Why Will Smith Almost Said ‘No’ To The Live-Action Aladdin

Will Smith may be a desperado, but he isn’t desperate for roles. In fact, when he was presented with the idea of playing the Genie in Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin, out this weekend, the actor’s first impulse was to say no?

Why would an a-lister say no to a role in a big Disney live action adaptation? Well, Robin Williams’ original performance in 1992’s Aladdin was one of the most iconic of all-time, and Will Smith didn’t originally think he could bring anything to the table. He told Ellen DeGeneres this week:

While Will Smith initially felt he would have to pass on Aladdin, he did tinker around with the idea for a bit. He revealed on Ellen that when he went into the studio and spent some time toying around with the iconic song ‘Friend like Me’ he realized he could be the right fit for the big, blue genie.

Per the actor, the real flash of inspiration was when Will Smith realized he could bring in his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air character’s characteristics and bring some hip-hop flavor to the role. He revealed:

Nostalgia is a big thing in Disney’s 2019 live-action Aladdin. Without giving too much away, the movie mirrors a lot of the iconic classic’s most memorable moments. However, it also spins the tale in a new way, with characters like Jasmine gaining agency and characters like the Genie adding a different flavor into the mix. In fact, ‘Friend Like Me’ has been a big entry point for Will Smith to engage with fans of the franchise as well.

Whoever took on the role of the genie was always going to have to deal with being compared to Robin Williams, who would be a tough act for anyone to follow. Honestly, the role really needed to go to someone splashy with a big name in order to work, and we’re lucky Will Smith said yes after much deliberation. If the Guy Ritchie flick had cast a no-name, I’m not sure that person would have been able to pull it off.

Aladdin hits theaters this Friday. For a full look at the summer movies coming up, check out our movies schedule.

Knights Of Ren Confirmed For Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens we were introduced to a collection of apparently villainous characters called the Knights of Ren. We witnessed them standing in the rain outside of Luke Skywalker’s burning Jedi temple, and then, they were gone. We’ve never seen or heard a word about them since Rey’s flashback in the first film of the new trilogy, but now a new report confirms that the Knights of Ren will return in for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Rumors had been swirling that the Knights would be back for the final film of the trilogy, and the characters were even spottted in a supposedly leaked poster image, but a new Vanity Fair article confirms the Knights will play a part, and even shows the characters off. The Knights of Ren are described as wearing mismatched armor with oversized arsenals of weapons. Whereas the rest of the First Order looks sleek and ordered, the Knights of Ren are put together in a much more haphazard fashion.

The article also confirms that the one good shot that we received of Kylo Ren in the Rise of Skywalker teaser trailer shows him taking down one of the Knights of Ren.

Of course, the fact that Kylo Ren is attacking the Knights of Ren in this shot creates more questions than answers. Is this a flashback? Is the reason we have’t seen the Knights of Ren before because they’re all dead? Does this mean Ben Solo is going to turn to the light side after all and attack those that he was previously aligned with? Does this mean the Knights of Ren have turned to the light and Kylo Ren is fighting them for that reason?

While it is now confirmed that the Knights of Ren will appear in the new film, no details are being given regarding how they’re being used, so your guess is as good as mine. Where have they been all this time and why are they back now? We’ll find out in December I guess. One rumor has indicated the Knights have been busy elsewhere over the course of the previous two films.

A great deal will have changed for Kylo Ren when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker starts. He will, one assumes, have been ruling over the First Order alone for the year that has passed since The Last Jedi. How this has changed him and his relationship with these characters, is certainly an interesting question.

In Star Wars: The Last Jedi Luke Skywalker says that when Ben Solo left after destroying the temple he took some of the students with him. Whether or not these people are the Knights of Ren we don’t specifically know, though it seems likely.

Since the Knights of Ren have never been anything more than a name and an image before, we have really no idea what to expect from them in the new film. Even the books and and other Star Wars material that has been released in the last few years has remained remarkably quiet on the Knights of Ren. They may not end up being anybody particularly special or they could end up becoming some of the most popular new characters of the new trilogy. We’ll find out December 20.

Keri Russell’s Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Character Finally Revealed In New Image

While we’re still pretty much in the dark when it comes to details on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s plot, there’s plenty of other information that’s slowly being put out into the universe. Today brings one of the most beautiful traditions linked to the modern era of Star Wars film’s: the Vanity Fair spread.

Among the new character reveals that took place in this latest version of that time-honored happening is our first look at Keri Russell’s new Star Wars character, Zorri Bliss. As you’ll see in the photo below, she was absolutely right to say that she had the coolest costume in the film:

This first look at Zorri and her costume has us thinking that Keri Russell is playing a bounty hunter character, or at least someone who swims in the same dark circles as Boba Fett. Then again, if anyone shows up in the Star Wars universe with weapons and a helmet obscuring their face, it’s not a hard stretch to think that this person would be looking to apprehend any person, object, or information for the right price.

With a gold helmet that looks like The Rocketeer joined Daft Punk, and a crimson/purple jumpsuit that complements further gold and bronze accents, Zorri is definitely ready for action. The inclusion of her dual pistols only makes us want to hang out with her more, knowing that at any given moment, a fight could break out and Zorri Bliss would end it just as quickly.

Not only was the first look at Zorri’s costume shared by Vanity Fair, but some details about Zorri’s character were also given. Sure enough, we’re not the only people that see a smooth criminal in the Star Wars galaxy, as their write up mentions that the fresh war raging throughout the new trilogy has continued to allow the criminal underworld to flourish. Which certainly explains the fancy threads on Zorri Bliss.

That’s speculation, of course, but should Keri Russell’s new character make a big enough impression, this just might be the future we’re looking at. We’ll have to wait until Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in our galaxy on December 20th to find out. In the meantime, you can take a look at what all we know about the upcoming flick so far.

Aladdin Reviews Are In, Here’s What The Critics Think

Mena Massoud and Will Smith in Aladdin

Disney has had repeated success remaking it’s animated hits and the newest entry in the series is Aladdin. Like Beauty and the Beast before it, this version of Aladdin is a largely faithful adaptation right down to being a full musical like its animated counterpart. For the most part, audiences seem be getting behind the new version of the popular tale, but there are some notable exceptions.

Our own Eric Eisenberg is one of those exceptions. While Eric admitted the soundtrack to the new Aladdin is top notch, in the end, the movie fell victim to the sin of following its source material too closely, thus lacking any creativity of its own. Eric gave the film two and a half stars, saying…

The new Aladdin does have a fun energy and charm – not to mention one of the best soundtracks of any Disney musical ever – but all of these positives are simply borrowed, and there is a very real and notable limit to its creative energy.

The lukewarm to negative reviews are in the minority, the Rotten Tomatoes score for Aladdin is currently in the high 70s, but they are there. ScreenCrush gives the movie points for effort, saying that Will Smith works hard, perhaps too hard, to make his Genie work. In the end, however, the new Aladdin doesn’t surpass the original in any way…

But there’s still nothing that this Aladdin does better — or as well — as the original. Even the parts pulled directly from the 1992 Aladdin by Ron Clements and John Musker, like the songs, have lost something in translation.

Aladdin is one of the movies that came out during what’s called the Disney Renaissance. The studio’s animation division, that had been nearly shuttered only a few years before, was riding high on a series of successes. Parents taking their kids to see the new Aladdin saw the original on the big screen as kids themselves. It seems some reviews don’t think those adults are going to find the same magic here.

The decision to have Guy Ritchie, the man behind movies like Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, direct the live-action Aladdin always seemed like an odd choice. The Associated Press largely throws what doesn’t work about Aladdin at his feet, saying…

It’s pretty clear after watching the new live-action Aladdin that doubts about Will Smith’s casting as the Genie are overblown. It’s the guy behind the camera who should be doubted. And stuffed into a small lamp forever.

If you’ve seen the 1992 animated movie then you know the story. Aladdin is a homeless beggar on the streets of fictional middle eastern Agrabah. He gets enlisted by the Sultan’s villainous vizier Jafar to obtain a magic lamp, but ends up unleashing the Genie trapped inside himself. Aladdin then uses the Genie’s magic to transform himself into a prince in order to try and impress the princess he’s fallen in love with.

However, while some find the new movie weak, for the most part, critics are giving the new film, passing, if not stellar grades. Variety finds the melding of live-action and CGI to be a task uniquely suited to a stylish director like Guy Ritchie…

Where the director really shines is in melding practical elements with virtual ones. Whether making Smith’s computer-enhanced and cerulean-skinned Genie look natural sharing the screen with Aladdin or swooping the camera along magic carpet rides through virtual sets, Ritchie’s style embraces the kind of expressionism needed to pull off such a fanciful tale.

One of the hardest jobs that the new Aladdin had to accomplish was making the Genie work. Robin Williams’ version of the character from 1992 wasn’t just great, it was iconic. It became one of the great animation performances of all time. How in the blue hell does Will Smith try to take on a role like that, still make it feel like Disney’s Genie, while somehow avoiding a comparison that is not going to go well?

Many reviews think that Will Smith did a good job, or at least a good enough, job, in that regard. THR says Smith infused the role with his own personality and made it work, even if the CGI maybe doesn’t work all the time…

Smith, faced with the impossible task of living up to Robin Williams’ iconic voice performance, easily makes the role his own. His infectious personality shines throughout, and he even manages to infuse his martini-swilling Genie with moving emotional moments.

The Genie does also get a bit more to do in this version of the film. He spends a large part of the story “disguised” as human in order to actually play a part in the story beyond simply being the source of magic when needed.

The top performances in the new Aladdin however, clearly belong to the two human lead characters. Mena Massoud who plays the title character and Naomi Scott’s Jasmine are getting generally positive reviews for their performances. As the New York Post puts it..

Massoud and Scott make a live-action “Aladdin” succeed on a different level than a cartoon can — as a teary romance. “A Whole New World” is more moving than the original.

The one way that the new Aladdin does make significant changes to the original animated movie is in the way it handles Princess Jasmine. She has a lot more agency in the new film, and even gets her own song, an original tune written for the film called “Speechless.” If we’re being honest, many reviews don’t think the song is all that good, however nobody is blaming Naomi Scott’s performance for that.

In the final analysis, it seems quite clear that if what you want from the new live-action Aladdin is a slightly modified version of the movie you already, know and love, then you will likely enjoy the new movie. If, however, you are looking for a movie that tries to do something creative with the popular property, you’ll find the film lacking.

Based on the success of the Beauty and the Beast remake from a couple of years ago, it seems like moviegoers are perfectly happy with just getting the same story over again and so the new Aladdin may be about to make a billion dollars.

The new Aladdin hits theaters Friday.

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Captain Marvel’s Nick Fury Almost Lost His Eye In A Fight With The Skrulls

Warning: spoilers for Captain Marvel are in play. If you still haven’t seen the film, you may want to come back once you’re current.

Acting as the ‘90s throwback that it was set up to be, Captain Marvel set the table for a lot of different things that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has — and will — engage in during its thematic course of events. One such moment was, naturally, how Nick Fury lost vision in one of his eyes, something that had been alluded to previously but never explicitly shown onscreen before Captain Marvel.

While Captain Marvel gave us a definitive answer, we almost got an entirely different scenario altogether. One that would have seen Nick Fury losing an eye during a fight with some angry Skrulls.

During a recent interview for the home video release of Captain Marvel, directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck were on hand to provide some insight into their big ticket MCU hit. And when it came to how Fury’s accident originally happened, Fleck provided the following commentary on how it was originally supposed to happen:

The scenario that the Captain Marvel team eventually landed on was not only a surprising turn of events, but also the most Samuel L. Jackson moment the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever included. During the action of the film’s third act finale, Fury casually gets his eye scratched by Goose, the cat co-star of Captain Marvel that has stolen the hearts of the world. This leads to him shouting a very PG-13 friendly, “Mother-Flerkin!”

It’s certainly that elusive surprise that Ryan Fleck seemed to be looking for when talking out the thought process behind plotting Captain Marvel’s reveal of just how Nick Fury got his memorable look. He continued to discuss that point in greater detail during his interview alongside Anna Boden for CBM:

No one can blame Nick Fury for not wanting to talk about losing his eye to an intergalactic creature that had taken the form of a cat. It’s not an easy story that you could tell to just anyone, as there are a lot of other details that’d need to be involved in the telling. But losing an eye to mysterious circumstances involving the last person you trusted? That’s a total super-spy story, and that would probably get you at least one round on the house when going out for drinks.

Keeping the Marvel Cinematic Universe fresh is something that definitely takes a lot of work, and outside-the-box thinking. Changing Nick Fury’s pivotal, eye-destroying moment was one of those instances where the process worked out in everyone’s favor.

As we move into the future of the MCU, it’s that type of thinking that should propel the series into its next story arc. So if you see a cute animal on screen at any point in the future, think twice before holding it too close to your face.

Captain Marvel may still be in your local theater. If it isn’t, you’ll be able to take the film home either on Digital HD as of May 28th, or 4K UHD/Blu-ray/DVD on June 11th.

Thor’s Hammer Vs Aquaman’s Trident: What’s The More Powerful Weapon?

Has Thor's hammer met his match with Aquaman's trident?

*There are some spoilers for various Marvel and DC movies throughout this story, particularly the recently released Avengers-oriented flick. *

When you picture Thor and Aquaman, the first thing that comes to mind could be their origins in mythology. It could be how they are both the most powerful long-haired and bearded titans of their respective cinematic universes. Or it could be how they are both played by actors who are seemingly too ripped to be human.

Honestly, though, when it comes to Thor and Aquaman, let’s face it: what you really care about is that epic hammer and that sweet, sweet trident.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s God of Thunder, played by Chris Hemsworth, and the Atlantean king of the DC Extended Universe, completely reinvented by Jason Momoa, may have powers of great strength, yet still take great pride in their trusted weaponry. We can’t help but wonder, however, what is more powerful: Mjölnir or the Trident of Neptune?

Of course, in Thor: Ragnarok, Thor’s sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) destroyed Mjölnir out of spite and, and while it made a brief return in Avengers: Endgame, at the conclusion Captain America had to return it to 2013-era Thor in order to correct the alternate timelines. So, Thor’s proudly rocking Stormbreaker for now.

Still, for the purposes of comparing these two heroes, we figured Thor’s hammer would be the definitive weapon to focus on rather than splitting focus.

Depending on whether you are more of a DC fan or a Marvel fan, you might already have chosen which you prefer between Thor’s hammer and Aquaman’s trident based on personal alliances. Regardless, both have proven to be worthy assets to their respective owners. But which is the more powerful weapon?

Thor and Loki on Earth with Mjolnir

Thor’s Hammer

The origin of Thor’s hammer dates back centuries before Thor’s first appearance in Marvel comics in 1962.

Mjölnir, whose name is said to be derived from a Proto-Germanic word meaning “grind,” is an object of Norse mythology, depicted as one of the most powerful and cowering weapons in existence. For instance, one strike with this bad boy and you can say goodbye to Mt. Everest.

Yet, the destructive power of Thor’s hammer barely scratches the surface. It is a weapon of great complexity and some pretty high standards.

As deemed by Odin, Thor’s father and the king of Asgard played by Anthony Hopkins, only those who are worthy of Mjölnir’s power can be given the strength to wield it. With that in mind, what makes someone worthy of Thor’s hammer?

In the comics, Thor describes those worthy of wielding Mjölnir as being pure of heart and noble of mind. This explains why he was unable to retrieve the hammer while exiled on Earth in his 2010 solo origin movie. He was a narcissistic jerk.

Once his time on Earth as a powerless simpleton proved effective in grounding his ego a bit, Thor managed to prove himself and he Mjölnir were reunited, reinstilling him with his thunderous power.

A weapon as selective as Thor’s hammer must really come in handy. For one, Thor never has to worry about Mjölnir falling into the wrong hands. Any sinister adversaries he comes into conflict with will most definitely not be seen as worthy.

Additionally, let’s say that Thor is somehow incapacitated and unable to grasp Mjölnir at a particularly pressing moment in battle. Any allies of his who, hopefully, fall under the qualifications of being of pure of heart and noble of mind to the extent that Mjölnir will accept can take Thor’s hammer and let it rip.

Captain America has been worthy to wield Thor's hammer in the comics

This, of course, was hinted at in Avengers: Age of Ultron, when Captain America (Chris Evans) came shockingly close to lifting Thor’s hammer, visibly triggering triggering the god’s anxiety, not to mention how Vision (Paul Bettany) revealed his worthiness minutes after his creation. It was later confirmed that Cap had the power in him all along when he took charge of Mjölnir in the thunderous climax of Avengers: Endgame.

However, you would be surprised by how many other characters Thor’s hammer has deemed worthy throughout the comics’ history. Some of them barely made the cut.

Superman, during a DC-Marvel comics crossover event, wielded Thor’s hammer, but only for as long as Mjölnir determined that he really needed it. Bruce Banner’s Hulk has managed to lift it, as did his even grounchier alter ego Red Hulk, along with a few X-Men.

Even Deadpool got his hands on it before. Hmmm, maybe Mjölnir’s standards are not as high as we thought.

When it comes to the unworthy who have felt the wrath of Thor’s hammer, that list is longer. Thor has taken on the likes of his adopted brother Loki and planet-eating Galactus in the comics. He has even managed to defeat fellow heroes such as Iron Man or the Fantastic Four’s The Thing. Clearly, his weapon is powerful.

Yet, even some unworthy folk proved to not be completely vulnerable to Thor’s hammer. Fellow mythological god Hercules took on Thor and won, as did Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch. In one of the funnier comic book defeats I could find, Hulk managed to outsmart Thor by causing him to knock himself out with Mjölnir.

You may need to be pure of heart and noble of mind to wield it, but even Thor’s hammer is not impervious to motivation and a little cleverness. Still, it levels mountains, so there’s that.

Jason Mamoa as Aquaman aided by the Trident of Neptune

Aquaman’s Trident

According to its mythological origin, Aquaman (nèe Arthur Curry) is not the original wielder of the Trident of Neptune, nor is the original wielder even the sole original. In fact, that is only its name in Roman mythology. In Greek texts, the trident belongs to Poseidon.

DC’s interpretation of the myth borrows from the Roman equivalent, which depicts the trident as created by three Cyclopes (so, three one-eyed monsters) who forged impenetrable adamantine with Neptune’s own essence into a shape resembling a fishing spear. The three prongs are said to represent the three different kinds of bodies of water: seas, streams and rivers.

Aquaman’s trident serves as a symbol of his authority over the seven seas, as well as a few other fun purposes.

With its triple-pronged head and indestructibility, Aquaman’s trident appears to be a weapon of great effectiveness in battle. That would be considered an undeniable assumption. Aquaman has used the trident to slay sea monsters and wound his greatest enemies, such as archnemesis Black Manta or the powerful DC villain, Darkseid.

Aquaman uses the Trident of Neptun to take down Darkseid

The Trident of Neptune is capable of much more than violence, however… even if it used for that purpose most often.

Aquaman’s trident allows the wielder complete control over the seven seas, power to manipulate water, which allows him to create whirlpools, tidal waves, and even part the seas a la Moses in The Ten Commandments. If you are in the mood for another biblical reference, Aquaman could also flood the entire Earth with it if he wanted to.

Aquaman’s trident is not exclusive to waterbending, however. It possesses a vast array of magical abilities, including changing the appearance of people or objects, or making them disappear altogether. That may be a neat trick, but when he really wants to make an impression, he can use the trident to conjuring bolts of lightning and manipulating thunder.

Waaaaaiiiiittttt! Aquaman has the power of lightning and thunder? Looks like you’ve met your match, Thor.

Speaking of which…

Who will win: Thor's hammer or Aquaman's trident?

Hammer Vs. Trident

It’s main event time. Which comic book hero weapon is most powerful: Thor’s hammer or Aquaman’s trident?

As for similarities, both Mjölnir and the Trident of Neptune have proven to be of great imperviousness, except for that time Thor’s sister, Hela, crushed the hammer in one hand. However, we have yet to see Aquaman’s trident suffer a similar fate in future films, so whether it upstages Mjölnir in indestructibility is still up in the air.

Both weapons also possess the benefit of only allowing chosen champions to wield it. Thor’s hammer is the sentient one that is literally impossible to lift if not deemed worthy, though. I would have to award points to Mjölnir for encompassing the better security feature, but also take some back for letting Deadpool take advantage.

Thor’s hammer also allows him to fly, strike gargantuan blows against enemies, conjure bolts of lightning, and, as I have said before but cannot stop saying, level whole mountains for Odin’s sake!

The question is, however, which weapon is more powerful. Admittedly, Thor’s hammer has nothing on the ability to change the shape of matter, creating tidal waves and hurricanes, and manipulating, not just lightning, but also Thor’s bread and butter: thunder.

Thor may be the God of Thunder, but with the Trident of Neptune in his hands, Aquaman is literally the perfect storm.

By the power invested in me by CinemaBlend, I dub Aquaman’s trident the victorious weapon. Admittedly, it’s close.

Which do you think is the more powerful weapon?

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The Important Role Monarch Will Play In Godzilla: King Of The Monsters

Naturally the main reason one goes to a Godzilla movie is to see the eponymous creature fight other monsters, but it’s also important to have human characters involved to anchor the story. In the MonsterVerse franchise, most of those humans are part of or affiliated with Monarch, which has studied these Titans for nearly three-quarters of a century.

While 2014’s Godzilla and 2017’s Kong: Skull Island provided some information on Monarch, this month’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters pulling the curtain back even further on this organization. I recently interviewed King of the Monsters production designer Scott Chambliss, and he explained that Monarch’s headquarters is representative of the clash between man and nature in the movie. Speaking about the inspiration for designing these headquarters, Chambliss said:

Although Kong: Skull Island’s post-credits scenes showed Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson’s characters being held inside one of Monarch’s interrogation rooms, that’s hardly a good look into the kind of work space the agency’s employees operate in. Fortunately, Godzilla: King of the Monsters will not have that issue, and clearly Monarch is not lacking for funds if it can set up its headquarters within an underwater mountain.

More importantly, though, is how Godzilla: King of the Monsters reflects the core archetype through both the artificial elements making up Monrach’s base and its natural home. Scott Chambliss provided additional details about what to expect from the headquarters, saying:

In the present day MonsterVerse, the two main representatives of Monarch have been Ken Watanabe’s Ishiro Serizawa and Sally Hawkins’ Vivienne Graham. Both will be back for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and in addition to meeting some of their other coworkers, we finally get to see the kind of environment they’re in when not doing fieldwork.

Scott Chambliss also confirmed that it was incredibly difficult to put together the Monarch headquarters set. As he put it:

It’s hard to say just how much time Godzilla: King of the Monsters is spending inside the Monarch headquarters, and obviously the main draw of this latest MonsterVerse tale is witnessing Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah collide out in the open. Still, considering how little we’ve learned about the organization, it’s cool to see Monarch will have a bigger presence for this third entry.

Along with Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins reprising their roles, Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ main cast includes Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, g, Bradley Whitford, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, Aisha Hinds, O’Shea Jackson, David Strathairn and Zhang Ziyi. Michael Dougherty directed and co-wrote the script with Zach Shields.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters rampages into theaters on May 31, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. In the meantime, head to our 2019 release schedule to find out what movies are coming out later in the year.

Keanu Reeves Really Tried Not To Imitate Buzz Lightyear For Toy Story 4 Role

We probably said this in 2010 about Toy Story 3, but this time, Toy Story 4 might really mark Buzz Lightyear’s last appearance on screen, so we’d hate to see anyone stealing the thunder of the iconic toy voiced by Tim Allen. When Keanu Reeves came on board to play a new character named Duke Caboom on the upcoming film, there was some discussion regarding the similarities of their Pixar personas.

In Toy Story 4, Keanu Reeves plays “Canada’s favorite stuntman,” a mustachioed motorcyclist who loves to show off his poses. When Duke Caboom was first pitched, both Tim Allen and Reeves sensed the two characters had some similarities. However, the John Wick actor assured that he had no intention of imitating the space cadet the role. Here’s what he recently told EW:

The new character actually has a pretty tragic backstory! He’s advertised as an Evil Knievel-esque stuntman but he cannot actually perform what the commercials say he can do. Because of this, Duke Caboom let his kid down and has a fear of failure. In Toy Story 4, it looks like he will have an important role to play as Woody and Bo team up to rescue Forky and get back to Bonnie.

A new trailer for the film heavily features the Keanu Reeves’ Duke Caboom. See it for yourself:

I guess we’ll have to check out the movie if we want to see how Duke’s important motorcycle stunt pans out! The final trailer ahead of the movie’s release next month also features some more footage of the other new characters ,including Forky, who is central to the movie’s plot. Key and Peele’s Ducky and Bunny also deliver some funny moments to look forward in the film as well.

When a franchise such as this one has had many entries, it’s easy for some plot points and characters to start running together a bit, but Buzz Lightyear and Duke Caboom don’t look to be stepping on each others’ toes as far as we can see. Keanu Reeves found it important to give Duke a gruffer voice and inject some sensitivity and heart to him amidst his enthusiasm for motorcycle stunts.

Funny enough, the actor is actually Canadian and rides motorcycles of his own, so perhaps Duke is a bit of a character of himself in some ways.

Pixar recently said Toy Story 4 will be its last sequel for a while, so fans can look forward to more new characters from the story! The movie is expected to make a grand entrance when it opens on June 21, as tracking has its first weekend at as much as $130 million.

Keanu Reeves has just seen success with his latest John Wick film, which dethroned Avengers: Endgame at the box office over the weekend after reigning for almost a month at number one. It has also just been announced that John Wick 4 is in the works.

Are you excited to see Keanu Reeves Toy Story 4 character? Let us know in the comments below!

Avengers: Endgame And Infinity War Shot A Whopping 900 Hours Of Footage

An achievement in filmmaking, comic book adaptation and blockbuster franchise work in general, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame brought eager audiences almost 6 hours worth of story to close out the first saga in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But if you thought that was a mammoth undertaking, just wait until you dive into the fact that this trim and svelte package came from 900 hours of footage cultivated through the film’s back-to-back shoots.

This wonderful nugget of information comes from Jeffrey Ford, the co-editor of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, who, alongside fellow co-editor Matthew Schmidt, was tasked to help directors Joe and Anthony Russo craft their unique vision for the grand finale of the original Avengers lineup. And alongside that figure, Ford provided the following commentary for just why there was so much footage at the end of the day:

It kind of makes even more sense that when we interviewed the Russo Brothers about the production of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, they had no problem confirming that the production of one film right after the other was one of their big regrets. Just imagining all of the shooting and editing on Infinity War running into pre-production, and eventually the shooting and editing of Endgame, is enough to potentially drive any civilian mad.

Jeffrey Ford confirmed as much when he spoke to Business Insider, as he continued to talk about that process in the following details:

Looking at how Ford has edited or co-edited each Avengers film, the entire Captain America trilogy and Iron Man 3 since 2012, those claims are as water tight as the work that’s come out of the editing rooms at Marvel Studios. It should be noted that the figure of 900 hours’ worth of footage, while daunting, should have some caveats attached to its existence.

This is probably counting multiple takes of certain scenes and even moments where scenes are being set up and broken down. However, that also means that with the reshoots and retooling we’ve heard about with Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, there are moments we haven’t seen hidden in the fray.

Namely, if Disney+ really wanted to give themselves a killer edge over the competition, not only could they offer the theatrical cuts of both films, they could provide alternate versions that fans will not be able to find anywhere else. And with this much footage available, it might be easy to smooth out some of the edges and provide a whole new experience fans didn’t know they wanted.

Still, even if that 900 hours of footage is just sitting somewhere in the Marvel Studios vault, it’s good to know that out of that massive wall of movie came two spectacular halves to an event we’ll be lucky to see as many times as we want in our lifetimes. And it’s all thanks to the efforts of Jeffrey Ford and Matthew Schmidt.

Avengers: Infinity War is available on Netflix for streaming, as well as Digital HD and home video release, while Avengers: Endgame is currently in theaters now, and will be on Disney+ as of December 11.

Upcoming Star Wars Movies: List Of Titles And Release Dates

Millennium Falcon going warp speed in Star Wars The Rise Of Skywalker

Following the release of the prequel trilogy, the Star Wars franchise stayed mostly dormant on the big screen for years… but now we may never see a dormant period for the franchise ever again. The brand was revitalized when the Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm back in 2012, and nothing has been the same since the release of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December 2015. That billion dollar blockbuster kicked off a string of stories created by the studio, one coming out every year since, and it appears that the future will see many opportunities for inventive storytellers to play in this particular sandbox. And while the latest trio of saga features may soon be coming to an end, there is still a lot of new stuff being developed – including new trilogies and so-called Star Wars Stories.

But what exactly are these projects that are currently in the works? How long do we have to wait for them? We’ve built this guide to specifically answer all of those questions and more, so read on and discover everything that we know so far about the Star Wars films that are in the pipeline.

Confirmed Upcoming Films Star Wars
Rey running from a Tie fighter in Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

The hotly-anticipated Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker has undergone some significant behind the scenes shakeups. Initially the script for the film was written by Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson, and Colin Trevorrow was attached to direct… but that was before the death of Carrie Fisher. That tragic event unfortunately forced the filmmakers to scrap what they had been working on, and it was decided that Trevorrow would step away from the helm. Lucasfilm then hired Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams to replace him, and he then co-wrote a new script from the end of the sequel trilogy with Chris Terrio.

As is the case with all developing Star Wars projects, details about the plot and events we can expect to unfold are being kept under extreme wraps – though we certainly can infer a few things from where Star Wars: The Last Jedi ended. In their battle against the First Order, The Resistance nearly faced defeat in the last adventure, but thanks to an inspirational appearance from the legendary Luke Skywalker everything changed. Rey is now very much on her way towards full Jedi status, and Kylo Ren is the new leader of the fascist galactic system following the death of Supreme Leader Snoke. It’s also been confirmed that the thought-dead Emperor Palpatine will have a certain amount of influence on the way things go down, but that’s basically only because of the laugh that can be heard at the end of the film’s debut trailer.

New generation stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie-Tran, Domhnall Gleeson and Lupita Nyong’o are all reprising their respective roles, and we’ll also be seeing the return of Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, and Carrie Fisher (whose performance will be created with the use of archive footage and visual effects). New additions to the franchise include characters played by Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant, Naomi Ackie. Get the latest on Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker HERE.

Release Date: December 20, 2019

X-Wing Fighters

The Benioff-Weiss Star Wars Trilogy

As J.J. Abrams prepares to conclude the sequel trilogy and the legendary Star Wars saga, two new trilogies will be starting up to further expand the beloved sci-fi universe. The first of these will be the brainchild of Game of Thrones producer/writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss – who are working on the new set of blockbusters now that their hugely popular HBO series has come to an end. Nothing has been revealed in regards to what kind of story we can expect to be told in this set of features, or even what period of the vast timeline will be explored, but at the very least we do know when we will be seeing the first installment.

It has been confirmed by Disney and Lucasfilm that the debut chapter of the Benioff-Weiss Star Wars Trilogy will be the first to hit theaters following the release of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker. That being said, we’re still going to have to wait a minute for it, as the production of features in this franchise will be slowing down in the coming years. Not only will we no longer be seeing annual Star Wars movies, but the first of this particular branch won’t be released until December 2022. From that point forward films from the universe will only be released biennially – and it hasn’t been made clear if the franchise will be going back and forth between the two developing trilogies, or if one will get to play out entirely before the start of the next. Speaking of which…

First Film Release Date: December 16, 2022

Rian Johnson General Leia Star Wars

Rian Johnson’s Star Wars Trilogy

As mentioned above, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker won’t be using the script that was originally written by Rian Johnson, but franchise is far from done with him. Prior to the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Lucasfilm announced that their collaboration with Johnson will continue with the development of an entire new trilogy of movies. Like the case with the Benioff-Weiss Star Wars Trilogy, it is entirely unclear at this time what this set of blockbusters will be about, when it will be set in regards to the Star Wars stories that we know, if/how it will connect to the classic films, or if it will include characters with whom we are already familiar. What we do know is that we will surely be hearing a lot more about these movies in the years to come.

When it comes to the release date, that is another major mystery. As noted below, Disney/Lucasfilm have carved out three release dates for future Star Wars movies between now and the end of 2026. And as mentioned above, what’s unclear is if the plan is to have fans experience a new movie from each trilogy every other year, or if Rian Johnson’s next contributions won’t start until after the Benioff-Weiss films are done. It may be a minute before we have final confirmation about this, but you can be sure we’ll have all of the latest details for you as they arrive here on CinemaBlend.

First Film Release Date: Unknown

Confirmed Upcoming Release Dates

December 16, 2022
December 20, 2024
December 18, 2026

Recent Releases Star Wars
Alden ehrenreich in Solo A Star Wars Story
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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