|JARED LETOJAMES GUNNFAVORITEJOKER|
Morbius is the latest piece of the Spider-Man cinematic universe puzzle that Sony has been trying to fit into place for the audience. The trailer for the film released a month ago, and with filming already wrapped, and post-production for the feature on schedule, the movie looks to be on track for its July 31 debut. In the meantime, the comic con poster for Morbuis dropped recently online to give fans something to chew on while they wait.
The poster is a close up of lead actor Jared Leto, who plays the role of medical researcher Michael Morbius. Searching for a way to cure his lifelong physical affliction of having a rare blood disorder, Morbius's search leads him to a species of bats whose genes may hide the key to curing the diseases.
Testing the cure on his own body gives Morbius perfect health, but the cure soon devolves int a curse, as Morbius finds his body undergoing a horrific transformation, and he is overtaken by an overwhelming need to consume blood as a modern-day vampire.
The poster hints at this transformation as a sliver of the face of Morbius looks to have been peeled away, revealing the monster beneath. The movie look of Morbius as a vampire is suitably creepy. You have the red, predatory eye, the graying skin, and those dangerous fangs coming out of his mouth, ready to suck the life out of his victims.
One of the points that drew praise for Venom was the look of the anti-hero lead character, and it looks like Sony has taken great pains to make sure Morbius looks just as much of a badass as Venom. Comparisons between the two characters are going to be inevitable, since they both belong to the same cinematic universe, and both bear the distinction of starting out as supporting anti-hero characters from the Spider-Man mythology before getting their own standalone features with A-list actors in the lead.
For Jared Leto, playing Morbius is a comeback of sorts after his less-than warmly received take on The Joker for DC's Suicide Squad. In fact, fans of the actor, who are used to seeming Leto in more indie, off-beat films, were surprised to know he had accepted the role of Morbius, after the poor reception to his last movie where he played a comic book character.
Hopefully, with Morbius, Leto will be able to finally nail a comic book role in a well-received movie, in much the same way as Ben Affleck moved on from Daredevil to Batman, or Ryan Reynolds moved on from Green Lantern to Deadpool. There is also the added excitement of Morbius being touted as the gateway to introducing Spider-Man to his own cinematic universe away from the MCU, after the trailer for Morbius showed a poster of Spider-Man in the background, and featured an appearance from Adrian Toomes aka Vulture, played by Michael Keaton, a role he first played in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
James Gunn is best known for his fan-favorite work with the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, but his space-faring adventures for Marvel would've never happened if it wasn't for a little film called Slither.
Released in 2006, the horror-comedy marked Gunn's directorial debut, and to celebrate the film's 14th anniversary, Gunn shared a treasure trove of behind the scene photos on Instagram along with a personal caption on how the movie changed his life.
14 years ago today my directorial debut Slither opened. It was not a hit to say the least, but because of the great reviews & that so many of you folks loved it, it was the start of a great career for me. Just as importantly, I met many wonderful people making the film, who have remained close friends to this day. Here are some photos from that time — including some never-before-seen. #Slither #imbillpardy
You can view the photo gallery from Gunn below:
As Gunn readily admits, Slither was not a hit. In fact, it failed to recoup its small $15 million budget at the box office. However, the film was a hit with critics who gave it a Certified Fresh score of 86% on Rotten Tomatoes where the “Critics Consensus” calls it “A slimy, B-movie homage oozing with affection for low-budget horror films,” and says “Slither is creepy and funny — if you've got the stomach for it.”
The film also stars Nathan Fillion and Michael Rooker, who have become frequent staples in Gunn's work. While Fillion has made brief cameos in the Guardians films, Rooker has been featured more prominently as the blue-skinned alien scavenger Yondu. On top of that, Rooker and Gunn are so close that the director recently admitted that the nationwide shortage of household products has left him with no choice but to use rolls of toilet paper with Rooker's face on it. Now that's friendship.
Via James Gunn on Instagram
You may recognize Kara Hayward from Wes Anderson’s 2012 film “Moonrise Kingdom,” where she charmed as one half of the film’s star-crossed couple, Suzy Bishop. Since making her debut with one of the best filmmakers of the day, Hayward has kept the pedigree of her collaborators similarly high, landing roles in films by Kenneth Lonergan, Jim Jarmusch, and Jordan Peele. Now, she once again steps into the lead to lend her talents to Martha Stephens’ latest feature “To the Stars,” which was a crowd favorite at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and recently debuted an absorbing first trailer.
The synopsis from Sundance reads: “In a God fearing small town in 1960s Oklahoma, bespectacled and reclusive teen Iris endures the booze-induced antics of her mother and daily doses of bullying from her classmates. She finds solace in Maggie, the charismatic and enigmatic new girl at school, who hones in on Iris's untapped potential and coaxes her out of her shell. When Maggie's mysterious past can no longer be suppressed, the tiny community is thrown into a state of panic, leaving Maggie to take potentially drastic measures and inciting Iris to stand up for her friend and herself. Director Martha Stephens infuses the film with elements of the western genre to tell a deeper story, about women as outsiders in a time and place of repression and intolerance.”
“To the Stars” is the third solo feature from Stephens, whose previous micro-budget movies, “Passenger Pigeons” 2010 and “Pilgrim Song” 2012, both premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. In 2014, she worked with longtime friend Aaaron Katz “Gemini” to co-write and co-direct “Land Ho!,” which was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics and won the John Cassavetes Award at the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards.
Shannon Bradley-Colleary wrote the script.
Originally premiering in black and white, the trailer offers a glimpse at the 1960s small town setting in glorious vintage hues. It also teases performances by the impressive supporting cast, which includes Liana Liberato, Jordana Spiro, Shea Whigham, Malin Akerman, and Tony Hale.
Samuel Goldwyn Films will release “To the Stars” on VOD on April 24. Check out the engaging first trailer below.
With large swathes of the population sitting at home, audiences have a chance to catch up on films that were released years ago and find new insights into their narrative. Recently, a fan who had been watching Suicide Squad with his family reached out to the film's director David Ayer to ask about the meaning behind the scene where the Joker is lying in the middle of a room lined with a circle of knives, guns, and baby clothes. Denying that the baby onesies were trophies after an infanticide spree on the part of the cackling psychopath, Ayer provided the following explanation for the scene instead.'No it's more innocent. Harley wanted a normal family with Joker hence the baby in her vision. I figured she would have endlessly pestered Mr. J about having a kid. So he had Mr. Frost buy some onesies. The circle represents how he sees Harley.'
The scene under discussion comes up early in the story. Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie, is locked up in Arkham, and we see Joker, played by Jared Leto, in his mansion mourning her absence. He has also shown to have drawn a grin across his face using a sharpie, which according to David Ayer, is because...'He was having a hard time smiling without Harley so gave himself some help with a sharpie.'
This introduction sets up the fact that this Joker is unlike any other live-action portrayal of the supervillain as a man who is missing his demon lover. The onesies we see lined up on the floor next to the Joker later make an appearance in the scene where the Enchantress offers Harley her heart's desire, and she imagines a life of domestic bliss with her beloved Mistah J, with their babies wearing the onesies.
How the circle of knives represents Harley in the mind of the Joker is up for debate. Perhaps he fears that his affection for Harley makes her dangerous to him, and thus views her as a circle of knives drawing closer, threatening to destroy him.
This sentiment of Joker being attracted towards Harley and simultaneously hating the fact that she has made him care for her is also played out in the scene where Harley willingly throws herself into a pit of acid on Joker's command. After trying to walk away from the whole thing, Joker almost unwillingly jumps in after her and rescues her, proving that she means more to him than he can bring himself to admit.
From his explanation, it is clear that Ayer had a solid backstory and reasoning behind the script for Suicide Squad, which unfortunately did not translate very well to the big screen. But now that James Gunn has taken over directorial duties on the sequel, there is a chance to see a Suicide Squad film that gets critical acclaim in addition to minting money at the box office. David Ayer on Twitter brings us this news.