8 Times Walt Disney World And Disneyland Attractions Went Really Wrong

Maleficent dragon parade float

What in the world is more fun than visiting a major theme park like Disneyland or Walt Disney World? They have fun and exciting rides, great food, and immersive experiences that you simply can’t get elsewhere in the world. It’s no wonder that millions of people flock to Disney parks every year.

Of course, not every vacation goes quite according to plan. If you’ve ever walked up to the gate at Disneyland to see a sign telling you that your favorite ride is closed for refurbishment, then you know true heartbreak.

Of course, it could be worse. You could be on your favorite ride when something goes terribly wrong. Here are eight times that attractions failed in spectacular, and sometimes tragic ways, at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney World Skyliner

Skyliner Stall

The most recent example of something going terribly wrong at a Disney park involves the newest addition to Walt Disney World, the Disney Skyliner. The gondola system, which is essentially a fully functional transportation system in the vein of the old Skyway, is designed to help transport guests between four different Walt Disney World resort hotels and a pair of the theme parks.

The Skyliner only opened on September 29, 2019, but less than a week later, on the night of October 5, the system had a pretty serious failure, and the line transporting guests to Epcot stopped moving. An unknown number of guests found themselves frozen in the air, and many of them spent more than three hours that way. Needless to say, that is not how anybody wants to spend any portion of their Disney vacation.

Monorail at Epcot

Monorail Door To Nowhere

Long before the Skyliner, the first transportation system that doubled as an attraction was the Monorail. Like the Skyliner, the Walt Disney World Monorail connects Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and three hotels together so you can get around without needing a car. It’s a fun way to pass some time and get off your feet if you just want to do the loop, but if you happen to be staying in a hotel on the route, it’s incredibly convenient as well.

There have been a handful of times since Walt Disney World opened in 1971 when the monorail has broken down in a less than convenient place. If your train stops between locations, you’re as stuck as the Skyliner, and depending on the weather, that can be especially uncomfortable. However, in 2018, things went especially haywire when the problem wasn’t that the Monorail stopped, it was that a door came open while the train was moving. Luckily nobody was hurt.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Mine Train Fire

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is one of the newest attractions to be added to the Magic Kingdom. It’s a fun roller coaster that is low impact enough that will appeal to a pretty broad audience. Because it’s new, it’s one of the more high demand attractions you’ll find at Magic Kingdom; there’s usually a long line of guests waiting to get on for the entire day.

One group of guests probably thought they’d received a bit of a bonus ride in 2014 when they found themselves on the Mine Train during the Wishes fireworks show. Most of the coaster is outdoors, so the view is pretty good. Unfortunately, the view got a little too good when an ember from the fireworks landed on the Mine Train track, starting a fire. The ride was reopened within an hour of the fire being put out, so clearly it wasn’t a major problem, but it ended up being an extra bonus show for those watching the coaster.

Maleficent Dragon parade float breathing fire

Maleficent Dragon Fire

If you’re looking for a safer experience at Walt Disney World, you might consider skipping the rides and just watching the parade go by. However, that’s not always going to work for you either. Guests watching the Festival of Fantasy go by at Magic Kingdom in 2018 were treated to an unscheduled extra show when one of the parade floats caught fire.

The fire wasn’t an entirely random accident. The float in question was designed to look like the dragon version of Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, and it had a feature built in that allowed it to breathe fire in front of the guests. Obviously something in that mechanism went sideways and the dragon caught itself on fire. The parade was quickly brought to a close and the fire was put out. The float was brought back some months later and has yet to burn itself down again, so clearly whatever the problem was got fixed.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Derailment

Part of the thrill of roller coasters comes from the feeling that you’re completely out of control. Everything goes too fast and you feel like the car you’re could crash into something at any second. Roller coasters are inherently dangerous. That’s why safety is of paramount importance.

In 2003, Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland suffered a major derailment that resulted in 10 people being injured and a 22-year-old man dying. Due to what was judged to be improper maintenance, the locomotive of one train actually came loose from the track and became airborne inside one of the tunnels. The locomotive then came down onto the first passenger car, crushing the unfortunate victim.

Pixar-Pal-Around, formerly Mickey's Fun Wheel

Mickey’s Fun Wheel Freeze

While most Disney attractions are not the sort of thing you’ll find at your average carnival, there’s certainly a charm to those classic experiences as well. At Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure, you can find Disney’s version of the classic Ferris wheel, the Pixar Pal-A-Round.

In an incident very reminiscent of the recent Skyliner problem at Walt Disney World, the wheel stopped functioning for about 90 minutes back in 2014. Considering that the Ferris wheel is 160 feet tall, that means that getting guests out of most of the cars isn’t particularly easy. About 45 people found themselves stuck for the duration of the malfunction. Our hearts go out to the people in the swinging cars especially. Those are worst, even when the ride is functioning properly.

It's a Small World

Small World Breakdown

While It’s A Small World is one of Disney’s most iconic attractions, it’s also the one that may have the most detractors. The Sherman Brothers’ signature tune is the sort of ear worm that you’re going to have trouble getting out of your head after it gets stuck there, and just reading these words, that may have already happened.

I actually kind of love the song, but even I would take issue if I forced to listen to it continuously for an excessive period of time. That’s what happened in 2009 when a paraplegic man was riding the attraction when it broke down. He was stuck in the attraction’s final room for 30-40 minutes. Because of his disability, he was unable to be evacuated from the ride with the rest of the guests, forcing him to endure “It’s a Small World After All” far longer than anybody should have to in a single sitting.

America Sings

America Sings Tragedy

One of the more tragic attraction problems to ever happen at a Disney park took place back in 1974. The new revolving theater experience America Sings had only been open for a month after replacing the Walt Disney classic Carousel of Progress. The show saw guests seated in a round theater, and the seating area rotated around to view different audio animatronic musical experiences.

While it’s still not clear exactly what happened, as there were no witnesses. An 18-year-old, cast member, Debbi Stone, was crushed to death when she somehow got caught between a stationary wall and the revolving stage wall. The attraction closed for cleaning and breakaway walls were added to ensure the accident would not reoccur.

Some of the incidents were scary and others were absolutely heartbreaking, but considering how long Disneyland and Walt Disney World have been around, how many shows they’ve put on and how many times ride vehicles have gone around, the safety record is actually pretty impressive. Most people are able to experience every show and ride without incident.

Images courtesy WDWNew.com/DisneylandNews.com

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It’s Time For The Mummy 4 To Be Resurrected

The Mummy Returns Jonathan, Rick, Evelyn and Ardeth see danger up ahead

Not too long ago, we had hear news that Brendan Fraser wasn’t against making a fourth Mummy movie, so long as it’s a fun one. That was a prospect that I personally love to no end, as we could use that sort of movie at the box office at this point in time. But I have to admit, I’m one of the people who completely did not know about the existence of the potential sequel that was on deck to succeed The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

So, like a canary in the franchise coal mine, I’m about to sound off and say that not only is it the time for a new outing in The Mummy franchise, but this script that’s been brought back to the attention of the world is something that would be the perfect grounds to make that happen. We’re reading from the book again, folks, as I’m going to give you these solid reasons as to why it’s time to get back into business with Rick and Evelyn O’Connell.

The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor Rick and the Dragon Emperor in front of the Terracotta Army

Another New Location Would Be Brought Into The Mummy Mix

While the first two Mummy movies anchored themselves as mostly taking place in the confines of Egypt and London, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor made the wise decision to shift the action to China. With a new location, a new culture was brought into the mix. This not only could inspire audiences to research the true history of the film’s inspirations, but also provides a change of scenery. People may not have reacted to the movie as well as had been hoped, but at the very least it gave Universal a way out of Egypt.

The Mummy 4, rumored to be named The Mummy: Rise of the Aztecs, would have brought the series to South America, continuing that trend. As the series’ true gems are the O’Connell/Carnahan family, with their sparkling personalities and witty banter, you could set these films anywhere and it’d play fantastically. Provided, of course, that you have the right script and the right villain.

Assassins Antonio Banderas aims his gun with a smile

Antonio Banderas Would Make A Perfect Mummy Villain

To be the perfect Mummy villain, you need to be a credible threat, but make yourself an accessible character. Arnold Vosloo used both halves of that equation in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns to create a villain that while tragic, was still imposing when he got to work. So naturally, when it was mentioned that Antonio Banderas was in the mix for The Mummy 4, that just the sort of ingredient a movie like this could use to its advantage.

Antonio Banderas’ brand of swagger and menace is exactly what The Mummy: Rise of the Aztecs could use to reinvigorate the franchise. Not to mention, watching Banderas going toe to toe with both Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz is exactly the type of fun that The Mummy 4 should be aiming for in its adventurous resurrection.

The Mummy Returns Jonathan, Evelyn, Rick, and Alex perched on a pyramid's ledge

Paul Feig’s Dark Army Could Use A Mummy Movie As A Starting Point

The whole reason this fourth Mummy movie even came up is because of a story that involved Paul Feig’s upcoming Dark Army project. Universal is hoping that their frequent creative partner can bring a new spin to the Monsters’ canon that the studio has legendarily traded on. Nothing would be more perfect, in terms of buying time and laying down the right foundation for that film’s future than to make The Mummy: Rise of the Aztecs.

Original franchise director Stephen Sommers has always been good about mixing humor in with his horror, and those first two Mummy adventures are living proof. The Mummy 4 would bring a familiar series back to its adoring public, and it could lay down the tracks for more of Paul Feig’s humor to organically blend into the Universal Monsters’ future DNA. Which could be handy when it comes to the competition that looks to be building at other studios.

Disney's Jungle Cruise Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson banter on their boat

Universal Could Give Disney’s Jungle Cruise Some Future Competition

I’m going to say this as the biggest compliment I can give to Disney’s Jungle Cruise movie: it looks like a movie that’s a perfect for a world without Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy as an active concern. The thrills, the mysticism, and the banter that binds Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson in the first trailer for the film really do make the audience feel like this is a lost Mummy movie that was just waiting for the right time to exist.

With that in mind, it’d be smart for Universal to get back in on the ground floor of films inspired by the swashbuckling adventure serials of old. And wouldn’t you know it, The Mummy 4 is sitting right there, waiting for any rewrites and cinematic universe upgrades to make the studio a player against their monolithic competition. Though this potential script also provides the most key advantage to even thinking of returning to the world of the O’Connell family.

The Mummy Returns Rick and Imhotep stop fighting and look towards something shocking

It’s A Faster Way To Bring The Mummy Franchise Back

With a script, or at the very least a concept, that exists for The Mummy 4, there’s a key phase of the game already won. The best case scenario is that there’s a completed script that would need the right polish to get it up and running; and the worst situation would be that there’s a treatment or a concept that needs to be written into existence.

Either way, there’s a kernel of an idea for The Mummy: Rise of the Aztecs to grow from, and the internet has seemed to already have run wild with what was supposedly going to take place in the film. So rather than waiting for a writer’s room to break an idea that then goes into the writing process, there’s already an idea that awaits the lucky person who gets to write Rick and Evelyn’s one-liners and action set-pieces.

The nostalgia wave is already ripe for The Mummy’s return. Now that an idea with the right components has resurfaced, and the future of Universal Monsters is already on the minds of the studio’s executives, there’s no reason that The Mummy 4 couldn’t happen. “Fun” is the operative word when it comes to reviving The Mummy for one and all, and the path to bringing this idea into the world of the living is something that sounds like it has that word written into every page.

Of course, that all depends on how, and if, this idea comes to fruition. But at the very least, fans of the franchise have something to talk about and potentially start an online movement around. So long as people are talking about The Mummy on the internet, there’s still hope that it will be on the big screen yet again.

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Murder Mystery 2 Is Happening At Netflix

Although Adam Sandler is returning to the big screen later this year in Uncut Gems, another one of his rare dramatic turns, most of his work in recent years has gone up on Netflix thanks to a first-look deal, including Murder Mystery, which was released in June. That movie was a big enough success for the streaming platform that a sequel is now in development.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Murder Mystery scribe James Vanderbilt is in negotiations to pen Murder Mystery 2. As for Adam Sandler and co-lead Jennifer Aniston, the plan is to have both of them reprise their roles in the sequel, though no deals are set in place yet since the project is in the early stages. Still, considering Sandler’s arrangement with Netflix, one would imagine the chances of at least him returning are relatively strong.

Critically speaking, Murder Mystery received mixed reviews, ranking at 45% among critics and 39% among audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. That said, while Netflix is well known for not releasing viewership numbers to the public, it claimed that Murder Mystery was watched by almost 31 million households in its first 72 hours of availability. Assuming that’s true, it was one of Netflix’s biggest opening weekends ever, so it’s hardly surprising the company would want to make a sequel.

It’s possible that Murder Mystery could have done well for itself had it gotten a traditional theatrical release, but that’s a moot point now. Netflix is keen on delivering Murder Mystery 2, though because the project is in the early stages, it’ll be a while until it arrives on our small screens.

It’s also unclear if Kyle Newacheck would sit in the director’s chair again or if someone new would helm in his place. Newacheck had previously expressed interest in making Murder Mystery 2, though he acknowledged the chances of a sequel going forward would depend on if Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston wanted to do it. He also wasn’t too bothered by the negative reviews the first movie received, so maybe Netflix is also working to bring him back.

Pairing Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston back together for the first time since 2011’s Just Go With It, Murder Mystery followed Nick Spitz, a NYPD officer, and his wife Audrey, a hairdresser, going on a vacation to Europe and ending up on a yacht where, you guessed it, they get caught up in a murder investigation.

Murder Mystery also starred Luke Evans, Terence Stamp, Gemma Arterton and David Walliams, among many others. It earned three Teen’s Choice Awards nominations and four nominations at the upcoming People’s Choice Awards.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on Murder Mystery 2’s progress. For now, you can keep track of what’s heading to the silver screen for the rest of the year in our 2019 release schedule.

Judy: How Accurate Was The Judy Garland Biopic?

Garland with her kids in Judy

It’s a bit early for Awards Season, but there are already some contenders being spoken about for the coveted nominations that will come in 2020. Todd Phillips’ Joker is one such movie, with Joaquin Phoenix seemingly guaranteed to get some nominations. But then there’s Rupert Goold’s musical biopic Judy, and specifically Renee Zellweger’s tour-de-force performance as the title character. The Oscar winning transformed her voice and body to become the beloved Judy Garland, specifically during the last few months of her life. But how accurate was the movie?

Countless movies have begun with “based off true events”, with real-life stories adapted onto the screen, and filmmakers often taking some creative liberties in the process. The end of Judy Garland’s life isn’t necessarily well-known, so moviegoers might be confused as to how much was fact vs fiction. After all, Judy was based off the stage play End of the Rainbow, which ran on both Broadway and The West End. We’ve got the real story, but obviously spoiler alert for the contents of the movie.

Judy Garland Was Given Drugs By MGM As A Kid

Judy opens with some serious movie magic, as a young Garland is shown walking on the set of The Wizard of Oz. This was the movie that would make Garland a household name, as the teenage actress used her incredible vocal talents to wow the public. And while that performance and her time at MGM might have a special place in the hearts of her fans, they were decidedly dark from the inside. Namely, because the studio kids like her were given drugs by their employer. This is a true aspect of the story, adapted on the screen throughout various flashbacks. When there was concern over her weight, Judy Garland was given “pep pills” which suppressed her appetite and kept her energetic. And at the end of shooting days, she was given downers to help her sleep, resulting in a dependency on pharmaceuticals that would plague her throughout the rest of her life.

Her Marriage To Mickey Deans

Renee Zellweger stars in every scene of Judy, and the second biggest character is Finn Wittrocks’ Mickey Deans. Deans was Judy Garland’s fourth and final husband, and they met in the final stages of the legend’s life. While that was an accurate plot point, exactly how the pair met was changed for the fictionalized version of the story. In Judy they meet at a party, which is also attended by Garland’s daughter Liza Minelli. But in Deans’ book Weep No More, My Lady, he tells another story. Namely, that they met at her hotel, when he was delivering stimulants to the singer/actress. Other than that, their relationship seems to play out accurately in Judy, down to the wedding dress she wore, which was recreated for the movie.

The Dinner With Her Fans

Around halfway through Judy, the title character wraps up one of her shows, and heads to the stage door to meet her fans. There are just two, a gay couple named Dan and Stan. She asks them to a late dinner, which they are thrilled to host. What results in a night of music and laughter, and even some tears, as they reveal the anti-gay laws of the time. The sequence is one of Judy’s most powerful, but is purely fictional. Director Rupert Goold added it to show what Garland meant to her fans, especially members of the LGBTQ+ community who felt seen and validated by the icon.

Getting Booed Off Stage

This one really happened. Judy Garland’s personal demons, including her substance abuse problems, often resulted in the legendary singer showing up to her London gigs very late. This was shown a few times during Judy, where ticket holders were dismayed to see Garland arriving on the The Talk of the Town so late. One such real-life occasion made it into the film, where Garland arrived an hour late, and the audience threw rolls and other items at her and booed her off the stage.

Money Problems

This one is accurate, too. The very plot of Judy is very much focused on the financial hole the late singer found herself in during her final years. That’s why she traveled across the pond for her sold out concert series; because she needed the money to provide for her family. Ultimately she never really crawled out of that financial hole. At the time of her death, she still owed money to the IRS and her personal estate was valued at just $500,000. Her daughter Liza Minelli and family friend Frank Sinatra reportedly helped pay her debts off.

The Sing-Along

Judy‘s gut wrenching final scene features Garland performing at her concert one last time, after closing her tenure early. She gets on stage in all her glory, much to the joy of Stan and Dan. And while attempting to sing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, she become too emotional to get through the song. The audience sings along with her, in a moment of hope and solidarity. But it’s unclear if this group sing actually happened. There’s no record of a specific performance where this happened, including her closing night. So while it might have been possible, there’s no guarantee that this emotionally satisfying moment happened in real life.

Judy is in theaters now, and it’ll be interesting to see how Renee Zellwegger’s Oscar chances are as the Awards Season gets closer. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Has Changed My Opinion On Jared Leto’s Joker

Todd Phillips’ Joker is out, and many around the world have finally gotten to see Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime. Phoenix brought an entirely new energy to the character, which was somewhat necessary given it was an origin story. While I haven’t had a chance to fully digest my thoughts on Joker and Phoenix’s performance, I can say with certainty it has changed my thoughts on Jared Leto’s portrayal.

Jared Leto, of course, was the actor to portray Joker ahead of Joaquin Phoenix, through a supporting role in Suicide Squad. The role had its fair share of controversies for several reasons, though I ultimately walked away after viewing Suicide Squad that Leto’s portrayal wasn’t bad, just different. Now that I’ve seen Joker, I’m ready to say I was wrong, and can use Phoenix’s performance to break down why Leto’s performance was the worst live-action Joker we’ve seen.

My Perception Of Jared Leto’s Portrayal Pre-Joker

I can’t say I was a big fan of Suicide Squad, but I will say that Jared Leto’s Joker was one of the few stand-out moments for me and others. Sure, he looked like the poster boy for Spencer’s Gifts, but DC rolled the dice on a radically different Joker in the past and struck gold. Would it really be wise to write off this “different” Joker and risk missing another iconic performance in another film?

Even as the premiere date for Joker loomed, I can honestly say I was still a big fan of Jared Leto’s Joker. There was even a hot moment where I pondered the “Three Jokers” theory, and whether DC would have the courage to suggest different criminals have interchangeably taken up the mantle over the years. Hey, there have been some crazy castings in the Arrow-verse, so it didn’t seem too out there to suggest Leto’s Joker could one day meet the one in Joker.

By the time I’d finished walking Joker, one thing was abundantly clear. A lot of the things I thought were unique about Jared Leto’s Joker were better executed with Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. I didn’t just like Leto’s Joker less, I now actively hate it.

Leto’s Joker Had More Style Than Substance

First impressions mean a lot, and that’s been especially true regarding when audiences first see the actor playing Joker in makeup. The looks of cinematic Jokers can tell a story and inform the audience on key elements of that Joker’s identity. Heath Ledger’s Joker had a memorable bit about his facial scars, and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker look is inspired by Arthur’s failed comedy career.

Jared Leto’s Joker had a very edgy style, but very little of it told a story about the kind of character he was. What could be gathered is that Leto’s Joker was a very vain and materialistic person, which seemed to go against his deranged and anarchistic persona. It could’ve been fine had that been explained or expounded upon, but alas, much of the character’s screen time was cut.

Even so, seeing Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker showed me that whatever vision Suicide Squad had for its Joker was just too ambitious. Phoenix’s Joker looks a lot different than past incarnations, but it works because you have a whole film to explain and establish the transformation that makes him the villain audiences know. Even in the ideal circumstances, Jared Leto’s Joker was a supporting character we caught up in the midst of his Joker run. His whole presence was mostly fluff and became a glorified marketing gimmick, and it’s hard for me to believe another film with him would’ve justified his existence.

Joaquin Phoenix Showed Playing Joker Didn’t Require Channeling Real Darkness

For all the good one can find in Heath Ledger’s Joker, his death definitely brought a stigma to playing the character. To this day, there’s still speculation that Ledger’s preparation for the role had a part to play in his untimely death, and actors have had a hand in enhancing that mythos with their actions.

Take, for example, Jack Nicholson’s reaction upon learning of Ledger’s death. The comment, whether it was meant the way some interpret it, seemingly referenced an unspoken understanding amongst actors and the darkness required to play the Joker. It was inevitable, and Jared Leto definitely leaned on that mythos to do things like send dead rats and used condoms (though he later denied doing so) to his Suicide Squad costars.

Leto definitely crossed a line, but seemed to get a pass because of the Joker mythos. Now that Joker is out and Joaquin Phoenix didn’t emerge with any deranged stories of him channeling the character, it makes Leto’s behind-the-scenes antics all the more unnecessary and unacceptable. Phoenix is getting Oscar buzz and he actively avoided reading comics on the character. Leto sent used condoms for a performance that earned him a Razzie nod in 2016.

Is It Fair To Compare These Two Jokers?

There are arguments that can certainly be made that comparing Jared Leto and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker is unfair. My argument is that comparison is inevitable, and there will always be those who rank and re-rank these live-action Joker portrayals with each new actor who takes up the mantle.

I can’t speak for others, but I will say the reason I compare these two Jokers is because they’re both similar in the sense that they both set out to present the villain in a wildly different way. One was a raging success, and the other seemed interesting until I saw the correct way to transform a character’s persona. Perhaps another film could’ve justified Jared Leto’s performance and actions, but it seems all but certain we’ll never know since there’s no word on this version of Joker showing up again.

Has Joker changed your thoughts on the character, or how others have played him? Let us know in the comments below, and continue to stick with CinemaBlend this fall season for all the latest in movie and television news.

Dredd’s Alex Garland Isn’t Interested In Returning For Dredd 2

Before delivering sci-fi hits like Ex Machina and Annihilation, Alex Garland was arguably best known for writing and executive producing Dredd, the second cinematic adaptation of the 2000 AD comic book property following the critically underwhelming, Sylvester Stallone-led Judge Dredd in 1995. We learned later from star Karl Urban that Garland also handled directing the movie, but on the slim chance that Dredd 2 were to move forward, Garland doesn’t want any part in tackling it. As he put it:

Sorry to disappoint you folks who are still itching for Dredd 2 and were hoping that Alex Garland would work on it, but it sounds like his experience on the first movie was anything but enjoyable. While speaking with ScreenGeek about his upcoming miniseries Devs, while he still likes Judge Dredd the character, he’s not keen to jump back into that world, so a different creative mind would need to work on the sequel.

It’s been seven years since Dredd was released, and although it was a critical success overall, it failed to perform well commercially, making only $41.5 million worldwide off a budget in the $30-$45 million range, which Karl Urban attributes to a failure in marketing. Nevertheless, there continues to be talk about making Dredd 2 happen, be it as another theatrical release or as a streaming service series.

The latter seems to be the likelier option at the point, though there haven’t been any major updates on that front recently, and even if there were, scheduling would be complicated given that is busy with Amazon’s The Boys. Still, a follow-up project hasn’t been outright shelved, so we’ll just have to keep waiting to see if someone else can get it going.

Regarding Dredd itself, which also starred Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey and Wood Harris, it was reported almost a year before its release that Alex Garland took over the editing process from original director Pete Travis, who was barred from that step of production due to creative differences. Karl Urban later revealed that it was Garland who “actually directed” Dredd, not Travis.

All of Alex Garland’s contributions were enough to warrant discussion about giving him a co-director credit, but in the end, Pete Travis was credited as the sole director. When recollecting on the behind-the-scenes Dredd drama, it’s no wonder Garland wouldn’t want to risk repeating that on a sequel.

Feelings about Dredd aside, Alex Garland has continued putting his mind to work on sci-fi projects, with Ex Machina and Annihilation both receiving numerous positive reviews and accolades. He also wrote a script for the Halo film adaptation way back when, although that project has since transitioned into a TV show on Showtime.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for any significant updates concerning Dredd 2. In the meantime, Devs is scheduled to premiere on FX in spring 2020, and check out our 2019 release schedule to plan your trips to the theater for the rest of the year accordingly.

Glass’ James McAvoy Had An Intense Diet To Play The Beast

You can’t call yourself ‘The Beast’ and not have some serious skills and/or power to back up that claim. Likewise, if you’re playing a character called The Beast, you kind of need to look the part, lest your beasthood be called into question. James McAvoy played The Beast in M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass and the actor had quite the intense diet to become the character.

James McAvoy added 16 pounds of muscle mass to his frame over the course of 4 months to transform into The Beast, but working out was only half the equation. What the actor put into his body was equally important and his diet specified what he could eat and when to get the desired look. That meant having frequent meals every three hours.

For his training sessions, James McAvoy would eat a snack or a meal about two hours prior to a workout to give him energy and then eat a meal again immediately after exercising to help rebuild his muscles. And while you might think that achieving a ripped look like that requires strict calorie counting, that’s not the approach James McAvoy took.

Instead, as his trainer and nutritionist Magnus Lygdback told Men’s Health, the actor closely counted macronutrients like protein, fat and carbohydrates. It’s basically an ‘if it fits your macros’ (IIFYM) approach where he had to make sure he was getting enough of each nutrient for what his body needed. The quality of the macros also mattered and what kinds of foods they were coming from.

For his proteins, James McAvoy ate lamb, beef, chicken and eggs and his primary carb sources were brown rice, barrow, barley, quinoa and cold potatoes. The fats the actor ate came from avocados, fish oil and unsalted nuts. He would also eat as many red and green vegetables as possible for the nutrients they provide.

For breakfast, James McAvoy would have four eggs, eating the yolk to get all of the nutrients, as well as sweet potatoes and turkey bacon. Lunch would be a protein like lamb or beef alongside veggies and something to fill the fat and carb requirements. Dinner would follow the same approach and for snacks he would focus on protein with something like turkey meatballs.

It may all sound rather complicated and time consuming, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. If you want to transform from Kevin Wendell Crumb into The Beast, rather than counting macronutrients, Magnus Lygdback recommends using your fist to determine portion sizes. You would eat three to four eggs in the morning and for your snacks throughout the day you would eat a fist-sized portion of a protein.

For lunch you would have another fist-sized portion of your protein of choice, a fist-sized portion of fat and two fist-sized portions of vegetables. Dinner would follow that same formula.

So basically, lots of meat, lots of veggies and lots of eggs. Strict adherence to a diet as well as an intense training program got James McAvoy to where he needed to be to appear as The Beast in Glass and look every bit the part. It probably wasn’t easy, but James McAvoy knew he had to get jacked for Glass to live up to the character’s name and the fear he’s meant to inspire.

It’s just another example of the work James McAvoy put into a role that receives tons of critical praise but perhaps not the awards attention many feel he deserves. Not only does James McAvoy effortlessly switch on a dime between multiple characters in the film, he also underwent a serious and impressive physical transformation for a complete and remarkable performance.

Enjoy those eggs and check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see what movies you can look forward to the rest of this year.

Shia LaBeouf Credits Peanut Butter Falcon Co-Star With Saving His Life

Starting with his stint on Disney Channel’s Even Stevens, Shia LaBeouf has dominated the big screen for 20 years with memorable performances in the Transformers movies, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, as well as delivered distinctive personal endeavors such as making himself the object of a museum exhibition, live-streaming himself watching all his movies and becoming an oddly inspirational meme. Recently, he masterfully starred in the touching The Peanut Butter Falcon alongside newcomer Zack Gottsagen, who happens to have Down Syndrome.

Shia LaBeouf now credits his work on the film, namely with Zack Gottsagen, for saving his life. In a candid interview, LaBeouf opened up about the unique experience working on The Peanut Butter Falcon with the Huckleberry Finn to his Tom Sawyer in the Mark Twain-inspired movie. Here’s what he said:

Over the years, Shia LaBeouf has shown audiences he likes a challenge and goes all in with his roles. The Peanut Butter Falcon was no exception, but this time it was reliant on playing off an actor not typically given a leading role in a full-length film. Actors with Down Syndrome are vastly underrepresented in Hollywood, and Zack Gottsagen’s performance in The Peanut Butter Falcon is groundbreaking for the community. LaBeouf admit he was “terrified” to take on the role, especially considering the trust he’d need to place in Gottsagen, but it became a life-changing experience for the two of them.

To Channel 4, Shia LaBeouf, who is currently 33, said he’d become jaded over the years about the industry he is part of. Working with Zack Gottsagen, who found his first role in The Peanut Butter Falcon, he gained a newfound perspective. He continued:

When asked if working on the film “saved him in a way,” Shia agreed that it wouldn’t be too dramatic to label the experience that way. During the filming of The Peanut Butter Falcon in Georgia back in 2017, the actor was arrested for public drunkenness after asking a police officer for a cigarette, and getting profane and violent in demeanor following his response. LaBoeuf was arrested at 4 a.m. and released later that day. In his words:

The two actors became good friends on the set of The Peanut Butter Falcon and their chemistry is apparent in the film. The movie follows Zak (Gottsagen) as he breaks out of a retirement community, goes on a personal journey and meets LaBoeuf’s character.

Shia LaBeouf’s next project is Honey Boy, which he stars in, wrote and directed. The under-the-radar late 2019 release deals with themes pertaining to his personal struggles with being a child actor and mental health. Honey Boy hits theaters on November 8.

Birds Of Prey: What You Need To Know About The DC Team From The Comics

Huntress and Black Canary in Bird of Prey Comics

Back in summer 2017, Warner Bros released Wonder Woman to monumental success. Diana Prince not only made way for more badass women of comic books to be adapted by Hollywood, but signaled a stronger shift for DC Extended Universe film releases. The studio has recently turned a corner with the box office-smashing Aquaman and the highly-acclaimed Shazam! Come February 2020, the studio will introduce audiences to the first big-screen team of femme fatales with Birds of Prey!

By way of Margot Robbie’s incredibly popular Harley Quinn, the DCEU is bringing together the Clown Princess of Crime with an impressive roster of lady heroes with rich histories within the pages of DC Comics. From the first looks at Birds of Prey so far, the upcoming movie could go rogue and ignore its source material. Regardless, it’s fun to gain some knowledge about the roots of the team of ladybirds soon be adapted. Here’s what you need to know about the Birds of Prey straight from the comic books:

Barbara Gordon as Oracle in Birds of Prey

Barbara Gordon Initially Formed The Team

The Birds of Prey first formed in the DC Comics pages in 1996 when Barbara Gordon (a.k.a. Batgirl) faced deep trauma at the hands of the Joker. Batgirl was left handicapped and had spend her days in a wheelchair. In an effort to keep up her vows of crime fighting up, Barbara decided to become an expert computer-hacking data specialist and operate out of Gotham’s clock tower. Her new alter-ego would change to Oracle and Black Canary would be her on-the-ground woman to brief missions for.

The team would later grow beyond Oracles and Black Canary over the years. Besides the founding pair, Huntress completes the core trio of the Birds of Prey team. But Lady Blackhawk was the lady to give the team its name. In the Birds of Prey movie, there is no indication of Barbara Gordon/Oracle will make an appearance, especially because a Batgirl film is in development. But, if she does – now you know her significance to the team!

Black Canary and Green Arrow in comics

Black Canary Has A Lethal Set Of Pipes

Dinah Lance: you may know her as sometimes girlfriend to Oliver Queen/Green Arrow with some shrill chords… and you’d be right! But wait, there’s more to hear about Black Canary. She was an orphan who was raised on the dangerous streets of Gotham City and trained by the owner of a dojo before he passed of cancer. Since the hero has been appearing in DC Comics since 1947, she has multiple origins.

An earlier iteration has Dinah’s signature “Canary Cry” stemming from a superhuman gene, while the New 52 one explains she found the power through grueling physical conditioning and experimentation from a gang called Team 7. Her “cry” can shatter objects and yield her opponents immobilized. She is also talented in martial arts, military tactics and is in tip-top strength. In one comic, she throws hero work aside to become a lead singer in a famous rock band called Ashes on Sunday. In Birds of Prey, we know she’ll use her deadly vocals in Black Mask’s club, and that’s about it!

Huntress in comics with crossbow

Huntress Aims Her Crossbow At Revenge

Interestingly enough, Huntress’ roots stem in being a member of the Wayne family, namely the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, Helena Wayne, on Earth-Two. However, within the main DC continuity, her origin story has been changed to Helena Bertinelli, the daughter of a mafia family in Gotham. The Birds of Prey member had a rough childhood under “the boss of bosses,” Franco Bertinelli, an immensely powerful man in Gotham’s corrupt underbelly. Though unaware of the Bertinelli crime dealings, Helena’s house is marked with domestic abuse in her home targeted at her mother, Maria.

If this origin story wasn’t dark enough, Helena’s parents are assassinated in front of her and she becomes the last Bertinelli in Gotham. One Sicilian relative takes her in and teaches her combat to fight off her family’s many enemies. Helena is so traumatized and enraged by their death she convinces herself revenge will alleviate her pain. She returns to Gotham to take down organized crime and those who took down her parents with her signature crossbow. It’ll be interesting to see how Mary Elizabeth Winstead brings her to life!

Cassandra Cain in DC Comics

Cassandra Cain Is The Daughter To Famous Assassins

Ready for another bleak hero backstory? Okay, Ella Jay Basco will play Cassandra Cain in Birds of Prey, who in the comics is the daughter of two famous assassins in DC Comics, [David Cain](https://dc.fandom.com/wiki/DavidCain(New_Earth) and Sandra Wu-San (Lady Shiva). Cain was looking to raise a child alone who would learn physical combat as their primary language and skip learning to talk or read altogether. He finds his mate in Sandra, but decided he needed to kill her sister first to clear his path. Cain then manipulates her into bearing this child: Cassandra Cain.

In the comics, she has limited speech and reading skills, and can interpret the slightest of movements. At one point, she meets Barbara Gordon while she’s Oracle and she trains her as the new Batgirl, but she’s also worked under the names Kasumi, Black Bat and Orphan. She’s been a villain for the League of Assassins, too! Cassandra is a wildcard, and it’s anyone’s guess how she’ll be adapted for the big screen.

Renee Montoya in DC Comics

Renee Montoya Is A Vigilante Detective

First off, Renee Montoya isn’t typically a Birds of Prey member. In the comic books, she was rejected membership into the badass team. The GCPD detective first appeared in Batman: the Animated Series, just like Harley Quinn! She’s since had a compelling shelf life in the comic books too. Renee Montoya works in the major crimes unit of the Gotham City Police Department, but decides to leave the force after witnessing the corruption inside her unit.

Still motivated to bring justice to Gotham City, she assumes her own alter-ego. She is selected by Charles Victor Szasz, a.k.a. The Question, to assume his title. Szasz is an investigative journalist who dons a faceless mask to follow through on cases through more rogue means. The comics go back and forth between The Question and Vic Sage for Renee, but she typically operates on her own. In Birds of Prey, it looks like the character played by Rosie Perez will have some company.

Harley Quinn Doesn’t Fly With The Birds Of Prey

Last, but certainly not least as we gear up for Birds of Prey, is Harley Quinn. She’s the only character in the mix that has been already been introduced on the big screen. Margot Robbie had a main role in 2016’s Suicide Squad playing girlfriend to Joker and a unique super villain in her own right. Birds of Prey will have Harley dealing with life without the Joker post-breakup, which she has experienced in the comics before.

At one point after serving time in Arkham Asylum, she came back to Gotham with a whole new attitude that led her to become the landlord of her apartment building, joining a roller derby team, leading her own traveling sideshow, and all while remaining a Suicide Squad member. This Harley is known to break the fourth wall on occasion and has a more positive and good-natured demeanor. Based off the Birds of Prey trailer, this is the Harley we’ll meet. It should be noted that she’s never been affiliated with the Birds of Prey team before, expect for Huntress being the one to bring her to Amanda Waller.

Did you learn anything new? Are you especially excited for Birds of Prey? The new DCEU film hits theaters on February 7, 2020! Which character are you most excited to see on the big screen? Let us know below!

Which Birds of Prey Character Are You Most Excited To See Now?

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Excelsior, Spider-Man: Far From Home’s DVD And Blu-Ray Sales Are No Joke

The window between theatrical release and home media release is shorter than ever. Take Spider-Man: Far From Home; the sequel to 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the final installment of Phase 3, hit the big screen on July 2, and the Blu-ray and DVD release followed on October 1. 10 days later, word’s come in that Far From Home has been selling incredibly well on these formats.

According to Media Play News, Spider-Man: Far From Home is the #1 movie on both the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks the combined sales of sales of Blu-ray and DVD discs, and the specific Blu-ray sales chart for last week, ending its tracking on Saturday, October 5. While the specific amount of money Far From Home has hauled in so far on physical media wasn’t revealed, on the Blu-ray and DVD chart, it outperformed (in this order) longtime Halloween favorite Hocus Pocus, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, the Aladdin remake and Dark Phoenix.

Blu-ray discs accounted for 80% of Spider-Man: Far From Home’s first week unit sales, with 23% of the total sales coming from 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray copies. The sequel was also the #1 pick on the rental chart, pushing Aladdin to #2.

If a superhero movie does well in theaters, you can usually count on it having a good run on home media. Spider-Man: Far From Home is definitely no exception to that rule, further showing just how commercially successful it’s been. With its $1.131 billion worldwide haul, not only was Far From Home the first Spider-Man movie to hit the $1 billion mark, it’s also Sony’s highest grossing movie yet, knocking 2012’s Skyfall to second place.

Along with being a commercial powerhouse, Spider-Man: Far From Home has been met with a lot of positive reviews, ranking at 90% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes and earning an A on CinemaScore. While nearly a month passed where it looked like Far From Home would be Spider-Man’s last outing in the MCU, Disney and Sony managed to come to a new arrangement, and not only is another sequel on the calendar, but Tom Holland’s iteration of the Web-Slinger will also appear in another Marvel Studios film.

Besides exploring the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home also set up big things for Spidey that will take him down a path like the one his comic book counterpart has walked for years. As most fans suspected, rather than being a hero as advertised, Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio was just as villainous as he is on the printed page, and while his main plot involving the Elementals failed, he had a contingency plan in place implemented after he died. (But is he really dead?)

Just when Peter Parker thought he could catch his breath, doctored footage was released by The Daily Bugle showing Mysterio not only framing Peter for the Elemental attacks in London, but also revealing to the world that he’s Spider-Man. It’s anyone’s guess where things will go from here, outside of the fact that the public won’t be looking at him like they once did.

If you haven’t already, you can purchase Spider-Man: Far From Home on Blu-ray, DVD or Digital HD at your convenience. The next Tom Holland-led Spider-Man movie is dated for July 16, 2021, but for now, you can keep track of movies that are arriving a little sooner with our 2019 release schedule and 2020 release schedule.