What Original Mary Poppins Song Does The New Cast Wish They Could Sing?

If there’s one thing Disney feature films are known for, it’s a rocking soundtrack. Animated classics and live-action movies have included beloved iconic songs, which are passed down across the generations. This includes 1964’s Mary Poppins, which has beloved musical numbers like “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” and “A Spoonful of Sugar.”

Mary is returning to Cherry Tree Lane in Rob Marshall’s Mary Poppins Returns, which will be a direct sequel to the beloved original movie. Hairspray composer Marc Shaiman is writing new music for the sequel, and I recently had the chance to speak with the cast about the upcoming movie, including the music. I asked the Banks family and Mary herself which song from the original they’d like to sing, and their answers didn’t disappoint. Check it out below.

There’s some solid choices here, with the cast’s answers no doubt exciting the hardcore fans of the original Mary Poppins. Like Hamilton and Greatest Showman have release cover albums, perhaps the new Mary Poppins actors will one day get a chance to sing covers from the first movie. Fingers crossed.

During my conversations with the cast of Mary Poppins Returns, I opened by asking each of them which song from the original would be their choice. Without a doubt, the most popular answer was the ballad “Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag)”. The haunting melody takes place at the start of Mary Poppins‘ third act, and teaches Jane and Michael Banks about charity and the power of money.

Both Emily Blunt and Ben Whishaw chose “Feed the Birds” as their favorite song, and one they would love to have reprised in Mary Poppins Returns. Luckily, both of those actors get their own ballads in Mary Poppins Returns. Michael’s song “A Conversation” is one of the first songs from the movie, and sets up the grief that he and his children are feeling in the wake of his wife’s death.

Meanwhile, Emily Blunt gets to sing a ballad of her own with “The Place Where The Lost Things Go.” Once again focused on the subject of loss, Mary comforts the Banks children, and reminds them that their mother is still all around them, despite her passing. So while they didn’t get to sing “Feed The Birds” both Ben and Emily will have their own opportunities to make the audience cry.

Emily Mortimer and Hamilton writer/singer Lin-Manuel Miranda have their own choices for which song from Mary Poppins they’d like to do. Mortimer chose the “Sister Suffragette”, the track sung by Mrs. Banks actress Glynis Johns in the original film. A Mary Poppins underrated bop, the song found Mrs. Banks belting out lyrics about the fight for the right to vote in England. Jane ends up in a similar vocation in Mary Poppins Returns, making her choice all the more exciting.

Meanwhile, Lin-Manuel Miranda seems the most attached to Dick Van Dyke’s songs from the original. He mentioned both “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Jolly Holiday” as being the tracks he’s enjoyed from the comfort of his home. His character Jack actually fills a similar role to the one filled by Van Dyke’s Bert, accompanying Mary in her adventures and even dancing with penguins in the process.

Mary Poppins Returns will arrive in theaters, complete with new songs, on December 19th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

Does Aquaman Feature A Lot Of Improv? Here’s What Jason Momoa Says

Superhero films aren’t generally the types of projects most of us think about in relation to improv. In fact, it’s often comedy flicks that are later released with gag reels and outtakes that are thought of in relation to improvisational moments. Yet, Aquaman apparently had quite a bit of improvisation, at least according to lead actor Jason Momoa.

So yes, Jason Momoa was able to try things out and play around on the set of the movie, which reportedly cost $200 million to make. That’s plenty of takes to find a cut that works, although I’m guess most of that budget went into CGI and making the movie look pretty spectacular.

Still, what’s most intriguing to me about Jason Momoa’s comment to Fox News is that he really seems to feel he was able to put more of himself into Arthur Curry than other characters he has portrayed on the big and small screen.

Of course, when you are known for playing a heathenish Khal, an axe-throwing fur trader and an alien from the Pegasus Galaxy, I suppose it’s easy for a superhero who’s also a normal dude to stand out as the role that’s most like you. Superheroes, they’re just like us.

Aquaman won’t be the first movie superhero movie with improvisation, of course. We’ve heard that one of Avengers: Infinity War‘s biggest moments, the moment where Tom Holland felt himself fading into dust, was largely improvised. Robert Downey Jr. is also fairly notable for his improvisation on superhero movies.

Previously, Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok was also noted for its use of improvisation, especially in regards to the movie’s humor and tone. Waititi has previously said 80% of that movie was improvised; I’m guessing Aquaman‘s number would be a little lower.

Venom also had a notably improvised moment in which Tom Hardy jumped into a lobster tank. So improvisation in superhero flicks happens, it’s just not the rule.

A lot of DC movies have had a fairly dark tone, so it’s really just nice to hear that the Aquaman cast had fun with the movie on set. Reviews for the flick have already started coming out, and for the most part people seem to think the movie goes for a lot, even if it doesn’t hit every note perfectly. Hopefully it hits the improv notes well.

We’ll be able to find out soon enough. Aquaman will finally be hitting theaters on December 18, 2018. To check out its holiday competition, take a look at our full premiere schedule.

Should More R-Rated Movies Try and Release PG-13 Cuts?

Once Upon A Deadpool is going to be quite the test run for Hollywood, as the industry watches to see how a PG-13 cut of a film previously released as rated R will be well-received by a mass audience. If consumers turn out for the revamp in a big way, it stands to reason Hollywood may make a habit of releasing PG-13 cuts more often. That said, should this be a trend Hollywood pursues?

It’s a tough question to answer, especially where Once Upon A Deadpool is concerned. While the flick is largely Deadpool 2 edited for a younger audience, there’s added, never-before-seen footage of Fred Savage that folks will obviously want to see. For now, it seems the only way of doing that may be attending the film or buying the PG-13 cut when it arrives in digital and physical form.

While cool, this sets what I feel is a dangerous precedent for Hollywood. Obviously not everyone is going to be game to see a PG-13 cut of an R-rated feature, but in the age of post-credits scenes and additional content, dollars to donuts one studio would eventually get the idea to add additional unseen footage to a second PG-13 cut to bolster box office numbers. It’s not at all a bad idea, although could turn ethically sketchy.

For example, is it hard to believe a studio would decide to cut or shoot a scene specifically to hold it for an additional cut of the film that airs down the stretch? The blowback, if it were discovered, would be rough on whatever studio made the call and besmirch a franchise’s legacy.

That’s a cynical perspective, of course, but even in the scenario where a studio releases added footage to a PG-13 cut to appease fans could lead to some dicey situations. Imagine a world where Suicide Squad released a second theatrical cut with more Joker scenes following fan backlash. It may be well-received, but awaken a new era in which fans are even more encouraged and empowered to push for alternate cuts that fit their desires more than the final product.

Which poses the question: if a theater releases two different cuts of the same film in theaters, which is the definitive version? Is that up for the fans to decide, the director, or the studio? It’s a question slightly easier to answer in the scenario where a PG-13 cut is simply the same story with less sex and swearing, and maybe when viewed through the lens of another Hollywood tactic.

There have been plenty of “unrated” cuts of popular movies released on DVD, although very few of them have been heralded as the definitive version of the film. More often than not, the “unrated” cut feels somewhat superfluous in some situations, and more of a quick way for studios to market a release and turn a quick profit. There have been exceptions, like with the unrated version of Sex Drive, but by and large, most feel forced.

Having said all of that, there is an argument to be made in favor of PG-13 cuts. Studios could be more apt to pushing R-rated theatrical releases of superhero adventures and other genres provided they know there’s money to be made in re-cutting the film for a younger audience. A PG-13 cut could be the cash cow savior of rated R adventures, which don’t typically pull in as much money on average in comparison.

In fact, Newsday‘s report about the most recent list of top-ten box office hits of all time notes that all ten movies on the list are rated PG-13. Given that, it’s easy to understand why studios are more incentivized to make a PG-13 film and are interested in transforming rated R pictures for a PG-13 audience. While converting a previously released rated R romp to a PG-13 rating is fairly new territory, the money shows this is an avenue at least worth trying.

Of course, there’s the argument that asks why Hollywood would bother releasing two cuts, when PG-13 is, on average, a more profitable endeavor. In that light, releasing the PG-13 cut of a rated R film seems more or less of a test of if an audience will accept an original PG-13 tale in the future. It would be crazy to think no one is thinking about a PG-13 Deadpool adventure should Once Upon A Deadpool kill at the box office.

But what about the children? As someone who was absolutely not allowed to view a PG-13 feature before I was of age, my younger self is jumping up and down at the prospect he could be a part of the in-crowd who had the cool parents who let them watch whatever they want. Bottom line, a PG-13 cut may not be for everyone, but logic would dictate it may be just the ticket for someone else.

And in that light, if a PG-13 cut is the only way some young teenager can enjoy Deadpool 2 during the holiday season, then isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Hardly, but the thought that there’s a kid who will deeply appreciate the ability to see a movie they couldn’t see without otherwise getting grounded is somewhat heartwarming. Who am I to naysay over someone’s only cinematic avenue for Deadpool’s debauchery and mayhem?

Time will tell if PG-13 cuts of previously released rated R films are a viable revenue stream for Hollywood, and even if Once Upon A Deadpool crushes in theaters, there’s no guarantee other franchises will see the same success. As Heraclitus said so long ago, “Change is the only constant,” so perhaps the best thing to do is to see how it does and not be surprised if Hollywood has an even wilder idea of profiting off films next year.

Once Upon A Deadpool is presently in theaters and, of course, rated PG-13. For more on that project, be sure to read up on CinemaBlend’s chat with Fred Savage and how he was less than thrilled to be kidnapped by Deadpool for this project.

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Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Could Make More Money Opening Weekend Than We Thought

We’re almost done with 2018, but Hollywood still has a few high-profile movies to deliver to audiences. Among them is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which arrives this weekend and is introducing Miles Morales to the cinematic realm just seven years after he was brought into the comics. Into the Spider-Verse was already poised to get off to a solid start on opening weekend, but now the estimations have improved slightly, with the animated superhero movie currently predicted to make somewhere between $30 million to $35 million.

The original opening weekend range for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was $28 million to $35 million. So while the maximum range is still settled at $35 million, the minimum range has gone up slightly. Also keep in mind that in the end, these are all just guesses, as calculated as they may be. The positive buzz on Into the Spider-Verse (it’s ranked at 99% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes) might result in even more people checking it out in theaters, thus boosting the box office profit. Into the Spider-Verse already has critical reception going for it, so perhaps it’ll follow suit on the commercial front.

As far as competition goes that same opening weekend, the biggest movies Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is going up against are The Mule and Mortal Engines. The former is predicted to open in the “mid to high teens,” while the latter is only expected to pull in between $10 million to $13 million. So Into the Spider-Verse will almost certainly come out on the top, though with next week bringing Mary Poppins Returns, Aquaman and Bumblebee, it will be interested to see how the Web-Slinger’s animated adventure fares in its second week.

In terms of who’s interested in seeing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Deadline mentioned that “interest is strong among families, African American and Hispanic demos.” The families part makes sense, as typically the superhero movie genre is populated by live action, PG-13 romps, whereas this is an animated adventure that younger Spider-Man fans can enjoy on the big screen. As for the African American and Hispanic demos, that’s also not surprising given that Miles Morales is a half-African America, half-Hispanic hero.

While Miles Morales is the star of the show in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, he’s far from the only Spider-hero appearing. This version of Miles’ origin story sees him being mentored by an older, disheveled Peter Parker from another universe, and they’re later joined by Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, Peni Parker and Spider-Ham. Together, they’ll band together to fight a horde of villains led by Kingpin.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse swings into theaters on December 14, but you can read g now. Don’t forget to also look through our holiday premiere guide to learn what the other final movies of 2018 are, as well as our 2019 release schedule to plan your theatrical trips next year accordingly.

Jonah Hill Loves Gaga’s Repeated A Star Is Born Answers

During the press tour for A Star is Born Lady Gaga kept giving the same answer over and over again about only needing one person in a room of 100 to believe in you to find success. Thanks to a supercut of the repeated answer, it was a source of much laughter and a bit of cringing online, mostly at Lady Gaga’s expense. But the singer has a defender in actor Jonah Hill, who loves Gaga’s repeated answers, as he explained:

That is a very interesting take and it’s obvious that Jonah Hill is coming at the situation from a completely different perspective than most have over the last few weeks. As he mentioned to GQ, he viewed the attention that was called to Lady Gaga repeating the same answer as a bit mean-spirited. In fact, he thinks that it should not be ridiculed and it should actually be praised.

While everyone else was focusing on the fact Lady Gaga kept saying the same canned line at lots of different media interactions, the Mid90s director was noting how the actress’ delivery made the line seem new and affecting each time. Jonah Hill saw as testament to her skills as an actress that she was able to do this night after night. In short, she was able to captivate those she was talking to with a touching and inspiring line, even if she had said it a dozen times before.

The line is sort of meant to paint Lady Gaga as an underdog, like her character Ally in the film itself, and inspire those listening that anything is possible and you can beat the odds. You can see the supercut of Lady Gaga saying the line in the video below:

You can see Jonah Hill’s point if you view each time Lady Gaga says this line on its own and judge it independently. Viewed individually, the actress delivers the line differently each time. Sometimes it is a very affecting, emotional response, while others it sounds like a memorized soundbite and others it just seems like a genuine answer to a question.

You could make the case, as Jonah Hill seems to think, that she was intentionally delivering the line different each time to make it sound new or tailor it to her audience. It’s really only when the clips are all grouped together and you become aware of how often she’s said the same thing that the line’s impact is lessened.

Jonah Hill also knows the realities of what press tours are like. He knows that you have to answer the same questions countless times and coming up with new things to say is a tedious process and no easy task. So, it’s easy to see why he views Lady Gaga’s approach of saying the same lovely sentiment every time, but in different ways, in a positive light.

Opinions will differ on Jonah Hill’s take, but he certainly seems to be in the majority when it comes to praise for Lady Gaga as an actress. Although it played to her strengths, Lady Gaga has received great acclaim for the (surely) Oscar-bound A Star is Born.

A Star is Born is still playing in theaters now. For all of the biggest movies heading to theaters next year, check out our 2019 release schedule.

Pixar Grabs Chris Pratt, Tom Holland And More For Its Next Movie Onward

After Toy Story 4 arrives next year, Pixar is pressing pause on sequels and delivering another original movie to the masses. It was announced at D23 last year that the studio is making a fantasy movie taking place in a modern suburban setting. Today, not only has it been announced that this project is called Onward, the main cast has also been unveiled, starting with Tom Holland.

While he’s unquestionably best known for playing Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tom Holland‘s other credits include In the Heart of the Sea, Edge of Winter and The Lost City of Z. Along with Onward, his upcoming, non-Marvel-related projects include Chaos Walking and The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, the latter of which will also be a family friendly offering. So in addition to playing Spider-Man, he’s taking on other roles to establish himself with younger moviegoers.

Next we have another MCU star, Chris Pratt. He’s been playing Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord, since Guardians of the Galaxy. While some people might have already been familiar with Pratt from Parks & Recreation, within the major Hollywood productions space, he’s also built a name for himself with The LEGO Movie (and its upcoming sequel), the Jurassic World movies and Passengers.

Third on the Onward casting list is Julia Louis-Dreyfus. While many know her best as Elaine on Seinfeld, in recent years she’s drawn acclaim for playing Selina Meyer on Veep, and she also starred in The New Adventures of Old Christine. This also won’t be Dreyfus’ first time participating in a Pixar movie, as she previously voiced Princess Atta in A Bug’s Life.

Finally, Octavia Spencer rounds out the Onward cast. Her notable credits over the last couple years have included Hidden Figures, The Shape of Water, the latter two Divergent movies and Red Band Society. Like Tom Holland, she’ll also be starring in The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, so Onward marks their second collaboration together.

As you can see, none of these actors’ characters were identified, so we’ll have to keep waiting to learn who they’re respectively portraying in Onward. It also goes without saying that there will be more cast members eventually announced, but for now, this is a solid start.

Shortly after this Onward casting announcement came out, Tom Holland posted an Instagram video about his involvement with the movie and his costars, which you can watch below.

Looking at Onward‘s overall premise, the movie will follow two teenage elf brothers who embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic left in the world. At last year’s D23 panel, it was revealed that in this fictional world, after magic became too hard to conjure, it was replaced by technology. Hence why this world looks a lot like ours, only instead of it being populated by humans, it’s filled with elves, trolls, sprites and other mystical creatures. There are also unicorns, although they’re considered to be pests. Some Onward concept art shown at D23 depicted a town with a water tower and a dragon flying over it.

As far as these elf brothers are concerned, assuming the story is the same as it was envisioned last year, their search for some leftover magic is happening because they want to spend one last “magical” day with their father, who sounds to have passed away. Onward is being produced by Kori Rae and directed by Monsters University‘s Dan Scanlon, the latter of whom noted that this story is incredibly personal to him, saying in the press release:

At Pixar we try to create stories that come from some kind of personal truth. This film was inspired by my own relationship with my brother.

Pixar’s movies have had a lot of unusual premises, and while 2012’s Brave did delve into magic, this is arguably the first of the studio’s movies that’s set within a fully fleshed out fantasy setting. Throw in how much this story means to Dan Scanlon (he recalled last year about how discovering an audio tape of his late father’s voice played into him conceiving Onward), and this movie sounds like it could be one of Pixar’s most unique offerings yet, which is saying a lot for a studio that’s given us talking toys, cars, fish and emotions, among many other things.

Having Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer as the lead actors certainly gets this production off to a strong start. Each actors, whether they’ve only been famous for a couple years or several decades, are talented in their own special ways, and lending their vocal talents to a Pixar movie will almost certainly boost their profiles up even higher.

Those who follow Pixar’s film slate closely also know that the studio has tried its best to balance releasing sequels and original stories in the recent past. Coco was the last of the latter kinds of movies, but this past June marked the release of Incredibles 2, following 14 years after its predecessor. Then next summer, Toy Story 4 will reunite us with Woody, Buzz and the gang nearly a decade after Toy Story 3. The characters will embark on a road trip that will include new faces like Forky, Ducky and Bunny, as well as the return of Bo Peep, who hasn’t been seen since Toy Story 2. So by the time Onward comes out, it will have been three years since Pixar gave audiences an original story.

While there are undoubtedly plenty of fans who enjoy Pixar keeping their respective franchises going past one movie, it is nice when the studio delivers a new mythology to its ever-growing slate. It remains to be seen how Onward will ultimately perform, but at least on the actors side of things, Onward has gathered together some top-notch talent.

Onward will be released in theaters on March 6, 2020, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage on its development, including who else will be brought on to the cast and when the first pictures/footage drop. In the meantime, to find out about movies that are arriving a little sooner, head to our 2019 release schedule.

 

Tim Burton Almost Produced A Goosebumps Movie In The ’90s

After being a massively successful book series and even a television show, Goosebumps finally got the movie treatment in 2015, bringing the work of author R.L. Stine to life on the big screen for the first time. It was a big hit that spawned a sequel earlier this fall — but what you may not know is that it was an adaptation that nearly came together more than 20 years ago, with Tim Burton serving as a producer. Stine recently revealed,

We had a movie deal to do a Goosebumps movie, and I can’t tell you what year it was. It was like at the height of Goosebumps, back in ’94, ’95, around there, and we actually had a deal with Fox to do a movie, and Tim Burton who was going to be the producer. We had a big meeting, and I thought, ‘Oh, that’ll be great. Tim Burton and Goosebumps. It’ll be great.’ And we had a nice meeting with him, and we had a great time and we talked about what we should do, and then nothing happened. Sort of a typical story out there, right?

With Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween set to arrive on home video in just a few weeks, I had the wonderful opportunity to hop on the phone with R.L. Stine yesterday and discuss the legacy of his beloved franchise. One of my first questions for the author was about developments for features that never came together, and in his response he revealed that we almost got a Tim Burton-produced Goosebumps feature back in the mid-90s.

As R.L. Stine noted, projects starting to formulate and then never coming together is something that happens all the time in Hollywood, but it seems that there was a specific reason why the film never got made. According to the author, Tim Burton got a bit distracted by a certain DC Comics feature that he was developing, and he never came back to the table for Goosebumps. Stine explained,

He got involved in some Superman project that also never happened. He was going to do Superman, and then we never heard from him again. That was the end of it. And 20 years later we got a movie.

What R.L. Stine is referring to, of course, is Superman Lives, a feature reboot for the Man Of Steel that was going to star Nicolas Cage as the titular hero. That project did get a bit further along than the ’90s version of Goosebumps, notably getting to a point where Cage actually did tests in the costume, but it was ultimately a film that never got made and Supes ended up waiting more than a decade after that to return to the big screen.

So what would this Goosebumps film have been about? Would it have been a straight adaptation of one of R.L. Stine’s books in the series, or an original creation? Obviously things didn’t really get that far, but evidently the strategy was going to be a mix of the two with an emphasis on the latter. Said the author,

I think we were going to do a new story, but use some of the elements. But we never got that far, you know? It’s very strange. I don’t know. People couldn’t figure out for a long time which story to do, what should we do. And then Goosebumps wasn’t as popular, and then it came back.

The good news was that the Goosebumps TV show started up in 1995, offering audiences live-action adaptations of R.L. Stine’s books on Fox, but it would be 20 more years before Jack Black would play the author in Rob Letterman’s movie. Now, however, the franchise is a major one for Sony, with Goosebumps and Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween having combined earned nearly $250 million at the global box office.

Audiences can now enjoy the first Goosebumps movie at home, but soon they will be able to watch the sequel the same way. Following its theatrical release this fall, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween will soon be arriving on digital December 25th, and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD January 15th. Be on the lookout in stores, and we’ll have more from my interview with R.L. Stine coming your way in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

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Angela Bassett Feels Like Black Panther Already Has An Oscar

There has been a lot of talk about whether or not Black Panther will nab some Oscar nominations and subsequent wins, including in the Best Picture category, which has upped the number of nominated movies in recent years. The Oscar nominations won’t be announced until Tuesday, January 22, but that hasn’t stopped people from assuming the Marvel flick will get noms.

In fact, if you ask Black Panther actress Angela Bassett, the movie is going to nab the Best Picture Oscar. In her head, it’s won already. She said:

Angela Bassett was lucky enough to be a part of the little Marvel movie that could. Black Panther was released way back in February of this year. The flick was about a Marvel character that had previously been introduced but was still a lesser known Marvel character, somewhat like Iron Man or the Guardians of the Galaxy originally had been.

The movie went on to dominate the box office for some time, grossing over $1.3 billion worldwide. Obviously, how much money a project has made doesn’t necessarily say anything about quality.

Still, what Angela Bassett is saying to TooFab sort of is indicative of the general feeling surrounding Black Panther. It wasn’t just a movie, it was a piece of cultural connective tissue in a lot of communities. It really resonated for a lot of people and opened up doors for free screenings and more. It also proved that a black ensemble cast could make over a billion worldwide, endearing itself to audiences from many different backgrounds and cultures.

To Angela Bassett, that basically seems to be winning Best Picture. To Disney, that’s enough of a reason to push Black Panther in numerous categories, including the splashy Best Picture. You can take a look at the full list Disney is pushing for, as well.

There is some precedent for Black Panther to at least earn a Best Picture nomination. The Golden Globes nominations are already out, and Black Panther isup for several categories, including Best Motion Picture, Drama. It is also up for Best Original Song and Best Score. That’s a huge boost in the movie’s profile ahead of Oscars voting, which kicks off in January.

So far, the flick has won some MTV Movie & TV Awards, but most of the major movie awards ceremonies — stuff like The Golden Globes, The SAG awards, The BAFTAS, The Critics Choice awards and The Oscars — have yet to happen. Some have announced nominations and some we are still waiting on, as well.

As for the Oscars, nominations are at the end of January and the official ceremony will air on Sunday, February 24, 2019. At the time of this writing, a host has yet to be announced to replace Kevin Hart. We’ll have to wait and see how awards season pans out this year, but there are certainly a lot of interesting prospects. Check out what has yet to hit theaters with our full schedule.

John Cena Apologizes For Beef With The Rock Now That He’s Working On Movies

Nobody has had more success in making the transition from the WWE ring to the big screen than Dwayne ‘The Rock” Johnson. He hasn’t simply built a successful career but he’s one of the highest paid actors in the world and one of the most in-demand names in the industry. A few years ago, The Rock made a brief return to the WWE where he went head-to-head with the company’s current big star John Cena, who was quite critical of the man who had left WWE for greener pastures. Now that Cena is making more movies himself, he now admits he was out of line being critical of Johnson, as he now understands just what goes into making a movie. Because it isn’t all about the actor. According to Cena…

From a genuine standpoint, if you’re taking it from more than entertainment, if you’re taking it for ‘okay, what you said was absolutely personal,’ I’m sorry, I was wrong, and I spoke out of ignorance. When you do a movie you are not allowed to do anything else. Because if I go do Monday Night Raw and Seth Rollins puts my nose over here, that messes up the movie. And not just like ‘well, you’ve messed up the movie.’ People don’t understand, there are 150 people on a movie set who are financially dependent on that movie getting done on time, that movie moving costs everybody money and sets the movie up to fail, which means we don’t get to do another movie, which means these people don’t get to make money. This is their livelihood.

As far back as 2008, John Cena had made public comments where he called out Dwayne Johnson for the way in which he had distanced himself from the WWE as his Hollywood career began to take off. In 2011, when The Rock made his return to WWE and began a two-year long program with John Cena, those words returned as well and became the backbone of the feud between the two. John Cena was set up as the current star who was the WWE mainstay, who claimed he would never leave, representing those that loved WWE. The Rock was the Hollywood star who had done it all, coming back to prove he still had it.

While this was, to be clear, a WWE storyline more than anything, it’s also clear that the storyline was based on a real conflict between the two superstars. Both sides have said before that they’ve put it all behind them, but for a while there, things were a bit heated. For what it’s worth, it made for compelling WWE TV since both superstars truly felt passionate about what they were saying.

However, John Cena now realizes that making movies is a very different situation than performing in the WWE. He makes reference to the time he got his nose broken by Seth Rollins in a match not that long ago. The injury caused issues with Cena’s wrestling and was certainly inconvenient for him, but the show simply changed up the storyline and continued forward. The WWE didn’t have to postpone its entire schedule because of the injury.

If Cena had been making a movie at the time, it would have been a much bigger issue. Schedules would have needed to change, which would have impacted budgets. In a worst-case scenario, the film could have been entirely rescheduled or canceled, which would have been a financial hit to everybody involved in the movie.

Ironically, exactly this nearly happened during the Cena-Rock feud. During the second Wrestlemania main event between the two, Dwayne Johnson tore two tendons in his pelvis, an injury which very nearly impacted the filming of Hercules. While The Rock has made the occasional appearance in the WWE since then, he has not competed in a significant match since, likely because of the potential for injury and how that could cause problems not only for his own career, but as John Cena points out, the careers of many others as well.

Now that John Cena is spending more time making movies than he is wrestling, he has a better understanding of what the Rock was going through back then. He says he’s apologized to the Rock for his comments, as he understands that he has now become the thing he attacked the Rock for becoming, an actor who occasionally wrestles.

He’s always been genuine, he’s always shot straight — and that’s on TV and off TV. We have a very good rapport with each other and I can… I’ve told this to him that I’m sorry, and I can tell it to you, and I can tell it to you: I spoke out of ignorance, I was wrong, and I’m sorry. So for any WWE person right now saying ‘you’re a part timer, you’re going to Hollywood,’ you’re absolutely right. And if they can’t see why I’m making those moves, I don’t expect them to. I don’t expect to change their mind.

At the end of the day, wrestling takes a physical toll on a person and you just can’t do it forever. However, since performers are still fairly young when wrestling comes to an end, there’s a lot more they can do. Since making movies is really just a different sort of performance and storytelling, it makes sense that it would be a place for sports entertainers to go.

John Cena credits Dwayne Johnson when speaking to Chris Van Vliet, saying that Johnson paved the way both inside the WWE and in Hollywood, allowing Cena to have the success that he had in both places. While Cena hasn’t become the massive action star that Johnson is yet, he’s done well with high-profile supporting roles in comedies and leading roles in smaller action films. Cena’s biggest role to date is on the way, with his performance in the new Transformers movie Bumblebee, which arrives in theaters December 21.

Dwayne Johnson will next be seen in the wrestling comedy Fighting with my Family in February.

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Mortal Engines Has A Hidden Machine That Makes Food Out Of Poo

Production design can sometimes be an underappreciated artform. It’s an incredibly detailed part of the filmmaking process, and yet a lot of those bits of minutiae are either relegated to the distant background or never even appear on the big screen at all. As it turns out, the upcoming Mortal Engines is a prime example of this, as actress Hera Hilmar recently revealed that there is one sequence that subtly hides a machine that makes food out of excrement:

Scuttlebutt is one of the mechanized, roaming cities featured in Mortal Engines — one that heroes Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan) and Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar) find themselves inhabiting toward the middle of the movie. It’s ultimately revealed as a site of some danger and drama for the protagonists, with certain individuals proving to not be super trustworthy, but apparently there is a bit of weirdness going on behind the action as well, as the denizens have evidently figured out a way to recycle their food in the post-apocalyptic world.

It was during the Los Angeles press day for Mortal Engines last week that I found out about this very odd machine, specifically while sitting down with stars Hera Hilmar and Jihae — who plays the helpful fugitive Anna Fang in the feature. Having personally visited the set of the film last year when it was still in production, and seen a lot of the wonderful behind-the-scenes details, I asked the duo if they had a favorite element that audiences may not actually see in the finished movie. Hilmar was quick to point out the food-to-poo device, and made it clear that she is still puzzled by the mind that brought it into existence.

On a practical level, however, one can understand why a machine like this makes at least some sense in the world of Mortal Engines. It’s a society where resources are scarce, and folks have to do what they can in order to survive — even if that means trying to recover any kind of nutritional value they can from waste. It’s absolutely disgusting, sure, but there is a long, long history of people doing anything they can to survive in horrible conditions.

That’s all pretty gross, but Jihae’s contribution to the conversation at the very least introduced some beauty into the mix. Her favorite hidden details can be found in the movie both on her weaponry and her ship, the Jenny Haniver, as they each contain personal elements that she found further tied her to the character:

You can watch Hera Hilmar and Jihae discuss the poop machines and intricate details of Mortal Engines by clicking play on the video below:

Mortal Engines, directed by Christian Rivers and produced by Peter Jackson, also stars Hugo Weaving, Stephen Lang, Colin Salmon, and Leila George, is set to arrive in theaters this Friday, December 14th. Be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more from my interviews with the cast and filmmakers.