Sausage Party animators controversy

In a summer marked by one cinematic disappointment after another, Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon‘s Sausage Party has emerged as a rare success story: a truly original feature that got great reviews and great box office. Even more impressively, Sausage Party managed all that on a reported budget of under $20 million. For comparison, Pixar’s latest release, Finding Dory, cost around $200 million to make.

But alas, that win may have come at an unfair cost to many of the people who worked on it. Anonymous commenters claiming to be animators who worked on the movie have accused the filmmakers and the production company, Nitrogen Studios, of forcing artists to work overtime for free, and then failing to credit many of them onscreen. Dig into the Sausage Party animators controversy below.  Read More »

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Wonder Woman Trailer Breakdown

A pattern is emerging from Warner Bros.’ DC universe movies, and it’s not an encouraging one. First Man of Steel got the franchise off to a shaky start, drawing mixed reviews and polarizing fans. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was supposed to get the series back on track, but instead just seemed to derail it further. So pressure fell on Suicide Squad to turn things around… only for Suicide Squad to prove just as divisive as its predecessors.

Which means all eyes are now on next year’s Wonder Woman to save the day. After all, the character was one of the highlights of Batman v Superman, and the first Wonder Woman trailer absolutely killed at Comic-Con. If anyone can make things right, it might be Gal Gadot‘s Diana Prince. Or so we thought. But according to an anonymous insider, Wonder Woman is “a mess” as well. Naturally, director Patty Jenkins disagrees. Read More »

John Ostrander SUICIDE SQUAD

Unless you’ve been living down in the sewers, Killer Croc-style, for the past week, you’ve surely heard by now that Suicide Squad was not much loved by critics. One logical explanation for this is that Suicide Squad just isn’t a great movie — that it’s too messy or overstuffed or ugly. But some people have a different theory. John Ostrander, creator of the Suicide Squad comics, thinks it’s because critics just “came prepared to hate” the movie. Here we go again. Read More »

suicide squad rating

Let’s get real for a second here. Yes, there should be a movie rating system that informs audiences of the basic content of a movie, allowing parents and those with certain tastes to make the proper judgment call before they pull the trigger on buying movie tickets. It’s hard to imagine any decent person thinking that MPAA ratings are a bad idea on paper.

However, there’s a big difference between a sound concept and a strong execution and the MPAA has rightfully been under fire for as long as I can remember for decisions that are, well, boneheaded at best and sinister at worst. Yelling about the MPAA is nothing new! However, comedian and filmmaker Mike Birbiglia has tossed his two cents into this ongoing cluster cuss, putting the PG-13 rating of Suicide Squad in his sights.

Read More »

Scarlett Johansson Japanese Character

Ghost in the Shell has already come under fire from fans unhappy that the Japanese tale is getting remade with a white lead. So far, the production’s strategy has seemingly to try and downplay the property’s Japanese roots, with producer Steven Paul defending his “international approach” and Scarlett Johansson‘s character simply being called “the Major” (as opposed to Motoko Kusanagi, which is her name in the source material).

Which makes it all the more confusing to learn that Johansson’s Major may be Japanese after all. At the very least, it seems she has a Japanese mother.  Read More »

George Takei as Sulu

Yesterday, John Cho dropped the bombshell that his Hikaru Sulu would be gay in Star Trek Beyond. While the actor said the film would “not make a big thing” out of the reveal, it was a big deal for plenty of fans. Star Trek has been famously progressive since its earliest days, and yet the franchise has had no prominent gay characters to date. A gay Sulu seemed like an exciting step forward.

But one who wasn’t so thrilled about the news? George Takei himself. The original Sulu actor says that while he’s “delighted that there’s a gay character,” he feels it’s “really unfortunate” it had to be Sulu. Meanwhile, Star Trek Beyond writer and star Simon Pegg, who helped make the decision in the first place, says he “respectfully disagree[s]” with Takei’s stance.  Read More »

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GHOST IN THE SHELL

After many, many years stuck in development, Paramount and DreamWorks’ live-action remake of Ghost in the Shell finally began shooting this spring — and promptly stirred up a boatload of controversy. At issue was the decision to cast Scarlett Johansson in the lead role. Hollywood has a long and ugly history of whitewashing, and many fans were less than thrilled to see a white actress take on an iconic Asian role.

But producer Steven Paul is sure fans will come around eventually. He defends the controversial casting as “the right approach,” insisting that fans will be “very, very happy” with the film. Read his reaction to the Ghost in the Shell casting controversy below. Read More »

Josh Trank exits Star Wars

Two weeks ago, a man walked into the Pulse gay club in Orlando and began firing his gun. By the time his spree was over, 49 people had been killed and another 53 injured, making it the deadliest hate crime ever committed against LGBTQ people in the U.S. as well as the deadliest mass shooting overall in our history. Survivors, their loved ones, and their communities are still reeling from the loss. But one man is hoping to honor the victims in an unusual and moving way.

IGN editor Joshua Yehl is asking Disney and Lucasfilm to memorialize the victims by introducing the first-ever LGBTQ Star Wars character, to be inspired by his best friend Drew Leinonen — a massive Star Wars fan and one of those killed in the attack.  Read More »

Doctor Strange and Wong

The first trailer for Marvel’s Doctor Strange introduced many of the key players including Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). One we haven’t seen yet, though, is Wong, played by Benedict Wong.

In the comics, Wong is Strange’s sidekick and valet as well as a master martial artist himself. But expect some big changes in the movie version. “I’m certainly not going to be the tea-making manservant,” the actor teased in a recent interview.  Read More »