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Here’s How Marvel Could Recast Drax After ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’

I was and to an extent still am shocked that Marvel killed Tony Stark and replaced Steve Rogers as Captain America when Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Evans decided to move on from the films. I was expecting those characters to be recast the way Hulk and War Machine had.

Now that Dave Bautista has said Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will be his last appearance as Drax the Destroyer, it leaves fans wondering if the character will be recast or if we’ll be saying goodbye to him for the time being.

Bautista himself seemed to imply he’s in favor of a recast, tweeting “Drax isn’t going anywhere. He just won’t be played by this dude! By the time G3 comes out I’ll be 54 yrs old for gods sake! I’m expecting everything to start sagging any second now.”

Unlike Tony Stark or Steve Rogers, though, Drax has a built-in explanation for why he might look different, not unlike The Doctor of BBC’s Doctor Who.
Back before most people had ever heard of Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel relaunched their flagging cosmic line with Annihilation, a storyline that brought their characters together and gave a lot of them new, more modern storylines. The very prelude to the event was a Drax the Destroyer miniseries which saw Drax, in the very first pages, killed and reborn as a somewhat smaller but more agile and more intelligent version of himself. At his core he was the same character, but a version more suited for the stories that were being told, including the formation of the Guardians of the Galaxy at the end of the event.
This is certainly an option Marvel has going forward, where they can keep Drax but also distance him enough so that whoever steps into the role doesn’t need to try and copy what Bautista did, which as James Gunn pointed out is inimitable.
If Drax was reborn in the films the way Groot was, it would allow Marvel to keep the popular character and give a new actor a chance to make their mark outside of Bautista’s shadow. I recommend David Tennant, he’s been pretty good at handling that sort of role in the past.

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It Looks Like Seth Rogen Turned His Back on James Franco

The allegations of inappropriate behavior against James Franco make for an interesting case to look at through the lens of cancel culture and the post #metoo world. James Franco isn’t Harvey Weinstein or Bill Cosby and nothing he’s been accused of doing is actually illegal.

The allegations against Franco are mostly that he used his fame to get laid, his acting school was too sexual and he tried to sleep with a 17-year-old, which is not illegal in New York. Still, some people are very mad about it.

So seeing Seth Rogen publicly turn his back on his old friend and collaborator shows which way the winds are blowing.

Here’s what Rogen said about Franco, via The Daily Dot.

Speaking to the Sunday Times this week, Seth Rogen said, “I do look back at a joke I made on Saturday Night Live in 2014 and I very much regret making that joke. It was a terrible joke, honestly.” In the monologue, Rogen joked about pretending to be a teenage girl to catfish Franco, who would continue to be his friend and creative collaborator for years to come.

In the same Sunday Times interview, Rogen said, “I also look back to that interview in 2018 where I comment that I would keep working with James, and the truth is that I have not and I do not plan to right now.” This likely referred to a Vulture profile where Rogen equivocated about the #MeToo movement, saying he would continue to work with Franco despite his increasingly numerous sexual misconduct allegations.

The thing is, James Franco doesn’t work much these days anyway, by choice. He had already slowed down before these allegations.  Rogen might not be the one deciding not to work Franco here, and saying you don’t have any plans to work with someone who is semi-retired is a pretty quick way to save face here.

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Tom Cruise is Giving Back His Golden Globes

I knew when the Golden Globes came under fire by every major player in Hollywood that it was only a matter of time before someone performatively gave back their Golden Globe awards. It’s not a huge surprise that the first person in line was Scientology poster boy Tom Cruise. That dude is always looking for some good press to get people to forget all the times he went on TV and ranted about psychologists.

Here’s what Deadline reported about Cruise’s trophies.

The trophies just sent to HFPA headquarters are the Best Actor prize he won for Jerry Maguire, the Best Actor prize he won for Born on the Fourth of July and the Best Supporting Actor prize he won for Magnolia. This is a new tack, but I wouldn’t be surprised if others follow his lead and that the reception area of the HFPA could be crammed with golden trophies.

NBC also announced they won’t be broadcasting the 2022 Golden Globes Ceremony. That’s pretty much the end of the grift for the HFPA. The organization pretty much makes all of its money from NBC airing the awards show, to the tune of $60 million a year. They’re still going to get that money through 2026 because what NBC actually paid for was the rights to broadcast the ceremony.

The flip side of that is the HFPA can’t shop the ceremony to other networks, and if no one sees the ceremony for 4 years, it’s unlikely they’ll tune back into the show in 2027.

But hey, a tiny group of nerds got to hang out with Hollywood celebrities by bribing them with gold statues and that worked for 78 years. Not a bad run.

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Scarlett Johansson Wants the Golden Globes to Be More Diverse, Like the Movie Roles She Takes

Scarlett Johansson isn’t a trans woman of color, but she plays one in movies. This is why she’s very concerned that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the body behind the Golden Globes, isn’t diverse enough.

Now, the HFPA started as a group of foreign journalists who covered Hollywood for publications outside the United States, which is what you’d expect something called the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to be. Today, that doesn’t seem to be the case and the 86-member “non-profit” is primarily in the business of giving out Golden Globes, getting paid to air the Golden Globes ceremony, not doing journalism and, well, the old saying is “You win an Oscar, you buy a Golden Globe.”

After the LA Times investigated the organization and its membership, all of Hollywood is outraged. They’re not exactly a hard target here, there’s less than a hundred people and they basically have no power other than to give out trophies they made up. My high school principle did that at assembly once a year, too, and no one kissed his ass for it.

ScarJo has taken the opportunity to shoot a fiery salvo at the organization, with The Guardian reporting she said that dealing with the HFPA “has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment.”

She also said “Unless there is necessary fundamental reform within the organization, I believe it is time that we take a step back from the HFPA,” which is a really good point. Why have you given these people, these 86 people, all this money and power? Because you want to get little statues with your name on?

There are stores that make trophies, you know. You can just go out and buy a trophy if you need one that badly, and it’s probably cheaper than “winning” a Golden Globe.

That’s part of the reason Netflix and Amazon aren’t working with the group anymore. They’re framing it as putting pressure on the group to add more diverse membership (seriously, there’s not one black person in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association? You didn’t know they have newspapers in Africa?), but no one cares about awards shows anymore and it’s not because of lack of diversity, it’s lack of relevancy. Netflix and Amazon loved the HFPA and the Oscar voters (nearly 10,000, basically anyone who has worked on a film in a category they give awards for is eligible) when they wanted to establish themselves as serious players in the field of film and television, but they don’t need the statues anymore. We’ve all heard about Mrs. Maisel without it winning an award.

You know what would happen if the Golden Globes went away? Nothing, it’s not even the G in EGOT. Hollywood would survive with a slimmed-down 37 annual awards shows, I’m sure.

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Do The Oscars’ Record-Low Ratings Mean We’re Finally Over Awards Ceremonies?

I wouldn’t say no one is watching awards shows anymore, but the audience is much smaller than it used to be. This past Sunday’s Oscars, with a record-low viewership of about 10 million, was the least-watched ceremony in the history of televised Oscar broadcasts. Have we finally turned the corner and put our long national nightmare of caring about these awards ceremonies behind us?

I honestly can’t see people being more inclined to tune in next year after this year’s ceremony.

The biggest issue I can think of is the way the ceremony moved Best Picture, which is traditionally the last award for the night, forward so that they could save Best Actor for last. A lot of people were expecting this to be because the award would be going to the late Chadwick Boseman, and were very displeased with what feels a lot like a bait and switch.

Joyce Eng told The New York Post Hopkins win was down to the fact that The Father released just before the eligibility deadline and, like so many Oscar-bait films before it, was fresh in the mind of voters who had already moved on from Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Is this really what people have been getting all excited about for the last 90-some years? Not only is it just people giving each other gold statues for playing pretend, but apparently they’re just giving them to the film they’ve seen the most recently. You know, as long as it’s depressing and obscure or at least makes the old white people who vote for these sorts of things feel less racist.

And keep in mind that all the weirdness with this year’s ceremony isn’t why people didn’t tune in; how could they have known in advance it would be a weird disaster of a ceremony? No, everything people hated about the ceremony was only compounded by the fact that people don’t care anymore to begin with.

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Oscar Recap: Another Big Night For Movies You’ll Totally Get Around to Watching. Eventually. Is That on Netflix?

Ahh, the Oscars. Hollywood’s biggest night when all the stars come out and pat themselves for a job well done. It’s a hard life, what with memorizing almost a hundred pages of dialogue, standing up into frame after your stunt double does something really cool and having sex with supermodels half your age in your mansion between shoots. That’s why we need a night to honor these people who bring us so much joy making the movies we love.

Of course, we have like twenty nights where Hollywood stars give each other statues and mostly for films no one watched about finding love during the Holocaust that turns out to be bittersweet or the time a racist white guy from the South made a black friend.

This year’s big winner is Chloé Zhao, the first Asian woman to win the Oscar for Best Director, proving that anyone of any race can achieve their dream of making a sad movie about a disheveled white lady. Nomadland also took home Best Picture and Frances McDormand won Best Disheveled White Lady Lead Actress for the film.

My Octopus Teacher won Best Documentary, and boy was I disappointed to find out it was about some hippie who made friends with an octopus and not, as I assumed, a live-action adaptation of Assassination Classroom.

Anthony Hopkins won Best Leading Actor for The Father, a film about dementia that made a whopping $5 million in the global box office. It actually sounds like a great, intelligently filmed and superbly acted film that I’m sure you’re going to see. Right after you catch up on the new season of Nailed It!

Supporting Actor and Actress went to Youn Yuh-jung for Minari and Daniel Kaluuya for Judas and the Black Messiah, because diversity is important but only in the smaller acting categories. These are both totally great movies to read the plot summaries for on Wikipedia and pretend you’ve seen the way you did with Get Out.

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Here’s How Marvel is Screwing The Creators Who Have Made Them Billions

Lots of nerds grew up wanting to either write or draw comic books. This is a bad idea and should be avoided at all costs unless you want to spend your entire life getting fucked by huge corporations that are making billions off of your work while you die poor and without healthcare.

A few Marvel creators have spoken out recently about just how little Marvel pays the creators who created the characters and stories that they’ve adapted into one of the ten highest-grossing media franchises in the history of the world.

Most notable was Ed Brubaker, who created The Winter Solider. Kind of. It’s complicated because Bucky Barnes was created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon in 1941, but his updated persona of The Winter Soldier and the story of him surviving WWII was created by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. You might think that their work being the basis of two successful movies and now a TV series that’s good but not as good as WandaVision means they’re sitting pretty on residuals and royalties, right?

They definitely are not.

Brubaker was on Kevin Smith’s comic book-themed podcast Fatman on Batman and he told Kevin just how poorly he feels he’s been treated by Marvel. He didn’t even get to go to the premier of Captain America: Civil War, which was mostly based on his comics, in the main theater with the stars, he had to watch in an overflow theater.

“I remember sitting in that movie and just remembering this Jack Kirby ulcer growing in my stomach going, ‘This is what it felt like, kid.’”

“When I see ads for the show, it actually makes me feel sick to my stomach.”

Kevin Feige’s assistant wouldn’t even let him into the after-party, he had to call Sebastian Stan to come and vouch for him.

Brubaker even mentioned that he made more from SAG residuals for a cameo in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that I never noticed and I’ve seen that film four times.

“It’s just weird that they’re so ungenerous to me. It’s especially weird because a lot of them are friends of mine. Or people that I thought were friends of mine.”

“There is a corporate mentality. Right now someone inside marvel publishing somewhere is watching this and laughing that I think I got ripped off. There are people that think it’s funny that I’m unhappy about it. I know for a fact because I’ve watched them be that way about other people in person.”

“I look at those credits and there’s all these other executive producers [of] people who were just at the publishing level who had nothing to do with it. I know how much that EP credit actually makes you in a TV show at Disney. These people have made so much money on stuff that Steve and I did.”

In 2017, Jim Starlin, the grandfather of Cosmic Marvel who created Thanos, Gamora, Drax and the Infinity Gauntlet, has similarly said Marvel has absolutely not done right by him. In fact, he got a larger check from DC in 2017 for their used of KGBeast in Batman v Superman than he received from Marvel for all their movies combined at that point.

In fact, literally the only person I’ve ever heard defend the way Marvel treats their creators was Mike Mantlo, the brother of Rocket Raccoon creator Bill Mantlo, who had to beg for money on GoFundMe like a panhandler to pay his brother’s medical bills. Funny story, Mike actually threatened to sue us for libel for saying Marvel should have given Bill Mantlo more royalties for Rocket Raccoon considering they’ve made billions on the character. But Mike is dead now and you can’t defame the dead, as you know. So I could say something like Mike Mantlo used to piss into his own mouth in the shower while saying “please let me kiss your ass more, Marvel, I love to carry water for giant corporations who are actively fucking me,” and no one could do anything about it.

Marvel is making billions of dollars on the work of people they aren’t compensating well enough to make them happy. They may want to rethink if only so the next generation of writers who write the books they’ll adapt into billion films will actually show up to work.

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Now We Know What Joss Whedon Did to Gal Gadot

We recently found out that Joss Whedon was a huge asshole to basically everyone he ever worked with. It was a typical Hollywood story. Whedon had the tiniest bit of success and thought he was a god, and his ego continued to get more and more out of control.

Even directing Avengers: Age of Ultron wasn’t enough to pop his bubble, as evidenced by his behavior on the set of Justice League, .which appears to have gotten him fired from his new series, The Nevers. That’s probably going to reinforce his ego when it gets canceled after 12 episodes and he goes “Yeah, but if I was there, it would have been a huge success that ran for six seasons, minimum. You know, like Firefly and Doll House.”

Gal Gadot had previously mentioned that she had her own issue with Whedon in the set of Justice League but didn’t elaborate on what happened and why, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.

Fisher was not the only Justice League star who was unhappy. Sources say Whedon clashed with all the stars of the film, including Jeremy Irons. And one Justice League star ended up taking her complaints not only to the head of the film studio but also to the chairman of Warner Bros. A knowledgeable source says Gadot had multiple concerns with the revised version of the film, including “issues about her character being more aggressive than her character in Wonder Woman. She wanted to make the character flow from one movie to the next.”

The biggest clash, sources say, came when Whedon pushed Gadot to record lines she didn’t like, threatened to harm Gadot’s career and disparaged Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. While Fisher declines to discuss any of what transpired with Gadot, a witness on the production who later spoke to investigators says that after one clash, “Joss was bragging that he’s had it out with Gal. He told her he’s the writer and she’s going to shut up and say the lines and he can make her look incredibly stupid in this movie.”

Yes, Joss Whedon, like Harvey Weinstein, was going to ruin Gal Gadot’s career is she didn’t give him what he wanted. Of course, Harv wanted his dick sucked whether you wanted to suck it or not and Joss just wanted her to make a terrible movie and tell him how great he is, so he’s not as bad as Harvey Weinstein.

But Whedon does come off as cartoonishly evil. Like he’s the villain in every movie about a self-indulgent dickhead director. Like if they made a movie about this incident he’d be played by Russell Brand.

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There Have Been Some Massive Marvel Spoilers Lately

Marvel has been riding high lately because of the success of their original programming on Disney+, but The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has failed to generate nearly as much buzz as WandaVision. To be fair, not much is going to generate that kind of buzz, WandaVision was the perfect show at the perfect time and everyone was invested in the secrets the show had on offer. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is perfectly fine, but it doesn’t have the same hooks to keep people talking from week to week.

What does have people talking, however, is a few major reported leaks from Marvel; and if you read on, you may get a big load of spoilers Eternals in particular.

In fact, the entire plot of the movie has leaked with “undeniable evidence” of its veracity, if you believe the moderators of Reddit’s r/MarvelStudiosSpoilers.

There are a lot of details, but the main thrust of the plot is summarized in one paragraph.

Sersi learns that the Celestials created both races and that the Eternals are basically just very advanced robots. They seed young planets with a Celestial “egg” that takes eons to mature. The evolving intelligent life on these planets feeds the Celestial’s growth, so the Eternals are sent to protect the evolving life forms and kill the Deviants. After the emergence, the Eternals are ” rebooted” and sent to another world (this is the cause of Thena’s memory issue, as she knows that the planet is doomed) – this cycle has gone on for millions of years. Earth was seeded and Tiamut is about to emerge (this was the cause of the earthquake earlier). Once awakened, the entire planet and all life will be destroyed.

That is one of the most comic book things I’ve ever heard in my life.

It doesn’t look like this film is setting up the Eternals to be a major presence going forward like the Avengers or the Guardians of the Galaxy. The synopsis makes it sound more like a one-off with Ikaris (Richard Madden) possibly not surviving to the end of the film.

What does seem certain is that it’s setting up Kit Harrington to be a major player in the MCU. Which is funny because he’s playing Dane Whitman, the Black Knight, one of the lamest Avengers ever. And keep in mind that The Avengers comic featured Hawkeye in little purple booties.

The two end credit stingers: 1) Dane is looking at an old box and pulls out a sword that is wrapped up. Just as he is about to touch it, an off screen voice stops him. 2) On the Eternals’ ship, Pip the Troll appears and introduces Starfox.

To be fair, Iron Man was like Marvel’s 58th most popular character, just in front of that X-Men character who has giant slugs for a stomach until he was played by Robert Downey, Jr. Kit Harrington could absolutely make Black Knight a major player in the MCU.

Where will they use him? Another leak claims Marvel is developing a number of Avengers spin-offs, including Young Avengers, Dark Avengers and West Coast Avengers, the latter being the place Dane Whitman seems the most likely to show up.

Marvel has been slowly putting the pieces in place for Young Avengers, with Billy and Tommy Maximoff showing up in WandaVision (and the ending’s cryptic hint that they’re still alive somewhere), Ant-Man’s Cassie Lang being all grown up now and Hawkeye set to introduce Kate Bishop, the actually cool Hawkeye. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier also introduced a piece of Young Avengers lore when Bucky took Sam to meet Isaiah Bradley, a test subject for the Super Soldier Serum Steve Rogers was given and grandfather to Eli Bradley, the Young Avengers’ Captain America analogue Patriot. Be on the lookout for Teddy Altman, aka Hulkling, to show up in Secret Invasion.

Dark Avengers is also something fans have been speculating on for a while. I’ve never been a fan of this theory, but this leak says it’s in development. William Hurt’s Thunderbolt Ross, who becomes the Red Hulk in the comics, is about the only character I can think of who might be a member. Possibly U.S. Agent, currently appearing in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and the white Vision and new Black Widow, I guess?

Finally, what is The West Coast Avengers, the team almost certain to include Jon Snow? Well, if The Avengers was Marvel’s way of showcasing all the characters who weren’t popular enough to carry their own title (and it was for about 40 years), West Coast Avengers is the book for characters not popular enough to be in The Avengers. Lead by Hawkeye, the team featured such notable characters as Wonder Man, Tigra, U. S. Agent and Machine Man. Nextwave had a more recognizable line-up.

Make a Nextwave movie instead, you cowards!

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Zack Snyder’s Fans Are Officially Back on Their Bullshit

Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League has been available on HBO Max for just over a week, which is almost enough time to watch it from beginning to end. But his fans are already back online complaining about Warner not understanding the brilliance of Zack Snyder.

Warner has indicated that even though they did cough up quite a chunk of change to get the Snyder cut finished they have no plans to films Snyder’s planned sequels that would detail Superman’s fall to evil and eventual redemption.

One can’t really blame Warner for wanting to move on to other things; despite the success of The Snyder Cut, it still didn’t do as well on HBO Max as Wonder Woman 84, a film that was by all accounts terrible, and they made over a billion dollars on Joker, a movie nobody wanted completely disconnected from any type of continuity.

The MCU works for Marvel, but the DCEU hasn’t really worked for DC. The biggest success they had was probably Shazam!, which was technically part of the DCEU but a big departure in tone and with basically no connection other than talking about the existence of other DC characters.

Back before Marvel was the cinematic powerhouse it is today, both Marvel and DC primarily stepped outside of comic books through direct-to-video animated features. DC was leagues ahead of Marvel with the quality of their features. The strategy they used looks a lot like the one that Warner is interested in pursuing cinematically now; a mix of original stories and adaptations of their biggest comic books, with some movies forming universes with each other and some being entirely stand-alone.

Zack Snyder’s fans have taken this all in stride and are eyeing totally reasonable with their disappointment. Just kidding, they’re review-bombing Godzilla vs Kong with one-star reviews.

As I’ve said before, I don’t find Snyder’s fans to be toxic or bad people like some have claimed, they’re just really annoying.

I mean, I get the disappointment, we live in a world of broken hopes and dreams of entertainment that was not to be, like a good Star Wars movie made after 1983 or a Jenji Kohan series that maintains a consistent level of quality instead of getting sucked inside its own asshole and losing all the charm it once had about halfway through the third season.

Whether you’re a fan of Snyder’s work or not, it’s clear after seeing his version of Justice League that he has a grand vision that a lot of people would enjoy. It’s also clear that his vision is more than a little indulgent and would cost huge amounts of money to bring to life with potentially mixed returns. In an increasingly competitive movie market with an increasingly uncertain future, even an industry giant like Warner Brothers doesn’t want to take that kind of risk, especially when they can potentially make more money on smaller projects like Joker or The Suicide Squad.

I know it’s disappointing, but being able to say you did a better job than Joss Whedon on Justice League just doesn’t mean that much to studios these days.

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Disney Threw in Towel, COVID Won, ‘Black Widow’ Will Debut on Disney+

Disney, and especially Marvel, have been going on about how committed they are to the “theatrical experience” and how they needed to be experienced on the big screen as we watch the movie theater industry die in flames around us thanks to the COVID pandemic showing us how much the theatrical experience sucks if you really think about it.

I think that we all knew that what they meant was “these movies make a billion dollars and we think they’ll make less than that if we sell them on Disney+ instead.

But it’s been a year and a half since there have been a Marvel movie and movie theaters aren’t really any closer to opening so Disney is doing what I predicted they’d do and they’re trying to get as much money as they can in whatever way they can.

That means Black Widow is coming to Disney+ for $30, just like Mulan, only with a movie people actually want to see.

Their statement to Variety on the matter could not have been more full of corporate-speak and buzzwords.

Kareem Daniel, the chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment distribution, says the announcement “reflects our focus on providing consumer choice and serving the evolving preferences of audiences.”

“By leveraging a flexible distribution strategy in a dynamic marketplace that is beginning to recover from the global pandemic, we will continue to employ the best options to deliver The Walt Disney Company’s unparalleled storytelling to fans and families around the world,” he said.

Yeah, they’re really synergizing their visibility to impact their core competency there.

Black Widow is also being pushed back to July and Shang-Chi is moving to September, where it will supposedly have a traditional theatrical release but I wouldn’t bet on it if people are still claiming vaccines are a communist plot to inject people with pedophile DNA or whatever. It probably depends a lot more on how many people pay for Black Widow.

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It’s Hard to Believe How Much Crap Sharon Stone Has Had to Put Up With

On-screen chemistry can make or break a movie. Take for example this year’s attempt at a big ensemble Christmas movie, Happiest Season. It was a pretty enjoyable film, but any review will tell you the same thing you were bound to notice if you watched it: Kristen Stewart has absolutely no chemistry with her love interest Mackenzie Davis but there are sparks all over the place in her scenes with Aubrey Plaza, in a way that derails the film.

Needless to say, producers and directors will go to great lengths to ensure their leads have chemistry. Sharon Stone was not willing to go to the lengths one producer suggested to her, and I absolutely cannot blame her for that.

Here’s what she said about it in her upcoming memoir, via Deadline:

Among the most striking revelations to come out of the excerpt was the fact that a producer had once approached the actress, suggesting that she sleep with her male costar. “He explained to me why I should f**k my costar so that we could have onscreen chemistry. Why, in his day, he made love to Ava Gardner onscreen and it was so sensational!” Stone wrote. “Now just the creepy thought of him in the same room with Ava Gardner gave me pause.”

The actress remembered thinking at the time that inadequate chemistry between herself and her costar had nothing to do with her. “I felt they could have just hired a costar with talent, someone who could deliver a scene and remember his lines. I also felt they could f**k him themselves and leave me out of it,” she wrote. “It was my job to act and I said so.”

Have you ever seen Community? You know it’s a running gag that Pierce tells everyone he had sex with Eartha Kitt? That is the energy I feel coming from this producer in this story here.

She also said she was blindsided when she saw her vagina in Basic Instinct.

“After we shot Basic Instinct, I got called in to see it. Not on my own with the director, as one would anticipate…but with a room full of agents and lawyers, most of whom had nothing to do with the project,” she recalled. “That was how I saw my vagina shot for the first time, long after I’d been told, ‘We can’t see anything—I just need you to remove your panties, as the white is reflecting the light, so we know you have panties on.’”

Following the screening, Stone says she headed into the projection booth, “slapped Paul across the face, left, went to my car, and called my lawyer, Marty Singer.” Singer advised her that the film could not be released in its current form—at the time, the interrogation scene would have landed Basic Instinct an X rating—and that if she wished, she could “get an injunction” to stop its release.

Eventually, she decided to let the film go out because it was the right move for the film. Director Paul Verhoeven says he was up-front with Stone about showing the world her lady bits.

Most of the time when an actress does a nude scene in a Hollywood film, the studio will have her wear a merkin, or a pubic wig, precisely so it looks like she’s naked but the vagina is still covered, despite this going against, let’s say, current grooming trends. So it was certainly possible for Stone’s assets not to be on full display, but I think she’s right that the scene does make it a better film. I mean, can you name one other thing that happened in Basic Instinct?

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The 2021 Oscars Nominees Honor More Movies You Haven’t Seen Than Ever

Normally the Oscars are packed full of nominations for films no one saw because they’re all Holocaust or AIDS dramas that released the last week of December to six theaters in West Covina and spent three times the films’ budgets on “For Your Consideration” campaigns.

This year, however, movie theaters were closed all year because if you designed the ideal place to spread COVID-19 to large groups of people as efficiently as possible from the ground up, you’d probably just get a movie theater. The Oscars had to do something they have been loathe to do before now and allow films that debuted on streaming services to be eligible for awards. This includes Netflix’s prestige film Mank, a black and white period piece about the making of Citizen Kane. You can hear the Academy voters having an orgasm just reading that sentence.

The late Chadwick Boseman was nominated for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and he’s almost certain to win. This probably wasn’t the best performance of the year, and it probably wasn’t Chadwick Boseman’s best performance, but clearly voters are going to want to show how much he’s missed, and I don’t blame them.

But I also feel that you could accomplish everything worthwhile that this year’s Oscars will accomplish by just having a tribute show for Chadwick Boseman.

Here’s a list of all the major-category nominations (the full list of nominations is here). Take out a piece of paper and make a mark on it every time you see the name of a movie you’ve actually seen. Then when you’re done, do whatever you want with your blank piece of paper.

Best Picture

The Father
Judas and the Black Messiah
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Director

Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round
David Fincher, Mank
Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
Chloe Zhao, Nomadland
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Gary Oldman, Mank
Steven Yeun, Minari

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Andra Day, United States vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami
Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
LaKeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman, The Father
Amanda Seyfried, Mank
Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

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What Does it Actually Mean That ‘Avatar’ is the Top-Grossing Film Again

When Avengers: Endgame released, it surpassed Avatar as the movie with the highest worldwide box office gross of all time, but just barely. Avatar’s recent re-release in China gave that film enough additional revenue to retake the top spot as the highest-grossing movie of all time, but does that achievement even mean anything?

The most popular movie of all time is still Gone With the Wind. Neither Avatar nor Endgame came close to selling as many tickets as Gone With the Wind or Star Wars, for that matter.

Money loses value over time, and we call that phenomenon inflation. What used to cost a nickel costs a dime, then a quarter, then a dollar. Because a movie ticket in 1939 cost 23 cents and that same movie ticket today is almost $10, the amount of money the film made tells us very little other than how rich studio executives are.

Box Office Mojo projects that over 200 million people in the United States saw Gone With the Wind and 175 million saw Star Wars; Avatar and Avengers: Endgame were both around 96 million, with Avatar already having sold more tickets than Endgame before it was re-released.

Now I did say in the United States and let’s talk about that. When Gone With the Wind released in 1939, the US population was 130 million people; by the time Star Wars released in 1977, there were 220 million Americans. That number climbed to over 300 million by the time Avatar and Endgame came along. Gone With the Wind actually sold more tickets in the US than there were people living in the country at the time, while Endgame’s ticket sales were less than a third of the total population.

Of course, population and inflation aren’t the only changes that have happened since 1939. There’s a lot more to do now than there was then. The first modern smartphone, Apple’s iPhone, released in 2007. 1939 was the year of the first television broadcast, and televisions weren’t widely adopted until the 1950s. There just wasn’t much competing with movie theaters for people’s entertainment budget and leisure time.

That isn’t the whole story either, though. 1939’s second-highest-grossing film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, grossed about 1/6th of Gone With the Wind’s take, placing it somewhere close to Ghostbusters on the all-time adjusted domestic gross list. And I don’t mean the good Ghostbusters, I mean the Paul Feig Ghostbusters.

And so far, I’ve only been talking about US box office numbers, and that’s because films like Gone With the Wind didn’t have global releases. We weren’t exactly on great terms with Germany in 1939 and most countries only showed movies made in those countries at the time. There have been movie theaters in China as long as there have been movie theaters in the US, but they didn’t start showing foreign films until 1997. It’s a much more global marketplace today than it was 80 years ago.

The point is, and congratulations for making it through all of those statistics, but the point is that it’s nearly impossible to gauge the relative level of success of films across time. We can account for inflation, but not so much for inflation and population growth and changing market conditions and increased competition all at once.

Do we really need to, though? All the movies I mentioned are great movies (except Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters), so do we need a list to tell us mathematically which one is better? I like Star Wars better than the other movies I mentioned, and I’m sure every employee at Turner Classic Movies prefers Gone With the Wind. A lot of people clearly love Avatar and Avengers: Endgame, as well, too. Box office gross, even adjusted gross, just doesn’t tell us that much anymore.

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Marvel Dropped T.I. From ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania’

T.I. and Tiny are about to have a lot of free time on their hands. It turns out that being accused of drugging and raping and trafficking like a dozen women is not great for your image.

You know who really cares about their image? Disney. And Disney really doesn’t want someone accused of being a prolific rapist in any of their movies.

Basically, what I’m saying is T.I. will not be reprising his role from Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania.

T.I. had played Dave, one of Scott Lang’s compatriots, in those movies, but he won’t be back for the latest outing. Which is kind of a shame, he was good in the movie, Ant-Man had one of Marvel’s best supporting casts.

Now, according to Variety, Marvel had cut his role before the allegations against him and his wife came out.

Insiders close to the Disney project said T.I. was never slated to return, despite the implication that recent and grave allegations against him had to do with the decision.

The Marvel universe has changed in the wake of Avengers: Endgame, and Quantamania looks like it’ll be introducing Scott’s daughter Cassie to the world of superheroics (in the comics, she is a Young Avenger with Scarlet Witch’s twins Billy and Tommy and Kate Bishop, the new Hawkeye) so maybe there wasn’t room for the character anymore.

But I’m not so sure I buy it. Disney likes to avoid controversy. When they fired Gina Carano, they just took advantage of the fact that she wasn’t technically a contracted employee to go “We didn’t really fire her, she isn’t an employee.” Quantamania is still in pre-production, I’m guessing they hadn’t gotten around to signing actors for it and have just decided to cut his role because of the whole alleged human trafficking thing.

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Did Amber Heard Really Get Fired From ‘Aquaman 2’?

If rumors are to be believed, Warner Brothers fired Amber Heard from Aquaman 2 because she’s too fat, violating her contractual requirement to be in superhero shape for the film. The rumor appears to have started with Australian gossip site Sausageroll, who said that a source told them “Amber Heard did not pass her physical examination. She’s put on some pounds and is in terrible shape. There is a clause in her contract which says she is required to be in good form ahead of shooting and she violated that.”

They added that Warner was hoping that Heard would be in shape in time to start filming, but had signed Emilia Clarke to step into the part in the event Heard wasn’t in shape by then.

It’s probably not true.

Even if the reports are accurate, then Heard hasn’t been fired so much as Warner has secured a back-up plan in case she fails to make weight, so to speak.

But that’s probably not even the case, as THR reporter Ryan Parker tweeted that the reports of her firing were “inaccurate.”

Could it be the case that Heard hasn’t been fired but has been told she will be if she’s not in shape by the time filming begins? Sure, but even that seems unlikely.

It’s not unreasonable to expect someone in a superhero movie to be in superhero shape, even Kumail Nanjiani did it. But Warner has mostly been concerned with avoiding bad press and oh boy would they get bad press for essentially telling Amber Heard “sorry, no fat chicks” in 2021. The think pieces on how Warner execs were fat-shaming Heard and unrealistic superhero body types would be even more endless than they’ve been for the past 40 years. They’re going to digitally edit every frame of this movie anyway, if Heard is a little out of shape they can just slim her down in post and avoid all the controversy.

If Warner fires Heard, it’ll be because her court cases against Johnny Depp, as well as public opinion, have taken a huge swing against her from where they stand today. And I don’t see that happening, at least not on a time frame that leads to changes being made to the film.

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‘Spider-Man 3’ Has a Name and Only Spider-Man… Or Does It?

There have been a lot of rumors about Spider-Man 3 involving titles and plot and which actors will be in it, and we’ve finally gotten some solid answers about what is actually going on.

It started when Tom Holland posted the title to his Instagram, confirming that the film would be called Spider-Man: Phone Home.

Wait, what? That title sucks. Are they seriously going to call it that?

Of course not. The actual name, as revealed by Kevin Feige, is Spider-Man: No Way Home. That certainly sounds pretty multiversal to me.

Marvel has been trying to deny the multiverse aspect of the film, though. We know that Jamie Foxx and Alfred Molina are in this film, playing Electro and Doctor Octopus, the same characters they played in the Andrew Garfield and Toby Maguire films. And there have been rumors that Garfield and Maguire will be showing up in this film as, well, alternate versions of Spider-Man. Sony has wanted to cross their different Spider-Man movie series forever before Marvel Studios stepped in to make them.

Tom Holland has been insisting, however, that he’s the only Spider-Man we’ll be seeing. Via Entertainment Weekly:

“It would be amazing if they were because they [meaning Marvel] haven’t told me that yet, and I am Spider-Man and I’ve read the script from the beginning to the end,” Holland told Fallon. “So, it would be a miracle if they could’ve kept that from me, but at the moment there is no cameo from the two boys.”

I don’t think every Spider-Man film needs to involve the multiverse, but Marvel seems to be leaning into it as a concept for Phase Four. The next Dr. Strange film even has it right in the title and Spider-Man: No Way Home is to form a loose trilogy with that film and WandaVision.
Of course, you can explore the multiverse without putting those particular actors in your film, but if Spider-Man does go multiversal, I expect at least a cameo for the other theatrical Spider-Men.

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Warner Execs Thought Joss Whedon’s ‘Justice League’ Was a ‘Piece of S**t’

Joss Whedon’s bad behavior on the set of Justice League and his other projects seemingly stems from his incredibly massive, Kanye Westian ego. It wasn’t entirely unearned, either, Whedon didn’t become geek royalty by accident; Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a classic and Firefly made a huge impact with just a few episodes. Joss even did a great job with the first Avengers movie, I’ve probably watched that movie ten times.

And then there’s Justice League.

Joss Whedon was at the height of his egotism and did not come close to showing enough talent to back it up.  Now, he didn’t have an enviable task of coming into a movie that was already in production, but he rewrote and reshot a huge amount of the movie, trying to give it the same tone that had served the Marvel movies so well.

Here’s how far Whedon missed the mark: even Warner Brothers hated the movie, but at that point, they had spent a ton of money and had to put something in theaters. Hell, it had Batman in it, people are going to go see it.

Zack Snyder talked to Vanity Fair about just what the reaction to Whedon’s version of the film was.

First, there was Christopher Nolan, EP of the project and director of the Dark Knight trilogy, who had a private screening with Snyder’s wife Deborah.

“They came and they just said, ‘You can never see that movie,’” Zack Snyder says during lunch at his Pasadena office, a modernist series of cubes jutting from a hillside that overlooks the Rose Bowl.

“Because I knew it would break his heart,” his wife adds.

Keep in mind that the Snyder’s had just lost their daughter.

They weren’t the only ones who hated the movie.

Worst of all, for Warner Bros., Whedon didn’t exactly save the movie. “When we got to see what Joss actually did, it was stupefying,” says a studio executive, who requested anonymity. “The robber on the rooftop—so goofy and awful. The Russian family—so useless and pointless. Everyone knew it. It was so awkward because nobody wanted to admit what a piece of s**t it was.”

And even then, they didn’t actually want to pay to finish Snyder’s version of the film.

Initially, says Snyder, Warner Bros. just wanted to release the raw footage on his laptop. “I was like, ‘That’s a no, that’s a hard no,’” he says. “And they’re like, ‘But why? You can just put up the rough cut.’” Snyder didn’t trust their motivations. “I go, ‘Here’s why. Three reasons: One, you get the internet off your back, which is probably your main reason for wanting to do this. Two, you get to feel vindicated for making things right, I guess, on some level. And then three, you get a shitty version of the movie that you can point at and go, ‘See? It’s not that good anyway. So maybe I was right.’ I was like, No chance. I would rather just have the Snyder cut be a mythical unicorn for all time.”

Eventually, the studio shelled out the $70 million to finish Snyder’s version of the film and it’ll be on HBO Max in March. It’s not like it could actually be worse, right?

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Brett Ratner is Directing Again and Time’s Up is Pissed About It

Does “cancel culture” have any actual power? Ask Justine Sacco. But does it have any power to stop the rich and famous? No, not really. Ellen DeGeneres has been cancelled by both sides of the political spectrum and she still lives in a mansion with her hot wife who’s 15 years younger than her (back of the net). And I’ve heard more from Gina Carano since Disney announced they won’t be bringing her back for any more guest spots than I did during the entirety of The Mandalorian’s first season.

When Time’s Up and the #MeToo movement launched, critics referred to it as a witch hunt that was going to end people’s careers with unproven allegations of sexual misconduct. That hasn’t really panned out, the only people to suffer any consequences have been Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, who were both convicted by a jury of their peers. Lori Laughlin has suffered more consequences in Hollywood than most people accused of wrongdoing in the wake of #MeToo.

Rose McGowan, one of the first people to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, essentially called the group a bunch of cowards with no ability or inclination to effect real change.

Brett Ratner is directing a biopic about Milli Vanilli he’s been working on for about a decade, his first directing job since being accused of sexual harassment by several women, including Olivia Munn.

Time’s Up issued a strongly-worded statement essentially asking why people weren’t listening to them. Via Variety:

“TIME’S UP was born out of the national reckoning on workplace sexual harassment,” said Tina Tchen, president and CEO of the Time’s Up Foundation in response to news that Ratner is set to direct the upcoming movie. “Our movement is a product of countless courageous acts by many survivors, including those who spoke out about what they endured at the hands of Brett Ratner.”

“Not only did Ratner never acknowledge or apologize for the harm he caused, but he also filed lawsuits in an attempt to silence the voices of survivors who came forward – a tactic right out of the predator’s playbook. You don’t get to go away for a couple years and then resurface and act like nothing happened. We have not – and will not – forget. And Millennium Media shouldn’t either. There should be no comeback. #wewontforgetbrett.”

Apparently, you do get to go away for a few years and then come back like nothing happened, especially if you make money. I mean, Ratner directed arguably the worst non-Wolverine: Origins X-Men movie and he’s still getting work, did we really think allegedly sexually harassing multiple women would stop him? It’s not like he hired someone to help him navigate the college admissions process who turned out to HBO be entirely on the up-and-up.

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Is Keanu Reeves Going to Play An Iconic Spider-Man Villain?

Kraven the Hunter is a bit of an anachronism in Spider-Man’s rogue’s gallery. He’s often portrayed as a famous big-game hunter who people kind of love when he shows up to hunt Spider-Man, the most dangerous game. The issue is that in 2021 people hate big game hunters. Lions killed by big game hunters have Wikipedia pages.

In the most recent Spider-Man cartoon, Spider-Man, Kraven is a reality TV star which kind of makes sense but I still can’t imagine people watching a show about a big game hunter on TLC or whatever.

At the same time, Kraven is the central character in one of the best Spider-Man stories ever, Kraven’s Last Hunt. Kraven does something that comic book villains don’t often do and he defeats Spider-Man. It ends with Kraven killing himself, essentially because he has nothing left to accomplish in life. It leaves adaptations in a rough spot because Kraven is a big part of Spider-Man’s mythology but he also has a concept that doesn’t really fit in today’s world.

So when I saw the rumors that Keanu Reeves was being approached by Sony to play Kraven in a stand-alone movie (sort of like Tom Hardy’s Venom), I was skeptical.

Sony definitely wants to milk the Spider-Man license for everything they can get from it, so the idea that they would look at Kraven for a spin-off isn’t surprising. CBR says the project is “a ‘mashup’ between Logan and Man on Fire,” which says to me it’ll have Kraven with a little kid sidekick.

One of the problems with adapting Kraven’s Last Hunt is that Kraven had been fighting the old Webhead for like 25 years when it came out. They had a history between them and it meant something for Kraven to finally defeat him. It needs build-up and space to breathe, which Logan also needed. That wouldn’t have worked as the first appearance of Logan or Professor Xavier.

But it is believable because Sony is pretty bad at making superhero movies. Really, Spider-Man 2 was a high point for superhero films, but they followed that up with Spider-Man 3 and the Amazing Spider-Man movies. Based on their track record and the leaks we’ve seen of their internal discussions, this is just the sort of thing they’d think was great.

Let’s just hope it falls apart like that Sinister Six movie they were planning.

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Zack Snyder Says His Fans Aren’t Toxic, ‘Have Done More Good Than Any Other Group’

For one reason or another, fans of Zack Snyder’s cinematic vision of the DC Universe have been vilified on the Internet. I will admit I found them a little annoying and I don’t think Man of Steel was a good movie, and I say that as a longtime Superman fan.

Still, I don’t think that liking a few bad movies and being kind of annoying about wanting to see Zack Snyder’s Justice League cut is “toxic.”

There have been endless essays (and essays that feel endless) about how Zack Snyder’s fans are terrible and releasing the Snyder Cut, which is coming to HBO Max in about a month, would be immoral and “rewarding toxic behavior.”

Those narratives mostly went away for some reason and all of the stars joined in the chorus to release the Snyder Cut.

Zack Snyder has his fans back, though, implying to CinemaBlend that the narrative that they were toxic was pushed to protect Joss Whedon.

I just think that’s sour grapes. There’s really no other way to say it. We know the people who were the architects of that narrative, and it’s pretty obvious what their agenda is. Those are people that I’ve been held back from confronting, by wiser people in the room. Because I’d love to get at some of these characters. Some direct conversation would be nice.

Whedon was a darling of feminist circles until very recently, and so I can believe people would come out of the woodwork to smear anyone implying Snyder would have done a better job.

Snyder had some really nice things to say about his fans.

And so, in what world do you have any credibility anywhere, to any- one? I would love the opportunity to just say to the world, and to fandom in general, who these fakers are and what should be done to them, or with them. It’s just a bunch of BS. In regards to that toxic fandom, or it’s ‘a win for toxic fandom,’ again, in what world does this ‘toxic fandom’ raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for suicide prevention? How is that toxic fandom? They’ve probably achieved more than any other fan base, [and done more] good than any other group. So I don’t understand.

The reason Snyder left the project is his 20-year-old daughter committed suicide. His fans stuck by him and fought for him to have the opportunity to finish what he started after he had time to heal from his personal tragedy.  He’s clearly noticed and appreciates it.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan, but I do think there’s room for superhero films that don’t follow the Marvel formula. And like I’ve said before it’s not like the Snyder Cut could possibly be worse than Whedon’s version of Justice League.

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Awards Season Starts Today, the Golden Globe Nominations are Here

It’s not unusual for most people not to have seen or even heard of most of the movies nominated for awards in any given year; the Oscars even considered adding a category for movies people had actually seen in addition to their current top honor, “Best Holocaust Drama Released in Late December on 12 Screens in Brentwood.”

This year, however, you’ve really never heard of the nominated films because even those twelve screens were closed for most of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s a look at what dramas are nominated.


  • THE FATHER (Trademark Films; Sony Pictures Classics)
  • MANK (Netflix; Netflix)
  • NOMADLAND  (Highwayman / Hear/Say / Cor Cordium; Searchlight Pictures)
  • PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (LuckyChap Entertainment / FilmNation Entertainment; Focus Features)
  • THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (Marc Platt Productions / Dreamworks Pictures; Netflix)





Even the movies that were on Netflix don’t sound familiar, and you can’t go five minutes without seeing an ad for something on Netflix. I do recall hearing about The Trial of the Chicago 7 at one point, but I’m still assuming Mank will win because it’s the sort of “Hollywood are the real heroes” stories that awards voters love.

There were so few movies released this year that the Golden Globes had to nominate comedies for Best Comedy or Musical.


  • BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM (Four By Two Films; Amazon Studios)
  • HAMILTON (Walt Disney Pictures / RadicalMedia / 5000 Broadway Productions / NEVIS Productions / Old 320 Sycamore Pictures; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • MUSIC (Pineapple Lasagne Productions / Landay Entertainment; Vertical Entertainment / IMAX)
  • PALM SPRINGS (Party Over Here / Limelight Productions; NEON / Hulu)
  • THE PROM (Netflix / Dramatic Forces / Storykey Entertainment; Netflix)





Of course Hamilton is going to win. There’s nothing in the world rich white people like more than Hamilton. Personally, I would probably give it to Palm Springs, which managed to be a funny and deep tale on a premise you probably rolled your eyes at when you heard it.


  • THE CROWN – NETFLIX (Left Bank Pictures / Sony Pictures Television)
  • LOVECRAFT COUNTRY – HBO (HBO / Afemme / Monkeypaw / Bad Robot / Warner Bros. Television)
  • THE MANDALORIAN – DISNEY+ (Lucasfilm Ltd.)
  • OZARK – NETFLIX (MRC Television)
  • RATCHED – NETFLIX (Fox21 Television Studios)





I think this comes down to Ozark and The Crown, even though neither of those shows thought to go “Hey, remember Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker. They were pretty cool. What if we make them even cooler so adults watching with their kids feel like kids again?”


  • EMILY IN PARIS – NETFLIX (Darren Star Productions / Jax Media / MTV Studios)
  • THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT – HBO MAX (HBO Max / Berlanti Productions / Yes, Norman Productions / Warner Bros. Television)
  • THE GREAT – HULU (Hulu / Civic Center Media / MRC)
  • SCHITT’S CREEK – POP TV (Not A Real Company Productions / Canadian Broadcast Company / Pop TV)
  • TED LASSO – APPLE TV+ (Apple / Doozer Productions / Warner Bros. Television / Universal Television)





Schitt’s Creek is going to sweep everything this year. That show became a cultural phenomenon and they’re going to reward the final season with bags full of award statues. And I get that you love Jane Levy but you’re going to have to live with the fact that you nominated Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist for an award for the rest of human existence. Hope it was worth it.

Of course, the old expression in Hollywood is “you win and Oscar, you buy a Golden Globe,” so it might come down to who has the best “For Your Consideration” campaign. So don’t count out Emily in Paris, Netflix loves to spend money on awards.

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Is Disney Really Going to Retcon the Star Wars Sequels?

Some people love Star Wars a lot. They watched the movies as kids or they watched the prequels as kids and love those to the absolute bewilderment of their parents, but they love Star Wars.

I have not seen that kind of love for the new movies by Disney, except for people claiming to like The Last Jedi because Star Wars fans hated it. those movies were so bad that they completely derailed Disney’s plans for Star Wars.

Of course, Jon Favreau completely pulled their asses out of the fire with a tiny little green puppet named Grogu. And now Disney has like a dozen Star Wars Disney+ shows on the way, but there’s a problem: those awful sequel movies are like an albatross dragging them into the ocean.

At the end of the second season of The Mandalorian, Luke Skywalker showed up and wiped the floor with an army of Dark Troopers that were closing in on Din Djarin and company in order to make sure Grogu was safe and could be trained in the force. It was incredible, it made me feel eight years old again and it made Luke Skywalker even cooler, something I had thought was impossible.

But it makes you stop and think “wait, does this mean Kylo Ren kills Grogu?” And does it? See, whatever happens in The Mandalorian and all it’s coming spin-offs, we know how it ends already, and it ends in borderline-unwatchable garbage.

And so the rumor is that Disney is looking for a way to say “oh, those movies aren’t canonical anymore” and move past them. The latest rumor from Inside the Magic is that Disney is working on a TV series that will rework and retell the sequel series.

I don’t buy it. There’s no way that there’s enough unused footage from those films to make 10 episode TV shows out of them, especially when you consider that none of the actors involved have any interest in coming back because those films were clusterfucks on every level.

But this also isn’t the first “Disney is going to undo the sequels” rumor we’ve heard. So is there any truth to it? I think maybe there is.

In politics, there’s a thing called a “trial balloon,” where to see how a policy will be received by the public, you sort of make non-committal overtures to it and see what the reaction is. Hollywood does this all the time.

There are a lot of rumors about Disney 86ing the Star Wars sequels and those rumors seem to just be the wishes of Star Wars fans but it’s very possible Disney wants to see how this sort of move would be received before they commit to it. It’s a big move, and Disney isn’t going to make it unless they think it will be a net positive for them.

So the answer, will Disney retcon the sequels? I don’t think they’ve actually decided yet, but I think they’re exploring it as an option.

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Joss Whedon Really Fought to Show Vision’s Hog in ‘Age of Ultron’

In the very popular, very influential and very good comic book Watchmen, Doctor Manhattan is completely naked in all of his scenes in the present day, with his big blue hog flapping in the wind. This was done for a reason, as through flashbacks we see Manhattan wearing less and less as his powers and the perspective they bring make him feel more distant from humanity.

Joss Whedon wanted to show Vision’s penis in Avengers: Age of Ultron because penises are funny or something. I don’t know the reasoning.

What I do know is that in an appearance on the Lights, Camera, Pod podcast, Paul Bettany recalled that Whedon was emphatic about Marvel’s Merry Moviegoers getting an eyeful of the Vision’s manhood. Androidhood. Cybernetic robodong.

I really don’t know what to make of this. It’s a really amusing clip and Whedon realized he was wrong eventually, but he did make Marvel’s concept artists do multiple renditions of Vision’s penis.

I do really question why. My best guess is that it’s because Watchmen had a penis in it, but as I already explained, like everything that happened in Watchmen, it happened for a reason.

I remember the days when Joss Whedon could do no wrong, at least as far as genre entertainment went. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly were near-masterpieces of genre fiction that had action, heart and wit in equal measures, and Whedon was able to deliver that again with Avengers.

I really wish I knew what happened that changed him from that guy to a J. Jonah Jameson meme yelling about pictures of Vision’s dick instead of Spider-Man.

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‘Black Widow’ Could Be Delayed Again and Marvel Fans Can’t Handle It

There hasn’t been a new Marvel movie since July 2019 when Spider-Man: Far From Home debuted in cinemas and for me, that year and a half long break has proven to be the time I needed to be interested in more Marvel projects. I say that as a long-time Marvel fan who started reading The Fantastic Four, Thor and The X-Men when I was in middle school way back in the 90s. I figured that if I thought there were too many of these movies too close together then surely most people must agree, even if at the end of the day we do mostly like the movies.

It turns out, however, that despite the enthralling debut of WandaVision last week, a lot of Marvel fans are champing at the bit to see the movies come back. So news that Black Widow may face further delays in addition to the year it’s already been pushed back has not been entirely well-received.

According to comicbook.com, Marvel boss Kevin Feige was not particularly bullish about Black Widow’s May debut when asked recently.

Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige was asked about the studio’s confidence in Black Widow dropping in May of 2021 and he seems to have his reservations on th subject. “I mean, confidence is meaningless in today’s world because nobody knows anything. Hope springs eternal,” Feige told ComicBook.com on the Phase Zero podcast. “A year delay, you hope would be enough, there’s a vaccine out there now. We’ll see. I certainly hope so. I want to be back in the theater with people.”

We learned Thursday that the previous Presidential administration’s COVID response plan and vaccine strategy was woefully lacking, leaving Washington scrambling to get people vaccinated so we can have some semblance of normalcy and hopefully get this virus under control by Autumn.

Autumn is well after May, and Marvel really doesn’t want to drop a blockbuster into a theater season where people aren’t turning up and lose half a billion dollars, and I can’t entirely blame them for that.

After the Spanish Flu pandemic ended and people were free to go out again without risking infection, we got the Roaring Twenties where people rushed to public cultural centers and dance halls to celebrate. Disney is clearly hoping that this repeats and the COVID pandemic is followed by a return to people spending big money at the theater for movies again.

I am not as optimistic as they are about that.

See, I just bought a new TV. It’s 42 inches and it was only a little over $200, about what it would cost to see three Marvel movies for a family of four. That’s not even considered a big-screen TV, a designation that starts at 50 inches. It’s not exactly the cinematic experience, but it’s not the same as having a 19” CRT in the living room like most of us used to.

Warner has moved all their movies for the year to HBO Max and if that move pays off you can be sure you’ll see it repeated. Netflix is also making a big play into movies and specifically looking for franchise opportunities to compete with HBO and Disney.

I don’t think people will be flocking to movie theaters after the pandemic ends. I think restaurants, live music, bars, parks and live theater will see a boom after it’s safe to return to them, but too many people are putting too much money into getting you to spend your entertainment dollars at home for movie theaters to make a big comeback.

Still, it’s clear that Disney is holding out for the big theatrical money with these movies they know are going to be hits; if anything gets people to cinemas, it’ll be Marvel movies, and they don’t want to risk the reduced revenues of a premium Disney+ release like Mulan.

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After ‘Batman and Robin’, George Clooney Decided to Try Doing Good Movies Instead

George Clooney is basically some untouchable God who deigns to walk among us for some reason, sort of like Dr. Manhattan from The Watchmen but, I imagine, with a bigger (and less blue) hog. Look at the guy’s wife; she’s 20 years younger than him, drop-dead gorgeous and she’s a brilliant and internationally respected human rights lawyer. Look at his hair; I wish my hair looked like his and he does that with a Flowbee.

But George Clooney was not always a god among men, though. At one point, Clooney was just a hot TV doctor. Sure, he was in a lot of demand when ER was a massive hit, but when is the last time you saw Patrick Dempsey in an A-list film?

Clooney’s big break was playing Batman in Batman and Robin, or, it would have been had that movie not been a flaming pile of garbage. That movie was so bad (and Michael Keaton’s outings under the direction of Tim Burton were so good) that it could have completely torpedoed Clooney’s career. But George had an idea that really saved him and turned him into the figure of mild worship he is today: he decided to be in good movies.

Former Batman Clooney talked to former Catwoman Michelle Pfeiffer for Variety and mentioned how he learned from Batman and Robin.

After “Batman & Robin” came out, and it was a big bomb — you learn from your failures; you don’t learn from successes. So then I thought, I have to focus really on the script. It’s not just about my part; it’s about the whole movie. The next three films I did were “Out of Sight,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Three Kings,” which were really great screenplays. They didn’t all do very well financially, but they were all critically well received.

It became clear to me that you can make a bad film out of a good script, but you can’t make a good film out of a bad script. I gravitate toward pieces that interest me. They don’t always end up working, because there are so many things that can go wrong, including me.

O Brother, Where Art Thou is a standout there for me, that is an amazing movie. After that, Clooney booked a remake of a Rat Pack heist movie called Ocean’s 11 and that is what made him a superstar.

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Wait, Is All That Crazy Stuff About Armie Hammer Actually True?

Yesterday we heard Armie Hammer had left a movie he was about to start filming because some alleged DMs from the star were leaked the supposedly showed him being into some pretty weird sex stuff, like beyond BDSM and into cannibalism and asking his lover of she’d cut off her toe so he could carry a piece of her around with him.

Now, we still don’t have proof that these DMs are authentic, but Hammer’s ex-girlfriend Courtney Vucekovich talked to Page Six about how the content of those messages does line up with the stuff she claims he was into when they were dating. Which is frankly insane.

“He said to me he wants to break my rib and barbecue and eat it,” app founder Courtney Vucekovich exclusively told Page Six.

Now, we’ve all gone a step or two too far when we’re with someone and they’re like “oh, talk dirty to me, spank me,” or whatever you’re into. This sounds like it’s beyond that.

“‘F–k that was weird,’ but you never think about it again,” she said of overlooking the odd behavior at the time. “He says, ‘I want to take a bite out of you.’ If I had a little cut on my hand, he’d like suck it or lick it. That’s about as weird as we got.”

I dated a girl with a vampire fetish once so that’s not too far out there, honestly. If these allegations are true, it sounds like Hammer would have a cannibal role-play fetish more than actually wanting to eat or disfigure someone.

“He likes the idea of skin in his teeth,” she claims.

That’s not really the disturbing part. This stuff is more funny than disturbing, like those weird Japanese porno comics where someone eats their partner after sex. I never thought those were actually supposed to be erotic, I always thought they were supposed to be gross and funny but it takes all kinds of fruit to make a fruit cup, I guess.

The actual disturbing part is that Vucekovich claims Hammer was emotionally abusive to the point that she had to seek in-patient care for PTSD after ending the relationship, which only lasted a few months.

At one point, Vucekovich found herself paying for everything, including gas for his truck, because he’s allegedly broke.

“He needs you,” she said. “He actually needs you.”

“It’s a full-time job when you’re with him the way that I was,” she explained. “I was trying to catch my breath the entire time I was with him. You’re drowning in this dark hole trying to stay afloat. There will be random moments of good that convince you to stay.”

Vucekovich said the relationship ended following an explosive fight and Hammer left.

“He blows up [women’s] lives like that and walks away,” she said.

If you recall, Hammer’s ex Jessica Ciencin Henrique also referred to Hammer as an abuser.

I’m not honestly sure if the picture that Vucekovich paints of Hammer is that of an abuser or of someone so damaged that he just damages everyone around him whether he means to or not. But either way, if these allegations are true, Hammer will need to seek some serious help for his issues.

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Macaulay Culkin is Onboard With Digitally Removing Donald Trump From ‘Home Alone 2’

Something you might not know if you’re a normal person is that there is a pretty big market for edited, bowdlerized versions of Hollywood movies that take out all the sex and violence and swearing so Christian households can feel good about watching about five minutes of a film that probably now says Inglourious Armyguys on the DVD case.

A Utah company called CleanFlicks was forced to close because courts ruled that their service of making “clean” cuts of films was essentially film piracy, and there’s a company called ClearPlay that actually skips pre-defined portions of legitimate copies of movies in real-time to avoid the same fate.

If you’ve ever wondered what would possess someone to actually use this service instead of not watching a movie if it offend them or god forbid accepting the original vision of the writer and director, maybe think about how you might feel watching Home Alone 2 and seeing Donald Trump pop up on screen.

It’s pretty widely known that if you wanted to film a movie on one of Trump’s properties back in the day, Trump would insist on filming a cameo, as himself, in the film, like an orange Stan Lee who no one was really excited to see. Most people just let him do whatever and only pretended there was film in the camera, but for some reason his cameo in Home Alone 2 actually made it into the film.

The cameo actually survived to the final cut because test audiences genuinely enjoyed it; at the time, Trump was basically using his wealth to make himself a household name, cultivating an image that didn’t extend much beyond “I’m a rich businessman, I have money, Trump means rich person.”

That’s not really his image today.

So people have been suggesting digitally removing Donald Trump from the film, maybe replacing him with Jabba the Hutt or something, I don’t know.

Even Macaulay Culkin seems to be on board with the idea.

I mean, he said “sold” when someone suggested replacing Trump with an older Culkin, which would make an interesting twist on the film.

He also gave a “bravo” to someone who removed Trump from the film. Kind of.

That’s actually just kind of funny.

I don’t personally support editing Hollywood films by companies looking to make them the same for Christians or to remove Donald Trump. Sometimes you just have to let things from the past be problematic. They give a window into the time period that they’re from, and that’s more important than protecting our modern sensibilities.

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Armie Hammer Left a Film Role Over an Insane, Possibly Fake DM Leak

People are making a lot of accusations about celebrities that are pretty hard to believe, and this is after everyone very easily believed Matt Lauer had a rape button on his desk at Today.

Someone leaked DMs that are supposedly from actor Armie Hammer and they seem really fake. If they’re not fake, whenever you read a really fucked up Japanese porno comic and say “who is this for?” the answer is Armie Hammer.

But it’s not, these are almost certainly fake.

So what do they say? Glad you asked. According to The Daily Mail, Hammer told a woman “I am 100% a cannibal. I want to eat you.” He also allegedly told her “I need to drink your blood. Why the distance?”

It’s all stuff along those lines, weird BDSM, master and slave, 50 Shades of Grey stuff.

Hammer stepped away from a role in the Jennifer Lopez film Shotgun Wedding because of the accusations, telling Deadline “I’m not responding to these bullshit claims but in light of the vicious and spurious online attacks against me, I cannot in good conscience now leave my children for 4 months to shoot a film in the Dominican Republic. Lionsgate is supporting me in this and I’m grateful to them for that.”

Now, could there be any truth to these supposedly leaked DMs? Well, they haven’t been verified so I would take them with a grain of salt. But The Daily Mail does point out that Hammer does appear to have some interest in the whole BDSM kink thing.

Hammer previously made headlines of a similar nature in 2017, after he liked a series of tweets about BDSM sex acts.

Hammer’s ex Jessica Ciencin Henriquez tweeted “If you are still questioning whether or not those Armie Hammer DMs are real (and they are) maybe you should start questioning why we live in a culture willing to give abusers the benefit of the doubt instead of victims.”

Even if these alleged DMs are real, the worst thing about them is Hammer was married at the time. There’s nothing abusive in them that I’ve seen, just some really weird BDSM role play stuff a scorned ex released to embarrass him. Ask yourself if your ex could leak DMs that would embarrass you if everyone read them.

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Deadpool Is Coming to the MCU and He’s Keeping His R-Rating

Disney cares about a lot of things, and one of those things is its squeaky-clean family-friendly image. The reason they care about this is because they want everyone, from the super-religious households that homeschool their kids to the hippies who send their kids to schools made of kale with a headmaster who’s a yogi, to take their kids to Disneyland and Disney World and give them money.

Disney also wants the money that the Marvel movies bring in, which is why none of those movies have been moved to streaming during the same time period that Warner moved all of their movies to HBO Max; there’s too much potential profit to cut their losses and make back what they can.

These two desires came crashing into each other when Disney bought Fox and Marvel reacquired the film rights to the X-Men spinoff Deadpool, the most successful R-Rated movie franchise ever.

It turns out that money wins and Kevin Feige told Collider that Marvel was working on an R-Rated Deadpool film.

It will be rated R and we are working on a script right now, and Ryan’s overseeing a script right now… It will not be [filming] this year. Ryan is a very busy, very successful actor. We’ve got a number of things we’ve already announced that we now have to make, but it’s exciting for it to have begun. Again, a very different type of character in the MCU, and Ryan is a force of nature, which is just awesome to see him bring that character to life.

Ryan Reynolds had a great tweet about the news, too.

This is maybe the best news we’ve heard since Disney bought Fox. And not just about the studios, just in general. There hasn’t been a lot of good news in the past year or so.

It’ll be interesting to see what Deadpool does in the Marvel Universe and how the film addresses the change of realities. Deadpool is like She-Hulk and Harley Quinn in being one of those self-aware characters who knows they’re fictional and a lot of humor comes from that. It’s a relief to know that Marvel will be taking care to keep giving us the kind of experience we got with the first two Deadpool films.

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