One of the saddest aspects about the American film industry’s inexplicable inability to get the Fantastic Four right is the lack of a worthy cinematic representation of their primary foe, the menacing, megalomaniacal, mysterious Doctor Doom. He’s a great character, with all the gravitas of a disgraced royal (he rules over the fictitious kingdom of Latveria, which is not the same as Latvia, in one of my childhood’s most major disappointments) and the volatility of a man driven by revenge. His mythology — the trademark green cape and metal faceplate, his grandiloquent manner of speaking — has already inspired at least one legend in the world of music, and now the movies will finally catch up.
The Wonder Woman sequel train has pulled out of the station, and even with Patty Jenkins’ crossover superhero hit still playing in theaters, it’s already begun to pick up steam. Star Gal Gadot will return for the second solo project for the indestructible Amazon, they’ve landed writer Geoff Johns (who co-produced the Green Lantern movie, so, yikes) to handle the script, and while Jenkins has yet to put her Jane Hancock on the dotted line for another film, details of plot are now solidifying. For Wonder Woman, Diana battled those no-good fascists in World War I, and the sequel will reportedly plop her down in another historical era to intervene in a real-life global crisis. This time, the Rooskies will be the ones shaking in their boots.
The Hollywood Reporter recently unearthed a vintage interview with comics giant Stan Lee from back in 1977, and on the occasion of Spider-Man: Homecoming’s release, they’ve decided to share some of its contents with the public. And if I may editorialize for a moment, it’s the single most relatable, humanizing media appearance the famously camera-friendly Lee has ever done. Because the unearthed truth of this Q&A is that Stan Lee did exactly what I would do — what any of us would do, really — if I was the head of Marvel Comics during the ‘70s: mess with DC all the time.
As The Conjuring’s demonically possessed plaything Annabelle gains in popularity, it’s in murder-doll Chucky’s best interest to get back in the public eye and remind us of who’s the real top dog. Maybe Annabelle’s been stronger at the box-office as of late, but put the two toys mano-a-plastic-mano? Not even a fair fight. Chucky’s simply more sadistic; he really and truly hates people and loves killing them. That quality of violence alone sets his tiny head and tiny shoulders above the rest. In case anyone needed a refresher, we now have the Cult of Chucky trailer.
The news that Ron Howard would take the directorial reins on Han Solo from Chris Miller and Phil Lord was met with a mixed reception by the ardent Star Wars fanbase. Some remembered Howard as the director behind Apollo 13, a movie partially set in outer space (the same location as much of Han Solo, presumably!), and figured he’d be right for the job. Others had fresher recollections of Ron Howard’s Inferno, a.k.a. Bad Tom Hanks Hairpiece 3, and expressed some misgivings. But today, one ardent supporter of Howard‘s has made a statement from the shadows on why he’s a perfect fit for the franchise, though he may have some rubbery, alien skin in the game.
With Spider-Man: Homecoming due July 7 and star Tom Holland teasing the possibility of two more sequels for this latest iteration of the web-head, the franchise’s future has become a topic of interest. And no detail fascinates comic book movie fans quite so much as villainous personnel; Spidey’s many disciples will always be curious to learn which face from the hero’s extensive, colorful rogues gallery will get a big-screen treatment. And while today did not bring confirmation of anything that will happen, it did bring confirmation of one thing that definitely won’t.
There‘s a new gay icon in Hollywood currently enjoying a moment of enhanced visibility. If you find Ellen too squeaky-clean, Neil Patrick Harris too eager-to-please, or Lance Bass too Lance Bass, then you’re in luck, because a new LGBT champion has emerged from the shadows to capture the hearts of millions. He’s here, he’s queer, and he wants to eat the child that cracked open his cursed pop-up book: good citizens of the Internet, the Babadook has burst out of the closet, and he’s hungry.
Out with the old X-Men, in with the new. Neither DC nor fully Marvel, the odd-duck X-Men cinematic franchise has been in the process of reinventing itself over the past couple installments by gradually integrating its past and present. I mean that literally — through a whole heap of time-travel tomfoolery, the original X-People we came to know during the original trilogy of films in the early ’00s have been commingled with the new generation of throwback X-Folks as shown in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s in First Class, Days of Future Past, and Apocalypse. The chronology can be a lot to swallow, and it’s about to get even more confusing: we may now have two Rogues.
Much online e-ink has been e-spilled over the question of which actor will take up the mantle of international superspy James Bond for the 25th installment of the perennial franchise. Will incumbent star Daniel Craig return for another go-round as 007, or will he be replaced by the likes of new challengers Tom Hiddleston, Dan Stevens, Emily Blunt, or Idris Elba? Who knows (not us), but as the mission to secure a star has been playing out, another big change-up has unfolded largely in the background.
Last summer, a spat allegedly broke out between Fast and Furious franchise megastars Vin Diesel and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson while shooting the latest installment The Fate of the Furious. There were rumors of unprofessionalism on set, Johnson threw around the term “candy-ass” pretty liberally, it was a hoot for all involved. But it did cast some doubt on Johnson’s future with the series; there was no telling whether the performer could be persuaded to return for another collaboration with a guy he seemingly couldn’t stand. But a new revelation today (well, new for all of you — Johnson and I are well-documented besties and have been Gchatting about this all week) clarifies the fate of this furious man.
While the post-credits scene was once a surprise specially afforded to those superfans with the dedication to sit through the final frames of a film, it’s now become par for the course, a de facto advertisement for whatever a franchise might have up its sleeve next. Marvel Studios has turned this into standard operating procedure, to the point where viewers expect nothing less than another tasty morsel of footage, the cinematic equivalent of the delicious fries waiting for you at the bottom of your McDonald’s bag. How to continue taking audiences off-guard, then? Marvel could do no post-credit scene at all, that’d certainly throw people for a loop. Or... they could do five.
Miss Bala was the toast of the Cannes Film Festival when it debuted in 2011. Critics heaped hosannas upon the taut thriller based on a real-life incident wherein a Mexican beauty queen was discovered in a truck with a crew of gang members and a shipment of munitions. With ruthless economy, the film detailed the process by which Laura Zuñíga was forced to cooperate with the narcos, eventually earning the nickname of Miss Bala (Spanish for “Miss Bullet,” a pun on the glamour pageant Miss Baja). Like Sicario but a few years ahead of schedule, Miss Bala depicted the south-of-the-border crime culture through the eyes of an unwilling participant. Unlike most drug-war dramas, it’s not defined by heroism or the drive for power — the movie’s fueled by one woman’s perpetual state of stunned terror.
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