aladdin casts billy magnussen

The live-action Aladdin has been under intense scrutiny by fans who were hoping for it to be an authentic depiction of the Middle Eastern-set story that the 1992 animated classic depicted. Well, as authentic as could be for a movie that mashed together Indian and Middle Eastern imagery spanning hundreds of years.

Still, diversity was an important aspect of this live-action adaptation, and Disney and director Guy Ritchie promised to make it a priority — despite rumblings that studio was having trouble finding actors of Middle Eastern and Indian descent to play its leads. Those concerns seemed to be for naught, however, when the film cast Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud as Aladdin and half-Indian, half-British actress Naomi Scott as Jasmine. However, Disney may have lost the goodwill surrounding the leads’ casting when it cast its first white actor Billy Magnussen as an original character who didn’t appear in the animated movie.

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Jon Bernthal First Man

Over the past few years, actor Jon Bernthal has worked with one impressive list of filmmakers: Martin Scorsese, Denis Villeneuve, Edgar Wright, Steve McQueen, and more. The actor recently wrapped shooting McQueen’s heist film, Widows, and he’ll soon work with another Oscar-winning director, Damien Chazelle (La La Land), on First Man. The actor has signed on to play astronaut Dave Scott, who was a pilot aboard the Gemini VIII mission.

Below, learn more about the Jon Bernthal First Man casting news.

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titans tv show dick grayson casting

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: the Titans TV series casting of Brenton Thwaites goes against the character of Dick Grayson.)

First things first, Dick Grayson is my favorite DC Comics character. So I may be a little protective of the former Robin as he makes his move to the live action realm, subjecting him to the limits of reality.

And I realize there will be limits to how the actor playing him will fulfill my expectations of Dick Grayson: as a hero with a diverse background and a sex symbol who eschews the hypermasculine stylings of most DC Comics superheroes. You may scoff, but that is what the Robin-turned-Nightwing hero has been known to be in the comics and his animated iterations. And this is why Brenton Thwaites — who joins the long line of generic, charmless actors who Hollywood keeps trying to push on audiences as our “next big movie star” — is so wrong for the job of bringing Dick Grayson to life in the Titans live-action TV series.

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Leonardo DiCaprio as The Joker

The news of Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertainment planning a spin-off focusing on the origin of The Joker outside of the continuity of the DC Extended Universe where Justice League takes place was crazy enough. But it was made all the more wild by the fact that it was going to be directed by Todd Phillips with none other than cinema legend Martin Scorsese producing. It turns out the involvement of the latter may be part of a larger plan that the studio has to land a certain big name for the lead role as the Clown Prince of Crime.

Word on the streets of Gotham City is that Warner Bros. is hoping that Martin Scorsese’s involvement will allow them to reel in Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio to play The Joker, finally bringing him into the word of comic book movies. Read More »

Winona Ryder

Here’s an unfinished movie that’s already got my money, guaranteed: a romantic comedy starring Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder. They’re playing miserable wedding guests in writer-director Victor Levin‘s (5 to 7) Destination Wedding, which has already wrapped shooting. The romantic comedy is the fourth time Reeves and Ryder have done a movie together, following Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s DraculaA Scanner Darkly, and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.

Below, learn more about the Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves romantic comedy.

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terry o'quinn cast in castle rock

Terry O’Quinn has to go back…to work with Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams. The Lost alum has been cast in a key role in Castle Rock, Abrams’ Hulu psychological-horror series revolving around the Stephen King universe.

While O’Quinn has been getting steady work on television, starring in series like The Blacklist and Hawaii Five-0, he did his career-best work in Lost — and it would be wonderful to see him live up to the potential that Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and Carlton Cuse helped him fulfill during the course of that sci-fi series.

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oyelowo hemsworth

It’s been five years since director Drew Goddard‘s The Cabin in the Woods came out. Now, the screenwriter behind The Martian is getting ready for his sophomore effort behind the camera: Bad Times at the El Royale, which is a great, distinctive title. For his next movie, he’ll reunite with one of his stars from his debut film, Chris Hemsworth, who will star alongside Jeff Bridges in the 20th Century Fox project.

Meanwhile, David Oyelowo (Selma) has boarded the next film from director Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow), Chaos Walking.

Below, learn more about Goddard and Liman’s next films.

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An Oscar Nominee Joins The Punisher Cast

Marvel’s upcoming Netflix series The Punisher is shaping up to be quite promising.

Jon Bernthal was always a talented actor around which to center the drama, but now the dark vigilante series is getting a higher pedigree with Oscar-nominated actress Shohreh Aghdashloo getting cast in a recurring role.

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Will Ferrell 100-Year-Old Man Movie

If you’ve wandered around a bookstore (yes, they still exist!) over the past couple of years, you’ve probably seen a copy of Jonas Jonasson‘s novel The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared in the best-seller section. The 2012 book was already adapted into a Swedish movie back in 2014, but now American studios are catching up, and CBS Films has tapped Will Ferrell to play the lead role in a new version of the story.
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Lex Luthor cut from Justice League

Jesse Eisenberg‘s manic portrayal of Lex Luthor was one of the most divisive aspects of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but he’s Lex Luthor. Regardless of fan response, one of DC’s most recognizable characters has to appear in a Justice League film…doesn’t he? Well, not necessarily.

A new rumor claims that, despite previous confirmation from Warner Bros. that he’d have a supporting role in the superhero sequel, Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor has been cut from Justice League in the wake of all of the recent changes to the film.
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