There are two ways in which Logan represents a major change for superhero movies. The first, and most obvious, is the maturity of its content. Wolverine swears, Xavier swears, people get decapitated, and both Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen spend the majority of the film covered in fake blood. Perhaps the more interesting change, though, is what Logan doesn’t do. It doesn’t feel the need to wrap up two decades’ worth of canon, or leave the door open for a sequel, or culminate in a big fight sequence with recognizable faces from the X-Men universe. Put it another way: Logan is the best at what it does, but what it does isn’t very superhero movie-ish.
As people weigh in on the popularity of Marvel and DC movies, they sometimes neglect to mention the opportunities these films create for non-superhero comic books. For every Logan, there’s a handful of smaller titles — movies like American Splendor, Ghost World, and Scott Pilgrim — that benefit from the overall popularity of the medium. Ryan Gosling, for example, recently signed on to produce a film adaptation of independent graphic novel The Underwater Welder, a melancholy story of fatherhood and mortality. Any filmmaker or actor seeking out their next comic book movie need only spend a few hours at their local library branch to see the full scope of the medium.
In a piece of news bound to make you say, “Wait, is this still a thing?”, it looks like we’ll still be getting that Terminator 2 3D conversion after all. Scroll back through our archives and you’ll find our very first mention of the Terminator 2 re-release in December of 2015. Back then, word was that James Cameron and company would time the theatrical re-release of the film to its 25th anniversary on July 3. For one reason or another, though, the studio missed that window, and thousands of people around the world were only able to relive their love of the Terminator franchise in the same boring two dimensions they’d always had. Sad.
Isn’t it just like Ryan Reynolds to upstage a colleague? After listening to critics sing the praises of Logan for the past few weeks, fans around the country took their seats on Friday night ready to watch Hugh Jackman strap on his metal claws one last time. And so it came as quite a surprise when the first superhero to appear onscreen wasn’t Wolverine but Deadpool, everyone’s favorite violent and profane superhero — and, if we’re being honest with each other, the entire reason an R-rated Wolverine movie was greenlit by 20th Century Fox.
While Marvel has a reputation for valuing continuity on both sides of the camera, it’s easy to forget that the first two phases of Marvel movies were essentially put together by hired guns. The early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were populated by directors like Alan Taylor, Kenneth Branagh, Joe Johnston, and Shane Black, one-and-done filmmakers who were either not invited or not inclined to go a second round with the studio.
The Razzies are a tough award show to love. Oh, I’m sure plenty of people probably read the headline to this article and — depending on their opinion of both Dinesh D’Souza and the DC Cinematic Universe — found great comfort in the public mockery of Hillary’s America and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But while awards shows in general might serve the noble purpose of raising awareness about powerful films, the annual Razzies Awards often feel like you’re kicking someone when they’re already down. They’ve already flopped with audiences and critics; throwing a Razzie award at them is the Hollywood equivalent of kicking them when they’re down.
Casting rumors come in two major flavors. On the one hand, you have concrete news about actors meeting with executives and filmmakers to discuss their participation in upcoming productions. On the other hand, you have the echo chamber of social media, where casting rumors can materialize out of thin air and then be given credibility during an interview or social media exchange with an actor. Not all fan rumors end up at the first stage, but it is true that some social media rumors have actually ended up with the actor being offered the role.
Over the past few weeks, Josh Gad has systematically been chipping away at the defenses of Murder on the Orient Express co-star Daisy Ridley to try and get his hands on a few tasty Star Wars: The Last Jedi spoilers. We’ve checked in on the series three times over the past month as Gad quickly escalated his efforts, bringing in ringers such as Dame Judi Dench — seriously, how to say no to Judi Dench? — to try and guilt Ridley into letting something slip. And now, for his last-ditch effort, Gad has pulled out all the stops.
Sometime over the last couple of months, writer-director Shane Black slipped onto Twitter without very many people noticing. While admittedly a bit of a neophyte when it comes to social media, Black has immediately grasped the most important aspects of the platform. You know, sharing funny tweets, complaining about politicians, taking pictures of his dogs, and, oh yeah, throwing out exclusive content from the set of his long-anticipated Predator sequel. You know, just normal, everyday Twitter stuff.
If I were a Marvel sales rep, I would get down on my knees every day and thank Thanos for the series of events that led to Baby Groot. Baby Groot might just be the pinnacle of Hollywood marketing; not only is his cute visage the perfect thing to slap on every action figure, lunch box, and stuffed animal from here to the moon, it’s also a character that sidesteps typical customer cynicism. If fans felt for one moment that Baby Groot was a thinly veiled attempt to sell them more junk, they would push back on James Gunn and Marvel with all their strength. But instead, we are treated to one of the baddest killing machines in the galaxy who happens to be totally adorable, too.
There’s just a few months left until Wonder Woman hits theaters, which means it’s time for Warner Bros. to get down to the business of promoting the crap out of this movie. When I saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in theaters, the crowd greeted her character during the climactic fight scene with wild cheers and applause, suggesting to me that audiences are ready to embrace the first standalone superhero movie. We’ve had the first two rounds of movie trailers; now it’s time to open the floodgates on teasers, TV spots, and production rumors. Let the games begin!
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if art house cinema had the same weird toy leaks as blockbuster movies. These days, we’re more likely to see a character’s design leak thanks to a brand new action figure than a behind-the-scenes photo; what if the same thing happened in the world of independent cinema? What if we’d encountered Moonlight spoilers thanks to a new line of beach toys? Or if La La Land’s third act was spoiled due to a fully posable Ryan Gosling action figure? Come to think of it, I’d probably buy the heck out of a Moonlight bath toy. No shame there.
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