Michael B. Jordan And Warner Bros. Are Working Together On An Inclusion Policy

Diversity and representation in Hollywood, both in front of and behind the camera, has been a huge topic of conversation the past few years. From #OscarsSoWhite to various allegations of whitewashing in the industry, there has been a call for these perceived injustices to be remedied, most notably by Frances McDormand in her Oscar acceptance speech calling for inclusion riders. Now we are seeing a concrete realization of that movement. Michael B. Jordan and Warner Bros. are partnering to launch an inclusion and diversity policy.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the new initiative is intended to increase diversity and inclusion on both sides of the camera. The policy is the product of a partnership between WarnerMedia and actor Michael B. Jordan. Although the policy does not include specifics and is more of a statement of goals, it will strive to provide more opportunities to people of color, women, members of LGBTQ communities, those with disabilities and other underrepresented groups, both onscreen and in other production capacities. The new policy will apply to all productions moving forward, starting with Just Mercy, which Michael B. Jordan is an executive producer on and stars him, Brie Larson and Jamie Foxx. The policy is not just for Warner Bros. the studio either. It applies to everything under the WarnerMedia (formerly Time Warner) banner, including HBO and Turner.

Killmonger may have failed, going about correcting past injustices in the wrong way, but Michael B. Jordan is aiming to make a difference and give people a chance in a positive way. In a statement, Michael B. Jordan spoke about the importance of inclusion and how Frances McDormand’s Oscars speech inspired him that there were mechanisms to achieve such change. It doesn’t sound like this is just an idealistic goal made for good PR either. WarnerMedia intends to create plans early in the production process on its projects to ensure that this commitment to diversity and inclusion is being met. And as a measure of transparency, WarnerMedia will issue an annual report on this policy’s progress.

This is obviously a huge move for a massive entertainment conglomerate that will affect film and television moving forward. It is kind of silly that the industry has been so bad about diversity and inclusion historically that something like this was needed, but it definitely reflects well on Warner Bros. and it will be interesting to see the products of this policy. The past couple of years have made such a move begin to look less like an easy way to get good press and more like a smart business move. The market has spoken and films like Black Panther and Warner Bros.’ own Crazy Rich Asians have made it abundantly clear that movies featuring historically underrepresented groups can be extremely lucrative.

Michael B. Jordan’s Just Mercy starts filming this week for a 2020 release date. Michael B. Jordan can next be seen this fall in Creed II, which punches its way into theaters on November 21. Check out our release guide for all the biggest movies still to come this year.

The First Team To Beat Destiny 2’s Last Wish Raid Will Get An Awesome Prize

Beating raids is something most people enjoy as the culmination of their efforts in an MMORPG. Raids are heralded as the pinnacle of massive multiplayer excellence, requiring players to utilize both personal skill and a heck of a lot of communication and teamwork. Typically raid rewards are based around unlocking some rare gear for your characters, or some cool weapon or armor that the boss used during the fight. In the case of Destiny 2, Bungie decided to completely turn the raid rewards on its head by giving the first team to beat the Last Wish raid a really awesome price.

Over on the official Bungie website, the weekly update rolls out news about what Bungie has planned for the reward for the first team to complete the Last Wish raid in Destiny 2: Forsaken, once the raid becomes available to play: a championship belt.

No joke, the team will have a big gold and cyan belt up for grabs, complete with a black leather strap to keep the gold plates in place. It looks like a world championship title belt from the WWE 2K games or another wrestling federation. The centerpiece has a giant skull with a sword through the center and spiked chains encircling the skull icon. There are space ships at the top of the emblem with “World First” between the hilt of the sword and “Last Wish” at the bottom tip of the sword. The player’s name who first conquered the raid will go on a plaque just beneath “Last Wish” and the Bungie logo sits at the very bottom of the center plate.

The two side plates feature space ships on a logo at the top and a skull with “2018” on the bottom emblem.

If you want to get your hands on the title belt, you’ll have to join up with your buddies and be the very first team to defeat the Last Wish raid. You’ll have a little bit of time to get your team together as the raid doesn’t go live for Destiny 2 owners until September 14th, 2018 at the end of the week starting at 10:00am Pacific Standard Time.

The raid will take place across the new location featured in the Forsaken expansion pack, which is themed around the death of Cayde-6. The new location in the game takes place across the scattered rocks of the Tangled Shore, where players will deal with bandits, outcasts, and the corrupted Scorn.

The details on the raid are scant, but it involves taking your team into the Dreaming City in pursuit of some high-end loot.

For those of you who want to get your hands on the belt after completing the Last Wish raid and looting everything of value in the Dreaming City, you’ll have to compete with a rather large audience, including gamers from South Korea who will be right there at the starting line as well.

The first six players who complete Destiny 2’s raid will each receive real-world trophies to highlight the completion of the raid. Bungie has plans on further detailing the awards starting next week after the raid officially gets underway.

The Big Bang Theory Is Bringing Back A Beloved Guest Star For The Final Season

The Big Bang Theory is set to end after the upcoming twelfth season, and there are only so many episodes left for the show to bring back beloved guest stars. While the show likely won’t fit in everybody fans would love to see back in the mix at least one more time, we can add one more to the list of guest stars set to reprise their roles before the final credits role. Yes, Bob Newhart will be back on The Big Bang Theory.

Not too many details about how and why Bob Newhart will reprise his role are currently available, but TVLine reports that his Season 12 episode is expected to air sometime in the first half of Season 12 this fall. Newhart’s Season 12 return will mark the sixth time he’s played Arthur Jeffries/Professor Proton on The Big Bang Theory, which is frankly remarkable given that his character has been dead for years.

As fans will remember, Arthur Jeffries died way back in Season 7, and The Big Bang Theory isn’t exactly a show in the habit of incorporating ghosts. Nevertheless, The Big Bang Theory has found a way to bring Sheldon’s idol back in the years since his death, and in the most Sheldon-like way imaginable. Arthur has come to visit Sheldon in his dreams, dressed as Obi-Wan Kenobi and carrying a light saber. It’s not quite a twist as epic as the one Bob Newhart pulled on his own show years ago, but it was a solid way to bring him back to the show without resurrecting the character.

Bob Newhart’s most recent Big Bang Theory appearance came in Season 11’s “The Proton Regeneration.” He visited Sheldon in an hour of need: when Sheldon learned that Wil Wheaton of all people would take over as Professor Proton. This unfortunate twist naturally left Sheldon distraught, and he needed the dream/Force visit from his former idol.

Arthur Jeffries/Professor Proton has visited Sheldon in his dreams in some of Sheldon’s hours of great deliberation, such as when Sheldon was finally considering sleeping with Amy. Arthur advised Sheldon to spend Amy’s birthday with her and celebrate as she’d wanted for a long time rather than see The Force Awakens immediately after it premiered.

Well, dream Jeffries did something right, as Sheldon and Amy tied the knot at the end of Season 11. Hopefully he gets some gratitude from Sheldon when he returns in Season 12, however that happens. As a figment of Sheldon’s imagination, a thank you wouldn’t change anything, but it would still be nice to see. Only time will tell. We’ll have to wait until The Big Bang Theory gets into gear for its twelfth and final season as part of TV’s fall lineup. The Big Bang Theory Season 12 premieres Monday, September 24 at 8 p.m. ET.

Cult Classic Space Channel 5 Is Getting The VR Treatment

With Tokyo Game Show right around the corner, announcements have already started to trickle out for new game releases. For instance, Space Channel 5 VR is coming to PlayStation VR! Now for the real question: will it launch outside of Japan?

Tokyo Game Show might not kick off until Sept. 20, but Sony hosted a pre-show event last night to get the hype train rolling early. Yesterday was also the 19th birthday for the Sega Dreamcast, making this Space Channel 5 news perfectly timed.

Reporting from the event, Game Informer picked up on this announcement that the VR edition of one of the earlier rhythm games is heading to the PlayStation VR. It turns out Space Channel 5 VR has actually already been available in Japanese arcades for a while now, with the game planned to arrive on PC-based VR headsets at an undetermined point in the future. Last night’s announcement confirms that the game will also be heading to the PlayStation VR, so color us surprised that the leading VR platform wasn’t part of the launch plan from the very beginning.

As for Space Channel 5, it launched on the Dreamcast just three months after the console arrived in 1999, making it an early and beloved hit alongside other games heavily influenced by music like Jet Set Radio and Samba de Amigo.

In Space Channel 5, players take on the role of journalist Ulala in a future where television networks are battling for ratings. When aliens invade and force innocent bystanders to dance, Ulala uses her super-sweet moves to defeat them. In the Dreamcast version of the original game, players pressed specified buttons to the beat of the music. That formula has been transferred over to the VR version, where movements by the player are necessary to complete the various songs. It’s one of those VR conversions that makes a lot of sense, since the game’s button prompts typically had the player stepping to the left or right, ducking or shooting the invading aliens with, I don’t know, space-dance-magic or something.

We’re sure the announcement that the game is now heading to PSVR will excite plenty of Japanese fans, but we’re still curious if Sega will be bringing the dance-a-thon to the West as well. I figure a lot of folks have fond memories of Ulala, especially since the game grew popular enough to make the jump to other platforms when the Dreamcast died its premature death. The game and its sequel were also later ported to services like Xbox Arcade and Steam.

Given Japan’s love for PSVR, we’re curious to see if even more virtual reality games will be announced for the device before or during Tokyo Game Show. The platform isn’t receiving much promotion from Sony here in the U.S., even though games (and some pretty big ones, at that) are launching for it constantly.

New Jeremy Renner Avengers 4 Reshoots Photo Is Full Of Cryptic Hashtags

Unlike the other founding Avengers members in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, sat out the events of Avengers: Infinity War, having arranged a deal to be with his family as part of his house arrest. But just like how Hawkeye was drawn out of retirement during Captain America: Civil War, Avengers 4 will see the archer back in action, and Jeremy Renner is making sure fans know he’s really participating in the Phase 3 capper. Last week, the actor posted a picture of himself suited up for the reshoots, and now his latest post is peppered with some curious hashtags.

Some of the hashtags on Jeremy Renner’s Instagram post are self-explanatory, like including a standard #hawkeye and referring to Thanos as the #purplebadguy (appropriately companied by a middle finger). But then there are ones like #widow? and #isanyonegonnashowup?, which have us raising an eyebrow. Black Widow and Hawkeye have been tight for years, so one would imagine that they’ll reunite in Avengers 4, but Renner apparently wants to call that into question. As for if anyone will show up, well, let’s just say half of the MCU’s heroes will definitely be back for Avengers 4, while the other half met dusty ends when Avengers: Infinity War concluded. And regarding #cawcawmfs, I’d like to think that’s referencing how Renner’s current hairdo resembles the top of a cockatoo’s head, but I could be way off the mark.

After cameoing in Thor, Hawkeye made his full MCU debut in The Avengers, where he transitioned from S.H.I.E.L.D. to mind-controlled Loki goon to one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. He returned for Avengers: Age of Ultron and decided to hang up his bow at the end to spend more time with his family (including newborn son Nathaniel), but when the kerfuffle surrounding the Sokovia Accords and Bucky Barnes unfolded, Clint was willing to help out once more, which unfortunately resulted in his incarceration. Had Thanos not wiped out half of all life in the universe at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, maybe Clint could have stayed permanently retired from the superhero life, but alas, he’s back to shooting arrows at bad guys in Avengers 4. It hasn’t been revealed yet specifically why Hawkeye is returning, although one theory posits that his family was among Thanos’ victims, which is reason enough for him to suit back up.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest on what’s happening with Hawkeye in the MCU. Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 3, 2019. Be sure to look through our Marvel movies guide to learn what else is in development for the blockbuster franchise, as well as our 2018 release schedule to find out what’s coming out for the rest of the year.

A Game Of Thrones Star Really Wants To Play Harry Potter

It seems that everybody who grew up reading the Harry Potter books dreamed of being the boy wizard at one time or another. Everybody, in this case, includes one star of Game of Thrones. Kit Harrington recently completed filming on the final season of the hit show, making him a major part of the history of one popular fantasy franchise, but the actor recently admitted that he always wanted to be part of a different one. According to Harrington…

It’s entirely possible that after eight films and countless performances, Kit Harrington is one of the few U.K. based actors on the entire island that didn’t have at least a small role in a Harry Potter film. It seems like eventually, everybody got their chance, but Harrington was an exception. The actor still wishes he’d had a chance to at least be in a Harry Potter movie, though the actor tells Entertainment Weekly he really wishes he could have played the lead. Kit Harrington is three years older than Daniel Radcliffe, which, back when the first Harry Potter movie was underway, might have been enough to make him too old to play the role, which is unfortunate.

Today, however, maybe Kit Harrington could have another shot. If we were to see Harry Potter on the big screen again it would likely be in an adaptation of the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. That story would require a fully grown adult Harry Potter and so there’s still a chance something could work out. At the very least, the odds of appearing in such a film would be much higher now, since Harrington is famous thanks to Game of Thrones.

It’s probably the only way Harrington will actually be able to play Harry Potter himself. The franchise reboot will certainly happen one day, but then the actor will be far too old to play the part.

There’s also the possibility for a future role in a Fantastic Beasts movie, which, depending on how you define it, would count as a Harry Potter movie. There are expected to be three more of them after Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald comes out this November, so there are several more opportunities for Harrington to find a place in the Wizarding World, and now that his responsibilities to Game of Thrones are done, he’d be free to take one if it came his way. Odds are that we’ll see that series of films finish up before we get any other films that might see the return of Harry Potter himself, though it seems clear that movies set in that world will certainly continue as long as the audience keeps going to see them.

New Kingdom Hearts III Trailer Includes Big Hero 6

Years ago, at a game convention long ago and far away, Square Enix announced that Kingdom Hearts III was in development and coming to a home console near you. Every single year that passed gamers assumed that the following year would finally be the year that the game released, but alas, it was not meant to be. Finally, after waiting five years and a handful of E3s later, Square Enix announced that Kingdom Hearts III would be released in early 2019. Square has been slowly unveiling new content, stages, characters, and story elements for the action-oriented JRPG for the PS4 and Xbox One, and the newest Tokyo Game Show trailer revels in the inclusion of the characters from the popular Disney film Big Hero 6.

Conjuring 3 Is Moving Forward, Has A Script

After this past weekend and the box office performance of The Nun, The Conjuring Universe is at a point where it’s stronger than it’s ever been as a franchise. Big lines are forming for the new releases, and while the reaction to the latest installment has not been as positive as previous titles, there is no questioning the demand. Fortunately, the future is bright, as not only is the untitled Annabelle 3 gearing up to shoot this fall, but producer Peter Safran recently told me that The Conjuring 3 is aiming to start production in 2019:

Having produced all of the Conjuring Universe movies to date, Peter Safran is one of the key filmmakers navigating the future of the franchise, and I had the opportunity to speak with him about that vision earlier this year. When the subject of The Conjuring 3 came up, the producer not only confirmed its active development, but also established a timetable that suggests we could see the finished film in theaters in 2020.

David Lindsay Johnson, who co-wrote The Conjuring 2, was officially announced to be writing the script last year, though updates about the project have been few and far between. That being said, certainly one interesting news front has centered on whether or not James Wan will return to direct. Despite launching multiple franchises throughout his career, he has never completed a trilogy, and in August of last year he said that he would likely be too busy working on Aquaman to make The Conjuring 3. If the anticipated sequel starring Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga doesn’t start filming until next year, however, one wonders if he might not be available after all.

There has been no official statement regarding what case from the files of Ed and Lorraine Warren will be plucked out to make The Conjuring 3 — but Peter Safran himself had something interesting to say on that front a couple years ago during the making of Annabelle: Creation. Namely, he said that the project would have to move away from the haunted house setup that we’ve seen and do something different with the established characters. It’s an exciting proposition, and we anticipate learning about what direction the film will take.

For now, fans of The Conjuring Universe can see The Nun in theaters — and I’d also recommend staying tuned here on CinemaBlend for more from my interview with Peter Safran, including updates about The Crooked Man and discussions about a potential The Nun 2. And for what’s immediately ahead on the big screen, be sure to check out our 2018 Movie Release Calendar.

The White House Has Called The View Hosts ‘Disrespectful’

The View is known for showcasing a variety of women as hosts to debate hot-button issues, and none of the women who share their voices are known for holding back their thoughts and feelings. Unsurprisingly, they had plenty of comments in the wake of the release of an op-ed from an anonymous White House employee. Many of the people within the White House released statements denying that they were the author, including First Lady Melania Trump. The View host Sunny Hostin wanted to discuss Trump’s comments. In doing so, Hostin did something that the White House deems “disrespectful.” Here’s what happened.

Sunny Hostin decided that Melania Trump’s statement with regard to the anonymous op-ed warranted discussion, and so she prepared to read part of it out loud. She paused before beginning to read the statement, at which point co-host Whoopi Goldberg advised her not to “do it.” Hostin responded by saying that she “can’t do her accent,” prompting Goldberg to reiterate that Hostin shouldn’t do it. Sunny Hostin ultimately did not try to adopt Melania Trump’s Slovenian accent and proceeded to read the statement as she would normally.

Despite Sunny Hostin’s ultimate decision not to attempt to copy Melania Trump’s Slovenian accent, a representative from the White House weighed in on what happened. Stephanie Grisham, White House Director of Communications for Melania Trump, posted comments on the issue via Twitter. In response to a tweet about The View host’s comments on Trump, Grisham stated that the women of The View were “disrespectful & hypocritical while mocking someone’s accent.” Grisham then went on to address Sunny Hostin. Take a look!

For Stephanie Grisham, it was apparently not enough that Sunny Hostin did not imitate Melania Trump’s accent after Whoopi Goldberg suggested she refrain. At the time of writing, Sunny Hostin did not post a response to Grisham’s message despite being tagged in the tweet. Given that Hostin is hardly one of the conservative judges on the View panel, the folks at the White House may want to count on more commentary from Hostin moving forward.

Former co-host Candace Cameron Bure has gone on the record that she believes The VIew needs more than one conservative host to maintain a balance in the discussions. The show recently did add a second a second conservative voice to join Meghan McCain. Abby Hunstman, previously best known for her role as Fox & Friends Weekend co-host over at Fox News, joined The View for its new season. She hasn’t had long to prove how well she’ll fit into the View dynamic, and there has been a lot of host turnover in recent years. It should be interesting to see how she performs as part of The View moving forward.

Universal Studios Is Building New Thrill Ride, But It Means Change To Harry Potter Celebration

While Universal Studios is gearing up for this year’s Hollywood Horror Nights, the Orlando-based theme park is also looking to the future, and we recently learned there are some big changes on the horizon in regard to the Harry Potter sections. Some of this is good news and some of this is not the best news for fans, but as we’re feeling pretty optimistic this Monday, we’ll stick with the good news first: Universal Studios Orlando is definitely working hard to open that new thrill ride one of the Harry Potter sections of its parks. As for the other news? It’s going to have an effect on a Harry Potter event that parkgoers have loved for a few years now.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been open in Orlando since 2010 (the one in California didn’t open until 2016). In that time, there have been plenty of expansions and additions added since the themed concept initially opened. In fact, in Florida, you can catch some wizarding wonders in both Islands of Adventure and the regular Universal Studios Florida parks. Details are scarce in regards to what the new “thrill” ride will entail; however, we do know the new expansion is going to go in the Islands of Adventure Park and that it is expected to be a coaster experience. In addition, the AP says the thrill ride won’t be the only new Harry Potter addition to the park and that there will be information about new experiences coming soon.

Unfortunately with good news there is often bad news, as well. Fans who enjoy The Wizarding World of Harry Potter‘s annual celebration of Harry Potter will not be getting their fix in 2019. The popular theme park has announced that as part of the renovations and changes A Celebration of Harry Potter will not be happening next year at any point. The event usually happens near the start of an individual year, during the winter months. The 2018 event occurred between January 26 and January 28 of last year. For the past five years, the fun fan event has lasted for three days and been covered by the price of admission. Stars of the movies are often involved and it’s kind of a big deal. So losing that will be noticeable on the calendar next year. Hopefully, it will just be a blip before Universal gets back to its regular programming.

Obviously, adding a ride to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is not the only change afoot at Universal Studios. The theme park recently shut down the famous Jurassic Park ride in order to go through a Jurassic World remodel. A Terminator 2-based ride was also shut down and is expected to be replaced in 2019. As soon as Universal makes a clearer announcement regarding what to expect with all of Harry Potter changes coming in 2019 we’ll be on hand to keep you posted. In the meantime, you can take a look at the final day for the Jurassic Park ride. Or, if you are more of a Potter-head, you can see what is coming for the franchise on the movie front with our guide to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.