‘Deadpool’ Scores PGA Nomination

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Oscar buzz for Deadpool is starting to heat up. After becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time, Deadpool has now scored itself a best-adapted screenplay nomination from the Writers Guild of America as well as two Golden Globe nominations including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Ryan Reynolds for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

The Producers Guild of America announced it’s complete list of nominees for The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Theatrical Motion Pictures yesterday and coming as a huge surprise, the nominees include Deadpool. The comic book adapted for the big screen by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick has been praised for it’s fantastic and hilarious storyline along with its action sequences and visual effects that were done on an extremely modest budget but manage to rival those of Marvel’s biggest films. While this certainly doesn’t guarantee an Oscar nomination for the merc with the mouth, it certainly increases Deadpool’s chances as a serious contender.

Check out the full list of nominees below.

Arrival
Producers: Dan Levine, Shawn Levy, Aaron Ryder, David Linde

Deadpool
Producers: Simon Kinberg, Ryan Reynolds, Lauren Shuler Donner

Fences
Producers: Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington, Todd Black

Hacksaw Ridge
Producers: Bill Mechanic, David Permut

Hell or High Water
Producers: Carla Hacken, Julie Yorn

Hidden Figures
Producers: Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams, Theodore Melfi

La La Land
Producers: Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz, Marc Platt

Lion
Producers: Emile Sherman and Iain Canning, Angie Fielder

Manchester by the Sea
Producers: Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck, Kevin Walsh

Moonlight
Producers: Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner

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Ben Affleck Reassures Fans He Will Direct Solo Batman Feature

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Whether or not Ben Affleck’s solo Batman feature will come to fruition has seemed rather uncertain lately. Just last month Ben Affleck told Variety he was excited about the script for solo Batman feature which they were finishing up and that things were coming together over at Warner Bros. But then in an interview with The Guardian for his prohibition era film Live by Night, Affleck offered a rather alarming update for the solo Batman feature that shook the very foundation of Warner Bros. current version of the DCEU when he said the Batman film wasn’t “a set thing” and that they no longer had a script for the project.

But last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, while commenting on the latest image released from the upcoming Justice League, Affleck reassured fans the film is still happening and he will indeed be directing —  nearly blowing a gasket as he told Jimmy:

“I’m gonna direct the next Batman, we’re workin’ on it. It’s one of those things that’s really frustrating because like with Live by Night, it took me a year and a half to write it and get it ready and I worked really hard, it’s just nobody gave a shit. No one was like ‘Where’s Live by Night?!’ But with Batman I keep getting the like, ‘Where’s the fucking Batman?!’ and I’m like ‘Bro I’m workin’, give me a second!”

Check out the full clip below.

SOURCE: JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE

‘Stranger Things’ Was Originally R-Rated

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Part of what made the Netflix original series Stranger Things such a smash hit when it debuted last summer was it’s appeal to audiences of all ages. It spoke to older generations who came up during the 70’s and 80’s, people who grew up during the 90’s raised on 80’s cinema, and even the youngest of today’s millennials. But when the series was originally conceived as what was then called “Montauk”, The Duffer Brothers had plans to make the show much less kid-friendly telling Vulture:

Ross:

“The Eleven character, the kind of powers she has and to have a young protagonist that’s violent — it’s not E.T. It’s not a happy situation. She’s killing people, and brutally murdering them. The original pilot was much more violent. It was originally like an R-rated thing.”

Matt:

“Winona’s character was like, ‘Eff this, eff that!’ It felt a little bit unnecessary. I don’t feel like we sacrificed anything by toning it down a little bit.”

The original pilot also featured the death of Barb but as we saw, the creators made the choice to push that back a bit and flesh her character out a little more before buying the farm. It’s a good thing they did because if they hadn’t, Barb (Shannon Purser) may have not become the beloved character she is today.

The final episode also included a longer, grosser version of when Chief Hopper (David Harbour) pulled the tentacle out of Will’s mouth but Netflix had the Duffers cut it shorter. The decision to scale back the violence and profanity was smart, however. I would have liked to see Winona Ryder drop a few f-bombs. It’s a nitpick, but one of my only complaints in the series (which I absolutely love) was when Joyce said “Screw you” to Dr. Brenner in the opening scene of the final episode. It didn’t feel genuine and interrupts me from suspending my disbelief in that moment, reminding me I’m watching a television show in the middle of having a magical experience like watching E.T. or Jurassic Park for the first time again. Here is this sick, twisted man who performs experiments on children asking her for help after her son has been taken by an interdimensional monster thanks to his research. Joyce should have lunged across the table and bit out his jugular.

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SOURCE: VULTURE

‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Will Dig Deeper Into The Characters

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When Star Wars returned to cinemas at the end of 2015, the franchise introduced us to a new set of iconic heroes as well as a villain who solidified himself as one of the most flawed and interesting villains in Star Wars history. While everyone was intrigued and captivated by Rey thanks to the powerful performance given by Daisy Ridley, the most interesting and layered character by far was Kylo Ren played by Adam Driver.

Kylo Ren felt more like a real person than most Star Wars characters. Driver portrayed a man who was struggling to be something he wasn’t as Kylo seemed to almost overcompensate with his forceful step through scenes in which he aspired to be as menacing as his Grandfather Darth Vader. He used his mask as a pure intimidation tactic to instill fear in his enemies as he knew his scarless, clean shaven face wouldn’t frighten anybody. Throughout the film, the man formerly known as Ben Solo struggled between the dark and the light side of the force but in the end ultimately made the choice to extinguish the light within him and fully commit himself to evil when he murdered his father, Han Solo.

While Kylo was a fully fleshed out three-dimensional character, the same cannot be said for the other new characters introduced in The Force Awakens. One of the biggest complaints coming out of the film was that the new characters of Rey, Finn (John Boyega), and Poe (Oscar Isaac) were rather thin and as much as I loved them, I have to agree. Adam Driver recently told Larry King that Episode VIII will explore Kylo Ren’s humanity, or what little he has left of it, but now the film’s director, Rian Johnson, while speaking with USA Today offered up new details teasing that the film will dig deeper into the core of the new characters:

“I wanted to know more about each of them, and that doesn’t just mean information or backstory. Figure out what’s the most difficult thing each of them could be challenged with now — let’s throw that at them and dig into what really makes them tick by seeing how they handle that.”

Nothing about the plot for Episode VIII is known at this point other than it will pick up directly where The Force Awakens left off but Lawrence Kasdan, the writer of The Empire Strikes BackReturn of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens called the script for Episode VIII “weird” which is a compliment coming from Kasdan. Adam Driver has teased the film will be “darker” in tone, comparing it to how Empire was a darker film than A New Hope, and John Boyega has said that Johnson has managed to craft a Star Wars film that has an “indie movie” feel. But Johnson has promised that while the film — said to be weird and dark as it digs deeper into the characters — will have the same fun factor that The Force Awakens and the classic trilogy had:

“I want it to be a blast and to be funny and to be a ride the way The Force Awakens and the original Star Wars movies were.”

Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters December 15, 2017.

The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar IsaacDomhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran, and Andy Serkis. Written and directed by Rian Johnson.

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SOURCE: USA TODAY

Gamora Confirmed to Appear in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

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Last night at the Golden Globes, Zoe Saldana herself confirmed she would indeed appear as Gamora in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War while speaking with MTV News, however, the actress revealed she yet to see the script:

“I don’t know when they’re gonna let me read it. I mean, I’m not looking forward to the five hours of green make-up, but every time I finally arrive on set I feel so happy and lucky to be there.”

The film which isn’t due out until May 4, 2018, will undoubtedly be the biggest and most expensive Marvel film in history. At this point, the film is overflowing with characters and if it wasn’t for the fact that The Russo Brothers are at the helm I’d be worried. But the Russo’s already proved with Captain America: Civil War that they can jam pack a film full of superheroes and keep the film well balanced and focused while using each and every superhero effectively.

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SOURCE: MTV NEWS

Rian Johnson Talks Luke and Rey in ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’

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With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story now in its fourth week in theaters, it’s already time to start shifting our attention to the next chapter in the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: Episode VIII, due out next Holiday season.

The Force Awakens was rather cryptic with its explanation of Luke Skywalkers self-imposed exile but the sequel’s director Rian Johnson offered up a few interesting tidbits telling USA Today “a large part of the of the movie” will be spent addressing why Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil) is on Ahch-To —  the planet believed to be home to the first Jedi temple — and what he’s going to do next.

The film will also focus on how Luke and Rey (Daisy Ridley) relate to one another. Johnson added:

“Part of what’s she’s dealing with is the realization that she has this power and this gift. She’s taking her first step to coming to terms with this thing inside her that she never knew was there and is just starting to reveal its potential.”

The last we saw Rey she was holding out Luke’s father’s lightsaber as her plea for him to return to the galaxy with her to restore balance to the force shifted into a demand. Rather than jump ahead a few years, Johnson reassured fans Episode VIII will break Star Wars tradition and pick up right where The Force Awakens left off:

“I don’t want to skip ahead two years. I want to see the very next moment of what happens.”

With Episode VIII already in the can, including Carrie Fisher’s scenes, Lucasfilm has begun to look to the future in order to develop a plan to rework the story for Episode IX due to the untimely death of the franchise’s beloved Princess.

Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow will meet this week with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy to weigh out the options of how to alter the storyline in a way that not only serves the franchise best but also honors the memory of Carrie Fisher.

Insiders told THR that at least two major scenes from the upcoming films will be affected including (spoiler warning) a reunion between Princess Leia and her brother, Luke Skywalker, and a confrontation between Leia and her son, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), over the murder of his father, Leia’s husband, Han Solo (Harrison Ford).

Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters December 15, 2017.

The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar IsaacDomhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran, and Andy Serkis. Written and directed by Rian Johnson.

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SOURCE: USA TODAY

‘Stranger Things’ Cast and Directors Tease Season Two

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The cast and the creative team behind the Netflix smash hit Stranger Things were in attendance at the BAFTA Tea Party as well as the Golden Globes this weekend. While everyone was careful not to reveal anything about the upcoming sequel season which will drop on Netflix later this year, we did get a few interesting tidbits regarding the follow-up.

Executive Producer and Director Shawn Levy reiterated what we’ve already heard while promising Stranger Things 2 will continue to deliver the same magical Spielberg-like storytelling established in the first season telling Vanity Fair:

“Season 2 is bigger and potentially darker in its stakes. The threat, which in Season 1 was to Will Byers, has grown. That’s all I’m going to say! But, I will say Season 2 has a bigger cast and is definitely loyal to the kind of magical storytelling that we established in the first season. It’s character-based and still about our core group of characters.”

Finn Wolfhard, the brilliant 14-year old actor behind Mike Wheeler, talked about the advantage the actors now have knowing who their characters are and how growing up a little bit since the first season is going to help them evolve in season two:

“Now that we’ve done a season, we know exactly about our characters. We are very conscious of them and can take them to the next level. I think we’ve grown up a little bit, and our characters have too. They have been through a lot and have used those experiences to help them grow and to be stronger in Season 2.”

Possibly the most interesting bit of information came from The Duffer Brothers themselves. While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet at the Golden Globes, Matt Duffer revealed that one of the clues dropped in the announcement trailer for season two has changed:

“This is very cryptic but one of the clues in the teaser has changed because casting.”

My best guess is that the final episode of season two titled “The Lost Brother” is now “The Lost Sister” with the casting of Danish actress Linnea Berthelsen, who plays Roman: an emotionally damaged, magnetic young woman who suffered a great loss as a child. Although she does not live in Hawkins, she is mysteriously connected to the supernatural events at the lab. I’m probably wrong but my theory is that Roman was originally conceived of as a male character. Matt Duffer said the change came due to casting and other than “Mad Max”, “The Boy Who Came Back to Life”, and “The Pollywog”, there aren’t any other titles besides “The Lost Brother” that refer to a character. “The Pollywog” remains a mystery but it’s safe to say nothing has changed regarding the first two episode titles.

Stranger Things 2 picks up a year later in the fall of 1984 and will explore the consequences of Will Byers’ week spent in the upside down as well as the interdimensional portal which is still open at the Department of Energy. The characters are said to be struggling with the desire to return to a sense of normalcy and maybe the impossibility of it.

The series has added Sean Astin (The Goonies, Lord of the Rings), Paul Reiser (Aliens, Mad About You)Linnea Berthelsen, Dacre Montgomery (Power Rangers), broadway star Sadie Sink, and Brett Gelman (Jobs). You can check out descriptions of their characters here. The new characters are said to be compelling but first and foremost in service to the core group of characters introduced in season one.

Stranger Things 2 stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb Mclaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, and Noah Schnapp.

Stranger Things 2 hits Netflix sometime in 2017.

SOURCES: THR, VANITY FAIR