Godzilla Vs Kong Director Isn’t Concerned About The Film’s Rating

Godzilla: King of the Monsters might not have made the biggest splash in theaters, but we won’t have to wait too long to see how the next MonsterVerse entry does (assuming there’s no delay). Right now, Godzilla vs. Kong is seven months away from release, and by the end of the year, we may know what rating it will receive from the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America).

Director Adam Wingard isn’t particularly concerned on the rating front, but given that the previous three MonsterVerse movies have been rated PG-13, he doesn’t expect Godzilla vs. Kong will be any different. In his words:

While certain franchises have made the leap from PG-13 to R, like the X-Men film series did with Deadpool and Logan, it makes sense why the MonsterVerse probably won’t follow suit. While their critical and commercial performances range, these movies are still relatively heavy hitters in the Hollywood sphere, so why mess with that equation?

Still, the prospect of Godzilla and King Kong duking it out with all the gore on full display is an exciting prospect for adult fans of these kinds of monster movies too. That said, as Adam Wingard also mentioned his interview with Gormaru Island, these kinds of action blockbusters need to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, though Wingard also noted the irony of this considering his two favorite movies as a kid were both R-rated. Wingard said:

I have no doubt that if Godzilla vs. Kong were rated R, plenty of kids would find ways to watch it, some from sneaking into the theater and others by just getting ahold of a home media copy. But as far as ticket sales are concerned, Godzilla vs. Kong is more likely to draw a bigger audience by staying in PG-13 territory rather than taking a risk and making it R, especially at this critical juncture for the MonsterVerse.

As it stands now, Godzilla vs. Kong is the last MonsterVerse installment on the calendar. There have been discussions about future movies and characters that could be introduced, but given how Godzilla: King of the Monsters critically and commercially underperformed, I imagine Warner Bros is waiting to see how Godzilla vs. Kong performs before deciding to move forward, press pause to implement changes or just end things there.

However things turn out, at least fans are finally getting a showdown between Godzilla vs Kong in a Hollywood production. Godzilla vs. Kong’s cast includes Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler Alexander Skarsgård, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Jessica Henwick, Julian Dennison and Demián Bichir. Terry Rossio wrote the screenplay.

Godzilla vs. Kong rampages into theaters on March 13, 2020, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage, and don’t forget to keep track of everything coming out for the rest of the year with our 2019 release schedule.

One Concern We Already Have With Cruella

Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmatians

One of the biggest stories surrounding Disney’s dominant 2019 has been the powerhouse studio’s continued success with the live-action remakes of its own animated classics. With over $7 billion from remakes in less than a decade and two $1 billion titles just this year, Disney won’t be abandoning this strategy anytime soon (until it runs out of classics to remake, of course).

Next on the docket though is 2020’s Mulan, which looks fantastic, but is courting its own various controversies that Disney will have to contend with. Then in December 2020… scratch that, May 2021, comes Cruella, and while we have yet to see anything from that film, there is one concern we already have.

Cruella stars Emma Stone as Cruella de Vil, the villain from Disney’s 1961 animated classic 101 Dalmatians. Unlike most of Disney’s live-action remakes, which are direct adaptations of the animated films, Cruella will be a prequel and act as an origin story of sorts for the Disney villain, presumably similar to what was done with Maleficent.

The problem with that approach, or at least the concern we have from our current vantage, is that Cruella will ask us to follow, empathize with and root for a character who will go on to try and murder puppies, and nothing that could possibly happen in this film will redeem her, justify her future actions or even make them understandable.

Let’s take Maleficent as a template for what Cruella could be, since that’s Disney’s only live-action reimagining so far that has focused on the villain as the main character. Maleficent put a new spin on the story by telling us “the truth” behind the tale of Sleeping Beauty, following Angelina Jolie’s powerful fairy as she is betrayed and violated by her love Stefan.

Angelina Jolie in Maleficent

Seeing things from her perspective makes her actions understandable. Cursing the infant Aurora is a horrible act, but it is an act of revenge, born out of pain by someone who has been hurt very badly and no longer believes in love. I wasn’t personally a fan of Disney taking, in my opinion, its most iconic villain and making her more misunderstood than villainous, but it works in the context of the story Maleficent tells.

Now contrast this with the Cruella de Vil we know from 101 Dalmatians. In the original film, Cruella de Vil is a wealthy heiress and former schoolmate of Perdita’s owner Anita. She is obsessed with fur and wants to make fur coats out of the Dalmatians, going so far as to hire a pair of henchmen to steal the dogs.

Cruella is a despicable and cruel character (it’s right there in the name), whose vanity, selfishness and lack of empathy for other living creatures drives her to heinous acts.

The live-action film has been described as having a “punk vibe,” and while some reports said it would be set in the ’80s, according to Collider, it will take place in 1970s London in the high fashion world. Emma Stone’s character will be a lowly department store worker who sees a rich woman called the Baroness wearing her deceased mother’s locket, which was lost at the Baroness’ estate the night she died. The film will follow Cruella’s attempt to get it back in what sounds like an Ocean’s Eight meets The Devil Wears Prada story.

Regardless of whether that premise is correct or not, Cruella will presumably explain why the dalmatians are so important to the character’s backstory and what events precipitated and possibly spurred her actions in 101 Dalmatians. Maybe the Baroness had dalmatians or other dogs that bit Cruella or something like that, an event that cemented her hatred for dogs and love of fur.

Sorry, but I don’t care what happened to Cruella or what struggles she went through. If a dog bit her, too bad. Neither the tragic death of her mother, nor the struggle at a dead end job, nor a feud with a rich and powerful enemy. Nothing makes stealing and murdering puppies to make fur coats a relatable or understandable act. That makes a film where Cruella is the protagonist a tough sell.

Cruella driving in a fit of rage

Maleficent was taking revenge on a person who had wronged her, but Cruella enacted her evils on innocent animals, which, by their very nature, didn’t bear any responsibility for her ills. And I don’t think we can undersell that audiences allowed for some moral flexibility with Maleficent’s actions because they take place in a fantasy world. Cruella will take place in a world that quite similar to our own, where many of us have dogs as pets.

Cruella is different from a lot of other Disney villains in her evils. Ursula wanted power rule the seas, Jafar the power to rule Agrabah, Scar wanted to be king and Gaston wanted Belle, but Cruella wants to spill blood to make herself a fancy coat. If she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will. There’s a difference there.

This isn’t a case of a villain like Magneto, who has an ideology and does the wrong things for the right reason. You can understand his actions even if you don’t agree with them. There is no nuance in puppy murder. Killing pets like that is something serial killers do, and I don’t know how you have a protagonist like Cruella whose destiny will lead her to that. It’s a big ask to invest in a character whose future actions are that unjustifiable.

This is a major concern in my mind for Cruella, and in many ways makes such an origin story untenable. However, despite these reservations, I expect Disney could and probably has found a way to make it work and there are some possibilities on that front.

On the one hand, this film could embrace Cruella’s villainy and instead of making her a misunderstood, sympathetic character, let her become the full on evil, detestable harpy she always has been. Watching the making of a villain is a pretty cool thing as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (the book), the Star Wars prequel trilogy and Breaking Bad proved.

Cruella director Craig Gillespie previously directed I, Tonya, which followed figure skater Tonya Harding. While not excusing Harding’s actions, that film takes a comedic look at her life and audiences could see how her struggles informed the deeply flawed person she became. You never root for Tonya Harding though. But Cruella is a Disney movie and it is not Disney’s way to do that kind of thing or to have an unlikable protagonist.

Emma Stone in The Favourite

Emma Stone is brilliant casting as Cruella, and as she proved in The Favourite, she can play a truly nasty, selfish character. Yet it seems unlikely the studio would make a Cruella-centric movie where she really gets to be the bad guy and becomes the villain we all know by film’s end. Maleficent is testament to that. As is the fact that Emma Thompson is in talks to join the cast, possibly as the Baroness. Some reports on her casting have pegged her as the villain. That would make Emma Stone’s Cruella de Vil, future dead animal wearer, you guessed it, the hero.

Another approach would take a cue from Maleficent, which pitched itself as the truth behind the Sleeping Beauty tale. In that way, Cruella could basically retcon the story of Cruella de Vil and 101 Dalmatians, similar to the way the Fast & Furious franchise is constantly retconning the actions of its villains so they can join the team.

Maleficent changed Maleficent’s history and motivations, but she still cursed Aurora. Cruella would have to make it so that Cruella wasn’t really stealing the dalmatians to turn them into coats in 101 Dalmatians. Instead, she had some other motivation, like trying to save them or something like that. Making this not a prequel, but essentially an alternate reality story with a different Cruella. That seems like the most likely approach and perhaps the only way this film could work for such a despicable character.

This would fundamentally alter the entire story and completely defang the character, but Cruella is a reimagining. While that wouldn’t be my preference, we all lament when Disney’s live-action remakes don’t take any risks or make changes to the originals.

I expect Disney and director Craig Gillespie have cracked how to tackle the story of Cruella de Vil, and Cruella will come out and be a financial success just like most of Disney’s live-action remakes have been. But for the moment, the abhorrent actions and loathsome nature of the character are a major concern for her origin film.

Cruella now opens in theaters on May 28, 2021. Check out our guide to keep track of all of Disney’s upcoming live-action remakes.

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How Far Would The Brittany Runs A Marathon Cast Get In An Actual Marathon

Acting means that you can pretend to do anything, with filmmaking supporting the actor’s aspirations by making it look possible. When it comes to writer/director Paul Downs Colaizzo’s indie dramedy Brittany Runs A Marathon, the big feat is telling the extremely realistic story of Jillian Bell’s Britney Forgler taking on that 26.2 mile monster.

Outside of the practical movie magic that made it look like Bell ran the entire race, the question of how she and her fellow castmates would do in the event itself was one I had to ask when sitting down with them on behalf of CinemaBlend. And during the film’s press day, ambitions ran the gamut as the cast answered this question, which you can watch in their responses below:

The more sensible spectrum of answers came from Jillian Bell and Utkarsh Ambudkar, who put themselves in the range of three-to-four miles run. It’s a perfectly human goal that speaks volumes of their individual attitudes, as they gave those responses without any knowledge of the other’s.

Meanwhile, it all came down to a simple pass/fail equation with co-stars Michaela Watkins and Micah Stock, as Watkins said she’d totally finish if she paid her way in, and Stock said he’d probably not make it. His doubt came from equating running a marathon to walking out of a movie, so maybe he could do better under the right circumstances.

Perhaps the funniest answers, though, were from the room with writer/director Paul Downs Colaizzo, who was ready to playfully spite Ambudkar’s goal by saying he’d go one mile more just to win. But that was right before Lil Rel Howery, who’s also getting ready to return to the screen in the prank comedy Bad Trip, swore that he not only was serious about training for a marathon after working on Brittany Runs A Marathon, but that he could also do 10 miles easy.

Questioning the exact conditions was a fun move, as everything from food choice to amount of training and race fees came up when I posed this hypothetical scenario. But the reason this query was given to the entire cast was because of something I’d learned from Jillian Bell while I attended this film’s junket.

As it turns out, the star of such oddball comedies as Rough Night said that Brittany Runs A Marathon is the first actual film to be given access to the actual New York Marathon. Meaning that when you see her running the marathon during various points in the film, that’s the real deal there. So when she says she’d go three miles, it’s totally believable; much like her ability to pretend to love Channing Tatum or to help hide the body of an accidentally murdered male stripper. It’s all about versatility in this business, folks.

In the end though, the same lessons that Brittany Runs A Marathon teaches its audience were the one that I walked away with after asking these questions to its cast. It doesn’t matter how or where you finish, but that you did it in the first place; and everyone has their own pace to victory.

That being said, if anyone’s interested in seeing Lil Rel Howery and Michaela Watkins square off in a race to see who’s the toughest runner, you should throw your vote of support behind Brittany Runs A Marathon when it opens in limited release this Friday. Though if the film isn’t in your market by then, don’t worry; the wide release roll out is scheduled for September 13.

5 Big Things We’re Hoping To See From Star Wars At D23 Expo 2019

Chewie BB8 C-3PO Rey and Poe in Star Wars The Rise Of Skywalker

This upcoming weekend is a big one for Star Wars fans around the globe. The Walt Disney Company will be hosting their biannual D23 Expo down in Anaheim, California, and in addition to being a major venue for news about Pixar, Walt Disney Animation, Marvel, and more, it’s also a major happening for the franchise set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Big announcements are going to be made, and expectations are very high.

Between both the Disney+ and live-action movie presentations, there will be ample opportunity for Star Wars awesomeness during the D23 Expo festivities, and we couldn’t be more hyped. And having been on the ground the last four times the event was held, here are the happenings that we are most hoping to see from the franchise at the convention:

The Mandalorian raising his gun

A Wide-Released Mandalorian Trailer

In this particular case, it’s not so much about a thing we’re “hoping” to see, but instead a thing that we know we’re going to see. But even if it weren’t revealed early that we will be seeing a trailer for The Mandalorian at D23 Expo 2019, we still would have predicted it. The first ever live-action Star Wars series is set to debut with the launch of Disney+, and considering that’s happening in early November, now is really the perfect time to give fans a glimpse of what to expect.

The first ever footage from The Mandalorian was shown earlier this year during Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, but that material was exclusively for that audience. This time around that won’t be the case. While fans physically at the D23 Expo may also get treated to a complete scene or extended sequence (stay tuned to CinemaBlend on Friday for more on that front), there will definitely be a trailer that audiences around the globe will be able to see for themselves.

Rey in rise of skywalker

A New Preview Of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

Of course, The Mandalorian preview wasn’t the only massively anticipated material that was shown at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago. It was during the April event that Lucasfilm revealed the first ever trailer for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker. That’s important, because it was also the last time that we got to see anything from the actual movie. No other trailer has been launched for the blockbuster since then, and while we may still have to wait until after D23 Expo 2019, the event may not leave fans totally empty handed.

When it comes to the sequel trilogy, which has been coming out biannually just like D23 Expo, there is a certain pattern that is followed. Specifically, while there may be some new poster art revealed, it usually isn’t the place where trailers are released. With Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker not due out until December, Lucasfilm has a bit of time before they put the hype machine into full gear, so we probably won’t see Trailer #2 just yet. At the very least, though, the new artwork should come paired with get a cool behind-the-scenes featurette about the making of the blockbuster that may feature a hint or two about the plot and how the beloved characters factor in.

Obi wan kenobi in Revenge of the sith

The Obi-wan Kenobi Disney+ Series Confirmed

Earlier this month the news broke that Disney+ is developing a series about Obi-wan Kenobi – and the timing of that story with the forthcoming events at D23 Expo 2019 is surely no coincidence. When it comes to big conventions, it’s common for certain details about big announcements to break prematurely, and this seems to be one of those cases. Just think about the reports regarding Taika Waititi signing a deal to director Thor 4 right before San Diego Comic-Con back in July.

Of course, the news about Waititi’s involvement with Thor 4 was ultimately only the tip of the iceberg, with the project also revealing a title, and announcing the return of Natalie Portman to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Don’t be surprised if the situation with the Obi-wan Kenobi Disney+ series winds up being similar. Right now we might know that the show is in the works, but it’s very possible that the streaming service presentation at D23 Expo 2019 will reveal a lot more details (though not too much – this is still Star Wars after all).

X-wings in a new hope

First Details About The David Benioff/D.B. Weiss Trilogy

While Star Wars has been a constant presence in Hollywood since the “relaunch” of the bramd with Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, things will be slowing down a bit after 2019. Not only will there not be any in-continuity titles released in 2020, but we won’t be seeing any in 2021 either. In modern franchise filmmaking, that’s a pretty long spell, but one way that Lucasfilm could stoke the coals is by revealing the first details from the next trilogy of films – specifically those being developed by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

We don’t expect that they will give the entire game away, but this happens to be a franchise where even the most minor details means a ridiculous amount to the fans. This includes material like confirming where the stories will take place in the timeline, or what kind of business the protagonist is in. Telling fans any of this kind of information at D23 Expo would be tremendously exciting, particularly because the trilogy wasn’t brought up a single time at Star Wars Celebration, and it could launch speculation that will keep us talking until the next D23 Expo in 2021.

Death Star Docking Bay

A Star Announced For The David Benioff/D.B. Weiss Trilogy

For this last hope, we’re just taking a big swing. It’s true we’ll be lucky if we learn anything at all about the David Benioff/D.B. Weiss Star Wars trilogy at D23 Expo 2019, but we’re going to keep our fingers tightly crossed that it also winds up being the venue where Lucasfilm announces the lead actors that will be at the center of the new series. It’s not uncommon at all in Hollywood for franchise projects to be built around exciting and charismatic new stars, and it’s not entirely unbelievable that the developing movies have been doing some incredibly quiet casting work.

The chances of this happening are tremendously slim, but the D23 Expo would be a great place for the reveal given the incredible star power that has graced the stage at the Anaheim Convention Center in past years. And if it does happen, you’ll probably be able to hear the audience reaction all the way in London.

CinemaBlend will be on the ground at D23 Expo 2019 this weekend attending the presentations, reporting breaking news, covering the press lines, and filming reaction videos, so be sure to stay tuned on the site Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for all of the best action that comes out of the convention.

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Why Marvel Studios’ Plans For Disney+ Have Us Concerned

Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Infinity War

With the Infinity Saga now over, a new chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is unfolding that looks quite different from this franchise’s previous three Phases. For at least Phase 4 and possibly even Phase 5, it doesn’t look like there will be an overarching storyline tying together the MCU movies as was frequently the case over the past 11 years. That said, there will be a different kind of MCU connectivity come Phase 4, one that stretches across the big and small screens.

It was announced at San Diego Comic-Con that Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch will appear in 2021’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but furthermore, the events of her Disney+ series, WandaVision, will lead into the Master of the Mystic Arts’ sequel. It was also recently rumored that the alternate timeline Loki we met in Avengers: Endgame will appear in Thor: Love and Thunder, and he’s bringing his timeline’s version of Mjolnir with him, which he somehow obtains during the course of his own Disney+ series.

Having Marvel movies and TV shows being closely connected to each other is an appealing prospect to a lot of Marvel fans, myself included. However, another part of me is concerned that this plan could backfire because it will alienate the more causal moviegoers who aren’t devoted MCU mythology and aren’t willing to invest so much more time just to stay caught up.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Avengers: Endgame

To be fair, these Disney+ shows are hardly the first ones to be set within MCU continuity, as there plenty of others that have aired or are still airing across ABC, Netflix, Hulu and Freeform. The difference here is that the Disney+ shows are being made by Marvel Studios, whereas the previous ones and many others coming up, like Ghost Rider and Helstrom, fall under Marvel Television, a separate division that doesn’t coordinate with Kevin Feige and his gang.

As a result, the previous Marvel series have been largely disconnected from the Marvel movies outside of the occasional reference or namedrop, to the point that I would not be surprised if rebooted versions of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Punisher are introduced later down the line firmly set within MCU continuity and their Netflix shows are declared non-canon. Even with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, the shows arguably most connected to the movies, it was a one-sided street, with the movies not acknowledging those two programs outside of James D’Arcy’s Edwin Jarvis cameoing in Avengers: Endgame.

Now that Marvel Studios gets to make its own shows on Disney+, there’s the opportunity to finally deliver that closer connectivity between MCU movies and television (streaming, to be technical) that so many fans have wanted. Even though Marvel is churning out more movies than ever, there’s only so much big screen time that can be allotted, but now characters like Falcon, Winter Soldier and Hawkeye can shine on their own platform rather than keep being supporting characters in movies.

That’s cool enough on its own, but for Marvel to go one step further and have the plot lines of some of these Disney+ shows lead into upcoming movies is great… for longtime MCU fans. Let’s be real, most of the people who are devoted to this franchise will subscribe to Disney+ and check out these shows at some point. But what about the people who are just casual MCU viewers?

Each of these Marvel Disney+ shows are going to be between six-to-eight episodes, and since these series won’t have commercial breaks, let’s assume they’ll actually be a full hour as opposed to the usual 42-44 minutes we expect from network television. That’s six-to-eight extra hours of content per show, and it’d be one thing if this was optional viewing. But in the case of WandaVision and possibly Thor: Love and Thunder, we go from optional to what sounds like mandatory.

WandaVision Logo

Let’s look at WandaVision first. No plot details have been revealed yet other than, as the title indicates, Scarlet Witch will be reunited with The Vision, who was killed by Thanos at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. How the android will return remains shrouded in secrecy, but because we know that Scarlet Witch will also factor into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, perhaps it has to do with Wanda altering reality with her amazing powers and creating an ideal world where Vision was never taken from her.

If that’s the case, then it makes sense why WandaVision is tied to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but just how tight are those ties? If someone missed out on WandaVision, will they still be able to follow along with Doctor Strange 2, or will the story not make much sense if they didn’t watch the Disney+ series?

Maybe WandaVision is simply being used to tease a larger threat that’ll fully present itself in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and those who didn’t catch the show would still be able to follow along with the story easily and get a basic understanding for how Scarlet Witch is different compared to how she was in Avengers: Endgame. But if Marvel has closely interwoven the two projects, I suspect that’ll turn off a lot of people who thought they’d be caught up having just seen Doctor Strange and the last two Avengers movies.

Loki Logo

And then there’s Loki, who will spend his Disney+ series traveling through time and messing around with important moments in human history. According to the rumor circulating, that series will end with the Asgardian trickster crossing over into the main MCU timeline with his timeline’s Mjolnir in tow, which would explain how Jane Foster is able to become The Mighty Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder.

Assuming this information is true, that’s a harder plot point to just explain away with a few lines of exposition in Thor: Love and Thunder. Sure Avengers: Endgame set up alternate timeline Loki, but it’s a far jump to go from that to having the character pop back up in Thor: Love and Thunder, meaning that unless you caught the Loki series beforehand, that portion of Thor 4 might make you feel lost.

There’s only so much time to go around, and while it’s one thing to watch a few movies to ensure that you’re caught up in time for the latest movie, tacking on an extra six-to-eight hours is a lot to ask of someone who isn’t terribly invested in this franchise. That could potentially lead to these same people skipping out on future Marvel movies if they feel it’s not worth the effort of having to keep track of these extra shows.

Admittedly, at this stage of the game, Marvel is so successful that the amount of people who drop off due to this development would be negligible in the brass’ eyes. And who knows, if these shows stay limited series as opposed to continuing for many seasons, that makes this less of an issue.

Still, Marvel is taking a risk by tying some of these Disney+ shows closely to its movies, and this could just be the start. Who knows what other Disney+ shows could get the green light, and we still don’t officially know what will comprise the Phase 5 slate.

But hey, the company took a risk when it launched its cinematic universe over a decade ago, and look how that turned out. With the kind footing it has now, perhaps alienating the more causal MCU fans won’t be as a big a concern as I’m currently imagining. We shall see.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest updates about the MCU on both the big and small screens, but for now, keep track of the rest of this year’s release with our handy 2019 schedule.

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Wait, Did Kevin Feige Help Sony With Venom?

It’s been an interesting week in the world of comic book movies, especially when it comes to the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Despite the massive success of Spider-Man: Far From Home, Sony and Marvel have ended their shared custody of Tom Holland’s signature Marvel hero. The future of Peter’s role in the MCU is unclear, as the Spider-Verse continues to grow for Sony, kickstarted by the success of Venom. But did Kevin Feige actually work on Ruben Fleischer’s blockbuster?

Venom was a big risk for Sony, one that ended up paying off greatly once the movie hit theaters. Despite a poor critical performance, the movie really connected with audiences, and it made a ton of money at the box office. The movie was in some ways the antithesis of the meticulous MCU, but a report about Sony and Disney’s Spider-beef indicated that he “lent an unofficial hand” in the early stages of Venom‘s road to theaters.

This potential intel comes to us from Deadline, which helped break the news of Sony and Marvel’s split as the news originally broke. The Venom franchise and its potential future no doubt factored into Sony’s decision to end the deal, given the property’s potential to grow and create spinoff opportunities. And the potential to bring the wall-crawler into the story with his villains was likely too good to pass up.

Kevin Feige’s involvement with Venom may end up just being a rumor, as there hasn’t been any previous indication that he was involved in Eddie Brock’s raucous origin story. What’s more, the outlet has since updated/retracted the story, and the line about Feige appears to no longer be present. Still, it’s a concept that is blowing minds of the collective fandom in the midst of the ongoing situation.

Cinephiles were shocked earlier this week when news of Sony and Marvel’s split was revealed. The turn of events basically broke the internet, and left us with countless questions about how the Spider-Verse and Marvel Cinematic Universe would move forward. The latter franchise seems to be in a particularly precarious position, given how popular Tom Holland’s Peter Parker has become across his five film appearances.

Spider-Man made his long awaited Marvel debut at the start of Phase Three with Captain America: Civil War. Fans instantly connected with Tom Holland’s youthful energy and gymnastic abilities, and the character had a compelling arc throughout that slate of movies. His relationship with Tony Stark was a particularly beloved aspect of the larger shared universe, and the story was played out across his two solo movies and Avengers appearances.

It should be fascinating to see how the ongoing situation continues to unfurl. Social media has been sounding off, with Spider-related hashtags trending for the past few days. There’s no way of predicting how the industry will handle this change, and what storytelling possibilities close or end. Regardless, CinemaBlend will keep you updated as more details become public.

Venom 2 is currently set to arrive in theaters on October 2nd, 2020, and the next installment in the MCU will be Black Widow on May 1st, 2020. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Terminator 2’s Robert Patrick Is Down To Return To The Franchise

As far as sci-fi franchises go, there’s few quite as iconic as James Cameron’s Terminator. The futuristic and action-heavy property has compelled moviegoers for decades, and has never really been far from theaters. But Terminator fans are especially excited for the upcoming release of Dark Fate, which will be an R-rated direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgement Day and feature Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor. So could T2 actor Robert Patrick also appear in a future installment?

Robert Patrick played Terminator 2‘s primary antagonist, the T-1000. Made of liquid metal, the updated Terminator had special capabilities that made him especially troublesome for T-800, Sarah, and John. Patrick was recently asked if he’d be interested in returning to the sci-fi franchise, and he said:

Well, this is exciting. It looks like the liquid villain of Terminator 2 is down to return for a role in a future installment. The reason? Because he loves working and making a living as an actor.

Robert Patrick’s comments to Comic Book are sure to make hardcore fans of the Terminator franchise happy. Terminator 2: Judgement Day is largely considered the best installment in the long-running property, with Arnold Schwarzenegger transitioning from villain to ally throughout the course of James Cameron’s follow-up.

That’s what makes Terminator: Dark Fate such an exciting project, with tons of anticipation behind its upcoming release. The upcoming movie will ignore the rest of the franchise’s sequels, following up with Sarah Connor decades after she stopped judgement day in T2. Also reprising his role is Edward Furlong, who portrayed Sarah’s son John.

Since the trio of leading Terminator 2 actors are returning for the franchise with Dark Fate, the only one really missing from the reunion is Robert Patrick. The 60 year-old actor’s character perished during the conclusion of that first sequel, although Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character did as well. Just how he might be brought back is unclear, but it’s a concept that fans would be very happy about.

The Terminator franchise, complete with a new timeline, will continue when Terminator: Dark Fate arrives in theaters November 1st. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Spider-Man Fans Are Planning A Protest On Sony’s Lot After Split With Marvel

Fans of tjhe Marvel Cinematic Universe have been in a state of shock since it was revealed that Tom Holland‘s Spider-Man might be on his way out of the successful franchise. While it’s far from clear exactly why, indications are that the deal between Marvel and Sony that brought the web-head into the MCU has fallen apart. However, fans aren’t taking the situation lying down, as many thousands are apparently planning to “storm Sony” in order to bring Spider-Man back to the MCU.

A Facebook Event has been created with the title “Storm Sony And Bring Spider-Man Home To The MCU.” The event is currently scheduled to take place on Saturday October 19th at noon eastern time at Sony’s New York City offices. Currently, nearly 9,000 people have RSVP’d as going to the event, with another 7,000 listed as interested.

While the title of the event may imply a “they can’t stop all of us” Area 51 sort of plan, the description of the event says the event is planned as a non-violent protest, so it doesn’t seem there is an actual plan to take the building, simply to gather, in your Spider-Man gear, and protest the fact that Spider-Man is leaving the MCU.

Earlier this week it was revealed that negotiations between Sony and Marvel had fallen apart, resulting in Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios no longer being directly involved in co-producing Spider-Man movies with Sony. That seemingly takes the character out of the MCU movies since Sony is the actual owner of the film rights to the character.

While the decision certainly makes business sense for Sony, since they don’t need to share their profits with Marvel, for those more interested in the story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s a blow. Even Spider-Man’s solo movies from Sony have benefited from their connection to the MCU and appearances by other characters. Now, it seems that the next Spider-Man movie will simply magically take place in a universe where Venom exists but Nick Fury does not.

Clearly, this Facebook event, and many fans, have decided that the fault of the breakdown lies with Sony. Indications are that Disney was asking for a much larger stake in future Spider-Man movies and Sony balked at that. According to Sony, Disney made the decision to pull Kevin Feige away because the man has so many responsibilities, he simply didn’t have the time to work on Spider-Man as well.

Of course, at this point a lot of this might be semantics. While another Spider-Man movie is certain, no movie has been announced. In addition, it’s hard to see anyplace in Marvel’s announced slate where Spider-Man could have been appearing. It’s possible that by the time Spider-Man becomes an active concern again, we could see the two sides make up and figure out a deal.

Disney Reveals Its ‘Secret Project’, And It’s Not Exactly Space Mountain

Both casual fans and hardcore Disney enthusiasts are gearing up for this weekend’s D23 expo in Anaheim, California. The biennial event is expected to generate a ton of exciting reveals and teases for the future of Disney Theme Parks, Disney+ and Disney’s movie schedule, as well as some talk about the other properties it now owns. Some of the first whispers were revealed last night, and while a handful went over very well, there has been a general sense of “huh” following the reveal of Disney’s so-called “Secret Project”.

The so-called “Secret Project” has been a fertile source of theories and conversations among hardcore Disney fans since it was added to the D23 schedule at the beginning of August. It was given its own panel, and fans were told the subject would be announced on August 22nd. Theories ranged from a new park in India to new hotels at Walt Disney World to a 5th Park to a massive new ride. It turns out the real answer is a documentary and 52 episode short-form series on what it’s like to work at Disney, as well as an accompanying coffee table book. Huh.

Now I’m a huge Disney guy. I appreciate what the Mouse House’s best and brightest do. I will even watch these shorts (and the documentary) when they come out. I’m in on the concept. The project itself is not the problem, but like the rest of the Internet, I am confused and even kind of annoyed at the marketing strategy here. Disney is typically one of the best companies in the entire world at playing the hype game. Mickey and friends know how to tease an idea, build momentum and create a buzz. They certainly created the buzz here, but if you can’t deliver and are only going to disappoint people, why even create the buzz at all?

There are really only two different possibilities here. Let’s explore each one of them individually. The first is that Disney teased the project because executives thought fans would be much more excited about featurettes on Disney employees. Maybe the decision-makers thought the sheer scope of this project, per The Mercury News, (76 different photoshoots, all of which happened on the same day, plus video packages) was going to impress the target audience. And it is impressive. I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that there was tremendous effort put in here.

Thumbs up to whoever thought of doing this, but at the end of the day, it’s still a Disney streaming project and coffee table book about Disney employees produced by Disney employees. How could that possibly live up to the hype and speculation of a “Secret Project” coming from a company that routinely creates things that cost hundreds of millions of dollars?

Now the second option here is that this “Secret Project” was originally something else. It was going to be one of these ideas people have tossed out or a completely separate big ticket idea, but at some point, executives decided it wasn’t a good idea to announce it and turned this Cast Members documentary into the thing. That would make sense from a marketing standpoint. It would be better to get criticized for underdelivering on an announcement than for either cancelling the announcement or announcing something really cool that you can’t ultimately deliver and will get crushed for later. This course of action makes logical sense, but it also begs the question of what could have possibly changed in a month.

Ultimately, we don’t know what exactly happened here, and we may never know. There should be a ton of fun and exciting Disney announcements coming over the next few days, and by Sunday night, most of us will probably have forgotten this little mishap even happened. But for a company that’s normally so incredible at creating expectations and delivering on them, it’s hard not to be disappointed by the “Secret Project” turned out.

Brad Pitt Knows The Answer To Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’s Unsolved Mystery

Quentin Tarantino loves leaving open-ended conversations, both in his films and outside of them. What’s in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction? Is Kill Bill really one movie, or two? His latest, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, also leaves a dangling plot thread that several people have been pulling on, and in a recent interview, co-star Brad Pitt admits that he knows that answer.

In the film, Pitt plays perennial stunt man Cliff Booth, a knock-around film industry veteran who currently “carries the load” for fading character actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio). Booth’s not welcome on the set of every movie, primarily because there’s a nasty rumor about him that he might have killed his wife. Asked by the L.A. Times if Brad Pitt knows the answer to the mystery, the elusive star confessed:

So it seems the cast of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood are buying into the Pulp Fiction line of mystery, choosing not to reveal some of the delicious secrets that Quentin Tarantino layers into his screenplays to help keep the loyal audience guessing.

With Cliff Booth, however, the answer to the mystery has prevented several audience members from fully embracing his character. Did he actually murder his wife that day on the boat? Tarantino takes the flashback scene right up to the moment where a murder was possible. But he stops short of revealing whether or not Cliff’s a cold-blooded killer, or just a guy whose reputation has been dogged by a nasty rumor.

Of course, Brad Pitt being the outstanding character actor that he is, he adores the ambiguity of Cliff’s backstory, preferring to exist in the grey areas that avoid giving an audience a simple, regurgitated answer. Pitt did tell the L.A. Times that he worked out the answer of Cliff’s guilt so that he could construct the character properly, but he has no intention of sharing what he came up with. When told that the mystery leaves a black cloud over Cliff, Pitt says:

That’s the right attitude. Not every plot point needs to be crystal clear, and the uncertain makes both Cliff Booth and the entirety of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood more intriguing. We want to root for Booth, but question our own motives in light of the uncertainty. It leads to fascinating discussion and debate.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood continues to perform well at the box office, earning some repeat business as it pushes its domestic cume to $116 million. It has plenty more global markets in which it needs to open, and hopefully a lengthy Oscar campaign in which to engage. Where Pitt can continue to dodge this question from reporters far and wide.