Willem Dafoe Finds Superhero Movies Too Long, Noisy, And Overshot: ‘The Industry Outgrew Itself’

Willem Dafoe in Aquaman DC

Spider-Man and Aquaman star Willem Dafoe doesn’t want to bite the hand that feeds him. He knew when he was asked about Martin Scorsese’s comments on Marvel movies — and the like — that he was treading on troubled ground. But he’s a candid guy with opinions of his own, and he sounds conflicted about the current state of the industry.

Some of what Willem Dafoe said will bug comic book movie fans, but he also said some things that I think most fans will agree with. There’s plenty of common ground in this discussion. And as much as I love most superhero films, I think it’s good for people in the industry like Dafoe to give it this kind of public tough love.

Willem Dafoe opened up on comic book movies during a talk at 92Y in NYC after a screening of his new film The Lighthouse. A fan helpfully taped part of his panel talk, where he commented on the kinds of superhero movies Martin Scorsese has been talking about. Here, Dafoe references director Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spider-Man movie, with Dafoe as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin:

I mean, I’ve done some of those movies, and they’re fun. But also, even then, I got lucky because they’ve been personal. For example, Spider-Man was great fun because Sam Raimi made that like it was a little independent film. And also that was before a lot of the technology was in place, and comic book movies were fairly new, so it was exciting. There was nothing by the numbers, they didn’t roll in the experts. Now it’s become, the industry outgrew itself.

Spider-Man came out in 2002, which isn’t exactly the Dark Ages, but it was certainly before the current explosion of MCU and DCEU movies. Willem Dafoe returned for cameos in Spider-Man 2 in 2004 and Spider-Man 3 in 2007. He’s spoken warmly about his Spider-Man role before, and even seemed kinda sorta open to playing the role again in the MCU.

Willem Dafoe was asked how he approaches superhero/villain characters, like Green Goblin in Spider-Man or his very different experience of making Aquaman:

You have fun with some of the things that you get to do, because there’s lots of hardware and there’s lots of crazy crane shots and those kind of things. That’s fun. But stuff is overshot. They spend a lot of money on big set pieces, because that’s what delivers the action, and I find them too long and too noisy. But let’s not get into this [laughs]. I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds me. But, no, seriously, folks. Look, those aren’t the movies I run to.

It’s clear he’s one of those superhero movie actors who would rather be watching a movie like The Lighthouse. You may wonder why he would sign on for a 2018 movie like Warner Bros.’ Aquaman if he felt the industry outgrew itself. He talked more about Aquaman, seeming to sign on for James Wan but also not quite playing the role he expected in the beginning:

I like James Wan. I think he’s a good filmmaker and he was kind of amazing that he could do this big stuff, and he could also talk to the actors. … I [play] the old master, sort of, I guess. But that’s how it’s pitched to me, and with these movies the script that you sign on for is never the script that’s made.

Yes, that does seem to be the case with a lot of these big-budget movies. For example, the Avengers: Endgame writers have been talking about how many things were changed from the script phase to filming, reshoots, and then in editing. I can definitely see how someone might sign on for a certain role based on the script, or the pitch, and then they end up playing something completely different.

So Willem Dafoe has conflicted thoughts about superhero movies, but he does seem to think that with our current glut of choices — including so much on TV and the new streaming wars — that we’ll all end up coming back to the cinema:

Films have changed so much even in the time that I’ve been working, where they sit in the culture, obviously, and how we watch films. And I’m a pretty forward-looking person, but I’m old-fashioned in the fact that nothing beats being in a dark room with a bunch of strangers, watching a light on a screen and having the experience. I think as everybody gets punched out from too much stuff on TV, too many choices, they’re gonna want that. So it may be a more marginalized thing, but I think it’ll always be there.

Finally, here’s Willem Dafoe’s take on superhero movies needing people to push the boundaries to move forward:

What I worry about is, those big movies, they need something to feed them. They need a surge, and they need people pushing the boundaries so they can go forward. Because they’re not in the business of going forward, really. They’re in the business of business, and you can make beautiful things because they have a lot of resources. They can make fantastic things and they can make things that work all over the world because very few other countries have that kind of muscle to make these spectacular things. And they’ve touched on comic book movies which have kind of a Joseph Campbell thing going, they’re our modern gods. But I don’t have anything, really, intelligent to say about this [laughs].

I think he did have some intelligent things to say about it, and this is a good debate for people to be having There is no one way to make a movie. Just look at Willem Dafoe’s own eclectic filmography, from a black-and-white art house film like The Lighthouse and Edward Norton’s Motherless Brooklyn to Spider-Man, Aquaman, John Wick, and even XXX: State of the Union although let’s not talk about that.

Speaking of The Lighthouse, that movie co-stars the next Batman — but Robert Pattinson’s noir-driven movie sounds like it might be less of a big-budget spectacle like Willem Dafoe is talking/complaining about. Plus, Dafoe thinks Pattinson has the right asset for the job. Meanwhile, Aquaman 2 is set for release in 2022.

Blended From Around The Web


Ford V Ferrari: How Historically Accurate Was Matt Damon And Christian Bale’s Racing Movie?

Matt Damon and Christian Bale in Ford V Ferrari

Ford v Ferrari tells the story of the Ford Motor Company’s attempt to become a racing powerhouse by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1966. Matt Damon plays automobile designer Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale plays race car driver Ken Miles, both of whom were enlisted by Ford to design and race the car capable of beating the unbeatable Ferrari. But just how close to reality is the movie version of the story?

As with most “based on a true story” movies, the basic plot is accurate, but a few details have been altered, time has dilated and a couple things have been entirely invented or omitted in order to make the story work better as a movie. In that regard, Ford v Ferrari works pretty well, but here is the real story.

Matt Damon and Christian Bale

Matt Damon and Christian Bale’s Characters Are Close To Reality

At the core of Ford v Ferrari are the two main characters. Matt Damon plays Carroll Shelby, a former race car driver-turned-car designer, who helped develop the GT40 which would go on to complete against Ferrari at the end of the movie. As far as the facts of Caroll Shelby’s life go, the movie gets them pretty right. Shelby was a former winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race who was forced to retire from racing due to a heart problem. From there, he transitioned into becoming an automobile designer.

Ken Miles fought in World War II before coming home and focusing on racing. He was both a colleague and friend of Caroll Shelby. While Miles was a great driver, he also had a particular talent as a designer, specifically as it pertained to being able to drive a car and then give detailed notes about where the vehicle was exhibiting problems, something we see Christian Bale’s character doing multiple times during the design of the GT40. It seems Miles was also somewhat difficult for many at Ford to work with, which becomes one of the core conflicts of the movie.

Jon Bernthal as Lee Iaccoca

The Ford/Ferrari Rivalry Was Just As Petty As It Appears

In Ford v Ferrari, we see that the rivalry between the two companies came from a couple of owners who just got angry with each other. The head of Ferrari kills a multi-million dollar merger to avoid losing control of his racing team, and the head of Ford decides to beat Ferrari at its own game for insulting him by killing the merger. Surprisingly, that’s basically what happened.

The movie implies that Ford suggested the merger first, though it seems Ford heard that Ferrari was the one interested in being purchased. The actual deal took years to iron out, which is, of course, sped up in the movie, but that’s part of why Ford was so frustrated when Ferrari backed out. Also, while Fiat did eventually buy Ferrari instead, that happened years later. As in a couple years after the events of the movie are over, not immediately, as the film suggests.

Matt Damon as caroll Shelby

Ford Actually Got Into Racing Earlier

The movie implies that Ford was only involved in NASCAR racing prior to Lee Iaccoca’s suggestion that they compete on the world stage. This isn’t actually true. The Ford/Ferrari deal collapsed in May of 1963, but in January of the same year, Ford had already introduced the Lola Mk6 GT, a new car design that was being groomed to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The car did race, but it didn’t do very well. The engine of the Mk6 GT was the starting point from which the GT40, the car we see in Ford v Ferrari, was designed. Even that was done before Carroll Shelby, Matt Damon’s character in Ford v Ferrari, ever got involved. It was only after the GT40’s failures that Shelby was brought in to try and improve it, which he did.

Christian Bale winning a race as Ken Miles in Ford V Ferarri

Ford’s First Win Wasn’t That Dramatic

Before we get to the big race in Ford v Ferrari, Matt Damon and Christian Bale’s characters see their first big win at Daytona. While this was the first win for the GT40, the movie makes it look like Bale’s Ken Miles just barely took the win, after being intentionally held back until Miles just quit listening. The truth is far less dramatic

The car being driven by Ken Miles and his co-driver Lloyd Ruby won the race by five laps, so there was no dive to the finish. Also, Ken Miles wasn’t even the one driving at the end; Ruby was. While Ford v Ferrari doesn’t dwell on it, these 24 hour races are shared by multiple drivers, so there’s a pair of people who win or lose together.

Christian Bale in Ford V Ferrari

Shelby And Miles Lost At Le Mans Before They Won

It’s implied in Ford v Ferrari that following the big win at Daytona, the team went straight to the goal, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and won. That’s not the case. The Daytona race took place in February of 1965 and the big win at Le Mans happened in June of 1966. There were other races in between, including, most importantly, the 1965 Le Mans race, which Ken Miles raced in and did not finish.

In Ford v Ferrari, Christian Bale’s character is left home during an earlier Le Mans race where all the GT40’s fail to finish, much like what actually happened. The only difference is that Miles didn’t stay home, he was in the race and he lost.

The Photo Finish at Le Mans Was A Little Different

One of the most controversial moments in racing takes place at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, and as wild as the intentional photo finish is, it really did happen. Ken Miles was laps ahead of his competition and intentionally slowed down so that the Ford cars could all cross the line together. However, in doing so, Christian Bale’s character doesn’t tie for the lead, but in, fact, comes in second, due to an obscure rule.

All of that really happened. The movie shows a three-way photo finish, but in actuality, only two cars crossed the line together, with the third Ford car close behind. The reason for the photo finish in Ford v Ferrari is explained to be a publicity stunt, and it was that. But Leo Beebe, the man who orchestrated it, and is set in the movie as Ken Miles’ main antagonist, always argued it was also done to make sure the cars didn’t break down or crash as the drivers attempted to race each other to the finish, as that would have deprived Ford of the win entirely.

There’s a lot of different, and some conflicting information about the end of the race, so it’s hard to know exactly what happened.

A lot of the details of Ford v Ferrari and the characters played by Matt Damon and Christian Bale are accurate to history. As a final note, Christian Bale’s Ken Miles really did die in a crash only two months after the 1966 race. It was certainly a tragic end to an otherwise heroic story.

Blended From Around The Web


Earthquake Bird Spoilers: How The Netflix Film’s Ending Is Different From The Book

Alicia Vikander as Lucy Fly Earthquake Bird Netflix

MAJOR SPOILERS ahead on the Alicia Vikander movie Earthquake Bird, which premiered November 15 on Netflix.

Alicia Vikander and Riley Keough star in Earthquake Bird, which just premiered on Netflix. The twisty Netflix film, directed by Wash Westmoreland and executive produced by Ridley Scott, is based on the novel by Susanna Jones, and the endings are a bit different in some key ways. For one thing, Teiji doesn’t die in the book. Let’s get into it.

Earthquake Bird photograph of Lily

How The Earthquake Bird Movie Builds Toward Its Ending 

Alicia Vikander stars in Earthquake Bird as Lucy Fly, who is Swedish — like the actress — in the movie and works as a translator in Japan. (Apparently it was “a lot of work” for Alicia Vikander to learn Japanese, as she said in a behind-the-scenes video.)

The wildly charismatic Naoki Kobayashi plays Teiji, whom Lucy meets when he takes her photograph on the street. They slowly build a unique relationship that is tested by Lucy’s jealousy when she sees Teiji’s past photos of a previous girlfriend, and especially when Lucy meets and befriends Lily Bridges.

In the movie, Lily (Riley Keough) is a free-spirited American who just moved to Japan for a fresh start. Lily and Teiji become close — a little too close — bringing out Lucy’s jealous side. Lily tries to apologize to Lucy, but Lucy turns her away — even though Lily (who has some psychic abilities) says she feels like something bad is going to happen. She’s right!

Earthquake Bird‘s storyline isn’t told in a linear fashion, so when we first meet Lucy she is only just returning to work after taking some time off to grieve her relationship with Teiji and friendship with Lily. She’s told by a co-worker that a body that’s found was suspected to be her friend Lily. Lucy is brought in for questioning and eventually confesses to killing Lily. But she didn’t do it. Turns out, the body they found was not Lily after all. We never even learn who that poor person was.

Earthquake Bird Naoki Kobayashi as Teiji

How The Earthquake Bird Movie Ends 

After Lucy randomly tells the police her tragic life story anyway — that she felt responsible for the death of her brother, and had other deaths follow in her life, so she felt responsible for Lily too — she goes to Teiji’s apartment and breaks into his cabinet with all of his photographs. She finds photos of Lily and eventually sees one that shows Lily is dead. Teiji killed her and took the photo.

Lucy takes the folder of photos and brings them to the police station. The detective she knows is not on duty so, for some reason, she doesn’t just give the folder to another cop. She leaves and goes home. Lo and behold, Teiji is waiting for her. He says they could run away together. She rejects the idea and tells him it’s over. So he gets violent and tries to choke her to death on the couch. She reaches behind her and finds some glass to break over his head. A shard gets stuck in his head and he pulls it out, staring at her as he dies — similar to how Lucy described her brother staring back at her as he died, after she jumped down on him in her childhood bullying story.

Earthquake Bird Mrs. Katoh crying in end

The Final Scene Of The Earthquake Bird Movie 

The Earthquake Bird movie gives a final scene where Lucy goes back to see Mrs. Katoh, her friend and fellow musician. Lucy admits Lily came to see her and asked to come in and Lucy didn’t let her. Mrs. Katoh says it wasn’t Lucy’s fault that Lily died. Lucy insists it was. Mrs. Katoh says perhaps Lily saved her life. Lucy says there are other deaths she also feels responsible for, including Mrs. Yamamoto, who had fallen down Mrs. Katoh’s own stairs earlier in the movie.

Mrs. Katoh then confesses her own feelings of guilt over Mrs. Yamamoto’s death. She tells Lucy she waxed the stairs two days before Mrs. Y fell, something she only does once every two years. She had been worried the steps were slippery. She meant to warn Mrs. Yamamoto earlier that day when they spoke on the phone, but didn’t think of it until they hung up. Mrs. Katoh says it was actually her fault, not Lucy’s.

In the final shot of the movie, Lucy reaches out her hand and she and Mrs. Katoh both cry, with Lucy seeming to find comfort in the idea that she isn’t the only one carrying guilt.

How The Earthquake Bird Book Ends

In the book, Teiji is still the one who killed Lily and we still find out through photographs of dead Lily. However, Lucy does not kill Teiji in the book. Teiji is still alive, and the book ends with Lucy getting chillls, thinking she hears a camera click in the bushes, with Teiji still out there waiting for her.

The book does have a somewhat similar scene toward the end with Lucy and Mrs. Katoh, but it’s before details about Teiji’s photos come out. Lucy tells Mrs. Katoh she didn’t mean to kill Mrs. Yamamoto, it was an accident. She put her cello in a different place and didn’t know Mrs. Yamamoto would fall over it. Mrs. Katoh asks what she’s talking about, since everyone knew Mrs. Yamamoto was always so clumsy and they all knew she’d have an accident one day. That’s as far as that conversation goes.

After that, Lucy — who is English in the book — is cleared by the police with no charges because the cops can’t find any DNA on Lily’s body. After details appear about Lucy in the newspapers, the police receive an envelope with two photographs. The first shows Lily at a McDonalds near Lucy’s place, with the pic taken on the night of the murder, two hours after Lily was seen at Lucy’s front door. The cashier recognized Lily and said she and her male Japanese friend had some kind of argument. The second photograph shows a woman squashed within walls, head lolling to one side. There are no fingerprints on the photos, no way to prove Teiji took them, and the police don’t know he did. But Lucy does. The photos don’t prove that Teiji killed Lily, but they do prove that Lucy didn’t, since she is accounted for elsewhere at that time.

The book ends with Lucy making plans to maybe visit England and see Lily’s parents, who might like a visit from someone who knew Lily in Japan. Lucy also visits with Mrs. Katoh and another friend at Mrs. Katoh’s home in Japan, and that’s where Lucy is at the very end of the book. But the final page has her hearing a noise outside the house and thinking at first it’s an earthquake bird — the humming bird sound after every earthquake. She hears a rustling in the trees and then “the unmistakable sound of a camera clicking.” She looks around for Teiji but only sees trees and bushes. Here are the final lines of the book:

I turn to enter the house, but I know Teiji’s waiting out here for me and I hope that the warmth of the home and of my close friends will be enough to keep me safely indoors. I hope with all my heart it will, and yet —
It is going to be difficult.

So the book ends with the idea that Teiji could still be out there photographing Lucy, unless it’s just in her mind. In the book, Lucy sometimes refers to herself in third person and there’s a similar sense of events getting confused. Throughout the movie, viewers are led to question Lucy as an unreliable narrator, with scenes that suggest Lucy is imagining things, or just remembering something that happened at a different time.

It’s like Joker and Netflix’s Fractured, and so many other movies with ambiguous twist endings that like to keep fans’ guessing (and also, sometimes, confused).

What did you think of Earthquake Bird? Here are more Netflix originals still to come in 2019.

Blended From Around The Web


Looks Like Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker Is Still Giving Colin Trevorrow Some Credit

In just a month, the Skywalker Saga will conclude on the silver screen. But, the final installment of the new trilogy wasn’t devoid of roadblocks during its development. Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow was originally attached to co-write and direct Rise of Skywalker before J.J. Abrams returned to helm the project. Fans were initially led to believe Abrams was given a blank page when he signed on, but the official Rise of Skywalker writing credits say something different.

Ahead of the highly-anticipated release, the Writers Guild of America (via Collider) has determined Rise of Skywalker’s writing attributions. The screenplay credit is no shocker, belonging to Chris Terrio and J.J. Abrams, who worked together on the script. The “based on characters created by George Lucas” is business as usual. But when it comes to the story, the “Derek Connolly & Colin Trevorrow and Chris Terrio & J.J. Abrams” credit is unexpected.

Writing partners Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow were attached to Rise of Skywalker in the beginning when Trevorrow was set to direct. But when he left the last Skywalker Saga installment in September 2017 due to creative differences, it commonly postulated their contributions were thrown away as well.

J.J. Abrams previously said when he signed on he had “literally nothing” to work with and he was “starting over” when he asked Batman v Superman writer Chris Terrio to be his writing partner. Yet, the official writing credits seem to cancel out these words. Perhaps after he said that, some elements of their story were implemented into Rise of Skywalker? Check out what Abrams previously said:

Writing credits for Trevorrow and Connolly in addition to Abrams and Terrio point to the pair recieving residuals for Rise of Skywalker after all. Due to the size of the Star Wars movies, they often go through edits and rewrites. It’s quite possible when Abrams’ version was brought to the studio, they decided to go back and add some of Trevorrow’s ideas to flesh out the script.

A ship called the TIE Echelon from Colin Trevorrow’s lost Star Wars ideas was recently added to Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland. It’s really tough to tell how much Rise of Skywalker drew from previous drafts, it could be as small as a character or ship concept to a full-fledged storyline.

Rise of Skywalker finishes off a story 40 years in the making when it hits theaters on December 20.

Nicolas Cage To Play Nicolas Cage In A Movie Where Nicolas Cage Is Desperate To Work With Quentin Tarantino

Titled The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, the meta movie will follow Nic Cage with a frantic goal to be in Quentin Tarantino’s next movie as he is faced with a mountain of debt and a troubled relationship with his teen daughter. Oh and it gets better! Apparently the actor will talk to an egotistical ‘90s version of himself who tears him down for recent dumb movie choices, per THR.

Since the fictional Nicolas Cage becomes buried in debt, he resorts to make an appearance at the birthday party of a Mexican billionaire who is a massive fan of his. After the pair bond, the CIA pulls Cage aside to inform him the billionaire is really the kingpin of a drug cartel and has kidnapped the daughter of a Mexican presidential nominee as well. The Con Air actor is then recruited by the U.S. government to take him down.

Things really heat up when his ex-wife and daughter get wrapped up in the situation as well. Now, Cage doesn’t really have a daughter, he has two sons. It’ll be interesting how the movie handles the matter of the ex-wife character too, since he’s been formerly married to Patricia Arquette, Elvis Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie, Alice Kim, and most recently Erika Koike – for four days.

Now, to answer your undoubted question about how in Hollywood did a movie like The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent come to be. The script was written by Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten and sent out to Nicolas Cage with a letter making the case to the actor to star. Gormican assured Cage it was written with love to him, with no intention to poke fun at his career. He’s the only man for the job and thankfully the script convinced the star!

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent also impressed a slew of studios including HBO Max and Paramount, but Lionsgate won the fight for the project. Tom Gormican is on board to direct the movie, with Waves and Euphoria Kevin Turen producing. Nicolas Cage is reportedly getting massive paycheck comparable to National Treasure and Con Air. For context, he amassed $20 million per project in his glory days.

What sounds like a hilarious love letter to the lore of Nic Cage will also have references to his famed movies such as Leaving Las Vegas, Face/Off and Gone In 60 Seconds. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend as the project continues to move forward!

See How Captain Marvel Was Supposed To Appear In Avengers: Age Of Ultron

But first, some background…

Several years ago, MCU boss Kevin Feige said Carol Danvers was part of The Avengers sequel’s script but they decided to cut her out because they”didn’t want to introduce her fully-formed flying in a costume before you got to know who she was and how she came to be.”

However, Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon originally planned to have Captain Marvel show up akin to Scarlet Witch’s big moment. Here’s what Kevin Feige told Birth.Movies.Death about that:

As Kevin Feige reiterated, introducing Captain Marvel that way is not how the MCU tends to operate:

Instead, the MCU chose to introduce Captain Marvel for the first time in her own movie, only hinting to her existence at the end of Avengers: Infinity War.

But now that the Infinity Saga is here to share all of the MCU’s ideas — good and bad — from Phases 1-3, we can see one of the early plans for Captain Marvel. Check out what one lucky Infinity Saga holder shared on Reddit:

They hadn’t cast anyone for the role yet, so there’s a stand-in. Who do you think Joss Whedon would’ve cast? Avengers: Age of Ultron started filming in early 2014, so they already had the cast in place by then. Brie Larson earned an Oscar for Room in 2015 so I wonder if she wouldn’t have been on their radars by the time they cast Carol Danvers for Age of Ultron. Just another “What If…” scenario Disney+ could tackle.

Marvel Studios’ Infinity Saga box set is out there if you can afford it and can find one. It’s packed with deleted scenes and some other content you won’t find in the movies on Disney+ (although there are some added scenes there too) which is just another way for them to get your money.

Before Netflix’s The Irishman, Al Pacino Was ‘Unreachable’ For Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese has directed some of the most beloved, memorable films in Hollywood history. Al Pacino has starred in his own fair share of cinematic gems. But amazingly, before Netflix greenlit The Irishman, the two icons never got a chance to work together. And now Martin Scorsese is opening up about what it was like to finally snag the ‘unreachable’ star.

At a recent AFI FEST event, Martin Scorsese sat down for a quick Q&A session, where he discussed the many obstacles he and Robert De Niro faced in trying to get The Irishman made. And he also opened up about his decades-long quest to cast Al Pacino in, well, anything:

When Al Pacino signed on for The Irishman, Martin Scorsese finally got the chance to see what Robert De Niro meant. But he also had the opportunity to bring the two actors together on screen. It’s a rare cinematic feat — this is only the fourth time both have appeared in the same film. The actors both starred in The Godfather Part 2. But Robert De Niro plays a younger version of Vito Corleone, the father of Al Pacino’s Michael, so they never share a scene. It wasn’t until 1995’s Heat that the two actors finally had a chance to play opposite each other. Though they teamed up again in 2008’s Righteous Kill, there’s something extra special about the two actors joining forces with one of their most esteemed peers.

He may be talking about the actors’ shared history, The Irishman does follows its characters, including Al Pacino’s Jimmy Hoffa, through several decades with the aid of some much-talked about anti-aging CGI. And whether or not you agree with Martin Scorsese’s decision to release the film via Netflix, you can’t deny that The Irishman feels like a huge cinematic moment for the director. If nothing else, it gave him the chance to finally cross one of his most-sought after moments off his bucket list.

The Irishman will be available to stream on Netflix on November 27.

Kelly Clarkson Hated From Justin To Kelly So Much She Thought It Would End Her Career

At this point, there isn’t much that Kelly Clarkson hasn’t accomplished. She’s sold millions of albums, won Grammys, and with stints on The Voice and her own talk show, she’s cemented her position as a pop icon. Kelly Clarkson is even a movie star — though that’s something she’d rather not talk about. In fact, her experience making 2003’s ill-fated From Justin to Kelly was so bad, she was sure the movie would ruin her career before it really even started.

From Justin to Kelly was released just months after Kelly Clarkson bested Justin Guarini for the inaugural American Idol crown. It was the first (and only) film made to capitalize on the singing competition’s enormous popularity — because the romantic movie-musical was universally panned and bombed at the box office. And Kelly Clarkson told Yahoo! News that the whole process was horrifying for her:

According to Kelly Clarkson, there was no way for the American Idol alums to avoid making From Justin to Kelly, despite her reservations:

Even though From Justin to Kelly was as bad as she expected it to be, the movie didn’t ruin her singing career. And now, more than 15 years later, Kelly Clarkson knows From Justin to Kelly has become a part of the so-bad-it’s-good canon — she told Yahoo! News that even her nanny is a fan. But making the film caused her so much stress, she still can’t get in on the joke. So, it’s safe to say she probably won’t be setting foot on a movie set any time soon.

Joker Director Todd Phillips Celebrated That $1 Billion Box Office In A Unique Way

These days, Joker’s cast and crew have a lot to celebrate. The controversial film has steamrolled more than one box office record. And as of this weekend, it has reached another rare feat: the $1 billion threshold. Joker’s director Todd Phillips has already acknowledged the achievement — and he found a unique way to thank the people who played a pivotal role in the movie’s success.

It’s not uncommon to see praise from film critics superimposed over scenes and images from a movie in commercials. It sends a strong message: this a movie is worth seeing. Todd Phillips took that theme and turned it on its head when he posted a clip to his Instagram account on November 15. At first glance, it appears to be a typical ad hyping up Joker. As clips from the film flash by, quotes like “Beautifully brutal,” “Magnificent,” and “Not a stupid superhero film” fill up the screen. But a closer look reveals that the comments aren’t attributed to critics, but to fans via their Twitter handles.

The clip ends by announcing that the film has made $1 billion at the box office, and then displaying a final message: “Thank you fans.” Todd Phillips expanded on his gratitude in the accompanying caption. He wrote, “Wow. What a ride this has been!! Thank you to the fans!” Fans commenting on the post shared his exuberant attitude. They thanked him right back, congratulated him, and some started asking for a sequel.

This isn’t the first time the director has paid homage to the people he considers vital to Joker’s success. After Joker became the most successful R-rated movie of all time, he shared a heartfelt message with the film’s fanbase, thanking them for supporting it amid the controversy it’s faced.

And Todd Phillips’ fan-focused celebration shouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve watched the drama surrounding Joker unfold. After a strong premiere at the Venice Film Festival, it became embroiled in controversy after concerns arose regarding its violent content. The overall reception to Joker has been mixed, and in the weeks since its release, it’s become the topic of myriad “love it or hate it” conversations. Todd Phillips has staunchly defended Joker against its detractors, and refused to entertain any criticism.

It’s clear that his latest post is as much about the people he doesn’t feel are responsible for the film’s ongoing success. By using fans’ comments in place of critics, he’s offering a not-so-subtle dig at naysayers by cutting them completely out of the conversation. It remains to be seen how high Joker’s fans will propel the film. But it’s clear that Todd Phillips will be there to virtually high five them the next time Joker hits a major milestone.

How Elizabeth Banks Approached Those Wild Charlie’s Angels Cameos

Warning! This article contains mild spoilers for Charlie’s Angels.

Charlie’s Angels has always been a property centered on girl power, but the new movie takes a step further. Aside from the core angels Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Ballinska, the movie introduces a larger network of badass spy women – namely with awesome cameo appearances at the top and end of the film.

As Elizabeth Banks explains in the exclusive interview, her concept was to show Charlie’s Angels was a larger universe than the established trio. Why not do so with some fun appearances from the likes of female wrestler Ronda Rousey, Pitch Perfect actress Hailee Steinfeld, Olympic gymnast champion Aly Raisman, and so forth?

Elizabeth Banks wanted to share the message that any woman could be an angel too, and it makes a ton of sense that these incredibly skilled females may be part of the team! When she pitched the reboot to Sony, Banks said she wanted to expand the franchise beyond California beaches to a global spy operation. The new Charlie’s Angels doesn’t ignore the roots of the series or early ‘00s movies.

It’s more of a sequel that builds upon the idea and imagines how it may have expanded in the last 20 years. Recruiting more angels seems only natural. Just as 007 isn’t the only agent in his universe, why should Charlie’s Angels stop at three women? However, with all these cameos you’d think there might have been room for the likes of Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu?

The famed Angels made the property iconic again in the 21st century with their roles and have each spoken out in support for the reboot ahead of Charlie’s Angels release. At the same time, perhaps establishing the new angels without leaning on the past movies was necessary. But, keep it in mind for a sequel, Banks!

The action-comedy certainly has starpower already with Kristen Stewart starring as Sabina and letting loose with frequent ad libs in a way we’ve never seen from her on the big screen before. Aladdin’s Naomi Scott continues to make a name for herself as a new recruit Elena, and the badass Ella Balinska (who plays Jane) gets a proper introduction with her first movie role.

See Charlie’s Angels in theaters now and stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more news on the badass spy trio!