If you really want to go deep with discreet dual role trivia, remember Thing, the disembodied hand the Addams Family kept as a pet? In the 1960s iteration of the creepy family, that hand belonged to Ted Cassidy, who also played the Addams’ tall, deep-voiced butler, Lurch.
Don Cheadle already had an impressive resume before taking over as James Rhodes in Iron Man 2, but his time as War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the last decade has definitely boosted his popularity. Now with the incredibly successful Avengers: Endgame behind him, Cheadle has found his next major motion picture to star in: Space Jam 2.
According to Deadline, Don Cheadle has signed on for an important role in Space Jam 2, although no details about his character were revealed. Given that Cheadle got to voice Donald Duck in an episode of DuckTales last year, it seems appropriate that now he gets to play around in the Looney Tunes sandbox. The actor has also been keeping busy lately with the Showtime series Black Monday, which has been renewed for a second season that will air next year.
Since no plot details for Space Jam 2 have been revealed yet, it’s hard to speculate on how Don Cheadle fits into the picture. My guesses are that he’s either voicing one of the new characters, like succeeding Danny DeVito as the main villain, or he’s following in Bill Murray’s footsteps and playing a fictional version of himself who’s friends with Lebron James. If it’s the latter idea, then perhaps like Murray, Cheadle would also join James and the Looney Tunes on the basketball court.
Although talk of Space Jam 2 has been happening since just a year after its predecessor came out, the movie in its current form didn’t officially get announced until 2014, with Lebron James filling Michael Jordan’s shoes for the sequel and also producing through his studio SpringHill Entertainment. Justin Lin signed on to direct Space Jam 2 in 2016, but exited the project in 2018, instead choosing to helm Fast & Furious 9.
Now Terence Nance of Random Acts of Flyness fame has taken over directorial duties, and Black Panther’s Ryan Coogler is producing. Space Jam 2 began filming beginning late last month, so presumably that means we’ll learn who else is joining Lebron James, Don Cheadle and everyone else on camera in the coming weeks/months.
Space Jam 2 hits theaters on July 16, 2021, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more coverage. Don’t forget to also find out what movies are arriving sooner in our 2019 release schedule.
In Midsommar, Irish actor Jack Reynor plays Christian, a grad student who, along with his girlfriend, Florence Pugh’s Dani, travels to rural Sweden for a midsummer festival that quickly turns into a waking nightmare. It’s the latest in a string of indie films for an actor who earlier in his career starred in Transformers: Age of Extinction. Yet while he has recently steered clear of blockbusters, Jack Reynor actually auditioned for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and almost played Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Explaining the casting on those films he said:
It was a long process, obviously, and I met with J.J. [Abrams] a couple of times on it. It was an exciting time, and then, of course, I was considered for the Han Solo movie, too. Again, that was a long process. For each of those films, the casting process went on for a good nine months. It was interesting, and I think it would’ve been exciting to do the Han Solo movie. Who wouldn’t have wanted to play that character? Ultimately, it wasn’t to be for me, but I did watch the film and not only did Alden Ehrenreich do a really great job, it was my favorite of all the Star Wars movies that have come out recently.
Jack Reynor ultimately didn’t land whatever part he was being considered for in The Force Awakens (he doesn’t think it was Poe Dameron), but he came awfully close to an even bigger role, playing one of Star Wars’ most iconic characters. Jack Reynor was one of the final three actors in the running to play Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story, alongside Taron Egerton and Alden Ehrenreich.
Like many others, Jack Reynor thinks it would have been exciting to be a part of Star Wars in such a big way, and as he told The Hollywood Reporter, who wouldn’t want to play that character? However, after making it so far after such a long and extensive casting process where thousands of actors were considered, Jack Reynor didn’t land the Solo role. As he said, it wasn’t to be for him and the role went to Alden Ehrenreich.
Despite wanting the part of Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story for himself, Jack Reynor wasn’t bitter and still watched the film. He graciously praised Alden Ehrenreich’s performance in the movie. He even delivered what might be considered a hot take by saying that Solo: A Star Wars Story is his favorite of the more recent Star Wars movies, which I take as all the ones made in the Disney era.
Although Jack Reynor really liked Solo, some might say that he dodged a bullet by not landing the role of Han in the film. That’s because Solo: A Star Wars Story was a huge financial disappointment that was met with lukewarm critical reviews and general audience apathy. That’s on top of the behind-the-scenes drama the film had, including a director change and costly reshoots.
So knowing all of that, with the benefit of hindsight, does Jack Reynor still wish he could have played Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story? He answered:
Absolutely. If you’re an actor in this day and age and you’re only driven by the bottom line — a film’s critical reception and its box office success — you’re not going to have a particularly fulfilling career. There’s so much to be gained from the experience of making a film — working with people, the community you can develop, the travel. There’s a world out there to be seen, and sometimes, these films bring you to places you never would’ve been before. That is really what drives my decisions in the roles I take, sometimes. It might shoot somewhere amazing that I’ve never been; it’s just a new and unique experience to be had. All of that stuff builds up and becomes part of your reservoir of experiences to draw on as an actor. If it had worked out and I got the film, I would’ve done it, 100 percent, even knowing how it was received.
While critical and commercial performance are not inconsequential for a film or an actor, those aren’t the things that drive Jack Reynor in his profession. To him, just the experience of making a film and everything that comes with that is what is rewarding and fulfilling. When making a movie, you get to meet new people and go to new places, and that makes the experience worth it, regardless of what happens once it’s actually released.
That belief is why, even knowing all the drama and the way the film disappointed both critically and financially, Jack Reynor would still have played Han Solo had he been given the opportunity. He doesn’t even hesitate or say maybe, he’s unequivocal. You’ve got to respect that as it shows his love for Star Wars and the character as well as his appreciation for the process of moviemaking.
Jack Reynor is still young in his career and Star Wars isn’t going anywhere. After being considered for two Star Wars films out of five in the Disney era, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jack Reynor eventually find himself in a galaxy far, far away.
Right now you can see Jack Reynor in a place far, far away (depending where you’re reading this from) and one that, despite its sunny disposition, is far darker than what you’ll find in any Star Wars film, in Ari Aster’s Midsommar. And if cultish horror isn’t your bag, you can hop aboard the Millennium Falcon once again when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens on December 20.
Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all this year’s biggest movies and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest movie news.
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While it wasn’t the critical hit DC and Warner Bros were hoping for months after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice polarized critics and moviegoers, 2016’s Suicide Squad was definitely a commercial hit, so naturally they’d want to keep that corner of the DCEU going. Following numerous behind-the-scenes change-ups, James Gunn is writing and directing Suicide Squad 2, a.k.a. The Suicide Squad, which is set to begin filming this fall.
Contrary to initial claims, The Suicide Squad will not be a total reboot for the officially-designated Task Force X in this continuity. Instead, it’s balancing on the line between follow-up and relaunch, and will feature a sprinkling of familiar faces among plenty of new ones. So let’s go over the lineup of characters that’s been assembled for The Suicide Squad so far.
After more than two decades of appearances in animated TV shows, comic books and video games, Harley Quinn finally made her live action theatrical debut in Suicide Squad, played by Margot Robbie. Her performance as the psychiatrist corrupted by The Joker was one of the few Suicide Squad elements received positively almost across the board, and The Suicide Squad will mark Robbie’s third turn as the character, following Birds of Prey. While Harley and The Joker were two peas in a pod again at the end of Suicide Squad, she won’t be obsessing over the Clown Prince of Crime again in The Suicide Squad since they’ve broken up pre-Birds of Prey.
Although Digger Harkness, a.k.a. Captain Boomerang, was introduced as an adversary for The Flash, he’s arguably just as well known now for being a Suicide Squad member, albeit a cowardly and disruptive one. Jai Courtney will wield the throwing weapons and stuffed pink unicorn again in The Suicide Squad (and is quite psyched about it), although given Digger’s attitude, I’m surprised Amanda Waller is still utilizing his talents rather than keeping him permanently locked up.
Task Force X is the brainchild of Amanda Waller, so it makes sense for Viola Davis to reprise the role. Suicide Squad members come and go, but with a few exceptions, Amanda is the one overseeing their missions and not tolerating their shenanigans. We saw in Suicide Squad how she’s ruthless, uncompromising and will take any action she deems necessary to protecting the United States of America. Count on her being just as unflinching in The Suicide Squad.
Although it initially seemed like Joel Kinnaman wouldn’t be back for The Suicide Squad, it turns out he will indeed reprise Rick Flag. While Amanda Waller directs the Suicide Squad’s missions, it’s Rick Flag’s job to ensure that they behave themselves out in the field, meaning he’s also capable of detonating the micro bombs implanted inside them. With The Suicide Squad, however, we will not see Rick’s relationship with June Moone explored further, as Cara Delevingne is not reprising the role. Have they broken up or is Rick just keeping June far away from this part of his life?
Idris Elba was the first new cast member to be announced for The Suicide Squad, and it was initially announced that he’d be playing Floyd Lawton, a.k.a. Deadshot, taking over the role from Will Smith. However, it was later decided to keep the Deadshot open in case Smith wanted to play him again, so Elba will instead play a different character. There’s no official indication yet who that is, although Bronze Tiger is a good bet since The Suicide Squad is inspired by John Ostrander’s run on the Suicide Squad comic book and Tiger was one of the main members during that time.
David Dastmalchian is no stranger to comic book projects, having already appeared in The Dark Knight, the Ant-Man movies, Gotham and The Flash. Now he’s making his DCEU debut as Polka-Dot Man in The Suicide Squad. As you can infer from the name, Polka-Dot Man, a minor Batman villain since 1962, uses high-tech dots as his gimmick, with their uses ranging from offensive weaponry to transportation. Given his obscurity and that he doesn’t have a history with the Suicide Squad in the comics, don’t be surprised if Polka-Dot Man is the Squad member killed off early into the movie.
Having already appeared in several Portuguese TV shows, Daniela Melchior is making her Hollywood debut in The Suicide Squad as a female version of Ratcatcher. Like Polka-Dot Man, the original Ratcatcher has fought Batman on many occasions, and along with controlling an army of rats, he also utilizes cyanide gas in his crimes. There’s no information yet on what Melchior’s version of Ratcatcher will be like, but given that this character is also pretty obscure, perhaps that increases her chances of being on the chopping block.
Storm Reid has been acting since she was three years old, but a lot of folks learned about her for the first time in last year’s A Wrinkle in Time. While she’s performed in some notable movies and TV shows since then, including HBO’s Euphoria, The Suicide Squad is arguably her most profile project following the adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s novel. She’ll play the daughter of Idris Elba’s character, so once we learn who Elba’s playing, perhaps that’ll give some context on how Reid’s character specifically fits into the story.
John Cena has primarily made a splash in the comedy realm with his acting thus far, but now he’s finally building up action cred as well with Bumblebee and the upcoming Fast & Furious 9. The Suicide Squad will keep that going, although he hasn’t officially signed on yet. The WWE superstar is being eyed to play Peacemaker, who is a peak physical specimen and relies on brutal force and non-lethal weaponry to carry out his peace cause. It’s a great role for someone as jacked and intense as Cena.
Benicio Del Toro
Like John Cent, Benicio del Toro, who already has some comic book cred by playing The Collector in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, isn’t officially attached to The Suicide Squad just yet, but if a deal is finalized, he won’t be lacking for screen time. Word on the proverbial street is that del Toro will play the main villain, who is simply being identified for now as The General. While it’s unclear if the character will actually go by that name in The Suicide Squad, it’s not unreasonable to assume that this is just a placeholder meant to hide his true identity, so as to not tip of hardcore DC Comics fans just yet.
The Suicide Squad charges into theaters on August 5, 2021, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates. If you’re curious about what other DC movies are in development, look through our comprehensive guide.
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Can you feel the hype tonight? With just a week to go until general audiences can partake in the Circle of Life for themselves, The Lion King is revving its promotional engines and getting ready to stoke the fires of fandom into a feeding frenzy.
At least, that’s what it looks like from the marketing aspect of things, as the Disney film is just now being evaluated by industry critics, and early word isn’t good. In fact, it’s downright Rotten.
With only 89 reviews totaled up as of this printing, The Lion King is currently at a 58% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, falling just below the 60% threshold to be known as a Fresh film. This comes from 52 Fresh reviews and 38 Rotten rankings, with the critical consensus basically panning the film for being more of a visual masterpiece than one of story.
It’s a far cry from the 1994 original’s Tomatometer reading of 93%, coming from 127 reviews, but there’s still time for The Lion King’s numbers to rise though. Some critics have yet to take their place on the path unwinding to the film’s proper release date.
As it stands though, Disney’s live-action films are having a bit of a rough go with critics, as live-action predecessors, Dumbo and Aladdin, have ranked in at respective 46% and 57% ratings among the critical community.
Review scores are one thing though, as the final say on whether or not The Lion King is a success or a failure will be in how well the film reflects on Disney’s bank book. Though looking at those previous live-action efforts from this year, it looks like that might just be where the film succeeds in the long run.
Dumbo brought in around $352 million worldwide on a $170 million production budget, while Aladdin is still raking in cash with its current total of $925.3 million worldwide on a $183 million budget. For reference, The Lion King’s estimated budget has been reported as $250 million, which definitely puts more pressure on director Jon Favreau’s live-action reimagining of the 1994 Disney classic.
Even looking at Jon Favreau’s previous reworking of the studio’s legendary IP The Jungle Book, that film had both a $175 million budget and a 95% rating from 314 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Overall, the hills that The Lion King has to climb are steeper this time out, and one of them already looks like it’s far from being overcome. But box office is king in the Hollywood pride, and so far Disney’s remake experiments seem to be paying off with better margins when it comes to more modern stories being retold.
With Aladdin almost at the $1 billion mark and Beauty and The Beast rising in somewhat record setting time to the $1.3 billion level, it would be a safe assumption that despite critical disapproval, The Lion King is still about to have a tremendous moment in the sun. In fact, if one were to listen carefully, they’d probably hear Disney executives singing “Hakuna Matata” at about this very moment, and straight on until next weekend.
We’ll see if that optimism holds true, when The Lion King hits theaters in early showings next Thursday.
As is the case with all of Disney’s live-action remakes, the first trailer for next year’s Mulan brought both an outpouring of love and excitement, as well as cries of concern and outright anger over certain elements. For domestic audiences, the lack of Mushu in the trailer (and seemingly the film) was enough to freak out over. However, in China, where the story of Mulan emanates from, Mulan is getting some flack for perceived historical inaccuracies.
The legend of Mulan, originally described in The Ballad of Mulan from the 6th century, tells the story of a girl born in Northern China in the 5th century during the Northern Wei dynasty. This is important because it seems that according to some Chinese viewers, Mulan is apparently playing fast and loose with history, culture and geography.
The issues start at the beginning of the Mulan teaser trailer when we see two large, round, yellow homes. These communal buildings are called tulou, or Fujian Tulou, and they are unique to southeast China’s Fujian province, home of the Hakka ethnic group. According to CNN, the first tulou were built towards the end of the Song Dynasty (960 AD-1279 AD) and it seems they didn’t become widespread until starting in the 15th century.
You can see the houses in question in the image below:
So given that the Mulan story takes place in northern China around the 5th century, a tulou would not only not be present, but it would not even exist yet. It’s like putting a skyscraper in a movie about the Renaissance. This discrepancy did not go unnoticed on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, with one user commenting (via Variety):
Disney shouldn’t be so careless and just think that because tulou are beautiful, they can make Mulan live in one. She’s not Fujianese!
While the distinction might not mean much to Western audiences, China is a big country, and to some, these cultural elements matter a great deal. This commenter basically surmised that Disney chose the tolou home simply for aesthetic reasons, ignoring the larger historical context.
A viral video criticizing the trailer drilled down on this belief, with the creator, a PhD student, saying:
This film is just trying to ingratiate itself to Western audiences. It’s like they thought, oh, this element is really Chinese, it’s very Oriental, so I’m going to shove it into the film to make everyone feel this is a very ‘Chinese’ film
It is quite the cynical take and basically casts Disney’s Mulan as an Americanized version of a Chinese film, and not a real Chinese film, kind of like what you’d eat at a Chinese restaurant in America versus the food you’d actually find in China. There is concern that Disney will do this throughout the film, cherrypicking elements that look good with little regard for how they culturally do or do not fit together.
Yet, while Disney undoubtedly wants this film to appeal to Western audiences, China is the 2nd biggest market for Hollywood films, and with an all-Asian cast, Disney is hoping for Mulan to do well in China too. Like most of Disney’s blockbusters, it is designed to appeal to a global audience but especially in China, as evidenced by the casting of popular Chinese actors.
Despite all these criticisms of Mulan’s historical inaccuracy, there was also an outpouring of excitement for the film as well from those unbothered by those problems. Many praised Crystal Liu Yifei in the title role, and on Weibo, another commenter indicated Mulan may have solid box office prospects in the Middle Kingdom:
I watched this repeatedly for an hour. When the film comes out, I’m going to make the box office explode!
Signs are good that the box office will indeed explode for Mulan. On Weibo the hashtags “Hua Mulan” and “Mulan Trailer” have been viewed 1.5 billion times and 1.2 billion times, respectively. That’s a lot of interest.
Mulan opens in theaters on March 27, 2020. Check out our 2019 premiere guide to see what else you can look forward to this year.
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The inception of many of the people on our current iteration of the a-list occurred in the 1990s. To witness the careers of celebrities like Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow or Matt Damon, you can look no further than some of the most iconic, or infamous, ‘90s movies.
We saw the debut of Matthew McConaughey and his immortal catchphrase in 1993’s Dazed and Confused. Ben Affleck had his first (uncredited) film in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1992. The list of ‘90s movies that saw your favorite celebrities break into the business goes on and on.
The following are just a few well-known ‘90s movies that led to enduring careers of some of cinema’s most popular names. Enjoy!
Brad Pitt In Thelma & Louise (1991)
He was the definitive ‘90s movies hunk and still remains one of the most respected actors of this time, his next big role being in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood. In regards to Brad Pitt’s earlier work, I could have mentioned his groundbreaking role in the 1989 romantic horror comedy Cutting Class, but I figured he is more partial to this celebrated drama from director Ridley Scott and this is the one that made his name known.
Done with the men in their lives, Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon) hit the road in search of freedom, but run into trouble when Louise kills a man who tries to rape Thelma. Along the way, the duo meet hitchhiker J.D. (Brad Pitt), whom Thelma takes a liking to.
Thelma & Louise is remembered as one of the first buddy action thrillers that put women in the lead. It is also remembered as the beginning of Brad Pitt’s reputation as a Hollywood heartthrob.
Jake Gyllenhaal in City Slickers (1991)
You may know Jake Gyllenhaal best as Donnie Darko, Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain, or the leading role of 2001’s Bubble Boy. The Academy Award-nominee is as talented and versatile as he is because he started earlier than you may have realized.
Jake Gyllenhaal made his film debut at 11 in one of the funniest ‘90s movies, the western comedy City Slickers. He plays Danny, the son of Mitch Robbins (Billy Crystal), a radio ads salesman who joins his friends on a cattle drive to combat his mid-life crisis.
City Slickers earned veteran actor Jack Palance his only Academy Award and spawned a 1994 sequel and a 6-minute Westworld crossover, neither of which Jake Gyllenhaal reprised his role for. Given that his most recent role was Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home, it seems he’s had enough luck since without playing Danny Robbins again.
Leonardo DiCaprio In What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993)
When you think of the ‘90s movie that helped Leonardo DiCaprio’s career explode in Hollywood, of course you’re thinking of Critters 3, right? Well, I would respectfully argue that the beginning of Leo’s illustrious reputation was the film that earned him his first Oscar-nomination.
Johnny Depp plays the title role of the rural drama What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, about a young man forced to care for his mentally disabled brother (Leonardo DiCaprio) and morbidly obese mother (Darlene Cates) after the death of his father. Things change when he falls for Becky (Juliette Lewis).
Leonardo DiCaprio skyrocketed to the A-list four years later in James Cameron’s Titanic and finally broke his losing streak at the Oscars in 2016 for The Revenant, but his powerful, heartbreaking performance in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? at age 19 was what really showed he had chops. I wonder if he still keeps in touch with the cast of Growing Pains, though.
Will Smith In Six Degrees of Separation (1993)
In one of the most astonishing examples of a transformative career path, Will Smith went from rapper to sitcom star and then alien killer, and most recently played a blue-skinned genie in Aladdin. Six Degrees of Separation, a film that proved to the world his skill as an actor, is far subtler than what he’s best known for.
Based on the play by John Guare, Six Degrees of Separation is about a pretentious New York couple (Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland) who finds unexpected company in a young man (Will Smith) who claims to be the son of Sidney Poitier. However, not all is what it seems with this mysterious stranger.
You know the rest: Will Smith became an action star with Bad Boys, earned the title of Mr. Fourth of July with Independence Day, and continued to save the day from nocturnal mutants, crippling football injuries, and poverty. 1990s-era Smith will soon make a return in the upcoming sci-fi thriller Gemini Man.
Natalie Portman In Léon: The Professional (1994)
From ruling Naboo in the Star Wars prequels to romancing the God of Thunder in the Thor films, Natalie Portman has pretty much done it all. It helps she started off at a very young age, debuting in a film equally, and literally, as explosive as just about anything else she has done.
Luc Besson wrote and directed one of the most acclaimed ‘90s action movies, Léon: The Professional (or just simply Léon or The Professional, depending on what continent you are on) a tale of a French master assassin played by Jean Reno. When Léon reluctantly becomes the caregiver to young Mathilda (Natalie Portman), the two are roped into a vengeful stand-off against the unbalanced cop (Gary Oldman) who killed her brother.
Léon: The Professional has earned as much acclaim as it has controversy in regards to how uncomfortably close then-46-year-old Jean Reno and then-12-year-old Natalie Portman’s characters grow as the story progresses. Thankfully, did not stop Portman from leading an indisputably successful career, including an Oscar in 2011 for Black Swan.
Scarlett Johansson In North (1994)
Before she turned 30, Scarlett Johansson played an Avenger in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, an operating system in love with a human in Her, and the object of Bill Murray’s affection in Lost in Translation. Despite her ongoing success, ScarJo’s film debut is one with an infamous reputation.
Scarlett Johansson made her film debut at age 9 in director Rob Reiner’s family comedy North, starring a young Elijah Wood in the title role of a boy travels the world in search of replacements for his ignorant parents. Johansson, in her brief appearance, plays Laura Nelson, the daughter in an ideal family hoping to adopt North.
If you did not know that Scarlett Johansson was in North, I would imagine she would have no hard feelings over that. The film is most famous for critic Roger Ebert’s declaration that he “Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it.” Thank God for Black Widow.
Paul Rudd In Clueless (1995)
Say, speaking of Avengers, Paul Rudd has certainly come a long way in his career before helping save the world as Ant-Man in Avengers: Endgame. Has he always been the same charming and funny guy you’ve come to know? Yes, and this iconic high school ‘90s movie was the beginning of that persona.
Writer and director Amy Heckerling’s Clueless analyzes the social constructs of high school from the eyes of Cher (Alicia Silverstone), a seemingly superficial, privileged teenager from Beverly Hills. She often butts heads with her stepbrother, Josh (Paul Rudd), until their relationship takes an unexpected turn.
Paul Rudd would rise up as a comedic tour de force in films like Anchorman and The 40-Year-Old Virgin before being cast as the lead in Ant-Man 20 years after Clueless. During that time, the guy never aged a day.
Charlize Theron In That Thing You Do! (1996)
You need a woman with a fearsome disposition and razor sharp wit to lead your action movie? I’d recommend the incomparable Charlize Theron, whom you may have never seen fighting tyranny in the apocalyptic wasteland or tripping in night clubs with Seth Rogen if not for Tom Hanks.
That Thing You Do!, Tom Hanks’ directorial debut, the story of a Pennsylvania rock band that scores a one hit wonder in 1964 and struggles to ride the wave of fame as long as they can. It is one of the first films starring Charlize Theron, who plays the demanding girlfriend of central character Guy Patterson (Tom Everett Scott).
According to Tom Hanks, not only was Charlize Theron was the first to audition for her part, she was the first performer cast in That Thing You Do! because he immediately recognized that the South African-born actress had something special. The Academy seemed to agree, awarding her the Oscar for Best Actress in 2004 for Monster. She’ll next appear in the upcoming Fast and Furious 9.
Edward Norton In Primal Fear (1996)
You can always rely on Edward Norton for a riveting performance, whether he is running a fight club with Brad Pitt or poking fun at his own behind-the-scenes reputation in Birdman. The actor really hit the ground running at 27 years old in his 1996 film debut.
In Primal Fear, hotshot lawyer Martin Vail (Richard Gere) takes on the seemingly unwinnable case of an altar boy (Edward Norton) accused of murdering a priest. In his attempts to spin the case in his favor, he ends up discovering the truth is far more shocking that he could have realized.
Edward Norton earned an Academy Award nomination (his first of three) and a Golden Globe win for the intense legal drama. Like I said, he really hit the ground running.
Ewan McGregor In Trainspotting (1996)
Obi-Wan Kenobi is a man of uncorrupted mind and pure heart, so I can imagine that it might be surprising to picture him as a heroin addict. Yet, that is the role that helped Ewan McGregor make a name for himself before the Star Wars prequels.
Trainspotting is a drama about Renton’s (Ewan McGregor) struggle to get himself clean and sober despite his friends’ deep immersion into Scotland’s drug scene. For a tale with bleak themes of addiction and mundanity, Danny Boyle’s visceral directorial vision and the charming cast makes the film a very lively and endearing experience.
Since Trainspotting, which spawned a 2017 sequel, Ewan McGregor has played younger Obi-Wan Kenobi, an updated Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, and an older Christopher Robin. As for his next venture in assuming roles previously portrayed by other actors, he will play an older Danny Torrance in the adaptation of Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep.
It may be hard to admit, but we owe the best that Hollywood has to offer today to the ‘90s. Who knows which stars we’ll be talking about in reference to movies from this decade that launched A-List careers?
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Comedy works based on many important factors that, when combined, can turn something funny into something hilarious. One of these factors is the ability to tell a joke with the right timing; knowing when to move on and when not to overstay your welcome.
Though some instances, such as the landmark pie gag in the now 20 year old film American Pie, takes lot of time to get right. In the case of capturing the right moment of Jason Biggs getting romantic with an apple pie, it took six hours to make that particular magic happen.
Jason Biggs recalled that day on set in a recent interview, and he told that story as follows:
Jason Biggs recalls his movie history correctly, as the theatrical and unrated versions of American Pie vary by about 10 seconds in length, and the position of the pie being one of the key distinctions between the two versions.
We apologize to those of you who rushed out to buy the “Unrated” version when it hit shelves, as the only real differences between the film you saw in theaters and on DVD are a couple of more suggestive frames that the MPAA wanted trimmed for an R-rating.
That sort of attention was also present on the set of American Pie, as when Jason Biggs continued telling The New York Times about the infamous scene’s creation, he mentioned the following details involving the film’s first assistant director, J.B. Rogers:
Not only was the pie that Jason Biggs did the deed with on camera not a real bakery product, but according to American Pie writer Adam Herz, that particular gag wasn’t in the original draft of the film’s script. It was later that the joke make its way into the film, giving the movie its’ memorable title, and a rather confusing picture to those who were courted to star in said film.
Fate pretty much took over from that point, as the film would not only become a runaway hit in the same year that brought us Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (which would have its own moments of infamy) and The Matrix; but would also spawn three theatrical sequels and four direct-to-video spinoffs.
To think that every inch of American Pie’s success is owed to one moment, captured after six hours of work, in which a man, a Styrofoam pie, and destiny collided to make silver screen history. Some moments really do change the world, don’t they?
Kanye West is always getting up to new and unique projects, whether that be collaborating with NASA, working on new fashion lines, or even bringing Fatburger to the masses. Not all of these projects have worked out (RIP midwestern Fatburger), but that doesn’t stop the rapper from trying. And his next project will take him to a galaxy far, far away. Well, if you count San Francisco as “far, far” from Los Angeles.
New broke this week that Kanye West is hoping to build homes in the San Francisco area that will resemble the homes on Tatooine we’ve see in the Star Wars universe. The houses are being designed as low income housing units that look as if they could be the home Luke Skywalker lived in as a child.
In addition, if the project goes through, the houses are expected to be prefabricated and easy to put together. Currently the houses are in the design stage, but if they go forward, people’s dreams of living in Tatooine-like structures could be a future reality.
The news comes from a Forbes profile highlighting some of the stuff Kanye West is up to these days, when he’s not appearing on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, of course. The oblong structures are listed as something he’s currently working on but are in the prototype phase, and are described as “looking like the skeletons of wooden spaceships.”
Kanye West has been a longtime fan of Star Wars. The rapper references the popular franchise in a couple of his songs, even. “Gone” features the line “if they ever flip sides like Anakin” and “Guilt Trip” has a line referencing Chewbacca related to fur: “Star Wars fur, yeah I’m rockin’ Chewbacca.” It’s safe to say he’s at least casually excited about the franchise.
Then, there’s that time his wife Kim Kardashian dressed in the Princess Leia slave costume for Alligator Boots, a legendary Comedy Central show that never made it to air. But if we had gotten it, we would have gotten to see Kanye play a Stormtrooper alongside Kardashian’s Carrie Fisher homage. It was a meet-cute moment for the couple as well.
So, it’s clear the family has ties to Star Wars or at least a love for the sci-fi franchise. What’s unclear is whether or not these Tatooine houses will ever get off the ground beyond the prototypes that have already been built, but to me it seems like they would have a purpose somewhere on earth for fans if the low income housing idea doesn’t work out.
Be it your hero, your villain, or even a supporting character, the right costume is always important when making a movie. That advices is even more important to heed when you’re making a comic book movie like Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Marvel Studios’ Head of Visual Development, Ryan Meinerding, knows that fact extremely well.
In a recent interview, Ryan Meinderding was asked to discuss the design of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio, who’s been known to have a traditionally “out there” look. With such a reputation, quite a few designs were hatched for Quentin Beck’s superpowered alter ego, and you can see several of them, courtesy of the video below.
Sure enough, the big sticking point with Mysterio’s costume in Spider-Man: Far From Home was his infamous “fishbowl” helmet, a factor that Ryan Meinerding looked to change into something sleeker in earlier drafts of the costume. However, when tweaks like smaller capes and more modern looking helmets came into play, something didn’t feel right.
Even thinking back on the experience of seeing the fishbowl in the finished film, the theatricality of Quentin Beck’s persona definitely required a look that could project a certain image. The character basically screams for a flourish that only such a flashy item could provide, and eventually, that was the version audiences got to see in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Believe it or not, Meinerding revealed to Earth’s Mightiest Show that about 60 – 70 versions of Mysterio’s costume were drafted and considered, before the final choices were made. Seen in the video rundown above, there are some interesting alternatives that were in play, right down to the color of the fog and magical powers that Mr. Beck would employ in his battle against the Elementals.
It was sort of a secret as to whether or not the fishbowl would play into Spider-Man: Far From Home’s visual language, as there were inklings and leaked looks as early as the end of last year showing us that it was never going to not be present in director Jon Watts’ finished film.
While it isn’t discussed explicitly in the video above, you can see another classic influence from the original Steve Ditko artwork that carried over into this latest Spider-Man adventure.
In his “Upgraded Suit”, Peter Parker has implemented the webbing between his arms and the rest of his costume, allowing him to glide into action when needed. That flourish was particularly popular with earlier iterations of the character, and came back in Spider-Man: Far From Home for all to see.
There’s a lot of good rejected ideas for Mysterio’s costume, but the final variant pays perfect tribute to the original artwork, while moving in more of a fashion-forward direction. It’s truly a wonderful thing when you can see both halves come together in such a way, and that’s just what happened with Quentin Beck, right down to Jake Gyllenhaal’s perfect beard.