What The DCEU Could Learn From The DC Universe Animated Original Movies

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The DC Universe Animated Original Movies have, for the most part, been cinematic masterpieces. The DC Extended Universe films, however, have been very divisive amongst fans and critics. You would think it would be easy for the studio to translate the best parts of the comics to their live action films, especially when they have had such success with their animated ones. Warner Bros. recently released their updated DCEU slate at San Diego Comic Con a few weeks ago. So let’s compare these future DCEU films with the DC Universe Animated Original Movies and other animated DC properties to see what they can borrow to improve the films going forward. Be warned, for there are mild SPOILERS ahead.

Why Are DC Universe Animated Original Movies So Good?

The DC Universe Animated Original Movies are not afraid to embrace their comic book roots. These animated features are lifted right from the page with very few changes from the original source material. The films usually have a dark tone that accentuates the characters’ personal conflicts and storylines. The films walk the line of being for children and adults. This is the sweet spot that a studio wants to be in. Since the films are animated, they can get away with showing lots of blood and gore that live action films can not. They also incorporate well-known voice actors, such as Kevin Conroy and Nathan Fillion, who have portrayed DC characters in other media.

Choosing Interesting Stories

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The current slate for the DCEU is as follows:
  • Justice League (2017)
  • Aquaman (2018)
  • Shazam! (2019)
  • Wonder Woman 2 (2019)
  • Green Lantern Corps (2020)
  • Flashpoint (2020)
  • Suicide Squad 2 (TBA)
  • The Batman (TBA)
  • Justice League Dark (TBA)
  • Batgirl (TBA)
Justice League is currently in post-production, and Aquaman has recently started filming. The rest of the films, however, are in the beginning stages of pre-production. Looking to the DC Universe Animated Original Movies and other DC animated shows, there are ripe stories for the picking that just need to be translated into live action. For example, Shazam! can easily be based off of Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam. Warner Bros. has decided to save Black Adam for his own film, which could easily work as a prequel to Shazam!. So, all they would need to do is change out the villain that Shazam!/Captain Marvel battles in the film. This would also incorporate Superman into another DCEU film while they figure out a Man of Steel sequel.

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Eight Films In Development That No One Wants To See

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Building franchises and shared universes have become a big staple in Hollywood. Every studio is looking for the next big thing that could make them a billion dollars. It seems as if the days of original films are coming to an end. One would think some studios would see the signs and stop trying to push films that just capitalize on existing brands. Below, I have a few examples of such films that have no business being in any form of production.

Transformers Universe: Bumblebee

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It’s sad that this film has already started filming. I love Hailee Steinfeld and think she is a terrific young actress, but this film may tarnish her career. The plot of the film revolves around a teenage girl who finds Bumblebee in the 1980s. No other details are known at this time, but the little bit we do know further confuses the timeline of the Transformers films. We know that the Transformers have been on Earth for a long time, but Bumblebee and the other Autobots did not arrive until the early 2000s. With Megatron frozen during this time period, who could the villain even be? This film may have worked if other films in this franchise had not screwed up the history of the Transformers on Earth. Everything about this film screams, “cash grab!”

Gotham City Sirens

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This is a great example of how reactionary Warner Bros. is with the DCEU. Just because people loved Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad does not mean she should get her own full length feature. Villains getting their own film worked for Suicide Squad because they were being forced by the government to fight a greater evil. What would the plot of this film be? Who would this trio of villainesses even fight and why? There are only two ways this could work well for Warner Bros. The first one being that if the film was Suicide Squad: Gotham City Sirens, then it would make sense. I could imagine that Amanda Waller could need an all-female team to go on a specific mission. Toss in Katana and a few more DC characters and you could have a great film. The second way this could work is if it was similar to a Marvel One-Shot. This would be a great bonus feature to add to a Blu Ray while also expanding the DCEU.

Venom

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It makes no sense for Sony to make a Spider-Man film universe without Spider-Man. Venom is a classic Spider-Man villain. Sure, sometimes he can be seen as an anti-hero when battling Carnage, but that does not make a great franchise. The casting of Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock/Venom is a phenomenal choice. However, we live in an age where great actors no longer sell movie tickets. Sony should work with Marvel and incorporate this film into the untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel. The possibility of Peter battling both Venom and Scorpion would be great. He’s already going to space in Avengers: Infinity War. That would be a great time for him to become bonded with the symbiote and bring it back to Earth.

Batgirl

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Joss Whedon is a great writer, director, and producer. However, just because he is taking over pick-ups on Justice League, does not mean that Warner Bros. should beckon to his every whim. We all love Batgirl and want to see her on the silver screen, but a solo film is not what we want. Batgirl is a sidekick of Batman and her villains are Batman’s villains. Starring in a live action film on her own would not translate well for the audience. However, I think having her as a main character in Matt Reeves’ The Batman is a stellar idea.

Harley Quinn vs The Joker

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This is just a big solid NO. I don’t know why this idea was ever taken seriously. Once again, maybe a one-shot of them having a friendly or deadly competition, but no feature film. Otherwise, save the next Joker appearance for The Batman.

Nightwing

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Just like Batgirl, Nightwing does not need his own film. Seeing Dick Grayson on-screen would be fantastic, but only if it is in a supporting role. It would be great if he appeared in The Batman as Bruce’s original Robin. I would enjoy seeing their on-screen dynamic. It would be good to see how he was affected by the murder of Jason Todd. We know that this incident led Bruce to become a more mean and grizzled vigilante who started branding criminals. Also, it would be nice to see him interact with Barbara/Batgirl since she dated Dick and Bruce in the comics.

Silver & Black

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Again, it makes no sense for Sony to make a Spider-Man film universe without Spider-Man. However, unlike Venom Silver Sable and Black Cat can work without Spider-Man. The issue is that we would rather see them in a universe where they can interact with the web-slinger and other Marvel characters. I could actually see this working well as a Netflix series more so than a feature film. This would allow the writers to establish more backstory for both leading ladies. Then, they could possibly cameo in future Marvel films and other Marvel Netflix series.

4 Reasons Why Thanos Is A Terrible Villain For The Avengers

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We all know Thanos is gearing up to take out the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War film, but should we be that excited to see him? Thanos has been set up as the “Big Bad” since the end of the first Avengers film. Since then he has only appeared twice in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He had a small part in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and appeared in a post credits scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron. In my opinion, Thanos has proven himself to be a terrible villain for the MCU, and I can list four reasons why. Beware: there will be SPOILERS for the MCU listed below.

4. He Gave Away The Mind Stone

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After Loki disappeared at the end of Thor we see him appear as the main villain in the The Avengers. In between the two films he came into contact with Thanos who provided him with a powerful scepter capable of controlling and opening people’s minds. Loki was sent to Earth to take over the planet and retrieve the Tesseract for his new master. Of course, he fails and is imprisoned back on Asgard. We later find out in Avengers: Age of Ultron that the scepter housed the Mind Stone. This would mean that Thanos gave an Infinity Stone to someone he barely knew so that he could retrieve another Infinity Stone, the Space Stone. This makes no sense because if Thanos is as powerful as we have been led to believe, then he should have retrieved the stone himself. Even if he felt that task was beneath him, why not send a member of his Black Order to retrieve it? Surely, he trusts them more than he trusts Loki.

3. He Did Not Go After The Power Stone Himself

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Here is another example of Thanos sending someone else to do his dirty work for him. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, we find out that Thanos made a deal with Ronan the Accuser for the Power Stone. If Ronan retrieves the Power Stone for Thanos, then Thanos will destroy Xandar for Ronan. Star-Lord ends up finding the stone first, leading into the plot of the film. Two things are wrong with this situation. Once again, why doesn’t Thanos go retrieve the stone himself, or send a member of his Black Order? As a matter of fact, two members of his Black Order, Gamora and Nebula, were loaned to Ronan as additional muscle. Ignoring this fact, Ronan actually sent his ally, Korath, along with some Sakaarans, to retrieve the stone. If I were performing a task for the intergalactic tyrant, then I would make sure to handle it personally, lest I face the consequences of failure. Yet, as we learn later in the film, Thanos is all bark and no bite.

2. He Already Lost Two Members Of His Black Order

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During Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, we learn from Nebula that she and Gamora have other adopted siblings. As we recently found out, the Black Order is made up of Thanos’ forcibly-adopted children. This would mean that Nebula and Gamora are also members of this group. They have both shown great fighting ability and tremendous strength in the two Guardians films and are truly forces to be reckoned with. We do not yet know their strength compared to their other siblings, nor if their siblings have the same hatred for Thanos as they do. That being said, these sisters have since rebelled against their father and they plan to kill him. Gamora joined the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Nebula is off doing her own thing. Why would Thanos even allow his children to leave his employ? Why hasn’t he hunted them down and punished them, or at least sent his other children to perform the task for him? It’s evident that Nebula and Gamora both still fear Thanos and know that taking him out is no easy task. Still, you would think they would want to get as far away as possible, if he is as bad as they say.

1. His Infinity Gauntlet May Be A Fake

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After Avengers: Age of Ultron we know that Thanos will now be taking a more active role in gathering the Infinity Stones. He dawns an Infinity Gauntlet and states, “Fine — I’ll do it myself”. This is weird because we previously saw an Infinity gauntlet in Odin’s vault in Thor. Kevin Feige himself has admitted that there are two Infinity Gauntlets in the MCU when speaking with Cinema Blend.

“There are two different gloves…That was not Odin’s vault that you see at the end.”

Why would there need to be two Infinity Gantlets when there are only six Infinity Stones? Either there are six additional infinity stones that we don’t know about, or one of them is a forgery. In the comics, the Infinity Gauntlet is normally right handed. The more regal looking gauntlet we see in Odin’s treasure vault is right handed, and the more basic gauntlet that Thanos wields is left handed. If we follow the comics, this leads me to believe that Thanos has the fake gauntlet and will not be able to use the true power of the Infinity Stones in Avengers: Infinity War. I was luckily able to see the San Diego Comic-Con Avengers: Infinity War trailer and know what Thanos is bringing to the table. However, we do also have the fourth untitled Avengers film to look forward to, so maybe Thanos bites the dust early, or he is like Mandarin in Iron Man 3, and he is just a puppet.

Avengers: Infinity War is due to hit theaters on May 4, 2018.

What are your thoughts on Thanos’ involvement in the MCU? Leave your comments below.

 

Ten Characters Likely To Show Up In Captain Marvel

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Considering that Marvel just had their panel at San Diego Comic Con yesterday it is time to go over who may be in their upcoming Captain Marvel film. They revealed that the film will be a prequel to the current MCU taking place in the 1990s. With that information we can deduce who will probably pop up in the film. We know that the Carol Danvers version of Captain Marvel will appear in the film, Nick Fury will appear pre eye injury, and the villains will be the Skrulls, and alien race of shapeshifters. Considering the timeline the following people would make sense.

Richard and Mary Parker

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In the comics Richard and May Parker were agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. who tragically died on a mission. Considering that this film will take place in the ’90s it would be years before Peter is born, so we could explore a little about his parents. Nick Fury would be their connection to this film as they could be his “go to” agents during this time period such as Phil Coulson and Maria Hill have been in the current period.

Ben and May Parker

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If Richard Parker shows up it would make sense for his older brother Ben and his wife May to make a quick cameo. This could be a small role in the film just to add some familiarity. Considering Tom Holland has showed interest in Tobey Maguire portraying the character of Uncle Ben, it would be great if they cast him. Giving a nod to fans of the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy.

Peggy Carter

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Considering she is one of the founders of S.H.I.E.L.D., it would make sense for her to appear as one of Nick Fury’s superiors. She has made a cameo during the beginning of Ant-Man which took place in 1989, meaning she could still be active within the organization during the ’90s.

James “Rhodey” Rhodes

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This would be a great addition to the film even if it’s only in a small role. Colonel James Rhodes is a military officer and pilot in the United States Air Force. Carol Danvers was also a member of the United States Air Force, so it would make sense if they knew each other during their youth. Maybe it was her disappearance that made him so dead set on finding Tony during the events of the first Iron Man, as he couldn’t lose another friend.

Hank Pym

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Having quit S.H.I.E.L.D. in 1989 it would be cool if Nick Fury had to contact Hank Pym to get some information from him during the film. Possibly calling in a favor that needs someone who can shrink. This could allow us to see more of him in the  suit and his interaction with other S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel aside from Howard Stark and Peggy Carter.

Alexander Pierce

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Alexander Pierce and Nick Fury were once good friends. Maybe, this film could show fans the infamous Bogata mission that convinced Pierce to promote Fury to head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Also it would be great if we see him manipulating and recruiting other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to join Hydra. Perhaps he tries to convert Richard and Mary Parker only for them to reject him. Leading him to have the Winter Soldier murder them sometime in the early 2000s. That would give Peter and Tony even more in common.

Reed Richards

Reed Richards

Now we’re delving into more wishful territory. With the realization that the Skrulls are going to be the main villains of the film it would be great to get a clip of a young Reed Richards to let fans know that Marvel and Fox have reached a deal. I’m pretty sure the Skrulls belong to Fox and those characters are major villains for the Fantastic Four. It just seems like the possibility is there.

Victor Von Doom

Victor Von Doom

This is even more wishful thinking as I doubt it would happen. Reed and Victor used to be friends during their college days. It would be nice if they were shown as fellow students at M.I.T. with a young Tony Stark. Or at least we could get a mention of Latveria in the MCU.

What are your thoughts on the Captain Marvel news from San Diego Comic Con? Is there anyone you would like to appear in the film? Leave your thoughts below.

Bond 25: Why Christopher Nolan Is The Director We Deserve And Need Right Now!

 

Nolan IMAXChristopher Nolan is what we would call a triple threat. He is an amazing writer, producer, and director. Looking at most of the films he’s been involved with over the past 15 years, all have received praise from both the critics and the fans. His movies are considered instant classics or cult classics. Bringing Nolan on to direct the next film in the James Bond franchise is, without a doubt, a slam-dunk. What Sam Mendes did with Skyfall and Spectre was great, but it is time to get a fresh take on the gentleman spy. Hiring Nolan to direct Bond 25 would benefit his career, the studios, and of course, the many fans of the series.

His Film Portfolio

Nolan TDKRChristopher Nolan has directed some great films. Both the critics and the fans enjoy his films. While some of his themes are consistent throughout his films, the films themselves are very different. He likes to work in various genres and time periods within the films he writes and directs. He started with the psychological thrillers: Memento and Insomnia. Then, he moved into the superhero genre, with The Dark Knight Trilogy, where Heath Ledger won his posthumous Academy Award for best supporting actor. Nolan had a mystery thriller in The Prestige, and then he ventured into the sci-fi realm with Inception and Interstellar. His most recent film, Dunkirk, was his first stab at a war film. A British spy film would be something new for him, and we now know that it’s something he is interested in doing, based on his interview with Playboy.

“A Bond movie, definitely…I’ve spoken to the producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson over the years. I deeply love the character, and I’m always excited to see what they do with it. Maybe one day that would work out. You’d have to be needed, if you know what I mean. It has to need reinvention; it has to need you. And they’re getting along very well.”

Academy Awards & Box Office

Nolan’s nine films have garnered a total of 26 Oscar nominations with seven wins. The Dark Knight won an academy award for best supporting actor, and best sound editing, but many thought it should have also won best picture at the 81st Academy Awards. Inception won big at the 83rd Academy Awards, taking home Oscars in the categories of cinematography, sound editing, sound mixing, and visual effects. Lastly, Interstellar took home an Academy Award for best visual effects at the 87th Academy Awards. His films have also grossed over $4.2 billion USD worldwide. He has yet to experience a “box office flop,” and at the rate he’s going, it doesn’t look like he ever will.

His Rotten Tomatoes Scores

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Speaking of critical praise, all of the films that Christopher Nolan has written or directed are certified “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes. Clearly, he knows how to speak to both critics and fans, as there is seems to be no disconnect between the groups on rating his films. The studio needs a director like that to carry on the James Bond franchise. Many moviegoers consider a film’s score on Rotten Tomatoes before deciding to go see it in theaters. Having a director like Christopher Nolan attached to a 007 film almost guarantees a large quantity of people will go see it.

The Daniel Craig Curse

Daniel Craig is universally loved as the best James Bond since Sean Connery. Yet, his 007 films have a strange pattern of approval in that every other film is not well received. When Casino Royale came out, everyone had high praise for the film and was excited about the new franchise, but when Quantum of Solace hit theaters, it was met with lukewarm reviews. The next film in the franchise, Skyfall, hit big, being the first of the 007 films to make over $1 billion USD. The latest film, Spectre, even though it made a lot of money, unfortunately, did not hit the billion-dollar mark, and was considered unable to capitalize on its potential. If the series continues with this trend, then Bond 25 should be a well-received film. Nolan would join the franchise during the trend’s upswing, gaining more attention from superstitious fans that have been following this well-known pattern in the series.

Hopefully, Christopher Nolan will decide to make Bond 25 his next film. It will be a change for him to take on a franchise that he did not start, but I believe he could handle it. Each new film in the series is a new mission, so even though Nolan would have to adhere to some of the continuity that was set up in the previous films, he has a lot of wiggle room to make it his own. I’m sure he would want to be involved in the writing of the script to make sure some of his ideas and themes are expressed. Also, I think he would add some of his regulars, including Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, and Michael Caine, to the already stellar cast of the current franchise.

What are your thoughts on Christopher Nolan directing a James Bond film? Leave your thoughts below.

‘Rick And Morty’ Is ‘Back To The Future’ On Acid

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If you have never seen Rick and Morty then you need to get on it because that show is hilarious! Also, you should probably stop reading this article because it will contain SPOILERS for the show. Full episodes can be found on the Adult Swim website. For those who have seen the show, you know how crazy and nonsensical it is. Also, while watching, you may have thought the premise was somewhat familiar. Even for younger audiences, something about the show may have reminded you of something you couldn’t quite put your finger on. This is because the show is a strange parody of Back to the Future. (A lot of bells just went off in your heads, I’m sure.) The show clearly takes that plot and stretches it out into crazier adventures.

The Real Adventures of Doc and Mharti

The basis for Rick and Morty was a short-lived web series spoof created by Justin Roiland known as The Real Adventures of Doc and Mharti. The web series was designed to parody the characters of Doc Brown and Marty McFly, from the Back to the Future film trilogy. The fans reacted to it wildly, and Roiland began creating more shorts involving the characters. Soon, the shorts evolved beyond Roiland’s original intentions of being a Back to the Future parody, leaving behind the premise and the obvious origins of the characters from the film series from which was its inspiration. After releasing the short for Channel 101, Adult Swim approached Harmon for television show ideas. He and Roiland developed the program based on the short, eventually replacing the characters of Doc and Mharti with Rick and Morty, respectively.

Episode Structure

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The general structure of a Rick and Morty episode usually consists of the apposition of two conflicting scenarios. Rick, an extremely selfish, alcoholic grandfather drags his grandson, Morty, across space and time for intergalactic and/or interdimensional adventures, while also dealing with domestic family drama. The show has been described as a combination between Back to the Future and Matt Groening’s two shows: The Simpsons and Futurama. The show often ignores continuity but, at the same time, doesn’t break it. This is because of the multiple universes and timelines that Rick and Morty explore. A prime example of this is when Rick mutates the world in the episode “Rick Potion #9” and decides to take Morty to a separate “earth” where the versions of them have just died, so they can take their place and start over. Morty even mentions this to his newly replaced sister a few episodes later. This format allows the creators to do whatever they want because there are infinite timelines and universes for them to work with.

“On one of our adventures, Rick and I basically destroyed the whole world, so we bailed on that reality and we came to this one, because in this one, the world wasn’t destroyed and in this one, we were dead. So we came here, a- a- and we buried ourselves and we took their place. And every morning, Summer, I eat breakfast twenty yards away from my own rotting corpse. […] Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”

Crazy Characters

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Rick and Morty is known for its kooky characters. The namesake characters’ family is basically what it would be like if Doc Brown was a drunk and a member of Marty McFly’s family, with a few tweaks for good measure. From the generally level-headed Beth, to the very insecure and sometimes idiotic Jerry, the show has a wide range of characters to choose from. Rick has a strong influence over the characters’ lives, whether they like it or not. This is mostly because he is the “smartest being in the universe,” but also because he selfishly involves them in his schemes. Even though new and recurring characters appear almost every episode, the Smith family is the main focus. And even though Morty gets the brunt of it, he has recently started including his niece, Summer, in the adventures as well. Rick’s daughter, Beth, longs for her father’s attention, while his son-in-law, Jerry, just wants Rick out of their lives.

We should thank director Robert Zemeckis, as his Back to the Future trilogy inspired one of the craziest cartoons of our generation. The first episode of the third season of Rick and Morty was aired on April 1st as an April Fools’ Day joke. You can find my review of that episode here. The rest of the season is set to premiere on July 30th at 11:30 pm ET.

What are your thoughts on Rick and Morty? What is your favorite episode? Are you excited for Season 3? Leave your thoughts below.

Why Kingdom Hearts Should Be Netflix’s Next Original Animated Series

With the success of Netflix’s new animated original series Castlevania. I think its time to ponder what other game series Netflix can use as the basis for an original animated series. They need a game that already has a large fan base, with plenty of lore and history to delve into, as well as one that is interesting with fun characters. A game series that matches these categories in spades would be Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts franchise.

Kingdom Hearts Logo

The Kingdom Hearts franchise launched its first game back in 2002 on the Playstation 2. This game was unique as it was a blend of Final Fantasy and Disney characters in one game. I remember seeing the commercials and thinking it was a dumb idea. Nevertheless, I ended up borrowing a friend’s copy and fell in love. The game was a perfect blend of fun, action, and spectacle. I longed for more content from this series. Over the years Square Enix has released seven additional games in the series with an eighth due out in 2018. Each game has furthered the lore of the series and added interesting new characters and plot lines. This series doesn’t seem to be stopping in the near future.

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Kingdom of Corona in Kingdom Hearts III

Netflix Original shows tend to have shorter seasons than a normal cable television show. Netflix’s Castlevania only had four episodes in its first season. However, since it was so well received, the second season has been expanded to include eight episodes. A Kingdom Hearts series could do something similar. The show should start out small, with a short first season, to get a feel for how many viewers are interested in the show. From there, they can expand the number of episodes in each of the following seasons. With as much content as the Kingdom Hearts series has to offer, it would be no problem for Netflix to distribute multiple seasons.

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The show could be marketed as an anthology series, animating different events from different games in no particular order. Or, it could follow the timeline of the games and go in chronological order starting with Kingdom Hearts χ. It is in Kingdom Hearts χ that the Kingdom Hearts series sets up the events of the Keyblade War. The Keyblade War is a very influential event in this universe, but it is also the most mysterious since we have so few details about it. This would allow the creators more wiggle room in expanding the lore of the Kingdom Hearts universe at that point in the timeline. It would be nice to see all of the events of that war unfold on screen, without having to spend the time playing through the different worlds as in the video games.

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Currently, Netflix has a contract with Disney for the exclusive U.S. rights to Disney’s films. This includes not just films under the Disney brand, but also its Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar subsidiaries. It makes sense to extend this deal into Disney’s video game properties, as well, so that they can create new media for fans to enjoy. The studios have worked well together on the Marvel Netflix series, so it just makes sense for them to continue to work together on other properties.

Kingdom Hearts III Logo

The newest game, Kingdom Hearts III, is due to hit the shelves in 2018.

The Evolution Of The DCEU Batman Film

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We just got word that Matt Reeves has decided to scrap the Ben Affleck script for The Batman and write a new one from scratch. What does this mean for this film’s future? The film has undergone so many changes and shifts and Warner Bros. has not even started filming. Reeves co-wrote his most recent film, War for the Planet of the Apes. Considering the current early reviews of that film, maybe that is why Warner Bros. gave him the go ahead on a new script. Let us go back and check to see how this film has developed over the past few years.
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The film was originally Ben Affleck’s baby! He was going to write, direct, and star in The Batman, and we were all excited. But, after the terrible opening of his film Live By Night, coupled with his addiction and marital issues, Ben eventually decided to step down as the director of the film. This was understandable as he is just a man. Sometimes, the world can just pack too much on our shoulders, and we have to let up. Still, we knew that he would be starring in the film. We also expected Warner Bros. to continue using Affleck’s script that he co-wrote with Chris Terrio and Geoff Jahns. However, Reeves recently revealed on MTV’s Happy Sad Confused podcast that this plan has changed. He scrapped the earlier script that Affleck, Chris Terrio and DC’s Geoff Johns had worked on.
We know that Joe Manganiello was all set to play the film’s main villain, Deathstroke, but how will that change now? When Matt Reeves was first hired to direct, Manganiello was not to sure his character would be kept in the loop. When he was a guest on Pittsburgh Today Live, a few months ago, the topic of The Batman came up. When asked if he was playing Deathstroke, Manganiello paused and said, “Umm. Maybe. We’ll see.” I think it would be tragic to remove Manganiello from the script because he is a great actor. He definitely has the build and ferocity to play a villain of Deathstroke’s caliber.
What we don’t know is how much of Ben Affleck’s script Matt Reeves will incorporate into his own draft. While Ben did say Deathstroke was the main villain in his script, it was reported that many other Batman villains would also appear in minor roles. With Reeves now re-writing the script, we don’t know if he will use a brand new villain, never before seen on screen, or one that we all know and love. There is a possibility that we will get to see Jared Leto’s Joker make a return to the DCEU. Most fans enjoyed his presence in Suicide Squad, but didn’t think he was in the film enough. Bringing him back as the main villain in The Batman could quench the thirst of the fans who desire to see a lot more of this character very soon. Jared, himself, has even mentioned the possibility of teaming up with Batman in a movie. Maybe this was foreshadowing for something we did not know was happening.
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We know that Matt Reeves is planning to write a noir driven version of Batman, focusing more on his detective skills. This would be similar to the way Batman: The Animated Series portrayed the character. In that series we got to see the Joker and Harley Quinn a lot. Fun fact: Harley Quinn was actually invented specifically for that series. I think it would be great to get a film that emphasizes Batman’s detective skills along with his brutality, which would possibly provide more depth into the psyche of Bruce Wayne as his backstory is explored. We know that he has been active as Batman in the DCEU for 15 years. We know that at least one Robin was murdered by the Joker and Harley Quinn. We know that Batman has become a lot meaner and grizzled over the years. Seeing this take on Batman in the world Warner Bros. has created with the DCEU could possibly even trump what Christopher Nolan did with the series.
JLU
How will these changes to the film affect the Justice League? I doubt that whatever happens with the Batman script will affect the Justice League at all. The only real question is: will The Batman be mostly a prequel told through a flashback like Wonder Woman or a follow up taking place after the events of Justice League? More than likely it will be a follow up, but Wonder Woman’s continued success may make the studios want to duplicate the structure of that film.

6 Actors Who Can Fix Disney’s Live Action Aladdin Casting Problem

A magic carpet ride!

Disney is currently having an issue casting the live action adaptation of their 1992 hit Aladdin. They should be not running into this problem. Hollywood is full of young actors chomping at the bit to play these roles. This is an issue Disney has created for itself since the company is trying to cast unknowns for the major roles in this upcoming film. I understand giving an actor or actress his or her big break, but this is Aladdin. They could easily ruin this film by miscasting one role alone. They had no problem casting big names in their recent adaptations of Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and Beauty and the Beast, so why try and break the mold now? Here are six actors Disney should be looking to cast in their live action Aladdin adaptation.

Dev Patel

Dev

There is no better choice for the casting of the titular character of Aladdin than Dev Patel. This guy is a fantastic actor and he has range. I’ve seen him play many different characters over the years, and he has only gotten better. His most recent role in Lion shows off his dramatic chops, even earning him an Academy Award nomination. Not only is he a great actor, but also, he is a decent dancer. Remember, his first big role was in Slumdog Millionaire. It was in that film’s dance number that he first showed off his rhythm. I would say he has multiple talents which are necessary for the character of Aladdin.

Priyanka Chopra

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Priyanka Chopra is a beautiful woman and a stunning actress. She can be calm yet strong willed at the same time. That’s exactly the type of actress they need to play Jasmine. She has made a name for herself in Bollywood and carried that same charm and charisma over to Hollywood. Priyanka is also an amazing singer and would easily be able to provide her own vocals for a cover of “A Whole New World”.

Will Smith

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No one can ever replace Robin Williams as Genie. If he were still alive, then I would have placed his picture in this spot. What he did with the role was simply magical. Disney is right to try and distance themselves from that performance by casting an actor who can bring something new to the role, without copying or imitating what Robin Williams did. When I first heard that Disney was talking to Will Smith about the role I was a tad apprehensive, but after speaking to my wife about it my tune changed. I now believe that Will would be perfect as an all-new Genie. He started out as a rapper, then branched out into television acting, where he succeeded in comedy. While doing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, he was offered roles in film. This led to him becoming a movie star, and he delivered many dramatic roles in the ’90s and early 2000s. Clearly, Will can do it all, and I’m sure he would give his all to this role. But Disney may need to provide cameo for his son, Jaden.

Sir Ben Kingsley

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Look no further than Sir Ben Kingsley when casting Jafar. This Oscar winning actor is a prime choice for the role. If you look at his body of work he clearly knows how to play a villain. His characters in Lucky Number Slevin, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and more or less Iron Man 3 were pretty close to what he’d be playing in this movie. Power hungry and mad, Sir Ben Kingsley can give Disney all that and more if he were offered the role.

Erick Avari

Erick

Erick Avari is an actor most people can recognize, but not know his name. This man is a splendid actor who has appeared in a variety of roles in both film and television. With his comedic timing he would be perfect as the Sultan. Picture a goofier version of the character he played in Mr. Deeds or Daredevil. Also, he has that “dad” look and feel that fits the Sultan perfectly.

Dwayne Johnson

The Rock

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The Rock makes everything better. This hulk of a man has clawed his way to the top of Hollywood’s elite actors. He has a presence in every film that he is a part of even if it’s a small role. And that is why I think he’d make a great Razoul. It may be a small role, but I imagine The Rock would make it feel big. He has good comedic timing. He can be fierce and intimidating. That is why he would be a great choice as the Captain of the Royal Guard. Just mentioning his name while promoting the film guarantees butts in seats.

Why Fox Should Partner With Marvel On The Next Fantastic Four Reboot

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With Spider-Man: Homecoming coming out this past weekend I think its time we revisit the topic of The Fantastic Four joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fox has done a moderate job handling the series; with two and a half of the three films they released being pretty watchable. There is an unreleased original film from the 1990s, but it is best not to mention that mess. Clearly though, The Fantastic Four is a property that Fox could use a little help with. Fox is currently doing very well with their X-Men franchise and they should stick with that. The best bet for them financially, in regards to The Fantastic Four, is to broker a deal with Marvel/Disney to allow their characters to appear in the MCU. The deal has worked out very well for Sony and Spider-Man and could work out just as well for Fox. Also, the plethora of characters that would come with bringing The Fantastic Four into the MCU would be a fan’s dream come true.

Marvel Studios Chief, Kevin Feige, recently spoke to AlloCine (via Newsarama) about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where the Fantastic Four happened to come up.

“We have no plans with the Fantastic Four right now. No discussions about it.”

I would take those comments with a grain of salt, and here’s why. It is very normal for a studio chief, such as Feige, to make those comments. Even if he was working on a deal, he may not be allowed to say anything about it. Also, if they truly are not working on a deal, then it doesn’t mean that a future deal cannot be made.

If the studios did manage to work together, they could potentially make a great film. There are things that each of the studios does very well, and bringing those minds together would be beneficial to The Fantastic Four franchise. We have seen that Fox knows how to cast great actors in their Fantastic Four films, even if said films are not as critically praised as Fox would like. Two of their Human Torches have even been cast in the MCU. I still think Chris Evans and Michael B. Jordan did fantastic jobs as Johnny Storm (no pun intended). Check out the images below.

Doctor Doom vs The Avengers

Doctor Doom

In addition, the characters that would be introduced to the MCU would be phenomenal. The most wanted being the villain Victor Von Doom/Doctor Doom. Like T’Challa/Black Panther, Doom is the king of a technologically advanced country secluded from the world. Unlike T’Challa, however, Victor is a ruthless dictator, ruling Latveria with a literal iron fist. Even though I enjoyed Julian McMahon’s version of Doctor Doom in the 2005 and 2007 films, a lot of fans did not. Even less liked is Toby Kebbell’s version in the 2015 film, which I agree was horrible. They never delved into the character deep enough to explore his royal roots and his villainy. Bringing Doctor Doom to the MCU would bring a great caliber villain that the MCU is lacking. I know Feige has stated before that their stories are meant to focus on the heroes, but it is never too late to make a change. Not only is Doctor Doom a challenge for The Fantastic Four, but also, he would be a formidable foe for the Avengers.

The Silver Surfer wielding the Power Cosmic

The Silver Surfer

Another formidable foe or ally to come from the deal would be a herald of Galactus, known as The Silver Surfer. The Guardians of the Galaxy films have already set up the Marvel Cosmic Universe and The Silver Surfer would fit right into that world. I don’t see him getting his own film, but he would easily be a supplementary character, like Vision or Scarlet Witch. His inclusion in the MCU would be great for any cosmic or earthbound story. Lastly, with the possibility that the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy will defeat Thanos in the Fourth Avengers film, there should be a new Big Bad to take his place. Galactus would be the obvious choice to fill that position if The Fantastic Four did join the MCU. This planet devouring Celestial is even more powerful than Thanos.

It just makes a lot of sense for Fox and Marvel to make this deal. Spider-Man: Homecoming opened to $117,027,503 its opening weekend, which is great, when compared to the $91,608,337 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 made its opening weekend. We have seen more elements of the cosmic universe brought forth in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. We have seen Tony Stark selling Avengers Tower (hopefully to the Leland Baxter Paper Company) in Spider-Man: Homecoming. We know that the next phase in the MCU will be Phase 4. It all makes perfect sense to me to introduce Marvel’s first family in the upcoming phase of films. Only time will tell, I guess. Phase 4 starts with the Untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel in 2019.

Galactus

Galactus