It is the question that drives us. It’s the question that brought you here, to click on this page. What is The Matrix 4 about? We don’t know, but one person who does is actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, the Aquaman star who has joined the film in an as-yet-unspecified role, which may or may not be Young Morpheus. The Matrix 4 actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen describes the new script for the highly-anticipated sequel, saying:
Yahya Abdul-Mateen, who is currently starring in HBO’s Watchmen, can’t divulge any secrets of The Matrix 4, despite how badly he wants to. What he can say, and did to Entertainment Weekly, is that he is very excited and honored to be a part of the Matrix 4. He also offers the smallest tidbit of insight into the film’s script and it’s just enough to embed itself like a splinter in our minds, driving us mad.
The actor starts by praising the team involved with the film and saying that he thinks there’s going to be a lot of…something, before trailing off. Whether he decided to reframe what he was saying mid-sentence or realized he was about to say too much we don’t know. According Yahya Abdul Mateen II, the script for The Matrix 4 is exciting and relevant and given what a seminal film the first Matrix was, that’s an intriguing description.
The Matrix was ahead of its time in multiple ways, with the cyberpunk film not only changing the way action movies and fight scenes were filmed, but also with how it predicted many things about today’s modern society at a time before the real rise of social media and the modern internet.
If the script for The Matrix 4 is as relevant to today as Yahya Abdul-Mateen indicates, it will be fascinating to see exactly how and what the film has to say about the modern world. What will The Matrix 4 have to say about social media or mass surveillance or artificial intelligence, which has taken giant leaps since 1999? The Matrix changed people’s perception of the world around them, if The Matrix 4 feels timely perhaps it will do the same. Keanu Reeves did say the script is ambitious.
The story of The Matrix 4 remains a mystery for the moment. There is speculation that Yayha Abdul-Mateen is playing a young Morpheus, which would make the film a prequel, but Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves are returning as Trinity and Neo respectively. So we really have no idea what the story will be or what time period it will be set in.
There is no release date officially announced, but The Matrix 4 is expected to begin production early next year. Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what movies you can see in theaters next year.
Disney+ hasn’t even been a real thing for a full month, but it’s already become a major force in the new streaming-focused world we live in. The Mandalorian has become appointment television for the first time since before binge-watching was a thing, but it’s not the only thing on Disney+ that is apparently worthy of note.
It’s the end of the year and that means its time for award nominations and while Disney+ doesn’t even have that many original films, one of them has already seen its first nomination. Togo, the movie about the drama around the 1925 Serum Run to Nome, has been nominated by the Writers’ Guild of America in the Original Long Form category alongside Chernobyl,True Detective from HBO and The Terror: Infamy from AMC.
As you can tell from the competing nominations, Togo is competing against series rather films. The WGA lumps television in with “New Media” meaning streaming services, so original streaming movies (that were not also released theatrically) compete against other series.
Still, however you look at it, it’s pretty impressive for Disney+ to already be getting some recognition for its films. While Lady and the Tramp and Noelle were entertaining enough distractions, Togo is without question a well crafted film that’s a step better than the debut movies that came before it.
Willem Dafoe puts in a solid performance but Togo very much feels like a back-to-basics sort of Disney movie. It’s a heartwarming “boy and his dog” story with some “against all odds” tension thrown in for good measure. It’s exactly the sort of movie Disney would have made about a decade ago before everything the studio released was expected to bank $1 billion. It’s enjoyable entertainment truly designed for the entire family to watch together, making it perfect for Disney+.
While the WGA nomination will surely be a feather in the cap for Disney and writer Tom Flynn, it feels like an actual win is going to be tough. Chernobyl is the nominee that seems to have all the buzz going behind it and it isn’t nominated in any other categories, making it feel like this will be the place the WGA awards the much lauded show.
Having said that, the fact is Togo hasn’t released on Disney+ yet, which means most people haven’t actually seen it. Once the film drops on December 20, it’s possible the movie could build up enough buzz to compete. We’ll have to wait and see.
While this may be the first content nomination for Disney+, I certainly don’t expect it to be the last. If nothing else, The Imagineering Story seems destined for some recognition as a documentary series, and even The Mandalorian seeing nominations as a series aren’t outside the realm of possibility, though it’s a bit too early to know for sure.
The Writers Guild of America will announce its nominations in the screenplay categories on January 6, 2020. The awards will be given out February 1.
The past few years have seen an exciting renaissance, as new and exciting projects have hit theaters to great results. Many of the modern hits have come from Blumhouse productions, and the studio recently turned its focus on the classics. David Gordon Green’s Halloween broke records when it hit theaters in 2018, and two more movies have been green lit to become a bonafide trilogy. And now one Halloween Kills actor has revealed the backstory of character Lonnie Elam.
Halloween Kills will be intimately connected to John Carpenter’s original movie, and will feature survivors from Michael Myers’ original rampage through Haddonfield. An adult Lonnie Elam will be included, with actor Robert Longstreet playing Tommy Doyle’s childhood bully. Lonnie is also the father of Allyson’s boyfriend Cameron from the first movie. Longstreet recently spoke to his character’s role in the upcoming sequel, saying:
Well, that’s interesting. Jamie Lee Curtis has teased that Halloween Killswill “unpack” the events of John Carpenter’s 1978 classic. And that includes how Lonnie’s close call with The Shape affected him into his adulthood.
Lonnie Elam appeared in Halloween as Tommy Doyle’s bully, the destroyer of pumpkins. While Laurie Strode babysits Tommy and gives him some advice, Lonnie is left to his own devices on Halloween night. He’s ultimately saved by Dr. Loomis, who scares him out of exploring the old Myers house. Unfortunately, that moment of terror and self-preservation seems to have done a number on the former childhood bully.
Later in his conversation with Bloody Flicks, Robert Longstreet went on to explain the family dynamic of his character, which extends to his son Cameron. As he put it,
It looks like Lonnie Elam has grown up to have some substance issues. That no doubt has an effect on his son Cameron. Cameron made his debut in 2018’s Halloween, and managed to get through the movie without interacting with Michael Myers. But he did lose his girlfriend, Laurie’s granddaughter Allyson, after cheating on her at the dance.
Halloween Kills should give us a look into the Elam household, and its imperfections. Haddonfield itself seems to be a character in the upcoming sequel, with a ton of characters from the original Halloween set to appear. This include original cast members Kyle Richards, Charles Cyphers, and Nancy Stephens.
All will be revealed when Halloween Kills hits theaters on October 16th, 2020. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Will National Treasure 3 ever see the light of day? It gets harder to say for certain. The long-promised second sequel to 2004’s Jerry Bruckheimer production, which had Nicolas Cage playing a historian who goes around our great nation searching for clues hidden inside national monuments and documents in order to search for lost treasure, was a fun, inventive Indiana Jones-esque premise which allowed audiences to feel the excitement of adventure and peril while also learning a lesson or two about our nation’s history along the way. Truth be told, it was genius. The blockbuster had a sequel in 2007 and there were conversations and rumors about a potential third film in the franchise, including some talks recently. Suffice to say, that hasn’t happened yet. Things haven’t looked good for the looming third installment in the Disney series. Particularly after several delays. But it’s not dead yet.
While there have been reports throughout the years hinting at (or promising) the National Treasure sequel’s arrival, there has been little-to-no headway made on National Treasure 3. It has been discouraging — to say the least — for fans to see so little progress made on the long-promised sequel. Now, though, there are fresh reports from We Got This Covered claiming that National Treasure 3 is on its way with Nicolas Cage returning to the lead role. It is hard to know if these reports are truthful or simply leading to another false start. It’s been hard to muster up enthusiasm knowing that such hopes for the Disney sequel always seem to be fleeting every father away. Nevertheless, if it is actually on its way, then hopefully the wait will soon be over.
If it’s another dead-end, however, it’ll add another chapter to National Treasure 3‘s long history of false starts and failed promises. It has been over a decade since National Treasure 3 was first proposed. And so far, nothing concrete has happened. Nevertheless, there have been small signs — like the one posted above — that suggest that the sequel is supposed to happen. So, we’ll take this opportunity to look back on this film’s many delays.
National Treasure 2 Is Released And National Treasure 3 Is Loosely Promised (2007-2008)
On December 21st, 2007, National Treasure: Book of Secretsmakes its way into theaters. It’s a bigger, more expensive effort than the previous film, but it wasn’t a failure. It became a box office success, earning nearly $458 million worldwide at the box office. Therefore, the possibility of making a third film is floated around. Nicolas Cage, specifically, expresses interest in making the Disney sequel. He also thinks the third film should be an even more international experience, allowing the characters to continue traveling the world and broadening their horizons in their ongoing treasure search.
Adding a nice bit fuel to the fire of the potential third blockbuster was Disney’s decision to buy the domain rights to NationalTreasure3DVD.com and NationalTreasure4DVD.com, which suggests that the company not only wanted to make another movie, but they wanted to make two sequels. Alas, as time went on, both of these web domains went unregistered. Though it’s probably due to the rise of Blu-Rays and streaming more than anything else. In any case, as the months went on, there were very few developments regarding National Treasure 3. Director Jon Turteltaub admitted that the team was taking their time putting it together, suggesting that everyone involved wanted to make something that was guaranteed to be special. In any case, it was later that year when Jerry Bruckheimer announced that screenwriters were hired to put together the blue print for this blockbuster sequel.
The First Series Of Delays (2012)
There were reports that National Treasure 3 had received its first screenplay in 2010. However, it still took some time for the movie to be shaped up. The film was still in the writing process a couple years later, according to Nicolas Cage. Likely, in this case, to be the re-writing process after a solid two years after the first screenplay was supposedly finished. Nevertheless, Jerry Bruckheimer and his screenwriters were working away on the screenplay.
National Treasure 3 Remains Delayed As The Movie Still Isn’t Officially Greenlit (2016)
In 2013 and 2014, there are modest updates about National Treasure 3 from actor Justin Bartha and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, respectively. The former claims that the movie might still happen, particularly with a screenplay written. The latter suggests that the movie is still in the works, but he notes that the first act is completed and it’s “exciting,” as reported by Collider. Still, even though work is often reportedly underway for this third National Treasure movie, it still doesn’t have an official green-light. In 2016, during an interview, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger addresses the proposed film.
Bob Iger admits that conversations have been had and work has been thrown into National Treasure 3, but the studio hasn’t found the confidence in any particular story to get the engine moving. While Jon Turtletaub doesn’t agree with Disney’s hesitation in the rumored film, Disney is, nonetheless, the one who pays the bills. Suffice to say, National Treasure 3 is delayed once more as the producers and Disney try to come to some understanding.
There Is Reportedly A Script Finished, But Disney Isn’t Happy Yet (2017)
In 2017, there are, once again, reports that National Treasure 3 has a finished screenplay. However, according to rumors surrounding Disney, the studio is still left unhappy with the proposed sequel. The reasons why are left a bit unclear, but it seems that Disney doesn’t quite have confidence in the film just yet. And as the proposed third movie moves even farther and farther away from National Treasure: Book of Secrets‘ 2007 release, it’s apparent that Disney will need to hear a pitch that will really get them (and, subsequently, the fans and moviegoers) eager and excited to check out the new movie.
It might not entirely be back to the drawing board, but it’s clear that Disney still needs a fair bit of convincing in 2017 to see the potential in National Treasure 3. Nevertheless, it’d seem that the creative forces involved in the process are emboldened to keep working on making the third film a reality.
The Director Claims National Treasure 3 Is “Close” But Disney Still Isn’t Quite Sold Yet (2018)
In an interview with Collider in 2018, director Jon Turtletaub talks about the long history of delays for National Treasure 3 and the current status of the long-promised sequel. He confessed that Disney remains hesitant about making this movie since they can’t guarantee that it’ll be a hit these days. The director doesn’t agree with them, believing that fans will come out to see the movie should it finally be made. But as mentioned before, Disney is the studio that ultimately gives the green-light for this third National Treasure, and they’re not entirely sold on the power of the property in a new decade.
Still, Jon Turtletaub claimed that National Treasure 3 was “close,” yet no cigar just yet. It was still a struggle between the studio and the filmmakers, with the filmmakers trying their best to convince an uncertain Disney that the second sequel has what it takes to make a lot of bucks at the box office.
Disney Still Hasn’t Officially Greenlit National Treasure 3, But It’s Not Dead Either (2019)
In a press conference earlier this year, the discussion of National Treasure 3 continued. This time, though, Bob Iger was the one who was talking about the long-proposed sequel. When asked what was happening with the new movie, he didn’t give a firm update on the film, but he still seemed interested in the prospect of making it. It came down to the story, ultimately, in his view. As noted earlier, there have been several different drafts of the story made throughout the past decade-and-change, but the studio isn’t sold on the third film yet — both narratively and in terms of its box office potential.
Still, as noted earlier, there was report that came out a few weeks earlier that claimed that National Treasure 3 was in the works. This information hasn’t been confirmed yet by either Disney or anyone involved with the film, but it does give fans hope that the movie might actually, finally be made. Until that day comes, assuming it comes at all, National Treasure super-fans can breathe a sign of relief. For now, the search for the answers that lie on page 47 continue. Of course, we’ll continue to keep you posted on the movie’s long development and anything else that comes out about the movie.
While he is currently starring in Watchmen, HBO’s critically acclaimed series isn’t the first time actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has starred in a comic book property or a DC one for that matter. He also starred as the villainous David Kane, a.k.a. Black Manta in the 2018 global smash hit Aquaman. Yahya Abdul-Mateen will be reprising that role for Aquaman 2 and he is excited for the opportunities the sequel provides, as he explained:
Although Yahya Abdul-Mateen II couldn’t tease any details about the story for his character of Aquaman 2 overall, the actor is confident he will be back for the sequel and that Black Manta will be causing more trouble. As he told Entertainment Weekly, he is particularly excited for the sequel because it represents an opportunity for him to dig deeper into the character of David Kane and do more with him than he could in the first Aquaman.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is hoping to add some more personality to the man behind the Black Manta mask and flesh him out and you’ve got to think that Aquaman2 will allow him to do just that. Although he was in the first film, Abdul-Mateen’s Black Manta was more of the side villain, whose story intertwined with Arthur Curry’s and that of the film’s main villain King Orm, played by Patrick Wilson.
In Aquaman we got to see the introduction of Black Manta and saw the birth of his vendetta against Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, but we didn’t really get to know the character much beyond that. He was just on a quest for revenge the whole film, but we don’t know too much about his past, who he is or what drives him beyond that, at least as far as film canon is concerned.
What Aquaman did do was set up Yahya Abdul-Mateen’s Black Manta to play an even bigger role moving forward and step up from side villain to become the main bad buy in the sequel. In the end-credits scene, David Kane meets up with Randall Park’s Dr. Stephen Shin and it would seem the two will be collaborating in the next movie. So all signs point to a greater focus on Black Manta in Aquaman 2.
That should result in Black Manta having more screen time and a greater arc over the course of the film in the sequel and allow Yayha Abdul-Mateen II to go into greater depth with his character than he has before.
We have a ways to go until we see that though. As Yahya Abdul-Mateen noted, Aquaman 2 is scheduled for release in 2022. The actor expressed a hope that that date will hold, which could be perceived as doubt. But we’ve heard that the sequel is all mapped out and that it is scheduled to begin shooting in early 2021, so at the moment, there’s no reason to doubt that we will be headed back to Atlantis in 2022.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II certainly has a lot on his plate and a bright future ahead of him in addition to his Atlantean exploits. The actor is starring in the horror rebootquel Candyman and in Aaron Sorkin’s new film The Trial of the Chicago 7. He’ll also be starring opposite Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix 4, where he may or may not be playing Young Morpheus. Plus, are we getting Watchmen Season 2?
Aquaman 2 splashes into theaters on December 16, 2022. To see what movies are headed to theaters next year, check out our 2020 Release Schedule.
As if it wasn’t already abundantly clear that Joker has been incredibly successful, the Golden Globe nominations came out this morning, and the Clown Prince of Crime’s origin story will compete in four categories in the next ceremony. Now that Joker’s been showered with even more accolades, does this mean there’s a stronger chance that it might get a sequel, which has been talked even before the movie came out.
According to director Todd Phillips, even though Joker is now surrounded by all this awards buzz, a decision still hasn’t been made regarding whether Arthur Fleck’s story will continue, let along any significant discussions. Phillips said:
Todd Phillips was among the Golden Globe nominees Variety talked with following the nominations announcement, with Phillips is competing in the Best Director category. As he laid out in his comment, he knew the movie would be something unique, particularly when it came to Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as Arthur Fleck, but he never attempted to predict how Joker would fare at the box office or if it would even walk away with awards buzz.
Cut to now, two months after Joker’s release, the movie has been a powerhouse in both regards. It’s soared past the $1 billion mark at the box office, and in addition to Todd Phillips’ Best Director nod, Joker will also compete in the Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Original Score categories at the next Golden Globes ceremony. But even with all this success, that doesn’t guarantee that Joker will get a sequel.
Before Joker’s release, the movie was positioned as a standalone, one-off story, and Todd Phillips said that it was not set up to have a sequel, though he and Joaquin Phoenix did toss some ideas around. But following Joker’s standout performance at the box office, the idea of delivering a sequel has been reexamined, and Phoenix seems game to reprise the eponymous role.
Last month, it was reported that a Joker sequel was in development, with Joaquin Phoenix, Todd Phillips and co-writer Scott Silver all expected to return. However, that report was soon debunked, and Phillips later clarified that while he and Phoenix have talked a little bit about a hypothetical Joker 2, no deals had been signed and nothing had been officially cemented. Clearly that hasn’t changed, though that doesn’t mean the idea of moving forward with Joker 2 has been tossed aside either.
Joker’s time in theaters is winding down, but you can watch the movie in the comfort of your own home when it drops on Digital HD December 17, followed by the Blu-ray and DVD copies hitting shelves on January 7. Joker will also be available on HBO Max when the streaming service launches.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for any updates on the status of a Joker sequel, but in the meantime, plan your trips to the theater next year with our 2020 release schedule.
This year’s Awards Season officially kicked off this morning, and in a big way. The 2020 Golden Globe nominations were released, potentially indicating this season’s favorites for all the upcoming ceremonies. Work in both television and movies were recognized with these noms, both of which got their own surprising snubs. There were plenty of these in the film categories, as early favorites failed to accrue the coveted spots on the nominations list. And if you’ve missed any of these snubs, CinemaBlend is here with a full list.
The newest adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s iconic novel Little Women is hitting theaters shortly, with a ton of buzz behind it. Director Lady Bird‘s Greta Gerwig assembled a stellar cast to bring the movie to life, and it’s Rotten Tomatoes score is very at high at the time of writing. Unfortunately, the movie failed to get major nominations for the 2020 Golden Globes. Because with the exception of Best Score and Saoirse Ronan’s best actress nod, Little Women didn’t really nab up the nominations I’m the studio was hoping for. While the Golden Globes nominations don’t always translate directly into the Academy Awards, the former ceremony has more categories available. So Little Women might be in trouble for the rest of the season.
Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems
This snub is one of the biggest upsets from this year’s Golden Globe nominations. Adam Sandler has taken a decidedly more dark turn with the upcoming dram Uncut Gems. Directed by Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie, the movie follows Sandler’s protagonist Howard Ratner, who is a jewelry store owner and compulsive gambler. The movie follows the ups and downs of said addiction, and the places he’ll go to stay afloat. Sandler has been getting a ton of praise ahead of Uncut Gems wide theatrical release, and with rumors about a possible Oscar nomination. But his snub at the Golden Globes could be a bad sign for these chances moving forward. Only time will tell if the Academy votes differently. Otherwise, Sandler has joked about making a purposefully terrible movie in response.
Robert De Niro, The Irishman
Martin Scorsese’s latest cinematic effort has been dominating pop culture ahead of its wide release of Netflix. The buzz is due to the film’s long gestation period, and the liberal use of de-aging technology on the cast. Robert De Niro is leading the stellar group of players as hitman Frank Sheeran, playing Frank throughout different decades in his life. The Irishman is already being praised as a masterpiece, despite the movie’s rather long runtime. And while the movie racked up some nominations for the 2020 Golden Globes, De Niro himself failed to get the Best Actor nod. He was instead beaten out by the likes of Christian Bale, Antonio Banderas, Adam Driver, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jonathan Pryce for their respective performances this past year.
This movie is one of the breakaway hits of 2019, getting a ton of buzz during its screenings at film festivals like Cannes and TIFF. Directed and written by Bong Joon-ho, the South Korean Black Comedy really resonated with both critics and audiences when it arrived in theaters for its wide release. Parasite follows two families, the wealthy Parks and the Kims. While the two clans live in harmony for a while, greed and corruption soon begins to form within the unique family unit. The movie has been universally praised sine its release, so it was surprising that the Golden Globes failed to nominate it for any of the major categories. The exception is Best Screenplay, and Best Director. Parasite also got nominated for Best Foreign Film, but not one of the bigger categories.
This is another movie that hasn’t hit theaters yet, but has been steadily growing its buzz since debuting the first dialogue-free teaser. Bombshell focuses on the fall of Fox News boss Roger Ailes, and the three women who help bring him to justice. The cast is led by Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, and Charlize Theron, with John Lithgow playing Ailes. Unfortunately, Jay Roach’s upcoming blockbuster failed to get some of the biggest nominations from the Golden Globes this year. Bombshell didn’t get a Best Picture nomination, with Theron and Robbie getting nods for Best Actress and Best Supporting actress respectively. We’ll just have to wait and see if the movie does better with other Awards Ceremonies, of its Oscar dreams are dashed before it even arrives in theaters.
Greta Gerwig, Little Women
While Little Women was previously mentioned as one of the most-snubbed movies of this year’s Golden Globe nominations, the exclusion of Greta Gerwig from the Best Director category is particularly surprising. Gerwig has gotten quite the name for herself over the years, with movies like Lady Bird that have become critical and awards season hits. The filmmaker assembled a killer cast to tell Louisa May Alcott’s story, while also work hard to make the movie an accurate period piece. This new Little Women fared well with early critics, although Gerwig’s efforts didn’t impress Golden Globe voters enough to be recognized for her efforts.
Lupita Nyong’o, Us
Jordan Peele’s directorial debut was a huge hit with Get Out, and earned the filmmaker his first Academy Award in the process. All eyes were on what his sophomore theatrical release would be, and Us definitely didn’t disappoint. The story was dark and fascinating, with the cast required to play duel roles as normal characters, and their tethered. The most significant of these was by Lupita Nyong’o, who played both Red and Adelaide. It was a bizarre and stunning performance, and seemed like an obvious choice for potential Best Actress nominations. But Us didn’t fare as well at the Golden Globes as Get Out, and Nyong’o didn’t get nominated for her role. Instead, Best Actress went to Cynthia Erivo, Scarlett Johansson, Saoirse Ronan, Charlize Theron, and Renee Zellweger. Sad news for horror buffs.
Matt Damon, Ford v Ferrari
Ford v Ferrari is another movie that has had a ton of buzz around it, especially as we trudge into Awards Season. James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari is one of those projects, with the director no doubt hoping for Awards Attention following the successful run of Logan. But Ford v Ferrari failed to get any of the big nominations for the Golden Globes. One of the biggest snubs was for Matt Damon. Because while Christian Bale got a Best Actor nomination for playing Ken Miles, Damon didn’t fare quite as well. The Golden Globes aren’t always a clear indication of what will happen at the Oscars, so hopefully Damon fares better at other Awards Ceremonies.
While it might have broken all records and become the most profitable movie of all time, Avengers: Endgame was royally snubbed of Golden Globe nominations. Despite Disney pushing for the movie as we head into Awards Season, Endgame failed to get any noms for the Globes. The superhero genre has historically had some issues getting award nominations, although recent hits like Black Panther and Logan helped to break new ground. Plus, Jokerpicked up 4 nominations this year. But Endgame isn’t getting the same love, despite the massive scale, stunning visual effects, and character-driven story. And with Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman getting a ton of nominations, the ongoing debate about superhero movies being cinema will likely continue as a result of the Globes snub.
On the surface, Kristen Wiig might seem like an out-of-left-field pick to join a blockbuster comic book film, and as the villain no less. The actress is best known for her comedic work on Saturday Night Live and in movies like MacGruber and Bridesmaids, not action movies. But she is joining the comic book movie realm in a big way as Barbara Minerva, a.k.a. Cheetah, in next year’s Wonder Woman 1984. Director Patty Jenkins explained why she cast Kristen Wiig as Cheetah in Wonder Woman 1984, saying:
When casting for a specific part, you’re naturally thinking about who would be right for the role and how they could pull it off. As Patty Jenkins told the crowd at CCXP in advance of the Wonder Woman 1984 trailer premiere, she was already a fan of Kristen Wiig well before Wonder Woman 1984 came along, not just because of her comedic chops, but also because she believed her to be a legitimately great actress. Wonder Woman 1984 presented an opportunity to employ Kristen Wiig’s acting talents.
The Wonder Woman director wanted someone who had the range to play both ends of the spectrum as a character who undergoes a significant transformation. The actress had to be able to play both Barbara Minerva and Cheetah. As a fan of Kristen Wiig, Patty Jenkins knew she could handle it. So although Kristen Wiig is known as a comedic actress, it is her overall range that made Patty Jenkins cast her as Cheetah in Wonder Woman 1984.
Patty Jenkins had faith that Kristen Wiig would kill it in the role, and it sounds like she was not disappointed, with the actress exceeding her expectations. We get brief glimpses of Kristen Wiig’s character in the recently released first trailer for Wonder Woman 1984. Barbara Minerva, who is seen as Diana’s friend at the beginning of the preview, represents a Kristen Wiig we are largely familiar with. As Barbara, she is funny and sweet and awkward and above all else: harmless.
That will make her transformation into someone who is not Diana’s friend and is anything but harmless all the more stark and very fun to watch. That transformation was held back from the first Wonder Woman 1984 trailer. There is a shot of Kristen Wiig’s character coming into her own in a slinky black dress at some sort of black tie event, but her Cheetah form in Patty Jenkins’ film has not yet been revealed.
The look of Cheetah is one of the things fans are surely eager to see and Patty Jenkins offered an encouraging bit of insight about how they achieved the look of Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah, saying:
Given that Cheetah’s look as a cheetah-human hybrid is akin to Cheetara from Thundercats, you might think that Wonder Woman 1984 would have to lean heavily on CGI to transform Kristen Wiig. Yet while there will be CGI, it sounds like Patty Jenkins and her team tried to achieve as much as they could for Cheetah using practical effects.
Having not seen the end result, it’s obviously too early to say how well they succeeded, but generally speaking, it seems like CGI works best when used to augment and enhance versus as a crutch. Think of DC’s misstep with Green Lantern’s all CGI suit for Hal Jordan. If the practical effects got Cheetah’s look 75% of the way there and CGI carried it the rest of the way, we are hopefully in for a Cheetah that looks great onscreen with an actress that can really deliver on the character.
Wonder Woman 1984 hits theaters on June 5, 2020. Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what other movies you can look forward to next year.
We’ve known for years that 2019 was going to be a big year for Disney. Two of the studios biggest franchises, Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, were going to be having major releases which, by themselves, we knew were going to be big, and while the release schedule went through some realignment as we got closer to this year, that fact that 2019 was going to be huge never changed.
And yet, I’m not sure anybody was quite prepared for the reality of just how big a year it has been. Disney surpassed the annual global box office total for a studio back in July based on the success of The Lion King remake and has been simply running up the score since then.
Over this past weekend, on the strength of Frozen II, Disney passed a huge milestone as it has now grossed over $10 billion at the worldwide box office. This number is all the more impressive considering the year still has over three weeks left in it, and Disney has a massive release still to come in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
It should also be pointed out that this total is exclusive to Disney labeled films. According to The Wrap, the movies of 20th Century Fox aren’t being included in that number. While Fox films have largely had a less than stellar year, adding in Fox’s movies actually kick the total up to just short of $12 billion.
Frozen II now sits at over $900 million worldwide and will shortly become the studio’s sixth film to break the $1 billion mark worldwide. The only question now is how will Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker perform. It’s nearly a forgone conclusion that the movie will also gross $1 billion, both of the previous films in the trilogy have. The only big question is whether it will be able to do that before the end of 2019, as the movie only has 11 days to hit that milestone and make for seven billion dollar films in a single calendar year.
Either way, between whatever box office Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker does do in 2019 combined with the business Frozen II will continue to do, expect Disney wrap up the year with something north of $11 billion as the worldwide box office total. With whatever Fox adds to that just being icing on the cake.
Imagine where things would be if Dumbo had been a hit, or if Maleficent: Mistress of Evil had put up numbers more on par with the original.
That’s going to be a difficult record for anybody to even try and compete with in the future. Even Disney is likely to have trouble matching these numbers in the future. One can already imagine Bob Iger at every Disney quarterly earnings call in 2020 explaining how the only reason Walt Disney Studios revenue is down year over year is because the company set every possible record in 2019.
I mean, when one of the movies you released this year became the highest grossing film ever, the only way to top that is to do it again, and that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
It’s been 30 years since we last entered the world of the original Ghostbusters. Now, following a well meaning but largely loved reboot, we finally have our first look at the new Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which will take us back to the world of the original films. The first trailer for the new movie arrived today and in addition to introducing us to a host of new characters, it also included a number of nods to the original film.
Some of them, like the classic ghost trap, proton pack, and of course, Ecto-1, were pretty obvious, others were a bit more, obscure. Either way, the new trailer makes it clear that the new movie will be full of great moments for fans of the original. Here are some of our favorite bits you might have missed.
The Piano Keys
At just past the one minute mark of the trailer, just before you see the name of Jason Reitman, the writer and director of the new film, you hear a few keys on a piano play. The notes are certainly creepy, in fitting with Ghostbusters, but this trailer isn’t the first time we’ve heard them.
In the original film, just before the team meets their first ghost, they find a vertical stack of books on the floor as tall as they are. After examining it, Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) gets distracted and calls out “Listen, you smell something?” Just after Ray says “Listen” we hear the exact same arrangement of piano keys that we hear here.
The Original Score
When it comes to Ghostbusters music, the Ray Parker Jr. theme song is certainly the first thing most of think about, but it should be remembered that Elmer Bernstein’s score for the movie is remarkably good. If you’re not familiar with it, that’s ok, as it makes an appearance during the trailer.
During the sequence when Paul Rudd is familiarizing the two kids with the story of the original Ghostbusters and we see scenes from the first movie re-purposed as news footage, you can hear a piece of the score that was used throughout the film to signify ghostly encounters. It’s very slight, so it’s easy to miss, but it’s clearly there.
Spores, Molds, and Fungus
We know from this trailer that rumors we had previously heard, that the new film will follow the family of one of the original Ghostbusters, are officially true. While the trailer does give us the answer to who that is very specifically, it builds us to that moment through a couple of very fun hints first.
We see the young girl use a familiar piece of Ghostbusters equipment to find her way into a a basement full of interesting stuff. In addition to finding a proton pack there, we also see a collection of petri dishes labeled as various microbes. In the original Ghostbusters, Egon Spengler tells Jeanine that he collects “spores molds, and fungus.” We just found the collection.
While I’m generally not bothering to include moments in the Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer that specifically show off equipment from the original films. This list is designed to show off the moments you might have missed, and you’re not going to miss those. However, one item that falls somewhere in between is Egon Spengler’s Ghostbusters jumpsuit.
Certainly, you’ll recognize the uniform, but unless you’re quick, you might not catch exactly who it belongs too. If you didn’t make the connection between the PKE Meter and the fungus collection, then this moment is important as it tells the audience that doesn’t have the original Ghostbusters memorized (read: most people) exactly where this story is going.
This one is probably the coolest, and most potentially interesting, of the various references in the trailer. We see two kids approaching a sign that reads Shandor Mining Co. Considering that the ghostly presence we see at the beginning of the trailer comes from underground, it seems this is where the center of our story will be focused.
The serious Ghostbusters fan will recognize the name Shandor. Specifically, in the original film, Egon makes reference to Ivo Shandor as the architect behind the apartment building in New York City at the center of the original movie. The question is, is this simply an easter egg for fans to recognize or is it, as seems more likely at this point, exactly how Ghostbusters: Afterlife‘s plot will connect to the original movie?
“Call it Fate”
At the same time that we see the name Shandor on the screen, we hear a familiar voice. Specifically, it’s that of Bill Murray. It’s dialogue from early in the first film where Peter Venkman waxes philosophical with Ray Stantz after they’re booted from their university.
The line is about how Peter believes things happen for a reason. It strongly implies that means that whatever is going on in Ghostbusters: Afterlife also may be happening for a reason. It again seems to draw a direct connection between this film and the first one, and also hints that, yes, the original Ghostbusters may all be coming back for the new movie in some capacity.
For a movie about Ghostbusters, one thing that we don’t see much of in the first trailer is ghosts. There’s a brief glimpse at something that could be Slimer, but I’m guessing not, which is not to say he won’t show up in the movie in some capacity. However, another scary little beasty from the first movie does seem to appear. The demon dog who sat at the side of Gozer.
Near the end of the trailer we see a massive claw land on the hood of Paul Rudd’s car, and along with it we get a very familiar growling sound. It looks like the monsters that we saw Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis transform into in the first movie may be back. This is also more evidence that Ghostbusters: Afterlife‘s plot will directly link the first movie with the new outing.
Certainly, we were promised that the new Ghostbusters movie would be a love letter to the original, and so far the trailer has shown that to be true. Fans have to be excited that this movie is looking to be everything they wanted it to be. We’ll find out for sure next summer.