The final episode of the Skywalker Saga is almost here, and it’s no surprise that fans are a little excited. The movie is just over two months away and people are getting restless because recently John Boyega’s own agent dropped an image that indicated that the new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer could be arriving as early as tonight.
As one might expect, Star Wars fans have gone slightly bonkers, and they’ve apparently inundated John Boyega himself looking for confirmation that we could be getting a trailer during tonight’s Monday Night Football game. Mr. Boyega would like it to be known that has no idea what’s going on with the trailer, and he’d appreciate if everybody would stop asking.
An image teasing a new trailer with the Monday Night Football logo was dropped on Instagram by Femi Oguns, John Boyega‘s agent on Friday. While that would seem to be a fairly reliable source, there’s been no official confirmation about the trailer hitting tonight, so it’s not clear what’s going on.
It’s possible we could get an official announcement this morning that confirms a trailer hitting television tonight, but one would honestly expect we’d get at least 24 hours notice to build hypre, so we may not see the trailer today after all.
Having said that, the idea of getting a trailer very soon, and on Monday Night Football is very likely something that is going to happen. All of the previous Star Wars movies that have come out in December have seen trailers hit in October, in conjunction with ticket pre-sales going live. That trailer has also aired during Monday Night Football before, a move that makes sense since it’s one of the most watched shows of the week, and is broadcast on Disney owned ESPN.
If the trailer doesn’t happen tonight, then the odds of it happening next Monday only go up.
It’s understandable that people are excited for the potential of a new trailer. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is about as highly anticipated as a movie can be, and with the movie itself two months away, fans want whatever they can get.
Still, hopefully we can all let John Boyega live in peace. Anything that he knows he’s certainly not allowed to tell, and whenever the trailer is set to come, finding out doesn’t actually make it come any faster.
When that trailer does come, the question, of course, is, what will it actually tell us? The first trailer and the D23 footage that have been released look amazing, but they’re light on details. Honestly none of the trailers for the previous Star Wars episodes have revealed much in the way of concrete information about plot or characters, so there’s every reason to believe that will continue here. We’ll see more of The Rise of Skywalker soon, but we’ll almost certainly be waiting until December before we actually understand what any of it means.
This week we have a couple of sequels that are targeting very different audiences. An evil queen is back for another dose of fairy tale adventures, and there’s a crew of zombie hunters still fighting for survival. Get ready for Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil and Zombieland: Double Tap.
Just remember, I’m not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they’ll end up on the Tomatometer. Let’s take a look at This Rotten Week has to offer.
Rotten Watch Prediction
This has been a huge year for remakes of classic Disney properties, and now following in the footsteps of Dumbo, Aladdin, and Lion King, this week we are seeing the return of one of the brand’s great evil villains. 2014’s Maleficent (53%) retold the story of the antagonist in the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale with a twist, focusing on Angelina Jolie bringing the creepy, and it fared really well at the box office ($750 million total) even though critics thought it pretty meh. Because money talks, however, we are now getting Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.
This sequel is helmed by Joachim Ronning, who previously co-directed Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (30%) as well as the Marco Polo television series on Netflix. This latest looks like an uninspiring follow up to an uninspiring original. The cast is strong, and I suppose it’s riding high on the money made from the original, but I can’t imagine it scores all that well considering the lack of critical success the first one had, and really no additional intrigue added here.
Rotten Watch Prediction
When we last left the funniest group of apocalypse survivors around in the first Zombieland, Columbus, Tallahassee, Little Rock and Wichita had hung out with Bill Murray (only to kill him) and then escaped a group of zombies in an amusement park standoff. The film (90%) was an excellent adventure, both hilarious and oddly heartwarming, and it brought a fresh take on a somewhat saturated genre. Now, 10 years later, the group is back.
In Zombieland: Double Tap, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin are all back making their way across America again, and meeting up with all the other survivors out there in what looks to be a humorous film… though perhaps without the surprises and originality of the first. This one looks like a similar story but loaded with cameos that could possibly take the place of a solid script. I’m a little skeptical about this one following up the first’s critical success. Director Ruben Fleischer is back, though, it should be said that the first Zombieland is the only “fresh” movie on his resume. His others include 30 Minutes or Less (44%), Gangster Squad (32%) and Venom (29%). That’s an rough run and I think this latest falls in line with those films. It will have an audience, but critics won’t think much of it.
There were three movies out in wide release last week, and I came within 10% for two of them, with the third missing by a lousy single percentage point. I’ll take this a winning week for sure, though. Starting with the miss, Gemini Man (Predicted: 37% Actual: 26%) continued Will Smith’s subpar run of movies over the last decade or so. It’s really something, but this guy has had exactly one “fresh” film in the last twelve years. That’s a brutal stretch for such a huge name, and at this point I just want the bleeding to stop. He’s too good of an actor to continually running out there in lesser films. I don’t know if it’s bad luck, bad choices or both, but since Hancock (41%) it’s kind of all been downhill.
Meanwhile, The Addams Family (Predicted: 35% Actual: 44%) just scraped within ten percent as well. One could see from the trailer that the story looked stale and predictable with a bunch of canned jokes and possibly a lazy script. That ended up being in line with the critical response.
And finally, Jexi (Predicted: 20% Actual: 15%) was a disaster that wasn’t tough to see coming. The trailer looked like an absolute mess with nary a single laugh to be found in what should have been some of the film’s highlights. I suppose there’s a funny premise in there somewhere, but they really missed the mark with this film. I felt very confident with this prediction.
What’s this? The Nightmare Before Christmas came out in 1993 as a Halloween or Christmas classic, whichever holiday you prefer. (The correct answer is Halloween. Fight me.) There was recently chatter about a possible sequel or even live-action version of the Tim Burton classic. Fans responded with a resounding hell no, and CinemaBlend had its own take on why a sequel is a terrible idea. You know who disagrees? Jack Skellington.
Chris Sarandon voiced Jack in The Nightmare Before Christmas, although Danny Elfman did Jack’s singing. Here’s what Sarandon said about returning for a Nightmare Before Christmas sequel:
Wow! Not only is he a fan of the idea of a sequel, he told ComicBook.com he’d crawl coast-to-coast to be a part of it. Huh. He loves the character and that’s why he wants to return. Many fans also love the character and the original movie and that’s why they were initially against a return. But we don’t even know what the sequel idea would be.
However, we know know what Tim Burton has said in the past about doing another Nightmare Before Christmas. Here’s what he told MTV News in 2006:
Tim Burton made those “purity” comments while he was revisiting the movie for a holiday release in 3-D. His feelings may have changed. He came up with and produced The Nightmare Before Christmas but it was directed by Henry Selick and Caroline Thompson has screenplay credit. Disney seems to have the rights, but I can’t see anyone moving forward with a sequel without Tim Burton’s blessing.
Nothing official has been said about a Nightmare Before Christmas sequel, and there have been rumors about one before. But Chris Sarandon is clearly down to return to voice Jack. Sarandon is an Oscar nominee for Dog Day Afternoon — and he’s how Susan Sarandon got her last name since she kept it when they split — but he’s probably still best known to fans as Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride. That’s another movie to come up in recent conversation, this time for remake rumors.
Chris Sarandon told ComicBook he didn’t understand why anyone would need to remake either Princess Bride or Nightmare Before Christmas because they are so iconic and have such cultural imprints. However, he was clearly OK with a sequel to Nightmare, which is a different beast altogether.
What do you think? Has Chris Sarandon’s enthusiasm changed your mind at all about a Nightmare Before Christmas sequel, or do you still feel however you felt when you first heard the rumors?
In Zack Snyder’s visually stunning adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel Watchmen, the world of superheroes is different from the ones we’re used to. It’s a universe where the heroes are filled with moral doubts and grounded complexity, and the common folks aren’t very welcoming of their super-heroics. Evidently, it’s hard for a superhero to save the day when they might not be able to save themselves. Nevertheless, during the film’s highly memorable opening credit sequence, which plays as a stylish montage throughout the years that gives an overview on the history of this world’s superheroes, there is a subtle background detail that suggests that Batman doesn’t ultimately exist.
At least, not in Zack Snyder’s vision for Watchmen. While the contentious filmmaker would ultimately tell the character’s story in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and (to a more modest extent) Justice League, it would appear that Bruce Wayne’s parents were not killed during that fateful night in the alley in the Watchmen world, likely preventing the character from adopting the cape and cowl and become Gotham’s bat-fearing crusader. While the universe of Watchmen has no shortage of troubled superheroes, it would seem that this small detail suggests that Batman is simply not one of them. But what exactly does that mean? If there is no Batman, what becomes of his greatest foes and his biggest allies? And what did Bruce Wayne turn into instead?
Let’s speculate on the possibilities of Batman not existing in Zack Snyder’s divisive cinematic adaptation of Watchmen.
Nite Owl Rescued Bruce Wayne’s Parents From The Mugger Outside Gotham Opera House
As it was spotted by one eagle-eyed Reddit user, the famous opening credits in Watchmen show us a snapshot where Nite Owl is punching an armed masked burglar square in the jaw, in front of a camera flashing, while a well-dressed, well-to-do middle-aged couple is seen fleeing the scene. While the movie doesn’t outright say that this couple is Thomas and Martha Wayne, the large sign in the background that reads Gotham Opera House is a pretty big giveaway that this is meant to be the most famously slain progenitors in comic book history. Thanks to Nite Owl, they walked away with their lives.
If Bruce Wayne didn’t lose his parents on that tragically fateful night, then there’s a very high chance that the character found no need to become the Caped Crusader. More like than not, Bruce likely took over his family business and just became your average handsome multi-billionaire. We’re sure you know a few. In any case, if Bruce Wayne didn’t lose his parents and didn’t become Batman, what exactly does Gotham look like then?
Bruce Wayne Still Becomes The Head CEO of Wayne Enterprises, But He Probably Sticks To Business Affairs And Socializing
Though it’s hard to know what a character would be like when his most defining life moment is taken away from him, one’s best guess is that Bruce Wayne — no longer robbed of his parents — would likely take over his wealthy father’s capital, still be the head of Wayne Enterprises and ultimately enjoy all the privileges that come from being an extremely rich, good-looking millionaire/billionaire playboy at the very peak of Gotham’s upper class.
There’s a good chance that, after some time partying and philandering with assorted acquaintances, Bruce Wayne will probably settle down, get his affairs in order and raise a family of his own. His sullen demeanor is mostly likely gone, with practically little-to-no reason for Mr. Wayne to adopt such a grim disposition in life, and he would carry with him no fears of forming a family and building the Wayne legacy. There’s also a good chance that Bruce would not form such a tight, familial bond with his butler, Alfred Pennyworth, since the professional acquaintance of the family wouldn’t need to become a secondary father to the boy outside of making sure he is orderly and decent. Bruce Wayne would live an exceptional — if not heroic — life.
Thomas Wayne Would Probably Have A Tough Stance On Crime
With his life barely intact after this near-fatal encounter with a mugger, there’s little doubt that Thomas Wayne — have nearly kissed death — would be living the second half of his life much differently than he did before. Specifically, after his harrowing encounter, Thomas Wayne would likely adopt a tougher stance on crime, and his business perspective (as well as possibly his political perspective) might be drastically changed by this difficult night.
If Thomas Wayne continued to hold court on the company, there’s a possibility that — after this terrifying encounter with a low-life criminal — he’d change his business perspective and focus more on protection and safety for the citizens of Gotham. Either this would dispel crime in the area, with criminals feeling more discouraged to partake in any unlawful activities, or they would simply feel more emboldened to do so, and they would simply need to be craftier in their approach. Either way, Thomas Wayne would clammer down on petty crimes and make a point to try to stop it at the root. If not as a businessman, then perhaps as a politician, or at least backing the politician who’d try to prevent widespread attacks.
Batman’s Most Famous Rivals Might Not Find The Inspiration To Become Gotham’s Biggest Foes
With a man running around in a bat costume, it’s hard to know for certain if some of the zany villains that run amok in Gotham would be the people they are in the comics. Sure, they would be criminals (at least, some of them would still be), but would they adopt their over-the-top appearances, notably since they would still live in the Watchmen universe (which is filled with costumed crime-fighters), or perhaps aim for something more subtle?
It’s hard to know for sure, but there’s a good chance that a lot of these familiar villains might not find their true sense of purpose with Batman/Bruce Wayne. For instance, would Joker still become the Clown Prince of Crime as we know him to be? It’s difficult to say. More likely than not, he would still be a madman, running in-and-out of Arkham Asylum, but he would probably be more in line with your typically criminally insane individual, with the clown aspect being less likely. Though last weekend’s Joker suggests that even without Batman, there would still be a clown running around town.
Dick Grayson, i.e. Robin/Nightwing, Would Probably Not Be The Crime Fighter We Know Him To Be Today
Without his special interest in orphans, since he would still have two living parents who love and care for him, Bruce Wayne would probably not spend as much time providing for or caring after orphanages in the surrounding Gotham area. Therefore, he would likely never be acquainted — not in any strict or professional sense, at least — with Dick Grayson, the boy-turned-man who would become his sidekick known as Robin (and later Nightwing).
There’s a possibility that Dick Grayson would still feel emboldened to solve Gotham’s growing crime problem, but he probably wouldn’t become a Boy Wonder and don the tights with Batman. Instead, he would likely join the local police force or join the crime division as a detective or something else, without any real physical confrontations involving punching and kicking criminals. It’s likely a quieter, less hectic life, and Grayson would probably find himself either in the orphanage for the remainder of his childhood years or perhaps be adopted by a different foster family altogether. Of course, in this butterfly effect scenario, who is to say that Dick Grayson’s parents died as well? Maybe in the rippling effect, they also found themselves living as well.
The possibilities that arrive from Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne avoiding death are vast and nearly endless. It is a fun little aside in Watchmen, but it raises a bunch of questions that the movie has no time to answer. Let us know your own personal theories for what Bruce Wayne’s life would be like if his parents survived that terrible night in the comment section below. We’re sure you have your own ideas that are both fun and thought provoking.
Given that Todd Phillips’ Joker is a very different kind of DC Comics adaptation, Hollywood was apparently willing to bet on it only having a modest second weekend. As a result, multiple studios released a broad mix of new wide releases hoping to grab the attention of different demographics. For the kids there was Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan’s animated The Addams Family; Ang Lee’s Gemini Man was aimed at fans of big action blockbusters; and Jon Lucas and Scott Moore’s Jexi was aimed at those looking to have a few laughs. Unfortunately for them, however, Joker has turned into a steamroller, and it soundly crushed all of them over the last three days with a shockingly small weekend-to-weekend drop.
Check out the full Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis!
The Addams Family*
IT Chapter Two
Those who read this article regularly/follow box office reports know that it’s normal for a new release to see its numbers fall between 50 and 60 percent in the second weekend, but Joker performed well outside the norms over the Friday-to-Sunday stretch. Looking at the $55 million it just brought in, and comparing it to the $93.5 million it brought in last time around, you’ll note that the new comic book movie only fell off 42.8 percent – which is damn impressive, particularly for a title that just set the record for biggest October opening weekend ever. To put it in some context, this time last year it was Ruben Fleischer’s Venom that broke the same record, and it fell off 56.4 percent in its second go-round, only pulling in about $35 million.
This means that within the next week Joker will be the just the eighth title in 2019 to make more than $200 million domestically – following on the heels of Andy Muschietti’s IT Chapter Two, which also just joined that exclusive club. Of course, it’s totals get even more impressive when you factor in A) the fact that, unlike most comic book movies, it was made for only $55 million; and B) that it has also made an additional $351.2 million overseas. That means its currently global total currently stands at $543.9 million, which is enough for it to already crack the Top 10 chart for worldwide releases in 2019. It still has to make a lot more money if it wants to continue climbing up the ranks, as it currently stands behind Chinese releases The Wandering Earth ($699.8 million) and Ne Zha ($700.5 million), but there still exists a lot more opportunity for the film to make money.
While there is no doubt that much of the box office success has come as a result of the controversy surrounding the subject matter (and people buying a ticket just so they can be a part of the conversation), not to mention the DC Comics branding, one has to appreciate the movie’s appeal from a macro perspective. This is a seriously dark, character-based drama that actually features multiple sequences of its protagonist slowly dancing around alone, and yet it is a blockbuster hit. It’s not the kind of film that would typically rake audiences in, and yet tickets are selling impressively well. That’s kind of weird, and kind of awesome.
Of course, the success of Joker comes as a detriment to the performances of the all the other new wide releases out this weekend – but some definitely wound up hurting more than others. For example, The Addams Family didn’t really fail; it just performed adequately. Without adjusting for inflation, the animated adaptation of the classic property actually had a better opening than any previous title in the franchise, as Barry Sonnenfeld’s original 1991 live-action feature only brought in $24.2 million, and its predecessor, Addams Family Values, made only $14.1 million when it came out in 1993. The new movie was only made for a reported $40 million, which means that it is well on its way to becoming profitable… so long as Joaquim Ronning’s upcoming Maleficent:Mistress Of Evil doesn’t totally steal its core audience in upcoming weeks.
The news is definitely less positive for Gemini Man – which is a project that has been in development for more than two decades waiting for visual effects technology to catch up with the concept behind its plot. Unlike Joker and The Addams Family, this is a film that cost a pretty penny to make (a reported $138 million), and surely Paramount must have been hoping for more than third place and a sub-$25 million opening. The good news is that the foreign markets will surely contribute a lot to the global total, which will probably wind up letting the project appear profitable on paper, but this definitely isn’t a great start for the release, and it will probably wind up being labeled as one of the bigger disappointments when 2019 draws to a close.
And then there’s Jexi. This is a movie that didn’t exactly get much of a marketing push, and it wasn’t screened for critics prior to release, and so the box office results are definitely on the predictable side. A grand total of $3.1 million from a 2,332-theater-wide release makes a good amount of sense for a movie that is currently rocking a 14 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and received a “B-” CinemaScore. It probably doesn’t need to be said, but this will probably be the last time we write about this title in this column.
Lastly we’ll go a bit outside the box office Top 10, as Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite has earned some special attention this week. Most of you probably didn’t have the opportunity to see the acclaimed release this past weekend, as it was only showing in a grand total of three theaters nationwide, but those movie houses were PACKED. With a total of $376,264 earned from ticket sales over the last three days, the per-theater average for the film was $125,421 – which is incredible. Having won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and earned acclaim from everyone who has seen it, the feature has been building buzz for months, and hopefully this limited release success will lead the title to find its way into more theaters around the country.
While there will obviously be a lot of eyes still on Joker next weekend, we have another big slate of wide releases arriving on Friday ready to compete. As mentioned earlier there is the forthcoming arrival of Angelina Jolie’s Malifecent sequel, but audiences will also get to experience a special 10 year reunion in the form of Ruben Fleischer’s Zombieland: Double Tap, and the wonderful weirdness of Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit. Those movies, along with the limited release of Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse, should do a nice job shaking things up, and we’ll be back next Sunday to report on the final results.
If you were waiting for Martin Scorsese to apologize for comparing Marvel movies to theme parks as opposed to real cinema, grab a snack. It’ll be a while. He just repeated his comments at a film festival panel, making a plea for movie theaters to make space for real “narrative films”:
Martin Scorsese made his latest comments during a panel on the future of cinema at the London Film Festival (via BFI), which screened his upcoming movie The Irishman.
Here’s what the director previously said about Marvel movies — or “Marvel type” movies, since “Marvel” is becoming shorthand for superhero movies, like “Kleenex” is for all tissue brands:
You could certainly argue with that take, and plenty of Marvel fans definitely did. Marvel Cinematic Universe’s James Gunn was saddened by Martin Scorsese’s take. Samuel L. Jackson also made his own counter-argument. Robert Downey Jr. just respected Scorsese’s opinion. (Maybe he’s leaving the door open to be cast in a future Scorsese film.)
The idea that movie theaters should leave room for more than just Marvel or other superhero movies? Absolutely! It’s nothing new, though, for a multiplex to pack theaters with the latest blockbuster action movie. Theaters exist to make money, and those are the movies a majority of people are willing to get out and see week after week. The market dictates the space. Marvel didn’t invent that wheel, it’s just riding it very, very well.
However, giving thousands of screens to the still-popular Downton Abbey movie, for example, showed that fans are indeed willing to turn out for more than just comic book movies. It was a risk to give a quiet lower-budget drama big theatrical space, and the risk paid off. (It helped that it had its own built-in brand from TV, but someone like Martin Scorsese has his own built-in brand too.)
People want to watch good stories — “narrative films,” as Martin Scorsese might call them. As someone who lives in the middle of nowhere USA, I have to drive hours to find an independent movie theater. However, I have Netflix right on my TV, so I can watch a movie like Roma and — pretty soon — Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman more easily from home.
The Irishman is scheduled for a limited theatrical release on November 1 before it arrives on Netflix on November 27. The Irishmandebuted to a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it’s still there after 62 reviews.
If I were Martin Scorsese, I might be a little frustrated that a film that’s already getting such acclaim will only get a limited theatrical release before arriving on Netflix. He’s an old school auteur in the best way, so having a movie show at the local movie theater is a big deal. But times have changed, and having a movie on Netflix is part of that evolution. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It just means someone like me will be able to actually see The Irishman this year instead of maybe waiting until it showed up later on HBO, or having to buy it on DVD.
Martin Scorsese isn’t the only one ruffling MCU feathers — remember when Joker‘s Marc Maron insulted superhero films and then blasted outraged Marvel fans? And since Avengers: Endgame is the new #1 movie of all time, it’s going to take some potshots. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, and Marvel rules all these days. There were three $1 billion+ MCU movies in 2019, and the MCU slate just keeps going and going, with four MCU titles coming in 2021. Brace yourself, Marty!
If comments on social media and in various places on this particular website are any indication, a healthy number of people have gone back to see Joker a second time. There’s a lot to unpack between his behavior, the larger society the film takes place in and that wild ending, but apparently, there are not any Easter Eggs to be found on a second viewing because director Todd Phillips hates that kinda thing.
The director spoke to Collider during the press tour for the film and revealed he’s not a fan of sliding in obscure references or background details for a second viewing. It’s just not his taste. You can check out a portion of his quote below…
During the same interview, Todd Phillips later went on to say if anyone does find anything, it’s “the art department sneaking something in” before seemingly trolling everyone by claiming there’s a Wonder Woman Easter Egg no one has found. You can take the comedy director out of the genre, but even dark subject matter doesn’t change his basic trolling nature. Or maybe his no Easter Eggs comment itself was the troll? I don’t think so, but also, I’ll be pissed if this was all an elaborate goof. I don’t think so though.
The fact that there aren’t any Easter Eggs in Joker is actually quite interesting given how standard the practice has become. Here at CinemaBlend, we churn out articles about deep cut references, background visual clues and obscure character appearances in comic book movies on a regular basis to the point where we often assign a writer or editor to take notes on that kinda thing when they go to their screenings. Hell, we even do them for theme park rides.
I typically think about it like an animated movie. You know how most cartoons aimed at children have the basic plot and the clear and direct jokes but then also subtle, sometimes raunchier jokes aimed toward adults? Well, that same basic process is going on in most comic book movies, except it’s not children vs adults, it’s casual movie fans and hardcore comic book readers. The goal is often to find enough subtle nods to those more invested viewers to make them feel heard. It’s also a way for the director to ask for trust. I’m a big enough fan of the material to include (obscure reference).
As for Joker itself, the movie is still rolling at the box office. After a big opening weekend, it pulled in another $50M+ at the domestic box office this weekend, and is well over $500M worldwide. We’ve all gotten desensitized to these huge numbers thanks to Avengers: Endgame and other mega comic book wins. The figures themselves aren’t as impressive as they once were, but we still shouldn’t lose sight of how impressive it is for a bold and artsy movie about mental health to be doing the business it is. It might be a long time before we see something like this again.
Check back with CinemaBlend the next time a major comic book film is released, and there’s a good chance we’ll have a full write-up for you on all the Easter Eggs in that one, provided it’s not directed by Todd Philips.
Robert Downey Jr. found a new Avengers team, and they’re almost as wild as the Guardians of the Galaxy. RDJ exited the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2019 with Avengers: Endgame, and he’ll welcome 2020 with his follow-up movie, Dolittle. The Marvel hero stars as Dr. John Dolittle, the famous veterinarian who can communicate with animals. The fantasy movie was previously called The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, and features an all-star voice cast for the animals — including an MCU reunion for RDJ and Tom Holland, who voices a dog named Jip. So, yes, Mr. Stark and Peter Parker will be reunited after all!
Dolittle just released its first trailer, one day after giving fans the official poster. Check out the trailer:
Dolittle features the “human” cast of Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, and Jim Broadbent. The animal voice cast includes Tom Holland, Selena Gomez, Ralph Fiennes, Rami Malek, Kumail Nanjiani, Emma Thompson, Octavia Spencer, and John Cena, because John Cena is literally everywhere lately. Seriously, look behind you.
Here’s the official poster for Dolittle, shared on Saturday before Sunday’s trailer drop:
Is justice for Han Lue (Sung Kang) finally coming in Fast & Furious 9? Fans have been pushing for justice ever since it was revealed that Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw was the one responsible for the fiery car crash that killed Han. Now Shaw is treated like part of the Fast “family,” getting team-up time with Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) in The Fate of the Furious and then even his own spinoff in Hobbs & Shaw.
Han fans felt the Fast “family” was betraying him. But now that Fast 9 is winding down filming, and director Justin Lin was spotted wearing a #JusticeForHan shirt, maybe that’s a hint for what’s ahead? You can see the shirt in Vin Diesel’s latest Fast & Furious 9 video, which was also a happy birthday post for Justin Lin:
I’m excited to see how Fast & Furious 9 will blow fans’ minds, per Vin Diesel. And with the director’s shirt slogan, I have to wonder if fans will finally get what they’ve been waiting for. Justin Lin is returning to the Fast franchise for #9, with his previous film being Fast & Furious 6 — the movie that revealed, in the end, that Deckard Shaw was the one to kill Han. Could it be that Lin is back to complete the Han story he walked away from?
Since then, fans have only gotten lip service on Justice for Han. There was a throwaway line in Hobbs & Shaw where Shaw said, “There’s things I’ve done that I have to make amends for.” Screenwriter Chris Morgan told the L.A. Times, “That is specifically referring to Han.” But it wasn’t really enough for many fans. Morgan seemed to hint, in that interview, that more was on the way. He shared a message for Han’s fans:
Chris Morgan even addressed — albeit with a laugh — the idea of both Han and Gisele (Gal Gadot) returning for Fast 9:
Give us some flashbacks! One thing I’m worried about is what the Fast franchise might tell us about Han to justify what Shaw did — although from Shaw’s perspective, he was just getting justice for his own family. Not too long ago, Fast screenwriter Chris Morgan had this response on the #JusticeForHan movement:
Chris Morgan has been working with director Justin Lin in the Fast franchise since they teamed up for 2006’s The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, the movie that killed off Han. They both returned for 2009’s Fast & Furious, 2011’s Fast Five, and 2013’s Fast & Furious 6, which revealed that Deckard Shaw was the one to kill Han.
Justin Lin then stepped away from the franchise, but Chris Morgan stayed as screenwriter for James Wan’s Furious 7 and F. Gary Gray’s The Fate of the Furious. Now Justin Lin is back for Fast & Furious 9. His T-shirt is giving fans hope, so let’s hope it’s not misplaced.
Fast & Furious 9 is scheduled for release on May 22, 2020, and it will be followed by Fast & Furious 10. Dwayne Johnson is now expected to return to the franchise, it’s just not clear yet whether it will be for a Fast 9 cameo or later for Fast 10.
How did the Fractured movie end on Netflix, and what’s the deal with that final shot of Sam Worthington’s character Ray? Director Brad Anderson weighed in with details on the ambiguity of the ending.
Like many Breaking Bad fans, I watched El Camino on Netflix the day it was released. But I also noticed Avatar star Sam Worthington was in a new movie released the same day, called Fractured. Without knowing anything about it, I jumped in for the 1 hour 40 minute ride. Through the film, I tried to anticipate the twists ahead, knowing there would be something but not quite sure what screenwriter Alan B. McElroy and director Brad Anderson had planned.
The movie started with Sam Worthington’s Ray Monroe fighting in the car with his wife Joanne Monroe (Lily Rabe) as their daughter Peri Monroe (Lucy Capri) sat in the backseat. They were driving home from a bad Thanksgiving dinner with her family. They made a pit stop so Peri could use the bathroom and she ended up taking a hard fall in an area the police probably should’ve blocked off as a major danger site to prevent this entire story from happening.
At any rate, that’s where the story has a schism that we don’t realize until the end. After both Peri and Ray fall, Ray gets up and — in his mind — takes Peri to the hospital with Joanne. They say she has a fractured arm.
At the end of Fractured, we realize most of that was in Ray’s head, and the “shrink” the hospital brought to talk to him was right. He created a false reality after Peri fell, because she died. In his shock, he stood there while Joanne raged at him, and he pushed her to the side without even seeming to see her. She hit her head on a spike — seriously, the police need to shut that area down — and also died.
Ray kept his wife and daughter’s bodies in the car, but in his mind he thought he was rescuing them from a hospital that was stealing and selling patients’ organs. Turns out, that was not the case. I’m most worried about the random patient still in Ray’s car as he drove away. The police didn’t give chase to get that person back to the hospital?!
The end shot of Fractured initially shows a closeup of Ray smiling, after looking through the rear-view mirror and seeing his imagined wife smile at him and say let’s go home. But then his face gets a darker look for the last frame — a screenshot of that look is posted in the photo above.
Fractured premiered at Fantastic Fest in September before its October 11 debut on Netflix. While at Fantastic Fest, director Brad Anderson — who previously directed The Machinist, Session 9, and Beirut — talked to Fresh Fiction about the ending and the choice of that final shot.
The director talked about the question Fractured leaves fans with at the end of the movie:
You have to imagine the police will show up at some point. Or someone will ask about the live (or maybe dying and on the way to death) patient in the backseat, and the two dead bodies in the trunk. Ray doesn’t have a solid grip on reality, so I’m wondering if he’ll still see that as the corrupt world trying to gaslight him. Everyone is in on it, etc. As director Brad Anderson added:
Interesting. Did you see that particular Fractured ending twist coming, or were you expecting something else? At one point I thought maybe Ray had imagined the entire hospital. It didn’t seem logical anyway that that many people would be out at a hospital in the middle of absolute nowhere.