’s exploits was going to need a pretty severe revamp. And who better to lead the way than another actor who was previously approached for the role, but had to pass. We could have had a version of The Living Daylights starring Pierce Brosnan, but you can thank contractual obligations with NBC’s hit TV show Remington Steele from letting that happen. But as history has shown us, sometimes losing the role once means it just wasn’t your time.
With one foot in the wittier side of the pool that Roger Moore’s films occupied, and the other in Sean Connery’s era of a killer edge, Brosnan’s tenure in the role was a mixed, but exciting bag. Starting off with the very serious Goldeneye, but finishing with the very silly Die Another Day, the Pierce Brosnan era also brought another pleasant surprise – his first female boss. Through four films together, Brosnan and Dame Judi Dench gave the flagging series a more contemporary update, which also saw its lead surprisingly replaced with very little notice. While his last film would celebrate 40 years and 20 films in the James Bond canon, change was once again in the air.
Year(s) Active: 2006 – 2020 Number Of Films: 4 (to date)
Enter the most recent cast change, and our current era of Bond history – the age of Daniel Craig. In a casting contest that had the likes of Clive Owen and Henry Cavill competing for the role, Craig won out when it came to the role of England’s premiere covert operative. And it was at a moment that the series really needed a strong hand, as 2006’s Casino Royale was announced as not only the 21st James Bond film, but also a reboot to the character’s first assignment as a 00-agent.
Like a brick through a plate glass window, the film was the smash that revitalized the series that has now been operating into its fifth decade of film history. Craig brought back the edge of Timothy Dalton and the vulnerability of George Lazenby, and the charm of Sean Connery, into a cocktail that would serve Craig, and his audience, very well in the years that followed. While he was originally deemed by fans as unfit for the role, most memorably after being labeled as “James Blonde,” it didn’t take long for him to convince the world that he was one of the best Bonds to have come along in some time.
While Quantum of Solace and Spectre have been seen as slight dips in quality, Skyfall delivered a 50th birthday present that only guaranteed that James Bond would be returning for some time to come. And as Bond 25 serves as Daniel Craig’s rumored final entry as 007, the page will now turn for a new era of Bond history. Who will occupy the role next is left to be discovered. If we’ve learned anything from this re-examination of history, it’s that whoever fills the tuxedo next will probably be an unexpected surprise, but one worth sticking around for.
The trailer had the Avengers rocking fancy suits and new hairdos, lots of great character moments and plenty to obsess and speculate over. It was an intense and emotionally fraught two-and-a-half minutes that poetically honored the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s past and its decade-long journey, while getting you amped to go into a battle where the cost of victory will be high. The Avengers: Endgame trailer was everything you could possibly want it to be and more. It’s also the last thing I want to see from this movie before its release.
Like the Jedi, it’s time for the Avengers: Endgame trailers (and TV spots, and new footage) to end.
Now, upfront it should be said that the newest trailer is seemingly the ‘Final Trailer’ so we may be safe on that account. But there are no guarantees. There is still over a month left to go and the marketing campaign hasn’t really ramped up yet. I am not so naïve as to think that there won’t be any TV spots prior to this film’s release, heck there haven’t really been any– yet sans the Super Bowl trailer.
What I am arguing for here is that there should be no new footage for Avengers: Endgame put out, beyond what has already been released. The reasons for that are simple: we don’t need to see anymore, and each new bit of footage at this point would reveal more of the story and open up the possibility of spoilers.
This is not to say that the trailers thus far have shown us too much, on the contrary they have shown us just enough in what has been a pitch perfect marketing campaign. To date, there have been two full trailers and a Big Game spot for Avengers: Endgame. They have all been focused on establishing the tone and the stakes for the characters, than they have been about laying out the plot of the movie.
We’ve been shown the fallout of The Decimation and the bleakness the characters face after Avengers: Infinity War. It’s also been shown that the Avengers can’t just accept their losses and move on, and will do whatever it takes to try and change what happened. What we haven’t been shown is the exact contours of their plan and the plot itself. Sure, fans that read sites like this one can probably make an educated guess at the ‘how’ of it all, but the trailers haven’t explicitly laid that out, giving us only hints.
To this point I don’t even think we’ve seen much of Endgame’s third act, beyond a few shots like Cap’s grimace, Ant-Man’s eraser launch and Nebula’s battle cry in the most recent trailer. However, some have said that seeing Nebula and Tony Stark with the rest of the team in the white suits is a spoiler that those two make it back from Titan. But let’s be real, just like nobody thought Jon Snow was going to stay dead, literally no one thought that Nebula and especially Iron Man were going to die from lack of oxygen on a ship.
You’ll often hear movie fans complain about trailers that spoil too much, and justifiably so. Yet, despite the fact that the Avengers: Endgame trailers have committed any spoilery sins, I still don’t want to see any more; no more trailers and no new footage in any form, be it TV spots or otherwise. Every new bit of footage runs the risk of further fleshing out the plot and spoiling us on something.
The trailers for Endgame have done their job and they’ve done it marvelously. They have been awesome, emotional and chill inducing. With Hawkeye-like precision, the trailers have hit the sweet spot of being enough to sell me, but not enough to spoil me. I’m already sold and I couldn’t possibly get more hyped for this movie than I already am.
Marvel doesn’t need to show us another frame of footage to sell Avengers: Endgame. The film is already tracking to have the biggest opening weekend ever and there’s not a single person who is on the fence about seeing this movie that can be pushed over the edge by another trailer. You’re either out, or, like most of the world, you’re in on this movie and would have been even if there had never been a single trailer. Just recut the already released footage for a variety of TV spots and you’re good to go.
Asking for the footage from this year’s most anticipated movie to stop is admittedly a strange request. Especially given that in the long drought after Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp, we were begging to see the trailer for Avengers 4. And a year before that, fans were demanding to see the Avengers: Infinity War trailer. Right now Star Wars fans are going through their own test of patience, waiting to find out the title and see the first footage from Episode IX.
Nevertheless, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and any more Endgame footage risks doing more harm than good. I’ve always believed that movie trailers are part of the experience, and I’m glad we’ve seen what we’ve seen so far to get us as hyped as possible for this unprecedented cinematic event. If there’s new footage I’ll have to watch it, but Marvel has achieved the perfect balance with the Avengers: Endgame trailers, it would be a shame for that balance to be upset by showing us too much.
We’re only about two months out from Godzilla: King of the Monsters giving audiences a showdown they’re likely to never forget. Pitting the king himself against the various other MUTO in the MonsterVerse, the sequel to 2014’s smash hit is going to need to pack quite a punch to match up to that previous success. Judging by the clip shown below, it looks like Godzilla will have no problem delivering the goods:
The bulk of the new footage in this look at director Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters seems to take place at an underwater observation post for the cryptozoological organization known as Monarch. With the returning faces of Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins, alongside franchise newbies Kyle Chandler and Thomas Middleditch, we see Godzilla engaging in an intimidation display for all aboard to see.
Of course, what good is an intimidation display of glowing light if it isn’t followed up by Godzilla swimming too close for comfort? As you see in the dialogue presented in the scene, that message is more than gladly received. This triggers some quick shots of Rodan being released from a volcano, King Ghidorah spewing fire breath from all three heads, and tons of property destruction. All in the name of crowning the true king of the monsters.
Now there’s something interesting to note in this new look at footage from Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and it’s all to do with Vera Farmiga’s Dr. Emma Russell. In the latest trailer, there’s a brief moment where Dr. Russell is looking rather distressed, and either injured and/or dying.
As the rain hits her face, and she gazes at something off camera, she says, “Long live the king,” much as Charles Dance did in the first look at the film. While some might think that pertains to Godzilla himself, there could be another interpretation.
For instance, Dr. Russell could be cheering on King Ghidorah, who seems to be the MUTO head honcho squaring off against Godzilla’s sort of rogue agent of balance in the world. After all, it’s her band of rogue scientists that seem to be deliberately releasing the would be Titans from their prisons around the globe.
This is far from confirmed, but just something to think about in the run up to Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and the implications it might have for the film.
Despite whatever this footage from Godzilla: King of the Monsters means in the long run, the short term effect is that we’re just that much more anxious to see the film. And if this sort of action doesn’t get your heart going, then there’s plenty of other fish in the sea. Just make sure they steer clear of Godzilla and his challengers when the big fight goes off.