|THE REAL REASONBEN AFFLECKTHE BATMANTHE REALBATMAN|
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is by one of the most successful movie franchises in history, though it does have its detractors, with some finding the movies the make up the series a little too similar to each other. Well, things could have been vastly different, as once upon a time, critically acclaimed auteur Quentin Tarantino had toyed with bringing Marvel superhero Luke Cage to the big screen himself.'There was a time before all this Marvel shit was coming out. It was after Reservoir Dogs, it was before Pulp Fiction, and I had thought about doing Luke Cage. Growing up I was a big comic book collector, and my two favorite [comic books] were Luke Cage: Hero for Hire, later Luke Cage: Power Man, and Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu. I also liked Werewolf by Night, that was a great one, and Tomb of Dracula was great, but my absolute hero was Luke Cage.'
Admittedly Tarantino's near-enticement to the comic book genre came very early in his career, just after making his seminal crime movie Reservoir Dogs, in fact. Tarantino stressed that he was the only white guy he know who read and collected Luke Cage comics over all the other superhero choices. The director did make sure to note that his Luke Cage adaptation would not have replaced Pulp Fiction as his second movie, rather the comic book caper would have been his third project instead of Jackie Brown. Ultimately, what stopped Quentin Tarantino from bringing the hero for hire to life was a struggle with casting.'What actually dissuaded me from doing it... was my comic geek friends talked me out of it. Because I had an idea that Larry Fishburne would've been the perfect guy to play Luke Cage. And I'm talking King of New York era Larry Fishburne. 'My name is Jimmy Jump.' ... But All my friends were like, 'No, no, listen, it's got to be Wesley Snipes.' And I go, 'Look, I like Wesley Snipes, but Larry Fishburne is practically Marlon Brando. I think Fish is the man.' And they're like, 'Yeah, but he'd have to get in shape in a big way. Snipes is that way already!' And I go, 'Fuck that! That's not that important! Fuck you, you ruined the whole damn thing!''
So, we can blame Tarantino's opinionated friends for depriving us all of a Tarantino directed Luke Cage movie lead by Laurence Fishburne. Thanks a lot, guys. Of course, Wesley Snipes went on to find success in the comic book world playing the MArvel vampire-hunter Blade in all three Blade movies. As for Luke Cage, he was eventually played by actor Mike Colter in the 2 well-received Netflix seasons.
Tarantino was also asked about Martin Scorsese's recent comments regarding comic book movies, in which the Goodfellas director likened Marvel's output to being more like theme park rides than legitimate cinema.'Generationally does anyone think he is going to be a big fan of Captain Marvel or Doctor Strange and Ant-Man vs. the Wasp? You could've guessed THAT would've been his reaction.'
It is interesting to wonder...
With theaters already starting to close-up shop around the country - and others reducing capacity by half - and moviegoers already wary of heading to theaters where social distancing is difficult, the weekend box office fell to a 22-year-low, earning about $54 million. Depending on how low that number is officially, it’s either the worst weekend in 11 years or since the weekend after 9/11 or even worse, a September weekend in 1998 in which Matt Damon’s Rounders topped the box office with $8 million. It’s going to get a lot worse in the coming weeks, too, as theaters continue to shutter and studios postpone release dates. America will survive the Coronavirus, but the theater industry has a very bumpy road ahead of it.
In any respect, Pixar’s Onward did top the box office again, although it suffered a significant 73 percent drop in its second weekend. It earned $10.5 million to bring its total to $60.3 million, and while that is hugely disappointing, there’s no sense in trying to compare it the performance of other films, because nothing like this has ever happened to the film industry.
Interestingly, however, there was one film that seemed to do OK despite Coronavirus concerns, and that was the faith-based I Still Believe with Britt Robertson, K.J. Apa, Melissa Roxburgh, and Gary Sinise, which earned $9.5 million. I Still Believe likely benefited from presales from church groups, and it also performed better in the Midwest and the South, where Coronavirus concerns may not yet be as high. It did receive an A Cinemascore - typical for Christian films - and a middling 40 percent from critics on Rotten Tomatoes but a 99 percent from audiences on RT.
Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot was probably hit the hardest by the. Coronavirus. It earned only $9.3 million, but the real hurt came overseas. Diesel is a big star in China and Europe, and Bloodshot won’t even get a chance there. It only earned. $13 million overseas. The $45 million film is going to be big loser for Sony, and it has little to do with the bad reviews 31 percent on RT or middling Cinemascore B.
Universal/Blumhouse’s Invisible Man is slowing down quicker than it should, earning $6 million to bring its total to $64 million. The film dropped 60 percent this weekend, but to the film’s credit, that was the small drop of the weekend. Another Universal/Blumhouse film, The Hunt came in fifth place with $5 million on a $14 million price tag. First, Donald Trump tried to kill the film, co-written by Damon Lindelof and directed by Craig Zobel, and then it was delayed because of a mass shooting, and when it’s finally released, The Hunt got clobbered by a pandemic. If Blumhouse were smart, he’d immediately make it available on streaming platforms, because while I wasn’t willing to brave the Coronavirus to see it in theaters, I’d definitely watch The Hunt at home....
As production delays continue to affect the movie business, many high profile 2021 titles are likely to have their release dates pushed back. This includes two of next year's most anticipated blockbusters, The Batman and The Matrix 4. There are also plenty of other issues that are cropping up as a result of the production delays brought on by the current situation the world finds itself in. With that, Hollywood will be in problem-solving mode for the foreseeable future.
A new report was recently released that details some of the issues that have resulted from the delays. The Batman, The Matrix 4 and other major blockbusters, such as Netflix's Red Notice, Dwayne Johnson's latest, had to pause filming in the interest of public health. Originally, production was paused for two weeks by Warner Bros., but now it's expected that many of these productions won't see people going back to work until late April or even May. That could make it challenging for these movies to meet their previously scheduled release dates.
The Batman, which stars Robert Pattinson as our new Caped Crusader, is currently slated to arrive on June 25, 2021. Director Matt Reeves had been shooting for weeks in London already when production first shut down. The Matrix 4, meanwhile, which brings back both Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, is set to arrive on May 21, 2021, as it stands. If it gets delayed, that will cancel the Reeves vs Reeves matchup we had going on at the box office next year, as John Wick 4 was also scheduled to come out that same day. Unfortunately, that fascinating showdown seems highly unlikely at this point.
These are just a few examples. Other massive franchise entries such as Jurassic World: Dominion and Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings have also had to hit the pause button. Another issue that has come up is scheduling with actors. Other projects that are slated to begin filming later this year also have actors that are committed to some of these delayed projects. Scheduling is going to become a major problem moving forward, once things return to some semblance of normalcy. When that is will depend largely on when local and federal governments deem it safe for people to begin gathering in large groups again.
The silver lining is that studios could easily fill these release dates with other delayed movies. No Time to Die and F9 have already locked in new dates after being pushed back, but A Quiet Place: Part II, Mulan, The New Mutants, Black Widow and Minions 2, amongst others, will be looking for a new date on the calendar. Assuming movies like The Batman and The Matrix 4 do have to move, those dates could prove to fertile ground for one of the other previously delayed movies that were supposed to come out this year. We'll be sure to keep you posted as the situation develops. This news comes to us via Variety.
With so many new comic book movies winning awards and making a killing at the box office, it is difficult to determine which of the current crop will be considered true classics of the genre in time. But for veteran actor Michael Caine, who played Alfred Pennyworth in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, that particular series is something truly special, as he explained to The Hindu, starting with his first meeting with Nolan.'He came to the front door of my house in the country with a script. I could see him through the glass but I couldn't recognize him. The moment he introduced himself, I knew exactly who he was because I was a great fan of his three small films.'
Today Christopher Nolan is known as one of Hollywood's biggest filmmakers. But back in 2005, he was seen as more of an indie director, with his most acclaimed work thus far being the low-budget thriller Momento. But despite the lack of big-name projects to his name, Nolan had already begun making a name for himself as a filmmaker to watch out for when Warner Bros. brought him on to reboot the Batman franchise towards a more realistic path. Caine was aware of this when Nolan came to him to be a part of the planned origin movie about the Dark Knight, Batman Begins.'I told him, 'I am too old for Batman. Do you want me to play the butler? What would my dialogues be? Would you like another beverage or more custard?' So, I did the movie and it was one of the greatest things I have done in my life.'
Clearly, Michael Caine has a great deal of respect for the world that Nolan crafted for his version of Batman, and most critics and audiences would agree. The Dark Knight trilogy is widely considered one of the best comic book movies of all time, with the second film in the series, often singled out as the best comic book film ever made, with a once-in-a-generation, Oscar-winning turn by Heath Ledger as the maniacal Joker.
The respect is returned by Nolan, who has put Caine in each of his films ever since the two got together on the sets of Batman Begins. There have even been jokes about Caine having become a necessity for a Nolan film to be successful, so much so that the actor was roped in simply to provide a voice-over for Dunkirk, and received a billing in the credit title for the effort.
Caine is also a part of Nolan's latest film, Tenet, which, in typical Nolan fashion, is shrouded in mystery even after the release of its first trailer online. There are rumors of the movie being a sequel to Inception, and involves some elements of time travel. Apart from Caine, the film stars John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, who coincidentally is set to take over the mantle of Batman for director Matt Reeves's upcoming feature. This news comes from The Hindu.