Godzilla: King Of The Monsters Definitely Won’t Include Certain Iconic Monsters

When Godzilla returns to the big screen later this year, he will be fighting in a battle royal opposite monsters both good and evil for dominion over the Earth and the title King of the Monsters. Yet while Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah will be appearing in the film, the upcoming Godzilla sequel won’t be including every iconic monster from the character’s 65-year history. Speaking about monsters that aren’t in the movie, O’Shea Jackson Jr., who plays one of the soldiers in the film and is a big Godzilla fan, recently said,

We’ve speculated about what classic monsters might make an appearance in Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, with Gigan and MechaGodzilla among them, but if O’Shea Jackson Jr. is to be believed here, those two definitely won’t be part of the festivities (i.e. apocalyptic destruction) this time around. As the expressed to Collider, though, things would be way worse for Godzilla if those two were to show up.

The actor has distinct memories of Gigan, who is one of Godzilla’s most formidable and crazy-looking opponents. An alien cyborg kaiju, Gigan has deadly hooked claws on his appendages, a spiked tail, and vertical spikes that go all the way up his torso. He also has a cybernetic visor for an eye, out of which he can shoot lasers.

Gigan basically looks like he was designed by an 8-year-old: ridiculous looking with lots and lots of weapons. Aliens originally deployed him alongside King Ghidorah as part of a conquest of Earth, but that won’t be the case this time around it seems, as the trailer has shown Ghidorah frozen in ice and intimated that all the Titans are Earth’s pre-human inhabitants.

As for MechaGodzilla, he is one of the more popular Godzilla monsters, at times being both heroic and villainous. He has been depicted as an alien weapon or as a human creation meant to fight Godzilla. MechaGodzilla recently had a big cameo in Ready Player One and as you saw in that film, this robotic Godzilla is the War Machine of the kaiju, with missiles, lasers, energy beams and the power to fly.

Interestingly, O’Shea Jackson Jr. said that MechaGodzilla is “a hidden gem.” He could just mean that he simply likes the monster and can’t wait to see him utilized at some point in the future, but perhaps there is more to it. O’Shea Jackson has also teased that Godzilla: King of the Monsters will have Easter Eggs, so maybe there will be some reference to MechaGodzilla blueprints, or something of that sort.

It is probably for the best that Gigan and MechaGodzilla won’t be in Godzilla: King Of The Monsters. Godzilla has his hands plenty full with King Ghidorah, and Gigan and MechaGodzilla historically have more fantastical stories that don’t exactly mesh with the prehistoric mythology the MonsterVerse seems to be going for. Perhaps eventually they could be given new origins, though, while maintaining their looks and names.

It also makes sense for some iconic monsters to sit out Godzilla: King of the Monsters to save them for future movies in the franchise. King Kong and Godzilla will face off in 2020, but as they are both good monsters, they will presumably have to unite to face a common enemy by that film’s end – and perhaps that enemy could be either alien or man-made.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters stomps into theaters on May 31st. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of what’s coming out when for the rest of this year.

Tessa Thompson Explains Her Goals For An All-Female Marvel Team

Valkyrie swigging from a bottle in Thor Ragnarok

It took over 10 years, but Marvel Studios finally has its first female-led solo movie in theaters now, and its success has been unquestionably outstanding. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s Captain Marvel is among the franchise’s most successful character launches, and very soon it will join the billion dollar club at the box office. There is very clearly a demand for female-led storytelling in this arena, and it’s a drumbeat that’s growing louder and louder every day.

One person not afraid to make a lot of noise in this arena is Tessa Thompson, who made her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in 2017 playing Valkyrie in Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok. She made headlines last year when she revealed details of a meeting she took with some of her female colleagues and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, and has announced ambitions to see some form of women-led team-up film. It’s a feeling that’s only been amplified with the release of Captain Marvel, as I learned speaking with the actress this past weekend:

Brie [Larson] is a friend, and I just like hanging out with her; and I’m so excited. Obviously it’s been a long time coming for Marvel to have a movie led by one of their female characters that exists in the canon… Last year in the press there was this whole idea that I was on Kevin Feige about doing an all-female, A-Force or something. But really it just has to do with the fact that there’s so many incredible, talented women in the MCU that I just want to work with selfishly. So I’m like, ‘Well, why not do it in the context of like fighting folks and hanging out in space?’

I had the wonderful pleasure of sitting down with Tessa Thompson and writer/director Nia DaCosta on Sunday, and while the majority of our conversation was about their new collaboration – the upcoming thriller Little Woods – my last question to the actress was about her popular role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. My way into the conversation was inspired by Thompson’s recent social media activity, specifically back-and forths between herself and Captain Marvel star Brie Larson.

The two actresses have been regularly sharing fan art depicting Valkyrie and Captain Marvel together, and it inspired me to ask about her hopes for a future movie featuring the two characters teaming up. The question inspired a laugh, and Thompson took the idea to a bigger place, explaining her real desire for collaborations with the immensely talented actresses that populate the popular franchise.

As she continued, however, she also expressed why she feels a certain special level of parity with Brie Larson. While actresses like Scarlet Johansson, Zoe Saldana, and Gwyneth Paltrow each have been in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for more than five years, the experience is still relatively new for both Larson and Tessa Thompson, and they apparently are both still reveling in all of it.

This is particularly motivated, as you might expect, simply from the impact that they both feel that they can make with such significant parts on such a significant stage. They know that there is a generation of young women who are going to have a completely different perspective on the world than what previous generations got from pop culture, and they are a part of that.

And of course, there is the geek-out factor as well, as Tessa Thompson explained, referencing the fan art,

Of course I would love the chance to work with Brie. We were just like, ‘Look! It’s us together!’ I think we’re both new to the MCU, so we both retain the sense of like, ‘Can you believe!?’ We’re just like, ‘What? We got capes? What’s happening?!’ We’re both really geeked out by having dolls and occupying this space. We’re like women’s women, so the idea of getting to do something that little girls are excited about, and people that identify as women feel excited about is cool. So who knows if we’ll get to do something together; it’s rad. But I’m just so happy for her, and for us and what it means culturally right now.

There are definitely a lot of expectations generated from the success we’ve seen, but the level of potential is also off the charts. Along with Valkyrie and Captain Marvel, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now filled with some fantastic, unique heroines that all bring something special to the table, including Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp, Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia, Danai Gurira’s Okoye, Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch, Karen Gillan’s Nebula, Pom Klementieff’s Mantis, and more. There are exciting, fun, and dramatic stories to be told with all of these characters – solo, paired, or as group – and it will be tremendously exciting to see if and how they come together in Phase Four and beyond. Maybe at least a few of them can come together to create a new version of the Guardians of the Galaxy once James Gunn is done with his trilogy?

As Marvel fans know, exactly what the future holds for the massive franchise is being kept as a closely guarded mystery for now, and we won’t have any specific answers as to what’s going on until after the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home this summer – whether that includes an all-female team movie or not. Of course, between now and then we will also see the release of Avengers: Endgame, and it’s very possible that we could see a few kick-ass female team-ups within the runtime of that adventure. Hell, for all we know it might already give us the first Valkyrie/Captain Marvel partnership, and Tessa Thompson is just trying to maintain the surprise. We’re keeping our fingers very tightly crossed.

We’ll continue to keep you up to date with all of the latest developments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (as always), but those of you also excited for more Tessa Thompson on the big screen will be getting a fantastic dose in just a few weeks. The aforementioned Little Woods, co-starring Lily Collins and James Badge Dale, will be in theaters in limited release on April 19th.

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New DVD Releases April 2019: All The Latest Movies And TV Shows Coming This Month

April is often a hodgepodge of new releases, both of the TV and movie variety. If you’ve still been waiting to catch some flicks from the end of last year, there will be options in April. In addition, if you’ve been hoping to catch some 2019 projects ranging from cool movie options like Glass to major TV events like Escape at Dannemora, you are in luck.

There’s a lot of good stuff out in April of 2019. Although we are sort of in the lull between giant blockbuster end-of-year releases and the big stuff that will be hitting theaters this spring and summer, no matter your preference, there’s interesting TV and movie content coming this month.

If you’re looking for the list of stuff coming in March of 2019, we have you covered per usual. In addition, Digital releases are out the same day as Blu-ray and DVD releases, unless otherwise noted in the early Digital releases column.

Tuesday, April 2 DVD, Blu-ray And Digital Releases

The Mule
Vice
Bumblebee
Archer: Danger Island
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
The Man Who Killed Hitler and then Bigfoot
Patrick
Seven in Heaven
Rust Creek

Tuesday, April 9 DVD, Blu-ray And Digital Releases

On the Basis of Sex (Digital March 26)
A Dog’s Way Home (Digital March 26)
Holmes and Watson
Welcome to Marwen (Digital March 26)
We Die Young
Berlin I Love You
Project Blue Book: Season 1
Ray Donovan: The Complete Sixth Season
You’re The Worst: The Complete Fifth Season
Noir Archive: 9-Film Collection

Tuesday, April 16 DVD, Blu-ray And Digital Releases

Glass
Dragon Ball Super: Broly
The Kid Who Would Be King
Escape at Dannemora
Justice League vs. The Fatal Five (Digital March 30)
Replicas
Batman: Hush
Masterpiece Victoria: The Complete Third Season
The Karate Kid [4K]
The Big C: The Complete Series

Tuesday, April 30 DVD, Blu-ray And Digital Releases

Miss Bala
Serenity
Mission of Honor

Given the wildly different releases this month, it would be hard for me to guesstimate what will be up your alley. Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Glass, and Bumblebee were all popular in their respective releases. In addition, The Kid Who Would Be King wasn’t wildly seen in theaters, but is one of the best-reviewed flicks out this month, running at a whopping 90% on Rotten Tomatoes among critics who reviewed the flick. Particularly if you have older kids, it may be worth checking out. All in all, there’s a lot to choose from and be sure to check back when we bring you May’s (likely even bigger) releases!

6 Insane Us Easter Eggs That Appear To Have Much Deeper Meanings

The following contains significant spoilers for Us.

Based on the weekend’s box office results, it appears that a lot of people went to see Jordan Peels’s new movie Us. It’s a movie that has a lot going on. It has so much happening that it’s very possible you didn’t catch many or everything worthy of note — especially if you only saw the movie once.

There are lots of easter eggs and references hidden inside Us, but rather than simply existing within the film so that the audience might catch them, many — if not all — of these little moments seem to be clearly chosen by Jordan Peele to help build on the larger themes of Us and foreshadow the story to come. Here are just a few my favorites.

CHUD in Us 2019

Those Video Tapes

Us opens with a very odd sequence in which we watch a small child watching television in the 80s. Specifically, she’s watching a promotion for Hands Across America, the fundraising stunt that was designed to bring attention to homelessness and poverty. Why we’re seeing this is far from clear, but what’s even more interesting than this dated advertisement is the collection of VHS tapes surrounding the television.

Among the tapes on display are The Goonies, a movie about kids who go exploring through a collection of hidden tunnels under the ground, and C.H.U.D., a horror film about monsters living in the sewers. We also see the box for The Man with Two Brains. While the movie itself doesn’t necessarily connect to the concepts behind Us, the idea of two minds being connected is certainly key to understanding Us.

Michael Jackson's Thriller video in the 1980s

Thriller

Us opens in the 1980s, more specifically in 1986 at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. It’s there we meet Adelaide for the first time. She’s a young child watching her father compete in carnival-style games where he’s able to successfully win her a prize, a Michael Jackson t-shirt specifically, one promoting Thriller, one of the biggest albums ever made.

Bringing up Thriller isn’t simply an easy reference to make it clear you’re watching a scene from the 1980s. Instead, we’re talking about a song that created one of the most memorable music videos of all-time. In the video, Jackson’s character shows that he has a dark side. He is both a man and a monster in the same way that the actors in Us play both roles. We also see a horde of zombie-like characters come up from underground, the same place they live in Us.

The Lost Boys 1980s

The Lost Boys

One of my personal favorite references in Us comes just after Adelaide gets her Michael Jackson T-shirt. The family is looking for something else to do at the boardwalk and Adelaide’s mother makes a throwaway reference that there is a movie shooting down the boardwalk, and maybe they should try to get in the movie as extras.

This isn’t just a random comment. The scene we’re watching is taking place in 1986, which would have been exactly when the ’80s classic The Lost Boys would have been filming in Santa Cruz, as it was released in 1987. The movie, which takes place in a fictionalized version of Santa Cruz, called Santa Carla, supposes there is a world full of vampires that exists alongside the world that we know. They’ve always been there, we just didn’t know they were there, just like the tethered.

Creepy twins in The Shining

The Shining

For many there is no creepier horror movie than Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Us pays its own sort of tribute to the classic by borrowing and re-purposing one of its most iconic images, a pair of creepy twins. The Wilson family is friends with another family, the Tylers. Husband Josh is played by Tim Heidecker and wife Kitty by Elizabeth Moss. Like the Wilson family they have two children, but in this case they are twins Becca and Lindsey.

Everybody in Us has a twin of course, but we don’t know that at this point in the story. Of course, these twins, like everybody else in the film, have evil duplicates too. In fact, it’s them that commit the first killing of “normal” characters when they rush their opposites from either side with knives drawn. Clearly, twins are just evil.

Roy Shneider in jaws

Jaws

The beach sequence when the Wilsons go to Santa Cruz owes more than a little to the classic Steven Spielberg film Jaws. If you needed that explained, there’s the fact that son Jason is actually wearing a Jaws t-shirt to the beach in the scene. In both cases we see a seemingly idyllic beach town fall into terror and violence.

However, beyond that, the end of the scene plays out in much the same way as a key sequence in Jaws. Adelaide is sitting on the beach and not really listening to Kitty when she realizes Jason has disappeared. She begins to look around for him and the tension builds to panic as Adelaide tries to cut out all the ancillary noise and find her son. Roy Schneider goes through a nearly identical sequence in Jaws. Although, things actually turn out OK for Jason, at least in that moment.

Alice in Wonderland

While most of the references in Us are front and center (even if their meanings aren’t always clear), this one is a bit less obvious, but the implications are certainly there.

Rabbits are an important symbol in Us. We look at them as the opening credits run, and we learn they were the primary food that the tethered had to eat. We also see daughter Zora sporting a t-shirt with a rabbit on it early in the film. When Adelaide finds herself back in the hall of mirrors and she first opens the door into the tunnels, the first thing she sees is a rabbit coming out, and then down the rabbit hole she goes, as in Alice in Wonderland. Once again, we’re dealing with the idea that an entirely new world we weren’t aware of has existed beneath us all this time.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of the references in Us. It seems that Jordan Peele left little to chance and nearly everything that we see is there for a reason. What Easter eggs or references did you catch in Us that you thought were especially telling? Let us know in the comments below.

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Chris Evans’ Marvel Characters Combine In Epic Image

Given how totally and completely Chris Evans has become Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the near decade he has played him, it would be easy to forget that Steve Rogers is not the actor’s first superhero role. That was as Johnny Storm in Fox’s Fantastic Four films. With those films, 21st Century Fox and the Fantastic Four now all under the Disney banner, some new fan art has combined Chris Evans’ two superhero roles into one epic image.

As if Captain America didn’t look badass enough already, setting him ablaze certainly does the trick. Johnny Rogers or Steve Storm (yeah, definitely that one, alliteration is a hallmark of superhero naming convention) has all the steely resolve of Cap and all the fiery intensity of the Human Torch.

Cap is already pretty darn formidable in his own right, but you give him the fire manipulation and flight powers of the Human Torch and the Avengers’ odds of victory increase several fold. This image from BossLogic is especially cool because it isn’t just imagining what an actor would look like as a character, it’s combining two Chris Evans has already played.

Chris Evans has played both Captain America and the Human Torch and with the multiverses of comic book movies colliding in the Disney-Fox deal, this amalgamation seems appropriate to commemorate the occasion. Now we just need Josh Brolin as Nathan ‘Thanos’ Summers and Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger shrouded in fire yelling ‘Flame on!’

This image is also fun because it reminds you of the very different types of superheroes Chris Evans has played. As Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four, he was the wild and cocky jokester who didn’t take anything seriously. And as Captain America, he is the beating heart of the MCU, a serious and selfless hero. It just goes to show Chris Evans’ talents.

How much longer Chris Evans will be using those talents in the MCU is an open question. Pretty much since Captain America: Civil War we’ve been speculating that Captain America will bite the dust in tragically heroic fashion, and that question will be at its loudest right before Avengers: Endgame, especially given that the trailer showed a worse for wear Steve Rogers gritting his teeth in what looks to be a brutal battle.

Of course, if Avengers: Endgame is Chris Evans’ last appearance as Captain America, that would open him up to reprise the role of Johnny Storm when the Fantastic Four come to the MCU. Hey, it could happen! As far as what the future holds for The Human Torch and the rest of the Fantastic Four in the MCU, it is too soon to say.

The Disney purchase of 21st Century Fox just went through last week and it’s presumed that the X-Men couldn’t make their way to the MCU until 2021 at the earliest, so it would stand to reason that the same would apply to the Fantastic Four.

Before all that though, The Infinity Saga comes to an end when Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all this year’s biggest movies.

Chinese Censors Banned These Bohemian Rhapsody LGBTQ Moments

It’s only been a couple of days since Bohemian Rhapsody was released into Chinese theaters, and it was a long road to even get there. This week, word is coming out as to what’s been cut from the film. We knew that Bohemian Rhapsody was going to have some issues as it was cleared for a Chinese release and would endure some omissions due to Chinese restrictions and censors. Now we have a specific rundown of just what’s been cut, and the trimmed material ranges from the mere usage of the word “gay” to crucial scenes involving the arc of Freddie Mercury’s eventual acceptance of his sexuality.

The specific moments trimmed from Bohemian Rhapsody include the comedic beat during Queen’s early Top of the Pops performance where Freddie’s crotch is in full view of the camera, a couple of kisses between the Queen front man and his lovers, and even a moment where band mate Roger Taylor tells Freddie that his haircut makes him look “gayer.”

But perhaps the biggest cuts to Bohemian Rhapsody are two scenes that most help nail down the film’s identity. The first is the moment with Freddie Mercury and his wife Mary, played by Lucy Boynton, who eventually outs her husband as gay; and the second is the recreation of the “I Want To Break Free” music video, which led to an MTV ban on the song’s music video back in 1984. Both are lynchpin moments for the twin narratives of both Freddie’s and the band’s evolutions, and yet both were dropped.

In total, six sequences were cited as removed in an analysis provided to CNN by documentarian Fan Popo, a Chinese-born filmmaker. Also known as an LGBTQ activist in his home country, Popo revealed this list of cut moments as an antithesis to the viewpoint that Bohemian Rhapsody’s mere release in the country should be seen as a win. Further driving his point home, he provided the following feelings about these moments being excised from Bohemian Rhapsody:

It was highly unexpected that Bohemian Rhapsody would hit Chinese theaters at all due to the country’s strict LGBTQ media stance, so even the fact a trimmed down version of the movie made it to theaters is news.  Should a potential sequel to Bohemian Rhapsody that’s been bandied about as of late ever get off the ground, it would be interesting to see if rather than pushing the envelope and trimming the film to fit a specific release, the next picture would just avoid those sorts of moments at the script level. Not only would such an approach save time and money on cutting two different versions of the film, it would potentially give this hypothetical blockbuster a means to break even more records than its predecessor. At the same time, it wouldn’t be super accurate to Freddie Mercury’s life.

While Bohemian Rhapsody didn’t suffer the fate of being banned from China, much like Crimson Peak, it did run into some rather sharp editing shears on the way to its release. Which begs the question, which is the better fate: to have your film’s message altered or to not be shown at all in a particular market? That something that the (now) Fox-owned Disney will need to figure out movie forward.  It’s also something you can think about as you watch Bohemian Rhapsody, which is already available on Digital HD, as well as home video.

Daniel Craig Has Been Working Out For 12 Hours At A Time For Bond 25

If you’re a good worker, you do what you have to in order to get the job done. Maybe it’s putting on a tie around the office and being a good listener, or making sure your emails have that polished sheen of professionalism that gets the point across. The point is, when you give 150% to your chosen profession, you’re going to do what needs to be done. And if you’re Daniel Craig, it’s apparently working out in multiple 12 hour power sessions to become physically fit for his fifth, and presumably last, outing as James Bond in Bond 25.

Apparently some of Craig’s co-workers on the set of the latest 007 film have noted that the man who’s played the suave asskicker since 2006’s Casino Royale has paid important attention to keeping his physique in tip top shape. On top of working out for basically half a day, Daniel Craig has also been keeping a strict diet regimen that is helping give him the look that he’s rocked in all of his outings as the character.

Keep in mind, this isn’t just Daniel Craig cramming in a bunch of exercise to get ready for Bond 25. The man certainly hasn’t let himself go by any means. True, it’s been almost four years since Spectre brought the action, but with work in other projects like Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky, and this year’s Knives Out with Rian Johnson, it’s safe to assume that Daniel Craig hasn’t been slacking off.

Still, James Bond movies must attempt to go above and beyond what the public is expecting. So this report from the Daily Mail stating that Mr. Craig is undergoing several 12 hour workout sessions in a week is no surprise. It’s certainly not the most insane plan we’ve seen, as Dwayne Johnson probably has Daniel Craig beat out in that respect. But it definitely highlights why Bond 25 is probably going to be Craig’s last time out in the role.

Playing a character like James Bond is much like the experience that Hugh Jackman had while playing Wolverine in his X-Men films and spin-offs. There’s opportunity to stretch the acting legs in-between goes, but ultimately there comes a time when you want to ditch the diets and the workouts and just play the field of acting in a much less physically demanding way. Perhaps the most important part of such a decision, especially in the Bond franchise, is to quit while people still believe you’re able to do the stunts.

When all is said and done with Bond 25, Daniel Craig will have given roughly 15 years and five movies to the franchise that helped skyrocket him to the megastar that he is today. And he’ll have paid for it with the crazy sorts of diet and exercise routines that he’s currently working with. It’s an insane method, but the results for sure cannot be argued with.

How Candyman’s Jordan Peele And Director Nia DaCosta Bonded Through Horror Fandom

Candyman poster closeup

This past weekend saw the phenomenal release of Jordan Peele’s Us, and the good news for those already hungry for more horror stories from the filmmaker is that he has many irons in the fire. For example, there is the new version of The Twilight Zone that he is producing and hosting for CBS All Access – but on the feature side of things there is the tremendously exciting new take on Candyman that he is making with writer/director Nia DaCosta.

News of DaCosta’s hiring came just a couple months after the announcement about the project’s development late last year, and also just a few months after the world premiere of her feature debut, Little Woods (which played at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival). In the time since, not much has been revealed about the direction of the new Candyman, but while sitting down with DaCosta this past weekend, I learned about a key ingredient in her collaboration with Jordan Peele:

I think something that we connect on a lot was the way we view horror, and our love of horror. I love Candyman, but also just like breaking down what horror is, how it’s represented, what it means, and why it’s important. I think we really connected on that, and so that’s a lot of what our conversations have been about… that I can tell you (laughs). It’s been great. He’s a wonderful creator, collaborator, human, artist.

With the film set to be released in a few weeks, Little Woods held its Los Angeles press day on Sunday, and it was at the end of my interview with Nia DaCosta and star/executive producer Tessa Thompson that I inquired about the development of her upcoming horror remake. Specifically I asked about the conversations that she had been having with Jordan Peele, and she explained how a shared vision of what horror can do and why it’s effective is really driving their work together on Candyman.

Naturally I felt compelled to follow-up by asking about her philosophy in the genre, and what she stressed was both engaging with the audience, and also telling stories that bring home important messages in subversive ways. It’s a key staple of horror that has existed from the beginning, and a tradition that Nia DaCosta plans to uphold in her venture. Said the filmmaker,

What I like about genres like thrillers, and why I think tensions are important for all movies, including dramas, it’s physicalizing what the characters are feeling for the audience. That’s really important, and gets the audience to engage and to lean in. And then with horror you can sneak in messages. You know sneak in what you think about the world around you, and how actually horrifying the world is. You get to hide it in these layers. ‘This is about a ghost, but really it’s about paranoia and a woman’s place in the world.’ Or, you know, ‘This is about a guy meeting his girlfriend’s parents, but really it’s about… Actually a guy meeting his girlfriend’s parents.’ (laughs)

Based on a short story by Clive Barker that was first adapted in 1992, Candyman centers on an urban legend that is being investigated by a college student – specifically one about a violent entity who appears and attacks anyone who dares to say his name five times into a mirror. Yahya Abdul-Matten II, who has earned notoriety in recent months thanks to his performance in James Wan’s Aquaman and Jordan Peele’s Us, is currently the only member of the cast, set to play the titular villain.

With Nia DaCosta directing and Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld writing the script, Candyman is currently on track to be released on June 12, 2020 – produced by Monkeypaw Productions and MGM. For those of you who want to get a taste of what DaCosta is bringing to the table as a filmmaker, however, (and I highly recommend that you do), Little Woods is set up with distribution from Neon, and will be getting a limited release starting on April 19th.

For more about the film, and more from my interview with Nia DaCosta and Tessa Thompson, be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend!

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Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Director Reveals Stan Lee’s Cut Lines

It’s hard to imagine a more perfect cameo at a more perfect time than Stan Lee’s appearance in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. While selling Miles Morales a Spider-Man suit, Stan Lee’s shop owner tells the future web-crawler that he and Spider-Man were friends and that he was going to miss him before letting Miles know that the suit always fits, eventually. There were other lines considered for Stan Lee’s cameo though, and now Spider-Verse co-director Rodney Rothman has revealed what they are on social media. Per the co-director:

Man, this could have been a real Sophie’s choice because each of these alternate lines is great and would have worked for the function of the important scene. In different ways, each of the cut lines says something about the importance of having and believing in heroes, exactly the sort of thing that Miles Morales needs to hear in that moment after the death of Spider-Man.

The first and third lines speak to the invincible quality we ascribe to superheroes and those in our own lives growing up, that ability of heroes to seem larger-than-life and eternal. Stan Lee’s puzzlement in the second line, about why the Spidey suits keep selling, reminds us and Miles that people will always crave heroes to look up to.

Beyond just working as great lines for the cameo that service the scene, these lines also operate on a meta level. It’s almost eerie how each of these lines take on a certain poignancy and melancholy quality in the wake of Stan Lee’s death.

The first line, about not believing that Spider-Man could die, is how many of us felt about Stan Lee himself. The legendary comics creator just seemed to keep going well into old age with the vigor and enthusiasm of the most excited young fans that have enjoyed his work over the years.

The second line speaks to the incredible alchemy that Stan Lee and his contemporaries achieved with the superheroes that dominate cinema screens today. There is no exact, cut-and-dry answer revealing what about superheroes connects with people, but they do and thus continue to sell.

The last line is an especially tough one because we know in fact that Spider-Man did outlive Stan Lee, and that the legacy of the man will indeed live on because Spider-Man and all the other characters he had a hand in creating will live on.

This is some cool insight into the other potential lines Stan Lee could have thrown out in his Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse cameo. As Rodney Rothman said in his tweet, Stan Lee himself favored the line that wound up in the final film, as that’s the one that had the most meaning to him.

As we’ve heard before, that line was recorded not long after Stan Lee’s wife Joan passed away, so perhaps when he was saying, “I’m going to miss him” he was really thinking about his wife. That line and the part about them being friends is how many of us feel about Stan Lee. That, in some ways, he was like our friend and we are going to miss him.

Really Spider-Verse couldn’t have gone wrong with any of the lines, but it is nice to know the filmmakers went with the one that Stan Lee preferred. There was arguably no better balm to soothe our wounded hearts at Stan Lee’s passing than to see the comics legend in animated form in a Spider-Man movie.

That wasn’t the last time we saw Stan Lee onscreen though, he recorded multiple cameos before his death. We just saw one in Captain Marvel and there are still more to come.

The Best Animated Feature Oscar winner Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is now on home video. Check out our 2019 release schedule to see all the biggest movies still to come this year.

You’ll Never Guess Who Inspired Lupita Nyong’o’s Raspy Us Voice

The following contains spoilers for Us**.**

There are many terrifying parts of Jordan Peele‘s new film, Us. However, one of the most chilling aspects of the story has to be the performance of Lupita Nyong’o’s dark doppelganger, Red. She moves with a inhuman smoothness which will be enough to make your skin crawl on its own. However, it’s when Red speaks that she truly terrifies.

Red’s voice has a raw and raspy quality. The words come out clearly enough, but with a methodical slowness, like she has to fight to make every word work. Jordan Peele apparently gave Lupita Nyong’o a very basic understanding of what he wanted from Red’s voice, in part because he was keeping aspects of the story itself hidden from her early on. Nyong’o says she eventually found inspiration for her character after hearing, of all people, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speak. This led the actress to investigate the affliction more in order to better understand it. According to Nyong’o…

Kennedy, the son of the former Attorney General of the United States, suffers from a condition called spasmodic dysphonia. It’s part of a group of neurological disorders which cause muscles to spasm involuntarily. When those muscles are in the throat and vocal chords, it results in a voice that comes out uneven. Lupita Nyong’o tells the New York Times that she found the vocal irregularity inspiring and began to study it more in order to learn as much as she could about it.

As it turns out, little is known about how the condition comes about, but Lupita Nyong’o felt that it made sense for the character of Red. According to the actress…

Lupita Nyong’o stops short of stating that Red suffers from this particular affliction. Maybe she does, maybe she doesn’t, but it’s not hard to see how the concept inspired the way the character speaks. Red is a dark and twisted opposite of Nyong’o’s other character, Adelaide. It makes sense that Red’s speech would be just as twisted as everything else about the character.

There are reasons for Red’s unusual speech pattern, of course, but to understand them you need to see Us and there’s no need to spoil the details of the film anymore than is absolutely necessary. Although, it appears a lot of people saw the film over this past weekend.

There are many aspects of Us that are likely to remain with you after you see the film, but the voice of Red is absolutely one of them. Us is in theaters now.