Gwyneth Paltrow Explains Why She’s Often Confused Regarding The Marvel Cinematic Universe

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a massive franchise, which has released a whopping 23 movies since Iron Man debuted and changed the film world. Gwyneth Paltrow has been there since the very beginning, playing Pepper Potts in all three Iron Man movies, as well as a few appearances in Avengers movies, and a quick cameo in Spider-Man: Homecoming. But despite her long tenure in the MCU, Paltrow has been shown to be rather disconnected, even mixing up which movies she’d appeared in. And now the Oscar-winning actress has explained herself.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s performance as Pepper Potts have been consistently strong, regardless of how big her role was in each movie. But she’s caught being confused about the MCU’s timeline, as well as its residents like Tom Holland and Sebastian Stan. The Goop visionary recently opened up behind the reasoning for this, saying:

Well, that’s pretty cut and dry. Despite appearing in an impressive seven Marvel blockbusters in her tenure as Pepper Potts, Gwyneth Paltrow admittedly doesn’t follow the goings on of the massive franchise. Catching each new blockbuster and following the timeline is simply not her priority at this time in her life.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s comments to Elle put some perspective in the actress’ seemingly clueless approach to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as of late. While Paltrow always puts her all into her performances, that doesn’t mean she’s been following the events of the MCU. So while cinephiles and comic book fans run to each new release coming from Marvel Studios, Paltrow doesn’t feel as passionately. Smart money says she didn’t take the time to read up on Pepper’s latest comic book adventures, including Civil War II.

This conversation about Gwyneth Paltrow’s knowledge of the MCU was started over the past year or so, as The Politician actress was caught on camera being confused about her own role in the shared universe. Paltrow had no idea she appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming, believing her brief cameo was filmed for an Avengers flick. That moment quickly went viral, especially as hype and excitement over the shared universe was at a fever pitch over Avengers: Endgame.

But it’s not just the events of the MCU that Gwyneth Paltrow has a penchant for confusing. She’s also been known to forget some of the shared universe’s biggest stars. She famously forgot who Tom Holland was, before they shared scenes in Endgame. What’s more, she’s “met” Bucky actor Sebastian Stan multiple times, with the actor joking about it on social media.

It should be interesting to see if we ever see Pepper again on the big screen. Her story was intrinsically connected to Tony Stark. But with Robert Downey Jr. officially retired from his role as Iron Man, there might not be an organic reason for Pepper Potts to return to the narrative. We’ll just have to wait and see as details about Phase Three and Four become public.

The next installment in the MCU is Black Widow in May 1st, 2020, and you can watch Gwyneth Paltrow in The Politician on Netflix. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Could Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Include Admiral Ackbar’s Son?

Featured most prominently in Return of the Jedi, with his famous line “It’s a trap!” spawning countless internet memes years later, Admiral Ackbar was among the Original Trilogy favorites who returned to the Star Wars universe in The Force Awakens, albeit in a cameo capacity. Then two years later in The Last Jedi, the military leader from Mon Calamari was killed early on during The First Order’s assault on The Resistance, a creative decision that angered the character’s actor.

However, Ackbar’s legacy lives on through his son, Aftab, and some Star Wars fans are wondering if this character could appear later this year in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Aftab is being officially introduced next week in Marvel Comics’ Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Allegiance #2 (written by Ethan Sacks and illustrated by Luke Ross), and StarWars.com posted some preview pages cluing readers in on what we can expect from Aftab.

As you’ll recall, the Resistance was nearly wiped out at the end of The Last Jedi, and with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker taking place one year later, Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Allegiance (as well as the novel Star Wars: Resistance Reborn) is exploring Leia Organa and the other main characters trying to rebuild the organization. The second issue of this comic book series sees Leia, Rey and Rose Tico arriving on Mon Cala to request assistance, only to be met at gunpoint by some of the Mon Calamari and Quarren inhabitants.

Aftab arrives in the nick of time to bail out our heroes, and we then see him talking with Leia Organa about the late Ackbar. You’ll have to pick up Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Allegiance #2 to find out how their conversation ends, but naturally this issue alone doesn’t provide enough evidence that Aftab will appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Plenty of Star Wars characters have been introduced in other media who’ve never gotten any cinematic screen time.

That said, as io9 noticed, one of the cardboard standees that was unveiled for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker during Triple Force Friday was for a Mon Calamari character simply identified as Mon Calamari Resistance General. If you study this cutout and how Aftab is illustrated in Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Allegiance, they look awfully similar to one another.

All of this is still just speculation, but working the available information, it seems like there’s a strong chance that Aftab could serve as the Ackbar family representative in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Admiral Ackbar might not be that well-known among the casual Star Wars viewers, but he’s definitely popular among the hardcore fans, so it’d be fitting to have his son around for the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga.

If you’ve followed along with the expanded Star Wars mythos, you know that Mon Cala has been through a lot with the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War, so one can’t blame some Mon Calamari and Quarren for not wanting to get involved with The Resistance’s conflict with The First Order. But something tells me that Aftab will end up following in his father’s footsteps and aid the main characters in their struggle. If that does indeed happen, it’d be great to see him get a little time to shine during the events of Episode IX.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives on December 20. Don’t forget to look through our 2019 release schedule to learn what other movies are coming out before the year is over.

Gemini Man Ending: What Happens, And What It All Means

Gemini Man Henry and Junior up close for the poster

Warning: SPOILERS for Gemini Man are in play. If you haven’t seen the film yet, please turn back and escort yourself, and any clones you may be aware of, to the homepage.

Gemini Man looks like a huge action blockbuster on the surface, but it might come as a shock to you that there’s a lot to unpack underneath the film’s premise of a hitman facing a younger version of himself. The film’s finale, as well as how it ties into the entire film itself, is particularly a point that needs to be dissected, as it has a lot to say about what makes us people, and what could even make someone a particularly effective killer.

If you haven’t seen the film yet, it’s highly recommended that you experience Gemini Man for yourself before jumping in. Otherwise, if you’re still with us, we’re about to go over the ending to director Ang Lee’s film in detail and parse out what it means, as well as if it could lead to a sequel.

Gemini Man Junior crying over an explosion

What Happens During The Ending Of Gemini Man?

The final showdown of Gemini Man sees Henry Brogan (Will Smith) and his new friend Danny Zakarweski (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) squaring off against a slew of GEMINI operatives under the command of his former commanding officer, Clay Varris (Clive Owen). It’s his forces that have plagued Henry’s unsuccessful bid to retire from the life of a government hitman, which includes the use of his secretly created clone of Henry named Junior (Smith).

After scrapping through most of their encounters, Junior realizes his “father” has been more interested in using him as a prototype than raising him as a child, which sees the two fight in hand-to-hand combat, while GEMINI forces almost wipe a rural southern town off the map with enough firepower to wage a true war.

Temporarily subdued, Clay eventually comes to and unleashes a third clone to take out both Henry and Junior; only this one was bred to feel nothing in terms of both emotions and pain. This clone is killed and unmasked by Henry, Danny and Junior, and ultimately the remaining clone is motivated to kill his creator in anger.

Henry, in a moment of reflection and personal growth, warns Junior that if he kills Clay, he’ll start down the path of being a lifelong killer; much as he did. Wanting his younger self to have a chance at a life he never had, Henry Brogan gets Junior to stand down. Ending the threat to himself and Junior, Henry shoots Clay dead.

Flash forward a few months in the future, and Junior is now named “Jackson Brogan” and enrolled in college. Henry and Danny visit Junior to give him his official identity credentials, making him a whole new person in the eyes of the world and his former adversaries. Cue a fun argument over what “Jackson’s” future should be like between Henry and Danny, and the film ends.

Gemini Man Junior confronts Clay in his office

Who Cares More For Junior, According to Gemini Man’s Ending

The final act of Gemini Man seems to boil down to one question: who’s the better father to Junior? That’s basically what Henry’s become at the end of the film, as he not only forces Junior to question his actions and where they’ll lead, but he also shows genuine care and affection for him as a person.

Does Clay Varris really love Junior as his son? It doesn’t seem like it, as again, he’s preoccupied with the clone as an experiment in combat, rather than an actual person. In turn, Varris actually gives Junior the baggage that he was hoping to shield him from. It’s the only Achilles Heel that the younger man actually has, and it’s what ultimately turns him against Clay.

In the end, Henry is the better father to Junior, because throughout Gemini Man he’s not trying to kill or even harm him if he can avoid it. He’s trying to save the young man, as he knows his life firsthand, and doesn’t wish it upon anyone else out there. Which is a by-product of how the film’s total package changes both Henry’s life, as well as Junior’s.

Gemini Man Junior and Henry face each other with other action in the frame

How Gemini Man’s Ending Changes Junior And Henry’s Lives

Seeing so much of himself in Junior, Henry’s decision to not let Junior kill Clay himself, but rather take that job into his own hands, is the true change in the path of Gemini Man’s young would-be killing machine. That moment shows the fatal flaw in Clay Varris’ whole plan, as he thinks a version of Henry without “baggage” is the ultimate killing machine. It wasn’t the fact that Junior was supposedly unburdened by emotional trauma that made him a good killer, but rather that he didn’t have the guidance in life to show him that there was another way.

Clay misunderstood what made Henry Brogan such a good killer. Henry didn’t know life could be about anything else, and he walked a dark, lonely path for two and a half decades, coming to this very point. If he really wanted Junior to continue to be his little murder man, he would have kept him as far away from Henry as he possibly could have.

Much like having a child, Henry Brogan sees the newly named Jackson Brogan as a way to prevent the mistakes of his own past from ever happening again. He opens himself to the live he could have had, and in turn finds himself as part of a makeshift family between himself, Jackson and Danny. It’s a nice ending with an interesting message, but is it really the end of Gemini Man’s story?

Gemini Man Junior with his back turned to a pleading Henry in the catacombs

Could There Be A Gemini Man Sequel?

As we saw throughout the entire course of Gemini Man, the U.S. government was ready to go to some steep lengths to put Henry Brogan out of commission. And if he couldn’t trust them in letting him retire in peace, then how the hell can he trust their official word that GEMINI is dismantled, with no clones to speak of? That leads to the initial path towards the hypothetical Gemini Man 2 being the presence of another clone of Will Smith’s Henry still running around out there.

In that case, it’d be fun to spice things up a bit and learn the fact that Clive Owen’s Clay Varris turns out to be very much alive, through a younger clone of his very own. This new Clay/Junior 3 pairing could be Varris’ “going away present” to the world: an unstoppable duo of “Bad Boys” that come to wreck the day.

Or, there’s another option for where a potential follow-up could go, with Junior’s mere existence being a threat to the government that sanctioned the program in the first place. Which means that instead of the intrigue surrounding Gemini Man’s cloning process, it would now focus on a race against time to escape a garden variety hit squad and hide the young clone away for good.

Out of those two ideas, there’s some good groundwork for another action-fueled spectacle, should Gemini Man really want to move forward into the sequel game. Which poses the last, and most important question: should the film even have a sequel?

Gemini Man Henry taking in the unexpected news with a shocked face

Should Gemini Man Even Have A Sequel?

Quite honestly, Gemini Man doesn’t need a sequel at all. In director Ang Lee’s singular film, the ethics of cloning and killing are both examined in great detail. Not to mention that with all of the work going into the story of Henry Brogan’s long dark night of the soul, via crossing paths with his younger self, it pretty much wraps itself up.

We don’t need to see any more clones or government conspiracies plague either Henry or Junior, and the funny note of upbeat life the film ends on is enough to seal the deal. If there’s any film that’s taught us that we don’t need to duplicate every experience in life, it’s definitely Gemini Man.

That’s our take on the ending to Gemini Man, but we’re curious about your thoughts concerning what we’ve just gone over. Should the Will Smith vehicle get a sequel, or is one ride good enough for this theatrical attraction? Vote in our poll below and leave us some comments explaining what you think about the chances of a sequel, or anything else we’ve discussed here.

In the meantime, Gemini Man is in theaters now, in standard 2D, as well as High Frame Rate 3D.

Should Gemini Man Get A Sequel?

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A Training Day Prequel Is In The Works

We’re coming up on the 20th anniversary of Training Day, the David Ayer-written and Antoine Fuqua-directed movie that saw two LAPD officers, Denzel Washington’s Alonzo Harris and Ethan Hawke’s Jake Hoyt, working with each other for the first time and their new partnership growing increasingly strained. Now word’s come in that a prequel is in development that will pull the curtain back on Harris’ past.

Warner Bros has hired Black list writer Nick Yarborough to write this Training Day prequel, which would take place almost a decade before the events of the original movie. To be specific, in late April of 1992, two days before the Rodney King verdict was delivered, which spawned numerous riots across Los Angeles for nearly a whole week.

Collider also mentioned in its report that the Training Day prequel is “still in the very early stages,” so no director is attached yet. It’s also unclear if Antoine Fuqua, David Ayer or producer Jeffrey Silver would be involved.

As for who would play the younger Alonzo Harris, assuming the character was the same age as Denzel Washington was when Training Day came out, i.e. 46 years old, that would make him approximately 37 years old in this prequel. Washington’s son, BlacKkKlansman’s John David Washington, is currently 35 years old, so perhaps Warner Bros will seek him out, especially since he already has a relationship with the studio by starring in the Christopher Nolan-directed Tenet alongside Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki.

Keep in mind that just because a Training Day prequel is being written doesn’t necessarily mean it will move forward. There are plenty of projects that have been announced over the years that never went past the scripting stage. Still considering how well received Training Day was in 2001, not to mention Hollywood’s love of existing IP, one would imagine those factors will boost the chances of the prequel actually getting made.

Training Day earned a lot of positive reviews and accolades, including Denzel Washington winning the Best Actor Oscar and earning a Golden Globe nomination in the same category, and Ethan Hawke being nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Commercially, it made $104.5 million worldwide off a $45 million budget.

This prequel isn’t the first time the Training Day property has been re-explored. It was previously adapted into a TV series that ran from February to May of 2017 and starred Bill Paxton and Justin Cornwell. Paxton died after the fourth episode aired, and while his character wouldn’t have been recast if the show had been picked up for another season, it was cancelled shortly before concluding its 13-episode run.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates about the Training Day prequel, but for now, plan your trips to the theater in the near future accordingly with our 2019 release schedule and 2020 release schedule.

The Joker’s Various Origin Stories, Explained

Joker DC Comics

“If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice.” That comes straight from The Joker himself about delving into his past. Because while most protagonists and antagonists in the world of superheroes get definitive origin stories (which, to be fair, are reimagined every so often), the Clown Prince of Crime’s never gotten such treatment.

Sure, many stories of how he became a chalk white-skinned, green-haired mass murderer share similarities, but creators are often given a freer hand with exploring these events compared to other popular characters. This is especially evidenced by the release of Joker this past weekend, which barely pulls from the source material in showing how Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck turns to darkness.

If there is one rule that’s consistently followed when explaining how The Joker came to be, it’s this: “All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy.” He may have started out on the right side of the law, but due to a series of unfortunate circumstances over a short period of time, he became the embodiment of pure evil. With that in mind, we’re going over the most notable Joker origin stories across comics, movies and television, whether the story was directly shown or alluded to enough.

Batman The Killing Joke

Batman: The Killing Joke (1988)

Let’s get one thing out of the way: many of Joker’s origin stories see him gaining his clownish appearance and losing his sanity by falling into a vat of chemicals, usually with Batman involved. The most iconic example of this is the 1988 story Batman: The Killing Joke (which was also adapted into an animated movie). Inspired by 1951’s Detective Comics #168, which showed that he was a criminal called The Red Hood before becoming The Joker, The Killing Joke delivered a tragic re-telling of the transformation from the former to the latter.

The man who would become The Joker was originally a struggling standup comic trying to support his pregnant wife. Hitting rock bottom, he agrees to guide two criminals through the chemical factory he used to work for so they can rob the playing card company next door. Unfortunately, right before the heist, he learns from the police that his wife and unborn child died in an accident at their house.

Grief-stricken, the unnamed man tries tries to get out of the heist, but the criminals force him to go through with it and make him wear the Red Hood outfit in order to frame him as the mastermind and divert attention away from themselves. Sure enough, the trio are intercepted by security at the chemical plant, and after the two criminals are killed, the man now dressed as Red Hood dives into a chemical vat after being confronted by Batman.

Swept through a pipe leading outside, this man is shocked to discover his physical appearance drastically altered, and that, combined with the loss of his family drives him to insanity. And thus, The Joker was born!

Batman Zero Year Joker origin

Batman: Zero Year (2013-2014)

Although the New 52 continuity’s take on how The Joker came to be bares some similarities to The Killing Joke, there are also enough differences that it’s worth covering on its own. In the events that unfold during Batman: Zero Year, The Joker was the second individual to lead the Red Hood Gang as Red Hood One. The original leader, Liam Distal, was killed by this unnamed individual, although the exact timing of his death could never be determined due to the lye that eroded his corpse.

Regardless, when he returned to Gotham City, Bruce Wayne’s first activities as a vigilante involved him targeting the Red Hood Gang, and they retaliated against him… hard. Shortly thereafter, Bruce became Batman and slowly dismantled the gang, with the conflict culminating in him foiling their attempted robbery at the Ace Chemical Processing Plant.

As a shootout between the remaining gang members and the GCPD raged, Red Hood One tried to escape on a helicopter, but Batman used his grappling line to yank him off. Red Hood One nearly fell into the chemicals right then and there, but Batman caught him and tried to pull his adversary up. Red Hood One wasn’t having it and opted to fall in anyway and broke free of the Caped Crusader’s grip. Batman believed those chemicals were enough to kill the man, but all they did was physically disfigure him and make him even more psychotic, emerging as The Joker not long after.

Jack Nicholson as Jack Napier in Batman

Batman (1989)

In contrast to most depictions of The Joker, Tim Burton’s first Batman movie directly identified who The Joker was pre-transformation: Jack Napier, mob boss Carl Grissom’s second-in-command who, as was revealed later in the movie, killed Thomas and Martha Wayne decades earlier. In the ‘present day,’ Carl sent Jack to oversee a raid at Axis Chemicals, but it was all a ploy to see Jack killed for sleeping with Carl’s mistress, Alicia.

That plan went south when Commissioner Gordon arrived with his own squad of officers to capture Jack Napier alive, and realizing he’d been set up, he killed the corrupt Lieutenant Eckhardt, who was working for Carl Grissom. But Batman was another matter entirely, and during his brief encounter with the Dark Knight, Jack was struck in the cheeks by a ricocheting bullet. Jack then lost his balance and fell over the catwalk, and while Batman caught him and tried to pull him back up, the criminal still fell into that vat of chemicals.

Jack Napier was already emotionally unstable before the incident at Axis Chemicals, but his altered visage, plus a hack surgeon failing to properly repair the parts of his face damaged by the bullet, pushed his sanity over the edge. Jack reinvented himself as Joker, killed Carl Grissom and launched a crime wave the likes of which Gotham City had never seen before.

Pre-Joker in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

The DC Animated Universe (1992-2006)

Although Batman: The Animated Series never explored The Joker’s origins, its follow-up, The New Batman Adventures, did at the beginning of the episode “Beware the Creeper,” when reporter Jack Ryder shed light on how the Clown Prince of Crime came to be seven years earlier, telling the traditional ‘accidentally falling into chemicals’ story. Joker interfered with this report and ‘re-created’ the night of his transformation using Ryder as the new victim, but that’s a whole other story.

That said, it is worth pointing out though that Joker’s past was explored earlier in the theatrical movie Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. While never named, it was revealed that the pre-Joker was an assassin for the Valestra mob who was sent to kill Carl Beaumont in Europe after his associates learned he’d embezzled money from them. When Carl’s daughter, Andrea, carried out her revenge years later as The Phantasm, Joker was her final target, though he was the only one of them to survive the movie’s events.

Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight (2008)

Christopher Nolan took The Joker in a radically different direction in The Dark Knight by forgoing the villain gaining his freakish appearance from an accident involving chemicals, and instead having him wear clown makeup and dying his hair green. There is still some physical disfigurement in the form of his Glasgow smile, and Joker provides two different explanations for the scars; the first being that his abusive father carved into his face as a kid, and the second ring that he carved his own face to show he doesn’t care that her own face being carved by some loansharks, though she ultimately leaves him.

It’s never revealed which of those is the true story or if he was scarred some other way. We also never learn where Heath Ledger’s Joker came from and why he decided to carry out his mission of terror and anarchy in Gotham City. Comedian Patton Oswalt once speculated that this version of Joker used to be a military intelligence operative, which would make sense given his knowledge of weapons and explosives. But otherwise, this Joker remains an enigma.

Jared Leto as The Joker in Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad (2016)

Although Joker’s origin story is never shown in Suicide Squad, we do learn that Jared Leto’s version of the character went through the whole ‘falling in chemicals’ experience when he takes Margot Robbie’s Harleen Quinzel to Ace Chemicals. After being electrocuted by Joker during his Arkham Asylum breakout, Harleen became desperate to be Joker’s main squeeze, so he convinced her to fall into the same chemicals that ‘created’ him. He initially planned to let her drown, but he had a change of heart and dived in to rescue her. Beyond that, we don’t know anything about the DCEU Joker’s past.

Jerome Valeska and Jeremiah Valeska in Gotham

Gotham (2014-2019)

The Fox series Gotham took an interesting approach by having two characters embody the spirit of The Joker; twins, to be precise. We were first introduced to Jerome Valeska as a guest villain in Season 1, and after returning for brief stints in Seasons 2 and 3, he was a recurring villain in Season 4. Jerome demonstrated violent tendencies a young age, and after killing his mother, he started embodying the nihilistic anarchist aspects of The Joker, eager to spread chaos and madness throughout Gotham City. He also became physically disfigured when his face was cut off right before being resurrected… that’s right, he was dead for a time.

As for Jeremiah Valeska, who emerged as Jerome’s successor after Jerome permanently died before the final act of Season 4, he didn’t initially display the same insane tendencies as his brother… at least, not on the surface. But he was pushed over the edge when he exposed to a mind-altering laughing gas left behind by the late Jerome. Jeremiah’s skin turned chalk white, and as he grew slowly more unhinged, he became obsessed with Bruce Wayne and launched his own wave of terror across Gotham City, though Jeremiah was more calculating and precise compared to Jerome.

As if Jeremiah wasn’t already bad enough, his penultimate appearance in Gotham saw him and Bruce Wayne fighting with Bruce Wayne in Ace Chemicals, and their brawl ended with Jeremiah falling into a vat of chemicals. As a result, not only was his skin partially melted away, but when he returned to the limelight ten years later in the series finale (having spend the previous decade pretending to be comatose while waiting for Bruce Wayne to return home), his personality melded with aspects of Jerome’s to create what actor Cameron Monaghan described as a “third character.”

It’s important to note that neither Jerome nor Jeremiah were actually called Joker during the course of Gotham, with Jeremiah only identifying himself as “J” at the very end. So within the Gotham continuity, it’s possible that “J” will go on to become the one and true Joker, or maybe another individual will eventually take that mantle. We’ll never know for sure.

Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in Joker

Joker (2019)

If you thought The Dark Knight took creative liberties with adapting The Joker, the Joker movie ran with that particular ball much further. For one thing, this Joker, real name Arthur Fleck, came to be when Bruce Wayne was a child, so he has no association with the cape and cowled Batman whatsoever. However, Arthur does briefly interact with Bruce in his brief quest to uncover the truth about whether or not his mother’s claim that Thomas Wayne is actually his father. That was just one of the factors that led to him transforming into this unusual take on the Clown Prince of Crime.

Arthur was already in rocky territory at the start of Joker. As he learned when looking through his mother’s Arkham file, he’d been abused as a child by her boyfriend, which may have have been the cause for him developing that neurologic disorder where he laughed at inappropriate times. And while Arthur’s downfall didn’t happen over “one bad day,” he definitely went though a perfect storm of unfortunate events, including losing his job, losing access to his medication and being embarrassed by Murray Franklin on television, plus the drama surrounding his mother and Thomas Wayne.

The first time Arthur Fleck kills in Joker can mostly be construed as self-defense, although one can argue he basically executed that third Wayne Enterprises employee. But after coming to the conclusion that his mother’s claim about Thomas Wayne were false (the movie keeps it ambiguous whether or not that’s indeed the case), he kills her and starts transitioning into The Joker. His transformation is cemented when he kills Murray Franklin on television, though given that Joker presents several instances where Arthur is delusional, it’s hard to say how much of the movie really happened.

The Joker will continue to be adapted on screen for a long time, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more news concerning his movie and TV appearances.

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People Forget A Fourth Brendan Fraser Mummy Movie Almost Happened Years Ago

From 1999-2008, Brendan Fraser starred in The Mummy Trilogy, Universal’s most successful attempt in the modern era to leverage its Universal Monsters characters. Brendan Fraser recently expressed his willingness to return to Universal’s The Mummy franchise if a continuation or reboot possessed that essential ingredient of fun. While that may be intriguing to fans of the campy Stephen Sommers adventure films, people forget there was almost a fourth Brendan Fraser Mummy movie already.

In a piece talking about the future of Universal’s Monsters, The Hollywood Reporter’s Richard Newby said of the fourthquel:

Given that it’s been over a decade since the last film in the Brendan Fraser-led Mummy franchise, it’s easy to forget that the fourth film almost happened after the third entry made $401.1 million worldwide. But it was a legitimate possibility and there was even an actor in mind for the role of the villain. The fourth Mummy movie would have taken the existing formula and plugged in some new ingredients for another campy, old school adventure.

The Mummy and The Mummy Returns were both set in Egypt before the franchise moved to China for the final film in the trilogy, 2008’s The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. It seems that the fourth film would have again changed locations again and found Brendan Fraser’s Rick O’Connell and Rachel Weisz/Maria Bello’s Evelyn O’Connell in South America.

There the mummy-fighting duo would have faced off with a mummy of the Aztec variety, as the quest for eternal life is a worldwide pursuit. It’s unclear if Antonio Banderas’s character would have played an undead ancient like Arnold Vosloo, Dwayne Johnson and Jet Li before him, but he would have been the villain in the fourth film and presumably a mummy brought back to life.

Based on the description The Mummy 4 wouldn’t have broken the mold, but it still sounds like it could have been a fun movie. Obviously, none of this happened though.

Rather than continue the existing, financially successful franchise with a fourth film, which was rumored online to be titled The Mummy 4: Rise of the Aztec, Universal decided to reboot the property in the hopes of starting a cinematic universe instead.

This was around the time that the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s success and impact on the industry was becoming abundantly clear so Universal’s decision to reboot The Mummy to pursue the de rigueur film franchise format of the day is understandable. That choice obviously didn’t work out though as Universal’s Dark Universe proved dead on arrival with the 2017 reboot of The Mummy starring Tom Cruise.

Now we’ve circled back around. And in a marketplace dominated by nostalgic properties, the prospect of a fourth Brendan Fraser Mummy movie is highly appealing, especially as we continue to wait for Indiana Jones 5. Universal has abandoned the Dark Universe and is instead moving forward with individual projects like Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man and Paul Feig’s Dark Army, so perhaps the time is right. But as Brendan Fraser said, it has to be fun.

Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see what’s headed to theaters this fall and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest movie news.

People Forget There Was Almost A Fourth Brendan Fraser Mummy Movie Already

From 1999-2008, Brendan Fraser starred in The Mummy Trilogy, Universal’s most successful attempt in the modern era to leverage its Universal Monsters characters. Brendan Fraser recently expressed his willingness to return to Universal’s The Mummy franchise if a continuation or reboot possessed that essential ingredient of fun. While that may be intriguing to fans of the campy Stephen Sommers adventure films, people forget there was almost a fourth Brendan Fraser Mummy movie already.

In a piece talking about the future of Universal’s Monsters, The Hollywood Reporter’s Richard Newby said of the fourthquel:

Given that it’s been over a decade since the last film in the Brendan Fraser-led Mummy franchise, it’s easy to forget that the fourth film almost happened after the third entry made $401.1 million worldwide. But it was a legitimate possibility and there was even an actor in mind for the role of the villain. The fourth Mummy movie would have taken the existing formula and plugged in some new ingredients for another campy, old school adventure.

The Mummy and The Mummy Returns were both set in Egypt before the franchise moved to China for the final film in the trilogy, 2008’s The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. It seems that the fourth film would have again changed locations again and found Brendan Fraser’s Rick O’Connell and Rachel Weisz/Maria Bello’s Evelyn O’Connell in South America.

There the mummy-fighting duo would have faced off with a mummy of the Aztec variety, as the quest for eternal life is a worldwide pursuit. It’s unclear if Antonio Banderas’s character would have played an undead ancient like Arnold Vosloo, Dwayne Johnson and Jet Li before him, but he would have been the villain in the fourth film and presumably a mummy brought back to life.

Based on the description The Mummy 4 wouldn’t have broken the mold, but it still sounds like it could have been a fun movie. Obviously, none of this happened though.

Rather than continue the existing, financially successful franchise with a fourth film, which was rumored online to be titled The Mummy 4: Rise of the Aztec, Universal decided to reboot the property in the hopes of starting a cinematic universe instead.

This was around the time that the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s success and impact on the industry was becoming abundantly clear so Universal’s decision to reboot The Mummy to pursue the de rigueur film franchise format of the day is understandable. That choice obviously didn’t work out though as Universal’s Dark Universe proved dead on arrival with the 2017 reboot of The Mummy starring Tom Cruise.

Now we’ve circled back around. And in a marketplace dominated by nostalgic properties, the prospect of a fourth Brendan Fraser Mummy movie is highly appealing, especially as we continue to wait for Indiana Jones 5. Universal has abandoned the Dark Universe and is instead moving forward with individual projects like Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man and Paul Feig’s Dark Army, so perhaps the time is right. But as Brendan Fraser said, it has to be fun.

Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see what’s headed to theaters this fall and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest movie news.

New Terminator: Dark Fate Video Features Sarah Connor Kicking Robot Ass

After being away from the Terminator franchise for nearly 30 years, Linda Hamilton is finally returning as Sarah Connor for Terminator: Dark Fate. But just because it’s been a while since we’ve seen this version of the character clash with robotic assassins from the future doesn’t mean Sarah won’t be a force to be reckoned with in Dark Fate. On the contrary, the below video shows that she’s still quite formidable.

In this Terminator timeline, only the events of The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day are deemed canon. Thus, Sarah is alive and well, as opposed to dying of cancer like in the Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines continuity. We have yet to learn if Sarah has dealt with additional Terminator incidents since Terminator 2 or if things have been quiet on that front, but either way, she’s kept up her combat skills over the last several decades.

Although Terminator: Dark Fate will initially see Dani Ramos being protected by the Rev-9 Terminator by the cybernetically-enhanced Grace, at some point Sarah Connor will come rolling in to help them out of their predicament. And say what you about Sarah, she’s not afraid to inform others about her “resume,” i.e. saving three billion lives.

As director Tim Miller and Linda Hamilton laid out in this Terminator: Dark Fate video from Paramount Pictures, the sixth installment of this franchise continues the story of the original Sarah Connor, and because she knows the “certainty of the future to come,” she’s embraced being a warrior for humanity. Producer James Cameron added that Sarah hunts down Terminators rather than wait for them to hunt her down.

Besides learning about what Sarah Connor has been up to since Terminator 2, there’s also the mystery concerning her son, John Connor, the man who’s destined to save the remnants of humanity after Judgement Day. Clearly the original Judgement Day didn’t come to pass, and Edward Furlong is confirmed to be reprising John in Terminator: Dark Fate, we still don’t know what role he has to play in the movie, be it in the present day or in the future.

Along with working alongside Dani and Grace, Sarah Connor will also be aided by an aged T-800 named Carl, though in one of the Terminator: Dark Fate trailers, Sarah tells Carl that she’ll kill him once this latest bout of robotic-fueled insanity is over. Unlike her previous on-screen encounters with Terminators, the Rev-9 Sarah fights wasn’t sent by Skynet, but a similar A.I. called Legion.

Although Terminator: Dark Fate could launch a new Terminator trilogy, even if such sequels get the green light, for now there’s no guarantee that Sarah Connor will be involved with them. We’ll have to wait until Dark Fate comes out to learn her… fate, but at least we can count on her leaving a lot of bullets and explosions in her wake.

Terminator: Dark Fate opens in theaters on November 1, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more coverage. In the meantime, keep track of what else is hitting the silver screen before the end of the year with our 2019 release schedule.

Guardians Of The Galaxy’s James Gunn Really Loves Nova

Ever since the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie introduced the Nova Corps to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans have wondered if we might one day see the hero known as Nova. While we still have no clear idea what the plans may be for the character, it does seem clear that, if we somehow never see Nova in the MCU, it’s not because James Gunn doesn’t like him.

While comic book movies are all the rage on the big screen. Actual comic books still remain a bit of a niche medium. While there are, and have always been, serious comic book fans, with some of the most popular Marvel or DC characters in comic books going back 50 years or more, there’s simply a massive volume of material that exists chronicling the adventures of comics’ most popular heroes. Even if you’ve been reading your favorite hero for decades, there may be just as many or more decades of books you’ve never seen.

How long you should have to follow a given character before you can consider yourself an expert is one of those questions that fans love to debate, sometimes ferociously, but I think it’s probably safe to say that James Gunn qualifies as an expert on Nova. The Guardians of the Galaxy director recently responded to a post on Twitter claiming that he has read approximately three-quarters of all Nova comics published to date.

While the tweet that James Gunn was responding to has since be deleted by the person who posted it, the gist was that it asked Gunn to respond to a rumor that the director knew nothing about the character of Nova. Certainly, it seems that ‘s far from the case.

Nova has been around off and on since 1976, so there are a lot of Nova-related comics out there in the last 40+years. Reading 75% of them is a reasonable feat.

The Nova Corps that we’ve seen in the MCU bear little resemblance to the character known as Nova from the comics. The Nova Corps of the first Guardians of the Galaxy are essentially just the planet Xandar’s police force. Nova the hero is what’s called a Centurion and is super powered thanks to having access to something called the Nova Force which bestows upon certain members of the Corps special abilities like flight and super strength.

Perhaps the fact that we never saw a Centurion was what spawned the apparent “rumor” that James Gunn doesn’t actually know the character.

Quite to the contrary, Nova’s name has come up as a potential addition to the MCU more than once. Gunn has specifically said that he’s considered using the character before, so it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that Nova could show up in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 or any other MCU movie.

There might even a place to put him which makes some sense. The Nova of the comics is actually a human named Richard Rider who is bestowed the power of a Centurion named Rhomann Dey. In Rider’s timeline in the comics, Xandar gets essentially wiped out in an attack by Nebula. In the MCU, we know that something similar has happened to Xandar, when Thanos attacked it to gain the Power Stone.

We have no idea if we’ll ever see Nova on the big screen, but if James Gunn is the one responsible for making it happen, fans can rest easy.

Wait, Did Spider-Man: Far From Home Almost Give Mysterio A Hulkbuster Suit?

In the past, we’ve seen quite a bit of alternate design work for the costume that Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio would wear in Spider-Man: Far From Home. But even that prior knowledge cannot prepare you for what’s about to be shown to you below. As it turns out, director Jon Watts’ sequel almost gave Quentin Beck a totally different suit, and it would have been modeled after the Hulkbuster.

Get a load of the tricked-out Mysterio suit that almost was:

This piece of concept art, like all of the other Spider-Man: Far From Home suits that were shown off for Mysterio, came from Marvel Studios’ head of visual development, Ryan Meinerding. As you can see, it’s roughly the same build as the Hulkbuster we saw Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark break out in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, which would later reappear in Avengers: Infinity War, being used by Bruce Banner himself.

However, the big difference is that the coloring of the Hulkbuster suit shifts over into a mostly purple affair when Quentin Beck steps into its safe and cozy ass-kicking mechanisms. Not to mention, the whole suit is capped off with a green fishbowl helmet, because who’s Mysterio without the fishbowl? Honestly, if there’s no fishbowl, there’s no deal.

Even more intriguing than this image, obtained through Imgur, is what sort of role this suit might have played, had it made it into Spider-Man: Far From Home. The artwork originates from the book The Art of Spider-Man: Far From Home, and according to Ryan Meinerding (via ScreenRant), this Hulkbuster version of Mysterio came about when he was being envisioned as a “tough, grizzled space marine” who was the only person to escape his dimension.

Even if that particular backstory wasn’t retained, maybe this suit would have given Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio even more of an image boost when he fought off one of the various Elementals he supposedly defeated, especially with his show-stopping cataclysm in the London finale of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Surely the public would have seen that suit and thought back to Tony Stark’s inventing days, shedding a tear for their fallen hero and welcoming his would-be successor.

Or, another sort of action this Hulkbuster suit could have seen would have been as a taunting nightmare visited upon Tom Holland’s Peter Parker, as Beck would have used this imagery to taunt him about Tony’s death yet again. Maybe instead of garden variety Mysterios marching towards him, these twisted Hulkbusters would have been moving in lockstep towards Peter, threatening him with the supposed disappointment that he visited upon the legacy of his deceased mentor.

Regardless, it was ultimately decided not to include this suit in Spider-Man: Far From Home. But what is clear is that this is another piece of Ryan Meinerding’s stellar resume of work that deserves to, at the very least, find some sort of life outside of the movies.