The Hilarious Improv Moment Zach Galifianakis Was Surprised Made It Into Missing Link

Laika’s latest stop-motion adventure, Missing Link, enlisted hilarious comedian Zach Galifianakis to voice the adorably awkward sasquatch. The actor known for The Hangover movies, the deadpan web show Between Two Ferns and the FX series Baskets brings to life some of the biggest laughs and sweetest moments in the family film, including some that were brought forth by his own comedic genius.

I recently had the chance to speak to Zach Galifianakis during the Missing Link press junket in Los Angeles. During our interview, I asked him how much he was involved in crafting the personality of his animated character. Here’s what he said:

If you’ve seen the trailers for Missing Link thus far, this likely rings a bell! In the animated movie, the adventurer Bigfoot calls upon for help to find his long lost cousins is Lionel Frost (played by Hugh Jackman), who drums up a rapport with the tall furry creature. The only problem is he doesn’t have a name. When Lionel asks him he goes for Susan… yes, Susan. While the name isn’t exactly what Lionel is expecting the legendary beast to name himself, considering the animal’s soft nature and quirky sensibility, it’s oddly fitting.

The improvised line is perfect to cut the tension in the scene, and moviegoers will likely find themselves remembering this cute tidbit of the movie long after they leave the theater. It’s interesting to know that Zach Galifianakis was actually the one to come up with this line for the film, though the actor also credits Missing Link writer/director Chris Butler, who was also behind Kubo and the Two Strings and Paranorman over at Laika’s incredible animation studio when it comes to crediting the origins of the character.

Missing Link is the fifth movie from the stop-motion company and Susan is the heaviest lead character the studio has crafted so far with its puppeteering technology and life-like sets. The movie is its most ambitious project yet, as it featured over 100 actual sets portraying locations from across the globe as Susan, Lionel and Adelina (played by Zoe Saldana) search for the treasured land of Shangri-La. You can check out Missing Link in theaters on April 12.

Annabelle Comes Home Is Definitely Not A Horror Comedy, But It Will Have Funny Moments

The horror movies of The Conjuring Universe definitely take themselves seriously. Sure, there are the occasional laughs featured in the six features we’ve seen thus far, but they are pretty few and far between, as the focus has clearly always been primarily on scares. This is a tradition that fans can expect to see continue soon in the upcoming Annabelle Comes Home, but according to writer/director Gary Dauberman, you may find yourself chuckling while watching the movie a bit more than you did with previous chapters in this franchise.

The tone of Annabelle Comes Homes was a subject that came up during an interview with Dauberman on the set of the film when it was in production late last year, and in discussing his approach the filmmaker revealed that the new release will be a bit different than the previous two Annabelle features (both of which he wrote). While he stressed that there will never be a point in the movie where a comedic beat is given preference over a scare, there are going to be some laughs mixed in with the screams during the experience:

It’s an interesting direction to take, and arguably a smart one. While it’s definitely true that too much comedy can undercut the more frightening aspects of a horror film, striking a proper balance can work wonders. After all, making an audience smile with a joke or silly situation can lure them into a false sense of security, and when their guard is down a proper scare can result in shrieks, spilled soda, and flung popcorn.

Furthermore, a proper application of laughs interspersed with shocks does wonders for the ride-like experience that a great horror movie can offer. Those are two emotions on opposite ends of the spectrum, and it can be a blast for crowds to constantly bounce back and forth between those extremes. A recent example of a film that did that brilliantly was Andres Muschietti’s IT – which Gary Dauberman also wrote.

Part of what allows Gary Dauberman to take this approach with Annabelle Comes Home is that the plot offers circumstances that make the laughs natural – something that he didn’t really have in the making of Annabelle or Annabelle: Creation. Specifically, there is a classic horror set up here, with the story centering on young Judy Warren (McKenna Grace) as she spends the night with a babysitter (Madison Iseman) and her babysitter’s best friend (Katie Sarife) in a house that starts to go a bit nuts thanks to the presence of Annabelle. As Dauberman explained, the personalities of the girls allowed him to try some lighter tones with the plot, while never breaking too far from the larger tone of The Conjuring Universe movies. Said the writer/director,

Annabelle Comes Home, which features the return of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed and Loraine Warren, will be hitting theaters everywhere as a big summer release this year – scheduled to go nationwide on June 28th. It’s one of our most anticipated releases of the season, so you can be sure that we’ll have a lot more for you to read about it here on CinemaBlend between now and when it comes out.

Shazam! 2 Will Likely Follow This Cool Comic Storyline

The Shazam family

Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS for Shazam! are ahead!

With all the money it’s made at the box office so far and the amount of positive reception it’s earned, it’s safe to say that Shazam! is another hit for Warner Bros and DC. It’s likelier than not that a sequel will move forward, and producer Peter Safran acknowledged that Shazam! 2 will have to come together quickly since the young cast members are quickly growing up.

Fortunately, like many superhero movie’s before it, Shazam! used its mid/post-credits scene to foreshadow set up what’s to come. Assuming a misdirect isn’t in the cards, it looks like this upcoming story will be based on the currently-running Shazam comic book by writer Geoff Johns and artist Dale Eaglesham, which hasn’t even wrapped up its first story arc yet!

For those who need a refresher on Shazam!’s mid-credits scene, Mark Strong’s Thaddeus Sivana was seen obsessively scratching ancient runes on the walls of his prison cell, desperately trying to get back to the Rock of Eternity so he can reclaim his last power. Suddenly, a nearby voice tells him that there are other ways to obtain powers, and by the forming alliance, Sivana and these two can conquer the “seven realms.”

We soon see that this voice doesn’t come from a giant, foreboding figure, but from a tiny, yet still unnerving, super intelligent caterpillar named Mister Mind. He was first seen in Shazam! trapped in a glass case when the adolescent Sivana was brought to the Rock of Eternity, but had managed to escape confinement by the time Billy Batson showed up at the wizard Shazam’s lair.

Although the Shazam! movie drew from all across Shazam’s comic book history, it was primarily based off the New 52 origin story written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Gary Frank. That story also ended with Mister Mind proposing an alliance to Dr. Sivana, although in this instance, the two of them met when Dr. Sivana tried to break back into the Rock of Eternity following Black Adam’s defeat, with Mister Mind trapped inside of a glass case. In this case, though, Dr. Sivana was desperate for magical power to “save his family,” hence why he’d entertain working with a sinister caterpillar.

Dr. Sivana and Mister Mind in Shazam comics

Five years after Shazam’s New 52 origin story concluded, DC finally debuted an ongoing Shazam comic book series starring these new incarnations of the Shazam family. At the time of this writing, only four issues have been released, with issue #5 coming out on May 8.

However, Shazam!’s tease of Sivana and Mister Mind working together, Mind’s “seven realms” comment and some weirdness Billy Batson and his adoptive siblings deal with in the Rock of Eternity indicates that Shazam! 2 will be based off the tale that Geoff Johns and Dale Eaglesham are currently delivering on the printed page.

In the current Shazam comic book, Billy and his siblings discover a passage way in the Rock of Eternity that leads to a old fashioned-looking train station providing transportation to other corners of the Magiclands, which is comprised of seven magical realms: the Earthlands (a.k.a. our reality), the Funlands, the Gamelands, the Wildlands, the Monsterlands, the Woznerlands and the Darklands. Thus far, the latter three realms haven’t been shown yet, but the others are all kinds of weird.

Shazam Wildlands comics

There wasn’t a train station to be seen in Shazam!’s version of the Rock of Eternity, but it does have its own gateways to other worlds. While Billy and the kids were trying to escape Sivana, they came across a cavern filled with countless doors. One of them led to a room where three crocodile-men (modeled off the kinds of creatures that Shazam/Captain Marvel has battled numerous times in the comics) were playing cards, another door containing a tentacle creature resembling the Demogoron from Stranger Things, and a third door that just tried to suck in everyone.

Aside from visits to the Rock of Eternity, Shazam! only took place on Earth, but these doorways and Mister Mind aspiring for multi-dimensional domination foreshadow that Shazam! 2 will likely have the Shazam family visiting other magical realms. Whether or not these realms will directly resemble the Magiclands from the comics remains to be seen, although the presence of these crocodile men and the prospect of bringing the anthropomorphic tiger Tawky Tawny, a longtime member of the Shazam mythos (who was subtly referenced in Shazam! via a stuffed tiger toy), suggest that the Wildlands could at least appear.

Oh, and it’s also worth mentioning that Dr. Sivana and Mister Mind are involved in the current Shazam comic book. Thus far the full extent of their machinations hasn’t been revealed yet, but they’re definitely up to no good, as Mind instructed Sivana to kill a doctor because the “tongue of a medicine man” is required for a spell they’re casting.

We also learned how Mind is believed to have originated from the Wildlands and nearly destroyed the Council of Eternity. Perhaps this backstory will be retained for Shazam! 2, especially given that Mind was imprisoned at the Rock of Eternity for an untold period of time.

Mister Mind comics

Assuming that Shazam! 2 is based off of Geoff Johns’ current Shazam arc, it would be just another way the writer’s work has influenced the DCEU. Justice League was based off of the opening issues of his New 52 Justice League run, and Aquaman drew from his acclaimed New 52 Aquaman run, as well as incorporated elements of his scrapped “Rise of the Seven Seas” event. Johns had previously helped guide the DCEU as DC Entertainment president, but he stepped down from that role and Chief Creative Officer last year to focus on comic book writing and producing more projects.

Shazam! hasn’t even been theaters for a week, so it may be a while before we hear any specific information about what’s in store for Shazam! 2. Still, much like how Aquaman set the stage for a Black Manta/Stephen Shin team-up in Aquaman 2, Shazam! showed audiences that Mister Mind is work with Dr. Sivana, and it’s a good bet that whatever they have planned will require the Shazam gang to venture out into the magical beyond.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on Shazam! 2, which will be written by the man who penned the first movie, Henry Gayden. But for now, you can pick up the Shazam comic book series digitally or at your local comic book store to get a sense of what might be depicted on the big screen, and don’t forget to look through our handy guide to learn what else the DCEU has coming up.

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Looks Like Netflix May Officially Buy Its Own Theater

Netflix has built itself into an entertainment juggernaut specifically by giving consumers a seemingly endless number of reasons, first on DVDs and then on streaming, not to leave their home and go to the theater. This has put the company at odds with entrenched parts of the film industry, exhibitors in particular. Now, although Netflix hasn’t beat the theaters, it looks like it could still join them as the streaming service may officially buy its own theater.

Netflix is in early talks with the non-profit American Cinematheque to buy the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. If it comes to pass, this deal, which could be worth tens of millions of dollars, would get Netflix its very first physical movie theater. The purchase is far from done and there are issues with real estate and permits that must be settled before it can be finalized, but Netflix is on its way to owning a theater, and a historic one at that.

However, despite the fact that Netflix (and Amazon) has flirted with purchasing a theater chain in the past, Deadline’s sources indicate that this should not be viewed as Netflix diving headfirst into its own operational theater business. So don’t expect every town to have a Netflix theater anytime soon.

While it may be a one-off thing for now and not the first domino to fall in a plan to conquer the theater industry, Netflix’s potential purchase of the Egyptian Theatre offers a number of positive outcomes for the streaming service, the Egypitian Theatre, American Cinematheque and the film community.

The Egyptian Theatre is a Hollywood landmark; built by Sid Grauman in the early 1920s, the theater hosted Hollywood’s first movie premiere (Robin Hood) in 1922. The Egyptian last underwent a renovation in 1998 and this deal would help preserve the historic theater and its mission to keep the big screen movie tradition alive for years to come.

American Cinematheque currently screens classic, historic, foreign, independent and rarely seen films, amongst other things, at both the Egyptian Theatre and the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Under the deal, the non-profit American Cinematheque would gain a much needed influx of cash to help it stay afloat and expand its programming.

Netflix and American Cinematheque look at this potential purchase as a partnership that would establish a mutually beneficial relationship. Netflix would screen its films on weekday nights, as well as have special screenings and events for its bigger titles. Also, this purchase would not impact Netflix’s existing relationships with chains like IPIC or Landmark Theatres that play the service’s films. American Cinematheque would retain the freedom to play what it wants, while getting the financial support to continue running screenings, lectures and festivals on weekends.

You can see how purchasing the Egyptian Theatre would be something of an olive branch, meant to ingratiate the disruptive streaming service to cinephiles and those in the industry that have a negative view of Netflix. Netflix, the company that made it so you could watch movies on a 4” phone screen, would be preserving a historic theater whose mission is to champion the big screen experience. This move would show that Netflix values that experience.

This news comes on the heels of an Oscar season where Netflix’s Roma made a major splash, raising the issues of whether or not streaming movies should be eligible for Academy Awards. Some in the industry, like Steven Spielberg, who are champions of the theatrical experience are against streaming movies with short theatrical windows being eligible. At the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, Netflix will be sitting out for the second year in a row in part because of the tension with exhibitors. Hopefully this will be the first step towards everyone getting along.

Netflix is out here trying to change hearts and minds. We’ll see if it works.

Tom Hanks’ New Movie Is The First Fox Project To Head To New Studio After Disney Sale

Just last month, Fox officially became part of the Mickey Mouse Club in a monumental $71.3 billion dollar merger that is about to change the landscape of Hollywood. Among the many coming shifts to be made, (including some upcoming release date changes) Disney decided to retire the Fox 2000 label. Now a project starring the studio’s Woody and Saving Mr. Banks’ Walt Disney will be the first to be given away.

Tom HanksNews of the World will move to Universal now that Fox 2000, a label that’s produced hits including The Fault In Our Stars, Life of Pi and The Heat, has been dropped in light of the Disney/Fox merger. The project will bring Captain Phillips’ director Paul Greengrass back together with Hanks, who is set to star and produce the Civil War-set novel adaptation.

Based on the 2016 book of the same name by Paulette Jiles, News of the World is a fictional drama about a newscaster named Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks) who travels throughout Texas to recite newspapers to the illiterate just as the Civil War has ended. Along the way, he is tasked with handing over a 10-year-old girl named Johanna to her aunt and uncle, following the murder or her family by a band of Kiowa raiders.

Kidd is met with a predicament when he must choose between leaving her to a family she doesn’t remember and thinks of her as a burden, or defy his responsibility. The script for News of the World was penned by Luke Davies, who has also adapted Lion and Beautiful Boy from novels, per Deadline.

The drama certainly looks like it could earn award recognition potential through Universal considering the track record of the writer, who was nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Lion. 2013’s Captain Phillips was also nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, and Tom Hanks is a two-time Oscar winner out of five nominations.

Tom Hanks previously worked with Fox 2000 for the also critically-acclaimed Steven Spielberg-helmed Bridge of Spies, though News of the World is being produced in the midst of a giant shift for the Disney and Fox studios/ Luckily, the film found a new home. While Disney is committed to helping move along Fox 2000 films already in production through the indie label, other titles in the works will be left to be hopefully picked up by a neighboring studio.

News of the World certainly looks like an interesting role for Tom Hanks to take on, and from impressive filmmakers at the helm to boot. Before Hanks takes on Kidd, he will star as the voice of Woody once again for Toy Story 4 this summer, television personality Mr. Rogers in biopic It’s a Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood this fall, World War II drama Greyhound in summer 2020 and sci-fi robot film BIOS in fall 2020.

Robert Pattison Is Apparently Saying Nice Things About The Twilight Movies Now

While Robert Pattinson has gradually shifted to working on independent and less flashy movies, he’ll arguably always be best known for playing Edward in the Twilight film series. Although these romance fantasy tales made a lot of money at the box office over their five-year run, critically they earned mixed-negative reception, and for a while Pattinson wasn’t fond of thinking back on his time working on the franchise. However, lately he’s been kinder towards the Twilight movies, recently noting that their soundtracks in particular stand out compared to other movies from that period. Pattinson said:

Music is an integral component to filmmaking, so even if a movie isn’t received well, there’s always the chance its tunes are enjoyable. Some movies get by with just a traditional score, but the Twilight movies were also accompanied by songs that were performed by a variety of artists/bands, with New Moon’s soundtrack including numbers like “Meet Me on the Equinox” by Death Cab for Cutie and “Possibility” by Lykke Li. In the years since the Twilight film series wrapped up, there have been other movies that, while not necessarily ranking high on the critical scale, have drawn attention for their fun soundtracks, such as the Fifty Shades trilogy.

Along with complimenting the soundtracks for the five Twilight movies, Robert Pattinson also noted that he’s fascinated by younger people who missed the initial Twilight craze and are now discovering these stories and appreciating them. As he put it:

Wow, now I feel old. It seems like it was just yesterday that the first Twilight trailer came out and people were wondering how the movie was going to compare to the Stephenie Meyer novel. In any case, while the Twilight movies weren’t critical powerhouses, clearly the movies have staying power. As far as why Robert Pattinson is being kinder to the Twilight franchise, the actor also noted during his interview with USA Today that it helps that the “mania is not so intense,” so now he can appreciate the “warm memories.” And hey, even if he never re-watches these movies in their entirety again, at least he’s willing to re-listen to their songs.

Although the possibility of Twilight being rebooted has been periodically discussed, for now, that franchise remains wrapped up. Robert Pattinson, however can currently be seen playing Monte in High Life, and his other movies scheduled for this year include The Lighthouse, The King and Waiting for the Barbarians.

How Shazam!’s Special Cameo Was Originally Supposed To Happen

Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS for Shazam! are ahead!

The DC Extended Universe might not be focusing as much on close interconnectivity between its movies anymore, but make no mistake, we’re still operating in a shared universe. Shazam! definitely hammered that point across through Freddy Freeman’s obsession with superheroes and various toys and memorabilia, but right as the latest DCEU movie wrapped up, none other than the Man of Steel himself, Superman, showed up! Well, sort of, as it wasn’t Henry Cavill playing the character.

However, the original plan was to put Cavill back in the Superman suit for Shazam!, which would have been his fourth DCEU appearance. As for why that didn’t happen, here’s what producer Peter Safran said:

You’ll recall that last September, a report came out saying Henry Cavill would no longer be playing Superman in the DCEU, a claim that Warner Bros denied soon after. It was also mentioned that the studio tried to get Cavill to come back for a Shazam! cameo, but talks broke down due to scheduling conflicts. Sure enough, David Safran provides the same reasoning for why a stunt double played Superman in Shazam! rather than Cavill.

As Peter Safran noted, while the original plan was for Superman to say a few things, this silent cameo, where you could only see the Kryptonian hero from the neck down, ended up working better since it highlighted Freddy Freeman’s excitement. In case you need a refresher, after Billy Batson showed up at his and Freddy’s high school as Shazam to make up for not doing so earlier in the movie, he revealed that he brought Superman along as an even bigger surprise.

Peter Safran didn’t reveal to Comicbook.com what Superman would have specifically said had Henry Cavill reprised the role, but a rumor from a few months back claimed that Kal-El/Clark Kent would have told Billy Batson something along the lines of “We’ll be keeping an eye on you.” Taking that dialogue out refocused the moment on a boy being incredibly jazzed that two superheroes visited him during lunch period, although Zachary Levi has not been shy about his desire for Shazam to join the Justice League someday.

While Shazam looks to have a bright future ahead of him, as work on Shazam! 2 is already underway, Superman’s future is less certain. He was resurrected in Justice League and returned to both his civilian and crimefighting lives, but there are no plans to release Man of Steel anytime soon, and Henry Cavill is currently busy working on the Netflix series The Witcher.

It’s possible we’ll eventually reach a point where, just like with Batman, Superman will be recast, but for now, aside from his quick Shazam! cameo, the character remains in limbo. In any case, at least we can take comfort knowing that Billy Batson is already making friends in the superhero community.

Be sure to read CinemaBlend’s review of Shazam! and stay tuned for more developments on how Shazam! 2 is progressing. For now, feel free to look through our DC movies guide to learn what this superhero franchise has on the way.

The Trick To Getting The Marvel Audience Excited For What’s Next, According To Joe Russo

Modern blockbuster filmmaking can be tricky, particularly if you are working within the confines of a franchise. At a recent CinemaCon event featuring Elizabeth Banks, Anthony and Joe Russo, Dexter Fletcher and Olivia Wilde, the directors were talking about what the real trick is to keeping people excited for what’s coming next.

It was actually Elizabeth Banks who hit the nail on the head when she mentioned she makes sure “there’s a surprise built-in somewhere for the audience” particularly noting for people “who think they knew who this person was but there’s another layer, something more.”

Riffing off of Banks’ initial comments based on her work in Pitch Perfect 2 and Charlie’s Angels, Avengers: Endgame director Joe Russo revealed Banks hit the nail on the head. That is, in fact, exactly what he and Anthony Russo try to do to keep Marvel audiences excited. He elaborated:

At a CinemaCon luncheon, Joe Russo mentioned generating a conversation is key to keeping a narrative alive in the age of social media, but I also think this factor is important for keeping a conversation alive when there are more films coming in a franchise.

While Avengers: Endgame is being billed as the culmination of a 22-film narrative, certainly the Russo Brothers’ other films with Marvel have had to continue a through storyline in the franchise, and even Marvel as we know it won’t be just completely ending after Endgame. Instead, it’ll likely just look a little different with a focus on different characters moving forward.

I don’t think anywhere has this concept been clearer than in the final minutes in Avengers: Infinity War in which our heroes almost defeat Thanos only to lose. In those minutes, Marvel fans worldwide saw many of their heroes disappear into dust and it’s an idea and a surprise we’ve been chewing on for a year as we wait for Avengers: Endgame.

Luckily, that wait is nearly over. Avengers: Endgame will be out on April 26 and we’ve already seen a full scene from the upcoming film, which also dropped during CinemaCon this year.

6 Fun Video Game References In Shazam!

The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Shazam!

Shazam! sets itself apart from your normal superhero blockbuster by having a hero who is, basically, a 15-year-old kid. As such, Shazam/Billy Batson’s passions are largely similar to the sorts of things that average teenagers love, like eating junk food and occasionally skipping school.

One other thing that’s a big part of Shazam! is video games. We see our main characters playing against each other at one point, but that’s far from the only time that video game references are made in Shazam! Here are five surprising references to video games found in the new DC superhero movie.

Raiden in Mortal Kombat X in shazam

Mortal Kombat

As mentioned, there is one very clear video game reference in Shazam! As we see the adult superhero and his friend/brother Freddy playing the classic fighter Mortal Kombat, apparently using money they swiped from ATMs, based on all the new stuff we see surrounding them. Specifically, the two are playing the recent Mortal Kombat X and Shazam is playing as Raiden, the god of thunder. It’s a fitting choice considering both Raiden and Shazam can shoot lightning from their hands.

However, that’s not the only reference to Mortal Kombat in Shazam! Another reference comes later, when the superhero version of foster brother Eugene, uses a classic Mortal Kombat line. The game series is best known for its collection of brutal and violent finishing movies, where characters can eviscerate their opponents in various ways. It’s called the Fatality, and Eugene uses the classic phrase after Shazam has taken Silvana’s eye and defeated him for good.

Ryu in Street Fighter in shazam

Street Fighter

Mortal Kombat is one of the best known tournament fighter games ever made, but one title that might be even more well known is the Street Fighter series. The title predates Mortal Kombat by a few years and has had several more games to its name.

Again, the reference here comes from Eugene at the end of the film. His adult superhero version has the lightning power of Zeus that he gained from Shazam. At one point, upon firing his lightning at one of the Seven Deadly Sins, he shouts “Hadouken,” a reference to the call of Street Fighter members Ryu and Ken, who use the word when sending a fireball toward an opponent.

Watch Dogs 2 in shazam

Watch Dogs

While Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat are two game series that many people are familiar with, even if they’ve never touched a video game console, the rest of the references begin to get a bit more obscure. While those familiar with AAA console games will know the name Watch Dogs, others may not. The game is an open world action game in the vein of Grand Theft Auto but with the twist that the player has the ability to “hack” computer systems in order to manipulate the environment.

Eugene makes reference to the game as one of the reasons he has picked up some skills as a hacker. I’m not entirely clear how, since all hacking in Watch Dogs is done by pressing a single button. There really isn’t much opportunity to learn actual hacking.

Uplink in shazam

Uplink

Alongside Watch Dogs, however, is a reference to another hacking-themed video game, and one that might be slightly more useful to learning hacking. Uplink is another game that Eugene apparently plays, or did play, quite a bit. It’s actually sort of impressive since the game was originally released back in 2001, making the title older than Eugene is. It’s possible Eugene played the mobile version that was released in 2012. Still, it’s nice to know the kid likes to play older video games too.

Uplink doesn’t have you control an avatar of any kind, but instead is a game that looks like you’re using an actual PC interface. The “hacking” works more like the way that you see hacking portrayed in movies, as opposed to actual hacking, but since Shazam! is a movie after all, it seems likely that Uplink is a realistic version of hacking for that world.

PlayStation Sharpshooter in shazam

PlayStation Move

The most utterly bizarre video game reference is the unlikeliest one in the movie to notice. Rather than being referenced in dialogue or shown clearly on screen, one scene shows one of the supporting characters armed with a Sony Sharpshooter, a gun peripheral that was designed to be used with the PlayStation 3’s Move motion control.

Back when the Nintendo Wii was the biggest thing to hit video games since, well, the original Nintendo Entertainment System, Sony tried to come up with its own version of the tech. The Sharpshooter was essentially a plastic shell for the system that turned the standard Move controller into a light gun. The thing is, the Move was never a major hit, and the Sharpshooter was an additional peripheral, making it even less popular. Where somebody found one of these, and why they thought using it was a good idea, is anybody’s guess.

Fortnite in Shazam!

Fortnite?

This last one I’m not sure is specifically meant to be a video game reference, but it’s too close to one not to mention. During the Shazam “super power testing” montage, we see the superhero doing a little dance while he’s waiting for Freddy to get ready to film him.

The dance he’s doing is called the Floss, and, while it wasn’t created for a video game, its popularity as a dance move has become immensely more popular thanks to being an available emote option in Fortnite, the most popular game in the world right now. The dance and the game have become so popular together that they’re currently the subject of one of several lawsuits against the game.

From the obvious to the obscure, there are some really fun video game references in Shazam! With all indications being that we’re going to get a sequel to Shazam! sooner rather than later, video games will probably continue to be a touchstone of this franchise, and we can look forward to more references in the future. Shazam has made appearances in real life video games before. One has to wonder if Shazam could actually become a video game character within the DC film universe, allowing Billy Batson and Freddy to actually play as their superhero counterparts in some future movie.

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Samuel L. Jackson Confirms Sequel The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard Is Finally In Production

We’re only two films in to Samuel L. Jackson’s especially stacked 2019 and the prolific actor is already hard at work making sure he’ll be lighting up the silver screen for years to come. In 2020, the actor will star in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, the sequel to the 2017 action-comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which starred Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds. Now, the busy actor has confirmed The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is finally in production. Take a look:

This image confirms The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is now in production and shooting in Croatia, the European country where Game of Thrones spent so much time and that also served as Canto Bight in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It may technically be work, but as you can see from Samuel L. Jackson’s Instagram photos, the picturesque country on the Adriatic Sea is lovely and definitely not a bad place to be filming a fun action movie.

Croatia won’t be the only place The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard shoots though. The sequel will also be filming in London and Italy, giving the action sequel even more international, European flavor after the first film shot in London, The Netherlands and Bulgaria. Ryan Reynolds’ Michael Bryce and Samuel L. Jackson’s Darius Kincaid won’t just be sightseeing or going on a vacation in Europe, they’ll actually be trying to save it.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard will find Michael Bryce attempting to live a peaceful life after the events in the last film where notorious hitman Darius Kincaid and his wife, Salma Hayek’s Sonia, drag him in to their mission to cause chaos on Italy’s Amalfi Coast that is somehow meant to help save Europe. Needless to say, Ryan Reynolds’ character will once again find himself with a difficult job and even more difficult clients.

The first Hitman’s Bodyguard earned $176.6 million worldwide back in 2017, sitting atop the domestic box office for three straight weeks from August to early September. On a modest $30 million budget, that made it a big enough of a hit to warrant a sequel, a sequel that looks to be upping the ante by putting together an impressive cast.

In addition to the delightful returning cast of Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek and Richard E. Grant, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard will also star Antonio Banderas, Frank Grillo and, in his first ever film with Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman. The sequel also recently added Tom Hopper, who you may know from Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy, Starz’ Black Sails or as the riotously named Dickon Tarly in Game of Thrones.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is expected to arrive in theaters in 2020. There’s plenty to see before then though and you can check it all out in our 2019 release schedule. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest movie news.