Category Archives: Movie News

The Atom Gets a Small Reference in “Justice League”

An Easter egg from the Justice League movie seems to indicate that the Atom, and specifically the Ryan Choi iteration of the character, exists in the DC Extended Universe.

The Easter egg, which can be viewed here, is quick and difficult to spot. As a computer lists the name of S.T.A.R. Labs employees, the name “Choi, Ryan” is visible.

The Atom is a more obscure set of characters in DC Comics’ large and impressive roster; ignoring the unrelated Golden Age version, the two main heroes to take this name are Ray Palmer and Ryan Choi, each of whom have a suit with the ability to shrink them down to microscopic size. Palmer invented this technology, while Choi took it up after Palmer went missing into other dimensions. (Comic books, right?)

Ray Palmer is probably the more famous version of the Atom, particularly since he appears in Legends of Tomorrow, a series in the popular “Arrowverse” franchise of TV shows. Until now, Choi has been absent from adaptations, save the Batman: The Brave and the Bold cartoon.

However, he has proven to be a popular character, and after controversially killing him off in the comics, DC Comics responded to criticism by reviving him and now has the two working together.

Could this indicate a plan to bring the Atom into the DCEU roster of superheroes sometime in the future? To be fair, Justice League is full of references, so perhaps this was just inserted as a quick wink at the fans. Then again, the LexCorp Tower and Wayne Enterprises satellites in Man of Steel turned out to be more than just Easter eggs, so who can say that Choi will not show up to save the day in a later film?

“Shazam” Director Jokes About “Knightmare”

David F. Sandberg, who is directing the DC Extended Universe film Shazam, has jokingly connected the movie’s protagonist to the “Knightmare” scene in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Shazam, which is scheduled for release in 2019, is about Billy Batson (played by Asher Angel), a young boy who can transform into an adult superhero by saying the magic word “Shazam!” His hero form (played by Zachary Levi) has traditionally been called Captain Marvel, but some modern versions go with “Shazam”; it is unsure which the film will choose.

On Sandberg’s Instagram account, he posted a video clip from the previous DC Comics animated movie Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. In the scene, Batman approaches an injured Billy Batson, whom he doesn’t seem to recognize as the hero Captain Marvel. Upon told to “say something,” Billy replies with “Shazam,” then transforms into his superpowered form in a flash of lightning. As he takes a threatening step toward Batman, we suddenly cut to a scene from the live-action Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where Bruce Wayne (played by Ben Affleck) wakes up startled, as though he had been dreaming the previous animated scene.

Fans will recognize this live-action segment as being from the “Knightmare” sequence, where the DCEU Bruce Wayne has a strange dream about a world ruled by an evil Superman; it is implied to be some sort of prophetic vision, with the Flash appearing to warn Bruce that this will be caused by the death of Lois Lane. The villain Darkseid is implied to be involved.

Most expected this scene to be foreshadowing for something from the newest DCEU film, Justice League, where Darkseid’s general, Steppenwolf, is the main villain and Superman is temporarily an antagonist. (He had some post-resurrection mood swings.) However, it went unaddressed; possibly it was sacrificed in the numerous cuts made to make the film two hours long.

Captain Marvel is traditionally as kindhearted and heroic as Superman, if not moreso—however, many adaptations have tried to make him grimmer and grittier in an effort to make him more “realistic.” Trading an evil Superman for Captain Marvel seems to be Sandberg’s play on that. It probably should not be taken as a real hint about the film, which Sandberg has described as being a much more lighthearted entry into the DCEU franchise.

Ricky Whittle to Play A Green Lantern?

Michael Green, who co-wrote the script for the 2011 film Green Lantern, he would personally choose Ricky White to play the character John Stewart in the upcoming unrelated DC Extended Universe film Green Lantern Corps.

Debuting in 1971, Stewart (who is in no way based on a certain comedic news anchor, despite the name) he was DC Comics’ first black superhero. He is one of multiple humans chosen to join the Green Lanterns, a group of interplanetary cops from all over the galaxy. He is generally more staid and thoughtful than his brasher co-workers, Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner, and more experienced than relative newcomers like Kyle Rayner.

While Hal Jordan is generally the most notable Green Lantern in the comics, many will be familiar with Stewart from his appearances on the popular cartoons Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.

At this point, little is known about the upcoming Green Lantern Corps film; however, it is supposed to be about a team of Lanterns, so it would make since for Stewart to be a major character along with his fellow human colleagues.

The Green Lantern film from 2011, however, only used Jordan. Overall, the movie was not well-received, but Green, an aptly named writer for the project, says that he still has a good idea who could fill Stewart’s role in the upcoming DCEU entry.

“I’ll probably get angry texts if I don’t say what’s in my heart which is that Ricky Whittle would make a fantastic John Stewart.”

Whittle plays Shadow Moon in the TV series American Gods. He is a bit young to play Stewart, generally depicted in his forties or so, but could be a good choice if that detail is ignored.

“Suicide Squad” Director Regrets Downplaying Joker

Suicide Squad director David Ayer has confirmed that he should have made the Joker into the main villain of last year’s Suicide Squad movie.

The 2016 film focuses on a group of supervillains who carry out missions for the government in exchange for privileges and reduced sentences. Over the course of the movie one of their members, an evil demon called the Enchantress, goes rogue and tries to destroy the world after summoning her brother, Incubus. The rest of the team is forced to stop her.

It was an interesting choice for a main antagonist, but one which also fell somewhat flat. Meanwhile, the Joker appeared in the movie, had an important connection to one of the main characters (Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, his kooky but less vicious ex-girlfriend), and, as a more “street level” antagonist, did not massively overpower the team the way that an apocalyptic demon managed to.

The Joker was played by Jared Leto, who notes that a lot of his scenes were cut from the film.

Director David Ayer, who admits that he was more or less constantly rewriting the film as they shot it, also concedes that the Joker probably would have been a better main villain than the Enchantress. Responding to a tweet saying as much, Ayer said “Believe me. I agonize over this. Yes. Joker should have been main bad guy.”

The good news is, he has a chance to correct that error—he is said to be directing a spin-off called Gotham City Sirens, which will have Harley Quinn team up with other female villains (traditionally Poison Ivy and Catwoman). Perhaps “Mistah J” could be the main antagonist there? Not much is known about the project yet, so we will have to wait and see.

Morgan Makes A Move to Fear the Walking Dead

The big announcement has finally arrived. Fans of The Walking Dead just learned that the enigmatic Morgan gets the nod to appear in the prequel series Fear the Walking Dead. Morgan definitely remains an interesting character. The one-time pacifist has taken a turn to his original, hyper-violent edge. With an appearance on Fear the Walking Dead, fans may gain a glimpse into the character’s state of mind before his eventual journey of the self in the flagship series.

Fear the Walking Dead could benefit from audience curiosity about how great of a role Morgan plays in the series. Even if he serves in a likely minor capacity with a brief cameo, the interactions between Morgan and Fear the Walking Dead’s cast should be interesting.

The settings of the two series both feature zombies, but the overall tone and backdrop are both different. Unfortunately, Fear the Walking Dead has not connected with audiences to the same degree of The Walking Dead. The ratings on Fear remain far lower. Sad to say, the ratings decline on the original series has been raising eyebrows. The current “All Out War” storyline appears to be a bomb. The drastic decrease in audience numbers cannot be spun any other way.

Shaking things up by introducing the concept of a crossover between the two programs could build up ratings somewhat. A massive increase in ratings won’t be likely, but anything capable of garnering a special buzz should prove helpful. Fear the Walking Dead surely needs more ratings assistance than The Walking Dead.

While neither Fear the Walking Dead nor The Walking Dead’s ratings are dangerously close to cancellation, AMC surely has to be concerned about losing more viewers. Fear the Walking Dead doesn’t draw anywhere near the same numbers as The Walking Dead. An appearance by Morgan could lead to a segment of Walking Dead fans to become regulars of the spinoff series.

A New Fahrenheit 451 Comes to HBO

HBO continues to develop new and intriguing science-fiction and fantasy projects. In addition to the second season of Westworld, HBO presents fans with another reboot of a classic sci-fi work. A new version of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 soon comes to the small screen. The classic book was already adapted into a feature film. Now, like Westworld, the work garners the HBO original films treatment.

The new version of Fahrenheit 451 won’t be escapist fair, either. HBO has announced the new film intends to take on a dark, gritty tone. Perhaps that would be the best tone for such a work to take. The original novel dealt with book burning, totalitarianism and other dystopic visions of the future. All that should likely be retained in the pay channel’s adaptation of the work.

On television, a dark approach to science-fiction may work well. Serious sci-fi doesn’t seem to do as well at the box office. The recent failure of Blade Runner 2049 seems to indicate movie attendees prefer escapism in their science-fiction. The success of Westworld does show a gritty, violent science-fiction series has the potential to connect with audiences. The same should be true of a made-for-cable film.

Question marks may exist surrounding whether Fahrenheit 451 can present a world that delivers on the action as well as themes. Westworld existed in a world in which many different scenarios could be crafted. The original source material for Fahrenheit 451 seems much more isolated in terms of narrative potential.

Of course, the entire idea behind creative development is to work on the things necessary to make a movie or television show workable. A lot of effort surely went into crafting the modernized vision of Ray Bradbury’s classic work.

Coco Defeats the Entire Justice League

The news just never seems to be good for Warner Bros. and D.C. Comics’ troubled Justice League film. The earnings are in from the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and the superhero film falls to second place behind Disney-Pixar’s Coco. Coco was always going to do well over the holiday weekend as a Pixar really fails to connect with audiences. The DC Extended Universe, however, finally hit the wall.

To date, Wonder Woman stands as the only DC Comics film to receive both critical acclaim and box office success. Various other DCEU projects that did well at the box office received horrible critical reviews. Batman v. Superman, in particular, was vilified by fans and critics alike. Considering the team-up project served as the setup for Justice League, no one should be shocked that Justice League underperformed.

A glimmer of financial hope did light up at Warner Bros. when it was assumed the strong success of Thor: Ragnorak drew some of Justice League’s audiences away. While the feature earned less than $100 million at the box office, beliefs existed that the DC Comics film would do quite well in week two. Those who chose to see Thor during Justice League’s debut were believed to be headed back to theaters to check out the adventures of Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the others. This never happened. Justice League’s legs currently trend downward.

Coco was able to add another blow to the finances and reputation of the DC Comics Extended Universe. Where the franchise goes from here is anyone’s guess. Would Warner Bros. continue with Flash, Cyborg and Green Lantern projects in the aftermath of Justice League’s failure? Maybe the answer will be revealed when Aquaman debuts in theaters. Time shall reveal whether Aquaman can escape the shadow of previous DCEU disasters.

Jude Law to Join the Marvel Universe?

Is there any actor in the world that is more decorated or busy with franchise work than Jude Law? The famous English actor is suddenly set to land in a variety of the most high-profile films in entertainment history. Law was recently picked up for the sequel to “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them” and now it looks like he will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the male lead in the recently announced “Captain Marvel” stand-alone film. What is Law going to be bringing to the table for the rapidly expanding MCU? Let’s find out.

Captain Marvel is one of the most famous characters in the legendary Marvel Cinematic Universe but it has taken years for the character to get adopted in a positive way onto the big screen. Ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe first expanded onto the screen, nearly a decade ago, Captain Marvel has been a constant tease. What we are finding out now is that Law will be featured as Dr. Walter Lawson in the stand-alone film. This name is particularly interested because it is the human name that a Kree alien known as ‘Mar-Vell’ took after he came to Earth. For fans of the cosmic portion of the MCU, it appears that Law will be playing the role that will eventually become the iconic Captain Marvel. Of course, he won’t be alone as the only star-power in the film. Law will be joined by Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and the story will take place at some point in the ’90s, serving as a prequel to the third face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that we are currently enjoying.

For fans who had been following MCU news closely, this doesn’t mean anything is changing with the upcoming Carol Danvers story. We are still looking like we are getting a Mrs. Marvel, played by Law’s co-star in ‘Kong: Skull Island’ in Brie Larson, and that project still looks to be a full go. Fans who are paying close attention to the MCU are also going to be noticing that we are seeing some very real universe changes with the characters. MCU head Kevin Feige has been hinting that the MCU is going to dramatically change over the course of the next few years. Bringing in more Cosmic characters, like Dr. Strange and Mar-Vell, is likely a hint that we are moving toward a new universe — literally.

Blade Runner 2049 Delivers Box Office Oblivion

No good news seems to be coming out of the box office performance of Blade Runner 2049. The film opened with soft box office numbers. Fans and insiders tried to put a positive note on the weak opening. Perhaps the film would do much better overseas than it did in North American theaters. Maybe the feature would draw consistent numbers each week and build a following leading to eventual impressive numbers. All this wishful thinking turned out not to be rooted in the reality of the financial truth.

Blade Runner 2049 hasn’t even earned $100 million at the North American box office, which is horrible for a $150 million-budgeted film. Overseas, the film isn’t doing any business. The film failed miserably in China, a market that has often helped deliver tremendous ticket sales for films that did not necessarily do well elsewhere.

What makes all this so sad is the fact Blade Runner 20149 stands as an outstanding sequel. In terms of quality, this is an outstanding science-fiction film that brilliantly builds on the mysterious ending of the original 1982 film. Blade Runner 2049 came along at the wrong time. Few films seems to be connecting with audiences. Superhero films and the outlier Stephen King’s It did extremely well. A tremendous number of movies, sadly, underperformed. Quite a few films turned out to be massive box office flops. Even some truly excellent features performed poorly.

What is causing films such as Blade Runner 2049 to underperform? Competition from so many other forms of entertainment do keep people away from theaters. Blade Runner 2049 surely suffered from alternate media competition. The film, however, also couldn’t overcome the fact the audience interested in the sequel was comprised of only a small number of classic sci-fi movie fans.

Avengers: Infinity Wars will feature some unusual frienships

If new reports from Screenrant can be believed, it appears that Hulk is going to have a brand new friend in”Avengers: Infinity War”. It appears the green rage monster is going to become buddies with the furry raccoon looking rage monster in Rocket.

Excitement over the Marvel movie universe is ramping up thanks to “Thor: Ragnarok” being right around the corner. That excitement has led to more news about an upcoming movie, that’s still months away. Mark Ruffalo was recently talking about the continued evolution in the Marvel comics tales. Thor: Ragnarok showed a bit of a change in the way the character interacts with his teammates. The fact that there is even an understanding that he has teammates is something quite different for the Hulk.

Mark Ruffalo recently talked about how the green giant will find himself interacting with Rocket in a way that should be quite endearing to fans of the comic book franchise. “It’s a very funny relationship that the two of them have: First of all, it’s the biggest superhero and the smallest. Just keeping them in a frame together is a feat and hilarious in itself.”

One of the reasons the two might become an interesting pairing is because they have something in common when it comes to simply making the film. They are both done using CGI. That might make it easier to have them onscreen together the way Rocket and Groot have been paired up in Guardians of the Galaxy movies. The two are also similar in temperament. This could lead to rather hilarious hijinks. Members of the Marvel movies are quick to point out that while there has been comic relief in their movies, that never takes away from the overall enjoyment of those films. For now we’ll have to take Mark Ruffalo’s word for what it will look like, but we won’t have to wait that long to see the two on screen together in “Avengers: Infinity War.”