Get ready to see every single character in The Suicide Squad die! Okay, that’s clearly an exaggeration. But the upcoming film really is leaning hard into the fact that seemingly everyone is expendable. In a new The Suicide Squad featurette, director James Gunn talks about how the studio gave him carte blanche to kill pretty much any character in the flick, and that was a type of freedom he relished.
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It’s usually poor form when filmmakers attempt to respond to either critics or audiences (or both!) through their own movies. M. Night Shyamalan did exactly this with a certain side character in 2006’s Lady in the Water, one who just happened to be a film critic and who just happened to be the snobby, unlikable, misanthropic little jerk who singlehandedly prevented the good guys from accomplishing their goal for much of the runtime because of how confidently wrong he was. Not very subtle, eh?
In all likelihood, this may have stemmed from the critical rejection of Shyamalan’s previous film just two years earlier, The Village. Full disclosure: I actually believe Shyamalan had every right to be upset by how cruelly he was treated as a result of that film. The deceptively romantic gothic horror movie has received quite a bit of overdue reappraisal in the years since but, even then, stooping to that level of petty in Lady in the Water was…a bit much.
The recent release of Old sees the filmmaker in generally higher standing than he was fifteen years ago, thanks to self-financing his own projects and releasing a string of solid box office hits to claw his way back out of “director’s jail.” However, it’s fair to say the general consensus has yet to catch up to the passionate fervor of fans, particularly after the mixed reception of Glass. The release of his latest film doesn’t really represent a crossroads for the divisive writer/director but, nevertheless, it is a notable entry in his career.
Old marks the point where Shyamalan has learned to answer his most vocal critics by wryly — and effectively — embracing his perception as the heel. For the most part, the film is all the better for it. Read More »
Batfleck is back, baby! Ben Affleck will take some time off from worshipping J.Lo‘s curves to reprise the role of the caped crusader for the upcoming The Flash movie. New set pictures reveal that not only is Affleck’s Batman back, but he’s in the chunky Batsuit and has his sweet Batcycle, too. The pictures actually feature a stunt double in the costume, but that chiseled jaw looks just enough like Affleck’s to me. The booty, too.
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The official teaser for Shudder’s Horror Noire anthology has dropped. The series is a follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2019 documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror. It will feature six stories from both emerging and acclaimed creators, showcasing stories of Black horror from Black directors and screenwriters.
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Slasher, the anthology series that originated on the now-dead horror cable channel Chiller, is headed to Shudder, and bringing the legendary David Cronenberg along with it. Cronenberg is part of the cast of this new season, titled Slasher: Flesh & Blood, which follows a wealthy family being stalked by a masked killer. The new season will premiere on Shudder this September, and you can check out a trailer below.
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When you speak with Michael Emerson, you spend the the first few minutes of your conversation marveling at how…normal he sounds. If you’ve seen him as Leland Townsend in Evil on Paramount+ or as Benjamin Linus in the medium-shaking masterpiece Lost, you’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop. For him to talk you into a sinister plan. To construct a terrifying scheme before your very eyes.
But Emerson laughs more than the people he plays on TV. He’s thoughtful, clearly thinking through each answer before he gives it, measuring every word. And he’s more than happy to keep playing weirdos and creeps, telling me during our interview that he doesn’t even know how to play a “soft-hearted” character.
On Evil (whose second season is currently streaming on Paramount+) Emerson plays Leland Townsend, one of the most chilling villains on television at the moment. Is he a literal vessel of Satanic power or just one of the most organized psychopaths in TV history? The show hasn’t made that clear yet. And Emerson himself doesn’t know. But he stands as an ongoing obstacle to the show’s leads, a trio of investigators working for the Catholic Church to prove and/or debunk supernatural mysteries. He’s one of the few actors who can make hulking co-star Mike Colter look positively small in a scene, using his voice and his voice alone.
I recently spoke with Emerson about his work on Evil, how not knowing his character’s truth helps his performance, what it’s like to act alongside a giant demonic goat, and yes, that famous “You guys got any milk?” scene from Lost.
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“Very twisty,” as a certain inquisitive Pikachu would say. It wasn’t that long ago that Hollywood finally got in on the Pokemon phenomenon with Detective Pikachu, and now it’s Netflix’s turn. The streaming giant is gearing up for an original Pokemon live action series that’s described, fittingly, as “akin” to the Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith-starring film that released to much fanfare (and memes) in 2019.
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Update: Universal has sent over an official press release, which includes a few clarifications. Read our original article with the updates pointed out below.
A brand new Exorcist trilogy is in the works at Universal. Recent Oscar nominee Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami) will star, and Ellen Burstyn, who earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in 1973’s original Exorcist, is returning to the franchise after skipping the subsequent sequels and prequels. David Gordon Green is set to direct the first of these new movies, and he will also serve as a screenwriter. Universal is clearly pleased with the work Green has done reviving the Halloween film franchise with a new trilogy, because they’re taking a page from that same playbook here. Read More »
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After Space Jam: A New Legacy took the top spot at the box office away from Black Widow last weekend, a new champion has been crowned yet again. The thrills of director M. Night Shyamalan were in demand by movie-going audiences with the filmmaker’s new movie Old winning the weekend. However, it was hardly a record-breaking performance, making a little more than half of what the Space Jam sequel raked in a week ago. Read More »
In the best crossover concept I’ve heard since last week’s Blade/Underworld idea, James Gunn wants to make a Harley Quinn and Groot crossover movie.
I’m always a fan of crossing the streams and mixing up IPs, and Gunn has plenty of experience with both of these. The director has worked on both Marvel’s The Guardians of the Galaxy and DC’s The Suicide Squad. Apparently he likes the idea of mixing the two so much that he’s even spoken to the honchos in charge of both franchises.
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