How Star Wars Fans Can Learn More About The Knights Of Ren

If you’ve seen the Star Wars sequel trilogy so far, you’ll know what I mean when I say that the new movies have been woefully bereft of promised characters: the Knights of Ren. We know little about them and even less about why they haven’t been prioritized (even though The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson explained why he didn’t include them in his film). This is strange, especially considering how their leader, Kylo Ren, has been one of the most important players in the Skywalker Saga.

Fortunately, after months of rumors, Kylo’s group of renegade Jedi apprentices were confirmed to appear in December’s trilogy-capper, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. And, if you want to learn more about these sinister-but-not-yet-seen side characters, there’s a comic series for that.

Popular comic book writer Charles Soule confirmed on Twitter that he will be writing a series titled Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren. The series promises to explore the origins of the Knights of Ren, why they joined Kylo’s cause after Luke nearly killed him in his sleep (thanks, The Last Jedi), and what they’re up to now. It’s sure to be a fascinating series, and Soule is more than up for the job. He’s written countless comic books, an acclaimed novel titled The Oracle Year, and all kinds of other cool stories you should check out. He’s written Star Wars stories before, too. Plenty of them. It’s highly likely, even probable, that he’s gonna knock this one out of the park.

The announcement happened during the Lucasfilm Publishing panel at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, where the publishers gathered to discuss the new 4-issue series and hype up fans for what’s to come. Nothing else was mentioned, which is consistent with Disney and Lucasfilm’s oath to secrecy when it comes to anything and everything Star Wars. Hopefully, though, the series will give us the context we need before Rey and Kylo’s final confrontation in the next film.

Right now, all we know about the Knights of Ren comes from what we’ve seen in Rey’s fitful visions in The Force Awakens, from Luke’s brief mention of them in The Last Jedi, and from the sobering flashback showing us the Jedi temple they burned. It’s not a lot to draw from, but luckily, an unannounced artist is drawing it for us (in comic book form).

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ends it all on December 20, 2019. The Rise of Kylo Ren hits shelves shortly before that. Consider it a primer for what’s to come. Here’s to hoping it sets up the conclusion to a beloved saga in a powerful and satisfying way.

A Fan Called Anna Kendrick’s New Film Look Unflattering, And Her Reply Was NSFW Gold

God I love Anna Kendrick. The Pitch Perfect star is now filming the sci-fi thriller Stowaway with Toni Collette, Daniel Dae Kim, and Shamier Anderson. The story follows a spacecraft headed to Mars, with the crew discovering a stowaway after takeoff. To film space scenes, Kendrick donned a spacesuit. Pretty obvious. She shared a behind-the-scenes image in costume, alongside some crew members on set.

One fan apparently wasn’t impressed with her bulky spacesuit look, and he decided to share this comment on her photo:

You really don’t want to give Anna Kendrick that kind of ammunition, man. Here’s what she said in reply:

Daaaaaamn. She added a lipstick emoji to nail the point home.

The original poster must’ve deleted his comment, because Anna Kendrick later shared this post on Instagram capturing their conversation (and showing her spacesuit outfit), also adding in the caption that she was just messing with the guy:

You know what. She’s probably right. If this guy has a girl, she’s probably aca-amazed by Anna Kendrick and ready to upgrade.

At any rate, Stowaway seems to be going well so far! When The Hollywood Reporter announced Anna Kendrick’s role this past October, it was noted that she’ll play the spaceship’s medical researcher. The crew finds the stowaway too far from Earth to turn back, but with resources quickly dwindling, Kendrick’s medical researcher is the only dissenting voice against the group consensus in favor of a grim outcome. Based on that, it sounds like the rest of the crew wants to kill the stowaway. (Maybe eat them? Hope not.)

Check out the Stowaway cast on set from the first day of filming:

Stowaway was co-written by Brazilian musician/YouTuber Joe Penna and Ryan Morrison, and it’s being directed by Penna. They are fresh off the 2018 survival drama Arctic.

As for what else Anna Kendrick is up to, when she’s not slaying commenters on Instagram, she has main roles in the web series Human Discoveries and Dummy. Later in 2019, she has the comedy thriller The Day Shall Come opening September 27 in the U.S., and the Christmas comedy Noelle coming to Disney+ later this year. Kendrick is also returning as the voice of Poppy for Trolls World Tour, which opens in April 2020. Stowaway hasn’t announced an official release date yet but it’s expected in 2020.

The Lion King Already Passed A Box Office Milestone

That was fast. The Lion King just opened yesterday in the U.S. but it’s already out there roaring up coins around the world. In the past week, The Lion King easily entered the nine-figure race with $130.5 million worldwide — by Thursday. That’s not even counting what The Lion King will make this weekend overseas, or here at the domestic market.

But let’s mention that now.

The Lion King is expected to make $300 million overseas from its first 10 days, per Deadline.

The Lion King is also looking at a domestic opening weekend from $180 to $200 million, from a massive 4,700 theaters.

Theoretically, The Lion King could hit $500 million worldwide by the end of the weekend. We are definitely looking at a 10-figure movie by the end of its box office run.

These numbers are incredibly impressive, but because The Lion King opened in the same year as Avengers: Endgame, it will have to settle for a silver medal no matter what. Avengers: Endgame had a record domestic opening weekend of $357.1 million, which is just ludicrous. A more realistic domestic benchmark for the 2019 Lion King might be the 2017 Beauty and the Beast, which opened to $174,750,616.

The Lion King is already tracking to top the Beauty and the Beast remake, which made $1,263,521,126 worldwide. There were some concerns that The Lion King‘s disappointing reviews from critics might hurt the film, but not so far.

The Lion King currently has a 55% rating from Rotten Tomatoes critics, but an 89% audience score from RT users, and an A CinemaScore from moviegoers polled on opening night. That’s pretty similar to the live-action Aladdin, which initially looked like it might struggle at the box office, but is now at $965,990,139 worldwide. It just keeps going. Will The Lion King keep going strong week after week like that too?

So how high will The Lion King soar? CinemaBlend’s Sunday box office roundup will give the domestic weekend figures, and we’ll keep a close eye on the movie’s progress from here. It certainly has enough room to spread its paws, since no one dared take it on this weekend. The Lion King is expected to win the weekend so easily it’s scary.

Box Office Mojo projects The Lion King to open to $190 million domestic, followed by Spider-Man: Far From Home with around $22 million, then Toy Story 4 with $12.6 million. Yes, Disney owns everything. After that, though, they see Crawl, Yesterday, and Stuber on the charts, followed by more Disney with Aladdin.

Disney is going to keep popping out remakes until they stop making money, and it’s clear The Lion King is going to make all the money. Based on the success of Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, it looks like one of the lessons of these remakes is that audiences are perfectly happy to go see stories that stick close to the animated classics. New technology and new voice actors are different enough — they don’t want it to be so different that it’s like Dumbo.

Are you planning to see The Lion King this weekend, or have you already seen it? If you saw it, how would you grade it? Please vote in our poll.

How Would You Grade The Lion King 2019?

The Future Of The Avengers: Who Will Be On The New Team?

When our heroes first assembled in The Avengers

SPOILER WARNING: Major spoilers follow for Avengers: Endgame**. You don’t want to know any of this stuff until you’ve seen the movie.**

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has come along way since the Avengers first assembled in 2012. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, it looks like our heroes are going through a big change.

In the battle for bringing Thanos (Josh Brolin) to justice and bringing order back to the world, some Avengers have fallen, while others have chosen to go down a new path and others had no other choice. The heroes who remain may be our only hope, but could never replace the likes of Iron Man or Black Widow.

The heroes that define the future of the MCU can at least succeed the roles left open by the Avengers of yesterday and there are a few deserving names in mind. Who will assemble as the new official Avengers and what makes them fitting successors?

Spider-Man in his Iron-Spider suit in Avengers: Infinity War

Spider-Man As Iron Man

This replacement is, more or less, a given, especially if you consider the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Following the death of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) at the climax of Avengers: Endgame, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) struggles with the idea of taking over as the world’s new Iron Man.

By the end of the film (and through a few mishaps and a pivotal lapse of good judgment), Peter Parker finally gains the self-confidence necessary to call himself the world’s next Iron Man. The movie may be called Spider-Man: Far From Home, but now Tom Holland’s Peter Parker feels more at home than ever… until the last 30 seconds.

Spider-Man may still be young, he may not have the snark or sarcasm, and he certainly does not have the fortune that Tony Stark ever did. However, he is just as smart and clever, is equipped with an awesome suit of iron, and may finally hone the leadership skills required to be the Avenger his fellow Avengers can look up to, despite his height of 5’8.”

Falcon has spread his wings and will fly into a new identity as Captain America

Falcon As Captain America

This replacement is absolutely a given, especially if you consider the resolution of Avengers: Endgame. Following the defeat of Thanos (Josh Brolin), Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) aged almost 80 years after traveling back in time, passing his shield to Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) to dub him the new Captain America and retire the Falcon mantle.

Sam Wilson has also succeeded the title originated by Steve Rogers in the comics, with his first appearance as Captain America in 2014 happening in a similar fashion to the events in Avengers: Endgame. While Sam’s run as Cap only lasted three years, he should be able to continue carrying the mantle in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in upcoming films and maybe even his own Disney+ series that he will share with Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes called Falcon & Winter Soldier, for which I imagine the title might be updated.

Speaking of Bucky Barnes, while Winter Soldier also has an inked history of carrying the shield as well, Sam Wilson is the one who has absolutely earned the Captain America title. He is a veteran of combat, has never given up in the face of an earth-shattering threat, and can effortlessly influence positivity and empowerment among the Avengers, which, in this time of uncertainty, they are probably going to need more than ever.

Thor met his match in Valkyrie

Valkyrie As Thor

Obviously Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is not gone, he is just “off world,” with Avengers: Endgame resolving his storyline by joining the Guardians of the Galaxy on their trip into space as the resident “Asgardian of the Galaxy.” (Although that may not be a permanent thing.) In turn, he gave up his throne as leader of Asgard and passed the role onto fellow Asgardian warrior Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson).

Valkyrie is a born leader, chosen by Odin himself to lead the group of warrior goddesses known as Valkyrior, which she is now the sole remainder. Now that she is stationed on Earth as New Asgard’s queen, the Avengers will likely have no problem getting ahold of her whenever they may need her assistance.

I think it may be safe to infer that, given her reaction to Thor’s extreme alcoholism in Avengers: Endgame, Valkyrie is now sober, clear-minded, strong-willed, and will have no problem working double duty ruling Asgard and fighting alongside the Avengers.

Okoye is one of Wakanda's fiercest warriors

Okoye As Black Widow

Just so we are clear, I know full well that no one could ever replace Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). Before she gave her life to acquire the Soul Stone in Avengers: Endgame, the Russian-born spy-turned-Avenger who operated under the codename Black Widow was, practically, the heart and soul of the team.

Black Widow cured Tony Stark’s health problems in Iron Man 2, encouraged Steve Rogers to embrace his romantic side in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and helped Bruce Banner return to his human side in Avengers: Age of Ultron. No one could ever replace that.

However, I think I can make a case that one of T’Challa’s most trusted warriors in Black Panther might be a good fit to assimilate Black Widow’s role. After Thanos wiped out half of the universe’s population in Avengers: Infinity War, Wakanda’s trusted warrior Okoye (Danai Gurira) kept in close touch with the Avengers, updating them on any pressing matters she kept tabs on, ready for action at any minute.

While it may be a bit of a loss for Wakanda, it would be a triumphant gain for the world if Okoye accepted a full-time position as an Avenger. She has the combat experience, calculated intellect, and unwavering fierceness that the team needs, especially after the loss of a woman who, in the sense of heroism, was defined by those very skills.

Captain Marvel does not need to get angry to smash

Captain Marvel As Hulk

Obviously, we have not lost Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) after the events of Avengers: Endgame and even got to have both at the same time with his new Professor Hulk look. However, using the Stark Gauntlet to reverse Thanos’ snap took a lot out of him and cost him an arm, leaving some room in the department of muscle for the Avengers. Who knows what his future will hold?

I think we can all agree that, while Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) sacrifice in the climax of Avengers: Endgame was the ultimate, round-winning move, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) owned much of that fight. I would argue that using herself as a missile to take down that Chitauri ship is the greatest Captain Marvel moment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe we’ve seen yet and better than any scene in her own solo movie.

Captain Marvel has proven herself as an unstoppable force to be reckoned with, stronger and more powerful than just about anyone who comes in her way, which makes her just as intimidating as Hulk was to the rest of the Avengers when Bruce Banner turned green. Banner can still stick around to crunch a few numbers when science is necessary, but it’s time to let Carol “smash.”

Ant-Man is always ready for action

Ant-Man As Hawkeye

Clint Barton, the expert archer who earned the name Hawkeye played by Jeremy Renner, was sort of given the short end of the stick when he first became an Avenger in the team’s 2012 first movie and was subject to a bit of online ridicule for some time after. When Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) first showed up as Ant-Man, his shrinking abilities were seen as not much more than comic relief, until he grew to the size of a building in Captain America: Civil War and became a key element to reversing Thanos’ snap in Avengers: Endgame.

The reason I bring this up is because both Hawkeye and Ant-Man are heroes who both had to earn a few road miles before being taken seriously. Now that Clint Barton, most likely, is willing to retire for good (as Hawkeye, at least), Scott Lang sounds like a good candidate to pick up where he left off.

Ant-Man has a strong willfulness to fight the good fight, has (mostly) perfected his skills, and (like Hawkeye often did) has a great sense of humor. Most importantly, also like Clint Barton, Scott Lang is a family man and that’s a role that the Avengers could never survive without.

Dr. Strange has the power

Doctor Strange As Vision

Vision, the splicing of Tony Stark’s artificial intelligence assistant Jarvis with the Mind Stone played by Paul Bettany, never really got the credit he deserved until his (supposed) tragic demise in Avengers: Infinity War. He ended the Age of Ultron, he was the only one thinking rationally in Captain America: Civil War, and he was always willing to give his life for the greater good.

Those are some pretty big shoes to fill for someone with only three Marvel Cinematic Universe title credits to his name. The one person I can think of who could fittingly fill in for Vision’s contribution to the Avengers is Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch).

The Master of the Mystic Arts possesses abilities of unimaginable power, which he acquired over a shorter training period than most sorcerers would require, being a naturally fast learner. Along with a sentient cloak, Doctor Strange’s teachings have bequeathed him with the wisdom of someone centuries beyond his years, which, as history as shown us, the Avengers could greatly benefit from.

Scarlet Witch still has a long way to go with the Avengers

Scarlet Witch As Scarlet Witch

After the Stark Gauntlet brought her back to life, Wanda Maximoff (better known as Scarlet Witch and played by Elizabeth Olsen) finally got to see her lover’s murderer brought to justice in Avengers: Endgame. Otherwise, one of her more pivotal contributions to the Avengers, unfortunately, is inadvertently causing the inciting incident that leads to the proposition of the Sokovia Accords in Captain America: Civil War.

Thus, I would love to see more of Scarlet Witch’s heroic side in future endeavors. We know that she is not going anywhere anytime soon given that she will star in her own Disney+ series, WandaVision, which will reportedly also star Paul Bettany as Vision. How that will come to be is soon to be revealed.

Scarlet Witch has been a full-time Avenger since Avengers: Age of Ultron and I see no reason at this time to give her position away. There is still much more to see from the telekinetic hero and I am nothing short of excited.

Out of tragedy often comes triumph and these heroes are no exception. The future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still uncertain, so we’ll have to wait and see what the new iteration of the Avengers looks like, and if any new characters are brought into the fold. Ultimately, I have no doubt it the MCU is in good hands as it heads into Phase Four. Do you agree?

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Captain Marvel Composer Made An Incredibly Bold Move To Land The Job

Pinar Toprak wasn’t exactly an unknown name in Hollywood when she landed the gig on Captain Marvel, but it was still a big deal when she became Marvel’s first female composer. The route she took to land the job was a little extreme, however.

This year at San Diego Comic-Con, Pinar Toprak was on hand to talk about how she worked to earn the job on Captain Marvel and she told the crowd at the “Musical Anatomy of a Superhero” panel that she personally hired a 70-person orchestra to bring her vision to life well before she really even knew whether or not she had a chance at the job. Toprak revealed:

Ultimately, even though this may seem like a wild (and expensive) step to take, Pinar Toprak saw it as a way forward for her career, even if the Captain Marvel gig hadn’t panned out.

Her audition didn’t end with the composition recorded by 70 musicians, however. According to Pinar Toprak, she also made a tape to argue her case.

The movie hadn’t started filming yet, but she used the Captain Marvel audition tapes to supplement the point. Ultimately, she won the job, but even after the hard work paid off, it took a while for Marvel’s decision to sink in. Per Pinar Toprak, when she got the call she “pretty much collapsed.”

Toprak also told the audience she’s been a big fan of superheroes for a long time, particularly on screen. She really has an affinity for Superman (1978) and her early exposure to superheroes has seemingly made her a good fit for superhero composition.

Avengers: Endgame Considered Decapitating Captain America

Captain America closeup in Avengers Endgame

Being a PG-13 franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t exactly known for scenes of brutality. Sure, there are definitely moments of violence, and audiences will never forget the crushing sensation felt during the final moments of Avengers: Infinity War, but the comic book movies have never been about going too extreme.

That being said, Avengers: Endgame actually came somewhat close to that line, as at one point during the development of the film there were discussions about Thanos straight-up cutting off Captain America’s head (or de-cap-itating him, if you will).

This very special bit of information was revealed earlier today during our San Diego Comic-Con interview with Avengers: Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. It was meant to be a part of the film’s third act, specifically when 2014 Thanos makes his way to the year 2023 to do battle with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and you can watch them discuss the scene in the video below:

For those that don’t remember, Avengers: Endgame’s big third act action starts when 2014 Nebula – having captured and switched places with her double from the future – uses the team’s time travel device to bring her adoptive father to the year 2023. As it happens in the finished film it’s notably a chaos-inducing move, as it doesn’t take long for Thanos and his thousands of minions to unleash epic destruction on the upstate New York Avengers facility, but there was a point when the Mad Titan’s entrance was even more insane.

According to Stephen McFeely, there was a thought at one time that Thanos might have been a tad busy prior to Nebula transporting him through time, and while waiting for his daughter’s big move had decided to pay a special visit to Earth. During that trip, the insanely powerful alien would have unleashed epic destruction, which would have included murdering every member of the then-existing Avengers. Said the writer,

I think the idea was maybe he had even gone to the Earth of his own time, destroyed it, killed the Avengers, and waited until [Nebula] opened the rift, and he would walk out… It was The Hellscape. Giant Man’s body would be behind him, the Avengers have all just been totally destroyed, and he throws something out in front of the Avengers and they go, ‘Oh my God, it’s Steve [Rogers’] head.’

Pretty disturbing, right?

Of course, this move wouldn’t have affected 2023 Captain America, as the decapitated Steve Rogers would have been from an alternate timeline (a point stressed by Christopher Markus), but that still probably wouldn’t have made it any less of a horrifying moment. Just because Cap wasn’t dead doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have been somewhat traumatized by seeing his own body-less head – or as Markus put it:

Even in that scenario he was still going to dance with Peggy; he would just be a little more creeped out.

Obviously this bit would have been extremely notable had it been included in Avengers: Endgame’s runtime, but there were specific reasons why Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely ultimately decided that it didn’t belong in the movie. As you might guess, the biggest problem was that it might have been perceived as confusing by fans. Some folks already have a hard enough time wrapping their brains around the fact that 2023 Nebula kills 2014 Nebula in the blockbuster, and introducing the idea that Thanos cut off Captain America’s head in the past before traveling to the future definitely would have exacerbated that puzzlement.

Impactful as it could have been, it just wasn’t worth potentially losing a big part of the audience at a crucial moment in the film. Stephen McFeely explained,

You have a lot of opportunities to lose people along the way. So that’s why you have things like Hulk explaining time travel and Rhodey and Scott Lang go, ‘But what about Hot Tub Time Machine?’ That kind of stuff. So we want to make sure that everyone’s in the car as we keep going down the road.

The good news is that Avengers: Endgame still totally works without the bit, and stands as one of the best films released in 2019 so far.

The movie is still playing in theaters nationwide, but it won’t be long until it makes its home video debut – set for digital release on July 30th, and 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on August 13th. We’ll have plenty more coverage coming your way leading up to the release, and be sure to keep coming back here to CinemaBlend for plenty more of our exciting San Diego Comic-Con coverage.

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2019 Comic-Con Cosplay Photos Include Funko Pops And A Really Cute Dog

Here’s the interesting thing about costumes during Comic-Con. You might expect, if there’s a Game Of Thrones panel for example, that many, many more people than usual would choose to cosplay as a Game Of Thrones character on that day. For the most part, however, that doesn’t really happen, at least in my experience. There may be a few more than usual, but on the whole, people just roll with whatever they want, whether it has any connection to Comic-Con or not. For example: why did I see a woman driving around a dog in a remote controlled car? I don’t know, but it all works here.

George Takei Thinks Quentin Tarantino’s Possible Star Trek Is ‘Awfully Exciting’

Instead, it’s looking like the Star Trek movie Quentin Tarantino pitched will be the one to keep the film series going, and George Takei, who played Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek: The Original Series, the first six Star Trek movies and an episode of Star Trek: Voyager (among other projects) is excited to see what kind of Star Trek story Tarantino has cooked up. He said:

George Takei expressed his support for Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek movie while speaking with EW at San Diego Comic-Con about his AMC series, The Terror: Infamy. At this point, it’s been over 20 years since Takei last played Sulu in live action, but depending on if this movie’s set in the original Star Trek timeline and when specifically, perhaps there might be a way for the actor to briefly reprise the role.

What’s still unclear is whether or not Quentin Tarantino will actually direct this R-rated Star Trek movie. The director plans to retire from filmmaking after helming 10 movies, and his ninth movie is about to come out. Tarantino has come up with a loophole where he makes Star Trek and then adapts another one of his own ideas as the official 10th movie.

However, Quentin Tarantino also said that he wouldn’t mind directing Star Trek as his 10th movie, as it could serve as an example of what his career might have looked like if he focused on adapting other people’s scripts. We’ll have to wait and see which option he chooses, or if he decides to simply serve as executive producer and leave the directing to someone else.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for all the biggest news concerning the Star Trek franchise. In the meantime, feel free to browse our 2019 release schedule to plan your trips to the movie theater this year accordingly. That includes Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which opens on July 26.

Shazam! Star Asher Angel Auditioned For Little Mermaid’s Prince Eric

While news Harry Styles being in the early stages for the role of Prince Eric was reported earlier this week, maybe Asher Angel is still in the running? The actor is also a talented singer and former Disney Channel star on the television show Andi Mack. He also mentioned his truly adorable past stage role of Flounder to ET… which we of course looked up! Check it:

He showcases a beautiful singing voice, some dance skills and likability among mermaids! All are good qualities in a Prince Eric. However, it looks like his competition is rough. Harry Styles is one of the most popular names in the world, as his former band One Direction became a viral sensation from 2010 to 2016. After departing from the band, Styles has since released a solo album and starred in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk in 2017.

Asher Angel does resemble Eric’s cartoon look a bit more than Harry Styles does. However, Angel is also over two years younger than Halle Bailey, who is currently 19. Styles is 25 years old. Casting Angel would allow the movie to have an Eric with more anonymity, as most who look at Styles will find it tough to shake his pop star status.

Asher Angel continued to gush about the potential role with these words:

Disney’s upcoming Little Mermaid will be helmed by Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall and written by Kingsman’s Jane Goldman and Life of Pi’s David Magee. The film will include the iconic tunes from Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, along with new music by Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda. No release date has been set, but official announcements are expected to come soon.

Who would you like to see play Prince Eric in the live action Little Mermaid?

Dwayne Johnson, John Cena And The Other WWE Wrestlers That Transitioned Into Movie Stars

The Rock Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Wrestling for the WWE is one of the top honors any professional wrestler can hope to accomplish, and it can be the beginning of a lifetime of fame and recognition. That’s especially true for WWE wrestlers like Dwayne Johnson and John Cena, who both used their legendary runs within the brand to springboard into Hollywood and become big names in the movies as well.

These two are the prime examples working in Hollywood today, but of course, there are plenty of WWE wrestlers who went on to have a successful acting career post and sometimes during their careers. The following is a list of the more successful lot, all of which have had significant roles in a handful of major movies over the years. For that reason, major superstars like Andre The Giant, Roddy Piper and Macho Man aren’t on the list, though we’ll always cherish their respective contributions to cinema.

To quote Macho Man (who Bruce Campbell has a crazy story about), this list is for the “cream of the crop,” filled with wrestlers who have not only proven they belong in the movies, but have managed to stick around for more than a film or two. Ring the bell and get ready for a no holds barred look at some of the major WWE stars who made the successful transition to Hollywood acting.

The Rock Hobbs And Shaw

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Dwayne Johnson, or “The Rock,” was billed as the “most electrifying man in sports entertainment,” and certainly lived up to that during his phenomenal wrestling career. He held multiple championships, and was one of the only WWE wrestlers of the Attitude Era with a popularity comparable to Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Rock “retired” to pursue acting full-time in 2004, but has popped in and out since then for appearances or short feuds with other wrestlers.

Though Dwayne Johnson didn’t pursue acting full time until 2004, he began to establish a presence in films with 2001’s The Mummy Returns. He then went on to star in the spinoff The Scorpion King, Starring roles in other films followed, but The Rock’s career really seemed to take off when he was introduced as the awesome Luke Hobbs in Fast Five. It seemed to tip the scales into his becoming a major action blockbuster actor, which is more often than not what he’s doing now.

Currently, his films either range from him being a no-nonsense badass (Hobbs and Shaw) or badass with a comedic twist (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle). Audiences tend to love him either way, and while The Rock hasn’t done anything Oscar-worthy, his films tend to make a lot of money. Could an award-winning performance be his next step?

John Cena Bumblebee

John Cena

Unlike other major wrestling legends, John Cena spent some years towards the bottom of WWE’s ladder until he suddenly became about the biggest deal the company has ever seen. Once known as the “Doctor of Thuganomics,” Cena is now a household name via his mega fame as one of the WWE’s most prolific champions, his philanthropic work with the Make A Wish foundation or the memes about people not being able to see him.

John Cena is still a WWE wrestler on a part-time basis, but he’s recently made a bigger push to become a movie star. He actually got some help with that goal via WWE Studios, who gave Cena his start in The Marine. Following that, he found his way into comedic roles via films like Sisters and Blockers, and major action roles like Bumblebee and James Gunn’s upcoming The Suicide Squad.

With his recent casting in Fast and Furious 9 and continued jump between action and comedy roles, it feels like John Cena is following the Dwayne Johnson playbook. It’s not the worst idea in the world, although one would think doing so will effectively put Cena in contention with his wrestling buddy for a lot of future roles. Unfortunately, Hollywood still has yet to put these two together, but his inclusion in the recent Fast and Furious movie means it could one day happen.

Drax Dave Bautista

Dave Bautista

Dave Bautista wrestled in the WWE as “Batista,” and is known as one of the more recent living legends of the brand. His popularity within the WWE wasn’t quite at the levels of which Dwayne Johnson and John Cena rose, but he was still a pretty popular star as a World Heavyweight Champion and WWE Champion. After a few stints in the WWE, Bautista officially announced his retirement in 2019 which officially made his jaunt into acting a full-time affair.

Dave Bautista’s first credited film role came with Werner Herzog’s My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? in which he played a police officer. Bautista had a couple more roles between that, but it wasn’t until he played Drax The Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy that his acting career really took off. Since then he’s appeared as Drax in other MCU films, and has had roles in films like Blade Runner: 2049, Spectre and Hotel Artemis.

Dave Bautista’s comfort zone tends to be in smaller character roles, although Hollywood recently took a chance on him with a leading role in the comedy Stuber. It’s a relatively new direction for Bautista in Hollywood, and it seems like a test to see if his comedy skills translate beyond his fantastic portrayal as Drax. If not, he’s still a great small role guy in major motion pictures, and could maintain a decent career off that alone.

Kevin Nash Magic Mike XXL

Kevin Nash

Kevin Nash started under the World Championship Wrestling organization, became one of the WWE’s wrestlers, went back to WCW and eventually found his way back again to the WWE. In that time, Nash became a legend wrestling alongside major names like Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall, just to name a few. He’s one of the brand’s most legendary “big men” and has several championships to show for it.

Kevin Nash’s film career is about as long as his wrestling career as he first got his start as Super Shredder In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. Given he’s nearly seven feet tall, Nash has found success playing roles that emphasize his physique like “The Russian” in The Punisher and a guard in The Longest Yard and Rock of Ages. Oh yeah, and he was Tarzan in the Magic Mike franchise and Francis In John Wick as well.

As long as Hollywood needs strong and silent older guys, Kevin Nash is going to find work in Hollywood. He may never be a leading man in major films, but he’ll surely pop up in a few more surprising films over the next few years and remind the world he still has that acting magic.

Mr. Nanny Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan

It’s impossible to know about pro wrestling and not be vaguely aware of who Hulk Hogan is. Hulkamania thrust the WWE (then named WWF) into the mainstream and helped turn it into the mega corporation that it is today. His accolades as a WWE wrestler are numerous, and while he was temporarily ousted from the organization amidst controversy, Hogan has recently been welcomed back into the brand and has made some television appearances.

The Hulkster hasn’t had a lot of major film roles in recent years, but had a fair few of high profile roles in movies throughout the ’80s and 90s. It started as Thunderlips in Rocky III, and transitioned into roles like he had in Mr. Nanny, Suburban Commando and 3 Ninjas: High Noon At Mega Mountain. His latest role came doing voice work in Gnomeo & Juliet back in 2011, but there hasn’t been much since then.

Hulk Hogan’s roles have typically been the comedy strong man type, or roles that play off his real-life persona. Odds are Hogan’s personal controversies and age will prevent him from appearing in any movies in the near future, although Chris Hemsworth is set to play him in a biopic about his life. Perhaps there’s a cameo for Hogan somewhere within that?

Jesse Ventura Predator

Jesse Ventura

Jesse “The Body Ventura has had a hell of a career in general, to the point that wrestling has become a bit of a footnote for him. He’s one of the memorable names of the early era, though primarily as a wrestler who often lost against the bigger names like Hulk Hogan and Bob Backlund. He then transitioned into commentary, where he remained until litigation and strained relationships with Vince McMahon caused him to leave. Ventura since reforged those bonds and is presently on solid terms with the WWE.

After exiting the WWE, Jesse Ventura had a rather explosive debut in film with action roles in Predator and The Running Man. Future appearances included roles in Demolition Man, Batman & Robin and Major League II. There was a gap period between roles in which Ventura served as a mayor and Governor of Minnesota. After that, he resurfaced in the twin comedy Stuck On You, and was also in Johnny Knoxville’s The Ringer.

Much like Hulk Hogan, I don’t really envision Jesse Ventura to suddenly start competing with Dwayne Johnson and John Cena for roles. He has his own share of different controversies that may make him an iffy addition to a cast, but is also at an age where he can’t really play the action type character he once did. Still, we’ll still have the good old days to revisit and look back on!

Who will be the next person from the current squad of WWE wrestlers to be a major Hollywood star? Throw all suggestions for those with star potential down in the comments below, and continue to stick with CinemaBlend for the latest in movie and television news.

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