In the 21st century, geek properties have come to define our entertainment culture to the point where some say comic book nerds are now our cultural overlords. Despite false alarms of impending genre fatigue, superhero films dominated the 2010s right up until the end of the decade. In 2019, geek-chic gave way to peak-geek, with saga-ending pop culture behemoths like Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker roaming the earth and indeed ruling the worldwide box office. However, “geek” is a broad term that could encompass not only sci-fi/fantasy but also the work of auteurist directors, whose filmographies inspire the same kind of brand-name loyalty among cinephiles. What the term really implies is a certain devotion.
We’re all movie geeks. For some fans, a new Martin Scorsese or Quentin Tarantino film, especially one that served as a bittersweet career culmination, might be no less an event than a Disney+ premiere or a Game of Thrones finale. Throw in Joker and a few other wild cards — including the sale of 21st Century Fox and HBO’s live-action sequel to Watchmen, the greatest comic book story ever told — and it starts to feel like the deck was pretty stacked this year. In all honesty, there may never be another year like this again, entertainment-wise.
With the real world in shambles (“We’re in the endgame now?”), looking back on the escapist highs and lows of 2019 only serves to hammer that home with thundering clarity, like a powered-up Captain America laying the smackdown on any notions of a competing convergence of franchise farewells. Yet amid the perfect storm of geekiness that was 2019, new industry trends also emerged to create a picture of the future landscape of film and television.
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This past summer, the X-Men franchise as it existed at 20th Century Fox came to an end. But Marvel’s mutants didn’t go out with a bang, but with the whimper of a new take on a story they already tried to tell back in 2006, and they even brought c0-writer Simon Kinberg back and let him direct this time.
Dark Phoenix tried to pack one of the best X-Men storylines from Marvel Comics into a movie that also had the burden of bidding farewell to Professor X, Magneto and the loyal bands of mutants that have been following them for nearly two decades. Unfortunately, this movie missed the mark in nearly every single way, barely registering as a sequel, let alone the end of one of the biggest superhero franchises of the 21st century. Or as the Dark Phoenix trailer succinctly puts it, maybe it was a bad idea to put so much emphasis on Mystique just because she was played by Jennifer Lawrence. Read More »
Want to see what’s coming in the final four episodes of Agents of SHIELD season six? Did you notice the menacing message in the Young Justice episode titles? Ready for a new Watchmen trailer this weekend? What did some Spider-Man: Far From Home deleted scenes provide for MJ? Who is the first character inducted into the Comic-Con Museum Character Hall of Fame? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »
What comic duo is reuniting for a new Batman comic? Want to see Supergirl‘s new outfit and haircut for the fifth season? How many pieces does it take to build a life-size LEGO Iron Man statue? Want to see Michael B. Jordan‘s impressive weapons training for Black Panther? When is Dark Phoenix coming to home video? Want to see a Batman: Hush animated movie clip? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2019 by Fred Topel
Producer Lauren Shuler Donner spoke with /Film in anticipation of next week’s premiere of the final season of FX’s Legion. We’ll bring you the full Q&A with Shuler Donner, who produced all the X-Men films and was hands on through all of the films up to Days of Future Past, before the premiere.
During the interview, Shuler Donner offered some updates on the X-Men films and two stage adaptations of films she produced, Dave and The Secret Life of Bees. Here’s what she had to say about her projects outside of Legion.
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It’s a cruel summer at the box office this year. Avengers: Endgame may have started off the blockbuster season with loads of cash and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum may be surpassing its predecessors on the charts with great success, but most of the other sequels are crashing and burning spectacularly. And despite topping the box office this past weekend, Men in Black International is another one of those disappointments.
The Men in Black International box office debuted with only $28.5 million from a whopping 4,224 screens. That’s massively disappointing, especially since it’s a record-low opening for the Men in Black franchise. It’s even below what analysts expected for the movie, showing that audiences aren’t attracted to summer movies simply because they have previously established intellectual property involved. Read More »
Remember Dark Phoenix? It came out a week ago, but the latest X-Men movie already feels like a thing of a past, primarily because audiences didn’t flock to the film like previous entries in the franchise. Why did Dark Phoenix underperform? Perhaps fans were sick and tired of the franchise’s incredibly confusing continuity. Simply put, the X-Men timeline makes absolutely no sense. But that didn’t stop Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg from trying to explain it.
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The Dark Phoenix apology tour continues as the cast of the abysmally-performing film try to pique our interests with a hypothetical “what could’ve been’s.”
Director Simon Kinberg got the ball rolling last week by teasing details of the original ending, which apparently shared more similarities with the plot of Captain America: Civil War than the Captain Marvel-esque ending that ultimately made it to the big screen. Now star Tye Sheridan, who plays Cyclops in the film, revealed some of the details of that original climax, which involved, among other things, the shape-shifting Skrull aliens and a big battle in New York. Hmm, sounds a bit familiar…
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
We’ve noticed an interesting trend in recent years. Anytime a big movie arrives with the stink of failure all over it, a trade publication will release a story with anonymous sources close to the production pointing fingers, trying to explain what went wrong. It happened with The Mummy reboot. It happened with the Hellboy reboot. And now it’s happening with Dark Phoenix, the last (?) of Fox’s X-Men films. Latest estimates suggest Dark Phoenix is going to lose $100 million at the box office, and no one wants to take the blame for that sort of fiasco. Sure enough, a new piece details some of the Dark Phoenix production problems, indicating that many parties are attempting damage control.
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The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, learn about all the Easter eggs you missed when you weren’t seeing Dark Phoenix last weekend. Plus, watch as Chris Hemsworth and Tom Holland playfully interview each other in a Men in Black International and Spider-Man: Far From Home cross-promotion, and listen to Jon Hamm break down some of his most memorable characters from film and television. Read More »