Over the weekend, DC Comics (via Heroic Hollywood) released another version of the same character designs, this time ramping up the Alex Ross influence by having our favorite superheroes standing in profile together. It also aligns pretty well with that Comic-Con trailer, emphasizing both the Flash and Wonder Woman and downplaying (a little) Batman. All part of your lighter, brighter, and funnier Justice League, right?
We’ve reached the doldrums of August, where studios release the titles not marketable enough for the summer movie season and not quality enough for serious award consideration. That means an odd mixture of horror films, formerly prestigious movies that have lost a little bit of their luster, and absolute junk just looking for a few screens to dominate for a couple of weeks. Oh, and what do you know? That perfectly describes this weekend’s new releases! Gee!
Be honest with me: did you really want to see a picture of The Emoji Movie at the top of this article? You had to be hoping that Atomic Blonde or Dunkirk would hang strong enough to keep The Emoji Movie from finishing in the top spot of its opening weekend, right? Well, good news for you: it’s not the highest-grossing movie in America this weekend! Has there ever in the history of Hollywood been a box office one-two as disparate as Dunkirk and The Emoji Movie? Actually, don’t answer that, I don’t want to know. Here’s the projected grosses as of Sunday afternoon:
With all due respect to everyone on Twitter at Comic-Con, for my money, the hottest of possible hot takes from this past weekend belonged to screenwriter Zack Stentz. “The worst part of Justice League,” Stentz wrote, “is gonna be the fanboys and bad culture writers claiming to know which parts are Snyder and which are Whedon.” It’s true. Even the Comic-Con Justice League trailer seemed to be an inseparable mashup of Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon’s sensibilities, alternating between alpha posturing and awkward self-parody with regularity. The mind already aches with the number of articles that will be written about Justice League attempting to give credit to the author’s preferred filmmaker.
This just isn’t fair. Only hours after we found out that horror icon George Romero has passed away, we’ve also learned that the world has lost veteran character actor Martin Landau at the age of 89. According to an article in The Hollywood Reporter, Landau passed away unexpectedly after a short illness, leaving behind a legacy of television and film work that any actor would be proud to call their own. From his breakout role in North by Northwest to his regular work with Tim Burton, Landau has been a versatile
Did any new releases come out this weekend? I honestly can’t remember. Someone mentioned that there was a new Marvel movie in theaters - one featuring some sort of Spider-Person - but that can’t be right. I feel like I would’ve seen that, perhaps promoted on an unprecedented level for any superhero movie? Hmm. Well, anyways, here’s the weekend box office estimates as of Sunday afternoon:
Here’s a quick question for you, who is the most important actor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? We all know who the highest-paid actor is — that would be Robert Downey Jr. — but is he still the most important actor in the franchise as well? Has Chris Evans or Chris Hemsworth surpassed him? How about one of the characters from Guardians of the Galaxy or a newcomer like Tom Holland? Is anyone in the MCU so irreplaceable that Marvel couldn’t introduce another version of their character? It’s a very interesting question, and one that the studio and actors are no-doubt struggling with internally.
If you spend enough time reading interviews with writer-directors, you may find yourself wondering how big a role music plays in the creative process. Hollywood is littered with movies that were written under the influence of a particularly strong playlist; filmmakers who have been given control over every aspect of production, from screenplay the final cut, can sometimes appear to be writing to the music that influenced them along the way. That’s one of the beautiful things about the work of James Gunn. Not only does he exhibit a delightfully eclectic taste in ’70s and ’80s music, he often finds ways to bring those songs directly into the action of his Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.
Now that Deadpool 2 is officially underway, fans are no-doubt curious as to what Ryan Reynolds and company have planned for the second outing of the character. The stakes are certainly higher with audiences; sure, Deadpool blew audiences and critics alike away, but that script had been percolating for years before it finally saw the light of day. Can the creative team manage to turnaround a Deadpool sequel on a more traditional timeline without losing any of the charm of the original? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.
For the past week, fans have been doing their best lawyer impressions and trying to figure out how movies like Venom and Spider-Man: Homecoming will connect in the broader Marvel universe. It wasn’t that long ago that Sony producer Amy Pascal hinted that Venom would be somewhat connected to the Spider-Man of the MCU, which confused the heck out of all of us and started the rumor mill working overtime on how Sony and Marvel’s properties might work together. Of course, as is always the case with the particularly juicy rumors, there was always the chance that someone misspoke.
As excited as we are for this summer’s Atomic Blonde — you can read our own glowing review from this year’s SxSW if you still need a gentle nudge — you’d think we’d be all over every new piece of footage from the movie. But it seems a few clips managed to slip through our fingers this past week, so I’m taking this opportunity to bring you back up to speed. Two new Atomic Blonde clips, each themed to a piece of period-appropriate music? Plenty of Charlize Theron kicking [expletive] and taking names? Yeah, that’s definitely worth circling back a little bit for those of you who may have missed these clips.
Is Tom Hardy doing OK? I mean, financially? After years of alternating between prestige films (The Revenant, Dunkirk) and more idiosyncratic projects (Legend, The Drop), Hardy seems to have accepted a streak of surprisingly mainstream blockbuster roles. After being attached to Ubisoft’s video game adaptation Splinter Cell for several years, Hardy recently shocked fans by accepting the title role in Sony’s Venom spinoff. And now, perhaps most surprising of all, is the rumor that Hardy is very close to signing on for the role of Jafar in Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake. At this point, maybe we should create a GoFundMe for whatever gambling debt Hardy seems to have racked up.
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