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  1. Denzel Washington Avenges a Friend in Bloody 'Equalizer 2' Trailer

    Denzel Washington is back to save the day, one brutal fight at a time.

    The two-time Academy Award winner returns in "The Equalizer 2," the upcoming sequel to the 2014 action thriller directed by fellow Oscar-holder Antoine Fuqua. The duo have teamed up again, and they'll bring viewers more suspense and intense fights, based on what we've seen so far. Sony Pictures Entertainment released the official trailer Thursday.

    In "The Equalizer 2," Washington returns as Robert McCall, a retired CIA black ops operative. In spite of his promise to his late wife, a quiet life continues to elude him. When he learns that an old friend has been killed, he sets out to avenge her murder.

    "I'm going to kill each and everyone of them, and my only disappointment is that I'm only going to get to do it once," he says in the trailer.

    Watch below -- as long as you're prepared for some gory scenes.

    "The Equalizer 2" is due out July 20.

  2. Ryan Reynolds Is Lloyd Dobler in New 'Deadpool 2' Photo

    The promotional campaign for "Deadpool 2" has been all about making references to (or many cases, making fun of) various pop culture properties -- just look at the film's latest (and allegedly last) trailer for proof. Now, yet another photo has been released from the flick, and it should come as no surprise that it, too, has the fingerprints of another movie all over it.

    The image, debuted by Entertainment Weekly, is a direct reference to beloved '80s flick "Say Anything...," and the specific moment in which lovelorn Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) holds up a boom box outside the window of Diane Court (Ione Skye) in the hopes of winning her back. This time around, Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is standing in for Lloyd, and he's trying to convince Colossus (Stefan Kapičić) to join his new gang, the X-Force.

    According to Reynolds, audiences should expect many more moments like this in the sequel.

    "There are a lot of different nods to films that we all loved growing up," the actor told EW.

    "Deadpool 2" also stars Zazie Beetz (you can see her in the above image, hanging out in the cab while Deadpool tries to woo Colossus), Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, and T.J. Miller. It opens on May 18.

    [via: Entertainment Weekly]

  3. 'First Wives Club' TV Reboot Lands Series Order at Paramount

    It's official: The "First Wives Club" will be back in session soon.

    Paramount Network (the recently-rebranded Spike TV) has given a series order to the long-gestating TV reboot of the hit '90s comedy, after a different rebooted version at sister station TV Land didn't make it past the pilot phase. The network apparently didn't want to let go of the hot property, though, and scooped up the rights, handing over the reins to "Girls Trip" co-writer Tracy Oliver, whose concept won over the network.

    "Tracy Oliver is a brilliant writer and the perfect visionary to bring this unforgettable story from the big screen to the small screen in a fresh and contemporary way," said Keith Cox, president of development and production for Paramount Network, TV Land, and CMT, in a statement.

    "'Girls Trip' was one of the funniest comedies in recent memory and we know Tracy will breathe new life, and some serious laughs, into these beloved 'First Wives Club' characters," said Amy Powell, president of Paramount TV, in another statement.

    There's no word yet on what will be different this time around, though we imagine the general premise will remain the same. The original 1996 "First Wives Club" centered around three recently reunited college pals -- played by Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, and Diane Keaton -- who band together to take revenge on their terrible exes, and discover their own inherent girl power along the way.

    The show is set for a 10-episode first season, and production will begin this summer, with an eye toward a debut on Paramount sometime in 2019. We can't wait to see who will join the cast. (We know Tiffany Haddish is busy doing just about everything, but we think she'd be absolutely perfect for this.)

  4. Meet 'The Prince William of Asia' in First 'Crazy Rich Asians' Teaser

    When the first photos from the upcoming big screen adaptation of Kevin Kwan novel "Crazy Rich Asians" surfaced late last year, it seemed clear that this flick would definitely live up to its title. Now, fans have their first look at footage from the opulent film.

    The teaser -- released on Thursday, in anticipation of the debut of the full trailer on Monday -- gives viewers a quick rundown of the plot: Rachel (Constance Wu), a Chinese-American professor, accompanies her hunky boyfriend Nick (Henry Golding) back home to his native Singapore for a friend's wedding. What Nick neglects to mention, however, is that his family is ridiculously wealthy -- crazy rich, you might say.

    It's been a CRAaazy long wait, but it's almost here! @wbpictures and director @jonmchu are proud to present the official trailer for #CrazyRichAsians, dropping on MONDAY!

    — Crazy Rich Asians (@CrazyRichMovie) April 19, 2018
    In the clip, there are quick cuts to demonstrate this wealth, including luxurious cars, lavish fireworks displays, palatial mansions, and over-the-top parties.

    "You really should've told me that you're like the Prince William of Asia," an overwhelmed Rachel chides Nick.

    "That's ridiculous," Nick replies with a wink. "I'm much more of a Harry."

    Royalty or not, it seems clear that Nick's world isn't something Rachel is used to. That tension drives the flick, and should provide plenty of fish-out-of-water moments, particularly when it comes to interactions with Nick's imposing mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh).

    "Crazy Rich Asians" is set to hit theaters on August 17.

  5. Chinese Fans Apologize to 'Avengers: Infinity War' Cast After Shanghai Event

    Apparently everything went wrong for Marvel fans at the "Avengers: Infinity War" red carpet event at Shanghai Disney Resort. Now fans are flooding the comments of the stars' social media posts to apologize.

    It's confusing for people who weren't there, so we tried to figure out why so many Chinese fans were apologizing to Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, and the Russo Brothers.

    Here are some innocuous looking photos just posted by RDJ and the "Infinity War" directors -- all filled with comments from apologetic fans:

    Thank you Shanghai...

    A post shared by The Russo Brothers (@therussobrothers) on

    Here's a very small sampling of responses to those posts, and the stars' previous posts:

    • We Chinese fans are really sorry about all the terrible things happened today...We are very angry about the disgusting arrangement and those crazy fans who chased the cars, but we can't find an effective way to protest against it. You guys are awesome and deserve better. Please remember that we will always love you and be willing to support you!

    • Truly sorry for what happened today! We did against the agenda and all that 'singers '. I just want you to know there are a lot more people out there who love you and love all the casts. Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip in china. We all love you ❤️❤️❤️

    • Deepest apologies from ur Chinese fan, the company who organized this should be responsible for that. Please don't get mad and we love u so much.

    • I'm so sorry about what happened in Shanghai today. We love u forever!❤️

    • We are so sorry that bad things happened on the stage and what the MC said was so rude. It's the stupid sponsor's mistake that made you so unhappy. The singers were invited by the sponsor. When they came on the stage the fans shouted no loudly. We CHINESE fans truly love you and we are blaming the sponsor. I know it's a bad experience for you 😭we feel very angry too. Soooo sorry and we love u.

    • Every Chinese fans were super happy about your guys visit. But sorry about the nonsensical arrangement, every marvel fans are angry about that, just wanna let you know we all love you sooo much❤️❤️❤️

    • You deserve better😭😭😭We really sorry for what happened today. And all fans really want you can have a enjoyable travel. Marvel China blame us and we can't do anything. We feel angry to their arrangement.but I hope you know WE LOVE YOU FOREVER!❤️❤️❤️

    • Hey!Robert,I'm a fan of China,and I show my apology for you didn't have a good journey in my country. I want to tell you, there 're thousands of Chinese fans who really support you and feel heart broken for this awful arrangement. It's not our true wish that you came across in the celebration. We are really care about you and we all are blaming the designers of this activity. We want you to know, we fans really love you and will support you forever, we are not one of those crazies who surrounded your car or stay in your hotel. We are true fans care about you, want you to be happy. So, don't be so care about the bad feelings in the celebration. There 're still a lot of Chinese fans who love you so much that willing to queue for more than fifteen hours only to see you once. And we care about you,we are so sorry and we want you to cheer up.

    • As a Chinese fan,I need to say sorry for u guys for what happened in Shanghai.

    • We're really sorry about the way you were treated at events in China, and we want you to know that Chinese fans love Marvel so much and love you so much, I hope you're not disappointed with us. ❤️❤️❤️❤️Welcome to your next visit.

    There's more on Twitter:

    Sorry for everything happened in Shanghai!!!😣😣😣😣

    Fans from China love you!!!!@TomHolland1996@MarkRuffalo@RobertDowneyJr@twhiddleston#Marvel #SpiderMan #IronMan #InfinityWar #hulk#loki

    — YeShi (@YeShi_LL) April 19, 2018

    I feel really very sorry for what happened last night in Shanghai DisneyTown. The Avengers: InfinityWar RedCarpet late-night queuing turned into a total disaster. The organizers did a terrible job, both Marvel China & Disney China.

    — Colleen (@colleen3684) April 19, 2018

    China sponsors and promotion team of Marvel #InfinityWar premiere is so disappointing! We don't need a concert of irrelevant Singers! Their fans don't know about Marvel but they hold the most of the tickets and they may be SPOILERS after watching the clip. @MarvelStudios @Marvel

    — Juicely猪事喱 (@zsy_hp_1992) April 16, 2018

    What the heck are they talking about? Between the vague messages and slight language barrier, there are still some question marks on the details. But, according to MCU Cosmic -- who compiled information from Gavin Feng on Twitter -- there were problems from the start about how the fan event was arranged:

    • The Chinese sponsor of the event limited the red carpet to just thirty minutes. In comparison, the Korea event had an hour and a half for the red carpet.

    • Most of the tickets are being held by big Chinese companies and celebrity's studios. Marvel fan groups only received nine tickets total.

    • Both the red carpet and footage screening take place at the same time, which means fans can't attend both.

    • Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, and Mark Ruffalo are said to appear there, but they'll only be on stage and not at the red carpet. Instead some big Chinese celebrities invited by the sponsor will be the main event.

    • Those celebrities have the most tickets, so the Infinity War footage will be watched by their fans instead of Marvel fans.

    • Since the fans of those celebrities aren't familiar with the Marvel concept of not spoiling stuff, there is a worry among Marvel fans that the footage will quickly leak online after the fan event.

    It doesn't seem like leaked footage became a major problem. And the stars don't seem to be complaining or upset with China. (Also, Hemsworth doesn't seem to have been there.) They know the Chinese fans are passionate and loyal -- and a huge force in the international market. It's a shame things went awry in the planning and execution of the event, but no serious harm done. We think?

    "Avengers: Infinity War" opens in the U.S. on April 27, and in China on May 11.

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  6. Jamie Lee Curtis Shares 'Halloween' Poster With Old Man Michael Myers 

    Forty years is a long time to wait for revenge.

    Jamie Lee Curtis is returning to the "Halloween" franchise for one final showdown with Michael Myers on October 19. That's exactly six months from now, and the movie's marketing team used the opportunity to share the official poster.

    In exactly six months, after exactly 40 years, Michael Myers returns to Haddonfield but Laurie Strode has been waiting for him. @halloweenmovie #HalloweenMovie

    — Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) April 19, 2018

    Wow. Old Man Logan. Old Man Rick. Old Man Michael Myers?

    This 2018 "Halloween" movie will blow off all of the films after the first "Halloween" (1978). Curtis returns as Laurie Strode, with Judy Greer as her daughter, and Andi Matichak as Laurie's granddaughter -- a potential victim for Michael Myers (Nick Castle).

    Three generations of strong, striped Strode women. Wrapping up this astonishingly scary revisit to Haddonfield. @andimatichak @missjudygreer #acorn #sapling #oak @halloweenmovie #HalloweenMovie @Marinelayer

    — Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) February 16, 2018

    Here's the brief synopsis:

    "Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago."

    This "Halloween" was directed by David Gordon Green from a script by Green and Danny McBride.

    Danny McBride confirmed the timeline to Yahoo:

    "We're kind of ignoring all the films past the first one. It picks up after the first one, but it's sort of an alternate reality. It's as if the first Halloween ended in a slightly different way."

    A trailer should be showing up very soon. The movie opens six months from today.

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  7. Peter Is the New Darryl in 'Deadpool 2' Final Trailer

    Peter & Darryl need their own Marvel spinoff.

    "Deadpool 2" is coming out May 18, and 20th Century Fox just shared "The Final Trailer." They saved some of the best jokes for last:

    Deadpool mocks Cable with a shot at the DCEU: "So dark! Are you sure you're not from the DC Universe?" Deadpool also digs Josh Brolin's MCU role: "Pump the hate brakes, Thanos."

    The trailer also shows Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) and Weasel (T.J. Miller, still here) interviewing for the new X-Force, introducing Domino (Zazie Beetz), Bedlam (Terry Crews), and Shatterstar (Lewis Tan).

    Plus, there's Peter. He doesn't have any powers. He just answered the ad. That was enough. "You're in."Reminds us of Thor's former roommate, Darryl.

    Last we heard, after "Thor: Ragnarok," Darryl was stuck rooming with the Grandmaster, but only because he's the only one who replied to the ad.

    May we suggest the first post-Disney Fox/MCU crossover be Peter moving in as Darryl's new roommate, and fighting versions of Josh Brolin together?

    "Be the first to see the second coming" of Deadpool on May 18. Don't forget that Bill Skarsgard is in this, too. Tickets are on sale now.

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  8. Latest 'Avengers: Infinity War' Featurette Keeps Marvel's Legacy Love Fest Going

    Big changes are coming to the MCU, but until then, Marvel is celebrating its 10-year legacy, complete with a toast.

    "Avengers: Infinity War" is leading up to what has been described as a finale in "Avengers 4," raising concerns that characters might die. In the meantime, though, Marvel has been promoting "Infinity War" by heralding its accomplishments to this point. For us, this has really driven home the point that we're looking at the end of an era and likely going to have to say some goodbyes.

    The studio's most recent featurette, "10-Year Legacy," is a prime example of Marvel's celebration. It shows love to everyone involved in the films and highlights the magnitude of what they've managed to accomplish. There's a lot to make you nostalgic, not least of which is a toast from Robert Downey Jr., who has played Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) for the last decade.

    Watch the featurette below.

    "Avengers: Infinity War" opens April 27.

  9. Final 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Trailer Reveals Scary Dinosaur Hybrid Called Indoraptor

    Life finds a way once again in the final full-length trailer for "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom."

    This new trailer reveals a lot more of the plot than previous spots. As it was already teased, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) return to Isla Nublar to rescue the dinosaurs from the abandoned park before a deadly volcano eruption wipes them out.

    However, now it's revealed that they are lured there under false pretenses and there's some nefarious plan afoot involving a shady businessman (Rafe Spall) who actually just wants to capture velociraptor Blue and do some dangerous scientific tinkering of some kind on her. Oh, and the trailer fully shows a new dinosaur hybrid, the Indoraptor.

    To be honest, the plot is reminiscent of "The Lost World: Jurassic Park," in which some bad guys plotted to bring dinosaurs to the mainland and then all hell broke loose.

    "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" opens in theaters June 22.

  10. Charlize Theron Reveals How She Gained 50 Pounds for 'Tully'

    We can confirm that this diet does pack on pounds.

    Charlize Theron is no stranger to body transformations -- remember her Oscar-winning role in "Monster"? -- and she did it again for "Tully."

    Theron plays mother-of-three Marlo in the comedy directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody. Right after giving birth to her third child, stressed-out Marlo agrees to hire a night nanny named Tully (Mackenzie Davis). Unlike in a Lifetime movie, Tully doesn't try to kill the family, she really does seem to understand Marlo's depression and helps.

    Theron told Entertainment Tonight she gained almost 50 pounds for "Tully," and it "was hell" to lose it all over the course of a year-and-a-half.

    Theron usually keeps to a pretty healthy diet, so she told ET this was the first time she was eating a lot of processed foods and drank way too much sugar. She did it to feel how her character felt and get into her mindset. "I was not that fun to be around on this film."

    Here's how she gained the weight:

    "The first three weeks are always fun because you're just like a kid in a candy store. So it was fun to go and have breakfast at In-N-Out and have two milkshakes. And then after three weeks, it's not fun anymore. Like, all of a sudden you're just done eating that amount and then it becomes a job. I remember having to set my alarm in the middle of the night in order to just maintain [the weight]. I would literally wake up at 2 in the morning and I'd have a cup of cold macaroni and cheese just next to me. I would wake up and I would just eat it...I would just, like, shove it in my throat. It's hard to maintain that weight."

    Is it? Is it hard to maintain that weight? Seems easy from here.

    Premiere Of Amazon Studios And STX Films' 'Gringo' - Red CarpetBut even for Charlize Theron -- who still looks like a supermodel at 42 -- losing that weight was rough:

    "There's nothing fun about that. It took about a year and a half. It was a long journey, very long journey. And it's hard because I had press junkets and movies around it and nobody knew that I had done it for this. And I think in the beginning everybody thought I was wearing, like -- when the first photos came out, everyone [thought it] was, like, prosthetics. And then I went on press junkets and it was like nobody knew."

    (Maybe that's why Anne Hathaway posted a video telling people in advance that she's currently gaining weight for a movie. Best to let people know in advance when you're Pulling a Bale.)

    Theron said it took so long to lose the weight, she got worried.

    "I was like, 'This is taking a really long time.' Because on 'Monster,' I just didn't snack for five days and I was fine. You know your body at 27 is a little different than your body at 43, and my doctor made sure to make me very aware of that. Like, you are 42, calm down, you're not dying, all good."

    Theron has two children of her own, both adopted, and you can watch her ET video to see her almost cry talking about how much they've changed her life.

    "Tully" is scheduled to open in theaters May 4. Check out the trailer.

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  11. Dwayne Johnson Threatened to Quit 'Rampage' Over Original 'Sad Ending'

    Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson basically spoiled the ending to every movie he'll ever make.

    He knows his brand, and his audience. He's not exactly aiming to fill Daniel Day-Lewis' shoes. He's an action hero, with an emphasis on hero, and he wants to save his audience from feeling bummed out.

    Johnson has a new profile in Rolling Stone, sharing his philosophy when it comes to showing the audience a good time. A good time means no sad endings.

    "No one's going to see me play a borderline psychopath suffering from depression. I have friends I admire, Oscar winners, who approach our craft with the idea of 'Sometimes it comes out a little darker, and nobody will see it, but it's for me.' Great. But I have other things I can do for me. I'm gonna take care of you, the audience. You pay your hard-earned money – I don't need to bring my dark sh*t to you. Maybe a little – but if it's in there, we're gonna overcome it, and we're gonna overcome it together."

    That philosophy almost led him to quit "Rampage" and tell them to get another actor for the role.

    Mild SPOILER ALERT for "Rampage."

    Johnson revealed that the original "Rampage" script ended on a much darker note. Here's that section of the Rolling Stone profile:

    "So the script comes in, and I'm reading it," Johnson says. "And at the end of it – George dies! I'm like, 'No. Did I miss something? George can't be dead.' But I go back, and yeah."

    Johnson says this moment became "the number-one topic of discussion" between himself, the director and producers, and the studio. "I don't like a sad ending," he says. "Life brings that sh*t – I don't want it in my movies. When the credits roll, I want to feel great." His concerns went up the chain of command, and "we had a big meeting where they gave me all the reasons they thought George should die," he says. "He sacrifices himself saving the world. Killing these animals who had ill intentions to harm mankind. He sacrifices himself like a brave soldier. OK. But this is a movie! There's a crocodile the size of a football stadium – we're not making Saving Private Ryan."

    "Dwayne rarely digs in, but on this he was very adamant," Flynn says. "It was back and forth for about two months."

    According to Johnson, it was about more than just George. "My problem is I have a relationship with an audience around the world," he says. "For years I've built a trust with them that they're gonna come to my movies and feel good. So every once in a while, you have to drop this card, which is: You're gonna have to find another actor. We need to figure something out, otherwise I'm not gonna do the movie."

    In the end, they landed on a compromise that made both sides happy. But everyone agrees that Johnson had the right instinct. "He understands the audience and his relationship with the audience better than anyone," Peyton says.

    "That's Dwayne's genius," says Flynn. "And watching it with an audience, he was 100 percent right."

    As Collider noted:

    "This is incredibly fascinating insight into the 'Dwayne Johnson Brand.' ... In an era where movie stars have been replaced by franchises and known IP, Johnson has keenly established a brand in which he himself is the IP—people come to Dwayne Johnson movies to see Dwayne Johnson. It doesn't always work out, as evidenced by 'Baywatch,' but in addition to solid hits like 'Central Intelligence' you get something like 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,' which becomes a worldwide phenomenon."

    Many people do want to head to a popcorn movie for a good time, not a deep time. But audiences have proven from "Game of Thrones" to "Lord of the Rings" -- and "Titanic," once the highest-grossing movie in the world -- that they are completely on board for big-budget movie/TV storylines that run the gamut of emotions from A to Z, not just A to B+.

    But now we know that's just not the Dwayne Johnson way, so you don't have to worry that you'll ever be bummed out by any of his action movies. Instead of comfort food, it's comfort kick-ass.

    "Rampage" is now in theaters.

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  12. Vin Diesel Is Making a Fourth 'xXx' Movie & It Already Has a Filming Start Date

    He's baaaaack. Agaaaaaain.

    Vin Diesel just revived Xander Cage last year in "xXx: The Return of Xander Cage," which made more than $346 million worldwide off an $85 million budget, making it the highest-grossing film of Revolution Studios and the franchise. So, yeah. They're making another one.

    However, Variety reports that Vin Diesel's One Race Films and The H Collective have acquired the "xXx" film rights from Revolutions Studios. The companies made the announcement Tuesday, adding that they plan to start filming the fourth movie in the franchise this December.

    Vin Diesel launched the franchise in 2002 with "xXx," but stepped away as Ice Cube failed to hit the xXx spot for the less well-received "xXx: State of the Union" in 2005. Variety says "Return of Xander Cage" director D.J. Caruso will return to direct "xXx 4," with Diesel continuing as Xander Cage.

    The H Collective CEO Nic Crawley also shared a statement:

    "During my time at Paramount I was lucky to be involved in the development and distribution of 'xXx: Return of Xander Cage.' The response from the Chinese box office was unprecedented. Bringing the next installment of the xXx franchise to The H Collective complements our diversified slate and mission to produce content for a global audience."

    Yes, it's the international box office that's making this happen. If you look at the Box Office Mojo breakdown, the movie only made $45 million at the domestic box office, and picked up $301 million at the foreign box office. $164,066,583 of that was from China alone.

    Diesel was the top-grossing star of 2017. He will next be heard as Groot in "Avengers: Infinity War," which opens next week. He's also doing whatever anyone is doing for "Fast 9" when they're not too busy feuding over it.

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  13. 'How to Train Your Dragon 3' Reveals 'Hidden' Title & Plot Synopsis

    Hiccup and Toothless have more adventures ahead -- separately, and together -- in "How to Train Your Dragon 3."

    DreamWorks just revealed the movie's title and plot, and confirmed the March 1, 2019 release date.

    The third movie in the franchise is called "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World."

    Discover a new world. 3.1.19

    — DreamWorks Animation (@DWAnimation) April 17, 2018

    Here's the synopsis:

    "As Hiccup fulfills his dream of creating a peaceful dragon utopia, Toothless's discovery of an untamed, elusive mate draws the Night Fury away.

    When danger mounts at home and Hiccup's reign as village chief is tested, both dragon and rider must make impossible decisions to save their kind."

    "Impossible decisions" sounds troubling. Poor Toothless and Hiccup.

    This third movie follows the success of "How to Train Your Dragon" in 2010, and "How to Train Your Dragon 2" in 2014. DreamWorks has also been busy streaming the "DreamWorks Dragons" series on Cartoon Network and then Netflix.

    The usual suspects will be returning to voice the third movie, including Jay Baruchel as Hiccup, America Ferrera as Astrid Hofferson, and Cate Blanchett as Valka. However, we now have a new villain named Grimmel, voiced by none other than F. Murray Abraham.

    A preview of "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" will show during the Annecy International Animation Film Festival this June. The movie itself is set for release March 1, 2019.

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  14. Steven Spielberg Joins DC Comics World to Make 'Blackhawk' Movie

    Maybe this could be Leo's superhero role?

    Steven Spielberg is joining Team DC. He just worked with Warner Bros. on "Ready Player One" and he's now preparing to produce and possibly direct "Blackhawk," based on the 1941 DC Comics character and series.

    The DC character Blackhawk is an ace WWII pilot fighting for the Allies with his Blackhawk Squadron. They battle supervillains, and Axis powers, from a hidden base known as "Blackhawk Island."

    Spielberg and the WB team shared announcements on the news.

    Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich: "We are so proud to be the studio behind Steven Spielberg's latest hit, and are thrilled to be working with him again on this new action adventure. We can't wait to see what new ground he will break in introducing 'Blackhawk' to movie audiences worldwide."

    Steven Spielberg: "It was wonderful working with the team at Warner Bros. to bring 'Ready Player One' to the screen. hey bring a blend of passion and professionalism to everything they do and have a tremendous history in this genre. I am excited to reunite with them on 'Blackhawk.'"

    According to TheWrap, the "Blackhawk" script is being written by longtime Spielberg collaborator David Koepp ("Jurassic Park," "War of the Worlds," "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull").

    It's not clear yet whether Spielberg will direct the film or just produce. He has "Indiana Jones 5" coming up, plus "West Side Story." Spielberg just made headlines as the first director to make $10 billion at the box office, so if he directs "Blackhawk" it's a HUGE get for Warner/DC. (Sorry, Marvel, on your one loss.)

    It's also not spelled out whether "Blackhawk" would join the Warner/DC Extended Universe or be one of the standalone DC Comics movies under the separate banner. Guessing it would be free from the DCEU. Also guessing Spielberg would be immune to micromanagement, which would be a bonus.

    Do you think "Blackhawk" could win Leonardo DiCaprio over to comic book movies? Spielberg and Leo made a fantastic team for "Catch Me If You Can," and Leo did say he wouldn't rule out a superhero role (after passing on Batman and Anakin Skywalker).

    If Leo wouldn't be a good fit, do you have any casting suggestions?

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  15. Find Out Which of These Avengers Are (Probably) Gonna Die in 'Infinity War'

    One thing that has been made abundantly clear in the marketing onslaught for "Avengers: Infinity War" (opening across the galaxy on April 27) is that, after this movie, nothing will ever be the same for the Marvel Cinematic Universe

    Or, perhaps more truthfully, after the untitled fourth "Avengers" film, opening next summer.

    With all the gloom and doom swirling around the super-secretive superhero team-up movie, we thought we'd have some fun and try to guess who will make it through the movie alive and who won't. Here is our best guess for the "Avengers: Infinity War" mortality rate. Fun!
    Avenger: Captain America

    Probability of Death: 60%

    Reasoning: Most of these will boil down to things that we know; primarily that many of the original Marvel Cinematic Universe actors will be released from their contract following the fourth "Avengers" movie (out next summer). Chris Evans is one of those actors.

    Also, keep in mind that there are two characters already in the MCU who could easily take over for Cap and fill his shoes (they've also done it in the comics): Bucky (Sebastian Stan), who is known as the White Wolf in "Avengers: Infinity War," and Falcon (Anthony Mackie). Whether or not Steve Rogers dies in this movie or the next, we're uncertain, but one thing is clear: When the dust settles, this version of Captain America will be no more.
    Avenger: Iron Man

    Probability of Death: 40%

    Reasoning: Like Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr. will be released from his lucrative contract at the conclusion of the fourth "Avengers" movie next year. And keep this in mind: Tony Stark's arc, from blowhard billionaire jerk to selfless team member, can only be truly completed if he makes the ultimate sacrifice. We put his probability lower just because Downey, Jr. seems to be having the time of his life playing this character (why was he even in "Spider-Man: Homecoming?") that walking away from the armor will arguably harder for Downey than it will for the character.Avenger: Thor

    Probability of Death: 60%

    Reasoning: Again, Chris Hemsworth is done with his contract after the next "Avengers" and, considering the events of "Thor: Ragnarok," Thor doesn't even have a home world to go back to. He's a lonely, one-eyed space orphan with nowhere to turn.

    The only thing that could get Hemsworth back is that everyone associated with the character seems to have been rejuvenated by Taika Waititi's brilliant third movie, to the point where they were ready to have another go-around. But that would take so much contract negotiation and legal wrangling that it could be too complicated to even attempt. By the end of the fourth "Avengers," Thor will probably be on his way to Valhalla (if you know what we mean).
    Avenger: Black Widow

    Probability of Death: 10%

    Reasoning: Black Widow wasn't a ground floor Marvel Cinematic Universe character, but she was close (her debut came in the otherwise forgettable "Iron Man 2").

    Scarlett Johansson probably has a few more movies on her contract, and with good reason -- the character still has a lot of ground to explore. And a stand-alone movie, in the wake of "Wonder Woman," seems inevitable. (A few months back, a story broke that Marvel had finally assigned writers to the project.) This is an actress who clearly loves the character, and Widow serves as the kind of emotional glue that holds the MCU together so, no, she's not dead yet.
    Avenger: Hulk

    Probability of Death: 20%

    Reasoning: Sure, the mighty Hulk getting crushed by Thanos would surely be a way to show how powerful the mad titan really is, but given Mark Ruffalo's only sporadic involvement in the MCU, it would be a shame if he left us after what seems like only a few appearances. (This is especially true, given his scene-stealing role in "Thor: Ragnarok.") If we were betting on it, we'd say the Hulk survives this two-part saga and lives to smash another day.

    Avenger: Doctor Strange

    Probability of Death: 5%

    Reasoning: Benedict Cumberbatch's bemused surgeon-turned-master-of-the-mystical-arts has only starred in one stand-alone movie ("Doctor Strange") and made a brief appearance in another ("Ragnarok"). In other words: Cumberbatch owes Marvel many more movies, and the relative popularity of both his movie and his overall vibe means that we will be seeing much more of him in the not-too-distant future. (Supposedly, Marvel is just leaving the Sanctum Sanctorum set from "Infinity War" up in Atlanta so that it can be easily utilized for the "Doctor Strange" sequel.)

    That said, we aren't too attached to Strange as a character and Thanos taking down the magical gatekeeper of the MCU would certainly send a statement.

    Avenger: War Machine

    Probability of Death: 20%

    Reasoning: Last we saw Don Cheadle's War Machine, he was crippled by a blast from Vision's forehead (he was aiming for Captain America). He seems to be back on his feet (literally), thanks to some ingenious Stark tech, so he will be donning the bullet gray suit once more.

    War Machine's brush with death proved that he was definitely mortal and maybe his time will finally run out when he goes up against Thanos and his minions. We're hedging our bets, though, since he is the heir apparent to Tony's vacated suit, should he, too, go down in the fight. Hey, somebody's got to do it, right?Avenger: Spider-Man

    Probability of Death: 0%

    Reasoning: The sequel to "Spider-Man: Homecoming" will be released next summer, just after the fourth "Avengers." Tom Holland's Peter Parker is very safe indeed.

    Avenger: Vision

    Probability of Death: 99%

    Reasoning: Most of the coveted Infinity Stones, which Thanos is aching for, reside in remote corners of the galaxy. With the mind stone, it's located smack dab in Vision's forehead. That presents something of a problem, as it gives Vision (played by the very wonderful Paul Bettany) life and is something that Thanos is desperate for.

    Unless there's some last minute save, Vision's days are numbered. And that will absolutely crush ...

    Avenger: Scarlet Witch

    Probability of Death: 5%

    Reasoning: In the years since Vision and Scarlet Witch were introduced in "Avengers: Age of Ultron," the two have grown close. Like romantically close, if you know what we mean.

    While Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch is probably safe, given her inclusion in the "New Avengers" line-up glimpsed at the end of "Age of Ultron" (alongside such favorites as Falcon and War Machine), we can imagine a scenario where she sacrifices herself trying to save her beloved, Vision. Now that would be dramatic.

    Avenger: Ant-Man

    Probability of Death: 0%

    Reasoning: Well, we're not even sure Ant-Man is even in "Infinity War;" he's been left out of the posters and various marketing materials since the campaign began in earnest.

    Our guess is that he's not in this movie ("Ant-Man and the Wasp" opens later this summer), but he will make an appearance in the next, untitled "Avengers" installment. And we're pretty sure he'll make it through that one, too, because -- come on -- are they really going to kill off Paul Rudd?

    Avenger: Hawkeye

    Probability of Death: 0%

    Reasoning: Again, we're not totally positive that he even makes an appearance in "Infinity War." (What he's doing instead is anybody's guess; maybe there was some kind of problem with the cows on the farm?)

    Like Ant-Man, we think he'll be a more prominent part of the fourth "Avengers" film, out next summer. And even then, we think that killing Jeremy Renner off would be cruel and unusual. He's got to make it back to the farm and his incredibly adorable family, after all. (Also, we're secretly hoping for a Hawkeye stand-alone film based on the recent, totally brilliant comic book run.)Avenger: Black Panther

    Probability of Death: 0%

    Reasoning: To date, "Black Panther" has made $1.3 billion at the worldwide box office. Chadwick Boseman can rest easy with the kind of job security he's got now.

    Avenger: Falcon

    Probability of Death: 5%

    Reasoning: Primarily, we think Anthony Mackie's Falcon is safe because of the ease with which he could slip into Captain America's place because, yes, Cap is definitely dying in the next couple of movies. (Sorry, everyone.)

    Of course, there's always the possibility that he'll be killed off just to make that impossible. Like, you thought there'd be somebody to pick up the shield? Well, it turns out there's nobody left. Which brings us to...

    Avenger: Bucky aka Winter Soldier aka White Wolf

    Probability of Death: 5%

    Reasoning: Again, Bucky, who now goes by the moniker White Wolf, since spending time in Wakanda getting de-programmed from his Hydra days (hail Hydra!), could be the perfect person to take Cap's shield and fight for what's right. (Remember that he was Steve Rogers' old platoon-mate in World War II.)

    But he could get taken out for the same reason that Falcon could go: to serve as an even bigger obstacle for someone to take Captain America's place. What's even more unthinkable: that Falcon and Bucky bite the bullet, leaving the Avengers' option at zero.

    What do you think of our odds making? Who do you think is most likely to get killed in the battle against Thanos and his minions? Let us know!

    And come back after the release of "Avengers: Infinity War" where we'll tally up just how right (and wrong) we were!

  16. 'Deadpool'-Themed Pop-up Bar Arriving in New York and Los Angeles

    If you've ever wanted to eat or drink like Marvel's merc with a mouth, your chance is coming.

    With "Deadpool 2" soon to open in theaters, 20th Century Fox is doing all it can to get people excited about the sequel. And it seems like they're having fun with it. There is a "Deadpool"-themed pop-up bar set to open in New York City and Los Angeles in the weeks to come, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

    The pop-up bars -- which you have to be at least 21 to visit -- will be at existing local establishments, but they'll do their best to replace the film's watering hole, Sister Margaret's School for Wayward Girls. There will be special "Deadpool" Mike's Harder cans, for example, as the company is involved in the campaign. New York's pop-up will offer pizza, while LA's will serve chimichangas, because drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea.

    Each pop-up will be open for a three-day stint, with New York's leading off. It runs from 7 to 11:30 p.m. on April 26, 27, and 28 at Brooklyn's Alligator Lounge. The LA pop-up will then follow from May 10 to May 12 at Slipper Clutch downtown, also from 7 to 11:30 p.m. each night. Proceeds from the LA location will support the nonprofit behind the DTLA Film Festival.

    It sounds like a fun opportunity for fans to get in the movie spirit. If only the studio would throw in a surprise appearance from Deadpool himself, Ryan Reynolds, too.

    "Deadpool 2" opens May 18.

    [via: The Hollywood Reporter]

  17. 'A Quiet Place' Star Noah Jupe Cast as Young Shia LaBeouf in 'Honey Boy'

    Shia LaBeouf has found his mini-me.

    The former child star is drawing on his complicated adolescence in his upcoming film "Honey Boy," and he's also turning to younger actors for help. Most recently, LaBeouf tapped Noah Jupe to play a young version of him, Variety reports. The 13-year-old "A Quiet Place" star will appear alongside LaBeouf himself.

    For someone so young, Jupe has a fair amount of credits to his name. The actor has appeared in several films -- including "A Quiet Place," which is currently in theaters, and 2017's "Suburbicon" alongside Julianne Moore and Matt Damon -- as well as TV shows. Based on his success in 2017, Jupe was nominated for the London Film Critics' Circle Awards' Young British/Irish Performer of the Year honor.

    Jupe isn't the only actor who will play the main character. The story will follow the titular "Honey Boy" through various parts of his formative years, and 21-year-old Lucas Hedges ("Ladybird") will portray his young adult years. Meanwhile, LaBeouf will play a character inspired by his own father.

    "Honey Boy" does not yet have a release date.

    [via: Variety]

  18. Nicole Kidman Plans to Star in 'The Female Persuasion' Adaptation: Report

    Projects keep piling up for Nicole Kidman.

    The "Big Little Lies" star and recent Emmy winner isn't resting on her laurels. Kidman has lined up another promising role: She is attached to star in an adaptation of the novel "The Female Persuasion," EW reports. The novel, written by Meg Wolitzer, came out in early April.

    Described as "an electric novel not just about who we want to be with, but who we want to be," the book centers on a college freshman named Greer Kadetsky, whose path changes after meeting Faith Frank, an icon in the women's movement. Not long after the book came out, Kidman posted a photo of her holding it on Instagram and hailed it as "brilliant and timely."

    Kidman also mentioned the adaptation in her caption, as EW pointed out. She did not, however, confirm at the time that she planned to star in the project. In addition to being attached as a lead, she and her production company are developing the adaptation with Wolitzer and producer Lynda Obst, whom she calls "two extraordinary women."

    "The Female Persuasion" is yet another book adaptation that Kidman has sought to bring to screen. HBO's "Big Little Lies" stems from Liane Moriarty's novel of the same name, and Kidman has also reportedly re-teamed with David E. Kelley on the miniseries "The Undoing," an adaptation of Jean Hanff Korelitz's "You Should Have Known." The former was a major win, so continuing to adapt intriguing books may continue to pay dividends for Kidman.

    As they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    [via: EW]

  19. The 'Mulan' Remake Will Reportedly Not Include Shang, Upsetting Fans

    Disney's upcoming live-action remake of 1998 animated flick "Mulan" has been embroiled in controversy since it was first announced. Now, fans are up in arms once again, this time over reports that a beloved character from the original film won't appear in the new version.

    Though nothing has been confirmed by Disney itself yet, the film's official casting call -- which went out over a year ago, but has recently been circulating online -- does not include Li Shang, Mulan's military commander and eventual love interest. This time around, that latter role will be filled by a new character named Chen Honghui.

    Here's the character breakdown, according to the casting call:

    In his 20s, must be able to speak fluent English and Mandarin Chinese; strapping, cocky and handsome, Honghui is another recruit who joins Commander Tung's unit, and he's determined to be the best soldier in human history. Full of himself, with a mean, bullying stream to him, he quickly realizes that Mulan is his chief rival, but he does not realize that she is a woman. Grittily determined to be simply the best at everything, Honghui is increasingly peeved by Mulan's ability to match or out-maneuver him. But after learning that his rival is a woman, his intense feelings of rivalry turn into something very different, something like love.

    While the film is certainly trying to differentiate itself from its predecessor in many ways (most notably by including lots of new characters and downplaying the use of music), Shang's exclusion is an especially tough change for some fans to swallow, since he's considered by some to be a bisexual icon. (His character has a pretty charged relationship with Mulan's male alter ego, Ping, which blossomed into romance once the heroine's true identity was revealed.)

    saddened to report it's basically been confirmed that li shang will not be in the live-action mulan.

    the mulan casting call has been confirmed to be accurate. donnie yen was cast as "commander tung," who is in the description for "chen honghui."

    rest in peace bisexual icon.

    — nerdy (@nerdyasians) April 16, 2018

    i'm disgusted. disney is obviously still mad they accidentally made li shang bisexual, so they're REMOVING ANY POSSIBILITY that "chen" is seen as bisexual. they make it clear he HATES mulan the whole time she's presenting male. he bullies her up until he finds out she's a woman.

    — princess mizzy 🌹 (@hellomizzyy) April 16, 2018

    li shang was only harsh on mulan (ping) at the beginning because ping appeared to be trouble and hold the troop back, but as mulan proved herself worthy in wits and combat on the battlefield the Bisexual Legend Li Shang saw ping as his equal (and also fell in love)

    — it is i, the binchiest bi, (@ejnoodles) April 17, 2018

    when u wanna support the upcoming mulan remake bc disney cast a gorgeous, talented actress who's actually chinese to play mulan but they're also replacing bisexual icon li shang with a random misogynistic dude who'll overshadow mulan's journey & add 0 good elements to the story

    — gabi (@harleivy) April 17, 2018

    The Huffington Post has reached out to Disney for comment on the matter, but has yet to receive a response. We'll update this post if and when they do.

    "Mulan" is due in theaters on March 27, 2020.

    [via: HuffPost Entertainment]

  20. New 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Poster Declares, 'The Park Is Gone'

    Destruction is the name of the game in upcoming "Jurassic World" sequel "Fallen Kingdom," which is slated to hit theaters this summer. Before that, though, fans will be treated to at least one more trailer for the flick, which has been teased with a new poster that declares the park's grim fate.

    The striking one-sheet features imagery we've seen before, including Owen (Chris Pratt), Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), and new character Franklin (Justice Smith) trying to take shelter from a giant dino in one of the park's now-defunct glass globe rides. But the erupting volcano in the background has certainly grabbed our attention, since it's that event that spurs much of the action in "Fallen World."

    According to the film's official synopsis, that volcano threatens to once again cause an extinction event for the dinos that took over Isla Nublar at the end of the first film, something Claire very much wants to prevent. She's recruited Owen to the cause, though rescuing dozens of dinosaurs from a remote island isn't exactly an easy task. (Shocking, right?)

    We're likely to find out more intel from a new trailer that's set to drop sometime on Wednesday. In the meantime, feel free to comb the poster for additional clues.

    The park is gone. Watch the new trailer for @JurassicWorld #FallenKingdom tomorrow.

    — Jurassic World (@JurassicWorld) April 17, 2018

    "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" roars into theaters on June 22.

  21. 9 Things We Learned at Pixar's 'Incredibles 2' Presentation

    Recently, we were invited to the Pixar Animation Studios campus in Emeryville, California, right outside of San Francisco, to preview their latest animated feature, "Incredibles 2." We got to see footage, speak with the filmmakers, and preview production artwork from the highly anticipated sequel, which one again reunites the super-powered Parr family (led by Craig T. Nelson and Helen Hunt) as they face off against villainous foes and work to maintain the family dynamic that really makes them so special.

    And while we'll have plenty from our time at Pixar in the days and weeks ahead, we first wanted to share what we learned from an illuminating press conference that featured writer-director Brad Bird, producer Nicole Grindle, and producer John Walker.

    1. A Condensed Schedule Is Nothing New to the Team

    During our time at Pixar, much was made of the condensed schedule that the production team had to deal with while crafting "Incredibles 2" since, as it was originally planned, "Toy Story 4" would be released this summer and "Incredibles 2" would come out Summer 2019. Now, the reverse is true, with "Incredibles 2" bowing a full year before the fourth installment in that beloved franchise.

    But as it turns out, the team is used to it.

    "The original 'Incredibles' was supposed to be after 'Cars.' Our reels came together a little earlier than 'Cars' did, so we moved up," Bird explained. The same situation happened here with 'Toy Story 4'." Bird admitted that it was a "challenge for us," but -- in some respects -- it wasn't as difficult since the studio is "three times bigger than it was" during the first movie.

    2. Also, the Schedule is Nothing Compared to 'Ratatouille'

    Bird was also quick to point out that when he inherited "Ratatouille," a feature that was set to be the directorial debut of Oscar-winning Pixar animator Jan Pinkava -- and also the first movie released outside of their distribution deal with Disney -- he had even less time to get the movie done.

    "Yeah, when I got involved in 'Ratatouille,' it was a little over a year," Bird interjected. "And we only retained two lines of dialogue and two shots from all of the previous versions that had been done. It was like running in front of a train laying down track."

    And considering how "Ratatouille" turned out (it's one of the studio's best films), we have high hopes for "Incredibles 2" with or without its truncated schedule.

    3. Bird Was Initially Uneasy About Returning to the Superhero Genre

    When the first "Incredibles" was released back in 2004, we were still almost a half-decade away from the debut of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the glut of superhero movies that came in the wake of its creation. What was it like heading back, after all that? Leave it to Bird, the king of the metaphors, to explain:

    "On some level, it's like going out to the football field, and there's been way too many games on it, and there's just dry dirt with a few sprigs of grass. It's clunky. Life doesn't grow there anymore." The filmmaker admitted to thinking, "well, that's been covered." Bird also said that the sheer number of superhero stories being told -- in both movies and on television -- made things "very hard on a story level." (Bird also mentioned that Tim Kring, creator of "Heroes," told him that his show was a mixture of "Incredibles" and "Crash.") Still, Bird was undaunted.

    "I returned to what makes us unique, which is a family. And superheroes have to hide their abilities. That is unique to us. And there's plenty left to explore," he said. Walker then added: "When we were trying to sell the first 'Incredibles,' people said, 'Well, what is it? A spy movie? A family movie? A superhero movie?' And that's the strength of the films. It's not just rooted in superhero stories."

    Try as you might, you can't pin down the Incredibles.

    4. The Idea to Age the Characters Was Considered

    "Incredibles 2" starts immediately after the events of the first movie. Like about fifteen seconds before the credits for the first film start, with much of the movie taking place just a few months after they stopped the Underminer (the villain glimpsed at the end of the first film). Not that this was always the plan.

    "I thought about aging everybody the way everybody does, and I thought, 'No, that sucks.' That's about as deep as it went," Bird said. Part of that had to do with how the filmmakers formed the original movie.

    "One of the conceits of the original film is that, I tried initially -- when I started to work on the project long before Pixar, even before 'Iron Giant' -- I went to a comic book shop and thought, 'I've got to think up new powers.' After a half an hour in the comic shop, I realized every power has been done," Bird explained. "Then, right after that was an original epiphany: I wasn't interested in the powers, I was interested in the idea of having a family and a reason to hide the powers. Once I had that insight into what I wanted to do, I picked the powers based on who they were in the family. Men are always expected to be strong, so I gave Bob super strength. Moms are always pulled in different directions, teenagers are insecure and defensive, so she has invisibility and force fields. Ten year olds are nothing but energy, and the baby could have powers or no powers. It reminds me of how babies can grasp languages easily."

    These thematic concerns wouldn't work if you changed that dynamic. "The insight into those periods of your life disappears once you age them up," Bird said. "I'm not interested in a college-age Jack-Jack. I'm interested in my sons growing up."

    Bird also said that keeping them the same age makes the movie more "iconic" and pointed to his nearly decade-long run on "The Simpsons," where the characters didn't change at all.

    "It's worked out rather well for them," Bird said with a characteristic twinkle in his eye.5. Sorry, But 'Incredibles 2' Isn't Inspired by #MeToo

    When a journalist of color brought up the fact that, besides Samuel L. Jackson's Frozone character, Lucius Best (aka Frozone), there wasn't that much representation in the "Incredibles" universe, Bird assured that, "It's in there. It's just not in the sections you saw."

    The filmmaker also made sure that we knew that the sequel's storyline was not a reactionary one. "Some people have remarked that we geared this towards the #MeToo movement because it's got a female lead," Bird said, sounding somewhat exasperated. But the Helen storyline was always a big part of where he wanted the movie to go (more on that momentarily).

    Circling back to the representation issue, Bird said that they had actually designed Honey, Lucius' wife, who you only hear in the first film. "We didn't end up doing it, because it's funnier as a voice. We designed the character and the character appears in the movie, but not as Honey. We have used her design and she is a hero," Bird explained. So look out for Honey; she's in there!

    You can tell that Bird takes these issues seriously and he's happy with the work he's accomplished. "The first walk-around Disneyland character who was black was Frozone," Bird remarked. "I think we've done okay."

    6. Two Elements of the Story Always Stayed the Same

    Development on "Incredibles 2" initially began way back in 2010, before Bird made his sojourn to the land of live action filmmaking with "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol" and "Tomorrowland." But back then, he was just toying with ideas -- and not much else. Still, those ideas made it into the new movie.

    "The two ideas that were in my head, as the first movie was ending, [were]: A role switch between Bob and Helen, and showing Jack-Jack's powers; making Jack-Jack a main character. Those were in from the beginning and never left the project," Bird said. Not that the rest of the movie wasn't constantly evolving.

    "What changed was the plot, the superhero/villain plot. That shifted endlessly. It drove me insane. Because I was always faced with a release date and if something didn't work, I had to throw it away immediately, I couldn't bang on it. That half of the story was shifting always."

    What that villain plot is remained elusive, even after spending all day at Pixar. Apparently, based on the trailer, there is a skull-faced baddie called the Screenslaver. Intriguing ...7. They Took the Challenge of Continuing the Story Seriously

    When someone brought up the pressure of continuing what is largely considered a classic, Bird dismissed the notion.

    "It's really distracting to think of that," he said. "If you think about pleasing an audience that has no definition, if you try to think about pleasing that -- and what they'll like two years from now -- you'll just curl into a fetal ball and never come out of your room. The better way to think about it is -- I'm going into a darkened theater, and what am I going to see? If you think of it that way, you're always connecting with the person who wants to be told a story. I'm more comfortable connecting with that person. You want the characters to feel consistent, and the world to feel consistent, but you don't want to be able to know what happens next. That's the challenge and it's not an easy challenge to meet."

    Walker chimed in, noting that, "The fact that we took 14 years to do it suggests that we took the challenge seriously." That got a laugh, but it's true. And you can feel Bird's passion for the project.

    "Many sequels are cash grabs. There's a saying, 'You don't do a sequel, you're leaving money on the table,'" Bird said. He then continued: "Money doesn't get me up in the morning, making something that people are going to care about 100 years from now is what gets me up." Damn straight.

    8. There Were Guardrails for Jack-Jack's Powers

    If you've seen the trailer, or saw the Jack-Jack versus the raccoon footage screened at D23 2017, then you know that a big concern for "Incredibles 2" is Jack-Jack's powers and what that means for the family. (We saw a whole presentation about them, but we can't discuss it until after the film opens.)

    When it came to his approach to Jack-Jack's powers, Bird said that there were limitations they had to impose on what he could or couldn't do. "Really, the first limitations would go to the story team, when I was saying, 'Here's this scene, here's this scene, let's explore it visually.' I didn't put a lot of limits on them, initially. So, they started doing anything," Bird said.

    "Then we said, 'Alright, we've got to settle down a little bit towards act three.' Then there were a few points where they said, 'Well, it'd be cool if he had one more power.'" Bird describes the whole thing as "we tried to stick to our diet and we broke it a couple of times."

    The main guiding principle was treating Jack-Jack like a real baby, so what interests the character would be what is interesting to a baby. ("He can't anticipate the villain's move," Bird said.) "He's still a baby, but he has these powers that he has limited control over," Bird revealed. So expect some surprises, but not anything that a baby wouldn't be interested in.

    9. 'Incredibles 2' Isn't Pushing an Agenda

    Much has been made of Bird's obsession with exceptional individuals and a kind of Ayn Rand-ian objectivism. And while there is certainly a streak of this running through his work, it's hardly any movie's central focus. When someone asked the filmmakers if "Incredibles 2" would be similarly concerned with this idea, Bird shot back.

    "It explores a lot of ideas," Bird said, noting that he didn't make the sequel to "push some agenda." He elaborated: "You create something that is hopefully fun and entertaining, and there are places you can put ideas here and there to give it dimension. The first mission, with the first movie, was to entertain the crap out of people. But the second thing was, there were some things we wanted to comment on -- the role of parents, how teenagers view the world, midlife crisis."

    Similarly, Bird said, that the new movie tackles "the roles of men and women, the importance of fathers participating, the importance of allowing women to express themselves through work, and that they're just as vital as men are. There are aspects of being controlled by screens. There are feelings about the difficulties of parenthood."

    Bird noted that, "all of those things are in this movie, but if I start to single out any one of them, it doesn't give an accurate portrait of the movie."

    Ever the king of metaphors, Bird noted that talking about the movie like this takes away from its inherent fun.

    "It sounds like you're getting broccoli, and not dessert," he said.

    "Incredibles 2" hits theaters June 25. We cannot wait.

  22. Harley Quinn Spinoff Movie Finds Director in Cathy Yan

    Harley Quinn has found her director.

    Warner Bros. and DC Comics have chosen up-and-coming indie filmmaker Cathy Yan to direct a spinoff of "Suicide Squad" starring Margot Robbie. This makes Yan the second female director to make a DC movie, after Patty Jenkins, and the first Asian woman ever to direct a superhero movie.

    Much like Jenkins, Yan has only one indie movie on her resume. She helmed "Dead Pigs," which won the World Cinema Dramatic Award For Ensemble Acting at the Sundance Film Festival.

    Despite her inexperience, Deadline reports that Warner Bros. was impressed with her "exceptional" presentation and Robbie pushed for a female director.

    The movie follows the "Birds of Prey" comic book storyline, which teams up Harley Quinn with fellow female crimefighters Batgirl aka Barbara Gordon, Black Canary, and Huntress. The script was written by Christina Hodson, who wrote the "Transformers" spinoff "Bumblebee" and was hired to replace Joss Whedon in penning the "Batgirl" movie.

    There are several other Harley Quinn projects in the works, including a "Suicide Squad" sequel and "Harley Quinn Vs The Joker" and "Gotham City Sirens."

  23. Steven Spielberg Becomes First Director to Make $10 Billion at Box Office

    Los Angeles Premiere of 'Ready Player One'Steven Spielberg can now cross another achievement off the list. He has become the first director to make $10 billion at the worldwide box office.

    His latest movie, "Ready Player One," pushed him across the line after grossed $475.1 million globally in three weeks of release.

    Spielberg has long been considered one of the most commercial successful directors in Hollywood, with crowd-pleasing fare like "Jaws," the "Indiana Jones" franchise, and "Jurassic Park." The latter remains his biggest movie with a total of $938.8 million, followed by "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" with $786.6 million.

    Of course, he balances those blockbusters with more serious movies, like his recent Oscar-nominated "The Post."

    Running behind Spielberg are Peter Jackson (about $6.5 billion), Michael Bay ($6.45 billion), and James Cameron ($6.1 billion).

    And the director is likely to add to his lead with an upcoming "Indiana Jones 5" and a remake of "West Side Story."

  24. 'Boundaries' Trailer Sends Christopher Plummer on Weed-Dealing Road Trip

    Call him Bad Grandpa. Fresh off his Oscar-nominated performance as oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, Christopher Plummer is hitting the road ... to deal weed.

    In the trailer for "Boundaries," Plummer plays Jack, an irreverent rogue of a grandfather who gets kicked out of his nursing home for bad behavior. He forces his daughter (Vera Farmiga) to drive him cross country along with her teen son (Lewis McDougall). Along the way, Jack takes his family on detours to meet with old friends and deal a bunch of weed.

    Plummer looks like he's having a grand old time in the trailer, able to cut loose after more dramatic fare. As Farmiga told Entertainment Weekly of the actor, "Don't let his prestige and his fancy-schmancy aura fool you. He's a clown, he's a jester, the sort of person you just laugh with most of the time. He's the goddamn life of the party still at 88."

    "Boundaries" also stars Kristen Schaal, Bobby Cannavale, Peter Fonda, and Christopher Lloyd, and opens in theaters June 22.

  25. Oscar-Winning Director Milos Forman Dies at 86

    Film has lost an legend: Milos Forman, a multi-Academy Award-winning film director, screenwriter, and actor, died Friday, The New York Times reports. He was 86 years old.

    Forman's agent, Dennis Aspland, confirmed the news, but no cause of death has been given. Forman died in a hospital in Danbury, Connecticut. His home was in Warren, Connecticut.

    Born in former Czechoslovakia in 1932, Forman came to the United States toward the end of the 1960s amid political turmoil. He had been part of the Czechoslavak New Wave, a subversive art movement. One of his most controversial films at the time was 1967's "The Firemen's Ball," which was banned for a number of years in his homeland.

    In the United States, Forman also made a name for himself. He directed the iconic 1975 comedy-drama "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." The film is still considered one of the best of all time, and it is one of the few to ever sweep the five major Academy Award categories. Forman's second Oscar for best director came for 1984's "Amadeus," a period drama about the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

    Although "Cuckoo's Nest" and "Amadeus" are perhaps Forman's best known films to an American audience, he continued to make boundary-pushing films in Hollywood and beyond. His work was well-regarded in his homeland, now the Czech Republic; the Czech media and film industry have been honoring him since news of his death broke, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

    Forman was married three times during his life, and he is survived by his third wife, Martina Formanova, whom he met while she was his production assistant. The pair had twin sons.

    [via: The New York Times]

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